I’m excited to share…

…that I’m still alive ūüôā And writing, though looking at this website these last few years, it’s hard to tell. There have been ups and downs, and drafts of posts that never got published, and drafts of¬†books that never got submitted. But today I’m here, and that’s what counts, right?

And I’m incredibly happy to reveal that a tiny short story I’ve written is coming out this summer, in the lovely YA anthology, Short Stuff. I‚Äôm in great company, too – other authors in the anthology are Jude Sierra, Julia Ember and the writing team of Tom Wilinsky and Jen Sternick. It‚Äôs the perfect summer read! My piece is even coffee-flavored ūüėČShortStuff Composite3D

Love in the Times of Coffee by Kate Fierro

A story of best friends, Gemma and Anya, told in a series of coffee-flavored glimpses. From the first mocha at age fifteen to cups of simple instant coffee after their first night together at twenty, they laugh, love and learn, taking a scenic route to romance.

Coming June 9, 2020 from Duet Books. Add it to your Goodreads TBR here.

Pre-order now at the IP Web Store and Amazon

 

Awards nominations!

I‚Äôve just learned that I got nominated for not one, but two Readers‚Äô Choice Awards this week, so I‚Äôm crawling out of my next book in progress to share my excitement ūüôā Both polls are open for voting, and both end on January 15, so if you enjoyed Love Starved and want to share your love, please vote!

 

The first nomination is on Sinfully MM Book Reviews, in the Debut Author of the Year category.

The second is on the Goodreads M/M Romance group (and possibly only open for members?), and I got nominated in two categories: Best Debut Book andBest Sex Industry.

It‚Äôs so strange to peek out of the writing corner, where I‚Äôm fully immersed in some YA shenanigans of some distinctly different variety, and see so much love for my debut novel pouring in! A huge thank you to everyone who read, reviewed, commented, shared, recommended, or just plain enjoyed the journey with me ‚̧ I‚Äôm still here, albeit quiet, and I‚Äôll be back with new stories soon(ish).

NaNoWriMo and a couple of firsts

I never really planned to participate in the National Novel Writing Month. For the last three years since I learned of its existence, I’ve watched many of my writing friends take part in the madness, counting words and doing marathon writing sessions and virtual write-ins and what not, and I cowered at the mere thought of the¬†pressure.¬†I don’t do well with expectations and deadlines, see — not when they come from anyone but¬†myself. And while you may argue that in NaNoWriMo, I’d take up the challenge voluntarily, it’s always felt more like a burden than motivation to me.

And yet.

This October, two things happened that made me want to try and bite the NaNoWriMo bullet: my second novel, Project Paris, got to a point where I knew I had to take a break and gain some perspective before adding the major changes it needs to be finished, and a story I’ve been sitting on for years finally sparked in my head.

You know the feeling when you have an idea and it’s good, but it just lacks something? You know there’s more to these characters and their story, but you can’t see the whole picture yet? It’s like an unripe fruit that needs some more time in the sun to mature. That was this story for me. I first dreamed it up about three years ago and it took its sweet time to grow, but then finally it plopped right into my lap, shiny and perfectly ready to be put on paper. And if I’m bursting with the need to produce tons of words, right at the brink of November, why not challenge myself with NaNoWriMo, after all? Who knows, maybe I’ll become a fan.

So here I am on day three, happily typing away, and it flows. I’m really¬†excited about this story, and not just because I’ve wanted to write it for such a long time. It’s also new to me in a few important ways: this is the first young adult novel I’ve ever attempted, and it’s my first m/f story. Which doesn’t mean that I’m stepping away from the LGBTQ themes — far from it. But this novel, the first in a series of three in Project Three, is a story of a girl and a boy growing up and learning and experiencing life in its many colors, including all the colors of¬†the rainbow.

Are you participating this year, too? Find me there as katefierro if you want to be a writing buddy ūüôā

The view from the other side of “published”

My debut book has been out in the world for six¬†weeks¬†now. It’s been read and reviewed, and received better than I ever dared to hope.¬†I am a published author now.

I’ve always known that this was only the first step of this road; that I was going to do everything in my power to learn and grow and work hard every day,¬†because writing books and making a living as an author¬†is my dream and my goal. So I knew. I still know.

Except now, from the other side of “published,” when the excitement of the virtual book tour is behind me and the obsessive need to check Goodreads ratings five times a day is slowly abating, that plan has become more than determination and a goal. As I work on my second novel, start taking notes for my third, and try to work out a proper¬†schedule of writing every day, I realize, perhaps for the first time with such understanding, what it means that I’m working on making a career as an author.

– It means that writing every day can’t¬†be an option, but a priority.
РIt means that while working on several things at the same time is fine, the original novels take precedence over the fandom stories and need to be tackled first in my daily schedule.
– It means that no matter how hard it is sometimes to juggle freelance translation projects, teaching, parenting, and writing, it’s no excuse. Nothing is an excuse; if I want it, I have to make time, find energy, and work to get it. Every day.
– It means that while social media is hard for my chaotic, introverted mind to keep up with regularly, that’s not an excuse either. I won’t ever be perfect, but I have to try and try again.
– It means working through some long-ingrained beliefs, doubts and inhibitions, carving a schedule for my procrastinating self (and sticking to it!), and demanding respect for my writing time and space from my loved ones.
РIt means fighting my anxiety every day.
– It means doing this crazy, beautiful thing step by step, in little changes, leaps of faith, and feats of courage.

