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Monday, November 10, 2014

Cooking Up A Tasty Dish ( For Authors )

   An author friend and I compare our writing to cooking up a dish. After writing the first draft, she likes to let it "simmer" while I prefer to call the process "marinating." Just as in cooking a recipe, authors must choose the ingredients to use and in what proportion, how long the dish needs to cook, etc.

  I dare to take the comparison even further and add that, like a chef, one must choose how spicy to make the dish and which spices are necessary to achieve the desired effect. The ingredients and spices used might include dragons, hunky he-men, glamorous heroines, dastardly villains, cute kids, blood-thirsty vampires, sword fights, dorky geniuses, superheroes, ghosts, wizards, elves, spaceships, and light-sabers. Take your pick.
   Mix well whatever ingredients you've chosen, being sure to use proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Pack into clear sentences that aren't overly complicated. Form into neat paragraphs. Divide into chapters. Let the first draft ( or even the second or third! ) marinate until well-seasoned and satisfactory. Edit when done, then serve up to book-hungry readers!

   Keep on cooking until you get the results you desire!


Saturday, October 4, 2014

How Crazy Do You Have To Be?

   The other day I read a great blog that discusses how crazy you have to be to become a writer. I agree heartily with several points.

   First, writers don't make much money, if any. Such dreams are sheer fantasy for all but a tiny handful of writers. Most writers are complete unknowns. So much for fame and fortune!

  And for all the non-rewards we receive we are forced to suffer the slings and arrows of disgruntled readers, unappreciative editors, and unimpressed reviewers. All writers ( without exception ) will experience some form of rejection: from publishers, from indifferent readers, and from the constant struggle to promote our books.

   Why would any sane person subject himself / herself to this abuse?

The answer seems to be that writers write because we must! We have no choice in the matter. It's either write or be driven insane by the voices in our heads. In fact, our characters are sometimes referred to as "the little people in our heads."

   Well, my people aren't little, and I don't think they are confined solely to my head. But I understand completely what other writers mean by this. My characters seem to perpetually lurk over my shoulder, frequently telling me in no uncertain terms what they want to say and do next. From time to time I err and seem to hear them saying, "No, no, no! That's not me! I would never say or do that!"

   Writers of fiction, especially, must live in a reality that isn't real. We must create worlds that have never been, invent characters who have never lived, yet feel "real." We must envision scenarios that most likely will never happen. Are we truly crazy?

   Maybe so, but on the upside, writing can be fun; it's challenging and rewarding in ways other than monetary. I regard writing as my calling, one that cannot be ignored, an inner flame that cannot be quenched. But unless you are absolutely driven to write and to write your best possible work, you should stay safely sane and stick to the next best occupation: reading!

Keep reading, and for some of you, keep on writing.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Galaxy Rand and Tin Man

Here's a little something for fans of my latest novel and first space opera, Galaxy Rand. This is early on in the book, shortly after Galaxy stumbles across a discarded robot, whom she nicknames Blackie or Tin Man:

   On the opposite side of the alleyway, Blackie charged into a tall stack of drums, as if he'd gone berserk. He bent down, lifted a full drum over his head, as easily as if the damn thing'd been empty! He tossed it down the alley. I heard one yelp, which was cut short, then nothing but silence, except for the incinerator's roar.

   The bot turned in place and stood staring at me, for all the Cosmos as if he were waiting for my instructions.

   Ignoring him, I scrambled to my feet and went to check out the damage. As usual, my aim had been perfect: The guy I'd smoked was good and dead. He lay face-down in a pool of the sticky green stuff, long past IDing. Farther down the alley, I found a limp blood-covered hand sticking up between two drums full of toxins.

   "Dead?" I asked, casting a glance over my shoulder at the bot.

   "Most regrettably, he was crushed to death." He made an odd sound, way too close to a human sigh.

   Shrugged off both deaths and holstered my blaster. "Out here on Milo's Planet, pal, it's either kill first or get killed," I told the bot. Something else struck me as mighty odd. "But I thought all bots were programmed not to kill humans. Isn't there some kinda law about it? Didn't some guy named Ass-something-or-other invent it one helluva long time ago?"

