Thinking about Leelah Alcorn

Ed Greenwood

Ed Greenwood (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been thinking about Leelah Alcorn’s death and her suicide note a lot lately.  There’re numerous reasons that hers would affect me in ways more personal than most … but they all come around to, that note resonated a little, uncomfortably, close to things I’ve thought or felt at various points.  I, thank all the watching gods, have a wonderful family who is supportive and understanding of who I am and that led me to have … well, it’s why I’m able to be 33 and happy instead of the alternatives.

They’ve made me think long and hard about the way I tend to see the world and the people in it.  I don’t know that Leelah was a bookworm.  I don’t know, if she was, if she liked the sort of stories I write.  It doesn’t matter, she’s gone from the world, but there’re others still here facing a struggle similar to her own – even the happy (or maybe I should say “happier“) ones.

I think, in our society, there’s an odd balance between the status known as celebrity (no matter how minor) and privacy.  I think, too, that while we spend a lot of time trying to erode the privacy of some kinds of celebrity, we’re willing to provide virtual anonymity to others.  To most people, for example, a writer – be it a columnist, a journalist, a novelist, a poet, a playwright, screenwriter, et al we tend to let those who wield quill and parchment all the reclusiveness she might crave and be content for her to be naught but a byline and maybe a short, uninformative bio at the back cover or last page of a book and one that neither the text nor photo of ever changes in the course of a 30 year career.

But in today’s world, with social media and everything else, we find ourselves able to interact on a quasi-personal level with those authors we love.  Twitter, Facebook, Ello, and … okay, I’m not really big on the whole social media business so I’ve exhausted me list of interact-able venues.  Well, Goodreads, somewhat and, of course, our blogs.

English writer Neil Gaiman. Taken at the 2007 ...

English writer Neil Gaiman. Taken at the 2007 Scream Awards. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

More and more authors are gaining a level of celebrity.  We do start to learn about them as people.  They suddenly do have a face.  We know things about the lovely Ms Rowling, the quirky Mr King, and the hilarious Sir Pratchett that, maybe even 20 years ago we never would have.

There’ve ever been the ones who were very open, forward, and willing to share and interact with the world.  I present as Exhibit A, the sweetest and most generous human I’ve ever had the pleasure to speak with:  Mr Ed Greenwood.  There’re so many wonderful stories from the early days of TSR of him at gaming cons being just the most personable “star” anyone’d ever met; like a bearded and jolly George Takei or James Doohan (the latter, I suppose was fairly jolly himself, now I think on it).

I’ve guarded my own privacy … well, there’re many ways one can use the phrase “guarded jealously”, and I feel rather like I might be justified in claiming more than one of them.  In my own defense, I do not think in terms of caring who an author is as a person.  I make an assumption that the photo of Dennis L McKiernan, in the back of my copy of Dragondoom, is actually him so I know he’s a) a him (or it’s a reasonable assumption) b) he’s bipedal c) humanoid d) apparently monochrome! e) incredibly young!  (I’ve an OLD copy of the book).  All I much know about him is he’s good, and I love his work.  Then I realised, I do know more.  Because of the internet I know that Mithgar grew out of his own pen & paper RPG sessions.

We can’t, I think, avoid learning bits and things about the people whose books we enjoy.  Human curiosity and the internet work together to ensure we can learn more and we often go looking for it.

I’ve guarded my privacy because I didn’t want people to say they love or hate my work because of me, I wanted them to do so because of it.  I wanted Lauren and Sally, Allison and Jake, all the rest, to be the role-models and to be judged by my skills and talent as a writer.  I’ve said before, and I know it’s a real thing that people who know a book is by a woman, or a homosexual, or a 17′ tall rabid badger from Mississippi will buy it or reject it just because of that.  It grates against my sensibilities.  A person can have a wonderful library of diverse characters and tremendously wonderful role-models of setting and characters and every single last one of those works can be by rich, straight, white, ennobled, cisgender men.  All it takes is for those authors to be empathetic, sensitive, thoughtful, imaginative, intuitive, creative, and talented story tellers.  Exhibit B:  John Scalzi.  I can’t, to be honest, speak related directly to his novels, I’ve never read them (my wife has, but only one so she’s no help), but if his blog is any gauge …

