Thursday, November 18, 2010


How much realism do readers want and expect in a novel? Authors worry about this all the time. Some go so far as to check things like sunrise and sunset time tables, and the GPS location of a certain building in the city where their story is set so their references are accurate.

I say, lighten up my fellow authors! It IS fiction, after all. That's what the willing suspension of disbelief is for.

While I do agree we need to make the guns and explosives accurate, and I do tons of research for my own books, I don't get all bent out of shape if the author of a book I'm reading puts Tom's Tavern in Golden instead of Boulder. In fact, I can't think of a single novel I ever gave up on because the author made something like that up.

After all, it's the story that counts. I try to make my stories compelling and fast moving even if I have to ignore reality at times. I will always put the story first.

After all, one of the first things we learn when we begin writing fiction is that it doesn't have to BE real, it just has to SEEM real.

Monday, November 15, 2010


I recently read an interesting discussion on a writer's blog about book time - how to accomplish everything that needs to happen in the abbreviated time frame of a mystery or romance novel. Characters grow and change, travel, meetings and conversations must occur to move the the story forward, but those events aren't necessarily shown on the page. Still the reader needs to be somehow grounded in time and place to avoid confusion. Well, it's a challenge to a writer, for sure.

Book time is something I'm very aware of when I'm writing, but not so much when I'm reading except when I'm reading romance or romantic suspense. Then I have a lot of trouble with characters who hate each other at the beginning of the book then suddenly love each other. There has to be a darn good reason why she loves him after hating him, and I mean something other than a good sexual encounter. He has to do something really extraordinary to make her change her mind during the space and time limits of a 60,000 to 100,000 word book or I don't believe it as a reader.

Otherwise, when I'm reading I pretty much go with the flow of the story timeline without noticing the book time passing unless it's called to my attention by the author. To be honest, the quick 45 minute solution to most television series is why I don't watch much television. When I do watch a TV series, it's usually one that continues the story from week to week, like "The Good Wife" or "Damages" or "Rubicon" or "The Tudors" or "The Event."

One of the reasons I'm so aware of this challenge in my writing is that some time ago I had a previous agent tell me that the "time tags" I used, you know, those lines at the beginning of chapters giving the date or day of that chapter's events, was too distracting. I had to change it and incorporate the book time passing in the text.

Later, in another manuscript, I had an editor tell me that my book time passing references within the text was a bad habit. So I truly struggle with that in all my writing.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Good-bye Droid, Hello LG

I had to say good-bye to my Droid. Oh, it was a great relationship while it lasted! It did wonderful things. I could get instructions for the board games Guesstures and Pictionary. I could search Amazon for books, look up phone numbers and addresses, get driving instructions from MapQuest, find coupons for anything I wanted to purchase, check movie times and TV schedules, and so much more.

But it was a bossy little thing! And it was so sensitive! It took me to websites I didn't want, called phone numbers I didn't mean to, cut off calls I wanted to take, and pretty much had a mind of its own. So I had to let it go.

Hello, my old friend LG! Sorry I left you behind, but I'm back now to pick up where we left off. I missed you.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


I had some very good news recently from the lovely Jen Long at Colorado Humanities & Center for the Book. My book, SAGE CANE'S HOUSE OF GRACE AND FAVOR (written as Christy Hubbard) is a finalist in the 2010 Colorado Book Award!!

I couldn't be more thrilled. It's quite an honor and I'm in very good company. The Colorado Book Award recognizes outstanding contributions by authors, editors, illustrators and photographers in multiple categories: history, literary fiction, genre fiction (historical, romance, science fiction/fantasy, mystery/thriller), general nonfiction, juvenile literature, pictorial, poetry, and young adult literature. See for the list of other finalists. It's impressive.

SAGE CANE'S HOUSE OF GRACE AND FAVOR, written under the pseudonym Christy Hubbard, looks at the hardships faced by women in the Rocky Mountain Gold Rush towns of the Old West. It's the story of how mothers, wives, and daughters transformed their rough and tumble mining town into a family friendly center of culture and sophistication. Reviewers have called the book a "marvelous tale of hope and possibilities," and an "inspiring, well-written historical novel filled with details that are sure to please western history buffs."

And I am especially pleased this book is being recognized in such a presigious manner because there was someone who did not believe in it - AND YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. Fortunately there was only one. Now I'm not one to say I told you so, I only want to say - thank you Colorado Book Award judges for the recognition. I'm still walking on air.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


My comfortable, familiar LG cell phone was not holding a charge any longer, and there was no replacement battery available, so it was time for a new phone. I got a Droid, and OMG it's like giving me a 747 to go to Safeway!!

The Droid is a mini-computer when all I really need to do is make phone calls, and it took me a day to figure out how to do that. Honestly, at first I thought the phone had a mind of its own, dialing numbers when I didn't want it to.

I do like receiving and sending emails on my phone, though (and will do that as soon as I learn how.) I also like having MapQuest (I need to learn that, too.) I'm sure there are many other wonderful things this Droid will do, but - hey! - I'm writing a book! I don't have much time to spend self-learning this phone. I'm waiting for a Droid for Dummies book. Will someone please write one?