Waiting for Godot, Or Something…

I realize now that Godot may not be coming at all. I do. I get the whole ‘if not today, then surely tomorrow‘ ideology, too. I try to remain hopeful.

It’s hard, though…waiting on the slow wheels of the publishing world. What makes it harder is when everyone around you seems to believe in your work. Work you do not believe in yourself. Work that has been out in the market for going on 8 months without results.

When I finished writing my latest young adult novel, Pride Must Be a Place, back in July of 2015, I had the sensation that it might be the best thing I wrote so far. I felt REALLY GOOD about it. And then I had a few people read it. And they all thought it was great…maybe my best work to date. So I sent it to my agent. And she seemed to love it, too. So I waited for the good news.

And it has not yet arrived. I keep coming back to the same point every day where I wait to hear the good news. And every day it doesn’t come. And it doesn’t come. And it doesn’t come.

I seem to be one of those people who cannot write when they are waiting on their most recently completed manuscript to be picked up by a publisher. And believe me, I have a lot of WIPs in which I could be writing. I’m at a standstill. Waiting for Godot…and realizing that he might never come.

As I said, I finished the manuscript in July. Almost a year ago. I’ve never ever been sure about my work…but I felt sure about this one. I thought, ‘maybe it’ll have a home by September!?’ And then I had to edit that thought to, ‘…October!?’ Then I allowed it to leave my train of thought as we took off for Cuba in a last-bit-of-sun-before-the-snow-falls vacation. “Surely tomorrow!” I kept thinking. It would be nice to come home from Cuba to discover a publisher had picked up Pride.

Nope. Didn’t happen. I still hoped. November? December? January? February? NO. No. No. No.

March? April? May? No. No. No. Another holiday in the sun went by as we took off to Barbados in May…as I hoped to hear good news from my agent.

It is now JUNE, a month shy of a year after I finished Pride Must Be a Place. I am wondering how to get back onto the horse and write something new. I know I’ll have an Adrenalin shot next month when I take part in the annual MUSKOKA NOVEL MARATHON. Nothing says, “Get back into writing” like “you have seventy-two hours to write a novel. Don’t mess it up.”

I’m thinking that I best get off my ass and start contributing to some of my WIPs. I can’t wait forever. I’m beginning to lose faith in the possibility of Pride ever being published…just because, in the beginning, my faith was so entirely strong. Clearly, it didn’t present as the novel I thought it was going to be. My agent is still trying, but it might be an ugly baby. Who knows. Who ever knows?!

I’m boggled by the publishing industry and the reading public. I’m at a place where I think I need to leave behind the young adult market for a while. Even after Burn Baby Burn Baby made the official 2016 IN THE MARGINS BOOK AWARDS LIST put out by the American Library Association’s Library Services for Youth in Custody (LSYC), it did not see sales. Even after many amazing reviews, it did not see sales. My voice in the young adult market is not what readers are interested in. After 3 published young adult novels, and no interest…I have to reevaluate. With the 4th one (Pride) with my agent, I have decided to back off this market and try something new.

I’m pondering what that something new is. And don’t get me wrong, I did not start writing to sell books. But I am discovering that I am losing my motivation to write based on the fact that I am writing for nobody. A writer needs readers. I don’t have many. I’ve been hopeful. But it’s not happening.

So, the market has spoken…and I am listening. Time to move on. I want to get that NEED and CONSTANT DESIRE to write back. I don’t have it when I know my efforts are futile…slipping into a void of nothingness. So, changing gears will be the first step. Was it Einstein who said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? Well…that’s what I’ve been doing in writing young adult novels. Time for change.

In the meantime, July is quickly approaching! The Muskoka Novel Marathon is galloping towards me…and I need help! The writers who take part in this 72 hour novel writing marathon are collecting funds for literacy, to fund the Simcoe/Muskoka County YMCA literacy programs, which are underfunded. All money collected goes directly to helping run these programs. So anything you donate will be helping someone struggling with illiteracy get on their feet. We are writers helping readers. We can only do this if you donate to the cause. ANY amount will help. Please consider sponsoring me on my journey to my next novel. Together, we can eradicate illiteracy. You can make a donation directly to my page by clicking on the image below:


Now, while I have you…you can check out the reviews for my 5 novels on Amazon. And you can peek inside my novels to read the opening chapters by using the LOOK INSIDE feature. Click on the image below to go to my Amazon Author Page. Somebody has to! (-:



Please keep your fingers crossed for me. I sort of need PRIDE MUST BE A PLACE to find a home. I can’t have what I believe to be the best novel I have ever written to get passed up. There is no rhyme or reason in this industry. Novels I thought wouldn’t get picked up DID. The one and only one I ever thought was worthy has not been picked up. I still believe…


Merry Christmas to Readers Past, Present, and, Future! A BOOK GIVEAWAY!

