End of Summer update

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Hello all! I’ve been MIA for a bit, and I want to explain a bit.

I’ve been having a hard time with chronic exhaustion, which as of yet does not have an explained cause. I’ve been to the doctor, had numerous blood tests and even undergone a test for sleep apnea. The doctor is still trying to diagnose me with something so that we can treat my tiredness. Just so you all have an idea of how this is affecting me, I haven’t been able to concentrate or focus on anything for any length of time. I’ve been missing work, haven’t been able to do any of my Masters coursework and haven’t done any writing or editing since late July. It’s been very stressful and frustrating for me. I’ve been slowly trying to do some work again, and I hope by September I’ll at least have a doctor’s diagnosis for my problem.

Now that that’s out of the way, on to more happy news.

So, a little while ago I put out a call on Twitter for artists to do an art exchange with me – my writing in exchange for art. To my surprise, someone actually answered me!

Reiko Meyer was interested in doing an art exchange with me, and nothing could make me happier, because I’m actually terrible at art. There’s nothing I want more than to have amazing fanart of my characters, but my artwork is laughable. So, in the hopes of finally having fanart, I made a call, and Reiko answered.

Ta-da! This is Yaliana. Reiko did an amazing job. I love it an incredible amount, and I hope to do many more art exchanges with her in the future!

Yaliana

This is also a call for any other artists out there who would like to do an art exchange. I’m a writer who is willing to write from pretty much any prompt in exchange for artwork.

If that’s something you are interested in, email me at aa.powell.author@gmail.com

And lastly, I have the final cover art for Yaliana! I’m really excited about it as well, because as usual, LT3 Press has outdone themselves with their cover art.

Here it is!

Yaliana final

So I’m still doing my best to get the editing for Yaliana finished so that we can get a release date for it. I’m getting it done slowly, but it’s been difficult, as outlined by my tiredness issues above.

I hope that next time I talk to you, I’ll be able to tell you that I’m back on track!

Gay Romance Northwest 2016

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Hello all,

Bringing to you today the events from the Gay Romance Northwest meet-up that happened yesterday. 

The event started off with everyone registering for the conference and finding the people they knew. I found the trans panel contingent as well as some other friends, such as Kelly Haworth, a Riptide author.

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Then, we started off with an intro from the Seattle Public Library, which was hosting the event. Then Tracy Timmons-Grey, our lovely and dedicated organizer said a few words.

Then, we moved on to the terrifying part, which was the keynote speeches. Richard Compson Sater went first, and he talked about being a young man and falling in love with some of the non-queer characters in books, such as Atticus Finch. Then I went, and I talked about being young and not being able to find queer characters in books to reflect who I truly was. Then Tobi Hill-Meyer went and talked about trans issues in the queer community. Our speeches will be posted on the GRNW blog as well as the recordings of the speeches.

Then, we moved right along to our panel, which was Trans Authors on Characters, Stories, and Industry. The moderator of our panel was Austin Chant, and our panelists were Tobi Hill-Meyer, Laylah Hunter, E.E. Ottoman, J.K. Pendragon, and myself. We had a great time with our panel, and some of the questions asked were things such as how being trans affected our writing and what were our experiences with publishing as trans authors. I felt like some of my answers were more basic while other panelists such as Tobi had more in-depth answers. But I still had fun with the panel, especially talking about our favourite tropes.

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After that, we went to the Erased no More: Bisexual Characters in LGBTQ Romance panel. The moderator was E.J. Russell, and the panelists were Dev Bentham, Charley Descoteaux, CJane Elliot, Amanda Jean, and Morticia Knight. I’d wanted to check out the panel about writing a series, but that discussion was full. The bisexual panel was still fun, touching on issues such as stereotypes, pushback about writing bisexual characters, and the gay-for-you trope, which Amanda suggested should be changed to the bisexual revelation trope.

We went to the bookfest on the 4th floor after that, which was fun. I got to talk to a lot of people, sign some books, and give away some swag. I was sitting next to J.K. Pendragon and E.E. Ottoman, so we got to talk a lot. During the last part of the bookfest, I went and bought some books, The Mechanical Universe trilogy by E.E. Ottoman, and The Admirer, a murder mystery by Karelia Stetz-Waters which I got signed by the authors.

