Author Interview: Glenda Shaw

Today’s interview celebrates a couple of firsts for author Glenda Shaw; she joins us to talk about her debut novel in her first ever interview. (I suppose that that makes today quite special!) We’ll sit down with Glenda Shaw in just a moment. Prior to doing so, let’s familiarize ourselves with her book by taking a look at its blurb:

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Young People Look No Further: This Quick Guide Answers Your Vital Questions About What You Need To Know Now

This book is virtually a D.I.Y. on how to rent your first place, how to shop for groceries, and clothing and how to care for your own.

So many questions are answered here you will want to refer to this little book over and over because it is full of good, useful information; such as How much should I spend on rent? How do I furnish a place? How do I stock my kitchen? Can I plan and cook meals? Now that I am responsible for caring for my clothing, how do I? How do I shop for clothing within my budget? With links to important websites for setting up your budget, and shopping sites that will save you time and money. With FREE SPF downloads to print out whenever you need them such as, “Housing Checklist”,”Shopping List”, and a “Menu Planner.”

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a great-grandmother who lives on a small farm outside of Athens, Georgia. I have been reading and writing just about my whole life, I also like to do crafting, cooking, and growing a few herbs, and chickens. I just don’t have any chickens at this time, but in the spring I plan on getting my coop in operation once again.

2. When did you start writing?
I have been writing for most of my life, and I did some technical writing over the years in my professional life of office management. This is my second non-fiction book, the first was written to help answer questions about the industry that I just retired from a few months ago. I have unpublished that book so that I might share it with my former coworkers.

3. How did you arrive at your book’s title?
My book had a working title,”On The Pathway to Independence,” but was first published under,”The Practical Guide to Coming of Age,” then became,”Independence-A How to Guide to Self-Sufficiency,” now it has finally found a proper fit as,”Your Own Life As An Adult,” with the subtitle of,”How to Navigate the Early Years.” These changes and updates are easy as a self-published indie author. I have changed the book over these months as I have been learning on this journey, most recent I have updated the content with links to my website so that readers can download free PDF copies of a checklist for housing, a shopping list, and a menu planner.

4. What does a typical writing session look like for you?
I try to write in the morning, the house is quite and I am in my office and focused. I intend to write 1000 words a day, sometimes it may be more, sometimes less. I have fibromyalgia so some nights I don’t sleep very well, so I might spend that time writing. I spend a couple of hours a day on learning about marketing and promoting books. I find the writing much easier that the marketing as I am pretty much an introvert.

5. How do you feel about outlines? Are you for or against them?
I like to outline, I think it helps me with my process.

6. What is your favorite book genre?
I like to read period romance, and some mystery romance. I would like to try to write a romance novella someday. I have only written two non-fiction books so far. The first one I wrote to answer questions regarding the industry I spent the last decade working in, having retired early this year. The first book has been unpublished as I have another plan for it.

7. What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading, “On this Holy Night”.

8. What is your favorite book?
The Bible is my favorite book, it has everything! I do think that Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books are so good at teaching young people that some of them, if not all should be required reading for grammar school children. The fact is that those books might help them understand a little of what our families endured to raise a family in that era, and make them grateful for what they have, and also give them some survival skills in case they ever need them.

9. Any project in the works?
At present, I am working on a children’s book written in my dog Bud’s voice. I am planning the launch for next fall near football season because it has a little of a UGA theme. The pages that I have shared have been well received by both children and adults.

10. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
My advice to anyone starting this adventure is to study the marketing and launch ends of the business before you get into writing your great novel or whatever, you need to know what you don’t know!

And now for a game of “Which Do/Would You Prefer?”
1. Books or movies?
Books

2. Dogs or cats?
Male Cats

3. Summer or winter?
SUMMER

4. Cake or ice-cream?
Ice Cream

5. Living in the city or living in the country?
Country

6. Being able to travel to the past or being able to travel to the future?
The Past

7. Losing all of your money or losing every picture you’ve ever taken and every picture that has ever been taken of you?
Losing all my money

8. To find true love or to win the lottery?
Find true love

9. Reading or writing?
Writing

10. Going without internet access for a week or going without watching any movies/television shows for a week?
Go without TV/movies for a week

11. To never speak again or to never eat solid food again?
Never eat solid food again

12. Losing your ability to speak or losing your ability to hear?
Losing my ability to hear

13. To never read another book or to never watch another film? 
Never to watch another film

14. To never again eat a piece of chocolate or to never again drink a cup of coffee?
To never drink a cup of coffee

Thanks for joining us, Glenda!
Readers: want to connect with Glenda? You can find her on Twitter, Goodreads, and Facebook. Also, be sure to check out her blog.

