Sorry. Author pun. Very tired author pun from equally tired author who has yet again spent a perfectly nice Sunday in front of a computer, fighting a heroic fight against software! And as always, at least half of those fights didn't need to be fought at all, but there you go...
The result is pretty neat, though: My novels are now on Smashwords as well. So if you prefer your books in other formats than Amazon's mobi files, you can now go to Smashwords and find them there - for example Alphabet Soup (and yes, this is me being very proud of my new covers and grasping every opportunity to show them off. I swear I'll do the whole "squeal, look at my shiny new covers" thing as soon as I dig myself out of this mountain of work). But for now, this is your public service announcement, people: Kinky books available. Go buy.
(oh, and my Amazon books have been reviewed and re-submitted and the resubmissions are now under review; they should be available very soon, in other words. Then I only have to get my short stories up; those are scheduled for the other side of this mountain of work, though).
Yes, you - you right there! You who decided to go home early or play foosball or what the heck lazy programmers do - before you made sure the new version of Office would actually be able to save the changes necessary to upload a file as an ebook: I dislike you very, very much!
First I spent a weekend figuring out how to format my document. Then I spent a weekend figuring out how to circumvent the things that don't work in my version of the program. Then I spent another weekend realizing that I had to do it all in InDesign instead. Fourth weekend was learning how to actually do it, and the fifth weekend on exorcising ePub poltergeists from my computer.
The absolutely worst part about working in InDesign is that learning a new task can be very, very complicated - until you figure out how to do it. Then it's really simple, which makes you feel very stupid. Somewhat accomplished (hey, I can layout a book now!), but mostly stupid.
I still maintain that my particular version of the program must be possessed; I can't see any other reasons why some of my numbers suddenly turned into Arabic in my finished file (and yes, there is a certain irony in Arabic numbers turning into... you know, Arabic numbers. But not enough irony to keep me from banging my head into the wall trying to figure it out).
The good news is that all of the new versions of my books are now ready to be uploaded to Amazon. I WILL do some kind of giveaway to celebrate, but my workload is insane at the moment, so it'll probably be a couple of weeks - and then How to Domesticate a Russian Bear will be out in a month.
I'll update you as soon as they're available - and thank you so much for your patience; it's so nice to still have readers out there!
All right, that took a while. But I'm really happy to announce that I managed to finish the damn book. It even turned out... well, not too shabby (at least that's how I feel about it BEFORE I'll start editing. That opinion is therefore bound to change soon as I start editing. A lot). Tom and Mischa are just as annoying (and entertaining) as usual, and they'll do A LOT of things that'll make you blush. And there's karate. And the in-laws.
I've also got the covers for my back catalogue designed, which means that my back catalogue will be up and running on Amazon very soon. I intend to do a contest when we get that far to celebrate - stay tuned! And then finally finish it off with publishing "How to Domesticate a Russian Bear" - the tale of the woes of a badass Dom suddenly feeling the need to settle down.
I've spent quite some time thinking about whether I should try to find another publisher or self-publish. I've always been convinced that traditional publishing was the way to go, mainly because of the quality of decently edited books. There are a lot of very good self-published authors out there, but let's be frank: Some of them would be even better if they had a good editor as well as a proofreader.
However, I've been badly burned twice now when publishers have shut down and spent my money on a car for their daughter or a one-way plane ticket to South Africa (true story in both cases). I've also noticed that several big MM publishers actually don't have very good editors and/or proofreaders. Considering those publishers will still take (at least) half your money, the trade seemed less and less appealing.
My solution was to find a good editor I know well to edit and proofread my book. That way, I get a professional editor without depending on a publisher. And I simply can't stress enough how important good editing is. I may not be the world's greatest writer, but I want the book to be as good as it can possibly get. When a reader spend hard-earned money on a book, they deserve that.
Also, apparently readers deserve fewer semicolons. And "apparently"s. Did I mention that good editors can also be very annoying?
It's midsummer night, and you all know what that means: You go out into the woods and find your beloved (who's wearing a garland around their neck) and you look for fern flowers together. And, uh, probably do other stuff as well when you can't find the damn flowers.
