Friday, March 4, 2011

Blinded By The Light (and fluffy)

And the winner is--unseelieme Congrats! email me at Dakota@dakotacassidy.com so I can ship you yer bootay! Thanks again, everyone, for playing :) Come back and see me next month!

Hellloooooo, fellow reluctant adults, and welcome to my blog day here on the League! Stick around and read this so you can enter to win some books at the end of my rambling.

Which means you’re now my hostages until you finish reading. And don’t scroll to the end just to get to the giveaway because I’ll know. And you’ll be toast. :)

I was pretty fekkin’ stumped about what to blog about. I suck at coming up with creative blog s and themes. I also suck at adding pretty pictures to my posts—so I hope you aren’t in this for the shiny. :)

Anyway, let’s talk about something other than my lack of technical abilities—like when a writer goes from a lighthearted series to a darker, more intense one.

This scares me much like the notion of Victoria’s Secret filing for bankruptcy and going out of business. I’d be dead in the water without a steady replenishment of the Wonder Bra. So, I write what some call funny (not all—just some. A very little some, but there it is), and regardless of the label you give it, what I write isn’t plot heavy. I write light, littered with bad language, bickering, antagonistic, plot-light FLUFF. We all know humor is subjective and mine is undoubtedly subjective times ten. Some people eat it like it’s a bowl of ice cream. Others call it over the top crap.

Being the kind of girl I am, supportive of all opinions, I just serve double scoops to those who like my brand of ice cream and ship the others off to authors who don’t abuse the English language the way I do. :)

But lately, with all the awesomely dark, complex titles coming out, I wondered if I shouldn’t give darker fare a shot. I tried. Jesus, I tried hard. Like I expended every last hope of ever creating more brain cells doing it, too. And then my kid looked over my shoulder while I sweating blood writing this dark sure to be an NYT bestseller and said, “Hah. Funny, Ma.”

And there you have it. I can’t do it. I don’t mean for what I write to be lighter fare—it just is, and I’ve just recently made my peace with it. I knew going in I wasn’t smart enough to have an evolved, complex plot, but I was really giving myself credit when I thought I could overshadow that with my deep dialogue and eerie settings. It all just blew greasy chunks and has now become one with my trash on my computer.

However, there are those who’ve successfully made the transition from light to dark and have done it so well, they left me balled up in the corner of my office whimpering. There are also those who have a good balance of a snark here and there, and a solid, layered plot of darkly goodness.

And that’s whose book’s you’re going to win today if you leave me a comment below! Yep. I’ll personally send you the League's most recent releases from Michele Bardsley, Jaye Wells, and Anton Strout—right to your door. So that’s--Never Again, Green-Eyed Demon and Dead Waters—all yours--all on me!

So all ya gotta do is comment and tell me one of your favorite darker reads to be entered to win a random drawing. I’ll announce the winner of the blog within this very post. Now, be sure to check back tomorrow afternoon to see if you’re a winner-winner-chicken dinner or I’ll have to give the shiz to someone else. I HATE doing that because it makes me sad. So check. Early. Often. TOMORROW!

Dakota :)

53 comments:

Megan @Reading Away The Days said...

I know they may not seem dark to others but I normally read books like Angel by L.A. Weathery, Twilight, True blood those sorta books that arent really dark. But in the last few months I have gotten into Marcus Sedgwick I find his novels quite dark to me going from the books I usually read to his. I just finished White Crow which I found a little creepy and dark but I couldnt put it down. Sori for the rambling, ramble over!

Cid said...

So just give me a double helping, I don't mind. :P Hm, my favorite darker reads are Cynthia Edens. She explores the human monster in her Deadly series and even in her paranormal, the real monsters aren't always the demons or shifters or vampires, but the humans. Very awesome books though.

Belinda said...

I personally like the light and fluffy...and your humor...right up my ally! However...my cousin knowing I love my vampires suggested Laurell K Hamilton's Anita Blake series...i'm reading with all the lights on while hovering in a corner during parts...yikes...lol It was like the time a friend bought me Dean Koontz for my birthday...YIKES...I slept with the lights on for months...LOL I wish you much success in the light and fluffy...partially so I can enjoy it...partially so my neighbors stop making fun of me for my lights being on 24 hours a day...LOL

Tracey said...