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Author Interview: Adam Silfven

Adam Silfven’s debut novel, The Lost Son of Woodridge, hit virtual shelves just over a month ago. If you’re fond of suspense or contemporary fiction, stick around to learn more about this intriguing new release.

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A young woman is attacked by her boyfriend. Break-ins are happening all over town. A boy is taken from his home. All of these crimes are blamed on Robby Hetfield, a nice guy who’s never caused anyone a bit of trouble.

When all the townspeople of Woodridge, Colorado turn on him, even his own parents and his best friend, Robby leaves town and flees deep into the woods of the Rocky Mountains. He has no idea how he will survive, but feels the need to stay near his sister Laila, the only one who believes him. Or, so he thinks….

Deputy John Ochalek doesn’t believe Robby’s girlfriend’s story, but he just can’t prove she’s wrong. Surprisingly, the young woman’s father, TJ Lewis, agrees with him and together they set out to discover the truth. Can they prove Robby’s innocence and catch the real culprits? Will they find his hiding place in time to protect him from the angry townspeople? And, by saving Robby, can they save the town of Woodridge, too?

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hello! I’m a man who wears many hats, but my most favorite ones are those of Husband and Father. My beautiful wife and I have 7 children, four boys and three girls, who add color to our lives in so many ways! We all live in Windsor, CO, a great little town about an hour north of Denver. I currently work at a pizza restaurant part-time while trying to make this writing thing take off, though I am also considering getting into teaching full-time, too.

2. When did you start writing?
I started writing when I was young, losing myself in the various fantasy worlds I created in my head. They were often far more interesting to me than reality. Professionally, I started writing on September 18, 2016. That’s the day I left my steady job, which I despised, and decided to take a shot at a lifelong dream. It’s been a wild ride, and while financially it is not what I expected, that was never the point in doing this to begin with.

3. Do you recall the moment you first conceived the idea for The Lost Son of Woodridge?
I was reading an article in GQ a few years ago, and I let my mind wander. Over time I thought about what it would be like to live in the woods, and what would motivate someone to do that. It formed into something completely different from the original story, but there are still elements of it tucked into my book.

4. How did you arrive at your book’s title?
The Lost Son of Woodridge went through through quite a few changes. Originally titled The Hermit, I felt that didn’t convey the feelings of both the protagonist Robby Hetfield or the town. The current title expresses his feelings of being emotionally lost and betrayed.

5. Does your story have a moral?
The book deals with the way that we treat each other, and how judgmental people can be. Robby is accused of a crime he didn’t commit by his girlfriend, and almost immediately, his world falls apart around him. I feel we have all been in a situation like that and have often felt like running away from it. Robby does that, and along the way discovers who he really is, while the Town of Woodridge begins its own transformation.

6. Of the characters you’ve created, which one is your favorite?
TJ Lewis, the father of Shaina Lewis, the antagonist and Robby’s accuser, is by far my favorite. I see a lot of myself in him, as a man who is in a tough position, yet still willing and wanting to do the right thing. His daughter accuses Robby of raping her, but he isn’t willing to blindly believe her when the story doesn’t add up. He will be a major part of the next two books in The Town of Woodridge Series.

7. Using five words or less, describe the protagonist in The Lost Son of Woodridge.
Scared, lost, determined, strengthened, found (in that order)

8. What does a typical writing session look like for you?
When I’m writing, I’m in my office, alone in the corner. The music is cranked to drown out everything else. My phone is somewhere else, and the door is closed, and I wrote until I’m finished. No goal, no word count. I know when I have written all the good things that are going to come out of my head for that day.

