Kelly Haworth

LGBT Scifi and Fantasy Author

November 30, 2017
by Kelly
0 comments

NaNo Wrap-Up

As November comes to a close, how many of you out there are rushing to make your word count goals? *Scans the show of hands and nods approvingly* I’ve been seeing proclamations of celebration on twitter and facebook the past few days, and it gives me so much hope and joy. There are many writers out there putting their hearts into works that maybe they’d never thought they’d be able to do—because their ideas were too different, or too varied, or too weird. But it’s so important to write what you’re passionate about, and believe in it.

Speaking of, I have finished the novella! I am so thrilled to have been able to let the words flow with this story and get it on the page so quickly. This novella is cute, it’s sexy, it’s funny, and I’m really hopeful you all will like the twist, too. 😉

So that means I’m clocking in this NaNoWriMo 2017 with a little over 33,000 words. Though short of my hope for 40k, it is still the most I have ever written in one month by several thousand words. It involved a lot of sacrifice, in evenings or mornings spent away from my kids, but I am still very happy with the final result.

Now to revise! I have a lot of revisions in my future, both of the novella and of Up In Flames. But after all the hard work the past few months, I’m not going to stress about working as many evenings as possible. The novella should be quick to revise, but Up In Flames will take some time, and I want to take all the time I really need to do the revision right. That story has potential, but only if I care for it the way it deserves. For me, the meat is in the revisions. My first drafts tend to be a bit scattered and thin, but completely necessary to lay down the foundation of the story and characters. Now, to build it all up.

Good luck to any of you that will be participating in NaNoRevMo, aka, revising your NaNo MS in December. And good luck as well to everyone else continuing to create and make beautiful things this year.

November 11, 2017
by Kelly
0 comments

NaNoWriMo & Updates

I have had the complete inability to keep my blog updated this year. Hooray! So here’s a mid-NaNoWriMo / almost-end-of-year update for you.

This year for NaNoWriMo, I am working on two projects – finishing the first draft of Under the Empire Book Two: Up In Flames, and finishing a novella that I wrote the first chapter of back in September. These two projects together I was estimating at about 40k. I’ve never done a full 50k nano, and I don’t think you have to be able to do it to still consider yourself successful. 40k would be the closest I’ve tried to come.

So the first 10 days have gone extremely well. I’ve written 10k, which, though under my needed rate to hit 40k, it is the most I’ve written in two weeks the entire year. So I am celebrating.

I’m also celebrating because this was the last 10k for Up In Flames. The first draft is complete! It’s clocked in at 56k, which is admittedly short for a romance and very short for a fantasy, but there are all sorts of different stories out in the world and I knew the moment I had completed my outline that this was going to be a shorter story. I’m hoping to revise it up to at least 60k. We’ll see! For right now, I’m going to let the MS sit and age so when I look at it in December I’ll have a fresh perspective.

So this means I get to work on the novella!!! I’m going to keep the main topic a secret for now, though I can say that it’s f/f (yaaay!) and the main characters are adults (the oldest characters I’ve ever written, in their 30’s!) and just a little nerdy. The first chapter was a total breath of fresh air, as I had never gotten to write an adult dealing with adult struggles before. I must admit I rather like it. I’m hoping I’ll be able to fly through this goal 30k novella quickly.

Way back at the beginning of the year, I said that I was going to try to complete two manuscripts this year. It wasn’t the novella I was going to do, but a science fiction rock opera. That story is on hold for now, as I have zero ability to work on two writing projects at once, what with the kids and the dayjob and everything else. You live, you learn!

In other news, some of you may know that I’m currently pregnant with a surrogacy! I’m almost 5 months along and things have gone very very well. It’s a lot of work being pregnant with two kids at home, especially when my younger one still expects to be carried everywhere, and she’s very tall and large for her age. It’s been a strain, and probably the only pregnancy-related thing I’m struggling with. (besides the coffee-free fatigue. Oh how I miss coffee keeping me awake.)

That’s all for now, everyone. If you’re working on a project for NaNoWriMo, or even if you’re not, happy writing!

October 3, 2017
by Kelly
1 Comment

Not a Release Post

Hi friends. Read My Mind is out today. But that’s not what I’m going to talk about.

