The next round of finalists will be announced October 1st, so fingers crossed we make it through to the short-shortlist. Thanks for your support, and looking forward to bringing you all more spooky books in the very near future!
I'm excited and honored to announce that The Hungry Deep is a semi-finalist in the Kindle Book Awards! You can see the entire list of semi-finalists here. Naturally I'm thrilled just to be considered. Monstrous was also a semi-finalist way back in 2017.
The next round of finalists will be announced October 1st, so fingers crossed we make it through to the short-shortlist. Thanks for your support, and looking forward to bringing you all more spooky books in the very near future!
I've kept this under my hat for months, but finally I can share with you all the glorious cover for Queen Victoria's Monsters, my upcoming gaslamp dark fantasy adventure novel! The artwork is by graphic design guru Kelly Ritchie, and she did a fantastic job capturing the vibe of this strange and magical universe. You can reserve your copy now by pre-ordering here, the tentative release date is Spring, 2024. Behold, the first book in The Diablerists series, Queen Victoria's Monsters (synopsis to follow):
London is full of dead things.
In a world where witchcraft is met with vigilante justice, American witch Celestia Fallow is cursed with a power over the dead. A refugee in London, where magic is technically legal, Celie finds herself imprisoned in Old Bailey, a breath away from the noose when she is summoned to the Isle of Wight by Queen Victoria herself.
Celie finds the queen has a single task for her: Find a way to bring Prince Albert back from the dead, or be executed.
She finds respite, however, in the nearby estate where she takes up residence. Cliff House has become a home for all of Queen Victoria's monsters, and Celie finds a family within her new coven of witches, and a connection to an inscrutable ex-soldier with an impossible secret of his own. But when Celie and the others are ordered to travel back to London to apprehend the murderous vigilantes who are butchering witches there, matters become even more complicated. Someone wants Celie's rare necromancy for themselves, and they will do anything to acquire it.
Along with the other monsters, Celie must unravel the mystery before the world is consumed with bloodshed, in this dark tale of adventure, magic, and murder set in an alternate 19th century Britain.
Reserve your copy of Queen Victoria's Monsters now!
SANGUINE, the third book in the Blood of Cain series, is free this weekend only, and to celebrate I thought I'd post a little excerpt here. You can download the ebook here at no cost. But I'm going to go ahead and hand the reins over to Frankie Mourning. I don't think this will have spoilers from the first two books, but don't quote me on that. Proceed at your own risk.
(CW: Contains blood, filth, and murder)
Waking up with a pounding headache, mouth full of sand, and dressed up in a frilly pink dress, it seemed only natural for a girl to think about her life choices.
I was certainly thinking about mine, all my mistakes and missteps, lost opportunities, murders. But mostly I was thinking of all the promises I’d made to myself that had fallen by the wayside. Things like don’t speak until you have something important to say, and do unto others, etcetera. But more importantly, if you have to die, try not to wake up in a creepy basement.
I spat out sand, gagging, dry heaving off the side of the bed I was lying on.
There was tinny, old-timey music, muffled, as if coming from another room. I couldn’t quite make it out. My legs were cold and there was an aching pain coming from my toes.
What the fuck?
I blinked, trying to get my bearings, and my eyes felt strangely heavy, my face tacky like someone had slathered me in plaster. The light was tinged pink, and I was pretty sure I was hallucinating because what I was seeing couldn’t possibly be real.
I was lying on a small bed in a little girl’s room. There were teddy bears, pictures ripped from magazines of flowers pasted to the wall, and a dirty dollhouse at the end of the bed. A lamp with a red scarf draped over the bulb was in the corner, which explained the pink light. But even the room wasn’t real. I could smell gasoline and the distinct smell of earth, as if we were in a root cellar. I looked down at my legs, and that’s when I started to understand.
My feet had been crammed into a pair of shining patent leather shoes with pink bows on top. They were at least three sizes too small for my feet. I touched the clothes I was wearing, my stomach turning.
“Oh, fuck no,” I rasped, my throat dry and sore.
The frilly dress, clearly made for a child, was pink and white, covered in hearts and satin ribbon bows. The sleeves were puffy and brushed against my face. I sat up too quickly and almost fell back again.
I heard voices somewhere far-off, drowning out the music. I ripped off the shoes, wiggling my toes and getting the feeling back in my feet. Then I stood on the thin, sticky carpet, feeling the distinct texture of bare dirt underneath.
