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Wednesday, December 29, 2010


So what sparked my interest in science fiction? Well, I grew up watching old SF movie serials on TV--Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, and the like. I also loved the old SF movies like Forbidden Planet, The Day the Earth Stood Still, and War of the Worlds. ( Not the new ones---the old, good ones! ) For TV shows I watched programs like The Outer Limits, Twilight Zone, Tom Corbett: Space Cadet, and so forth. From those I got into reading SF ( although there wasn't much geared to kids back in those days ) and Fantasy--of which there was a lot more!

From an early age then, I believed in the possibility of space-flight, and it fascinated me. I wanted to travel to the stars, land on other planets, and encounter alien beings---even though we were always being told they were dangerous! When man first landed on the moon, I remember my grandmother telling me, "We used to laugh at all that Buck Rogers stuff. Everyone knew it was impossible to land on the moon!"

If my brain had been wired differently, I might've wound up working for NASA---but instead I was blessed with "creative genes", so all my space adventures take place only in my head.

Hope you all had great holidays,


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Funny Story

For several years between college and getting married, I hung around with a lot of fellow SF fans, including a few famous authors. I was a beginning writer then with no publishing credits to my name, although I had exhibited and sold some fannish artwork at SF cons ( conventions.)

At one particular con in Canada, I was eating dinner in a hotel restaurant and ordered roast chicken. I carefully peeled off the crisp, succulent skin and set it aside to eat last. Just then, Isaac Asimov, the famous author of many classic SF books and stories, happened by. He snatched the whole piece of chicken skin off my plate, downed it, smacked his lips, and told me, "That's my favorite part!"

I looked up at him sadly and wailed, "Mine, too!"

Maybe after all these years he's paying me back for that stolen chicken skin, and now I can say that I'm a published SF author, too!

Hope you enjoy this true story.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Feedback is Good!

I'm back after the Christmas holiday and, despite a bad cold, ready for the new year to begin. Got some very good feedback from an early reader of Judgment on Tartarus: she "can't put the book down" ! Believe me, a writer can't hear better news! And no, she's not related to me nor is she a friend. As a matter of fact, I've never even met her.

I think this bodes well for the fate of Judgment if the very first reader ( apart from me and my husband, of course ) loves my book that much. I hoped against hope that someone would find my book that interesting, but I hadn't expected it to happen so soon!

I have plans to donate two copies to the local library. I'm told they circulate one copy and the other is kept in a special uncirculated section. There is evidently a section reserved for local authors as well--an unexpected bonus as far as I'm concerned. Next I have to consider such questions as whether to offer my book on e-books such as Kindle and how to create my own website. Decisions, decisions!

I'm doing the best I can along this journey, taking it one step at a time and hoping for the best.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

First Readers

Hello again! I'm back at work after a short break for family time in NH. Came back last night in our first snowstorm! I've begun getting a bit of feedback from early readers of Judgment on Tartarus, and so far it's good! I even surprised one friend of mine who didn't  realize I had written and published my first book. That was fun, I must admit. She asked me what it's like to hold a book in your hands that you actually wrote. I confessed that it feels a bit weird. I've been reading most of my life, but to hold and read a book that you produced feels very strange---almost surreal! But it does feel good.

What is perhaps most encouraging is the people who ask where online they can order/buy my book---that is particularly surreal! I can't help thinking, Wow! This person is interested enough in my work to spend their hard-earned money on it! I don't think there could be a greater compliment.

So far, so good. I'm sure I'll be getting more feedback as soon as my book is available online in mid-Jan.

I'll close for now.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Recharging My Batteries

Hi, again!

As a writer I find I have to "recharge my batteries" from time to time. So I read books, magazines, etc., watch movies and TV shows, DVDs---anything that will help spark my imagination. But I do have to tread carefully. I don't want to inadvertently "borrow" anyone else's ideas, which can be really difficult. More than one person can come up with the same idea and recognize it as a darn good one!

How many times have you thought up an idea---only to have someone else get there first? It's happened to me on many occasions, unfortunately. I used to kick myself, but such frustration in life seems to be inevitable. Now I try to congratulate my competition---on recognizing the sheer brilliance of my ideas!

