thatrcooper: (charlie and will)
Someone on Tumblr asked me about dragons who hoard stories.

And because I have been editing and working on difficult story (it's so painful but good but painful, you guys) for weeks and weeks now, my brain glomped onto this idea like nobody's business. So. Everyone gets a story, which is fun at least.

(And before I forget, no release date on Treasure for Treasure yet. But there will be a sale on a set of Beings stories in October at Dreamspinner. And yes, I am still working on the book after Treasure for Treasure. (It hurts, but it's also soft and gentle, I swear.)

Anyway. Back to dragons who hoard stories.

This story references some ideas and things from books that haven't been released yet, so sorry if that is confusing. Just know that Redwolf and Rum is a graphc novel series about a werewolf, written by an actual werewolf, and that modern dragon families are little... weird. (Plus, like, doesn't the world need more gay dragon regency romances????)


All the Futures That Could Be

Too many stories and not enough stories, thousands upon thousands of them in the room as they were in Edgar’s mind. But to others it was hushed, and the crackle of the fire was peaceful, so they would often come to sit on the couch and listen to him talk about stories as if they believed what humans did—that storytellers were Seers. That was why Edgar was shown respect although he was a dragon with no treasure of his own.

But he certainly didn’t feel wise or all-seeing. He felt slow and foolish, half-lost in a graphic novel about love and unable to pull himself completely free.

thatrcooper: (pye pye pyewacket by rani)
I've noticed some people reading Beings books lately, along with some comments that lead me to think some people are confused. Or maybe just not the sort of people to dig around in my old posts to find information. Which is fair. I mean, I probably should build a website, but then I'm like, I'm not the sort of big name author who needs one. (Also, I'd rather be writing then doing building things or promoting things. It's true.) I do have my livejournal/goodreads reposts, and my tumblr, where things are (mostly) tagged. But yeah, I do need to set something up for that. SIGH. In the meantime...

THE BEINGS  'VERSE  EXPLANATION POST!!


Q: What is the Beings 'Verse?

A: Imagine a world just like ours, but where the magical creatures of legend (like fairies and elves and werewolves) are real, and they live openly (for the most part) with humans. But, they haven't always done so. The creatures, referred to by humans as beings, only came out of hiding when they were forced to. This happened in Europe during World War I, and panicked humans were not very accepting, so most beings live on the fringes of mainstream human society. They are idolized for their beauty and power, but also feared and mocked. Humans also do not distinguish much between the legends around these creatures and the reality of them. Over time, even the beings aren't sure about themselves.

All cultures have these creatures, and different histories with them. Some clearly worshiped their beings as gods or something godlike. Others revered them. Others told stories about encounters with them, where the beings could be benevolent or cruel or loving or petty--you know, just like humans. This is where fairy tales come from.

But then, as humans grew in strength and numbers, they stopped taking such care with these beings. They destroyed the forests where they lived, or drove the werewolves from their lands. Many of these humans, especially in Europe, when Christianity/the Church became a dominant political force, and then through colonization and imperialism, became a dominant force in most other countries, outright rejected the beings. Because the beings are different. They love indiscriminately. Some of them are naked. Their morality has its own rules. They view things like gender, and sexuality, in ways that these humans did not want to understand. So the humans called them evil, or banned the stories of them, and they did the same to humans who were similar to the beings.

But, when those cruel, powerful humans brought war to the entire globe, the beings had no place left to hide. Of course, some had never hidden in the first place, or had continued on as they were under the noses of European occupiers, but that is a story for another time.*cough*

Some of the beings remember their history, and others do not. Because they aren't represented accurately (or sometimes at all) in human media, many of them now believe the horrible things said about them. Others are fighting to prove what they really are. Alongside these beings, you have the humans who are like, or who love them.

Q: Are you some kind of nerd?

A: Yes. Obviously.


The Books:

Q: How many books are there?

A: 6 as of now. 7 is on its way. I am working on 8. (I started it this week! Aaaah!)

Q: Do the books need to be read in order?

A: No. They are written as standalones. HOWEVER, I do think people will understand certain references better if at least some of the books are read in the order they were published. AND, there are moments with recurring characters and themes that will make more sense if you've read everything. But no, it's not necessary to have read, say, Some of Kind of Magic before you read A Boy and His Dragon or Little Wolf. (In fact, I don't think most people do.)

Book 1:  Some Kind of Magic

A novella set in Los Cerros, a town with a significant being population, and which is considered a liberal town for that reason. A werewolf protects the things he loves, even from himself, if necessary. Features Ray Branigan, who is only the second being to ever make detective in Los Cerros. It also features lots of prejudice against beings, especially werewolves and fairies. Prejudices so strong even the beings have started to believe them. (Bad, Ray! Very bad! That is no way to treat your mate!)

