Wet Moons and Firetraps


Today marks #4more days until Outsider is out (you can still pre-order it though!). Yesterday marked the one year anniversary for my blog and since I’ve got two things to be happy about I decided to share the love by providing another list!

The first list was for Niko, and and the weird random facts (and books, and jokes, and music videos) that went into creating book one.

So now here’s a list of all the fun facts you may not know about Harm, book two of the Outsider Chronicles.

Try, try, try again

I hate writing sequels. While the first book is all fun and games and blazing on through while you create a whole new world, the second book is about building upon the foundation that you cobbled together (especially if you don’t outline like me) and trying to make sure it all makes sense. That means a lot less fun.

Harm had two false starts before it finally got going.

In the first one (which lasted a torturous thirty pages) Roosevelt was in it but not Songhay, she was also twelve and lived with her mother. Her name was originally Evan.

In the second, equally false, start, Songhay was in it but not Roosevelt. He was supposed to steal from Niko but attempt number two died an even faster death than attempt number one (fifteen pages… ) and that scene never happened (it probably wouldn’t have ended well for him anyway).


Now they’re together!

What’s in a name?

Niko is taken from the Japanese word for smile (yea, I know the irony) not Nicholas or any of it’s various incarnations.

Roosevelt loosely translates to “rose field” in Dutch

Songhay’s name comes from Songhai which was an empire in western Africa spanning from the mid-15th to the late 16 century


If you remember from the last list, I get a lot of inspiration from books, movies, and music. Here’s what went into Harm.

The false names that Ben, Niko and Jared used in their attempt to get into the city (Hanna and Wyatt Reeves, Jamie Brennan) pay homage to The Demon Lexicon Trilogy by Sarah Rees Brennan, and Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves.

Roosevelt was very (very, very) loosely inspired by the characters in Wet Moon by Ross Campbell


Meet Trilby, fave Wet Moon character and hair inspiration

Songhay and Roosevelt’s roof hopping antics are inspired by Parkour, specifically the French movie B13 (I would suggest watching this from 1:17)

I decided to burn down the slums after listening to Fire in Freetown by K’naan

Songhay is a fighter because I love watching MMA

The theme song for Harm is Rigamortis by Kendrick Lamar

Locations and Locales

In Harm, there are very few settings but I wanted each one to be as distinctive as possible to showcase the wide gap in resource allotment between the slums and the cities. So while the slums are very gritty and grimy, the Greenery is just the opposite.

The slums are based on the favela’s in Brazil and the townships in South Africa – but you probably already guessed that already. 🙂


The slums surrounding Cherai are broken into four sections, Aker, New Mill, Orange County, and Freetown

All three cities have a nickname. Cherai’s is the Black City.

The Greenery, even though it only makes a brief appearance in Harm is heavily influenced by the design style of Art Nouveau and was inspired by Clamp’s manga trilogy Clover.


Well that’s it! A little something to tide you over in the coming days before Outsider is a officially out.

In the meantime, would you care for a little giveaway?


Last Outsider Cookie + Giveaway


This is the last Outsider cookie before it’s out and completely available to the masses (Not yet! You say. We’ve been on a cookie less diet for more than a month! How can you be so cruel!) Unless you’ve already pre-ordered it then… *thumbs up*

Not to worry I haven’t cut you off completely and won’t leave you guys to survive of the crumbs of this last Songhay-filled cookie (like chocolate chips but better 😉 ). I’m hosting a giveaway!

To enter is pretty simple, from now until the Twenty-third either leave a comment telling everyone your favorite dystopia is and why. Once you’ve entered one lucky winner shall receive books, 1, 2, and 3 of the Outsider Chronicles. 🙂

For now, enjoy some cookies!


The image of a familiar dream was just beginning to flicker into view when she heard the soft tinkle of glass hitting glass and felt a cold shadow press against her body.

Five heartbeats passed between the time it took her to sweep his feet out from underneath him, grapple him to the ground and press a knife to his throat. She opened her eyes.


He swallowed delicately.

“I thought you were asleep,” he finally managed to say.

“I was.” But her time in the Box had turned her into a very light sleeper. “What are you doing here?”


