The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

December 21, 2012

I have been tagged to discuss my Next Big Thing! Woo!

This comes from Bella Leone (check out her fabulous post on her Downpour sequel -- comes with awesome reaction gifs and other adorbs things) and J.A. Rock (who is writing a book with Lisa Henry BE STILL MY HEART). Obviously the last fairy book, Losing Better, and yes, even Malory's book are complete now and awaiting editorial inputs and/or contracts if that's gonna be a thing in the case of the last one. But apart from that...

1. What is the working title of your book?

Air or Back to the Sky. I know, but to be fair, By the River was Water for like six months in my mind.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

It's the air in the elementals project, unsurprisingly!

3. What is the genre of the book?

It's kinda like By the River in that it's technically lgbt contemporary, but it's got a really heavy supernatural undercurrent, so I'm more comfortable calling it paranormal in some ways.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

The PoV character, Zane, I would definitely go with Corbin Bleu. I don't know, I just see his face when I think of Zee. Maybe it's the musical thing.

For Geordie, I've never seen anyone quite perfect, but the other night watching The Vampire Diaries I realized that if Zach Roerig had electric blue hair... this picture could pretty much be him.

I do believe they'll work just fine for Zane and Geordie. Yes good.

Bonus points because that one on the right is pretty much exactly how Geordie dresse. If we can call it that. Needs a tattoo and dye job and a couple of protein shakes, but it's nigh perfect.

And because I gotta cast the rest now, Zee's best friend Raff would absolutely be Jeffrey Licon, and for his sister Lauren I like Chelsea Tavares because she is srsly adorbs.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

His first summer after college, a grad with serious family pressure meets the next door neighbors' would-be hippie house-sitter. Meditation, responsibility-shirking, and what has the potential to be a life-saving love story ensue.

Two sentences cuz I'm feeling punk rock!

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency/publisher?

Hopefully my publisher will dig it.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

It's not done yet. Well, it is, but the last quarter of it is in script form, still. I keep going back and nitpicking. In my defense, it is my first west coast book, so I'm doing a lot of calling random friends for backup and fixing shit as I go.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Eeeek I always kinda hate to do this, because then it sounds like I'm comparing myself, which I never wanna do. It's sorta like that weird fairy tale-but-not thing you get in a lot of modern mermaid/man, selkie/shifter fae stuff, but without the shifter bit. Air!

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The idea for it goes all the way back to when I was in college and did my study abroad in Kathmandu. I  heard a lot about the Wind Horse thing due to being there with a university in the Shambhala tradition. I spent 15 days tripping from there to Lhasa and random towns and monasteries around that part of Tibet, and I got to see a few sky burial sites, so that factored in too.

The sky is fucking huge in Tibet. And close. The Himalayas aren't screwing around, man.

There's a fine line with westerner Buddhists* when it comes to cultural appropriation and actual respect for and/or adherence to Buddhist tenants, particularly since I'd say most are in the previously mentioned and relatively new Shambhala tradition, which has its immediate geographic roots in North America. Culture in diaspora, and all that.

I wanted to sort of have a character who was trying to walk that line, but also really lost. I wanted the other character to be able to be critical of that stereotype ("Haha, okay, white boy...") but also be able to grasp the connection to it at the same time.

Zane's family has its own baggage and expectations, but I'll save that. Geordie's my air element, so yeah.

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I think the relationships Zee has with his sister and his best friend will appeal. Lauren is one of those characters who looks really fragile on the surface, and so of course her big brother is overprotective--if not as much as their father, who is a bit of a dick, honestly. Rafael grew up the lone goth in a hard neighborhood, and once he got to high school became kind of a perpetually drunk sleeparound with fabulous eyeliner--with his best friend the quarterback of the football team, Zane. They have a kind of friends-with-benefits "I love you enough to tell you that you're being a dumbass, son" relationship.

Also Zane has a Les Paul named Xenobia.

*So the question is why didn't I make the hero Tibetan? Totally different book. Incoming.

Now to tag some awesome folk! First, Erica Pike, for being super awesome in general. Erica is not only a wonderful author of some sweet m/m stuff, but also a sweetheart herself. Love! Next, Zoe E. Whitten. Zoe writes stuff that you could classify as mostly sff, but there's a healthy dollop of the erotic and/or romance in much of it. She is fucking fabulous--and I'm not just saying that because she took us to get, like, the best food in Milan a few months back.

Apology and Peace Offering

November 28, 2012

Quick apology to everyone who's waiting for the third Fairy Compacts installment: I'm so sorry it's running late. I really wanted to have it out to the For Raven campaign people before I left for India, but I totally underestimated how much that trip was going take. Now I'm home, but the Airplane Crud has totally caught up with me and I am seriously dragging ass. As in I have like three hours every day where my brain is functional enough to do intensive tasks like editing and proofing. I'd rather apologize profusely than give you all a less-than-perfect product, so I am really, really sorry. I'll make it worth it, promise.

As a peace offering, I've put together the character stats page, displaying Astro's awesome sketches and some vital info for Gabriel and Andrew from my upcoming superpowered love book. Like I say, this one is a ways off, but since I'm working on revisions, blurb-writing, etc, now seemed like a good time to make sure it was on the list. So, so, so excited for a fourth superpowered romance, y'all.

Gabriel is a bit different from my usual heroes, in that he's kind of a dick. I know, I know, Kelly was kind of a dick too, but not like this. Gabriel is a cocky dick. With a badge. But at least he makes it look good?

Anyhow, I'll grovel more later. For now, I give you the boys from Losing Better.

Blurbs and excerpts and such soonish.

Up Next: Losing Better

November 20, 2012

So, now that things are signed and sealed and I'm home from India, I think it's safe to let a few basic facts out of the bag. Yay!

We'll do bullet point form since I am jet lagged all to hell right now. But this is so exciting I've been bursting with it since I left, so here goes:

  • My next book will be a Superpowered Love book from Loose Id! Yay!
  • It's called Losing Better.
  • The hero and storyteller is Gabriel Genêt. Aka "angry ginger". Aka Special Agent Genêt.
  • His mark is Andrew Wynne, Aka "rainbow underpants boy". Aka Vigilante Hero to a small North Carolina town. You've been seeing him for months as my poster boy, though. He's right over there in the sidebar, drawing a frosty little heart.
  • I don't know when. It is a thing with a contract, and I am working on the usual revisiony stuff, but there's no fixed timeline. These things to tend to only take a few months because LI is so very, very on their game, but with the hols between here and there, it's hard to say. I will keep updating as I find out more.

