Book Launches

Launch - Table

The launch table for Triad Blood (with the official signing pen of awesome.)

I have a question for my author peeps (especially those of you with an ever-growing publishing tail). I’d like to ask about launch parties (or, specifically, the fading returns thereof).

 
My experience has been that book one, everyone I knew in the area was super-happy, many RSVP’d (and only about 10% or so of the people who said ‘yes’ ended up not showing). It was a great evening, the whole of which was a delight to experience, and—most importantly to me—the hosting bookstore had a successful return on their investment.
 
So, when it came time for book two, I imagined there’d be a drop-off, so I reached a bit wider with my original invitations and was surprised to end up with almost as many RSVP’s. But where typical RSVP’s for events at the store seem to see about a 20% no-show, this time it was closer to half. And while those who did show made it a great time and the venue got enough out of it that it was a success, I’m looking at book three and thinking… Maybe not?
So, what say you, author friends? (And reader friends, too, for that matter, if you’re the sort who attend book launches and readings?) Is a book launch something that has a one-time-charm to it? I feel like I don’t have an unbiased opinion, as I really like book launches and do attend them when I can.

Writing Wednesday – Proofs!

triad-soul

Obligatory reminder you can pre-order.

I have the page proofs for Triad Soul in my hot little hands. I always get them printed so I can take my one-last-round (by which I mean as many last rounds as I can squeeze in) through the book looking for typos and other niggling errors. I read it out loud. I read it backwards (no, really, I go backwards through the book—it stops me from forgetting I’m on the hunt for typos and slipping into just reading.

So, that’s my plan for the next while.

As much as this is one of the most tedious parts of the process, it also feels great. You get to see (and touch!) the book, and it’s so close to being the end of the publication journey that it all becomes so real. The next stop is actually holding the finished book in your hands, which is amazing. So this feels like a happy tease of “almost, almost…”

All that to say, I’m excited, I can’t wait to share more of Luc, Anders, and Curtis (and the rest of the gang) with y’all. June can’t come fast enough.


Exit Plans for Teenage Freaks

 

I’m putting the novel on hold a bit while I do the proof-checking (see above), and I’m going to shift my writing goals to the short fiction pieces while I juggle the two projects. In fact, I’m having a great time working on some short fiction right now, which I think is even recharging my battery for the novel. I seem to be a writer who needs to do that: I can do so much better with a large project if I interject smaller ones between.


Of Echoes Born

Camp NaNoWriMo is helping here, though I botched a daily word count when I got my proofs (but, proofs!).

 

But, as always, I’m making headway. And progress is progress.


Open Calls for Submission

Every Wednesday I try to include my list off all the various open calls for submission I’ve found and/or am trying to write for. If you know of any others, by all means do drop them in the comments and I’ll add them to the list. If this is helpful for people other than myself, it’s even better.

Hello, April! April has been kinder than February and March. I got an acceptance already for April (always welcome, and details once I can share them!) and I submitted something as well (1 new). January was: 6 submissions (4 reprints, 2 new), 1 acceptance; in February was bare minimum: 1 submission (1 new). March brought 1 rejection, and 1 submission (new).

  • Chicken Soup for the Soul – Various titles, various themes, various deadlines, 1,200 word count limit.
  • Clarkesworld – Currently open for art, non-fiction, and short story submissions.
  • Cast of Wonders – Young adult short fiction market, open to story submissions up to 6,000 words.
  • Totally Entwined – Many calls, various dates and lengths.
  • Renewal – QSF’s annual flash fiction contest, queer content, “renewal” theme, as 300 word count; deadline April 10th, 2017.
  • Chelsea Station – Nonpaying, but a great magazine; deadline May 1st 2017.
  • Alice Unbound – Think Alice in Wonderland, only speculative and may embrace fabulist, weird, myth, SF, fantasy, steampunk, horror, etc. Exile Editions; Submission window: February 1st – May 31st, 2017; 2k – 5k word count limit; Canadians and ex-pat Canadians only.
  • Myths, Moons, and Mayhem – M/M/M ménage; Deadline June 1st, 2017; 4k – 6k word count limit.
  • The Witching Hour – Mythical creature visitation theme; deadline July 30th, 2017; 10k to 40k word count limit.

