Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Affliction

Happy Passover, yo.

They weren't kidding when they called matzah the "bread of affliction." No shit, Sherlock. Man, that stuff can be vile. And that's without the horseradish.

I made my own egg salad yesterday (I know, veganfail -- but the thought of tofu on matzah is enough to make me weep). It was OK, but next time I need to add salt. Or Dijon mustard. Or chocolate.

So if any of my fellow Tribe members are reading this -- what are your favorite Passover foods? (Or is that an oxymoron?)

Guest Leaguer: Sonya Bateman

Our guest blogger comes with three stamps of League approval (Jaye, Jeremy and I blurbed her awesome debut urban fantasy, MASTER OF NONE), so lend he an ear, bitches...or eyes. Whatever.

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Yet Another Debut Writer Comes Out With a...Whimper (Sorry, My Roar’s in the Shop)

Hi there! My name is Sonya Bateman, I’m a brand new debut urban fantasy novelist, and I’m going to tell you all about my book (MASTER OF NONE – one unlucky thief, one unlikely genie, one very odd couple – now available everywhere books are sold, OMGZORZ *dies*), and about my fascinating, original, well-rounded characters, and where I got every last idea for every single scene, and check out this graph of my Amazon rank over the last 30 days, and here’s how I started writing when I was six months old – no, when I was still in the womb – and it’s always been my dream, and now I feel like Susan Boyle, and stars and rainbows and unicorns and are you bored to tears yet?

Good. Because what I actually want to talk about is torture.

Yes, I do love torture. Doesn’t everyone? The screams, the begging, the smell of blood and burning flesh...whoa, sorry. Channeling a little of the Six-Fingered Man there (how many points do I get for a Princess Bride reference? Do I get a bonus if I know his name’s Count Rugen, without even looking it up on IMDb?). Anyway, (I suppose) I’m not talking really-real-world torture here. Not even waterboarding. What I mean is the authorial right – nay, the obligation – to torture my characters.

Now, this is metaphorical torture, most of the time. My characters have to work their asses off for every victory. If some little thing’s going wrong, I turn it into a BIG wrong. When they take one step forward, I kick them ten steps back, and then preferably off a cliff. I made sure that the first sentence of my synopsis (“Gavyn Donatti is the world’s unluckiest thief”) was absolutely true. Nothing ever goes right for him. And the fun part is, he knows that. But he tries anyway.

Here’s a quick example. Donatti’s new “partner” (who hates his guts) has been shot and needs medical attention. A hospital’s out of the question – he’s a thief, and his partner isn’t even human. He calls his ex-girlfriend (collect from a payphone, because his cell’s been smashed and the motel operator doesn’t have change), who also hates him, because she’s close by and has some medical knowledge. She agrees, reluctantly, to come. Hooray! Help is on the way.

But when she shows up, it’s at the wrong end of a gun pointed in his face. Hooray? Yeah, maybe not.

When it comes to real torture*, sometimes I’ve got that covered, too. I’ve done some work that’s rather – er, not fit for commercial publication, in terms of screwed-up-edness. So, when I wrote this manuscript, I tried to tone down some of the graphic detail I might have otherwise included. While my agent and I were working on revisions, in the actual (as opposed to metaphorical) torture scene toward the end, she noted something like this: “Not that I’m advocating violence, but I think you should describe this torture more thoroughly.”

I replied (as I dreamed new and imaginative ways to hurt Donatti and describe his pain more thoroughly): “This pleases me greatly.”

And she answered: “I suspected it would.”

See? Even my agent knows I’m disturbed. This pleases me greatly.

But I’m really a nice person in real life. I only torture my creations. That’s not bad. I mean, they’re just fictional characters. Right?

Er. Put that gun down, Donatti. You’re not a murderer. And no, you can’t make an exception for me.

*The “real” torture’s in the fiction, folks. I don’t actually own a dungeon. I just rent.

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Sonya's offering up a a signed copy of MASTER OF NONE to one lucky commenter. So get in there! Then check back next week at this time to see who won!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

New League Releases

Hello, Urban Fantasy fans! Just in time for Easter, the League has two hot releases destined to get your ass to church ASAP.

This first is SUCCUBUS SHADOWS, written by the League's resident (natural) fiery red-head, Richelle Mead.


Blurbage:
Georgina Kincaid has formidable powers. Immortality, seduction, shape-shifting into any human form she desires, walking in heels that would cripple mere mortals--all child's play to a succubus like her.

Helping to plan her ex-boyfriend's wedding is a different story. Georgina isn't sure which is worse--that Seth is marrying another woman, or that Georgina has to run all over Seattle trying on bridesmaid dresses. Still, there are distractions. Georgina's roommate, Roman, is cluttering her apartment with sexual tension. Then there's Simone, the new succubus in town, who's intent on corrupting Seth.

But the real danger lies in the mysterious force that's visiting her thoughts, trying to draw her into a dark, otherworldly realm. Sooner or later, Georgina knows she'll be too weak to resist. And when that happens, she'll discover who she can trust, who she can't--and that Hell is far from the worst place to spend eternity. . .

The second release is from yours truly, Jaye, (Mrs. Wells, if you're nasty), THE MAGE IN BLACK.

More blurbage:
Sabina Kane doesn't have the best track record when it comes to family. After all, her own grandmother, the leader of the vampire race, just tried to kill her. When she arrives in New York to meet the mage side of her family, the reunion takes the fun out of dysfunctional.

