Friday, August 29, 2008

Where Oh Where Will My Little Book Go?

I've developed this annoying habit lately where I have to find the spot on the shelves where my books will live every time I go into a bookstore. In a Borders the other day, I headed to the fantasy section to admire the tiny space of air between H.G. Wells and Scott Westerfield. But then I turned and saw the horror section. Sitting among the Stephen Kings and other authors of fear fiction were Kim Harrison and Charlaine Harris. Yet, Kelly Armstrong and Lilith Saintcrow were in fantasy.

I asked an employee how they decided who goes where. He shrugged and said it was decided by the corporate office. His best guess was that darker books ended up in horror. Yet, that can't be the only factor since several of the UFs in the fantasy section weren't exactly light fare.

Maybe the decision depends on the types of creatures involved. Magic is heavily used in the fantasy genre. Vampires and demons traditionally fall under the horror umbrella.

Of course, none of this takes into consideration the UFs being shelved in romance.

Either way, I think it's about time bookstores give UF its own section. What say you?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Alive in the League Lounge: Michelle Maddox, er...Rowen?

As you can see, we haven't gone dark just yet (and we likely won't...well except in the humor department). Good thing too, cuz today is a special day here in the League Lounge. Joining us is the lovely and talented Michelle Maddox, author of the futuristic death game romantic thriller from Shomi, COUNTDOWN!!

I had a bit of difficulty tracking down Ms. Maddox, it seems she wouldn't take my calls and you all know, I won't be ignored. But eventually I was able to convince her.

Me: That's not too tight for ya is it?

Michelle: Um... my wrists are burning a little bit. And what's that nasty smell? But...uh...I'm okay for the moment. I guess. *looks around helplessly*

Me: I'm so glad you've come along peacefully. I've been reading your latest book, Countdown, and drinking a bit. Not too much, just something to take the edge off and don't worry, I'll get you that water. I promise. Anyway. Countdown.

Your heroine's name is Kira. Did you snatch that from the roller disco classic Xanadu?

Michelle: Wow, there's an obscure reference. Nice. But no, Kira's name came to me without snatching it from anywhere but thin air. Character names tend to do that with me.

Me: So tell the readers a bit about Countdown, and don't try anything squirrelly while your at it.

Michelle: *tugs at ropes* I resent the assumption of any potential squirrelly behavior. Anyhoooo.... COUNTDOWN is from Dorchester Publishing's Shomi line. It's about a woman forced to play a futuristic game show with a convicted mass murderer as her partner. There are six levels they need to complete to win their freedom. If they fail, they die. They're connected to each other and to the game itself through computer chips in their heads which, if they stray more than ninety feet from each other, will explode. Oh, and it's a romance novel. I've been getting great reviews on this, including my first 4-1/2 star Top Pick from Romantic Times. Rock on.

Me: Your throat is sounding a little dry. There's something familiar about this book, I got a Richard Bachman vibe off the premise. Any reason why that should be?

Michelle: *coughs hoarsely* I was inspired by many sources and The Running Man was one of them, although more the Arnie movie than the original source material. When I first got the idea I was going more for an Amazing-Race-on-Acid vibe since that show is based on working with a partner. The Running Man was just a futuristic game show where it's kill or be killed. Wasn't the guy from Family Feud in the movie too?

Me: Don't be coy Maddox or Rowen or whoever you really are, you know all to well that Richard Dawson played that game show host with style and grace. *removes a box from under his chair--there's a series of buttons across the top*.

Michelle: So...uh...what exactly does that high-tech gadget do?

Me: Oh, I'll tell you. *pets the box lovingly* Each of these buttons corresponds to an electrified microchip implanted in my fellow League members brains. So don't plan on getting gamey, or... *presses button and a scream echoes through the building, this time male, though it could have been a little girl for the high-pitch of it* ...do you follow me? There's only 5 more now, but I don't mind goin' solo up in this bitch.

Michelle: uhhhh.

Me: *suddenly smiling* Now, let's talk about the decision to go futuristic thriller, I'm reading Countdown now and it's fantastic, I'm on the edge of my seat. If it weren't for the bits of relief at the end of each "level," I think I'd have an aneurysm.

Michelle: That was the general reaction I was hoping for.

Me: And how about that pseudonym. Maddox. It's so aggressive, like an accusation. I love it. How'd you decide on Maddox and why go pseudonym at all?

Michelle: I wanted something that sounded kick-ass. Sort of. Maddox, as I scoured the phone book one night for any last name that went well with Michelle, was the only one that jumped out at me. I wanted to use a pseudonym to separate my more violent, sexy stuff from my lighter Rowen paranormals.

Me: Kick ass, huh? You think you're too cool for school, dontcha?

Michelle: Me and my pseudonyms will kick your ass if you don't untie me soon you &**%$# @$$%!!! Help me! Somebody help me!!!!

Me: I'm sorry to hear that. *pushes another button. More screams* Jaye so badly wanted meet you, too. Shame. *shakes it off* Now. You normally writes you up some spicy-ass vampiric romanticals. Have you abandoned your toothsomeness? What's next for your vamps?

Michelle: Spicy-ass? Not sure I'd describe them as such, but yeah, I also write a vampire series called Immortality Bites for Grand Central Publishing. Next year the last two books in the five book series are out. Stakes & Stilettos in April and Tall, Dark & Fangsome in September. Basically I take my fledgling vampire heroine Sarah Dearly and make horrible stuff happen to her in a hopefully amusing and entertaining way while she tries to balance her bizarre new vampire life with her love life and not having very much success with either. The series has been so much fun to write -- and I just finished the last one. I'm really going to miss those characters.

Me: Alright, you've been polite and compliant with my questions thus far, so I'll make you a deal. I'm going to loosen your ties, but just remember... *holds up the box, tweaks a purple button like a nipple* ...Jackie's next.

Michelle: Don't hurt Jackie! She owes me money! Okay, okay, I promise not to go anywhere, you heartless Zombie King. Satisfied?? *eyes the exit*

Me: There now. Better? Good. Countdown is really cinematic, have you imagined who might play Rogan or Kira if Hollywood were to come calling? Olivia Newton John, perhaps?

Michelle: I always cast my books with actors so I can see them in my mind as I'm writing. For Countdown I pictured Josh Holloway (Sawyer on Lost) as Rogan and Kate Beckinsale, sans English accent, as Kira.

Me: Nice. I so can see that. Are you planing a sequel?

