Cyberpunk

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I’ve been talking about my cyberpunk story for a while now. To be honest, this one was started for NaNoWriMo 2013 and has been mostly finished for the better part of a year. The needed revisions weren’t too bad as far as revisions go – I’ve seen people scrap half of an already written novel, so adding in a few scenes here and there wasn’t a big deal.

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So, yes, it’s finally here. I’ve finished the revisions and it’s currently being read by two beta readers and edited by me. Very soon I will be submitting it for publication with Less Than Three Press. I’m very proud of it, and now that it’s finally almost finished, I think I can let everyone know! It’s currently about 58K words, but it will probably lose about 1-2000 words in editing.

A few of you might be wondering – what exactly is cyberpunk?

Cyberpunk is a genre meant to take place in a high-tech world with low-life living. With the advance of our current technology, many writers suddenly saw all types of different places technology could go in the future.

ghost-in-the-shellA cyberpunk setting is one that can take place mostly in cyberspace, and is generally a dystopian setting. A really good example of cyberpunk is the Matrix trilogy. With cyberpunk, the sky’s the limit when it comes to setting – or rather, not the actual sky. The power of the human mind is phenomenal, and cyberpunk often explores this idea.

My main character for this one is a hacker who is being hunted down by an unknown government for reasons not quite made clear. It was a fun one to write, and I hope I see more cyberpunk novels coming out in LGBT publishing.

Blade_Runner_posterA few other cyberpunk examples:

The Matrix (already mentioned)

Inception (movie)

Blade Runner (movie)

Ghost in the Shell (anime)

Psycho-pass (anime)

Neuromancer by William Gibson (novel)

Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (novel)

If you’re a science fiction fan like I am, and you haven’t yet gotten into cyberpunk, I would really recommend it as a genre, especially if you also like dystopian novels.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Hey all! Today is probably one of the best days for romance authors everywhere, at least on a fictional level. I can’t speak for anyone else, but Valentine’s Day is easy to make perfect when you’re writing about someone fictional!

valentines-chocolateI hope everyone’s having a good Valentine’s Day regardless. I know a lot of couples today who tried and failed not to be ridiculously romantic today.

If you’re a single person, I have a pick-me-up in the form of some awesome sales on romance novels today! Recommended to read with a side-helping of vodka.

holiday packageI’m the Featured Author for February, so all my titles are 20% off! Just go HERE to get instructions on how to save some dough at Less Than Three Press. I’m going to be the Featured Author till the end of the month, so go check that out! And if you’re wondering who the Featured Author for March is, there’s still a bit of time to nominate someone, and then it will be time to take a vote on who it will be! Go HERE to nominate the Featured Author for March!

Last but not least, it is Valentine’s Day, so there’s a sale on everything at Less Than Three Press for 20% off until tomorrow. And guess what? It’s stackable, so you can get 40% off my books until the 15th!

To be honest, that’s why I love Valentine’s Day the most, because of all the sales on romance books. Also, all the chocolate goes on sale afterwards, so you can have cheap and delicious chocolate and a cheap and delicious romance novel to go with it!

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day everyone, and Happy Reading!

Geek Out Blog Tour finished!

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Hello everyone! As promised, the whole Geek Out Blog Tour is here with all the links to every post. Check them all out, some of our blog tour stops still have giveaways going on! Not all of these are blog tour stops, actually, some are just blog posts by the authors about their books, but I thought I’d include them as part of the post so that everyone can find out more about this awesome collection.

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Alex Powell

Geek Out Blog Tour

Why Unicorns

Love Rampage Release Date

Love Rampage Blog Tour

Cecil Wilde

They is Awkward, but Important

Available for Preorder – Defying Convention

Alden Lila Reedy

Geek Out Collection – Alden Lila Reedy’s Manifest

J.K. Pendragon

Guest Post and Giveaway

Release Day: Double Take aka “Oops, I’m Dating Twins”

Kinks and Content Warnings

Caitlin Ricci

Writing Trans Characters

Guest Post and Giveaway

Francis Gideon

Geek Out Collection Tour – Sext-based Adventures

Guest Post and Giveaway

Alessandra Ebulu

Guestpost – Of Anime and the Baeci

Alison Evans

Knowing the Words

The Geek Out Collection is now available with Less Than Three Press!

Why Unicorns?

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Hey all!

I’m doing a couple of stops on my blog dedicated to Love Rampage, which is being released on the 28th of January.

So some of you may be wondering: Why Unicorns?

First of all: I love unicorns

Second of all: my friend Laurence also loves unicorns, and he told me to write a story about a girl who was obsessed with unicorns. I have an inkling he might have been joking, but I have been known to write on ridiculous prompts before. I’ve dedicated this story to him, mostly because it was his prompt that got me writing this.

Before you ask: no, unicorn is not some sort of euphemism for something else. I really do mean that there is an actual unicorn in this story, and when I say “rampage,” I really do mean that literally.

Unicorns are magical creatures of myth that have been depicted by humans since antiquity. Most people think of unicorns as beings of purity, uncorrupted. They are usually depicted as having an affinity for virgins. In some tales, they can purify water or heal people with their powers.

I wanted to use the symbol of the unicorn to represent the purity of Maira’s love for Carol. Her worry that Carol will not love her because she is trans is something that she must overcome. She has to learn that her love is just as valid as anyone else’s.

