Discover more from from the desk of Rebecca Kim Wells
BRIAR GIRLS is here!
In 2013 I started writing a story featuring Lena, a lonely girl whose touch could kill, who ventured into a deadly forest to break her curse. It was dark and fantastical and had more than a few roots in fairy tale. I loved it completely, and I was lucky enough to sign with a literary agent who loved it as much as I did. We sent it on submission to publishers in 2015…and it did not sell.
I was devastated. I still believed in the book, but I didn’t know how else to improve the story. So I cried (a lot) and followed my agent’s advice. I put it away and slowly moved on. Over the next few years I wrote the books that became my debut duology, Shatter the Sky and Storm the Earth. But in the back of my mind, Lena was always waiting. Last year, I finally got the chance to return to her.
I had changed, as a reader, a writer, and a person. I looked at Lena’s story with new eyes. It was angrier than I remembered, as well as more personal, more complicated. And I finally felt I knew how to get it right. Now, after eight years, I’m thrilled to finally share it with you.
Briar Girls is an epic fantasy adventure featuring (among other things) a menacing forest, a liar with an irresistible smile, sinister dragons, power-hungry mages, a rumor about a sleeping princess, a snarky raven in human form, and one queer girl determined to change her stars. It’s a story about the lengths we will travel to win our freedom, and the cost of freedom itself. About the ways in which our parents can wrong us, and the weight and meaning of forgiveness. About anger and revenge, culpability and grief. And at its heart, this story is about love—for ourselves and others.
There is wonder and danger in the pages ahead. Proceed carefully and beware of straying too far off the path, no matter who—or what—might call to you…
Briar Girls is now available as a hardcover and ebook wherever books are sold! For signed and personalized copies, order from my local indie Porter Square Books (and make sure to put signing/personalization requests in your order comments!).
If you’re thinking of gifting Briar Girls during this holiday season, thank you so much! I encourage you to get your order in soon, as the pandemic shipping delays are hitting hard once more.
I have one more IN PERSON launch event for Briar Girls! If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, I’d love to see you this Friday November 19 at 7pm Pacific at Books Inc. Palo Alto! I’ll be in conversation with Maggie Tokuda-Hall, of The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea and Squad fame! Mermaid was one of my favorite books of 2020, so I am thrilled she agreed to do this event with me!
*Face masks will be required for this in person event!
I’m now done with virtual events for the time being, but if you missed them, you can find links to the video replays on my website!
Briar Girls marks a turning point in my career as an author. I’ve now published three books in three years (two during the pandemic), and I’ll be honest—the pace of writing a book every year does take a toll. I’ll be around online over the next month or so, promoting Briar Girls and the upcoming YA rom-com anthology Fools in Love, which will be out on December 7(!). But after that, I’m hoping for a bit of a break. I won’t have a new book out in 2022 and I’ll be taking the opportunity to breathe and dive deeper into new projects.
I hope the approach of the new year brings you similar opportunities for reflection and rest, and until then, happy reading!
PS: Want to buy my books? You can find more information and buy links on my website!