Happy End of Summer Break!

I’m so happy to send these kids back to school, I can’t even tell you. I have done a whole lot of NOTHING this summer.

That’s not 100% true. I’ve written out a couple outlines. I’ve cleaned and reorganized my apartment. I went goth camping. But I did not finish my book.

So here is a revised schedule of events! On August 29th, That Thing You Do comes out from St Martin’s Press. After that, I’ll have Kiss and Make Up, the contemporary workplace romance. Then we’ll finish out the year with The Workaround, the companion novel to Screwmates. Yay!

 

Writing updates!

I’m just feeling super inspired right now, you guys. So many ideas. If you need book ideas, come to me. I’ve got a thousand. Maybe I’ll sell them on Etsy for a dollar apiece. But like, in nice calligraphy.

And isn’t that itself a book idea? The guy with writer’s block, and the girl selling ideas. You see the problem.

But in the interest of keeping myself accountable, I’m going to tell you what I’m working on right now so if you never hear about any of these again, you can slap me around a little.

First: Kiss and Make Up will be a midsummer release, most likely. It’s about a bad girl makeup artist and a by-the-books cosmetics company owner. I’m having a blast with it.

The Workaround is a stand-alone companion to Screwmates. Remember Ava, the “agent of chaos” best friend who set up Marc and Madison as rookies to begin with? She takes off on a trip around the world, and who better than the tour guide to help her join the 5-continent club?

Finally, I’m working on a short story called Until The End that’s not a romance. It’s sort of in the same vein as That Feel When, if you read that. Just in terms of stretching my writing muscles, I’ve committed myself to one short story a month.

That’s all the active projects I have, but there are multiple more outlines waiting in the wings of my Finder.

So if you see me online too much, yell at me.

And for more frequent updates + exclusive teasers + excerpts, join the other kittens in my reader group here!

The Red Light District

Updates!

Oh my hell, you guys, every time I say I’m going to be better at blogging, I get worse. So here’s a brief overview of what’s happened lately in Kayti news:

More books! I’m on track to release 6 in 2017, plus a few shorts. I’m going to do my best to keep the Books Tab updated. Notably, I’ll have a new traditionally published book (that means you can find it at Barnes and Noble!) out August 30th that I am super excited about. It’s a lot less funny than most of my books, but it has a lot more of my heart in it as well.

Signings! None. I know myself. When I travel, I like to completely immerse myself in the experience. After 2 years of leaving once a month at least, and losing so much writing time to enjoying the world, I am buckling down, kittens.

I moved back to my beautiful hometown of KCMO from my equally beloved Colorado, and as I’m enjoying the early summer farmers market offerings, my friends back in the Rockies are getting pummeled with snow. Times like this make one feel okay about one’s decisions.

I guess that’s basically it? Pop culture-wise, right now I’m super into the My Favorite Murder and Between The Covers podcasts, Sense 8 and American Gods on TV (also new Kimmy Schmidt is out in like a few hours) and Alt J’s new single gives me the highest of hopes for a creepy, catchy new album.

Okay, that’s all, xoxo kittens.

NEW BOOKS YO

This is my book. It’s called Topped, as you may have noticed. It’s an ode to the greatest living American author name of Chuck Tingle, and it contains some of the best dick jokes of my burgeoning career.

If you read my last book, UnderCovers (currently on sale for .99 at Amazon) than you may recognize a character or two, but this is a standalone. But I like bonuses. Everyone likes bonuses, right? So there are two related shorts in the back of Topped for your reading pleasure.

I don’t want to spoiler you guys on what they are but I really want to talk about them. Heavy sigh. I need to make confession. 

Send a priest. Tyler Bell, ideally.

I’ll update this with a link once it goes live. I will also try to be less awful about blogging. I say that every time I play but I really REALLY mean it now.

Cheers!

So You Want To Be a Writer.

I had a high school student email me with a bunch of questions about writing, so I thought I’d share them and my answers.

 

*What is the job really like? Well, no one tells you how much marketing is part of it. I’ve always found that many writers are by nature fairly introspective- we want to spend our time just imagining things into existence on the page. However, when you start your agent search, and then after that when editors get involved, they look at your involvement on social media as part of their consideration. Someone who maintains an active Twitter, FB, and blog they believe has a built-in fan base. When I signed my contract with my publishing company, I had to fill out a questionnaire on my marketing plan. Related: book tours aren’t as profitable for the industry these days with newer authors, so they send you on blog tours instead. This means you can expect to spend hours answering questions (often the same ones) and pulling excerpts and doing “character interviews” for various book blogs.

