mmerriam: (Default)
Because I know some of you got eReaders of one type or another for the holidays. And because as much I love writing, I also have to eat and pay bills. So here is my post-holidays marketing sales pitch for all my available books, both print and electronic.

Coffee For Your Body, Flames For Your Soul: Urban Fantasy Short Story

It came to the diner looking for a soul to devour.

At a late-night diner, the manager finds himself faced with a nightmare from his past: The Nalusachita, a mythical-creature of his Choctaw ancestors.

Determined to protect his customers from the shape-changing soul-stealer but unsure how, the manager sets out to clear the restaurant at closing time.

What neither manager or monster counted on was the eccentric patrons of the diner, and how they would react to the mythical creature…

Coffee For Your Body, Flames For Your Soul is available in ebook at Musa Publishing, Amazon, and Smashwords.

#

The Horror at Cold Springs: Steampunk / Supernatural Western Novella

When a disparate group of travelers find themselves stranded in a ghost town on the western Nebraska frontier, will they unravel the mystery of the missing townsfolk and survive to tell the tale?

The Horror at Cold Springs is available in print from The Sam's Dot Publishing Bookstore and in all ebook formats from Smashwords.

#

Last Car to Annwn Station: Urban Fantasy Novel / Paranormal Romance - Readings in Lesbian & Bisexual Women's Fiction Blog pick for Top Ten Books, 2011.

“The fare is ten cents, miss.”

Mae Malveaux, an attorney with Minneapolis Child Protective Services, is burnt-out, tired and frustrated. Passing on an invite from Jill, her flirtatious coworker, Mae just wants a quiet night in. Leaving the office late, she’s surprised to find the Heritage Line streetcars up and running and hops aboard, eager for a quick trip home.
But this is no ordinary streetcar. Death is one of its riders, and Mae is thrust into Annwn, a realm of magic and danger.

“Your transfer, miss. You’ll need that.”

Mae’s life is turned upside down as human and fae worlds collide. Her budding relationship with Jill takes a perilous turn when they are hunted by mythical beasts, and Mae is drawn into a deadly power struggle. With Jill at her side, Mae must straddle both worlds and fight a war she barely comprehends, for not only does the fate of Annwn rest in her hands, but the lives of both a human and fae child…

Last Car to Annwn Station is available in ebook format at Carina Press, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and in audio format at Audible.

#

Shimmers & Shadows: Short Story Collection

These diverse short stories unfold where the faery realm intersects with the mundane world of the Twin Cities, in the spacefaring future of exploration and adventure, and in a mythical land of sorcery and danger. Here you will find tales of adventure, horror, enchantment, humor, tragedy, and romance where:
…a young outcast strikes a hard bargain with the Muddy River
…two very different spirits find sanctuary in a historic shopping mall
…a space transport captain makes a difficult choice and falls headlong into the middle of a conspiracy
…a fallen Seelie champion is caught between his dark past and unusual mortal friends
…estranged lovers discover whether science or magic will save their dying Earth
…death is not the end, time does not always run in a straight line, and the rain blesses both mortals and fae.

Shimmers & Shadows is available at Lulu and in ebook for Kindle from Amazon.

#

Should We Drown In Feathered Sleep: Near-Future Post-Apocalypse Fantasy Novella -- Long Listed for the 2010 Nebula Award.

A New Order

A new world is emerging years after war destroyed society. In a Minnesota lake, the last surviving loons, direct descendants of the legendary First Pair, await the one who can help heal the earth. Each year a human sacrifice is brought to them to be endowed with special gifts, but they come at a terrible price.

A Free Spirit

Even as the rest of the world rebuilds, Grace Kriske’s life is shattered. Unable to walk, she feels utterly dependent on her family and trapped in a community that disapproves of her rebellious ways. Grace’s only solace is her lover, David Tvedt, a trader who wants to take her away with him—if she’d let him.

