Happy 1-month-iversary to FORGERY!
In This Issue:
A Forgery of Roses FAQs - Will there be a sequel? How to get the OwlCrate special edition, and more
Book Rec of the Month - These Deadly Games by Diana Urban
Updates from my Laptop - What's next from me?
A Forgery of Roses FAQs
Wow, what a whirlwind the last month has been! Thank you so much to everyone who preordered, purchased the book at release, attended one of my launch events, read, reviewed, and told their friends and followers about A Forgery of Roses! I have been absolutely blown away by everyone's enthusiasm for this book, and I am equally excited about all of the new subscribers to this newsletter who either opted in via my website, my Instagram, or the preorder campaign over the last month! I am so lucky to be surrounded by such a joyful group of book lovers!
Over the last month, I have received many DMs and emails asking a lot of the same questions, so I figured I'd do a Frequently Asked Questions section in this newsletter to address some of these topics! Thanks to everyone who reached out!
First, the question I've been getting asked the absolute most: Will there be sequels to A Forgery of Roses?
I wrote A Forgery of Roses to be a standalone novel. There are currently no sequels or companion novels in the works. However, I am not opposed to doing a sequel, and if there were enough of a reader fanbase that would make it worth the time and effort to me and my publisher, it could happen! I would definitely say the door is closed, but not locked on Myra, August, and Lucy's story. I definitely have ideas ;) So if you're one of the ones dying for more, the best way to get that to happen is by spreading the word about the book. Remember how Adrienne Young's fans made Saint a reality? The power is in your hands. <3 Tell your friends about the book. Review it on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, etc. Share about the book on Instagram. Make tiktoks (tiktok has so much power right now!) Who knows? It could happen someday!
How can I get one of the Owl Crate special edition copies of A Forgery of Roses?
Have you been seeing photos like this on Instagram and lusting after the gorgeous edition Owl Crate did? Don't worry, this version is now officially available to the public for purchase!
Photo by Megan LaCroix via her Instagram: @meganwritenow
It features a stunning, all-new dust jacket design, gorgeous art on the reverse of the dust jacket, foil stamping on the casing, and blood-red stained edges! They all were also signed by me personally! You can order one HERE! Or you can order the entire Artistic Obsession box that originally included this edition HERE!
Where can I get signed copies of the regular edition?
I went and signed a mountain of books at my local independent bookstore, Interabang Books. If you order from them, your copy will be signed! Order one HERE!
When will I get my goodies from the preorder campaign?
First of all, thank you so much for preordering and participating in the campaign! I was absolutely blown away by the response! I originally ordered wayyyy more prints than I thought I'd ever need, expecting to have extras to give away at signings and events, but y'all STEPPED UP. I completely ran out of prints and ended up having to order even more! So THANK YOU!
To answer the question, all of the preorder goodies have been sent. If you are located in the US, your envelope should likely have arrived by now. If you are international, however, it has been taking quite a while longer for them to arrive. I'd say if you haven't received it by June, please send me a message, and I'll try to send out a replacement.
Is it a retelling of The Picture of Dorian Gray?
No, it is not. While I will say that The Picture of Dorian Gray was one of the many things that helped inspire the vibe of the book and certainly sparked some of my preliminary ideas for the magic system, A Forgery of Roses is not a retelling. It is its own thing. But I would certainly say that if you like Dorian Gray, you'd probably enjoy this one, too!
Where did you get the idea for A Forgery of Roses?
The same way I have gotten my ideas for every book I've written (published and unpublished)! My ideas come in bits and pieces. A spark for a magic system here, a trait for a character there. I keep notes in my phone of things that pop into my head, and eventually, I'll combine the ideas into one cohesive book idea. For A Forgery of Roses, I knew I wanted to tell a story that felt similar in vibe to my debut, Sing Me Forgotten: dark and gothic, with a hint of the monstrous. A creativity-based magic system. Romance. A strong female protagonist. Since Sing Me Forgotten was a retelling of The Phantom of the Opera, I decided to list out other gothic books I loved. Rebecca. Frankenstein. The Hunchback of Notre Dame. And then I thought of The Picture of Dorian Gray. While I didn't want to do a retelling, I thought a painting-based magic system could be fun, so into my notes that went. Then I thought of how fun it would be to set it in an old manor like the one in Rebecca. Sprawling and creepy. So I wrote that down.
But those two things weren't a plot. I needed a story to tell that included those two things. I'd been voraciously reading murder mystery thrillers for months, and one day it hit me. What if I made this art-based gothic book a MURDER MYSTERY? From there, the idea sort of just took off. I outlined it in a week, and had it drafted in less than a month. It was like the story was just waiting to be told. All I needed to do was open the door and let it out. The rest is history!
