NEWS & EVENTS
Congratulations to Olga Luzesky of Chambly, Quebec, the winner of the latest Goodreads Giveaway of Becoming Darkness. This is my first Canadian winner, so it’s kind of special – particularly since this giveaway garnered almost 2,200 entries!
It’s December 14th, and looking at the entries on this page of my site, I think it’s quite apparent that it has been some time since I last posted. To be honest, this hasn’t been a great year for me (actually starting just a week before Becoming Darkness released in October 2015, when I was hit with some news that left me reeling and a bit bewildered -- and maybe even feeling somewhat betrayed). It should have been a happy time, what with the publication of my book, but that aforementioned news soured all that, turning a highlight of my life into a real downer. Since then things just haven’t really picked up and worked in my favor. I’ve been struggling and trying to remain optimistic and get my writing career back on track, but unfortunately things just don’t seem to want to go my way, despite my best efforts. But that’s life, I guess, and there are plenty of people a lot worse off than I am – not that I take solace in that; I’m one of those people who likes to see everyone doing well.
Anyway, at the end of October I received 30 complimentary copies of the paperback edition of Becoming Darkness (which are almost as beautiful as the hardcover version). As a consequence, I have since held two Goodreads giveaways, which have been surprisingly popular. Both have run around a week, and each has drawn over 2,000 entries, for a combined total of nearly 4,300. So the book remains popular in giveaways (just kind of wish more people would go purchase it; that might compel Switch Press to exercise their option to publish the sequel).
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that things will change for the better in my life as we draw closer to bidding farewell to 2016, so wish me luck. And thanks to everyone who has read the book; I genuinely appreciate it. Happy Holidays all! And best wishes in the coming New Year!
It’s June 21. I’m still trying to get things moving in my life, but I’m definitely going through a very down period. One bright spot was a recent visit to St. Gabriel Catholic School in Kanata, where I got to talk to three classes of grade six students about Becoming Darkness and the journey to publication. Several had already read the book, and others were eager to buy it, all of which was definitely a pick-me-up. They were a great lot of kids and asked some interesting questions. After the talk, we had fun raffling off two copies of the book and several Becoming Darkness t-shirts. All-in-all it was a success and I look forward to doing it again in the near future.
It’s June 15, and I struggle along with the writing life. On the 10th, an article I wrote for Chuck Sambuchino’s blog over at Writer’s Digest, made its appearance on the site. How Writing Taught Me the Need for Patience is a brief account of the lengthy journey of getting Becoming Darkness to print. I’m grateful for the opportunity to tell this side of the story, since there are a lot of myths floating around out there about the whole publishing process and I figure my experience might at the very least help some in choosing the path they take. See more on my blog post The Truths You Don't Want to Hear About Writing.
Well, time flies, as they say, and it’s startling to realize we’re now two thirds of the way through May. So I’ve some catching up to do here, not having posted anything in more than a month. Not there’s a great deal to report upon regarding the writing front – mostly because I’m waiting on a few developments before proceeding with my next book. The latter will be another YA contemporary, and though I’ve only got the basics of it mapped out, I’m hoping it will be an easy write. I’ve a real feeling for this story and the characters and I’m itching to tell their tale. But I’m loath to dive into it yet, just in case the other two books I have out there are picked up and I have to do rewrites.
I held another Goodreads giveaway, which netted nearly 2000 entries in just over a week. That’s one of the best results yet, and hopefully suggests Becoming Darkness is growing in popularity. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the summer months, which I’m told are some of the best for book sales. In light of that, I may hold another giveaway in June, and possibly one in July. They are, however, expensive, giving mailing costs in Canada, so I have to be somewhat judicious about them. Not to mention I’ve practically exhausted my author’s supply of copies.
My niece, Erin, attended the Calgary comic con and gave Innerspace co-host Morgan Hoffman a copy of Becoming Darkness. I’m a fan of the show (though I do wish they’d do a bit more about genre books, since they’re so much a part of the SF and Fantasy scene).
Shortly after my niece got back from attending the Calgary con, she and my nephews, Nick and Dan, went to the Ottawa Comic Con. I love going to these things just to admire all the wonderful cosplay. The effort and imagination that goes into so much of it is truly impressive. Erin got several requests for pictures when she was in her various cosplay guises (Star Fleet ensign, White Canary, and Black Canary), and she was even filmed for a Canada Post video related to their Star Trek 50th Anniversary stamp release.
One of the highlights for me was scoring some editions of the Dark Horse Archives, including two volumes of Magnus the Robot Fighter and a volume of Doctor Solar. These are collections of comics originally published by Gold Key back in the sixties, and reading them is a time trip to my childhood. The Magnus books are especially enjoyable because they feature the gorgeous artwork of Russ Manning. He has such a distinct style, which would later lend itself perfectly to the Tarzan daily strips and Sunday pages he drew for the newspapers.