Maya Angelou with Bloomberg and Nadler

Maya Angelou with Bloomberg and Nadler (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That said … to hell with it.  My own examples:  Ed Greenwood, John Scalzi.  I’ll add the likes of Neil Gaiman, Seanan McGuire, and Patrick Rothfuss … yeah, lot of those are SF/F authors, I told you that’s most of what I read.  They all interact with the public.  And I’m no recluse living in a cave with no social media accounts or ones only known about and accessed by some intern working for peanut butter and saltines.

I don’t follow their blogs.  I don’t read them every day.  But I do read an enjoy their blogs when the whim strikes me.  I do get to know them as people.  I’ve interacted with Ed Greenwood, mostly via Candlekeep.com, but I have.  With the Takei’s … these days celebrity aren’t lofty, remote deities to be admired from afar.

I forget, too, I grew up in the 80s, and early 90s.  I own (no, not past tense, I still have it) an 80286 with a 2400 baud modem.  I’ve got floppy discs with Prodigy on it from before there was an internet for it to access.  I’ve used BBSes, FIDONET, and IRC.  I remember with ICQ was brand new, and Search.com was what Google is now.  Maybe I see the world, sometimes, through the lenses of an 80s kid instead of a 21st century one.  I’d have had virtually no way to know the sexuality or birth-assigned gender of a favourite author.  I’d only know their race if the book had a photo, and I’d have their name (and said not-guaranteed-to-be-present photo) to guess their gender … but today that’s just not true.  When books really make an impression on people it often includes the author becoming someone they might look up to.  I’m no Maya Angelou, but … then again, early in her career … was she?

I plan to begin trying to write a for really real author bio for the places I’ve got my current silly one.  I may miss one, please feel free to point this out to me, I’ll be very grateful.  I may begin to include one, though probably a bit different, in my books.  Certainly I’m going to be more open about myself from now on.

George Takei on the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Pr...

George Takei on the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Pride 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If my books had only 1/10 the sales figures I do, I might assume that too few people know I exist to actually care, but I have hit best seller charts.  I have sold as many or more copies of Love or Lust than most first printings of a new author’s first book.  I finally had to admit to myself, like it or not, a blog with some 500ish followers, a decent daily hit rate, etc. means I’m achieving some degree of notice and that translates to celebrity even if it is very minor.  More bluntly, people know who I am, know what I wrote, and might be curious about me.  Some of those people might be Leelahs, and I want them to know that it can (I won’t say does, that depends on factors both in and out of the individual’s control, but it undeniably can) get better.  On the outside chance that there’s someone struggling with sexuality or gender identity or whatever who needs someone to look to for an example of that “can get better” business … I present myself.

Hello, world.

I am Ms Jaye Em Edgelciff.  I am a transsexual lesbian living in the Georgia in the United States and from the Ozarks part of Arkansas.  I am happily married to a woman who I met in college, I have two ridiculously odd, but wonderful little kittens and a hyperactive (as in for the breed) black-mouth cur.  I, sadly, do not have any children … yet.  I’m 33, and my birthday is 8 July 1981.  I’m an Army brat who never got to see too many places but I did get to live in San Antonio and Honolulu.  I’m a geek, and always have been.  Hard as it is, looking at the world today, but even if I’d known what I was as a little girl I could not have transitioned … it just wasn’t done back then.  I didn’t know what I was, or why I felt the ways I did.  I was awkward, I was shy, I was … I won’t say unhappy, as I had wonderful friends and a good family, but I was terribly depressed and had more than a few suicidal thoughts growing up.  As a teenager I finally started to get words around how I felt … I clearly had spent many of my past lives as a woman and had made the exceedingly foolish choice to come back around as a man (or had done something awful and was being punished with a penis, in some of my more self-hating moments).  Eventually I learned what transgender and transsexuality actually were (as opposed to the rather limited and skewed understanding I had under the term “sex change operation” where one envisions a guy going to get it cut off because he wants to be made into a woman … language matters, and connotation of sentence choice makes all the difference in the world).

