The Journey of Finding a New Home: Part Two

The Journey of Finding a New Home: Part Two

Frankly, there isn’t much to report on this end; however, I did receive another full request from Clean Teen Publishing. Bookfish is still reading over my manuscript, but I’m heavily leaning toward Clean Teen, as they are more established, have a bigger catalogue of books, impressive covers, a strong staff, and a beautiful website. In fact, when I subbed to them, I heard back from them the same day, most likely due to a tip from an author I  know who was accepted by them. I’m very excited. Two fulls from two houses is a big deal. I’ll also starting working on second revisions for a book I plan to submit to Harmony Ink Press, one I think will be ready after these final revisions–and proofreads and all that junk.

I just can’t wait to hear back. My gut says at least one of them will want it. It’d be great if both could offer me a contract. Then I could read over both and choose the best one.

In any case, I think it’d be interesting to write about why I’m still continuing with small presses, despite their fold rate.

  1. I like small presses. This is a no-brainer. You’re closer to its publishing staff and authors. You can support one another.
  2. The wait times aren’t ungodly. It should take about 6-8 weeks for me to hear back, but Clean Teen could be sooner, as my tipped-author seemed to have received representation in less time. I know I sent off to Bookfish sooner than she likely sent off to Clean Teen, as she was still working on preparations by the time I was done. But finding an agent? It could take a year. Then you’re still waiting to find a publisher. I have an author friend with a lit agent. Her book still hasn’t found a home. Personally, I’d dump the agent and either self-publish or go the small press route. I know another too who’s book is still floating around after five years. I wonder if she dumped her agent?
  3. You can still become a bestseller. Just as you can become a bestseller in the traditional market, you can become one as a small press author. It’s rare, just like bestsellers among the big leagues, but it does happen.
  4. More control. You can help in the final decision for a cover and edits. The big houses offer no such deals. You have to gently argue with them about edits.
  5. Less stressed. You aren’t pressed for time like you are with the big leagues.
  6. Better chances of being accepted. It’s not any easier, but small presses are open to a variety of books big leagues are tired off, like paranormal books. So small presses are far more willing to give done-trend books a chance.
  7. Support. I want to support small presses because they can change the face of the industry and allow more authors access to their dreams. Small presses are usually very friendly and inviting. There is full transparency.
  8. Royalties. Your royalties are bigger, sometimes taking the place of an advance. Some presses offer advances, but your royalties are still higher than big-press books. When I was with AEC, I earned a little over a dollar per book and about 3 for print. That is SUPER good.
  9. They’re more willing to give folded books a chance. The publishers who have accepted my full know I’ve been published before; yet, they are willing to give it a chance. Agents wouldn’t do this. Not even medium-sized publishers would do this.
Being a Bad Author–But for a Reason

Being a Bad Author–But for a Reason

I’m going to admit I have been a bad author lately. Not bad in that I’m not doing any writing, but bad in that I need to do content edits for The Stars Are Infinite, the sequel to When Stars Die. I got them from my publisher and the C.O.O. However, while I have three projects–including this one–going on, I can’t juggle all of them at the same time.

AEC recently advised we submit short stories to magazines that fall in our genre, and that they would do a complementary copy edit. The truth is that I don’t want to do any more paranormal stories after The Stars Trilogy, and I was not in the least bit interested writing a paranormal short story. (I will be doing a novella pertaining to The Stars Trilogy.) Even so, I said I wanted to do it, with a story already burning in my mind. When I looked up who I wanted to submit to, Harmony Ink Press immediately made my list because some magazines do consider 15,000 words short stories, but they consider that a novella. I thought, ‘Hey, this is  a great opportunity to get my foot in their door, because I have this other, bigger novel I’m also doing that I want them to consider, and if AEC approves of doing a complementary edit for a 15,000 word thing, then that’s great!’ But as I began to outline it, the more I began to realize I wanted this to turn into something more because HIP put out a call for a very specific type of work they’re looking for: books with asexual/aromantic characters.

When I saw that on their blog, I knew it was going to be longer than 15,ooo, that it had to be, because I want to represent some of the struggles asexuals face, some of the struggles people are completely unaware of, even among those who are asexual. But the book is far more than that. In fact, the MC finds out she’s asexual not even a quarter of the way through the book, and even before that readers know just what is going to define the book, that it is not her asexuality. However, I’m going to start talking more about this in issue 3 of my newsletter and will not start talking about it more until I hopefully get a contract from them. And even if I don’t get the contract, I will be subbing to other places seeking material along these lines. So if you want the scoop before anyone else, it’d be awesome if you signed up for my newsletter. Issue 2 comes out tomorrow.  I am super crossing my fingers at this time because I have more faith in it than the other book with an asexual character. I have so much faith in it that I’m going to send Mariah, now a freelance editor, the draft of it when I start content edits for TSAI. I usually revise a book before sending out the draft, and while it’s definitely not perfect, I think it’s something she can handle without her eyes bleeding.