An Impossible Choice

Yet something else calls to Grace—the loons. They haunt her dreams, lurking in her mind as if part of her deepest primal self. But when Grace is chosen as the new sacrifice, she’s afraid. Will she risk everything to help the community that shuns her, or will she choose her own path?

Should We Drown in Feathered Sleep is available in ebook at Carina Press, Amazon, and B&N. and in audio format at Audible.
mmerriam: (Default)
Because I know some of you got eReaders of one type or another for the holidays. And because as much I love writing, I also have to eat and pay bills. So here is my post-holidays marketing sales pitch for all my available books, both print and electronic.

Coffee For Your Body, Flames For Your Soul: Urban Fantasy Short Story

It came to the diner looking for a soul to devour.

At a late-night diner, the manager finds himself faced with a nightmare from his past: The Nalusachita, a mythical-creature of his Choctaw ancestors.

Determined to protect his customers from the shape-changing soul-stealer but unsure how, the manager sets out to clear the restaurant at closing time.

What neither manager or monster counted on was the eccentric patrons of the diner, and how they would react to the mythical creature…

Coffee For Your Body, Flames For Your Soul is available in ebook Musa Publishing, Amazon, and Smashwords.

#

The Horror at Cold Springs: Steampunk / Supernatural Western Novella

When a disparate group of travelers find themselves stranded in a ghost town on the western Nebraska frontier, will they unravel the mystery of the missing townsfolk and survive to tell the tale?

The Horror at Cold Springs is available in print from The Sam's Dot Publishing Bookstore and in all ebook formats from Smashwords.

#

Last Car to Annwn Station: Urban Fantasy Novel

“The fare is ten cents, miss.”

Mae Malveaux, an attorney with Minneapolis Child Protective Services, is burnt-out, tired and frustrated. Passing on an invite from Jill, her flirtatious coworker, Mae just wants a quiet night in. Leaving the office late, she’s surprised to find the Heritage Line streetcars up and running and hops aboard, eager for a quick trip home.
But this is no ordinary streetcar. Death is one of its riders, and Mae is thrust into Annwn, a realm of magic and danger.

“Your transfer, miss. You’ll need that.”

Mae’s life is turned upside down as human and fae worlds collide. Her budding relationship with Jill takes a perilous turn when they are hunted by mythical beasts, and Mae is drawn into a deadly power struggle. With Jill at her side, Mae must straddle both worlds and fight a war she barely comprehends, for not only does the fate of Annwn rest in her hands, but the lives of both a human and fae child…

Last Car to Annwn Station is available in ebook format at Carina Press, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and in audio format at Audible.

#

Shimmers & Shadows: Short Story Collection

These diverse short stories unfold where the faery realm intersects with the mundane world of the Twin Cities, in the spacefaring future of exploration and adventure, and in a mythical land of sorcery and danger. Here you will find tales of adventure, horror, enchantment, humor, tragedy, and romance where:
…a young outcast strikes a hard bargain with the Muddy River
…two very different spirits find sanctuary in a historic shopping mall
…a space transport captain makes a difficult choice and falls headlong into the middle of a conspiracy
…a fallen Seelie champion is caught between his dark past and unusual mortal friends
…estranged lovers discover whether science or magic will save their dying Earth
…death is not the end, time does not always run in a straight line, and the rain blesses both mortals and fae.

Shimmers & Shadows is available at Lulu and in ebook for Kindle from Amazon.

#

Should We Drown In Feathered Sleep: Near-Future Post-Apocalypse Fantasy

A New Order

A new world is emerging years after war destroyed society. In a Minnesota lake, the last surviving loons, direct descendants of the legendary First Pair, await the one who can help heal the earth. Each year a human sacrifice is brought to them to be endowed with special gifts, but they come at a terrible price.

A Free Spirit

Even as the rest of the world rebuilds, Grace Kriske’s life is shattered. Unable to walk, she feels utterly dependent on her family and trapped in a community that disapproves of her rebellious ways. Grace’s only solace is her lover, David Tvedt, a trader who wants to take her away with him—if she’d let him.

