New collection of short fiction

It’s been a while, but I’ve finally released my personal anthology of short fiction:

Constellation of Neon LightsSix short tales of life, death and optimism from Luna Harlow.

A young woman looks back on a grandparent and the nature of stories. Robots question the meaning of their existence. An old woman time travels through memory. A young man leaves a party and questions what he wants from life. Thirty-somethings talk about chemistry over brunch.

Amazon US | Amazon AU | Amazon UK | ibooks | Kobo | Scribd | books2read universal link | Smashwords

 

Site housekeeping

I switched site themes, to something that I think will work better with the way I’ll be using the website for the next while. Still purple, though, because that’s the best colour.

I’ve also updated other works with links to several new short stories I’ve published on Amazon.

You may have noticed I haven’t posted a lot of reviews here lately – and that’s the way it shall stay until I’ve finished with this year’s classes, at the very least.

November 2016 recap and links

 

That’s a lot more reading done last month than I realised.

Some interesting links:

How a Publisher Markets Your Book by Jessica Faust.

A profile about Leonard Cohen in The New Yorker, looking at his new album, from before he passed on. RIP Cohen, a musical great.

Elena Ferrante, Charlotte Brontë and how anonymity protects against female writing stereotypes by Erin Nyborg at The Conversation.

20 Typography Mistakes Every Beginner Makes – And How You Can Avoid Them by Janie Kliever at Canva Design School.

Remembering Sheri S. Tepper, Eco-Feminist Sci-Fi Firebrand by Genevieve Valentine at npr books. Tepper is a complicated figure to look back on, because she was an outspoken feminist but also in favour of eugenics, and it can be difficult to reconcile those two things.

The prospect before us by Patrick Nielsen Hayden at Making Light about writing SF/F in a world with US Pres-elect Trump.

Why Fiction Matters by Nancy Jane Moore at Book View Cafe.

Death of the hatchet job: Book reviewing used to be a blood sport. How has it become so benign and polite? by D J Taylor at New Statesman. Interesting read. There’s still plenty of amateur reviewers willing to say you’ve written the worst book in the history of humanity on goodreads but I have noticed in certain sectors pro  and semi-pro reviewing is somewhat timid. Also even amateur reviewers of romance novels seem more likely to say ‘I didn’t enjoy but it was okay, 4 stars’, which is fascinating. This article OTOH locates trends of reviewing within the history of reviewing.

The Gone Girl With The Dragon Tattoo On The Train – Why are there so many books with “girl” in the title? by Emily St. John Mandel at FiveThirtyEight. I’ve definitely linked other articles of people noticing this phenomenon before.

Who is the Genius Behind Merriam-Webster’s Social Media? In Conversation with a Dictionary by Emily Temple at LitHub.

October 2016 recap and links

 

Some interesting links:

Why I review everything I read by Teresa Preston at Book Riot.

SEXtember: What reading romance taught me about sex by Natalie Ng at meld magazine.

An interesting interview with Jill Shalvis at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. It’s fascinating to see how many writers assume it’s only them that write messy drafts while other writers must be writing such clean drafts.

Pro-”Gay For You” Arguments In The Romance Genre (And Why They’re All Still Bi/Pan Erasure) by Jenny Trout.

5 Years a Novelist: A Retrospective on the Writing Life by Kameron Hurley.

An AMA with Wesley Chu.

An awesome article in The New Yorker about Ursula Le Guin.

An interview at The Design Files with Penguin book designer Allison Colpoys.

Working with Time I Actually Have, Not the Time I’d Like To Have by Peter M. Ball.

On the horror genre: Guest Post: “New Voices” by Mark Morris at Civilian Reader; The Hidden Horrors of Craig Davidson by Tobias Carroll at Electric Lit; and Interview with Victor LaValle by Maurice Broaddus at Nightmare Magazine.

Margaret Atwood: ‘All dystopias are telling you is to make sure you’ve got a lot of canned goods and a gun’ by Charlotte Higgins at The Guardian.

