Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Find your Spirit Animal

One thing I’ve learned to love about writing is research. If I get an idea for a character who is out of my personal experience—like being a 23 year-old guy—I have to do research. And if this 23 year-old is a zen winger who is completely in touch with his spiritual side, then I have to do a ton of research.

In The Tao of Hockey, Eric Fairburn sorts out the important people in his life by deciding what their spirit animal would be. It’s his way of determining the essence of someone’s nature.

Here's Eric explaining spirit animals to Josie:
“Okay, let’s talk about what your spirit animal would be.”
“My what?”
“Your spirit animal. We all have animal guides who appear to help with the problems or opportunities in our lives.”
“How do we find them?” Josie leaned forward and looked interested for the first time all night.
“Well, the best way would be for you to do some kind of physical journey, like a long meditation or a vision quest. An animal might appear to you in a dream.
“But the most important thing is being conscious of what’s around you—like animals reappearing in your life. Take a lion, for example. You might see a lion photo on the side of the bus, or when you turn on the TV an African nature show might be on.”
“I don’t have a TV,” she said.
“On your laptop. Whatever. Notice what’s around you and be sensitive to the signs.”
Josie cracked a new breadstick in two. “There is one thing that keeps appearing in my life repeatedly and unexpectedly.”
“Really, what?”
She pointed the breadstick at me. I laughed, and Josie smiled.
“If I had to guess, I would say your spirit animal is an owl,” I told her.
“An owl? I think I’m more the lion type.”
“A spirit animal doesn’t mean an animal you identify with. It’s your guide animal.”
“What does an owl say about me—that I stay up all night?”
“No, it says that you’re smart and knowledgeable, but you’re watchful. You like to look around and take stock of things before you act. Maybe a little detached.”

What do you think your spirit animal would be? If you don't want to do a vision quest in the desert, there is an easier way to find out. 

Here are two quizzes to determine your spirit animal. I took them both, and I’m an owl. Just like Josie, except minus the hot 23 year-old boyfriend.

Do you agree with the spirit animal you got? Is that your personality type?

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Launch of Tao

The Tao of Hockey is on sale today. Cue the brass band.

Man, it’s been torture having the book done for three weeks, but not getting to hear what readers think of it. When I finish writing a book, I’m so hyped that I want to run up to people and shove the book in their face and say, “Read my new book!” Then watch them until they finish and then ask what they thought. But given that would be super creepy and weird, I’ll have to settle for hearing from my readers—via reviews, emails, and facebook. I’m pretty damn excited about this!

However, the best way for me to calm down is to keep busy. And I wanted to tell you about what I’m writing right now. I’m creating a short story about the Vancouver Vice—the team you’ll meet in The Tao of Hockey. This story involves a faithful hockey fan, a new dating app, and a geeky guy. The title is Sunny Side, and it will be free. However, the only way to get this tale is to be on my mailing list. So make sure you’re signed up, right here.

And if you read The Tao of Hockey, I’d love to hear what you think of it.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Goodbye and hello

Three cat stories 
(photo by Mathias Erhart from flickr)

This week I took my very first book, Fresh Air, off the market. I published this novella back in October 2012, and it was an experiment. I had to learn formatting, editing, and marketing all at once, so I wanted to start with something small. I was hugely excited when I made my first sale—to a reader in Florida who had followed my writing online and was looking for the book before I even knew it was on sale!

Recently Fresh Air had become a bit of an orphan. When I redid all my covers, I skipped doing that novella because its sales were so low. In addition, I re-edited all my books in the past year—except that one. I kind of ignored it, meaning to take it down in the new year once Tao was published. A negative review last month reminded me that people were still reading the book, and it might not be the best introduction to my work. I am happy—as I’m sure you are—that my writing has improved over the past three years. While the innocent tale of a couple bonding over an orphaned cat was one of my favourite stories, it might not be one of my best. 

I do have plans for Fresh Air though. In 2016, I am writing a new novella for a box set of Crazy Cat Lady stories. Yes! Can you imagine something more perfect for me, someone who is always inserting cats into her books? I have started the novella already and it stars Marty Devonshire, a big, hulking player who you will meet in The Tao of Hockey. It's going to be my first inclusion in a box set, and I'm really excited about being in a project with some different and exciting authors.

So, once I get that story back, I’m thinking about creating a trilogy of cat/hockey stories: Marty’s story, a revised Fresh Air, and one new novella. Yes, I am cornering the market on combined cat and hockey tales. This project will be not realized be until 2016, but it’s exciting to think about, because as one era ends, a new one is beginning.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Tao has launched!

The Tao of Hockey is the first book in my new series about an AHL team called the Vancouver Vice. 

Here's my elevator pitch: Eric Fairburn has one last shot at an NHL career, so distraction—in the form of a beautiful woman—is the last thing he needs.

The early reviews are in:

“…these characters are resilient and spunky, yet have a sweet, vulnerable side.”

“I loved this couple!!! this is not your typical book where the heroine is sweet, loving and quiet... nope Josie is as bad ass as you can think of!!” 

“I never read a book about a Yogi-health-nut-hockey player with a pretty sordid past before and I thought what kind of seduction techniques would this guy even have????” 

“…different from most other romance books out there.” Jessica

You can find the book here .