Wordy Wonderland


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How to Become a Famous Author

And Other Misleading Blog Titles

Warning: No mysteries will be revealed. This is mostly contemplation.

My ponderings don’t even dwell on the big-name authors like Steven King, JRR Martin, JK Rowling, etc. But within niche and smaller genres, how do authors become popular/famous/well-known? Whether they deserve it or not is another story, but authors are out there being well-known and purchased. How do they do it?

I’ll be honest, I think a chunk of it is luck. I’m not saying the famous author are hacks, but I also don’t believe that there aren’t other, possibly more worthy, authors out there who never make it big. (No, I do not think I’m one of them 😉 But I think there are definite steps to take to “make it big”:

  1. Write. I know, duh. But the trick is to write. Maybe not every day (that doesn’t work for everyone) but find a schedule or a goal and write. If you aren’t producing stuff, it’s really hard to get stuff published. Along those lines, keep to a set number of projects, and don’t start any others until those are finished. This may be aimed at me, most of all, because I get distracted easily. But that means a lot of stories end up half-finished and nothing becomes of them.
  2. Get out there. Talk to people on social media. Do blog posts. Make friends. Network. It’s an ugly, boring, (hated) word, but it’s important. Obviously you want to be genuine, but just being present (responding to people’s posts, making your own) creates an identity. Something for people to say “Hey, I like so-and-so, I think I’ll check out their next book.” Plus if you get a following, you can get the word out about new books. (Note to self…do this.)
  3. Have a watchful eye. This is sort of related to #2, but watch who is growing in ranks and see what they’ve done. Watch patterns in which titles/stories are popular and write there if you can. Note new publishers (if you’re not aiming for the big ones) and see what they offer you and if it’d be worth spreading your wings and possibly getting a new audience. (Not that you should just dump an old publisher if they’ve been good to you. But it doesn’t hurt to look.)
  4. Keep at it. Don’t lose heart. Yes, only five people bought a copy of your book, and you happen to know one of them was your mother, but if this is your passion, keep at it. You should be writing because you love it, not for the money. Yes, money would be a great end goal, but unless you’re earning your keep this way, remember that you started down this path because it’s your passion. Let the stories out and don’t be disheartened.

That’s all I’ve got. I know, nothing groundbreaking. Maybe I should have called this, “A Letter From the Author to Herself.”

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Release Day!

Growing Strong_cover_500Growing Strong is now available at major retailers!

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Growing-Strong-BL-Dayhoff-ebook/dp/B01ESLPLE6

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/growing-strong-bl-dayhoff/1123749813?ean=9781944449636

All Romance eBooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-growingstrong-2029284-149.html

Torquere Press: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=4660

A chance—and embarrassing—encounter brings Hunter and Chase together, but it’s patience and kindness that keep them there. Through a slow-blossoming friendship and a series of misunderstandings, Hunter finds himself fighting an attraction he thinks isn’t returned. But with the help of his roommate, Tony, he may just be able to make the leap and confess his feelings.

But love isn’t Hunter’s only concern. With his sister’s upcoming nuptials, he also must learn to face a family that hasn’t quite disowned him for his sexuality. With Chase by his side, it’s going to take strength for Hunter to stand up for himself and to hold on to what really matters.


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Story Behind the Story

I thought it might be nice to share a little of where Growing Strong came from and the, well, story behind it.

Originally I wrote the story without any chapter breaks. It had scene breaks (because I’m not crazy :), but the idea was more that the story was like life, an ongoing, continuous thing. That changed in editing, but I think the feeling of the story remains.

The concept was that the story was going to be vignettes of Hunter’s life, showing, sort of like a video montage, of him progressing in life and love and everything. This was in answer to pretty much every book out there that has a dramatic opening, a climax, and a resolute closing. Now, that’s not to say there are dramatic parts in the story, and there’s definitely a climax, but the rhythm of the story is more like waves, with each wave getting bigger as Hunter learns to stand up for himself and he can take on a bigger fish, so to speak.

So, I suppose, a warning about this book is that it’s going to be…mellow in a lot of parts. It’s really about the journey (although the destination is nice too). Because life is all about the journey. And growing as people because of the challenges we face.

Of course, I didn’t have all these ideas when I first sat down to write. No, the initial scene was just “a guy coming out to his friend, who doesn’t care.” I didn’t really expect it to go the direction it did, but I’m happy with the slow dance that this story became, and I hope you’ll enjoy it too!

Growing Strong Banner v2


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And then it was May!

I was bebopping along, doing edits, writing a Christmas story, living life, when suddenly it occurred to me I’d never checked on Growing Strong’s release date. Or I had, but I hadn’t put it in my calendar, which means I promptly forgot when it was.

So I checked.

Growing Strong Banner v2

HOLY CRUMB CAKE I ALMOST MISSED IT.

