Category Archives: the hierophant

2015 Year In Review!

2015! What a Year! Let’s take a look.

As 2015 dawned, I was working full-steam ahead on a little sequel that would be known TOWER-smallas The TowerWhile that took up most of my creative attention for the first few months, come spring I found out I was among the ten incredible writers selected to attend Nova Ren Suma’s Young Adult Novel Writing Workshop at Djerassi! Basically my head exploded and I rode that high until halfway through summer. <3

In the meantime, I was finishing up edits on The Tower AND working with the incredible Maria Marquis on the audiobook version of GHOST CITY. I also started work on the novel that I brought with me to the workshop, (working title:) SAVAGE CASTLE, which I discovered was Too Fast, Too Furious a pace for me to continue with that precious gem. I know myself, I know my stories have a longer gestation period than some, and I conceived the idea and churned out the first 75 pages way too quickly (as much as I am still in love with the words I’ve written and the idea of the book) without letting all of it take firm root in my head and my heart. (Soon, though. Soon.)

ghost city audiobook imageOver summer, I attended Nova Ren Suma’s Djerassi workshop where I got to meet not only the author of my favorite YA novel to date (who is also an amazingly lovely person! Er, Nova is, not her book. That would be weird, if her book was also a person. Although…*jots down story idea*), but also nine other incredible and talented lady authors whose books I can’t wait to read when they are published! I had the thrilling, if harrowing, experience of doing my first reading (public speaking, blech), and the invaluable experience of talking about craft and industry with other authors from around the world.

Then BAM–the Ghost City audiobook was released!

BAM–The Hierophant read-along! 15 poorly planned days of insanity wherein I revealed read-along-rounded2little known facts and insights about The Hierophant, and even somehow got over my fear of being on video and posted a few vlogs where I got to read from the book and ramble about what I liked about writing it.

BAM–The Tower – Book II in the Arcana Series was released! Finally, after two years of writing and revising and editing until my brains fell out, my very first sequel was set loose upon the world.

AND THEN…rest. Lots of rest. Because it turns out I can’t keep up with the pace I was setting for myself in writing/publishing, in addition to working a full-time job.

And then…some sadness, too, because I made the mistake of comparing myself and my process and my speed of writing to that of other writers, faster writers, more accomplished writers.

And then…some writer’s block, as well, because what I want my books and my writing to be does not fit into the molds that others have shown me, and when I ignore the wild, outrageous ideas that inspire me to write, I end up listless, lost, disconnected from the story (and ignoring wild, outrageous me is specifically why I haven’t been able to work on SAVAGE CASTLE, something that’s only obvious to me now as I type this).

In short, 2015 was a very busy year that started with a bang and ended with a much-needed nap. But I’m slowly getting back on track, I think, reminding myself to trust the story, to trust the little inspirations that come along the way, and stop thinking about what one “can” and “can’t” do when writing a novel, or a sequel, or within the nebulously defined category of “young adult.”

So what am I working on, now that the bleak fog of writer’s block has finally lifted? As promised, finishing up the first draft of Book III in the Arcana Series is my main focus for the time being (when I’m satisfied with it, I will announce the title! Oooh what tarot card could it be??!!). I don’t want to be a mean author and make people wait years for another sequel. But after that, SAVAGE CASTLE has my full attention. I have…*strong feelings* about that book and, without putting too much pressure on myself, I know I need to get that novel written, for myself, as much as for my career.

It’s true, those novels are two utterly different creatures, but they both possess a different part of my heart. And I dare to hope that, someday, they might touch the hearts of a few other people, too.

So that’s it for 2015! Happy New Year everyone! May 2016 be a year of incredible stories for all of us. :)

 

Day 12 of The Hierophant Read-Along! Chapters 48-53, plus a video!

