Starting Over.

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Brother Bewitched

So, I had over 20,000 words hacked out on Brother Bewildered, and although I sort of liked some of the scenes, overall I felt that what I had was just wrong.  I didn’t like the opening, and since everything was flowing from that opening, it felt like I had set course for Wrong and unless I went back and started over, I would have no chance to get to Right.

That maybe makes no sense.  One thing about me is that I usually just write, write and write some more.  Then, for the passion projects like Brother Bewitched, I go back and rework things.  The initial draft of Brother Bewitched, for example, was 60,000 words.  After getting feedback from some beta readers, I cut 10,000 words and then added 40,000 words, creating a final manuscript I felt good about.

So, part of me said– just keep writing.  But I couldn’t.  It was all wrong, and I did not feel it could be fixed.  So, I started over.  I created a new document and stared at a new blank page, and I began to write again, putting aside me regret at those lost 20,000 words, at all that work.  I just started at zero, because I felt I had to do so.

It’s hard not to feel those 20,000 words amount to a tremendous waste of time.  But, they really weren’t.  I write mainly because I love writing, and the publishing side is almost a second hobby.   But I was immersed in my story, and feeling good about it and about life as I was writing, and those hours of enjoyment were real, and they happened, and that’s all great.  In addition, I learned a bit from those 20,000 words, and the new version is better because I spent that time and found a wrong way.  I say a wrong way because there isn’t just one.

Now, I am writing away, enjoying the experiencing, and my characters are surprising me as they decide to go different directions than what I had planned, to pursue different dreams, and the whole thing is unfolding and it’s like I am reading it as I am writing it– or maybe watching a movie version which I am transcribing.  I am very lucky to have a wild imagination, and especially at my age where I feel many of my peers have calcified minds.  My imagination is not only vibrant but out of control, and I have to reign it in sometimes just to stay in touch with reality.

Anyway, just wanted to post an update. Now, I need to get back to The Shattered Isles, where Serren finds himself attending yet another baby shower while Pattenia marches off to war.

If you haven’t read it yet, check out Brother Bewitched to find out how Prince Serren found himself trapped in dresses while his sister seized the crown!

Just One Of The Boys: Gender and the Modern Girl

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Although I mostly review books that explore gender through body swaps and magical changes, I also find it fascinating when authors explore gender through the roles a character plays and the ways society treats them.  Such is the case with teen age Alice Bell, who loved hockey more than anything and hopes to keep playing by joining the all-boy’s Chicago Falcons, where the level of play is high enough that professional scouts regularly visit to look for professional prospects.

Through a k-drama series of events, she ends up joining the team as a boy named Al.

Having dedicated her life to the sport, Alice wants to play with and against the best, to have a chance to prove herself.   In the world of hockey, her identity trends pretty much dude, with her concerns being sports, eating whole pizzas and winning.   She barely even sees the other players as having any sexual identity, other than the star player Hayden Trembley, who much to her horror she finds herself crushing on.

Now, where this story gets interesting and I feel reflects the reality of many women today, young and not so young, is how embarrassed she feels whenever she feels or is forced to act in traditionally feminine.  In addition to her hockey, for example, her mother insists she participate in some figure skating, and she hates the dresses and the make-up, wondering what her hockey playing team mates would think if they saw her in a sparkly little dress and fake eyelashes.

She relates to Trembley dude to dude, repressing her romantic feelings because, yes, she is pretending to be a boy, but also because he is her team mate, and she feels that getting close to him romantically would be bad for the team, and also, I feel, because since her relationship with him is based on her being a dude, she worries what will happen if she acts or looks feminine.  In fact, she has to work to hide her femininity: the way she sits, talks and uses her hands.

It’s all good fun, but I also feel reflects the lives of contemporary girls who shift and morph from competing as athletes to getting all dolled up for the home coming dance, or who pretty much dress like dudes most of the time– hoodies and jeans and sneakers– but then feel the need to dress “girly” for certain occasions, or maybe when they want to get the attention of certain guys.

This story deals with all that, and it even offers a resolution, though I won’t what.  It is also at heart a very modern rom com, and a fun read.  Check it out!

Thoughts: My Lord, My Lady

myladycover

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I love it when authors from other genres choose to write a gender bender, and so I was quite excited to stumble upon a body-swapping romance from New York Times best selling author of romance novels Katherine Ashe.

