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Tag Archives: writing

08.09.2014

Unknown Waters

Posted in Releases

If you’ve followed my writing for a while, you know I write pretty much “everything”. I think all my stories can be described as contemporary, but the sub-genres and themes wary a lot. There’s BDSM, there’s vampires, cowboys, mystery/thriller, HIV, alcoholism, porn stars, shifters, and now, with the release of my little short story in the Bedtime Stories anthology on the way, a ghost story as well.

Lately, after getting back to writing, I’ve tried a few new things. I’ve written a little bit of a futuristic kind of story, some YA futuristic semi-dystopian, and finally, some M/M fantasy. These are all new genres to me. I’ve always been super intimidated by creating worlds. Mainly because I used to read a lot of fantasy growing up and those were always so… epic.

So I guess my thought process was “I can’t do that” and maybe I still can’t, who knows. But I’m trying. Right now the story I’m mainly trying to work on is a fantasy about a healer who has chosen a solitary life and uses both natural remedies and some magic in his trade. He literally gets hit by someone, a small someone. Who might be cursed as punishment for something he did while bored, young, and foolish….

It’s a fun story so far and I enjoy writing it, even if I’m breaking all the rules with it. I mean I haven’t written a cohesive world building thing for it, and I’m adding things as I go. I don’t stop to think if my world SHOULD have this thing or that, I’m just adding it and going “it’s my world, dammit!” I think that’s what makes it so much fun. With fantasy you don’t have to think of the realities too much, even though as a mainly contemporary writer I tend to still try to hold onto a certain amount of realism….

I don’t know if and when any of the stories I’ve mentioned here might be finished, let alone published. But I do know that Bedtime Stories is out soon and you might want to check it out as a whole. It really has “something for everyone” and the stories are all lovely. You might just find new authors to add to your TBR pile, who knows!

My story, Flickers, is about Ben who realizes he’s haunted by a gay ghost (well it keeps staring at his butt when he sleeps in the nude, duh!) and has to figure out how to communicate with it to get rid of it or at least to make it happy. That leads him to a gay artist and possibly, love.

 

08.02.2014

What's Up?

Posted in Releases

That’s the question. Well, first of all, as many of you who might read this know, I suffer from depression that is always there. Depending on a number of things, sometimes extremely random ones, I can do pretty well for a time, then pretty damn unwell the next instant.

None of this is new to me. I’ve suffered from anything from “mild” to “not-quite-suicidal” depression for most of my adult life. That’s more than a decade now. There was a time, around 2006-2010 when I felt much better and at times considered myself depression free. I’m not sure if I was, if I’m completely honest, but I was better. That’s the keyword here. With how my mental health is, “better” is a thing to aspire to be. “Healed” or “depression free”… No, I don’t much believe in those.

All that said, the last year has been pretty rough on me. The last six months even more so. There have been times when I’ve been seriously scared of my condition and how it has ups and downs and random spin-arounds. But hey, I’m still here!

For me personally—and I assume this might go for lot of writers/creative people with depression—my mental health is very connected to my creative outlet. Writing, for me, is always the thing that makes me feel better. Worthy. Even good. But when I’m depressed, the joy of writing is sucked out and my creativity dwindles, and I feel more depressed because I’m not writing, and then I can’t write because I feel like crap…. Endless cycle. Endless.

This summer I had my medication adjusted. New things and old things are being tried out, to see if something would help. To add to my condition, I have (somewhat mild) ADHD. And issues with falling asleep. Both of those mean additional medication. For me, no depression medication has ever really helped long term. None. And I have tried probably over a dozen different ones over the years. This time we went back to basics and back to serotonin which is pretty much as basic as you can get. It’s never worked before.

This time, it seems to be working. A little. How do I know this? I have ideas. I’m writing a little bit. I feel creative bursts that were missing for months and months. I have stories fading in and out of my mind like I had last year when things were better.

So I’m writing. It might take time, but dear deity I’m writing. When my favorite season, autumn, arrives soon, I expect to feel much better anyway. I’m one of those weird people who get worse in springtime and better in the fall, instead the more usual other way around. Light, for me, is worse than darkness.

All that said, the Fifty Questions with Tia thing is on hold until I find a personal assistant who works for free books and virtual hugs and cookies OR when I feel “better enough” to do it more regularly again. It seems silly to post those sporadically when it’s a series.

