Thursday, October 8, 2015

Copper Reign: Book Club

When I first started work on the Heartstone Collection, I wanted to create a story with layers of depth that any level of reader could walk away from wanting to discuss what they’d discovered about themselves. On the surface, the first book, Copper Reign is a love triangle, but if you delve deeper into the core this story is a battle of personal truth. Nina starts out as a weak teenage girl full of insecurity and doubt, and grows into a woman so strong and assured that even the devil himself can’t touch her. It is a right of passage that reflects pieces of many of our lives, and sparks the debate of create or fate.

With all of this in mind, I hosted a dinner at my house with my first readers who just happened to be the neighborhood book club. I wanted to see what type of discussions sparked up from my manuscript, and see if I was on the right track. Unfortunately, little was said. They smiled sweetly, and said they loved my cute little story, and that was that. The real debate took place the next month when I wasn’t able to attend. I live in a very conservative community. Needless to say, there were strong feelings on both sides, but they were too polite to talk about their issues in front of me. I completely understood. I hadn’t explained that my father was Irish. There aren’t very many ways to offend me, but luckily rumors trickled back, and I couldn’t have been happier. I’d hit the sweet spot. Anything sparking that much emotion definitely had my readers thinking. That’s awesome! And what any writer, or book club hostess dares to hope for.

I’ve put together a discussion guide and recipes to help your Copper Reign themed book club be a success, and although my appearance shut down the debate in my neighborhood, I’d still be happy to video chat into yours, or even stop by if you live with a reasonable distance! Find me on Facebook and we’ll talk.

The Recipes:
Drink: Ocean Blues Punch (Sprite mixed with Blue Raspberry Kool-Aid).
Dinner: Shrimp Scampi (saute’ 40 medium-sized shrimp in 1/2 cup of butter and 2 tablespoons of garlic salt, serve with 1 lb of linguine, 2 medium sized zucchini saute’d 1/4 cup of butter, white chardonnay, and garlic bread) serves 6.
Dessert: Angel, and Devil’s Food Cake topped with appealing Strawberries on Cream (mix and bake cakes to boxed specifications, top both with strawberries and whipped cream).
Candy: Chocolate-Covered Cinnamon Bears
The music:

Bleeding Out—Imagine Dragons
Dark Paradise—Lana Delrey
The Lonely—Christina Perry
Down—Jason Walker
Never Let Me Go—Florence + The Machine

Come Home—One Republic
Car Crash–Matt Nathanson
Draw Your Swords—Angus & Julia Stone
Wrong Side of Heaven—Five Finger Death Punch
Closer—Kings of Leon

I will Not Bow—Breaking Benjamin
Love Me Again—John Newman
Just One Yesterday—Fallout Boy

Discussion Guide—Copper Reign
In Copper Reign, Nina and her mother face issues beyond our reality, but the way they cope with one another reflects countless parent/child relationships. For better or worse, why do parents feel the need to mold their children into something they’ve pictured?

At the beginning of chapter two, Nina confides in Nate, and instead of judging her for being different he asks her out. How hard was it to take that leap of trust, and why did she hesitate to accept his offer?

The best moment of Nina’s life is quickly snatched away and replaced with tragedy. It’s a common theme throughout the novel. How does Nina cope with adversity in the beginning of the story compared to the end?

After her parents’ death, Nina honors her mother’s last wish, and uses the amulet to lock away her gift. She is held in a holding pattern until the amulet fails, at which time all of her emotion comes flooding back. What do the walls of protection represent, and who is Nina truly facing when her safety crumbles?

Sinauf has discovered her name, and he’s coming for Nina. He’s the embodiment of everything she fears and desires. She’s drawn to him, even after she watches her best friend, Jenny kill herself under his power. This trope goes back to the beginning of women’s lit. Good girls can’t seem to resist the allure of reforming a bad boy. Why is that? And how do these types of relationships differ in actual life?