   The bot gave me a blank stare. I couldn't begin to read those crystal lenses of his. "I am certain Doctor Asimov would indeed be grateful that you remembered the fact; however, I assure you, Rand, I had no intention whatsoever of killing this scoundrel. He was about to open fire upon you, thus forcing me to act in order to prevent you from being killed or injured."

   I bristled. "Listen up, pal! I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself. I sure as hell don't need you, or anybody else, to protect me. Understood?" He didn't answer.

copyright@ 2014

   That's all for now. Hope you enjoyed. I'm back to working on my first prequel to the Tartarus Trilogy.
Keep on reading and keep on writing!


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Annoying Things You Should Never Say to an Author

Though authors love to meet readers, sign their books, and have a nice chat, there are a few subjects we wish never to hear again:

#1---"I've always wanted to write a book!" ( What the author hears: If you can write a book, anybody can. It must be easy! )

#2---Worse yet, #1 is often followed by a long, detailed description of the plot of the book he or she wishes to write!

#3---"What is your book about?" ( In other words, this person is too damn lazy to pick up your book, read the back cover, and thumb through it. ) It's impossible for any author to explain the entire plot of their book in a minute or two!

#4---"You write science fiction? Oh, you mean like Star Wars?" ( Arrgh! There's a whole universe to SF besides Star Wars, which is actually space opera. ) This tells the author you know next to nothing about the genre.

#5---"Hasn't that idea already been done?" ( Again, Arrgh! My book may sound somewhat familiar to you, but I assure you it is unique. )

#6---"Is this one of those never-ending series?" ( No, but series exist only because they have fans who never tire of reading them. Obviously, you are not one of those fans. )

#7--"Who would you cast to play your characters in a movie?" ( Cart-before-the-horse much? ) I wrote a book, not a movie script!

So, if you stop by for a pleasant chat with an author, particularly if you aren't familiar with his/her work, be careful what you say.

That's it for now; keep on reading and never stop writing!

M.R. Tighe

Sunday, August 3, 2014

What A Night It Was!

   The 2014 New England Authors Expo was held July 30th. Hubby and I arrived at the Danversport Yacht Club around 1 pm. We picked out the best spot we could find in the ballroom and set up our table. It's getting trickier, since I now have had four books published: The Tartarus Trilogy ( Judgment on Tartarus, True Son of Tartarus, and Ransom of Tartarus ) and my latest novel Galaxy Rand.

   Many of the authors, publishers, and illustrators were there for the first time. We tried to help them learn the ropes and hope we gave some good advice.When the expo opened to the public at 4 pm, things got off to a rather slow start, giving me the chance to step out onto the balcony and admire the beautiful view of the port. The weather was just about perfect. The sun was shining, all the little boats were docked nearby, flags were flying in the breeze, and the landscaping was lovely.

   Around 6 pm things picked up rapidly. The authors who had got to know each other began networking like crazy. Visitors were streaming in. I sold, signed, and swapped a good number of my books. Luckily, we had brought with us the framed original watercolor that my daughter had painted to grace the cover of Galaxy Rand. It drew a lot of attention and was a great hit.

   I was asked to pose for several photos, including a group photo to be published in an upcoming issue of Best of Boston Magazine! The last hour or so of the expo was a whirlwind of activity. I did a surprise video interview ( my second now! ), but by that time I was too tired to even be nervous. We found out about a local Comic Con to be held in Dec. at the Shriners Auditorium, and of course we agreed to sign up for a booth there. We spent what was left of the evening catching up with some old friends and promising to keep in touch with new ones.

   After packing up what was left of our books, we headed for home, exhausted but elated. What an adventure! It was such fun that I can hardly wait to do it again.

   In the meantime, keep on reading and keep writing, my friends!


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Galaxy and Tin Man

Here's another short scene from my latest novel, Galaxy Rand. This is taken from a chapter titled The Black Hole ( a bar, not an actual black hole. That would be rather disasterous! ):

   I'd left the bot outside the bar to stand guard. He was hiding in the shadows of the narrow alley running between The Black Hole and the equally-sleazy joint next door. I whistled low, once, as a signal, and the bot came to join me. Gas orbs hovering over the deserted street offered a few splotches of dim light. The bot's black-armored body gleamed like polished glass.

