My second book came out on Thursday! In Another Country is a slightly historical (1990s) m/m romance set in Fayetteville, NC. Closeted bisexual cop Declan meets hot Mountie Tupper, in town for an anti-terrorist training at Fort Bragg. Dec’s always stuck with a “one night” rule with men–but can he withstand Tupper’s charms? (Spoiler: he cannot.)
So that was very exciting! And Painted Hearts Publishing let me know that first day sales had been “very respectable,” which 1) YAY and 2) I did not know publishers DID that, how sweet!
In other bookish news, a while back Carina Press had a Twitter pitch day, and I took a shot at it–and two of their editors wanted to see more! Whoo! I put together a query, synopsis and sample and sent it out yesterday–one day ahead of the deadline, GO ME. (And I am here to tell you that synopses are NOT FUN.) So fingers crossed on that one. Meanwhile I need to finish writing the book! I’m about 17,000 words into a probably-50,000-word draft. (This is the ‘shy gay financial planner/cheerful pansexual rockstar’ one that was sparked by *those pictures* of Jason Momoa about to jump on Henry Cavill’s back.)
And after that I have the plot of a het romance (go figure!) roughed out on index cards. And there’s a paranormal maybe romance/maybe not lurking around at the edges of my brain. I HAVE TOO MANY THOUGHTS.
They gave “Spark & Change” a rave review and summed it up as, “an adorable supernatural romance novelette that’s sure to make you smile.” Yaaaaaaay!
Saturday, y’all. I did my very first Professional Development thing as a romance writer–I went to the Virginia Romance Writers meeting, about sixty miles away, to meet people and attend the morning session about Building an Author Platform. This was nervewracking because, well, meeting people, and also because I wondered if it would be worth the drive and the trouble. I knew nothing about the speakers before going, and thought it was possible that they might immediately get into some kind of eight-dimensional marketing incomprehensibilities (“You’ve got to leverage your Z-scores while maximizing your gestalt percentage quadrant!”) or that it would be the smarmy and icky kind of marketing. (“You are no longer a person, you are a Brand! You have no friends, only Potential Customers!”)
Well, it was neither of those horrors–it was GREAT. Andie J. Christopher and Adriana Anders were the speakers, both very successful writers, and they were funny and friendly and practical and full of ideas–I think I took six pages of notes. And the marketing they were pushing was “Call attention to your stuff in these fairly simple (if admittedly somewhat labor-intensive) and non-obnoxious ways, and also meet people online and at conferences and get to be genuine friends with them and help each OTHER and also, don’t be a dick.” That is a marketing plan I can get BEHIND. (Those are…not direct quotes.)
And as for the meeting people part–I happened to sit next to Casey Dubose, who is delightful and WRITING A POLY REGENCY. I cannot WAIT to read this, and it was just so great to end up at a table with someone I found so easy to talk to. Hi, Casey! *waves*
So I was VERY happy that I made myself go to this meeting even though it made the day ridiculously overscheduled. Next up was a housewarming party for a Day Job buddy, which was why I couldn’t stay for the afternoon romance session. (I was assuming that because the party started at two there would not be a lot in the way of food. Day Job buddy had in fact knocked herself out making a SERIOUS spread of appetizers and desserts, including homemade Earl Grey flavored macarons with lemon cream. Whaaaat.)
And after a short desperate nap, I finished out the day with a volunteer shift chaperoning the local LGBTQ youth center’s AlternaProm. All those little teens so dressed up and looking so HAPPY, it was adorable.
And it’s Monday and I’m STILL tired. But it was SO WORTH IT.
I have a nasty cold, y’all. Actually staying home from Day Job to lie on the couch with the dog and occasionally moan piteously.
Hoping my head clears enough later to write a bit, although right now there’s no room in there for ideas, what with all the phlegm.
One nice thing about the morning thus far: I finally started reading KJ Charles’ writing blog, which is both useful and delightful: kjcharleswriter.com . The writerly tips (and publisher…y? tricks) are funny and helpful, and her lists of recommended books make every single one look like a MUST. (I can never refer to anything as a “must” without hearing Michael Stipe saying it on “Voice of Harold.” Which is him singing the liner notes of a gospel album he found in the studio over the music of R.E.M.’s “7 Chinese Brothers.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tb6jjEApfmg You’re welcome. )
She doesn’t update it all *that* frequently, looks like, but what’s there is cherce.
The blog also reminds me that somehow I have only read ONE of her books, a situation that requires immediate remedy. But first I will totter around the block in an abbreviated dogwalk, and then probably take a nap to recover from this herculean effort. BLURGH.
Media I’m in the middle of! Or not done with anyway.
Trying to catch up on Kevin Sonney’s excellent Productivity Alchemy podcast. (I listen to it when I’m either cooking or unfucking my habitat, and I…clearly need to step up on both of those things, because Kevin’s podcasting faster than I’m listening.) Finally nearing the end of the 23-disc audio version of Lillian Faderman’s (also excellent) The Gay Revolution. Which has taken me most of February and March because that is car listening and I have a quite short commute. (NOT a complaint, believe you me.) I am glad to be past the sections that focused on Harvey Milk, AIDS and Sharon Kowalski all in a row. That was a grim dang week in the car. (I’ve read two other books about Harvey Milk and I still was having jury-strangling fantasies while driving. Ugh.)
Also nearly done with Sorcerer to the Crown, by Zen Cho, on paper. I haven’t quite figured out how I feel about this one. I thought from the first couple of chapters that the heroine, Prunella, was going to be a kind of wearily practical character, like the ones I love in Ursula Vernon’s work, but that wasn’t what she ended up being, and I’m head-tilting a bit at her. Possibly I am unconsciously biased because the title includes the one word in English I just cannot freaking pronounce. Sorcerer is a stupid word and it should go away.
Also! Done with another hitchhiker scarf except for weaving in the ends. (What, yarn is a medium.) That hitchhiker pattern is ADDICTIVE, yo.
And welcome to my site! I’ll be posting snippets of my writing–romance and fantasy, most with an LGBTQ focus. And talking about what I’ve been reading. And wondering why the heck agents and publishers haven’t responded to that query I sent THIRTY WHOLE MINUTES ago.
I may also be waxing rhapsodic about knitting, theater, live music, and how great my dog is. She’s pretty great.