Thursday, July 12, 2018

C-Pop (aka China Pop)

Handsome Youth.... ACrush


Yes I realize Vice questions whether this is "genderless" is progress. To me this visibility/acknowledgment is bigger acceptance of the rainbow that I ever experience in the 6 years I lived there. I truly believe this is as far as they've ever gone and I applaud them!

Not to mention ACrush ROCKS!



Two days ago The Temple of Heaven went live. It's the second book of the Made in China series.




Music is Tian Di’s life and his love, and he’s made plenty of sacrifices. His career is finally taking off with his band, Made in China, and he’ll continue to put music first... until he meets Jordon. Then insta- lust becomes insta-love and a commitment to the future—no matter how difficult it might be. 

Jordon lives in a bubble constructed by his overprotective older brothers, who are so controlling that they’ve kept him from dating. A talented artist, Jordon managed to keep his success with a Japanese manga publisher a secret from his family, but now he fears discovery. It’s easier to let his brothers handle everything, but Jordon has reached his limit. He’s ready to draw some boundaries so he can be his own man and face all the challenges that come with that. 

Their families and careers aren’t the only obstacles. Jordon must accept his identity as a gay man who doesn’t top or bottom. Fortunately, Tian Di—and his special talents—help Jordon open up to his sexuality in an erotic adventure that spans Japan and China, and with love, luck, hard work, and open minds, will end in a happily ever after.




Hugs, Z.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview Questions



Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

I have done both.

In The Great Wall, I share the experiences I had while living in China. It was silly but while I was in edits for this story I got quite homesick for Suzhou. Let me share with you some of the locations Styx and Jin’s story takes place in.

Locations:
Yintang: This is Styx and Jin’s hometown and where I spent a good deal with time. Yintang is not modern, like Shanghai. It has one big shopping center, numerous tiny shops and countless stalls. While I was there they still advertised community TVs because not everyone has their own. Access to the Internet was spotty at best, if you could afford it. Spending some much time here I understood how closeted Styx would be. Gay wasn’t even a possibility in the world of Yintang. The town also helped me understand how Jin needed to leave, and how his work in massage spas helped give him hints that the rest of the world might be different than Yintang.

Suzhou: The band lives in my apartment. (Yes, we were crazy enough to buy there. BTW: When you buy an apartment in China you buy a shell with concrete walls and only a few rooms walled out, pipes, windows and a dirt/cement floor. You need to design and contract everything else. Toilets, sinks, ceiling, walls are added along with walls, appliances, paint, flooring, etc.)

Suzhou is where I spent most of my time while I was living there. So, I know where the farmer’s market is and I know how expensive the Japanese market in comparison. I used to go to the German Restaurant across the street from our apartment weekly. I sat in the pavilion Jin does his Gong Chi in. I would meander through one or more of the eighteen gardens of Suzhou, at least two or three times a week. I even attended a wedding.

Beijing: I rode the night train to Beijing. It’s like trying to sleep during a slow extended earthquake. I was driven down the pothole ridden road to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall (I was bounced so high out of my seat I actually hit my head on the ceiling of the van). The band goes to some of the attractions I visited while touring Beijing.

One of their band members Indigo is from L.A. so he’s the shocked version of me going WTF? Why can’t I get hot water, Internet & cable on the same day? What do you mean they don’t take credit cards? What do you mean there is no LGBTQIA community here?


Have you ever had to put an 'in progress' story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn't know how to proceed?

I wrote The Great Wall while I was living in China. Suzhou’s closet is so deep I didn’t find the only gay friendly club until I had been there for five years. Since I only write happily ever afters I’m not going to lie I struggled trying to find out a way to happiness with The Great Wall that was realistic.  Living there altered the potential and possibilities I saw because the limitations were intense.

