This week on the People’s Guide to Publishing podcast, we’re joined by publishing pundit Guy LeCharles Gonzalez to discuss that important question: does an author need to already be famous (or have x number of social media followers) to publish a book? Guy walks us through the reality of the situation and turns the tables in a refreshing take—should a publisher also have a platform? Lots of marketing chops and unconventional takes for our loyal readers to noodle on here.
Sex toys, sex tools, sexual aids—whatever you call them, they have the potential to revolutionize your sex life. Whether you use them solo, partnered, or in group play, sex tools can bring you to new heights of pleasure, teach you about your body, affirm your identity, and liberate you from physical or emotional constraints. But damn, they can be expensive if you buy them new. Sexologist and therapist Dr. Faith is all about making sure you know how to get off safely and on a budget, and provides instructions for making a variety of do-it-yourself toys without breaking the bank or taking an embarrassing trip to the ER.
Glamorous, exuberant, luxurious decorative details suffuse these pages, each bringing to life an archetype of the classic 78-card tarot major and minor arcana. Inspired by the lushness of the early 20th Century Art Deco movement and the Balkan folk art of her native Albania, Gerta Egy’s images draw you into a fantasy world, beautiful and rich with meaning and feeling. Sprite-like human figures dance, writhe, and play with swords, wands, cups, and coins against modernist patterned backgrounds in these ornate pages that await your coloring pleasure. These images are drawn from the Divine Tarot Deco deck.
An instant classic and underground favorite from the moment it appeared on tabletops worldwide, Hand of Doom puts players into the boots of hardened criminal adventurers, escaping from the dungeons of Brüttelburg into a deranged, demented, dark-fantasy world of swords, sausages & sorcery. Players attempt to make their way through a series of interconnected weird, nasty & mysterious adventures as the world of the Würstreich gets progressively more dangerous & the Hand of Doom descends—distorting the land with evil sorcery. Over the course of multiple sessions, players will make morally questionable decisions that affect the game narrative, all while fighting ghouls, cops, bog monsters, and other unimaginable horrors. Think of it as a role-playing game in a box, dungeon master included.
Our latest publication is a huge, fun coloring book showcasing the wonderous queerness of the natural world: Queer Animals and Plants Coloring Bookby Kes Otter Lieffe and illustrated by Anja Van Geert. The finished product just came back from the printer, and it’s gorgeous—and probably going to immediately get banned in 20 states. We’re sure your state congressional leaders would be horrified to learn that beings from bison to herons to lichen are out their living their best lives far outside the gender binary and with sexualities humans can hardly conceive of. All the more reason to learn this science yourself … and color your rage away while you’re at it.
Kes and Anja kindly sent us replies to some questions about how this book came to be and what other queer ecological liberation projects they are up to—safely outside the US for now. Thanks, you two, we need your work now more than ever!
What inspired you to write your book?
We’re both ecologists and have been thinking about the subject of queer ecology for decades. In Kes’s first novel, Margins and Murmurations, there is a scene about a same sex couple of Kestrels (called Bert and Ernie), and a long romantic walk between two characters who are geeking out together about queerness in more-than-human community. That scene inspired several zines, workshops, articles and… Queer Animals and Plants Coloring Book!
Researching, writing (Kes) and illustrating (Anja) for the book has been a huge adventure. We knew there was a lot to learn, but even we were surprised by the sheer beauty of the stories we discovered along the way.
What else have you written?
Kes is a speculative fiction writer and the author of Margins, a trilogy of novels in which marginalised characters take centre stage in powerful resistance movements. She also has a new novel on the way. She has written several short stories and articles and writes from a working-class, chronically ill, transfeminine perspective.
Anja has published some articles on their medium blog on several topics concerning their work as a breathwork practitioner and herbalist.
What’s the best book you read in the last year?
Kes really enjoyed Embassytown, a beautiful and linguistically rich sci fi novel by China Miéville. And of course, Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, which she can’t recommend enough.
Anja loved exploring the years of experience of no-dig gardener Charles Dowding who shares so abundantly in his books and especially enjoyed Skills for Growing.
What’s next for you?
We are currently deep in the process of writing an accessible science book about queer ecology together. It’s nerdy, political and very exciting! We’re also getting to do some proper science research which is fun.
Kes is putting together a queer ecology podcast, releasing a new novel and a translation of her first one. She also has a lot of seeds to plant before summer arrives.
Anja is setting up a smallholding in the Scottish countryside with their partner Emma, and exploring ways to hold space for queer people as a herbalist and breathwork practitioner.
A Tight Squeeze showcases the hot sex magick of queer t4t connection. Balancing the weird, fun, and exciting with the vulnerable and bewildering, laura q explores the complex and sometimes painful realities of transfem identity, desire, and erotic experiences. Share in the intimacy of two genderqueer lovers’ playful first time together, witness the ultimate spell cast by a fiery mathemagician, and journey with the first trans astronaut toward a whole new kind of first contact. From after-hours surprises that lurk within the closets of a Swedish furniture store to the hustle of navigating life and love in post-condopocalypse Toronto, the queer women, enbies, and bois featured in these twelve tantalizing tales serve up a tender erotic banquet—sometimes with a side of consensual violence and always finished with a sweet course of connection and community.
Lesbian gulls, intersex grizzly bears, gay orgies of manatees, trans clownfish, binary-smashing lichens, sex-changing willow trees, and asexual naked mole rats! Queerness is everywhere in the natural world. This coloring book celebrates the diversity of animals, plants, fungi, lichen, and coral and the way our beautiful queer communities exist far beyond the realms of human culture. So many of us grew up with wildlife programs and school biology classes that showed only monogamous, heterosexual pairings with the goal of making little baby animals. Bring your brightest colors to learn about and befriend some of the most colorful characters in nature and challenge society’s cis-het norms.