Tag Archives: 32 Seconds

Conversation(s) with Death (aka Delirious Musings about the Writer’s Block)

Great way to start a Friday! Look at me firing the engines like it’s the Fourth of July! Four posts in three days, something good must be brewing.

I want to talk about the writer’s block. Inspirational drought. Loss of prose, reading appetite and everything in between, the death of a writer. I blogged about having the block, capital B-asshole-block, years ago when I was but a young pup and really thought I knew what I was talking about.

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Can you hear them laugh? Because I certainly can!

Gosh, my block was like premature ejaculating for a teenage boy, annoying but never really impacted my work to the point where I really considered myself retired from the writing world. In other words, I hit dry spells but could still half decently screw the shit out of a manuscript and feel pretty good about it. Graphic enough for you? Because I just got started.

Anyway… fast forward to the past four years. What forced this terrible drought upon me (and you because you are fully part of my creative process)?

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Well… like I said before here life was shitty and then got considerably better. I did not have pain as fuel to guide my process anymore, so I dried out like a sad sad dying flower.

It was an adjustment, no doubt. Life is just completely different for me. I still have bad times but they are nothing in comparison to the hell I went through. Writing happy is not the same as writing depressed. But something else interfered with my musings too. I think I was in it for something else than writing. I wanted validation, acceptance, instant success and a large following that would provide me with the love I couldn’t find within myself. Once I discovered that love, I said fuck this shit, I don’t need y’all! I basically went from one extreme to another.

The writer’s block is a personal struggle. I did not understand that. There’s no magic pill or potion you can take to beat it every time. While my life did a one-eighty, my writing halted. My ideas simmered quietly in the background. I watched more than I read and I learned to live outside of the realm of words. I discovered unspoken emotions and feelings that did not have a place on my page years ago because I did not know about them. Now I get it when people say writing is all about experience. You can be a young pup and write about fantastical worlds all day, but you need to have lived to sprinkle a dose of reality and credibility to your stories, so that the reader can fully immerse themselves in your universe (and hopefully never want to come out).

I attended a writers’ conference years ago (my only one) and everything that was talked about there was just a big old sales pitch. How to write your next best-selling novel? How to see it on the big screen (and have a hot and promising heartthrob portray your main character, preferably shirtless because we all love a nice pair of male nipples, am I right)? How to craft a catchy opening chapter? What makes people buy your book like it’s crack?

Granted, it was a romance writer conference, and I don’t do romance. But I’m pretty sure other genre conferences follow the same format mostly to attract the ones who want to hit that best seller list, and tell all their friends “I made it!”

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Just like about anything there are clinics you can take to learn all the tricks, you can search Google all day or you can pay experts aka best-selling authors to rob you of your creative spirit. Yes, they are really good at convincing you you need to change your voice to fit in to the likes of a specific audience (usually females age 18-49).

So you end up talking with people about YOUR project, and they manage to drive you as far away as possible from it to sell you THEIR project. Some agent talked to me about writing stories that take place in the 1920s, because why not? Meanwhile I’m trying to sell a paranormal story that plays very much in 2014. Granted, it was not romance but still, there were agents out there who looked for other genres.

It’s like pitching a new TV show. You try to be original, but they steer you to recycle ideas. Give them a spin in a new costume and maybe a horse carriage. Like how many versions of Glee do we need? It’s sickening, you start vomiting on your own prose and you constantly doubt yourself because you don’t know anymore if what you like to write is what people like to read.

Mark my words. After being brainwashed by many many many people, and my slogan is To Thine Own Art Be True, I strayed so far away from my art, I barely recognized myself.

Because I listened (I’m a good listener) I had retained everything that was said about trends and styles, and openings, and catchy words and all this shit in my brain, I ended up changing a story, which was not good to begin with because of xyz reasons that would be too long to explain here, but I changed it, and my character, originally an adult in her late twenties, became a seventeen year old brat.

