Discounted titles at Dreamspinner–now through Oct 14th!

dreamspinnerpressOh! Oh! In honor of the translation contracts Dreamspinner Press has signed at the Frankfurt Book Fair, all contemporary, paranormal and BDSM ebooks are discounted by 25% now through Monday (Oct 14th) morning!!

Raincheck13-200x300

That means if you’ve been waiting to buy a copy of Crying for the Moon, Raincheck, or Unspeakable Words–now is your chance to snag these titles for a great price! But hurry, this sale won’t last long!

In other news, Paranormal Month continues at Merissa McCain’s blog–guest author today is Danita Minnis! Drop by and check out all the fun! My post is at the end of the month, but a new post/author/story spotlight is happening every day! If paranormal is your thing, you’ll want to see what’s new and exciting in the paranormal romance world.

 

CryingMoon_pr2In the meantime, I’m still working on the sequel to Unspeakable Words, tentatively titled Walk a Mile. The Day Job has been keeping me pretty busy but it’s raining today and I have the day off so I’m hunkered down for a lovely afternoon of writing. Catch you later! This is too good an opportunity to miss! 🙂

 

 

 

UnspeakableWords

 

 

The week in review–as George Takei would say, “Oh myyyyy!”

So much to share this week!

FinalistSMThe most exciting news is that The Boys of Summer is a finalist in the 2013 Rainbow Awards! You could have knocked me over with a feather when I got the official word. I don’t anticipate it going any further than this; I am up against some stiff competition (no pun intended!) and I am aware of the flaws in the story. But this is one of those situations in which it is truly an honor to be on the list with such prominent titles within the genre!

Also, I am very pleased with this interview with independent filmmaker Rolla Selbak on Queer Town Abbey. This is the second interview I’ve written for QTA–they’d asked me to be a staff member but I had to regretfully decline due to my other commitments Still, I thought this one went very well, so go check it out! Rolla Selbak is a fascinating person doing interesting work, and her projects are enlightening as well as entertaining!

jackolanternLast, but not least, October is Paranormal Month! At least, by most people’s reckoning! Author Merissa McCain is hosting fellow paranormal authors every day this month to talk about their paranormal romances, as well as the genre in general. There are new posts every day on her website–I’ve posted the first three links on mine. There will be more to follow: my post won’t appear until the end of the month, but I’m going to be talking about what’s in store for the boys from Crying for the Moon. 🙂

Right now, I’m climbing back into the saddle after a much-needed mini-vacation, but I have to tell you, the harness chafes more when you’ve had it off for a few days. I’m looking at the things I’ve promised to do and starting to hyperventilate a bit. Next up, I’ve got to read and review the latest story from best-selling author Kindle Alexander, Double Full, as part of her blog tour (release date Oct 8th). There will be exciting prizes as the tour progresses, so be sure to stay tuned! I have my own blog tour scheduled in December–complete with a book trailer (I’m so excited about this!) and my own fantabulous giveaways–so keep an eye out here for more updates as they arrive.

The newest post in the Paranormal Month hosting is from Lara Nance. Come check it out!

October is Paranormal Month!

halloweencatroxiconWhat do you think of when you think of October? The scurry of dry leaves across the sidewalk, blown by autumn winds? That day when you reach for your leather jacket, or when you put away your sandals and pull out your boots? How about pumpkin bread, warm from the oven? Or maybe you think about things that go bump in the night? 🙂 That black cat slinking across the road that pauses to stare at you with grass-green eyes. The shivery sensation of being outside on a blustery evening, the scent of rain in the air. It is a time of magic, but magic can come with a price. It isn’t always a glass of wine by a crackling fire. Sometimes it is the way your heart pounds for no reason as you cross a dark field, the howling of coyotes nearby sending a little frisson of awareness up your spine. Whatever else you may feel about October, it makes you feel alive.

Author Merissa McCain is hosting Paranormal Month for the entire month of October over at her website! This is a blog run of paranormal romance of all kinds! Fantastic reads, featured authors, and some great discussions too! I’m late to the party, but here are the first three links:

Oct 1: Chris Redding

Oct 2: J. Rose Allister

Oct 3: Suzanne Perazinni

My post won’t go up until the end of the month, but I’ll be talking about my favorite vampire, Alexei, and his misfit werewolf friends from Crying for the Moon. You’ll find out what dastardly plans I have for the ‘Scooby Gang’ next! Do come and join the party–you might find some great new-to-you stories to curl up with on the couch on those spooky October evenings!

