Cover Reveal Announcement

Hi everyone!

I’ve been hard at work lately on my series reboot. Sere from the Green is already with the editor and Through Storm and Night is coming along beautifully. I cannot wait for readers to dive right back into the world. I think you’re all going to really love the revised text. It’s so polished and clean and my voice comes through clearly 🙂

So, the reboot will be released in the late summer (all four books will be re-released at once). However, there is going to be a cover release in June. My cover artist, Najla Qambar of Najla Qambar Designs has designed the most gorgeous covers. She has brought the Four to life and I could not be more pleased with her work.

The cover reveal is happening on June 14th and I could really use some help getting the word out. So if anyone is interested in helping reveal some badass women, Snowy Wings Publishing has a sign up sheet:

Shape Shifter Chronicles Reboot Cover Reveal Sign Up

I hope some of you will sign up and I’m so excited to get everyone’s reactions! 😀

Thank you, readers!

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Cover Reveal For Book Five

The day is finally here! The big reveal of book five’s cover. Without further ado, here’s the cover of The Dwelling of Ekhidna:

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Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00014]

Look! It’s Blitz! 😀

Special thanks to Najla Qamber of Najla Qamber Designs (http://www.najlaqamberdesigns.com/) for designing this extraordinary cover. I could not be happier with the result.

The Dwelling of Ekhidna will be out in eBook on January 31st with the paperback to be released shortly after. It’s published through Snowy Wings Publishing.

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Cover Reveal Announcement

cover-reveal

Hello all!

The release date of The Dwelling of Ekhidna is fast approaching. I cannot wait to get readers reactions to this newest adventure.

In order to help get the word out, Snowy Wings is going to do a cover reveal. We’re asking for bloggers and readers to sign up for the reveal: cover reveal link

I’m super excited and I hope you are as well! If you can help with the cover reveal, I would be so incredibly grateful. If you can’t, please stay tuned. The Four are in for a wild ride 😀


 

Snowy Wings, my publisher, has also recently announced the start of the Snow Angels Street Team, which will help get the word out about new book releases. Snow Angels will get advanced reader copies, first looks, and other goodies. Sign up begins on January 1st.

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When Allos Screw Up

I returned home today from my best friend’s house. I spend the holidays with her and her polycule because they’re awesome people who I absolutely adore. I use the brief vacation to bask in the feeling of safety unique to their house and get a decent amount of writing done.

There are times when I wish I could spend holidays with my nuclear family, however it has been made abundantly clear that I am not and never will be safe in this house around certain relations. You see, I’m a proudly and openly aromantic asexual woman, a feminist with a colorful vocabulary, and an adoptee.

And Dad’s side of the family fucking HATES that! It started with threats, bullying, and escalated to cyber harassment and suggestions of violence. And those not involved in the feud, looked the other way. Even when I was crying for help and shouting, “I don’t feel safe! They are crossing my boundaries and that’s not right!”

I was greeted with silence and the message was clear: you’re unnatural, you have no rights. Their straight tears and feelings matter more than your sense of safety and your boundaries. They’re human, you’re not.

This ties into what this blog is about: when allos completely fuck up portrayals of asexuality. Because I feel there’s this insidious indifference to the harm it does to actual asexual people. I get the sense most allo authors just shrug and go, “Meh, whoopsie” and then move on. Or they go on the defensive and cry freedom of speech.

And most allo readers just kind of let them get away with it. Because that’s the acceptable thing to do. Because conflict is so uncomfortable and icky. And it’s not like it was intentional, right?

But I’m getting ahead of myself just a bit.

On the bus ride home, I was flipping about my Twitter and I noticed one person who I follow writing about a book she had just finished reading that revolved around killing the sole aro-ace character because she had turned into an evil monster. The book ended with two allo characters gleefully planning their wedding now that the evil monster had been defeated.

That book, Clariel by Garth Nix (note: the sequel to this novel, Goldenhand, involves the allo heroes planning their wedding after slaying the monster), frequently turns up on lists of books with “good ace representation” because most of those lists seem to be made up by people whose idea of good representation is “hey this character isn’t overtly sexual” or AVEN followers who care more about allies than actual aces.

If that sounds bitter and makes you feel defensive let me explain: I am in pain. Most aces are in pain.

