Hello World Twitter & Ace Community Interview!

HELLO WORLD came out yesterday,  and now I can type “Hello World” into amazon and find something I poured my heart and soul into. It’s so far getting glowing reviews for the exact things I tried so hard to get right. I have a paperback copy I can hold in my hands like portable magic.

Late last week I asked the ace and twitter community to send me questions about the book, and as promised here are those answers. Thank you to everyone who took an interest in this book baby of ours.

Anon Asked: What is your fav part of your novel?

I can’t think of a favorite scene, but I think my favorite part of the novel has been insistently Scott’s sass. His sarcasm and dry wit always made me smile even if scene wise there is chaos and destruction everywhere. I think being able to joke about things, even if it’s just gallows humor at times is really something that keeps everyone going.

Dawn Asked: What was the easiest/hardest parts of Hello World to write?

The easiest part was the general flow of the action. Scott has a singular focus in this book that question of “okay, where do we go next?” never had to be asked. Made writer’s block non-existent which was miracle like.

The hardest part, by far, was the sex scene. It never was right. It always felt like it assumed a lot about Scott that made me personally uncomfortable on his behalf. I rewrote it at least 4 minutes times trying to get it just write and it was hard because most people didn’t understand my concerns with it when I asked for feedback. In the end, I think it says something important, I just hope it comes off that way in the end and isn’t just glossed over as another pointless sex scene.

Osayi asked: How do you get better with writing? I mean I know it’s about practicing, so I suppose a better question is how to convince yourself to practice and actually practice properly? If, say, you only read horror stories and you were really good at writing them how hard would you think it’d be to write maybe a happy romance?

I think the one thing they never tell you is how hard writing can be. It’s a very slow process and if you don’t absolutely love what you are writing it hardly seems worth it. Find a plot or a message that you simply most tell, or maybe just a character who you absolutely want to follow where they go. That makes the world of difference when it comes to motivation.

As for the second half. I think that absolutely depends. I personally have an incredibly hard time writing happy cute things. I think that’s mostly because I always wrote as an escape from bad so I’d process daily or worldly struggles in fiction. I don’t think changing genre is the hardest thing, but if your heart is set to horror mode, and your head says no write happy romance your best chance might be combining them somehow. That juxtaposition might create something that only you could write.

Ace Apples asked: What would be your favorite characterization to see in an ace character? Like, what kinda personality traits would you love to see them with, or what kinda character archetype would you just adore seeing paired with an ace character?

Hmm, there is relativity so few aces in media and so many ways one can be ace that all I really want to see for ace characters is to be written by non-aphobes and with on page labels. I personally like the sarcastic, take no shit, aces. But mostly because if we were to go down as a single archetype  I’d love for that stereotype to be ‘dont fuck with us or the community.”

Anon asked: How do you think Scott being part of a marginalized and invisible orientation like asexuality influences his resilience as an activist (hacktivist!)? Looking forward to having this book in my hands and supporting you!

Bless you, sweet thing. By complete accident, Scott in ways became a metaphor for my own activism. I don’t want to make too close of a comparison because Scott runs around committing crimes every page, but I do think you hit on something important. Marginalized and invisible groups take so many more metaphorical hits than someone who is not. Sometimes I feel so worn down and literally feel like my face is all bloodied even if all my fights were digital that day. I think there’s a reason why the LGBTQIA/MOGIA communities’ greatest leaders are often people of color, trans women, and sometimes trans women of color. I wouldn’t dare compare myself or Scott to them, but I absolutely believe the most resilient people are from similar groups. I also think it’s why it hurts so much when you see them hurt.

Ben asked: What challenges did you face depicting asexuality on the page, given that it’s the *absence* of something?

