Castles, Orphans, Dragons & Maybe Poltergeists


Hey there,


In my debut novel, The Mostly Invisible Boy, I describe a household where everything is out of whack. Appliances stacked on armchairs, a blender in the bathroom, exhausted, disoriented parents and kids with visibility issues.


Now and then a reader (always an adult) doesn't pick up on the general weirdness in the opening chapters and complains about someone in the Grimes family—usually the parents—acting strangely. But maybe I should've seen this coming, because by the time you're old enough to be considered grown-up, you've seen and experienced—and let's be real, caused—so much weirdness, that fictional weirdness may have to be really REALLY weird to get your attention.


I've always found this amusing. Until now.


The last several weeks at our house have been The Season Where Everything Breaks. And let me tell you, it's been weird. I'm not gonna compile a full list because it would feel like showing off, but since summer's started I've had to fix:

  • a lawnmower (over and over until it finally died)

  • two toilets

  • three leaky showers

  • four faucets

  • a weedwhacker

  • two leaky skylights

  • two roof leaks

  • broken AC

  • a dead van alternator

  • three instances of vermin-infested dry rot

  • an Insinkerator

  • a broken window

  • a broken dryer...

...and remember that huge fallen tree I mentioned last time? Yeah. It's been uncanny in the Irish sense where you wonder if there's a gang of poltergeists gleefully doing their thing and laughing their heads off.


So...am I the only survivor of A Season Where Everything Breaks or have you experienced something like this too? I need to know for the sake of my sanity.

DARK SKY'S ASHES vs CROOKED CASTLE


Moving right along, here's my summary of the arguments you insightful people made for my next book. And here's an intro to the two contenders if you need a refresher.


DARK SKY'S ASHES

  • lots of boy characters (boys rule, girls drool)

  • dragons!

  • dragons...in a basement in KC?!

  • younger age range

CROOKED CASTLE

  • slightly more adjacent to Casey Grimes

  • orphans

  • a castle

  • darker, older age range

  • mystery/puzzle element

  • girl main character (girls rule, boys drool)

  • dragons!

And the winner when the votes were tallied was...

. . .

. . .

No winner! It was a tie!

You guys are toying with me.

So here's what we're gonna do. Since I'm still waiting for an indie press outcome on DARK SKY'S ASHES, I'm making an executive decision, overruling your trollish tied votes.


CROOKED CASTLE GETS PUBLISHED NEXT


Which means things are gonna have to stop breaking at my house so I can make this happen. Say a prayer, would you? My goal is to have it in your hands by September. Next update we'll chat about what you can expect from this suspenseful contemporary YA fantasy that feeds directly into the CG universe. If you there's anything you'd especially like me to talk about, you know what to do.


We're about to leave on vacation to the Ozarks, so no doubt I'll have some hair-raising adventure tales to relate—although relaxing float trip stories would also suit me fine.

Keep an eye out for Hyena Toads in this heat—I know I will be.

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