The 7-7-7 Challenge

Oh my god, I haven’t posted in so long it’s obscene.


But to get me back into the blog posting game I’ve been tagged by Madhuri Blaylock to join the 7-7-7 challenge. Which immediately made me think of the Demon Lord, but that’s how my weird mind works.


Sorry, I had to make a NANA reference. I had to!

Any *ahem* back to the point…

The 7-7-7 challenge has nothing to do with the Demon Lord at all (or Demon-Sama for you purists), instead it’s a way to give readers a teeny tiny taste of your work in progress and whet their appetite. 🙂

It’s also a great way for me to get back into the writing groove because I had to put my precious baby on hold for a month and I really want to get back to Songhay and Niko (they’re proving to be more fun than I expected, heh heh).

What you do is go to the 7th page of your WIP, start on the 7th line of that page and post 7 lines.

So without further ado, here is my 7-7-7 sneak peek of Monster, book 4 of The Outsider Chronicles


There were two types of Slithers, pale, inhuman, monsters with disturbingly colored eyes, a mouthful of long sharp teeth and a taste for human flesh.

They were pretty straightforward in their quest for their favorite meal. They were incredibly stupid but they were also too fast and too strong for anyone to stop unless they were a Slither hunter.

The smart ones were crafty, a regular Slither wouldn’t have thought to hide beneath the house.

Niko thought they had killed the smart one.

She was wrong.

I’m tagging, Betty Cross, and Tima Maria Lacoba!



Yay, at long last! I’ve been asking my sister to draw a picture of Songhay and Roosevelt for months and after some aggressive hovering (and maybe being slightly annoying 😛 ) she has done it.

First introduced in Harm, the second book of the Outsider Chronicles, the siblings were originally only supposed to have a small role in the book but they were so interesting (okay, I’ll admit it, they also totally bribed me with cake), their characters expanded from minor to major and they have even managed to attach themselves to some very important story arcs.




Roosevelt Miller

Age: Approximately 16

Height: 5′ 5”

Hair/Eye: Red/Grey

Favorite foods: None in particular. Can and will eat any and everything but really enjoyed the canned peaches Niko provided and wouldn’t mind having those again.

Distinctive qualities: Punctuates most of her sentences with the word ‘oi’.

One arm is missing below the elbow due to an accident when she was six.

Can touch her nose with her tongue.


Songhay Miller

Age: Approximately 19 (neither knows their true age)

Height: 5′ 11”

Hair/Eye: Black/Brown

Favorite foods: Meat. Doesn’t get it often but is very happy when he does.

Distinctive qualities: Has elven scars on his arms to mark his wins as a fighter.

Hates spicy foods.

Check out Niko, the first book in the series here:





Bones, Roses, and Random Things


I was bored and procrastinating a bit (don’t worry I’m still working on the second draft of Niko 3, I just spent a little time binge watching Attack on Titans), and I decided to compile a list (list= a Virgo’s best friend ) of some random facts that you may not know about the first book in the Outsider Chronicles.


1 Names

Names are everything, they can make a person sound cool, they can make a person sound sinister, and when you’re creating characters names are especially important so here are some things you may not have known about the names in Niko.

Niko’s last name was originally Nickel.

Ben was originally called Chris (this default name only lasted for three chapters though… phew!)

Duc’s (pronounced ‘duke’) name is Vietnamese and means ‘desire’

The Director’s name is actually Sarah Lytle

Niko’s full name is Harmony Ann Niko

The Circle of the Guard was originally going to be named after flowers instead of colors


2 Media

When I write my stories are always filled with random references, sometimes their basically super, super inside jokes (I’m lame) but other times those references come in handy when I’m writing scenes. Other times they’re just… random.

The theme song for Niko is Wonderland by Natalia Kills

The movie Ultraviolet was the inspiration for chapters 6-8

When Ari and Ben mention rat creatures and quiche in chapter 5 they are referencing Bone by Jeff Smith

The song that Malik plays for Niko in chapter 9 is Baby Love by The Supremes

Chapters 21-22 have their own theme song, And Counting… by LIGHTS


3 Book Influences

Because what would an author be if they weren’t influenced by books?


