Tag Archives: Sunday Small Talk

Sunday Small Talk

So I was lucky enough to get in on Dreamspinner’s Kiss a Ginger sale. Temple, one of my three demon hunters in 1930s Pittsburgh is a lovely redheaded bisexual (who sadly has some big trust issues among other things like PTSD not that they had that word for it in 1930). Not only is the sale going well for that one but also for the other Soldiers of the Sun series books. In fact DSP is having a 30% off sale on top of this one so now is a great time to get something of mine!

soldiers-of-the-sun
Here’s the blurb to Soldiers of the Sun (which you can find at that link)

BlurbCaleb Davies and Agni Pradesh are worried about their teammate and lover, Temple Chevalier. Not only has he lost his long-time partner, Fu Li, but he nearly died fighting a demon himself. Also, Temple isn’t sure he’s ready for a new teammate after Li. Caleb and Agni are even more concerned that their three-way relationship with Temple exists less because he loves them and more because he’s hiding from the pain of Li’s loss.

1932 shapes up to be a terrible year for the Soldiers as they welcome the New Year fighting demons and then end up investigating a case that pairs them up with the Knights Templar. This would normally be a good thing, but it forces Temple to face his painful past. Worse yet, the case leads right to Astaroth, a Prince of Hell, who might prove to be an unbeatable foe.

I’ve started looking at some of my finished short stories and novellas as I try to find them homes. The first time I opened the one set in Cassadaga I found it was shorter than I thought but upon reopening it today either I had found a very old version or Word glitched. It’s not 12K but 21K which means it’s long enough for a few things. I might send it off to an anthology looking for summer heat (it is in Florida). Unfortunately the solarpunk anthology is very specifically winter and my story hinges on it being autumn. Ah well, the search continues. The deadwood one is just under 15K

And here’s the thing, I don’t see me expanding them to novella length to sell on their own. I actually DID that with Cassadaga when people were asking for 20K to be the lower limit but now it’s 30K. These stories would probably just end up being bloated and not up to snuff if I tried expanding them (also mentally it’s hard to expand something that feels DONE. So I’m on the lookout for solarpunk, shifter and urban fantasy/paranormal open calls.

I appreciate that DSP has their Christmas open call already up. It’s snowing as I type and that put me in the mood way better than I’d be if this was June like half the holiday open calls are. I think I’ll take another stab at that. Wish me luck.

And now some writing links Hopefully I hadn’t shared all of these before (Bookbaby is definitely recycling links at this point)

Things I Wish I Had Known Before Self-Publishing My Book

Words That Carry Maximum Weight: Tropes In Storytelling

The Importance of Setting In Your Story
I’m big on this one

Five Things You Need As You Begin A Career As A Self-Published Author

How To Read, Edit, and Evaluate Your Writing With Fresh Eyes

New Novelist? Plan Your 2019

Author Incomes: Not Great, Now or Then

Rest for Success & Why Busy is Seriously Overrated

Want Authorly Superpowers? Build a Street Team!

4 Things You Should Know Before You Quit Writing Your Novel

The Different Types of Editing Explained

Six Reasons the Fire Nation Is Such a Good Villain This is good!

Six Common Wordcraft Mistakes in Manuscripts guilty so guilty

PODCAST
204 – Bad Wordcraft Devices
Soldiers of the Sun

Sunday Small Talk

A few years back I was talking with Shira Anthony at a conference and she said something along the lines of writing contemporary LGBT romances allowed her to write the genre SF/F/UF sorts (I should mention this was an anime con and all of us there are obviously genre fans).

For me this was a few novels ago and didn’t quite have the experience yet to appreciate that statement. I do now, though the reality of it makes me a little sad. For example, Blood Red Roulette (urban fantasy, vampires) took me years, I poured my heart into it. I wish I could say it is selling like gangbusters but it’s not where I’d like it to be (I’m surprised a little by it given the gorgeous cover and that vampires tend to be popular). On the other hand, Purrfect Holiday, my contemporary short story is selling very well.

That statement from the con reverberates in my head. Contemporary romance is what sells. Granted I knew this but it has taken a long while for me to realize just how much better it sells. That’s where my sadness comes in. Unlike some of my genre-loving friends, I don’t also like contemporary fiction much.

There is an old writing chestnut that we’ve all heard of ‘write what you know’ which most of us have changed to ‘write what you love’ (because if you love it, you’ll research it and then you’ll know it). This is where my problem begins. I don’t love contemporary romance so it makes it hard for me.