I did know one thing, a single thing about how I had ended up in a fake child’s room in a shitty basement, apparently dressed like a doll.
I died. Again.
It usually took about three days to wake up, less when I’d had help. I tried to remember where I’d gone this time. I remembered finding one of Lilith’s children – monsters slithering into the world through a series of cracks in reality, and which only I could drag back where they came from, a place called the Shade, another world partitioned off from our own by the gods, and where all the dark things of the earth were imprisoned.
The gods, in their defense, thought this was the right thing to do at the time. And Lilith, the oldest woman in the world, considered this an act of treachery, and went up against them, hopping bodies the way most people changed their clothes.
The Shade was a dark and eerie place, and where I often went when I died. I alone seemed to have the ability to pass through the worlds, but it came with side effects. Death, for one. I’d been told I didn’t necessarily have to die, but so far I hadn’t really found a workaround. All things considered, I was fairly new to the whole immortal thing. But life hadn’t really slowed down since waking up nearly a year ago on a morgue slab.
So I died, and woke up in a basement dressed like a little girl. Not creepy at all.
The voices – three or four of them, by the sounds of it – rose in pitch, arguing as I made my way to the door, fighting the nausea that always came when I woke up. I wiped at my eyes and felt something come off. I looked at my hand to see a false eyelash, sitting on my skin like an insect. I wiped it on my dress and wiped at my other eye, pulling eyelashes off, the glue crackling, my hands covered in makeup.
The anger welling up in my gut intensified and spread out through my limbs. Not only had I been dressed up like a doll, but whatever sick fuck did this made me up to look like something porcelain and unreal.
I flung open the door and stepped into a pitch-black cellar, the packed earth cool on my bare feet. I could feel life underneath me: insects and worms and burrowing things. But I started when an explosion shook the structure above me, rattling dust and plaster into my hair. And then the voices went silent, the house still but for the creaking of boards above and the droning of an old record which, I realized, was playing just to my left.
I felt for the player and, pulling the needle away with a shrieking scratch, I picked up the record and smashed it on the table where it had been playing.
Then I slowly made my way across the floor, my short skirt flouncing around my upper thighs, and found the stairs. The house had gone deadly still, not even the boards creaking now.
Had they heard me? Were they afraid? I fucking hoped so.
I put my hand on the doorknob and felt the distinctive click of a deadbolt sliding home and I smiled. I put my ear to the door, feeling the darkness inside of me welling up. I could hear rasping breath from the other side. A voice was whispering, and then I heard someone I recognized.
“You stupid motherfuckers have no idea what you’ve done.”
I narrowed my eyes at the door in front of me, feeling the rage taking over. Then I let it all go, bursting the flimsy wood into a million pieces, all flying outward, casting the breather on the other side of the door against the far wall.
I stood in the doorway, taking in the scene before me, bleeding black into the world through my eyes and fingers, and leaving shining ebony footprints through my bare feet as I stepped into the bright orange kitchen.
A fat man in overalls was praying over a rosary, a string of drool falling from his loose lips. The man who had sailed across the room was crumpled in a ball in the corner, moaning and holding his head. All over the room, stuck at odd angles on the wall, sitting on the counters, even a few crudely painted on the cheap linoleum floor, were crucifixes. I stepped right into the middle of one, scanning the room, finding Dekker smiling uncertainly from the chair where he’d been tied. His shirt was soaked in blood and his eyes looked hazy, as if he were about to pass out.
“Hey, Frankie,” he said weakly, nodding sheepishly to his wound. “I tried to save you.”
“I don’t need saving,” I said and turned to the man praying.
I reached down and pulled the rosary out of his hands. He looked up at me, terror in his eyes. His lips were still moving in prayer. I bent low to hear.
“...the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of life, unfathomable divine mercy--”
“Do you think God’s going to save you?” I whispered.
He started, his breath coming fast, and after a moment nodded, chin shining with saliva.
“Father Sheldon says it’s so.” He looked over at the man against the wall, his face dripping with blood from a cut on his head. Father Sheldon, as the man had called him, was trying to stand but kept falling backward.
“How do you know I haven’t been sent by God?” I said. “You saw me, didn’t you? I was dead.”
He nodded again, confusion in his eyes. “You don’t look like an angel.”
“What’s your name?”
