Monday, November 21, 2011

Housekeeping

I just want to post a little bit of housekeeping stuff, so those of you who so willingly follow me into the dark will have at least a pen-light for guidance. (smile). And I want to prepare everyone for what will be happening in January (good stuff, I promise!)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Pitfalls in Narrative

show don't tell mug 2

I’m going to talk about some pitfalls and mistakes that authors make in narrative, but I want you to know I’m writing from the perspective of a reader, not as an author-expert. I am by no means a perfect writer, and I try to learn more about my craft all the time. This is what I know: One way to learn more about writing is to keep reading.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The First Time

Good Thursday morning to you, darlings!
Let us have some coffee, shall we?



As a writer of things erotic, I love exploring “first times,” the butterflies, the thrill and terror of the possibility of acceptance or rejection, the breathless moments that stand still in memory, throwing yourself out to the universe, gods be damned, people be damned… willing to risk  everything to become the person you were meant to be.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Coffee read–DeVante’s Children excerpt

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Good morning and welcome to Thursday Morning Coffee!

Since DeVante’s Children is being released in paperback this month, I thought I’d give everyone an extra-special sneak peek…

Read Chapter 1 HERE… How to Choose a Fledgling, then close the window and READ MORE for Chapter 2, How to Leave Home. And then please feel free to click the cover at the right and pre-order the whole book from Rebel Satori Press!

Happy reading and yay, it’s almost Friday!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Pre-order DeVante's Children now!

Hello darlings!

DeVante's Children is available for pre-order from Rebel Satori Press - now! Yay!

The paperback release date is August 17, 2011, and should be available as an ebook on Smashwords shortly after!

So if you've read DeVante's Coven (or even if you haven't), get your order in for DeVante's Children!


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sammy Jo

July 24, 1992 – July 26, 2011

Sammy Jo died suddenly at age 19, leaving a void in the lives of many.




Thursday, July 28, 2011

5 things to be happy about

7.28.11

Good morning, and welcome to Thursday Morning Coffee!


In no particular order, here are 5 things to be happy about:


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Are we rebels?

07.21.11
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I may have said this before, but writers are isolative people. Ask me to show you a good time, and I’ll show you my laptop, rocker-recliner, and a fresh cup of coffee. You want more details? All right – Pandora Radio (the paid version), an open MS Word document, and a story blasting into my head out of the ether so fast that, even typing 120 words per minute, I can’t keep up.  We’re talking nirvana here, folks, it doesn’t get any better than this.

And yet I also consort with a group of people who have a tendency to say, “Screw it, let’s ride!”

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pushing Limits

Welcome to TMC, the Time Machine Challenge! Oh, no, wait. Never mind.
Welcome to Thursday Morning Coffee!
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Whew. That’s better. Scared myself for a second. Thought I was heading into Sci-Fi territory and was going to have to stretch the limits of my imagination. But no, that’s later this month. THIS is just our weekly coffee chat. Er, monologue.

I am, however, going to talk about limits. About “The Line.'”

Just where the heck is that line, anyway?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Daniel’s Hometown Tour

06.30.11


Duluth MN – (1) A Cold ass town on a hill where you can't get lost. All you have to do is pop the clutch and let the car coast and you'll find your way to Lake Superior. The two major Duluthian Pasttimes are Getting Drunk and Getting Frostbite.  (7) a homophobic, racist… town full of hicks. has no culture whatsoever…
The above definitions are opinion, not fact. More may be viewed at  Urban Dictionary.

I thought it might be fun to give a virtual tour of Daniel Winthrop’s hometown. Photos, unless otherwise noted, are shamelessly stolen (with permission) from my good friend William.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tell us a story, Storyteller

(with a bonus interview with New Orleans author Greg Herren)

06.23.11

I have a weird and wondrous story to tell about my path to becoming a published novelist. The journey started with (you'll never guess this part)… writing a novel from beginning to end.



This should be the first stepping stone for every person who wants to publish a novel. Yeah, it sounds like a no-brainer, but the truth is that many people start writing a novel but never quite get around to finishing it.
Agents, editors, and publishers don't have the time to invest in an unknown writer who might, eventually, finish writing a book. It doesn't matter how stellar the idea is, or how nicely the sentences in a query are strung together.

It took me years (ten, if you must know) to write a complete first draft of DeVante's Children. And after all of that, it wasn't even good yet. I sent packets to agents and publishers and received rejection letters (if I received anything at all, that is). I joined a ListServ writer's group and received critiques that thickened my skin.

I re-wrote the book. More than once. More than twice.

I read everything in the vampire genre that I could lay my hands on. (It was possible to do this in the pre-Twilight years, FYI).

I started writing a new book, which is a technique I highly recommend. The new book was easier. I was a better writer with better writing habits. And I had learned to trust the process – so long as I keep pounding out the words, the story will come. I had a full first draft of DeVante's Coven in eighteen months.

When I wasn't writing, re-writing, or reading, I tried to connect with other writers. Facebook and Twitter didn't exist, but I found on-line communities, critique groups, and email groups.