It’s difficult to write a contemporary romance to give you something in the bank while you write your genre novel when you don’t love it. Short stories are easy enough but to do something longer, you have to love it or it will show.

It’s an uncomfortable feeling for me. I wish I could be easier with writing contemporary fiction, that I could learn to like it more. I’ve tried. I’ve read it by my favorite genre authors but even liking the author hasn’t helped. It’s just not in my field of interest.

So I guess that just leaves me one avenue: to write what I love and to buy and help promote what I love so the other authors who write it can have a little more success of their own.

And maybe from the contemporary shorts I do write, maybe I’ll find readers who will be willing to take a chance on my genres down the road.

In the meantime, have some writing links
The Significance of Setting (I’ve talked about this one myself)

17 Literary Podcasts to Ease Your Commute

My 20-Step Plan to Writing a Book: Part 1 (Steps 1-10) (I’ve noticed that Bookbaby is starting to recycle their links a lot so I don’t have that many new ones to share)

And from my friend:

How to Promote Your Book for Free (much of it is newsletter related but I’m not so sure that works well. I honestly don’t read 90% of the ones I get).

Writer Jay Odjick with some words of advice to his 19-year-old self

The Inner/Outer Balance

Questions to Consider When Plotting a Scene I really like this one.

Trends For Authors And Creative Goal Setting 2019

A Field Guide to Six Infectious YA Clichés

Sunday Small Talk

Somehow it’s the end of the year and it doesn’t seem real. So many people had a terrible year and if I look at the political crap we all had it bad here in the states. Personally, however, it was a fantastic year for me. I became a full professor. I took a bucket list trip to the Canadian maritimes. I published a novel Blood Red Roulette, one that I’ve held near and dear to me for over 20 years (In case you missed it –
blood-red-roulette
Blurb Arrigo Giancarlo’s friends think he’s a rich young man with the unusual job of paranormal investigator, working with his psychic assistant in Las Vegas. In truth he’s a two-thousand-year-old vampire and member of the Chiaroscuro, a group of Supernaturals dedicated to keeping humanity safe from the more dangerous of their kind. He’s also openly bisexual… but alone.

When he spots Luc St. John in a bar, Arrigo is intrigued. What begins as an effort to repay the kindness shown to him in the past quickly turns into much deeper feelings for the suffering and displaced Cajun. For Luc’s part, he feels too poor, too uneducated, and too bound to his hateful family to ever be worthy of elegant and cultured Arrigo.

An old enemy, Eleni, blames Arrigo for murdering her true love. On the anniversary of that death, she’s back to take revenge. As Arrigo’s closest friends fall victim to savage attacks, he fears nothing will keep Luc safe. Should he break both their hearts and let Luc go, or is it too late? If Luc’s already in Eleni’s sights, Arrigo knows that like most things in Vegas, the odds are against him.

You can find it on Amazon here or at my publisher here)

I also published a Christmas short story with DSP Purrfect Holiday You can order it here at DSP purrfect-holiday AND I had a SF novella picked up by Ninestar Press what will be out in 2019. I also published a middle-grade steampunk short story that I’m very proud of (and frankly made more money from than almost anything else which shocked the living hell out of me).

Heck I even managed to get my blood sugar under some semblance of control and I’ve started dancing again (when I say dancing I don’t mean ballet or jazz tap or anything. I mean mostly just getting up and moving to the beat however the hell I feel like it and how the arthritis lets me move.) So I can’t complain about 2018. I’ve had WAY shittier years.

So what’s on deck for 2019? I don’t have much in the way of resolutions but I do have some goals. 1. FINISH These Haunted Hills. I think this is one of the best things I’ve written in years and I need to finish it. It’s two-thirds done. I would love to finish it by May.

2. Find a home for my solarpunk story. I just saw a solarpunk anthology but it’s set in winter and mine is most definitely fall and it’s such a part of the story I can’t really change it (so if you hear of any solarpunk places, let me know).

3. Fix the ending of the Cassadaga story and resend it (yeah I know I said that last year and I did not do it. Sigh).

4. Fix up my bear shifter story because it needs doing badly.

5. Consider a sequel to Blood Red Roulette. It didn’t sell as well as I’d hope from what I can tell but the reviewers have asked for a sequel.

That is a modest beginning for 2019 so I’m happy with that. Anything more will be sauce.

And here’s some writing links to take us into the new year.

How to Outline Your Novel

Story Planning Books: 3 Approaches to Consider

APODS – Priorities: The Four Ps (Part Two – SMART Goals) by Amanda Cabot

Seven Things Writers Get Wrong About Language

Can I Craft a Setting Without Bigotry?


