JUNIOR HERO BLUES is up for Pre-order! (Plus Cover and Blurb Reveal)

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So around this time last year, I was staring at this manuscript I had written, having no idea what I was going to do with it.

I had originally put off even writing it. I’d loved the story idea, had the whole thing planned out on paper, and was totally in love with the character and world. But it was YA. I wrote adult romance. What was I even going to do with it if I did write it? But the story and the characters wouldn’t leave me alone, so eventually, and after a few false starts, I settled down to write it. It was probably the easiest time and most fun I’ve ever had writing a book. I wrote steadily for about three months, and at the end of it, I had a manuscript that I was sure was the best book I’d ever written. And it was absolutely and definitely a YA.

And then, kind of like fate, a press I’d been wanting to publish with for ages, Riptide Publishing announced the release of their new YA line, Triton. A line of books about queer kids, for queer kids. How could I pass that up?

I read a lot growing up, but for whatever reason, the books I remember reading the most, the ones that really stuck with me, were about lgbt characters. So maybe I’ve always wanted to add to that collection of books, and maybe help a young person come to accept themselves, even subconsciously, the way those books helped me.

I’m still going to keep writing romance, of course. But I’m excited about this new direction as well. And I don’t think JUNIOR HERO BLUES will be my last queer YA.

So, with no further rambling, I present:

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Last year, Javier Medina was your average socially awkward gay high schooler with a chip on his shoulder. This year, he’s . . . well, pretty much the same, but with bonus superpowers, a costume with an ab window to show off his new goods, and a secret identity as the high-flying, wise-cracking superhero Blue Spark.

But being a Junior Hero means that Javier gets all the responsibility and none of the cool gadgets. It’s hard enough working for the Legion of Liberty and fighting against the evil Organization, all while trying to keep on top of school work and suspicious parents. Add in a hunky boyfriend who’s way out of Javier’s league, and an even hunkier villain who keeps appearing every time said boyfriend mysteriously disappears, and Blue Spark is in for one big dollop of teenage angst. All while engaging in some epic superhero action and, oh yeah, an all-out battle to protect Liberty City from the forces of evil.

Welcome to the 100% true and totally unbiased account of life as a teenage superhero.

Pre-order Now!

What’s New

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Like my new website? I love this little guy, although I can’t seem to find him in higher resolution than this anywhere.

Hello, all! I’m coming off an absolutely lovely week of holidays from my day job. It’s been gorgeous and sunny out, and I’ve been relaxing, playing video games, eating, and of course, writing.

It’s a little bittersweet for me, having to go back to the wretched day job. It’s not a horrible job, by any means. It pays well (over minimum wage anyway) it’s relatively low stress, and it gives me medical benefits. But at the same time, for someone who is on good days, an introvert, and on bad days, an anxiety-ridden lump, going to work, pasting a smile on my face and interacting with people for eight hours a day takes it’s toll. This holiday was a little glimpse into what life on the other side is like.

I want to be able to one day quit my day job. I don’t think it’ll ever happen. Right now I’m able to only work 4 days a week and write the other three, and I consider that a blessing even. But I can dream.

Anyway, like I said, I got quite a bit of writing done. I’m about 8K into a new story called Witch, Cat and Cobb, a cute fantasy romance about a princess who runs away and falls in love with a witch. It’s my first lesbian romance, and I’m really enjoying it. I’ve been pushing myself to write more female characters, and confront my internalised misogyny that tells me I won’t enjoy writing/reading female characters as much. I really am enjoying writing this, and I hope others enjoy reading it too.

It’s also a nice break from the 50K story I’ve been working on SINCE THE DAWN OF TIME (since last year.) It’s tentatively titled Skylark Tower and is a steampunk romance with a transgender narrative and also a revolution. It’s very complex, emotional, and has taken it’s toll on me in terms of deciding how I feel about serious issues and how I want to portray them. Right now I’m in the process of comMore Info... pletely re-typing the whole thing and editing it as I go, and it’s arduous. I think I’m seeing the end of the tunnel though, and like I said, WC&C is a very nice diversion.

ANYWAY!

I’ve got lots of publishing news too! We’ve got To Summon Nightmares finishing up it’s serial rotation and coming out on November 5th.

