I have a small round scar on my left wrist from where they pulled out the IV and sent me home with sepsis. The spot filled with pus for a couple days and scarred over. So did the other two holes in my skin. I might have died, but I didn't.

And a good thing, too, or I wouldn't have written anything that's been published. Okay, that's not true. I wrote "The Healer of Kyras" back in college. But it wouldn't have gotten published, so you'd still miss out on its quirky sequel homage to Ursula LeGuin's "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas".

I haven't posted any updates in awhile, and for that, I apologize. Self-pubbing a book, when working with an editor and a publisher through email alone, is time-consuming, I've learned.

On a high note, The Wicked Heroine is nearly ready for the printers. The inner layout has got a bug when saved from Word format into .pdf, but once we smooth that out, it should be all good to go. The cover art is complete, and we're just fiddling with alternate subtitle placement. Nearly, nearly there. It feels like I'm about to sneeze, but can't quite work up the expulsion yet. That incredibly tense moment of action, adrenaline, power, movement, frozen in time and extended, in this case, to two weeks and counting.

It looks good, the cover. The whole book. It's good. I am currently not sorry I wrote it, nor that I'm having it published through IFWG Publishing. I hope neither of those sentiments ever changes. It's probably not going to change the world overnight, but then things that do exactly that are usually apocalyptic in nature, so I'm all right with a slow buildup.

One of my first acts, once I get the book in hand, will be to mail a copy to the reader for Nathan Fillion's charity, Kids Need to Read. I got contact with the Development Director, Debbie Brown, to see if my book, which I classify as a YA/adult crossover, would be a good match for her needs. I sent her a link to the book's synopsis and when she got back in touch with me, she wasn't turned off, bored, or in any other way saying no. She invited me to mail in a copy when I have one in hand.

Go synopsis! That was the first thought I had. I'd written it in such a way that it didn't shoot the novel in the foot.  Whew. I mean, for someone to chat you up out of the blue and say, "Hi, I wrote this book all by myself and I'm not being published by anyone you have ever heard of. Wanna hand it out to unsuspecting kids?" and then have a good enough opinion of its summary to say "Okay, let me take a look," that's awesome.

Mind you, I'm aware Ms. Brown isn't a literary agent (that I know of), but anyone who reads books or deals with them on a regular basis must be aware that there are certain standards that are usually present if a work is to be considered "not crap". Basic SPaG (spelling, punctuation and grammar) must be present. Ideas must be presented in a clear manner. And the content must be engaging.

I hope my book delivers on the promise my synopsis just gave to Ms. Brown. I would be over the moon to have my book handed out to school libraries so that kids could read for the sheer joy of it. In fact, even if my book isn't chosen for the charity, I'm so excited about this idea that I'll go look up other charities of this nature. And hopefully there are many - because kids DO need to read.

They can start with my book. It will be available shortly.

A free preview chapter will be coming soon; I'll post a link when it is available.

When the book is available for purchase, links will pop up like crocuses. Except on the East Coast, where it is still too cold and snowy. There will also be an e-book version for the blind, which has an exclusive map description feature. I love this idea so much, I added a few secret details to the description. Kudos to IFWG Publishing for this brilliant idea.