So, some crazy things have been happening in my life, and they all started around the same time. For one thing, The Scorpion’s Mate and Into the Dead Fall have gotten a LOT of attention and wonderful feedback! I’m so honored and amazed that so many people have taken the time to read my stories and then share their thoughts about them in reviews and posts.

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That kind of feedback is inspiring. When I published those books, I had sequels in mind for both, but I didn’t know if I would get to work on them any time soon, because I wasn’t certain how much of a market there would be for them. I’m not going to lie; these books push boundaries, even for those who like alien romance. Sometimes, I would get concerned that I was pushing those boundaries too far, and a lot of my hesitation about sharing them had to do with that concern.

At the same time, I wanted to do something that I hadn’t seen before. Something a little different. Sometimes, different doesn’t always work for readers. Sometimes, certain characters will rub them the wrong way, and the feedback isn’t as positive. I’ve learned to live with that. 😉 I figure, if my characters are real enough in a reader’s mind that they feel strongly about them in either direction, then I’m doing something right (though obviously, I want people to enjoy my books and love certain characters as much as I do!)

It turns out that not all monsters scare romance readers off, and I am thrilled that people want to read more about Thrax and Nemon, which is why I dived right into the sequel to The Scorpion’s Mate—The Kraken’s Mate. Nemon is a lot of fun to write, though it is a challenge to push boundaries while still keeping it classy. With all his extra equipment, there is certainly the potential to get a little crazy. 😉


Still, as excited as I am about it, I wasn’t able to avoid running into the same pitfalls that plagued me when writing The Scorpion’s Mate. I hit the 50,000 word mark, and also hit the wall. I got it into my head that I wanted to start fresh again, and I was ready to fall to my knees and cry, “Noooo!” to the uncaring ceiling fan. For those who haven’t seen the earlier blog posts on my efforts to write The Scorpion’s Mate, I actually restarted the book five times, and wrote two other complete first drafts before finally finding the right story for Thrax.

My issues with the current draft of The Kraken’s Mate are a bit different. In the first book, my problems arose when Thrax started behaving out of character, plus there were some plot lines that I wasn’t ready to pursue as to the world-building (they involve the Menops species and Earth 😉 No more hints on that, other than to say, Ilyan’s words will probably become prophetic in future sequels.) I will say, the Menops are also insectoid, although quite different from Thrax. I have some plans for them, but we will see if there is continuing demand for books set in this universe.  They would not be part of the Iriduan Test Subjects series (or will they? 😉 K, now I won’t give any more hints!)

But on to The Kraken’s Mate! So why did I hit the wall on this one? Honestly, I think it was just burnout. I was consumed and obsessed with this book, and barely took any time to think of anything else. There are some things going on in my life right now that are shaking my foundations and tearing me apart inside, and my writing has become my only escape, but at a certain point, you have to come up for air (no pun intended ;P), and when I did, I realized that I needed a break.


Only, I couldn’t stop writing, because like I said, other things are going on that I want to avoid dwelling on. So, I decided to do some work on the sequel to Into the Dead Fall, which I had already plotted out completely. I was really excited to work with these particular characters because—like Nemon—they are quite a bit different from the usual fare in alien romance.

I wrote furiously for six days straight, from the time I rolled out of bed until the time I collapsed back into it again, late at night (or really early in the morning, sometimes). I managed to finish the 77,000 word first draft, which tells me the book is going to be significantly longer than the previous book. Usually, first drafts are shorter than the final draft, since they are more skeleton than meat in a lot of areas. Revision will flesh things out and add some words (hopefully, only the important ones—I’ll deal with that in final edits. :D) I did notice in the feedback that readers wanted there to be more development of the character’s lives together after the climax of the story—into their HEA phase—and I hear that loud and clear. I will be adding more about their lives after everything goes down and they end up together (that’s not a spoiler. I only write HEAs!) in future books—hopefully, I will find the right balance between too much detail and not enough on that in the next books.