Book 2:  A Boy and His Dragon

Set in Madera, about an hour away from Los Cerros. About a human boy with a noble heart, and the nerdy dragon history lecturer who adores him. Humans have lost the language to communcate with beings, so it takes our human boy, the lovely Arthur, some time to realize what a dragon might mean by calling him treasure.

Book 3:  A Beginner's Guide to Wooing Your Mate

Wolf's Paw, a town several hours from Los Cerros, is a town run by, and for, werewolves. If you're a human wizard, you might not feel very comfortable there. If you're a shy werewolf, you might feel like a bit of a failure for not getting your mate to love you. This story really starts to explain the idea of mating as werewolves view it. (Ray isn't really the explaining things type.) This is important because of

Book 4: Little Wolf

In which the toxic ideals about how werewolves ought to act have traumatized a young were to the point where he cannot recognize the mate in front of him. I cannot with this story. The real concept of mating (and treasure, and shine, and true love) finally starts to become more clear. It helps when you have a werewolf who acts more human than wolf.

(Book 4.5: A Mate of One's Own. A short story about Zoe, Little Wolf's friend, and her discovery of her mate.)

(Little Prince--a silly short version of Little Wolf I did, in which they are not werewolves. Very silly.)

Book 5: The Firebird and Other Stories

HOLY SHIT. Okay. This book... this book is readable without the other ones, but I personally would advise reading it after you have at least read one or two of the others. (I know some people didn't do that and still enjoyed it. But I'm just saying, it was written as I was writing the other stories and there are some tie ins.)

Basically, this book of short stories is about the beings shortly after they emerged from hiding, to the present day. Has lots of cameos, and except for two of the stories, is set in Los Cerros. LOTS of ideas about love and mating and hope in this story, which is good because there are a lot of horrible things humans have done to each other (and to the beings) throughout history. That hope is so, so necessary.

(Book 5.5: Frangipani and the Very Shiny Boy. A short story about a fairy desperately trying to get a boy's affection.)

Book 6:  A Dandelion for Tulip

Back in Madera, with a human who is finally attempting to discover the real history between humans and beings, and the fairy who loves him. Further explores the idea of shine. Features a lot of callbacks to the ideas from the previous stories. And some cameos. Were you curious about fairies? Well this is the book for you, then. :)

Book 7:  Treasure for Treasure

In which there is a small town that belongs to dragons--even though the dragons seems to have forgotten about it. One small, very determined dragon is going to have to prove to everyone that he will properly care for this treasure.

Book 8: (Well, wouldn't you like to know?)




And that is it for now. I do actually have a Beings 'Verse timeline in my notes, but it's incomplete, so in the future, I might repost all this and add it. I was also going to talk about Hottie Scotty and Mr Porter, but they are not beings, so I won't for now. Maybe this weekend.)

As always, people are free to ask me questions.<3
thatrcooper: (pye pye pyewacket by rani)
Audiobook has arrived! The one for A Boy and His Dragon has, I mean. A Boy and His Dragon at Audible (Confession: I get the giggly squeals when I try to listen to my own words being read out loud. I am blushing right now.)

In other news, it occurs to me that those not into the geeky online things might not realize what AUs are. I write a lot of AUs of my own characters, usually in unedited little snippets to amuse the people who follow me on Tumblr. For example, I posted a short Bakery AU of Ray and Cal from Some Kind of Magic for Kristi P for Valentine's Day. An AU is a story set in an alternate universe from the one in which the original story is set. I tend to still consider AUs Original, in a sense, (because change one fact about a character and you change the character) but it's not really a point I'd argue because mostly AUs are supposed to be fun. :) Though to make it even more confusing, sometimes I just label them "crackfic"... which they basically are. A cracky, nutty version of a story you already know.

I mention this now because every once in a while I will read a comment from someone very confused or someone will remind me that not everyone is a giant geek like me and so people don't always speak my language. If anyone ever doesn't know what the hell I'm talking about, feel free to ask me so I convert you to a giant geek too.

Anyway! AUs. I love my characters and I love variations of them because it's interesting to see how a slightly different background can entirely change the way a story would go. I tend to write fuzzy little AUs just to make me smile but if you want to know more about them, may I suggest Wikipedia? (Obvious caveat that Wikipedia is Wikipedia and always open for debate and editing.)

