Finally Back in the UK

I’m back with a vengeance, people. Here’s how it’s going down.


Starting tomorrow (because I started drinking on the plane home), I am doing a proper launch of CanonAuties. This means regular updates on all of the canonical autistic characters out there.


So, I stopped posting to YouTube because my editing software broke and I got chubby. But no more! I am going to re-record my review of On the Edge of Gone and upload it in the next week, and then I plan to vlog all throughout August, so subscribe for that goodness here.

Twitter and Facebook

I’ve really been neglecting my followers on those platforms, but no more. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook for regular updates.

The Hunt Rewrite

I’m rewriting the first Freya Snow book. I’m not doing anything too drastic, I’m just hoping to clean it up a little. I’m posting (unedited) chapters on Wattpad and Tumblr when I finish them. This will probably precede a rebranding of the series (keep an eye out for new covers).

The Summer Write-a-thon

Still going, but I’ve added a spin-off mermaid romance (between Freya Snow books 6 and 7). So now I’m halfway through book 5 of 7.

Newsletter Goodies

Are you subscribed to my newsletter? If not, I’ve got to say, there are may be some exclusive goodies/early releases/sales coming up in the next couple of months that you’ll want to be a part of.

The Call for Street Team Members

What’s a street team? It’s my collective of beta readers/reviewers. They get my books early and for free. If you’re a fan of the series, it’s the best place to be. Right now, Freya Snow beta readers can read the next three books in the series, and Lady Ruth beta readers can read the whole trilogy. All I ask is that you tell me if you spot any mistakes. Reviewers will get these books as soon as they’re done with the beta readers (again, early and for free) in exchange for short, honest reviews when the books release.

If you want to join the street team, contact me through any social media platform (Tumblr, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, etc.) or send an email to *

*While anyone can join the advanced review team for Lady Ruth, for Freya Snow, the first book is available for free on all major ebook retailers, so potential reviewers must first leave a review on the Amazon US page of the first book to show that they’re serious about it (anyone who has left a review will be able to join the review team, I’m not judging the review on anything other than it actually being there).

Freya Snow

Freya Snow Book 4: Oracle – Sneak Peek

So, I’ve been busy recently with some stuff, which means that writing has been a bit on the slow side.

Any of you who have finished the third Freya Snow by now might have noticed the fact that the usual sneak peek of the next book was missing. This was thanks to the writing of the book being so behind that the section I had planned for the sneak peek hadn’t been looked over yet. But now it has been, so I thought now would be a good time to give you guys that look at the next book:

The taxi took them to another glass building, even larger and more impressive than the hotel had been. Freya felt her hands go clammy and tried to inconspicuously wipe them off on her dress. Anna turned to look at her just as she did so, giving her a withering glare.

Freya shrivelled up in response as Anna gracefully moved out of the car. Freya followed her after just a moment, feeling clumsy as she struggled to get out without flashing her knickers to the street.

Anna strode into the building and Freya hurried to catch up with her. By the time she reached the other woman, Anna was already at the front desk, retrieving a plastic card that said GUEST, along with a lanyard, from the receptionist.

“Here,” she said, passing it to Freya before striding off again.

Freya quickly pulled it over her head, causing her to stumble a little as she tried to keep up with Anna’s pace. Thankfully, it gave her little chance to glance around, since every time she did catch a glimpse of something, it intimidated her. From the fanciest printers she had ever seen, to the clearly designer clothing a lot of the employees were wearing, everything seemed to scream to Freya that she didn’t belong there.

Anna took her to a lift before hitting the button for the top floor.

Freya focused on the buttons in front of her, since there was a glass pane behind her, gradually revealing the city as they rose. Freya had never been all that bothered by heights, but there were heights and then there were heights.

Thankfully, the lift was fairly swift, and she stepped off before she started to feel too nauseous.

There was a single black door in front of them, standing stark against the pristine white walls.

“The boss is waiting for you through there,” Anna told her before stepping back into the lift, the doors swiftly closing behind her.

Freya turned back to face the black door, goosebumps rising as the silence of the corridor roared in her ears.

After several moments of clenching and unclenching her fists in anxious thought, she finally knocked on the door.

The knock was barely audible, even to Freya’s ears, and she silently reprimanded herself for getting so worked up over a door when she regularly faced down Demons.