If an author of a book I liked had a public email address, I'd send a message. I couldn't imagine an author not wanting to hear that someone liked their book. (I still can't imagine it. Email me. Tell me you loved my book. Please?)

One of the authors I had a sporadic correspondence with was Greg Herren.

What makes many writers' paths to publication interesting is that every journey is twisted and convoluted in its own way. Each of us has taken a different route to reach this destination. There are key markers along the way – learning the craft of writing, and connecting with people who will say your writing sucks and then tell you exactly why. Some of them will even tell you how to fix it!

But Greg didn't read my novel and proclaim me the worst writer in the world. He didn't introduce me to his publisher who thought I was the greatest writer in the world, either. And I didn't ask him to do any of these things.

I told him I liked his book. I probably asked him a few questions about publishing. I'm pretty sure I asked him about gay vampires, as I was still struggling with the fact that Daniel, the main character of DeVante's Children, was gay. That hadn't been in the outline, and it both excited and blindsided me. It was Greg who informed me (gently) that gay vampires were not new, that it had been done before. Heck, it had been done by him.

I could have been disappointed, but he was always encouraging and kind.

Sometimes the little things turn out to be the big things. The favorite bedtime story shared with a child, the little decisions that lead to a whole new direction in life, the small kindness of a passing stranger that brings hope to a fledgling writer.

In 2005 Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. Greg, his partner, Paul, and scores of other people relocated to other parts of the country. Kindness made me want to know that Greg and Paul were doing all right. An internet search sent me to Greg's Live Journal page and gave me some reassurance.

Another search result popped up, too, for a writing contest sponsored by Suspect Thoughts Press called Project: QueerLit. The links were not particularly related. Perhaps Greg had written something published by the contest sponsor. I never figured it out. But there was the contest, and all I needed to enter was an unpublished novel with a gay main character. Coincidence, Karma, or fluke?

I entered DeVante's Children and won an honorable mention.

Two years later I entered DeVante's Coven.


And won the grand prize of a paperback contract.

Meeting Greg Herren last year at Saints and Sinners was a big deal to me. This year I managed to be a little less shy, and asked Greg some questions about Katrina, New Orleans, and his work. I figure if I want to talk about him, the least I can do is rope him into the conversation and maybe even pimp his writing. Please check out his recent releases with Bold Strokes Books.



Quick and dirty interview with Greg Herren:

In the Scotty Bradley Adventure Vieux Carre Voodoo, Scotty talks about how Katrina changed him. The book carries a theme about reaching for the brass ring and living in the moment, because you never know what might happen tomorrow. How did Katrina change you as a person, a writer, or both?

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Katrina changed me as a person in much the same way it changed Scotty; a realization that everything can be taken away from you in the blink of an eye. We always take for granted that tomorrow is going to be there, that our lives will be the same, and there's always going to be time to do all the things we want to do, and dream about doing. I had already thought I was aware of that--I'd always dreamed of being a writer but never did anything about it, until i realized it wasn't going to just 'happen' unless I made it happen. It was a sobering realization. We don't like to think about those possibilities; that tomorrow I could get hit by a bus crossing the street, or the tornado is going to come ripping through my neighborhood, or some idiot on a cell phone is going to plow into my car. But it does happen, every day. I once said I never wanted to look back on my life with regrets for not doing things I always wanted to do. So, now I try to remember that and take chances, do the things I've always dreamed of doing. Paul and I are going to Europe next year for the first time--which I've always wanted to do.


I get the feeling from reading your books and your blog that you have an ongoing passionate love for New Orleans. Where in the city would you send a visitor so they could experience what you love most about New Orleans?

You know, it's really the little things I love the most about New Orleans. I love the pie lady, who walks around yelling "PIES! FRESH BAKED PIES!" I love that you can be walking to the post office and come across a second line parade. I love that there's always live music playing somewhere. I love the smell of garlic outside Irene's on Chartres Street. The sky is such a stunningly beautiful shade of blue here. I love that the clouds at night over the French Quarter are pink from all the neon glowing. I love walking along the river on top of the levee and watching the freighters and barges. I love the sound of the streetcars. I love the way total strangers start up a conversation like they're old friends. I love watching the local public school marching bands in Mardi Gras parades. I love the way the trees on St. Charles Avenue have beads trapped in their branches.


Some of those little things never came back after Katrina--like the little kids tap-dancing for tips with bottle caps on their shoes.


Listen to the pie lady here. I'm not positive it's the right pie lady, but maybe?

Here are some trees on St. Charles. If you look closely and maybe squint, you’ll see the beads.

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What current project are you most excited about?

Right now I am finishing a vampire novel and the next Chanse mystery. I am pretty pleased with both of them, but next year I am writing another y/a I can't wait to start, and a romantic suspense novel--I've always wanted to write one, and now I actually have the chance to do it. I think about both of these two books all of the time--which kind of sucks since I have to finish these other two first. I also am toying with ideas for another Scotty. There's a very strong possibility that this Chanse book will be the last one, so I really want it to be good, go out with a bang, if you know what I mean. I also have a couple of short stories I'm working on I am really enjoying.


