A Barn Owl Yells at Kelsea


The Prince was roused from his fitful sleep by a pair of wings slapping his face.

“Wake up!” said the Barn Owl. “Wake—up! There is an intruder!”

“Intruder?” repeated the Prince drowsily.

No one had ventured into their territory for years, meaning the owl hadn’t been able to do his job as watchman. There was no one left to protect, nothing to protect them from. It was no wonder he saw this opportunity and went about it with vigor.

“Someone has parked a red car at the end of the road,” said the Barn Owl. “They’re waiting on the outskirts of the forest! They need only wander in and they could easily find the palace!”

The Prince sat up, his heart racing. “Lady Kelsea,” he breathed. “I did not think she would come!”

“Who the blazes is Lady Kelsea?” the Barn Owl demanded, watching the Prince scramble into his day clothes and snatch his coat from the ground.

“It’s no business of yours,” he snapped, knowing well that explaining it would trigger another lecture.

“I’m keeping watch, it bloody well is my business!”

The Prince shook his head. “Tell Lady Kelsea not to go anywhere!”

The owl’s yellow eyes widened with shock. “You want me to speak to a commoner?” he cried. “It will end in disaster!”

“Whatever it takes, I cannot have her walk away! I made a promise. Tell her to wait, and I’ll follow you shortly.”

“How could you make a promise to a commoner?”

Something inside of him snapped for the first time in years, and he found he could no longer handle the Barn Owl’s selfish reprimands. “Just go!” he shouted. “Tell her Caspar is coming!”

Bound by duty, the owl gave an angry screech as he vanished out the window.

Hesitating, the Prince crossed the hall to a room where the jewels were stored. He didn’t know how to find a princess, much less keep her around—but the tales his nanny told him implied that jewelry always helped.

The Prince opened a box, selecting an amber pendant that reminded him of Lady Kelsea’s hair. It hung daintily from a fine silver chain. He put it in his pocket and took a breath, then turned on his heel and ran.

He bolted down the spiral stairs two steps at a time, hoping the owl had reached Lady Kelsea before she could leave.

The Prince crashed through the forest, his feet pounding on damp autumn dirt, retracing a path familiar to him. He knew it by heart after all his ventures into town. This time he followed it with a different purpose, not stopping until he found the red car mentioned by the Barn Owl.

Beside it paced a flustered Kelsea, her hair tied back in a messy knot. Hearing him approach, she whirled around to face him.

“An owl just yelled at me to stay put,” she cried, advancing several steps towards him. “What the hell—”

The Prince dug the amber pendant from his pocket and held it out, gasping for breath. “I—I’m sorry—for the delay,” he panted, “Lady Kelsea…”

Her eyes were fixed on the jewel now, alarm mixed with confusion. “What’s going on, Caspar?”

“I’m late,” he lamented, “but the ballgown is in the palace and I am eager to show it to you. Forgive my tardiness.”

“Caspar, what are you?”

He swallowed hard, not sure how to answer the question. “Will you just come with me,” he asked at last, “please?”

He now saw that Kelsea was trembling, though from anger or fear he could not tell. Perhaps sending her a talking owl had not been the most prudent choice, but what other option did he have?

Finally she nodded, swallowing hard, balling her fists. “Show me,” Kelsea said, her voice trembling. “Show me the dress…and the palace.”


Does she believe him? I think it’s hard to doubt a peculiar fellow’s story when a barn owl is yelling at your face. The question now is whether Kelsea will keep him around or run away.

What would you do in her position?

Here we conclude the first week! Thank you for reading the first week of The Autumn Prince; it has been an honor to share it with you so far, and especially know you’ve enjoyed it! Come back Monday to see Kelsea’s reaction. Maybe the Prince has found his princess after all!

Here are the links to the other chapters, in case you’ve missed out! Also, follow my blog if you’ve enjoyed the story so far–it’s going to be updated every weekday this month!

A Lonely Prince and a Wise Barn Owl
The Prince Lies to Some Maidens
A Lie, a Ballgown, and a Proposal
Does Kelsea Want to be his Princess?

Does Kelsea Want to be his Princess?


For several heartbeats, Kelsea’s exclamation echoed in his mind.

We can go as prince and princess!