Nate is everything a girl could want, handsome, attentive, and fun, yet Nina continues to fight loving him. What do you think were the reasons she avoided her feelings, and what methods do you consider Nate’s most effective in overcoming this obstacle?

Sinauf (aka Sinclair Devereux) burns through Nina’s world like a wildfire, consuming her every thought. She’s tricked into betraying Nate, and turns him away. Why did she think this was the right course of action? Here’s a fate, or create moment to question. Would anything have changed if she’d chosen to stay?

Nina’s in hell, quite literally. It’s been revealed that Sinauf and Sinclair are only a couple of a thousand personas the Archangel Lucifer has used throughout his time on Earth. She’s discovered his plan to destroy the world, and her role. Instead of allowing him to use her, Nina decides jump, and her sacrifice opens the Copper Way. Going forward, what will this mean for their world?

After making the right choice Nina falls into Nates arms, secure in the knowledge that he belongs to her. But their troubles aren’t over yet. Discuss the lull before the storm and Nina’s growth through her worst fears coming to pass.

What do you think really defeated Lucifer?

Discuss the epilogue, and what comes next.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Cover Reveal: Copper Reign

Book covers are like an amazing recipe. Starting out, there are all these separate ingredients that are fine by themselves, but if they’re thrown in a pot together, or baked in an oven, they change on a fundamental level. Suddenly, the flavors meld in ways you never imagined, and sometimes, something richer and more decadent than you could’ve ever imagined emerges. This recipe is one of those instances. Lyndsay Johnson caught the essence of Copper Reign by orchestrating the basic themes of this story through her artwork. Then she weaved in subtle lighting and texture to bring this novel to life. All I can say, is this girl can cook a wicked cover!

Let me introduce you to Copper Reign, Book One of the Heartstone Collection:

The tale of Sinauf was a secret nineteen-year-old Nina Douglas’ ancestors kept hidden for generations. But after six-hundred years of concealment, their protection has failed, bringing Nina’s fate into light, and revealing an inescapable truth.
The dark god of legend is real.
Caught in an ancient war still raging in the modern world, Nina is confronted with Sinauf—the embodiment of all she fears and desires. Like a moth drawn to a deadly flame, she must resist the seductive charm of an alluring monster, or prepare for the destruction of an entire universe.
Temptation is known by many names, and he is coming for her

Monday, June 29, 2015

Stained Glass

I was raised in the disease of poverty.
Imagine, beginning at the bottom of a big, dark hole. Desolate, except for the light at the top, and the champions standing too high to reach. They claim that with the slightest bit of effort anyone can climb up. Ropes are thrown down and they cheer encouraging words, frustrated that no one is willing to meet them halfway, but another dynamic plays out below that only the people living it really understand.
To climb not only abandons a way of life, but also a way of thinking. It’s an uphill battle of tremendous weight that doesn’t end when you reach the top.
Twenty years ago, I personally took this journey, and everything I am today is molded through a shattered lens of two perceptions. read more 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Review: Assets

by Christine Haggerty

The plague orphans have traveled across an ocean and arrived at their destination. In the city of Salvation Cameron Landry is at the mercy of a cast of complex characters driven by powerful motives. He's playing a dangerous role, one that may cost him his life, or even worse, the lives of his friends. Holding onto a promise made a continent away, he clings on to the one purpose he has left. But when the coin is lost, and he too is marked as a mutant gladiator, Cam discovers that people he considered enemies are in fact his strongest assets.

This book is five times better than Acquisitions. Haggerty is masterful in creating a three dimensional dystopian world so close to our own reality that it's almost tangible in very sobering way. Although it's not a place I'd like to reside, I was so emotionally vested that I cut through the pages like a hot knife through butter. I'm excited to see how the next one wraps it all up.