All for now,


Saturday, December 11, 2010


Hello again!

Most of the online bookstores will have Judgment on Tartarus for sale in mid-Jan. I had the best luck locating the book by title, not author's name. Several copies are already in the hands of eager readers ( or will soon be on their way to them, providing I can get anywhere near the Post Office at this time of year! )

Too early for any feedback yet---I'd rather people took their time to enjoy the book and let it sink in, instead of rushing through it. I know Judgment won't be everyone's cup of tea, but to quote J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, "In order for some people to love it, others must hate it." How true!

On many occasions over the past years, I've been sorely tempted to just chuck the whole dang manuscript and give up. But each time I began re-reading it, I'd think, This is just too good a story to be tossed! And each time I sat down and reworked it, the story only got better! There is something to be said for perseverance, even though the work can often be a royal pain in the, ah---stern section, as Captain Hughes would say.

So I guess the moral of this blog is whatever your endeavors, keep at it and don't give up!


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Character Driven

Going back for a moment to the "kind" of science fiction I write: though my books are set in a future when space travel between planets is possible, my stories are always about people, not hardware or theories. I write about their characters, what drives them, their relationships, problems, and the challenges they meet.

So of course I can't wait to see how readers react to my characters! Will they like Rona Scott---or find her too wishy-washy? Will they like---er,ah---well, at least respect Malkis of Tartarus? And what about Captain Richard Hughes with his hair-trigger temper and no-nonsense attitude?Will they be able to see past the facade to the man beneath it? I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

The growing interest in Judgment on Tartarus is very encouraging, especially as I'm relying heavily on word-of-mouth advertising!

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cover Art

I was surprised ( again! ) to find my book listed on already! And unlike, they actually have a pic of my cover. The colors appear to be pretty accurate, and the art is larger than the pic on Wheatmark's website. Also, I was happy to see they've listed Judgment at a 29% discount. That's a relief! I've been warned to be patient with Amazon's bookstore; evidently they frequently have some problems.But I'm waiting to see what discount Amazon will offer.

I really don't enjoy the business end of publishing, but---once again, I'm going to give it a shot. Rather be writing!

All for now,


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Glutton for Punishment?

Here I am again. Today I took up work on Book 2: True Son of Tartarus.This book is finished except for the nit-picky stuff: editing, title pages, etc. Not as much fun as writing, but, heck, somebody has to do it--and, well, there's only me. I have a few fans in the wings waiting for a copy of Judgment to read. I thought at first Book 2 would be longer than Book 1, but at this point it looks as if they may be dead-even. But, for anyone who likes Book 1, I can only say from my point of view, I think Book 2 is slightly better. I'd give reasons, but I don't want to give away the plot of Judgment! Anyway, in a few months hopefully, you'll be able to read both and compare.

Back to work,


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Judgment Day!

My sample copies have arrived! Yesterday ( if you checked out my last blog ) I got a wonderful surprise---ten copies of Judgment on Tartarus arrived via UPS! You can imagine my excitement as I unpacked those books and held the first pristine copy in my hands. I had prepared myself to be disappointed with the workmanship. I was not.

It was the fulfillment of a long-held dream! The cover is beautiful, the colors are rich, the stock, shiny. The book looks like one you'd pick off the shelf of any bookstore. Only I wrote this one! Hard to get that through my head.

As I've blogged previously, Judgment is up on Wheatmark's website You can view the cover there---though it's much more impressive in real life. Keep checking, and for the next couple to three weeks. They are supposed to list Judgment, hopefully at a discount and with the back cover text I've already given you a sneak peek at. It still remains to be seen whether they'll offer the "Look Inside" feature. Now that the book's been published, I can't quote from the contents, nor can anyone else, without the written permission of the publisher. That really feels odd!

All for now,


Friday, December 3, 2010


Hello there!

Got an unexpected e-mail yesterday from my publisher telling me my Author's Sample copies had shipped and were on their way! Wow! I really expected it would take at least two more weeks--glad I don't have to wait. I am not exactly a patient wait-er. So in the meantime I'm trying to accomplish something while waiting for the UPS truck.

