Tag Archives: self publishing

Desires and Risks… Tough choices for #girlslikeus

decisions… DecisionsDECISIONS.

The thoughts of the last few days have created a quandary for me.  I released a new book that has gotten some very nice reviews so far, which is obviously rare for the genre I write about.  What’s strange this one is that it brings me to a crossroads.  I started writing because I needed a release and it was very therapeutic.  It eventually became a drug and very addictive, but more for the motivating stories that popped into my head and less about the sexual gratification.

In the past, this usually came full circle.  Depression, therapy, motivation, gratification then back again.  The hard part now is that I want more.  My friends have suggested that I crossover from a smut writer to a more “traditional” fiction writer and possibly use my real name.  The thought of moving to the lighter side of fiction was intriguing, but using my real name was terrifying.  Using it meant revealing more than I ever wanted to and could jeopardize my life.

This is not uncommon for anyone living in secret as a transgendered man or woman, but for someone who still feels shame, humiliation, confusion, fear and isolation… it can be overwhelming and can put you on the edge of the blade.  Which brings me to the suggestion that was made recently.

I wrote an autobiography a few years ago as many of you know.  The book was my first and was horribly written because I simply took my journals and threw them together.  I added some graphic memories and tried not to fictionalize them, but after over 30 years, it became difficult to tell a story when pieces of it were missing.  The book didn’t sell and I eventually pulled it off Amazon.

A few months after that, I figured out that Goodreads doesn’t pull books off that easily and it stayed out there for a while creating a little bit of buzz.  The book description prompted a number of questions and direct messages from the LGBTQ community, weirdos and parents asking where they could get a copy of it.  I didn’t feel comfortable at the time and chose instead to respond to each request individually – hoping I could answer the real questions without giving up too much of myself.

After the release of this latest novel My Perfect Partner, a great friend made a comment that the book had some true life experiences that I shared with her; and another friend who has been a great mentor and inspiration to me as a writer suggested I revise the biography and re-release it.  Difficult choices to have that include some risk, but anyone who has skeletons in their closet – whether “normal” or a little bit different – have to deal with risks everyday.

I guess the real question is what to do next.  I work alongside people of all walks of life and those who seem content with their lives are those I tend to shy away from.  I am always looking ahead and trying to be better than I am today.  I am drawn to risk and challenges, but this one is one of the hardest ones to make.

Do I re-release the autobiography?  Do I use my real name?

This may seem like a couple of easy answers… if I am not willing to use my real name, then releasing my autobiography is not that hard of a decision and doesn’t seem like that big of a risk.  The tougher questions are…

Am I considering a re-release to tell the real story or is it just to try and make money?

The money is not really a concern.  If you follow independent writers, you already know they don’t make a lot of money and many don’t write for the financial gain.  The first release as I mentioned was a release for me.  It was a way of talking to someone who was willing to listen and understand.  That someone was my wife, who really never knew about my past in graphic detail.  After she read it, she understood but never really wanted to talk about it again.  That was enough for me, but now I think it may be a good idea to take another stab at it and see if anyone else is willing to offer an opinion.  Whether you are connected to it in some way, for it or against it.  Maybe the story just needs to be told.

What do you think?

From Smut Writer to Fiction Writer – A Response to a Book Club Member

I am always looking for feedback on my books and stories.  While they are not easy to come by because smut rag writers tend to draw a very private audience, every now and then one comes along.  That was the case yesterday when I received this review of my book A Victim’s Revenge – Missing in Plain Sight.


I saw your tweet about your new novel and misunderstood. When I went to your author page I found this one and thought I found it. I am glad I was wrong. I have a small book club and we usually read one or two erotic stories a week. Mainly because they are really short. I usually find erotica is much like porn… short, down and dirty with no plot. We have read your stories and it was very interesting that you actually try to write a full story. Even if its short, you try and give the characters depth which me and the club found very exciting to see. We started reading this book this week and being semi retired, I had more time and finished it last night and it was superb. I loved the conflict in the story and the way you put me in Stacie’s shoes as you told the story. Reading the previous comment from Julie, I tend to disagree with her. I don’t think it is for anyone struggling with gender identity or bullying, but more for someone who enjoys the this type of erotica who is looking for a little more out of a good smut rag. 5 STARS – GREAT BOOK.    — Rob


First off, Rob thanks you for the feedback.  I am glad you enjoyed it and hope the rest of your book club enjoy it as well.  I think every writer would love to receive feedback like this, but it also made me think again about what I write and how I categorize myself as a writer.  When I first started writing – before I ever decided to publish, it was therapeutic for me.  It allowed me to share my thoughts and feelings without opening up to anyone.  When I decided to publish my diaries, it was the courageous risk I took and while my first book didn’t sell (because it was unedited and written at different stages of my life) I eventually pulled it from publication, but the fact that I shared my true life story ignited a spark for me to write more.

