Sacrifice Novel Kickstarter Project

Today, I am officially announcing my Sacrifice novel Kickstarter campaign that will launch in September. Originally, I was going to use one of my comic book projects to attempt my first Kickstarter but decided against it.

Why did I choose Sacrifice instead?

I felt that this story embraces diversity of both race and sexual orientation.

I knew my first novel, The Alliance: Bloodlines, lacked diversity in a major way. At the time of writing Bloodlines, I was too scared to attempt such diversity even though I wanted too. There were characters that I originally intended to be gay, but changed it to make their sexual orientation much less obvious.

Why?

At the time I hadn’t read many books that had gay characters and was hesitant to take the risk myself.

Looking back on it now makes me feel silly for not going with my original plan, but even then all of my main characters were still white.

Why?

Almost every book that I read growing up featured a white male protagonist. The reason that I added a female protagonist was through the influences of the awesome power of Joss Whedon. After watching Buffy as a teen, I knew that I wanted to write powerful and inspiring female characters, but I wanted my heroine to be gay and not just surrounded by white supporting characters.

Sacrifice was a story that worked its way into my head a few years ago, and I let it sit and simmer for several months before taking action. I took notes and created in depth characters while I built the outline that would be the foundation for this novel. I knew that this was the time to take the risk and write the story I’ve been dying to tell.

Why?

I finally realized that if all writers simply write or modify their stories to fit the “norm” then nothing would ever change, and ten years from now a new generation would still be reading tons of books that mostly featured a white cast of straight characters when that doesn’t reflect real life. Writers of today have the power to break the vicious cycle and set new standards for the future generations. So I have chosen to write a story that’s true to my real life diversity, but of course with added supernatural elements and meta-humans!

So what is Sacrifice all about?

Sacrifice contains the romance of a lesbian couple, but that factor doesn’t define the story. This is an action packed thriller involving meta-humans and supernatural characters —some of which just happen to be gay.

The story showcases a diverse cast of meta-humans that have dedicated their lives to protecting the human race from dangerous supernatural forces. The overall theme questions how far one person would go to protect their loved ones. The protagonist, Katherine Reese, relinquishes her freedom to the meta-human military in order to keep her family safe, but she finds an even greater sacrifice is required—possibly even her life.

Rogue werewolf attacks and dastardly mages have everyone on edge when the meta-human military sends their top team to investigate.

Katherine Reese leads the powerfully stacked alpha team on a search for answers that reveals a larger threat. Supernatural leaders have set a plan in motion that could destroy the balance between the human and supernatural world.

More information will be revealed over the next few days. Stay tuned and you can stay updated by subscribing to my blog or via Facebook updates.

Why I Write: The Tale of a Young Geek’s Inspiration

My mother was the one who always encouraged me to read a lot as a kid, but there were select books and shows that fueled my desire to tell stories. I’ve always been a daydreamer. My mind creates stories whether I like it or not, and there were several influences from my childhood.

As a kid I enjoyed comic books filled with heroics, but I also loved horror, sci-fi and fantasy. The books that most influenced me were R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series and pretty much anything written by Stephen King. I have an entire bookshelf filled with King’s books, and people always ask what my favorite King novel is. As much as I love his popular classics, my favorite would have to be the Dark Tower series as a whole.

I loved dark twisted stories that would make your heart pound with every page turn, but television also greatly inspired my creativity.

There was a show on Nickelodeon when I was young called Are You Afraid of the Dark where a group of kids would sneak out and tell spooky campfire stories. I was always fascinated by the idea of telling haunting tales by a campfire, but sadly this is still something that I’ve never done.

I can’t remember how old I was when I saw the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie on TV, but I thought it was the coolest idea I’d ever seen. The movie was not nearly the same caliber as the TV show that later followed, so why was the movie so important to me? Almost every book I read had a male protagonist, and if my memory serves me correct, this was a point where I said, “Wow this girl is a hero!” I don’t think I even stopped to question why all my books had male protagonist. I’d seen some females in comics, but this was different somehow. It was empowering to see Buffy kick ass as she went from cheerleader to vampire slayer.  I later rejoiced when the TV series was announced for the WB, and I have faithfully followed Joss Whedon ever since.

I read every book I could get my hands on and always daydreamed about my own stories. I tried to write a few novels in high school, but never stuck with the writing. What inspired me to try again? That would be Joss Whedon. My love of Buffy and all things Whedon inspired me to try again, and I finished the draft of The Alliance: Bloodlines.

I’ve since lost my love of horror, and i’m not even sure why. Maybe it’s because everything seems less scary now? Or the new generation of horror movies seem stale? My current inspiration comes from writers/creators: Whedon, Felicia Day, Brian K Vaughan, and Jane Espenson. When Joss Whedon first announced that he would be writing The Astonishing X-men, I decided that I would also try my hand at writing comics. I adapted Bloodlines into a limited series comic book which I pitched to publishers. I didn’t give up even when that project failed, but instead I kept practicing and have worked on scripts for several other projects.

So I guess if I could say anything to potential writers or even current authors, I would say take risks, be bold, write lovable characters, create breath taking worlds and send positive messages through stories.

The stories we write now could hugely impact the next generation of writers.

Honorable mentions from my childhood must include: Star Wars, Indiana Jones, TMNT, Alice in Wonderland, Superman movies and Batman movies, X-men comics, and more.