Meet A Character: Andrew Daniels

New to the Autumn Brody series?  Welcome to the paranormal world of Casteel Preparatory Academy’s finest.

Previously, I shared glimpses into the two women Autumn counts on for support and advice in Change Of Season.  This time, let’s take a look at the mysterious guy Autumn can’t stop running into on campus — often literally.

Name:  Andrew Daniels
Age:  18
Birthplace:  Whitby, Ontario
Years At Casteel Preparatory Academy: 1.5
Specialty Major:  Film
Visual Casting:  A young Logan Lerman

Logan Lerman

Andrew — a politically-minded Film student with a passion for documentaries — is somewhat of a recluse at Casteel Prep.  Having come to the school at age 17 after the death of his parents, he’s opened up to no one, aside from a fellow Film student and his favourite instructor, Gretchen Frey.  It’s not that he’s anti-social.  He’s just decided that it’s better to be alone with his grief than risk making connections that can be fleeting, as he’s learned from painful experience.

That is, until he spots Autumn on campus.

Andrew sees himself reflected in Autumn’s isolation.  Can reaching out to her help him with his own emotional pain?  Will she ever let him try?

What’s On His iPod?
Renegades Of Funk – Rage Against The Machine
Clap Hands – Tom Waits
King of New Orleans – Better Than Ezra
Round Here – Counting Crows
Someone Saved My Life Tonight – Elton John
Say When – The Fray
Fade To Grey – Jars of Clay
Butterflies and Hurricanes – Muse
The Fragile – Nine Inch Nails
One Headlight – The Wallflowers

Choice Quote:  “I know that someone’s hurt you deeply. I know you need to find your way through that. I’ve had to make my own journey back from hell. I just want you to know that you don’t have to be alone.”

Meet Miraj

Meet Veronica

Change Of Season re-releases in an extended edition in March of 2015.

Happy PI Day! A Look at an Extended Scene from Change Of Season


Happy PI Day, fellow math nerds (and Veronica Mars fans)!

Today was supposed to also be the re-release of Change of Season, for both reasons.  I do have a character named Veronica, after all.  However, there have been unforeseen and unexpected delays with both my printer and international sellers failing to comply with removing the old so I can ensure readers only receive the new edition.

I’m highly disappointed, but don’t expect much of a delay (end of March, perhaps?).  In the meantime, I still very much wanted to celebrate this Saturday.  For your enjoyment, I’ve decided to share one of the expanded scenes exclusive to this new edition of Change Of Season.  For the Miraj fans out there, she’s going to share a little more about her life as a waitress, in hopes of inspiring Autumn.

Follow the jump!

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Patience is a virtue (that you’ll need if you want to trad-pub)


In her second post in our Behind The Book series, author Carrie Morgan (on the traditional publishing path) delves into the preparations and process of querying agents – guaranteed to tax your reserve of patience beyond its limits.

More in this series

Originally posted on Wages of War:

In my first post in this series, I explained how being published (and by that I mean traditionally published, going the agent-to-publisher route) has been my dream since I was a teenager.

What I didn’t know back then, and what I didn’t realize until I’d already started down the trad-pub path, was that whatever patience it takes to write book-length fiction is just the beginning. If you want to get your book out there on the streets as quickly as possible, trad-pub is probably not for you.

First, of course, you have to write your novel. How long this takes varies widely by person. In my case, setting aside the year or so that my novel concept swirled around in my head before I sat down to actually write it, it took me ninety-four days to write the first draft of my novel, The Road Back From Broken. While…

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Behind The Book: Second Editions Are Twice The Headache

Power of Words

This is part of a series of posts entitled Behind The Book, where fellow author Carrie Morgan and I share the ups and downs of the writing and publishing process — traditional and self-published.

We all judge books by their cover.

No matter how much we want people to judge our stories by their actual content, it’s a foolish notion.  Cover art matters.  Marketing and packaging matter.  In 2012, I knew this to be true, but as a self-publishing author in between careers, I simply did not have the funds to hire a graphic designer, nor did I have any awareness (if it existed at the time!) of services like SelfPubBookCovers.  I winged it, solicited reviews from bloggers and existing readers from the fandom world, and hoped for the best.

Word of mouth for Change of Season fared well, but I lost the casual browsers.  I knew it to be a risk, and accept that consequence.  That said, as my personal circumstances changed and a sequel formed in mind, I decided that my first novel deserved a new outfit.  I didn’t stop there, however; I decided that, based on feedback over the years, that alternate versions of scenes and new ones I’d omitted previously could be worked in as well.

Go big or go home, right?

