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!

Thoughts: My Lord, My Lady

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Buy it on Amazon!

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

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Runway: Body Swap Gender Bending Fun!

Check out my Gender Bending YA Fantasy Novel, Brother Bewitched!

My Runway on Netflix

What is it to be a male?  A female?  How closely does anyone really adhere to the stereotypes?  No nation explores these ideas with as much creativity and vigor as Korea, and My Runway, now available on Netflix, does a wonderful job exploring these questions while also having a lot of fun.

In the series, a guy and a girl swap bodies.  Been done before, right?  But the choices here make it more interesting from the start.  The male, Jae Boem, is the world’s top male model, and very much a spoiled princess.  Arrogant, haughty, and superior, he swans around like the the world is beneath him, disrespects others and is perfectly confident in his beauty.

The female, Na Jin Wook, is a high-school student with bad grades who dreams of being a model and refuses to listen when people tell her she is too short.  Spunky and full of pep, she believes that she can succeed through hard work despite her unfavorable genetics.

They swap bodies and suddenly Jae Boem finds himself the cute but imperfect girl, physically over-powered by another high-school girl and dragged into a mundane life.  Meanwhile,  Na Jin Wook finds herself sharing a house with a bunch of super hot guys, including a male model she has been crushing on from afar.

Of course, there are romantic complications and lots of drama.  The types are all mixed up, too, with guys who obsess over designer fashion and hair, aggressive girls and a lot of mixing and matching of gender types that reflect reality more than most shows.

I don’t want to say much more because it is all fun and a lot of that fun comes from surprise, but if you are interested in gender identity and what makes us who we are, check out this fun and super-well-acted and written series!

Working in the genre

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My Author Page

I am asking the questions today.  You know, THE questions? Who am I as a writer?  What am I?  And, if i can’t figure that out, how am i ever supposed to target the right agent?

I wonder if I am really a YA author.  Sometimes, when I look at the books that have come out of me so far, Brother Bewitched and Brain Biters,  I shake my head and think–  I don’t know that any teens would want to read this stuff.

In both books my characters are teens, and the stories are told through their eyes.  I am not some adult lecturing them about their lives, or pounding them with cliches they are old enough to know are just things adults say to hide their lack of real wisdom.

But maybe my books are too cold?   The characters not passionate enough?  Maybe I am dealing with things in a way that is alien or foreign to younger readers?

Maybe I am just too weird for any normal teen to relate to?

I have to confess, I did not read a lot of the books aimed at YA readers when I was of the age.   I wanted to be older and more serious, and so instead of reading Robert Cormier I read Stephen King.   Now, I later read Robert Cormier, and I felt like I had really missed the boat not reading him earlier, but even as a YA kid I didn’t think I was a YA kid.

So, maybe my books will never sell well to YA readers (or anyone else).   You know what?  I am going to keep writing anyway.   When I published my first book many years ago, (not YA and under a different pen name) I told myself I would be happy if one person read it and related.   It ended up selling about 300 copies, and I waited anxiously day after day, hoping one of those readers would submit a review.  Surely, one of them would be my reader, the one I imagined would read the book and know he or she wasn’t alone.  Someone else felt and thought the same things!

Well, that very first review came, an d it was terrible.  The person HATED my book, and they hated it so much they felt compelled to tell the WHOLE WORLD how much they hated it.

I felt destroyed, and for several days I moped around, thinking I would never write again.  Then, something amazing happened: a second reviewer posted a review directly refuting the first, defending my little book and praising it.

I can’t tell you how great it felt, because this was my one reader, and not only had they related, but had related so strongly they felt angry when someone attacked our book.

Since then, I have gotten good and bad reviews, and weird reviews that made no sense.  And as I reach the end of the essay, I realize that I still don’t know what kind of writer I am, or if my books are “really” YA books, as in really, really YA books.

But it doesn’t matter.   I write and write, and someone out there gets enjoyment from my work, and feels less alone, and so I do, too!

 

 

 

 

 

Brother Bewitched Now Available!!!

 

The day has finally arrived!!!!   Brother Bewitched is now available for sale on Kindle, paperback or via Lulu!!!!   Also, the wigaway is still ongoing until midnight, 8/18 EST, so please enter to win!!!!

Okay, folks.   Hope to hear back from some of you as you have time to read my story, but thanks to everyone for being you!   Here’s one more picture, and now I am on to my next project, which is already 15,000 words in the making!!!!

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