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Why I read

If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. ~ Stephen King You can find amazing things between the covers—actual or virtual—of a book. I’ve been a book lover since I first sounded out the words detailing Spot the dog’s adventures. As

No leniency for heroines

On the few occasions a reader has expressed dissatisfaction with one of my main characters, it’s been with the heroine. This is a theme I’ve noticed when reading reviews of other authors’ books too. The hero can be a womanizing playboy, an arrogant jerk (wounded underneath, of course), or a self-blind martyr and most romance readers will

Body language and bunny suits

When I was a manufacturing engineer, I spent my first six months working in the fab—fabrication plant—learning how the line worked, and how to operate the tools that processed semiconductor chips in the 24/7/365 factory. Because even the smallest amount of contamination can ruin a batch of wafers in process—a very expensive proposition—everyone on the

Every villain a hero

…every villain is a hero in his own mind. ~ Tom Hiddleston (Loki in Thor) I’ve read—and even written about—how writing an empathetic antagonist makes for a stronger story. I know I prefer those where the villain isn’t just pure evil for evil’s sake, but rather a person acting in a way that makes sense

Epiphany at a workshop

Over the weekend, my local RWA chapter hosted bestselling romance author Virginia Kantra for an interesting workshop on characterization, gender roles, and the struggle our characters face between developing intimacy and maintaining control. She talked about starting with gender stereotypes to meet reader expectations, but taking it further to create unique, compelling characters. She discussed

Why Disney kills off the parents

Have you ever noticed that children’s books and movies love to kill off the parents? Or at least get them out of the picture so the fun can start. Disney especially seems to like orphans as protagonists. Think about it. Snow White, Dumbo, Bambi, Aladdin, The Lion King, Jungle Book, Tarzan, Little Orphan Annie, Harry