Even with blurbs on the back of novels that aim to get you interested in a book in a couple of short sentences, there’s still so much an author can say about their stories to entice a reader without giving too much away. Since I get asked the question “What is your series about?” all the time, I figured I’d give y’all a little more!
In Sleep You Know
In Sleep You Know is a twist on the classic tale of what happens to a hero who stumbles into Faerie and ends up sworn to them for seven years. Except in this story, our hero Merrick drags the members of his post-punk band along with him and they all find themselves aligned with fae – The Eleriannan – in a fight against forces invested in keeping the city of Baltimore entangled in negativity.
The book addresses ideas like:
- how stagnant thinking can be seductive
- motives can be easily misunderstood
- community is everything, especially found family
- we are more powerful together than apart
Cast a Shadow of Doubt
Cast a Shadow of Doubt starts a few months after the end of ISYK, and is very much a summer book, where ISYK is an autumn/winter book. Where ISYK focused on Merrick, CASOD is all about Lucee and also Vali, and how they fit into the new connections that the Fae are building. There’s an old adversary and a new one, plus more magical graffiti, friendly tree beings, a big summer arts festival, and encore appearances from fan favorites: the grandmotherly personification of the City and the creepy Ladies, who have more pointy teeth than they probably should.
This book touches on:
- family trauma that comes from expectations and control
- impostor syndrome
- the search to belong and find one’s place
- a deep debate on forgiveness of those who have hurt you.
I’ve said it before, but I’ll put it here too: I write magical books for people with trauma who need to see good in the world. Also: my stories are hopeful stories, filled with magic and people who you care about. My characters are vibrant and relatable, and the thing I hear most often from readers is that they feel like they know them so well, they are like old friends by the end of my books. [What a compliment, let me tell you!]
I also touch on some of my personal interests in my stories. There’s the obvious things like music and performing, street art, coffee and food – but also topics like the unhoused and how they are treated, urban gardens/food deserts and gentrification, and care of waterways and nature spaces in city environments. These are part and parcel of living in an urban space in my mind and I don’t think I could set a story with powerful characters in a city and not address them in some way.
Baltimore is the canvas for my stories and I subtly put a lot of local flavor in, but not so much that it reads like a travel ad! I like the idea that you might recognize the areas I write about if you visited, but also that these stories could happen in your closest city, too. Baltimore’s a complicated place, and I’ll admit that my version of it is maybe a little kinder than reality, but that’s hope too. I love my city and I want the people who live here to succeed, especially the ones who struggle the most and have had the hardest starts. My characters talk about using the power one has to try and make a difference, and that’s my philosophy too.
I’m currently working on the third book in the Eleriannan “universe” – if you’re interested in following along with my progress on that, I suggest giving me a follow on Mastodon or supporting me on Ko-fi. I share updates, behind the scenes snippets, and current soundtracks. I’d love to hear what you think, too!