What a feeling 

You know it’s coming, but you don’t know when. And so it’s still just a thought in the back of your mind…

And then the doorbell rings and it’s happening. 

The book. Your first novel. The one you’d never had the patience to write. It’s right there, the glossy cover reflecting your tear stained face. Your words, in print, ready to go out in the world. 

Surreal. Overwhelming. Exciting. 

Emotions not even named yet. 

What a feeling. 

Storytellers 


My first book in the Afterlife, Inc series, Fury’s Bridge, comes out next month. I’m equal parts excited and terrified. It’s a big thing, sending your creation out into the world. Granted, it probably won’t run roughshod over the city like Dr Frankenstein’s monster, but it’s still scary. 

(Now I’m picturing a book stomping though a city, its pages sweeping illiteracy and ignorance out of its way…) 

Okay, I’m back. 

Stories are fabulous. Humans have been story tellers for as long as they’ve been communicating; papyrus, stone, marble, paper…stories have been laid into all of them. But why? Who makes stuff up, and why?  I’m reading Neil Gaiman’s most recent book, and he says in it that he writes because there are stories living in his head, little magots that must come out (terribly paraphrased). I think there’s truth to that. 

When I was at the gym yesterday, in a workout class that was kicking my ass, the lights began to flicker and I thought, ‘what if we came out of this class and the rest of the world was gone? Blown up, or lost in another dimension? What would we do? Would this sweaty, red-faced group of people in my body combat class be my survival compatriots?’

Then the sit ups began and I stopped thinking altogether. 

But for me, that’s how stories are born. I want to know what would happen if… And then I populate the situation with characters. It’s magic, taking a ‘what-if’ and turning it into someone’s journey, seeing what could happen and what kind of people would make it through. 

So, yeah. Fury’s Bridge is out next month. And after that a few short stories are coming out too. One in Girls Next Door by Bold Strokes Books, and one in Witches, Princesses and Women at Arms by Cleis Press are out this summer. And I’ve had another accepted for Dark Desires, also by Cleis Press, out next year. My next book in the Afterlife series, Fury’s Choice, will be out in September. 

Let Me Play With You…


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.

BOOK GIVEAWAY

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.

Bio stuff:

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.

Let Me Feed You…


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…

Okay. Ready.

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.

My first time

…kind of. 

This weekend I joined thirteen other writers for the Bold Strokes Book festival. 

‘Other writers.’ 

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.

Anyway…

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. 

Yay. 

Fury’s Bridge is available for ebook pre-order now, and comes out officially in early 2017. Boldstrokesbooks.com 

Painfully Awkward

Fury's Bridge 300 DPI (1)

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…

Oh, right.

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.