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Showing posts from February, 2009

Writers' Rooms Numero Tres

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Hi all-- Jeanne here. Nothing says spring like stuff poking out of the ground. It makes me happy.

Stay tuned for the next installment of Writers' Rooms. This week we explore the sanctums of Jennifer Rardin, Kelling Meding and Jaye Wells.

First though, a little news and commentary.

I'm new to the League as may be many of you. To say that this is a terrifically talented group is an understatement. To prove my point, check out the book covers of Leaguers on to the right and left of this post whose books have just been, or will be released, in the next few days. To make your shopping easier, here is a list that you can copy and take with you to your favorite bookstore.

Remember, support your Leaguers-- Buy early and often!

Acevedo, Mario JAILBAIT ZOMBIE
Cassidy, Dakota THE ACCIDENTAL HUMAN
Henry, Mark ROAD TRIP OF THE LIVING DEAD
Kittredge, Caitlin SECOND SKIN
Lewis, J. F. REVAMPED
Priest, Cherie FATHOM
Strout, Anton …

Thinking series

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I'm brainstorming today. I need to get started on the second book in my new paranormal romance series -- first books are fairly easy. Second books? HARD. (at least, for me). The first series I did, my vamp one, I never really had a plan for it since I never knew I'd get the chance to go five books with the same characters. This non-planning presented several challenges for me in regards to overall character arcs and other lovely writerly terms. It all worked out, luckily enough, but it wasn't totally easy getting from point A to point Z while keeping each book as stand-alone as possible.

I'm lucky enough to now be at the beginning of two potential series - one for adults and one for teens. The first book is written for both, and my task in the next five months is to write 2 book twos. Basically I want to make things easier on myself by thinking things through up front. But how do you do that? How do you know where your characters might be in five plus books?

I'm basi…

League Interview with Cindy Pon, or, “I’ll Stroke Your Brushes!”

Nicole: Welcome League readers!  As ya’ll know, we’ve been doing a series with up and coming writers discussing the “process” as they’ve experienced it.  There have also been some nasty rumors about how we at the League use these interviews as an excuse to lure people in so that we can rid ourselves of our competition.  Which is totally not true.  Every single guest has survived . . . by the skin of their teeth.  Anyway, today we have another YA fantasy writer, the incredibly talented Cindy Pon.  In fact, she’s so talented I can feel my trigger finger itching . . . Um, Cindy, why don’t you tell the League something about yourself and your current project(s)

cindy: hi nicole! thanks for inviting me to the league. i feel so honored to be here! let's see, i'm a stay at home mom with two little ones, sweet pea (5) and munchkin (4). the full time mom thing made me want to have something to call my own, so i decided to try and write a novel! i wrote as a teen but stopped all through …

What's so funny bout peace, love, and...cannibalism?

So. Apparently cannibalism is bad.


I mean, of course it's bad. It's gross; it's squick all around. But apparently, cannibalism is one of those things that You Should Not Put In Books either.

I'm currently over halfway through the third Downside book (which I am extremely happy with, yay!) and my Bad Baddies are really starting to crystallize. Of course they've/he's/she's (no spoilers here!) been around since the very beginning, because that's the way I roll it, baby. But now we're exploring the BB more intimately. And one little character trait I had in mind of this particular/these particular BBs was that they occasionally enjoyed sitting down to a nice meal of other human beings.

Perhaps it's because I was seventeen when Silence of the Lambs came out--the book, which I read before I knew a movie was coming, and then the movie which I saw the day it was released--this didn't seem to me to be that big a deal. I mean, clearly it's yucky, but…

Nicole Peeler needs YOU!!!!!

She needs interview questions for Orbit, desperately!  Please go here for more details.  THANK YOU!!!!

You Know What'd Taste Good Right Now?

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Some ROAD TRIP OF THE LIVING DEAD! Word is, the book has been spotted in the wild, preorders have been shipping for like two weeks, I signed books at the University Bookstore in Seattle last week and I know they're sitting in the stockroom of at least one Barnes and Noble. Could be wrong. I don't have all the answers.

What I do know is, if you pick up a copy and want a signed book plate and some swag, just send me an email with your address and I'll hook your ass up!

So...what can you expect from Amanda and the gang in this one? I think I'll make a list...