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I wrote YA. I have nothing against YA authors or readers, good for you if you love teenagers. I personally fucking hate YA. Yes, the cursing is necessary. Because I’m at a point where this gives me a physical reaction of absolute and undivided rejection when I think of YA. Like even if it sells, I can’t fucking stand teenage angst. Give me a seventeen year old who knows nothing about life but her struggles are oh so compelling. You know what she needs? A job. Once you start trekking to work you start to appreciate free time. The process of digging into a genre I freaking despise felt like breaking a leg over and over again. It was just a painful and horrible process. I should have stopped it in the starting blocks. I should have trashed it, and went the route of my usual stuff. But I wrote YA because good people (friends) told me it was trendy and I’d get a bigger shot at attracting readers. I sold my soul and I didn’t stick to my guns. I listened to the advice, refused to listen to my own gut, and went down the YA path which was unappealing, full of stuff I did not care to discover and I really committed to the process too, which made the experience even worse.

Writing should not be painful. Not like this at least. Editing is. Fine, but writing should be free, and fun, and even if the stuff you write about is dark, and challenging, you should still enjoy it, otherwise why do it? After countless full rewrites, I managed to write a YA book about drug addiction, which isn’t so glamorous so no, my stuff ended up being not so relatable to the general public. Sorry, no Prince Charming here. The biggest blow though was when I was finally done, and I sent a copy of the book to a good friend, they did not read it (although they love YA), they critiqued the cover as not being YA enough, and then proceeded to comment that they love to read books that have a message, and talk about real life experiences (which I thought my book was about because drug addiction, you guys).

I should have let this one go. I should have not expected instant gratification or any kind of support although I thought I deserved at least a little bit of support, especially after reading YA books just to be a good pal. I learned people are people and they are not as perfect as I think they are, and they will fail my expectations. There’s no bad blood between this friend and myself, I never really told her how I felt anyway, and I don’t think it’d change anything if I did, so I’m letting this one go.

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Calm and serenity. 

My YA story was really about me though. I had a lot of anger that had to get out. I was a thirty year old female living in New York City and fighting her demons one bottle of scotch at a time. Some people said my drinking was not so much a problem as it was a crutch. Nope folks, my drinking was a problem, a problem that could have cost me my life. It took me a lot of introspection to realize that, and to move away from that.

Oh this got real serious all of a sudden. Here let’s lift the mood up. I’m fine. I got through it. But walking away from my true original goals and writing YA was simply not a good idea. In the end I managed to write a novel, which is still profound, and good, and will teach you something, but please don’t fit into a box. This is art people, we are not supposed to have boundaries. You create the rules. You define which ones you want to break. There is a voice for everyone. Fitting into a category just because people say so is just the stupidest way to ruin mojo.

You gotta find your own muse. You can’t use someone else’s. I’m not a YA author. I write horror, I write paranormal, I write sci-fi, but deep under the layers, I write about me. My characters get shit faced, they fuck strangers and they regret it the next day. My characters are dark and funny, and they all live in New York City even when I send them in outer space. I think my biggest mistake is that I tried to pasteurize a product that wasn’t meant to be clean and pretty. It was meant to hit you in the ribs and make you choke on your own blood. I could not do that with YA. Right, you’re going to tell me The Hunger Games or Divergent are pretty gory, so it could have worked. Yeah, it could have, except I don’t want my main character to be a virgin, and teenager. I want my characters to have lived, and sinned, so they can find salvation. I want them to have experienced life just the same I am experiencing it. With the good and the bad, everything that makes us human is what I like to write about, even in a fantasy world.

I get it. I’m not mainstream. Although multifaceted dark characters and noir backdrops are pretty trendy on Netflix. I don’t care about mainstream.

So there you have it. My block was all my doing. I didn’t stay true to myself. I signed some imaginary contract with some imaginary publisher targeting an imaginary audience and putting all the elements in my book I thought you’d like. Don’t get me wrong, the book is good stuff. But it’s not true to me.

Therefore I’m starting fresh. I’m dusting off the works in progress and we’re going to get real and dirty. You’re going to feel my dread. You’re going to feel my anguish. You’re going to ride the roller coaster and you will ask for more on the way down. There is pain in my story but this pain gave birth to a beautiful muse. She’s much more beautiful and kind than my old bottle of scotch, that’s for sure.

I’m not dead yet. I never died. I just got turned off, and stuck to a mold that wasn’t for me. As much freedom as writing gives me, I turned my writing process into a jail cell. The block had been self-imposed, left a bad taste in my mouth, and really made me believe I was done.