Michelle: Nope. I like to mix my series books with stand alones and this is definitely a stand alone. I do, however, see myself writing similarly fast-paced romantic thrillers some time soon. Whether or not they'll be futuristics or grounded in reality will have to be determined. At this moment, I'm super-busy with my Rowen books.

Me: Just a couple more, now. You're being so good. What are you reading, right now, and what made you decide on it?

Michelle: Because I've been fascinated with the controversy surrounding the fourth vampire book from Stephenie Meyers, I've picked up the series from my TBR shelf and zoomed through New Moon and have just started on Eclipse. Loving it so far, although I'm sure I'll be disappointed in the final book. I'm also devouring about a dozen Harlequin Blazes since I'm writing my first book for that line right now.
Me: *fumbles with the box, which falls on the floor...face down.*

Michelle: *shakes off her loose restraints and darts out the storm cellar door to the shrieking refrains of a chorus of leaguers*

Me: Damn.

*****

You can visit Michelle at her website, where she blogs regularly (at least I assume that's where she's run off to). In the meantime, check out what she's been up to in her latest novel Countdown.

And as an added incentive...leave a comment and automatically be entered into a drawing for a $15 Amazon gift card! That way you can buy Countdown yourself! We'll draw the winner on Friday so make sure to check back!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Warning: Blackout Approaching

Due to the blinding awesomeness that is our own Caitlin Kittredge's newest release--PURE BLOOD (Nocturne City, Book 2), on shelves today--we Leaguers fear that a power surge is imminent. Like, starting tomorrow, there will be a four-day blackout here at the League.

Yes, we're blaming Caitlin's brilliance for this. It has nothing to do with switching domains or anything like that. Really.

So post your congratulations to Caitlin, kiddies, and go get yer candles. Because starting tomorrow, the League goes black for four days.

What is scary?

I keep thinking something really important is happening today. Like...somebody in the League has a book release today. Does anyone know what it is, that I'm forgetting?

The hubs and I were talking last night about scary things. And how he doesn't understand why I don't like zombie movies. Because zombie movies, according to him, are about nihilism and the destruction of society and stuff. Stuff that would be right up my alley. But they're not.

(You know what is right up my alley? Books by Caitlin Kittredge. I loves me some of those. Just FYI.)

So I was trying to explain why it is that zombie movies just don't do it for me. Zombies just don't really scare me, at least not in the way that I like to be scared.

And I figured it out. It's because zombies are brainless. Um, so to speak.

(Brainless like me, who just can't seem to remember if Caitlin Kittredge's second Nocturne City book, Pure Blood, releases today or not. Gee, does it?)

There's no cunning with a zombie. There's no deep intellect at work. Zombie are just relentless, rolling in unstoppable like fog (although I thought The Fog--the original--was a pretty good, scary movie; but it wasn't about zombies. Nor was it really about fog. I digress.) Zombies are just there, dumb as rocks.

Of course not all zombies are. Mark's Amanda Feral is awfully smart and clever, and I love her. And I thought the zombie scene in Personal Demons was pretty good, maybe a bit scary but more exciting--at least I hoped it was. I think zombies work better in books.

(And I love books. Especially books like Pure Blood which I think might release today and everyone should run out and buy it right away this week so Caitlin can get on a bestseller list and we can all give ourselves airs for knowing her.)

But in a movie I like my scares to be the result of some malevolent intelligence, dark and dangerous. I like to know the bad guy is always a step ahead, or that they've set a trap. I like the bad guys to have motivations other than "brains...brains...". This is why movies like Texas Chainsaw Massacre don't really interest me either; slasher films tend to bore me the way zombie movies do.

I need my scares with some thought behind them.

(Like in clever books. I like scares in books, especially when they're well-written. Hey, you know who writes clever, well-written books? Caitlin Kittredge. Really. I think she has a book out today or something, doesn't she? Can anyone confirm that for me?)

Now, I love The Thing. Some people might say The Thing is about a mindless killer; maybe it is. But The Thing is clever. It breeds itself from even a tiny part. It makes itself people and talks like them, hides perfectly. Cunning, see?

Zombies can't hide. They don't blend in (again, this is zombie movies. Amanda Feral doesn't blend in, though, either, because she's so fabulous in every way.) They just eat and break through boards and stuff. They just bore me, is all.

What about you? What do you think is scary in movies and/or books? Do you find certain characters or monsters work better in books than movies, and vice versa?

It would be great if you comment, but even greater if you run out to your local bookstore and buy a copy of Pure Blood today! I'm dying to know what happens next; aren't you?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Why you have to wait so long

One of the things I'm asked a lot is "when is the next book coming out?" Right now, the answer is 2/24/09. This is often met with either a grumble, a whimper, or flat out crying, all of which are good reactions. After all, it means the asker cares, and if they care it means they like what I'm doing, but are impatient they can't get it in their grubby little mitts yet.

So this post is for them. Here's why it takes so long. It's different for every author, but here's my time schedule in a nutshell.

I have spent this year:
-finishing and turning in Deader Still
-publicizing Dead To Me
-tour and events for Dead To Me
-my Monday obligations to the League
-starting first draft of book 3
-stopping draft of book 3 to do my 'editorial letter' edits on Deader Still
- going to conventions, signings and panels in support of my writing career
- day job, five days a week, 9-5, some travel
-rereading Deader Still post edits to see if it still holds
-writing and turning in several short stories for anthologies on the side
-trying to have a semblance of a social life or at least say hi to that woman I keep seeing around my apartment. She claims to be this thing call a "wife"... will have to look into that
- Force Unleashed and Rockband 2 coming out soon!

This isn't a bitch list, just the reality of what an author goes through. A lot of this is also dependent on the slow laborious climb that publishing is from manuscript to page. There's catalog copy to be written, cover design, blurbs to get, splash page info to be chose, editor reading book, editor rereading after edits, copy editor then reading, author correcting, going to printer, packaging, selling it in, advertising, promotion, and finally shipping the damn thing.

Gah, I'm tired just writing all that. Back to edits... as you were, my littler chompers-at-the-bit.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Just Biden My Time

So those of you who read my blog already know of my theory that Joe Biden and Mike Farrell are the same person. You know who Mike is -- he played BJ Hunnicut in MASH. Well, now that Barack Obama has picked Smilin' Joe as his running mate, does this mean that there will be another BJ in the White House?

(Hee. That last line was thanks to my Loving Husband.)

Here's my question, though: is Obiden a better name than Brangelina?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Spank it

I know what you're thinking. Obviously Jeremy is posting about oddly phrased help desk advice. And you're close. This week, the Lewis household wound up with a copy of Mario Kart for the Wii. There are four of us. Four people can play Mario Kart. You can even race in teams which is great because my oldest is a bit too competitive for his own good and being able to race as "Team Lewis" means that when Dad or Mom comes in ahead of the little guys, there are no complaints like there are when the same thing happens in Mario Party 8.

