Tag Archives: publishing

New Book: Local Forecast

So, this is sort of a weird and unexpected development. The story I sent out back in January didn’t make the cut for the magazine. (At this point, I’m using this story to take a break from the stories I’m using as a break from…You know what? Forget it. I’m just doing this thing right now, and then I’ll do something else. It’s too confusing otherwise.)

While I’m disappointed that the story didn’t make it in–I had been looking forward to working with this particular editor–I’m not unhappy with the story. It has space whales. I mean, that’s the best way to describe something very large in open space, making unusual noises and encountering unwary ships.

Rather than send it out for another round, I shined it up and I’m publishing it myself. It should be out next week; I’ll keep you updated. In the meantime, wanna see?

forecastAMZcover

When investigating a disturbance in unexplored, unclaimed space, a desensitized space miner discovers something very live and very large that might doom her…or save her from another unseen threat.

Space whale. I told you this singing comet story would end up doing something to my brain. It’s not mermaids, but close enough.

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Happy Birthday To Me

Sooo~~~ Friday was my birthday! In the past two weeks, I have gone to both the theater (the live kind) and the beach (the windy and hermit crabby kind). That’s my excuse for missing two (!!!) weeks of update videos. I’m really sorry! I have just flat not had time to record anything.

My birthday gift to me, though, was…work? Exciting work things, anyway. I sent out a short story today! It was a bit stressful–it’s been something like 4+ years since I sent out a submission, as opposed to just publishing things myself. I’m still riding out the “oh no, what if I forgot to remove some of my notes to myself???” second-guessing. I’ll keep you updated on it, whether I get in or not. *fingers crossed*

I’ll get back on track with the videos. In the meantime, that’s what I’ve been up to. Now I’m off to enjoy some leftover birthday pie. (Lemon!)

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New Book: Robot Daughter

Holy crap! Yes! Okay, super excited to announce…I’m self-publishing a book for the first time. As in, it will be available for sale and there will be pages with words and numbers and a cover on the front.

A cover!

Robot Daughter and Other Stories
Robot Daughter and Other Stories

What if you could have the body of your dreams? What if you ended up with the body of someone else’s dreams? What if you had to walk away from everything you knew just to make it to tomorrow?

In ROBOT DAUGHTER, seven people find ways to make it to that tomorrow in a world where high-tech avatars offer an alternative to human bodies, but there is always a price to pay.

ROBOT DAUGHTER is a One Afternoon Adventure, running about 3500 words, and consists of flash fiction stories from a single world.

I am embarrassingly excited about this. It is tentatively scheduled to come out the middle of September, but there is still so much work to do before then, all of it things I’ve never done before. So, uh, I might be overly ambitious with that release date. On the other hand! I might get done sooner than I expect. Look, I can hope, right?

ETA: I can, indeed, hope! The book releases August 14, 2013. It’s official, you can hold me to it, no kidding. I will throw some kind of live tweet internet party over on Twitter when it happens. Mark your calendar, save the date, get your $0.99 ready.

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Hunger Games unseats Harry Potter

Over at The Mary Sue, they have an interesting article on Amazon’s report that The Hunger Games has overtaken Harry Potter as their best-selling series ever. They ask what we might attribute this success to, beyond the simple popularity of the books. Much is being made about the ascendancy of ebooks. Harry Potter lagged on that front, in part because, as one comment pointed out, it first appeared on the market in 1997. Ebooks were not yet a thing. (For that matter, Amazon itself wasn’t much of a thing yet.) J.K. Rowling did not release digital versions of the book until her launch of Pottermore this year. That being said, The Hunger Games have also overtaken HP on print sales. The madcap midnight release parties were such visible markers of HP’s popularity. They were also a bit of a last hurrah for brick and mortar bookstores before the die-offs that came with the increasing popularity of online shopping regardless of medium.

Though I’m sure these issues of medium availability and online purchasing are influential, I think a bigger point is being missed: the success of Harry Potter may well have been the necessary groundwork for the series that followed it, including but not limited to The Hunger Games. One of the credits given to Rowling, quite correctly in my opinion, is that she made reading cool again. Forget digital formats for a moment; reading itself became a thing again.

