Rainbow Book Fair!

Just got back from this year’s Rainbow Book Fair in NYC.

It was fun! Lots of people, and everyone around me was super nice. I even sold some books! Though most people at the fair were not “romance readers” a few were, and some others I think may have purchased out of pity. But either way, I had a good time and I’m glad I went.

I had this on my table, and people added their thoughts. I think it went well as a booth idea, even though people seemed reluctant to write on it.

The last time I attended the rainbow fair was 2016. Back then I was really excited to see other authors I only knew online and hang out in person. I remember meeting them after, at a bar, and chatting a while, and leaving feeling so positive. Like I had a community.

This time was very different! I had no expectation of socializing at all. There was only one author I wanted to say hello to, and I didn’t get to see her. The “after party” seemed nice, but I was pretty tired and decided to skip it. So, not much of a social experience, this time around.

But that doesn’t mean it was bad! My little handmade books, which I had first intended to use as ARC rewards, ended up being my best sellers at $5 each! People kept commenting on how cute they were, and that was really positive and nice for me. I was next to an awesome lady & her kid and she gave me the most amazing book!! I can’t even find a link to the exact book so I’m feeling pretty special. (I wish I could share though because its a graphic memoir & gorgeous!) I’m staying in an absolutely beautiful hotel, and I’m LOVING the peace and alone time. Let me tell you, I have not been alone in my house (or anywhere besides my car) for months. It’s nice.

So now I’m going to post this, and enjoy some room service while I get to watch whatever I want (!) on TV. Or maybe I’ll write! Or read. Possibilities are endless here on my own LOL

Any thoughts about in-person book events? Do you attend? (As an author or reader?) Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you.

Tiny flash fiction booklet

Last summer I entered the NYC Midnight flash fiction challenge. It was super fun, and I recommend it to anyone who likes to write and needs a little spark to get going, or just likes to compete. I wrote a few things, but only one I was really proud of.

Fast forward to this spring, when I took a bookmaking art class at my local art center. Another fun experience! I love making things, and though I’ve made books before this workshop gave me a lot of new ideas and techniques. The instructor was so nice, and always brought in lots of sample books for us to look at. One was a mini-book, and I immediately thought of my flash fiction story, and how nicely it would fit.

So, I spent waaaaay too much time figuring out how I’d make this flash fiction into a mini-book. First I tried the “accordion” method, which was the style of the sample I’d liked.

Accordion style is cool, but it was a bit fussy to make and kind of awkward to read. So I kept playing, and settled on a pamphlet style binding.

I found some old silk thread in the depths of my sewing basket, and used an eyelet tool and string to create a “portfolio” type look for the cover. I think it came out really nice!

I’m going to attend the Rainbow Book Fair in NYC next weekend, and I’m planning to use these as rewards for those who sign up to be ARC (advance review copy) readers there.

If you are in the New York City area on Saturday the 22nd, and love LGBTQ fiction, consider attending the Rainbow book fair! Its a fun event. I hope to see you there ๐Ÿ™‚

Revising old work

Is what I’ve been doing in my spare time for the past six months. An old novella called “Taming the Fox” which I had published in 2013. I’m planning to re-release it this April.

Why? I guess it was one of those stories I loved that I knew I just didn’t tell very well. I wanted to do better, and made the mistake of starting to revise, and then before I knew it I was neck-deep in this thing, adding chapters, tweaking plot, deleting old writing mistakes. The story captured me again, and I had to finish it.

Now I’m nearly finished drafting, just a few more words to add here and there to tighten it up and it will be off to beta readers. So now I need to decide – what next? Do I promote this, try to get sales and reviews and be a “real” author about it? Or just quietly update the old amazon listing, and be satisfied that I produced something I am proud of?

I’ll probably do a half-hearted promotion and then let it fade, as per usual. I can’t summon the self-confidence to sell myself. Part of me wonders what would happen if I actually put the money and time and effort into promotion. Would it be well received? Or would it still flounder with mediocre reviews at the bottom of the lists? I’ll never know.

