Release date for ATKM

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Good news everyone!

I have a release date for All the King’s Men! It’s July 27th, which I think is a great time for a book to be released, during the height of summer. I’m obviously really excited to have something to look forward to in the future.

My cover art for ATKM is coming next month, so I can share that with everyone soon. I’m always really happy with cover art from Less Than Three Press. LT3 has some pretty amazing artists.

In other news, I’m still slowly working on some other projects while also getting the hang of the bookstore business. If you hadn’t already heard, I now own a bookstore, and I have a new kitten who will be my bookstore kitty. He’s already gotten in a lot of trouble knocking over stacks of books and climbing tokitten1 the top of racks. (I’m also shamelessly going to include many kitten pictures in this post.)

I have one mini project in the works, which is the anthology for Gay Romance Northwest. Their call for this anthology is called Magic and Mayhem which is a charity anthology to help GRNW with their various programming and book donations. The call is for either stories with a pairing of mage/cyborg or soldier/tattoo artist. For those of you who’ve attended the conference in the past, this is from the fun Character Type Love Match game that readers played during the last two years.

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I’m going with mage/cyborg, mostly because I’m a fantasy and sci-fi writer generally. I’m just about 8000 words into it, and it probably won’t be more than 10k words long. That’s due March 31st, so I will be working on that until the end of the month.

My tentatively titled “Far Patrol” ace aro dragon novel is still out on beta. I expect that to take a little while because the novel is almost 60k words long. It’s a pretty hefty one for me, my longest novel to date. The sequel to that is on the back burner while I work on the Magic and Mayhem story.

 

kitten3As usual, I have plot bunnies running amok, and there’s all sorts of story ideas going every which way. But I’m glad to be back to churning out the writing.

 

GRNW 2015

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I had the best time ever this year for the Gay Romance Northwest meet-up 2015 and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

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We had an early start, but luckily, we had planned breakfast at the Sazerac, which was right across the street from the library. We had a huge table of authors and friends, including LT3 authors J.K. Pendragon and Austin Chant, LT3 editor Amanda Jean, Riptide author Heidi Belleau and various friends and writers.

Once we got to the conference, it was non-stop fun and action.

The tireless Tracy Timmons-Gray opened the conference by speaking about “What we Suck at.” A few of us laughed, but Tracy made some very good points about progress that still needs to be made in getting the words out about queer romance. What Tracy talked about, including getting the attention of Amazon, inclusive space for trans people, and getting more LGBTQ+ romances in our libraries, was an all-encompassing topic for the rest of the conference.

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Next, we heard three amazing keynote speakers, who talked to us about “Reading with Pride.” Jessica Blat, Susan Lee, and Austin Chant all had different views on what it really means to “read with pride,” what it meant to each of them personally, and what it should mean to the rest of us.

Jessica Blat

Jessica Blat

Susan Lee

Susan Lee

Austin Chant

Austin Chant

 

 

 

 

 

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This year, the conference kicked off with a little activity, which I particularly enjoyed, and I hope other attendants did too. We were given three questions to ponder, and then answer. We wrote what we thought on sticky notes, and then they were collected and sorted out into categories so that the last panel of the day (my panel) would address these issues. I loved that the audience could participate and voice their own opinion on what was needed in the genre. The questions were: 1) What do you like best about the LGBTQ+ genre? 2) What do you think is missing? 3) How do you want to see it grow?

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Next came the panels! During the morning, there was the Celebrating and Elevating Underrepresented Characters in Queer Romance Fiction panel, which was the panel I attended. The moderator was Tracy Timmons-Gray, and the panelists were authors CJane Elliot, Lane Hayes, J. K. Pendragon,Yolanda Wallace, and Riptide acquisitions editor Chris Muldoon. What the panelists discussed is that the default character for queer romance is a cis gay man, usually white. These panelists discussed how they each branch out from that in their fiction, whether it be writing about a character who is a person of colour, or one of the lesser known queer identities such as ace or trans, or older queer characters. Chris Muldoon pointed out that many publishers would love to include more diversity in what they publish, but that Riptide can only publish what is submitted. The vast majority of submitted work is about cis gay men, and publishers cannot lower their standards just to include a work with a more diverse character. It was my friend J.K.’s first panel, and they did very well answering some very tough, complex questions, as did the rest of the panelists.