It’s been quite a year for me. I finally wrote another novel. I wasn’t sure if I had another FINISHED one in me. Sure, I am quite capable of writing anywhere from 65%-85% of a novel and walking away from it. But this year I did it! Pride Must Be a Place is a young adult title. Surprise, surprise. It is currently with my agent. You can read about it HERE. I wrote about half of Pride at the 72-hr 2015 Muskoka Novel Marathon. The other half? Well, I have someone else to thank for that. He knows who he is. I wrote the last half of the novel during the week of July 20th…which means cover to cover it was completed in a month. I guess that’s okay…especially for someone who thought he’d never complete another book!

Thank you, Michael!

I did more than finished a novel, though. This was also a year of travel. I know I said last year (2014) was going to be my travel year…but I guess it got extended a bit. Or perhaps it’s open-ended??? We discovered China, Hong Kong, and, Cuba this year. China definitely blew away all of my expectations. I had no idea I would fall so deeply in love with it. And I also had no idea I would finally ‘get’ the appeal of one-party politics. I mean, those people get shit done! No party bickering = Shit gets done. It was a beautiful country. I know it’s a vast place and I only saw a fraction of it…but what I saw (Shanghai, Beijing, Wuxi, Suzhou…) was breathtaking. I will never forget the canals and buildings of Suzhou (The Venice of the East). And the bustle of Beijing. And the Meglev of Shanghai.

As I wait for a publisher to pick up my latest offering (fingers crossed!) I attempt daily to put closure on my other not-quite-completed novels. I won’t say how many of them there are. Let’s just say I could probably wallpaper a HOUSE with their pages.

In the meantime, Happy Holidays to all! I thought I’d do a giveaway for my three novels that are YOUNG ADULT.

GOODREADS will be hosting the giveaway, and it opens to entries on DECEMBER 29th! Each contest has its own closing date. You can click on the images below to be taken to each contest…where you can simply click the ENTER GIVEAWAY button to enter! (Sorry, though…it doesn’t open until the 29th.)






Feel free to share this contest with friends, family, and, enemies!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

You can read all about my novels on Goodreads…check out the reviews, etc. And they are all available at AMAZON.


Goodreads Giveaway – Summer on Fire – YA Lit

With the release of my fourth novel on the horizon, I thought I would give a short refresher of the three published novels I already have out there in the universe. What better time for a Goodreads Giveaway! (-:

BURN BABY hits bookstore shelves December 11th. Stay tuned for book cover reveal and blog tour, etc. As my publisher is arranging all of that, I do not yet have the details.

I can tell you a bit about the Burn Baby story. Here’s the cover blurb:

Seventeen-year-old Francis Fripp’s confidence is practically non-existent since his abusive father drenched him in accelerant and threw a match at him eight years ago. Now badly scarred, Francis relies on his best friend Trig to protect him from the constant bullying doled out at the hands of his nemesis, Brandon Hayley—the unrelenting boy who gave him the dreaded nickname of Burn Baby.

The new girl at school, Rachel Higgins, is the first to see past Francis’s pariah-inducing scars. If Brandon’s bullying doesn’t destroy him, Francis might experience life as a normal teenager for the first time in his life. He just has to avoid Brandon and convince himself he’s worthy of Rachel’s attentions. Sounds easy enough, but Francis himself has a hard time seeing past his scars. And Brandon is getting violently frustrated, as his attempts to bully Francis are constantly thwarted. Francis is in turmoil as he simultaneously rushes toward his first kiss and a possible violent end.

How did BURN BABY come to be? Of course it was a Muskoka Novel Marathon novel. I wrote it over the course of 72-hours during the 2012 Muskoka Novel Marathon. Then I edited it for about six months, prior to giving it to my agent Stacey Donaghy. Stacey found a home for it almost immediately at Curiosity Quills, who also took my 2010 Muskoka Novel Marathon novel, Half Dead & Fully Broken (which will release in January, 2015). Voila!

Now, on to my three published novels. (-:

SUMMER ON FIRE was released in 2011. It’s young adult. It has received some phenomenal reviews which completely blew me away. I thought it was time for Goodreads to give away another copy. So, you can head over to Goodreads right now and enter. It’s easy-peasy. CLICK on the cover below and you will be taken to the contest at Goodreads:


Simply click on the ENTER TO WIN button and follow the instructions. This contest is open to USA and CANADIAN residents.

Here’s the cover blurb for SUMMER ON FIRE:

Zach Carson is a loyal friend. But is loyalty enough to keep best friends together when one of them sets fire to the rural barn they use as the local hangout? Zach, Jeff Barsell and Arnie Wilson struggle to pick up the pieces when news spreads that a body was discovered in the burnt out shell of the neighbouring home. When the word murder is used by the local police, the stakes grow even higher. When the police start searching for their most likely suspect-none other than Jeff’s older brother, and nemesis, Marty Barsell-the boys decide to join forces and come up with a way to prove his innocence. But just how innocent is Marty Barsell? When Marty admits to being at the scene of the crime, the three friends enlist the help of Zach’s annoying sister, Sherry, as well as the sympathetic town eccentric, Ms. Halverton. But can they keep it together long enough to save Marty, and themselves, from imminent catastrophe? Summer on Fire is the story of friendships, and the lines we are asked to cross in order to keep them.

