books, screenwriting, tv writing, writing

Helloooo 2020!

So… 2019 wasn’t a banner year for me, writing-wise. It wasn’t through a lack of planning or writer’s block per se, but more of a lack of enthusiasm. I guess we all go through periods in our lives where our brains need to recharge and 2019 was mine.

The good news is that 2020 looks much better in the writing department! I have an incredibly ambitious writing schedule planned for novels and scripts. Even better, I’m super excited about what I’m writing these days.

I’ve already completed an untitled horror pilot script and gotten it back from an editor. I started it in November, but since I’m still tweaking it and it hasn’t gone through a table read yet, it still counts as a 2020 project to me. I’m going to submitting this one to all the festivals so I’m in serious edit mode right now. I have a second script that I plan on (re)doing that’s all about conspiracies (that happen to be true in this one). Both of these feature LGBTQIA+ casts.

I’m going to be working on two novel series this year and they couldn’t be more different. The first is a light-hearted urban fantasy with a strong, smart-assed female lead and takes place in San Francisco. The second is an epic low-fantasy YA featuring two boys growing up together as brothers – though not by blood relationship – in a harsh, classist society that they’re destined to transform.

This might not sound like a lot, but I’ve planned multiple books in each series. No, I’m not going to finish them all this year – that would be a little nuts since I work full-time. But I’m almost ready to send out the UF novel and once I do, I’ll switch gears to work on the epic YA. See? A plan. I has one.

I’m also going to be a lot better about updating this site. Don’t think I didn’t notice just how long it’s been since I last posted here because I did. Somewhat embarrassing. Sorry about that! I’ll be doing book reviews, some writing advice, and whatever else takes my fancy in the writing/entertainment world. If there’s anything you’d like to get my take on, feel free to comment here.

Thanks for your patience and I’ll see you around a lot more this year!

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Uncategorized

April: the month of writing dangerously…

I almost never manage to complete NaNo in the fall. I start well, invariably get the outline of the novel done no problem, but the fall just isn’t my cuppa for writing, apparently. Half the time it’s because of the holidays and the other half something massive happens in my life to derail things. The irony is that I write novels – and scripts – throughout the rest of the year without much trouble. It’s just November.

Or so I hope.

I’ve signed up to participate in Camp NaNo which takes place in April, instead of November. I’m hoping that having the sunlight last longer into the night will assist in keeping my butt in the writing chair, instead of the recliner.

It’s not just hope that’s going to churn out a novel, though. I am taking the (somewhat) drastic measure of no social media at home or on weekends to keep my focus on my writing. No facebook. No twitter. No instagram. In a related media fast, there will also be no tv watching. None. Bupkis. And all cold turkey. Oh, but I’ll be keeping track of things and posting to the Camp NaNo website, however that works. Already have a cabin, even. I will, however, allow myself to still go to the movies on the weekend, and not just because Avengers is coming out. All work and no play, and all that jazz.

I’ve picked a… not a sequel exactly, since it’s the first book in the series, but it’s a world with which I’m extremely well versed in. I’ve written several shorts in the world revolving around my Arbiter characters as well as a novel. It just turns out that the first novel I wrote for the series is actually about book #3 or #4, not #1. Who knew? The good news is that I have the outline done already, so the prep is done.

Here’s the thing, though. I’m not just writing a novel this April. I’m also writing a spec script for the show: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. This will be used to apply to the various television fellowships. First, of course, I need to write it. But then it needs to get passed the critique of my writers group and they are eagle-eyed, constructive criticizers the lot of them. And I mean that in the best way possible.

So yeah. April is going to be in-sane. Massively insane.

Wish me luck!

novellas, writing

New Release: Fat Girl Finds Love At The End Of The World

I had some technical difficulties, but finally, my new novella is up at amazon.com and smashwords.com! I love this story so hard. It’s even a tiny bit autobiographical if I were to end up in a zombie apocalypse.

