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Why I’ve Been So Quiet

1 Aug

I’m usually pretty good about updating this blog, but for the past month I’ve been busy writing the After The Darkness series and working on some short stories as part of the Clarion West Write-a-thon. Right now I’m almost halfway through the sixth episode for After The Darkness which will complete the first season. I’ve also recently finished a first draft of a short story set in the same world. And in addition to all of that I’ve been taking classes and connecting with other writers offline.  And because I don’t have much time, I’ll need to make this post short. Back to writing!

SunHi Mistwalker writes fiction set in dystopic and post-apocalyptic worlds. Her new novel New Hope City, a dark coming-of-age story set in a post-apocalyptic America, follows the life of Sunni Brown, a teenage girl exploited by sex traffickers who tries to get a fresh start when she meets a disillusioned cop. She is also the author of the science fiction series After The Darkness. Please sign up for the mailing list for receive updates, freebies and special discounts. You can also follow SunHi on Twitter and Facebook.

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How I Overcame Soul Sucking Dead End Jobs, Frenemies and Homelessness To Become A Full-Time Writer

24 May

I’ve written a guest post for the talented writer Vivienne Mathews’ blog. Here’s a snippet and a link to the rest. Please check it out and read all of the other inspirational posts at her blog.

NewHopeCityFinal_thumbnailIn many ways I had done everything right, I had begun training for the writer’s life as a child, working with professionals at a local newspaper in Chicago, training at a radio station and even doing a brief stint as a writer at a local cable show. And that was all before I’d reached eighteen. You might have thought that those years of training would have been enough to launch me into a career as a wordsmith. But it wasn’t. For years I wasted away my life working dead end jobs that only brought in enough money to feed, clothe and house myself, but the work never nourished my soul.  The truth is that I had bought into a lie that many people, not just writers believe – you can’t make your living doing what you love, you should just suck it up and suffer, be the cog in the machine, the engine that runs someone else’s dream.  I spent 12 years of my life living that story and I could feel myself dying, until one day I made the decision to jump off the treadmill and make a go for my dreams. Well, actually it didn’t happen that smoothly. First I was acted upon by an event that forced me to face my own mortality. Read the rest here.

SunHi Mistwalker writes fiction set in dystopic and post-apocalyptic worlds. Her new novel New Hope City, a dark coming-of-age story set in a post-apocalyptic America, follows the life of Sunni Brown, a teenage girl exploited by sex traffickers who tries to get a fresh start when she meets a disillusioned cop. She is also the author of the science fiction series After The Darkness. Please sign up for the mailing list for receive updates, freebies and special discounts. You can also follow SunHi on Twitter and Facebook.

I’ve Been Accepted: The Artist Trust EDGE Professional Development Program

26 Feb

I’m pleased to announce that I’ve been selected to participate in the Artist Trust’s 2013 EDGE Professional Development Program for Literary Artists. EDGE is a nationally acclaimed 50+ hour training program designed to give writers the business skills they need to create sustainable careers. As most of you know, SunHi Mistwalker is a pseudonym I’ve used to pen speculative fiction since the later part of 2011. But I’ve been writing for a lot longer than that. I currently work as a full-time non-fiction ghostwriter and I’ve written screenplays and stage plays as well as short stories under by legal name.  I applied for this professional program so that I could hone the business skills necessary to ensure that my fiction career is long and fulfilling.   If you live in Seattle, you may have the opportunity to meet me and my fellow EDGE participants when we present our work at the Elliot Bay Bookstore. I’ll update you with the details once they’re finalized.

A reminder! After The Darkness: Episode #4 will be released February 28, 2013.

Happy Holidays! Book Updates

20 Dec

New Hope City is now available on Nook. Other formats are coming soon, including a paperback. Episode 4 of the Science Fiction series is moving along slowly but surely. I’ve been quite exhausted lately so I’ve limited my online time and focused on recuperating and writing. I hope that all of you are enjoying this Holiday season. I look forward to publishing even more books in 2013.

 

Win A $100 Gift Card and Other Prizes

25 Nov

I’m participating in a Science Fiction Giveaway and discount bonanza for the After The Darkness series.  Participate in the giveaway by signing up with the Rafflecopter and find free and discounted science fiction books here.

October Update: Novel On Schedule

20 Oct

I just want to give an update to everyone on my progress. The novel is still on schedule for release this Fall. I’ve edited 145 pages and I have about 45 more pages to go. But this little baby is growing. Right now we’re looking at 60,000 words as opposed to 50,000 words and by the time I finish the edits it may be even longer. If you haven’t seen it already here’s the cover designed by Keri Knutson.

If you haven’t already, read the short story prequel “The Shelter.”

Keri also redesigned the covers for the After The Darkness series. The fourth episode in this series will be released by the end of November. Below are the covers she’s already designed.

After The Darkness: Episode 1After The Darkness: Episode 2

Why I Write About Bleak Dystopias

12 Aug

I’ve always had an obsession with real life dystopian societies. At the ripe old age of fourteen, I delved into the corrupt worlds of Hitler’s German, Stalin’s Russia and apartheid South Africa.  Dystopian novels such as 1984, Brave New World and Animal Farm kept me awake at night and during math class, sneaking in a few lines of reading.  But my obsession didn’t stop there; I began creating my own worlds – making them as corrupt and dark as possible.  I wanted to really “go there.” I’ve always wanted to go there. That’s just who I am. I don’t like limits and I will probably never accept them.  I don’t want to censor myself and I don’t want to pretend that the world is a nice place where the bad guys get their comeuppance — eventually. I know that’s not true.  That’s not to say that justice is never served – sometimes it is. And it’s not to say that every person is a low-life, corrupt scam bag – some of them really aren’t like that most of the time.  But it is to say that the world can be a dark place and it’s up to the individual to not only fight the darkness of the world; but to resist the darkness within their own heart if they want to live a life that creates more good than suffering.

Boxer, the loyal horse, is for me the most memorable character in “Animal Farm.” He believed in the system. He toiled away, breaking his back despite the fact that he never enjoyed the prosperity he helped to create. Even as they drove him away to the glue farm – he believed. By the time Boxer realized his true fate, it was too late.  When I wrote “After The Darkness” I wanted to ask the question, “What happens when the “loyal workhorse” realizes that they’ve been duped?”  I wanted to explore the choices people make and examine how they eventually become willing to face a Goliath of opposing forces. But I also wanted to show that heroism isn’t black and white. Heroes are flawed individuals who have decided to do something extraordinary despite their failings.

Bleak dystopias give us a chance to take a closer look into the darker side of our real world society. Maybe we don’t live in a frozen wasteland like the one in “After The Darkness” where people are categorized, branded and sold to the highest bidder; but we do live in a world where people without power find themselves imprisoned indefinitely, murdered for speaking out against injustice or sexually assaulted because of their gender. Maybe it’s not happening in the United States or the U.K. or Canada on a mass scale; but it is happening to our neighbors separated only by an imaginary border, an ocean or even a few thousand miles of roads and fields. When we see our neighbors facing oppression, will we be the loyal horse or will we choose differently?

After The Darkness on sale now $2.99 $1.99 for the month of August!

Part of the Orangeberry Book Tour. Special thanks to Book Connoisseur.