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Music in WE OWN THE SKY 

WE OWN THE SKY is in many ways a love letter to many of the songs that have inspired me. I have a tattoo on my leg of Morrissey, and underneath is the quote from The Smiths song "Rubber Ring" that says "Don't forget the songs that made you cry and the songs that saved your life." The songs mentioned in WE OWN THE SKY are songs that saved Sylvia's life. Some of them are autobiographical to me (pretty much any of the M83 songs mentioned), and some of them are songs that she loves more than I do. 

It may seem weird to the normal reader that these songs are mentioned so much in WE OWN THE SKY. It may even get annoying by the end. "Okay, we get it! You love M83!" But the person who stays up until 3 in the morning when they are 17 listening to the same Radiohead song on repeat for hours will understand. The people who have goosebump moments to their favorite songs will get it. The people who get excited and yell when that obscure band they love comes on over the speakers at the coffee shop will get it. And to us--the music lovers--you can't play your favorite songs too many times. There are never too many mentions of the songs that saved our lives. 

The entire MUSE CHRONICLES series is a love letter to music--the way songs inspire us, uplift us, move us, save us. And let's be honest, the majority of things I have written have been love letters to music. And I'm okay with that. Because as writers, we have to write what we know. What we love. Who we are. 

I made playlists on three different platforms for WE OWN THE SKY, and I wanted to share that playlist with you today.

The WE OWN THE SKY playlist:

1. "We Own the Sky" - M83 
2. "Angel, Angel Down We Go Together" - Morrissey 
3. "The Golden Age" - Beck 
4. "Breathe (In the Air)" - Pink Floyd 
5. "Young Guns" - Moonlight Bride 
6. "Everybody Talks" - Neon Trees 
7. "Lonely Boy" - The Black Keys 
8. "Mojo Pin" - Jeff Buckley 
9. "Love in the Dark" - Moonlight Bride 
10. "Tonight, Tonight" - Smashing Pumpkins 
11. "The Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66-: Entr'acte" - Tchaikovsky 
12. "Sing for Absolution" - Muse 
13. "Karma Police" - Radiohead 
14. "Wait" - M83 
15. "Violet" - Hole 
16. "Blackout" - Muse 
17. "Seasons of Love" - The cast of RENT 
18. "Somebody that I Used to Know (feat. Kimbra)" - Gotye 
19. "Untitled 4" - Sigur Ros

Listen on Spotify

Listen on YouTube

Listen on Amazon Music

Release day! WE OWN THE SKY is now available! 

Today is the day! My debut YA urban fantasy, WE OWN THE SKY, is available! The e-book is on sale for just $0.99 on Amazon until 8/23! After that, it goes up to $2.99.


Order the e-book here.


The book is also available in paperback. It's just $10.00 on my website and $10.99 on Amazon. (Note: The paperback version hasn't shown up yet on Amazon as of today, 8/15/17, but the paperback is available here on the website.)

Be one of the first 50 people to order the paperback from my website and get a signed copy, a promotional bookmark, and a promotional button!
 

Order the paperback here.

Book description:

What could you create if you fell in love with a Muse? 

16-year-old musician, Sylvia Baker, has always been different. She's the only one who can see the "flickering people." When she sees a gorgeous flickering man named Vincent, she learns that they are Muses. 

With his help, she finds herself creating exquisite songs that she loves almost as much as songs by her favorite bands--Radiohead, M83, and The Black Keys--and she is falling in love in a way she never knew was possible. While trying to maintain her newfound friendships and her band, she falls deeper into the world of the Muses. 

When the original Greek Muses wake to find a world in which the internet has given everyone the tools to be an artist, a battle between traditional and new methods of creation ensues. As Sylvia discovers how she is connected to the world of the Muses, she learns that this war may put her music, her love, her very life at stake.

 

Help spread the word!

Help me get the word out about my book to the world! How can you do that?

Tweet about it. Click the link below to Tweet about it. 

Tweet: What would you create if you fell in love with a Muse? WE OWN THE SKY #YA fantasy available now! $0.99 on Amazon! https://ctt.ec/c69Uc+

Share a link to this post on my blog or grab any of the images on there to share to social media.

Check out the book trailer, the Goodreads page, or the WOTS playlist.

WOTS book trailer
WOTS on Goodreads
WOTS playlist on Spotify
WOTS playlist on YouTube
WOTS playlist on Amazon Music

Thank you SO MUCH everyone for all of your support! It means so much to me. I am so excited to finally share this book with you all.