1. Drag Wolf Tanesha Jones and her airbrushed claws of doom!
2. Hot necrophilia (well sort-of in that Amanda's dead, kinda)
3. A Kranky Kraken and a trio of Chthulu brethren with speech impediments.
4. A bizarre homeless guy with the very fitting name Fishhook.
5. Cross-country mayhem and a trail of bodies.
6. Werewolf attacks and bloody battles at cheap roadside motels.
7. A superhot shapeshifting love interest (or at…

Jailbait Zombie on the loose! With ducks!

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Mario here:


It's the big day. Book 4 of the Felix Gomez vampire-detective adventures is on the streets.

To celebrate you have a chance to earn a coveted yet feared Devil Duck.



Maximize your chances by stuffing the ballot box over at BronzeWord.

And everybody's Facebook friend, Amber Katze is giving you another chance for the Duck at the AmberKatze blog.


Celebrate the Apocalypse! What fun.

Read what I say about the end times on Laura Benedict's blog Notes From the Handbasket.

Happy fanging!

Get thee to a bookery

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First, me and the lovely Amber Benson, who is now my BFF and who also shares my on sale date with her quirky urban fantasy, Death's Daughter. How can you not support two lovely bitchez like us, I ask you?

That said, my mind feels like zombies have been munching on it lately.

At the moment, I am:
-promoting book two, Deader Still, on sale today!
-finishing up the epilogue on book three
-packing my apartment to move to scenic New Jersey, where I will be minutes away from my precious Chik-fil-A and about a half hour from Jay & Silent Bob's Secret Stash.
-answering interview questions
-doing three projects for work
-planning parts of my doings for sales conference

So I'll be brief, as I'm running on fumes and short on sleep. Won't you please help support my little corner of the League by picking up a copy of Deader Still? Feel free to blog it up elsewhere. I have a hell of a lot of fun writing it, I hope you have as much fun reading it.

Best,
Anton, amateur rapscallion

PS.…

Haunt Someone Else

Okay, ze last post about paranormal "reality" shows.

I have to say that shows like "Ghost Hunters," "Ghost Adventures," and "Paranormal State," are at least TRYING to either find real evidence of paranormal activity or help people claiming they have supernatural problems. Okay, "Ghost Adventures" just picks creepy places and locks their selves inside all night, but still.

"Most Haunted" ... not so much. It's great fun to watch, though. They take a walk-through of the building and discuss all the horrible history. Hangings! Murder! Women walled up in rooms and left to starve! Then they get their psychic du jour to do another walk-through and he comes up with amazing (amazing!) details about the place, and usually some names that are either so common to the time period the historian confirms them (do I sound cynical?) or that can't be identified at all. I dunno. If some asshole walled me up in a room and left me to starve…

TEMPEST RISING COVER

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I'm so excited to reveal to the League the AMAZING cover for Tempest Rising.  I can't tell you HOW pleased with it I am.  It's perfect for my book and it's everything I could have wanted.

For more information on how this cover came to be, go to: http://www.orbitbooks.net/2009/02/23/cover-launch-tempest-rising/#more-1606

Thanks so much to Sharon Tancredi, an incredible artist who took the time to get to know Jane.  It shows in every detail of this cover.  And thanks to the whole team at Orbit, for everything they do, and especially to Lauren Panepinto, Creative Director, who got me, got the book, and took a delightful risk.

No, Really, I'm Doing Something Constructive

Disclaimer: The following post in no way reflects the opinions of anyone connected to the League of Reluctant Adults, its heirs, employees, relatives, or dry cleaners. None of us, in fact, have any idea who this Jennifer Rardin bimbo is. Can we vote her off the island yet?

Humans, I've come to believe, are master procrastinators. None more so than writers. Because nobody is standing over us with the Glowing Sword of Thesaurus, threatening to spear, pierce, stab, spike, and skewer us if we don't hunker down and put some damn words on the screen. I suspect even some of our League members have, from time to time, struggled to fend off the Procrastinator Monster, who skips into the office bearing Ding Dongs and 24-hour Internet access, knowing full well we have the willpower of shipwrecked sailors.

Sometimes (like now) when I'm getting ready to begin a new book (damn, they're long!) I find myself deviously avoiding face-time with ye olde outline. This might be because…

Writers' Rooms Part Deux

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Hello Blog Fans—

Ready for the next installment of the League Writers’ Rooms? It follows after these messages from our sponsors.