You can buy Assets here.
And learn more about Christine here.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Races and Ribbons

When I was ten-years-old, my school had field day. I never liked school events. My parents never came to them, and seeing my peers with their families was a painful reminder of the distance between our worlds. I didn't want to participate. What was the point? I wouldn't win. But my teacher insisted, pointing at a gunnysack. I stepped into the bag and up to the starting line. BOOM. We were off. I didn't try very hard at first, but I realized I had a knack for jumping. I jumped further and faster, and further and faster, and before I knew it, I'd crossed the finish line. They pointed at me and called out,"Six." Six! That meant I'd made it into the next round. I was so excited I could hardly contain myself as I lined up with my classmates. They counted us and there was one too many kids, but they couldn't decide who didn't belong. The refs agreed to go ahead and run the race with thirteen, but I didn't care. I was six, I'd made it. This was a pivotal moment in my life. I'd tasted success, and it suited me. I was as taut as a bow and ready to pounce. The starting gun fired, and I had never moved more quickly. I pushed further and faster, further and faster, further and faster. Once again, I crossed the line and turned to look back. Everyone else had ate my dust.

First place.

You'd think the story would end there, right? It doesn't. I got to hold my pretty blue ribbon for about five minutes. An irate parent claimed that I had cheated, that her son was sixth place and I had no business participating in that race. She ripped the ribbon from my hands and nobody made a move to stop her including the ref who'd named me six. He just stared at his shoes and refused to meet my eyes as I begged him to tell her that I had belonged. This moment was also pivotal. Two conflicting life lessons in a single afternoon, and never raced in field day to win again.

I didn't share this experience to have you feel sorry for me. Many of us have gone through similar trials, but I needed to explain this event to put the rest of this post in perspective.

One year ago, I released my first novel. Hard to believe it's only been that long, yet in some ways it's still surreal. So much growth has taken place since that little girl held her ribbon, but the fear of winning has never really gone away. Most of the time, I keep it hidden. On the outside I project the embodiment of confidence. It's been easy enough for people to believe because I'm involved with some pretty amazing people, and together we've accomplished some pretty remarkable things. But the only reason anything happened in my career was because somebody'd pointed at me and said, "Six." Their faith gained me opportunities not always afforded to debut authors, and I worked my butt off. Pushing further and faster than ever before, I proved their confidence wasn't misplaced. But inside I was ten-years-old again, waiting for someone to take my ribbon. With each new triumph, my feelings of inadequacy grew more weighted, because there was always another race, another way to be assessed and show that I was lacking. The stress of becoming a failure ate holes in my stomach until finally I reached my breaking point. Something had to change. I couldn't continue living in fear of losing everything I'd worked so hard to gain, but how could I possibly fix a flaw so deeply rooted in my psychological make-up? I stepped back to reevaluate, and here's what I discovered:

1) Taking a ribbon from a child may seem heartless, but that wasn't the woman's perception. More than likely she been wounded herself, saw her child hurting, and thought she was doing the right thing. Which leads me to my next point.

2) If something like that happened to one of my kids, I'd totally kick some ass, and how does that make me any different? The problem wasn't the actual conflict, but the feeling of isolation and not having any kind of support.

3) In the end I was holding on to the loss of a piece of material.

Any kind of trophy is symbolic, not the actual victory. My priorities were all screwed up by emotional responses to experiences that needed to be viewed logically. Irrational feelings had allowed some stranger who probably didn't even remember what had happened the power to control to my life, not only in that moment but for many others over the past thirty years.

With this in mind I spent the past few weeks making some tough decisions. I walked away from current my publisher, and in turn he decided to close his doors. We parted amicably, and I will forever be grateful for the run we had together, but if fear hadn't been my motivator I would've left months ago. I let go of my ribbon, but I am no longer scared of what that means. You see, I've lined up lots of times over the past year, and I have many great people supporting me. Really, that's the important part of becoming successful in any endeavor--hard work and the ties that form between like-minded people.