I maybe need to stop rewatching the entire M*A*S*H series and pay attention to life.

There’s going to be a blog tour (which will enter to win you a copy of Sometimes the Cowboy Falls from my backlist)! Be sure to check it out!


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Growing Strong: Blurb and Link!

Growing Strong_cover_500Growing Strong

A chance—and embarrassing—encounter brings Hunter and Chase together, but it’s patience and kindness that keep them there. Through a slow-blossoming friendship and a series of misunderstandings, Hunter finds himself fighting an attraction he thinks isn’t returned. But with the help of his roommate, Tony, he may just be able to make the leap and confess his feelings.

But love isn’t Hunter’s only concern. With his sister’s upcoming nuptials, he also must learn to face a family that hasn’t quite disowned him for his sexuality. With Chase by his side, it’s going to take strength for Hunter to stand up for himself and to hold on to what really matters.


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Spectrums and Sexuality

Last month there was some hub-bub in the queer romance community about bisexuality erasure in the gay-for-you tropes. There was a lot of drama, which I try to avoid, which is why I’m making this post now instead of then.

If you missed it, here’s the quick and dirty:

One side said that the gay-for-you trope is assuming a binary of sexuality and erasing bisexuality and the wide spectrum present. It should be called “bi for you” or “out for you” if we’re going to have it at all.

The other side argued that it was just a trope and shouldn’t be taken too seriously and that it’s rarely authors that label things “gay for you” and they aren’t necessarily writing gay for you, it’s the readers who label it (and changes take time).

I’m sure there was A LOT more said in the “conversation” but that was the gist (and I tried to remove a lot of hurtful things that were thrown around, so hopefully I didn’t make it worse by simplifying it all!)

I’ve mostly avoided this complication/argument by writing 100% gay characters. The conflicts haven’t been about understanding their own sexuality or coming to realizations about their sexuality. I’ve never really been a fan of the gay-for-you trope, mostly because it seems to center around the idea of a magical penis that can make anyone gay.** Obviously the story is supposed to be about how the people fall in love, not just sex, but in my reading I’ve found most of the GFY tropes have a lot of sex in them. Which isn’t bad, but tends to highlight one part of the relationship more than the others!

Because I don’t write this, I didn’t feel an intense reaction when I saw everything hitting the wall, and instead just watched and listened. And pondered.

One point I think those pro-trope have is that romance is fiction and it’s supposed to be fun and enjoyable and doesn’t always need to be grounded in reality. The fantastical elements are those that we might consider our guilty pleasures, things we wouldn’t enjoy in real life, but in our imaginations their tantalizing. That’s why we read, isn’t it? We don’t want reality pushing into every aspect of our books and dulling the joy and pleasure there. We can ignore points about hygiene and whether spit is good lube and if having a burrito is a good idea before sex.

On the other hand, having a burrito before sex is very different from a trope that hurts feelings and further erases/hides a part of the queer community that already struggles against being ignored. And I think when we think that our pleasure is more important than your pain, that we need to stop and think.

Instead of right and wrong, why can’t we sit down and discuss how X can still have her tropey stories while not hurting Y? Is it enough to change the concept to “out for you” instead? I don’t know the answers, but the screaming matches I saw happening sure didn’t help anything (except maybe raise awareness). I did see lots of posts making points and sharing personal stories, and those I think did help. They weren’t blaming or accusing, but just saying “This is my experience.” Hopefully those each were read by the other side, and hopefully an actual discussion can come of it and a happy place can be reached.

tl;dr: CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?

And now I shall return to my hidey-hole.

** There’s an anime called “Antique Bakery” that my friend told me about that has a character called “the Gay of Demonic Charm” because he supposedly can turn anyone gay for him, but it’s all done very tongue-in-cheek, probably mocking the gay-for-you trope that shows up in BL and yaoi often enough.


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January Update – February Goal

As always, January flew by!

But I don’t feel too far behind, so I’m counting it as a win. I obviously read one story and wrote up an analysis (Woohoo!) so victory on that count. And I’m about halfway done my edits for my current project.

My word counts haven’t been great, but when I’m working on edits, I have all those fun characters playing in my head and no new ones want to come invade the space. But hopefully by mid-February I’ll have the edits done and be able to work on something new. You know, around all of life, which is where I get into trouble 😉

I see writers (not counting those who do this full-time) putting out thousands of words a week, and I’m just blown away. I’m just not that fast. Which I think is fine. I’ll probably never do this as a full-time gig. It’s just for fun, right? And I don’t want to reach a point where it’s not FUN. Which is why I write stories I enjoy. They might not be high literature, but I have fun writing them and hopefully the audience it reaches has fun reading them.

And so, I’m going to have fun telling you about my next project…

Once it’s out of my head and a little bit closer to being on paper!