Tuesday, January 20, 2015

SFR With a Twist: Why Write a SFR Told Solely From the Male POV?

A Science Fiction Romance told completely from the hero's point of view?

It's a highly unusual way to present a romance, even when the story falls into the more imaginative genre of Science Fiction Romance. I've only read one other SFR related from the hero's POV and that was Diane Dooley's Blue Galaxy. I know there are others out there, but they haven't yet joined my ARP--Already Read Pile.

After writing the first SFR novel in my series, I had many a critique partner, beta reader, respected author and editor (whilst in the process of pitching) tell me I couldn't sell a romance novel told in this way. That I simple had to include the heroine's POV in the mix. After all, what's a romance if the reader can't get inside the heroine's head to know what she's thinking and feeling?

Yeah. They had a point. A BIG point.

And at first, I believed them. Attempting to rectify my heinous error, I tore my manuscript apart to include the required female MC POV. And as soon as I started the process, my muse sent an urgent memo: "Cease and desist. This is not working! This is not the story in your heart."

Befuddlement ensued.

Time for some major soul-searching. Time to measure instinct against common sense. Time to weigh all the advice to write a story in the classic romance style against some great authorly words of wisdom that say, "Write the story that needs to be written."

The internal deliberation went something like this:

Point: A reader wants to know what the heroine is thinking and feeling.
Counterpoint: Sharing the heroine's direct thoughts with the reader will destroy the future revelations about who--and what--she really is, but her feelings can be conveyed even without her POV.

Point: A reader must get inside the female MCs head to relate to her.
Counterpoint: The mystery surrounding the female MC's words and actions will heighten the tension and conflict.

Point: If reader doesn't know who she really is, they may not like her.
Counterpoint: Let them not like her at first glance As the veils are lifted, reveal her finer qualities and true intentions through the hero's eyes.

Point: No reader is going to be interested in a romance that doesn't include a female POV.
Counterpoint: Take it as a challenge to write a story that will interest them in spite of the "missing" POV.

The counterpoints definitely held sway for what I wanted to accomplish, but something else finally tipped the scales, and that was a look at the current market trends. What was selling extremely well in romance?

Male/Male Romance. Ta-da! Hero POV times two.

That provided strong evidence that the female POV is not essential for a romance story to appeal to the readership. It implied romance readers (and maybe the "rebel" SFR readers, in particular) may be more flexible in what they are willing, and possibly even eager, to experience in a story. That they may be quite accepting of romances presented in new and different ways. Maybe it's never a good idea to prejudge what readers will and won't embrace. Let them decide for themselves.

I'd love to hear other thoughts on a sole hero POV. Do you think you'd enjoy a story presented in this way? Or would the absence of the heroine's POV be a problem for you? Have you read a romance with a single male POV that you enjoyed?

About the Author

Laurie A. Green is a three-time RWA® Golden Heart® finalist and science fiction romance enthusiast who founded the SFR Brigade community of writers, which now totals over 500 members.

Her extended family includes her husband, David, four dogs, three cats and several horses, all who reside on a ranch in beautiful New Mexico.

When she’s not writing, networking, or searching out the perfect cup of Starbucks, she’s usually busy exercising her left brain as a military budget director.

Her first published work is a SFR novelette titled Farewell Andromeda (written in the Heroine's POV). Her second novel, INHERIT THE STARS, is the subject of this blog.

You can connect with Laurie at the following links:





Amazon Author Page

Goodreads Author Page

Thursday, January 15, 2015

SFRB Recommends #31 - The Anomaly Trilogy by @AnnaHackett #scifi #paranormal #romance

Book Description:

A woman honed in revenge and hunted for her ability to steal time finds her life depends on the man sent to kill her. On a mission deep in the wilds of Indonesia, a fiery mind raider joins forces with a dark, powerful man who is more lethal than anyone she has faced before. After being kidnapped and forced to kill, a soul stealer is left with a deadly addiction to killing and on an island sanctuary only one man calms the storm inside her. Enter the action-packed and deadly world of the anomalies: humans with extraordinary abilities that leave them hunted by criminals, governments and armies. 

Includes a bonus short story, Salvation: do bad guys deserve a second chance? Two survivors will stand side-by-side to escape a dangerous laboratory and discover a scorching passion…and terrible secrets that could drive them apart. 

The Anomaly Trilogy: Action romance (paranormal / science fiction romance) 
Length: 90,000 words 

Book 1: Time Thief 
Book 2: Mind Raider 
Book 3: Soul Stealer 
Bonus short story: Salvation

These were action packed, tense reads that can be quickly and easily consumed over a couple of afternoons. While for me the romance in these was a little too rushed, and there wasn't much complexity in the world-building or plot, if you like fast paced adventure, hot sex and tension a la X-Men style, these will provide you with an entertaining read full of angst. You can buy them separately, but the boxed set gives you the best value for money.

Amazon US

Monday, January 12, 2015

Diaspora Worlds Miniseries is Now Complete!