9. How do you feel about outlines? Are you for or against them?
I believe in outlines, though maybe not in the typical sense. You need to do it how it’s going to work for you. Mine was a 5,000 word “story sketch”, along with a “character sketch” that detailed so many things like each characters age, height, weight, education and relationship ties to every other character. That alone was almost 10,000 words despite so little of it actually being presented anywhere in the book. After all that I hand drew a map of the town itself and taped in on the wall above my monitor for constant reference.

10. What is your favorite book?
My favorite book is On Writing by Stephen King. It inspired me to take writing seriously. After that, the Game of Thrones series by George RR Martin, which taught me about character development and storytelling.

11. Any project in the works?
I am currently working on a love story about a man whose wife dies in a car accident. It addresses the stages of grief present in the beginning and end of their relationship, and will explore what it means to love someone. That will be followed by a second book in The Town of Woodridge Series featuring Rachel Warner, a character in The Lost Son of Woodridge, who finds herself entangled in a couple of deaths that may not be what they seem. This coming summer will see at least one children’s book, written by me and illustrated by my wife, who is an amazing artist. By next winter, I’d love to have completed the third Woodridge book about a mysterious hitchhiker who finds his way to the small mountain town and uncovers many of the secrets that have been plaguing the town in the first two books.

12. How long does it usually take you to write a book?
My first book was written during a whirlwind period when I wasn’t working anywhere else, and it took me just less than a month to complete the manuscript. The rest of the process took a bout another month, thanks to the tireless and relentless editing by my mother, and the hard work my beta readers put in. Between them all, The Lost Son of Woodridge went through its final transformation into something I am very proud of.

13. In your opinion, what makes a story ‘good’?
A story will be good when the writer believes in what they are writing. It’ll be great when everyone else does.

14. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Write. A lot. Believe in yourself and your work. Connect with other writers, they are invaluable. Write for your readers, but for yourself first.

And now for a game of “Which Do/Would You Prefer?”
1. Books or movies?
Books, then plays, then movies

2. Dogs or cats?
Dogs, by far

3. Summer or winter?
Winter!

4. Ebook or physical book?
Physical book, ebooks don’t smell right

5. Living in the city or living in the country?
Living in the country, preferably the mountains

6. Having telepathy or having telekinesis?
Telekinesis

7. Being able to travel to the past or being able to travel to the future?
Travel to the past

8. Being Spider-Man for a day or being Batman for a day?
Spider-man, much more fun

9. Reading or writing?
Writing

10. To find the love of your life (only to find out that you’re not the love of their life) or to have someone declare you the love of their life (note, however, that this someone is not a person whom you are romantically interested in)?
Have someone declare I’m the love of their life

11. To speak using ONLY rap lyrics (from songs released in the 21st century) or to speak using ONLY quotes from Austen’s books?
If you had one shot,
One opportunity,
To seize everything you ever wanted,
In one moment,
Would you capture it?
Or let it slip?

12. Misunderstanding everything that is told to you or being misunderstood every time that you speak?
Being misunderstood

13. Drinking a glass of expired, curdled milk or eating a bowl of cold, slimy worms? (Note: the worms would be dead, though not cooked.)
Worms. Even thinking about drinking expired milk makes me sick.

14. Being two inches tall or being two stories tall?
Two stories tall!

15. Finding yourself trapped in the universe of The Walking Dead or finding yourself trapped in a slasher film?
Slasher film. I’d hope I was smart enough to avoid the bad guy. In the Walking Dead world, even the good guys aren’t that good, so there’s danger everywhere!

Thank you for joining us, Adam!
Readers: want to connect with Adam? You can find him on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Also, be sure to check out his author page on Amazon and his author website.

Author Interview: Sharon E. Cathcart

Former journalist and newspaper editor Sharon E. Cathcart joins us in the virtual studio. She’s the author of In The Eye of The Beholder and In The Eye of The Storm — a pair of novels inspired by The Phantom of the OperaBefore we proceed with the interview, let’s take a quick look at the descriptions of Sharon’s titles:

25908261When French equestrian Claire Delacroix loses her fiance in a tragic accident, she comes to live at the Paris Opera during its 1890s heyday.

Whilst working at the opera, she meets a mysterious, masked stranger: Erik. Is it possible that the two of them will heal the pain of each other’s past?

