My Dreaded Writing Fears Exposed by Carey PW – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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My Dreaded Writing Fears Exposed

I have a confession. I’m scared shitless.

Perhaps some writers fear failure. Some may fear that no one will read their work. While that may be an awful experience, I can’t say that failure occupies my mind too much. It’s there, but not too vocal. In so many ways, success in terms of lots of people reading my book terrifies me.

Maybe it’s my high functioning social anxiety. I have this tendency to make myself small. One reason that I love winter and living in Montana is that I adore the dark. I want to be hidden and covered. But that doesn’t work well in the writing world.

I’m not suggesting that I don’t want people to read my books. And achieving a nice fan base is definitely a goal. But it also scares me.

I like writing about queer characters, and Grayality focuses a lot on transgender and bisexual experiences. However, the queer community faces a great deal of misunderstanding and worse, prejudice. While I do my best to emphasize that my stories in no way represent all queer people’s experiences, beliefs, or feelings, I worry that readers may misinterpret it. Honestly, I would say that my biggest concern is whether my fellow transgender or bisexual readers will love my book or hate it.

Scrutiny is hard. While receiving criticism can be unpleasant, I have always tried to utilize it to improve myself. And I can handle criticism that is honest, specific, and constructive. For example, if my characters were underdeveloped, then great! I want to know so that I can improve in character development. But if someone just writes, “this book sucks” or “I hate it” with no other feedback, I can only feel a little hurt. I’m a little scared of harsh reviews with no specifics or way to make use of that criticism. Worse, I fear getting a lot of them!

Lastly, I fear people reading it overall. While Grayality is fictional, it still conveys my own thoughts, feelings, and struggles in certain ways. Pate’s mental health issues reflect some of my own. Thus, I feel exposed putting it out there for people to see, especially people who know me. Strangers are fine. But putting this out there to people I work with, students I teach, and family is intimidating. Furthermore, Pate shares his feelings about having female genitalia. Therefore, I worry that now everyone will look at me and think about my genitals, something that most transgender people want to avoid.

So, my main fear is sharing myself. It’s always a fear. Yet I do it in my life constantly. I’m publishing this book. I share my innermost personal thoughts and feelings weekly in encounter groups. I share myself as a person with my students in the classroom. I share my OCD and social anxiety in efforts to reduce stigma. But no matter how much I do it, I’m scared. Then again, there is no courage without fear. So far, sharing myself has only created connections with others mostly. Consequently, it’s a risk that I’m willing to take.

Love knows no gender.

Pate Boone, a twenty-six-year-old transgender man, embarks on a new adventure when his childhood best friend, and yes, ex-lover, Oakley Ogden, convinces him to escape their hometown in hopes for something new.

They land in Cloverleaf, a tiny rural town in Montana, so that Oakley can care for his granny who is battling breast cancer. She pressures the two young men to enroll in a nearby college. Pate immediately becomes enthralled with Maybelle, a young, vivacious freshman to whom he fears revealing his transgender identity. Still, he finds it impossible to resist Maybelle, even after he meets her ex, Bullet, a large, violent man determined to keep Pate away from “his girl.”

But there are others who accept Pate immediately, like Stormy. An outdoorsy, rugged freshman, Stormy warns Pate away from Maybelle and Bullet, but Pate’s too infatuated to heed these warnings.

Oakley tries to support his friend’s new love but finds himself entangled in his own emotional calamity when he unintentionally falls for Jody, a gay and ostentatiously confident drag queen. This new relationship awakens deep internal conflicts in Oakley as he struggles to accept his bisexuality, lashing out at Pate and causing friction between him and Jody.

Oakley must decide if he can overcome his insecurities so he doesn’t lose the love of his life. And Pate must discover if the love between him and Maybelle is strong enough for her to accept him as a transgender man, or if she will break his heart.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Pate held up his hand to stop me. “You didn’t pull away when he held your hand. Even he noticed that. You didn’t pull away from his kiss. You think he’s never hit on straight guys before? I think he’d know by now that straight guys pull away—”

“And gay guys don’t?” I asked.

“They don’t if they are interested. Oakley, sexuality is not either/or. Maybe you have some attraction to him. Maybe not toward just any man, but toward him.”

I had been so busy trying to analyze my repulsion toward guys that it had never dawned on me to consider what made Jody attractive to me. His emerald-green eyes alone were enough to mesmerize anyone. His skin was silky and soft like a woman. His frame was small and delicate. But thinking on it, it wasn’t so much those physical traits as it was his confidence and free spirit. I had never seen a girl perform and light up a room as if she owned it the way Jody had dominated the club in Billings. When he realized that I thought he was a girl when I made the date, his response was calm. He didn’t get offended or even embarrassed. Jody was going to keep being Jody. I hadn’t found that certainty for myself yet.

“It wouldn’t mean anything different than me preferring to stay a feminine guy,” Pate replied, shrugging his shoulder. “It’s not about girl or boy. It’s about the feminine and the masculine that’s in all of us.”

About the Author:Carey PW (he/they) is a debut author, college instructor, and mental health counselor. Carey is currently completing his next manuscript, Acing the Game.

Carey lives in Montana, and identifies as nonbinary, transmasculine (AFAB) and panromantic asexual. Due to the lack of resources in rural communities, Carey has discovered that writing about his lived experiences is a therapeutic outlet for him and hopes that his readers relate to his own personal struggles and triumphs shared through his characters’ narratives. Carey is particularly interested in exploring relationship conflicts around sexuality and gender differences. He has also worked as a high school writing instructor and college writing instructor, earning a B.A. in English Literature, a M.Ed. in English Education, and Ph.D. in Social Foundations of Education all from the University of Georgia. In 2020, Carey earned his second M.Ed. in Counselor Education and works as a licensed clinical professional counselor, LCPC. He has a strong passion for working with the unique mental health issues of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Readers can learn more about Carey from his blog, When he is not writing, Carey is busy training for marathons, parenting his six cats, sharing his culinary talents on social media, serving on the board for the nonprofit Center for Studies of the Person (CSP) and learning photography.

Carey PW loves to hear from readers. You can find his contact information, website and author biography at Pride Publishing.

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  1. Thank you for hosting!

  2. Thanks for hosting 😀

  3. Bea LaRocca says

    Thank you for sharing your guest post, bio and book details, I appreciate you speaking openly about your fears as an author, I am compelled to send you a cyber mom-hug and pat on the shoulder. Please don’t be offended, as a mother of ten, grandmother of eighteen and counting, friend-mom to at least a dozen of my kids friends growing up, offering comfort and encouragement is just something that I do

  4. Eva Millien says

    I enjoyed reading about your writing fears, Carey, and I enjoyed the excerpt, Grayality sounds like an excellent read!

    Thank for sharing it with me and have an awesome day!

  5. Sounds like a really good book!

  6. Nina Lewis says

    Loved the excerpt! 🙂

  7. Teresa Gilbert says

    thanks for hosting this looks amazing

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