OPEN INK PERSPECTIVES

On Romance and Pre-Existing Conditions by Cat Sebastian

I know I’m not the only one watching in horror as millions of Americans stand to lose their healthcare. Pretty much everyone I know has some kind of pre-existing condition that could disqualify them from insurance coverage under the bill that recently passed the House. One of the unsettling aspects of this discussion is the term “pre-existing condition” because it presumes that there is such a thing as a human body that exists in a state of perpetual health, and that health care should only extend to those already-healthy bodies….

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“Real” life vs. “book” life by Daria Defore

Maintaining a balance between writing and socializing is one of those things that I find infinitely challenging. I’ve certainly been known to set aside a whole day for writing and then, because I have the whole day, after all, not start writing until night. Those of you who have done this know that those misspent hours are never productive. Most likely, you spent them experiencing varieties of guilt, browsing Twitter, and allowing yourself “just one episode” of That TV Show. Like many writers, I work a day job. But I…

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When Bad Things Happen to Good Characters by Annabeth Albert

There’s a trend right now towards low-angst stories where the greatest hurdle a couple faces is getting out of the way of their own feelings. And these stories are great—I have a number of them on my keeper shelf and sometimes it’s exactly what I’m in the mood to read.  It’s one of the cornerstones of what a romance should be—escapism and good feelings.  After all, real life, especially these days, is hard and uncertain and filled with tense emotions. And we all know all too well that sometimes horrible…

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Writing Your Way Out by Heidi Cullinan

Writers are often encouraged to write what they know, and this generally elicits passionate response, sometimes in defense of the maxim, sometimes against. I’ve always come down in the middle, writing from my experience most definitely, but always with a twist, because being direct too often results in something slightly misshapen, or dough too hot to touch. I’ll parse myself across seven or eight characters, giving one this memory, the other that odd tic, the next that professor from college. I always say the character most like me is a…

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Nonconforming Gender Expectations by Anna Zabo

I don’t like gender boxes. Maybe it’s because I’m non-binary and personally dislike having to act one way or another, but I don’t think so. I tend to see people as wholes, as totalities. Whatever gender they are, that shouldn’t affect how they act or dress or behave. It can, because we do live in a world where gender is coded by behavior and dress, but it shouldn’t. People are far more complex than anything binary. Pink is for boys and blue is for girls. Or is it the other…

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Dialect in Dialogue by Jude Sierra

When I was writing my third novel, Idlewild, I spent a lot of time pondering (agonizing) over speech patterns in dialogue for my characters. This story takes place in downtown Detroit; in it we have Tyler, a young, genderqueer black man coming out of college and into adulthood who grew up in the city. We also have Asher, a sort-of middle aged (I am struggling to reconcile 33 as middle aged, if only so I can avoid being called so myself, ha!) Jewish man from the suburbs who has become…

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Tempted by the Plot of Another by Nicole Kimberling

For those of you who do not know me, I am an editor. Traditionally, I am that person who reads your manuscript and then complains about the number of times you use the word, “look,” when you could have used a stronger verb. For a while, I thought policing vocabulary was enough. Sure, some parts of some manuscripts disturbed me, some characters seemed really dumb but I didn’t think much of it. Then I began to see a sinister pattern of abuse emerging within the great flood of fiction. Time…

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Catch the Follow Me Into Darkness Reboot Tour + Exclusive Posts and Giveaway!

If you loved last year’s Mardi Gras release, Follow Me Into Darkness, you’ll love it EVEN MORE this Mardi Gras with a fun reboot tour featuring all new posts and audio from Santino Hassell, J.R. Gray, Roan Parrish, J.C. Lillis, and Kris Ripper + a big giveaway, and a little something more from 2/26 – 3/5 only… Site Post Type When Just Love Reviews Exclusive Audio Excerpt from Touched, read by Roan Parrish + Giveaway 2/25 Booknista Exclusive Excerpt Teaser from If We Be Friends by J.C. Lillis + Giveaway…

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