Kink panel

Kink panel

Then, J.K., Laurence and I headed upstairs to find the Loving Kink, Hot Kink panel to add some spice to our day. The fourth floor, which is where the panel took place, had bright red hallways and floors, which set the mood nicely.

The panel included moderator Charley Descoteaux and authors Grace R. Duncan, Amelia C. Gormley, Morticia Knight, and Joseph Lance Tonlet. The panel discussed how much responsibility an author has for portraying safe, sane, and consensual sex in kink, and how much to take into account what the reader audience understands about both the kink and BDSM community. The book “That Shall Not Be Named” was brought up to highlight many points, but especially the portrayal of bad BDSM practices as being morally okay, which might lead the audience, which was mainly a vanilla audience that has no previous experience with BDSM, to think that abusive behaviour of doms to their subs is an acceptable practice. The panelists also discussed portrayal of abusive or morally grey actions in novels and how it might fit into world-building, while also addressing that those actions are fine in fiction, but not acceptable real life practices.

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During lunch, the GRNW volunteers put the sticky notes up on the wall to create categories for the panel that I was on, The Evolving LGBTQ+ Romance Genre.

My panel, which was the last one of the day, was moderated by Gunner Scott, and also included my fellow LT3 author Austin Chant, Laylah Hunter, and Karelia Stetz-Waters. This was a great panel to be on, and I’m so pleased that there were such amazing topics brought up. Gunner made his questions by looking at the categories put together from the audience’s answers to the questions asked at the beginning of the day. Just so you all know, none of us had any idea what questions Gunner had come up with, so we had to think on our feet! I felt that we panelists also did very well working together in our discussion, it was a lot of fun.

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What did the audience have to ask us?

We talked a lot about diversity, which is certainly a hot topic in LGBTQ+ fiction right now, as well as the community. It’s very easy to default to writing about gay white guys, but it’s not an accurate portrayal of what the world is really like. Everyone needs to be able to see someone who is like themselves portrayed in fiction, to know that they can do all the same things, can have all the same adventures, and that their narrative is not reduced to their struggles as a minority character. We also discussed the marketing facto

GRNWmypanel2r, which is that if readers don’t buy something, then authors won’t write it, so the best thing that readers can do is buy fiction with diverse characters.

Then, the readers took part in a fun event, in which stock characters (like nurse, firefighter, police officer) went head-to-head with one another in order to choose the final couple, which ended up being mage and cyborg! I wasn’t there, but I heard it was fantastic. I was setting up my table at the Book Fest.

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Luckily, J.K. and I are next to one another in the alphabet, so we shared a table. I had a lot of fun at the book fest, because it was great to meet readers and other authors alike. J.K. and I had a bit of a learning experience while at the book fair this year. Last year, the university book store supplied books, but this year, we had to do it ourselves. What did I learn about book fairs?

First of all, don’t bring so many of the same book. Secondly, readers love anthologies. I had no idea readers loved them so much, so next year, I will bring more (I have tons of my stories in anthologies). Third, bring more postcards with book covers on the front and a blurb/link on the back for my ebooks so that readers can find them. In any event, I think we drummed up some business for our books, so go us!

That was the end of the GRNW meet-up for this year! Sadly, we didn’t go to any of the events afterward, because after valiantly carrying on through the whole conference while feeling sick, J.K. wholly succumbed to the plague. They were very brave.

So that was GRNW 2015, and I hope to see everyone again next year! I have documented my experiences of the conference on Twitter and have posted all my photos on Facebook.

