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Jess Faraday

The Immigrant, and other updates

 

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It’s been a long time since I’ve updated, and a lot has happened. First, of course, was my book release with Helen Angove and Rachel Green.  It’s a trio of mystery and suspense novellas, involving the women of a small Cornish village, over the course of three centuries. The collection is called Blades of Justice. It’s fantastic, and it’s available now from Blind Eye Books. I can’t tell you what a wonderful experience it has been to work with such talented co-authors. And a big thank-you to Nicole Kimberling, for approaching me to do a project with Blind Eye in the first place. I am so, so proud of this anthology. If you haven’t checked it out, you’re in for a treat.

scotland_flagAt the same time, my family and I have spent the last 9 months planning our emigration to Scotland, and it has finally happened! We’ve been in Edinburgh for two weeks, now, and have managed to figure things out pretty well. I’m particularly impressed with the bus system. For a former Angeleno, it’s mind-blowing that we haven’t felt the need for a car even once in our two weeks here. The municipal health club is impressive, too. It’s amazing what a government can do when it uses tax money for what people actually want, rather than to give tax breaks to billionaires. I’ve also been looking for work. Looks like the gig-teaching-economy is in full swing here. I have one online writing course scheduled for September (information as it becomes available) and am looking into other opportunities to teach writing and martial arts around the city and around the web. I have a work permit, and I know how to use it!

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No matter how old you are, you always want your Mom and Dad there to see you get your third degree black belt.

 

The third piece of news is that I tested for, and received, my third degree in Tae Kwon Do in May. “Instructor Jess”! I promise to only use my powers for good. And perhaps for occasional entertainment.

 

Rainbow Award Winner 2016

rainbow_winner2015The Strange Case of the Big Sur Benefactor has won second place in the 2016 Rainbow Awards, Lesbian Historical & Paranormal category. Thank you, Elisa Rolle, and thank you judges! The Strange Case of the Big Sur Benefactor is available now at Bold Strokes Books.

RELEASE DAY!

mcbquarterly4 Volume 5 of the MCB Quarterly, featuring my story Glow Bunny is out! You can find it here in all ebook formats. Glow Bunny is the story of a veterinarian, a lawyer, and a little bunny with a price on its head. Cheaper than a fancy espresso drink, and twice as entertaining.

To celebrate my first release in too, too long, I’ll be tweeting pictures of Bunnies I Have Known at @jessfaraday. Come join the fun =)

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This is Miss Clarabel, whom the rescue named “Miracle.” She had come to the Humane Society having been run over by a car, and had been patched up, though she would have a limp for the rest of her days. She was thought to be an elderly bun, and passed over the Rainbow bridge after a short, and hopefully happy time with us.

Fool’s Gold: Best Gay Historical, Runner-up Best Gay Novel!

rainbow_winner2015I’m absolutely over the moon to report that Fool’s Gold has won a Rainbow Award for Best Gay Historical, and is a runner-up for Best Gay Novel of 2015!

The Rainbow Awards are the brainchild of Elisa Rolle, author of Days of Love, a retrospective of LGBTQ love through the ages. Every year, Elisa single-handedly wrangles books, judges, charitable donations, communications, and promotions, which is quite a job. This year, for example, there were over 450 books, nearly 170 judges, and a total of $17,300 raised for numerous charities around the world. I’m honored by my award, but if anyone deserves a medal, it’s Elisa.rainbow_winner2_2015

There are so many wonderful books on the list of winners, honorable mentions and runners-up. Why not toddle over and pick out a few new favorites?

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Honorable Mention!

Available now from Bold Strokes Books, and from all your favorite retailers. In paperback and all e-book formats.
Available now from Bold Strokes Books, and from all your favorite retailers. In paperback and all e-book formats.

