Monday, November 24, 2014

Introducing Nickie Jamison; author of S.E.T.H.

Let me introduce you to my dear friend, Nickie, who is just adorable, who owns a ton of really sweet purses, and is one of my better friends in the universe (especially considering that she married my brother and made my life much easier by contributing significantly to his happiness)

She also wrote one of the more humorous pieces in Coming Together: Among the Stars. When I got to the line about taking a sample, I laughed out loud and knew I had to have this story... you may never look at a hair dryer the same way again....

Thank you for interviewing me, Lynn.

I’m sharing a photo of my future workspace. I live in the house that I grew up in and it’s currently in a state of flux – we’re updating/reorganizing the kitchen. The room pictured was my playroom when I was a kid.

When did you find out that you wanted to be a writer? What inspired you to put pen to paper?

I wrote a full length horror/ mystery/ thriller novel in fifth grade - or at least as close as you can get to one when you’re 10 and your literary inspiration is R.L.Stine. I wrote it by hand in a  one subject notebook (covered with Lisa Frank stickers, ftw) and was promptly sent to the office…apparently you’re not supposed to pen the rather graphic demise of the principal of the private Christian grade school you attend…it frightens the other children.

What are your biggest pet peeves for other people's grammar? 

Using words incorrectly – it makes me want to throat punch the writer with a dictionary.

Are there any mistakes that you find yourself making regularly?

Dialogue tags are the bane of my existence as a writer. Part of that is a hang-on from my days in the theater where stage directions abound and speech is punctuated by acting.

Tell me about your first publication. Who was it with? How did you feel when you got that acceptance?

S.E.T.H. is my first published short story making Coming Together: Among the Stars my first official publication.

How much of your life and the people you know end up in your work?

“As a mental exercise, I’ve often planned the murder of friends and colleagues…” – Sherlock (BBC)

A significant amount – I’m an avid journal keeper so it’s natural that writing is my method of dealing with shit.

What projects are you currently working on? Are you willing to share a small excerpt from a work in progress?

An excerpt from the Sci-Fi piece I’m currently working on:

Avaliegh tried not to stare at the bishop’s rotten tooth – a black slice among the brown jumble of his other teeth, but it drew her gaze and she watched his dry cracked lips move over it as he talked. The bishop’s condition was the consequence of a half a lifetime on the outlier planet Rondure 9 and a lack of good general dental hygiene. The balding old man beckoned Ava forward from the line of red-robed Breeders – women dedicated to the service of Theotokos. The bishop placed a warm arthritis knobbed hand on Ava’s shoulder and turned to the visitor, a poor farmer called Isaac.
“This Sister has come to us from a convent on Tersaris.” The bishop said.
“So she’s in good shape?”
“Very.” The bishop gave Ava’s shoulder a light squeeze.
“Let me see her marks.” Isaac’s silky bass voice made Ava’s heart drop into her stomach and she faltered, averting her gaze from Isaac’s face to the floor.
“Certainly,” the bishop said.
Ava timidly pulled the wide sleeve of her red robe up to her elbow to show the five scars on the inside of her forearm; two ‘x’ marks for the two miscarriages, two straight lines for the two stillbirths, and a circle with an arrow for the male child.
“She is still young, not even twenty-five orbital cycles.” The bishop’s breath stank and Ava jammed the tip of her tongue into the roof of her mouth, stifling her gag reflex.
Isaac’s lips pressed into a flat line and his brow furrowed in thought. From beneath the hood of her robe, Ava looked Isaac up and down, evaluating him. He was a handsome man; his jaw square dusted with dark stubble and his body strong and lean from farm work. Isaac’s dark hair was silvered at the temples and Ava reckoned he was at least forty. 
“Five pounds of salt and I’ll send milk to the convent thrice a week.”
“Done.” The bishop and Isaac shook hands. 

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Annual Review

I wrote this up last year because I was having some issues with what I was doing with my life... and it helped a lot, kept me on track, and gave me something solid to look at whenever I was feeling depressed.

So, while I'm not currently having those issues - honestly, the royalty check that I used to put a down payment on a CAR really helped with the idea that I'm wasting my time - it's about a year later and I thought it would be a good time to do an annual summary...

2014 Accomplishments

  • Living Proof accepted for publication with Antimatter Press (January)
  • Whetting the Appetite accepted for publication with JMS (January)
  • Fair Game accepted for publication in For Love of a Soldier (February)
  • Coming Together: Among the Stars anthology approved (March)
  • Building Us accepted for publication in They Do (March)
  • Howling Bitch accepted for publication with Vamptasy (novel) (May)
  • Blues accepted for publication with Torquere (novel) (July)
  • A Marked Man accepted for publication with Vamptasy (novel) (July)
  • Situation Normal accepted for publication with Coming Together (August)
  • Half the World Away (excerpt) for Crave, the best of Hot Ink antho (August)
  • In the Closet accepted for audio publication with Stupid Fish (September)
  • London Steam accepted for publication (partial reprint) with JMS (September)
  • The Terran Academy Novellas contracted (not written!) (September)
  • Go Down with the Ship (reprint) accepted for publication with JMS (September)
  • Room for Dessert accepted (reprint) for publication with JMS (September)
  • Mouse Games (reprint) accepted for publication with Beyond 50 (October)
  • Holiday Hours (reprint) accepted for publication with Coming Together (October)
  • On the Fly (reprint) accepted for publication with Coming Together (October)
  • Classic accepted for publication with Torquere (novel) (November)

Things that aren't on my acceptance list

I have a couple of short stories that are still floating around (one with an acceptance, then the project has been delayed like three times, and I have no idea of the status of... frustrating! and one that's floating around without an answer...)

I've discovered that I really enjoy putting anthologies together - Coming Together: Among the Stars was an excellent project and I really had fun with it... it also ate up a lot of my time and brain power. It was a branching out into a new direction of the writing process. I'm still debating if I want to do it again... (oh, who am I kidding, I already have an idea for another antho...)

I have 19 projects there from this year, which is 9 more than last year, of which four are novels... admittedly, some of the things are reprints or excerpts and didn't take lots of effort on my part aside from going "Yeah, we can use those... " altho I still had to 1) make sure I had rights back 2) go through the submission process 3) edit some of them 4) added an entire new short story to London Steam.

