Hi everyone! I hope you're all having a great summer!
But let's cut to my long awaited cover reveal for The Lost Temple! I am absolutely obsessed with it! For anyone wondering, the cover features main character Zack Travie, in the Amazon rainforest, which is the setting of the second book (if you haven't finished the 1st book yet ;) ). The cover was commissioned on Fiver by user GermanCreative. She is absolutely amazing and does great work!
As for the The Lost Temple's release date, it is scheduled for release on October 22nd 2019. Sorry for the delay guys :( But the wait is almost over! And trust me, this book is going to be so worth the wait.
Tell me what you think in the comments!
This past September I had the pleasure to visit Pierre Berton Resource Library in Vaughan for an author visit with Eric Walters to promote Teen Read Week! It is so important to promote teen reading and I was honoured to be a part of the event! A big thank you to the team at Pierre Berton, the students of Emily Carr Secondary School for listening, and to Eric Walters!
Calling all of my readers in the Vaughan and GTA area! I am excited to announce I will be at Vaughan Fan Con as a guest author this Saturday at the Vaughan Civic Centre library. It’s a great place for families and lovers of fantasy! There will be tons of cool activities all day so I hope to see you there! ❤️❤️ #vaughanfancon
I just wanted to let everyone know that I will be at Toronto's annual Word on the Street festival on Sunday September 23rd at the Harbourfront Centre! Admission to the event is totally free and it is a great place to bring your family and spend the afternoon outside in the last warm summer weather!
It is also Toronto's biggest book and magazine festival and SO many talented people will be there! Come chat and hangout with me on Kidstreet! I will be in booth 4A! I will be selling personalized copies of my novel The Crystal Chronicles! Can't wait to see you all there! ❤️
Hi everyone! I just wanted to come on here and make a blog post about my second book and why it is taking so long because I know a lot of you out there have been asking about it.
So the first half of this post will be an announcement about my second book and when it will be released. The second half will be an explanation about why it is taking so long and whats happening in my life. Feel free to stop reading at any point, some people don't care for information about my personal life and thats totally okay!
Alright, so my second book. Yes, it was originally supposed to be released in the spring of 2017. Unfortunately, that did not happen due to reasons I will get into below. But the second book is finished now and I'm currently in the process of editing it. After that, I will get into the real publishing process of designing the cover and putting it into a book form. Publishing, sadly, is a very LONG process that I wish I could speed up. But I can't, because it sacrifices the quality of the book.
But, I am trying to edit as quickly as possible and start working with my designers. I do not have a set release date yet because it is too far in advance but the second book realistically should be out in the spring of 2019. As soon as I get an exact date from my team I will post it everywhere I possibly can and make sure you guys know about it. I am so incredibly grateful all of you are excited for my second book and keep asking about it because it motivates me to edit faster, and get the book released. So thank you for remembering, loving, and asking about TCC, it has saved me and comforted in more ways than I can possibly express. I am in love with my second book and I'm so excited for everyone to read it and to follow Alyssa, Amber, Zack, and Haven as they travel to Brazil!
Alright, here is where I will get into some information about my personal life so if thats not your cup of tea, feel free to just stop right here.
I've never really spoken publicly about this before, not even during my motivational presentations. But the truth is, I actually struggle with debilitating chronic pain because of a chronic migraine disorder. I've had this disorder since I was ten years old and I would get a lot of migraines from it, about three to four a week.
The year my first book came out in 2016, was the best and worst year of my life. My book came out obviously, which was amazing, but I had a REALLY bad pain flare up that year. It was insane. I had a migraine for eight months straight, twenty four hours a day, every single day. It was like some awful nightmare I was trapped in. I couldn't get rid of the migraine, no matter what I did. I missed most of the school year because of it and was bed ridden a lot of the time. This impacted my writing obviously. I started my second book and had plans to finish it quickly and to publish it, but it was just not possible. It was extremely difficult to write when in pain all the time, and as a result, my progress on my second book was slow.