$1.99 This Week

Frankly, I wasn't sure it would happen. Why did I plan four sons of the Protectorate? I could have just done three!

Book One, Her Cyborg Awakes was written while a short story that would become Book Two, Alien Blood, languished with a dying publisher in an anthology.(Melisse' publishing history includes many dying publishers). 

After Book One came out I had much publisher trauma and the book sat on my computer while I tried to figure out what to do. Piers Anthony replied to an email I'd made concerning a publisher explosion and said to move with caution. It was a fan girl moment with an edge. This was 2010 or so.

So I finished book two, thinking I could get it to a publisher and then more easily slip poor little Cyborg into the series. I found a publisher who sounded reasonable and professional and submitted the series.

Many months later, while still waiting on an acceptance, an online artist had a cover I could afford and I decided to self-publish Cyborg. KDP was the new hot thing! Since it was still awaiting consideration I simply withdrew the submission. Alien Blood was basically finished, it was easy to get it out a few months later.

Publishing close together like that was a great idea; I will probably never manage it again! But it made for a nice income that year, a new and different publishing experience.

Life happened, not the fun kind, but I managed to get Starwoman's Sanctuary finished and out, with the intent of getting book four out within six months. 

But life kept happening, which required changes. I went back to work full time at a well-paid but demanding job. The lower paid, less demanding, part-time job meshed well with writing in the evenings, this new job required a lot more brain power, not to mention it was all computer and keyboard. Not writer friendly.

Publishing kept changing, too. Sometimes I thought I might be better off writing Harry Potter fanfic. And my hero was a boring jerk. Book Four, then titled Neon Orchid, was not coming together.

I didn't soldier through. My energy for heroic writing was all used up. Instead, I wrote a bunch of short stories, which I'll start publishing. I read books on screenwriting. I did a ton of world-building on a new series. I read maybe seven--maybe more-- children and YA book series. I crocheted many hats.

Then one day the story started to work. Once it started, the book moved quickly. Finally, it is done, not without hiccups, not without brain dead moments, not without doubts. Done!

Am thinking of sticking with trilogies in the future.

Melisse Aires

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Villain Redeemed by AR DeClerck

We all know him. The man in the dark mask. The shadow that lurks just out of view. The harsh laugh that foretells the doom of the hero. The VILLAIN. Every well-rounded story has one to some degree, and it’s a very basic part of literature.

What is it about the villain that captures our imagination? Whether the villain be male, female, AI, or something all -together alien, there seems to be certain qualities that all villains possess.

Number one: the motivation. This is the main point the villain hopes to achieve. Revenge? Riches? Power? Knowing your villain’s motivation can help you create the basis for the character. This is the thing that your character will do anything to achieve or obtain. The AI in Asimov’s I Robot hopes to bring about the safety and continued existence of man by creating a world in which man has no free will.

Number two: the nemesis. Every villain has a nemesis. A hero with a heart of gold. The light to his dark. Without the hero’s illustrious good character the reader could never realize the villain’s true darkness. Some would argue that we would never know the true depths of Moriarty’s depravity without the shining example of Holmes to compare him to.

Number Three: A deep, dark secret. This is your villain’s deepest secret. The one thing that no one knows, and may, in fact, redeem the villain in the eyes of the reader. (I’m a huge fan of the villain redeemed, and love it when the villain gets his own HEA). This is a story of the villain’s past that even the hero does not know. The wrong done to the villain, or the abuse suffered, that has warped the villain in some pressing way.

Number Four: Some tiny speck of humanity. Your villain has feelings. Your villain had a mother, a father, and perhaps a loved one. Your villain was once a child, and has suffered. (In most cases. Sometimes the villain is a robot, but then you might argue that he was at the mercy of his creator for his evil ways). There are outside forces that have acted on your villain to make him/her into the person they are today. This acts on your character’s motivation. Maybe your villain has a soft spot for girls with green eyes because they remind him of his sister, or maybe he kills them on sight for the same reason. Know your villain’s emotions and know that he feels things just as deeply as your hero.

Whatever your character’s motivation, your villain is an important part of the story. Whether the reader needs to know him as intimately as the hero depends on the story, but the author should know everything about him. Let your villain become as three dimensional as your hero, so that your hero’s victory is that much sweeter. Or, redeem your villain and bring him into the light as a main character at a later date.

Amy R. DeClerck

Author AR DeClerck

AR DeClerck is a mother, wife and dialysis technician who lives in the Quad Cities, IL. An avid reader, reviewer and writer she favors sci fi and scifi romance genres. She attributes her love of books and all things literature to her mother, who always has a book nearby.

Current SFR novel available:

Forged in Fire by AR DeClerck via Nevermore Press Dec 2014

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Have a Very Merry SFR Brigade Christmas! #scifi #romance #sfrb

Christmas redesign courtesy of Tara Quan

On behalf of the SFR Brigade, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. May your ereaders be full of scifi romance goodness for the season!
See you in the New Year!

SFR Brigade Bases of Operation