But what does that have to do with spanking it?

Heh. We sat down with our Wii Wheels at the ready for the first full family game of Mario Kart and... Wiimote number four wouldn't synch with the game system. Now I *did* find info on the web about how to fix it (apparently the Wiimote had "lost it's synch" and needed to be resynched so that it could "remember that it belonged to our console"), but what I stumbled onto first was the remedy for fixing a Wiimote that won't detect motion. The official advice from Nintendo? Spank it. Grasp it tightly in one hand and gently, but firmly spank the end.

Heh.

There seems to be no small amount of amusement amongst the Wii community at this advice and even more bemusement that the advice actually seems to fix the problem 99% of the time.

For me, in terms of shear hilarity, this one ranks up there with the instruction label on a Japanese food processor that warned consumers the device was: "Not to be used for the other use."

So what's the most unintentionally funny bit of advice or bizarre warning you've received either when troubleshooting a problem or reading the instructions on a new gadget?

While you think of something... I'll go play with my Wii*.

* - You know, even if you rephrase that and say, "I'll go play Wii," it still sounds funny. Maybe it would be better we stuck to the phrase: "Playing Nintendo." Sure it lacks specificity, but I think I live with that.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Chupacabra!

I was watching the news tonight and saw a feature about a woman who has dubbed herself, "The Chupacabra Lady." No, she's not a chupacabra, herself. Instead, she has dedicated her life to collecting evidence about the existence of the elusive goat sucker.

But seriously, how cool is Chupacabra Lady for a nickname?

I used to call myself the Queen of Sucktown whenever I'd get a rejection. If you're gonna suck you might as well be the Queen of suckers. But now, I think I need to come up with a new moniker.

Okay, I totally forgot where I was going with this. So I'll close with the burning question you're all anticipating:

Why hasn't anyone ever written about a were-chupacabra?



ETA: Ask and you shall receive.

Origin Stories

I saw this discussed on a reader board a few weeks ago, how many authors seem to have "origin stories" for their defining work. (The example there was Stephanie Meyer and her dreaming of sparkly vampires, which lead to the Twilight saga and surprise!vampire bebes.)

I did, in fact, dream a scene to an unfinished YA project that I'd love to get back to some day (it involves secret corps of vampires on either side of the Allied/German conflict in WWII and trying to reawaken Vlad Tepes to lead the Third Reich.)

But I was thinking about origin stories and how authors seem to cling to them as an added layer of mythos for their work. Part of me thinks, "Hey, cool, if you've got an iconic moment to put in your author bio" and another part of me (the bitchy part) thinks, "What, can't your work stand on its own? You need to enshrine it in layers of mythos to sell copies?"

Believe me, if you have an awesome "How I wrote the book" story, I'm all for it. I just don't know if I approve of the legendary quality of the writing of the book, from an author-as-teacher perspective, because I spend a lot of time when I'm doing workshops or panels trying to demystify the writing process for newbie authors. The fact is, a dream can only carry you so far. There's a lot of waking work that goes into a manuscript, and that's just the plain fact. There's very little that's mystical about the writing process--the spark of the idea, I agree, is something wonderful and strange, a synthesis of neurons and influence and floating bits of ephemera that somehow form the beginning of a novel. That part, that's the mythos, but the drafting process, taking the initial spark and making it into a combustion engine (okay, horrible metaphor, but you get the idea, right?) is hard work, and that's where the insinuation that books with an origin story are superior to those with the origin of "I got this idea, and I wrote it into a novel" becomes a little troublesome.

I don't know--what do the readers at home think? Mystical magical books or ordinary ideas turning into novels? Or should I just stick to writing funny posts about author web sites?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Urban Fantasy Inspirations

They can come from the weirdest places. But I always know the ones that are going to stick in my mushy brains and squeeze there way out onto the page.

Allison is one*.



I've watched this episode of Intervention three times already and it's only been out for a week. There's something so creepily Blue Velvet about it that I rethink Dennis Hopper's performance--maybe it wasn't "over-the-top" after all. Just weird and fantastic.

It's not that Allison is addicted to inhalants that has me so fixated, it's the method of her use. That slurping down chemicals between every sentence. The effect it has on her voice. The total pupal dilation. It's the fact that she uses an everyday product that no one ever thinks about--well Allison thinks about it...a lot. But that's beside the point.

For me, Urban fantasy needs to be like Allison--or at least include glimpses--everyday products, people, settings, body functions juxtaposed with bizarre situations.

What inspires you?


*A warning: if you decide to follow-up this clip and watch the remainder of the episode, just know that Allison is a "cutter" and the scenes are very graphic. Don't say I didn't warn ya.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

An Announcement

Yeah, I'm posting this everywhere, so? I don't usually repeat content. Give me a break, I'm excited. :-)

So... I have news. *blushes*

My dark urban fantasy Unholy Ghosts--which my husband described as "Ghostbusters meets Escape From New York", set in a post-apocalyptic world where ghosts rose from the grave and killed a huge chunk of the population, and now they're kept under control by the iron-willed (in more ways than one) Church of Truth, which is government and secular religion all in one--sold to Del Rey, in a three book deal! I don't have any official word on release date yet but we're hoping for Fall '09.
I'm so, so excited, and to celebrate, here's the blurb from the original query letter I sent my agent and a little excerpt!

Sometimes addictions are more trouble than they're worth…

Owing money to drug lords is never a good idea, especially not if you're Cesaria "Chess" Putnam, possibly the only woman in the punk-rock ghetto known as Downside who really has something to lose: her job as a Debunker for the omnipotent Church of Truth.

Chess's dealer offers her a choice. She can catch the mastermind behind the fake haunting of an abandoned airport so he can smuggle drugs into it, or spend weeks in the hospital after his enforcer breaks her habit for her—along with most of her bones. Chess picks the airport, but when a rotting corpse turns up with a soul still trapped inside and it looks as if the person responsible is one of her co-workers, she realizes the airport's ghosts are real and this case is far more dangerous than a beating. Hey, who said downer-addicted loners made good choices?


And here's a snippet, from the scene where Chess meets her dealer, Bump, and he outlines his plan:




He moved like he was riding a platform with oiled wheels, silently and smoothly, faster than he looked. Rings glinted on his fingers and diamond studs sparkled in his ears, but his clothes were surprisingly nondescript. Chess imagined it was his “at home” look, because the few times she’d seen him out on the streets he looked like a bedraggled medieval king. Tonight, though, he wore a plain burgundy silk shirt—another shade of red to add to the off-tune chorus—and black slacks. His feet were bare save a gold toe ring on his right foot.

