Book updates & a favor to ask

It’s been a while since my last newsletter, but as I’ve always said, I won’t clog your inbox unless I have something important to tell you. I have an update on The Fear Syndrome (Aurora Donati #2), the audiobook of The Solstice Countdown (the first of six books I’m recording myself for release through Audible), and a personal favor to ask.

First, The Fear Syndrome. I had hoped to have the book finished and ready to release by December, but that’s not going to happen. The reason? You know how you always hear that to write you need to read? A lot. For a writer, words are fuel. I’d been trying to run my writer brain on a dry tank. “I don’t have time to read,” I’d tell myself. Or “I’ve got to get this book written.” Well, girl, you ain’t gonna get far, are you? Plus, turns out I started the book wrong. I couldn’t figure out why my writer brain wouldn’t let me go forward (which it does if I’m trying to take a plot in the wrong direction). It’d be lovely if it’d tell me WHAT I was doing wrong, but apparently, that’s up to the stupid half of my brain to figure out.  

VERY long story short, I now know what I did wrong, I’m on the right track, it’s fabulous, and I’ve been reading like a maniac to fill up my creativity tank. All is well and moving along. The publication date? Probably late spring next year. Sorry! But know that I was working as hard as I could (probably too hard, which was another part of the problem). Everything’s now back on track.

Second, The Solstice Countdown audiobook (the SPI Files book in the banner of this newsletter). The one where Mac takes Rake home for the holidays to meet her family. I’ve finished recording that one and Derek is working on the production end. I chose that one as the first to do because I thought it’d be especially fun to narrate. It was. I could not be more pleased with how I sound and can’t wait for you all to hear it! If all goes according to plan, we’ll have it available to you through Audible/Amazon by Thanksgiving (that’s the end of November for you folks outside the US).

The reason why it’s taken so long? Derek and I had to learn everything about audiobook recording and production from the ground up. It took a little longer than we thought. I’ll have to send a photo of the booth Derek built. It’s impressive. Then it was getting the best equipment, getting the soundproofing just right, the right settings for our booth on the audio equipment, a boom sturdy enough to hold our microphone steady, a consultation with an audio engineer, etc. etc. Plus, we both have day jobs. Now that we’re up to speed, the other books will go MUCH faster. Next up for recording: The Gorgon Agenda. Then the Aurora Donati books, then the Raine Benares books that were previously unavailable in audiobook format.  

Lastly, I have a favor to ask of you all. I’m getting myself back into pre-COVID shape. On Saturday evening, October 28 and into Sunday morning, October 29, I will be participating in the second annual Franklin All Nighter, an overnight fun run/walk to raise money for mental health services on the UNC campus and in the Chapel Hill, NC, community.  

The Franklin All Nighter is an event that aims to help students dealing with mental illness, as well as others in our immediate community who may be particularly vulnerable. One of the ways we strive to achieve that goal is by raising money for three organizations that have a direct, positive impact on those seeking help for mental illness:

UNC Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
UNC Athletics Mental Health and Performance Psychology program (MHPP)
The Street Outreach, Harm Reduction & Deflection Team (SOHRAD)

ALL money raised goes to those three organizations.

Last year I wasn’t in shape to participate, so I ran the runner support center. Local restaurants donate food for the runners through the night, there’s first aid available, and places to rest. Basically, my job was to take care of the participants, keep the food and drink tables from looking like a swarm of locusts had just flown through, keep the garbage emptied (it’s amazing how much trash 75 hungry runners can produce), bandage and/or ice boo-boos, and get runners what they needed to keep going, etc. I had the best time! But this year I want to get out there. We start around 6:30 (sundown) and go until sunrise (about 7:30) and walk/run a mile circuit through downtown Chapel Hill. 

13 hours.

I would love to do at least twenty miles (at a fast walk). Donations aren’t by the mile, merely what you would like to give. I would be thrilled and so honored if as many of you as possible would sponsor me. Any amount you would like to donate, even a few dollars would be greatly appreciated!     

If you would like to help me fundraise by offering a tax-deductible donation, please follow THIS LINK. Any support you are able to offer gets us closer to our event goal of $35,000, so thank you for considering this opportunity to help me and many more “Pull an All Nighter for Mental Health!”