My Next Novel, ROSE WITCH, Will Be Released This Year!

It’s coming.

For every girl who was ever told that she wasn’t good enough, beautiful enough, strong enough, brave enough, quiet enough, comes a story of a girl named Perish…a girl who is none of those things. Perish is an angry girl. A girl who will carve out a place to live in a world that does not want her. A girl who, despite a world against her…will learn to thrive.

Imagine “Beauty and the Beast” with a lesbian protaganist. Imagine a POC Beauty. Imagine a dark carnival of a palace, a beastly girl who dreams of love, a magic so dark and deadly that it could pull the world asunder. Imagine a fairy tale told in verse for every girl who couldn’t find someone like them in the fairy tales they loved…

Rose Witch is coming. And it’s going to be dark and raw and pained and bright and within its pages will be the fairy tale that I, as a lesbian growing up obsessed with fairy tales, never had. It’s coming this year. I’ll let you know a firm date when the novel is completely finished. <3

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Mightier, a Free YA Short Story — Part of Project Unicorn (A Lesbian YA Extravaganza)

Mightier,” by Sarah Diemer
YA/Dark Fantasy
Cleo is one of the Mightier, a mysterious group of people who can change the world with the stroke of a pen. But, one night, her new powers are tested when an angel-like creature needs her help to prevent a massive disaster from happening.


(photo by Kathryn Denman)

(Part of Project Unicorn: A Lesbian YA Extravaganza, full of free, original, never-before-published YA short stories featuring a lesbian heroine. Also, every story is a work of genre fiction [Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Dystopian, Post-apocalyptic, etc.].)

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Last Chance for Signed Copies!

Jenn and I are doing a lot of stuff differently this year. Writing is this wonderful, all-encompassing thing in our lives (I try to–no joke–get 100K written every month, and MOST MONTHS I GET PRETTY DAMN CLOSE, just to give you an idea ;D), and as we start to write more YA again, we’re putting our creative resources more towards our YA work, too. This means that we have fewer resources for other creative endeavors, and–in order to flourish–we need to know when it’s time to end certain things.

We were very sad to decide to close down our Etsy shop, the Fable Tribe, but knew it’s the right time to end that chapter in our lives. And, while we’re at it, we decided to shut down our other Etsy shop, Sappho’s Boutique.

Sappho’s Boutique is where we’ve been offering signed versions of our books, and we LOVED being able to offer those. Awesome, awesome fans have purchased those books, and we’ve loved connecting in that way, but a lot of time and effort was spent going back and forth to the post office and packaging things. Since we’re concentrating on our YA writing more, something had to give.

Since we assume that you guys would much prefer if we put out new things, we decided that shutting down the shops was the best use of resources.

This means that Sappho’s Boutique is shutting down, and–after this–the only way to get books signed by us is to see us in person. :)

We don’t have many books left, so if you always wanted a signed copy of a book, now’s the time to do it! <3

This is what we have left in the shop!

The Benevolence Tales, Volume 1 — Three copies
Twixt — Three copies
Love Devours — ALL GONE
Project Unicorn, Volume 1 — ONE COPY
Project Unicorn, Volume 2 — ALL GONE
Cage the Darlings — ALL GONE
The Dark Wife — Ten copies
Sappho’s Fables, Volume 1 — Eight copies

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THE DARK WIFE now has a French translation!

A really amazing fan, Touweny, contacted me about a year ago, offering to translate The Dark Wife into French. Very much a labor of love, the translation is now completed–and, like its English counterpart–will now be offered for free so that everyone can have access to books with lesbian protagonists. :)

Please enjoy!

Find out about The Dark Wife in English here, and buy a copy of the book here.

~*~

Traduit par Touweny

Il y a trois mille ans, un dieu a dit un mensonge. Maintenant, seule une déesse peut apporter la vérité.

Perséphone a tout ce que la fille de Zeus pourrait vouloir… tout sauf la liberté. Elle vit sur la terre verte avec sa mère, Déméter, grandissant sous le regard toujours averti des dieux et déesses du Mont Olympe. Mais quand Perséphone va rencontrer l’énigmatique Hadès, elle découvre quelque chose de nouveau : le choix.

Zeus appelle Hadès “le seigneur” des morts, comme une blague. En vérité, Hadès est la déesse des Enfers, et nullement l’amie de Zeus. Elle offrira à Perséphone un sanctuaire dans le royaume des morts, permettant à la jeune déesse d’échapper à son destin olympien.

Mais Perséphone trouvera bien plus que la liberté dans les Enfers. Elle découvrira l’amour, et elle se trouvera elle-même.

L’épouse des ténèbres – libre PDF

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The Princess Sword, a Free YA Short Story — Part of Project Unicorn (A Lesbian YA Extravaganza)

So, almost two years later, we take up the…ah…sword again.  :)  Project Unicorn: A Lesbian YA Extravaganza (a project of [eventually] ONE HUNDRED free genre YA short stories featuring lesbian heroines!) is (slowly!) starting up again until it’s finished!

