Author Copies Have Arrived! Book of Dreams One Step Closer to Being…

Yesterday, my author copies arrived from my publisher!

My novel hits bookstores in exactly 3 weeks from today, on Tuesday, September 13th. And they’re all printed and boxed and ready to go!

BOOK OF DREAMS (Duet Books/Chicago Review Press, SEPTEMBER 13th, 2022) NOW AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER!

Gaige’s curiosity gets the better of him when he discovers a bookstore on an abandoned street where no bookstore should be. He steps inside and is immediately enthralled by its antiquarian sights and smells. But one book in particular calls to him. It isn’t long before he gets a bad feeling about it, but it’s already too late. The store’s aged bookseller gives him no alternative: once he touches the book, it’s his—whether he wants it or not. It’s bought and paid for and there are no returns. The book leads Gaige on a horrific descent into the unknown. As he falls into the depths of its pages, he loses blocks of time, and his friends become trapped inside ancient cellars with seemingly no means of escape. Gaige soon learns that the ancient bookseller is a notorious serial killer from a previous century, and fears that he has fallen into a predicament from which he may not escape. When all seems lost, he finds the one person he can turn to for help—Mael, a sweet teen also trapped inside the book who didn’t fall for the bookseller’s tricks. Together, they race against time to protect Gaige from joining a long string of boys who vanished without a trace inside the Book of Dreams.

AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER WHEREVER BOOKS ARE SOLD! Also, put Book of Dreams on your Goodreads shelf!

Amazon USA | Amazon Canada | Chicago Review Press Print | Chicago Review Press Ebook | Barnes & Noble | Interlude Press | Kobo USA | Kobo Canada | IndieBound | Blackwell’s | Booktopia | Book Depository | APPLE Books | Goodreads

Always a delight to get a package from your publisher in the days leading up to a new book release!

I’m still sitting on some amazing news regarding this novel. I can’t wait to share it! And the very second I’m able to share it, I’ll be shouting it from the rooftops. Stay tuned for the announcement!

A box of books!

If you’re local to the GTA (Greater Toronto Area), you can get a signed copy of BOOK OF DREAMS at the Chapters-Indigo in the Oshawa Centre. I’ll be there Saturday October 1st, 2022 at 1:00pm. Hope to see you there!

 

See You in September…

I think we’ve established that I write about my September every year. For some reason, it seems to be my busiest and/or most exciting month. Thinking about this, I just realized how many songs there are about September. Like, A LOT of them! It’s even possible it’s the most sung about month of the year.

See you in September. Do you remember the 21st night of September? You were my September song, tell me where have you gone? Come September, everything wrong gonna be alright.  Oh, I watch myself depending on September when it comes. Ring out the bells again like we did when spring began, wake me up when September ends. It’s going to be September now, for many years to come, every heart adjusting to the strict September drum.

Perhaps, as Leonard Cohen sang, my heart is adjusted to the beat of September’s drum.

At any rate, here’s my annual September post! It’s a busy one this year!

⊗September 13th, I complete another trip around the sun. Hard to believe I will be turning 56 this time. I guess this puts me somewhere into the September of my life. The weather is still beautiful, but you begin to get the hints of the passing of the season. It’s the crispness in the morning, the tang of leaves realizing it is soon time for them to let go, the burning sun lighting up the sky with a special brightness even though its heat is not quite as severe as it once was. There are a million signs that appear in September, warning us that the calendar is slowing drawing its curtains on another year. Even the official end of summer lands in this month. Not to mention, it’s the first BER month.

Like the year on a calendar, we all wind down. I think 56 in human years is a good estimation of the September of one’s life. Right? Things are still good–still great–but you’re getting hints of the impending changes.

Even though it goes against everything that would make sense, September might in fact be my favourite month. SUMMER is my season. Hot, hot, hot…that’s my favourite temperature. And September comes in with the knowing and dreaded whisper, “Summer is dying. The halcyon days will soon be over.” September prepares me, against my wishes (and better judgement), for the coming ugliness of winter. And yet, it’s still the most magical of months.

