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Renee Stevens


I can't believe it's already time for our December Ask An Author feature! This year just seems to have flown by and now it's almost over. The next Ask An Author will be the start of a new year! If you have a question that you'd like to ask a specific author, but don't want to do the actual asking, then send your question to Dark! I hope you enjoy this edition of Ask An Author, and a big THANK YOU to Dark for continuing to provide these.


Ask an Author #45

Welcome back to another quirky question and answer session with your favorite authors!

In AtA #44, the blog was all about Dayne Mora. Today, we go back to our regular programming. :D

In AtA #45 we hear from authors albertnothlit, Nephylim, Riley Jericho, and skinnydragon.


Today’s first author is no stranger to this blog. Promoted to Promising Author status back in May 2016, Albert has had a busy year filled with stories, moving, and winning a silver medal in 2016’s FAPA President's awards (you may have seen that announcement back in August). Not one but two books were picked up and published by DSP Pulications, an off-shoot of Dreamspinner Press. Check out his website for more info. He’s also publishing a new story here on GA called Life Seed with 36 chapters between January and September. Like much of his other work, Life Seed is sci-fi. Albert writes powerful and intriguing characters in some utterly bizarre and yet fascinating settings. I’m dying – dying! – waiting to find out what new twist is coming up next, but sometimes life gives you a kick in the pants and it takes awhile to recover. Send some warm wishes his way and let’s hope we see Albert back again in the new year.

To albertnothlit: Do you prefer to publish chapter by chapter and see where the story flows in response to readers, or do you complete most or all of a story before posting?

In an ideal world, I usually prefer to have the entire story written out, edited, and proofread, before I publish it. That was the case with the very first stories I published here on GA, and it allowed me time to really look at reader feedback and figure out which things needed attention and which things I had done correctly, having the entire big picture of the completed story. Alas, nowadays I no longer work like that because life has gotten in the way. Since I don't have as much time anymore, what I will do is capture the essence of a story by writing a few chapters on my own before posting for the first time. Then, I will write the story chapter by chapter, as fast as time and my job will allow, while simultaneously working with editors or beta readers to polish chapters before they see the light of day.

I would say both approaches have their strengths and weaknesses. Writing week by week is a great way for new ideas to flourish, and take the story in unexpected directions. I have found that by writing in this way, creativity is maximized because you have so much more time to think about the story, even if it's just on the back of your mind while you're doing other things. I will very often be surprised with the direction the story has taken after having been constantly writing it for more than, say, three months, which is entirely different from simply sitting down and finishing an entire novella or short story in one week. I enjoy both ways of working, but nowadays I write in little batches, read feedback, and carry on!

Another oldtimer (to this blog and to GA) is vampire, fallen angel, and Author Nephylim. At one time, Nephy was a Promising Author and then Signature Author (back then we called them “Hosted” Authors). Like myself and Andy, real life has taken Nephy away from GA more than she might wish. With GA since 2009, Nephy has posted some 50 different stories and poems. She has been an inspiration to many, including myself, and it’s been said by many that she’s as nice in person as she is to chat with online. There were a few meet-ups for those GA authors living or willing to travel in Europe, and Nephylim was one of them, traveling at least twice from her home in Wales. She may not be as active on the site anymore, but we still get her stories! :D She finished posting her latest, My Brother Daniel, just this past summer, and that was quite the ordeal, from the sound of it. Like many of her stories, Daniel, Sara, and Rayn help us readers learn and deal with some tough topics that are not for everyone, but this classy lady makes all the drama and heart-ache worthwhile.

To Nephylim: I know you deal a lot with issues of gender fluidity. Does this stem from your background in anyway? And do you think by having more stories involving people who don't fit the same mold that others are used to seeing, that perhaps they'll gain greater acceptance in the so-called normal world?

I'm absolutely on a crusade to make sure every single young person can find a character to relate to. There are more out there than I thought mostly, I have to say, in young adult/new adult books. My next goal is to get them out of the LGBT niche and into the mainstream. I'm only one person but I think people are beginning to get the message because I've been banging on about it for a long time. I very much hope there are others out there doing the same thing.

My characters are always out of the ordinary in one way or another. Recently I've been writing a lot about mental health issues which is in the realm of personal experience, and I suspect I will continue to have elements of that in my work. I like to worked with flawed characters, to show that not only perfect people deserve their own story and their Happy Ever After.

As for gender fluidity - all I will say is that I have experience of elements of that in my own life. I've never met anyone quite as fluid as Ari, for example, but most of the trans/gender fluid people I know are pretty comfortable in their own skins and therefore easy to be around and to talk to

We were just talking about this guy, not too long ago: Riley Jericho, author of An English Teen, Circumcised in the USA, the longest single story on GA. Although the story is now complete, interest is still strong, as you’ve seen with all the questions for the author. Now we can only wonder what Riley will write for us next!


To Riley Jericho: Regarding An English Teen Circumcised in the U.S.A.: Circumcision, especially of teen boys, is an usual topic. Why did you choose it as the focus of your story?

Lol! Well there certainly hasn't been much competition for the theme, that's for sure! There's a lot of cultural perspectives that play into circumcision as well, and, let's face it, not everyone is comfortable with the theme.

Concluding things today is everyone’s favorite classical music-loving reptile, Author skinnydragon. This cool Canadian concluded his young adult story Toph’s Empty Year in November and has now gifted us with The Valedictorian. This new story is also young adult, with two teens in love dealing with life apart at different colleges. It’s a dilemma which plagues many high school seniors and college kids, so there’s a great opportunity here to ponder the “what ifs” that Skinny is bringing out in his story. And, in case you missed it, this story is something of a sequel to 18 Weeks of Twoey. So, if you were in love with those characters, then this story should charm you as well.

To skinnydragon: You seem really good at describing your characters as being at the center of a network of friends and relationships. Do you conceive of these webs first, or do they grow organically as you write your story?

In Twoey, David’s gang and the relationships among its members were pretty much worked out first, as the axis around which the story could build. Other webs, such as Matty’s little nebula of boys, grew organically. On the other hand, in Toph, the friends Nico and Austin, were originals. I thought more would develop from them, but it didn’t happen, even though their ghosts sort of followed Toph to New Glory. All the friends and relationships in New Glory grew as the story did - except for Gary.

That’s it for now! For more info on these authors, go check out their stories, post in their forums, and/or catch them in chat!

I’ll see you next time, with authors Comicality, Mann Ramblings, mikiesboy, and Parker Owens!

I’m always in the market for new questions! Simply PM me (Dark).


Until next time!



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  • Site Administrator

Another great edition, Dark. :)  I hope Albert will be back soon, too. 

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Loved this! I'm a huge fan of Nephy! She has thrilled me to no end with her stories. I'm also a huge fan of the dragon. I'm partway through "Toph's Empty Year," and I'm wondering what he meant by except for Gary  :)  . I'll have to read quicker  :) . I'm way behind where Albert and Riley are concerned, but someday.... Anyway, more great work, Dark. Thank you!


I think he meant that Toph's Gary was a planned relationship from the outset of the story. But yes it's a great story, my favorite written by SD.

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On 12/11/2016 at 7:28 PM, skinnydragon said:

Thanks, Dark, for all your hard work.


It makes me sad all over again to see the last post our beloved dragon made on GA, apart from his final blog entry. :,( We miss you forever, skinnydragon. :hug: 

I'm glad Dark featured this while skinnydragon was still here to see it.

Edited by Timothy M.
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