What is an #OwnVoices Novel?

You may have seen me mention in conjunction with my novel, Five Fathoms Beneath, and my work in progress, The Stars That Govern Us, that these are #ownvoices novels. What does that specifically mean in the context of my work? An “OwnVoices” novel is a fictional story with a marginalized character or characters — and there are many ways people can be …

BW English Award Ceremony Speech (04.23.19)

This is the speech I gave for the Baldwin-Wallace (yes, I am still going to hyphenate the name, it was hyphenated when I was there!) English award ceremony speech, April 23, 2019. Before I begin, I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to my good friend Dr. Mike Dolzani for inviting me to speak here to you today, as …

Five Fathoms Beneath Shortlisted for Da Vinci Eye Award

Like the cover for Five Fathoms Beneath? So did the judges for the Eric Hoffer Book Awards! They short-listed Five Fathoms Beneath for their 2019 Da Vinci Eye Award for excellence in cover design. Given the popularity and the reputation of the Hoffer Awards, even just being listed as a finalist is considered an honor. Tim Barber of Dissect Designs designed the …

Wishing Shelf Finalist!

I am pleased to announce that Five Fathoms Beneath was chosen as a 2018 finalist in “Adult Fiction” for the Wishing Shelf Book Award! A lot of book awards feel like they exist to take the author’s money. Not all of them by any means, but it’s very hard to separate out the legit. I did a lot of research before I chose …

Author Interview

I had the delightful opportunity to participate in another author interview, this time with Esther Rabbit, who blogs at her website, From Words to Spellbinding Novels. In the coming week or two, I’ll have an interview with Esther here talking about her upcoming novel, Lost in Amber, so please check back soon.

"They just got caught out in the rain…"

Esquire has an outstanding article about Bruce Springsteen’s struggles with mental health and his relationship with his father, who was paranoid schizophrenic.  Writing of a friend who took his life, Springsteen says, “Well, somebody was in a bad place, and they just got caught out in the rain. Another night, another way, someone else there . . . it might not …

Brutus

One neat thing about being a novelist is even if you’re writing in the “real world” (versus creating an entire world as fantasy and sci-fi writers do), you get to play “God” and modify your characters to your heart’s content. And you even get to give them things — like pets. I gave Alec a cockatoo because he was a …

Five Star Review – Readers' Favorite

Five Fathoms Beneath earned a five-star rating from Readers’ Favorite, an indie book publishing site.  Excerpt from the review: J.R. Alcyone writes with fluid prose and serious heart in recounting this tale of medical drama, family obligations and dealing with the darker side of life and death. … Five Fathoms Beneath gives just a dash of supernatural belief to a compelling contemporary …

Utopian Fiction

Gizmodo posted an excellent article on Why We Need Utopian Fiction. I wouldn’t call “Five Fathoms Beneath” utopian fiction, but it does have a very positive and un-cynical ending, and for that reason this line in the article about utopian fiction really resonated with me: As children, we are told to dream for better futures; as adults, we are told …

Author Interview

My cover designer, Tim Barber, was kind enough to interview me about my novel, Five Fathoms Beneath. You can read the interview on Tim’s website by clicking here. If you’re looking for a cover designer, Tim does exceptional work and I recommend him without reservations.