Writing #ownvoices Characters


Hello all,

I wanted to discuss writing genderfluid characters as a genderfluid author and what #ownvoices means to me, because the concept of #ownvoices has been around for a while now.

Recently, a young actor (Kit Connor; played Nick Nelson in Heartstoppers) was forced to come out as bisexual because people (I hesitate to call them fans!) were accusing him of queerbaiting! Now, I am happily out and proud as genderfluid and have been since I was 19, but not everyone is ready to come out, and some people may never feel safe enough to come out. Not to mention, it is impossible for a real life person to queerbait based on their own identity. The story itself was a gay love story, it doesn’t get more queer than that, and the author of the graphic novels herself said that the characters were all played by queer actors. It wasn’t enough for some people, and I feel that the people who harassed this actor felt entitled towards his identity.

This is, of course, the downfall of #ownvoices as a way to group authors. There are many reasons why someone might not want to out themselves, but more than that, no one owes anyone an explanation for their identity. Gatekeepers at Pride? You can get lost. It felt unreal reading the headline on Twitter that Kit Connor was forced to out himself in order to appease the masses. I cannot stress this enough: you are not entitled to anyone’s queer identity. I am furious about this issue, as you may be able to tell.

I honestly am not sure that #ownvoices is a necessary taxonomical grouping. Maybe some authors feel like this type of label helps with marketing, and all the power to them. But to readers out there, I must say, no one owes you an #ownvoices text or owes you the truth about their identity. You are doing harm by demanding this of people, and I must again say this – you are mostly harming closeted queer people or queer people who are still figuring out their identity.

So what if a straight person writes a queer book? It’s not worth the possible harm you may cause to possibly expose a non-queer writer writing queer novels.

Anyway, I write some characters after my own experiences which are technically #ownvoices in some ways (Me and my character from Weekend Girl are both genderfluid) but not in other ways (my character Ignius in Far Patrol is a dragon. I am obviously not a dragon). I just am tired of people gatekeeping the queer community and am so so angry that a young queer man felt no other recourse than to out himself.

Do better.

(To those of you who are on the same wavelength as me, I am not directing my rage at you)

Writing Again


Hello everyone!

It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to write anything. I’ve been working on my PhD, but I also think that I had some amount of burnout from working as an English instructor while pursuing my studies. I have started writing again recently and felt much better about everything. I love writing and find it soothing to be able to put thoughts on the page.

So, what am I writing?

Before this, I was writing on Surfacing, which was a sci-fi romance set in the future after an unknown apocalypse had happened. Earth’s surface hadn’t been breached in thousands of years, and finally, human beings are returning. However, not everyone is happy with the return, and will stop at nothing to halt the progress of the Surfacers.

Since then, I haven’t had much inspiration for this story. It’s been put on the back burner, so to speak. However, what I have been working on is a yet untitled fantasy story about a young non-binary noble who falls for a prince. At first, I was calling this my “weird het romance” because at first, the main character was presenting as a woman. However, very quickly, Naranah decided she was not a woman at all, and her love interest Prince Menar became staunchly bisexual. Not to mention, Naranah’s gay bestie Teren was the one to bring all this identity crisis about when Naranah realizes Teren’s in love with another man.

This story, which I originally planned to be 50k words is now headed towards being 100k words or more. This is likely my longest novel to date. I have been chipping away at it, and the story is sitting at about 17000 words. That’s more words than I’ve written in months, so I am feeling rather pleased with my progress. I hope that this writing kick lasts a little longer, and am looking forward to getting more words on the page over the winter holidays.

Glad to see that there are still a few writers out there following this blog and I wish you a great holiday season.

Happy writing!

Scheduling Time for Writing


Hello all

I hope you’re all well – I have Covid, and it’s very unpleasant. 0/10 would not recommend. Because I have a lot of time on my hands due to quarantine, I decided to write a blog post.

My topic today is scheduling time to write. I am the type of person who is not only very disorganized but has very little free time. Because I’m fairly scatter-brained naturally, I have to organize myself really strictly. Thus comes into play my three (3!!!) different calendars to keep me organized. I have a week/day calendar to schedule daily tasks, a planner for deadlines and important dates, and a smartphone calendar to beep at me and remind me about appointments. Believe it or not, I STILL miss appointments sometimes.