For a lot of this year I was pretty sure I wouldn’t have anything but Mirage out. All year. But then I wrote Solitude with Anna Martin, and I wrote a little short story for an anthology over at Wilde City, and so there are two things that are out soon. There’s also the little freebie I wrote for the M/M Romance group’s event on Goodreads. There are stories out, just not so many. I’m trying to tell myself I haven’t failed and that I won’t. That I might just be getting better again. But we’ll see. Time will tell.

You can find Solitude here and the Bedtime Stories anthology here. I hope you enjoy them both.

04.14.2014

The Truth and a Lot of Ot…

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Whenever someone comments on a book I’ve written or read, and comments on how this or that didn’t meet their expectations, I wonder whether they realize the books are rarely written for any single reader in mind. They might be written for the more general idea of “readers,” but most often—at least I hope so—they’re written for the author, because the stories just need to get out.

I’ve often gotten comments about writing females that are either “surprisingly nice” or “total bitches.” I’ve also had people say there was a male character who was a total shit in the story, and other comments that say another male character was really well written and surprisingly nice.

I have no clue why any of that should be surprising. Why? Because while I write fiction, I try to keep it realistic to a point. In real life, ALL WOMEN AREN’T BITCHES and ALL MEN ARE NOT ASSHOLES. Yes, there are both in this world, everyone knows someone like that, but those can’t be the only kind of people we write. Not even when that bitch you still hate like nobody else wants to end up as a character in your book.

People have different views and different experiences in life. Everyone looks at what they read or watch or even write from their own, more or less narrow view. Sometimes something an author has written in a book upsets or even insults them. Like my dear friend Anna Martin says, in that case the only thing for the author to do is to say “I’m sorry.”

I’d add that the next thing is to move on and hope the reader can deal, because while authors have to take responsibility over what they write, we don’t always get to choose what we write. The muses don’t work that way. But a reader ALWAYS has the choice of what to read. They have the choice of not picking up another book of an author whose work upset or insulted them, ever again. Or even if they just plain disliked someone’s book.

Another thing that recently came up for me personally was a review I happened to see. It was something I’d seen before, and it went a little bit like this: “I had the same problem with this book I have had with other books by Tia Fielding before.” I won’t even mention what the problem was, specifically. I don’t have to, to make my point. This boils down to the previous paragraph in my ramble: a reader never HAS TO read another book by author they don’t like or they had been disappointed with.

If I didn’t like, say Nutella, but kept trying it over and over again and telling people left and right now I STILL don’t like Nutella, wouldn’t they think I’m nuts? (Pun not intended.) Seriously? There’s a quote of unclear origins that fits this example to a T.

Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.

In the case of a reader leaving low rating reviews over and over again (and a handful of other readers doing the same thing) it might actually lead to drops in average ratings and then low sales for an author who only wrote what their muse and his/her wicked plot bunnies dictated them to.

I also bumped into this thing today: coming out or not coming out in books (or in real life). Now there are readers and authors alike who might try to take the high road on their high horse and claim that it’s wrong for a character in a book to NOT come out. Like choosing to be closeted might be a Bad Thing.

I firmly believe in choice and responsibility, and I believe in them in that exact order. Would I write a story about someone who from the beginning to the end of the book abuses a spouse with clear conscience and makes it into a good thing? No, because that’s plain wrong in all sort of ways I also find WRONG outside my writing. I wouldn’t go against my own beliefs in my writing and show it in a good light. That’s my artist’s integrity speaking, and my integrity as a person.

Coming out is different. There is no right answer to whether someone should come out or not, and this goes with both fiction and real life. Whenever someone screams that this or that celebrity should just come out already to support the GLBTQ community, I look at them blankly. Yes, I think it would benefit the community, but you do not make those decisions for someone else.

Coming out, whether you’ve had to do it or not yourself, whether you had positive or negative results yourself, is yours only when YOU are the one coming out in YOUR personal life.

You, whoever you are, do NOT own the coming out process of someone else, real or fictional. I can’t stress this enough, really. As someone who has had to come out in real life, the thought of someone dictating another person’s truth is just insane to me.