What the bloody hell are you talking about? you may say, but that's because you aren't Russian (Mischa is shaking his head at you as we speak. There may be one of those annoying pained sighs as well).
If you're just as clueless as Tom was before he was sent out into the woods at midnight by a Russian family member, then you need to read Of Russian Myth and Lore. It's a rare opportunity to experience that rare beast. And no, I'm not talking about Slavic folklore, but about Mischa actually showing his feelings.
(And for those wondering about that new book about Tom and Mischa that I promised you: The damnable last chapter is giving me a headache. But I promise to do my best to have it out soon!).
I'm afraid I have some bad news. As you might have heard, Torquere Press - my publisher - is going under. It happened about a year after the original owners sold Torquere to new owners.
It has been a bit of a long process, starting last summer when the royalties stopped being paid (and yes, that means that if you've bought any of my books during the last nine months, I haven't seen a penny of that money). It was also a bit of an ugly process (publishers going under often are). At first, we heard a lot of news from the owner about her being sick - very sick, very often. The author forums were filled with concern and well wishes and understanding - after all, not being paid is nothing compared to being critically ill, so we all were very understanding. Then suddenly a link showed up revealing that the owner hadn't actually been in the hospital yet another time as claimed, but in jail - for not paying an author.
So basically, we have no idea whether the owner really has been sick or merely lying all the time. I must say, personally, that I find it very hard to trust anybody who lied to me like that. Not least because I find it outrageous that we still aren't being paid. The owner is hoping to avoid an "expensive" bankruptcy case - but if "expensive" means "paying what I owe people", then I have a hard time supporting that wish. I want to be paid for my work; it's not okay that the owner has taken all the money I've earned for the last nine months and simply put it in her own pocket. Especially since the math isn't hard; when you as a publisher get your income from Amazon or any other seller, you don't touch half of it. Because it's not your money. It belongs to the authors. If that concept is too hard for you, then you probably shouldn't be a publisher at all. Well, they aren't; not for long anyway.
The really miserable thing wasn't so much the authors fighting among each other (the name calling wasn't pretty), but the fact that the owner stopped communicating - and we weren't given back our rights. That meant that the owner could keep selling our books, taking the money for herself, and none of us could do anything, because no other publisher will touch a book if it's sold by somebody else (doh). That left us all in a terrible situation: Somebody else had basically stolen our works, and we were helpless to do anything about it, since neither emails nor snail mail were answered.
Fortunately, that has changed, at least for me; I've been given back my rights on December 17 2016, and the publisher now has 30 days from that date to take down my books. It hasn't happened yet; I guess she's trying to get as much money out of it as possible (and yes, that also makes me mad; is it really such a foreign subject that you do not steal from people?). I'm angry, and I'm also sad; I was really happy with Torquere under the old owners. "Everybody deserves a happy ending" was such a beautiful motto. Alas, that's gone now.
What happens now: As soon as the books are taken down, I can start looking for a new publisher; I already have one in my sights. If they bite, you'll be able to buy my books again - I'm not sure how long that's going to take, but I will make sure to update my website as soon as I know it.
The good news (and yes, there is one good thing about this): I've started writing again and I'm currently putting the finishing touches on another book featuring the world's grumpiest Russian bear and the universe's most stubborn pain pig/art historian/karate geek. I've never had so much fun writing a book (or blushed so much. Those guys take any chance they can to get kinky). But I'll tell you more about that in another and more upbeat blog post. For now I need to keep Mischa from killing his wedding guests and Tom from killing Mischa.
Two posts in two days; even I don't know what's going on at the moment... Well, I feel pretty guilty about not having been around for a long while (and about not writing (enough), but let's not go there) - and what better way to deal with some of that guilt than to give away another story?
It's a little something I did a couple of years ago for the Torquere Press' Holidays Sips line. Here's the blurb:
Brit's life is exactly how he wants it: neat, ordered, and disciplined, the way it needs to be if anybody is going to take a thirty-two year old CEO seriously. If that means being so discreet that you're basically in the closet, then so be it.