An Impossible Choice

Yet something else calls to Grace—the loons. They haunt her dreams, lurking in her mind as if part of her deepest primal self. But when Grace is chosen as the new sacrifice, she’s afraid. Will she risk everything to help the community that shuns her, or will she choose her own path?

Should We Drown in Feathered Sleep is available in ebook at Carina Press, Amazon, and B&N. and in audio format at Audible.

In Audio

Jun. 29th, 2011 06:52 pm
mmerriam: (Default)
For those of you who prefer to listen to your stories on ipods or your smartphone, Last Car to Annwn Station is now available in audio format at Audible.

[livejournal.com profile] careswen and I listened to the first several minutes. The reader has a smooth and pleasant reading voice and does different, distinct voices for the characters. We were both pleased.

In Audio

Jun. 29th, 2011 06:52 pm
mmerriam: (Default)
For those of you who prefer to listen to your stories on ipods or your smartphone, Last Car to Annwn Station is now available in audio format at Audible.

[livejournal.com profile] careswen and I listened to the first several minutes. The reader has a smooth and pleasant reading voice and does different, distinct voices for the characters. We were both pleased.
mmerriam: (Default)
The writing has been going slowly the last couple of weeks, swallowed up in computer woes and a new kitten. I’m hoping to get back on track by writing a little this afternoon.

Belyn, aka Temp-to-Perm cat, has been neutered and given a clean bill of health by the veterinarian. He and the Reverend Selena have seen each other through a screen. The Reverend Selena made a sound like an air raid siren before settling down to glare malevolently at Belyn. For his part, Belyn’s noise was something more akin to an agitated teakettle, though he quickly became bored and continued his quest to escape the crafting room.

The release date for Last Car to Annwn Station has been moved back to June 27th (One month! OMG!). I should have postcards to give away at 4th Street Fantasy Convention and CONvergence.

Snippet #2 Behind the Cut )
mmerriam: (Default)
The writing has been going slowly the last couple of weeks, swallowed up in computer woes and a new kitten. I’m hoping to get back on track by writing a little this afternoon.

Belyn, aka Temp-to-Perm cat, has been neutered and given a clean bill of health by the veterinarian. He and the Reverend Selena have seen each other through a screen. The Reverend Selena made a sound like an air raid siren before settling down to glare malevolently at Belyn. For his part, Belyn’s noise was something more akin to an agitated teakettle, though he quickly became bored and continued his quest to escape the crafting room.

The release date for Last Car to Annwn Station has been moved back to June 27th (One month! OMG!). I should have postcards to give away at 4th Street Fantasy Convention and CONvergence.

Snippet #2 Behind the Cut )
mmerriam: (Default)
Writing continues at Merriam Manor. I have started taking Dark Water Blues apart one last time, this time to bring it inline with the continuity I am building in my Twin Cities urban fantasy setting. I’ve made the continuity fit, and now I need to go over it one more time to make sure I didn’t break something.

Most of my writing focus has been on the second novel in the monster-hunting barista series. In the last few days I’ve pounded out 3600 words, all of it in a vampire scene, which finished with vampires feeding and then a squicky sex scene. It was an uncomfortable scene to write, but I think that’s a good thing. You really need to be able to write scenes that make you uncomfortable, that leave you feeling out of sorts and a little unhappy. The next scene should be easier for me to deal with, though I do have to come up with the exact wording of a curse that is pivotal to the plot.

And speaking of vampires, it seems that all I need to do now is write a “Little Magic Shop” story and I can stand up and yell, “BINGO!” I’ve done zombies, elves, unicorns, talking cats, helpful animals, etc. I might have missed one or two, but if I have, I’d be surprised. ETA: [livejournal.com profile] timprov hit me with one I missed on the first comment. What have the rest of you got?

I’m still a little disbelieving about Last Car to Annwn Station and I suspect I will be until I get the author copies. Carina / Harlequin has promised me postcards, which I should have by CONvergence, maybe even by 4th Street Fantasy Convention.