(Oh my though, modern AU of My Man Godric in which Godric is the head of security for a rich, old, noble family and Bertie is the public scapegrace, always in the tabloids, usually caught staring adoringly at Godric. It's really quite embarrassing. And I still think about that AU of Play It Again, Charlie in which Will gets to know Charlie while he's still recovering in the hospital. I think about that one when I need some angst.)

I forgot my point. I guess, just... look at these idiots.

Ray the baking werewolf and Cal the besotted customer


This was originally an unedited Tumblr post. Original notes have been left in.

(I bet he makes savory pies and quiches filled with ham and croissants rich with butter. I bet someone else normally makes all the sweet, delicate things, like someone else normally works the counter. But one day Penn, who runs the register and does their books, has to go do some family thing with her mother and since it's a slow day she tells Ray he has to come out to help customers if anyone rings the bell.)

He was right in the middle of preparing the beef for some spicy mini beef pies, done Louisiana style, when someone rang the bell and it didn't put him in the best mood. He only had so much time to get some prepared for their lunch rush. He'd ask Murphy to go deal with the customer but Murphy had a special order of lemon tarts to complete. Someone had ordered them at the last minute. Ray was not fond of people who made huge, demanding orders at the last minute. Penn tried to remind him that business was business, but some customers needed a basic understanding that their bakery was not a McDonald's. Things took time, even with the occasional magical assistance.

In his nose was an irritating mix of lemon and onion which did not improve his mood as he pushed through the bat-wing swinging doors that led to the main room. He knew there was a frown on his face but he couldn't be bothered to care.

What did make him pause was the reaction from the fairy waiting by the counter.

"Oh, a face like that should not be scowling so," the fairy remarked, tilting his head back to study Ray with wide, swirling eyes of brown and purple and green. The colors made Ray think of Mardi Gras, and King's Cake, and frosting.

Ray didn't usually care for frosting but for a moment he licked his lips at the imagined taste of sugar. Then the fairy spoke again. "Then again the frown suits you. You're a were, aren't you? Maybe fierce is exactly how you should look." The fairy was not subtle in looking Ray over, but then they never were.

"Can I help you?" It came out a lot crankier than it should have. Penn would have had something to say about that if she'd heard it. Ray shrugged it off and didn't apologize or explain his frown. The fairy would forget about it in a few minutes anyway once he got some sugar.

He was actually pretty low-key for a fairy, with much smaller wings than usual, as if he was part human. He even had a shirt on, unbuttoned to reveal a bare chest glowing with health and sparkles, but still a shirt.

Ray headed over to the pastry counter after a moment's hesitation. The fairy wasn't going to want anything savory and he probably wouldn't want a whole cake, but a box filled with individual pastries was always a fairy favorite.

"So you're finally out here." The fairy's gaze darted to Ray's apron, coated in flour as well as hints of blood from the meat. "Oh, Ray," he realized out loud and then stopped. He twirled his wrist and looked slightly guilty as he explained. "Penn talks about you."

"She does?" It was not what Ray meant to say at all but he fought off a blush and stared back at his winged admirer as impassively as he could. The fairy--half-fairy, smiled at him. It was possibly the kindest smile Ray had ever seen.

"Penn is wonderful," the fairy offered with that same beaming smile. Ray thought Penn was wonderful too. She had never once scoffed at a werewolf living in a city and working as a baker. He loved Penn. He had no idea why he'd frown harder to hear that the fairy liked her too.

"She thinks the world of you, you know." The fairy leaned forward, putting his slender hands gracefully along the top of the glass case, sending glitter raining down the lace doily underneath the display of cupcakes that Penn kept out to tempt the lunch crowd. Ray realized his hands were also on the glass counter but couldn't remember having moved forward. Yet there he was, the glitter almost close enough to touch him.

He could hear Murphy swearing at his crust in the kitchen but the sound seemed far away, drowned out by his own heart in his eyes and the rapid, hummingbird beat of the fairy's heart right in front of him. He inhaled, noting a new scent, like fresh caramel and cinnamon, overlaid with a desire that somehow surprised him despite the fact that this was a fairy, and fairies were, well, given to showing desire openly and often.

"You talk about me?" Ray could not believe himself. He didn't know what had come over him. If anything he was known for not talking. Now he was asking stupid questions in a hoarse voice and he felt hot, hotter than usual, hotter than the kitchen at its busiest.

The fairy danced from foot to foot as he nodded. "I asked her and she was only too happy to talk about you."

Ray blinked. His head was swimming. His vision seemed to sharpen on the increasingly bright cloud of glitter around the fairy. He thought the fairy's mouth was the most beautiful mouth he'd ever seen. He considered whether, being half-human, the fairy might like one of his pies, or at least a croissant. Ray would fill it with dark chocolate and dip it in cream if the fairy would prefer it that way. Ray would feed it to him himself, anything to keep him smiling and happy.