Day 12

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Welcome to day 12 of The Hierophant read-along! Check out this post if you don’t know what I’m talking about, and join the conversation on twitter with the hashtag #ArcanaRA :D

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So! Much! Happening! Did you read last night? :D

Recap! Chapters 48-53:

Chapter 48: Ana takes Faye and Kyla to the Crimson Oak, where they will be safe from the other Irin and any Sura milling about. They come up with a bad plan, which is that Ana and Kyla will go to Sheol to rescue Trebor with the help of Trebor’s psychopomp friend, Lykos.

Chapter 49: Ana and Kyla have a heart-to-heart <3

Chapter 50: Ana has an important (to the series as a whole) but upsetting dream about seeing the Devil on the Hierophant’s throne.

Chapter 51: Meet Lykos! The cowboy psychopomp! The Crimson Oak gives Ana and Kyla gifts: a protection amulet and a dagger. Ana gives Kyla both items, assuming her magic will be enough protection for herself. Faye translates Trebor’s “magic words” that always seemed to make Ana calm down enough to use magic: ahuvati shell, salah. Loosely, it means be at peace, my beloved. (Ooooh!) Lykos opens a doorway in the fabric of reality, and takes them to Sheol.

Chapter 52: They arrive in Sheol and take in all it’s red, dusty, cracked-earth wasteland glory. Ana uses magic–the dark magic of Sheol, which is difficult to handle–to figure out what direction to travel in to find Trebor.

Chapter 53: Kyla thinks Ana is in love with Trebor. The three of them are confronted by a group of Zee–human-looking Sura of ill repute.

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And now, the second-to-last video of The Hierophant Read-Along, guest starring Rusty, AKA: Boof, AKA: Lord Boofington!

PS: sorry about the weird audio on the first part…I didn’t catch that until it was too late :p

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That’s all for today! Feel free to chat with me on Twitter, or use hashtag #ArcanaRA to join the conversation and automatically be entered to win some free books, and maybe a pocket tarot deck!

Until tomorrow!

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Tomorrow: Chapters 54-57!

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Day 11 of The Hierophant Read-Along! Chapters 43-47 + More Anthropological Goodness!

Day 11

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Welcome to day 11 of The Hierophant read-along! Check out this post if you don’t know what I’m talking about, and join the conversation on twitter with the hashtag #ArcanaRA :D

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Woot! Shizz getting’ cray, y’all! Did you read last night? :D

RECAP: Chapters 43-47

Chapter 43: Ana hits that maniacal sweet spot of TOO MUCH STRESS and NOT ENOUGH F*CKS TO GIVE, and when she is being bullied in the girls’ bathroom she gives them more sass than they know what to do with, officially no longer caring about high school or what anyone thinks of her (because, dayum, there are much more important things to worry about than what a bully says about you!). She returns to the dance and Andy creepily makes her dance with him. Ana sees strange faces in the crowd that look out of place, staring at her. Andy starts talking about things he shouldn’t know about, calls her Anastasia, which no one does, and freaks Ana out enough to run away from him, leaving the dance in a hurry.

Chapter 44: Ana goes to the cemetery early, to her mother’s grave, and while she’s trying to ask the dead for help a handful of Irin show up, demanding to know where Trebor is. They claim he’s a traitor, and that he has Fallen. Just before Faye (Trebor’s cousin) can bind Ana, Trebor swoops down from out of nowhere and snatches Ana up into the sky because HELL YES, those tattoos Trebor has? ARE WINGS. They drive away in Ana’s car, but John Cassidy’s SUV follows them, filled with shadowy looking Sura all around John, and he forces them off the bridge.

Chapter 45: Ana comes-to and the car is flipped upside-down in the creek. Trebor is injured and unconscious. An ambulance arrives and people pull Ana out of the car, but Trebor’s body has gone into hiding-mode to protect him while it tries to heal, which means Ana is the only one who can see him.

Chapter 46: Ana is in the hospital with a laundry list of injuries, but she escapes, calls Kyla, and tells her to come pick her up at the nearby gas station ASAP because Trebor might be dying somewhere. When Kyla is like, “WTF?” Ana promises to tell her everything.

