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Oct. 19th, 2015

This past weekend has been quite a big one for my writing. I finished the re-edit of Ghostkin, turning the protagonist from the cis-male Eric into the transwoman Rachel.
I have described what I have done as 'doing a Ripley' in honour of Ellen Ripley from Alien who was originally written as male. On the whole, I have made very few changes in the text other than those necessary to make her female - so that is the name (obviously - although there are a few pre-transition flashbacks where she is still Eric) and her pronouns - bloody hell, there were an awful lot of pronouns. And I couldn't do a global search and replace because there were still a lot of male characters who needed to be 'him-ed' and 'his-ed'. (One of the things I found during the edit was that I had on occasion been a bit to liberal with the re-pronouning and some of the men had become feminised.)
While I had no intention of making the book 'about' Rachel's transgender nature - she is trans and this is important to her, but it's not about that. It's about her getting involved in a turf war between a human and a vampire, which I would suggest tends to make other things of secondary importance. However, I have added a few pieces about her transness including her first 'coming out' (which, obviously, ends badly because it has to, because, you know - story! - but not because of her trans nature.)

So, I now have six weeks to wait before the door opens on the Angry Robot Open Door submissions period. And I think the best way to fill that - as well as getting going on 'The Divide' again - is to ask for some beta readers to read Ghostkin and give me some comments on it. If anyone is interested, please let me know - either comment here or message me or, you know, get in touch anyway you want. Let me know what format you want to read it in, I can give it to you in most formats - doc, rtf, epub, mobi, pdf. Obviously, I need you to read it pretty quickly if I'm going to make use of any comments that you make and I make no promises that I'm going to take the comments on board... If you're up for it, let me know!

A long time coming

Hello Livejournal! I've not seen you for an awful long time. To be honest, I've kind of become a bit addicted to Facebook. I know. I'm sorry, I'm a bad, bad person.

Anyway, the reason I've come back here today is to make an announcement. And then I'll probably go away again for a while. We'll see.

However, suffice it to say, I have been, since February, transitioning to being the woman I have, in retrospect, always been. I have been referred to the Gender Identity Clinic - although I don't know when I will actually get to see them. In the meantime, I am living as a woman. I'm not quite full time - I still work as Stephen but it's a temp job which ends in a fortnight and, once that's finished, I will not be Stephen anymore.

Obviously, this has not been an easy decision to make, by any stretch of the imagination, not least because of the effect it is having on C and M. They are both being utterly wonderful and totally supportive - as is everyone else who I have told, for which I am truly grateful. It is a rare and special opportunity to discover exactly how good your friends actually are. Anyway, please, while you are supporting me, don't forget C and M. This is something I have to do for my own peace of mind and happiness, but it is something that is being forced upon them.

So - what's happening? As I said, in a fortnight, I will be starting to live full time as Ellen, which will involve getting my name changed legally and doing all the stuff that's involved there (informing the tax people, new driving licence and the like). I need to find a job - The interview I had last week was the first one where I presented as Ellen - but obviously I need to keep searching. At some point - I'm assuming that it will be sometime in 2016 and hoping that it will be no later than that - I will get started on hormones. After that, who knows? It's all still somewhat up in the air.

I think that's about all for the moment - if you've got any questions, please feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer them if I can.
I'm hard at work at the moment rewriting Ghostkin. I think this might be v3.0 Hopefully, this shouldn't be too difficult a rewrite, despite the fact that it's a pretty massive change - I am changing the protagonist from a cis-male to a transwoman. My main reason for doing this is because there are so few stories - especially genre stories - where the protagonist is trans. My intention is to keep the story itself broadly unchanged and only change the parts which actually refer to her gender (so that's name, pronouns, character descriptions and the like). I think of it as 'doing a Ripley' on the character. (Sigourney Weaver's character in Alien was originally written as male. When she was cast they didn't actually change the script at all.)
One of the things I don't want to do is to turn the story into something about the 'trans experience'. I want her to be a person who does all this stuff and has all this stuff happen to her and the fact that she is a transwoman is secondary. It's who she is, it doesn't change the narrative thrust of the story, nor should it. There will be a couple of places where I refer to it explicity as part of the story but for most of the time, it should sit there and just be who she is.
I'm really intrigued to see if it works.

My publishing empire expands!

I've just published all three of my books on Smashwords. Between now and the 16th of December (i.e. Next Tuesday), I've made them free - just enter these coupon codes...

Down Among The Yla - JS47Q
The Long Sleep - GS44T
Stories From the Corner of the Room - LE55Q

Please tell your friends! And I'd love it if you gave them a review as well.


New short story

I've finally updated my website. And I've added a new short story to it - a nasty little horror story called What Will Be.

A book! A book!

I am extremely proud to announce that I have a new book available!
My short story collection, Stories From the Corner of the Room is now available on Amazon in both paper and e-book form.

For the next few days, to celebrate this, I have decided to make the Kindle versions of The Long Sleep and Down Among the Yla available for free. The Kindle version of Stories from the Corner of the Room is also available half price.

If you buy the paper version of any of my books you can get the Kindle version for free - either directly from Amazon if you are in the US or by letting me know. Also, I'm after people to put up reviews on Amazon - if anyone is interested, please let me know and I'll send you an electronic copy.

Anyway - get the book from here:
This link goes to Amazon via Booklinker
Stories From the Corner of the Room on Createspace (which gives me higher royalties...)

Linking in

For better or worse, I'm on LinkedIn...

Oooh... exciting!

I've just spent the day editing and getting everything prepared to publish my collection of short stories. It's called Stories From The Corner of the Room and contains nine stories that I've written over the years and extracts of my three novels. At some point in the next week or so, it will be available on Amazon as both a paperback and an ebook, at which I will be badgering you to buy copies.
In the meantime, feast your eyes on the cover and the Table of Contents.
Read more...Collapse )

I'm really quite excited about finally getting this sorted out and together. Next up: Novel Number Four!

(Edited to show the updated version of the cover.)
Starring several people, including, ironically, the voice of Bob the Builder:
Watch here...Collapse )


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