4.5 Star Review · Angels · book review · Brain · Romance · Youth/Young Adult

All Things New by Lauren Miller (a review)

All Things New by Lauren Miller

Published by Three Saints Press(August 1, 2017)

ISBN: 978-0998511115

After a car accident Jessa Gray finds herself wallowing in a bout of questions and insecurities along with a new disability: aphantasia. She can no longer visualize imagery in her mind, but once she moves to Colorado to live with her dad, not only does she meets new friends, she begin to learn that maybe this disability is not a disability, but unique and useful.

This book is incredible as far as imagery and ideas. When Jessa finds her boyfriend cheating on her, it throws her into a panic attack while driving and then some car speeds past a red light and hits her causing her entire world to change. As you read, you get the feeling Jessa has always relied on her beautiful  looks in the past to cover up who she really inside- which is broken. The author does an amazing job slowly peeling back the layers of Jessa’s life and helping us to see why she thinks and behaves the way she does.

The beautiful takeaway in this story is that panic disorders are real but with the right support and love, you can heal.”

The shining light is Marshall. His attraction to Jessa seems instant. Even with her scars he see her as beautiful and wants to spend time with her. He tries to see the best in everyone and even though he has a hole in his heart, his love for Jessa could repair her own. Their romance buds pretty fast and that was unexpected, however their interaction was all marshmallows and hearts.

My eyes are on his chin, his forehead, then, finally, his eyes, which leap at me…swallowing up air between us…let go of me. But he isn’t holding on to me…He’s just looking at me.” (All Things New, 2017)

What is also interesting about the book is the references to “The Portrait of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde. The book seems to mirror the story as far as perception and the soul is concerned. It piqued my interest in reading Oscar Wilde’s novel.

In summation, the book was definitely good if you are into serious existentialist talk, Van Gogh, and teen issues. An overall good story.

Learn more about Lauren Miller and then if you’re feeling super geeky, check out this link on existentialism and learn more about that too and click Aphantasia to learn about that as well.

This book was received for free from Netgalley!

 

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African American · Creative Writing · Flash Walk Fiction · writing

Black Wings, The Conclusion

*Black Wings continues with a slightly longer conclusion. Thanks for reading!

quote from black wings
Image designed by Ericajean using Canva

Everything about her is so tiny, so fragile. Her lips are the perfect bow shape-tiny. Her fingers, long and slender-tiny nails. Her face, a small heart shape- tiny eyes the shape of almonds, with milk chocolate irises. Her hair floats behind her like a big cloud, her skin is the color of night without stars, but her small teeth are perfectly white, glitters in her face. And she does not know she has my heart in a vise…

Ricky was about to follow Cara out into the storm when several hands grabbed at him. “You’re going to be crowned the king! Come on!” Several girls pulled on his arm. They were cute girls. Trim girls. Wore the same makeup girls. Plastic girls. Not really mean, just cookie cutter in order to make it.

“I have to find Cara.”

“Who?” asked one them in a huff. “Stop playing around. If Trish sees you out here trying to find another girl, she will dethrone you so quick.” The girl with dark hair snapped her fingers for emphasis.

Ricky pulled away from her. “She and I aren’t dating. We just…I don’t know.” He shook himself. “I gotta go.”

“During prom?” The girls screeched. “This is important, Ricky! Stop playing around!” The blonde one wearing  a beautiful sequined dress.

Something tugged at his heart. It was beginning to ache. Cara was out there, probably trying to do something stupid. Here he was arguing about being “king”.

In a split second decision, he decided to go look for Cara. She couldn’t have gone far.

Sprinting across to the EXIT, with several swear words following behind him, he burst through the double doors, still smelling the Sweet Pea lotion Cara wears but the wind and the rain were brutal. The scent was quickly sliced.

Rain came down like small swords. Sluicing and wetting up everything. It sounded like rocks being thrown outside.

He did not care.

Where did she go in this night?

A bright yellow dress shouldn’t be hard to miss.

He crossed the intersection where cars were backed up, horns honked in frustration and the freaking streetlight that never gets fixed, remained on red for a while.

Then he saw the hair, like wings flapping behind her. The yellow dress clinging to her tiny body as her small feet kicked up mud and puddle water.

