Friday, February 26, 2010

We Have Kindle!

My thanks to all of you who've been patiently awaiting the Kindle edition of The Bride and the Buccaneer. It's now available, and it's on sale! Follow the link, and enjoy!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Congratulations to Goodreads Winners!

Three people will receive signed copies of The Bride and the Buccaneer in the mail this week, and nearly 1,000 entered the Goodreads contest. Thanks to all of you who entered! If you've purchased a copy of The Bride and the Buccaneer or any other Darlene Marshall novel and would like a signed bookplate, email me at darlenemarshall[at]darlenemarshall[dot]com.

Anillos de Matrimonio, Aros de MatrimonioImage via Wikipedia

Reflections on Wedded Bliss

I celebrated my 34th wedding anniversary this week. We went out to supper the night before with friends, exchanged gifts (he got cufflinks, I got a lovely peridot ring), and our plans to watch a movie and open up that special bottle of whisky morphed into watching ice dancing and drinking herbal tea, but hey, we're old.

It got me thinking though. One of the remarks I hear about my heroes is that they're "nice". Sometimes I hear they're too nice. One faithful reader said she loved Jack Burrell from The Bride and the Buccaneer because he's my "sweetest hero yet", a description that would annoy Jack greatly and cause him to scowl ferociously. He sees himself as a fierce privateer, the scourge of Caribbean shipping.

He is that fierce privateer. But he's also the hero. And I can't write a hero without looking at him critically and asking myself, "Could I marry him?" My perceptions of hero material have been colored by over three decades with a very nice man. I read novels sometimes where the hero may be all rugged and drop-dead handsome, but it strikes me that he's not an especially good or moral person and I wouldn't want to be married to him, much less have him father and raise my children.

So here's to the nice guys of the world, the ones who watch ice dancing with you, and warm your feet at night, and tell you that marrying you is the best thing that ever happened to them. They're the heroes in my books--and in my life.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Boskone 47 Recap

Let me start by saying I had a wonderful time, and a huge "Thank You!" is owed the hardworking volunteer staff who put together this convention.

I picked up my materials when I checked in Friday afternoon, and confirmed that I had two panels Friday night. Then I took a look at the Pocket Program to see what items I wanted to attend. That's one of the perks of Boskone. I'm not only presenting, but I get to see other writers share their expertise.

My first panel was Seriously, Where *Do* Your Ideas Come From? I've done similar panels before, but I always manage to find something fresh to say. This time I mentioned how while I was out walking last week I saw a hot pink condom of unusual dimensions by the side of the road...and it gave me the idea for a story. So the short answer is, my ideas come from everywhere.

The other panelists were Paul G. Tremblay and Mary A. Turzillo, with whom I've done panels at previous cons, and Hugo and Nebula award winning author Lois McMaster Bujold, along with Campbell Award winner David Anthony Durham as moderator. It was a high powered group, and I enjoyed it immensely.

Right after that I had Paranormal Romance: Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Werewolf? with Ginjer Buchanan, Toni L.P. Kelner and Shariann Lewitt. Ginjer was the moderator and did a good job keeping us in line during a lively discussion of where Paranormal Romance fits in with the traditional SF and Fantasy landscape.

It seemed appropriate that this would be followed by The Zombie Casino, our main Friday night event in the Con Suite. There were plenty of zombies, braaaaiiiiinnzzzz (gelatin candy ones), severed fingers and snacks of dubious provenance. Games of chance were played, and I wandered from table to table chatting, snacking, and checking things out. Then at 10 p.m. was the Art Show reception. This year's GoH was John Piccacio, a high energy, active guest, but we also had a Michael Whelan retrospective with the artist himself in residence.

I saw some lovely items at the art show, but fortunately--or unfortunately, depending on your POV--nothing that screamed "You Must Buy Me!" Then it was time for room parties and bid parties and the usual round of convention socializing.

Next morning I was up too early, as usual for a con, but took advantage of the opportunity to have a leisurely breakfast at the hotel and catch up on some reading. The freezing temps outside did not tempt me to venture away from the hotel, and there was plenty to do at Boskone to keep me busy.

I ran into Dani Kollin, who along with his brother Eytan make up the only known sibling writing duo in SF/F. We've been on panels together in the past, and I like the Kollin boys. They're entertaining, and Dani has some neat ideas on publicity and promotion. For example, he's doing a website called Never Ending Panel to keep the conversations from the cons going. Dani asked if he could interview me at the con, and we arranged a time to meet later in the day.

