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It’s Okay, Britain. Water Under The Bridge.

Of all the national holidays for my country, Independence Day is the one I can actually get behind. It’s not that I’m unpatriotic–far from it. I love my country, even

What I’m Working On These Days

It’s a bit of a non-secret, but I have a ghost writing gig that I’ve been doing on the side to make some extra cash and keep my chops up

Sparkle Star Manor!

When my ex moved out in December, I was at a bit of a loss for what to do with the house we’d bought together. Sure, it was technically all

Full Disclosure

OKAY ladies and gents. Time for some honesty. Let’s rap. Obviously, I have been neglecting this blog. I used to post these passionate dissertations on creativity, writing, industry, self care,

Buffalo Small Press Book Fair 2014

Just a quick update: Tomorrow I will be selling and signing books at the Buffalo Small Press Book Fair along with MANY other artists, writers, and publishers. This is my

It’s Okay, Britain. Water Under The Bridge.

Of all the national holidays for my country, Independence Day is the one I can actually get behind. It’s not that I’m unpatriotic–far from it. I love my country, even with all it’s many (MANY) flaws. But I don’t like a lot of the things that come to mind when you think of America–where women’s uteruses are more legislated than our firearms, and when you ask “did you hear about that school shooting the other day?” most people have to respond with “which one?”, and where money buys legislative votes, the people’s opinions are not represented in politics, and medical developments are fueled by profit instead of humanitarianism. There’s quite a bit about the state of things right now that I don’t like, but I have a lot of faith in humanity, and a lot of hope for my country to get things right, ultimately.

Independence Day is a great holiday because it reminds me of the roots of this country. It reminds me of how badass we used to be, throwing tea into the ocean like a punk rock riot, flipping off the crown (or biting our thumbs at the crown?) and pulling a Sarah-from-Labyrinth like “I HAVE FOUGHT MY WAY HERE TO THE CASTLE COLONY BEYOND THE GOBLIN CITY ATLANTIC OCEAN–ETC…um…YOU HAVE NO POWER OVER ME!” I mean, look at the Declaration of Independence. Those old dudes got it. And it’s proof that there was a time in history when the people who would become the United States of America were forward-thinking, socially progressive, freedom-loving, genuine human beings.

Were they perfect? Hell no. But the things they stood for were important enough and real enough that, over time, adhering to those values forced ye olde white men to bring about real, lasting, important change. Sure, sometimes those values seem to get lost in the mess up on Capitol Hill, but look: we weren’t perfect then, and we’re not perfect now. But we’re always moving forward–even when some SCOTUS rulings make us seriously doubt that forward momentum.

For better or for worse, the USA is a country that has been crafted to expect and implement change. And what that means is that this country will never become static. Improvement is always possible, and in the longterm history of things, it’s actually highly likely. We may not be where we want to be today, but we’re a hell of a lot closer than we were even twenty years ago.

So I think about that, on the 4th of July, watching fireworks displays and eating hotdogs and listening to the often misinterpreted lyrics of “Born in the USA” blasting from my neighbor’s window. I think about that every time some startlingly awful decision is made by any of the three branches of our government. I think about that every time another state rules in favor of marriage equality.

Sometimes things are bad–but the foundation of this country leads me to believe that they can and will always, eventually, get better.

What I’m Working On These Days

It’s a bit of a non-secret, but I have a ghost writing gig that I’ve been doing on the side to make some extra cash and keep my chops up while I’m not emotionally ready to dive into another soul book. The books I publish under my real name are all books that I consider soul books. Partially because they seem to come from mysterious, magical, deeply spiritual places, and partially because they tax me, spiritually, to write. This is why I’m not the best business model for self publishing–I don’t produce enough content to make a steady income. I just can’t write that fast.

So I’ve been finishing up another ghost writer project while finally shaking the last of the winter doldrums. May was overcast and rainy around here, so it feels like it’s taken FOREVER for Spring/Summer to really arrive. But now that it’s here? I’m flourishing like an invasive weed in an unkempt lawn! (I work for a lawn care company now, just go with it.)

This time last year I was releasing The Hierophant: Book I in the Arcana Series. It is a very important book to me, partially because it was written over the span of some of the best and worst years of my life, and it represents some of the best and worst realities I had to accept about myself as a writer. But I’ve been dreaming of the sequel since before the first draft of the first book was even halfway done.

