Published Short Story: “On the Inside”

My short story “On the Inside” is now available in the fourth issue of James Gunn’s Ad Astra.

Read it here.

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“On the Inside” is set in an alternate world in which the sexes of male and female are strictly separated in terms of their gender roles and elemental education. Protagonist Lihill was determined at birth to be a boy, but she knows in her heart she’s a girl, and her story is about trying to be seen, heard, and believed.

New Novel: Ace of Arts

“Ace of Arts” is my placeholder title for the new book I’ve started writing. Though I’m liking it more and more as I’m getting used to its association with the project.

I’ve been planning to write this book for a long time–though I have not formally outlined it–and it uses characters from a short story I wrote in 1999. I wrote its first chapter on November 1, 2015, and the book is now officially in progress.

It’s a YA contemporary novel with an asexual protagonist, detailing Megan’s adventures as she struggles with relationships and attempts to get into art school.

See you on the other side!

Published Paperback: The Invisible Orientation

The Invisible Orientation is now out in paperback.

You can get it at various sellers, some of which are listed on my Purchase Page!

The new edition has some updates, corrections, and a little bit of new content. It is not completely rewritten or revamped, but it is new and improved. (And comparatively inexpensive, wink wink.)

Video: Acknowledgments

In this month’s video, I give some advice on what you might consider for your acknowledgments page.

This video does apply to folks who don’t have a book deal or even those who haven’t finished their books yet. Start keeping these things in mind now, and I promise it’ll save you a lot of headache later!

Video: Writing to the Market

Here’s another new video from my writing channel offering a discussion of what it means to “write to the market” and what compromises you can expect to make if you want to be marketable.

Spoiler alert: The practical upshot here is that attempted trend-riding will get you nowhere, and attempting to be marketable should not lead you to compromise the soul of your work.

Pitch Wars Contest: Mentee Chosen

After receiving more than 90 applications from prospective mentees in my third year participating in Brenda Drake’s Pitch Wars contest, I have chosen my mentee. (We did not get to have alternates this year.) I wrote over 55,000 words of feedback and critiqued every query letter and set of sample pages that came into my inbox.

Congratulations to Lynn Forrest, whose Adult urban fantasy THE MEASURE OF A MONSTER actually made me like a story about bloodsuckers and detectives, featuring queer characters and absolutely beautiful writing. I will be reading her entire book, shining up her query letter, and helping her craft a short pitch for the agent round of the contest.

You can see all the mentors and mentees here.

Hopefully, I will be able to post with agenting news for Lynn before long! But for now, as always, it’s back to work.

Video: What Goes In My Bio?

In anticipation of Pitch Wars giving me a whole new crop of query letters to leaf through, I decided to make this video about what authors should put in their query letter bios, with some tips about what to consider.

The takeaway:

  1. Be brief
  2. Be relevant
  3. Be humble
  4. Be recent
  5. Make it tailored

Video: “Strong Female Characters”

The “Strong Female Characters” title is in quotation marks because I mean it a little differently than people might think I do.

In this video, I explain how a “strong” female character is actually one that has agency and is an active participant in her own storyline. Often, these days, in a well-meaning attempt to diversify female characters and teach equality, writers and publishers are pushing an image of traditional femininity as weakness, and consequently presents girls and women in media who reject femininity and embrace more traditionally masculine attitudes, clothes, language, and roles as a way to show their strength. My video explains why this is not the only way to make a female character strong, and why we need other images of strength too.