(This is the full artwork for THE KEY TO EXTRAORDINARY, illustrated by the wonderful Gilbert Ford.)
Sometimes this blog feels like an old apartment. Or like a first apartment, maybe. I don't post here much anymore, but I still come back to read old posts and old comments. This space was my creative spot for a long time, and it was also a sweet source of community for me. I've tried to figure out what to do with this space. My friend Kay, who helps me with all things webby, says we should probably move this over to the actual website. Kind of like in Oregon Trail when you caulk the wagon and float it down the river. We'd float this wagon over to www.NatalieLloyd.com and most of it would still be there. I don't think anybody checks this site much anyway. But in case you do, I thought it might be fun to share some updates. Here goes:
** I am still short. 5 feet tall. Ish. (More like 4'11" ... )
** I still like to write stories, read stories, stargaze, go adventuring, snuggle my dog and drink coffee.
** I have seen the new Star Wars. Rey is just the bee's knees.
** My next novel is called THE KEY TO EXTRAORDINARY and it will be out on February 23. If you want to pre-order the book (aka: if you are my parents), you can do so from your local Indie bookstore (Indiebound.org), or on Amazon (here's the link), or on B&N (here's the link) or just about anywhere books are sold. This isn't a sequel to Snicker. KEY is Emma Pearl Casey's story, and I'm excited for you to meet her. Unofficially, this book is about a brave girl, best friends, a singing ghost, buried treasure and hot chocolate.
KEY is also about the hidden history in a small town that ... I can't tell you because that would ruin the end. But! It was a joy to write. And it was painful to write, too. So far, every story has caused that kind of tug-of-war in my heart. And like all stories I've written, this one ended up being about so much more than I realized at first. It's also a book about how to deal with high expectations - the ones you're handed and the ones you set for yourself. It's a book about wanting to feel connected to the people who came before you. It's a book about getting through loss ... with some help from your friends and hope in your heart. It is also a book about peach lavender muffins, because I like baked goods.
I have never actually made peach lavender muffins. But they sound interesting.
What was I talking about?
Here's the official description of THE KEY TO EXTRAORDINARY:
Everyone in Emma's family is special. Her ancestors include Revolutionary War spies, brilliant scientists, and famous musicians--every single one of which learned of their extraordinary destiny through a dream.
For Emma, her own dream can't come soon enough. Right before her mother died, Emma promised that she'd do whatever it took to fulfill her destiny, and she doesn't want to let her mother down.
But when Emma's dream finally arrives, it points her toward an impossible task--finding a legendary treasure hidden in her town's cemetery. If Emma fails, she'll let down generations of extraordinary ancestors . . . including her own mother. But how can she find something that's been missing for centuries and might be protected by a mysterious singing ghost?
**The audiobook will also be released in February, and there is one especially awesome treat on there that I'll be sharing soon. Probably on Facebook. Paul Gagne and his team of merry audiobook wizards have made this project so special and fun.
**If you would like a signed copy of THE KEY TO EXTRAORDINARY, you can order one from my local indie here in Chattanooga, Star Line Books. Here's the website address: http://starlinebooks.apps-1and1.com
Eventually, I know Star Line is planning to have online order forms for books. For now, if you'd like to order a signed book, just call them up (the number is on the website). They'll take your order over the phone, call me when it comes in so I can go sign it, and then mail it to you.
** I'll be doing some fun adventuring to chat about KEY! I'll be in Ohio, Kentucky, Arizona, Florida and Texas and possibly some more fun spots. I'll be adding details about events on the website: http://www.natalielloyd.com/events/ If you're nearby - or you can teleport - please come hang out and show me pictures of your pet!
** In one of the coolest and weirdest twists in my 2015, the President bought my book on small business Saturday at Upsher Books in DC. Here's the link: http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/28/politics/obama-small-business-saturday-reading-list-books/
** As you might imagine, I printed out enough copies of that article (which I was certain was a typo) to wallpaper my parents' living room so my brother would see it every day when he was home for Christmas. Ha! Just kidding. (Maybe.) Really though, I'm grateful to Anna the Amazing Bookseller for recommending Snicker to the first fam. That was a fun headline that was cause for lots of celebration post-Thanksgiving. I nearly fell out of my car trying to get inside my parents' house to tell them. Here's one of the bazillion screenshots I saved:
Thanks for recommending Snicker, Anna!
** Speaking of Snicker, there are some new happenings in Midnight Gulch. First, I wrote a short story from Felicity's POV set on Halloween: http://oomscholasticblog.com/post/snicker-magic-author-pens-new-halloween-short-story
And here's a short story from Jonah Pickett's POV about how he became the ... You Know What (Pumpernickel...;)
** Most important update of all ... Biscuit is still the most adorable dog in the world.
(This is how she often sleeps. No joke.)
And on that note, I'm going to end this blog post and and snuggle that very adorable dog.
Wherever you are in the world, I hope you're surrounded by good books and people you love. Thanks for being so snazzy. :)