Jeez, talk about a difficult assignment. You are a light writer and I am a light reader. (Not that I don't read several books a week, they just tend to be fluffy) Ok, so I recently was encouraged to read, and I enjoyed, Laurie R King's Kate Martinelli series. Last one I read was "With Child" Very good dramatic series with a very dark, serious topic, abuse of women.

unseelieme said...

I just finished Blackout by Rob Thurman. You can't get much darker and filled with snark and love than that. (Okay, its brotherly love, but love is love.)

I'm a huge fan of the dark fantasy - Stacia Kane's Unholy Ghost series, Seanan McGuire's Toby Day series (starting her latest today), Lilith Saintcrow's Dante Valentine & Jill Kismet. Still more - Devon Monk, Faith Hunter, Caitlynn Kittredge, Marjorie M. Liu, Rachel Caine, MLN Hanover, Jeanne Stein, Kim Harrison...there's too many to list! And then there's Adrian Phoenix's Maker Song series. Dante Baptiste? Darkest character ever! He'll haunt you.

But, hey, I also have all of your books on my shelves. With all that dark, you have to have light.

Betty said...

I'd love to win, since Michele Bardsley's newest is one of the prizes. Her Broken Heart series is one of my all time favs!!

Claire said...

I don't read many dark books, but I do like Richele Mead's Dark Swan series :)

The Frizzy Hooker said...

Joe Hill rocked my world when I read Heart Shaped Box. It still creeps me out. Horns (sigh) that was a dark story. One that I would read over and over again.

Mario said...

Funny post. Was I surprised? Noooo.
When I want horror, I just read my credit card bills.

Dakota Cassidy said...

LOL@Mario--ditto that, brother :)

Belinda--thank you!

Megan--those sound like some really good reads. I'm gonna check them out because despite what I write, I love dark, but mostly horror like King and Koontz :)

Everyone, else, thank you for playing!

Coley said...

The darkest thing I read (or have read so far, anyway) is the Nightside books by Simon R. Green. Oh, and the Shadow books by Erin Kellison. Soon I'm going to start Nekropolis by Tim Waggoner, which promises to have its darker moments, too.

NoraA said...

Get real and suck it up Princess... If I didn't like light humor in my paranormal romances I'd read the back of the cereal box. I guess for darker though it would have to be some of your other adult stunted writing groups'. Kat, and Jeanne and Jaye.

I know you already have my mailing address, so I'm looking forward to the gifts. LOL
Have a great weekend.

Jolene Allcock and Family said...

I love light and fluffy and also go for the darker reads. I just love to read and read in all genres, I feel if I don't skip around I may be missing out on an amazing story or an amazing author. Some of my darker reads that pulled me into the world and wont let me go are Adrian Phoenix's Maker song series and Jocelynn Drake's Dark Day's series. In the Maker's song series, we have some hot intense moments with Dante and Heather, but there is so much going on around them it's captivating and I enjoy Dante and his struggles. In the Dark Day's novels Mira is such an intense character and even though she does some things that are questionable you can't help but root for her. She is the epitome of badass heroine

Lanae T. said...

I love the fluff and snark. As far as dark, I would have to go with Koontz and Stephen King as my favorites.

Even though there are so many others out there, those 2 stand out for me.

The Froglia Family said...

I love the lighter fluffy reads, but when I go for dark reads one of my faves is JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood. I can always go for some hunky vampire warriors who ooze sex.

Sapphire said...

My favorite "dark" series is Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey, but I haven't read many dark books. I love Sookie Stackhouse, Eugenie Markham, Kismet, and the the Succubus Diaries. :)

Emma Petersen said...

I like light and fluffy. Snark has its place in the world & the world would be a very dark place without it.

As for darker reads, I guess dark is in the eye of the beholder? I thought Lynn Viehl's Darkyn series was pretty dark & delicious as well as Larissa Ione's Demonica series.

Don't enter me in the contest please, just came by to say hi.