Without thinking, Ricky chased her. He’ll be damned if…if he see this. Witness this.

Within a few steps he caught up to her. Instead of touching her he raced ahead of her and stopped, turned to face her,causing her to bump into his chest.

“What are you doing?”

“You tell me. What are you thinking running out into the dark like this?”

“I can if I want.” Her lips were wet with kisses from the rain and her small eyes, cat-like eyes he now realized, looked at him with iron anger. “What? Afraid I’ll catch a cold?”

“That and the fact that this part of town is dangerous.”

“So?”

“So?” Ricky wanted to hug her so bad. Let her know it was alright to be different and that some people were just anus holes. She was the darkest girl in the school but the prettiest. The girls and guys knew that too and would admit it if they weren’t chicken.

“I can’t just let this happen.”

Cara crossed her arms over her, defiant. “I don’t get it. You are the most popular boy in the school about to be crowned. For your beauty. Your talent. They are probably waiting for you right now. You are out here, chasing me. You sure you aren’t on any drugs?”

Ricky laughed. “I am not on drugs and to hell with prom crowning. They can have it.”

“I gotta go,” Cara said resolved, turning from him.

But Ricky couldn’t let her leave. Not like this. Not right now.

“Cara listen to me! I think you are very beautiful! I- I think you are the sweetest girl I’ve ever known and smart too.”

Cara kept walking away but this time he caught up to her, gently pulled her elbow to turn her around and face him. “You don’t have to do what you are trying to do.”

“What is it I am trying to do?”

They both stood there, rain beating their faces and bodies. The wind whipped harder but Ricky put less distance between them, placed his hands on her shoulders. Her scent sweet and bright, like her dress, like her eyes.

“I watched my mom do it. Said she was going to the bathroom and will be right out. Dad and I waited half an hour. Silence, Cara. Silence! Mom never came out. All I remember…” Ricky was glad for the rain to mask his tears. “All I remember was her dark hair disappearing in the bathroom door, a piece of it caught in the doorjamb, but she didn’t know or care. Then the sound of something falling. Life was too much for her. So instead of thinking of me and dad, she thought about herself. Focused inward so much, we became, maybe caricatures to her. Expendables. Our hearts still beating, bleeding for her and we know she’ll never come back.”

Cara was silent. Listening to Ricky was a mistake.

“My essay, Black Wings? From earlier this week was about her, Cara. When I was ten that was all I

bird flying in the sky
Image of bird flying found on Unsplash.com

remember. Her dark hair, flapping behind her like black wings and disappearing behind a freaking bathroom door. Only to lose her moments later. She flew away from me and dad. I wish I could tell her she was good enough. Better than enough. I wish I could bring her back.” He swiped at his eyes. “She basically killed our soul, Cara. That is what suicide does to those who love you.”

The cars zoomed past them. All it would take is one toe out in the street. A quick dart out and then finally she can be away from this dark world. Maybe in her next life she’ll be light and pretty.

His eyes got to her though. Those kind green eyes held a special sadness. A permanent sadness his mother put there.

“Sorry about that, Ricky.”

Suddenly the rain slowed and Ricky put even less distance between them, his hands slid slowly down Cara’s arm, his forehead touched hers. “I will not let the next person I care about, do the same thing. I don’t like people leaving me, Cara.”

Cara looked up into Ricky’s face. This was wrong. Very wrong.

“You have another life Ricky. Go back to that school!”

“No!” He hissed to her lips. “I am not leaving you out here. We go together to the school or we stay together here. I will not lose anyone else!”

“Please. Let me do this. I know I will be free if I can do this. The one thing I can do right.”

“No.” He tipped her chin up so her eyes could meet his. “I want to tell you something, I’ve been trying to say all year. I couldn’t write it in the card but-”

“Card?”

“Yes,” he smiled and finally ran his hand through her thick, kinky hair. “The cards you’ve been given.”

You put them cards in my locker?” Her eyes narrowed at him.

“I slip them in there from time to time.”

“You write nothing on them though,” she chuckled. A small smile, a small feat achieved. Her smile literally broke through the storm. He could watch her smile and hear her laugh all day long.

“I am about to, just listen. Please.”

