Showing posts from August, 2011

Nearly 4,000 SF fans and pros from around the world gathered in Reno, Nevada this week for Renovation, the 69th World Science Fiction convention. 

It was a blast.  I had five days of hanging out with some of the best writers and most amazing fans in the world.  I worked in Program Operations at the con, and enjoyed that as well.  Much of our work was dealing with crises involving program items--panelists who don't show up, communications breakdowns regarding room set-ups--and I again appreciated just how many volunteer hours go into making a Worldcon happen. 

I was also on the program at Worldcon.  My first panel was on Thursday afternoon: "Tall Tales vs. History in Pirate Research".  What a great discussion! The room was full of fans and my fellow panelists were Tim Powers (On Stranger Tides), Carrie Vaughn of "Kitty the werewolf" fame, A.C. Crispin, who wrote Jack Sparrow's backstory for Disney, …
Am I the last romance reader in the world who's bothered by constant head-hopping?  I'm reading a novel now by a popular paranormal author (no, I'm not going to name her) and the abrupt POV shifts back-and-forth within a single page are giving me a headache!  I'm willing to tolerate it from Nora Roberts when I read one of her books because she's Nora freakin' Roberts and she's that good, but the rest of you?  Not that good. Yet.

Dorothy Dunnett's six book Lymond Chronicles are told from everyone's POV except the hero.   We're only in his head for one sentence.  And yet I defy anyone to read and enjoy those books without coming away feeling like you know the hero.

It takes effort to stay within a single POV for a scene, especially in a romance because you have two protagonists.  I've written scenes where I switched POV midway through because I thought it was necessary for the story, and I've written scenes where I deliberately went back a…
I'm sometimes asked about the "proper order" for reading my novels.  I write all of them to be read as stand-alone books, but some of them are linked, so I'll post a little reading guide here:

Read The Bride and the Buccaneer before Captain Sinister's Lady.  A younger Morgan Roberts, aka "Captain Sinister" is a secondary character in Bride.

Pirate's Price is set a generation before Smuggler's Bride.  The heroine of Smuggler's Bride is the daughter of the H&H of Pirate's Price, and characters from that novel make appearances in Smuggler.

Right now Sea Change is fully a stand-alone novel, but I have an unpublished novel that features a secondary character from Sea Change as the hero. Stay tuned!

My Renovation (Worldcon 2011) Schedule #renosf 

Here's my final schedule for the 69th Worldcon,  Renovation, August 17-21 in Reno, Nevada.   If you're trying to decide whether or not to go, they also sell memberships at the door.

Where there's an (M) next to my name, I'm moderating that panel.  If you're coming to the "Pirates for Kids" panel on Friday at 5 p.m., have pity--I'm going to have to sprint to make it there on time.[g]

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
Watched the 2011 "Jane Eyre" movie tonight.  I knew how it ended--I'd read the book.  I still believe the BBC production with Timothy Dalton is the gold standard of Edward Rochesters (and I'd seen Orson Welles and George C. Scott do it), but Michael Fassbender wasn't bad.

And I confess, I have a soft spot for Sinjin Rivers.  I always hoped his ship to India would get overrun by pirates led by a hot lady pirate who would take him prisoner and show him a good time.  He needed it, poor lad.
I had to cancel my book signing at Books Plus in Fernandina Beach this Sunday due to a family obligation.  I'll post a notice when it's rescheduled, and I apologize if this inconveniences anyone.
Watched "A Tale of Two Cities" (1935) on TCM tonight.  I knew how it ended--I read the book.  So many great performances in this film--Ronald Colman as Sidney Carton defined the tragic romantic hero.  And I'd nearly forgotten Blanche Yurka's outstanding performance as Madame Dufarge.

Leonard Malkin gives it four out of four stars, and I have to agree.  To say they don't make them like they used to is cliched, but there is validity to it.

By the way, SF fans, Fritz Leiber is one of the actors in this classic.

Writing is going well this morning, the kind of morning where I feel like I made the right career choice after all.  Since it's been a while, here's a snippet from my WIP.  You're going to see it warts and all, and it shows part of my writing process. When I don't like a word or have doubts, I put it in brackets and move on.

It 1817 pirate Robert St. Armand is sailing from the Caribbean to England.  Aboard the Prodigal Son is his young daughter Mathilde, age 8 or so.  Robert realizes he needs some quality childcare, and happens to know Mathilde's former governess is aboard another vessel in these waters.

[Working Title) The Hot Pirate's Secret Baby

“I am contemplating murder at this moment, Captain St. Armand. Leave me alone to continue to St. Thomas!”

“That I cannot do, and I am done discussing this.”

She gasped as he hoisted her in his arms.

“I suggest you cease struggling and put …

Ahoy, Florida First Coast!  I'll be signing books at Books Plus in delightful, historic downtown Fernandina Beach on Sunday, August 7 from 1-5 p.m.  The bookstore is a cozy spot with coffee, wi-fi, gifts, and a children's corner for the littlest book fans.  Of course, any day at the beach is wonderful, and you can explore this special area once known for being a haven to pirates and smugglers.

The Bride and the Buccaneer is partly set in Fernandina, so I'm really looking forward to returning to the town.  Be sure to drop by and get a signed copy of one of my books for your summer beach reading.