Tidbits

Thrall Beyond Gold and Glory 300 DPIAs I work furiously on Coils, I have a few things to share. First of all, my September release, Thrall: Beyond Gold and Glory is right around the corner. Stay tuned for giveaways, and come see me on the Bold Strokes Author’s blog on September 1st. Writing this book was quite the palate cleanser after ending the Katya and Starbride books. The world is grittier, but no less interesting (I hope.) ^_^ I hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I did writing it. I’m working on the trailer right now, so make sure you check back for that. It will be silly. Guaranteed.

Paladins of the Storm Lord 300 DPINext, I have a release date for the first novel in my sci-fi Godfall series, Paladins of the Storm Lord. It comes out May 2016! I can hardly wait for this one. It’s a story I started ages and ages ago. I remember scribbling in a notebook while I waited for a parade to start at Mardi Gras in the late 90’s when I was in college. I ended up writing a short story set in the same universe in 2003, and it got second place in the 2004 Isaac Asimov Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing. Soon after, I dug the book back and out, and it went through several transitions before becoming what it is today.

You can find me at Dallas Pride on September 20th. Some people have asked me why I don’t plan to have a table at Austin Pride, and I can only say that I heard from other booksellers that people at that festival didn’t seem interested in buying books. Since the Austin pride festival is in a park rather than along a street, it seemed to have more of a party atmosphere to me. An excellent party, but still not interested in buying books. ^_^

On October 14th-18th, I’ll be at Women’s Week in Provincetown. Bold Strokes will be having a week of talks and readings, including a panel moderated by yours truly. Stay tuned for more details.

51wYpaLyQiL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_Last but certainly not least, my friend Shei Darksbane has published an urban fantasy along with Annathesa Nikola Darksbane called, Awakened (Auralight Codex: Dakota Shepherd Book 1). Shei was kind enough to send me a copy, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Sexy lesbian vampires? Yes, please. It’s practically a steal on Kindle right now, so get it while it’s hot.

What’s going on in your world? Where can I find you?

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The ArmadilloCon report

I hide behind your microphone

I hide behind your microphone

My arthritis and I had a tiring but ultimately fulfilling day at ArmadilloCon 2015. We started with a night panel on Friday titled, “Badass, Babe, or None of the Above: Are Women’s Archetypes Evolving (or Not) in SF/F Literature.”

The verdict: Yes, they are. We touched on how our literature and our society was slowly getting more gendered as we moved through the 2000’s but how there seemed to be a push-back against that. We predicted we’d be seeing more women in literature taking on a variety of roles without any character feeling the need to point out their woman-ness.
On Saturday, I had a reading with my Broad Universe buddies, where I read from the first Thrall Beyond Gold and Glory 300 DPIchapter of Thrall: Beyond Gold and Glory. There were some nods. I distinctly remember someone saying, “Sounds interesting.” 🙂

On Saturday night, I had “How Would Alien Life Affect Us?” We panelists were torn on this one. If we discovered alien microbes, we decided that most people probably wouldn’t care. But if we discovered intelligent life that we could recognize as intelligent, we all had a different predictions for what society might do. I said we’d seen so many alien disaster movies, that widespread panic might be in the cards.
Late Saturday, we talked about SF movies from last year and found we couldn’t agree on anything save that Mad Max: Fury Road was well worth the price of admission, and that most of us didn’t enjoy Jurassic World.

BAW and Trakena Prevost

On Sunday, my friend Trakena Prevost and I spoke on a panel about “Writing Fiction from a Gender, Ethnic, Cultural, or Temporal Viewpoint Other Than Your Own.” We agreed that research is key, including talking to people of whatever viewpoint you’re trying to write from. I spoke a lot about writing a trans character in Thrall.

 

 
I also got two new prints from the art show and sold one book. All in all, a good showing for a small but very interesting con. I hope to come back next year.

My next stop is Women’s Week in Provincetown MA in October. I hope to see you there!

Houston Pride!

I’m back from Denver, and that means now it’s time for Houston Pride! I’ll be there at Houston Pride on June 27th along with authors Carsen Taite, Laydin Michaels, MJ Williamz, and Tanai Walker. The booth will be in the park in front of city hall in downtown Houston. We’re pretty close to one of the entrances, and will have a double booth, so come and find us and buy some awesome books!

Two Pride Fests!

Count ’em. Two! First, find me at Denver Pride June 20th and 21st along with authors Merry Shannon and Jerry L. Wheeler. We’ll be at a booth located behind the center stage in Civic Center Park in downtown Denver. The festival is set out in a big square, so just keep going around, and you’ll spot us.

Next, I’ll be at Houston Pride on June 27th along with authors Carsen Taite, Laydin Michaels, MJ Williamz, and Tanai Walker. The booth will be in the park in front of city hall in downtown Houston.

For both fests, look for the BSB banner and the tons of books for sale! I’ll have some great deals and some cool swag. Plus, BSB is sending some BOGO books to the Denver PrideFest that are sure to go quick. Come out and see us!

