I have been writing since elementary school, when I won a University of Arizona writing contest in 4th grade for my first sci fi story (with illustrations!). I finished my first novel in my mid twenties, but after seeing it rejected by ten publishers, I gave up on writing for a while.
Over the ensuing years, I came back to it periodically, but it never stuck. Then one day, I was complaining to Mark (above, on the right), my husband, about how I had been derailed yet again by the death of a family member, and Mark said to me “the only one stopping you from writing is you.”
Since then, I have gone back to writing in a big way, selling more than a dozen stories – some new, some that I had started years before. I am embarking on two sci fi trilogies, and also run the Queer Sci Fi site, a group for readers and writers of LGBTIQA sci fi, fantasy, and supernatural fiction.
I split my writing time between LGBT sci fi and fantasy and contemporary LGBT stories that often have a bit of a twist. I have a special place in my heart for magical realism, which you can see at work in “The Bear at the Bar”, “Between the Lines”, and “The River City Chronicles”.
My second published story, a southwestern-themed MM romance short entitled “Autumn Wind”, was published in the Seattle Journal “Poplorish” in November, 2014. You can download the journal free here.
My third published short story, a modern-day fantasy entitled “A New Year”, came out in late November 2014 in the “Candle in the Dark” holiday anthology (InkySuki store) from Inkstained Succubus.
My fourth story, “Avalon”, another magical realism short, was published on 5/1/15 in the first volume of the Mischief Corner Books Quarterly. MCB Quarterly has also picked up two of my other stories – “Translation” (Fall 2015) and “Repitition” (Spring 2016).
My first two stand-alone novellas, “Between the Lines” and “The Homecoming” come out in July 2015 in eBook form (with Dreamspinner and Less Than Three Press).
In November 2015, my story “The Autumn Lands” came out as part of the “Travels Through the Scarlet Equinox” anthology, and it was released as a stand-alone book on 1/27/16 – my first print title that’s all my own. In March, it ran in audio format on Vance Bastian’s amazing Campfire Podcast, and the audio edition was released shortly afterward.
I had a few more stories out in 2016 – “Flames”, one of the stories I am most proud of, appeared in the “A More Perfect Union” anthology from Dreamspinner. My “going back into the closet” sci fi short “Repetition” appeared in the Mischief Corner Books Quarterly. My “elf and trans guy San Francisco climate change love story” “Through the Veil” novella appeared in “Myths Untold: Faery” from Wilde City. And I capped off the year with “Wonderland”, my slightly off kilter Christmas sci fi love story.
For 2017, I hope to have at least two sci fi novels and two novellas out, including “Skythane”, the first book in my Oberon trilogy, from Dreamspinner, and “The Great North”, my second post-apcoalyptic sci-fi/fantasy MM romance, from MCB.
I am also writing an ongoing serial story called “The River City Chronicles – a magical realism tale set in my hometown of Sacramento – and plan to self publish it when I finish the current story arc. You can read it free here.
I got my first Five Star review for one of the stories in the first MCB Quarterly, from Molly Lolly:
Avalon by J. Scott Coatsworth
Oh man, the emotion! Tony and Jake were so beautiful together. They both gave up so much to be together and help each other. The ending is bittersweet but there isn’t a way to have a happy ending when one of the characters is dying from cancer. But there’s a little bit of hope at the end that Jake is happy where he is.
I live in Sacramento, California with my husband of 23 years, and am thrilled that writing is once again a regular part of my day.