Hello all! I hope this Friday is going well for everyone midst going back to school or whatever it is that life is throwing at you! On Monday, I featured four of my online indie/aspiring authors so that they could share with all of you the stories they are currently working on. Today, I want to share with you five more authors that have graciously collaborated on this little blog project!
For those who follow Brian McBride on Instagram and are familiar with his two published books (found here), you’ve probably heard lots about his WIP’s as he talks much about them. I find it easy to believe that much of his success already has been made as a result of his frequent posts surrounding his upcoming books. Read for yourself!
Brian: “For years, I’ve known I wanted to write a story set in my hometown – Clatskanie, Oregon, a timber town hemmed in by the hills. The beautiful Pacific Northwest is the perfect place to write an atmospheric, illustrative novel. Years ago, I had an idea about two boys who decided to run away and build a house in the woods. At the time, it was tentatively titled Into the Skeleton Woods. While I may recycle the title, the story itself has since evolved. For three years, Into the Skeleton Woods was nothing but the former opening line – “We could run away.”
Then, one day as I was brainstorming title ideas (as you do), the name Sons of Slaughter came to mind. I instantly fell in love with the title and the vibe it gave me. As well, themes I could potentially explore were already circulating in my mind. I knew I was going to make a story out of it, but I didn’t know what. I looked at my shelved WIPs (Work-In-Progress) and I looked at all my story ideas and finally, it clicked. If I combined the premise of Into the Skeleton Woods with the title and themes of this new idea, Sons of Slaughter, and set it in my hometown, I could kill three birds with one stone. Figuratively speaking. And so began an emotional, thrilling journey as in the span of just under two months (March-May 8th) I wrote the first draft of my newest contemporary.
Sons of Slaughter has been the culmination of all my writing experience so far. It takes my ability to write an atmospheric novel as I did with my debut, Love and the Sea and Everything in Between, and combines it with my ability to write three-dimensional characters and a compelling plot as with my sophomore release, Every Bright and Broken Thing. On a literary level, Sons of Slaughter is my greatest work to date. With abrasive prose, compelling themes, and emotional thrills, I would define it as a Literary Thriller – which is something you just don’t see much of as it’s a very niche genre.
Despite the ease with which I wrote the first draft, Sons of Slaughter has proven to be quite challenging in other ways. As with all my novels, it’s deeply personal. In this case, however, this is the kind of novel that takes me back to my origins, back to the foundations of who I am and where I come from. In its pages, along with my main characters Beck and Dean, I have faced my own inner battlefields. Like Beck, I face the battlefield of who I am. Like Dean, I face the battlefield of who I will become. As someone with a… colorful past and a lot of personal experience with the grittiness of life, I didn’t realize how much Beck and Dean’s story would challenge me. Better yet, how much it would change me. As painful as it’s been at times, I’m the better for it. And I wouldn’t change a thing. Because this is why we write: to change ourselves and to change our world.”
Kayla Jones (@kaylajones3838) regularly shares snippets from her WIP’s on Instagram following the release of her debut Set Me Free. As a poet and novelist, this girl has a unique and tender voice that is sure to continue to write touching and impactful works!
Kayla: “Hey everybody! My name is Kayla and I’m an eighteen-year-old indie author. I’ve been writing for a couple years now and I’ve recently published my debut novel Set Me Free. I’ve also published poetry books and my current WIP has to do with poetry.
My WIP, Three A.M, is a story told in verse. Each poem collectively makes up the narrative, which is about facing the things that are haunting you and finding ways to cope with it. As for the title itself, it came from the common idea that three a.m. is the devils hour. And I decided to take that idea and apply it to my main characters internal demons, which show up during that point in time.
As for what drew me to the story itself, I’ve always been the type of person who likes to write about the hard things. I’ve had this idea for a couple years now, but I didn’t know how to properly execute it until I discovered verse poetry. It mixes two of the things that I love to do, which is storytelling and poetry, so I chose to go that route when I was figuring out how to create this.
This story originally started off as a side project when I was editing my novel Set Me Free and I never intended for it to become a full-blown project, but it did. I’ve gotten a lot of inspiration for this story through the world, my own personal experiences, and from people I know. It deals with a lot of heavy topics like mental illness, rape, substance abuse, etc. They’re things that do go on in the world and it’s something I found myself wanting to tell and portray as accurately as possible.
Feel free to contact me if you want to talk about anything writing-related or even just to chat. I’m super friendly and I love getting to know people.”
Stephan McClellan (@stephanmcclellanbooks) has a vision that is inspiring. His vision is: “One book, one project – so others may dream.” With a vision like this, there has to be some enthralling works coming from him in the future!
Stephan: I have always been fascinated by the concept of pain. I think pain is at the root of why many people either walk away from their faith or refuse to come to faith altogether. How do you cope with pain? How do you make sense of tragedy? How do you find significance in your suffering? All of these ideas have birthed many dark themes surrounding suicide, depression, grief, and regret—which is what lies at the heart of my current WIP, Between Fire and Ashes.
Set in a small town in north Georgia, two eleventh grader students named Aiden and Asia cross paths in the most unlikely way—they plan to take their own lives on the same day, at the same time, in the same place. As they inevitably thwart each other’s plans, they embark on a new journey of self-discovery that neither could have possibly imagined. Together, they will attempt to find healing from their pain, quiet the demons that still haunt them, and learn how to love once more.
I don’t have to know you to know this about you: your life has meaning, purpose, value, and worth. And it’s my goal to bring that hope to life one word at a time. I’m praying that this project reaches far beyond ink on a page. There are burdens that need to be lifted, chains that need to be broken, and people that need to be set free. And now is the time to make that happen!
Lydia Maxamelia Sinclair is not only writing exciting things, but she’s also a pretty rad artist as you can find here (@lydiamazamelia_art). I’m sure her art will be apart of her creative (and maybe end) process of the books she wishes to write. She’s a storyteller on multiple mediums!
Lydia: “Hey there everyone! My name is Lydia Maxamelia Sinclair. I’m a 21-year-old wife, D&D nerd, and plant mom. I’m working to make my creations my career through my art and writing! The book I’m working on is called The Founding Queen. It’s a fantasy story told through the eyes of a young woman living in a war-torn country and working as the only priestess to The Founding Queen, a towering figure of history with extraordinary power and the only reminder of a time when her country was peaceful and prosperous for all.
Like a lot of my work, The Founding Queen started as an incredibly vivid dream. The dream featured a tall, dark, humanoid monster with glowing red eyes that spoke with the softest, deep feminine voice. We stood in a grand hallway and she laid her hand on a painting of a great battle and told me the only thing she wanted was peace. When I woke up, the story would not stop flowing. As the idea developed, I was able to add in elements of the stories I had been told by my late relative about living as a teen in WWII Germany. Elements like how the war affected their work on their family farm, trying to escape the grasp of their government, and the air of fear that hung over their heads. To me, it was just as important to be realistic about life in a country that had lost its identity to war as it was to reframe those stories so they could be remembered. I hope that readers can see themselves in my characters as they hope for a better future.”
Follow these authors with the links above to keep up with their work!