Transphobia and homophobia are major issues IRL, but I rarely, if ever, include them in my stories. My portrayals of homosexuality in the context of my fictional societies are idealized, I won’t front. (I can’t speak to trans* characters because I haven’t written any(1), but I can tell you that I’d probably do something similar.)
I’ve heard it said more than once that excluding transphobia or homophobia from fiction isn’t realistic, even in fantasy (which is my first and true love; coffee, I’m sorry, you’re taking a backseat) and other non-contemporary genres.
I think that’s horseshit. (I’d say pardon my language, but fuck that noise. ;3) To say that a world cannot be realistic unless there’s some segment of society that rails against LGBTQ persons in vicious and often violent ways is absolute horseshit. I write my worlds without transphobia and homophobia because I believe that’s something to aspire to, that’s something societies can be capable of, be they fantasy or contemporary.
When I was younger, I was teased a lot (not viciously, but normal kid stuff). I was shy and introverted, and my escape was my books. I loved seeing new worlds where silly things like weight and clothing and that sort of thing didn’t matter. It’s important to have books that deal with transphobia and homophobia, but I feel it’s equally important to have books that show places and times where it’s not an issue.
Books that normalize LGBTQ characters, that show them as primarily a king, primarily a mage, primarily an accountant, and oh yeah, they’re trans*/lesbian /bi/etc. are, to me, just as important as those that deal with the wrongs of society. That’s what LT3 is aiming for, and that’s why I write what I write.
(1) Footnote! I’d love to write a trans character, but quite frankly, I don’t have the guts. I’m entirely and thoroughly cis-gender and I’m not sure I could do a trans* character justice. Maybe one day I’ll have the courage and ability to make it work. In the meantime, I’m going to search harder to find and support the awesome work that’s already out there.
Definitely go and check out the rest of the Hop posts; they’re sure to be poignant and much better written than my little, non-scholarly thing. ^__^
Okay, so, giveaway. I’m offering up (1) a $50 donation in your name to The Point Foundation, an LGBTQ scholarship foundation that provides financial support to at-risk gay and lesbian students and (2) an ebook from my backlist, in the format of your choosing, anthologies included.
Winner will be picked at the conclusion of the hop using random.org. If you’re reading this on my LJ, please hop over to my website to post a comment, as I’ll only be picking from the website comments. To enter, please include your email address and what your absolute favorite LGBTQ story is. (You can leave multiple comments, FYI, on the off chance you forget something, but I’ll only count you once. ^__^)
The lovely Kay Berrisford interviewed me on her blog (ETA: here! I fail at all the linking today, yikes)! Kay’s good peeps, writes awesome and sexy fantasy stories, and you should check her out if you have not yet. (Prisoner of the Mountain Watch is her new short freebie, if you want to dip your toes in before jumping into the deep end with one of her novels. :3 Link is to ARe, but it’s available most retailers for free.)
… distracted. Uh, but if you’re inclined, stop by and check out the interview, and toss your name in the hat for the giveaway (backlist book or serial time!).
Also, M and I totally collab’ed in a mutual ‘verse sort of way to bring you the following short stories, due out in June. They’re all vampires and witches and shenanigans, oh my. :3 Will be up with official blurbs at some point tonight, but I’m impatient and posting them now (even though I’m in charge of posting them to LT3, yes, I know, but logic and I never get along).
I’ve been interviewed! ^__^ K-lee at Chaos in the Moonlight is running a series of author interviews and giveaways on her blog throughout the month of December. You can check out my silly, off-the-cuff interview here, and leave a comment for the chance to get a free copy of any of the titles in my backlist for free. ^__^
I grew up in a very small town in the middle of nowhere. When I was younger, it always seemed like there were only a couple hundred people who lived there (it was really 7k or so). We were a 45 minute drive from the nearest interstate and mall. There was no movie theater, and half the time we didn’t have a clothing store (they went in and out of business like going bankrupt was in style).
In other words, I grew up under a rock. :3 Half the rock was my own making; I was an introvert and much more interested in reading than in the same 200 boring people that inhabited my town. (None of them had magic! How could they compete?) Homophobia didn’t seem real to me; it was an abstract concept that I’d never experienced or recognized in anything around me. (This is not to say it wasn’t there, but to say that I was an oblivious, self-absorbed young person, a.k.a., a typical teenager.)
