Velocipede Versus Corset


Here’s a fun new review of The Velocipede Races from Paper Droids:

Which would you pick as a gift for yourself: a velocipede or a corset? I’m pretty sure you all can guess which I’d want…



Slug Magazine Interview

About a month ago I spoke with Davey Davis, who–among other myriad projects– writes for the Utah-based SLUG magazine. The magazine features music, bikes, extreme sports, and other underground badassery. This particular issue is the BIKE ISSUE, so if you have an interest in the wheeling life, check out the many interesting articles there.

I originally connected with Davey through a program called The Clovers Project, which is a support/mentoring project for writers at different stages of their careers. Though Davey and I did not share a “clover” (a mentoring group) we discovered we both love bicycles, and once again, the bicycle made good things happen!

Read the full interview here.

Highlights include a discussion about the romance in The Velocipede Races, more info about my thought processes while writing the book, and details about how I designed the actual races.


Velocipede Races Out Today!


Today, April 12 is the official publication date of The Velocipede Races, my story of an intrepid young woman who defies the odds to do what she loves.

Race to your local bookstore to request a copy! You can also find the paperback and ebook versions on the websites of major booksellers.

However, if you are ordering on the web, the best way to purchase it is straight from the publisher, Microcosm Publishing. Get it from Microcosm here.

The Goodreads Giveaway is in its final hours but you can still sign up there for a chance to win a signed copy.

April Goals

The first of the month flew by me and I almost forgot to make a goals post. Here it is later, but better than never.

In March my goals were:

  1. Read and Polish Sterling ebook file and send to final readers. Check! It’s currently out being read at this moment. After this read, I’ll edit and send to Beth for it’s final proof.
  2. Line Edit and Global Edit. Check, though I finished the line edit by the skin of my teeth today.
  3. Mage & Source Revision. In progress, and going swimmingly but I’m swimming in very thick, very cold…honey.
  4. Covers. Check! I completed all the covers I was hoping to do, although they could use some fine tuning. Look for the STERLING (Tales of Blood & Light Book Three) cover reveal sometime in MAY.

April Goals:

  1. Finish MAGE & SOURCE revision.
  2. Post at least 4 new exercises to my Pilates Blog (I’ve been remiss as other activities occupied my writing hours.)
  3. Blog Post/promote official pub date of The Velocipede Races (APRIL 12!)
  4. Covers/book descriptions–continue fine tuning official covers for STERLING and teaser cover for MAGE & SOURCE and write and finalize book descriptions.
  5. Possible extra credit goal: Blog post about why I bother to do all this, anyway. It’s something I think about frequently and I’d like to corral those thoughts into essay form. At some point.


The Made-Up Words of The Velocipede Races

This morning I got a question on my blog about one of the made up words in The Velocipede Races, which made me think about made-up words in general. I admit I have a tendency to make up words; it’s part of the tendency to make up worlds. When you design an alternate world, naturally (it seems to me) you need new words to describe parts of that new society that are different from ours.

In the case of the The Velocipede Races, one of the reasons I made up words was so that I didn’t end up basing Serenian society  on any one country or culture too much. For example, if I had used “gentry” instead of “riesen,” readers might have immediately characterized Seren as England in the nineteenth century. I wanted to avoid that, because Seren is a blend of many cultures and places, with a generous touch of pure whimsy from my own imagination, too.

Another made-up word from The Velocipede Races is manotte, a Serenian slur for a woman who looks or behaves like a man. I couldn’t find a suitable slur in English. (Aside note: analyzing a language’s slurs can be terribly revealing about who and what is marginalized in that culture). In English, many of the slurs we have for women who look and behave like men are conflated with prejudices about sexuality. For instance: bull dyke or butch. I didn’t want connotations of sexuality in my slur (not because I imagined the Old Guard of Seren wouldn’t be horribly prejudiced about alternative sexualities, but rather because I didn’t feel Serenian society was open enough for any kind of discussion of those sexualities, even in their slang insults!) So a sexuality-charged insult wouldn’t do. Other words for describing women who are outside the gender box, such as mannish or unfeminine, didn’t fit the bill because they were adjectives, not nouns–and I feel that a noun insult carries a deeper vitriol: you are this thing; you have been boxed into a narrow and socially-despised category. So I came up with manotte. I like it because it has that French diminuative -tte at the end, making it infantilizing and patronizing, and it combines two English words: man and not: as in, you are not a man, so don’t try to be one.

My writing comfort zone is pure fantasy. I think most writers who love to write in made-up worlds also like to make up words. Language is a reflection of awareness, the very stuff of the categories and realities we perceive, the prejudices and understandings we have learned. Made-up words build a story’s world and shape a character’s psyche.

In The Velocipede Races, I made up only a few words (for me, at any rate). In my Tales of Blood & Light series, I have three separate cultures, all with their own languages, beliefs, and magic systems, and I have a ton of made-up words to describe the facets of their societies that are different from ours. Fantasy readers are probably quite accustomed to absorbing made-up words via context and suggestion. Other readers, I know, are deterred by such new vocabularies.

My editor, Elly Blue, and I discussed the made up words in The Velocipede Races and decided to include a glossary note at the beginning of the published book. Here’s is the note in its entirety:

A Note About Language

Some of the words that exist in Seren do not exist on Earth, or may be used slightly differently than we might use them here.

Seren is the name of the city-state where the story takes place, an imaginary combination of the prominent late 19th century cities of Europe and America.

Riesen denotes the upper class of the city, the people who are born to privilege.

Velocipedes are two-wheeled, human-powered vehicles similar to old-fashioned bicycles.

The keir is a bicycle or velocipede race that takes place on a track, similar to the keirin race that developed in Japan in the early twentieth century. The first laps are paced to ensure all racers achieve a shared starting speed before the final sprint for victory begins.

Finally, manotte is a uniquely Serenian slur used to insult a woman for behaving or appearing like a man.

I hope this post helps readers consider language and made-up words in a new light. Please note: even though I included “velocipede” in my TVR glossary, it is an actual word in the English language. You say it like this: vuh-la-suh-peed. Go ride one sometime!




March Goals

Last month my goals were:

  1. New Writing. Check! I finished the rough draft of my Glitter manuscript.
  2. Revise Sterling: Check! I madly formatted a new ebook file yesterday and I have it loaded on my Kindle for a read through as one of March’s goals.
  3. Publish Tales of Blood & Light 1-2 boxed set. Check! The boxed set will be available through the end of March.
  4. Promote and sell The Velocipede Races. I feel like I earned about half a check on this one. I did manage to unload about 10 of my author copies, but I think I can do better. I’ll try to do more in March.


  1. Read and Polish Sterling ebook file and send to final readers.
  2. Line Edit and Global Edit. I have two big edits scheduled this month for clients.
  3. Mage & Source Revision. This is the working title for Tales of Blood & Light Book Four.
  4. Covers. I need to finish front and back covers for Sterling and get a teaser cover and a book description going for Mage & Source to put in the final ebook file for Sterling.