“Billy,” I repeated. “Did you dress me up like this?”
He shook his head vehemently, like a child. “No, no, no. Father Sheldon always does the dressing. He says it’s too holy, my hands would corrupt them.”
“Them?” I said. “He does this often?”
“We go to the hospital,” he said, blinking guiltlessly at me. “We get a girl and we make her innocent again. It’s God’s work.” He frowned and looked up at me, sorrow filling up his eyes. “Isn’t it?”
“No, it’s not,” I said. “Do you know the Bible?”
He nodded quickly. “I write my verses every day, every day.”
“I did that, too,” I said. “My mother was evil, but she said she was holy, just like Father Sheldon. Do you know Leviticus?”
He nodded, and there were tears in his eyes.
“He shall not go in to any dead bodies nor make himself unclean, even for his father or for his mother.“ I put a hand to his cheek, wiping away his tears, ignoring the fact that Father Sheldon had apparently painted my fingernails a garish shade of pink, already dirty and peeling away.
“I didn’t know,” Billy said, sobbing. “I’m sorry, angel. Please, have mercy on me.”
This poor man had been manipulated by Sheldon, convinced he was doing something good, something righteous. It made me sick to my stomach. I couldn’t help but think about my mother, before she was possessed, the way she had me convinced that I was wicked, unredeemable except through her abusive measures. The old-time religion never quite took with me, and I resented her every step of the way.
I could keep Billy from an even more sinister fate now, though, and maybe, in time, he would be all right.
I bent low to Billy’s ear and whispered. “I forgive you.”
Billy doubled over with sobs that racked his large body. I looked over at Father Sheldon, who was frozen, staring at me, realizing I wasn’t dead, had come back like Lazarus, risen from his tomb. And he’d dressed old Lazarus like a sex doll.
For a man of God, Father Sheldon had a funny way of showing how pious he was. I smiled and I saw a stain spreading across the good priest’s crotch as he wet himself.
“Billy,” I said, “do you have somewhere to go?”
“I can go to Mama’s house,” Billy said. “She loves me. She says I pray too much, though, and Father Sheldon said she was wicked.”
“Father Sheldon is the wicked one,” I said, and smiled down at him, as kindly as I could manage. Billy was innocent, I wasn’t going to hurt him. “Go, Billy. To your mother who loves you. You’re lucky you have a family like that.”
Billy nodded, glancing at Father Sheldon before clumsily getting to his feet and running out of the room. I heard a door slam and then it was just Father Sheldon, Dekker, and me.
I walked over to Dekker, not taking my eyes off the old priest.
I felt Dekker’s eyes. “I’ve been better. But I’ve been worse.”
“Don’t die for a minute, okay?” There was a gun on the floor by Dekker’s chair and I picked it up, untied his hands from the shoddy knot that held him to the chair, and handed him the gun. “This won’t take long.”
Then I walked toward the old man on the floor, smelling strongly of blood and piss, and something else it took me a moment to process. Fear.
I strode across the room, grabbing a metal crucifix from the counter on my way past, its edges sharp and unforgiving, and held it out in front of me like a knife. Father Sheldon stared at it, seeming afraid to look at my face. He was whispering a prayer under his breath and I smiled.
“God isn’t going to save you, old man,” I said. “It goes one of two ways with people like you. Either you get yourself killed, or you keep doing what you’re doing until it isn’t enough. You get tired of the dead bodies, and eventually you decide you need a living girl.”
“No,” the Father whispered, the white of his collar shining in the glaring bare bulb of the kitchen. “I don’t hurt anyone, I swear. I’m a holy man, I would never harm a living being.”
“What do you call what you’ve done to Billy?”
“He didn’t do anything he didn’t wish to,” he protested.
“And, come to think of it, what do you do with the bodies?”
“What?” he said, surprised.
I raised an eyebrow. “You make them up, you put little girl clothes on their naked bodies, you paint their nails, you fill their mouths with sand. That’s a new one for me. And then what? Do you anoint them with holy oil before you fuck them?”
“No,” he gasped, as if I were physically hurting him. “I don’t...I never...”
“Do you give the bodies back to the families so they can mourn their daughters?” I said. “Their wives, their mothers, their friends? Do you give those grieving families closure, Sheldon? Or do you have your way and then bury them in the basement?”
“No,” He put his bloody face in his hands and began to cry. “Stop it.”
