The child of a librarian and a teacher, I’ve had a love of the written word for longer than I can remember. Never bound by one genre in my reading, I find it impossible to restrict myself to one genre when writing. If I feel like a story needs to be told, I tell it in the best way I can, whether it’s fantasy or historical or literary, or even a combination. The only thread that connects those stories is the women at the heart of them: strong yet vulnerable, outsiders searching for their place in the world.
My current work-in-progress is a low fantasy adult novel tentatively titled The Wild Daughter:
Six months ago Sable, Lady Eistantsor—and the goddess she carried within her—died on the sacred island of Sorsha Tiev during the New Year’s ritual. Now, a young peasant woman has awoken from a deathlike sleep claiming to be the lady reincarnated. When the Holy Council learns of her claim, it orders her brought before it. The Council members become alarmed by her assertions about the gods, which throw their understanding of the universe into question. When she refuses to recant, the gods order that she be put on trial. She must recount everything she “remembers” from her life as Sable. Witnesses who knew Sable will then be brought in to testify. If their testimony does not match hers, proving that she is not Sable, the Council will ask her to recant both her claim and her statements about the gods. If she refuses, she will be put to death as a heretic.
Council guard Torin mac Eamon knew Sable—intimately. He believes the girl is Sable, and though it puts his job and his life in danger, he believes her assertions, too. But he is also eager to prove his loyalty to the Council and atone for his own actions on New Year’s. The Council puts the girl in Torin’s custody, ordering him to accompany her whenever she leaves her cell and to be present when anyone visits her. By the end, he will be the one person who knows everything: the story of Sable’s life as told by the witnesses; the events surrounding the trial; and what happened during his brief time with Sable—including the truth about what really happened on Sorsha Tiev.
“After the Fire” — originally published by the magazine Dreams of Decadence and included in their anthology, The Best of Dreams of Decadence. Contact me if you’d like to buy an autographed copy.
“Prima Facie” — first place winner for fiction, Southern Connecticut State University’s Folio Art and Literary Magazine, 1997.
“Troublemaker and Caretaker: The Trickster in Four Shakespearean Plays” — senior thesis for Departmental Honors in English, Southern Connecticut State University.
I come from a family of people who can’t seem to help writing. My 93-year-old grandmother wrote a fascinating autobiography covering the span of one of the most tumultuous centuries in history. My father, Michael Simonds, wrote two autobiographical essays included in collections of writings by Peace Corps volunteers who served in India in the 1960s, The Other Side of the World and Return to the Other Side of the World.
My sister, Susan Simonds, is also a novelist, as well as a published poet. Her poem “Old Dixie Down” was published by Blue Ridge Literary Prose and her poem “Rebel” was published by Vine Leaves Literary Journal and included in their Best of anthology for 2013.