It’s really hard and I think that was the driving factor that made me put a label on things. The more aware of things I become the harder it is for me to see that start line of explaining things. There’s a learning curve for readers and you gotta decide where you want to be on it. Straights who don’t understand the community as a whole need more things spelled out for them. Community members need less, and then as I writer, I see aces who are like hell yeah give me a strip club owning sex worker who is ace. I think it comes down to what audience do you want to speak to, readers will be from a range of backgrounds, but you gotta think who is this for. Is it for you? Is this to educate cis straight people? Is it for your own community? It’s definitely a big challenge in writing something that isn’t known by everyone.

Rachel asked: How would you describe your relationship to your characters?

They are definitely my children. I feel like if fan fiction was ever written I’d have to leave a note for the sitter that said make sure they are in bed by nine, here’s a list of their allergies, and an emergency contact number.

Ben asked: What’s computer tech like in Hello World? Is it close to established/probable stuff, or is it really out there?

I’ve always viewed the story as 20 minutes into the future. Everything bit of tech you see is based on existing tech. Even the creepy stuff. However, there is plenty of liberties taken with things that are only proven in theory that in the story are months away from being for the mass market consumer.

Marsianomo: I’m a teen asexual, what do you want me to get bout of this story?

I hope you have something I didn’t. I feel like calling him a hero is bragging, but at least someone who tries their heart out and is open about the struggles in that. That way when you fight, for whatever your own heart decides, you go into without Hollywood romanticism. I also hope you can see that ace lives are complexed and worth telling even if, or maybe when, jerks try to tell you otherwise.

Again thank you all for the questions and I hope you check out HELLO WORLD!

Interview with Author Claudie Arseneault

I’m thrilled to have Claudie Arseneault on the blog today because I so rarely am able to show all the love I want for this growing body of work. City of Strife is a new series coming out soon so I hope you jump on the hype train with me!

Many authors have overarching themes from book to book. For people who are already your fans, or would like to be, in what ways is your newest, City of Strife, like your other works?

The major thing they have in common is the importance of teamwork—of several people all doing their own small part to fight something. I don’t do The One Hero. Viral Airwaves might have Henry as a lead, but a lot of its message is that you can’t stand aside and let others do the work, that “being a hero” really only means doing your best, no matter how small.

City of Strife has a slightly different approach to this. The trilogy’s overarching storyline starts when Diel Dathirii decides to go against the imperialistic enclave that is slowly invading his city’s politics. A lot of his struggle is in how the rest of the city won’t join him, and how alone, he doesn’t have the power to do this.

All of my work has this “don’t fight alone” and “don’t leave anyone behind” feel, and a lot of it also translates into major non-romantic relationships—friends, family (found or otherwise), mentors, etc.

I adore that message and thrilled to see more of it. The first thing that stands out about the book’s blurb is the character’s age. Does Arathiel being older change how you go about writing him? If so, in what ways?

Having elves in a story creates great opportunities to play with age, memories, and maturity. Arathiel is older, true, but this prolonged survival is artificial—most of the hundred thirty years he spent away from Isandor passed in a flash. This creates a huge amount of dissonance for him between the city he knew when he left, and the one he finds upon returning. People he knew back then are dead now… all except the elves.

So those elves do remember him, but they lived that 130 years fully. Arathiel is a lot more distant in their memory, because their lives changed and evolved since. I had to give a lot of thoughts on how I wanted to treat elven longevity in the context of an otherwise human city. It was a lot of fun.

Many fantasy worlds comment on real life organizations or nations, is there any symbolism hidden in your world building?

No? Maybe it’s just that I wouldn’t call it symbolism. I didn’t put anything in it thinking “this is a stand-in for X” and part of that might be because I first imagined this world some 8-9 years ago, and my political awakening was barely beginning at the time.

