Friday, May 16, 2008


So right now I'm working on a story that has tons and tons of backstory. But backstory can be the kiss of death. Nothing slows the pacing like stopping the forward progression of the narrative to shoehorn in something that happened a long time ago. So this was my revelation about backstory:

Backstory should be like a striptease. You reveal just enough to make the reader want more. Then, when they're nearly frantic with their desire to know what happened, you can reveal all. Ideally, it should be at a moment when the backstory intersects in a dramatic way with the main plot.

Friday, May 09, 2008


First of all, thanks to everyone who weighed in on the photo decision! I appreciate your input.

Conflict drives the story. How big and how multi-faceted the conflict is determines the scope of the story. Is your conflict big enough to sustain an entire 100 page novel? A 300 page novel? Making the conflict bigger does not have to involve saving the world or life or death issues. It can be just as effective having your character be forced to cross their own personal boundaries and the issues and conflict surrounding that.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Dreaded Author Photo

When I was young (I mean really young, like 13 years old) I wanted to be a model (as did every other 13 year old girl who didn't want to be an actress or a clothes designer). That was well before I discovered how much I loathe being in front of a camera. Hate. It. Talk about stiff and mannequin-like! Oy. Good thing I switched to a much more practical vocation, like writing. ::snerk::

I have been long overdue for a new author photo as my last one is about three years old and I look stiffer than a corpse. However, since I think they're about as much fun as my annual mammogram, I tend to put it off and put it off best friend grabs me by the ear and drags me to a photographer. Yes, everyone needs a best friend like that.

So, after 68 shots, I have two that don't make me cringe. This is actually an excellent ratio. Usually there are zero that don't make me cringe. Since I can't quite decide which one I should use, I thought I'd see what you guys think.

Me in a jungle gym:

Or me hiding behind a tree.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

German Theodosia!

I arrived home late Friday night, dragging in from a long afternoon of work, and found a huge box from my publisher on my doorstep. Truly puzzled, I quickly went in search of a razor knife to open it with.

Imagine my surprise and utter delight when I found an entire box of these!

The German edition of Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos! Isn't it a fabulous cover! Only I think in German, the title is The Curse of the Black Cat. I wonder if all German cats wear earrings, because I'm quite fond of the one Isis is wearing.