Romantic Inclusivity

Now, I’ve said before that Romance is not a genre I’m well acquainted with. It mostly bores me and drives me up a wall.

To be fair I do watch good rom-coms like Imagine Me & You, But I’m a Cheerleader, For a Good Time Call …, Pretty Woman, etc.

But it isn’t something I read I’ve tried but I can’t get into it.

I realised today, thanks to @NeolithicSheep just what the problem I have is.

She decided to tweet-stream a book. And I mean zero criticism to the charming Comrade Shepherd herself; she’s merely a catalyst and her tweet-stream is quite entertaining … far more so than I find the story itself.

And I may have made a brief subtweet on the subject of today’s blogpost but there’s zero point linking to that because I’ll say the same thing here with LOTS more words.

In fairness to the authors of these stories, I do not have the faintest idea how monochromatic they are. For all I know the were-bears are Iroquois, and were-tigers are Nepalese, and … stuff. Which, I’m sure, Tumblr-folk (look, they haven’t settled on a new platform so the name can’t change yet) will complain “that’s so problematic!” but there’s a reason nobody takes the Tumblr crowd seriously: They’re the looking for reasons to be offended sort and I’ve no patience for that; won’t even argue with it, occasionally contemplate slapping the snot out of it but mostly I roll my eyes and move on, because there’s no discussion or debate with that sort. They’re basically the alt-left, the liberal-Nazi … you know, the opposition’s morons. But to return to my point, the cast may be if divers skin tone, accent, religion, and nationality 🤷‍♀️.

But, you know, despite my wife’s cruel sense of humour including reading about all these crazy subgenres of Romance she never hits a single lgbt+ example?!

Not among were-erotica romances, not among the 50 Shades knockoff garbage (I abhor 50 Shades as much or more than Twilight), none of it. The Romance shelves are barren of a Red Sonja-esque Fabia with a damsel draped in her arms. Of a Sean Connery kissing a Valentino. Of … gimme a break, Romance covers don’t get very creative.

I mean, if you’re diligent enough you will find a het-romance with a male POV character or a 3rd person that is either over his shoulder or includes his perspective in the omniscience. That bends the mould a little.

But where’s the shattering?!

I mean, literally – near as I could determine it after weeks (months?) of scouring both trad & self pub – Now & Forever is either first of its kind or damn-near-so as being gay fiction that’s happy. I wrote the Male POV Bodice Ripper of Gay Teen Romance (note: Both girls’ bodices remain intact in the only occasion any bodices are worn).

Now, I’m probably going to have were-things in Færie Patrol because why not. And they’re going to be anywhere on the gender spectrum and anywhere on the sexuality one as is my wont.

But where’s the cliché, formulaic nonsense about A Woman and a Were-Tigress? The Alpha-Bitch taming the New York Banker Man? The (oh gods, I can’t not go here) Were-Bear Bear Couple? (Sorry, not sorry) The Trans Marine Time-Traveller and The Viking Princess/Prince?

Nowhere to be seen! Even in the nightmarish dregs of Smashwords‘ strangest tags (not for the faint of heart, it’s safer to go have tea with a Lovecraftian Horror) I found nothing.

I’m sure it exists. Schrödinger’s Novella mandates it must; but then again, Law of Cliché Themodynamics may overrule and state that no one has actually tried to counter the cis-het momentum in any meaningful way! thus it actually does not yet exist! Which, of course is in keeping with Schrödinger’s Novella because quantum cheats by maintaining strict neutrality.

Why, my dears, must we all suffer at the hands of [Insert culturally stereotypically masculine animal] were-bro of muscles, machismo, misogyny, and let’s collectively vomit 🤮 now wins the vaginal canal (surely he wouldn’t know a clitoris if it bit him on the pecker … oh! An Akira twist! I love it!) of the Lovely Lady With Humdrum Life (or sometimes a bit Kardashianesque Life) which the author conflates with her heart and they all live abusively ever after, amen 🙏?!

I say bollox to all that. Go forth, my lovely minions! I say: Subvert, pervert, and anything else ending in -vert all the Romance Genres! Flood them with lesbians, Enbys, aces, bisexuals, transsexuals, transvestites, drag queens, bears, and twinks, a veritable Pride Parade of queery awesomeness 🏳️‍🌈! Drape the cover models in rainbow flags! Have the Naga Queen with the mostly nude virgin in her clutches from behind have her hand upon yon maid’a crotch and breats the embrace rapturous rather than terrible!

Why? Because it’s getting boring around the genre. I used to boggle at the “plot” crap my wife would torment me with from this stuff and now I just shake my head and finish washing the dishes.

Let’s shake things up like the megaquakes that broke Pangea!

P.S. I proofread this twice. Any typos have earned the right to live via natural selection.

In other news

Book 3 needs a bloody title! 😩

So I’ve rather got back into writing of late! It’s crazy, I don’t have a lot of time for it because of work but I’ve been getting some squeezed in, even a little at work! (Thank you tiny quiet offices!)

