The Diabolical Digest
HOUSE OF HUNGER Updates, Events, and ETERNALLY YOURS Release!
It’s been a while. Happy (belated) first day of fall! I hope the last of your summer was warm and relaxing! I’ve spent the past few weeks packing, planning, moving from Ohio to Michigan, and, rather abruptly, adopting a new kitten! I’ve also been putting in a lot of hours at my writing desk (and by my writing desk I mean the floor of my office/kitten nursery because I haven’t unpacked yet and I’m still living out of boxes). My work-in-progress projects are still under wraps, but I’m extremely excited about them and I should be able to share more information with you really soon.
House of Hunger releases in less than a week on Tuesday, September 27th and I have so many updates to share with you all! First and foremost, Schuler Books in Okemos Michigan will very kindly be hosting my launch party on September, 28th at 7pm EST. If you’d like to attend please do register here. I’d love to see you there!
In other exciting news, Goodreads and BookPage have named House of Hunger one of their most anticipated reads of the fall. House of Hunger has also popped up in Katie Couric Media’s recommendations, Paste Magazine’s must-read horror books for fall, and it’s also one of BuzzFeed’s best books of September!
So many early readers have reached out to me with kind words about the story. I really can’t express how grateful I am to everyone who’s looking forward to this book, and to everyone who has taken the time to read it already. Even if it’s not your cup of tea, it means a lot to me that you even took a chance on it. Especially if it was outside of your comfort zone or genre of choice.
One of the most surreal things that I honestly never really considered was that House of Hunger would have a life and readership entirely of its own. My debut novel, The Year of the Witching, really surpassed my expectation—doing what I thought was literally impossible by earning out within a year of its publication (still feels weird to type that). I always knew, then, that House of Hunger would exist in the shadow of that book. Especially because, as many of you may know, I took a stab at writing the sequel to The Year of the Witching and kind of failed (at least for now).
I thought about making this a footnote, but wanted to insert this as an aside here, so that no one who’s curious misses it. I get asked all the time about the sequel to The Year of the Witching, and I realized I hadn’t yet explained what happened in this newsletter. So here’s my best attempt.
I do want to write that book for you someday, but I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I’m determined that the sequel be demonstrative of the best of my abilities. Had I forced myself to write it before I was ready, I think I could’ve delivered an okay story. But you deserve better than okay. And I frankly don’t want to waste your time reading, or my time writing, an okay book. When I feel ready to write the sequel, I promise you I will drop everything to tell that story and deliver it to you as soon as I possibly can. But that hasn’t happened yet, and so I’m giving myself the time and space to tell the stories I do feel ready to write. I understand this might be frustrating—and trust me there’s no one more annoyed by this than I am—but unfortunately this is my creative process. Trying to fight against my natural instincts as a writer and draft a story that isn’t yet ready to be told has only amounted to fatigue and burnout. So I’m going to wait and be patient and if the story comes to me I’ll welcome it with open arms. And if it doesn’t, well…there are more stories to be told and I really hope you’ll take a chance on them the way you did on The Year of the Witching.
In light of everything I outlined above, I attached all of these expectations to House of Hunger, partially out of guilt for failing to deliver on the sequel I’d hoped to complete. I told myself it had to be a brilliant followup not just because it was my second book (and second books, as you probably already know, are notoriously difficult), but because I needed to make up for the disappointment about the sequel. It felt like I was writing against the odds, as though House of Hunger was my debut all over again.
But what has been such a lovely and refreshing surprise is that readers who didn’t read The Year of the Witching, who don’t know me at all, have connected with the story. And to the readers who did read The Year of the Witching and have supported me through a failed project and now the release of House of Hunger, I truly owe you everything and I can’t thank you all enough. You’ve enabled me to keep writing stories that I hope will be worthy of your time and attention. You’ve inspire me to show up and do my best, and I’ll always be grateful to you.
For those of you who love short stories and/or paranormal romance, the anthology Eternally Yours (which recently received a glowing starred review from Publishers Weekly) is out now! It features stories from some amazing authors that I feel truly honored to be published alongside. My short story, “In The Eyes of Angels” is inspired by this tweet. It’s about the seemingly star-crossed romance between a girl grieving her mother’s death and a semi-biblically accurate fallen angel who crash lands near the gas station where she works. I had so much fun writing it and I really hope you’ll check it out along with the rest of the stories in the anthology.
Also, I would be remiss not to mention that the editor of the Eternally Yours anthology, Patrice Caldwell, has a forthcoming novel, Where Shadows Reign, that I’m literally itching to get my hands on. I don’t think it’s available for pre-order quite yet, but you can add it on Goodreads here!
That’s all for now! I’m currently in the process of drafting a future newsletter about my approach to writing horror and—by extension—writing in general. After the release day hoopla for House of Hunger is over, I plan to share it. If there are any specific topics you’d like me to touch on—plot, pacing, world building, dialogue, developing ideas, my favorite books on writing, etc.—do let me know and I’ll do my best to address those specifics in either my next writing-focused newsletter, or the one to follow it. And as always, if there’s something else you’d like me to cover here feel free to drop a comment below.
Until next time, take care!
All my best,
I would love to know what inspirations you drew from other vampire media when writing house of hunger or why you chose to go with the blood drinker/vampire-esque route.
I’d love to hear about how you plot your stories and also just tips to get through the hard middle part of a book. Can’t wait to start reading House of Hunger!