Chapter 47: Kyla brings clothes and helps Ana change out of her hospital gown in the gas station bathroom while Ana starts to explain. Kyla gets super pissed that Ana kept all of this a secret. They’re about to leave to go to Trebor, but Faye stops them. She explains that she’s on their side, and she saw the Sura take Trebor through a thin spot in the veil, back to Sheol, which is problematic because Irin aren’t supposed to be able to exist in Sheol. Faye says there are two exceptions: if the Irin is unconscious, or if they’ve Fallen. Finally believing Ana can trust Faye, they all run off together to hide from the other Irin.

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Some fun facts!

-So, I was sitting in my Anthropology of Religion class learning about the concept of “sacred vs. profane” and “pollution,” sacred obviously being holy, magical, divine, or of the spirit world, etcetera. Profane, on the other hand, I was shocked to learn originally meant (and still means) simply not sacred. So, anything earthly and mundane, not just swear words. Pollution, in the context of magic and religion, is when the profane contaminates the sacred, or the other way around.

In my head, from a storyteller’s perspective, this answered so many questions about mythological creatures that it exploded onto the page in my notes. Maybe this is why mythological beings always seem to exist in another world parallel or separate from ours, because our world pollutes them. Maybe faeries and other magical beings still exist, but we can’t see the parts of them that are magical because we only see the profane.

And maybe they are physically uncomfortable having their magic polluted by the profane.

What is the one feature in art and fiction that really separates a faerie or an angel from a human? Wings.

So I imagined a world where winged mythical creatures are walking among humans, but we can’t tell because their wings are hidden–maybe hidden in plain sight.

And thus, the Irin-tattoo-wings were born, in an Anthro class, many years ago.

-OKAY I admit it. In the original draft of The Hierophant, the Irin were faeries. See, I have a theory that whatever the actual creature, experience, or glitch-in-our-perception is that we (as a species) have called faeries, or angels, or aliens (among other things)–I think it’s possible that they’re all the same thing. We’ve just adjusted our perception of it as our perception of the world changed. I was going to touch on that in the original version, but I like this one better–I think that idea can work for a totally different book, but not this one.

-Another reason the Irin are not faeries in the final version: well, aside from intentionally steering the mythology for the Arcana Series away from Angelo-Celtic myth because there are so many other ancient cultures to be inspired by–the story of the Arcana, what they are and where they come from, is much more interesting than just “we’re the magical creatures humans have written about for centuries! Hee heeee!” But you’ll hear more about that in The Tower. :D

(Do you see why, even though I always intended to be a writer, I thought it would be beneficial for my writing to major in Anthropology?)

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That’s all for today! No video, but you can still chat with me on Twitter! Use hashtag #ArcanaRA to join the conversation and automatically be entered to win some free books, and maybe a pocket tarot deck!

Until tomorrow!

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Tomorrow: Chapters 48-53!

 

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Day 10 of The Hierophant Read-Along! Chapters 39-42, plus a video!

Day 10read along

Welcome to day 10 of The Hierophant read-along! Check out this post if you don’t know what I’m talking about, and join the conversation on twitter with the hashtag #ArcanaRA :D

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We’re over half way done! Are you caught up?

RECAP: Chapters 39-42!

Chapter 39: Ana is visited by the Devil! (Nikolai) He implies that he knew Ana’s mother; informs her that the Malakiim are responsible for the slaughtering of her clan, the Ouros; and then he shows Ana her future, and it scares the crap out of her. Nikolai offers to help her avoid part of it, if she comes with him, now, to Sheol. Ana refuses. She doesn’t want to Fall. And then she wakes up! Was it a dream?

Chapter 40: Ana is quietly freaking out because the Devil came to her and Trebor is missing and she still hasn’t told Kyla anything and, oh yeah, the spring formal is tonight. Ana’s father gives her the dress her mother wore to a masquerade once, the night she met her father, and Abe might have been a little misty eyed when he handed it over. Ana doesn’t understand how he can still cry over Karanina’s memory when he’s dating someone new?

Chapter 41: Ana recalls in vivid detail the night of her last school dance: homecoming, her freshman year…the night her mother died. She gets on the dance floor with Kyla and realizes how much she’s missed her friend during this whole Sura and magic ordeal, but also during her years of grieving.