An American reader might see the path to their HEA without difficulty but I’ll tell you I sat in my (their) my apartment for hours (crying) unable to plot their happy ending. All my friends who were Chinese married regardless of their orientation and would readily tell me there was no gay in China… that was a Western concept. I racked my brain for several months trying to find a path forward that would be true and possible in Suzhou.

I’m thrilled to report I found a way to give a satisfying happily ever after that would be realistic outcome to Jin and Styx so they could have their true happily ever after.


What's next for you as an author?

I’m working on Club Zombie #3. It’s contains the original scene that blossomed into the sexy zombie plot bunny that evolved into the Club Zombie series. I had to write the first two books to get to the scene that started it all but finally made it to this point!

Then before there was Yuri On Ice there was a YouTube video two of my friends showed me. So, I’ll be working that delicious plot bunny. (A skater and a hot rocker…) I’ve been taking notes on this story for about two and a half years.

And by June, I hope readers will join me for another visit to China.


With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away?  To move past?  To widened our knowledge?  Why do you write?

I write to promote equality. I truly believe we can change hearts and minds with every page we turn/write. I’m grateful readers allow me to share my stories with them.


The Great Wall Blurb:
Destiny will be decided by a battle between heart and mind….

Jun Tai “Styx” Wong loves two things: playing the drums and his best friend, Jin. But being a good Chinese son means he can’t have either—he’ll have to marry a girl of his parents’ choosing and settle into a traditional job. His move to the bigger city of Suzhou is both a blessing and curse, as living with Jin makes it harder for Styx to suppress his desires. Nearly dying while trying to eradicate his feelings serves as a wake-up call for Jin, who takes extreme measures to keep Styx safe from harm.

When given a second chance at life and happiness, will Styx be able to claim the future he wants with Jin, his bandmates, and his music? Can love and hope grow with the constantly looming threat of Styx’s parents ordering him home? Great things await—if Styx finds the courage to break down the wall that stands between him and everything he wants.

BUY LINKS:

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Write a Book To Do List



Write in Scrivener
Put in Word
Kill bad words
Re-read (100x)
Spell Check
Send to critique partners
Do feedback
Re-read (check first lines of chapter)
Check spacing & chapter heads
Write synopsis
Write query letter
Submit to publisher Or Upload to Draft2Digital
Read Contract
Do the various rounds of edits
Make Pintrest page
Update website
Give out ARCs
Do Cover Reveal with The Novel Approach
Update GoodReads
Add book to Novel Rank, QueerInk, Bookbub
Write blogs for Promo Tour
Make Media Package
Begin Next Book... 

Let me know if you think I'm missing something! 
Big hugs, Z.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Temple of Heaven

Buy Links:

This is the story of Jordon Davis. He's lived in my head since 2010. Jordon is Zack & Dusty's younger brother.

The Made in China series came to me as I was sitting in China and I watched this video:

I have already written The Dark Angels... and I just found out about Hyde from X Japan was dead (before I ever found the group). But what if Hyde didn't die... Made in China started to form in my head. I pictured them as they are in their Evolution video (Traditional robes playing traditional instruments then they morph into a hard rocking band).


Li (far left) Bass (The mature one from Shanghai raised by his uncle after his bio family shunned him)
Indigo (next) Keyboards (The American who rails against how things are done in China)
Tian Di (middle) Singer (Focused on his career and doesn't want anything or anyone to get in his way)
Styx (next on the right) Drummer (Impossibly in love with his best friend)
Jin (far right) Guitar (In love with his best friend and will use everything in his power to make it work)


The Temple of Heaven's Blurb:

Music is Tian Di’s life and his love, and he’s made plenty of sacrifices. His career is finally taking off with his band, Made in China, and he’ll continue to put music first... until he meets Jordon. Then insta- lust becomes insta-love and a commitment to the future—no matter how difficult it might be. 

