Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Yay for us!

First of all, I want to say how much I enjoyed all the guest bloggers during Zombie Week. Such entertaining, great stuff. If I'm honest, I've never really thought much about zombies. I don't watch many horror films because I'm a big pansy, and I've not read a lot of zombie fiction, until reading Mark's books. That said, all of the blogs posted during Zombie Week have inspired my increased interest in this subject.

On an entirely different note, I am going to use this blog post to talk about how excited I am to be an urban fantasy writer. Not least because it seems to be a good time to be one. I go to my local Barnes & Noble about once a week, to wander around and fondle the books. Two weeks ago, when I went, there was a large table set up near the cash registers that was labelled "Dark Fantasy," and which had about 20 selections, including quite a few Urban Fantasy writers. This table was in addition to the usual sci-fi/fantasy section at the back of the store.

This week, when I went to purchase Jaye's book, I was greeted by not one extra table, but three. There were two end-shelf displays and a table, all of which sported mostly urban fantasy writers. One end-shelf display, of which I took a crappy picture I won't bother posting, had many of the writers from our League. I was so proud to be a part of the League, and so proud to be an urban fantasy writer at a time that urban fantasy seems to be so much appreciated.

But I'm also a bit worried. Are we blowing our collective urban fantasy wads? Is this the peak, or are we just building up to more popularity, as a genre?

Can I expect another table/carrel everytime I go into B&N?

Thanks!

ZOMG!!!


IT'S RED-HEADED STEPCHILD RELEASE DAY!


Let's all take to the streets and dance naked! No? Oh, all right. I guess I'll settle for all just buying a copy or five on your lunch breaks. If the store doesn't have copies, I suggest you chain yourself to the front table and refuse to leave until they get some. Or, you know, you could go to another store. I'm just sayin'.

Also, don't forget, I'm taking part in a totally awesome podcast today with Jocelyn Drake and Mark Henry. We'll be dishing about the writing life with fab editor Diana Gill. You can even call in and heckle. Here's a link for details.

I'm off to do the running man in the middle of my nearest bookery. Carry on.

When You Gotta Go

The hubby and I are avid hikers. (Example: Sunday if you'd been stalking us--and thanks a ton for not going there--you'd have found us trekking across federally managed lands in Indiana despite the fact that it was, by turns, snowing and raining.) This is factoid number one that you need to know.

Here's the second: I gotta drink a lot of water, because the medication I take to prevent migraines can be tough on the kidneys if I don't. Which means, yeah, many trips to the ladies room. Which can get kinda scarce in the middle of freaking nowhere.

This is why I feel we should offer outdoor facilities a great deal more respect than we currently do. For instance, what's the deal with bathroom vandals? Really? You had to rip the seat off? Why couldn't you just write on the wall like the rest of the world's frustrated poets? If you had, then girls like me wouldn't have been left to prance their way down the trail in hopes of finding a McDonald's plonked somewhere between the lake and the massive boulder that resembles my old Math teacher's head!

Even worse are the intact spots that are just filthy. I won't go into detail. Just imagine opening the door and screaming. Yeah, you're with me now.

Obviously I've become something of an expert in this area. As a joke, I've even begun to take pictures of my favorite spots, threatening to write a book highlighting where sporty girls can find real relief on the trail. I'm talking flush toilets. Full soap dispensers. Even (gasp!) hot air out the blow dryers. Here are my top picks.

Not much to look at on the outside, but this lovely facility in Prairie Creek Park (IN) gave new meaning to the word "relief."
















Charming, right? It's primitive inside, but you get what you need. Plus it's located in one of my ideal hiking locations, Turkey Run State Park (IN). (Don't let the name fool ya--spectacular views and really fun hikes.)















See what happens when you're so freaking cold your eyelashes start to freeze? Bad shot, I know, but the bathroom came as such a pleasant surprise. For one thing, it wasn't locked at the beginning of February. Go baby! Plus it had all the necessary amenities, including a blow dryer that assured me I didn't have frostbite after all! This one is located beside what I understand is the biggest man-made lake in Illinois--Carlyle Reservoir--in Hazlet State Park.

So there you have it, my friends. My Ode to Outdoor Bathrooms. May they stand as monuments to the fact that women don't like to go in the woods. Because we're pretty sure that's the exact moment the zombies will attack!









Sunday, March 29, 2009

Monsters vs. Caitlin

Copied over from mah blog, because I'm trying to get a wide sampling of opinions:

I need monsters! More specifically, your opinions on monsters. Because I am starting an entirely new proposal and I need an entirely new crop of things that lurk under your bed/outside your window/sitting on your nightstand watching you sleep like Edward Cullen. I am interested in the opinion of readers far and wide.

What monsters would you like to see more of in speculative fiction? (Angels count. Personally, I find the concept behind angels indescribably creepy. So do humans with monster abilities such as damphir and sorcerers.)

What monsters are tired (and yes, we all know the market is full of vampires, but they still sell, so I’m putting a moratorium on this answer.)

Optional bonus internet cookie* answer: What monster would you like to see me, specifically, tackle?

I await your monstrous answers…

And I do!



*Disclaimer: The cookie is a lie.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Contest: Dream Analysis

Whee! I'm back on the League! After my month-long banishment, it's good to be back. **offers Jaye chocolates and whiskey and flowers** Yes, Jaye is the god of all that is Blogger, and she got me back on. All hail!

So. I had the most frakked up dream last night. Think of a slasher horror flick in the spirit of Scream...but as imagined by Paul Judd. Seriously. I was in this goofball horror film (except, you know, it was real) and we (the other intended victims and I) were fleeing from Psycho Dude With Sharp Implement. We were in a mall, and as we're dashing through the shoppers, we stumble into a bookstore (natch). And there I see copies of Hell's Belles, stacked in huge piles and shrink-wrapped as these long packages. Like 20 copies, one on top of the other, all wrapped together in plastic shipping stuff.

Here's the whoa part: on the top of the pile, the cover clearly said:

Coming June 25, the TV movie, starring Jennifer Grey!

I woke up and was like, "Whaaaaa?"

Now, June 25 is my dad's birthday. So I can see why that date is in my brain.

But...a TV movie of Hell's Belles?

And...Jennifer "Don't Put Baby In a Corner" Grey? Erin Grey I could understand -- I think she was Wilma in Buck Rogers, right? So that's sorta loosely connected to Urban Fantasy (in a SF/F bookstore kind of way). But Jennifer Grey? Okay, well, she learned how to dance, I guess. Has she moved onto stripping?

So. Hit me: dream analysis, please! I'll pick one dream analysis at random on Wednesday, April 1, to get a free signed copy of Eternal Loofah -- er -- Eternal Lover mass-market edition, which has a novella in it from Richelle and one from me.

Go!

And the Winner Is....

Drumroll please....

To refresh your memory, the assignment was:

If you could spend one unbridled night with any fictional character in the world, who would it be? Why? What would you do?

Turns out, we’re going to have TWO winners. Mario and I reviewed all the entries and here are our choices.

Winner #1. Jennifer Rinehart!

I hate vampires.

No, not just because they drink blood and defile the innocent, no, I
mean I really, really hate them.

I know what your'e thinking; what a kook, she might as well say she
hates leprechauns or dragons. But I mean it in the most personal way.

Vampires are ruining my life. So if I had a choice of who I would
want to spend the evening with it would be with Abraham Van Helsing.

