Regrooving the Dream

So, obviously to anyone who has been paying attention, this blog has not been flooded with content, high-quality or otherwise.  Why not?

Well, I lost sight of my goals.  When I started out with this blog and my first gender fluid YA Novel, Brother Bewitched, I had set a goal to bring gender bender fiction to a mass audience.  It was a slightly crazy ambition, as more than one person told me, but I felt like it was something important and worth pursuing, and I was determined to go after my goal.

Well, I am going to admit something embarrassing:  I gave up too easily.  Brother Bewitched found a small and awesome audience, but it did not break out in the way I hoped.  Ditto Brain Biters.  So, I let myself get discouraged and decided, hey, you tried.  So, just be happy with the readers you have and enjoy the success you did achieve.

I did do that, but, ya know what?  It just didn’t quite feel right, and after a great deal of soul searching I realized something:  I had created an artificial and limiting choice for myself.  In fact, I could be happy with the readers I had and enjoy that level of success, and I could ALSO keep pursuing that dream of bringing TG fiction to a mass audience.  So, that’s what I am recommitting to right now and in this public form.

I am going to work tirelessly to pursue my dream, and that means good things for YOU!  Because I believe one of the keys to that dream coming true is for me to give, and I am going to be sponsoring more giveaways, putting out free fiction and spreading total love all with the aim of selling, I can’t believe I am even saying this out loud in public, One Million Books! 

Yes.  That is my goal.  To see one million books in the next year.  Come join me!  And I will be keeping you posted as I progress toward this goal, sharing the lessons I learn along the way.

Keep on rocking, people!

Taylor OUT!

Video Up! Check it out!!!

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Promo Video Link Here

Scroll Down for International Links to Buy The Book!!!!

Check out my promo video for The Shattered Isles Books, Brother Bewitched and Brother Bewildered!  It’s groovy!  And thanks to everyone who has been buying Brother Bewildered!  It was a blast to write, and I am so happy to see sooooo many people snapping up copies!!!  Rock on, people, and Stay Weird!!!!

Brother Bewildered: Now Available!!!!

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Yes!  You heard correctly!  The second book in The Shattered Isles series is now available on Lulu and Amazon in ebook form!  The paper will be available any day now!  I am just waiting for it to process.

For those who have not yet come to visit The Shattered Isles, the books tell the story of Crown Prince Serren, first in line to the throne and the embodiment of male privilege.  That is, until his sister uses forbidden magic to turn him into a girl.  As Pattenia’s younger sister, Serren no longer has claim to the throne and watches as his sister takes his crown and consigns him to a life of corsets and gowns.

Book II continues his struggles learning to live as a princess, while his sister continues her journey into masculine territory, going off to war and adventure!  I will say if you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it, you will be in a blissful state beyond words for the duration!

 

United States       Germany     France       Italy     Spain    Netherlands

United Kingdom     Japan     Brazil     Mexico      India   Australia   Canada

LULU

 

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

Buy it on Amazon!

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!