GCLS 2018, Las Vegas, July 4-8

So I Had This Idea 2018 – From Idea to Published Work

Karin Kallmaker Events and Appearances, Sisters of the Pen 0 Comments

GCLS 2018, Las Vegas, July 4-8

There are many right ways to finish a novel. Over the years I’ve seen over and over that there’s only one wrong way: not to finish.

Lucky me, every year I’ve been honored to moderate a panel of authors who tell us how they personally got it done. The light bulb went off and they took that idea and transformed it into a finished story. The “So I Had This Idea” Panel is one of my favorite parts of my favorite conference of the Read More

gold boot on purple velvet for Vegas

Vegas Baby! GCLS2018 Class – Chase Your Own Success

Karin Kallmaker Events and Appearances 4 Comments

gold boot on purple velvet for Vegas

First thing first. Awards Gala attire chosen. Is that a purple velvet jumpsuit? Yes. Are those my beloved gold boots? Yes. Am I serious? Yes. VEGAS BABY!

Now that the all-important attire topic is out of the way, I was super excited to hear that the class I proposed to the Golden Crown Literary Society for GCLS2018 had been accepted. I don’t have date and time yet, but it’ll be somewhere between July 4 and July 8. Session is Thursday, July 5, 2018, at 11:40 a.m.

The session will be about an hour and my hope is that everyone leaves with a special piece of paper that will be their talisman, touchstone, shield, whatever they want to call it, against the negativity that we authors feed ourselves with every time we visit social media. Read More

Karin's trusty Makita drill

The Gay Agenda – Saturday in February Edition

Karin Kallmaker LIFE + STYLE 10 Comments

Karin's trusty Makita drill
You’ve heard all about it, the Gay Agenda. So I’m going to put it out there, every detail, so we’re all clear about what The Gay Agenda is.

Rodentia a.k.a. Vermin a.k.a. Field Mice

This Gay Agenda item comes to you from the Department of Wish We Had a Cat. Not just any kind of cat, a mouser with over-achievement issues.

Here’s a secret Gay Agenda fact: Field mice don’t stay in their field. If they did I’d have no issue with them. However, they like dark, warm places, like near the battery in a hybrid car. Read More

book cover my lady lipstick lesbian romance

Paris and Diana at Last – My Lady Lipstick Now Available!

Karin Kallmaker Book News, My Lady Lipstick 0 Comments

book cover my lady lipstick lesbian romance
Diana Beckinsale wears Maniac Red lipstick and high heels for confidence. Paris Ellison wears men’s suits and a Windsor knot in her ties. Same reason: confidence.

With wildly different experiences and goals in life they have a trait in common: the fear that other people will figure out they’re not who they say they are. Don’t we all have that fear on some level? Don’t we all wear some kind of costume that doubles as self-expression and armor?

Join Diana and Paris as they decide if there is any way to let each other behind the masks that have kept them safe. It means letting go of lies – so many lies. Read More

10 diverse women pose as Rosie the Riveter photos by Ilana Spiegel

Thank You Courtney Milan – Representation is Our Job

Karin Kallmaker Craft of Writing, My Lady Lipstick, Sisters of the Pen 1 Comment

four people spell love with their hands

Reading is an Act of Empathy

There’s even science that backs this up: People who read are more readily empathetic about people who don’t live the way they do. As Elizabeth Anderson told me in a recent radio interview, reading allows us to know people.

Because of reading I have strong empathy for little girls who grow up on prairies and all the challenges they fictionally face. However, I didn’t get much empathy for the people who lived on that prairie before the family arrived. For the most part, their authentic story wasn’t told, not by anyone. As a child, I had no way to know that these untold stories even existed.

Reading may make us more readily empathetic, but we can’t empathize with what we don’t read about.

A Couple Million Words and Five Decades Later

Flash forward to me listening to a keynote address by Courtney Milan* on her fascinating story of “having it all” in publishing terms and finding that “all” defined by other people wasn’t what she thought it would be. Read More

book cover unbeliever by Karin Kallmaker

Love is Magic is Love – How “Unbeliever” Came to Be

Karin Kallmaker Book News, Unbeliever 2 Comments

book cover unbeliever by Karin Kallmaker
The mental photograph: mysterious book, a few mumbled words and presto. Naked woman appears out of nowhere. And she’s really angry about it.