Hoping I won't be severely disappointed,


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sneak Peek

Hi, again!

About two weeks to go and counting! It's so hard to rein in my excitement---trying to concentrate on other things---like Christmas decorations, feeding the multitude of ravenous birds and squirrels in my backyard, um---ah, where was I?

So, as promised, here's a sneak peek at the back cover copy of Judgment on Tartarus:

     Newly assigned to the space cruiser Astrella II, captained by the legendary "Hero of the Gorgonian Wars", Richard Hughes, Ensign Corona Scott fears her long-dreamed-of career is about to be deep-sixed! She runs afoul of her new CO's volcanic temper, and Med Supervisor Johann Weiner warns her that Astrella's ExO, Malkis of Tartarus, is going to make her life a living Hell. He hates Terran females! Rona's ideals are put to the test as the shocking bigotry and hatred she finds aboard Astrella culminate in sabotage and murder and, ultimately, in a serious rift between Hughes and his ExO. Without warning, Astrella is mysteriously dispatched to the enigmatic planet Tartarus, where Rona Scott encounters an unsought destiny far beyond her wildest dreams, and where the fate of Astrella's crew rests upon the outcome of a barbaric, bloody duel to the death!

So what do you think? Does this make you want to read the book---or not? Would you recommend a book  like this to your friends who read? Comments are more than welcome. If you have trouble commenting on my blog, I'm also on facebook as M.r.Tighe; leave me a message there. You can also view a tiny pic of my cover using the info in my last blog. Thanks!

Trying my best to wait patiently,


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More Good News!

Hello, all!

I was very happy to hear today that Judgment on Tartarus is now available for pre-order on my publisher's website:

You can search for my book by a word in its title, by my name, or by the ISBN #:  9781604945225

In the next few weeks, Judgment should also be listed on,,, and other online booksellers ( probably at a discount! ) I'm overjoyed at reaching yet another milestone in the publication process! This is all new to me, and I've experienced a fair share of trepidation about this whole thing. Can't wait to get the first copy in hand.

I hope to give you a bit of a sneak peek in my next blog.


Friday, November 26, 2010

Male Domination

Hi, all!

More thoughts on the world of science fiction writing. For many years in the last century, male writers overwhelmingly dominated the science fiction and fantasy field. And you can understand why most women weren't exactly thrilled with some of their work. A few female writers resorted to taking male pseudonyms in order for their writing to be published and accepted in their field. ( Andre Norton, for instance. )

Fortunately, these days there are many more female writers of science fiction and fantasy. Some obviously do write for a mainly female audience. And some write for a more inclusive audience; Barbara Hambly comes to mind. Her work appeals to both men and women equally, I believe. ( I especially enjoyed her vampire novel Those Who Hunt the Night. )

I belong to an organization called Broad Universe which encourages women to write in the SFF and horror genres and promotes their work. If you are interested, look up their website www, Although I attempt to appeal to both male and female readers, I must admit that the majority of my characters are male. And the women in my books have to learn to deal with that issue: they are still "outsiders" in male-dominated worlds! My female characters are strong--or learn to be strong!--in order to survive.

How successful my attempts are remains to be seen, but I am hopeful that I've succeeded!

All for now,


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Good News!

The good news is that I just got an e-mail from Wheatmark, my publisher, that my book is at the printers. Three to four weeks from today I should have the first copies of Judgment on Tartarus in hand. Very exciting! It should be on in about four weeks. Ooops! I think I told some people it would be months! Sorry about that. It may take a bit longer for them to get up the cover image ( which is beautiful by the way! ) and the Look Inside feature. Those will be up eventually; my publisher advises patience with Amazon.

I would be very grateful if you would refer friends, or anyone else you think would be interested, to my blog site. I'll provide more information here as it comes to me.

It's very cold and windy here in New England on the day before Thanksgiving. We will be traveling to NH tomorrow. Be safe everyone and Happy Thanksgiving!



Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Do I Write Short Stories?

