Saturday, December 31, 2011

It's Such an Honor Just to Be Nominated!

I have just found out that The Blacksmith's Daughter has been nominated for Best YA Novel in the Preditors & Editors Readers Choice Awards.

I cannot say how psyched I am to hear this! Wow! I am darned near speechless and that's saying something.

But for such a talkative person, I don't blog nearly as often as I should. Quite frankly, I am afraid that if I start spilling I will not be able to stop and will tell all kinds of awful crap that shouldn't be told.

But I swear to do better. So in addition to my super great news about the nomination (please vote at and spread the Musa Publishing love by supporting my peeps at Musa!), I would also like to let you all know what else I am up to.

Well, I am spending a little time on a fanfiction piece as Arcole on Okay, before my editors at Musa start fussing at me for not working on my other stuff, oh, like the sequel to TBD, The Merchant's Son, or my possible upcoming other paranormal romance or that sci-fi piece I'm dreaming up for the Urania line, let me say that I am working on those in my head as I am playing in the Lost sandbox with "Grace Period."

It is really funny how the more I write, the more I write. So working on some playtime helps me work on big plot points for my real stuff as well. I guess blogging counts toward that too. So more writing means more writing and that means more blogging too.

Therefore, look for another blog soon concerning my time and space traveling jacket. That story is true and not crap.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Where the Heck Have I Been??

I have a terrible habit of not keeping up with the news of any variety. I learned the hard way at a newspaper that most of what is called and desiminated as "news" is truly gossip. However, right now I feel a little like I've been kicked in the gut because I just found out that Anne McCaffrey is dead and has been dead for twelve whole days without me knowing it.

Losing Anne McCaffrey is like losing a favorite teacher who changed my life or that neat lady who lived down the road and talked to me like an adult even though I was just a silly kid. I have nearly everything she ever wrote--her books are some of the few that have survived every move-purge over the past twenty-five years. I cut my high school fantasy teeth on her Dragonriders series and she has long been one of my favorite go-to authors for a great read with characters I will like and a world I will be both interested in and find accessible.

Her books were always about so much more than a fantasy/sci-fi premise. They were always about people and relationships and the way connections are forged. That's not to say she didn't also make me want incredible psychic powers and my very own dragon because she did that too.

I guess I need to start watching the news or keeping up with the world better. But then again, if I do I'll only find out more stuff like this that I really just don't want to know anyway.

Thank you, Anne.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"That Ending Sucked!": On Payoff in Fiction

Let me be straightforward---I don't write "literature." Now, that's not to say that I don't try to write well and with literary value. But the primary motivator in "literature" is seldom entertainment. Literature seeks to ask questions and make us think. I hope it makes us better people for having read. And I hope my readers find some really good takeaway value in my stuff as well. But I am all about payoff.

I want people to finish the last page of my stuff and say, "Wow! My questions were answered, my hopes were fulfilled, my expectations were met, and I feel satisfied." Just like after Thanksgiving dinner. Payoff. I love that feeling. I love finishing a book and wanting to hug it to my chest to continue that deep sense of completion. Payoff.

Now, I've read books that were excellent and well-written but left me troubled and pensive in a bad way. Madame Bovary comes to mind. I just wanted to beat the hell out of so many people at the end of that stupid book.

TV shows are the same way. I know that it's got to be the hardest thing in the world to write a series finale. After all, this is TV. People want payoff. And when shows pull unexpected endings--St. Elsewhere and Newhart immediately come to mind 'cause I never watched The Sopranos---people discuss whether or not that unexpected ending gave them payoff.

Take, for instance, Lost. I am beside myself right now since I just finished the show last night. Was that crazy ending payoff? Did I seriously expect payoff? In what way did the show fail to pay me what I expected given the amount of time I invested in watching it? I am still thinking about that.

Because when we read/watch something, we are investing ourselves in it. The closure we get or don't get off of it is the pay we earn by reading. We know if Nicholas Sparks's name is on the cover, part of our payoff will involve major character death and many kleenexes. But what if you're not expecting that? I completely quit reading Katherine Kurtz's Deryni series many years ago because of her tendency to introduce characters I loved just to kill them off mercilessly later. That wasn't the pay I was after!

I have been so thrilled with the reviews The Blacksmith's Daughter has been getting. It has been called enjoyable and a fast, fun read. I am delighted! That's the exact payoff I wanted to deliver. I wanted to take the reader for a ride that they would find interesting and fun, with dashes of deadly peril and romance just to make it extra zippy.

After all, who finished watching Star Wars: A New Hope and wasn't thrilled to see the heroes prevail and Darth Vader spin off into space? Knowing he was out there to come back was part of that excellent payoff. There's nothing wrong with a happy ending.