There has been endless discourse today about the Las Vegas shooting, and I’m not sure much of it has been very useful. A lot of us are hurting, a lot of us are confused and scared and pissed off.

So here’s some ways to channel that hurt.

Here’s a gofundme for the families of Las Vegas victims:

https://www.gofundme.com/dr2ks2-las-vegas-victims-fund

Las Vegas, and really all areas, need blood. Here’s info on how to donate:

http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood

Puerto Rico is still almost entirely without power, and people are running out of food and water across the island.  Here’s where you can donate:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/can-help-hurricane-victims-puerto-rico/

And to the US Virgin Islands:

https://www.youcaring.com/21usvirginislandrelieffund-942738

And Mexico for earthquake relief:

www.globalgiving.org/projects/mexico-earthquake-relief-fund/

If you don’t have the money to donate, that’s okay.  You can call your senator:

https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Or your rep from the house:

https://whoismyrepresentative.com/

 

Let’s make the world less shitty.

I will talk about Read My Mind tomorrow.

Love you all.

September 17, 2017
by Kelly
0 comments

Renewal Anthology

Hi folks!

QueerSciFi has a new book out, the latest in their series of flash fiction anthologies. I have a story in this!

QSF Renewal-Print

Here’s the blurb:

Re.new.al (noun)

1) Resuming an activity after an interruption, or
2) Extending a contract, subscription or license, or
3) Replacing or repairing something that is worn out, run-down, or broken, or
4) Rebirth after death.

Four definitions to spark inspiration, a limitless number of stories to be conceived. Only 110 made the cut.

Thrilling to hopeful, Renewal features 300-word speculative fiction ficlets about sexual and gender minorities to entice readers.

Welcome to Renewal.

You can check it out at:

Mischief Corner Books (info only) | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads

 

Have a great day everyone. You’ll hear more from me real soon 🙂

May 17, 2017
by Kelly
2 Comments

2017 Writing Progress

Hey everyone!  I have some fun updates for you. Remember last year when I said I wanted to do a “book-in-a-year?” The concept was to entirely finish a draft in a year.  It sounded like a lot, and by month 4 or so I had to stop because of changed priorities.

Turns out I did write a book in a year, but not the one I expected! Read My Mind will be published by Riptide Publishing on October 2nd 2017. It is the first book of the Under the Empire series, 4 college fantasy romances that will be followed by an epic urban fantasy trilogy. My original book-in-a-year title will still be written as the 4th book in this series. But when I realized that I needed to write Read My Mind first, I immediately changed gears and started strategizing.

I finished the first draft of Read My Mind within 5 months, and finished all editing by 10 months. I am so proud of the hard work my editor and I put into this book and so thankful for all the support from my husband and family.

Within the next few months you will see preorder links and cover reveals, and I can’t wait.

Also, I’ve learned a lot while writing this book, and have some future blog posts planned to talk about my writing process and editing process.

Looking forward from here, I am in the research phase for book two of the series, Up In Flames, and I hope to start plotting and drafting by the end of the month.  I aim to get a first draft done in the same 5 month time frame. Now that the world building is more complete, I am hoping this will be even smoother than last time.

Meanwhile, the rest of my life has been hectic but full of love and fun.  My little boy turned 4 this month, and has an amazing imagination. And my baby girl is 1 and has the strength of a bear and is a major trickster. Having two kids is a handful for sure.  I still don’t get to sleep through most nights and my houses is a mess of toys and books. But my husband is a top-notch dad, and the kids love him.

I’d love to hear what you all are up to in the world of reading and writing!  The gods know we need more than the political climate to focus on lately.

<3

December 28, 2016
by Kelly
3 Comments

Dear 2016

Dear 2016,

Hey. How are ya? Yes, I know you’re going to die in less than four days, and there are people all over the planet saying good riddance. And believe me, I have plenty of reasons to tell you to fuck yourself, though not as many reasons as some other folks.  In fact, many want to pretend you never happened and start over. But I want to spend a few moments talking about the good things you did for me, and the goods things I got done.

