@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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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. 

Writers Be Like…

Friends who don’t read: I don’t understand. Why would people hate you because of your writing?

Friends who do read: I FUCKING HATE YOU. YOU’RE A MONSTER. WHEN IS THE NEXT BOOK COMING OUT?

Friends who write: Recently I started getting death threats for my latest novel. I’ve reached the big time. I have become one of the top authors in the world. This is my big break.

Tagged: My Writing Journey

I was tagged by Lisa Stapleton to write these three things:

1. Where are you at in your writing journey?

I have a novella and a full-length novel published, and a published anthology piece! I have three more books I’m working on that are done and just need edits. Plus, the new Marjorie Diaz book should come out sometime earlier 2019.

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2. What advice would you give to young writers?   

Don’t be discouraged if you can’t write every day or if you can only write 100 or 500 words a day at first.

Eventually, you’re going to sit down at your computer and be able to write without thinking about it. And eventually, the more you do it, you’ll be able to crank out 1,000 or 10,000 a day!

But it is not without hard work. Writing sometimes feels like a chore or like pulling teeth and you will be stressed out and upset and angry A LOT. But it is so rewarding to put your story out into the world at the end of all that anger and resentment.

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3. Things you need daily in order to function as a writer: 

-headphones
-a snack
-video game break
-my cats

That’s 4 things, but I think I’ve earned them.

I’m here, I’m queer, and I write gay literature

(YES IT RHYMES, SHUT UP, SHARON.)

I see a lot of posts on here where people complain about not having queer representation in literature. And most of the time, I’m like, “Same”, but I’ve also written a book about a trans female who falls in love with a nymph (whose entire culture is based on a trans identity) so. 

I’m not saying you guys, like, have to read it, but I’m not not saying that. 

Look, I wanna write more gay literature in the future. So it’d be nice if Bloom sold. Its got a sex scene in it, its got self-acceptance, its got other monsters, and a whole slew of other things.

(No vampires in this one, though. The Monster Love series is more about monsters that don’t get much love, so. I do have vampires in Marjorie Diaz, though).

I’ll keep plugging away at representation in the future. Especially for all my monster lover friends out there. There may also be unicorns in the future. *Wiggles fingers ominously*. And time travel. You never know. 

But expect more gay shit from me. And maybe even one single straight thing cause Nighthawks, the second novella in the Monster Love Series is pretty straight. 

BUT, the main character is POC, most of the characters are female, most of the characters are POC, and there’s archaeology involved. And also gay birds. 

So, like I said, stay tuned for more gay shit and monster porn.

theeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeenks.

YOU CAN FIND ALL MY BOOKS ON MY WEBSITE 🙂