Now I’m going to figure out a cover. I wish I could use the original cover, but I think it would get banned from Amazon these days:

I think it was a stock photo, believe it or not. I just added text and slapped it up on kindle. Those were the early days of e-books, and obviously there wasn’t a lot of polish in my author game (some things never change lol) but I do think this photo still fits the story well. Maybe I can adjust the butt crack? I’ll see.

Have you ever read a re-released and revised story? Would you? Or would it depend on if you had read the first version?

The Raven & His Selkie

Release day is today! I’m happy to say this book is out, and available on KU.

This is a paranormal m/m romance, and as the title suggests, the main characters are a raven & a selkie. I admit I made up the “raven” creature from various mythologies. In my story, I have Grigori (the raven) being a child of a Harpy. The Harpy legends vary a bit, so I took some artistic license in my creature-creation here. Grigori can jump/leap very high and far, but he can’t actually fly. He likes to gather information, and he’s a bit of a control freak. His Selkie, Murdoch, is much more chill.

I also play around with the idea of “fated mates” in this story. I LOVE the trope of soul mates/fated mates in paranormal romance, and I really like exploring different iterations of it. In this story, the mate-bond hits these boys hard, and it takes them a while to adjust. I hope you will enjoy their journey to happy-ever-after!

I am planning (and currently drafting) a second book in this world. It will be Drew’s story (he’s a wolf shifter) and he too will be blindsided by a fated-mate bond. Yum! However, both stories will be stand-alone, no cliffhangers I promise! I hate those ๐Ÿ™‚

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Do you like the fated mates trope? What other romance tropes are your favorites? (I also really enjoy a good “enemies to lovers” story) Do you like new or unusual paranormal creatures, or do you prefer to stick to the more classic vampires & shifters? Leave me a comment and let me know ๐Ÿ™‚

Cover Reveal: The Raven & His Selkie

Getting closer and closer to the release date of this one! Preorder is live, if you are so inclined. Also I should note I will keep this one in KU, at least for a while.

This story is about a pair of “fated mates” who have a little bit of a struggle coming to terms with the mate bond and what that means for each of them. It is possible I will write a book 2 for this world, I’ve written a little already and I’m liking it, but no promises yet. Either way, this is a standalone with a HEA.

I will definitely post more about this story and these characters as my release date (August 20) creeps closer. Stay tuned! And as always, I’d love to hear from you so feel free to leave thoughts and comments if you have them ๐Ÿ™‚

Re-release of ‘Night Vision’

Way back in 2014 I had a story published through Dreamspinner press called “Night Vision.” I really like this story, it has a fun romance and some slightly different paranormal creatures. (When I wrote it, I was inspired by the old legends of an owl-like creature, a sort of witch/vampire thing. My Strige feed on human emotions, and are only a little scary.) So now its been some time, and the rights to this story have reverted back to me. I had a new cover made and have just re-released it.

For now, it is exclusive to Amazon, which also means you can read it on Kindle Unlimited if you like.

My main character, Alex, is a sort of average guy. I don’t write alpha-dudes or anyone too “tough,” but Alex’s love interest, the Strige named Theron, is a slightly-scary monster who loves to cook. He’s as close as I get to tough guys I guess. So he is dangerous, and not quite human, but he also loves Alex passionately and can make a mean bรฉchamel sauce.

This is a standalone romance, with a happy ever after ending. It has low angst and high heat, and is a fairly fast read. If you read this before (thank you!) please understand this is exactly the same book, I’ve made no changes to the story.

I’m glad that this book is out & available again. I hope if you decide to give it a try, you enjoy it. And as always, please feel free to comment! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

MerMay

I’m going to participate, at least partially, in MerMay. I’m not great at remembering to sketch and post each day, but I think I can commit to a weekly schedule of mermay art. I’ll try!

