It’s been quite a busy end of the year, and I realize my blogging has dropped off sharply. I apologize for being less than reliable with my updates, and hope you understand that it’s 100% due to my book launch, subsequent marketing push and headlong drive into writing the sequel, and not that I love blogging, or you, any less.
This year has obviously been a Pretty Big Deal in the timeline of my life. I turned 30. I became unemployed. And, oh yeah, I may have published my first book.
In May, I went to WisCon, the feminist speculative fiction conference, for the first time. Through conversations with some of the successful authors there about what they’d do differently, I solidified my choice to self-publish Lunatic Fringe. I later turned my reasons for self-publishing into a manifesto available for free download on my site.
I finished my book in June of this year, after receiving a long awaited rejection from the only publisher I was courting. Knowing that my preference was to self-publish I hopped right into recording the daily process of getting Lunatic Fringe to print with 90 Days of Self Publishing. I hired an editor, a graphic designer, and spent the whole summer getting my book in tip-top shape.
In August, I had the great privilege of attending the Lambda Literary Emerging LGBT Writers’ Retreat as a fellow. The experience proved to be more profound in retrospect than in the moment. Writing tends to be a rather isolating experience. And, seeing that I am very much “emerging,” I haven’t done much work to carve myself a writers community. I have ambitions to improve upon this situation, but in the meantime, I toil away alone, seeking feedback only in small spurts, when I’m sure I’m ready for it. While this isn’t necessarily a bad way of going about things, it does leave me wanting. The Lambda Retreat showed me an alternative that I could create for myself. I was in insta-community with 30 extraordinarily kind and creative queer writers. We geeked out by sharing our writing, even nascent works, with one another, which should have been terrifying, but was exhilarating and lovely. I emerged with new self-confidence in my writing and a desire to craft an active community of writers.
Soon after, in September, I launched Lunatic Fringe. It was terrifying, but as with many things in my life, I ran so fast with it, I didn’t have time to psych myself out. I threw myself a party at the fabulous El Rio in San Francisco and was supported by the always amazing Jiz Lee, kd diamond, Julia O. Test, and many many wonderful friends and family.
I took a much needed vacation to celebrate my 30th birthday with my honey, and returned to find I had been laid off from my day job. Panic ensues.
Immediately after getting back from vacation, I hit the ground running, reading from Lunatic Fringe at Fleur De Lis’ sexy circus, LitCrawl, and doing radio interviews and blog interviews all over the place.
I launched Self Publishing 101, a class for folks interested in creating their own self-published book.
In October, I launched my mini-tour with a trip to New York City. Along with Salacious Magazine’s illustrious editor, kd diamond, I read at Bluestockings Bookstore, New York’s fabulous feminist bookstore/community center. I also swung by Barnes & Noble in Union Square to see Lunatic Fringe featured at the top of the escalator. Amazing!
From New York, I headed to San Diego for World Fantasy Con. I got to meet Neil Gaiman and my inner geek girl squeed with delight as he took my picture with his cellphone. I also met the sexy and smart folks from Nightshade Books, ChiZine Press, and Eraserhead Press.
Also in San Diego, I read at Mysterious Galaxy bookstore, a great and friendly place for all things speculative fiction. Then I hopped up to LA to read at Craftnight. I completed the tour at Writers With Drinks at the MakeOut Room in San Francisco.
I taught Self-Publishing 101 at Center for Sex and Culture and then hopped on a plane to Mexico to support my partner as he underwent some dental work and spend some time with the awesome Buck Angel and Elayne Angel.
Which brings us up to date. I’m sitting in my parent’s home, trying to ignore the football on the television and trying to do more drinking than working. So far, I’m doing alright.
After Christmas, I’ll be dropping the price of the Lunatic Fringe ebook until New Year’s Day AND roadtripping cross country on my way back to the Bay Area. Then in the Spring, I’ll be hitting the road on a full scale book tour. If you’re a college student or bookseller who’d like to bring me to your town, hit me up!
As an indie author, I rely on individual readers and fans, so THANK YOU for your financial and emotional support this year! I love this path, but it’s not an easy one, and your support means more than you can know.