Labels, and stepping out of my comfort zone

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Second Chapter of Shelter Me

 

Snippet of second chapter of Shelter Me

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Lessons learned this year so far….

As a few of you know, I’ve been struggling recently with all things publishing related and wondering where I go from here. I’ve done a lot of soul searching these past few weeks trying figure it out.

The first thing I’ve realised for sure is that self-publishing is not for me. I miss the support having a publisher gives you. I’ve only self-published seriously twice, but both times it’s been a bad experience for me and really knocked me flat confidence-wise. My mental health has suffered, and to be honest it’s not worth it for me at all. (The fact that I don’t enjoy going it alone has really surprised me, because honestly usually I love doing things on my own and in my own way–I run my own business and I love being in control–but something about the process of creating stories makes me need to hand the publishing process over to someone else to be able to deal with it successfully.)

The second thing is not something new (I realised this a long time ago)—my writing doesn’t fit easily into the romance genre as it currently exists. That isn’t a problem. But it means publishing with small romance publishers who publish mainly m/m romance probably isn’t the best fit for me. Ultimately, I’m not a fan of current classifications. And most of what I write is YA anyway—queer, romance-y YA, but I’m happy for it to just be called YA.

Thirdly, I love writing. I can’t imagine not doing it. And I like sharing it. I’ve considered going back to free sites like fictionpress, and publishing work there, but when I think about my goals, earning something from writing is one of them. And if I don’t earn anything from what I write, I’ll have to cut back my writing time significantly. Which leads onto the fourth thing….

Patreon. I’ve been a patron of several artists for a while. And I really enjoy being a part of their processes. I’ve looked at sites like Go Fund Me but I prefer the interactiveness and flexibility of Patreon. So, I’ve set up an account. If you’re interested in supporting my writing journey, you can find me here.

And finally, there’s something I’ve not had the confidence to try before, and that is to seek representation by a literary agent. With an agent, I’d hopefully have greater publishing options and support—which is definitely something I need. So, my main goal this year is to try hard to get my confidence up to do that.

Over and out^^

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1st Newsletter

So my first newsletter  with a short story for Danny and Micky from Foxes has been sent out^^

If you’d like to subscribe to my next newsletter, or if you’d like to receive a copy of this one, you can subscribe here:

https://sukifleet.wordpress.com/newsletter/

I anticipate publishing a newsletter once a month or so-though it may not be that regular!

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Winner Wildflowers

Thank you so much to everyone who entered, and for all your kind comments.

My winner is Michaela^^ Congratulations. I’ll email you shortly.

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Wildflowers-Giveaway

WildflowersFinal

Hey, so it’s nearly release day for Wildflowers, my 8th Dreamspinner release! And this is my 11th published release over all^^ I’ve made a board for it over on Pinterest. I update my boards over there quite regularly–they’re not all story related but lots are (I also have one for Light Up the Dark–my current work in progress).

Wildflowers was the first story I ever finished. It’s very angsty (I think it’s my angstiest),  by angsty I don’t mean depressing, I mean the characters both struggle, a lot, and they have to fight for their HEA. (I like the struggle^^)

I’m doing a giveaway here, so if you’d like an advanced ebook copy, please leave a comment and I will choose a winner on Tuesday 12th^^

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Guest Post: Pennies for Passion by Calista Lynne

Pennies for Passion
On the age old question of money vs. art
by Calista Lynne

WeAwaken_postcard_front_Harmony

When people ask me what I’m studying, I tell them that I took the two most useless majors and combined them into an even more useless major. My mother doesn’t appreciate this self deprecating humor, but I’d rather make fun of myself for being an English and Drama major before the other person begins rolling their eyes. My prospects from this degree actually aren’t bad; I’ve already had positions in magazine publishing houses and major London theatres, but sometimes it’s okay to step back and realize I chose the programme that most closely resembles a glorified book club. With the addition of clown class. Doing what I love doesn’t mean I made a stupid decision, just one I’ll have to work harder at.
In regard to my novel, when people ask about that I get to tell them that I wrote about two female asexuals in a same sex relationship. It’s called We Awaken and is young adult magical realism.
Obviously money isn’t what drives most of the decisions I make in life.
There wasn’t a great market for novels with asexual protagonists because there wasn’t a market for that in general. It is so rare to find a character in the media that doesn’t experience sexual attraction, let alone one who is openly ace. My goal was simple: to write the novel I wish I had growing up. Something that would prove to young aces that they weren’t broken and explain the sexuality a bit better to those who don’t understand it. It’s not even their fault. The amount of ace discourse available is so minimal that I can accept people not knowing much about the sexuality.
Regardless of all this, I wrote the novel not knowing if it would ever even have an audience.
And then I sold it.
I see nothing wrong with being a sellout. People need money to survive and I applaud them for getting it however they need to. But I believe that by doing what you’re passionate about for long enough, you will eventually become so adept at it that it can turn a profit. Combat the stereotype of the starving artist by pouring your soul into all that art because eventually others will see that. Your art will start serving you. Audiences like honesty.
Because we live in a universe that plays by the law of survival of the fittest, money is the priority. Money is food and shelter and that is survival. No matter how much we may try, no one can sustain themselves on listening to slam poetry. But if you can use art to make money, then that is the ideal. If you are passionate enough about whatever it is you are creating, it will get made no matter what other jobs you are doing at the same time. When I was writing this novel, I worked as a boardwalk barker. Every day I’d shout out this same spiel of Round and round it goes, where it stops, nobody knows over and over in front of a wheel game. Some of my greatest inspiration came from watching the world from my stand and being so near the beach. The world is out there and it wants your art.
So if you don’t see representation in literature, write it. Even if it’s a lesser known sexuality or another marginalized group. Being passionate about others hearing your message will make it that much more enticing to those who will be willing to help you along. And then you’ll never have to choose pennies over passion.
And if my novel of ladies loving ladies in a fantastical setting sounds of interest to you, here’s the synopsis:

 
Victoria Dinham doesn’t have much left to look forward to. Since her father died in a car accident, she lives only to fulfill her dream of being accepted into the Manhattan Dance Conservatory. But soon she finds another reason to look forward to dreams when she encounters an otherworldly girl named Ashlinn, who bears a message from Victoria’s comatose brother. Ashlinn is tasked with conjuring pleasant dreams for humans, and through the course of their nightly meetings in Victoria’s mind, the two become close. Ashlinn also helps Victoria understand asexuality and realize that she, too, is asexual.
But then Victoria needs Ashlinn’s aid outside the realm of dreams, and Ashlinn assumes human form to help Victoria make it to her dance audition. They take the opportunity to explore New York City, their feelings for each other, and the nature of their shared asexuality. But like any dream, it’s too good to last. Ashlinn must shrug off her human guise and resume her duties creating pleasant nighttime visions—or all of humanity will pay the price.

 

We Awaken is available for Pre Order from:
You can find Calista here:

 

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