On the other hand, the parallels are really easy to draw, and I am very aware of them. There’s no denying Isandor is literally lead by a handful of merchants and that these rich peeps will gladly let the poorer folks rot if they can keep living in luxury, including through laws that maintain their status. Then there’s Avenazar… It’s kind of surreal, how the main villain of this is abusive, racist, vengeful, reckless, and easily-provoked. He’s existed for as long as the universe, and much longer than I knew Trump did, but here we are. I’ve had readers comment he should get more of a backstory to explain why he’s like that, but in all honesty, recent US events make me think the shithole racist empire Myria is constitutes all the backstory Avenazar needs.

Fiction has a way of being a bit too real at times… You’ve mentioned there is an all LGBTQIAP+ cast, and I know an aromantic character is included in that lineup. Could you tell us more about this diverse cast?

I could spend a long time talking about that. Isandor is written with a huge cast and many narrating characters (I approached this as a mosaic of point of views). Here’s the secret rule to it: if a character narrates, they’re queer. It’s not always explicit in the first book, but it will be through the trilogy.

But let’s talk about the aromantic and asexual characters! The cool part is that I technically don’t have enough of one hand to count them. Writing this book was like sprinkling the A everywhere. ^^ The most important ones are:

Nevian is a sex-repulsed biromantic asexual nerd. He’s a teenager who constantly deals with abuse (there are massive tw for abuse in this novel, and most of them are tied to Nevian). He’s also resilient, wary, and he loves to be right, even on technicalities.

Cal is both aromantic and asexual, although his aromanticism is the one briefly discussed. Cal is everybody’s friend, he’s a bit of a gossip monster, and although he neither has attraction or really wants a relationship, he loves seeing other fall in love and get together.

Hasryan is demibiromantic and heterosexual. Most of his relationship with his aromanticism is a big ???? because he also has fairly solid trust issues, and as the story starts he can’t be bothered to figure out where one starts and the other finishes. He definitely treasures his close circle of friends, and as the story progresses, there’s a lot of movement in it that leads to more exploration.

Larryn is grey-Ace and bi, though this stays Word of God in the first novel. A friend once called him the Grey-A Rage Baby, and that’s pretty accurate. He’s the owner of Shelter for the homeless, the bastard son of a Dathirii, and perpetually angry at the amount of injustice around him. Which would be great if he dealt with his anger a tad better.

There are more aro and/or ace babies! They become more important later in the trilogy, though, and this is already longer than it should have been sooo, let’s stop here.

Wow, what a huge collection! In a guest post you mention that the book is friendship-centered could you tell us more about the dynamic, and possibly the tension, between Arathiel’s connections to the Dathirii, and the new friends he meets?

A lot of Arathiel’s storyline in City of Strife revolves around trying to find a new place in the city, and the dissonance caused both by what he remembers of Isandor, and what he now discovers of it (this plays on several level, as most of Arathiel’s senses were numbed by what happened to him when he left, adding another distance).

There are… multiple layers of complexity here. His new friends (Cal, Larryn, Hasryan) live in the Lower City, and upon arriving he stays in a Shelter meant for homeless folks (owned by someone who absolutely cannot deal with rich people, no less). His old friends are nobles who live in pretty tower and spend more time discussing trade deals than scrambling for their food. These are two very different lives, and Arathiel’s not sure he can, should, or want to jump back in the old one. Figuring what home means to him and how to reconcile the different parts of it is a huge aspect of his story.

City of Strife’s official cover has just be revealed, can you tell us about the the style, or even feeling you want it to convey with it.

I wanted the city on it. Isandor is a character in and of itself to me, an universe I’ve been building brick by brick for a long time. I asked my cover artist to convey the eclectic feel of the tower, to go wild with the architecture. The end result is gothic towers, lions spitting water, beautiful glasswork, and a fantastic amount of details. Bonus: this is a concept we can reuse with every cover to give them a unified feel while still being quite different!

City of Strife releases on the 22nd! Which is the day after Hello World, it makes me feel hopeful so that such an aggressively a-spec filled book sits next to mine date wise. Last week had the re-release of The Princess Saves Herself In This One and Island of Exiles and now these two being so close to each other is just- well beautiful really.  Make sure you add it to goodreads so you don’t miss Claudie Arseneault’s newest gem.