Maybe he could help me rid Powell's Books of the blood sucking ghouls
hanging out around the cookbook section (don't ask me why they're
there, they just are). Sure, they look cute and non-threatening, but
I'm not willing to risk eternal damnation to get a copy of Emeril's
newest cookbook. They're at the laundromat too, I see their glowing
faces hovering over the discarded dryer sheets. The same with the
parking lot at Macy's, Bed, Bath & Beyond and my absolute favorite
store, World Market. As if they need to stock up on rattan placemats
or tiny travel sized jars of lemon curd.

In closing, I think Van Helsing would be an invaluable source of
information on slaying the undead. I have a notepad and pen ready to
take notes and an unused giftcard for Olive Garden. I hope he likes
Italian.


**This one got points for sheer audacity. Who would tell two vampire writers that they HATE vampires. But she makes some pretty good arguments. Besides, we’re assuming this was written with tongue firmly in cheek, right, Jennifer? Right? Jennifer?**

Winner #2. The Tot--

I would choose Anna Strong because I like her best because she’s pretty. We would have a play date. First, we’d do ballerina dances. Then we’d go to the dinosaur museum. Then we’d going to the mall and go buy lots of new shoes, maybe some earrings too. Then we’d get our ears pierced and get our nails done in bright red with sparkles. Then we’d go to the park and play—I think she’d be really good at tag. Then we’d go to ChuckECheese. Then it would be time for bed and she’d read me a bedtime story. Anna’s really good at telling stories.

**I can hear the groans out there—but Mario made this his first pick without ANY pressure from me. Honestly. I gave him the entries in a blind judging. No names. No nothing. And think about it, how often does Anna get invited to play? (Not counting the time she spends with Lance and that’s a different thing altogether.) And except for the ChuckECheese thing, Anna thinks this sounds like a pretty good plan. New shoes and earrings and the dinosaur museum—what girl wouldn’t like to spend a day like that?**

Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all who entered. We had a lot of damned good entries, some very original, all fun to read. I think we have some writers in the audience.

Now, on to other stuff—Anna popped in to ask: What the fuck is this Zombie week thing? In her exact words: Everybody knows even the lamest vampire kicks the strongest zombie ass. Felix Gomez proves the point in Jailbait Zombie.

What can I add to that? She speaks the truth.

Also, you guys gave me a great list of writers to contact about the “rooms” series. I’ve been busy with copy-edits for Retribution and working on the new book, Chosen, so I haven’t started yet. Give me a couple of weeks. Also, as soon as Stacia and Anton and Caitlin get their acts together, I should be able to finish up with the Leaguers.

See you soon.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Guest Ghoul: Carrie Ryan, author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth

So here I was typing merrily along on my zombie novel when I was suddenly faced with a very important decision. There’s a dog in my book and he jumps into a horde of zombies… do the zombies go for him?

zombie dog Pictures, Images and Photos

I think this is an issue many zombie writers face: to infect or not to infect the animals of the world. I honestly had no problem infecting my lovely little dog (even though there is the age old adage that no dogs shall be killed in books else face the wrath of fans forevermore I wondered if it counted if said dog can come back from the dead… though I guess I Am Legend kind of answered that question).

But then I started to think about it some more. If dogs could become infected, what about all the other animals? And while zombie cows would be totally awesome, I think zombie mosquitoes would totally suck (query: since roaches are impossible to kill anyways, aren’t they basically already zombies?).

Naturally, because I’ll take any excuse not to write, this got me thinking. What would be the worst zombie animal? So I posed this question to friends and I have to give them props for some really creative and yet gruesome zombie animal ideas. First came the obvious: zombie cats but mostly cause they’re so ubiquitous. As has been pointed out before, zombie cats who can see in the dark could be danger.

But as dangerous as zombie chipmunks?

Crafty, small, high pitched and capable of squeezing into small spaces. Thankfully, a slow moving chipmunk would be easy to mow down by anything with wheels.


Then there was the suggestion of zombie tapeworms (though it was pointed out that they already eat human flesh so really, what’s the advantage here?) Zombie hampsters...
zombie hampster Pictures, Images and Photos
elephants...

squid...

and platypus (what I wouldn’t give for a good zombie platypus picture)!

Me? I think the worst would be zombie narwhals. Sure you’d be safe so long as you stayed on land. But seriously, what could be cooler than zombie narwhals?

For real… they’re zombies and unicorns all in one. Nuff said.

So this leads me to the discussion point of the day, what is your most feared zombie animal? And how would you kill it if cornered by it in a dark alley? Extra points for pointing to a cool picture of said zombie animal!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Guest Ghoul: Amanda Ashby, author of The Zombie Queen of Newbury High

It is a truth universally acknowledged that all zombie authors like zombies. Except of course when you’re me and you accidentally write a zombie book, not really expecting it to get published and then suddenly find yourself being asked a whole heap of zombie related questions that you have absolutely no answers for. See where I’m going with this?

The thing is that there are many, many reasons why I’m not a zombie fan. Not least because two weeks ago I had a blog party to celebrate the release of ZOMBIE QUEEN OF NEWBURY HIGH and I though it might be in keeping with the theme to invite some zombies along.

As it turns out this was a bad idea.

Did they clean up after themselves? No, they did not. Did they hold back from eating all of my guests? Er, that would be no. Did they even bother to get me a lovely hostess gift for not complaining about all the stray body parts that kept turning up around my house? Again with a big fat no.

But apart from making bad house guests, the main reason I don’t like zombies is because, well...they’re scary. And it’s not just the flesh-munching, brain-chomping thing they’ve got going on (though bleurgh), but rather it’s their uncanny ability not to die.

I mean even when they’re all killed off, somehow one always manages to slip through. And while I can see the appeal if you’re a movie executive with a franchise on your hands, for most regular people, the concept doesn’t fill me with fluffy bunnies.

And speaking of fluffy bunnies, don’t be lured into patting one when you’re in the middle of a zombie apocalypse because it’s a scientifically proven fact that fluffy bunnies can eat your brains just as easily as the next zombie. This rule applies to cats and dogs as well (I’m talking to you Will Smith).

In fact I’m so scared of zombies that I decided to put together my own little Zombie Survival Kit filled with all the essential items that you will ever need to fight off the living dead hordes. And, because I think you’re all lovely and I’d like you to live a long and happy life, I want to give you the chance to win this kit.

Also, since ten to one, if you’re running away from zombies, you’ll get stuck in a closet, I thought I’d throw in a copy of my new book ZOMBIE QUEEN OF NEWBURY HIGH to help you pass away the hours - unless of course you’ve fallen victim to my cunning mind control trick and you’ve already gone out and bought a copy - in which case I’ll let you have a copy of my first book YOU HAD ME AT HALO instead. I’m nice like that.

I was also going to provide a detailed escape route of what to do if zombies attacks but my Darwinian genes have suddenly kicked in and are refusing to let me reveal this information (since let’s face it, we’ve all seen enough movies to know that someone needs to get eaten and while I do like you, I’m not sure I like you that much).