The Prince felt something inside of him flutter with unease and confusion. All these years he’d longed for a companion—and now, completely out of the blue, Lady Kelsea was offering to fill in that spot. She wanted to be princess!

“Of course,” said the Prince, his voice tight. “Of course I will attend the ball with you.”

He ignored his conscience, which sounded irritatingly like the Barn Owl, whispering in his mind that it was too good to be true.

“Fantastic. What’s your phone number?” asked Kelsea.

He made a pained noise. How to explain that he did not have a phone?

“I would prefer if you came to the palace and saw the gown there,” he blurted out. “You see, it’s old…I don’t like exposing it to the weather.”

“Oh.” Kelsea smiled. “I won’t go trick-or-treating, then. What’s your address?”

“Kelsea,” Emily hissed, “are you insane?”

“I’ll drive up tomorrow and have a look,” Kelsea said, ignoring her. “Just tell me where to go.”

“It’s difficult to find the palace on your own,” said the Prince. “I’ll wait for you up this street and guide you.”

“Excellent. Thanks, Caspar. You’re a lifesaver.”

She offered a hand, which he took and gallantly pressed to his lips.

The color drained from Emily’s face; Kelsea dissolved into a fit of giggles at his look of confusion. “All I needed was a handshake,” she explained, blushing, “but that works, too. See you tomorrow.”

The Prince opened his mouth to say farewell, but Emily grabbed her friend’s hand and pulled her up the sidewalk. He listened to her ramble on about how strangers shouldn’t be trusted, but hadn’t the mind to eavesdrop more.

Kelsea wanted to be his princess. This wasn’t the sensation he’d expected—instead of joyful and accepted, he only felt bargained with.

But what did he know of life?

Later in the palace, he wandered into a chamber full of dresses the court had left behind. In the far corner was a wooden trunk with fine carvings on the lid; he opened it and waved away dust, lifting out the gown.

Time hadn’t changed the rich hues of red, orange, and brown; the skirts shimmered, light and fluid as water. It was designed to attract attention: Everyone was to recognize the Autumn Princess by how she let the music carry her, not missing a step, putting the other dancers to shame.

No one ever told him what to do when he met his Autumn Princess. Should he pamper her with jewels and flowers? Ought he let her live in the castle at once?

He let the gown fall into the trunk with a sad sigh. It was clear that he didn’t know how to fall in love, how to be in love, how to know if someone loved him. His nanny died when he was a boy, before she could explain how the world worked outside these palace walls.

All he knew was that Lady Kelsea requested to be his princess at a ball. Halloween was not for two days, which left him time to work out how to handle this strange turn of events.

The Prince had two days to figure out how to fall in love while completely, miserably alone.

He almost wished he didn’t have the gown and jewels to offer her. Life at the empty Autumn Court was not entertaining at all, not since the faeries’ laughter faded from the air. Not since witches stopped brewing their healing potions, or centaurs stopped their star-gazing.

Shutting the trunk, the Prince wished a centaur could give him advice now—any form of guidance. He had no one in the world to go to, except an owl who wouldn’t understand anyway.

He only hoped that next time he saw Lady Kelsea, she hadn’t changed her mind. The Prince couldn’t bear to have this spark of hope extinguish, the one thing he’d wanted all his life.


As you can see, loneliness and isolation have made the Autumn Prince very naive. He feels hope because of something Kelsea said, but instead of bringing him relief, this hope has caused him suffering. Will he get a happy ending?

Start our tale from the beginning here, and if you like what you’re reading so far, subscribe to the blog–there’ll be more updates all month!

Thank you for joining me on the Prince’s journey these last four days; we’ll see if his is a happily ever after!


A Lie, a Ballgown, and a Proposal


He worked in theater.

Those four words, shamefully uttered, fell to the ground at the Autumn Prince’s feet. He should have boasted of the blood that ran through his veins, blood of autumnal gold. He should have shouted to the heavens that he once ruled over a vibrant kingdom of Fae.

Instead he put on the mask of an actor, waving away his peoples’ memory for the sake of conversation.

“Oh! I suppose that makes sense.” The maiden who’d asked for his heritage paused, oblivious to his turmoil. She hesitated before inquiring, “You don’t happen to have other costumes I can rent? I promise to get it back without a stain.”

