Monthly Archives: September 2014

3 Weeks to Go!

We’re only 3 weeks away from the Gateways release date! Make sure you’ve pre-ordered the novel, and check out a couple of early reviews on Goodreads. More will be coming.

In the meantime, you can read this week’s sample chapter, where we learn a little bit more about Caryn’s backstory … much as Caryn herself tries to hide it.


Gateways on To Be Read podcast!

Gateways is discussed on the To Be Read podcast! Check it out here (starts around 1:19).

“Really neat things that he’s done with the magic. It very much feels like historical fiction set in that period. But it’s got some really neat characters, some really neat plot twists.”

The Gateway Fort and the Place with the Columns

Have you been wondering what the cover of Gateways is all about? This week’s sample chapter takes us to the two places that the cover depicts: the Gateway Fort, where much of the action of the novel takes place, and the “place with the columns,” those spiralling columns of light that you’ve been wondering about.

In next week’s chapter we will actually meet General Freed, whom we’ve heard a lot about, and there will be a big reveal at the end, so be sure to stay tuned for that.

If you want to get caught up on the earlier chapters, go to the Sample Chapters main page, where I’ll be posting everything up to Chapter Six in the coming weeks. As always, if you enjoy the sample chapters, please consider pre-ordering the novel!



Amazon Kindle Readers: You can pre-order Gateways!

Less than a month ago, Amazon started supporting pre-orders for self-published Kindle books! If you are a Kindle user, you can now pre-order Gateways, the new historical fantasy novel inspired by the World War I and surrounding politics, and combining diplomacy with plots, counterplots and magic.

You can check out sample chapters of Gateways here, and if you like them, pre-order Gateways for your Kindle (or for other devices). The October 20 release date is only a few weeks away!

Music and Turning Points

Now for something different … I posted this on Facebook the other day, and figure I may as well share it here too.


I find happiness and I find music. These come together. My sister shows me MuchMusic, and it gives me Edwin singing, “Ain’t it good to be alive?” U2 gives me “Beautiful Day,” then “Stuck in a Moment.” In first year university, I discover Incubus’ “Drive.” This is inspiring: “Whatever tomorrow brings, I’ll be there.” I hear Matt Good’s “In a World Called Catastrophe” in second year, at the Miller Hall parking lot: “Baby can you feel it? Don’t it make you want to wake up and open your eyes?” It does. An arcade at Canada’s Wonderland teaches me “Times Like These” by the Foo Fighters, my theme song for one of the happiest years of my life [“It’s times like these you learn to live again”]. Sitting in the Common Ground in third year, I discover Modest Mouse and I know that “we’ll all float on okay.” Each year there are ups and downs, and when the downs come, I fight for happiness. Music is my front line soldier. It fills me, draws me in, and lends me its powerful message.

I wrote these words for an “autobiography” assignment for a creative writing class I took in my fourth year of university. Creative writing it was, but fiction it was not.

Music has always held power for me. Less so in recent years, when I’ve been steadier. When I’ve been healthy enough that happiness isn’t a fight anymore. Earlier, though, music had been infused with meaning, both for better and for worse.

Life is made up of turning points. Most of these are barely noticeable when they are happening, and it is only looking back on them that you start to recognize their importance. I have often found that an explicit, obvious change in my life has been predicated on – indeed, made possible by – a subtler but more fundamental turning point occurring several weeks earlier.

True story:

In first year of university, months before I adopted the inspirational “Drive” as my anthem, I had a number of songs that I at once loved and hated, that spoke to the rawness of my emotions. The line between empty teenage angst and a real mental health issue is a fine one to draw, especially when you’re the 18-year-old going through it.

That school year, having moved to a new city and away from the support of my family and my very close group of high school friends, it is hardly surprising that I found myself drawn to songs about loneliness, from the wistful tones of Keane’s “Everybody’s Changing” (“Try to make a move just to stay in the game/ I try to stay awake and remember my name/ But everybody’s changing and I don’t feel the same”) to the macabre suggestion in Creed’s “One Last Breath” (“Hold me now/ I’m six feet from the edge, and I’m thinking/ Maybe six feet ain’t so far down”).

But if there was one lyric that I loved to hate and hated to love, that became an anthem for me that year, that spoke to all my insecurities in a way that fed my addiction for recognition without reassurance, it was a line that repeated over and over at the end of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Knock Me Down”: “It’s so lonely when you don’t even know me, oh yeah, it’s so lonely.”

For a kid who felt consumed by loneliness, who wondered if he would ever find romantic love, or even if he would ever replace the closeness of the friendships he had in high school, this was nothing less than a drug: “It’s so lonely when you don’t even know me, oh yeah, it’s so lonely.” I listened to that song 20 times, 30, the line repeating again and again.

Then one day I was listening to the song in my dorm room and I thought I noticed something I hadn’t before. I played it again, paying special attention to the lyric. Repeating. Over and over, so that there could be no mistake.

I had the lyric wrong. All of those times I had listened to it, I had gotten it wrong.

It had some significance at the time, certainly. I saw right away what this could mean. But it is only years later, looking back, that I truly recognized it as one of those subtle moments when things started to change. A seed that would ripen into a turning point.

The lyric wasn’t, “It’s so lonely when you don’t even know me, oh yeah.”

It was, “It’s so lonely when you don’t even know yourself.”