A little Whedon stuff off the top of my head. I’m having a contest on The Biting Edge. Prize is a copy of MBR—just released in trade. All you have to do is pop over and make a comment—hopefully about Dollhouse, but really, can be about anything. MBR is dedicated to Joss Whedon from a group I belong to called The Buffybuds. Contest ends on Tuesday at midnight.


On March 23rd, another Whedon Alum, Nathan Fillion of Firefly/Serenity/Dr. Horrible fame begins his new show on ABC, Castle. We’ll be discussing that on The Biting Edge, too, I’m sure.

Some interesting (at least to me) factoids about bookselling and numbers. For 2008, the top ten books in terms of numbers sold were:

1 Breaking Dawn Meyer, Stephenie 3,310,000
2 Twilight Meyer, Stephenie 3,175,000
3 A New Earth Tolle, Eckhart 3,146,000
4 The Last Lecture Pau…

Mark Your Calendars- My First Signing!

If you can make it to the St. Louis area at 1 p.m. April 11th, I will have my first official signing/reading at the Chesterfield Barnes and Noble on Clarkson Road.

Yes, it sounds a little odd to have my first signing so far away from my hometown. My parents live in the St. Louis area and my mom has been talking the book up to anyone who will listen. She also handed out promotional bookmark to people on the streets of New Orleans last week. She's a one-woman maternal promotion machine.

So remember:
1 p.m. April 11th
Chesterfield Barnes and Noble
600 Clarkson Road
Chesterfield, MO.

My publicist will be scheduling something in Paducah soon.

Hope to see you there!
Molly

League Interview with Jen Hayley: The Quick and [writer of] The Dead

Nicole:  Thanks for coming and talking to me, Jen.  After Gretchen survived, er, gave such great interview last week, I was beaten thoroughly by the rest of the League.  And by “beaten,” I mean with congratulations.  Anyway, I am going to do my best to stick you with this sword . . . um, ask you super probing questions that get to the heart of our modern condition.  Can you start by telling the League something about yourself and your current project?  And maybe stepping closer so I don’t have to swing this thing so far . . . or raise my voice?  No?  You prefer to stand over there?  Fine, Rardin left a crossbow around here somewhere.  I mean, I can hear you.  Answer the damned question.


Jen: *backing further away from the short woman with the broadsword* I’m a YA urban fantasy writer, and my books are about ghosts and demons and fun stuff like that. My current project, MY SO-CALLED AFTERLIFE, is the first in a series about a 17-year-old girl named Cassidy who meets an unfortunate demis…

Shoveling words

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While you cats and kittens have been tearing up this blog, some were asking, "Where's Mario?"
Short answer.
Writing.
Finishing up book 5, vampires vs werewolves (fighting and a lot of fraternizing).
Working title: THE WEREWOLF SUPER SEX CLUB

People wonder what writing a novel is like so I drew this cartoon.


BONUS!


If you're not familiar with my books, you can download NYMPHOS...for FREE! Simply go to the EOS blog.

Vamp Pride

There's trouble brewing among the undead, people.

Surely you're aware that the current mainstream popularity of vampire lore had spawned a new generation of wannabe vampires. You know the type. They wear lots of black, think they discovered Bauhaus and demand their parents now call them "Raven" or "Morpheus." Although, I guess these days they're going by "Bella" and "Edward." Back in the eighties, we called these kids Goths. In the nineties, we had the emos. And now, in the naughties, we've got the Twibiters (trademarked, bitches!).

Anyway, the real vampires are pissed. They're not going to stand for these tween bloodsuckers co-opting their lifestyle anymore.

I don't know about you, but I'm thinking the next obvious step is Vamp Pride Day. It's time for real vampires to come out of the coffin and demand their rights. I can already see the flag- a black bat on a field of red. Vampires of the world unite!

Obviously…

This Just In...

Something happened today that really puts things in perspective and makes you reevaluate your life. An event so earth shattering that you'll likely be changed forever once it's revealed; one of those tragic indicators of our fragile state on this planet. I, for one, am humbled.

I'm talking, of course, about the news that Hollywood celebrities will have to do without this year.

Moment of silence.

This year, the "goodie bags" at the Oscars will be filled with 80% less bling.

I'm going to give you a moment for that and everything it means to sink in. Because, do you really want to live in a world where Brangelina can't have the shiniest new cell phones to reflect their signal of hope to unwanted babies everywhere? How do you think Jennifer Aniston is going to feel when she opens her bag and pulls out a linty Zagnut? NOT. HAPPY. That's how! Hasn't she been through enough?