In any case, as I began delving into this book, I was originally going to make it a novella, but HIP doesn’t pay advances for novellas–and you only get published in electronic format and not print. This is when I knew I could push it to be a short novel. This is when I knew that I had to, partly for selfish reasons to get an advance, but also because I really wanted to develop the characters and the main theme of the book. I want to make it just as sweet and heartbreaking as John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. (For the record, there is no cancer.)

But I am also binge writing about 8,000 words a day, so I’m ALMOST 40,000 words into the book, having started it just last week. Just 3,000 words away. The climax will be coming in about a chapter or two, that will last probably one or two chapters or so, and then the resolution, which will be about 2 to 3 chapters. I am absolutely positive that I can get it finished this week. Then content edits for TSAI WILL absolutely occur, because they have to occur, especially if I hope for an end-of-year release or at the most the beginning of 2015.

So I am ultimately prioritizing the draft of this book because HIP put out a call for these very specific characters that I’m writing about. They don’t have any books with asexual characters. In fact, YA doesn’t have too many books with asexual characters you don’t have to analyze to know they’re asexual.

I will I will I will start content edits for TSAI and try to get those done in a week, too.

In other news, I just want to mention that When Stars Die has 78 ratings and 49 reviews, on Goodreads at a 4.29 rating. If you haven’t picked up your copy, what are you waiting for? It’s a YA paranormal that can be best compared to The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, especially because of the extreme religious fanaticism expressed in Amelia’s world.

Screenshot (1)The sequel, I am most positive, is going to be absolutely stellar.

Books With GSM (Gender and Sexual Minorities) Characters

Books With GSM (Gender and Sexual Minorities) Characters

As a little bit of a tease, I do have some great news to share, but I can’t share it right now until a certain condition is met–and another piece of awesome news, but the details are still being worked out. On the other hand, I can give you a hint about the latest book I’m working on: this book contains an asexual male. This book is actually a re-vamped version of a book I started last year, so it’s a dramatic change, but one I’m sticking with because I finally want to delve into writing contemporary YA issues-based books. The Stars Trilogy will probably be my last and only trilogy/series.

With that in mind, I have been reading a lot of books along the GSM spectrum, and while I haven’t been able to find any books with asexual characters you don’t have to analyze to know they are asexual, I’ve still found a few golden reads, and I’d like to share them with you. With the increasing attention the GSM community is getting, I think it is vital that people start to read books with GSM characters in order to understand what it’s like living with sexual and gender identities that are neither cis nor hetero.

Now keep in mind that these are all YA novels, because they are primarily what I read, but they still give you a fantastic glimpse of what it’s like for people in the GSM community.

  • LunaLuna by Julie Anne Peters. This book involves the story of a transgender teen wanting to transition from male to female. She calls herself Luna (real name Liam). She only feels safe transforming into Luna in the safety of her basement bedroom. This is the first book I read with a transgender teen, and I’m going to try to find others to read as well.









  • freakboyFreakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark. Brendan Chase feels like he’s in the wrong body–but then sometimes he doesn’t. He’s actually gender fluid, and this was the first time I learned about gender fluidity.









  • safe Safe by C. Kennedy. All Caleb wants to do is protect his boyfriend Nico from his father. This book was actually quite a shock to me, because some scenes were a little more detailed than what YA generally allows. But its publisher, Harmony Ink Press, is about pushing the boundaries of YA literature, do I figured I would throw this one in the list for breaking boundaries.








  • HeavyweightLGHeavyweight by MB Mulhall. Ian’s crush on Julian Yang threatens to reveal that he’s a gay youth living in a backwater southern town. This book is unique because it isn’t just about a gay youth, but a gay youth who also struggles with an eating disorder. It’s uncommon to find books about males struggling with eating disorders.









  • scarsScars by Cheryl Rainfield. Kendra is self-harming to suppress some horrible memories of childhood sexual abuse. I chose this book because it doesn’t even revolve around Kendra’s sexuality at all. Yet, near the end, she has a girlfriend, and she never once thinks that it’s unusual. So this book treats homosexuality like heterosexuality, and that’s what I liked about it.








Currently I’m reading Tales from Foster High by John Goode, and it seems like the series is going to revolve around several gay youth during their high school years. I might post a review on this when I’m done with it.