To answer that question honestly-- yes, I've written a few. And there are a couple I'm rather fond of. But all in all, I'm just too dang long-winded to be an accomplished short story writer, which is why I write novels. First of all, it takes me a really long time to come up with an idea that's worth investing months, even years, of my life sweating over. And it takes an even longer time to develop that idea into a story I'm happy with.

It takes me many pages to flesh out a plot and develop characters; I like to take my time to get to know them in depth--their back-history, their flaws, their speech patterns, etc. Then as I go on I develop the settings as background for the action, though I usually have at least a vague sense of the background to start with.. I just can't seem to do all this in a few short pages! More power to those writers who can--I rather envy them!

All for now. Take care,


Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Favorite Books and Authors

Hello again,

I just wanted to share a few of my favorites with you. It's possible you may also enjoy some of them, and it will give you some idea of what I write. First of all, I love Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. I try to read this classic, high-fantasy once a year. I find it very inspirational and unbeatable.

I also love all the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling. She is a fantastic writer, and,no, her books are not just for kids (especially the later ones!)  I also enjoy the Twilight Saga by Stephanie Myer. Notice so far these are all fantasies of one sort or another.

As far as science fiction is concerned, probably my all-time favorite author is Zenna Henderson. I'm a big fan of her People stories/books. If you've never read them, run to the library and look them up. NESFA has published a collection of her stories in a book titled Ingathering. Her "People" are aliens from a destroyed world who are very much like us--only with a few extra "talents". Her work is the best example of "soft" science fiction I know of, beautifully written and very moving.

I also love the early Dragonrider books by Anne McCaffrey, especially the first three in the series. When I first read them, I considered them fantasy, but as the series progressed and she explained the back history of the planet Pern, it became clear that she was indeed writing SF. Sometimes the boundaries between genres are unclear, and as long as things don't get too muddled, I'm fine with that. Please note that by no means do I put myself in the same category as any of these fine writers, but I hope if you enjoy their work, you'll also enjoy reading mine.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Joys of Laptopping

Hey again!

After getting my first laptop not so long ago, I was soon ready to toss the dang thing out the window! It was so much different from working on the electric typewriter or word processor that I was used to. Took me some time to get the hang of it, and there are still things that are mysteries to me. Fortunately, I have a lot of help from my family, especially my computer-savvy kids! Without their help I probably would've given up --or quietly gone insane. Well, maybe not so quietly.

I still have trouble with some aspects of "laptopping"--like when the bloody machine insists I didn't really mean to use a certain word and changes it on me!!! ( I find my own vocabulary tends to de-volve rapidly whenever that happens! ) However, I've been dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century, and it looks like I'm here to stay. Well, back to the laptop! I'm in the process of editing Book Two: True Son of Tatrtarus, which is next up on the schedule.

All for now,


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Final Steps

Having overcome a few technical difficulties, I completed the final steps before publication: signing and returning my acceptance of my cover and proofs and signing my W9 for royalties. I took them to the Post Office myself as we are on a rural route and outgoing mail is not always secure. When you are a struggling writer, you come to know the Post Office well! I've sent out manuscripts often and usually receive nothing but rejections (a few accompanied by some very polite and encouraging letters, thankfully!)

I'll have a very hard time waiting the three weeks until I have my first novel in my hot little hands. I'm sure you understand why this is so exciting for me. I love to write. I scribble on every scrap of paper that comes my way. This can be very messy! Ask my poor husband who has to put up with my disorganization!

And, of course, I'm anticipating some negative criticism---I'm used to it. I used to belong to a writer's group. A few people there truly appreciated my work, but there was one in particular who refused to read anything that was science fiction. I was shocked by such a close-minded attitude. I believe in giving a book a chance. I may not love everything I read, but at least I'm willing to give it a try. Hopefully, since you're reading this blog, you are open-minded enough to give Judgment on Tartarus a try when it becomes available.

More later. Thanks,


Monday, November 15, 2010

Inspiration vs Serendipity

Hi there!
Just a thought or two about the "creative process" we all experience in one way or another. I've recently realized that there are some things in Judgment on Tartarus that I never planned on--they just happened. Serendipity or destiny?