I think the biggest reason I don’t want a personal do-over of 2016 is because I went through the last 3 months of pregnancy and first 9 months of my daughter’s life this year. My pregnancy went really well, the birth flawless, and wouldn’t want to risk trying that again and have it go not as well. And who on earth would want to relive every moment of the difficulty of having an infant? I love everything about my little girl, and everything about how my little boy has advanced and become his own person this year. I am so grateful my family is happy and healthy.

2016, you were the year I worked endlessly to secure my future. I revised one book, outlined a second, and completely drafted a third. All this year. All during late nights and borrowed time. All with me fighting tooth and nail to prove I am a writer, a career author, even if it’s not my day job. I can work on something big and magical. I can prove that I have stories to tell and that they’re worth telling and that people will enjoy reading them.

This year I got my second book deal. This book could be the beginning of something really big for me, for my life and family. That was a gift from you, 2016, and I don’t intend or squandering it.

2016 was a shit year for a lot of people. There are people all over the world, all over this country, and my friends and family that are scared for their future. But I have seen strength in so many of you. A drive that we are going to fight to make 2017 better, help hold people up, hold people accountable, and not let inequality and injustice become normal.   I’m going to do my part by donating when I can, retweeting marginalized voices, supporting my friends and family with love as much as possible, and in person when my life allows. I love you all too fiercely to let our hard work be in vain.

2016, you’re over, and you won’t ever be forgotten.

November 29, 2016
by Kelly
0 comments

Writing by Firelight

Wow, everyone. Long time no blog. Sorry about that. I’ve been busy hammering out the first draft of Read My Mind, and raising a stubborn 3½ year old and an overly-adventurous 8 month old. Life’s been busy. Life’s been hectic. Life’s had a touch of devastation. (I’m looking at you, 2016 election.) But I’m trying hard to hold strong and work my way through. Keep my house clean. Help my son finally potty train. Finish the first draft of this book.

I’m sitting by the fireplace right now, a duraflame log slowly turning to ash to keep me warm. I’m trying to figure out how many pidgey evolves I have. It’s a more peaceful night than usual, which is why I’m attempting a blog.

So let’s talk about what books do to writers and readers.

Each book I write teaches me not just about craft and characterization, but about myself. Someone on a facebook writer’s group today mentioned that writing a book helps an author work through something that happened in their lives.

I look back at books I’ve finished, and I can tell what those things were, at least for some of the older ones. But not so much for the newer ones.

Maybe I’m still in the thick of whatever change they have sparked, and when I look at them in a year or two, I’ll be able to point at part of them and go, here. Here’s when I figured it out.

I can just as much look at books I’ve read and been able to do the same thing. Here, this book I read last year, is what started this revolution of thought.

Maybe a book needs to affect its author for it to properly affect its reader. Maybe those most recent books I’m working on, both still WIPs, haven’t fully moved me yet because they aren’t done. That’s an encouraging thought, because it tells me why they don’t yet feel right. I can sense the potential in the passages, in the emotions and dialogue. But I haven’t yet gotten those manuscripts to sing.

More than ever before I have a desperation to write. Maybe because so much of my life is reserved by everything else. Maybe because I know that this translation of thoughts into words is something that I genuinely want to put my time and energy into. I’d have it be my day job in a heartbeat if I could. But I can’t, not for a few more years anyway.

And by that point, it’s going to depend on how many books I have under my belt, the economy, the possible apocalypse, you know the deal.

In the meantime, I’ll work on these manuscripts and hope they move me. And hope they’ll move you too.

Have a good night, y’all. Go sit by something warm and read something that’ll move you.

October 4, 2016
by Kelly
2 Comments

A Scene that Sparks

I want to talk a bit about writing process. For me, there’s this moment when I’m planning out a book where a really compelling scene sticks in my head, and it becomes my driving force for writing the book. Like, I have to keep going, keep writing, so I can get to That Scene. The scene that sparks and crackles with anticipation and excitement within me, that keeps me awake at night thinking it through over and over and over.

“But Kelly, why don’t you just write that scene now? You don’t need to write in order.”

Yes, yes, true. BUT. It’s not how my brain works. I don’t want to write stuff out of order, mostly out of the idea that I’ll discover new things about my characters and my plot along the way that may change how That Scene plays out. It just doesn’t make sense to me to write out of order.

