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Why I Don’t NaNoWriMo

The first time I did NaNo, it was five years ago. I’d heard it was a thing but never really looked into it. But then I was a newly minted published author and I was like, man, I need to do this! I’m an author! Let’s go!

I had my brain engaged and I started writing as soon as the clock ticked over to November 1st. I came home from work every day and wrote. I wrote like a rockstar! And I wrote 51,000 words in ten days and had a finished book! I was amazing.

And every single word of it was garbage.

I spent the rest of the month trying to fix it, but I basically just….couldn’t. And that’s when I learned that my brain does not write this way. I need to adjust and change as I go. And I need to take breaks from a story and just figure out if what I’m writing is the right thing to write. I need to let things percolate in between. So while I can (and do!) write a lot of words in quick succession, the whole push behind NaNo isn’t what fuels me and I don’t produce quality words. And when I don’t start with something that’s close to what I want in the first place, it’s impossible for me to edit and tweak and fix and polish.

I tried it again the year before last with that in mind, just on my own, and worked in the way that I know I work best. But I didn’t complete the challenge and that felt like a failure, even knowing that any words at all is a win.

So I don’t NaNoWriMo. Because it doesn’t fit my process and my brain can’t let go of the feeling of failure when I don’t do what I should.

But to all you authors out there that do and can? Rock on! You’ve got this! You’re going to write amazing words this month, and we’re all looking forward to seeing those words in print. All the blood, sweat, tears, frustration, and joy will be worth it in the end. I’m cheering you on the sidelines.

Write on, writers!

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The Truth of the Matter

Every time I go to the doctor, I’m asked if I’m depressed. I get it. I have pretty severe anxiety, and anxiety and depression (as an NP once put it to me) “play very well together.” On the whole, depression is not something I experience. So I can truthfully answer that no, I’m not depressed.

But these last few months…hell most of this year….it’s been different. I have felt so very uninspired. And I’ve blamed it on the publisher who shall not be named and the very super crappy situation at the EDJ (which thankfully will be changing in a few weeks). And they’ve definitely played their role in all of this. The mental and emotional energy I’ve had to put into dealing with all that has left my well empty.

And just today, I had a face palm moment of realizing that another reason is because I have been absolute crap at taking my medication. Not for any reason other than I keep forgetting and then it gets pushed around and hidden under something and then I really really forget.

Words have been like pulling teeth. I haven’t knitted hardly at all. And I haven’t worn makeup in weeks, and that’s my favorite form of self expression. For a super creative person like me, to not be creative and fill the well has made things so much worse.

So the lack of spoons and the lack of meds…yep. I’ve been depressed. Only I didn’t see it for what it was. Needed a little tough love.

And it also makes me feel better, in a way. Because there’s a reason that I’ve been so uninspired and uncreative. And there are things I can do to help myself. And I am making those changes. I’m unhappy with the me I’ve been lately, and unhappy with my lack of engagement.

So expect things to change around here! I’ve updated this site so that all the links and covers are current for my rereleases. I’ve got the books that are coming soon up as well. And Flash Fic Friday, which has sadly been absent for an unforgivable amount of time, will be making a come back later this month.

A Timely Gift rereleased today! So if you haven’t had a chance to read it you can check it out here! If you’re in the mood for a holiday story that starts with a solstice gift and ends on Christmas, be sure to take a look. And it’s on sale right now! (If you read the original, no need to repurchase. There have been minor tweaks, but no substantive  changes. It’s still the same story)

And coming up in just a few weeks is Miracles in Space. Y’all. I’ll do a dedicated post for this one soon but it’s an homage to my beloved Star Trek. It’s got alien races and politics, and I kid you not, a language that has rules and was created for me by an actual linguist. (who also happens to be my brother, but that doesn’t negate the linguist part) Oh and mpreg. You can preorder it here. And it’s part of a trio of sci fi stories, so if you’d like, you can get all three in one collection. Check it out.

So to sum up? I’ve been in a bad place, and it’s been a combination of outside and inside forces. But now that I’ve fully recognized it, I will do what I can to help myself. That’s not to say I won’t still have bad days, but here’s hoping they become fewer and farther between.

 

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The State of Things

Yeah, so it’s been a while. And I always keep saying that I’m going to do better about keeping things updated and then never do. I need to try, that’s for sure.
But the truth is…I’m mentally wrung out.

I haven’t spoken much about the Dreamspinner debacle. I don’t intend to go into specific detail here either. I think it’s pretty well known that authors (and other content creators) are not getting paid and that there’s a lot of…waffle coming from the DSP staff, in particular the CEO. I don’t need to rehash it. I pulled all my titles with them back in May after yet another excuse about late payments.  Late payments have been going on for quite a while, and there was always some excuse. And then everything started coming out, and I bit the bullet and requested my titles back. I was granted reversion immediately, and began the process of republishing them with JMS Books. Just about everything should be back out for purchase within the coming months, and some titles are already out again.

And as of today, no, I still haven’t gotten paid for Quarter 2.

