What is the working title of your next book?
I'm actually not working on any full length novels right now but I am writing two novellas and I have just submitted another. Generally titles are one of the last things I come up with so right now one of the documents I'm writing is called The Tortoise and the Thrush and the other is called Egyptian Vampire Story. Of the story I have submitted it's called Selume Proferre.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I originally came up with a contemporary set paranormal universe and a group of LGBTQ people who worked around two businesses: a bookstore and a tattoo/piercing parlor. I tried writing several of their stories but the only one that really stuck was the story I came up with for An-An, a cool Chinese-American cowboy butch, and her hot, genderqueer, exorcist boss. That idea became Selume Proferre.
For the vampire story I knew I wanted to write a vampire story but didn't want to use a usual setting for it. I've always loved ancient Egypt and I thought it would go well as a setting for a vampire story. I started developing my main vampire character and after that everything just kind of fell into place.
The second story I'm writing right now started after my short story Zi Yong and the Collector of Secrets was released. Zi Yong and the Collector of Secrets is set in a fantasy world based on medieval China. I was thinking about the way magic works in that universe and the idea for a character who talks primarily to birds came to. Then I thought of a scene where two people are righting lets back and forth about a pet song thrush, and I knew I had my story.
What genre does your book fall under?
Selume Proferre is a lesbian/queer romance but also a paranormal horror story.
I think the vampire story is m/m romance/historical fantasy although there is definitely a lot of paranormal elements to it.
The Tortoise and the Thrush story is also m/m romance/historical fantasy although it has much more of a fairy tale, and folk lore feel to it.
Oh God I have no idea, I never think about these kinds of things. If anyone has any recommendations I'd love to hear them though.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
An-An thinks she's just taking on some temp work at one of the largest spell-craft firms around but not only is the case more than she'd bargained for but so is her boss the firm's talented, prickly and beautiful star exorcist.
Nefehotep is used to the life of solitude immortality has brought him but when Iunmet, the High Priest of Set and prince-brother to the Pharaoh, treks out into the desert to find him Nefehotep is plunged once more into a world of court politics, intrigue and betrayal along with romantic feels he'd thought he'd left far behind.
A note requesting the return of a song thrush he does not have propels student, Wen Yu, into a world of talking animals, magical poetry, and a beautiful imperial eunuch.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I have already submitted Selume Proferre to Less Than Three Press. So fingers crossed for me on that one.
The other two were written for two of Less Than Three Press' submission calls so I hope they will be accepted and published by LT3.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I think Selume Proferre took two to three weeks to write.
I started writing the Egyptian vampire story back in July and have been picking at it ever since. There have been some tough patches and plot points I'm not going to lie. The word count is about 30K.
I started writing The Tortoise and the Thrush about a week and a half ago. It's about 19K right now and I aim to get it finished this week but we'll see.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
One of the reasons I wrote Selume Proferre was because I am butch/masculine of center person who loves and dates other butch/masculine of center/ trans-masculine people but I don't see that represented in romance a lot, so I don't think I can point to a similar story in that regard.
When I started writing the Egyptian vampire story back in the summer I went looking for some great m/m romance novels set in ancient Egypt to see what other authors did with the setting. Sadly there aren't a lot though. If there's a m/m romance historical fantasy novel set in ancient Egypt already I haven't found it, but would love to hear about it.
I also haven't come across a lot of historical fantasy set in medieval China. There is a little in the genre, but other authors are taking a different kind of spin on it than I am.
But pretty much across the board if I thought there was already a story like the one I was writing out there I wouldn't feel the need to write it in the first place.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Selume Proferre was partially inspired by reading through cases of recorded demonic possession coupled with wanting to read some hot and sexy romance about two masculine-of-center people.
The other two were inspired by the awesome submission calls at Less Than Three Press.
What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
If you like paranormal stories with a contemporary setting, creepy demonic possession stories or hot butch cock you'll like Selume Preoferre.
If you're a fan of my short story Zi Yong and the Collector of Secrets and want to see more of that universe then the Tortoise and the Thrush story will be of interest to you. If you're looking for an interesting story with a fairy tale/folk tale feel to it set in medieval China then you should also check that story out.
The Egyptian vampire story has vampires, political intrigue, and magic. Also the ancient Egyptian God Set is actually a pretty important character in his own right in the story. So if you're a fan of Gods of chaos, secrets and misfortune check it out. Plus pretty much everyone is necked at some point in the story.
I'm also excited that both of the stories I'm writing now have kick ass trans* characters in them.