Welcome to my increasingly not up to date blog/website/storage room for my thoughts. The last fifteen months have been a whirlwind of change underscored by both personal and professional growth, and one of the threads in my own story that ended up getting dropped was maintaining this space.
So welcome back — me! — and everyone else!
Here is a smattering of what’s been keeping me busy, in no particular order:
A few years ago I started writing a book on Wattpad with one of my best friends. We chose pen names (Victoria Fulton & Faith McClaren —I’m Faith), set up the account, wrote the pitch for ELLIE IS COOL NOW, and began publishing a chapter a week to readers. Over time the book gained a robust following. It also gained a book deal (!!!) with Forever/Hachette and while that was all getting finalized, we kept writing.
In March 2021, we responded to a now famous (at least in the publishing world) tweet from the legendary Wendy Loggia. She was looking for books to help build out the new Young Adult paperback imprint, Underlined. All we needed was an agent (we had one in the amazing Katie Shea Boutillier), a synopsis and a few sample chapters in one of the genres they were looking to publish.
A week after the tweet lit a fire under us, we delivered a proposal to Wendy and her editorial assistant (now a brilliant acquiring editor herself!) Ali Romig. And they snatched it up in record time. That proposal became our YA debut, HORROR HOTEL, available now wherever books are sold.
Not long after HORROR HOTEL’s debut, we got to announce the deal for ELLIE IS COOL NOW. And we’ve been drafting and deadlining, promoting and pinching ourselves ever since.
After living in Los Angeles for four years, my family decided to take the terrifying leap into the housing market. We spent months searching for the home of our right now dreams, offering on them, and then losing out to multiple (sometimes 100s) offers, often in all cash. Finally, when we really had resigned ourselves to forever be without our own little slice if this city, we got an offer accepted on a house with panoramic views and the right amount of bedrooms.
We are in love with the adventure that is LA homeownership. I love looking out on the lights at night and making new wishes on unseeable stars.
Apex Protection Project!
We’ve been volunteering with Apex Protection Project, a wolf dog rescue and 501c3 non-profit since before the pandemic trapped us at home. Every time we get to work with and for these beautiful creatures, we find our hearts full with gratitude.
Apex Protection Project, a Los Angeles based 501(c)3 non-profit organization, was created in 2015 to save the wolf species through education, rescue and advocacy. Co-Founders Paula Ficara and Steve Wastell are the driving force behind this mission, and their approach to advocacy has been shaped by the unique experiences that lead them to dedicating their lives to this service.
A life update really could not be complete without spending a little time with seven of my favorite men.
In July 2021, I had a dream about BTS. At the time I was not a fan. I had little to no awareness of their music – besides the vague knowledge that some of my friends were super into them.
I didn’t know their names. I couldn’t have told you the title of a single song.
And then I dreamed I was sitting on the stage watching a performance of Butter, and when I woke up I couldn’t shake the feeling it gave me— the wandering, wild interest that overtook me. I searched online to find the performance from the dream, and discovered it was a real thing. I remember thinking, almost sneakily, that I would just watch it once. As a scholar in universal magic, I believed there had to be a reason I’d dreamed about them, and so I couldn’t just ignore it. I would just watch that one thing.
I would not become obsessed.
My deep dive into the BTS fandom has been one of the most healing and rewarding experiences of my adult life. ARMY (the name adopted by BTS stans) is a diverse, global, inclusive group of humans, and my IRL and online ARMY friends have become deeply important to me.
Yes, I fell in love hard with my bias, and yes, I am Ot7 (a term that means you love all seven members of the group without leaving anyone out), but beyond that, it is the call to Love Yourself that is baked into their music and message that has grabbed my heart and tugged me headlong into the purple ocean, is what I ride these waves with. When BTS found me in a dream, I was at a crossroads in my life, and I didn’t realize then how much I needed them beside me. With BTS and ARMY, you never walk alone, and we all could use someone, something in our lives to remind us of that.
Writing, writing, writing!
My writing life has been full, not only with collaboration projects that are hitting shelves soon (or are already out there!), but with solo written projects. The last couple of years have seen a lot of ups and downs in this area. I had sold projects fall through (after signing a contract for one — that was fun!) and solo projects almost land (thisclose) only to have to let them go.
I would like to say I had a great attitude about it all, but I prefer not to lie to you in this update. These misses, losses, near almost moments, were annoying. I felt tired and frustrated, considered burning down my career hoping maybe something magnificent would rise from the ashes like a Phoenix.
I floundered, dug in my heels, and kept trying. There is a lot I could say here about how much mindset matters. I could express something flowery for you about how I turned these seeming failures into something new, blossoming beautiful. But the bottom line is less poetic. I worked hard and listened to my gut.
And when I found a story I couldn’t let go of, I fought for it. I pressed into the idea, stomping out weak takes, working over the concept and questioning my knee jerk impulse until pieces began to click together. I fell in love with it. I dedicated myself to making it really fucking great, and going all in even when that made me feel VERY exposed and vulnerable. And when I finally delivered the manuscript to my agent, I knew without a doubt that what I had created was something supremely special.
We’re on submission to editors with this book right now, and I’m not sure what the destiny is, but I know the magic inside it is real, and I believe passion is a magnet that draws the best to it.