In non-writing news, I had an interview last week for a part-time, mostly work from home position as a grant writer, with some copywriting, proofreading, and social networking tossed in for good measure. I think I’m a pretty good fit for the position. They told me they would be doing second interviews this week, so I’m hoping to get the call.

I’m going to try to be more active here on LJ again. I’ve let Facebook seduce me for awhile, but I’ve missed the more substantive posts and conversations you can have here on LJ.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Last Car to Annwn Station. Releases on June 27th.

Should We Drown in Feathered Sleep. Available in ebook format at Carina Press, Amazon, B&N, and in audio format at Audible.com
mmerriam: (Default)
Writing continues at Merriam Manor. I have started taking Dark Water Blues apart one last time, this time to bring it inline with the continuity I am building in my Twin Cities urban fantasy setting. I’ve made the continuity fit, and now I need to go over it one more time to make sure I didn’t break something.

Most of my writing focus has been on the second novel in the monster-hunting barista series. In the last few days I’ve pounded out 3600 words, all of it in a vampire scene, which finished with vampires feeding and then a squicky sex scene. It was an uncomfortable scene to write, but I think that’s a good thing. You really need to be able to write scenes that make you uncomfortable, that leave you feeling out of sorts and a little unhappy. The next scene should be easier for me to deal with, though I do have to come up with the exact wording of a curse that is pivotal to the plot.

And speaking of vampires, it seems that all I need to do now is write a “Little Magic Shop” story and I can stand up and yell, “BINGO!” I’ve done zombies, elves, unicorns, talking cats, helpful animals, etc. I might have missed one or two, but if I have, I’d be surprised. ETA: [livejournal.com profile] timprov hit me with one I missed on the first comment. What have the rest of you got?

I’m still a little disbelieving about Last Car to Annwn Station and I suspect I will be until I get the author copies. Carina / Harlequin has promised me postcards, which I should have by CONvergence, maybe even by 4th Street Fantasy Convention.

In non-writing news, I had an interview last week for a part-time, mostly work from home position as a grant writer, with some copywriting, proofreading, and social networking tossed in for good measure. I think I’m a pretty good fit for the position. They told me they would be doing second interviews this week, so I’m hoping to get the call.

I’m going to try to be more active here on LJ again. I’ve let Facebook seduce me for awhile, but I’ve missed the more substantive posts and conversations you can have here on LJ.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Last Car to Annwn Station. Releases on June 27th.


Should We Drown in Feathered Sleep. Available in ebook format at Carina Press, Amazon, B&N, and in audio format at Audible.com

Money!

Apr. 4th, 2011 08:33 pm
mmerriam: (Grace)
My royalty statement from Harlequin arrived today. It actually made sense.

Money!

Apr. 4th, 2011 08:33 pm
mmerriam: (Grace)
My royalty statement from Harlequin arrived today. It actually made sense.
mmerriam: (Grace)
I have just found out through [livejournal.com profile] mariness that my novella, Should We Drown in Feathered Sleep has been nominated for the Nebula Award.

This is me, boggled: o.O

Whether it makes the short list or not, I am both honored and tickled to have even been nominated.

My understanding is that there is a place in either the SFWA or Nebula forums where nominees can, if the piece is not available for free to read on the web, place a copy of their nominated piece for the voting SFWA membership to read. I think this is a grand idea, and would love to put Should We Drown in Feathered Sleep in front of the voting members, except…

Except I am not a member of SFWA, and do not have access to these forums.

So I am asking, most politely, if one of my friends who is a SFWA member would be willing to put a copy of Should We Drown in Feathered Sleep in the correct forum. I can email someone a copy in .pdf, if they would we willing to help me. Thank you [livejournal.com profile] samhenderson for offering to post my novella to the boards! If you are a voting member of SFWA and would like to read the novella, I would be willing to send you a .pdf as well. You can message me through Live Journal or email me at mmerriamATgmailDOTcom.

