Category: On Writing

Antagonists as Heroes

I’m not fond of anti-heroes, but I do like a well-rounded character rather than a cardboard cutout. This applies to antagonists as much as protagonists (who wants boring), but can an antagonist be a hero? An Antagonist, by definition, acts in opposition to the Protagonist of a story. Usually we call the protagonist the hero and the antagonist the villain, but really it’s a matter of perspective. I truly believe every villain thinks he’s the hero of his own story. So, I write my villains with that in mind. They need to have their own goals and motivations and be as pissed off about the ‘hero’ thwarting their plans as the hero is about the villain’s dastardly deeds. But I think as moral readers, we can tell the difference between the good guys...Read More

Why I don’t write what I know

I just had my first radio interview, and although I spend 4 sleepless hours a night writing my novels because it's the only time I have for that passion, I didn't dream once of pitching my book during the interview. I'd say it's because I like to keep my work and personal life separate, but the interview got a bit personal talking about my son, who has autism, and about the reasons I gave up science (another passion of mine) for marketing, which isn't a passion so much as a necessary evil for the greater good. If you're interested, you can hear the interview here Kinderling Radio. So why didn't I slip in that I'm also an Author? Why don't I  give away bookmarks at the grocery store and read my book obviously in...Read More

Writing Purgatory

  The first half of Eva Thorne Book 2 was a breeze, the pages and chapters flowing by. Now, 2/3 through and I keep getting distracted by playing Sims or baking bread. I still love the plot and know exactly what to do next, but I feel something is missing, a sub-plot that needs to be there. I've decided I need to fully flesh out book 3 and have that sub-plot feed into it. But now I have to back track. Plus a pivotal character isn't quite right yet. I need to do some character building exercises, even some combining I think. The honeymoon is over and I'm entering editing purgatory already!  

What would you do if you became obsolete?

"The publishing industry is reeling today after news broke this morning about Kindle Author, Amazon's new service that  generates high-quality fiction using complex software algorithms. It’s like Build-A-Bear for ebooks. The reader tells Kindle Author what they want in a story, and then Kindle Author automatically generates the book....For many authors and publishers, news of Kindle Author confirms the industry’s worst fear that Amazon is on a mission to commoditize books and turn authors and publishers into tenant farmers tilling Amazon soil.  Now Amazon is cutting out the author - the ultimate middleman - by making the reader the author." It's a curse to skim read as I too often do in this time-poor world, because I fell prey to that April Fool's joke from the Smashwords blog. In my defense, the date of...Read More

A Dame to Kill For

I know I said I'd be watching "Casablanca" next. I'm so ashamed. But "Sin City: A Dame to Kill" For was out on iTunes, and I said "What the hell. It's noir." Sin City is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. I won't say I'm a fan. Overall, I never find them an enjoyable experience, but I do love the black and white style interspersed with vivid colors used to lend a character a bit of...well 'character' is the word. I also like an over the top protagonist or villain now and then. The characters are all over the top in Sin City, which is why the whole suffers, but a few quirky or truly hate-worthy evil characters are great to liven up a story. The gem I found in this particular installment...Read More

Genre-Blending: Is It Safe?

[featimage align="center"] I've sub-titled my website "Genre Blending Fun" because I'm not afraid to embrace my indecision. I mean my complexity as a person. I understand the marketing appeal of a genre. It's easy to know your target audience and their expectations--and meet them. But what if your audience is like me and wants the unexpected? I am a complex person whose interests range from sci-fi and fantasy to mystery, horror, thrillers, paranormal romance and more. I even like to read the classics. Dickens anyone? Plato? I know too much genre-blending would make anyone motion sick, but how much can you take before you need to get off the ride? Once upon a time the paranormal romance genre didn't exist. Harlequin format was the standard. That has changed in a big way. Who...Read More

Vampires, Werewolves and the Bandwagon

With a certain werewolf/vampire movie coming out this week, based on an incredibly successful book series, you really have to wonder why is it so popular? It's not a new phenomenon. Werewolf and, especially, vampire stories are resurrected (couldn't help myself) every few years. Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee, Interview with the Vampire, Underworld... So, why won't they die? (sorry, couldn't help myself again) I've loved monster movies and creepy stories since I was a child. I particularly remember reading a ghost story where a man fell in love with a mysterious woman who wore a red velvet ribbon around her neck. She would never answer his questions about it and made him swear not to touch it. Overwhelmed with curiosity one night, he removed the ribbon while she was sleeping--and her head fell...Read More

Writing Prompts

Michele at Southern City Mysteries has begun this diabolical new series called Writing Prompt Wednesdays. The prompt was "How tides come crashing...". These things get into my head and I have to write something. It doesn't matter that I don't have time, that I should be doing a million other things, but I can't help myself. So here's the two bits I came up with. First thing that popped into my head: Green water crashed against the stone that had once crowned a mountain. Waves wore it down, tides moving in and out, commanded by the moon, thousands of days; thousands of years…until the strange symbol carved into the basalt vanished. When the last mark was scrubbed clean by sand, the stone cracked, cutting into the Earth, slicing her to bedrock. Darkness wedged...Read More

Blogfest Blood

I'm back with a bit of bloodshed for Anne Riley's Murder Scene Blogfest. Australia is a day ahead of most of the Western world, so I get to post now! Head on over to Anne's blog "tomorrow" and see everyone else's contributions. They'll be great. Sorry to disappoint anyone looking for gore, but I'm a bit squeamish about that stuff and tend to show the aftermath in my writing rather than the murder itself. This is a scene from my very first manuscript (so be kind) and I'd love to hear your comments. Here goes: Shawn felt a premonitory chill. He moved in front of Lori and turned the knob on the door. It wasn’t locked. He slowly pushed it open. “Maggie?” Lori called. He put a finger to his lips to silence...Read More