Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2016

Navigating the In-Between: Demisexuality in YA Lit

I wrote a guest post on demisexuality in YA for the Gay YA's Asexuality Awareness Week, 2016.
Navigating the In-Between: Demisexuality in YA Lit
by Dill Werner I can only speak for one person when it comes to demisexuality—me. My experiences, my preferences, my sexuality, me. Being a queer demisexual means that I fall somewhere along a spectrum within a spectrum along another spectrum. I am a demisexual floating in the asexual spectrum hunched under the queer umbrella. It’s…complicated.Demisexuality is a very individual and emotionally-linked experience, which makes it difficult to draw out an exact description of what it is to be demi. Being demi means my sexual orientation falls somewhere between asexual and sexual. I feel sexual attraction but not in the same way sexual people do. Demis need a deep, emotional bond in order to experience sexual attraction toward another person. Keep in mind that sexual arousal and sexual attraction are not the same thing. A person can be sexuall…

Hey, I'm Genderqueer. New Pronouns, too!

Surprise, I’m genderqueer.

If you want the laundry list, I identify as a genderqueerpansexual, demisexual. What does all of that mean? Gender-wise, I neither identify as male or female. I’m a combination of both and yet don’t want to be defined as either. While male and female are considered to be binary genders, my gender is non-binary, one that’s very individual to me. Some people are going to object and say this isn't a real thing or that I'm just being "weird." *clears throat*

I. Do. Not. Care.

I don't care if you don't agree. I've seen it and heard it all before. Keep your negativity to yourself. Or, if you prefer, we can go our separate ways. That's fine, too. I will still be happy and genderqueer. Now, moving on.

Pansexuality is a sexual identity that occurs when a person is attracted all gender identities along the gender spectrum. For me, gender isn’t a factor when it comes to attraction. If you think I’ll be sexually attracted to you, slow dow…

Book Review: JERKBAIT by Mia Siegert

Jerkbait by Mia Siegert
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

JERKBAIT is a gripping and beautifully written story that starts off strong and doesn’t let go until the final epilogue. Even then, you’ll be in tears, wishing it didn’t end. Mia Siegert granted me a copy of the Audible audiobook, which I highly recommend everyone check out. I loved it so much that I immediately downloaded the Kindle e-book from Amazon.

I’m a huge fan of LGBTQ+ books that aren’t strictly “issue books.” Mia Siegert takes LGBTQ+ themes, brings them to light, but makes the novel about so much more than the issues of homophobia and coming out. JERKBAIT deals with racism, predators, first loves, gay stereotypes, homophobia in sports, targeted bullying, fake friends, parental pressure to succeed, sibling rivalry, and so much more.

I’d been walking unnoticed in Robbie’s flattened path ever since. Those fourteen minutes stayed between us like a wall. Me on the side with the shadow. I didn’t have to think about him except when th…

Book Review: Black Iris by Elliot Wake

Black Iris by Leah Raeder
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dear Reader, if you’re searching for a story about a down-and-out little queer girl coming-of-age and blossoming as she discovers her sexuality in college, then look somewhere else. This is not the candy-coated New Adult love story for you. BLACK IRIS isn’t a love story. It’s a revenge story. And it’s about the girl who took charge and got exactly what she wanted. But maybe what she wanted just wasn’t enough.


BLACK IRIS takes place over alternating timelines, which are meticulously crafted to the point of perfection. They switch between Laney Keating’s senior year of high school to her freshman year of college. At college, she meets Blythe McKinney and Armin Farhoudi, two upperclassmen who know the ins and outs of the club scene at Umbra. We see how the trio first meets and how the relationship boundaries are drawn. You’re left questioning throughout the novel if the relationships are real or empty. Do these people care about each other…

Misgendering and Pronouns

I’m going to talk about using various pronouns in writing later. First, let me give a little #ownvoices background as to why being misgendered is painful. It's one of the many reasons why I'm so passionate about correctly identifying people. As always, I can only speak on behalf of my experiences as a cis woman and no one else.

Shocker: I’m sensitive about my name and what I’m called. It’s Dill. No–not Jill. With a D. *heavy sigh* Yes, like the pickle. I’m not Dillan. Not Dylis. Not Delilah (I’ve been asked). It’s just four little letters: D-I-L-L. You can call me Ms. Werner or Mrs. Werner [Redacted Married Name] if we’re in a business setting. When I was sending out queries, I’d always sign off with Ms. Dill Werner. If I didn’t, without fail, I’d get a response to Mr. Werner. It’s like a knife to the heart every time. Ugly little Dill will never be like the other girls, never good enough to feel pretty or feminine.

