Kelly Haworth

Author of Queer Speculative Romance

January 29, 2016
by Kelly

Book-In-A-Year Month One: Outlining

It’s time for my first check in of my Book-In-A-Year project!

I started this project with only a paragraph of information. The names, genders and orientations of my main characters, and a very basic idea of what I wanted the plot to be. Since then I have done the following:

  • Figured out the basic background, appearance, personality, and college major/job aspirations of my two main characters
  • Used this information to let my characters lead me through their plot
  • Complete a first draft outline of the novel (not broken down by scene, but still quite thorough)

Yeah, you heard the second one right. I already knew the gist of what I wanted to do, but not the twists and turns. Usually I will just start writing and wait until I stumble upon plot points on accident. But really what was keeping me from letting my mind follow that same wandering process, just without the mess of trying to write thousands of words while it happens?

To my amazement and relief, it totally worked. I just sat at my computer, thought about the scenarios my characters were in in each bullet point of my outline, and kept asking myself, “what would this character do next?” until I reached “the end.” It took a couple days once I was ready to try it, and in the end I have a 3 page outline. I’m not sure if this means I have a really clear picture of these characters’ personalities and motivations in my head, if I totally lucked out, or if my outline is actually not that great. But it reads pretty well to me (albeit, it’s mostly a romance drama with only medium amounts of character driven external action) and I’m happy with it, and that’s gotta count for something.

My plan for month two is to do research on pertinent subjects so I can write about them well (in this case, poetry and political science for one of the character’s studies) and flesh out my outline a bit more – solidify it better on a scene by scene basis, and maybe make up my mind on how I’m handling the POV so I can actually start writing the novel in month three. That is, if my schedule lets me. I am almost 8 months pregnant after all.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to giving you more updates on this project!

January 5, 2016
by Kelly


Okay, guys. I’m going to be real with you for a minute—or to be more precise, unrealistic. I have very high hopes for 2016. I’m really hoping it could me “my year”, which given I signed with Riptide and published my first book in 2015, that’s some high hopes indeed for 2016.

There’s going to be some major changes in my personal life in the coming months, namely the wiggly thing in my uterus joining my family. The temperament of this little girl will probably determine hugely whether or not I succeed in my other lofty goals for this year. But that’s all the more reason, as far as I’m concerned, to see what I’m capable of.

First of all, I want to read more in 2016. I’m setting a goal that others may find conservative – 25 books – but for me is going to be quite a challenge with the new baby. On top of keeping up with the queer romance, I have some scifi, fantasy and contemporary books on my TBR.

Second, I want to finish editing and hopefully secure publication for Chasing Fire. Fingers crossed.

Third, I want to outline and fully draft my next book. Yes, you heard me. I want a complete first draft of Pick Her Up (another contemporary fantasy, though this one’s f/nb) by January 1st 2017. And I hope not only to fully outline it before starting, but also to document my progress in a series of blog posts throughout the year. This can serve a dual function of not only keeping me organized and on track with my outlining and writing, but to share what I will learn with fellow writers. You can look forward to those posts hopefully monthly throughout the year.

Fourth, and this one is tied very closely to #2 and #3, I hope to cement my plans for my next several books. I have a mini-universe in the making, with 9 book ideas floating around. If all goes well, these ideas will span the next several years of writing, not even including any other ideas I think up along the way. This is pretty monumental for me—if you would have asked me even 6 months ago if I would have been capable of writing a several-book series, I would have nervously laughed and said someday. Well, someday is now. And I very much want this to happen.

Fifth, I hope to attend two conventions this fall—Yaoicon and GRNW, both in September 2016. With the baby being about 6 months old by then, those will probably be my first trips away from her. I’ll definitely have to wait until later this year to decide if they’re feasible.

And that sums up my 2016 goals, at least regarding my reading and writing life.

End obligatory beginning of year post! Haha. Thanks for reading <3

December 8, 2015
by Kelly

Nanowrimo & What Comes Next

Hey everyone! Sorry I’ve been a little quiet following the release of Y NEGATIVE. I’ve actually been doing my best at Nanowrimo, and am thrilled to say that I finished the first draft of a New Adult fantasy romance, CHASING FIRE. It’s a book I’ve been working on now and then for months, throughout all of the Y NEGATIVE revisions, and I had been itching to finish it. What better opportunity than Nanowrimo, right?

I’ve discussed in past blog posts about pantsing versus plotting, and how I’ve traditionally been a pantser. But with how much I’d been faffing about with CHASING FIRE, even though I knew what I wanted the plot to be, I decided I needed to give myself more direction. So I spent a few evenings mapping out the rest of the book scene by scene. All of a sudden I had a roadmap. And honestly? It changed everything.

Now, I’ve never been a super fast writer, so I wasn’t even going to try 50,000 words in November, especially with the holidays, my birthday, and book release. So I thought 30,000 words would be more doable. Well, counting a few days into December, I managed a little over 29,000, and damn does it feel great.