Spring is here!

Spring in Austin brings one special thing to everyone: allergies. Luckily, that’s my only problem at the moment. I started therapy for my rheumatoid arthritis, and I’m happy to say it’s going very well. I have to go in to the doctor’s office every few weeks and get an infusion, and then I feel really good. No joint pain, minimal shakiness. No more bad hand days!

Of course, after my first infusion, I got really sick because my immune system is so compromised, but this time, I’m going to be more careful. I’ll just have to be satisfied with run-of-the-mill sneezing and coughing brought on by Austin’s spring season. I’ll muddle through somehow.

My gluten experiment never got far off the ground because I backslid so often, but I did take away a few things from it. I don’t buy bread anymore and very little pasta, so I’ll be able to reap the health benefits there.

Hopefully, I can keep improving and write more and more books until someone finally tells me to stop…or Austin kills me.

AND I have the schedule for the Lone Star LesFic Fesitval! Here’s when I’m scheduled to speak and such:

9:45 – 10:15 Registration

10:30 – 11:30 Group discussion: “Lesbian Fiction: Dreams, Affirmation, and Entertainment” about why we love lesbian fiction and how we came to write it.

11:30 – 12:30 I’ll be reading in room B

1:30 – 2:30 I’ll be signing books at the book signing table

2:30 -3:20 “LesFic Super Powers: Vampires, Demons, Ghosts, and Psychics” I’ll be moderating this panel.

Plus, there will be many more authors, another group discussion, more panels, signings, and readings. We have something for everyone, including a silent auction, a $3 book table, plus lots of vendors selling books, jewelry, clothing, and more! And on top of that, there will be at least one giveaway, possibly more.

And I will be fully mobile. ^_^

How’s everyone else feeling? Anyone up to traveling?

 

 

In Austin in April?

Come see me at the Lone Star Lesfic Festival! It’s Saturday, April 11th at the Norris Conference Center. I’ll have hours and program details for you as I get them, but it will likely be from 10 am to 5 or 6 pm. That’s plenty of time to stop by and say hello. It’s a free event with lots of panels to see, books to discover, loot to buy, and prizes to win!

And you know, I’ll be there, so win-win-win-win. And I’ll be handing out swag that you can only get if you meet me in person. Now you HAVE to come.

Official release day and Pride festivals

It’s the official release day of The Fiend Queen! Bold Strokes Books is doing giveaways today on their Facebook page, so check back often.

I was curious to know everyone’s thoughts on buying books at Pride festivals (or festivals in general.) I ask specifically about Pride because I’ll be selling books at two festivals this year. If you attend any festivals and find out they have a book tent, do you stop and have a browse, or do you think of festivals as being more about music and food than shopping? This assumes, of course, that you have an interest in whatever subject the festival is ABOUT. 🙂

How many would say, “Ooh, books!” no matter what and come have a look and how many of you would need to be seduced by gimmicks or free candy? I admit, I’m kind of in both categories, shopping-wise. I always love a good book, but free candy is an undeniable siren song. I plan for our booth to have both. What say all of you?

 

Ch-ch-changes

You knew this was coming, didn’t you? After all, I’ve been in one place for more than a year. That’s right, folks. I’m moving again!

Well, it’s not completely official. Not yet. We’re in the offer/counter-offer stage. For those of you who haven’t been with me very long, I move a lot. Since 2008, I’ve moved four times, not counting now. It’s because we not only wanted to try out several different areas of town, we wanted to rent until we found the perfect place for us, and it looks like we finally have. Now we want to buy.

It’s made me think a lot about the sheer amount of stuff in my life, stuff that I’ve packed and unpacked and now will have to pack and unpack again. There is the desire to just chuck it all and start over, but it’s more than that. Being confronted time and again by the things I surround myself with has actually changed how I see those things. Objects that used to give me joy just don’t anymore. That’s when I had to start wondering, was it just the hassle, or is it me that’s changed?

Take books. I love stories. I always will. And I like physical books (though I also adore my Kindle). I like their smell and their sound when you flip the pages. I like bookmarks and have a small collection. At one time, I collected books and had over 2000.

Now I’ve pared that down considerably, giving books to friends, donating them to libraries or Goodwill. I used to sell them to Half Price, but since that would only gain me store credit, I decided that giving them away was the way to go. I’ve kept those that mean something to me. I’ve kept my favorite authors, but most that I read, I just…let go. It didn’t give me the pain that it once would have if I’d been forced to part with them.

The only other collection I have that rivaled them is my pen collection.

And it's grown since then

And it’s grown since then

This was taken in 2009 or 2010, so the pens have grown considerably. They were starting to take over my desk, and I began to wonder if I care about them as much as I used to. It gave me joy once just to look at them. Now, not so much. So far, all I’ve done is move the bulk of them to a bookshelf, but once I start packing, I think I might go through them, pick out those that resonate emotionally with me, and slowly give the rest away. Maybe I’ll even include them in any giveaways I do in the future.

