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Showing posts from August, 2011

Accessories of the Damned

My MacBook is four years old, and I bought it refurbished. When you see it, there's no doubt this laptop has been put through the wringer. It smells of coffee and cigarette smoke. There's grit between the keys. The edges are cracked. It's not pretty but it gets the job done.
I mention this not because I'm trying to wax poetic about my computer. (Although given a chance I'd do just that.) Instead, I bring it up because I often hear new writers talking about the shiny new MacBook Air or the iPad they bought in preparation for writing their first novel. They'll also talk about the office they spent hundreds of dollars redecorating so they had the right environment in which to woo their muses. Others buy every book on writing ever written. They read all of them before they've ever written a word. They also usually get so freaked out that they never try.
In short, they're feathering their nests before they've even got eggs to lay.
The truth is that writi…

No rest for the wicked, or the writer, or the wicked writer

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Hello to all of you visiting us here in the League of Reluctant Adults clubhouse!For once, I have not forgotten it is my day to post, so here I am!I missed last month when it was my turn, but I have a good excuse, pinky swear!I have been busy.I have a November 1st deadline for the first book of my new series for Ace, The Spellmason Chronicles.All these characters are a bit new to me, not like heading out with the Simon Canderous D.E.A. crew, so it’s been an interesting ride so far.On top of that I’m trying to finish up a YA steampunk thing I’m looking to sell, I have a sekrit project on submission, another sekrit project to help my fellow authors, and I spent the last month speaking at San Diego Comic Con, Gen Con in Philly (Author Guest of Honor in the house..woot!), and Authors After Dark in Philly. So I’m a bit crazed in a boo-hoo-poor-working-author kind of way.
So I polled my Facebookers for what I should talk about this month.The five suggestions were:my love of the Green Ba…

Excerpt time!

Since I missed my regular posting day--argh!--I'm popping in to steal Kari's day. Well, okay, Kari has a power outage so I'm taking her day, but believe me, I would totally steal it otherwise.

And, because I'm just in that kind of mood, I'm going to post an excerpt from the fourth Downside book, SACRIFICIAL MAGIC, which will be released on March 27, 2012. (And wait till you guys see the cover!)

The blurb:

READING, WRITING, AND RAISING THE DEAD

When Chess Putnam is ordered by an infamous crime boss—who also happens to be her drug dealer—to use her powers as a witch to solve a grisly murder involving dark magic, she knows she must rise to the challenge. Adding to the intensity: Chess’s boyfriend, Terrible, doesn’t trust her, and Lex, the son of a rival crime lord, is trying to reignite the sparks between him and Chess.

Plus there’s the little matter of Chess’s real job as a ghost hunter for the Church of Real Truth, investigating reports of a haunting at a school in …

Rampaging Manuscript!

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(Image blatantly nicked from Fresh Pics blog on typewriter sculptures by Jeremy Mayer)

It was sitting on my computer a little while ago, just staring at me. You know how they do... THAT look. That "I'm not going to do what you say" look. Yes, the manuscript has become an intractable little brat.

Sadly, I don't seem to be able to control my WIP at the moment. It's been a royal pain since day one--which was back in June--and it will probably still be a pain in October, when it's due. Sometimes manuscripts just get stubborn. They won't stick to an outline, the wander around like lost dogs, or they stop in one place and glare at you like an angry monkey.

In fact they're a whole menagerie of annoying little pseudo-animals. Most of them slow moving and very grumpy, from elephants who stop in the road and decide to eat the best parts of the outline because the don't really work, no matter how tasty they are; to gibbering apes throwing poo.

I know why my …

Summer Lovin'

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Hello folks. It's that time of year again, for me . . . summer is over.

Because I've been perpetually a student, and now I'm an academic, I've always been on an academic calendar. Which means I've had the luxury of long (if no longer lazy) summers all of my life. Things haven't changed that much since I was a kid, though, and I mourn the ending of summer.

That said, the end of the summer is sort of like the beginning of a new year for me. In fact, the New Year never feels like my new year, it's very much my mid-year. Therefore it's always the beginning of the school year that finds me reassessing my goals, my dreams, and my place in my own life.

Right now, I have to say I'm about as recharged and raring to go as I can get. I've just had what was probably the best summer of my life, so far, and it's left me super focused and super clear about what I've got, what I want, and what I think I need to do.

My first big epiphany this summer was …

Authors After Dark mini update

Sorry this isn't going to be much of a post but I'm trying to type it up from a borrowed iPad since I'm a bit too lazy to actually fire up my laptop. Anyway, I've spent the last fees days hanging in Philly for the Authors After Dark con.

As cons go this was one of the more intimate ones that I've been to, but It was nice because I got a lot more one on one time with readers and fans that I might not have run into in a larger venue. I also got to be on my first set of panels. As a first timer I can really appreciate the more laid back atmosphere that AAD provided. Far less intimating than I thought - plus I had the added bonus of being able to talk pretty freely about a certain panty-sniffing unicorn. (Oddly enough I had questions about him even on panels I wasn't actually attending!)