On top of that, the Hekate Council wants to use her as a pawn in the brewing war against the vampires. Her mission will take her into the bowels of New York's Black Light district, entangles her in mage politics, and challenges her beliefs about the race she was raised to distrust. And Sabina thought vampires were bloodthirsty.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Guest Blog and Contest over at my Emporium!


Mario's been kind enough to come and guest blog over at my site. He spreads filthy lies about me and reveals why he really likes the League.

Oh, and you can enter to win a copy of WEREWOLF SMACKDOWN.

Awesome!

Friday, March 26, 2010

An Author's Journey...

Nope. This isn't a blog post about writing, but my recent trip to NYC and DC crossposted from my blog...


I've loaded a heavily captioned photo album from our NYC/DC trip on Facebook. With photos such as this one depicting me as our nation's majestic unicorn.
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Here's the link...

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=198783&id=680349602

Swing by and leave a comment or two.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sherri Erwin Interview Posted



My interview with Sherri Erwinm author of JANE SLAYRE, has been posted at my blog. Stop by to get to know the lovely Sherri and enter to win a $25 Borders gift card.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Springy

Spring has almost sprung. Not that you'd know it in Texas because the weather has ADD, but whatever. Oh, yeah. Now I have an hour less every day to write and make this deadline. So, thanks for that Daylight Savings Time.

On my author blog, I posted about the middle muddle. Well, sorta. The post was actually about how I got to that place in the book ... you know, the part where the doubts roar to life and I worry that the 200 pages I just sweated over day after day after freaking day SUCK. I love it, but me loving what I write doesn't mean a helluva lot. Readers decide what is awesome. Well, first the publisher, editor, production, and marketing decide what is awesome. Then readers get a shot.

For published authors, writing a book becomes a group project. I'm okay with that. The reality is that you can be an AR-TEEST or you can be a working writer. Sometimes it's difficult to balance the creative with the business of writing, but that's just part of the job. And as awesome as it is to work in my pajamas and take Rock Band breaks whenever I want, it's still a job. I get paid for what I do, and I want to do it well.

Some novels require more blood spilled than others. This one I'm finishing up now has that magic. The flow. I sit down and the story is there waiting. Sure, there are still snags, plot points that get gnarled, characters that get lost, but even that stuff smooths out. I see it like a movie, scene by scene, unfolding in a way that makes me eager get it all down on the page. That's the first part of the process ... the best part. Sure, there will be edits, changes, questions. I'll have to deal with the *&%$#@! copy editor, too. I have to take my ego out of the process and remember I'm not the only one invested in the work.

But for now, it's just me, the book ... and those damned doubts.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Horror!

So the Oscars were last night. Did you watch? I caught the last hour or so. In other words, the good awards. But since this is a group blog for writers and fans of paranormal and speculative fiction I have to ask:

What did you think of the tribute to horror?

I think it's awesome they even included it in the program.

BUT...

Why in the hell did they include a clip from New Moon in the montage? Seriously?


What say you Leaguers?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Publishing ROADKILL: A Contest of Sorts

Yes, I realize that title could be about me, what with my struggles (cue violins), but not this time. Nope. Today's contest is all about Rob Thurman (insists she's not a man), the author of the Cal Leandros urban fantasy series, or so I'm told--haven't read them, though I'm certain they're adequate--I kid, it's at the very least fantastic.

roadkill mech.indd

A while back, a friend of mine, Kat Richardson (Greywalker series), attended DragonCon and hung out with Rob (not short for Robert, as far as I can tell **not verified**), drinks were consumed and apparently, to hear Kat tell it, Rob turned out to be a crazy long-haired Mark Henry doppelganger, only tiny and more geeky...a lot more. So when she popped up on Twitter--late, I might add--I decided to get her to follow me, because I'm a fan of the reverse stalking. And she did, of course.

Crazy attracts crazy.

A couple of months later she'd infiltrated the League of Reluctant Adults and filled us all in on her plight to survive in the dog eat cat world of publishing. Times are hard for urban fantasy's littlest transgendered author and I hope you can help.

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Her new novel, ROADKILL, releases today, March 2nd, and needs your support. Do you like the show Supernatural? Do you like hot guys in tight jeans with monsters in their pockets? Do you like embarrassing pictures of midlist authors? Well, all this week, I'll be humiliating Rob in an attempt to flip her mild midwestern aesthetic into some gangsta ass shit (see inset).

AND...there's a contest.

I'm putting together a photocollage of my efforts in ridicule, which I shall frame lovingly and get Rob herself to sign for one lucky winner!

Also!!!

Since I haven't read Nightlife (the first in the Cal Leandros series), I'll be snarking up a copy as I go. Jotting secret notes and other horrors and generally making fun of Rob. THEN...another lucky winner will win the evidence.

That's right. To say these prizes are GRAND is an understatement. One of a kind, bitches. So, you're asking, what do I have to do to help my favorite trannie and get ahold of some high art?

It's easy.

1. Buy a copy of ROADKILL by Rob Thurman

2. Scan the receipt and email to me (at) markhenry (dot) us. NOT mark (at) markhenry (dot) us! Since that one doesn't exist.

3. Twitpic a copy of the receipt to @mark_henry

4. Sit back and congratulate yourself on your intelligence and sexual allure.

I'll choose the winners next week, probably on Monday, either way, you'll know. That's it. Super easy. Plus you were going to buy them shits anyway, right?


**Quick Note: I have no clue why crossposting this from wordpress makes it go crazypants formatting**

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

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