“Come in,” a voice called, despite Freya’s pathetic knock.

Freya opened the door, her clammy hand slipping a little on the metal handle and leaving an obvious hand-print that made her self-conscious.

Beyond the door was a room that was almost blinding. The walls, the floor, the desk, the chairs and the computer on the desk were all an immaculate shade of pure white.

Except for one wall – which wasn’t a wall, but a large window showing the whole city beyond – and the woman standing in front of it, her back to Freya.

The woman’s dress and heels were white, but her hair was jet black, cut to her jawline.

“I- I’m Freya,” Freya eventually managed, wondering if that was the right thing to say. “Anna said you wanted to see me?”

The boss turned to finally look at her, revealing that she was a Japanese woman who was maybe in her thirties.

“Of course,” the woman said before indicating to the chair in front of the desk. “Have a seat.”

Freya sat down jut as the woman did the same on the other side of the desk, before pushing a mug forward, towards Freya.

“Here, have some coffee.”

“Thank you,” Freya said, taking the mug. She sipped at the drink, finding it hot, but not enough to burn her, with just the right amount of milk.

“I suppose you’re wondering just who I am and why you’re here?” the woman asked.

Freya nodded.

“I have gone by many names. Destiny, Lady Luck, Fate… Any belief in a force controlling the circumstances around a person come back to me.”

Freya blinked at that. She shouldn’t be so surprised, she knew – this wasn’t her first time meeting one of the Big Three, after all – but she certainly hadn’t been expecting to meet Fate herself.

“As to why you’re here,” Fate continued, “I have a matter that needs to be taken care of and it’s outside the expertise of my Oracles. I thought another Angel would be best suited to the task.”

“What is it you need me to take care of?”

Fate leaned back in her chair a little, her perfectly neutral mask slipping just a little to show a weariness that Freya wouldn’t have thought possible from her before that moment. “One of my Oracles has gone missing,” she explained. “My niece, as a matter of fact. I believe the two of you are acquainted.”

Freya frowned. She didn’t know any Oracles, just a few Seers, like-

Freya could have smacked herself as she realised why her best friend’s magic had always felt like her own.

“Alice. Alice is the Oracle that’s missing.”

Fate nodded.

“But how can she be an Oracle? She’s only a little older than me. Not old enough to have been born before Hope scarred the Earth.”

“You are not the only one born through a loophole in your grandmother’s spell,” Fate explained. “My sister, another Oracle, was tricked into believing that the spell meant that she could never bear children. She agreed to a spell that she believed would grant her an ability she already had, but instead it ensured that another Oracle could be born. One magic traded for another.”

Freya frowned. “Who would trick her like that?”

“Fae. They saw a way to interfere with my plans and they took it. Anything to get back at the Creator, and those who serve Her.”

“So, Alice is missing?”

Fate nodded. “She disappeared a week ago and no one has been able to track her down. I thought, between your bond with her and your unique skill-set, you would have a better chance of finding her and bringing her back safely.”

“Do you think it’s the Fae again?”

“I uncovered that rock personally, and found nothing. I doubt they are involved.”

“Do you have any leads?”

“You’ll have to ask Anna. She was the Oracle in charge of finding Alice before I decided to bring you in, and she was the last one to see her.”

Freya nodded.

“You will, of course, be compensated for your time on this job. You’ll find the sum I provide far more satisfying than the paltry amount you make from bounties. After all, I often have need of someone with your unique talents.”

Freya frowned as something occurred to her. “What if I wanted something other than money?”

“Name your price.”

“My memories. From the week last year when the balance of magic in the city was upset. After I altered everyone’s memories, Alice still knew what had happened. Could you give me back my original memories from that week?”

“I could, but I won’t.”

“Why not?”

“Because spells of that magnitude require sacrifice. You proceeded with the spell, knowing full well that you would lose important things if you did so. You deemed it worth the cost. If I returned your memories to you now, it would invalidate that sacrifice, and the spell. People would start to remember.”

“But I’m not sure it was worth it. Can you tell me that much at least?”

“No. I simply do not know if it was worth it, Freya. Not to you. Only you could ever know that, and only if you held your memories once more. All I know is that, in the moment when you cast the spell, you thought it was. You’ll just have to trust yourself to have made the right decision.”

