Monday, October 10, 2016

Rash Promises - Why Do We Make Bargains That Are Hard To Keep?

One of the central themes of my book THE MOONLIGHT MARKET, has to do with the consequences of a bargain. Sanderson Beets makes a deal with the magical Weaver of Dreams in order to go to college and escape the carnival performance circuit and his nosy family. In fairy tales and medieval literature this is called a “rash promise”. And humans make them all the time – because we’re cognitively biased to do so.

Sanderson believes that the Weaver of Dreams has his best interests at heart because he knows she helped his sister during her difficult pregnancy. This is called “motivated cognition” or more commonly, “wishful thinking”. He is aware of the heavy price his sister paid for the help, but he makes a deal with the Weaver anyway, believing that his future will be brighter and his time at college will be worth any payment the Weaver demands.

After all, once he goes to college and finds a steady career, his family will be well-provided for and his parents’ won’t be forced to work during their retirement. Despite evidence to the contrary, Sanderson is sure his outcome will be good after making the fateful deal.

Another cognitive bias that Sanderson exhibits is “loss aversion”. In other words, even after he knows that the Weaver is dangerous, Sanderson is still willing to give into her strange request to bring her a lost soul. Sanderson is unwilling to give up the year of college he has already experienced and the possible two years to come. In order to keep those risky gains, he is willing to betray his friend Cory to the Weaver.

And the way Sanderson steels himself to hand over Cory to the Weaver also employs a cognitive bias. He remembers every interaction with Cory and confirms to himself that the romantic connection he felt was false, that Cory didn’t care about him, would never care about him. This is a “confirmation bias”, the mis-remembering of events that reinforce a point of view that you already hold. Sanderson needed this cognitive bias in order to fullfil his debt to the Weaver. Because if Cory didn’t care about him, then Sanderson wouldn’t be obliged to care what the Weaver of Dreams would do to Cory.

This demonstrates very easily the pitfalls my character finds when he overthinks his problems and his relationships. So, in case you’re wondering, how does a character beset by the inevitability of a cognitive bias get out of his rash promise to a dangerous woman of dark magic?

Well, this is a romance, so the obvious answer is…he listens instead to his heart.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Moonlight Market is going on a multi-month tour!

Join me on a whirlwind twelve-week tour to more than a dozen blogs. I'll be talking about the characters, doing interviews, and discussing writing with some amazing bloggers.

Here's a few of the stops on the tour:
October 17: Sharing Links and Wisdom
October 24: Fabulous and Brunette
October 31: Wake Up Your Wild Side
October 31: Romance Novel Giveaways
November 7: Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews
November 14: Book Lover Promo
November 21: Romance and Authors That Rock - review only
November 21: The Reading Addict
November 28: Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
December 5: Wendi Zwaduk ~ Romance to Make Your Heart Race
December 5: Kissing Bandits
December 12: Michelle Abbott's Blog - review
December 26: Dawn's Reading Nook
December 26: Mama Reads Hazel Sleeps - review
January 2: Christine Young
January 2: The Silver Dagger Scriptorium
January 9: Carly's Book Reviews - review
January 9: Liz Gavin's Blog - review

And there's going to be a giveaway! One lucky winner will receive a $50 Amazon giftcard!

And I would be very remiss if I didn't say THANK YOU to Goddess Fish Promotions for organizing the tour. :)

Friday, September 23, 2016

Pssst! Can you keep a secret?

So it's totally not a secret that I'm going to be hosting a table at the Southern Magic Readers Luncheon. (Look! You can see my name in the Attending Authors list on the right side!)

But, what is a secret to everyone, except you --

(yes, I'm talking to you, the one still scanning the author list to see who else is attending the luncheon) 

is that I'm going to be giving away something super secret to anyone that comes up to my table during the signing (Not during the eating portion of the luncheon! Everyone who sits at my table will already be getting TONS of cool stuff) after the food and entertainment part of the luncheon when you're milling around and chatting with all the authors and getting things signed, etc.

--if you come up to me at that time and say these words:

"Tentacles are awesome" 

and you are one of the first ten (10) people to do so, then I will give you something amazing. It might be jewelry. It might be related to my Prism Award-winning novella, THE KLOCKWERK KRAKEN. It will definitely be awesome.

So remember:
  1. Keep it secret. If you don't then you'll end up being the eleventh person and you won't get a cool, amazing, (really nice!) awesome thing.
  2. Tell it to me during the book signing portion of the luncheon event.
  3. The secret phrase is "Tentacles are awesome."

I hope I see you there!!!

Oh, and if you haven't bought your tickets yet, what are you waiting for?

Go now to and get your tickets.

You'll get a tasty lunch. You'll get to hear authors talking about their writing. You'll get to meet some amazing authors.

You'll get freeee books!!!! So many free books! And lots of author swag, buttons, magnets, cool thingamajigs that do that thing. So much. (I can't wait.)