Amanda Hocking

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WoW #4: Handling Controversy and Criticism

April 13th, 2022 by
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This is the fourth week of my Writing on Wednesday (WoW) posts where I share the transcript of a recent writing vlog. You can check out the full video series: here, and you can read previous posts in my transcript series:

This week’s video was first posted March 23, 2022, and it’s titled: Handling Criticism and Controversy. You can watch the video below or read the lightly edited transcript beneath.

Hello, I am Amanda Hocking, and I’m here with my chinchilla, Gruber. Recently, I posted a short video of Gruber, and I got some questions about him so, I thought it would be fun to incorporate him into the video. I know not many people have experiences with chinchillas.

Usually when I take him out of his cage, and we’re chilling together, his favorite thing to do is sit behind my neck or on my shoulders. He does a little bit of exploring, but he most just likes to sleep around my neck. Sometimes, he likes to curl up on my chest, but that’s not very often.

He also has very distinct moods, and sometimes he’s in a mood for a cuddle, and other times he is not.

Gruber is a four-year-old domestic chinchilla. If you’re not familiar, chinchillas are so mammals from the rodent family. They seem more like rabbits than hamsters to me, but I think they’re actually a type of ground squirrel almost. Like hamsters and most rodents, chinchillas teeth never stop growing, so they always have to have things to chew on to help wear them down. Dental care is one of the biggest issues that rodents have to deal with in general.

Chinchillas are originally from Chile in South America. They lived in the Andes Mountains, where their incredibly dense fur helped them thrive in chilly temperatures.

That is the reason that actually became domesticated. They have the densest fur of any land mammal. Most mammals have one hair per follicle, but chinchillas have fifty hairs per follicle. Their fur is very thick and plush, like a velvety stuffed animal, and they were brought to America to be bred for the fur industry.

Because of the density of their fur, they can’t get wet. If water gets down to the roots, it doesn’t dry, and they can become moldy and have a little of issues. To keep clean, they use dust baths, which helps remove the oils and debris from their fur.

In the wild, they live in large groups, and they are very social. They like to talk a lot, and they made distinct sounds and have clear communications to express their moods and wants.

Gruber makes a very grumpy chirp when I do something he doesn’t like (usually touching anywhere near his backend, most chinchillas don’t like that). He also has contended noises when we’re cuddling, and he makes a cute kind of cooing chirp in his cage when he wants attention or wants to play.

Gruber has had some aggression with male chinchillas, so that is why he is an only chinchilla, but it is generally recommended that chinchillas live in pairs or small groups up to three or four. They are large rodents, so they need very substantially sized cages, and the more chinchillas that are kept together, the larger the cage should be.

Gruber was on my first chinchilla. I have always wanted one, but I was unsure about getting one because they are an exotic pet. They are one of the least exotic pets, I would say, because they are relatively common, and they aren’t overly difficult to care for. They need cooler temperatures, large cages, dust baths, and they do have strict diets.

Gruber loves treats, especially apple sticks and oats. Treats do need to be given very sparingly to chinchillas, because they are prone to obesity and diabetes. All of their favorite treats tend to relatively high in sugars, and they need a diet very low in sugar. I feed Gruber Oxbow chinchilla pellets and timothy hay every day, and he gets sticks frequently to chew on.

Chinchillas can also be very destructive (they love to chew!), but I have been really fortunate with Gruber. He only really chews on the wooden toys and treats he’s supposed to, which is great.

Gruber is relatively young at only four-years-old, because they can live ten-fifteen years or more in captivity. He’s just such a happy little guy, and I hope that he lives for a very long time.

Chinchillas make good pets for older teens and adults, but they are so fragile and jumpy that I would not recommend them for younger children. They are mostly quiet and don’t really stink, but they create a lot dust and fur. They also have a long life expectancy for a rodent, and they have very specific dietary requirements.

Initial cost for adopting a chinchilla can be rather high because of their large cages and the cost of the animal itself, but the monthly maintenance costs are very low. They also do require a vet who specializes in exotics and small animals, because they have specific healthcare needs, especially with their teeth and their propensity for diabetes.  

