How Not to Write Female Characters

Greetings! Before I commence complaining, I would like to provide an audiobook recording update. I have 99.9 percent of my voice back and have now finished recording 6 chapters!

Now, the…rant? It’s not intense enough to be a rant.

So I’m listening to an audiobook that shall remain nameless. It’s a best seller. There’s a TV show. It’s a big deal.

The writing is somewhat questionable. The word “bigness” has been used multiple times.

The main character is a man. The romantic interest is a lady. We’ll call main character “MC” in the interest of efficiency.

When MC first lays eyes on ladyfriend, the author/MC spends a significant amount of time describing how utterly perfect her physical appearance is. The picture of femininity, super slim arms, delicate bird bones, ballerina-like. Did I mention she’s French? And a genius biologist from a prestigious, European university?

The author goes on to describe how perfect looking she is over and over. We get it. You’ve created an unrealistically hot female in your brain. Congratulations.

Did I mention she was the most boring character of all time? Seriously, the woman has served the following functions in the story: 1. Damsel in distress. 2. Emotional support for MC. 3. Provided a baby for MC.

That’s it.

What happened to her brain? At the beginning of the story, she was supposedly a brilliant biologist. Now, she just follows MC around, fretting and functioning as eye candy and corraling MC Jr.

Super gross.

I’m not quite done with the book, so there is a chance she could still serve some real purpose in the story. However, I’m not overly optimistic.

If you’re a writer, please don’t do this. Seriously. I mean, what is this, the fifties?

Sneaker disapproves of boring characters.



A Wrinkle in Time, my copy

Oh, yeah, baby. Look at this glorious cover. This is one of the very few books I still have from my childhood. With the movie coming out, I thought it would be a fun thing to post. The book is a little old and battered but still readable. The page after the cover is a teaser bit from the front of the book.


Wrinkle in time 2


Sorry for the blurry pictures. I think my phone camera might be dying a slow death.

I have not yet seen the movie. I really want to, especially after suffering through the 2003 version a while back. That was…not awesome.

I am considering reading the book again. We will see.

Hey, by the way, if you’re an author and looking for interesting ways to market your book, you might want to check out my podcast that features authors reading from their books. It’s called the Authors Read podcast. Several people have signed up so far, and I could have the next episodes up as soon as next week. I am super excited about it! If you’d like to get in on the action, click here for the jump to the podcast blog. 

If you’d like to follow the podcast, it can be found on Podbean and iTunes.


Everything Updates

Hi! I know I haven’t been around much. I thought I’d pop on and offer some updates.

I should have at least 1 book out in the next couple of months and then another one a month or 2 after that. I promise I don’t write that quickly; I just have things that seem to be wrapping up somewhat close together.

One is the 2nd Desmond book. There is no cover art yet. There is a sketch for the cover art, but no actual, real life cover at this time.

The other is a novella currently titled Wild Blood of the Hollow. It’s a shortish fantasy thing that still needs some tweaking. I should finish the first read-through tomorrow if nothing gets in the way. I have a nice cover in mind for that one.

The Beneath Oceans of Sky audiobook is coming along, somewhat. I’m up to editing the 4th chapter. I know, I know. I’m slow like molasses in winter. I’ve been kind of lazy/tired lately, which hasn’t affected the pace of my writing too much, but sometimes, I just really don’t want to edit audio. Most of the time, really. It could be worse, but it is not my favorite activity.

I’m finding that working on the audiobook has changed me in a couple of ways. Listening for my recording/editing mistakes has given me a kind of habit of listening for mistakes in other audiobooks and podcasts. I didn’t really want that. Now I hear every sinus click, every turn of the page, etc. It’s like a really annoying superpower.

I also find myself paying attention to how what I’m writing or proofreading would sound if I read it as an audiobook. I make minor changes that I wouldn’t have made previously. That’s okay because it means that I’m paying attention on another level. I don’t want to notice that when someone else is reading. I just want to hear the book.

Current reading material is the magnificent beast below. The gods really liked to turn people into trees, flowers, animals, and various other nature things. Really, really, really. It is pretty cool, though.


That’s all I have at the moment. TTFN.

The Printed Excerpt

I found this thing at Barnes and Noble the other day. I thought it was pretty cool.


It’s a printed excerpt from a book that comes out in March. There was an author headshot and bio in the front and then several pages of the book.

I have never seen one of these. I do like the idea. I think they would work great as marketing materials at an author fair or maybe an author table at a convention. They’re nice looking and could possibly get someone to pick up at least part of a book and carry it away with them to be read later in a less hectic environment.

mhmm. yes.



Quitting But Not Quitting

I decided to stop taking outside submissions to NightLark. That’s the publisher I started a year or so ago.

For the last couple of months, I’ve been thinking about it, and I’ve been back and forth on whether I wanted to keep it going. I took the holidays off, read a submission or two and thought about picking it up. Every time, something stopped me.

There have been many frustrations, a lot of them with myself. I’m not assertive enough. I’m not that great of a salesperson, really.

In the end, I decided it wasn’t worth the time or frustration. It just wasn’t. Life is too short, and I have too much that I want to do, creatively.

I will say that running it has been, by far, one of the best learning experiences for me. For real. I did things that I never would’ve tried with my own work.

I do still plan to use it for my own books, but for the foreseeable future, I’m not taking on any projects from other authors. The website is staying up with occasional updates. The books currently listed there that aren’t by me should disappear here in the next few months.

So yeah. Still writing. Still recording. Just not handling anyone else’s business.

Gardeners vs. Architects

I was watching some writing lecture videos today and found these Brandon Sanderson lecture bits. I watched about 5 of them, and I like them very much.

The one below is about gardeners and architects. Basically, if you outline your story in advance like I do, you’re an architect. If you prefer to start writing without a plan, you’re a gardener.

Sanderson does a good job of describing the difference between them and the drawbacks of each approach. Personally, I plan to remain an architect, but to each his/her own.

A New Cover and a NaNoWriMo Update

Man, I don’t know if I’m going to make my Nano deadline. I’m at 42,000 words, which is nothing to sneeze at, but I have like 3 more days to write 8,000 words. Yarg. I’m still trucking, though, and I plan to continue trucking.

I redesigned the cover on my most recent release already. What can I say? I’m indecisive. This one was for Beneath Oceans of Sky.

On the left, we have the original. Rightie is the new one.

Oceans Christmas cover  Christmas Oceans cover

I think the new one is more interesting. I don’t know how I feel about the green. I tinted it that color to make it more Christmassy. It originally looked like this.

new oceans cover for color shifting

I still might use the gold color. I don’t know. I just really need someone who makes all the right decisions to follow me around all day and tell me what to do.

You might be asking yourself why I was working on a cover redesign when I should’ve been Nano writing. I worked on the cover when it wasn’t a good/quiet enough time in my house to write.

Now, I’m going to go write some more.