⊗SEPTEMBER 7th. Let’s rewind a few days! The 7th is the beginning of this year’s magic! That’s the day we board a plane for Portugal. We fly into Lisbon and then take a second flight to Porto, where we will begin a truncated version of the Senda Litoral Route of the Caminho Português (Portuguese Camino, The Portuguese Way, Camino Portugués)! Due to time constraints, we cannot start at the customary beginning point in Lisbon. Here’s our itinerary, which begins on September 10th after a couple of days in Porto:

We will be travelling with John Brierley once again. I think a LOT of pilgrims travel with Brierley’s guides. It almost feels de rigueur at this point.
Porto – Vila Do Conde – 33.9km
Vila Do Conde – Esposende – 26.4km
Esposende – Viana do Castelo – 27.3km
Viana do Castelo – Caminha – 27.1km
Caminha – Baiona – 31.2km
Baiona – Vigo – 26.8km
Vigo – Ponte Samaio – 24.5km
Ponte Sampaio – Caldas de Reis – 33.3km
Caldas de Reis – A Picarana – 28.4km
A Picarana – Santiago de Compostela – 16km
Santiago de Compostela back to Porto by bus.

I’ll wake up in Viana do Castelo on my birthday, and make my way to Caminha. As we walk this leg of the Camino, something else will take place. The release of my 8th novel!

Book of Dreams drops on the 13th of September as we’re walking somewhere along the coast of Portugal having, hopefully, the time of our lives!

The Book.

We don’t come back to Canada until September 25th. The better part of my September this year will unfold in Europe, as we walk the Portuguese coast up into Spain and into the city of Santiago de Compostela. I’ll be arriving at the Cathedral for the 3rd time (previously, I arrived there from the Camino Frances in 2014 & 2019). From there, we will spend some time in Santiago before returning to Porto for a few days. Much is planned, from a Douro Valley Port wine tour, to gastronomical adventures in and around the city.

My September stops quietly back in Toronto, where I will be preparing for my October 1st BOOK OF DREAMS book signing event at the Oshawa Centre Chapters-Indigo bookstore(click this link to learn all about the details of the event)!

If you haven’t yet read the book I wrote after my first experience on the Camino de Santiago, you can read more about THE CAMINO CLUB here(it’s the first book on the Books page of this website).

2 books, 2 years apart!

Now we just have to wait for the calendar to flip over another page!

Come September, everything wrong gonna be alright.  Oh, I watch myself depending on September when it comes...

 

The Inception Point – The First Thoughts for The Camino Club…

I just came across an article I wrote in 2014 for the WCDR Wordweaver. After reading it, I was surprised to see mention of my future novel, THE CAMINO CLUB. I didn’t know I had formed the idea for the novel so early. I mean, part of me did…but this article from June 11th 2014 definitely proves it! Wow. I really did carry that novel with me for a while. It released on October 6th, 2020, but I walked with it in my head in May, 2014 as I walked a portion of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route across Spain.

The article, as it appeared in the WCDR Wordweaver in 2014. I loved the layout so much!!

Here’s the article:

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The Camino de Santiago – Walk Now, Write Later…

by Kevin Craig

Pilgrims have been walking the Camino de Santiago since medieval times. All the Camino routes lead to the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, where the remains of the apostle St. James are said to be buried.

I recently walked the Camino from Ponferrada to Santiago and grossly underestimated its power. Naively, I thought I would be able to write while on my journey. I even contemplated leading others through writing exercises. I strapped a brightly coloured journal to my backpack and planned to fill it with the wonder I was to encounter there.

On day one, prior to that first step, I sat in our hotel lobby and began to write. The entry was filled with the eager anticipation I had of taking those opening footsteps with my fellow peregrinos (pilgrims). The entry took up a quarter of a page. I made it short, as I was enamored with the oversized contraption filled with fresh oranges and colorful gadgetry in my periphery. I quickly learned it made orange juice. A Willy Wonky moment! I was in the Chocolate Factory.

I never opened my journal again.

I always talk about writers writing when they’re not writing. On the Camino, I lived this belief. I struck out on the path as a child, filled with wonder. After a glass of orange juice, made from a magical contraption, I knew immediately I was off to see the Wizard.

I’m now certain the Wizard of Oz is a parable for the Camino. I followed not the yellow brick road, but yellow arrows. I walked not with the lion and the Tin Man, but with my fellow peregrinos. We were all looking for something, and we all had unwavering faith we would find it once we arrived in the mystical city of Oz.

Like Dorothy, I met many people along the way. But I’m a writer. Whether I walked in solitary or in a group, I always clung to that kernel of need; I must write about this. I must share this experience in words.

