I recently interacted with people who are struggling with another very real and very legitimate fear: “okay, I got over all those hurdles to begin writing, wrote a book, published it and now it’s not doing as well as I’d hoped it would. What if my time is being wasted and I’m losing money and it’s all for nothing?”Read More
Our society loves to play with the concept of “the one”—the “prince” or “princess” who is our soulmate, bound to us through all eternity. We see it over and over again in romantic comedies and romance stories. For some of us, it’s a knight on a white charger who will battle our demons and rescue us from our lives. For others, it’s a person with whom they have an intense, soul-deep connection. Still others fight against the concept and dismiss it out of hand.Read More
I’ve always loved language. Using a different word might completely change the subtle shading of what I am trying to say—how each and every word contributes to the look, the feel, and the texture of a book. Words deepen the experience a reader has with a book, or drags the reader out of the story if something is jarring or out of place. Words are also one of my favorite “geek out” places.Read More
When my friend, Alissa Tyler, asked me to hunt for a picture of the first car that made a powerful impression on me, I had some trepidation. The burgundy Mazda 626 represented my first foray into true independent adulthood. I am not a picture taker—could I even find a picture of my first experience of the independence of owning a car?Read More
I’ve seen and experienced some very strange, inexplicable things over the years. Some fun stuff that makes its way into my stories, sometimes. And some really not so fun stuff, that also might make its way into my stories. Because let’s face it. Being human hurts, sometimes, and pain, as much as we don’t want it to be, is a very powerful, very present human experience.Read More
Science fiction/fantasy is an interesting genre. Over the years, it has encompassed many kinds of stories, from magic and futuristic space battles. Star Wars to Star Trek are two famous screen sci-fi epics and authors like Marion Zimmer Bradley, Andre Norton and Anne McCaffrey offered print sagas of their own. When I was younger, science fiction/fantasy was a catch-all for any kind of fantastic storyline that wasn’t in the form of a reality based, traditional romance, mystery or real life drama.
The genre has since matured into countless types of science fiction and fantasy categories (high fantasy, urban fantasy, hard science fiction, sci-fi romance, to name a few). Cross-genre stories have appeared, melding fantastic elements such as vampires and werewolves into mystery stories, or gritty detective crime solving. Spiritual elements introduced themselves, although the best science fiction has always had a layer of enduring spiritual truth to it, speaking of humanity’s struggles and fears about being alive. Many of the authors I read as a teenager: Marion Zimmer Bradley, Alan Dean Foster, Ursula K LeGuin, to name a few, wrote stories that were thinly veiled societal commentaries (and some of them not veiled at all), exploring real world problems in a fantastical way. Some writers were positive—humanity would prevail—and some were a bit less optimistic, but all of the best ones wrote stories that revealed our human condition in the midst of even these impossible stories.
Hard core sci-fi, many stories written by bonafide scientists who could see what was coming, would provide warnings by weaving thrilling stories about what could be. Many of these have come true—try spending any time in the telecom industry and you’ll discover that artificial intelligence is not quite so fantastical as you might think, although as of now, we haven’t created a Terminator-esque SkyNet. Yet). Softer sci-fi explored culture clash between aliens and humans or alien races, de-emphasizing the technology aspect, but honing in on basic human experience nonetheless.
Yet through all of this, the basic reality remains: the best stories explore our human experience, whether it be through technology or ordinary life with a science fiction twist. We might be writing about other cultures, but we are really writing about ourselves. We are writing about our hopes, fears, experiences, and the truths we are just now beginning to see and experience. It might have fantastic underpinnings, but the truth is, we are writing about ourselves. We are writing about something that we suspect, but don’t necessarily fully know yet. The best stories, the ones that resonate, are the ones with some germ of truth in them. And science fiction, like all of humanity, is evolving with us. We like to escape, but we want to hear truth. And to merge the two: truth cloaked in fun—well, what is better than that?
A few weeks ago, in the midst of one of its famous weather reversals, the Colorado Front Range experienced one of its common, but often dramatic, spring snowstorms. Twelve inches of wet, cold snow interrupted a steady string of 70 degree plus days. And I, being the insane, adopted Coloradan that I am, decided that taking a hike in the middle of it was a good idea.Read More
Today is the start of new things: a beautiful new website and the beginning editing process on book 2 of the Azellian Affairs. I celebrate the new beginning, even as I approach the idea of editing Book 2 with a distinct feeling of nerves: yes, even having been through the editing process once before, with one published book under my belt, I feel nervous.Read More