Writing

Hello all, and welcome to my author page. Here you can find links and basic information about what I’m writing, and follow my journey toward publication as it (hopefully) unfolds. I was blessed to have recently worked as a ghost writer on a novel, so I am technically a published author, though of course I would like to publish my own work.

I completed my first novel in 2011. (It was terrible.) I would’ve kept writing but that was when my life began to take a turn with a long series of tragedies you can read about here and here.

I began writing again in earnest last October and am currently working on two novels. They are nearly complete, but I have been focusing on one more than the other since April. Both books are inspired by personal events and struggles in my own life. (Stephen King–and many others–said to write what you know, so that’s what I try to do.) The theme of one is mental illness (particularly, hallucinations and psychotic episodes), while the other centers around something very personal I have yet to announce to the world (this is the one I am currently focusing on).

I am also working on a comedy web serial called One Day Dex Could Fly. I began writing it as an emotional break from the heavy-lifting of the other two novels, and the story took off all on its own. Currently, I post a new bite-sized chapter every Saturday. If you don’t want to know anything else about it, click here to read it in its entirety. Otherwise, here is a brief synopsis and some other information. One Day Dex Could Fly a short story about a young, rather uptight law associate named Dex who inexplicably wakes up one morning with wings. He gets his loyal and loving yet sarcastic best friend, Sawyer, involved, and things go crazy from there. You can expect a character-driven comedy about a very normal guy thrust into very strange circumstances, and his unconventional best friend who’s not a side character but an equal protagonist in her own right. The story does take a drastic turn several chapters in, and it gets a little darker, but it’s still a comedy at heart. There is no cursing, no sex, no violence. The story unfolds in first person, with each chapter switching back and forth between Dex’s and Sawyer’s point of view.

The mental illness novel is called, The Radiant, and is a Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Horror novel. It is the first in a planned series of at least four books. I can’t say too much without giving the plot away since it’s from the viewpoint of an unreliable narrator, but this one conerns a teen girl with an identical twin and a traumatic past whose life is forever altered by an unexplainable event, the terrifying beast now stalking her, and the mysterious young man who is either a figment of her own twisted imagination…or from another world. Here’s the hook: “A seventeen-year-old girl is either hallucinating, or developing a terrifying power no one else can see.” You can find excerpts and more information–and a book trailer–here.

The novel that is inspired by that other struggle in my life, is called, Skyveil, and is a Thriller, Mystery, Paranormal novel. This one concerns a nomadic young woman burdened with a secret family curse who stands falsely accused of murder, and the young Texas Ranger tasked with interrogating her, who is hiding a dark secret of his own. Here’s the hook: “Two people who couldn’t be more different, find their lives forever entwined by murder, a sinuous mystery, and the secrets each of them are desperate to hide from the other.” On the surface in a wider perspective, the plot is pushed forward by an investigation as a classic murder mystery thriller, but internally it’s driven by the characters and their secrets. Both protagonists are in their mid-to-late twenties. The novel begins with her in a holding cell in the county jail, and the entire book takes place in less than 24 hours. It’s intense. The two main characters, and her curse, just came to me one day last April, and the thing just snowballed from there. It’s practically written itself. I can tell you though, that while it has “written itself,” mysteries are incredibly difficult to write. So many twists and turns and false leads, and of course I’m making every effort to throw you off and shock you as much as possible with that final twist at the end. There are few things I hate more than predictability in mysteries. So it’s definitely the most difficult thing I’ve ever written to date in that way. To wrap my head around its complexities and stay consistent and avoid plot holes, I’ve had to create a detailed timeline with real and “false” times of events (depending on lies and misleads and investigative mistakes and assumptions from the characters), conflicting character histories and profiles (since there are two different ones–the readers’ false view, and the actual truth), and a huge linear scene layout. Good night, it’s been crazy, but so much fun. You can find excerpts and more information here.

As far as my style goes, no matter the genre, while I love describing scenes and setting moods and using beautiful language, I favor and thrive in creating action sequences and writing dialogue. I just love playing wildly different characters off of each other and putting them in awkward situations to see what they say. It’s hilarious! I feel kind of bad for them. Much of what I write is dark and tragic, and can be violent at times, and because of that, I like to thread humor throughout, whether with straight up awkwardness or the tender teasing of a friend or snappy dialogue or dark irony or sarcasm.

Put aside the geek faux pas of combining comic book worlds for a moment, and think the darkness of Batman meets the banter of Spider-Man, and you can get a pretty good idea of my style. I’m also a fan of antiheroes and complex, sympathetic but horrifically evil villains. I know I feel more like an antihero myself, and I’ve certainly played the villain more than once, so I enjoy writing about those characters. Cody, the main protagonist in The Radiant, is an antihero. Or maybe a villain. Only time will tell. 😉

Because of my love for dialogue and action scenes, I would love to write a screenplay one day.

Side note: I am not formerly trained as a writer at all; just an avid reader and songwriter for my band, Emissaries, which you can read about here. My degree is in Classical Music Composition, which was supposed to be a precursor to writing soundtracks because I love stories and movies so much (something I’ve wanted to do since I was seven when I first heard The Last of the Mohicans soundtrack), and had a full scholarship to Berkley in Boston to do so…but the Lord had other plans when Campbell was offered a free doctorate at Baylor University that same year. We chose to stay in Texas so he could pursue that, and I’m so glad we did! We had our first child, totally unplanned, only a year later, and trying to be a Mom (I had zero idea what I was doing and am still making it up as I go along Indiana Jones-style) away from family while pursuing a competative and time-consuming career would’ve been likely impossible. Maybe one day I’ll still get to work on a movie in some way in the future. Whatever the Lord wants!

As far as my faith goes, I’m in the Lecrae camp when it comes to answering the question of whether or not my books are “Christian.” They’re not. They’re books written by a Christian author, and that’s a big difference. I’m not trying to fit a mold; I’m trying to allow the story to be guided by God and naturally unfold through me and the voice and stories He’s given me, and that is what makes them Christian. The Chronicles of Narnia are not classified as Christian, and yet I personally see Christian themes throughout because the author, C. S. Lewis, was a Christian.

That’s pretty much it! Thanks for bearing with me as I *likely* overshared. I can’t help it! When it comes to things I’m passionate about, I find it difficult to be succinct. 🙂 I’ll add updates as developments occur. Blessings, friend!

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