Tag Archives: Literary Fiction

Julia Camp

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APRIL 30, 2018: We welcome our newest author to the Evolved Publishing Team.
 
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I’m currently (as of 30 April 2019) a law student at the University of Texas in Austin. Prior to law school, I taught creative writing at John Hopkins’ Center for Talented Youth program, and worked as an editor for 1966: A Journal of Creative Nonfiction. I’m a graduate of Trinity University, where I majored in English and minored in creative writing. I’ve always had a passion for writing literary fiction, and after continuously reading and rereading my two favorite novels, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien and The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers, I decided to write my own story about a soldier’s return home from Afghanistan.

My novel Indivisible is about the way that time itself both heals and scars us, how time pushes us to points where we must choose between breaking or making peace with senselessness and tragedy. It’s a novel about strength and, at times, the absence of it.

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Watch for Indivisible, a literary novel, to release on 7 October 2019.

Charlie returns home from Afghanistan to discover that his battles are just beginning.

Ever since the death of his best friend, Charlie can hardly look in the mirror. He feels alienated from himself, and suddenly, things that used to feel simple seem unexplainably complicated. The weight of his past presses heavily on his soul. He wonders if everything that he did—letting his best friend enlist, deciding to enlist with him, being unable to talk about the war after they got home—all somehow led to his best friend’s suicide.

While trying to handle his own sense of guilt, he knows that he can’t freeze, that the people around him still need him to try to move on. His longtime girlfriend, Sarah, wants to know if they’re going to make it, if they’ll be okay despite the fact that he can hardly kiss her anymore. His family wants to know if he’s going to college now that he’s home from Afghanistan. His boss at the auto shop wants to know why he misses so many days of work.

Charlie keeps one foot in the past and one in the present, and feels himself getting stretched thinner and thinner. The weight on him only piles up, and whatever clarity he has about his life seems only to get more and more foggy. Why did his best friend, who once seemed so happy, decide to die? Charlie tries to solve the puzzle like a mystery, piecing together parts of his friend’s past, seeking a simple answer that’ll make everything seem rational. Then, maybe he’ll be okay. Then, maybe he’ll be able to move on. Maybe.

J.F. Collen

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FEBRUARY 21, 2019: We welcome our newest author to the Evolved Publishing Team.
 
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Jane Frances Collen has spent the last umpteen years practicing as a lawyer – but don’t hold that against her! She has made a career of protecting Intellectual Property, but at heart always wanted to be writing novels instead of legal briefs. She has written award-winning children’s books, “The Enjella® Adventure Series,” using fantasy as a vehicle for discussing the real world problems of children. She has tried to use her talent for storytelling for good instead of evil.

But her real love is history. One of her many hobbies is traveling to historical sites around the world and reading the biographies of the people who affected these places. Her books depict modern dilemmas in historical settings, with a touch of humor. Since only one of her parents had a sense of humor, however, Jane feels she is only half as funny as she should be.

Much to her husband’s dismay, they still live in New York.

Her historical fiction trilogy, “The Journey of Cornelia Rose” will be published in late 2019.

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COMING FALL 2019: All 3 books in the “Journey of Cornelia Rose” series of historical/women’s fiction novels: Flirtation on the Hudson (September); Pioneer Passage (October); The Path of Saints and Sinners (December).

 
Shivers of delight raced through Cornelia Rose’s entire body as she thought, Stroll Flirtation Walk with my escort, unchaperoned? How could this be permitted, much less condoned?

Cornelia Rose decides early in life, almost instinctively, not to allow anyone to limit her to the few choices available to women in New York in the 1850s. Marry well and become a proper lady—is that all I can do? She surreptitiously pursues learning ‘not meant for young ladies,’ and begins the journey to become a midwife.

Flirtatious and sexy, Cornelia attracts suitors everywhere she goes. Flooded with invitations after her ‘unofficial’ debut, her courtships take a dramatic turn when invited to the West Point Military Academy as the guest of a cadet. Will her romantic escapades compromise her choices? Who will decide her future?
 
 
 
 
Pack up and leave her home? Never see the broad Hudson River, which flows both ways past her sitting room window, again? Eschew the glories of New York City and the wonders of the 1850s modern technology, and head out to unknown territory in the Wild West?

