Friday, April 24, 2009


I always forget to watch this crime show starring Nathan Fillion on Monday nights. Usually it’s not until Tuesday when I secretly sneak in to delete all the weekend kid shows that I realize, “hey, there’s an episode of Castle on here.”

I missed the premier episode, so I’m not sure why Nathan Fillion’s character is acting like a pseudo-profiler. I get that he’s a writer and hanging out. I like his character. I like his mother and daughter. But every week I wonder, “when does he write?”

When does he write?

And why is he so instrumental when it comes to solving crime? How was crime solved before he decided to get real-life experience and camp out at the police station? How did that lady cop make it to Detective if she needs Castle to interpret the clues for her?

I can’t remember her name and that says a lot about her character. I can tell you, though, that she owns the same shirt in a number of colors and wears it OFTEN. She also has a red coat I love, but I can’t remember her name. Now I’m a bit disturbed by my noticing her clothes, because I am so not into clothes at all. Apparently I can’t be bothered with what she has to say or offer, so I pay closer attention to her outfits. That definitely says something about her character on the show.

What makes me watch on Tuesdays or Wednesday, whenever I have time or feel the need to procrastinate, is simply the presence of a writer. Every week I watch, hoping for some insight. But when does he write?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pirates in my future?

Did you follow the Somali piracy story and successful rescue of Capt. R. Phillips? I certainly did. This wasn’t the first time an incident of piracy made the news, but I wager most people don’t know how common and widespread the problem of piracy really is.

I’m not sure if the statistic is still correct, but some years ago the South China Sea was the most dangerous in terms of piracy. The BBC had some reports on this that I still have in my research folder.

Before I started working on THE STALKER, I looked at piracy as an issue for Mason and Soren to deal with. Some of my friends and readers said that the idea sounded really interesting, especially since it would prominently feature the Sprite. Good news, I haven’t given up on the idea. In fact, I think it sounds really interesting, too. I’m afraid, though, I’d have to do some serious damage to the Sprite—think fireball and explosion—and I’m not ready to do that yet. So don’t expect to come across pirates after reading THE STALKER.

Another subject matter I find immensely interesting is the white slave trafficking issue. I haven’t done any research beyond regular news watching, but I have a hunch that trafficking might play a role in one of the next books (quite possibly book 3).

I’d also like to send Mason and Soren to Sweden. To visit relatives and attend a family function, like a wedding or funeral. My friend Christiana who lives in Germany regularly visits Sweden. I’ll have to bug her for details about the land of Pippi Langstrumpf and Michel von Loenneberga (two of Astrid Lindgren’s characters) and Nils Holgersson (Selma Lagerloef’s creation). I imagine that book won’t feature explosions, but lots of great food and a number of visits to the sauna (though, the sauna’s originally from Finland).

Personally, I prefer the steam room over the sauna, but either is wonderfully relaxing.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

THE PROTECTOR is an victim

When I first learned of removing the sales rankings from a large number of glbt books, I felt safe and complacent. After all, the books that lost their rankings were apparently adult-themed. In my eyes, THE PROTECTOR is anything but adult. None of my eleven tags include the words “sex” or “erotic” or “erotica” or “adult.” Boy, was I wrong: The “adult” label wasn’t more than a badly-conceived smokescreen and THE PROTECTOR had indeed been victimized.

How these books that lost their ranks are/were targeted is still a mystery. Tags don’t seem to be the problem. None of my tags indicate whether or not there is any adult (sexual?) content. Friends report that their heterosexually-erotic books are just fine, but their non-erotic gay novels are affected. One small publisher that I heard of had all their books “de-ranked.” Some authors report that only the print versions of their books lost their sales rankings, whereas their Kindle versions are still ranked. Other authors who have different editions of one book with different publishers (think backlist) noticed that only some of their editions lost their sales rankings.

I’m by no means an expert on amazon rankings, but they are important to the search feature that goes with the site. The search and browse features themselves were never all that great (I sure as heck had trouble finding what I was looking for), but they are nevertheless important. In the scheme of things sales rankings are far more important to authors and publishers than readers, because they are tools to gauge publicity efforts, for example.

But unless readers specifically search for author or title, they might not find THE PROTECTOR now.

I don’t care if is a private enterprise and as such has the right to sell or not sell whatever they want (within legal limits, of course). All I know is, it looks like my book is actively being treated differently—negatively—than other books, according to itself based on its content, and that’s discrimination as far as I am concerned.

If you have an opinion on this, feel free to let and the rest of the world know. Blog. E-mail. Fax. Phone. Boycott.

Guam Premier Outlets Security Guard Fights Off Machete Attack With Steel Chair

Written by Phillip Leon Guerrero, Pacific News Center - Guam, Saipan, CNMI, Asia-Pacific

Tuesday, 14 October 2008 05:58

Guam - A security guard in the Guam Premier Outlets used a steel chair to subdue a man chasing him throughout GPO’s food court after hours. Guam Police Department spokesperson Officer Allan Guzman says G4S Security, which services the outlet, removed the man from the building when he refused to leave after he was informed it was closing.

He came back armed with a machete just as the guard was locking the food court doors. The suspect then chased the him around the court. The security officer was able to throw the metal chair at the man, and hold him until other security personnel and Police arrived.

The suspect received minor injuries. He was treated by GFD Medics at the scene. 21-year old F.H. Sbbas of Tamuning was arrested for aggravated assault and public drunkenness. He was booked and confined.

Wow. I love it when real life and fiction collide. The chapter I'm struggling with, or gave up on, includes a knife fight outside the mall. I think I'm going to give the guy a bigger knife now. "Machete" sounds so much more menacing. Hmm. I think my struggle with this chapter might be over. Maybe all I needed was a bigger weapon and a little inspiration in the form of this real life incident.