Oh, and this is still me, boggled: o.O
mmerriam: (Grace)
I have just found out through [livejournal.com profile] mariness that my novella, Should We Drown in Feathered Sleep has been nominated for the Nebula Award.

This is me, boggled: o.O

Whether it makes the short list or not, I am both honored and tickled to have even been nominated.

My understanding is that there is a place in either the SFWA or Nebula forums where nominees can, if the piece is not available for free to read on the web, place a copy of their nominated piece for the voting SFWA membership to read. I think this is a grand idea, and would love to put Should We Drown in Feathered Sleep in front of the voting members, except…

Except I am not a member of SFWA, and do not have access to these forums.

So I am asking, most politely, if one of my friends who is a SFWA member would be willing to put a copy of Should We Drown in Feathered Sleep in the correct forum. I can email someone a copy in .pdf, if they would we willing to help me. Thank you [livejournal.com profile] samhenderson for offering to post my novella to the boards! If you are a voting member of SFWA and would like to read the novella, I would be willing to send you a .pdf as well. You can message me through Live Journal or email me at mmerriamATgmailDOTcom.

Oh, and this is still me, boggled: o.O

A Reminder

Feb. 4th, 2011 08:21 am
mmerriam: (Michael - Reading)
Speculations Reading with Michael Merriam
Friday, February 4, 2011 6:30 PM
DreamHaven Books
2301 E 38th St
Minneapolis MN 55406

The reading will be at DreamHaven Books, 2301 E 38th St, Minneapolis, MN. Speculations Reading is accompanied by a reception with free soda pop and cookies. We will also bring baked goods and there will be prizes! Michael plans to read from his novellas, The Horror at cold Springs and Should We Drown in Feathered Sleep, and from his forthcoming novel, Last Car to Annwn Station.

Copies of The Horror at Cold Springs, Northern Lights: 20 MinnSpec Tales and Shimmers and Shadows will be for sale and available for signing.

After the reading, we will probably adjourn to Parkway Pizza (4457 42nd Ave South, Minneapolis, MN 55406) for pizza, drinks, and conversation.

A Reminder

Feb. 4th, 2011 08:21 am
mmerriam: (Michael - Reading)
Speculations Reading with Michael Merriam
Friday, February 4, 2011 6:30 PM
DreamHaven Books
2301 E 38th St
Minneapolis MN 55406

The reading will be at DreamHaven Books, 2301 E 38th St, Minneapolis, MN. Speculations Reading is accompanied by a reception with free soda pop and cookies. We will also bring baked goods and there will be prizes! Michael plans to read from his novellas, The Horror at cold Springs and Should We Drown in Feathered Sleep, and from his forthcoming novel, Last Car to Annwn Station.

Copies of The Horror at Cold Springs, Northern Lights: 20 MinnSpec Tales and Shimmers and Shadows will be for sale and available for signing.

After the reading, we will probably adjourn to Parkway Pizza (4457 42nd Ave South, Minneapolis, MN 55406) for pizza, drinks, and conversation.
mmerriam: (Default)
Yesterday, we received fresh snow in Minnesota. It came down in a thick beautiful white cloud, covering the snow that had become dirty with car exhaust and road crud. It was pleasant to look at, though less so when we had to go out and drive in it. Not that there was anything wrong with the snow, just the other drivers. Winter is Minnesota is gorgeous, if a bit treacherous. That said, autumn is still my favorite season in Minnesota.

I have finished the first round of edits on Last Car to Annwn Station, topping them off on Wednesday. I could have charged right into the second round, but I have two more weeks to finish the edits, and this first round is always the hardest and most draining. I have several things planned this weekend, a birthday party, a convention meeting, a Minnspec meeting, and gaming with the regular group My plan is to go to these events and recharge myself for the next rounds of edits, which I will jump into first thing on Monday. I will be reviewing my notes over the weekend and letting my brain stew on what to do. I know I will be writing a couple of new scenes, doing heavy rewrites on a couple more, and cutting one or two, which will involve continuity clean-up. There are several places where I've made notes to myself in the document to fix this or add this scene or explain this better. It looks daunting from here, but I am ever hopeful it will go smoothly in the execution.