Cara rolled her eyes, but she couldn’t step away from Ricky’s strong touch. Their bodies were now pressed together as if they were two halves of a heart. As if they were lovers.

“Cara, you sit near me every day in English class and never look my way. I don’t think you notice me. You carry yourself around as if your skin is a heavy burden or bricks to be laid down and you sag in your seat, absorbing class material like a computer. Your eyes are never trained on me, the teacher or class and I find myself wondering: Who is this girl that no one matters to her? She walks alone to class and from class. Her head is down sometimes and most days it is up, not in snotty manner but as if she is a Queen and aspires to be so. I could only hope to be the lucky guy on her arm.

I know you feel like an ugly duckling and that the world does not look at you or admire you. But I will let you in on a small secret. When you are not looking, it is your scent that makes a few of us guys sniff the room. It is your smile that causes a small gossip to erupt amongst the jocks, the secret longings of their hearts exposed in closed locker rooms. The girls sometimes look your way and the next day they upgrade their hair and makeup. One girl in particular tried to befriend you the other day in the cafeteria, she heard that you like Star Wars. Instead you nodded politely and went back to eating, regal as can be because who would really want to talk to you?

Everyone, Cara. Everyone wants to talk to you including me. But I want more. I want more than your talk, I want your lips on mine. I want more than for you just to see me, I want you to gaze at me. I want more than just a handshake from you,” he trailed his hand down her arm to her hand. “I want a hug.”

Cara was speechless.

Before she could say anything, Ricky put his lips on hers, startling her. He kissed her with the feather light touch of a painter’s brush, or the kiss of sun after a stormy, rainy day. A hint of heat and softness.

Ricky knew this wasn’t enough to stop someone from disappearing. What if one day Cara was no longer enough for him? Will she pick up where they left off? Somehow, he knew she’d be in his life forever. She was a treasure to him. Confessing his heart was all he could do. To save her.

For now.

**Author note: I truly hope you enjoyed this story. It dropped in my mind one day as I was waking up. I thought, “Hmmm, what if a girl who felt un-pretty met a very beautiful boy who sent her blank greeting cards?”

Like. Share. Comment. Subscribe. Thank you! 🙂

Creative Writing · Flash Walk Fiction · writing

Black Wings, A Really Short Story

quote text about a story
Image designed by Ericajean using Canva

***This story involves a sensitive issue that some people may face and does not in any way make light of the situation. The goal is to enjoy the story and think on it. Ultimately I hope you enjoy it, Reader!

_

Once again her tears were real. She dropped her black purse her mom gave her and slammed herself against the locker before sliding down to the cool floor. Not caring if her legs were splayed open beneath her sun yellow dress and not caring that her new upswept hairdo was now smashed against the locker. Who cares.

The music pumped from the gym out to the hallway. The person handling the tickets behind the foldable table was now folding it up and collecting her things. She did not see Cara.

Who ever sees Cara?

With her nails she drew long marks along obsidian skin. There. White streaks. Now if only she could see the white meat. If only she had something to flay that dark meat open.

Shaking her head and covering her face, she bawled. Right there on the floor.

Music drifted to her. Something by…? Who knows. It sounded like racket now.

But she knew everyone wore a smile and had a date. She could only dream of a date. That was why she read sappy teen novels. The closest she’s ever been to a guy was between the pages and not the sheets.

“To hell with everyone!” She yelled, then picked up her purse. She will leave.

That’s it.

She will leave. Why stay somewhere she can’t even leave a mark?

“Wait,” she heard someone say as she walked along the wall, hung on the wall for support as she slowly, cryptically made her way to the EXIT. Why was she moving so slothful? Didn’t freedom await her?

“Wait, Cara.”

She kept moving. Whoever it was should leave her alone. She was finally leaving this forsaken place.

School was not for dark girls.

Why’d her mother move anyway? Because of a divorce? Who cares?

The stranger touched her elbow. “You left this.”

Cara slowly let her eyes take in her long, teal jacket. Made for Spring weather or impending rain.

She heard the quick pellets of rain hitting the rooftop.

“Don’t need it,” her eyes followed the tanned arm and she looked into kind green eyes. “I’m leaving.”

