August 2021 - Birthday Newsletter!

It's my birthday! Book 2 has a title! LeVar Burton! etc.

Hello, everyone,

This update is overdue, but until recently, there hasn’t been enough accumulated news. There have been a lot of startling and painful and thrilling ups and downs in my life lately. I’ve been feeling nostalgic and listening to a lot of Melissa Etheridge—I don’t know why, but it feels good. Maybe I miss Kansas lesbians. Anyway, herein:

  • Birthday!

  • Book 2 Progress

  • Book 2 Title Reveal!

  • The Holy Sapphic Trinity aka The Sapphic Trifecta aka Golden Gaytimes

  • Juvenilia Bonus Story

  • New Publications and appearances: XENA and LeVar Burton!

  • Lil V-Man (cw: child death)


It’s my birthday!

That’s all. I’ll be spending it with my partner, starting with breakfast at Dishoom, taking a couple days off writing, and just generally trying to relax after the full burn of the last few weeks.

One great gift you can give a writer, of course, is buying their book (for yourself and for your friends!) and leaving reviews on Amazon and everywhere else you leave reviews. If you enjoyed the book, leaving reviews is a great help to get other people to find the book.

However, another great gift for me would be donating to my little sister and brother in law here, for reasons below (see V-Man).


Book 2 Progress…

Is moving apace. I have a deadline of the beginning of September for this next draft, and even though life is rough, I’m still trying desperately to hit it. This has meant trying to step back from social media a bit (that oh-so-tentative hiatus).

I’m working out some things in the latter part of the third quarter, but I’ve crossed the 90,000 word mark, so whether book comes out to 120k or 160k, I feel like I’m on the home stretch, and that’s what counts.

You can follow my occasional tweets about my progress on this thread. There may be a few teasers and screenshots every now and then.

On that note…


Magic of the Lost, Book 2 Title Reveal!

Drumroll, please…

I’ll leave you all to speculate on what that means for now.

And while I haven’t seen a draft of the cover yet, we’ve been talking about it and I’m very excited to see what Lauren and Tommy have come up with.

And speaking of covers…


The Sapphic Trifecta!

All three books in the sapphron trifecta are finally out! I loved loved The Jasmine Throne and She Who Became the Sun and I’m honored to share a meme with these two phenomenal authors. If you want more from us, we’ve done a few interviews and panels with each other. Here’s me with my three special Illumicrate editions:

For those of you who don’t know, the idea of the Holy Sapphic Trinity came when one reader (@yuancube) made the pope meme below:

This snowballed as we realized all three books have a similar cover color scheme, and then the Australians among us realized—these books aren’t the only golden gays! In fact, there’s an ice cream pop called a Golden Gaytime, and so then we got yet another name for these three books.

(Yes, “It’s hard to have a Gaytime on your own” is the real ice cream slogan.)

Do you have all three books?? Tag us on Instagram or Twitter with your trifecta! We love to see them!

And, as a bonus, if you’ve read all three and want a couple more, try these honorary sapphron sapphics:


Juvenilia aka painful high school writing

For their Humour episode, Ephemera Reading Series asked me and several other writers to share an excerpt from their olden days. Our first forays into expressing ourselves, coltish, unsteady, heavily influenced by the voices we adored…

Here’s me, reading my snippet from my first short fantasy story, “More than a Sword.” I’ve talked about this story a couple different places, including how it changed after I realized I could inhabit my queerness in my fiction. I wrote the first draft of this story for Mrs. Johnson’s Eighth Grade class and edited in the couple years after. If you listen closely, you will likely hear influences from The Wheel of Time, The Dragonlance Chronicles, the Forgotten Realms, and more.

And at bizarre but popular request, I decided to share the entire thing on my blog. It’s fun to see how much I’ve changed since I was in middle school and how much I absolutely have not—I’m sure you’ll be able to tell. ;)


New Publications and Appearances

  • Nonfiction: For some reason, redemption arcs are a hot and touchy topic in the writing community, which means they’re probably instrumental to our psyche somehow, at least in the western storytelling traditions. Everyone has theories about which stories are the best ones, which ones suck, and how to write them well. So do I! But everyone tends to sleep on the best redemption story of all time: Xena, Warrior Princess. I tell you exactly why, here at Uncanny Magazine. While you’re at it, they’re running their Year 8 Kickstarter and you can help them out and get a subscription at the same time.

  • Audio Reprint: THE LeVar Burton read my short story, “You Perfect, Broken Thing” on his podcast, LeVar Burton Reads. There’s really nothing else to say. I haven’t been able to fully process it. Even if you’ve read You Perfect, Broken Thing, it’s worth listening to it like this—a full production, music, sound effects, everything.

  • Interview: Ashleigh at A Frolic Through Fiction, sponsored by The Broken Binding bookshop (in the UK), which has signed bookplate copies of The Unbroken.

  • Interview: All-Stars Book Club

  • Cons: FIYAHCON! Sept 16 - Sept 19. In addition to being nominated on two fronts (for PodCastle under Best Podcast and for “You Perfect, Broken Thing” for Best Short Story), I’ll be on the “Rabblerousers and Sellouts” panel. It promises to be as amazing as last year, so come join us! Tickets are on sale - $40.


Vincent Hayes September 2, 2019 - August 2, 2021

Some of you know from Twitter that my nephew passed away recently. He was just a month short of his second birthday. It’s part of what’s thrown trajectories for The Faithless a little off. And though it’s top of my mind, I’ve put it down here so that folks who want to avoid mentions of children’s death can avoid it. I know it’s painful, especially for parents.

He was such a bright and smiley kid, even though he spent so much of his life constantly fighting for it. I’ll miss him, always. And while this sucks for me, it’s nothing compared to what my sister is going through. If you’d like to help and are in a position to donate, we’re trying to give my sister and bro-in-law some space to grieve without having to worry about meals, etc.: paypal.me/vmansventure. I’ve passed on the messages of support from Twitter and my whole family is so grateful.

And so am I. It’s warming to know I’m part of such a kind and generous community. Thank you so much.


That’s all for now. Until next time.

Stay sharp, my friends.

Cherae

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