On editing: An intimate relationship: editors and writers at the Radio National archives of The Book Show (it’s from 2008 but it’s still interesting) and What is structural editing (from 2007); Teaching Stuff: Vast and Cool and Unsympathetic by Richard Chwedyk at the SFWA blog.

Why I Don’t Want to Be a Queer Book Detective Anymore by Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian.

September 2016 Recap and Links

 

Not a great or interesting month for me and books, I have to admit.

I released:

The People Want Dance Pop on Amazon. It’s the second in my series about a bunch of musician bros, but if you’re just interested in the romance, you can skip this one as it’s coming of age angst + binge drinking.

Some interesting links:

On writing

The kinds of questions we ask ourselves by owlectomy – Riffing off an older post about the kishoutenketsu structure in traditional Chinese and Japanese narratives, and the differences between ‘Western’ and ‘Eastern’ storytelling.

Simplicity or style: what makes a sentence a masterpiece? by Jenny Davidson at aeon.

5 Writing Rules Destroyed by the Dictionary at Merriam Webster.

Identity & Narrative: A Response to Lionel Shriver by Foz Meadows. (A quick web search of Shriver + Brisbane Writers Festival can bring up the mess that Meadows is responding to. As Shriver is a privileged out of touch white person beloved by the literary establishment, some of the responses towards her speech may be fawning. Tread carefully.)

Writing Strong Women by M R Carey at Civilian Reader.

At Smart Bitches, Trashy Books: 211. Writing Emotional and Erotic Tension: An Interview With Molly O’Keefe.

The Best Female Characters Come From Books by Meg Miller at The Atlantic. Largely about film.

Let’s Talk Numbers: How Long Should Your Series Be by Travis Bach at Pretentious Title (Rachel Aaron’s blog).

Let’s Talk About Stets by K J Charles. I learned all these editing notation marks at secretarial college, which at least means (despite how hilarious people find that) it was worthwhile.

By Cyriaque Lamar at io9, a post from a few year’s ago I was just reminded of: The 22 rules of storytelling according to Pixar.

Tips for Writing Romance from A Passionate Defender of the Genre by linkeepsitreal @ Tumblr.

On the Invisibility of Middle Aged Women by Dorthe Nors at Lithub. Don’t read the comments.

On romance novels

For the ‘Oscars of Romance’, Representation Matters by by Sonali Dev at NPR Books.

Two different perspectives on gender and Mills and Boon at The Guardian – Mills & Boon romances are actually feminist texts, academic says by Mark Brown, and Mills & Boon: zero shades of feminism by Julie Bindel.

A primer on the romance genre at Tumblr. I’ve linked a reblog because it seems the original poster has deleted.

Romance Novels Brought Me Closer To My Mom, Even After She Was Gone by Adam Minter at Bustle.

On research fails in a ballerina romance by Sonya Heaney.

On writing as a career

Writing Dreams and Harsh Realities by Tim Waggoner.

On Being a Pro Writer (Hint: It ain’t all tour buses…) by Delilah S. Dawson, storifyed at whimsydark.

Does having an ethnic name affect book sales by Dilvin Yasa at SBS.

When to quit your day job by Kameron Hurley at Locus Online.

Other

On Not Reading by Amy Hungerford at Chronicle.

Grading: The Method to Our Madness at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, explaining how the reviewers came up with grades in each book review.

Why It’s Difficult For Your Library to Lend Books by Adam Vaccaro at boston.com.

Nick Offerman on middle-aged sex and what people get wrong about Ron Swanson by Marah Eakin at A V Club. It’s AV Club so you probably should read the comments, no matter how irrelevant they are to the article.

The 24 most fashion-forward characters of the ‘90s, from Alex Mack to Shelby Woo by Victoria McNally at Revelist. I dressed most like Clarissa and Sabrina in the 90s. I probably dress most like Elaine Benes and Prue Halliwell now.

My book: The People Want Dance Pop

My new ebook is up on Amazon.