CryingMoon_pr2

Fall into Romance… The Romance Reviews Fall Hop and Giveaway!

Red trees_resizedToday begins the Fall into Romance Blog Hop on The Romance Reviews, and it made me realize that my favorite season is just about to begin. For years, I’ve jokingly referred to autumn as my “Holy Season”. Give me boots and sweaters over sandals and sundresses any day. I love the cool clear mornings when the air is so fresh it is like biting into a crisp apple. The crunchy sound of leaves underfoot on the sidewalk, the wet earthy smell of the ground, the delicate spines of frost on the grass in the mornings. The first day when you realize the leaves are starting to turn, or you hear the honking of geese overhead, or when the temperature drops by twenty degrees… oh yes, I smile and dream of pumpkin pie, and cups of hot chocolate, and the first night we light a fire in the hearth.

Oh yes. Spring is nice, but give me autumn any day.

Fall Romance Review HopSo as part of the The Romance Reviews Fall in Romance celebration, I’m doing a Q&A and a giveaway. There are lots of featured authors, prizes, and contests, so go check it out!  If you are here seeking the answer to the giveaway, it is: A World War 2 listening post. Want to know the question? Check out the Q&A here on The Romance Reviews Event page (question #66).

In other news, I recently got an outstanding review for Crying for the Moon from Rainbow Book Reviews! It was completely unexpected and it made my day!

I also found out that The Boys of Summer is on Amazon’s Best Gay Romance list as determined by reader ratings. I didn’t even know such a list existed! It’s only number 65 on the list, but let me tell you, it is an honor to be on a list that includes some of the best known titles in the genre. If you ever thought reader reviews didn’t matter, you’re wrong! And you guys are the best, you know that, right? 🙂

Lusting after a hot paranormal romance? Check out “I Heart Shifters”!

CryingMoonIt’s been another long week in Lake Wobegone. 🙂

I spent a good bit of it working out of town, and had to give up my one day off too. Work has been slammed, which is a good thing after too many years of lackluster business, but that means it’s kicking my ass right now, too. When you’re in a different location every 48 hours, it’s hard to plan healthy meals or get enough sleep, which adds to the exhaustion. There’s a saying: failing to plan is planning to fail. I agree with that in principle, but in reality, when you’re rushed, pushed for time, and stretched to your limits, something’s got to give. In my case, it’s meal planning. Which is stupid because I feel so much better when I make the effort. Vicious circle, I know.

Why am I telling you all this? Because by the time Fridays roll around, I’m usually pretty fried. As a matter of fact, I just sat down to open the WIP when I got a text from a client and I had to talk her through a pet emergency. I can see that it is unlikely I will get any constructive writing done now–it’s getting late and I have a full day’s work tomorrow too.

I’m at the point in the WIP where I absolutely loathe it and am convinced I am a crappy writer, that the story is permanently and irrevocably flawed, and that I will never be more than one of the delusional hopeful thousands who clackety-clack type furiously on their keyboards with the dream of one day having a bestseller. Then I can quit my day job and spend all my time writing more stories, right? Yeah, if only.

So you can imagine my utter delight when I received an email telling me to go check out this latest jessewave post: I HEART Shifters by reviewer Lasha. In it, she lists her top 15 paranormal M/M romances written in the last three years.

Crying for the Moon is on the list! I don’t know about you, but I am delightfully surprised! Crying for the Moon has certainly received some wonderful reviews (and it was an August 2011 recommended read on jessewave as well) but I’ll be the first to admit, it is not your typical paranormal story. I hadn’t read any vampire or werewolf fiction when I wrote it–my only knowledge of vampires came from dimly remembered horror movies watched when I was a child. And I’m not a horror movie aficionado. Everything else I just made up as I went along, creating a universe where these creatures made sense to me. Believe it or not, Crying for the Moon started out as a short story prompt for an anthology about lesbian vampires. I know! I know! What happened? 🙂

Anyway, when I was finished with the first draft, I had a full length novel on my hands and not much of a market for it. As I was already published with Dreamspinner, I decided to convert the main characters to men. What an undertaking that was! Not a simple find and replace of names and pronouns. Men walk, talk, move, and think differently from women. Every line had to be re-written to get the male perspective right. In the end, I think it made the story stronger. I’m glad I had the experience of transforming this story.

But to have it make a list like this? From a reviewer who preferentially chooses paranormal stories to read? Well, this is an honor indeed.