So, it shouldn’t surprise you that what I’m currently working on is that sequel: Book II in the Arcana Series. I can’t talk about it in too much detail here, but there is so much I WANT to talk about, and it’s killing me! But I will give you this kind of awesome teaser for now:

Book II is not ONLY about Ana, nor is it ONLY from her point of view. As you probably figured out from the first book, Ana’s dazzling, unusual, and incredibly brave not-just-a-sidekick best friend, Kyla, has her own story to tell, and I cannot wait to share it with you.

That’s all I can say for now! But if you want a glimpse of what I’m up to, follow my Tumblr and be on the lookout for anything tagged “arcana series.” I’ll be posting a ton of visual inspiration for the next novel and the series as a whole.

Now, back to work!

Sparkle Star Manor!

When my ex moved out in December, I was at a bit of a loss for what to do with the house we’d bought together. Sure, it was technically all mine (the mortgage and deed are both in my name) but fair is fair and he’d been paying half the mortgage since we moved in. However, he had agreed to stay until the house sold, and that didn’t end up happening, so…fair is fair. I was stuck with the mortgage, so the house was/is mine.

Still, it was more than I could afford by my lonesome. I was looking at either moving into a studio apartment in a terrible neighborhood (that I still probably couldn’t afford) (and only if I could find a place that would let me bring my 3 cats and one dog) or buying a very small house in a terrible neighborhood (that I could afford, but eeehhhh). The whole prospect was very overwhelming.

Meanwhile, across town, my best friend and her wife have been trying to move to Massachusetts for years. Their house has a grudge against them and despite their success as independently published authors something always seems to stand in the way of them being able to sell their house and move. For over a year I’ve listened to some rather exciting but totally alarming ideas they’ve had about how to Make The Move, and as much as I admire their bravery my Taurean practicality had something to say.

“Why don’t you move in with me?” I offered. “We’d split everything, so we’d be saving money. You’d be able to get your pets out of the house so you could fix it and sell it. You’d have time to save up for a down-payment for when you do move to MA. And, come on, we’ve been best friends for almost 10 years. I think this could be MAGICAL.”

Cue clouds parting, sun shining, angels singing.

It took less than three months for them to pack up their lives and their animals and move into my 3 bedroom colonial in South Buffalo. Everything fell into place so quickly and easily, as if the Universe Itself was managing the move. It’s been about 3 weeks now since they’ve moved in (along with their dogs and cats, who have blended perfectly with my animals), and Buffalo is very slowly creeping into actual spring-like weather. The perfect time of year to ease into a new beginning. Accordingly, we have re-christened the house: Sparkle Star Manor.

(The joke of “Sparkle Star Manor” is that I’m not actually a very sparkly person–I’m more of a smoldering embers kind of person that occasionally shoots off sparks–but my roommates are VERY sparkly. However, when I was about 6 or 7 years old, I used to insist that I was going to change my name to Sparkle Star because I thought it was the coolest. So the name was resurrected because, regardless of how sparkly or not we are as people, our home together is going to be a hurricane of magic and excitement that can only really be named Sparkle Star Manor.)

I could go on an on about how cool it is to live with your best friend, even at the age of 28 (29 in a month!), or how weird/awesome it is to come home after a day at the office to a clean house and a fresh pot of tea and two people who are genuinely interested in listening and sharing. I could go on and on about the amazing conversations we’ve already had, the magic that we can feel is taking shape within the walls of the house, the amazing things we have planned for the year ahead. But for now it is enough for me just to look around me and feel at peace. For the first time in years I feel like I don’t have to worry about anything. Everything is good. Everything is alright.

Also: if the idea of three mildly eccentric authors living and writing together is at all fascinating to you, you’re in luck! We’ve started a blog. We’ll be chronicling our adventures, posting lots of pictures, and sharing a boat-load of recipes since we have a vegetarian, a gluten-free vegan, and a soy-free Paleo in the house, and WE LOVE A CHALLENGE in the kitchen.

Alternative lifestyles! I live them!

Full Disclosure

OKAY ladies and gents. Time for some honesty. Let’s rap.

Obviously, I have been neglecting this blog. I used to post these passionate dissertations on creativity, writing, industry, self care, etc. I used to post things that maybe some of you found helpful. I didn’t used to just talk about where you could buy my books (which I know is something I *should* do if I want people to buy my books, but definitely shouldn’t be the *only* thing I do). The point is I haven’t been using this blog the way I wanted to, and I intend to get back to the good ol’ days of inspirational and funny and exciting posts as soon as possible.