I am so extremely happy. I can't wait to get together blurbs and excerpts to share--sooner rather than later on that.

When I get home...

November 17, 2012

Hi all! Sorry for the radio silence around here, but I've been visiting the in-law-types. Which means a big old trip to Chennai. We've been running around a lot while here, since B's family is super nice about me being such a tourist. We spent a day in Tiruvannamalai last week, and yesterday we drove up to Kanchipuram, which I've always wanted to see. All the temples!

At the Sri Ekambaranathar temple in Kanchipuram
We go about every other year, but this was our first Diwali here since we got together. Hope everyone who celebrates had an awesome one with lots of firecrackers. Chennai basically sounded like a war zone all day--but you know, in the not-scary way. Was awesome.

But yes, between that and all the visiting friends and family while we're here, I've been quiet. However, I promise that when I get home in a few days, there will be a very cool announcement in re: Superpowered Love.

Happy Halloween

October 31, 2012

Hope it bites. In a good way.

Bound Soundtrack

October 24, 2012

Working on finishing up with Fairy Bound this week! It's gonna be about a week behind schedule due to complications in life earlier this month, but still, we're about there, and Ruxandra is on board again for illustrations. I am gleeful.

Tammas and Aeron's story will wrap up in the mortal realm. The Dangers of Fairy Compacts was entirely from Aeron's point of view, so the music I listened to was more him. Life as a Fairy Thrall was all from Tam's, so I listened to Tam music.

Fairy Bound, however, sees them sharing the spotlight. First Tam, and then Aeron. For this WiP Wednesday, I'm playing with Tam's section, so it's all about his music again. Love this track!

If you're seeing this on a feed, it's DJ Cheb I Sabbah - Kese Kese. Soooooo good.

Now that's a pretty review

October 12, 2012

So I'm totally emotional today because I just got a review that reads like friggin' poetry and totally gets me at the same time. I will spare everyone my blubbering and just drop a quote from Melanie over at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words in her review of By The River today:

By The River has a quiet, mesmerizing rhythm to it, pulsing with life as it relates the story of a young man who might just be as elemental as water itself.   With her wonderful characterizations and vivid descriptions of a setting that is clearly close to the author’s heart, Katey Hawthorne builds a story of a love between two men that becomes so strong, so elemental in nature that even the idea of loss cannot break it.

*blubbers incoherently*

Thank you, Melanie!

And thanks to Jess, I happened to notice that By the River is currently marked down 20% on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble at the moment. So, hey. Not bad! 

Love Stories for Monsters

October 4, 2012

Sorry for the radio silence this past week, but I've been running around a lot as The Other Me. I wrapped up a big and super exciting editing project, had a short story coup, and on top of that I'm prepping for a new novel release within the next, eh, two months, I'm pretty sure. I've mentioned this before, but seeing as the time is drawing nigh, I figured I'd pop on over here and talk for a sec about what's going on with that, because I think some of y'all might be interested.

Artwork © 2012 C. Bernard
This sulky fellow is Liam Corchoran.

He's the "hero" of my upcoming vampire novel (if the blood didn't give that away) as KV Taylor, which is named after him, and part of a larger series called The Family. Although the larger arc of the series is not that of a romance, Liam's book is what I call a love story for monsters. It is messy and dysfunctional and dark and a lot of other things most of my romances as Katey Hawthorne are not. In spite of the main plot being a love story, in essence, it's horror-oriented--these are not friendly vampires, they have no respect for human life, and they regret absolutely nothing. (Eventually.) Their relationships are suitably dysfunctional, because frankly, monsters don't get to have nice boys.

The second book in the series will pick up where Liam leaves off, and it will no longer qualify as a "romance". However, the, erm, special attachment between him and his vampire-maker/boyfriend-lover/what the fuck ever is not only an integral part of the continuing plot (they are, in fact, the core of what becomes The Family), but it is what starts an epic vampire clusterfuck snowballing. 

Hence the pen-name difference.

So basically I'm dropping by today to point out that it's a thing and lay an excerpt on you. This is from the still-human Liam's point of view, and a bit more romancey than horrory, in keeping with the usual content of this blog. It happens on the way home from one extremely fucked-up frat party full of voyeurism, beer, hallucinations, weed, and dancing a liiiittle bit too close. (Note to those reading it on an rss feed like goodreads--the formatting might suck. If you want, hop over to the blog and check out the original.)