Blurb:

As a makeup artist in Hollywood, Beth had seen a lot of weird things over the years, but actual zombies took the cake. With no help from the government, the fully-armed neighborhood steps up to keep the streets safe. On a supply run, Beth ends up face-to-face with a shotgun held by the most gorgeous woman she’d ever seen and has to wonder… Why did it take a zombie apocalypse for her to find love?

Enjoy!

FAT GIRL FINDS LOVE

novellas, writing

Cover Reveal – Fat Girl Finds Love At The End Of The World

My new novella! Yay!! I had so much fun writing this that I may actually make it into a series!

Fat Girl Finds Love At The End Of The World: As a makeup artist in Hollywood, Beth had seen a lot of weird things over the years, but actual zombies took the cake. With no help from the government, the fully-armed neighborhood steps up to keep the streets safe. On a supply run, Beth ends up face-to-face with a shotgun held by the most gorgeous woman she’d ever seen and has to wonder… Why did it take a zombie apocalypse for her to find love? Release date: 8/31/18!

FAT GIRL FINDS LOVE

books

New Release – Lander by J. Scott Coatsworth

Lander-cover

Hello again! Twice in one day! I just wanted to share with you some excellent news about a new release from a fellow writer, J. Scott Coatsworth called Lander. It’s a m/m scifi romance (f/f inclusive) and sequel to Skythane (book two in the Oberon Cycle).

I haven’t had a chance to read what is sure to be a great book, but you’ll have my review when I do! Also, you should read the first book for the second one to work, it’s not a standalone type of book.

Giveaway:

Scott is giving away a $25 Amazon gift certificate and three copies of his queer sci fi eBook “The Stark Divide.” Use this rafflecopter code!

About the Author:

Scott lives between the here and now and the what could be. Indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine, he devoured her library. But as he grew up, he wondered where the people like him were.

He decided it was time to create the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at Waldenbooks. If there weren’t gay characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.

His friends say Scott’s brain works a little differently – he sees relationships between things that others miss, and gets more done in a day than most folks manage in a week. He seeks to transform traditional sci fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.

He runs Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark, sites that bring queer people together to promote and celebrate fiction that reflects their own reality.

Author Website

Facebook – Personal

Facebook  – Author Page

Twitter

Goodreads

QueeRomance Ink

Amazon

The Oberon Cycle: Book Two

Series Blurb:

Xander is a skythane man whose wings have always been a liability on the lander-dominated half world of Oberon.

Jameson is a lander who has been sent to Oberon to find out why the supply of the psycho-amoratic drug pith has dropped off.

What neither knows is that they have a shared destiny that will change the two of them – and all of Oberon – forever.

Book Blurb:

Sometimes the world needs saving twice.

In the sequel to the Rainbow-Award-winning Skythane, Xander and Jameson thought they’d fulfilled their destiny when they brought the worlds of Oberon and Titania back together, but their short-lived moment of triumph is over.

Reunification has thrown the world into chaos. A great storm ravaged Xander’s kingdom of Gaelan, leaving the winged skythane people struggling to survive. Their old enemy, Obercorp, is biding its time, waiting to strike. And to the north, a dangerous new adversary gathers strength, while an unexpected ally awaits them.

In the midst of it all, Xander’s ex Alix returns, and Xander and Jameson discover that their love for each other may have been drug-induced.

Are they truly destined for each other, or is what they feel concocted? And can they face an even greater challenge when their world needs them most?

Excerpt

Jameson kissed Xander again, his passion fading, but his ardor for the man still in full bloom. It was good to find time for the two of them in the middle of madness.

Xander was at rest, peaceful as he floated on the surface of the water, his eyes closed and his muscles slack. His black wings trailed off below into the glow of the pond. He looked more like an angel to Jameson than he had since the first time they’d met.

Images flashed in his head—this place, other people, other times. He squeezed his eyes shut, willing them to go away.

Reluctantly they subsided. Jameson stood to get out of the water, shaking his head as if to dry his hair.

Xander pulled him back down for one more kiss. “What’s the hurry? I can still hear the storm roaring outside.”