Chapter 42: Ana feels eyes on her and decides to step out for some air. She encounters Andy, and he’s acting weird. She goes out to the front of the school and reminisces. Trebor shows up, doesn’t say where he’s been–both of them are too distracted by each other to worry about it. They dance, and it gets intense. Ana admits she’s afraid of what’s happening between them, but she wants to be brave. They’re about to kiss when John Cassidy knocks into them, mocks them, and leaves. Suddenly Trebor gets tense, says he needs to tell her something important ASAP, but he needs to leave right away. They agree to meet in the cemetery at midnight.

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Some fun facts!

-The beginning of Chapter 39 is based on all the creepy things that happen to me when I’m sleeping. No devil visits, but I did read that Ray Bradbury book (Something Wicked This Way Comes) and do have that thought at 3:00 AM; and I totally have had that thought that something is watching me from the doorway, and have to must up all my courage to look (and the door is always closed). I didn’t used to sleep very well, okay?!

-So, remember how my best friend and I used to pretend to worship Satan/S’tan? Well, in 7th grade I read in a book one day that one of the MANY nicknames for the devil was “Old Nick,” and from then on out every boy in our class named Nick we would call Old Nick, and never once explain ourselves. This is literally why I gave the sort-of-Devil in this series the name of Nikolai (Nick just isn’t majestic enough, you know?)

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And now, a video!

(Dear gods, ignore my crazy hair. Focus on the adorable dog on the right side of the screen, instead.)

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That’s all for today! Questions or comments? Predictions about The Tower? Use hashtag #ArcanaRA to join the conversation and automatically be entered to win some free books, and maybe a pocket tarot deck!

Be on the lookout for a new video posted tomorrow!

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Tomorrow: Chapters 43-47!

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Day 9 of The Hierophant Read-Along! Chapters 35-38

(It’s also only ONE week until the release of The Tower: Book II in the Arcana Series! If you haven’t yet, sign up for my mailing list to be notified when The Tower is available in print and e-book! No spamming, ever. I promise!)

Day 9read along

Welcome to day 2 of The Hierophant read-along! Check out this post if you don’t know what I’m talking about, and join the conversation on twitter with the hashtag #ArcanaRA :D

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Recap! Chapters 35-38

Chapter 35: Ana and Kyla have a fight! Because Ana has been sketchy and absent lately, and Kyla wants her best friend around because Kyla is a senior and she’s going to college in the fall and it’s the end of an era and Ana is nowhere to be found! But Ana promises to explain everything…soon.

Chapter 36: Magic training! Ana defeats a Sura. They walk back to Ana’s house and Trebor explains how life in Shemayiim is kind of crappy, and how the Malakiim have forbidden the races/species to interbreed. He tells the story of an *Malakiim who fell in love with a Sura, and had his child, and then gave away her immortality when the Malakiim hunted them down, so that her lover and child could go on. She was killed, but the Malakiim could not destroy the other two–and they’ve been sealed up in a tower in Sheol, ever since. They have a nice heart-to-heart and then BAM something crazy happens in the sky and they run the rest of the way home!

Chapter 37: Ana is a little freaked out that something was scary enough for Trebor to make them run home. She feels like it’s going to be impossible to ever feel safe again, especially once Trebor goes home. Trebor tells Ana he has to go check out whatever that was that fell from the sky, but promises he’s not leaving leaving. Besides, he’s taking Ana to the spring formal!

Chapter 38: Ana wakes to a series of texts from Trebor explaining that he’s going to be gone for a few days, but he promises to come back. Abe confronts Ana about her failing Chemistry grade, says she’s been acting weird lately. He’s surprisingly cool about her failing a class, but he’s more sad that she might have been lying about Trebor being her tutor, and Ana has to insist that they aren’t dating. Her father says he’s going out with some guys from work that night, but Ana gets it out of him that he’s meeting a lady–his first date, or anything resembling a date, since Karanina died. With everything else going on, Ana has no idea how to react.