Everything about coming out is about truth. You might see not coming out as lying, and frankly I don’t give a shit if you do or if you think it’s detrimental to the GLBTQ community, because it’s someone else’s truth, and sometimes it’s better to lie to protect yourself or those around you. The reasons are as many as there are people in the closet or out in the open. But they’re not your reasons.

Okay, today’s rant is done. Finally. I hope you’re having a nice time-of-the-year wherever you are, and please do stay tuned to my blog, because I have a fun little thing (weird author interviews is the most accurate way to describe it all) coming up in the near future in weekly posts.

 

 

 

07.08.2013

Cover reveal, sisu, and g…

Posted in Uncategorized

But not in that order.

Lately I’ve been thinking about readers as a whole, how I read, and what I think about all that as an author. First of all I honestly think that authors can’t necessarily expect a whole lot “understanding” from readers who don’t write.

Writing a story from beginning to end, especially when you also want to get it published, is different than anything you’ve probably ever done. Once you’ve gotten through all that and taken the reactions and reviews and ratings and feedback, you’re changed forever.

You’ll read differently too. You try to understand a book, the author, everything, much more. You’re less likely to jump into conclusions, to be harsh about another person’s work, and especially how you portray your opinions to other readers.

So the generalizations? In general, readers don’t see books like authors do. They think we write vampires because of Twilight and BDSM because 50 Shades of Shpoop. That’s not true. At least not often, not with proper authors who have integrity. Why? Because it takes months and months to get your story from an idea to a published book.

Sure, those two books I mentioned took a lot longer than a few months to die down even a little, but still, it’s virtually impossible to predict what will sell and when it will sell. Accusing authors of riding the wave of *enter some (sub)genre here* is stupid. Because it’s all but impossible to predict that much!

If I KNEW what the next huge thing would be, wouldn’t I be writing that instead of a story of a washed up forty-something country singer who is not only a recovering alcoholic, but also has kids, a low self-esteem, an ex-wife called Jolene and a tiny flickering hope within himself to find love just for himself? No, I wouldn’t be writing that book, I’d be writing the NEXT BIG THING to get maximum money out of my feeble efforts in writing.

When I write a story, I never, ever think what people in general will think about it. I can’t put myself down like that. I try to write for a living, here. I try to do that in M/M fiction, people! Do you have any idea how hard that can be?

In addition, I battle depression and the fact that English isn’t my first language. That, alone, makes my writing different from others. Different in a way that makes my style difficult for some people to read. In general, I’m could be thought of as a failure from the beginning.

How in the hell can I sell books with the starting point I have? How do I dare to think I might actually support myself and my menagerie with the way things are?

One word: Sisu.

Oh and here’s the cover for Positive, out August 14th. ;)

05.10.2013

News of all kinds!

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Yes, I know…. I’ve been slacking with this blogging thing and I’m sorry. There are plenty  of news though, so let’s get started, eh? :)

  • My next novel, called Tainted, has a tentative release date of Aug/Sept 2013. It’s a contemporary romance, mystery/suspense with my kind of not-quite-typical aspects thrown in. And yes, I still write in my slightly quirky way. :) The publisher is Dreamspinner Press.
  • I’m getting a dog! This isn’t news, really. At least not news about my writing career, so… sorry if you dislike dogs. (You might be missing out, just saying….) Because in my country we’re in such a great situation that we don’t really have shelter dogs (at all, yes I know it’s hard to imagine if your country has overflow, but we’re lucky this way) and I’ve wanted to adopt for a long time, my girl Tara is flying in from Spain in mid-June. I’ll make a proper post about her at some point, promise!
  • I’m writing, at last, the third Finnshifters book! I know some people didn’t get the things that happened in book 2 and disliked it strongly, but it’s my universe and everything has a meaning. I don’t want to add spoilers here, but let’s just say that the major plot point was going to happen even before there were any plans on there being more books than one! So yes, it’s not a plot element added for shock value. Trust me on this. I don’t throw intentional cheap punches.
  • I’m taking part in Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia this month! I’ll be doing a giveaway or a few, so stay tuned! :)
  • Oh and yes, Finnshifters 3? If nothing surprising happens and I keep my submission deadline and all that, it should be out in November this year. So not too long for that either. :)
  • M/M Romance group on Goodreads has another lovely event going on again this summer. I’ve written a little story for the event and it will be out at some point…. no idea when but when I know, I’ll let you know!
02.01.2013

Win books for Valentine's…

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So it’s that time of the year again. What time? Valentine’s Day is almost upon us. Now, here in Finland it’s called “friendship day” and revolves around friends and not lovers. Not that it makes me feel any better about being single, haha.

