THE COBALT PROTOCOL

The Cobalt Protocol was released in November 2013. I will be doing more updates to this website, but for now I am posting the purchase links here. You can read a free excerpt at the Musa website!

Available in multiple formats on the Musa Publishing website. A free excerpt is posted on this page.

While I would love for you to purchase it at Musa, it’s also available at Amazon.

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Where I Go From Here

I know haven’t updated this site in a long while. Truth is, I’ve been avoiding it. Not because I hate to blog or anything, but because I haven’t known what to post. Then, it wasn’t what but how much to say. Now that I’ve figure out a few things, I’m ready to share.

It’s going to be a while, but there is a sequel to The Cobalt Protocol in the works. The working title is Alchemy of a Hero, and I have most of the story heavily outlined. It just needs to be written in full. I am also working on a massive steampunk project. The two projects are both calling at me every day, but there are these two little factors. They are: The Baby and Brain Fog. Now, brain fog sounds funny, and sometimes the joke is on me, but in reality, it’s a serious thing. I have two autoimmune conditions—fibromyalgia and Sjögren’s Syndrome. There are days when I literally can’t think clearly. (And I am using “literally” correctly here.) Or when I sit down to work and suddenly wake up later. The other thing is that my six-month-old requires a great deal of attention. That is fine, and if he was the only factor, I’d have finished Alchemy already.

So, it’s going to be a while. I don’t like admitting it, but I am an honest person. I could force it and do a rush job, but when I do, the final outcome isn’t as good as it should be. Cobalt suffered a little from being written in a rush. In two years, I’m going to go back and flesh it out. Those parts that seem a little rushed? I’m going to work on those and make them flow better. I’m thrilled that people enjoy it, but the criticisms I’ve seen are on target. It’s still a fun read and decent story, but it could (and some day will) be a better book.

Believe me, I wish I could whip out reams of pages like many authors do. Maybe that will happen eventually. When the baby is older, he won’t need to be held as much, and that will help.

Thank you for sticking with me and for your understanding. It’s been a difficult road in the past year. Here’s hoping for smoother sailing ahead!

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Steampunk and Superhero updates

For a long time, I’ve been conflicted about how to proceed with my writing. I have a steampunk project that has been close to my heart for a couple of years, and yet it’s the superhero romance that is in play at this time. The Cobalt Protocol is selling better than I ever expected, and the sequel, Alchemy of a Hero is almost totally outlined.

Both worlds have promise for ongoing storytelling. The Onyx Dragon opens an steampunk epic involving airships and dragons. Cobalt opens a world in which superheroes exist and have real lives behind their secret (and sometimes not so secret) identities. I’ve had great feedback with both.

The timing for all of this Continue reading

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Writer’s Rant: “Bones” and “The Prisoner in the Pipe” aka The episode in which she has a baby

I’ve been watching a lot of TV shows on Netflix streaming while playing pillow and buffet table to the baby. I like well-written shows and love great characters. That said, I have my limits…

Okay, the episode of “Bones” where she has the baby? Stupid, stupid, stupid. On so many levels. Disappointing.

There are a ton of never-happen-in-the-real-world things that happen in that show, true. Most of it I forgive because it’s still entertaining, and it’s just TV, but it’s getting more ridiculous.

Now, I agree with someone else I’ve seen who said that Brennan changes. However, unlike that other person, I like how she changes, and I get it. She got to a point in her life (starting in that first season, really) where she decided to start getting out of her head more. Maybe not in those words, but close enough.

That said, I think Emily Deschanel’s pregnancy threw the show runners for a loop. They got ridiculous with the birth episode. Then again, maybe some people *would* choose to give birth in a barn rather than call an ambulance, and then go straight home to a party. And maybe the B&B really wouldn’t help just because of a wine connoisseur gathering (other than offer a conveniently placed stables) in an obvious allusion to Jesus’s birth, which Brennan doesn’t even believe in, and that Booth would appreciate and read into more than she ever would.

That’s not even getting into the absurdity that was the scene at the prison.

They’re running out of gags. Literally and figuratively. A long-running show, and I’m in the seventh season. It’s currently in the ninth season, right? I’ll keep going until I catch up, and then I’ll share what I think. Well, that’s the plan anyway. There’s that whole writing thing I’m supposed to be dong…

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Daily Positives

Over on Facebook and Twitter, I am going to start posting positive questions each day. I think I’ll name them as such:

Surprise Sunday: What pleasantly surprised you today?

Motivational Monday: What motivates you today?

Terrific Tuesday: What terrific thing happened today?

Wow Wednesday: What wowed you today?

Throwback Thursday: What pleasant memory inspires you today?

Freaky Friday: What delightfully freaky thing are you thinking about today? (Keep it clean…ish!)

Super Saturday: What super thing are you going to do today?

Let’s see how this goes. It should be fun!

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Giving Thanks Through Pain and Joy