*Pros and cons of a writing career: Pros- it’s an infinitely varied and exciting job. You can literally do anything you want. Travel, commit crimes, fight crime, fall in love, develop superpowers- all through your characters. I also think by and large the community is extremely supportive (although for you as a fantasy writer, I have to say there have been a lot of accusations of misogyny there. As crummy as it is, it may be worth considering doing the JK Rowling thing when you query, so your gender isn’t as noticable.) Cons- there are zero guarantees. You may or may not get an agent who may or may not sell your work, which may or may not sell to the public. The percentage of writers who survive on that alone is depressingly small. That being said, when writing’s something to look forward to after your day job, it maintains a bit more allure than when you have to get up every day and treat it like you would an office job.

*What kind of viewpoint do I prefer to write in? I tend to prefer third person past because it lets you, as you said, flesh out the story a bit more. You aren’t tied to one person’s observations, and you get to observe them more closely than most characters would examine themselves. However, the last two books I’ve done have been in first person present and the writing goes much more quickly that way. It also gives a sense of immediacy that works better for certain stories.

*My favorite thing to do when writing a story is jokes. And Easter eggs. I have a couple good friends who read everything I write before anyone else, and if they text or call laughing or saying “I see what you did there!” I am satisfied.

*How do I get romance to work? I learned this trick from my co-writer, who was a theater major. In every play (or book) your main character wants something- be it a job, a victory, or a love. You have to imagine a string connecting your character to their desire. And then keep it taut. So for example in romance, once the characters meet, their thoughts continually drift to one another, even if they fight it. Especially if they fight it! They’ll order a coffee, and idly wonder if the other takes cream, or smell perfume on a passer-by that instantly reminds them of The Night They Met, or whatever. Wherever the object on the other end of their string goes, your character will follow. Also, witty banter. Insta-love only goes so far, especially when you can’t see the chemistry.

*How do I get inspiration for romance? A combination of asking what-if and being a fangirl, mostly. I wrote a short story once based on a real-life brief relationship I’d had- what if it had been more? My first published book was based on a craigslist ad where a guy advertised for a matchmaker. What if the matchmaker turned out to be his match? Or then, the second book was “What if You’ve Got Mail was modernized and kind of mashed up with the movie Once?” The one I’m working on now is, “What if 21 Jump St was romantic AND funny and also smashed into Never Been Kissed?” I know people who write heroes based on celebrities just so they can pretend to fall for them.

*Do I have any writing tips? Firstly, READ. Read constantly. Read in your genre, but also outside of it. Read non-fiction and fiction. All of it makes you a better writer. Second, and I am saying this as someone who was an English major- being an English major won’t necessarily teach you much about writing. My co-writer’s theater degree was much more applicable- they do character studies and all that immersion in acting really helps you get inside a character’s head- plus you get familiar with pacing and structure. In English you learn how to be a reader, with some writing experience; in theater you learn to be a writer, a director, and an actor. Much more well-rounded. However, if (and reasonably so) you are concerned about real-life applications of a degree like that (although the business world loves good public speakers!) a History major also helps you draw connections and see the narratives in a way that is particularly appropriate for a fantasy writer. Third- make some writer friends who can help critique you. The QueryTracker website has a forum where you can find critique partners. Fourth- READ some more!

#IBelieveWomen

Although I suppose a lot of people would dispute this, I consider what I do for a living to be semi-related to the sex industry. Writing romance, sure I understand I’m not naked on camera, I’m not writing hard-core erotica, yes. But.

Like a growing sector of the porn industry, I’m selling sexual fantasies to women. I casually use words and portray scenarios that would give me sainted Ma a heart attack. I profit from someone else’s desire. 

In the fan community, there’s a lot of overlap as well. I’m personally part of at least 4 Facebook groups whose only purpose is to direct liberated ladies to porn Tumblrs, gifs, penis pics, etc. It’s all part of the same beautiful community of women who are not ashamed to discuss their sexuality, their fantasies, who casually discuss sex toys the way men have discussed women for centuries.

I love being part of it. As a feminist, it feels like a natural step towards equality.

The elephant in this sexy little utopian room, of course, is James Deen. We were ALL obsessed. He was so cute. He did all these supersexy moves while staring intensely into the girl’s eyes. He made a huge deal of being into sex with ALL women, not just the shaven, tanned, siliconed ones.