I helped plan and then attended a writer's conference, which resulted in several of the above stuff happening. I had my first official book signing. I have gotten a lot more organized. I've been approached for a few stories and concepts from publishers (Looking at you, Antimatter Press!) which is both flattering and exciting. I've started working with some very talented writers on collaborative projects, done some incredible charity work. I've become very, very good at writing book 'blurbs in a short amount of time and also mostly stopped complaining about it.

I've continued to refine my craft; I can now write up a fairly extensive outline and even if my novel wanders off track a bit (and they do. Novels are living things and they don't always stick to the map), I can still pretty accurately predict how long things are going to take me to do. I have not yet been late with a project target date that I've committed to. I have had editors / publishers ask me for things earlier than I said I'd turn them in and sometimes that gets a blowjob face and sometimes I can actually push and get it done.

I've also done extensive beta reading for a couple of other writers - three novels for EM Lynley (Spaghetti Western: Sex, Lies, and Wedding Bells, and Dirty Dining.) one for Elizabeth Black (Full Moon Fever) and several short stories for Nickie Jamison... not to mention editing an entire anthology from soup to nuts.

I've learned to say No to projects - even very interesting projects! - when I know I haven't got the time to give them their full attention. I've learned to say Yes to projects that scare the shit out of me. I've gained a substantial backlist. I've learned to politely reject a story submission. I've gained confidence as an author and confidence in my own work. I've learned to tell the difference between a bad story and one I just happen to not like.  

So, 2014 has been a busy year....

Goals and ongoing projects

finish revisions of A Wanted Woman and submit
outline and write Sins of Angels
outline and write All that Jazz
outline Terran Academy, parts 1 - 3
write Terran Academy part 1 (I'm not really sure what the schedule looks like for this yet, since publication won't occur until 2016)
begin short stories for Connections goal to complete 4 per year.
novella length project for MEWR

Projects that may or may not get done next year

- Hailey's Comet, a YA LGBT novel
- The Wormwood Trade, a steampunk romance
- Punked Up (book 5 of Rainbow Connections)
- Ghost Magics (book 4 of Demoniac Codex)
- Pretty much anything Rose Caraway asks me to do, because AWESOME
- Coming Together shapeshifter project, Were What? for Bat Sanctuary charity

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

And more news!

My goodness, it's been a busy week!

Is it really only Wednesday?

I got fun news, excellent news, and fantastic news over the last three days.

On Monday, I got cover art for A Marked Man...

I'm also "in talks" with a librarian friend of mine who apparently has a small section of my books in her library. I keep trying to get her to take a picture for me, but she forgets, and the library in question is about 10 hours of driving from here, so.... (In talks meaning she was asking me "so, how do I get this book so I can put it on our shelf?")

She's also the original Catreen; meaning when Bastian Hooke was a role-playing character, she was in control of his love interest. Now, since those days, both characters have undergone fairly substantial overhauls... Bastian got younger (he was originally in his mid to late 30s for the game, and now he's 27.) and acquired some... interesting relatives. Catreen lost her psionic abilities in exchange for a powerful magic sword and dragon-slaying capabilities. She also gained an extremely... unpleasant ex-boyfriend.

So, I got to show her the cover; she made some suggestions for a cover model for Book 2, A Wanted Woman, which I'm quite pleased with... and she's happy with this portrayal of Bastian... in fact, it's hard to say who's more squee about it, me, or her.

Last night, I got an email from Brandon Clay, my cover artist over at Torquere. I wasn't sure he was going to be my cover artist this time around, but I was hopeful... so I included this note to him in my Cover Art Request Form (CAR)

This page has the cover for Roll, Book one, on it. I'd like the books to match, (also, it's the same cover model in a different pose) I'd like the background to be Blue (obviously) with the same font. “Good Times and Mardian Demo” are the ones that Brandon told me he used (assuming you're not brandon. If you are, hi brandon)
Brandon was really happy to work on a second cover for me, and I think they'll look really good on the shelf next to each other... (It's actually one of the reasons I drive my cover artists nuts by asking about Fonts and colors is that in case something happens and I have a new cover artist by the time a sequel comes out, I want to help the new artist get things that match... I have had art that did Not Match and I was not enamored with it.)

So, here's that...

Rising sophomore Beau Watkins gave up everything to be with his boyfriend, Vin. Beau is disowned by his father, tormented by his brother, is rapidly running out of money, and suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. On top of that, his boyfriend seems to see Beau as little more than a live-in maid. Troubled by word of his missing father and fighting nightmares of his own, Vin Reyes turns to alcohol to drown his pain. What's worse, a handsome transfer student is a little too interested in Beau. Vin throws away everything that's made him happy with both hands, terrified of his own feelings of inadequacy.
When Vin and Beau's happily-ever-after turns into a train wreck of drinking problems, resentment, insecurity, jealousy, and violence, they both try to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives. Their mutual friends, Hector and Ann-Marie, try to help the two young men as best they can, but neither want to listen. Beau accepts a morally questionable job offer to pad his finances and Vin starts a downward spiral of self-destructive behavior that sends him right for rock bottom. Can Vin and Beau win through doubt and guilt, jealousy and recklessness, to find their place in the world? 

Slightly updated my 'blurb. (It's not yet run through my editor, so there still might be slight changes to the 'blurb...)

Also, Blues was moved up in production; it's almost finished, just one last copy edit to go through, and it'll be ready. And once again, through no real fault of my own (seriously, I got on Vamptasy's calendar for Howling Bitch in March very early, like before the book was even FINISHED!) and then submitted Blues in August... it's NOT my fault that the original publication dates got practically on top of each other... but my editor and I talked about it... and we've got the publication date of Blues moved up to January 28th...

So there's that, and that's fantastic...

And this morning, I got up to an email from my publisher accepting Classic (the third in the Rainbow Connection series) for publication in early Fall of 2015...

Classic will be the last of the series that features Beau and Vin as the main characters. Vin has a significant role in All That Jazz, which will be Hector's story, and Beau has a major supporting role in Punked Up, which is Ann-Marie's story.

(My plan for the covers is to continue along the lines of the ones I have now, so Classic will have a yellow title tag and have Beau at the top - still trying to decide if his niece should be at the bottom or if a city-scape of Bangkok... both have substantial meanings for book three... and then All that Jazz will be green, with Hector at the top and Finn at the bottom, and Punked Up will be Ann-Marie at the top and her girlfriend on the bottom with a purple title bar.)

