Who the HELL Do We Think We Are?
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
Fans and followers of Literary Escapism have probably seen this, but I figured it deserved its own post right here on the League blog. Jackie (not our Jackie, LE's Jackie) is hosting a New Authors Mini-Challenge with League authors as, um, victims? No, that's not right. Targets? No... Anyway.... Run over here to read all about it!
Nutshell: From February 1-28, 2010, read up to five Leaguers you haven't read before and post a review online during that month.
And freebies! Don't forget freebies! There are prizes being offered for participating.
If you're reading this, I assume you've read at least one of us. But with twenty Reluctant Adults in the asylum, finding a couple you haven't read and giving them a try should be easy. I will hang my head in shame and admit I haven't read every single Leaguer (*eyes the evil TBR pile*). This is a great excuse to dig into those books I've been meaning to get to.
Although if there are fans out there who have read every currently-available book by all of us...dude, you need a Super League Fan t-shirt or something. *grin*
So what are you waiting for? Get thee to a bookstore and prepare yourself for the Challenge!
When I was done, he said, "Wow, that's dark."
So that got me to pondering: What's too dark? Is there such a thing? Are taboos meant to be broken (in the literary world)? Or are they there for a reason?
Yes, this is what I think about on a Saturday night.
P.S. When did we get switchblades? Did I miss a meeting?
1. Her costume must have straps. Don't tell me Wonder Woman didn't spend half her work day worrying about falling out of that ridiculous getup. Seriously. Nobody's boobs are big enough to hold up a strapless onesie when the fists are flying.
2. She cannot wear three-inch heels. Never mind the medical implications to the tendons, high heels won't allow her to run without risking serious ankle injury, plus as soon as she transitions from concrete to grass, she's sunk. Literally.
3. It's okay for her to cry. Not much, but some, because that's how girls relieve stress. However, she must then turn around and beat the crap out of some psycho right afterward. Because that's an even better way to relieve stress.
You guys got anything to add?
10. The Tonight Show with… The League of Reluctant Adults
This one is a no-brainer. We just share it. Though to be honest, I think Jeanne, Mario, and Mark should get most of the face time. If you guys have had the chance to listen to Mark Henry really cut loose on a panel. Squee! We could all take turns bringing in great bands that would never get tapped for The Tonight Show otherwise and we’d try to interview Mike Mignola, Joss Whedon, and Neil Gaiman at least once a month. :)
9. The Tonight Show with… Bruce Dickinson and Nicko McBrain
Okay, so maybe I'm the only one who cares, but Bruce is the lead singer of Iron Maiden and he and Nicko are main reason I keep buying Iron Maiden DVDs. I just love to hear them talk. Unleashed upon a nightly dose of Hollywood celebrities and I can’t help but think the ratings would soar.
8. The Tonight Show with... Terry Gross
Just call it Fresh Air on the Air. WHYY's interviewer might lack a little of the funny, but I listen to every episode of her Philadelphia-based radio show without fail. Her interviews are insightful and engaging. Plus, her show turned me on to Nellie McKay and her interview with Gene Simons… wow, let's just say Ms. Gross can really hold her own with a guy (who in that interview anyway) comes off as one of the most obnoxious men I've ever heard use English.
7. The Tonight Show with... Whil Wheaton
Wesley Crusher aside, Mr. Wheaton is one funny man. Whether he's playing 4th Edition on a podcast, blogging, appearing on Big Bang Theory, or on webisodes of Felicia Day's The Guild, he doesn't disappoint. Cut that man loose in late night with celebrity guests and the fun won’t stop until the network shut him down.
6. The Tonight Show with... Mark Hamill
As long as he started every episode with "Hello, kiddies!" using his Joker voice, this Star Wars Jedi turned Clown Prince of Crime voice actor couldn’t help but be a blast.
