Friday, November 25, 2011


A few days ago I read a blog in which someone referred to a talk Jayne Ann Krentz gave. In this talk, she mentioned that, in her opinion, the difference between the literary genre and other genre fiction, was one word: optimism. For whatever reason I've been thinking about this since I read that message (Funny, since I was present when Ms. Krentz gave that talk and only now started thinking about it) and I find I agree with her. Optimism is the difference between genre fiction and literary fiction (which is just another genre, but I won't get into that here--much).

It's a little too simplistic to say that all genre fiction is optimistic, but for the most part it is. Even set in an apocalyptic world, the struggle of a man (or mankind) to maintain dignity or the right thing is optimistic. That's why Mad Max works. A loner anti-hero who has lost everything still does the right thing and fights for the right causes. After he does the right thing, the world isn't "cured", but he goes on to do more "right things". Optimistic. In Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, a book with NO heroes, justice does win in the end even if it's in a weird, unjust, twisted way. The book remains troubling because of its ending, which is what makes it a classic, but there is a weird sense of optimism in it. Justice does prevail (and if you've read the book**SPOILER** you understand the pun I'm making).

I think optimism is the right word. Optimism doesn't mean life becomes easy. It doesn't mean that the characters will live out the rest of their lives in pretty meadows filled with unicorns and rainbows, snacking on candy flavored flowers and never gaining a pound. Optimism means that no matter the circumstances, the characters will strive to seek goodness, justice, strength, and love. If death comes, and it will, hope will still exist. Optimism, whether it's the superficial belief that you will win the lottery or the deeply ingrained urge simply to wake up the next morning and slog through the day, is the strength of the human race.

Maybe life is futile. If that's the case, I don't want to read about it or watch it in a film or even know it. I prefer my optimistic delusions. Life is more fun that way.

Books I'm reading now:
Breathless by Dean Koontz
Blood Island by H. Terrell Griffin

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I Like Light

So how badly does it reflect on an author when she labels herself as a light read? I love my books, but my intention isn't to bog the reader down with characters who have depressing baggage, history that's too text book or research that's too dense (Not that I don't do research because I do a ton). I write the books that I enjoy--fun, with humor, and adventure. Yet I hesitate to label myself so. Case in point: I wanted to describe my new Kindle release as medieval-light. Doesn't mean that I didn't do research or that the novel is anachronistic. I will admit I glossed over many aspects of medieval life...because I wanted to. While I enjoyed the research and learned many cool facts, I didn't want to weigh down the light and lively aspects of my novel. I call it Errol-Flynn lit.

I love movies like Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Notting Hill, X-men, Love Actually, anything by Pixar; books like Harry Potter, almost every Agatha Christie, Bewitching, A Kiss At Midnight, and so many more. (By the way, all these stories have themes and important ones at that, but that's a whole other topic.) I also love books/movies like Shawshank Redemption, To Kill A Mockingbird, Casablanca, and other heavier fare, but I stay away from anything like The Hurt Locker, or The English Patient, or stuff you have to use a crane to lift. I recently watched A Single Man. Thought it was slow, but a fascinating character study...and then it ended. If you don't want to know the ending skip to the next paragraph. It's the story of a man about to commit suicide, but through the course of the day he finds his will to live again. It's life affirming; the character finds joy in living again. Wonderful. And then he has a heart attack and dies. Really? REALLY? You want a great, GREAT book where people die and it's still life affirming? Read Dandelion Wine. It's about living life to its fullest, not about the futility of life.

So I hereby declare myself a light writer. I write stories that (I hope) will have you cheering at the end, laughing at parts and maybe even sheding a few tears. I write for fun--fun for me and for you.


Books I'm reading now:
In Her Sights by Robin Perini
I Dream of Genies by Judi Fennell

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My Foray into Self-publishing

As many of you know, I had several historicals released before I was able to write paranormals. Well, I've now re-released the first of my backlist. TEMPTATION'S WARRIOR, an award winning manuscript, is now available on Kindle. I like to call it medieval-light--I definitely did tons of research (who wouldn't love reading about the middle ages?) but in the end I told a fun story (in my opinion). I've released it under my other name, Gabi Anderson. Originally it was released only in hardcover, so it didn't get the readership I thought it deserved.

The cover was so much fun to create. My husband and I found an image we liked ( and then we played with it. The more I looked at him, the more I fell in love with this model. So did my husband. :)

I'm still looking into how to get the book on Smashwords and into the Nook, Kobo, and other formats, so that will be coming. In the meantime, if you're a huge fan and want another Gabi fix and have a Kindle, this is your chance.

Books I'm reading now:
Beyond Ordinary by Mary Sullivan

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wishful Thinking

I have a cover!

It so nails the characters, especially Stormy. You have the beach in San Diego, her usual garb, her tattoo...And Hunter...sigh. Love those arms. Release date is April 24, 2012.

And yes, this is a paranormal, but the cover fits the book. Even if they didn't quite get the dimple in his chin.


Books I'm reading now:
The Strange Case of Finley Jayne by Kady Cross