On the day we walked up a steep mountain pass of jagged rocks and mud, I began to form my 2014 Muskoka Novel Marathon novel idea. While walking I thought, ‘a YA novel about a group of inner-city kids in trouble. They each have to choose—face the serious consequences of their actions or walk the Camino.’ The idea formed as I walked barefoot through mud and pine needles. I was giddy from the splashing, the cushion-y comfort of needles, and the powerful aroma of the eucalyptus forest surrounding me.

As the Camino is wont to do, it later gave me a timely present. Two Irish women walked up and started talking to me about barefoot walking. They had already met my fearless Camino mentor, Sue Kenney. After a few minutes, we got into what they were there for. They had brought a group of teens. They offered numerous insights into how those teens viewed the Camino. Novel research! Practically wrapped in a bow.

I walked some breathtakingly beautiful terrain. Some of it seemed impossible, but the Camino gives you what you need to finish the trip. And in the end, you walk into Oz (Santiago) and you wake up from your dream. You arrive at the Wizard’s castle (the cathedral) and you look around you. All the faces are familiar. They are all old friends from far away. And you stand in the square and you say, “I had a dream!” And you point and say, “You were in it! And you were in it! And you were there, too!”

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The novel I wrote about in the above article, THE CAMINO CLUB, is now available to read!

THE CAMINO CLUB (Duet Books/Chicago Review Press) After getting in trouble with the law, six wayward teens are given an ultimatum: serve time in juvenile detention for their crimes, or walk the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route across Spain over the summer holidays with a pair of court-appointed counselor guides. When it becomes clear the long walk isn’t really all that much of an option, they set out on a journey that will either make or break who they are and who they are to become.

Amazon USA | Amazon Canada | Chicago Review Press | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Book Depository | BookShop | Indigo-Chapters | IndieBound | Kobo USA | Kobo Canada | Interlude Press/Duet Books | WalMart USA | Target | Blackwell’s (UK) | Booktopia (Aus) | APPLE Books | Goodreads

Book of Dreams Blurbs are Here!

This week I was granted a sneak peek at what the back cover of my upcoming novel BOOK OF DREAMS will look like! I’m thrilled! Not only by how aesthetically perfect the cover is in relation to the story inside, but also by the generosity of early readers! The back cover is emblazoned with BLURBS!

I was so fortunate to have both Shaun David Hutchinson and Danika Stone read Book of Dreams and provide blurbs endorsing the book! I’ve been an avid fan of both authors for quite some time, so it means a lot to have their words of praise attached to Book of Dreams. You should really check out these authors’ works. Click on their names above to visit their websites, if you haven’t already discovered them!

There are only about 2 1/2 months left to go before BOOK OF DREAMS releases into the world! You can pre-order a copy now wherever books are sold! Pre-orders really help out authors a LOT! You can order directly from your favourite independent bookstore, or use one of the links below:

Amazon USA | Amazon Canada | Chicago Review Press Print | Chicago Review Press Ebook | Barnes & Noble | Interlude Press | Kobo USA | Kobo Canada | IndieBound | Blackwell’s | Booktopia | Book Depository | APPLE Books

You can also add BOOK OF DREAMS to your GOODREADS SHELF!

Goodreads

Here’s the synopsis of Book of Dreams:

He steps inside and is immediately enthralled by its antiquarian sights and smells. But one book in particular calls to him. It isn’t long before he gets a bad feeling about it, but it’s already too late. The store’s aged bookseller gives him no alternative: once he touches the book, it’s his—whether he wants it or not. It’s bought and paid for and there are no returns.

The book leads Gaige on a horrific descent into the unknown. As he falls into the depths of its pages, he loses blocks of time, and his friends become trapped inside ancient cellars with seemingly no means of escape. Gaige soon learns that the ancient bookseller is a notorious serial killer from previous century, and fears that he has fallen into a predicament from which he may not escape.

When all seems lost, he finds the one person he can turn to for help—Mael, a sweet teen also trapped inside the book who didn’t fall for the bookseller’s tricks.


Pick up your copy today!

Pride Reads – My Novel PRIDE MUST BE A PLACE is on SALE!

For the rest of PRIDE, my young adult novel PRIDE MUST BE A PLACE is on sale at AMAZON! Get the Kindle at AMAZON USA for only $2.99 for the rest of June!

