Periodically we invite guest posts to wordwraiths.com. We are pleased to welcome a few words from the wonderful J. Scott Coatsworth.
Thanks so much for the invitation to participate in the Word Wraiths blog.
My name is J. Scott Coatsworth (you can just call me Scott). I’m a 47 year old writer who specializes in sci fi, fantasy and magical realism.
When I came back to writing a year and a half ago after a long hiatus, I discovered the wonderful world of MM fiction, and the many authors writing books about same sex couples with a sci fi or fantasy flair.
But I wanted more. I came to the whole thing from a mainstream sci fi/fantasy world, where the plot or the science (or the magic) were paramount.
So I decided to start a group of my own – Queer Sci Fi – to cater to the existing LGBT romance works that had a speculative fiction spin, but also to push for us to expand into the mainstream, writing LGBTQI (or QUILTBAG, if you prefer) characters in the middle of more traditional sci fi, fantasy and paranormal works.
The QSF blog spawned a very active Facebook group, where authors and readers exchange ideas, talk about daily discussion topics, ask questions, and much more. There’s also a daily new book announcement and a writers’ critique group.
In my own writing life, I have now published nine stories – some on the romance side: mm stories with a magical realism twist; and some on the sci fi or fantasy side. I love writing in both areas, and have new works in progress on both sides.
The most important thing I’ve learned about writing in my forty seven years is this – you HAVE to write for yourself. It’s the only thing that will sustain you though months and months alone at the keyboard. And it’s the only thing that will keep you going when you get a bad review. It’s cliché, but it’s true.
When I write, I tend to come up with an idea – anthology calls are great sources for this. Then I put together a very basic outline and sit down to start writing. My writing time is extremely limited, so I have to make the most of it. I try to get at least a little done every day.
When it’s finished, I get some critiques, and then usually revise it two times all the way though.
But I’ve also found some stories need a little fallow down time, to work out in the back of my head whatever issues I may have encountered. So I try to keep two or three things going at once that I can switch between if one gets blocked.
I have a couple projects that have just recently come to fruition. The first one is my magical realism romance novella – my love letter to Sacramento called “Between the Lines”, from Dreamspinner:
Brad Weston’s life seems perfect. He’s GQ handsome, the Chief of Staff for a Republican California State Senator, and enjoys the power and the promise of a bright future. And he’s in a comfortable relationship with his boyfriend of six years, Alex.
Sam Fuller is Brad’s young, blond, blue-eyed intern, fresh out of college, running from a bad break-up, and questioning his choices and his new life in politics. To make things worse, Sam also has a thing for the boss, but Brad is already taken.
While looking for a gift for his boyfriend, Brad wanders into a curiosity shop and becomes fascinated by an old wooden medallion. Brad’s not a superstitious man, but when he takes out the medallion in his office, he sees the world in a new light. And nothing will ever be the same.
It’s available for 3.99 from DSP and Amazon, etc:
Then I have another novella that falls on the sci fi side, “The Homecoming”, from Less Than Three Press:
When his own world is destroyed, Aldiss and his crew barely manage to escape, leaving friends and lovers behind. What was meant to be an exploratory trip back to the home world turns into a mad dash for survival.
When they awaken from stasis on Earth, which was abandoned by humanity five centuries before, they must quickly learn about their new home. While exploring the region around the ship, Aldiss meets Hari, a shape-changer, whose people harbor secrets that might cost the crew their lives.
It’s also 3.99, and comes out on 7/29:
Finally, the QSF site has its first book out – “Discovery, QSF’s Second Annual Flash Fiction Contest.” Mischief Corner Books put this one out for us – it’s a collection of more than 100 300 word-or-less flash fiction stories that are LGBT and sci fi, fantasy or paranormal:
It’s hard to tell a story in just 300 words. But somehow we inspired more than a hundred writers to give it a try, with some amazing results collected here for your pleasure.
The rules are simple enough. Write a complete story—either sci fi, fantasy, or paranormal. Make sure it has LGBT characters and/or an LGBT vibe. And do it all with just 300 words.
The stories in this volume run the gamut, from platypus shifters to alien slug monsters, from carnival horror stories to haunting stories of ships with souls. There are little jokes, big surprises, and future prognostications.
One of the things I like best about this format – it’s quick and painless. You may not fall in love with every story here. In fact, you probably won’t. But if you don’t like one of them, just move on to the next, and you’re sure to find some bite-sized morsels of flash fiction goodness.
At Queer Sci Fi, we’re building a community of writers and readers who want a little rainbow in their speculative fiction. We hope you’ll join us, and maybe submit a story of your own next time!
It’s 3.99 for the eBook or 9.99 for the paperback:
Mischief Corner Books (eBook): http://www.mischiefcornerbooks.com/store/p80/Discovery%3A_QSF%27s_Second_Annual_Flash_Fiction_Contest.html
Mischief Corner Books (paperback): http://www.amazon.com/Discovery-Second-Annual-Fiction-Contest/dp/1514735474/
Amazon (paperback): http://www.amazon.com/Discovery-Second-Annual-Fiction-Contest/dp/1514735474/
Kobo (eBook): https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/discovery-36
Mischief Corner Books (info only): http://www.mischiefcornerbooks.com/discovery-qsfs-second-annual-flash-ficiton-contest.html
Needless to say, it all keeps me pretty busy on top of my full-time job.
But if you write or read LGBT sci fi fantasy, sci fi or paranormal, I’ll make time to talk with you. Look me up on:
And check out the QSF Facebook pages and site too:
Queer Sci Fi Website: http://www.queerscifi.com
Queer Sci Fi Facebook Discussion Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/qsfdiscussions/
Queer Sci Fi Facebook Promo/News Page: https://www.facebook.com/queerscifi