Query; I've got some ideas for some "connections" stories for the non LGBT characters in the stories... Josh, for instance, who my editor says deserves all the bro-points for being a really good friend even when Beau is acting like a horrible ass. (and he really, really is...) and David, the enigmatic bodyguard/driver has some incredible backstory that I've never found a way to work into the novels... or Kate, who has a very sweet story with her husband, Mark... as well as some side stories that I think people would want to see, but also didn't really fit well...

Roll, for instance, originally contained a second sex scene between Beau and Hector that started Beau on his bondage thing. (yes, it's a thing, yes, he ties Vin up again in a Very Hot scene in Classic and Yes, you have to wait a while for it...) After some discussion about it with my editor (who never saw the scene, actually...) I removed it because it wasn't relevant to plot and it might have established that it was Vin moving in on Hector's territory rather than the other way 'round... Jody, for instance, the RC vice prez; is trans and apparently reading through the stories again, that never comes up At All...

Unfortunately, because of the nature of these stories, most of my publishers won't be particularly interested in them. So, I guess the question is; would seeing these stories be something you - as readers - would be interested in?

If yes, keeping in mind that I'd want the stories to be edited and that means paying an editor (Elizabeth loves me. She doesn't love me that much!) and getting cover art... I don't want this to be a halfhearted effort. These stories mean a lot to me, and I just can't see compromising on quality. Would you be willing to pay for the stories; they'd be hosted here on the website, and I would make them available as a kindle or .pdf download.

I was thinking of doing this in a few different ways; the first would be to put a donation bucket up, and once I got a certain amount of donations (say $150, which would cover editing and a piece of cover art) I would post 3 stories for free, and then an additional story for every $50 after that. (with the option to close donations if money gets further ahead than I am... )

Option 2; I could charge a subscription fee to the website ($5 a year) with the stories behind a pay-wall... (I would need at least 30 subscribers to go forward with this plan)

Or Option 3; I could charge 99 cents per story and only people who pay directly get to see the stories. (Each story would be about 3,500 words to 7,000 words, with longer stories being broken into parts...)

I would really, really love some feedback on this...

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


First off, there's this...

I've been posting a bit on Facebook about this book and what it means to me...

Honestly, I can't even. Wordz!

I've been living with some version of Bastian Hooke in my head for almost 20 years now; he's a permanent resident. So it's really a life's goal to be able to share him with other people. I don't know if that means he'll move out and move on, or not... hard to say. It's sometimes a little disconcerting to have a thief and an assassin living in your head full time and commenting on shit.

A Marked Man will be released December 18th. I'm having a Facebook release party... please stop by, even if it's just to say hello...

Also, other news... Blues' production date has been moved up significantly; Instead of mid-March, Blues will be hitting Kindles everywhere on January 28th! Wooo hoo!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Introducing Elizabeth Black; author of Longing

What It Means To Be Human
By Elizabeth Black

First, I would like to thank Lynn Townsend for accepting my story "Longing" for "Coming Together: Among The Stars". When Lynn told me about the anthology, I knew immediately what I wanted to write about.

I'm getting up in years, and as I age I've felt my body cooperate less with what I would like it to do. Every creak and ache reminds me that life doesn't last forever. Stooping sets my knees on fire. The idea of dancing makes me laugh. My right hip hurts when I walk for too long a period of time, although that has never stopped me from walking on the beaches near my home. I live on the Massachusetts coast, and I never give up a chance to walk on the beach. There's nothing as rustic as the Atlantic in New England. When I don't walk regularly, I feel the pain.

My husband and I have talked about what would it be like if (and maybe when) we lose our faculties. Memories slip away. Muscles won't stretch properly. Joints lose their ease of movement. There is a history of Alzheimer's disease in his family but not in mine. What would it be like to lose the sense of who you are?

And from those thoughts "Longing" was born.

A close friend of mine was diagnosed with dementia several years ago. I don't live with him so I don't have first-hand experience with the disease, but I know he needs constant care and vigilance. He is no longer permitted to drive by order of his doctor because he gets hopelessly lost. He is a writer, but he hasn't written anything in years since he can't concentrate enough to finish a sentence let alone an entire short story or book. He doesn't engage properly when in conversation. He says and does inappropriate things in public. It was depressing to see such a brilliant mind falter so quickly.

I hope I don't end up like that, but the fear is always at the back of my mind. When I forget something as innocent as what was on my grocery list, I wonder if it's the beginning of dementia. When I can't find my car keys or forget where I left my phone, is that a sign of something worse to come? What would life be like for my husband should he need to care for me 24/7? Or what would my life be like to do the same for him? We're in it for better or worse, after all.

Who knows, by the time we're that old technology and medicine will hopefully have advanced far enough to not only improve our quality of life but also lengthen our longevity. I agree with my husband when he says having the technological advances to live to 100, 200, and beyond means nothing if you have the mental capacity of a slug. It's the meaning in life that matters, not how long you live. I want to be of sound mind, with all my faculties present and thriving, until the day I die. I want to be able to write, to enjoy the beach, to bask in my husband's company, and to enjoy watching my son thrive as he approaches middle age. Those little things are what life is all about, and without them in my humble opinion life has little joy or meaning. All of these thoughts (no matter how jumbled) are what my story "Longing" is about. I hope you enjoy reading it.

Relevenant linkage: Death Should Be Optional

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Contradictions in Play

... Real Life is Messy

You know, one of the things I like to do when I work on projects like this; a sex positive blog hop, is research.

Where did the term sex-positive come from? Who utilizes it? What does it represent?

Google may not be God, but it sure knows a lot, and what it doesn't know, it can find. If that's not the classic definition of omniscient, it's pretty close.

This resulted in my stumbling onto a website that made me very, very sad and I got horribly distracted and upset for a while. While advertising itself as sex positive, the site included dozens of articles whose underlying themes were "we're POSITIVE that SEX is the problem..." and some very BDSM can't possibly be voluntary...

I felt weird and unhappy after reading quite a few of these. I carry on with several BDSMers and they all seem as happy and well-adjusted (sometimes more so) as most people,

Despite past assumptions that BDSM proclivities might be correlated with previous abuse, rape or mental disorders (research has shown that they're not), this survey found that kinky people actually scored better on many indicators of mental health than those who didn't practice BDSM, reported LiveScience. According to Reuters, BDSM-friendly participants were found to be less neurotic, more open, more aware of and sensitive to rejection, more secure in their relationships and have better overall well-being. -- Huffpo
And I really don't like hearing them talked about as if someone's robbed them of their agency; that no one can actually consent to kinky behavior, and at the same time, I'm very much anti-rape culture, and I understand that saying yes and meaning yes are two completely different things, and from an outside perspective, it's hard to see the difference. And by outside, I don't just mean strangers outside the bedroom, I mean outside the Head of the Person who's giving consent.

