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And now for an episode of self-promotion (sorry):

No Place Left to Run, by Zarah Detand (aka me)

After a lengthy world tour, pop star Samuel Gibbs is looking forward to a nice, quiet break—sleep in, write a bit of music, do his own cooking for a change. He doesn’t want his time spoiled by the constant presence of bodyguards, and he is certainly not willing to have someone tail him each time he so much as goes to the shops. No way, no how. It’s a good thing, then, that his head of security relents on the matter—or so he leads Samuel to believe.

The break is starting to look even better when Samuel runs into his new neighbor. Ryan Halston is smart and hot and, quite possibly, everything Samuel wants. However, he doesn’t know that Ryan is part of the rejected security detail, tasked with protecting him from the dangerous attentions of an unknown stalker.

210 pages (~80k), coming soon. Meaning 25th of March.

(Pre-order on Dreamspinner: eBook or paperback. Amazon and other shops will follow closer to the release date.)

anonymous asked:

what is your favorite kind of monster story

there isn’t one kind of monster story i love most; but all the monster stories i love probably have things in common

so a lot of monster stories are about making monsters human, subtracting what makes them strange and terrible: a broken thing mended, an ugly thing made beautiful, reversing the transformation to put back the status quo. but i’ve always liked stories that keep the monster’s teeth and claws and frightful face. good monster stories are capable of containing multitudes—they delight in the dread and sublimity and terror of monsters, in creatures that draw and repel you, in transgressing the ordinary and giving form and voice to things that are hidden and grotesque and aeons-old and carnivorous. but they’re also about cruelty and violence and persecution and fear and trauma and addiction and exile and loneliness, and the worst things humans have wrought. (monsters of myth are often how a community encodes its pain and conflict and memory in the world.)

languages of monstering can be used to dehumanise—usually women, people of colour, queer people, people with mental illnesses or physical disabilities, people who are visibly and invisibly ‘abnormal’, people not allowed to be human. and this is tough shaky territory but—using these languages can be a way of reclaiming them, of staring without blinking at the people who called you not-human and saying if that is a human i choose not to be human i choose to be something else

(a monster is about itself before it’s about anything else—it’s a kind of numinous presence, it doesn’t have to be anything but itself, it doesn’t need meaning or purpose because it’s already question and answer enough)

to me good monster stories are about honouring the ways we’re different and strange and broken and not-broken and half-mended, and undoing the tyranny of ‘normal’. they talk about the transformations that happen when a terrible thing is done to you, suddenly or for a long time. the things you have to become to survive. how wounds have quantum shapes, and how pain roars or beats or aches or shivers in silence. nightmares and day-terrors, the forgetting and remembering. your voice rotting with the unsayable. steeling your skin till it’s heavy armour. the loose teeth and bits of glass and black writhy things that surface from your skin years later. the things that get irrevocably lost; the grace that comes shambling in. they’re about staying alive, being alive, even in the darkest foulest places—being a rough grim strange brave unlovely animal hauling your hide and heart and guts through the sulphurous stink of deepest hell, even when there’s no promise of light or air

they’re about allowing things to be ugly and dirty and impure and loud and mute and hungry and awful and dark and clumsy and disquieting, sharp and brittle and misshapen and mangled and blistered and pestilent and fearful and poisoned and sin-steeped and profane and too-much and too-bright and broken, and strange, so strange. they’re about boundaries, which give meaning and order to everything—the boundaries that can be warped and razed and crossed over; the boundaries that are sacred, and have to be drawn with white chalk and salt and holy water, and drawn again

the monster stories i like best are about terror and hurt and survival and softness, and love that wears a terrible gentle face, and endures. they’re about naming and seeing and saving and keeping and choosing. they’re rooted in the shadows at the unmapped edges and hinterlands, where you become your own light or wear the dark near as skin, where you’re strange and awful and you choose—because in monster stories choosing is the most important thing—despite what was done to you, and all the nightmares after, to be tender and soft and foolish and gentle. it’s having a mouth of razor teeth that can rip out throats and deciding not to use them (but sometimes letting light shine on the sharpness of them, when you also need to be dangerous)