The month that we were currently on (when we went on hiatus) was on the theme of “Swords and Spaceships.”  We both had all of the stories finished for this one (two years ago!), but they needed to be edited.  They will now come out until the month’s theme is finished, and we’ll keep going on the project.  :)  THIS IS VERY EXCITING and I’m stoked about it!  :)  We have always loved Project Unicorn and are VERY excited about being able to finish it.

This story is dedicated to Terry Pratchett.  Thank you for everything, sir.

~*~

The Princess Sword,” by Sarah Diemer
YA/Fantasy
Princess Lexandra is frustrated with the gender roles that have been assigned to her from birth. But a meddling goddess–and a lady in waiting–are about to change her life.


(photo by June Yarham)

(Part of Project Unicorn: A Lesbian YA Extravaganza, full of free, original, never-before-published YA short stories featuring a lesbian heroine. Also, every story is a work of genre fiction [Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Dystopian, Post-apocalyptic, etc.].)

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I Met My Wife Because of Sailor Moon: Or, Why Stories With Queer Characters Really Fucking Matter

Entry for Anime News Network's Sailor Moon ContestSo, picture me as a gangly, passionate young teenager. Really obsessed with dead poets and graveyards, spends obscene amounts of time in the woods furiously scribbling Really! Dramatic! stories into a notebook. Oh, yeah. I was obviously the archetype of a Really Weird Writer(TM) from birth. Now picture me as that gangly teenager as utterly closed off from the world because of a super conservative Christian upbringing and homeschooling.

Now picture the fact that, at the age of fifteen, I’d never heard of being gay.

“That’s impossible,” you say, but sadly, gentle reader, it is not. Super! Conservative! Christian! Upbringing! can really mess you up in all sorts of terrible ways, but first and foremost, I didn’t even know I existed. You see, I’d had feelings for girls since I was very small. At religious school put on by my church, the little girls were making the Kens and Barbies kiss, and I was making the Barbies kiss. When I was a little older and the religious school girls were talking about boys…I was staring at the girls and praying desperately that they wouldn’t notice that I never talked about boys. That I was hopelessly, dreamily infatuated with them, instead.

I was terrified that, somehow, someone would see inside my head and realize that I was a complete abomination. I felt, utterly, that there was no one in the entire world like me–a girl who liked girls? How the hell would that even work? It was impossible. Obviously I was a total mistake. (Sit with that for a minute. In 1999, I thought I was a mistake because I believed that there was no one else in the world like me because I’d never heard of being gay. Super! Conservative! Christian! Upbringing! that includes that kind of blanket brainwashing and withholding of knowledge really needs to stop.) I contemplated suicide for awhile because there was no place in the world where I fit.

And then…Sailor Moon happened.

Television stations began to show this really weird, colorful cartoon. I was drawn, immediately, to all of the pastels (and, honestly, all the pretty ladies). I loved that they were strong. That they could save themselves. I figured out what times that show came on, and I watched it with my little sister, and a guarded fierceness that I had for nothing else. This was my show. My passion. There was just something about it. It was perfect.

A little comic book shop in our teeny, tiny town had an order form for a Sailor Moon book. I saved up my dollars, and I sent away for the book, counting down the days until it would arrive impatiently. I wanted to learn everything I could about this anime. What the hell was anime? What the hell was Sailor Moon based on? I wanted to learn everything, so like the true writer/bibliophile that I am, I knew I could find the information in the book.

The day that book arrived was the day that changed my life forever.

I tore into the wrapping and read it cover to cover. To my shock, there weren’t just the sailor senshi I’d already seen! There were more.

And then my heart stopped beating as I came to one paragraph. You guys? I still remember how it went.

hm_hold (1)Haruka and Michiru share a special romantic bond.

I looked at the pictures very carefully of both of these characters. I studied the pronouns to make absolutely certain that I wasn’t missing anything.  But no.  Two girls.  In a relationship.  Together.

I went upstairs to my bedroom, clutching the book to my chest, and I sat on my bed and sobbed.

I…existed.

A few months later, we got the internet. The blessed, holy internet. And I began, immediately, to obsess about Sailor Moon on it. I learned web design, graphic design and coding so that I could build shrines online to my favorite characters: YOU GUESSED IT! Haruka and Michiru.

And I began to meet people like me. People who would later become my lifelong friends (friends I still have and love to this day, over fifteen years later), people who built and ran a very geeky, wonderful, creative obsession: Sailor Moon fan shrines.

And then I met this one girl.

Her name was Jenn.

She was pretty cool on the internet. She made the most beautiful layouts, and her sites were funny, charming, perfectly written. I started to converse with her, because–lo and behold–we had our favorite characters in common.

Time passed. Our friendship grew. And one night, when I was nineteen years old, I sent her a letter that would change everything. Again.

I’m falling in love with you. I don’t even know if you’re gay. You love Haruka and Michiru, too…so maybe you are? I’m sorry if you’re not.  God, I hope you are. I love you.

And the rest is history.

SPARKLE WEDDING! <3
Photo of us, on our wedding day, by the illustrious Vasilion Photography. <3

 

Sailor Moon changed my life forever. It made me realize that there were other people like me. That I wasn’t an abomination. That I was normal. That, because these characters who were like me were happy, maybe I deserved happiness, too.