So onto my writing advice for today. There has been come controversy happening on Twitter. (There’s always controversy happening on Twitter, lol). It has me thinking about writers need to learn how to respond to reviewers and appropriate ways to interact with people who have read your book, with they be fans or critics or anything in between.

As an author, it can be really easy to have a knee-jerk reaction if you read something critical about your book. You work so hard on something, and it’s so personal. Even when you know that you’re making this book be commercially sold, writing is still so incredibly personal.

When you’re publishing a book, you’ll always have other people working on it, whether you’re self-publishing or with a traditional publisher. You’ll have editors, marketers, beta readers, sometimes even cover artists. Other people will read your book and offer feedback that, hopefully, makes it better.

But actually writing the book is still largely a solo activity. You singularly built this world inside your head, and so it can be really hard not to take it personally when someone says, “Well, this world sucks.”

Just to be clear, it is totally okay to be hurt by reviews. At times, reviews can even feel like pointed attacks, and I have read plenty of reviews – on books and movies in general – that are blatantly mean. That is okay to be hurt by those reviews, and even the ones that aren’t mean.

But the number one thing you need to do when that happens is that you need to grieve and rage about it in private. It can’t be something that you go online and publicly vent about, and you should never, ever interact negatively with a reader or critic.

Unless of course they are being abusive – using slurs or making threatening remarks. In that case, still don’t engage with them, but you should report them.

Otherwise, you basically just have to accept that that’s how they feel. Because that’s the bottom line. People are entitled to feel how they feel, and all forms of media – books, movies, music, tv shows – elicit feelings from the person consuming them.

The thing, too, about reviews is that they say something about the thing their reviewing, but they also say a lot about the person reviewing them. The reviewers bring in their own biases, baggage, and moods into it.

Sometimes, if the readers baggage matches yours, you can really strike a chord with them, and you can really make sense to them. That’s your reader, that’s the person you’re writing for.

But there are still going to be people who read your books, and it just doesn’t mesh with them. They might have valid criticisms, they might just have personal quibbles. The point is that your book just isn’t for them.

If they do reviews, they are going to explain why your book isn’t for them, and that’s also okay. You just have to learn to accept it.

Do not attack them. Do not call them names. Do not harass them or call them out on social media, not in any capacity. People are allowed to not enjoy the things you create, and that’s a huge bummer, but that’s just how life is.

If you are someone who wants to have a career in the public life – well, even if you don’t necessarily want, but in being a writer you are in the public life – you need to treat everything you say online as if the public will see it. Even if it’s just in an email or any kind of private correspondence, all of it can easily go public these days.

I always caution you to be very careful ranting about book reviews or readers or anything like that online. That needs to be done in the privacy of your home with the person you trust the most.

I’m not saying that you are not allowed to have private thoughts or private feelings. But I am saying that unfortunately, right now, nothing online ever truly is private. You do need to cautious about what you’re doing and saying.

I have kind of talked about this before, but I really feel like every word I put out there, I have to be able to defend. So every choice I make, I have to be able to explain it.

If people say something I am saying or said is objectional, then I am going to make changes when I can and when I think it’s appropriate.

There is some sexism in the My Blood Approves series. I’ve gone back and forth about whether or not to edit it. But it has felt disingenuous to change it. I mean, it is an idea that I really struggle with.

Because now I’ve done the Virtue re-release, but that was different. I knew I wanted to expand on the world, but when I re-read it, I saw the fat-shaming, sexism, and other weird stuff I had in there, and I needed to unpack it and remove it if I wanted to continue in the world. That’s why I did the re-release of Virtue. I couldn’t stand by the choices I had made ignorantly in the past, and I couldn’t build a world on them.

But in the past, if I had thought about the choices I was making more critically then, really questioned why I was being so gross and shaming to characters I liked, characters who were kind and didn’t deserve it, and I might have become more aware of the internalized bias and prejudices that I had. Maybe I would’ve felt better about myself sooner.

