Guest Post: Pennies for Passion by Calista Lynne

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


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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Giveaway Winner

Congrats Trisha Harrington you are my giveaway winner. I’ll email you shortly^^

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It’s my birthday tomorrow and to celebrate not quite being an age of any significance I’m going to do a flash giveaway for an ebook of your choice from any of my backlist, which will end at seven am tomorrow GMT. All you need to do is tell me your favourite character of mine. Or if you’ve not read any of mine, tell me your favourite of my book covers^^


(a very old picture of me :P)

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This is Not a Love Story Paperback Winner

Congratulations Elsa, you are my winner 🙂 I will email you shortly.

Thank you so much for reading and commenting everyone ❤

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This is Not a Love Story Anniversary Give Away



On 22nd May two years ago my first story  was published. This is Not a Love Story means a lot to me. It wasn’t the first story I’d written, but it was the first story I sent off to a publisher as it was the one I felt the strongest about–the subject matter was (and is) important to me.

To celebrate I’m doing a give away for a signed paperback copy. I’m happy to ship anywhere in the world, so just comment to enter. Give away will end Wednesday midnight GMT. I’ll contact the winner on Thursday 🙂

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Te Quiero Release Day


This little story was inspired in part by my love for both the Spanish language and Argentina.

Te Quiero were the first words I learned in Spanish. They were in a book (incidentally about Argentina) called ‘The Story of the Night’ by Colm Tobin. I loved the character that spoke them (Pablo), and I also loved that the author didn’t translate anything, as those tiny smatterings of Spanish inspired me to learn more, and to eventually take classes (though that was a few years ago now). It’s a beautiful language. Writing Te Quiero has inspired me to go back to school at some point and to learn more.

There aren’t a great deal of Spanish words in this story, but with research and in-depth help from one awesome Spanish lady in particular (Rosalinda <3) I have endeavoured to use words authentic to Argentina.

Ally, my main character, is from Argentina (Buenos Aries). It’s a place I’ve never been, but have always longed to visit—I’ve always felt drawn there, ever since I was very small. I’ve dreamt about its vast and beautiful landscapes, the loneliness of them, or perhaps the aloneness. Sometimes places stick in your imagination and grow there. So, having Ally’s connection to his past, while not directly a part of the story, is important to me. This stunning picture of the Andes is borrowed from:


56c44eb8-5531-4d42-b46c-e2eb92557141Horses in Andes Mountains

Ultimately this story felt as though it was a long time coming.

The next story in the series will be told from Levi’s POV. It’s entitled Silver and Gold, and will be a bit more of a substantial read^^ No time scales for release yet. I need to finish it first 🙂

I hope you enjoy Te Quiero. I had a lot of fun writing it.

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Winners Te Quiero

Thank you so much for all the lovely comments!!<3 And thank you to everyone who entered^^ I’m so glad Natasha Snow’s gorgeous cover is getting so much love too ❤

My winners out of the hat are: Missy, Michael Thompson and TheSheShe! I will be emailing you all shortly 🙂

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