It's April 18th and I've been spending some time tweaking my website. I discovered -- much to my frustration -- that the site doesn't look the same in all browsers. This is annoying because in some cases the careful layouts I constructed were completely ruined when viewed in a browser other than the one in which I'd edited the site. I've managed to do some adjusting here and there so that on the whole it doesn't look too bad across many different viewing platforms, but there are still some annoying quirks that can't be overcome. Makes you wish for an industry standard.
It's April 8th and another Goodreads giveaway was completed with nearly 1700 people entering the week-long event. The winner was Gabriela Martins of Brazil, whose signed copy of BECOMING DARKNESS is now on its way. Many thanks to all those who entered.
It's March 10th. I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by Stephanie Niziolek for her blog Novel Idea Reviews. I've done a few interviews since the release of BECOMING DARKNESS, and I never tire of the opportunity to expound upon the work and to interact with others who share a passion for books and writing. Any occasion I can share my experiences is one I look forward to -- especially if it can inspire or help other writers looking to break into the traditional publishing world. It's not easy, and even though I've only had the one book published thus far, there are still things to be learned from what I went through. (Read some more concerning that in the Q & A section of this site, the Evolution of a Book and on the Blog.)
On another note, I'd just like to congratulate Michelle Whillms, the winner of the Book Nerd Paradise giveaway of a signed copy of BECOMING DARKNESS. You'll find the video of Episode 51 of Linda Lee's show elsewhere on this site.
It’s February 28th, and as noted in my blog post, I made a recently did a taping of an episode of Book Nerd Paradise with host (and fellow writer) Linda Lee. For more details, read the blog post. I will say, however, that I had a great time and that if you want a good laugh at how awkward and nervous a person can look and sound when doing something like this, than be sure to check out the episode on the Book Nerd Paradise channel on YouTube. You can also enter the giveaway for a chance to win a signed, hardcover, first edition author’s copy of my novel, BECOMING DARKNESS. So check it out!
It's February 22nd and the fourth Goodreads giveaway has come and gone, with Mae Palacios of Greenburg, PA is the winner of a signed copy of BECOMING DARKNESS.
It's February 13th and time for the fourth Goodreads giveaway of BECOMING DARKNESS. The previous giveaways were very popular, so don't miss out on your chance to win a copy of the book!
It’s January 25th and the third Goodreads giveaway of BECOMING DARKNESS is over. The contest was a great success, garnering more than 2,000 entries, and was won by Aleksandra Zharkova of Lucerne, Switzerland. I’m not sure whether I’ll do another giveaway just yet, as my supply of author’s copies of BECOMING DARKNESS is fast dwindling. I want to consider other promotional avenues, but another Goodreads giveaway remains a possibility, so check back here to keep on top of things.
It's January 9th and the 3rd Goodreads Giveaway begins today at midnight and runs until midnight on the 23rd, so if you want a chance to win an autographed, author’s copy (hardcover, first edition) of BECOMING DARKNESS, then follow the link to the entry page and enter.
It's January 3rd and I'm pleased to announce that the second Goodreads Giveaway of BECOMING DARKNESS was a great success. Won by Kristen Burns, the giveaway attracted more than 1,700 entries in the week that it was held and was one of the most popular. Combined, the two giveaways have received nearly 3,500 requests – enough to encourage me to hold another. Pending approval from Goodreads, the new giveaway will commence January 9th and end on the 23rd of the month. So keep an eye open for it.
It’s December 21st and the second Goodreads giveaway is underway. Follow the link -- -- to enter for your chance to win a gorgeous first edition hardcover autographed author’s copy of BECOMING DARKNESS.
Also in the news: My niece is back in Edmonton on vacation (from doing her Masters degree in Dundee, Scotland), and she sent me pics from the Chapters outlet in West Edmonton Mall, featuring BECOMING DARKNESS displayed prominently on the shelves. It’s great to see the book in bookstores across the country.
I'm also pleased to report that BECOMING DARKNESS is now available in bookstores throughout Ottawa. It is such a great experience to walk into a bookstore and see your novel on display amidst the works of other authors.
It's November 19th and an article I wrote for the CULTURE VULTURES website has just been published. It's a brief chronicle of my experiences getting BECOMING DARKNESS published and how the journey required a lot of patience. Be sure to check it out at:
I also popped into my local INDIGO bookstore and saw my novel on the shelves in the YA section. That was a thrill of a lifetime and a dream come true.
