“God-Fearing Woman”

I watch a lot of true-crime shows on the ID channel. As I was watching one of them–American Monsters–where the wife of a nascent film director is murdered, I noticed the cop describing her on the footage from that day. He said “she was a good woman, a god-fearing woman.”

I’ve heard that a lot before. It’s a compliment, at least in many Christian religions. I don’t know about other religions. I’m guessing yes. Now, one of the first things that struck me about that was that once upon a time, the Puritans believed that God was angry and rather malevolent (read Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, among others). By the Victorian period, that had shifted. God was benevolent. Except then, the world started changing beyond fast and a lot of bad things started happening in the world–wars, disease, economic difficulties, and so on. So the Victorians […]

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Pantheons and Pantsers

The absolutely fabulous Faith Hunter offered to let me step in today, so I typed up my post over the weekend, hoping my stream of consciousness screed would actually form a coherent posting come today. Well, you’ll all have to be the judge of that. But it’s so funny coming on the heels of Christina Henry’s wonderful blog yesterday, which I read thinking, “Yes. Yes! Oh, thank goodness I’m not alone.” It’s no wonder I adore her too! Anyway, without further ado, here are my thoughts about:

Pantheons and Pantsers

You’d think a bunch of ancient gods talking in your head would have a lot more decorum than Donkey from Shrek jumping up and down yelling, “Pick me! Oh, pick me!”

You’d be wrong.

The toughest thing about writing a series is knowing where to start and winnowing down all the many ideas flying around in your head to what […]

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Pop Author Psych

You know, it’s crazy. If you try to build psychological profiles of authors in your mind based on their works, you might come to the conclusion they’re some of the blood-thirstiest, most creatively-evil people in the world. Law enforcement agencies the world over assuredly have them on watch lists because of the odd little things they’re drawn to research, like making bombs out of household items, Babylonian plague demons and how much over-the-counter analgesic can kill when combined with alcohol… Ahem…

Well, I can’t speak for all authors or all conductors of such searches, but I can say that the writers I know are pretty awesome people, having gotten their aggressions out on imaginary characters.

Writing is not polite. Or anyway, it shouldn’t be. Whether you’re writing humor or horror, prose needs to reveal something very true and basic at its core, something that the reader can identify with, something […]

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Gotta-Getta-God

Gotta-Getta-God Primer

I can be subtle, really I can. (Waiting for the laughter to die down.) So you might not have noticed how excited I am about the release of KICKING IT, an anthology of all new stories by real powerhouses in urban fantasy who were kind enough to invite me along. I was thrilled to do a story in my Latter-Day Olympians world because a) I love it and b) I got to torture my heroine by putting her in silver booty-shorts and Plexiglas stiletto heels. She’s now out for my blood, but if you read the story, I think you’ll find it a worthy trade-off.

Those of you who haven’t read my Latter-Day Olympians series (BAD BLOOD, CRAZY IN THE BLOOD and RISE OF THE BLOOD, with BATTLE FOR THE BLOOD forthcoming in 2014) might not know that it involves Greek gods running around in contemporary times […]

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Of Quirks and Characters

As far as I’m concerned, anyone who always behaves exactly as expected is a construct and not a character, literary or otherwise. That’s because living, breathing people—and your characters should certainly come across that way to the reader—are unscripted. They’ll frequently frustrate and surprise you. In that way, my characters are to me just like people, family particularly, because no one else gets under the skin in quite the same way.

The reason I’m a pantser rather than a plotter is that by the time I come to the end of a scene or a chapter, I’ve frequently learned something I didn’t know when I sat down to write. Sometimes it’s a bit of background on the character, something he or she has suddenly revealed to me (yes, writing often feels to me more like discovery than creation). Sometimes it a dogleg in the action, because I thought one of […]

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