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Important to note: SO MUCH RELEVANCE to things that happen in The Tower! :D

-In Chapter 36, Ana makes a statement about using people as anchors so that she doesn’t float away. Well…what does this say about her own place in her universe? This is at the core of her journey in The Tower.

-In Chapter 37, when it becomes more and more obvious that Trebor is not here for Malakiim nonsense, he tells the story of the Malakiim who fell in love with a Sura. This is VERY important in The Tower!

-I can’t say exactly what to keep an eye out for without it being a little spoilery, but Chapter 38 has a lot of interesting details that are VERY RELEVANT even though they seem like casual observations.

Just one fun fact for today!

-I totally make a Return of the Jedi reference in chapter 36, and I giggle every time I read it.

Han Solo: “I don’t know, Chewie…fly casual!”

Ana: “Okay. Focus…casually.”

A tiny bit of a stretch, but Ana would never have said “Focus…casual.” ;D

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No video today, but you can still chat with me on Twitter! Questions or comments? Want to guess at the hints I’ve planted in Chapter 38? Use hashtag #ArcanaRA to join the conversation and automatically be entered to win some free books, and maybe a pocket tarot deck!

Until tomorrow!

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Tomorrow: Chapters 39-42!

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Day 6 of The Hierophant Read-Along! Chapters 25-28, plus SATANISM :D

Day 6

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Welcome to day 6 of The Hierophant read-along! Check out this post if you don’t know what I’m talking about, and join the conversation on twitter with the hashtag #ArcanaRA :D

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Are you all caught up?

Recap: Chapters 25-28!

Chapter 25: Trebor takes Ana to the Crimson Oak, and tells her about how his brother “Fell”…and reveals that he doesn’t entirely trust the Malakiim’s definition of “Falling.”

Chapter 26: On the walk home, they are attacked by a Sura and Trebor saves Ana with ~maaaaaagic!~ Ana complains that she doesn’t like being a damsel in distress, and asks Trebor to teach her how to defend herself against Sura. Trebor admits that human magic is dangerous, but decides to do it anyway.

Chapter 27: Ana has a dream about the Sura, and her mother, and Trebor. She rejects Trebor in the dream because she doesn’t need him, to which he responds “No, you don’t. But I’m here anyway.”

Chapter 28: Ana goes to school and sees Trebor talking to her classmates. He sits with her, explains a little bit about his intelligence gathering methods, but then John Cassidy, Ana’s arch nemesis (the boy she beat up in 8th grade) shows up and starts mocking her. Trebor tells him off and Ana is so embarrassed that she leaves, already starting to have an attack of that thrumming sensation. Trebor stops her in the hall, but when he touches her there is a burst of energy so powerful that it almost knocks Ana out. They make a plan to begin training her immediately.

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Some fun facts!

-As ABSURD as this is going to sound, I’m going to tell it to you all anyway: when I was about 9 or 10, my best friend and I joked A LOT about worshipping Satan, specifically in the way that the media portrays Satanic worship as being evil and chaotic (not like real Satanism, which is actually pretty legit if you look into it). We weren’t serious about it, although we did get up to quite a bit of mischief in our time. We even decided to call Satan “S’tan” so we could talk about him in notes and make jokes in our essay journals for school that no one would get but us (S’tan and I went to the mall this weekend to get new sneakers…). Anyway, in the woods along Ellicott Creek (the creek Ana almost drowns in) we discovered a tree that, at the time, seemed HUGE to us, with a massive root system that was mostly exposed and sitting on top of the earth because of the frequent flooding. We were so impressed by its magnificence that we decided to dub it The Satan Tree. We proceeded to bring it offerings–cool rocks we’d found, Halloween candy, anything we found in the woods that would burn, dead moths and butterflies. We didn’t in any way shape or form think that this meant anything, because all of it was a joke to us.

