Blonderbatch and a decided lack of gay

After a month of watching the dust gather on my blog, I HAVE RETURNED.

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Well, sort of. I’m sure I’ll be back to haitus-ing before long, though I don’t want you to blame yourselves, dear readers. My absence has nothing at all do with my love for you, which grows deeper and stronger and mushier by the day.

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Actually, my lack of updating is a good thing, as I’ve been using my non-trolling-tumblr-for-gifs time to WRITE!

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been hard at work on the second book of Chosen, which has actually turned out to be a prequel about Mr. Lucas Defrin, Nicholas’ father and Kaine’s teacher and mentor.

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(Portrayed in the movie-of-my-mind by Blond Benedict Cumberbatch, or Blonderbatch, as he shall henceforth be known.)

Said prequel takes place when Lucas is 13 or so and the Fael War is still raging on. He and his family are living in a small town in the Borderlands, as far from the fighting as it’s possible to be, but nowhere is really safe for Lucas because of that whole glowing-mark-on-chest, strange-powers-condemned-by-holy-text thing.

Lucas keeps pretty much to himself, afraid that he won’t be able to hide his powers if he spends time with people, but when he sees a girl being attacked by a group of bullies, he knows he has no choice but to fling his scrawny-gangly self into the fray and use his powers to save her. (Despite the fact that she was doing a pretty decent job of kicking ass before he showed up, but eh, whatever.)

Said girl turns out to be Hema (also known as Kaine’s mother from Book I), and she and Lucas form a friendship which would be called “unlikely” if I weren’t trying to avoid the use of obvious clichés in this mini-summary.

Anyway, writing about the two of them (and Kaine’s dad, who shows up in there as well) is great fun, and working on a story that takes place more than 20 years prior to the events of Book I means I’m actually figuring a lot of things out re: the world and how it came to be as it is in Kaine’s time. And as it turns out, actually knowing stuff like that? Kind of helpful.

One odd thing, though: All the main characters in this prequel will eventually end up in male/female romantic relationships. There’ll be LGBT side characters, of course (and I’m thinking Lucas might have a male love interest at some point before he meets Elisabeth, his eventual wife), but the main relationships are all straight. (!)

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I’m not at all used to writing straight couples, and it’s weirding me out a bit. I shall attempt to be strong, however, and console myself with the fact that Nicholas and Kaine are so very, very gay, and that will perhaps make the burden easier to bear.

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Anyway. Until next time, friends~~~

In which there is more Fighting For the Galaxy

Welcome, friends, to another exciting installment of…

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But T.J., you may be saying (out loud to your computer). Didn’t we just have a Fighting For the Galaxy Friday Thursday yesterday?

And the answer is that yes, yes we did. But it has come to my attention that as today is actually Friday, I am honor-bound to provide another chapter of gif-laden science fiction dreck to you, my faithful readers, or risk tarnishing my good name forever.

So, put on your flight helmets and get into a consequence-free shouting match with your superior officer, because it’s time for another thrilling chapter of FIGHTING FOR THE GALAXY…!

When we last left our heroes, Commander T.J. Baer (and her faithful friends, Jen and Jess) had just refused to participate in a space battle against the murderous Sffon Collective because it was an obvious, neon-lights-flashing Trap. Captain Torel Abrigio, fingers planted firmly in his ears, dismissed T.J.’s warnings and ordered the fleet to proceed – and they were all blown to bits, including the majority of the planet Saturn (for some reason). When we rejoin our heroes, Captain Abrigio, T.J., Jess, Jen, and a few other survivors are facing down the fearsome Council of the Galactic Military to defend their actions.

And because I was thirteen when I wrote this, there will also be a swingin’ party where there are, like, boys and stuff.

AND NOW BACK OUR STORY:

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Fighting For the Galaxy Fridays

Summer, 1996: I was thirteen, and my mom, brothers, and I were living at my grandparents’ house until our new house was ready to move into. It was a good summer for many reasons (sword battles with curtain rods come to mind, for example), but it also marked a milestone in my life:

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It was the summer I wrote my first novel.