A Soul To Take Cover Reveal

The cover reveal of A SOUL TO TAKE is here!

The world has changed: demons of legend now live among humans, integrated into society through Government programs, wishing for peace.

Elixia Albelin, however, isn’t sold. As an Agent-in-training, she knows firsthand the blood-thirst of demons and isn’t jumping to befriend the monsters plaguing her dreams.

Gritty, powerful, and exciting, A Soul to Take is a gripping debut that explores prejudice, justice, and the consequences one family faces when those two collide.

This story releases April 4th, but you can get it early as part of the blog tour.
Or watch our twitter for a flash giveaway today only!

I read the first two chapters which are seamlessly modern and just adore the details of this cover.  Looking forward to reading the whole thing soon!

Phaethon Review

Hackers, fae, and a new breed of corporate greed battle over the future of the human race….

Hacker couple Jack and Rosie crack technology, but the newest device, the Phaethon, isn’t like other phones. The parts are junk, yet it can do the impossible. Through gentle prodding and data theft, they learn it’s powered remotely…by a living creature.

Cracking the Phaethon enters them into a war. Some, like Calthine, the bitter Bogle, are on their side. Others are controlled by a new type of fae; the bosses of the Phaethon corporation, who have steel for eyes and iron for souls. Now, the hackers have to fight creatures they’ve never heard of to save the friends they’ve just made.

Rachel Sharp is an author and lifetime member of the Somewhat Eccentric Creative Persons Club (which she just invented). Her books include the Planetary Tarantella trilogy, as well as the hacker & fae novel Phaethon from Pandamoon Publishing.

Originally from Vermont, she now lives in New York City with her partner, several plants, and her boundless sense of inappropriate humor. At time of writing, she is working on entirely too many projects. The previous statement will be true regardless of time of reading.

She also lives with chronic illness, plays ukulele, and tries to save the planet.

REVIEW ★★★★★
I adore this book. I think it’s cute, it’s sweet, it’s adventurous. It has main characters that I really wish were my friends. Characters so real I feel like I have a chance of meeting them in the great wild that is this urban fantasy hacker filled world. It made watching Finding Bigfoot after reading oddly fun. It’s really a strange and fun book full of tech and creatures.
Do yourself a favor and grab this gem of a book!

Unburied Fables Release Day!

Hello all! Today is the release of Unburied Fables! This collection enlisted talent around the world. From students to seasoned professionals, these writers came together to raise awareness and reinvent classic stories. While they showcase a wide variety of LGBTQA identities, origins, styles, and endings, all the tales in this anthology have one classic element in common: a happily ever after.

Fifty percent of this collection’s proceeds will be donated to The Trevor Project, a non-profit focused on suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, asexual and other queer youth.

You can win a copy on tumblr or get your own today on Amazon!

#HOLLYWOODHOMICIDE COVER REVEAL

I like the  gratuitous use of suggested hashtags. I’ve found my caps chill so you don’t have to worry about that. Today we have a cover reveal for you. I was promised it was pretty cool and I agree! But let me know what you think!

hollywood-homicideHollywood Homicide

Detective By Day Series
Book 1

Publisher: Midnight Ink

Release Date: August 8, 2017

Book Blurb:
Dayna Anderson doesn’t set out to solve a murder. All the semi-famous, mega-broke black actress wants is to help her parents keep their house. After witnessing a deadly hit-and-run, she figures pursuing the fifteen-grand reward isn’t the craziest thing a Hollywood actress has done for some cash.

But what starts as simply trying to remember a speeding car soon blossoms into a full-on investigation. As Dayna digs deeper into the victim’s life, she wants more than just reward money. She’s determined to find the poor woman’s killer too. When she connects the accident to a notorious Hollywood crime spree, Dayna chases down leads at paparazzi hot spots, celeb homes and movie premieres. She loves every second—until someone tries to kill her.