His lips smiled. “Of course but you need this. Don’t you?”

For what she was about to do, it did not matter. “No.” She bit her lower lip hard until she tasted blood. She sucked on it and kept moving.

Her hands touched the rusted handle of the door. The handle the janitor kept polishing anyway, so now some parts not flecked off shone brilliantly under the fluorescent lights while the reddish brown part created an ugly contrast.

“I just thought you might not want to catch a cold.”

Cara thought about her purse. No need for this either. Her ID, keys all of that. She whirled around and fled to her locker, quickly twisted the dial and popped it open. A few blank greeting cards flew out and landed by the guy’s feet.

“You have plenty of greeting cards. Planning on writing them all out later?” She stashed her purse into the locker and looked at the stranger closer. He was in her English class. He opened a card and smiled again. A small dimple formed in his right cheek. A deep, dimple.

“No. I found those. You can have ‘em.”

The boy blinked as she took her jacket from him. “Thanks.”

“I just have to know, Cara. Why aren’t you dancing?”

Was he for real?

 “The glitter, the lights and the girls…not for me.”

“Yeah,” he stepped closer to her but she took two steps back. “I saw them. So what?”

“That’s my point. This is my senior year!” Her eyes watered. “I can’t even get a partner to dance with me because my skin swallows light. It isn’t fair!”

Understanding seemed to dawn on him. “Patty and Rochelle have no dance partner. They look nice. But not as nice as-”

Cara held up her hand. Ricky smelled the Sweet Pea lotion on her and it was the same scent that wafted into the gym doors earlier. The same bright fragrance from English class in the morning. It reminded him of sweet flowers facing the sun and days of learning to ride his bike. His mother…

 “I hate this school anyway. It’s prejudice leaks through the walls. Smell it?”

She huffed and marched away from Ricky and flew open the doors letting in a powerful gust of wind and rain.

Her hair, no longer pinned, cascaded down and flapped about her like black wings.

There is no way this guy was going to be bring her back.

Back from the will to die.

Note from author: I hope you enjoyed this short piece. Stay tuned for the next part sometime this week! If you like the stories, please share and subscribe to my blog! (You may have to scroll down to subscribe)

Copyright 2017 Erica Jean Smith

Wattpad Stories · writing · Youth/Young Adult

3 Reasons to Read ‘Down to a Fraction’ on Wattpad

Math tools
Book Design by Ericajean using Canva

This is a quick little post of the three reasons you should go and read, “Down to a Fraction” right now.

  • Teen fiction romance. Who doesn’t love the first tickle of fresh, new love?
  • Geeky, anime lovers. Will totally love this ongoing story with references to popular manga and anime since the main character loves it too.
  • A super HOT guy who falls for his extremely smart, not so popular tutor.

If that doesn’t help you decide what to read on Wattpad. Here’s a bonus:

Wattpad is a free app where you can read and write stories for free.

That’s right. Go on your PC, Mobile phone or other device and share in the bookworm magic!

P.S. Please show your support to writers who upload stories daily by simply voting on an individual chapter or at least adding their stories to your library 🙂

Like. Comment. Share and Subscribe. It makes me happy!

Blessings!

Ericajean

book review

It’s YA Summer Recap and a Reveal of My Favorite Book

Vacation Holiday
Source: unsplash.com

Intended audience: bloggers, bookworms, teens and young adults, authors

I’d just like to say I had an amazing summer reading YA fiction. I’ve discovered some amazing books this year and I hope to do this and similar blog posts in the near future.

So here is a wrap up of what’s been going on with this bookworm and the reveal of what my favorite book of the summer was. Can you guess?

First, summer kicked off with Hidden Monster written by Amanda Strong earning 4.5 stars for originality and for prompting my love of dragonflies all of a sudden(hint, hint). It had all I needed in a story: love, science fiction, and fantasy. Definitely good.

Click here to discover my favorite book/author of the summer!

Remember to Forget by teen author Ashley Royer ,had sweetness, pain and all of the fixins’ for a popular read. In that story, a boy loses his girlfriend in an accident and he no longer speaks. He later meets a girl just like her…

To make your summer even more enjoyable, I posted up links to FREE YA eBooks you can download right away and start reading!