"You're standing too close." It just came out, but I didn't regret it. It felt like I'd let the pressure out of a bottle that had been about to explode. Muscles I hadn't known were tense relaxed, my skeleton stopped quivering so violently, and I leaned my head against the cold stone wall.
"I was under the impression that you liked it," he said, as if that were a perfectly normal thing to say.
And maybe it was. I couldn't trust my own judgment anymore, clearly. "Things get fucked up when you get close."
Another pause, this one not so long. Then, "I see."
Jesus Christ, what did that mean? He couldn't know how fucked up, of course, there was no goddamn way, but--
"Why is that, do you think?"
I leveled a glare at him. "I don't know."
"Do you want to?"
I started reply with the negative, but paused.
He pursed his lips. "You were about to lie to me again."
"Fuck you."
"That's a little extreme. Try kissing me."
There was a loud whooshing sound in my ears. I stared, utterly stupid.
"If you want to know," he said, as if this were some kind of school exercise, and I his recalcitrant pupil, "then kiss me."
I swallowed hard. He had every reason to imagine that was what I wanted, though--particularly after tonight. Hell, maybe it was what I wanted. I remembered the hallucination then, heard words he'd never said: I saw you watching me. You know I watched you.
The rush in my ears grew deafening. I choked out, "The fuck kind of thing is that to say?"
"The sensible kind. Whether you like it or not, at least you'll know."
His calmness only made me tense up again. Sweet, sweet anger flooded back into my emotional muddle.
He went on, "Well, my mistake. I believed you when you said you weren't scared. Maybe you're right; I don't know you at all."
"Fucking right you--" But then I realized my options there were either that he didn't know me, or I was scared, and it dissolved into a kind of inarticulate growl.
He didn't move, just stood there, eyes flickering in the dark. Then he licked his lips.
And he saw me watch him do it.
He made as if to push off the wall. "All right then--"
Feeling very much like a fish on a hook, I grabbed his wrist and stopped him with a jerk. "Is this your stupid game? Have you been gambling on me all night?"
His eyes flicked down to my fingers around his arm, then back up, but he didn't make a move to get free. "Not until just now, really. How did you guess?"
"I didn't have to guess." I thought I was bluffing before I said it, but afterwards I wasn't so sure. I had seen him tonight, the real him; I'd known it then, and I was sure of it now. This night was just one big fucking game, and I was sick of it. Sick of feeling scared, confused, mortified, and dizzy by turns. Sick of being turned on and off like a goddamn light switch for his entertainment. This was no hallucination, it was absolutely real, and I was in control, goddammit.
His eyebrows disappeared under his bangs. "I'm starting to think you're the one playing with me."
My free hand balled up into a fist. God, I wanted to do it so badly--
He pursed his lips. "Well now I want to know."
And then he kissed me.
I didn't pull back; I didn't really react at all. I expected it to be like kissing a mannequin, lifeless and hard and boring.
But instead he was very much alive, and his breath on my face a cocktail of the familiar and alien: beer and cigarettes and girl something faintly metallic. His lips gave a little at first, then pushed forward and apart, locking onto mine.
I tensed when I realized I was reflexively kissing him back. But he put one hand at the back of my head, tangled in my hair, and tilted his face to get a better angle. He closed his lips and mine went with them, sealed off the little kiss, then started a new, deeper one all over again.
It happened so fast, the most improbable ten seconds of my life to date, but I was still very conscious of my ability to stop and walk away. There was nothing helpless about it, nothing dreamlike or confusing. Yet I couldn't help thinking that I would snap out of it and see him walking away or making some flippant comment, and realize I'd imagined this, too. The thought made me so angry I just kissed him harder. I pushed in on him, grabbed at his coat with one hand and tightened my grip on his wrist with the other. Maybe to make sure he was really there, maybe to make sure he couldn't get away.
I thought he'd try, but instead he seemed to melt against me. His lips went softer, his mouth opened up under mine. When I tugged at his coat, he came closer. When I bent my head, he resituated to accommodate the new angle. I was lulled by this perfect intuition, totally lost in the warmth and wetness of his mouth and the unexpected thrill it gave me. For one silent, suspended moment, I almost forgot how fucked up it was.
But then I thought of him kissing that girl on the couch, like he meant it. I thought about how I couldn't look away, even though I knew it was wrong. I thought of him licking his lips, purple from wine, sitting on my bed.
And then his tongue flicked out and searched the edge of my bottom lip.
I stopped breathing.
His fingers tightened in my hair, sending a warm, liquid shock through my entire body.
And then it was over. His lips closed, pulled away from mine. I hadn't opened my eyes but I could feel him breathing, so close.
I tried not to pant for air, clutching at him fitfully, head spinning.
"Oh, fuck." He sighed.
I opened my eyes and he was staring straight into them. I don't know what the fuck I expected, but it hadn't been surprise. His eyes were wide, and his mouth--god, it was painfully fascinating now--hung slightly open.
I had just enough presence of mind to think that this new and unguarded expression should not make me desperate to kiss him again.
"Well, there's my answer, at least." His voice sounded stretched tight, but not in an angry way. He swallowed visibly. "How awfully complicated this is."
That did seem to sum things up, yeah.

So if this sounds like your kind of thing, definitely check out the website, where there are updates, other excerpts, character bits, art, etc. And there's an ongoing feature at my author blog where the boys do a kind of vampire movie review thing that is honestly a bit MST3K. I'll come bug y'all again when the pre-order happens, but until then, back to your regularly scheduled superpowering and wingsex. *salute*


September 17, 2012

Popping in to point you in the direction of Melanie's most excellent review of Life as a Fairy Thrall over at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words, today. Melanie is a true and tried fae fan, so to have her review my little trilogy while it's halfway through is a huge piece of awesome.

She gives it 4.25 stars and says:

The magic here engages all the senses, it is smelled, and stroked. It is the burbling of a stream and the mist of the woods and that gives these stories a wonderful depth and realism, both needed when the reader needs to believe in the world and characters before her. This tactile nature of these stories carries just as vividly into the sex scenes. Who knew that winged sex could be so hot?

Doing my part to spread the joy of wingsex throughout the land. *salute*

Seriously, though, thank you so much, Melanie. I'm already working on the final novella in the trilogy. Currently I'm planning for it to go out to the Raven campaign contributors in either very late October or very early November, depending--before I head to India for Diwali this year, anyhow. It'll be for sale about a month after that, as with last time.

Wondering what this is all about? Check out the Fairy Compacts page for more details. Or you can just cut straight to the chase...

Get the first little novella in the trilogy, The Dangers of Fairy Compacts, for free:

1. Read it at the GR M/M Romance group, or download a mobi, ePub, pdf, or zipped html file from the GoodReads page.
2. Download a mobi, ePub, pdf, lit, or zipped html file from my folder.
3. Get an all-formats zip file from my Gumroad shop.
4. Download in multiple formats from Smashwords.
5. Get it from All Romance eBooks.
6. Get it from Barnes & Noble

Buy part two, Life as a Fairy Thrall, for less than a cup of coffee:

1. Get an all-formats zip file from my Gumroad shop.
2. Download in multiple formats from Smashwords.
3. Get it from All Romance eBooks.

River Soundtrack

September 14, 2012

So By the River doesn't have a soundtrack in it like some of my others--it's kinda a superpowered love thing, if you know what I mean--but there are a couple of songs that I listened to a lot when writing bits and pieces. The biggest one was off the latest from The Horrors, and it's called "Still Life".

I was working on a later draft when I actually saw the Horrors at the Black Cat, which was kind of extra awesome and unplanned. But yeah. Just the way it builds up and how it's kind of sad but hopeful and all the words and... yep. This is the one!

When you wake up, when you wake up,
You will find me

NOTE: If you're seeing this at a feed like goodreads, the video won't turn up. If you want, click on through the site. It's rad!

The Regularly Scheduled Comics Update

September 11, 2012

Long post will be long, but it's been that kinda summer, my friends.

