Sunday, 24 February 2008

Looking all official-like

Woo hoo, the galleys are here. These are the final proof pages of the book before it becomes available to the public.

So my fellow Spinners and I are all reading over the pages with eagle eyes and fine tooth combs and any other finicky cliches, so that we can spot any tyops. Typos.

Now is not the time to save the trees. The only way I can proof read properly is to print out my story and hold it in my hands, pencil at the ready. Somebody's probably done a study to explain why, but all I know is that I can spot things much easier in printed form than on a screen.

In the mean time, The Enchanted Faerie is officially listed as coming soon on The Wild Rose Press website, which is very exciting. I am really looking forward to seeing this book out in the wider world.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Romance isn't just for the past...

Of all the Romance Spinners, I must be the luckiest. In our next project, I get to write a futuristic romance.

You got it baby, I getta write Sci-Fi!

Now, depending on your point of view, my job is either easier or harder than Judy's or Zara's.

Easy: I don't have to do a lot of research. I don't have to make sure my historical facts, fashion, language, and more are historically accurate. I don't have to worry that "contemporary-isms" that don't exist yet are gonna slip in.

Hard: I have to compile, from nigh-scratch, an entire world. I have to invent (well, speculate) future technology (and its foibles). I don't just come up with gadgets and Google's grandchildren but I've got to postulate how that technology will affect the lives of my characters. I've got to come up with future events that would change the world as we know it.

Fortunately, something exists in the Speculative Fiction universe that means I won't have to re-invent the videophone, nor will I have to waste precious wordspace explaining how it works.

It's called the supertext.

Some criticise Science Fiction (and Fantasy too, to some extent) as being self-referential. I guess, in a way, it has to be. How else are we going to define the complexities of future technology, society, races and characteristics?

The supertext works something like this:

I mention I have a vampire in one of my stories. Our Heroine sees the vampire and she reacts with fear. I don't need to go on and explain that vampires are scary un-human monsters who will lure you in with seduction then suck your blood with fangs, because the information is available in the supertext and thus available as "general knowledge".

Now, everyone doesn't have access to all of the supertext. Sometimes bits of it are limited to certain readers of some fiction.

Take, for example, the Three Laws of Robotics. Read something of Issac Asimov's, (or click on the above link) and you'll have a good idea what the laws are and how they work. But if you haven't read any Asimov (nor seen Star Trek, nor anything else that has made, at some point, reference to the Three Laws), then you might not understand why Our Heroine, when faced with a really big nasty robot armed with laser cannons, would not be afraid of him, especially if I established earlier in the story that RoboMonstro With Dual Laser ActionTM was "governed by the Three Laws".

(Counts) I have summoned the supertext with a spell, sentence, fragment of five words.

Pretty powerful stuff.

So now I am faced with a different challenge: I'm not writing for the Skiffy audience. I'm writing for the Romance audience, especially one that prefers historical romance.

Yet I think I'll be okay. The Historical Romance audience has a skill that will enable them to read something from 1016 or 1586 or 1831 or 1923 or 1945 and that will also enable them to understand something from 2172. They are able to look to the past (or the future) and see a world that is different from their own. They are able to understand that Our Heroine won't be carrying around a mobile phone. She'll have other ways to communicate. Her clothes will be different, her language use will be different, her role in society will be different, her goals will be different.

Historical Romance readers will grok this. They may not fully understand the technology that surrounds Miss 2172, but they will realise she is a human with a heart yearning for love. They'll figure her out and come to love her, the way they love the Regency Debutante, the Gibson Girl, the Flapper, the WAVE.

So yeah. I'm looking forward to having Our Heroine's implant misfunction when she moves out of signal range.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

the launch of my free e-serial

Tomorrow (Valentine's Day), I am launching my first ever free e-serial. Entitled Desperate Hearts, it follows the lives of the residents of the fictional town of Rollin's Landing, set in the scenic Muskoka region of Ontario, Canada.

I am holding a virtual launch party from noon to midnight at and hope you can all join me as I send this story out into the world. There will be contests with prizes, virtual refreshments, and I hope some lively chat. See you there!

Sunday, 3 February 2008

many irons in the fire

I am feeling a bit daunted as I read posts on how far some of the Spinners have gone in writing their new anthology stories. Other than some research and a first paragraph (and a lot of mulling over in my mind), I've done so little on mine. Part of the problem is that I have so many irons in the fire at the moment. I've been working on polishing short stories to send to a new romance magazine, and raced like mad on the last day of submissions to get a novella into a publisher. I am launching my first ever free e-serial on my website on Valentine's Day, so have been working like mad on that. ( if you want a little preview) And that's just the major stuff. There's the promoting of my existing work, and the editing and revising of things I want to submit before summer... Sigh....But I suppose, in the end, all will get done.

I've set my Spinner's story just at the end of WW II. I'm in the process of figuring out how to get my American Devereux decendant, to Devon where the bulk of the story will take place. It's an interesting time in which to set a story. So much change has occurred. In fact, I get lost sometimes surfing around researching that I don't get much writing done (another reason why I'm so far behind my sister

BTW, I went to the tarot card site to find out which card I was. It came out as The Lover, but I couldn't figure out how to post it here on the blog. I'm a tad technologically challenged. :o)