My first novel is available for preorder: Gabriel’s City: A Tale of Fables and Fortunes, a story about growing up, a story about losing everything but finding yourself, a story about how much stories matter, a story about faith and love and stabbing. I’m so happy to have brought it this far, and so grateful to Riptide and Rachel Haimowitz for giving me a chance (and a fantastic cover), and I can’t wait to be able to share these guys with you. November 17 can’t come soon enough. :)
Tag Archives: fantasy
So today is release day for my short Falling into Her Arms (publisher’s website is NSFW), a science-fantasy angel/demon f/f short story. I wrote it in the spring of 2012, and submitted it that June, and then a whole host of other exciting things happened in my writing life, and by now it almost feels like I’m peering back at someone else’s life.
But the impulses that led me to write it are still there; I want there to be more f/f stories that grab the totally self-indulgent, extravagant tropes m/m gets to play with. I want there to be epic love stories against the backdrop of imperial struggles or galactic warfare. I want tempting devils and hard-bitten mercenaries and mysterious drifters. I want them rough and tender and romantic and kinky and adventurous and beautiful. I want them fearless in their desires and certain of who they are. I want casts of women I can fall for. I want to put my word count where my mouth is.
This story barely makes a dent in all the things I want, but it’s a start.
Well. Most of my corner of the internet is making noises about Amazon’s acquisition of Goodreads this week. I’m trying not to panic too soon but I’m wary and not pleased; I really like Goodreads, and if it goes the way of Stanza or Shelfari I’m going to be really disappointed.
More than that, though, I’ve been kicking around an attempt to define my frustrations with reading in m/m. I was fussing at a friend earlier this week and suggested that maybe my standard needed to be “would I still read this if the characters weren’t gay?” …That’s not quite right, though. If the main characters in Alex Beecroft’s The Blessed Isle weren’t gay, what remained of their story probably wouldn’t draw me in. But I loved that book, devoured every sentence like a mouthful of the most elegantly crafted dessert. Her command of her prose is inspiring, and an utter delight to consume.
Other things I’ve picked up have been less thrilling. I tend to skip most contemporaries, in part because the setting doesn’t interest me, but also because if I never read another “omg, I’m gay? do I have to like musicals and interior decorating now?” passage—or even another “just so you know, being gay doesn’t mean I like musicals and interior decorating” passage—I won’t feel like I’m missing anything. Those passages always feel to me like hand-holding for straight people, coaxing them toward the shocking revelation that queers are real people with a variety of personalities and interests. I figured out that I wasn’t straight when I was 13. I’ve had two decades to come to terms with the fact that I’m still an individual rather than a template. I don’t want to read books that include the Meeting Your First Gay Person primer. I’m sure they do good things for some people, but I am not their audience.
…Which is not to say that my chosen spec fic genres are free of problems either. I love fantasy settings but I’ve seen too much d&d worldbuilding, too many cases of “of course gays are persecuted,” too many cases of “women make babies and stay out of public life, duh,” far too many cases of “religion exists to punish those horrible gay people,” and definitely too many cases of “oh no what are these strange feelings for a person of my sex that Nobody Has Ever Felt Before.” It all just feels so cookie-cutter after a while. Give me variety! Give me worlds that seem like interesting places to escape to. Give me queer heroes who have other struggles in their lives than “oh no queerness???” Give me stories where gay characters face an enemy other than homophobia: yes, we deal with that shit a lot, but it is not the only struggle in our lives.
As I write this out I’m coming to the conclusion that there’s a parallel here with straight fantasy’s rape-of-female-characters epidemic. Yes, true, this is a problem that many people in this demographic deal with. But writers: please stop acting like a female character’s sex, or a gay character’s sexual orientation, are the only possible reasons for them to be hurt or struggles for them to deal with. We’re still people. We still want to prove our theories and fight our dragons and find our treasure and discover our magical talents. We are not defined solely by the prejudices against us. Let us face other challenges.
There’s another tangent here about the importance of speculative fiction in suggesting that our society’s current prejudices are not universal, but I’m already wandering. I’ll save that bit for next time.
And if you have any recs for really strong queer spec fic that does the things I’m asking for—especially if you have recs for f/f that does this—I would absolutely love to hear them.
The days are getting longer! We’re getting occasional sunlight in Seattle and the first trees are starting to blossom. My energy and enthusiasm generally hits a slump during the dark season, but now that we’re moving into brighter times, I’m feeling my gears start to turn again.
Just in time for Camp NaNoWriMo! Which I’m looking forward to—I love the structure of having a group of people to write with, but November is always a terrible month for me to do it. April, though? Yes please.
I have two projects on deck for the occasion, I think: first, I have a story to write for the Goodreads M/M Romance group, which is having their annual summer story event right now (prompting and claiming is still open!). I picked up a delicious fantasy prompt inspired by a painting by Omu Upied (who is wonderfully talented, gosh, go browse that gallery). There will be magic, D/s, and rescue missions, and I get to write a main character discovering that submission can be an uplifting, joyful experience. Yum.
The second project has no deadline, so I’m going to try to get through the prompt story first, but I’m excited about the second one—I’ve been thinking about trying to put together a story for Loose Id for a while, and pondering what kind of storyline I’d want to write for them. This week I got ambushed by an idea for an amnesia story that I think I’d have a lot of fun with! So that’s also on deck.
Of course, ideally this will mean that I’ll go into April with my current WIP—the space lesbians—fully drafted and ready to rest for a bit before I revise it. So I’d better get back to writing! They still have some highly illegal cargo to deliver before they can get down to the fun stuff.