Some excellent news today–Fool’s Gold has received an honorable mention in the Rainbow Awards! An Honorable Mention means that the book has received a minimum of 35 out of 40 points from the judges. Winners will be announced on December 8. *flailing happy dance*

Here are what the judges had to say:

So good – an exciting page turner. Innovative in using both Victorian London and the pioneering days of America. Well drawn – interesting to have a black man in such an important role, but he was just accepted. Quite a lot of characters with in depth relationships between them which gave the book depth. This book was the third in a series, but I didn’t find it a problem. It was an exciting and fast moving plot with lots of intricacy, although there was some reliance on coincidence (acknowledged in the story). I liked the adventure taking more time than the relationship. Well written, good description, vocabulary and grammar made for an excellent read.

Taut, intriguing, companionable—three words to describe the reader experience of Fool’s Gold. In this beautifully written story, we find, as we always do, that all that sparkles is not gold. What we lose in the discovery makes Faraday’s theme of what we gain in the recovery all the more satisfying.

I read the series for context before tackling this one as it was on my tbr pile anyway. I found this final book a little less satisfying than the first two – which would have been solid 40s. Maybe the switch of the London characters to the Wild West didn’t work, because I never felt the setting fit the characters very well, while well described. However, the main character, Ira Adler, develops throughout this series from a kept boy into a strong, moral, inspirational man.  The side characters are equally as familiar and very well described and fleshed out. The plot slowed a bit midway (only a little), but it was enough to mark it down by a point. I’d happily read anything by Jess Faraday now, however, because ze can obviously write very good historical mystery fiction.

Thank you judges!

You can check out Fool’s Gold and the other Ira Adler books here, and my standalone novels here.

Author Interview: Jess Faraday

Thank you Wendy for this excellent opportunity!

Wendy Barron Editorial Services

Vintage microphone isolated on whiteJess Faraday and I met in a writing community on LiveJournal in 2004, and did our first Nanowrimo together in October that year. Along with several others, we formed our own writing and critique group, which has been going since January 2005. Jess was one of the first of us to get published, and she’s certainly one of our most prolific members. She has too many published books to be considered “emerging” any more, but it has been my pleasure and privilege to be part of her journey to publication — to see her emerge — and I’m thrilled that she agreed to do an author interview.

Jess Faraday Head Shot

Book cover: Fool's God by Jess FaradayBook cover: The Strange Case of the Big Sur Benefactor by Jess FaradayBook cover: Death and a Cup of Tea by Elm Books

JESS FARADAY is the author of the Ira Adler series (including the Lambda-shortlisted Affair of the Porcelain Dog), the steampunk thriller The Left Hand of Justice, the Stein & Vincent adventures, and numerous articles, short stories, and translations. She teaches a short fiction…

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Kitty! And other news.

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Behold, the mighty hunter, trying out her claws on a couple of toy birds.

Getting back into the work-year–always a little difficult after summer break, and what an excellent summer break it was. Three weeks in New England, including a week on a working farm. Absolutely fabulous, but now it’s time to buckle down again.

Spring showed that last year was actually a lot more productive than it felt. But one can’t sit on her laurels. To that end, here’s what’s currently in the hopper:

  • Reading the submissions I received for the Undeath and the Age of Steam anthology. There are quite a few from people I’ve worked with before and am looking forward to working with again, as well as some new faces.
  • The aforementioned gothic m/m story.
  • An anthology of short historical lesfic pieces I’m collaborating on with two other authors whose work amazes and thrills me.
  • A 19th century detective novel set in London’s Caribbean immigrant community.
  • A short story about a Very Important Rabbit.

Of course I could go chuck it all and cuddle the kitten instead. For those people playing at home, this makes 1 dog, 2 rabbits, a cat and a goldfish. I think I’m done as far as pets go, at least for now.

You Get What You Pay For

A number of things swimming in my mind today.

First, I read this article from BBC, speculating about robots writing novels. We already know that computers can and do generate news and sports stories–as well as children’s books. The latter are easy to pick out, because they’re generally assembled in China, feature licensed characters, and the sentences, while following the “subject verb object” format often don’t make either sense or story. And of course anyone who has cracked a book in the last five years won’t be able to help noticing that even Big 5 publishers seem to be trying to replace actual editors with a run through spell-check. And it shows. It really, really shows.

