I am an author

So, I did small thing today. Small, but it feels pretty big. I put a ko-fi link.

This seems like nothing, but its a big deal. I started the web page AGES ago, but never did anything with it. I don’t need tips, I told myself. I just want people to read and like my story.

My novel. I’m self publishing a novel. I am an author.

It’s a big deal, and I need to treat it as such. I am self-publishing an online serial. That means writing, and editing, and web page management, and promotional leg work. That means holding myself accountable to an update schedule, making sure I keep a visible internet presence, and making sure I’m my own biggest fan. Making sure I give myself credit where credit is due.

So, a Ko-fi link. A small thing, but it means big things in my head. I don’t necessarily need tips, I’m doing just fine, but I’m putting myself out there. Speaking of putting myself out there, you know what would make my day more than a cup of coffee? Comments. Reviews, votes, ratings, referrals. I would love to know there are readers out there. I would love to find the new readers out there that I haven’t found yet.

Spread the word to your friends. Follow Asylum on Tumblr (here, duh), Facebook , and Twitter (@ravenlywrites). Leave ratings and reviews and votes on the many sites below. And, of course, read and comment on Asylum itself. Drop us a line, let us know what you think about the story, your favorite characters, a scene that made you laugh out loud. We’d love to hear it!


Web Fiction Guide

Fiction Press


And of course, you’re still welcome to Buy Me a Coffee.

Party time!

You guys. Cait and I have been working with Asylum for FOUR YEARS. I can’t even.

In Search of Asylum

It’s Asylum’s Birthday! Help us celebrate by checking out some of these awesome links. Spread the word to your friends. Follow the authors on Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter. And, of course, the best presents a reader can give an author are comments! Drop us a line, let us know what you think about the story, your favorite characters, a scene that made you laugh out loud. We’d love to hear it!


Read Asylum’s chapters in long form, leave reviews, vote for Asylum!


Web Fiction Guide

Write a review, add it to your shelves, find other cool web lit while you’re there. 🙂


Fiction Press

Read Asylum’s chapters in long form, leave reviews, start an Asylum Message Board! I would LOVE to interact with readers on a message board! 😀



Read Asylum’s chapters in long form, leave reviews, find other awesome content.


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For all my Latinx followers


Guys! Check out this Kickstarter! My friend Zabet makes amazing stickers, and now she’s running a KS for Latinx pride stickers! I’m super excited about these, can’t wait to get my set and slap ’em all over my car, laptop, and phone case. Please help get the word out and share some pride!

Just a week left! Please help support and spread the word. This is really important to me.

For all my Latinx followers

Guys! Check out this Kickstarter! My friend Zabet makes amazing stickers, and now she’s running a KS for Latinx pride stickers! I’m super excited about these, can’t wait to get my set and slap ’em all over my car, laptop, and phone case. Please help get the word out and share some pride!

Author Responsibility

So, remember how last week, I raved about Daughter of Smoke and Bone? Remember how said I hadn’t finished the series yet, so if it sucked, I was sorry.

Yup, I’m sorry.

Spoilers for the rest of the trilogy, and Trigger Warnings for discussion of rape and assault.

And on that cheery note, I want to talk a little bit about author responsibility. When we write, we hope to convey certain ideas and themes to our audience. We are taking part in the social narrative of our day, regardless of genre. Historical, non-fic, fantasy, it doesn’t matter. The themes transcend, and most especially when writing YA, authors must be mindful of what messages they send to their audience.

I am getting damned sick of rape as icing on the evil cake.

In the context of this trilogy, it makes perfect sense for the bad guy to make an assault play. It’s totally in line with his character, I would have honestly been surprised if he hadn’t, etc. What bothers me is the message the MC’s thoughts and reactions send to young girls. She acts like she didn’t see this coming, literally thinks the thought “he can’t hurt me”, and lets herself be put in harm’s way. This man has actually assaulted her before, tried to rip her dress off in public, and she spends the entire second book afraid of him, unable to sleep, barring her door, etc. But she lets herself be alone with him, she lets herself be overpowered by him– she completely departs from her previously established character, just so we can have a rape scene.

And then we just carry on, like it’s not a big deal. Her closest friends don’t react, don’t treat her any differently, the two men in love with her have raging hate boners for the bad guy, but that’s about it. The MC herself barely spends any time on it, mostly just wanting to shower. What the actual fuck?

So yeah, I’m not 100% what I’m trying to say here. As an author, I’m annoyed to see the strings behind the puppets as it were, having the scene so obviously orchestrated just so we can be absolutely sure we all know the bad guy is bad and the friend who rescues her is selfless and good. The MC herself becomes a cardboard cut out, shuffled along in the current of the plot, absolutely passive, in no way participating in her own narrative or acting like herself in any way.

As a young woman, with younger sisters I want to see grow up safer than the world I was raised in, I am disgusted and appalled at the treatment of rape as –ya know, not even as a narrative tool, but as a means of characterization. On a character already well established as evil. It served no point, had no impact, and made a victim out of a previously very capable character. When her family is taken from her, MC goes to incredible lengths to get them back. She is fierce, indomitable, resourceful, and frighteningly determined. And then she just… gives up. Rolls over. Let’s herself be bullied by a man who assaulted and murdered her in a past life and lets herself be alone with him– Again, what the actual fuck?

She then spends the rest of the story basically being too in love to function, or something like that, I honestly can’t say because I lost all pathos and interest in the character. I can’t imagine what this would do to young girls who’d been looking up to MC, who are trying to forge their own identities and come up with this as a guidepost.

Again, still not 100% what I wanted to say with this, and writing it out hasn’t made it any clearer. Just… be mindful as you write, ok? Remember that someone is going to read this, and someone is going to take lessons away, with no chance for you to say “But that’s not what I meant!” This is your voice. Use it thoughtfully.

Thinking on Paper

As I mentioned in my video the other day, I do a lot of my brainstorming with my fingers. Sometimes, it turns into free writes, which sometimes turn into scenes, but sometimes, it’s just bulletted nonsense like this (NOTE: not really spoilers, but they are notes from chapters not yet released):

[Wonderful, beautiful, actual story text, which abruptly ends]

(…and from here, I think you need to take it, actually. Did someone let him in? Did they decide to walk the neighborhood instead of the gardens?)

  • Naj/Nica/Seth working their shit out
  • Dealing with Maddie
  • Possibly dealing with the whole “omg I have scales and fire” from the night before, but I think the dream did that ok

What did the original chapter do?

  • Flirting, tea, and hangovers
  • Elena
  • talk of Naj dancing, and drum circles (Note: in this edit, Naj hasn’t taken the stage yet. In earlier drafts, he had)

ch 40

  • Small chat w/ elena about relocation
  • chat about dance improv and/or drumming (thur and fri mentioned)
  • call rook when they get upstairs

ch 41

And so on. I used to think I was a pantser. And while I find that’s still true of the first, just getting things out there draft, editing without an outline is practically impossible. Whenever I don’t stop to make an outline, I wind up getting bogged down in the minutae, struggling for the words, the what comes next, everything honestly. So when I ram up against that wall, I just keep typing, letting my brain stay in that groove, and think outloud with my hands. When I’m really lucky, after about five lines of this, the next scene pops up, with full sentences flowing from my hands again without me even noticing. But even if that’s not the case, I find that my brain keeps working at the pieces I’ve organized. So I’ll go about my day, maybe even all the way into the next day, but then ta-da! Answers! Scenes! Directions I’d never thought of going before! It’s like magic.

I highly recommend thinking with your hands.