Holed up in my uncle’s old bedroom with its olive green carpeting and slightly sunken mattress, I spent night after night hunched over my mom’s word processor, listening to *insert 90s bands here* on the radio and composing what I hoped would be a science fiction masterpiece.

Said masterpiece was entitled, “Fighting For the Galaxy,” and was my first foray into the glorious realm of the Mary Sue. It starred  25-year-old Commander T.J. Baer of the Galactic Military, fighting alongside her best friends, Jen and Jessica, against the murderous Sffon Collective. It featured space battles, aliens, romance, betrayal, intrigue, inexplicably bikini-clad maids, and a guy named Rendar. And it was, I felt at the time, the finest thing I – or, quite possibly, any other author in the history of mankind – had ever written.

The other day, while going through a box of old writings, I found Fighting For the Galaxy. And I am here now to tell you that it is both phenomenally bad and completely hilarious. For those reasons, I will be sharing  it here on this blog as part of a regular installment I will be calling…

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Boom.

Of course, today is Thursday, but why split hairs when there’s awful, hilarious pseudo sci-fi to be shared?

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Publishing plans and vengeance via diversity

I HAVE RETURNED. colin-bradley-thumbsup Yes, friends, after a lengthy holiday (and post-holiday hangover) hiatus, I have returned to the wondrous world of WordPress. Let us rejoice and be merry, and pretend that some of you actually remember who I am. Hurrah!

Now, onto business. First of all, let us discuss Chosen, A.K.A., my LGBT fantasy epic, A.K.A., the story I’ve been working on since I was a frail young thing of fifteen (and actually not that frail; I did sixty push-ups a day and was still capable of doing a one-armed handstand a’la Empire Strikes Back Luke). sw_luke-handstand (The hardest part was unraveling Yoda’s grammar while all the blood rushed to my head.)

But in any case, Chosen: chosen-frontcover_dec2014

The original plan was to go the indie author route and self-publish via Amazon. And that may still be what I end up doing, but for now, I’m trying a multi-tiered plan that involves first submitting Book I of Chosen to a few awesome-seeming literary agents, then (should none of them grasp the glory and wonder that is Chosen and snatch it up), submitting directly to a handful of publishers I’m interested in. Finally, if none of those pan out, we’ll go back to the original self-publishing plan.

There are pros and cons to all the above routes, but I figured there’s no harm in at least trying the traditional publishing route before committing to self-publishing. Sadly, this means a longer delay before the book is actually released, but if doing so means it can reach a wider audience and potentially bring me one step closer to the sell millions of copies and become so hugely successful that Jon Stewart asks me to come on The Daily Show to talk about my book dream, then it’s all worth it, baby.

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…it could totally happen. >_>

Anyway. At present, much of my non-teaching time is occupied by the business of sending out queries, polishing up my manuscript, and even doing a little work on Book II of Chosen. I’ve also added a bit more to Queer Investigations, a quirky little novel-in-progress that involves lesbians in Chicago solving paranormal mysteries, because that’s a gap in the market, amirite? queer-investigationscast_jan2015_zoe-saldana_keiko-agena_jamie_02

Ooh, MS Paint.

Casting for the aforementioned novel changes practically every day, but at present, my dream cast features Zoe Saldana playing logical, brilliant, and bookishly repressed Miranda, while Keiko Agena  steps into the starring role as sarcastic tea addict Lila Matsumoto.

I’m also working on a Buffy-esque Teen Girl Kicks the Crap Out of Monsters book, set in my hometown of Middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania. As aforementioned hometown is comprised of 90% Christian white people, I’ve challenged myself to the task of putting as much diversity into the cast of the novel as possible. Thus far, I’ve included a rainbow of races, religions, sexualities, and gender identities, and it gives me a strange feeling of satisfaction to populate my xenophobic little hometown with such an amalgamation of all that scares the bejeesus out of its inhabitants. Muwahahahaha. ill_lucy_blehh But in conclusion, I’m writing stuff, YAY.

And now I must go and prepare for the day’s lessons, and perhaps do a little writing or editing or stickin’ it to the man. Farewell for now, friends.