It is hard for people to see their own biases. We can have a blindspot for faults and prejudices, but it I something that I am working on.

me to see because the blind spot i have

Defending the choices I make in turn makes me make wiser choices. If I decide to make a character fat, for example, and I ask myself why. If the answer is because there are fat people in the world, and I want to show them having full lives and going adventures, then I am going to make a more conscious effort of having that character be someone who just happens to be fat but also has a full-life. As opposed to in the past, where I would make a character fat because I wanted to compare the character to thin main characters, to use them as a negative to show how someone else was positive.

I was never thinking these as conscious thoughts. I mean, I’ve always been fat, and I wasn’t thinking, “Let’s be mean to this fat character as an expression of your own self-loathing.” But I wasn’t questioning why I was doing it. I wanted to make my main character look good, and I didn’t question why I chose a fat person to do that.

This is what I mean by questioning your choices and defending your work. But to do that, it is important that you understand why you write the way you do. Especially in this day in age, people are going to question your choices, and you should have the answers.

It’s helped me with my internalized body-hating, which was something I needed to work on for myself and for others. I don’t want to be someone who feels that way about myself, and I especially don’t want to be someone who treats other people like they’re “less than” just because of their body.

As a young adult author especially, it’s just so important to me that I am really thinking about how my words can affect my audience that’s reading it. Because some of these people are very young teenagers, and so I have to be sure that I am not reinforcing things that will be harmful to them. I don’t want to do anything that will make my readers hate themselves or other people.

Ultimately, we have to share this world all kinds of people, and I think that the world is better when we’re kinder to ourselves and each other.

Gruber is getting sick of me talking, so I think I’ll be wrapping things up here. But for general updates on me, I just want to talk about Book #2 in the Seven Fallen Hearts series. It’s going really well, but I don’t have any dates yet. Things are moving forward, and I’m getting back into the habit of making videos. I’m having fun, though, and I hope you are, too.

If you have any questions about writing, my books, chinchillas, or anything at all really, feel free to ask, and I will try to answer them in later videos.

I enjoy this time talking to you all, and I hope that you enjoy it, too. I just want to say thank you again for watching.

Until next time, stay safe, be kind, and happy writing.

Read on in the next post, WoW #5: Storytelling and Dreaming Big

WoW #3: Return to Writing

April 6th, 2022 by
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This is the third week of my Writing on Wednesday (WoW) posts where I share the transcript of a recent writing vlog. You can check out the full video series: here, and you can read previous posts in my transcript series:

This week’s video was first posted March 19, 2022, and it’s titled: A Return to Writing on Wednesdays. You can watch the video below or read the lightly edited transcript beneath.

Hello, I’m Amanda Hocking, and I am back with a new video. I know it’s been awhile. I was kind of waiting to record, because I wanted to wait until I had more news about the next book in the Seven Fallen Hearts series – and I do have news, which I’ll get to in just a minute – but I’m still not finished with it.

But now I want to get back into Writing on Wednesdays, so I am going to talk about some writing advice and share some updates.

So the updates. I have been working on the Seven Fallen Hearts, and I have been loving it so much. It is so, soooo good. You all are going to have so much fun with this series. Like I’m having so much fun with it, so I’m assuming you will, too.

I have just been thinking, whatever is fun, let’s do it. I’m not second guessing myself very much, so we’ll see how that works out.

I had to step away from this project for a little bit to work on something else that I’m not able to talk about right now, but maybe someday, I’ll be able to. I mean, someday, I’ll definitely talk to you all about it, but I just don’t want to say anything until I know if it’s a good thing or a nothingburger.

But so I had work on this other thing for a little but, so that was a delay in writing Book #2, but it was a good delay – trust me. Sometimes life works that way. I feel so guilty because this book is going to be out later than I originally thought, and I am just getting back into writing and self-publishing again. Now that I can set my own deadlines, I’m figuring out what works for me and how longs actually take versus how long I project them to take. So my first few times back at the bat aren’t going to be perfect, but I am hoping to get better about release dates as I go along.

