Friday, August 29, 2014

Happy Birthday Michael Joseph Jackson! August 29, 1958-June 25, 2009

Today would have been the 56th birthday of the great entertainer, innovator, song writer, dancer, Michael Jackson. I miss that man so much. Say what you will, but he broke the mold when it came to Black entertainers. He paved the way for all the youngsters who came after him (yes, Mr. Timberlake, I'm talkin' to you). He stood up for Black artists when they could not get their videos played on MTV. Remember MTV? When it showed videos? MTV was woefully colorless. Rock videos only. And only rock by White bands. Hell, country music couldn't get played. If you weren't an established rocker or some new big-haired, White band, your videos weren't seeing airplay. Back then one needed to be SEEN on MTV to sink into the psyche of a potential record buyer. Oh my. Why does that scenario sound familiar? MTV had to cater to their hardcore, "mainstream" audience. Payment for music clips ran the business and clips that were not rock, loss them money. Supposedly. Again money versus talent. Business and bigots have been hiding behind that balance sheet for years. However he pulled it off, MJ's "Billie Jean" crashed the color line. MJ was suddenly considered "pop" AND therefore bankable AND a huge money maker for the entire industry (the man was a cash cow for them in the 80s). He DEMANDED other Black artists get airplay regardless of their music classification.after that success. He used his clout. Bless him. A Michael Jackson for equal opportunity in truly diverse romance book publishing is needed. Pronto! Happy Birthday, King of Pop!
image from

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Excellent stock photo sites if you need images for your multicultural/IR book covers

I endorse (and I get no freebies for touting their riches, folks!) and These sites have realized that in the world of romance writing, not one color nor two gender identifications depict all the combinations of love. Offset is a part of Shutterstock and The Reed Files have been complied by a talented young artist from New. Jersey. She offers pre-made covers and custom work. Prices are reasonable. If you write outside the default romance norm, these sites have the pics you need to display it on your book covers

Friday, August 8, 2014

My author page at Self Publishers' Showcase (no, I don't self-pub)

I have a brand, spankin' new page on Self Publishers' Showcase. No, I do not self-publish; I am with a small independent press. SPS promotes authors of small presses who need help. Anywho, here's the link to the page and it has my author logo (that I created!)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

I'm in USA TODAY today!

Freakin' honored and awed to be picked again to participate in this column. Please read what worlds several authors of SF/F would like to live in and why. The series is in two parts, concluding next week. Read what fantasy world I chose to live in and why in part one, compiled by colleague and SF/F author, Veronica Scott.

Sci-fi & fantasy authors pick worlds to visit
 via @HEAusatoday

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Predicting the "next big thing" in romance writing.

I recently read an article about the RWA Conference of a few weeks ago. Experts gathered to discuss all manner of things romance-wise. One being what was going to be "hot" and what was "dead" in romance. Please. If writers know anything, we know that the experts know jack about setting trends. Experts are usually waaaaay behind them. Remember FSOG, anyone? After soccer moms the world over discovered that book, regular publishers and self-publishers, and every hack who could put words on paper (screen?) couldn't churn out inferior, mediocre or superior clones and press "print" fast enough to slack the ladies' thirst. And the clones keep coming. So as long as there is someone somewhere willing to read about Anna and Christian clones, there will be an audience.

So, what's "dead"? According to the experts it seems to be paranormals. Specifically, all things with vampires. Really? Vamps may not be burning up the book charts like before but they ain't goin' anywhere. I mean Ward, Kenyon and Cole may have ridden those gravy trains into the ground but you can't write off another author out there with a new take on the Undead. So, no. I don't agree with the experts.

What's trending? Contemporaries are hot. Meh. Any kind seem to be hot. I really don't care for contemporaries of any kind. The cloying, homogeneity of small-town, contemp romances.puts me off. The wounded, tattered youth of New Adult sets my teeth on edge. Cowboy romances are not for me. Neither are MC romances. Couldn't write one of those to save my life. Male/Male romance, not to be confused with gay fiction is still going strong and probably will continue to be strong until the mostly straight women who read it, get their fill. But that won't die out either.

My prediction for the "next big thing"? It will be the ripe, untilled battlefield of multicultural. There is so much there still untried. Or more correctly, there is so much there undiscovered, discounted and ignored. When this breaks out, and it will, it won't be pretty. Authors who have been writing it for more than a hot minute won't be thrilled as new kids come into the spotlight and start claiming that they "invented" it. Me? I'll be ducking, covering, writing and hiding the pointed sticks.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Under Armour and Misty Copeland join forces. And she IS a force with which to be reckoned!

Misty Copeland. Woman of Color. Ballerina. American Ballet Theatre Soloist. Survivor. Inspiration..What more need I say?

image courtesy of