Updates and Announcements

Updates and Announcements

The Rainbow Award results are in!

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Sparkwood was a finalist in for Best Bisexual Fantasy Romance in the Rainbow Awards!

This is such awesome news! I really didn't expect it. Thanks Elisa Rolle, who hosts and organizes the whole shebang. This really made my day.

My dude Austin Chant also nabbed the Best Transgender Fantasy Romance award for Peter Darling, and Peter Darling also won Best Cover!

If you want to pick up a copy of Sparkwood it's 20% off the ebook on LT3 right now! If you do, please consider leaving a review when you're done! It's a huge help for visibility.

UPDATE:

Sparkwood is also a winner for Best Debut Bisexual book and a finalist for Best Bisexual Book overall! This is so amazing, thank you so much!

Cheers!

Updates and Announcements

Listen to a spooky Sparkwood read-aloud

You can hear me read a spooky excerpt of Sparkwood over at Binge on Books!

They're doing a wonderful Halloween series where authors read aloud their creepiest scenes. There have been some really great ones, and I recommend checking out the rest of the series. The fun will go on 'till the end of October.

Speaking of October, I've somehow found myself watching The Exorcist, which Fox has against all odds turned into a good TV show. I'm working hard at the next book and gearing up for National Novel Writing Month, too.

Hopefully soon I'll be able to say exciting things about A Spell For Luck but until then ... make sure you sign up for my newsletter! There's an excerpt in the welcome email, AND a new semi-NSFW scene that will go out to newsletter subscribers on Oct. 24.

 

 

Updates and Announcements

Sleep No More and the perfect moment

It's really not often that I let a strange man take my hand and lead me into the dark. Especially not without an introduction. In fact, without even a single word exchanged between us.

Sleep No More changes everything.

It's an interactive, immersive version of Macbeth that plays out over 6 stories of a warehouse in Chelsea. No matter how cool you think that sounds, the reality is cooler. The audience wear masks, and are free to roam at will through the sets—a forest, a speakeasy, a Scottish high street.

The actors, maskless, run amok in this space, doing interpretive dance and occasionally pulling spectators into the scenes. Here's another important rule: as an audience member, you're not allowed to speak.

This results in flocks of  silent, white-masked spectators racing after actors through the dim corridors of the warehouse.

Among other things, being masked completely changes how you interact with people. You don't think about how much energy goes into making proper facial expressions until you no longer have to.

You get to take a break from being a person for awhile.

I didn't realize how freeing this was until I was face-to-face with an actor, and she could emote at me and all I could do was stare at  her, from just a foot away. Reflexively you try to communicate anyway—how do you tell someone you really appreciate their performance with only your eyes?

Back to the man. Back to anonymous intimacy.

I don't date. I don't want to, and I'll get anxious before I get emotionally attached. I'm aromantic—I don't feel romantic attraction, and I don't prioritize romantic relationships. But I get crushes: I've come to know them not as signifiers of romance to come, but as part and parcel of the excitement of meeting someone new and enjoying the freshness of our interactions. Crushes develop into friendship for me.

I love the allure of strangers. I'm a flirt, a terrible flirt, but always on the knife's edge of anxiety that my flirting will be followed up on, and I'll have to let someone down.

Being a (bisexual) woman adds an extra complication. I like men, but flirting with the wrong one can end badly. And I suppose no matter what gender you're attracted to, you don't often get to have intimate, flirtatious contact and then walk away, not without having an awkward conversation at the end of the night.

In a world full of romantics and people wanting more, how often do you get to have a moment? Just one moment, with an understanding of an ending.

Back to the theatre. Back to the dark hallways.

It's difficult to describe how good the Sleep No More actors are at confirming consent. They do it without breaking character, without removing you from the scene, and often without saying a word.

Generally, the actors don't look at you—they have perfected the art of looking through you, as if you're on the other side of an invisible veil. As if you're really the masked ghost that you see in mirrors throughout the space.

A one-on-one begins with eye contact.

Suddenly, a character's eyes will lock with yours. Sometimes it's just that: the look, and they are back in the scene. Sometimes it's more. 

So this character, this actor, looked at me. I had run into him several times over the course of the three-hour show. (It's quite hard to track a single actor through their whole cycle—even if you don't get distracted and wander off, they're likely to lose you in the crowds and the dark.)

But there we were, and I was in the right place at the right time.