I knew all this – I¬†thought¬† I knew all this before. But I feel it more now, somehow. No longer like I’m just playing with something¬†I love, but more like I’m taking this love and weaving a life out of it, a little bit every day. And it’s scary just as much as it’s exhilarating. It will overwhelm me time and again, I know; I will disappear into my stories or my thoughts¬†for a few weeks, and I will come back.

But one thing I know for certain. I’m here to stay. No matter how hard it may be.

Love Starved virtual book tour: all the links in one place

In the last two weeks I’ve had the pleasure of being hosted by¬†many great book blogs during my first virtual book tour. Some of the tour stops were promo posts¬†with¬†information about¬†Love Starved¬†and links to the Rafflecopter giveaway (which is still open for another 3 days – click through for¬†chance of winning a $25 Interlude Press gift card!). Some included¬†reviews – and let me tell you, I couldn’t be happier about how well my book was received. In some cases, I got to do guest posts or Q&As.

If you¬†want to catch up on the virtual book tour fun,¬†here’s a list of all the tour stops:

MM Good Book Reviews Рan amazing 5-heart review (with graphics!)

Velvet Panic¬†– an interview: mentors, book recommendations, crafts and tattoos ūüôā

Hearts on Fire Рguest post: If you could hire someone to teach you anything at all, what would it be and who would you hire?

Prism Book Alliance Рguest post: 10 favorite literary couples

Bayou Book Junkie Рa great 5-star review

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words Рpromo

Cate Ashwood¬†–¬†interview: plotting vs. pantsing, writing process and challenges

Bike Book Reviews Рpromo

Inked Rainbow Reads¬†– not one, but TWO 5-star reviews! ‚̧

Amanda C. Stone¬†– a fun little¬†interview about teleports, deserted islands and extra hours in a day ūüôā

The Blogger Girls¬†–¬†guest post:¬†Love as a learning process

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews¬†–¬†Q&A: munchies, music, travels and writing plans

BFD Book Blog¬†–¬†Q&A: inspiration, criticism and perfect dates, plus a¬†4.5-star review

Molly Lolly¬†– a lovely¬†4.5-star review¬†and a¬†guest post: a drabble about Angel’s most unusual job request

Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance Рpromo

Love Bytes¬†–¬†interview¬†where I get to talk at length about plot bunnies,¬†Love Starved¬†characters and the new novel I’m working on ūüôā

My Fiction Nook Рpromo

Wake Up Your Wild Side¬†–¬†guest post:¬†Writing quirks and must-haves to write

Because Two Men Are Better Than One Рpromo

Rainbow Gold Reviews¬†– a fantastic¬†9 (out of 10) pots of gold review¬†ūüôā

The Novel Approach¬†–¬†guest post¬†about my beautiful book cover

Multitasking Mommas Рa 5-star review

Emotion In Motion Рpromo

Thank you to all the blogs for hosting me, and to Will from Pride Promotions¬†for organizing my virtual book tour! ūüôā

Custom-made fantasy #4

[This drabble is a repost from my virtual book tour stop at Molly Lolly.]


 

AngelCard-WEB

Charlotte had been Angel‚Äôs client before ‚Äď they‚Äôd met once, months ago, for a fun little role-play that involved a police uniform, a pair of handcuffs and a lot of dirty talk. He remembered her as a sassy, bright woman who knew exactly what she wanted and made sure they both enjoyed every minute of it, charming and relaxing him with her playful personality when he was still so new at all this. So he smiled when he saw an email from her in his inbox ‚Äď and then his grin just grew more excited the farther he read.

Dear Angel,

I don‚Äôt know if you remember me (fondly or otherwise), so I‚Äôll just remind you of the police baton incident‚Ķ Rings a bell? I bet not many of your customers make such big fools of themselves ūüėČ Continue reading

Release day + 4

Love Starved cover

Love Starved¬†has been out in the world for four days now and I’m amazed at¬†the positive responses it’s been gathering¬†so far. MM Good Book Reviews, Bayou Book Junkie and Inked Rainbow Reads have all given the novel glowing 5-star reviews, and its ratings on Goodreads and Amazon¬†have been great as well. I feel so happy that so many people find¬†my book enjoyable!

I love that the phrase I hear the most in relation to Love Starved¬†is: “I couldn’t put it down”. Is there a better compliment for a writer? I don’t think so!

I love that each of the boys seems to be gaining¬†their own fans. It’s so much fun to¬†hear that¬†some readers adore Micah while¬†others fall in love with Angel. They are two very different, distinct personalities and I love that it shows like I hoped it would.

Most of all, I love that I can finally share this story with you, watch you take this journey with Angel and Micah, and hear your thoughts about the experience. Thank you for your sweet words and your support!

Love Starved is available at the Interlude Press store, Amazon, Barnes & Nobles and can be ordered at your local independent bookstore.

You can also read bonus drabbles, listen to a Love Starved playlist, follow my virtual book tour, or enter a giveaway or a contest.