Also, I love social media, so check the hashtags #GRNW and GRNW2015 to see what everyone else at the conference was up to!

See you all again!

 

 

Conference Prep

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Hey everyone, there’s two weeks to go, and I’m still doing some last minute preparation for the Gay Romance Northwest meet-up. So while I was at it, I decided that I might as well put up a blog post about preparing for writing conferences, tell you some new announcements for GRNW, and tell you about the events I’ll be participating in for the conference.

Getting ready for GRNW

Getting ready for GRNW

My preparation for GRNW started ages ago. I’m Canadian, and the conference is in Seattle. That meant I had to renew my passport so that I could cross the border. Also, the friends I’ll be traveling with, J.K. Pendragon and their boyfriend Laurence are also Canadian and needed passports. Luckily, my passport came several weeks ago.

I also needed transport and hotels. I arranged us transport, but it won’t be anything too fancy. We’ll be taking the Beast, which is a 1995 Chevy Silverado. It’s twenty years old and still running well. Also, it seats six people, which is kind of ridiculous, but should fit 3 people, all their stuff, plus merchandise fairly easily. It runs on diesel, so hopefully I can find gas stations along the way that have diesel fuel pumps.

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I also had to order merchandise far in advance. Publishers are only too happy to help authors out on the book front. I also have postcards and posters that I have leftover from last year as well as business cards and magnets I ordered brand new for this year.

GRNW also offered authors the option to donate free giveaway books, which my friend J.K. did, as well as swag giveaways for the gift bags.

This year, I’m taking part in a couple of different GRNW activities.

I’ll be one of the readers for the #LoveWins reading event at Hugo House. I’m really excited about this one, because it’s my second ever reading event. My first one was the Read and Write with Pride event in Edmonton. This time, I will be reading from my novel Rangers over Regulus, as I will be selling it at the Book Market after the conference. The other readers will be Edmond Manning, Radclyffe, Anne Tenino, and Yolanda Wallace.

#LoveWins- Celebrating LGBTQ Love Stories_banner

I’ll also be on the last panel of the day at the conference itself, the Evolving LGBTQ Romance Genre. This one promises to be very interactive and dynamic. What is going to happen is that at the very beginning, everyone gets to write down what they think about where the LGBTQ romance genre should go in the future on a sticky note. The wonderful GRNW volunteers will organize your thoughts into themes, and then the last panel of the day will discuss your ideas! This is going to be a really fun panel, and I’m really glad to be part of it!

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My fellow panelists will be Austin Chant, who is one of my fellow LT3 authors and also one of the GRNW keynote speakers, Laylah Hunter, and Karelia Stetz-Waters. Our moderator will be Gunner Scott, the Pride Foundation’s Director of Programs.

I’m still preparing for all the events! Discussions with my fellow panelists are still taking place, and I haven’t yet decided what section of Rangers over Regulus I’m going to read from yet.

I might be able to fit a new haircut in before I have to drive to Seattle.

GRNW 2015 is coming!

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It’s that time of year again! Officially less than a month away from the Gay Romance Northwest conference in Seattle!

I always make a big deal out of this, because I love going to this conference. It’s only in its 3rd year running so far, but already, the Gay Romance Northwest meet-up is growing and changing. I’m so glad to be a part of this conference about LGBTQ+ romance and fiction. 

As usual, there will be a pre-conference meet-up the evening before and a book reading at Hugo House! Last year was a lot of fun, so I’m looking forward to meeting everyone there! Once again, the conference is at the Seattle Public Library, which has hosted for the previous two years as well. There’s going to be lots of fun panels and activities for readers and writers, including a Pitch session with publishers and a reader meet-up!