I sat in on Beth Bernobich's reading, and I'm looking forward to her new collection. She's got some great writing going on.

I dropped by the Dealer's Room to check out my novels at Old Earth Books (They were there. Whew!), then got lunch in the Con Suite and chatted with friends I only get to see once or twice a year at conventions.

That afternoon was a demo by the Higgins Armory on "Pirate Combat" and I knew I couldn't miss that! It was everything I'd hoped for, a demonstration of Spanish and English fighting styles aboard ship from the Golden Age of Piracy. Higgins Armory Museum is now a Boskone tradition, offering classes and demonstrations in bladed weapons styles from all eras. They're a great research resource and fun too!

After my interview with Dani and Eytan for their website I attended The Heroine's Journey program with another all-star lineup: Lois McMaster Bujold, Greer Gilman, Rosemary Kirstein , Margaret Ronald and Jo Walton. The panel discussed the differences, if any, between Joseph Campbell's hero and what happens when you have a heroine. One of the more intriguing points that came out was stories about heroines sometimes happen after their children no longer need them--it's at middle age that women have the opportunity to explore and journey on self discovery.

Supper Saturday night was at the No-Name restaurant with a group of fans and pros, and I braved the Boston winter to walk back to the hotel. I'm one tough Floridian! Of course, I knew there would be more parties and plenty of chances to warm up.

Sunday I had a reading and a signing, so I read my excerpt from Castaway Dreams while eating breakfast, timing myself to make sure I'd fit in my 30 minutes. I thought my reading went well, and I had chocolate "booty" from my pirate chest, something I do whenever I have a signing. When I went down to the autograph area I was thrilled to find people lining up for book signings, and got the word from Old Earth Books that they'd sold out of my stock! That really made my day.

Finally, I had my last panel, Believable Relationships with Beth Bernobich, Lois McMaster Bujold, Geary Gravel, Jo Walton and me as moderator. We talked about all kinds of relationships, including sibling relationships, and how we try to keep our writing real even when we have to draw from our own experience--for example, I mentioned that I had brother/sister relationships in my books, but had never written a sister/sister relationship and didn't realize it until that moment. Again, a lively group with a lot to discuss.

Sunday night was the Dead Dog Parties, and time to say goodbye until Boskone 48. Once again it was a convention that was valuable for me as a writer, and personally highly enjoyable. I hope I'll see some of you in Boston next February!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


This is my, I think, really, truly final schedule for Boskone 47. See you in Boston! Dress warm!

Friday 7pm Seriously, Where *Do* Your Ideas Come From?
Lois McMaster Bujold
David Anthony Durham (M)
Darlene Marshall
Paul G. Tremblay
Mary A. Turzillo

We know ideas don't come from a mail box in upstate New York. So,
seriously, where do they come from? Do you muse on "what if's"? Are
there personal inspirations for your tales? Do you find a particular
setting evocative, and just waiting to be detailed in a story?

Friday 8pm: Paranormal Romance: Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Werewolf?
Darlene Marshall
Ginjer Buchanan (m)
Rose Fox
Toni L. P. Kelner
Shariann Lewitt

Since paranormal romance surged to popularity in the 1990's, there's been debate over whether to consider it part of that nebulous field we call "the genre." Paranormal romance has deep roots in the Gothic novels that many fans are proud to proclaim as the progentiors of today's speculative fiction, and paranormal romance authors are big draws at science fiction, fantasy , and horror conventions—suggesting plenty of reader overlap. Why, then, has there been so much resistance to welcoming our paranormal cousins into the genre fandom family?

Sunday 10:30 a.m. Reading

Sunday 11 a.m. Autographing (Books will be available at Old Earth Books in the Dealers' Room)

Sunday 1pm Believable Relationships
Darlene Marshall (M)
Beth Bernobich
Lois McMaster Bujold
Geary Gravel
Jo Walton

How can believable relationships between characters be best
depicted? Does sexuality matter much to you when setting up these
encounters, i.e., if said characters are straight/LGBT, mono/poly,
etc., etc....? Or, can you build characters and connections in such
a way that everything else is incidental? How?? Participants explore
these and other knotty (naughty? Heh) questions, as they talk about
the steamier side of fiction.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Monday, February 01, 2010

New Review! 5/5 = "Awesome" from Smexy Books.

"The Bride and The Buccaneer
is a wonderful tale full of humor, adventure, and a lovely romance that will sweep you away."