Tag Archives: humorous thrillers

The Smarter I Think I Am…

One of the blessings/curses of being a fiction writer is that I spend a lot of time surfing the internet for my research.  (Other people waste time on the internet, but I’m doing research.  Honest.)

I’ve gone down all sorts of rabbit holes, but it really messed with my mind the day I discovered illusory superiority and the Dunning-Kruger Effect.  Dunning and Kruger’s tests showed that the less competent a person is in any given field, the more likely they are to think they’re an expert.

Yep, the dumber we are, the smarter we think we are.  (Which explains why 90% of drivers think they’re better than average.  You math majors, stop giggling.)

When I first read about that study, I had an ‘Aha!’ moment:  At last I understand why there are so many idiots out there who think they know everything.  It’s immensely annoying to those of us who do.

Oops…

Seriously, though, I know I’m not good at everything.  In fact, I know I suck resoundingly at a lot of things. But in the things I think I do well…

What if I’m just too stupid to know the difference?

Thanks for nothing, Dunning and Kruger. You’ve made me second-guess everything I once thought I knew.  And seeking constructive criticism won’t help:  Apparently there’s another cognitive bias that lets people believe only the parts of criticism that they want to hear, while disregarding the uncomfortable bits (i.e. the information that could actually help them improve).

So now that my brain has been twisted into a particularly unattractive macrame project, I’m really glad I live out in the country so I can wander around mumbling to myself without anybody calling the nut-catchers. (Fortunately Hubby is used to me mumbling to myself, so I’ve got a free pass there.)

Anyhow…

I have no illusions of superiority in the field of graphic design.  So I’m hoping that all you brilliant readers will help me: I’m thinking of updating the covers for the Never Say Spy series.

I still like the current covers, but the latest trends lean toward lots of colour and bold fonts. Also, the current covers don’t hint that there’s a sense of humour in the stories, and I’m wondering whether a different design might draw in readers who aren’t necessarily looking for a hardcore shoot-’em-up thriller.

Here are the original and proposed covers side by side — what do you think?

Please click on the poll below to vote.  The first five questions are for everyone, and the last question is only for people who have actually read the series.  And if you have any other comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear them — please drop them in the comments section of this post.

Thank you so much for your help!  🙂

 

 

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Filed under Humour, Life

Crap-Shooting

The other day I got a letter from my life insurance company, and the first sentence was a friendly “We hope you’re enjoying the benefits of your policy.”

I thought, “Oh, that’s nice…”

Then I realized that in order to ‘enjoy the benefits’ of a life insurance policy, I’d have to die.  Exactly what were they trying to say there?

I’m ambivalent about insurance anyway.  I’ve always considered myself an optimist, but buying insurance means I’m basically betting that something bad is going to happen to me.  The insurance companies (the true optimists, apparently) are betting that everything’s going to be fine.  This completely messes up my worldview.

I won’t get started about how insurance companies stubbornly pretend everything is still fine even after you submit a claim.  That’s a different rant, but I will say this:  If you want the most comprehensive list of weasel-words ever compiled, take a look at the wording of an insurance policy.

But I suppose policy wordings aren’t actually that much different than playing poker:  The rules are set out before the cards are dealt, and you can ante up if you want. I’d just feel better about the whole thing if it wasn’t my own wellbeing in the pot.

If I’d saved up all the money I’d spent (and will spend in the future) on insurance, I wouldn’t need the insurance.  But I don’t dare cancel it, because I haven’t saved up all that money.  And with Murphy and his Law breathing down my neck, I just know that if I cancelled, I’d somehow manage to launch my vehicle into the middle of our living room the very next day, destroying the car and house and leaving myself disabled with huge medical bills.  And I’d probably run over somebody in the process, so I’d get sued into the bargain.

Hmm.  Maybe I’m not as much of an optimist as I thought.

Anyhow, insurance might be a crapshoot, but here’s a sure thing:  We have a cover and release date for Book 14!

The big day is Wednesday, March 27, and pre-orders should be available by this weekend.  (If you’ve signed up for my New Book Notification list, you’ll get an email with all the purchasing links.)

Here’s the big reveal:

Secret agent Aydan Kelly’s supposedly-dead mother Nora has resurfaced after thirty years, and the chain of command assigns Aydan to investigate her for treason.  With only two weeks before Nora leaves the country under diplomatic immunity, Aydan struggles to piece together her mother’s questionable past.

Two days into Aydan’s investigation Nora announces she’s leaving early, and Aydan’s director gives her an ultimatum:  Solve the case before Nora escapes, or face imprisonment for dereliction of duty.  Meanwhile, an unknown enemy is stalking Aydan’s friends and the threats are escalating. 

When time runs out and prison walls loom, claustrophobic Aydan must make an unthinkable choice: Sacrifice her friends, or lose her freedom forever.

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Filed under Humour, Life

It’s Done! (…Ish)

After a week of writing for 14 hours a day, I’ve finally finished the draft of Book 14, woohoo!  (I don’t intend to escalate to 15-hour days for Book 15, though.)

I’d love to say that Book 14 is “done”, but I still have a round of edits to do before I pass it over to my beta readers / editors / proofreaders, and I have yet to choose a title or create a cover or pick a release date.  Maybe in a month… ish…?

But still, the draft is out of my head, and that’s a good feeling!  (Some might argue that I have a permanent draft between my ears, but I prefer to ignore them.)

In fact, just about everything is out of my head at the moment — my brain is completely drained.  And we have houseguests this week, so instead of a post with actual words that make sense (or as much sense as I ever make), here are some photos of our garden.  Even though it’s only January, the plants seem to think spring is near.

So Book 14 is done-ish and it’s spring-ish outside.  Hooray for “almost-there”!

‘Zeta’ heather has been putting on a show since November, and the pansies and grape hyacinths will soon be blooming again.

 

This is ‘Eva Gold’ heather.

 

‘Tanya’ heather, plus one red anemone that’s FAR ahead of all the rest.

 

The flower garden is slowly starting to fill in. Maybe I should have bought bigger plants to start with…? 😉

 

The rhododendron buds are getting bigger by the day! This is ‘Kabarett’ – I’m looking forward to seeing its purple blooms for the first time this year.

 

The perennial alyssum has wee yellow buds starting, but it might be a while before it looks like the optimistic photo on the plant marker behind it.

 

Even the hydrangea thinks it’s spring – look at all the little green leaves-to-be!

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Filed under Life, Writing