But it really just me figuring out how long it takes me to get things done. I am my main boss, now. I mean, the readers and me are my only real bosses, and so I try to take feedback from you all. But then I ultimately know that I have to make the choices that work for me and the stories I want to tell.

So, yes, I’m at hard at work writing the Seven Fallen Hearts series. I’m enjoying it so much, and I’ve been sharing mood boards on Instagram and TikTok. For mood boards, I take images that I find on Pinterest, and I put them together in a board with music to really set a mood or evoke an emotion. That’s how I get in the zone for writing.

I also did see The Batman (2022) a couple of weeks ago, and I absolutely loved it. I just adored it. I wasn’t sure about it at first. I have been so grumpy about it, and I have so many thoughts about Batman in general. I was so grumpy about the idea of a new Batman, but honestly, I loved it. It was so great. It reminded me of The Crow in a really good way, and I feel like after I saw The Batman, I was really thinking about how it made me love The Crow more and The Dark Knight a little less.

But I don’t dislike The Dark Knight at all. It’s still an amazing movie, but maybe not my favorite one anymore.

I have been really lucky, though, in that I’ve liked most of the Batmans (Batmen?). Not all of them, but most of them. I love Adam West, Michael Keaton Christian Bale, Robert Pattison, Kevin Conroy, Deidrich Bader, and Will Arnett. So yeah, I just really like Batman, and there have been a lot of talented actors who have gotten to play him.

But I have weirdly been one of those people who is like, “Do we really need more Batman stuff?” And the answer to that is apparently, “Yes, yes we do.”

The music is like the best thing I’ve ever heard. The music, oh my gosh. It’s Michael Giacchino who is the composer, and he’s already one of my favorites. He took elements of “Ava Maria” and also “Something in the Way” by Nirvana and kind of mixed them together. You can also hear influences from other Batman scores. Occasionally there’s a little note of Danny Elfman (who composed Batman 1989) and Hans Zimmer (who did The Dark Knight trilogy). It has subtle nods to them, and I really enjoyed it overall. I gave it a 10/10.

That’s my recommendation. If you’re not busy writing go see The Batman.

Onto my writing advice. This is actually something I just learned this week, and it’s embarrassing how obvious it is. I realized that a bit part of my problem with why my books have errors even when I edit and revise sooo much. People are like, “There’s errors in your books,” and I’m like “I know, I don’t understand it, but I know.” I have editors and I’m constantly reading and revising and editing it.

And therein lies the issue. I never actually stop revising. I am compulsively editing and changing things, and every time I change something – even something small – it can have a ripple effect.

So then when I go to fix those ripples, I change something new, and then create new ripples, and then it goes on and on forever. But I can’t stop myself. Every single time I read my books, I make changes. Every single time.

There has to get to a point where I am no longer making any revisions or changes to the story. If the phrasing is clunky, it needs to just stay that way, and the only thing I’m doing is correcting punctuation and spelling, nothing more. And I have never gotten to that point. Especially with self-publishing, I’m literally always making changes right up until publication.

I have gotten myself really stuck in a loop, where I am so obsessed with correcting any errors that I am actually constantly creating more errors, which is in turn making me revise even more, blah blah blah, the endless loop continues.

So, I am changing up how I do things. Once I am done with revisions, I have to let my edits just be punctuation and spelling errors, nothing more. I am going to go back and re-edit with this in mind for Virtue, so I should have a more error-free version of it up around the time of the second book’s release.

That is my writer’s tip. You have to stop revising your books eventually.

That’s basically what I’ve learned after doing this for over a decade. You can’t constantly write a book. You have to stop at some point.

People ask me advice, but I am constantly learning new stuff. I know more about writing and publishing than I did years ago, but I do still have more to learn. I am constantly growing and changing as a writer, and I am hoping that eventually I will be able to be exactly the writer I want to be.

