Sexy Stuff — Research and Taxes


I’m starting a new book soon – soon being a time-issue that is relevant to a rewrite (Gwen’s Rapid Descent) that will take a month, the rewrite of my (Faith’s) Skinwalker, that will take a few weeks, and a short story rewrite that will take a day or so. But I am looking forward to starting a new book, with all its possibilities and potential, about a character that I am just starting to know. A character for whom research is taking me in new and exciting places.


What kind of new and exciting places, you may ask. Ahhh. I am taking cooking classes, dance classes, and learning a few other things…  Not because the character cooks—yet.  But because she will take some cooking classes with a witch-friend. And dancing? The character … um … let me put it this way.  Jane Yellowrock *smokes* on the dance floor.


Jane Yellowrock is a skinwalker. She would just as soon eat her dinner fresh, warm, raw and … well, still twitching. When in beast form, that is. In human form, in book two, she will get bored with her usual diet and take a class. Sushi – to satisfy her beastly and human selves. And maybe a ballroom dance class. Why the dance class? Because in book one, Skinwalker, she dances with a … well, you’ll just have to wait and see.


The point to all this? Two.  First –


It relates to believability, to the suspension of disbelief of the reader, and to the assurance of the writer. I am asking a reader to believe that skinwalkers exist. That vampires exist. That witches (a species biologically unique from humans) exist. If also ask them to believe that I know how to Rumba when I don’t, it may bring them totally out of the story. Besides. The lessons are tax deductible. So is the sushi. I like sushi. So does my character.


Which brings us to my second point – taxes.


A writer has to use all sorts of knowledge to bring the reader into her story, to make him believe it is all possible. In the US, anything that goes into a book, that is required to write the book, becomes tax deductible. And with taxes as they stand today, I need deductibility. So I take lessons. And deduct them.


A detailed and complete calendar, and receipt keeping, are part of a writer’s life. The IRS couldn’t care less that I needed a class. Unless I can prove that I needed it for a book. A book that was published. Writers have to be our own businessmen, even if we hire (which I do) a certified CPA at tax time. How is that different for a non-published writer? Every state is different. Check with a tax pro. With two. Because not all tax pros know about writing and how best to save us money.


Like writing, cooking, dancing, and stalking rogue vampires, taxes are an art form.



Oh. Wait… There’s more!

On June, Friday 13th, JK Holmes will share with us how she got published. Here’s her bio and blurb.


Jeannie Holmes is a native of southwest Mississippi. Before receiving her
Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of South Alabama, she
worked in a variety of interesting jobs, including emergency rooms,
independent auction houses, and even a brief stint in a funeral home. Her
debut novel, CRIMSON SWAN, a dark urban fantasy set in a small Mississippi
town, is due for release in September 2009. In addition to working on the
sequel, she is finishing her Master of Arts degree in English at the
University of South Alabama. She lives in Mobile, AL with her husband and
four neurotic cats.

Alexandra Sabian, a vampire and Enforcer with the Federal Bureau of
Preternatural Investigation, moved to Jefferson, Mississippi six years ago
to escape the ghosts of her father’s murder and a past filled with violence.
Now a killer stalks the vampires living in the small town and the deaths are
resurrecting the past she thought she left behind. Alex must fight bigotry,
the media, and herself, in order to stop the killings before her brother
becomes the next victim.

J. K. Holmes







2 comments to Sexy Stuff — Research and Taxes

  • Sushi as tax write-off. I like that idea very much.

    Research is a funny thing. I hated historical research when I was getting my Ph.D. and comtemplating a career as an academic. But I enjoy the research I do for my fiction. Maybe I just like writing fiction more than I do writing history. Maybe it’s the difference between having to footnote and document EVERYTHING so as not to be tripped up by OCD academics fearful that I’ve tread on their intellectual domain, and being able to do research until I decide that I have enough for my book.

  • JeannieHolmes

    Sushi as a tax deduction. Brilliant! Wonder if that would work for coffee, since I share that particular addiction with my main character.

    Research is fun but also draining, especially when the topic is a bit obscure. I had to research demonology for my creative thesis project. The topic was interesting but finding information wasn’t easy. The libraries around here don’t stock many books on the subject so I had to resort to purchasing them over the internet and some of the books weren’t cheap. However, the strange looks I received from people at a local coffee shop near campus when I whipped out a copy of the Lesser Key of Solomon were priceless.