But then things started showing up in the roots of The Satan Tree. A completely full, unopened can of coke appeared on a day we didn’t have enough change to purchase a drink from the local convenience store. A volley ball was there once; a cartoon flip-book another day. I don’t know if other people had also started leaving offerings at the tree, or if people were just hanging out there and leaving their crap around, or…something else.

Anyway, that tree inspired the Crimson Oak. And the Crimson Oak ended up becoming much more important than I anticipated when I first wrote her down…

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That’s all for today! No video, but you can still chat with me on Twitter. Questions or comments about whether or not I’ve sold my soul to the Devil? Use hashtag #ArcanaRA to join the conversation and automatically be entered to win some free books, and maybe a pocket tarot deck!

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Tomorrow: Chapters 29-31!

The Hierophant Read-Along: Recap! Chapters 21-24, plus Insta-love!?

Day 5

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Welcome to day 5 of The Hierophant read-along! Check out this post if you don’t know what I’m talking about, and join the conversation on twitter with the hashtag #ArcanaRA :D

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Did you do the reading?! :D

RECAP: Chapters 21-24

Chapter 21: Ana goes home and debates texting Trebor, but she has no idea where to begin.

Chapter 22: Later that night, Andy texts Ana to set up a coffee date to ask her more questions about her mother’s people, the Ouros. Trebor texts, too, and makes it clear that he knows she can see what others can’t–and he knows about the Sura, too.

Chapter 23: Ana meets up with Andy; she tells him about the Ouros; Andy tells her what he’s read about the 3 worlds–Shemayiim, Iritz, and Sheol; he says he read a myth about a key that could open the gates between the worlds. Trebor shows up…but no one can see him except for Ana.

Chapter 24: Trebor and Ana go for a walk; he reveals himself to be an Irin, one of the fabled Watchers sent by the angels (the Malakiim) to protect humans from Sura. He’s looking for the Key that Andy spoke of, but he also feels he has an obligation to help Ana deal with her vulnerability to Sura. Trebor takes them to a pocket world called a loka!

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Some fun facts!

-I was an anthropology major for most of my time in college, until I switched to media studies and only minored in cultural anthropology (I sometimes regret that choice, tbh). Most of what Andy talks about in chapter 23 (and later) is inspired by things I learned in my Anthropology of Religion or Anthropology of Witchcraft and Sorcery classes (best classes EVER). The inspiration for this ENTIRE BOOK can actually be attributed to those classes. <3

-Like many fantasy authors, I stole a lot of words from ancient languages for this entire series. Most of it is Hebrew (ancient, but still in use outside of religious practice!) Malakiim/malachim (pronounced the same); Iritz/Erets; Sheol is Sheol, and Shemayiim/Shamayim; even havati bashrat is a well hidden fictional etymological evolution (i.e., bastardization) of the words for “love” and “destiny.” My missed-connection kind of relationship with Judaism (I’m half Jewish, raised nothing, though my parents met in a cult they didn’t leave/get kicked out of until I was 6 or 7) definitely influenced a great deal of this book, especially as I was trying to unbox the complicated feelings around something that is both an ethnicity and a religion, as well as the strongest link I have to my ancestors.

-Some of the words, like Irin, are Aramaic; Sura is from the ancient Sanskrit Asura which is “a member of a class of divine beings in the Vedic period, which in Indian mythology tend to be evil and in Zoroastrianism are benevolent.” (Important definition is important!) It’s not very spoilery to tell you that the idea behind this is to ask the chicken or the egg question: which came first, humans or the Arcana? Did the Arcana influence our world, or did we influence them? HMMMM?

(Can you tell that I would have been a linguistic anthropologist if I’d continued in that major?)

And Now, A Reading! Plus: INSTA-LOVE?

(Pardon the weather happening outside…it gets mighty windy towards the end.)

That’s all for today! Questions or comments about insta-love? FEELS about Ana and Trebor? Use hashtag #ArcanaRA to join the conversation and automatically be entered to win some free books, and maybe a pocket tarot deck!

JFYI: There will be recap posts over the weekend, and videos will start up again Monday!

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Tomorrow: Chapters 25-28!

