Ilove you robot

I (Love You) Robot: Tropes in Science Fiction & Fantasy #1

I’m fascinated by tropes in storytelling, and so I’ve decided to write a series of posts examining different tropes within Science Fiction and Fantasy. What is a trope? For the purpose of this blog series, a trope is a concept, whether a character type, setting, or plot element, that is easily recognized by the reader. Because a trope is instantly familiar to the audience, it works as an expositional shortcut for the author. Every genre has its tropes, from the brooding teenage heroes in YA fiction to the naughty billionaire bad-boys in romance. Now, I write in Speculative Fiction, specifically, Read More

Strong women

STRONG WOMEN CAN’T COOK AND OTHER ANNOYING STRONG WOMEN TROPES

I’ve been thinking about strong women protagonists lately as I write the sequel to The Seeds of Winter. I tend to value strong women in my creative outlets. The characters I write, the movies and TV shows I watch, the books I read, and even my avatars in the video games I play all include strong women protagonists. Writing the protagonists that carry your story is tricky. Writing strong women protagonists can be even more so, especially if you’re a writer who is conscious how the facets of your character’s personality and actions relate to and represent woman-ness (did I Read More

The Seeds of Winter

COVER REVEAL: THE SEEDS OF WINTER

I’m thrilled to finally reveal the cover for my debut science-fiction novel, The Seeds of Winter. It wasn’t easy getting a cover I love, but I think the final result was worth every bit of angst. Thank you so much to my incredible cover illustrator, Tithi Luadthong (who I’ll be interviewing later this month), and big love to Emily Flynn-Jones, Anna Adler, T.M. Rain, and the Brothers Cross for allowing me to pester them repeatedly for their opinions. I’m now going to pour myself a stiff drink and kick back with some Horizon Zero Dawn.  (That’s a lie; I’ve got Read More

Getting the Most out of Your Book Cover Designer: James T. Egan and Bookfly Design

As authors, we’re constantly told how important having a great book cover is. Many of us don’t have the skills required to create a successful cover, so we commission a designer to do it for us. But even in the hands of a professional, getting that perfect cover can be a challenge. I interviewed James T. Egan, Bookfly Design’s star cover designer about the mistakes indie authors make when designing their own book covers and how they can get the most out of their book cover designer. What are the worst mistakes authors tend to make when designing their own Read More

Beta Reading: 30 Ways to Make It Work

I recently finished the last round of beta reading before my novel The Seeds of Winter goes to my editor, and I’ve been thinking a lot about the beta reading process. I enjoy the beta reading stage, both as an author and as a reader. As an author, it’s exciting when a reader “gets” my vision, and when they don’t, the reasons why are usually invaluable. Either way, it gives me the momentum to keep moving forward. As a beta reader, I love finding those manuscripts that give me a “holy s**t!” moment; it’s inspiring that there are so many Read More