No updates or releases? Why?

Even a quick look will show that everything writing-related has come to a halt: no blog posts, no new novel releases, no new chapters in the serial Moonblood. No signs of life for several months now. I know if I came across that, I’d assume that the writer had given up or moved on to something else.

That isn’t the case. I’m still around, still writing (or trying to!), and still have every intention of releasing more novels, more blog posts, and wrapping up neatly with Moonblood.

Recent months have swamped my household with human health issues, feline health issues, housing issues, and a variety of other complications that have had to take higher priority as far as my time and energy. (That includes several unexpected days in the hospital myself, plus recovery time.)

Despite that, the final draft of Lamia is underway (although I haven’t come up with a plan for a cover yet). I’m rather looking forward to doing the final revisions on Shaman and releasing it, even though I admit to being a bit apprehensive about reception of a novel with a trans main character written by a cis author. The next installment of Moonblood is sitting on my netbook, waiting for me to have the concentration to work out a tangle in the thread so I can get on with it. I wrote a piece on gender and pronouns for an online magazine I was briefly associated with, and plan to revise it and post it here. Faerie Tale‘s first draft is about 75% complete, and still looking very promising (if a bit unusual). I have several other novels begun, in varying stages.

In other words, nothing has been abandoned, just put on hold, and I very much hope that the series of crises resolves very soon so I can pick up where I left off. Tentatively, life should begin to quiet down in early March. I’m not optimistic about it happening before that, however.

I was somewhat surprised to drop by Smashwords and discover that, while I’ve been distracted, there has been a slow but steady trickle of sales. I freely admit that I am very bad at self-promotion and networking. I think I’ve mentioned elsewhere before that being disabled, I have to choose where to put my finite personal resources (how to spend my spoons, to use a recent Internet analogy) and if I have to choose between creating or promoting, creating will win. I can only hope that my work speaks for itself. That said, my attempt at honesty about the origins of Renegade seem to have backfired, since very few copies of it have sold compared to Yin-Yang and Black Wolf, even taking the time since release into consideration. That does make me somewhat sad, since I think it’s an excellent story on its own. Maybe that will change at some point.

But I digress. Those of you who have enjoyed my work enough to download it or read it on Prysmcat Books directly, and the very few who have left ratings or reviews or let me know privately what you think – thank you, and please bear with me. There’s plenty more of my own slightly odd fantasy coming, I promise!

Novel Release: Renegade

renegade-ebook-200It took a while, and there were several distractions, but Renegade is now officially available!

It’s as close to a heterosexual romance as you’ll ever see from me, which really is not all that close. I am, however, extremely fond of this novel, in many ways more so than the more “serious” ones. Kisea has a lot to say about fear and its consequences. And there’s a reason why the dedication says:

For everyone who has ever been certain that the world has no place in it for them,
and those who help to create a place.

Currently, however, it’s available only on my own site.

Why? Because the attempt to upload it to Smashwords proved, yet again, to be a massive exercise in thump-head-on-desk frustration. A novel is uploaded as a doc file, and the automatic system called the Meatgrinder spits it out in various file formats, like epub and mobi and pdf. Well… following instructions meticulously and to the letter does not necessarily mean that you get the result you want. Worse, the attempt to diagnose what in a doc file is causing undesirable results in the epub and so on is just about impossible. Honestly, I wouldn’t bother downloading, even for free, anything that looks as unprofessional as what comes out, and that includes my two previous releases. I am trying to decide whether it’s actually worth it, essentially just for the distribution, and at the moment, I’m leaning in the direction of, “No, it isn’t.” I know enough HTML and CSS that it’s actually easier to create the epub myself and convert that to mobi than to spend hours, if not days, in a battle with the Meatgrinder. In theory, I could then upload the epub to Smashwords, since that’s the only other format they allow uploads in, but then I’ll still have to give them a doc version to convert into the other formats, and I’m back at square one.

So, right now, Renegade is available in nice clean pretty pdf, in two sizes, on my writing site, and I’ll be adding epub and mobi formats as quickly as I can. Budget allowing, I’ll look into a print-on-demand version of Renegade when I do Black Wolf‘s, which I hope will be soon. I may also start looking into other options. For the record, Amazon is not a possibility, since I have personal objections to it that I won’t bother getting into.

Until then, I hope you’re forgiving enough to put up with pdf or home-made epub and mobi, for the sake of a story that surprised me when I wrote it!

Looking for test readers! (Shaman)


I expect to have “Shaman” ready for my victims, er, beta readers, by Monday – I’m just finishing up one last scene that I realized needs to be in there. If you’re interested, and if I have some idea who you are (I don’t know who reads this blog, but for test readers, sorry, I prefer to send my unpublished work to people I know), email me or use the contact form or reply here in the comments so I know and I can send you links to the files when I get it done. (I generally do pdf, but will do others.)

You can find a more detailed description on the Shaman page, but here are the key points. It takes place in another world. The main character, Vixen, is a transgender shaman and healer. Her best friend Dayr is a shapeshifting puma. They go on a journey to save a man who was important to Vixen before she effectively died as a man and found a new life as a woman.