Self-Publishing Is Not A Back-up Publishing Plan

What Binge-Watching ‘Stranger Things’ Taught Me About Storytelling


Transcription Software Can Be A Huge Time-saver


Avoid The Cliché “Strong Female Character”
(I’ll add being a bitch does not equal strong!)

Sunday Small Talk

The Christmas edition. Since I’ve no real writing news to share given the time of year. So I’ll say Merry Christmas to those who celebrate and Merry Yule. And instead I’ll share my holiday stories with you all (and most of them are on sale!)

purrfect-holiday

Blurb – Tony Gatti had his life planned: get his veterinarian license and go to work with his dad and uncle. Soon after achieving his goals, he learned the shadows and blurriness in his vision went beyond needing glasses. Retinitis Pigmentosa is a genetic mutation with no cure. With his sight almost gone, he moves into his grandmother’s St. Augustine, Florida home with his guide dog, Raven, to start life over. Nonna Concetta thinks she knows the perfect job for him. Her vet is looking for someone to destress the cats at a local rescue.

Javier didn’t plan to hire a cute former veterinarian to fill the role of cat cuddler, but Tony couldn’t be more perfect. Worried his attraction is inappropriate and knowing the holiday season always depresses him, Javier wonders if he should ask Tony out, or if he’d just be spreading the gloom to someone who already has enough of his own. But if he takes the plunge, could it turn out to be the best holiday ever?

You can order it here at DSP

glow 2

The Glow of Luminiferous Aether on Tinsel As Chief Tactician for the airship DeGrasse, Jacob Scarberry has spent the last six months on a wearying tour of duty. He’s missing home, and his prosthetic leg is conducting the December cold straight to his core. But with the holidays coming up, he’s looking forward to a well-earned leave, sharing some Christmas surprises with his lover, Dr. H. Alphus Troyer, and welcoming in the dawn of the 20th century.

A professor at Ohio University, Al is already on Christmas break, and his unconventional household is in a festive frenzy. Al is a bit less joyous, his anticipation of Jacob’s return warring with uncertainty over the special gift he had commissioned for him. Would Jacob appreciate it, or will it put a strain on their relationship?

Suddenly Al’s worries become trivial when the newspapers report an attack on the DeGrasse. With Jacob fighting for his life miles away, Al is left to wonder whether Jacob will return at all, or whether the planned festivities will become holiday heartbreak instead.

Here

the-light-of-winter

The Light of Winter Dr. Gareth Evans and his medical doctor partner, Warun Jones, are having trouble making time for each other between end of term craziness for Gareth and holiday-related injuries pouring into the hospital for Warun. Gareth has planned what he hopes will be the perfect recipe for relieving the tension and bringing them back together. While Warun wants Gareth to partake in Plygain, a traditional dawn service of hymn singing for Christmas, Gareth plans to take Warun to Bryn Celli Ddu and introduce him to the Druid ritual of Alban Arthan, the celebration of the winter solstice.

Here

peace-in-the-valley

Peace in the Valley – John and Anthony always have a hard time carving out some alone time for the holidays (This one has a werewolf turned ‘rescue dog.)
Here

DarkestMidnightinDecemberLG

The Darkest Midnight in December
The year is 1930, and something is hunting infants and young couples in Economy Village, PA. When a local priest begins to suspect a demon may be the culprit, the sheriff calls in a team of Soldiers from the Sun.

Caleb, Agni, Temple, and Li specialize in demon hunting, but they can’t rule out an old religious sect as the true culprit. Prejudice, distraught parents, and angry townspeople don’t make the team’s job any easier. And if something goes wrong, they’re on their own, because by the time their backup arrives, it will be too late.

Here

And okay this isn’t Christmas but it IS a new novel. Vampires are fun any time of year.

blood-red-roulette

Blurb Arrigo Giancarlo’s friends think he’s a rich young man with the unusual job of paranormal investigator, working with his psychic assistant in Las Vegas. In truth he’s a two-thousand-year-old vampire and member of the Chiaroscuro, a group of Supernaturals dedicated to keeping humanity safe from the more dangerous of their kind. He’s also openly bisexual… but alone.

When he spots Luc St. John in a bar, Arrigo is intrigued. What begins as an effort to repay the kindness shown to him in the past quickly turns into much deeper feelings for the suffering and displaced Cajun. For Luc’s part, he feels too poor, too uneducated, and too bound to his hateful family to ever be worthy of elegant and cultured Arrigo.