“I can feel your disgusting fingers all over me,” I said, my voice now a growl. “Did you do something to me? Did you touch me?”
“Of course not!” he howled. “I’m a good man, a holy man, I would never touch a living girl.”
“A living girl,” I said. “But if I stayed dead, it would be okay.”
“Yes,“ he blurted, his eyes widening. “I didn’t touch you, I swear. I didn’t even look when I changed you. I’m not dirty, I’m simply a man.”
”A holy man,“ I said, repeating his words back to him.
He shook his head, his expression reminding me of a lost child, alone, keenly aware of the danger he was in. I leaned in, as I’d done with Billy.
“There’s another Bible verse that you might recognize,” I said. “For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
I narrowed my eyes at Father Sheldon, who sought out Dekker behind me.
“Don’t look at me, asshole,” Dekker said, disgust in his voice. “If it were up to me you’d be dead already. She likes to have a chat.”
“Did you hear the trumpet sound, Sheldon?” I said, watching him intently. “Did you feel changed when you saw I’d risen from the dead? I bet you did.”
He nodded, locked into my eyes.
“Did you feel changed enough to stop fucking dead bodies?”
His face fell, his shoulders slumping. Tears slopped down his cheeks, making a clean trail down his face through the blood.
“I wasn’t going to hurt anyone,” he whispered.
“You shot my boyfriend,” I said, “and you may have ruined Billy’s life forever.”
“You’re no angel.”
I laughed, and he winced.
“Of course not,” I said, my voice going deadly calm. “But that doesn’t mean I don’t like a bit of retribution.”
I shoved the pointed edge of the crucifix into his neck, straight into the jugular, and Sheldon’s eyes popped open wide as blood spurted in bursts onto the linoleum floor, to the tune of his beating heart. He grasped the crucifix, covered in his own blood, and I let him have it. He covered the wound in his neck with his hand, staring at the cheap metal replica of a crucified Jesus.
“Jesus didn’t die so you could go around having sex with corpses,” I said. “But good luck with St. Peter.”
I stood, turning to Dekker, my heart hammering in my chest. He was watching me, relieved, bleeding but alive, and he actually smiled.
“Feel better?” he said.
“I’m satisfied, if that’s what you mean,” I said. “Are you going to die on me?”
“Not this time.”
“I’m going to need some clothes,” I said, “because I am not walking out of here like this.”
“It’s not a great look,” Dekker said. “I got your stuff from the morgue, it’s out in the car. Frankie, are you okay? I mean, did he…?”
“No,” I said. “I would have made it much more painful if he had.”
I looked over as Sheldon fell over onto his side, eyes unseeing, lying in a puddle of his own blood. “I know he didn’t kill anyone, not yet, but I don’t feel bad about it. Is that wrong, do you think?”
“Did you call me your boyfriend just then?”
“Glad to see you have your priorities straight, Romeo.”
Download Sanguine for free here, this weekend only.
Sanguine (Blood of Cain, Book 3) is out now! Catch up with Frankie and Dekker as they solve the mystery of Red Rock, Idaho, where a girl with living dreams is in danger. Maneuvering through dreamscapes, gods, and their own complicated relationship, there's never a dull moment. Here's the synopsis:
“They’re just roses, baby. Roses in the snow.”
On her way to Chicago to reckon with Dekker’s past, Frankie Mourning takes a detour into the town of Red Rock, Idaho, where strange things are happening, all seemingly connected to a young woman called Annalise Stoppard. Annalise has a peculiar power over her dreams, a power which has turned her life into a waking nightmare. Without Frankie’s help she will be swallowed up by her own mind, putting the lives of everyone around her in danger.
Grappling with Dekker’s resurrection, a shifty psychiatrist up to no good, and their own complicated feelings for one another, Frankie doesn’t have time to play games. With Dekker growing more vulnerable by the moment, Frankie learns the source of the danger is a god trapped in a dream world of Annalise’s making – a god who threatens to darken the very fabric of reality if she can’t save Annalise Stoppard. If that happens, Dekker may well be lost to her for good.
And if something happens to Thomas Dekker, one thing is certain: no one is safe from Frankie Mourning. Absolutely no one.
And as a bonus, I've created a box set of the Frankie Mourning series, so now you can read all three books in the Blood of Cain series in one place! MOURNING is available now, in ebook or paperback.