He shook his head but the scent only got stronger, like crisp meringue and caramelized pears.
"You see," the fairy began again, leaning in and staring at Ray as though Ray was one of the bon bons on the shelves below, "I catch a glimpse of you from time to time, and you and your frowns are the shiniest thing I have ever seen. But you never come out. Not once. Not ever. And then Penn said--"
"Yes?" Ray was growling and too distracted to be embarrassed about it.

"Penn said she'd make you come out. As a favor to me. And to you. She said, 'The wolf needs to indulge his sweet tooth' and grinned and told me to come in today."

"And you remembered?" Ray couldn't keep the surprise out of his tone.

The fairy's smile was only a little saddened by his rudeness. "When it comes to what matters, Ray, fairies remember everything."

"And I matter?" Ray took another long breath. Hope was sweet and light like powdered sugar. He didn't know what that meant.

The fairy danced in front of him again, though wriggled might have been a better word. "You matter so much I put on clothes," he offered, wrinkling his nose in a way that made Ray feel even warmer.

"I wouldn't have asked you to do that," he murmured, only to hitch his shoulders at the fairy's delighted laugh.

"I knew I would like you, Ray." It wasn't something Ray should argue with. Weres also tended to like or dislike others immediately, although based more on scent than any "shininess".

"You don't know me," he argued anyway, inhaling so much want/want/want that he pulled at his apron. He wanted to lean closer so he did, forgetting lemon and onion in order to breathe in blackberry jam and spiced peaches and rosewater. There was a sweat too, human scent, man scent, and the combination made him flush. The fairy smelled like the best things in the world.

"That's easy enough to fix, isn't it?" The fairy stuck out his hand. "I'm Cal.

His hand was warm. His glitter was like being sprinkled with chocolate dust. And he smiled when Ray brought his wrist up to his mouth.

...


Still fierce Ray, but not nearly so, er, dickish about fairies uptight because he isn't a cop and doesn't have all those pressures on him. I imagine they were almost kissing by the end of that encounter and on a date/screwing shortly afterward. Maybe they make it through one date first. Then everyone at the bakery has to deal with Ray, ridiculously in love and Mated. Aw.

To sum up, I am weird. I write weird little things. People can always write me and ask me what the hell I'm doing if it's too weird. :) Also, SHINY NEW AUDIOBOOK!

(Also, apologies if this really is obvious to you. I just noticed several comments from confused people recently and didn't want them to continue being confused.) :):):)
thatrcooper: (stephen by aixsponsa)
I never know what to say in these blog posts. Sure, if you want fannish squeeing and random pictures of food and porn there's always my Tumblr, but an author-y blog posts people are supposed to be more author-y, have things to say about writing or the world in general that aren't just notices about upcoming release dates, all that. Only honestly I know next to nothing about the publishing world, and I feel like everything else comes out in my stories anyway. What does that leave? Just the updates. *sigh* But, you know, they are exciting to me and exciting things are fun to share.

First things first, everyone knows I posted a free short story, right? Well, I did. It features a slightly cracky (a lot cracky) fairy tale version of two characters who have been TORMENTING ME FOR OVER A YEAR NOW.

Ahem. I suppose that is something to talk about. Some stories are like that. You know exactly what is going on and you're compelled to write them as quickly as you can get the words out and you remain obsessed with them even once you are done. Wicklow and Rhoades were like that for me. But other stories are just a big mess. They keep growing and nothing ends up as you originally planned until you finally make yourself finish after many stops and starts and then suddenly it's exactly how you wanted it. But different. Will and Charlie were more like that. Er, Nathaniel and Tim are apparently like that as well. They insisted on writing themselves and that is always a struggle.

And can I tell you how much I regret giving werewolves quick healing powers and a fast refractory period? And how much I regret writing a sexual frustrated, *incredibly* confused young werewolf? Because I have spent hours upon hours upon hours writing porn and I'm not done yet! At least they have kind of reached an understanding, the two of them. Soon Tim might even understand what cuddles are.

(He needs lessons. Wicklow, now, you could give Wickow cuddle lessons and he'd still stare at you like you're crazy... So, I write characters with space and touching issues. So I write characters with issues. Ah well. That isn't news.)

Hmm. Updates. So. Wicklow and Rhoades were accepted (yaaaaaaay!) Preliminary title: Wicklow's Odyssey. That might change. Expect Civil War Steampunk sometime in July or early August.