Things take a fantastic turn with Trish Marie Dawson’s The Station Series, beginning with Dying to Forget(Book 1). Such a thoughtful premise about a young girl who dies and finds herself in the afterlife at The Station where she must become a Volunteer to help the living -by becoming their conscious. The romance and the plot is on point, folks!

Next, I take up a controversial topic asking “What’s up with African American fiction?” I try to make a bold case as to why most YA novels featuring black people are seemingly not as popular.

After that post, I read and reviewed a few more of Trish Marie Dawson’s novels and had the privilege of interviewing her about her Station series, because I am seriously addicted to that world she has created. To learn about her books and read the reviews, you can check out her interview here.

Finally, I took trip back in time you guys!

Yep, I read and reviewed the juicy, totally awesome ’80s novel Melt With You by talented author, Addison Moore. She is another author my sister and I favor. In this story, a teen has a crush on the hottest guy in school and when he accidentally hit her with his truck, he is stuck with caring for her. Sure he has a hot girlfriend, but the sparks are beginning to fly between him and the “nice” girl…

I am sad to have YA summer reading end like this, but I promise more books from all genres and subcategories, more writings from around the web, and more!

Now how can you make this post even more special?

Like, subscribe, share, and comment to keep the conversation going. I can’t do it by myself folks! 🙂

Thanks!

Ericajean for The Write Web

book review · Five Star Review · Romance · Youth/Young Adult

Dying to Return by Trish Marie Dawson(a review)

Dying to Return by Trish Marie Dawson
Dying to Return by Trish Marie Dawson

Dying to Return(The Station, Book 3), Trish Marie Dawson

Amazon eBook Edition(2016)

Read on the Kindle App

5 Stars

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Intended audience: Bookworms, book reviewers, suicide survivors, teens, young adults, librarians, Trish Marie Dawson fans

This book was delicious, sincere, enlightening and whatever good and wise adjective you can come up with. I really have been enjoying the Station Series by Trish Marie Dawson this summer and feel I have learned a great deal.

After Piper Willow dies, she finds herself at the station as a Volunteer, helping the living by inhabiting their consciousness and encouraging them to make the right decisions.

In the midst of her helping, she finds out she has an interesting gift as a Seer and by the end of Book 2, she leaves Sloan and Niles to go with the dangerously beautiful Andurush, to receive training and also to learn a bit more about Andurush’s(Rush’s) world.

And this is where Dying to Return, picks up. Piper experiences many emotions all at once and even finds herself confused as to whom she should love, because while her heart is with Sloan back at the Station, she feels it being tugged in another direction…

And this part as well as other parts of the story is what will keep you up at night reading.

Check out the really cool interview I had with Trish Marie Dawson recently!

My Reaction:

All of Trish’s books so far have helped me to understand more about people and their choices and why the Station is created. As Piper learns eventually,

The Station…it’s a place that moves us from one way of living to another. That’s all.”(location 1788 of eBook)

It is not just a place where the dead goes.

This book tugged on my tear ducts. The beauty of the writing and the character of Andurush grew on me. I did not like him in the second book because I was unsure of what he was and he did come off as pompous.

But the banter between him and Piper lights up the page and his interaction with his family softened me up a bit towards him.

The description of his home planet is plain gorgeous. Movie worthy.

Now, the issue of dying and suicide plays a big role in The Station Series. I like how Trish used her imagination and research together to create memorable moments and thought provoking ones.

A few unlikely reunions happens in this book that shocked me, and the book made me miss my father and mother in law who passed away some time ago. Not from suicide, but reading The Station gives me hope that they are somewhere else, still “living” but in a new way.

Love isn’t meant to be easy. Even after you die.”(Location 1696 in eBook)

IMPORTANT Side Bar Note and FYI:

Trish Marie Dawson has a lot of fans and great reviews of her books. But one of her blog posts caught my attention last night. A reviewer thought that Trish was glorifying suicide in her books and I’d like say that if you read all of her books in The Station series, that is far from the truth.

The Station series has not glorified suicide AT ALL. If anything, the hard childhoods of many of the characters and the difficult choices and pain they faced leading up to their suicide, creates a big heartbreak after killing themselves.

