From 1 to 12 August 2019, I’m running a special offer for those joining my Patreon!
What is my Patreon?
At my Patreon, my supporters get sneak peeks of works in progress, cover reveals, research tips and writing tutorials! Some posts are provided a week ahead of my regular blog while others are exclusive to my supporters.
A key reward for my followers there are the Duo Ex Machina ebooks, but there are plenty more rewards depending on the support tier.
My supporters have already helped me to produce three novellas in the Duo Ex Machina series, with the fourth and fifth due for completion in 2020.
August Special Offers
Every new person who joins at the Class Act Level ($5/month) or above will get a free Scar Tissue and Other Stories ebook!
Everyone who joins at the Name that Tune Level ($10/month) and above will receive a cross-stitched bookmark, hand-made by me! Each bookmark is unique and relates to one of my stories.
Everyone who joins at the Booked Out Level ($20 in Australia; $25 everywhere else) will receive all current 2019 books, sent out over 2 months (ebooks by the end of September, paperbacks by the end of October).
New patrons will be charged up-front on the day you sign up – and have immediate access to three novellas to download and all the posts relevant to your tier!
Rewards will be fulfilled by the end of September 2019 (as I’ll be off in Dublin for WorldCon and travels in the UK from mid-August to early September).
For access to ebooks right through to tutorials, sneak peeks and other rewards – Become a Patron! from 1-12 August 2019.
On the brink of a new year, I’m looking back on 2018 with satisfaction and maybe a smidge of exhaustion. 2019 looks to be just as full of writing challenges and delights!
In case you missed anything, I’ve summarised my writing year below – and teased with some of my upcoming projects for 2019!
Thank you all for your support during the year – 2018 was fraught in many ways, but I hope it brought rewards as well. May 2019 bring you more of what you love, and more of what heals you.
Holmes and Watson in Love
My second Improbable Press Holmes/Watson book came out in June. A Dream to Build a Kiss On is a single story arc told over 100 stories of exactly 221 words each and the last word of each story begins with b. 221b. 🙂 It’s the first of a series of 221b stories for IP. (The second was A Study in Velvet and Leather, which I adore.)
Writing 100 stories in that format, and with a contemporary setting, was a challenge which I enjoyed immensely. I may even take it up again later next year!
Although not yet published, Kitty and Cadaver made an official debut with a song! “The Rain Song” appears about half way through the book. The band Bronze has released it on their EP The Razorback Five Track.
(And yes, one of the songs on the EP is inspired by that Ausploitation horror film, Razorback!)
Here is “Rain Song” – a song about precipitation which is also a spell to make it rain!
I sold a few Holmes and Watson stories during the year: in one, I recast them as contemporary Australian hipsters in “The Problem of the Three Journals“, solving crime and serving excellent coffee, for the Baker Street Irregulars: The Game Is Afoot anthology.
I admit the most fun I had with short fiction this year was my contribution to Grant Me the Carving of My Name, a collection of stories about Richard III edited by Alex Marchant and designed to raise funds for the Scoliosis Association UK.
One of my very few science fiction tales was published this year too – “Earworm Armageddon“, told from the PoV of a deaf protagonist, was picked up by Jay Henge publishing for Wavelengths.
Patreon and Duo Ex Machina
My most massive achievement this year – in term of words and time – was setting up my Patreon, through which I’ve re-edited and re-published my two M/M crime novellas, Fly By Night and Sacrifice.
These novellas were first published in 2004 by Homosapien Press. Now I’ve repackaged them as the Duo Ex Machina series, and the third (and brand new) novella, Number One Fan, is being published in fornightly chapters for my Patreon supporters. (Thanks guys!)
I also prepped a few reprinted stories and wrote a whole slew of fresh ones for the Scar Tissue and Other Stories collection for my Patreon supporters. (Thank you again – you guys are the best.)
My patrons received the book in November, and the official release (a co-production with Clan Destine Press) is scheduled for around February 2019, after a few delays pushed it back.
Then in March, the third Duo Ex Machina novella, Number One Fan, will finish its chapter-by-chapter run and be prepared for an ebook release.
Pipping that one at the post will be Grounded, a spec fic romance about two people who can’t fly in a world with wings. Escape Publishing has done a beautiful job of the cover and I’m excited to see this book released on 20 March!
Still to come
Of course, this only brings us to March. I’m sitting on an announcement for a short story that’s been accepted – when the anthology is officially announced I’ll send out the news first in my new newsletter, Mortal Whispers.
The first novel I’m working on for the year (now that Grounded is all edited and ready to go) is Kitty and Cadaver. I’m hoping for that to come out mid year in time for some SF conventions in June.
I plan to tackle the third in the Vampires of Melbourne series, which will coincide with a re-release of the first two books as ebooks with new covers.
