My Ongoing Affair with Nathan Drake

As usual, I’m going to start a post by talking about something only tangentially related. After falling for and having my heart broken by Alistair Theirin (Dragon Age: Origins) I actually came to quite like his character—as a friend. Always a friend. In fact, my favourite relationship with him was as the brother from another mother for my Warden, Aedan Cousland. I went on to write something like 600 thousand words of fan fiction after the game, most of which included their extremely close friendship. A large part of my affection for Alistair’s character stemmed from his dialogue and the note-perfect voice acting of Steve Valentine.

Because I’m something of a geek, when I find something I like, I look it up and see what’s related. Other things I can play, watch, read, experience. I do this for video game writers, directors, actors and voice actors, and authors. It’s how I find a lot of my favourites. So I looked up Steve Valentine and discovered he voiced a character in the game Uncharted. Naturally, I wanted to play this game. But I didn’t own a PlayStation 3. I had an Xbox 360. So, basically, I was S.O.L. (My budget didn’t extend to two consoles of the “same generation.”) Continue reading

What I’ve Been Reading

How is it October already? Just last week (in August), I was thinking to myself: “You need to do another reading post.” I made a note in my planner and… turned the page. As always, I’ve been reading lots of awesome books, though. And, as always, I want to share the most awesome ones with you.

Descender, Vol. 1: Tin Stars by Jeff Lemire

The art caught my eye on this one. It’s an interesting style—less “comic” and more “fine art,” with swift lines and watercolour shades. It reminded me of another of my favourite comics, East of West, and it’s just as good. The story starts simply: ten years ago, giant harvester robots swept through the galaxy leaving destroyed cities, dead bodies, and terror in their wake. Since then, even the simplest robots have become enemy number one and hunting them down has given rise to an entire guild of scrappers who hunt rogue bots with the enthusiasm of bounty collectors. 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

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

What I’ve Been Reading

This year I stopped rating books on Goodreads for a couple reasons. One, it felt hypocritical, even though, intellectually, I know it’s not. What writer isn’t also a reader? And why shouldn’t I express my opinion of what I’ve read? Even if I haven’t enjoyed a book, I still internalize a lot of elements such as character, plot structure and pace, either as “things not to do” or “things to explore.” Every book is useful in some way.

More, though, I found that reading with a score sheet hanging in the forefront of my mind placed too much pressure on every book to perform. I was more easily disappointed and less often delighted. I was reading too analytically.

The sense of freedom that comes with deciding not to quantify a book, or qualify the experience of reading it lightened my perspective. The other upside, of course, is that if I’m reading a book inside my genre, I no longer have to wrestle with the “should I or shouldn’t I?” question. Finally, without a score, any comments I leave can be left open to interpretation. Continue reading