Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Hope everyone's well! I figured now was as good a time as any to do a round-up blog post of questions I've gotten from readers and others.

When can I buy "Switch"?
Look for it in probably a couple of months, give or take a few weeks. "Switch" is coming along nicely.

What's your next novel after "Switch"?
No idea. Really. And that's because if I start thinking about that now, I'll get all excited and WOO WOO about it. I'll start looking upon "Switch" as an obligation to get over with and tossed aside. That's the last thing any book needs. I'm good at forcing my brain to do certain things. (Other things my brain isn't too good at doing.) All that said, I'm thinking my next project after "Switch" won't be a novel. It may be another short-story compilation. Probably lesfic, but a few gen fic stories may get thrown in. I love writing short stories. They're so easy, fluid and quick compared with novels. Writing a novel can be emotionally and mentally draining. I'm pretty sure I'll need a break from novel writing after "Switch," and another short-story compilation may be the trick. They don't take nearly as long to write as novels and are priced lower, so there's that too. I have lots of great short-story ideas, and one of these ideas I will probably decide to hold back and expand for my next novel.

By the way, you probably noticed I write a lot of blog posts. That's because blogging is a nice, easy way to "warm into" writing for the day. Kind of like doing short stories, but blogging is easier, of course.

Are you still thinking about turning "The Old Woman" short story into a novel?
Yep. I'd really like to, but the issue remains that "The Old Woman" may be better as a short story. Regardless, I do think it'd make a great novel. If it's expanded into a novel, probably won't be for a while. If it's made into a novel, I envision having the short story in the back as a "bonus." (I'd still love to hear reader feedback on this. It's been about 50/50 so far.)

How do you know when an idea is good enough for a book?
When it claws at me to get out. And if it isn't clawing, chances are it'll be great for one of my short stories. Some of my short stories come when I'm compelled to write something. I sit at the computer for a few hours, and that's enough to get the meat of the short story out. This provides a nice sense of accomplishment compared with the time writing a novel takes.

How do you prevent/overcome writer's block?
This is a popular question. Fortunately, I haven't had to deal with writer's block since the second phase of my writing career started. (I call the first phase the one that started with publication of the first edition of "The Odd Couple" and that ended when rights were returned to me.) I don't see myself having writer's block anytime soon, if ever. Prevention...hmm. I think it's just the mindset. I try to have a clear plan for what I'm writing that day. If I don't, writing a later scene often helps.

What do you like least about being a writer?
Tax stuff. I just want to sit and write, not deal with tax stuff. But at least it means I have enough income coming in to be taxed. That's huge.

In "Third," you write about a polyamorous relationship. So, are you, you know?
I've heard other writers say that many readers tend to think anything to do with sex must be from the writer's personal experience. Makes sense, right? After all, sex is so intimate and close. Other stuff (characters' jobs, other problems, etc.) readers don't automatically think the writer must have experienced. I could be evil and say, "Wellllll, I'll just leave this up to y'all to guess," but no. I'll be nice. I'm not in a poly relationship. Nor have I time traveled into the past.

Taking risks/writing about risky or taboo subjects seems to be your forte. Most writers would not take the risk because of sales. How did you decide to take that risk?
I'd never seen it as a risk. (I do now, a bit, but then I also see it as a pro.) First, let me explain why I never saw it as a risk. I write what I feel compelled to write (what claws at me). That's what I HAVE to write. If I try writing other stuff, it won't work. So, for me, idea is #1, sales is #2. I never imagined "Strange Bedfellows" would be seen as risky, but to some people, it was. I read lots of gen fic, including stories from so-called bad guys' POVs. What other people might see as a risk, I don't. One author said she knew the "Miss Lucy Parker" collection would cause controversy because of a few stories in it. This caught me by surprise because I'd never thought the collection would be seen as controversial. Thought-provoking, yes, but controversial to the point of outrage? I didn't think so. But, yeah, it did. In the lesfic community only, and it's a gen fic collection. Now I know if I write these types of stories again, I have to promote more selectively.

I believe "Third" is the first book I came into consciously aware of the risk. "Third" hasn't sold too well so far, although it's gotten good reviews. I'm hoping it just needs time to catch on. If it doesn't, I have strategies I'll use to help it pick up a bit more steam.

Now to explain the pro part. I've carved a nice niche for myself as a writer who blends serious issues into romance. I like putting characters into situations in which you'd think: "No way could they fall in love," and yeah, they do. Convincingly, too.

OK, I think that's enough questions for now! This was a fun post, so maybe I'll write another one like this soon. As always, feel free to contact me anytime. :)

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