So, if you’re going to re-release a previously self-published work, what do you need to know or consider?

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“The End” Is Only The Beginning


Carrie Morgan shares her decision to pursue traditional publishing as part of our Behind The Book collaborative series. The flip side of the publishing coin to my self-publishing pursuit.

Originally posted on Wages of War:

When I was sixteen, I got my first real job. My first introduction to the working world of W-2s, withholding and fifteen-minute breaks was as a retail sales clerk for the now-defunct B. Dalton Bookseller. For a teenager whose nose was always buried in a book, it was the perfect first job, even if it did pay only a nickel more than the minimum wage of $3.80 an hour.

I loved working at the bookstore, which was tucked into a busy corner of the old Southglenn Mall in Littleton, Colorado. Being surrounded by books, seeing the new ones come in and handling the stripping or return of older titles that didn’t sell—it was a great gig for a young bibliophile.

That same year, I started to write a book of my own—a long, aimlessly rambling monstrosity called TheFour Horsemen that told the story of a Scottish soldier during Henry…

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Behind The Book: A New Feature

Power of Words

I am thrilled to announce an exciting joint blogging venture with fellow writer Carrie Morgan.

On Twitter, Carrie and I subscribe to the philosophy of Writers Helping Writers:  that is, we believe that as a community, we should strive to support and lift each other up, sharing our mistakes and lessons learned.  Writers understand the demands of time, energy and belief in oneself and one’s work to survive this business, and that makes us natural cheerleaders for each other.

Where we diverge, however, is the path we’ve each chosen towards our goals.  I opted years ago to take the self-publishing route, having spent my life being a storyteller and valuing the ability to share my words on my terms above all else.  Blame it on years of school newspaper columns and fanfiction that resonated with people so deeply, their reviews sometimes made me cry:  while a traditional book deal would be wonderful, the ability to connect with others mattered more for me.  Carrie, on the other hand, is currently pursuing traditional publishing for her debut novel, The Road Back From Broken.  In admiring her candor and transparency throughout the process of writing, editing and now querying, I realized that self-publishing carries its own hoops, quirks and pitfalls — lessons learned I could also share via a similarly transparent approach.

We both have a desire to help other writers as they embark on their own path — traditional or self-published — while also giving readers a glimpse behind the finished project you can eagerly devour in paperback or on your ereader of choice.  In the spirit of this, we’ve come up with a collaborative venture.

For the next while, we’ll be cross-posting our parallel journeys, revealing the reality of creating a story and sharing it with the world.  I personally look forward to learning about traditional publishing, as I’m considering it for a future standalone novel.  I also hope that similar to a director’s commentary on a film, knowing how a novel comes to be will enrich the reading experience.

Carrie’s journey:  Currently querying agents for her powerful debut, The Road Back From Broken.
Twitter: @C_T_Morgan

My journey:  The simultaneous re-release of a second edition for Change of Season and the editing and publishing of its sequel, Waiting for a Star to Fall.
Twitter:  @dillonac

Come join us and share your own journey.  We’re in this together, after all.

Sneak Peek: Waiting For A Star To Fall


Autumn Brody thought it was a one-time thing.  A haunted dorm room, with restless spirits seeking justice for the crimes committed against them.  For seventeen months, she’s been able to move forward, believing it to be true.

Autumn, it turns out, was very wrong.  She’s not the first in her family to see the dead, and the dead are far from done with her.

In this sneak peek of the second book in the Autumn Brody series, Autumn is confronted by her great-grandmother’s spirit — a woman who learned the hard way how dangerous their gift could be.

Change of Season, the first book in the series, re-releases in a reworked ‘Director’s Cut’ on March 14th, 2015.  Waiting For A Star To Fall is slated for summer 2015 publication.

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On Autumn Brody And Mental Health

Via CMHA website - no infringement intended

At one point in Change of Season, Professor St. James gives Autumn some advice:  “Write what you know, and write when you need to let go.

This is a variation of advice writers have heard time and time again.  At times, it’s almost annoying.  Many of us write to heal, to share hard lessons learned along the way.  Maybe we choose to write of divorce because we ourselves are children of divorce.  Maybe we want others to feel less alone in the turmoil of life.  Even Courtney Summers noted in discussing her protagonist in Cracked Up To Be that she was channeling a bit of her own experiences with depression.

A recurring theme in many of my stories is mental health:  the ways we handle — or don’t handle — trauma and varying conditions, and how we survive to then thrive.  With one in five people around you being impacted by mental illness, there is a huge group of people out there seeking compassion and support.

In fact, you’re looking at one of them.

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