Hi guys, we have Erica Kudisch visiting today with her new release Don’t Feed The Trolls, we have a great excerpt and a brilliant giveaway, so check out the post and leave a comment to enter the giveaway! <3 ~Pixie~
Don’t Feed The Trolls
Gaming while female is enough to incur the wrath of the dude-bros, and they’ve come for me. Instead of fighting back, I’ve created an alternate account. Male name, male pronouns. And I’ve met this girl. I’ve always liked girls, and Laura’s adorable and smart and never gives up, and she likes me back. Or rather, she likes the man I’m pretending to be. But I can’t tell her I’m a woman without the mob coming after her too.
And besides: I might not be a woman, not really.
The truth is, I don’t know what I am anymore. I’ve spent my whole life being told how I’m supposed to act and what I’m supposed to be, but none of it feels right. And my lie is starting to feel truer than anything I’ve ever been.
There’s a convention coming up, but the closer it gets, the more I have to choose: lie or fight. But if I don’t stand my ground as a girl, am I letting the haters win?
Then again, those aren’t the only two ways to live.
Hey nerds! Erica Kudisch here promoting my novel DON’T FEED THE TROLLS, a genderqueer romp through internet drama. And if you keep up with the blog tour and its bonus DLC, there’s a $50 prize package achievement for you to unlock. Have fun!
FROM: Martin Summers (firstname.lastname@example.org)
TO: Fatiguee Altestis (email@example.com)
SUBJECT: Eternal Reign Novelization Contest Results
Her Grace the Duchess Fatiguee,
Congratulations! We’re sending this out before the official article drops on the website, in case your spam filter eats the general notification.
A winner is you!
Not just a winner. The winner. The panel really enjoyed The Annals of Altestis and thinks you and your knights have been taking advantage of the gameplay freedoms of Eternal Reign in exciting and innovative ways. GeeKon should be in touch with you in a few hours about your badge, and you can contact the publicity department (CC’d above) if you have any questions before the convention.
We look forward to meeting with you at GeeKon to discuss future opportunities. Our creative team is always looking for new ideas, and who better than the players to shape the direction of the game? In the meantime, keep enjoying Eternal Reign.
President, SummerStorm Entertainment Inc.
“I have to have a creative role otherwise I simply wouldn’t come into work.” —Hideo Kojima
This had better be real. I’m not about to go into literal shock over a hoax. But all those email addresses are real; I would know, I sent the manuscript to half of them two months ago and the other half are household names, at least in a household like mine. So it’s real. Seventy percent chance of real. I can take those odds. I’m allowed to get excited about those odds. Those are callback odds.
Okay. Odds. Calculating odds by facts is better than sitting here wondering. Fact one: The email was apparently sent forty minutes ago. I received it forty seconds ago, but hey, Alain’s hogging the bandwidth. Fact two: I’ll have confirmation when—if—it drops on the website, and while that’s not impossible to fake and there might be something lost in translation, it’s damned difficult, and if someone went through the trouble to rile me up, I should probably let them. Fact three: I’m going into shock anyway, because a seventy percent chance of real apparently doesn’t let me decide whether I’m excited or not, and screw the facts.
I shove back my computer chair and try not to shriek too loud.
Jackie bangs on the wall between our bedrooms anyway. “All right in there?”
“I thought it wasn’t a raid night,” Alain calls from the living room. I didn’t have my door closed, so now that I’ve rolled the chair back I can see him sprawled on the couch, simultaneously playing Ultimate Odyssey XIII (or XIV, I’ve lost count) and breaking in a new pair of drag shoes. He catches my eye and shifts from obvious concern to more optimistic surprise. “Good news?”
“Maybe,” I admit, and wheel the chair closer to the doorway. It doesn’t fit through (we had to build it in here when I moved in) but hey, close is close. “You remember that contest thing I told you about?”
“The Kristin Chenoweth master class thing?”