An old enemy, Eleni, blames Arrigo for murdering her true love. On the anniversary of that death, she’s back to take revenge. As Arrigo’s closest friends fall victim to savage attacks, he fears nothing will keep Luc safe. Should he break both their hearts and let Luc go, or is it too late? If Luc’s already in Eleni’s sights, Arrigo knows that like most things in Vegas, the odds are against him.

You can find it on Amazon here or at my publisher here

Sunday Small Talk

It’s been a long time. Nano will do that to you. I did ‘win.’ It’s nowhere near done but hey at least I have that much. It was a novel that fought me every inch of the way.

December is usually an off writing month for me. Oh I’m still writing but it’s the one time of year I really do a lot of fan fiction. I don’t visit my roots often any more. Who has the time? But SO many of my friends came to me via fan fic so I spend this month writing little gifts for them. It makes me happy.

I’m prepping for January. I have printed out the last 50 odd pages of These Haunted Hills so I can get back into writing that and ditto an old shifter novella I have sitting here that I think I can do stuff with if I just sit down and get to it. That’s where I’m at.

Also I DO have a new short story out for the holidays. If you’d like to check it out, here it is. I’ve been posting snippets of it and I think that I DO need to do a proper post for it since there is some things about Purrfect Holiday I want to say because it’s special in several ways to me.

But as a taste here: purrfect-holiday
Blurb – Tony Gatti had his life planned: get his veterinarian license and go to work with his dad and uncle. Soon after achieving his goals, he learned the shadows and blurriness in his vision went beyond needing glasses. Retinitis Pigmentosa is a genetic mutation with no cure. With his sight almost gone, he moves into his grandmother’s St. Augustine, Florida home with his guide dog, Raven, to start life over. Nonna Concetta thinks she knows the perfect job for him. Her vet is looking for someone to destress the cats at a local rescue.

Javier didn’t plan to hire a cute former veterinarian to fill the role of cat cuddler, but Tony couldn’t be more perfect. Worried his attraction is inappropriate and knowing the holiday season always depresses him, Javier wonders if he should ask Tony out, or if he’d just be spreading the gloom to someone who already has enough of his own. But if he takes the plunge, could it turn out to be the best holiday ever?

You can order it here at DSP

And it’s been almost a month since Blood Red came out.

blood-red-roulette
Blurb Arrigo Giancarlo’s friends think he’s a rich young man with the unusual job of paranormal investigator, working with his psychic assistant in Las Vegas. In truth he’s a two-thousand-year-old vampire and member of the Chiaroscuro, a group of Supernaturals dedicated to keeping humanity safe from the more dangerous of their kind. He’s also openly bisexual… but alone.

When he spots Luc St. John in a bar, Arrigo is intrigued. What begins as an effort to repay the kindness shown to him in the past quickly turns into much deeper feelings for the suffering and displaced Cajun. For Luc’s part, he feels too poor, too uneducated, and too bound to his hateful family to ever be worthy of elegant and cultured Arrigo.

An old enemy, Eleni, blames Arrigo for murdering her true love. On the anniversary of that death, she’s back to take revenge. As Arrigo’s closest friends fall victim to savage attacks, he fears nothing will keep Luc safe. Should he break both their hearts and let Luc go, or is it too late? If Luc’s already in Eleni’s sights, Arrigo knows that like most things in Vegas, the odds are against him.

You can find it on Amazon here or at my publisher here

And now the links, oh the links

Taking Character Relationships to the Next Level

Lyrics In Books: Your Questions Answered

10 Biggest Book Marketing Mistakes You Need to Stop Making

Organizing Your Writing Life With Trello

Joy Is Important To Success As An Author

Sarra Cannon of Heart Breathings ~ Tips For Success In 2019 As An Indie Author

Three Ways to Add Tension to a Scene During Revisions

Take Charge of Your Creative Life: The SWOT Analysis

The Writer’s Vision for 2019

Why the Story of the Starving Artist Needs to Die

Grand Finale: Two Strategies for Writing Great Story Endings

3 Good Reasons to Write a Sequel

How To Consistently Write 3500-4000 Words Per Hour

Getting Started With Worldbuilding I need to really sit down with this one.

How Do You Bring an Inexperienced Hero to a Fight?

What’s Your Writerly Unique Selling Point?