With the help of hormones, and all the other fun things that go along with transitioning I am now a much happier, much more confident, much more me person than I was when I was young.

I don’t really write my books for myself.  Joe doesn’t exist to represent me or what I am.  Joe exists because, in the ficton of Now & Forever, Joe exists and is a transsexual man.  Lauren and Sally don’t represent myself and my wife … the most we have in common is I’ve red hair and hazel eyes, but Lauren has those features because Lauren has those features … my own eye and hair colour are rather different shades from hers and while I’m fond of them, clearly I’m not so vain as to force them onto someone else.  My stories are just for you to enjoy.  If they have any social purpose, any moral reason then it’s is only to remind people that we are all of us people.  To quote Stranger in a Strange Land, “thou art god, thou art goddess”.  I write what I write and the characters I do because they had the story I loved enough I wanted to take the time to write it down and share it with you, and if that story happens to illustrate a point you can take away and maybe see the world differently then that’s a bonus.  I read for pleasure and entertainment, I’m not about to write something with a purpose other than that; but I will admit there is a moral message that evolved as I wrote, but it was a pretty easy one … but it comes back to the Golden Rule which Bronson Alcott proved ages ago is so simple and obvious that 5 year old children are able to reverse engineer it with a little help from the Socratic method.

I do not feel that I am really all that interesting a person.  There’s not a lot about myself to talk about.  I enjoy cooking, though not much lately due to having an exceedingly tiny kitchen that makes cooking more a chore than a pleasure.  I enjoy foods, especially sushi and pasta.  I play video games, and board games, I love nature and hate cities.  I’m quiet.  I don’t get out a lot, but I also live somewhere that there’s nowhere to go if I wanted to get out.  I’m average height, if a bit petite in build.  I’m black, Cherokee, Irish, Dutch and German that I know of.  I’m a distant cousin of George Straight and that’s about as exciting as my universe gets.

I’ve said before, it’s not because of what I am as far as sexuality and gender that are why I’m inclined to care about rights and equality.  That’s just who I am.  When I thought I was a straight white male I still felt this way.  People don’t have to be LGBTQ or black or whatever to empathise and care and understand that equality matters.  It also doesn’t require someone to be non-white, not-straight, and/or non-cis* to be discriminated against.  White people experience racism in Hawaii, the natives are a little angry about the whole annexing the place at gun point (I’m simplifying the history, but really … Hawaii didn’t want to be a state, dirty pool was used to make it #50), in some forums of the internet there’re LGBTQ who can get just as mean or meaner to straight and cis who venture in there as they might assume that the hetero-cis would be … and maybe turn away a potential ally.  Men can be feminist, and we do have unrealistic and harmful stereotypes about men just as we do for women; in short, they face their own brand of sexism and objectification … I think fewer of them seem to care, but it doesn’t change the fact it’s true.  In short, you can be the king of flippin’ England and still care about ending sexism, ending anti-lgbt* nonsense, ending racism, etc. just because you take the few seconds to care and to remember:

What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.

