Welcome to the blog hop!
What is a blog hop? Basically, it’s a way that readers can discover new writers, because with bookstores closing and publishers not promoting new authors as much, we need to find a way to introduce readers to authors they may not see in their local bookstore, and some of us are working mostly on-line, with no traditional promotion at all.
Here you have the chance to find many new authors. You’ll find information about me, my blog, and my work. But that’s not all! Also see links below to other creators you might like to check out.
In this particular hop, I and my fellow creators, in their respective blogs, have answered 10 questions where you get to learn about our current work in progress as well as some insights into our process, from characters and inspirations to plotting and cover decisions. I hope you enjoy it!
Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts and questions. Here is my Next Big Thing!
- 1: What are you working on right now?
Two things. I’m editing (and contributing to) a series of Roleplaying Books called The Unconventional (forthcoming from Spectacle Publishing Media Group), aiming to turn gaming genre expectations inside out. But editing a collaboration doesn’t suit the model of this blog hop, so I’m going to talk about my other project.
Autumn Harvest is a transmedia project telling several stories in the same world through a variety of media. Autumn Harvest: Maiden is a good place to start: it’s an audio webseries/ chapterbook, and it will be collected into a novel/ audiobook when complete.
Maiden is a love story set in a fantasy world, and it could perhaps be described as romantic erotica or feminist porn.
- 2: Where did the idea for your project come from?
The first draft of Maiden was written for my wife and partner while she was pregnant, and reflects my fears for her health, but that’s only part of the story. Modern fantasy and adventure tends to be the story of the “great hero” who saves the world. The great hero is usually an orphan. I wanted to write about life and courtship of that character’s parents, and what they go through in order to be together and find meaning when it is their “fate” to suffer and die because the great hero is supposed to be an orphan.
- 3: What genre does your work fall under?
Fantasy romance/erotica, I suppose. The larger setting of Autumn Harvest is largely about how “ordinary” people survive and find love in a world that is reeling and trying to recover after an age of war and ignorance.
- 4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
It is my fervent hope that there is never any discussion of a movie. Having said that, I’ll play along:
Maiden Yelen (protagonist, a long-lived witch): Viola Davis is probably the closest fit
Prince Kaye (love interest, younger, paraplegic): Michael Cera doesn’t really look like Kaye, but his mannerisms are about right…
Queen Theobel (Kaye’s mother, a minor character with a key part): Cate Blanchett could pull it off
Jeoff (ally, stony-faced, and the Queen’s right-hand-man): Tamoh Penikett, perhaps
- 5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your work?
Well, the tagline for Maiden is: The omens promise death if Yelen and Kaye consummate their passion, but their hearts, hands, and lips care nothing for prophecy.
- 6: Is your work self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
The entire Autumn Harvest project is with Big World Network, including Maiden, the short stories collected in Tales, and the forthcoming game, Rites of Spring.
- 7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
The first draft of Maiden? A couple of months, maybe. But the story has grown and changed so much since then, and the entire world has come into much clearer focus. Autumn Harvest is an open-ended, ongoing project for me, in which specific stories will conclude, but I don’t (at this point) see a final ending.
- 8: What other stories would you compare your work to?
- 9: Who or what inspired you to write this?
I wanted there to be more stories out there with fantastic settings, credible characters, and honest, positive sexuality. A lot of romances contain compulsive elements and gender essentialism that turn me off. Porn, for the most part, is worse. I wanted to write stories that people of many different genders, sexualities, and orientations might be able to enjoy. I wanted to write characters they would care about and identify with, because I so often don’t.
- 10: What else about your work might pique the reader’s interest?
I need to tell you a little about me, because it’s central to where I’m writing this from. I’m a Ph.D., a parent, an all-purpose nerd, a chocolate snob, a mystic, a skeptic, living with depression, and genderqueer. That last one is the hardest to write, because I only started coming out as genderqueer recently. The first thing I did was include it in the list of things on the top of my site, but next to words like “synesthesiac” and “lovecraftian”, “genderqueer” might not stick out so much.
For me being genderqueer means that I don’t identify as male or female, but as both or something in-between. One of the reasons that being genderqueer matters to Autumn Harvest is that people are people and people are sexual to me: first and foremost as unique individuals, and only secondarily as any gendered identity. I’m not saying that biology doesn’t matter – it does. What I’m saying is that individual difference in identity and sexuality is a lot bigger than any overall trends related to hormone levels, genitalia, chromosome pairings, or any of the other things taken as “absolute” proof of a gendered identity.
That’s just how I see the world and where I write from. There are plenty of stories out there about “manly” men and “real” women who might as well come from different planets: that’s fine, I guess, but I have no interest in writing stories like that. Maiden centers on a monogamous, heterosexual romance, while others are gay, lesbian, bisexual, and/or polyamorous. I’m not writing specifically for a genderqueer audience (though I hope other genderqueers will like my work), and I know you have to be generqueer to write about human diversity.
But being genderqueer is a large part of why I need to write these stories.
Below you will find authors who are next in the Hop.
These talented folks will be posting their Q&As next week. Be sure to bookmark and add them to your calendars for updates and exciting developments.
Happy Writing and Reading!