Friday, May 31, 2013

OUT NOW: "KOIBUMI," Book 5 of Ren'Ai Rensai

It's finally out! The final installment of REN'AI RENSAI for at least a year! Everything comes together in this me, that's why it ended up as long as it did. ;)

When Aiko declared her love for Reina twenty years ago, she knew it came with a price. Dreams of motherhood she once set aside, however, come rushing back when she assists her pregnant niece with a shocking secret. Other dreams left dormant surge when an intelligent, attractive man offers her a chance at a “normal” life, complete with a reassessment of her sexuality. If only she could have it all - especially the child!

No one could be less maternal than Reina, and her wife’s conversations about adoption, sperm donors, and other matters do nothing to improve that. Reina is more concerned with the American looking to chronicle her sordid history in the name of academia.

Aiko and Reina have survived a gamut of obstacles determined to keep them apart. Yet nothing scares Reina more than losing her wife to the very things she can’t give her, and nothing torments Aiko more than the emptiness in her life. If these two can’t resolve their separate desires, then not even a heartfelt “koibumi,” or love letter, may keep them together.

“Koibumi.”  takes place from Jul. - Sept., 2013

Amazon - B&N - Kobo

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"KOIBUMI." Cover Reveal!

No blurb yet, but damn, look at the hot cover! ;)

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Difference Between Writing The First Book And The Umpteenth Book

It's no secret that my creative brain works in series. Contained stories? What in the world is that? Over my lifetime I have written a number of fictional series, most you will never see. But one thing always remains the same: the approach, the feeling, and the experience of writing the first book in a series is always much different from writing books later in the series. However, I don't just mean the whole "starting a new series of getting to know all your characters" type of thing. There is a fundamental difference between planning a first book in a series and later books. There is usually a shift in tone and author attitude as well.

I suppose the most relevant example I have for this is my current REN'AI RENSAI series I'm publishing. I'm almost to the one year anniversary of beginning to write "Daisuki.", the first in the series. I remember writing that book (well, novella) well. The scenes were short, poignant, and yes sexy, but also minimized for the reader to digest easily, especially since I'm giving them a culture they may not be too familiar with. I went through great pain wondering if there was any marketability, or if it was even any good. Originally "Daisuki." was meant to be a short (as in less than 12k) story, but became a novella as I realized there was more to say about these characters than I originally thought.

Man, that changed!

I've recently reread parts of that story in paperback, and honestly, it's so bizarre! I wonder if my readers who have read everything in the series has noticed this? I feel like my overall tone and approach to the series has changed. Well, this always happens. Every single series I write is like this. The first book is meticulous, and I go over everything again and again to make sure it's accessible to new readers. I went through something similar with book 2, "Hatsukoi." because it was the first chronologically and I wanted readers to be able to pick up from there too if they wanted to read it like that. Starting with book 3, however, I took a different approach. I no longer took great pains to go over everyone's identity as a refresher or introduction. I figured you weren't reading book 3 unless you had read the previous two. I jumped in with recurring characters and didn't care how many new ones I introduced. (And there were quite a few! Important characters for the rest of the series, no less!) Inside jokes were born and carried over; subplots would carry on from one book to the next. In "Daisuki." I tried to keep things simple and clean - in book 5, coming out at the end of this month, I've gone ~balls out~ nuts with cameos, wrapping up subplots three books old, and some recurring characters only get one scene. I decided I didn't care for this book. This is not a book meant for someone new to the series. This a book for those who have read all the others. See, this is going to be the last RR novel for at LEAST a year. (Sorry fans! You get the spinoffs, though!) I didn't want things left hanging. Picking up the pace, toning down some of the sex in favor of more plot, and if I were George RR Martin I'm sure I'd be killing off half the cast at every other turn. (As it is, I'm just mating them off.) So it was really strange to re-read "Daisuki." The mood and tone are just so different in certain aspects. I could tell that I was writing the first book in a series. Of course I am not disparaging my own work, as I am still very proud of it and what it has accomplished for my career, but as an author it creates a certain dissonance.

