Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Glad to! First, I’d like to reference a few important bits of information: Ice Cold is the opening to a series far larger and grander, a series known as The Aeon Chronologies – a large-scale sci-fi/fantasy universe that it is divided into three distinct parts; the First, Second, and Third Chronologies. Each contains a diverse variety of stories working together with one another to contribute to the grand plot, which I am indescribably proud to share with you all in the years to come!
Down to the main point, Ice Cold is a pair of contemporary fantasy and adventure novels, and the beginning of the First Chronology. They are part of a trilogy of two-part stories – Ice Cold, Burning Hearts, and Raging Souls, and together they form the Trials of the Last Disciple.
The first book in this series is Ice Cold – Part One: The Dark Zone. It reinvents the age-old tale of a brave culture fighting to defend their homeland from outsiders who seek to take it from them, and brings it to modern ages and settings. Ice Cold spans across a two-year timeframe from 2010-2012, and is set deep in the Adirondacks of northern New York, in a territory known as the Dark Zone. The natives of such territories, however, refer to it by another name: Ravenna, and it is here this culture of Native American descent has dwelled completely separate from the American government for over two hundred years, that is until a malevolent force of civilians from the Outside gathers in secret to invade the Dark Zone and take these lands for themselves. In this start to the heartfelt series, you’ll follow the paths of many diverse characters, such as the young Outsider, Alex Lee, who befriends the people of Ravenna in their darkest hour, the brave and beautiful Rowan, desperate to fight and willing to die for the people she loves, and the invaders who stain the reputations of all Outsiders with evil as they push relentlessly to conquer the Dark Zone over the course of five long years. For the Ravennites, it will take everything they have just to survive.
Ice Cold – Part Two: Winter’s Bane brings us to the epic climax of the war between the brave and passionate Ravennites, and the bloodthirsty Outsiders whom they have named the Domineers. For over a year, war has been waged across the Dark Zone, and just when Alex Lee thought he had grown acclimated to these mountains and these people, it seems there is more to the culture of their ancestors than meets the eye – much more. Alex has never been a firm believer in religion, but as the war drags into the dead of another harsh winter, he faces a terrifying trial beyond anything he has ever experienced before. The end of this bitter conflict between Ravennite and Domineer may or may not be in sight, but in this action-packed sequel it just might become clear that there are far greater forces encircling the lives of our main heroes. Where will their paths lead them? Only time will tell!
The third book I have written is a short novella titled "Rowan". It is a breath of fresh air immediately following the events of Ice Cold, and it centers around our heroine, Rowan, as she tries to cope with life after the war between the Ravennites and the Outsiders, where she slowly begins to realize that the greatest demons she may ever face just might be inside her own walls.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
I don't usually like to measure my writing by a single book, since everything I create belongs to the same grand universe. However, if we were to refer to those I have already written, I can say this – I have always been fascinated by the pages of history and such tales of a brave few prepared to risk everything to defend their homes. I often wondered how a concept like this might play out in the world today. After having lived in the beautiful Appalachians, I realized how much bigger the world seems when you’re in the mountains, and I thought to myself, “How much could really happen in the mountains without the rest of the world even noticing?” This has been the general premise of the story of Ice Cold; an entire civilization kept secret by Outside government, while also raising questions in the reader’s mind of a political nature, such as why the government, which has supposedly shielded the existence of a separate culture, would allow such bloodshed to be wrought upon them.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I'm not sure what one might call usual writing habits, but I've often found my focus best in the middle of the night, when the mind tends to be unusually active. I've been known to sit back at night with a glass or two of wine and work on my writing from dusk to dawn given the opportunity, in fact that was how I finished writing each of the Ice Cold two-parter!
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Some of my favorite authors I've followed in the past are JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis, who opened my eyes at a young age to the incredibly boundless worlds of fantasy. I've become a bit less of reader ever since I finally began the writing of my own universe, but I've recently opened myself up to the horror works of Stephen King and the legendary HP Lovecraft, creator of the intriguing Cthulhu mythos, and I began to detect similar concepts of how they developed their own untethered universes to my own. I suppose great minds think alike! It's footsteps in which I certainly hope to follow!
What are you working on now?
The series continues! The two parts of Ice Cold are finished and I have already begun work on the next dual-parter in the series, Burning Hearts – Parts One and Two. The confines of the mountains are one thing, but seven years later the conflict begun by our heroes emerges into the Outside world as humanity comes to realize that there just might be far more to their existence than meets the eye.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
I once said to whomever aspiring writers may have been listening, “Every artist shares a power; when people witness their work, the power to make them question everything they thought they knew about them. In my opinion, none is more powerful than the writer.” All aspiring writers know the psychedelic sensation of crafting their first fictional worlds and filling them with life, but then they also recognize the struggles that come with it. If I could tell them one thing, it would be to never hold yourselves back or question what it is you’re capable of creating. It always feels like there is only a small window of opportunity to bring about the creation of your fantastic worlds, and if you miss it then you might just spend the rest of your life wondering painfully what might have been. A friend of mine told me once of a novel she was trying to write, meant to reflect the horrors she endured throughout her childhood, but she professed that she was afraid nobody would want to read something so emotionally driven as her work – I told her that sometimes you just have to do what feels right to you, not to anyone else, and if you can yet convince one person of the worthiness of the cause for which you write, then your work was not for nothing. This is what I would say to all aspiring writers struggling with the persistent grip of self-doubt.
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