Showing posts from January, 2017

Oath Breaker is Out Today

Today, I get to share my murder baby with you.

Join me as I anthropomorphize a spaceship who was never a baby and technically can’t murder anyone… because she’s not a person. More accurately, she’s not a human. There’s a whole lot of person packed into that gigantic warship.

Let’s talk briefly about the book! What’s it called? Oath Breaker. What’s it about?A warship with a sentient AI uses deadly force to keep her captain alive and convince her new crew to start a war that ended a decade earlier. How long is it?Print copy clocks in at 406 pages. Where can I buy it?Get your copy in ebook or in print.
Now, I’m going to spend the rest of the day celebrating the release. Grab your copy, crack her open and enjoy my murder baby!

Friday Reads 2017 #1

My goals for the first 2 weeks of January included 4 books (I didn't make that) and my goal for the month was 8.
And I’ve managed to get close (if you count the fact that I’m in the middle of book 6 and should be done with it tomorrow).

Let’s talk about what I’ve read, shall we?

Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie - It has taken me far too long to read this book, and I hope to blow through the rest of the Marple books, when my schedule allows.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep Vo. 1&2- The graphic novel version of this book is lovely. I'm really excited to finish the rest of it.

NOFX: The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories - One of my reading plans this year is to read at least 5 memoirs/biographies and I figured, why not start off with one that would have me wincing and questioning another person’s life choices? Note: I married a punk rock kid, and while I like the music, I never would have survived the scene

Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries by Neil Deg…

Author Spotlight: Jamie Wyman

Throughout the year, I’m going to talk about some authors I really like. These are people I’ve met in various situations that are just great people, who also happen to be authors. People whose names you should know for two reasons: a) they’re awesome b) they write kickass books!
So let’s talk about Jamie Wyman.

A local phoenix author, Jamie first caught my eye when I discovered the Cat Sharp series. Her novels revolve around a tech savant whose soul is up for grabs in a vegas poker game played by the various gods of mischief.

And on top of all that, she’s the best kind of person: a total nerd.

If you read her bio on her site, it’ll tell you she can read and write in circular gallifreyan, spin fire and wield drumsticks like weapons.

What it won't tell you is that she hates quinoa and tapioca, and has some interesting (uncomplimentary) thoughts on artificial cherry flavoring. It can’t tell you that she is a fierce proponent of feminism and lady love. That she’s amazing at color therapy a…

Planning the Year

I work best with a plan. That’s true of writing a book, both in plotting and time management.
A book is a huge task. It’s hours out of your life. It’s 100,000-words beaten out of your fingers by little plastic keys. It’s 300 page bloodied with ink, crumpled and thrown at the wall in frustration. It is a piece of you carved out, thrown on a slab and stabbed a few times, just for good measure.

Or at least that’s what it feels like sometimes.

But a page is not an insurmountable task. A scene. 1000-words. Two hours.
Those are things that are easy to wrap your head around. Little goals. They make the world go round.

I’m lucky enough to have approximately 6 hours of my weekdays to devote to authorial work. But without an actual plan, those 6 hours might as well be 30 minutes. I’d love to say I’m an inherently focused individual, but that would be a lie. I’ll chase imaginary butterflies all day long if given the opportunity. So I plan. Because when I don’t, I wind up with missed deadlines and a wh…

7 Reasons I Would Never Be Cryogenically Frozen

I Hate The Cold. This one might be a little on the nose, but it’s true. On top of that, I am abnormally sensitive to the cold. As I write this, I’m sitting in an office where the building’s system is set to “Fan” and my fingernails have a lovely purple ombre.
Freezer Burn: The Science Isn’t Here Yet. Here’s the thing. I’m skeptical of anything touted as being remotely close to the cryonics of SciFi film and books. I don’t think we’ll get to a place I’d be comfortable with in my lifetime. I Don’t Trust the Mechanics. Like the reason above, this is about the technology. Even if we know the “How”, that doesn’t mean we can execute it. On top of that… how will we know when it’s worked? How will we know if it has a minimum and maximum freezer date? I Don’t Trust the Technicians. Say the science works. Say the technology is created. Humans are just big scarecrows of fallibility. Even with safety regulations and training, there are going to be mistakes made. Silvia will accidentally key in the w…

Oath Breaker Insights

So, in 2011, I had an idea. It probably resulted from a fever dream about the TV series Andromeda (a show I only partly remember anymore). That idea was for a sentient ship AI who, unlike Rommie, was not helpful in the slightest. An AI that was just as selfish and easily influenced as a human… one that could love, hate, and experience every emotion in between. One that didn’t know how to handle those emotions in the only way given to her--logically--and thus did things in a way that didn’t always take those emotions into account.
From there, I cut things down and made her a little less crazy. If I hadn’t the crew wouldn’t have survived past chapter 3. But I gave the ship someone to love. Something to fear. And a goal that was neither logical or practical… but was entirely influenced by that love and fear.

