Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A month of Crazy

And my reward?

To spend the next month finishing the wretched thing.

I'm a little over 50,000 words, and I *think* the novel's going to end up being another 25,000 words or thereabouts... maybe more.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Accidental Cougar: Sommer Marden's Blog Tour

Like one of those favorite friends who drops in randomly to grab a cup of coffee and share a bit of gossip, Sommer Marsden hangs out at my blog... I've hosted her here several times and I talk about her a lot (in fact, I sold a copy of her book for her yesterday. I was talking to one of my girlfriends over lunch and said I'd just finished reading it. As she's forty-seven and just getting back into the dating scene after she lost her fiancee in a terrible accident last year, and the first person her sister tries to set her up with is twenty-six, she cracked up when I told her the novel's premise. I just sent her off the buy link Friday morning...)

So, I'm going to hand it over to Sommer while I get us some coffee (Burundi, single source. Good stuff.)

It’s amazing what can start with a single look. My lust for a rust bucket ’66 Mustang coupe began with a single look. My adoration of pale pink lipstick also began with a single glance. When I met the man a 19 year love affair began with a single look. Hell, my kids began with a particular gaze if you want to get technical. And when a young man did a double take at me a few months back, that single look started a book. Which actually turned into three.

It wasn’t hard to write the beginning of The Accidental Cougar because I knew exactly how Abby felt when Charlie did a double take and gave her a longer look. When that happened to me in real life a while ago, it happened during a particularly crappy week here at Casa Sommer and I looked, quite frankly, like a cast member of the Broadway show Rent. I had on multiple layers of multiple things, no makeup and my hair was wild. When that young man did a double take I assumed it was because I was shockingly unkempt.

Until he smiled. When he smiled I realized he’d did a double take for a whole different reason.

And I came home and started the book—like a speed demon. Abby was born and she was just as flabbergasted as I was about that lingering look. Only she went on to explore it. Me? I just used it as a kick in the ass to start a novel.

So, dark haired, handsome young man out there, wherever you are: Thanks for the books. And that long look. And the smile. It was exactly what I needed—on many different levels.



I saw him coming. I just wasn’t paying attention. My eyes found him, glanced off, and went to my bag again. Cell phone, wallet, lip gloss, book…my usual OCD check upon leaving a store. I glanced up at the young man pinpointed by a stark ray of sun, and looked right into the dark blue of his eyes.

I had no idea who he was. Only that he was tall, dark and handsome. And that wasn’t a cop out or a cliché. He was tall, dark and handsome. He was also wearing a nametag from the store I’d just exited.

Northern Drug wasn’t a big place, and I knew almost everyone who worked there. I’d raised two children and had probably spent at least a year’s salary over the years on band aids, ointments, prescriptions, acne creams and sanitary products.

Irving was the pharmacist. When he was out Mary or Darren filled in. There were three women and two men who usually manned the non-pharmacy part of the store. Mr. Tall-dark-and-handsome wasn’t one of them.

All of this swirled through my head as he shot me a coy smile—downright flirtatious—and raised a hand in a wave.

I found that my own hand, a mere ghost of itself since I couldn’t seem to feel it, raised of its own accord.

I could barely make out his name from my driver’s seat. Charles.

“Thank God I’m farsighted, Charles,” I muttered but then I realized he’d cocked his head in my direction, catching the fact that I was talking.

He raised his eyebrows and delivered another half-smile. What a half smile it was.

I was a divorced woman, I reminded myself. And old enough to be his mother, probably, I reminded myself further. I didn’t like that second part at all.

He raised a hand again, this time in a ‘were you talking to me?’ gesture and I realized I’d never been very good at charades. I shook my head and waved at him, laughing dramatically so he’d know I found the whole thing funny.

Clearly, I’d misunderstood.

Pat, one of the women who worked almost every weekday, stuck her head out and called out to him. He looked a little crestfallen, it was a pretty cute look on an already cute guy. I got another half wave and then he sauntered toward her, all perfectly fitted jeans, low top Vans and navy pullover.

“And dark, curly hair that’s a little too long, let’s not forget,” I said aloud. “You uber perv.”

I started the car and left, hell bent for leather that I’d put Charles-the-young out of my mind.


What would be the harm in a little fling? What would be so bad about bedding a young man who could technically be my son? He wasn’t my son. He wasn’t my anything. But he could possibly, if I could unclench my ass long enough, be my lover.

My lover.

What was so bad?

