Let's talk about stories! And art! And being happy as who you are! Come Ask Me Anything.

Nov 15, 2017

Faith in the Moon follows Gael and Jack from 1915 through at least 1974. Being gay wasn't the easiest thing in 1915, even in New York. The story is more slice of life than the traditional format of a novel. It meanders through their love, their family, WWI, Prohibition, The Great Depression, WWII. I even have a comic of when they escaped out to Woodstock, when they were getting up in years. The story is full of love, adventure, and the occasional bit of angst.Please come read about Gael and Jack here: tapas.io/series/The-Moons-Permission

Heart of Magic is new for me. I really wanted to write a story that would make people happy, bring joy into the world. One of the stories I loved the most as a child was the Snow Queen, and this totally isn't that story, but I was thinking about The Snow Queen when I outlined it.  It's going to be a beautiful and sexy story as the love develops between Hadrian and Rose. Please come read about the love between Hadrian and Rose here: tapas.io/episode/870310

And this... well, that's just a mouse in a dandelion because sometimes it's scary to come out and talk to people, but if we want to bring good things to the world, we still have to stick our heads up! Here's my facebook page!  Come hang out anytime!https://www.facebook.com/oursolidhearts/

I haven't been very active on Twitter, but it's clearly a thing I should be doing more of! twitter.com/maxinthestars

We'll talk about my stories, Heart of Magic, and The Moon's Permission. We can talk about what it's like to transition while being a published author. We can talk about a love of manga, watercolor, and pretty much anything do with art.  I used to write under the name Nix Winter, but it's been a while since I was sharing original stories with the world. Come visit with me and we'll talk about how to make the world a good place!So ask me about writing, art, love, being trans, or anything else you like! :) Have a great day!Max

duointherain says:

This AMA will end Nov 17, 2017 7PM EST

duointherain says:

This AMA will end Nov 17, 2017 9PM EST

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Conversation (52)

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Is there such thing as discrimination among authors?

Nov 17, 4:57PM EST0

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Nov 17, 8:57AM EST0

Any advice for young writers?

Nov 17, 12:10AM EST0

Writing is an art form that develops over the course of one's life. There is an Annie Dillard quote that I read when I was young and has always meant a lot to me. She said, and I'm paraphrasing from memory here, but, "Never hold anything back. Don't save anything for later. There will always be more. Put everything you have into the current piece."It's been thirty years and I still find that to be true. So spend a lot of time with the art form you aspire to, accept that you will make things that don't resonate with anyone, that you will feel like it could have been done better. Imperfect work is the blood and bone of work that will come afterward. Quality work requires shiny keys, keys that have been caresses so frequently that they shine, the letters worn under the repeated press of one finger at a time as ideas leave the mind like leaves falling from trees, so that they become the fertile ground of new ideas, new breakthroughs in human experience.  

Nov 17, 1:45AM EST0

Hello J. Just followed you on twitter. I was just wondering, do you have a specific genre of writing stories or sort of mixed type?

Nov 16, 3:33AM EST0

Hi! Thank you for following me.  I should probably do more there. I write pretty mixed genres. I think everything's more fun when it's mixed. All stories get a little romance and love, as that's really a powerful motivation for characters. Then there has to be some action and adventure. Sometimes things are scary. :) 

Nov 16, 3:57AM EST0

Ah yeah, bit scary lol. Anyhow, wish you all the luck!

Nov 16, 4:14AM EST1

Why did you decide to publish books?

Nov 16, 3:26AM EST0

Initially, publishing was just like the flower at the top of the stem of my life. As a child, books were the heart of everything and I never doubted that I would make books.  Now my motivations include liking money, and  wanting to make the world a better place, even if it's just for that one reader sitting with my characters on that rainy night. 

Nov 16, 3:59AM EST0

How much will it cost you to publish a book? Are there any hidden costs?

Nov 16, 2:47AM EST0

I am a firm believer that authors should not pay to publish. Writing should bring you money, not spend it. If someone wants to spend on publishing books, they should be a publisher and publish things that will sell. If someone publishes via Amazon Kindle or Smashwords, something like that, there are skills you need to do the whole package. If you don't have those skills, you'll need to pay someone to make up the parts you can't do. 