Okay, so it's comic book time again. And this one is going to be less enthusiastic than the last few, I'm sorry to say. Much has changed since the hopeful beginning of this summer. I'll just start at the beginning with the monthly buys, but I'll do categories this time. As usual, this is mainly Marvel, because that's how I roll (for some ungodly reason). I should also point out that in the wake of the Avengers vs. X-Men clusterfuck, Marvel is doing a reorganizational thing (not a reboot) known as Marvel NOW! in which all the usual lineups are reshuffled--and apparently priorities too. So this is basically shit leading up to that.

(Note: these aren't getting reshuffled--though Pete's an Avenger, obvs. These will be the nice ones, though, so much more brief than the X-Book rants coming up...)

1. Avenging Spider-Man. Still good, actually, though the last issue (#11) was totally phoned in by return/original writer Wells. It was meant to be the 50th anniversary, so of course it went back to the beginning. But it was fuck ugly (Dillon, wtf are you doing? No.) and cheesy in a bad way. I was disappoint. But hey, the arc before it with Captain Marvel was fun as hell, as advertised, and we get Deadpool next month with a new artist and writer, so maybe it'll be fun again.

2. Ultimate Spider-Man. No complaints here. I admit that I don't always love Bendis, but when I do, it's generally Spider-Man. He's doing a good job tying Miles back into the whole Peter Parker thing while still giving him his own excellent drama. The last issue brought in Captain America, who's a huge dick and it's awesome. Marquez's art remains fabulous. Etc.

3. Spider-Men. Only has one issue to go. I mentioned this in my Amazing Spider-Man movie post, but it's basically 20-something 616 (as in, usual Marvelverse) Peter Parker getting zapped into the Ultimate Universe where 13-year-old Miles Morales is the new Spider-Man... cuz Pete's dead there. #4 actually had the touching moment Avenging Spider-Man failed miserably to deliver, so I was happy, there. It's Bendis writing, and I adore Pichelli's pencils.

From Spider-Men #4 by Bendis and Pichelli. BRB tearbending.
I may or may not decide to start buying Amazing Spider-Man again. This is the book my dad grew up on, and therefore the book I grew up on... and the book that always sends me into one of my "NO MORE COMIC BOOKS sulks when it inevitably breaks my heart. I bought the 50th Anniversary #692 and enjoyed it, both for the actual story and for the bonus stuff. Hesitated over buying the next one this week, though. Dan Slott has written some stuff I really like and some stuff that makes me want to throw things. We'll see how desperate I get. 

Avengers Books

1. Avengers Academy. Still the best thing going, but unfortunately it's not going to exist in the wake of Marvel NOW! Not only that, but Christos Gage, who I can safely say is my current favorite comic book writer, doesn't look to be a regular on any upcoming Marvel title. So yeah, you could say I'm fucking pissed. This book had better not go the same sporadic route the bad ass Young Avengers went--or the suddenly sub-par route Runaways did.

Marvel, this is why you can't have nice things.

Still, I'm enjoying this final arc a lot. Great character moments, good action, nice art from Divito, and I just hope they don't let these kids get lost.

From Avengers Academy #36 by Gage and Divito. See, Berto? See what happens when you talk shit on The Hero's Journey? Tsk.

Also the "Island of Misfit Toys" collection that is the teachers here. I will never, ever like Hank Pym, but he is at least interesting here, and Gage did such a beautiful job picking up loose end characters (Speedball, Quicksilver, Tigra, Justice) and carrying through a real arc. Gah.

So yeah, I definitely still recommend the trades of these, if you're interested in dipping your toe into the Marvelverse. Well worth it.

ETA: UPDATE: Marvel!NOW was already dead to me, but now it's official. NOPE.

2. Fuck the Avengers, basically.

(Very little love, some outright hate. Fuuuuuck.)

1. Wolverine and the X-Men. It seems like far more than four months ago that this book had favorite potential. The cracky fun was occasionally interrupted by some stupidity, but it seemed as if these were issues that might be sorted out later. Mainly, issues of character interaction and relationship. Surely, Aaron would explain what the hell he was doing with Shadowcat/Iceman, right? Why the fuck he was dicking Husk over?

Thing is, I don't even care any more. After a few really, really bad continuity errors rising out of this AvX thing, plus, far from decreasing the creepy in his character relationships, Aaron actually upped it with sexual harassment as a repeated punchline... yeah. Nope. I'm done. You have punched my squick button, buddy. Ugh, what a waste of a great setup.

2. Uncanny X-Men. Here's the thing: I think Kieron Gillen is honestly a very good writer, and I'm not just saying that because of Phonogram. I think he understands his characters. The problem is that this whole AvX editorial mandate means that Cyclops and Emma Frost, in particular, have to act in very un-Cyclops and Emma Frost-y ways. Any time he does character interaction, it's perfect. It makes total sense.

But he got landed with the Phoenix Five. Which is the dumbest idea in the history of dumb Marvel crossover ideas. And I don't give a shit, so I stopped buying it as of last month.

It's kind of a shame I don't read Iron Man, since that's where he's going with Marvel NOW! But whatever.

3. Astonishing X-Men. Actually got better. I've discussed previously how this is basically my dream team, so I'll spare you. I got my Northstar Wedding Issue and it was well enjoyed. Had a few WTF moments, but overall gave me BEAUBIERFEELS (yes, allcaps) for a week or two. Helped because Aurora was depicted as an actual human being with feelings. Can we just say that only women are allowed to write her from now? That'd at least give her a fighting chance...

From Astonishing X-Men #51 by Liu and Perkins. BEAUBIERFEELS.
The arc was uneven, writing-wise, but it's starting to smooth out on the Karma arc happening now. I'm still a bit sick to death of the "woman gets mind-controlled" plot device, but I trust Liu to finish it off well. Still not a Perkins fan, however. Sometimes I really like his panels--the ones above are a great example--but his style is the polar opposite of all my favorite comic book art, really. He's good, but I don't care for him, if that makes sense. (And seriously, that one shit-eating grin he gives everyone. I can't deal.)

