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Made by Lindsay Mays

Made by Lindsay Mays

Coolest Kickstarter perk ever…? The reward included a custom plush, and I thought who better to request than the original Squire’s Isle resident, Nadine Powell? Nadine wasn’t the first Squire’s Isle character I ever wrote (that honor goes to Amy Wellis), but she was the one who made everything blow up into what it is today. When she was introduced in On the Air I had no idea what sort of world I was building. Now the island feels like home to me, and the people there are precious. I feel like I know them. There’s a reason Nadine’s voice is often the first thing visitors to the island hear. Nadine is the heart and soul of Squire’s Isle, so she definitely deserves this honor.



Ten years ago, I sat in a car waiting to go onboard a ferry wondering, “How can I get out of this?”

I’ve spent the time since asking, “How can I get back?”

 

On July 10, 2004, I was away from home for the first time. I was on a trip to a Stargate convention in Vancouver, and through lots of planning and setups it had been decided that it would be much easier to meet up with friends near Seattle and just drive up rather than dealing with customs at the airport. Crossing the border in a car was, I imagine, infinitely easier than flying, and I’m basing that solely on how long the lines probably would have been. At that point Seattle was just a convenient stepping stone for me. I didn’t give it a second thought. When the people I met up with planned a side trip on the drive up to Canada, THAT was when I started having second thoughts. They wanted to go whale watching, which would have involved being on two boats. I was in no way a fan of that idea, so I spent most of the morning trying to think of ways to get out of it without looking like a dork.

People who have only known me for the past couple of years may be frowning at their screens right now. “You didn’t want to go on a boat? You didn’t care about Seattle?” Yep. I had no interest in Seattle. I actively tried to get out of going to San Juan Island and I only went to save face. If someone had given me the red pill/blue pill option of getting out of it with no stigma, I would have without a doubt stayed on the mainland.

I’m not sure when the shift happened. I think it might have been on the ferry to the island. It was just so beautiful and peaceful, and I remember walking around the ferry deck and just staring at everything. I got so many pictures of that ferry ride that I almost didn’t have enough film for the actual island. We went whale watching, and that might have sealed the deal. I was on a little boat out in the middle of this vast body of water (land was in sight, but I was farther from it than I’d ever been) and there were KILLER WHALES close enough to touch. They were playful buggers, too… they spent most of their time hanging out around another boat. When we turned to go back in they immediately came over and chased us. You could almost hear them saying “Aw, come on, don’t go away! We’ll play with you too!”

Afterward we were waiting for the ferry and I wanted to call my parents with an update. So I had to find a payphone (ten years ago! It’s like the past!). There was one between two restaurants, and I looked out over the harbor while I was talking. That’s the moment I think about when my mind wanders back to that day. I remember standing there in the mid-sixty temperatures (in JULY!) and thinking, “This place is special.” At the time I was setting my original stories around Chicago just because it was Random Midwestern Town. That day I decided I would move my characters to a Pacific Northwest island. Why not? What could it hurt?

To this day, I think the Squire’s Isle setting was a big part of what made On the Air special. It was a fine story and I stand by it, but would it have been as good if it was just some random town? Maybe. But I built up my little island during that story, and I fell in love with it in the process. I fell in love with the idea of this beautiful little paradise tucked away in the corner of the country where one woman took a stand and changed things for everyone who lived there.

Ten years have passed. I was an unpublished author standing on an island en route to a Stargate convention. Now I’m a published author who has an official Stargate SG-1 title to my name. I made the conscious decision to move my characters to Washington State, and when Tello decided they wanted to produce Riley Parra, I couldn’t help but laugh when they said they would be filming it in Chicago (of all my stories, that one has the most Chicago-ish setting). It seems ironic that I made the changes, got to this point, and now I’m back where I began but in a much bigger way. I went to the convention as a fan, and now I’m a tie-in author. I moved my characters away from Chicago to give them life and now a producer wants to bring some of them back. It has a beautiful full circle feel to it.

Ten years ago, I was dragged to an island I didn’t care about. I spent maybe a grand total of four hours there, but in a much more accurate sense, I never really left.

 



If someone asked me which of my novels I’m proudest of, I’d have a hard time choosing. I love them all in different ways, but I suppose the Claire Lance series is up there, along with my first novel (On the Air), the novel that is now being reviewed in Analog (Railroad Spine), and the story that is coming out March 15 (The Rise and Fall of Radiation Canary, mark your calendars!).

I didn’t want to write a novel about someone dealing with being in the closet, and I really didn’t want to write about what happens once she is out. I’ve never done that, I don’t know if I’d be brave enough to do that, so how could I possibly do it justice? But my best friend convinced me to try, and Squire’s Isle was born. Now I have a first novel that I’m proud to be my introduction to the world.

I had no plans whatsoever to write a steampunk novel. I liked the genre, sure, but I didn’t want to deal with such a huge world. But I wrote a snippet, and someone commissioned me to write more. Money? TO WRITE? Hell, yes. Where do I sign up? So I wrote it, and now it’s getting my name out into the ether.

