Spirit Keepers is finally completed, polished, and ready to go out into the world. We are currently looking for an agent to represent our novel. I have loved working with Marlise and pulling together a truly unique take on Native American and Celtic mythology. I never tire of searching for ways to incorporate history into all of my different novels. The best stories, the ones that truly stay with you, are those that take important truths and hard learned lessons and presents them in a manner that feels new. Spirit Keepers reflects the best in both of our writing styles and in our ability to speak with one voice.
I am excited to be co-writing a young adult magical realism book with the very talented Marlise Wabun Wind. Drawing inspiration from her autobiography Woman of the Dawn and co-authored book, The Medicine Wheel, we are nearing completion of Spirit Keepers. Marlise served as a medicine helper to a Native American and helped to found an alternative community. Marlise will be attending the Book Expo in New York in two weeks to pitch our book to various publishers and agents.
We are celebrating twelve years of my husband being cancer free by taking the kids to Disneyland. Each checkup is such a relief and we decided to do something big for this huge landmark. Our dear friend Dave works for Disney and is signing us in for free! The kids and I have never been before and we can’t wait to hit the park as well as teaching them to surf.
I am currently looking for a new agent. As much as I enjoyed having Dianna represent me, the time finally came to ease up on her already heavy load at work and home. I am in the process of researching agents.
After some valuable feedback from Harper Teen, I have rewritten much of Soul Sisters. Using The Crucible as a guide, I rewrote the bullying scenes to give the feel of a modern retelling of the Salem Witch Trials. I believe the story has come a long way.
My sister and long time editor just finished reading The Stewards. The protagonist, Hannah Briar is directly modeled after Sophia Scholl and other members of the White Rose Society, a German resistance movement during WWII. My sister is eager for me to begin writing book two, but I promised myself to take a month off from writing so that I can catch up on reading. I have just started Hunting Eichmann: How a Band of Survivors and a Young Spy Agency Chased Down the World’s Most Notorious Nazi. The story of how Eichmann came into power and the atrocities he committed is terrifying and I am already finding inspiration for the sequel to The Stewards. The heart of the story is how “Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
The Stewards is completed and finally ready to be sent off to my agent. I modeled my story after the Cambodian Genocide and Pol Pot’s vision of turning his country into an agrarian communist state. The inspiration came after my husband shared with me of his friendship with a family that escaped from the Khmer Rouge. I further researched the genocide and asked myself how a people might be able to preserve their history and culture through something other than books. At the same time, I came across a PBS special on the Freedom Riders and studied their remarkable story of passive resistance. Taking these two parts of our history, I combined them together and added my own unique twists to create The Stewards.
I am about half-way through The Stewards and will work to complete the first draft by December. I took a month break from writing to catch up on some long neglected reading. I just finished Argo, Mans Search for Meaning, and Night for research on my book. I couldn’t put either one of these survival accounts down. For fiction, I dove into two new series, The Selection and The Demon King. I enjoyed them both, but Kiera Cass has become a new favorite author of mine.
My agent, Dianna is still waiting to hear back from Penguin books, but will be following up soon.
My fifth book Honored is complete and will be sent off to my agent this week. While editing my latest manuscript, I discovered that there was room for a prequel and I will tuck that away for the future. For now, I am continuing my research for Ballad Singers. I am reading the autobiographies of Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. Both were such remarkable leaders in how they used non-violence to gain freedom for their people. My novel will explore violence and passive means for peace and which one is most effective.
Eyes of the Unknown is currently being reviewed by Penguin books.
The first rough draft of Honored is complete. I am currently editing my manuscript so that it will be ready for my agent by the start of the summer. At the same time, I am beginning the outline for my next book, Ballad Keepers. The premise came to me while watching a documentary on the Freedom Riders and there non-violent protests for desegregation. I have also been studying various Holacaust survivior’s accounts such as, Anne Frank: The Biography, The Hiding Place, and The Book Thief. My manuscript will combine many of the lessons and sacrifices made by both groups of people into something altogether new.