@Amazon and their Review Gatekeepers

It is so fucking frustrating as an indie author when people have been reviewing your book but Amazon is like naw fam, I don’t feel like posting this. 

This has been happening to me so often that fans (not just my writer friends, actual fans) have reached out annoyed that their review is still not listed on my book page. 

At this point, it isn’t even that Amazon is deleting them. Like, I haven’t even SEEN them. Amazon is legit just not posting them at all. What the fuck? 

These are people who actually purchased my book, read it, enjoyed it, and want to post a review. Why is Amazon doing this? 

It doesn’t make any sense. Like I’m not paying for reviews, I’m hardly even begging my friends to review it because I legit know they won’t. 

These are legitimate fans of my work like post their fucking reviews Amazon, you coward. 

I’m not appropriating gay culture, I AM gay culture.

In light of recent events I would like to set the record straight:

I just wanna say this because there seems to have been some confusion: I am not straight and I don’t write gay books because it’s “what sells”. 

I’m writing gay books because it’s what I wanted when I was first coming out in the middle of the deep South. There wasn’t much representation for me there and for most of my life, I felt like an outcast.

I don’t want today’s LGBT teens to feel the same way I did. 

I legit have no idea where people are getting the idea that I’m straight. Like wtf?? It says clearly in my Twitter/Tumblr bio that I’m not. 

Ignore the fact that I’m dating a guy. 

I have also dated women.

I shouldn’t even have to justify this, but here I am. 

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Book Reviews: Love From the Barricade by Ashley Jean Granillo

This is one of the best books I’ve read this year and I recommend it to everyone! 

From my twitter account:

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and this:

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And now, without further ado 

The Review

This book is breathtaking. There’s no other way to describe it. I was swept up in Aijae’s story almost from the beginning. The storytelling is simply AMAZING. I couldn’t put the book down!

From Aijae’s false starts with all of her friends to her fanfiction to her obsession with ALL of my FAVORITE punk bands, I was LOST in the story.

Granillo is a fantastic writer and so true to her characters. Aijae’s voice is so real and raw and incredible that I spent most of the book thinking she was a real person. She is so likable and incredible that I read the book in less than 3 days which is the shortest time it’s taken me to read something in YEARS.

I am a HUGE fan of you, Ashley Jean. You’re incredible and I cannot wait to hear more from you.

Bravo. This book made me laugh, cry, and just THINK about the kind of life I’ve lead. There are so many quotable moments from this book like Aijae’s words have stuck with me. 

She’s an incredible character and I’m so glad I’ve had the privilege of knowing her. 

More about Love from the Barricade

For the majority of her teenage life, Aijae lived in her head, writing fanfiction about boy bands. In college, she meets an eccentric pair of friends who immerse her into the Los Angeles, emo music scene. But when she is noticed by Memorable Edition’s adorable lead singer, her dream life turns into a nightmare. 

Determined to work through the heartache and gossip, Aijae puts her past behind her and launches into a career as a music journalist. She also finds love again in a drummer for a New York-based indie band. 

However, in one night, Aijae has to make the biggest decision of her life: to stay with her friends in Los Angeles or relinquish the villainized image of herself and move to New York to be the woman she always wrote herself out to be. 

Get your copy here

Teasers: Marjorie Diaz Book One – Comfort

Okay so. Get this. This book has got an ace mc, a lesbian mc, a bi mc, and a full cast of POC characters with a metric fuckton of teeth melting fluff and hijinks. 

Just read it, ok? 

More about Marjorie Diaz

Girl meets boy. Girl falls in love with boy. Boy hunts girl for sport.

Marjorie Diaz has no idea who Patrick Watkins is. When he saunters into her senior seminar class during her last semester of college, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with him. 

She’s swept up into a whirlwind—and often times fairytale-esque—romance. That is, until his family kidnaps her and sends her to a place she never thought she would go again. 