We are still having some health issues with the various residents of Merriam Manor, but hopefully things are on the upswing. Right now I think we all need a couple of solid night's worth of sleep. Lack of sleep has been one of our biggest problems lately.

I received a lovely letter from a reader and reviewer, pointing me to her review of Should We Drown in Feathered Sleep: (http://tammys1.blogspot.com/2011/01/should-we-drown-in-feathered-sleep-by.html) Also, I received my postcards for Should We Drown in Feathered Sleep this week. They are gorgeous and act as a coupon should you want to order the book. I will have them to giveaway and sign during this years appearances.

And now I need to go find us all some lunch, finish my laundry, do my homework for the Minnspec meeting, and prepare to run errands this afternoon.
mmerriam: (Default)
Yesterday, we received fresh snow in Minnesota. It came down in a thick beautiful white cloud, covering the snow that had become dirty with car exhaust and road crud. It was pleasant to look at, though less so when we had to gout and drive in it. Not that there was anything wrong with the snow, just the other drivers. Winter is Minnesota is gorgeous, if a bit treacherous. That said, autumn is still my favorite season in Minnesota.

I have finished the first round of edits on Last Car to Annwn Station, topping them off on Wednesday. I could have charged right into the second round, but I have two more weeks to finish the edits, and this first round is always the hardest and most draining. I have several things planned this weekend, a birthday party, a convention meeting, a Minnspec meeting, and gaming with the regular group My plan is to go to these events and recharge myself for the next rounds of edits, which I will jump into first thing on Monday. I will be reviewing my notes over the weekend and letting my brain stew on what to do. I know I will be writing a couple of new scenes, doing heavy rewrites on a couple more, and cutting one or two, which will involve continuity clean-up. There are several places where I've made notes to myself in the document to fix this or add this scene or explain this better. It looks daunting from here, but I am ever hopeful it will go smoothly in the execution.

We are still having some health issues with the various residents of Merriam Manor, but hopefully things are on the upswing. Right now I think we all need a couple of solid night's worth of sleep. Lack of sleep has been one of our biggest problems lately.

I received a lovely letter from a reader and reviewer, pointing me to her review of Should We Drown in Feathered Sleep: (http://tammys1.blogspot.com/2011/01/should-we-drown-in-feathered-sleep-by.html) Also, I received my postcards for Should We Drown in Feathered Sleep this week. They are gorgeous and act as a coupon should you want to order the book. I will have them to giveaway and sign during this years appearances.

And now I need to go find us all some lunch, finish my laundry, do my homework for the Minnspec meeting, and prepare to run errands this afternoon.
mmerriam: (Grace)
I am as please as can be to announce that Should We Drown in Feathered Sleep is available in audio format here at Audible.com

Guys, I started to tear up listening to the audio. Somehow this makes both Should We Drown in Feathered Sleep and the idea that I Are A Real Writer more, well, real. Knowing that Carina Press and Harlequin both felt strong enough about my work to have it put into this format, to hear it read by a professional reader (who has a fabulous voice, and uses tone and other tricks to make each character stand out ), honestly, I was not prepared for how it would make me feel. Coupled with the fact that I got my very first ever royalty check this week, I received some much needed positive reinforcement and my holiday season got a little cheerier!

Since it is the holidays and we all know people who read, this seems like a good time to remind folks where they can pick up my novellas, the anthology I had the privilege to edit, and my short story collection.

Should We Drown in Feathered Sleep can also be purchased in ebook format at Carina Press, Amazon, and B&N

The Horror at Cold Springs can be purchased at The Genre Mall.

Northern Lights: 20 MinnSpec Tales is also available at The Genre Mall.

Shimmers & Shadows is available both in print from Lulu.com and in a Kindle edition at Amazon.

