Nano Training Camp 2016: Week 5


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Your mission this week is to take stock:

  • Decide what method you’ll be using. Typewriter? Computer? Long hand?
  • Is everything in working order? Does your carriage need oiled? Laptop need updates? Have you downloaded Scrivener, or your chosen word processor?
  • Do you have all of your supplies? Paper, typewriter ribbons, fountain pen ink?
  • What still needs researched? Reserve any books from the library you may need, or set aside time for in-person visits for items that can’t be checked out.

Writing goal: 750 words per day, on any project or combination of projects.

Randomly, from the internet

Ever wondered about the Canadian accent and what it’s all “aboot?”

A how-to guide for writing a story every week.

A look at a 19th century sailor’s uniform, embroidered by the man himself.

Tips on how to select a critique partner for your writing.

The absolute cutest kitten video I have ever seen



Nano Training Camp 2016


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I’m getting a little bit of a late start this year. Normally, I plan for about 8 weeks of training, but this year we only get 6. Doable? Definitely!

This week is our foundation week:

  • Clear the decks. Wrap up any existing projects, be they of the literary variety or otherwise.
  • Start thinking about what your Nano project is going to be. Is it something completely new? Are you rewriting/revising something from a few years ago? Writing a sequel? Are you going the traditional Nano route, or will you be writing a script, or poetry, or a short story collection?
  • Start a running to do list of anything you need to complete, purchase, or prepare. We’ll be working more with that next week.

Writing goal: 500 words per day, on any project or combination of projects.

This year, I’ll be working on the next book in my magical steampunk series, so part of my prep is going to be re-reading last year’s Nano project, the first book.


20 Things You Didn’t Know About the Evie Cappelli Series


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thespidersweb14001. The Spider’s Web went through at least ten distinct drafts prior to the one submitted and published by Torquere, and at least three different titles.

2. Due to the number of drafts, The Spider’s Web took 7 years to write.

3. The subsequent books were each written in less than six months.

4. Izzy died in the first seven drafts of The Spider’s Web. It was mainly due to constant nagging by Missouri Dalton that she eventually survived.

5. Izzy isn’t the only life Missouri saved; Izzy’s uncle, Mike, also died in the first four drafts.

6. Adam didn’t even show up until draft five or six.

7. Originally, Evie’s best friend from Toronto, Alice, showed up in book one, but was ultimately cut. Instead, she shows up in the Evie short story at the end of The Night Wars Collection, “L’Ilse des Soeurs.”

8. In the first draft, Evie was a 22 year old college junior. She got progressively younger with each draft, and eventually wound up at 18. There were a lot of reasons for this, but the main one was her voice was too immature for her to be older than eighteen.

9. Evie and I have the same birthday: June 24, which is Saint Jean Baptiste day, a major provincial holiday in Quebec. We were born in different years, however.

indefenseofmushrooms140010. Though we only ever see Adam and Izzy in relationships with men, both are actually bisexual.

11. Speaking of sexuality, technically Micha would be pansexual–he fell in love with Evie’s soul, not her body. No matter what form she gets reincarnated as, he loves her.

12. On the other hand, Evie is demisexual, though in her past incarnations she has been straight, homosexual, bisexual, and asexual.

13. Evie drives my first car, a 1984 CJ7 which probably shouldn’t be street legal. Everything from it’s semi-sentient personality (you’ll see more of that in later books) to the quirks of the engine and electrical system are based the one I drove in high school.

14. The Jeep’s name is Ernie.

15. Tam Tams and the LARP in Mount Royal park are real, and one of my favorite parts of Montreal.

16. Micha was partially inspired by Kyle Schmid’s character in Blood Ties. If I could go back in time and cast the Kyle of ten years ago as Micha in a movie version of The Spider’s Web, I would.

17. One of my all time favorite scenes to write in The Spider’s Web was cut around draft nine or ten. In it, Evie goes back to Toronto for a family dinner that devolves into a hilarious cat fight between Izzy and her sisters, with Evie’s great grandmother egging them on from a corner. Alas, it did not fit in the final version. I’m still trying to find a way to work it into a short story or something.

18. Actually, most of the scenes with the Cappellis were cut. I really wanted them to have a bigger role, but I realized around draft 8 that in order for Evie’s recovery to progress, and for her to be a stronger, more independent character by the end of the book, she had to start by cutting off some of the ties to her family.

19. Evie and I are both allergic to lavender, though my allergy is not life threatening.

20. Just as Evie lives in a part of Montreal where I once lived, the Cappelli family is from Florence, where I studied for both my undergrad and post-grad work. Both of these study abroad opportunities had a HUGE impact on my writing, both for Evie and for all of my subsequent books.

In Defense of Mushrooms is out now, plus Q&A


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indefenseofmushrooms1400Ever wondered about Izzy’s past or the other member of the Cappelli clan? Well, here’s your chance to get the answers you seek–and it’s even a week early. That’s right. In Defense of Mushroom was originally slated to release next week, but it’s out now, available from Torquere, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and a whole host of other e-book retailers.

Also, for the month of September, The Spider’s Web is a featured title with Torquere, so you can download it now for 20% off!

Got questions? You can find answers below.

Izzy? Why a book about Izzy? Isn’t the series supposed to be about Evie?
If I told you why Izzy, there would be spoilers for both The Spider’s Web and The Ferrymen.