The first draft of this novel was written at the 2015 Muskoka Novel Marathon, after a long (hands-free) phone call with Lorraine Segato during my 2-hour drive to Huntsville, Ontario. Lorraine, who is the lead singer of PARACHUTE CLUB, called in response to my request to use both her and her song, RISE UP, in the novel that I had yet to write.

I had this big plan to use Lorraine as a walk-on character in the same way I used Gordon Lightfoot as a walk-on character in my novel SEBASTIAN’S POET. Gordon had jumped on right away and given his consent. With him, though, the pages were already written…it was just a matter of him reading them and giving me his blessings. With Lorraine, the book was not yet written.

I barrelled down the highway towards Muskoka, explaining my very loose plan for the novel to Lorraine. In the end, she gave me a lot of advise, and her blessings on using the song…but felt that the ‘scenes’ in which she was to be included wouldn’t actually be something she would do in real life. I did NOT want to put false words into the mouth of an idol from my teen years. So I thanked her profusely for her time and the gift of the song. And I wrote my novel!

Pick it up this month on Amazon!

Synopsis:

Ezra Caine is gay. He’s sort of out at school but not at home, where he fears the wrath of his father’s bigotry. When Ezra’s flamboyantly out friend Alex Mills takes one too many beatings from homophobic bully Will Carter, Ezra finally snaps. Fed up with the situation at school, he decides to do something about it. With the help of his BFF, Nettie, and some unlikely allies, Ezra rallies to create their small-town school’s first gay-straight alliance. The Rainbow Alliance Club is formed. But the changes don’t come without hiccups, one of which being a messy scandal involving Alex and a gay hook-up app. As Ezra and his friends attempt to sway their school into an alliance of tolerance and acceptance, Ezra experiences a few surprises of his own on the home-front. He also learns the hard way that friendships out of convenience aren’t always a good idea, just as some enemies might not be as bad as he originally imagined them to be.

BUY PRIDE MUST BE A PLACE ON SALE FOR $2.99 AT AMAZON USA!

I will leave you with RISE UP, the song I borrowed from Parachute Club as the theme song throughout PRIDE MUST BE A PLACE! Thank you, Lorraine!

Hey Canada! THE CAMINO CLUB sale alert! 99 CENTS!

Okay, I have news…not the news I’m dying to share with you about BOOK OF DREAMS, but news all the same!

THE CAMINO CLUB is on sale at Amazon CANADA!

Now would be the time to pick up your copy if you haven’t done so already! Before the sale goes away.

AMAZON CANADA – THE CAMINO CLUB

Act fast! Like, run don’t walk to Amazon and get your copy now! Make THE CAMINO CLUB your PRIDE READ for PRIDE MONTH!

SYNOPSIS: After getting in trouble with the law, a group of wayward teens are given an ultimatum: serve time in juvenile detention for their crimes or walk the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage across Spain over the summer holidays with a pair of court-appointed counselors. Although they come from diverse backgrounds, the unlikely friends try to make the best of their situation. The pilgrims grow closer on their journey, but they may not make it to their destination—the Cathedral in Santiago. If they do, will they each find what they’re looking for, and will their newfound friendships endure?

If you have already read The Camino Club, please consider telling your friends! I’d love to see this story of my heart reaching more readers!

Pride Month 2022 – Pride Reads!

Happy Pride Month to all! It’s time to consider reading books with LGBTQ+ representation!

I’m currently reading HOWL by Shaun David Hutchinson and LOVING it! Highly recommend! It’s such a subtly told powerhouse of a story about struggling to find oneself while fearing becoming something other than oneself…while at the same time punching back against bullying and biases. Really, such a deep read. Written for the Young Adult market.

My recently read Pride reads were pretty fascinating looks into growing up with gay dads. One from a Canadian woman whose father gravitated to the Toronto gay village area and one from an American woman whose father gravitated to the Castro in San Francisco. Loved them both! Poignant, sad, funny…all the feels. Highly recommend them…even as side by side reads:

CONFESSIONS OF A FAIRY’S DAUGHTER – GROWING UP WITH A GAY DAD by Alison Wearing

FAIRYLAND – A MEMOIR OF MY FATHER by ALYSIA ABBOTT

I too write Pride books. Here are 3 that are available now!