Heeding the call to “Go West Young Man,” Cornelia Rose’s husband accepts a position as Circuit Judge in the new Utah Territory, and persuades her that it’s an exciting opportunity for them all. She thinks leaving the modern comforts of their home in Sing-Sing, New York, and saying goodbye to her family, will be the hardest challenge she’ll ever have to face.

Life on the Oregon Trail is full of more deprivations than Cornelia ever imagined, in spite of her research, and preparation of their Conestoga wagon, for the rough road ahead. She summons all her resourcefulness to combat the hardships leading them to the greatest unknown: what would be waiting for them in the Great Salt Lake City?
 
 
THE PATH OF SAINTS AND SINNERS
When silent Mister Clayton resurfaces, he opens Cornelia’s eyes to the passion she unknowingly craves. Despite keeping her expectations realistic, she finds the challenges of living outside the civilization of the United States onerous in ways she never anticipated.

In the Wild West, the conventions of civilization seem twisted for an intelligent pioneer woman, as Cornelia braves farther westward in Utah Territory. Her efforts to create a home are derailed in the greater struggle of maintaining her beliefs and her family amid the conflicting mores of several cultures. Living in the Mormon community under the thumb of Brigham Young, she’s constantly challenged to use her wits, midwife skills, and heart to keep her family together, while at the same time finding her independence.

More complicated than a mere love triangle, Cornelia becomes embroiled in conflicting passions as she searches for her identity and discovers her true love.

Mary Rowen

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DECEMBER 9, 2018: We welcome our newest author to the Evolved Publishing Team.
 
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I’m drawn to stories about women facing and overcoming challenges at various stages of life, so I love reading and writing women’s fiction. Music, musicians, and music fans tend to find their way into my work too.

Other interests include feminism, body image issues, parenting, and current events. I blog about that stuff and more whenever I can. My essays have been featured on numerous sites and blogs, including Mutha Magazine, Feminine Collective, and Huffington Post.

A graduate of Providence College, I was raised in the Massachusetts Merrimack Valley, and live in the Boston area with my family and pets.

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COMING 3 JUNE 2019: Leaving the Beach:
 
 
Erin Reardon gets her first kiss from Jim Morrison, and loses her virginity to David Bowie. When she flunks out of college, Bruce Springsteen comforts her, and Elvis Costello breaks her heart in Europe. So what happens when she finally meets a rock star in the flesh?

Erin’s a lonely misfit with an eating disorder and a wild imagination. She believes she was born to save—and love—at least one tortured musician, and is willing to risk almost everything to fulfill that destiny.
 
 
 
 
COMING 9 SEPTEMBER 2019: Living by Ear:

Singer-songwriter Christine Daley hit the streets of Boston and became a minor celebrity—with a local radio hit—in the 90s, but a “brief” career break to marry and start a family changed all that. Now, sixteen years later, she’s a frustrated suburban housewife, struggling to reestablish her sense of identity.

After filing for divorce, forty-six-year-old Chris quickly learns that the challenges she faces are even greater than anticipated. Her two teenage children suddenly seem to need their mom more than ever, and neither of them is thrilled about her getting back on the music scene. Meanwhile, her soon-to-be-ex-husband is throwing every possible obstacle in her way.

Adding to the stress is technological progress, which has radically changed both the music industry and the dating world. Is there room in this new mix for Chris?

COMING 2 DECEMBER 2019: It Doesn’t Have To Be That Way:

Molly Dolan, an insecure twenty-something woman, spends most days ricocheting between hope and despair.

Molly keeps rushing into relationships with the wrong men, brought about by a violent incident during her teen years, which skewed her judgment. Now she’s drinking too much, taking foolish risks, and allowing a predatory male to sexually harass her at work.

A chance encounter with Fred Flaherty, her 72-year-old divorced neighbor, leads to a tentative friendship. Fred, a Cold War veteran and ham radio operator, has suffered considerably over the decades, but also dreams of a better future. As summer becomes autumn, the two neighbors share stories of personal loss, bond over their passion for Jim Croce’s music, and develop trust and mutual respect.

This is fortunate, because winter is about to bring on challenges neither could have predicted.

Hope Silver

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SEPTEMBER 24, 2018: We welcome our newest author to the Evolved Publishing Team.
 