So I'm starting a new race. I'm preparing to go further and faster than ever before, but this time I'm lining up for all the right reasons. I might gain a shiny publishing contract, land an agent, or decide to be indie. Any way, it doesn't matter. Winning the race is more important than how you get there. Regardless of my choice, what I've accomplished will forever be mine to keep.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Author Spotlight: Johnny Worthen

You've all met Johnny Worthen, I'm sure. Over six foot tall and draped in tie-dye, he's kind of hard to miss, but his outward appearance is only a slight glimpse into this colorful character I am pleased to call friend. And speaking of colorful, I've heard that Johnny's latest novel is precisely that. Check it out!

Galen is political. Galen is fed up. Galen is a blackmailer.
Brand is a jerk who has money. He had an affair and Galen found out. Now Brand has new problems.
A criminal and self-styled Robin Hood, Galen must face down a ruthless enemy who does not share his ideological limitations.
In the footsteps of Edward Abbey’s THE MONKEY WRENCH GANG, THE BRAND DEMAND follows a group of political activists who strike at the system with cunning and guile while getting rich doing it.
Galen takes risks and money, but when his plans go awry, he quickly learns that politics are no substitute for wits.
Galen has to come to grips with his own boundaries of action and love while running for his life in Southern Utah. He has to stay under the radar, dodging skinheads and corporate moguls, Latter Day Saints romance writers and cheating husbands and—of course and always—the authorities.

Johnny Worthen is a nationally acclaimed, award winning author of books and stories.
A son of the Wasatch Mountains, he graduated with a BA in English and Master’s in American Studies from the University of Utah. With this basis in literary and cultural criticism plus a lifetime of scars, he writes upmarket, multi-genre fiction seeking truth in narrative.
When not presenting at conferences or attending conventions, Johnny is most likely hard at work at his keyboard somewhere in Sandy, Utah with his wife, two sons and cat.
“I write what I like to read; this guarantees me at least one fan.”

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Cover Reveal:Black Jack/The Ace of Hearts by Mikki Kells

Melanie Svelare is a survivor, the strongest witch in her coven, and a princess. With the key to her magic, the Ace of Hearts, presumably destroyed, her powers continue to grow. As her power increases, her control on them becomes weaker until it is clear she may be the most powerful witch on the planet and the most dangerous. The Alaman, another coven, concerned by her strength, send an ambassador to gauge her control, stability, and how dangerous she truly is. The Alaman are well known for killing witches who pose a threat to their own powerful hold over the globe and if they see fit to end her life, she will have no choice but to fight.
With her soulmate by her side and the remains of her Vanguard, Melanie strives to maneuver a maze of political scandals designed to make her falter. If she fails, she will not only lose her throne to the traitorous Lord Rossi, but also her life to the fiery Alaman.
Melanie can only pray her secret that the Ace of Hearts is alive and manipulating them all in a final deadly game is never revealed.

Black Jack book two in the Ace of Hearts series will be released July 2015. 

Mikki Kells is both a writer and a rider. She spends her nights crafting fantastical stories and her afternoons bowing to the demands of her beloved horse. Her interests in fantasy and paranormal subjects developed from a childhood of imaginary exploits and continue to influence her professional career. She resides in central Utah.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Author Spotlight: Adrienne Monson

Let's talk vampires. Not the kind that sparkle or the ones who are all teenage angsty, but vampires with real substance that plot and plan and carry the baggage a millennium of living a brutal existence brings with it. This is where I introduce to Adrienne Monson. 
Adrienne has released her newest novel, Defiance, Book II in The Blood Inheritance Trilogy. But I also wanted to mention that this lovely young lady has a short story, The Monster Within included in Secrets and Doors. This girl knows her vampires, and I promise that if any of her characters were acting like a whimpering fool, they’d be history.

Me: What made you decide to write about vampires?

A: I’ve always enjoyed reading about them. I was a voracious reader in general, but there’s always been something extra about vampires. So it figures that my first published story is with the creatures I’ve always fantasized about.

Me: I’ve read historical romance all through my youth, and my favorites echo through your work. You have a talent for creating truly caddish villains. How did you perfect this art?