Happy Reading (and Listening!)
mmerriam: (Grace)
So the lovely wife and I were having dinner and conversation with [livejournal.com profile] porphyrin and her husband (WINOLJ), and [livejournal.com profile] porphyrin asked if me writing urban fantasy/paranormal romance under my real name might be costing me readers. UF/PR is a field dominated by female authors, and [livejournal.com profile] porphyrin pointed out that some of the male writer she knew writing UF/PN were using their first two initials and their last name in order to hide their gender, a trick that female SF authors have used, especially back in ye supposed golden days of SF. She wondered if a female reader might see the male name on the cover and give it a pass, since there is a misconception that males can't write romance (sort of like the misconception that women can't write hard SF).

I thought it was a good question, and one I don't have the answer to. I know that no one at Carina Press has ever suggested I write under a female pseudonym, or go with M.S. Merriam instead of Michael Merriam. Mostly what I'm hearing is that readers are seeing the cover to Should We Drown Feathered Sleep and deciding it is so striking they have to read the story. The art department at Carina Press/Harlequin told me it was one of the more striking and daring covers they have produced for the Carina Press line of books, and I think that gamble has paid off. Granted, I don't have any sales numbers, but everyone at Carina seems happy, and the readers seem happy, and really, what more could you want?

I'd like to hear your thoughts on this. Would you be less likely to buy an urban fantasy/paranormal romance novel from a male writer?
mmerriam: (Grace)
So the lovely wife and I were having dinner and conversation with [livejournal.com profile] porphyrin and he husband (WINOLJ), and [livejournal.com profile] porphyrin asked if me writing urban fantasy/paranormal romance under my real name might be costing me readers. UF/PR is a field dominated by female authors, and [livejournal.com profile] porphyrin pointed out that some of the male writer she knew writing UF/PN were using their first two initials and their last name in order to hide their gender, a trick that female SF authors have used, especially back in ye supposed golden days of SF. She wondered if a female reader might see the male name on the cover and give it a pass, since there is a misconception that males can't write romance (sort of like the misconception that women can't write hard SF).

I thought it was a good question, and one I don't have the answer to. I know that no one at Carina Press has ever suggested I write under a female pseudonym, or go with M.S. Merriam instead of Michael Merriam. Mostly what I'm hearing is that readers are seeing the cover to Should We Drown Feathered Sleep and deciding it is so striking they have to read the story. The art department at Carina Press/Harlequin told me it was one of the more striking and daring covers they have produced for the Carina Press line of books, and I think that gamble has paid off. Granted, I don't have any sales numbers, but everyone at Carina seems happy, and the readers seem happy, and really, what more could you want?

I'd like to hear your thoughts on this. Would you be less likely to buy an urban fantasy/paranormal romance novel from a male writer?

Chipped Up

Nov. 26th, 2010 09:41 am
mmerriam: (Grace)
I've written plenty of characters with disabilities before. Grace Kriske in Should We Drown in Feathered Sleep was different. Grace was a challenge, and challenged what I had been doing with disabled characters up until this story.

I think anyone who has read my work or talked about writing with me knows that I have a keen interest in exploring stories with disabled characters, be these disabilities visible or invisible. I am disabled (blindness) and want to explore characters who are as well. I also wanted to get away from the trope I see in so much speculative fiction where the disabled character is an Object to be Cured! By! Science! (or Magic!), or else they play The Wise Magical Disabled Mentor ™ who was once whole and a hero in their own right, but now can no longer adventure/fight/fly/whatever. Though gruff on the outside, they have a golden heart within and will guide THE HERO on his journey. Until they get killed by THE VILLIAN (in order to show just how Villainous the Villain is).

I try to write stories where disable people are just people trying to get through their lives--heroically or otherwise. I write stories where their presence in the narrative is not driven by the other characters need to "fix" them. I try to write stories where that disability is simply part of who they are, as opposed to being the focus, the identifying mark of that character. I think it's important to write disabled characters as the people they are, to show them living and working with, through, and around their disability. To show the reader all the joy, pathos, and the full range of emotions that makes any character (disabled or not) human.

Cut For Possible Spoilers )

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