K. T.'s blog

Inks and Ideas

Welcome to my blog! Here, you'll find posts on everything from behind-the-scenes looks at 'The Unseen War' series to my thoughts on the writing process.
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"Impressive Worldbuilding": Updates, Giveaways, and What's Next for the 'Unseen War' Series

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Dear Book Voyagers,

As we journey further from the release of "Awoke", the first book in the "Unseen War" series, I find myself brimming with a mix of gratitude, excitement, and sheer awe at the path we've traversed together. It's been an incredible journey, one that's far from over, and today, I'm thrilled to share with you some updates that have left me absolutely chuffed!

1. The Awoke Collection Edition Box Giveaway

First up, we have something truly special for you – an opportunity to dive deeper into the reimagined Boston and the mystical ties between the living and the dead with our exclusive Awoke Collection Edition Box. But hurry, the giveaway ends at the month's close - February 29th! This isn't just any box; it's a treasure trove containing:

  • A signed hardcover edition of "Awoke" to immerse you in its mysteries.
  • An oversized bookmark, ensuring you never lose your place in this enthralling journey.
  • Digital assets & behind-the-scenes content, accessible via a unique QR code for those who crave more.
  • Artist-created character cards of Katya and Gregor, offering a visual feast with 3 of 14 designs to surprise you.
  • A personal note from me, drawing you closer into the world of "Awoke".
  • Specially created tea blends to savor the essence of Ager, complete with a gold heart-shaped tea diffuser.
  • A mystery note for those who complete the novel, adding an extra layer of intrigue.

2. Upcoming Author Event in Boston

For our voyagers in the Boston area, mark your calendars for March 9th at 1:30pm! I'll be at the Frugal Bookstore, a cherished community space and the only Black-owned bookstore in Boston. It promises to be a night of lively discussion, shared stories, and perhaps a few secrets revealed about what lies ahead.

3. Celebrating Reviews

The reception to "Awoke" has been nothing short of overwhelming. From the immersive experience lauded by Reader's Favorite to the suspenseful, emotionally layered tale highlighted by Feathered Quill, your reviews have transcended my highest expectations. Then Kirkus Reviews praises the vivid storytelling and world-building, while the action sequences and backstories have resonated deeply with many of you. These reviews are a testament to our shared journey, and for that, I am immensely thankful and excited for what's next!

Looking Ahead: "Rise"

The journey doesn't end here - how can it? The next installment, "Rise", is scheduled for Fall 2025, and I am pouring my heart and soul into continuing the saga that we've embarked on together. The road ahead is filled with more twists, deeper explorations, and, of course, the unwavering spirit of our protagonist, Katya.

As we move forward, I want to hear from you. Your thoughts, your favorite moments, what shocked you, and what you're eagerly anticipating in "Rise". Your engagement and feedback are what fuel this journey, making each step more meaningful than the last. Find me on Tiktok, Threads and Instagram!

In closing, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for being the most incredible voyagers a writer could ask for. Here's to more adventures, more discoveries, and more unforgettable moments together.

With all my gratitude,


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Chronos and Creativity: My Story from 'Awoke' to 'Rise'

Author Journey
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"Time is a river, a violent current of events, glimpsed once and already carried past us, and another follows and is gone." – Marcus Aurelius

Time is an fascinating experience. Like death, we are not immune to experiencing the passage of time. Depending on how we view a particular moment, time passing could feel fleeting and gone within an instant. For others, it's interiminable and lags with tortutious intent.

I'm currently at a period where I am experiencing both sensations. It really comes down to perspective.

For instance, I look back at the first time "Awoke" was released and the excitement and trepidation of starting Sugarcane Publishing just seven years ago in 2017. So many mistakes and missteps along the way - the worst by far was to include the ARC interior of the book for the final product. At the time, I kicked myself internally for make such follies. But now I've greatly come to appreciate the mistakes as it has largely prepped me for this particular moment now.

