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.

Quarterly sales

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Hello all!

Recently got my sales report for this quarter. I’ve been keeping track of my most popular books, and it looks like All the King’s Men has come out on top!

Book cover

I think I’ve mentioned before, but this novel was originally published with Less Than Three Press and was republished with JMS Books in 2019.

I do wonder sometimes what makes a book popular, and what makes it less popular. I know one aspect is the pairing. All the King’s Men is a M/M pairing, and that type of pairing tends to sell more. I think genre probably also has something to do with it. All the King’s Men is a sci-fi/cyberpunk novel as well as a romance novel. I really enjoy writing sci-fi and fantasy, but I know contemporary genres also tend to sell more. Not that this fact will stop me from writing sci-fi and fantasy novels.

I wonder what about All the King’s Men has made it the most popular. It might be the cover, which is one of my favourites of all of them. It might also be the blurb is exciting, or maybe people have read some goodread reviews about it. Ultimately, I’m not really sure; all I can really say is why I liked writing it.

All the King’s Men is a cyberpunk novel heavily influenced by my love of the movie The Matrix. The Cerebrum in my novel functions a little differently than the matrix of the movie, but some of the aesthetics are similar, particularly some of the outfits that the characters wear. The titular King of the novel is a little bit similar to Morpheus as well.

I started writing this novel mostly because I was particularly interested in exploring the theme of identity when it comes to cyberspace. If any of you have read the novel, you know (SPOILER) that the agents of the Cerebrum are not programs, but actual humans who have been brainwashed into thinking they’re all the same, from appearance to purpose. (END SPOILER) There is also the fact that appearance varies in the Cerebrum, and that various governments have attempted to limit the ways in which people can appear in cyberspace, but no one really listens to the law, and it’s not really enforced. So can one really know who’s who in the Cerebrum?

I love chatting with people about themes in books, mostly because I have two degrees in English literature. I was honestly wondering if readers would be interested in hearing some of the themes that I purposefully put in my novels and novellas, or would that be going against Death of the Author too much? To be clear, I wouldn’t be adding post-canon material at all in a blog post.

On the other hand, if anyone is interested in more material from any of my novels, writing a short story to accompany the novel is always a possibility. However, I generally don’t do these types of things unless there’s genuine interest in it.

Anyway, let me know what you think, and as always, happy reading and writing!

Still on a roll

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Hello all!

First of all, I am excited to announce that I submitted a little ficlet titled “No Ordinary Gentleman” to JMS Books, and it was accepted as a Hot Flash submission and should be released sometime in September. It’s about 2500 words long (just a teensy one) and is about a young college instructor who’s been ogling one of his hot coworkers in the hallway.

I’ve been a little bit slow at getting Not Your Average Lady written, even though I’d hoped to get the writing finished by the end of the month. At least I’ve got it planned out and outlined by scene. I’ve been trying to write a little more descriptively when it comes to scenery, as it’s been a critique of my writing that some scenery tends to be a little bit lacking and therefore hard to visualize. I hope it’s been working!

I’ve been planning and outlining the yet nameless novel about the young Black protagonist Lionetta. I’m really excited about this one because I think it will be my first full-length novel with a female protagonist. This one will be a fantasy story with what I hope is a different type of magic system than some of the other kinds one often sees in fantasy novels.

I have put the sequel to Far Patrol on the back burner a bit. I haven’t felt motivated to finish that one yet. I’m hoping that by giving it a break the flow of ideas will return and I’ll be able to finish it a bit later.

That’s the news! Have a good rest of July everyone!

Even More Progress

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Hello all!

Happy to announce that I just submitted Weekend Girl to the same place I submitted Far Patrol. I haven’t heard back about Far Patrol yet because it takes up to 16 weeks for an answer.

I have several more projects to work on over the summer.

First of all, I just started the sequel to Weekend Girl, which I have tentatively titled “Not Your Average Lady.” I am really excited to have started this project and to continue to write about my protagonist Ash and their journey.

After I finish that, I have another project lined up. I have to finish writing the sequel to Far Patrol. I have half of it written so far, so I only have about another 30k words to go on that one. I’m hoping to make Far Patrol a trilogy in the future.

Lastly, I have a wild plot bunny project! I’m working on outlining it right now, but I can tell you that it has a Black woman protagonist and an Indigenous love interest. I’ve decided to call my protagonist Lionetta, which I hope is an okay fantasy project name.

Anyway, hope everyone is staying safe and well during this time.

Thanks for tuning in!

Isolation Writing

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Hello all

I hope you are all safe in this trying time.

I am currently writing during my time in isolation, and I hope I can finish something soon. I’ve had a tough time getting time to write up until now because I am a university lecturer and I’ve just had to switch all my face-to-face courses to online courses over the course of a week. It was not fun, let me tell you.

I have another chapter of Weekend Girl finished. I have only one chapter left to write, and I hope that I can get the last chapter done this weekend. As it is, I’ll soon need beta readers for Weekend Girl. I’m looking for genderfluid and Vancouver BC local LGBTQ peeps as readers, so if you know anyone, please let me know!

