Dev edits

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Hello everyone,

My dev edits are currently driving me up the wall. Dev edits, or developmental edits, are supposed to help you with the structural aspects of the story you are trying to tell. My story, Yaliana, is a sci-fi lesbian romance. I love this story, but right now, it’s making me crazy.

First of all, I have an issue of nomenclature. I am talking about a different planet with different animals and plants. They are not really named, and my editor tells me that I need to come up with a system of naming these things. The main problem is that these characters have no frame of reference for these animals and plants. My characters have never lived on earth, and most of these animals are dangerous, so my characters’ main concern is not calling them by a name, but rather, staying alive.

Secondly, I have a character who I created who contradicts himself with his actions and words, and this was not done on purpose. I have to rewrite dialogue and different scenes in order to make him more consistent.

Thirdly, I have two stubborn characters who need to either show or reflect on their feelings for one another more openly. Right now, most of the story is focused on the action, whereas romance readers are concerned with the relationship. I need to get them to talk more to each other and more to themselves about their developing love story.

Those are my three problems, and as you can see, they are rather extensive and systemic problems. I’m pretty sure that I can fix them, but it requires a lot of time and energy. Dev edits are really important for worldbuilding, especially in sci-fi and fantasy worlds. I hope to ensure that my novella makes sense by the time I finish.

All the King’s Men Cover Reveal!

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Hello everyone!

I have a couple of announcements to make.

The first is, I just received my cover for All the King’s Men, and I am super excited about it! Check it out! All the King’s Men will be released July 27th, 2016 from Less Than Three Press.

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As usual, Less Than Three Press has done an excellent job, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. All the King’s Men is long enough to have print copies, so I will be getting four amazing author copies in the mail in the future with this amazing cover. I love having physical copies of my work.

The other announcement is that my story that I wrote for the Gay Romance Northwest Magic and Mayhem charity anthology has been accepted! I don’t have a title yet, so I’ll have to brainstorm one up. I’m also very excited that my short story was accepted, because that means I will be an Attending Author for GRNW 2016.

Other than that, I’m still working on the sequel to Far Patrol. I haven’t gotten my editing mitts on for Far Patrol yet, but I’ll probably be working on it over the next few months. I really need to plan out the series arc for this, which I’m finding challenging. I haven’t written a series before, so it’s certainly an interesting learning curve.

I accidentally started writing on a story that’s been kicking around in my head which is about a trans lesbian detective named Louisa and a bisexual prostitute named Maggie who are trying to solve the murder of Maggie’s best friend Beth. I say “accidentally” because I haven’t started world-building or planning out the story arc yet. It just couldn’t be contained. Oh well, now I have to go print out a map of Victorian London. I’m going to make the world greenpunk, which means that this world’s Britain started using sustainable green energy instead of steam and coal power.

Anyway, that is what I’m doing right now. I hope you’re all doing well on your current projects, whatever they may be.

Read and Write with Pride

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Guess who’s going to Edmonton?

I’m going to be taking part in the Read and Write with Pride event taking place at Audrey’s Books Ltd on June 9th. The event starts at 7:00 and runs until 9 pm.

Read and Write Write With Pride-2 copy

So what’s going on?

Seven different local authors will be sharing their fiction, memoirs, and poetry. Who are those authors?

Heidi Belleau
Bio: Heidi Belleau was born and raised in small town New Brunswick, but now lives in Beaumont,
Alberta. A proud bisexual woman, her writing reflects everything she loves: diverse casts of queer
characters, a sense of history and place, equal parts witty and filthy dialogue, the occasional
mythological twist, and most of all, love—in all its weird and wonderful forms.
Chosen Work: Wallflower

Rob Browatzke
Bio: Rob Browatzke (born 1977) is a proud Edmontonian, proud homosexual, and proud writer. His reading and writing tastes vary though, so some books might take you on a comic journey through classic Bible stories, some might be filled with graphic sex and drug use, some might mash-up cherished childhood tales. You never know what you’re gonna get.

Rob has been writing since he was able to pick up a pen, and is excited to finally be sharing some of those words with all of y’all.

