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Exciting News! My debut novel is officially OUT!

The Dead Travel Fast, a dark fantasy adventure for middle grade, teen, and adult readers, is available for purchase starting NOW.

Hello everyone!

I come bearing good news—great news, actually! My debut novel, The Dead Travel Fast, is finally OUT. Click the link below, and you buy directly from me on Payhip, through an online store of your choice (such as Amazon, iBooks, Nook, etc), or even from your favorite indie bookstore!

Phew, what a whirlwind writing this book has been! Believe it or not, I first started writing it six years ago, when I was only twelve years old! At the time, I wrote about things that I knew well—the toxicity and overall grossness of middle school, the rising tides of adolescent anxiety and insecurity, and the fear that your stable, comfortable life might suddenly be taken away from you, along with everything you’ve ever known.

At first glance, the original version of The Dead Travel Fast, which I wrote for the NaNoWriMo Young Writers’ program between 2014 and 2015, is unrecognizable compared to the finished product. For one thing, it was only 35,000-40,000 words (if I remember correctly), which is pretty meager to the final word count of nearly 140,000 words. This is partly because my writing style has gotten wordier and wordier over the years, but also partly because I had originally intended on making the series a trilogy or at least a duology. In fact, I actually only made the final decision to condense the whole story into one book last spring, and I had to hurriedly add some 30,000 words (roughly ten to twelve chapters) to the story during the first few months of coronavirus lockdown, long after I’d already finished writing the rest of the story. And there were so many steps between that first 40,000 word draft and the final 140,000 word draft; at one point (2017, I think), I even rewrote the whole story from start to finish!

So I’m sure you can see by now that this book is a bit of a Frankenstein. And, look, I absolutely love Mary Shelley (if you can’t already tell), but Frankensteins are hard to work with. Even as you add new things that you’ve learned or been inspired by to your work, remnants of your past self remain. Of course, a lot of the themes and motifs that turn up in this book—my love of Gothic literature, for one thing, my love of epic fantasy, for another—are as omnipresent in my life now as they were back then, and they will probably always play a part in my writing. Also, in many ways, the bare essentials of The Dead Travel Fast—the basic plot, the characters, the motivations—have not really changed even throughout its various iterations. However, since then I’ve grown a lot as a writer and as a person. The Dead Travel Fast does not represent me now the way it once did. Not to mention that I’ve had many newer ideas over the years that I’ve wanted to delve into but been unable to because I wasn’t finished with older ideas.

Old works-in-progress, especially those written in middle school, have a tendency of bogging you down and keeping you in the past. They make it hard to work on new projects, to start moving in different directions, to change. At times, The Dead Travel Fast held me back, even though a work-in-progress really should be something that propels a writer forward. That’s why it was so important for me to finish this book.

Yet I do not regret the many hours I put into this book, even as recently as June. I do not regret the many years that it took to finish it. Because The Dead Travel Fast, in a way, is a dedication to who I was when I was younger.

Like a time capsule, it freezes a moment in my life to endure for the rest of eternity. And now that it’s finished, I, an eighteen-year-old woman currently marching through my freshman fall of college, can move forward. I can go beyond.

This book set me free. And no matter who you are—whether you’re twelve years old or twenty, thirty or seventy-five—I hope it can set you free, too.

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