Buy Accidental Cougar at Amazon


Professional dirty word writer, gluten free baker, sock addict, fat wiener dog walker, expert procrastinator. Called "one of the top storytellers in the erotic genre" by Violet Blue, Sommer Marsden writes for HarperCollins Mischief, Ellora's Cave, Excessica, Xcite Books and Resplendence Publishing. She's the author of numerous erotic novels including Lost in You, Restricted Release, Boys Next Door, Restless Spirit, and Learning to Drown. Visit

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

They Do

Last year, Elizabeth and I did a challenge; the project was to write one ultra-short story per week for six months.

We both missed a few weeks here and there, but eventually we got to our goal, and about a month ago, Whetting the Appetite came out... but before that, there was months and months of writing short stories and very little gratification for it. We wrote and saved, wrote and saved.

Very early in the process, I wrote a little short called Home Inspection; I'd recently had a discussion with a friend about Grindr - he cruises a lot, you understand. But he also has a lot of complaints about the elitist attitude of the app-users. Much like any sort of dating app/situation/bar, there are people who seem to think that if they're very specific with their requirements, they'll get exactly what they want. (I have a girlfriend who had a list of 27 things that a man had to have, had to be, or had to Not Do in order to get a second date... ) In any case, I'd found the concept sort of intriguing... fiddled with the idea of writing a story about it, and never did. Until this short-story marathon came up.

(As a note, Elizabeth, I'm still waiting for you to write your hook-up story... ::cough cough ahem!:: )

So I wrote a short story about a very unlikely couple; a professional black man and a blue collar white guy.

It's one of my favorites in the collection.

And since I wrote it so early in the year, I had to live with it sitting there, doing nothing, for quite a while. I saw a number of writing calls where I could take the story out, lengthen it up a bit, and send it out. I kept not doing it. Which was, perhaps, harder than it should have been.

My reasoning was, if Elizabeth and I took out the best stories to send in to other collections, we'd be left with a collection of mediocre stories and who'd want to read that? In the end, I'm glad we didn't cherry pick through the collection, because I think we've got some great stories to offer, and I really like the flow of the collection. (Go buy it! Sheesh!)

Eric and Temple, however, have never quite left my mind, even after the deal was sealed. I always wanted to do more with them.

Elizabeth and I teased a bit with the idea of writing a second book, Satisfying the Appetite (maybe?) where we took some of the shorts from Whetting and fleshed them out. I've been out and out yelled at by a couple of readers who want to know what the HELL happened in the end of BoyMart, and I personally want to throttle Elizabeth for the ending of Woman with the Blue Tattoo. There are several stories in there that could become novels or novellas of their own, worlds to explore and universes to expand upon.

I've been mostly working on novels... Blues is finished, I'm waiting for one last set of beta read opinions, and I'll start edits probably around mid-May for submission in June/July... I'll probably start writing Classic in November, and then the two side-stories, All that Jazz and Punked Up...

I'm currently in the middle of writing Howling Bitch - it's going quite well, and I'm enjoying it.

And novels are all good and well; I enjoy writing novels.

But there's something quick and dirty about a short. No matter how much I tell myself "this is the year of working on longer projects," I find myself considering little ideas. I've actually stepped up and started collecting submissions for an anthology project of my own. (This is because I have lost my fucking mind... but still, should be interesting!)

Also, I really like the thrill of getting acceptances back; for a little project, for a big project, for a charity project. All of these things are wonderful, wonderful feelings. But with novels, they're really spread out. I can only write about 2 novels in a year...

So, I give in to temptation. Sometimes.

And I'll put together a short story for this antho or that collection.

Eric and Temple had more to say. I saw the opportunity to let them say it.

Building Us will be available June 15th.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Jennifer Raygoza's The Guardians: Feel the Fire

Author: Jennifer Raygoza

Title: The Guardians I: Feel the Fire

Series: The Guardians

Genre: Romantic Dark Fantasy

Release Date: 4.15.14

Publishing House: Vamptasy

About me: Jennifer Raygoza was born in Riverside, California. She attended Fullerton College with a Major in Psychology. She currently lives with her husband and two children in Corona, California. She loves music. It inspires her to write the wildest things.

Excerpts- Feel free to pick one or two.

I breathed slowly, quietly trying to calm my racing heart. I didn't say a word.

"You don't like me much, do you?" Caleb asked while chuckling.
He was right. I thought he was an asshole.

"I'm not a jerk, Gianna. I really am a great guy once you get to know me."

I slammed on the brakes. How did he know my name? My anger returned full force. I got out of the car and violently opened his door.

