Housekeeping and Cold Weather Reads

Well friends, I am pleased to announce that I have completed another manuscript! The typewriter has been set aside and we're back to the laptop as I transcribe the WIP I lovingly refer to as "Undead Lesbians" into Scrivener. This isn't a zombie story, but it's a fun name for a book where people keep coming back from the dead. Since I've entered the next stage (and I'm on vacation), I thought it was time for a round of housekeeping as some things are changing around here!

A Note on Pen Names

If you've had a chance to check out my first published short, All's Faire, you'll have noticed that I have begun publishing under a pen name: Avrah C. Baren. For now, I will keep referring to myself as Abigail (it's my name, I like my name, and I already paid for the domain of my site). However, I plan to publish all future works under Avrah C. Baren or A. C. Baren

The main reason for this is to avoid confusion between my science publications and my literary publications. I could be wrong, but I figure the people who are on the lookout for journal articles about machine learning and landcover mapping are typically not the same people looking for queer fantasy stories.

And why "Avrah?" It's part of my Hebrew name! 

The Future of My Manuscripts

Something else you will see changing on here is some separation between the projects I am looking to publish through traditional means vs indie publishing. For now, I'm keeping my projects grouped together on my "Projects" page. 

However, I will be self-publishing Undead Lesbians. I already have a plan in place for edits, cover art, formatting, etc. As time goes on, I will continue to have more self-published projects, which I will advertise on my website. For now, since everything I write is Speculative Fiction, I plan to use the same pen name, website, and newsletter. If that gets messy, I'll revisit things in the future.

I am still querying multiple novels in the hopes of finding a literary agent. As I get a better picture of which direction a particular project is taking, I'll continue to clarify things throughout the site.

And Now for Some Fun!

I've been on the road for a bit for work and am very eager to get home. However, I am NOT excited for it to be dark and cold again (I'm in the Southern hemisphere). The only thing keeping me going is the thought of curling up with a nice, cozy book. And here are a few I've particularly enjoyed recently!

Diary of a Bookseller, Shaun Bythell: A delightful nonfiction about the daily life a curmudgeonly bookseller (who I've actually met!) 

The Santa Pageant, Lillian Barry: Two ex-friends compete to be voted the town's best santa. Despite not celebrating xmas, this book won me over! It is so so sweet and queer and delightful! The romance in here will make you squeal with all the cuteness!

Can't Spell Treason Without Tea, Rebecca Thorne: A mage and a knight run away to open a tea/ book shop. This indie was recently picked up by trad publishing! If you love cozy, queer fantasy, this is your book!

The Crane Moon Cycle, J.C. Snow: A queer, epic fantasy taking place over several lifetimes. I was lucky enough to read the ARC of this newly released duology and it was a fascinating read. Slow at times, but heart-wrenching and vivid! 

I've also FINALLY read the Folk of the Air series by Holly Black and I now understand why her fans are so feral. That series was a masterpiece! And I've gotten through Books 1-6 of the Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells. Most of them are novellas, and how can you not love a robot that just wants humans to be less stupid so it can watch TV?

Current Reads

This Dark Descent, Kalyn Josephson: A magical horse race? Jewish magic? Sign me up! This book feels like reading a YA Peaky Blinders and I'm loving every minute of it!

A Lesson in Vengeance, Victoria Lee: This has been on my list for agessss. This chilly, gothic, queer thriller is perfect for curling up this winter.

Chihiro's Cat Corner

Since I'm currently traveling, I'm definitely missing out on some good Chihiro cuddles. Well...if you ignore the fact that Chihiro doesn't cuddle. Right now, my roommates are taking care of her and sending me very fun pics like this when I get homesick. Counting the days til I get to scoop her up again!