 

 

Billions of Beautiful Hearts (Interlude Press/Duet Books) is a young adult story with two nonbinary teens finding love online during the time of Covid Lockdown. The Camino Club (Interlude Press/Duet Books) is a young adult story with six teens walking the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route across Spain as atonement for their crimes back home in Toronto. It features a gay narrator with lesbian rep. Pride Must Be A Place (Muse It Up) is a young adult story with Ezra Caine and his friends coming together to create their small-town high school’s first Gay Straight Alliance. Ezra discovers along the way that he can find happiness, love, and safety in the places he once feared.

KEVIN CRAIG AUTHOR PAGE on AMAZON USA

KEVIN CRAIG AUTHOR PAGE on AMAZON CANADA

I also have upcoming PRIDE reads! One of which you could definitely PRE-ORDER during Pride Month! YES, I’m talking about BOOK OF DREAMS again!

The Book.

Here’s the synopsis:

Gaige’s curiosity gets the better of him when he discovers a bookstore on an abandoned street where no bookstore should be. He steps inside and is immediately enthralled by its antiquarian sights and smells. But one book in particular calls to him. It isn’t long before he gets a bad feeling about it, but it’s already too late. The store’s aged bookseller gives him no alternative: once he touches the book, it’s his—whether he wants it or not. It’s bought and paid for and there are no returns. The book leads Gaige on a horrific descent into the unknown. As he falls into the depths of its pages, he loses blocks of time, and his friends become trapped inside ancient cellars with seemingly no means of escape. Gaige soon learns that the ancient bookseller is a notorious serial killer from a previous century, and fears that he has fallen into a predicament from which he may not escape. When all seems lost, he finds the one person he can turn to for help—Mael, a sweet teen also trapped inside the book who didn’t fall for the bookseller’s tricks. Together, they race against time to protect Gaige from joining a long string of boys who vanished without a trace inside the Book of Dreams.

AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER WHEREVER BOOKS ARE SOLD! Also, put Book of Dreams on your Goodreads shelf!

Amazon USA | Amazon Canada | Chicago Review Press Print | Chicago Review Press Ebook | Barnes & Noble | Interlude Press | Kobo USA | Kobo Canada | IndieBound | Blackwell’s | Booktopia | Book Depository | APPLE Books | Goodreads

It’s Pride Month. Whatever you choose to do with your reading time this month, just consider spending some of that time reading and supporting LGBTQ+ fiction!

HAPPY PRIDE!

New Book to Drop in ONLY 6 Months!! Book of Dreams is coming!

It’s just under 6 months now! My latest novel, BOOK OF DREAMS is coming soon! I can’t wait for readers to discover Gaige & Logan and Noah & Sara! And even the evil nefarious Jack Chalek, murderous creep that he is!

Book of Dreams! Coming September 13, 2022 from Duet Books, the YA imprint of Chicago Review Press! Cover design by C.B. Messer!

Book of Dreams is available for PREORDER now! See purchase links below:

Amazon USA | Amazon Canada | Chicago Review Press Print | Chicago Review Press Ebook | Barnes & Noble | Interlude Press | Kobo USA | Kobo Canada | IndieBound | Blackwell’s | Booktopia | Book Depository | APPLE Books |

You can add BOOK OF DREAMS to your GOODREADS SHELF HERE.

Here’s the synopsis for this slightly horror/fantasy contemporary YA novel:

Gaige’s curiosity gets the better of him when he discovers a bookstore on an abandoned street where no bookstore should be. He steps inside and is immediately enthralled by its antiquarian sights and smells. But one book in particular calls to him. It isn’t long before he gets a bad feeling about it, but it’s already too late. The store’s aged bookseller gives him no alternative: once he touches the book, it’s his—whether he wants it or not. It’s bought and paid for and there are no returns. The book leads Gaige on a horrific descent into the unknown. As he falls into the depths of its pages, he loses blocks of time, and his friends become trapped inside ancient cellars with seemingly no means of escape. Gaige soon learns that the ancient bookseller is a notorious serial killer from previous century, and fears that he has fallen into a predicament from which he may not escape. When all seems lost, he finds the one person he can turn to for help—Mael, a sweet boy also trapped inside the book who didn’t fall for the bookseller’s tricks. Together, they race against time to protect Gaige from joining a long string of boys who vanished without a trace inside the Book of Dreams.