He pulled a baggie out of his pocket and tossed it casually onto the table in front of her. Pills slept inside, each one whispering a promise. Pink Pandas snuggled against green Hoppers, Blue Oozers and red Nips looked patriotic set against the pure, clean white of the Cepts. Every one was a different ride. Up, down, sweet or sleazy. Two month’s worth of good feelings, right there in front of her. Her mouth filled with saliva, which she swallowed along with some of her pride in a preemptory move.

“You into me, Chess.” Bump’s voice slurred low through the room, adding to the impression he gave of a man who thought slow, moved slow. It was a lie. Bump hadn’t become Lord of the streets west of Forty-third by being slow. “You into me fuckin good, baby.”

With effort she tore her gaze away from the bag and focused on his scraggly beard.

“You know I’m good for it,” she said, hating the faintly whining tone that crept into her voice. She cleared her throat and sat up straighter. “I’ve always paid before, and I’ll pay again.”

“Naw, naw. This ain’t like before. You know what you owe? I give you the number, you see what you fuckin think. Fifteen, baby. Fifteen big ones you owe. How you pay that back?”

“Fift—I do not, there’s no way—”

“You forgetting the interest. You owe Bump money, you pay interest.”

“I never did before.”

He shrugged. “New policy.”

New policy, my ass. What the fuck game was he playing? She’d expected to be threatened, maybe. She hadn’t expected this. “Even if that’s your new policy, my actual debt can’t be more than four grand. What interest rate are you charging, two hundred percent?”

“Don’t matter what the rate is. I fuckin charge the interest I want to charge.” He leaned back against the arm of the other couch and pulled a knife out of his pocket, then started cleaning his fingernails with it. “I says it’s fifteen, so it’s fifteen. When you pay me?”

“I can go somewhere else.”

“Aw, sure, ladybird. You go anywhere you want. You head on over to Slobag on Thirtieth, see how them tattoos get ’preciated by the fuckin scum down there. But you still owe me.”

Again she glanced at the bag. Bump smiled. “You want one? Go ’head. You have one. Whatever you like.” He picked up the bag and held it out to her so it gapped open. “Go ’head.”

She cocked an eyebrow at him. “What are you going to charge me for that?”

His laugh seemed to come from his feet and roll up his body. “I don’t gotta charge you none for it, baby. You owes me enough already, ain’t you?”

He folded his knife and tucked it in his pocket. “Course…now I’m thinking…could be I know a way you pay. A way you work off your owes.”

“Forget it.” She started to stand up. She’d never go that low, no matter what. Even she had a little self-respect, and the thought of letting a grease stain like Bump have his sleazy way with her…ugh.

“Aw, baby, I know what’s in your head. Not that. Though if’n you wanted to I could take you on a real sweet ride. That’s a promise from Bump. The ladies never had it so good as when I give it them.”

He laughed, then shook the bag at her. “Go on. You take one. I know what you need, don’t I? Don’t Bump always know? Bump’s your fuckin friend, yay? So you trust Bump. Take what you want, then we have a chatter. Maybe we help each other.”

Warily she reached for the bag. Her impulse was to grab an Oozer, but she managed to refrain and took another Cept instead. She had a feeling she would need her brain for this one.

“Good, that’s real nice. Now, why don’t Bump tell you what? You hear my plan?”

She nodded, dry-swallowing the Cept.

Bump sat down next to her, close enough for her to smell the pipe room on his clothes. He smiled. “Maybe I got a problem. Maybe you help me with it.”

Uh-oh. She was going to have to turn him down. The only people who ever asked witches for favors were those who wanted either unholy luck or unholy deeds done, and she didn’t much feel like doing either. Especially considering Bump was already a pretty lucky guy, and she wasn’t a killer.

“What’s the favor? I’m not agreeing, I’m just asking.”

“Oh, I think you agree, ladybird. I think when you hear, you say yay. Let me run this down. You know the airport?”

“Muni?” Even if the third Cept had kicked in—which it hadn’t—she wouldn’t have been more mystified. Triumph City Municipal airport was a major hub, and one of the few areas that was heavily policed. Most Downside residents, especially drug dealers, stayed as far away from Muni and the surrounding factory district as they could.

“Naw, naw, what you fuckin say? Muni. Not Muni. Chester. You know Chester Airport.”
“Chester’s been shut down for years.”

“Yay, it have. But maybe Bump wanna open it back up. Maybe Bump can expand his fuckin business, he open it up.”

This was starting to make some kind of sense. “I don’t have enough pull in the Church to lean on the city leaders for something like that, nowhere near enough.”

“Bump got the pull. Bump gonna open that place wide up, see, wide up. But Bump gotta problem. Bump’s planes—planes carrying them sweet pills you ladybirds like—Bump’s planes crash. Something attacking planes, dig? Make they go all silent. Turns they off.”

“I don’t know anything about planes. I’ve never even been in a—”

“Not planes, ladybird. Ghosts. Say Chester haunted. Don’t guess on that. Somebody sending signals, making planes silent. Electromagnetics and such, yay? You find sender. You find sender, you rid they.”

He leaned back and lit a cigarette, letting smoke wreath around his head. “You catch me them fake ghosts, so my planes they fly. You catch, ladybird, and we even. No more debt to Bump.”




Squee! I love this book so much, and I'm so excited I get to share it with everyone! It's got ghosts and drugs and gore and great music and black magic and violence and tattoos and death curses and a black '69 Chevelle and a hot Asian guy and a big huge greaser and...all sorts of cool stuff, and I hope everyone else loves it as much as I do!

Thanks for letting me gush a little!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Brooklyn, Hitchcock-Style

Loving Husband, the Tax Deductions and I were in Brooklyn this weekend, visiting my FIL. Tax Deduction the Elder went to his first-ever baseball game (go Yankees!) and Tax Deduction the Younger went to the Central Park Zoo. Yay, real life!

And then, Loving Husband told me about the surreal. He was loading up the car this evening, about 10 minutes before we said our fare thee wells...and a wall of birds swarmed him. Really.

Here's the thing: we walked out and saw a cat hauling ass toward him, then veer off to the yard and squeeze under the porch. A second later, about 40 sparrows rocket toward the cat and break away at the last second, apparently realizing they can't follow the cat. They all sat on the yard's fence, bird-chirping angrily. Loving Husband stared at them for a moment, then decided that he still had to pack the car, so he left the birds to jabber in avian while he put our bags and stuff into the Honda.