Another example would be the period between 2017 and now (December 2023). Many moons ago, if you asked me about my book, I would have told you that many things, new additions to my life has removed me from my writing. But I always said I would come back. Again, this period has been fleeting as I look at my daughter who was just a desire back in 2017, who currently is demanding mommy's attention to play. But my ups and down in my career leaves me with the fading taste of painful lessons. I am thankful for both as it has only made my writing better and dare I say, richer.

And now, we come to present day where it has been nothing but a bevy of activity! In the last few months, we have revised and revitalized Awoke into a new adult paranormal phemeneon. We have planned and gear up a marketing campaign and outreach I would have dreamed of back in 2017. With as much love and care we could muster, we sent out special edition influencer book boxes. It was a true creative journey to create an atmosphere of connection to the world of "The Unseen War" series for our influencers from a trove of themed teas to exclusive character art. My favorite addition in the book - a special sealed message of the reader who finishes the book that gives you insight of what to expect in the second installment in the series.

The response? Absolutely heartwarming! I cannot tell you how full my heart has been for the last few weeks seeing unboxing videos, watching geninue smiles, joy, and excitement. It was like watching the essence of my story come alive on my Tiktok profile.

See some more reaction videos here on Tiktok under #Awoke2024.

Speaking of stories, "Rise," the anticipated sequel to "Awoke," is developing quite nicely. Without giving too much away, we're going to be exploring dual perspective narratives, delving into Katya's and Gregor's viewpoints. My hope is that this approach will enrich the story, offering deeper insights into Katya's struggle with her growing supernatural powers and how it affects others. Expect an intense journey that gets a bit spicer as Katya confronts the escalating supernatural war.

Not to mention, from now until Release Day (Feb 1!), it's going to be a swell of activity from:

  • behind the scene videos
  • book trailers made to look like a movie trailer
  • virtual book tours (to be announced soon!)
  • February 1 Virtual Launch Party,
  • Interviews, and,whatever else we can think of to celebrate the resurrection and release of a series many thought had been abandoned. Like Keith Lee says, I hope I am able to reach my target audience after these efforts.

Hence why I feel that the past few months of work has been absolutely fleeting and rewarding. And the next several months seem like it will never come.

But that's the funny thing about time - it's as steady as anything in the known universe. It geninuely takes our perspective to flip and to gain understand of our feelings towards Chronos in the moment. For me, time has only enhanced who I am as a writer and a person. And I cannot wait to see what else time will reveal to me in the future.

Thank you for staying with me in this moment and as we continue to head towards February 1!

Until next time, Book Voyagers.

Keep sharing, believing, and most importantly, voyaging through the realms of stories.

Oh, and before I forget!

For all our dedicated readers, we've made those special boxes available on our Etsy store, bringing a piece of 'Awoke's' magic directly to you. As we inch closer to the book's release on February 1, 2024, the anticipation is palpable. We can't wait for you to fall in love with the characters and their journey. Stay tuned for more updates as we continue this incredible literary adventure together!

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The Heartfelt Echoes of "The Unseen War": Connecting with My Book Voyagers

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As a writer, the journey of weaving words into stories is intensely personal, but there’s nothing quite as rewarding as seeing those stories touch the hearts and minds of readers. Over time, "The Want Series," now "The Unseen War," has transcended pages, becoming more than just a series—it's evolved into shared moments, experiences, and memories that resonate with so many of you. Today, I'd like to take a moment to shine a spotlight on some of the incredible interactions and testimonials I've received from our community of Book Voyagers.

1. A Letter from Lesley in New York City:

A while back, I received a message on Facebook from Lesley, who was in love with Awoke, demanding to know where the second book was. Needless to say, I had a great chuckle from her ferocity because it meant that the book was worth the effort and aggravation.

2. A Book Review from Caitlyn:

Caitlyn was one of the many book reviewers who received an Advance Reading Copy (ARC) looking to get feedback. The first thing she said was that she was stunned to see a Black female protagonist in a fantasy novel written by a Black female author. Knowing that it was not the norm to see at the time (and still isn't quite mainstream), I was ecstatic to see that someone outside of my community understood the significance of our choices. And she loved the story in its entirety.

