Things I’m up to, including a forthcoming release and fanfic

Hiya, peeps!

Whew. So the Order Up blog tour wound down and we gave a bunch of copies away and hopefully introduced a bunch of you to some new authors.

Next week is crazy-time for a bunch of lesfic authors in the States, as we head to the GCLS conference. So I’ll be running around doing that. Tweeting and Facebooking and things, so if you’re unable to join us in person, well, you can still hang with us in spirit.

I also very quietly have been working on a long novella/short novel that is part of The Law Game series through Ylva Publshing.

Mine is If Looks Could Kill, and it’s Book 5. It’s due out in the next month or two. I’ll keep you posted.

If Looks Could Kill

Description:
Eleanor “Ellie” O’Donnell is part of a special investigative unit within the New York City Police Department. Her latest assignment has her tasked with uncovering the relationship between internationally known fashion mogul and all-around ice queen Marya Hampstead and a local Russian crime family. As legendary for her business acumen and beauty as her uncompromising and unapproachable personality, Marya Hampstead is not a woman to cross.

Unfortunately for Ellie, the only way she can get close enough to conduct her investigation is by pretending to be an aspiring designer who takes an internship at Hampstead’s company. Definitely out of her element, Ellie has to put all her acting and investigative skills to work as she delves into what at first seems a simple case of occasional public outings with a man whose family has ties Hampstead might not know about.

But when Marya’s father, an international businessman, shows up in New York, it becomes clear that something else is going on, and that there’s much more to Marya Hampstead than meets the eye. The question is, how much more and how deep is Ellie willing to go to find out?

In the fast-paced world of clothes, critics, and competition, Ellie uncovers a lot more than runway gossip, including secrets that will kill far more than a bad outfit.

Hope you’re interested in checking that out.

OH, and here’s a bit more news. You guys, I’ve just started posting my very first fanfic. I’m one of those obsessed with The 100. I’ve already blogged about the episode in season 3 that shall not be named here, and that is primarily what kicked me in the ass to actually do fanfic.

I have written fanfic in the past. Just not about TV shows and I’ve never posted it. I’ve used it as a writing exercise, to explore characterization and motives while playing in someone else’s world. Maybe that’s a weird form of cosplay. Heh.

At any rate, I am posting a Clexa fanfic, a chapter or two at a time, every week or 10 days or so, over at Archive of Our Own. The title of the work is “Grounded,” and I’m AndiLand or Andi Marquette over there, if you’re into Clexa fanfic.

How could you NOT fanfic this? I mean, for realz, yo!
How could you NOT fanfic this? I mean, for realz, yo!

All rightie. Happy weekending, everyone.

Bring out your dead: on killing characters and historical tropes

Hi, peeps! (see what I did there, given the holiday? Heh.)

I hope this weekend treats you well and that everything is fab with you and yours.

This, my friends, IS A MAJOR LONG-ASS POST. But one in which I need to unpack a few things with regard to certain tropes.

I’ve been thinking about the characters I write, and the characters I’ve grown attached to through other people’s writing, and how it affects people when a writer decides to kill a character.

Writers make decisions all the time on which characters live or die, and that depends on a variety of factors, including the genre, narrative arc, and the personal arcs of the characters themselves. It also depends on where the story may be headed, especially if it’s a series, and how that character is going to fit into a larger picture down the line, if at all.

So there are any number of factors involved in a decision to remove a character either from the printed page or a TV show or movie. And there are any number of things that can happen, both inside the story and outside once the character’s death occurs.

There are also much larger currents at play, and those, too, have a role in reactions. Especially outside the story, among those who are following it.

Specifically, I’m thinking here of a couple of series on TV that I follow. Those are The CW’s The 100 and AMC’s The Walking Dead.

And here’s where I put the SPOILER ALERT. If you follow both these series and you have not seen the most recent episodes, DO NOT READ ANY FARTHER. STOP NOW.

I MEAN IT. SPOILERS.

NOT KIDDING.

Okay, fine. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Let’s proceed.

And because this is a looooong piece, with lots of rumination, grab your fave delicious beverage and snacks before reading on. I’ll wait.

dum dee dum. la la la. ::checks the Twitterz:: ::plays around on Facebook::

Okay, ready? Let’s go.

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Author McCrankyPants strikes again over newfangled tech things

Hello, peeps! I thought I’d burden you today with author insecurity #72: tech inadequacy.

I was chatting with a colleague the other day who asked me if I used a social media management tool and I about flew right off the handle.

BECAUSE LOAD ME DOWN WITH YET ANOTHER @%$&^%^*%&^@%*&$ THING I HAVE TO PAY ATTENTION TO ONLINE! WTF????

