Sunday, February 27, 2011


This is a call for assistance.

And writers aren't supposed to do this, but first, a little background:

For the past 3-4 years, published authors who have critiqued my work have told me they expected I would be 'discovered' within a year. Apparently, somebody forgot to tell any editors, because it hasn't happened yet.

Naturally, in my own home, in the safety of my family and closest friends, I have pondered this non-event, kibitzed about possible reasons, wailed about my rotten luck, foamed at the mouth… Okay, maybe not foamed.

One of these friends – who has served me well over the years as a sounding board and beta reader – has decided to DO something during retirement, and start a small press company. Yes, another small press starting up on a shoestring budget. Tommee has asked to use one of my stories – which I self-published several years ago – as the first experimental 'toe in the water', so to speak. It would start out as a free download through

So, we've been working together on website design, my bio, a basic contract … when it suddenly hit us – we need a cover!

If you've ever glanced through the offerings on, you would have noticed that even the free offerings have beautiful covers. If our books are going to compete, the covers have to look great.

That's where we need assistance.

At this point, our budget is minuscule. We are offering peanuts (and embarrassed to do it, but have no choice). As the company grows, payment for the artist would grow, possibly be tied as a royalty to sales, but even 100% of a thousand free readings is still … nothing, so we can't expect to start out that way.

If you are an artist who would like to try for this opportunity, or if you have any questions, please contact Tommee at Fair warning, having made her decision, Tommee can be a little impatient, and would like to get this first offering on the market by the end of March.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

No Specialty

When people first hear that I'm a writer, they inevitably ask, "You write fiction? What genre?"

"Yes." Then I explain that I don't specialize.

I thought I would. I'm a voracious reader of just about anything, but my preference is science fiction and fantasy. In the fourth grade, I wrote a fantasy inspired by Robin Hood, and in the fifth and sixth grades, I wrote science fiction.

During high school, I wrote teen angst. Maybe that's how I coped with my insecurities. In looking back, I realize there was romance in those teen stories. By my senior year, I had gotten quite mean to my heroines, subjecting them to such things as rape and unwed pregnancy. A huge problem like that seemed far more interesting than yet another version of, "Will Johnny ask me to the dance?"

Eventually I found myself writing fanfiction. I got to know other fan fiction writers, and a couple fan editors, and received much encouragement. I still write fan fiction, from time to time, for my own entertainment. But name the genre I write most? That's hard to do. Off the top of my head, I've currently got:

12 fantasy short stories, either done and looking for a new home or between rewrites
10 science fiction shorts, some looking for a new home, some in rewrite, 2 banished to a drawer because they won't behave
5 paranormal shorts in various stages
4 fantasy novels in assorted stages, 1 actually looking for a new home
3 contemporary romance novels in diverse stages
3 science fiction novels attempting to 'gel'
3 Regency Romances patiently waiting their turn
2 paranormal novels beginning to take shape
2 westerns rounding up the details
2 'Batman' stories looking for a villain
1 gothic novella trying to grip an editor
1 fantasy/mystery short assembling the clues
1 fantasy/mystery novel hiding in the shadows
a partridge in a pear tree!

Woops! I mean, The Trilogy I Dare Not Write! Which is a science fiction/romance.

Specialize? Only so far as I have no interest in writing non-fiction. So, what genre do I write? Yes.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Paperback Writer

Last century, the Beatles had a song about a guy who wanted to be a 'paperback writer'. They made it sound sordid and cheap, but even back then, I knew that's what I wanted to be.

If you want to analyze it, it was a logical decision, formed at a very young age. Even as a kid, my favorite form of self-entertainment was to write stories. My favorite type of stories to read was science fiction, since fantasy wasn't as prevalent back then. Once I finished the 3 or 4 sf titles in the school library, and the 1 shelf of sf in the town library, I would save what change I could and go buy my own book.

I grew up in towns so small, there was nothing resembling a book store. The drug store had some comic books and a revolving rack of paperbacks, mostly romances and westerns. I was so young, I don't think I realized books came in hardback except in schools and libraries. So, if I was going to write, obviously I would expect to be a paperback writer.

I'm grown up now, but I still write. I still dream of having paperback books on the shelves with my name as the author. I don't care so much about seeing my name on hardbacks, but if/when it happens, great. Ebooks are the coming thing, and that would be great, too. But I really, really want a physical paperback, not too expensive, but something I can hold in my hands and autograph for fans.

I'm not quite as desperate as the guy the Beatles sang about, but I am just as determined. I want to be a paperback writer!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Mac 5 Point of View 2

Last time, I said I only changed Point of View character in Mac's story when the scene changed. Further reflection reveals that isn't exactly true. There is at least one time when I go through most of a scene from one man's PoV, then switch scenes, back up and show the middle and end of the scene from another man's PoV.

It's kind of a cheat, I suppose, but the first man isn't there for the end of the scene, and the second man isn't there for the beginning of the scene. The only person who is there for both the beginning and the end of the scene is Mac, and I had already decided the PoV would not come from her.

Besides, the two men saw her so differently, by backing up through a few lines of conversation, I could show that even though they heard virtually the same conversation, they interpreted it in vastly different ways. All because each already knew what he thought the real situation was.

There was another way I 'cheated' on PoV, but I just couldn't figure out how to get around it. There are a few scenes where the reader does see things through Mac's eyes, but not through her mind. An accident with the equipment traps an alien intelligence. When Mac is called in to repair the equipment, it shorts out, and the intelligence is transferred to Mac's body. Every time somebody gets close to her, thinking something is wrong with Mac, a large electrical shock sends them reeling back. So, I have some scenes where the alien is observing the crew and wondering what has happened, how to set things right, but I tell myself that isn't Mac's PoV. Others might argue with me about that, I don't know. I figure it's my story, so it's my rules.

Up to a point, that's true. If an editor wants to argue that I'm 'not following the rules', then I'd have to at least consider their statement. But as I've said, Mac's story might never reach the end of its rough draft. Chances are, she's a permanent resident of my mind.