That’s how stories begin in my head – a sketch of a moment of a glimpse of an idea. A situation that needs to complete, like a minor chord aching to resolve to a triumphant major.

Unbeliever began as a project featuring sizzling, magic-based love stories. My heroine would stumble into magic – and into the arms of love. When I decided I wanted Unbeliever out in the world on its own, I added the subtitle Love is Magic is Love. At its simplest, that’s exactly what Unbeliever is.

But what if she doesn’t believe in magic, and isn’t so sure about love either?

Facing an inconceivable loss in the midst of the darkest season of her life, Hayley Carnegie wants winter to end, yet can’t bear the arrival of spring. She doesn’t nurture hope or believe there is deliverance from the inevitable future. She proves herself right. And learns she is wrong. Read More

Karin's superpower - knows where the chocolate is

Sommelier of Chocolate – Ask the Right Questions

Karin Kallmaker Chocolate and Inspirations, LIFE + STYLE 3 Comments

More than once I’ve been asked how to find a good chocolate. I don’t know why people think I would know, but I usually ask a question or two, or three, and use their answers to send them the right direction. After all, procurement is a matter requiring analysis of palate, allowances for shipping temperatures, humidity and due consideration of personal tastes.

You might also want to check out It’s All Good, my blog about buying great chocolate on a budget.

Really, It’s Quite Simple

Here are the few questions I ask. Read More

painted vintage no

Lacking in Graciousness and Generosity? So Be It.

Karin Kallmaker Business of Books 6 Comments

painted vintage no

Nothing New Under the Sun

1/17/2018 Update: It’s hard to believe I wrote this blog going on nine years ago. Not only do I still get requests like the one below from New Acme, it’s gotten worse. Now it’s a continuous stream of offers to “crowd promote” and “create viral visibility” through a mailing-funnel-follower-stream a.k.a. unicorn dust magic a.k.a. trendy sounding method that has zero proof-of-concept. Read More

cherry chocolate oatmeal cookies recipe Karin Kallmaker

Cheery Cherry Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Karin Kallmaker Chocolate and Inspirations, LIFE + STYLE 0 Comments

cherry chocolate oatmeal cookies recipe Karin Kallmaker
I don’t do recipe blogs often, okay, this is only the second one ever. (Here’s the first, Turkey Brine.) I usually save a great recipe for use in a book, but oatmeal cookies with cherry and dark chocolate is a winning combination I find irresistible. All the good things in life: Oats, brown sugar and butter, with bright pops of cherry and melting not-quite-bitter dark chocolate.

This recipe is adapted from several sources: Betty Crocker Ultimate Cookie Book, additional methodology from Alton Brown’s Good Eats Volume 2, and my own preference for easy to find ingredients, and techniques that are worth the effort in the final result. Read More


Our Happy Hours – How LGBT People Thrive(d) and Survive(d)

Karin Kallmaker Anthologies, Sisters of the Pen 1 Comment


Our Happy Hours

This week marks the release of Our Happy Hours: LGBT Voices from the Gay Bars. I’m proud to be a contributor to this anthology. The stories, essays and poetry collected between its covers represent diverse voices raised to celebrate and commemorate what our bars have been and are for our community.

History, Herstory, Our Story

I was a women’s bookstore baby. By the time I knew the women’s bars existed, they were already fading in the past. “My Nose Pressed Against the Glass of History” details my first and last visit to a women’s bar and reveals – shock of shocks! – the woman who took me to that gay bar. She might not even remember. She also has a contribution in this anthology. (Any guesses?) Read More

Fingerless gloves on keyboard

Why #SWRepMatters – Disposable and Invisible Equals Unsafe

Karin Kallmaker Craft of Writing 1 Comment

Pride Flag in the wind

“We have a lot of work to do, and choosing not to do it is no longer acceptable.” #ChuckWendig #SWRepMatters

I’m on the Interstates between Colorado and California, slowly turning the brain from vacation to writing mode. It’s hard, but blogs like Not Being Inclusive is Also a Political Choice from Chuck Wendig help. It has given me both a lens and a mirror, and these are helpful tools to my writer brain.

When you see inclusion as a political agenda because exclusion is what’s “organic,” you’re supporting a default world that is your political choice. Every time. Choosing to rep your reality in your stories is a political choice, even when the rep is all white and all able-bodied male.

Because seeing only the inclusive choices as political – therefore not “nautral” Read More