The muse woke up though. I don’t know why now is the time for her to wake up, but I’m grateful she did because I have a lot to write about.

Let’s waste no time then!

#CoverReveal – #32Seconds gets a makeover

Hi folks,

Sorry for the blog silence, but I’m (very) busy working on my Manicheans Trilogy at the moment, and life has gotten so full, I haven’t had a chance to stop by and let you know what was going on.

Well, I keep marketing my YA novel 32 Seconds, and to rise up to the occasion, have given the novel a new cover, more YA and definitely up to par with the best books out there.

Enjoy! A book tour will happen soon, so stay tuned!

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#32Seconds – #BookTour 2/2 through 2/14 #promotion

Hello folks,

Marketing continues for my novel 32 Seconds as I’m making big progress on my upcoming trilogy The Manicheans.

The lovely Debdatta has scheduled a gigantic book tour with 30 stops! Thank you to all the blog hosts for their support. The tour ranges from author interview, to guest post, character interview and reviews of 32 Seconds.

So mark your calendars!

#TourSchedule :: 32 Seconds by Johanna K. Pitcairn

To the average onlooker, the city of Los Angeles represents glitz, glamour, and the celebrity lifestyle. But to seventeen-year-old Julie Jones, the city is a vast host of problems she’s longing to get away from. The latest? An unfortunate disagreement with her ex-boyfriend Mark—one that could land her in some serious hot water.

So rather than face the troubles that torment her, Julie decides to run away from her old life and start fresh somewhere new. But her parents aren’t on board with the plan, and she soon finds her bank accounts frozen and her wallet empty.

With just seventy-five dollars and a full tank of gas, the troubled teen is far too stubborn to turn around and head home. So what’s a girl to do?

What Julie doesn’t know is that her travels are about to take her somewhere unexpected—a place where she’ll be forced to come face to face with the ghosts of her past in order to secure her future.

A tale of redemption, hope, and freedom lost and found, 32 Seconds is a thought-provoking exploration into the human spirit and the nature of forgiveness.

Available on Amazon
About the Author
Johanna K. Pitcairn has dreamed of becoming a writer since childhood–authoring her first novel at the age of nine, and countless poems, stories, and screenplays by the age of seventeen. Later, rather than pursuing a career as a director and screenwriter, she decided to go to law school, driven by her father’s opinion that “writing does not pay the bills.”
Ten years later, she moved to New York City, which inspired her to go back to the excitement, wonder, and constant change of being a writer. Pitcairn is a huge fan of psychological-thriller novels and movies, and delves into her hopes, fears, friends, enemies, and everything in between in her own writing.
Contact the Author:
 
Tour Schedule
2nd February
Anita Sahu – Book Review
Kay – Guest Post
Kristy Gillespie  – Guest Post
3rd February
Deea – Guest Post
Kyra Dune – Interview
4th February
Arti – Book Review
Barbie Herrera – Interview.
Falguni Kothari – Character Interview
Nimi Arora – Book Review
5th February
Annamaria Bazzi – Guest Post
Cinta  – Guest Post
Laurie WJN  – Guest Post
6th February
Linzé Brandon  – Guest Post
Niyati – Book Review
7th February
Kritika Narula – Book Review
Priti – Book Review
9th February
Caris McRae – Book Review
Claudia Burgoa – Interview
Dottie  – Guest Post
K.R. Morrison  – Guest Post
Vicky – Interview 
10th February
A.G.Moye  – Guest Post
Vishal  – Guest Post
11th February
Marni J  – Guest Post
Mohur  – Guest Post
12th February
Nikita – Book Review
13th February
Kaie Hein – Book Review
Rochelle – Book Review
14th February
Beth – Book Review

 

– See more at: http://b00kr3vi3wtours.blogspot.in/2015/01/32SecondsSchedule.html

It’s that time of the year again! Welcome to #Coffinhop @CoffinHop Final Day

Phew, I made it! I’ve been waiting for this tour for a year now! And it’s with utmost excitement that I welcome you to my blog, and encourage you to visit http://coffinhop.com/ to see the list of all the participants.

