Hi kids, it's me the Angry Old Fat dude comin' atcha once again.

I've got some more installments of my little online series The God Emperor of Soon lined up and ready for your perusal - or ridicule, or whatever. Haven't gotten any feedback on the current two installments, so I don't know if you like what you're reading or not. Alls I know is, a little more exposition in the third installment, then finally action starts on the fourth one.

ANYWAYS...

Good news on the Olivia Outlaw front. She's finished up her Seducing the Guardian series of gay romance, and the latest book is now available (as always) on the Amazon Kindle and compatible devices! YAY!

I've also updated the website to show the book, Enticing Duty, in the sidebar and on the List of Books by Olivia Outlaw.

So hit one of those links above, get the book, and get to reading! Don't make me go get my belt...

First installment here.

god_emperor_trump

I've had a beautiful, I've had a flawless campaign. You'll be writing books about this campaign. - Trump, before The Apotheosis.

Hillary the Ghola had the same upbringing as her predecessors.

Born from one of the mysterious axlotl tanks in a lab deep in the bowels of the God Emperor's palace, she proceeded to be educated about Hillary Prima and His Imperial Greatness. Their history together from circa 30 BA (Before Apotheosis) to 1 AI (Anno Imperator) was the main subject matter.

When she asked her tutors and other Duck-Speakers (who were all women for whatever reason) why she had to learn such boring fare, she was told it was to prepare her for her day of awakening.

...continue reading God Emperor of Soon – Installment 2

1

Hello children, it's me, your favorite aggravated husband of a Crazy Duck Lady.

Aforementioned Crazy Duck Lady has said to me repeatedly that she thinks I should write something - an anthology of comedic quips or quotes, or possibly even a narrative.

After seeing the meteoric rise of Donald (Duck) Trump on the national stage and the internet's somewhat sarcastic rebranding of his personality, I felt that burning itch of a muse that Mary Anne speaks of.

Either a muse or a fungus, I can never tell which.

Anyway, today I start (cue dramatic score) ...

The God Emperor of Soon (a bad sci-fi parody)

...continue reading God Emperor of Soon – Installment 1

A Publishers Weekly article today focused on how indie authors need to learn about "positioning." The piece says it's "imperative that indie authors do their research and spend time learning how to think like an industry insider, or hire outside people who have industry experience to maximize their chances for success."  Traditional publishing, says the story, is delighted with the surge of new voices (**cough, cough**) but indies can only fit in by acting like industry insiders. Oh, and indies should also throw money at the poor, downtrodden insiders who've been trampled by the indie revolt.

According to PW,  to properly position their work, indies should "angle" their work to readers, using genre, subgenre, the title, subtitle, the blurb and keywords. Indies must position their titles to ensure their "commercial viability in an overcrowded market." The article also recommends the following:

Positioning decisions can also downplay a certain theme by highlighting another that’s more saleable. For instance, addiction sells better than sexual abuse, so a memoir that has both might be highlight the addiction—in its title, subtitle, descriptive copy, and blurbs—and underplay or not even mention the abuse narrative, even though it’s there.

Funny, I've always believed that if I write the book I want to write, and give it a title, cover, subtitle, blurb and keywords that honestly describe the work, then readers will angle themselves in my direction, if my work is their "cuppa."  And it may not be because different strokes stoke different folks.  Nothing's wrong with that a'tall.  But if you're not naturally inclined towards the oddities of a duck lady who writes love over-the top for m/w and m/m, then I'd prefer you didn't spend your hard earned money for my work.  I gather that traditional publishing feels differently, and if they can angle their high-priced stuff into your wallet, they'd like to do it.

Traditional publishing still considers the sale the thing and the only thing.  Most indies, including this one, want their work to be read and appreciated, and sharing that experience with readers is more important than the bottom line.  That, I think, more than anything accounts for the indie revolution. We respect our readers too much to lure them into reading something they'd never choose to buy.

I haven't gambled in quite a while because too often the "new economy" doesn't cover all the basics, let alone the luxuries.  But back in the day, when the dollars flowed, Mr. Duck and I would take an occasional trip to a casino.  I stuck to the slots but Mr. Duck liked the tables.  Blackjack was one of his favorites.  Blackjack players hate to see a newbie sit down at the table.  Why?  Because a newbie doesn't know or follow the traditional rules about when to hit or stay or when to double down. The unpredictable play throws off the table and takes dollars from the experienced folks.

