WIP Reveal

...coming soon* to a bookstore near you.

*and by soon, I mean in this century.

It was as though Zoe had left the door open specifically for him. He chuckled to himself as he slid through her bedroom door. He approached her sleeping form and smiled. She was lovely, even as she snored lightly. He bent down and wiped a small trickle of drool, then swept her cascading hair out of her face. The thin cotton sheet revealed a silhouette of her figure.

His fingers grazed down her spine, and she murmured in her sleep, her grip around the sheet tightening. His breath warmed her skin, and his lips parted as he prepared to sprinkle kisses across her back.

That was when Zoe, in a daze, rolled from lying on her stomach to her back. His eyes shimmered at the sight of her, and he dragged his long, slender finger against her cheekbone, caressing it with a whisper of a touch. The subtle glide of his finger against her rose petal soft skin awoke her.

She screamed a bloodcurdling scream. Her shriek terrified him but not more than the American Home Run Slugger she was wielding.

He ducked as she swung.

Strike one.

She reared back and swung again. This time, the wooden bat connected with its target, and he flew across the room.

She leapt out of bed and strode to where he cowered on the floor. “Who the hell are you?” she snarled.

“I’m an incubus,” he growled in response.

Her eyebrows shot up in shock as she echoed, “An incubus?”

“Well, an incubus lite, I suppose,” he squeaked. “An incubus-in-training?” His voice quavered as he watched her approach him. “Um, but who are you exactly?”

“I’m Zoe Reed,” the brunette replied, “and don’t you forget it.”

So, for those of you who are unaware, I broke the Internet last weekend. Or, well, at least, bruised Facebook. I posted a pretend excerpt up of a book in an urban fantasy book fan club on Facebook. Basically, it was mocking all the Barbie doll descriptions of heroines: with their DD breasts and perfectly firm butts and sleek, blowout hair. Not a shred of fat on them, but total bad-asses. A reader commented on those types saying how they are always described with a description that includes their underwear. “I picked my red g-string up off the floor. Sure, it wasn’t my favorite, but it would do.” Authors sexualizing their heroines basically.

As a joke, I wrote up a quick antithetical passage.

snarky, eh?

And somehow, it gained traction. Like, a lot of traction. Over 1k reactions on Facebook and over 400 comments.

So, now, I have readers demanding a series, an editor, and nearly two chapters written.

Is this what it means to go viral?

Well, here’s part of the unedited version of what we’re temporarily calling “Granny Panties”.

Please let me know what you think!

Ps: Anyone know any affordable eBook cover artists who do awesome work?

New WIP & Author Update

Hey, y’all!

I’m not even sure how to begin this blog post because I feel like I’m spamming you lately, but here goes. As most of you, I finished my final revisions on my first novel last year. I picked up an awesome opportunity as a ghostwriter in October of 2021, and have been plunging ahead on that, I also have been submitting short stories and poems to various anthologies. I have received some rejections along the way (part of the business, I know), but also some amazing encouragement.

a tweet from award-winning & bestselling author Simon Van Booy
the anthologies I’m in
reader feedback from a few of my poems

Along the way, I’ve met some delightful people on social media who have pushed me ever closer to my dreams (my Tweeps, my Stargazers, all y’all), and now I’m starting a new venture.

Last night, as a joke, I posted a response to someone’s question, “So, is it just me or is it weird to anyone else when they read a female main character and the author makes it a point to describe their underwear…like, ‘I’m getting dressed in pants, a black t-shirt, and this red g-string. Not my favorite pair of underwear, but they’ll do.’ Like, WTF?”

The replies were what you’d expect, but then I chimed in with an excerpt from an imaginary book:

facebook post

This has since developed into a post with 655 likes and growing, and it has seen a 70 member request increase in my Facebook group. Now it’s my turn to say, “Like, WTF?” I’ve decided to write this story…and I’m proud to say I’ve already finished Chapter 1.

I am simply blown away for this demand for paranormal women’s fiction, but I guess here goes.

Keep your fingers crossed for me that I don’t disappoint my new fans.

…or any of you, for that matter.

Trigger Me, Hurt Me, Set Me Free: A Blog Post about Art

challenge me, insult me, inspire me, make me laugh & cry, trigger me, hurt me, anger me, set me free.
The following blog entry consists of my opinions. These are not meant to be considered facts. If you have a differing viewpoint, I’d love to hear it. We can have different opinions and still be respectful of one another. If a dialogue ever turns into ad hominem attacks or uncivilized arguments, regardless of the topic, I will shut down the conversation, regardless of my personal views.

Art is meant to be provocative. It’s meant to incite a reaction and elicit a response. It’s not meant to be quiet and small. Art should be revolutionary and make a statement.

“I truly think art should challenge a viewer and not merely placate them. Art should be a means of abandoning the mundane.” Isabelle Palerma, Author and Artist

I feel like, with art, it might be worth noting two different directions that an artist can go in. Stealing terminology from the writing world, one can have commercial/genre art or literary art; rarely would the two intermingle, but if there is such a case, perhaps that would be deemed like it is in fiction, upmarket work. Commercial/genre art would be the type of art that has more mass appeal, things like traditional landscapes or portraits, still lives, simple yet beautiful works that don’t stir up controversial feelings. Maybe commercial/genre art would be things that are mass-printed and found in people’s homes.

Isn’t that the point of art? To stop you in your tracks, to affect your way of thinking?

But to me, literary art would be the types of paintings that really make people question what the nature of art is: whether that’s Dadaism or Surrealism, whether it’s a color field painting or something more outlandish. And maybe this is something that has already been bandied about by art historians or art experts, but to me, art is truly the best form of the word when it stirs up strong emotions. Art can truly makes you stop in your tracks and maybe it feels a little gritty or perhaps, like Dr. Maggie G. said in her Tweet, it might “challenge me, inspire me, trigger me,” but isn’t that the point of art? To stop you in your tracks, to affect your way of thinking? I don’t feel a success as an artist if a viewer feels satiated looking at my painting; if it doesn’t leave their blood boiling and their passions running hot, then, I feel like perhaps I haven’t done my work as an artist. Yes, perhaps, it makes a person feel less alone or understood. Maybe it makes them feel seen, but it should never create a sense of complacency.

I love when my art is open to interpretation: when one person is absolutely convinced they see one thing in something I painted, but someone else sees something completely different. I was commissioned to make a painting a few years ago that were in shades of blue, grays, and white. I did an abstract painting that I viewed horizontally and perhaps because of the way I was looking at it, I saw a tranquil (yet very abstract) body of water. When the person who purchased the piece saw it, she promptly rotated it to be a vertical painting and saw it as two women conversing.

Not that art has to be enigmatic and keep secrets from the viewer, but I truly think art should challenge a viewer and not merely placate them. Art should be a means of abandoning the mundane. As Anaïs Nin said, “I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.” To me, that is what art is, or should strive to be. An unbound thing that frees mortals from the restraints of this world and awakens the strongest of emotions.

The American actress Stella Adler said, “Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.” I think in an ideal world, art should not focus on the mundane, but it should rather polarize you and elicit reactions like the ones Dr. Maggie G. describes.