   "Did you acquire any pertinent information, Rand?" he asked.
   "Not a whole helluva lot," I had to admit. "Confirmed some current rumors, though. Seems an old friend of mine's back in this sector, and I'll give you hundred to one odds he's behind the latest Remoxa jackings."
   "Could the individual in question be responsible for the recent attempts on your life as well?"

   I shook my head. "Don't see how the bloody hell that's possible, Tin Man. Torrance can't have enough credits to hire that many hitmen. If he jacks one or two more shipments like the last one, he'll be more'n ready to take me out, no doubt about that. But it's beginning to look as if somebody's beat him to the punch."
   "Then where does that leave us?"
   "Us? Again with the us!" For some unknown reason, that two-letter word raised my hackles to full-staff.

   "Now you look here, pal! There is no us! You have absolutely nothing at stake. Got that? Not a fleggin soul in the whole bloody Cosmos gives a fast-flying damn what happens to you. Hell, you're nothing but a bot: just a walking, talking, human-aping collection of nuts and bolts, servos and nano-circuits--nothing more!"

   In his most annoying, most uppity tone, Blackie snapped, "Thank you for reminding me of the cold, hard facts, madam. I had almost succeeded in forgetting my present state of being."

@copyright 2014

Well, that's enough for now. More later. Hope you enjoy.

Keep on writing and keep on reading,

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Another Readercon Has Come and Gone

I was actually a little bit worried about attending Readercon 25. We've been to quite a few now, but last year's was rather disconcerting. The hotel, the Burlington Marriott, was undergoing major renovations during the con; our favorite pub had been closed, so food was an issue; check in was being held in a tiny side room, not the main lobby. Things were topsy-turvy and not terribly comfortable or convenient.

But we managed to survive and have a good time in spite of everything. However, to tell the truth I wasn't looking forward to this year's convention as much as usual.

Fortunately, conditions were much improved. The lobby was back in business and looking good. There is now a Great Room where the pub used to be, providing space where one can sit, talk, and relax as well as enjoy food and drink. It's complete with an ultra-modern fireplace and candle-lit shelves.

But our room was on the first floor and appeared not to have been remodeled at all. We missed having a fridge, and there was a strong smell of pool chemicals due to our proximity to the pool area.

We had Sunday brunch at the new restaurant ( Chopps ) that replaced SummerWinter. I found the food of better quality than previous years.

The Book Dealers' Room was full and well attended. Hubby and I bought more books to add to our ever-growing TBR pile, as well as making a sidetrip to Barnes and Noble. So Readercon is alive and kicking. We have no hesitation about attending next year's. In fact, we're already looking forward to it.

Whether or not you attend conventions, remember to keep on reading, and keep on writing!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Another Scene From Galaxy Rand

Here's another post taken from my most recent novel and first space opera, Galaxy Rand:

  I gave the damned-cocky bot a scornful snort and decided, just for the hell of it, to challenge him. "Since you think you're so bloody clever, go ahead. Try and guess what I do!"
   I sat back with my arms folded across my chest and waited to be entertained at his expense.
   At first Blackie didn't say a damn thing, then he started ticking off clues faster than a fleggin computer could kick out a stream of data!
   "You work alone. You are accustomed to finding yourself in dangerous situations. You own this fast-ship and, therefore, must have--or have had at one time--a fair amount of credits at your disposal. You are highly skilled in the use of weapons, as well as in hand-to-hand combat. You often find yourself at odds with the ISF. You have an extraordinary number of enemies of low class and low morals, including many of the criminal element."
   Without pausing so much as a fraction of a microsecond, he kept rattling off facts: "You travel frequently and at a moment's notice, and are--at least on occasion--pursued. And as I have observed, your ship is equipped with a tractor-arm, which is definitely not standard equipment. Therefore, I venture to say that you, Rand, are in all likelihood a recoup agent."
   My lower jaw dropped so damned fast it almost bounced off Jammer's deck. Soon as I could get a word out, I demanded, "How in bloody hell did you guess?"
   "My astute deduction, rather, was a simple process of logical reasoning, based upon our recent experiences and conversations. This information, combined with the deplorable appearance of your vessel as compared with its remarkable speed and accouterments, as well as all available data regarding human occupations in this sector of the galaxy, led me to one inescapable conclusion."
   Instead of admitting I now had a grudging respect for the bot's reasoning abilities, I stubbornly shook my head. "Huh! Just a lucky guess, I'd say."
   "Not at all, madam. In fact, I do not believe in the existence of luck."
   I bristled. "Thought I told you to ditch that madam crap!"
   "Very well, if that form of address offends you--although I hardly see why---"
   I leaned in close to the bot. To get my point across, I poked my right index finger into his metal chest--hard! Note to self: don't pull that dumb-ass stunt again; it hurt like hell!

