Monday, September 18, 2006

FIND and REPLACE... a rabbit's testicles

In case you are boggling, I am author Rowena Cherry, and I write science fiction romance, survival romance, and I have just finished edits on my next novel INSUFFICIENT MATING MATERIAL.

Last Thursday (eleven days ago)
was my deadline for finishing revisions on INSUFFICIENT MATING MATERIAL.
I made it.

Over the weekend, I discovered that although we had deleted a passage about
skinning a large alien creature resembling a rabbit, but bigger, we had not removed a later
reference to the skinning.

To be specific, the deleted skinning conversation between the hero and heroine
went into detail about handling genitalia and other sources of potential contamination of
the meat.

Once that was gone, the heroine's subsequent thoughts about touching a rabbit's
testicles did not make sense.

On the following Monday, I spoke with my editor and she assured me that she had
taken care of the rabbit's nuts. I shall have to wait four weeks for the galleys to
see if she took them out acceptably. If not, I can request a change at that point.

I'd also like you to know that INSUFFICIENT MATING MATERIAL is already up for
pre-orders at Amazon. Another cool new feature is that readers or potential readers can
add TAGs to say how much they are looking forward to the next book (or whatever).


“Now, look here, and learn.” He brandished a wicked looking knife. “You don’t have to concern yourself with how to skin and gut large animals. With smallish ones like this, it’s easier to skin when its cooled.”

He used his knife as a pointer.

“The first thing to do, which I’ve done, is cut its throat. Next, place your animal belly up. That way, you can see what you’ve got.”

A very healthy, ridiculously well-developed male animal.

“Starting ‘north’ of the penis —if there is one—“

In this case, there is a very prominent one.

“If there is, remember that there’s usually a bone in it. Make an incision just big enough to slip two fingers in.”


“You use your fingers to press the internal organs down, away from the skin. You do not want to nick the bladder or entrails. That really spoils the meat, so you’d have to wash it, and we don’t have water to spare.

“Cut up the body as far as about the breastbone.” He stroked the body with the point of his knife. “Then go down to the far end, cut neatly around the anus, and also cut a good circle,” he tickled the area in question with his knife, “around the genitals, taking care not to cut the urinary tract.”

“Why?” she breathed, disgusted.

“Unless you want to eat its testicles, it’s simpler to pull the whole lot off with the entrails. Think about it. When we come back from wood-gathering, you can have a go. You’re not going to be sick, are you?”

Martia-Djulia shook her head. At some point during his revolting demonstration, her hand had crept up to her mouth.
Djetth stood. He had removed his flight suit, his chest and shoulders glistened, though it was too cool and too early for him to be sweaty, she would have thought.

“I’ll go on ahead, and check on the beach well. Catch up when you’ve used the facilities. I don’t suppose you fancy a morning dip, do you?”

You must be mad! She stared at him pityingly.

“You’re quite right.” He grinned. “It’s not as warm first thing in the morning when the tide’s out. The water will be pleasant once the tide comes up over hot sand. I’ll teach you to swim at high tide. Of course, one finds the best shellfish at low tide.”


Grinning, Djetth loped down to the water’s edge to wash the blood off his hands. One way or another, sooner or later, if Martia-Djulia were pregnant, she’d have to let him know.

Meanwhile, he intended to keep her too busy to think. Maybe she’d forget about wanting to shave him. Already, she knew that Prince Djetthro-Jason was a degree of cousin. If she found out how much like Tarrant-Arragon he naturally looked, well, Djetth could imagine that she'd dream up plenty of new reasons to object to his sexual pursuit of her.


SURVIVORMAN, Les Stroud advised me that this skinning method isn't quite right for rabbits. These are alien rabbits, and bigger... they also begin their literary life as more like porcupines. Now, it is a moot point how to skin prey animals for meat and fur. It's out.

Best wishes,

Rowena Cherry

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Rambling without ranting

Occasionally it happens that even with two months between my newsletters,
I get a last minute hold-up.

Either a cover model's pictures don't forward owing to yahoo or
aol or some other ISPs concerns about hunk sharing!!!!

Or, my webmaster is travelling and I didn't know that.

Or, I get the perfect storm of conflicting priorities.
That's what happened since August 26th.

My editor wanted about thirty minor-seeming revisions to
Insufficient Mating Material,
and I guess she thought I could easily do them in three days.

Not me!

The villain wasn't quite nasty enough.
The heroine wasn't insecure about the hero's feelings for her
for long enough (like, even after they've had the most wonderful
sex in the sea).... just by way of example.

Well, for me, a villain can't just crank up the nastiness out of the blue.
Either his nastiness has to be apparent all the way through the book,
or else his nasty habits have to build like storm clouds gathering
throughout the course of the book.

Then, I heard the absolutely marvelous news from Romantic Times
that my proposal for a Research panel workshop has been accepted,
and I had to produce a proposal and a panel in a very short timeframe.
I did, of course.

And my husband (who cannot type) needed help preparing for a meeting.
And, my September-October bi-monthly newsletter was due.

I'm happy to say that, the newsletter is up with a contest, new puzzles,
excerpts from two other authors, an interview with a really versatile cover model.

I hope you enjoy it.

Best wishes,

Sunday, September 03, 2006



There are no such things, right? Only complicated questions that might come at an inconvenient time.

Do I do much research for my books?
That’s a real gem of a question, and I mean that most sincerely. It is a wonderful opportunity to drop powerful names, list the most exciting locations and disasters in my book, and talk about things that inspire me.

This week, when I wasn’t really reading my email because I’ve got thirty changes to make to INSUFFICIENT MATING MATERIAL, and I’ve been getting up at three am in order to make headway, I learned that my workshop proposal –for a panel discussion on RESEARCH-- has been accepted by Romantic Times, and I need to put together a proper proposal for my team.

I’m thrilled.

What possessed me to draw up a Family Tree for my world?
My editor asked me that one, in the nicest possible way. I suppose I’m visual, though I would never claim to be organized or tidy. A diagram seems the most easily understood and economical method of keeping track of a complicated family.

What Royal Family doesn’t have one? So of course my alien royal family needed one. The fact that I sorted out who had sex with whom about ten years ago has been a blessing and a challenge. At times it is inconvenient, and at times it sets me thinking in directions I might not have pursued otherwise.

I got my arithmetic wrong, I made errors that I’d change if I were doing it over again. For instance, maybe I wouldn’t give all members of the Royal Family names with Dj – the Royal Prefix, with a silent D. At least, when they have six or seven names, they do not have to use that name!

For those who are interested, the Djinn Family tree is now up on my website, and it is interactive. Go to