"Get out. Get out now," I yelled. I had my gun in my hand. The safety was off and it was loaded.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Beta Readers

Some of the following screed comes from a rant I posted on Facebook recently, but I have added some stuff in, just in case you've seen it already.

Having just read a rant about beta readers, and giving free rein to a number of unsavory things that I just said to the cat about the entire thing... (note, the cat does not care. but he's a good listener.)

I would say a couple things about beta readers and reading in general:

1) always beta read with (or for) someone who shares love for many of the same books you already love. If you get a Sci-fi fan to read your romances or a romance reader to proof your horror novel, you're looking in the wrong place and particularly if they don't like your genre of choice, they're not going to enjoy the story. People who don't enjoy the store at the core of the issue are NOT going to be able to help you fix it. (This will also sometimes keep you from accidentally plagiarizing. A problem I've had is that I love the Liaden books so much I sometimes accidentally grab lines of dialogue almost directly out of their books. My primary beta refuses to allow this.)

2) Don't get a wide variety of opinions: a large book group is essentially worthless. Everyone likes different things. I'm not saying pad your beta group with people who say "oh, that's nice." but getting 20 opinions means you're going to lose your voice if you follow all the advice. I recommend 3. If 2 of the 3 say "change this." then you absolutely should change it. Otherwise, also remember that a beta reader's opinion is just that; an opinion. Feel free to disregard.

3) DON'T argue with your beta reader. For one thing, that'll make them much less likely to want to read anything you write ever, ever again. You're not paying them, so you need to be nice to them. Appreciate them. Send them a doughnut once in a while.

If you drastically disagree with something they said, and you feel some need to justify your decision of not making the change (and really, if you feel this need, sit down and THINK about it for a minute. are you mad because you disagree, or are you mad because you feel hurt? Do NOT go talk to your beta reader if you're feeling all rainbow bunnies squashed about what they said. I know you love your own writing and you're a sensitive artist and all that, but GROW A MUCH THICKER SKIN. You will need that motherfucking armor LATER, so you best get to it now.) then sit down and talk with them. Explain why you like it this way, what you were trying to convey with the section, and see why it doesn't work for them. Trust me, shit that is obvious to YOU ain't always obvious to your readers.

4) Listen to and love your betas and editors. Even if you don't agree with what they said, I've rarely come across either who is saying what they say just to hurt your feelings, or to make themselves feel superior. Betas are perfect, wonderful gems who are HELPING you make your story the absolute best it can be. Never forget that.

5) that being said, if your betas are useless, unresponsive, or prone to just nitpicking about comma placement and not commenting on the story? Then get a new one.

Now, I do quite a bit of beta reading for other authors... a lot of times beta reading comes as a mutually beneficial service that authors provide to each other. For instance, I am Elizabeth L. Brook's primary beta reader and she is often mine. But I also do reading for three other writers... now, all of us write in the same, or similar genres (we're all erotica/erotic romance writers) and so I'm very familiar with the tropes of the genre.

So, I've talked about what to do as a writer, dealing with your beta readers, but let's talk about the other side of things for a while; as a beta reader, what obligations do you have?

1) keep in mind that the author is both giving you the chance to shape her work, and the opportunity to read it before anyone else does. That's your payment. (I often give a shout out to my betas in the dedications of a novel, if I'm actually allowed a dedication. Sometimes I'm not, or sometimes, since I thanked my beta in the last book, she should assume that I still am grateful.) But being a beta reader is WORK. If you don't have time or the inclination to do the work involved PLEASE don't volunteer. As a writer, we often rely desperately on feedback and there's very little that's more painful than an empty email box.

2) Find out what your writer wants out of their beta reading; always ask! One writer might be looking for different sorts of commentary than others.

My personal requirements for beta reading go something like this: don't worry about grammar or editing too much - if you see something really awful, point it out, but otherwise, assume that I have an editor who will nitpick my comma placement after things go a second round. Search for consistency; if I say the hero has blue eyes, make sure he always has blue eyes. Little details like that really bug the shit out of readers. (There is a particularly famous author and in one of his Big Fucking Books, a main female character had blue, brown, or green eyes... this STILL bothers me and I haven't read the book in years.) Plot holes. "Why didn't he just CALL HER?" Story pacing?

When I beta, I frequently do what is sometimes called the "shit sandwich." Which is, basically, don't completely shred the manuscript. if it's that terrible and unreadable, just tell your writer. So what I do is while I point out stuff that doesn't work for me, I also point out stuff that really does; that I find amusing, or cute, or just really awesome. These sorts of comments can keep a writer going.