Things slowly got better as I visited more doctors and learned more about the disorder, but I was still in a lot of pain for most of the days in a week. Truthfully, my mental health suffered a lot because of it. I developed pretty bad depression and anxiety and it suddenly became an effort to even leave my house. Everything, no matter how small, mentally and physically exhausted me. I withdrew from my friends and social life, and kept to myself a lot. The only thing that I looked forward to was writing which I continued doing on the days where my pain was tolerable.
Because of this condition, I was put on a lot of heavy medication to treat it which caused a lot of side effects. One of them was extreme exhaustion and I remember the many nights where I would fall asleep at nine pm. Before the medication, I would stay up until 1 am writing, and as any writer knows, sometimes the best writing comes to you in the night where the world is asleep and you are awake. Ideas just seem to flow from you like a fountain at night. But the medication made me extremely confused and I didn't feel like myself. I didn't know if I could ever finish a book with the way my life was going.
But in my darkest moments I remembered my fans and the people who support me and I always clung to that as a sign of hope. So I continued to write a little when I could, and eventually my second book started to come together. Over time I was able to get my migraines under control to the point where I could have a normal life again. I almost forgot what normal felt like. I remember waking up in the morning and immediately wishing for it to be night time again so I could sleep away the physical pain and my emotional pain. But writing truly did save my life and it was one of the only things combatting my depression. It gave me a purpose to keep fighting.
I finished my second book eventually in May of 2018 after my first year of university. As anyone who is in university knows, life gets freaking busy. I was a first year english student and I was buried in essays, readings, migraines, depression, and novel work. It was a LOT of writing, to say the very least. But I found that writing my book was really fun and I was never sick of doing it, even when I had to write fifty essays for my english classes, aka, How Well Can You BS An Essay on Shakespeare 101.
So that is kind of a summary of where I've been and whats been happening in my life. My second book is set to be published and will be out very soon and I am SO excited guys. I love this book even more than my first. It's like my child. I feel like I gave birth to my second child.
But on a serious note, the moral of this story is that you should never let anything like a disability or a mental illness stop you from reaching your goals. Yes, at times you're going to feel like shit and you're going to cry and binge watch Netflix while eating ice cream. And that is okay, because things will ALWAYS get better. Even if it doesn't feel like it, there is always a rainbow at the end of a storm, no matter how long that storm lasts. My storm is still ongoing. I mean, it isn't metaphorically pouring and hailing on me anymore, it's lightly drizzling, like on a spring day in the middle of April. I still have issues with mental health and migraines but life is looking up for me. I love my school, I love where I live, I love my friends, I love my book, my fans, and my job. There is always a silver lining in any situation. Today for example, I had a terrible migraine and laid in bed for four hours but eventually it passed and I picked myself up out of my bed and now I'm sitting here writing this blog post. Just having this platform to express myself is a silver lining to my day.
For anyone out there struggling with a disability of any kind or a mental illness, do not be afraid to reach out for help. I am here for you and you are loved by so many people in your own life who would want to help you. Having a disability does not change who you are as a person or your worth. Having a disability does not make you broken, which is what society sadly leads us to believe. Having a disability makes you strong and gives you the capacity to love and appreciate every single day. We take nothing for granted. We laugh because we have felt extreme pain and we love because life is short and unpredictable and a single moment should never be wasted. So, if you are dealing with something in your personal life, I believe in you, I am thinking of you, and you are strong enough to carry on and to reach the light at the end of the tunnel. Chin up, because life is a rollercoaster and theres crazy loopholes and twists at every turn. Life is exciting and beautiful and we are all here for a reason. Embrace yourself as you are, be kind to yourself, and love yourself for who you are, not who you want to be or who you think you should be.
I love you guys and thank you for loving my book series as well as the person behind those words. I would not want to be doing anything else with my life. Again, I am so grateful for your support and kindness and it really has saved my life.
Thank you for reading this. I hope that what I've shared here has helped some of you, or even one of you.
Hello everyone! Welcome back to another blog post.
