Weekend Girl Release Day!!!

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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

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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

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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!

PREORDER LINK

To Plan or Not to Plan?

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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?

Strong Female Characters

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It probably isn’t much of a secret that I love writing kick-ass female characters. Some of my past badass ladies include not only main characters such as the Level 1 source Kaede, Sergeant-to-rescuer Yaliana, and war heroes Ira and Dounia, but also side characters such as sharp-shooting Stella and snarky Bei Bei. I love writing women who can hold their own in whatever arena they choose in life, from combat to magic to academia.

However, my bad-ass ladies, while bad-ass, are not perfect.

For those of you have read my works, you know that Kaede is a bit standoffish, Yaliana is impulsive, and Dounia holds a grudge. They make mistakes in their respective stories that can lead to unfortunate consequences. The main thing about my girls is that they learn from their mistakes. They try and fix their mistakes. Things don’t always go as planned, but they don’t give up.

I try to make my female characters as realistic as I can in the world they inhabit, and that means that they are dynamic and while they have flaws, they aren’t going to stay that way. Or, in the very least, they learn to either control or manage their weaknesses.

I guess my problem with so many so-called “strong” female characters is that they are physically strong but otherwise static. One good example of this problem is Lara Croft. Don’t get me wrong – I love Lara Croft. I’ve been playing Tomb Raider since it first came out in the 90s. But the original Lara Croft could fight and was smart, but she didn’t really change over time. She was just “perfect” without having flaws.

As a kid, I loved Lara. She out-shot and out-smarted all the men and looked awesome doing it. But real women should be allowed to make mistakes, to be imperfect. And female characters should be allowed to do the same.

Love for Love Rampage

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It’s been a while since I gave some love to my past publications, so I’m going to do a post about one of my early works. Love Rampage is a short, sweet story about a trans girl named Maira who is secretly in love with a friend named Carol. She is too shy to admit it, especially to Carol herself.

Maira has a slight obsession with unicorns. What does Maira do when a real live unicorn shows up and demands that Maira confess her love to Carol? And even worse, what can Maira do when a demon shows up?

The cover for Love Rampage, originally commissioned by Less Than Three Press.

I love this short story because Love Rampage is my first (but not last) story about a trans woman. I originally wrote this story for the Geek Out collection, a call for short stories put out by now-closed publisher Less Than Three Press.

The cover design was done by London Burden. Unfortunately, I cannot find a website for London’s work anymore.

This short story is now self-published HERE!

Get Over It: Writer’s Block

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I hate writer’s block. It’s one of the worst things to have to deal with as a writer. I know, a lot of writers have advice on how to deal with writer’s block, and there are a lot of solutions out there.

One of my very favourite ways to try and break out of writer’s block is to imagine the very worst thing that could possibly happen to the main character in the moment and write that. A lot of what happens in my stories comes from exactly that. I have to think of a terrible thing to do to my character, and THEN I have to think of how to get my character out of that situation. It’s fun to write, and hopefully entertaining to the audience.

Another thing I try to remember is that every scene should have a purpose in the story. The purpose can be a lot of different things, but ultimately, a scene should drive the action forward somehow. As a giant nerd in the department of English, I kind of think of writing fiction like writing an essay. You have a thesis or argument, and everything should tie back to that main point. That’s how I think of scenes – if they don’t fit into the main story, then it’s not going to be useful. If I include something cool but useless, than it doesn’t actually help the story.

Sometimes if I’m having writer’s block on one project, I’ll work on another one for a while and let the problem with the other one percolate. Sometimes if I just leave it for a bit, an idea will come to me for how to resolve it. Usually, it’s because I realize that in order to drive the story forward, something has to happen in a certain way.

Of course, other times, my characters just get away from me and do what they like. And I guess that’s fine, but it sure is annoying when you have something plotted out and the character ruins it. Does that ever happen to you? Do characters ever just decide to do something without your input? At least it helps with not having anything written down.

So those are my ideas, but I’m sure there are so many others! Feel free to tell me in the comments.

2021 Projects

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Hello all,

Happy New Year! Hopefully we’ll have a good year ahead of us. I have some fun plans for the future, and I’ll take the chance now to talk about them.

The first is that I’m writing the sequel to Weekend Girl. If you recall, Weekend Girl is a novel I wrote about a genderfluid student at UBC. They meet a cute guy and commence a confusing and hilarious romance. It’s my first contemporary romance, and this sequel is the second in what I hope will be a series. Anyway, Ashley Kingston returns in this sequel, tentatively titled Not Your Average Lady. So far, I have about a third of the novel finished.

Second, I’m working on the sequel to Far Patrol, which is looking to be a trilogy. The sequel sees Ignius and their friends becoming more world-wise in the face of a civil war. Originally, I was going to have draconic pronouns, but it turns out that it was a little more complicated and hard to understand than I thought. So I changed the pronouns to they/their/them. The pronouns will still exist, just in the rarely used draconic language.

I have quite a few projects on the back burner, so it’s unlikely I’ll ever run out of projects to work on! Right now, I have quite enough on my plate. Apart from being a writer, I’m also a PhD student, which takes up a lot of my time.

Good luck in the New Year, everyone!

Xmas Giveaway Winner 2020

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Hello everyone!

I’d just like to announce that the winner for the Christmas Giveaway this year is FantasyLiving (@flyawayfairy)! Congratulations, you have won a $25 gift certificate to JMS Books!

Thank you all for taking part in this Christmas Giveaway, and I hope we’ll see you again next year.

This is the giveaway feed for when I drew the name!

Thank you for being such good readers and I’ll see you again in the New Year!

Christmas Giveaway!

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Hello all!

I have a Christmas giveaway going on for exactly one month starting today. I will make the draw on December 25th, 2020. The prize for this giveaway is a $25 gift certificate to JMS Books.

So, how do you enter? Easy peasy. I have three different places you can enter by leaving a comment. The first is here on my author webpage on this post. The second is on my Twitter post announcing this giveaway. The third is on my Facebook post announcing the giveaway. I will write your name on a piece of paper and draw it out of a hat, old-school style.

What should your comment be about? I have a list of questions for you. Choose one and answer it in the comments of whatever platform you like. You can enter up to five times by answering different questions in separate comments. Please don’t cheat and leave more than five answers on different platforms. I have no way of making sure this doesn’t happen, so I’m appealing to your sense of fairness.

Here are the questions!

  1. Who is your favourite LGBTQ+ author?
  2. What is your favourite LGBTQ+ book (with LGBTQ+ MC)?
  3. When did you start reading LGBTQ+ books?
  4. Do you have a favourite romance trope? (ie “there’s only one bed” or “pretend relationship”
  5. Where’s your favourite place to read?

Okay! Make sure to share with friends!

Merry start of the Christmas season everyone! (And other winter holidays too)