Example: I had a live-in for a while who used to ask for sex regularly (which is fine) and he would never actually start things if I said no (also fine) but who would, for lack of a better word, nag. Bedtime became this ritual of him asking, me saying no (because after a while of this, I never wanted sex.), him letting me drift off to sleep and then WAKING ME UP to ask me again. This would go on and on until I'd finally just let him so that I could get some sleep.

Sleep deprivation is torture.

Eventually I became so conditioned to it that I would just say yes the first time, rather than risk another night of being woken up every thirty minutes or so.

Did I consent? Yes.

On the complete and total other hand, my husband and I have  on many occasions, engaged in sleep-sex. In the morning, it's quite clear that someone started it, and both of us finished it, but neither of us actually remembers who started it... I have literally woken up mid-penetration, on the brink of orgasm. And personally, I love it.

Did I consent? No.

... walking contradiction

One of my friends likes to say I'm a walking contradiction; a feminist who is also a stay-at-home mother who considers doing the dishes part of my job, an LGBT erotica writer who hasn't had a sexual encounter outside my marriage in 18 years, a middle-class, middle-aged white woman who passionately believes that "redskins" as the name for a football team is horrible and should be stopped immediately, an atheist who throws an elaborate Christmas party every year, and a nerd-girl who has fought for her right to be present at the gaming table who spends quite a lot of virtual money making her online characters look sexy...

We argue voraciously about whether or not I'm "allowed" to call myself feminist when I write erotica.

My mother is furious with me that as an educated woman (I have a bachelor's in English) and someone who entered the work force at twenty-five, that I chose to get married and stay home with our child. I took all the rights that she wishes she had and decided to do the same thing that she felt forced into... (apparently the fact that I have serious health issues and actually really hated having an 8 - 5 job are irrelevant...)

Another friend and I argue about the "erotica for women" title that goes on a lot of the books from certain publishing companies I work for... that he feels denied a more prominent place at the table in the realms of sexual writing. What seems to be true about porn also is often true about erotica writing; it's one of the few places in the world where the recognition/pay-rate is significantly tilted in favor of female artists. My solution to this problem (while I do roll my eyes about it because jeez, he's mad because he can't sit at this ONE TABLE, why not go sit at the other 5 million places instead of trying to squeeze into my space... I agree that he's right, while still feeling resentful at what sometimes seems like an effort of crowd me personally off the bench...) is to make sure that my own anthology was very inclusive. Of twenty-one writers, seven are male, at least two I know for certain are persons of color, some are lesbian, some are straight. I'm actually very pleased with the diversity of my anthology...

I'm lucky, in many ways. I'm a middle-class white woman who does not work in a corporate job, which allows me the freedom to act and think and say whatever I please because there's not very many people who hold a position of power over me. (One of my friends is a kindergarten teacher and her friends are not allowed to take pictures of her while she's intoxicated, or at a party, or wearing anything that might be considered sexy, or pretty much anything that doesn't show her as being sober, sane, responsible and having a skirt that covers her knees because she really could lose her job for, you know, being a FUCKING ADULT.)

I've occasionally fretted that my daughter might bear the brunt of some of my decisions, although so far that hasn't come up. In fact, one of her teachers is a fan of my work, something I find mildly weird, and then I get grouchy with myself for feeling weird about it because she's a nice woman and she obviously has sex and knows how to read and there's no reason why I should feel weird about it...  on the other hand, I also feel weird that one of MY teachers from high school reads my work...  but I obviously feel strongly that my teacher FRIEND should be given all the rights of being an adult, including the ability to be herself and have a drink...

Right or Happy...

The world isn't divided into good people and Death Eaters, Harry.
-- Sirius Black

It does seem that sex positive, as a term, is polarizing.

Sometimes I wonder if this extreme, if you're not with us, you're against us, mentality is anything new, or it's just that I pay more attention now.

Virgin vs. slut
Sex positive vs. prude
empowerment vs. exploitation
right vs. happy
gay pride vs. religious freedom
rape culture vs not all men
consent vs coercion

It often seems to me that we all know there's no one right answer for everyone, and are determined at the very same time to MAKE IT WORK THAT WAY.

Your kink is not my kink, but your kink is okay...

Does that apply if your kink is Asian women? Dubious consent? Rape fantasies? Animation that portrays animated children in a sexual situation where all the actual voice actors were over 18? When does your right to feel/think/act as you see fit end...

I was very happy with Forever this week. It's a new cop show, and if you LIKE cop shows, this is a good one. I was, at first, dubious. Every time I see BDSM portrayed on network television, it's not been in a very sex positive manner (even Castle, which is one of my favorite shows, had a BDSM episode - the Mistress always spanks Twice, that made me very uncomfortable.) This show had a lot of good things to say about external pain leading to the healing of internal pain; of trust issues, and not making assumptions, plus the main character stood up for our female dom murder suspect - including punching someone who called her a whore, which may or may not have gone too far for me... - and demonstrated professional domination as NOT being a sex-thing. In that, I think BDSM is a lot like massage; sex can go with, or doesn't have to go with, and in either case, both things are pretty damn nice on their own.

The show also featured an older-love relationship that I thought was well done and very beautiful and sex positive. Older people who are not necessarily beautiful or perfect, who have wrinkles and beer bellies, have sex, too. And they should have sex. And it should not be the punchline to a joke.

I know that this has nothing to do with anything, which leads me to...

That thing that went over my head? That was the point...

I've been working on this blog post for a while, and sometimes I just feel more confused than when I started...

You know, I'm in my mid-forties and I should not at this point be questioning my sexual orientation... except just recently bisexual has become a bad word and everyone's trying to tell me that pansexual fits better. Personally, I'm not keen on the word pansexual - sounds like I have a kitchen fetish - and bi has always worked for me. But apparently the fact that I have an enormous crush on a transfemale ace makes me "pan" rather than "bi."

Sometimes I really don't know why we need labels. What words are particularly triggery to me are perfectly okay with someone else.

I have a British friend who calls me both a "silly cow" and a "cunt" from time to time, and from anyone else in the world, I wouldn't allow it.