So the question remains: what were the 40 sparrows really talking about?

(A) How well their audition went for THE BIRDS 2: SON OF SPARROWS
(B) How it was time for them to rise up in an avian revolution and take over the world
(C) How the birdy steroids were worth all the money
(D) Something else: ___________

What do you think?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

My Belated Birthday Blog

This is Saturday, right? It can't be Sunday already. (And that's why I'm backdating this blog like a tricky rabbit - and then mentioning it, so that you'll know. Hmmm....) So, I have no real excuse for not posting yesterday... except for the whole "my revised manuscript is due Monday" thing. Oh, and yesterday was my birthday. We started the day at Chuck E. Cheese, where I promptly won 500 tickets on one of those games of chance my wife insists is a waste of tokens. I'll probably never play it again. Other highlights included playing racing games with my kids and getting to save the upgrades to my car. We skipped the Chuck-E-pizza and went to one of my favorite Japanese restaurants for bento boxes.

Then, I got to spend the rest of the day, night, and part of this morning re-reading my manuscript for errors, particularly in the new stuff, and making extra sure that the new sections did not create any plot weirdness. It was fun finding ways to satisfy requests like "more Talbot please". I was gratified to be told to cut or alter a couple of scenes that I'd almost cut myself. The revisions are going well and are almost finished.

Also, I got permission to quote a reviewer who has posted my favorite description of Eric to date:

"Eric is the bloodsucking equivalent of a Spinal Tap song: he goes all the way to eleven." - Michael M. Jones, Green Man Review

And now, it's back to work for me...

Jeremy

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Dark Side

I have a theory I've been working on for a few days. It's rough, so bear with me.

I've told a few people that I think UF is females' answer to the classic hero's journey. Instead of UF heroine's looking for love, they're searching for their destinies. That destiny may include love, but there's more to it than that.

Let's assume for a moment that my heroine's journey idea is valid (you may not agree but it's my blog post). Another genre explored this same idea. That's right, I'm talking about those pink books. Chick lit also explores a woman's journey. Generally the plots of these books revolved around women who wanted it all--the perfect career, great friends, and love.

So, here's my theory: Urban fantasy is the dark side's response to Chick Lit.

Both genres are predominately written in first person. While there are male protagonists (Hi, Anton and Jeremy) in UF, the genre is dominated by novels about female leads. But where chick lit is often lighter in tone, a lot of urban fantasy is downright gritty.

Instead of looking for the perfect pair of shoes or dealing with the boss from hell, UF heroines kick ass and are, in some cases, literally saddled with the boss of hell.

Another difference is how the genres deal with issues of family dysfuntion. In Bridget Jones, the mother is a little nutty. Alternately, my heroine's grandmother tries to kill her.

Need further proof? Our own Mark Henry's Happy Hour of the Damned is Sex and the City with zombies. He managed to pull off a convincing parody of Chick Lit, while infusing the novel with the darker elements UF is known for. Hell, he even has a pink cover for book two in the series. Satire, anyone?

Please understand that this theory is not in any way a condemnation of Chick Lit. I think the genre is unfairly maligned. Before New York decided to stop buying the genre, I read my fair share of them. But I do think Urban Fantasy speaks to the women who maybe felt chick lit was too pretty and neat. The ones more likely to relate to Buffy Summers than Carrie Bradshaw.

What do you think?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Intarwebs Is Srs Bizness

So, I've been redesigning my web site since Monday because frankly, it sort of sucked and didn't work before. It's been a mixed experience...I'm savvy enough to understand things like FTP and setting my template options in Wordpress, but I'm having to learn yet more CSS by the seat of my pants. I hate CSS.

Perversely, even if I had a web designer on call (and could afford him/her/it), I'd probably still be sitting here messing with the values in my stylesheet. (Oh! See what I did there, with jargon?) I'm sort of a control freak about my site. Sort of = very.

Anyway, we (and by we I mean "Nathan Bransford and me") all know that web sites for authors are important. If you're querying you need, at minimum, a bio page and a short blurb to show potential publishing types that you're not a freak who likes to bite the heads off of small woodland creatures. Or, if that's your platform, that you are.

Simple, but personalized, is my advice if you're an aspiring author building a site. You need a bio, something about your work, an excerpt (but if it's unpublished, don't post it anywhere but your personal site), and maybe one or two "human interest" pages, such as "In addition to being an author, I am an avid pastry chef/SCA member/foot fetishist." Personally, I have a widget that lets me stream my Flickr page onto my site, so unsuspecting surfers get to look at my photography of spooky places and/or my cats. Something to show your sparkling personality. If you don't have that, well, I hope your excerpt is really good.

Don't put music on your page. Seriously. This is the worst thing in the world for a professional site. The keyword here is professional. No typos, no neon text on black backgrounds, try to keep the cutesy graphics to a minimum (or a none.) If you're gobsmacked at the thought of trying to do this yourself, you should be able to hire a totally decent web designer and get a site running for about a thousand dollars. If you're gobsmacked by paying a thousand dollars, welcome to the wonderful world of CSS.

Now that I've fulfilled my quota of one serious post per annum, I'm off to finish my site.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mama Had To Accessorize!!

ETA: Hold up people, false alarm, jumped the gun. Here's the actual cover...


It's cover day!!!

My favorite day of the year. And I'm in love. Bonus points for the commenter that correctly counts the number of zombies in the image.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

An agent by any other name...

Sigh.

Okay. I know we usually keep things light and fun here at the League, mainly because none of us are really capable of rational thought. But I have to say something, because for some reason in the last week or so I've seen a bunch of issues regarding this in various places online. So forgive me if I'm simply preaching to the choir.

So here it is. Anybody can call themselves an agent. That doesn't mean they can actually be agents.

The thing is, most of us are pretty good people. So we assume others are good people too. And they probably are. But being a good person doesn't make an effective agent. Deciding to be an agent doesn't make you an agent. Setting up a website for your agency doesn't make you an agent.

Think of it this way. Being an agent is like being a tight-rope walker. You don't just wake up one morning, roll out of bed, head for the nearest circus (yeah, I know, stay with me here), climb the ladder, and run nimbly over the rope.

You need a lot of training. You need a lot of help. You need experience, you need to know other tight-rope walkers, you need to know people who run circuses (yes, the analogy loses cohesion here, but the basic point still works.)