Jameson growled. “I’m hungry. Don’t you ever get your fill?” He should have told Xander about the memories. He knew Xander saw them too, sometimes, but Jameson didn’t want to ruin the moment.

“Apparently not.” Xander let him go. “But I like to watch your backside, so I guess this is some kind of compensation.”

“Pervert.” Jameson smiled to himself. He was still sore from their exertions, but it was a good kind of sore.

He climbed up to the rock floor next to the pool, using one of the columns to steady himself. Something skittered across the edge of his vision. A bat? Or something like it? He looked after it, but it had vanished.

He went to pull his pants back on and wrinkled his nose. His clothes were filthy.

He opened his pack and grabbed a fresh set. He pulled on his underwear first, then laced up his shirt while Xander watched appreciatively. Getting dressed had been a hell of a lot easier before he’d gotten his wings. To compensate for his lack of skythane clothing, they’d raided the king’s closet, and it had been a challenge to find anything without a fur lining or silver buttons. King Theron had been a big man too—thick in the middle, if his clothes were any indication. Frowning, Jameson cinched his belt tight to hold up his pants.

“It suits you.” Xander smirked, getting out of the water and giving Jameson a full-on view of his beautiful body. He was muscled, but not overly so, his stomach firm and his body sleek. He was perfect.

Jameson felt a surge of love for Xander. He took full advantage of the unguarded moment, enjoying the show. Xander’s well-defined abs and his lopsided grin were almost enough to entice Jameson to give it another go, but the memories were messing with his head, and he really was hungry.

“Let’s eat.” Xander pulled out his own change of clothes and sniffed them.

“A little damp?”

“Yeah. Mildew from all the rain. Still, it’s better than the alternative.”

He grinned. It was a shame Xander needed to wear anything at all. “Um, food. Yeah. Sounds good.”

“We need to be ready to leave as soon as the storm lets up.” Xander pulled on his pants. “That means keeping up our strength. Getting fed, getting some sleep…. I want to look for Quince and the others, and my people need me back home. Things will be confused in Gaelan after the shift.”

My people. Jameson had his own people too, somewhere across the continent. “Things will be crazy in Oberon City too, I’d imagine.”

Xander nodded. As he finished dressing, Jameson took a look around the cavern. It was maybe fifty meters across, and half that deep, and there were dark shadows at several places near the back, leading off to other caves or rooms.

He wondered how far this cavern system went. His new gift—or curse?—wasn’t specific on details like that, though sometimes memories sprang wholly formed in his head.

Back home on Beta Tau, caverns could stretch on for hundreds of kilometers. The Great Rift system went on for at least three hundred and fifty, meaning it was theoretically possible to get from New Davos to Arctus without ever going aboveground.

He closed his eyes, trying to remember this place. The ability seemed to come and go randomly, but there had to be a way to summon it up at will. It had come to him when he needed it, but not of his own volition.

Again, there was a flickering, like something fluttering past in his peripheral vision. This time it slipped past on both sides. He looked around wildly, but there was nothing there. Not bats, then. He was losing his mind.

“What are you thinking about?” Xander asked. “You seem a little… distracted.”

“You didn’t see that?”

“What?”

“Never mind.” He sighed. “It’s probably just this place. I… remember it, but I don’t.”

“I know. Since that kiss, it’s been hit and miss for me too.”

Jameson nodded. That kiss. The one at the House of the Moon, when memories had flooded through him, through Xander, like a torrent. It had been the second time for him, but for Xander….

“Do you ever… see things that aren’t there?”

“Sometimes. Quick images. Like brief overlays of the past on the present.”

“Do you see them now?”

Xander looked around. “No, nothing now. You?”

“No. I….” He stopped. Something was moving at the edge of his vision. He looked around. The cavern seemed to shift, becoming brighter. There was a weird fluttering, as if a hundred dark wings were flapping just out of sight.

“Jameson, you okay?”

Everything went fuzzy for a moment, and his stomach clenched in protest. When he could see again, golden light flickered from candles placed all around the room. Where had they come from?

