Winner of the 20.00 in omni bucks from All Romance eBooks is H.B. Thank you everyone who participated in the hop and who left a comment or shared my blog on Facebook or Twitter.


Changing the Future

Hi all! Welcome to Hop Against Homophobia, Bi- and Transphobia and my website. We are honoring the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (May 17th) with this blog hop and PRIZES!

What are Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia? I like Morgan Freeman's definition the best. 
Let's talk about how we can change things! My background is in communications and when asked about homophobia, I usually talk about the inter-generational transmission of beliefs and target-specific stigma change. Which is fascinating, swear but a bit dry. So here it is boiled down a bit.

I believe that, as a writer, I can make a difference by having honest portrayals of LGBTQA characters in my fiction.

Simple, right? If we create -- mysteries and sci-fi and horror and romance -- books with reaffirming and realistic people that are from all areas of the LGBT+ spectrum, people will see the truth. If we treat the subject with respect, avoiding cliches and stereotypes, we'll overshadow all the hate. It can be done. It has been done. People have already changed the world, one story at a time, to influence race, religion, gender equality. More must be done through positive representation in media.

Do you remember Queer as Folk? Will and Grace? The Color Purple? They all have influenced the public beliefs or understanding of homosexuals. What about Brokeback Mountain? Laverne Cox? Philadelphia? And Tango makes Three? They've all shaped how the next generation sees gender and sexual identity.

 Episode 27 - LGBT+ in YARecently, I was featured on the Papercuts Podcast and we talked at length about the importance of representation in YA fiction. If you can't see yourself in the characters you read, how does that impact your self worth and identity? I believe we can drastically lower the teen suicide rate and homelessness by supporting LGBT representation in our YA fiction, especially in schools and local libraries. A really good resource for these books is  Listen to the complete podcast here.
Now for the goodies. I'm a huge fan of OmniLit and AllRomance, a distribution site for ebooks. They have a great selection of YA LGBT books including Sock it to Me, Santa! by Madison Parker (which I reread each Christmas) and The Soccer Field is Empty by Mark A. Roeder. Two of my favorites and books discussed during the podcast. I'm giving one winner $20.00 in Omni Bucks (the site's version of a gift certificate) and all you need to do to win is either comment on this blog post or share the post on Facebook or Twitter. Like three chances to win? Do all three. On the 25th, I'll announce a winner and email them the Omni Bucks. 

There are over 50 writers, editors, publishers, and artists who are participating in this HOP! Go check them out.


Happy Anniversary Dreamspinner!

In early 2010 I submitted my first M/M novel to Dreamspinner Press, Rinse and Repeat. Since then they've not only published that book but an additional three novellas and a short story. They help authors tell incredible stories and have made my dream of selling my writing a reality. Dreamspinner, your first 8 years have been impressive. May the next 8 break all expectations.

Dreamspinner wants to thank our readers with a discount on books, like mine, that published during their third and fourth year.


How's my blurb

Robin Connelly gave me solid feedback on Marriage Most Convenient query letter. What do you think?

Tom lives the life of a thrill-seeking nomad. Steady jobs and pensions are for people without trust funds. Now that Tom is 35 and able to draw from his inheritance, he plans to develop and run a full access retreat for disabled kids. You know, actually settle down. He just needs to convince his best friend to marry him first.

Luke’s goal is simple. Don’t go on one more crazy adventure with Tom. He’s trying to be realistic about his success rate so has a backup plan. Don’t fall in love. You see, caution prevents heartache. Plan C involves surviving when Tom leaves for his next adventure. Then Tom not only proposes but confesses to one seriously hot kink.

For their friendship to survive this marriage, they’ll need to face DOMA, conservative judges, and long held beliefs about each other. Talk about getting caught by the short hairs.

Thanks Robin!

Back Into the Fray

Once upon a time I was a full time writer. Now I work for a corporation, with a salary. I once read all the right blogs, knew people in the industry, listened to conference workshops and treated writing like I’d landed my dream job. Now, I no longer recognize the names in Publishers Marketplace, in the RWR or even the New York Times bestsellers.

A lot of things caused the change but mostly it comes down to a paycheck. I wasn’t making money as a writer – I sold after I reentered the workforce – and my husband took a hefty pay cut after being unemployed for a while during the recession. I made the right decision for my family and the choices since then have been guided by the same purpose. I’ve gone back to school and finished my bachelor’s degree, sold my first novel and developed new connections.

But I miss writing. Ache for it. At first I tried to maintain the same level of immersion but I realized that the time I spent volunteering and reading articles/blogs/books, could be spent writing. I cut back and reorganized and tried again to pull writing back onto my list of priorities. I sold a few pieces and yet life kept happening. Each time I’d set a goal, I’d feel guilty for not meeting it. My husband says its latent rebellion for all those repressed-good-girl years. I’m too ornery to concede the point.

A few weeks ago a fellow writer spoke about her change in focus. Initially she’d started writing to bring in a second income thinking, like many of us, that this process would be easy and lucrative. Turns out its hard and addictive. Her heartfelt words made me realize that I could change why and how I wrote. It doesn’t have to be my picture perfect dream job. I get to decide what it will be. Now to keep this from being a total therapy post, here are some tips you can try – just like me – to get back into a writing habit after being away from it.
  • Remember Why You Write – What does it do for you? Why that genre, character or timeline? Revisit the kind rejection letters, the positive feedback from critique partners and positive reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. Journal about all the positives so when the negatives rear their ugly heads you’ll have ammunition.
  • Unplug – Set aside those distractions like Facebook, your favorite television shows and daily worries. Some people journal to brain purge before writing. If you’re struggling with leaving those chores for later, try assigning them to another family member.
  • Schedule the Time – Even if it’s you just shutting the door of your office after telling the family you’re busy. The 15 minutes before you fall asleep, pecking away at the alpha smart. At work, during your breaks or lunch. Figure out when writing will fit into your life or schedule life around writing.
  • Set Goals – Whether it is daily word count goals or successful blocks of time, the studies show that goals work if they are measurable and you’re held accountable for those goals. Write them down, get someone else to police and motivate you. I’ll be avoiding this step like the plague.
Here are some suggestions from my friends and family on Facebook.

Janis McCurry Find a story you're passionate about. Not a maybe, an "oh, yeah, baby!"
Tony Balukoff Start with crayon then work your way up to pencil and pen. When you feel ready, go with a sharpie.
Nancy Zuffrea Go inside a mall and people watch.
Diane Adams Only one way to do it. Write. Also the hardest. Why is it always that way?
Megan Justice Ritual helps. Spend fifteen minutes doing something else. Doesn't matter what so long as it's not writing. Then write for an hour. Or until your mojo is gone, whichever is longer. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Char Kaufman Sit down and quietly listen to the void.
Steph Bochenek Hi, Amberly. I time write, maybe fifteen minutes at a time and that helps.
Bill Park "Remember, a writer writes" - Billy Crystal, Throw Mama From the Train

Which brings us to the final tip.
Me and My Five Siblings 2011ish?
The Siblings aka Support System 1.0
  • Find Support – A writing group, critique partner, family or friends. They want to see you succeed. They’re proud of your accomplishments and want you to be happy. Let them support you through the trials and the triumphs.