It's October 28th and things have been chugging along as far as the book goes. I recently did an interview with Jana Nyman at Fantasy Literature and really enjoyed the chance to answer some great questions about the book. I also did an interview with Jeanna over at The Bucket List and had an author spotlight at Hello Jenny Reviews and was featured on The Debut Dish at That Artsy Reader Girl . Be sure to check these out. As well, the Bookishwives ( @bookishwives on Twitter and on Facebook) are holding a giveaway of a signed copy of BECOMING DARKNESS, so take a look at that.
It's October 13th and over on Twitter you can enter a giveaway for a signed BECOMING DARKNESS. The runs until November 5th. Just follow the appropriate @bookishwives tweet and retweet it for a chance to win.
I've been doing a few interviews with book bloggers since the release of BECOMING DARKNESS. It's a pleasure answering questions about the novel and the process that brought it to this point, and I look forward to the opportunity of doing more such interviews. For most debut authors drawing attention to their books is an uphill battle, so I regard book bloggers with immense respect because they are so essential to helping get the word out about books that might otherwise be lost in the shuffle. Thousands of new books are published every day, so it's understandable that most garner little attention. I feel truly honored that there are book bloggers who took the time to read and review my book and I thank each and every one of them.
It's October 1st, LAUNCH DAY! BECOMING DARKNESS is now officially on sale in bookstores and on line. It feels fantastic to know the book is finally out there. And while it's been a long time coming, it's been well worth the wait. A thanks go to the many people who made it possible, among them the wonderful people at Switch Press, Kelly Sonnack, the many book bloggers who have read and reviewed the book, and of course my friends and family. A day of celebration, indeed.
It's September 30th, the day before the official launch of BECOMING DARKNESS. Needless to say, we're quite excited around here. The book has had some great reviews and I'm looking forward to seeing how it fares among a larger reading audience. Hopefully reaction will be strong enough to signal a go-ahead for the sequel.
It's July 29th and I've been informed that I should soon be receiving copies of the finalized version of BECOMING DARKNESS. I can't wait to see it in hardcover with a dust jacket. The book has been available for pre-order for some time, now, but it doesn't officially launch until October 1st. I'm kind of on pins and needles as that date approaches, because the real test of the book will be sales from that point on. I've got my fingers crossed, my lucky four-leaf clovers in hand, lucky horseshoe all ready, and I've been wishing upon stars. (Hey, you can't go overboard on the luck thing; every little bit helps.)
I'm looking so forward to seeing the book on the shelves in bookstores.
It's July 5th and the latest issue of SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL has some nice things to say about BECOMING DARKNESS.
"...die-hard vampire fans will find much to be excited about. This weighty tome reads quickly and offers a new spin on the whole genre. Whispers of a second generation leave the door to a sequel wide open. VERDICT A definite addition for young vampire fans thirsting for fresh meat."
–Leah Krippner (School Library Journal)
It's a thrill to see people enjoying and recommending the book -- especially after all the hard work and the bumps in the road that finally led to this point. I can't wait for the official release of the BECOMING DARKNESS in October, though I think for any author that must be a time of some trepidation as in the days following the actual launch to the public you find yourself sitting on the edge of your seat waiting to see what the response will be.
It's May 28th and Book Expo America is on in New York City. If you happen to attend on the 29th(Friday), be sure to check out the Capstone booth (#2929). They'll be giving out free ARCs of BECOMING DARKNESS. Who doesn't love getting free books?
It's April 15th and I just got off the phone with Linda Stephen of the IWPR Group who is doing book publicity for Switch Press. A wonderful chat in which she brought me up to speed on what is being done (and will be done) to promote BECOMING DARKNESS. I am really pleased to see the effort that is going into getting the word out about the book. Can't wait for October when the book finally hits the stores.
It's April 10th and I've just discovered that Becoming Darkness can now be pre-ordered from several online retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Chapters/Indigo. You'll find links in the "PURCHASE" section.
It's March 9th and I've just had word from Alison Deering, the editor of BECOMING DARKNESS, that the ARCs are in and the response to them has been very enthusiastic. There's also been great feedback from the sales people who have received samples. So things are certainly looking up and I'm getting really excited for the official release in October.
It's March 6th and I have just received the proofs from for BECOMING DARKNESS from my editor. the interior design of the book is looking great and really reflects the content. I'll be spending the next few days going over the proofs, and then it's just the wait until the ARC drops.
The latest is that BECOMING DARKNESS will go to print (for ARC) on the first of April. Looking forward to that!
My editor at Switch Press has informed me that BECOMING DARKNESS is set for release in store on October 1, 2015. Let the countdown begin!