3. The Tearful Meet-up at Black Book Exp:

I had the privilege of meeting dozens of Book Voyagers and exploring the different books other Black authors wrote. Among them was Sharita, who had brought her daughter Ari to the Expo. She came up to me to hug me and teared up. She said she was so happy to see someone there prevailing and writing characters resembling Ari. Ari loves fantasy but was immediately drawn to my book. I teared up as well because all I ever wanted to do was create powerful characters that also looked like me. Ari and Sharita understood the power of representation just as much as I did. It led to other conversations about appearing at nearby schools to encourage children to continue to write and pursue their dreams.

Sharing these moments is a small window into the vast universe of emotions and experiences that you, my readers, have shared with me. Your words, art, and emotions are a testament to the magic of storytelling. They remind me that, while I may provide the words, your imagination, interpretation, and personal journeys truly bring the story to life.

To every Book Voyager out there, know that your voice matters. Your experiences, emotions and the very impact that "The Unseen War" has had on you fuel my passion and push me to dive deeper into this world we've created together.

Until next time, Book Voyagers.

Keep sharing, believing, and most importantly, voyaging through the realms of stories.

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The Journey of Awoke: From Want to Unseen

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Life, as they say, is a journey. It’s a winding road full of twists, turns, dead ends, surprises, and breathtaking views. The same can be said for the journey of a book, from a nugget of an idea in the writer's mind to the final product in the hands of a reader. Today, I want to share the voyage of my first novel, Awoke, as it transitioned from being part of the “Want Series” to its new home within “The Unseen War” series.

It all started with Katya Stevens, a Black teenager with the unique ability to see the dead. When I first introduced her to the world, she was trying to balance her everyday life as a popular teen in Boston with the unprecedented responsibility of working with an international spirit military team. Her world, like ours, was on the brink of collapse, and through her eyes, we explored themes of identity, trauma, forgiveness, and the consequences of uncontrolled human emotion. This was the birth of “Awoke” and the start of the “Want Series”.

The “Want Series” was named after the main adversaries in the story, the Want. These are entities, human ghosts turned who cannot let go of their desires, transforming into disfigured beasts driven by the seven deadly sins. Yet, as I delved deeper into Katya's story and the world she inhabited, I realized that the Want was only a facet of a much larger conflict. A war was brewing, unseen by most, between the living and the dead, order and chaos, acceptance and denial, and the balance we humans face daily with our emotions and psyche.

That’s when the series shifted from “Want” to “Unseen.” It felt like a more fitting umbrella for the stories I wanted to tell, for the themes I wanted to explore. The change also felt more in tune with the evolution of my writing and my voice as an author. What had started as a YA urban fantasy was maturing, like its protagonist, into something broader, something that I feel will resonate with today's and future readers.

Rechristening a series is not a decision made lightly. It took a lot of introspection, discussions, and brainstorming sessions to finally settle on “The Unseen War” as the new series title. It perfectly encapsulates the crux of Katya's journey and the larger narrative at play. A war is being waged in plain yet out of sight from most of the living world. However, its impact is universal. And as much as it is about the external conflicts between the factions of the living and the dead, it’s also about the internal wars each character faces - their struggles with guilt, identity, anger, love, and loss.

In many ways, the journey from “Want” to “Unseen” is a testament to the organic nature of storytelling. It reminds me that as an author, my primary job is to remain true to the story's heart and the characters, to let them guide the narrative, even if it means rewriting the map in the middle of the journey.

As we move forward with the “Unseen War Series,” we’re bringing along everything that made “Awoke” special. Katya is still the heart of the series, and her journey is the focal point. However, the new series title gives her room to grow, evolve, and tackle bigger challenges.

The future looks exciting, and I can't wait to share this reinvigorated world with all of you. As we journey through “The Unseen War,” we’ll discover more about Katya, the Want, the Kyrios, and the delicate balance that keeps the world from falling into chaos.

Here's to the next chapter in this adventure. The unseen awaits.

Happy reading,

K. T.