 

 

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San Francisco, 1948

When a mysterious stranger approaches Clarice Kaye in her favorite restaurant, his words trigger a voyage of discovery: “You look just like your grandmother, but you have your mother’s eyes.”

There was only one question in Clarice’s mind: how could he know?

Armed with family diaries that tell of the scandalous grandmother for whom she was named, Clarice embarks on a journey through Paris’ modern art movement, 1906 San Francisco, and the depths of the Opéra Garnier in this long-awaited sequel to “In The Eye of The Beholder.”

Ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together for Sharon E. Cathcart!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m originally from Portland, Oregon, but now live in the Silicon Valley. I’m married, and we have a number of rescue pets. I studied journalism and forensic anthropology in college (at different times). I think my background as a journalist and, eventually, a newspaper editor, are part of the reason I love writing historical fiction.  I’m one of those rare birds who actually enjoys doing the research. Fun fact: my left elbow is double-jointed.

2. When did you start writing?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. One of my best friends from elementary school and I used to write and perform plays for our classmates, and I have been writing short stories and poetry ever since then.  Now, I’ve got two novels, a number of novellas and short stories, and poems that have been published over the years.

3. Do you recall the moment you first conceived the ideas for your novels?
I definitely remember for “In The Eye of The Beholder.” I had just abandoned what I still consider to be the worst-written book I’ve ever seen (I will not out the author here), and was so frustrated.  My inner voice said “Well, if you think you can do better, why don’t *you* try writing a novel.”  So, I did.

4. Of the characters you’ve created, which one is your favorite?
I’m ridiculously fond of one of the characters in my current work in progress. His name is Jimmy Arceneaux, and he is the loquacious, precocious 6-year-old nephew of my male protagonist in “Bayou Fire.”  He idolizes his Uncle Amos, and tags along after him whenever he gets a chance.  He’s also a bit of a chatterbox.

I don’t know that I have an overall favorite character, to be honest … I kind of fall in love with my male protagonists (thank god for my patient husband) every single time.

5. Any project in the works?
I’m currently working on my first historical paranormal, “Bayou Fire.”

6. Using five words or less, describe the protagonist in Bayou Fire.
Diana Corbett is a travel writer and dreamer. (I think I failed the brevity test.)

7. How do you feel about outlines? Are you for or against them?
I am a dedicated “pantser.” I have a general idea of where I want the story to go, but then I just start writing.  Sometimes characters show me unexpected sides of themselves that take the book in a slightly different direction.  If I wrote mysteries, I would have to outline … for obvious reasons.  Historical fiction, on the other hand, has a general timeline in which events need to occur – but there’s some leeway within that timeline.

8. Let’s talk about your favorite book genres.

  • Which do you prefer to read in?

Historical fiction, and mysteries.

  • Which do you prefer to write in?

Historical fiction.

9. What are you currently reading?
“Dead and Buried,” by Barbara Hambly, and “Bayou Farewell,” by Mike Tidwell.

10. How long does it usually take you to write a book?
My previous two full-length novels took four years each. I went down some serious research “rabbit holes” while working on them.  The current one looks like it will have taken about a year to complete by the time I’m done with final edits.  I’ve become much more disciplined over time.

11. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Even if it’s crap, put it on the paper. Editing is for later.  This was one of the best pieces of advice that  received, and I pass it on whenever I’m asked.  Thing is, a blank screen, or blank piece of paper, can be intimidating if you think the sentence has to be perfect before you ever write it.  It’s better to write it, and go back and fix it later on, than to never write it at all.

And now for a game of “Which Do/Would You Prefer?”
1. Books or movies?
Books

2. Dogs or cats?
I love both. I seriously cannot choose.

3. Car or motorcycle?
Car

4. Living in the city or living in the country?
I am definitely a city mouse.

5. Staying in a hotel or going camping?
Hotel. I hate camping.

6. To speak using ONLY rap lyrics (from songs released in the 21st century) or to speak using ONLY quotes from Austen’s books?
Austen.

7. Being able to speak and understand every language known to humankind or being able to speak and understand every language known to animals?
I’m a polyglot (English, French, Italian, Spanish, Kouri-Vini) and an animal communicator, so this is another one where I don’t really see an either/or.

