This weekend I’ll be out and about celebrating Small Business Saturday at the Countdown to Christmas Vendor event hosted at the Salem Guldens UM Church in historic Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. I’ll be there with my young adult novels Tedenbarr of Have Lath and Thorunn from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. I’ll be signing any copies purchased on site, and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone as we get into the holiday spirit!
More details regarding the event can be found at the Salem Guldens UM Church’s Facebook page.
Happy to report that the Fantasy Cartography workshop went really well. We had so much fun!
First we discussed maps, both historical and fantastical, and how the way we view the world, and thus represent it, changes over time – in fact boundaries are still being drawn and redrawn to this day! We explored the parallels between navigating unknown spaces in our real world and the uncharted territory of a first, second or even third draft – because the act of writing itself is akin to a grand adventure – and learned how to created an imaginary world that influences, or is influenced by, the maps we as authors and readers discover in the beginning of many fantasy and adventure novels.
Finally, we put everything we’d learned into practice, creating a variety of unique and interesting maps based on a mix of history and our imaginations. It was so wonderful to see the fun and imaginative worlds the children had designed come to life on their sketchbook pages.
Here is a small list of print and online resources you might find useful should you decide to explore fantasy cartography for yourself:
As is the case for many of you, I suspect, this year didn’t go at all like what I had planned.
My second novel, Thorunn, was released in May, and while I’ve certainly enjoyed discussing the book online, I struggled to put together offline events, for a number of reasons. However, I refused to let all the hurdles in my way make things grind completely to a halt. I was blessed to be able to throw together a few book signing events – one a more private, impromptu event at a yard sale I co-hosted over the summer, and the other two at more prominent, public locations.
The first of these was at The Reader’s Café, a charming little bookshop-slash-cafe in downtown Historic Hanover. The cafe was once a church before being turned into the book haven it is today, and has lovely internal architecture. Since it was also International Talk Like a Pirate Day, of course I had to go in cosplay, debuting another new look by mix-and-matching pieces I had already made. It was really wonderful to connect with avid readers while supporting a small business, and I hope to return in the future with more books!
The second place I was able to visit to sign books was the captivating cave at Indian Echo Caverns. I didn’t actually make it to the caves this time, since it was so windy I was afraid my books would fly away if I stepped away to take a quick peek, but being on the grounds (under a lovely Greek-styled stone pavilion), seeing all the animals, and enjoying the sights and smells of the surrounding food trucks was wonderful in its own way. And of course, chatting with book fans was the highlight.
By now, I think it’s apparent that I rather enjoy cosplay, so again, I went dressed as a character, one I debuted on Thorunn’s launch day, Lachelle Michaels, who is a soldier appearing in the second half of the novel.
All in all, despite the many limitations this year has brought, I am so thankful I was still able to make the best of it, and I consider these events to be a success! Here’s to looking forward to 2021, and until then, happy reading!
They’re basically a take-a-book leave-a-book system dedicated to getting more books into the hands of readers. They’re also a FANTASTIC place to donate books you don’t want anymore. I was introduced to the idea in 2019 by @littlefreelibraryreads on Instagram, and since then have made it a mission to hunt down all the Little Free Libraries I can, leaving my novels, and bookmarks too!
A lot of public libraries were unable to open their doors for a substantial amount of time during the summer, which is a KEY time for children to develop their reading skills. Thankfully, given the outdoor positioning, and limited interaction nature of Little Free Libraries, many families were still able to obtain books for summer reading.
A lot of Little Free Library custodians were also amazing during this time, providing ample amounts of hand sanitizer and wipes, and making sure the libraries were stocked with fresh books.
If you want to find a Little Free Library in your area, simply plug your location into this map, and get ready to go on an adventure!
One of the greatest things about being an indie author is the sense of community. We don’t have the big 5 backing us, so we’ve got to stick together.
I met E.S. Barrison on writeblr – Tumblr’s writing community – a few years ago, and it’s been a wonderful experience. Barrison was an invaluable member (along with some other fantastic writers) of my Beta reading team for Thorunn, and I’ve eagerly followed along on her journey to publication.