Afterwards, there’s going to be a book festival at Hotel Monaco

This year, I’m an Attending Author and have been invited to be on a panel. I’ll be driving down with my friend J.K. Pendragon and their boyfriend Laurence. J.K. is also going to be on a panel this year, which is exciting news for both of us. We’ll both also have booths at the book festival, so come visit us! I think we’ll be sitting at the same table, so it will be easy to visit us both at the same time.

If you love LGBTQ+ romance, then you’ve got to check out all the other Attending Authors as well! There’s lots of amazing authors attending, as well as publishers, editors, and cover artists! 

Gay Romance Northwest has opened registration already, and their early-bird deal is on until August 31st, so hurry and register early for the best deal! I’m ready to go, and there’s still a month till the conference.

Hope to see you there!

Rainbow Awards

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Hello All!

I just found out that my novel Rangers Over Regulus is a finalist in the Rainbow Awards in the Gay Sci-fi/Futuristic category!

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It is a real honour to have even been nominated in the first place, and I can hardly believe that my novel has moved on to the finals.

Of course, my novel is definitely up against some tough competition. Good luck to us all!

And just so you all know, I’m not the only finalist from Less Than Three Press. I’m sure we’re all proud to represent our publisher in a range of different categories.

We also have:

The Only Way by Jamie Sullivan, finalist for the Lesbian Fantasy Romance category

Alpha Trine by Lexi Ander, finalist for the Bisexual General Fiction category

Goblins by Melanie Tushmore

Of Last Resort by Megan Derr

The Calm Before by Neena Jaydon

all finalists for the Gay Fantasy Romance category

The Memory of Blood and Lotuses by E.E. Ottoman, finalist for the Gay Paranormal Romance category

Camelia by Caitlin Ricci and Cari Z., finalist for the Lesbian Contemporary Romance category

and

The Fall Guide by Talya Andor, finalist for the Gay Contemporary Romance category.

I also noted a few authors that I met at the Gay Romance Northwest meet-up also had novels that were in the finals.

Congratulations all around! We’ll have to wait until December to find out the winners, and until then, happy writing everyone!

Gay Romance Northwest meet-up 2014

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Hey all!

I’ve just arrived back home in Vancouver after a weekend in Seattle. I was attending the GRNW meet-up, which was an amazing event in spite of its fledgling status, only in its second year running.

The meet-up took place on the 20th of September, but there were still pre meet-up events taking place on Friday. I arrived early enough on Friday that I had a good wander around Pike Place market and had lunch at French restaurant Maximilien where the waiter informed me that, upon asking to know the catch of the day, “Oh no, you do not want THAT m’moiselle, le saumon is a MUCH better fish!” Of course, I had to take his advice.

Then, I got abysmally lost while trying to find the Drumheller Fountain on University of Washington campus. I was slightly late to the pre-reading meet-up at Flowers bar and restaurant. I was very quickly added to the Less Than Three Press contingent upon my arrival. LT3 editors/authors present were Megan Derr (Head of Operations), Samantha M. Derr (Editor in Chief), Sasha L. Miller (Chief Information Officer), Isabella Carter (author, Dragon Slayer), Talya Andor (author, Signal to Noise), E.E. Ottoman (author, Song of the Spring Monsoon Waning), and Amanda Jean (editor).

After some good (very strong) drinks and some mysteriously-appearing (and quickly disappearing) pita bread, we all wandered over to the University Library for the Queerly Yours reading.

The Queerly Yours readings were excellent, very thoroughly enjoyable. We heard from E.E. Ottoman, Jordan Castillo Price, Rick R. Reed, and Radclyffe. They all kept us on the edges of our seats and wanting to hear more!

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And of course, after that, we all headed over to the District Lounge and had a blast.

And that’s BEFORE the actual conference, which was amazing.

We started off our morning with a few different things. There were writing workshops, a reader’s meet-up and author pitch sessions.

I went to the World Building writing workshop which was moderated by J. Tullos Hennig and featured panelists Talya Andor, Astrid Amara, Ginn Hale, Laylah Hunter and Belinda McBride. What followed was a lively discussion about the world-building process in fiction. Everyone had a different method for how they built up the world their characters lived in, and had great things to say about culture, character design and diversity.

