An Update

Last night I requested back the rights to my five books from Riptide Publishing. I didn’t do this with a light heart, or without carefully thinking through all of my options. I also didn’t do it out of a sense of ill-will. I learned a lot about being an author from Riptide, and my experiences with them have, I hope, taught me the right (and wrong) way to handle my own books going forward.

So what does ‘going forward’ entail? Self-publishing all five books. They will be unavailable for a short time, but then I hope to make the Seasons of Love series and Heels Over Head available on all platforms shortly after.

And because I promised transparency, I’ll explain why I chose to go this route, instead of leaving my books with Riptide or attempting to publish them elsewhere:

The Seasons of Love series is a mixed pairing/orientation series. Two of the books are M/M (one with two gay characters, the other with two bisexual men) while the other two are F/F (one with an asexual/bi relationship, and the other with two bisexual women). Riptide put an effort into selling this series as both individual books and as a whole series, but I also often felt like they were a little lost about how to reach a wider audience. Thaw was marketed on M/M-only sites and erotica-focused blogs, while Heat Wave was advertised as a lesbian romance– which it is not. I’m so thankful for the tireless work of the Riptide marketing department, but I also feel like I can give Thaw and Heat Wave the individual focus they deserve and work to ensure that they get to the hands of readers who crave this kind of rep.

As for Heels Over Head, I mentioned in my last post that there will be a sequel, and it was already planned for self-pub. In fact, there will be two of them: In the Deep End will be a transition book between Jeremy and Brandon, and Val and her love interest. The book will focus mainly on Jer and Bran as they begin to build a relationship with no secrets… or with maybe a few more secrets. (You’ll also finally learn the answer to that burning question from the end of HOH, I promise!) I wanted to write more of Jer and Bran’s story, but I also want to use ItDE as a chance to introduce the readers more fully to Val, and to introduce her future love interest. Val is demisexual, and I wanted to show the progression of friendship to romance in an organic way; after all, if you remember Val, you know she (and Jer) are both Not So Great at making friends! So I want to make sure this relationship has the full time to develop in a way that will do justice to the demi community. The third book will be F/F and tell just Val’s story (with background Jer/Brandon, of course), and still doesn’t have a title because titles are Literally The Worst.

Finally, future projects: are put on hold a bit while I get this book stuff sorted. Hopefully I’ll have some fun announcements in a few months. Hopefully it’ll be worth the wait.

And that’s where I’m at right now. I’ll be pulling links down and getting things organized over the next week or so, and then hope to get things turned around and back up soon. I’ll keep y’all posted!

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My Statement as a Riptide Publishing Author:

This has been a week of revelations for many. It has been a shock, a horrible surprise, a source for outrage and hurt and anger. What was done by people in positions of trust and power has caused irreparable harm— but for those who knew about it and could not speak up for fear of repercussion, it’s also a time of relief. What was a poorly-kept-secret is now in the open.

As a Riptide author, I have a lot to think about. I have a lot to process. I’ve spent the last few days examining my own interactions with Sarah and other Riptide staff… and also my contribution to further harm by not speaking up when faced with signs of phobic, abusive, and inappropriate behavior. Some was shock, some was a desperate need for approval from people who held power of my writing career. But I need to apologize for not speaking up and calling out problematic behavior, like when I was told that “it would probably be best for these stories to be as close to, uh, “mainstream” queer as possible.” I am sorry for my silence, and by extension my complicity in any harm caused.

Right now I am faced with the same difficult choices as many of my fellow Riptide authors. My immediate desire is to pull my books from this publisher; however, hasty decisions have gotten me in trouble in the past, and I’m determined to fully understand all options before me before taking any steps. The cost of self-publication must be examined, as too should the options of re-publishing with another company. There is potential for my books to be out of print for months, and the lost royalties associated with that are potentially damaging.

I say all of this to be as transparent as possible, and to ask your understanding and patience as I work to select the best path for my books, my readers, and myself.

But whatever may come next, I want to make something clear: Xen’s courageous choice to speak up has my full and unwavering support, as does any author or reader who does the same. Thank you Xen— for speaking up, and for listening when I needed someone to talk to.

What’s next for me beyond this? I have a novel in the works that was already intended to be my first self-pub project. It’s about friendship, dreams, and a maybe-otherworldly neighbor. I already have a cover for it, and I can’t wait to share it with you all! I’m also working on a sequel to Heels Over Head, which was also planned for self-publishing as Riptide declined to contract it.

I hope to be back soon with more information on all of my books. Thank you so much.