Writers Be Like…

Friends who don’t read: I don’t understand. Why would people hate you because of your writing? Friends who do read: I FUCKING HATE YOU. YOU’RE A MONSTER. WHEN IS THE NEXT BOOK COMING OUT? Friends who write: Recently I started getting death threats for my latest novel. I’ve reached the big time. I have become one of the […]

Asexuality Informational/Venting Post

After writing Marjorie Diaz, my second book, I’ve run into a lot of issues with Marjorie Diaz being ace. Here are some things I’ve learned and had people say to me post-publication:

1. Nobody knows what “ace” is.

If you use the term “ace” a lot of people are like “wtf is that??” In fact, most people (INCLUDING people in the LGBT space) don’t even know what “asexuality” is. Even in California where I live, in the gayest city in the United States, I’ve had to explain that shit so much. 

2. People don’t think asexuality is real

Once I explain what ace or asexual is to people, they usually try to tell me it “isn’t real”. Like, what? Yes, it is. It is very, very real and It is 100% okay not to like sex! 

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3. People were mad I didn’t have sex in my book

I’ve had a few people get PISSED at me for not having sex in Marjorie

Like. WHEN WAS I GONNA WRITE A SEX SCENE? I literally mention in CHAPTER 1 that Marjorie is ACE (I say asexual because in my focus groups 95% of people didn’t know what “ace” was). 

There was nowhere for me to put a sex scene. A few people suggested I write a scene with Marjorie’s roommate having sex instead, but the great thing about that is the whole book is from Marjorie’s perspective. 

It’s like, you write one sex scene in a fluffy novel about nymphs and everyone believes you can write ace characters. 

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4. “I don’t believe your character is actually ace”

Like 3, this one is really Marjorie centric. 

I’ve had several people tell me to my face while reading my book that they “don’t believe Marjorie is actually ace” and oh my God I can’t even begin to tell you how much this pisses me off. 

YES. MARJORIE IS ACTUALLY ACE! 100%. SHE IS L I T E R A L L Y ASEXUAL. There is no sex or even really kissing in the book because of this. While Marjorie doesn’t mind kissing, she and Patrick never get around to that part of the relationship.

There’s a reason in book 2, but it hasn’t been revealed yet. 

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5. Ace people can’t be romantic

This is literally not even true and idk where people are getting this. Ace and Aro are two different things. Though I do think some people include Aro on the ace spectrum, the two are not mutually exclusive. 

In fact, in Marjorie Diaz, a lot of the book is about the romance between Marjorie and her chosen love interest, Patrick. There’s no kissing on the lips, but there are kisses on the cheeks, cuddling, hand-holding, etc. There’s so much fluff it’ll rot your teeth.

Yet I was still railed for not having enough romance. There are different ways of being romantic outside of sex and making out. 

I mean there’s literally a part where Patrick carries Marjorie to the subway because she has a migraine. I’m sorry you straights don’t experience cute fluff like that.

Happy New Year!

Stayed single almost the whole year?

Haven’t been single since 2008.

Were involved In something you’ll never forget?
Dude yeah.

Tripped over a coffee table?
Lol yes.

Dyed your hair?
Yes.

Came close to losing your life?
Don’t THINK so?

Saw one of your favorite bands/artists live?
Nnnah.

2018: FRIENDS & ENEMIES…

Did you meet any new friends this year?
Yeah, tons.

Did you hate anyone?
Yes.

Do you have any regrets when it comes to your friendships?
NYes

Did you miss any friends?
Yes

2018: YOUR BIRTHDAY…

Did you have a cake?
Nope, pie.

Did you have a party?
Yes

Did you get any presents?
Yes

2018: ALL ABOUT YOU…

Did you change at all this year?
Yes!

Were you in school?
No 🙂

Did you own a car?
Yes.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes!  Everyone is always having babies in my family, it seems.  My brother had his third kid.  

Did you go on any vacations?
SO MANY!!!! It’s like NONSTOP.