My point really is, once I know what That Scene is, I can’t get the book out of my mind until it’s written out. For Y Negative, it was the scene where (heh, spoiler) Ember holds the gun to his head. I held so much emotion that it stuck all through the nine months or so it took for me to finally get to writing it. It was one of the first scenes I thought of.

For the first novel I ever finished, I didn’t know where to go after I reached the 50% point. I floundered for at least two years before That Scene hit me—a tragic climactic ending to a character—and then I finally had the drive to write the rest of the book.

The two examples I gave were of emotionally charged negative scenes (though the Y Negative one ends good), but what I’ve noticed across all my novels is that That Scene is usually an event that triggers an evolution of a character. A moment of no turning back, a moment of discovery. Where the only way out is through.

For the book I’m working on now, Read My Mind, I ‘ve just figured out what That Scene is. And I am so friggen excited.

As for the details? You’ll just have to wait and find out.

^_^

September 21, 2016
by Kelly
1 Comment

Flight

front-coverHey Everyone! The 2016 Queer Sci Fi Flash Fiction anthology, “Flight”, is here, and I have a story in it! It’s a really cool concept:

A 300-word story should be easy, right? Many of our entrants say it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever written.

Queer Sci Fi’s Annual Flash Fiction Contest challenges authors to write a complete LGBTQ speculative fiction micro-story on a specific theme. “Flight” leaves much for the authors to interpret—winged creatures, flight and space vehicles, or fleeing from dire circumstances.

Some astonishing stories were submitted—from horrific, bloodcurdling pieces to sweet, contemplative ones—and all LGBTQ speculative fiction. The stories in this anthology include AI’s and angels, winged lions and wayward aliens. Smart, snappy slice of life pieces written for entertainment or for social commentary. Join us for brief and often surprising trips into 110 speculative fiction authors’ minds.

The book us available in eBook form (4.99), and will soon be available in paperback with b/w illustrations inside (12.99) and in a special collector’s edition with color illustrations (24.99).


Buy Links

Amazon eBook | Kobo | All Romance | Goodreads


Excerpt

Purple feathers cascade down the side of my face. They’ve finally unfurled, their hue a mockery of who I am, who I can’t be.

“Dying them will work,” Shi-lo tells me, her claws raking through the bristled feathers across my shoulders. “You’ll look more like you.”

~

Thanks for checking it out!  I really enjoyed writing such a short story, it reminds me how much I like flash fiction.  I’ll have to try to write more.

Have a great day all!

September 14, 2016
by Kelly
0 comments

Book Announcement!

OH MAN OH MAN!

Great news!

I’ve signed with Riptide Publishing for the first book of an Urban Fantasy Romance series!

*dances dances dances*

This is so incredibly amazing. So. This is the same series I’ve been talking about in blog posts and on twitter for the past year or so. Chasing Fire is one of the later books in the series, as is Pick her Up. But our series opener will be READ MY MIND.

Some info:

Expected Publication: October 2017 through Riptide Books

Magic & Pairing: Telepathy/Telekinesis, M/M

When Scott finds out he has telepathy, it turns his whole world upside-down.  Good thing he has Nick’s telekinesis to turn him back upright.  It’s not every day the kid of an all-normal family finds out he has magic. Why would the gods have picked him? Nick wants to help Scott navigate this new territory, but on one condition. As Nick teaches Scott about having magic, pious Scott teaches unfocused Nick all about prayer.

Progress: 7k/65k

This book will be chock full of parables, comic books, and nerdy guys kissing. I am so excited to share this world with you all. The series is called Under the Empire. Here’s a quick premise:

Magical “eccentrics” and non-magical “normals” coexist in a contemporary not-quite America currently known as the Flavian Empire.  In Frannesburg, an analogue of San Francisco, one of the top universities of the Empire teaches students of all magics, sexualities, genders, and races.  Here, there’s plenty of opportunity to meet new people as you work your way through college, and maybe even find love where you might not expect it.  Each book is a standalone romance following different characters, though the entire series will follow groups of friends as they navigate a few years of college. 

So yeah! I have some writing to do! I’ll keep you all updated periodically on my progress. In the meantime, I also hope to do some site redesigning, and I think I need new business cards too! *squees*

Have a great day everyone!