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Then we went to the Rendezvous for the after party. Last year we missed the after party because we were so tired. There were several readings, and I went up and read from Rangers over Regulus, which was an impromptu reading. 

And that’s all folks! We had a great time and were exhausted afterwards, but I think this year’s Gay Romance Northwest meet-up was a great success.

TransFics and Love Bites!

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Hello all! I just got back to the hotel after the TransFics and Love Bites readings at Hugo House! We had a wonderful time, and J.K. Pendragon and myself did readings, as well as everyone else on the Trans Authors panel.

Austin Chant went first, and he read from his trans retelling of Peter Pan. We got to hear a lot of witty banter between Peter and Captain Hook, who are lost together. It was a very funny reading, and there was a bit of (one-sided???) sexual tension near the end to entice us to read more.

Next up was Tobi Meyer Hill, who read from her upcoming anthology Nerve Endings. It featured a very interesting sex party in which the main character was uncertain and nervous about being there. It all ended happily for her in the end, however.

Then Laylah Hunter read from a military fantasy novella work in progress in which the main character has lost his memory after a crash-landing, and one of his comrades came to his rescue. Were they more to each other or not? We’ll have to read it when it comes out to find out!

E.E. Ottoman read from their novel Documenting Light in which one of the characters takes a long walk in the park and has an intense inner struggle after having a fight with his lover. It was very angsty, and it really made you feel for the poor character!

J.K. Pendragon read from Witch, Cat & Cobb, a trans lesbian fantasy novella starring a runaway princess, a talking cat, and a reluctant witch. They read a section in which the princess wakes up to the witch yelling in the garden right after she had stayed the night after running away from the castle to escape an arranged marriage.

Lastly, I read from Charmed by Chance, which is in the charity anthology Magic & Mayhem. I read a section from the very beginning of the story in which the main character Merritt meets Verity, who is the mech mage who helps to fix his prosthetic hand. I chose the mage x cyborg pairing for my story, as you can probably tell.

We had a short break, and then we went right on to the Love Bites readings!

The first reading was by Karelia Stetz-Waters, who read from Slack Tides, which is also in the Magic & Mayhem anthology. She chose the soldier x tattoo artist pairing for her story. She read a steamy scene between her main character, who is surprised and pleased to find that her lover is as skillful in bed as on the battlefield.

Next up was Richard Compson Sater, who read from his upcoming novel, Rank. His main character is the aide of a very handsome General, and in the section he read, the main character and the General share a very suggestive dance. 

Isabella read from her story involving a lesbian yakuza gang leader who sees her ex-lover at a club trying to catch a new lover. Her character doesn’t like this, and she moves in to take charge. Luckily, her former partner isn’t as adverse to this as you might think. Bring a fan to this one, because it is hot!

Cora Walker read from her lesbian urban fantasy novel, which is coming out from Less Than Three Press! She read a section in which her two characters, a detective and a templar have some down time.

CJAne Elliot read from one of her novels, in which her main character has just been caught in a compromising position with a professor and a player by the guy he likes. He has to chase after him and explain what happened. Will he get his man, or won’t he? Those of us who attended the reading know!

Jeff Adams read from his novel Hattrick, in which his main character shares a room with one of the other boys on his hockey team. He not only had to navigate the treacherous waters of teen romance as well as tackling the issue of being gay. 

Dev Bentham read a funny section from her story from the charity anthology One Pulse about a bisexual character who runs into a teacher of his daughter’s at a LGBTQ meeting. The two share a second meeting, and the main character awkwardly and hilariously stumbles through a greeting.

That was the end of the readings. We had a great time, but I am tired now, so I am going to go to bed. Hopefully I see some of you at the conference tomorrow! 

Catch you all later!

 

 

Magic and Mayhem release date!

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Hello everyone,

Today is the release date for the Magic and Mayhem charity anthology which benefits the Gay Romance Northwest meet-up!