Indies are the newbies at the publishing table.  We haven't been following the rules so the traditional insiders can't predict our play.  Our daring honesty and respect for readers is taking a lot of dollars out of the formerly well-lined insider pockets. Now, traditional publishing pros are trying to "counsel" indies to learn the rules. What rules?  The ones set by traditional publishers to benefit traditional publishing, of course.

Sorry publishing pros, but I'm not interested in "positioning" readers because, unlike you, I think they're much more savvy than sheep who can be herded.  I'll keep angling with honesty and hoping readers enjoy my work. It all boils down to the difference in goals - publishing pros are in it for the money and indies are in it for love of the written word.  Maybe that's the biggest reason more and more readers opt to go indie.  Readers can spot a fraud at less than a hundred words. You might angle them once, but next time, they'll go indie.

And a crazy duck lady will welcome them with honesty and respect. Those are the values that create repeat business, whether we're talking about publishing, an insurance agency,  a car dealership, a restaurant, a big chain store or the corner market.

My original Facebook page will be fading away soon.... and I have a brand new Facebook page to share.  But first, of course, I have a story. (Otherwise, this would be a really short blog post!) My story begins a couple of months ago, when I decided to do a "boost" or Facebook ad campaign to promote one of my Olivia Outlaw Books.  I did the post, clicked to boost it, it started boosting and then - the boost was rejected.

A few days ago, I decided to try again, because I've run FB ads before and found them a great way to promote books for a reasonable cost.  Again, it got rejected and this time I got messages about "explicit content" and violating FB ad policies.

Seriously?

Well, okay, perhaps Facebook has hangups about Male/Male Romance and I was trying to publicize one of my Olivia Outlaw books.  So, I tried again, with three - count 'em THREE- of the books from my Mary Anne Graham "Forever" series.  Nada. The same result.  I beat my head against the brick wall, and grabbed my computer guy hubby and slammed his face against it for a while.  More nada and managed to royally perturb computer guy hubby who recalled anew his wife's technical stupidity.

While hubby cooked breakfast - yum- I had a "light bulb" moment.  Maybe I needed to do a full reboot.  After all, my original Facebook was created before FB had some of the tools to help authors create pages.  So, I slogged off to create an AUTHOR page.  Added each book series to PHOTOS and plan to give each book/series its own FB page.  (It'll take a while, people, I'm on the last book in my Seducing the Guardian Series and hope to publish soon).

For now, though, I have a brand new author page and am running a promo of my "shop now" button which connects to my list of books on this blog.  If you've wandered over here from that shop now button/promo - HI!  *waves*

Be sure to check out the new FB page and give it a like while you're there!!

 

 

I write contemporary and historical romance as myself, "Mary Anne Graham" and I write erotic romance as "Olivia Outlaw." I don't write erotica, although some people make a bundle of cash writing that genre. Why don't I write it? Isn't it essentially the same as erotic romance? I don't write erotica because it is not romance and if it's not romance, then I don't write it.

Both erotic romance and erotica include explicit sex. Neither genre will attract the shy and retiring. The difference lies in what role sex plays in the story. In erotic romance, sex moves the story. Sex between the lead characters changes them and changes the course of their lives in some fundamental fashion. Erotica, however, is all about the sex. Erotica requires no relationship and no happy ending. It requires only hot sex.

Don't get me wrong, writing hot sex is fun, and I write it in romance and erotic romance, but I write it to tell the character's stories. I can only read and write romance where character is king. Whenever my bank account motivates me to consider writing sex for the sake of sex (erotica), something - thankfully - stops me. This time it was a story about making money writing erotica for Kindle.

Perhaps the Broadly story was intended to have the opposite result, and for some folks, it might.  Read it for yourself and decide.  This is the paragraph that stopped me cold:

So much volume requires variety. Johnson is a gay man, but like Sethline, he writes stories with all kinds of gender configurations. "It's not really that different," he said. "The niche matters more than the gender. I find it hard to write ABDL [adult baby diaper love] erotica, whether gay or straight, because it seems so silly and pointless—I can't even pretend to think diapers are sexy. But most other hetero erotica is easy as pie, even if I have to pretend I have a vagina."

