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Showing posts from November, 2008

Show Me The Line

So... I've been reluctant to post about this on my own blog, because I know the elders at the non-denominational church of which I am a former member occasionally check in on it and I'm not trying to start a fight. That bit is over and done. They won't eat with me or socialize with me and that's just not going to change. I'm not even trying to get that changed. This blog post is not about what happened. If you'd like to read more about what happened, I've answered that elsewhere (Note: the online discussion started here then here. I forwarded the link from Jason's site to Lindsay over at Urban Fantasy Land, which led to some discussion here and here. And then some folks were nice enough to blog their support here, here, here, here, and here.) But this blog is about the central question that I still have.

Let me back up. I have always had problems knowing exactly where "the line" is. At Briarwood Christian School, when I was in, I don't know…

The Barely Sane Interview with Michele Bardsley. Now with even more CONTEST!

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Paranormal funny lady Michele Bardsley joins me in the League Lounge today. Well..."join" may be too strong a sentiment. You see, someone's been spreading gossip about my League interviews. Telling "authors" that it's not exactly safe to come to the lounge for what is--in reality--perfectly harmless book and writing talk. I've got feelers out and have a couple of suspects in mind (WATCH YOUR BACK ROWEN!). Now. If you'll just take a moment and head on over to Amazon to order Michele's newest book, WAIT TILL YOUR VAMPIRE GETS HOME. That'll give us plenty of time for the ether to wear off.

Me: Michele? Michele?

*shakes her shoulder gently (cause I am...gentle, you know)*

Michele: (groggy talk) I promise, Mommy! No more wire hangers! ... Wait. What? Hey, where am I?

Me: So nice of you to visit today! Our League readers have been chomping at the bit to hear your witty insights. Are you coherent yet?

Michele: Mark? What the hell did you put i…

True Blood

Season finale of True Blood...


Your thoughts?

...and they'll be releasing Chinese Democracy any day now!

Sigh.

That is no longer a line we can use in our house to indicate things that will never, ever happen. (Frex: "Cameron Diaz will win an Oscar? Sure. And they'll be releasing Chinese Democracy any day now." Hmm. Perhaps "Sure, and Cameron Diaz will win an Oscar" should replace it?)

Anyway. I am a Guns n Roses fan. No, really. I actually think Appetite for Destruction is a great album, one of those rare albums where every song is worth hearing--others include Johnny Thunders's "LAMF: The Lost '77 Remixes" and the Replacements's "Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take out the Trash!" In fact, it's in part because I'm such a huge Replacements fan too that I was doubly excited about Chinese Democracy--or rather, I was less guardedly excited than I otherwise would have been--because Tommy Stinson, ex-Replacement and brother of the late great Bob Stinson (RIP Bob), is now in GnR.

So. Of course the hubs went out yesterday to buy the album. And …

Coming Wednesday!!!

Another barely sane interview, this time with paranormal romance humortarian Michele Bardsley. There'll be a contest, too. So you'll want to get on some of the hot action!

And While We're on the Theme of 70's Exploitation...

May I offer...VIVA!!!



Anna Biller is AWESOME!

Watch this...but don't wake the other bitches!

The hubs showed me this yesterday, and I am so, so, so hoping it's a real movie, because the trailer alone is a million percent cooler than any movie I've seen in the last five years or so. At least.


Quick! Finish this sentence!!!

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Robert Pattinson's hair is___________.

I Need a Theme Song

I'm feeling unproductive and a little sad. Someone, give me a theme song! I need some iPod therapy...

Fangs for Nothing

Earlier this week, I was talking to Mark about the Romantic Times convention. Specifically, the costume requirements. the 2009 conference will be my first visit to the famous book event.

I'll tell you right now, I like to play make believe. But I'm usually far more likely to be the person who does color commentary on those who dress up.

