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Hello all!

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I’m just writing a very quick blog post to announce the winners of the June 10th draw for the print copies of All The King’s Men.

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I wrote down the number of comments on a piece of paper, flipped them all over and mixed them up before drawing three numbers which correspond to the comments on the blog in order from earliest to latest.

The three numbers were 19, 17, and 3.

Those numbers corresponded to comments by Toni, JenF27, and Reiko Meyers. 

Congratulations on your win! Please email me at aa.powell.author@gmail.com and give me an address which I can mail your print copy to.

The next giveaway will be held on June 17th! All of those people who commented previously are still in the draw to win either a print copy of Damsels in Distress vol 2 or A Loose Screw vol 2. 

Anyone can still enter my draw for next week by commenting on my 5 Year Anniversary post!

Thanks everyone for entering!

Read and Write with Pride 2015

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So I want to tell you all about the Read and Write with Pride event that just happened, because I’m so excited about my first reading event. I’ve read things aloud in the past, and I have no issues with public speaking. But I’ve never read my own work to an audience before!

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It wasn’t as nerve-wracking as I thought it would be.

This all started two weeks ago when my friend Heidi Belleau, a very well-known author who writes for Riptide Publishing invited me to this event. Of course, I accepted the invitation immediately.

This week was Pride week in Edmonton, hence the Pride reading event. We had quite the array of authors reading, which was great fun.

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Danielle, our lovely host from Audrey’s Books introduced us all. Audrey’s is an awesome little local bookstore, and it has an entire LGBT section! I was really happy to see that.

First up was Rob Browatske, a local author who opened us up with a trip down the rabbit hole with the first chapter of his book Wonderland. This excerpt took us deep into the psychedelic gay club scene.

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I was up next. I read an excerpt from Sky Knights, which is my lesbian fighter pilot novel. I read a fight sequence, which are always my favourite to write, and I have a feeling also my favourite to read.

Next was Marc Colbourne, who read from the memoirs of gay Iranian activist Arsham Parsi in Exiled for Love. We were given a real look at how a gay man in Iran comes to terms with his sexuality.

We inter-spaced our prose with some poetry. Marina Reid Hale performed some slam poetry for us. My personal favourite was one that didn’t have a title, but was about bisexuality.

Next up was Sheldon L’Henaff, who read from his gay fiction piece Joy (Maybe this Christmas), which is a Christmas story that involves drinking, dancing drag queens, and a very naughty Santa.

Heidi Belleau, our event organizer, went second to last. She read from Wallflower, which features a genderqueer protagonist! The section that she read from that made me laugh, and most of the audience as well!

Lastly, Laurie MacFayden, well-known local poet read us some poetry from her books White Shirt and Kissing Keeps us Afloat. She has some fun, quirky poetry about romance, but I particularly loved the poem “White Shirt,” about picking someone up at a bar.

I think our event was a great success, and I’d love to do another reading like this anytime!

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.

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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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Choosing Your Publisher

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This is certainly a process, and is not done lightly.

I found my publisher, Less Than Three Press, because my good friend of ten years, J.K. Pendragon, recommended them to me.

However, I did not chose my publisher based on hearsay. I made sure that the publisher I had found was the publisher that I really wanted. There are a few specific things that I made sure to look for when I checked out their website.

Content: I am a writer of LGBTQ fiction and romance. I wanted to make sure that the publisher that I chose was aligned with my views on that. I’ve heard horror stories of other publishers that straight-washed good queer stories, or rejected stories based on queer content. Luckily, LT3 is actually an LGBT romance publisher, and is actively trying to expand their repertoire to include many different minority groups including trans and genderqueer stories, asexual and aromantic stories, and bisexual stories, not just gay and lesbian. LT3 also accepts many different sub-genres, which makes it easy for me to write fantasy and science fiction works with LGBTQ characters.

Royalties: I checked to make sure the publisher has a good royalty system in place. This makes certain that I am paid properly for my works. Make sure that you know the market before you decide on a publisher. Are they paying the standard royalties? How are they paying? Based on percentage, by the word, on a one-time payment/lump sum deal? Don’t settle on a publisher if you’re unsure of what you will be paid and how. Make sure you know how they mean to pay you as well.

Contract: A contract protects both the author and the publisher by ensuring that all the bases are covered. That includes making sure that there is a promise to publish your work, that you will do all the work required to have it published, and that your rights will revert to you after a certain period of time. This will include the royalty rates, deadlines, when your work will be published, when you will be paid (ie quarterly, monthly, etc). Read this very carefully, as you will have to ensure that you are protected in all circumstances. If you are unsure for any reason, get someone with a legal background to check it over for you.

Marketing: I always check to see how publishers are marketing their books. The one thing that I always check is to see how their website is run. If it’s accessible, easy to use, if I like how they’ve presented their books. How easy it is to make a purchase, if it’s easy to contact them. If they have any promotions or sales on, how interesting I find their collection and anthology calls. I also check to see which social media sites they use for marketing. Are they going to events, conventions or conferences? Check all these things out, because if you sign a contract with them and you want to be successful, you will have to be able to market efficiently, and it’s easier if your publisher also knows how to market their work.

Those are the main reasons that I went with my publisher, and I intend to stick by them. Not all small publishers are built the same, so choose wisely.

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.