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Discovering My Inner Geek

How I came accidentally started writing science fiction romance.

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy…okay, it was Wyoming…but it was a very long time ago. In this somewhat distant past, before the Women’s Movement and bra burning, girls weren’t always encouraged to do well in math and science in my small town. When I go through my mementos of the past, it is something of a shock to realize I did well in both math and science until I entered high school. Then those grades fell off rather sharply.

I’m not sure if I really sucked at them, or if society decreed that I couldn’t do it because I was a girl. I expect it’s a little of both. I loved to read, so English and history came easier for me. My tastes in fiction have always been diverse but always leaned toward romance. My taste in movies and TV has always included action and adventure, so science fiction crept in, even when I thought I didn’t do science.

Whether it was nature or nurture that shaped me into a non-geek for many years, I do know I had no plans to wander into science fiction writing. So, when I penned a science fiction romance called The Key, I didn’t consider it science fiction. I honestly thought it was an action-adventure romance. (Okay, so maybe my lack of science creds wasn’t totally about nurturing.)

Then a reviewer wrote this about The Key: “Love Linnea Sinclair? Get a kick out of Susan Grant? Then you’ll want to glom up on releases by Pauline Baird Jones. The Key isn’t so much a sci-fi release as it is a dang good read, and this reviewer is anxious to read more of Baird Jones. Fun and fantastic at the same time, The Key is an intergalactic space adventure that will thrill readers to the very tips of their toes.” Heartstrings Reviews

And then it won a Dream Realm award for science fiction. Was the universe out of alignment? Had the non-geek really written a science fiction novel?

After I got done doing a couple of double takes (and quit waiting for someone to out me as a fake geek), I went looking for other science fiction romances and discovered something amazing. I was geek enough to enjoy them. (We are talking about mostly made up science here.)

Since wandering among the science fiction shelves I have discovered that I can enjoy hard science fiction (Alexis Glynn Latner’s Hurricane Moon, which also has a romance, btw) and even military science fiction (Jack Campbell’s Lost Fleet series, which also has some romance in it and awesome action).

What I’ve also discovered is some rocking fun action and high adventure liberally mixed with lots of wonderful romance. If you’re interested in exploring this diverse and smoking cool genre check out this list of 100 suggested SFR and romantic SF titles at The Galaxy Express blog. You might be surprised to find that you have a hidden, inner geek, too, one willing and able to enjoy a little made-up science in their fiction.