Here is a playlist for all the Zyssa shippers out there. Let me know what you think in the comments! Happy holidays everyone!
Hello everyone! Welcome back to another blog post.
I've decided to start creating playlists that remind me of different character relationships in TCC. I've decided to do a Haven x Alyssa playlist first as it is the most popular ship in the fandom! However, I will be adding more playlists for other characters (the next one will be a Zack & Alyssa then Alyssa & Amber playlist). If you are a Haven x Alyssa fan I hope you enjoy the feels this playlist will give you!! If you have a song suggestion to be added to this list, please leave it in the comments, DM me or head on over to my contact me page. Also if you have any ideas for a ship name let me know in the comments.
Welcome back to another blog post. Today I was cleaning out some of my old stuff and I came across my books and poems from many years ago! So, I thought it's time to share my unique story of how exactly I became a writer! And I guess it's time to tackle the age old question: does fate exist??
So I guess we can start literally on the day I was born. April 23rd 1999. A few years ago I learned April 23'rd is World Book Day and is the birthdate, and death date of many famous writers such as William Shakespeare, William Wordsworth, Cervantes, Inca Garcilaso De La Vega, Maurice Druon, Haldor K. Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo. Let's just talk about that massive list for a moment. Are you freaking kidding me??? On all the days I could be born April 23'rd just happened to be the day? And it just so happens to be World Book Day? And eerily, many famous writers share this date for either their death date or birthdate? Ironic right? Ummm... thanks for keeping with the tradition mother.
I started writing the moment I could hold a pencil and string together literate sentences. I started writing novels and poetry at age 6. By the time I was 9 years old I had written dozens of poems, short stories, and a novella series Sarah the Detective which consists of 50 books! During this time I won multiple poetry and short story contests and spend my days writing or thinking about writing. There wasn't much else to me. I was bored to death by anything that wasn't books or writing. What can I say, I was a strange child. But by age 10, which was when I was in fifth grade, I started writing my YA book series, The Crystal Chronicles.
As you can probably tell from reading that, I literally cannot remember a time where I didn't want to be a writer. Being a writer wasn't just something I wanted to do, it was something I had to do. It was like this knowledge that was innately stored within me from the very moment I entered this world.
Many people do not believe me when I tell them, but I wrote the bulk of The Crystal Chronicles in sixth grade. The first draft of the book ended up being a whooping 500 pages! That is so freaking long, sometimes I don't even know how little and awkward 12 year old me, managed to write so much! So in the years following in grades 7, 8, 9, and 10, I edited and rewrote and edited and rewrote some more. Talk about a good use of time. And by the time I was fifteen I was ready to publish. So I decided to take the dive and just do it. I had come so far anyway and I wasn't going to stop at the very end.
It took me a year and half to publish the book with my publishing company, Friesen Press. The book was released in February of 2016 when I was only 16 years old. I was in 11th grade. I'm now in 12th grade and currently writing the second book in my 5 part series. Since publication I've appeared on CBC television, have held book signings in Chapters Indigo, and have appeared in two newspaper articles, The Vaughan Citizen and CBC news.
A month after my book came out I started touring local elementary and high schools to speak to students from grades 4-12 about the importance of literacy as well as urging students to reach their own aspirations. I am completely dedicated to changing the world one school at a time, and I work tirelessly to ensure students realize their own potential and capabilities.
To date I've spoken at 43 schools in York Region and I'm scheduled to visit many more in the upcoming months. I'm also expected to appear in many other exciting television programs, media, festivals, and writing workshops in the upcoming year. As of right now, I spend my time touring schools and working on my second book which will be released in the winter 0f 2018 as well as working towards my Ontario High School Diploma.
If you told my ten year old self I would one day become a motivational speaker/author I would've laughed in your face. But once I started giving speeches to kids I felt like I'd found my purpose in life. To write books and to inspire kids to do great things. It is an incredibly rewarding job and I wouldn't want to be doing anything else.
