As autumn arrives, I can feel my muse wake up. It's been a long, hard summer of travel for work, work and more work. No time for writing.
But I did manage to edit and submit a new novella to a Christmas anthology called "This Wish Tonight" from Mischief Corner Books. The novella entitled "Eve of the Great Frost" was accepted! It will be out probably at the end of November and you can bet I will post links and info. on it as soon as I have it. This novella is a gay, erotic romance set on the alien world of Niobe in a far distant future where much of the galaxy is colonized.
I also managed two in-depth edits on my novel for Dreamspinner Press, "The Android and the Thief." Originally, that novel had been accepted by their genre imprint DSP Publications. But over the summer some romance reviewers gave me information that they DO NOT review that imprint. I also heard complaints from some authors from DSP that apparently romance readers were a) avoiding that imprint because they did not think it was "romance", or b) did not even know it existed. I panicked, envisioning my novel languishing on unseen websites, shoved to backs of dusty digital shelves because the title is not "fluffy" enough and because it would be labeled that dreaded word "genre". I politely asked that my novel be moved to the regular romance line-up of Dreamspinner Press since it is, really, a romance despite the futuristic, scifi setting. The wonderful people at Dreamspinner agreed to my request. While there are some GREAT titles/authors in the DSP Publications line-up, and I recommend people check them out for some great reads, I am happy to be moved into the main line-up of gay romances.
That said, I often lately find myself confused as to how to label and market my books. I enjoy writing gay characters, erotica, AND science fiction. To wit, I often include all three in my books. I bust out of the formulas for all of those genres and just write the story that falls naturally onto the page. I don't follow the entire romance formula, yet my books include romantic themes, beautiful erotic scenes, and characters undergoing transformative experiences, including the transformation of falling in love. I love erotica, but my books are not comprised entirely of boinking, so they are not technically porn. I love to world-build and describe beautiful alien vistas, but I am not writing hard scifi with info-dumps and techno explanations that delight much of that crowd. I am writing about the people, period. So where do I belong in that tangled web? If I label a book "gay romance" I alienate the scifi readers. If I label it scifi, I alienate the gay romance fans. As usual, I fall between the cracks. No one knows what to make of me. I need to create my own label: gay starshiptopias where people find love amongst the stars and the shadows but you will also get those Bradbury moments of lyrical wonder, nostalgia, poetry. (But no techno-dumps explaining how the dome on the asteroid works.)
Okay, so I fall through the cracks. I always have been an outsider, even in "outsider" groups. And here's more: I am a poet, gods help me. That right there puts the kabash on most writing conversations. Forget about the readers!
Updates on the poetry front:
I had a poem, "Marco Polo 3879," published in July's issue #21 of "Eye to the Telescope". The theme is "male perspectives" edited by Marge Simon. There was some rancor politically over that issue's theme despite the editor being female and accepting submissions from any-gendered poets. You can see the issue (and my poem) here. The rancor died down. The predicted public drama (the opinion that men already have had their say in this patriarchal society, so the theme might be anti-female) never happened.
Much to my utter shock (and joy), I also had a long poem, "We Shall Meet in the Star-Spackled Ruins," win 3rd place in the "long poem" category of the Science Fiction Poetry Association's poetry contest. My prize: $25. The link to the winning poems, including mine, is here.
I also sold a poem to issue #22 of "Eye to the Telescope." The theme is "ghosts" and it will go live Oct. 15. I will share the link when I have it.
On the fanfiction front, yes, I do still write the occasional fics. My current love is "Captive Prince" fandom based on the "Captive Prince" trilogy by C.S. Pacat. You can check out my newest fanfic, all written during April/May 2016, under the name Natasha Solten here. Simply, Damen and Laurent are irresistible.
I thank you for reading to the end of this blog.
And may you have a happy autumn!