But I figured at the very least, I could muster the energy to wear something fun for the vampire ball. After all, vamps are kind of my niche. To that end, I started research fangs. They're the cornerstone of any vamp costume and I figured it'd be pretty easy to just buy a pair, stick em on with some polygrip and --presto changeo--Jaye's a vamp.

Um, not so much. Seriously, the variety is mind-boggling. Should I go with the basic, economy version? Or shall I bling it up a bit with gold fangs with Swarovski crystal insets (for the urban undead)? Shredders? Sabers? Blue, green, red?

It's all very overwhelming. And I haven't even…

In which I am a total loser

So, the other day I got my "Author Questionnaire" from Del Rey's publicity department. Very exciting, yes.

Until I actually looked at it and realized...I got nothin'.


I don't have a college degree. I'm not a member of any professional associations (oh, but apparently my faboo editor Liz Scheier mentioned me in the SFWA newsletter recently? Does anyone have a copy of that bit they could sling my way? I'd really appreciate it.) I don't have a public speaking platform. I haven't contributed to any newspapers or magazines. I have no hobbies, if you don't count cigarettes and booze.

I haven't received any prizes, citations, awards or honors (again, unless you count the wonderful Paul Goat Allen choosing Personal Demons as #5 on his list of Top Thirteen Paranormal Releases of 2008 [note our wonderful Jackie Kessler is also on the list, which is awesome because she rocks!]; I count it, because I'm totally flabbergasted and awed by it, but I don…

10 Things I'm Lovin'...

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I thought I'd share a list this week. It's something I used to do quite a bit on my personal blog and then I guess, just forgot that I liked to do it. It's sort of like Oprah, only I ain't givin' you shit. So here goes...

10. CAT'S CRADLE by Kurt Vonnegut. Subtle apocalyptic scifi by a master of satire. I had never read Vonnegut before and was totally ashamed to admit it. Now I'm hooked. His style is easy and accessible while the concepts are challenging and thought provoking. Most of all, it's funny.

9. Caitlin's Street Magic cover!! What? Look at Pete! She's totally bad-ass and Jack is buff as hell. I'm lovin' it! Plus it's super dark and London-y.


8. WORLD WAR Z by Max Brooks is blowing my freakin' mind. I'd tried to read Chuck Palahniuk's oral history attempt, RANT and just lost interest, but Brooks' interview format is just clinical enough that it shocks you when a character responds with something so …

Ahh...the holidays are coming, so says my Inbox

Yes, yes, yes. I know Christmas is coming. Even without having seen wrapping paper in the stores for the last three weeks, even without lights going up in town, even without starting my own shopping.

How do I know? Because the amount of freaking spam in my Inbox has taken a giant leap.

I used to get maybe one email a month from Amazon. In the last week I've gotten almost ten. Cafe Press, Barnes & Noble, Godiva chocolates... anyplace I have ever done business with is suddenly jostling for space in my Inbox, begging for my attention, begging me to allow them to fulfill my holiday shopping requirements.

It's not that I mind being alerted to sales and bargains. I often appreciate it throughout the rest of the year. No, honestly, I do. There's a reason why I haven't unsubscribed from these emails, and it's because I do sometimes find them useful.

But oh...I'm already tired of deleting them from my Inbox, and then from my BlackBerry.

Is anyone else noticing a huge lea…

Book Signings

Last night I went to a booksigning for Team Plano (soon to come: Team Plano vs Team Seattle cage match) friend Michele Bardsley. The event was to celebrate the release of WAIT TIL YOUR VAMPIRE GETS HOME (go buy it now, please). Michele offered snacks, coffee, prizes and a reading, plus she answered questions about the book and her writing. Fun times.

It got me thinking about book signings in general. I've found that the best author events include a reading and question portion. They're more entertaining and interactive than the author just sitting behind a card table hoping someone will want a book signed. It also helps if they offer snacks--preferably chocolate.

I have to admit that I never went to a book signing before I started writing. And it got me wondering about how often other people go out of their way to attend an author event at a book store. Unless you're a die-hard fan and follow an author's blog or web site, it can be hard to know when and where these event…

The League Saves Publishing!

