On Saturday November 23rd at 7:00 PM, I’ll be joining a group of authors at Daedalus Books in Portland for readings and signings. Please stop by to visit myself, Daniel H. Wilson, Jason Gurley, Curtis C. Chen, Benjamin Parzybok, and Arthur Smid and hear us read some selections from our works.
OryCon is coming up this weekend in Portland, OR at the Jantzen Beach Red Lion Hotel. I will be there as a panelist as well as an Endeavour Award finalist for Moonshine.
If you want to catch the panel I’m on, it will be Exploring Publishing Options on November 10th at 11:15 AM. The Endeavour Award Ceremony will be on Friday, November 8th at 6:45 PM.
I’m very excited to have Moonshine selected as a finalist for the Endeavour Award. I’ve been attending OryCon for the past two years now, and as one of the smaller conventions I’ve been to, I really enjoy it’s laid-back atmosphere and homey feel. I’m generally a very low-energy person and highly prone to sensory overload, so even though I like conventions, most of them take a lot out of me, but OryCon has proven to be the sort of the convention that’s a comfortable speed for me. Having my work recognized there is a great feeling that really makes me feel a part of the Pacific Northwest SFF community.
I’ve been so busy the past few weeks with WorldCon stuff that I completely forgot: my graduate thesis has been published to PDXScholar and is available for anyone to read.
Titled “Approaches to Contested In-Group Terminology for Mindful Editors”, I examined the question of how editors and other publishing professionals can ethically go about using respectful terminology for marginalized groups when all possible terminology is considered inappropriate by some subset or another of said marginalized group (what I refer to in the paper as “contested in-group terminology”). Specially, I took a look how publishing has approached this in the past by examining the terminology used by 90 books published over the past decade with regards to fat, disabled, and queer identities (I go in more depth as to why I chose to use those specific terms in the paper), and coded the data to find any trends in the language that’s been used.
Here’s the full abstract:
In the conversation about mindful editing, a conundrum exists with regards to marginalized groups for whom all possible labels to identify the group contain loaded histories and connotations, and different subsets of these marginalized groups are in disagreement about what terminology is most appropriate. This contested in-group terminology places editors in a position where any editorial choice they make has high risk of offending or alienated members of the very group the editor hopes to represent. How, then, do mindful editors approach the matter of contested in-group terminology in an ethical manner? This study examines the approaches to contested in-group terminology used by the publishing industry in the past decade, examining word-choice and framing in the back cover copy and titles from three datasets of books featuring characters that belong to the following identity groups: fat, disabled, and queer. The data shows that publishing has been taking different approaches to language for each of these groups and that mindful editors cannot expect one approach to navigating contested in-group terminology to translate easily to other groups. The data also reveals some areas where the publishing industry and readers are in disagreement about appropriate labels for marginalized groups. In order to address contested terminology, mindful editors need to understand the histories of the terminology in question, consider the audience and the author’s intention with their word-choice, and research arguments for or against particular word-choice from a variety of in-group sources to make well-reasoned and deliberate choices for terminology and framing.
One thing that’s not in the paper is a conversation I had with my graduate committee about my findings, in which my committee asked if I had any recommendations for how publishers can commit to specific policies regarding contested in-group terminology. My suggestion was that publishers could be more transparent about their editorial house style–most publishers already have their house styles internally documented, and it would be a simple matter of publishing that information. This would allow publishers a chance to explain why they make certain editorial choices with contested in-group terminology (since one of the big conclusions of my findings was that just being able to explain why one term is used over another is one of the most significant factors in mindful editing), as well as help de-escalate some of the contention surrounding this topic, as the contested in-group terminology would be mixed in with all of the other editorial choices included in the publisher’s house style.
Anyway, if you have a stomach for dense academic writing or have any interest in editing, go ahead and give it a read. It’s actually not terribly long (don’t let the page count fool you–I had to cite 90 books, after all, so a big portion of that is just me listing my sources), and there’s even a few colorful graphs to break up all the dense research analysis.
Another video update for August. Not a lot of new news, but you can sneak a peek at the MOONSHINE bookmarks I’ll be bringing to Dublin WorldCon, and also enjoy my good new haircut.