“No, the Eternal Reign thing.” And whoomp, there it is: even if I really have won this contest, I shouldn’t have entered in the first place. I’m supposed to be auditioning and pressuring my agent into finding me work that isn’t Oklahoma in Oklahoma for the third summer in a row, and here I am, playing MMOs eight hours a day and writing a hundred thousand-plus words of glorified bluebook. But never mind that, and never mind the acid guilt threatening to eat its way out of my stomach. Those hundred thousand words of roleplay logs landed me a seventy percent real chance of an industry interview.
They might seriously hire me. Or at least consult me for user-generated content. It wouldn’t be acting, but it would be a job (maybe!) doing something I love and impressing myself on the media I’ve enjoyed for years. Isn’t that all I really want from acting anyway? To do what I love and get recognition for it?
Since Alain can’t hear inside my head (and he definitely can’t hear much at all over the mediocre English voice acting in this game), he didn’t get all that, and asks, “What, you’re in the finals?”
“Actually, I think I won.”
I swear to god, the Ultimate Odyssey victory theme plays. Alain puts the PS3 controller down. “You think?”
“I mean, I just got an email about it. From SummerStorm.”
Alain stares at me like I’ve started speaking Chinese instead of French. Then blinks. Then drops the controller, mutters, “Thank god for autosave,” and throws himself at me.
I’m sitting in the desk chair. He’s bigger than me (even if he’s assholishly skinny) and wearing the spikiest knockoff Louboutins I’ve ever seen. Somehow, Alain manages not to scratch me while he’s hugging me like a big dog whose master just got home. And he’s shouting congratulations to high heaven, so fast I can’t make out the words. I hug him back, as best I can.
“Let me see!” Alain trills, spinning my desk chair around to get into my bedroom. “Still up?”
“Yeah. Make sure I’m not hallucinating?” Not that Alain will be able to do much more checking than I have, but—
“It’s real,” Jackie says from her room. “It dropped on Twitter.”
I scramble for my phone, since Alain’s evidently taken over my computer—and the phone isn’t in my pocket. I left it on the desk. Whoops. But a couple of passwords and swipes later, it’s real there too:
@EternalReign (Verified member)
ER Contest results are in. Congrats to Duchess Fatiguee of Altestis, and her counts and knights! bit.ly/gh345ny
Well, there goes seventy percent real. It’s now Twitter real.
Alain pounces on me again, so hard my phone goes flying. Thankfully, it doesn’t hit either of my monitors, just the wall. And yup, I’m in literal shock, because even though I’m standing now, I still feel like Alain’s holding up most of my weight.
And then, no, it’s not only him. Jackie’s here too. Naked, because Jackie, and Naked-Jackie-Watching-Anime is a thing, and I’ve definitely interrupted it, but here she is and it’s a three-way hug. Like the old days. I think all our Musketqueer tattoos are out too, poetic as it is.
Jackie, Alain, and I met about fifteen years ago, when my family came to America and I wound up at the French-American School upstate. They had the dubious honor of being the only out kids in our high school until I got there. Alain thereafter encouraged Jackie to hit on me, “because as long as there’s another girl who likes girls they might as well be together,” he said then, in his inestimable fourteen-year-old wisdom. Little did he know we wouldn’t hook up, just team up, and then it was all for one and one for all. Matching tattoos the summer we all graduated: three sabers raised high. And then Jackie, who still hasn’t outgrown her habit of taking in prodigals and strays, got the gang together again after college to pay less rent than we should on an apartment in Manhattan. I swear, it started as me needing a place to crash when I wasn’t on tour, but hey, I haven’t been on tour in three years, and—
God. Can’t I fucking be happy about anything?
“So what’s next?” Alain asks, and a good thing too, otherwise it’s maudlin o’clock. “Prizes? Interviews?”
“Both. I’m supposed to get a free badge to GeeKon, and then interview there.”
Jackie answers before I can: “Seattle, usually November.”
Of course she knows. Jackie’s been to more conventions than me and Alain combined, since she does panels as Lady Francois, fanfiction author and smut peddler extraordinaire. As double lives go, hers might be the least embarrassing of all of ours. She writes millions of words about magical girls in love and saves teenagers from a life bereft of female sexuality. Alain performs in drag clubs around the city as Ivy LeVine—well, that’s not embarrassing, just hard to talk about with new people. Not that there are many new people, since Alain meets far more new people as Ivy than he does as himself.