You can also read an excerpt from chapter one of Book of Dreams over at LGBTQ Reads. This excerpt was shared, along with the exclusive cover reveal, back in December, 2021.

Preorder now. Tell your friends. Share the news!

In Which I Discuss the Relationships Happening in THE CAMINO CLUB

I often grapple with this treacherous feeling that the stuff I write isn’t gay enough, isn’t teen enough, isn’t ________ enough. I don’t know why I do this to myself. I guess I’m constantly comparing my work to the other LGBTQ YA Lit out there…the stuff I endlessly consume between my own writings.

I wrote my GAY TEEN ISSUES book already (PRIDE MUST BE A PLACE). When I was done with that book, I swore that, moving forward, I would only have incidentally gay teens in my books. Why should all LGBTQ teen literature focus only on the turmoil, the suffering, the struggles? I mean, we all know LGBTQ youth are rejected at home, rejected at school, rejected at church, rejected on the street and in the buses and in the subways and at the mall and restaurants. We ALL KNOW THIS ALREADY. And yes…I love a good redemption story where the main characters manage to find a place for themselves where nary a place was available to them prior to the insurmountable mountains they had to climb to carve that place out for themselves. Like, yeah…give me that story where LGBTQ teens conquer the impassible monumental odds against them. I’ll read it. Yes! That story is still needed.

But I’ll not write it again. I already have, in writing PRIDE. My struggle story is done. It’s exhausting to start your characters out in that place. I won’t do it again. Fuck the narrative that says an LGBTQ story should be fraught with identity struggle and finding a place to be welcome in a world that doesn’t want to welcome you. I’ll leave those books for others to write. And write it, they should.

I totally had that mindset when I set out to write The Camino Club. Even with that goal in mind, though, I did slip a bit into the LGBTQ teen struggle. Alas, it’s a bit inevitable. But I assure you I did not dwell there.

The Camino Club is an ensemble novel. It has probably no fewer than 8 main characters, if I’m being honest. At the very beginning I started to tell the story from 3 points of view and it just expanded from there the way un-planned novels tend to do.

So here’s a little re-cap of some of the main relationships in The Camino Club, for those who haven’t yet read it.

Diego and Shania – two of my three narrators. They hate each other a bit, but forge ahead knowing they’re in this together. They have to walk across Spain together, so they might as well find a way to tolerate each other. CIS/HET relationship.

Diego and Bastien – an old man comes along on the path and helps one of the teen lead characters out of a precarious predicament and then continues on with the group. Patriarch-Mentor/Child-Student relationship.

Troy and Kei – Troy is one of the three narrators. He’s a gay teen and his particular backstory is where I drag the GAY STRUGGLE into this story. Each of the teens have committed offenses that have landed them in the rehabilitation program they’re on the Camino to participate in. Troy’s crime was that he just couldn’t take the homophobia any more. Troy has a meet-cute moment while the group is stopped at a water fountain during a particularly grueling mountainous day on the Camino. Kei strikes his eye and his fancy. Gay Romance Relationship.

Claire and Zoe – The other gay representation in this book is Claire, one of the other 6 main teen characters walking the Camino in the program designed to push them to their limits and send them onto a path of redemption. Off the Page Lesbian Relationship.

Often, after writing a novel, I get this dread that I didn’t include enough LGBTQ content for it to be considered an LGBTQ book. But then I consider the source of my sliding scale content policing…it’s essentially the industry itself. Expectation is widely interpret-able. Some books just scream gay because of the nature of the content. My first LGBTQ book (referenced and linked above) was one of them. The original cover had a bright rainbow colored cover and there was no question that it was LGBTQ. In fact, if the reader was in the closet…it would be one of those covers that they would potentially feel awkward bandying about.

As I mentioned, though, I feel as though I have moved on from issue books. We deserve better…more. We deserve our stories to be focused on something other than JUST sexuality and the issues and luggage that come with that. After all, surely we are more than our sexuality.

I sometimes feel like I’m skating on a razor’s edge…attempting to incorporate just enough content to appease non-LGBTQ readers while intentionally making the story about LGBTQ life. It’s a struggle. It’s a nuisance.