But does anyone aside from curmudgeons like me actually care?

I’ve been reading a novel from a well-known small publisher, and it’s breaking my heart. The story is outstanding. The characters are amazing.

The proofreading is appalling, to the point that it distracts me from the story. Of course the publisher already has my money, so what do they care? Pride in work? What’s that?

At the website of the publisher, who shall remain nameless, there is a job solicitation for proofreaders. The payment? A free copy of the e-book that they edited.

Yes, it all makes sense now.

I both edit and proofread. The last thing I want is a free copy of something that I’ve been laboring to bring to a publishable state–especially with no other compensation forthcoming. Nothing would make me care less about doing a thorough job. Literally nothing. This policy goes a long way toward explaining why shitty production values are such a stereotype in some circles.

This publisher currently has proofreader vacancies. Color me surprised.

A lot of people think “content should be free.” I’ve posted about this before, so I’ll let that poor, dead horse lie. A lot of people–enough people to support cheapshit bottom-of-the-barrel ebook production–apparently don’t mind a crap product if it’s cheap. Cheez Whiz for your brain.

I wonder how long before a computer can generate a novel that is sufficiently readable, and no one will pay authors at all?

Considering my knack for entering a profession just as it’s winking out, I’d imagine it won’t be long.

We get what we’re willing to pay for.

Year’s End Review

Living on the academic calendar, I mark time a little differently. The beginning of my year is in the autumn, and the end is sometime in the middle of summer, when we head off on vacation–because really, how much work does anyone do on vacation?

The past few years have run on a cycle of book proposal in the late spring or summer, followed by 9-12 months of work, culminating in turning in the book the following Spring. This past year I tried something new.

This past year has been The Year of Short Projects. To wit: a novella, two short stories, and an anthology–plus the release of the novel written the previous year.

Available now from Obverse Books
Available now from Obverse Books

This year started out with the release of a short story I did for Obverse Books, called Eliminating the Impossible. The anthology is a collection of alternate-universe Sherlock Holmes stories, and it’s quite unique. All of the stories are really well done, though I’m partial to Kelly Hale, after reading her wonderfully irreverent (and prizewinning!) novel Erasing Sherlock.

 foolsgold_cover  Fool’s Gold was a behemoth of a novel, but it came out quite well, I think. It completed the three-book plot cycle started in The Affair of the Porcelain Dog and continued in Turnbull House. Ira Adler has been such a part of my life for so long, it was difficult to turn this one in. I’ll definitely be doing some shorter work with him, though.

After that, I wanted to do something light, hence, The Strange Case of the Big Sur Benefactor, which is so light it’s almost slapstick. It was huge fun to write, and I hope is fun to read as well. bigsurcover1

MCBQuarterlyVol2-2x3  On July 30, my short story About A Dog will be coming out in volume 2 of the MCB Quarterly. It’s another Amy Archer story, and is not only about a dog, but also about the tunnels under Los Angeles and the legends of the things that live down there.

Finally, what I like to think of as The Haunted Anthology, Death and a Cup of Tea is slated for release on August 1. It’s a terrific anthology–one of our best, IMO, but the production was beset by so many problems–staff disagreements, technical troubles, and more–that part of me thinks it must have been cursed from the outset. Please buy a copy and help to lift the curse! And for your help, you will receive a $3.00 discount for pre-ordering.  Cover Leial Death and a Cup 8-17-14 copy

Right now, I’m working on what started out as another short project set in London in 1889. It was meant to be a bit of fun, but it’s taken a dark, gothic turn, as well as deciding that it needs to be a bit longer. Ah, characters. Why can’t they do what we tell them? It may be time to send them to what my writing group calls Pesky Character Camp while I head off to Lovecraft Country for a few weeks.

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