Flash Fiction: Hunger and Socks

A lot of my flash fiction is stored on a tumblr blog. I fell out of the habit of using tumblr before they started censoring my fun but sometimes head over there to scroll through my old posts. There are nearly 50 slices of story there, many of them ideas for something greater.

I’ve been transplanting my favourites here and I was surprised to note that neither of these two had made it over yet. I love these stories. “Hunger” because it’s creepy and didn’t start out that way. The idea in my head when I first looked at the picture disappeared as soon as I started to write, the story below happening instead. “Socks” is me at my sentinmental best.

Continue reading “Flash Fiction: Hunger and Socks”

Flash Fiction: “88 Days” and “Mine”

I used to write a lot of flash fiction, at least one piece a week. Last year, when I wasn’t writing anything, people suggested I try flash fiction again and I thought about it but didn’t get very far. This year, now that I am writing again, I have the urge to flash.

I will be keeping my clothes on. 😉

I find it interesting that creativity seems to spark creativity and for me, writing small follows writing large. But I do remember that what I used to love about writing flash fiction was the break it offered my novelling brain. For an hour on Monday morning, I could step out of the universe that was all but consuming me and think about something else for a while. In another direction. Usually in a post-apocalyptic direction. 

We’re not going to talk about why the first two pieces I’ve written in two years are set after some sort of apocalypse. We’re just going to roll with it. “88 Days” is inspired by Fear the Walking Dead only in that the picture reminds me of the LA neighborhood where the series starts. The story is original, or as original as anything post-apocalyptic gets. “Mine” is a return to the world of “Reminders”, this time consciously. I searched for an image that would take me there as I’ve always been fascinated by this world and wanted to explore it further. Continue reading “Flash Fiction: “88 Days” and “Mine””

What I’ve Been Reading

I gave up participating in reading challenges a few years ago when I figured out that I really only ever got around to reading one or two of the mountain of books assigned. I’m a mood reader, meaning I’m not really sure what I’m going to read next. It might be one of the books staked in the ‘maybe I’ll read this next pile’ (or, let’s face it, one of the several ‘maybe I’ll read this next piles’ dotted around my house), or it might be the book I found at the library last week. The book that showed up on my ereader from a library hold or preorder. Or one of the nearly 400 books on the ‘to be read’ bookcase in the bedroom. The collection I lean toward and away from while doing yoga, thinking to myself, I really should get around to that one. Or that one. Or that one.

Obviously, I don’t need to challenge myself to read. And yet here I am, participating in #WritersRead. Continue reading “What I’ve Been Reading”

This Time Forever

This Time Forever is the series I didn’t plan, but I already knew by the time I’d started writing the second book that these characters had a lot more stories to tell. In particular, I envisaged an epilogue-type story where all six of the main characters vacationed together. I thought it would be fun to bounce them off each other, see how the different personalities connected and conflicted.

When I got to the end of the second book, I had the perfect excuse: Frank and Tom’s wedding.

“This Time Forever” is only six chapters long, but every chapter is from the point of view of one of the main characters from the series: Frank, Mal, Brian, Simon, Charlie, and Tom. Most of my favorite secondary characters are there as well, including Josh and Ethan from Chasing Forever.

I made the story available to my newsletter subscribers first. (If you want to be on the A-List, sign up here.) Now I’m making it available to everyone to download and read for free because I write these stories for you as much as for myself. I love revisiting my characters after The End and I love sharing those visits with my readers.

If you haven’t started the series yet, you can read the first book for free with Kindle Unlimited!

If you’ve missed an extra story from another series, check the Free Reads page on my website.

Okay, that’s enough rambling from me. Go get your copy of “This Time Forever”!


YOU’RE INVITED TO A WEDDING.

This Time ForeverIt’s a beautiful day and everyone is here to help celebrate Frank and Tom’s wedding. Simon is the best man, Charlie is scaring teenagers with gory stories, and Mal and Brian are investigating a linen closet. Tom is…

No one’s quite sure where Tom is.

Frank organizes the search, which is to say, Frank panics. But everyone gets involved anyway because it’s a beautiful day and they’re all here to celebrate a wedding.

Download

Aliens Have Returned to New York!

The aliens first arrived in 2017 when Felice Stevens asked if I’d like to write for her upcoming Kindle World. The invitation flattered me for two reasons. One, Memories with the Breakfast Club was going to be the first LGBTQ Kindle World and Felice had asked me to be a part of it. Two, Felice had asked me to be a part of it! And she wanted me to write science fiction.

