New Author Boost – Charissa Dufour

A friend of mine is giving her book away free this weekend on iBooks. If you enjoy ironic vampire stories check it out! (vampires, novelists, m/f, urban fantasy, intrigue!!)

Sucked In by Charissa Dufour

sucked in cover


Ashley Hawn writes novels where the dark, handsome, brooding anti-hero always gets the attractive mortal girl… that is, until her out-of-her-league boyfriend turns her into a creature of the night. The only problem is, real life vampires are nothing like the creatures of her imagination. Suddenly, she is trapped in in the middle of a supernatural war that challenges everything she thought she understood about the world of fiction, leaving her with the realization that being a vampire actually sucks.

Available FREE this weekend on iBooks

$2.99 on Amazon

A Question For Readers About Pen Names

Hey guys, happy October!

I am so psyched about fall. IDK what it was but the summer heat in July/August/Sept was just awful this year. I have been looking forward to October for AGES and it has not disappointed. Cool air, breezes, rain :D Is it weird that I am super happy about the rain? I think if you’re going to live in Washington you’ve just got to embrace the rain.

Okay, now that I’ve gushed a little, I want to pose a question to the readers who follow this blog.

As a reader myself…

I’ll freely admit that I mostly read m/m. And I write what I enjoy reading, hence all of the m/m. But I don’t just read m/m. I also read f/f and multi/poly (occasionally) and het. Like if a story is well written and the premise is awesome and the characters are gripping and it’s got the right tropes for my tastes, I’ll read pretty much any sort of sexual pairing.

Suffice is to say I’ve got a lot of story ideas and while a good chunk of them are m/m, they aren’t ALL m/m because, like I said, I write things that I would read and I’m a fluid reader. And I personally would just publish everything under one pen name and just LABEL what sort of pairing it was (m/m, f/f, m/f etc) in the description. But I know a lot of authors say you HAVE to start a new pen name if you jump from m/f to m/m or vice versa.

I’m curious what readers think. Do you exclusively read one type of sexual pairing? Would you rather see authors keep completely separate pen names for each type of pairing or is labeling the stories enough differentiation?

I’d love to hear your thoughts either in the comments or on twitter or send me an email (liacooperromance AT gmail DOT com).

New Release: The Source and the Wire

GUYS! I’m super psyched to finally say that The Source and the Wire is finally done and available on Amazon.

The Source and the Wire by Lia CooperThis book is very dear to me in that it marked the first thing I wrote way back when I made the decision to switch majors from Criminal Justice to Creative Writing. It’s the first full novella I wrote and FINISHED, which let me tell you, took some serious effort.

I began writing The Source and the Wire during my first winter in Pullman back in 2010 in the SUB. I hadn’t written anything more than a couple 500 word flashfics in roughly 5 years but I had this idea and I sat down at the ass crack of dawn in the empty Student Union Building and I just started writing. I made myself write that first 5000 words in a couple of days and spent the next several months taking the bus to the only coffee shop in town (because there were 3 feet of snow on the ground) and drinking an americano with extra shots, and writing 700 words. That was my daily goal. And I did it.

But then the draft languished and was forgotten as I moved onto other projects–namely The Duality Paradigm which was my first FULL LENGTH novel. But here it is. Extensively revised for public consumption and with a new ending, which I think all of you HEA lovers will enjoy :)


Sometimes you meet a person and it’s the wrong moment, the wrong city, the wrong life…Sometimes it takes years for both of you to be ready to fall in love…

Simon Cowen’s life is as neatly tailored as his bespoke suits, everything and everyone in a particular place. Just because a person works on the shadier side of legality, doesn’t mean they have to be uncivilized. It’s this control that has made Simon good at his job.

His parents were soulmates, but Simon decided a long time ago that he had no desire to ever be so weak to another person. Weakness didn’t fit into his neatly framed life. He certainly had no interest in falling in love with the sloppy, flirtatious Luc Allard. Or at least, that’s what he told himself.

When an accident on a con job causes Simon to bond to Luc, he must relearn what it means to put his life in someone else’s hands.

More soulbonding, more exotic locations, and more about two men learning how to be in love.

This story contains explicit M/M content.

Buy it on Amazon!

Sign-up to Lia’s Mailing List for all New Release News

Indie eBook Cover Design PLUS an announcement

Upcoming Release

Just a quick post today to give all of my readers a heads-up, I will be posting a new novella sometime this week (my hope is to have it up before Friday). I’ve talked about this novella, called The Source & the Wire, a little bit before. It is a soulbonding story set in contemporary North America between two white collar con men. Think a little bit of Leverage, a little White Collar, and a splash of Inception….you know, with soulbonding!

An email will go out to everyone on my mailing list when the book is available on amazon.

Book Cover Design Available

I also added a new page for all of my books where you can check out my upcoming projects.

I’m also opening my doors to other indie authors looking for a cover designer. If you need a cover and you like the ones I’ve made, drop me an email and we can discuss what I can do for you.

Submission Call-M/M Paranormal Box Set

I mentioned this on my twitter a week ago but it’s really easy for things to be overlooked on twitter.

I’m interested in putting together a multi-author box set of M/M shorts/novellas/novelettes particularly those in the speculative/fantasy/paranormal genre.