Sunday Shorts – “An Asian Minor: The True Story of Ganymede” by Felice Picano, performed by Jason Frazier.

In case you missed it last Monday, I was over at Out in Print: Queer Book Reviews talking about Felice Picano‘s An Asian Minor: The True Story of Ganymede, performed by Jason Frazier. An audiobook novella, it was fantastic.

CoverLong out-of-print, this novella is Ganymede’s life story – unapologetic in its ribald details of Greek gods in disguise, trying to seduce the most beautiful youth in the Ancient world. When a prince of Troy is born with perfect proportions, not only does every man he meets desire him, but the Immortals want him as their lover. Ganymede loses his virginity to Hermes at 12, at 14 he captures the attention of Ares and Apollo…can Zeus be next? This risqué tale, narrated by acclaimed storyteller Jason Frazier, will appeal to all who have wondered how one boy stepped out of myth to become a gay icon.


My full review is here, at Out in Print.


Felice Picano is the author of twenty-five books of poetry, fiction, memoirs, and nonfiction. His work is translated into sixteen languages; several titles were national and international bestsellers, including The Lure, Like People in History and The Book of Lies.

Four of Picano’s plays have been produced. He’s considered a founder of modern gay literature along with other members of the Violet Quill. He’s won or been nominated for numerous awards including being a finalist for five Lammies and received the City of West Hollywood’s Rainbow Key award in 2013. Picano’s most recent work is True Stories: Portraits From My Past (2011), Contemporary Gay Romances (2011),  Twelve O’Clock Tales (2012) and 20th Century Un-limited.


Jason Frazier is an award-winning voice actor and performer working in animation, interactive, audiobooks, theatre, commercials, new media, film and television. Member of SAG-AFTRA, AEA, ASIFA and the Television Academy.

Writing Wednesday – Source Material

It’s been a solid and mostly good week this week. I’ve had mostly good news and a few happy surprises, most centrally an invitation to come chat with a high school GSA. I’m going to pepper them with (I hope) valuable questions and get feedback on what it’s like to be a queer teen these days (especially since the situation is so different from when I was a queer teen). This will, I hope, allow me to add veracity to my YA.

When living, breathing folks are involved, it’s important to get your voice right. Hopefully, these young adults can be source material in tone or content.

Honestly? I’m just stoked they agreed to chat with me.

The “mostly” in the good category up there was offset by bumping into a couple of repeats this week of bi-erasing “gay-for-you” stories, and yet another “surely all queer teens who were kicked out want to rejoin their families!” discussion (and, again: no).

Man I wish people would listen to the source.


Exit Plans for Teenage Freaks

 

Work goes apace, and like I said I’m over-the-moon about my upcoming chat with some of the students of a local high school. I have so many questions.

Actually, what about you? What was the thing that drove you the most nuts where you were sixteen? (I mean, beyond being queer if you are queer and that was a source of worry or frustration or terror.)


Of Echoes Born

 

Typa, typa, typa.

The current plan is now this: The collection starts with an Ian Simon story, then four other tales, then a second Ian Simon story, then four other tales, then wraps with a final Ian Simon story. The first dates back to Ian in high school, the second when he has hit a rough patch in his mid-twenties, and the last as he is today, in his mid-thirties, thinking he’s got things on the level finally (and maybe being wrong about that).

From a theme point of view, the progression works with the other stories, and though other tales tie in to the Ian stories here and there or each other, everything will stand alone (including those three Ian stories, if I manage to pull it off right). Ian makes a cameo in “Heart,” so he’ll technically be in four tales, and Bao will have a story of his own as well.