81wNCS9WHzL._SL1500_I started my writing journey with these folks, and have grown since then… Just a little, I admit, but enough to have published two books. The first one, Stories from the Underworld, is an anthology of horror short stories. The second one, that will be released in November, is called 32 Seconds, and while using some horror elements, is a psychological YA paranormal novel. 32secondsfinalcover.jpg

Halloween is around the corner! The spooky and scary comes in many shapes and forms. To me, nothing is scarier than insanity. The world can collapse around me, and all material things can disappear, if I lose my mind, I’m done. Therefore, as a teaser for your taste buds to celebrate the release of 32 Seconds, I will focus my blog tour posts on insanity.

At the end of each post, please write a comment and tell me what scares you the most to be entered into the list of contestants to my Halloween raffle (don’t forget to put your name and email so I can get in touch with you once the tour is over)! The three lucky winners (with the scariest answers!) will each receive an autographed copy of 32 Seconds and the first prize is a $25 Amazon gift card!

Hop on! The tour has begun!

***

Day 8 – Addiction

Yes, addictive behavior creates insanity. Alcohol, drug, food, sex, gambling, shopping, work, exercise, internet… An addictive behavior is a behavior which is both rewarding and reinforcing. It may involve any activity, substance, object, or behavior that becomes the major focus of a person’s life resulting in a physical, mental, and/or social withdrawal from their normal day to day obligations.

People suffering from addictive behaviors make their lives a living mess in order to get the substance, activity, object or replicate the behavior they crave. Addiction involves craving and the inability to control how much the person intakes in order to feel the relief they desperately seek. A lot of people are addicts, without knowing it. Social drinking, social drug use, and other types of activities are but the spark that ignite the addictive behavior.

Addicts may deal with depression, anxiety, mental illnesses such as bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, phobias, and self-medicate with drugs and alcohol in order to alleviate their pain. Addiction has plagued society since the dawn of men, and has caused more deaths, imprisonments and mental breakdowns than anything else. Blackout drinkers will deal with anterograde amnesia, doing things they don’t remember. Some people have waken up in jail cells unaware of what happened the night before!

A great tale about addiction is the movie Flight (2012) with the fabulous Denzel Washington. Full of hope and humility. A must see if you haven’t already watched it!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour as much as I have! Please don’t forget to comment and leave your name and email if you want to win an autographed copy of 32 Seconds!

Happy hop!

***

32 Seconds by Johanna K. Pitcairn

To the average onlooker, the city of Los Angeles represents glitz, glamour, and the celebrity lifestyle. But to seventeen-year-old Julie Jones, the city is a vast host of problems she’s longing to get away from. The latest? An unfortunate disagreement with her ex-boyfriend Mark—one that could land her in some serious hot water.

So rather than face the troubles that torment her, Julie decides to run away from her old life and start fresh somewhere new. But her parents aren’t on board with the plan, and she soon finds her bank accounts frozen and her wallet empty.

With just seventy-five dollars and a full tank of gas, the troubled teen is far too stubborn to turn around and head home. So what’s a girl to do?

What Julie doesn’t know is that her travels are about to take her somewhere unexpected—a place where she’ll be forced to come face to face with the ghosts of her past in order to secure her future.

A tale of redemption, hope, and freedom lost and found, 32 Seconds is a thought-provoking exploration into the human spirit and the nature of forgiveness.

It’s that time of the year again! Welcome to #Coffinhop @CoffinHop Day 7

Phew, I made it! I’ve been waiting for this tour for a year now! And it’s with utmost excitement that I welcome you to my blog, and encourage you to visit http://coffinhop.com/ to see the list of all the participants.

81wNCS9WHzL._SL1500_I started my writing journey with these folks, and have grown since then… Just a little, I admit, but enough to have published two books. The first one, Stories from the Underworld, is an anthology of horror short stories. The second one, that will be released in November, is called 32 Seconds, and while using some horror elements, is a psychological YA paranormal novel. 32secondsfinalcover.jpg

Halloween is around the corner! The spooky and scary comes in many shapes and forms. To me, nothing is scarier than insanity. The world can collapse around me, and all material things can disappear, if I lose my mind, I’m done. Therefore, as a teaser for your taste buds to celebrate the release of 32 Seconds, I will focus my blog tour posts on insanity.

At the end of each post, please write a comment and tell me what scares you the most to be entered into the list of contestants to my Halloween raffle (don’t forget to put your name and email so I can get in touch with you once the tour is over)! The three lucky winners (with the scariest answers!) will each receive an autographed copy of 32 Seconds and the first prize is a $25 Amazon gift card!