I definitely recommend checking out these books. Also check out Harmony Ink Press for more books, because they are about publishing books with teens in the GSM community.


Coming Out Asexual

Coming Out Asexual

love existsIf you’ve read my previous post, I’ve already written about this on Tumblr, but I also think it begs repeating on here.

Asexuality is complicated because, as a friend of mine who is sexual put it, “not being sexual is perhaps among the least socially acceptable preferences in our hyper-sexual society.” This isn’t to say asexuals are oppressed–at least, not that I’m aware of–but it is to say that being asexual is an anomaly. When people hear of asexual, they think of a thing that reproduces on its own. People are also very adamant about the importance of sex in a relationship and don’t understand there are those who are actually rather ambivalent about it. Asexuals can enjoy sex, but, if asked to push a button for cake but for the rest of your life no sex, we’d all push the cake button. People also don’t think of it it as a sexuality that follows under the ‘Q’ category of LGBTQ. There is an ‘A’ involved in this LGBTQ thing that does not stand for ally but actually asexual, which is apparently very confusing for A LOT of people. Notice that they believe the A means Allied, which is why I prefer to keep it in the ‘Q’ for now: 


Asexual simply means a lack of sexual attraction, even when you are in a relationship with someone you love; thus, I am asexual heteroromantic, because I want to be in a relationship but I don’t see sex as important and don’t particularly care for it, even though I do have a sex drive and can enjoy it. There is also homoromantic and biromantic, and probably a few other ones. But you don’t find people sexy.

My fiance once admitted to me he does find other women sexually attractive, but, obviously he’d never cheat on me. I was very offended the first time I heard this, and I told him so. He then told me I likely looked at other guys the same way–but I didn’t and don’t. However, I obviously accept that part of him, because I trust him enough to know he’d never hurt me.

I don’t look at a guy and go, “Yum. I can so imagine doing you, even though I am engaged. I wouldn’t, but I’ll file you away as a fantasy for another day when I’m by myself taking care of some, you know, business.” You can find people aesthetically pleasing, but you never look at them as someone you can see being sexual with–or someone you can even fantasize about. In fact, the thought often disgusts you. The thought of having sex with anyone but your partner is sort of gross. At least for me. I don’t want to paint a broad brush over all asexuals.

If you do care to take care of your sex drive, you’d rather do it on your own, but you don’t fantasize about anyone, not even your partner. Sometimes you will do it with the person you love, not out of sexual attraction, but for a variety of reasons: to take care of your partner’s needs, the sheer intimacy that is involved, or just the physical feeling itself, but you don’t associate that feeling with anything sexual. It’s just a feeling to you, like someone rubbing your back or brushing your hair–just a thing that feels nice. You also have sex much less often than your average person, which leads many to believe there is something biologically wrong with you and that you need to see a doctor or something. No. We do have a sex drive. We just really don’t care to have sex that often. Again, we’d rather be doing anything but that.

For a sexual person, he or she thinks about sex once or twice an hour. For me, it’s almost never, unless I’m thinking about it when someone mentions sex–or thinking about it because of this post. For other asexuals, they might think about it, but it’s much less often than your average person. In fact, sex is just outright bizarre to me, when I really think about it. It’s a nice feeling, yes, but I would rather not think too much about it. Maybe sex can be outright bizarre to anyone if he or she really thinks about it, but the fact that a lot of people watch porn leads me to believe otherwise. Who knows? However, I’d like to point out that some asexuals still watch porn and/or read erotica.

But the reason I’m coming out now is because this is something I recently discovered myself. Asexuality is always something that has been a part of me since I launched into my mid-teens, when you toy with the idea of sex. I was toying with it, but, even then, I felt I was never going to actually have sex. I knew I wanted to be with someone, but I never put sex into the equation. I just thought that if I said, “Hey, sex isn’t that important to me,” my imaginary boyfriend wouldn’t care. But now I know better, because for a lot of people who are sexual, if there is a lack of desire for sex in the relationship, that relationship starts steering into dangerous waters. Thankfully my fiance at least knows sex isn’t that important to me. I don’t think it’s a big deal to him, but he’s still a sexual person. I just recently started doing research on it because of a few things my fiance has said, not begrudgingly, but matter-of- factly. He’s said it a couple of times before, but I finally decided to take it into my own hands, because I didn’t feel there was a dysfunction in me.