Several of the reviews have likened SUMMER ON FIRE to the movie STAND BY ME, which I take as the ultimate compliment…as it is one of my favourite coming-of-age movies.

Why I have your attention, here’s the cover blurbs for the other two novels currently available:


Sebastian Nelson is a boy in search of a family. Abandoned by his mother, Sebastian is left with a broken father who doesn’t even seem present when he does show up. Forced to be the main caregiver of his younger brother, Renee, and lost in a sea of indifference, Sebastian only wants to experience the love a real, stable family could afford him.

One morning he discovers the famous folksinger, Teal Landen, asleep on the sofa. Teal’s nurturing nature brings an immediate sense of security into Sebastian’s tumultuous life. But a dark secret looms between Teal and Sebastian’s father of a hidden past. Sebastian is driven to discover their secret, but also he’s aware of how tenuous their hold on Teal really is. He doesn’t want to lose the feeling of home Teal’s presence has brought him.

If Sebastian pushes too hard, he could lose Teal forever. He could be destined to raise his younger brother alone, while witnessing the total decline of his emotionally devastated father. If Sebastian is abandoned by the only healthy influence in his otherwise shaky existence, he will also be forever in the dark about the secret that will reveal so much about his fractured family.


In the midst of absence, death, and insanity, Tobias longs to make his family whole again.

With a mostly absent father, a deceased older sister, a younger sister on the verge of invisibility, and a certifiably insane mother, Tobias Reason is forced to grow up quickly. Though he tries to be a surrogate parent to his sister, their broken mother, Maggie, takes up a lot of his time. Annabel falls to the wayside and becomes a ghost in their chaotic existence.

When Maggie flippantly hands her mother’s house over to Tobias, he sees an opportunity to learn how and why his family became so shattered. Be careful what you wish for. When his world begins to collapse from the weight of unburied secrets, he focuses on a stranger from his parents’ past. Only by eliminating the past, he believes, can he make his family whole again.

If you made it this far, leave a comment and you will be entered to win an ebook of your choosing from the three novels currently available. In the comment, mention which title you’d like to win. You will be entered. Another easy contest. (-:

Thanks for stopping by!


Today is the Day! Male Survivor Dot Org Fundraiser

I absolutely LOVE the movie THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL! Love, love, love it. I won’t tell you how many times I have watched it. I know it’s in the double digits, though. I don’t know what it is about it…I just find it absolutely delightful.

One of my favourite mini-moments in the movie is when Tom Wilkinson’s character, Graham Dashwood, says, “TODAY IS THE DAY.” He’s in a room filled with stuffy lawyers and says it very calmly and then he walks out on a pretentious retirement speech and heads out of his life and into adventure. It’s a fantastic line, delivered flawlessly. When is the time to make change? You’re struggling because you know you’re not happy, but you’re somehow too immobile to do anything about it. There is this moment where it all falls away, and you just say to hell with it. TODAY IS THE DAY.


Click on this image to be taken to Howard Fradkin’s site. This book is an incredible recovery tool for male victims of sexual abuse.

Today is the day that I set up another fundraiser for MALE SURVIVOR. Every few months I like to donate the royalties from all book sales to Male Survivor. They are an integral part of my own recovery…and I would like for them to be there for other men on their healing journeys. They have a program called WEEKEND OF RECOVERY. It’s a weekend retreat that helps men on their healing journey from childhood OR adult sexual abuse. For men who cannot afford the program, Male Survivor have set up a scholarship fund. That scholarship fund is what I like to contribute to when I can. I can’t stand the notion that men are missing out on this step in their recovery because they can’t afford to attend. The weekends are fully transformative…an integral step in the long and arduous journey from victim to survivor to thriver.

From the moment this post goes live (June 12, 2014) until Midnight June 26th, 2014…ALL ROYALTIES (100% of my share of the sales) from the sale of any of my three books, purchased from any retailer online or otherwise, will go directly to Male Survivor’s scholarship fund. If you do not care to purchase one of my books, you can still help Male Survivor. CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE MALE SURVIVOR WEBSITE TO MAKE A DONATION DIRECTLY TO THE SCHOLARSHIP FUND.

I have a NOVELS page on my site now, so you can go to it and click any of the buy links posted. Click here to go to my NOVELS page. Easy-peasy. (-: You can also buy directly from my publishers OR at any online retailer that carries the books. You don’t have to purchase from the links I’ve posted. Rest assured that if you purchase a copy during this time, all my royalties will go to the scholarship fund.

Thank you in advance for helping me to send others forward into their new and newly empowered lives!

My three novels: Summer on Fire, Sebastian's Poet, and, The Reasons

My three novels: Summer on Fire, Sebastian’s Poet, and, The Reasons