You may have noticed I’ve been a bit lax with updating my blog, but I’m back! And i have lots of things to say. First of all, the launch date for Tentacles and Teeth is March 28th! Put it on your calendar. It is up for preorder already, so just click this link if you want to grab a copy at a slightly cheaper price. It will be delivered to your e-reader on the day the book goes live.
Over the next couple months I have some things planned—teaser images, videos, Live Videos, giveaways (free stuff!) so stay tuned for all that! You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram for more regular updates.
Before I got too close to launch, though, I wanted to talk a little bit about the theme of the book: survival. Or, as I’ve been saying: #outlast. I had thought about using #survivingthemall (meaning Surviving Them All) but it just looks like Surviving The Mall, which, while hilarious and kind of true, is not really what I was going for.
Anyway, so, the book is set in a post-apocalyptic future with monsters, and the main character has to work to survive said monsters (and other life-threatening situations) on a daily basis—so it takes a pretty obvious approach to survival. In real life, though, survival can look like a lot of different things. It might mean surviving an illness or disease like cancer or a virus; it could mean some kind of physical trauma like an accident or a fire; it might mean surviving emotional pain such as anxiety or depression; and it could be cultural, such as discrimination or prejudice. It could just mean surviving the situation you’re in right now.
Fiction and literature address survival in a lot of contexts. Authors and storytellers like to put their characters in the worst situations they can think of and then force the character to overcome or be changed by the challenge. Think, for a moment, about your favorite characters—pretty much every single one has to face survival in some capacity. In the Hunger Games, for example, the survival component is pretty blatant. Harry Potter too (how many times does he face off against Voldemort?). The Things They Carried, Moby Dick, 1984, Frankenstein, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (just to name a few off the top of my head)—they all address survival (or lack thereof).
In my book, “survival” typically happens in the face of monsters. The main characters have to fight or run from giant land octopi with paralyzing slime, or packs of dog-sized lizards with sharp teeth, or horse-sized skeletal cats, or bugs the size of a barn filled with little tiny versions of themselves. They face monster after monster and continue to come out on top (we hope). There are also social and emotional layers of survival. Askari, the main character, has conflicts with the leaders of her community, she has to deal with isolation, feeling like the odd one out—and because she lives in such a harsh environment, these have a direct impact on her ability to survive.
Most of the time, though, I look at the monsters in my series as a metaphor for the challenges we face in real life. Sometimes those challenges (like depression, fighting with our loved ones, betrayal, achieving career goals, beating cancer) take all of our strength, all at once, and it’s absolutely everything you can do just to survive.
We live in a culture that values excellence and achievement. We are told to strive towards the American Dream (whatever that is), and are bombarded with messages to thrive, to be better, to be the best at what we do. But I think that sometimes just surviving is enough. Sometimes surviving takes every last ounce of courage, strength, and endurance that we have. And I think that’s okay.
Before I get any farther into my launch and before the book is published, I wanted to draw your attention to the dedication of my book, which relates directly to this whole theme of survival.
The book is dedicated to my mom, for teaching me how to survive.
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