I already feel freaking inadequate when it comes to every new &^A&*#^%A(*&#@^*A&@()% iGadget that comes down the pike. And every time I turn around, there’s something else. AUTHORS! USE THIS! DOWNLOAD THIS TOOL! CONSOLIDATE! DIVERSIFY! ARE YOU ON INSTAGRAM? PINTEREST? IT’S THE LATEST THING! HURRY! DO YOU WANT TO SELL BOOKS OR NOT? GET THIS, FOOL!

YOU’RE BEING LEFT BEHIND LIKE A PILE OF CLOTHING IN A WAYWARD RAPTURE!

Oh, NOES! Andi didn't jump on every tech toy bandwagon out there! THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS, PEOPLE!
Oh, NOES! Andi didn’t jump on every tech toy bandwagon out there! THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS, PEOPLE!

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Identity, politic

Hi, all!

Geez, WTF, Andi? It’s been, like, forever and a day and all kinds of THE THINGS happened and where the hell were you and just what are you doing?

I know. Straight up, I’ve been FB’ing incessantly about the Women’s World Cup (OMG YAY TEAM USA) and writing for deadlines and then there was the amazing historical BOOM when marriage equality was ruled the law of this great land and then there was a horrific tragedy and then all kinds of crazy over certain flags. I decided much wiser heads than I can address those two latter issues, and I still haven’t quite been able to wrap my head around the whole marriage equality thing.

At some point, I will blog that, because I’m coming from a perspective of believing that I probably wouldn’t see it in my lifetime or if I did, I’d be in my 60s or 70s. This perspective, I think, causes a fatalistic outlook on relationships. Marriage was something I thought I could never have, so I never planned for it. I educated myself about the issues, worked to advance them as I could, but I never thought it would be something that I myself could enjoy.

And that leaves its own kinds of scars. Which I will discuss later, as I ponder more.

In the meantime, I wanted to discuss something else. Specifically, what repercussions marriage equality may have on genre fiction.

I wonder this because yesterday at Women and Words, we posted a blog by New York Times bestselling romance author Melissa Foster, who just released a new book in her Harborside Nights series that features a lesbian main character and this character’s love for another woman.

Foster predominantly writes heterosexual romance, and this is her first F/F. As she notes in the blog she did at WaW, she got a little bit of blowback from her writer colleagues.

Why?

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I’m up to stuff…

Hi, peeps!

So I’ve got some stuff going on with regard to books n’ things, and I’m not going to announce anything just yet, but I did want everybody to know that I am, indeed, UP TO THINGS! ALL THE THINGS!

In the meantime, I’m writing a longish short story for consideration in a Halloween anthology and I’m working on a holiday novella (you’ve got to get that stuff in before mid-summer to make the fall/winter publication schedules). I’m also working on a crime novella for another project and my colleague in crime R.G. Emanuelle and I are doing another F/F food anthology with Ylva.

We’d LUUUUUUUV for you to consider submitting a story to us.

HINT HINT HINTY HINT HINT.

DETAILS! HERE! CLICK!

Our last food-themed anthology is currently a Lambda finalist and a Goldie finalist. That would be All You Can Eat, and yes, we are looking to include recipes in this latest volume, “Order Up,” as well.

And yes, I have a romance novel I’m tinkering with. It’s nearly done, but it needs some overhauling, so we’ll see what happens there. Regarding the rest of the things, well, stay tuned…

muah ha ha

Happy Tuesday!

Clothes-minded

Well, HI, peeps!

It’s been a crazy busy couple of weeks. I’ve started writing again. That is, I started back to work on some novels I’ve had lying around on my hard drive. I did write a short story that got picked up last month for an anthology that’ll be published in the next few months. So my hiatus was kind of spotty. Heh.

ANYWAY. I’m currently getting some things ready for the upcoming GCLS conference in July in New Orleans. That involves a lot of thought about swag and what to bring and what not to bring in terms of my books.

I’m also getting ready to attend the 27th Lambda Awards. My co-edited volume All You Can Eat: A Buffet of Lesbian Romance and Erotica, with fellow author and editor R.G. Emanuelle, made the finalists’ list in lesbian erotica. I’ve not ever attended the Lambdas (or “Lammies,” as you might here), so this is a new and cool experience.

With that in mind, I’ve been thinking about clothes.

Why? Well…

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Yet another episode of “Ask Andi Random Questions”

Greetings, peeps!

I know. I’ve been out of the loop for a bit. Traveling and the like.

I did get some STELLAR news a couple days ago, however. The anthology that I co-edited with fellow author/editor R.G. Emanuelle made the finalists’ list for a Lambda award. That would be All You Can Eat: A Buffet of Lesbian Romance and Erotica. Hit that link to find out more. Many thanks to all who contributed (list at the link), our designer, Sue Niewiarowski, and to Ylva Publishing. We are honored to be a part of this. See you in June!