The Hierophant Read-Along: Recap! Chapters 11-14, friendship love, and a video!

Day 3

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Welcome to day 3 of The Hierophant read-along! Check out this post if you don’t know what I’m talking about, and join the conversation on twitter with the hashtag #ArcanaRA :D

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Woot! Day 3! Magical number 3! Did you read last night? :D

RECAP: Chapters 11-14

Chapter 11: The memory of the man in the cemetery, and the man with flashing eyes, and the wild rushing feeling in Ana’s blood are all driving her nuts, and playing her violin isn’t cutting it, so she goes outside in the middle of a rainstorm and sprints around her neighborhood to let loose. But Ana runs into a Sura on the way home, and it knows her name

Chapter 12: On the run from the Sura, Ana collides with Trebor just outside her house. How embarrassing. Except–wait–did Trebor’s eyes just flash like a cat’s? Like the creep who ran into her on the street the other night? Like the guy who might or might not have been the shadowy figure from the cemetery They totally did. It’s totally him. What’s going on?

Chapter 13: Ana goes over to Kyla’s house to help her prepare for the house party Kyla is throwing tonight. They go up into Kyla’s attic and Ana has major nostalgia feels about when Kyla used to fight with her mom about the identity of Kyla’s father, and when Ana used to cry her heart out about her mother wasting away from chemo. Kyla gives her an old red, wooden box that Ana’s mother left with Kyla’s mother for safekeeping, with the instruction that it be given to Ana when she’s done with school. It won’t open–in fact, it’s impossible to open.

Chapter 14: At the party that night, Ana is awkward as usual, especially when Andy starts making small talk about her heritage, and her mother’s people. He is apparently interested in traveler culture–he’s something of an armchair anthropologist, you might say. But he’s digging for information, and given that everyone else at school has only ever made fun of Ana’s “gypsy” heritage, it makes Ana suspicious.

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Things to notice:

-Kyla’s mom…she seems cool enough in Ana’s memories, but where the hell is this woman that she’s not around to stop her kid from practicing witchcraft and throwing house parties? (Not that anyone should stop their child from practicing witchcraft… *clutches crystals and tarot deck*)

Some fun facts!

-Inspiration for the box: my grandmother gave me a trick box when I was a kid that I only ever opened once. I forgot how the “trick” part worked, and no one else could figure it out.¯\_(ツ)_/¯

-In the ORIGINAL draft of The Hierophant, Kyla’s girlfriend Vanessa was Ana’s best friend. WHAT? Yes. We didn’t meet Kyla until this party (that was actually a school dance in the original draft), and when I wrote her I immediately fell in love with her, and knew she was Ana’s real best friend.

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Here’s a video of me reading a bit from Chapter 13, and talking briefly about FRIENDSHIP LOVE. (Sorry the end is a little rushed, my laptop battery was dying…)

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That’s all for today! Remember you can chat with me and others on twitter using the hashtag #ArcanaRA, and you’ll also be automatically entered into the giveaway! Send me your questions and comments!

Tomorrow: Chapters 15-20!

The Hierophant Read-Along: Recap! Chapters 7-10 + the TRUTH about Trebor’s name!

Day 2read along

Welcome to day 2 of The Hierophant read-along! Check out this post if you don’t know what I’m talking about, and join the conversation on twitter with the hashtag #ArcanaRA :D

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Did you do your assigned reading? :D

Recap! Chapters 7-10

Chapter 7: Kyla gives Ana a tarot reading that indicates Ana needs to stop internalizing everything, and also…some kind of a teacher might be coming to her, as indicated by the Hierophant card.

Chapter 8: Kyla and Ana perform a protection spell around Kyla’s property, to keep the Sura away. It’s a spell Ana’s mother taught her, with words given by her people, the Ouros.

Chapter 9: Ana walks home late and sees a man who might or might not be the same man from the cemetery…but his eyes flash like a cat’s, and he seems like he’s intentionally trying to knock into her. What a jerk! At least he says “sorry.”

Chapter 10: Andy introduces Kyla and Ana to Trebor, the new kid on the block. There is immediate attraction on Ana’s part, even though she tries to talk herself out of it. But Kyla is hoping some kind of romance will spark between Ana and the new kid because they’re both tall (and she wants Ana to get a date for the dance so she doesn’t back out), so she cons Ana into giving Trebor a tarot reading. When Trebor draws a card to represent the querent (himself), he draws the Hierophant.

Some fun facts!

It’s time I told the truth about Trebor’s name. There was an adjunct professor at my university whose first name was Trebor, and I thought it was the most unusual, interesting name, without being too over-the-top cool. He was Swedish, too, so I totally thought it was a Swedish name. But no. Trebor was an artist, prone to whims. His real name was Robert. He just had people call him treboR as an artistic statement. :P

-Williamsville, at least when I was growing up there, really was something like the second safest community in the state, or the country, I can’t remember. But I do remember walking home from a friend’s house well past midnight, many, many times in my youth. If only my parents had known about Sura, I doubt they would have felt so comfortable letting their youngest child walk alone at night! (Not me, though. I’dda been like “come ‘n get me suckas!” But mostly because life was so boring in the second safest community in the state or country or whatever.)

* * *

Sorry, no video today, but you can still chat with me on Twitter! Use hashtag #ArcanaRA to join the conversation and automatically be entered to win some free books, and maybe a pocket tarot deck!

Until tomorrow! (And there’ll be a new video tomorrow, definitely!!)

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Announcing: THE HIEROPHANT Read-Along!

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In preparation for The Tower’s release (August 11!), I’ve decided it might be good to have a little refresher for the first book in the series: The Hierophant. Whether you’ve read it before or are reading it for the first time, I invite you to join me in a read-along for the 15 days counting down to the release of The Tower!

How does a read-along work?

I’m glad you asked!

Below, I’ll post the schedule for the “assigned reading” each night. Starting Monday, July 27th, I’ll be posting recaps here on the blog (and possibly recordings/videos of readings by yours truly!) from the previous day’s chapters. I’ll also be dropping some truth bombs about the characters and the writing process for The Hierophant (and some of it might surprise you!).

In addition to that fun stuff, I’ll be doing an ongoing twitter Q&A! Any time you want, use the hashtag #ArcanaRA to discuss or ask questions about The Hierophant and I will be more than happy to answer!

Also, by participating in the #ArcanaRA tag, you’ll automatically be entered to win one of THREE prizes!

1) Signed copies of both The Hierophant AND The Tower

2) Signed copies of The Tower and another novel (your choice!)

3) And the GRAND prize: signed copies of The Tower + any of my other novels, AND a Pocket Rider Waite tarot deck! :D

I’m SUPER excited about this, and only wish I’d thought to do it sooner. I can’t wait to share some of the story behind the story, to chat about favorite characters and scenes (I’ve been so surprised by some of the things people have told me, about how deeply a scene or a line affected them after reading this book, and it made my little heart grow ten times its size! <3), and of course, to give away some free stuff!

The Reading Schedule

It’s a bit of a time crunch (15 days), so we’ll be averaging about 20 pages a day. And remember, feel free to @ me on twitter (@madelineclaire_) or use the read-along hashtag (#ArcanaRA) at any time with questions or comments! I’ll get back to you ASAP :)

Here is the schedule by chapters, beginning on July 26 (I’ll be posting the first recap on MONDAY, July 27!):

7/26 Chapters 1-6

7/27 Chapters 7-10

7/28 Chapters 11-14

7/29 Chapters 15-20

7/30 Chapters 21-24

7/31 Chapters 25-28

8/1 Chapters 29-31

8/2 Chapters 32-34

8/3 Chapters 35-38

8/4 Chapters 39-42

8/5 Chapters 43-47

8/6 Chapters 48-53

8/7 Chapters 54-57

8/8 Chapters 58-59

8/9 Chapters 60-63

8/10 Chapters 64-END

8/11 Happy Book Birthday, The Tower!

Thanks for joining in! See you next week!

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