**As a side-note, for those of you interested in this arc for wedding purposes only (entirely possible considering the content of this blog in general), I can recommend the hardback collection or the trade when it comes around. The story stands alone without much background. The bonus stuff isn't that exciting, but it's interesting for historic purposes, I guess. Basically they just reprinted Alpha Flight v1 #106, which is the issue where Northstar comes out. It's ugly as hell--Marvel in the early 90s was ugly in general--and the story is both problematic and a rushed mish-mash of an after-school special, basically. But it was a big deal, and I guess is... vaguely relevant? First Marvel superhero to come out, first to get married to someone of the same sex? Or something? Sure, why not. Go on and pat yourself on the back, Marvel. Why stop now?**

4. X-Men Legacy. Also relegated to the "don't care" pile. Which is sad because it's Gage writing, and I really trusted that given some time he could save the book for me. But I just don't give a shit at this point. I'm waiting til the reshuffle, then I'll decide what to buy.

5. Uncanny X-Force. I came late to this one for the Dark Angel Saga. The line up is a cool one, but I really only had an interest in Psylocke and Archangel at first, hence my finally hopping on for that, and only once it was out as a collection. I liked it so much that I eventually caught up with the whole series... and fucking loved it. The Apocalypse Solution was amazing in every fucking way (basically one of those "if you could go back in time and kill Hitler as a child, would you?" stories. Their answer is one of my fave comics panels ever for sheer "holy fuck that just happened" effect). Jerome Opeña, marry me. Remender, way to write some fucking anti-heroes. Then the lead up from Deathlok Nation into Dark Angel. And then...

Okay, the Trial of Fantomex was silly as fuck, but nothing involving the Captain Britain Corps will ever not be silly as fuck. I had been forewarned that things went downhill for this series here, but even after that, I still wasn't quite sure it was going to happen. And then... and then momentous issue #25. Which was... okay-ish. Sorta. Except the "special bonus material" (vintange Remender and Opeña!) was complete shit. A casually misogynist Wolverine backstory moment and a crappy Deadpool issue that was a giant fat joke? Yeah. Fuck you very much.

I'm caught up with the whole run now, and it genuinely did go downhill, as I was warned. Every awesome thing they built up with Psylocke is effectively tanked (oh wait, a woman being mind-controlled again? VICTIMIZING YAY! Also, PS: she is not actually Japanese, fuckers, so stop making her an appropriating douche, ugh); the man vs. animal debate inherent in a mutant kill squad run by Wolverine has gone off the interesting rails into STFU territory; and they completely screwed Fantomex, who fast became my favorite character. The dude, everything about him, every fucking detail and word, was the most brilliant existentialist experiment. And... blargh, now. Blargh. I'm so annoyed I might even have to write fanfiction just to FIX IT in my head.

It's almost over, as in for good, and now that they're on the new Brotherhood (Daken! Yay!) and Evan (who is part of my whole existentialist experiment love), I'm interested, at least. But blargh. Please save it. Please.

6. Sortakinda--I have been told I must start reading X-Treme because apparently Dazzler is kicking ass. Due to a recent sale, I also bought a large chunk of the current New Mutants title, and I'm a huge New Mutants fan. So we'll see how that shakes out, since I dropped three other X-books...

Solo Books
(A mixed bag, but most of the bad is conjecture.)

1. Captain Marvel. A few months ago, Carol Danvers, previously Ms. Marvel, took on the Captain Marvel mantel left behind by Mar-Vell when he died. (Again. He does that a lot.) This shiny new series is written by Kelly Sue DeConnick and drawn by Dexter Soy--and it's pretty much a clinic in storytelling. I didn't think I'd like Soy's art when I grabbed the first issue, but I've changed my mind. We've just had #3 and I'm in love.

From Captain Marvel #2 by DeConnick and Soy.
Marvel's late to the girl power party, but they went at it good and hard when they finally did, I reckon. Also, I got a bunch of flack for this from friends when the design was first made public, but I still say McKelvie's costume redesign means he should redesign ALL THE COSTUMES. Fuck yes.

2. Hawkeye. Hawkeye is my third favorite Avenger ever, as I've mentioned multiple times. So him getting a new ongoing--and one kicking this fucking gorgeous David Aja design, at that--was a matter of some excitement for me a few months back. I don't have a great deal of faith in Matt Fraction, as he's committed some atrocities in the past, but hey, new book, new start, right? Anyhow, how can you fuck up Hawkeye?

Well, the first issue didn't. And I thought the second would be even better, because they were bringing in the other Hawkeye, Kate Bishop, my favorite Young Avenger. (Okay, second-favorite--my favorite is Speed, but that's obvious to everyone who's ever met me.) And I mean, look at this page. This is some serious mastering of your medium shit from Aja:

From Hawkeye #2 by Fraction and Aja

Click to enlarge if you like, but seriously. Fucking gorgeous.

And then they had to go and make it all awkward with Clint telling Kate that he wanted to work with her because he "doesn't want to sleep with her". And Kate telling him that would be creepy (she's, like, eighteen, and he's her mentor hellooooooo position of power!), so yay... then looking all disappointed.

Now, Fraction has said that this is not going to be a thing. Like ever. At all. Clint meant what he said, and that's that. But seriously, it was so. Creepy. You guys. And I'm so annoyed because the rest of the issue was so. Awesome. It would've been perfect. No joke. Fucking gorgeously brotp Hawkeye awesome.

So if it was a writer I trusted, I'd be fine with the way it went down. But it's not. So I'm not. Goddammit, do not fuck up an awesome thing, please. :/

3. Gambit. As a child of the 90s (well, a teenager of the 90s), Gambit is the reason I got into the X-Men in the first place. I'm starting to think part of the requirement for being on my list of favorite X-People involves some manner of bastard-French accent (three is a pattern, and even if I count Northstar and Aurora as one, which I do, now there's Fantomex so fuck). Also, I like my good guys to be bad as often as not, if you haven't noticed. Anyhow, point is, I always try a new Gambit series, and recently I have always been horrifically bored with them.

But we're on the second issue of this one and it's kinda fun so far. Asmus doesn't go overboard on the dialect (writing dialogue in dialect =/= writing out an accent phonetically for the love of god), and Mann's art is good for the story they're telling. Remy looks suitably hot, which is also important.

From Gambit #2 by Asmus and Mann
So we'll see.

And that's all for this especially long edition of "what I'm reading in comics". Lately there have been a lot of questions about my superpowered love stuff and when it's gonna continue. I hope that even for those of you who don't care about comics, this post at least puts to rest any fears that I will not be continuing in that vein. Because oh yeah. I've been this obsessed (and more) with comics since I was born, basically. Makes it difficult to run out of superpowered heroes and heroines of my own. Looooooooove!