 

Images for social media:

Book cover (at beginning of the post)

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WE OWN THE SKY available for pre-order 

WE OWN THE SKY is now available for pre-order!

You can pre-order the e-book on Amazon. It's currently $0.99 as it will be for the first week! (On 8/23, it will go up to $2.99 so order now!)

Order the e-book here

You can also pre-order the paperback here on my site! It's only $10 here. (It will be $10.99 on Amazon.) The first 50 people to order a copy will get a signed copy, a bookmark, and a button! 

Order the paperback here

WE OWN THE SKY will be released on August 15, 2017.

WE OWN THE SKY cover reveal! 

Check out my cover to WE OWN THE SKY! It was designed by Caroline Teagle, and I love it.

A bit about the book: 

WE OWN THE SKY is a young adult urban fantasy that tells the story of 16-year-old musician, Sylvia Baker, who has always been able to see Muses--mysterious beings who give artists inspiration--though they seem to be invisible to everyone else. After a near suicide attempt, Sylvia manages to climb out of the darkness of her mind by exploring her own musical abilities with the help of Travis, inspirational guitarist and classmate, and Vincent, the alluring British Muse who becomes Sylvia’s obsession. As she travels further into the world of these immortal beings that influence art, she finds herself in the middle of an epic battle between the modern Earthly Muses and the Original Greek Muses—some of which want her life.   

Set in suburban Atlanta in present day, Sylvia’s story is a journey of self-discovery told through the lens of a teenage girl finding herself through music and love. This novel includes thought-provoking themes such as the purpose of art, the negative effects of alcohol and drugs, and crippling depression all while remaining true to the teenage experience with tales of love triangles, high school chorus concerts, and anxiety over driving.

WE OWN THE SKY is book one in THE MUSE CHRONICLES, and it releases on August 15, 2017.

What do y'all think of the cover?

Art Belongs to Everyone 

My book was called THE MUSES for a long time. It always made sense to me. It was a book about muses--my idea of them. In the world of my novel, they are the mysterious spiritual beings that inspire artists. Modern day versions of the Ancient Greek Muses. In my novel, the main character (Sylvia) falls in love with her muse (Vincent). Eventually, my agent suggested the title was perhaps not the best representation of the book. 

Titles are usually SUPER difficult for me. Everything I've ever written has been called WHATEVER THE TITLE IS until the last possible moment I needed a title. After some brainstorming, though, I looked to the musicians who inspired me to write the book. M83. Muse. Beach House. I landed on WE OWN THE SKY, which is also the title of an amazing M83 song.

The song itself is important in the book. It reminds me so much of the muses and Sylvia's journey. But there is a whole other meaning to it. So what does it mean to me then?

Everyone is an artist. There are the more obvious artists--musicians, writers, painters--but then there are those who aren't so obvious. Each one of us has a spark of creativity within. I believe each one of us has a spark of divinity within--a connection to God (or Spirit or the Universe or whatever word works for you). We are most like this part of ourselves when we are creative. So whether you write a book or draw a picture or sing karaoke in the shower or crochet a scarf or unwind by coloring, everyone has a way to creatively express themselves.

Art belongs to all of us--the creation of it and the experience of it. It belongs to all of us, but it also belongs to none of us.

Artists used to be on the same playing field. Sure, you had your famous poets and painters, but you also had a ton of artisans creating elaborate pottery, young people who sang and played piano to entertain their families, people who wrote poetry day in and day out. These people were not famous. Most of them did not make a living on their art. And yet, they were still artists.

Technology created the celebrity artist: the radio star, the movie star, the musicians being played on MTV. But now, technology is helping us return to a place where all artists are on the same playing field again. Anyone can create books, music, photography, and anyone can share it. 

Some professional artists seem to have an elitist school of thought. To them, self-published books aren't really published. Local music shows aren't real shows. Community theatre isn't real theatre. You're not a real artist until you can quit your day job, until you are winning awards, until you're on TV. 

This is wrong. Art belongs to everyone. Creative expression is for all of us. We are all creative beings, all children of God.

You look at the sky. You see all of the stars. You wonder how the universe could be so vast, and you feel small. And you are small. You are a spec, a dot in the universe. And yet, you are the universe. Matter cannot be created or destroyed, only changed. We are the stars in the sky, and at the same time, we own the sky. 