Hop on! The tour has begun!

***

Day 7 – Sociopathy

A sociopath suffers from an antisocial (or dissocial) personality disorder, which is characterized by a pervasive pattern of disregard for, or violation of, the rights of others. There may be an impoverished moral sense or conscience and a history of crime, legal problems, and impulsive and aggressive behavior.

Sociopathy and psychopathy are used as interchangeable terms, but social factors and the environment create sociopaths, whereas psychopaths are subject not only to environmental, but also genetic, biological and psychological factors, which make them the ultimate killing machines!

Silence of the Lambs (1991) is a great example of a psychopath – Hannibal Lecter. American Psycho is another one.

Sociopaths are hidden among us. They disregard others’ feelings, show a lack of remorse or shame, manipulative behavior, unchecked egocentricity, and the ability to lie in order to achieve one’s goals. They’re outwardly calm, but every once in a while, snap and demonstrate an extremely violent behavior.

And guess what, contrary to the public opinion, Sherlock Holmes isn’t a sociopath. 🙂

Basically, if you’re a sociopath, you can’t feel like normal people do and you’re a compulsive liar. It’s as simple as that.

Tomorrow is the last day of the hop! And our topic will be addiction.

Happy hop!

***

32 Seconds by Johanna K. Pitcairn

To the average onlooker, the city of Los Angeles represents glitz, glamour, and the celebrity lifestyle. But to seventeen-year-old Julie Jones, the city is a vast host of problems she’s longing to get away from. The latest? An unfortunate disagreement with her ex-boyfriend Mark—one that could land her in some serious hot water.

So rather than face the troubles that torment her, Julie decides to run away from her old life and start fresh somewhere new. But her parents aren’t on board with the plan, and she soon finds her bank accounts frozen and her wallet empty.

With just seventy-five dollars and a full tank of gas, the troubled teen is far too stubborn to turn around and head home. So what’s a girl to do?

What Julie doesn’t know is that her travels are about to take her somewhere unexpected—a place where she’ll be forced to come face to face with the ghosts of her past in order to secure her future.

A tale of redemption, hope, and freedom lost and found, 32 Seconds is a thought-provoking exploration into the human spirit and the nature of forgiveness.

It’s that time of the year again! Welcome to #Coffinhop @CoffinHop Day 6

Phew, I made it! I’ve been waiting for this tour for a year now! And it’s with utmost excitement that I welcome you to my blog, and encourage you to visit http://coffinhop.com/ to see the list of all the participants.

81wNCS9WHzL._SL1500_I started my writing journey with these folks, and have grown since then… Just a little, I admit, but enough to have published two books. The first one, Stories from the Underworld, is an anthology of horror short stories. The second one, that will be released in November, is called 32 Seconds, and while using some horror elements, is a psychological YA paranormal novel. 32secondsfinalcover.jpg

Halloween is around the corner! The spooky and scary comes in many shapes and forms. To me, nothing is scarier than insanity. The world can collapse around me, and all material things can disappear, if I lose my mind, I’m done. Therefore, as a teaser for your taste buds to celebrate the release of 32 Seconds, I will focus my blog tour posts on insanity.

At the end of each post, please write a comment and tell me what scares you the most to be entered into the list of contestants to my Halloween raffle (don’t forget to put your name and email so I can get in touch with you once the tour is over)! The three lucky winners (with the scariest answers!) will each receive an autographed copy of 32 Seconds and the first prize is a $25 Amazon gift card!

Hop on! The tour has begun!

***

Day 6 – Paranoia

Paranoid personality disorder (PPD) is a mental disorder characterized by paranoia and a pervasive, long-standing suspiciousness and generalized mistrust of others. Individuals with this personality disorder may be hypersensitive, easily feel slighted, and habitually relate to the world by vigilant scanning of the environment for clues or suggestions that may validate their fears or biases. Paranoid individuals are eager observers. They think they are in danger and look for signs and threats of that danger, potentially not appreciating other evidence.

Paranoia is also a movie from 2013, and not even worth mentioning because it was a flop at the box office.