And … I know my audience is mostly teens and parents of them.
  • Parents, please remember that the most important thing any parent can do is to love and support who their child is.  Please do not be Mrs Alcorn saying “we loved our son” when speaking of your trans* daughter who has died because of too many of that very statement; and please extrapolate down for the less extreme (and not-trans*) analogues to that statement.
  • Kids … maybe you’re somewhere, right now, where you’re misunderstood and alone.  Maybe you’ve parents who … maybe they’re confused but do love you, or maybe you’re right and they don’t … but if that’s the case they’re no parents; do what you must to be safe, but within that context be you.  Do your best to get by, channel your sorrow and pain into determination to have the best schools all banging down your door for you to attend, or if you’re crafty/creative/musical/whatever … use your pain to fuel your exodus into somewhere accepting, tolerant, somewhere that you are at peace and happy.  For the trans* kids, yes it is easiest to transition as a child, easier as a teen, but possible as an adult and hey … depending what aspect of it you’re talking about, it’s possibly been within your lifetime that transition was even possible for someone who wasn’t an adult.  It can be okay, but you have to hang on long enough to let it do so, and you can’t just cross your fingers and wish for it to get better.  The wishes that come true best are the ones you make true.  Not every dream can come true.  I won’t paint a fairy tale where every mom & dad eventually sees how foolish they were and accepts you for who you are, it happens so don’t give up hope, but if your dream is that … steel yourself that it might not happen, but the fun of the word ‘might not happen’ is it contains the caveat of ‘could happen’.  Family has a number of meanings.  My wife has little to do with her blood family for a laundry list of reasons, not all of it, but a fair chunk.  Her family is, mostly now, mine.  You can control your destiny, somewhat, if you give yourself the chance to do it.

And … depression is real.  It’s serious.  Life can be roses, unicorns, sunshine, and bunnies cuddling and you still hate the world and want to die.  I know this, first hand I know this.  If you can work through it yourself, fine.  But I know that nothing I say will make that pain and those thoughts go away, that’ll take the right help and what that is varies from person to person.  Need someone to talk to?  Suicide hotlines exist in droves, contact me if you like, friend, pastor, cousin, dog, cat, tree, or rock.  Maybe you need someone to care about … of all things, one of the biggest reasons I’m still alive is that I’ve always had cats and I’ve always loved them too much to leave them.  Maybe you straight up need meds; fun part is, a competent doctor might recognise (for the trans* I mean, obviously this won’t help for anyone else) your issue and help you get your parents to help you transition … you really are a boy/girl trapped in a girl/boy body and your brain craves the correct hormones and your body isn’t making enough.  Everyone else AND some of the trans* folks … sometimes you need anti-depressants, St John’s Wort, Prozac, or whatever.  Do what you must and can to make that better, it’ll make the rest of life a lot easier.

There.  Now you know me, sort of.  If this helps one person, it’s worth it for the loss of privacy and for the loss of that barrier between people judging my work through the lends of who and what I am instead of by simply looking at the page.  Because life is far more precious than any of that nonsense.

I’m going to sticky this until I can get ’round to working out what to say in my bio.  So please don’t forget to scroll down to see if there’re any new posts made after this.

News

Well, here we are, it’s December.  If I were to keep to the schedule for Love or Lust and Ready or Not I ought to be done writing Book 3 in a couple of months, and be ready to publish it this summer.

That’s not looking so likely.

It’s not impossible, but to be honest I’m not making a lot of progress in it right now.  The story itself is fine, and it’ll flow and finish pretty easily, I think, but I’m having issues getting any work done on it; Life keeps getting in the way.

What about life?  What could be in the way now that wasn’t for the last two books?  Aspects of my job itself, the fact that I’m now forced to concentrate on finding a new job as I’ve been laid off (I’ve considered an online tip jar type service to see if my fans are interested in putting forward enough money to let writing be my day job, but I’ve not clear idea how, with whom, and maybe I’m being too humble, but I just don’t think that’d work out), various factors relating to the very real chronic depression I have an on again off again issue with …

Excuses?  Some, yes, perhaps, but authors are not machines and some things make writing entirely too difficult to concentrate on.  I’m sure, if I tried, I could get a few hundred to a couple thousand words onto a page every day.  That’s nothing difficult.  If word count were ever my goal, I could do that easily enough in a matter of seconds with a Lorem Ipsum generator and the computer’s clipboard function.  I want content, words worth keeping.  I’ve none in me right now.  I will again, I can promise that.  I still hold to my only promise regarding the release of the books:  I will finish them.  I can’t control disaster, I mean if Ragnarok takes place tomorrow then I can’t keep my promise – but in my own defense, I can’t exactly plan for that so probably shouldn’t be held accountable.