And I, um. When I’m not Daphne Benoit, perpetually struggling actress, I’m the Duchess Fatiguee of Altestis, in the fictional world of Eternal Reign. Also known as Daphne Benoit, MMORPG addict.
“Dinner’s on me,” Jackie says, disengaging from the hug pile to head to her room and get her phone. And possibly underwear.
I swear it’s reflexive. “You don’t have to—”
“Let her,” Alain says. He bounds back to the couch (bounding in seven-inch pumps is a feat known only to epic-level drag queens) and picks up the PS3 controller again. “If she doesn’t, Orin will. And if Orin doesn’t call within five minutes, I’ll buy the beer myself.”
I sit down on the armchair, since Alain takes up pretty much the entire couch with his legs stretched out like this. I don’t know how he plays sitting less than bullet-straight with his feet on the floor. Then again, Alain doesn’t do anythingbullet-straight. “I’m not taking that bet.”
Alain grins. “You won’t have to. Your phone’s ringing.”
No, it’s not, that’s a text tone. Same difference, though. And once I read it, I’m glad I have the prudence not to make bets about Orin.
Provisions en route, Your Grace. The magic of Seamless conveys gifts of pizza and beer from far-off Rochester. Celebrate as befits a benevolent despot! (Also congrats, you.)
God, Orin’s a dork. But a dork that’s mostly made me smile for, what now, eight years? Fuck I’m old. Well, we’re all old. And fed, apparently. I text back, Your tithe is accepted, my loyal Sachem. And then, for good measure, so he doesn’t get the wrong idea, (Thanks! Couldn’t have done it without you.) Which may not be quite enough to dissuade him from the wrong idea. But it’s too late now, and I should warn Jackie not to order too much food.
I take care of all that—can’t stop Jackie from ordering entirely, but she can afford it and leftovers aren’t a crime. And then there’s nothing to do but wait, and celebrate a little.
I head back into my room, sit down at the computer. It’s real. I’m really going to meet with the creators of Eternal Reign. I really impressed someone, won something, for the first time in ages. I can relax. I can gloat. I can scroll through the announcement websites and tweets and maybe even post it on Facebook for all my people who don’t want to read it in English. I tilt back the chair until it creaks, just breathe for a while.
Something good. Finally, something real is also something good.
I should log in and announce it to my knights. It’s their story too, after all. I boot up Eternal Reign, skip the auto-updates and head straight for the messaging system. I last logged on about three hours ago and it’s not a campaign night, so most of these new messages are probably about the contest. Good to see the knights are in line—
GONNA FUCK YOUR FACE BITCH WRITE ABOUT THAT
go home u fake cunt
gtfo feminazi scum
How about you put my dick in your fucking Anals of Allthesetits?
looks like someone got a facial from Summers!!
Congratulations, whore. Gonna show my appreciation for your fucking trash romance novel by pillaging your ass, just like you want it.
WRITE ABOUT ME CLIMBING IN YOUR WINDOW AND RAPING YOU TO DEATH BITCH
. . . Holy shit.
Read more at http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/dont-feed-the-trolls (just click the excerpt tab)
Erica Kudisch lives, writes, sings, and often trips over things in New York City. When not in pursuit of about five different creative vocations, none of which pay her nearly enough, you can usually find her pontificating about dead gay video games, shopping for thigh-high socks, and making her beleaguered characters wait forty thousand words before they get in the sack.
In addition to publishing novellas and short stories as fantastika-focused alter-ego Kaye Chazan (What Aelister Found Here and The Ashkenazi Candidate, both available at Candlemark & Gleam) Erica is responsible for the BDSM musical Dogboy & Justine, and serves as creative director and co-founder of Treble Entendre Productions.
She also has issues with authority. And curses too fucking much.
Connect with Erica:
- Facebook: Erica Kudisch
- Instagram: hardhandmaiden
- Tumblr: shitmywriterwifesays.tumblr.com
- Twitter: @EricaKudisch