But I have a reason for why this blog has been so inactive and bland this winter season. Two reasons, actually. Justifications, maybe. Excuses, really. But good ones.

Reason One: I guess I have Seasonal Affective Disorder (inappropriately named because research suggests it’s NORMAL to get tired when it’s cold and sunless, and it’s NORMAL to get depressed when you’re forcing yourself to operate as if it was sunny and warm out). I’ve been in denial about it for the last 10 years or so, but every winter I develop symptoms of chronic fatigue and chronic depression, and no amount of positive self-talk, exercise, good eating, acupuncture, or looking at pictures of baby animals on the internet has been able to remedy that. In fact, this year I gave myself permission to NOT write this winter, because usually I force myself to write and make myself even more horribly (HORRIBLY) depressed when I can’t. Alleviating some of the pressure to produce helped a lot with my tendency to drive myself into a self-loathing all-hope-is-lost I’ll-never-be-able-to-write-again what-is-the-point-of-anything depression.

This isn’t a pity party, though! I’m not giving up on finding a way to thrive during the chill winter months. Now that I’ve accepted it’s a real issue, I know to start in October with things like vitamin D supplementation, light box therapy, and lightening my psychological load. Also, I eat super-healthy style about 90% of the time so at least I know that’s not an issue.

Reason Two: This past October, my husband and I decided that our marriage was over. So, you know, that was kind of a big deal.

I’m still processing it in my own way. It was a complicated split that raised a lot of questions about life and relationships and the expectations of both of those things. It also made me question a lot of what I thought I knew about myself and how Reality works. But still, as much as I know it was the right choice–and as much as I know how much happier my life is now that I’m not trapped in an unhealthy marriage–I cannot overstate how difficult it was to overcome the shame and guilt attached to the realization that I want to be happy and (after years of giving everything I have to save it) I am willing to end this marriage for that happiness. Kind of messed up that I would even think about staying in a terrible marriage at the price of my own well-being.

Oh, wait, but that’s exactly what our society teaches us to do.

Anyway. Still processing. Still transitioning. I bounce between feeling fabulous and free, and being a bitter man-hating shrew (actually I know too many awesome dudes to be a man-hater for long). But life goes on.

So there are my reasons for not being around on ye olde blog this winter. But I intend to change that! There are a lot of crazy awesome positive things that I’d like to share you you all, rather than sulking around in my still overcast and chilly hometown questioning the validity/worth of the institution of marriage. For instance: Did I mention I have two fabulous roommates now? And we’ve re-christened the house under a more fabulous and sparkly new name?

More on that next week ;)

Buffalo Small Press Book Fair 2014

Just a quick update:

Tomorrow I will be selling and signing books at the Buffalo Small Press Book Fair along with MANY other artists, writers, and publishers. This is my first time doing a public event and I’m admittedly a little bit nervous. But it should be a lot of fun! I get to meet other local artists, tell people about my books, and hopefully get my name out there! I even ordered up some fancy bookmarks for the event (If I have any extra, I’ll let you know! ;D)!

If you’re in the Buffalo, NY area, I hope to see you there!

GHOST CITY paperback now available – plus a giveaway!

I’m happy to announce that Ghost City is finally available in a beautiful, physical, printed and bound format–complete with the scent of fresh book binding glue and the heft of over 300 pages of riveting, post-apocalyptic ghost action!

You can purchase the print version on Amazon (and get the Kindle version free through the matchbook program!), or you can get a signed copy from my Etsy shop (Unknown Press) and get your choice of e-Reader file (.mobi, .epub, .pdf) for free!

Also, I’m giving away a free signed copy on Goodreads! (US only. Sorry!)

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Ghost City by Madeline Claire Franklin

Ghost City

by Madeline Claire Franklin

Giveaway ends March 10, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win


Side note: I’m excited to tell you that I will be signing and selling books with fellow local authors, book binders, and artists at the Buffalo Small Press Book Fair on Saturday, April 5 2014! If you’re local or close enough, I would LOVE to see you there!

Have a great week!