What gastrointestinal illness is Lucy's chronic illness based on?
It is never named in the book, as the time period the book is based on didn't have a name for it yet, but the illness Lucy has is Ulcerative Colitis. Someone very close to me has this illness, so I spent a lot of time talking with him about it and learning as much as I could about what it's like to live with UC. Many authenticity readers living with gastro and other various chronic illnesses read early drafts to give me as much insight as possible. It was incredibly important to me to get this right, as people with disabilities and especially chronic illnesses are portrayed so rarely in fantasy.
Why did you decide to write August as a character living with anxiety?
August is a very special character to me. I personally live with anxiety that has at times been quite severe. Rarely have I seen mental illness portrayed in a positive light in stories, so when I set about outlining August and who he would be, I thought about how powerful it would have been to me as a teen to read a story where a heroic character not only had anxiety, but was the love interest and considered attractive and powerful because of that. I based his experiences on my own, and while I certainly cannot claim that my experience with anxiety will mirror what others with anxiety feel, I hope that teens and adults with anxiety and similar mental illnesses will be able to identify with him and see themselves in his story.
Is A Forgery of Roses a sequel to Sing Me Forgotten?
Not even a little bit. :) They are both separate novels set in completely different worlds. They are entirely unrelated. However, I do think that people who enjoyed one will likely find things to love in the other.
Book Rec of the Month - These Deadly Games by Diana Urban
As I mentioned earlier, I am a voracious reader of thrillers and mysteries. They are like candy to me. I love the mystery, the suspense, the intrigue! One of my favorite thriller writers in the YA space is Diana Urban. Her debut, All Your Twisted Secrets, had me on the edge of my seat. With These Deadly Games, her sophomore novel, she ratcheted up EVERYTHING. It is an unputdownable novel you'll have to read in one sitting, take my word for it!
Here's the story:
Let's play a game.
You have 24 hours to win. If you break my rules, she dies. If you call the police, she dies. If you tell your parents or anyone else, she dies.
Are you ready?
When Crystal Donavan gets a message on a mysterious app with a video of her little sister gagged and bound, she agrees to play the kidnapper's game. At first, they make her complete bizarre tasks: steal a test and stuff it in a locker, bake brownies, make a prank call.
But then Crystal realizes each task is meant to hurt--and kill--her friends, one by one. But if she refuses to play, the kidnapper will kill her sister. Is someone trying to take her team out of the running for a gaming tournament? Or have they uncovered a secret from their past, and wants them to pay for what they did...
As Crystal makes the impossible choices between her friends and her sister, she must uncover the truth and find a way to outplay the kidnapper... before it's too late.
Updates from My Laptop
Another frequently asked question I've been getting over the past month is "Do you have anything new coming after A Forgery of Roses?" "Will we get more books from you?" "When will they be available?" "What are they?"
The answer is yes, there will be more books from me. Rest assured that I'll be writing dark, gothic, magical novels until the day I die. I've been working on a project for almost two years now. It has been the most difficult book I've ever written, and I'm so immensely proud of it. However, this book, due to its complexity, has required a lot more time than my other books so far, and due to that, I don't have details I can announce quite yet. Rest assured that as soon as I can share things, I will! And I'm hoping that the wait won't be too terribly much longer! Keep your eyes on your inboxes, as my newsletter is where I will drop the information first when I am able to share it!
So that is my update! I'm currently hard at work on the next thing. In revisions, currently. Where Sing Me Forgotten and A Forgery of Roses were both outlined in a matter of weeks, this book took months to finesse until the outline was right. Where Sing Me Forgotten and A Forgery of Roses had outlines that numbered in the 15-20 page range, this book took me 50 pages to outline. And while Sing Me Forgotten and A Forgery of Roses took me less than two months to crank out the first draft, this book took me nearly nine months to type The End on the rough draft. It's longer, darker, and far more nuanced and tricky than my first two books, and so it has been harder to write at every turn. But, in my opinion, it is my best work so far. After all, my motto is that if I'm not stepping up my game with each new book, I'm doing it wrong.
I truly hope this book will find its way to shelves next to my first two someday soon. Stay tuned!
Thank you so much for subscribing! And thanks again for all of your support and enthusiasm for A Forgery of Roses! If you read and loved it, the best way to support is to leave reviews wherever you can! Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble are all good places to start! And to those who have already done so, who have made TikToks and instagram posts, who have requested that their libraries stock the books and told their friends and family about it, THANK YOU! It's thanks to wonderful readers like you that make it possible for me to keep telling stories. I couldn't do it without you!
Until next month!