Origins of The Last Empath of Doctsland

With the launch of The Last Empath of Doctsland nearing, I wanted to talk a bit about where this story came from.

I started writing in May of 2018, purely with the goal of actually finishing a book. I've started more novels than I can count, getting anywhere from a chapter or two in to sometimes halfway finished before I would give up and abandon it. I want (or needed, rather) to prove to myself that I could actually complete a book.

I also wanted to write the type of book I wanted to read. I grew up reading fantasy- The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings, The Princess Bride, the list goes on and on. But there was always something missing in the representation. I found that as my world grew in real life, I started to notice the lack of that growth in representation in the books I was reading. 90% of the characters were cis-gender heterosexual white men. The few women that cropped up were also white, and often had little to do with the action or the plot. I wanted to read a fantasy book that reflected the diversity in the world around me, so when teens like me pick it up they can find a character with whom they can identify- something I usually struggled with.

So, The Last Empath of Doctsland was born. I started by outlining chapter by chapter and giving myself a word count goal for each chapter. When I felt like quitting as I had with every other novel before, I went back to that outline to remind myself where I was going and why I wanted to tell this story. It was hard, I'm very critical of myself and there were many times I felt like it was the worst book ever written, but I stuck to it and at the end (and after several round of editing) it was something I was proud of, and excited to share.

You can pre-order my book at


Today's episode of 'What I'm Reading Now' features A Caterer's Guide to Love & Murder by fellow darkstroke author Jessica Thompson!

I actually just finished this book yesterday and it was wonderful! The genre is 'cozy mystery' - something I didn't know existed before reading this book but now I am a fast fan. Whenever I'm reading a mystery or a thriller I always play a game with myself- Can I figure the mystery out before the characters do? I'll be honest, I'm not great at it, but occasionally I can beat the book. It's so exciting when I can't though, and A Caterer's Guide to Love & Murder totally stumped me. Another thing I really loved about this book was the inclusion of recipes. The main character, Violet, is a caterer. At the end of each chapter the book includes the recipes of the dishes mentioned in that particular chapter. It was such a cool twist that I'd never seen before in a book!

If you like mysteries and want to read something both cozy and exciting, I recommend A Caterer's Guide to Love & Murder.

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