Jordon lives in a bubble constructed by his overprotective older brothers, who are so controlling that they’ve kept him from dating. A talented artist, Jordon managed to keep his success with a Japanese manga publisher a secret from his family, but now he fears discovery. It’s easier to let his brothers handle everything, but Jordon has reached his limit. He’s ready to draw some boundaries so he can be his own man and face all the challenges that come with that. 

Their families and careers aren’t the only obstacles. Jordon must accept his identity as a gay man who doesn’t top or bottom. Fortunately, Tian Di—and his special talents—help Jordon open up to his sexuality in an erotic adventure that spans Japan and China, and with love, luck, hard work, and open minds, will end in a happily ever after.

Buy Links: 




Thursday, June 14, 2018

Made in China #2

The Temple of Heaven's Blurb:

Music is Tian Di’s life and his love, and he’s made plenty of sacrifices. His career is finally taking off with his band, Made in China, and he’ll continue to put music first... until he meets Jordon. Then insta- lust becomes insta-love and a commitment to the future—no matter how difficult it might be. 

Jordon lives in a bubble constructed by his overprotective older brothers, who are so controlling that they’ve kept him from dating. A talented artist, Jordon managed to keep his success with a Japanese manga publisher a secret from his family, but now he fears discovery. It’s easier to let his brothers handle everything, but Jordon has reached his limit. He’s ready to draw some boundaries so he can be his own man and face all the challenges that come with that. 

Their families and careers aren’t the only obstacles. Jordon must accept his identity as a gay man who doesn’t top or bottom. Fortunately, Tian Di—and his special talents—help Jordon open up to his sexuality in an erotic adventure that spans Japan and China, and with love, luck, hard work, and open minds, will end in a happily ever after. 
 BUY LINKS:

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Penis Shaped Food...


 I know it's silly but here's some of my favorites:






You can find the links here:    Penis shaped foods

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Autoerotic Asphyxiation & WTF Does This Have to Do with a Hot Rocker Romance?



Autoerotic asphyxiation can be a dangerous sexual practice especially when alone. It can heighten sexual pleasure, and was once a long-ago treatment for impotence. I read one FBI report that 500 to 1,000 Americans die each year due to breath play gone wrong.

In 2009, I was living in China watching videos of hot rockers on YouKu (Asia’s version of YouTube) when I stumbled upon while X Japan. They had the look of my fledging rocker plot bunnies that had been eating my brain. The talented Yoshiki fascinated me, but the pink haired wild Hideto Matsumoto drew me in.

Within minutes of finding Hideto Matsumoto and giggling at his crazy antics with other band members, I was sobbing. He died with a towel wrapped around his neck attached to his Tokyo apartment’s doorknob.

His death haunted me. I kept asking why? No answers came other than I wished in my heart that things had been different for this lovely man. It broke my heart. I’d lost Hideto Matsumoto before I knew I adored him. Now I will always miss him. The concept hung over me until it worked itself into the story I had been working on: The Great Wall.

Styx Wong is in love with his best friend Jin Lan though he’s so deep in the closet he doesn’t even know there’s a way to get out. (That’s how I found many parts of Asia though that’s changing with Internet access).

To quote a friend from Suzhou: “There is no gay in China. That’s a Western concept.”

Unfortunately, Styx has bought into this idea and his feelings for Jin Lan are more than unacceptable they are simply impossible. He cannot be in love with another man.

Styx’s solution is to take a cocktail of strong medications to help numb and separate himself from this uncontrollable need to be with Jin. In China, you don’t need a script in for medications, you simply go to the pharmacy and buy them.

The side effects cause Styx to seek relief through autoerotic asphyxiation. You can imagine what occurs… but this time I can save him. This time there’s a second chance at life… the only question is will Styx take it? 



