I am admiring this

the Jan Xu Adventures series covers.

Aren’t they awesome!?

I am one of the judges!

Science Chronicles!

Starfang fans, there’s a new chapter!

Chapter 8: where the Starfang docks at Accord Station.
starfangbk1flat

Thoughts regarding diversity, business decisions and dropped series

Still mulling over this.

A Wolf's Tale

(as posted on Twitter)

So, I am still working out my thoughts regarding diversity, business decisions and dropping of series, because of lack of sales. I am not the only author who has their series dropped because of lack of sales. The decision hurts, smarts and is disappointing.

But it is ultimately a business decision. Publishing is a business and it has to make money. It’s not a matter of diversity – it’s the hard fact of “money talks”. Most of all, your story has to fit or not.

So, it’s not just “diversity doesn’t sell”, but a slew of decisions. Perhaps erotica is selling like hot cakes. Wait, it is selling like hot cakes. My kind of urban fantasy doesn’t have sex. So, it’s not just sexy. Plus the fact that I am not well-known enough to warrant a readership that would buy my books no matter what. So…

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Another Oysters, Pearls & Magic post

Boosting this up. I love this YA serial/universe. So many levels that resonated with me.

A Wolf's Tale

Just for new readers on my blog, I have a YA serial (http://jolantru.wordpress.com) titled Oysters, Pearls & Magic. The serial’s site has recipes, art, map, a glossary, stuff… and later, I also added the sequel to the serial: Path of Kindness. You might have seen them as books:

On Gumroad: includes Tale of Yin, the combined duology.

On Smashwords.

On Amazon: Oysters, Pearls and Magic and Path of Kindness.

OPMcover
pathofkindness
yinchng

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Talking to myself

When I started writing (Pern fanfiction, mind…), I wrote a protagonist who was simply “Red”. I had the impression of her having red hair and nothing else. I didn’t think of her race or ethnicity. She was a daughter of a sea-holder (for you Pern fans) and later, a queen dragon rider. Yet as I wrote on (for it was a novel/la), I still didn’t flesh out her race, simply because I saw her as her.

Fast forward a few more years, I had protagonists and main characters whose race or ethnicity was more or less apparent. But not overt. I didn’t go all out to show or write about their race. The most apparent one is Katherine Riley from my steampunk novella “The Basics of Flight”. She is coded white/British. Yet, responses to her were interesting: she struck readers as stilted, she wasn’t “real”.

It makes me wonder how we, as writers, should tackle race, if race wasn’t the main thing that propels the main character/protagonists. Is race then a skin where the character could wear as default?

I have to confess something. I have always imagined my characters to be Eurasian. Perhaps in my head, I have mixed cultures, cultures that have overlapped and then integrated. Even though my heroines are now clearly Chinese, I always have an impression of my inner headspace as mixed. I am Chinese. But I am also other things. Thanks to the Anglo-Saxon institutions put in place by the British colonists in Singapore, I have the privilege of learning English. Privilege… or bane, as I ended up confused and hating my Chinese name for a period of time. I didn’t look white. I knew I was Chinese, but why was I speaking and writing English. The hanyu pinyin of my name added to this loathing: ‘xiao’ became ‘siao’, the Hokkien word for ‘mad/insane/off-the-rocker.’ I was the subject of merciless teasing. Compounded with the extreme emotions of teenagehood, I hated my name and myself.

My dad tried to pull me out of this self-hatred by asking his close friend who is a geomancer. He came up with alternative names, but they did not resonate with me. In the end, I stuck with my old name.

Plus the fact I went through the tomboy/why am I female stage. In secondary school, I had my hair cut short. I was a tomboy. I thought that being biological female was a problem. Until now, I am nominally heterosexual, but queer. I see myself as bisexual, but I am in a monogamous het. relationship.

Why am I writing this? In the end, I came to the conclusion that I am me. Labels are labels. But they do not change anything inside me. I am wearing a skin that tells the outside word what I am. I am not saying that as a writer, I am not going to tackle the issue of race. I am still going to. Because of race, people have suffered discrimination and persecution. Because of gender and sexuality, people have suffered violence and received abuse. These issues are deep-seated and embedded in societal structures and norms.

Thoughts regarding diversity, business decisions and dropped series

(as posted on Twitter)

So, I am still working out my thoughts regarding diversity, business decisions and dropping of series, because of lack of sales. I am not the only author who has their series dropped because of lack of sales. The decision hurts, smarts and is disappointing.

But it is ultimately a business decision. Publishing is a business and it has to make money. It’s not a matter of diversity – it’s the hard fact of “money talks”. Most of all, your story has to fit or not.

So, it’s not just “diversity doesn’t sell”, but a slew of decisions. Perhaps erotica is selling like hot cakes. Wait, it is selling like hot cakes. My kind of urban fantasy doesn’t have sex. So, it’s not just sexy. Plus the fact that I am not well-known enough to warrant a readership that would buy my books no matter what. So, yeah. Things happen. The issue of diversity, however, falls at the bottom of the list.

Bad news

The Jan Xu Adventures series has been dropped by Lyrical/Kensington for “lack of sales”.

Don’t worry. I found another publisher…

Another Oysters, Pearls & Magic post

Just for new readers on my blog, I have a YA serial (http://jolantru.wordpress.com) titled Oysters, Pearls & Magic. The serial’s site has recipes, art, map, a glossary, stuff… and later, I also added the sequel to the serial: Path of Kindness. You might have seen them as books:

On Gumroad: includes Tale of Yin, the combined duology.

On Smashwords.

On Amazon: Oysters, Pearls and Magic and Path of Kindness.

OPMcover
pathofkindness
yinchng

FREE! ‘Insignia: Chinese Fantasy Stories’ June 6th-8th

Plus my stories “Looking For Trouble” and “The Bones Shine Through With Light”.

INSIGNIA STORIES

Hi everyone! Hope you’re having a great start to the month.

We have a promotion going this weekend – Insignia: Chinese Fantasy Stories is FREE on all Amazon sites, AND Insignia: Japanese Fantasy Stories is only 99c!!! Tell your friends!

(Click on the book titles to go to the relevant book pages on this site)

FREE!

Insignia: Chinese Fantasy Stories

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| Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon JP | Amazon AUS | Amazon Canada |

| Amazon IT | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon ES | Amazon MX | Amazon IN | Amazon BR |

~~~

ONLY 99c!

Insignia: Japanese Fantasy Stories

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| Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon JP | Amazon AUS | Amazon Canada |

| Amazon IT | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon ES | Amazon MX | Amazon IN | Amazon BR |

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