2018: WRAP UP…

Was 2018 a good year?
UHHHHHHH??? It was hard.

Do you think 2019 will top 2018?
No idea, m8.

Do you think 2017 will top 2016?
I don’t…remember??

IN THE YEAR 2018 I CONFESS THAT I…

Kissed in the snow?
Naawww

Done something you’ve regretted?
Yeaaa…

Painted a picture?
Lol sure.

Wrote a poem?
Yes.

Ran a mile?
No

Visited a foreign country?
No

Cut in a line of waiting people?
Maybe at BART?

IN 2018 I…

Broke a promise?
No.

Lied?
Yes.

Disappointed someone close?
I’ve always been a disappointment to my parents!

Had a secret?
Yes.

Pretended to be happy?
Yes.

Slept under the stars?
No…

Kept your new year’s resolution?
I don’t make those.

Forgot your new year’s resolution?
Don’t make them.

Met someone who changed your life?
Yes.

Changed your outlook on life?
Yeah.

Sat home all day doing nothing?
Yeah, for a little while, I think.

Learned something new about yourself?
Yup.

Met great people?
YEAH!

Kissed someone that means a lot to you?
Yes.

Stayed up till sunrise?
Plenty of long nights.

Cried over the silliest thing?
Yes.

Had friends who were drifting away from you?
Always.  It’s part of growing up.

Had a high cell phone bill?
Nah.

Spent most of your money on food?
Yeaaah.

Had a fist fight?
Nah.

Gotten sick?
Yeah.

Liked more than 5 people at the same time?
*shrugs*

Became closer with a lot of people?
Nah.

Song that reminds you of summer 2018?
High Hopes – Panic! At the Disco

Lost any friends this year?
I’d actually say they lost me.

When people say, “Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever talked shit about anyone” do you think it’s possible?
No.

How do you feel about gay marriage?
It’s gr8.

Give me a random lyric from the song you’re listening to:
Not listening to anything.

Do you think you’re approachable?
Unfortunately yes.

Do you make sexual innuendos about everything?
Ha.

Does talking about sex make you uncomfortable?
Nope!

Who is the last person you texted?
My mom?

Song playing right now?
The fan hitting the blinds and pissing me off?

Top 10 Books I Read in 2018

These are in no particular order, haha. Just 10 books I read this year that I really, REALLY liked. (LGBT Titles are marked because y’all know I’m tryinna sell those the most).

Love From the Barricade by Ashley Jean Granillo

This book was incredible. It took me a few chapters to really get into it, but once I was there I couldn’t put it down. I’ve become very close with Ashley Jean after purchasing and reading Love From the Barricade and I am excited to say she has more in store for next year!

Genre: Romance, Slice of Life

Bravo. This book made me laugh, cry, and just THINK about the kind of life I’ve lead. There are so many quotable moments from this book like Aijae’s words have stuck with me. She’s an incredible character and I’m so glad I’ve had the privilege of knowing her. 

from my official review of Love From the Barricade

The Last Fire Mage by C.M. Lanning

**This title is not available for purchase ATM. I beta’d the release for Lanning prior to it being under contract. It is now under contract with (currently unknown) and will be available in 2020**

Genre: Paranormal, Urban fantasy

Lanning is an excellent storyteller, his writing style, while sometimes a bit crude provides a no-holds-barred look into the lives of Fay and Connor Rosa after the disappearance of their mother. 

from my official review of The Last Fire Mage

Lovely, Dark, & Deep by Justina Chen

This one came as a surprise to me. However, considering I met the author and the woman the book is based on at a panel in Pleasanton, CA I basically fell in love with this book immediately. Justina Chen is a treasure.

Genre: Slice of Life, YA

The way Viola fought her illness, in the beginning, was so real for me. How she didn’t want her life to change, but it just kept changing. It kept getting worse until she fell into letting other people choose things for her, something she was deathly afraid of when her story started.

from my official review of Lovely, Dark, and Deep

Impostors by Scott Westerfeld

Anyone who knows me is not surprised to see this book make my list. Considering I have read everything this man has ever written and he’s the reason I became an author in the first place.