“Erm,” he began uncertainly, then paused.

Yes, there was another ’costume’ he could let her borrow. At the palace was a chamber full of gowns no one ever used.

There was one in particular the Prince was certain would outshine the most costly frock; made from the colors of autumn foliage, it was the gown of the Autumn Princess–if he ever was to find one.

“There is,” he said hoarsely.

Her eyes widened, gleaming with excitement. “Name your price and I’ll make payments. I’ll work overtime to look like something out of a faery tale for one night!”

The Prince allowed himself a good look at the maiden. Her skin was the color of porcelain; auburn hair cascaded down her back. Her cheeks had a subtle rosy hue, so it seemed like the sun was caressing her.

He thought discreetly that she didn’t need much to look like a faery tale.

“Might I ask for your name?” He didn’t like to call her nameless.

“Of course!” She laughed in apology; her eyes, the color of dark amber, gleamed in the sun. “I’m Kelsea.”

“Lady Kelsea,” he said, liking how her name formed in his mouth, “I do have a ballgown I reckon would fit you.”

“A gown?” Kelsea breathed. “A legit gown from—I don’t know—Romeo and Juliet?”

“Erm, no, the gown is in one of the palace chambers.”

“Who even says chamber anymore?” Emily asked, crossing her arms.

“Oh, hush,” said Kelsea, nudging her companion. “Let him roleplay. Halloween is once a year.” She then turned to the Prince and inquired, “What about you? What’s your name?”

He’d never been given a name, as it was custom to address royalty by their title alone; however, he blurted out the first that came to his mind. “Caspar.”

“Caspar,” Kelsea began, “I’d be so grateful if you let me borrow that gown. I want to go to the party looking my best—and if the quality’s anything like what you’re wearing, I’ll even outdress Samantha!”

“The quality is very fine,” said the Prince. “It was made by the best seamstress in the kingdom, colored with the finest dye and embroidered with expert hands.”

Both ladies gaped at him, hearing this description. A stray wind blew past, filling the silence that settled between them.

“Right,” Emily huffed. “But you forgot to tell us what color it is.”

“The gown is vivid crimson.”

“Who says crimson?”

“Shh,” Kelsea snapped. She turned once more to the Prince and asked, “By vivid, do you mean bright?”

“It changes tones depending on the light,” replied the Prince, deciding it was easier to look at her than her skeptical companion.

Kelsea exchanged a look with Emily, who scowled but kept silent. “I’d sell my soul to wear something like that for one night. How much are you charging to rent it?”

The Prince frowned. He had no need for money, but there was one thing which had caught his interest since he heard their conversation. “You needn’t give me gold or silver, but I would like to attend the ball hosted by Lady Samantha. I do not know where her palace is.”

Kelsea shrugged. “I can bring you to the party. But what if you came as my partner?” she added, eyes flashing with excitement again.

“Of course I could—”

Then she blurted out with girlish glee, “We could go as Prince and Princess!”


Does Kelsea know what she’s getting into, volunteering to be a princess? One thing’s for sure–the nameless Prince has denied his heritage, now calling himself Caspar, and he’s gotten himself into a party.

Want to read this tale from the beginning? Click here! Be sure to follow the blog for updates.

The Prince Lies to Some Maidens


For years the forest behind Bennett, Pennsylvania went uninhabited. So remote was this corner of nature that the Fae chose it for their kingdom, building a palace of living wood; their community thrived in harmonious joy.

That was before the plague.

The Prince remembered tales his nanny told him before the plague took everything. These were stories full of hope and happy endings.

He remembered the first time the plague killed a faery. Having no resistance to the illness of disbelief, they vanished like clouds dissolved in the sky. It had been the beginning of the end for his kingdom; his nanny hid him in the forest, and when they came back, the Autumn Court had become a ghost town.

If only, he lamented, continuing his stroll into town, if only I could have a real ghost to speak with. All he had was that judgmental barn owl.

For a few seasons he lived alone, with only the owl keeping him company. Soon after the demise of the Autumn Court, a few wandering humans discovered the beautiful forest. Almost in the blink of an eye, houses were being built–what would soon become the town of Bennett.