The People Want Dance Pop book cover

TWO FRIENDS DECIDE TO START A BAND AND YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!

In 2011 Wesley and Uri formed a band, dragged in two of their best friends, and set out to see the world together on the adventure of a lifetime. Along the way they discover the wondrous effects of ill-advised drug use and poor sexual choices. By 2016 they’ve gone their separate ways and Wesley can only look back. Is it Wesley’s drinking that comes between them? Is it the arrival of beautiful, normal Gloria and the promise of a life outside the band? Or is it the mysteries Uri clings to that threaten everything they’ve built between them?

This is a story of the journey between those two points, between hopeful youth and bitter-sweet experience, and all the mistakes people make along the way.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

August 2016 recap and links

Some interesting links:

At The New York Times: Criticism’s Sting: The Author Curtis Sittenfeld on Book Reviews by Jennifer Senior

At The New York Times: 1896 | The Book Review Is Born by David W Dunlap.

Storyteller’s Rulebook #69: A Good Movie Has An Hour of Plot by Matt Bird.

At Black Gate: Three Ways to Write a Cast of Supporting Characters Without Confusing the Reader by M Harold Page.

At Romance University: How To Vividly Describe a Setting That You’ve Never Visited by Angela Ackerman.

At Read a Romance Month: Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan – Can’t Resist Romance. The ladies from GFY talking about their favourite romances.

At Observer Culture: The Fascinating, Complicated Art of Designing a Book Cover, An Interview with Paul Buckley, Creative Director for Penguin Classics by Dana Schwartz.

At All About Romance: The New Age of the Series – A Reader Rant by Janet Boatman. I have to admit I often find the idea of starting to read a new series daunting or exhausting. Sometimes you just want a stand-alone story.

On the Reddit fantasy board, a comment on the idea that ‘quality rises to the top’ in book publishing and how it’s not true. Beautifully illustrates the difficulties with getting any book read by anyone, let alone liked by many, and how many layers of gatekeepers and fumbling marketers are between the author and the readers, whether trad-pub or indie.

Women, Work, Creativity, Leisure and Time. Because Time is a Feminist Issue. by Kelly Diels.

At The Creative Penn: Self Care And Productivity For Authors With Ellen Bard.

July 2016 recap and links

Some interesting links:

Smart Bitches Trashy Books podcast interview with Emily Nagoski about Cross Stitching, Neuroscience, ethical porn, rape culture and fantasy. Fascinating. And another of their podcasts: Ashleigh Gardner on Muslim Romances at Wattpad.

Closing the Gap: The Blurring of Fan and Professional by Mark Oshiro at Uncanny Magazine, which talks about professional fandom and internet fame, among other things.

The Delicate Art of Character Folding by Rebecca Makka at The Masters Review talks about the some time necessity of folding multiple characters into one in the redrafting and rewriting processes.

Hilary Clinton (yes really) posted a note on The Toast about its closing which omg is amazing.

I love this post from The Rejectionist about, among other things, “Watching a woman repeatedly subsume her entire emotional and artistic life to a totally worthless man for years”, how these stories are not really that much about women as they are about dudes, and the closing out of queer possibilities in these kinds of books.

How to Finish Your Book in Three Drafts by Stuart Horwitz at Jane Friedman’s blog.

S.L. Huang: On The Subject Of Manpain.

5 Pieces of Writing Advice You Should Ignore by James Scott Bell at Jane Friedman’s blog. I might disagree a bit about the importance of reading writing guides (because how can I guarantee that the person who wrote that guide is any more qualified to tell people how to write than I am?) but it’s fun to talk about advice to ignore.

At Tor.com Rachel Cordasco talks about Translating the Alien: Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Problem which discusses the difficulty in translating works from one language to another and what a delicate art it is.

At Go Fug Yourself: Your Afternoon Chat: Your Favorite Romance Novels.

Alexis Hall about LGBTQ+ RITA wins and correcting their own assumptions, bisexual erasure, etc.

Victoria (V.E.) Schwab on the slow pursuit of overnight success.