Sunday, January 13, 2013

Guest Post & Giveaway: Writing Inspiration, Then and Now by Kelly Rand

My very first story was a romance. My mom still has it. I was six years old, and I wrote about my dolls. Most of my collection was Barbies and the boys – as they always are – were few and far between. One of my boy dolls was my brother's Bulletman action figure.

 The story read like this:
"Lisa," said Lynn, a 16-year-old blonde haired blue eyed high school teenager. "Did you hear? Goldie's going steady with Bullet Man."
It's only about a page long. We never found out what happened to Goldie and Bulletman. If I were to guess, I'd say the characterization would have been sketchy, the plot weak, and the exposition adjective-heavy. But that's how long I've been writing stories – since I was six. And that's how long I've been interested in what makes people come together and break apart again.

I wrote throughout high school, mostly short young adult novels on foolscap, since no one really had computers then. I never tried to get them published, and they've long since been lost. I wish I still had them. One was about a male model from a small town and underwent several revisions. First he was bisexual. Then he was straight. Then he was gay. I've toyed with the idea of reviving it and still can't decide who he likes to f*ck.

In my twenties, I wrote some novels and tried to get one published, the one I deemed good enough. It was rejected about 20 times, and I lost my stamina, though I wish I hadn't. My only explanation is that I needed to develop a little more maturity – not only in my writing, but in my gut – to tackle the submissions process.

Pearl, a 10,000-word story published by Storm Moon Press, wasn't the first thing I've ever had published in the erotica genre or otherwise. But, when it was released as a stand-alone short story in e-book form in 2012, it was the first thing I ever published where "book" described the format. You can imagine how it made me feel. A lot of times, I avoid reading things after I've published them. All I can see are areas for improvement or the immaturities of yesterday's fancies. But I've read Pearl over and over again. I still think it's a pretty little story, and Storm Moon Press did, too.

I wrote Pearl to submit it to an anthology called Sixes and Sevens, which was meant to be a collection of historical short stories about trans* characters. Sixes and Sevens was never released, but they liked Pearl and published it on its own. In addition to it being my first e-book, it was my first time working with a fiction editor, which is not nearly as scary as it sounds.

Here are some of the things I love about Storm Moon Press, in no particular order:
  1. The calls for submissions. Because of my writing background, I mainly write to deadline about specified topics. That's why I answer so many anthology calls. Storm Moon Press has no shortage of good ideas, and I could easily just sit here and write story after story to fill their submission calls. There have been a few of them I haven't had time to answer that I still wish I could, such as the Transitions trans* anthology call or the glam rock call. But still. Their ideas inspire me to write, and to write copious amounts of fiction in one fell swoop. So, woohoo!
  2. They are author friendly. I've dealt with other editors since, and a plethora of non-fiction editors, and they're all lovely. But Storm Moon Press really does seem to be an author-centric publishing place. They seem to get on board with your vision and treat the story with a lot of respect, and that's awesome.
  3. They published Pearl. And a couple of things of mine since. But really, they published my unique little story and presented it in such a way – with a great cover and everything – that I still love the thing.
I feel fortunate to have Storm Moon Press as a writer and a reader, and I'm glad they give me a place to publish stories about my grown-up Barbies.

  Kelly Rand is the author of the trans* historical short story Pearl. Another of her short stories, "Songs From Devil Lake", is part of the Torn in Two anthology, available now from Storm Moon Press. Kelly can be found at and on Twitter @rand_kelly.

 DOUBLE Giveaway Opportunity!

 This guest post is part of Storm Moon Press' 3rd Anniversary Blog Tour! Comment on this post or any other post on the blog tour with your e-mail address, and you'll be entered for a chance to win the Grand Prize of receiving 1 FREE e-book each month of 2013 from that month's new releases for a total of 12 free e-books! Runners up will receive a $25 gift certificate to their choice of Amazon or All Romance eBooks. For more details and to find out about our 3rd Anniversary, head over to Storm Moon Press' Official Blog.

In addition to the big, blog-tour-wide giveaway, today's post has a second giveaway! Your comment on this specific post will enter you to win a digital copy of your choice of Kelly Rand's trans* short story, Pearl, or the Torn in Two anthology, which features her other short story, "Songs from Devil Lake". Be sure to include your e-mail address in your comment! Thanks for joining us!


  1. Great post! Please count me in. Thanks!

  2. I can see a bit about why you love Pearl; that cover is absolutely gorgeous! I want to read even knowing nothing about what it's about. Stunning.


    1. I love the cover too. It's all pretty and atmospheric. And hey, I wouldn't discourage you from reading it. ;)

  3. Thanks for the interview. Count me in please :)


  4. Count me in.

  5. Thanks for your posting. It's interesting to read about your journey as a writer.

    strive4bst(At) hotmail(dot)com

    1. Thank you! And thanks for reading it.

  6. That cover is gorgeous. I'd love to read a trans* historical story. Sounds fascinating! Thank you.


  7. Really like the cover!!
    Please count me for the giveaway too

  8. Please count me in!


  9. Not enough is written about Transgenders and I think there should more. Thank you for doing so. I'll go and take a look at the excerpt.
    Thanks for sharing!


  10. I like how you've been writing for so long, lol. I loved the story you shared, it was cute :) You're a new author for me, so it's nice to meet you and read about your books. Thanks for stopping by!



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