High school really cemented this. I can remember three gay classmates off the top of my head. Two had been out for as long as I could remember (the girl actually asked me out once; I declined on the grounds she was too short (seriously, I was a strange, strange teenager)). The third was a little older, a year or two before me in high school; he was the stereotypical jock, on the football and basketball teams. I remember he came out when I was in high school, and I couldn’t figure out why it was gossip. I don’t know if anyone gave him a hard time about it, but nothing seemed to change. He was still friends with the same people and did the same things.
It wasn’t until I got to college and had my own computer and a connection to the world (the great and wonderful internet!) that I realized that things like homophobia, racism, etc., weren’t just theoretical concepts. I had never experienced or witnessed any overt homophobic actions, but the internet brought me to people who had. I was connected to wonderful, creative, lovely people who had experienced homophobic discrimination, who had suffered and looked down upon because other people thought less of them because of who they loved.
So, while it may seem like common sense that gay people are first and foremost people, and deserve all the respect that entails, it’s always worth repeating. It’s never, ever right to ridicule or discriminate against someone because of who they are and who they love.
In support of the Hop, I’m offering a giveaway prize of one copy of any paperback in my backlist.* To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post on my website or LJ (tumblr will not be counted because I don’t actually understand tumblr). Please include your email address in the comment so I can get in touch with you. ^__^
Givewaway technically ends on May 20 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, but I probably won’t draw until the morning of the 21st because I like my sleep. Winner will be selected using random.org and will have 48 hours to get back to me after being notified, after which point a new winner will be selected.
** If Saving Liam is chosen, it will ship as soon as it is in my grubby little hands (very, very soon).***
*** I promise no grubbiness will be transferred to the book. ^__~
Saving Liam comes out tomorrow! (late tomorrow, technically “Wednesday,” but I don’t think anyone doesn’t know that we do updates the night before at this point. :3)
God, this story was a monster to write. It took me over a year (with other projects in between), and it’s one of the longest I’ve written, if not THE longest. It’s definitely one of the best, IMHO, and I am really, really fucking happy with the way it turned out. I haven’t heard much from peeps about it, but what I have heard is positive (which makes me really happy). ^__^
Oh, if you’re interested, there are two giveaways going on: one at Goodreads, which closes at 10:00 p.m. EDT Tuesday, and one at Babes in Boyland, which closes at 9 p.m. CDT on Wednesday. (Oh, god, those are different time zones. /resists urge to convert them)
Leyton lived a quiet, simple life as a prosperous, thriving merchant alongside his twin brother Liam. But that life is shattered when Liam goes missing, and Leyton is told that the only way to save his brother’s life is to seduce a king. The task proves to be even more difficult than Leyton feared, and soon he is swept up in a tide of political machinations, betrayal, and a looming threat of execution once the men who blackmailed him are caught.
But the threat of his pending death is nothing alongside the constant fear for his missing brother’s safety—and the tangle of intrigue in which he is caught is nothing like the tangle he put himself in after breaking the heart of a king…
Also, if for any reason you do not follow M or didn’t catch this on the LT3 site, we’re kicking off our moving-three-states-east shenanigans within a few days. That means less communication (b/c, y’know, I’m so chatty now. :3), and much slower response times. Do not burn down the internet while I’m not there to help, plzkthks.
Also, oh my god the books and sneak peeks are so out of date. /o\ ::adds updating the website to the to-do list::
The Trouble with Magic Giveaway
This is just a reminder that the giveaway contest for a free copy of The Trouble with Magic is still open until next Tuesday, September 27. You can enter both the contest here on my website and the contest open in the GoodReads group; we’ll just pick again for the second contest if the same person wins both. Good luck!
I love creating websites. ^__^ I’m not an expert, but I’m a pretty fair hand at it, if I do say so myself. (Humility, what?) One of my biggest stumbling blocks, though, is color. I’m good at basics; blue and orange are complimentary colors! No dark backgrounds and light text unless you like giving your readers eyestrain! But color schemes? I’m not so good. I’m especially bad at picking the perfect shades of colors to match a pretty header. It usually takes a bit of trial and error before I’m happy.
