Thank you, The Novel Approach, for giving me the chance to talk about Project Fierce Chicago, which comes out on July 16! It’s a fundraiser anthology, the proceeds of which will go to Project Fierce Chicago, an organization that works to provide housing and other services for LGBT youth.
How the anthology came about: Piper Vaughn, who lives in Chicago, had the idea for a fundraiser anthology where all the royalties would go to Project Fierce. Less Than Three Press agreed to publish it and donate all of their proceeds as well. The Call for Submissions went up, and twenty stories will be winging their way to readers in two more days. :)
There are quite a mix of genres in the anthology, but the common theme is young people who lack a home. I know I should do more to help kids like these. Writing a story to help raise money for them is a start, anyway. Since I’ve been very lucky in life and have had no personal experience with homelessness, I decided to go the entirely imaginary route and offer a retelling of a fairy tale. And oddly enough, the story decided to be F/F, even though everything else I’ve written is M/M. It suited the fairy tale better – they’re almost always about girls (see my post at Prism Book Alliance on 7/16 for some thoughts about that), and the sad fact is, girls get kicked out of their homes for being gay just like boys do.
In “Hearth and Home” (one of twenty stories in Project Fierce Chicago), Natasha tries on a glass slipper, blurts out the truth, and finds herself out on the street. Life with Stepmother was hard, but it means Natasha is skilled at all sorts of work – if anyone in the city will hire her. Her wit, strength, and heart eventually enable her to find work, a place to sleep, and friends, but she still yearns for her home – and a certain lady of the royal court – even though she knows it’s stupid to dream about the impossible.
PRE-ORDER LINK: Less Than Three Press
Excerpt: Amelia wasn’t very forthcoming about her life as a lady-in-waiting when Natasha asked her about it. “It’s boring. Meals, reading, walks, instruction on court etiquette, more meals, bed. I don’t get out of the castle much. Or ever.” She laughed a little, but didn’t sound that amused.” Tell me about your life,” she entreated. “It’s got to be more interesting than mine.”
“My life?” Natasha stared at her. “You want to hear about what it’s like to shovel manure and feed the pigs?”
“Yes. That sounds fascinating. My chores are writing letters and embroidery.”
So Natasha told her, and Amelia listened. “Do you still think it’s fascinating?”
Natasha laughed. “Stop by my house sometime. I’ll start you with something easy, like sewing, and you can work up to mucking out the stables.”
“I’d love to. Honestly.”
“Until your beautiful hands start to roughen and dry out.”
Amelia took one of Natasha’s hands and traced her finger over the palm. “They’re not that rough. At least you use yours for something worthwhile.”
If Natasha could freeze time, she would have done it at that moment.
The Giveaway: THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED
And if you’d like to donate directly to Project Fierce Chicago (the organization), you can do so at their link at the top of the page.
You can find more of me yapping away at Prism Book Alliance on July 16 (Project Fierce’s release date), on July 17 at JP Barnaby’s blog (group blog with many of the anthology authors), Rhys Ford’s blog, if I can get my act together and send her something before she goes back to killing off her characters, and on August 23 at The Blogger Girls. Also look for #ProjectFierceAntho on facebook and twitter for other authors’ blog posts, excerpts, giveaways, etc.
Thanks for reading!