A: Thanks, Angela! Characters were a weak spot for me. I guess knowing what your weaknesses are help to strengthen them until they’re not a weakness anymore.

Me: Who are your favorite authors?

A: Too many to name them all! Just a few: Karen Marie Moning, Terry Goodkind, Tami Haog, Patricia Briggs.

Me: What’s in your reading queue right now?

A: There’s a lot! One I’m really looking forward to reading is Copper Descent, by Angela Hartley. I hear it’s phenomenal! ;)

Me: You have young children at home. How do you find balance between, writing, family and publication?

A: It’s called not keeping your sanity. J I lose a lot of sleep to take time to write and meet deadlines. But I feel good knowing that my family doesn’t feel like they’re getting neglected when my schedule piles up.

Me: If you could speak to the younger you, what advice would you give her?

A: Don’t ever stop writing, no matter how down you feel about your work. The more you write, the faster you’ll improve!

Thanks, Adrienne for stopping by!
Enter to win a free copy of Defiance here.
Or buy your copy from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Spotlight: Christine Haggerty

I've introduced my amazing friend, Christine Haggerty in the past when she debuted her first novel, Acquisitions. Today I'm pleased to announce the release of her novella, Pretty Things:

When Maddie's father catches her with a boy he hauls her into town in a pig wagon and finds her a husband. But Peter's cabin in the woods promises something very different than Maddie's happily ever after.

Pretty Things, a retelling of The Robber Bride-Groom is the first novella in The Grimm Chronicles series. Warning: Not your granny's fairytales! 

Haggerty hearkens back to true Grimm form and weaves a tale that is pretty demented, yet rather satisfying. If you have a love for real faerietales you'll devour this one :)

Christine Nielson Haggerty grew up in rural Utah with three brothers, a sister, several chickens, a goat, and an outhouse. She always loved the escape of fantasy and the art of writing, and her passion for life is to craft stories of strength and survival.

As a former high school language arts teacher and a black belt in karate, Christine has found a niche in combining those skills to help authors write effective fight scenes.

An award-winning young adult author, she is now launching her dark fantasy fairytale novella series The Grimm Chronicles.

Check her out on her website!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