Moreover, it is one of those validating moments that makes you think maybe you’re not such a bad writer after all. And despite the lateness of the hour, open that WIP file anyway.

 

Ooops! Sarah Madison did it again…

Writer personOver-extended herself, that is. 😉

I sat down this morning to jot out a quick post about all the things I have coming up this next week, and I ended up having to make a page of links first. Because oh my! I’d better pull out my running shoes this coming week…

First, a bit of nice news: I’ve had some truly delightful reviews come in recently, not only on The Boys of Summer, but also on some of my older works as well. This has served to both spur me on to finishing long-promised sequels while at the same time scared the pants off of me. What if I can’t produce anything to live up to these reviews? What if anything from here on out it anti-climatic? Well, the truth is, not every book is going to be a winner, but if I start worrying about performance before it’s even left the start box, this pony is going nowhere fast. Time enough to worry about things when I’ve actually finished a story!

The Boys of Summer400x600Right. So, reviews. I received a terrific review for The Boys of Summer by Joyfully Jay. The review does contain spoilers, but they are behind a cut, so if you haven’t read TBOS yet, do check it out! I also discovered a review on Amazon that made me laugh–Myristica stated that she wished The Boys of Summer would be made into a movie, and I confess, I like the idea of Hollywood hammering at my door begging for the chance to do so!

But I also recently received reviews from the Paranormal Romance Guild for Crying for the Moon and Unspeakable Words! These are older works that I hadn’t expected to get new reviews on anymore, so I was delighted to find that these stories are finding some love as well. 🙂

UnspeakableWordsCryingMoonOne of the really nice things about the release of The Boys of Summer has been an increased interest in these older stories–and has made me resolve to finally sit down and write those promised sequels! I’m working on the sequel to Unspeakable Words now, titled Walk a Mile. I have at least two sequels planned for Unspeakable Words, and the same for Crying for the Moon as well. All I have to do is make enough money to quit that day job… 🙂

My friend (and very talented writer) Margarita Gakis has just released her first novel, Trial by Fire, the first in the Covencraft series. You have to go read the blurb–it made me laugh out loud, and then run right out and buy a copy! She’s a bright new voice in the genre–you want to check this one out! Pardon the small image–it was the only one I could snag off the internet without Margarita knowing in advance! 😀

Trial By Fire

Next week, on July 2nd, I’m going to be hosting Susan Mac Nicol here, as she reveals the cover for her first M/M romance release and answers questions about her description as the ‘next E.L. James’ and writing her first novel Cassandra by Starlight. Susan recently reviewed The Boys of Summer for The Romance Reviews site, where it received a glowing 5 star review and is named one of TRR’s Top Picks! That has nothing to do with my inviting her to come join us–really! Honestly, it was the E.L. James thing. 😀

I’m also going to be hosting a book discussion with the Paranormal Romance Guild on July 2nd–details to follow! And from July 4th through the 7th, I’m going to be participating in the Equal Rights Blog Hop! What better way to celebrate the end of DOMA then to join Queer Town Abbey in the hosting of the first annual Equal Rights Blog Hop? Because civil rights are something fought for once and won–never to be defended again. It’s an ongoing struggle. However, for the moment, we’re celebrating–and there’s still time for you to sign up as well! You can join the hop through July 2nd–posting begins on the 4th!

And last but not least, I’m doing a radio interview on the talk radio blog show Write on the Edge on July 5th! I know, what was I thinking? I was thinking I like to talk and that it would be fun to be interviewed on the radio, that’s what! More details to follow on this as well, when I get links to post. So yeah, over-booked a little much? But man, we’re going to have some fun!

The Boys of Summer and Crying for the Moon: Latest Outstanding Reviews!

Today hasn’t been a horrible day–just a busy one. The kind of day where I hardly had a chance to sit down all day, and even then, it was just a for a quick check of emails and Facebook before the afternoon schedule began.

Not bad. Just busy. Tiring. I’ve had worse–much worse. The problem with my job is that some days it is filled with heartbreak and the delivery of bad news.

But even ‘easy’ days can be stressful when they are busy–when the phone is constantly ringing, and someone is interrupting to ask a question, and you have to write down what you were thinking while you were thinking it before it’s gone for good.