The search for a new job is, so far, seeming to go well.  So hopefully I’ll have that much less stress very soon.  That doesn’t let me off the hook for everything, but it’s a start.  Many of the more promising jobs are for more money, so there’s other stresses gone.  I sincerely believe that Book 3 will be finished this year and, depending when this year I finish it, published this year as well.

I understand there are people who get so upset with the likes of Patrick Rothfuss, George R R Martin, and others for long delays between books.  I could never understand that.  I mean, sure, I’m anxious enough to know what happens next in a series, but if I enjoyed it, it’s worth the wait for the author to make sure that what happens next is something I’ll continue to love.  I found out, recently, though, that there are actually people who won’t read another author until they’ve read everything by the author they’re currently reading, and if there’s an incomplete series, they don’t read anything else while they wait for that series to wrap up.  I hope that was an exaggeration, but it doesn’t seem to be!  That’s an obsessive disorder, like P-OCD, you might want to seek therapy if you’re like that.  Really, I’m terribly sorry that Book 3 will, by all probability, not come out this summer, but no worries:  lots of other great stories out there you can read in the mean time.

Personally?  I do recommend Game of Thrones, and my wife highly recommends Name of the Wind.  Sir Terry Pratchett‘s books are phenomenal.  Dennis McKeirnan is another good one.  A little story called Black Trillium is worthwhile.  For more of the sort of stuff I write uhm … I wouldn’t know, actually, I don’t read much romance, but you might stop by the RWA and see if they’ve any suggestions, or you could check out the various places my books are sold to peruse the “customer also bought” or “related titles” listings.  Please, enjoy someone else’s work while I get things sorted out enough to give you more of mine – it’s not a competition, I would feel rather better if you liked other people’s books too :).

Happy holidays

81KX3TFsgwL._SL1500_I should have posted this sooner, but I’ve had a distracting week.  Some of it good, too much of it bad.

Regardless, Now & Forever is on sale for the entire month of December wherever it’s possible (which pretty much just means Not Nook, though some Amazon stores might not have marked it down properly either).71jhJo-DxUL._SL1500_

Regardless:  Where I could do so Love or Lust is FREE!  And Ready or Not is half off!

As always, this exclusively applies to the eBooks.  The way the print books are done gives me almost no promotional capacity myself.  Also, the books are sold at very little profit so promotions on the print edition would not go well.

 

Confirmation and related thoughts

English: Chris Hemsworth at a press conference...

English: Chris Hemsworth at a press conference for Thor in London in April 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, by now, I’m sure many of you have read this interview I gave.  In it I mention my wife.

It was no great secret, really, I just wasn’t going to shout it from the rooftops because it wasn’t an important detail.  It wasn’t until the context of the interview answer that there was some reason to say it, because I’ll be damned if I’m going to be as awkward as “significant other” or “spouse” or something else like that just to avoid saying if I’m a lesbian or not.

I am.  I’m not in the closet about it at all.  My wife and I happily hold hands in public, we kiss at the park, all the things any other couple does.

As I’ve said before I saw no point in announcing details, because it seemed to me it would detract from people appreciating my work on its own merits.  At this point, if it were to become wider knowledge that I’m gay, it would leave me wondering:  did someone buy the books because I’m a lesbian or because they wanted to read the books?

Still, in this day it is generally impossible to keep such things secret forever, and I’m not going to dance around a point if the conversation winds up moving in that direction.

I can’t say it’s very traumatic for me.  Much as the case with my characters, it was not anything earth shattering when I came out – my family accepted and supported it without reservation or any fuss.  My friends seemed rather unfazed by the fact.  Which, frankly, is as it should be.  I can’t even say I’ve been harassed by strangers about it; though in perfect honesty I’m left wondering a lot if the people likely to just didn’t work it out in time to say something; it’s really amazing when the couple in question is female how few people register ‘couple’ instead of ‘friends/sisters’.  Strangely enough, when the couple is male the opposite is true:  people think ‘couple’ before it occurs to them it could be friends or brothers.  It’s why I agree so much with the idea that there are times and ways it can be rough for men, and while I’m not very keen on “the mens’ rights movement” I am in favour of the sorts of ideas relating to the fact that there are male stereotypes and gender expectations that are just as hurtful (I’m willing to concede more so, if someone can present data, but we’ll go with equal measure for now, certainly I’m not going to agree to anything less without very clear metrics) to little boys and grown men alike as the ones so often decried as damaging our little girls and our grown women.