I can’t believe how well plotting worked for me here. Having a direction, knowing what I wanted my next scene to be about at all times, meant I had no excuse. I couldn’t sit at my computer and second-guess the first idea that came into my head, and then the second, etc. Did I second-guess some of the scenes I had planned out? Yes, and I changed a few things around as I went. But having a step-by-step plan drastically reduced my “figure out what’s next” time, and allowed me to be much more efficient with the small amount of writing time I had.

Who knows if plotting will work this well for me next time, but I’m damn happy it worked well for me here. It definitely goes to show you gotta try different strategies to see what works best for you.

So with my WIP done, and with Y NEGATIVE out in the world, I can look at what’s next. Catching up with my TBR pile is a big one. I’m working on that now. And editing CHASING FIRE so I can see about getting it published is next on the list.

I’m almost 6 months pregnant now, so the timer on my free time is running down, and who knows when it’s going to buzz. Near the due date would be nice. I’d like to avoid the stressful situation of another preemie.

Anyways, that’s what’s up with me. How are you all doing?

November 17, 2015
by Kelly

Y Negative Released!

I am so thrilled to be able to say my debut novel Y Negative is released and in people’s hands/on their kindles.  It’s been a long journey from conception to release for Ember and his world, and this has been an incredible experience so far.

And now, Y Negative is on tour!  You can check here for a list of stops on the tour.  The first stop with a guest post can be seen over at Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, where you’ll find a handy reference guide to most of the slang that is used in Y Negative.  I’ll share other stops of the tour over the coming week.

It’s weird for me to even say this is all a dream come true, because it had barely become a dream for me, not for this book.  Even though I spent years drafting, revising and researching, I still didn’t think a story as “strange” as Y Negative would ever make it.  I am truly honored to have this opportunity to share this story with you all, and to all of you out there who take the time to read the book, thank you.

And Riptide Publishing has been amazing through and through – from cover design, to edits, to marketing – I have absolutely enjoyed this experience and can’t wait to work with them on my next book.

You can find Y Negative at:

Riptide Publishing (ebook and print)

Amazon (ebook) (paperback)

Barnes and Noble (paperback and ebook)

Kobo (ebook)



November 3, 2015
by Kelly

Getting Ready / Featured Author!

I’m Riptide’s featured author for November!  You can read a short interview I did for them about my writing and what sorts of things I hope to write in the future here.

But really, guys.  Y Negative is out in two weeks and I’m starting to feel the pressure!  Riptide will have a blog tour (that I’ll probably link to on my published works page once it’s up) and I recently did an interview with HEA at USA Today about the book (you can check that out here).  I also have a few other things up my sleeve I’ll be able to share with you after the release.

In the meantime, I’ve got friends and family stirring excitement over the release, and some lovely friends on twitter that are sharing their excitement as well.  It makes me feel so darn thankful that so many are looking forward to Y Negative.  I truly hope you all enjoy the book!

In other news, I’m still hard(ly) at work on my next book.  My goal is to have a draft complete, cleaned up, and ready for beta reading by the beginning of 2016.  I can DO this!  No more 4 year cycles please!  Haha.

Hope you all had a spooky Halloween weekend!

October 14, 2015
by Kelly

QRM Post and Audio Excerpt of Y Negative

Hi guys!

I have two fun things for you today.  Over at Queer Romance Month, I have a guest blog post that went up today.  You can check it out here.

Secondly, Queer Romance Month’s supporters are hosting audio snippets read by the authors themselves.  I’ve recorded a few pages of Y Negative, and you can check them out over at Diverse Reader blogspot, here.

I actually had a lot of fun recording that snippet, which lead to me researching how to become an audiobook voice actor, which lead to me realizing how hard that actually is. The More You Know!

Anyways, I hope you enjoy the post and read.  Stay tuned for more book promo as the release date for Y Negative approaches (almost a month away!) and then we should return to our regularly scheduled blogposts.

Have a great day you all!

October 2, 2015
by Kelly

Queer Romance Month

Hey guys!

I have the very special honor of being a part of Queer Romance Month this year.  It’s a movement devoted to celebrating the subgenre of LGBTQIA romance authors and books.


You can click the logo above to check out their website.  They’ll be posting 2-3 blogs a day with everything from book reviews to personal stories to flash fiction. You’ll be able to check out my little post later this month.

QRM will also be sharing audio clips of queer romance books read by their authors.  I’ve also contributed to that, and I’ll let you know when mine is up!  It includes a page of Y Negative from a few chapters after the current excerpt posted on Riptide’s website.

And if you want to know a little bit more about what QRM is all about, there’s a great article posted by one of the QRM creators over at The Mary Sue here.

Thanks for reading and I hope to catch you reading the rainbow!

September 7, 2015
by Kelly

A Norm Rarely Challenged

Life’s about to get a little more complicated. My family is leveling up from one kid to two. I’m pregnant! We’re relieved that it happened relatively easily for us this time, and I’m currently sitting at 11 weeks and things are going well. I’m excited to be a mother again, as I find raising children to be a wonderful, albeit challenging, experience.

Yet I’ve already been feeling anxiety, and not quite for the reason a lot of expectant mothers do.

I want to share a picture with you guys. This was taken at my friend’s wedding back in June, and features my son and I as we were getting ready.