Sadly little of it has been book 3. Three side project quirky … I don’t even know what they ares … have been eating at my attention instead.

One is a quirky telepathic girl from another galaxy meets a young space rat (think street urchin but on starships, in spaceports, and on space stations) orphan and … it’s a very weird pile of twists on the old princess falls for the poor street waif sort of story. Along with a sort of reverse Cinderella or Annie if you twist your brain into a tasty pretzel 🥨.

Another is a young half-human and half-not girl from Earth and her family fleeing the world and it’s social hostility to her existence, that of two other of their children, and none too kindly to the parents either … it’s poignant but it’s relatively happy and funny despite that.

And a young alien girl from an alien world joins a student exchange program by the Terran government to come to one of their worlds and attend school there for a term. I’m worried she’s going to try to start a revolution 🤭.

But my steam for those has waned so perhaps I can concentrate on Book 3 again soon.

I know how late it is. Exhaustion, Depression, and … Time … I work 6 days a week and at times am 13hrs or more a day spent working + commuting for said work.

But I have an interview Thursday coming for a promotion! That will mean MORE time. It’s also going to mean a chance to buy a big beautiful house (a specific one I have my eye on, to clarify), and other niceties.

And … bollox … how does one categorise and tag posts in the WordPress App these days?!

Oh found it … the the three dots, Post Settings. Makes sense.

Nominate your favourite indie author(s)

I hope, maybe, some of you will nominate Love or Lust certainly I do hope that some indie author or other has put a book out in the past year that has inspired or impressed you enough to nominate he or she.  You can also, by the by, nominate multiple books/authors.

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The 50 Self-Published Novels Worth Reading (2013/14)

Nominations Now Open!!!

We need your help in putting together a list of some of the best self-published books from the past year. Read something great? Nominate it. Written something great? Urge a fan to nominate it.

The interest our list has already generated has been phenomenal; in the three days since we opened up nominations it has already become our most popular post ever. That’s great for our ego, but more importantly, it means that whichever books make the list will get the exposure they deserve.

The Rules

1. The book must be self-published or published by a small, “indie-minded” house.
2. The book must have been published on or after 1 January, 2013.
3. The book must be available for purchase, in paperback or ebook format, from a large store – Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
4. Only nominations received on or before 21 April, 2014 will be considered.

Haven’t read a self-published book yet? Here are some we think might be worth your consideration.

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Another 5-Stars!

I was poking around on Amazon and discovered something:  A week ago today I received another 5-star review!

You can, of course, read it here.

It’s always nice to feel appreciated, and that the book is well liked.  I’m even happier to see that it seems to really … resonate?  Resonate seems a good word, we’ll use that.   Yeah, it resonates with people.  It’s warming to know that the characters are so endearing, or that the story itself is in some way moving or touching.

I’ve seen it said recently (it was a quote from another writer posted to The Indie View’s Facebook page, if I recall correctly) that artists are kind of schizophrenic.  At one and the same time we’re incredibly confident and full of pride, and nervous wrecks with absolutely no self-esteem.  It seems true — on one hand we feel as though our work ought to be shared with the world, so there’s your pride and ego; on the other hand we’re absolutely convinced (well, most of us, exceptions like Anne Rice exist — I’m not a fan, don’t ask about her books, I’ve never even watched Interview With a Vampire) that our work is awful and that we will be belittled and berated, stopped in the street and spat upon … well, okay, maybe not quite that bad, but some pretty terrible things and emotions do go through our minds and flood out through our mouths.  I’ve nearly got myself strangled by close friends I fretted so much ~blush~.

Any of you still waiting to buy the book, Kindle edition is 99¢ right now, and the iBooks version is free.

Oh, and for those waiting on a status report for Ready or Not: Delayed. Editor had some issues with her gall bladder. She’s feeling better now, but some other problems decided to come play “kick ’em while they’re down” with her so she’s still rather out of sorts. Things will hopefully get back on track soon and, with luck, we’ll at least have a release around the 1yr anniversary of Love or Lust … pray for a little luck and we might even manage a new years or Valentine’s release, but I wouldn’t suggest any holding of breath for earlier than Easter.

And so much for iBooks …

The free Labour Day sale of Love or Lust isn’t quite going according to plan, it would seem.

Kindle, I expected trouble there; it’s a known and widely discussed thing that they’re difficult to get the price knocked down to free with.

Nook, that was unexpected, but not exactly surprising.

IBooks … in all fairness, it is possible to cut the price to free here.  The trouble with this is either a) I’ve finally encountered an Apple product that’s unintuitive or b) the function for setting up the sale is glitched.  Regardless, I’ve been unable to mark down the book for the weekend there either.

3 of 6 is an annoying ratio.

In any event you’re still good for Smashwords, DriveThru, and Kobo.

Status update

Well, I’m still in queue for my editor’s attention on Ready or Not.  The final two chapters I’m waiting for input from her before I start rewriting, because I’m not sure if I ought to totally throw them out or just parts.

