What I wouldn’t give for a fairytale’s “happily ever after” right now, because boy has this summer been a roller coaster in a whole lot of ways.
And I confess, I’m really not into roller coasters. I like to joke that I was named very aptly; I’m Terra, after all. I like to have my feet solidly on the ground and no sense of freefall going on around or inside of me. I like being comfortable at home with my cat, my crafts, and my writing. I like stability and comfort; I want to be free to pursue my own quiet interests and spend time with my friends and loved ones without issue.
Obviously that’s been much more difficult to do lately. It’s been difficult being on the internet lately. While I want to stay informed, so much of the news today is disheartening. I’ve dropped off of Twitter for now. I’d like very much to eventually go back to it, someday, but for now it’s too overwhelming.
And as I’ve mentioned before, my writing has suffered a lot for it. I still am doing writing, just at a much slower pace than was “normal” for me.
But I did manage to finish something and send it off for submission! It was officially accepted, so I am proud and pleased to announce that my newest book, Ripples of Smoke and Water, will be out on August 7th, 2018 from Less Than Three Press!
It’s the story of Adara, a young woman whose fiance prince is stolen away on their wedding day by a lake fairy. While there’s no romantic love between her and Prince Rafael, she does feel an obligation of gratitude to him. They met when he saved her from a dragon, and so she is determined to save him from this fairy. The real trick will be whether she can get out without being ensnared herself.
I started working on this after rewatching the first half of the Princess Tutu anime with friends last year. The whole thing came together relatively smoothly, though I did benefit from a pack of generous beta readers who helped me refine the whole thing before I sent it off.
For those unfamiliar with Princess Tutu — I realize that the title may sound silly, but it’s a gorgeous series with strong writing, wonderful characters, and a very thoughtful look into the meta of how much control an author has over their story and its characters. It’s a fairytale told through ballet, where a loving and generous heart is more powerful than the near-omnipotent powers stacked against it.
Now that I think about it, that’s a pretty heartening message right now, too. Sometimes, even the smallest being can make the biggest impact. Love, uncertain and delicate as it is, has a power that can overcome fear and malicious intent.
Ripples of Smoke and Water does not have a duck. It doesn’t have a knight, nor a demonic raven. It doesn’t have me as the looming Author, pulling the strings in plain sight. (While I love that sort of meta when it’s executed well, it’s not the sort of thing that I myself am keen on writing.)
What it does have is a young woman who wishes to keep her promises and fulfill her obligations, thrust unwillingly into a position that is heavy with other peoples’ expectations. Adara spent years as the captive damsel of a dragon, and now that she’s free, she doesn’t intend to fall back into the same trap. It has a fairy who has been so caught up in the cycle and expectations of her own story that she doesn’t know any other way to act, even when her heart is breaking. It has a prince who has good intentions and a kind heart, but needs to learn, himself, how to step out of the mold that the expectations of his family and kingdom have set for him.
Overall, I would call this a story about learning to remember that your own personal narrative isn’t the only one in your life; your actions will have ripples into the lives — and subsequent actions — of others. It’s a story about refinding yourself, when you’re forced to leave behind the self you’d settled into previously.
It’s a fairytale. And it’s one that I hope people will enjoy.
From now until the drop date, August 7th, Ripples of Smoke and Water will be on preorder sale on the Less Than Three site for 15% off! And if you’re curious to check out my other books, my author page is here. Print books are on sale right now for 20% off, so if you’re the sort who prefers a print copy over an ebook, now is an excellent time to check things out. ♥
Thank you for your time and for reading!!