About the Trilogy

The Heartwood Trilogy was born with two things in mind.

The first: Faeries live in Lilydale. I moved into West Saint Paul in 2020 and my commute to work brought me down Highway 13, which clings to the edge of the bluffs over the Mississippi, both Saint Paul and Minneapolis visible through the trees. I’d come to hunt for fossils in Lilydale when I was a small child. The limestone is ancient, with fossils embedded within. But sometime in the 2010s fossil hunting was prohibited after a rainy mudslide killed several schoolchildren on a field trip. It was dark and creepy and inspiring. Like nature was trying to keep people out. So in this way, the Lilydale Folk were born. They live in the ruins of an exploded kiln, which was originally made for a limestone quarry but was abandoned with the bluffs became too treacherous.

The second: Andrew and Micah need to be together. Both characters have existed since 2002 when I began my writing journey in the form of Yu-Gi-Oh roleplaying. They had both been in most of my series, mostly straight, until I was in my late twenties and realized for the first time that I’m not mostly straight. In 2020, I decided Andrew is gay and Micah is bi, and brought the couple together in a graphic novel called Code: Compromised. I made my husband read this project and he got the ick from the professor/student dynamic in it, so I knew after completing it that the boys needed another try.

As I set out to write The Heartwood Trilogy, I made an intentional choice to subvert the toxic tropes present in many romance books. I did not want abusiveness, cruelty, or dismissiveness in my couple. Indeed, the point of my trilogy is not to watch Andrew and Micah get together, but to watch what happens after they do. As someone who’s been with the same person through 10 years worth of hellish ordeals, I know how challenging it is to meet your partner with respect, intentionality, and passion when life simply does not align with us. Andrew and Micah are committed to one another despite the chaos of the magical world they find themselves within.

After these points were established, since I was just getting back into writing for the first time in five years, I decided to make it easy on myself and fill the project with characters who already existed. Enter Ingrid and Chamomile. Ingrid has been around for almost as long as Andrew and Micah, originating in 8th/9th grade as a vampire who was smitten with my vampire police chief Danyil. Her shift to being Micah’s protective, aloof big sister was very natural, as it fits her magical, dangerous nature. Chamomile is a versatile, independent woman that starred as Lucienne in Sun-Walking, where she was the flawed and hot-headed heroine creating her own destiny.

It’s because of the history embedded in these characters that this story really came to life. As a writer who really only stays interested in projects which I deeply care about, Andrew, Micah, Ingrid, and Chamomile form the emotional backbone for this series. They have grown together in wonderful ways to create a story that is uniquely Minnesotan, uniquely magical, and heavily inspired by my own worldview.


In my teens, I got my hands on Charles de Lint, Emma Bull, and Holly Black, truly the masters of urban fantasy. I struggle to lose myself fully in books which are completely apart from my own world, and that might be because of how young I was when I discovered these urban fantasy writers. Charles de Lint wrote about identity, technology, and magic layered together in a delicate painting which honestly inspired most of my teens. Emma Bull put faeries in Minnehaha Falls and downtown Minneapolis. And Holly Black’s Folk always lived just outside the city, medieval in their kingdoms but able to traverse the nearby motels, apartments, and subway stations.

About the author

Some of my values as a person include mental health, diversity and inclusion, and authenticity. I strive to include these elements in my writing. Sometimes this doesn’t strike people quite right because I won’t compromise on bringing my uniqueness to my work, which means it might not be right for everybody. It seems to me that the people most inspired by my writing are queer, neurodivergent folks with a similar sense of whimsy.

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