When It's Your Child

As a part of Secrets and Doors blog tour I volunteered to write a piece about why the Secret Door Society chose JDRF. Admittedly, I’ve been dragging my feet, not because I don’t want to share this story—I do—but it isn’t easy. Looking back on my reality of living with a T1D diabetic has stirred up emotions. The wound is still raw.
Nine years ago my daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Just like any other mother, I imagined this pretty little girl growing up happy and healthy. Chronic illness wasn’t even a blip on my radar, but six months after her eighth birthday all of that changed. My once sweet and loving child was suddenly angry and confrontational. She didn’t want to go to school, cried her stomach hurt too much, only to be laughing and playing an hour later. My father had died earlier that year, and at first I thought she was having trouble coping with the loss of her grandfather. I took her to the doctor, and he agreed that was probably the cause of her erratic behavior. He gave me the names of several counselors, but drew blood as a precaution.
I’m so glad he did.
Her test results came back a few hours later with a blood sugar reading of 637. A normal range sits at 100. We were lucky. We had caught it early enough to avoid ketoacidosis shock, a condition caused by high blood-sugar that can lead to coma. This was the optimistic phrase delivered to me, but I didn’t feel very fortunate as I drove 40 minutes to the hospital to place her on Diabetic protocol, stealing glances in the rearview mirror. She’d grown so thin. How had that escaped my notice? The signs were there. She was always thirsty. Just that morning I had scolded her for drinking too much in the middle of the night and disrupting her sleep by needing to pee. Later the diabetes signs were easy to see when I thought back on the weeks leading up to her diagnosis, but at the time I'd missed them because I didn’t have a clue what to look for.
When it came to diabetes, my only frame of reference was Steel Magnolias. I’d directed the play in high school and could still recite every line from memory like some kind of sick cosmic joke. One thing was for certain: I couldn’t stand the thought of my baby girl cast in the role of Shelby. Shelby died too young, too soon.
As her parents we carried so many hopes and dreams. With the diagnosis, the simple future we’d pictured for this sweet little angel was torn from us and replaced with fears of kidney failure, amputations, and blindness. I wished with all my heart the diagnosis would’ve been mine.
At the hospital we learned what protocol meant. The staff had to work quickly to rehydrate her and bring dangerous sugar levels down. My daughter was eight and didn’t understand. I can’t begin to explain how hard it was to watch a team of nurses hold my fighting child down and repeatedly stab her with needles, injecting her with life-saving insulin and testing her blood. At the time, all I could hear were her screams; all I could see was the look of betrayal in her big, blue eyes. I stood there, helpless. A mother’s supposed to protect, but all I could do was whisper I’m sorry over and over. Pain became a daily part of her life. Pain from testing. Pain from injections. Pain from the disease itself. Pain is hard, but for T1D kids, pain means life.
T1D is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system malfunctions and attacks the pancreatic beta cells that produce insulin. There is no proven cure at this time. It is estimated that over 5 million people in the United States are affected by this disease, yet it receives very little media attention.
I believe a cure is obtainable within our lifetime, but just like any other project, funding and awareness are crucial. That is why we decided to name the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation as the beneficiary for Secrets and Doors. No charity is closer to the hearts of many of our contributors.
My baby is seventeen now, healthy and happy like I had imagined—at least as healthy as any T1D kid can be. Parents of her peers are worried about college. I worry over prescriptions, rising medical costs, insurance premiums, and deductibles that have doubled every year since 2010.  (Thank you, Obamacare). I’m scared for her future. Just staring out in life as a young adult is hard enough without an added financial burden of a major medical condition that needs constant monitoring and medicine to survive. While the fear never goes away, I’m optimistic. She’s grown into an amazing woman, capable of overcoming any and all obstacles.

Please join us in our support of T1D research by buying a copy of Secrets and Doors. Just like my baby, many others have been robbed of their childhoods. Together we can unlock the door to a brighter tomorrow.

Open the door and unlock the secrets in eleven short stories from The Secret Door Society, an organization of fantasy and science fiction authors dedicated to charitable work. All proceeds from this anthology benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in their quest to cure Type One Diabetes (T1D).
In these pages you’ll discover a modern woman trapped in an old fashioned dreamscape, a futuristic temp worker who fights against her programming, a beautiful vampire’s secret mission disrupted by betrayal, a sorcerer’s epic battle against a water dragon, the source of magical mirrors—and more. There are tales for every science fiction and fantasy taste, including new works from award-winning authors Johnny Worthen, Lehua Parker, Christine Haggerty, and Adrienne Monson.
Join us in the fight against T1D as you peek into a world of magical and mysterious doorways—if you dare.

Buy your Kindle copy here. And thank you for your support!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Cover Reveal: Secrets and Doors

Crimson Edge is proud to present you with Secrets and Doors:

Open the door and unlock the secrets in eleven short stories from The Secret Door Society, an organization of fantasy and science fiction authors dedicated to charitable work. All proceeds from this anthology benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in their quest to cure Type One Diabetes (T1D).
In these pages you’ll discover a modern woman trapped in an old fashioned dreamscape, a futuristic temp worker who fights against her programming, a beautiful vampire’s secret mission disrupted by betrayal, a sorcerer’s epic battle against a water dragon, the source of magical mirrors—and more. There are tales for every science fiction and fantasy taste, including new works from award-winning authors Johnny Worthen, Lehua Parker, Christine Haggerty, and Adrienne Monson.
Join us in the fight against T1D as you peek into a world of magical and mysterious doorways—if you dare.

Isn't the cover gorgeous? MeriAnn Boxall sat down with the artist, Faun Jackson for an interview. Stop by and check it out!

