Awards and Press and Getting Back to It

Awards and Press and Getting Back to It

I have been staring at the screen for half an hour, trying to figure out how to start this blog post.

Note to self: Don’t wait 5 months between now and the next one.

I’ll start with the highlight reel:

Awards for Unrelenting

In September, we found out Unrelenting had been selected as a Finalist in 3 categories for the 2022 New Mexico-Arizona Book awards. The original nomination form stated that we’d find out who the winners were in late November.

So imagine our surprise when, only a week later, they announced the winners!

Turns out Unrelenting is the WINNER of the 2022 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award in the category of Gay/Lesbian (LGBTQ)!

We’re also a Finalist in the categories of Fiction – Sci-Fi/Fantasy and First Book NM for debut authors.

We’re super honored by this, and now my to-be-read list has grown exponentially with all the other awesome-sounding finalists.

Press for Unrelenting

We’ve had some fun new press come out about Unrelenting since my last update — although the hype has, of course, slowed down since the book launch.

  • We were highlighted on the Hugo-winning site, by Mike Gyler, about our NM-AZ Book Awards win. (Link)
  • We got to discuss the most meaningful part of Unrelenting (for us!) on the blog of Hugo, Locus, and Nebula Award winner, Mary Robinette Kowal. (Link)
  • We chatted with fellow writers, Wil Ralston and Marshall Carr, about the experience of writing and publishing Unrelenting on the Just Keep Writing Podcast. (Link)
  • We were season finale guests on the This Podcast Needs a Title Podcast by the indomitable Peter Malone Elliot and Erica Davis of Book Pipeline. (Link)
  • We talked about our co-writing process on the DIY MFA Radio Podcast with Gabriela Pereira. (Link)
  • We were co-hosts of the #PipelineAuthors Twitter Chat hosted by Book Pipeline. (Link)

Plus, we just recorded an interview with Edgar Award winner, Mindy McGinnis, in a to-be-released episode of the Writer Writer Pants on Fire Podcast.

Getting Back to It

This summer was rough on the personal front. I was unexpectedly traveling a lot, and I ended up taking a writing hiatus for a few months.

I track all my writing time and word counts in a spreadsheet, so here’s what the summer slump looked like, in terms of production:

April-July were not so hot. Proverbially speaking. They were quite hot, literally speaking.

But then something magical happened in August.

I was home. I got into a schedule. I was in flow.

I started setting my alarm for 3 hours before work. Instead of lying in bed doomscrolling like usual, I put on the soundtrack I’ve been listening to while writing, took a shower, had breakfast, fed the dogs, and then sat down at my desk. And wrote for 2 hours before work began.

This is the soundtrack I’ve been listening to while writing Flightless:

Look what that yielded!

I was mostly working on Flightless, my solo work in progress. I am SO enthusiastic about this novel.

In September, I attended the 2022 Writing Excuses Retreat (WXR), an event that is born from the Hugo Award Winning Writing Excuses Podcast.

This year, the instructors and staff included (in alphabetical order) Marshall Carr, Kathy Chung, Matthew J Drake, Piper J Drake, Margaret Dunlap, Mary Robinette Kowal, Erin Roberts, Brandon Sanderson, Peng Shepherd, DongWon Song, KM Sparza, Howard Tayler, Sandra Tayler, Dan Wells, and Dawn Wells.

I’m super fortunate and privileged to have attended 3 WXR events now, and to have had a chance to learn from these super-talented, extremely giving folks. So many advancements in my writing since 2019 can be traced back to what I’ve learned at these events. Plus, I’m so grateful to now count several of the instructors among my professional friends. These are some deeply good people, in addition to being deeply good writers and storytellers.

Even with all of that, the very BEST part of WXR events is the other early-career writers. I’ve been able to form some deep friendships with these writers over time, and I cannot imagine my life without these dear friends. Plus, they’ve been so very supportive of Jessi and me with Unrelenting‘s launch.

I’ll be sure to update you on any of their books as they come out! I had a chance to beta read one of them earlier this year, and y’all. Y’all. Y’ALL.

This year, sadly, the experience was significantly dampened by an anxiety-inducing COVID-19 outbreak among participants. Plus a cold. Plus e.coli. Jessi and I are SO extremely fortunate that we didn’t end up with Covid (although each of us ended up with one of the latter other issues, respectively). We’d had our bivalent boosters the week before, but we had a ton of exposure, and we were just downright lucky. We’re thinking about so many of our friends who weren’t as fortunate and are recovering now.

Books I’m Excited About

I’m excited about 3 upcoming books, and I plan to review them all here on my blog.

On October 8, 2022, Neal Holtschulte releases his debut sci-fi novel, Crew of Exiles.

Neal has been a friend of mine for a number of years, and we met through a local critique group.

I’ve always been SUCH a fan of his writing and intelligent critique.

Well, now his very first novel is coming out, and I’m so fortunate to have read it… and LOVED it!

Goodreads Link to Preorder

On October 11, 2022, Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Award Winner, Mary Robinette Kowal, releases her 10th (!) novel.

This sci-fi murder mystery is set on a swanky cruise ship in space, heading from the Moon to Mars.

The Spare Man features a main character with a disability, a world with baked-in gender inclusivity, and the WORLD’S CUTEST DOG. I’m enjoying the heck out of the ARC right now!

Goodreads Link to Preorder

On October 18, 2022, New Mexico-Arizona Book Award winners Geoff Habiger and Coy Kissee release the third installment in the Constable Inspector Lunaria Adventure series, Fear of the Minister’s Justice.

I’m so excited to read this fantasy buddy cop tale in a richly-realized world! I enjoyed the first two immensely, so I encourage you to pick up all three if you’re into secondary world fantasy detective tales.

Goodreads Link to Preorder

Thank You for Your Support

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that now is a GREAT time to order Unrelenting as a holiday gift for your fantasy-loving friends and family members. Click here to grab a copy.

And if you want to read exclusive stories every month that are published nowhere else, please consider joining my Patreon at the $6+/mo level. You’ll get access to the Writing Archive, which grows every month with another deleted scene, sneak peek, short story, novel fragment, or other creative tale for your enjoyment.

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