Why do I bring this up? Because without a strict schedule, I would never have time to write. I would always put writing on the back burner and say that I don’t have time. I schedule myself time to write so that I don’t have that excuse. It doesn’t always work, just as a warning for people who have similar issues with disorganization. But it does help! I have done more writing since I started scheduling it than before I did that.

Right now, I don’t write everyday. I have myself scheduled in for twice a week right now for a total of maybe three hours a week. But it’s something! I’m working on it. Trying to schedule creative writing around academic writing is hard. One of these days I will write a post about the differences between academic and creative writing, since I do both.

Yes, I know. Scheduling is boring. But if you’re having trouble “finding time” to write, then sometimes you literally have to schedule it into your calendar. I hope this helps some people with their writing habits!

Best wishes to you all!


Surfacing Progress Pt 1


Hello all

I’m here to introduce you to my new project! I have started writing again, this time on a new work that I’ve tentatively titled “Surfacing.” What is this new project about?

It’s a post-dystopian novella about a society far in Earth’s future. The world has already gone through the apocalyptic end-of-days and a new society has formed in the safety of the underground tunnels underneath the surface of the Earth. No one has gone to the surface of Earth in a thousand years.

But it’s time – or, at least, that’s what Tyne Airington has to say on the matter. He wants to explore the surface and take the rest of humanity upwards and onwards into the future. Who knows what amazing discoveries await them?

But there are those who oppose the ideas of the Surfacers. The Anti-Surfacing Society (yes, we know its acronym spells ASS) led by Tircel Dunworthy wants to halt progress to the surface and to stay safe underground. Tircel insists that he doesn’t want to harm anybody, even if it means his motion to remain underground is defeated, but what about the splinter group of the Anti-Surfacers that is hell-bent on stopping Tyne and his party no matter what? Does Tircel know anything? Who is trying to sabotage their plans for resurfacing? And what does the Earth have to say on the matter?

That’s the premise of my latest work, and I hope you’ll follow along and see where it goes.

See you next time!


Making a Comeback


Hello everyone

It’s been a while. And I mean… a while. I haven’t posted or written anything since I published Weekend Girl and Far Patrol in 2021. Part of that reason was severe burnout, and part of that was the lackluster response to both of my recent publications. I must say that even though I didn’t expect too much from either of these publications, how badly they tanked was really demoralizing. I suppose part of that is my fault for not promoting them more, but like I said: burnout.

On the other hand, I’m doing great work at finishing my PhD. I just passed my candidacy exams and am starting work on my dissertation. I also have a possible three (!!!) academic publications coming this year. You’re asking why I was burned out, it’s likely because PhD work is hard.

However, I gotta be honest. Finding the willpower to write more after the bad reception to two of my books was pretty much impossible, especially when compared to my academic successes. These two books meant a lot to me for different reasons, and while I sort of understand how niche they are, I also feel like it wasn’t worth it to put so much work into them to have them undersell so badly. And I guess I expected that I would have actually improved in my creative writing and gotten better at marketing. However, my very very first novella (which was kind of awful btw) definitely did better in the market than Weekend Girl or Far Patrol.

Anyway, away from the negative and on to the positive. I want to try and get back to writing because I miss it, even though I still feel mistrustful of the market. I really love creative writing, and one day maybe I will be able to make a proper career of it. So I am getting back in the game and writing once more, although it might be a while before you see the results.

I’ve decided not to work on either the sequel to Far Patrol or the sequel to Weekend Girl until further notice, and I may not work on them for a long time. Still dusting off my bruises here, and would like to recover further from the situation before I start writing on them again. But I am writing on something again and will be trying to find a good home for my next works.

More news on that next time!



Far Patrol Pre-release Day


Hello everyone!

I’m happy to introduce you to a novel that has been years in the writing, revising, editing, and publishing. Far Patrol is finally here!

Cover by Natasha Snow

Far Patrol is a literary novel about dragons and political upheaval. I originally wrote this novel when I was in the hospital for mental health problems, and I won NaNoWriMo 2015 with this novel. As you can see, it took years for me to get up the energy to get it published. I hope you all enjoy the book!

Official Blurb:

Will war tear their family and their country apart?

Ignius Lockden and their companion Kathely are ready for adventure. Joining Far Patrol was only going to be the beginning—they were right, but in all the wrong ways. Suddenly, there’s a war on the horizon and the two of them are stuck in the middle. Ignius wants to do what’s right, but it isn’t easy to tell what actions will lead to the correct ending. How is one young dragon supposed to change the course of history?