I loved the characters and their interactions in the sequel of Into the Dead Fall! But… (everything has a ‘but’ 😉 ) I’m not sure if readers will ever see this version of the story, because… darn, I can’t say without spoiling some things. I think I can mention that the focus isn’t as directed as I wanted it to be. This is supposed to be Evie’s story, but her sister and her mates play a large role in it. Maybe too large a role? I don’t know. Sometimes, I get frustrated with romances where the focus doesn’t remain on the main couple, but maybe that’s just me.

There are some scenes that further develop the relationships established in the first book that I don’t want to lose, though. I think they are great scenes, and important, but again, I don’t want to take away from the development of the primary characters’ relationship. I’m thinking, the book is just going to have to be even longer, but I’d love to get some feedback on this issue. What do you think about a story where the focus isn’t entirely on the main romance, but also adds in details from a previously established romance?


I should say, I considered writing the parts that involved the other trio into a novella and bundling it with the sequel—at the end of the book —but the events take place concurrently, and without the shift in focus, there would be too many unanswered questions in the main story. Ahhh! Decisions!

Alternatively, I thought of restarting the book and completely changing the plot, which means changing some critical world-building details—well, actually it means changing almost everything that wasn’t already established in the first book. Sigh. The new plot is still good (yeah, I already sketched it out), but I don’t think it’s as good.

Since I’m torn, I have to take a break from this manuscript as well, but I felt refreshed from my time away from The Kraken’s Mate, and figured out a fix for the problems I felt the story had. I re-plotted the ending and stared at it with wide eyes and a big “duh!” going through my head. Can’t believe I didn’t see that was where it was going the entire time. It was little wonder I’d felt the wall of writer’s block. I was trying to force something in a direction it was not meant to go. I’m very happy with where it’s going to end up, and now that I have the ending broken down by scene, I’m going to start working on it, scene-by-scene, taking a little more time on this first draft to avoid burning out.

So that’s what I’ve been up to, lately. Since I’ve been writing almost constantly, I haven’t gotten much else done, nor have I been able to read the ginormous list of TBR books that are in my Kindle. It figures that right around the same time that I get wrapped up in writing my own books, a slew of alien romance novels were released that sound awesome—including the Valos of Sonhadra Series, most of which are written by authors whose other books I absolutely love. There are nine of them, and though I haven’t had a chance yet to crack into any of them, I can recommend checking them out if you’re into alien romance, based on the authors alone. I will be starting at the beginning (Amanda Milo’s other books are keepers on my virtual shelf!), and working my way through all of them, and I can’t wait.

There are also a ton of B-movies awaiting my attention, a couple of Rifftrax I haven’t caught up on yet ( I love so-bad-they’re-good movies!), and some TV shows I also want to get caught up on. Fortunately, there aren’t any video games that just came out that I’m dying to play at the moment, because it would be difficult trying to find the time to breathe at that point (though I can fire up Fallout—3, NV, or 4, Skyrim, or ESO at any time and end up losing hours).

I realize this is all escapism. At the moment, it’s the only thing keeping me sane. 😉 (Okay, winky face means I’m joking, but seriously though, things are pretty rough right now. 😦 )


Quick Update


Just a quick update, because it’s Monday, and there’s no way I’m going to have the time to write my regular blog.

Why don’t I have the time, you ask?

I’ve hit the 50,000 word mark for The Kraken’s Mate (the sequel to The Scorpion’s Mate) and I still got a ways to go, but yeah, it’s taking up all of my free time for the moment. I mean all of my free time. I actually dread the computer at this point, not because I don’t want to write, but because I can’t seem to stop, and I’m really bad at setting limits on this sort of thing. I look at the clock, promise myself I won’t spend more than an hour typing, then check it again after a really intense scene and like six hours have passed and my fingertips hurt!

So then, I say okay, I’m going to stop right after I finish this scene. But that scene inevitably leads to another, and another.

And that’s where I’m at. So, if you’re wondering what I’m up to, there you have it. 😀 I will try to write a longer blog with more substance later this week. I just need to finish this first draft so that I can take a break from the story that has me in its grip.

Well, except for the fact that the sequel to Into the Dead Fall is also demanding that I write it, and I’ve had to type up some opening scenes for that one too already, because I’m just so excited about being able to write it, so it will be the next manuscript I feverishly work on. Then! Then I can take a break.