And too many times in the last week or so I've seen writers at a loss because they can't get in touch with their agents, or it's been a year and their work hasn't sold and their agent doesn't know what to do next, or their agent expected an offer and it didn't come in and the agent doesn't know what to do now, or whatever.

So I ask them, have you contacted any of the agent's other clients? Well, they don't know who those people are, or how to find them, because their agent isn't on Agentquery or LitMatch or any of those other sites. And my mouth falls open.

I've never spoken to any of my agent's other clients. But you bet I know who they are--maybe not every one of them, but most of them. They have books in stores. They have websites and blogs. If I had a problem, or hell, even if I just wanted to say hi, you bet I could get in touch with one of them in less than ten minutes.

All agents are NOT the same. Why are you querying someone if you don't know anything about them?

I am not one of those writers who thinks of their work as their "baby". At all. But my work is damn fucking important to me, and I would never just hand it to some total stranger about whom I know nothing just because that person calls themselves an agent, any more than I would hand my children to any stranger off the street who calls themselves a babysitter. Hell, no.

I understand how frustrating the agent hunt is. I understand how frustrating this whole business is. It's big and confusing and it hurts sometimes. But that doesn't mean--that's no excuse--for just grabbing at any amateur straw with the word "agent" written on a business card.

An agent should have connections in the industry. An agent should have clients and sales you can verify. An agent should keep you informed.

Seriously, guys, this is a big deal. This is extremely important. Put some thought into it, put some time into research. Don't settle. Please.


Sorry this isn't a fun post. I'm just not feeling very fun right now. I promise I'll be fun again next week.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

So Two Leaguers Walk Into a Sushi Place

Note: Some liberties were taken in this article. No names were changed to protect the innocent.

I was in NYC this week for the Backspace Conference, and as luck would have it, I was free on Friday afternoon. So Anton, my fellow League New York member, invited me to lunch.

Really, I should have known something cataclysmic would happen. I mean, the last time a group of Leaguers got together,* men wound up stripping,** women munched muffins*** and Dakota Cassidy lost her voice.**** (Note: League Seattle members getting together doesn't seem to trip the World Catastrophe wire. Maybe it's all the coffee; the wire's too busy vibrating from all the caffeine that it wouldn't notice someone tripping over it, even if acid and The Doors were involved.)

So there we were, first at Anton's day job office (and DROOL, do I LUST him--ah, his office), and he gave me a button that says I PLAY WITH TOYS. And soon, it was time for food. ("Feed me," I told him, "then I'm all yours. As long as I'm back in time for the 2 pm keynote address at the Backspace Conference.") So we decided on Japanese. He took me to this terrific place...er, somewhere in NYC, and we opted to sit outside.

Right, you can see the writing on the wall, can't you?

So we order our food, and I cast mistrustful looks at the chopsticks and pretend I know that the little bowl is to hold soy sauce. Soon enough, the food arrives. Mmmm, delicately fried things. And Anton's raw food stuff. (Seriously: raw fish? Around here, that's called "bait." Just sayin' *****.) My food is spread over two long trays -- part of the "box lunch" offered. And there was the soy sauce bowl (see? I knew that). And my water.

We're getting into it when thunder booms. Anton and I share a look.

ANTON: Uh oh.
ME: That can't be good.

The sky gets Wrath Of God Dark****** and the waiter comes around, gently suggesting we move under the awning. Good idea, Waiter Guy. We move. Anton, sucker--er, gentleman that he is, takes the seat that's closer to the end of the awning. We continue eating.

And then...the rain. Lightning split the skies. Thunder rolled. Other snatches of descriptive song lyrics. Anton put on a brave face, even as the back of his shirt got soaked. The awning over us started dipping perilously low, thanks to all the water collecting in it. Anton decides to move next to me, completely under the awning, but closer to the edge of the awning on the left side. We keep eating.

And then the water all pours off the awning in a small river--over the left edge. Anton, once again, gets soaked.

We finish lunch...and then I have to hightail it back to the Backspace Conference for the keynote. So Anton walked me to Sixth Avenue, showed a little leg, and got me a cab.

All hail Anton, ever the gentleman.

(Crap, I said "hail," didn't I? That doesn't bode well for Dragon*Con, does it, Caitlin?)


* Romantic Times 2008, yo
** Elora's Cavemen, on stage, to music
*** Jacki Frank's Studmuffin Mixer -- corn muffins were quite tasty
**** She says it's from all the talking; that's her story, and she's sticking with it
***** Actually, I think a comedian said it first -- Jeff Foxworthy, maybe?
****** Available at Home Depot and Lowes; looks great on bedroom walls

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Vampires of Cheyenne Mountain

I'm at WorldCon/Denvention3 this weekend. The altitude in Denver hasn't been much of a problem, even if getting access to the internet has been... and I'll tell you more about WorldCon later, but this blog is about Thursday.

Guys my age all, almost without exception, have a fond place in their hearts for the Cheyenne Mountain military base a.k.a. NORAD. So when I found out that I'd be given the opportunity, along with a group of writers, editors, and other sundry cool folks, I leapt at the chance.

Cheyenne Mountain is no longer home to many missions that it had during the Cold War, but it's still the home of Missile Command. The base itself is a study in contrasts. Even approaching the base, we saw a sign for a subdivision on the right and the road marked "Authorized Military Business Only" (onto which I turned with no small amount of trepidation) on the left. We got out of the cars (leaving behind all of our electronic devices and media storage) and were taken by bus through the gates, but only after our driver's licenses or passports were scanned and verified.

The first stop on the tour was a small building containing memorabilia from NORAD's past as well as tokens of good will given to the organization by various visitors over the years. My favorite? An orphaned glove from the suit of an astronaut who accidentally sent the matching glove drifting into space.

We were briefed on Cheyenne Mountain's history and its current mission, given security badges (that had to be removed before and replaced after each and every photo taken by the staff) and escorted through an airport style metal detector.

It first felt like an amazing trip when the bus took us through the roughly mile long tunnel to Cheyenne Mountain's multi-ton front doors (18 tons each IIRC). Bolts were sunk in the cavernous walls of the hollowed out mountain with chain link fences fastened over them to trap any large piece of debris that might be broken loose by seismic activity.

Inside, the base divides into five buildings that can be sealed off from one another, all of them on two thousand pound springs to allow the buildings to sway up to a foot in any direction. The inside of the base, however, seemed like a outdated office building, punctuated by amazing glimpses of the cavern both above and below the buildings.