Freya nodded reluctantly, but Fate’s words did nothing to settle her unease about the situation.

“Do you have anything else to tell me?”

“No, that’s everything I know. You’ll have to talk to Anna if you want to learn more.”

Freya nodded before leaving the room.

Writing Autistic

Writing Autistic – Bad Resource Red Flags (Through the Looking Glass)

So, I’m doing a thing this summer. In September/October, I’ll be (probably?) starting down my postgrad path. Fun for me, but it will probably leave little time for writing. So, I’m trying to get all of the Freya Snow books until next summer written now.

It’s actually been going pretty well. I’m should have the fifth book finished by the end of the week, meaning that all of 2016’s books will have been written.

The thing about book five is that it largely centres around Sarah, a character who briefly appeared in the third book. This meant a whole lot of research since, as people who have read the third book probably remember, she’s Deaf.

So I went about collecting resources so that I could be as well-read as possible on the subject, but I realised about half way through the process that I was filtering the resources based on my own knowledge of resources for writing autistic characters. Many of the red flags were the same, and I imagine they remain consistent regardless of which disability you’re trying to write.

But it occurred to me that people might be reading the bad resources in good faith, simply because they don’t know what makes a good or bad resource.

So, here are my tips for avoid bad resources.

Not Written By an Autistic Person

Seriously, this one’s important. If you’re looking for writing resources specifically, you will come across a lot of writing blogs that were asked about writing autistic characters.

If their response is to put together a masterpost of other resources, then that’s fine. You can judge each of those resources on their own merits.

However, I’ve seen a lot of responses that are “Well, I don’t have X disability, but here are a bunch of stereotypes and technical advice on how to adhere to these stereotypes in your writing”. If they start with “I don’t have autism” and then attempt to give advice on writing autistic characters regardless, my advice is to run. Run far away. They will be perpetuating things that they have picked up through reading popular but deeply offensive works. *Cough*TheCuriousIncidentoftheDogintheNighttime*Cough*

No, Seriously, Even if they Know an Autistic Person or are the Parent of an Autistic Person

Look, the parental posts are usually well-meaning. Often parents get frustrated at being unable to find books for their kids with people like them in them, so they write blog posts for writers to help them understand their child.

And there are some really good parent blogs out there. But for every good one, there are a thousand terrible ones. And if you haven’t grown up with a disability, it can be difficult to tell the difference between the two. There is a very specific way parents of disabled children sometimes talk that looks sweet and well-meaning from the outside, but is actually incredibly icky and awkward for their child. It’s a weird self-congratulatory way of talking about how they “deal” with their child’s disability that often seeks to erase the disability as an important part of their life.

If you haven’t experienced it, you probably can’t tell the difference, so don’t rely on being able to. Just set the resource aside and move on.

To Be Treated With Caution: “I’m Autistic, but I am Not Part of and Don’t Agree With the Community at Large” or “I’m Autistic and Hate my Autism”

Look, there are people out their who hate the fact that they have autism. Who would take a cure tomorrow if you presented them with one. I’m not going to pretend that that’s not true.

But any allistic writer should stay a million miles away from that narrative. Seriously, just stay far far away from it.

The thing is, any outsider writing a minority character who has issues with self-loathing will always come across as loathing that minority themselves.

It all ties into the idea that you can write about minority characters, but you cannot write about the experience of belonging to a minority that you’re not a part of.

So resources where the autistic writer disparages the autistic community or disagrees with autistic pride should be taken with a grain of salt, and definitely should only be a minor fraction of your list of resources.

They can be informative, I am in no way denying that. They can often have a lot of useful information about the exact difficulties people with autism face in the world without sugar coating, but you are very likely to pick up some things they’ve said that are heavily tinged with internalised ableism. On the page, it will just look like you are being ableist.

If you want a safe starting point, here’s one list of resources that should all be fine.

Further Reading: Common Signs that an Autism Resource is Bad (for general resources, not writing specific ones)

Aspects Writer's Sketchbook

Writer’s Sketchbook – Love/Hate

So, I'm tired and stressed, but I'm still making an effort to keep up with my drawing. As always, I know it's crap and this is more about improving while holding myself accountable to you guys.

