Cover Reveal: The Induction of Satine

Book cover: "The Induction of Satine"

I’m so very excited to share the cover of my latest steamy short, The Induction of Satine.

Satine didn’t believe in lunar prisons. That is, until she got shipped out to the one on her planet’s outermost moon. There, she’s assigned to Warden Jet — a fine specimen on the facility payroll — highborn, broad shouldered, fit as hell and intent on ‘rehabilitating’ his new charge.

Book cover: "The Induction of Satine"

Thank you to the incredible Chase Horan for the cover artwork. I must admit, when he first showed me the draft, I recoiled in horror, thinking he was setting some mighty high expectations with a cover this good. Thankfully, he assures me this story lives up to the sexy promise he created.

This scifi erotica piece lands November 7, 2017.

Writing to heal

“It must be fascinating getting to explore your own sexuality.”

That’s what a friend said to me when I told him I was writing steamy romance. My gay male friend. I could have sat there wondering, what the heck would he know about female sexuality? But I couldn’t argue. He cut to the core of it. It is fascinating.

To be honest, the thought never even crossed my mind when I decided to start writing romance and erotica. I just figured it would be an interesting challenge and a way to learn about publishing in a high-volume niche. But well, I was in for a surprise.

Before writing, I didn’t read the genre much. I like this sort of content, but it’s always come secondary to other genres — scifi, thriller, literary. I’ve been told (both observantly and disdainfully) that I’m a “cerebral” sort of person, and I guess that’s kind of true. If a story doesn’t look like it’ll tickle me beyond my loins, I don’t tend to go for it.

That’s not to say I wouldn’t enjoy reading it, but when I’m searching for something to consume, I like that double whammy of thinky and sexy. Bonus points if it’s also funny.

Working on Chasing Sisyphus forced me to consider, well… all of these things. What works for me, what doesn’t work for me — emotionally, psychology, sexually. I felt exposed, especially when it came time to sharing with my beta readers. I kept wondering, would they think I’m a perv?

That fear is ridiculous, of course. Everyone’s secretly a bit of a perv. It’s healthy, it’s important, you could argue it’s almost essential to creative expression as a human being. But you know, there’s still that fear.

Realising this, I wondered why I felt this fear in the first place. What is it about my experiences and upbringing that summons it into existence, in spite of everything I consciously believe and decide, as an adult, about sex? What are these little mysteries in our sexualities that make us feel the way we do?

Writing, so far, has been a useful way to process and appreciate all this. And it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than therapy. I feel I’m still only at the start of my journey, and look forward to sharing more of it you guys.

 


Img via Anna Sastre (CC0)

Introducing Adria

Adria Yuan is the heroine of my debut novel1Chasing Sisyphus. She’s a bounty hunter among the Basilica City Police Department’s most wanted. She’s agile, capable, a fast learner, a skilled fighter and, most notably, reluctant. She doesn’t take pleasure in killing her targets, it’s just part of the job.

She’d like to put this life behind her, leave the planet altogether and get a fresh start somewhere else. But with Basilica City home to the most advanced medical care, and her brother in failing health, it looks like she’ll be on the ground a while longer.

Adria was 12 when the gang wars broke out across the city. Her parents were killed in the crossfire, leaving her to fend for herself and her sick brother. Blessed with physical fitness, she found her start in the bounty circuit, running pickups, dropoffs, interference and robberies. The killing came later.

She picked up her martial skills on the job and wouldn’t be able to tell you any proper names. But if you watch her fight, you’ll spot hints of Aikido, Jujitsu and Shotokan Karate. Her marksmanship could use a little work, but I’d still watch myself if she had a gun pointed my way.

Chasing Sisyphus launches September 12 on Bookstrand.com.

 


1 Technically, it’s a novella.

To NaNo or not to NaNo

People are already talking about NaNoWriMo and it’s giving me anxiety!! 😬

After the first time I did it, I vowed never to do it again. After I did it again, I decided I wouldn’t do it again again.

I must be a sucker for punishment because I am thinking of doing it this year. With every tweet, blog article, forum post or random comment I read, I get that tiny tingle deep inside. Is this some sort of trick? Like the kind your mind plays on you when you swear you’ll only read one more chapter before turning out the lights?

Lessons from attempt #1

I pantsed (ie. did not plan) my first year. I would not do this again. This article sums up everything I didn’t like in this one paragraph:

The story changed and evolved. Occasionally, I lost my bearings, had to backpedal and try something else. Sometimes the story meandered aimlessly. Some days I sat in front of a blank page with absolutely no idea what was going to happen next.

But while the meandering and ensuing incoherence bugged me to no end, I did enjoy the process of exploration. Every turn in the story was like discovering something new. I really got to appreciate the journey and the utter triumph of making the day’s word count.

I did hit 50k before finishing my story, but another 1k after got me to the end. I did not like my first draft at all, though, and spent a lot of time completely re-writing, re-concepting and basically redoing everything. I learned it’s not enough to just start with a loose premise if the pressure’s on to hit quantity-based targets every day, because I end up making up a lot of shit. 🙂

Lessons from attempt #2

I went into my next NaNo with intent. I had characters, I had arcs, I had goals — I even had a plan for my story after the event. I wanted to write a serial novel. Big mistake.

There’s nothing wrong with writing a serial novel. But it wasn’t practical to try and do it for NaNo without properly developing the idea, doing research, etc. The pressure to churn out words exposed the weaknesses in my preparations.

After a week and a half, I lost faith in my story because the science felt really hokey. I know that’s supposed to be OK in the first draft stage, but it touched something deep inside me that I couldn’t shake. Not even going away for a NaNo writing retreat could save me.

Again, I hit 50k before the story’s end. This time, I abandoned the draft. I did learn that I’m very sensitive to my surroundings — I started working in scenes and landscapes from the retreat location into my story. Still not sure if that was a good or bad idea.

What about this year?

I’m still torn. 50k is a lot of words and I promised myself I’d take better care of my mental health from now on. That said, I have had a few short story ideas growing in the back of my mind for a while. I could play NaNo as a rebel and just get it all down. I guess we’ll see how ripe these ideas get by the time November arrives.

 


Img via Alexas_Fotos (CC0)