And I really did not want to write about musicians. A rock singer, a band, no. I didn’t want to delve into that world of celebrity, I didn’t want to write songs, just no. But then I mentioned it off-handedly to a friend and she didn’t let me forget. She let me put it off, sure, but she never let it slide that the plot bunny was there waiting to be mined. So I finally started writing, mainly so I could show her that I did appreciate her and how much she meant to me. And when I started writing, I couldn’t stop. I ended up with my longest novel (not counting the Riley seasons), and a world as huge and sprawling as Riley or Underdogs. I didn’t want to let them go! And I won’t have to, because the band exists across all my series (they have their own worlds, but celebrity transcends boundaries).

So to Chris, Melissa, and Erin… thank you. Thank you for pushing me to write things I didn’t necessarily want to write. Thank you for believing I COULD write all of these big stories. And thank you for having more faith in my talent than I did.



One of the most-asked questions I get is when my first five (The Five) novels will be available for Kindle/Nook/Kobo/etc. Today I finally have an answer: soon.

Okay, I know that’s the answer I’ve been giving for about two years, but there’s been a shakeup that means this “soon” is different from the “soon” I’ve been giving all that time. P.D. Publishing has made the sad decision to close their doors at the end of 2013, and the majority of this year will be spent tying up loose ends and getting their authors situated. I’ve signed my termination papers with them and I’m effectively no longer a member of the P.D. family.

As an aside, if you want an original paperback copy of one of my P.D. novels, I’d suggest moving quickly. Once they’re gone, they’re gone for a while.

But not forever! Because I’d already found a new home with Supposed Crimes, it was just a matter of shifting boxes from one house to another. The new company is more focused on ebooks than paperbacks, and for good reason. If I wanted to make a numerical comparison between paperback sells versus ebook sales of the same book, it would make the paperback look very, very bad. A few days ago on Amazon, the paperback version of the first Underdogs novel was one million positions higher than the ebook version. The price and the convenience of ebooks has made the race extremely lopsided.

So Supposed Crimes will finally be re-releasing The Five in ebook format. Gemini is already available, and the others (On the Air, World on Fire, Tilting at Windmills and The Following Sea) will follow in short order! In addition, the unreleased novels I had contracted with P.D. Publishing will also be released! That’s Silence Out Loud, Only Flame and Air (Claire Lance 2), Confused by Shadows (Claire Lance 3), Chasing Dragons (Claire Lance 4), and What Matter Wounds? (Claire Lance 5). That’s right, Claire Lance will reach the end of her road at long last! The series was originally written to end in 2012, so hopefully the final novel will come out in 2013. A little late, but better than how it was looking at the end of last year.

As an aside to other P.D. authors who are still looking for a home… please get in touch with Supposed Crimes! The boss wanted to create a P.D. Imprint since the company’s inception, so she’s willing to offer everyone who needs a new publisher a chance to keep their books in print. You can find information about the company here: http://www.supposedcrimes.com/



I am proud to say I got my seventh review at Amazon.com! Even if it was a three-star review, I still have a four-and-a-half star average, and that’s not bad. <g> The three stars from the seventh reviewer, I have to say, is deserved. And the reviewer gives valid reasons for giving it a lower than average score.

According to their review, the idea of Squire’s Isle being so densely populated with homosexual couples is improbable. Yes. It absolutely, positively is. It’s not like this island is an internment camp or anything. They weren’t gathered up and sent over on a ferry. But the fact is, improbability is a necessity. And who wants strict reality in their reading? Reading should be an escape. And it’s probably nice to believe, for a little while, that there could be a place like this in the world.

The truth is there are a lot of straight people on the island as well (in fact, they make up the majority of the island’s population). They just don’t get much of a focus because… well, that’s not where the audience is. The police officers are straight, all of Nadine’s coworkers at the radio station (well, except for Miranda, naturally)… the fact is that Washingtonians seem to very open-minded when it comes to this kind of thing, or at least more open-minded than a lot of the country. So it seems to me they would go with the flow.

Also, once Nadine takes her stand and makes the island a more inviting place to be out, who is to say more couples wouldn’t flock there?

So, yes, Reviewer #7, Squire’s Isle is highly improbable. The high number of callers to Nadine’s show, the support she’s shown, the “back to normalcy” that everyone gets by the end of the novel, it’s all very, very improbable and unlikely. Maybe someday it won’t be. One can only hope!

As for the other complaints about the novel (the sex scenes being stunted and the convenient plot twists), well… I can only say that hundreds of authors selling millions of books have far greater sins to their credit, and I can only hope I can take the mistakes from my first novel as learning experiences for future novels. <g>

Reviewer #7, thank you for your honesty! I’d much rather have an earned three-star review than a dishonest five. <g>



This has been asked of me several times, so I thought I would finally put this up for everyone to see. I’m just antsy about making it official, ie putting it on my website, because I’m still fiddling with it.

