Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Is there an author in the house?

Some of you likely recall my post "where did the author go?" from several years ago. This post is basically a follow up to that, as well as a look toward the horizon.

This weekend, I made my first public appearance since about 2012. I was nervous for many reasons, not the least of which was my long hiatus. Thankfully, it went really well. ConCarolinas, while not the biggest convention, has always been a favorite because of all the great friends who attend it. Thank you everyone who stopped by the table to say hi, who attended panels, and who chatted at the bar and/or breakfast. All of you made this a wonderful first con back, and I am encouraged to expand my schedule further in the future!

But where have I been? Well, that is a murky tale, and I don't like putting too much of my personal life out for public consumption, but I feel that those of you who have stuck around deserve some information. So, let me try a little non-fiction here:

I ran into some health troubles several years ago. At first it didn't affect my writing too much, but these things tend to have a ripple effect, and eventually it began affecting every aspect of my life, including my writing. As that happened, I began falling behind and missing deadlines. This caused a good bit of writing-related anxiety, which caused its own snowball effect. I began falling further and further behind. Third Blood got lost. Grave Memory eventually got turned in and miraculously released on time because my editor is a saint. But by that point, things had spiraled out of control. Every aspect of my life was in shambles. Depression had set in, tangled into every aspect of my life. In regards to my writing, I'd fallen so far behind that I'd passed the point of embarrassment, and in my deteriorating mental state, reached a point that opening my laptop caused panic attacks. I stopped answering emails. I more or less fell off all social media. And more devastatingly, I stopped writing.

Before this point, I can't really remember a time I didn't write. When I was in school, sometimes I might go a couple months without writing, but even as a child, I can't think of a single year I wasn't creating stories at least part of the time. But now I wasn't writing. I was barely reading. (looking back, I was barely living.)  Both my physical and mental health were falling apart. My personal life crumbled, leaving me adrift, and my professional life? Well, the reverberations of all of it shattered my identity as a writer. I was drowning, and I was tired of fighting to swim. I nearly died.

When a life boat came, I spent a lot of time shivering and looking shell shocked before I finally made it back to land. But then things got better. Then they got A LOT better.

I'm much healthier now. Much happier. But starting to write again was hard. It felt like wading back out into the water, the soft lap of waves at my ankles reminding me of being in over my head and being dragged under. My reemerging identity as a writer feels fragile, the edges still jagged and sharp from where I shattered earlier.

So, it has been a slow return. The most important part, the writing, returning first. I have plans to increase my presence here and on social media as well. And of course, to break my hermit-like ways and travel a bit more. Maybe I'll eventually tackle the years of backlog in my email. But those will take time--and hopefully I'll get on point enough to save what is left of my career--but in the meantime, my main focus is back to writing and trying to catch up.

GRAVE VISIONS has been fairly well received, and book five is coming together. It is due later this year and should be on shelves in Fall of 2017. There is a sixth Alex Craft book under contract that is projected to release in 2018. I'm not sure what will happen with Alex after that. I'd love to continue her story past this story arch, but we will see. I'm also itching to write some more Briar Darque short stories like the one which appeared in Kicking it (or even a full novel following Briar). We will see. THIRD BLOOD is currently a deconstructed mess on my old harddrive. I haven't looked at it since my hiatus began, but I have every intention of resurrecting it (or possibly starting again from scratch) after I turn in book five in a few months, so hopefully I will have news to share on that front by the end of the year.

And that is where things stand.

I'll try to be a little more vocal here and on facebook to keep you abreast with what is going on, but even if I'm a little quiet, know that I am writing again. Books are coming. Thank you for sticking with me.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016


ConCarolians is this weekend and I will be there with books, swag, and hopefully something intelligent to say on panels! If you are in the area, please stop by and say hello. This will be my first public appearance in several years, and I'm insanely shy, so if I'm a little quiet, please know I'm absolutely thrilled to see/speak with you, my tongue just gets a little tied!

So where will I be? Well, I'll have a table in the author's hall. I will only be at it a few hours during the convention, but I'll have times I will be there posted, so do stop by to see me and say hi. I'll also be speaking on the following panels:

3:00 PM Doing It All: Blending Character, Plot, and Backstory 
5:00 PM Paranormal Suspense - How to Ramp Up Action in Your Paranormal  
8:00 PM The Burden of Years  

11:00 AM Fantasy the World Over  
8:00 PM The Writer's Life: Not Exactly a Bed of Roses  

I hope to see you there!  

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Today is the day!

GRAVE VISIONS is officially released out into the world and hopefully readers who will enjoy it. I'm so excited to share this book with you! I hope you love it.

Urban Fantasy
ISBN: 0451416570

Pre-order at:
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

Audio Edition:
Tantor Audio

UK Edition:
(UK) Amazon

Friday, January 29, 2016

Giveaway Winner

The random number generator has spoken and we have a winner! But first, let me thank all of you who helped me get the word out about GRAVE VISIONS. I hope you enjoy it!

And without further ado, the winner of the get the word contest is: Alina P!

Alina, please drop me an email at contests@kalayna.com so that I can get your ARC in the mail to you.

Thank you again everyone!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Win it before you can buy it: A get the word out giveaway!

We are one week out from the release of GRAVE VISIONS! I'm so excited I finally get to share this book with you. To celebrate the upcoming release, I am giving away two ARCs of the novel: one here on the blog and one over on facebook. To enter here, simply help me get the word out about the release!

You can do this on any media you like--twitter, facebook, goodreads, your own blog, or wherever you would like to announce the upcoming release. You can link back to the giveaway here, share the cover and/or excerpt, or just talk about the series or release--whatever way you would like to help me get the word out! Then come back here and leave a comment with a link to where you got the word out. You can share in multiple locations for multiple entries, but please leave only one link per comment.

The contest will be open until Thursday 1/28 at 11:59pm PST. I'll announce a winner on Friday.

Best of luck and THANK YOU for helping me get the word out!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Flash giveaway for Christmas

My big contest for ARCs of GRAVE VISIONS will be coming soon, but for Christmas I'm having a flash giveaway on my facebook page.

Please check it out and enter!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Grave Visions Excerpt

Grave Visions: An Alex Craft Novel
We are close enough to start counting down the days until the release of GRAVE VISIONS. Or at least, I am excited enough to count the days. It will hit shelves on February 2nd, so as of today, there are only 52 days until the release. Yay! I can't wait.

With that in mind, I think it is about time to release an excerpt. Who wants a sneak peek?

CLICK HERE to read the first chapter of Grave Visions.

I hope you enjoy it! And check back soon. I recently received a couple advance reading copies of the book that I will be giving away right here, on the blog,  so be sure to be on the look out for that contest opportunity to appear soon!