After that his outlook had never been the same. He refused to waste time waiting for Halloween’s once-a-year appearance. Why was he doomed to walk among the humans only once a year? What good did his title do if he lived as a prisoner?

This rebellion damaged his relationship with the Barn Owl. Once his closest friend, now the Barn Owl scolded him any chance he could.

The Prince didn’t consider it a mistake to dream of having friends, of leaving his trap, the Autumn Palace. Sometimes he harbored that hope; other times, he wished the plague could have taken him too.

Since autumn came by every year, humans believed in it; that was why he survived to inherit a life of loneliness. When his nanny died, he had nobody left but an owl, giving him plenty of room to come up with a dream.

The Prince kicked up leaves on the sidewalk, whispering to himself that this year it would change.

Throughout October, people put out decorations—pumpkins, spiderwebs, tombstones. He counted the pumpkins on doorsteps he passed, waiting for the big night with anticipation, only to have his thoughts interrupted by two maidens talking behind him.

The Prince thought he’d learned which paths to take when he wanted to avoid people; clearly, these two were unafraid to venture into a desolate part of town.

Samantha is planning this huge Halloween party,” said one of them. “But—surprise!—I’m not invited.”

The Prince wondered if he should quicken his pace or stop and hope they would overlook him.

Maybe she hasn’t sent invites yet,” offered her companion skeptically.

Emily, you know better. I’m the last person Samantha Baker would let into her house.”

They were getting closer now. The Prince decided to continue nonchalantly in his set direction, even with a racing heart; he hadn’t prepared himself for interaction today.

You know,” said Emily, “we could crash her party. If we have the best costumes, she wouldn’t be able to throw us out without embarrassing herself.”

I doubt I’ll ever outdo her in a costume. Not like that guy, anyway. Hey, you know Halloween isn’t till Saturday?”

It took the Prince a nervous moment to realize she was talking to him. He stiffened, waiting to wake up alone in his tower bedroom. It did not happen; he decided to seize the chance, turning slowly to reply.

I am aware of that.”

The girl whose name he did not know stared, her eyebrows knit together in a frown, as if the mere sight of him gave her an idea.

Are you roleplaying?” asked Emily.

Before he could ask what roleplaying was, the nameless girl asked, “Where in Bennett do you go to buy such a fantastic costume?”

It was passed on to me,” he said proudly.

A hand-me-down?”

Well, it is historically accurate,” Emily chimed in. “We’re studying Shakespeare in class.”

Was your great great grandpa royal or something?” the nameless girl demanded.


He hesitated. The last time he admitted to being Prince had ended somewhat awkwardly. People never believed him, instead walking away as if he’d lost his mind. It made him afraid to boast of his title, something else of which the Barn Owl disapproved.

If only he knew what it was like.

The Prince gave up, deciding to utter five words which would disappoint the Barn Owl terribly—thank heavens he wasn’t around. Never before had he denied his heritage, but today—for the sake of conversation—he did not care.

“No,” the Prince said, in a tight, hoarse voice. “He worked in a theater.”


For the sake of friends, our Autumn Prince has denied his heritage–and it’s about to open a can of worms. If you enjoyed this reading, come back tomorrow for more; if you missed the first part, click here to start our tale from the beginning!

Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog for more updates this month! Also, I do have a book out; support an author, buy an eBook!

-Mariella Hunt

A Lonely Prince and a Wise Barn Owl


If one were to ask the Autumn Prince for his age, he wouldn’t know how to respond. His memory had long been distorted; a year to him consisted only of the months Philadelphia spent coated in leaves.

His reign began when the Summer King closed his eyes for a yearly rest, ending when he gave way to the Winter Queen on November so she could coat the streets in frost. As far as the Prince was concerned, he reigned over the most beautiful season—one in which the world turned golden and smelled of warm apple spice.

Although he had plenty of real gold stashed in his palace, the Prince didn’t care for it. He could not count his years in numbers, but the Prince was a youth, and found it natural to go outdoors in search of distraction with commoners.

But he could only mingle with people on Halloween, one day a year in which he gave himself the pleasure of joining a crowd. Everyone was already in costume, meaning his out-of-season attire didn’t raise any eyebrows. People assumed his jewels to be fake, his medals part of a costume; even his sword was just one of many wielded by boys dreaming of knighthood.