Anyway, I decided I wanted to draw happy girlfriends, which means characters from a series that's not coming until next year (because no spoilers for Freya Snow). So, I decided to draw Claire and Hate from the Aspects series.

Technically, I have the first Aspects book written and ready to go, but I don't want to be known as only a YA author, so it's on hold until after Lady Ruth and The Almosts are out, and the Phoenix Saga is well under way.

But, since it's written, I thought I would share a scene. Technically, my drawing isn't of any specific scene because I got their dates mixed up with another talk over coffee that Claire has with a different character, but this is close enough:

Claire tried not to think about the fact that Lindsay wasn’t speaking to her as she concentrated on her striking drills. Lindsay was still struggling with what had happened a few days before and Claire knew that her presence was just a reminder. It still hurt, though.

“I think that’s enough for today,” her instructor said to them, and Claire was less than thankful for the reprieve. In truth, the monsters had rattled her as well.

She turned, only to see Hate standing in the doorway as everyone left. Her mask was noticeably absent and Claire wondered if the masks allowed them to move around the city freely while not fighting. She’d never really thought about what the Aspects did in their free time, besides give occasional interviews to trashy magazines. (Not that Claire read such things… At least, not much…)

Hate was wearing tight black jeans, with the same boots as last time, and a red tank top with a black leather jacket over it. Claire could feel heat rising to her face as she tucked a few loose strands of hair behind her ear.

“Hey,” she greeted, trying not to be shy.

“Hey,” Hate replied, smiling a little.

“Checking up on me, Hate?”

Her eyes darted a little. “You probably shouldn’t be calling me that in public.”

“Then what should I call you?”

That stopped her dead in her tracks. “Oh, um… Huh. You know, I’ve never had to give a name before.”

“Well, what was your name before you became an Aspect?”

Hate’s gaze dropped a little. “We’re not really supposed to use our old names anymore…”

“Well, I have to call you something,” Claire figured.

“I guess just stick with Hate and… I don’t know… Try to keep it quiet?”

Claire nodded. “So, are you just here to check on me?”

“I… Well, kind of,” Hate admitted with a sheepish smile. “I was actually… I was wondering if you liked coffee.”

Claire frowned, a little confused by the question. “Just in general or…?”

“With me, specifically. I mean, I was wondering if you wanted to go. With me. For coffee.”

“Now?” Claire asked.

“Well, I mean… If you’re free.”

“Give me five minutes to shower?” Claire asked, cursing a little as the words left her mouth. She knew she was going to need more than five minutes. Her fine motor skills meant that she took a little longer than most to get clothes on and off. She hoped that there was still some of that dry shower left in the can in her locker.

“Of course,” Hate replied.

Claire hurried to the locker room, thankful to find a half-full can of dry shower. She sprayed herself vigorously before throwing her light grey zipper hoodie over her sports bra.

“Ready to go?” Hate asked as she arrived.

“Yeah,” Claire told her as they headed out of the community centre.

“So, you’re deadly with a make-shift spear and you spend your after-school hours practising Baguazhang? And here I thought my combat skills were impressive.”

Claire shrugged, folding her arms with embarrassment. “I’m pretty sure that throwing that ice pole was a fluke.”

“Then what’s the story behind the Baguazhang?”

“Don’t I get a question now?” Claire asked, in an effort to change the subject as they walked through the park, towards the high street.

“Technically, I’ve only asked the one, but okay.”

“What combat skills do you have?”

“All of the Aspects learn Krav Maga to help us in battle.”

Claire frowned. “And that actually helps against monsters?”

Hate sighed. “All you’ve seen is the Dragon. The Aspects learnt their lesson after the Death Flora.”

“Death Flora?”

“Yeah. It’s got this flower thing on top which gives off mind-control spores. Rena and Half-Bloods are immune but Humans go feral and start attacking everything. But usually we then specialise in a weapon as well for dealing with the rest of the monsters. I like my unggeom. My hate manifests as this sort of electricity, though I guess you saw that last week, and I can channel it through the blade.”

“But you didn’t have it last week?”

She sighed. “I didn’t think I’d need it. So close to Love’s death… my hatred for the monsters should have been at an all-time high…”

“I’m sorry,” Claire said. Death was always a touchy subject, she knew.

Hate shrugged. “It’s fine. So, my turn with a question. Isn’t St. Cecilia’s an arts academy?”

