Why are you creating this page?
Since I began my career as a self-published author back in April 2016, I always expected to evolve and grow, both as a writer and in my writing. This happens to many, if not all, authors. Creativity is always in motion and so are creative people. When I published my book The Order of Actaeon (Waxwood Series: Book 1), I knew I wanted to go beyond the kind of contemporary literary psychological fiction I started out writing and publishing. Like many self-published authors, my genre interests and my focus are expanding well beyond what I started out with and I want and need to share that with my readers and give them as much as I can.
I also knew that, as much as I love the literary psychological fiction genre and as much as I love writing in poetic prose, my audience would be small. No author wants to have a limited readership, at least, not for long. My goal as an author has always been to be eclectic and strike the balance between my more literary pursuits and fiction that appeals to a wider audience and is more upbeat, more entertaining, less dark and less heavy (though not necessarily less psychological). As I wrote in this post on my blog, I have always believed the battle between literary fiction and commercial/genre fiction is useless because neither is better or worse than the other – they are simply different with different styles, different audience, and different goals. And there are many authors who want to give their readers the joy of reading both and do.
I’ve been incubating for the last several months so my published works have slowed down though I have had the pleasure of engaging with my wonderful readers in my reading group and author newsletter. Now I’m ready to talk a little bit about where my writing career is going and what I have to give to my readers in the future.
So what the heck is going on with you and your work?
My fiction has been taking some new directions and it’s also been expanding. If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that perhaps the greatest love of my life beyond writing is history. I’ve been a history lover since my days as an undergraduate student in English literature where I read and wrote about 19th century fiction and especially about women writers and their work. My interest in history is less about the actual events than about historical context – especially social and psychological.
One of my undergrad professors, early on in my studies, said something that has always stuck with me: “History tells you what happened. Literature tells you what should have happened.” My love of history and literature lead me to explore the way in which history and literature merge to create different narratives and open up dialogues not just about what happened but also about what should have happened or what we wish would have happened.
To this end, my fiction is taking a turn toward history but not the chronological, event-filled history of “this happened, then this happened, then this happened” (although historical events certainly are important). My stories and characters are products of their time as well as rebels of it, just as we are today. It’s characters engaged in historical social and psychological context that interests me and that now form the basis of my stories.
Does this mean you’ll no longer be writing literary psychological fiction?
Absolutely not! I love psychological fiction and my fiction will always bring to the table the elements of psychological reality that form the make-up of my characters and drives them to act and react in unique and not always comprehensive ways. However, my psychological fiction will be taking a new direction, as I mentioned above. At this time, I’m not quite ready to talk about that but I will be getting more into that as my fiction develops in this area in both my reading group and newsletter.
What about The Waxwood Series?
In January of this year, I published the first book of my Waxwood Series, The Order of Actaeon. While this series isn’t going anywhere, it’s on hold for the moment and will be taking some new directions which I’ll talk about in the future. I can say that I will be expanding the series and getting much more into the Alderdice family and their psychological reality.
You mentioned expanding your fiction. Can you talk more about that?
Sure! As I mentioned above, I never wanted to limit myself to writing and publishing literary fiction. Like many authors, my tastes go in different directions and I want to share that with my readers.
One of my guilty pleasures has always been classic mystery fiction, what they call “traditional mystery”, better known as the “whodoneit” mystery. My favorite TV series of all time is Agatha Christie’s Poirot and my second favorite is Agatha Christie’s Marple (and just so the American side of the genre isn’t neglected, my third favorite is Murder, She Wrote). In the book world, some of my favorite traditional mystery authors are Agatha Christie (obviously), Anna Katherine Green, Arthur Conan Doyle, and, of the more contemporary authors, Anne Perry.
In 2013, I was heavily focused on writing literary fiction but when National Novel Writing Month came around in November, I decided to take a break form that and write something completely different. I decided to step out of my usual character-heavy lyrical prose fiction and do something that stretch my creative muscles by focusing more on plot than character and where the tone would be lighter and entertaining. Since I love mysteries and I love history, creating a Nano project in the historical mystery genre seemed to fit the bill.
So my project for that year became the first book of a historical mystery series set in the San Francisco Bay Area (because, if you’ve been following me on social media and reading my work and my blog, you know the Bay Area is where my heart is) at the turn of the 20th century. While I didn’t finish the book during NaNo, I continued to work on it and completed the first draft in the summer of 2015. At that time, I had already decided to self-publish and knew I wanted to debut with a collection of contemporary psychological short stories which eventually was published in January 2017 as Gnarled Bones and Other Stories. But I knew at some time in the future, I would come back to historical mystery fiction because I had so much fun writing that book and I loved the characters of that series. I feel now is the time to start sharing it with my readers.
So what’s coming up for your readers for the future?
Right now, I’m going to be focusing on publishing in the historical mystery genre and come back to my psychological literary fiction later on.
To that end, I’m working right now on a short story that is part of the historical mystery series that will be a reader group and newsletter subscriber exclusive. That means that if you’re a member of my reader group and/or you’re subscribed to my newsletter, you’ll have access to the story for free. That should be available by this fall.
I’ll also be writing a novella related to the series which I’ll be offering as a newsletter exclusive. That means if you sign up for my newsletter or are already a subscriber, you’ll get access to it when it’s released.
I’m currently working on getting the first books of this series out to readers as well. I’m revising and editing the first book of the series that I wrote in 2013. I’m working on writing the first draft of second book and I have Books 3 and 4 of the series all outlined.
My goal is to release the first books of the series in a way that makes them consistent and enjoyable to readers. I don’t want to release the first book and then have you all wait a year for the second and another year for the third.
So that means bigger and better things are coming your readers’ way in the near future, right?
Yes! My readers have been fabulous and supportive and I can’t wait to give them something new and exciting!
To watch a live Facebook post discussing these new directions and expansions, you can go here.