This year I’m taking part in our lovely Babes’, M.J and Piper’s Lovefest. I’m donating several audiobooks and all in all there’s a HUGE amount of books up for grabs. I mean look at it, the winner can choose 5 books! Seriously! That’s a treat any day!

So head up there to take a closer look on what you need to do. It’s pretty simple, just comment on the master post there and you’re in.

As for that status update. Well I have something cookin’, so to speak. I’m writing a story, don’t know how long it will be, but at least a long novella on the Dreamspinner Press standards. Maybe even a novel, who knows.

I’ll try and get some sort of a preview together for you guys at some point. I’ve promised to send it to Dreamspinner in the next month or two, so you might just get the book in your hands sometime this summer, if we’re lucky.

Yes, I’m working again. Slowly but surely. The depression is still there but I’m a bit better. Thanks for all the supportive comments I’ve gotten over these past, super difficult months. I appreciate them more than you’ll ever know!

01.03.2013

So it's 2013, eh?

Posted in Uncategorized

The last part of the year 2012 wasn’t too good for me. Not only did I reach the release date of the last thing I have completed, submitted and seen through (Falling into Place), my depression was also sky high. Or not was, IS, but it’s January fourth now, so… you know.

I haven’t written much in the last six months. Not much at all. I started NaNoWriMo and failed spectacularly, but that was almost expected. This means that there are no future releases in sight. None. Not in the next few months, not later. Not until I write more and the story is accepted by a publisher. This, my dears, might take… ages.

In some ways I feel like I’ve failed the handful of fans I have. There are people who have told me they’re waiting for my stories. I’m sorry.

I’ll do my best, I’m planning on some changes in my life to get out of the rut that maintains my depression. So we’ll see. Hopefully I’ll be better at some point in the future and can write more again. Maybe some of it is even good.

10.22.2012

Things to look forward to

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Lately, I’ve tried to figure out how to do this writing thing while being this The cover for Falling Into Place.depressed. I’ve figured out a few things that I think might work for me.

  • Get rid of deadlines – This means I won’t be getting out anything like Technically Dead 2 or Finnshifters 3 out “in time”. But it takes out the stress, which means I might get my writing mojo back. Don’t worry, I’m still writing them, eventually.
  • Write if you feel like writing, if not… do something else.  – Forcing myself to write will not work. It leads to more stress and depression and, above all, crappy stories.
  • Forgive yourself for letting people down. – I know I have readers now. Readers who await for my books. Sequels are the thing that makes me feel the worst when I fail producing them. Why? Because there ARE people who loved the original book or earlier parts of a series. But the fact stands: It’s either crappy writing from a depressed writer, or better stories from an inspired one.
  • Do what works for you. – I keep my ADHD in check by doing several things at the same time when I write. I play with the kittens, watch a show or a movie, write, go do housework, whatever it takes to keep me from staring at the screen blankly when my brain gets stuck on one thing. If I don’t… well, my ADHD finds it fun to distract me from the writing completely. This is just a way for me to control what my head does.
  • Make your own rules. – I’ve been trying to figure out how to write my NaNoWriMo-story this year. There are things about it that are tricky, if not plain impossible “in real life”. Well guess what? I don’t care. It’s my story which is FICTION. ;)
  • NaNoWriMo your heart out! – I’ve written two of my three (soon) novels during NaNoWriMo. If it works this year, it will also kick my writing in gear in other ways. Right now I’ve not written a word in over a month! That, for a writer, is utterly painful.
  • If you need a break, take one. – I don’t want to quit. I’m not a quitter. So I’m taking breaks. Right now the plan is to do NaNoWriMo and then figure out after that what to do next. Either I’ll get my writing mojo back or not. If not, I’ll take a proper break until I feel like writing again.

I’ve been feeling crappy, like a bad writer, a depressed person, someone who has nothing to give to the field she loves and wants to work in. This might sound… bad, but today I got my Royalty Summary, and I have to say it cheered me up. You guys are buying my books! I can’t be THAT crappy!