Excerpt of The Great Wall:
Darkness encroached.Styx tried to loosen the towel, struggling to remain conscious, but he couldn’t.Before the blackness descended, bitter regret crashed over him. His life would end before he’d lived it, before he explored the connection with Jin.
His pathetic life played out, fingers fumbling uselessly against the stuck dowel.... Maybe Jin might have returned the affection, but now he’d never know.
Anguish rushed to the forefront, and every unseized opportunity mocked his fading existence. He hated that he hadn’t taken any of the opportunities to find a bit of happiness. He would die having buried who he was, who he could have been... who he’d never be.
“No! Please, Styx!”
The screaming drifted to Styx from far away, the familiar voice barely penetrating his disoriented mind. Someone shook him until his teeth rattled. Didn’t the shaker understand he wasn’t one of those colorful cocktails at a bar?
He tried to speak, but nothing came from his dry mouth. Opening his heavy eyelids, he saw Jin peering into his face.
Styx had always wanted Jin, but what was Jin doing there? Not that he minded.
Was this his second chance?
“Styx! Oh no! I don’t know what I’m doing. I only watched the safety movie on how to do this.”
Styx wanted to comfort Jin in his panic, but his body wasn’t working. His eyes slid shut.
The towel had been untwined from his neck, followed by heavy, rhythmic pressure on his chest. Jin touched his face. “I think I’m supposed to do this?” His mouth covered Styx’s.
Oh, Jin’s soft lips pressed against his.The lips were real, not like his wishes and dreams. Styx’s heart raced.
What the fuck? Why was Jin blowing in his mouth? Why didn’t Jin know how to kiss better?
Styx tried to wrap his arm around Jin’s waist, wanting to pull him close. When Jin blew into his mouth again, Styx angled his head, opened his lips, and kissed back. His tongue followed his natural reaction and licked into the mouth of his dreams.
His attempted kisses muffled Jin’s moans, and the floaty, happy sensation evaporated.
“Oh, Styx!” Jin squirmed away.Damn! Styx’s arms flopped to his sides.Jin disappeared and said, “He’s in here.”Styx wanted to make everyone aware he was ne. If only his eyes would stay open. Exhausted and with his head throbbing, maybe he should sleep for a bit?
Before he could, someone lifted him onto a bed and covered his naked body. The bed had wheels, because Styx moved and bumped over the threshold as he exited the apartment. Where was he going?
“I’m right here, Styx.” Jin’s hand clutched his.
Oh, well, it didn’t matter where they were going as long as Jin was with him.
“They’re going to x you, Styx.” Poor Jin still sounded upset.
Styx longed to make Jin feel better, but when he tried to open his eyes, he failed. He twitched his hand.
Jin, as usual, knew exactly what he wanted and locked their hands together.
Yes! Styx squeezed, but Jin’s hand was snatched away from him. No!
Not sure how much time had passed, he woke to Jin’s voice. “We’re headed to the hospital. They’ll make you better.”
He clasped his fist hard to let Jin know he heard him.
“Oh, good. Okay. Everything will be ne. Not letting you go.” Jin’s voice sounded watery. Styx tried to open his eyes again but lacked the energy. “Not letting you leave me, Styx.”
He wanted to tell Jin he would never willingly part from him, but he was dragged back to the peaceful dark.

BUY LINKS:



The Great Wall Blurb:
Destiny will be decided by a battle between heart and mind….

Jun Tai “Styx” Wong loves two things: playing the drums and his best friend, Jin. But being a good Chinese son means he can’t have either—he’ll have to marry a girl of his parents’ choosing and settle into a traditional job. His move to the bigger city of Suzhou is both a blessing and curse, as living with Jin makes it harder for Styx to suppress his desires. Nearly dying while trying to eradicate his feelings serves as a wake-up call for Jin, who takes extreme measures to keep Styx safe from harm.

When given a second chance at life and happiness, will Styx be able to claim the future he wants with Jin, his bandmates, and his music? Can love and hope grow with the constantly looming threat of Styx’s parents ordering him home? Great things await—if Styx finds the courage to break down the wall that stands between him and everything he wants.

BUY LINKS: