Monthly Archives: October 2015

About my book, “The Otherling”

The otherling 2016

Before I give you a synopsis of my novel, I’d like to tell you a little about what is means to me, and how it came to be.

Ever since I was a child, I’ve always had a beautiful love affair with the written word. Whole worlds can be created and lived in with words, reaching into the minds of readers and placing them in the middle of the action and emotion. Because of this, reading was a favorite past time for me. Through books I could live many lives and experience things that I had no other way to experience.

As a writer, I desperately wanted to be able to do that too, to inspire people, to help them out of the tediousness of their everyday lives, to bring them something exciting and worthwhile. I wanted to reach the most sacred depths of my readers and leave a footprint there. I craved leaving an emotional memory in their being, a memory lived through the written word.

I first began to get noticed for my writing when I lived in England and attended a traditional English school there. Stories I wrote would sometimes be read aloud by the teacher, encouraging me to write more often, and to write as well as I could.

In my teen years, I continued to write, mostly poetry. I had many notebooks I loved to fill with stanzas of emotional words. Occasionally I would get published in a magazine called Teen Ink that has now grown nation wide since my days of high school, when it was just a New England wide publication. Today high school students all over America can submit and enjoy poetry, stories, articles, photography and artwork.

Later, during my reading of mystical tomes, esoteric works and the like, I found a particular love for angels. I loved that they were beings of pure light, and I was fascinated when I learned that there were several different species of angels. The more I read about them, the more I knew I wanted to write about them. I wanted to make sure I represented them as accurately as possible, so I read everything I could get my hands on.

Happily, the more I read, them more ideas I came up with, until finally, I began the first few chapters of my novel, “The Otherling.” I wanted to write something unique, to put a twist on the whole idea of angels and present it in a way that you, the reader, would feel connected to what was happening, and anxious to turn the page to find out what would happen next.

It is my hope that my book will draw you into a wonderful new world, where the characters you meet will come to life before you and live in your heart long after the final page has been read.

Welcome to the world of The Otherling.

So here is my official blurb about “The Otherling.”

“After losing her mom at the age of four, delving into her mother’s religion of Wicca and eclectic witchcraft is one way Annaleah Grace had chosen to find herself and her own sense of integrity. Though this path had made her an outcast, it also opened up a world in which being so different might actually be the saving grace our world desperately needs for it’s own redemption from the Darkness.

For Annaleah, being true to herself has always been more important than fitting in with society’s expectations. Even if that meant waking up from a nightmare with Georgia red clay from the Hellish scene still wet on her feet. Or that she has to hold her own against the debonair and mysterious Professor Sebastian Bainbridge, the University’s mysterious, intimidating genius with whom she will be teaching World Religions.

As her dreams begin to be more than mere dreams, haunting her into the waking world, Annaleah knows something intense and powerful is going on.

When she is befriended by angels of the Light, and neutral angels who have fallen but not yet claimed the Darkness, she knows that there is something important she must do. She must stand and fight against the angels that have taken the Darkness and made it their own.

She must prepare for war.”

Advice for aspiring writers

It’s hard to stare at a blank screen, even when your heart is burning and you have the desire to pour your soul out onto the page before you. What if what comes out sounds crazy, doesn’t make sense, or is full or errors? Should you go over what you write as you write, reading it over for mistakes before you move on to the next portion of writing? What if what you write sounds good to you, but it gets rejected over and over, would it even be worth the time it takes to write it?

Here’s my two cents. JUST WRITE. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece the first time around. It’s called a rough draft for a reason. There’s always time to go back, to edit and revise what you’ve written.

Here’s the thing, if you are afraid to get it wrong, you can restrict the flow or your creativity, and it can make it hard for anything to come out at all. Stop doubting yourself, get a pen and paper, sit behind your computer screen, get out that old family typewriter….however you choose to get the words out, just do it! Write until the screen is full of words, until your hands are smeared with ink, or until your pencil has been sharpened into a nub. Not all of it will be good, heck, some of it might be terrible, but at least you’ve gotten the words down on a page. The most important thing is to write, because then you have something to work with. Stop doubting yourself, being a perfectionist is not going to help you here, at least not in this stage of writing.

Once you have written yourself out, put it away. Do your best not to think about it for a few days. Do something else. If you have a craft or a hobby, take your free time to do this. Take an extra shift at work. Take your kids to the park. Keep yourself busy so you can keep what you’ve written out of your mind. Then, after several days, go back to what you’ve written earlier and look at it with fresh eyes. Go through it and edit or revise it now, fix spelling errors, strike out things that don’t work, change sentences into deeper, more free flowing ones. Develop the ideas that were raw into ones that have a stronger foundation, expand on your ideas, and tidy up what were rough ideas when you first wrote them.

The raw material you let flow freely from you earlier has given you material to work with, and that is the most important thing. Don’t let it be censored due to fear, the more you write, the more you have to work with.

Also know it’s ok to take a break from writing. Some people advise to be a writer you need to write every day. Maybe this is true for some writers, but for myself I don’t find this to be true. While I love to write, it is also important for me to wind down, relax and recharge. It’s important to find out what works for you, and to do that. Sometimes it takes a while to find out what works for you too, and that’s okay. This is your journey, travel it as only you can.

As far as being afraid of your writing being rejected, just accept it as inevitability. Every writer gets rejected; it’s going to happen. I saved all of my rejection slips in a folder. I use them to remind myself just how far I am willing to go to make my dreams of being a published author come true.

Each rejection should be treated as a badge of honor. It’s a right of passage all writers have to endure. Yes, some rejections were nice and gave me exceptional advice on how to better my story, on what I was doing correctly and what I was doing wrong. Others were downright vicious, and one even made me cry. I’ve had one editor tell me there wasn’t enough emotion from my characters to the point my story was dull and dry, and another tell me it was so over emotional to the point of being overly dramatic and unreadable. I’ve had responses all over the place in my journey to be an author, and the truth is, I almost gave up. After a year and a half of trying to find my novel a home, I was almost sure I had to at least stop for a while, let my manuscript cool off, and then try to revise it all over again one more time. Either that, or just let it go altogether.

I’m so glad I didn’t give up! Being a writer means you must be full of determination and perseverance, even when you don’t think there is a publisher left on the planet who would take your work. Don’t. Give. Up.

Of course, make sure you’re submitting your best work. Check and recheck your spelling and grammar. Edit, revise, and revise again. When you’re certain your manuscript is at it’s peak of perfection, then go for it, and don’t look back.

I’ll be looking for you on the best seller’s list! 😉

How to contact your angels

Beautiful blue sky background with clouds and sun

Beautiful blue sky background with clouds and sun

About the Angels
Right now, as you read this, you are surrounded by pure, unconditional love. Even though most of us most likely go about our daily lives completely unaware of it, this radiant, spiritual love flows to us from the angels. Their love is without judgment. This love sees past all our faults, all our weaknesses and focuses on our connection to Divinity. The angels desire to restore us, to uplift us, to keep us from harm and to work with us on our journey here on Earth.

Though they love to help us connect with our own inner spiritual realms, they are also here to help in our every day struggles, from things as simple as what to wear to an interview, to things much more dear to our hearts, such as the health issues we might be going through, or the safety of someone we love.

They wait on us to ask them for help, always willing and eager to aid us in any way they can. Though they can and will help us without asking them, their help is always more powerful when we communicate with them directly. They work with us the best when they have our permission.

It’s not as difficult as you might think to communicate with them. What you need most is an honest desire, and the willingness to ask them into your life. You can do this on a day when you’re feeling relaxed and at peace, when you have at least twenty minutes to yourself. It’s a good idea to wear something comfortable that won’t distract you while you’re trying to contact the angels. Turn off your phone, TV and anything else that might take your attention away from your meditation.

You can light a candle if you wish, and some incense in a scent that pleases you to help you focus and relax. You can bring special items with you as well, crystals, a crucifix, or anything that has a spiritual meaning to you. Sit in a comfortable position and clear your mind. Take some deep breaths in from your nose and exhale slowly from your mouth. Feel all the stress and tension in your mind and body lifting from you as you continue to breathe in slowly and deeply. Imagine yourself encompassed in a ball of pure, white, luminous light. Feel this light surrounding you with love and peace. Breathe the light in to your chest, and let the light glow in your heart.

When you are relaxed, ask the angels to come and be with you. You can say this out loud, or in your mind, whichever makes you feel more comfortable. You can ask them to give you signs that they are with you throughout your day, or to help you in any manner you wish. It does help to have a clear intention, so that your answer can come to you in a manner that you can easily understand.

You might not feel their presence with you right away, or the first time you call out to them. That’s alright. Just let your mind go blank and let the energy connection between you and the angels flow.

You might get images flashing through your mind, a scent, a certain emotion, or a line from a song. They might connect with you in a away that is totally personal and tailored just for you. As long as you are open to any signs from them, they will use what they think is best to work with you.

Personally, I find dreams to be a great meeting place to get signs from my angels. It’s a good idea to keep a journal specifically for angels so that you can keep track of what signs they might be leaving you, as well as what they mean.

So how can you know what signs they are giving you? Angels are superb messengers, it’s what they do. It’s up to you to be diligent and to look for ways they could be trying to get your attention. It could be a song on the radio answering something that you were just thinking about. Maybe you open a book or magazine and see a phrase that relates to something you need to know. Angels also love to send feathers in your path, just as a way to let you know they are around you.

Some things are bigger and more direct, but can just as easily be missed if you’re not looking for them. Maybe the bus you take to commute to work is late. Although you might get angry about being late for work, perhaps there was an accident on your route that might have involved your bus, had it come on time.

Maybe you have an audition for a role your heart has been pining over for months, and even after lots of practice, you don’t get the part. Later on, another role opens up, one that you are even better suited for, and it launches your career. Had you taken the first role, you wouldn’t have been free to accept the one better suited for you.

In whatever manner your message is delivered, the more you are open to them, the better you will become aware of them. In time, your personal relationship with the angels will become stronger, and it will be easier to spot when they are trying to get through to you and what they are trying to tell you.

Of course, always thank your angels. The best way to do this is to send them LOVE.

Good luck on your journey to meet the angels, let me know how it went in the comments section.