I use bitch (-y) as an equal opportunity word to describe both my guy friends and my girl friends. I say y'all as my gender neutral pronoun. I am totally okay with cis and cisgender as legit words and I was horribly uncomfortable when a gay friend of mine told me I was about to meet a transfemale. Mostly because it would have never occurred to me to ask, and secondly, I don't think it was his right to out this person before I even met her.

I have a friend who...

My friends come in a lot of flavors of the rainbow. Kinky, vanilla, gay, straight, bi, trans*, black, white, Asian, Jewish (for living in southern Virginia, I have a huge number of Jewish friends...), Christian, Muslim and Buddhist (admittedly, most of my friends are some flavor of atheist/agnostic/humanist/non-theist). Lots of my friends are smut writers...

It's easy to be sex positive in a group that's largely diverse.

It's easy to get down to the nitty gritty of pansexual vs. bisexual when I don't have to make my blowjob face at people who ask me if I'm "sure" I'm still bisexual even though I haven't had sex with a woman in about twenty years...

On the other hand, it often astounds me that even in a diverse group, stupid questions, dumb assumptions, and hateful language still come up. I've gotten dismissive commentary from friends because I "seem normal." I've been called "breeder" and been forced to defend my choices to have a "traditional marriage."

Which honestly, isn't that FUCKING TRADITIONAL... dude, really, as a society, we've only been marrying for love for maybe... 200 years? No one paid a dowry and if my husband had asked my father for my hand, I'd have flatly refused to marry him. My husband is not that dumb, thanks for asking.

I get called exploitative for writing m/m romance on one side, and filthy and perverse for writing the same from the other side of the fence.

There's no one ring to rule them all
In the end, I haven't got any conclusions or answers... I have thoughts and questions and random muddles.

The only thing I can do is constantly question my assumptions, try to better myself as a person, and refuse to tolerate bullshit from the people in my social circle. "Not cool," is my go-to phrase when one of my friends/acquaintances/colleagues says something privileged or judgmental. And I expect to be called out on it when I say something stupid.

You have my enthusiastic consent.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A blog... thing... award. ish. chain letter. yeah

So, Delilah Night nominated me for a thing... and here it is, look, look, a THING!

I met Delilah because she submitted a very wonderful little story to my Coming Together: Among the Stars antho... and by wonderful, I mean Smokin' Hot and delicious. Also, lesbian, which makes me delightedly happy because I think there is not nearly enough good lesbian work out there.

So that was how she came onto my radar and she's stayed there by being awesome and a little bit awwwwww inspiring as well. (Truth be told, she kinda scares me a little because she has this delusion that I'm all impressive and stuff... I'm worried what'll happen when she finds out that I'm really just faking it.)

I'm supposed to tell you 7 facts about myself and then tag 15 authors. (wow, that's a LOT....)

Things about me (that you probably already know)

1 - I have a foot fetish. Specifically for lady feet, but I also like guy feet as well, if they're particularly shapely. Because of this, I always notice your shoes. Always. I've actually met two of my best girl friends that way (as opposed to girlfriends. Really, English is a terrible language, have you ever noticed that?) because I complimented them on their shoes. Don't worry, though. I don't judge your shoes... but there's very little in the world I find more sexy than watching someone go up stairs while barefoot.

And you'd think, based on that, that I would write more foot worship stories except I don't. My feelings about my own personal fetish are very raw and I haven't gotten around to it, yet. Although I think if you're patient and wait long enough, Ann-Marie has a few things to say about shoes.

2 - I don't hold with the term "guilty pleasure." I like ABBA and Miley Cyrus, deep fried oreos and peppermint schnapps milkshakes, just about any shade of purple, Godzilla movies, Hallmark commercials, and cheap wine. And I'm totally okay with this. I don't generally feel the need to pretend to like something (or not like something) in order to seem "cool." I already know I'm not cool. I also don't like James Bond, slapstick humor, the Simpsons, reality television of any flavor, cheap beer, or bad coffee. I am unapologetically myself. It's not so much that I want to be authentic, just that I don't want to spend time doing stuff I don't want to do... I'm entertainmently lazy.

3 -  I read the same books over and over again. Of books I read, Steve Miller and Sharon Lee's Liaden universe series gets a re-read at least once a year. (Honestly, these books are so good that if you buy the first one, Agent of Change, and you don't LOVE it, I will personally buy you another book of your choice.) There are 17 or 18 books, plus a sheaf of short stories in this collection now, so it takes me a while to plow through them. I also re-read the entire series of Dresden Files every time a new one comes out.

4 - I didn't realize that I was a very social person until I got to college and met people I actually wanted to spend time with. I'm also very weird for an extrovert. I'm a writer and a reader, neither of which are traditionally extrovert activities, and I don't like "the party scene." Which isn't to say that I don't like parties, I just don't like clubbing. This is where I get highly offended about all the "ways to treat your introvert" memes. I don't like super-loud music and incoherent drunk people EITHER. Except sometimes, when I do. Concerts, for instance, are a great source of energy-high for me. I'm kinda Phil Coulson of my social group; I'm the glue.

I am also that crazy, annoying person that will just sit down and start talking to you, randomly. And yes, I do wonder sometimes if some of my friends are my friends because they don't quite want to be rude and tell me to go away...

5 - One of my favorite things to do is lay on my back in a warm bed without having to Get Up and Do Something.

Unfortunately, back in college, an ex-boyfriend threw me down a flight of stairs and put his cigarette out in the palm of my hand. The scar faded. The fucking botched up nerve in my lower spine did not. I can rarely lay on my back for more than about 10 minutes before I end up with massive cramps in my lower spine that force me to roll on my side. (This is NOT a plea for you to suggest ANY back solving solutions. I have been to chiro's and acupuncturists and therapists and ... just no. If you have a suggestion, this is a lovely time to keep it to yourself.)

6 - I have a strange addiction to lip balm in a tube. I love it. LOVE. I have dozens of tubes and flavors all over the place. My current favorite is called Burdened with Glorious Purpose (ps - just about anything from this company would make a wonderful gift for me, except for Game of Thrones stuff because I hate Game of Thrones) and is a honey-pear scent. Altho I'm also very fond of the holiday Peppermint that chapstick puts out; I usually buy about 10 tubes of it every year.

Despite that, I almost never have any on me when I'm outside the house...

7 - I'm a lucid dreamer. About half the time, I can direct my dreams in some form or other. When I'm NOT lucid dreaming, however, I tend to dream about having to go to the bathroom and not being able to find somewhere to do so privately, or hygienically. One of my favorite dream-stories involved velociraptors, an exboyfriend, a clue from the heavens that I should not have been dating this guy, and waking up at three in the morning.