Her young mind had no idea one little bullet would steal her away from the short life she was given-forever.”(quote from Dying to Return)

Trish’s books have taught me to empathize with people when they are going through.

And if you want to know the key themes that stick out in Book 3, it is Love and Forgiveness(Redemption). Those are very powerful ideas.

In sum, this is a wonderful series and I will be getting Book 4, Dying to Know really soon!

Please share this post and/or discuss it. I’d love to hear from other bookworms and the general audience on this topic!

 

Author interview · Self publishing

Interview With Trish Marie Dawson

It’s Ya Summer continues now with the wonderful, talented author, Trish Marie Dawson! Author of The Station Series. Book 4: Dying to Know is currently out.

I am so blessed she agreed to do this. Thanks, Trish!

************************************************************

The Write Web: Hi, Trish! It is so nice to finally pick your brain about The Trish Marie Dawson CollageStation series and writing in general. It is such an interesting novel dealing with romance and the afterlife, and so much more- where did the concept originate?

Trish Marie Dawson: Hi Erica, thanks for having me! Working on the Station books have been quite an adventure to write; I’m happy you’ve enjoyed Piper’s story so far.

Most of my books start from a combination of strange dreams and life experiences, and the same is true for the first Station book, Dying to Forget.

TWW: What really grabbed my attention is the very first chapter when Piper is with a guy and he harms her…How difficult was it to write that scene?

TMD: The beginning of DtF is hard to read for most people, but it’s a sad fact that sexual assault is a real problem for our youth. As are the other issues brought up in the series like bullying and of course, suicide.

I don’t think mental health is discussed nearly enough, nor the topics brought up after Piper naively drinks from that red cup. Those scenes were very difficult to write, but unfortunately, they happen to others like Piper every day.

My hope though, is that readers will take away something positive from the read, which is also heavy on humor.

TWW: After reading Dying to Forget, I had to buy the second book immediately! Piper seems to be the “Every Girl” type who experiences a lot in high school, including tragedy.  But the book does focus on some serious issues: Rape, suicide, cyber bullying…What kind of research if any did you have to do for this work?

TMD: There’s a bit of a cliffhanger at the end of Dying to Forget, so it’s a good thing that the second is out there and ready to read! lol Research on the topic of suicide and assault is pretty depressing, which I did online, and chatting with others, on top of my own life experiences.

A staggering amount of teens and young adults are depressed, or suffer from clinical depression, which is something that shouldn’t be taboo, but is. Since I write about the subject, I wanted to make sure I did my homework and got the stories right.

Yes, I cried. A lot. I still do, even for the fictional characters I created and tortured, but the upside is that people can heal with the right support system. I want readers to know they are never alone.

TWW: I am beyond excited for the next books in this series! But for those who have not read the book, how would you describe the series in one or two sentences?

TMD: I can’t wait to hear back from you after you’ve continued reading! Please let me know what you think. 🙂 Piper Willow is an ordinary girl who dies the summer after she graduates from high school, but wakes up in an extraordinary afterlife place called the Station. She’s offered the chance to make amends for her choices by helping others in need, but not without a price.

I like to tell people that though this story addresses some heavy issues, I want them to walk away from it with a little more hope than they may have had before.

TWW: I have to admit. I am a Sloan fan(swoon much?). It takes incredible talent to write the way you did when Piper was in Sloan’s mind. It felt real.  Was the twist in the end of Book 1, intentional?(wink, wink)

TMD:  I love Sloan Nash! He’s a sexy, yet damaged young man that I think most of us just want to see heal and move on to be a happy person. The ending of the story was intentional and necessary for both characters, but really all of the characters have a reason for being in the books. I won’t say more, because you know…spoilers! 

TWW:  I read on your website you were inspired after reading Stephen King’s The Stand, which is a powerful movie/book by the way. What other writers influence you and who are your favorite authors?

TMD: Oh, Stephen King. He’s a master storyteller and I love his classic work. Most of what I read in the 90’s was a combination of King and Koontz books, so I do love the darker arts.

I’m not really a horror writer myself, so it’s funny that most of what I write now is primarily YA or Dystopian. lol I think everything I’ve ever read has made an impact on my own writing, and writing something unique in your own voice can be hard, but I try my best to do so.

