Historical Research (Or: How Many Browser Tabs Can I Have Open Before the Window Crashes?)

Historical accuracy is highly important to a significant number of romance readers, especially those who almost exclusively read historicals, so getting all the details right is part of a historical romance author’s job in addition to crafting an engaging plot, well-paced narration, and a memorable love story.

But historical research can be a real bear. While some places and eras are well documented in every area of interest, from clothing to food to everyday life to politics and more, the same cannot be said for all times and places throughout history. You’re likely to find an avalanche of information for writing a novel about political drama between upper-crust characters in Regency-era London, but getting your hands on enough research to convincingly write about the everyday life of a common farmer in rural, fourteenth-century Scotland might just require a bit more grunt work. And that’s not taking into account…

What Inspired “Caught in the Devil’s Hand”

Some of my readers know I used to write fanfiction (still do on rare occasion). Fanfic is an excellent way for a writer to build their narrative muscles, explore their author voice, get feedback on what they’ve produced, and enjoy their favorite media with a like-minded community of fans.

More specifically, creating “non-canon” dialogue and scenes using an existing IP lets writers practice their craft without as much requisite world-building. For example, a Harry Potter fanfic doesn’t have to go into detail about what Hogwarts is, who Harry’s friends are, or how witches and wizards cast magic, if it doesn’t want to. Readers will, by and large, already know that information and can follow along as the fanfic author explores a newly imagined story line or scene set in the same “universe”. And because existing IPs already have an audience…

New & Improved: a Re-Release Bonanza!

My first four full-length novels are hitting bookshelves again. And they're packing new heat!

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What's new?

  • new covers

  • updated blurbs

  • fresh edits

  • new scenes!

All four novels are second editions, meaning they've been revised. Improved readability, snappier dialogue, hotter sex scenes, and tighter narration. Drawn Into Oblivion (previously published as Oblivion) now has a more satisfying ending that also leaves open the possibility of a third novel in the series. (Ooh!) And Stay With Me has a brand-new, sexy scene near the end. (You'll love it!)

When can I get my hands on them?

Each digital edition is now available for pre-order at major online retailers and will release on the following dates:

Where do I go for social media updates regarding your BACK-LIST?

If you'd like keep up with the re-releases via social media, you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Ikémen Sengoku: Story Events and Collection Events

In my review of Ikémen Sengoku: Romances Across Time (iOS | Android), I didn’t go into great detail about how to play “campaign events” within the game, of which there are two general types: story events and collection events.

As I write this, a story event is into its second day. While some story events are based around a theme, such as “Raising a Child” or “What If We Were Married?”, some story events take place on the birthday of one of the romance options. This time, it’s Mitsunari Ishida.

Ruby Reviews "Ikémen Sengoku: Romances Across Time"

If having fraternal twins this summer doesn't completely blow up my life (I'm 99% sure it will, but you never know!), then Ruby Reviews will become a somewhat regular feature of the blog. We're starting off with a bang in this first installment—a "dating sim(ulation)" game you can read/play on mobile that combines many of my favorite things: good writing, romance, time travel, video games, and being on my phone.

First, let me explain dating sims. They're a subgenre of role-playing video games in which your player character interacts with one or more romantic interests with the goal of achieving a happily-ever-after. "Interact" almost always means "choosing one of several dialogue options" at key points in the story, and sometimes there's no incorrect choice—the story simply goes down another path, encouraging you to replay the route to discover all the ways in which the story could play out—but sometimes there's a best answer that maximizes your character's deepening relationship. Think of dating sims as the romance version of "choose your own adventure" stories, only with more of an emphasis on earning a high score.

Dating sims aren't confined to mobile games—I've played and enjoyed Hakuoki: Stories of the Shinsengumi on PlayStation 3—but you'll find a huge selection of dating sims in the app store of your mobile device. They're almost always free-to-play and instead rely on micro-transactions to earn revenue. Often, you'll also find games that let you read the first chapter or two for free, but you need to pay to unlock the entire story.

Self-Publishing #10 — Marketing

Last Updated: April 2018

The final post in this Self-Publishing series is bursting with links! I’ve categorized the most popular marketing opportunities and listed links to resources for more information in each category. Your Mileage May Vary. Note that not every resource is author-specific, but all should have at least a few nuggets of relevant advice.

When possible, I’ve included free* or low-cost marketing options. However, it's often the case that the most effective marketing is either paid advertising, which can get expensive, or sinking time into building a “street team” (artificial “word of mouth,” if you will), a strategy with its own costs and benefits. Not everyone with advice busts out the numbers, but if you read enough posts on book marketing, you’ll come to realize that a book launch/hype strategy will basically boil down to the size of your budget rather than the speed of your hustle. A fast hustle is still worth it (and experience often breeds success and efficiency), but it only gets you so far.

Self-Publishing #9 — Social Media

Last Updated: April 2018

Social media is hot topic among authors, whether traditionally published, self-published, or somewhere in between. Should authors be on social media? Which social network will do the best job of connecting authors to readers and of getting the word out about our books? What’s the best way to utilize the most popular social networks? What’s not the best way?

I don’t think most authors would claim to be social media savants, myself included, but I’ll do my best to get you started, so let’s tackle those broader questions one at a time.

Should an Author Be on Social Media?

Yes. And no matter your thoughts on authors who have traditional publishers backing them up with a marketing budget or authors who have the budget to hire a publicist, you can’t disagree with this one fact: many of your readers are on social media. If you want to find potential readers and tempt them with your book, you have to be on social media, too.

Why I Wrote "The Fisherman's Widow"

The Fisherman’s Widow, while not a romance, is about love. It’s also about grief, and what grief does to us. When I first got the idea for The Fisherman’s Widow, I anticipated a Lovecraftian short story wherein I would continue to explore writing horror. Quite admittedly, I would also try my hand at tentacle porn. (Let’s call it what it is.)

But right around the time Eidolon released and the first draft of The Fisherman’s Widow began, I unfortunately had become closely acquainted with grief, and what it did to me specifically. Thus, The Fisherman’s Widow turned into a much more personal project than I ever intended—a longer one as well, hence it being a novella.