To kick off the festivities I spend this lovely May day morning sculpting a chunky merman. Once he has been fired & glazed he will live in my garden. I love him ๐Ÿ’•

I think mer-people should be fat. I mean, if theyโ€™re mammals (which to me is implied by the presence of boobs lol) then they need some fat to keep warm underwater, right? That’s what I’m going with. Also there aren’t enough chunky creatures out there, in my opinion.

I also gave him a tiny butt crack, because why not.

He’s still super rough but I think he has a lot of potential.

Happy MerMay! ๐ŸŒˆ

9 months later…

Update! He’s been glazed and fired. And I made him a merman magazine to read. I added some silver leaf to his hair, just for the fun sparkle.

Title Time

Its that time… (exciting!) Time to choose a title for my work in progress. I am more of a visual person so the cover always seems more critical than the title, but I know the title is also important to get right. I like a fairly short title, and one that matches the tone and subject of the story, but that is easier said than created!

I’ve used this tool, in the past, to decide on a title. Its pretty fun but I don’t know how accurate it actually is.

The Raven & His Selkie is currently my top title choice. I think it says Romance, fantasy/paranormal, and shows the type of creatures the story will focus on. Or, maybe I’ll go with The Selkie & His Raven? Or maybe I’ll come up with something else entirely. Who knows!?

If you are reading this, I’d love to know how you choose a title. Does it just come to you? Do you use a line from your story? Do you have several working titles, or do you know your title early in the writing process?

Work in Progress

I’m chugging along on it! About 3/4 of the way done, I’m thinking. Though who knows ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m really trying to be healthier about writing and publishing, and not get swept up in the tidal wave of self-doubt that usually consumes me. I think I have pretty much come to terms with the fact that my stories are just a bit quirky, and will likely never have a wide audience, and that’s okay. I’d rather write what I enjoy and not market too much anyway. Let’s be honest: I suck at self-promotion and marketing!

Sometimes as I’m writing I hit a little wall and need a distraction, so I work on cover design ideas. Mostly this is a waste of time, as I’ll likely purchase a cover image in the end, but it’s a fun sideline.

Current dilemma: shirtless dude on the cover, or not?

I like the idea of a shirtless guy (or preferably, two) because my work is fairly erotic, and I like to be clear about that. But then I feel like maybe its too shallow. My work is explicit, but I think I also give a good story, with lots of emotion. So I’m not sure if the shirtless dudes help me or hurt me, marketing-wise.

This is the guy I’m liking for the cover, if I design it myself. He kind of looks like how I picture one of my MCs (Murdoch) who is a seal shifter (Selkie!!) Though his hair is longer in my story, and I don’t describe him with facial hair. He is meant to be super muscular, and has a great sense of humor.

If anyone is reading this and has an opinion about shirtless men on the covers of steamy Romance novels, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Easing back into writing

After years away from the keyboard, I have begun writing again. Slowly, but steadily, and I’m enjoying it! As a start, I revised & republished the 3rd story in my “moon-brier” series, Secret Cravings, which I had unpublished a while back. It’s erotica, so it is out under my AC Bishop pen name. You can find it HERE if you’re interested. It has a mild BDSM element but is definitely a romance, with a HEA, as per my usual.

I also wrote & published another AC Bishop erotica title, because apparently erotica inspires me to write more ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s called Paddling the Prince, and it’s just what it sounds like. Very mild spanking, set in a fantasy AU, with a very sappy romance. Available on kindle unlimited, HERE.

I’m also working on a new story, which will be m/m romance. It’s paranormal, and looking like it will be a series. We will see how that goes!

I’ve been out of this so long, I’ve had to re-learn how to do all this posting and publishing stuff. Where are my passwords? Where did I put all my cover art? What am I even doing??? LOL I’ll get the hang of it again, I hope.

If anyone is reading this, thank you. Hope you are well and hope your day is great! ๐Ÿ™‚