3) Learn to use your tools; most word processing programs have a feature called "track changes" or "record changes." Please for the love of all that's holy, learn to use it. It makes things easier for everyone.

4) Sum up. At the end of a chapter, or section, or novel, write out a couple of paragraphs, general thoughts. Not specific "I don't think this word means what you think it means" but "I really liked the flow of this chapter, it moved along nicely and I was eager to see what would happen next."

Depending on the sort of novel it is - I've beta read a mystery before - I wrote a section at the base of each chapter summing up what "clues" I thought we'd been given in this Chapter and what stuff I was fixating on (does it matter that the murder happened in January) so that she could see where things needed to be clarified or emphasized, or DE-emphasized.

If you have particular beta advice, either as a reader, or a writer, please feel free to contribute to the discussion!!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Guest Post, Brad Stevens


Brad Stevens is a film critic based in the UK. He is the author of Monte Hellman: His Life and Films (McFarland, 2003 ) and Abel Ferrara: The Moral Vision (FAB Press, 2004). He writes regularly for Sight & Sound: his 'Bradlands' column appears every month on the magazine's website.

He has also contributed to Cahiers du Cinema, Video Watchdog, The Dark Side, The International Film Guide, the Senses of Cinema website and Chris Fujiwara's Defining Moments in Movies (Cassell Illustrated, 2007). He recorded commentary tracks for the Masters of Cinema DVDs of Nosferatu and Tabu, has appeared in several documentaries, and can be seen interviewing Christopher Lee on VCI's DVD of The City of the Dead. He has also written many DVD sleeve notes. He co-authored the English subtitles for F. J. Ossang's Dharma Guns (2010), and was on the jury at the Oldenburg Film Festival in 2007.

The Hunt is his first novel. He is currently working on a sequel entitled A Caution to Rattlesnakes.


THE HUNGER GAMES meets FIFTY SHADES OF GREY in this dystopian science-fiction novel.
Great Britain in the year 2068. A totalitarian government has passed laws victimizing racial minorities, prohibiting homosexuality, and preventing women from voting or having abortions. When a feminist group launches a terrorist attack, the state responds by creating the Hunt, a weekly contest in which ten randomly selected females are pursued by ten male Hunters across an abandoned district of London.
Mara Gorki is a successful crime novelist trying to keep her lesbian relationship with film critic Yuke Morishita a secret. Horrified by what is happening in the country, she seldom leaves her apartment, attempting to create a private universe in which she and her lover can hide. But the external world comes crashing in when Mara is conscripted into the Hunt. After discovering what Hunters do to the women they capture, Mara enters the contest determined to elude her pursuers. The odds may be against her, but the consequences of failure are too terrifying to contemplate.


     At nine-thirty, Mara changed into the uniform and headed towards her local church. Although British citizens could follow whatever religion they pleased, they were also required to spend at least two hours every month 'worshipping' in a Christian house of prayer. Mara usually chose Monday mornings, since they were quieter than other times. As she walked through the large doors of St. Pancras Parish Church, she placed her thumb on the scanner, which registered her attendance and collected an obligatory 'donation'. A nun standing by one of the pillars near the entrance gave her a friendly smile. Nuns were exempted from wearing the uniform, and much as Mara despised the ideology she represented, she found this woman striking in her long black habit. Something about her suggested she might be one of those rare professional Christians who actually followed Christ's teachings, and wished to make everyone feel welcome. By contrast, the priest who conducted Monday morning services seemed to have modelled himself on the God of the Old Testament. He had a long white beard, and addressed his flock in a booming voice. As Mara took a seat in the back row, he was declaiming a passage from Deuteronomy. A Bible lay open on the stand before him, but this section was one of his favourites - Mara had heard him recite it half-a-dozen times - and at no point did he refer to the text. "If the charge is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found," he roared, staring at his captive audience as he did so, "she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you. If a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die. You must purge the evil from Israel. If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death—the young woman because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man’s wife. You must purge the evil from among you."

