Westworld in Austin

This week is SXSW, a big tech, movie, and music conference here in Austin. We’re used to companies pulling out all the stops in an effort to impress the “influencers” attending the conference, especially during the Interactive (tech) portion that kicks off the convention.

Still, HBO managed to blow all prior efforts completely out of the water by building a replica of Sweetwater, a town from Westworld. And thanks to my husband, we were able to go check it out.

If you’re not familiar with the show, it’s about a self-contained, Wild West-style amusement park called Westworld, populated by android hosts. Guests can visit Westworld and interact with the hosts however they want without fearing retaliation. As expected, this brings out both the best and worst in people.

Welcome to SweetwaterTo replicate this experience, HBO hired something like forty actors to play the park’s hosts. All were decked out in appropriate clothing and had narrative loops that interacted with other characters and guests.

We were given cowboy hats (mine black, my husband’s white—clearly a mixup because I roll lawful good) and were warned not to touch the hosts, for obvious reasons, but otherwise, we were let loose to explore the town on our own. Continue reading “Westworld in Austin”

Voting, Edits, Belfast

First of all, if you are in Texas, today is election day for the primaries. Go vote! Even if you’ve never voted in a primary before, it’s super easy. Look up a sample ballot on your county’s site or with vote411.org. When you get to the polling place, they’ll ask if you want to vote in the Republican or Democratic primary. You can only choose one, but you don’t need to have pre-registered or anything, and the choice is only for this voting year. The polls are open until 7:00PM.

Other than voting, it’s all edits, all the time. I finished the mini-edit for Polaris Rising and now I’m working on The Queen’s Gambit. There were some issues, so it’s a fairly serious edit. Everything from chapter seven onwards is getting a major overhaul. So, for those of you planning to buy the ebook, you’ll end up with a much stronger story and really get to see how editing shapes a book.

Finally, I’m visiting Belfast soon. It’s my first visit, so if anyone has any suggestions about what I should see or do while I’m there, I would love to hear them! I’ll have a couple days free where I could travel outside the city, but something reachable by bus/train would be best because that whole driving on the other side of the road thing freaks me out. I did it in New Zealand, but I worried the whole time. :)

Book Rec: From Lukov with Love

I am the ultimate fair weather sports fan. I watch one football game a year, become a hardcore soccer fan once every four years, and only notice gymnastics and figure skating when the Olympics roll around.

Well, in case you were living under a rock, the Olympics did roll around this year, and I watched far more figure skating than I probably needed to, but I loved every second of it.

So that got me thinking about figure skating romance books. There had to be some, right? I briefly considered writing one before I remembered that I didn’t write contemporary or really know anything about figure skating.

Luckily, a kind soul on Twitter pointed me to From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata. Continue reading “Book Rec: From Lukov with Love”

The Queen’s Gambit: What’s Next?

Part of the serial story The Queen’s Gambit

Thank you so much to everyone who joined me on this journey. As a new author, I didn’t know what to expect, but you all have been amazing. I loved reading your comments as the story unfolded. :)

Thank you once again to my volunteer betas: Regina Brandt, Alex Curran, Julie Ferm, Amanda Larson, and Liv W. These brave souls helped make the final chapters stronger, and I appreciate their help so, so much.

So, what’s next? Now the novella will go through several rounds of edits to polish it from rough draft to final draft. After that, it will be posted up as an e-novella at your favorite retailers. Continue reading “The Queen’s Gambit: What’s Next?”