This has been a crazy week!

Last week, I published The Scorpion’s Mate and the bonus novel, Into the Dead Fall, without huge expectations, and then I immediately went on a week-long family vacation.

The Scorpions Mate eBook cover - Resized

Now, family vacations are supposed to be work-free (not that I really consider my writing to be work, but still…) I’m supposed to be totally disconnected from my writing, so that I can connect with family. So I leave my laptop at home. Then I suffer for days and days with ideas that have to be scribbled on napkins (but that’s a complaint for another blog).

I still check my email though, so when my truly awesome reader, Cindy (fingers-crossed that you don’t mind that I called you out 😉 ), left a comment on my blog about how much she loved The Scorpion’s Mate, and that she’d shared it on a couple of Facebook pages (of authors whose work I happen to love!), I was thrilled. Obviously.

I still didn’t expect it to gain the momentum that it did. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and I’ve hit Amazon rankings I never even came close to before.

I love aliens that look like aliens in romance. When I first started out asking for recommendations on the Amazon romance forum, what seems like ages ago, I felt like I was in a tiny niche with only a few other kindred spirits, gamely offering suggestions for books that are far too obscure for how amazing they are. At the same time that I asked for those recommendations, I had started another Amazon thread looking for a different type of romance recommendation. Guess which thread lived on. And on. As it grew, I realized that my niche wasn’t so small after all.

In fact, there were far more readers for these kinds of alien romances than there were books to satisfy them. Certainly, there weren’t enough books to satisfy me. So I set out to write my own.

Confident as I was that there was now a market for these kinds of books, I still worried that a scorpion-like alien would be a bit too much, even though he was humanoid. Especially since I based him on a monster I had developed for a book that never ended up being written. I’m glad to see that my concerns were unfounded!

When I wrote The Scorpion’s Mate, I introduced certain characters for a potential sequel. One I wasn’t certain I would ever write, though I had a good idea of the plot. I just wasn’t sure the first book would be popular enough to warrant the time it was going to take to work on the sequel. As much as I write, sometimes I still have to make hard choices (I hate hard choices 😦 ), putting projects on the back burner to work on more lucrative projects. Fortunately, since The Scorpion’s Mate has done so well, I’ve decided that the sequel will have to be my next project, and I’m excited about that, because Nemon is… well, interesting, to say the least. When I dreamed him up, I didn’t think I’d ever give him his own book, because he definitely isn’t your typical romance hero. Of course, neither is Thrax. I’m glad I’ll get the opportunity to write Nemon’s story, because I loved him from the moment I put him on the page.

Adding Into the Dead Fall as bonus content for The Scorpion’s Mate was a last-minute decision that had surprising results. I have to say, I love this book so much, and had written it for myself a few years ago, squirreling it away in my personal library. Since I figured I was taking a risk with The Scorpion’s Mate (really alien hero), why not add another risky book (MFM romance with really alien heroes). I’m stoked that I have additional incentive to write the sequel, because any time I write something solely for my own personal library, I feel almost guilty. I should be writing books to publish, right? Can’t grow my career with books no one but me will ever read.

Now I get to work on Evie’s story, guilt-free, after I finish and publish Nemon’s story. I think Evie’s heroes will surprise my readers. I can’t say it hasn’t been done before, though I’ve yet to read any alien romances with this type of alien, but I’m hoping it will offer something a little different to the genre. (And yes, I have the entire book plotted. See, I was planning on writing this for myself. Someday.)

Of course, all of this means a delay to Uriale’s Redemption, although, we’ll have to see how much of one, since I’m hoping to write fast. 😀

I want to thank everyone who has supported me in this, who has taken the time to read my books, post about them, and who has taken the time to write the amazing reviews The Scorpion’s Mate has been getting! I’m so honored by the attention and praise that I don’t even know how to handle it! (More exclamation points! That’s the answer!!! LOL. I have a problem with those. My fingers just love to type them.)

