Sneak Peek: Dreamers (Trans YA Novel)

A few months ago over spring break, my roommate went out of town on vacation and I found myself with the apartment to myself (and no classes to teach) for a solid week. I used this time to start work on a story I’ve been wanting to tell for a long time: Namely, a trans guy coming out and learning to live life as himself. Perhaps because this was a sort of written exorcism of my own feelings, I ended up writing the entire novel in that one week, a feat I have never before accomplished (and suspect I never will again).

Said novel, tentatively entitled Dreamers, follows a young trans guy coming out to friends and family in high school – while dealing with the fact that the ghost of his father has started appearing in his dreams. The book is still in the editing phase at present, but I thought I’d share a blurb and excerpt today, because (a) Pride Month, and (b) honestly, I’m pretty excited about this project and can’t wait until I can get it out there for people to read.

I should also mention that one of my biggest goals in writing this book was to give trans kids something to read that doesn’t focus on the inherent trauma of being trans. The main character, Leo, goes through his share of angst, but the story overall is positive and upbeat, meant to uplift rather than beat down. There’s nothing wrong with stories that explore the very real trauma that trans people often endure, but this isn’t one of those stories.

S’arright? S’arright. Now onto the book!

Continue reading “Sneak Peek: Dreamers (Trans YA Novel)”

What is CHOSEN and why should I care about it?

T.J., you say aloud to your screen, I’ve seen you mention this queer fantasy book series, Chosen, approximately 1,000 times per post, but what is it? What is it about? What would the characters look like if someone spent valuable writing time creating avatars of them via an online fantasy avatar creator? I MUST KNOW.

Well, my inquisitive friends, look no further. This is the post for you.


What is Chosen?

Chosen is a book series that asks the question, “What if there was a fantasy story that featured 99% female characters, most of whom are queer people of color, but it was also, like, interesting and good and stuff?” <–(official tagline)

I’m a huge fan of fantasy, but the fantasy I grew up with generally involved straight white dudes (or straight white elves, or straight white dwarves, etc.) getting to do cool stuff while the women were there either as background characters, romantic/lustful objects for the aforementioned dudes, or as the requisite Tough Female Characters who were generally overly sexualized and ended up being defeated (or romanced, or both) by the main character dudes, anyway.

Queer storylines were pretty much non-existent, and while you would often get a token brown character thrown in somewhere along the way, it was always the exception rather than the rule. And you know what’s really awesome about creating a whole new fantasy world of your very own? You can decide what’s normal, so in the fantasy world of Chosen, normal involves a pantheon of queer goddesses, an abundance of non-white folks, and a general acceptance of queer relationships, trans people, non-binary people, etc.

Continue reading “What is CHOSEN and why should I care about it?”

Site revamp, shiny new covers, and cats

So, if you’ve stopped by the site lately, you may have noticed that everything is completely different. Yes. Hi. I did that. :D It was time for a change, so I revamped the site entirely, making it easier to access my books, check out my blog, read the bad sci-fi of my youth, and (of course) learn more about my cats. (Because come on, we … Continue reading Site revamp, shiny new covers, and cats

In which gay teens fight monsters

I’d hoped to get some writing done today, and shockingly, I did! :O

…but not on the project I was actually hoping to work on. Ah, well. :P I’d been hoping to add to my forever-WIP and gay fantasy epic (TM), Chosen, but instead I unearthed a long-ago begun story and added a few chapters to it.

Said story is tentatively entitled Guardians, and it’s a fun little YA story about teens fighting monsters and trying to stop the end of the world, because that plot hasn’t been done before.

The story, though, is surprisingly engaging, and I can say that because I started writing it long enough ago that it no longer feels like something I wrote. :P The main character, Alisha, is a kickass seventeen-year-old with frizzy hair and a talent for fighting monsters and keeping her narcissistic younger brother out of trouble. Her mother fought monsters back when she was a teenager but now is Retired, and her dad is a researcher who likes punning, Doctor Who, and annoying his children in the most loving way possible.

I have, of course, felt obliged to put as much gay into the story as possible, so Alisha’s older sister has a girlfriend, her brother’s love interest is an awesome trans girl, and Alisha has definite chemistry with nemesis and fellow teen monster-hunter, Belladonna.

