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Why I Write Feminist Romance

If you asked me five years ago if I’d be writing romance and absolutely loving it, I would’ve laughed at you. Why? Well, I’m a huge tomboy, and growing up, the romance genre seemed to have no place for me. My glimpses into it was hyper-feminine girls, ultra-masculine guys–both things I veered away from in a big way. After all, I detest pigheaded, overly macho guys, and I hate being talked down to. My limited exposure taught me that romance as a genre was all about that.

Except it’s not. I wrote my first romance novella on a whim, just curious to explore a new genre and write a fun story about selkies (That’s By the Sea, by the way :P) as I dove further into writing the genre, I also began to read more paranormal romance, immersing myself in the stories. That’s when I first discovered the genre held more depth than I thought it did, more diversity, more variety than the rigid lines my exposure had gleaned me. As I dove deeper, I read stories with strong women, with softer men, ones with every sort of kink imaginable, every type of personality explored. Assault survivors, abuse survivors, people with horrifying pasts were featured in these books, their damage brought to the plate as they fought to heal from it so they could be in happy, committed relationships.

There was a depth to many of these stories that I hadn’t at first anticipated, and I began to believe differently than I’d thought from the beginning. Maybe the romance genre did have a place for a bossy tomboy like me. Older stories that adhered more rigidly to gender norms and stereotypes had no appeal to me, but I fast began to see that a lot of modern day romance authors were feminists like myself, and that their beliefs wove into their work seamlessly. Once I realized I didn’t have to become hyper-feminine to read and write romance, that I could be the rough-talking, crude chick I’ve always been I dove headfirst into the genre and I haven’t regretted it once.

Truth be told, I don’t want other women to experience what I did–feeling not-female because I didn’t adhere to the stereotypes of my gender, because I didn’t want to coo over purses and shoes growing up. I want women and men both to be able to enjoy romance, because I think emotional exploration is important, but to do that, to engage both sexes, feminism is beyond important. Men have to be allowed to be soft, to be real, to have doubts and fears and hopes, rather than representation as some grunting macho stud who can’t have emotions. And women need to be able to flourish, for their strengths to be highlighted, not quashed, and their personalities shine off the page.

So, I’ll continue writing my feminist brand of romance to prove that there are a thousand shades of strength in both sexes, and that our gender need not define our personalities. That we as human beings are complex, multi-faceted creatures worth exploring.

And, if you’re looking for a diverse and feminist urban fantasy to plunge into, Philadelphia Coven Chronicles will definitely be up your alley.

Thanks for tuning in!

-Kat

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Posted in Articles

Weekly Word Count #90

Word Count: 5,202

What story I’m working on: Not going to lie, the only reason I have high word counts is because I kicked ass on Saturday. I spent Sunday through Wednesday down for the count with the flu. Didn’t even look at my laptop. Hit 27k with Future King, because I got to write a scene I was super excited about! Doing an LGBT lead is new territory for me, and I’m stoked to venture into it! Forged Alliance has been chugging along, slow and steady. I hit 37k, and I’m hoping by the end of Feb to hit 40!

What I’m editing/marketing: Submitted Waking for Winter to my editor the other week, so I’m waiting for a response on that. Here’s to hoping! Reviews of Rising for Autumn are still coming in, which is all of the excite since it’s now available! Actually almost finished polishing Iron Legacy, so once I go through and do a big read through edit, I’m going to redo the query/synopsis and send it out to market again.

Line of the week:

For a moment, all the charisma melted, the flash of vulnerability brushing the air raw. “You have no idea,” his voice came out rough and husky.

I gave him a half-smile. “I just might.” The weight of a crew was different than that of loss, but each exacted their own tolls, and the longer you bore the heavy load on your own, the more those walls rose between you and your closest, until each smile grew tougher, each laugh forced. “You know,” I said, glancing down at the bowl in front of me. “We’re in the perfect position to trade here. Ease some of your burden by telling me what the hell we’re facing, without the bullshit bravado, and you can sate my anxiety—I can fight better if I know what I’m facing, shit odds or no.”

 

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Weekly Word Count #89

Word Count: 7,775

What story I’m working on: Hit 24k with Future King, and I’m feeling things pick up a bit with it–not going to lie, for some weird reason, I’m finding Shameless super inspiring for this story. As for Forged Alliances, the central problem has unfolded and it’s all racing towards the end from here. I can see it in the far distance as I capped the week at 35k!

What I’m editing/marketing: Submitted Waking for Winter to my editor the other week, so I’m crossing my fingers and waiting for a response on that. Reviews of Rising for Autumn are still coming in, which is all of the excite since it’s now available! I’ve been polishing Iron Legacy as well–given the distance and detachment from the story, the initial flaws are really clear, but also quite simple to fix, so wish me luck.

Line of the week:

“This the guy I’m supposed to be fighting?” Dax called out, his hands in his pockets as he strolled up to the Tribe. “When you said bear alpha, I was impressed—expecting some big, brawny thing, but instead, this beanpole shows up.” He flashed his teeth with his smile, knowing in this case he literally poked the bear.