Hope you enjoyed reading this. You can see more on Questions and comments are always welcome!
Keep reading and keep on writing,

Saturday, May 17, 2014

From Galaxy Rand

Here's another short scene from my latest novel and first space opera Galaxy Rand:

   To be honest, I didn't wanna talk about Esperance any more'n the bot wanted to talk about his master's murder. But by this time I knew Blackie well enough to realize he'd never let the subject lie. He'd keep chipping away at me 'til I gave in.
  I took one deep breath before answering, "Because that's where Torrance's most likely to hole up--the one place he'd hide if things are too hot for him."
   "And exactly how did you come by this remarkable piece of information, Rand? Did your snitch tell you this?"
   "Naw! Just another one of my hunches, and I believe in playing my hunches."
   The sound Blackie made came damned close to a human snort. "A hunch? What remarkable detective work! Hunch indeed!"
   With a helluva lot of effort, I managed to ignore him, but I couldn't ignore the funny feeling gnawing at my gut. "How much d'you know about Esperance, Tin Man?" I asked, as casually as I could, testing him.
   The bot cocked his shiny black dome to one side, for all the Cosmos like a human trying to recall some half-forgotten info. "Again, if memory serves, Rand, Esperance is a small barren planet orbiting Milo's Sun. Once rich in metal ores, the planet was heavily mined in the past--and of course, it was the site of the infamous Esperance Massacre."
   That all too familiar term struck a raw nerve. My jaw clenched; so did both my fists. Had to take a couple real deep breaths, trying my damnedest to relax. "That's why Esperance's also known as the Death Planet," I muttered. Even to my own ears, my voice sounded grim as death.
   "And that is where we are presently headed?"
   "You got it, Tin Man."
   "Marvelous indeed! I cannot imagine there is much demand for conducted tours of Esperance."


Well, that's it for now. I'm presently hard at work on my next novel--a prequel to my Tartarus Trilogy.
Hopefully, it will be ready for publication by the end of the year.

Until then, keep on writing; keep on reading!


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Another Bit from Galaxy Rand

Here's another of my favorite scenes from my new space opera Galaxy Rand:

   "Rand, have you considered that your past might very well provide the motive behind the recent attempts upon your life?"
   "I don't follow you, Tin Man. You saying some bastard wants me dead because my past isn't exactly flawless?" I had to shake my head. The whole idea was fleggin crazy! "Naw, I can't buy that load of bilge."
   "Do not dismiss my theory quite so hastily, Rand. Let us hypothesize that someone from your past does indeed intend to kill you or to have you killed. The motive would most likely be one of two: either fear or hatred, or perhaps a combination of the two."
   I got a real chuckle outta that one. "Lots of people in this solar system hate my bloody guts, Tin Man! But fear? Hell, nobody's afraid of me--'cept the jackers and smugglers operating in this sector. I do my job. I recoup, period! Otherwise, I make it a firm policy never to stick my nose into other people's business, whether it's legal or illegal. Too damned dangerous!"
   "But as a recoup agent, you are paid to recover hijacked goods, are you not!" Blackie demanded, as if he thought I needed reminding about my own profession.
   "Yeah, and I'm damned good at it, pal."
   "Have you recovered any stolen property of late?"
   My pride was stung; felt my face go flame-red, so I turned away from the bot's nosey stare. "Uh, well, I have to admit the job's been a helluva lot tougher than usual lately. Besides, I never claimed I recouped one hundred percent," I grumbled.
   "As rumors would have it, Rand, the ISF suspects that a criminal mastermind is responsible for the most recent hijackings plaguing this sector of the galaxy. You would not be at all familiar with the subject of these rumors, now would you?"
   I growled, "Wouldn't give you two damn credits for any unsubstantiated rumors, pal"
   The bot pounced. "A six-syllable word! Absolutely astounding! That must be a new verbal record for you, Rand!"
   I glared daggers at him, not appreciating the snarky remark one damn bit. "Look here, you smart-ass--!" I started to snarl, then checked myself. "Why in the name of Unholy Hell am I sitting here arguing with a fleggin piece of machinery? Especially one that thinks it's God's greatest gift to the whole damn Universe!"


