My Books

1908 Russia — One of the Settings for My Novel: Twin Time

Sasha and Alex

“Twin Time” is a science fiction time twist story of two sisters: one autistic and one not. It plays out in two time periods: modern and just before and after the Russian Revolution of 1917. My grandmother was born off this time period, and it is partly based on her stories that that part of the book is created. Born into privilege, she lost everything after the Revolution. She married a Russian officer to secure her own Russian citizenship — my grandmother’s father was an English citizen, and her last name was very English and so was her passport. The new name and citizen papers saved her life. “Twin Time” is fully illustrated. But this movie of Russian life in 1908 gives another glimpse into the life of my characters. For those interested in reading the first few chapters, here’s the link: “Twin Time”.

Radio Play: The Red Pen

The Red Pen

An evening of The Carmen Online Theater Group’s Chronicles of Terror. The Full Transcript of the Story The package arrived battered and ripped. Exotic stamps covered so much of the brown paper exterior that it was hard to read the sender’s address. But David Gatewood’s address stood out just fine, as well as the “To Editor” addendum next to his name. Most requests for an editor came via email these days, but hey, work is work. David took the package to the kitchen table and pulled out some kitchen scissors, which were clearly necessary to unwrap the package—it was liberally smothered in packing tape. But twenty minutes later, all David had to show for his efforts was a paper cut on his finger and a slash across the palm of his left hand; jabbing scissors into several layers of tape and cardboard hadn’t been a good idea. The person who had sent the package had obviously made the box himself (or perhaps herself, no point in being sexist here) from several boxes. Underneath the rips and tears, David could just make out an Amazon logo. With so many packages delivered by that behemoth of a company, it wasn’t a surprise…

Pink, Blue, Black, and Polkadot

Pink Bowling Ball

It started with a pink bowling ball. We went to a bowling alley for a few games last weekend. After a few 0’s in a row, it was recommended that I switch balls. The pink one was the one, apparently. It was a kids’ ball, about 6 pounds and very bright pink. Sure enough, I managed to knock down a few pins with that one! Awesome…or so I thought. 2.5 days later, my body hurt, and nose was stuffed, and I was running a fever. Apparently, kids’ balls don’t get disinfected. Who knew that there was such low hygiene at such a fine sports establishment? The snot gets around…or catches a ball at a bowling alley. From there, the germs were mine. (I bet there is an interesting health study that could be done on germ propagation via snotty sports equipment. Something that could win an Ignoble Prize…) Laying on a reclining chair in the living room, tearing through 6 sci fi books — because I can’t work if I can’t breathe — I hear a scratching sounds behind me. Too weak to call in distress, I text my husband: we have a visitor… What? Visitoooor… He stumps into the…

What’s in the Cover Art?

Coding Peter Suddenly Paris 2 Covers

This month we have released a sequel to Suddenly, Paris — Coding Peter — AND changed the covers of both books! Above is photo of before and after for the cover art of both books. Can a cover make a difference in the sales of these books? These products? Yes! Cover art makes a huge impact on how a book is perceived by its audience. Or to put it even stronger, the art on the cover of the book helps the potential reader recognize the book as something that they would like to read. Personally, I thought the original covers with strong black, red, and white design were striking. But that design didn’t communicate the genre of the books to its audience. We needed to come up with illustrations that made it clear that these stories were science fiction, and action adventure, and aimed at a new adult readers. We needed to covey a sense of mystery and danger. We wanted people to stop and notice the books based on their covers. And so we made it change. The new covers are a lot more narrative. And hopefully it would make a difference as the potential readers browse pages of…

Sci-Fi Bites: The Black Queen

The Black Queen

The Black Queen I’m a seed. Plant me. All night it called. A rat came by to investigate. It sniffed the small smooth sphere, but the object didn’t smell like a seed or food of any kind. The rat scurried away. I’m a seed. Plant me. The cat passed by without even a glance. A family of raccoons stopped by. Poked. Left. The sun came up. A fractional mind crawled over. It tasted and touched, walked about and left a pheromone trail for others to follow. Soon dozens of fractional minds surrounded the sphere. By this time, the object grew to the size of a very large marble. I’m a seed. Plant me. It kept repeating to them, flaunting itself for them. And they gathered in greater and greater numbers to roll the sphere underground. Just about the time small sinuous lines started to appear of its surface, a big black bird flapped over. I’m a seed. Plant me. The sphere called to the raven. The bird prodded the object, which was now the size of a tennis ball, with its beak. It wasn’t food, like it claimed. And it wasn’t one of those shiny, sparkly objects that the bird…

Sci-Fi Bites: The Boy Who Finds

Accident_with_Dog

Short Science Fiction Stories for Kids Timur has always been good at finding things. Need to find that screw that rolled under the desk? Ask Timur. Need to locate the missing reading glasses? Timur is on it. Lost some change in a couch? Timur knows just where it is. The boy had a gift. One day, he and his mother were driving to school and a large dog ran across the street. Timur’s mom veered and swirled and the car didn’t hit the foolish animal. But the mother was freaked out. Her body shook, her heart beat faster, her hands got sweaty. But most significantly, Timur’s mother lost something in that almost accident — she lost a day of her life. And Timur found it. At the time only six years old, the boy didn’t know what he found, but he carefully picked it up and put it away for safe keeping. Over time, he found more and more chunks of time, sometimes whole days, mostly an hour there, a few minutes in another place. But time adds up. As the world gently span on its axis, the people living on it marched steadily through time, spending the lives a…

Something from Nothing

Book_lover_Wikipedia

I like writing quite a bit — it is one of the few creative activities where we get to invent an entire universe without outside interference. Movies, plays, games — they all require teams of people and large budgets to get birthed. Written stories are not like that. We can control all of it — from each individual word choice, to how things turn out for our characters, to what font is used for the presentation, to how the story gets delivered to the readers. There used to be a time when one could program games (I used to do so) all by herself — code, graphics, ideas, even publishing. But that is not possible anymore. The skill set required to make something of quality is too wast. The same is true for movies. And plays can only be experienced in front of an audience with actors… But novels! There is freedom of creativity in writing stories. When I type “the end” something became that never existed before! Something from nothing — that’s creative writing! It’s like magic, only cooler. Particularly if the author enjoys the act of writing as much as having written…