If you follow me on social media, there's a chance you've seen an uptick of ads for my first book, The Stairs in the Woods. Truthfully it wasn't hard to notice as I'd barely posted new graphics for it in a couple of years. I'd been focused on getting the rest of my Forbidden Scrolls Trilogy out, as well as book one of The Miranda Project. It's fair to say, I've had my hands full with all of that.
And yet, I always wanted to revisit my first book. Stairs has always held a special place in my heart as it's the story that started me down the road to becoming an author. I also wrote it during a very difficult part of my life where I was feeling particularly vulnerable. I think parts me really seep off the page in this book, as it really is a story about personal growth written at a time when I was discovering who I really was.
Well fair reader, now is the time. The Stairs in the Woods is getting a facelift with new formatting and a fresh copy edit by my editor Vanessa Redmon to help bring it up to the standard of my more recent work. The story remains unchanged, it's simply a cleaner, more professional version of the original tale.
This also means that there will be a hardback edition on the way! Stairs was the only book of mine that didn't have that option and I'm excited to finally bring that to you for those of you who want it. The goal is to have everything ready in time for August 14th.
Why that date in particular? Well that just so happens to be the 5th Anniversary of it's original release. It seemed like a perfect time to revisit this tale, as the traditional fifth anniversary gift is wood. What better way to celebrate Kaitlynn's journey than to return to the magical forests of Somalie?
Not to mention that for those of you that haven't delved into this tale yet, the new edition will be the perfect time to do so--not that there isn't ever a good time to dive into a portal fantasy like this one.
The Stairs in the Woods is the story of a woman, Kaitlynn Jenson, who has come back to her small hometown in Connecticut to tend to her father, who is dying of pancreatic cancer. In my own life, I've lost multiple family members to this particularly insidious disease, as pancreatic cancer often can't be detected until it's already too late. It's fair to say that this aspect of the tale alone makes this a very personal story for me
With the death of her father early in the story, Kaitlynn is as low as she can get emotionally as she attempts to deal with her grief. Once she discovers the portal into Somalie and begins to grow into the person she was always supposed to be, she finds the strength to do things she never considered herself capable of. She becomes the hero of her own story for the first time in her life, while finding love along the way.
I believe stories like this are important, and not just for the Young Adult reader. Some of us tend to discover a little later in life who we want to be when we grow up. For instance, I discovered I wanted to be an author as I was writing this book at age forty. That's why the main character is in her mid-thirties--no one is too old to discover themselves.
I also want to stress that though The Stairs in the Woods does have a traditional "coming of age" vibe, even if Kaitlynn is come to age a bit later than most, this is absolutely not a YA title. There is sexual content between consensual adults to be found within these pages, and thus Stairs is perhaps not appropriate for your younger reader despite this overall theme.
Aside from the book getting a facelift, I've also given the ad graphics for it a facelift as well. You can also see that the book's splash page on my website has gotten the same visual upgrade. I'm really thrilled with this new look--I feel like it better represents the magic of this story than the old graphics did.
I truly am excited to be able to bring this new edition of The Stairs in the Woods to you all soon. As I said earlier, I'm aiming for August 14th, but nothing is set in stone yet. Watch this space on my blog for more updates as we get closer to this return journey to Somalie. Trust me, I'll let you all know as soon as I know.