Murder in the Garden District

I know exactly how hard it is to work on existing projects when new ideas are screaming for attention!
For more about Greg Herren, check out this recent interview by Jeffrey Ricker for Lambda Literary or visit Greg's blog, Queer and Loathing in America.

Thursday = almost Friday. Yay! (Or as Greg would say – Huzzah!)

Happy Thursday, darlings! Hope you have a great weekend.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thursday Morning Coffee–The Good Life

June 16, 2011

I can never know what anyone else's life feels like, just this one. My own.

I know, I'm thinking thoughts that can be passed off as deep, but in fact are not. DeVante and crew can speak into one another's heads, but I have long been aware that we human beings are not so lucky. We are, ultimately, alone inside our own heads.

Well, some of us are alone. I happen to have a cacophony of characters leaping around in there creating all kinds of ruckus, and they don't settle down until I let them out to play. That's writing. At least that's writing for me.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Beautiful Words

I think one of the primary reasons I am a writer is because I am in love with words. I was a poet long before I ever thought to be a novelist, and it is still satisfying to manage big scary emotions by whittling them down to a few perfect words.









Like Life


Walking and among the dirt brown gray
a glint
red gleam bright shiny
and my heart hurts for a moment
then lifts
sudden sharp understanding
yes
life is like that.



Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Coffee and Cats

First off, for your Thursday morning coffee, let me just say that… I love coffee. I am addicted to it. I need it in the morning, and I need it in the afternoon. If I don’t have to get up early, I drink it right until bedtime. The fully caffeinated version. If I don’t get coffee by 4 PM, my mood drops, and I become lethargic, irritable, and really quite cranky. This is very noticeable, because my normal mood is happy, cheerful, and game for just about anything.

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Saints and Sinners 2011

I recently attended the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans. It was, omigosh, a GREAT time. If you’re a GLBT writer looking for a conference that’s both fabulous and affordable, I urge you to consider S&S (Saints and Sinners). The parties are fun, the classes are stellar, and the panels are informative. And on top of all that, it’s the French Quarter, and that’s a party all by itself.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ta-da! DeVante's Coven ebook! (With an updated cover, no less!)

DeVante's Coven for you, my beloved fans of ebooks!

Check it out at Smashwords! Available in multiple formats.

Later this week I'll post about the delightful Saints and Sinners Writer's Festival held last weekend in New Orleans. If you're queer and can only make one conference a year, this is the one you should attend. How much fun and learning can be crammed into one weekend? Attend the festival next year and find out!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Excerpt: DeVante's Curse (short story)

In a cold, cold castle, far away from the Colombian rainforest, lives the vampire Katarina with her servent Felix, an orphan named Ernesto, and a great burning pit. From this comes DeVante, a vampire with an intractable personal code and an emotional separation from all things human.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Excerpt: Out of the Dungeon


When Jeff is injured in an accident, there's no time for dungeon play. With the triangle completely unbalanced, which relationship will survive?

It’s not chapter 1… just a little tidbit to whet your whistles. Out of the Dungeon is a sequel to Above the Dungeon, and takes place, well… out of the dungeon. It’s an exploration of the other sides of  Dungeon Master Roman and submissives Jeff and Dare. This little piece is from Dare’s POV. Enjoy!


Guesting and hosting today....

Michelle Miles interviewed me for her blog, so go check it out!

I'm also hosting the Toquere Social live journal - so if you want to answer some of my questions - or ask me your own, please come on over. I'll be posting off and on all day, and there might even be a prize!!

I'm stumbling around a new browser today (Google Chrome), so if I post weird links that don't go anywhere, or my pictures are HUGE and obnoxious, I will fix them, I promise... as soon as I figure out how.

I was expecting the paperback release of DeVante's Children yesterday, but apparently it's been delayed. I will give an update as soon as I know more. Thanks, darlings!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Guest Author: Simone Eden

I’m giving a warm welcome to author Simone Eden today, who is asking us (readers), what makes a man sexy?

Visit her at her Worlds of Fantasy blog, and check out her book Spell of the Cat.

SpelloftheCat


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

No Bad News, March 2011

Ahh, where to begin? The good news or the bad news, that’s always the question, isn’t it?

Actually, there isn’t any actual bad news, not really, so how’s that for being lucky?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Guest Author: Michelle Miles

Michelle Miles, author of The Coffee Wars and Nice Girls Do (among other titles) most graciously agreed to be my guest today.
Read on to see what she has to say about creating character emotion, and check out her site Michelle Miles.net

Michelle Miles
Michelle Miles photo

Friday, February 18, 2011

Hiatus, of a sort

Routines are incredibly important. The more you write, the more your writing brain wants to create… more and more and more. I live the proof of this. Early on this month I was putting a lot of time and energy into preparing for a vacation; making lists of what to pack and what to buy, shopping, what I could not forget, prescriptions that needed to be picked up, instructions for the husband left behind about what and how much and how often to feed the animals.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Excerpt: Above the Dungeon

Dare felt cranky as he walked down the steps from the club to the dungeon. His nipples had been throbbing all day, and he was getting tired of it. He'd been shirtless when Maddox woke up, and once his cousin saw what Dare had done, the teasing never ceased.