Halloween was not for two more days. Struggling to contain his excitement, the Prince had decided to go for a stroll. He meandered the obscure dirt roads behind the small town of Bennett, counting the minutes till he could join real people.

This particular autumn was the most golden he could remember. Leaves blanketed the ground in warm hues of brown and red, like the tones carpeting his palace—but alas, even that luxury couldn’t compare to this spectrum.

He drank it in, walking up the empty street, and pondered—was it a sign? Yes, it had to be—perhaps there was hope for him, after all. This Halloween, he might finally find an Autumn Princess.

Behind him, the Prince heard a familiar rustle of feathers.

“You have been outdone,” hooted his friend the barn owl. “Have you ever seen such an autumnal paradise?”

The Prince turned to greet his watchman. Sometimes he wished the barn owl could be normal and silent; usually when the barn owl spoke, it was to reprimand and scold.

“I agree.” He tucked his hands into his pockets, skipping on leaves like a young boy. “It’s an omen, my friend. This will be a good year.”

“You say that every year, and I know what you’re thinking,” retorted the owl. “If you care a whit for my wisdom, learn to be happy with yourself!”

“I am happy with myself,” said the Prince, stung. “But I’m not happy by myself. There’s a difference.”

“By yourself! You aren’t by yourself,” said the owl. “You have me, and all the deer, and the hummingbirds and—”

“You wouldn’t understand,” murmured the Prince. “I wish for someone like me.”

“No human in the world will ever be like you,” the owl exclaimed. With an indignant hoot, he ruffled his feathers and vanished in a flurry of wings. The Prince watched him go, battling a familiar emptiness.

He knew the owl was right, but gratitude was difficult to feel—especially after people started to build their homes nearby. From a distance he’d seen them fall in love, build communities and do things together—human things. This forced his outlook on life to change.

The Prince could no longer settle for a life alone with barn owls and deer; neither would he wait in solitude for Halloween’s once-a-year appearance.

He began to dream a daring dream: That one day he could live like the commoners. He dreamed of having friends, leaving the trap of the Autumn Palace.

Most of all, he dreamed of finding someone to love.

To Be Continued…


I hope you enjoyed this first segment of The Autumn Prince! My goal is to introduce a character very close to my heart.

If the Prince’s story intrigues you, all you have to do is follow my blog to read more! I’ll be updating every weekday during October. Also, if you enjoy my writing, consider reading my novel Dissonance; the more the merrier, and I love to share my stories!

Come back tomorrow for the second segment!

-Mariella Hunt

Interview: Jackie Lea Sommers on her novel, Truest


When I was sent a review copy of Truest by Jackie Lea Sommers, I was immediately captivated by the poetic writing. Not only that, the plot was beautiful–so many sad and joyful feels! It’s one of the best books I’ve read this year so far. You can read my review here.

I’m excited to have spoken with the author, getting the opportunity to ask about Truest, her writing process, and many prominent themes in the novel.

Laurel has a peculiar illness that warps her sense of reality. It’s intriguing and looked difficult to pull off. What does it take to get an illness like that “right?” Was she the most difficult character to handle?

In the novel, Laurel Hart struggles to draw a line between reality and dreaming. You would think that this would be the hardest part to write about, but in reality, it came quite naturally because solipsism syndrome is something that I have personal experience with. In that sense, Laurel is actually the character most like me (or most like past-me). Although my experience with it was a bit different than Laurel’s, there were real similarities between us that I could draw on as I wrote Truest. The most difficult character to handle was probably West, the narrator. Although we share a love of stories and history and are both staunchly loyal to our friends, there are far more ways that she and I are different from one another, so writing from her perspective didn’t always come naturally!

There is a heavy element of being “smothered” by tradition–for example, West’s relationship with her father is eclipsed by his duties as pastor, etc. What would you say to someone struggling to be themselves against the odds of their family and community?

This is a really good question—though a little difficult for me. I am someone who refuses to let her voice be silenced, and in that way, it can be hard for me to relate sometimes to that sort of struggle. I like the Bukowski line “Find what you love and let it kill you,” except that I think that when we find what we love, it also gives us life. That’s how I feel about writing—that it gives me life and that it kills me—and that’s a beautiful mystery. I think a lot of it comes back to the question of who are what are you letting define you? For me, the answer is more intrinsic than other people or even myself.