So what do you need to do to win this potentially life saving kit and hilarious book? Just tell me your best zombie survival tip and you’re in with a chance. Too easy!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Guest Ghoul: S.G. Browne author of Breathers: A Zombie's Lament

S.G. Browne, the author of Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament (Broadway), sat down recently with several of the stars of Breathers for a little Q&A:

Jerry: How about a little T&A instead, dude? (snickers)
Andy: Don’t mind Jerry. He has a permanent, post-mortem erection.
Jerry: (popping an Altoid) Terminal boner. Popular with the ladies.
S.G.: (ignoring Jerry) So what’s it like to be a zombie?
Andy: Not that much different than working for corporate America. Except you don’t earn a paycheck. And you have to worry about getting infested with maggots…
Tom: And fraternity pledges dismember you. (massages his empty right arm socket)
S.G.: When did you first realize you were no longer among the living?
Jerry: At my funeral. Totally freaked out my parents. I’ve got the video if you want to watch.
Tom: When I woke up in the mortuary and the mortician was packing my external body cavities with autopsy gel.
Jerry: Dude.
S.G.: What do you miss most about being a Breather?
Jerry: Getting laid.
Andy: Going out to dinner and a movie.
Tom: Sitting around a beach bonfire without having to worry if someone’s going to throw me into it.
S.G.: Do you believe in God?
Andy: When you can smell your own rotting flesh, it tends to put the kibosh on your belief in the existence of a supreme being.
S.G.: How fast do you decompose?
Andy: We were all embalmed prior to reanimating, which helps to slow decomposition down to a crawl. Still, without a regular formaldehyde fix, it’s only a matter of weeks until your organs turn to chicken soup.
S.G.: What are your favorite foods?
Jerry: Bacon, dude. You can never have too much bacon.
Tom: I’m a vegetarian.
S.G.: I thought zombies were flesh-eating monsters with an insatiable appetite for brains.
Andy: That’s just Hollywood propaganda. Most zombies are too busy trying to deal with a rapidly digesting pancreas or keeping their tissues from liquefying to be obsessed with eating the brains of some uptight Breather.
S.G.: Speaking of Hollywood, I understand the film rights to Breathers were purchased by FOX Searchlight Pictures? Do you think they’ll portray zombies in a positive light?
Andy: FOX Searchlight has a pretty good track record and the film’s being co-produced by Mason Novick and Diablo Cody, so I’m pretty hopeful.
Jerry: Diablo Cody. She’s totally hot.
S.G.: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Andy: Zombies are people, too.
Tom: I miss my arm.
Jerry: Dude, you got any Playboys?

Learn more about Breathers, a dark comedy about undeath through the eyes of an ordinary zombie, at the official website: www.undeadanonymous.com.

FREE STUFF! Enter to win a personalized, autographed copy of Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament by S.G. Browne. All you have to do to enter is spread the word about Breathers and reply to this entry with the blog or message board or link where you posted, along with an e-mail where I can reach you. That’s it. (And no, I don’t add e-mails to any mailing lists unless requested.) Contest ends March 30th. Good luck!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Finally, a signing in my hometown!

Hey all,

Market Square Coffee in downtown Paducah will be hosting a signing for me at 11 a.m. May 9. We'll have a signing, door prizes, free stuff and, well, coffee.

More information to come.

Interviews Galore

I am all over the internet today!

And not in the embarrassing "inappropriate photos on Facebook" way. Check out these fun interviews with people patient enough to talk to me.

Cat and Muse

Amberkatze's Book Blog

Guest Ghoul: Stacey Jay, author of You Are So Undead to Me!

Stacey Jay here....

When Mark Henry asked me to think up something for the League blog that was both Funny and Zombie...well...I was a bit daunted. That's no small task. Mark is, as we all know, the king of Funny Zombie. As a mere handmaiden in the court of his awesome, fashion-forward, undeadness, I felt unprepared.

Minutes after accepting the blog-op, I freaked out, had an adult beverage (because even YA writers can do that...as long as we're of age in our given country and it's five o'clock somewhere), then did what any self-respecting, sleep-deprived mom would do: I turned to my children. (Because they're funny. The four year old, anyway. The one causing me sleep deprivation is only four months old and not up to Hilarity just yet. But he's working on it.)

So here are a list of Funny Zombie things my Four Year old thought should be in my next book:

1. Zombie Karaoke
Beacause Singing + Zombie = Funny




(If we could time travel, we could go to this and that would be awesome!)

2. Zombie Leprechauns
Because Zombie + Leprechaun = funny and scary



And cute!! Awww sock monkey leprechaun zombie!!



With a shamrock on its ass!!! Must have! Must!!!
(Buy it here http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=21444650)

3. Zombie Donkey
Because zombie + donkey =....ummm......zonkey?

I have to admit I wasn't wild about this one, but the idea had Four absolutely in STITCHES.

"Ha! Zombie donkey, that's so funny mama!" Convulsions of four year old hilarity ensue. "So silly! Ha! Bwuahahaha!!! Donkey! Zombie! Bwah!!"

I nodded indulgently, and told him I'd google it, secretly thinking the chances of finding zombie donkey action were pretty slim because how dumb was that? Zombie donkey? Stupid four year old. (Kidding of course!! I would never call my precious Senior Loin Fruit stupid and mean it. He is the most brilliant little critter ever and will probably cure cancer or invent something cool like fridge magnets or maybe just get really really good at video games.)

But mama got schooled big time. Look at all the zombie donkey action:

There's a t-shirt entitled "zombie donkey"



(You can buy that here: http://www.threadless.com/product/150/Zombie_Donkey#zoom)

There was a cartoon:



And there was this:



Ha! That last one made me snort coffee. Love it. Kind of want to see that kid get eaten. Just kidding again...mostly.

So there you go! Zombie + Blog + Stacey Jay = Amusing (hopefully)

For more Undead funny visit Stacey Jay at her website: http://staceyjay.com or rush right out and buy "You are So Undead to Me", Stacey's debut novel with Razorbill books, now available wherever people who think donkey zombies are funny buy books! And Amazon too!

(Disclaimer: There are no donkeys, zombie or otherwise in "You are So Undead to Me". Also, no donkeys or zombies or leprechauns or karaoke machines were harmed in the making of this blog.)

I Dream of Zombies

So today starts zombie week here at the League. And, of course, my brain decided to turn that little fact into a nightmare of epic proportions last night. Now, you might be thinking, "Wait, don't you write about vampires and demons?" Yes, I do, quite happily in fact. But there's the rub, I don't find bloodsuckers scary and the demons I write are heavily cloaked in sarcasm and humor so my innate Catholic fear of all things demonic is mollified.

But zombies? Crikey. Take my dream, for example. I was alone, driving at night through a strange town. Up ahead, I see emergency vehicles scattered across the road. I hear a radio report of strange goings on. I check my gas gauge and, finding I have half a tank, get the hell out of dodge. But then I get lost, missing my exit. And then things get really weird. My perspective shifts from one character to another each being chased by family members or friends who were infected. Each alone and terrified and literally running for their lives. And each, eventually, being bitten.

It was one of those cinematic types, full of convincing detail and fully fleshed out characters. You know the kind. They seem so real, almost palpable, and you wake up in the morning not quite sure where it leaves off and reality begins. I specifically remember waking up at 4 am wondering if I'd locked all the doors.

So all morning I've been trying to figure out why zombies scare me. Certainly, the bulk of fiction dedicated to the carnivorous bastards have been horror. With the exception of Mark's books, I can't actually think of any form of zombietainment I've encountered that hasn't been scary. Granted, Mark's books are funny, which mitigates the fear factor. But there's more to it than that: Mark's zombies are sentient.

So here's my hypothesis. Zombies are scary because they lack reason. Vampires and demons (at least the ones I enjoy writing and reading about) are thinking monsters. And anything that thinks can be outwitted. But Zombies are animalistic, driven totally by the instinct to consume. There's no talking a zombie out of their goal. Zombies, in short, represent chaos.