Barrison’s debut novel, The Mist Keeper’s Apprentice, was released on June 14th, and is available as an e-book or in paperback & hardback versions. Of course I picked up a copy, and I’ve been reading in my scraps of spare time and really enjoying the novel so far.
With that in mind, I’m honoured and pleased to announce that this Saturday (June 20th) I’ll be interviewing Barrison live on Instagram.
Join us as we peek behind the scenes and uncover what went into the making of this intriguing fantasy novel, as well as chatting about all things MKA. (Why do lemons feature so heavily?)
As I mentioned, I’m avidly reading the book right now, and I’m super excited to find out even more about this fascinating world on Saturday.
Be sure to pick up a copy, and get your questions ready; for now, I’ll leave you all with a quote from the The Mist Keeper’s Apprentice, featuring Rho, the mysterious girl that Brent finds hidden in the tunnels . . .
I’m so thrilled and excited to announce that my second book (and debut Young Adult Science Fiction novel) ⚡Thorunn⚡ is now available both as a paperback and an eBook from Amazon, iBooks, and Barnes & Noble.
This thrilling story is set in the far future, with a shady government, a vibrant alien culture, and fantastically imaginative tech. ⚡Thorunn⚡ follows the stories of Kenton Wishings – whose entire family was brutally murdered – and Laine Riven – a rebellious teen spirited away to the mysterious planet by his at-wits-end parents. Their paths clash amidst tragedy and betrayal, and despite how hard they try, neither teen will escape unscathed.
Time is running out as frix season closes in, and their only shot at victory hinges on outrunning the seasoned bounty hunters, savage creatures, and unpredictably violent weather trying to kill them every step of the way. . .
“The world Jones produced is absolutely brilliant . . . from start to finish, I wanted to know more!”
– S.V. Filice, author of “The Summoning (Moral Bloodlines, #1).”
Enjoy following Kenton and Laine’s epic adventures, whether in print or digital media, and be sure to join the mailing list to receive updates about exciting new content, contests, giveaways, and more.
Bonus content in the form of a series of backstory vignettes focusing on Kenton’s best friend Bo can be found on Wattpad here: The Many Misadventures of Bo, and official ⚡Thorunn⚡ swag (mugs, cups, stickers, & T-shirts) is available to purchase via NEXT-GXN on Redbubble.
A special thanks goes out to the author’s wonderful brother, professional artist Don Jones, who was also the novel’s alpha reader, illustrator, and cover designer. (And what a stunning cover it is!)
Additionally, you’re personally invited to the ⚡️THORUNN⚡️ Virtual Book Launch Party taking place on Instagram Live & Twitter starting at 1:00 PM. Talk directly to moi, the author, and get a chance to win some of the swag mentioned above – don’t miss it!
Currently, I’m working on a few stand-alone novels as well as a multi-book series set in a distant and mysterious era, and I can hardly wait to share these next books with you all!
Here it is, friends, the official ⚡️THORUNN⚡️ Spotify playlist, all 85 mins of it!
I listened to these songs quite a bit while drafting, revising, and putting the finishing touches on my novel, and it’s carefully curated (if listening from the desktop, or premium on the app) to give y’all the perfect ⚡️THORUNN⚡️listening experience. A good bit of these songs could apply to either Laine or Kenton, (though some are specific to each – kudos to you if you can accurately guess which!) but some also center around other characters – both friend and foe – and around themes from the novel: family, loss, forgiveness, hope.
The playlist starts off rather melancholy (given what happens to Kenton’s family in the beginning of the book), and bounces back and forth between anger and grief – with some encouragement slipped in between here and there – before leading to a defiant, hopeful ending. I’ve included some relevant lyrics from each song and there’s a mix of styles and genres from a wide variety of artists, though it does trend in the alt/rock direction. Music from the 70’s all the way to recent years has made the list, and there’s even a South African song gracing this collection!