The deadline would be tight. I would have only thirty days to write something if I wanted it to be edited and polished in time for release. But the minimum word count was only 10,000 which is about five days writing for me. I could do it.

I decided to bring aliens to New York. In my head, I envisaged a Men in Black sort of world and plot and quickly started on the appropriate research. I have pages and pages of notes about secret facilities beneath Manhattan. But when I started thinking about my characters, Dillon and Lang solidified with a different idea and a very different theme. Uncommon Ground became more a fish out of water story, for both of my guys. I ended up with nearly 50,000 words, making Uncommon Ground the longest title in the collection (I think), but I loved what I’d written and knew I had a lot more stories to tell in the world I had created

Purple Haze reads a little deeper than Uncommon Ground, but it’s not. Not really. For me, it’s the logical continuation of what I started; the natural progression of a love story between two men who aren’t quite human. With Purple Haze, I’ve expanded on the themes introduced in Uncommon Ground by having Dillan and Lang ask themselves what it means to be human. To be a person. To be an individual. To have love, a family, and a home.

As I stated in the acknowledgments for Uncommon Ground, some of my favourite stories are the ones I wrote on a whim. The really out there ideas that shouldn’t work. Best in Show was the first, where I decided to write a housecat shifter—and began the book by locking him up in a rescue shelter. Then came Uncommon Ground, where I plunked a lonely alien down in the middle of New York City and had him fall for a pierced, purple-haired art teacher. To See the Sun was probably my most farfetched idea yet: mail order spouses journeying to remote, pioneering planets. Think space western with a Harlequin romance.

Purple Haze isn’t that far out there unless you think the possibility of aliens living in New York is remote. But however far I roam, the core of my stories remains the same. I love to take characters who don’t quite fit their environment and have them meet someone who will come to mean home for them. There’s nothing I like more than uniting two lonely souls and having them find forever in each other’s eyes.

That, more than anything, is what Purple Haze is about.

(But with more aliens and adventure, cool gadgets, a little redemption for one of one villain, and a whole new one to hate!)

Where to Buy

Amazon | Kindle Unlimited | Paperback

For readers who use retailers other than Amazon, both Uncommon Ground and Purple Haze will be wide sometime this summer!

 

A New Release Means Giveaways!

I’m not doing a blog tour for this release. I did five of them last year and I’m a little burned out on the cycle. I am doing several giveaways, though, because I love these books and want to see them in the hands of as many readers as possible.

I’ll be visiting a number of author groups on Facebook next week to give away ebook copies of the first book in the series, Uncommon Ground. Can’t wait that long? If you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you can now read Uncommon Ground for free!

Both books will remain a part of the Kindle Unlimited program for 90 days.

I’m also running two Instagram giveaways.

KUIG (1)

Download this image and post it to Instagram (or Twitter) with the tag #aliensinnewyork to enter the drawing for a copy of both ebooks.

Post an image of your copy of Uncommon Ground or Purple Haze to Instagram (Or Twitter) with the tag #imreadingaliensinnewyork for a chance to win a paperback.

Enter here, on my blog, by leaving a comment below, for a chance to win a copy of both ebooks.

My newsletter subscribers get access to the best giveaways. Subscribe now for a chance to win signed paperbacks of both books!

I’ll be running other giveaways on social media next week, so keep watching my feeds!

 

Want more Aliens in New York?

The number one question readers have following the conclusion of a series is, will there be another book? In this case, I honestly don’t know. When super positive early reviews roll in, I always feel like I should do it again. Write another book. But by the time I get through release day (and week) shenanigans, I’ve seen the not so great reviews and wonder if I’ll ever write again, let alone visit a particular world.

I’ve always maintained that I write my books for me, but that’s not 100% true. I write them for my readers, as well, especially when I write sequels. I think about what a reader would like to see next and try to work that in with what I have pictured for the characters and the world. Sometimes I hit the right notes, sometimes I don’t.

That being said, I’d like to revisit this world. It’s vast with very vague borders. I could do just about anything I wanted. I have ideas for Elder Arayu and other ideas for some of the Nay characters introduced in Purple Haze. I have plots-a-million in my head for this series. I have new characters waiting in the wings.

But first, I’m working on another of those off the wall ideas that might turn out to be my new favourite books. We’ll see.