Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Happy Birthday, Babies + A Giveaway

I happened to be looking up my publications today, just to get a complete list, and of course I started with Equilibrium. It was my first ever published novel--for any of my pen names or genres.* It all began because I was having a rough year, or couple of years, I guess, and I had been writing strictly horror and dark fantasy--with queer protags, obvs. My best friend, Tara, said to me, "Why don't you write something for me?" Because I guess she didn't like me giving her nightmares or whatever--can you imagine? Some friends had gotten me into romance as a genre (I've always been into romance in general) a few years previous, and so I said, "Yeah, I can totally do that."

And Equilibrium was born. Because superpowers + a character for Tara (Sam is totally Tara's) + fast and hot romance sounded like an awesome idea to me. So five years ago, on August 23, 2011 Loose Id was cool enough to publish it, and the surprising saga of Superpowered Love began.

It's been a wild ride, lemme tell you. Oh, the things I didn't know back then. I made mistakes with Equilibrium, but I'm still really proud of it and think fondly of Sam and Hansen. I knew before I finished it that I had a lot more to do in their weird little world, and I'm also kinda proud it's still going. I'm near to finishing Superpowered Love Book 8 now. Book 8. How even.

So now, I want to reflect on things I've learned since that first, wonderful experience with Equilibrium. Because, hey, it's a blog. That's what they're for, right?

Thing 1: Say the words. Bisexual, trans, asexual, queerplatonic, whatever it is, say it outright. Not only is it empowering to read, but not seeing it there looks like pussyfooting around or hedging bets--and is hurtful. My own specific experience with this relates to "bisexual"... mainly because I was unaware of the gross and bi/pan-erasing "gay for you" trope when I started out writing romance, but that's a whole other thing.

Thing 2: Write it, because someone out there needs it as much as I do. Everyone knows that m/m romance, particularly when it relates to cisgender dudes, is the most popular when it comes to LGBTQIA romance. People have discussed this extensively. When I started out, I was afraid that adding in f/f stories to a series that had primarily been m/m would piss people off. I mean, it probably does... but they're not the ones I wrote it for. I wrote it for the ones like me.

Thing 3: Don't be afraid, just be diligent. So many of my very, very first books contained... so many white, cisgendered protags. There is absolutely no excuse for it. I've tried hard to do better, and I know I'm going to fuck up now and then, but I also know that if and when I get told, I will listen and ask (when appropriate) and I will do better still. And I will work super, super hard not to fuck up, in the mean time. 

Thing 4: People are great. Writers tend to burrow, seeing as many of us are introverts and derive our powers from the dark energy from alone-time. But being around book people, writers, readers, publishers, editors, whatever, be it in virtual or meatspace--it's great. The vast majority of people I've met on this wild ride are so supportive and open-minded, and so many of them have become true friends. People are all right, after all.

Thing 5: Hard work pays off. At least in this field, it does. It took me a long time to go from nothing published, to a few shorts, to enough novels that I sometimes forget my own count. It's not luck, though. It's working hard, striving to be better, accepting help, learning from mistakes, and pushing through obstacles. Sometimes it hasn't been possible, due to health or family or whatever, but when it was I worked, and that paid off. Good to know, because sometimes, you have to wonder, right?

Okay, five years, five things. Maybe after ten years I'll be back with five more... okay, no, I'll never remember to do that. It's a nice thought, though!

You know what, if you read through all that, you deserve a prize. Leave a comment here with a way to reach you--or retweet/reblog it so I can see--and I'll give away a print copy of Equilibrium/Riot Boy to someone at the end of Friday, August 26. Because hey, that's my birthday... and I'm a lot older than 5... ♥

*KV Taylor sold Scripped first, but it was published later, so Equilibrium gets the prize~

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Aelfwear and the Scuffed Shoes

So now it's been out there for a while, here's my story about writing Aelfwear:

I had a vague idea for a story for the Enchanted Soles collection as soon as I saw the call for stories. Bisexuals and magic shoes? Some of my favorite things! The triangle with Frida--our elf who makes the magic shoes; Angie--the beautiful businesswoman who needs her help; and Morgan--Frida's ex and Angie's current fiance, was set in my mind, ready to explode. 

But how could Angie piss off Morgan, her asshole would-be husband? What could Frida do to help her?

There's a bar down the street from my house where I like to work sometimes. (This is not a subject change, I swear, I'm going somewhere with this.) It's usually empty mid-day, or almost empty, with just a few people there for lunch or who just got off an early or late-late shift. The music is good and the bartenders know my drink, so it's cool, and I can work in peace and use their wifi.

So one day I was working on an early draft of Aelfwear--or more accurately, I was staring off into space wondering what the fuck I was going to do with Aelfwear. The bartender, the one I know best, was standing nearby and asked me if I needed anything. So I asked her:

"What is something that would drive you absolutely batshit about a date? Like, if they did this one thing, you'd never go out with them again?"

And she thought for a second, then said, "I hate when peoples' shoes are untidy. Like scuffed up, like they don't take care of their things. I don't know why but it's a huge turn off."


So thanks, Kaleigh, my fave bartender in the world, for the help. And for giving me permission to use it in my story.

Oh, also, I finished writing Aelfwear sitting at a very small desk in my niece and nephew's playroom in Chennai, with the air conditioner cranked to eleven. Occasionally one of them would come in and "help" me. So thanks, Adu and Abhi, for the help.

Check Aelfwear and Enchanted Soles out here, or head straight to the shopping cart! 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Enchanted Soles is Here!

Hello, hello! I return with happy news, my friends. Yesterday saw the release of a super-fun anthology of stories from editor Sasha L. Miller of Less Than Three Press: Enchanted Soles!

