Hi! I get to share some more gossipy tidbits here about what it was like to write Smoke, Steel, & Ivy.

This book started as a synopsis. When it comes to my approach to drafting I like to experiment. Ivy was definitely more a plotted story than some of my others. At the time of writing, I was querying my first novel and discovering the excruciating pain of writing a single page synopsis for an 80,000 word project.

Determined never to fall into such a pit of despair again, I started Ivy with a synopsis.

But some subplots were pantsed along the way. So I still had to rewrite the synopsis (oh, the agony) when I went to query it. And query I did. But Ivy, like my debut, is a New Adult novel, and traditional publishers aren’t too keen on those. I experimented with aging Ivy down and aging Ivy up, but I liked her best as a New Adult.

So, Ivy and her sisters lived on my hard-drive for years. I wrote other books. I worked as a technical writer, moved states. Life soldiered on. I queried other stories. I became a better writer. Agents’ feedback became abundant and specific. “I love this, but this is New Adult.” And then from my aunt, “Have you thought about indie publishing?” That is New Adult’s home, and it’s thriving over there.

So last fall, as I was getting the last of my ducks in a row to publish My Cosplay Escape, I needed something to tease in the backmatter (because I’m more than just a one trick pony). I didn’t know if I had anything more to say about San Diego and cosplay. I didn’t want to break out a different contemporary rom-com until I had that settled (and I’m glad I waited because I realized there was a handsome cosplayer and someone’s sister that have something to say, quite a lot of something to say). But I needed something and fast. I asked my aunt for advice.

“What do you want to do? What do you want to work on next? This is why indie-publishing is such a fun place. You have control.”

Well… Then, I suppose… I’d like to let my nerdy fairy tale side out to breathe.

I pinged my editor. She had an opening the beginning of November 2021. I dove into revisions, and I’ve been in one stage or another of revising Ivy from October 2021 through March 2022. It’s been a great big, wonderful, challenging adventure.

I have some more info about indie publishing and process on my blog for you to check out. Come find me (send me an email, leave a comment on Insta) if you have questions or want to talk craft. Storytelling is something we’re all hard-wired to do, and it’s thrilling to see other storytellers find their voice. You could be writing my next favorite book ever. And I need that book yesterday.

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