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No Rest for the Wicked...

Or the weary. I’m tired, literally drained, but in a very good way. It’s been a very busy two weeks. Big things are happening under my Victorian roof, big things. Big, mildly uncomfortable things.

What things, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. I was accepted into the Horror Writers Associations “Horror Writers Mentor Program”. This is a four month long program which pairs me with an established horror author for the purpose of mentoring me. I actually had thought that I did not get accepted, because their typical summer program begins June 1. When I hadn‘t heard anything by the end of May, I just figured that it wasn’t my time yet.

But then, just when I thought all was lost, the Golden ticket was slipped under my door! Oh wait, no, wrong story. But then, just when I thought all was lost, I received an email! Yes, I know, not quite the same as a shiny gold ticket, but it served the same purpose. I had been accepted!

My reaction? Joy, a bit of glee, followed by a dash of giddiness and then a panicked hour of horror as I realized that I would now have to speak to someone who knew what they were doing! Speak to, on the phone! Oh, the horror! The wailing and the gnashing of teeth just went on and on.

For those that don’t know me, I’ll elaborate. I am a huge, introverted, quivering pile of stuttering nerves and vocal cords. I, don’t do phone calls. I can barely speak above a whisper and if I’m nervous, well, be prepared for a whispering jackhammer. And now, I was to speak to an author, a good one, an established one and try to sound intelligent!

I sat quietly for long minutes before I began grinning like a lunatic. I, had been accepted! My journey was finally taking that next vital step as an author, a serious author, a professional author. When my face began to hurt from grinning, I decided to finish reading the email. Turns out, I had been paired with Travis Heermann. Hmmm, so not Stephen King on this go around, huh? Smirking a bit at my own audacity, I googled this Travis fella. Turns out, he’s a big deal. My grin is back. My thumbs quickly began texting the family and friends with the good news.

Feeling a bit like a stalker, I found his website and began to read. Doing a bit of research on my mentor, and naturally, hoping to find more awesome books that I hadn’t read yet, which I found several. You’ll find more on Travis and his impressive career later this week, on my Dark Features page. For now, suffice it to say that I was pleased.

After a few emails were sent back and forth between us, we scheduled a time for a video chat. Video! Call! My least two favorite words. (Insert wailing and gnashing of teeth here) Sigh, of course, I quickly agreed and last Friday, we had our first chat. Technical difficulties ensued, I looked like a moron, my dads laptop was not cooperating and my face was turning redder every second. But then! Success, of sorts, and between Zoom video and a call on speakerphone, we chatted.

I cannot say “enlightening” enough times for you to understand but it was, very enlightening. This Travis Heermann fella knows his stuff. He is very kind, patient and down to earth. He has a long career behind him and I could tell that I would learn a lot from him. I was pleased with our chat. I took tons of notes. Managed to speak almost normally and didn’t pass out!

The chat was followed up with an email, and then another email with some critique of “Breach” and that began my week. More work was needed on “Breach” and in my opinion, it needed to be done post-haste, so I got started. A new cover design was suggested, so I made a new book cover, after an eternity looking for the right picture and discarding 8 previous tries. Look for that reveal later this week as well.

Some grammar and punctuation issues had been found, so back to the manuscript I went. Page by page, ever since, I have been re-reading, re-editing and otherwise improving the manuscript. I’ve gone from feeling overwhelmed, to a bit of despair to a deep sense of pride and realization that this is how it’s done. It’s a journey and I’m only just beginning. I have tons to learn and a long way to go but I also know that the stories are already there, just waiting for me to write them down. Travis is going to be a crucial part of that journey and I’m very grateful for the opportunity.

I’m grateful to each of you as well, for continuing to open your doors to me, for stopping by each week to check out the site and for all of the encouragement. It means more than I can say. There is a bit more news but I’ll save that for the weekend post. Big things, I tell ya, Big things.

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