Maybe I'm just not angsty enough. Maybe I like things tidy. Maybe I don't like to be reminded of my mortality every time I pick up a book or watch a show.

So for all of you out there who'd like to escape the grim realities of life for a little bit, I'm going to keep writing.

Because I believe we can all use a little payoff sometimes.

PS Lost Rant: WTF?!! They are where?? My sci fi/fantasy island expectations just went out the window and my mortality has been stripped bare. I went through eight kleenexes in reunions---OMG James and Juliet---and somehow I still feel robbed. Crap. WTF. End of Lost rant.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Telling Too Much

I am a terrible blogger. I don't update like I should for the following important reason: I talk too much. When I'm blogging, I tell too much. I tell things no one wants to know and that no one should know. But today I have to update because I have things to tell.

First of all, I love Mustang convertibles. I got to drive one about 40 miles last Saturday and OMG it was the best thing! I wasn't cold because the heater kept us toasty. I could talk to my daughter while we rode because it wasn't windy. And I kept this huge, goofy grin on my face the entire time. I have so got to have one to drive to the beach! I no longer have any desire for a motorcycle. I want a Mustang convertible.

Next, the last pages of The Blacksmith's Daughter have been edited and typeset and are ready to GO!!! I have never been so scared in my life. Here is where I tell too much: despite the fact that the folks at Musa---whose opinions I trust---loved enought to publish, despite the fact that numerous readers whose opinions I trust have read it and loved it, I am still terrified that no one will buy it, no one will read it, and it will get terrible reviews!! So if you buy it and read it, please let me know that you did not hate it!! Unless of course you did, in which case don't say anything.

Finally, I have to say that working with the folks at Musa Publishing ( has been the most incredible experience. Everybody has been so supportive and the work that they have done on TBD has been wonderful. Thank you, Angela, for the incisive editing! Thank you, Kathy, for the encouragement and leadership! Thank you, Dominque and Pam, for the promotion! Thank you, Kelly and Lisa, for the incredible cover! Thank you , Coreen, for the beautiful typsetting! Thank you, Kerry, for the fantastic support! And thank you so much, Celina, for giving this book---and me---a chance! Lord, I have probably left many people out and for that I apologize. That is what comes from talking too much on a blog. I say too much or don't say enough. Yes, thank you to Matt, the Dark Lord, for letting me slip in as one of his minions (I am one of the trees that throw apples BTW).

So now, I sit and wait for October 21 to arrive when I can download my first novel into my very own Kindle and read it. I am so nervous I could puke. There. Said too much again.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Musa Publishing Launch T minus 5 days!

Well, folks, the countdown has begun to the launch of Musa Publishing!! I am completely psyched about this. There are so many great books coming out in just a few days, not to mention a fabulous speculative short fiction journal, Penumbra! Plus, The Blacksmith's Daughter will be released October 21!

Work is progressing nicely. We have a beautiful cover and editing is going very smoothly.

Plus, it is has been so great to connect with the other authors and editors. The creative team at Musa is incredible and super to work with. So everybody, get over to Musa Publishing at the release and check out the lineup!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Of Cover Art and Brain Melt

I swear I thought I was on the ball with regard to using the internet. I really thought I understood things about Facebook and email and blogs.

Boy, was I wrong!! I don't know why I never blogged to amount to anything before. After all, I cut my creative teeth writing humor columns for my college newspaper. How is a blog much different? Now I am struggling to find things to say!!! So here's my news at least of the moment.

Editing is going great!! More kudos to Angela than I believed possible.

And the cover is looking super cool! I've seen two mockups so far and I think it is really evocative and fun besides! Can't wait to see it hot and live on the Musa and Euterpe sites.

Meanwhile, I'll be guesting on some upcoming blogs as well! I'll be sure to update with dates and times!!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Weblink is active at Musa!

Hey! Update on The Blacksmith's Daughter!!! The weblink is active now at The Blacksmith's Daughter at Musa Publishing! Please feel free to get on Facebook and share the link too!!

So things are moving right along rapidly. Got the first edits back from my fabulous editor Angela, and now I'm in the process of working those. She's really giving me some great feedback. Also I'm tweaking some sections to better develop ideas that will be important in the sequel--The Merchant's Son. Yep, the first book isn't out yet and I've got the sequel well underway in the planning stages.

Stay tuned for more!! Yep, Angela says I overuse exclamation points. Say it isn't so!!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Release Date set for The Blacksmith's Daughter

Hey, everyone!! We now have a release date for The Blacksmith's Daughter! It will be out on October 21, 2011 from Musa Publishing at as well as Amazon and other sites!

We start edits on Monday---very terrifying prospect! And there's lots of work to be done in creating cover art and blurbs and stuff like that. Any ideas on covers, you guys? I need all the help I can get!!