The Turned by Jillian Leigh (Known as Avid Reader on Story Write) inspired me to start writing Niko. Her story isn’t online anymore but if it wasn’t for her Niko would not exist in its present form.

The Demon’s Lexicon trilogy by Sarah Rees Brennan, if you were wondering why the humor in Niko is so weird blame her. (just kidding, my humor is weird too).

Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves, if I only had one book in the world it would be this one. It’s dark and bloody, sexy and strange and exactly how I want my writing to be like.

Bleach by Tite Kubo, it’s a manga but if I can write my fight scenes half as well as he draws them I’d be one happy camper.


4 Zombiefication

I love killing off characters and in a dystopian world that means more deaths to plot (rubs hands excitedly). But since there would be no story if I killed off everybody (though George R. R. Martin seems to manage well enough) I usually solve this dilemma by tossing a coin (not an American one, I know which side that it’s statistically more than likely to fall on and will cheat #nerdproblems).

So without further ado here are the people who managed to survive the culling.

For now. Mwah ha ha.


Jared was going to die instead of Shawn

Ben was going to die instead of Malik

Ari was going to die but she has nine lives and won her coin toss


5 Ages

The age of the characters in Niko isn’t discussed much. They’ve got more important things to worry about, like killing Slithers and surviving coin tosses. But in case you’re curious…

Ari is 22

Duc is 23

Ben is 22

Malik was 20

Niko is 17


And there you have it folks! That was kind of fun (liiiiiiiiists), I might do one for Harm, the second book in the Outside Chronicles. It might be a while before I do it but then again, I procrastinate a lot so it might be here sooner than expected. 😛

Writing and music inspiration AKA A Love Song in Wonderland after Rigormortis

I was talking to a friend a little while ago and we happened to be talking about music (okay, I’ll admit it, I was trying to get her into k-pop or LIGHTS ^^;) which lead to me telling her how I like to have a theme song for each book in the Outsider Chronicles.

I don’t usually use music to get me into the mood of the story, before it was mostly to hype me up and make me write faster (other than that I like working in silence. . . SHHH!) but with Niko and Harm, music was a great way to get into the mood and essence of the story as a whole. So without further ado, I give you the theme for Niko



I actually love Natalia Kills whole Perfectionist album, and if you listen to it you’ll discover I pay some slight homage to it in Niko. But Wonderland is a song I felt fit Niko perfectly, the mood, the fact that she’s entering a whole new and maybe just a little bit weird place, the slight anti-romance romance, its bright veneer but dark underbelly, and as my friend pointed out it even has roses.




Kendrick Lamar might seem a bit of an odd choice, and while the song doesn’t fit plot-point for plot-point in Harm, it had this fast, slick, sarcastic vibe I wanted to employ. Also since rigor it what happens after death, just before rot and decay, I wanted to use that to hint and old perceptions changing and dying with a rebirth of something new.




For the third book I chose a sadder song, but it’s also a song who’s title hints at what’s gonna go down in book three (:-3) but after reading the lyric translation also sounds a little sad and ominous. Of course since Outsider still isn’t complete yet, I don’t want to get into too much detail and spoil it all. Don’t worry guys, not too many people die >:D


A review of Harm. YES!

A review of Harm. YES!

So, way back when i first started on this road of indie writerdom, and was feeling like a teeny-tiny little dot in the scheme of things (friendly note: avoid me when i’m depressed, I’m really. . . depressing), I stumbled upon a review of Niko by Alyssa, that really made my day (year, life, rebirth and all that), and now when I was worrying about how Harm, book two would be recieved (after struggling with a bout sequel-itist, in which I lost three chapters, sleep, and a few brain cells), she has made my day again. XD XD XD!


Here’s a snippet. . .

I loved the new characters, I loved how we learn more about Niko’s back story, and I loved the new settings. Cherai City is pretty different from Amaryllis, and seeing their society from a different point of view really added more depth to this world. There definitely wasn’t a dull moment, and I honestly wasn’t expecting the twist at the end of the book.


Now check out the rest!