We weren't allowed into the control room due to the unfortunate timing of a secret drill, but we were granted access to the PX and the Power Control center. Heck, I even bought a Cheyenne Mountain teddy bear! :)

Afterwards, we were lucky enough to get to drive out to Kevin J Anderson and Rebecca Moesta's castle for buffalo burgers and other assorted good eats... but that's a tale for another time.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Copy Edits

Edited to remove embarrassing lay/lie mistake. I said I wasn't perfect.

A very large envelope landed on my doorstep today, courtesy of the man in brown. Yes, my friends, copy edits have arrived.

This is the first time I've seen my manuscript since revisions. It's gone through some changes since then. Now it has a title page, a copyright page, acknowledgments, a bio and all the bonus material I wrote a few months ago. In short, it's looking more and more like a real book.

I'm new enough to all this to find the process interesting. Instead of groaning over the fact I have to juggle copy edits and a marathon sprint toward my deadline for book two, I'm actually excited.

I am one of those dorks who actually enjoys editing. In a former life, I was the bitch with the red pen who made freelance writers curse under their breath. But having been on both sides of that desk now, I understand how crucial a good copy edit can be.

Am I perfect? Heck no. I missed a lot of stupid typos and comma faults. Editing yourself is extremely difficult, but I made it as clean as I could before I submitted it to agents. And that's why the copy edits on my desk are not nearly as scary as they could have been.

Which leads me to some advice for all you aspiring writers: Learn how to edit your work. Don't look at me like that. How can you expect an agent or editor to want to buy your work if it's riddled with typos and murky sentence structure?

Take a class at the local community college. Buy a book on self-editing. Read Strunk and White. But don't fool yourself. Grammar and punctuation are two of your most important tools as a writer. Ignore them at your own peril.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Author Celebutantes on the Rampage

I went to a release signing on Tuesday for two members of the illustrious Team Seattle--Richelle Mead and Kat Richardson (mazel tov, ladies!) Now, those two know how to party...there were cheese fries and onion rings at the post-signing dinner.

It got me thinking about author celebrity, though, and how different (and in a good way) it is from other kinds of celebrity/notoriety. When you're an author you're intimately available to your fans in a way that actors and singers really aren't, because your fans pretty much know what you're thinking via your books. There are real dialogues between author and reader that can lead to new projects being formulated organically.

Authors are also much more exposed, emotionally, than other kinds of celebrity...we don't (often) get nude photos snapped by paparazzi but every time our books hit the shelves we suffer the complete exposure of the most naked starlet as we fret and wonder if our sales will justify our further creativity and sweat and hair-pulling over manuscripts.

I really like having readers. I like talking to them, I like hearing about how they felt about my books, I like meeting them unless they're crazy (or that one guy who tried to trip me up with science questions at my very first signing.) I enjoy being so intimate with the "public"--the people on the other end of the artist/consumer equation. I understand that it's stressful in a way that dressing up for the red carpet isn't, and vice versa, but it's also far more fulfilling. For me, anyway.

Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for me and my tiny dog to go tanning.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

You Can't Go Home Again

Remember that old saying? It's referring to anything that sparks nostalgia, right?

Gotta be, cuz this past Sunday we proved it true...TWICE!

We've been huge fans of the X-Files since it's premiere back in '93. For nine years, episodes like Home (the Peacock's have a secret and it's nasty), Bad Blood (vampire pizza boy? C'mon!), and X Cops (self explanatory) thrilled, made us piss ourselves laughing and ultimately turned us into googly-eyed fanatics. So when this latest movie started showing up in previews, you can imagine our excitement.

Um...bonerific.

Well. It's been a while since we've visited Mulder and Scullyland and our cherished memories drove us blindly running into the theater, past the throngs of picketers with their big anti-x-files warning signs (we'll call them reviewers). We weren't 10 minutes into the flick and we knew something was wrong. Something bad.

It was the longest most mediocre episode ever. We might as well have been watching Annabeth Gish and Robert Patrick racing back and forth with no purpose for two hours. The carefully cultivated chemistry between Duchovny and Anderson was replaced with this mopey dialogue and frown-faced borefest. Dear God, we prayed. Doesn't someone have a mustard gas cannister?

Say it with me: You Can't Go Home Again.

It'd been too long. The magic was over. I felt the same way about the trio of new Star Wars movies. The new Indy. They felt tired. Old concepts forced to run the same rat maze. Blah. Blah.

Anyway, moving on...

It's no secret that I've got a fondness for things that go bump in the night, schlocky or otherwise. And there's nothing more schlocky than that old 80's standby, My Bloody Valentine. Not good enough to be memorable for anything other than the movie that spawned an awesome band, Valentine was, however, the first R-rated horror movie I was allowed to see without my parents.

It was the summer after the 6th grade and I don't know how we did it, but my good friend Kim and I did some soft shoe or a flim flam or something and talked my dad into taking us to the Tacoma West Cinema 3 (that's right, count 'em - 3) for an adult free evening of scares and gore. The night didn't end well, namely with me curled up on the floor at the foot of my parent's bed.

So on Sunday night--after the tragedy of X-Files-- we tried to go home again, again. While grocery shopping at Walmart--cuz we're frugal (and not cheap fucks, as you may accuse)--Caroline spotted one of those cheesy double feature DVDs. April Fools Day (awesome, still holds up) and My Bloody Valentine.

My Bloody Valentine. You know the one. Spurned miner takes his heartbreak out on the actual hearts of lusty semi-teens. Scary in the early 80s, maybe, but Christ it didn't hold up. Made me kinda sad. And then there's this...


Oh yeah. You're reading that right. 3D. No slam on Jensen Ackles (who stars) but seriously, is there any chance this February 2009 remake will be decent?

What about y'all. Any "You Can't Go Home Again" moments?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Don't you wanna know all about me?

Don't be shy!

No, no. I know I'm essentially dull, really. But I've done a couple of interviews in the last couple of weeks, so not only am I going to link to them, I'm going to talk a little about the process and how weird it all still is to me.

The first interview I ever did was a couple of years ago, for Fallen Angel Reviews, a romance review site. It was totally surreal. They emailed me (I'd sent them my new release cover images for their "Coming Soon" section) and asked if I wanted to do an interview. And I seriously almost emailed back with "You do know you emailed ME, right?" I mean, what did I have to say that would be of interest to anyone?

I found a few things to say, anyway. I don't know if they were interesting. Honestly, what interests me the most about that interview now is how much has changed since then.

You know what doing interviews feels like, really? I hate to reference Friends, this far after it's passed into moderate rotation in syndication, but it feels a little bit like Chandler's work laugh. Remember that? He had this weird fake laugh he used with his boss, because the boss made terrible jokes that weren't funny but Chandler had to laugh, so he came up with this dumb sort of "Haaaahaaaa!" thing that sounded like a laugh. And that's kind of how it feels to me.

