Welcome to the Dark Side

One of my most memorable gaming experiences was the final choice in the Imperial Agent quest for Star Wars: The Old Republic. Not long being free of my “attachment” to World of Warcraft, I had decided not to play SWTOR. I didn’t want to get sucked into another MMO. But my husband bought it, and my resolve lasted for the thirty minutes I watched him play.

Even though I caved and bought the game and a six-month subscription, I never really got into the MMO part. While my friends were swinging their lightsabers around and apparently saving the galaxy I decided to explore the dark side. I chose the Imperial Agent story because it sounded interesting. Also, the voice actor for the IA sounded pretty sexy. I loved the story for all its twists and turns, but more so, I enjoyed the discovery that a universe famous for being black and white was really all shades of gray. Continue reading

Flash Fiction: My Flame and Collectors

Once again, it’s been a while since I posted some flash fiction! Here are two more pieces written for the Monday Flash Fics Facebook Group. “My Flame” is one of those stories that dropped into my head the moment I looked at the picture. It’s a little creepy, which happens a lot when I write short-form–probably because I don’t have to go back and explain anything. Just serve up a slice of story and let you all decide for yourselves how it happened. The second piece, “Collectors,” returns to the world of Reminders. I like this one a lot and wouldn’t mind continuing this series or eventually writing a longer story set in the same world. One where I actually go back and explain things. 😉 Continue reading

Poor Purter and the Midwife Cowpoke

My good friend and sometime writing buddy Jenn Burke shared this link on Facebook last week: Romance Novels Generated by Artificial Intelligence. Briefly, computational scientist Elle O’Brien fed over 20,000 Harlequin Romance novel titles into a neural network and then asked it to come up with some titles of its own. The results are all sorts of interesting and hilarious.

I find this project fascinating for a number of reasons—most of which have to do with the sorting of data. If we take the results posted by Ms. O’Brien as even a random sampling, the number of times the word “baby” pops up in the AI generated titles would tend to suggest that an inordinate number of Harlequin Romances are about pregnancy and babies. Continue reading

The Myth of the Perfect Draft

When I wrote my first book I had absolutely no concept of how the whole process worked. I wrote a story, read it over, sent it to a friend—who read it over and said very nice things—corrected a few typos, and sent it in. The publisher offered me a contract, and I thought, “Wow, that was easy.”

Then I got my first developmental edit letter.

I’ve had worse. I didn’t cry over that first one. But I did wonder why they’d bought the book if they wanted me to rewrite it. I decided that a first draft—revised, but not really changed—was the idea and that publishers bought ideas they liked and helped you shape them into books.

I can hear you laughing. Continue reading

I’m Not Ashamed to Admit…

There’s a link floating around Facebook that takes you to a list of books you should be probably be embarrassed to admit to reading. I ticked off sixteen out of the hundred. My score would have been way higher if they’d listed every book by some of the authors, particularly John Grisham and Jackie Collins.

I’m not one to brag about having read anything, mostly because I read for pleasure and really hate the idea of judging anyone for what they do for pleasure. (Plucking the heads off kittens and equally disgusting and bizarre hobbies would be the exceptions here.) Continue reading

Teaser Tuesday: Uncommon Ground

Uncommon Ground releases in TWO DAYS! (I’m a little excited.) I’ve already seen a couple advance reviews and they’re making me wish I’d written aliens in New York well before now. 😉

Because the World this story is a part of is new, I won’t have sale links until release day. Until then, how about a sneak peak at the first chapter? Continue reading