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

The Book Was Better

Well, duh.

Though…

I watch a lot of movies. I also read a lot of books. I’ve watched a lot of movies inspired by books—and that’s my favourite way of phrasing it, because even a faithful film adaptation will differ from the source material. It’s the director’s vision, and the actors’ interpretation of the script. Like a game of telephone, the story is always going to change by the time it hits the end of the line.

There are instances where the movie is better than the book. Buzzfeed has a list of 39. I agree with numbers 8, 13, 18, 27, 29 and maybe 37, but only because I loved, loved, loved these movies. (Also, I always find Stephen King more entertaining when he’s been cut down to two and a half hours.) I could argue over a lot of the other entries on this list, but that’s another blog post. Continue reading

What I’ve Been Reading

I have participated in the Goodreads reading challenge for six years now. It’s the only challenge I’ve ever actually completed – probably because it’s based on the number of books rather than specific titles. This year I lowered my goal from 200 to 100, thinking I wouldn’t have as much time to read. I’m at 97 books right now and June has only just begun, so I think I’ll be adjusting the total back to 200.

Apparently I found time to read. I also found some great books!

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, #1) by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

I hardly need to recommend this book. It has won all the awards, and has over 400 five star reviews on Amazon. I’m going to recommend it anyway, because it’s just that good, and because of the sweet nature of the romance, it will appeal to a wide audience.

I love coming of age stories and I adore the trope “friends to lovers.” Both are handled beautifully in this slow burn love story about two boys whose friendship is all about discovering the secrets of the universe – and themselves. Ari’s struggle to accept himself will break your heart. The way he cares for and protects Dante will put it back together again. The final chapter is just beautiful. Continue reading

I’m bringing aliens to New York!

They land June 22, 2017 as part of the first Gay Romance Kindle World!

The world is set around Felice Stevens’ Memories of the Heart and Breakfast Club series. As an enthusiastic fan of both, I was delighted to be asked to participate, especially when Felice indicated she’d love to see me write something with a science fiction element. After jumping up and down a little (I actually do this) I told her I was gonna bring aliens to New York.

I’m sure she regretted asking me at that point.

I parked my butt in front of the laptop and wrote Uncommon Ground. Continue reading