VIRTUALLY HERS came out Oct. 2009. Get it at SAMHAIN Publishing. VIRTUALLY ONE coming soon.

I've also made available at Amazon BIG BAD WOLF a COS Commando book, an earlier manuscript about Killian Nicholas Langley. You can sample the first five chapters right here. EBOOK now available for KINDLE, NOOK, and at SMASHWORDS for $4.99.

I appreciate all your emails. If you'd like to buy Virtually His NEW, please contact me. Thank you.


Big Bad Wolf Author's Note/CH. 1

Big Bad Wolf CH. 2

Big Bad Wolf Ch. 3

(more chapters on left side bar below)

To read excerpts of VIRTUALLY HERS, scroll down & click on the links on the right.



VIRTUALLY HERS OUT IN PRINT AUG 2010! Discounted at Amazon!

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Monday, January 28, 2008

One Of Those Meandering Posts About Writing And Reading

Announcement first, long boring dissertation after that:

I found something interesting for those who are thinking about going to the RWA Convention in July:


Now that the prices for San Francisco are out, it might be a good time to enter the Valley Forge Romance Writers Rafflemania (yes, we do have alicense for this, and it's RWA approved):

Valley Forge Romance Writers Presents The 1st Annual VFRW Writer's Rafflemania!

The Prize$ 1,500.00 Check To Defray Your Costs For the 2008 RWA National Conference Fee! Held In San Francisco, CA July 30 - August 2, 2008. 4 Nights Hotel Accommodations! Roundtrip Airfare To San Francisco! Raffle tickets cost $5.00 each or (3) for $10.00.

Go to Valley Forge Romance Writers' website for information or send a self-addressed stamped envelope to VFRW Rafflemania, PO Box 248, Lenni, PA 19052.

Grand Prize drawn on March 28, 2008. Any checks received after March 1, 2008 will be returned. Prize is non-transferable. All entries must be postmarked by February 29, 2008.

Valley Forge Romance Writers' Rafflemania Rules:

The Prize: Winner will receive a check in the amount of $1,500.00 to be used for one 2008 RWA National conference registration fee, one single room, including tax, single room rate for July 30 through August 2nd, 2008 at the San Francisco Marriot, the conference location, and one round trip coachclass airfare. Winner is responsible for making their own reservations anditinerary. The total amount awarded will be $1,500.00 regardless of total cost of conference, hotel and flights to winner. No amount over $1,500.00 will be reimbursed and any extra monies due are the sole responsibility ofthe winner. Prize package is non-transferable for any reason andnon-refundable.

To Enter: All raffle sales are final. There will be no refund of raffle chances for any reason. By entering the raffle you acknowledge that you have read and agree to the conditions and rules as listed on the VFRW website and/or VFRW Rafflemania flyer. Raffle chances are valid only for the San Francisco, 2008 RWA National Conference. Contest is open only to residents of the United States and members in goodstanding of Romance Writers of America who are at least 18 years old as ofFebruary 29, 2008. All funds must be received in US currency drawn on a US bank or money order.

To enter USING WHITE 3"X5" CARD(s), Print The Following: Name, Address, Phone Number, RWA Number, Email Address. Place your raffle cards in an envelope along with a check or money order for the appropriate amount. Make Check or Money Order payable to: VFRW. Mail your 3"X 5" card(s) and check or money order to:

VFRW Rafflemania
P.O. Box 248
Lenni, PA 19052

A confirmation of receipt will be sent out via email but raffle chances will not be valid until all funds clear. If a check is returned for insufficient funds, the entrant will be notified by email that they are no longer eligible and the check will be shredded. It is up to the entrant to send another check to re-enter the contest (including any NSF fees incurred byVFRW) postmarked by the deadline of February 29, 2008. Any raffle entries received that are not on white, 3"X5" cards will be pulled, the entrant notified and given a chance to correct the error before the contest deadline. If the entrant does not provide the correct 3"X5" card entry postmarked by the February 29, 2008 deadline, the check will be shredded and the entrant will not be eligible for the drawing. The Drawing: All 3"X5" raffle tickets will be placed in a large bin for a random drawing on March 28, 2008. Winner will be notified by phone on or about March 28, 2008.