ATG_Sun_resized

At the end of a 12 hour work day, it’s hard to come home and get any useful writing done. Oh sure, you think about writing all day. You plan and plot and write dialog in your head, confident that the moment you get home, you’ll sit down and lose yourself for hours in the genius that is your work. But the reality of it is that by the time you do get home, eat dinner, deal with the latest OMG crisis, return a phone call to a client, answer twenty or so emails, and walk the dog (who is bouncing off the walls because you’re finally home), the energy and desire to write have usually fizzled.

Then you remember that you got an excellent review by Orion for The Boys of Summer on Jessewave today. And one of those emails sitting in your inbox was to point out to you a delightful review by Gloria for Crying for the Moon on the Paranormal Romance Guild. And the next thing you know, you’re not too tired to write after all. 🙂

The Boys of Summer400x600CryingMoon

 

 

Win an autographed copy of The Boys of Summer by Sarah Madison and more!

Hey there! I have a fun blog post/contest going on at The Armchair Reader today: The Money Shot in M/M Romance and what it means to me. Do stop by, leave a comment with your email address and one person will be selected at random to win a signed print copy of The Boys of Summer!

Anniversary_May13-19_FBpost

In other news, Dreamspinner Press continues to celebrate their six year anniversary all this month of May with discounts and giveaways–this week they are celebrating by discounting all stories by authors that signed up with them in their forth year of business–which includes me and my backlist of stories! Haven’t read Crying for the Moon or Unspeakable Words? Here’s your chance to get caught up–sequels are in the works for these stories and more! They are also giving away two e-readers (a Nook and a Kindle) each Sunday for the rest of the month, so what are you waiting for? Check them out today!

Last, but certainly not least, I’m heading out next week for Galacticon 3 and ComicPalooza in Houston. I’m so excited about just attending, let alone co-hosting the panel discussion on fanfic and the fanfic writers workshop as well. Not to mention, I’ve signed up for Richard Hatch’s acting workshop, and I’m considering entering the cosplay contest and as George Takei would say, “Oh my!”

Bring it on, baby!

One more thing: best advice on writing I’ve come across in a long time: 15 Things a Writer Should Never Do. Wow. I’m adding it here because I want to be able to find this list again for reference purposes. 🙂

 

Coming Soon From Sarah Madison!

I have to snort a bit at the title of this post–it feels as though I should run a movie trailer, doesn’t it? But there are a lot of things going on right now that I’m very excited about!

Next month (32 days by the website’s counter!), I’ll be attending Galacticon 3 for the 35th anniversary of Battlestar Galactica! I’m a BSG fan from way back, and I was delighted to be invited to attend this convention as part of a panel discussion on fanfiction, as well as helping to host a workshop on writing fanfiction (or really, writing sci-fi in general). Imagine my glee when I found out that ComicPalooza was being held at the same time! Or when I discovered that Galaction is a HUGE event! I’ve been to sci-fi conventions before, but never one of this magnitude. I’m thrilled, and just a little nervous too. BSG Scriptwriter Terrance McDonnell is also going to be on the panel, and I’m not sure I won’t be tongue-tied as a result!

What do you think? Should I bring my Peggy Carter costume? I confess, I am looking for an excuse to wear it again.

Peggy Carter ShoesFirst, there are the shoes. C’mon, these are rocking shoes, aren’t they? 🙂 Then there is the time and effort I put into putting the costume together in the first place. I’m still having trouble with the skirt though. The one I got originally was too long, but when I had it hemmed, I didn’t take into account how short the jacket was that went with it, and I ended up with a gap at the waist. I’ve got another skirt now that fits beautifully, but is too dark. I’m not sure I can match the color to the jacket by May 23rd!

But then there are the extras that go with it! A dear friend of mine found the exact shade of red lipstick I’d been searching for: Victory Red by Elizabeth Arden–the favorite shade of women in WW2 and still manufactured today! You should have heard me squeal when I got my surprise package in the mail. Not only did it contain the right lipstick, but my friend went the extra mile,providing me with props as well! Lipstick

I guess it’s pretty obvious I have a interest in WW2 history. The clothing of the period fascinates me as well. I loved the Captain America movie, and I adore Peggy Carter. I think one of the reasons I love her as a character is that she never lost sight of her femininity, and yet she was as tough as nails. Truly a heroine I can look up to and admire. So you can imagine my reaction when, along with the lipstick, I discovered an era-authentic compact by Stratton, which my friend assured me was what all the women used in Britain during the war. But the crowning glory of the package was the antiqued locket that my friend made for me–complete with a picture of Steve Rogers in it!

Locket and CompactI mean, seriously? How cool is that? So you see, I really HAVE to take my Peggy Carter costume with me to Galacticon/ComicPalooza, right? I thought so.