Kelli Collins said...

I wasn't gonna hip ya to any of my fave dark books, just to be contrary (your rulez - I breaks 'em), but then I figured, "Hey! Shameless plug!" So I'll throw an EC title out there: "Timeless Wrath", by Lexxie Couper. And she's one of MY authors to boot, so I'm going full-on Sheen shameless.

(Oh, and I should mention "Stocking Full of Coal", written by the alter ego of one o' you foul-mouthed Leaguers. Lighthearted treatment of a rather dark and fucked-up subject. The best of both worlds.)

But don't enter me into the contest. Save that for someone who reads for pleasure, not because she's chained to a desk by a mechanism attached to a sawed-off shotgun, just waiting to blow a hole through her head if she moves a quarter inch. (Catch that run-on sentence? That's a beaut! And also the reason I don't write!)

I have full faith in your ability to plumb the depths of your dark side, Dakota. It's all about getting into the right mindset. Just imagine a world without pedicures and discount makeup. The darkness will come.

Kisses...

KK

Jenn R. said...

For light "dark" reading? Christopher Moore. Love the "YOU SUCK" series. His take on King Lear is also spectacular. The Sookie Stackhouse series is also great. One day hope to include myself in that grouping. "- ) (Have a werewolf who makes hot dog jokes while offing a couple who are making out in a car)

Velvett said...

Well, hmmmm. I have to agree that I can just go to my day to day newspaper to read dark stuff anytime I want!! Hello! Detroit, where the weak are killed and eaten! I LIVE in the dark baby!! ;) Ok, so I LOVE Laurell K. Hamilton. I know, I know, who doesn't. But Anita and Merry are so dark and man do they live dark daily! At the risk of sounding trite, I still have a hard time reading Stephen King!!!! Holy Moly is something wrong with him or what! (in a good,creative,scare the crap out of me way of course). He gets to that primitive place inside you where we are all still in a cave, huddled around a fire wondering what is outside in the dark waiting to eat us if we go out in it. Listen lady, One of my fave things to do is grab a DC book, a glass of wine and a bubble bath. I sit and soak and laugh out loud while your characters take me on a rollercoaster ride of literary thrills :) Keep it light Dakota, if it ain't broke girl - don't fix it.

CypherFaerie said...

I am a fan of Laurell Hamilton's Anita Blake series. A strong female protagonist with vulnerabilities and issues of her own. I've expanded my reading to include Lynsay Sands, Jeaniene Frost and others, but Anita Blake was the beginning of my love affair with vampires, werewolves, and dark creatures of the night.

Thank you for the opportunity to be in this drawing. I look forward to reading new authors.

Dakota Cassidy said...

OMG, Kelli--the horror! But I did try that and I just sucked at it. So it's light and fluffy until my publishers stop drinking and don't want anymore. LOL

Heather said...

Love the Black Dagger Brotherhood by JR, I still read the Anita Blake series and I think the Darkyn series by Lynn Viehl could be considered a dark series. Also love Lords of the Underworld series by Gena Showalter and the IAD series by Kresley Cole.

there are so many good paranormals out there and they range so much from light and funny to dark that it's hard to pick one.

Kimmie, Nola said...

Let's see....love snark & light & sarcasm in light & funny & in darker books. Some of the authors I think might be a little darker are Vicki Patterson, Kim Harrison, Laurell K. Hamilton. But I also like Gerry Bartlett's Real Vampires series. Super funny. I hope I spelled everybody's name correctly.

peacedout said...

There are so many good books and authors out there now a days it's hard to choose I recently started reading Larissa Ione's Demonica series and I'm really liking it. So I will go with that one for now

CrystalGB said...

I love JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood, Nalini Singh's Angel series, and Keri Arthur's Riley Jensen series.

Crystal816[at]hotmail[dot}com

Indigo said...

I am pretty partial to a good gritty cyberpunk / historical murder but have been poking into urban fiction more and more as college courses have eaten my brains with treatises on ethnohistory or the early history of the supreme court.

I've recently enjoy LKH's Merry series and Briggs Mercy series.

Valerie said...

