The Alphahole Conundrum

My books! Spotted in the wild at George R.R. Martin’s Beastly Books.

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is “Sex on the Beach & Sand in the Wrong Places: What’s your favorite bit of pop-culture fiction doesn’t work well in reality?”

For the record, I’m going to put out there that you CAN totally have sex on the beach without getting sand in the wrong places. It’s not even that difficult. Are these other people rolling around in the sand with sticky parts first?? I can’t even.

Anyway… Come on over for my thoughts! 

A Spoilery Story About the Ending of THE FIERY CROWN

A reminder that tomorrow night is my rescheduled event at Mysterious Galaxy. Come on by and hang out!

For those of you who listened to the Beastly Books interview with Melinda Snodgrass for the release of THE FIERY CROWN – and if you didn’t, you can watch it here – you’ll know that we discussed the ending. (Also, Beastly Books is a great Indie Bookstore where you can buy signed books from me.) Melinda asked me why I ended the book where I did, instead of where she thought I would. I explained that I did waffle on the ending, and my editor ultimately weighed in and I went with her suggestion. After we stopped recording, I asked Melinda where she thought I would end it – and it was an even worse point than I’d contemplated! Then she told me how she’d frame the closing shot in the screenplay. (Melinda started out writing for Star Trek: The Next Generation and still writes a lot for Hollywood, along with her excellent novels.) And, damn people – I want this woman to write the treatment for the miniseries! Because it’s such a cool idea, I wanted to share it.

But, obviously, this spoils the ending. Read on forewarned and so forth.






Okay, so!

What I waffled on was, I very nearly had Con go back to the citadel after delivering Lia’s corpse to the boat. He’d go on his suicide mission and Lia would awaken on The Last Resort thinking him dead. Very Romeo and Juliet – which, tragedy, I know – and because I had book three to fix it all again, right? But Editor Jennie said, weeeeellllll…. since it’s a Romance, we need a happy ending in this book, too. Since I wasn’t committed to my tragic R&J ending, I agreed.

But Melinda!

SHE thought I would’ve ended it when Lia dies! That’s where she’d end the season, she said, with a closing shot of the orchid ring on Lia’s finger withering away as she dies on the wizard’s slab.

There’s a reason this woman is besties with George RR Martin!

Also, I can totally picture this closing shot and how I’d be bouncing out of my chair about the ending of Season 2 and how I had to wait forever for Season 3. Clearly she also knows her business.

What do you all think of these alternate endings? Would you have come after me for either of those? 😀


On Shutting My Mouth for a Day

Yesterday, June 2, 2020, many of us observed Blackout Tuesday to show respect for the Black Lives Matter protests. This followed on a weekend of protests, particularly in the US, over police brutality and the resultant deaths of black people in police custody. The peaceful protests were deliberated escalated by white nationalist groups hoping for violence, and culminated on Monday afternoon with Trump ordering tear gas and bullets to disperse a peaceful crowd demonstrating in front of the White House so he could appear to part the crowd like Moses and pose in front of a church with a Bible.

I was supposed to have a book event at Mysterious Galaxy on Monday evening – one already moved from an in-store event due to the COVID-19 pandemic to an online party via Zoom – and I’d been wondering about how I could pull off a fun and engaging event when the store coordinator reached out to me via Facebook. We agreed that it wouldn’t be right to have a book celebration under those circumstances, so we put out a statement to that effect. And we rescheduled for Thursday, June 11. I hope you’ll all still attend!

It was easy to reschedule. I was happy to step back on talking up my book for the evening as we wrestled more important matters. And I felt strong emotions the following morning when I changed my social media profiles, banners and top posts to black squares. I didn’t post a podcast interview I had planned. I also took down all of the ads I could think of. That was me, shutting up for a while.

And no, I didn’t use any hashtags, or even any words, because I was shutting up for a while.

A few hours into the blackout day, people began sending around cautions that the blackout posts were flooding the hashtags needed to convey information, and many people hastily pulled those off. Much later in the day, an author friend tagged me on Facebook telling me I shouldn’t be doing it at all because the world needed my voice (and those of the other people she tagged). I explained that’s why I hadn’t used the hashtags. I refrained from saying that the world could do without white voices for 24 hours.

That was the point: to step back, shut up, and allow black voices to be heard.

That’s why I didn’t use any hashtags to begin with, because I didn’t need to make this about me. I saw so many white authors using this crisis to elevate their brand and visibility. Seriously? Can’t we just STOP for 24 hours?

Anyway, I’m clearly back to yammering about Me and My Book. But I also hope to be aware of allowing others to speak. Right now, listening and letting others speak is the best thing we can do.

Naming Fantasy Characters, Places, and Things

The upside of me not being in San Diego on June 1 is that my event at Mysterious Galaxy will be available to all of you via Zoom! Would love if you all joined in!

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is Names: What’s your favorite source/method for naming your characters, places, etc? Come on over to learn my secrets.

Fire and Chaos at The Ripped Bodice!