Dublin WorldCon just sent along my finalized panel schedule, so if you have a chance to attend WorldCon this year, you can find me at the following panels:
Making the asexual textual
Format: Panel15 Aug 2019, Thursday 21:00 – 21:50, Wicklow Hall-1 (CCD)
In the past, many asexual and/or aromantic characters in science fiction and fantasy stories have not been overtly identified this way. Should writers be more explicit in stating asexual and aromantic characters’ identity? How do asexuality and aromanticness shape and change the way characters and their relationships with others are perceived or written?
Wendy Metcalfe, Darcie Little Badger (M), Dr Edmund Schluessel (International School of Helsinki), Jasmine Gower
Gender and the writer
Format: Panel17 Aug 2019, Saturday 17:00 – 17:50, Wicklow Room-1 (CCD)
Gender defines and redefines how we think about ourselves, each other, and our characters. Our panel delves into the topic of gender, looking past the basics of diversity to examine the issues important to trans, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming creators and readers.
Dr. J.S. Fields Ph.D., Vanessa Rose Phin (Strange Horizons), Dr Nick Hubble (Brunel University London) (M), Jasmine Gower, BE Allatt
You’ll also be able to find me at the Angry Robot table signing books at the following dates/times:
- Friday, August 16 at 1:00-1:30 PM
- Sunday, August 18 at 1:00-1:30 PM
I did get bookplates, so if you’ be at WorldCon and already have a copy of Moonshine that you want a signature for but don’t want to bring it to the convention, I’ve got you covered. I’ll also have some bookmarks up for grabs 🙂
Sad publication news here today: as some of you may have heard already, Less Than Three Press is closing its doors after ten years of publishing queer romance. It’s tragic to see this treasure trove of great queer romances go away, and, of course, this will also have an impact on my stories that were published through them.
The rights to For All the Gold in the Vault and A Study of Fiber and Demons have been reverted to me effective July 13, 2019, but Less Than Three Press will still be working to de-list books through July 31, so you may have a chance to grab them off vendors like Amazon or Kobo before the end of the month (no guarantees, though). However, once my novellas are removed from the LT3 site and third party vendors, they will be out of print, at least temporarily.
I would like to keep these works in print, of course. They don’t bring in much revenue for me, but they were both a lot of fun to write and I’m especially proud of A Study of Fiber and Demons, which is not yet even 2 years in print. LT3 was generous enough to grant me continued use of the covers and the master files for both these novellas, but in order to put these back in print, I will still need to consider the matter of distribution. I’m checking in with my agent now to get some feedback from her about how to move forward with that, but I’m not opposed to self-publishing them if that’s the best option available. I’m hoping that I will have a plan put together for how to ensure these novellas remain available sometime before I leave for WorldCon. I’ll update again here once I have a more solid plan in place, but if you are worried about not having a chance to grab these titles any time soon, they are still up for purchase on the LT3 site as of this posting.
In the meantime, thank you to Less Than Three Press for all the great work you’ve done over the past 10 years. Your contributions to queer romance will be greatly missed.
I am overdue for an update but I’ve spent so much of my writing energy lately that I decided to record an update rather than type one out. (Joke’s on me, I still had to type out the captions on the video.) Anyway, check out the video below for news about my current writing projects, my WorldCon plans, and oh yeah, did I mention I have a master’s degree now?
I know my efforts to replenish the content on my site after I broke it a couple of months back hasn’t been progressing much, but rest assured it’s only because I’m overburdened with finishing up my graduate degree this term. I’m unspeakably excited to be finished in June, but until then, I’m currently deep in the weeds with my thesis.
However, I will get a short reprieve on May 18, 2019, when I’ll be attending the Stayton Public Library Local Author Fair again. I imagine very few of the people checking this site will be in the vicinity of the rural mid-Willamette Valley to join me, but Stayton is right next door to my hometown (and the Stayton Public Library was my closest public library as a small child), so if you do so happen to be in the agricultural heart of Oregon, stop on by! I’ll be reading from (UPDATE: at 2:30 pm!) and selling/signing copies of Moonshine.