It’s bittersweet, like most change. I’m sad that I don’t care about the pens or the books like I used to. It reminds me of when I drifted away from toys in childhood. I remember trying to play with them again after I’d lost interest, as if I was letting them down by forgetting them. I tried to summon the joy I once had, but I just couldn’t. Now I’ve started looking at other things and saying, “Do I still love that? Do I need it?” I’m resisting the urge to go hog wild and get rid of almost everything. I’m afraid I might come to regret that. And I’m also trying not to beat myself up if I do want to keep some things that make me happier just by having them around. I still have quite a few journals that I’ve never used, but they’re sparkly and pretty, and I like to stare at them sometimes.

Maybe that’s what I’ll rate everything by. Stare-ability. On a scale of 1-10, how much do I want to just sit and stare at this? Seems as good a measurement as any.

Have your collecting habits evolved over time? Is there any collection you once loved that now you think you can do without?

Cast lists and a near miss

It’s been an odd couple of weeks here at my house. I’m struggling with joint pain, but luckily, my doctor thinks it’s viral arthritis instead of rheumatoid which is a very lucky thing. I know people who live with RA, and while I feel greatly for them, I don’t want to join their ranks.

In fits and starts, I’ve been working on cast lists for all my books, updating each one so that it reflects the characters at the start of that particular book. I’ve got The Pyramid Waltz and For Want of a Fiend done. Those tabs are at the top of this page. Now when people are lost about who a particular person is, they can just come to my page and have a look-see. Do check them out and let me know if I’ve missed anyone. Accidents happen. I’ll have tabs for A Kingdom Lost and The Fiend Queen up soon.

I hope everyone can come see me at ArmadilloCon on July 25-27. Here’s where to find me at the con:

Protecting the Indigenous Tribes Fri 8:00 PM-9:00 PM Room E Maresca*, Compton, Wright Indigenous peoples confront a diverse range of concerns. What should be done to ensure their existence?

40 Years of D&D Fri 9:00 PM-10:00 PM Room F Benjamin*, Finn, Maresca, Marmell, Sarath, Wright How did D&D inspire authors?

Build the Perfect Thief Sat 11:00 AM-Noon Room E Finn*, de Orive, Foster, Sheridan Rose, Sullivan, Wright Thieves can make delightful characters, but what does it take to create a great thief? Brad Foster will make an accompanying drawing to be sold for charity.

Gothic Novels of the 1800s Sat Noon-1:00 PM Room F Sarath*, Cheney, Jones, Swendson, Wright Discussion of how gothic novels came to be and which stories can still hold up today.

Reading Sat 2:00 PM-3:00 PM Southpark A Wright

Evil Characters Sat 10:00 PM-11:00 PM Room D Denton*, Acevedo, Marmell, Rountree, Stufflebeam, Wright Discussing the best evil characters in history.

Are You My Mummy? Sat 11:00 PM-Midnight Room D Webb*, McDonald, Waldrop, Wright I want more mummy stories! Why aren’t they being written? Are there any good ones out there?

I hope you can make it out to this great event. These panels are bound to be very entertaining. And don’t worry about that reading hour. I plan to do a humorous talk about dealing with rejection and probably how to sell books with Barbies. And I will have new swag to give away.

Anyone else planning to go to an event? Anyone else heard of cast lists on websites? I hear that’s the new thing, and you know how I like to jump on a bandwagon.

Denver Pride!

So, first, my space at the table was all like:

21 books and a pile o' swag.

21 books and a pile o’ swag.

And by 5:00, I was like:

Only a copy of For Want of a Fiend left, and a little bit of swag

Only a copy of For Want of a Fiend left, and a little bit of swag

But by 5:30, I was totally:

Gone!

Gone!

The rest of the swag trickled away on Sunday, but the books sold out in one day. I couldn’t believe it. People in Denver want lesbian books, yo.

We had a blast of a time, not too hot, just a little humid in parts. Met some colorful characters:

IMG_20140621_132945698

Found my next car:

I'm going to get lots of tickets.

I’m going to get lots of tickets.

Saw walking condoms in the parade:

In a rainbow of colors, yes, literally

In a rainbow of colors, yes, literally

And our booth was by some strange statuary, but then again, all of Denver has some strange statues. Read the conspiracies about the Denver airport sometime:

Instead of a tiny horse on a huge chair, that's a life-sized horse on an enormous chair

Instead of a tiny horse on a huge chair, that’s a life-sized horse on an enormous chair

I even saw my book on the shelves at Barnes and Noble downtown:

Woot!

Woot!

We laughed we cried, we went to bed at 10pm because we were exhausted. Thank you, Denver, we had a wonderful time. 🙂 An extra special shout-out to my friends, David Slayton and Erin Kennemer for helping me pimp books. Lots of those sales were directly attributable to you.

How many of you attend Pride events or anywhere with bookseller tents? Have you ever bought or sold books there?