Anyone know what I'm talking about, readers and authors alike? I don't mean specifically with my works, but in general. I was thinking of this recently as well as I contemplated re-reading Game of Thrones (the first book.) It's short(er), more compact, and while it has its usual crests and climaxes it also has the air of "this is the first story in a series. You will now be grounded in this world so we can totally GO BUCK WILD starting in book 3!" You can see this same thing in Harry Potter as well.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

FREE ALERT! "Shimoneta." A Ren'Ai Rensai Short

"Shimoneta." is free for the next few days, so grab it while it's hot! (And it is!) Link and blurb below!

Roped into teaching a "Lesbian Talk" seminar for the local lesbian populace, Reina is convinced it's going to bomb - even though she is the most talented, experienced, and sexiest woman possible to do the job. Just as she's getting used to the idea, however, her worst nightmare arrives: her wife, Aiko, coming to taunt her with everything she keeps beneath her clothing. Will Reina's seminar head south as she cracks under the sexual pressure, or will this master of "shimoneta," or "dirty talk," end up giving the greatest demonstration of her short career? Whatever happens, Aiko volunteers to help.

"SHIMONETA." takes place on May 18th, 2013.

Download for free here!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Weekly Writing Check-In: Kitty Come Home, Because My Worry Is Keeping Me From Working

Good News This Week: I finished book 5 as planned, and have most off it pre-edited before shipping it off to my editor. Yeah, that's pretty much the only good news this week. Because...

Bad News This Week: My cat (pictured) has been missing since last Saturday. All my worry over her has taken up my creative energy and made it near impossible to work at times. Sigh. Flyers go up tomorrow. (I still have to make them.) Come on cat, get your furry ass home already. Unless one of the nice ladies who power walks every morning decided you were a stray. Then first I need you to bust out of there and get your furry ass home OKAY. I am too optimistic for my own good.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Putting the L in LGBT Music: Rainie Yang

When it comes to lesbian music in Asia, China and its territories such as Taiwan and Hong Kong seem to be the greatest places to find it. At the very least, C-pop artists are more open about lesbian themes than their K-pop and J-pop counterparts. Why this is, I can only speculate, and would be taking us completely off track! (ba dum tsch.)

One of C-pop's greatest darlings out of Taiwan is the dual singer and actress Rainie Yang. While she is not "out" as anyone but herself, Rainie has starred in a fair share of lesbian themed movies (such as the critically acclaimed "Spider Lillies" - which I will review soon) and written music for correlating projects. Her latest album, "Wishing For Happiness," features a music video and mini-drama of the same name. In the drama (which is about a half hour long) Rainie is proposed to by her current boyfriend, but it's quickly revealed that she used to have a girlfriend - well, more than one! It's a short drama so the plot is rather glossed over, but the acting is great and the candidness with which the lesbian relationships are treated with is refreshing in a world hung up on gay angst and traumatic endings. For a quick, hopeful pick-me-up, I recommend Rainie Yang's "Wishing For Happiness" mini-drama. The song is fantastic as well.

Below is the music video, which highlights the drama.

And below is Part 1 of the full drama, with English subtitles. Parts 2 and 3 can be found on Dailymotion.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Weekly Writing Check-In: Come Visit Me, Here In My Writing Hole

I'm perfectly aware that I am terrible blogger. Especially now that my life is consumed with work. It's not that I don't have any ideas to blog about, it's, you know, time. Time I don't have right now because OMG you guys, I am so behind my deadline. I was supposed to have Book 5 of RR done by the end of April, aaaaand and extra 10k later I'm sitting here pulling my head out and looking at an all night to possibly finish this damn draft. Possible. I say possibly because if I'm not to the last scene by the time I usually go to bed, I'm not bothering. Can't write when I'm half asleep. Or at least, I can't write anything worth reading.

Wish me luck, y'all. Another novel got away from me and now I'm crying over my keyboard because my fingers are bleeding.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

GoFundMe Update

Hello everyone! Sorry for the delay in an update! I was on vacation from mid-April and then returned with a mild flu. But I'm back now, and want to thank everyone who has donated so far, while also addressing one concern.

It's fairly obvious that I will probably not be able to go to Japan in October. But that's okay! Since GoFundMe is open-ended, it doesn't matter when I get to go! I will probably not going in the middle of winter, however. If not October, then I will probably go in early spring. About a year away, but it's doable!

Thank you again to everyone who has donated and signal boosted this project! I really appreciate it. I look forward to making this a reality in the coming year!

You can see the full project here!