(quick aside: is it to early for a Rhianna joke?)

I didn't think so...

What …

The Joy of Querying . . .

. . . A facetious title for a hellish process that is more accurately described using terms such as “torturous,” “nauseating,” “mind-boggling,” etc. That said, I think that my rather unique perspective as someone who has spent an entire lifetime getting rejected may help some people who are getting hung up on the querying process.

Why have I spent so long getting rejected? Keep the snide remarks to yourself, people . . . the official reason is that I’m an Academic. Which means that I have spent every year since I was seventeen putting myself out there only to get rejected. College applications? Rejections! Grad school applications? Rejections! Big Time Scholarship applications? Rejections! (Damn you, Cecil Rhodes!)

Then came the mother load of rejections: The Academic Job Market.

Being an academic SUCKS. Don’t let the fact that we never apparently do any actual work fool you. The reason we spend so much time not evidently working is because we’re busy trying to heal the feste…

I don't get it.

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So I see that Donnie Darko's on TV last week one night at midnight -- a movie I've wanted to watch for a few years but never gotten around to it. I love quirky, cult movies. I like Jake Gyllenhaal. I've heard great things about this movie. So I record it, then I sit down, lights dimmed, with my little bag of low fat popcorn and Diet Coke (let the fun begin), and press play......

And I wait for things to start making sense. I'm open for it to be weird or strange or whatever. I want to be hip and "get" it. I want to be part of the in crowd. The cool kids who like movies like Donnie Darko.

I didn't get it. There wasn't one moment where everything clicked for me.

SPOILERS FOR THE MOVIE AHOY. SORT OF.

The bunny thing was interesting and creepy. But it didn't make any sense by the end of the movie. Why would that dude wear a Halloween costume like that? Just because it's strange? Did it have any meaning? Why a black, creepy bunny? And why would that ent…

New Blog Feature: Random Questions

I have been getting some interesting questions on my web site's comment feature, so I've decided to make blog posts out of them at singleundeadfemale.blogspot.com. (So if you want to know anything- with the exception of my weight or childhood nicknames- scoot on over to mollyharper.com and post a question.)

Today's question is from Karen, who wants to know how the heck I find time to write.

Elves, people, little elves come into the house at night and write this stuff for me.

Tune into my blog for this and other seriously pompous answers.

Molly

The State I'm In

"To Trust, Honor, and Always Seek the Truth" is the motto for the Paranormal Research Society. PRS was founded by Ryan Buell in 2001, and according the the A&E website, he got a degree in 2006, and is now working on a second degree. Hey, I was a perpetual student, too. When you're in school, you don't have to face real life. But I guess you can face ghosts. I mean, that's what college is all about, right? Well, it is if you're a dude with your own A&E show about facing ghosts.

My favorite episode is "Sixth Sense." It was freaky. You can watch the whole thing on You Tube, just click HERE.

What I find so fascinating about this show ... well, about every paranormal investigation show ... is how adamant everyone is about pursing the truth and trying to determine if whatever is occurring in the home, library, business, graveyard (Ghosts in a graveyard? How odd.) is supernatural. The only show not really concerned by determining if something is real…

Honk, Honk....Yeah...Beep, Beep!

I was watching Illini basketball yesterday, (pretty much the only kind I can stand to sit through) when I realized I desperately needed to be the Designated Horn Honker. You know, the person who signals time outs and ends of halves and such. Have you heard this sucker? It sounds like a train on steroids! And the power! People literally cannot start bouncing the ball until you hit the switch. Or maybe it's a big red button that lights up like a Christmas tree! Awww, man!

At any rate, as soon as they gave me the job, I would totally be slamming my hand on that puppy at random intervals.

Honk!Excuse me, everybody at the Big Kids' table here has the munchies, so we're pausing the game while Frank runs to the concession stand for Diet Cokes and Snicker Bars.

Beep!Time out for the officials. Yeah, I'm talking about you, dude. I can tell you need to pee. Go ahead, we'll wait.

I know, I know, they'd fire me nice and quick. My hubby estimated before the first hal…

Winners!!

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Okay, I know you've all been waiting for this. The winners of this fabulous stash are:

Blackroze37 and Fantasy Dreamer!! Send me your snailmail info at jeanne@jeannestein.com and I'll get those packages off to you.