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The anthology includes my short story Charmed by Chance, which is a cute little story about a cyborg who meets a mage and is instantly smitten. I’m really excited about this story because it features a genderqueer character and a bisexual character. It’s supposed to be short and sweet, so I hope it delivers! 

You can buy the anthology on Amazon or on Smashwords.

Cyborg characters

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I’m writing this blog post because in just a few days, my story Charmed by Chance is coming out in the GRNW charity anthology Magic and Mayhem.

The theme of the anthology was based off the character matching game from past GRNW meet-ups. The pairings for the stories in the anthology were to be either mage/cyborg or soldier/tattoo artist.

So, spoilers, but I chose the pairing of mage/cyborg.

The reason I wanted to talk about cyborg characters is that I find them very interesting. I’ve written characters with cybernetic enhancements before, but not exactly in this way. In this story, my character has a prosthetic arm which he finds himself without the use of as the plot moves forward.

It brings me to this: technically, a cyborg can be counted as a character with disabilities. I haven’t really written a disabled character before. My other character, who is technically a cyborg, is mostly cybernetically enhanced, and those enhancements are used in the line of duty. He doesn’t find himself without the use of his enhancements, and can’t really be separated from them anyway.

My character Merritt, on the other hand, does find himself without the abilities that the arm brought him. He’s back to the point at which he lost his arm in the first place, which shows that cyborgs can only count on their enhancements to a certain point.

I don’t think most people think of cyborg characters as disabled, because their enhancements are superior to the flesh and bone that humans are born with. The enhancements that they are given put some of their abilities ahead of a normal person’s. I think that people don’t like to think of a physically disabled person’s abilities as superior to a person without them.

I tried to explore the idea of characters with cybernetic enhancements in sync with a character with a physical disability. I hope that I did it well in spite of the shortness of the story.

Any thoughts on cybernetic enhancements, cyborgs, or physical disabilities? Feel free to voice them in the comments!

Charmed by Chance

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Hello everyone!

I’m really excited, because my short story Charmed by Chance is coming out in September! September 6th, 2016 to be exact, for the Gay Romance Northwest charity anthology Magic and Mayhem, which can be preordered here.

Look, here’s the cover!

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There are going to be seven other authors who wrote stories for the anthology, as well as essays from past conferences. The theme for the anthology was either the pairing of mage/cyborg or soldier/tattoo artist, which were the character match pairings from previous years at the GRNW meet-up. It should be a great anthology. Here’s the line-up for the anthology:

STORIES:

“Broken Art,” by Dev Bentham
“Caroline’s Heart,” by Austin Chant
“Demonica,” by Megan Derr
“The Hollow History of Professor Perfectus,” by Ginn Hale
“Fade to Black,” by Josh Lanyon
“Charmed By Chance,” by Alex Powell
“Sun, Moon, and Stars,” by E.J. Russell
“Slack Tide,” by Karelia Stetz-Waters

ESSAYS:

“Romance for the Rest of Us,” by Jessica Blat
“Sad Queer Characters and the Revolution of Joy,” by Austin Chant
“Dear Rose,” by Rose Christo
“How to Get LGBT Romance Books Into Libraries” by Marlene Harris
“So What is “Character-Type Love Match” Anyway?” by Nicole Kimberling
“My Road to Romance,” by Susan Lee
“To My Future Self,” by E.E. Ottoman
“What I’ve Learned,” by Jordan Castillo Price
“Dear Len,” by Radclyffe
“A Letter to My Former Self,” by Rick R. Reed
“Five Things We Learned Running A Queer Romance Event (and the One Thing We Still Need to Do)” by Tracy Timmons-Gray

That’s all I wanted to announce! Have a good day everybody!

All the King’s Men release day!

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Hello everyone!

Today is an exciting day, because it is the release date for All the King’s Men!

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All the King’s Men is now available on the Less than Three Press book market! Check it out!

Also, don’t forget to check out the mini blog hop going on right now for a chance to win a signed copy of All the King’s Men as well as a $20 gift certificate to the Less Than Three Press book market! All you have to do is comment on one of the blog posts and then enter the Rafflecopter draw. There is a stop on my blog here if you want to enter, and today’s stop is at Hearts on Fire!