Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Through the Portal: Release Day is Here!

I’ve been obsessed with reading for as long as I can remember. My mom had to bring large paper sacks to our weekly library trips so I could fill them up with my treasures. I would quickly finish my pile and head right back for more.

This seems to be a common trait amongst writers. We love to read. We love to write. Finally my dream of being a published author, and not just a reader, is coming true.

My novella, “Shadow Land Motel,” is featured in “Through the Portal,” an anthology by the gifted contributors at Read Write Muse. Today is the big release day, and excited doesn’t begin to express how I feel.

Through the Portal: a fiction anthology by the writers of Read Write Muse

After I finished college with an English degree, circumstances seemed to conspire against me. I gave up my dreams of writing for more practical jobs. Then I moved to British Columbia, got married, and had children. Slowly the desire to write cooled down to barely an ember.

I went through a dry spell even in my reading years. As a “grown-up” and a parent I felt like it was somehow frivolous to read fiction. Stories were for children, and I read my children plenty. I resigned myself to reading only non-fiction, “helpful” books. Parenting, marriage, spirituality, mental health. They were mostly very good, but somehow my mind was getting creatively dull.

When my kids were both in school full-time they attended a very small private school that had no library. That simply wouldn’t do, so I volunteered to start one. In the process of selecting books for the high school students, I started reading fiction again. It rekindled that love I had for the pure joy of wrapping myself in the world an author created.

Once I began to read, I could barely stop. I watched the film version of “The Fellowship of the Rings,” and then bought the books. (Yes, I confess I only read “The Hobbit” before that. I’m pathologically scared of spiders, so I thought there might be more in LOTR.) I read the trilogy in three days. My only breaks were to feed and check up on my children.

Finally the creative embers at the core of my being were stoked enough to roar back to life. I had ideas coming to me, and the enthusiasm to write them. Of course I had all the fear, busyness, and obstacles that I’d always had, but I felt alive again in a creative sense.

Through the Portal: a fiction anthology by the writers of Read Write Muse

For all my enthusiasm, it has taken years to be at the right place, at the right time, and with the right people to have a story published. I am very pleased with “Shadow Land Motel.” It came from places in my imagination that I hadn’t explored before and a genre that is new to me.

I always loved Edgar Allen Poe and watched old reruns of the Twilight Zone on TV. This novella is perhaps a reflection of those influences. If you grew up in Kent, Washington in the '70s and '80s, there is a reference just for you. This story started in a dream, a strange one at that. It couldn't be told in a short story and grew into a novella. I hope it reaches that place in your imagination between waking and sleeping.

I'm very proud of the collaboration contained within the pages of "Through the Portal." And I'm blessed to know the wonderful, talented Musers who make up Read Write Muse. You can find "Through the Portal" on Amazon.com in paperback and eBook. One dollar from each book will be donated to a cancer-related charity. Thank you for coming on this journey with me!

Here are the Amazon links:

Click here for the paperback edition.

Click here for the Kindle edition.


  1. Natalie... your story in Through the Portal is amazing!!! One of my favorites!

  2. Thank you so much!! I'm glad you enjoyed it! And thanks for commenting :)

  3. I just got my paperback copy today and I'm SOO freaking excited!

    1. Yay! You've got me beat! I have the Kindle copy, but don't have my paperback copy in my little hot hands yet!