Anyway. Progress is progress.


Open Calls for Submission

Every Wednesday I try to include my list off all the various open calls for submission I’ve found and/or am trying to write for. If you know of any others, by all means do drop them in the comments and I’ll add them to the list. If this is helpful for people other than myself, it’s even better.

March has not been my proudest submission month. January was: 6 submissions (4 reprints, 2 new), 1 acceptance; in February was bare minimum: 1 submission (1 new). March has given me 1 rejection, and 1 submission (new). I’m still not quite done another (new). I will get it in under the wire, I swear.

  • Chicken Soup for the Soul – Various titles, various themes, various deadlines, 1,200 word count limit.
  • Clarkesworld – Currently open for art, non-fiction, and short story submissions.
  • Cast of Wonders – Young adult short fiction market, open to story submissions up to 6,000 words.
  • Totally Entwined – Many calls, various dates and lengths.
  • Wet Summer Nights – White collar/blue collar, cross-town, wrong side of the tracks lovers theme; Mischief Corner Books; 10k-18k word count; deadline March 31st, 2017.
  • Utter Fabrication – Haunted House or other architecturally-themed building; 1st person; 500-8k world count; deadline March 31st, 2017.
  • A Fool For You – Tales of Tricksters; Less than Three Press; 10k-20k word count; deadline March 31st, 2017.
  • Renewal – QSF’s annual flash fiction contest, queer content, “renewal” theme, as 300 word count; deadline April 10th, 2017.
  • Chelsea Station – Nonpaying, but a great magazine; deadline May 1st 2017.
  • Alice Unbound – Think Alice in Wonderland, only speculative and may embrace fabulist, weird, myth, SF, fantasy, steampunk, horror, etc. Exile Editions; Submission window: February 1st – May 31st, 2017; 2k – 5k word count limit; Canadians and ex-pat Canadians only.
  • Myths, Moons, and Mayhem – M/M/M ménage; Deadline June 1st, 2017; 4k – 6k word count limit.
  • The Witching Hour – Mythical creature visitation theme; deadline July 30th, 2017; 10k to 40k word count limit.

 

Guest Blog – Christian Baines

Christian Baines and Kevin Klehr? You know that’s going to be worth a glance, and I love the topic at hand: the women in our little gay worlds.

kevinklehr

I’d like to welcome back Christian Baines to my website. When asked to join the team of authors sharing their thoughts on writing, Christian took a unique approach, and I’m glad he did. Today he offers perspective as he calls for certain characters in gay fiction to be fleshed out more honestly.

Plus he’d like to offer one reader of today’s guest blog any one of his novels, but you can read about how to enter at the end of this post. For now, he’d like writers to consider women.


All About My Mother
(and my sister, and my aunt, and my best friend, and my daughter, and my high school beard…)

Thanks Kevin, for having me back on the blog! As I write this, we’re barely more than a month into 2017, and already two events this year that have inspired me. One took place when millions of women (and men, and others) who…

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Please Don’t Talk About Your Book by Barbara Dee

And today in “blatant homophobia…”

Nerdy Book Club

“Barbara? Can I please speak to you a minute? In private?”

Teacher X was beckoning me to the back of the auditorium. It was the end of the break after my second author talk. I had already spoken to 120 sixth graders. Three sessions (and 180 more kids) to go.

A few months before, I’d been invited by the PTA to speak at this middle school for the third year in a row.  Five author presentations in one day had seemed like a daunting challenge at first. By this time, though, I’d learned to pace myself, ask for a mic, bring a bottle of water and throat lozenges. Reading aloud a brief excerpt from TRUTH OR DARE (Aladdin/S&S Sept. 2016) and an even briefer one from the Advance Review Copy of  STAR-CROSSED (Aladdin/S&S March 2017) was fun–and I really loved interacting with kids in the Q/A sessions that followed.

Now…

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