I read some advice by author Joanna Walsh, “define carefully what makes you uncomfortable, and dwell in that difficulty. Find ways to enjoy it.” It’s hard for me to contemplate the notion of discomfort while I sit outside with the sun on my back on this beautiful spring day, but I know it all the same.

Something I secretly fear (but act like it’s no big deal) is that my book The River and the Ravages simply doesn’t fit easily in a genre. I didn’t follow the rules of outlining my plot and forming my characters based on what is normally done in any single genre. This was pointed out to me quite early into my writing but it felt too darn important to me to keep writing the book that was inside me and not follow the rules. I may pay for that decision one day, but I may, on the other hand, reap the rewards.

Too often we fear to take bold steps and instead follow the safe path. I’m not being critical by any means. I’ve done it plenty in my own life. There are often so many competing priorities in any given decision to be made, I wonder how any decision gets made in the first place. But for the big stuff, the stuff that defines who we are, who we choose to love, how we spend our days, our weeks, our lives, it often requires gutsy decisions and dwelling in some bone-deep difficulty for a while.

What it means to me as a writer, is than I’m going to continue to write what interests me. Sex. Love. Family. Money. Death. And I’m going to continue to write about people on the brink of change and growth. People who sometimes make some great decisions, and who sometimes stuff up quite spectacularly.

And I’m going to have so much fun along the way. What a time to be alive!

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  • Adelaide Fringe opening sky. I’m staying here all night. #riverandravages #adelaidefringe
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Aaliya Reiner is made of strong stuff. But when her mother passes on, she seems to lose her grip on life. Things don’t seem to get better with her sister, Maddalena, who’s estranged and enjoying the benefits from marrying into power and opulence.
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Aaliya takes refuge in a passionate and hidden love affair, hoping to fill the void left by her mother’s death.
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But desire can be deadly and the kingdom of Traegos is becoming a dangerous place. When the dark web of politics and power begins to ensnare the kingdom’s inhabitants, choice and chance collide leaving Aaliya with only one option left to survive.
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The River and the Ravages is a gripping story of identity and freedom, tragedy and betrayal. It’s a novel about loyalty to oneself, one’s family and one’s history, and how sometimes, certain kinds of loyalty can do more harm than good.
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