Hmm for dark books I went the undead route and I really liked Joe McKinney's Dead City and Apocalyspe of the Dead. Those books left me on the edge of my seat and while I know Zombies will not be around any time soon it all seemed very realistic and left me wondering how I'd fare in a Zombie outbreak.

-Valerie (ChunkyGiz)

SandyG265 said...

One of my favorite dark reads is Lilith St Crow's Dante Valentine series.

LadyVampire2u said...

I love your books Dakota! But we are talking about darker readers here sooo..I'd have to say books by Laurell K Hamilton, Kim Harrison or Kresley Cole.

Leigh Evans said...

Writing consistently funny fluff is a skill - I mean there must be times when you're having PMS and thinking, I'd kill to eat a whole Toberlone bar, all by myself, because life sucks, and damn, is that a white hair? And yet you sit down and write something funny.

My favourite mixture of dark and snark is Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series. Can't get much darker than what happened in the last book. And some of Harry's asides are darn funny.

There are times I want to read dark and times I want to read something that will make me laugh. I like your books. Keep writing.

Lulu said...

I'm a light and fluffy type gal. I enjoyed reading Stephen King but after marriage and children, I found that just as scary - if not even more!

I would like three scoops of fluff, please. And maybe a side of dark. ;-)

Johanna R Jochum said...

I love ligther reads when reading paranrmal like you, Michelle Bardsley, Kerrelyn Sparks, Molly Harper, Katie MacAlister, and Mary Janice Davidson. Just to to name a few of my favs. I don't really read anything thats too dark and dreary. It gives me a headache and I don't like having to read a side reference book to understand all the evil and complicated goings on with them. I do enjoy Michele Hauf her books are a little bit darker, edgier very sexy!

evjochum@aol.com

bridgetw3 said...

Life must be balanced, so you have to have some dark and some fluff (which I refer to as Fritos for the mind). My favorite Dark series would be Jim Butcher's Dresden Files. I have read Never Again and loved it, so I would say that's gonna be a great dark series!

Linda Marie Dershem said...

I'm the exact opposite! I try for comedy and get a big whoppiing FAIL. So what I write tends to go down the path of dark horror. Yeah. I don't get it either. Because I'm like a fun person and shiz.
I absolutely love your books! I don't care what category they fall under. They're fun, an easy escape, and some of them even has me tear up (and not because I was chopping an onion either!).
For dark, I can't not love Charlaine Harris' Harper Connelly series (Grave Surprise is book 1).
But Jaye's Sabina Kane and Michele's Never More series really do have a great blend of dark and funny and even heart-warming - no gagging, Jaye!

Justine said...

Hey ya, D!
I loved your blog & I love your books, but you already know that, right? ~grin~
As for darker fare, with a side order of snark....Most recently, I'd have to say one of your fellow League Members, Nicole Peeler, is pulling up to that table & serving some tasty fare. I just finished Tempest's Legacy (book 3 in the Jane True series) & it's got it all - great dialog, snark, funny inner dialog, sexy beasts (Anyan, umm, sorry, that just burst out of me) and some very dark places & characters. This book is a jump up to the next level of writing for Nicole. I can wholeheartedly recommend the series within the bounds of today's blog theme. ~grin~
I'd also be remiss if I didn't give a nod to some of the darker, "paranormal noir" as I call them (yes, I made up that term, it's mine, but you can borrow it ~grin~.) Jim Butcher's Harry Dreseden Files series; Simon R Green's Nightside series; Mike Carey's Felix Castor series; and Richard Kadrey's Sandman Slim series. All dark, edgy and layered of plot, with some kick ass shades of grey heroes & heroines & some serious servings of dark humor.
(Yeah, I really did take your call for recommendations seriously. What can I say. I'm an overachiever. LOL)

Beatrice said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beatrice said...

How dark are you thinking of?? I love romance but I love horror too and I don't think of them as mutually exclusive. I'd read books that have the romance part, then scared to crap out of me too.

So some darker reads...Laurell K. Hamilton, Anne Bishop, Nancy Baker, Nancy A. Collins, Simon R. Green (for the snark) just to start...

raven said...