Getting Ready

I wore a tux for that wedding, as you can see. Getting dressed with the guys, being a part of the groomsmen experience with men that I’ve known for a decade, was a rewarding, wonderful experience. I look at this picture and get choked up, not just at the sight of my beautiful boy, but at me looking like a father, instead of a mother. It’s a future I want—to assume a more masculine appearance on a regular basis—and I don’t think I knew quite how much I wanted it until I saw this picture.

But that future isn’t close. I’m about to have at least a year of baby bumps, nursing bras, and everything else that comes with having a female biology that I chose to utilize. I don’t regret bearing my own children for one second. Having my son was an experience that has shaped my life, and having this second child will continue to shape me and drive me as a person.

I was hoping that the pendulum that is my gender identity would swing feminine at the news that my pregnancy was sticking. But it hasn’t. And as it’s my second child, my belly pooched out fast, cutting me off from all my men’s jeans. So I’m in this awkward in-between where the only clothes that fit me are increasingly feminine. And who’s ever heard of masculine maternity clothes? I’ll have to get creative.

I’m not sure how many people have been in this situation. I know I’m not alone, but it’s easy to feel a little lonesome when you’re increasingly aware that the way you look isn’t the way you feel.

I like that it’s becoming more accepted in society to express yourself the way you want, that you don’t really have to conform to gender norms. But I know this is especially difficult for transwomen, and men who want to express their feminine side. The stigma is much more negative for them than it is for women wanting to be masculine. A man is expected to be masculine, and to challenge that is almost to challenge masculinity itself. That’s a bit how I feel about wanting to be masculine while pregnant. It’s almost as though I’m challenging femininity at a time when I am expected to be the most feminine of my life.

We still have a lot of work to do to bring acceptance to the whole spectrum of gender identities. And I want to keep challenging the norm as my pregnancy continues. Maybe I’ll post some pictures of my more masculine baby bump. And maybe that will give another nonbinary or genderqueer female the confidence to dress the way they feel.

Thanks for reading!

August 21, 2015
by Kelly

US Trans Survey

Hey everyone!

I have a bunch of blog plans floating around in the back of my head but right now I wanted to talk a bit about the US trans survey, which has just been made available for any trans/genderqueer/nonbinary folks in the U.S.  If you identify on the trans spectrum, you can take the survey here:

I took the survey today, and it ended up being a lesson in humility, and checking my privilege.  I was able to click “no” for a lot of things (meaning I have not had a lot of discriminatory things happen to me) and there are many trans people in this country (and across the globe) who would not be so lucky.

To my friends and family, thank you for your love and support.  I hope we all can extend respect and courtesy to everyone on the gender spectrum.

August 1, 2015
by Kelly
1 Comment

I Didn’t Know I Was A Romance Author…

…until I realized I had written a romance.

So I’ve been writing stories for some time.  My first were directionless sprawling epics with “action” and “drama” and way too much black eyeliner.  When I realized that those weren’t exactly publishable (without sizable edits I didn’t yet have the skill for) I knew I had to try something else.

“Well, what if I write a story about two guys falling in love?”

But in my mind, I wasn’t about to write a romance.  It was going to have “action” and “drama” and way too much post-apocalyptic-equivalent-of-black-eyeliner.  And, of course, it did, but it had something else too.  Tension.  Desire.  And as the story unfolded, I couldn’t get enough of it.  There’s something beautifully addicting about watching two people fall for each other.  It’s inspiring, it’s invigorating. Voyeuristic, on occasions.

Yet I still didn’t know I had written a romance. When the agents didn’t bite, I explored the small presses, but they’re almost unanimously romance-oriented.

“Is this a romance?”  I asked myself.  “Well, I better read some and find out.”

So I did.

And I was slapped in the face with Tension and Desire and Eroticism.  I bloody loved it–even when the characters fell too fast or the sex was over the top.  I still enjoyed these narratives, and I saw that my story could be a romance, after some tweaks.  So tweak I did and here I am about to publish a debut that’s definitely a romance, though thanks to its origin, it doesn’t always follow the typical romance plots. Which is fine with me.

So I think I’m a romance author.  Looking at everything I have lined up to write next, it’s nothing but people falling in love.  Different genders and different races and different magics and different species, but some things are the same: The tension.  The desire.

Not only do we all want to see ourselves in the books we read, we also want to see those reflections of ourselves experience happiness, or even love, be it emotional or physical.  And there are infinite iterations, as each person falls for another uniquely.  Exploring those differences of character are just as fun to read as they are to write.  Some people resist, some people dive in, some people tiptoe.  Some people hesitate to use the “L word” and others say it on day three (I’m winking at you, hubby).

For the record, I’ve fallen in love twice, in two completely different ways.  But writing romance lets me fall in love again and again.  Reading romance lets me, and you, experience that fall in all its intricacies, all its differences and similarities, in all the richness of experiences that each story has to offer.

So I think I’m a romance author, with the stigma and belittling that it may carry, but also all the camaraderie, excitement, and depth.

Come with me; let’s fall in love.