I do NOT blame the agents. They have a lot to go through and my…

Review: Who Are You?: The Kid's Guide to Gender Identity

Who Are You?: The Kid's Guide to Gender Identity by Brook Pessin-Whedbee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a DRC copy of this book from Edelweiss for review. I feel like this book should be marketed more as a discussion guide than a kid's guide because most of it is geared toward the adults having a conversation with the children. There are topics to go over, questions to ask, and answers given. But there are also open-ended questions no one has the answers to. It's a great resource for someone who is looking to open up a discussion with children about the gender spectrum, finding themselves, and for learning about the different terms. It also lists several resources adults and kids can turn to for more information. I'd definitely use this as a jumping-off tool for anyone looking to explain the non-binary gender spectrum to children and to discuss gender identity with a young child.

View all my reviews

Animal Bridegroom Guest Post by Eben Mishkin

Today, I’ll be playing host to guest poster and fellow speculative fiction author, Eben Mishkin. Eben is the author of The Hidden and the Maiden, which is available from Amazon, and will also be featured in the upcoming science fiction fairy tale anthology Circuits and Slippers, out September 29, 2016.

As many people know, I double majored in Creative Writing and German Language/Literature, which allowed me to take a special interest in fairy tales and Disney adaptations. Dismembered feet, bald princesses, gouged out eyes, children burned alive–my people don’t hold back! In celebration of some of my favorite fairy tales and my top five favorite Disney movie, Beauty and the Beast, I’ve asked Eben to speak more about the topic of the Animal Bridegroom.

A recurring feature in fairy tales, and these days in books and movies, is the Animal Bridegroom. In tales such as Beauty and the Beast, which is probably the most famous but far from the only example, a young protagonist is given to an a…

Wendy Darling: Seas Review

Seas by Colleen Oakes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I never thought I’d find myself cheering so hard for Captain Hook. Wendy Darling: Seas takes us aboard the Sudden Night where Wendy and Michael are held captive amongst Hook’s crew. Captive is a strong word because, once they get into the plot, Wendy and Michael become part of the crew. The mission is simple, both Wendy and Hook want to stop Peter Pan’s reign of terror over Neverland. They can only do this by combining their efforts and knowledge of Pan to exploit his weaknesses.

I applaud Oakes’ realistic portrayal of the pirates. It’s not a watered-down version of sea-faring men. Even on the first night, Hook tells Wendy not to get herself violated and takes special precautions to make sure she’s kept safe. These men a rough, savage killers who listen only to their captain (some don’t even do that) and obey the old wives’ tales of the sea. You can tell how much research went into writing this novel, and it’s appreciated. She also didn’t s…

How I Got My Agent

It's been a little over two weeks since I signed my contract with the Knight Agency, and I wanted to take the time to go over how it all came to be. We actually didn't come together through the traditional cold query method where a writer sends out a query letter to a prospective agent with sample pages attached. If the agent is interested, they'll request a partial, which is usually the first 30-50 pages of the manuscript and sometimes a synopsis. After reading the partial, the agent will request a full, which is the entire manuscript. Well, we didn't exactly do that. Ours was a very rare but instant connection.

I participated in the last round of Pitch Madness, hosted by Brenda Drake. I was picked by Team Bowser's Castle, which was headed by the amazing Rebecca Coffindaffer and NYT bestselling author Marieke Nijkamp. Fun fact: THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS hit the NYT bestseller's list the week of Pitch Madness! Our team had a plethora of LGBTQ+ manuscripts. Yay, rig…

Gender Questioning- with Tons of Book References!

Still writing over here! When I started writing ZIRKUS, I wanted to have a character who was questioning their gender. I've had trans characters and characters who were questioning their sexuality, but not fully questioning their genders before. In order to do this, I needed to dig in, pull up my sleeves, and do my favorite thing--research!

I thought I’d share some of my favorite sources. I'm not going to post the scholarly articles because they're rather dry and, well, I was an ILL assistant for four years. So I know all about copyright violations. Sorry, not sorry.

Many people find themselves stepping back and questioning their assigned birth gender. Is this really right for me? Am I supposed to be in this body? Don't panic. Take a breath. First, your feelings are valid. They have worth--just like you. They deserve to be acknowledged. Don't push them away. Embrace your feelings at your own pace and try not to be overwhelmed by all of the information that's ou…

Gender Questioning- with Tons of Book References!

Still writing over here! When I started writing ZIRKUS, I wanted to have a character who was questioning their gender. I've had trans characters and characters who were questioning their sexuality, but not fully questioning their genders before. In order to do this, I needed to dig in, pull up my sleeves, and do my favorite thing--research!