Allo indifference fucking hurts. The fact that you can make a career on a hill of bodies of asexuals is despicable. We’re more than cannon fodder. We’re not monstrous. We’re not evil or twisted or cold.

We’re goddamn human beings! We have feelings and we experience love. And, like everyone else, we look for ourselves in the media we consume.

And what do we get?

Monsters. Killers. Villains. Things that need to be defeated, conquered, buried and forgotten. Creatures to be murdered, shunned. The evil threatening the heroes of the story.

Imagine a young asexual reader picking up Nix’s series and seeing themself for the first time. Imagine that small spark of hope that maybe, just maybe, they aren’t broken.

Only to see that representation turn into a monster, one that is slaughtered so other characters can have their happily ever after.

Because people like that reader don’t deserve any kind of happy ending.

Allo authors are allowed to write terrible portrayals of asexuality because that’s the acceptable narrative in our society. But what about those of us harmed by those narratives?

Let me tell you something, that acceptable narrative? Yeah, it says it’s perfectly fine to dehumanize someone like me. It reinforces the idea that it’s perfectly okay to enact cruelty on aces in real life, it’s fine to shun them because they’re “weird.”

Suddenly it’s acceptable to chase them out of their own house because you don’t one of those creatures in your family. Because that’s how every single goddamn narrative we’ve grown up with has painted asexual people like me. It’s the reason why so many of us were in the closet for so long, why so many of us are still in the closet.

It’s why so many of us grew up feeling broken, crying to ourselves when we were sure no one could hear us. It’s why so many of us remained invisible for so long.

You’ll excuse me if I have absolutely no interest in allo feelings or their moaning about creative freedom. They are literally making money off asexual invisibility and taking advantage of their ace fans, then turning around and telling them they have no place in the world. That they’re unnatural, monstrous, villains, undeserving of a happy ending.

And that is seriously fucked up.

— Signed: an ace author who is seriously 100% done with allo bullshit

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Big News!

Hello everyone!

I do apologize for how terrible I am with keeping up this blog. Between running Asexual Artists, writing, and the random class here and there, I just don’t have all that much time to keep up the blog on my site.

Anyhow, I have some big news that has had me smiling all weekend 😀

The Shape Shifter Chronicles has found a new home! Starting with book five, I’ll be publishing with Snowy Wings Publishingsnowy-website-header-3

Banner from their site: https://www.snowywingspublishing.com/

Due to this change, I will need to push back the release date of book five, entitled “Dwelling of Ekhidna.” I’m estimating that book five will now be out in January.

2017 is going to be an incredibly busy year for me and The Shape Shifter Chronicles. Books 1 – 4 will be re-released under Snowy Wings Publishing, after being professionally edited and fitted with brand new cover art.

This is ridiculously exciting and I’m beyond thrilled to have this opportunity. I hope my readers will have patience, which I promise will be rewarded. 🙂

Hoping all of you are looking forward to the continued adventures of the Four!

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4 Powerful Ways to be an Ace Ally — Girl Boner

My most recent interview with August McLaughlin of Girl Boner Radio (always love chatting with her). Please check it out! 🙂

 

A common definition of asexuality is an ongoing lack of sexual attraction. Since connecting with Lauren Jankowski, a badass ace activist and writer, I’ve learned a ton about the sexual orientation—and don’t see a “lack” of anything at all. People who identify as asexual may not experience sexual attraction, but their lives can be just as…

via 4 Powerful Ways to be an Ace Ally — Girl Boner

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Writing the Other Master Classes

Hello all!

I have a very special signal boost today and I am so incredibly excited. I’m honestly giddy and I have been waiting forever to share this:

I’m teaching a seminar in September! 😀

It’s part of the Writing the Other series and I literally cannot believe I’m writing that. Writing the Other is an amazing course run by K. Tempest Bradford and Nisi Shawl, two women who I very much admire. I am beyond honored to have been offered this incredible opportunity. And I cannot believe I’m included among some truly amazing people. Seriously, just look at all the seminars being offered. How am I part of this much awesome!?