I’ll also be working on the fourth Duo Ex Machina novella, Kiss and Cry from April onwards.
My first six months on Patreon have gone really well, and I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me there to write fiction! The second of the Duo Ex Machina novellas, Sacrifice, will wind up its chapter-by-chapter posting soon, and will then be prepped to go to all my supporters there as an ebook!
I’ve also reached my first income goal, which means a new short story collection will be produced in the next few months. All my supporters will get a copy of Scar Tissue and Other Stories as a reward before the book goes on sale elsewhere.
My Patreon supporters help me write fiction directly by paying a small amount each month. The income helps me to pay for things like covers, editing and proofreading. In time, I hope I’ll have enough income from all the mini-Medicis who support me to work a little less on the corporate writing side so I can write a little more on the fiction side!
What do you get for supporting me on Patreon?
Depending on your reward level, you get access to:
sneak peeks at Works in Progress
posts about music that has influenced me
chapters in my Duo Ex Machina series of M/M crime/romance novellas as they’re posted.
Duo Ex Machina
Everyone who supports me gets a copy of my first Duo Ex Machina novella, Fly By Night and, when it’s finished the fortnightly posting, the second, Sacrifice, will also be available to all my Patreon supporters.
I have three more novellas in the series planned, and those will also be posted chapter-by-chapter as well as being provided as ebooks as they’re completed.
Scar Tissue and Other Stories
I’m currently completing some stories for a short story collection, Scar Tissue and Other Stories, which contains previously published fiction as well as new stuff.
These stories includes flash fiction, Holmes♥Watson stories, stories set in the universes of my novels, including The Adventure of the Colonial Boy (canon-era Holmes♥Watson), The Opposite of Life (vampires in Melbourne), Ravenfall (M/M paranormal thriller) and the yet-to-be-published Kitty and Cadaver (urban fantasy with music).
Levels of support
For the $1 level, you’ll get free books, posts about my research and lyrics, and early cover reveals.
For $3, you’ll also get sneak peaks, fortnightly chapters of new books, art and music posts.
At $5 you also get bi-monthly writing tutorials.
$10 sees you get naming rights in stories and ebooks
At $15 I’ll also send you greeting cards three times a year!
Top level supporters can get autographed paperbacks and I’ll write you a personalised short story!
If you’d like to support me, at whatever level, you’ll be helping me write more fiction, so that’s win/win, right?
In preparation for working on a short story collection set post-The Adventure of the Colonial Boy, I’ve picked up some books to give me insights into late-Victorian queer culture and society’s attitudes towards it.
Victorian attitudes to sex and sexuality (and to a whole bunch of things) is usually deeper and more textured than a cursory glance would indicate. And while it’s true that terms like ‘gay’ and queerness as it’s currently lived and experienced were not how Victorians understood them, that doesn’t negate the fact people who would probably now identify on that spectrum were managing their lives, one way or another.
Which all brings me to this reading matter, designed to help me understand more about how queerness was experienced and lived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, so that I can translate those experiences for Sherlock Holmes and John Watson in a world where they have declared their love and physical desire for each other.
I tend to read books on these topics with a block of sticky notes at hand, so I can mark ideas I want to get back to.
The book pictured in the header, Catharine Arnold’s City of Sin: London and its Vices, is already festooned with notes for me to return to when I do the next round of research, which will be to go over marked passages and decide what to use and how.
One note in City of Sin refers to the pornography people could obtain in Holywell Street, including homosexual and lesbian representations. William Dugdale is noted as a “prolific publisher of filthy books” and further on, Arnold refers to the practice of pornographers having to smuggle their books into the UK, risking fines and imprisonment.
I have made a note that the unexpurgated copy of Richard Burton’s The Arabian Nights is very probably in John Watson’s private book collection. He’s an earthy man, after all, with a penchant for gambling and whisky. Why not a little saucy literature?
Further on I’ve marked the pages about the ‘telegraph boys’ who made extra money by having sex with men. The role of the Turkish baths (which Holmes and Watson frequent in canon) in homosexual liaisons is discussed 25 pages on from that.
I expect to read more queer-specific details of London life in the three other books pictured above, and will doubtless leave those pages bristling like a paper-based porcupine in due course.
I’ve already started with Strangers: Homosexual Love in the Nineteenth Century by Graham Robb, and even the introduction has provided some valuable insights.
How will these snippets and suggestions be used? Will they become significant plot points or background detail?
At this point, who knows? But by filling up my brain with some of that colour, texture and depth, I hope to introduce just enough research to make the stories feel authentic and engaging without presenting them as a series of lectures of What I Learned About Queer Victorians This Summer.
NB: A version of this post originally appeared in my Patreon on 2 February 2018.