Lady Corrina, an intelligent, well-read young woman, has intellectual ambitions, largely stifled by her sex.  lord Ian Chance loves horses, drinking and bedding women.  Naturally, Corrina thinks she despises Ian, though they have known each other all their lives.  Of course, it does seem the lady doth protest too much.

Enter a magic statue which causes them to switch bodies.  Ian wakes up in a room so feminine it makes him want to puke, only to look down and become more horrified to discover  he now has a woman’s shape.  The situation only gets more nightmarish when he realized he has become Corrina.  Corrina, meanwhile, finds herself equally horrified to be in his body.   They communicate, trying to figure out what to do, and decide they will have to live each other’s lives as long as they are trapped in their new bodies.

There are some very fun gender swapped moments.  Ian complaining of his corsets and being forced to spend his nights at salons.  Corrina getting a thrill as she is finally allowed entrance to the exclusive men’s clubs she has been barred from, and then being surprised to find the men she’d thought so shallow are actually intelligent and fun.

Ian suddenly finds himself constrained and limited, having to worry constantly about his reputation, and when a man besmears it Ian finds himself standing behind Corrina while she punches the man to protect Ian’s honor.

We do get some sexual tension between the two as well, but alas their is no physical consumation until they are back in their own bodies.  All in all, this is a very fun read, one that derives its enjoyment mainly from being a traditional romance with all the expected beats, but where we get to see a man in the woman’s role, and a woman in the man’s.  I say– read on!

Caught up in The Shattered Isles!

Taylor Galen Kadee

I am getting a lot of writing done on Brother Bewitched II, and for me that means my thoughts and even dreams are filled with my characters and their struggles and mistakes and triumphs and fears!  Scenes keep coming to me, and my biggest challenge it to write, write write while the visions are still clear in my mind.

It’s so fun seeing them all again, catching up with Serren and Pattenia, Bucket and Danalia, Nemeria and Asryn!  They keep surprising me, and I hope that fun and surprise will come through to my readers.

So, for now, here’s a possible cover concept for the second book.  I would love your feedback!

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Check out all my stuff at Amazon.com

Newly Revised Brain Biters!!!!

Hey, folks!  I have revised and expanded Brain Biters!  If you bought it before, I believe you will be able to download the new version for free still.   I cut about 5,000 words and then added a new 25,000 words, and I feel the new version is deeper and better.  The characters and essential plot are the same, but the book goes much deeper into questions of gender and identity!  If you didn’t read it before, read it now!!!!!!

 

Brother Bewitched II: Begins!

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I am excited to announce that I have begun the sequel to my YA Fantasy novel Brother Bewitched!   For those who haven’t read it– and if you haven’t, why not?  Brother Bewitched is a gender bending fantasy novel I describe as Game of Thrones meets Freaky Friday.

Reviewers called it “Perhaps the best book in this genre” and “My favorite book of the year!”

I have actually been writing this book in my head ever since the first edition came out last summer, but now the keys are clacking and the scenes and the story are taking shape on paper.   What can you expect in book two?  Here are just some overviews without giving away any major spoilers:

Open War!

The House of Ansey, which ended the first book in revolt against the rule of Pattenia Denae, the Girl King, will musters its armies and navy, seeking all-out war to throw down Pattenia and the followers of the goddess Progenita.  More diabolically, Ansey and their allies among the priests of Maxis have spies and assassins everywhere, and they seek to turn all in the kingdom against Pattenia.

Who can she trust?  Who might betray her?

Pattenia seized the crown, and now as she turns 18 she must lead her nation to war even as she tries to build a relationship with Asryn, the man she loves.

Serrenina

Once the crown prince of The Shattered Isles, Prince Serren, now Princess Serrenina, finds himself sidelined as the war looms.  Having faced misogynistic violence and discrimination after his transformation into a woman, he now has to figure out what to do with his life and how to make a future for himself.  Will he find some way to regain his manhood and even his crown? Or will he find some other path to power?  Serren does not know who he is anymore, or what he might become.

Intrigue!  Magic!  Gods and goddesses!  Look for it by this summer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giveaway! Tweet to Earn Chance for Free Book!

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https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/617e82253d99af0b

Enter now for a chance to win a free copy of It Girl!  What?  I am so excited about this book and so hoping people get a chance to read it I am even going to give some copies away for FREE!!!!!

Tweet it up, people!  The world wants your tweets, and I want to give you my book!  It’s a glorious day!!!!