Now, with the help of her best friend Lucian Maravalle, she has to run for her life, and try not to think too hard about the fact that all of the important people in her life has been keeping a dangerous secret. A secret that could cost Marjorie her life.

Book one in the Marjorie Diaz series.

Cover art by Ariel LeAnn of Cat’s Paw Media

**THIS TITLE IS LGBT WITH A FULL LGBT AND POC CAST** 

Get your copy here

Teasers: Marjorie Diaz Book One – Hate

This book has an ace mc, a lesbian mc, 2 bi mcs, and a metric fuckton of gay side characters. 

It also features a full poc cast. Just saying. 

This the kind of stuff blurbs don’t tell you. 

More about Marjorie Diaz

Girl meets boy. Girl falls in love with boy. Boy hunts girl for sport.

Marjorie Diaz has no idea who Patrick Watkins is. When he saunters into her senior seminar class during her last semester of college, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with him. 

She’s swept up into a whirlwind—and often times fairytale-esque—romance. That is, until his family kidnaps her and sends her to a place she never thought she would go again. 

Now, with the help of her best friend Lucian Maravalle, she has to run for her life, and try not to think too hard about the fact that all of the important people in her life has been keeping a dangerous secret. A secret that could cost Marjorie her life.

Book one in the Marjorie Diaz series.

Cover art by Ariel LeAnn of Cat’s Paw Media

**THIS TITLE IS LGBT WITH A FULL LGBT AND POC CAST** 

Get your copy here

Let Me Educate Y’all About the Indie Writing Community

It is 2018 and I’m tired of y’all treating us out here like second-rate citizens. 

I have made a ton of amazing friends here that will last for a lifetime. So I’m here to set this record straight.

First thing’s first: What is an Indie Author? 

An indie author is someone who publishes their work independent of an agency or a publisher. 

The most common place for people to self-publish is Amazon, but there is also a whole slew of indie publishing houses that charge a fee to publish and promote your books. 

Why would someone self-publish? If they’re really good couldn’t they just land a book deal? 

Ahahaha. 

Oh, you sweet summer child. Your writing being good or even great has nothing to do with a book deal. Agents are looking for “what sells” (and so far I’ve learned it ain’t LGBT). 

Most agencies are thirsting after people with an established career like actors, YouTubers, social media influencers, or indie authors with a massive following because these people are a “safe bet” and easier to market. 

The publishing industry also has a really hard time changing or picking up anything “new” or “cutting edge” like you see a lot of in indie publishing because they may view as “too niche” or “too weird” to sell. 

I know this well because I myself am a marketer.

Why would someone choose indie publishing over traditional publishing? 

Lots of authors have different reasons. 

For me, I actually queried first. but  I kept getting rejected because people seem to believe that it is “unrealistic” to have more than one LGBT character in a story. Two if the character has to have a love interest. 

That didn’t sit well with me, considering I’m gay and most of my friends are gay. There are a lot of us out here and we tend to flock together. I mean come on, I live in San Francisco. 

And in a fictional world of my own creation, I feel like most people can be gay if I want them to be. It’s not like I never write straight characters, I do. But I prefer to write LGBT and POC where I can. A lot of my characters are multiracial. 

Also, if you ever wondered, querying takes a lot out of you. It’s like applying for a job where everyone is mean and says really mean shit to you that isn’t even true. I’ve been rejected so many times for bullshit reasons.

Are you a real author if you publish indie? 

UMMMMM. Yeah, man! As real as it gets. You wrote a book. You sold a book. Someone paid for something you wrote. Be proud

But don’t most indie authors suck? 

Ummmm NO! Who told you that??

Indie authors are just people trying to write the stories they want to tell without interference from a “””well-meaning””” big publishing house editor or book agent. 

That being said, I have read some truly awful indie books, but I’ve read way more great ones. 

So get off your butt and support indie authors. 

Especially if you wanna lay around and whine about not having representation for LGBT or POC people. 

You can find all that in the indie world, my dude. Indie authors are out here doing the most. And you’re really missing out.