Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Cover Reveal - The Reinvented Heart Anthology


My short story "Sincerely Yours," will be coming out in The Reinvented Heart Anthology which is coming from Arc Manor Press in February, 2022, edited by Jennifer Brozek and Cat Rambo.

I am very excited to be part of this anthology and it looks like I am sharing the anthology with a lot of amazing science fiction/fantasy authors. 

Monday, March 15, 2021

Two new things... a Patreon and a NEW BOOK

 Two big announcements for Tate Hallaway fans: first and foremost, I JUST signed a contract for book 3 in the Alex Connor series. It is as yet unnamed, but I have a due date of the end of this year (2021) and thus am presuming that the book will come out in spring of 2022!!

Woot! More Alex and Valentine!

In tandem with that, I thought I might finally jump on the Patreon bandwagon (I know, I know, that's like so last decade, but I'm slow to adopt!) and let anyone who signs up follow along as I write book three (and all other works-in-projects.)  You can become a fan and get exclusive content for as little as $1 a month, so... it might be worthwhile. Check it out!


Friday, March 12, 2021

Marscon Appearance (Virtual)

Tonight, I am doing a Zoom panel at MarsCON (FREE!) and a recorded bonus track:

08:30pm - Friday -  Apocalypse Crafting - Panel Channel - During the pandemic, we all took up hobbies that are related to being housebound / on Zoom a lot which we'd like to talk about. https://youtu.be/b26oxuD_j3o with: Naomi Kritzer, mod.; S.N.Arly, Lyda Morehouse, Isabel Schechter, Haddayr Copley Woods

09:15PM - Friday  Reading by Lyda Morehouse (Tate Hallaway) - Bonus Tracks-  Lyda Morehouse aka Tate Hallaway reads from Unjust Cause (Wizard Tower Press) https://youtu.be/ZHcM8bmAkGM with: Lyda Morehouse

So, what is weird about this is that if you want to watch me live, you will have to miss my recorded reading... or bail fifteen minutes before the end of the last panel? Because my reading is very short and so if you go at the end hoping to catch some, you will have missed it. I guess the downside of virtual cons is that they can LITERALLY schedule you opposite yourself.

Seems weird that they wouldn't have pushed that back even fifteen minutes? But, I guess I should have checked the schedule earlier or, I dunno, asked them not to schedule me against myself?

Anyway, that's me. Come see me or part of me?

Monday, January 18, 2021

Starting with a Bang (and Why That's Bull)

 I've start up a new writers' group that includes some writers who are newer to the craft. This has been wonderful for me, because I personally find it useful to my own process and to my own understanding to have to articulate how writing works. 

One of my colleagues was complaining that his other writers group always harps on him to have a strong hook. They keep telling him "You have to start with a BANG." The problem is the story he wants to tell isn't a high octane shoot 'em up, it a quiet, reflective piece about grief and a small, personal mystery. So, he was talking about how frustrating it is to have to artificially wrench his story into a form where it starts with some kind of huge dramatic moment.

I stopped him and said, "It's a lie. What your colleagues are telling you is a lie."

A hook can be an actual gunshot, but what a BANG is, is simply the easiest way to get a reader's attention. It is not--absolutely not--the only way to get it.

You don't actually have to start with a bang at all. What you have to start with is a "hook," and that is very, very, VERY different than a bang. What a hook is, is something that compels a reader to want to go on. It's a sense of tension, an anxiousness to know more, it is a question that the reader desperately wants answered, or a quiet sense of building dread... or something else that has the reader saying 'OOoooooOOO, I want more of THIS.' 

It doesn't have to be BIG, it just has to be compelling.

It has been drilled into to new writers that the opening has to be exciting... and it does. It's just that it doesn't have to be "exciting" in a conventional way. 

I would go so far as to say that, if you do it right, almost anything could be a hook. A really strong sense of place could be enough for a reader to settle in an say to themselves, "Yes, this place seems super interesting, I want more." A strong, quirky narrative voice might be enough for a reader to say, "WHO is this person?? I must find out!" 

My friend and fellow Wyrdsmith, Adam Stemple once told me that an opening has to leave the reader with the impression that they are "in the hands of a master." And, he's right. Part of what you are establishing with your hook is a sense that you can be trusted to tell a good story. One of the ways you can gain that trust is believing that what you have to say is enough. Don't feel like you have to artificially contort your story so that you start in some conventionally "exciting" way. Just give your readers that nugget, the one that hints to them that what is promised is totally worth it. 

It still takes work to do it right, but don't waste that work thinking you have to go big or go home. You have to be interesting and compelling. That's hard enough! 

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

I'll Be Back (and I am!)


This news from my publisher's blog:


In October, I released a pair of anthologies, one F/F and one M/M, featuring magical pets. All proceeds benefit OutRight Action International, which fights for the rights of LGBTIQ people across the world.

The anthologies are delightful if I do say so myself, featuring a new Liavek novelette by Pamela Dean, a novelette by myself about a post-apocalyptic cat cafe, and short stories by Yoon Ha Lee, Tate Hallaway (Lyda Morehouse), Aster Glenn Gray, Damkianna, Ellen Million, and many more fantastic writers. Adorable magical creatures include an amphibious cat who can teleport from one body of water to another, a winged Bichon Frise, a flying cat who transports love letters, a set of spirit creatures straight out of a Miyazaki movie, a talking matchmaking squirrel, and many more.

Unfortunately, the anthologies ran afoul of a truly idiotic Amazon rule saying that anthologies must be labeled with the exact word "collection" and not "anthology." A sequence of bureaucratic idiocies later, the anthologies-I-mean-COLLECTIONS had to be pulled from the store and one of them had to be republished by someone else.

But, happy ending, they're back now. I know some of you meant to review them and couldn't; now you can! And if you meant to buy them, now you can do that too! Please broadcast this far and wide. It's a good cause and I promise you won't regret reading them.

Some injured animals get rescued and there are some ghost characters, but there is no animal death and everyone gets a happy ending.

The books will be released wide in three months. We're still working on paper editions. Please email or message me if you want a review copy or a non-Kindle format.

Her Magical Pet: Benefit F/F Story Collection


His Magical Pet: Benefit M/M Story Collection

Tuesday, November 03, 2020

Sunday, October 25, 2020

What Was Live is Live No More (for Now)

 Sounds like I'm talking about vampires, doesn't it?

Alas, I'm only talking about the link to His Magical Pet. My publisher ran into some trouble with Amazon over what basically boils down to semantics. Here's what she says:

Amazon has suspended my entire author account due to the paperback of His Magical Pet. I am trying to get it restored now. 

Apparently it violated Amazon guidelines on metadata, which require that they say “collection” not anthology - Amazon in its infinite wisdom does not recognize anthology as a valid label. They also need the author names on the covers. (The names need to match the listed names and Amazon will only allow ten listed names, so not all authors can be listed on the cover of Her Magical Pet SORRY.)

Once I get my account back, I have to unpublish both books, then re-publish them with corrected covers. This unfortunately will break all links to the books and delete all reviews. 

I'm really sorry about this. Working with Amazon is definitely like doing a deal with the Devil. On the plus side, the anthologies have made nearly $1000 in less than a month!

A thousand bucks so far! That's a silver lining at least. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this charity COLLECTION (since apparently we can't call it an anthology any more,) but for those who still want to buy it, PLEASE BE PATIENT. My publisher will get it back up and running ASAP, though we will lose those precious first reviews--so, if you were one of those early reviews? Please consider posting again once we have everything straightened? It would be a great help.