There are references to the legend of the swan song–that its most beautiful song is the one it sings before it dies. Tell me more about this legend…why did it intrigue you so much?

The “lamentation of swans” came out of nowhere for me. I’ve always found the group names for animals so fascinating, and as I was writing, the lamentation of swans really stood out to me. So I started to research swans, learn as much as I could about them, and thus discovered a handful of interesting things that I sprinkled into the story—some quite obviously (Laurel cast as Odette), some less so (St. Hugh of Lincoln). The idea that the most beautiful song a swan sings is the one before it dies was something that lent itself naturally to what I was writing. I love when that happens. I didn’t have to work to make it fit. It came to me gift-wrapped and ready to be part of the book.

Are there specific books or authors that helped shape this novel?

Yes! The Fault in Our Stars by John Green inspired me to try my hand at writing for teens. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak taught me more about imagery than the entirety of my education. And everything by Melina Marchetta—most specifically, Jellicoe Road and Saving Francesca—feeds into all my writing.

Describe your work desk!

I do most of my writing not at my desk! More often, I am writing on the futon in my home library, with my wall of books watching over me.


Celebrate October with The Autumn Prince + Serenade is Getting Closer!

October is going to be a very interesting, exciting month on the blog.

If you’ve been following me on any social networks, you’ve probably heard of The Autumn Prince. It’s a short story I wrote in three days–14k–with the purpose of sharing with you guys my twist of a Halloween story. I wanted to pour some romance into a holiday known for monsters.

Also, I wanted to share with you the adorably naive, lonely Autumn Prince.

This’ll be my last personal blog post for a few weeks. Coming up on Friday is my interview with author Jackie Lea Sommers! I recently reviewed her book, Truest, one of the novels that impressed me most this year. She was amazing and answered some questions I had regarding her powerful, poignant novel.

After that, it’ll be serial time.

Starting October 5, I will be sharing The Autumn Prince–bit by bit–every weekday until Halloween. It is my goal to edit this story so it’s worth your time; I’m so keen on sharing it. I haven’t been this passionate about something since publishing Dissonance.

Speaking of Dissonance, fans might be glad to know I finished the first really coherent draft of its sequel. Book two of the Fallen Faery Tales series will be called Serenade. I knew from the beginning that it was going to be renamed; Elegy has been pushed off as a working title for the third installment.

Serenade completed at 62,000 words, meaning it’s a bit longer than Dissonance. I don’t know if it’s going to grow or shrink when I finish revisions, but they’re definitely not far from one another length-wise. I pumped more drama and heartbreak into Serenade, enjoying the challenge of seeing Allie grow into a mature, troubled young lady of 16.

I’ve put away the draft for Serenade and plan to begin revisions on November. After that, we enter beta mode. There will be slots open for volunteers, if anyone wants to help!

After October ends and The Autumn Prince has had his chance to shine, I have more exciting things planned! However, those plans are still in the making. Just know that there’ll be more activity on life, literature, & coffee because I’ve forced myself to learn organization, and have some amazing friends who are going to help me keep up.

Happy October! It is my favorite month of the year, because our imaginations can really go wild. I hope you enjoy it as much as I will, and Happy Halloween in advance!


Review: Truest by Jackie Lea Sommers


Truest left me a twitching pile of emotions on the floor. I can’t believe how powerful every page of it was, making me want to laugh and cry…sometimes at the same time.

Westlin Beck is going through a time of change, during which her eyes are opening; she realizes there’s more to life than her small community. By the end of the book she’s ventured so far from her former routine that there is no turning back. She’s a changed person; we get to laugh with her, cry with her, and face tough choices every step of the way.

West’s outlook changed fairly quickly after meeting Silas. It felt like her world expanded, like only then had she begun to breathe. She grew up a pastor’s daughter, thus carrying the obligation to set an example for everyone in town. I was so proud when she broke away to be her own person.

The writing style constantly took my breath away. Sometimes I’d find one sentence, a simple gem that made me stop, close the book, and try to memorize. References to the legend of the swan song–that the most beautiful song a swan sings is the one before it dies–kept the mood melancholy.