The Winner: For IRS tax purposes, the winner must supply in writing his/her social security number before receiving the prize check. A1099 form will be issued to the winner by Valley Forge Romance Writers. If the winner does not supply his/her social security number in writing by April 15, 2008 to the president, vice-president or treasurer of VFRW, the prize is forfeit. Any and all taxes are the responsibility of the winner.The winner agrees to allow VFRW to use his/her name and/or likeness for publicity purposes. Winner agrees to hold VFRW blameless for any credit card finance chargesincurred, and from liability for events beyond control, including an act ofGod, conference cancellation and/or hotel overflow. If the officialconference hotel site does not have any rooms available, the winner is welcome to make reservations at an overflow hotel; however, no amount above the $1,500.00 will be reimbursed.


Super way to get some of those expenses taken care of some of the expenses, huh? I've already registered for Nationals, so I'm hoping to see some of you there too!


I was talking to a friend of mine that, for the first time, I understood why some readers can't read First POV. First person point-of-view means a narrative that is told with "I" or "We," thus giving a sense of intimacy to the reader. The reader's focus is narrowed to just the main character and everything else depends on that character's ability to tell what's going on in the story.

When I started reading, first POV is mostly found in gothic novels, you know, the kind with the heroine in a flimsy dress walking in a dark danky castle while holding a small candle in one hand, with a brooding hero/monster probably lurking nearby. The first person POV worked in these stories because the heroine's fear enlarged her inner and outer demons and made me, the reader, really cared for her (in a way...if she's not too stupid to live...okay, she's already TSTL for walking around in a danky castle in her $235 Victoria's Secrets see-through cottons, but that's another topic).

These days, urban fantasies are written in first person too. I never had any problems identifying with the heroine of those stories. Kickass vampire slayer? Okay, go forth and stake some bloodsuckers. Falling for various weird species? Romancing with fang or fur? Not a problem making that leap of imagination at all. I follow the heroines through their trials and tribulations and cheer them on as they leave a path of blood in their wake. Their feelings for their supernatural heroes were identifiable to me.

Until Lilith Saintcrow's Danny Valentine series, that is.

You see, I still talk about this series a lot, especially with friends who are just reading the books. The world building is so complex (in a good way) but there are so many big holes caused by the heroine's inability to understand what was happening to her and around her that left me, as her reader, very frustrated.

I have many moments making personal yelling conferences with Dante Valentine. She is not a stupid character, not TSTL. Dante Valentine would not walk into a danky castle without her trusty sword. That's not the problem here. In these stories, she's connected/bonded with a demon from hell and other than in bed, did she have communication problems with her lover, or what!

I thought her very stupid on several important occasions. In fact, she was guilty of many things that make me cringe when it came to heroine antics: charging into some big action scene without adequately understanding a situation; not asking questions when the right time appeared; trusting the wrong people when they're WRITTEN SO obviously untrustworthy. In fact, when another character in the story said to her, near the end, that she "gets dumber and dumber," I actually jumped up from my seat and did a wave, yelling, "Hurrah, HE got it right!"

I love this series like an addict on crack, but the heroine damn near gave me brain seizures with some of her maddening blindness. I couldn't understand why she couldn't see what I saw. Then, lightbulb moment while talking to my friend.

Like I said in the beginning, I have had no problems whatsoever before reading first person POV. Most readers hate the limited knowledge but I was okay with it because in the past I was able to go along with the heroine on her journey as she learned about the other characters, as she made her mental leaps, and finally came to that magical moment near the end of the story where she and I go AHA!