We were all complicit in equating that to him being an ally. Or at least a lover of women. Even less than that, he just seemed like a regular guy who was really good at sex. We all projected on him. 

When Stoya came forward with her allegations of rape, I thought we would all stand with her. I thought we would all say, “holy shit were we wrong.” I thought we would all delete the Instagram pics of ourselves in WWJDD tees. (Um, well me anyway. Cause it turns out what he would do is NOT something I’m okay with.)

The thing is, that’s not what happened. More and more and more women came forward. Some had assault or rape stories of their own about him. Others just heard enough rumors that they refused to work with him for fear of rape or assault.

And in return, more and more women from the romance community defended him. One woman even started a campaign for survivors of rape to support him. Think about that. 

A survivor of rape, supporting a rapist.

It’s truly time for this community to stand up. We are empowered, liberated, sexual women. We need to stand up and say- no, SHOUT- that we believe women. That sex workers are due the same protections and sympathies as the characters in our books. That we are like them, because we. Are. Women.

And we stand together.

I’m with Stoya, and Joanna, and Tori and Ashley and Amber and Kora and Nicki and Lily and TM. And I’m with every single one of YOU who has been scared to come forward. Because I am a woman. And a mother of a girl who will someday be on her own in this world. And I never, ever want her to wonder if women will believe her.

Come stand with us.
And something else that just occurred to me and made me immediately ragey. That statistic about 1 in 4 women being victims of sexual assault? That we learned in health class and Cosmo and everywhere on the internet? 

WHERE IS OUR ANSWERING STAT ABOUT HOW MANY MEN ARE ASSAULTERS???

Scandinavian Horror Bedtime-Stories

I’m on a massive Scnadinavian horror kick right now. It started when I watched Rare Exports and Let The Right One In back to back.

Currently I am reading a book called The Ritual by Adam Nevill. I am now in love with a man named Adam Nevill. There’s death and destruction and black metal and Old Gods. It’s like everything I love wrapped up in a nasty little literary package.

If only there were wine.

I’m fast running out of scary things from Scandinavia though. Short of booking myself a trip to the boreal forest (and believe you me, I have been pricing it out) do you guys have any recommendations???

Also. I went to two Frank Turner shows this weekend, and despite not being metal or Scandinavian or even scary, they were utterly fantastic and I must recommend you go if you have the chance.

Candi Kane is Havin A Birthday!

  

Somehow in the thrill and excitement of meeting OMIGODMYFRIENDCANDI I managed not to get a solo selfie. I believe she did though… *side eye*
I met Candi the way a bunch of us did- through our desperate and undying love of Night Owl by M Pierce. Much like many of us, I fell deeply in love with her as a result of her near-constant auto-correct fails. 

You guys, she can make any benign conversation bizarrely inappropriate with a single word, and that is a feat. MELANIE Harlow even wrote it in to her Frenched series she was so âmused. Notice how my autocorrect did two things there, neither one inappropriate.

But once you get to chatting with her, you’ll discover even more interesting things about Candi. For example, and by example I mean 80, she has the greatest 90’s concert stories of anyone on earth. There is no one, and I mean NO ONE she hasn’t drank with. From Gwen Stefani to the Misfits. You want to know what any celeb from 95-05 is like IRL just ask her.

Really though, cause she’ll send you a voice message and then you can hear her cute Chicago accent.

Today is her birthday and I just want the world to know how amazing this friend of mine is. Candi is one of the funniest, sweetest, most loyal dead whores I have ever met, and if you think that is rude just google her GoT blogs and you will see that it is also very accurate.

In short, I love Candi Kane and you should too, so spend a little time on the Dirty Laundry blog, before reminding her that the Royals are way cooler than the Cubs. Just wait til her birthday is over first.

Xoxoxoxo Candi! 

Kayti Loves Jen McCoy

  

I really do. Jen blogs for Literary Gossip and she’s the dirty quotes queen. The very first time I met Jen, we got our noses pierced together. Because that is how you build a lasting friendship, right? Well it worked this time, anyway.

Jen lives about an hour and a half away from me in Colorado, but sometimes that’s just too far to drive so instead we met up in Savannah. 

I spent 80% of my days snuggling her and that made my day 100% better.

I’m a Terrible Blogger: And You Can Too!

I’m having day drinks with my coder friend. She’s like, “We can put your blog on your website!” And I’m like, “Totally! I blog all the time. I’m blogging right now!” One of those things is true. 

PS day drinks was code for working extremely hard if you are my editor or my mom. If you aren’t, it’s literal. Although I am actually writing too.