Wednesday, July 27, 2011

To the winners of the Goodreads Giveaway:  Thank you for your patience while I was at the beach doing research (that's my story, and I'm sticking to it).  Your signed copies of Sea Change are now in the mail winging their way to you!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Renovation (Worldcon 2011) Schedule

I've received my schedule, and they've got me on panels with some heavy hitters, including GoH Tim Powers.  If I wasn't a highly professional author you'd be hearing my fangirl squeeing all over the place! 

Where there's an (M) next to my name, I'm moderating that panel.  You can still buy memberships to Renovation, August 17 in Reno, Nevada.  Kudos to the Renovation Program staff for putting together such a great line-up of talent across the programming spectrum.

Thu 16:00 - 17:00, Arrrggh! Tall Tales versus History in Pirate Research

Pirate fiction is a popular sub-genre. While grounded in history, research about pirates can be tricky. Records are erratic and often exaggerated. What are some of the more reliable resources? And what about when the truth about pirates is stranger than its fiction?

Carrie Vaughn (M), Darlene Marshall, Tim Powers, John G. Hemry, A. C. Crispin

Fri 11:00 - 12:00, The Continuing Popularity of Jane Austen 

Jane Austen remains very popular, including among SF fans. Her books continue to be read, and they've spawned numerous movies as well as a number of spin off novels. The panel discusses Austen's continuing popularity.

Darlene Marshall (M), Brenda W. Clough, Ellen Asher, Madeleine E. Robins, Martha Wells

Fri 16:00 - 17:00, Elements of Romance in Speculative Fiction

Romantic stories focus on relationships and romantic love. Speculative fiction is often considered a
genre of ideas. What is the role of the romantic element in this genre of ideas? How does speculative fiction bring a fresh perspective to stories about emotion and relationships?

Darlene Marshall(M), Christina York, Lois McMaster Bujold, Sharon Shinn, Louise Marley

Fri 17:00 - 18:00, Pirates for Kids

Carrie Vaughn, Darlene Marshall, Tim Powers

Sun 12:00 - 13:00, Fashion Design for Memorable Pirates

One of the things that makes Jack Sparrow a particularly memorable pirate was his fashion sense. What are the essential elements of a good pirate costume? How to think beyond ruffled shirts and tri-corner hats.

Darlene Marshall(M), Karen Dick, Espana Sheriff, A. C. Crispin

Monday, July 18, 2011

As I mentioned, I'm at the beach while my husband attends his annual state conference.  Poor guy, he's tied up in sessions all day while I get to do my work while looking out over a stormy Atlantic.  I took one of the resort bikes today for a ride south along A1A.  It was invigorating to be back on a bike, and when the rain blew in suddenly it was refreshing as well as invigorating.  If it clears up this afternoon I may go for a dip in the ocean.

In the meantime, I'm aware the summer is winding down and I need to be hard at work on my next novel, so I'm hoping that this jaunt away from my normal distractions may stimulate some quality writing.  It's worked in the past, and I'm going to put some real effort into it.

So later, gators.  Hope your summer is going equally well.
Congratulations to the three Goodreads Giveaway winners!  Your copies of Sea Change will be winging their way to you as soon as I return from the beach later this week.  I'm researching my next book, which may be called Lifestyles of the Pirates of Palm Beach or Marauders and Mojitos or That Costs How Much?  Hold on While I Dig Up My Treasure Chest.

Yep.  Research.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Today is Bastille Day, a lovely opportunity to salute the French by having a nice glass of wine, a bit of cheese and a baguette.  In honor of the day I'm posting a snippet from my WIP, Castaway Dreams.  If you've read Sea Change (and if you haven't, get yourself to your favorite bookseller and buy it!), then you know who Alexander Murray is.  He's the hero of Castaway Dreams, and the villain is a pirate named Robert St. Armand.  St. Armand has designs on the heroine as this conversation between St. Armand and the mate illustrates.  So why this snippet on Bastille Day?  St. Armand may--or may not--be a Frenchman:


“‘Daffy Daphne’ was the topic of choice in many a club and drawing room, for you seldom see looks like that combined with money.”
“A lot of money?”
“Oh yes, enough to keep a man happy for many, many years. And what impressionable young woman is not in love with the idea of a bold buccaneer? A voyage across the ocean is just the opportunity I need to sway Miss Farnham to my side instead of Mr. Murray’s.”
St. Armand braced his arms alongside his mirror, looked into the glass and sighed with satisfaction.
“I am so damned pretty, Mr. Fuller. It is no contest at all. The girls at Madame Cornelia’s fight to spend the night with me. The boys at Ganymede’s Cup swoon over my face and form. Miss Farnham is no different and I will soon have her bedazzled. It is inevitable. It is fate. Her money and I were meant to be together.”
He smiled, admiring the teeth that were as white and shiny as ever.
“He says he’s her husband.”
“Murray?” St. Armand looked over his shoulder at his unsmiling mate and snickered at the thought of his competition. If one could even call Mr. Murray competition. Which one would not, because the concept was so ridiculous.
“Then she’ll make a lovely widow in need of comforting, won’t she? A ship at sea is a dangerous place, Mr. Fuller. People slip overboard, are struck by flying tackle, fall down into the hold, even swallow poison by accident. Terribly unsafe. I predict that if Miss Farnham is in fact Mrs. Murray, it will not be an issue by the time we dock.”

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Time is running out!  Enter the Sea Change giveaway now!


    Goodreads Book Giveaway


        Sea Change by Darlene Marshall



          Sea Change


          by Darlene Marshall


            Giveaway ends July 16, 2011.

            See the giveaway details
            at Goodreads.




      Enter to win

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I'm re-reading A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pirates by Captain Charles Johnson.  I've read it many times, but wanted to come back to it now because it's a plot device in my WIP [working title] The Hot Pirate's Secret Baby.  In the WIP, the pirate captain hero reads aloud to his daughter from Johnson's history as a bedtime story, doing some judicious editing on the fly.  The governess heroine is less than pleased with his choice of literature, but little Mathilde (who's taken on the pirate name of "Marauding Mattie") loves hearing about Anne Bonny and Mary Read, Blackbeard and the rest.

Johnson's book is the ur-book of pirate stories in the West, and much of our knowledge and images of pirates comes from him.  The book is entertaining and lively.  It doesn't hurt that "Captain Johnson" may in fact be Daniel Defoe, a man who knew how to write a rousing story!  It still reads well after 300 years.

Friday, July 08, 2011

I thought Conner Calling was a huge success.  If you couldn't hear the show today, Hank will archive it after a few days and you'll be able to hear it on the web.  We talked about changes in the book industry, historical romance, and I read a couple scenes (slightly edited) from Sea Change.  The hour flew by!  I hope we can do it again soon.