Only instead of pretending to laugh and be bright and cheery, I'm just trying not to use "fuck" as an adjective, the way I do in everyday life. And pretend I'm not, you know, drunk or whatever. Good thing they don't televise interviews with writers!

Honestly though? I generally get a kick out of them. I really like interacting with readers. I like talking (well, writing, but you know what I mean) about writing, and my books and ideas. Seriously, if you're like most of the writers I know, you can talk about your work for hours. I can. It's immensely flattering to be asked about it. (I read once that the three ways to a writer's heart are: tell him you loved his book, ask him about his next book, ask if you can read the ms of his next book. Something like that.)

The only things in interviews that make me a little uncomfortable is when I'm asked what I like about my work, or to discuss my favorite bits or anything that even hints of ego.

But when I get really cool, interesting questions like the ones I got in my last couple of interviews...it's awesome.

And this is a really long, drawn-out way to introduce them, but here they are.

First is an interview at FantasyLiterature.net, in which I ask myself a hard question (thanks to Mark Henry who used to be a professional manipulator psychologist or something of that sort, who urged me to open up and ask myself a hard question.) But it gives away some background info and stuff on Personal Demons, so is worth a checkout if you liked the book.

Next is a really funny interview at Five Scribes. KL asked me what I think are the most interesting questions I've ever been asked, and I'd love to hear your thoughts on my answers (especially the Megan Chase/Johnny Smith thing!)

So go check those out, and, I don't know, ask me questions or talk about interviews or interview questions or what you had for breakfast or something in the comments.


.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I want to believe

One of the questions I get asked as a writer of ghostful works is: Do I believe? Or rather, do I believe in the stuff I write.

And my answer is I want to believe. I've never seen or experienced the paranormal, personally, but that doesn't mean I'm not open to such experience. Overall, I'm more Scully than Mulder, but my dark heart desperately wants to be a Fox Mulder. Cuz man, the paranormal really makes our world a whole lot more interesting, doesn't it?

Now my parents swore our first house was haunted, and I have a vague memory of toys flying around, but that could actually be a false memory of an overactive childhood imagination or a scene from Poltergeist I'm remembering.

So not that I'll believe any of you, but I'd love to hear your personal experiences with the paranormal...

What's this? A Book?

Jackie can't share her sparkling wittitudes today, 'cuz she's a superstar jetsetter. So I'm popping in to pimp her shit out!

So...it's Sunday and your skulking through the internets looking for fun, a laugh, some entertainment. I don't blame you. Up until a few minutes ago I was doing the same thing. But, after I threw the tissue away, I was up for something completely different.

Something hotter.

Something...


That's right kids. Jackie's back with another elicit installment of her Hell On Earth series. This time, the incubus Daunuan is up front and personal and making with the sexy. Business as usual until his target turns out to be resistant to his...ahem...charms.

I've given you all you need. I can't hold your hand through these kinds of decisions, but you'd definitely improve your weekend with a trip to the store or a clicky here.

I'm just sayin.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

My iPod Ate My Homework

While I'd love to drop some "wisdom of the ages" on everyone and reveal some hidden new secret skill that I've discovered while editing my current novel... I got nothin'.

I do have a question though. During the last revision, I listened to an awful lot of angry guy music when I was editing Eric (my male cotagonist) and plenty of angsty gal music while I was editing Tabitha (my female cotagonist).

This time around, it's been instrumental music. When revising a fight scene (or adding one) I've listened to tracks like "The Hot Gates" or "To Victory" from the 300 soundtrack, the orchestral version of Nightwish's "Master Passion Greed", or even "The Call of The Ktulu" from The Symphony & Metallica cd... (Don't get me started on why Metallica can't spell Cthulhu...)

Scenes that needed emotional revelation have been written to "Memories of Green" from the Blad Runner soundtrack. The only word intensive songs that have gotten play are (and I cringe a little when I type this) "Fever for the Flava" by Hot Action Cop, Mickey Smiley's "Magic", and Sugar Ray's cover of "Abracadabra", and a rather dated track by 2 Live Crew... all for scenes involving Rachel's sex magic.

I've been listening to my iPod while reading lately, too.

Shortly after beginning Liz William's first Detective Inspector Chen novel, Snake Agent, I built a playlist for that series involving lots of Vangelis (China, The Mask, The City, and Blade Runner) and Jean Michelle Jarre (Hong Kong).

So here's the question: How does music impact your reading and/or writing? Do you listen to a little? Lots? Instrumental? Vocals? Loud? Soft? Hard? Fast? If you don't listen to it while doing those activities... What are you doing when you *do* listen to music?

Friday, August 1, 2008

Hot, Hot, Hot

Edited to add asterisks.

Some people have asked me to elaborate on the concept of "author hot." But I'm afraid I only expound on this groundbreaking theory when heavily liquored. So if you're ever at a con, buy me a beer and I'll tell you.

What I am willing to discuss is the fact the urban fantasy is filled with genuinely good-looking authors.

Now, before I go into this, I should clarify that I am opposed to allowing the way someone looks to qualify their worth--especially women. So don't send me hate mail about how I'm demeaning women. First, I am one, and I've dealt with my share of being judged on things other than the size of my brain. Second, if you're offended it's probably because you're not very good-looking.*

That said, have you checked out the hotties of urban fantasy lately? At Conestoga, I was amazed at how many truly good-looking people sat on panels. I won't name names so as not to embarrass anyone. But, hell, even here at the League we have a bunch of WILFs.**

I'm not saying other genre authors aren't attractive. But it seems that as a percentage, UF has way more eye candy.

Has anyone else noticed this?

*If anything I ever say ever offends you, I was just kidding. Seriously. You probably have a great personality.
**Writers I'd Like to ... um, Fraternize

Who the HELL Do We Think We Are?

We're a bunch of paranormal romance and urban fantasy authors who occasionally blog, make filthy jokes and prowl the halls of conferences and conventions with switchblades!

Current roster: Mario Acevedo, Michele Bardsley, Sonya Bateman, Dakota Cassidy, Carolyn Crane, Molly Harper, Kevin Hearne, Mark Henry, Stacia Kane, Jackie Kessler, J.F. Lewis, Daniel Marks, Richelle Mead, Kelly Meding, Allison Pang, Nicole Peeler, Kat Richardson, Michelle Rowen, Diana Rowland, Jeanne C. Stein, K.A. Stewart, Anton Strout, and Jaye Wells

******************