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Angel’s Bits – Transgender Awareness Week

Hi all and Happy Friday! This week is Transgender Awareness Week, November 14-20. Instead of me talking about this, I want to signal boost The Trans Fiction Week blog project that Matthew Metzger spearheaded. The blogs this week focused on inclusion, on non-binary issues as writers, and on getting writers past that “can’t” mentality one often hears from cis-gendered writers. Some of the wonderful and informative blogs include: Beyond Punctuation: Editing Diverse Content Safe Spaces, and Safety Writing from the Closet (a non-binary writer’s view) Gun Control (a cis-gender writer’s view on the importance of inclusion) If it’s Cis, It … Read more

Angel’s Bits – It’s Been a Tough Week

Well. This has just been a dreadful year and the past week wasn’t any improvement. Usually, I’d write a Friday thing about some aspect of publishing or marketing. It just doesn’t seem appropriate. Everyone I know is angry or frightened or depressed. Or all three. So. Let’s talk about what to do. The best way to combat the evil out there is to get involved, right? But how do we get involved? Donate. This is both the easiest way to get involved if you have the funds and the hardest if you don’t. Of course, it’s not always about money … Read more

Angel’s Bits: Plagiarism

It’s a nasty, ugly word, isn’t it? Plagiarism. It rears up with shocking regularity in every writing circle – academia, journalism, fiction, biography. Every time I see a new case pop up in the romance or SFF writing communities, far too many people wail about their particular genre being plagued with it. It’s not true, of course. It’s everywhere. But there are some odd misconceptions about it and some predictable reasons why authors do it. According to, “Plagiarism is taking the writings or literary ideas of another and selling and/or publishing them as one’s own writing. Brief quotes or … Read more

Angel’s Bits – ‘Tis The Season for Paranormal

Paranormal – those stories that fall outside what can be explained using what is known about the universe. Ghosts. Vampires. Werewolves and so on and… What’s that? All queer paranormal fiction is the same? All tropey and stuff so you don’t want to read it? There’s nothing wrong with tropey fiction of course. We all have our favorite comfort tropes and types of stories we enjoy reading. But what I’d like to do today is take a look at some examples of queer paranormal fic that doesn’t adhere so closely to the tropetastic side of things. Please note that these … Read more

Angel’s Bits – Stalking Authors in the Wild

Authors are much more accessible these days – at least online. We can friend our favorite authors, follow blogs and Twitter feeds, see photos of them with friends and so on. But now you’ve decided to attend an event. Real life, three-dimensional authors will be there. (Gasp!) The time spent face to face with your author quarry can be limited at larger events. You might see them on a panel or at a signing. Other events are geared toward allowing readers to interact with authors. Though the setting doesn’t matter too much – you’ve spotted the author on your personal … Read more

Angel’s Bits: The Generic Story

How many times has this happened to you? You read a book, watch a movie, catch something on the Hallmark channel and think, “I’ve read this before. I know this story.” You go off to search and find that, no, you really haven’t. Still, the feeling of story deja vu persists. You’ve just been sideswiped by a generic story. When we talk about tropes, we’re really talking about the essential building blocks of a story, the components a writer uses as construction materials. But there has to be more to the story, of course. Characterization, author voice, unique or surprising … Read more

Angel’s Bits – Author as Reader

It bothers me on a wince-inducing, cellular level when an author says these words: I don’t have time to read. Dude (used in the gender-neutral, collective sense) – that’s part of your job as an author. To read. Oh, I know. We can’t read everything. Sometimes it’s difficult to grab enough time to read, certainly. Most of us don’t have the time to read all the books we’d like. But we have to grab, borrow and steal some time. Somewhere. Especially when an author writes genre fiction, it’s a good idea to understand what’s out there. Are we being too … Read more

Angel’s Bits – Writer Diseases (And When Do They Stop?)

Hi all! It’s been an odd summer – too hot, too busy, too many things to figure out – so my personal writing has been in something of a slump. (Yes, there were releases. Re-issues, dontcha know.) Anyway, I find myself battling some common writer maladies… Submissionitis Also known as: I have to submit this. It’s as finished as it’s going to be. They’ll hate it. Oh, my gods, I can’t hit the send button. My stomach is in knots. (Eventually, that shaking finger manages to hit the send button – out it goes into the wilds. And still shaking.) … Read more

Angel’s Bits: Off to Flame Con And About That…

This’ll be a short one this morning – I’m off to Brooklyn in a couple of hours for Flame Con. (Woohoo!) This will be the second year for this particular convention, which they project to have perhaps double the attendance of their first year. New conventions can be tricky. If organizers haven’t had a lot of prior convention wrangling experience, the learning curve can be huge. Some cons learn and grow, some, unfortunately, run into trouble and vanish for a few years or for good. Flame Con must be doing things right so far. They projected 1500 attendees last year … Read more

Angel’s Bits – SF covers retrospective

We were talking about covers the other day – the good, the bad, and the merely horrendous – which made me think of SF covers and how you can often pinpoint an edition’s decade by the cover art. Early SF cover art was largely the realm of pulp magazines, which then became pulp novels. Cheap art in a time when jobs were scarce and money tight. Oh, the places we’ve been since then… The 1930’s see the beginning of pulp art – flashy, colorful, eye-catching sometimes to the point of being lurid. Thoughts about space travel and vehicles were sketchy … Read more