Conspiracy Theory (1997) is definitely a better example of paranoia. And to Mel Gibson’s advantage, his character’s paranoid personality disorder actually pays off!

We all suffer a little bit from paranoia, but this disorder is just the scary stuff!

Tomorrow, we write about sociopathy.

Happy hop!

***

32 Seconds by Johanna K. Pitcairn

To the average onlooker, the city of Los Angeles represents glitz, glamour, and the celebrity lifestyle. But to seventeen-year-old Julie Jones, the city is a vast host of problems she’s longing to get away from. The latest? An unfortunate disagreement with her ex-boyfriend Mark—one that could land her in some serious hot water.

So rather than face the troubles that torment her, Julie decides to run away from her old life and start fresh somewhere new. But her parents aren’t on board with the plan, and she soon finds her bank accounts frozen and her wallet empty.

With just seventy-five dollars and a full tank of gas, the troubled teen is far too stubborn to turn around and head home. So what’s a girl to do?

What Julie doesn’t know is that her travels are about to take her somewhere unexpected—a place where she’ll be forced to come face to face with the ghosts of her past in order to secure her future.

A tale of redemption, hope, and freedom lost and found, 32 Seconds is a thought-provoking exploration into the human spirit and the nature of forgiveness.

It’s that time of the year again! Welcome to #Coffinhop @CoffinHop Day 5

Phew, I made it! I’ve been waiting for this tour for a year now! And it’s with utmost excitement that I welcome you to my blog, and encourage you to visit http://coffinhop.com/ to see the list of all the participants.

81wNCS9WHzL._SL1500_I started my writing journey with these folks, and have grown since then… Just a little, I admit, but enough to have published two books. The first one, Stories from the Underworld, is an anthology of horror short stories. The second one, that will be released in November, is called 32 Seconds, and while using some horror elements, is a psychological YA paranormal novel. 32secondsfinalcover.jpg

Halloween is around the corner! The spooky and scary comes in many shapes and forms. To me, nothing is scarier than insanity. The world can collapse around me, and all material things can disappear, if I lose my mind, I’m done. Therefore, as a teaser for your taste buds to celebrate the release of 32 Seconds, I will focus my blog tour posts on insanity.

At the end of each post, please write a comment and tell me what scares you the most to be entered into the list of contestants to my Halloween raffle (don’t forget to put your name and email so I can get in touch with you once the tour is over)! The three lucky winners (with the scariest answers!) will each receive an autographed copy of 32 Seconds and the first prize is a $25 Amazon gift card!

Hop on! The tour has begun!

***

Day 5 – Short-term memory loss

And when I say short-term memory loss, I think of the movie Memento (2000)! Leonard (Guy Pierce) suffers from anterograde amnesia, which is a loss of the ability to create new memories after the event that caused the amnesia, leading to a partial or complete inability to recall the recent past, while long-term memories from before the event remain intact.

A tragic incident or the use of benzodiazepine drugs may cause you to forget what you did two hours ago. Large amounts of alcohol consumed at a very fast pace cause blackouts, and also make you forget what you did for several hours at a time. It is common for blackout drinkers not to remember where they parked their car, and sometimes, to wake up in jail with blood smearing their hands… not knowing what happened!

Yep, alcohol is definitely a big culprit again… Scary!

Tomorrow, we write about paranoia.

Happy hop!

***

32 Seconds by Johanna K. Pitcairn

To the average onlooker, the city of Los Angeles represents glitz, glamour, and the celebrity lifestyle. But to seventeen-year-old Julie Jones, the city is a vast host of problems she’s longing to get away from. The latest? An unfortunate disagreement with her ex-boyfriend Mark—one that could land her in some serious hot water.

So rather than face the troubles that torment her, Julie decides to run away from her old life and start fresh somewhere new. But her parents aren’t on board with the plan, and she soon finds her bank accounts frozen and her wallet empty.

With just seventy-five dollars and a full tank of gas, the troubled teen is far too stubborn to turn around and head home. So what’s a girl to do?

What Julie doesn’t know is that her travels are about to take her somewhere unexpected—a place where she’ll be forced to come face to face with the ghosts of her past in order to secure her future.

A tale of redemption, hope, and freedom lost and found, 32 Seconds is a thought-provoking exploration into the human spirit and the nature of forgiveness.