Note; it wasn't that I thought I'd be able to get away from the raptors if they ate the boyfriend first, just that I might get to the bathroom before he was dead, and then I wouldn't have to die needing to take a leak.

So, now for my 15 authors. And some of them were already tagged by Delilah, but I'm not going to let that worry me...

1 - Steve Miller and Sharon Lee - I consider these writers friends although I've never actually met them. I've been reading their books for 20 years. One of the greatest moments of my life was finding a copy of Carpe Diem (book 3) in a used book store, since this was Before the Internet and I didn't even KNOW there was a book 3.... I interact with Steve on facebook... and like I said before, these two are some of my favorite writers, their books are my favorites. I think the characters have a very good relationship dynamic and I have an enormous book crush on Pat Rin Yos Phelium... they write Space Opera / romance novels with some of the best world-building ever...

2 - Kristina Wright - I know Delilah tagged her, but I'm going to as well, because Kristina gave me my chance. I've been writing for a long time, but aside from some miserable experiences with a high school literary magazine and a pile of rejection letters for a m/m/f novel I co-wrote with my best friend a LONG DAMN TIME AGO... I just really hadn't thought about publishing for a long time... She pointed me in the right direction and let me go... it was awesome. When we got together in Richmond a few months back, she said a few things about being excited at how far I'd come since we first met and being so proud to have brought me into this world...

3 - Charlotte Stein - I love Charlotte's work. It's dark and beautiful and often reminds me a lot of... well, me. Her work really reaches something inside me, and has a weird tendency to make me cry, which is probably NOT something most people want in erotica, but I just get the Feelz so much, I don't have another outlet for it.

4 - Elizabeth L. Brooks - This is my best friend, my co-author, my creative consultant, my personal entertainment unit, and my pocket editor. I'm pretty much the same thing to her. I can't. even. the feelz. drift. We make no sense, honestly. Most people who know our mutual history can't believe we're friends. (long story, we didn't exactly keep our hands off the other's boyfriend things. but, as it turns out, neither of the boyfriend things were worth fighting about.) We're so joined at the hip that MY MOTHER thinks we're lovers (and so do a lot of other people... are we? We'll never tell...) Also, she's a sucky blogger, so if you actually want to pay attention to her, go mess around on her awesome tumblr feed.

5 - Nickie Jamison - my sister-in-law, one of my better friends, and my little fledgling writer... Nickie is the best writer ever, from an editorial point of view, because she doesn't argue with me, she thinks my beta advice is wonderful, and she learns! OMG... I've been reading her work for a while now and the amount of improvement is just breath-taking. Also, she's going to be in my upcoming sci-fi collection, Coming Together: Among the Stars, with one of the more amusing stories in the collection. You may never look at a hair-dryer the same way again.

6 - Sommer Marsden - I love Sommer, as a person, as a writer, as ... just well, she's wonderful. She's gone through some rough shit recently, and that blows goats... she's another person I love that I've never met. Her writing makes me laugh (or cry) and she's gifted and prolific...

7 - Thea Harrison - who used to write as Amanda Carter, writes some of the best damned urban paranormal I've ever read. I love the Elder Races series, it's good stuff. She's also fun to "hang out" with on Twitter and Facebook.

8 - V.L. Locey - one of my absolute favorite m/m writers, V.L. is old hat around this blog. I cannot say enough good things about her. Her zombie series is hilarious, her Gods and Goats series is fantastic (not m/m, but at least her Greek Mythology is spot - on. I took a terrible greek myth class in college that I almost shot myself over, and I cannot abide people making myth-stakes.)

9 - Jenn Nixon - writes some awesome space opera and is a lot of fun on Facebook. We interact there all the time and I always get a little smile on my face when I see she's left me a comment. Good people, Jenn. Also, you should join her for her little Lunchtime fun on facebook... she asks good questions and there's a lot of interaction. I don't always see it - I have so many freaking Facebook friends it's a wonder I can keep up with ANYTHING - but when I do, I always answer. Honestly, I'd steal the idea if I didn't think she'd kill me... and you know, I was actually ABLE to remember to do it every day...

10 - E.M. Lynley - I do beta reading for Em, (usually when she's behind on a deadline and can say - here's a 70,000 word book, can you read and beta it by the end of the weekend?) and I'm grateful that I can. Her books are so much fun, I love them to pieces. The last book I beta'd for her, I spent half the book reaching for the ice water and the other half sniffling into a tissue. (I am a HUGE sap, don't let anyone, especially me, tell you otherwise.)

11 - Speaking of Huge Sap - allow me to introduce you to Christina Hughes who wrote one of the best depressing fucking books ever. Three Days of Rain will rip your heart out. I'm not even kidding. You think the Fault in our Stars was a tear jerker? AMATEUR... do not read this book without kleenex. And a lot of privacy. Because you will cry, it will be ugly, and you will just want to be left alone. This book wrecked me.

12 - Lisa Henry - a few months ago, I complained that there wasn't nearly enough sexy sci-fi for me. I have been since deluged with suggestions of things to read and her book Dark Space was fucking brilliant.

13 - Rob Rosen - there's a lot of ... yammer about the difference between "gay lit" and "male-male." I can see the difference, but I don't think there's a problem with enjoying both. Or just one. I love Rob's work. He's interesting, funny, and sees things very differently from how I see things.

14 - Nobilis Reed - one of my favorite people, who seems to have a direct pipeline into my brain for stories. I mean, he writes some perverted filthy stuff and I EAT IT UP. He's not - let me make this perfectly clear - a romance writer. He's a smut writer and proud of it and he should be. His work is amazing and I love it. I also have a whoppingly huge crush on him as a person, (if he was available and I was available, there would be some major enthusiastic consent) because he is sexy as hell. He also annoys the shit out of me (he's got a literalist sense of humor and he's pedantic, whereas I'm prone to hyperbole and bad metaphors.... these conflicting traits lead to conversations in which I feel like I'm arguing, but we're not disagreeing, which makes me tense.) and makes me think seriously - these are traits he has in common with the other men in my life that I really love, my husband and my brother...

He's complex. Like chocolate and good wine.

15 - ug. I'm out of space... how about Rosecarawaymalinjameselliotdelockejadeawaterskathleentudoreswynn Ruevolleyadamcewandelilahdevlinsjdavis?