As always, I welcome feedback. It helps me to know what projects to work on and where to focus my efforts. I just want to say, my readers are awesome! Truly amazing. You guys are the ones that keep me inspired, and you’re the reason I continue to share my work. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!

Woohoo! Finally!

I’m finally able to announce that The Scorpion’s Mate ebook is now available on Amazon! Phew! It feels like it’s been a looooong haul to get this book finished and published, but I’m very pleased with how it turned out.

And in addition, I’ve added the bonus of a second full-length alien romance, because I really wanted to share it with my readers.

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Here’s a description of both books:

The Scorpion’s Mate (Book 1: Iriduan Test Subjects)

Claire has never really fit in with everyone around her, but she’s carved out a life for herself using her own unique style and artistic ability to support herself on the Internet. The last thing she expects is to be abducted by aliens and dropped into a research facility, where a genetically-engineered alien soldier chooses her as his life-mate.

Thrax’s pheromones are compelling, and his status as a fellow unwilling test subject makes them allies, but Claire isn’t certain she can trust someone who is convinced she belongs to him, when all she wants to do is find a way to return home to Earth—a place that her devoted alien can never follow, because there’s no way the scorpion-like alien would ever be able to pass for human.

Still, she’ll accept help where she can find it, so she doesn’t hesitate to escape with Thrax from the facility, though their time running from their pursuers in the warrens beneath the research facility will forever change Claire, and could make it impossible for her to return to Earth.

But will there be anywhere else in the galaxy they can go where their love will be accepted?

Plus a BONUS Full-length novel:

Into the Dead Fall

Though she was raised by a survivalist, Alice was not prepared to be ripped from her dimension and dropped without ceremony into the massive junkyard of a parallel dimension.

She’s wounded, alone, and lost in a world her mind struggles to comprehend. When a strange, four-armed alien comes to her aid, saving her life, she has no choice but to accept his help.

She finally starts growing comfortable around her leonine companion, until another warrior intervenes to save her when creatures from the Dead Fall attack them during their exploration, making everything much more complicated.

Alice still doesn’t understand what either of the warriors is saying, and if she can’t find the right words to soothe her beastly new protectors, they’ll end up killing each other.

Author’s Note: 18+  These books contain scenes that are not suitable for younger audiences. It should also be noted that the alien heroes in these books look alien in many ways, and their cultures and mating habits might not be for everyone.

I’m also excited with how the cover turned out. For anyone who reads the book, you might understand why it was impossible to accurately depict the hero on the cover using stock images, so I had to get creative. I’m thrilled with what the designer came up with! Claire may be trapped in a research facility, but she’s also walking on stars. I love the imagery, and the way it perfectly symbolizes her situation after being abducted.

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This book (actually two books) is only .99 cents! It’s also available on Kindle Unlimited. I hope you’ll check it out.

The Right Girl

angel-2890670_640I’ve finally reached the point where I can devote my full attention to Book 4 of my Shadows in Sanctuary series—Uriale’s Redemption. I have to say, it is the one book I have been both looking forward to, and dreading. Uriale is a complex character that doesn’t fit any of the traditional “romance” molds. He began life in my books as a villain, and a despicable one at that. In the early drafts of Lilith’s Fall, he was almost cartoonishly bad, his only positive feature being his incredible looks.

The original concept behind the entire series was to flip the angel/demon paradigm on its head. I wanted my angels to be monsters, and my demons to be complex, free-willed beings, capable of choosing their own path, whether it be good or evil—instead of being inherently evil. One of the core ideas was to challenge the concept that looks (or any aspect of ourselves that we cannot control) define our character.

The angelic beings—the adurians—are creatures of light. They have golden skin and pure white wings. They are beautiful, powerful, and worshipped by humans as the epitome of virtue.

In contrast, the umbrose are creatures of darkness and shadows. They hide from the light, and are demonic in appearance, with bat-like wings, all-black eyes, and horned spurs on their elbows. They are viewed by humans as the representatives of all the dark temptations that lead them into corruption.