Rowling managed to draw in an enormous audience of all ages, create an international fandom, and make the release of new books something that was announced during news programs on television and radio. When was the last time that was true? Who was the last author to so catch the imagination of youth? In particular, who else could contend for the title of official author to that generation, coming of age in the new millennium? Rowling became that touchstone author of my generation, I think. Even if you were not a fan (I was a latecomer to the books on account of being a sneering prat during junior high and high school), you knew who she was. You probably knew something about the plot, even if you wished you didn’t. Rowling ruled.

I’m not suggesting that subsequent books have simply ridden in on the coattails of Harry Potter. There have been excellent books and there have been appealing books (not always the same thing). There have been pretenders to the throne as well, books lauded as “the next Harry Potter,” which failed to hold up under such oversize expectations. However, all of them received, at the very least, the boost of having an audience already waiting, hungry for the next world in which they could get lost.

I think the next question is not simply “who will unseat the current top seller?” but “just how high can authors reach?” However good the numbers may be, The Hunger Games has not yet reached the same level of international, fanatical popularity that Harry Potter enjoyed. What book will manage to reach or surpass that level, where it takes root in the storytelling heart of the world? Who will be the next icon?

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Unorthodox Offerings

It’s been over a year since I put anything out with Shousetsu Bang*Bang. I would have given the current issue, Hot for Teacher, a miss as well, as teacher-student has long been one of those themes I just can’t get into. Except. Oh, except. A friend decided to write something for it, her first submission (check it out–“The Makeover, or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Comic-Con”), and wanted a writing buddy. I’m not sure which one of us suggested detectives, but that was all it took for my muse to run amok. My story is “Incognito” and it’s a little unorthodox.

I’ve been looking for an excuse to do a story in which the sex scenes are viewed by a third party over some sort of surveillance system. WHY I wanted to do this is unclear, as writing sex scenes is still something that gives me hives. I generally try to avoid thinking about the process of writing them, even while actively engaged in said process. (I-I am getting better, I think?) Still, this was the perfect opportunity. I happen to like the blend of horribly uncomfortable and hot that I think I achieved with the scenes. This is maybe not the ideal feeling combination to evoke with one’s erotica, but there you have it.

I’ve also been looking for an excuse to cast a woman as the main character and narrator in a story for SSBB. (Obviously, not for one of the female special issues, because that would be easy. And sensible.) This required the above-mentioned methods for depicting sex scenes, so I figured this would be my one chance to do both. In my last story for them, ApocalyptiCon, the female main character seemed to go over well and I certainly enjoyed her. I wanted to see just how far I could take a female lead in gay romance. Pretty far, as it turns out.

As far as the plot of the story goes, I blame romance publishers. I’m always poking around in listings of publishers, largely in search of interesting anthologies to submit to or to steal theme ideas from. So I’ve read submission guidelines from a lot of publishers. Romance publishers have a…fondness for beefcake. Which, okay, fine, who doesn’t? But some of them state that they want to see women of many body types, but only beefcake for their men. I will point no fingers and name no names. This is not really out of fear of offending possible publishing venues, though I suppose that is a good reason. It’s just that I don’t need to point out any one publisher when so many seem to subscribe to this policy.

The idea is that women of varied body types are a) easier to identify with and b) desirable in spite of or because of looking like something other than models and beauty queens. Because all of us women reading romance want to be told that what we look like is good, is desirable, is worthy of being pursued by gorgeous men. But when it comes to men, the story goes, every woman wants the captain of the football team and his washboard abs. Cover art illustrates this nicely. Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome is alive and well. His endowments are as substantial as ever. Flaxen-haired, size 0 princesses are all so last century, but Prince Charming seems to be stuck. Maybe we’re afraid he won’t fit in his shining armor if we let him put on some weight or stand a little less tall.

I take issue with this.

I would just like to go on the record saying, as a woman with interest in both attractive people and creative fiction, that this is boring. I am only too happy to see men who are more than gym poster boys. I’m not talking about treating “unconventional” bodies as exotic, weird, and sexy only for being deviant. I’m talking about honoring the erotic potential of all sorts of bodies. I’m talking about recognizing how context and emotion can make the “plain” into the “perfect for me.”

So in the spirit of putting my pen where my mouth is, I made one of my boys not at all pretty or beefcake-y. I made him actively engaged in challenging conventions of appearance. I wrote about beauty and ugliness and desire and identity. I threw in some class and wealth distinctions for added discontent. Then I put it all into a setting where science lets parents construct perfect children if they have the money. I certainly had fun with the story and I think others will, even if I am suffering from a shortage of beefcake.

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