Hey Dakota!

Your books are awsesome! Sometimes I head to the dark side like Laurell K. Hamilton or even Stephen King. I don't think you can get darker than Stephen King. Sometimes just looking at his name scares me. lol

I think ther eis a place for every genre. I read a wide array of books and they are usually mood based. If I'm feeling down a light hearted book usually helps, but sometimes I need the dark side to get out the feelings. I hope that made sense. Of course you know the dark side has cookies. hehehe

Mel

ScarltsMmy said...

Some must buys are Kim Harrison, Carrie Vaughn, Gena Showalter...there are too many to really mention. But I so prefer light and fluffies!!!

V.K. Tremain said...

I read the light and fluffy, but I also enjoy some dark meat too! One darker read I finished recently was, Charlie Huston's Already Dead. It was dark, raw, gritty, and I couldn't put it down.

Batty Dawna said...

I'm not in a committed relationship with any one genre. I read everything that sounds interesting - biographies, young adult, children's books, mysteries, paranormal fluff, chick lit, whatever. Some of the darker authors I like include Laurell K Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, Melissa Marr, and J.D. Robb.

Nicole said...

Hmm, one of my fave darker series has to be the Dark Days series by Jocelynn Drake. It is simply spectacular. I love all types of vamps, but hers are more reminiscent of what you'd think of "traditional". Dark, bloody (in more than one sense) and like games and violence. Gonna be sad to see it end this summer.

Louise said...

I went through a dark period years ago -- Vampire LeStat series courtesy of the ever dark Anne Rice and mysteries courtesy of Faye Kellerman with her Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus series, but as time and more onerous responsibilities -- taking care of father-in-law (92), mother (80), and handicapped husband, have made me appreciate the light side of literature. I have enough real life nightmares! I'd rather eat cake!

Gabrielle Lee said...

I love the darker books. Can't deal with the fluffy Twilight books and such. Give me King any day. The latest that I have read would be Laurell K. hamilton or Karen Marie Moning. I was very surprised with the tone of her Fever series but I enjoyed it!

Jess Woslager said...

Your books are the best!! I love Stephen King too. I go back and forth. A couple funny fun books (lighter as you call them) and then I read an intense darker book. I like Yasmine Galenorm, Jeanine Frost,Ilona Andrews, Richelle Mead, Patricia Briggs, Joe Hill, and Jennifer Estep.

Amy Sue said...

Hi Dakota!
I love any vampire books.. from dark to funny. Darkest one I have ever read is from Poppy Z. Brite, then Mayfair Witches series from Anne Rice is a close second. I like the twisted minds of Koontz and King. I love Kenyon, Sparks, and Stephanie Meyers.
I read everything!! LOL

Wierdlings said...

I love both the light and dark.. some of my fav lights are the Gerry Bartlett's 'Real Vampire' series. I die laughing. Some of my favorite dark books though are Lilith Saintcrow's Valentine/Kismet series. I have a huge list of favorites, but many of the series are ending. ::sadface:: I need more from my fav authors, love to find new authors and their series, and more laughs and crying. I love a book I can do both in!

Karyn said...

I like procedurals, and I particularly enjoy Kathy Reichs and her Bones series. I think Spider Bones was the most recent, but wow. Her heroine, Temperence, gets into many serious messes as a forensic anthropologist, and sometimes I worry about saving her ass. You should read her work.

Witchgirlkc said...

One of my favorite darker reads is the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J. R. Ward, but I also like light and fluffy reads in between to balance the dark. It all depends on how I'm feeling.

Pamk said...

Some of the most darkest reads i've read is Stacia Kanes Ghost series. They are very dark. And Dakota always keep up you funny. Love ya just the way you are.

Dakota Cassidy said...

Everyone, thank you so much for dropping by! I've made a bit of a list of some of the reads you recommended (though, honestly, not much for procedurals, but thanks!), and I'm going to add them to my TBR pile!

wolfwattitude said...

Laurell K. Hamilton, Karen Marie Moning Fever Series, J.R. Ward to name a few that I read. Love to laugh with Dakota, too. Great contest!

Jill M.

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

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