Get your copy of Past Life for 0.99
My very first book ever is LIVE today! I am super excited and can’t wait to share it with you. A lot of hard work, the usual blood, sweat, and tears went into the making of this book. I’ve definitely learned a lot about self-publishing and I want to share my experience with you.
First, a bit of backstory:
A common writing prompt I have encountered is: if you could have anything you want, what would it be? Anything you want: dream job, dream life, dream lover, anything. Write it and pretend it’s real.
The first thing I want is to be able to write all day/be a full-time writer/live the most creative life I can.
I would love to be my own boss, work from home, support myself with freelance writing/editing or online teaching but I have a literal mountain of student loans from earning my BA and my MFA. I am still tied to the mortgage on my ex-husband’s house. I am paying off my car. As much as I would love to be a full-time writer I have way too much debt to abandon my day job, I don’t think I will ever be financially stable enough to abandon my day job. Right now, things are manageable because I have a good day job that pays well, well enough to take care of my financial responsibilities and support my writing/muse. But a few years ago I was seriously struggling.
When I saw that writing prompt I immediately thought: I want to be debt free. And I started writing. I wrote about someone who was the same as me, someone who made bad decisions in her past and tried to make up for them. But I also wanted to write something about the ever ominous what-could-be and how bad things could get. I graduated from college in 2008, just before the recession. I still have no idea how I am going to pay off all my student loans and I often feel overwhelmed by how hopeless everything seems.
It actually took two writing prompts to make Past Life. The other one came from a writing community that started on livejournal and then wandered over to wordpress, called Brigit’s Flame. The prompt was “New Year.” So I had my character travel through time via cryostasis, deep freeze preservation, and wake up to a post-apocalyptic New Year celebration. My main character didn’t actually get to the celebration in that first draft because I had written over 1000 words of dialogue and I didn’t want to overwhelm my writing challenge compatriots.
In developing how I was going to tell Echo’s story, I was inspired by the final chapters of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and wanted to provide a simulated audio/visual record alongside the descriptive narrative of the story. The book is split up into three parts and 14 chapters. The first four chapters are available for FREE if you follow this link to my Instafreebie giveaway. Chapters 1-3 are recorded transcripts of Echo going through the debt consolidation application process. The fourth chapter details her final hours in 2195 before she goes to sleep.
When Echo wakes up she finds herself surrounded by new generations using the remnants of old technology to survive in a plague ravaged landscape. Those affected by the plague are not technically zombies because they are not dead but they have very much lost most of their humanity. You will learn more about the plague and how it happened in the sequel (yes, I am already planning a sequel). I find I am very plague obsessed in my writing. This book and my Heart of the Forest Cycle both have devastating plagues. The political climate in Past Life, during Echo’s timeline, was very unstable, very much like where I see the United States going if things don’t turn around. I wanted to give the world something to wipe out/greatly disturb humanity before we have the chance to destroy ourselves.
So please, go on an enjoy that.
Past Life, of course, ends on a cliff hanger. At first I didn’t want to use such a device, however, it felt right to close the story where I did. And the sequel, The Morning Star, is going to pick up right where Echo left off, with some differences. No spoilers here.
Thanks for reading!