Another blog tour! This could get addictive. Did you read Tazmin’s yesterday?
This one is for the forthcoming Me and My Boi anthology, which features my story Resurrection, and was edited by the esteemed Sacchi Green.
Gender has always been an area of interest for me. I grew up with a lesbian femme parent, who only dated butch women. It was all I knew and I took for granted that was the way of things. In fact, I believed that for a long time, even when I was mocked and judged for being a femme amongst a highly non-femme community.
It’s only over the last few years, if I’m honest, that I’ve begun to release my hold on cherished old notions of gender-play, and explore more about what gender, and lesbian relationships, look like. Though, I was put down for not looking/behaving like a ‘real lesbian’, which means plenty of other folks also hold onto rigid ideas of what sexuality looks like, even when we’re already marginalised.
And from there comes my story in Me and My Boi. It’s playing with stereotypes, with expectations, and mostly with curiosity and the desire to know…more. It’s also exploring the desire to let go; of a façade, of control, of the need to appear strong no matter what. It’s allowing for possibilities and understanding, beyond the socially acceptable boundaries we get so used to existing within each day.
And, it’s hot sex. There’s always a place for that, no matter how long your hair may be.
Anyone who comments on any of the posts will be entered in a drawing for one free copy of the anthology. You can comment on more than one post and be entered more than once. The winner will be announced and notified by June 25, if not sooner.
Tomorrow’s blog is by J. Caladine and you can read it, and a lot of the other blogs, here.
This story is under Ronnie Willows, as are a few others. My forthcoming novels in the Afterlife, Inc series are under Brey Willows, and I’ve published a number of other short stories under Victoria Oldham. You can see my book list here.
It seems like ages since I’ve been on a blog tour, but here I am, desperately wracking my brain for something to say about my latest story, God’s Tamales, featured in ORDER UP: A MENU OF LESBIAN ROMANCE AND EROTICA. While I figure it out, have you read Cheyanne’s post from yesterday? Go do that for a second…
I love food. A lot. I wish I didn’t every time I look in the mirror, but that’s another story. I love food the way my character, a Mexican restaurateur, does in my story. The scents, the textures, the chemistry. I tried to show my character in a similar vein as she takes pride in every morsel she serves.
I suppose that leads to another aspect of my story: food is comfort. It’s a way to say I care. To show someone I’m willing to put a lot of effort into their meal, and then stop everything else to spend time with them. To listen without distractions, to share more than nourishment of the body; it’s also about nourishing the soul and relationships with those you love. When you see food that way, as more than simply something to keep your body ticking, it’s hard to be skinny…sorry, heading for a tangent.
Where was I?
Oh. So, in my story, that’s where the character is coming from when a homeless person needs help. In that moment, yes, it’s about food. But it’s also about time; about showing someone they’re important enough for you to sit down with and say, I SEE YOU.
The homeless situation, wherever in the world it may be, breaks my heart. So many people go unseen, unwanted and bereft of human contact every day. And it’s so, so easy to begin the slide that could put any one of us there. Not that long ago, I was in a precarious position myself, and became acutely aware of just how fragile creature comforts and expectations can be.
And so, when I sat down to write this, it was without my usual sex-driven impulses, and more with my…well, my heart, I suppose. And that’s something I usually reserve for the kitchen.
Next up on the blog tour: Lea Daley, over at RG Emmanuel’s place.
This weekend I joined thirteen other writers for the Bold Strokes Book festival.
That means I belong in that category, and that’s a surreal feeling.
I’ve published a respectable number of non-respectable stories (nearly all erotica). In fact, I have two coming out this month, in the anthologies Order Up, and Me and My Boi. I’ll be doing blogs for both of those.
This weekend was different. This time, I read from my very own novel. As in, a whole book with my name on the cover.
It was terrifying.
And it wasn’t helped by the fact that it was a sex panel, nor that I’d lost my voice.
But I got through it without vomiting or turning my usual shade of apple red. And I’m glad I did. It was freeing, in a way, and really great to have readers ask when they can buy it. Being on the other side of the panel isn’t as scary as I thought it would be.
Fury’s Bridge is available for ebook pre-order now, and comes out officially in early 2017. Boldstrokesbooks.com
I wonder…when it happens, is it a conscious thing? A strike of lightning forever imprinted on your memories?
Or, is it a more subtle thing, something that creeps up on you like that ivy that covers the walls of old houses?