Claire nodded, making a hum of agreement.

“So, why do you go there? What’s your art?”

“Technically that’s two questions.”

Hate raised an eyebrow and Claire couldn’t help but smile.

“Okay, fine,” she conceded. “I’m a ballet dancer.”

“A bad-ass ballerina? I can’t say that I expected that.”

Claire shrugged. “So, what do you do for fun? Or do you just brood?”

Hate let out a bark of laughter. “I swear, I don’t brood that much. Just enough to keep my power level up.”

“Your power level?”

“Yeah. I am the literal embodiment of Hate, so my power works better when I hate stuff.”

“Like what?”

She shrugged. “When I was younger, I used myself as a target a lot. Then Empathy practically pleaded with me to stop a couple of years ago. Now I just fixate on small annoyances. Currently, I hate the local burger place for not selling mozzarella sticks all of the time.”

“That I can definitely get behind,” Claire told her. “But then, I’ve been told that I’m a cynical person, so I guess hating things just comes naturally.”

Hate grinned at that, though it faded after a moment and she looked a little sheepish. “In all honestly… I’m not even supposed to be here. We’re supposed to avoid our opposite emotion and, well, for me that means not going on anything resembling a…”

“A date?” Claire asked, realising where she was going.

“I wasn’t going to use the word,” Hate said, sheepishly. “I was trying to be all cool and casual.”

Claire couldn’t help but grin. “Says the girl who is breaking all of the rules to be here with me.”

“I know, I just… I didn’t want to come across as… creepy, I guess…”

“Says the girl who tracked me down without so much as a name to go by.”

“You’re not helping!” Hate protested with a groan.

Claire grin widened as she twirled in front of Hate and gave her just the barest of pecks, barely brushing her lips.

Hate’s face was going a dark pink as Claire pulled away.

“I was really hoping that we would meet again,” Claire told her, more than a little surprised by her own confidence, though the way her heart seemed to be tugging itself out her chest to get to the girl in front of her might have contributed.

“I… We should definitely do that again,” Hate told her. “And again. And again.”

“Coffee first,” Claire told her, moving back to her side. “I haven’t slept all week.”

“You having nightmares from the fight?” Hate asked and Claire couldn’t help but be touched by the concern in her voice.

“No, actually. My friend isn’t doing so well, though, and I’m worried about her. The stress is causing insomnia.”

“That sucks.”

Claire shrugged. “I’m used to it. I can’t sleep if they so much as change the lunch menu to food I don’t like. Just one of the annoying side effects of being Autistic.”

She waited with slightly baited breath. Some people reacted negatively to the A-word. Some people just pitied her or told her “Oh! My ex-boyfriend had a brother with autism!” before spewing out a bunch of misinformation, some of which was quite hurtful.

“Tell me about it,” Hate gushed. “I have this really annoying habit of going into hyperfocus in the evening. No sleep for me.”

“Wait, you’re…”

“ADHD,” Hate clarified.

Claire grinned. “Fist-bump for neuro-cousins!”

Hate joined in with the gesture, sporting a grin of her own as they entered the coffee shop. Claire had been letting Hate steer her and was glad that she had picked her favourite place.

“So, what do you do for fun?” Claire asked as they waited in line. “You didn’t say before.”

“Oh, I’m pretty good with oil pastels,” she replied, ducking her head a little sheepishly. “That’s usually what sends me into hyperfocus.”


“So, what do you do outside of classes?”

Claire shrugged. “I mostly watch TV and mess about online.”

“Oh yeah? What shows do you watch?”

Claire twisted her hair in her hand, sheepishly. “I’ve been watching that ice dancing reality show recently.”

“Is that why you were at the ice rink?”

“No, that was just a school trip. A reward for not getting detention all year.”

Hate snorted. “I’m pretty sure if I had to go to school, I would be in detention all of the time.”

“I’ll admit, there were a couple of close calls.”

“How’d you get out of them?”

“Lying, mostly.”

Hate smirked as she reached the front of the queue. “Hazelnut latte with whipped cream, please,” she said before turning to Claire. “What do you want?”

“Filter coffee, please.”


Claire shrugged. “I’ll put milk in it to cool it down first.”

