Announcing Life is But a Dream – Available Now!

Announcing Life is But a Dream – Available Now!

Way back in 2008, when I wrote Dreamers Do Lie for the first time, I did it wrong. It was the first time I made notes. The first time I planned ahead. The first time I knew how a story was going to end from the moment I started. I thought that would be enough to write the perfect novel. But as every young writer learns, there’s so much more to the process than getting the words on the page.

I only ever shared the original version of Dreamers Do Lie with a handful of close personal friends. Which is probably for the best. The story may have been grand, but the writing was awful. I’ve grown enough I can admit that now. (And even laugh about it.)

Though all the people who read the original manuscript had good things to say, one of my friends also offered some heavy criticism. Though he loved the setting and characters, he felt the ultimate outcome of the book was far too obvious.

I was a young writer at the time. Dreamers Do Lie was only the second novel I actually finished. (Island of Lost Forevers was the first – though its first draft is unfit for human eyes.) I appreciated this feedback, but had no idea what to do with it. As so many young writers tend to do, I convinced myself everything was fine. This was the story I wanted to tell, and I liked it, so that must make it okay, right?

We Never Let Go of Ideas

Shortly after that exchange, I ended up shelving the entire project. My inability to properly edit a novel that I knew needed edits overcame my frustrations. I moved on to planning for the Celestial Serenade.

I never forgot those notes though. They steadily churned in the back of my mind whenever I thought about going back and finally finishing the Dream Things True duology. (I had abandoned the sequel a mere 3 chapters in.) The more I learned about the editing process, the more that impossible problem turned into potential solutions. The stronger my grasp of subtext and subversion, the more I understood how to fix that years old problem.

In the end, I didn’t edit Dreamers Do Lie so much as I re-wrote it. And as I retold the story with my new skills, I wove new threads into the tale to address the problem of an obvious onrushing conclusion.

Based on people’s feedback to the finished product, I think I can safely say that I did a decent job with the changes. But I never would have known I needed to make those changes without the blunt feedback of an early reader.

This experience taught me just how invaluable the feedback of beta readers is. Though my betas often can’t tell me how to fix the problems in my manuscript, the fact that they find those problems directs my focus for late draft edits. Writers are a little too close to their stories to catch what might be confusing or where details have been left out. (Fun fact, I removed a little too much from my initial edits of Dreamers Do Lie and had to put a bunch of information back into the manuscript after my betas had their way with it.)

It Take a Village

I relied heavily on the feedback of my betas when I edited Life is But a Dream – the second and final book in the Dream Things True duology. This was the first time I wrote a completely direct sequel. Crossroads of Frozen Eternity takes place 8 years after Island of Lost Forevers, and Sea of Twisted Souls takes place nearly two decades after Crossroads.

Life is But a Dream picks up pretty much the day after Dreamers Do Lie left off. There are no breaks in between to fill the reader in on. But because the setting transitions between Hell and the mortal world, the story required a lot of new worldbuilding. Not to mention a whole new cast of characters to participate in Kaylie’s new adventure.

I had a lot of big ideas when I sat down to write Life is But a Dream but little idea how to execute any of them. This story is a war story, and wars require action scenes. Action scenes are my weakness. I struggle to put them together, let alone polish them so that they read smoothly. In fact, reading back through Life is But a Dream for final edits, I spotted the exact moment I got the hang of composing action scenes.

Without the guidance of my beta readers, I fear all the important connections between these two books would have been vague at best. But a few sets of keen eyes helped me hone this book until it was finely polished. For that, I am eternally grateful.

2020 Has Been Interesting

Releasing Life is But a Dream into the wild marks a lot of milestones for me. It’s my first finished solo series (even though Eternity’s Empire is currently longer). This is also the first year I have nailed all of my publishing goals. (I actually tried to release this series in 2018 and again in 2019 but all my plans fell through for various reasons.)

The Dream Things True duology taught me a lot about writing, a lot about editing, and now it has taught me a lot about publishing as well. I’ll be sad to leave this world and its characters behind, but I’m also excited to see where this path leads.

Curious about what happens to Kaylie after she escapes Hell? Scroll down for the rest of the story! (Haven’t read the first book yet? It’s currently on sale for 99 cents!)

Life is But a Dream is Available Now!

Kaylie may have escaped Hell, but the mortal world is still at war.

Four armies march on Kaylie’s homeland and, as Corvala’s new queen, it’s her responsibility to repel the invaders and restore peace to the neighboring empires. But her kingdom is still weak from the dark magic plague Lucifer used to lure her into Hell – not to mention the death of one of their most capable military commanders.

Losing the war means fulfilling her promise to marry Lucifer – a union that will plunge the entire world into eternal darkness. To prevent the looming doom, Kaylie needs allies, and fast. But who can she trust when the rest of the world’s rulers seem all too eager to bow to Lucifer’s desires?

One thing is certain; with the war’s final battle looming, the devil is unlikely to remain long in Hell.

This epic high fantasy novel is a perfect cross between Good Omens and Lord of the Rings.

Grab your copy today!

Still not sure if this book is for you? Read the first three chapters of Dreamers Do Lie absolutely FREE right here on this website!

(PS: This cover was made by the absolutely amazing and fabulous Molly Phipps of We Got You Covered – please check her and her work out because I cannot even begin to express how happy I am with her work!)

2 Replies to “Announcing Life is But a Dream – Available Now!”

    1. Absolutely! :D I don’t think I’d be able to write stories with the level of complexity and action I tackle now if I hadn’t gone back and stuck it out with this series!

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