Seriously, I know a lot of writers, and I'm sure I'm forgetting someone important, or beloved...

Monday, November 10, 2014

Introducing Jade A. Waters; author of The Joy Ride

From your regular blogger: I was so thrilled when I got a submission from Jade A. Waters. I hadn't known her long, but last year I picked up a copy of Big Book of Orgasms and read her naughty little story, the Flogger. Which, if you're interested, you can currently hear Rose Caraway's reading of them on the Kiss Me Quick podcast... and you SHOULD be interested... 

Hi Ms. Townsend! Thank you so much for this fun set of questions and for having me on your blog! I’m so excited to have a story in Coming Together, both because it’s helping such a great charity and because I love the sci-fi theme. Since I used to write spec fic before I seriously committed to erotica, I enjoy the opportunity to throw my characters back out into space whenever I can.

I’ve attached a picture of my desk space (yikes—kind of messy, but that’s how it goes…). The thing is, I like having a collection of quotes and words all around me when I’m writing. I love lists, in particular word lists, and I’ve posted these things around my writing space since I was a teen—now they’re just dirtier words! The bulletin board you see in this pic originally had to-do lists on it, but now it’s become a bit of a memento space with quotes and comments from great friends, or encouragements from people, or even just fun and inspiring things I’ve heard along the way. I’m a pretty visual person, so I like to have pictures around me, too—the Vampire Diaries folks, for example, delight me to no end, so I have them up. I also have a picture of Katy Perry because I think she’s ridiculously va-va-va-voom. But, just to mellow out the scene, I have a drawing from my niece, a couple family pics, some artwork from my bestie, and an illustration I’ve had above my desk for about three decades now. It’s Arthur Rackham’s “The Fairy’s Tightrope.”

Now on to your questions:

When did you find out that you wanted to be a writer? What inspired you to put pen to paper?

I wrote a Halloween story about an evil pumpkin when I was 7, and my parents sent it in to the paper. I remember getting this rush over seeing my words in print, so I kept going. Also I talked a lot, so my parents encouraged me to channel it somewhere. :) In 5th grade I wrote a story about a bear with a tutu (it was called “The Bear with the Tutu,” go figure). My teacher read it and made me promise I’d keep writing, and then when I was 12, my dad wrangled an old Mac from a friend to assist with the hours I’d spend scrawling on paper. I loved how lost I could get in a story, and I honestly loved the sound of the keys tapping, too…so I just kept creating. Over the next two decades I toyed around with a few styles and genres, until I finally decided I should run with erotica for real. It was a decision in response to what I fondly call my third-of-a-life crisis, which was basically a series of events that changed my writing focus (and upped my joy!). You can read more about that journey here.

Of your published works, do you have a favorite? Why?

I’m torn between two, and they’re coming out over the next few months. The first will be in Rose Caraway’s Dirty Thirty, an audiobook. It’s called “The Doll” and it’s an erotic spec fic allegory. I was working off this analogy I used once of being in a relationship that made me come alive, and yet also feeling like a broken doll after it ended…and a couple years later I wrote this little piece about a broken marionette coming to life through the adoring love of a lost doll maker. In a completely different manner, I love “73A,” which will be out in January in Alison Tyler’s Just for Him. It’s a seriously filthy second person story voiced by a woman in her living room to the painter on her patio. It starts with the line, “You’re working on my fence right now, and all I can think about is sucking on your cock.” It’s really sassy. And did I mention filthy?

I have a story coming out in the Dirty Thirty, too, called In the Closet, which is NOT what you think it's about... it's always fun to be in the same book with authors that I adore so very much... kind of a thrill, ya know?

Do you ever want to go back and edit an older story?

Frequently. I have a bunch of oldies that occasionally get pulled up and tinkered with. A story of mine at The Erotic Woman called “Marm” is a revamp of one of the first erotica pieces I ever wrote, over a decade ago. You can read it here: (link is NSFW). I have a few others like this that might see the light of day—but only after I edit the crap out of them!

How do you decide on character names?

Usually they just arrive in my head, but on occasion I’ll use an online name generator. Worst case, I run with “[super hot guy]” or “[sexy girl name]” until the names hit me just right.

Tell me about your first publication. Who was it with? How did you feel when you got that acceptance?

My first publication was “The Flogger” in Rachel Kramer Bussel’s The Big Book of Orgasms: 69 Sexy Stories. This story was the first I’d ever sent out, and when I got the news, I’d just arrived home from a trip to see my cousin in Denver—except I’d been snowed into Denver an extra day and I’d had a guy I really liked (whom I was supposed to meet that night for a date, no less) tell me he’d started seeing someone else. I walked in the door exhausted and annoyed. And then…there was an email from RKB. I started squealing—super loud and really excitedly. There was definitely dancing in the living room, despite it being somewhere past midnight.

How much of your life and the people you know end up in your work?

Wow. I love this question. So let me say first that I write mostly fiction, *but* I believe that all stories have a kernel of truth to them, it’s just the kernel size that fluctuates. Sometimes, a story has a big kernel behind it—it could be that the character is an extension of me, or it could be that the story is a reworking of a real event or a real connection, or even that it’s loosely based on some random real thing that happened in my life. “The Flogger,” for example, was based on the fact that I had an unused flogger sitting in my closet for way too many years (it’s since been used, phew). In another case, I have a short story coming out down the line that is a retelling of an actual romance I had. The closeness to real life is certainly not the norm, but I believe that even when it’s not intentional, writers naturally embed pieces of themselves in their work. That’s what makes their stories powerful.

What's your writing routine?

Well, this depends on the day, but my best writing time is always in the morning. I get up bizarrely early—4:30 during the week and 5:30/6 on the weekends—and before I start anything I have a slow, warm breakfast paired with a giant almond milk latte (the first of two), then I handle my two high-maintenance cats (read: medication). Within about an hour I’m ready to go. If it’s a weekday I’ll squeeze in up to an hour before work. On the weekends I tend to ignore the world until midday, when I’ll take a lunch break or go workout. I’m fairly useless at the keyboard after 2 pm, so I try to handle “admin stuff” after that.

What writers or novels do you consider “must reads”?

I am forever charmed by Shanna Germain’s work. She’s so eloquent in everything she does, and there’s such a beautiful weight to her tales. I like gravity in stories, especially in erotica—I don’t feel like we see enough of that in the genre, unfortunately. Alison Tyler is another fave of mine because she’s always breaking rules and writing hot, and she has a real confessional flair I adore. On the non-erotica side of things, I love Carol Goodman. The Lake of Dead Languages is one of my most favorite books of all time—it’s got a gothic-lit feel but is extremely contemporary. Oh and Ellen Hopkins is amazing, too—she writes mostly YA but she writes it in verse. Amazing!

