Published!

Vanity in Dust is officially published!

I’m supposed to just say that I’m crazy happy and scream/giggle a lot but let’s be honesty–authors are usually a mixed bag when it comes to emotions. The week leading up to today, I was a mild wreck. I had trouble sleeping and focusing. I threw myself into any basic project or task I could get my hands on and watched unreasonable amounts of drama to distract myself. I even cleaned. I was outright twitchy.

Vanity in Dust was a labor of love and obsession and it’s now my first published novel. I was equal parts happy and terrified.

The week before today, before publication day, I was hit by this tidal wave of doubt that I was not prepared for. I didn’t see it coming. I didn’t expect it. But it showed up and I did everything I could to ignore it. I ran hard from that wave and pulled every trick from my bag to avoid sinking under it. And then, just as suddenly as it came, it was gone. Sometime yesterday, I stopped being anxious. I stopped worrying. I think it was the inevitability of today–that it was finally upon me and I had made it–that brought this calm.

Turns out, publishing is like getting to the top of a mountain that a part of you was never really willing to believe you’d be able to climb. Or at least, it was for me. I have this pessimistic voice in my heart that I try hard to ignore, but it’s always there, whispering to keep me from getting too hyped or too dependent on something. It warned me, even though everything was set and ready, that there’s always someone waiting to pull the rug out from underfoot.

Well, fuck the pessimist because today I’m published!

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The Cover of Vanity in Dust!

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I think I’ve had a unique experience as far as book covers go. Linn Arvidsson, the cover artist, is one of my beta readers. She reads absolutely everything I write and rereads it when I make big changes. I don’t think Vanity in Dust has a bigger fan in the world. So, I felt completely at ease when she contacted my publisher about doing the cover art. I’ve seen her work before and she knows the story.

After tossing around a bunch of ideas, she decided to do a photoshoot to make her own stockpile of pictures. Not just for this cover, but for the next couple covers. Luckily for us, my husband is not only the perfect model for Vaun Dray Fen, but also has an ever-growing collection of suits and vests. We did the photoshoot the same weekend Phong and I were in Umeå to get married.

The flowers on the table are actually ones I reused from my bouquet. The gold cup, I spray painted myself. And all of the treats are very real. We ate the ones that survived the shoot afterward. We brought enough treats and porcelain to redress the table three times and Phong managed to change his hair as well as his outfit each time too.

It was so much fun to be a part of the making of the cover, or at least there to watch it happen, and I am so happy with how it turned out. Linn is amazing!

Also check out her blog here!

And you can add Vanity in Dust to your Goodreads here!

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New Year Resolutions 2016

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  • Finally find out what a jellyfish is. Nothing on this planet confuses me as much as jellyfish and despite clocking an obscene number of hours watching nature programs over the years, I’m still not even convinced it’s an animal. Are we sure it isn’t just some sort of floating, carnivorous plant? By the end of 2016 I will be a jellyfish expert! Or, at least, know some stuff about it.
  • Get Vanity in Dust edited and ready for publishing!
  • Write Book 4. Which means I have to get through editing books 2 & 3. See the catch there?
  • Get married. Okay, well, that’s planned but I’ll call it a resolution because it’s kind of a big deal.
  • Write another scary story. The first one was a zombie novel. Next one is going to be an island horror!
  • Learn to use a kettlebell without hitting myself. I think that’s pretty self-explanatory.
  • Feel like I own enough washi tape.

That’s what I’ve got for this year! I have my cute calendar and planer ready. Let’s do 2016!

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