That's it for now, folks. Hope you enjoyed reading.

Keep reading and keep on writing!


Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Scene From Judgment on Tartarus

So here's a bit of Chapter 6: "A Fist to the Jaw"---literally!

   Rona Scott's next encounter with the infuriating Tartarian proved even more puzzling than the last.

   After her daily workout, she left the rec-deck and went down to her quarters to change for fourth-watch Bridge duty. She doffed her sweat-soaked exercise outfit, showered, and dressed in a fresh blue jumpsuit.

   Bound for the Bridge, Rona started down the length of Deck Five's Alpha Corridor, headed for the forward lift-complex. Ahead, she heard angry voices. The words were indistinguishable, but she recognized the Tartarian's voice--deep, precise, and obviously furious. A barked laugh answered him.

   Rona came within clear sight of the lift-complex just in time to witness a scene she never would've believed possible.

   Standing in the middle of Beta Corridor, port, Malkis faced a belligerant Lieutenant Klasner. Rona instantly recognized the big man from the recent Commissary incident. Upon seeing Rona Scott approaching, without  warning the Exec drew back his right arm and drove a knotted fist straight into Klasner's jaw. His fist connected with an audible crack, slamming the burly crewman against the bulkhead behind him. Klasner slid to the deck, unconscious.

   Malkis calmly flexed his pale, blue-veined hand, pivoted on his heel, and approached Rona, who stood rooted to the spot in horror. His pale-gray eyes impaled her with such frightening intensity that she let out a gasp.

   "Ensign Scott, did you overhear any of that conversation?" he demanded in an urgent tone.

   Rona shook her head before finding her voice and replying weakly, "No--no, Sir--not at all!"

   "You are quite certain?"

   "Yes, Sir--I'm certain. Not a single word."

@copyright 2011

A mystifying incident, a serious breach of regs, with an intriguing explanation! For more, go to and see the  "Look Inside" feature.I think you'll enjoy reading more; at least I hope you do.

Keep on writing, and keep on reading!


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Another Little Peek at Galaxy Rand

Here's a bit of a scene from my space opera Galaxy Rand. I have a soft spot for Galaxy, even though she's "one tough fem":

   I raised my glass in a polite salute to my snitch, then leaned across the table toward her and muttered, "J'neen, some bastard's trying his damnedest to kill me!"
  Her delicate, dark eyebrows made sharp arches. "Again?"
   I scowled at the unwelcome reminder. "This time it's different!"
   "Really? How 'different'?"
   "This's nothing to do with any two-bit beef. Whoever the fleggin bastard is, he really has it out for me--two tries within a planet-hour! What's worse, I've got no idea in the Cosmos who the hell's behind these damn attacks."
   "That does present you with a bit of a problem, Galaxy."
   I got impatient and prodded, "Dammit, J'neen! Have you heard anything?"
   She gave one quick shake of her dark head. "Not so much as a whisper. Sorry I can't help you, Galaxy."
  "That's bad news, real bad news. Means whoever the hell's after me can afford to make damned-sure mouths stay shut. So that lets out the usual riff-raff I deal with."
   J'neen's bright eyes widened. "How in hell did you manage to make an enemy that powerful? And who in blazes copuld it be?"

@copyright 2014

That's all for now. More to come later. Or if you can't wait, go to and check out their "Look Inside" feature. I promise you a fun, easy read and a couple chuckles.
Thanks for reading!


Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Sneak Peek...

Here's a scene from my latest novel, Galaxy Rand, which is a space opera and my homage to pulp fiction:

   I was sunk so damned deep in those grim thoughts that I let my guard down for a fraction of a microsecond. As I stepped into the one-man lift, someone else slid in right behind me. The door closed.

   I whirled to face my unexpected and unwelcome company. From force of habit, my right hand reached for my blaster. My holster was empty. I let out a colorful cussword, flattened my back against the lift's far wall, and got ready to kick the bloody bastard's lights out. But a one-man lift's damned close quarters for hand to hand combat!

   My whole body tense, I waited for my new "friend" to make the first move. The guy just stood there, grinning like an idiot. "Hello, Rand. Heard a lot about you. Now we finally get to meet, face to face."

   "Who the bloody hell are you?" I demanded, giving him my worst glare, still on guard and prepared to fight for my life if need be.

   He raised both hands to show me they were empty. Moving with care, so I wouldn't misinterpret his actions, his right hand went to the breast pocket of his shirt. He gave it a sharp tap with his index finger. Where the pocket'd been, a holo-badge appeared.

   I groaned in disgust. "ISF! Are you fleggin kidding me?"

   Should've known! Who but a dumb-ass ISF 'gent would be stupid enough to follow somebody like me into a one-man lift? Nobody, unless they were bloody crazy!

@copyright 2014

   Hope you enjoyed this little tidbit. Keep on reading and keep on writing!


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Authors Night at the Vineyard

What a lovely night we had! Our second book signing at Zorvino's Vineyard in Sandown, New Hampshire,could hardly have been better. The weather cooperated nicely--temps in the 40s and no snow, rain, or ice. The vineyard is a bit out in the boondocks, but it's lovely. Besides the vineyard itself, the grounds include a barn, a pond, and a gazebo.
The interior of the venue is rustic, but absolutely beautiful, featuring a real wood fireplace, a cozy corner with couches, a bar, and a balcony surrounding the entire room. The lighting is romantic, if a bit dim. They actually brought in a floor lamp to brighten our corner!

Downstairs, we visited the winery and the store, where you can taste their wines and purchase a few bottles, which we cheerfully did.

As for Authors Night, it was well-attended by authors, publishers, and visitors alike. Live guitar music throughout the night added to the ambience. I sold and signed a few books. Hubby and I posed for a photo with a bottle of wine--a first for me! I signed a pic for the event organizer's files and traded books to be reviewed with another scifi author. Lastly, I donated a signed copy of my fourth novel, Galaxy Rand---a space opera which is an homage to pulp fiction--to a parents' group for educational purposes. They offer to promote local authors who donate their books. I thought that was a good idea and a cost-effective way for authors to advertise their work.

Of course, we also bought several books, reconnected with some old friends, and made several new ones. I got to talk science fiction, including favorite books, movies, and TV shows. It's always fun to introduce new readers to my Tartarus Trilogy, especially to those who are fans of SF, space adventure, and mixed-genre novels.

We left looking forward to the next book event, which will take place on July 30, 2014. Each event is an adventure, as we never know who we will meet, what's going to happen next, and what connections we'll make. It's all part of the fun of being a published author!

Keep on reading; keep on writing!


Friday, January 3, 2014

Meet Galaxy Rand

Here is the final, published version of the back cover blurb for my space opera Galaxy Rand:

     Galaxy Rand is one tough fem...a hard-drinking, two-fisted recoup agent, she's used to dealing with space-scum like hijackers and smugglers. But when she stumbles across a discarded robot, she's thrown for a loop. Not only is Tin Man obnoxious, but he's denser than a ton of spectromium!

     Rand's unsavory past comes back to haunt her; she finds a price on her head and a target on her back. As for Tin Man, he has secrets of his own.

     To save her life and her job, and to earn the five-million credit reward offered by multi-billionaire Roman Aguilar, Rand is forced to do the one thing she always swore she'd never do: go back to Esperance---the Death Planet!

Hope you enjoyed. The book is available at most online booksellers and on Kindle and paperback at ( which also has a Look Inside feature. )

Keep reading and keep on writing!