February 20, 2024

'Nimona' For Everyone (Limited Time, Methinks)

Okay, so Netflix decided to drop Nimona on their Youtube channel so more folks can see it for free -- and without ads. Here you go:

One might speculate as to why Netflix decided to do this, and I'm guessing it's because they wanted to generate more buzz with the Oscars coming up. The movie's nominated for Best Animated Feature. Plus I just learned it also won a couple of Annie Awards (Best Voice Acting for Chloe Grace Moretz and Best Writing) in addition to making the shortlist for a slew of different categories for the Annies. So kudos to everyone behind the film.

I watched it when it came out on Netflix last year, and I loved it. Still do. I also watched it again on Youtube, and none of my initial reactions have changed. That movie went there. And it needed it to go there, I think, and I'm so glad the filmmakers didn't shy away from such a heavy theme.

From what I know, this freebie is only for a limited time, but don't quote me on it. I think it'll be up for another six days? That's the rumor I heard, anyway. So for anyone who doesn't have a Netflix account and is interested, have at it!

February 19, 2024

What Follows Next: 'The Perfect Rochester'

The book's main premise was already established in Nightshade's Emporium, so taking that thread and making something out of it isn't as though I'm starting over. Out of all the books I have planned coming up, this is the one I'm most confident in. It's not a sequel. It's going to be Narcisse's turn to tell his story, but in his case, the point behind his finding his HEA will involve issues of self-confidence and developing trust in other people, and references to his dilemma in finding his beloved are worked into the other book's plot.  

Anyway, here's the cover art:

I tried to stick to the lighter, cheerier color scheme that Nightshade's Emporium has but at the same time give it its own character (naturally). The title is part of a line that Viktor says to his twin toward the end of the book, and I thought it suits Narcisse's journey. The tone will be the same as Nightshade's Emporium, and some of the events in this book will be taking place simultaneously with Viktor's troublesome efforts at understanding his purpose and the role Myles plays in everything. But as I've said before, this book as well as Nightshade's Emporium are standalone novellas and don't require anyone to read both to understand what's happening.

Now as for the release date, it's going to come after Compline as noted previously, but as always, the calendar is fluid.

February 18, 2024

Looking Ahead Because I Work Like a Machine

Maybe it's the INTJ in me (that's my MBTI type), but I'm methodical and borderline clinical when it comes to planning out my publishing calendar. For better or for worse. I might be rigid in my approach to a lot of things, but I'm still human enough to allow myself some wiggle room for unfinished projects and hopeless efforts. I just dump them and forge ahead with replacements. 

So! This post is all about upcoming stuff but no calendar dates. I know the rest of 2024 is still pretty fluid as it should be, so there's still a chance I'll succumb to the pull of high energy and excitement should I end up finishing The Dubious Commode early (which I think I will, by the looks of things). And if that's the case, there'll be more adjusting coming your way with Voices in the Briars possibly getting published at the end of this year. 

Before anything else, though, I changed the cover for The Dubious Commode, and here's the updated version:

I actually found a really great image that I desperately wanted to use, but it didn't tie in as well as I'd like with the rest of the book covers in the collection. However, I may be using it down the line. The final effect is pretty hilarious, but again, it didn't work with the collection's aesthetic.

In addition to that update, I have cover art for three upcoming books, one of which is for Madrigal's replacement, Compline. The other two books are in varying stages of planning. 

The Twilight Lover is a full-on expansion of a gothic horror short story I wrote ages and ages ago, and The Bells of St. Mark's Eve is a story idea that's been in seed-planting mode for the longest time. I've gone back and forth with that book over the years, but now that I'm finishing up the last of a series, I'll be free to play with standalones again in long novella format. I can't wait. 

So none of those books have calendar dates attached to them for now. And that's because the follow-up (not a sequel) to Nightshade's Emporium still needs to be outlined and be given a slot. I'm guessing it'll come out after Compline, and then The Twilight Lover and The Bells of St. Mark's Eve will follow. That said, the books in the banner above will be coming out no earlier than maybe March of 2025, but as to how far apart they'll be spaced out will depend entirely on the same factors I've been going on and on about here. 

I'll definitely post the cover art and title for the follow-up to Nightshade's Emporium soon. I'm pretty confident with that book since a foundation's already established the story's universe, and I'll just be picking up some of the threads and weaving a new story with them. It'll be fun, and I really look forward to going back to the world of the Nightshades again.

February 13, 2024

One Thing Leads to Another (the Book, It Lives!)

Funny how things work. My recent foray into the world of Mary and George led me to algorithms recommending more gay-themed videos featuring Nicholas Galitzine, which means snippets from Amazon's Red, White, and Royal Blue. And then THAT led to more recommendations of royal-gay-themed videos, which include snippets from Netflix's The Young Royals. And then THAT turned into Netflix recommending other boarding-school or simply school-themed shows.

Where did that take me? 

Back to my experiences in a Catholic school (not a boarding school, though), which led to a nostalgic trip back to the time I wrote Wollstone (a gay YA fantasy boarding school love story), which led me to antiphonal singing (something we did during mass), which then led me back full circle to the scrapped Madrigal, which I was hoping to write but couldn't get the ideas to work as a cohesive unit. 

And guess what! It lives! 

Rather than make it into a full-on dark fairy tale of sorts since it's technically a gothic take on "The Pied Piper of Hamelin", it's getting a full-on glow up and will take place in a boarding school that's a mix of Catholicism, superstition, and dark fantasy. Because ghosts. And folklore. The book's title will be different to reflect the shift, but I'm tentatively looking at Compline instead of Madrigal. From secular to sacred but with a twist, I suppose. 

It'll be a treat to go back to writing another boarding school story. Certainly a lot creepier than Wollstone, and I hope to really dig into my Catholic background for more inspiration.

And as a bonus, I'm also beginning to form ideas for a follow-up book (a sequel and yet not quite since it's a standalone) to Nightshade's Emporium. I'm totally stoked for this. I'm still not clear about what kind of publishing calendar to follow, but the sequence can go either Voices in the Briars + Compline + untitled or Voices in the Briars + untitled + Compline. It'll most likely be the first option, but depending on how energized I am, I might work a miracle and actually write Compline and the still-untitled follow-up book simultaneously. I did that before, and I got it done. 

It'll all depend on how the calendar this year works out, of course. That said, it's safe to say both of the latter books won't be out till next year.

February 07, 2024

Mary and George (Well, Hello There!)

Ran across this trailer yesterday, and color me well and truly intrigued.

From the YT page:

Mary & George is inspired by the unbelievable true story of Mary Villiers (Academy Award® winner Julianne Moore), who molded her beautiful and charismatic son, George (Nicholas Galitzine), to seduce King James VI of Scotland and I of England (Tony Curran) and become his all-powerful lover.

Through outrageous scheming, the pair rose from humble beginnings to become the richest, most titled and influential players the English court had ever seen, and the King’s most trusted advisors. And with England’s place on the world stage under threat from a Spanish invasion and rioters taking to the streets to denounce the King, the stakes could not have been higher. Prepared to stop at nothing and armed with her ruthless political steel, Mary married her way up the ranks, bribed politicians, colluded with criminals and clawed her way into the heart of the Establishment, making it her own.

Mary & George is an audacious historical psychodrama about a treacherous mother and son who schemed, seduced and killed to conquer the Court of England and the bed of its King.

George Villiers was, by many accounts, an utter sleazebag, and his Wiki entry is wild. I won't be able to see the series since I don't have the streaming service for it, but I'm all for Jacobean gay intrigue (not to mention disastrous results -- not because of Villiers's sexual orientation, but because of his narcissism and greed).