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I’m a Russian author, born in Siberia. My pen name, Hope Silver, is a translation of my real, very long Russian name, Nadezhda Serebrennikova.

I’ve always loved writing. I worked as a journalist in a few newspapers in St. Petersburg and finished my first novel when we lived in the Czech Republic. When we moved to the US in 2013, I started writing a blog about my life in Berkeley, California, with my husband, son, daughter, and about our love for traveling and adventures.

“Why do you want to move to America?” they asked us during the interview in the US consulate in Moscow, after I won a green card lottery.

My 10-year-old son raised his hand and said, “We are travelers.”

I strongly believe that dreams come true if you want something badly enough. Many of my stories, short or long, for adults or for the kids, are about dreamers who don’t give up, like the main character of my novel, Born – Against All Odds – a child’s soul who stops at nothing on the way to his future mom.

In its Russian original, Born – Against All Odds was selected as ‘Best Book of the Year’ in the fantasy genre, at the International Russian Writers competition in Germany (2015). Its English translation by Krystyna Steiger (Canada) was awarded the second prize at the “Open Eurasia 5th International Writers Competition” in London in 2016.

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Coming soon….

Reflections on Johnny Appleseed Day by Author Gregg Sapp

A Blast from the Past!

Did you know that September 23rd is Johnny Appleseed Day? (Neither did we.) We’ve learned a lot about this extraordinary real-life character in the last couple of years, thanks to the amazing work of author Gregg Sapp, who drops by here to share some thoughts on this occasion.

It happens to come shortly on the heels of us learning that Fresh News Straight from Heaven was honored with the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award – Best Novel – Summer 2018 (1 of only 3 honored in that category), making this the truly perfect time to learn about this amazing character (and a great book).
 

Gregg Sapp

People often ask me why I wrote a novel about Johnny Appleseed. In reply, I like to ask them to tell me what they know about him.

Some describe him as a scruffy vagabond horticulturist, part mountain man/ part hippie tree-hugger, skipping barefoot through the forest primeval like a woodland nymph with a bag of apple seeds slung over his shoulder, a song on his lips, and a rotten-toothed grin for everybody he met.

Others think of him as a howling, wide eyed lunatic who spat venom preaching an obscure and bizarre brand of evangelical Christianity to everybody within earshot, the kind of person that you’d cross the street to avoid if you saw him approaching on the sidewalk.

Still others recall him fondly from images perpetuated in the many children’s books written about him. They describe him as an unkempt but saintly oddball who was sweet to animals and little children, and spread peace, love, and good neighborly understanding wherever he went, kind of like a hobo Mister Rogers.

All are true, and yet there’s much more to this complex, enigmatic, and downright weird historical person.

My interest in Johnny Appleseed began when I was growing up in central Ohio. There, I was close to many of the places where his legend was born. I liked to imagine that he’d passed through the fields and woods near my home. In seventh grade, for a history assignment to write a short biography of some famous Ohioan, while everybody else wrote about presidents, inventors, entertainers, war heroes, etc., I chose to write about Johnny Appleseed.

To me, the reality of John Chapman (his real name) is much less interesting than the folklore about Johnny Appleseed. The real person was of no particular significance. He didn’t do anything that changed history. But he did represent something important to Americans. Johnny stood apart, a character unlike anybody else, who at the same time appealed to something universal.

Other beloved characters in American history are probably better representatives of some of the qualities attributed to Johnny – his honesty, his pacifism, his faith. But no other beloved characters in American history is weirder. Johnny’s oddities are iconic. The mush pot on the head, the coat made of a potato sack, the sack of seeds on his back: Johnny’s image is a celebration of American eccentricity. He is the American Don Quixote.
That’s why his birthday, September 26th, is nationally recognized as Johnny Appleseed Day.

We need more oddballs, misfits, cranks, crackpots and hare brains like Johnny Appleseed. We admire these people because even though they violate social norms, they are entirely true to themselves. You can’t fake weird.

By writing my novel, “Fresh News Straight from Heaven,” I like to think that I’m keeping that tradition alive. We can all use a little Johnny Appleseed in our lives. It would be appropriate to celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day by giving yourself permission to be a little weird.
 

 
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