I've been slathering my yahoo group with big gloppy spoonfuls of the recent doom and gloom from the publishing industry. I try to be optimistic about most things, but when it comes to a situation that directly effects me as a writer AND a reader, I tend to take a dip into some pretty moody waters. Particularly when it's a problem I can't fix.

Or can I?

Hmm...

I can BUY BOOKS. But more than that, I can buy NEW books, that makes an impact however small. I'll even give up a meal. Mass-market paperbacks are only like 7 0r 8 bucks, that's just one heart-clogging lunch to give up. And really, I could use the loss of calories. Also, if you know me, guess what you're getting for Christmas? And don't think of getting me anything that isn't on my Amazon wishlist!

Are y'all in? We can save the publishing industry and lose weight while we're at it!!!

Putting aside my usual hatred

So as some of you may know, I have an arch-nemesis and ongoing blood feud with fellow fantasy author Patrick Rothfuss. However, because I am the bigger man, I am willing to put that aside for the moment because there's a greater cause at stake here- helping others in need out.

In his own words:
Heifer International is my favorite charity. It helps people raise themselves up out of poverty and starvation. All over the world Heifer promotes education, sustainable agriculture, local industry, and clean water.

Back to my words...
The full details are over here on his blog:
http://www.patrickrothfuss.com/blog/2008/11/heifer-international-details.html

This is a win-win situation folks. First and foremost, you're doing good, with a capital G (possibly putting you into the Fraternal Order of Goodness, who knows?). And if that alone weren't enough, Mr. Rothfuss will match your donation dollar for dollar (I assume he has a lot of money, earned no doubt by trampling the souls of his ene…

Stick a Fork in Me

I finished the draft of my latest WIP!!! HAH! And HAH, again! Take THAT you freaking MUSE, making me write 43,000 words in less than four weeks! THPTHPTHPTHPT!!! No more middle-of-the-night gotta-write feelings! No more four(ish) hours of restless sleep! No more launching myself out of bed to get to the computer to write!

HAH!!! DONE!!!

But...wait. Maybe I should tinker some more. Make it better.

NO, I'M DONE WITH THE DRAFT!!!

But I could just give it a quick read. Maybe do a little polish. The last couple chapters were really flimsy...

NO. HIT SEND TO GET IT TO THE CRIT PARTNER AND OUT OF YOUR MIND.

But...

NO!

But...

NO!!!

This is me, not thinking about this damned book. Nope. Not thinking about it. La la la, I'm not thinking about it...

(I wonder if my crit partner has read it yet...)

So...

How are we all feeling about True Blood?

I'm still watching every week despite some WTF moments and dubious casting choices. But I can't tell you how many of my friends are watching this show. Even those that wouldn't read a vampire book if you paid them (yes, I'm working on them). I'm curious to see if the shine has worn off for people, or if everyone's still excited about it.

What say you?

Monday evils

Which is more deadly: a five year old farting on your lap, or a seven year old burping hot-dog burps in your face?

Ah, parenthood.

List your Monday evils!

Moderately Gory Content...Beware!

I know I've mentioned my teen obsession with Clive Barker's Books of Blood, if not here then on my personal blog. Well. I'm pissing around the internet today--as I'm wont to do--and look what pops up on my friends-list...



Holy crap, it looks awesome, too. It appears to be the central story that held the anthology together, though it's my understanding that they are filming several of the stories as part of this film. A miniseries for the theater, if you will--and believe me I am.

This reminds me...I need to track down Midnight Meat Train...

Hmm.

What My Boys Taught Me This Morning

This morning, my boys taught me important things:

- Dragons have wings, but most of us know that
- Some of us don't know dragons breathe fire out of their mouths
- They have patterns like eyes and teeth on their wings, to scare away predators
- Castles have drawbridges
- Jabba got killed
- Luke got a robotic hand

My boys showed me all of these things...in the BOOKS THEY WERE WRITING. Yes, that's right: the Precious Little Tax Deductions are writers! Oh, they make a mommy proud!