My lightbulb moment clarified everything to me. My problem with the Dante Valentine first person thing is that I was able to be WAY AHEAD of Dante about so many things. I couldn't understand her inability to trust her demon lover in book after book as she kept making decisions to trust someone else, usually another demon. My initial reaction was, "Heck woman, he's a Fallen (in the story, a demon loses his power if he falls for a human); he's chosen YOU to spend eternity with...he literally can't live without you, so surely, you don't think he's going to kill you, right? I mean, maybe for one book, but three books later, you're still unsure?"

So, as a writer, I've learned something. POV is tied to pacing. If the reader is given too much room to speed up, she/he will get frustrated, especially in a complex world like the one Saintcrow built. Lastly, in a series, with so many unanswered questions, it's important to answer the main ones that's been voiced several times through the books. It's like a smoking gun. Showing it means it's got to be used some scenes down the road.

But with this particular use of first POV, I as the reader was never given the privilege to understand some of the "secrets" presented in the big story arc. I was frustrated because, for the first time ever, I felt that I was losing something without the Other Main Character's (the hero's) point-of-view. His actions and motivations appeared so clear TO ME, and therein lies the problem with first POV. If his actions/motivations are understood by the reader (me), and then the first POV (I, I, I) kept going on and on about being clueless, the reader (me) starts to gnash her teeth. And bang her head on the desk. And growl like a demon.

Because Danny was often second-guessing what was going on and trying to understand Hell's politics, it would have been so nice if just for a page or two, in between the intense angsting and even more intense action scenes, some of her questions were answered. However, I'm not sure she'll ever "get" her demon like I "got" him. That made me want to sit her down and give her a few clues.


I forget why I started this piece. Definitely, this is not to flog this wonderful series. For those who enjoy urban fantasy with lots of action and somewhat dark romantic elements, I highly recommend these books. They kept me enthralled for days, like early Anita Blake. I'm writing this to acknowledge that I now "get it," why first POV doesn't work for some readers. That's all.

Why do you think most urban fantasy use first person point-of-view, anyway? That's another writerly thing I always think about.

Bear with me while I learn. The first button likes the POST. The second button likes the BLOG site. Please help me by "liking" me. Thanks!


LadyZannah said...

You know I have no problems with the first person point of view UNLESS the main character appears to have multiple personality disorder or is ADD or something. I read a book recently that I actually could not stand and just quit before I was even half way. The heroine was just waaaaay to ADD for me, jumping from topic to topic so that I had no idea what the book was truly about. In general I think those first peron POV books can be funny and it is easier for the reader to relate IF the book is written well enough.

Amie Stuart said...

Lady...I've always said good first person rocks but bad first person is like nails down a chalkboard!

I love it and think the immediacy works well for UF. As a writer, it's how I write 99% of the time though I also like to mix it up--first present with first past or first and third.

kim said...

cant remember the last time ive read first person pov anything, but ive had a lot of trouble with TSTL heroines in the romance genre especially, sorry all! Ive thrown out books unfinished cuz the stupid girl has pissed me off so badly i cannot bear to make sure my 6 bucks gets its due, so i feel your pain.

Gennita said...

Lady Zannah,
With POV, you have to like the person a lot more, I think ;-), since it's such an "intimate" view of the character.

I've enjoyed all the first POV books I've picked up, esp. in urban fantasy/fantasy. But, like I said, I just learned how frustrating it could be from this set of books! I guess I needed more communication from the others this time.

Agreed. TSTL heroines shouldn't be allowed first POV :-P. The pain of saying "I" in my head and then proceeding to do stupid things would be unbearable to me as a reader!

JP said...

Hmmm, I wonder who your "friend" was? *g*

I'm done and my thoughts are up at my place now.

LadyZannah said...

Mercy thompson vs. Anita Blake. One is a good first person POV book the other borders on the ADD heroine that is hard to follow (if it wasn't for Micah and Nathaniel I would read the darn things).


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