For instance, one of my main characters is named Corona Scott. Why Corona? Well, I was looking for a name with future/space connotations--and there it was right in front of me: the brand name of my grandfather's old typewriter! But that name proved to be inspired. Another major character, Malkis of Tartarus, eventually became "theSun of Ahn-eld (Tartarus ). So often, when I write something and go back to give it another look, I think, "Where in the world did that come from?" Sometimes I can figure it out, and at others, I'm just left to wonder!

What I've begun to realize more and more is that books are organic; like any creative endeavor, they grow from unseen roots, which send out shoots and branch off, breathing and growing until they literally have a life of their own. I can't help thinking that's awesome!

All for now,

MR Tighe

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Latest Info

Hi again,

The latest word I've received is that it takes about three weeks from the time my file goes to the printer until I'll be sent hard copies of Judgment on Tartarus. The better news is that people can preorder my book from my publisher's website a day or so after it's uploaded to the printer. After the release date, the book can be ordered directly from the publisher. Two or three weeks later, my book will appear on most online publisher's lists. (,, etc. ) I'm not sure about overseas orders yet. I'm hopeful that our many friends in Cambodia will also have access.

Meanwhile, I am finishing up editing Book Two: True Son of Tartarus, which is a continuation of the same story. If anything, I think it may even be a bit better than Book One. I've already had some good feedback on it---and,no, not just from relatives! After all, who in your family is going to tell you they hate your book? Hmmm--now that I think about it...!

In the near future I'll probably let you know my reading tastes--more specifically than science fiction and fantasy. That might give you a good idea of whether or not you're going to like my book.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Categorizing my writing

Hello, again!

What kind of fiction do I write? Well, I surely am not a scientist, therfore I don't write "hard" science fiction. I read it, and I've known a few hard SF writers such as Isaac Asimov and Hal Clement (Harry Stubbs).And at one point in my life, I did seriously consider becoming a biology teacher---biology was always one of my favorite subjects.

But what appeals most to me is the way people will interact in the future, especially if we are forced to deal with "aliens" of some kind. I'm not convinced this will happen in my lifetime so I have to imagine it.My writing deals with characters in the future, their challenges and problems---will they get along or conflict? Will Terrans ever get over their bigotry and prejudices? Probably not entirely.

I realize that some people are going to categorize my writing as "space opera", and I have no problem with that. At least one of my upcoming novels is blatant space opera, and I find it fun to write.But whatever genre I'm writing, I do try to stick to scientific principles, even though some of them are still highly theoretical.

In addition to the SF elements in  my work, there's also a strong love story, a little violence, and a dash of mystery---what would a good story be without them? As I've said before, Judgment on Tartarus, especially, is a fun read, and I think a lot of people will enjoy it.Long-winded enough.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Technical difficulties

Right now things are not going well. My computer is being finicky and won't download files I need. So what else is new? Having some creative differences with my publisher---to be expected, I'm sure. I decided to go the self-publishing route because traditional publishers don't take manuscripts from new authors seriously. And even when they do, they take their sweet time making decisions. When I sent my second novel, True Son of Tartarus to DAW, they kept it for two whole years before returning it to me with a polite rejection!
Fortunately for me, I kept on writing in that time and by that time had a trilogy.

Some people might argue with my assessment, but I heard a well-known publisher say with her own lips that she only accepted manuscripts from a stable of eight or nine established authors! This was at a panel deploring the lack of new blood in the publishing industries.  Thought my husband was going to go ballistic!

Anyway, I'm well aware that publishers have to sift through a lot of chaff to get to a little wheat. But I believe my books are in the latter category. I'll probably discuss the type of science fiction in which I specialize at a later date when I'm in more of an up mood.

"Til then,

Monday, November 8, 2010

Bumps in the road

Well, I sent in the necessary corrections to Judgment on Tartarus and now have to wait and see what happens next.  The good thing is that I am learning as I go, and getting my next book published should be somewhat easier.

