Emerging From the Depths For a Breath of Air (Plus Holiday E-Book Sale!)

So instead of taking a break from writing, I took a break from blogging. I was on Twitter by and large, though even then, my presence there has been sporadic at best. That said, I really needed the space to decompress and just focus on my writing.

And to geek out on Jessica Jones, which I’m still watching over at Netflix (ain’t binge-watching this puppy), and Ant-Man, which I purchased to own in streaming video. There’s certainly a lot, lot, lot to be said about smaller, more personal stakes when it comes to superhero entertainment, film or otherwise. I’ve been a huge fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) since Iron Man, and I’ve been there, warming theater seats, for all the movies from Phase One onward, and I’ve no intention of slowing down through Phase Three. They’ve all got good and bad, naturally, since when has the entertainment industry put out something perfect? Individual tastes and all that…

Oh, look, random video trailer pimping out my next MCU indulgence!

I’ve been taking initial steps toward simplifying my online presence, in a matter of speaking. I’m canceling my custom design upgrade here on WordPress as I don’t need the temptation of tweaking my site beyond background colors and header images. Hence my ongoing search for a good theme I can live with, when used straight out of the box. I’m still on the fence regarding Twitter, and for the time being, I’ll be there – or until the end of December, anyway, as I’ve noted before. As with the custom design upgrades here on WordPress, Twitter’s too much of a temptation to spend so much of my time online with micro posts while my blog stays ignored.

And therein lies the downside to having long stretches of time in between release dates for books. I’ve got to entertain you guys with blog posts that actually mean something and not just updates on when new titles are coming out and other things. *sucks thumb anxiously* I’ve lost my touch, I’m afraid. Well – I suppose the good thing about the holidays is that publishers are keen on offering their books at a discount, and that’ll help. After that, though… uh…

And speaking of…

JMS Books / Queerteen Press is having a Black Friday (or, rather, Thanksgiving weekend) sale: from November 27 through 30, all e-books purchased from their website are 35% off. Click the image below for the sale along with a couple of others (Stocking Stuffers and pre-orders).

Not much has been happening hereabouts besides Guardian Angel, which I’m very happy with. It’s coming along just fine and dandy, thank you, and so far I’ve been able to chip away at it steadily, the pace a lot more doable than my recent releases. It’s nice to work on a page or two – sometimes an entire chapter if I really get into a groove – without nagging myself about deadlines and stuff. I’m still projecting a January completion, including revisions and edits before submitting the manuscript to a publisher. That feels like a nice stretch for me. No idea how long the final book will be. Projections? At least 60,000 words, I suppose, since there’s some world-building involved, with it being a historical fantasy and not a pure historical.

I think I’m going to re-read The Woman in Black. Yeah, I know. Random thought.

Back to My Roots: ‘Guardian Angel’

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you know I have a tendency to make a liar out of myself. And I take an obscene amount of pride in that. Well, I might as well own it than be all sheepish and stuff, right?

At any rate, as I’ve been tinkering with this story idea for the past few months, I’ve been itching to get going on it. I was supposed to take a break from writing this month, but I found that I couldn’t hold myself back any longer. So I got started on my next novel, which I’ve referred to before as Guardian Angel. While I’m a little too excited about it, though, I am taking my time working on it.

The Approaching Storm

I wrote the first chapter and maybe a page of the second one this past week, and I’m not touching it this weekend in order to clear my mind before diving back in next week. I’ve yet to set a good regular schedule chipping away at it – like maybe a page a day the way I used to approach some of my previous books or maybe even write the whole thing in longhand, which is more likely. Whatever happens, it’s pretty safe to say I’ve gone back to my roots with this book, which is gothic historical fantasy stuff. More like a hybrid of Banshee and Renfred’s Masquerade as I’ve no interest at the moment to write just a pure historical. Besides, I love alternate universes, and there’s a chance that this book could be the first of an unrelated collection of novels set in the same world.

To get myself in the mood, I’ve been trying to read some old school gothic M/M fiction, the most recent one I purchased being The Tutor by Bonnie Dee, whose partnership with Summer Devon gave us a nice collection of historical gay romances via Samhain. I was pleased to see both writers dive into the self-publishing pool when I scoured Smashwords and promptly stocked up on reprints of their previous titles as well as new offerings.

“Evening” by Caspar David Friedrich

I’ve got a few more books in my Kindle that I’ve already read, but I’ll re-read them (not complaining a bit!) as gothic fiction in the traditional sense is a bit of a rare bird in the M/M world. I wish more writers tried their hand at something Jane Eyre-ish but gay and with a distinct individual touch. I can’t seem to find any of them whenever I check out small press sites as paranormal romances, i.e., vampires, shapeshifters, and other supernatural creatures, tend to be the more dominant form of gothic fiction.

While I know it all comes down to taste (both writers’ and readers’), maybe there’s also something a touch limiting about the more traditional gothic genre. There’s mystery, there’s definitely romance, there’s a threat shadowing the steps of a wide-eyed newcomer, and there can be ghosts, but overall there’s always the atmosphere and a heavy brooding air from start to finish. That said, we can always have fun with tropes, can we? :) It’ll be great playing around with them, and hopefully the finished product won’t suck.

Incidentally, the last Sheridan Diggins novella is done, which completes The Cecilian Blue-Collar Chronicles, and it’s called Monsters, Science, and Fanatics.

Happy Halloween, My Lovelies!

*points at subject header* Yeah, that. :) If you plan to go out and have fun, please be safe! If you prefer to enjoy a quieter celebration, gorge on the moment! Well, you can take that however way you’d like. I don’t judge.

Fall of the House of Usher

I’m going to be relaxing at home for Halloween, especially since I work till six. But I’ll definitely be worshipping at the altar of Edgar Allan Poe and/or M.R. James with some horror reading. I’d watch one of my favorite horror films, but I tend to prefer dimmed lights, ear plugs, hot tea, and a creepy read.