In Defense of Pantsers . . . Again

July 29th, 2016

I’ve posted before before, before, before, about being a seat of the pants writer and how often people who plot get pantsing wrong. Sigh. Understandably, of course, since it’s not something that works for them. But I’m pretty tired of hearing the same old “If you plot in advance, you’ll save so much time and write so much faster!”

Let me explode that myth.

Plotters need that pre-writing work, the outlines and charts and notes. But that work takes time and words.

Pantsers (typically) do very little pre-writing work. If that work exists, the outlines, charts and notes are minimal. That work takes ZERO to LESS time than the outlining.

Supposedly, pantsers discard more words and therefore plotting is superior because they’re not discarding whole chapters. But that does not withstand scrutiny. Outlines and charts and notes etcs are words that count in this comparison. They count because the pre-writing of plotters and the discarding of a chapter that proved a new direction is necessary is all part of the working-it-out phase of writing.

It really doesn’t matter when or where that occurs. If you need to do it up front before you’ve written any part of an actual chapter, awesome! If you need to wait until you get to that part of the story and then write some words, and then some different words, awesome!

Honestly, I’m just so tired of hearing people who write in more structured ways that non-structured ways are wasteful, I’ll just cry.

More important, if you’re a writer who thinks you can use any process instead of figuring out what works for you, well, that’s why you’re having trouble. Or your book is done and dead on the page.

Sadly, there’s no way to make it easy.


RWA National Conference

July 15th, 2016

I’m here in San Diego, California at the RWA National Conference. What a beautiful place to have a conference. The hotel is gorgeous and the meeting space is wonderful and there are amazing views everywhere you look. There are loads of places to sit for a private conversation. And the weather is spectacular. The mood is upbeat.

The donut party that Megan Frampton and I throw was today, and it was well attended by fun people. Delicious donuts were consumed. This year it was my turn to obtain the donuts and I must say that I did a fantastic job locating the raison d’etre of the party. The Donut Bar in San Diego brings donuts to a whole new level.

Romance writers, donuts, and wine. It was great. Tomorrow are the RITAS, which I love love love attending. I’ll be home Sunday, tired, happy, and sugared out.



Happy 4th of July

July 4th, 2016


Happy 4th! Photos by Yours Truly


How’s it Going?

June 27th, 2016

The writing revising is going well! I’ll be posting Chapter 1 to my website shortly. Very likely I’ll post  chapters 1-2 in the subscriber only section.

To be more exact, I  have been revising Chapters 1-9 as per the usual angst and I don’t even know what I was trying to say there. But now I’m on Chapter 11 and it’s going faster, which is also per usual.

And so, I will wave to you over the internet and get back to it!


Sinclair Sisters Series Covers

June 18th, 2016

Just so you can see, here are all three covers for the Sinclair Sisters Series. Now all three match. I’ve re-uploaded A Notorious Ruin to all the major vendors. If you want the updated cover, you’ll need to follow the vendor’s instructions for obtaining book updates, which is hard or easy, depending.

In writing news, I’m closing in on sending Surrender to Ruin out for first pass reading by someone who is not me.

Cover of Lord Ruin, super sexy Regnency dude looking at you like, yeah, I'm hot.

Lord Ruin. Book 1. Cover by Seductive Designs.


Sexy Super Cute Regency guy sitting in a chair bringing the heat. His shirt's kind of undone a little.

A Notorious Ruin. Book 2 Photography by Jenn LeBlanc. Cover Design by Damonza.


An unbelievably hot Regency man sitting on the arm of a chaise looking very smug

Surrender to Ruin. Book 3. Cover Photography by Jenn LeBlanc. Cover Design by Damonza




Progress Report, Covers, and Complaints

June 3rd, 2016

Progress Report!

I’m doing a paper read-through of Surrender to Ruin, which is going about as expected. It’s a little unusual that I’m at 82K words without a final chapter and with all but chapter 1 to read and revise. That’s because, per usual, I have heavily revised chapter 1 three times and then got all the way to chapter three when I realized I needed a whole new chapter before the then current chapter 3, which I then wrote and then I started over and revised chapter 1 twice more and now I’m moving on to chapter 2… Which is more or less how it usually goes with the paper revisions.