5. The Tonight Show with... Alethea Kontis
New York Times Bestselling Author of cool short stories, essays, THE DARK-HUNTER COMPANION, and (far more importantly to my two boys) ALPHA OOPS: THE DAY Z WENT FIRST and the forthcoming ALPHA OOPS: H IS FOR HALLOWEEN. Anyone who has met Lee or attended any of her readings (particularly Princess Alethea’s Travelling Sideshow at Dragon*Con last year) knows exactly why she's in my top picks. And I won't even get into the how much easier on the eyes she is than Conan O'brien or Jay Leno.
4. The Tonight Show with… Doctor Who... um, I mean... David Tennant
Sure it would never happen and I think we'd all rather have Mr. Tennant spend his time acting, so we can enjoy his post-Doctor Who acting career, but like NBC is going to even read this list...
3. The Tonight Show with... Lou Anders
Is there a cool Sci-fi franchise with which Lou doesn't have some connection? He's a multiple Hugo Award nominee, the editorial director of Pyr, and an all around cool guy. While I doubt we'd be seeing quite so much monologue at the front of the show, it would be replaced by what I’m certain would be truly engaging Q&A. He might even deliver an appearance by THE MOUNTAIN GOATS!
2. The Tonight Show with... Simon Cowell
NBC could never afford him and I doubt he'd be interested, but this is the guys who turned down 100 million dollars to sat on American Idol and to be honest, he's the reason I tune in. Can you imagine the cringes of various celebs whenever Simon broke out one of his trademark, "If I’m being honest"s?
1. The Tonight Show with... Kevin Smith
Do I even have to go into how awesome it would be to watch this pot smoking potty mouthed funny man smiling cherubically as he tried to get guests to answer questions about religion, movies, and sexual hijinks? Seriously, watch any of his An Evening with Kevin Smith DVD's and you’ll see how great a host he would be.
Okay, so obviously there are tons of other cool folks who should be on the list. Who would you pick?
Nicole: Hello, League! I know I haven't done an interview in a while, after someone's lawyer claimed I try to "set her client on fire" because I'm trying to kill off the League's possible competition. Whatever! Such slander! It wasn't my fault there was a bucket of gasoline dripping above her head. Or that I had just taken up smoking. A series of coincidences! Nothing more! But I'm gonna get back into the interviews, now that legal says I'm good to go. In a few weeks, I'm going to launch a "Everybody's Writin' YA Including Yo' Momma" blog event, but for right now, I'd like to introduce one of the NEWEST Urban Fantasists in town, Mizzzzzzzzz Carolyn Crane! Hi Carolyn!
Carolyn: Hi Nicole! Thanks so much for having me. Wow, it's really gloomy in here. Is this your league clubhouse or something like that?
Nicole: Gloomy, what are you talking about? The decor is torture chic! It's the newest thing in Sweden. Philistine. Anyway, why don't you tell us about yourself?
Carolyn: Well, I live in Minneapolis with my husband. I love animals, and Mexican food, running. I write advertising to pay the rent, which involves long meetings and also sitting in my bathtub for hours thinking of slogans and ideas for ads, which sounds way funner than it is. Fiction feels so freeing in comparison, because I can play and be wild. I write my books longhand, but this year I really want to break myself of that, and also try to be a less slobby person. I have many plans to improve myself this year.
Nicole: That's awesome! I totally hear you on the self improvement. If my thighs get any bigger they'll be studded with cloves and roasted like hams. In the meantime, though, have you seen an iron maiden? We have one in the corner . . . I've heard they're GREAT for, um, meditation and stuff . . .
Carolyn: Meditation? Ouch! Why does it have sharp spikes? This doesn't seem relaxing at all, Nicole. Maybe if you guys made the ends soft and rubbery, it would massage your back but this…
Nicole: Fine, whatever. Not everyone wants the sort of clear head and inner peace that only an iron maiden can give you. Can you tell us what's the thing you're most looking forward to about being published?