So what does we own the sky mean? The vast and expansive sky represents the mystical force that is art and creation. So art belongs to everyone and no one. 

We own the sky.

Why I've Decided to Self-Publish my Young Adult Novel 

Hi everyone! I haven't posted on here in a while, but I wanted to let you know that I'm reviving the writing blog! And I wanted to start by sharing my most recent video in which I tell you why I've decided to self-publish my young adult novel, WE OWN THE SKY. 

 

So the Cliff's notes in case you didn't want to watch the video: 

For those of you who don't know what the book is about, the basic elevator pitch is: A teenage musician falls in love with her Muse, a spiritual being who inspires art, even though no one else can see him. 

Those of you who have been following the blog for a while know that I have been on quite a journey with this novel. I started working on it in the fall of 2012, and I was querying literary agents by March of 2013. After I queried basically every literary agent in America that represented young adult fiction, 12ish requests for my full manuscript, and three offers of representation, I decided to go with literary agent, Marie Brown. She really connected with the book, and I think she really understood me as a writer and the vision I had for my career. While I am still pursuing traditional publishing (we are about to go on submission with a second young adult novel), I have decided to self-publish WE OWN THE SKY. 

I've gotten a lot of positive feedback from both agents and publishers as well as beta readers and critique partners, but a lot of publishers said things like "I just didn't love this enough" or "I don't know how to sell this". Publishing is hard. You have to REALLY love a book to be able to put all of your energy into publishing it--whether you publish traditionally or independently. All of the self-publishing success stories I've heard started with a book that publishers didn't know how to sell or a book that only the author, agent, or beta readers really loved enough to see it through the whole publishing process. So after I thought about it for a while, I realized WE OWN THE SKY fell into that category. 

After I've sat with this decision for a while, I feel really good about it. So the book will be released on September 19, 2017, and by the time it is published, it will be five years since I started it. Waiting this amount of time and getting feedback from so many people has ultimately been really good for the book. It's much stronger than it was. The story is a much more accurate depiction of the story in my head. 

I am very excited about this whole process, and I intend to keep posting vlogs about my self-publishing journey. So subscribe to my YouTube channel if you'd like to stay up to date on those! Ultimately, though, I feel great about this decision, and I'm so excited to finally be able to share my book with everyone!

What's Going On? 

Hey everyone! I know, I know. It's been a long time since I've written anything here. There has been a ton of stuff going on with me this year. I moved into an amazing new place, and I got MARRIED. (This is crazy.) I never ever thought that I would get married, but that all changed completely when I met Peter, and now we couldn't be happier.

I have been crazy busy with all of the huge life changes as well as my freelance internet marketing work. I am also still teaching in the graduate creative writing program at Southern New Hampshire University, which I love. (So far, I have taught screenwriting and a class on editing.) But somehow in all of that, I also managed to complete a draft of my latest young adult novel. It's a time travel novel about a 17-year-old girl who travels back in time from 2015 to 1987 to discover that her mother (the best-selling author of business books/MBA professor) is actually a gothy teenager drinking out of a flask in the bathroom. It was such a fun book to write. My agent is currently reading it, and hopefully, we are about to submit that one to publishers. I'll keep you posted. 

I've sort of been sitting on my novel, WE OWN THE SKY, for a while (formerly THE MUSES). While it was strong enough to land my a literary agent who absolutely adores it, and it will always be the book of my heart, it has had a hard time finding a traditional publisher. It has gotten some good response from publishers that it has been submitted to, but no one wanted to take it on. They weren't sure how to market it. I have been wrestling with the decision to self-publish because I know how much extra work that entails, but the more I think about it, I actually think WE OWN THE SKY is a book that would really benefit from self-publishing. 

So I am proud to announce that I will be publishing WE OWN THE SKY on Tuesday, September 19, 2017! I will be sure to keep you all posted on the publication process. 

In other news, Peter and I have started working on some electronica music (think M83 meets Beach House meets Massive Attack). I'm not really sure where it's going, but we're having a ton of fun. Also, I will be making an appearance at 500 Songs for Kids at Smith's Olde Bar on April 14. I haven't played this since 2014 so I'm pretty excited.

I will be updating my mailing list and sending out some goodies there in a bit so stay tuned!

And that's all for now. Thank you, everyone, for always supporting me in all of my creative endeavors. I really appreciate it. :-)