Authors Interviewing Their Characters: Patricia Harman I’ve done this one. It’s fun

How To Sell Books: My Marketing Journey

Angie Thomas on Code-Switching, Hip Hop & Her Book’s Namesake Tattoo

Why Is Writing So Difficult? Here Are 3 Reasons Why

How Mindfulness Can Help You Enjoy Your Book Release Day

Stagecraft and the Novel: Writing Advice From Leanna Renee Hieber I could use some of this (also I need to contact her about the upcoming steampunk thing

Form A Daily Writing Habit—It Will Improve Your Life I’ve been trying to do this with the write every day thing

Why I Write, Katie Kennedy

Chaos to Order When Writing A Novel

3 Common Plotting Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Novel

The Fear and Joy of Writing on Proposal

Vision Boards for Authors

Sunday Small Talk

I wish I had a lot to talk about but the truth is I’m so busy that I can’t even think. But of course the best news is Blood Red Roulette is out. No matter what happens now, that makes me so happy (even if there is a tinge of post-release blues hanging around my brain). I’ve had these characters in my head for more than two decades and it will be good to share them.

In the process I’ve seen a request for a sequel and another saying how much they like my writing. It makes you smile. I would love to do another story with these two. I had some in my head twenty years ago. I don’t think any of those would really work (which is why I didn’t try them). Also I got an encouraging ecard from the publisher to congratulate me on the release, another thing that made me smile.

Here’s is more of the blog tour. Hopefully I haven’t missed anyone and I am very appreciative of those who hosted me and a big thanks to Other Worlds Ink for putting this all together for me!

<A href="ht Lou Sylvre’s blog

Bayou Book Junkie

Anne Barwell’s blog

Mirrigold’s blog

Matt Doyle’s Media

Jessie G’s Books

If you’re looking for Blood Red RouletteYou can order it on amazon or
DSPP

blood-red-roulette

And have a few writing links

on’t Be Too Smart or Clever in Your Book Descriptions

Writing Tips: The 4 Stages Of Writing A Book From First Draft To Publication

Five Common Storytelling Mistakes in the Pursuit of Social Justice

Five Common Storytelling Mistakes in the Pursuit of Social Justice

Should Your Sapient Aliens Be Bipedal?

Sunday Small Talk

Other than I’m trying to get neck deep into my nano novel the other thing that has been consuming my soul is that my vampires in Vegas novel comes out at long last in just two days. I can’t even believe it really. I love Arrigo and Luc and I hope you will too. It’s more urban fantasy with a strong romantic subplot than it is simply a romance. There are some life or death moments in it. And I’ve talked a lot about it at various places. I’ve collected the first week of the tour here and there is a giveaway so there’s that. Check out all these wonderful blogs to whom I am grateful. And a huge thanks to Other Worlds Ink for arranging the tour!

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

MM Good Book Reviews.

Love Bytes LGBTQ book Reviews

Valerie Ullmer’s blog

Amy Aislin’s blog

MM Midnight Cafe

blood-red-roulette

Blurb
Arrigo Giancarlo’s friends think he’s a rich young man with the unusual job of paranormal investigator, working with his psychic assistant in Las Vegas. In truth he’s a two-thousand-year-old vampire and member of the Chiaroscuro, a group of Supernaturals dedicated to keeping humanity safe from the more dangerous of their kind. He’s also openly bisexual… but alone.

When he spots Luc St. John in a bar, Arrigo is intrigued. What begins as an effort to repay the kindness shown to him in the past quickly turns into much deeper feelings for the suffering and displaced Cajun. For Luc’s part, he feels too poor, too uneducated, and too bound to his hateful family to ever be worthy of elegant and cultured Arrigo.

An old enemy, Eleni, blames Arrigo for murdering her true love. On the anniversary of that death, she’s back to take revenge. As Arrigo’s closest friends fall victim to savage attacks, he fears nothing will keep Luc safe. Should he break both their hearts and let Luc go, or is it too late? If Luc’s already in Eleni’s sights, Arrigo knows that like most things in Vegas, the odds are against him.

Dreamspinner Publications

Amazon

And have a few writing links too.
Writers Beware of the Legal Pitfalls – Copyright Basics Part 3

The Dual Plot Structure That Makes Stories a Success

81 Awesome Mental Health Resources When You Can’t Afford a Therapist Not necessarily writing specific but we all need self care

Crafting Resonance: Music and Writing

Tips On Horking Up Your Novel’s Zero Draft

10 Tips for Hosting a Successful Book Launch Party

Book Selling Strategies and Tactics (Don’t Get Caught In The Monkey Trap)

What is Written Fluency?