A lesbian couple married in San Francisco in 2004

A lesbian couple married in San Francisco in 2004 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yes, I’m married to my wife.  No, it’s not legally binding where we live:  more’s the pity.

Still, I didn’t need to be lesbian to write Now & Forever.  Love, I feel, is love.  I could have written a classic boy-meets-girl, a heterosexual romance, just as easily by finding a man to put in Lauren or Salencia’s place.  Laurne or Sally could be transgender, either as in one of them truly feels she is hi, instead, or that one of them was once actually Lawrence or Salencio and have long since transitioned to the girls we know; they aren’t, but there’s no reason they couldn’t have been.

I say this because it is important to me that people realise that it’s stupid to support an author for who they are or are not, rather than for what they’ve done.  I can understand one who incensed you sufficiently not to wish to put money in her pocket; but buy the work used if you’re curious, otherwise give it a miss certainly.  The fact of the matter is that I don’t wish for anyone to feel that my gender or sexuality had anything whatsoever to do with any feelings of validity or reality in the characters.  I’ve written convincing males before, just not in anything I’ve bothered with publishing, just short little things I wrote for my own pleasure and amusement, some of them not even enough to call a vignette and the validity of these males is confirmed by males I know, QED.

So, yes, here, publicly, as this post will be right where Google and Bing can find it next time they crawl my page, I’m out in a big way.  Wow, Jaye Em Edgecliff is a [insert lesbian epitaph of your choice]!  Amazing.  And, I suppose, it is worth mentioning, yes I am actually gay – not bi, or pan, or any of that sort of thing, I’ve never seen the appeal in masculine bodies except for a few little tugs from an ingrained reproductive instinct that seems to feel Chris Hemsworth would be an awesome choice to have kids with.

I am not, however, going to start updating my biographical information anywhere to discuss that I’m female, nor that I like other females, that I’m married or to whom or what.  It will be a fact, those who care and are diligent in their research can find out, otherwise it will be left as a passing detail, a bit of data that has no more bearing on me professionally than the fact that my birthday is in July.

I encourage people who look to authors they follow and read:  be an ally.  I’m not talking Social Justice Warrior, most of them annoy … everyone as far as I can tell, certainly I’m inclined to not take them seriously … but just if you’re straight that doesn’t mean you can’t stand up for the civil rights of homosexuals even if you don’t know any (besides, odds are that you do and just don’t know it) or of transgender people, intersexed, bisexuals, etc.  I certainly don’t post the things I do on my Facebook page to be self serving, I do it to support and acknowledge the humanity of those around me whatever and whomever they are – unless you’re being cruel to animals or anyone else who is helpless, then I don’t tend to consider you human anymore and reckon you have every right to rot in as many hells as there might turn out to be.  Actually, blanket statement:  don’t be a dick.  There.

I’ve rambled more than usual.  It probably means I’ve not had hardly enough to eat today and my brain is shutting down.  But I just wanted to affirm:  yes the interview was legit, yes, I’m married to a woman, yes I’m gay; now let’s talk about something important.

Some people would turn off comments at for a post like this.  I won’t.  At least not unless people decide to get really stupid or ugly in them.  Odds are no one will partake of them anyway.  But they’re there if this has left anyone with an itch to speak her mind.

Love to all.

Here is my interview with Jaye Em Edgecliff

Originally posted on authorsinterviews:

Name Jaye Em Edgecliff

Age 33

Where are you from

All over.  I’ve lived in Georgia for the past 10 years, and that’s the longest I’ve ever been in one place.

A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc

I live a quiet life with my dog, two cats, and my wife (oh my, I’ve gone and confirmed my sexuality … was bound to happen sooner or later) whom I met in college.