Then, at a charity dinner, he meets the good Mr. Hart. A very drunken Mr. Hart. Who gives Brit the kiss of his life. That's all that happens, of course; Brit has got a reputation to protect. Only, he can't get Mr. Hart out of his head, and he realizes that it might be time to make some changes.
You can read the story here.
It's been while since I've been here - but what better reason than giving away a free book? My publisher, Torquere Books, is having a 12 Days of Christmas spree. Just go to
It has been a long time since I've posted anything here. And yes, it does have something to do with my last post about the new day job. Which turned into the day job from... Well, I'm actually not sure whether it's the job from heaven or hell.
See, what was supposed to have been a nice little consultancy gig quickly outgrew all my nice plans. Plans which included long weekends and lots of writing now that I didn't have to stress about being unemployed anymore. The perfect combination of day job and writing time, in other words.
Reality turned out to be very different, though. Especially the idea about having lots of time to write quickly drowned in 100-hour workweeks. Which is okay for a week or two, but this simply went on. And on. And on. And now I seem to have accepted the position permanently. Which is where "I don't know if this is a good idea" comes into the picture.
Because I don't write. I haven't for a while, and in the beginning, I blamed the stress from being unemployed or the frustration of the piracy of my books (because that is enough to make me want to quit writing at times, to be honest. People stealing my books while I'm working six jobs to make ends meet makes me angry and frustrated to say the least).
Now I'm beginning to worry when (when. I don't dare say whether) I'll write again. I'm one of those writers who needs time to get into the flow before I can write anything decent, so a few hours here and there simply don't work for me. I need longer stretches of uninterrupted, stressless downtime - and I don't have that at the moment. I'm not even sure whether I'll write anything for Torquere's charity event this year, and that bothers me, because I like writing, and I like being a writer. I want it back, dammit. I'm just not quite sure how to do it.
My plans at the moment - for lack of better ideas - are to take it easy over the summer and then begin the heaven/hell job in the fall - and do my best to make sure that I don't drown in an all-consuming job. I've promised myself to walk away if it comes to that. And then I hope that writing time will magically appear again. Because I have at least four ideas just waiting for me.
Dear God, that was a maudlin blog post! And right before my vacation. I swear to write a more upbeat post for you when I come back from my holiday; there may even be photos:). What about you - any job crises or vacations in your life?
I'm beginning a new job on Monday, and I was talking to my new boss. The company is located in a huge building, a really gorgeous example of moderne architecture - but also, well, big.
"So, when I get there, will I be able to find you alright?" I asked, wanting to do everything right on my first day there and hoping to get directions like "first door on the right and then down the end of the hallway" or something like that.
"No, you probably won't," my new boss answered. "But that's the best part." He never gave me any other directions.
I think I like this guy.
(The picture is from Pinakothek der Moderne in München, Germany. And yes, I really want to go back there!)
A Russian Bear is nominated for the coolest award ever! Can I just say WOW?
I admit that I'm a bit late to the party; I've been working a lot lately and hadn't had time to check the Goodreads Member's Choice Awards nominations this year (it's a great place to find great reads, by the way - you can check it out here). I didn't have anything out this year, either, so why should I check?
Well, I finally had time last night to check it anyway - and A Russian Bear is nominated as Favorite All Time M/M Romance Book! I'm speechless. Or, well, at least as speechless as a happy author can be;). Which means that I immediately come running to my blog to say thank you!
Because (and I'm repeating myself here) WOW! Somebody out there thinks A Russian Bear is their all time favorite M/M book. That's pretty awesome. If there's any justice at all, it won't win, because have you seen the list?? There are some seriously good books there. But still, it's pretty amazing that it's nominated.
And about the whole "I don't have any books out this year"? Yeah, I completely forgot An Accountant into Kink which is in the Fifty Gays of Shade anthology - which is also nominated. This is awesome on top of awesome. God, I love my readers - and some of them love me back;).
I read and I write - everything from corporate to kink. My naughty fictional friends are always there to make my life interesting. And pester me, of course. Pesky creatures.