There was always this sensation of waiting for something to break, and when the big break finally happens, we hurt with the characters. I couldn’t pin anyone as a villain–they all had a struggle that made us feel for them. This book is an emotional punch, one of the few contemporaries I’ve read this year that I’d quickly recommend to everyone.

Truest offers insight on life when you’re under pressure. It dares you to do the opposite of what you’re expected for the sake of growth and maturity. It reminds us that we’ll never know how vast the world is if we don’t break out of society’s boxes, and look.


Introducing The Autumn Prince (Coming October!)

I’m very excited–and extremely proud–to be trying a serial story on October. Here on the blog, I’m going to post a bit of it every weekday; it is a short story called The Autumn Prince, some of which is already written, but some of which I’ll be writing as I go.

I felt like harnessing the magic of Halloween for something different. You see, October is my favorite month; I feel so much power in the air when people are choosing their costumes. I love that buzz that we feel while telling ghost stories, I look forward to going door-to-door for candy.

Here is the premise of The Autumn Prince:

Nameless and lonely, the Autumn Prince reigns over a golden part of the year. He watches leaves fall from the trees, making a carpet of most exquisite beauty. But what he likes best about autumn is Halloween, his only chance to find a princess without being gawked at.

In a race against time with winter approaching, he meets a girl with a brave heart and vivid imagination. If Kelsea agrees to be his princess, she’d only see him for weeks every year. The Prince must decide if it’s worth hurting the girl he loves for a few weeks of companionship.

Should he beg her to stay in a cold, frozen love–or let her walk away?

Each segment I release will be 500-600 words long, the length of a regular blog post. I’ll post from Monday to Friday every week, and Halloween will be the grand finale. This is a long shot–I don’t know how many people will want to check this blog every day for 500 more words–but for the sake of experience, I’m eager to do this.

It’s teaching me to divide segments so they all have a hook, making the reader want to learn more. It’s forcing me to squint at the paragraphs, pretending it’s like a television series where the viewer needs the next episode now.

There won’t be any personal blog posts here on October. I’ve worked hard to schedule the entire month and see what I can do with my writing.

Are you interested in reading The Autumn Prince? 


Advice for the Struggling Novelist

Sometimes it’s hard to write–oh, fine. It’s always hard to write. We lack motivation, ideas, or support from fellow writers; when that happens, it’s tempting to draw a blank and give up.

That’s when we need pep talks to motivate us; it hurts when our passion becomes a challenge. I’m sure you’ve asked at some point in a moment of frustration, Who cares about my story? The short answer is that you do and your soul needs to hear it; however, that answer can’t always beat Writer’s Block.

I’d like to share with you some truths I whisper to myself when I feel like giving up.

  1. You have a story. No one can tell it like you will. It may seem that only you care about the story, but speak up. You might impress a listener so much that they’ll need to read the book, which then becomes a motivator for you to write!
  2. Every story has an audience. Some people might think your idea bizarre, but if you’re brave and stand by it, sooner or later you’ll meet your first fan. It’s true that some stories have larger audiences than others, but having a small audience is not a bad thing. It becomes a strength when your audience is small but devoted.
  3. It’s worth the effort. Sitting down to write a chapter takes tremendous discipline–no one wants to stare at a blank page. But once you’ve finished for the day, you’ll be glad you set an hour aside to write. It might amount to barely a page–but it’s a page more than you had!
  4. Every page counts. They might seem unimpressive when seen on their own, but pages make a book. Write a page a day, gain momentum, and in a month you’ll have made great progress! The idea of spending years on a draft isn’t appealing, but one day you’ll be proud of every moment you invested.
  5. With practice, it gets better. There’s always room for improvement–most days I want to chuck my draft out the window. The only way to improve as a writer is to keep practicing. You’ve got to work hard so a reader closes the book feeling that their time was well spent.

These are things I tell myself when I’m stuck in a rut. Since I’m young, I know there’ll be more of these pep talks to come, and I’ll share them.

I know you have a story to tell, so keep going. Anyone can write; however, to be a good writer you need patience and discipline. Patience because it can be years before you finish, and discipline because it’s hard. If you love your story enough, you’ll find it worth the effort.

Tell that story like only you can.

P.S. I’ll be coming back to this blog post often. I’m human and need reminders of these things as well.