River Reviews

September 8, 2012

The boys from By the River had a really nice week!

DarienMoya said: I am so in love with this story, just so freaking in love. It’s hauntingly beautiful, with unique characters, and the writing just seems so very real. I am so in love with this small little town, and I felt so important to be invited to get to know Leith and Adam.

Yeah, 'scuse me while I blush. Thank you for checking it out, Darien, and for letting it de-pants you.

Sammy said: I cannot tell you how magically lyrical this novella was–how amazingly sweet and sexy it read. With each page, Katey Hawthorne invites you in, and allows you to sit in the corner of her imagination and watch beauty unfold. She gently exposes our fears, the idea that letting go of someone we love is both risky and freeing at the same time.

I mean, talk about getting to the heart of the matter, right? Add some sniffling to that blushing, kay?

While I'm on the subject, I've gotten a lot of questions about the Elementals books and how it works as a series. The real answer is that it doesn't, particularly. They're books that are linked solely by a concept.

Several people have asked me if they'll see Adam and Leith again. Half of these questions seem to come from people with lingering fears, which is awesome, and the other half are more suggestion, which is also awesome. The answer is yes, briefly. It'll be short and sweet, like the little Equilibrium stories, a kind of thank you note from me to everyone who took a chance on such a weird, weird couple. Not for a few months, but I'll keep you posted. Thank you to every single person who asked--or wondered in a review, or ever said anything about it at all.

And remember: Keep Calm and Play Minecraft. Just watch your meatpops, dude.

A Post of Readerly Questions

September 1, 2012

Okay, guys, Life as a Fairy Thrall is back to its usual price. Thanks to all the people who made that sneak-sale such a success. Hope you enjoy the wingsex!

Now, for something a little different. Lovely reader Kati emailed me just now with some great questions--questions I have asked others many times, myself. So I thought I'd put them and my answers here in case this sort of thing amuses others, too.

Do you know from the start who your characters are or are you figuring it out as you go?
I definitely know who they are--as in what they ate for breakfast level of scary pointless knowledge. But that doesn't mean they won't surprise me.

That sounds absurd, so I'll give an example: 

There's a bit in Riot Boy where I thought Etienne was going to finally just lose his shit on Brady. But when I tried to write it, it was horrible because Et just would not go there. Which is to say that I realized that, no, this is not in his character, and for him to do this makes zero sense, so why did I ever think it would work?

[For the curious, it's the bit where Brady says: “I don’t know. You want to fuck or something? Least a guy can do.” Et's not happy at that point, but I went into it expecting him to flip a table or something. Dude just looked at me, crossed his arms over his chest, and went, "Nope."]

I love when they do that to me.

What comes first? the story idea or the characters?
I want to say characters, but it's sort of a bouncing thing. I already knew by the time I'd finished  Equilibrium that (if anyone published it, which I was not actually expecting to happen at the time) I'd do a book about someone who was kidnapped by witch hunters. So that basic idea was in place when I came up with Jody Aguirre, who'll eventually be the hero of that book. But it's Jody's character that influenced what kind of story he'd have and how it'd unfold, if that makes sense.

Do you plot your stories before hand? or doing worldbuilding?
With a new series or stand-alone, I start out with a really basic story element and go into worldbuilding from there, but I'm way heavier on the latter than the former when we're talking about the pre-game. Especially writing fantasy, I really, really want the framework to be there before I get too attached to what's going to happen. It's not totally inflexible because stuff might have to change for the story, but with something like the superpowered books, the science of it was in place from the very beginning and is totally rigid.

A lot of times I'll come up with weird worldbuilding stuff and set it aside for deeper exploration in later books where it will actually be plot-relevant instead of a random distracting aside/infodump--which is pretty much the entire story of the superpowered love books. But I like having everything at my fingertips so I can be sure to drop hints, even if they won't matter until five books down the road.

Pre-plotting is basically just the character arc for me. I know who they are and where I want them to get to by the end. The stuff in the middle to get them there is pretty vague until I actually start writing, though I usually have a few key scenes in mind.

And how many years have you been writing now?
I've always written stuff, like all night long every night through school. My best friend still has my first completed "novel" from when we were 13 (1993, oh god, the horror of that novel...). I've also written a lot of fanfiction since undergrad, and still do. *X-Men fandom fistbump*

I started seriously trying to write things that others might want to buy a little less than a decade ago. It's a ridiculous story:

I dropped out of grad school, moved around looking for a proper job for a few years, and around 2005 realized what I really wanted was some mentally untaxing work that'd provide me with health care and let me stay up late to write all night. Decided that probably indicated the sort of job I should really be working toward, and so I worked my ass off to get better. My first short story was picked up in 2008.

Which is extremely weird to think of now, but hey. Rad.

How many words do you write per day?
Oh man, that varies wildly, but it's rare for me to write less than 500 words at a time. I've been know to go up to 15k and more though, which blows a gasket in my brain, but I have trouble stopping once I start.

How long does it take you to write them?
There are times I'll write whole first drafts in a weekend. This habit is the butt of many jokes from my friends and family. The editing and rewriting bit before submission is the longest part, but I'm lucky to have amazing writer-friends who help me out with betas and all that good stuff.

But I also have a few books that I've been tinkering with here and there for a few months. Those are usually the books where there's some element missing and I can feel it, but can't put my finger on what it is yet. Once I shake it loose and have a deadline free week, I'll probably eat them whole.

Do you write every day?
Usually, but this summer I've been trying hard to take it easy and have for the most part succeeded.

... except that I've been RPing (which is basically collaborative fanfic, for anyone unfamiliar) all summer so I kinda failed there, too. Whoooops.

When is the next superpower book coming out?
It has been said that I will know shortly. I can tell you that my editor has two superpowered books of mine right now, tentatively titled Losing Better and Reentry Burn. The former is about a cranky FBI agent and a would-be superhero, and the latter is about Malory from Riot Boy. So hopefully the coming months will see them both come to life. I'll definitely keep everyone in the loop.

Day Early Wingsex Sale

August 31, 2012

So here's the deal. I actually had my act together and managed to get Life as a Fairy Thrall sorted out tonight, so it's ready a day early. In celebration, it's going to be half off the usual price of $1.99 for all of August 31.