With the ship’s fears, a universe came into being that supported her worries. It is a universe much darker than I’d ever explored before. And I populated it with very bad people. With…

Unanswerable Questions

In rewatching the J-series of QI on Hulu, I was once again amused by the dream question thought up by Victoria Coren Mitchell. Why was the March Hare so important to the Aztecs? And then of course she referenced Lewis Carrol’s question: Why is a raven like a writing desk? She called them both unanswerable questions, but they’re not really. Questions like that have a hundred answers. At least, they do if you’re a writer. Take either of these questions and you can come up with a heap of answers in almost every genre (I admit I’m struggling to find a way to use it in contemporary or historical romance, but I’m sure there’s at least one way). And that is truly one of the many ways being in this profession is utterly glorious. Others struggle to understand the world around them. We can ignore anything we choose and make up our own answers, rules, and problems. Why is a writer like a trigonometry test?

Writing Resolve

I’ve mentioned before, here and elsewhere, that I don’t make resolutions. I make goals and I set them all throughout the year and shift as necessary, etc.
But some goals simply HAVE to be set in January. There’s no getting around it. With the exception of school things, January is place where our year starts and so, if you want to track something over a year, it just makes sense to do it now.
One of my main goals each year is a writing goal for word count.
In 2013 it was a million words--something I’m quite chuffed about completing as you’ll know from the fact I absolutely NEVER talk about it. In 2014 it was to average 1,000-words per day (which I did) because after writing those million words, I had a ton of editing to do. In 2015…. Well, health issues took me on a fun downhill slide that didn’t end until I got on the right medication in October. (I got 1/3rd of my total in those last 2 months). It wasn’t a wasted year, but man does it look sad next to 2014 and 2016. And last year, my goal…

Finding Inspiration

One of the questions I hear most often (whether it’s being asked of me or a friend) is:
“Where do you get your ideas?”

It’s something that comes up all the time. Everyone wants to know we got to sparkly vampires, a wizard school, that one ring, or a family’s drama screwing up the galaxy one lightsaber swing at a time.

So what’s the answer? Where do these things come from?

I read once that Run Lola Run was the inspiration for Majora’s Mask.
Star Wars was inspired by Akira Kurosawa. The Hunger Games played heavily off of the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur.
Ideas are not grasped out of the ether. Everything comes from something else. The stories you love come from bits and pieces of ones you’ve never heard of macerating in that author’s brain.

For me, ideas come from anything and everything. They’re little thoughts that filter in through dreams (thanks cheese) or they’re that three word lyric from a song I heard once. They’re a person’s name, a photograph of a broken doll on a side wall, of a …

What I’m Excited For in January

Yesterday was my husband’s birthday, so we’re doing all the things celebratory (and have been all week). It’s always fun as Christmas runs into New Years runs into Birthday.
I have a tattoo appointment in two weeks which is always fun! I decided to turn the magpie and fox tattoo that covers about 1/3rd of my lower left leg into a full wrap, so I’ll be taking my leg up north and handing it off to Stephanie Flannery at Black Castle Art Co for a few sessions of stabbing me with a needle. Oath Breaker My latest novel begins my Death of Empire trilogy and was a ton of fun to write and made my betas and editors hate me a little. Hopefully It’ll make you laugh, cry, scream, and generally want to throw things at me too. Windwitch by  Susan Dennard On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a "witchery," a magical skill that sets them apart from others. - The second book in the witchlands looks just as awesome as the first - Carve the Mark by  Veronica Roth On a planet wh…

IWSG: New Year, New Possibilities

January is that time of year when people around the world set out resolutions and goals for the new year and, if you ask people like my mother, February is the time of year when people forget them, or decide to push them off until next year. I’ve had a lot of goals in the past for what I want my year to look like. There was the year I set out to write a million words (spoiler, I did it!). And of course I always set a Good Reads Reading Goal. Last year’s goal was simply to be better than 2014 & 2015… to prove to myself that even though I’d been handed an epilepsy diagnosis in October of 2015, I was going to be able to get back the focus I’d lost (thank God for being properly medicated). I’m not going to get into the specifics of what my goals for this year are, if you want those, you can meander over to my post about that. Today, I want to point out that making goals is an important step. Obviously you can accomplish goals without having ever stated them, but if you’re like me, it’s …

2016 Goal Results

Writing Goal: Better than last year. Reality: Over 400k more words If you’ve been following along with the monthly goal reports, you’ll have seen that I spent the year kicking 2014 & 15’s respective butts. There are only 3 months that I didn’t surpass them both, and of those three, I still got the silver medal.

By June, I’d surpassed 2015’s count, and in July, I beat 2014. I even surpassed 2013’s counts for 5 individual months.
I did not, however, manage to get myself more focused. Hopefully I can get on that for 2017.
Publishing Goal: 8. Reality: 5. This year was one of getting to understand myself in a better light. One of the self-discoveries I came to was that my pace on things is not a constant. Some edits are the easiest thing in the world. Some are like pulling out my own fingernails, still others find me staring at a page and wondering if English really is my first language. Some drafts are easy to map out, easy to tap out those words and follow the twists and turns that pop up in t…