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.

2021 Projects

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Hello all,

Happy New Year! Hopefully we’ll have a good year ahead of us. I have some fun plans for the future, and I’ll take the chance now to talk about them.

The first is that I’m writing the sequel to Weekend Girl. If you recall, Weekend Girl is a novel I wrote about a genderfluid student at UBC. They meet a cute guy and commence a confusing and hilarious romance. It’s my first contemporary romance, and this sequel is the second in what I hope will be a series. Anyway, Ashley Kingston returns in this sequel, tentatively titled Not Your Average Lady. So far, I have about a third of the novel finished.

Second, I’m working on the sequel to Far Patrol, which is looking to be a trilogy. The sequel sees Ignius and their friends becoming more world-wise in the face of a civil war. Originally, I was going to have draconic pronouns, but it turns out that it was a little more complicated and hard to understand than I thought. So I changed the pronouns to they/their/them. The pronouns will still exist, just in the rarely used draconic language.

I have quite a few projects on the back burner, so it’s unlikely I’ll ever run out of projects to work on! Right now, I have quite enough on my plate. Apart from being a writer, I’m also a PhD student, which takes up a lot of my time.

Good luck in the New Year, everyone!

Christmas Giveaway!

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Hello all!

I have a Christmas giveaway going on for exactly one month starting today. I will make the draw on December 25th, 2020. The prize for this giveaway is a $25 gift certificate to JMS Books.

So, how do you enter? Easy peasy. I have three different places you can enter by leaving a comment. The first is here on my author webpage on this post. The second is on my Twitter post announcing this giveaway. The third is on my Facebook post announcing the giveaway. I will write your name on a piece of paper and draw it out of a hat, old-school style.

What should your comment be about? I have a list of questions for you. Choose one and answer it in the comments of whatever platform you like. You can enter up to five times by answering different questions in separate comments. Please don’t cheat and leave more than five answers on different platforms. I have no way of making sure this doesn’t happen, so I’m appealing to your sense of fairness.

Here are the questions!

  1. Who is your favourite LGBTQ+ author?
  2. What is your favourite LGBTQ+ book (with LGBTQ+ MC)?
  3. When did you start reading LGBTQ+ books?
  4. Do you have a favourite romance trope? (ie “there’s only one bed” or “pretend relationship”
  5. Where’s your favourite place to read?

Okay! Make sure to share with friends!

Merry start of the Christmas season everyone! (And other winter holidays too)

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!

Summer 2020

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Hello everyone,

I’m just tuning in to let you all know of the progress happening with my WIPs.

Unfortunately, a lot of stuff is being put on hold because I’ve been focused on the Black Lives Matters movement. I think this issue is of great importance. I’m so so worried about my Black siblings who have been put in the line of fire simply for asking people not to kill them. It’s devastating to me that their lives are not held as precious as any other. I will not be taking comments against this movement on my page. If you don’t agree, the unfollow button is right there.

I’ve submitted Far Patrol and am awaiting a response. I’m really excited to hear back. As I said before, a LBGTQ+ beta reader helped me with this work and does amazing work in the community. That is Siobhan Crosslin (@siobhancrosslin on Twitter) who made sure that all my plotholes were covered before submitting.

I have finished and gotten feedback on Weekend Girl and am just giving it a little time before revising my draft. I’m really excited to also submit this work for publication. It will be my first novel-length story with a genderfluid protagonist.

I will be starting to write on both the sequel for Far Patrol and the sequel for Weekend Girl in the coming months. I hope to be able to update you all with further progress on these projects.

Thanks for tuning in!

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

New Titles Up

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Hello everyone!

First of all, I’d like to thank you for being patient while I reformatted some of my previous work. Secondly, I would like to bring you two of my previously published works as self-published works.

The first is Love Rampage!

Love Rampage - cover2-01

Love Rampage is a trans romance about love and acceptance. 

Maira is a trans woman with feelings for a girl named Carol, who she believes will never love her. Being shy and awkward are the least of Maira’s problems. Maira thinks that nothing will ever change until she is kidnapped by a unicorn who claims that Maira must profess her love to Carol. Maira is skeptical, but can love win in the end?

Love Rampage is a short story of about 11k words and is trans f/f urban fantasy story. 

For only $0.99 you could own it today!

Originally published by Less Than Three Press for the Geek Out Collection, Love Rampage is being republished as a self-publication HERE.

Next up is a free read!

Charmed by Chance

Charmed by Chance is another romance involving a fairly hopeless mechanical design student named Merrit who sometimes has problems when dating mech mages. However, one mech mage comes along who doesn’t seem to mind Merrit’s quirks. In fact, Verity, the genderqueer shop owner who fixed up Merrit’s mechanical hand, seems to like it. But what happens when terrible circumstances befall Merrit? Can he and Verity overcome everything and be happy?

This short story is absolutely FREE to download.

Charmed by Chance is another trans romance with a m/nb pairing. 8k words. 

Download HERE

Thanks everybody for tuning in! 

Hiatus over?

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Hello all!

It’s good to be back!

I’m sorry for being gone for so long. I was mostly working on my education, so I hope you will forgive me. I am graduating from UNBC with an MA in English on May 31st!

Anyway, that’s exciting for me. But what’s exciting for you guys is that I am back to work on creative writing stuff! I am currently finishing up dev edits on Yaliana that I was supposed to finish up over a year ago. Now that it’s back on track, I will probably be able to give you an update on publication dates soon!

Not only that, check this out!

Read and Write with Pride Turns 5

I’m doing a reading event in Edmonton again! It’s the annual Read and Write with Pride happening with some great LGBTQ writers in attendence. I’m excited about that, but I still don’t know what I’m going to be reading! I’ll let everyone know closer to the date.

There are so many things I’m working on right now, but I will have time this summer to work on creative writing, and hopefully taking a gap year between MA and PhD will give me lots of time to write.

I’ll tell you more about projects as they develop!

For now, glad to see you all!

Pride Prince George

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Hello everyone!

Just this weekend, I was able to attend Prince George Pride! I had an author booth at the festival, which I thought was fun. I saw a lot of people I know in the community, and it was great to see everyone out in celebration and resistance.

I think my time at the Pride festival was moderately successful. I sold a few books of mine, including a copy of Geek Out, which is a collection of trans romances. I’m going to try and get more involved in my own community, which will be fun. Up until recently, I have only ever participated as a queer author in online communities. I think Prince George needs to know that our city has queer writers and that we are writing queer lit.

I had the interesting experience of meeting lots of queer youth who had no idea that there were queer romances out there. They also had no idea that their voices could be heard, and that their own stories could be put out there in the world, too.

So, to those of you in Prince George, please feel free to chat with me. I’d love to connect with more queer writers in the community. I think at some point I will establish a queer writing club as well, to connect writers together.

I’ve done a lot of activism, but I think it’s time to join my online presence with my actual physical presence on the ground. After all, I’ve been dividing my time and presence between two places, and now it will be one. 

So welcome new followers! I will try and keep in touch with everyone! And if I can establish a queer creators community, that would also be great!

Happy Pride!