I’m a sucker for a monster that turns out to be a good guy. I’ve mentioned in a previous blog how much I reject the notion that Ugly is Bad (like the wicked stepsisters in Cinderella), and the same holds true for “monstrous” being inherently evil. Thus, this concept followed naturally from that desire to upend the traditional narrative (and the shortage of books, movies, and video games that explore such a theme).

However, I didn’t want to fall into the trap of going to the opposite extreme, with the umbrose being the “good” guys, and the adurians being the “bad” guys. For one thing, these kinds of one-dimensional characters are just not interesting. Instead, I tried to add nuance to the characters of my umbrose heroes. They are individuals whose values might be shaped by their culture, but who make also make choices based upon their own personal desires, experiences, and traumas. Not all of those choices are virtuous or good either.

I had my heroes worked out. I knew who they were, and how I wanted them to be. My villains were less clear at first. Since I was working against a preconception of virtue based on their angelic appearance, I thought I had to counter that with repulsive behavior, and to a certain extent, I did. However, since the adurians are free-willed as much as the umbrose are, I needed a reason for them to be as they were. After all, I don’t believe evil happens in a vacuum, and the whole point in this series was that evil was not actually inherent. So there would be no more reason for Uriale to be evil than there would be for Ranove, or Balfor to be so.


The adurians were a primary antagonist in Lilith’s Fall, but I didn’t get to spend as much time in their perspective as I might have liked, simply because this wasn’t a book about them. In the second book, we see a bit more of Uriale, but only a bit, and we learn a bit more about Anata’s madness. But only a bit. However, by this time, I had a much deeper grasp on these two characters and the forces that had shaped their villainy. Anata—as monstrous and sadistic as she is—is a tragic figure from a deeply tormented background. Uriale, proud, arrogant, and certain that there was no challenge he could not win, thought to save her from her own spiral into madness by claiming her as his and bonding his mind with hers. Rather than save her, the bond pulled him deep into her corruption.


By the time the third book rolled around, I was left with the broken pieces of a potential hero, still wearing the fragments of his villainy like the feathers molting off his shattered wings. I have a long row to hoe, because I’d painted him in such a bad light from the beginning, and by the end, his hatred had only made him more antagonistic to those I had made into heroes.

When I initially plotted out his story, last year, I knew exactly what I wanted to do, and who I wanted to pair him with. I love a good contrast, so I was picturing Uriale—who had become undeniably evil—with someone who was unquestionably virtuous. This contrast would be even more pronounced when I took into account the difference between this new person and Anata, who had become so sadistic and cruel. In fact, I wanted the exact antithesis to Anata—the opposite of a fierce, mad warrior-woman who thought only of herself, because she’d been convinced at a young age that survival meant always looking out for number one.

Then, I sat down to write said story. And immediately hit writer’s block. The romance just wasn’t happening.


And that’s when I started getting worried.

You see, I had convinced myself that I could treat Uriale like any other romance hero. I could give him a good woman and let her change him from a bad boy into the kind of guy the girls sigh over. But I’d been wrong.

Uriale happens to be a royal pain in the rear. He just wasn’t interested in this new woman. She was too good. Too virtuous. She didn’t understand him—and on her end, she couldn’t get over his past, while still being true to her character.

So, I went back to the drawing board and reread all the books in the series to get everything fresh in my mind. It occurred to me that a character I’d been saving for another book might be just the thing for him. She is probably one of my favorite characters in the entire series, and I knew her story would be interesting… but as I got about 6000 words into it—before I even introduced Uriale—I realized that she wasn’t for him either. She’s got her own story, and a very special hero in the future.


Once again, I went back to the drawing board, and by now, I was starting to panic. In a powwow over pizza with my daughter (who has never read any of these books since she is quite a bit too young) I laid out the general story (glossing over the darker and more salacious bits, obviously) and asked her what kind of character sounded right for my hero.

Her immediate suggestion made complete sense (in the “emperor has no clothes” way that kids make sense), and I wanted to smack my forehead for not thinking of it before. It was a mistake to try and create a wholly virtuous character from a loving background, with a supportive family. I needed a misfit with a troubled past. Someone who could at least begin to understand Uriale, and who was not so above reproach herself that she couldn’t forgive him.