Tell us three things about you that are interesting.

The big one would have to be that I am a retired circus weirdo! At 26 I decided to start aerial acrobatics and tried flying trapeze and static trapeze. Shortly after, I discovered rope (corde lisse, like the fabric but one strand) and did it for a few years. I performed semi-professionally until I had a major wrist injury, which was actually how I refocused on writing again—you can’t write without a wrist, right?—so while I still do a little aerial pole, I’m mostly out of the scene these days. The second thing is that I’m an avid karaoke diva. I love singing, and I have zero problem with an audience, so hand me a mic and it’s on. The third is that I have a theatre background, and I also worked Renaissance Faire for about eight years. The stage past definitely makes live readings extra fun. :)

Thanks so much for having me here!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Pair of Earbuds

I've been just on the edge of my seat for this announcement...

Ripped is now available as an audio book!

Among other things to come out of the writer's retreat... Nobilis, Elizabeth and I discussed setting some of our favorite stories from Whetting the Appetite (also now available in PAPERBACK!! Woo woo!) to earphones everywhere...

So, for those fans who want to take a listen, please go over and enjoy. At the end of the podcast is a coupon code for 20% off the ebook. (I'm not sure if this coupon code applies to the paperback or not. Probably not, because I think JM set it up for just the ebook... anyway....)

Whetting contains 40+ short stories across a multitude of genres, a wide variety of sexual partners (m/m to m/m/f/f to male/alien plant... no, I'm not kidding.)

Ripped is one of - in my personal opinion - the best things I've ever written. It's gloriously unrestrained, unapologetic for what it is, and written in an undeniable creepy voice. Which Nobilis captures quite well, I'm impressed.

I'm not the only one who thinks so.

Here, I have Malin James' review of the book and all the wonderful things she has to say about it...

including this final paragraph...

Lynn Townsend's "Ripped" is one of the most effective usages of the Jack the Ripper mythos that I've ever read. It is chilling and brutal and incredibly hot in a gritty, very human way. It is literally worth the price of the collection, and considering how incredibly good the rest of the collection is, that means anyone who buys the book is getting one hell of a ridiculous bargain.
So, listen, buy, read, enjoy....

Monday, November 3, 2014

Introducing E.S. Wynn, author of A Matter of Taste

Notes from the Blogger: I've known E.S. for a couple of years - via Facebook. I love Facebook, have I said that? Through Facebook, I know writers and editors and cover artists. I know Muslim/American feminists living in France who do avant garde modeling. I know college professors in Beijing and students in South Africa. Great place, the Internet. He's witty, charming, and a fantastic writer, and I just know you're going to love his short story, A Matter of Taste. 


When did you find out that you wanted to be a writer? What inspired you to put pen to paper?

I knew writing was for me as soon as I learned how to wield a word! I think I gravitated toward writing initially because I had a lot of images trapped in my imagination that I needed to get out on paper, and since I couldn’t draw (or at least, didn’t have the patience to learn how to do it) and didn’t have my own movie crew or studio to make movies with, I settled for the art form that gave me the leverage to do the most that I could with the least. I learned the power of words very early on, and have always delighted in using simple constructions of letters and sound to create grand, tangible scenes in the minds of my readers. English is such a beautiful, complex and versatile language. I love it!

What are your greatest challenges in your writing career?

Being seen! The internet is a wonderful tool that has done wonders for the democratization of mass media, but when you're just one voice in a sea of millions, it can still be hard to be seen. I'm terrible at networking and I'm the worst sort of hermit/recluse/shut-in, so reaching people and getting the word out about my work has always been hard. That being said, check me out online here:

Of your published works, do you have a favorite? Why?

Usually my favorite work is the one I've most recently completed, but I do have a few older favorites that stand out in my mind. Black Magic: Shotgun Spacebabe was a lot of fun to write, as were Voyage of the Tereshkova and Beyond the Zompocalypse. Last Five Years and The Mars Manuscripts are another two that really make me smile when I think about them. Each work has its own individual charm, but I love Last Five Years probably the most of all because of the amount of work I put into it. It can be a hard one to read, but it's written that way on purpose. It's the kind of book in which every sentence is constructed to have multiple meanings, so it almost requires a couple of read-throughs. It's a rule of writing that a writer should make his or her work as accessible to the reader as possible, so Last Five Years could be seen as a bit transgressive in that it is deliberately crafted to task the reader with its complexity.

How much of your life and the people you know end up in your work?

Probably less than you'd expect from a writer. Sure, here and there I'll work the names of friends and family into pieces I'm working on. (I finished a book the other day for Immanion Press which changes a local road name from O'byrnes Ferry to Oborn Ferry, Oborn being my wife's family name, just as an example off the top of my head.) Most of my work is sci-fi or horror, so while I might be inspired here and there by something or someone I encounter in my daily life, overall I save the heavily-influenced prose for the few general fiction and creative non-fiction works I do. (Creative non-fiction being stuff like Peter Grandbois's The Arsenic Lobster, etc.) My books Cinder Block Houses, Decay Americana and Dusk Days and Daysleep Dreams are about as close to the real me as any given reader is going to get.

What projects are you currently working on? Are you willing to share a small excerpt from a work in progress?

Unfortunately, I'm contractually bound to keep the details of most of my current projects secret, but let's just say that I'm working on three short stories at the moment, helping another writer create and edit a musical, and I'm also working closely with an occult/spiritual press on a couple of very interesting projects. The stuff I can talk about is more benign and perhaps less interesting– I'm in the process of compiling a number of short stories for a series of untitled anthologies scheduled for release sometime next year and I'm also tinkering with a few little projects, including a non-traditional tarot deck. I'm always busy and always working on something. I can't imagine I'll ever stop.

What writers or novels do you consider “must reads”?

The aforementioned The Arsenic Lobster: A Hybrid Memoir by Peter Grandbois. Storm Constantine's Wraeththu series, Cormac McCarthy's The Road, Samuel R. Delaney's Stars In My Pocket Like Grains of Sand, Alex Aro's A Lovely Appetite, John Ogden's Old Motorcycles, anything edited by Damon Knight (the Orbit series, etc.) Anything by George Alec Effinger– I could go on and on.