TL;DR: I wrote a book. I’m too lazy/busy/emotionally fragile to pursue any traditional publishing route, so I self-published. You can download it here.
I don’t even know where to begin.
Before I moved to England, I did some criminal defense work. I loved it. Not because I think that murder and robbery and all that are ok, but because I believe we are no better than how we treat the least among us. I think I read something like that in Harry Potter.
I love to read and watch movies. I love crime stories, but in media, I’ve found there’s a bit of a skew towards the prosecutor’s point of view. Maybe it’s just observer bias, but I feel like I watch things like The Good Wife and hear “yeah, we represent this gangster but only for his legitimate business interests” as though representing someone accused of a crime is dirty. Or in Legally Blonde, when asked the stupidest question ever (“Would you rather have a client who committed a crime malum in se or malum prohibitum?”), whoseherface said she’d rather have the client who didn’t commit the “dangerous crime.” Elle Woods, who bragged that she wasn’t afraid of the challenge that came with representing dangerous clients, eventually got her first wish to represent someone innocent, as her client was guilty only of getting liposuction.
Fuck all of that.
What about the people who did do these things? Don’t they deserve a defense? So I decided to write something about that. I also love fantasy, so it’s got elements of that too. Like Sookie Stackhouse for the defense.
Well, my family will probably be moving to a new country sometime in the near future (read: this summer/fall). I don’t have the time or energy to put into finding an agent or publisher. I’ve got to pack, learn Swedish, figure out where my kids are going to school, find a place to live, figure out how to get my cats from England, to Denmark, to Sweden because the closest airport to that little Swedish town I’m moving to is in Denmark, etc. It’s a bit stressful. I’ve always found writing to be a fun hobby that helps relieve my stress, but I have no creativity. I feel like I can’t move on to something new while this thing is hanging over my head.
On top of all that stress, have you watched the news lately? What the fuck is going on with the US? I feel so powerless. I did some immigration work when I was an attorney in the US, but here, I can do nothing but look at pictures of kids in cages, watch heartbreaking reunion videos, and argue with people about how yes, they are concentration camps. If I were in the US still, I’d be down there. I’d be representing those kids.
I know that because I did.
I can also (and did) give money to organizations to help train lawyers to represent those kids, like the organization that trained me. And you can too.
That’s where my book comes in. Unless I sell it to a movie studio or something, there’s no way the amount of money I get from it will equal my hourly lawyer rate when considering how much time I put into it. It was a labor of love and stress relief. So I’m not selling it to try to make money. I’m selling it to try to raise money for these organizations. Because my book too is about an immigrant child in the legal system. (Oh, but it’s not heavy or depressing or anything. It’s a lighthearted romp through the criminal justice system.)
So I will donate all the proceeds I make from my book to K.I.N.D. (Kids in Need of Defense), the organization that trained me, up until $500 (I chose this ridiculously high number because I don’t expect to sell that many books and because at some point I’m going to want to try to figure out the tax burden, if any). For the first $100, I will make a matching donation (ie, if I make $25 in sales, I’ll donate $50). I will also donate an extra $1 for the first 10 3-star or above reviews on Goodreads or Smashwords. Yes, I’ll pay for reviews. I’ll verify my donations with you by posting screenshots of the receipts or whatever.
There you have it. Read my book. Write a review. Tell you friends. Raise money for a good cause.
Here’s the back of the book thing:
So a genie, a sprite, and a baobhan sith walk into a courthouse.
Meet Maddy Sands, a 30-something single woman running a solo law practice in the Houston suburbs. She does divorces, defends criminals, and did I mention that her clients are fairies and other assorted magical creatures? That’s okay. She didn’t know that either.
When a local girl goes missing, Maddy is hired to represent a genie enslaved by a sadistic master and arrested for a crime he didn’t commit. Her client is desperate to plead guilty rather than return to his life and school where he’s bullied, singled out for being different, and under the grip of his master. But Maddy can’t stand by and watch an innocent man imprisoned. Up against prejudice and the threat of violence while she defends her client, Maddy learns that freedom is more than just a not guilty verdict. Though first she has to accept the fact that magic and fairytales are real.