I’m not sure. But I know at the moment, I’ve got a wicked case of impostor syndrome. How can I possibly call myself a writer?
I’ve got no problem calling myself an editor. After a decade playing with words that way, I think it’s fair to claim that title. And I suppose it feels more…solid? More logical, perhaps. I’m a ponderer, and when I’m having discussions, I often take a minute to analyse whatever is being said. If, in an attempt to seem less awkward, I don’t take that time, I come off like Sheldon in Bang Bang Theory, trying to fit into a social situation where the cues sometimes baffle me.
So far, I’ve written a big handful of short stories (the most recent is in Me and My Boi, coming out next month!) and I’ve now signed contracts for two novels. The first of the Afterlife, Inc series, Fury’s Bridge, is with my editor, and the second, Fury’s Choice, is due to her in November. Perhaps, in a small way, this is the beginning of the moment I can call myself a writer. Although, the second novel is misbehaving, and my characters are languishing where I’ve left them until I figure out why they’re being so painfully awkward…
Still, I don’t feel like a writer. I don’t have an old fashioned writing desk. I don’t sit in the sunshine with other writers, talking about the existential meaning of life before I go home and write some deep literary piece about a person hanging out in the sunshine with other writers talking about the existential meaning of life. I don’t smoke a pipe or have a clunky old typewriter. But, I do hang in out in my pjs while drinking a lot of coffee. Maybe that’s a baby step.
Anyway, if you want to come see how painfully awkward I am, and maybe hear a little bit about the characters I fell a little bit in love with in Fury’s Bridge, come to the Bold Strokes Book Festival in Nottingham. There are lots of other fabulous, totally-not-awkward authors there who have fabulous new books to share with you.
I think it’s because I didn’t develop my initial idea of the story enough. When it comes to storytelling, conflict is key. It’s not much of a story if I tell you I went for milk…and nothing happened. But if I went for milk and saw a robbery in progress, and the bad guy saw me watching…there’s a story in there.
Not only did I not have my conflict sorted, but I found myself, around 20,000 words in, guilty of character conflation–where your characters are so similar they become indistinguishable on the page, and that’s never good. So, I had a character rewrite, and now I need to go back and fill in the conflict gaps. But I find myself procrastinating terribly, putting off the painful deletion of a few thousand words.
(Thinking about it now, it occurs to me that the most difficult scenes to write were also those I need to cut. Perhaps I need to pay more attention to my inner muse-ish instincts.)
Writing isn’t hard, per se. Many people can sit down and scribble words on a page. But writing well? That’s a craft of another kind.
I’ve had to let it sink in, I suppose. I needed to believe it, and know that it wasn’t A. a dream or B. going to be rescinded.
So, nearly a month after it has happened, I’m happy to announce:
Bold Strokes Books is pleased to announce the acquisition of Brey Willows’s new fantasy romance, Afterlife, Inc: Fury’s Bridge, scheduled for release in 2017 from Bold Strokes Books.
Afterlife, Inc: Fury’s Bridge – Coming in 2017
If you knew the gods worked from a building in Santa Monica, California, would it change you?
Avenging fury Alectho (Alec) Graves has been tasked with saving the world, when she isn’t out seeking justice for those innocents who suffer at the hands of evil-doers. If she fails in her mission, those she loves will cease to exist.
Selene Perkton is a philosophy professor in Los Angeles. She lives an ordinary, well scheduled life, and knows her place in it. When Alec appears, the world she thought she knew becomes a very different place.
Can Alec and Selene put aside their differences, or will the evil lurking in the shadows manage to pull them apart?
About the Author
Brey Willows is a longtime editor and writer. Her passion is literature and the classics, and she has published a large handful of short stories and several articles and reviews. When she’s not running a social enterprise working with marginalized communities on writing projects, she’s editing other people’s writing or doing her own. She lives in the middle of England with her partner and fellow author and spends entirely too much time exploring castles and ancient ruins while bemoaning the rain.
So, yeah. I’m author Brey Willows, and I’m quite excited about that. Also exciting is that I’ve signed a second contract, for Afterlife, Inc: Fury’s Choice, also out in 2017 (I think). And, I’ve got a story coming out in Order Up, the follow up to All You Can Eat, with Ylva, and I’ve also got a new one coming out in June via Cleis and the amazing Sacchi Green, for the anthology Me and My Boi.