My Projects

Cover Reveal for Women of Kern: Book Two

I’m so excited to share the cover for my next short story collection, Women of Kern: Book Two,  which I’ll be releasing this summer. These eight new short stories and novellas set in the lush fantasy world of Kern follow the adventures of …

  • A magician whose way of life is disappearing.
  • A hostage with a dangerous secret.
  • A warrior who doesn’t want to be queen.
  • A healer with a talent for politics.
  • A mother willing to kill as many humans as needed to protect her nest.
  • A blind spymaster who can’t stop a war without destroying her family.
  • A replacement bride who falls for the wrong prince.
  • An only child who inherits her father’s feuds as well as his tribe.

This cover is inspired by Kielia, the blind spymaster who can’t stop a war without destroying her family. She’s one of my favorite characters I’ve ever written and I’m so excited to feature her on this cover.

Women of Kern: Book Two can be enjoyed as a stand-alone volume or alongside the previous book in this series, Women of Kern: Book One. You don’t have to read them in order and every story can stand on it’s own, but some of the stories do tie-in with each other.

Praise for Women of Kern: Book One:

“Each story follows … a strong female character (legitimately, diversely strong, not the kind of “strong female character” you get in most YA fiction) ” – R.M. Archer (read full review here)

“Romance and adventure. Loved the strong and courageous characters.” — 5-Star Goodreads review

My Projects

Women of Kern Giveaway – Enter To Win A Signed Copy

A negotiator who uses herself as a bargaining chip.

An adventurous spirit trapped by her culture and family.

A resistance fighter leading her captors into a trap.

A reclusive horse trainer swept into a quest for treasure.

An elderly, overlooked servant smuggling slaves out of her country.

A woman with a gift that seems like far more trouble than it’s worth.

A princess whose arranged marriage puts her in the hands of pirates.

A shepherdess fighting to save her sister.

A belly-dancing assassin who fakes her targets’ deaths.

These are the women of Kern — the sort of women who in our own world are all too often ignored, overlooked, forgotten, and silenced by history. Enter their world of magic, adventure, and romance through nine short stories and novellas driven by women with the strength and courage to shape their own destinies.

I’m giving away 2 signed paperback copies of this book. You can enter here:

Click here to enter

If you can’t wait to see if you’ve won or you’d like to get an ebook copy as well as the paperback, click here to visit my Amazon page.

My Projects

Women of Kern now available!

I’m so excited to announce that I’m self-publishing my first book. It’s a collection of stories set in the fantasy world of Kern. Here’s the back cover description:

A negotiator who uses herself as a bargaining chip.

An adventurous spirit trapped by her culture and family.

A resistance fighter leading her captors into a trap.

A reclusive horse trainer swept into a quest for treasure.

An elderly, overlooked servant smuggling slaves out of her country.

A woman with a gift that seems like far more trouble than it’s worth.

A princess whose arranged marriage puts her in the hands of pirates.

A shepherdess fighting to save her sister.

A belly-dancing assassin who fakes her targets’ deaths.

These are the women of Kern — the sort of women who in our own world are all too often ignored, overlooked, forgotten, and silenced by history. Enter their world of magic, adventure, and romance through nine short stories and novellas driven by women with the strength and courage to shape their own destinies.

And the cover ❤Women of Kern: Book One by Maris McKay

I designed it so I knew what it was going to look like but getting the proof copy still made me giddy. It seems real now — I’m actually holding one of my books in print and I finally get to share it with all of you!

You can order the ebook now by clicking here. Print copies are available by clicking here. And I’ll let you in on a secret: if you buy the print copy and the ebook, you’ll get $2 off the ebook!

My Projects, NaNoWriMo

Why I’m Not Doing NaNoWriMo This Year

I’ve been participating in the National Novel Writing Month since 2011 and I’ve finished novels all but one of those years. It’s something I love doing and look forward to each year. But those five novels I’ve finished are still just sitting there in my documents folder. I’ve been querying agents for the first one, but the others I’ve only looked at once or twice since writing the first draft. I want to actually finish another novel, not just keep turning out new drafts.

And so I’m not participating in NaNoWriMo this year. Instead, I’m going to focus the intense writing time that I would normally spend on a new novel on revising the novels I wrote last year. Last year’s NaNo project turned into a duology (I finished the first book last November and the second a couple months later) and I honestly think it’s the best story I’ve ever told. I want to make it publication ready without getting distracted by another new story.

It feels so weird not to be starting a new novel today. To not have spent the past month sketching out characters, making sticky-note outlines, and getting my NaNo survival kit together. My thoughts are with everyone who is embarking on a month of noveling, and I wish you all the best of luck. And good luck to those of us sitting this NaNo out to work on other projects as well!

Creative Writing, My Projects

Tears In the Writer

Tears In The Writer, marismckay.com
background image credit: MarLeah Cole

I love this quote from Robert Frost: “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” Last night, I was crying while I wrote a scene in The Chronicles of Endan. I thought of this quote, and decided that was a good thing.

For almost two years, I was stalled in writing this particular novel because of two scenes I didn’t know how to write. I conquered one during my epic creative flow, and wrote the other one last night. I’m not a mother, so how could I write about childbirth — much less an associated tragedy? But we write about things we haven’t directly experienced all the time, and the story needed this scene. So I finally wrote it. It’s not perfect yet, but it made me cry and I think that’s a good start.

My Projects, NaNoWriMo

Pinterest-ing Novels

CaptureHave I told you yet how much I love Pinterest? And since I started using it for writing, it’s actually become a helpful obsession.

No, I’m not wasting time on Pinterest — I’m planning a novel. Can’t you tell the difference?

I’d seen other writers with boards for their work-in-progress (WIP) stories, and put a couple together myself. But mine were all for novels already started, so they only have a few pictures on them. My WIP boards didn’t really become helpful until I was planning my NaNoWriMo novel this year.

I decided to go with the idea I’d rejected last year (once I’d made so many modifications that it’s barely recognizable as the same idea). My “official” synopsis on my NaNo page reads,

In the wake of nuclear disaster, scientists rush to find a cure for dangerous mutations that are killing young adults at an alarming rate. Instead, they accidentally create superhumans. Not content to remain as lab-rats, the supers break free and begin taking control of the world. At least, most of them do. One would rather remain hidden as Cady Wright, a deceptively harmless 16-year-old girl.

I’m so excited to start writing! But in the mean time, I’ve pinned at least one image for all the super-humans created in this test and assigned a power to each one.

What are you doing to get ready for NaNoWriMo?

Follow Maris’s board WIP – Supers (NaNoWriMo) on Pinterest.//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js