Book Re-Release!

Migration: Beginnings has been re-released!  The long overdue task of completely rewriting from scratch, as well as including updates that brings it into alignment with the principals of the awesome book, ‘Take Off Your Pants’ is complete.  So the newly edited book, along with the gorgeous new book cover, is live at the online bookstore of your choosing.  Links are below, or you can click on the new book cover below to head over to Amazon if that’s your store of choice.

Migration: Beginnings

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A Migration Moment – Blustered

Here’s a little Migration Moment, a look into Rhys and Jason’s lives together.  Takes place before book one.

“Jason Tambor,” Rhys said as he pulled the car into the gas station.  “Have I told you how much I love you lately?”

“You’d better,” Jason replied.  “Otherwise this is going to be a pretty awkward road trip for the next ten days.” Jason bobbed his eyebrows at Rhys, which never failed to garner a smile.  He pointed towards the bustling store beyond the pumps.  “Want anything?” he asked as he reached for the door.

“No thanks,” Rhys said as he relaxed in the seat.

Jason walked behind the car, Rhys catching his eye in the side mirror.  A moment later, Jason was standing next to his window.  “Oh, Boo?” Jason said as he tapped on the glass.

Rhys rolled down the window. “Yeah?”

“We’re in California,” Jason said as he glanced around.

“Yeah, so?”

“So this isn’t Oregon. You have to pump your own gas.”Rhys blushed.  “I knew that,” he said, then stepped out of the car.  Together five years and Jason could still get him flustered.

Rhys started the pump as he basked in the warm coastal weather.  Theirs was the only car at the pumps until a convertible pulled in behind them.  A woman with oversized sunglasses got out, her long auburn hair, the color of sand that gets stuck to your flip-flops, waving in a sudden breeze.  She was wearing a bikini made out of the same amount of material that went into a roll of stamps, and even though Rhys was gay, the sheer amount of flesh on display made him gawp.  The click-click-click sound as she walked caused Rhys to look down, and he realized her outfit was finished off with a pair of impossibly high heels. His mind flashed the word, ‘impractical.’

“Hi there,” she drawled as she pulled off her sunglasses.  She put an arm under her ample bosom as if making an offering.

“Umm, hi.”  Out of the corner of his eye, Rhys saw Jason stopped dead in his tracks.  And even though he wanted to turn to his boyfriend for help, for some reason, all he could focus on was the sheer amount of flesh suddenly in his personal space.

The woman’s face broke into a broad smile, whitened teeth glistening in the sun as fingers twirled at her hair. “Can you help me?  I’m ever so bad at this kind of thing,” and gestured for the gas pump.

“Uhh,” Rhys said as he blindly reached for the gas pump.

“Wrong tree, sister,” Jason called as he confidently strode to Rhys’ side.  He put a possessive arm around Rhys as he gave the woman his best smile, then nodded to the woman’s breasts.  “Those things don’t work on us.”

And just like that, the stupor that had wrapped up Rhys dissipated.  A blush overtook his face as he made quick work of his own gas pump, then got in the car as the sound of retreating high heels looked for help elsewhere.

Jason handed him a bottle of water as Rhys pulled the car back out into traffic.  He welcomed the coolness, first taking a sip and then rolling the bottle across his forehead.  When Jason snickered, he turned.  “What?”

“You’re cute when you’re flustered,” Jason said, then dropped a kiss against his shoulder.

Beta the new version of Migration: Beginnings

Okay, so when I first got to publishing, I had no idea what I was doing. Then I got a few pointers from people, read some books, etc. And now I still have no idea what I’m doing, but at least I think my writing has gotten better!

As such, Migration: Beginnings was rewritten from scratch for two reasons. First, many people like me who tend to read in present tense can read either present tense or past tense without issue. But people who prefer past tense typically (at least from the feedback others have given me) detest present tense written books.

I know, right? Who knew?

But beyond the entire rewrite, I also went through the principals of ‘Take Off Your Pants‘ by Libbie Hawker and realized that hey – Migration wasn’t ready. So after the rewrite, I then went back and added in stuff that Hawker extolls in her book. And I think it’s made all the difference.

So now that that’s done, I have one last read-through before I’m done. But I’d also like to get other’s feedback as well. So if you’re interested in a pre-release copy of the Migration: Beginnings rewrite, drop me a note and I’ll be happy to get you one as long as you promise to send me feedback.

Why I chose to unpublish Migration Beginnings

One of the most difficult things you have to do as a writer is the editing process.  I have a wonderful little magnet that says:

Write Drunk – Edit Sober

And that’s a good philosophy, even if you don’t take it literally.  Write as uninhibited as you can, but when you go through the editing process, a careful, analytical hand is called for.

Migration: Beginnings has been published for just over a year now to minor success – and that’s okay.  It’s my baby, and I’m happy with it, for the most part.  But what I wasn’t happy with stemmed from feedback received after the book was published, as well as information I found out just about the same time.  First, the overall feedback from a couple of readers was that the book would flow better if it were in past tense instead of present tense.  Now for me, tense doesn’t make that huge a difference.  I can read either.  But I consider that personally, I don’t like to read things written in first-person.  Very few writers can get me to read first-person written works.  So thinking about it from their perspective, it just made sense that I should rewrite it as a past-tense written book.

Beyond that, I read Libbie Hawker’s “Take Off Your Pants” – and realized all of the stuff that I left out of the book.  The good thing is, not only can I see the holes that I need to fill, but I can also see how to fill them.

But the problem isn’t the rewrite – it’s the time it’s taking me.  Real life gets in the way a lot, leaving me precious little time to work on my writing.  I’m carving out time to get it done, but sometimes it gets missed because life happens.