He has been working the club scene in Edmonton since the late 90s, and that has definitely enabled him to create some authentic nightlife in his works. Four years sober as of March 2015, he thinks the stories he’s lived himself add some true color to the stories he’s now sharing with the world at large.
Chosen Work: Through the Mirror Ball

Sheldon L’Henaff
Bio: an author blogs through the age of sex, drugs, and techno
Chosen Work: Joy (Maybe This Christmas)

Marc Colbourne
Bio: Originally from Newfoundland, Marc Colbourne comes by his love of tea and storytelling honestly. His non-fiction and fiction addresses themes of social justice and LGBT culture and history. His latest book, Exiled for Love: The Journey of an Iranian Queer Activist, is the memoir of Arsham Parsi.
Chosen Work: Exiled for Love

Marina Reid Hale
Twitter
Bio: Marina Reid Hale is an Edmonton spoken word poet and writer. She can’t remember a time when
she didn’t want to be a writer (with the notable exception of a week in grade two when she wanted toMagazine, the Rat Creek Press, and the #yegwords Coffee Sleeves project, and she has co-written
plays for NextFest, KidsFringe, and OverActing Imaginations. She performs and competes at open
mic nights and poetry events all over the city, and was a 2015 Edmonton Poetry Slam semi-finalist.
Chosen Work: slam poetry piece

Laurie Macfayden
Bio:LAURIE MACFAYDEN has lived in Edmonton since 1984. Her second poetry collection, Kissing
Keeps Us Afloat , was released in September 2014 (Frontenac House). Her debut collection, White
Shirt , won a Golden Crown Literary Society award and was shortlisted for the Lambda Literary
awards. A painter, poet and photographer, MacFayden spent more than 30 years as a sports journalist and continues to work as a copy/web editor at the Edmonton Journal. Her poetry has appeared in The New Quarterly literary journal, FireFall, Queering The Way and DailyHaiku I: A Daily Shot of Zen; and has been performed in Edmonton’s Loud & Queer Cabaret and at Calgary’s Q The Arts cultural festival.
Chosen Work: Kissing Keeps Us Afloat

Alex Powell (pronouns they/them/their)

Bio: Alex Powell is an avid writer and reader of sci-fi and fantasy, but on occasion branches into other
genres to keep things interesting. Alex is a genderqueer writer from the wilds of northern Canada who
loves exploring other peoples and cultures. Alex is a recent graduate of UNBC with a BA in English,
and as a result has an unhealthy obsession with Victorian Gothic literature. Alex has been writing from an early age, but is happy to keep learning to improve on their writing skills. Feedback and comments as well as any questions are appreciated! You can reach Alex at aa.powell.author@gmail.com
Chosen Work: Sky Knights

 I’m really excited for this event, and I’m stoked that I was invited by Heidi to attend!

Anyone in the Edmonton area who is interested in attending, the event is at Audrey’s Books, 10702 Jasper Ave NW.

Here’s the Facebook event if you want to join!

 

 

Hakusan Angel sale!

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Vector Graphic Design Button and Labels Template. Color paint spAs you may know, Less Than Three Press is turning six this month! So there are all sorts of prizes and sales going on to celebrate! There are three things you should know:

  1. All purchases for the month of April mean you are automatically entered into a draw to win a prize
  2. All books are 20% off for the month of April
  3. Every single day of April, a different book will be on sale for 50% off

Today, Hakusan Angel is on sale! 50% off my book all day today (April 26th)! Go check it out!

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Nothing Like Author Copies

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I just received my author copies for the Damsels in Distress collection!

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This is always one of the most exciting parts of getting published, at least for me. I just like having the physical manifestation of my work. There are lots of things one can do with author copies, especially since the writer usually receives at least two copies.

I don’t know what I will do with the extra copy I received. I have a shelf dedicated to my author copies, although there are only six so far. Those ones are mine, and I sort of collect them in a dragon-esque way, like a hoard.

The fun thing about writing for a collection is that you get a physical copy of your work, and OTHER people’s work as well. I’m already anticipating reading everyone else’s stories.

I have received five different anthologies of work so far. I find a different thing to do with all of them.

Three of them are in a library of queer books in Vancouver, because I donated them. If you live in Vancouver, QMUNITY has them.

One of them is at a friend’s house, because they wanted to read all the trans and genderqueer stories in the Geek Out collection.

To be honest, that’s probably what will happen to the second one too. That’s the fun thing about being a queer author of queer books with queer friends: everyone wants to read your stuff.

Anyway, that was just me gloating over my author copies. Sorry about that, but it’s the one thing I don’t mind showing off.

Sky Knights Release!

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Sky Knights - cover-01

Hello everyone!

Today my Second World War novel Sky Knights is being released with Less Than Three Press.

