I write about different fictional cultures, and I like that. I do use some ideas from real (Terran) life, as well as some ideas that I make up (or don’t realize come from real life). And I do research lots and lots of things. I find it fun, most of the time.

One of my story characters, Nia, comes from a culture with pretty loose family rules and infrequent marriage. She led me down a path of kinship research that was highly entertaining, except when I couldn’t find the right term for a kinship relationship. (After trying several exotic terms, I finally settled on the simpler “near-sibling” and “far-sibling” terms for some of her brothers and sisters.)

If you like dabbling in anthropology, here are some fun kinship articles for you.

An explanation of kinship terminology, and a glimpse at several different systems (how families are set up and who is considered related):

Kinship terms (what relatives are called) in different languages. Click on each language to explore:

The particular character I was telling you about has a highly complicated family due to her culture, so I had to draw a genogram to keep track of her family. It isn’t a standard genogram, because I didn’t bother with dotted lines, and I had to break some rules in order to get everything down. (If you can do better, let me know how, & I’ll adjust.) It does, however, allow me to know who’s who and how they’re related, as well as random facts I threw in for my own writing convenience.

But before you look at her family tree, here’s an explanation of genograms in general:

And a look at the rules used to create them:

And now you can scroll back up to my current best attempt at Nia’s scrambled family tree. 🙂

M. C. Lee

© 2018 M. C. Lee LLC. All rights reserved.


Favorite Adult Fiction Books

Here are some of my favorite adult fiction books and authors. (And yes, I have enjoyed many, many more books that are listed here. These are my very favorites, for one reason or another.)

In random order:

Fantasy is now moved to its own list

Romance is now moved to its own list

Science Fiction

Diane Duane (also found in YA fantasy) Character-based sci-fi, but with enough science to be fun.

Final Frontier, by Diane Carey This is a Star Trek book, but not related to the movie of the same name. It’s about Captain Kirk’s father in the first (highly classified) encounter with the Romulans that resulted in them inventing the cloaking device. Spoiler: It was Kirk’s fault.

Nor Crystal Tears, and the Flinx series, Alan Dean Foster Character-based sci-fi, because that’s what I like. 🙂 Foster does aliens very well.

Mary Robinette Kowal (yes, she gets around the genres). The Lady Astronaut series, for instance.


Donna Andrews Contemporary mystery with humor.

Laurie R. King (imo, the best new Sherlock Holmes series that’s actually about Sherlock) Recent-historical rather than contemporary.

Ellis Peters, medieval mystery

Dorothy Gilman. Ah, Mrs. Pollifax. What would we do without our favorite geriatric spy?

Frank Shaw series, by John D. Brown. This series isn’t finished yet (I hope). Contemporary amateur-sleuth.

Contemporary or Historical

The Diddakoi, by Rumer Godden. Recent-historical. The main character is a child, but this is not YA. When her grandmother dies, the young gypsy must find a home in the regular village.

The Lance of Kanana, by Harry W. French. Historical, Middle East. When people want a story about integrity, this is what I recommend.

A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman. Contemporary. I cried ugly tears. The movie doesn’t do it justice.

Mary Robinette Kowal (yes, she gets around the genres).

Comics (not to be confused with Graphic Novels, which I find difficult to read)

Calvin and Hobbes, by Bill Watterson

Family Circle, by Bil Keane

Enjoy, and feel free to comment if you found something you liked.
M. C. Lee

© 2018 M. C. Lee LLC. All rights reserved.