And isn't that something we all fear: lack of order. Our society balances precariously on the razor's edge of order. Those who threaten to shake up that order are punished for the most part. There's an inherent need for trust in our fellow humans in order to function. Take driving, for example. We all stay within the lines, follow the laws (mostly) and generally take for granted that everyone else will too. But imagine a drunk driver. Suddenly you've injected chaos into order, and the results are often tragic.

It's the same with zombies. And because we don't usually think about one lone zombie, but an exponentially expanding horde of them, it's even scarier. Imagine being one of the few remaining sentient beings on earth. Suddenly, you're not at the top of the food chain any longer. And that plump, active brain in your head is now a scarce and very valuable resource. The zombies literally want to consume the source of your reason. For me, it is not fear of death (literally losing my mind) by zombie that scares me, but the terrifying thought that if one gets me I'll lose my mind in the figurative sense.

What scares you about zombies?

All Hell is Breakin' Loose!


All this week, the League will play host to flesh eating hoardes of undead and the people who love them. There'll be guest blogs aplenty, contests, and sundry zombie madness. So swing by everyday for ghoulish gags and fiendish fun, also evil. There'll be evil. Lots.

Cheers!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Also...

For a different take on the Paranormal Bender Tour...

I'm traveloguing!

Author Photos Dos

And I'm wicked good with technology and just realized that I have the power of the black and white in my iPhoto.  So I've posted the same pics in black and white and I think there's a much clearer winner.  What do you think?
And since Cherie mentioned it, pop on over to The Biting Edge to catch Mario's action...well, at least what passes as Mario's action. I would love to have been a fly in that car during this trip!

PS He probably won't mention it, but Jailbait Zombie made #5 on the Denver Post Bestseller list!
Way to go, my friend.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

And since you asked...

(Someone asked. Down below. Just now, I totally saw it, yeah.) Yes, the Paranormal Bender Tour was a rockin' success; and now me, Mario Acevedo, Mark Henry, and Caitlin Kittredge are all safely back in our comfy little routines.* We all survived nicely, no one killed anybody, and the week-long pimping endeavor was blessedly free of drama -- while being chock-full of friendly readers, bookstore operators, and California fruit checkpoint ladies.

At the risk of appearing opportunistic, I will now point you to my post on the subject -- not because I'm trawling for traffic, but because I'm too lazy to type all that crap out again.

But you should still click it. Totally. There are pictures.
INCRIMINATING pictures.



* Read: Drinking too much at home, instead of drinking too much in exotic locations.

Fun times tomorrow night

Hey Seattle-area Leaguers ... tomorrow evening at 7:00 p.m. you'll find me and fellow Reluctant Adult Caitlin Kittredge at the Historic University Theater in the U-district. "What for?" you might ask. Well, I'll tell you: We're going to be reading our brains out, which will be highly convenient for our fellow funtime guests -- zombie improvisational comedy troup the Blood Squad.



Ten dollar cover for an hour of scary stories and hella-wacky improv. (Tickets are available at the door.) Come on down, have a drink, have a laugh or two, and keep an eye open for the hungry undead. We'll leave a light on for you.

Nicole Peeler needs YOU . . . AGAIN!

Which author photo should I use?


Thanks!

Besides "How Much Do You Weigh?", What Is....?

...the second rudest thing you can ask a woman?

"How old are you?"

#

(I know I promised this post over a week ago, but that silly Real Life thing kept me sorta busy. Better late than never, right?)

#

Everyone remember Nicole Peeler's post, This Time I'm REALLY Talking About Sex? No? Then click on the link, read it, absorb it (and don't forget the comment section). It was a fun and informative conversation that spawned a brief sidebar. Some of those comments got me thinking (and I do tend to ramble, so apologies right off).

Since, by definition, the majority of protagonists in YA are teenagers, I'm going to limit my post to adult fiction (no, not that adult fiction!) in the realms of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.

silveradept: I'm still wondering whether the generally-older age of characters in UF lends itself toward the attitude that sex is okay.
Kat Richardson: I'm not sure about the older characters though. I have noticed more characters in their thirties, but there are still a lot who are in their twenties (and if you're talking YA, they are all in their upper teens and early twenties, by default.)

The more I stare at my bookshelves, the harder-pressed I am to find a single title featuring a heroine (or hero) older than mid-thirties. And when I say that, I mean physical age, not necessarily their supernatural age (such as the two-hundred year-old vampire). The majority are in their twenties and early thirties.

Three very good reasons for that comes immediately to mind.

First, most of our heroines need to be in peak physical form in order to do their ass-kicking. Not saying a woman over forty can't kick a lot of ass (hello, Sigourney Weaver!), but it's much less common. And it's also (unfortunately) easier for us to believe in a twenty-two year-old beating a vampire to a pulp, than it is to believe in a forty-six year-old (although I don't know about anyone else, but I'd have loved to see Joyce Summers kicking some ass alongside Buffy). Physical performance, though, is an important factor in a character's age.

Second, generally if a character is under the age of eighteen, people will wonder if it's YA. Even if the subject matter and tone are not YA, the age of the protagonist can pigeon-hole a book into the wrong genre. It's amazing how many people assume their manuscript-in-progress has to be YA just because their protag is seventeen, even though they know nothing else about the requirements of the genre (because let's face it, if age was all that made a book YA, there are a lot of books out there in the wrong section of the bookstore *g*).

Third, sex. Yes, yes, I know there is sex in YA! And I also know there are different levels of graphic sex in YA. But for those of us familiar with Jeaniene Frost's One Foot in the Grave, is there a Chapter Thirty-Two in YA? (I don't know, that's why I'm asking). But beyond the question of how graphic and how often the sex, there is the question of the second party. I get a little squicked at the idea of a sixteen year-old having sex with a two-hundred year-old vampire (no matter how old he was when he was turned, and yes, on Buffy, too, soul mates or not). I care a lot less if she's twenty-two, or thirty, or forty. Age and experience, even only a few years, makes such a relationship seem more believable, and it makes a lasting relationship seem more possible (how many high school sweethearts really stay together after graduation, and how much of that has to do with one or both parties maturing?).

Readers: Do you tend to consciously notice the age of UF/PNR heroines? Do you think it affects how you perceive the character?

Writers: How much thought do you put into the age of your heroine/hero? Do you find they are typically older/younger than you are? About the same age?

Congratulations to the Vampire Trivia Contest Winner

Congratulations to Jackie Ballway, who was the first person to answer all 10 vampire trivia contest questions correctly. She gets a free signed copy of NICE GIRLS DON'T HAVE FANGS, a signed cover flat and promotional bookmarks.

For those who are curious, the correct answers are:

1) Who sired who among Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Angel, Drusilla, Spike and Darla? (Provide a complete family tree, V sired X, who sired Y, who sired Z.)

Darla sired Angel, who sired Drusilla, who sired Spike.

2) What were the names of the actors who played Lucy’s three suitors in the ill-fated 1992 version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula- also known as the movie that introduced the world to Keanu Reeves’ dread British accent.

Cary Elwes, Richard E. Grant, Billy Campbell

3) Who was the master vampire of fictional Santa Carla, California? What was his profession.

Max. Video Store Owner.

4) Who was the first vampire to appear on Buffy?

Darla

5) What is the profession of Hannibal King from the Blade comics?

Private detective

6) True or false: A German-language version of Dracula was shot on the same set of the 1932 Bela Lugosi classic, at night with bilingual actors.

False, it was a Spanish version.