Wait, so this is a prequel? Do I need to read it to continue with the series?
Nothough you will probably get more out of the next book if you read it. You do get a Cliff’s Notes version in The Spider’s Web, though.

What formats will be available?
Since this is a novella, only the ebook format will be available.

Does it matter where I buy the book?
Yes! While I will be happy no matter where you choose to purchase it and the prices will be the same no matter where you go, my publisher and I make more money on sales made through the Torquere website. When I make more money, it’s easier for me to write more books, since I’m not doing things like looking for another job, or curled up in a corner crying because I don’t know how I’m going to pay the bills.

Anything else I should know?
If you enjoy the novella (or any of my books or short stories) please consider leaving a review on Amazon or Goodreads. Even a one sentence “I liked it,” can go a long way to helping me sell more books. And like I said, when I sell more books, I can pay more bills, and when I can pay the bills it’s a lot easier to write the next book!


If you have any more questions about the book, feel free to email me or leave a comment. I’m happy to answer any questions!

Miss me?


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I’m back!

The past few weeks have been something of a mess. I’m still not ready to talk about the issues behind this break, but  you will probably be hearing a lot more about it soon.

I was able to get quite a lot done, but I think my to do list has gotten longer, instead of shorter. But! There was knitting!

I love this vest so much. I love the color work, and the way it almost looks like stained glass. Every time I take it out, either to work in public or at a knitting meet up, I get tons of compliments on it. I can’t wait until it is done.

My other current project hasn’t been getting quite as much attention, but it moves along pretty quick when I do sit down to knit on it. I’m actually revisiting a pattern I made earlier in the year, and really enjoyed. Hermione’s Every Day Socks is a super easy pattern, and it moves pretty quick. There’s just enough texture to keep things interesting, while also being pretty mindless to work on.

I also did some sewing, but most of it was in the form of mending or alterations, not crafting new things. I did start a new costume for the village, but that is on hold while I look for more fabric. I had just enough to finish the blouse, but then I screwed up the sleeves. Ah, well, c’est la vie. I haven’t decided yet what my fix will be, or if I’ll have to modernize the blouse by making it sleeveless.

Of course, in addition to the crafting, I’ve also been doing a lot of writing, even starting 2 new projects (though I really shouldn’t have…but they were so tempting!). More on those later, though.

There’s lots of new stuff that will be showing up this week on the blog, so stay tuned!


Annual Blog Break


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It’s August, so if you’ve been here a while, you probably know what that means. I usually take a break from blogging for about two weeks at the end of August. Never fear, I’ll be back September 12. I’m taking a little longer this time do deal with some personal/family issues. I’ll still be hanging out on Twitter, Tumblr, and Ravelry, but if you follow me there, you might have noticed I’ve been a bit quieter of late. I’m still around, I’m still reading posts and keeping up with things, I just haven’t been in the mood for talking. I may elaborate when I come back, or I might not.

See you on the 12th!

In Defense of Mushrooms & 2 great promo codes!


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indefenseofmushrooms1400That’s right! Just a week after the release of The Night Wars Collection, and already my next book (well, novella) is up for pre-order! And if you want a discount, you can save 15% on In Defense of Mushrooms or any other Torquere book if you pre-order through their website with the code “preorder15”.

Want to know more? The Q&A post for IDM will be up soon, and in the meantime you can find a blurb and info about all my books here.

Want some instant gratification? You can save 25% on The Spider’s Web or the Night Wars Collection (or any other already released Torquere book) with the code “BTS16”. Remember, the discount codes are ONLY good on the Torquere website, but you can still find my stuff on Amazon,,, or a variety of other internet retailers. I’m not sure how long they’ll be good, though, so use them while you can!



The Night Wars Collection is out tomorrow!


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night wars collection coverThat’s right! If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy yet, you can still get 15% off on the Torquere website with the code “preorder15”.

Not sure where to find the book? It will be up on the Torquere website, Amazon,, and Smashwords to name a few. (If you want a paperback edition, though, you do have to go through Amazon. Paperbacks are NOT available for preorder, and will be available around August 16.)

Got more questions? You can check out my Q&A post here, or leave it in the comments below.


Coming Soon: In Defense of Mushrooms


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The smaller package had Izzy’s name on it, but she’d told me to keep an eye out for a birthday present. And since my birthday was technically over, it couldn’t hurt to open it, right?

I cut through the tape, peeling back the cardboard. Inside was a thin, print-on-demand paperback. More novella than novel, the front cover had a close up of a tattoo–a familiar tattoo. The orange and green snake was poised to strike, but it’s coiled tail was wrapped around a heart. The title read, “Adder’s Breath,” and listed Izzy as the author.

There was no summary on the back. Inside, I found the dedication:

For my lovely Evie, so you will always know how much you are loved, even when I can’t say the words out loud.

Intrigued, I flipped to the first page and began to read.

The Spider’s Web, chapter nine

Oindefenseofmushrooms1400fficial blurb:

Isabella “Izzy” Cappelli has always been a troublemaker, and it’s putting a strain on her family. Now a fling with a handsome stranger has left her with an unexpected surprise, and things with her family are worse than ever. Can she change course, or is she really the failure everyone says?

IN DEFENSE OF MUSHROOMS, the Evie Cappelli prequel novella, will be available on September 21 from Torquere Press! Stay tuned for more info and preorder announcements and discounts!