If you asked me if writers were born or made I wouldn't be able to tell you. Part of me is scientific and believes no one is born anything, and we choose what we become. But another wistful part of me believes I was fated to become an author and speaker to become a symbol of inspiration to other kids. So do I believe in fate? I would have to say no, but many strange events have occurred in my life to lead me to not dismiss the idea completely.
But bottom line: you write the story of your life. You control where each chapter will go. You choose the direction and the people in your life. You control everything. So just do something you love and write your life as a story you would want to read.
Thanks for reading everyone. I feel like my life is one crazy rollercoaster and I'm having the time of my life riding it.
Below are some pictures of my earliest written works such as my poems, novellas, and short stories. I plan to publish most of it one day because it was written between the ages of 6-9 and therefore, appeals to children at those ages. The Crystal Chronicles is for ages 10 and up so it would be really nice to have books for all ages.
For now they are just pictures though. Enjoy!
Hello everyone! Welcome back to my blog! Today I’m going to be reminiscing a little on my past. So here are some thoughts if anyone’s interested in taking a read!
Today I had the honour of visiting my old elementary school, Our Lady of Fatima to speak to their 4-8 students! I was so incredibly blown away by all the support and love I received from the staff and students. So thank you everyone. Truly. From the bottom of my heart.
Sometimes I am so caught up in the rush of my crazy life that I forget where I come from, my humble beginnings, and where it all started. If you don’t know me personally you may not be aware, but The Crystal Chronicles was born at Our Lady Fatima elementary school back when I was in grade 5. It was out in their schoolyard where I did laps with my best friend for hours at recess, planning and developing the entire series.
It took my whole grade 5 year to plan the series and it was in Our Lady of Fatima’s classrooms where the entire novel was written, rewritten, and then rewritten some more. The bulk of the novel was written by my 12 year old self in grade 6. It was then edited in multiple notebooks about 100 times in my grades 7 and 8 classrooms. The only pieces of TCC written after elementary school are the prologue and epilogue, which was written when I was in grade 9. I of course, edited the book in grade 10 but 90 % of my novel was written by my little grade school self.
Our Lady of Fatima is a place of firsts. I wrote my first ever book there, back in grade 2. In grades 3 and 4 I wrote 50 mini novellas in those classrooms. Fatima was the first place where I brought my first printed manuscript of The Crystal Chronicles. It was the end of grade six and that bulk of pages barely stapled together was my lifeline. It was my sole purpose in life, the only thing I really felt connected to. This was my purpose. In that school I learned to write, to make good characters, to make good plots and I slowly learned how to be the person I am today.
Planning and writing The Crystal Chronicles back at my little elementary school are some of my favourite memories of my entire life. It was exhilarating, and it was exciting. I had so many friends and teachers at that school that supported and believed in me. I never doubted I would publish the book but I never ever could’ve foreseen this outcome.
For any of my readers who are still in elementary school or actually attend Our Lady of Fatima, please know anything is possible. If one small idea in a playground can turn into all this, that just goes to show you that if you can dream it, you can do it. This is the message I try to bring to all the schools I visit. Age is just a number. It really is. If you truly love something, you can achieve anything. And that really is the be all end all of my message.
I was a different person back Our Lady of Fatima. Some people would be surprised if I told them that. I was painfully shy and my heart would pound every time I answered a question in class. The thought of speeches or presentations made me physically ill. I never voiced my opinions or thoughts and even though I had a lot of them – I could only write them. I had a few close friends and I was just the girl who was writing a book and who was always writing it in her notebooks. That’s all I felt like I was good at back then. I thought writing was my voice and it would always be my voice. But I was so wrong.
This is for the kids who were shy and timid like I was. Trust me, one day your voice will be heard, even if you feel like that day is not today. You will change and grow into something completely different. In grades 9, and 10, I was still painfully shy and rarely spoke out in class. By that point I was editing and working on publishing my novel. I was no longer the girl that writes books I was now the girl publishing them. Then in grade 11 I had a personality transformation. I was thrust into the limelight, in front of huge audiences and suddenly I had to speak by myself for a whole hour to hundreds of people on the only thing I actually loved: writing and my book.
