The Wattys are here

After some hours of delay, assumed coding problems, and many thousands of panicked writers around the world…the 2016 Wattys are up and running.

The Wattys are Wattpad’s *huge* annual writing contest, split among many countries, languages, and genres. It’s a fascinating way for me, as an American, to see some of the best of the best of international writing outside the fanfiction and commercial venues I normally frequent!

Bloodshadow for Wattpad

For my part, just to see if anything would happen, I chucked Bloodshadow into the mix. From now until August 31, if you have (or want) a Wattpad account (they’re free), please stop by and give my old trunk-novel a look. It’s well beyond commercially publishable at this point; all that I can do is heavily revise and self-publish it, and I’m planning to do that anyway.

Legacy, by A. G. Carpenter

My fiendishly talented friend and beta-reader AG Carpenter has a new story out in the self-published wilds: Legacy.

A.G. Carpen

Blurb: When a skin-changer looking for passage to Lake Ponchartrain collapses at her feet, Willa Arch finds herself drawn into a conflict between the iron-willed Queen Elsbett of Brittania and Queen of the Dead, Marie Laveau. But survival means coming face to face with Willa’s own deadly legacy of fur and teeth.

Available 07-14-2015 at Kobo (.epub) and Gumroad (.mobi). If you like steampunk and Southern Gothic, try this.

Why did I say ‘no shapeshifters’?

So, a thing happened today. I was clearing some old writing files off a hard drive, and found 2500 words starting a contemporary shapeshifter romance/dark fantasy set in Arizona. From 1993. There’s even a rough outline for the rest of the story. It could be fun, weird, and reasonably original.

I don’t need more story ideas right now.

I barely remember this one from when I first tapped out the words. At that time, I knew I needed more skill to do it justice.

Between the time I started it and now, the glittering resort that inspired it has gone into receivership twice, and changed from a society destination to a watering hole for old Republicans. It’s actually more interesting now, if sadder.

Since then, several publishing genres have erupted around paranormal romances and shapeshifters. I admit to rolling my eyes at many examples. I have even gone so far as to shudder at the thought of joining the trend.

Sure, I have a shifter character in a big secondary-world fantasy novel. And I was already planning a sly, ironic M/M hipster werewolf romance.

But now that I’ve rediscovered this particular story, it won’t let go.

I just have to do a few things to make it work:

Turn it from a contemporary paranormal romance, into a near-future science fiction romance. Turn the female main character into a guy. And listen to more ‘Night Vale’ podcasts and Eagles albums for flavor.

What can I say? I guess ‘Hotel California’ left its mark.