When I started #reading erotica and the smut rags that were on the market, I found my niche but wanted to tell a story, not just a describe a sex scene in a porn movie.  The problem was, no one wants to read those types of stories… or do they?

I realized that there is an interest – small as it may be, in a more graphic sexual tale.  The 50 shades fans are still private but are showing themselves more and more and looking for more raunchy tales.  I don’t think it is coincidence that I write stories that have that type of balance.  Of course, my stories are more focused on members of a community that is smaller and shunned by society.  I don’t think I follow any one particular writer’s style – because I never really studied anyone specifically.  I am a fan like many readers and I just write what I see and what I am comfortable with.

Now, while much of the feedback I have received has been positive, I have received feedback that is not very nice. I have been called a lot of names, told that my writing sucks and even told that I should kill myself.  Most of these are easily dismissed because they haven’t really read my work.  Those who have who still don’t care for it feel I am putting the transgender and others in the LGBTQ community in such a vulnerable position that it is not a true representation of the strong and courageous people who support and are proud members of the community…. and they are right.

We all deal with conflict, for some of us that conflict is difficult and for others it is welcomed and easier because of how we embrace it.  My earlier stories were just about telling the sex story – how did the sex scene develop and how it affected the characters.  As I went back and read those same stories, it inspired me to try and develop those types of characters more.  Giving them an identity and attempting to show how they dealt with the conflicts in their lives.  For some of us in the transgender and LGBTQ community, that conflict is dealt with different ways.  Being a private member of the community, I dealt with conflicts by crossdressing and writing.

I get a chance to step out of my body – so to speak and look at my problems with fresh eyes as I look at myself in a new form.  It allows me the chance to clear the noise from my head and really look at the conflict – where the what is more important than the why, and once I understand the what, I can learn the how.  This is what pushed me to consider my newer stories and adding more of that character development and substance into them.  I wanted my readers to understand the characters enough to understand the conflicts they faced.  I want them to feel the pain and frustration the characters feel and not just the sexual gratification of the steamier chapters in my book.

ALERT!!! ALERT!!! ALERT!!!

Shameless plug coming…

This is why I am very proud of my latest book due out on July 20th.  The 288 page novel is focused on characters who have everyday conflicts and how one character finds a way to deal and how that misunderstood method of conflict resolution is not accepted by everyone.  I won’t spoil the story for you, but don’t worry, there are a number of steamy and raunchy scenes in the book, but I think it might be the piece that adds a category to my writing style – from erotic writer to fiction writer.

 

A Victim’s Revenge: Missing in Plain Sight

A Victim’s Revenge: Missing in Plain Sight
[Available on Amazon]

Growing up in a big city, you get a chance to see a lot of things. Things that others would find fantastic and unheard of and some that can change your life forever. But no matter the size of the town, there are always cliques that stick together and some that look at outsiders as lower beings and objects of ridicule, hazing, and abuse… where the loners can become an easy target where rules do not apply and accountability is ignored because fear is their greatest ally.

This story is about Mark a.k.a. Stacie Marie who was a repeated victim of a high school clique and who later made a choice that would change his life and the life of his attackers. As Mark, he was a scared nobody, but as Stacie, she was a strong, confident, but a revengeful individual who used patience to her advantage. Disappearing right before graduation had many thinking foul play, but Stacie was not far and carefully plotted her revenge on those that changed her life.

This is not a typical erotic story, nor is it a romance novel.  This is a serious story that deals with the search for hope and the consequences if hope is lost.

There are passages that are more explicit than others that center around transgendered and homosexual situations.

STRONGLY RECOMMENDED FOR ADULT AUDIENCES ONLY!