A couple years ago, I challenged myself to write something different, something out of my comfort zone. What came out was a dark, adult short story I titled The Collector. No humor or quirky situations like I’m used to writing with my YA but I thought I did pretty good and so did my fellow writers who agreed to read it. I wasn’t planning on doing anything with it. It was merely an exercise, an effort to improve my writing skills.
Fast forward to the beginning of the year when my dear friend, Daphne Rene, asked if I wanted to submit my little story to a YA anthology she was also participating in. Apparently, one of the writers had to drop out and there was a spot open. I of course said yes. All I had to do was modify it so it was a paranormal YA. It was actually easier than I thought. I’m really proud of this little story. It turned out better than I hoped. It’s basically a showdown between a badass witch and a hungry human/troll.
There are 10 stories in all in the anthology, Fragments of Darkness. It releases on September 13th but you can pre-order it now. You can get it at Amazon, AmazonUK, Kobo, Barnes & Nobles, and iTunes.
The short story I have been working on for the past 4 months, The Tenth Life of Mr. Whiskers, is almost done. Yay! The plan is to have it available by Christmas. Here’s the blurb:
Mr. Whiskers is dead—muerto—shuffled off his mortal coil.
All Laney had to do was watch the store and feed the cat. Too bad she hadn’t known there was a cat.
She has a plan, though. An obscure spell contains the power to grant life, only long enough to save her job, and her vacation in Paris. Just because she botches the simplest of spells doesn’t mean she can’t control complicated magic, right?
The mysterious new guy at school, Kody, goes along for the ride; providing emotional support and, well, let’s be honest, he’s just hot.
After struggling through the spell—when nothing seems to be going right—they find that giving Mr. Whiskers a tenth life turns out to be more than they bargained for.
I had a blast writing this story and my critique group enjoyed reading it. They laughed in all the right places, thank goodness. It always makes me nervous when I bring a submission in to my group, worried they won’t laugh when I want them to. Or laugh when I don’t want them to.
Writing is such a personal craft. Even with a work of fiction with a variety of characters and events, a writer still puts so much of themselves into every scene. Having other people read your work and then critique takes a lot of guts. But, that’s how we grow and learn and become the best writers we can. Though it is hard work, I’m loving the journey to the New York Times Bestsellers List. I’ll get there someday.