(Tax Deduction the Elder explained that when he's done, he'll sell his book for thirty dollars. Because, as he said, he should make his own money so he can buy things. Rock on, you capitalistic creative child!)

Things That Shouldn't Work

I failed my willpower roll and now must compulsively share a video.

A group named Moosebutter put this song together around the time of the Star Wars prequels. The idea sounds... well... odd: An a capella tribute to the music of John Williams with lyrics that are all about Star Wars. Just wait until you hear the Jaws bit.



So... this is absolutely no use to aspiring writers except as an example that just because something sounds like it won't work, doesn't mean that it can't be executed brilliantly. I suppose the real secret is learning when to listen to the naysayers and when to ignore them.

Anyone else have any examples of ideas (books, inventions, etc) that shouldn't have worked, but did?

Do You Nano?

Hello Leaguers! Hope everyone survived Halloween/Samhain. Now that another October has passed, it's time to buckle down before the craziness of Thanksgiving/Christmas/Hannahkuh/Kwanzaa/Festivus is upon us. That's right, people, it's time for Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month).

I've never participated in Nano before, but this year I decided to give it a try. Why? Well in addition to the aforementioned holidays falling in the middle of my deadline, I will also have the release of Red-headed Stepchild in March. That means February through May I'll be pimping. Thus, my deadline just got cut from nine months to about five. So I'm kick starting book three by trying to pound out a rough draft in a month.

So far I'm on track, but we're only on day three. I don't normally write every single day, so this will be an interesting month. If anyone's interested in being my Nano buddy my Nano name is jayebird75.

So tell me, are you doing Nano? Or have you…

Jennifer Rardin and Super Seekrit Contest Winners!

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Hey y'all, hope everybody had a great Halloween. We're really happy with the League Halloween Spectacular and are really thankful for all our guests and readers for stopping by. A couple of contest winners have been announced so I figured we'd rap up the rest.

First up, taking home the shiny signed copy of Once Bitten, Twice Shy by Jennifer Rardin...

Summer!!!

Summer, email Jaye (link on the left) with your address and she'll hook you up.

Next.

I hinted around that there might be some sort of secret contest in the works and sure enough, there was one. Though, to be honest, I had no clue what the prize was until last Friday. So without further adieu, the winner is...

Jackie Ballway!!!

And what might she have won? Oh this here nifty prize pack.


That's the ARC for Road Trip (I like the red cover better than Happy Hour's blue), a cover flat of Road Trip and the hot off the presses cover flat of Richelle's new one, Succubus Heat.

You like?

Jackie, email me (at) markh…

Making a list, checking it twice

We officially started out holiday shopping on Saturday. Yay us!

The thing is, shopping here is a nightmare any time of year. Really. There's no parking anywhere. The stores are small and crowded, the aisles narrow and cramped. It's never a pleasant or fun experience.

But the closer you get to Christmas, the worse it gets. And the stores run out of things! And don't order more. Or they close--I will never forget, our first year here, trying to order some Angelina Ballerina toys on December 10 for the Princess, and discovering that the online store with the widest selecton closed on December 5t and did not repoen until Jan 10th, "so the employees can spend the holiday with their families." Which is great, I mean, I'm all for employees getting nice long breaks, but it's frankly terrible customer service; what if something is broken or doesn't work? How do you survive with no Christmas shopping being done? Why not give your employees Jan 10th-Feb 15th off, …

Book Winner!!!

Live from the Awake Way Too Late at Crisis*Con Club... it's time to annouce the winner of Phaedra Weldon's book: Spectre!

The winner is...CHRISTINE MOORE!!!

Congrats, Christine!

Send me your contact information and I'll pass it along to Phaedra. Thank you to all the folks who stopped by to comment on Ghoul and an extra special thank you to Pheadra for the story!