And there are no second takes in real life.

About Kellye Garrett
Kellye Garrett spent 8 years working in Hollywood, including a stint writing for the CBS drama Cold Case. People were always surprised to learn what she did for a living—probably because she seemed way too happy to be brainstorming ways to murder people. A former magazine editor, Kellye holds a B.S. in magazine writing from Florida A&M and an MFA in screenwriting from USC’s famed film school. Having moved back to her native New Jersey, she spends her mornings commuting to Manhattan for her job at a leading media company—while still happily brainstorming ways to commit murder. Her first novel, Hollywood Homicide, will be released by Midnight Ink in August 2017. It’s the first book in the Detective by Day series.

Connect with Kellye Website|Facebook|Twitter|Blog 
You can pre-order the e-book and print edition on Amazon.

 

 

Unburied Fables Releases Next Week!

Over the last week, two people commented on the title of Unburied Fables. Said that these stories are often left buried, or on the importance of having representation unearthed. I’m glad that some people have picked up on the meaning below the surface. Because this project has turned into something really personal. Or as personal a project with fifteen different collaborators can be.

I remember first talking about it, I was sitting on the floor upstairs in my underused office. It was after Pulse, which broke my heart in a way that I hadn’t expected. It was after this hard year where every activist I know is just bone tired.

And I thought that we could all use a little good in our life.
And I thought about stories with happy endings.

And I thought about how I wanted to help create them.

I feel like it’s safe to assume that 2016 isn’t going like anyone expected. But my hope was, if I could dig something of the dirt that it wouldn’t all be a waste. It wouldn’t all be pain and waiting for things to get better.

So I made the decision, had some people help me put the very first things together and asked. Just asked, would anyone else be willing to help me for the sake of community and charity. Would anyone else be willing to help me subvert the bury your gays trope and give our effort, if we had nothing else to give, to The Trevor Project.

And people did.

The collection has some of my friends. Like Rachel Sharp who stepped up and saved this project. But it had so many people I didn’t know at the start. Which was its own kind of magic.

I’ve said a couple of times that our communities often fight with each other and how it tears me apart to see it. But the Unburied Fables collection shows that despite all of that, we can create something good for ourselves, and for each other.

Despite the words already written, I’m near speechless that this book now exists. It seems almost unreal that the ebook is available for pre-order right now. It seems almost unreal after a month of the airwaves jammed with pain, hell after ten of them, that on October 25th the paperback will be out. That it will be a tangible thing that you can hold. That in some way or form these stories will last forever now, like yours.

Books That Inspire

Books That Inspire: The Legend Mirror Series
(A Guest Post By Saruuh Kelsey)

I’ve always been inspired by books one way or another, whether that was children’s stories when I was younger, or YA novels when I got older. But a few books stood out and spoke to me as a writer, as well as a reader. These are the books that inspired me to write, and keep writing, The Legend Mirror series.

The Lynburn Legacy Trilogy, by Sarah Rees Brennan 

These were the first books I read that featured bisexual and lesbian characters, and it thrilled me so much to see part of the queer community represented without the tragic ending I’d heard of and dreaded. Reading about Holly and Angela falling in love made me desperate to write my own f/f story, and The Beast of Callaire—the first Legend Mirror book—was born from that.

The Soul Screamers Series, by Rachel Vincent 

This was the series that got me really hooked on mythological creatures. Kaylee in the Soul Screamers series is a Banshee, and reading about her, I became interested in other creatures like her. At some point down the long road of research, I discovered Persian mythology and Manticores, and that’s where I got the idea for Yasmin – the main character in The Legend Mirror – being a Manticore shifter.

The books of Maggie Stiefvater 

Maggie Stiefvater always blends romance and fantasy perfectly, so I took a lot of inspiration from her books, more notably the Shiver series and my favourite, The Scorpio Races. Whenever I’m low on inspiration and my creative well is dry, I’ll read a Stiefvater book and usually by the end, I’ll have a clear idea where to go with what I’m writing.