Nov 16, 3:12AM EST0

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Nov 15, 1:32PM EST0

Well, most of the reviews I've gotten have been positive and I cherish them. I love hearing that I've touched someone's life, made something better. The ones I didn't much like have always taught me something useful. The worst ones are where they don't say anything, just return the book or vote it down. Then I worry that they had motivations other than wanting to read some nice gay love story. 

Nov 16, 3:13AM EST0

How many books have you written?

Nov 14, 3:54PM EST0

I lost count a long time ago :) 

Nov 16, 3:13AM EST0

What was one of your biggest setbacks, and how did you overcome it?

Nov 14, 1:42PM EST0

There are days when breathing feels like a setback. All setbacks are overcome by just finding a new thread to pull on the knot and keeping going. 

Nov 16, 3:21AM EST0

Which is your favorite work?

Nov 12, 11:09AM EST0

Santa Clarita. :) 

Nov 16, 3:20AM EST0

What kind of stories?

Nov 8, 6:29PM EST0

I write pretty much everything. Tonight I'm working on a horror script.

Nov 16, 3:18AM EST0

Your drawings/arts and your penmanship are lovely. Did you at one point dedicate a time to enhance your natural ability through training or practice?  

Nov 8, 4:20AM EST0

Thank you so much! :) When I was young, penmanship practice was part of school, was something everyone did. As for art, I don't think I have much natural talent. That's pretty much all stubbornness. 

Nov 16, 3:19AM EST0

How many books have you sold?

Nov 3, 12:12PM EDT0

The answer to that will always be one less than I need to :) 

Nov 16, 3:19AM EST0

Where are you from?

Oct 31, 8:54PM EDT0

I call Seattle home, but I only moved here in 2003. I was born in North Africa (My dad was in the US Air Force).  I've lived in California, Montana, Colorado, Hawaii, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania, but Washington is home. 

Nov 2, 2:48AM EDT0

What advice would you give to a writer just starting out in the industry?

Oct 30, 10:06AM EDT0

People always say to have a thick skin, but that can be like trying to read braille with gloves on. You have to both be able to be resilient in the face of negativity and use it to be better, to thrive. Fear can ruin everything, but so can hubris.

Nov 2, 2:50AM EDT0

Has your transition affected book sales?

Oct 29, 4:14AM EDT0

Um.  That's more complicated than one might think. I took quite a while off, starting before transition until really recently. That haitus took down my book sales like a tsunami takes out sand castles. I pulled back from all my publishers and pulled all my self-published work. On the other side of that though, without transition, I wouldn't have the firmness of self to be here talking to you today.  In order to create something, the best something I can create, then share it with other people, even knowing that my best creation is not going to be perfect and some people aren't going to like it, being able to do that takes either a lot of alcohol or a strong sense of self. It's like a castle that the soul lives in, so the storm goes on outside, but the fire is still warm inside. Transition has made being alive possible. It's making writing again possible. So ever sale I have going forward is in some part because of transition. I'm hoping for decent sales and that what I write will bring joy into the world.

Nov 2, 2:57AM EDT0

How old are you

Oct 28, 8:03PM EDT0

I'm 51.

Oct 29, 10:44AM EDT0

Was it difficult to transition as far as your reader base goes?

Oct 28, 3:56PM EDT0

No. All the readers I talk to are all very sweet people, kind and supportive.  Okay, mostly. I did lose a couple of people I thought were friends. One person whom I admired with great strength told me that they'd stop making jokes about transfolk when it was proven to be something medical, something physical like epilepsy. I think that proof is accumulating all the time, but even if it never gets there, there's no good that comes of being mean to someone, of making the core of their life some kind of nasty joke. 

Nov 2, 3:00AM EDT0

What genre do your writings fall under?

Oct 28, 3:18PM EDT0

How long have you been writing?

Oct 28, 3:15PM EDT0

I started writing in 1973. I won my first writing award in 1976 (Okay, I was in 4th grade and it was 3rd place, but still.). I sold my first story around 1990 and my first novel in 2003. I feel like I'm on the verge of being really big any moment and I think people are going to say I came out of NoWHERe!  LIke BAM all of a sudden he was a writer. 

Nov 2, 3:04AM EDT0
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