Genre: Science Fiction, YA

On page one, I was apprehensive. Then I realized, without even noticing I’d somehow read 50 pages. Then another 50. And another 50 until it was suddenly 5am and I forgot to sleep. 

I was so interested in Rafi and Frey and their story and their sisterhood that I literally forgot to sleep. I’m a grown adult. I have a JOB. I had family in town from 3,000 miles away. But I literally couldn’t put this book down. 

from my official review of Impostors

Deadline by Stephanie Ahn

THIS IS AN LGBT F/F TITLE. One of my absolute favorites, tbh. Stephanie Ahn is an Urban Fantasy genius. She’s incredible and a force to be reckoned with. It takes a lot for me to be reduced to a rabid fangirl after one read, but Ahn really does it for me.

Genre: Urban fantasy, Paranormal

This book is so impossibly good. I love Harry and Luce and Miri and AUGH THIS IS SO GOOD. I’m so glad I found this. I’m so sorry I’m not being super eloquent but oh my god this book was so exciting. I loved the demons and everything. I just have so many feelings about how great this book is. Thank you for writing it.

my official review of Deadline

A Closed and Common Orbit Becky Chambers

THIS IS AN LGBT TRANS/GENDER QUEER TITLE. Oh man, this one took me by surprise. I loved the first book in the series, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. It was an incredible LGBT Read with an f/f and poly romance.

The second one continues with the LGBT representation. It is a truly incredible book.

Genre: Science fiction, slice of life

I absolutely adored the first book in this series and the second was also incredible. The story it tells about Lovey’s journey to accept herself and what it was like for Pepper to grow up as a discarded clone was heartbreaking and incredible. 

from my review of A Closed and Common Orbit

Soul Echo: Discovery by Lisa Stapleton

Lisa Stapleton is an incredible author and one of my best friends. Soul Echo: Discovery is a FANTASTIC read. It even features LGBT elements, but I wouldn’t call it a full-blown LGBT novel.

Genre: Science fiction, romance

I just wanted to sing my praises for Bonnie and Camilla. Even though I didn’t really like Camilla that much, or well, I should say I couldn’t relate to her.

However, I feel like Bonnie and Cam could DEF relate to each other. And I ship them now.

from my official review of Soul Echo: Discovery

A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo

THIS IS AN LGBT F/F TITLE! It wouldn’t be a top 10 list from me without Malinda Lo on it. Other than Scott Westerfeld, she has to be my favorite traditionally published author. And she is definitely my favorite traditional LGBT author.

Genre: Thriller, YA

Malinda Lo does an excellent job of capturing what its like to be a creative teen. She is also incredible at writing thrillers. Every step of the way, her story has dark and unexpected twists and turns. I would definitely recommend this book! And I have. I absolutely love all of Lo’s work. She’s an incredible LGBT writer.

My official review of A Line in the Dark

Wonders of the Invisible World by Christopher Barzak

THIS IS AN LGBT M/M TITLE! I suggest this book to any of my friends who even slightly like m/m as well as great Urban Fantasy. A really great read, truly.

Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

This is absolutely one of the best books I’ve read this year. I recommend it to every single person I know who even vaguely likes M/M. This was actually a huge inspiration for my Marjorie Diaz series and holy cow this book is incredible.

The prose and characterization are insanely good. The story kept me guessing and kept me entertained from the beginning to the end. Incredible novel. Truely incredible.

My official review of Wonders of the Invisible World

Axiom: The Last Hope by Rachel Marie Pearcy

THIS IS AN LGBT F/F TITLE. Tbh this is how I want all of my science fiction books to be from now on. This book was fantastic.

Genre: Science fiction, Romance

It’s been awhile since I read a story so compelling I didn’t want to put it down.

Pearcy creates a dystopian world full of fear. A world where biological warfare and a war-ravaged Earth forced everyone to flee to the moon under a tyrannical regime.

from my review of Axiom: The Last Hope