Check the flyer for more details:
Today, Moonshine celebrates the 1st anniversary of its US release!
One year ago today, my little book about bisexual flapper wizards living in a volcanic hellscape full of gang violence, gentrification, and sexy fae monsters had its Stateside debut.
Haven’t picked it up yet? Let me make it easy, since I’m so very helpful:
(You can also try checking your local library! I know quite a few have bought copies or have the ebook available.)
If I can get raw for a second, my debut year was, um, hard. Turns out full-time grad school and part-time day job/full-time day job and part-time grad school really eat up a lot of the hours that a debut author needs to work on editing and book promotion and writing more books. There were also a couple of walls hit that didn’t have anything to do with my non-writing life, and rolling with those punches has been a challenge. (You wouldn’t think that an author would forget what rejection feels like from the querying process, and yet here I am like, “Who could have predicted how disappointing this would be?”) And of course there’s forces outside of my life entirely that have impacted my debut experience for the worse–remember when a violent fascist rally in Seattle took place on the same day and a block away from my first author reading ever? Because I do.
I’ll remember that one into my grave.
But! Overall it’s been a delight to have Moonshine out in the world (and to not have to worry about editing it anymore, whew!), and I’ve been so glad to see people connecting with it, even all across the globe. (There are people buying it in Iceland, what!) People have expressed so much passion for Soot City and Daisy and Vicks and even Andre Swarz, and it’s just been so cool. Maybe that sounds a weak descriptor of how it feels to know that my story is resonating with people, but it’s true. And besides, what do you want from me? Powerful, impactful descriptions? Like I’m some kind of writer or something?
As for what’s next, there’s a lot up in the air right now, so it’s hard to say. My main focus is graduating, which is coming up in June, so hopefully once that gets cleared out of the way I’ll have more concrete writing updates. I can say that at the moment that there is no more Moonshine content on the horizon. If that changes, trust me, I will be shouting about it as soon as I can, but for now, I’m working on a few new projects–my current draft, which is still in its infant stages so much so that I don’t even have a working title yet, and good ol’ Hellslayer (if you’ve been following my writing pre-Moonshine, you might recognize the name), which is still… what it is. I don’t even know what to say about Hellslayer anymore. I’m hoping as I hammer things out with my new book, I’ll have more content-wise to chat about here, but it’ll mostly be word count updates for a while.
But, this post is about Moonshine, and there’s plenty of Moonshine content to keep you, uh… content. Sorry, it just occurred to me that “content” (n.) and “content” (adj.) are spelled the same. Distracting. Anyway, enjoy all these links for Moonshine miscellanea:
- The Read-Along’s chapter-by-chapter book discussion of Moonshine (Chapter 1 episode linked)
- Moonshine’s announcement at the Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog
- John Coulhart’s write-up of his process for designing the cover of Moonshine
- Daisy Dell interview with Candid Ceillie
- My The Big Idea post at John Scalzi’s Whatever
- My interview with #DVPit creator Beth Phelan alongside Mike Underwood, who helped acquire Moonshine for Angry Robot through #DVPit
- My interview with Breaking the Glass Slipper
- My interview about Moonshine with JKA Short
I’ve emerged from my Kingdom Hearts III seclusion and all I have to say is: Woody the toy cowboy didn’t have to throw down as hard as he did.
I basically took the week off from writing, too, but my draft is just over 20K right now, which is a solid start. I’m feeling good about how things are going so far, and now that I’m not desperately chasing that bizarre Kingdom Hearts plot revelation bliss, I can focus back on my work. Unfortunately, I’m still trying to figure out how to restore everything from my website breaking, and while all the basics are back online, I’d really rather not lose all of my old blog posts if I can save them, but that will eat up some of my precious spare time if I try to untangle that knot.
So I think instead I’ll make an effort to update here more and rebuild my blog backlog (my backblog, if you will) from scratch. I have a notion for repackaging some of the blog content I wanted to save as part of Moonshine’s 1st birthday celebration.
Oh, and Moonshine’s 1st birthday of the US release is coming up tomorrow! So expect another update here for that.