In a few hours, I’d knocked out six thousand words, because that’s how driven I now am by this character and the story. I still have a long way to go, and it’s still possible that I will hit another roadblock, and make another overhaul, but for the first time since I plotted out Uriale’s story, the characters feel right, and I’m back to being excited about writing this book.

I have to admit that I consider this book one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever taken on in my writing. Because of how difficult it is to write his story, Uriale has become my nemesis as much as he is to the umbrose, but I’m also a bit in love with him. 😉 I always had weakness for villains, to be honest. Especially when they’re gorgeous!

Have you ever taken on a challenge in your writing that you’re not sure you can handle? Do you think I can turn a villain into a hero? If not, what do think would be the biggest hurdle to overcome? Is there a point where a character is simply too evil to change? I’d love to hear your feedback on this, and I sincerely thank you for checking out my blog.

Out of My Comfort Zone


Anyone who has been following the “Aliens that Look Like Aliens” thread on the romance forums of first Amazon and then Romance Forums, has probably seen my skeptical comments on multiple-partner romances. Sometimes called ménage romances or reverse harems, they usually involve a female heroine with multiple male heroes.

When I started out reading romance as a young adult, this wasn’t a thing. At least, not in the romances I ever saw, though it was probably quite common in erotica even then. Now it is relatively common, particularly in the paranormal romances that I’ve been seeing in the last five or six years.

My attitude towards this hadn’t changed as rapidly as the market for it. Don’t get me wrong! I don’t judge anyone who likes this type of romance at all. Believe me, I’m not one to judge others for what they like. When I first started asking for recommendations for alien romance where the aliens actually look alien, I got some pretty judgy comments, myself. You like what you like, and don’t care if other people don’t. In my case, I wasn’t a fan of multiple-partner romances, but I was happy to see recommendations that others could enjoy, because it kept the thread alive and even allowed it to grow. Win-win for everyone!

Of course, over time, some of those recommendations began to peak my own interest. The stories sounded amazing, if I could only get past my initial objection to the concept of the hero sharing his heroine with one or more other heroes. I started reading a few, only because they received so much buzz that I couldn’t ignore them any longer.

And you know what? I liked some of them. The stories were really good. The characters were well-defined. The intimate scenes were often quite tastefully done, certainly in comparison to what I was expecting.

Of course, I found some that were not to my taste, but I realized that I could try something that was out of my comfort zone, and it wouldn’t necessarily be a negative experience. I don’t think I will ever be a huge fan of this type of multiple-partner romance, but I know that now, if I see a recommendation for a book that sounds interesting, but has this trope, I will still be willing to check it out.

But, I am a writer as well as an avid reader. I like to explore situations that I’m not always comfortable with in real life with my writing. Sometimes, I like to push my own expectations. Sometimes, I like to challenge my own boundaries. Writing gives me the freedom to explore different concepts and perhaps gain an understanding of different perspectives.

And after reading some of these multiple-partner romances, I had come to certain conclusions about what I liked—and what I didn’t like—about them. So, I set out to see if I could write one that had all the elements that I liked, but avoided those pitfalls that soured me on the romances I’d read.

About three years ago, I was deeply inspired by this very challenge, and even better, I had a world I wanted to set it in. A world that seemed ideal for this type of relationship to grow and thrive. I had dreamed up this world as a pocket-dimension of another universe I had created—the very same universe where my upcoming alien romance is set.

The book came together surprisingly fast. I knew what I wanted it to be, and what I didn’t want it to be, and the characters and their backgrounds had already been created for another story that I never ended up writing. Within a month, I had a complete, 70,000-word manuscript.

That I was never going to publish.

It sounds crazy that there could be anything I’d be afraid to publically attach my name to after the unconventional nature of some of my published books. Yet, there it was. Back then, I was hesitant to put this particular manuscript out there, because I feared it would be just too bizarre, too “out-there” to be acceptable. Not just because of the multiple-partner romance aspect, mind you, but also because the heroes are the least like humans of any of the heroes I’ve ever written.

Yet, I loved their stories, their worlds, their cultures and influences. I wanted to share them!

