behind the scenes

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…

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.

Tech, Feminism, and Sexual Submission in “Eidolon”

Lily is the lady protagonist of Eidolon, and unlike me, she grew up with a very clear picture of how the tech industry, the Internet, and its denizens marginalize women. Especially women in technology or some other space erroneously identified as being straight, white, cis men-only.

Computers have been around a long time. While you might think of computing as a male-dominated industry today, which it is, women were the original pioneers in programming while their male counterparts were “more interested in building” the machines for which women wrote the first algorithms and computer languages. Women like Ada Lovelace and Grace Hopper.

Then in the mid-80s when personal computers were entering US homes, marketing began targeting young men. This marketing in addition to ‘80s pop culture pushed the stereotype that computers (and later, video games) were for boys. Girls who were interested in computer science were overlooked, discouraged, and pushed out.

The late ‘80s/early ‘90s brought about the...

Robotics in “Eidolon”

One of the advancements I postulated in the near-future setting of Eidolon is a marked expansion and adoption of human-like robots, which are manufactured and programmed by a large (fictional) tech company named SystemOne. The name of their bots? Eidolons.

A lot of how I imagined Eidolons is based on the speed of advancement of existing tech, on how current tech is (or isn’t) adopted, and on the various pitfalls and ethical questions current tech has faced.

Let’s talk hardware first. Scientists are coming up with some amazing new materials. One of the most talked about is graphene, which is a thin layer of pure carbon.  How thin? One atom thick. And graphene has a whole host of amazing properties with more still being discovered. The potential applications include major advancements in electronics and energy storage, leading not only to flexible, nearly transparent cell phones but also to powerful robot brains made of graphene circuitry and even artificial muscles made of graphene.