Yeah, about that…
Less than a week later, I accidentally started a new book.
Three and a half weeks later, I finished the zero draft.
I know. I know! I didn’t mean to, I swear. Sometimes books just…fall out of my head. It’s been a very long time since that’s happened. I honestly didn’t think I could do it anymore.
Sometimes we surprise ourselves.
It’s scheduled to release April 5, 2022 and is currently up for preorder in ebook.
Amidst the 2020 pandemic, Norah Sloane has been sheltering in place with her ex-boyfriend—the equivalent of three toddlers in a trench coat pretending to be an adult—who abruptly informs her he thinks she needs to move out. Coincidentally, her estranged father has just died and left his family’s home to her, and in a fit of defiant frustration, she packs her bags—and her cats—and drives five hours north to the tiny village of Hope Falls to claim her inheritance.
Selling the big, partially renovated old house during a global pandemic is out of the question, but the bills are paid for a few months to give her time to get on her feet. It’s the best solution, all things considered.
So what if it’s haunted?
Wanna see the cover?
It was a very different experience writing it compared to how I write now–with the books I’ve been working on the last several years, I usually know the endings and the arcs well in advance. Dweller on the Threshold was much more like how I used to write: diving in, no idea of where I was going, and trusting the process. The zero draft came in at 80K words and I’ve continued revising and picking at it, fleshing it out some and adding another 23K. So it’s a hefty book.
It’s also entirely standalone.
Anticipating some worries–and answering questions that have already come up–here’s a brief FAQ (no major spoilers).
Oh no, I’m not ready for more pandemic trauma!
So first of all, this is not A Pandemic Book.
The pandemic is a backdrop. Having been in a lot of situations as a poor person where my options of where to live are limited, I’m very interested in ideas around isolation and feeling trapped and exploring all that. It’s bad enough when you can’t afford to start renting somewhere new–what happens when you’re stuck in a haunted house you can’t even sell because there’s a global pandemic?
No one in the book catches/dies of covid. People mask and sanitize a lot, but Norah is largely isolated and interacts with other folks who are isolated. There’s a maskhole neighbour who has a total of like two small scenes. There’s some background noise about idiots running the province but Norah, unlike the rest of us, wisely avoids Twitter news.
All this means is that it’s not my intention to trigger any pandemic trauma in folks; I tried to be really careful about keeping the focus on the haunted house and keeping the pandemic a reason why Norah is trapped (and also stretching the limits of “I’d totally live in a haunted house rent free” and how far one would go with that).
WHAT ABOUT THE CATS???
The cats in the book are totally fine. Nothing bad happens to them. Norah, of course, worries about them a lot, but I promise they don’t even get the slightest injury. They don’t even get fleas.
They’re also named Spencer and Burton, played by these dudes.
So really, I swear, the cats will be fine.
Why did you write a whole new book and not Charon’s Gold when we’re waiting for more Livi?
Yeah, I’m already getting this. Despite my author’s note in Yampellec’s Idol.
Folks, I am not a machine. Publishing is a business but writing is a creative endeavour. It has to be something I do for me rather than other people, and I have to get back to a place of enjoying it. I could have spent the past month and a half beating my head against one of the other two books I have in progress–that have been in progress for one and three years respectively–and accomplished absolutely nothing, but instead I gave myself a break and wrote a whole new standalone book that I feel really good about.
I feel like if you’ve made it to the fifth book in the Livi Talbot series, you know by now that I’m working really hard to put out quality stories that I am proud of and that I am excited to offer readers. That process doesn’t happen if I rush it, if I write solely out of obligation, or if I’m feeling constant pressure (also…few things require as much research as her books do–I cannot rush the research process, there are only so many hours in a day). I assume you don’t want a book I’m phoning in to meet some arbitrary release date; you want the quality you have come to expect by this point in the series. This is how that happens.
I’ve written fifty-something books over the past twenty years. I know my process. I know how my brain works. I know what I’m doing. And I need breaks between series books and time to refill my creative well. So please, my doves, just chill, because I will have ZERO news about the series that I can offer publicly for probably another year.
If you’re disappointed Dweller on the Threshold is not a Livi Talbot book, that’s cool and I understand. Those feelings are valid, but so is my desire to not be told you’re disappointed. I don’t want to know! I just want to be excited about something new, please and thank you.
Other stuff and things.
- Horror fans and newbies alike: I find horror very subjective and I have a high threshold myself, so it’s really hard for me to label something as “horror”. The book’s not gory, it’s more creepy. YMMV though it’s my hope to creep you out with it at times.
- This is not a kissing book. One very brief off page sexy times but in no ways is there romance in this book. If you are looking for something romance-free, look no further.
- It does deal with childhood trauma, because trauma is my brand at this point, but there is zero rape/molestation/sexual threats.
- There’s a very liberal dose of humour throughout it.
- Chronic Illness Representation (TM)
I hope y’all check it out!
[Side note: for some reason, I can no longer comment on my own blog. So if you leave comments and I don’t respond, I’m not being rude–I just literally cannot reply while I’m signed in.]