Storm Moon Press Anniversary : Blog Hop
Writing is an isolated business. Writing characters and plotlines that are kinky, queer, or otherwise off-the-wall is even more so.
It’s hard enough to find people willing to listen as you plot your story aloud or soliloquize on character development, but when your plots and characters are nontraditional, you run the risk of encounters from the extremely uncomfortable to the bigoted. And after all that, you have to wonder, will your finished book ever find a home? Does anybody even write, publish, or read stories like yours?
I don’t think anybody writes QUILTBAG fiction expecting bestseller status or critical acclaim. At its core, it’s a labor of love. We write these stories because they’re the sort of tales we would like to read—and so we begin by telling them to ourselves.
I started telling myself these stories partially out of dissatisfaction. I love the concept of romance—as I always tell my friends, it’s the only genre with a guaranteed happy ending. Add a love story and perhaps some steamy sex, and there seems to be nothing not to adore. Yet I’m often disappointed by mainstream romances, which seem to cover only an extremely narrow range of (heterosexual) gender dynamics. When I decided I wanted to explore kink, it became even more difficult to find the stories I wanted.
I started to get my nontraditional fiction fix through fanfiction. When fans set out to write for fans, they were entirely focused on what they and their friends wanted to see: usually stuff that was neglected by the mainstream press and the original canon. QUILTBAG representation, fleshed-out female characters, and kink! Sometimes, the writing was uneven, but many other writers honed their craft, making art for art’s sake. Once I began writing for small presses—particularly Storm Moon Press—I noticed the similarities. The writers share an “amateur” mindset in its literal sense, working for the love of their stories and for the joy of the craft. They are playful and experimental, open-minded and curious. It’s not surprising that many small press writers got our start reading or writing fanfiction, and continue with it alongside our original works. But when we write fanfiction, it’s not to parrot the ideas of the canon. Instead, our works are transformative, bringing new ideas and perspective. Our original stories do the same.
We’re willing to take chances on story ideas that may not be broadly marketable or popular with the mainstream. We know what we want to write, and write it anyway.
In my case, this has meant writing M/M and ménage—both genres that are thankfully becoming increasingly less controversial—as well as far more niche topics like dubious consent. I’ve written knifeplay, interracial relationships (another thing that shouldn’t be controversial in this day and age, though it seems very underrepresented overall, even in “slash” fandom), and have recently branched out into a subject close to my heart, femdom. And then there’s my most controversial topic of all, so debated, in fact, that Storm Moon Press is the only publisher and writer’s community I’ve found to provide a platform for it—poly or open relationships.
I love to explore different forms of sexuality and romance. I enjoy about reading them, so I know readers for these stories exist. But finding the right publisher can be a challenge. Sometimes presses with a “fandom” or for-the-love mindset are so uninterested in the business side of things that they fail their writers, while larger publishers, in romance especially, can seem overly devoted to a formula.
Enter Storm Moon Press…..
I was first attracted to SMP by their anthology calls—so many and for so many different concepts, at first I wondered how they could balance them all. But balance them they do, with flexibility, adaptability, honesty, and understanding. The author’s group is always full of new topics, whether floating proposals for new anthologies, discussing the progress of current submissions calls, offering advice for making the submissions and editing process easier, or just discussing writing techniques and playing with story ideas. This community of editors, publishers, artists, and authors, working together as equals, sharing thoughts and infectious passion, is one of the best things to happen to me in my often solitary writer’s career. Yet SMP is also run by business professionals, and their marketing support is some of the best I’ve ever had from a press of any size. Being timid and retiring for nature, it was a great relief to have K. Piet’s help booking my blog tour! And the cover art for Storm Moon Press anthologies is just that—art.
Four years seems both a short and a long time for SMP to have been around. It has the wisdom of experience, combined with youthful enthusiasm. I have faith that this combination of strengths will take them far. And, of course, I like to think I’ll be along for the ride as an SMP author—and reader—for quite some time yet!
She can be found at :
This post is part of Storm Moon Press’ 4th Anniversary Blog Tour! Thank you for joining us, and please take a moment to enter both T.C. Mill’s giveaway for Thornless Rose and our blog-tour-wide giveaway! (just click on both Rafflecopter Links, as well as commenting below.) The prize is receiving an ebook each month from SMP for 12 months! We hope to see you around the Internet and at RainbowCon in 2014! Happy New Year!
A big thanks to Storm Moon Press for including LYLBTB in their BiRtHdAy CeLeBrAtIoNs!! and thank YOU for commenting – Good Luck!!