Touch of MistletoeThen A Touch of Mistletoe, the Christmas Anthology I wrote a story for is coming out December 17th. My story is called Here For You, and it’s about a blind piano teacher who is convinced he’s going to be alone forever after the death of his wife, until he meets a man who makes him question that, along with his sexuality.

Ink & Flowers is also going to be released as an audiobook around that time! I’m excited, but also not sure I’m going to be able to make myself listen to the whole thing. Especially not the sex scenes. >.< Anyone else get super embarrassed hearing their work read out loud?

Then! (yeah, I’m not done) on January 28th, LT3’s Trans Geek Out collection will be released, which includes my genderqueer twincest menage story (say that three times fast) Double Take! You can buy all the stories individually, or get the bundle (tip: get the bundle) and read all of them!

And finally (at last, I wanted to get this typed up, but I really want to go watch the new episode of Doctor Who) Prince of the Forgotten Planet is in the works to be translated into Spanish and French. Which is brilliant, because I’m sure French and Spanish people really want to read about gay magical tentacle sex and have had a limited selection up until this point. Just hold out a little longer, French and Spanish people!

I think that’s it! Thanks for reading, and have a great week, everyone!

Thoughts on Ink & Flowers – Coming June 4th!

So Ink & Flowers comes out with Less Than Three Press in less than a week, and I thought I’d write a short blog post to talk about the inspiration behind it. I try to constantly experiment and trying new things in my writing, and Ink & Flowers is basically an amalgamation of a bunch of different things that I thought were cool and wanted to try. So without further adieu, here’s a some the things that inspired me to write Ink & Flowers!

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Image courtesy of moggara12 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

1. I love cute little flower shops and flowers (my favourite task at my grocery store job is wrapping flowers) and I wanted to write a character who worked in one. I also love tattoos, and wanted to write a character who has lots of them (I only have two so far because I’m poor, but I want tons eventually, and have researched a fair bit about them.)

2. I felt that in my earlier stories the character development tended to suffer because I spent too much time focusing on the supernatural elements. I wanted to write a story that was all about the characters, and to avoid getting caught up in anything else, I made it contemporary, and set it in a Canadian city similar to mine. I wanted to write a story that wasn’t about defeating an evil villain or saving the world. Just about characters:  making mistakes, learning from them, making decisions and moving forward.

3. I wanted to try writing characters that were extremely flawed and unlikable a the beginning and see if I could turn it around to make them sympathetic by the end. I was also interested in the trope used a lot in erotica of someone being coerced into sex in exchange for money or a place to stay and ending up liking it. I wanted too see how that would play out if I wrote it completely realistically. What kind of person would be desperate enough to agree to that, I wondered. And what kind of person would make such an offer? Could they deal with the fallout of their actions, and redeem themselves by the end of the story?

4. Every story has a little bit of the author in it, but when I was writing Ink & Flowers, I found myself drawing from a lot of personal experience. Coming out, dealing with overbearing and insidiously controlling family, all while suffering from anxiety are all things I have direct experience with, and they coloured Luke’s experience as well. This isn’t to say that the characters are (more than loosely) based on anyone I actually know, but it made it into a very personal story for me. It also means that it’s a very queer narrative, and I hope that it will be most enjoyed and identified with by other people who have come out and faced homophobia in their families as well.

Also, there is mansex. Although it’s delayed a little from where one might have expected it to happen based on the blurb. A strange thing happens every time I start writing a book, I think “Wow, you know, I don’t think these characters are going to have on-page sex. This is going to be my first novel without sex in it!” And then the characters get to know each other a little bit, and that all goes out the window. But it’s okay, because I like writing sex scenes. 😉

Thanks for reading!


 

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About to lose his apartment, and desperate to avoid having to move in with his horrendous relatives, shy art student Luke impulsively agrees to a deal from hell: sex with a man he doesn’t know in exchange for a couch to sleep on.

His new “roommate” Cooper is everything that Luke hates: crude, uncouth, and covered in tattoos, not to mention openly gay. Luke has all but resigned himself to a miserable fate when it turns out Cooper might want something a little different than he expected.

Ink & Flowers: Coming June 4th!
Wordcount: 40,000
Pairing: m/m
Ebook price: $4.99

Preorder at Less Than Three Press
Add on Goodreads

Also Enter Here for a chance to win a free copy on the LT3 Goodreads page! Draw ends June 19th.