I studied history, though I never bothered with finishing.  Since then I’ve worked in various retail and technical fields; currently I work in the telephony switching department of a local cable/telephone/internet provider.

I was simultaneously a fantastic and awful student.  One of those people who never paid attention, but also was quiet and got good grades (not best, but I did graduate 33rd of 114 … in a charter school with minimum academic…

View original 2,329 more words

About me Q & A #1

I have no idea how often or how regular I’m going to do this, but I’m bored to the point of whimsical right now and felt like doing this to amuse myself.

I’m going to interview myself about whatever happens to come to mind.

Future versions of this might feature favourite questions from comments, emails, Facebook, or Twitter.

Are you a vegetarian/vegan?

No.  Though I was until I got married to someone who I can’t seem to convince that humans aren’t carnivores – I didn’t grow up not eating meat so it was no hardship to give in to the fact that I was not going to win the argument against cooking steaks, chicken, pork, etc.

So you’re married?

Yes

To a man or woman?

Yes

Tea or Coffee?

Tea by preference, though if I’ve an empty stomach I have to keep it to specific herbals or just go with coffee.  Tea on an empty tummy makes me extremely sick for no reason I can understand.

You use a peculiar grammar and spelling, where are you from?

Books.  Seriously, I learned most of what I know of English from reading so much; I read a great many English authours and American authours from the days when the written languages between English and American weren’t as different, but I do read some newer American authours which causes some of the peculiarities.  Where I was formally educated really is irrelevant since I don’t actually remember a damned thing from my English lessons, and my family speaks with a rather eclectic mix of dialects and accents.

Your books seem a little mixed on the subject of feminism, but you admit that you’re a woman.  Are you a feminist or anti-feminist?

Neither.  My feelings on the matter of this stuff I think can be best stated by Ms Emma Watson in her amazing speech to the U.N.  I believe in equality.  A woman who wants to be June Cleaver and a woman who wants to be just this side of Teddy Roosevelt after male-to-female transition are both advancing the cause of feminism since the whole point comes down to having the freedom to choose, and I think that (as Ms Watson said) we too often forget the poor gents in the subject.  They have their own degrading stereotypes as well – what business is it of mine if Dennis Rodman wants to wear a dress?  I’m not going to tell him he’s any less a man for it.

Your “biography” page says you don’t speak Swahili.  Do you speak any other languages besides English?  Your books have French and Italian in them …

And I’m quite good at faking those languages with a little help from a dictionary and the Latin I studied in school.  I, sadly, no longer have any functional proficiency in Latin even though I adore the language (far too little opportunity to use and expand, the dangers of studying a dead language), but I remember enough of the core of the language to understand how to use what I look up when translating out of English and into the French and Italian used in my stories.  English is my only fluent language, though I’m conversant in American so long as the topic doesn’t stray too far.

You mention that your writing only pays your power bill, what do you do for a living?

Telephony switch engineering.  I work for an internet/cable/phone company fixing switch issues with customers’ phone features and phone services.  Before that, with the same company, I worked various permutations of technical support for either the customers themselves or the in-field technicians.  Mostly it’s a very boring job, and I’m not sure with what it pays “a living” is a strictly accurate term, but it pays the rent.

Mac or PC?

Amiga.  Sadly they’re getting more than a little dated, so I use Macs.  If I must use a PC I put Debian Linux (Testing) on it … or, by ultimate preference, DOS.  I’ve been using computers for a long time.  I’ve used a plethora of hardware, OS, software.  I’ve things I like and hate about most things, Windows and most Microsoft products are the sole exception:  I find nothing positive to say about their products that couldn’t be said about anything else like them and couldn’t have been said about those other things first … but could go on at length about all the things I hate.  The single positive thing is that MS Word does make putting different page numbering in one part of a document versus another easier than any other current word processor.

iOS or Android?

Neither, or iOS.  For a tablet I prefer iOS.  I have rather mixed feelings about smartphones.  Android, by-and-large doesn’t impress me, though I’ve nothing against it in theory, just in specific details of how it’s implemented.  Most reasoned arguments against Android generally echo my own feelings about it.