He turned back to Xander, but Elyra stood there instead, grinning at him, leaning forward, her breasts like two perfect moons under her vest. “You came. I’ve been waiting for hours.” She pulled him close. He could smell her musky perfume, feel her long raven-black hair brush against his cheeks as their lips met….

The world shifted again.

The cavern was dark, lit by only the smallest blue illumination from the pool, and he was all alone. The deep, keening sadness of loss cut him with a sharp physical pain. In his left hand was a bloody dagger, and his right cupped his torn intestines.

Shift.

A massive furry creature with eight arms and long teeth like a saber-toothed tiger rose up with a growl, and six eyes stared at him over its wrinkled snout. It swiped at him with a hairy paw tipped with sharp claws and he danced away….

Shift.

He was out of breath, gasping for air, and covered in sweat. He held on to one of the rock columns for support, staring over his shoulder. Surely they hadn’t followed him all the way back here.

There were shouts behind him, in the main cavern, and he took a desperate gulp of air and pushed himself onward, toward the darkness at the back of the cavern….

Shift.

He/They/We were joined, feeling a sense of peace and harmony at their union. He/They/We fed on the nutrients in the water, joined body and mind, and mused about the world outside and the events of the last few days. Each part of He/They/We shared its experiences out in the world, the others they had encountered before returning with their knowledge to enrich the whole. The time of the Great Move was coming….

Shift.

Buy Links:

Dreamspinner eBook

Dreamspinner paperback

Amazon US

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

iBooks

QueeRomance Ink

Goodreads

books, writing

A Most Unusual Honeymoon – Cover Reveal & Release Info!

I’m soooo excited! The sequel to my novel, A Most Unusual Wedding, is coming out on Valentine’s Day, 2/14/18! To celebrate this awesome occasion, I’ve got the new cover for you!

In A Most Unusual Honeymoon, we see Gerald and Leo at the English seaside where they encounter new people, a wonderful little tourist town, and a murder… Because it wouldn’t be them if something unusual didn’t happen, even on their honeymoon.

I hope you love reading this book as much as I loved writing it!

A Most Unusual Honeymoon

 

life, writing

2018 – Here we come!

new-year-2841115_640

A lot of people make resolutions and goals for the new year and I’m no exception. We do it every year. Or, I do. I think that it’s a good thing to do because it makes you think, and dream, about the future. About 90% of my resolutions go by the wayside by around February, but that 10% that sticks with me is the foundation of a new, better way of life.

I only have one resolution this year: write more.

I get accused by a couple of friends of being prolific, but I know that I’ve been performing at far less than I’m capable of doing. This last year was filled with fixing an ankle, a couple of big changes at work, and a few disappointments with my writing. It was, overall, a very busy year.

On the writing front, I did finish the sequel to Most Unusual Wedding, which will be coming out quite soon (YAY!) , and I finished an epic fantasy novel, which is being torn apart into a new novel series (Yikes!), and revised two other novels. On the screenwriting front, I finished a new pilot and am revising two others.

Despite that, I know I can do more and do it better. The plan this year–and it is a plan, not a goal–is to write for a minimum of an hour every day. It doesn’t matter what I work on as long as I get in that hour every single day. The last time I worked that much on my writing, I produced…well, let’s just say that it was a lot. hehehehe. I’m going to work on my craft and really sink my teeth into my characters, worlds, and stories.

I’ll check in with you all once a month without fail and let you know what progress on which project I’ve made. That is one of my most important NaNo lessons: when you have accountability, you get shit done. And I think that’s what 2018 will be about. We’re going to have to get a lot of shit done to fix everything that went wrong in 2017.

I hope all of you have a wonderful, fulfilling, and thrilling new year and wish everyone all the best in their personal and professional goals and ambitions and loves.

NaNoWriMo2017, writing

NaNoWriMo 2017 – Wrap-up

Well, another year of NaNo is done and over with. How did I fare? …I’ve done better. ;o)

I started out with the thought that I would write the sequel to my as-yet-unpublished contemporary fantasy novel. I had the outline. I already knew the world and the characters. Surely nothing could possibly get in the way of my finishing NaNo in record time this year! Welp. Let me detail you the process of “failure.”