Anyhow, registration is now open for the seminars. Here’s the press release for the seminars as well as links where you can get more information:


Press Release: Writing the Other Fall 2016 Master Class Series

Press Contact: K Tempest Bradford, writingtheother@gmail.com

Writers know that it’s important to write about characters whose gender, sexual orientation, religion, racial heritage, or other aspect of identity differs from their own. But many are afraid to do so for fear that they will get it wrong–horribly, offensively wrong–and think it is better not even to try. In truth, it is possible to write the Other sensitively and convincingly, and the Writing the Other Master Class Series can start you on the path to doing just that.

Registration is now open for our Fall 2016 Master Classes. This series of six 2-hour seminars run from late August to late September, and include classes that dive deep into Writing the Other topics, such as: Writing Native American Characters, Diversity and Inclusion for Comic and Graphic Novel Writers and Artists, Writing for Trans and Non-Binary Narratives, and more. Each seminar allows writers the opportunity to learn from and have a dialogue with experts in each subject, such as scholar Debbie Reese, author Sara Ryan, and Writing the Other authors Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward.

Writers may take individual seminars or sign up for the whole series. Scholarships are available for writers who need financial aid.

Seminars begin August 27th and run through September 27th. Visit http://writingtheother.com/master-classes/ for all details, dates, and times.

Workshop Details

Each workshop costs $100. Scholarships are available. Please visit this URL for details: http://writingtheother.com/sentient-squid-scholarship-master-classes/

Writing Native American Characters: How Not To Do A Rowling with Debbie Reese – August 27th 3 – 5PM Eastern

J. K. Rowling drew negative attention from Native people for what she did in her work Magic in North America. In this seminar we’ll talk about the missteps she made, why they are a problem, and offers writers strategies for avoiding them and doing better.

URL: http://writingtheother.com/public-writing-native-american-characters/

Writing Deaf and Blind Characters with Elsa Sjunneson-Henry – September 10th 12 – 2PM Eastern

Partially deaf and partially blind writer and editor Elsa Sjunneson-Henry will walk students through the process of researching and understanding both conditions for fiction writing. Exercises in writing from deaf and blind perspectives, information on the language of disability, and a brief education in the culture of Deafness, and the difference between person first and identity first will all be covered in this course.

URL: http://writingtheother.com/public-writing-deaf-and-blind-characters/

Writing the Other: Comics and Graphic Novels with Sara Ryan – September 10th 3 – 5PM Eastern

Comics is a visual medium. Not everything about a story is apparent from a quick glance, but comics readers can tell a lot simply by flipping or scrolling through pages about who is, and is not, included. The class will be an overview of strategies for Writing the Other sensitively and convincingly in comics, including character and setting design, finding useful reference for your artist (including when the artist is you), dialogue and captions, and staging scenes.

URL: http://writingtheother.com/public-comics-and-graphic-novels/

More than Eunuchs and Extraterrestrials: Writing Positive Portrayals of Asexual Characters with Lauren Jankowski – September 11th 12 – 2PM Eastern

Since the movement for asexual visibility has become more widespread, people have begun to demand more openly asexual characters in popular media. However, too many creators are trying to write asexual characters without doing any research or talking to asexual people. This results in incredibly damaging and stereotypical asexual characters. In this seminar, students will learn the general terminology related to the asexual spectrum, the importance of dismantling the love hierarchy, and tips to avoiding common stereotypes of asexuals.

URL: http://writingtheother.com/public-writing-asexual-characters/

Writing for Trans and Non-Binary Narratives with Ashley Lauren Rogers – September 11th 3 – 5PM Eastern

A workshop helping cisgender, transgender, and those who identify as non-binary alike to write from trans/non-binary perspectives. Through a combination of basic theatre games, power-point presentation, and check in questions, writers will be able to think critically and rely on real trial and error experience writing about fictional and real life subjects.

URL: http://writingtheother.com/public-trans-and-non-binary-narratives/

Beyond Belief: Writing Plausible Atheist and Religious Characters with Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward – September 27th 8 – 10PM Eastern

Learn to address common mistakes in representing people’s views of the cosmos and how they see their place in it. We all wonder, we all speculate, we all want to understand. Here’s how to show that common thread in the thoughts of those with very different takes on these essentially human questions and answers.

