When I was in grade school, I took the short bus once a week to a special day class for gifted children. The program was called MGM for Mentally Gifted Minors, and our MGM teacher was an evangelical woman named Mrs. Sturtevant who really hated my ideas.
My nine-year-old Mentally Gifted Minor brain intuited the deliciously thin ice Mrs. Sturtevant’s sense of the appropriate skated upon. I broke through it during our art unit when we fashioned paper mache masks to go with creative stories we had written. The other children gooped strips of newspaper and flour glue into the shapes of cats, princesses, Spiderman, and puppies. Mine was a bright yellow vampire demon girl with pointed, bloody teeth and a giant horn popping out of her forehead.
To further torture Mrs. Sturtevant, I wrote a story about that demon unicorn vampire that ended very badly for the human characters. I also wrote stories about girls who beat up monsters, ghosts who sucked blood, and faeries with fangs. Because we were in public school, Mrs. Sturtevant had to keep her concern for my soul out of instruction (though she did mention my troublesome penchant for Satan to another teacher in front of me). She fought back by returning each story bloodied with red ink. Every sentence suffered under her marker’s cruel point.
My response to Mrs. Sturtevant’s disapproval was to write as many scary and fantastical stories as I could. She is still my inspiration with her beehive hairdo and sturdy shoes. Mrs. Sturtevant was the best creative writing teacher I’ve ever had.
Flash forward to last year when I entered a Twitter pitch contest for my paranormal urban fantasy series beginning with The Arrow. This story would make Mrs. Sturtevant’s head pinch off.
The Arrow has everything in it my old teacher would hate: demons, sexy surfer biker half-demons, sexy rock star gods, goddesses who heal by touch, ancient storyteller gods, a demon virus in the form of a sweetly addictive party drug, and a corrupt billionaire son of a witch. The Arrow is a celebration of the Divine Feminine, sisterhood, and the redemptive power of love.
Santa Claus even makes an appearance at one point. In writing The Arrow, I let my imagination behave as though red pens were never invented.
When Geminid Press favorited my tweet and invited me to send along my first three chapters, I was excited but guarded. I’d been invited to submit my fantasy work before. Mrs. Sturtevant had been the first to teach me that my ideas didn’t always go over too well. Then Geminid asked for the entire manuscript and soon extended an invitation to publish with their company. It was an exciting moment to read the email that said YES to the urban fantasy of my own imagination. It was incredibly meaningful to me professionally and personally. Fantasy was my very first genre. How wonderful to find my audience at last.
Geminid Press is run by the twin brothers Paul and Philip Garver. They have a vision of publishing fresh, exciting fantasy and science fiction. It has been wonderful working with them every step of the way. In Geminid Press, I’ve found a publisher that actually supports my penchant for fantastical and deadly creatures. Their vision for the cover design was just perfect. They work tirelessly to bring my work to the readers who are out there waiting to meet my characters Fynn, Liadan, Eligos and Komo.
I am very proud to be a Geminid Press author, and I am proud of the book we co-created. When The Arrow was named a finalist in the 2014 Foreword Reviews IndieFab Best Fantasy Book of the Year Award, that nine-year-old girl riding the short bus to censure raised her fist in triumph.
Mrs. Sturtevant, if you are reading this, buy my book THE ARROW. I wrote it just for you.