Sky Knights is about two Soviet aviators during the Second World War who have to face all sorts of trials as they fight the Germans as night bombers in the all-female regiment known to the Germans as the Night Witches.

Sky Knights is a historical fantasy, so there is some magic thrown in there, making some of the Night Witches actual witches.

The official summary:

Dounia and Ira are part of the Nightwitches, an elite squad of night bombers determined to help bring down Axis forces. They are proud and fearless—until tragedy strikes and their plane is shot down behind enemy lines, and their determination may not be enough to get them home safe.

Genre: Lesbian romance, historical fantasy, World War II historical fiction

25 000 words, some explicit content

Sky Knights can be purchased as an Ebook HERE

Sky Knights is also part of the Damsels in Distress collection Bundle 2

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The Nightwitches

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I’m still talking about some of the research I did for writing Sky Knights, which is being released on March 25th.

My last post didn’t really touch on the actions of the Night Witches, because I wanted to save it all for this one.

nightwitches

Let me tell you about the Night Witches, or the Nachthexen, as they were known in German. The Germans named them such, because their planes coming in for a bombing run sounded like the whooshing of a broomstick. The Germans were terrified by these nightly assaults, as well they should be.

Marina Raskova

Marina Raskova

The 588th Night Bomber Regiment was one of three all-female air regiments in the Soviet Union’s 4th Air Army. All three regiments were created because of Marina Raskova, who used her influence with Stalin to convince him to allow their creation. The formation commander was Major Yevdokia Bershanskaya, an experienced pilot.

In October of 1943, the 588th was renamed the 46th Taman Guard Night Bombers Aviation Regiment, in recognition of their victories over the Taman peninsula.

Pilots in front of the Polikarpov PO2 biplane

Pilots in front of the Polikarpov PO2 biplane

The Nightwitches flew tiny little wooden biplanes that were meant to be used as crop-dusters or for training. They were very slow, but had a few very notable advantages. One of which was that the highest speed of the Polikarpov PO-2 was still slower than the stalling speed of both the Messerschmitt Bf 109 and the Focke-Wulf Fw 190, the two German planes in most use. Another was that they could absorb quite a large amount of damage before going down.

There were a couple downsides. One, the plane could only carry two people, and the cockpit was open. Another was that the Polikarpov PO-2 didn’t have any navigation equipment, radar, radio, or even parachutes. It could only hold six bombs at a time.

Nadezhda Popova

Nadezhda Popova

The Nightwitches used a certain tactic against the Germans that was not only very effective in hitting bombing targets, but also in terrifying their enemies. This tactic was to cut or idle the engines of their plane, swoop in without the sound of their engine to give them away, drop their bombs, and then restart their engines in mid-flight. So the only warning that the Germans would get of their enemy’s incoming bombs was a swooshing noise before incendiary death came down upon them.

One of the most highly decorated members of the Nightwitches was Nadezhda Popova, the leader of the 2nd Women’s Regiment, who was given the distinction of the Hero of the Soviet Union, the Gold Star medal, the Order of Lenin, and three Orders of the Red Star. She made a total of 852 sorties over the course of the war. She was shot down three times, but was never badly wounded. Once, she made a supply run to drop food, water, and medical supplies to trapped forces and nearly didn’t make it back. On her return, she found her plane riddled with bullets, including her helmet, and her map! She survived the war, and lived to the ripe old age of 91.

Yevgeniya Rudneva

Yevgeniya Rudneva

Another of the Nightwitches was a navigator named Yevgeniya Rudneva, who was also decorated with the Hero of the Soviet Union. She was a third year university student studying mechanics and mathematics at Moscow State University when the war broke out. She was also a member of the Astronomical-Geodesical Society and Head of the Solar Department. She wrote to the head of the Astronomy department to tell him she was defending the honour of the university, as the Germans had dropped bombs on the university faculty building. She and her pilot were taken down by flak on her 645th combat mission.

These are just two examples of members of the Nightwitches, one pilot and one navigator, just like my characters Dounia and Ira.

I found out while researching that in 2001, there were plans to make a movie about the Nightwitches that fell through because American studios didn’t think it was feasible to market a movie in which the Nazi advance was halted by a bunch of teenage girls. It’s no wonder that women’s history is mostly forgotten if their stories aren’t told alongside men’s.

But I’m here to tell you that it did happen, and those ladies were pretty heroic.

My upcoming release of Sky Knights, starring my lesbian aviators Ira and Dounia, is to be released in just a few days. You can still preorder and save 15%.