Because of Sailor Moon I met my wife.

Sailor Moon gave me the courage to tell her I was falling in love with her. Sailor Moon was the code, the blessed sign, that made me realize what she might be. That she might be falling in love with me, too.

Because of Sailor Moon, I was no longer invisible. I was, perhaps, a heroine, too. Or maybe I could be…because there were people like me who were. So why couldn’t I be, too?

Fast forward to this year. Unless you’ve been living under a Dark Kingdom boulder, you know that Sailor Moon is making a big comeback. We couldn’t be more thrilled, and we’ve been following along with the re-release of the anime on Hulu, and have been counting down the days until the new Sailor Moon Crystal show is released. We’ve also been following along with Viz, the company making this all possible, and their updates.

And we found out that they were sponsoring a “What Does Sailor Moon Mean to You?” contest.

Obviously, we entered. We entered with the photo at the very beginning of this post. We told this story of how Sailor Moon changed our lives, gave us acceptance of ourselves, gave us the ability to find true love.

And, yesterday, the first wave of finalists was announced.

Whether we’re finalists or not doesn’t really matter, by the way. We loved entering and sharing our story. But the best part of this whole damn thing is reading what other Moonies have to say.

You know what an overwhelming resonant theme is?

Sailor Moon gave me the strength to accept my queerness. Made me believe that I could be strong and courageous, too. Sailor Moon made me believe that I was worth something because Sailor Moon made me not invisible.

I was shocked and staggered by how many people were saying the same thing I had. That, because of Sailor Moon, they’d realized who they were, they realized that they weren’t worthless because they were invisible. Sailor Moon made them feel visible.

Sailor Moon made them feel seen.

There is this entire generation of people out there, people around my and Jenn’s age, who have been irrevocably changed and altered by a single show. A single show who told us that we were important enough to have a story written about us. A single show who saved me from thinking I was worthless. A single show who made a lot of other people realize that they were worth something, too.

A single show did this.

A common theme or argument I run into with my YA work (all of my stories have a heroine who loves girls as the main character), is the question: “why does a lesbian main character matter?”

And this is what I say to that, every time:

Because a lesbian character saved my life. Because a lesbian character made me feel seen.

And there is an entire host of people out there who can say the exact same thing.

Because I was seen, I wanted to live. I wanted to create. I wanted to perpetuate the stories that had saved my life.

Every single person that that anime saved has gone on to irrevocably change and alter the world.

Because of two girls who were in love.

Who told us, by their very existence, that being a heroine or a hero wasn’t just for straight people anymore.

And that simple truth changed our lives forever.

Saved us. And transformed us.

104
Thank you, Sailor Moon (Naoko Takeuchi <3), for everything.

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You Need to Read This Book: GHOST CITY by Madeline Claire Franklin

I love the magic of words, I utterly love and am bewitched by what they can do, what they are capable of. When I read a story, I’m not just reading for the characters, the plot, how it makes me feel…I’m reading for the richness of language a lot of stories contain. I consume these stories, devour them, and find that I am irrevocably changed by them.

Ghost City by Madeline Claire Franklin, released today, is an irrevocably changing kind of book.

It’s a lot of things. A post-apocalyptic survival story, a post-apocalyptic love story, a survivor story, a story of strength and hope and courage. Kiddo, the main character, is one of the strongest and most amazing girl heroines I’ve ever read.

But here’s the crux of it–you’ve probably read a lot of post-apocalyptic stories, but you’ve never read one like this. The language is absurdly beautiful, succulent and rich and profound. The characters fight not against zombies and viruses, but against a crushing sense of dread, that they must fix their world, and they don’t know how. There’s so much to this story, including the twist, that blew my mind, and inspired me utterly. There’s a lot to this beautiful book, and I recommend it wholeheartedly. If you love beautiful language, if you love strong heroines, if you love a strange, enchanting, bewitching kind of book, you should read Ghost City. <3

Here's the blurb:

Kiddo survives—it’s what she does best. And since the world ended, staying alive is a useful skill to have.

She and her found-sister, Princess, have created a home for themselves in the forest, and a refuge for the other children who survived the end. Hunting animals, harvesting herbs, treating wounds—this is what Kiddo remembers of her life Before, and little else.

But the young man they call the Saver claims to remember everything, even when the rest of the children who survived cannot. He speaks of what came Before when he leads the survivors to his island city, making promises of abundance and hope. But even the Saver’s memories can’t explain the wrongness of their world. They can’t explain why ghosts stream through the woods every night under the same full moon, or why there is a fire in the Burning End of the city that has blazed, unchanged, for nearly a decade.

Regardless of what the others believe, Kiddo knows one thing for certain: the city is going to sink someday. She can’t explain it—not without remembering. And since the world came to an end, taking memories and lives in equal measure, remembering is the one hardship Kiddo has not been forced to endure.

But the city wants Kiddo to remember: at the heart of the fire in the Burning End is a story that only Kiddo can tell—and only Kiddo can finish.

Get it on Amazon!

Get it on Smashwords!

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