What I’m thankful for…

  • My husband and I putting our marriage back together, and the beautiful little boy who resulted from that.
  • Even though I have a lot of pain, it could be worse. I am grateful that this pain is only in one part of my body at a time. It is not my whole body, all at once. The pain has made moving around and getting things done difficult, but It has not robbed me of my bodily functions. I get to have days with little to no pain. There are a lot of people who don’t have that gift.
  • This school district has a lot of challenges, and it doesn’t always get things right. But my family is fortunate. They have recognized and responded to my daughter’s and son’s needs. They have treated my family with respect and, with staff we’ve gotten to know over the years, love. No amount of professionalism (of which they have a great deal) can disguise the love that the teachers, therapists, and aides/paras feel for their students and families.
  • For all our challenges, my family is healthy. I’m the only one with health issues (knock on a forest full of wood!). Sure, the kids get sick once in a while. The Munchie gets headaches and belly aches at times, but it all passes, and she is healthy. The Little Doctor (the six-year-old Doctor Who fan) is a healthy kid. The baby is gassy, but he appears to be healthy after having kicked jaundice out the door.
  • My skills at writing and editing are important to me. I can get a little arrogant and say “I’m a damn good writer,” and I do believe that, but I don’t forget to be grateful. It’s a gift, and I am fortunate to be friends with other damned good writers and editors. We buoy each other and cheer for each other.
  • I am ridiculously grateful to have Facebook. Yes, social media can be utterly stupid, but it can also be a sanity saver. I am on Facebook most of the day because I spend most of my days ensconced in my recliner trying to sit in a way that doesn’t trigger the inflamed sciatic nerves, and nursing/holding/snuggling the baby. Being on Facebook allows me interaction with people. Interaction that would not have been possible prior to the internet. Twenty years ago, I would have been far more alone, far more scared of life, and far less involved in, well, anything.
  • My diagnoses of Asperger’s and ADHD. Some people rage against labels. I need them. They help me categorize my shortcomings. I’ve been learning how to work through my tendencies and quirky behaviors. (Yes, that was redundant. Sort of.) Recognizing and putting names to these things is my greatest tool in learning how to control them. I still don’t get certain things right, but for the most part, that understanding has led to many improvements. The biggest is now I know to recognize when I’m getting overwhelmed with sensory information. And I can also stop and explain when I made a social blunder (as appropriate). Even better, I’ve improved at avoiding those blunders.
  • There are many other things for which I am grateful. Some, I won’t name. I try not to be superstitious, but you never know. I can only say “knock on wood” so many times.

I should take this opportunity to shill for my book, but I can do that in other posts. Right now, I just want to wish everyone a happy, healthy holiday season.

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Unofficial-Official Update

The Cobalt Protocol is available on Musa's website and on Amazon!

The Cobalt Protocol is available on Musa’s website and on Amazon!

I had a baby at the end of October. The Cobalt Protocol was released two weeks later. I’ve been too brain fried to do much of anything, so I kept forgetting to attend to this blog. I know, excuses, excuses!

There are three great reviews up, and one interview. Here are the links:

Reviews on Amazon

Review on Rainbow Book Reviews

Interview on Rainbow Book Reviews

I’ll post more later. The baby is now four and a half weeks old, but he’s needed me to hold him nonstop. That’s as it should be. As he gets easier to keep happy and starts to let me do some work, you’ll see more of me. :)

 

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Yes, the air IS thinner up here!

One of the few photos of myself that I like.

One of the few photos of myself that I like.

The title character in my debut book The Cobalt Protocol is tall. Quinn Summers, a.k.a. Cobalt, is a cool six feet tall. As of this posting, she’s the tallest female superhero in Bay City. Lucky for her, it’s not a big deal, as the limitations of her powers means she doesn’t get time to mingle with the masses after a battle or daring rescue. In this first edition, I don’t dwell on it. I wish I had a little, because I have a lifetime of material from which to draw.

Like Cobalt, I’m a tall woman. When people ask how tall, I usually tell them five-twelve and wait for the light bulb to go on. “Oh, six foot!”

This came up on a radio program last night. Amy Guth (@AmyGuth on Twitter) and Kristen Samuelson (@KSamRedEye on Twitter) were on “Redeye Remix” on WGN 720 AM out of Chicago. I stayed up because they teased the topic of “tall woman problems.” How could I not? I have a litany of stories longer than I am tall. I called in toward the end of the segment opining about maternity clothes, among other things not mentioned on the Buzzfeed article they were sharing.

Continue reading

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Dear Family and Friends: It’s okay if you don’t want to read my books!

Photo of Michelle D. Argyle

Michelle D. Argyle

I saw an article from another author today. Michelle D. Argyle talks about how certain family and friends haven’t read her books, and how she feels about it. She makes some great points, especially about the interests of the people in question. I’m going to echo some of that, but I felt it worth sharing my thoughts as well.

* * * * *

I’ve thought about this topic on and off. Most family and some friends will never read some or most of my writing. Even if it’s a bestseller. And that’s okay.

What I write isn’t for everyone. Anything I write as Terri Rowan is romance—some straight, some lgbt. My first-ever published book is a f/f superhero romance, and that’s a niche market for sure. Even the straight titles in that hero series won’t appeal to a lot of people I know either by association or because it’s superhero romance.  Other romance subgenres may be forthcoming, but the point remains, it’s an interest thing. Continue reading

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What I Write and Why I Write It

Original digital art from a drawing of Cobalt. Striking similarity to the model on the cover!

Original digital art from a drawing of Cobalt. Striking similarity to the model on the cover!

My debut novel, The Cobalt Protocol, is due out next month. That I’m getting a book published probably isn’t a surprise to people who’ve known me my whole life. That it’s a superhero story probably isn’t a surprise either. What is a Big Deal is that in writing this particular story, I branched out to a new subgenre I wouldn’t have considered when I was growing up: LGBT romance.

For readers and many of my friends, this isn’t and shouldn’t be a Big Deal. For my family and many people I grew up with, it is. I’m not sure my mother even realizes yet that Cobalt is a lesbian romance. We’ve had a rocky relationship, and I have no idea how this will play. Some people suggest that I can tell people where to stick their opinions, and sometimes I’m quite capable of doing that. However, there are people I’d rather not cut out of my life, so I must find a delicate balance between speaking my mind and leaving them to their prejudices. This is part—but not all—of the reason I’m writing romance under a pseudonym.

The Cobalt Protocol is special for many reasons.

This story is my first female/female (f/f) romance. It took me a long time to get to this point. I felt like a poser for years and avoided it. Why? Because, Continue reading

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