Mmm-hmm, and Ruxandra's art is all over this thing. If you want in early and cheap, here are the places you can find it today*:

Smashwords (use code DQ87P at checkout for the discount)

Or you can grab a zip of all available formats at my gumroad shop here:

So hey, half-priced wingsex, August 31 only. When it flips over to Sept 1, actual release day, all bets are off.

*More coming, promise.


August 27, 2012

Hey y'all. (Ugh I just read that to myself in an whiney Paula Deen voice. Sorry.) I'm here with winners for both of the giveaways last week. Thanks very much to everyone who dropped by. It was a really, really awesome week. And birthday!

Equilibrium Birthday Giveaway winner:


Yay, a graffiti'd copy of the shiny new Equilibrium/Riot boy print omnibus is on its way to you.

Follow the Rainbow Hop Giveaway winner:


A fresh eCopy of By the River just splashed down in her inbox.

Okay, sorry, water pun. I'll never do it again.


In other news:

Saturday, September 1. Life as a Fairy Thrall. It's gonna be for sale at Smashwords, ARe, and from my little gumroad shop, for those of you who like the direct distro method. Maybe more coming, but that's it for the initial release. Just wanted to do a heads up: wingsex incoming. Yay!

Also, while I'm here, Amazon-lovers: it will be available from all of those places as a mobi, but if you want to buy your copy from Amazon, all three books will be available in a digital omnibus edition early next year. There are actual reasons for this that are extremely boring, but feel free to hit me up with questions if you're super bothered by the idea. I get it. I have my favorite shopping places, too.

Follow the Rainbow Hop: GLBTQ Writing Katey-style

August 24, 2012

Today marks the start of Rainbow Book Review's inaugural blog hop, yay! Thanks very much to Lena Grey and Serena Yates of RBR for inviting authors and publishers to help celebrate their shiny new site. It's beautiful.

The topic for the hop is 'What Writing GLBTQ Literature Means to Me'. It's a topic that's at once so complicated and so obvious that I rarely say much about it, but I should, so I'm happy for the occasion. Please be warned, this will be a really personal post and way TMI, but that's the kind of question they asked, innit?

I was a bit of a late bloomer, as they say. I never had the interest in boys that my friends did--oh, I had pictures of rock stars on my walls, but that was as near as I ever really wanted to get--and when I dated someone, it was because, well, they asked, and they seem okay, so... I guess I should? (Someone get teenage me one of those 'I need feminism because...' signs, please.) I thought people were beautiful but had no interest in touching them, or, when I got a little older, I enjoyed and wanted sex for and of itself, but was never all that happy with a partner--or random fucking around. I was impatient with love stories because, I mean, seriously, what a load of crap. Blow some shit up, entertain me, none of these lies about true love, thanks.

Then in my last year of undergrad, something clicked into place, and I realized my lack of enthusiasm was because I hadn't been thinking about love and sex and even myself in a way that was at all natural to me--I'd been thinking about it how I thought I was supposed to think about it. No wonder I couldn't muster any real interest--it was being shoved into some weird little box for no good reason.

Not to sound melodramatic, because it really wasn't, but the realization that my brain is queer changed everything. Understanding and acknowledging how I worked, and that my way is just as valid as anyone else's, freed me to make myself, and future partners, so much happier.

In retrospect, I can see how perfectly obvious it is, and so can the people who were close to me growing up.  I also had plenty of friends who identified all over the spectrum once I went off to college, but-- Okay, I'm a super-proud lit nerd, and fiction is what gets to me the hardest and fastest. I can see the pattern of characters that captured my heart, of love stories that spoke to me, even the things my friends and I made up to amuse ourselves as kids. I often think that if I'd had more stories with queerbrain protags of all shapes, sizes, manners, genders (or lack thereof), and orientations, I might've come to that freeing realization a lot earlier. That's part of why visibility is such an important thing to me personally now. It's amazing how things have changed in just a few decades, and what we have access to now is so much more inclusive than what we had when I was in high school in the 90s--and bless the hardworking pioneers who've sacrificed so much to get us to this point.

Thing is, it can never be enough. Not until all viewpoints are visible, represented, part and recognized parcel of society's intellectual fabric--and not in a way that others and exoticizes. Yeah, I have QUILTBAG-identifying protags. And yeah, they love and fight and hate and fuck--or not--by the same basic human rules as het-norm protags. Because that's for real. So basically, I'm writing the stories I was making up for myself back then, the stories I wish I'd had, the stories that will always ring true to me. Stories where brains work either like mine, or in a way I recognize, that feels natural to me, that feels honest.

And yeah, my honesty isn't even close to heteronormative. Clearly. But I still think, hope, and know that it's accessible to every human, regardless of their own identity. That's the point.

As a side note: I have since discovered that there is such a thing as love and happily ever after. And that, my friends, is why I came back to romance with a vengeance, once I knew myself. Because it's honest, after all.

After that absurd little confession, I think it's appropriate to give away an e-copy of By the River--which takes place in my hometown (if renamed). Might explain a few things you never wanted to know, right? You can check out the details on the book here, if you're interested. All you have to do is leave a comment  on this post (please include your email if it's not listed in your profile), and I'll let pick a winner on the 27th, after the hop is over.

Don't for get to hit up the other blog hop posts, including the main one, for more opinions, thoughts, and giveaways. Oh, and also, the last day of the hop (the 26th) is the last day of the Equilibrium Birthday Giveaway, so check that out too and maybe score a print Equilibrium/Riot Boy copy while you're here.

They say it's your birthday...

August 21, 2012

... it's my birthday too, yeah!

God, I know, worst birthday song ever, right? My mom used to play it every single birthday to wake me up, and I'd sigh and pull my pillow over my face. Because as much as I love the Beatles... seriously, Macca? Why?

But it's appropriate nevertheless, because August 23 is Equilibrium's birthday. Yes, it has been live for a year now. And a few days after that is my birthday. Seeing as Equilibrium has just gone into print with Riot Boy attached, there's really only one thing I can do, isn't there?

Yep. Giveaway.

Booty: A print copy of the Equilibrium/Riot Boy omnibus. I'll graffiti it up for you, if you want. Here's a horrible picture I took with my iPhone the day they arrived because I was just so damn excited. In spite of the quality, you can see that the books themselves are freaking gorgeous.