7) List all members of the Cullen family, excluding Bella and Nessie, by their birth names.

Carlisle Cullen, Esme Platt, Mary Alice Brandon, Jasper Whitlock, Emmet McCarty, Rosalie Hale, Edward Masen.

8) True or false: Stephen King’s fictional town of Salem’s Lot was named after a pig.

True, King wrote that Salem's Lot was originally a farm that belonged Charles B. Tanner. One of Tanner's pigs escaped into the nearby wood lot and became feral. Tanner warned children, "Keep 'ee out o' Jerusalem's wood lot," lest the pig eat their innards out."

The guy wasn't exactly old McDonald.

Eventually, the phrase "Jerusalem's Lot" was adopted as the town name.

9) List the five Universal classic monsters that appeared in the Monster Squad.

1) Dracula, 2) Wolfman, 3) Frankenstein, 4)Mummy, 5) Creature from the Black Lagoon/Gillman.

10) How did Frank Langella’s Dracula die in the 1979 movie version?

He was hooked and dragged up a mast into the sunlight.

Thank you so much to all that participated.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Laughing AT me!

So I totally dropped the ball on my interview with Pruitt.  It's what I get for trying to get something done while in NYC, living off of cocktails and sax(ophone).  

Because I've been a naughty girl, I will let you all laugh at me by posting a rather ridiculous photo taken of me while I was in NYC.
I am really short, only 5'2".  But I am not ACTUALLY a dwarf, as this picture suggests.  My friend, who took the picture, says that her favorite part is my feet.  Which are ridiculously small, anyway, and which she managed somehow to foreshorten, along with the rest of me.  So thanks, Kristin.  And thanks to Greg, for being born really, really tall.  

So go ahead, have a good chuckle at my expense and sorry for dropping that ball.  

If you are all nice about it I might just go ahead and post the one where I'm dressed as an oompah loompah.  And yes, I did bring sexy back.  Thank you.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Vampire Trivia Contest This Friday!


I am the repository for all useless trivia. And I wish to share my burden with you.

As the calendar counts down to the big release date, March 30, I will be hosting a VAMPIRE TRIVIA CONTEST on the Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs blog.

I will post ten trivia questions based on vampire books, comics and movies at 7 p.m. (CST) Friday, March 20. Email your answers to jane.jameson@hotmail.com

The first person to send me all 10 correct answers will win a free signed copy of NICE GIRLS DON'T HAVE FANGS, a signed cover flat, and promotional bookmarks. I will ship internationally.

Any questions?

Time Travel

I'm thinking anyone who visits a site called The League of Reluctant Adults has to have considered the possibility at one time or another. Could people travel through time? Where would they go? Who would they try to meet? If this was possible, what impact would that have on the past? The future? And, perhaps most important, the variety of Blizzard flavors at Dairy Queen?

I'm not sure I'd take the leap. Grace isn't one of my virtues, and sure as the Time Guide told me to stay on the path, I'd fall off and smash a beetle. Bam. End of the world as we know it.

However, I would like to visit a few places, just to see if my theories hold. Like, I'm pretty sure many sites that seem simple and romantic now (like eighteenth century England) smelled strongly of perspiration and poo. I'd also be quite interested to see if anybody had the majority of their teeth beyond the age of twenty back then. And if I could meet anybody from history--well, I don't know. That's a lot of names to choose from. Who would you pick?

League Interview With Director Jeffrey Goodman

Nicole: Hi Jeffrey!  Great to have you here at the League.  Tell us a little about the film?



Jeffrey: Sure.  It’s entitled The Last Lullaby.  It’s co-written by the creator of The Road to Perdition and stars Tom Sizemore (who many people know from Saving Private Ryan and Black Hawk Down) and Sasha Alexander (who many people recognize from NCIS, Dawson’s Creek, and most recently the films Yes Man and He’s Just Not That Into You.



The film is about this unusual bond that is formed between a hitman and a librarian.  And if I had to put it into a category, I’d call it a crime drama.



Nicole: That’s a very UF-ey phenomenon, the “normal” (often nerdy) female protag and a rather murderous, usually supernatural male.  What was it about the original story that inspired you?



Jeffrey: I think more than anything the fact that it fit in with exactly what I was looking to do.  I’ve always wanted to make a hybrid-type film.  One that had both some commercial potential but that would also allow me to express myself and some of my more personal ambitions.  The original story offered these two things in the perfect package, I felt. 




Nicole: How did you translate that vision, those ideas and those affective responses that the original story gave you, into film?



Jeffrey: Blood, sweat, and tears.



And I just tried to surround myself with as many talented people as I could who seemed to share a similar sensibility.  Then you just trust you’re all on the same page as you leap off the cliff together.



Nicole: Just how much RESPECT AND REMUNERATION did the writer receive on your film? 



 

Jeffrey: Lots of respect.  Less renumeration.  We actually had two writers.  Both of whom were great contributors to the film.



Nicole: Oh, so they must have just had ruby and emerald filled burritos and not diamonds.  That’s okay; I enjoy the colored stone.  Anyway, How can we see your film?



Jeffrey: Funny you ask.  You can follow what is happening with the film by joining our monthly update list.  To do that, all one has to do is send an e-mail to register@thelastlullaby.com with “Register Me” in the subject of the e-mail.



And then we open the film in the Regal Cinema at the Louisiana Boardwalk on May 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.  We will have a minimum of five screenings per day.  And I will be there to introduce each screening and answer questions with the audiences following each screening.  It’s gonna be a really amazing weekend.  And I’m hoping you guys out there will come to one of the screenings.  And encourage others to do the same.



Nicole: Awesome.  I’m there.  Would you ever make a sci-fi/fantasy film? 



Jeffrey: I would never say the never word.  But I must admit, I’m not sure that’s an area where I have the sharpest chops.  But like I said, I would never say…



Nicole: I’ve been told (Ian!) that the writer gets to help “cast” the film.  Is that true, or is my film agent lying to me to keep me sweet?



Jeffrey: Um, I hate to break it to you, but I think you need to get a new agent.   No seriously, most of the time probably not.   But every film is a different beast.  It just depends on the exact arrangement that is struck between the director, producer, and writer.



Nicole: Hmmm.  Well.  Can I just wander around Hollywood insinuating I’m casting a film?  Not really?  Damn.  Fine.  Finally, and you don’t have to answer this one . . . Did Tom Sizemore crush you like a can of Fanta when you tried to “cast” him?



Jeffrey: Tom was great.  I’ve been a fan of his work for a long time, and I feel like the planets really aligned on that one.  But, I’ll be the first to admit, if we got into a fist fight, I probably wouldn’t come out the victor.



Nicole: I’d have your back, Jeffrey.  I fight like a she-devil.  Okay, more like a slightly lugubrious meerkat, but whatever.  I still got your back against Sizemore.  In the meantime, peeps, here’s a wee clip.  The best part of the video is that I know the gal hitching up Tom’s britches at one point.  Hi Caryn!  Lovely lass.



THE LAST LULLABY CLIP



Film looks fantastic, Jeffrey, and I can’t wait to see it.  Thanks for sitting down with us here at the League.  Any questions for Jeremy?  Go ahead and ask in comments.  I'm sure he'll be kind enough to respond.  Or I'll just make up answers! ;-)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Damn it feels good to be a pantser

So yes, last night I finished the third Downside book, and I'm mourning over on my own blog, so you can pop over and check out my insecure whining and self-pity there if you like.

But something really cool happened Saturday night, and even cooler last night, and I'm still quite pleased about it.