There are some things that I do really well, and there are some things that I struggle with.

Not everyone has to like everything I write, and that’s something too that I have to remember. Sometimes I am doing something badly, but other times, this book might not be the right book for them or I am not the right author for them.

There are plenty of authors that I know are very talented, and they have written books that sound like I should love them. For some reason, though, I just don’t. That’s true with any entertainers – musicians, actors, comedians, puppeteers. Some of them I just don’t enjoy, and that doesn’t mean that they are doing anything wrong, or that I’m doing anything wrong. Their thing just isn’t my thing, and that’s okay.

I’m learning to accept that I may not be everyone’s flavor. Figuring out how to be a better author does not mean that everyone will enjoy my books, either. But I’ll figure out who I am and trying to better my self until the day. Or at least I hope so.

Next week I will be back with another Writing on Wednesday video. I recorded this one on Wednesday, which means I won’t have it posted until Thursday, but I was like, “That’s not an excuse to wait until next week to start. Do it today.” That’s what I said to myself, and honestly, that is good advice.

Don’t wait until next week. Do it today if it’s something you actually want to have done. Unless it’s something that hurts you or someone else. In which case, probably don’t do that.

It was a beautiful day here in Minnesota, and I hope wherever you, you are staying safe, happy, and warm, and that good things are coming you’re way. I always hope that for everyone, but right now, the world feels so tumultuous, and so I’m just putting that out there. I do hope that you are doing well.

I will be back next week with more updates about my writing and more advice on writing and publishing. I hope that you’ve enjoyed this, and I also like getting to know what people want to hear, what resonates with them, so I can give you more of the content that you’re looking for. So comment below and let me know if there is anything you’d like me to talk about it.

Until next time, stay safe, be kind, and happy reading.

Read on in the next post, WoW #4: Handling Controversy and Criticism

WoW #2: Updates, Bookplates, & Yellowjackets

March 30th, 2022 by
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This is the second week of my Writing on Wednesday posts where I share the transcript of a recent writing vlog. You can check out the full video series: here, You can read previous posts in my transcript series:

This week’s video was first posted February 17, 2022, and it’s titled: Release Dates, Bookplates, & Yellowjackets. You can watch the video below or read the lightly edited transcript beneath.

Hello, I’m Amanda Hocking, and I’m finally recording a video for my weekly writing advice series. I have not been able to record in my office for a little while, because we had a water heater leakage. The utility room is right across from my office, and we had storage in there. But with the water, all the stuff from the utility room was moved into my office.

The water heater was fixed, and now I’m moving everything back into storage. I’m also cleaning up and reorganizing my office, so it’s not in a filmable state right now.

I tried filming in the living room, and the dogs think they need to be in the center of everything, and the cat does, too. So I’m here, filming in my bathroom.

In my last video, I said I hoped to have more information about the Seven Fallen Hearts, and I don’t have much yet. I’m still working on Book #2, and it’s going well, but it’s not ready for release date and pre-order info quite yet.

I’m also hoping to open up a shop on my website soon. It’s taking me awhile because I’m so apprehensive, and I want to make sure that I’m doing it right. I just want to make sure that I’m not signing up for more than I can deliver, and so I am being very cautious and moving very slowly.

When the shop does open, I will be selling signed bookplates. As we get closer, I’ll show you what they look like and explain more about them. The idea behind that is that I think it will be easier having stickers on hand selling autographed books, because this way I don’t have to keep an inventory of my books in stock. A bookplate can go in any book. This way you won’t have to rebuy a copy of a book that you already have, either.

Assuming this all goes well, in the future, I may have limited signed copies of new releases and maybe other books on special occasions. But I want to see how it goes with bookplates before I start adding stuff on.

Eventually, I would like to add things like bookmarks and artworks, but again, I’m starting very slowly, so it may be a while.

I am hopeful that the shop will open sometime this Spring, and that the second book in the Seven Fallen Hearts will be out by the end of Spring 2022.