The Collins Widow is out now and available to download for only 0.99 for a limited time. You can also read for free with Kindle Unlimited. Here's the pitch:
Twin Peaks meets Rebecca in this fast-paced tale of Gothic and cosmic horror. When a widow goes in search of answers regarding her dead husband's past, she gets more than she bargained for when she uncovers a family curse, a century of murder and violence, and a monstrous entity who demands sacrifice.
I'm now going to be elbow-deep in fantasy as I dive back into the Frankie Mourning (Blood of Cain) series, and I'll also be working on my upcoming witch series The Diablerists. Watch this space for more information on those titles, or sign up for my newsletter where I'll be sharing sample chapters and updates.
Exciting times, friends!
If you subscribe to my newsletter this will be old news, but I have another book coming out! The Collins Widow is available now for pre-0rder for only 0.99 and I cannot wait for you all to read it.
The backstory is that I wrote The Collins Widow several years ago, and some of the themes translated to The Hungry Deep. But the truth is that The Collins Widow is a very different animal. One part cosmic horror, one part gothic, one part epistolary novel, I let myself go full weird for this one. I'm not quite sure how it'll land, to be honest, but it'll definitely be interesting.
Here's the rough pitch:
Some family secrets are better left buried.
Six months ago, Stella Collins killed her husband, Morgan. Previously mild-mannered and caring, Morgan changed, becoming monstrous in an instant, and tried to murder Stella on the staircase in their home, instead falling to his own grisly death.
In an attempt to understand what happened to her husband, Stella travels across the country to Morgan’s childhood home to search for answers. She finds the house derelict, rotting from time and neglect, leaving Stella with more questions than answers.
Uncovering a packet of old letters and diary entries that belonged to the matriarch of the family, Elizabeth, Stella begins to uncover the horrors of the Collinses, the house, and the winding caverns that snake beneath. As Stella’s mind begins to play tricks, she learns of Elizabeth’s plight, she is haunted by the literal ghosts of the past, including Morgan. And the more she learns, the more she is convinced that all of it, even Morgan’s death, leads back to the past, to the original Collins widow. And to the unspeakable horror which has plagued her husband’s family for a century.
Pre-order The Collins Widow here, or read for free on Kindle Unlimited on January 31!
The Hungry Deep, the first installment of my new series Gothic Folk, is out now! You can get the ebook or the paperback here, and you can read it for free with Kindle Unlimited.
Here's the pitch:
Some places are abandoned for a reason.
When newlywed Rachel Corrigan agrees to accompany her husband, Tom, to his family estate before starting their lives together in the city, it is an opportunity to get to know him and to explore the manor where he grew up. But when Rachel arrives she finds Corrigan House strange, the nearby town empty, and her husband's sudden cold demeanor increasingly frightening. She soon learns that one year ago, Tom's first wife, Lavinia, took her own life in the twisted forest behind Corrigan House. The servants claim that her spirit resides there still, calling out from the wood, her voice as clear as the day she died.
In an abandoned town where everyone harbors a secret, Rachel finds herself a prisoner in a place which is becoming increasingly treacherous. When the village priest is found savagely stabbed and on the edge of death, it becomes clear that the remaining townsfolk - witnesses to Lavinia's demise - are being hunted down one by one. But Lavinia Corrigan is dead. Isn't she?
You can read it now here, and don't forget to rate and review on Amazon and Goodreads, it really helps get the next book out quicker!
In other news, I have joined the world of social media again, and you can find me on Facebook and TikTok, where I've been the most active. It's really good to be back in the world again after a long break, and I've got a lot of exciting projects in the works right now, which will be coming to you soon. Some of these include: a bizarro haunted house novel with a monster; a series about a family of dark witches spread across the world in 1865; book three of the Frankie Mourning series which I describe as a really murdery and horrifying version of The Labyrinth; and a novel about a walled city where the inhabitants believe they are divided into factions of heroes and villains, and the sheriff who has to keep the place from devolving into chaos.
Anyway, those are all coming in the next year or two, so keep an ear out for them. Thanks so much for all your support and generosity the past few years. I was incredibly ill for a long time, but now that I am well again, nothing can stop me from continuing to write weird books for you all until the end of time. Thank you for being here. (But also, don't be afraid to buy the book ;) )
Hello, fellow humans! I am emerging from my cave and blinking in the bright sunlight to announce that I have a new book coming, as well as several that are in the works, and barring dismemberment (always a possibility!) I should be publishing several in the next year.