It feels special to be seen by an actor at Sleep No More. You feel so God damn special to have been plucked from the faceless crowd and given this gift of intimacy with a perfect stranger.

He took my hand, and held it, both of us silent, me masked. Then we ran. At first a crowd followed us down the stairs, and then we lost them in a still bigger crowd.

He stayed with me until the end of the show, mostly holding my hand, once hugging me as we watched another scene. And at the end of the play he escorted me back to the lobby.

He took off my mask. He said "thank you," and hugged me again. And then he was gone.

 Spectators watch a scene at Sleep No More.

Spectators watch a scene at Sleep No More.

How often do you get to have a perfect, intimate experience with a stranger, and feel completely safe? That Sleep No More is a transaction between actor and spectator made it possible for me to enjoy that moment, in all its purity. That's a rare thing.

It's here that I have to praise the actors again, because they do so much emotional and physical work for the benefit of the audience. It looks like the hardest damn job in theatre from the outside. And this happy, joyous, special feeling I got from our encounter—it's lasted for days

Hopefully the actor gathered from my garbled thank yous as we said goodbye that I'm really, really grateful. Shit, I had no idea I even wanted an experience like that, until I got to have it without pressure or fear.

It was honestly like being in a romance novel, only without the falling in love. When else do you get to meet a man and let him take you on a magical adventure within seconds? Without worrying about your safety, or his intentions, or the hard conversations you might need to have?

Sleep No More let me have this snapshot-perfect moment, the kind that a heroine has at the beginning of her story. It made me feel like I was part of something huge, or on the precipice of it. For me, though, I don't need the happily ever after. The beginning is enough. 

Updates and Announcements

Finding Fitzgerald in the village of books

In the south of France, somewhere between the narrow red-brick streets of Toulouse and the high-flung medieval castles at Lastours, is a small village called Montolieu.

In the early 90s it underwent a transformation, and became the Village of Books. In its sleepy streets there are 15 bookstores.

I've been on fruitless quest for books by F. Scott Fitzgerald that aren't hideous. I've found plenty of covers that look like bad 1920s cosplay. I've found covers that are fine... just fine. I've found covers that are abstract, and this makes them better than the bad cosplay covers, which are shameful.

So here in the village of books, I found one of the most beautiful covers for Tender is the Night:

There were old papers in a box by the door, among them some fashion prints from the 1920s, on worringly thin paper. I love how dynamic these figures are!

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Villages like Montolieu frighten me. A lot of villages in France frighten me. They're small, and beautiful, and seem fragile. I don't know how they survive. Montolieu hosts used bookstores, artists and galleries, and apparently a cactus garden. It has a wide-open view of a river, and here you realize the village is precariously built on a cliff-face.

If you're in the Aude departement, please stop by and spend an afternoon here. I could have thrown hours into scrabbling through the discount book boxes. It's places like this that make you think, if you just hope to find something enough, you'll find it.

Updates and Announcements

A witch meets a demon...

A Spell For Luck is the story of a grouchy young witch named Tom who does not want to be stuck in a small town all summer learning magic from his aunt. Only, his aunt has another houseguest: Simon, a house demon who has been in the family for... well, no one knows how long.

Simon has his own problems. Mainly, all these weird, strange, new, uncomfortable feelings he's dealing with. Feelings that maybe a human like Tom can help him explore.

A Spell For Luck is straight-up 10,000 words of fucky demon porn and I am very excited for it to be unleashed on the world.

It's going to be part of LT3's anthology, A Fool For You. The book will contain stories about tricksters, demons, witches, and all those untrustworthy sorts.

A Spell For Luck takes place in the same world as Sparkwood, but each story stands alone.

I'll keep this space updated with release dates, etc. about the story. If you want to read a bit of it right now, you should sign up for my newsletter. I include a snippet of my latest work with the welcome email, and A Spell For Luck is featured right now!

Updates and Announcements

Heck yeah, a newsletter

I'm starting a newsletter! Why?

ONE REASON:

It would be cool to share BIG news and bits of what I'm working on with you! When you sign up and confirm subscription to the newsletter, you'll get an email with a snippet of whatever I'm writing right at this moment.

I'll send out updates when I have new books coming out. And when I have free reads! I have a few fun things planned, like extra scenes with Jiyoon and Danny from The Trouble.

That's pretty much it! You can sign up at the link below if you want in.