I was about fifteaceen or sixteen when I joined Gaia Online. I frequented the relationships forum, just because of the asexual thread. It was an interesting concept to me. At the time, I thought asexual simply meant that you didn’t want sex and you didn’t want to be with anyone, because I remember seeing that just about everyone on this thread was that way. But a lot of people who weren’t asexual didn’t understand this at all. I was with the asexuals, trying to argue that sex shouldn’t be the thing that makes or breaks a relationship. The sexual people were arguing that it was, and that we would never find anyone if we didn’t force ourselves to become interested in it. They thought asexuality was a myth, that it wasn’t real, that we were just immature, or that we just chose to abstain from it, or, laughably enough, remain celibate. Then there were some who thought we shouldn’t exist because we contributed nothing to the gene pool, when, really, there are asexuals who have children. And, believe it or not, there are Christians who do believe asexuality is a sin because of the whole ‘be fruitful’ thing.

My Christian friends tried to argue this wasn’t the case by pointing out passages in the Bible implying praised asexuality, but the Bible explains nothing on asexuality, because the Bible doesn’t even know what asexuality is. It’s abstinence and celibacy, neither of which are asexuality. The Bible does mention Eunuchs, but these are men. There is nothing on asexual women. Remember that celibacy and abstinence are NOT the same thing as asexuality.

But you don’t hear this line of thought often because asexuality is invisible, even in the LGBTQ community.

I just wasn’t thinking anything at the time about having sexual relationships with anyone, and I thought this was simply normal for my age. You can argue it was, but eight years later, and I’m still thinking the same thing. Of course now sex is no big deal to me. I compromise, but it would be embarrassing to explain to a sexual person how often it actually is for me.

Some couples, who aren’t asexual, do struggle with their sex lives, but often one or both parties is no longer interested because he or she is no longer interested in his or her spouse. Or their could be some type of sexual dysfunction with one partner. Or one or both partners is just too tired at the end of the day from a long work schedule. Or they just need to mix their sex lives up a little bit, because doing the same thing for too long can get boring. Even so, both partners may be absolutely frustrated about their sex lives and have no clue what to do. Asexuals don’t have that frustration. Our only frustration is that people don’t understand that we don’t care for sex, that we aren’t ill, that we aren’t flawed. It is wired into OUR biology. We do not CHOOSE to be this way. And we can’t get ANYONE to understand that.

Sex is just not a big deal to us. Hello! Cake!

Let me explain to you my relationship with sex, besides how often I don’t do it. So, the better question is not how often I do it but how often I don’t do it. I am absolutely detached from women who guy scope. They’ll swoon and comment how hot that guy is and me…nothing. I’m just there, floating around, waiting for the topic to be changed. I remember watching a movie with my best friends, and all of them were swooning over the aesthetically pleasing men in the movie, but I felt absolutely nothing. It was very awkward for me. Not even my own fiance is sexually attractive. What he is is cute and beautiful, both physically and personality-wise, but more so personality-wise. I have always felt bad that my fiance lavishes me with compliments about my physical beauty, like how hot I am or whatever, because I can never return those same sentiments. Instead I call him cute, but mostly when he’s doing something that makes him cute, never cute just by itself. He is cute, of course. And beautiful, which I do let him know on occasion. I also get embarrassed when women are commenting on some physical aspect on a guy they deem sexy. I also get really embarrassed when they talk about their sex lives in relations to how awesome it is or how often they do it or whatever–because I can’t say the same thing. It would be too embarrassing to tell them how little my sex life means to me. I had one friend pity me because I told her I didn’t get multiple orgasms, basically hiding the fact that I didn’t care about getting multiple ones, and that my sex life is miniscule anyway. I also had another friend who told me she and her boyfriend would rip through a pack of condoms in a week or half that week. My friend, when she visited her boyfriend in India, ripped through about seven packs in just a few days. She hadn’t seen him in a while, but needless to say, I was rendered very, very uncomfortable…and speechless. And it was something she took great pride in.


I’ve met plenty of people who take great pride in their sexual prowess. And I’m just standing over here, hands clapped over my hears, thinking la la la la la la la. Can’t hear you!

I don’t know how open any of you are about your sex lives, but a lot of people I’ve met are. And it’s overwhelming for me, because I-don’t-want-to-hear-that. But if I tell them to shut up, I’m sure I’ll get called a prude.

Only one person I know outside of the internet knows I’m asexual. And she totally accepts that. She didn’t understand it at first, until she read my post on Tumblr, which I hope you guys will do. It roughly presents the same information.

I also have the bawdiest sense of humor, but mostly because I like to make people uncomfortable by poking fun at our hyper-sexualized society. It’s primarily innuendos, though. No Jim Norton sexual humor. That’s just disgusting to me.

As a final note, I am writing a book with an asexual homoromantic character, but I will be submitting it to a publisher that accepts this type of material: Harmony Ink Press. Of course there are other options for this book, but they are number one on my radar. That’s all you’ll know about the book for now.