Dorlan growled, a deep guttural bellow that threatened to rip through the place.

Dax winked at him. “Save it for the match, hot stuff.” If looks could kill, he’d be dead at this point. One thing he excelled at beyond all else was pissing people off. What most didn’t realize was that in keeping his temper, he had the advantage. Besides, when it came to serious types, they were all too fun to torture—he’d delighted in pressing Sierra’s buttons from the moment they’d met.

“I’ve never seen Dorlan that enraged. You truly have a gift for annoyance,” Sierra murmured as she stepped up beside him.

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Weekly Word Count #88

Word Count: 4, 514

What story I’m working on: Hit 22k with Future King, and I’m starting to get back into it this week. Hopefully I’ll dive into the fun scenes soon! And the shifter story, Forged Alliances, has reached the midway point! Wooo!! It’s rolling full steam ahead (hopefully serious steam, because tharr be sexytime scenes coming up).

What I’m editing/marketing: Just submitted Waking for Winter to my editor for Loose Id, so fingers crossed!!! Also, Rising for Autumn just came out, so if you want Alanna and Sam’s story, it’s now available! With nothing on the table to market though, I took one of my old projects, Iron Legacy, and started polishing it up again. Looks like another rewrite is looming on the horizon!

Line of the week:

“Look at all the shiny swag they’re toting,” she shouted, loud enough for the bastards to hear. “Didn’t know we were heading to some rich prick’s ball. Do you think you went overkill on accessorizing, laddies?” The second those words left her mouth, a graveyard hush swept through the market, followed by a groan from Lance. She shot him a glare and shrugged. “What? If they wanted to challenge us, they should’ve brought more guys.”

 

 

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New Philadelphia Coven Chronicles Release!

Rising for Autumn is OUT! Get your copy here!!!

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Crisis and danger have become second nature for Alanna Carrington. After all, as the boss of the Philadelphia Coven, she’s responsible for upholding the laws amongst the supernatural. Which means when the Order of the Serpent rears its ugly head, this time with the most powerful necromancer this city’s ever seen, she’s the one person who can keep Philly safe. Ex-Order djinn and now ally, Samuel Karim, happens to be the best-suited guy to help. Except he’s also the first man who’s stoked her interest in far too long, and ever since she commandeered the lamp he’s tethered to for safekeeping, he also hates her guts.

As the Order gathers the necromancers of her city and sparks a dangerous alliance, she finds herself working with Samuel Karim more and more. Hatred turns to passion, and when he exhibits a strength and compassion that breaks through her ironclad defenses, she finds herself falling deeper despite the complications between them. Yet with her city under siege and their lives on the line, the sharp desire between them erupts into the temptation to break their own rules, before the Order of the Serpent robs them of the chance permanently.

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Rising for Autumn is Out Tomorrow!

km_risingforautumn

Get the book on February 7th, here!

Crisis and danger have become second nature for Alanna Carrington. After all, as the boss of the Philadelphia Coven, she’s responsible for upholding the laws amongst the supernatural. Which means when the Order of the Serpent rears its ugly head, this time with the most powerful necromancer this city’s ever seen, she’s the one person who can keep Philly safe. Ex-Order djinn and now ally, Samuel Karim, happens to be the best-suited guy to help. Except he’s also the first man who’s stoked her interest in far too long, and ever since she commandeered the lamp he’s tethered to for safekeeping, he also hates her guts.

As the Order gathers the necromancers of her city and sparks a dangerous alliance, she finds herself working with Samuel Karim more and more. Hatred turns to passion, and when he exhibits a strength and compassion that breaks through her ironclad defenses, she finds herself falling deeper despite the complications between them. Yet with her city under siege and their lives on the line, the sharp desire between them erupts into the temptation to break their own rules, before the Order of the Serpent robs them of the chance permanently.

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Weekly Word Count #87

Word Count: 5,272

What story I’m working on: Hit 21k with Future King, which has been slow moving as of late. Meanwhile, things are really picking up pace with the shifter story and I’m starting to try and come up with a title. Any suggestions? I just hit 28k there and reached sort of the midway point of the story and where it’ll unfold from here.

What I’m editing/marketing: Just completed the final edit of Waking for Winter. Can’t wait to submit the final book in the Philadelphia Coven Chronicles to Tamzin! And on February 7th, book three, Rising for Autumn comes out, and I’m beyond excited for that release. I’m hella proud of that book.

Line of the week:

Well, Dax had wanted distraction, but he didn’t think meeting the infamous Tribe with a raging hard-on was putting his best foot forward. Still, the bloom of Sierra’s arousal in the air wasn’t helping tamp down the intense lust she inspired in him. He sucked in a deep breath and focused on nasty ass things, like wrinkled, paper-thin skin, the moldy can of tomatoes he had in the fridge, and the bottle of midori he’d killed as a teen, turning his puke neon green for days. By the time she opened the bar door, he was ready to face whoever waited inside.