And suddenly, I found my spark. The spark I needed. And boy, did I ignite. I discovered I loved sharing my story with the world; I loved inspiring students with my experiences and teaching them to love literacy. This was my purpose. To inspire kids to do something great whether that be writing or something else. I wanted to touch the lives of as many kids as possible and there was only one way to do it. I had to visit schools and speak to them in huge gyms and libraries. So that’s exactly what I did. I started touring local schools. To date I’ve spoken at 40 schools around York Region and the number continues to grow by day. I’m now a motivational speaker and an author. You can be so much more than one thing, please believe that.
Also, please know I never started writing for money and I don’t speak at schools for the money. I do it purely for the love of doing it. I do it purely for the kids who are my wonderful readers. And their love and support is priceless. Because in my experience, I’ve learned it only takes one spark, just one, to reach a kid’s ears and inspire something great in them. Every single day I try to be that spark. To try to reach them and make them aspire to do their own amazing things. We are a generation of capability. So just go out and do. It can be whatever you dream of. Just don’t stop and keep your eyes on the prize. You’ll reach it eventually. And even if you stop I’ll be lecturing each one of you to start again and keep going. Think of me like your personal guru. I’m always here for every one of my students and or readers (as many of you do not live in Canada). My contact box is always open. I’m here for you in every way I can be. This is what I want. To give back to this world and leave it in a better state than I’ve found it.
Inspiration is lacking in schools teachers. You have a duty to your students to bring that inspiration back. Strive for that. Always strive for that. And students, work to inspire each other. Great things come out of inspiration. I’ve experienced that firsthand.
If any of you reading this are actually from Fatima, remember this: you can walk those halls and walk at recess and strive for great things at the same time. Don’t be discouraged by anything or anyone. Don’t be discouraged just because you’re a kid at a small little school in Woodbridge. That didn’t stop me and that shouldn’t stop you.
I am eternally grateful for the 40 schools I’ve visited these last two years. Each and every school has encouraged me and has made me into the person I’ve always wanted to be. So thank you for everyone who’s listened to my story. From my Vaughan kids to my Brampton kids, to my Markham kids to my Lake Simcoe kids, to my kids outside of Ontario, to my kids who don't even live in Canada, please remember I love each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart.
Anyway Our Lady of Fatima will always mean so much to me. It really is the birthplace of something that has allowed me to touch the world in all the ways I know how. Thank you Fatima. For being the place that built the foundation of my whole world. If anyone from Fatima is reading this, rep us in the comments!
And again, thank you to all my readers and to the ones reading this blog post. I am so incredibly lucky to have this space to express my thoughts.
Hello everyone! Welcome back to another blog post! Poetry has always been something I've been really interested in. I would love to one day release my own poetry book alongside my fantasy YA books. Here are a few pieces I've written over the last few months. Enjoy!
Note: Some pieces below are inspired from the book The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje. Others are inspired from common human experiences.
They say love is like going to war
I just never understood it until you.
You use your words like an impenetrable shield
These days our bedroom feels more like a battlefield.
We circle each other with our weapons drawn
I use silence and you use touch,
Knowing full well how a mere graze of your fingertips is as lethal as hemlock.
My body goes weak and suddenly I’m down on my knees
But maybe you want that,
So you can turn around and stab me in the back.
You always win those drunken midnight battles
Sometimes I don’t even know what we’re fighting for,
But if this continues we’ll both lose the war.
You love to drop bombs like, “you can’t stay the night,”
So I act like you mean nothing to me
Are we ever going to learn two wrongs don’t make a right?
Yet when I see him with his arms around you
I want to beg for a mercy killing
But when you’re in my arms the next night, it makes it all the more thrilling.
I’m just tired of hurting you and letting you hurt me
But when I close my eyes at night, you’re still the only face I see.
I want to try and make it work
I’ll put down my weapons if you put down yours.
Lets take off our armor.
There’s no need to be so guarded
Lets just finish what we started
After all, you’re all I ever wanted.