The stop sign for me: "Adult baby diaper love?"  That is a thing?  For a crazy duck lady who pens erotic love scenes in all of her writing, I am, perhaps, a bit TOO sheltered.  I blame that on my writing.  It's kept me from all of the meandering around the internet that would inform me of such fetishes.  I consider that a good thing. There are fetishes I'm happy to never discover.  "Adult baby diaper love" would have been one of them, but sadly, I've now seen those words.  Writing in a genre that people will read because of "diaper love" is not ever going to be something I can do.

I find it sad that men and women feel financially obligated to write under a pen name that disguises their genre.  Unfortunately, I know that sometimes occurs in romance, where men say they can't sell unless they write under female pen names. To all quacking readers, I say - buy a book because of the story, not because of the author's gender.  In time, I hope, that readers won't spend a second considering whether they want to read a romance or erotic romance written by a man instead of a woman.  It should be a non-issue.

So, we've established that my writing road map will not include a stop at erotica.  Where does my map take me next?  I'm presently writing the last in my Olivia Outlaw  "duty" series.  I hope to have it finished and published within the next couple of months, and hopefully sooner.  Once it's done, I'm definitely going back to do a "Mary Anne Graham" romance.  It'll either be Vlad's story from my Forever Series, or a "the rest of the story" contemporary romance.  I started Vlad's tale and am debating my direction.

As many of you know, "A Fairy Fated Forever"- the first in that series, is a "the rest of the story" book which tells my version of what happens after the events in the famous Fairy Flag of the Clan MacLeod legend.  I have another one of those things doing a duck dance around my brain.  Duck Dancing is damned tough to ignore.

Still, Vlad may be able to overcome the dancing duck.  We'll see where that goes after I finish the last Olivia Outlaw "duty" book.  I'd welcome any of your thoughts, of course.  The one thing I can say with absolute confidence is that I will NOT be writing in any genre where diapered adults inspire readers to say anything other than_ "ICK!!"

 

Howdy sweeties, it's the angry old husband here, been awhile, nice to talk to you again, yadda yadda yadda.

Thanks to Facebook, I found the video that is the pinnacle of ecstasy for my dear wife, the Crazy Duck Lady.

What few of you know is that not only does she revere ducks (especially baby ducks), she likes to talk randomly about fish as well.

Well, the video below was practically tailor-made for her. Check it out - a baby duck feeding fish.

Writers tend to adore their characters, and I am no different. While Vlad's story incubates in my head, he and the other characters from my "Mary Anne Graham" Forever Series (A Faerie Fated Forever, A Golden Forever, A Sixth Sense of Forever and a Magical Forever) have not languished. They appear regularly in my Olivia Outlaw Isle of Bliss Books (Sultans Toy - Captured, Claimed, Coupled & Consumed; Carnal Collateral - The Devil's Deal, Devil's Demand, Devil's Delight; and Seducing The Guardian - Tempting Duty and Scandalizing Duty - so far).

I'm working on "Enticing Duty" for the Seducing The Guardian series. It occurred to me that fans of my forever characters might not be aware that they can catch up with them in my Olivia Outlaw books. The socially elite of London's Ton are a lot like locals in Myrtle Beach - a small town hidden within a bigger city. So, it's only natural that the Forever folks would interact with the Blissful Beaus, right? Of course it is!!

So, if you're a fan of the "Mary Anne Graham" Forever historicals, consider picking up the Olivia Outlaw erotic romances. They're all available at Amazon.

I just started Book 3 of the story of Adam & Evan (My "Seducing The Guardian" Olivia Outlaw Series). This one - at least so far - is titled: "Enticing Duty." I finished Book Two and published it almost 10 days ago, but Book Three lurked in the barely begun stage for days. Why? Because starting a book is hard. It wouldn't be nearly as hard if I were a planner.