So to each and every person who ever bought my books, whether you liked them or not; THANK YOU. You keep me writing, getting better, you give me hope.

Next stop, NaNoWriMo and edits for my next book, Falling Into Place, which will be out next month. And look at the pretty cover!

 

03.09.2012

Upcoming release and the …

Posted in Uncategorized

Hello, everyone. It’s now early March, and I’m looking at the release schedule I have and the personal deadlines that are looming and I thought I’d give you an update.

My next release will be out on March 28th. It’s called Something New, and I really do love this story. I hope you’ll like it too. In some ways, Something New manages to catch many things about my personal writing style and my “secret agenda” in my writing. That’s why I’m so happy with it, really. Oh and the cover by Catt Ford is really lovely too.

After Something New, the next one in my preliminary list of things to come is a little story called Thank My Lucky Scars. It’s also a novella and revolves around a London bike-messenger and an American porn star. It’s a fun little story, so I’m looking forward to it as well. Tentative release is April-May.

Now, the book after the two aforementioned is called Chuffed. It’s a shifter-book, the first book in a several books-series I’ve titled Finnshifters. The story arc revolves around a sort of “shifter sanctuary” in Eastern Finland near the Russian border, and the shifters who live on the little farm. There’s always at least one main couple, and while the books are M/M romance, the stories are as much about the whole “farm family” as they are any given main couple.

Chuffed should be out in May-June, and I have a submission deadline in about a week for book 2 which doesn’t have a title yet. While the book is already almost done, I’m still feeling slight pressure from the deadline I’ve set myself (so that you guys would have the next part to read in a few months time from the release of the first book, see, I’m thinking about you here!)

My next novel-length story is a vampire-story I’ve felt like writing for a long time. It’s called Technically Dead and it’s going to be released in July-August. I’ll tell you more about it later.

Once I have Finnshifters 2 written and sent, I need to figure out what to write next. I feel like writing a few separate stories but I also know I need to concentrate on one. So I’ll figure that out soon, since after all I should be done with the current story in a week. Ugh. Well, here’s to making my deadline and for a nice springtime for everyone!

08.20.2011

About respect and writing

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I vented about this on Twitter last night, but it didn’t leave me alone like I thought it would.

When we write, and by we, I mean us females who write M/M-romance, we get so much prejudice, so much “You can’t do that” thrown our way it feels that much worse, when we get it from another writer.

Now, I’m thinking the issue is mostly “girls can’t write guy/guy”-stuff. Bullshit. Anyone who is creative, has the words and the emotions, can write what ever they want. It’s just about being a good writer.

We also have people who write to aspire being The Great M/M-romance Writer, and then we have people like yours truly, who wants to write for people who like to read for the entertainment value. I don’t CARE if I’m the next big thing out there, but I do respect those who actually are. I’m not ambitious like that, I write because I have no choice.

Now, then there are people who look down on us poor beings who write entertainment. And I’m looking at one certain male author at the moment, singling him out because he singled us out first. I read his “how to write M/M-romance”-guide, and it came across terribly prejudiced and condescending. There was no respect what so ever for us who like to write things he doesn’t write.

In fact, this gentleman takes it as far as making this prejudice and disrespect part of his own books. There is a series of his that I liked a lot, that didn’t contain this as much as the NEXT series did. The next series… Let’s just say, the main character is a writer who dislikes and mocks everything he doesn’t like. This, incidentally, is exactly what the author of the series does not write.

So when did he turn his writing, which by the way is pretty good all the time, award-winning even, into a tool for disrespecting the people who don’t write the kind of books he does? I don’t know, and I frankly don’t care. He’s talented, he is, but when he works something like this into his books, I just throw my hands up and wonder what the hell did he and/or his editor see in this next quote.

She was a big girl. A very, very big girl. One of those very big girls who you fear won’t live to see forty if they don’t take action now.

Is this how he sees all women that are “big”? Is this just how he sees “big” women that are writers (as the character referred to in the quote just happens to be)?

Whatever the reason of this sort of politically very incorrect sh—stuff being published by someone who is supposed to be an author for us to look up to, I only have one thing to say; I quit.

I quit reading his books, and I’ll hold my chubby head up high and keep writing stuff that I and my readers find entertaining. They might never be the next big thing that wins awards, but hey, at least I did my best?

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