75 Novels Read in 2016!

Looking back at the year and the books I’ve read (and re-read) is a bit of a tradition for me. Last year was a good year for reading — at least for me — there was only one month (June) in which I didn’t read at least one book. Not sure what happened in June, but I more than made up for it the rest of the year. I don’t keep track of the non-fiction books I read, because those are mostly for book research and many times I’m only skimming and reading passages, not the entire book.

When I look at the list I’m not too surprised by the genres read. I’m a cozy mystery, fantasy, and science fiction junkie, but I did make a point to read a lot more books in romance last year than in previous years.

Without further ado, here are the novels I read in 2016, listed in reading order by month:  Continue reading

Post-RWA2016 Conference, Part 1

It’s been well over a month since the RWA 2016 National Conference and I’m still processing the experience. This was my fifth national conference. Each time I attend I’m re-energized to write, but I think it’s safe to say that this conference was the best of the five for me — even surpassing my 2012 conference experience of being a Golden Heart Finalist (which was very special in a different way).

First of all, the location. You really can’t beat San Diego in July, and we had perfect weather for the entire week — low 70s — not too hot and not too cool in the evenings. Take a look at the view from our balcony at the Marriott:

San Diego
San Diego, RWA 2016

It was like that every single day. Just gorgeous. I hated leaving.

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RWA 2016 Conference

Next week I’ll be attending the Romance Writers of America®’s National Conference in San Diego. The last time I attended RWA National, I was a Golden Heart® Finalist. Hard to believe that was four years ago!

It’s been a bit of a rocky road, writing-wise, for me since then, but I finally feel like I’m making headway. I struggled with my Golden Heart book, The Lazarus Gambit. The first 50 pages were solid; the rest of the book…not so much. I edited and rewrote and edited again, multiple passes of both, but I finally had to admit I couldn’t pull it together — yet.

Part of me thinks maybe I should have come to that conclusion sooner. But another part of me knows I didn’t waste the time I spent working on The Lazarus Gambit. I learned so much about plot structure and character arc than I knew when I was writing Lazarus. And I’m putting what I learned to work.

I have a new work-in-progress that I’m excited about. It’s set in the same gaslamp-fantasy world I created for The Lazarus Gambit (only set a generation earlier). I’m writing the first draft — the “telling myself a story” draft, as Sir Terry called it — and I’m loving writing again.

And I’m doubly excited to be headed for RWA2016 because I’m attending with my writing partner, Meagan. I’ve always been flown solo at Conference, which can get a little lonely when you’re as introverted as I am. I have a feeling we’re going to have a blast!