Carolyn: I’m both insanely excited and SO nervous about my release this March. I’ve been writing books forever, and I can’t believe somebody is going to print one up and sell it now. And the idea some reader I don’t know might buy and enjoy my book, that some little item I put in that amused me way back when might amuse them, it’s awesome. I feel so lucky.
Nicole: That fantastic! It's sort of how I feel about this piece of furniture, right here. Some people call it a "rack," but on Ikea it's called an "avsöndring." If you just put your feet in here . . . and your hands in here . . . move over La-z-boy!
Carolyn: Really? This is from Ikea? Gosh. *awkward silence * The Europeans really come up with some strange furniture, don't they? * nervous laugh, more awkward silence.* Um, do you mind if I sit in this chair instead?
Nicole: What, you don't like comfortable seating? Are you some kind of ascetic? Is that what you're telling me? Fine, while you're all uncomfortable over there on that boring old chair, you can just go ahead and tell me what happened when you got "the call."
Carolyn; When my agent called to ask to represent me, in a way, that was the big call to me. I was in my office and I saw that 212 area code and I almost fainted. She was like, can I represent you? Do you want to think about it? And I was falling all over myself to say yes before she changed her mind. And soon, potato chips, pizza and wine were involved. Really, it was sort of magical.
Nicole: I don't suppose I can get you to stick your head through this noose?
Carolyn: Umm, it seems sort of dangerous. Are you researching your next book or something?
Nicole: Never mind. *sighs* Have you celebrated your deal?
Carolyn: Weirdly, not really. Of course I'm thrilled, but there was never a clear cut “I’ve got it, let’s party!” moment. Everything was incremental or conditional—involving, for example, a difficult decision between publishers, or another round of revisions, or suddenly you have to do this. The carrot keeps being just out in front of my nose. Hmm. Clearly I need to celebrate more.
But then, there are tons of unexpected great smaller things, like this! Finally being interviewed on the League, and you all being so friendly and welcoming.
Nicole: We are friendly and welcoming, aren't we! We rarely, if ever, try to kill people! Would you be willing to testify to that in court? *Carolyn shrugs, noncommittally* AWESOME! I think I like you, Miss Carolyn! Can Tell us about your project?
Carolyn: Well, my heroine Justine is a hopeless hypochondriac. But then this tortured mastermind (who is also, of course, super handsome and mysterious) peers into her psyche and really appreciates her freak amount of fear. He makes her a deal: he’ll help her rechannel her fear to battle depraved and paranormal criminals as part of his psychological hit squad.
At first, Justine enjoys the glamorous, thrilling world of neurotic crimefighters, even though she’s more like Monk than Anita Blake. Things go south when she wades into strange secrets, moral dilemmas and forbidden love - with a dashing crime boss with a penchant for opera and paranoia about brain hemorrhages. Oh, what to do, what to do… and how to keep the city from sliding into a bloodbath.
Nicole: So you got a bunch of neurotic super agents falling in weird OCD love with each other? That's hilarious! I love it! AND you're willing to be my star witness! They'll never make the charges stick with you in my corner! That makes me so happy, I have an offer for you . . . How would you like to join the League of Reluctant Adults?
Carolyn: Really? Hey, I'd love to! Wow! And I'll totally testify as a star witness. Who in their right mind would bring charges against you for anything? Obviously you are a deeply compassionate person who wouldn't hurt a fly.
Nicole: EXACTLY! See, I'm just misunderstood! And we're super excited to have you. Just don't let Mark con you into combing his pubes to get the crabs out. He just likes the feel of the plastic on his skin. And you are not responsible for washing Jaye's underthangs. Or Dakota's hair pieces. Nor are you responsible for anybody's sponge baths. Except maybe my own...
And that, my friends, is how the League won it's newest member . . .
He he . . . Nicole wrote "member" . . .
Umm... (ouch, stop poking me, Mark!) So yeah, hi... my name is Kat and I'm a reluctant adult.
