5 Days To Go! Let’s Fund Crows on Heartstrings!

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WE’RE 85% FUNDED AND NEED ONE MORE PUSH TO GET FUNDED IN THE NEXT FIVE DAYS!

CLICK HERE TO PLEDGE!

We only have FIVE DAYS! We can do this with your help!

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Crows on Heartstrings is a fully illustrated anthology of short stories. We have a little something for everyone, no matter what your gender, sexuality, or color, we have something for you. We are proud to say that we are mostly created by, for and about lgbtqa+ folks. It’s nothing like you’ve ever seen before. We are also comprised of 23 women, and 3 men, so READ WOMEN!

The project is in its last FIVE DAYS on kickstarter and we need all of your support to bring our dream to life! please pledge if you can, and spread the word. thank you for everything, guys. we would not have made it this far without you!

 

Here are some of our contributors:

@aegisdea @aubreymeeksart @pannan-art @sonialiao @maxwickstrom @weatherfox @alisabishop @heavenlyeros @dodtt @spectre-draws @thevioletknight @shutterbones @artofpan

@theconstantvoice

What Crows on Heartstrings NEEDS:

We need FUNDING. We need your pledges to make this a reality. If you can pledge even just five dollars if you can, and tell five friends personally to pledge as well, we can do this! We want to give you the characters you want to read. Please help us make this inclusive book written and illustrated by 23 women, and 3 men, some or most of us LGBT+ writers and artists.  Come on! We can do it!

CLICK HERE TO PLEDGE!

We only have FIVE DAYS! We can do this with your help!

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Doomed Love + CrazyGood International Artists = Bombass Short Story Anthology

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Hey Bloggers! I need to get real with you for a second.

We need more women writing stories.

We need more women being published.

We need more women making art.

We need to see more LGBT and POC characters carrying their own stories and NOT being killed off to further a cisthet white male character’s arc.

We need LGBTQIA+ Stories that are more than reducing characters to their sexualities.

We need to be able to read the characters whenever we want

We need to make all of these demands mainstream and we can do it. I promise you, we can do it. 

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WE NEED YOUR HELP

I curated a book of short stories called Crows on Heartstrings. It’s a book of doomed love stories. The stories aren’t all solely romance though, we include stories from Fantasy, Sci-fi, Period, and Contemporary genres.

We need your help on Kickstarter, so read on and decide if you would like to back us!

We have artists and writers from all over the world, sure, we have some heterosexual romance here, but we focused on being inclusive of ALL types of love.

With Crows on Heartstrings, you can read about:

Love between Asexual witches

A Faery Prince and an Elven Prince whose reason they can’t be together ISN’T that they’re gay and bisexual, respectively

Two ladies who break curses and together and fall deeply and wonderfully in love.

And SO MUCH MORE  ..The stories just keep going on!  We have 13 stories and 2 comics.

Our artists and writers include people you know form tumblr like @pannan-art @maxwickstrom @aegisdea @dodtt @heavenlyeros @artofpan @weatherfox @aubreymeeksart @shadowhimsy @gloriousmonsters @glitzandshadows @alzuna and so many more!

The only thing that we were super stringent about was that all the stories had to be doomed. So your favorite characters are going to suffer. I promise you they will. But the point here is that they will not suffer to be a plot device. Each character is his/her/their own person and we do not sacrifice them for the sake of a heteronormative person. Never. I promise you. The villains in these stories are who they are supposed to be and I am really confident you will love our book.

We need your help. We are a self published book and we need your support

Please check out our kickstarter:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1439936295/crows-on-heartstrings-an-antholgy-of-doomed-love-s

If you pledge to get this book seen, you are telling the mainstream publishers that books like this shouldn’t have to be self published in order to be seen! Please support us, share this, our kickstarter, even if you can’t pledge! We need to share this book with you!

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!

 

LGBT and Female Characters — How Crows on Heartstrings Wants Self Publishing To Change Everything

What is the difference between a female character and a male character in mainstream publishing? Well — that’s easy. The answer should be nothing.

It should be that male and female characters are both treated equally, but it doesn’t happen that way. Male characters are flawed but likeable. They struggle and are strong. Male characters are people. So what about female characters? It seems that today female characters are talked about in one of two ways, they are either the strong female lead or are a Mary Sue. 

The trend now in female characters is that they need to be strong in all aspects, fierce, undeniably unbeatable. Why can’t we see female characters the way we see male characters? Flawed and strong? Why are female characters so extreme? What happened to real women? Are we not interesting enough to make real characters?