Meanwhile, I was sent notices that audiobooks are going to happen for both, "A Boy and His Dragon" and "Play It Again, Charlie." I even got to listen to some samples. That was thrilling! And anxiety-inducing. And strange. And fantastic. And I don't generally listen to audiobooks so I hope those turn out okay. I will let you guys know what they are coming out.

I continue to write Tim and Nathaniel (working title(s): Little Wolf. Or The Alpha of Wolf's Paw. Or What Wolves Do. Or... something chess related. Because when you think werewolves, you think, chess.) Getting closer to the end. Woo hoo! I still don't know what to do about my short Beings stories. I want to write a few more and put them all together, but then again I don't know if Dreamspinner would want that. I'm such a weird writer.

And um, oh hey. Conventions and things. Fun? Something people in more than a hang around the comic book booths kind of way? What kind of conventions do people go to where they want to interact with authors? *Do* they want to interact with authors? (Or m/m authors for that matter?) What's that like? I have only ever gone to one convention and it was a very large one and very expensive and well... I did not enjoy it much despite my nerdiness. So I am trying to see the appeal. They aren't something you can explore on a whim when you are on a budget.

Depends on what you want to get out of them I suppose. y/y? y/n?
thatrcooper: (pye pye pyewacket by rani)
To those people who paid for a hard copy of "A Boy and His Dragon" and got the autographed version in which I tried to be cute, I am so sorry I am such a dork. What can you do? It's like genetic dorkiness or something, I can't seem to stop.

Also I am trying to do a sports story for Dreamspinner's Sports themed Daily Dose thing, but sports, ugh. What are they even about? :) Thank goodness that coffeebuddha is egging me on to ridiculous heights of failboat boys in love or nothing would be happening with it at all.
thatrcooper: (sleepy holly by holly_ita)
Anyone down for a lonely-yet -not-alone-because-internet champagne extraaavagaaanza on Saturday? (And also oh, hey, I have a book coming out tomorrow/today depending on location, and I can't celebrate until Saturday but I have a bottle of Mumm and a bottle of Clicquot and a lot of nerves that will need calming. With bubbles. Tiny, tiny bubbles.)

I'll be Tumblr if you are. Busy with smut and snippets and questions and all those tiny bubbles. :)
thatrcooper: (pye pye pyewacket by rani)
Hello hello! Let's talk Berties first. Of course reading My Man Godric isn't necessary if you want to read about the new Bertie, it's just a nice option. For anyone who missed it, you can now find My Man Godric on my Free Reads page or downloadable from Smashwords. (You know, I'd put the old Ideas of Sin up there, but that requires so much editing that it's going to take me a while to even get up the energy to look at it.)

New Bertie: I have a release date, January 4. (Still in the year of the dragon even, so yay!) and it's already up as TBR on Goodreads and the Dreamspinner site *with* a cover...

It's also now officially part of a series. Or a set universe I guess. Being(s) in Love. With Some Kind of Magic and the short story Different for Humans. Woo hoo for me being organized for once! Okay, semi-organized. Okay just recognizing the concept of organization if not actually implementing it.

Speaking of, I should do something with my Arthur/Bertie and the Egg thing.

And hey, I meant to share this before, did I? It's not related to Arthur or either Bertie. It's fanart that my friend sinjah drew for the character Isabel in Let There Be Light. Steampunky, costumed goodness! (That's Isabel in the glasses, being cute and fashionable and pretending she isn't a badass) I might have posted it before. Oh well. It's pretty.
thatrcooper: (elizabeth hug by someone)
I have been going through... things... so I apologize for not being around much. The fun part of being crazy is that I get to say things like that and y'all have to be understanding about it. But yeah, life, seriously. (When you are playing "I am a rock" by Simon & Garfunkel over and over again it's maybe time to emerge from your fortress deep and mighty). I am working on being a person again, just in time for the holidays.

In writing news I finally got something from Dreamspinner about A Boy and His Dragon. I assume if I'm just getting the cover specs sheet about the artwork that it won't be coming out until January at least. But I don't have a definite date yet so bear with me.

Meanwhile, I should reformat that short story I did a while back and hopefully get it up on Smashwords soon. And I still want to do something for the food bank Second Harvest for Thanksgiving. I don't know what would raise the most money. I was thinking of maybe writing something in small sections and posting a new section every time someone donates to Second Harvest (even a dollar) or takes a picture of themselves putting cans or boxes of food into a donation bin at their local grocery store. You know, holding your story hostage until people get fed. Something?

I really need that secretary my third grade teacher said I would need in life now. Plz. I also need to channel my inner Will and go dancing. I haven't in over a year and that is just wrong. If only I had friends...

Ah well. STORIES. Let me think of some.
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