Now, who watched Dollhouse last night? Come on, show of hands. You know you wanted to if you didn't. So, let's hear your opinions. I'll be blogging about it in detail on Wednesday on The Biting Edge, so drop in if you DVR'd it and didn't get a chance to watch yet.

My first impression is, I liked it!! Especially the intros and little teasers during the show with Summer Glau and Eliza Dushku. If you want a taste, go here. The set on this show is rumored to be one of the most expensive ever built for tv.

I'm also going to run a contest on Wednesday--for a trade copy of the anthology Many Bloody Returns in honor of hearing today that it made the NYT bestseller list! That makes a two time winner because when the book came out in hardback, it was on t…

Winner of OVER MY DEAD BODY...

The winner was chosen at random by my son. It was arduous process that finally ended when I ever-so-gently screeched, "Just pick one already!"

Next time, I'm asking the chihuahua.

The winner of the Advanced Reading Copy of OVER MY DEAD BODY, the fifth book in the Broken Heart, OK series is... QWILL.

Congrats!

League Interview with Gretchen McNeil: Agent Magnet

Nicole: Hi Gretchen! Great to have you here! Ummm . . . before we begin, can I just ask you something? You haven’t heard anything about up and coming authors disappearing from League headquarters, never to be seen from again, have you? Because it’s totally lies. I mean, we’re not trying to off all the competition in our crazy bid for world domination, or anything. Again. After that last time . . . haven’t heard anything? Wonderful. Why don’t you go ahead and sit right there . . . What was that? Oh, no, that’s not a trap door under that chair. Those are just . . . spirit lines. We draw them. You want to sit over here instead? Shi . . . I mean, sure! Whatever’s clever! Now, why don’t you tell the League a little something about yourself and your current project.

Gretchen: *examines new chair for booby traps* Well, I'm an opera singer, television producer, voice over artist and circus performer who decided, on a bit of a whim in 2007, that I’d try writing a novel. It …

Report on New York ComicCon

Hi friends—If you have a minute, check out today’s Biting Edge—Twin Trauma, AKA Krystn, sent a report on NY ComicCon including very nice comments about some of our League members. Think you’ll enjoy it.

Also, remember the contest is still going on here. Response has been so good, that I"m doubling the prize--that's right--you now have two chances to win all that loot. Saturday I'll post winners and begin my writers' room series.

Stay tuned....

Contest Winner

And the winner of both the signed can of Spaghetti-O's AND (her choice) Dead To Me is... DONNAS. Congratulations! Email me at anton.strout@gmail.com with your address, please.

Give her a round of applause, everyone, and of course, don't forget that Deader Still is showing up in stores already and will be fully distributed by 2/24. Get thee to a bookery!

Tall Tales

For a person who makes up stories for a living, I'm pretty honest. In fact, if you ask me for the truth, I'll give it to you, even if it hurts. Which is why people hardly ever do! I've narrowed the reasons for my plain talk down to two:

1. I used up the majority of my life's component of BS lying to my parents during my teen years.
2. Once I had kids, I decided if I wanted to be a good mom, I should tell them the truth as much as possible.

Here's the exception. For years our kids thought we had a dragon in the attic. Our reasoning was that the attic isn't fully floored, so we didn't want them up there screwing around and possibly falling through. Lucky for us they were just deeply steeped enough in fantasy to think it was cool that we lived with dragon, and yet to respect the fact that they'd probably be cripsy curled if they ventured into its lair. Now, at the ages of 16 and 18, they're not even pissed that we misled them. In fact, the attic…

And now for something completely expected

I told you guys I was going to talk about “the process,” and that’s exactly what I’m going to do for the next few weeks.  If there’s anything specific you’d like me to talk about, ask in a comment, or in my personal forum, or in a message to me.

I’m going to alternate Talking About Myself (one of my favorite activities) with Talking About Other People.  I have interviewed three writers who are all at different stages of the process.  First, we’ll have Gretchen McNeil, who just fought off FOUR (count ‘em, FOUR) agents to find a match made in heaven.  Next, we have Jen Hayley, who is at the revisions stage with her own agent.  Finally, we have Cindy Pon, whose YA Fantasy, Silver Phoenix, will be available April 28, 2009.  These are all women you’ll being seeing a lot of, soon, so here’s your chance to get to know ‘em.

But first I’m going to talk about myself.  Mmmmm.  Myself.  I wrote Tempest Rising, on a whim, after I’d completed my doctorate.  I was living in Edinburgh, Scotland, and I …