See, writers of fiction are commonly divided into two species: planners and pantsers. Planners will have a full outline of a book completed before they write the first word. I admire them greatly and can only imagine how organized their lives must be. I bet they have neat underwear drawers and matched socks - if such thinks actually exist. (They seem more like unicorns to me!) Other writers are "pantsers" and they just set down and start typing. These folks are reckless daredevils who will make a dish out of tofu and turnips because it's what they have - and then serve it to their husbands for dinner. There's another category of writers that people don't talk about. These are the insane folks keep a stuffed duck named Woodrow beside their laptop. Yes, you guessed it - I'm in that group. We won't start a book until our characters start telling us their story.

What should we call the writers like me? (Okay, okay - hush out their in the peanut gallery. I will NOT put those words in my blog.) I think the best category would be: Writers directed by the voices in their heads. Because these folks - me, myself and I included - can not write until our characters are good and darned ready to reveal their tales. Sometimes, they do it in drips and drops. Other times, they talk so fast that my fingers can't keep up. But either way, if I get ahead of them or ignore them, the story won't flow. If I misunderstand and take a slightly wrong turn, sometimes the characters sulk and won't talk to me for a while. (Vlad, from my "Forever" - Mary Anne Graham - series has been sulking lately. I think I understand the overall arc of his story, but I got the angle wrong in the beginning. Soon, he'll forgive me and talk to me again, and I can make some progress on that one).

Adam of Seducing the Guardian hasn't been sulking. He and I both knew where part 3 of his story would start because he mentioned it at the end of part 2. Well, we knew the emotional direction and general tone of part 3, but only Adam knew what happened to make Evan re-appear in such a dramatic fashion. Today, Adam finally decided to share --- and we're off, finally beginning. It'll be a while yet before we get to the other hard part - the ending. Just yet, I don't even know if Book 3 will end Adam and Evan's story or if they may have another book to go.

Endings are hard for a lot of reasons. It's like the day before the last day of a vacation you've really enjoyed. Just the thought that it ends the next day can send you off to book another day or two - that you probably don't need and can't afford. But those extra days are easier than facing the end, aren't they? But when you get to the end, you start on the beginning of your journey home. You know what happens then, right? You're anxious to get home. You remember that you love your home and your life and you can't wait to get back to it. That's the moment, the emotional space, that the whole trip has been about.

For a writer, the moments after the end are about the next beginning. And I'll love it. I will love my new characters or revisiting someone from a past story who needs his or her tale told. But to get there, I have to end this story - and endings are emotionally draining and just hard. Just as a character has to tell you where to put him to start, he must tell you where to put him at the end. Since my books tending to have big, over the top, emotional rock-'em, sock-'em endings, it means I'm going to have to let my hero go to the end of his rope and past it, to the point where the knot he's tied is starting to unravel. Of course, then comes the good part, the happier ever after part. It's why I write, just like that "I can't wait to get back home" feeling is why I take a vacation. None of that makes endings easier.

Right now Adam and Evan's new tale is past the starting line and the end is nowhere in sight. It's the sweet spot of writing and - if I do it right and don't let the story I want to tell get in the way of the story my characters want told - then it'll be the sweet spot for my readers too.

If y'all love the Isle of Bliss as much as I do, then you'll be quite quackers to hear that part 2 of Adam and Evan's story is now for sale at Amazon.  If you read part 1, then you know that Adam and Evan have much more going on that any Guardian and Ward should.  Since this ward is also the Prince Regent's Godson, Adam's breach of duty risks much more than his honor.  It might even cost him his life.

If you haven't read Part 1 yet, do pick it up first.  And check out all my Olivia Outlaw titles.  I'm trying them at a new, lower price, but like all good things, it won't last long.  If you're a bargain hunter then you might want to pick up all the Olivia Outlaw titles now before I regain my sanity and raise the prices again.

I see you smirking out there.  Yes, I do have occasional periods of sanity.  Not often, mind you, but it does happen!!  It's not predictable, and I usually manage to cast off the chains of reality sooner rather than later, but while I'm sane, I'm apt to do terrifyingly normal things.  I'm thinking that raising the Olivia Outlaw prices might be amongst them.  So, grab them before the Demons of Sanity snatch me back!

The weather is getting warmer, and it's a great time to journey back to the Isle of Bliss.