Claire reached into her pocket to bring out her card, but Hate waved her hand away.

“The best thing about fighting monsters without choice is that the government covers your expenses.”

Claire frowned but nodded, putting her card back. “Fine, but I’ll get the next one.”

“Okay. I assume you must not be hurting for cash if you go to St. Cecilia’s.”

Claire’s gaze dropped to the floor as she shrugged. “I… Yeah. I get an allowance until I’m eighteen.”

Claire was glad for the distraction of their coffees arriving She followed Hate to go and sit in the corner booth, more than happy to sit with their knees just barely touching as they got to know each other.

Freya Snow Writer's Sketchbook

Writer’s Sketchbook – Mel and the Dragon

Another day, another drawing. Only this time I scanned the pencil drawing, as well as the pen outline. I also then coloured it with copic markers and digitally.

This time it’s a drawing of the Mel vs. the dragon scene from WHITE, the second Freya Snow book.



Scan_20160504 (2)

Dragon Digital

Lady Ruth Writer's Sketchbook

Writer’s Sketchbook – Ivy

I am making an effort to be good at art!

Why? Because I am good at everything, and therefore cannot deal with being only slightly good at something. I figure I can either get pouty about it, or I can make an effort to do a little bit every day and improve like the rest of the world.

A demovtivational poster of the Pharoah from Yu-Gi-Oh pouting, with the caption
The Pharaoh is trying to convince me to go the other way, however.

So, here is me, being a little less terrible than I was yesterday. Smell that? That’s me bettering myself like a motherflippin’ champion.

I’m doing a lot of fanart as well, but I’m keeping that to myself, so you guys just get character sketches and stuff from my own work.

So, if you’ve been reading Lady Ruth and wondered what Ivy looked like, now you know.

Lady Ruth

Looking for Beta Readers – The Lady Ruth Constance Chapelstone Chronicles

So, I’ve finally finished writing this trilogy of steampunk novellas. They still need a little editing from me, but once that’s done, I will need a handful of beta readers to give it a look for me.

Obviously, with the main character being ace/aro and me being not, any ace/aro betas would be awesome, to make sure I haven’t messed it up.

So, if you want to be a beta reader for Lady Ruth, just email me at

The email doesn’t have to be extensive. Just “Hey, I’ll beta,” and then I’ll ask how you want to read the books and we’ll go from there.

The Phoenix Saga

The Phoenix Saga – Evaluation of Katherine Fisher and Rosa Cruz for Mutant/Non-Mutant Combat Trials -Transcript

Commander Fiona Fisher: Whoever thought it would be a good idea to pair my sister up with Cruz needs to be shot in the head.

Admiral Gerald Healey: Please bear in mind that this is for the record, Commander.

FF: [Sigh] Do you disagree?

GH: About shooting someone for incompetence?

FF: So you agree that was an incompetent decision?

GH: They completed their objective.

FF: My sister got shot.

GH: She’ll heal.

FF: That’s not the point. She and Cruz bring out the worst in each other. They stop taking things seriously and they start getting reckless.

GH: Your sister is more comfortable with Cruz than anyone else, which means that she has better control of her powers. You and I both know that she has a tendency to lose that control. One more incident and those calling for her indefinite confinement might have their ammunition.

FF: She’s more comfortable with Cruz because they’re both autistic. Are you seriously telling me that there’s not another autistic soldier you can pair her with?

GH: None that she already knows and trusts. Your sister has a hard time letting her barriers down with anyone, regardless of neurotype.

FF: What about me?

GH: I believe the last time we spoke about this, your exact words were “I don’t want to spend the rest of my life being her goddamn babysitter.”

FF: Well, yeah, but if it comes down to me or Cruz, I don’t trust Cruz to keep her reigned in.

GH: Maybe she doesn’t need to be reigned in.

FF: Again, she got shot.

GH: And how many times have you been shot? Three, at my last count.

FF: That’s not the point. They couldn’t have been avoided, this could have.

GH: Look, Fisher, I get it. She’s your little sister and she’s autistic and she never would have signed up if she hadn’t developed powers. But she’s a grown woman who can make her own choices. Her own assessment of the situation is that the mission went as well as it could have, and I’m inclined to believe her. We asked them both if they wanted to stay together, and they said yes.

FF: But this evaluation could override their wants.