The Hungry Deep is a slow-burn gothic horror novel set in the dwindling mining town of Goodhope, where something is stalking the residents one year after the death of a woman called Lavinia Corrigan. Here is the blurb:
Lavinia Corrigan is dead.
One year ago, after her body was recovered from the wood behind Corrigan Manor, it was believed Lavinia had taken her own life. But on the anniversary of her death, Father Philip Hackley can no longer keep his secret. He has known about the Corrigans' abandoned mine for the last 50 years, but he is no longer able to protect the town of Goodhope from what resides within. Father Philip is haunted by what he has done for the Corrigans, and with his health deteriorating, he finds himself with little time to right his wrongs.
Eleanor Craft, come to Goodhope to care for her ailing aunt, is grieving. One year ago she was supposed to run away with Lavinia, but her lover never showed. When Tom Corrigan found the body in the forest, El was wracked with guilt. Now, one year later, El swears she can still hear Lavinia's voice coming from the wood where she died, and she would give anything to see Lavinia alive again. Absolutely anything.
Anabel Corrigan watched her mother disappear into the woods one night, and did not see her come out again. Sickly since birth, Anabel has little to do but watch and wait for her mother to re-emerge from the forest. She hears her mother calling her father's name. And she sounds very, very angry.
Throughout the course of the night, it becomes apparent that something is stalking the residents of Goodhope, and one by one the townspeople turn up dead. As secrets are exposed, and mysteries uncovered, it appears that none is without fault in the death of Lavinia Corrigan. Soon, there will be no more secrets left to tell. If they can survive until morning.
And here is the cover! You can pre-order The Hungry Deep on Amazon, and add it to your Goodreads list here. Thanks for your support, and I look forward to inundating you with lots of creepy books in the near future.
EZVID WIKI loves Blood Day, and made this list to prove it. This made my day, so thank you, Peiasantiago for including it. Weebly won't let me embed it, so here's the link.
It’s like a slow creeping inertia that methodically envelops the brain. Blocked, stuck, in a rut, whatever you call it. Every writer experiences it, though many – for whatever reason – will not admit that it buyexists. There is, of course, a cure, which may be why so many reject the idea that the creativity has stopped. All you need is time, they say. Go back to the beginning, try again, try harder, stop admitting defeat.
I’m so tired.
My mind often slides toward silence, the dark, something soothing as a warm pool, a summer day, a tranquil scene spread out before you. Mine is the dark, the quiet, and I can never find the quiet these days. I can never seem to reach the tranquil part of my mind, the place where I can let go and allow the thoughts to flow. Children, diets, worry, illness, school, money, relationships, money, groceries, money. Where does it end? Where can it end when everything is an endless loop, knot of anxiety that never ends, never untangles, is never satisfied with the time and energy expended upon it?
Claim politics. Current events. Gun control. Abortion. No one appreciates art anymore, so why bother? But they are all excuses. Art comes from within, art is a subversive act that needs no vindication. We make art in the face of dysfunction, greed, violence, disdain. We make art because we cannot bear not to.
What happens to us when the art refuses to come, though? Are we people, like everyone else? Or are we filled up with our thoughts, the way the colors change at a certain time of day, the way your wife says a word, imaginary people and places and things and horrors and beauty and love and disgust and hate and lust. Are we really people? And if we are, why does it hurt when we are empty?
I am empty, but filling.
There is no one word that fills me with joy, but rather thousands of words, millions of words. I am made of words, my skin is punctuation, my eyes are quotation marks, my breath is every word that exists to describe a sigh, my guts are in italics. The rest of me is words, infinite and forever. And when my soul is sick, my words grow sluggish. When I am too spent to feel the way they taste in my mouth, I must stop the noise, the thoughts, the way I worry. I must stop and step back into the darkness and the silence.
It’s always there, waiting for me to shut the world out, shut my thoughts down. It’s always there, waiting for me to breathe. My mind slides toward silence and I allow it, and that’s all it takes. I am filling up again until the next interruption, the next frenzied thought, the worry and the blame and the inability to turn off, to shut down.
But for now, the silence. I am filling. That is all that matters.
I try. And I get up again and write.
J.L. Murray is the bestselling author of the Niki Slobodian series, After the Fire, and Jenny Undead.