     If Mara hadn't already been a militant atheist, these mandatory church visits would have turned her into one. She sat in the back row, listening to the priest drone on, glancing at her watch every few minutes. She'd have brought a book, but reading secular texts here was a criminal offence. She noticed a pair of orthodox Jewish men sitting a few rows in front of her, looking uncomfortable and out of place. Eventually, the priest closed his Bible without so much as looking at it, cleared his throat, and delivered the day's sermon. “Many years ago,” he began, “there lived a woman who thought of nothing but the joys of this world. She drank to excess, gorged herself on food, and copulated frequently, even with those of her own sex. Worse, she loudly proclaimed her defiance of God, denying His very existence. When death came to her, as it must to all of us, she was cast directly into Hell. There, she was hung naked in flames, her tongue removed with pincers, her eyes gouged out, her ears cut off, the flesh torn from her body, a hot poker inserted into the place from which she had derived such pleasure during her lifetime of sin. When this process had been completed, her body instantly regenerated, and the torture started anew, as it would continue to do forever. But still she defied God. She now admitted His existence, but declared this existence to be an abomination. Was it not God who had sentenced her to an eternity of suffering? God, she decided, was an immensely powerful sadist from whom there could be no escape. And for the first time, she knew the fear of God. She feared not the unending torments to which she was subjected, but rather that even in this place, where sinners were cast out of God's sight, He might reach down and pluck her out, like a rock buried in the ground, and thus bring her face to face with Him. Hell is so arranged that those condemned to a lower circle may never ascend to a higher, but there is nothing to prevent those on the higher circles descending to the lower. And so it was that this woman, acting on her demented beliefs, made a deliberate choice to sink further into the Pit. As she passed from one circle to the next, her agony increased, but the pain bothered her less than the idea that she was being pursued by God. Finally, she came to rest in the last of the nine circles, in the middle of which Satan himself squatted like a toad. Here, in addition to everything she had previously endured, cackling demons forced her to consume her own intestines, then her limbs, then the rest of her body. In the final seconds before regeneration occurred, her mouth turned inside out and consumed itself. But although she had now sunk as far as possible, the woman's greatest fear was that she had not sunk far enough, could never sink far enough. Even in the deepest pit of Hell, she was still not safe from God.”

     Mara wasn't sure whether to be more alarmed by the content of this vile lecture, or the priest's conduct while delivering it, for although she'd positioned herself at the rear of the church, she had no trouble seeing that he was vigorously masturbating under his cassock. Finally seeming to remember where he was, the man staggered out of his pulpit and disappeared through a door located behind the altar while the choir broke into He Who Would Valiant Be. As the congregation rose to its feet and made a desultory attempt to join in with the singing, Mara noticed that two hours had passed since her arrival. She walked back to the entrance and once more placed her thumb on the scanner, confirming she'd stayed the required length of time. For some reason, the sermon echoed in her head. She didn't believe in Hell or Heaven, but try as she might, she couldn't shake the feeling that this dreadful tale contained an element of prophecy.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Blog Tour: Milla V, The Ballerina and the Revolutionary


Milla V is the more gentle alter ego of Carmilla Voiez. Milla's YA and NA novels have more universal appeal than her somewhat extreme form of horror writing. The Ballerina and the Revolutionary, to be released on April 1st, is her first full length novel that can be regarded as Magic-Realism rather than horror.

Carmilla Voiez, a British horror writer, resides in Scotland and writes from her home in Banff, where she lives with her daughters and cats. Carmilla sold her Gothic Clothing business in 2012 and has been writing and releasing top selling books and short stories since then. A Goth for over 20 years, her books are inspired by the Gothic subculture, magic and dark desires, exploring sexual obsession and violence in often hard-hitting ways.

The first book, Starblood, which has been nominated for the Commonwealth Book Prize, is set partly in the beautiful Cairngorm mountains and partly in the city where she grew up, in South West England, she finds inspiration in local beauty, stately homes, the Moray Firth and woodlands around the Scottish town where she has lived the past 10 years.

Carmilla Voiez won the title Horror Author of the Year 2013 from HFA and FearVenture Author of the Year 2014.

Links: On Amazon
Facebook page for Milla V -
Blog for Milla V and Carmilla Voiez –

Readings can be heard on Room 13 Radio Podcast -


Vivienne realises she is dying. All she wants to do is see her daughter Giselle one last time and apologise. But Giselle no longer exists and it is Crow, a gender-queer anarchist, who returns to a family home that is plagued by ghosts and violent memories. Crow unravels terrifying secrets, hoping to find closure at last. But can anyone survive the shadows that lurk behind the fairy tales?

Promo video -


My body was like flotsam, tossed about in the crowd. My throat, dry from shouting, felt full of razorblades. Where was everyone? The bodies, bouncing beside me, crashing against me, were strangers. All my friends scattered in the first surge, not long after the rioting started and the police descended. Above our heads, damp with sweat and water spray, towered a dozen mounted police. Glossy, chestnut mares gazed haughtily down at the crowd as their riders tapped batons against body armour, menacingly. The bodies of fellow anarchists and others pressed in around me. The tide was turning. We were moving back, retreating, scurrying away like frightened rats. A sweaty chest crushed my face. As the man moved so my jaw and nose moved too, pinned between it and an arm behind me. I gasped for breath.