I thought I’d share some of my favorite sources. I'm not going to post the scholarly articles because they're rather dry and, well, I was an ILL assistant for four years. So I know all about copyright violations. Sorry, not sorry.

Many people find themselves stepping back and questioning their assigned birth gender. Is this really right for me? Am I supposed to be in this body? Don't panic. Take a breath. First, your feelings are valid. They have worth--just like you. They deserve to be acknowledged. Don't push them away. Embrace your feelings at your own pace and try not to be overwhelmed by all of the information that's ou…

PitMad Success- I Have An Agent!

Today, I realized I would have to pull out of PitchWars but for the best reason possible. I was offered literary representation by Deidre Knight, senior agent and president of The Knight Agency. It was actually a result of my last and final submission of STATUS: POSITIVE on PitMad. After having written an Adult SF entry that made it into PitMad but didn't get any requests, I wasn't going to pitch S:P on the Twitter feed. At the last minute, I changed my mind. You never know who might be watching.

Pitch Wars Mentee Bio

Why, hello there. My name is Dill and I’m throwing a new manuscript into the ring for Pitch Wars 2016. I’m as eternal and ageless as the child-like Empress from The Neverending Story. So I’m really 30. Don’t tell anyone I admitted it. I stopped aging at 26...Are you buying that? No. Okay, moving on. I'm clearly a Slytherin, someone who values power and influence for all the right reasons. I write LGBT+ YA and Adult speculative fiction. In my previous position, I was a certified SafeZone ALLY. I  identify along the spectrum. Representing #ownvoices! I love helping people, watching them grow, and seeing their journeys regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. I'm a cheerleader.


My B.A.s are in Creative Writing and German Language and Literature. Originally, I started off with over 8 years of Spanish experience before switching to German my freshman year of college. Languages have always been my thing, and I've picked up a few here more and there. This manuscript w…

BAD BOY Review by Elliot Wake

Bad Boy by Elliot Wake
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I honestly think I terrified the author himself when I told him I'd received a DRC in exchange for an honest review. No need to fear. It was well worth the heart-pounding Twitter exchanges, Mr. Wake. You get a solid "A+" with the expectation that there will be new and exciting works forthcoming from this very bad boy. Transgenderella, anyone?

“Imperfection” has never felt so perfect. This novel really should have pulled my hair and spanked my ass if it was going to mind f**k me so hard. Damn, I loved it. BAD BOY is a tale of broken characters, broken promises, and anti-heroes/heroines that will leave you doubting who to trust and what to believe.

Renard “Ren” Grant is a BAD BOY. That is, he doesn’t quite know how to be a boy. Currently, Ren is a trans YouTube star secretly working for the Black Iris underground vigilante group. He tracks down men who prey on women and 'convinces' them to change their ways. Things get…

Tumorgate

Once upon a time, I had a tumor. Yes, an actual tumor located in my left breast. The word is frightening (as it should be), but the definition of a tumor is an abnormal growth of tissue within the body. It was a golf ball sized mass that I knew about for a two years, but ignored because, pfft, it was probably nothing. Right? Then, in the Fall semester of my Sophomore year at college, I woke up on the first morning after finals to intense pain and the feeling like I was laying on a ball. I looked around my dorm room bed to find it empty. Only when I started getting up did I realize the ball was inside of me. I knew something was serious when I called the health center, calmly told them my symptoms, and received the response, “Come in NOW.” Our student health center didn’t do “now” appointments. Those were for emergenc- oh, crap. As I was walking the two blocks over there, it hit me; this could be serious. All of those months of ignoring this mass, thinking it was just some dense tissue…

This Savage Song Review

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is beautifully written in the style that is classically Victoria Schwab. If you think it's going to be a traditional dystopia or another "monster" book, then think again. It's a story about family, trust, friendship, and looking past the surface to see what lies beneath. I'm going to discuss the types of monsters and the characters, but not the specific events. So, not so spoilery.

"Corsai, Corsai, tooth and claw, Shadow and bone will eat you raw. Malchai, Malchai, sharp and sly, Smile and bite and drink you dry. Sunai, Sunai, eyes like coal, Sing you a song and steal your soul."

Verity is a city home to both human and three types of monsters; Corsai, Malchai, and Sunai. Corsai are the most feral of the monsters. They are all teeth and claws, travel in the shadows (becoming shadows), and leave nothing but a mangle of limbs behind as they eat people raw. Malchai are sly humanoid creatu…