I am really excited about Seven Fallen Hearts series. This this world is so fun, and I am really excited for you guys to see what’s coming. You can read more about the first book: here.

I’ve just been working on all that and taking care of my animals and my family. That’s basically what it keeps me busy. I have a big TBR pile that I am going through way too slowly.

Also, I just wanted to do a quick mention for the Yellowjackets. I watched Yellowjackets on Showtime. It’s this really cool, gritty series. I absolutely love it. I can talk about it forever if you guys are interested.

I loved it so much, and I could tell it is it is there are similar themes that it touches on as Bestow the Darkness. Which is my gothic romance folk horror novel that I released in 2021. It’s different, but there’s a lot of similar themes and topics. I could tell that we’re inspired by a lot of the same things, and so I very much love Yellowjackets.

I think it’s going to be an exciting spring, and I think there’s a lot of good stuff coming. I’m very optimistic about 2022 even though I was really optimistic about 2020.

I am getting back into writing advice on Wednesdays, so please leave a comment or question about anything you’d like to hear me talk about it, and I will likely address it in a future video. I am always open to suggestions, and I want to know what you all think.

That is it for today. As always says, stay safe, be kind, and happy reading.

Read on in next week’s post WoW #3: Return to Writing.

WoW #1: Writing Advice

March 23rd, 2022 by
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As some of you may know, I’ve been doing a writing advice series on YouTube. You can watch the full thing: here. I’ve decided to start posting the videos here on my website, so people don’t miss them, and I’m also going to be including a written transcript here below the video.

I’m only on my fourth video of 2022, but I thought I would go back and add the first three videos here as well. I’m starting with my first video now, and I will post the other videos and transcripts over the coming days until I’m all caught up.

For those of you who don’t want to listen to the video or just want to look back on what I’ve said, below I have a lightly edited transcript of the video:

Since this is my first video of 2022, I wanted to take a look back at 2021, and I wanted to take a look forward at what I have coming up for this year!

If you didn’t know in 2021, I published three books. The first book that I published was in January last year – The Ever After, which is the final book in the Trylle Saga, and it’s a doozy! I really loved this book, and now that the nine-book saga is complete, I really ought to do a retrospective on the worlds of the Trylle, Kanin, and Omte.

The next book I came out with last year was Bestow the Darkness. It is my first book written for adults, and it is a very, very dark gothic romance. It’s kind of steamy, with strong elements of folk horror. I really love this book, but it is different than the others I’ve written.

The final book I published last year is a re-release of Virtue. (I go more in depth about what that means and why decided to revise and rewrite a previously released book in this post here: Virtue Re-release Explained). It’s a sweet fairy tale romance, and it’s the first book in the Seven Fallen Hearts series.

So, The Ever After was the last book I released with my publisher, and I have returned to self-publishing this year. It’s been really great for me creatively, but I’m still on a bit of a learning curve (or re-learning curve?).

When my publisher and I couldn’t come to agreement about my next series, I was nervous about going back to self-publishing. The whole industry has honestly changed so much since I started way back in 2010, but it has been really great for me. It’s liberating, and I feel more bold and more connected with the choices I’m making – both in terms of writing and in terms of overall career decisions.

With a publisher, you pitch a book, and then you are contracted to write that book. So I would feel obligated to only work on that book, and I missed out on just following my whims and creativity. Sometimes, I can get inspiration, and I just want to work on that for a bit, but it often doesn’t go anywhere. They’re whims for a reason.

What I’m learning about myself is that writing things just because I want to is still a part of my process. And it’s not that I don’t want to write the books I was contracted to write. It was that I felt like I was cheating on them or something if I worked on anything else, and that became really stifling for me creatively. I needed to allow myself more freedom to express whatever ideas it is that I want to express, not just the ones that are commercially viable.

The past year or so, I have been writing so much, and I have gotten back to my roots about why I love writing, and it really has been so fantastic for me. I do have to spend more time doing things are necessarily as much fun or fulfilling – like formatting and marketing – but overall, I’m really enjoying where I’m at right now.

