I’m very excited to share the preliminary cover for my YA novel, Cloud Warrior, due out sometime this year from Saddleback Publishing. This is my first project with a hi-lo (high interest-low reading level) press, and I’m thrilled to be working in this niche market. I hope my story of a boy descended from the Chachapoyas (the Andean Cloud Warriors) and his bravery during a kayaking disaster inspires many non-readers to dive into the world of books
A gust of wind scattered leaves across the University of Seattle campus. My hair tangled over my face. New contacts tortured my eyes, and books weighed down my backpack. It didn’t matter. A tornado could have snatched me up. As long as it carried me home and put an end to the anniversary of the worst day of my life.
“Watch out, Gabby.” My best friend Frank thrust his hands deep into the pockets of his pinstriped suit. “We’re being followed by a giant candy corn.”…
It was a story born as I learned how to knit, wrapping yarn around my fingers and listening to the music of my knitting needles as they tapped together. I ended up with a scarf, as well as a rough draft.
Years prior, I had read about an Italian woman, who had become trapped underneath her bed during an earthquake and kept herself occupied by knitting. I imagined firefighters digging through the rubble and finding her snuggled inside a knitted afghan.
The story tumbled around in my brain, somehow intersecting with my interest in Mexican culture. From there, I discovered the Mayan twin myth and the battle with the demon Vucub Caquix. Bit and pieces of Mayan mythology adhered themselves to my imagination, morphing into a history of magic and needlework.
After several rounds of feedback, revisions, publisher research, acceptance by Kensington, and final input from the fabulous editor Penny Barber, the final version of Blood Stitches appeared on May 12, 2015.
Since then it’s been a year of blog touring, tweeting, Facebooking, monitoring sales, and learning more about social media and promotion than I ever imagined… not the natural state for most writers, who are introverts at heart (particularly this one).
Somewhere along the way, I lost the thread connecting me to my magical-knitting family and the other characters from Blood Stitches. Thankfully, it recently returned.
Bone Needles, a sequel to Blood Stitches, has been pouring from my fingers, appropriately enough while I knit an afghan, the colorful yarn blending with eccentric characters and Mayan mythology until it forms a tapestry of words and needles.
Now, what are you waiting for? Head out into the Webosphere and buy a copy of Blood Stitches—read it, love it, and leave a review!
Gabby, Frank, Esperanza, and the rest of the gang from Blood Stitches are joining me on a tour, starting today, to every corner of the Webosphere in celebration of the novella’s publication. Finally!
We look forward to seeing you at one of our stops… And be sure to the enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card.
C. Lee McKenzie
Dark Faerie Tales