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 an adult low fantasy novel tentatively titled The Queen of Lies:

From the moment the mysterious young noblewoman offers him a job, Torin mac Eamon has doubts. Rianna kin Eistantsor offers him many things: a way out of his current, less-than-ideal circumstances; a voyage to one of the richest and most storied cities in the world; and information about a woman he had come to care very deeply for. Sable, Lady Eistantsor, died eight-and-a-half months ago under mysterious circumstances during the sacred New Year’s ritual—circumstances that also destroyed Torin’s promising career in the Holy Council Guard. Rianna, claiming to be an intimate friend of the Sable’s, tells Torin she has been tasked by Sable’s spirit with delivering a message to her family. Torin fears it may be a goddess and not Sable who guides Rianna, but his desire to know more about Sable—and about the goddess’s plans if she truly is involved—leads him to accept Rianna’s offer. But when they discover that Holy Council guardsmen are hunting her down to stop her from delivering her message, Torin begins to think maybe he made the wrong choice.

It’s a story about stories, the ones we tell ourselves, and the ones we tell others. As they travel, Rianna and Torin spin tales for each other of the enigmatic Sable and the goddess who was inextricably woven into her life. And when he learns Rianna’s secrets, Torin must make a choice: stand by her, or condemn her as the Queen of Lies.

Publications

Short Stories

“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.

Other

“Troublemaker and Caretaker: The Trickster in Four Shakespearean Plays” — senior thesis for Departmental Honors in English, Southern Connecticut State University.

Family News

I come from a family of people who can’t seem to help writing. My 93-year-old mikegrandmother 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.

vineMy 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.

 

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