Usually I pick a color from the header and toss it in a color scheme generator (usually whichever one pops up in Google first). I also really like Kuler, which is an Adobe project, which has some really dynamic color selection tools. I totally burned my Sunday re-doing Megan’s LJ layout, and I went to Kuler to find a color scheme to match her Halloween-y banner.
Only to find they’ve made a super awesome cool enhancement. You can upload an image–any image–and Kuler will automatically generate a color scheme based off that image! It worked really damn well with M’s header image, though I haven’t tried anything else, but it was really, really exciting for my color-challenged self. :3 Exciting enough I had to share. ^__^
Other than web stuff, I’m diligently working on editing, not dying, editing, writing, keeping the kitties in line, cooking, writing, editing, cleaning, and breathing. All worthy endeavors.
It’s about two weeks out, give or take a day or three, from the release date for The Trouble with Magic! There are two chances to score a free copy of this ebook: one at the Less Than Three Press Goodreads group (September Giveaway #2) and another here on the website (LJ peeps, click the link at the bottom of this post).
To enter, simply leave a comment on this post. You’ll only be entered once (multiple comments won’t get you multiple entries). The winner will be selected randomly on Tuesday, September 28 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. Please leave a valid email address so I can get in touch with you if you win. ^__^ Good luck!
A trinity of stories about magic, and all the trouble that arises when magic and emotion collide.
The Dragon Slayer—Tane has been banished to a remote village and bound there by magic. With nowhere else to go and nothing better to do, he has taken the village under his care and protects it by killing the dragons that plague the area. Then he meets a dragon that refuses to die properly, and brings with him a whole new set of problems.
Striking A Balance—Nikkai is long used to suffering for and because of his brother’s actions. Getting arrested for Tane’s crimes, however, is a bit much. In prison, however, he unexpectedly encounters someone else acquainted with his brother—a foreign man of unusual magic, who agrees to help him because of a debt owed to Tane. Alongside his new, intriguing companion, Nikkai breaks out of prison and sets off to speak with his brother.
Family Business—At last free of his debt of honor, Ashei returns home with his new lover at his side, reluctant but braced to reunited with the family he has not seen for a long time—a family that is furious with him for turning away from their life of crime.
Next week, LT3 is releasing a short story, Forest of Fenris by T.T. Kove. It’s an awesome sweet, romantic fantasy story, and I completely recommend that you check it out. If you’re interested in winning a free copy, check out the blog It’s Raining Men for a giveaway contest. You can also check out the LT3 Goodreads group for another chance at a free copy. ^__^
Okay, I think that’s enough links for now. ^__~
Two weeks back, roommate Megan texted me asking “hypothetically… if we could get a kitten, what would you say?” There was a small litter of fluffy 4-5 week old kittens living in a storm drain outside her boss’s mother’s apartment complex. They’d been trying to catch them, since living in a storm drain does no one good, but were so far unsuccessful. About a week ago, mommy cat and the rest of the kittens disappeared (possibly, hopefully caught by other peeps trying for rescue), leaving one tiny gray fluffball that we picked up last Friday night.
We named him Bird and have gone about getting him fixed up with kitten foods and vet visits and antibiotics (OMG he hates so much) for his respiratory infection and resigned ourselves to a 5 cat household.
So tonight, I’m working my usual 10 hour day this week (ugh, conference, ugh) and then I hear Megan yelling my name.
I rush downstairs to investigate… and there’s a stray cat, curled up on our porch. He’s small and gray and skinny as anything, but so friendly. Because we’re suckers, we gave him a plate of wet food and some dry food and water and he went to town. He then demanded pettings. We left him on the porch when we went to the store, but he was still there when we came back. ^__^;;
Then we opened the back door… and in he sauntered.
Have I mentioned the part where we’re suckers?
He vehemently DOES NOT LIKE the other cats. There was a lot of hissing and a lot of growling and we’ve got him shut up in the upstairs bathroom with more food and water. If he settles and the other cats settle, we’ll probably continue to be suckers. Thankfully, Cincinnati has no-kill shelters, too, and that’s a possibility. Tomorrow we will call the vet for another dose of flea treatment (Bird brought free fleas with him!), and then go from there.