GH: It could, but I think they make an efficient and creative team. Given your sister’s technical aspirations before her powers emerged, and Cruz’s natural inclination towards stealth, the two of them have almost every base covered.

[Extended pause]

FF: What about Intelligence? Weren’t they waiting to snap up Cruz?

GH: They were, until the Judge Advocate General had a word with them.

FF: Her mother put them off?

GH: It seems that way.

FF: So, if Intelligence were to want her again?

GH: They would have the ability to recruit her out of the mutant/non-mutant program, if she agreed. In that situation, I wouldn’t demote you into the program. There are a few other mutants I’m having problems pairing up, so I would place her in a larger team with them. Not that it matters; Cruz is never going to let her daughter join Intelligence.

FF: Maybe. Maybe not.

[Door swoosh]

GH: [Sigh] There’s no way this ends well…

AN: So, hey. I’m working on a new sci-fi series called The Phoenix Saga. It’s got everything. There are mutants, aliens, genetic engineering, cloning, love across enemy lines, space cops… It’s got a lot going on. So I thought, while I was working on it, I’d give you guys a quick look at a couple of characters that we’ll meet in the prequel novella (which doesn’t have a name yet, but I’m working on it).

The prequel novella and first book will be launched at the same time (though I might post some of the prequel novella here periodically before the launch), which will hopefully be in autumn, but definitely before the end of the year.

Keep checking back here or on Tumblr (@lcmawson) to keep up to date with more sneak peeks, concept art, cover reveals and launch details.


100 Followers Giveaway

In order to celebrate reaching 100 followers on Tumblr (for my author blog, at least), I’ve decided to do a giveaway. There are ten copies of the Freya Snow Pup Trilogy (Books 1-3) to win.

And, yes, that does mean that the winners will have Wings (Book Three) a month before anyone else (with the exception of advanced reviewers who get it this month).

The only requirement is that you follow me on Tumblr. And, yes, that does include new followers as well as the original 100.

Good luck!

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Writing Autistic

Writing Autistic – Disability as Metaphor

It has taken me a long-ass time to pick myself up from the floor – where I lay groaning, having given up on TV forever – and write this post.

It’s 2016. Why is this still a problem?


Seriously, though, disability as a metaphor is just the worst.

“This character was refused to see the consequences of their actions, so now they’re blind. Get it?”

“This character has various physical disabilities as well as extensive facial scarring because they’re evil. Their soul is reflected on the outside. Get it?”

“The character was magically cured of their IRL-incurable disability so that we could have this shot of her literally walking away from someone! Seriously, we spent several episodes actually disabling her and having her learn to adjust to her wheelchair for this shot. Aren’t we so f***ing clever?”

(Sorry, I’m still salty about that last one.)

With autism, it’s usually a metaphor for losing touch with humanity and being overly reliant on computers.

UM, OKAY?!?!

Seriously, though, just stop.

Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop, stop, stop, stop, stop.


Like, let’s just address the first thing, which is how often disabilities are used as a metaphor for how evil/bad someone is.

I had to stop listening to a lot of reviews and discussions around the Force Awakens because a common complaint was “Kylo Ren’s face wasn’t f***ed up when he took off the mask! He’s the bad guy, he should have a f***ed up face.”

We have reached a point of critical mass with this trope where even when film-makers do the right thing and avoid it, most people noticeably miss its absence.

That’s just all kinds of messed up.

Facial scarring is now so synonymous with evil that people are shocked by its absence in fictional baddies.

Do I even have to explain why this is bad?

The next problem is just the use of disabilities as a metaphor is general, even when they’re not a clever punishment or as a reflection of character flaws.

Say, for example, using curing a disability (which is bad to start with) as a way to show the strength of a character in a moment that they creators probably consider feminist, so that they can have a visual metaphor…

(Salt levels still high…)

Look, here’s the long and short of it: disabilities are not metaphors. There is no great reason behind them. They are not a punishment or a reflection of character.

They just are.

Disabled people are just disabled.

Be it because of genetics, an accident, illness…

Being disabled doesn’t tell you anything about me other than I am disabled. It certainly isn’t a metaphor for anything. It’s just a fact.

So, seriously, stop with the painful metaphors. Chances are, they will always be ableist.

And they will always piss me off.