8. Losing your ability to speak or losing your ability to hear?
The ability to hear would be the far greater loss for me; I love music too much.

9. To never read another book or to never watch another film?
I could give up movies far more easily than books.

10. To never again eat a piece of chocolate or to never again drink a cup of coffee?
I don’t like coffee; giving it up would be easy.

11. Have every day be Saturday or have every day be Christmas?
Saturday. It’s far too easy to get tired of a given holiday, even if you love it.

Thank you for joining us, Sharon!
Readers: want to connect with Sharon? You can find her on Twitter, Goodreads, and Facebook. Also, be sure to check out her author website and blog.

Author Interview: Isis Sousa

Today’s guest is a double threat in the world of the creatives. (She can skillfully wield pens and brushes alike!) Coffee with Architects of Worlds Afar could not be more thrilled to introduce you all to author and illustrator Isis Sousa. Her titles include the gothic novels As Cold As Thorns and The Night of Elisa as well as an art/coffee-table book entitled The Picture of Dorian Grey in Quotes and Nudes ; the aforementioned works’ descriptions can be found at the end of this post. 

Without further ado, let’s sit down with Isis Sousa.

me21. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Well, first of all, thanks a lot for the opportunity to be featured at your blog, Jessica 😀 I work as illustrator 4-5 days a week in my home office making covers of Fiction and Non-Fiction books. I work also as arts teacher once a week at a local school and I love it! On my free time I write books. But that’s something new, so I’m still getting used to it.

2. Of the characters you’ve created, which one is your favorite?
It is Henrique, lead of As Cold As Thorns. He is going through a dark journey, leading him to do things which hurt others, but also himself. Henrique is a heightened example of us humans, always doing mistakes and things that complicates both our own lives and others’. I love his artistic mind and stubbornness as well as perseverance. But readers will mostly see his dark side (in book 1) before they can see him for who he really is (by the end of book 2.)

3. What does a typical writing session look like for you?
The most ‘normal’ of the process is like this: I put on some great music (metal/Gothic), I grab a hot beverage,  seat at an arms chair, and sketch words. Sometimes, when the time is too scarce I will write also while my husband watches TV, since I don’t have a writing room. I have an office, but I only use it for work, aka making illustrations! 🙂

4. How do you feel about outlines? Are you for or against them?
Outlines are a great way to know where your story should head. I think one should use it if one wants. I use it in a minimum level, since I like to improvise and let the characters determine the story. But still, the little I use I find it very helpful.

5. What is your favorite book genre?
Fairytales, Gothic and Dark Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and the like.

6. How long does it usually take you to write a book?
Hm…, if I start counting from the moment I have the idea to the finished manuscript, then it takes 2-3 years. I take 1-2 years imagining the story in form of lose scenes and character mannerisms  plus– 5-7 months writing and editing 🙂 That’s weird… I know!

7. In your opinion, what makes a story ‘good’?
That depends so vastly. Sometimes it will be the plot, sometimes a character or combination of both. Sometimes the dialogues, sometimes the descriptions… There isn’t a magic formula. Each great story has something special about it.

And now for a game of “Which Do/Would You Prefer?”
1. Books or movies?
Both. Both can be great and while both tell stories,  they use very different ways to convey them.

2. Dogs or cats?
Cats :3 I like their independent spirits and non-servant attitude.

3. Summer or winter?
Winter. I could have a whole years of winter and be absolutely happy! 😀

4. Car or motorcycle?
Car. I love comfort. Motorcycle to me translate into ‘unsafe, dusty, exposed to weather and uncomfortable’.

5. Ebook or physical book?
That will depend. Some books are better as E-books, others as physical books. Those with strong visual content or art books are always best in print.

6. Working in a group or working alone?
Alone. It’s nice to be amongst people, on the right occasions. For working, I prefer to be alone with my thoughts.

7. To find true love or to win the lottery?
I have found true love, now I just need to win the lotto! 😀

8. Reading or writing?
Writing. I love reading… But I prefer to be able to create.

9. Being able to speak and understand every language known to humankind or being able to speak and understand every language known to animals?
Humans. I have a language fetish, so I would love to know all of them! Animals speak with their behavior. We do too, but human languages are cool!