Færie Patrol is still waiting for me to finish with Now & Forever.  At least, for the time being.  It’d be one thing if I paused the latter to work on the former, but in this case I’m not stuck because of burnout or brain freeze, I’m stuck simply because I need a clean ending to book 2 before I can really get book 3 kicked off properly.

Book 3 has no name yet, but it has a concept.  I know what’s going to be happening in it.  It, like Love or Lust, and unlike Ready or Not will have a more of an actual A plot throughout.  I’ll have a page for it with a proper blurb once I’ve thought of a properly witty title for it.

Love or Lust continues to sell.  No longer at the spectacular numbers of July — sadly — but selling.  At no point was it threatening to pay all my bills so I could quit my day job, but Christmas is pretty fair covered.  Thank you, everyone, again, for all the support.  Those of you still waiting to buy it, I understand — I’ve been there; in this economy one must prioritise one’s new novel allowance.  That said, maybe I should buy a few print copies and seed them to local used bookstores … one mustn’t prioritise one’s used book allowance — that’s a perfectly preposterous notion 😉

Now what?

Well, the Now & Forever ABCs are done.  Now what do I do?

First off, probably not have anything daily to say anymore.  I’ll probably cut back to something a couple times a week.  I can’t promise I’ll have anything regularly, but I will try to.  I’m, in fact, considering a rule of one post a week, and if I wind up with two or three then queuing them up to guarantee a post for the next week.  Reblogs, of course, don’t count.

Also on my list of ways to give myself Hell, I’ve finished the first edit run of Ready or Not and … well … I’m happy with it up to the final two chapters, the ones I wrote for CampNanoWriMo.  Those are awful, I think.  I’ve left them in, for now, and handed the thing over to my editor for her opinion, but odds are that those two chapters will need scrapped and a new ending written.  Until this is complete, Book 3 is still “Book 3” and still non-existent.

Færie Patrol is still a dream project.  But I might dust it off and get back to it, maybe give myself a short vacation from Now & Forever for a little bit.  Who knows.

In the mean time, Love or Lust continues to sell — not as well as it did in July, but it’s selling.  I really must say, thank you all who’ve bought the book and/or told your friends and family that they ought to buy the book.  And thank you to any who buy the book in the future.  Publishing a book by any method, traditional or indie, is a gamble; anyone who tells you they’ve the secret to what book will sell, and/or how to make sure a book sells probably will next offer you ocean-front property in Niger.  That my book spend a couple of weeks on a best seller list, was a Hot New Release on Amazon for its entire eligibility timeframe … I’m awed.  I hope, one day, to make writing my living — without the distractions of a day job I can write more, faster, and better, and this is a solider first step in that direction than I’d dared to hope.  I’m in no danger of paying the rent every month with my book, but some months — it would seem — I can.

The Indie Book Buffet — First Edition

The Indie Book Buffet's First Edition Giveaway!A free monthly online magazine (also available in print for a small fee) starting on August 1st 2013 that will feature a Genre-By-Genre selection of extracts from up and coming independent authors. It’s a great way to read free samples of new indie books!

And to kick it off the folks behind the zine are hosting a huge giveaway (in case the giant image to the right here was too subtle).

A lot of awesome books will be showcased — you can, in fact, see Love or Lust‘s cover there next to the I — from a lot of indie authors.

No I’ve no direct part, other than contributing some copies to the giveaway.  I just think this is a pretty great idea and want to help spread the word.  Really some quite remarkable writers have elected to eschew the traditional model for publishing and this is one more way to help people find them.

certainly plan to give it a look.  The info is on Facebook.

Now & Forever ABCs (E & F)

I’m not actually sure I’ve got an E or F.

I’m going to have to dig through my notes.  I mean, I know there’re Es and Fs in the story … or within the setting, but I’m not sure they’re anyone on screen or anyone who’s been more than a recurring face in my mind that the girls pass in the school hallway.

If I haven’t found anyone by the time I go to bed tonight I’ll try to get started on the Js.  There’s several of them, and I want to post entries of many (most?) of them.  And for those wondering, no, I actually do not have an obsession with the letter J, it just happens that the pool of names I’ve encountered in my life has a very high J-quotient, so when it’s what I’m more likely to hit.  Hell, I’ve got 2 Jacobs in Love or Lust and I’m fair certain I’d never dream of naming my child Jacob!

Maybe the NaNoWriMo bits aren’t so bad

Well, I’m pretty sure, now, that I’m editing bits I wrote during November’s National Novel Writing Month event.

They’re not half as bad as I remembered them being.  Things are going amazingly smoothly.

know the Camp NaNoWriMo portion near the end is going to make me cry.  I wasn’t happy with that while I was writing it.  Hopefully a solution will present itself before I get there.

Regardless — I’m done with them.  No more writing challenges for me except the ones I set for myself … which generally amount to things like “have some word count before going to bed”.