I’m an avid reader, so I know what it’s like to pick up a book and put it down because you feel as if it’s already been done before. The afterlife is nothing new in the book world, of course. But I created the Station out of my mind and put it together over four books sort of like a puzzle. I’m proud of that, and love when I hear from readers that they’ve not read anything quite like it.

Since publishing my first book, I made it a point to start reading outside my normal favorite genres, which means I don’t have a favorite author anymore, but several. And, being an Indie, I try and read as much of my writer friends’ works as I can. 

TWW: What is your writing routine like? And are you a morning or night writer?

TMD: Writing routine, what’s that? LOL Just kidding. Kinda. After I research a book and begin the actual writing process, I need to do so with relative quiet and little interruptions. But I’m married with two kids and three dogs and a cat that thinks he’s a dog, which means my house is never quiet.

If it weren’t for early bedtimes, headphones and lots of wine and chocolate, I wouldn’t be able to finish one paragraph. Once I’m in the groove though, when I write doesn’t matter. I finished the fourth Station book (Dying to Know) at a Starbucks just shy of closing time, but if morning time works, and I’m left alone long enough to finish a thought, I’ll do my best to knock out some serious wordage till life intervenes.

TWW: The Station Series deal with more than just “earthly” issues. Since none of us living folk know about the afterlife, we rely on stories, movies, others accounts and sometimes our beliefs intermingle with it. I will not ask your beliefs about the afterlife, but what do you hope audiences take away from these books?

TMD: One of the most amazing things about reading is how each reader creates their own interpretation of the story. I’ve had readers send me messages thanking me for the Station, because now they imagine their child, a victim of suicide, out there somewhere helping others. Obviously, the Station is a fictional place, but for some readers, it’s very real.

For this story, there is no need to bring any religion into the plot, which was intentional. I want everyone to be able to read it and form their own opinions and thoughts, regardless of what they do or do not believe in. We are all energy, of course, so even for the hardcore Athiest, I think they can read through Piper’s journey fulfilled. There’s no harm is walking away from a story asking, ‘What if?’

One of the most amazing things about reading is how each reader creates their own interpretation of the story.

TWW: Which character was most fun to write? The least?

TMD:  All my babies are fun to write, but some are definitely harder than others. Piper Willow is a complex and beautiful mess. Bringing her full circle through the last four books was a challenge, so I’d say that writing her took the most work.

But the toughest characters to write are the children, though brief in the stories, because their tales are the saddest and most gut-wrenching. A close second would be Andurush, or ‘Rush’; a character that shows up later in the series, because you know, he’s not human. I’ll say nothing more about him. There’ll be spoilers. 😉

TWW: Quick. What comes to mind when I say “Before”?

TMD: Before ‘bed’. Because soon my kids will need to go to bed and I’m sure they’ve not yet brushed their teeth or done anything else they need to do beforehand. lol

TWW: For writers out there who wish to be published, what advice would you give them?

TMD: My initial advice for prospective authors would be to do their research about the writing and publishing industry before choosing which route to go. I’m self-published, which is different from being signed with a traditional publishing house.

Essentially, I’m my own boss, which means I’m also responsible for all the work! lol There are pros and cons with both ways. More advice would be to start sharing their work with their friends and family NOW and learning how to take constructive criticism and feedback before releasing a full book to the public, so they have a great plot, greater characters, and fantastic editing. With those things, they will find a group of readers eager for more.

Finally, writing is a creative process, different for each of us. I tell my readers that writing is for me, but publishing is for them.

It’s my dream job, but not often ‘easy’, and can be isolating. A support system of friends, beta readers and other writers can help greatly with success. 😉

Conclusion: I am so happy Trish Marie Dawson took the time to answer my questions. If you have not read her books, I will put links at the bottom of this post and I encourage you to comment here and share on your networks as well.

Books in The Station Series

Dying to Forget(Station Series, #1)-FREE on Amazon Kindle

Dying to Remember(Station Series, #2)

Dying to Return(Station Series, #3)

Dying to Know(Station Series, #4)

*Grab the Station Series bundle!

Go to Trish Marie Dawson’s site to learn more about her other books and more!