Which brings me to the second writing workshop, which I was a panelist for. I was part of the Diversity in Writing workshop, which was moderated by Marites Mendoza (Marketing and Online Services Coordinator, Seattle Public Library). My fellow panelists were Heidi Belleau, Dena Hankins, and Pearl Love. I think visibility in writing for minority characters is extremely important. We had a lot of fun debating the meaning of the word diversity, giving pointers on writing outside one’s experience and the importance of doing research.

We had a break for lunch in which several of us cleverly decided that getting dim sum was the way to go. Actually, I didn’t decide much. One moment I was in the library and the next I was eating pork buns. Such is the way of life.

Then we moved on to the panels in the afternoon. The keynote address was given by five authors reading letters to their past or future selves. Those taking part were E.E. Ottoman, Rick R. Reed, Jordan Castillo Price, Radclyffe and the sadly absent Rose Christo, who sent a letter ahead anyway to be read aloud by Tracy Timmons-Gray (Events Coordinator and Head Miracle Worker). Their letters were very touching, and I’m sure that many listeners were actually moved to tears.

There were three panel discussions: Writing the Rainbow, Printed Love and The Evolving LGBTQ Romance Genre.

Writing the Rainbow was moderated by Anne Tenino and featured panelists Jove Belle, Ginn Hale, Jordan Castillo Price, Rick R. Reed and Karis Walsh. The discussion included what being a published author is actually like, the things the panelists found difficult to write and why they decided to be romance writers. It was very informative for aspiring young romance writers.

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Next up was Printed Love, which was moderated by Tracy Timmons-Gray and featured publishing industry pros Len Barot (President of Bold Strokes Books), Laura Baumbach (Owner of MLR Press), Tina Haveman (CEO of eXtasy books) and Anne Regan (executive editor of Dreamspinner Press and Harmony Ink Press) and LT3’s very own Megan Derr (Head of Operations of Less Than Three Press). Here, we got an in-depth view of the ins-and-outs of the industry as well as how each made the decision to get into LGBTQ publishing.

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Lastly, I was on the last panel, filling in for Rose Christo. We were moderated by Nicole Kimberling and my fellow panelists were David Matthew-Barnes, Lori L. Lake, Pearl Love and E.E. Ottoman. We had a great time discussing where the future of LGBTQ fiction lay, and what we hoped to see from writers in the future. I think we made some very good points, and I hope to see more writers and readers of LGBTQ fiction in the future.

I said lastly, but after all that, we all traipsed on over to the Hotel Monaco for the Book Fest. We were in alphabetical order, so E.E. Ottoman and I were seated next to each other. I think we spent as much time talking to one another as anyone who stopped by our booths. We were both giving out postcards. Mine were designed on very short notice by London Burden, LT3 cover artist.

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Finally, at long last, we finished off our tour of LGBTQ fiction at the Rendezvous, where we heard several authors do short readings. We heard from Amelia Gormley, David Holly, Z.A. Maxfield, Kate McLachlan, Charlie Richards, Jeffrey Ricker, Tara Spears, Lou Sylvre, Jay Vaughn, L.A. Witt, and Heidi Belleau. The excerpts were wildly exciting and sometimes hilarious, and a good time was had by all.

Thus closed the Gay Romance Northwest meet-up 2014, and I look forward to seeing everyone in the future, hopefully at the next conference in 2015.

Posters and Postcards

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Hey all!

In preparation for my attendance at the Gay Romance Northwest meet-up tomorrow, I’ve prepared some swag that I’d like to show you all!

This poster and postcards were commissioned from the lovely London Burden, Less Than Three Press cover artist and all-around amazing lady. They are for my book Rangers over Regulus.

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And here they are in hard copy, just waiting to be taken to the conference!

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