While writing part of the Climactic Battle scene Saturday night, I suddenly realized that I'd earlier skirted just up to the edge of something with my Bad Guy. I'd hinted at it but hadn't come out with it.

Because I didn't know.

I'd played "Show, don't tell" with MYSELF.

And once I realized the thing about him, I not only had a HUGELY more exciting climax, and a HUGELY creepier book (once I go back and hint more strongly), but a title for the book: DEVOURER OF GHOSTS. Which is so awesome.

I don't know how this happens.

Last night as I wrote the second half of the Huge Climactic Battle, I had my heroine doing something which she would normally do; a bit of magic that's part of her job. But I realized--actually, I don't even think I realized it, it just popped onto the page--that because of an earlier plot point, her action was much different than normal; had a much different source and effect.

Now, I thought I'd used that plot point already to its fullest potential. Not so. Not at all. The implications of it struck me as soon as that sentence was on the page, and suddenly I had something even bigger, something none of the characters had ever done or experienced. Ever. It wasn't a permanent change in her, but it was a Big Deal.

I don't know how that happened either.

But this is the thing I love about pantsing. Were I a planner I might have come up with that in the outlining or whatever stages. It's possible, sure. It was there in my head, after all. But somehow outlining never feels organic to me; I never feel, as I open my doc and get ready to type, that anything could happen and that I better be on the ball lest I get totally whiplashed by something and miss the chance to do something really, really special.

That isn't at all to say that outliners don't write exciting books; that's not even implied, not at all. Just that for me, the writing itself isn't as exciting, and that I live for those little "Oh! OMG!" moments when everything snaps into place.

It occurred to me not long ago that although I don't plan in advance, I generally do have some idea where the story is going. It may only be a particular climactic moment or scene, but I do have *some* idea of what the final battle will be. I never know who the bad guy is, though. So while I don't plan, I do know where I'm going and so have some idea what sorts of clues I need to plant or whatever.

But how those clues work, how a careless line of dialogue suddenly jumps back into my head later and becomes that basis for a whole plot-twist, or how a throwaway character suddenly becomes hugely important... I don't know how it happens. Honestly I'm afraid to think about it too much because I might drive it away.

I do often have to go back in and insert clues relating to the specific Bad Guy, or rather, I sometimes have to go in and beef up his/her presence in the novel so readers aren't like "Huh? Who the hell is that?" But in general the clues just appear; since I know what my bad guy is doing, essentially, I can come up with stuff that points to their plot pretty easily.

I start a book when I have a good idea of the characters and world, and at least a vague idea of the main conflict. Since most of my books start with a mystery, it's usually pretty easy for me to set that up: Look, there's a dead body. Introduce some characters. Do a little worldbuilding. Boom, suddenly we're a good 20k into the book and now new ideas are popping up, and we're off to the races. And once the book is done I reread it, and make notes about dropped clues or fine-tune the ones that are there, and it's done.

I don't know how it happens. But I'm so grateful that it does. And that's the other half of my so-sad-to-be-finished post.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Where in the World Is....

Mario and gang. I keep expecting pictures or a blog entry or SOMETHING!! Where are they?



Did you guys catch Castle? Any comments. Overall, I liked it. A few clinkers, like the detective handling evidence with her bare hands, but Nathan was great. Loved James Patterson and Steven Cannell as his poker playing friends. Rumor has it that Sue Grafton and Stephen King may make cameo appearances in later episodes.

Now for some good news/bad news.

As my writer friends can attest—nothing is better than a story that is going well. I find myself in that happy situation now. I’m working on the sixth book, Chosen, and I can’t type fast enough. It’s scary. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that I’ve devoted much less time to accumulating blog stuff. So this issue will be abbreviated—we’re going to visit Michele Bardsley and J. F. Lewis in their lairs. And I’m going to remind you of the contest at the end, but that’s pretty much going to be it for this week.

There is one other thing. I’m running out of Leaguers for this feature. So here’s the deal: How about letting me know whose writers’ rooms you’d like to see next. I’ll contact the authors and see if they’d care to participate. Put your suggestions in the comment section, I’ll do the rest.

So here we go:

Michele says: I'm always behind, but between my supplemental websites for the series and fans along with writing new proposals and doing massive rewrites, AND single motherhood, I'm surprised I remember how to breathe.

Here are the photos of the office, well, it's a corner of my bedroom. LOL.
I snapped that second photo after Cassanova made an appearance, and I had started clean up. Notice that I didn't actually clean up for the first photo. LOL.






I say: How can you tall the difference? Except for Cassanova, of course, who is really cute, and the trophy on the stack of books. What is that by the way? It looks like a cross between an Emmy and an Oscar.

J.F. (Jeremy) Lewis says: Two versions one with an "orb" and one without.






I repied: what is an orb? To which J.F. replied: The short version: an orb is backscatter that presents itself in photos as circular shapes not present in the picture. Paranormal investigator types feel this is a sign of ghostly stuff, but really, it's just a technological weirdness.

Okay—really, I should have made both of these writers’ spaces into one of those kids games: How many things can you spot that are different in picture 1 than picture 2. Go ahead and do it if you have the time...

Now a reminder about the contest.

Answer this question in 250 words or less:

If you could spend one unbridled night with any fictional character in the world, who would it be? Why? What would you do?



Prizes: Legacy, Many Bloody Returns, magnets and pens from me—Jailbait Zombie, buttons and a devil duck from Mario. Deadline: Midnight Sat. March 21—Mario and I constitute the panel of judges and our decision is final (that sounds SO official, doesn’t it?) The winner will be announced on the Biting Edge March 26—

Now, I’ve gotten a few entries with just names and addresses. I think what we have here is a lack of communication. For such a fabulous cache of prizes, you have to work.

Send your entries to: Jeanne@jeannestein.com
In the subject line, please put “contest”

So, that's it for this week. Your assignments, should you care to accept, are:

#1 Send me author names for the Writers' Rooms feature

#2 Enter the contest

This message will self-destruct in thirty seconds....

Friday, March 13, 2009

Freaking Awesome Friday!!

Hey Everybody!

I have a special guest interview with the fab-a-lous Jaye Wells, author of RED-HEADED STEPCHILD, on my blog:

singleundeadfemale.blogspot.com/2009/03/special-guest-interview-jaye-wells.html

And Bitten By Books is hosting a contest, where you could win a free, signed copy of NICE GIRLS DON'T HAVE FANGS, a signed cover flat, bookmarks and that tastebud defying Southern delicacy, RC and a case of Moonpies! Enter before 3 p.m. March 14.

bittenbybooks.com/?p=5010

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Revenge of the Band Geek

I had a pretty long "awkward adolescent" phase.

It should be over any day now.

I wasn't exactly Carrie White in high school, but somehow, working for the student newspaper and playing the tuba in the marching band didn't result in wild popularity.

People say that high school is the best time of your life. I say high school is what you spend the rest of your life in therapy for. So imagine the downright tingly feelings of vindication I felt when my high school newspaper called to ask if I would give an interview on the books.

This is the moment all band geeks rehearse for all their lives, revenge on the people who didn't think they were funny in high school. I pictured myself starting the interview off with "Suck it, haters, now I'm PAID to be funny." But student reporter Jordan Price was just too nice and organized to be treated to that.

So I was honest. I confessed to my "middle of the road" social status, praised the English teachers who made a huge difference in my life, and advised the kids that life gets so much better after graduation.

And Jordan's mom made quesadillas for us during the interview. So, really, it was my favorite interview ever.