URL: http://writingtheother.com/public-writing-plausible-atheist-and-religious-characters/

About Writing the Other

During the 1992 Clarion West Writers Workshop attended by Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward, one of the students expressed the opinion that it is a mistake to write about people of ethnic backgrounds different from your own because you might get it wrong—horribly, offensively wrong—and so it is better not even to try. This opinion, commonplace among published as well as aspiring writers, struck Nisi as taking the easy way out and spurred her to write an essay addressing the problem of how to write about characters marked by racial and ethnic differences.

In the course of writing the essay Nisi realized that similar problems arise when writers try to create characters whose gender, sexual preference, and age differ significantly from their own. Nisi and Cynthia collaborated to develop a workshop to address these problems with the aim of both increasing a writer’s skill and sensitivity in portraying difference in their fiction as well as allaying their anxieties about “getting it wrong.”

The workshop eventually led to a manual, Writing the Other: A Practical Approach, which then led to more workshops and eventually a series of retreats and online classes taught by Nisi, Cynthia, and eventually K. Tempest Bradford. The online classes address aspects of characterization and offer techniques, practical exercises, and examples for helping writers create richer and more accurate characters different from themselves.

http://writingtheother.com/


These classes are seriously going to be amazing. If you want to improve diversity in your writing, I highly recommend signing up. We could all use improvement in characterization. So please, grab a space while they’re still open.

I hope to see some of you there 🙂

And please, signal boost!

Thanks everyone!

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Where are the Asexual Voices Presentation

 

I gave my presentation entitled “Where are the Asexual Voices” at C2E2 this past Friday. I’m not going to lie, I was terrified. I was positively terrified about giving this performance (and had a couple of near chickening out moments in the week leading up to the convention). Thankfully, I had some lovely friends in the audience and seeing their faces reminded me of my own courage. Suddenly, the daunting task before me wasn’t quite so scary anymore.

Even though I can’t remember a lot of specifics, this presentation proved to be quite a liberating experience. Many people are aware of my background and my “closet years.” I have spoken candidly about the amount of toxic friendships I’ve had in the past, when I was a self-hating ace. It took me years before I was able to embrace my asexuality. I went through hell and back to get to where I am today.

This presentation felt like my way of reiterating that only I define me. I am allowed to love myself, to feel pride in my asexuality and my art. I am asexual and I am an artist. I’m not anyone’s science experiment or teaching moment or cookie provider. I am a goddamn strong feminist (the aro-ace feminist avenger) and I own my narrative.

And now, I have to go back to doing what I love: working on my novel 🙂

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“Embraceable” Now Available in Paperback

Hello all!

Long time no speak. I’m still quite busy working on book five of The Shape Shifter Chronicles, but I’m taking a break to share some exciting news.

As of today, you can now get Embraceable in paperback. Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B019ARUXWI

To celebrate the release, the wonderful woman behind Embraceable, August McLaughlin, is having a week-long release party.

giveaway

Starting tomorrow, August will be giving away some pretty sweet prizes on her blog (found here: http://www.augustmclaughlin.com/blog-2/). So you should definitely check that out.

Also: until 2/26, August will be using $1 from each purchase to donate feminine hygiene products to women in LA shelters.

Please, pick up a copy of Embraceable. If you already have, leaving a good review helps spread the word about this wonderful book. Leave reviews, spread the word, help get this anthology some attention.

Thank you 🙂

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“Embraceable” is now Available

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Embraceable, the anthology I have an essay in, is now available on Kindle. There will also be a physical paperback released eventually.  Edited by the fantastic August McLaughlin, this is a phenomenal anthology and I could not be happier to be a part of it.

Here’s the official summary from Amazon:

A provocative blend of memoir, anthology and inspiration, EMBRACEABLE is a celebration of women’s sexual empowerment. Learn how August McLaughlin, creator and host of Girl Boner®, found her way out of the sexual repression to which too many girls and women are prone. She then weaves research and inspiring facts around stories contributed by women who’ve cultivated sexual empowerment in their own lives–on topics ranging from asexuality, kink and burlesque dancing to religion, “slut”-shaming and surviving sexual assault. Learn what girls do (and don’t) learn in sex ed, the truth behind widespread damaging messages, the role body image plays in embracing our sexual selves and more.

Please, pick up a copy and support the hell out of this book 🙂

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