I didn't used to be a reluctant adult. Oh, no. Let me tell you, back when I was eight or so, I was all ready to do that, but, you know, eventually it just became a massive burden. But then it was too late. I was wearing suits and heels, jockeying a desk, going out for lunches, and all that adult stuff. It really pissed my fifth grade teacher off. We had a talk. You know:
But it didn't help. In fact, nothing helped until I hit college. that's when I met my best friend in the fight against adulthood: drinking. And its buddy procrastination. And I've been working that team like a plow horse ever since.
Now, alas, I do occasionally have to act like an adult, put on the suit and heels, take a lunch....
But I make sure I take my buddies along.
May I have another whiskey, please?
I just did a fun interview with the fabulous Christine at Over the Edge. She's giving away two copies of Nice Girls Don't Live Forever. The giveaway is open until Jan. 24. Good luck!
Jackie Kessler Enters The Buffyverse
The February edition of "MySpace Dark Horse Presents” will introduce a new writer to the comic book field, dark fantasy/supernatural romance author Jackie Kessler, who will pen a short "Tales of the Vampires" episode of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8" titled "Carpe Noctem." Kessler, whose novels include "Hell's Bells,""Black and White," and several Young Adult titles under the name Jackie Morse Kessler, is joined on the comic by artist Paul Lee.
Winners of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association's 2010 Book Awards, which were selected from more than 200 nominated titles by Northwest authors and published in 2009, are:
The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt & the Fire that Saved America by Timothy
Egan (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
The Collector: David Douglas and the Natural History of the
NorthwestJack Nisbet (Sasquatch Books)
Boneshaker by Cherie Priest (Tor)
The Crying Tree by Naseem Rakha (Broadway)
All in a Day by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Nikki McClure (Abrams
Books for Young Readers)
Diana Rowland's SECRET OF THE DEMON, three more books in the series that began with MARK OF THE DEMON, plus three books in a new urban fantasy series about a young woman who is turned into a zombie and takes a job as a morgue technician for easy access to brains, to Betsy Wollheim at Daw...in a six-book deal, by Matt Bialer at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates.
Congratulations to all.
We all made it out alive, but just barely.
During that time, I used being trapped by frigid, icy weather, in the dark, to get in the right frame of mind to write 20 (longhand) pages of a werewolf romance set in Alaska. My agent just sold the still-untitled werewolf book to Pocket Star. And just as I started writing the sequel, also set in Alaska... it started snowing heavily in Paducah.
My first thought: If I have to sleep in someone else's living room again, one of us isn't getting out alive.
Though it snowed heavily for two days and the temperates stayed in the 10 to 20 degree range (almost unheard of for our area), the power has stayed on.
Maybe I should take a day or two off from writing... just so I don't jinx myself into another outage.
For now, here's a little preview of Mo, my new paranormal heroine. Mo Duvall-Wenstein is the child of unapologetic hippie helicopter parents. Sick of their constant phone calls, their manipulations, their tendency to go through her fridge and throw out her lunch meat and Ho-Hos, Mo makes an impromptu move from Mississippi to Grundy, Alaska. It's as far as she can go without changing her citizenship. Despite being welcomed into the community and the position of "head chef" at the local saloon, Mo is immediately at odds with reticent werewolf field guide, Cooper Graham. And here is an example of a typical interaction between them.
(You'll have to scroll down a little.)
Which may be why I became a writer. Purely out of self defense.
So, while we're in self-discovery mode, tell me...why did you choose your particular career?
I'm not much of a public speaker, and Nicole can probably tell you how nervous I was about doing that one panel at Dragon*Con, so this should be quite the...experience. So if you live in the Philadelphia/Wilmington/Western New Jersey area (it's right off 95), come by and see me. Buy a book, even!
January 9th, 2010, 1:00pm
Barnes & Noble
340 Christiana Mall
Newark, DE 19702