So what about you, leaguers? What was the sign that you'd officially "arrived?" What is your revenge fantasy now that you're famous and fabulous authors? Tell me all about it.

Welcome Back To The Day After Yesterday

So I had this book come out on Tuesday and I suppose I should have been all over the place shouting about it (You can read the first chapter of ReVamped over in the forums, BTW), but instead I've been mostly knuckled down trying to get book three ready to ship off to my agent so that Shawna can whip out her mystic evaluator and say "It's perfect" or "Needs a few fixes" or "OMFG! Why the hell am I your agent? What is wrong with you? Why did you write this? I may be sick."

And I suppose that I could be writing something clever about why I think that a vampire car would get more miles to the gallon if it was running on an oil executive's blood or why it's really funny to have a vampire break up a prostitute ring run by pint-sized vampiric pimps, but I'm not.

Can you tell that I like to bury the lead?

Instead, I wanted to take a moment to be amazed by the impact fans can have on the venues they love. I'm not sure how many of you read Realms of Fantasy, but it's a cool magazine* that almost died. I say "almost" because there was enough of an uproar when the publisher declared it was closing, that they managed to find a buyer for the magazine and it looks like, in the end, the magazine will only miss two issues.

How cool is that?

One day everything is all doom and gloom and then BOOM! False alarm! More cool stuff is on the way. Nobody panic! Welcome back to the status quo.

There are always stories about fan efforts to save television shows. Sometimes they work and the show comes back on (Star Trek, Futurama, etc) or the fan support makes a movie possible (Serenity a.k.a. Firefly: The Motion Picture), but I am incredibly impressed that readers can do the same darn thing.

You have the power! You're like super-heroes and stuff. You can fly!!! Not without mechanical assitance, but still...

So the next time you purchase a novel or a magazine, remember how powerful an act that is. You're becoming a patron of the arts. Rock on, patrons! Without you we're just crazy people typing away on our laptops. :)

(*- In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that Shawna McCarthy, the editor of Realms of Fantasy is my agent, but then again it's not as if she's purchased any of my short stories... so I'm thinking it's not all that big of a conflict.)

Hollywood Week Teaser

Today is just a teaser, or perhaps I should call it a PREVIEW, of what I’m going to be doing next week.  For next week will be Hollywood Week here at the League, in honor of my film rights agent, Ian Polonsky, of McIntosh and Otis.  Who has promised me MILLIONS OF DOLLARS, all the GOLD-PLATED CAVIAR I can eat, and a HUMMER LIMO THAT DRIPS EXTRA GASOLINE ONTO THE PAVEMENT, because that’s HOW RICH I will be when Tempest Rising is turned into a mega-blockbuster starring Charlize Theron as Jane (she’ll hunch!) and Tom Cruise as Ryu (we’ll stick him in a pair of stacks!).  Tom Cruise, after all, can play ANY vampire.  It may APPEAR to be inappropriate casting, we may even FEEL it’s inappropriate casting while we watch it, but we are ALL just being glib.  



In honor of Hollywood Week, I’m going to be doing two things.  First I will be telling you about a movie starring Tom Sizemore that was made by a Shreveport native and that was shot entirely in the Shreveport area.  Jeffrey Goodman is one gutsy guy who took a huge risk on something he feels very passionate about.  So I’ll be talking to him about the project, asking him some questions, and generally getting a feeling for just HOW important the writer is, on a project like that.  I imagine they’re VERY IMPORTANT.  Right?



After I sit down with Jeremy, I’m going to be turning my oh-so-fickle attention over to Pruitt Taylor Vince, who you all know.  Believe me.  He’s been in pretty much every movie or TV show ever made.  Seriously.  IMDB him.  He’s.  In.  Everything.  Including a lot of fantasy/sci-fi vehicles, such as Constantine, the Cell, the Highlander series, X-Files, and Quantum Leap. 

 



Pruitt started as LSUS’s Artist in Residence at the same time that I started as an assistant professor.  Imagine my surprise when I sat down at our faculty orientation, the first day, and found myself across from someone I could swear I’d seen drink himself to death at the behest of that hot rockstar married to that even hotter blonde lady-rocker (I’m bad with celebrity).  Anyway, Pruitt was Only Acting, and wasn’t dead, which is really great because, along with Robert Alford and Mary Jarzabek (our other intrepid directors), LSUS’s Black Box Theater is doing some amazing stuff that we’re all very proud of.



So I’ll be sitting down with Pruitt and asking him about what it’s like to act out the shit we UF/F/Sci-Fi nerds dream up.  After all, the great thing about books is your imagination is the limit.  But then movies and TV shows have to trail behind us, figuring out how to make real what we have fantasized.  I’ll also ask him some hard hitting questions about how awesome the writers in Hollywood are, about how much respect and REMUNERATION writers receive, and about the real perks of being in the film industry.  Like the casting couch.  Ian says that I don’t just get my own PLATINUM ENCRUSTED PONTIFICATION ROOM (which will be stocked with at least TEN REFRIGERATORS full of CRISTAL and DIAMOND-FILLED MICROWAVE BURRITOS), a JAGUAR, and a WARDROBE designed exclusively for me by BETSEY JOHNSON and tailored by the nimble fingers of specially trained TALKING RACCOONS (who are covered in BETSEY BLING).  Besides these things, Ian says that I also get to “cast” the male leads.  It’s going to be a long, arduous process, requiring gratuitous amounts of Cool Whip.  But I was never one to shirk my responsibilities.



So that’s what’s coming, next week!  Puns, as always, are entirely intended.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Joke's on Me

My dad was the jokemeister. Every time I came to visit he'd meet me at the door with a one-liner. He's been gone eleven years now, but I like to think some of his humor lives on in my books. I miss trading jokes though. So I've got one for you.

Why did the chicken cross the road? To show the possum it could be done.

Too lame? Okay, how about this one?

What do you call a werewolf with mange? Human.

Or . . .

Two cannibals were eating a clown. One said to the other, "Does this taste funny to you?"

Didja groan? That was the point, silly! Now you've gotta outdo me! Hit me, baby, I'm ready for some giggles!

This Time I'm REALLY Talking About Sex

So everyone keeps talking about the five-minute sex scene, replete with blue wang, in Watchmen.  Keeping in mind that I have a refrigerator magnet that declares, “I Heart Porn,” (it is helping my Xena magnet hold up a wedding invite at the moment), this has done nothing to decrease my desire to see the film.



In the meantime, a lot of people brought up the fact that UF tends to be sexy in their comments to my post about what IS urban fantasy.  My own editor, gods bless her, called my series, “Horny.”  She wasn’t referring to my Satyr, although Caleb does sport very large horns, indeed.



I’ve also made mention of my lovely student and VOXer, Kayla Beck, who, when I told her I wrote UF, said, “Is that hor-mance, like Anita Blake?”  I nearly cried laughing.  It was the perfect appellation.  I told her to stick comic before horror and romance, and you had my book in a nutshell, sistah.  



Not all UF, of course, has the sexysexy.  That said, I gotta admit I like my UF with sex.  I’m sorry, but I do.  I don’t HAVE to have the sex, but I enjoy the sex.  Then again, I think most things in life are better when integrated with sex.  Which would make me a public nuisance if I weren’t so petty bourgeois that I am more afraid of the po-po than I am set on combining otherwise innocuous activities (Driving! Fishing!  Getting the mail!) with sex.  