Secrets and Doors is now available for pre-order on Amazon, and Crimson Edge.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Guest Post: Joshua Robertson

As many of you know, I have a cause that is very near and dear to my heart. When my oldest daughter was eight, she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Members of the writing community have come together to create a collection of short stories, and Joshua Robertson of Crimson Edge has agreed to publish this anthology at cost! I am honored to announce that Secrets and Doors will be released in February, and all of the proceeds will be donated to Juvenal Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Joshua's epic fantasy novel, Melkorka - Thrice Nine Legends has recently been released and today he's introducing himself to all of you. I wanted everyone to know him from my perspective as well. Thank you, Joshua, for your generous donation of time and resources. <3

Joshua Robertson, Author of Melkorka

Jack Of All Trades

During my school years, I remember gawking at my extraordinary peers. Even in a small town with a class of barely thirty, there was an all-star athlete, a musical prodigy, a funny man, and a girl with perfect genetics. I watched them. I learned from them. I strived to have their talent, their jokes, or even their looks. As depressing as that may sound, I would not say that I was that saddened that I was not them. I was rational enough to understand that each had their fault, despite their perceived grandeur. I understood that I was captivated by the grass being greener, if you will. But, in the end, I respected each person for their distinct humanness.  
Still, I was envious that I had mastery in none of their areas. I was an average looking guy that played sports, played guitar, and occasionally shared a witticism that caused an inharmonious uproar within the classroom. I jumped from clique to clique with relative ease, whether it was the jocks, the nerds, or the thespians. I was what one would consider a Jack Of All Trades. It took me a while to figure out what that meant exactly. Eventually, I learned that it meant that I was a writer.
I started writing snippets of fantasy and horror around the age of nine, created a handful of tabletop games by thirteen, had a collection of poetry and short stories by fifteen, and had completed my first fantasy novel at seventeen. Although I had a copyright, a literary agent, and the intent, I did not publish this novel. I suppose that I could have been like Christopher Paolini [author of Eragon] but I concluded that just because I had written a novel did not mean it was worth publishing. I told myself that no one would like it. So, I wrote another and another and another…
As you can imagine, this went on for a while. In the interim, I finished graduate school with a degree in Social Work, with minors in Psychology and Sociology. In my spare time, I studied philosophy, logic, literature, history, religion, public speaking, education, business, and politics. I also started a family and bought a house and maintained a promising career. I did adult things – the things that responsible, masters-of-their-craft, grown-ups do when they get old and lose sight of their dreams. I started identifying myself as an aspiring author who had never even sent his rough draft to the ‘Big 5’ publishers. I was successful by all measures of the adult standard, but I was not complete.  
In 2013, I took a leap of faith. I started to blog again and began writing purposefully. I was met with overwhelming support and kindness. In 2014, I co-created a tabletop game, Thrice Nine Legends, based on my dark fantasy stories. My children’s book, Bo Bunny and the Trouble, was self-published on Lulu. In addition, I wrote countless stories, poems, and took part in many writing projects. Then, as if solidifying my decision, I embarked on the journey of owning my own small press, Crimson Edge Publishing Company.
I have a passion for storytelling, whether I am the speaker or the listener. There is a sense of community among authors and readers that captures the human spirit in a way hardly found anywhere else. I love that! As I continue on my path towards my dream, I would invite you to come along with me. In fair warning, know that I am a Jack Of All Trades. Neither do I expect exceptionality from myself, nor perfectionism from you. Writing is about sharing a story, finding connection with the characters, and discovering meaning in the words. It is my hope that we can inspire one another in doing just that.

Author Bio

Joshua began crafting the world for Melkorka in 1999, and has since continued writing flash fiction, short stories, poems, children’s books, and epic fantasy novels. Joshua is the author of the transitional children’s book, Bo Bunny and the Trouble. He is also the co-creator of the fantasy tabletop game, Thrice Nine Legends, due to be released in 2015. Joshua currently lives in Alaska with his wife and children.