Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wait For It...

More often than not, I like Christmas. Rather, I like the family time, the food (duh!), and my baby brother's annual campaign to win Christmas (he's sweet and it cracks me up). Of course, there are tons of things that I hate about it: shopping centers are war zones after Thanksgiving, holiday ads that insinuate that people that love each other should by each other luxury cars donned with red bows that can be seen from space, and snow.

The one thing I'm conflicted about is the pre-gift day count down. Christmas is the one time I'll let my annoyance and distaste for waiting for payout slide.

Make me hurry up and wait in my entertainment, though, and it's over.

I'm going to go off on a video game rant for a minute. I consider video games (the example de jour) to be on par with what we have to do as authors. Stories are told, characters are created, plot is developed. I've noticed a trend with game publishers (that should know better): expansive epics and complicated story lines that are put on hold until the player has learned the rules and controls of the game.

Now the idea is nothing new, but that is what tutorial levels are for. To have hours of game play REQUIRED before you actually play the damn game should be a crime.

You see where I'm going with this, don't you?

If a writer tried to justify having a primer for their book, there would be no way any reader would tolerate "homework" in order to understand the story. Our job is to weave everything a readers needs to know into the story. The rules and workings need to be natural, seamless, believable or else it ruins the immersion. I've put down a few books and games (much to the pain of my checkbook) because that failure. Sure they got they got their book and game sale out of me, but I haven't bought any of the following releases (and there have been quite a few).

Now, not every reader is as hard-headed and spiteful as I am, but the possibility that your sales could be impacted shouldn't be ignored. So just be aware of forcing your readers through a tutorial level in you story. It may be easier for you, but at what eventual cost? :)

Hrm, I need to drop hints for next Christmas. With my luck, I'd probably end up with the games I'm talking about.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Author Interview With Frances Pauli.

We’re joined this morning by Frances Pauli to talk about her new book.

Science Fiction Romance, March 15th
Published by Devine Destinies and available at their website or through
Frances' website.

Story overview:
They have to be lying when they tell her she was dead. With no memory of her past, and no idea who she actually is, Nora has little options. Alone, and at the mercy of the Mercenary Defense Conglomerate, she searches for clues into her past, and the truth about her supposed demise.

If she is a prisoner, robbed of memory and held against her will, then she must trust no one. If she has, in fact, returned from the dead, then who could possibly help her? Armed with only her wits and her inexplicably sharpened senses, she is forced to play along, to search for the holes in their story, and to piece together the flashes of memory that serve only to taunt her.

But the visions seem to confirm the impossible. The man who is supposed to be her fiancé seems bent on confusing her, and the one person she is desperate to be near may very well be responsible for her death. If the silent Roarke is her enemy, why do her visions draw her closer to him? And why, when nothing else seems remotely familiar, does Nora find herself remembering, or wanting to remember only him?

What inspired the piece?
Like many of my stories, Roarke, actually came from a dream fragment.
The images came through really vividly and I took them and expanded
things, played with the possibilities and the characters until a solid
story emerged.

What do you want readers to take with them after they read your book?
Primarily I want them to just enjoy the story. After that, I suppose
if the tale brought up any thoughts about what it would be like to
have no idea who you have a completely clear slate, then I'd
consider it a success. That was how the dream felt-- like a question.
Would you make the same decisions? Want the same desires? Be the same
person? And how much of who and what you are is genuine versus just a
product of your "training." (read that, environment, and outside

How would you describe your writing style?
Can I say "all over the board" and get away with it? Seriously, I
write two ways. One line is serious, sometimes dark, and usually gets
around to a point. The other is random and humorous and just plain
fun. I don't think I'd ever want to give up either, but then, I'm not
so good at picking a horse. Just look at my genres.

Do you plan, or let the story flow?
I pretty much fly by the seat of my pants. I get an idea, usually know
the direction it's heading and have a rough idea of how it ends. The
rest is as much a surprise to me as anyone. It leads to a lot of
revision, but the method keeps me writing--and finishing--projects.

What made you decide to become a writer?
Finishing that first novel. Up until then the idea seemed like a
wonderful fantasy, but when I'd done it, I mean, managed to hammer out
an entire novel, then I got really serious really fast

What is the best/worst thing about authorship?
Best thing? The writing. I love finishing even more--it's like a drug
that rush. Better yet, having someone read it and really enjoy it. I
suppose it's a latent need for validation.

The worst thing would have to be writing synopsis...or trying to
write/talk about yourself. Both are no fun.

Authorly advice, or things I wished I'd known. :)
Google everyone and every company before you interact with them. I say
that a lot. I don't even really like Google. Okay, just search a lot.
But really, learn as much as you can about everything and do your best
to make a lot of friends who know what you might not.

Thanks so much for having me!!

Author Bio:
Though she always held aspirations to be a writer, Frances originally chose to pursue a career in visual arts. Her stories, however, had other plans for her. By the time she entered her thirties, they were no longer content existing solely in her head. Compelled to free them, she set aside her easel and began to write in earnest

She currently resides smack in the center of Washington State with her husband and two children. When not writing she dabbles in insane things like puppetry, belly dance and playing the ukulele. She collects rocks, and is a firm believer in good wine, fine chocolate and dangerous men.

Her short fiction has appeared in Alternative Coordinates magazine.
More information on Frances and her writing can be found at

She offers a free online serial at:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What Dreams May End Up Crashing On The Couch.

I don't know any writer (or artist, for that matter) that doesn't mine their dreams like a 49-er. I feel almost daft for even saying it. It's tantamount to proclaiming the sky is blue. Yes, duh, everybody knows that *rolls eyes.*

The tidbit of painfully obvious info still, nonetheless, never ceases to amaze me. I mean, how freaking awesome is it that we can just wake up and have something from the unconscious mind manifest itself into something usable?

That's not to say that's the end of the thing. More often than not, it's only the beginning. And to be honest, I've only gotten a very few ideas that actually inspired the creation of a piece, mostly sci-fi stuff and a few fantasy.

But I think my favorite thing that happens is when something from a current piece just barges in and flops down on the couch. It's something that you weren't looking for; something you weren't even expecting to happen. And then-bam!-it turns up and presents itself and demands to be dealt with. Funny how in real life, that annoys me so very much.

Anyhoo, I just had to pay homage to the Dream Muse today. She did me another solid with a character I've been unsure of for a long while.

Yay for sci-fi dreams!

**Remember, everyone. The interview with Frances Pauli is this Saturday. Fabulous-nes all around. :D

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Watched Keyboard.

Okay, haven't got the drama under control, but I wrangled back my productivity. Yay!

I'm pretty sure the spazzy monkey part of my brain went into overdrive and just threw my brain into the "all stop" position. Stupid primate. I need a stronger leash. Then there was the preoccupation with my lack of productivity. Staring at the computer just reminded me, over and over again, how little I was accomplishing. You'd think that with my affinity for tea, I'd know better than to "watch the pot."

I'm usually a believer in the idea of working through the block, but sometimes I just have walk away.

*On a way fun note, the weekend of March 27th I'll be interviewing author Frances Pauli. Stop by and learn about her new book and enter a contest for some great prizes.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Life Happens.

This past week was kind of lame and non-productive. The beginning of last week saw computer drama that left a hard drive in limbo. All of the info on it is fine, I'm just lazy and haven't made it a secondary drive yet. I got a tiny bit of work done Saturday morning, but other than that, not much else.

So I've been whining and moody over my lack of work ethic. Maybe I need more caffeine?