Literary/Genre Novel

Non-explicit sexual content

Ace/aro character


Weekend Girl Release Day!!!


Hello everyone,

It is time! I am so proud of this work and I am happy to be able to present you all with Weekend Girl, a contemporary romance that takes place in Vancouver, Canada. This novel is my first with a genderfluid main character.

This is the official blurb:

Ashley Kingston is a genderfluid university student with a major crush on attractive and charming Nolan. He seems just too perfect to be true. What happens when Ash meets Nolan while dressed as both a man, and a woman? And even more confusing, what happens when Nolan seems enamoured of both versions of Ash? A twisty-turny romance filled with fun and shenanigans.

Nbi/M pairing, explicit content, TW: transphobia

If you like this novel, please review it! It would mean a lot to me.

Writing Contemporary Romance


As some of you may be aware, Weekend Girl is my very first contemporary romance novel. I am usually a science fiction and fantasy writer, and while I love the genres of SFF, this story was definitely a contemporary romance.

As a person who loves SFF, I can honestly say that the reason I’m drawn to these genres is the world-building I get to do. I love creating new worlds with different systems of government, economics, and culture. Often, I like the sense of adventure that comes with building these places.

So why did I choose to write a contemporary romance?

I could have given Ash magic, or had it set in some dystopian future. But this story was about the romance and only the romance. A lot of my other stories have elements of uprising and rebellion in them. However, Weekend Girl is not really about politics – other than being about a trans protagonist. I wanted to focus on the romance for this story because non-binary people deserve to be able to have a story about just romance without also having to partake in an anti-establishment uprising.

Maybe in another story I will have a genderqueer protagonist fight the powers-that-be. But in this one, the story revolves around Ash and their own problems and adventures. They get to be the star in this meet-cute romance with charming Nolan. I’m really looking forward to hearing about what readers think of my very first contemporary romance. It is, after all, not my forte!

Look for Weekend Girl on the Ninestar Press website. Release date is June 21!

Weekend Girl Cover


It’s here, folks! I have the cover for my upcoming novel Weekend Girl, being released with Ninestar Press on June 21, 2021.

I’ve been waiting to release the cover, and I’m so excited to start telling you about the novel itself. It’s on the Coming Soon page at Ninestar Press, so it’s official now!

Soon, I hope to introduce you all the characters, setting, and what it’s like for a SFF writer to write contemporary romance!

Here’s the official blurb:

Ashley Kingston is a genderfluid university student with a major crush on attractive and charming Nolan. He seems just too perfect to be true. What happens when Ash meets Nolan while dressed as both a man, and a woman? And even more confusing, what happens when Nolan seems enamoured of both versions of Ash? A twisty-turny romance filled with fun and shenanigans.

It’s my first novel with a genderfluid MC, so it’s extra exciting for me!

Tune in for more later!


To Plan or Not to Plan?


Writing is tough. That’s really obvious to anyone who’s ever had to write anything ever. Writers everywhere have different styles of writing and of planning out their writing. A lot of writers tend to fall into two main camps: architects and gardeners.

What is an architect-style writer versus a gardener-type writer, you may ask.

An architect-style writer will basically plan their writing as best they can before they start writing. I tend to be more of an architect style writer. I come up with an idea and then I try and plot out what happens. Depending on the writer, the outline or planning stage may differ. Some writers will make a point-by-point list-style outline. Some people will brainstorm or mindmap their ideas. Some writers will do freewriting exercises to get their ideas down and then organize them. Some writers will plan out each scene’s purpose and create character arcs in colour-coded charts. The sky’s the limit when it comes to the architect’s planning.

On the other hand, the gardener tends to be more organic. There is very little to no planning, just the ideas in the gardener’s head that then end up on the page. The gardener will write and write without stopping for planning. In fact, for the gardener, planning actually makes it harder for them to come up with ideas! One may wonder how this style of writing could possibly work, but that’s what editing is for. Once a gardener-style writer has their ideas down on paper, then they go back and revise.

Then again, maybe a combination of both types of writer would work as well! For example, for all the architect plans their story, sometimes the characters will do something unexpected and all that planning has to take a sudden turn. Or perhaps the gardener needs just a little planning for an aspect of their riveting-but-confusing detective story. There’s no right way to be a writer. The only real rule is not to give up. We all start somewhere.

What style do you like to use?