This is the chronological order of my canon stories. Meaning these stories could be referenced in future stories, or can be considered “official” events for the people of Squire’s Isle. If it’s not on this list, it’s not official in my mind, and can be read in any order you’d like. This is a tentative list, and always changing. The short stories either are, or will be shortly, available in the Coffee Table  Books section of my website unless otherwise noted.

Prison Grove
Workwoman’s Wages
World on Fire
(novel, to be published early 2009)
Doing Laundry on Valentine’s Day
On the Air
(novel)
Rounding Home
Patricia’s Portrait
The Christmas Boat (Christmas, 2007)
Ferry Tale
Baked Goods
Gemini (novel to be published late 2008)
Everything for Time

Better Sorry Than Safe

Fairytales of Squire’s Isle (Christmas, 2008)
Separation Anxiety
Eating Out in Squire’s Isle
In Every Port (to be published in January 2009 issue of Khimairal Ink)



Last week I got my first-ever royalty check for On the Air. After staring at it for pretty much a full day – this was money I got for writing – I decided that it wasn’t an advance, it was my first royalty check ever, my first novel had earned back my advance (and not too slowly, either), so I decided to have some fun with it. “Some fun” included buying new jeans and shoes because my old ones were falling apart. <g>

But I also bought fun stuff. I got Corner Gas Season 4 on DVD, a Josh Ritter CD (one more and I’ll have his entire oeuvre (not counting EPs)), and some other fun stuff. It’s surprising how quickly you can blow through a check when you’re not trying to save anything. <g>

There is still one day left on the livelongnmarry auction to name a character in World on Fire! Bidding is standing at $50, so run over and donate some money for a great cause! You can find the auction by clicking on the “seller: geonncannon” tag. Good luck!



According to the Amazon numbers, someone (or a couple of someones) bought my book there sometime in the last 24 hours, and two people bought copies from Star-Crossed. It’s not really about the money (although that’s SWEET, too, if I was getting any yet. Darn big advances. ). I wouldn’t have thought that myself – I’m a money whore and I admit it. Gotta earn a living this way! – but my first thought when I saw someone had bought a copy? Someone’s going to read my book. Someone saw my name on Amazon and purchased a copy of a book I wrote. And hopefully, they will enjoy the story. But it’s an amazing feeling to know someone spent their hard-earned money on me. 😀 That, I think, it what it must feel like for a musician standing on stage and hearing a stadium full of fans sing along.

Also: On the Lambda Rising site (http://www.lambdarising.com/NASApp/store/IndexJsp?s=localbestsellers&page=260358), On the Air is the fifth novel listed on their list of Lambda Women’s Fiction nominees. All that means, really, is that my last name starts with “C.” But hey, it shows my cover and a blurb instead of just the title. Yay, alphabetical order!

Finally, I’ll end with a question from Livejournal. (“Do we have time for an email?” “Yes, there’s always time for email on this show…” Sorry.) This one is from TheBlanky: When did Miser first enter your life? Miser was born in high school, senior year. It’s a long complicated story. Two friends were calling me Ne-on Ge-onn (even though my name is pronounced like “John”). A friend of a friend overheard and thought they said “Neil.” We explained, and she said, “Oh. Can I call you Neil?” My philosophy is that women (especially cute ones) can call me whatever the hell they want. So I said yes. I loved the name Neil from that point onward. Then, because I was cheap, I added the “Miser” part of the name. And Neil Miser seemed like such a cool, strong name… I’ve kept it ever since.

The original Miser story was a screenplay, meant to be the pilot for my very own TV series (before I learned I would have more control over content and the story if I wrote it as a book instead). Every single little thing has been changed in the plot. Chicago, drug dealers, a chase outside of a warehouse… oh, and Neil was broken out of a mental institution in the first few pages. 😀 But if it had been a TV series, the first book would have been Season 1, the second book Season 2, and so on until Season 5 (Miser will be a five-book series. I’m very firm on that. )

Hope that answers your question!



On the Air is available for sale, and all is right with the world. 😀 Hello, people in online world, and thank you for reading my blog. There’s a fine line here, with talking personally without getting too personal, if you understand my meaning. So I’m going to try and keep on that line. I finished my NaNo novel – meaning I reached the end of the story – on the tenth, so now I’m going back to rewrite some things. I have 62,000 words and that number will likely keep on climbing. I love NaNo, but I’m afraid it’s getting too easy for me. I may shoot for 75K next year, see what happens then.

In other news, we’re under way on my next two novels! Gemini and World on Fire both have tentative first-draft cover art. Odds are they, like On the Air‘s cover, will be changed before they are available, but still… having those first covers is kind of a neat thing.

Sorry about not posting for so long. I promise to be better about it in the future!



Apologies to Tenacious D: This is not the greatest post in the world, no. It’s just a test post.

Just a quick message to get used to how this thing works. I’ve talked with the people at PD Publishing and it looks like On the Air will now be published come September. They’ve told me they hope to send it to the printers by the end of August and, two weeks after that, it’ll be available for purchase. I’ll of course let everyone know when they can run out and buy it!

Other than that, welcome to my website! I hope you enjoy it!

– G