And I think that concludes for now.  I’ve run out of ideas, and probably should stop goofing off now anyway.

cheers! :)

Absent-minded = ME!

Oh GOD!  I just realised I never put the sample chapters of Ready or Not up on the site!  And, if Love or Lust‘s sample is anything to go by people do like to read those before buying.

I’m terribly sorry.  I got distracted by issues with the print edition, and various things simply classified as ‘Life’.

It’ll take a little bit to get it set up in a way that doesn’t fight with WordPress, but I’ll have it up later today or sometime tomorrow.

#Ashamed

Upadate: Sample is up.

Ready or Not – Print Edition: Still delayed

Ready or Not (concept only)For those who prefer a nice physical, bound book to hold in their hands … I’m sorry but I’m still working on that for Ready or Not.

Theoretically this should be ridiculously easy and all, but Createspace is what I go through for the print because it’s the highest quality Print On Demand publishing service after Lightning Source, which I’d prefer to use but lack the Photoshop skills necessary to get the cover and page layout right in a single go and thus would get obscenely expensive.  Problem is, though, that Createspace apparently hates me.  It’ll lay the pages out pretty neatly while I’m experimenting along the way still writing the book and such; then I upload the final document file which, in theory, ought to be perfect since I’ve been testing along the way … … … random badness happens.  In this case it keeps setting the pages several inches too high up and to the right.

So far I’ve found all the things not causing that.  I pray it’ll only be another few days to a week before it’s up, but it could be as many as two or three more weeks.

I’d go with a publisher and save myself these headaches, but I’d be simply trading them in for different headaches.  At least this way I keep full control and don’t have to worry about some artist getting strange ideas about what my covers should look like (for those who think an author has control of her cover art through most publishers, all I can say is, “that is adorably naïve, honey.”), higher royalties, an editor I know well and trust not to decide to rewrite the book for me (yes, it happens), and control over release date (sort of).

Ready or Not on sale now

Ready or Not (concept only)Ready or Not is now on sale!

This does not include the print edition, sadly.  I’m having arguments with the layout for no reason that makes logical sense.  It should only be another few hours to couple of days.

Too the various ebook retailers take their own variable time-frames to put the book on their virtual shelves.  If your favourite doesn’t have it yet — give it a few more hours.  If it isn’t there by 6pm US/Eastern then please contact me.  Odds are I already know about it, but can’t hurt to make sure.

 

Available now for us$3.99 (and various proportionate prices in various other countries and currencies) from:

smashwordsibooks-button-graphicallromanceebooksdt-fiction3dwebnookkindle-logo

 

 

 

Dropping Kobo support

Kobo eReader

Kobo eReader (Photo credit: ndh)

I like supporting various e-readers and their associated services.  It’s, frankly, not usually very difficult.

Sadly, Kobo has decided to make it so.  For no reason I can fathom they do not accept ePub files that even the most exacting alternatives accept without question and that work on their App (I don’t have one of their devices so have no idea), won’t accept a MOBI file that Amazon took no issue with, and does very strange things when fed a raw .doc/.docx file.  Therefore, while Love or Lust will continue to be sold there for the foreseeable future, Ready or Not will not be carried there nor will any future books.

I’m sorry.

If you’re a Kobo user you can get ePub copies from Apple, DriveThru Fiction, and Smashwords.  Nook is also an ePub version, but it can be awkward to get at the file, though not impossible — so Barnes & Noble is another source of the file.  I do not use DRM so the file you get from any of those sources will play happily with your device so long as Kobo continues to support standard ePub format.  My personal recommendation is not-Smashwords as the formatting gets a little weird after the trip through their “meat grinder” which is as horrible as it sounds.

I am actually very sad to be leaving Kobo, and I may return some day if their service to the publisher/author improves.  They are almost as respectful to their content providers as Apple and offer many of the same services.  Only DriveThru Fiction can remotely say the same.  Still I have no intention to spend hours or even days pulling my hair out trying to track down its various imagined code errors.