Week 1 went fine. I didn’t get a chance to write the first few days, but I wasn’t terribly worries at that point. I got in a couple of chapters and was having a really good time with it. (I do love that ‘verse) Then I had the brilliant idea of completely changing projects. I was absolutely positive it would be fine. It was only Week 2, after all, with plenty of time left to get in 50,000 words, even if I didn’t finish the novel itself. So I outlined the new(ish) thing and started writing.

Then work exploded. Then I got sick. Not just sick, but sick with two entirely different issues at the exact same time… and stayed sick for the next three weeks. (If you’re doing the math, yes, I’m still ill and very unhappy about it. Blerg) Despite that, and changing in mid-stream, I did manage to get about 7,000 words done on the first project and almost 17,000 words done on the second, totaling approximately 24,000 words.

So I got about halfway done if you go by word count alone which, really, isn’t awful.

Here’s the really good thing to come out of all of this. The project that I switched to? It’s something that I’d been putting off for about six months. I’d known it needed to be done, but tearing apart a completed, well-written novel is really painful. The fact that I finally bit the bullet and started the necessary work is, in and of itself, an accomplishment. No writer wants to start over from scratch, even if it makes for a better book in the end. That I got a really solid five chapters written is a bonus, really. I’ll keep working on it and, when it’s done, you’ll all have a new epic fantasy YA series to read.

I’ll see you all next year for NaNo2018 where I will not be changing projects midstream, come what may. ;o)

Happy Writing!

tv

The Privatization of Star Trek

When I first heard that CBS was going to make a new Trek tv show, I was thrilled. I’m a huge Trekkie. Janeway is my personal hero, Picard the man I most admire, and Spock a soulmate. I followed all the casting announcements like crazy. I admire all the showrunners and writers and actors involved.

Then I heard that CBS was going to air it solely on their online streaming service. I was puzzled at first, because that would limit the number of fans and advertising dollars. Why would CBS do that to themselves and the show? Didn’t they want to give it the best possible chance at success? We all know that just because it’s Trek, doesn’t mean it’s always going to be a huge hit.

I didn’t think about it much because it hadn’t even aired yet. Wasn’t even close, at that point. I figured CBS would come to their senses and change their minds… only they didn’t. And the longer this sales decision sat with me, the angrier I got.

Star Trek is no longer available to the poor, or even the working poor. It won’t reach children who dream of the stars but are ground down by life and their circumstances. It won’t be a role model to women of color who can’t afford to pay to watch someone represent them in an important role on television, like Captain of a starship. It won’t give hope to LGBTQ youth (or adults for that matter) that maybe, one day in the future, they’ll be treated like everyone else instead of ostracized by their sexuality.

Am I ascribing too much to a simple television show? I really don’t think so. Star Trek’s origination came from someone who wanted to challenge the status quo and shine a light on social issues. In order to do that, everyone needed to be able to see it. Granted, streaming wasn’t an option back then, but I believe Trek was too important to Mr. Roddenberry to limit its vision like this.

“But it’s only $5.99!” people keep saying. “It’s nothing!”

You know what? $6 is toilet paper. $6 is a school lunch. $6 is a box of pasta and bag of rice to make sure you eat for a few days. Sometimes, even $1 is the difference between having a bank account that’s not accumulating overdraft fees and getting sucked into the ever-deepening hole of fees and charges, let alone $5.99. That small amount that doesn’t matter to you? It matters a lot to the poor and working-poor.

I know that Trek’s a commodity. I’m not naïve. People need to make money in order to produce television, of course they do. I have zero problem with CBS making money. But they could make just as much, probably more, by airing Discovery live instead of online. They could double their fanbase by airing it live. This grasping after ever-more dollars at the expense of what Trek stood for leaves me hollow.

This isn’t going to change anything, but I had to get it off my chest.