Anyway, here’s a quick excerpt from a draft of a scene when Alisha visits Belladonna’s excessively nice house in search of info about this whole ‘end of the world’ thing:

Continue reading “In which gay teens fight monsters”

How could I sneak with this fine physique?

Greetings, friends. Greetings and hello and hello and also greetings.

I find myself with a bit of time to spare this evening, so I thought it was about time I posted an update. So to all those readers who have been weeping bitter tears into their pillows at night wondering when I would return, you may now rest easy. Your prayers have been answered.

Continue reading “How could I sneak with this fine physique?”

On Chosen and queer lady vegans

Greetings, friends. Today I found myself faced with a truly monumental decision: Should I watch The Jeffersons marathon or the Supermarket Sweep marathon?

Sometimes life is hard.

In other news, I’ve been doing some work on Chosen (also knows as the LGBTQ fantasy epic I’ve been chipping away at since approximately the age of the dinosaurs), attempting to inject some more action and awesomeness into the book. It’s going pretty well so far, and I’ve also done another experimental gender-switch and transformed the main love interest, Nicholas, into a female character who is primarily attracted to women. This wasn’t something I planned, but it makes her romance with Kaine (biologically female but male by every other definition) all the more interesting and complex, and also ups the number of main female characters.

Continue reading “On Chosen and queer lady vegans”

On summer, Andy Griffith, and my emphatic availability

Greetings, friends. As I have by now run out of ways to describe how very long it’s been since I last updated, I’ll just say that seasons have passed, babies have been born, aged, and turned into cranky old wrinkled people, and still this blog has been left to gather dust in its sad little corner of the interwebs. But never fear, for I am … Continue reading On summer, Andy Griffith, and my emphatic availability

If you’re sick and you know it, put your head gently down on the desk and sigh

It’s been a rough freaking week, you guys.

suniverse_gems-exhausted

Migraines, lack of sleep, a rebelling stomach, and general feeling-awful-all-over has led to some decidedly unpleasant days at work, though I find it encouraging that I’ve managed to make it to Friday morning without once vomiting all over my keyboard. Small victories, my friends. Small victories. Continue reading “If you’re sick and you know it, put your head gently down on the desk and sigh”

Which concerns my LGBT fantasy epic

I thought I’d mosey on over to the blogosphere with some updates, as I find myself with a startling surplus of both time and brain cells this morning. I’m sure this is a condition too beautiful to last, so let’s get right to the updates before I return to my usual state of Morning Pudding-Brain.

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First off, my thrilling revamp of Book I of Chosen continues, and is actually going surprisingly well. There’s still a vast gap of nothingness where three or four vital middle chapters should go, but I’m very much enjoying adding in setting and culture details and doing everything I can to diversify and gay-ify the Chosen world. Continue reading “Which concerns my LGBT fantasy epic”

Which is full of writing talk and piss-poor doodles

So, aside from working, sleeping, eating, binge-watching The Graham Norton Show, and falling head-over-heels in love with Thomas Brodie-Sangster lookalike girls on trains, I’ve also been doing a great deal of writing as of late.

kermit-typing

Just like this, but less green.

Some of that writing has been strictly for my own amusement (such as the twelve-page tale I wrote about a trip my friends and I took to a Japanese barbecue restaurant, which I for some reason felt the need to transform into a Dragonlance/Dungeons and Dragons-style adventure), but the rest of it has been me working on my LGBT fantasy epic, Chosen. Continue reading “Which is full of writing talk and piss-poor doodles”

Chosen: Book II dream cast is shiny and pretty and shiny

Greetings, my eager readers! After another lengthy period of blog neglect, I have returned!

tumbleweed01

Okay, fair enough.

Anyway, I’ve been hard at work on Chosen: Book II, and have written (and subsequently deleted) many new and interesting scenes! I’ve also used time when I should’ve been writing to do the all-important hunt for a Book II dream cast, and I’m pleased to announce that said cast has now officially been assembled. Behold!

chosen_book2_cast_final

A run-down of the characters, for those who might’ve missed the other 17,000 posts here regarding Chosen: Continue reading “Chosen: Book II dream cast is shiny and pretty and shiny”