Her love is pure, but I am not trying to suggest that either of these girls must be a virgin because of the presence of the unicorn. People may read it that way as they want, but the idea that one should remain pure of body, or that virginity will make one pure is something that I don’t want to spread. I do not agree with virgin idealization or with slut shaming, or with shaming anybody about their level of sexual experience.

Some people might say, “But Alex, those girls are just teenagers, they shouldn’t be having sex at their age!” Too bad. Some teenagers have sex, and that is the truth.

I also think of unicorns as creatures of adventure. Unicorns are untamed magical creatures, and I like to think that they would only approach those that are pure of heart and have good intentions. Maira certainly discovers what it is like to go on an adventure with the unicorn in this story!

And for anyone who used to love The Unicorns of Balinor series, or The Last Unicorn, or even The Black Unicorn by Tanith Lee, Maira might just be a girl after your own heart.

Thank you Laurence, for this idea, and for many others before it!

This is one of the stops on my blog tour for Love Rampage, so leave a comment below and your email address for a chance to win a $10 gift certificate with Less Than Three Press!

Geek Out Blog Tour

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Hey everyone!

Sorry I’ve let the blog posts go awhile without updating, but I’ve been super-busy!

Not only have I started going to university again, but I’ve been organizing a blog tour for the trans* anthology Geek Out published with Less Than Three Press.

What is going on with this blog tour?

Well, let me tell you, since I’ve finally seemed to get a grasp on what’s going on!

The Geek Out anthology includes 8 authors:

Francis Gideon with Sext-based Adventures

https://francisgideon.wordpress.com/

Caitlin Ricci with Horse Crazy

www.caitlinricci.com

J.K. Pendragon with Double Take

www.jkpendragon.com

Alison Evans with Long Macchiatos and Monsters

alisonwritesthings.com

Alessandra Ebulu with Of Anime and Baeci

alessandraebulu.wordpress.com

Cecil Wilde with Defying Convention

www.cecilwilde.com

Alden Lila Reedy with Manifest

aldenlilareedy.com

We have all written a story with a trans* protagonist, and we all feel that because this is a trans* anthology, we need to go all out with getting the word out. People are asking for representation in media, and we’re delivering. But without people knowing about it, then there’s not much point!

I see people writing fanfiction with trans* or genderqueer characters, writing ace or aro characters, genderbent characters, because they are lacking that what they really desire: representation. There are no stories out there about these types of characters that portray them in stories that are not a) specifically about their trans*-ness or b) tragic.

So we’re doing a blog tour. It’s a really fun time, actually, apart from the logistics and organization, which really aren’t my strong point. But you’ve got to try, right? I hate trying to organize things, but I’ve learned sometimes you’ve got to do things you don’t enjoy in order to promote the things you actually like doing.

It was a bit of a challenge, because while there were a LOT of m/m review sites, there are far less review sites that do trans* story reviews or blog tours. Thankfully, with the help of our amazing publisher Megan Derr, we were able to find a few.

Here’s the sites where our guest blog posts will be showing up over the next two weeks.

Smoocher’s Voice

Love Bytes

World of Diversity

Read, Play, Review

We’ll also all be doing blog posts on our own blogs, so make sure to check them out! Of course, I’ll be compiling a list of links for you all to get the big picture once they’re all up, so stay tuned for that!

The first stop on our blog tour will be at Smoocher’s Voice, and my blog post for Love Rampage on January 22nd!

Also, make sure you check them all out, because authors are doing giveaways for all sorts of fun stuff! Gift certificates, ebooks, naming a character in their next novel… so make sure to leave lots of comments for a chance to win!

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!

Genderqueer Character

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I’m finally writing a genderqueer character!

I’ve been meaning to write a genderqueer character for ages, mostly because it’s a subject near and dear to my heart. As a genderfluid person, I’m always on the lookout for genderqueer characters, but they’re hard to come by.

There are a few authors I know have written genderqueer characters.

The first two, of course, are authors that write for the publisher I also write for, which is Less Than Three press.

Selume Proferre, by E.E. Ottoman features a genderqueer character. This book is an urban fantasy novel, and starts of with An-An, the main character, going to work at a spell-craft company for an exorcist. E. also writes a lot of books on trans characters, and zie has been on my must-read list for a long while now.

The other is J.K. Pendragon, who has a story coming out in the Trans* Geek Out anthology that will be coming out in spring. I won’t give away too much, since the book’s not out yet, but the story is a fantasy with an Egyptian-esque setting.

Lastly, I received a free book from the Gay Romance Northwest meet-up called Static, by L.A. Witt which turned out to have a genderqueer character as well. I liked the premise, which was that a small percentage of the population can switch their sex back and forth from male to female and back again. But it’s a reflection of their gender identity, so it’s a bit like having a genderfluid and intersex character. It’s a slight twist on the normal shifter story.

I’m always on the lookout for more stories about genderqueer characters.

I’m writing this character for the Villains Inc anthology call for Less Than Three Press. I would like to write an Arabic character for this story, so of course, I must do a lot of research. I’m kind of glad that I can write a villain for this character, because then xe can stab people whenever they misgender xem.

I’m thinking that one day I will also write a two spirit character, as that has always interested me.

I hope one day that the genderqueer section of LT3’s store is as expansive as the Gay section. It only has a few books for now. But it will only grow if we write the stories ourselves. 

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.