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.

Shouting my Story

Last night, I received a very encouraging message from an Instagram account known as angela.listens or project.fortem. Angela, a new follower to my Instagram page and hopefully future Stargazer, and I got into a short discussion about bravery, poetry, and vulnerability.

She commended me on my courageousness in sharing my poetry. In thinking about it, and during the course of our discussion, I realized again that my strength lies in my willingness to be vulnerable to give a voice to the voiceless. For so long, I resented my sensitivity and vulnerability because I believed they made me weak, but now, I use those traits to my advantage.

I share my experiences, whether it’s my experience with abuse, rape, suicide attempts, mental illness, because I believe by shedding a light on these topics, I am helping to make them less taboo. By being willing to share my story, I hope to empower others to open up.

Shedding a light on my experiences…

“Now, I’m sharing [my story] and can’t be silenced.”

Isabelle Palerma

It’s not always easy to start a dialogue. For years, I was fearful of the judgment I’d face as a backlash of my honesty. My own grandparents stopped speaking to me for months after I placed my sons for adoption because of the stigma associated with it.

For years, I fumbled with language and struggled to say what I needed to say most. I wrote poems but said nothing.

People close to me encouraged me to stay silent about my abuse or mental illness. They thought less of me for sharing. I’ve lost so many friends over the years because of my brazen honesty and my mercurial moods, but I’m finally stepping into my own stride.

For a long time, I did not have the vocabulary to express myself. For years, I fumbled with language and struggled to say what I needed to say most. I wrote poems but said nothing. I worked for the voiceless, yet I still felt powerless.

It’s only recently that I’ve developed confidence in my own voice, and though my voice may tremble, it is still a voice worth hearing. My poems may be a bit heavy on the mixed metaphors, they might not be rhythmically pleasing, or have that flawless rhyme scheme, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have something to say.

As angela.listens reminded me last night, I am using my voice. I am exhibiting the bravery I’ve long admired in other poets, whether twentieth century poets like Langston Hughes or Maya Angelou or contemporary poets like Neil Hilborn or Amanda Lovelace. For years, I watched the growth and progression of the author/poet, Laurie Halse Anderson, and when I met her a couple of years ago, after admitting parts of my story to her, she told me not to just speak my story but shout it.

Now, I am shouting it and can’t be silenced.

And I have hopes of my voice being heard because just last night, I was told, “I’m absolutely feeling inspired. It’s interesting to me that I’m being impacted in this way by your writing as I generally have a harder time connecting with poetry but I don’t have that when reading yours. I feel a sense of resonance and understanding. It feels very exciting!

What an incredible achievement, and I hope to share more of my poetry with others. I want it to continue to be accessible. For too long, poetry was mired in symbolism and bogged down by the need to fit a rhyme scheme. Some might not think my poems poetry because they do not have a distinct rhythm or rhyme, but it is the emotion that bleeds through the page that gives these poems the depth I desire them to have.

My goals, once I could finally articulate them and I was in a safe atmosphere to do so, have always been to:

  • share my story
  • inspire others to open up about their own story
  • connect others so they feel less alone
  • start a conversation about taboo subjects.

In short, my goal was to provide illumination to subjects generally left in the dark.

I’m working on completing my first chapbook, and with it, I hope to share my voice with more people.