I will say I’m sad at the state of things with that press, but it’s also not the same press I first signed with more than six years ago. And I need to do what is best for me and my writing career if I intend to keep writing.

With all that being said, it’s no wonder my creative mojo has kind of tanked. Not only is there this going on, but the day job has…gone a bit sideways and it’s also taking it’s toll. I find myself out of spoons, and fucks, and I just can’t at the end of the day. Most of the time.

I’ve been stress crafting soaps. And knitting some. And watching people create things on YouTube.

But in my heart of hearts, despite everything else, I am a writer. I have been since I was ten years old and first put pen to paper. And fingers to keyboard. I constantly live with voices in my head, plots and characters, and interesting turns of phrase. I’ve improved in my craft, and with each new thing I write, I try to get even better. I love creating stories, and helping my guys find their happily ever after. I may not be the most popular author in a fairly saturated genre, but I have a particular voice and there are those who enjoy my style, my characters, and my narrative.

So today I break ground on a new story. Today I remind myself that there are readers out there who want to see what I have coming up next. Today I remember it’s not all about the money, and that the joy of writing a story is it’s own reward. (Don’t get me wrong, the money is important as I, and all authors, deserve to be paid for our work. But it’s not the only thing.)

Today I start Declan and Luka’s story.

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The New and The Not So New

So lots has been going on and I haven’t been here to keep you updated. My fault. I’ve been letting other things get in the way. But here I am, once again, promising to do better about it.

What’s been going on, you ask?

Well most recently, my littlest brother came to visit and it was a great week. I took a couple days off from the EDJ to hang out with him, so that was lovely. We got tattoos together (and so did Sister) though they aren’t matching, and we did an escape room. Let me tell you, that was a blast. My oldest brother wasn’t around, sadly, but the other four of us did the room. We beat it with five minutes to spare, broke out, and bought t-shirts to prove it. We’re all fairly good at puzzles, so the hardest part was actually finding the clues. I’d totally do it again.

But other than that it’s been work. Work at the EDJ, and working on writing stuff. I’ve had a hard time settling to anything, so I wrote a flash story that will be out in September called Champagne Thursday, just to get the juices flowing. It sort of worked. heh. And I also worked on getting some of my previously published titles ready to be re-released. Just gave them an extra polish and approved new covers. it’s been fun, and I’m glad that they won’t be out of circulation too long, so if you haven’t had a chance to pick them up, you will get that chance soon.

Forever Nine was just released, so that’s a brand new story from me. Buy links in the books tab, if you’d like. As I’ve said, here and other places, it’s a bit of a departure for me. In that it’s a BDSM, not that there’s a lack of KTB brand feels. Because those are definitely there. But it’s also heavy on the Dominance and Submission, with some pain play and edging thrown in. I love it. And there will be more to come in that realm, for sure.

Right now the new I’m working on is a sci fi story, which is also a departure, but still loving it. I know not every one of my readers is going to love every one of my books, but this is something that’s been in my heart for a long time, so I’m happy to branch out. Sci fi, and fantasy, was my very first love, ever since I was a wee child. And with romance thrown in, that’s double the good.

Ghost of a Chance is back out on August 3rd. Buy links when I have them. Don’t Wanna Lose Your Love comes out August 17th. And Hearts and Hazelnuts will be soon to follow. I’ll update those buy links too. Everything else will be rolling out between now and February. Anything I re-release will not have substantial changes, but there will be small tweaks and extra polish. And new covers. So you definitely don’t have to buy them again if you’ve already got them. But there will also be some new things in there too, so keep your eyes peeled!

So that’s the update! I’ll keep y’all posted of things to come!

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Forever Nine

Hey y’all! I know I’ve been super absent. Which isn’t the best when you’ve got a new release! But family stuff (good things!) and work stuff (not exactly bad stuff) have kept me busy this week. That being said, in case you didn’t know, I have a new book out!

It’s a bit of a departure for me, but not entirely. Still all the good KTB feels, just with a bunch of Dominance and submission thrown in. And I love Jesse and Holden to pieces. Which is unsurprising, but these guys are some of my favorites. If you haven’t gotten your hands on it yet, buy links are below. Enjoy!

Buy Links: JMS  Amazon  Kobo  iBooks

When Jesse Reid needs emergency surgery, he calls his neighbor to come pick him up instead of one of his many family members. As the youngest of nine, Jesse is used to feeling like a leftover, and he doesn’t need their coddling.

Holden McRae is a big, beautiful man, everything Jesse wants. But Holden has made it clear he doesn’t want Jesse as a submissive.

Under the influence of Holden’s care, Jesse becomes bolder and makes Holden see what he’s been missing. The two men’s interests line up, and the attraction that has always been there is something they can finally act on. As Jesse heals, he shares parts of his life with Holden, and Holden helps him see he’s so much more than #9. Their love might not be the most conventional, but maybe it’s exactly what both men need.