So I unpublished Migration: Beginnings from Amazon.  It’s still published in a couple other spots, but because the volume of sales is so low, I’m not worried about it.  I’m giving myself until May 31st to finish the rewrite, and then I’ll get it published again.  And if you’ve purchased a copy, it will get updated to the new version.

Here’s to meeting deadlines and productivity!  Once Migration is completed, I can start on what the Muse strikes me with on any of the half a dozen other books that are running through my head.

Proper preparation and all that stuff

Oh man… So when I wrote ‘Migration: Beginnings’, all I had was the whiteboard (which I told you about in the first Vlog that I produced), and my notes that I typed up and kept in a Microsoft Word document. And that’s all I really needed. Why? Because it was so fresh in my head, that I never doubted a thing.

And then I finished the book, read quite a lot, and have written other stuff since then that’s not related to Migration. So when I went to write out something about Rhys, the lead character from Migration, I suddenly had to know what college he went to – where he got his undergrad work, and where he got his PhD. (Turns out that it was Boston College for the undergrad, and University of California, Berkeley for his PhD – if you were curious). I used to know these items in great detail, even though they weren’t a part of the book. It was still something that was in my head.

That’s why you should always start a book with not only an outline, but a character biography. Just a single page that tells you everything you need to know about the person. And I’ve started doing them now, in anticipation of continuing the sequel to Migration: Beginnings. Like for instance, Jason is the middle child of three, was voted his high school’s class clown, and went to the University of Washingon. Whereas Captain Clarice Franks is bisexual, was born in Germany but on a US Military base, and has wanted to fly ever since her father took her up in his private plane when she was barely out of diapers.

Proper preparation, y’all!

Ficlet from Migration ‘verse: An Italian Afternoon

I belong to a few writing communities, one of which is called “Get Your Words Out,” that is hosted on Livejournal.  I’ve pledged to write at least 150,000 words this year, which includes finishing the second book in the Migration series, as well as a short novella that is set before the series begins, just to get people acquainted with Rhys and Jason.

One of the prompts in the community is a picture prompt of two women who are sitting on a windowsill (you can see the picture here), and honestly it didn’t speak to me at all.  I’m usually very good with writing for random prompts.  However, I was stumped.

And then as I sat down this morning, the scene painted itself clearly to me.  Though the image is of two women, the story of Rhys and Jason from Migration: Beginnings and how they are vacationing in Europe, and happen upon the two women sitting in the window.

I call the story, “An Italian Afternoon”, and you can read it here:

Read more

Anyone else finding it difficult to write?

Trying to put this post into words, I actually decided on describing two scenes from the book.  We all know that America is going through a trying time right now, with anti-LGBT legislation coming down the pike, and some in government beating the drums of war.  It’s downright scary.

Thinking about it, right now I would say that I feel more like Rhys and Jason on their honeymoon as they watched the newscaster talk about the bombs going off in Europe.  That sinking, helpless feeling that creeps into your soul and leaves you feeling desolate.

But I want to get back to a happy place, like Rhys and Jason at the end of the book when they’re laughing and getting drenched in the rainfall from a foreign planet.  I desperately want to get back there, and I know I will.  It just may take a little time.

Goodreads question: How is fiction writing similar to non-fiction writing?

Originally posted over on my Goodreads author page at this link.

I truly thought that the process of writing a fiction book versus a non-fiction book would be completely different. Writing non-fiction, you end up doing quite a bit of research, because you want to get the information right. People read fiction books as a type of escape, whereas they are reading non-fiction books as reference.

But what I learned while writing Migration: Beginnings was that you need to do research – just as much if not more – on what you’re writing. Migration: Beginnings takes place primarily in Portland, Oregon. Now I live outside of Portland, so it’s easy to keep the landmarks in my head. For instance, the drive from the airport down I205, is quite clear to me, and the mall that they pass along the highway is the closest mall to my home.

But the book sees Rhys and Jason trotting across the globe, from a mundane trip to Sacramento, to Japan, Nepal, and Zimbabwe. While I made up the story that Jason’s grandpa tells him, the “so high up, that it almost touches the sky” and “hidden behind a wall of water”, the basic geography of Nepal and Zimbabwe actually exist. I had to do research on how to get there, closest airports, and the like, because I wanted it to be realistic.

So there you go. Research is the same no matter if you’re writing a book about travel, or a book about a couple that runs around the globe figuring out clues, that leads them to another planet.

Two New Giveaways!

I’m running another giveaway, both on Goodreads for a print copy of the book, but also on Amazon for five copies of the Kindle version. So if you’re interested, enter to try and win!

If you’re interested in the Goodreads paperback giveaway, you can click this link: Goodreads Giveaway.  The Goodreads giveaway will run from December 15th, 2016 through December 31st, 2016.

If you’re interested in the Amazon instant-win giveaway, you can click this link: Amazon Giveaway.  The Amazon giveaway is live now, and five random people out of 250 will win a copy of the book.

So get to clicking, and good luck!

It’s Book Release Day!

I’ve been waiting for this day for quite a long time; Migration: Beginnings is finally available for sale on Amazon!

While the print copy has been available for a little while (due to a glitch on my part; who knew you couldn’t set a pre-release date on a hard copy book through CreateSpace?), the Kindle version is finally available. If you have a Kindle, or even have the Kindle software available for your PC, Mac, iPad/iPhone, or Android device, and are interested in the book, you can now purchase it on Amazon.com. Even better for those people that have Kindle Unlimited, the book is free as part of the Kindle Unlimited program!

And if you haven’t entered the giveaway, there’s still time!