I Am My Own Fandom

Ryan and Joel from work-in-progress KTWL. Art by Alice Oseman

…and I’m totally without shame.

I’ve always been a sucker for validation (or attention, if you prefer), to the point of I’m completely unable to keep a first draft of any writing project to myself. I usually send each chapter, as it’s written, to a friend to read. I write fanfic because I like getting comments at the end of every chapter I post, hoarding the words like some sort of greedy Attention Smaug.

I’ve always liked sharing the worlds and characters I create. I used to have epic conversations on MSN where my friends would ask me every tiny detail of the world I was currently dreaming up. I write because I want to share the stories I make up.

I honestly want to share my characters and their stories because I just adore them. I adore creating them, and I adore spinning their story. I spend more time imagining up their backstory than I do writing their novel. I have active tags running on my Tumblr where you can check out a WIP’s aesthetic.

I’m my characters’ biggest fan. And not just because they don’t have any others. For me, my characters are precious, but the sort of precious you want to shove in people’s faces, like an Instagram Mum’s perfect, smear-free offspring.

This is one reason I commission art of my characters. Publishing is a fickle beast, and I’m well aware than just because I’d give up my kidneys for my fictional dudes doesn’t mean anyone else will. But by seeing someone else’s interpretation of them, it feels like they get to break out of my head, just a little bit. It feel like I’ve made something worth expanding upon.

I love my characters, and I love my worlds. I am my own fandom. And I’m in deep.


Joel and Ryan from work-in-progress KTWL. Art by Xanuage 

Shift Zine Launches!

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know it’s no secret that SHIFT Zine has launched, today! 

SHIFT has been months in the making, and really is testament to the power of social media. Several of us had similar ideas about starting a magazine for YA, and Twitter helped us come together. It’s been a trip.

One of the things I really wanted to do was showcase new YA stories directly with readers. In our first issue, we publish two short stories that have never been seen before – something I’m so proud of I could burst. 

The rest of the team and I would love you to check out our first issue, and thank you to everyone who has supported us so far!

Update! Writing, Recs, and Onwards

Haha, long time no blog, right?

I’ve been writing the first draft of a new book, so that’s my go-to excuse, right now. I’m really in love with the story and the characters. And that means I’m terrified no one else will. And, even worse, I’m well aware now of how much a book can be loved and praised by beta readers and crit partners, and then not be loved enough by anyone else to take it further.

Unlike everything else I’ve ever written, this book is contemporary – something I never thought I’d write (and don’t actively choose to read, though I have read a lot this past couple of years).

Here’s a snippet from my MS:

onelineweds

Though this book isn’t ‘about’ sexuality, my gay MC is doing a bit of musing on the subject. It’s been my goal to include bisexual characters in my work for a good long while, and having Ryan, one of my MCs, be able to say “I’m bisexual” out loud felt seriously good.


I went to the launch of one of my most-anticipated books of the year this week – INK, by Alice Broadway. If you’ve any interest in tattoos, social justice, politics or secrets, get your grubby hands on this beautiful book, because it’s incredibly well-written, and such an immersive world of contemporary politics wrapped in fantasy legend and lies. I loved it.


Another books I’ve been reading recently is Laura Steven’s SPLIT KINGDOM. Only available via the Tapas App at the moment, this is a really fabulous swords-and-sorcery novel, in each to read chunks. Laura is a fantastic writer, and this book deserves to do so well.


Also on the Tapas App are two of my current favourite comics – HEARTSTOPPER by Alice Oseman, and THE GOD IN THE FIELD by VVBG. Heartstopper is Alice’s prequel to her novel SOLITAIRE, focussing on the budding relationship between two of her best-loved characters. The God in the Field is a mlm-retelling of the Hades and Persephone story. It is, be aware, rated M in some panels, though isn’t explicit.

On a non-writing and reading note, I’ve started up an Etsy shop selling scrapbooking supplies and prints, and that’s been a nice sideline of creativity for me, and (I’m not being coy) I really need the money.


You can check out my Etsy here: StarsInHerHairArt.Etsy.com

Or! I have a Ko-Fi account, where you can donate from $3 to support me, help me buy train tickets into London, and generally keep me in the book world loop. Thank you so much to everyone who has already dropped me a few pennies. I have considered starting up a Patreon, but I don’t know what I would offer as rewards, so that’s not something I’m going for, just yet.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to. A whole lot of writing, a whole lot of reading, and a whole lot of cutting out! Hopefully, my next blog should be quicker to appear!

Love to you all xx

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

My Top Ten Reads of 2016

Last year, I really got back into the swing of reading. And this year I kept up a steady stream of reads, except this year I have been much more critical about what I read.

I’ve DNF’d a lot of books this year. Double figures.

Maybe it’s been my wobbly reading mojo (caused a lot by my medication-inducted inability to concentrate, but more on that another time), or maybe it’s the amount of great literature out there that makes books that are only OK difficult to stick with?

My list below also doesn’t include all of the fanfiction I’ve read this year, many of which were novel-length and better than a lot of books.

But! In reverse order, here are my Top Ten Books of 2016:

Continue reading “My Top Ten Reads of 2016”

Short Story Featured on ‘Just Some Things’


Are you a reader of Grace Latter’s blog? You probably ought to be, if you have any sense whatsoever. 

I was lucky enough to be approached by Grace to write a piece of short fiction based on a prompt. My prompt was:

Introduce Your Long-Term Imaginary Friend

I decided to play fast and loose with the word ‘introduce’, and wrote Cherry’s story from there. You can read it here!

Coming Out, and Writing Out: One Year On

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One year ago, I got interviewed by the BBC for Bisexuality Visibility Day. I answered a few questions, and gave a few opinions, and the interview was posted online. I promptly sent the web-page to my parents, and posted it on Facebook.

I was very lucky.

The only negative comments I got were from strangers online, and there weren’t many of those. All of my family and friends were happy and accepting, and it was generally a non-issue in terms of how I interacted with people close to me.

In terms of my writing, it was as though I’d given myself a green light to go forth and bend the heck out of anything and everything. Not a single main character I’ve created since last year has been ‘straight’.

Continue reading “Coming Out, and Writing Out: One Year On”