10. Going without internet access for a week or going without watching any movies/television shows for a week?
I couldn’t care less if I would be a week or a year without TV. I hardly watch anything, apart from some serieses when time allows. I am dependent on the web, however.

11. Misunderstanding everything that is told to you or being misunderstood every time that you speak?
Tough one. I think the second part already happens… Kidding!

12. Spending half a day locked in a coffin (there would be a hole for air, of course) or spending two days trapped at the bottom of a well?
I could sleep in a coffin for good, that would be cool! 😀 But since I’m married,  rule it out. The well, however, I hate humidity, and would be afraid of the bugs and germs and bacteria and that would kill me!

13. Finding yourself caught in the middle of a hurricane or finding yourself caught in the middle of a snowstorm? (Note: in both scenarios, you’d be outdoors and have no access to shelter.)
Snowstorm 😀 Hurricane is too scary! I am more used to the first one 😉

14. To never again eat a piece of chocolate or to never again drink a cup of coffee?
Hm, technically, I do both already and it is horrible 😦 Can’t have anything with caffeine or cocoa… (Though I drink caffeine free coffee and eat white chocolate in small amounts, but that’s not valid, right?.)

Thanks a lot for reading! It was really fun going through this interview! 🙂

Thank you for joining us, Isis!
Readers: want to connect with Isis? You can find her on Twitter and Goodreads. Also, be sure to check out her author website, her author blog, and her creative blog (on which she interviews fellow authors).

*****

30342019Book 1 of 2.

~ A dark tale for adults packed with beautiful illustrations and special layout. ~

When lust and vanity consume a humble young soul, nothing is left but a faint flame in the darkness of the void.

The solace and contentment of Henrique’s simple life as a small-town tailor’s apprentice vanish when his ambitions turn him overnight into one of the most powerful and influential personalities in early-1800s Europe. His quick ascension to the upper echelons of the leading Iberian Empire reveals a man torn between the pure heart he once was, and the grim shade of what he has now become: a spirit obsessed with expensive material possessions and the urge to acquire the unattainable.

Henrique succumbs to the ever-growing desires and beguiling passions tormenting his mind, causing a rupture between reason and a desolate world of ice and snow where pain is the key to salvation.

Will he survive his encounter with the colossal emptiness and find the righteous path to lead him out of his agony?

Come and indulge yourself in this startling tale of coldness and wonder.
……..
Parental guidance: 16 +

*****

The Night of ElisaThe Night of Elisa is bound with 30+ pencil illustrations of ornaments, characters and objects and a unique layout.

Parental guidance: for 16+
Contains blood, nudity and dark themes.

Sometimes, life and love can follow the most obscure paths, just as they did for Elisa.

Her life becomes a dark, cold, lonely cage the day the devil takes her as his wife. He robs her of almost everything she holds dear: her health, her wealth and what is left of her family.

Trapped between the nuances of life and beyond-life, Elisa finds herself struggling for a better tomorrow. With her health deteriorating, how will she summon the courage and strength to stand her ground? And how far will she go in the pursuit of a dream?

Embark with Elisa on this puzzling Gothic adventure set in the late Victorian era, between the world of the Living and the picturesque, melancholic Duskland.

*****

31868803“…The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely. All art is quite useless.” – Oscar Wilde

This book is the physical translation of that very philosophical thought.

We invite you to admire the beauty, strength and disturbing nature of Oscar Wilde’s written art in his Gothic masterpiece The Picture of Dorian Gray.

You can feed your soul’s vanity and hunger for alluring words and images with this delightful selection of over sixty quotes and twenty fine nude paintings.

A necessity: such is The Picture of Dorian Gray in Quotes and Nudes, a little obscure treasure for art and book collectors alike.

My Abigail — Book Trailer Launch

Last year, David Duane Kummer visited us to talk about his writing; to view his interview, click here. For those of you who are unfamiliar with David, he is the author of She, As Trees Turned Away, My Abigail, and Enden. It’s also worth noting that he is still in high school. (Yup. High school!)

Today, the trailer for David’s My Abigail launches. Coffee with Architects of Worlds Afar is pleased to be able to share said trailer with you all.