The Camino Club has a gay sex scene. It is, after all, about teens falling in love. But it also explores multiple different kinds of relationships. I wrote it to reflect life…and more specifically, life on the Camino. The way characters walk in and out of your life and become SO IMPORTANT for days or hours at a time…and then move on or stay with you and form a lifelong bond. That’s what the Camino is about. And there’s room on the Camino for every single sexuality, every single gender, every single race…every single everything. I wanted to capture it all, but still have enough LGBTQ content for the novel to be considered as such.

Forgive me for leaving out the heavy issues, or for merely skating past them. We read to escape the tyranny we face…not always to explore it under a microscope. We need ALL KINDS OF LGBTQ STORIES. ALL KINDS. We live everyday lives and we live extraordinary lives. We were not put here merely for struggle. I for one have moved past the struggle stories. I’m not saying the struggle is over…FAR FROM IT. I’m saying a meet-cute romance doesn’t hurt. Feel Good is also a thing that LGBTQ folx can appreciate.

Do you want to read a novel about 6 teens who are pushed to their limits and set on a path of redemption? Pick up THE CAMINO CLUB today! It’s an LGBTQ book. It also isn’t. I believe so much in this story. I wrote it from a place of appreciation for one of my favourite places in the world. The Camino de Santiago is a transformative wonderland and it was something I was desperate to share with others. So…I wrote a book!

CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW:

Cover Reveal and EXCERPT for BOOK OF DREAMS!

Yesterday, I was fortunate to have the cover reveal for my upcoming novel BOOK OF DREAMS take place on LGBTQ READS! Not only that, there was ALSO an EXCERPT from the novel shared! Much much thanks to LGBTQ Reads for hosting the reveal! Please consider supporting the site!

Before I share the cover here, though…a little bit about the book!

BOOK OF DREAMS was my 2014 Muskoka Novel Marathon novel. I wrote about 1/2 of it over a long weekend in that July (The novel writing marathon is a yearly event that raises money for the YMCA literacy programs in the Muskoka Region of Ontario, Canada. I’ve taken place in the marathon 13 times now. I won BEST NOVEL AWARD for 5 of those marathons.). BOOK OF DREAMS was awarded Honorary Mention for the 2014 marathon.

After the marathon, I worked on polishing up the 1/2 of a manuscript I managed to write. Then, eventually, I wrote the last 1/2. Fast forward to May 2022, thanks to Duet Books, the YA imprint of Interlude Press, it will become a novel I can actually hold in my hands!

Here’s the synopsis for Book of Dreams:

Gaige’s curiosity gets the better of him when he discovers a bookstore on an abandoned street where no bookstore should be. He steps inside and is immediately enthralled by its antiquarian sights and smells. But one book in particular calls to him. It isn’t long before he gets a bad feeling about it, but it’s already too late. The store’s aged bookseller gives him no alternative: once he touches the book, it’s his—whether he wants it or not. It’s bought and paid for and there are no returns. The book leads Gaige on a horrific descent into the unknown. As he falls into the depths of its pages, he loses blocks of time, and his friends become trapped inside ancient cellars with seemingly no means of escape. Gaige soon learns that the ancient bookseller is a notorious serial killer from previous century, and fears that he has fallen into a predicament from which he may not escape. When all seems lost, he finds the one person he can turn to for help—Mael, a sweet boy also trapped inside the book who didn’t fall for the bookseller’s tricks. Together, they race against time to protect Gaige from joining a long string of boys who vanished without a trace inside the Book of Dreams.

Now, HERE. IS. THE. COVER!

Thanks once again to the amazing CB MESSER for designing this cover that captures the mood of Book of Dreams so wonderfully. I love the way it portends to the story inside of it! This is the shiny book that captures Gaige’s attention in the creepy bookstore, yes…but it also suggests some of the dark goopy underworld awaiting him when he dares to open its cover and look inside. CB did an incredible and incredibly subtle job here and I could not be more pleased! CB designed my The Camino Club cover, as well. And I think I made it known by now how much I loved that cover!

You can read the excerpt from BOOK OF DREAMS over at LGBTQ READS by clicking here!

YOU CAN FIND SOME OF THE PREORDER LINKS FOR BOOK OF DREAMS HERE AT MY LINKTREE. IT’S AVAILABLE PRETTY MUCH WHEREVER BOOKS ARE SOLD!

Shelf BOOK OF DREAMS on your GOODREADS SHELF HERE!