If you’re an author interested in participating, drop me an email with the subject “M/M Paranormal Box Set” here: liacooperromance @ gmail . com

A Word About Multiple Drafts

Why would you waste your time writing the wrong story?

On the subject of multiple drafts: drafting and re-drafting should not be confused with EDITING (which is a very valuable and necessary process). I define drafts as rewriting the same story in its entirety over from start to end. I spend a significant portion of time thinking about my story so that when I sit down to write I know what needs to be written and how it needs to be written, where form is as clear in my head as content. I could maybe understand writing a second draft for one or two books in a catalog of a dozen. But I cannot fathom why I would do this for every book.

If you aren’t writing the correct story STOP WASTING YOUR TIME WRITING THAT GARBAGE and go back to the drawing board.

I don’t care that Hemingway said you should write 30 drafts of something. I think that if you NEED to write 30 drafts some something, there is a fundamental problem with your process such that maybe you should spend a little more time thinking about your story before you sit down to write it. But then again, I’m not a fan of wasting my own time.

A Disconnect Between Readers And Authors

Have you noticed I’ve been trying to write more regularly here? ;)

Today I want to talk about something I hope will prompt some reader responses. I hang out on a couple author forums (notably Kboards) just to see what other people are trying because I’m curious what has and hasn’t worked for them.

Write A Series

I hear this advice given all the time. I’ve HEARD this advice given since I was a kid. If you want to make some money, write a series. It’s not new advice.

In 2014 Write A Serial

THIS seems to be the new tweak to the above adage. If you want to make money, write a SERIAL, and it seems like everyone is doing it!

Okay, but you’re thinking to yourself, technically serials aren’t a new thing–they’re a pretty old thing. Serials are how ACD, Dickens, Poe and a bunch of other authors were published back in their day. True–but I think we can make a distinction between the sort of serials that Poe was publishing and the sort i’m talking about now. Namely, that Poe’s serials were part of a larger work–e.g. a newspaper–and today’s serials are stand alone ebooks.

The Caveat

So, I see people advising other writers to write a serial–readers love them! they say–but this advice always comes with the caveat that these same serials always attract low-star reviews. Specifically low-star reviews from readers complaining about the length of the work.

This brings me to the DISCONNECT I’m seeing between readers and authors. Authors say serials are great, readers love them, they make them lots of money, etc. But then you have a huge chunk of readers unhappy because of the length of the serial and the fact that it is NOT a full story (obvs, it’s part of a larger body of work, it’s a piece, hence serial).

What’s the break even point here? Do readers actually love serials or are they just buying them because that’s how authors keep breaking up otherwise great stories and thereby deluding authors into thinking the serials are doing great because hey, their sales numbers are still good, even though the whole format is leaving the reader cold?


And on a related note, going back to my first point which is GO WRITE A SERIES, this bit of advice is usually coupled with: be sure and use a cliffhanger so that your readers have something to look forward to in the next book. With this, however, I see some unhappiness cropping up over cliffhangers. Are they good? Are they bad? Are they something readers suffer through because they enjoy the story?

What are your thoughts? Do you like serials? Do you hate them? Do you think serials belong as independent ebook entities or does the format really work best as a larger body of work?

New blog feature- Now Accepting Book Announcements, Cover Reveals, and Third-Party Reviews

Just wanted to make a quick announcement about a new feature here at The Speculative Romantic. I will be opening my blog up to other authors and reviewers who would like to feature their books/new reviews on this blog. You can read about it more indepth on the Open Call Page <—-clicky

Understanding Your Own Romantic Tastes

I’ve struggled writing book 3 in the Blood & Bone Trilogy and I thought it was just because I struggle with romance in general (I know–a romance writer who struggles with romance???). I ask myself why I write romance and I do it for a couple reasons:

  • I love reading romance
  • It seemed the easiest place to dip my feet into self-publishing
  • I REALLY love reading romance
  • I have the most experience with what could be classified as romantic stories (from, again, a reading perspective and I feel it’s pretty sound advice to write in a genre you’re familiar with)

But like on a personal level I am about the least romantic person I know. I don’t get real life romance. I feel like a computer going DOES NOT COMPUTE. So, I’ll read a story where two people falling in love is the central theme and just goggle over how amazing it is, sitting down to WRITE the gritty details of how that works has been…difficult. Overwhelming. Like staring up at a clifface knowing I’m supposed to climb it and being frozen with fear because guys–i HATE rock climbing, legit hate it.

Falling-in-love vs Realizing-you’re-in-love

But in the last month, while I tried to wrangle what it was about Book 3 I was stuck on specifically I realized something both about the book and about my own reading tastes:

I almost always read stories where the characters are basically already in love and either a) pining or b) oblivious to their own feelings. But the point is, the “in-love” stuff already exists.

Book 3….well…Pat and Ethan aren’t pining OR oblivious to their own feelings. Like, they legit are not in love with one another. The thing that was tripping me up is how do two people FALL in love? This is a conundrum that is not readily answered in the sorts of stuff I like to read AS A READER. It’s pretty uncharted territory.

I keep wondering, if I just lock them in the starboard broom closet and mash their faces together will they eventually fall in love?

(also searching Getty Images for “two men in love” returns srsly hetero results, what’s up with that getty images?)