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April 25, 2020
Holy CATS am I an unreliable blogger. I see it’s been a couple months. I’ve mostly been busy trying to figure out new things to fight with my husband about. We ran through the old stuff a couple weeks into quarantine. For real, though, I’m growing sick of myself, and this desperation has driven me to reach out to you, via my blog. What are you up to? What’s the best TV show you’ve seen lately, the kindest thing a neighbor has done, the weirdest food you’ve eaten and/or ordered online?
I ordered a case of turkey gravy two days ago. A. Case. And I have no turkey in the house. I’m calling the gravy meat wine, and I have no regrets.
Book news: Unspeakable Things has sold over 100K copies since January! Thank you. Thank you thank you thank you. It’s such a personal project, and my 20th book in a real “below the radar” writing career (hahaha that's the professional author way of saying I once received a $1.29 royalty check), and so to have it reach so many people is incredibly affirming.
Bloodline, my next small-town suspense novel, releases December. You can read the description here. Also, if you like creepy, I encourage you to check out Jennifer Hillier’s Little Secrets. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough on this fabulous new release. If you’re more in the mood for a cozy, Golden Era mystery, you can’t beat Erica Ruth Neubauer’s Murder at the Mena House.
I also have three new books in the works: one inspired by the "satanic panic" that swept the US in the mid80s and hit (trigger alert: this following link goes to a New York Times article dealing with the sexual abuse of children) Jordan, Minnesota, particularly hard (it will have a 14-year-old protagonist; the themes of children who are not believed and communities that collectively look away are still haunting me), another featuring a character from Unspeakable Things all grown up (it’s a serial killer thriller), and a third a retelling of the Medusa myth centered around female fury. That last one will be in the vein of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon. I’ll keep you updated on all three projects, and you can sign up for my newsletter if you'd like more regular updates.
p.s. If you’re looking for the Unspeakable Things epilogue, it lives here.
p.s.s. I just opened an online creative writing school, classes available to all. Check it out here.
p.s.s.s. If you are a woman interested in signing up for my At-home Yoga, Writing, and Meditation Retreat May 16-20, you can find out more here.
January 13, 2020
Uff da. It’s been a ride these past two weeks. Unspeakable Things released on January 1. Its sales and reviews have exceeded my wildest expectations, including a #1 spot in the UK. I’ve received many kind emails and not a single mean one. My launch party was standing room only, and Once Upon a Crime was packed with old friends, new friends, and one woman who wanted me to feel bad for mentioning her hometown (which is also my hometown) in the Author’s Note.
I don’t feel bad. I feel proud. Proud of telling my story as autobiographical fiction, grateful for the beautiful people in my life (Tony, Xander, Zoe, Susie, Carolyn, Sandy, Erica Ruth, Lori, Cindy, Christine, Stacy, Jim, Matt, Terri, you’re some of the best), relieved to discover that the worst thing isn’t telling the truth, as some in my family and that woman from Paynesville and so many others want us to believe. The worst thing is living on the surface and pretending the past doesn’t affect us, staying silent, accepting the shame of others as our own. That’s a life half-lived, and I’m not doing that anymore.
Telling my story has been terrifying and marvelous and freeing. (A great therapist and a supportive ACA group hasn’t hurt, either.) I want to thank you, readers, for being so welcoming to this dark tale. And for those of you who want the Unspeakable Things epilogue, I’ll always have it available here and will talk to my publisher about getting it in a future edition of the book. It was my choice to pull it in the first place, and in hearing from readers, it was not my best move. I apologize to those who would have liked it in the book in the first place.
Now, I’m planning to pull back from social media, blogging, and touring for a bit. I’ve been living an exposed life the past two months. It’s time for me to hibernate, spend more time with my husband and son and foster kittens, and listen for the next story. I still have a few events coming up, as well as marvelous women's writing retreats, with the next one this May in Colorado. And there's always room for you here, where all stories are welcome.
December 4, 2019
My amazing publisher, Thomas & Mercer, Kindle Firsted UNSPEAKABLE THINGS on December 1, and I'm overwhelmed by the response. The book has been #1 since Sunday! This small-town Minnesota girl who grew up with snarly hair and bad teeth doesn't know how to process that sort of success. I'm trying to take it in small doses and remind myself that the book is no longer mine. It belongs to you, the reader.
That's why I pulled the epilogue from the book before publication. I knew how I wanted Cassie's future to go, where her dad and mom and sister ended up, what happened to Goblin and Bauer, but once you went through it all with her, I thought you deserved your own version. I've heard from a few readers that they'd like to see my take on it, though. If you're one of them, I've got you covered. Here is the epilogue I pulled from UNSPEAKABLE THINGS before publication. Please don't read it until you've read the book, as it contains spoilers.
Thanks for reading.