Pride Month: be proud but not haughty

As a Buddhist, I put a lot of effort into developing humility, so that I can learn from everyone and not look down on them. I know from my experience that's a good way to live... but how am I supposed to relate to Pride Month? My books are full of queer joy, and I want to celebrate that! Well, there are different aspects to pride. The negative aspect is looking at something about me - appearance, skills, possessions, even my very identity - and thinking that makes me a better person than someone else. Buddha called that deluded pride....

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Author Branding (and how to tank it)

author branding and the importance of writing within a genre

The industry wisdom is that an author--particularly a budding one--needs to write in one genre only in order to establish a brand and build a loyal readership. But what if your 'brand' is something other than a specific genre? I've been thinking about this because however hard I try, I can't seem to stay in one lane. My writing journey has been: Adult fantasy series ⬇️ YA fantasy series ⬇️ Middle Grade short stories ⬇️ Adult sci-fi ....and the next two ideas I have lucking at the back of my brain are a historical novel and a middle-grade sci-fi. On-brand?...

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Writing diverse gender identities

Diverse gender identities

I realised I was non-binary through discovering my protagonist’s gender identity. I’m aware things don’t normally work that way around: ‘own voices’ novels are usually born from an author’s desire to represent their own truth on the page. But one of my favourite things about writing is how much it teaches me about myself. My main character, Luke, wasn’t coming alive. He had a great story, but he wasn’t fully engaged with it. Why didn’t he want to take part in his own life, for goodness sake, especially when his life had dragons in it? That’s when I realised that...

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