To enter: Comment on this post and answer me one question: if you could have one superpower, what would it be? Feel free to include the why of it all, too.

To win: Well, that'll be up to On August 26, at the end of the day (midnight, I mean), I'll enter the number of comments in and let it pick one of y'all.

This giveaway is open to anyone 18 or over--as in international. I'll send it to you wherever you are.

ETA: If your email isn't in your blogger profile (or the profile of whatever account you use to comment!) please be sure and include it in the comment so I can track you down and tell you that you've won. :D

ETA2: If for some reason blogger is being a dick and won't let you post, just email me at, and I'll post it for you in the proper order.

Come get it

August 17, 2012

I've been going on and on about this elsewhere, but not here. Loose Id rolled out their shiny new website earlier this week, and maaaaan is it pretty. To celebrate, everything--everything on the site is 25% off up through the 19th. So happy weekend, right? Here's a helpful link to all of mine, in case you're interested.

One other thing--totally just noticed today when I went to vote on the paranormal poll (because paranormal!) that Equilibrium was nominated for book of the month at the mm group. It's a tiny, weird ass book, I know. But totally cute. If you're a member, hit it with some love, maybe? Second poll down--at least until Monday, when it goes away.

I've got company this weekend, so I'll be quiet for once. Hope yours is rad.

Wingsex--it's enthralling

August 13, 2012

Haha see what I did there?

No? Yeah. That made no sense to anyone but me, did it? Wait, wait, I can explain.

So last night, thanks to to the herculean efforts of editors Meghan Brunner and John Cash, plus Ruxandra's illustration, contributors to the FOR RAVEN campaign earlier in the year got their Special Edition Life as a Fairy Thrall (Fairy Compacts #2) novellas. In which Tam and Aeron have an adventure in Faerie--along with Aeron's fabulous sister Awela and an old, er, friend of Tam's from school, Firez. I maaaaaaaaaay have mentioned that the early release is not all that's special about this edition, but that it also contains all three of Ruxandra's illustrations. I'll say it again:

Thank you so much for your generosity when we were doing the campaign, y'all. It made such a huge difference.

However, that is not the last of Fairy Thrall by a longshot. As I also mentioned before, it'll be available to all in as many places as I can manage on September 1. In preparation, I've put up a little excerpt on the page in which Tam and Aeron are making out and discussing their plans--you know, as you do. Is Aeron's plan a good one? Will his compact with Firez end up being a good idea?

Dun dun dun!

Ahem. Anyhow, just because it's not out yet, there's no reason you couldn't add it to your goodreads shelf if you're into that. Wingsex FTW.

Side note: if you're interested in how the Fairy Compacts series came into being in its current form, I just did a post over at my other site about it. Seriously TL;DR, though, and mostly writerly thinky-thoughts.

Side note part 2: Don't forget, the first Fairy Compacts book is and always will be free.

ETA 8pm EST: Campaign people! I found an annoying little typo in the first version of the SE Life as a Fairy Thrall. I've since corrected it and uploaded new files. Apologies!

Newsletter Time

August 6, 2012

There's so much going on right now, I think the only way for me to make sense of it is to do a bullet-point newsletter of sorts. So, heeeeere we go...

Thank You

Thanks so, so very much to everyone who made the first week of By the River being alive so much fun. Thanks to everyone who commented and hung out at the PantsOff blogoversary post, thanks to Joyfully Jay for not only reviewing the book (kindly!) on the first day, but also for letting me invade with pictures of my river. Thanks to everyone on twitter and tumblr who put up with me freaking out all day on the 31st... and, okay, all week. Thanks to everyone who dropped by to comment, sent an email, tweeted, and, oh god, read and rated/reviewed anywhere.

True story: I was in miserable pain pretty much all week because my back went out. I can't even complain though because my life is awesome.

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, you'll find me over at Buffy Kennedy's place with a blog about superpowers. Ah, mmm, reminds me it's about time for another comic book update--but no, I mean superpowered love style superpowers. Buffy's site is lively, intelligent, and sweet, and recently reviewed Equilibrium, so it seemed an appropriate topic--plus there will be a giveaway. I'll update this post when it goes live, but heads up.

On Thursday I'll be hanging out over at The Romance Studio's release party site all day with a bunch of cool authors. There will be excerpts, romantic ramblings, and of course prizes for all. These parties are always a lot of fun--if bad for my bank account. I'll post here when it happens and of course I'll be chatting it up on twitter and tumblr too.

Coming Next...

With By the River off and running, I've been getting some questions about what's up next. In order--as best as I can manage, here's what the Hawthorne schedule looks like:

1. Life as a  Fairy Thrall. #2 in the Fairy Compacts series will go out to everyone who contributed to the Raven Campaign next week--at which time I'll also have an excerpt available. The book will be for sale to all on September 1, 2012.

It's an adventure in Faerie from Tam's point of view, with some really gorgeous illustrations by Ruxandra Lache. And of course, magic and wingsex are guaranteed.

If you haven't picked up a free copy of #1: The Dangers of Fairy Compacts, it's there for the taking.

2. Fairy Bound. #3 in the Fairy Compacts series will go out to the Raven contributors in early October, and will be available for sale on November 1, 2012.

This is the final chapter in Aeron and Tam's story, and the telling of it is split between them. More interesting magic, more inventive wingsex, and hopefully the happily ever after they deserve, after so much trouble.

3. A freebie. By winter, it'll be time for another one, don't you think? I can't say too much about this one yet, but I'll tell you who the PoV is as a massive hint:

4. More superpowered love.

In all this Faerie and fairy-tale stuff, you might think I forgot what I was doing, but no, I swear, I didn't. There is more superpowered love than anything else on the horizon, my friends, and I hope very soon to have news in that vein. Until I can speak more freely, I'll just say that I have 2 full novels and one free short just about ready to go. I hate to be vague, but the timing is totally out of my hands. That said, if the second of those two books gets a "yes" from the publisher, that's the moment the free short will arrive--in celebration. And it'll have to do with...

And that's all the news there is for now. Thanks again, everyone. If you think of any more questions, just let me know and I'll do my best. Much love!



Oh wow. Yeah see, so much going on I even forgot this:

Equilibrium and Riot Boy in one gorgeous paperback. I got mine the other day. It's fucking incredible. Check it out, y'all!

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