None of this is to say I had a bad relationship with my publisher. I don’t actually have anything negative to say about them, and I really enjoyed my experiences there. Everyone I worked with there was very kind and passionate about books, and I definitely think we put out some fantastic books together! So no regrets there.

With all that, here is what I am planning on coming out with in 2022. My main focus is going to be working on the Seven Fallen Hearts series. Virtue is book one, and like I said, it’s already out now. I am hoping to come out with the second book sometime in the next several months, but I don’t have an exact release date yet. It basically depends on when it’s finished and polished and ready to go.

There are going to be four full length novels and three shorter works (short stories/novellas), for seven works in total in the Seven Fallen Hearts series. I don’t know when they will all be out, but I am planning on the entire series being written and released by mid-2023. Hopefully sooner, but I’ll see how good I get at making (and keeping) deadlines for myself now.

I am also working on a young adult series inspired by Greek mythology called the Dynasty of Starlight. It was originally going to be a stand-alone book, but it’s growing and growing, and I’m thinking it will be at least two books, maybe three. But because of the nature of the series, I’ve decided that I want to write them all before I start publishing. I am hoping that I can get the first book out by the end of the year, but the Seven Fallen Hearts is going to be my priority, so I may have to wait a bit longer on that.

I also want to thank you all for making 2021 as good as it was for me. It wasn’t a great year, not for basically anybody, but so many of the good parts I’ve had come from the support of readers like you! So honestly, thank you all so much for all your support. Any time you read a book, or tell a friend about my books, or check it out from the library, or leave a review, you’re honestly making the writer’s day. We love you all so much! Or at least, I know I do. 🙂

Until next time, stay safe, be kind, and happy reading.

Read on in next week’s post WoW #2: Updates, Bookplates, & Yellowjackets

Introducing the Seven Fallen Hearts

December 29th, 2021 by
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In a world filled with Magic, Love might be the final answer in the war between Good and Evil

When Lux is sent after a sheltered Princess, he disobeys his Master. Now Lux is battling goblins, sea dragons, and his own heart.

The fairy tale begins in 
Virtue – the first book in the Seven Fallen Hearts. This second edition of the book includes revised and extended scenes.

Get Virtue in paperback or ebook

Over ten years ago, I wrote and published a fairy tale romance called Virtue. It was something I wrote for me, during a tumultuous time, but I kept thinking about it all these years.

Finally, I came up with a concrete idea for the world. I have reedited, revised, and extended the original Virtue. I’ve re-released it in paperback and ebook, and it is now the first novel in a series that I’m calling the Seven Fallen Hearts.

Below are common questions I’ve gotten about Virtue and the Seven Fallen Hearts.

What changes did you make from the original version of Virtue to the new edition?

I explain more in depth in my YouTube video (which you can watch: here) but basically, the original work had some problematic issues. Things like body-shaming and some internalized misogyny, which I needed to change.

I also expanded scenes and chapters to make the story richer and more in depth, and I made a few tweaks to the final chapters to make the book more open-ended for the rest of the series.

What is the Seven Fallen Hearts? How many books will there be in the series?

The Seven Fallen Hearts is a young-adult series featuring fairy tale romance and fantasy adventures. There will be four novels and three shorter works (short stories/novellas), so there will be seven works in total in the series. The first book Virtue is out now, and the second book will be out in early 2022. The entire series should be out in paperback and ebook by mid-to-late 2023, but I do not have exact dates for publication yet.

If I bought the ebook of Virtue years ago, will it be updated automatically to the new one?

No, I’m sorry. The ebook is low-priced, though, and there will be sales in the future. Virtue is also out in paperback for the first time.

How do I know which version of Virtue I have?

The copyright for the new edition is 2021, and it has a blue cover with a butterfly on it. Any other cover or copyright date is the old version. The new version was published on December 15, 2021 and the old version was removed from sale before that, so if you bought the copy before that day, it is likely the old version, and if you bought it after that day, it is likely the new version.

Anything else I should know about Virtue?