Friendship Story Fun, AKA May Announcements

Last week a pretty awesome thing happened: the Book Smugglers declared 2016 as the Year of the Superhero, and announced that they will be publishing my Hurricane Heels Series! There will be five interconnected short stories in total, each told through a different character’s perspective. Here is the summary:

Growing up isn’t easy, even with goddess grace and supernatural ass-kicking powers. The Hurricane Heels series looks at the lives of five magical girls—Alex, Ria, Natalie, Aiko, and Selena—through the years, as they balance slaying the forces of evil with school, secrets, falling in love, and staying friends.

I’m thrilled to be an author with Book Smugglers Publishing, especially since I adored their subversive fairytales (if you haven’t read them, you are missing out). I also love their passion for publishing stories that are diverse, different, and brave. I sent in this story for their “First Contact” open call and went crazy for a few weeks trying not to obsess over it, because I wanted it really bad. I try to psych myself out of wanting things too badly because then my brain makes me think it’s even less likely to happen. (That may deserve a longer post sometime.)

So when I got the email from Ana and Thea asking if I was interested in doing a collaboration for next year, my heart kind of stopped and then sped up. I grinned like a fool on my long walk home, taking out my phone and rereading the email just to be sure I wasn’t dreaming.

I wrote the opening of the first story in a crazed rush during the Clarion Write-a-Thon last year, in one of my “freewriting to hit wordcount” sprints. I’m quite taken with the magical girls trope, and I wanted to explore what happened when such girls got a bit older – so they’re not quite girls anymore. (Hence: a bachelorette party!) Plus I wanted to write about tequila shots and cool weapons and how friendship can be crazymaking.

I had about 1000 words and then stopped and freewrote other things. A few months later I was rereading those scraps and found that the “Magical Girls Story” opening was actually still fun to read – so much so that I wanted to continue it. Over one weekend during my extended stay in Manila I bashed out the rest of the first draft while trapped in a coffee shop with my best friend, listening to Hurricane Jane on repeat, reading fic to keep going, only stopping for the occasional Space Dandy episode, so that my brain wouldn’t go “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU WRITING, STOP IT, STOP IT NOW.”

I didn’t conceptualize it as a series, but when the opportunity presented itself, all kinds of possibilities popped out of my story brain. I hope to cram these tales with good things!

I’m very grateful to my Clarion hearts Christian, Brandie, and Eliza for their feedback on the first story.

AND I’m super excited that the Book Smugglers have given me the chance to share these stories – these girls, and their magic – with everyone. So: look forward to their adventures in Fall 2016!



Some other announcements!

If you would like to read another friendship story I’ve written, you won’t have to wait too long - my story Good Girls is available in the latest issue of Shimmer. Contents include: the California sun, manananggal, chips, mandatory exercise, and the scent of mangoes. I have been a big fan of Shimmer since I discovered and read Issue 18, and I’m thrilled to have a story with them at last. Plus, this issue’s other stories are great.

I also recently had some poetry out:

After the Moon Princess Leaves appeared in Uncanny Magazine issue #2. It’s about Kaguyahime, which I grew interested in after my Japanese tutor described it as one of the first ever science fiction stories. I also recently got to see the Studio Ghibli version, and it wrenched my heart, even if I knew what was coming.

The Multiple Lives of Juan and Pedro appeared in the April issue of Apex. This piece is really dear to me because of how much it draws from Filipino culture. And I got to add in a line from Love Radio, so there is that.


I haven’t been too timely because May is Visitor Month for me in London. (Which, if you’re wondering, is where I’m based until early November!) It’s been a lot of fun getting to know this city, specially its museums, coffee shops, and the speculative fiction community.

I’m grateful for all the lovely folk I’ve been able to get to know here, and look forward to the next few months of soaking it all in – ideally in slightly more temperate weather, though I’m told not to hold out for that too much. I’ll try to get my announcements out more regularly, too!