Sadly, I have to confess that I have at least three Star Trek costumes, as well as one Battlestar Galactica one as well. And a Peggy Carter leather jacket, a BSG jacket, a Stargate Atlantis jacket… I think I’m going to need a bigger suitcase…

In other news, I have an interview and excerpt from The Boys of Summer up at Chris T. Kat’s blog, please do drop by, check it out, and leave a comment. As a matter of fact, I have a bunch of interviews lined up, including some giveaways too. I’m going to be on The Armchair Reader, Savvy Author’s website, doing a Q&A on Love Romances Cafe’s site, and doing some other guest blogging in the weeks running up to Galacticon. I’m going to be hosting people here in the upcoming weeks as well! I’m also putting together swag bags for Galacticon, and will be holding a contest soon for swag and a copy of The Boys of Summer. 

I’m planning to upload The Boys of Summer to ARe and Createspace this weekend (barring more formatting issues), so hopefully those of you that have been holding out for a print copy won’t have to wait much longer.

And believe it or not, I am writing. I’m working on two different projects with my good friend Claire Russett–we’re contemplating writing stories together for both of our sci-fi universes. I’m working on other stories as well, but having a hard time settling down to writing a particular one. Oh, I know, how about a poll?

What would you like to see me working on next?

What do you want Sarah Madison to work on next?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Why M/M Romance?

I came across this thought-provoking commentary on jessewave last night regarding tropes in M/M romances and whether the genre was aimed at women or men.  I immediately sat down and wrote a long response to it–only the site ate my response and I hadn’t saved it.

You know that moment where your hand hovers over the ‘send’ button and you waffle about hitting it, which is when your brain tells you ‘if there’s any doubt, don’t do it!’ and you hit send anyway?

Yeah, I had one of those moments.

Fortunately, the site ate it, and it gave me an out. I could either sit on my hands altogether and go back to working the the WIP (which, though moving at a glacial pace, IS moving), or I could re-draft and repost my response here.

I know what the social media gurus would say: Are you nuts? Don’t make waves! Keep your online presence smiling and cheerful. Don’t do anything to offend your potential readership!

Yeah, I’m so good at that!  *eyes political ranting and frothing-at-the-mouth rage of the past year or so and has grace to look embarrassed*

I have to admit, I had a hard time even knowing how to title this post. I started out calling it “Why Women Read and Write M/M Romance” but the truth is, I can only speak for me.  It’s not like I haven’t written about the subject before. I’m not sure why I’m tentative now. Maybe it’s because I’m more aware of how controversial this subject can be now.  I dunno.

The jessewave post opens with the author describing a romantic interaction between him and his husband in the purple prose terms of many a common M/M novel. It was funny, it was ludicrous, and by the end of his demonstration, I could see where it could be called demeaning and insulting, as well.  And yet my first thought when I read this was, Yeah, so? Show me a typical romance novel that doesn’t simplify and stereotype the main characters.

Mind you, I’m not defending it because everyone else is doing the same. I think that this is part of the problem with the genre, not specifically M/M romance, but ROMANCE in general. I also think new writers learn by copying others–and it takes logging in many hours at the keyboard before you develop a strong enough style and sense of identity to step away from repeating patterns seen in other stories. Remember too, most of us write because we want to tell the kinds of stories we love to read–so breaking free from the herd can be tough at first.

As I read the article, the general gist of the complaint seemed to run along the lines of feminizing male characters in order to fulfill a traditional male/female relationship–and that the reason for doing this seems to be to sell more books in the M/M genre, which admittedly is one of the hottest subgenres at the moment.  I gotta tell you, though, one of the reasons I write M/M romance is because the main characters *aren’t* women. “Chicks with dicks” is the last thing I want to create. Also? I write because I love it. I write because it’s a compulsion (cheaper than therapy!), and it is harder to create in a vacuum, hence the attempt to market what I create in the hopes that someone else will like it too. I’m not going to Paris on the proceeds!

How do I best explain why I write M/M romance and not M/F? Maybe it is because every time we create a bad-ass awesome heroine in fiction, we find ourselves creating all these qualifiers to go along with her. If she is too tough and aggressive, then she’s a mean bitch. If she likes baking or knitting, then she’s a piss-poor throwback to the 1950s. I’ve been accused of being misogynistic simply because I didn’t like a female character and thought her ill-suited for her role in the story. When we create that bad-ass heroine, she either stands out as an exception to the rule, or else she is the clone of the last bad-ass heroine we’ve read about. We as writers just can’t win.