Which all leads me to my question.  My book is definitely not romance.  There’s never going to be an HEA ending (in fact, I’m going to have a highly ironized HEA parody), and Jane is one tough cookie, when it comes to relationships.  She is not impressed by some big Alpha male show of dominance as love.  We’re going to see her falling for people, but never falling so hard she loses Jane.  And yet, if I’m honest, my book is very romanc-ey.  There’s dancing, and there’s sex, and there are at least two dates.  There’s even a moonlight picnic, and a gratuitous sugar daddy shopping scene (it’s really part of an investigation and it’s the only way they can get the Succubus to talk).  



So my books are sexy and romanc-ey UF.  They’re comic hor-mance!  But, speaking of Anita Blake, I’ve heard a lot of people say that all the sex ruined that series.  I don’t feel that way (see my refrigerator magnet), but I do hear it a lot.  I don’t know if that’s because of the amount of sex, period, in those books, or because of the rather dramatic change in position (ha!) regarding sex that Anita makes during the series.  In other words, I wonder whether some readers out there resent the sex?  Do you think writers, like me, who inject (ha!) sex into their series are doing a disservice to UF?  Or are we merely writing a sub-sub-genre (the sexysexy UF) of our sub-genre that is urban fantasy?  If you actually don’t mind, and read both quite happily, what’s your favorite euphemism?  Least favorite?

Monday, March 9, 2009

We're Outtie D!

In 12 hours, The Paranormal Bender Tour rolls out of Washington and into a town near you (assuming you live in one of the 6 cities we're visiting). So I've been packing (swag, prizes, toiletries and such) printing up little maps, setting up Mario's bed (which my parents delivered, and I think I'm going to keep because...

1. It's in my office, and...

2. Naps

So, I know what you're thinking, what does it all mean Mark? What it means is, since I have a computer that took it upon itself to eschew wifi, I won't be very visible or responsive until the 17th. But when I'm back, expect pictures and video of the debauchery. Why, there's even been talk of a...

Paranormal Bender Reality Show!

Until then, take solace in these photos from the signing event this past weekend, which was much fun and replete with vulgarity, emo bangs, and mighty sales pitches!

Look! Heathens!



And...

The gang at the Tukwila Barnes and Noble made a poster and ordered lots and lots of books that they promise they won't return. It was awesome. I even got to do one of my favorite things. Harass customers in the sci-fi/fantasy aisle. Also, dirty readings were employed to lure prospective buyers out of the woodwork.

We have no shame.

Anyways, you know where you need to be if you want to get in on some of this hot action! Get out to the Paranormal Bender Tour! We'll make it worth your while (I mean we put out).

See ya 'round.

I may just twitter from my phone. So follow along there.

Interview with Renee!

Renee George of Romance-the-Night.com was kind enough to interview me for her video blog. It was a really fun interview. We had a good time.

http://romance-the-night.com/Renee_George/?page_id=444

By the way, OMG, my accent. I had no idea it was that bad!! Why didn't anyone tell me!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

LRA Book Club #2

Spoiler-free discussions start Monday, March 9.


This is a BYOCW* party.








*(bring your own color wheel)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Contest/Writers' Rooms 4/Random Thoughts

Hello- Jeanne here.

This week we drop in on Michelle Rowen, Jackie Kessler and Molly Harper to invade their sacred writing spaces

BUT

First things first: CONTEST ALERT!





Take a look at this FABulous cache of prizes. Not one, not two, but THREE books, a set of book cover magnets, pens, pins, and if that isn’t enough—a DEVIL DUCK!!!!

Now for such a GRAND prize, you are going to have to work. Here’s the deal. Answer this question in 250 words or less:

If you could spend one unbridled night with any fictional character in the world, who would it be? Why? What would you do?

Prizes: Legacy, Many Bloody Returns, magnets and pens from me—Jailbait Zombie, buttons and a devil duck from Mario. Deadline: Midnight Sat. March 21—Mario and I constitute the panel of judges and our decision is final (that sounds SO official, doesn’t it?) The winner will be announced on the Biting Edge March 26— and of course here on March 28.

Leaguers are eligible to participate so let's see how much you REALLY like your characters.

Send your entries to: Jeanne@jeannestein.com
In the subject line, please put “contest”

Speaking of Jailbait, go here to see Mario’s clever Lego book trailer! It’s a good thing he has such talented sons. I want to know who the cigar-smoking chump was in the beginning. I say chump because he let Mario go. What was he thinking? And if he really wanted to make some money, he could have auctioned off the opportunity to rip that duct tape off Mario's mouth on Ebay. Missed a big chance there.

Next some ramblings from a deranged mind (did I steal that from somebody? If I did, sorry.)

This time, I'm not talking about Mario, by the way. These are bits and pieces that floated in and out of my universe in the past week.

This Dave Coverly cartoon that appeared in last Sunday's Parade Magazine.



The cover for the fifth Anna book, Retribution, out in September.



Cover for the third Anna book coming out in Germany next month (in Deutsche: Dark Kiss).


Castle –don’t forget to tune in on Monday! Who would want to miss a chance to see Captain Hammer in action!


Dead Like Me DVD Movie –anybody see it? Loved the TV show.
How about Watchmen? Don't think I'll get out to see it this weekend so I'd love reports from those who do.


No pics, just thoughts:

Reaper is back! Yippee!

Lost - This week's episode was the best yet.

Now, without further commercial interruption, I give you Writers' Rooms, Part IV!

Michelle Rowen said: Here's my writing area. Well, I normally write on the couch, but this is where I SHOULD be writing. Note Puppet Angel.







I say: ARE YOU KIDDING ME? NOTE the Angel Puppet? Is there anything else of interest in this photo? Do you play out scenes in your book with Angel? Especially love scenes? Don't EVER move away from this desk! The Whedon force will be with you.






Jackie Kessler said: Okay, here are two of my messy desk. The first shows just what a slob I am.
The second is a close up of the duckie bulletin board one of my readers sent me (hi, Becci!), my Morpheus statue (all hail Neil Gaiman) and my pics of me and Loving Husband and of my two Precious Little Tax Deductions.
















I say: I like the bulletin board, but my question is: why is it empty? Did you remove everything incriminating from it for this pic? An empty bulletin board is highly suspicious. I want to see what it was that you are afraid to share. Come on, Jackie, just because you are known as one of the nicest people in UF (modesty prevents me from identifying the other who shares that gracious title, but I'll give you a hint. Her initials are: Jeanne Stein), doesn't mean we don't understand that a woman needs her writing prompts. Like pictures of naked men. We won't think any the less of you. Trust me.

Molly Harper says: Here's my little "workspace." It's my couch. I also work from my bed, but somehow posting pictures of my bed online seemed sort of skeezy. I love that it's comfortable and there's great light in the living room. But I hate that it's in the middle of the house. I can't shut a door and get some privacy when my family is running around. If we ever move, I'm going to commandeer some little corner of the house as an office.




I say: Looks like a damned comfortable couch. I do have a question, though. Like Jackie's empty bulletin board, that space between those two pictures...what USUALLY hangs there that you were embarrassed for us to see? Still life of you in the nude? A giant framed poster of David Hasselhof? Or is it even more insidious? You can't fool me-- I saw Rosemary's Baby!


Well, I think I've taken up enough of your time for this week. Before I ramble off, though, I have a question for Mark Henry:

For godsake, tell me, which picture did you choose?



Don't forget to spring ahead with your clocks tonight!

See you Thursday at The Biting Edge and back here next Saturday--

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

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