These are just the books that I consciously know inspire me but I’m sure I’ve got ideas from every book I’ve read, maybe even from the ones I didn’t like.

The Powers of Callaire is out now! It’s YA Urban Fantasy and has a homoromantic asexual lead. Um, all seriously among my favorites things.Check it out on Goodreads and Amazon.  Or anywhere because this blog will come back for this series. – Tiffany

The Powers of Callaire

Yasmin’s girlfriend is dead, but she will stop at nothing to bring Fray back. Even if that means going to the Otherland and making a bargain with the Ruler of All Souls. If Yasmin finds Pluto’s lost power, they’ll return Fray’s soul to her body.

Yasmin’s search takes her, and two of her friends, from Bucharest to France to Wales, and exposes a horrifying secret with Venus, Yasmin’s mother, at the heart of it. With a murderous, fiery god and the incarnation of death in her way, Yasmin will have to compromise her morals and harness the Legendary power in her veins. If she fails, Fray’s soul will be lost forever.

Author bio

SARUUH KELSEY lives in Yorkshire, in a house halfway between the countryside and the city with an absurd amount of books and craft supplies. She’s the author of The Legend Mirror and Lux Guardians series. Find her online or follow her on twitter at @saruuhkelsey.

You can get The Beast of Callaire for free right now on Amazon!  Definitely give this series a try!

Unburied Fables Anthology

Creative Ace Publishing  first project of fiction is an anthology that you are invited to join! They are looking for fairy tale retellings with two caveats: All main characters must be canonically LGBTQIA+/MOGAI and they must have a happily ever after.

This doesn’t mean it has to be a romantic ending however. Finding a home, themselves, or some other non-romantic happy ending is also acceptable. Basically the opposite to the negative tropes you can find on the Bury Your Gays page.

Fairy tales are stories that refuse to fade away, so show us queer characters who do the same in order to find their happy ending.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Short stories must be 2000-5000 words and suitable for a young adult audience.
  • We also want minors, the sex repulsed, and abuse victims to be able to read this collection. So mind the steam level and be careful with how “dark things” are in order to make them “light” again.
  • Title your work: Title by Author Name when emailing submissions@creativeacepublishing.com. Word documents with 12 point Times font only please.
  • You must be able to legally give us permission in order to be part of the collection. Pen names are fine for the bylines, simply let us know by adding it after your author name.

Deadlines and Details:

  • We hope to have this collection out during Asexual Awareness week which is in October. So while the stories don’t need to have asexuals in them, please do take that into consideration.
  • You have until September 9th to send your stories in.
  • 50% of profits will be donated to The  Trevor Project which is an inclusive crisis hotline for LGBTQIA+ youth. The other half will be used to branch out to producing novels which will pay competitive royalties to the author.

#WattpadBlockParty!

The #WattpadBlockParty is finally here! I’m so excited to be a part of it and to have Hello World’s first chapter debut this Friday. There are sooo many authors joining and countless giveaways so instead of posting a giant list of names I’m going to recap the party’s juicy details every Monday!

This party just got started, so first Iet me tell you about our giveaway. You can win a signed paperback of Hello World before it’s Fall 2016 release!

Fallzswimmer is showcasing a preview to Paper Hearts and you can win a paperback of the prequel.

KnightsRachel presents a chapter in McKenna’s POV of the San Francisco Art Festival and is not letting us down with the giveaways.

DoNotMicrowave’s “dish” isn’t ready for the potluck just yet, but please check back later today so you don’t miss it!

styleslegend brought some video flare to their preview.

Wattpad4 is also joining the party today. If you didn’t know they run a weekly wattpad twitter chat every Monday. Check out their post for more about them individually.

Make sure you check out Hello World’s first chapter on Wattpad this Friday!