Ironically, while I was hesitating to share my own story, other authors were putting out books with heroes that were just as alien, if not more so and from cultures that were just as unusual, with even more polyamorous romance, and the authors were becoming wildly successful with them.

In fact, by now, my heroes are nothing new (they are different, but the inspirations I used have been used by other authors as well.) Whenever I see a new book come out with elements that are similar to the ones in my book that made me afraid to publish it, I want to kick myself for being a coward! I should have put this out years ago! I should have had the courage to do so, and perhaps I would have been the trailblazer, instead of the one trailing behind.

The thing is, I left my comfort zone to write this book, but I was still safe because no one would ever see it. I didn’t take the real risk. I didn’t put it out there. I’m thinking about changing that.

Since this book is connected—although tangentially—to The Scorpion’s Mate, I’m thinking that I will add it as a bonus book to that one. As in, I’m still a bit of a coward. I’m too afraid to let it stand on its own, but the upside is that anyone who reads The Scorpion’s Mate will get to read this one as well. Honestly, I want to share it, and I had even debated publishing it on this blog as I did Morbidon’s Bride, but I don’t like to publish 18+ content on my blog. So, into my other book it will probably go.

I would love to get feedback on what you all think. Do you have trouble leaving your comfort-zone? In reading, or writing? Do you challenge your own tastes and interests to try something new that you’re uncertain about? I’d love to hear your stories about that.

Why No Twitter?

woman-1446557_640.jpgPerhaps the most universal advice an indie author will get is that they need to be on social media to build a platform. For me, this is like saying to a person terrified of water that they have to learn to swim before they can be successful.

I am, by nature, an introvert. I have a ton of social anxieties that go way back to when I was in elementary school and the target of pretty much all the school bullies. Because I was an introvert even then. I was also the classic nerd: socially awkward, glasses, acne, poor fashion choices, and an obsession with academic excellence that other kids despised.

I spent my childhood daydreaming. Dreaming up stories. Oftentimes, it was the only escape I had from the social nightmare of school. Back then, video games were about hand-eye coordination, so I wasn’t very good at them (I’m better at that now, but still prefer RPGs over action platformers), and we only had one game console that my older brother dominated anyway (he was very good at them, so I rarely got a chance to practice).

This left books and daydreams as my only escape, and I used both liberally. I needed these outlets, just to get through each day. I would spend every second that I had with my nose either buried in a book, or scribbling notes for a story. You can imagine how popular this made me. 😉


Social interactions nowadays are quite a bit different, but no less fraught with emotional peril. It’s quite easy to find yourself embroiled in an online battle royale with just a single tweet or post. I’m much thicker-skinned than I used to be as a child, but that’s because some of that thick skin is composed of scars.

Despite that thick skin, I’ve been conditioned by experience to avoid situations that can quickly and unexpectedly devolve into a nightmare—you know, that dream where you find yourself at school naked. There are other reasons I avoid most social media like the plague as well (like social laziness and a desire to focus on writing my books instead of tweets), but this is the one that stands out the most to me. I don’t want to say or do the wrong thing and suddenly find myself in the center of a firestorm of negativity.

So, even though I know I should have Twitter, and Instagram, and Google+ and every other possible social media outlet I can sign up for, I only have Facebook and my blog (and I don’t check or update Facebook nearly as often as I should). I only spend one day a week even on the social media I do have, which is why it might sometimes seem like I’m suddenly extremely active online for a brief spurt and then nothing. A week on the Internet is an eternity.

I know what I have to do, as an indie, to grow my platform and spread the word about my books, but at this point, it’s still on my “To do” list, and will probably remain there for a while. I’d rather spend the majority of my focus on writing my books. According to all the advice and wisdom out there on indie publishing, this is undoubtedly not the way to do things, but I’ve never been very good at fitting in anyway. Some things never change. 🙂

What do you guys think? How is your relationship with social media? Do you consider it a burden or a blessing? I’d love to get feedback on this, because sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who hasn’t wholly embraced it, but I’d also like to know what you enjoy about social media, because perhaps it will give me a new perspective to make things easier for me.