All right! Now let’s talk about Q&A. Every once in a while, I ask people to ask me whatever questions they want and then I post those along with the answers here on my blog. For those of you who asked more than one question, I took one from each. So let’s get to it!

source

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Things that are kind of awesome when you’re not writing

Howdy, peeps!

As some of you know if you follow this here bloggie thingie, I’m in the middle of a bit of a writing burnout and I’m actually not currently writing (stories/novels/novellas), which, though a relief in some ways, comes with its own set of issues (OH NOES I AM SLIPPING INTO WRITING OBSCURITY AND NO ONE WILL EVER CARE THAT I WAS ONCE HERE WRITING *gnashes teeth tears hair reaches for glass of bourbon*).

Regardless, I had to take a break because it just got way too scary trying to balance everything and not take any time to simply live and I started worrying about things like emotional health. And I’ve found some awesome things since I went on writing vay-kay. Here they are, in no particular order:

YOU MUST CLICK TO SEE! MUAH HA HA!

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En(title)ment

Hi, all! Hope everyone is having an awesome holiday season. The new year is fast upon us, and I sure hope everyone finds some joy in the upcoming seasons and that you’re able to accomplish your goals.

I’m waxing a bit pensive on a Saturday.

I was having a conversation with some of my female academic colleagues last week and one of them (I’ll call her X) brought up something that I’m sure may resonate with some of you, though perhaps you hadn’t really considered it or unpacked it.

X does a lot of research in her fields, and she sometimes gets requests from grad students who are working in the same fields. That’s standard academic networking. It’s perfectly reasonable for grad students to contact professors and/or researchers with questions about their work, regardless of where in the world said professor/researcher is.

At any rate, X responded to this graduate student, who is male (let’s call him Y). He had said that he was a doctoral candidate, which means he’s not a full Ph.D. yet and in academese, that means he’s not yet earned the title of “Doctor of Philosophy,” which gets shortened to “Dr.” No, it doesn’t mean you’re an actual medical doctor. But in the hidebound halls of academia, it’s a title that carries weight, because it means you’ve completed the rigors of graduate school and written your dissertation and successfully defended it. A dissertation, for those not in the know, is a book-length manuscript based on your own research and hypothesis.

This is no small feat. It’s often a lot of years of hard work, often balanced with your other life or lives. Grad school is sort of like academic boot camp, and it tears you down in many different ways. It re-shapes you, it forces you to think in different ways, but it ironically also enforces certain stereotypes. For those of you who assume that academia is some bastion of liberal and progressive thought, sorry. It’s not. It is often inflexible, hierarchical, and full of the -isms that you assume don’t exist there. It’s hard work, especially if you’re LGBT, a woman, if you’re not white. But those, my friends, are conversations for another day.

Back to the story.

So, because Y is not yet a full doctorate with title rights, if you will, X responded to him in her professional way by calling him “Mr.” + [last name] since an M.A. degree doesn’t grant the title “Master.” Fortunately. Cuz that sounds creepy.

With me so far? Okay. Carry on.

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(Dis)organization

Heya, peeps—

Well, I’m going through a major organizational thingie up in here. No biggie. Every so often, I get rid of bunches of stuff and find better, sleeker strategies for keeping things in order. I have this issue whereby if I have too much stuff, I start freaking out and I feel trapped, so I go through a purge of sorts. It helps clear my mind and calm me down. Heh.

Generally, my office is a study in relatively controlled chaos. I have bookshelves and other shelving that I decided no longer serves me as well as I’d like. So I’m looking at options. I’ve gotten kind of into cubby storage lately, some of which are designed for those cloth containers you can then slide in. Like so.

I’m into no-frills, (relatively) inexpensive stuff and if it’s something I can fix up myself, that’s cool, too, though I don’t have a lot of extra time (found objects–cool!). I’m also trying to figure out some ideas for bathroom storage. I have a tall linen closet in my bathroom with really deep shelves. I’m not very tall myself, so I can’t really access the top shelf (that’s my apocalypse shelf–lots of toilet paper!) all the time. I’m trying to pare down my bathroom stuff and figure out, again, sleeker organizational strategies for that, too. I tend to be a bit minimalist (kind of Ikea-ish/Swedish design mixed with Japanese zen space), I guess, and if my furniture is big and clunky, it kind of stresses me out.

Unless it’s some kind of cool historic-looking thing. I have some shelves I bought from a Mexican import store that I really like. Rough around the edges, kind of crooked, but super sturdy. Kinda like this.

These are some of my ideal spaces:

Japanese Zen style. Source: Now-Zen blog

New Mexico style! Source: Offgridworld
From the cave houses in Spain. Source: cavehealing retreat

How about you? Got any good storage ideas? And what’s YOUR ideal space?

Happy Monday!