The theme of this collection is, as you might suspect, magical shoes. But it's more than that! It's also about my favorite thing in the whole world: bisexual characters! I've ranted and raved for years about how near and dear bisexual characters are to me and how important good bi representation across all genres and media is. So I'll spare you. 

Instead, I'll just point out that this book has such a wonderful variety of characters and pairings--there's got to be something for everyone, and there's something new for everyone, too. My story, Aelfwear, is a lighthearted, modern take on The Elves and the Shoemaker. Check it out:

Sometimes all it takes is the right pair of shoes...

In Three Nights (A.D. Truax), Synder buys a pair of sandals that have a mind and plan of their own, and drag him to a celebration to which he was not invited—and into the arms of a handsome prince.

Saidah of Dame Fortune (C. Finley) asks her beautiful new wishing boots to take her to her true love, but the simple question has a complicated answer that will take more than magic boots to find.

Heart, Lace, and Soul (Archer Kay Leah) brings together Elly, who seldom removes the psychic boots that let her read and feel the minds of other people in order to help them, and a man her boots cannot read.

In Aelfwear (Katey Hawthorne), Frida is hired to make hideous shoes for a beautiful woman who claims she's out to cause misery for a man who once betrayed Frida's family—but Frida fears she'll wind up being played for a fool a second time.

And Into the Hollowed Veil (A.M. Valenza) is the story of a man who puts on a pair of beautiful red shoes and finds himself in a strange forest helping a beautiful woman rescue the man she loves...

Find it at...

And if you're into bi characters (which, come on, of course!), check out editor Sasha L. Miller's current giveaway for a Bisexual Book Bundle of Badassness

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

I Return--With Clockwork!

With clockwork, not like clockwork, unfortunately. But that's become standard last few months as I had surgery (cervical spinal fusion--two of em--if anyone wonders) that's done me a lotttt of good (I can feel my arms and they don't hurt! I can move my neck! OMG!) and then... Got a dog. Well technically my husband got a dog, but hey. This is Daisy. She's adorkable.

My return to my blog comes with more good news though, as the promised release is here! Check out Blood and Clockwork, my... Hmm I guess I'd call it a clockpunky asexual romance fantasy with lots of mystery? Sure why not!

For a preview, check out my guest blog today at The Novel Approach. It has an exclusive excerpt in which our heroes meet each other for the first time. Also, there's a giveaway for LT3 gift cards, so drop a comment!

Want to jump straight in and grab a copy for yourself? Great! You can find it at the Less Than Three Book MarketAll Romance eBooks, and Amazon.

More news later as I do my blog-hopping thing. Until then, <3 p="">

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday Update: Blood and Clockwork + Katey Stuff

Hello! Hope everyone enjoyed the Stronger, Better, Faster, More blogging frenzy! Carlin and I had a great time, and thanks to everyone who dropped in to enter our giveaway. The winners have been contacted and if they don't have their prizes yet, they will shortly. ♥

For my next trick, I'm super proud and excited to be a part of Less Than Three's upcoming Solitary Travelers collection of novels and novellas. Check out this gorgeous cover:

Cover by Natasha Snow

Alistair Click set out to lay to rest the superstitious fears about the Mad Prince's clockwork tower. If that meant he might bring the ghost city of Avalonia back to economic life, connecting the western kingdoms once again, so much the better. So what if no adventurer who'd entered the tower in the last century of desolation had ever re-emerged? They didn't have his skill and wit. He could do better.

The tower turns out to be far more than Alistair expected, however. Not only are there clockwork puzzles to open every door, but one of them drops a boy from a strange world into his lap—figuratively speaking, if only just. Marco Murphy was just gaming in his New Jersey apartment, and now he's stuck in what feels like a never ending LARP nightmare.

The deeper they delve into the Mad Prince's tower, the darker the secrets they uncover. They're not entirely sure they'll ever be able to get out again, either. It'll take all Marco's charm and Alistair's cleverness, plus the strange bond growing between them, to get them out together... and alive.

Yyyyyeah, clockwork fun... and freakiness,  but hey. Excerpts and stuff coming soon, and the book happens in march. For now, if you pre-order there's a discount ;)

And in closing, I'm finally getting my horrible spine fixed up today. That means I'll be slow on communication for the next few weeks, unfortunately, but I will be around. Just don't sweat it if I take a few days to get with the program. ♥

Friday, January 8, 2016

SBFM Blog Tour and Giveaway + cuties

Well the Stronger, Better, Faster, More blog tour ends today. Here's the rundown if you missed out on some of the stuff:

I definitely recommend taking a look at Carlin's post on creating Beau's backstory and the choices we made for him, as it's a very meaningful one. Also it was nice to get to talk about one aspect of writing a desi character and using Diwali in the story, one of my fave holidays.

A comment on any of them will get you two entries in our giveaway, too, so don't forget. You could buy BOOKS with that prize! HUGE :D Meanwhile, please enjoy these cuties....

Beau and Vel by Astro

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Stronger, Better, Faster, More, NOW~

Come get it while it's hot! ... Okay, so this book probably has enough hot to go around, but still. Stronger, Better, Faster, More, my superhero project with the wonderful Carlin Grant, is now live! Check the link for excerpts, one of which is, by the way, NSFW so be warned!

So far it's available at Loose Id, obviously, and Amazon, but I'll add to its page as more appear. Be sure and check out our lil blog tour, starting today over at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words, for a chance to win a gift card to buy alllll the books! Tomorrow we'll see you over at Joyfully Jay, and on New Years Eve we're partying with The Novel Approach.