At this rate, I’ll end up at well over 100K, but I expect to find chapters that require deletion. I’m almost ready to post a first chapter to read, so look for that!

For those who care, I am currently revising my paper version with a Kaweco Sport fine point fountain pen with “lilac summer” ink. It’s very pretty! The Kaweco Sport fountain pen is a great pen. I enjoy writing revising with it.


As my blog readers know, I have the final cover for Surrender to Ruin which I love love love. I asked my cover artist to match the look and feel of Lord Ruin, which is why I went with a custom shoot for the image. There was nothing out there that was perfect and I didn’t want to compromise. Then I realized that A Notorious Ruin, which is Book 2 in the series, was going to look very out of place. I didn’t even bother looking for stock images. If there was anything out there that would work, I’d have used it for Surrender to Ruin. And so….

I did A/B testing for the  cover. In the first round, my preferred image (Looking Straight Ahead pose) lost by a statistically significant amount — though not overwhelmingly. So then I A/B tested Sideways Pose with the green background and the purple background, and that was more or less a tie. There was an insignificant edge for purple. On social media, the green vs. purple choice had a slight edge for green.


I SO SO appreciate everyone who weighed in. By the way, purple was my favorite. As was the Straight Ahead pose. But I could see why the sideways pose had the edge.

Now what!? Well, I put the three covers up in order across my 27″ monitor screen and swapped between purple and green for Book 2. I asked my sister to look. My preference was for the green, and so was hers and so … the green background it is. It goes better with Books 1 and 3. When it’s final, I’ll post all three so you can see for yourselves.

Complaint Department

Is anyone else having trouble finding books to read at Amazon? I used to be able to browse and find books and authors I wanted to read or try out. And now? It’s awful. Apparently, there are only 5 books they intend to show me, and if I don’t want any of those, too bad. The books they show me aren’t even remotely close to something I think I’d enjoy.

My last 10 book purchases were all at iBooks.

How about you?


Which Cover Do you Prefer? Poll!

June 2nd, 2016

I am redoing the cover for A Notorious Ruin because it needs to fit with the style of Book 1 (Lord Ruin) and Book 2 (Surrender to Ruin) and it currently does not. I would LOVE to know which you prefer.

Image quality is not final. Neither is background color.

Which Cover Pose do you Prefer?

View Results

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Regency man sitting on a chair a little sideways leaning slightly to one side, looking like he's thinking damn you're hot.

Sideways Pose


A Regency Man sitting on a chair looking straight forward like he's thinking you're not naked enough.

Straight on Pose



And Then THIS Happened

May 28th, 2016

Some of you may have seen my post about gaming hells over at the Risky Regencies or seen me tweeting about some of the research. One of the things I came across was a reference to maggot racing and how to cheat at it, and Meljean Brook and I had a hilarious twitter exchange about the story I said I was going to write: Miss Fiona Harper’s Night of Passion, in which Miss Fiona Harper’s brother accidentally kills his racing maggot and loses his sister to the notorious Lord Hawke.

I’m totally going to write that story as soon as I finish Surrender to Ruin. And so…

An embracing couple in Regency clothing. Tots romantic

The Cover


Cover for Surrender to Ruin

May 26th, 2016
An unbelievably hot Regency man sitting on the arm of a chaise looking very smug

Cover, Photography by Jenn LeBlanc. Cover Design by Damonza

I really love this cover. So so much. I knew Mickael would be the perfect model and he is!


A Seduction in Winter is a National Reader’s Choice Finalist!

May 21st, 2016

My historical romance novella A Seduction in Winter is a finalist in the 2015 NCRA (National Reader’s Choice Award):

2015 NRCA Finalists

Pretty Regency Lady against a dark blue wintery background

A Seduction in Winter – 2015 NCRA Finalist!

That’s pretty exciting. Congratulations to all the finalists!

Do you have your copy?

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