Now, that may sound like a weenie reason for abandoning my sex and running off to play with male characters, but it is more than that. When I was growing up, the men got all the good parts. Kirk got to go down to the planet and save the day, while Uhura sat on the bridge and announced that the hailing frequencies are open, Captain. Do I disparage the Uhura of the day? No! We needed her! We needed to see Nichelle Nichols on the bridge, depicting a black woman in some other role than a maid. Do I love the direction the remake made with Uhura? You damn betcha! I love her competence and her desire to reach out and get what she wants–what she deserves. But there was a forty year gap between those two incarnations, and it would have been impossible for us to bridge that gap without each new, slightly revised female role model along the way.  I keep insisting that one day I will write a female main protagonist that I won’t want to bitch-slap twenty pages into the story, but it hasn’t happened yet. Why? Because at this point in time, her story doesn’t grab me.

With the exception of such standout television shows as The Closer, it is often difficult to find an outstanding portrayal of a strong female character that is in some way not a caricature as well. One of the reasons The Closer worked for me was (unbelievably talented writing and production aside), that Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson was first and foremost a fully-fleshed out character–who happened to be a woman. I’ve been asked why I’ve never tried my hand at Closer fanfic. Well, damn.  How can you top that? The show provided everything I, as a viewer, could have hoped for. For me, fanfic was unnecessary.

I write M/M romances because these are the characters I most identify with and want to know more about. I identify with the marginalization and inequalities that members of the GLBT community feel, even though, as a straight, white women in the US, I have a lot less to complain about than any member of this community. I still ‘get’ being the outsider, though. The ‘outsider’ experience doesn’t usually take center stage in my stories–I’m writing romance, not gay fiction.  But it does color the actions of my characters even as it affects most of my interactions today. Bottom line, these are the characters that interest me, whose stories I want to tell.

One of my favorite authors, the creator of some kick-ass top-notch heroines, is male. He writes tech-heavy sci-fi space opera, and I love his work with a passion. Do I question his ability to write a believable heroine taking a lover for the first time at the age of 45? No, not really. I suspect it’s because his story is not fundamentally about the relationship–the relationship is but a small piece in the background of a much larger story.

Perhaps this is why the question of women writing M/M romances keeps getting raised. The fault lies in the fact that the entire story is built around the relationship, and that getting the characters together is the whole reason we’re here. As such, there is definitely a sense that we as women are inserting too much of what turns *us* on into our stories, rather than completely immersing ourselves in a man’s mentality. Or maybe I’m wrong in that impression. I can’t help but feel that if we were writing about hobbits, elves, dragons, serial killers or murderers, there would be less talk of how women can’t possibly write about something they are not.

At the same time, we need reminders of when tropes become outdated or offensive. We need reminders that what may be hot for our female readership might even be demeaning to the men we are trying to portray. We need someone to poke fun at purple prose and take us to task for falling into the trap of repeating everything we’ve read before us. Gotta tell you, I don’t see the old rape-turned-love trope as much anymore, and man, am I thankful for that! Talk about a trope to make me grind my teeth! I’m grateful for women writers, such as J. P. Barnaby, who will ask her male friends how often they really jack off in the shower, instead of mindlessly repeating what is admittedly a damn fine visual trope. So I salute Stuart, the author of the jessewave piece, for turning a spotlight on the subject.

A while back, I misread a prompt for a story, got 60 K into it, and realized I didn’t have a market for what I’d written. No problem, I decided. I’d already published with Dreamspinner Press at that time–I’d simply change the female leads into men and send it in.

There was no ‘simple’ to it. No mere matter of doing a find and replace on names and pronouns. I had to re-write every single line. Because men move differently, act differently, speak differently. Hell, they even think differently. It was a fascinating and eye-opening experience, and I’m glad that I did it. Not only that, but the story became ten times stronger for the revision. It turned into Crying for the Moon, and I can no longer imagine it in its original form.

I just wanted to state for the record that while we need gentle reminders, and it is up to us as writers to keep improving our information, I don’t want to feel as though I’m being deliberately exploitative. I just write what I love.

While I’m here, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Dreamspinner Press is celebrating getting over 10 K likes on their Facebook Fan Page by offering free stories, revolving discounts, and all kinds of giveaways! Do check them out (one of those free stories is a little ‘first kiss’ story of mine!)