But, tip the scale in either direction, and critics will tell you your female lead is obviously inspired by the author and therefore a Mary Sue, OR has no flaws to be seen and is too good at everything, and therefore, a Mary Sue.

What about characters of racial minority? Or LGBT Characters? What happens then?

Well, we simply do not have enough of those.

Why is it so hard to get good female characters, POC characters, and LGBT characters in stories? Does mainstream publishing not think they will sell? If that’s so, then we need to look to self publishers such as Natalia Jaster and J.C. Lillis for help.

Self publishing isn’t the same as it used to be. Sure, you can get some pretty sketchy e-books. A lot of them seem to be just first drafts of novels. But what we need to start doing, is to use self publishing, and fund self publishers, so that main stream publishers know what we want.

Diversity.

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If you agree with me up until this point, I have to share something with you. Crows on Heartstrings is a book of illustrated short stories, all centered around doomed love.

Our writers craft harrowing tales of families torn apart by entities unknown, lovers cursed by fairies, siblings fighting monsters, and more. No type of love is safe from our tragedies. Gay, straight, romantic, familial, friendly, no matter what your shape or color, we have something for you and we are coming for you. We also take our anti-discriminatory viewpoint and stretch it across genres. We have fantasy, sci-fi, supernatural, period, and contemporary pieces.

These aren’t just romances, they’re epic tales of doom. I can’t wait to steal your heart and shatter it a little!

And as if that isn’t enough, we have haunting imagery from only the most talented artists, just to twist the knife. Did you think we were done? Because we even have comics and poems, all doomed.

But it’s better to love and to have lost, isn’t it?

Crows on Heartstrings aims to treat it’s characters as the real, flawed, gritty characters we want.

Our gay characters do more than come out and suffer for it. Our women save the day in the real and complex ways that men do, and our POC characters do not die to enhance the arc of white male leads.

Crows on Heartstrings wants to show the world that stories can be marketable AND diverse.

We need to take what we want.

We need to create a demand for diversity in our books.

We need to write and appreciate characters who thrive or struggle in their own stories without depending on a cisgendered white male lead.

LGBT, Female, and POC characters are NOT plot devices. If you want to see all these things and more in your books and media, you must support small, self publishers where they offer it.

To learn more about Crows on Heartstrings and how you can help, pledge to our Kickstarter !

(article originally published on medium.com)

Book Review: Rifts – C.R. Downing

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 12.11.22I read this book thinking, maybe, I dunno, aliens?  Hmm… This was my first tango with a Science Fiction Thriller. I usually have this problem with aliens or extraterrestrial beings and that is I usually cannot empathize with them. I usually label them away as alien and drop the book or movie and never give it a second thought. It’s a wonder to me that I love Doctor Who so much, though, I guess it’s because the Doctor seems pretty human and if anything, having two hearts makes him more relatable than a human.

Anyway. The reason  I stuck with Rifts was because, well I am a fan of world building and this book has it. Boy! Does it have it.

I don’t want to be too spoilery as always, so here’s a little summary:

“Author C.R. Downing introduces the Clurn, aliens from the planets Narxon and Bafwique. They could care less about eradicating anyone or any species– including mammals or others of their own kind. A history of alien intrigue, genocide, invasion, civil war, and colonization with ending guaranteed to surprise even the most avid mystery lover.”

My favorite part was how engaging it was. Like I said, I have a problem with aliens, but not these guys. Downing offers up an almost interactive form of story telling, with documents to read through and alien language to decode. The story, combined with these elements, pulled me into the conflict, and pushed me forward through the mystery with ease.

Everything in this world feels real, despite being transported to a completely different world, on different planets.

I found the perspective of the main characters compelling. The complexity of creating a non human race with easily relatable qualities was outstanding.  I cannot stress this enough, I didn’t expect to be so drawn to these characters, or the world, for that matter.

I am so glad I picked this one up. I am so glad Rifts opened my eyes to science fiction thrillers and mystery. Rifts pulled me into an entire genre I was missing out on. I only hope that this well crafted novel doesn’t spoil me and put all the other stories in it’s genre to shame for me.

I highly recommend this book. I especially recommend this book if you are into things like Doctor Who.

Follow C.R. Downing on Twitter  

http://www.crdowning.com/

Buy Rifts Here

(PS, How great is this cover art?)