Things got slowed down a bit due to illness--almost every member of my family was down with it! And I expect the holidays which are upcoming to interfere with the schedule a bit, but I still hope to have an actual book in print before the end of the year.( I have enough manuscripts written or in progress to publish at least a book a year from now through 2013! )

All for now,

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Second author's proofs

Hello again,

We are getting down to the wire in the publishing process.  I'm reviewing my proofs for corrections and have found a couple that somehow slipped by the corrections editor from last time.  But I'm not happy with this rendition of the back cover text; you know that stuff on the back of the book that you check out before you buy it.  Very important.  But somehow this latest version missed the boat and will have to be corrected before I sign off on it. When that occurs, the whole file will be sent to the printer, and about three weeks later---ta-dah!---I should have a printed copy of Judgment on Tartarus at last!

Of course, I'm excited, but I'm also anxious to get on to Book Two: True Son of Tartarus, which takes up the story where it leaves off.  Although each book in my trilogy is capable of standing alone---True Son was almost published by DAW as a stand-alone---I'd rather tell the entire story in the correct sequence.

My publisher's link is My book will be listed on their website as well as and Barnes and Noble.

Wish me luck!

MR Tighe

Monday, October 25, 2010

Meet the crew of Astrella II

Permission to come aboard granted.  Now meet some of your fellow shipmates:

Captain Richard Hughes, Commanding Officer of Astrella II
Commander Malkis of Tartarus, ExO of Astrella II
Lt. Cmdr. Kalom of Eris, Astrella's Second Officer and Astrogator
Lt. Cmdr. John G. "Jack" Jackson, Chief of Internal Security
Lt. Cmdr. Lyra of Cytherea, Chief of Data/Comm
Lt. Tiko of Cytherea, Data/Comm Tech
Lt. Astra Marano, Helmsman
Lt. Nova Majeski, Scan Tech (Surveillance)
Lt. Borok of Eris, Internal Security Officer
Lt. Demeter Paleologus, Med Assistant
Ensign Corona V. "Rona" Scott, Data/Comm Tech
Ensign Esteban Esposito, Data/Comm Tech
Ensign Gordon C. "Gordy" McCormick, Internal Security Officer
Dr. Johann Weiner, Med Supervisor (civilian)
Dr. Kyp of Cytherea, Science Supervisor and Astrophysicist (civilian)

Welcome aboard Astrella!

M. R. Tighe

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Proofing Judgment on Tartarus

Just finished "proofing" my author's review copy of Judgment on Tartarus. I was very happy to find corrections needed on only 25 pages out of 234---not a bad percentage! And most of the needed corrections are minor---incorrect punctuation and a couple typos. So I am eager for the next step in the publication process and feeling very encouraged. Not much else to add right now until the book is out (soon I hope! ) and I can start getting some feedback on it.

'Til then,

M.R. Tighe

Saturday, October 23, 2010

My Author's Proof is in!

There's been nothing so  exciting so far as seeing my book in "print"---copyright and all.  It is a dream come true and a day I thought I'd never see. Althpough I've been writing in one form or another for many years ( I wrote my first novel at age eleven---typed and all,) I had just about given up hope of ever being published.  My aim is to share the stories I imagine with others who might enjoy them.  I will keep you informed of my progress and when Judgment on Tartarus will appear in print!

Thanks for reading.  All my best,

M.R. Tighe

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Adventures of Astrella's Crew Begin!

Hi to all fans of "soft" science fiction!

This is my first blog to let you know my first novel Judgment on Tartarus will be published by Wheatmark in the near future.  This is Book One of a trilogy: Book Two will be titled True Son of Tartarus and Book Two, Ransom of Tartarus.

Judgment on Tartarus is loosely based on the ancient Greek myth of Hades and Persephone.  This adventure begins when a young DataComm tech named Corona Scott is assigned to the retired starcruiser Astrella II  and immediately finds her dreams and ideals in serious jeopardy. I had a lot of fun writing Judgment on Tartarus, and I think you'll find it a fun read.

That's all for now.  All my best,

M. R. Tighe ( rhymes with "sigh"---it's Irish! )