 

GHOST CITY is live!

halvsies red rightHappy Book Birthday to my baby, Ghost City! It’s now available on Amazon, Kobo, and Smashwords (where you can download all eReader formats), and is coming soon to BN.com and print! I will most definitely let you know when all of that is available :)

What can I say about this book? It’s a lot of things to me. It’s the book that represents 2013, the Year That Changed Everything for me. The year I got fired. The year I finally told myself it was OKAY TO NOT SETTLE. The year I realized more about who I am and what I want from life than in all the 27 years that came before. 2013 was a year of endings and beginnings, all wrapped up into a handful of moments that, absolutely, changed everything.

In 2012, I wasn’t ready to write this book. It’s like nothing I’ve ever written before, and yet it is exactly what I write. It is weird. It is unusual. It is a bit of a mindf**k for lack of a prettier word, and I wasn’t sure I had the chops to pull it off. While it is about young adults, it is not a YA novel. I’ve been calling it a “post-apocalyptic ghost story,” but to be specific it’s more along the lines of “a work of speculative literary fiction with a touch of magical realism.” But that’s not very catchy, is it?

It’s 2014 now. I’ve written a novel that I can say, without a doubt, is the best thing I’ve ever written. But I’ll let you be the judge of that. :)

Thank you all so, so much for supporting my stories. I hope you enjoy this new one.

~*~

Check out all the teasers leading up to the release!

(Read teaser No. 1 here)
(Read teaser No. 2 here)
(Read teaser No. 3 here)
(Read teaser No. 4 here)
(Read teaser No. 5 here)
(Read teaser No. 6 here)
(Read teaser No. 7 here)
(Read teaser No. 8 here)
(Read teaser No. 9 here)
(Read teaser No. 10 here)
(Read teaser No. 11 here)
(Read teaser No. 12 here)

GHOST CITY Teaser No. 12 (And a giveaway!)

Just a reminder, the giveaway ends tonight! Today is your last chance to enter for a chance to win a free eReader copy of GHOST CITY, and then tomorrow it’s RELEASE DAY! :D

So here it is, the last teaser for GHOST CITY:

What is going on here?

(Read teaser No. 1 here)
(Read teaser No. 2 here)
(Read teaser No. 3 here)
(Read teaser No. 4 here)
(Read teaser No. 5 here)
(Read teaser No. 6 here)
(Read teaser No. 7 here)
(Read teaser No. 8 here)
(Read teaser No. 9 here)
(Read teaser No. 10 here)
(Read teaser No. 11 here)
(Read teaser No. 12 here)

And that’s it for teasers!

Check out Ghost City – a post-apocalyptic ghost story! – TOMORROW, January 21st! Available on Amazon, BN.com, Smashwords, Kobo, and at my shop on Etsy!

Enter to win a free eReader copy of GHOST CITY below:

Click here to view this promotion.

GHOST CITY Teaser No. 11 (And a giveaway!)

Our heroine is coming to some hard conclusions…

Someone is about to get smacked. For real.

(Read teaser No. 1 here)
(Read teaser No. 2 here)
(Read teaser No. 3 here)
(Read teaser No. 4 here)
(Read teaser No. 5 here)
(Read teaser No. 6 here)
(Read teaser No. 7 here)
(Read teaser No. 8 here)
(Read teaser No. 9 here)
(Read teaser No. 10 here)
(Read teaser No. 11 here)
(Read teaser No. 12 here)

Check out Ghost City – a post-apocalyptic ghost story! – January 21st, or sign up to be notified when it’s available! (HINT: IT MAY BE AVAILABLE BEFORE THEN XD) And keep an eye out for the next teaser!

Also, you can enter to win a free copy of GHOST CITY below!

Click here to view this promotion.

GHOST CITY Teaser No. 10 (And a giveaway!)

Future tense, not present. C’mon.

Meeeemories

(Read teaser No. 1 here)
(Read teaser No. 2 here)
(Read teaser No. 3 here)
(Read teaser No. 4 here)
(Read teaser No. 5 here)
(Read teaser No. 6 here)
(Read teaser No. 7 here)
(Read teaser No. 8 here)
(Read teaser No. 9 here)
(Read teaser No. 10 here)
(Read teaser No. 11 here)
(Read teaser No. 12 here)

Check out Ghost City – a post-apocalyptic ghost story! – January 21st, or sign up to be notified when it’s available! (HINT: IT MAY BE AVAILABLE BEFORE THEN XD) And keep an eye out for the next teaser!

Also, you can enter to win a free copy of GHOST CITY below!

Click here to view this promotion.