It was always the same. Two steps forward, one step back. Our comrades had been occupying the closed school for months, providing free education to adults and children alike in this deprived area of London, but the landlords wanted them out. Answering their call for help, we stood with them. Dressed in black and red, we created a buffer between those grass-roots heroes and our moneyed oppressors with nothing other than property values, profit and fast turnarounds on their minds. Our standoff displeased the Metropolitan police, and here they were again, determined to move us on. Comply or die – that should have been their motto.
Amidst the chaos, I heard a shout and recognised the voice. Jumping, I accidentally bludgeoned a man’s ear with my elbow as I rose. He yelped in pain and shock then acknowledged my existence, at last.

‘I need to see,’ I told him.

He supported my weight, lifting me proud of the crowd. Outside the tightening ring of protestors was Chrissie. She was being tackled by three policemen and wrestled to the ground.

The man withdrew his support and I slid between bodies and dropped to my knees. Beyond the forest of legs, Chrissie’s face was being pushed against concrete, a heavy boot pressed between her shoulders. Our eyes met. Wrapping my fingers around a rock from the ground, I rose to my feet, leaned forwards and pushed my way towards the front of the crowd, weaving between hot bodies. The smell of anger and fear tainted the air. Sweat and tears dripped like rain.

At last, my body fell clear of the crush of protestors. Chrissie craned her neck and stared back at me. My shout of rage was cut short as a riot shield slammed against my cheek and I crumpled on the ground beside her.

In the flashing lights of my dazed vision, her face faded. I reached out and grasped her wrist. A smile lit up her face and she mouthed one word, ‘Crow,’ before all light extinguished and I passed out.

About Crow 

My name was Crow. I was nineteen years old and had spent most of my life trying to escape all forms of hierarchy, most accurately portrayed for me, by the image of the matriarch, i.e. my crazy mother.

Mother’s name was Vivienne. We didn’t look alike, we didn’t act alike and we certainly didn’t think alike. Vivienne was a prima ballerina before she gave birth to me and I had all the grace of an elephant. She wore long, floating skirts and big jewellery, while I felt more comfortable in combats and t-shirts and hated the long hair she made me wear as a child, that symbol of begrudging femininity that never felt comfortable. My head was shaved now, much easier.

As far as I could remember I had always hated her, and she me. I never figured out what she wanted from me and simply assumed it was my unhappiness. Once free of her oppression, I naturally transferred this simmering animosity to other unworthy authority figures, but things were rarely as simple as they seemed.
I survived the blow from the shield, although the crowd were moved on and the building cleared. A pity really, another community space handed over to the rich elite. It made my head spin. I never understood the principle of profit over people. There were a lot of things I didn’t understand, but in the end I was a fighter and I guess I existed outside of society. It was easier that way, less complicated, and I could keep my priorities in check. I liked to think of myself as a freedom fighter, like my dad. The squat had everything I needed and I did a bit of this and that to make enough money to feed myself. That was all I had ever wanted – to survive and be free. That’s why I left home when I did, at thirteen.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Building Us

Sometimes there are characters that I write who just don't want to leave after their story is done.

Eric and Temple are two of them. I wrote their story fairly early last year in the January to June short story writing spurts that Liz and I were doing. I think I wrote it around the beginning of February; it was one of the first, at any rate.

And then I spent the rest of the year not plucking that story out of the collection and taking my boys to bed - so to speak. The story ends with them deciding to give dating a shot, and no one ever gets naked. They don't even kiss, although Eric spends a while fantasizing...

Torquere, one of my publishers, does a collection of short stories every month, on different themes... and one of them is "They Do" which is LGBT wedding stories... groomzillas and wedding disasters and the like. I went a slightly different route - because I always do! - and wrote about Eric and Temple's proposal scene.

I just signed the contract for that short the other day.

So if you read and enjoyed Whetting the Appetite, you're going to want to pick this collection up; or just the individual story, because that's how Torquere is running that show these days; the stories are released as a whole antho, or you can just buy the story you're interested in. Which is pretty cool...

I believe that collection's going to be out in June, so that will probably be my next purchasable title, since everything else has been pushed back and off til at least late summer. I'm not sure. Let you know when I know.