After a semester of thinking “WTF are you doing by returning to school at 52?” I am proud to announce that I received my first grade for my master’s degree in history at the Harvard Extension school… and I got an A! YAS! I’m also happy to report that the two books I wrote and published during the semester got strong grades from readers. LADY REAPER was shorter than I’d liked, but I blame getting COVID for that. And I’m really happy with the quality of RAPUNZELS AND POWERS–some folks have said it’s the best book of my Rapunzel trilogy. Whew!
I’m also feeling fortunate to have a new brainstorming partner. You may know her as Cissy, but it’s my best friend, KS. If you thought RAPUNZELS AND POWERS kicked ass especially hard, then that’s KS. Next up for Team CB & KS: ANGELFIRE. My goal for this release is to boost both the quality and the length of the book.
Here are common questions I get about my school news. I’m putting them below in case they’re of interest…
What program are you in?
The Harvard Extension is for adults. You take classes at Harvard at a slower pace (one per semester) in order to get your degree. I’m not officially part of the program until I finish three classes with a good grade. One down, two to go!
How the fuck do you write two books and go to Harvard?
Good question! My son is diagnosed on the autism spectrum and I think I’m on it as well. Think the Queen’s Gambit, only I’m imagining dragons on the ceiling instead of chess pieces. My brain works best when I’m really busy. This was a test to see if breaking up my full-time author life with more shit to do would actually help my focus. So far, so good!
How come you’re not studying creative writing?
After 45 books, I’m a little stuck in my ways. I’m also bossy as fuck.
Why choose history?
Real-life stories are often better than anything I could dream up with fantasy. Plus, history definitely recharges my mind and comes out in my writing. For instance, I soaked in tons of documentaries about how the pyramids were built. Later on, all that went into my book, LINCOLN, in terms of how the antagonist would smash/use stone.
How’s your son?
He’s eighteen and awesome. For those who don’t know, my son is on the autism spectrum and has an intellectual disability. My boy still attends school during the week where he’s now learning useful stuff like how to shop at the grocery store. And he’s awesome in other ways as well. Case in point: he pulled a Dunkin’ Donuts cup from recycling today since he’d never seen one before. Then, he looked it over for a while like it was the Mona Lisa. And the design is lovely, after all. I just need him to remind me. All in all, he’s a great kid.
That’s all for now. Back to writing for me!