** Above all, please note the trigger warning at the end of the description! **

I’m hoping to have this officially released late this year, so… is September first a reasonable goal for finishing? I can be flexible if something comes up and delays you or if that’s too fast, but I find that having a target date helps a lot. :-)

My usual speech to test readers:

I don’t have specific questions. My various readers have varied skills and notice different things. This should be pretty clean, so if you notice ytpos or horrendous grammar (keep in mind that there are times when my grammar gets a bit idiosyncratic for the sake of effect), feel free to tell me! Any inconsistencies in the content, anything that strikes you as implausible, anything that you don’t feel was explained properly, anything you feel just doesn’t work… pretty much whatever your personal thoughts are while you’re reading it. Let me get inside your head and see how it looks to someone who hasn’t been living, part-time for a very extended period, within this world! Anything you think does particularly work for you is also useful, not because I’m fishing for compliments (but hey, can’t deny it feels good to know it’s enjoyed), but because it gives me information to use in the future.

Given how valuable test readers are, I wish I had a useful way to say thank you beyond… thank you. Between the household budget being tight and the fact that I’m releasing these priced very low (I can sympathize with those who have little money to spend!), I can’t do appreciation gifts beyond free copies via Smashwords or email in your format of choice. If I can find a way at some point in the future, I’ll be sure to do so, I promise. I’ll also include a thank-you page, as usual, so make sure you tell me how you want your name to appear (if at all).

Upcoming Projects

This is going to be a busy year for releases. I just took a look at the current list of projects that are finished or in sufficiently late stages that I can be reasonably sure they will be soon.

This is a highly tentative schedule. I haven’t yet decided whether to space them out at every second month or every third – chronic depression makes me wary of how long I can continue this kind of pace, and I’d like to have them spaced out. On the other hand, the satisfaction of actually releasing something once it’s finished is a wonderful feeling that gives me a motivation boost to keep polishing stories into novels (a lot more work than just scribbling bits and pieces for my own amusement!), and it’s frustrating when something is finished but I haven’t been able to share it yet. So, we’ll see! Titles are linked to their respective pages on this site.

Renegade: I’m planning to have this one officially released before the end of April (Edit to add: due to circumstances, this didn’t make the release date, but it will be out as soon as possible.)


Moonblood: possibly, I’ll put together a compilation of the first six adventures from the serial, and a second volume of the next couple; whether I’ll do this or not, since I’m not 100% happy with it as-is, I haven’t decided yet – but if I do, I will probably wiggle it in between two other releases

Shaman (probably, pending reactions of test readers, who as of mid-May have it to read)

Faerie Tale (working title, and again, probably, pending reactions)

Future projects include: at least one sequel to Renegade, one possible sequel each to Black Wolf and Lamia, and depending on whether the audience for Moonblood increases enough to make it feel worthwhile, I’m considering either or both of two that I think would work better as serials. I have a list of other ideas, including a couple that I think have a lot of potential, and new ones wander in and set up camp at random. I’ll keep you posted. :-)

Novels and Serials

Two posts in one, more or less!

Black Wolf, the novel

Wow, I can’t believe I didn’t do a post here when Black Wolf was officially released on Smashwords!!! Of course, I spent a large part of that day re-uploading it, trying to make the inexplicably cranky formatting  behave itself, and I desperately hope that it’s now doing so for readers. I have to admit to walking away that evening not wanting to think about it any more for a day or two. So, belatedly:

Black Wolf is officially released, as of Hallowe’en!!! For info on how to get a copy for yourself, drop by here:

Now Yin-Yang isn’t sitting out there all by itself! And there’ll be a third sibling for them this spring, if all goes as planned – an other-world fantasy, rather than another urban one.

Moonblood, the serial

Now, finishing a novel leaves a hole, a space that’s full only of potential: what shall I work on next? The fastest way I know to sabotage myself is to choose based on what I can complete the most quickly, because I’ll lose interest in it rapidly. However, there are a few projects that were previously released here and have been removed for revision before official publication, and they do have some claim on being near the top of the list. With Lamia still in limbo (I seem to find more that I’m unhappy with every time I open the file, even though I adore the characters and it has several of my favourite scenes I’ve ever written), that pretty much leaves Moonblood.

Moonblood‘s a bit of an odd one, though. It’s not really a novel. It’s a set of characters having adventures in another world, each of which is largely complete in itself, though the first few do have an overall loose arc. Some of those adventures are fairly substantial at 20k+ words. Some are much shorter. It was intended to be open-ended, potentially able to go on indefinitely, swapping through the characters that part ways, have separate adventures, and recombine in varying combinations as time (quite a lot of time) passes. I have considered turning the part that encompasses the arc into a collection, in ebook and print-on-demand forms, and I still probably will. But… between now and then, I think I’m going to try something different.

Moonblood is going to be released in serial form, on a blog sister to this one. Continue reading