The only real bump so far was pulling into the parking garage the first morning and hearing my brakes start thumping. (I actually took it to a local dealership today. Good news i…

Blast from the paranormal past

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I'm not going to lie, you guys. I'm not feeling so peppy these days. 37 weeks of pregnancy (there are 40, by the way) are starting to take their toll. I have a manuscript due right around my baby's due date, so life is all about sleeping, eating, and making word count.

And because I'm kind of missing the days when I wore much smaller clothes, I was digging through some old pictures recently. My sleuthing unearthed something that needed to be dusted off and shared from a trip I took to Ireland a few years ago.





Yes, that's right. Welcome to the Bram Stoker Dracula Experience. What kind of vampire author would I be if I didn't go to this? The Experience is a museum that's in a pool hall that's in an arcade that's in a bar/nightclub that's in a health club on the outskirts of Dublin. I am not making that up. After you buy your ticket from a bartender, a very, very short and sinister man lets you into the wonders that await...





The Experience had all so…

Whatcha Doin' In October?

So hey, check it out: I’m going to be the Writer Guest of Honor at Albacon this year, October 21 – 23, 2011. Rah! It’s right here in Albany, NY, which is, like, so close to New York City (on a map) that it’s practically kissing the Upper East Side.

What is Albacon, you ask? It’s a local fan-run SF/F convention that celebrates science fiction and fantasy books, flicks and TV. But hey, it’s not just epic fantasy and space opera; it’s urban fantasy and paranormal romance and military SF and horror and almost any sub (and sub-sub) genre in the SF/F field. It celebrates fiction for adults and fiction for teens. There are panels and workshops and vendor booths galore. There are banquets and costumes and (rumor has it) a keynote from yours truly.

Albacon is very laid back. It’s a fun, low-pressure sort of convention, run and attended by terrific SF/F fans and authors who love the genre. And hey – there’s a bar. Woot!

Programming is being finalized, but I’m crossing my fingers that there will be…

Audition?

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So, I've never auditioned for anything in my life, was never in theater, my singing was limited to a choir class, you get the picture. But an opportunity presented itself and I put away my normally shy persona and let my alter-ego, Danny Marks take over. Now this audition is for a collaborative Youtube channel called the YA Rebels.

Here's the result...



Feel free to comment and stuff.

Everyday things that seem sort of UF-ish

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The other day I was thinking about how many things in regular life seem oddly urban fantasy. Somehow weird and strange, or threatening, or inexplicable or just darkly WTF in that UF way. I have drawn you a guide. Aren't you glad? 


Sometimes I watch my cats eat and think about what would happen if I was two inches high. They are so cute, but sort of vicious, when you watch their mouth up close while they are eating. Those jaws won't stop for anything! 
Fruit flies are really UF when you think about it.  I mean, they magically appear out of thin air to eat rotting food.  Where are they when there is no rotting food? Where are the eggs? How do they know when there's an old piece of fruit in the fruitbowl? It's completely weird and freaky. Oh, I just realized how much of this post might make me look really ignorant. Oh, what the hell! Let's keep going! 
Welcome to the bug world portion of my post. Lots of bugs seem really UF, but none so much as the mosquito, our state bi…

Me+Anything Promo=Craptacular!

If you know much about me, you know I hate to promote my books. If you didn’t know that, you’ll know by blog’s end. :)
I hate to PROMO. I hate the glare of those capped letters. I squirm at the idea of talking about my latest release or gearing up for a new release. I envy all green-like over those who do it so effortlessly. They’re brilliance leaves me feeling incredibly inferior. I guess it’s probably because while I don’t mind being the center of attention (don’t all gasp and stuff), I’d prefer it wasn’t in reference to my books.
I know, crazy, right? I had this very conversation with my agent who has heretofore been dubbed Agent Fab. She asked me over lunch at a convention why I hate it so much. And I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I never planned on writing books. I didn’t set out to storm the publishing world, and I definitely didn’t dedicate a ton of effort to pursuing a career in it. I didn’t stay awake at night and dream of the day I’d be published. I did, in my mi…

In which we reluctantly say good-bye to L.A. Banks

Leslie Esdaile Banks died this morning.

You probably knew her as New York Times Bestselling Author L.A. Banks. A few months ago, she was diagnosed with late stage adrenal cancer. If you Google that medical nightmare, then you will know what Leslie probably knew--life is too damned short, so live well and live joyously.

I met Leslie at a Romantic Times Convention several years ago. We sat next to each other at the author book fair, and she was a riot. Not only that, she was all kinds of interested in me--pretty much a nobody, but man oh man, she made me feel like a somebody. That was the year before my first Broken Heart novel came out, and I asked Leslie if she might have the time to give me an author quote. She said yes (well, from Leslie, it was more like Yes!!!). And the next year, when the novel actually came out, we found ourselves seatmates at the RT Book Fair again--and she spent more time telling her fans how hilarious my book was--and literally shoving it into their hands-…