Whoa! Busy busy month! Biggest news of all which if you follow my social media pages you’ve been inundated with — my partner and I brought home a new baby-a Newfoundland puppy named Sirius! The whole family is smitten with her, and she’s definitely been keeping us BUSY this month as we adjust to new (puppy) parent life. Sleep? What’s that?!
I did jokingly say in an email with my publisher that the new (reduced) sleep schedule is giving me lots of time to write! I got quite a lot of writing done this month. A couple of different articles for Dogster, an article for the bark, and my curve magazine column. I also managed a short story submission to an anthology, and have been holding steady with my writing goals on the new novel. My writing goal is to finish a (draft) chapter a week- which if I stay on target will mean i’ll easily finish this early draft of the novel before the end of the year!
I read several books in march which I chronicled on goodreads as usual and as you’ll see I didn’t LOVE any of them. At least with reading a book a week there are always more books to read, and even books I don’t love, or even like, there is usually something that I can take with me from the book.
This month I also officials made the difficult decision that Leather Ever After will at this time remain out of print. When its publisher Ravenous Romance decided to drop the title (without notice) back in December I immediately started talking to other erotica publishers to see who might be interested in acquiring the title. The amazing news was that there WAS interest, the challenge for me was having to really examine how much attention I was going to be able to give to this project. The anthology is amazing, and contains some of my favorite writers in the kink/leather world — yet the thought of putting in the work necessary to get the book back into print which would mean a full editorial overhaul because of editing issues the first time the book was published was daunting for me. As a full-time writer, with a full-time stressful muggle job, a family, and only 24 hours in the day a not insignificant significant number of which I need to spend sleeping there just didn’t feel like a reasonable way to make this book happen. The hardest part was telling the contributors, all writers whose work I love that I was going to shelve the book. Leather Ever After has in many ways always been a little “unloved” amongst my books, if I’m being honest I never promoted it well, and I was dreading the reality of needing to start prioritizing it. This has NOTHING to do with the amazing writers who shared their passions, kinks, and talent in its pages. Something interesting for me in this process that really became clear is that you can’t make yourself love a book-as much as you might feel a responsibility to it.
The real issue for me came down to that (and I feel like such a bad leather queer saying this) I don’t really like erotica. I don’t read it, and I don’t enjoy writing it. It’s not that I’m a prude, and it isn’t even (I don’t think — and i’ve spent a lot of time examining this) about my being asexual-ish identified. I think when I said on social media that my literary passions just didn’t include erotica people were concerned I was changing what I was writing more broadly which just isn’t the case at all. I’m deeply committed to writing queer fiction with solidly leather themes – I just don’t want to write about sex or erotica. I’m interested in writing about queer families, queer relationships and dynamics and less about the sexual application that may or may not be taking place, or if I’m going to write a sex scene in a novel or story then I want it to be intentionally a part of the plot, as apposed to sex for the sake of arousing the reader (not that there is anything wrong with that-, just not what i’m interested in doing!) Does any of this make sense? I hope so. Sometimes I feel the more I write, the more I understand my own literary style the more of a niche niche niche writer I feel – but so long as readers tell me they like what I’m doing, and as long as I love the stories I’m writing I’m going to assume that I’m on the right track
Speaking of…. The BIG literary news in March for me was that A Little Queermas Carol was named a Lambda Literary Award FINALIST! The novella is up in the category of Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror – it’s a big category with some really incredible books – including my good friend Michael Thomas Ford’s “Lilly.” I wrote A little Queermas Carol very much with the mindset that this novella was that it was a book I was writing for a very specific niche of my readers-not for publishers, not for judges. This is a book that is in and of itself a niche within a niche within a niche. It’s a novella, a christmas book, a queer book, a leather book, and a book centering ageplayers/littles. When the list of Lambda Finalists were announced, I was SHOCKED to see this book on the list. I actually think it’s one of the strongest things I’ve ever written, but I didn’t know if folks outside of this little niche community would read it – I AM SO EXCITED THAT I WAS WRONG!
The Lammy’s (this year: June 12th in NYC) are one of my favorite times of the year — it’s a whole exciting event that is organized around celebrating the best of queer books!!! What more could I want?! I just ordered my dress, and regardless of what book wins, being a finalist is TREMENDOUS honor and I can’t wait to go celebrate all the books!
April is going to bring a lot more puppy adventures for my family, and hopefully a lot of writing. I’ve been updating my weekly writing progress on Facebook every Sunday which is a fun way to help hold myself accountable to keeping up with the writing that I want to be doing, especially now that I’m serious about trying to finish this new novel.