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The State of Things

First off: Happy Pride! Let’s celebrate while remembering all those who have fought the way before us. Be proud! Express yourself! And remember, bi, trans, ace and aro people all have a place at Pride as well. Please don’t gatekeep.

Second of all: I know I’ve said the last couple of times I’ve posted that I’m going to better at the social media thing, and also get the Friday Flash Fics back up and running. And then haven’t. Life is good but crazy and by the time I get home, I just don’t think about it. I just want to decompress. But I do need to be better about it and get back in the flash fic game!

So much has been happening. I’m not sure how much y’all have heard about Dreamspinner Press. I’m not going to get into rehashing things here. But when payments started getting later and later and then didn’t show up…and I had to ask twice…I decided it was time to pull my titles and move on.

I will always be grateful to DSP. They gave me my start and took a chance on an unknown. I’ve grown so much as a writer during my time working with them. They aren’t the same publisher I started with, and everything changes. Businesses need to change. But I no longer feel it’s a great fit for me. So it’s time for me to start on the next part of my journey.

So what does that mean for my backlist? Well, I’ll repubbing most of them with JMS books over the coming months. I’ll be sure to make announcements on SM about what and when. There won’t be substantial changes to most of them. A few tweaks here and there. A couple will have a bit of additional words. But mostly, they will remain unchanged, so if you already own them, you don’t need to get them again!

I’m also going to work on self pubbing some new titles too. I’ll probably do this under a different name, as the direction I’m intending to go is a bit different from the standard Kris T. Bethke fair. More on that when it happens.

Coming up next month, I have a new story out with JMS called Forever Nine. This too is a bit of a departure. Still the sweet and fluffy you expect from me, with a BDSM twist. I adore Jesse and Holden, and hope you will too.

In regards to the Family Found series, I’m going to be finishing the last two books on my own. Nell and I decided it was better that way. As much fun as we had writing the first book together, the second was a challenge. She’s not too keen on series, and mentally leaves the characters and locale behind when she finishes. Whereas I, on the other hand, always think of another character who needs their story told. I’ll be working on those in the coming months, along with a Sci Fi story.

I’m enjoying branching out in my sub genres, and flexing my writing muscles. Contemporary is my first love. I absolutely love writing 2 guys falling in love after having met at the right time. But I love world building too, so expect some new and exciting things from me in the future!

So that’s the scoop from me! Be sure to stay tuned for info about repubs and upcoming new stories!

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Long Time, No Chat

Hello! Yes, I’m still alive and doing things, though I have not posted much to any social media at all, and certainly haven’t updated the blog. I’ll get into reasons in a second but here I am to bring you the news.

Okay, so as most of you may know the EDJ has been truly evil for about a year now. But that’s all about to change. In a week, I start a new position. Same large company (a huge healthcare conglomerate) but a different office/department/position. I’m super excited about it, because it’ll be a whole different world. Not to mention, I’m sort of friends with my direct boss, and I know that if she has to address any issues with me, she’ll actually be nice about it. Not that I’m anticipating any issues, but you never know if you’ll make a mistake. We’re human after all. I’m also looking forward to management that’s actually supportive instead of aloof and defensive. So that’ll be a nice change. And on top of that, because of my particular skill set, there are plans for my future according to the boss. “Big plans, if you’re willing” was what I was told. So we shall see. It also means no overtime, which sad about losing that extra pay but so glad my nights and weekends will be free.

The other reason I’ve been largely absent is that writing has been….hard. Very hard. There were lots of reasons why, and part of that was being stuck in my own head. So, you know. That effects things. I’ve had a hard time getting the mojo flowing, and I was having trouble breaking out of that. Nell and I were pushing to finish Diving In, and that was a challenge for reasons I won’t go into. And on top of that, I had deadlines looming, and I was having the absolute worst time getting myself to sit down and write. So, I moved my computer so I can lounge on the futon, hoping that would help. It sort of did. And then I changed the idea for my looming deadline, and miraculously, I was able to pound out words! It’s not quite halfway done, and even better, the deadline got pushed back, so I have plenty of time to make this story the best it can be.

My schedule is pretty full, writing wise, for the foreseeable future. After this story, there’s a sci fi I need to work on. I have a good idea for that one. And the last two books in the Family Found series. And, well, if you know me at all it won’t be a surprise to hear that yes, this new story I’m working on will, in fact, be a series.

I’m basically going to be writing series forever. And to be honest, I couldn’t be happier about it. Because I love them with the fiery passion of a thousand suns!

In other news, the Something Like books found a new home at JMS and there’s a boxset too! So if you like paperback, you can get that. Or if you haven’t read them all and want them in one go, now’s your chance! And if you pop over to JMS to buy them, they are on sale today. (as is everything, so you know, stock up!) You can get to it here.

So that’s all the news from me. Things are better in the real life day to day, and I’m back into the swing of things writing wise. I’ll do my damnedest to update more regularly. And hopefully start up the Friday flash fics again! Maybe not this Friday, because of things, but hopefully the week after!

Enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day, if you celebrate. Eat yummy food and be safe if you drink!