I know I broke the rules. But really, who follows them anymore? And who doesn’t get tired of hearing the phrase, “industry standard?” Okay, so maybe it is industry standard to have a pen name if you’re going to write in more than one genre. Best-selling romance writer, Nora Roberts writes under J. D. Robb for her futuristic suspense novels. But in a world where branding has become a big deal and one’s name needs to be attached to a lengthy resume in order to be picked up by search engines, can you blame me for not wanting to write under a pseudonym?

The publishing industry says that a writer must stick with one genre, otherwise it will confuse the reader. But how can that be when a book cover on a romance novel is completely different than one on a thriller? My Big Fake Irish Life, my romantic comedy, doesn’t look a thing like my dystopian novel, Logging Off. Besides, readers tend to read the synopsis of a book before buying it.

Lucky for me, times seem to be slowly changing. Thriller writer, James Patterson didn’t choose a non de plume for his romance Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas, nor did John Grisham when he strayed away from his legal suspense genre to pen A Painted House.

I really do hope these two amazing writers have started a new trend, and perhaps a better one. What better way to sample a genre that normally doesn’t interest you than by having one of your favorite authors get you hooked on it?

Trying something new can be surprisingly delightful and maybe even a little addictive.


This whole internet thing. It’s never going to catch on.

Do you recall those early days of the Internet and learning how to use it? I remember I had been on-line a mere three hours when my brother-in-law gave me a URL over the phone.

“It’s http…colon…backslash…backslash…www…dot—”

“Wait,” I interrupted. “How much more?”

“I haven’t even given you the address yet.”

Ten minutes later, and after it took me three attempts to enter NINETY-SIX characters correctly, I thought to myself, This whole Internet thing. It’s never going to catch on.

Needless to say, I missed the mark on that one. And now we have Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Skype, RSS, Kindles, Nooks, iPads, iPhones, blogs… Being tech-challenged, I sometimes feel like my head is going to explode.

Is it any wonder that I ended up having a very detailed dream about the dangers of technology and where it’s leading us as a society? This dream of mine pretty much gave me the entire plot of Logging Off, and if you read it, you will see just how much of it is well on the way to becoming reality.

Not in the book is something I really wish existed: teleportation. Who out there isn’t sick of the airport lines and the constant security screenings? It would be so nice to transport quickly and easily anywhere in the world, to be beamed up or down like they do in Star Trek.

Did you see the latest Star Trek movie? I’m the voice of the Kelvin Computer in the beginning. My voice is elsewhere in the movie, but not so prominent. I own a loop group and we create the walla for movies and television shows. Depending on the needs of the show, I hire other actors to work with me to fill in all the background voices for every scene.

I just finished working on Garry Marshall’s movie, New Year’s Eve. I’m finishing This Means War starring Reese Witherspoon, and I’m currently working on Rock of Ages, Red Lights, Prometheus, Underworld 4, Jack the Giant Killer, and Battleship.

Talk about working in a tech-laden industry. I guess I shouldn’t complain so much about all the advancements. If we didn’t have them, I wouldn’t be talking to you. 