Sometimes I think you’re the center of gravity
For the way you pull me to you.
You crawled inside my beating heart
Shattering me into a thousand pieces
Turning me into a shadow of the person I used to be,
Then you took them and put the pieces back differently.
I don’t recognize the new person you assembled.
Driven mad by your intimacy and luring smiles
Overwhelmed with the desire to be as close to you as two pages in a book
Paralyzed by your theatre of expressions and stalking beauty.
Only you can undress me with a single look across a busy room.
You don’t even lift a finger.
You’ve always seen right through my carefully crafted mask
Exposing me in a way I’ve never been exposed before.
Tonight you ask me why I love you
But I’m not sure you would believe my answer.
For I would shed my skin down to the bone to prove it wasn’t your exterior that drew me in.
Darling, I first fell for your soul.
Up in this villa I look down on the city below
Past the fields of green and the cluster of Italian cypress trees,
To the cobblestone streets where the Renaissance men left their legacies.
Where Michaelangelo sculpted the David and spent his time painting
The exact place where Leonardo Da Vinci lived while he was training,
To become a great artist, mathematician, and inventor.
I wish I could take Da Vinci’s wings and fly around the Duomo
To admire its terracotta tiles
I bet from up high, Florence seems like it stretches on for miles.
I want to go to the golden Gates of Paradise
So I can memorize the bible.
I’ve never been one to pray but in this city the Roman Catholics practically sing
Hymns of praise and devoted adoration to a heavenly king.
Someday I’ll leave this Villa and take a walk down to Ponte Vecchio
And visit The Birth of Venus
Or learn about the Medici’s reign,
But for now, staying in this deserted hospital is the only thing that keeps me sane.
The war is not yet over and I can still hear the battle cries
I’ve always thought the horrors of war forces the humanity out of soldier’s eyes.
If the war drops bombs down on this city
The world would weep
And God would look down from heaven stricken with grief.
For Florence has its own eternal heartbeat
And a precious culture bleeding from the stone cracks in the streets.
For now, I sit in the garden beside the fountain
Taking refuge in this Italian haven.
But upstairs my burned man sleeps
While death hovers nearby, patiently waiting for his soul to reap.
These days, life is holed up in these same four walls
The company we keep are the ghosts that roam these bomb filled halls.
The only escape route is the book on the bedside table
Holding clues to the life you once lived
Before you fell out of the sky.
Hurtling towards the earth burning as bright as Hailey’s comet.
The flames covered you in third degree burns and battle scars
And I know you don’t remember who you are.
But maybe it’s better that way.
War turns us all into monsters
And flower fields into cemeteries.
Do you want to remember all the faces that met the barrel of your handgun?
Some soldiers don’t have the luxury of forgetting.
The past can be as painful as my finger touching your charred chest.
I wish I could be as lucky as you,
Or wake up with amnesia.
Because every time I close my eyes I hear explosions,
And the cries of men begging me to save them.
It’s as if death has wrapped me in her cold embrace
Plucking people from my life one by one.
This grief feels like a storm cloud, constantly blocking the Italian sun.
But I swear you’ll be different.
I’ll pull you away from deaths skeletal grasp
And I’ll sit here in this garden hiding from my past.
Shins that are burned black to the very bone,
Unable to touch the skin without pain.
That huge book is the very last thing you own,
And you say the love of your life was slain.
These days you can only lie flat in your bed,
You’ve surrendered completely to my care.
Caravaggio says your best friend is dead,
So while you’re asleep, heaven hears my prayers.
You’re finally remembering who you are,
But sick and tired of living this way.
It was your past that caused those horrid scars,
You hear my begging, but don’t want to stay.
And I wish you wouldn’t ask this of me,
But tonight I’ve decided to set you free.
That's all for now guys! Again thank you for reading! Please check out my Youtube channel at Alessia Dickson, new content will be uploaded very soon! I will also be running another international giveaway in the coming months!
About the Author
Alessia Dickson is the author of The Crystal Chronicles series. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, where she is hard at work on her next book.