CON JOB is now an audiobook!

Con Job book coverSo this is fun — Con Job is now an audiobook! So if you’re pulling a long drive, or trying to ignore the stitch in your side during your run, or picking up clutter in your living space, or wherever you listen to audiobooks, now you can do it with Jacob and his geeky friends.

Of course, you have to be prepared for a little murder along the way. Continue reading

Con Recaps! (And some cool news.)

So July was kind of a blur, and the first part of August, but all for very good reasons.

Cong Abbey by night, Celtic crosses and gravesIreland Writer Tours

Long-time blog readers know I blogged about writing in Ireland in 2015, and I went again this year. It’s a great week, full of fabulous touring and inspiration. But I stayed a little longer this year with organizer Fiona Claire to prepare for 2017, when I’ll be co-teaching with the talented Lorie Langdon!

Stay tuned for more information on this, but trust me, it’s going to be amazing. As I said in my newsletterWant to explore a 15th century castle, walk through an impossibly green forest to an ancient waterfall, and climb in the footsteps of both 8th century monks and Luke Skywalker? All while improving your writing craft and exploring your publication options? Continue reading

Writing Women.

Let’s talk about lady protagonists.

No, this isn’t another rant about needing more strong female characters, nor the problems with Strong Female Characters (TM). (That’s an easy problem to solve, really: you write good characters, and some of them are female. Done. Not every character needs to carry the impossible weight of universal representation.)

No, I’m going to talk about just the number of females, and my own part in the current state of affairs. Yes, this was partly prompted by Jo Eberhardt’s “The Problem With Female Protagonists,” but I think I’m going to add some additional data and personal takes.

First, let’s look at a statistical truth: There are more books and films with male protagonists than female. (The very fact that we call out but-look-a-female-lead! is proof of it being outside the norm. Nobody needs to point out gravity, because we’re all used to it.) But because we’re all neurologically programmed to notice the abnormal more than the normal, when we do start seeing “diversity,” it feels bigger than it is.

This is why research shows that if 17% of a given group is female, the men in the group report an equal number of men and women, and when the number of females reaches 33%, the men report a majority of women. The “excess” of women over the “norm” is what’s perceived, not an actual count.

Continue reading

Ireland Contest Winner!

Well, no one won Ireland, not exactly. But I did have a contest based on my writing-in-Ireland (mis)adventures. Readers were asked to guess how many times I checked that I had my passport after so stupidly forgetting it. (Never let it be said that I present only a finely cultivated picture of my own perfection on social media….)

Guesses were submitted via blog comments and Tumblr. None on Twitter, which surprised me a little.

And the winner, who guessed nearest the accurate number, is….. Continue reading