Monday, December 22, 2014

Flash Ficlet: "The Test Flight"

I think it's safe to blame this wee bit of free flash fiction on authors Amy Jo Cousins, Olivia Kelly and Laura Curtis, and a Twitter discussion that sprang up between us after this picture of Indian pilots arriving in the UK in 1940 came across my tweet stream.

I'm not a historical romance writer by any means, but who can resist a good story prompt...or a good pilot?

(Spoiler alert: You're about to find out...)

Friday, December 19, 2014

Free Ficlet/Extra: Seva and Shine

It's been a long time since I've written in the Bollywood Confidential universe, but this week I was struck with the urge to return to two favorite characters from Bollywood and the Beast.

I hope you enjoy this free, original short.


Ashraf watched Kamal unhook the last rope of tiny twinkle lights, his long-fingered and capable hands sifting through the tangles and knots with ease. Diwali had long since come and gone, but they’d kept the haveli lit up for Rocky, who was flying back and forth to Mumbai for a film shoot. Because, as his brother Taj was constantly pointing out, she brightened every room.

“She should be welcomed home every time with the same light.”

Bhai, when did you turn into a chocolate hero? Are you sure you are feeling okay?”

“Shut up, Ashu. Better hero than zero, na?”

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Help Break the Beast's Curse: Dollars Against Depression

I've been pretty candid about how I've spent years grappling with depression and anxiety. And in the wake of Robin Williams' death — with the ever-increasing need for selfcare and vigilance — I really wanted to do something other than just incessantly tweet and blog about my experiences. I wanted to help!

Then I remembered that wrote my depression into Bollywood and the Beast. It was part of how I tried to heal from one of my low periods. Secondary character Ashraf — Ashu — fights on-page with the darkness of a disease he can't handle and trauma he can't get past without help. In many ways, what he goes through is the real "beast" of the story. Critics have said it takes away from the main plot line — and that's probably true. Depression's certainly taken a lot from my main plot line. But I don't want it to take too much more. No, I want it to give.

So, from August until the end of October — Depression Awareness Month — 100 percent of all net royalties I earn from Bollywood and the Beast will be donated to The Trevor Project, which provides crisis intervention and suicide counseling for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.

Help me help others, or just help spread the word.

Bollywood and the Beast is an e-book, available at all major e-tailers.

Samhain  |  Amazon |  Barnes & Noble |  Kobo

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Phoning it in: on Living With, and Surviving, Depression

Note: I've been a depression and anxiety sufferer/survivor for more than 25 years. This is not meant to encapsulate anyone else's experience with mental illness. Only mine. Please do not read if you are triggered by talk of depression and suicide. 

There is no one, perfect way to "cure" or "help" someone with depression. All we have is our own, individual coping structures, our own paths to getting better or just getting almost there. But we can find places to share our burdens and a community to lean on.

I write this to remind myself, and others, that we're alone in this together

Friday, August 8, 2014

First Undressing Blog Hop: Now You See Me

Several writer pals are taking part in Audra North's First Undressing Blog Hop from August 5-9. After reading a few of the fabulous bits of flash fiction by authors like Julia Kelly and Shelley Ann Clark, I was inspired to take a crack at the prompt myself. Strangers undressing one another for the camera — I can do that, right?

So, without further ado, I give you Now You See Me.