I’ve just got a professional beta reader to look at Far Patrol, which I’m really excited about. I also think I know where I will submit this one once it’s revised. This novel has taken me a long time to release to the beta reading world – almost 5 years, in fact. I hope that it goes well.

Once I finish writing Weekend Girl and revising Far Patrol, I will be writing my post-apocalyptic novella Surfacing. It’s been on the back burner for a bit, but I’m also excited about this one.

Anyway, just so you know what to look forward to in the future!

Stay safe, everyone.

Spring 2020

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Hello all,

I’m just updating everyone on the status of some of my works in progress.

First, Weekend Girl is currently 8 chapters finished and needs two more to be complete. I am really excited about this one because it’s my first full length novel about a genderfluid character. Their name is Ash, and they are a student in Vancouver, Canada. They are 20 years old and just wrapping up their third year at UBC when they meet fellow student Nolan on the bus. It’s fun and light-hearted, and my first try at a contemporary novel. I will be getting it beta’d soon, so I’m very excited about that!

Second, I’m still awaiting feedback on my novel Far Patrol, which is about dragons and politics. Not certain where this one will end up, as it’s not really about romance at all. My dragon character Ignius is ace/aro and hsyr rider Kathely is agender pansexual. It’s a more introspective novel, and is very much fantasy.

Lastly, still on the backburner is my novella about a post-apocalyptic society that lives underground. I hope that this one will be next up on my list to finish after Weekend Girl. My main character is bi, and his love interest is a trans gay man.

Just before I go, I’m going to share some news not related to my writing. I have received and accepted a PhD offer from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. I will be joining the English and Cultural Studies department there. I’m really excited about this offer and hope to continue writing while I study and teach!

See everyone later!

Hakusan Angel Rerelease

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Hello everyone!

I’m happy to be able to announce that my third re-release with JMS Books is coming out soon! Hakusan Angel will be released on December 28, 2019.

Here is the marvelous new cover for Hakusan Angel.

hakusanangel

Here’s a quick blurb for the book:

Kaede is a Source, capable of powering a machine with her own energy, but she has been hiding the full extent of her abilities. Given the tenuous relations between her country and their rivals, she fears discovery of her full power would provoke the war that hangs over them. But others disagree, and firmly believe that power like Kaede’s is far too valuable to be hidden away…

Hakusan Angel is a f/f lesbian romance, 26 000 words

PREORDER LINK

Rangers Over Regulus rerelease!

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Hello all,

I’m excited to announce that Rangers over Regulus is going to be re-released on December 14, 2019 with JMS Books! I have a brand new cover for this book, so thank you to the hard-working team at JMS who made it all happen.

rangersoverregulus

Rangers over Regulus was originally released in 2014 and was one of the runners-up for the Rainbow Awards that year. I hope that you all enjoy it.

Here’s a quick blurb for your enticement:

Liberty is a vampire living on a space station on the edge of civilization, a place where only those avoiding attention from the government tend to land. Libs spends his days working for the gangster who runs the place. He is somewhat content with his lot in life.

Riordan Dalhart is a Ranger working as a government enforcer, and he’s been sent to the furthest reaches of the galaxy on a secret mission. Liberty is immediately suspicious of his motives. Whatever his mission, Rory’s presence throws a wrench into the finely-tuned dynamics of the space station as well as upsetting the balance of Liberty’s life.

What is Rory up to and why is he here? Liberty is determined to get to the bottom of this situation… and so is the gangster he works for.

So that’s it! This novel is an m/m gay romance and is about 56k words long. The link to preorder the book is HERE.

Thanks for tuning in, and I hope that you have a great December!

Sky Knights Cover Reveal

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Hello all!

Sky Knights is being republished on November 30, 2019!

Check out the cover:

skyknights

Here’s a quick blurb to entice you:

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.

Just some background info: this is a historical fantasy novella. The Nightwitches were, however, not fantasy. They were a real Soviet bombing squad made up entirely of women. I actually wrote a blog post about it when it was first released HERE.

This novella is 26k words long, f/f, some explicit content.

Sky Knights is available for preorder HERE!

Republishing with JMS Books

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Hello everyone,

I know that it’s been a while since I said I would find a new home for some of my works, but it’s finally happened.

After a lot of careful shopping around for a new publisher, I have decided to rehouse my past publications with JMS Books! JMS Books is, as their logo says, “a queer small press.” They publish all sorts of different genres of LGBTQ+ romance. I am really excited to announce that they have picked up four of my previously published novels/novellas as well as my novella Yaliana, which was in the works to be published, but was never given a release date.

The titles for re-release are as follows:

All the King’s Men

Rangers Over Regulus

Hakusan Angel

Sky Knights

And Yaliana will also be published as a brand new publication.

As soon as I know the re-release dates, I will let you all know. The earliest you will see the first one out is November 2019, as I am getting a quick re-edit, plus brand new covers. Cover reveals will happen as I receive them. 

Thanks everyone for sticking with me while I looked for a new home. I found what I was looking for with JMS Books, and I am happy to recommend them to any former LT3 author also looking to rehome their books.

See everyone on the flip side!