Thursday, August 23, 2012

Guest Leaguer: Suzanne McLeod

Today we welcome friend of the League and awesome urban fantasy author Suzanne McLeod to dish about her upcoming release, THE SHIFTING PRICE OF PREY. And look--she brought cupcakes, candy and bacon! I guess we'll have to forgive her now for her very odd (read: British) spelling habits. 
Hello, and thanks to Jaye and the Leaguers for having me over to visit. Like any good guest I come bearing delicious sugary comestibles!

Food is something I like to have fun with— no, I don’t mean in that way! And don’t give me those innocent looks; I know what y’all are like over here. *g* Right, back to food and having fun . . . in the writerly way, which for me is when what a character likes to eat (or read, or wear, or whatever) is the result of deep authorly reflections on worldbuilding and hours of internet procrastination, err, I mean, research!

So first up, bacon! Mmmmm . . . Bacon . . . Well, it’ll come as no surprise to fellow bacon lovers that Genny (the books’ main character) also loves bacon, and so her diet consists of BLTs or, if she ever gets chance for a sit down meal in her hectic, spellcracking life, then it’s bacon, egg and chips (sometimes with the odd tomato, since veggies are good for you *g*). But there’s another reason (though it’s not one Genny’s aware of) why she loves bacon – it’s salty and so helps to dampen down her unpredictable reactions to magic.

 Next: liquorice torpedoes. They’re Genny’s favourite sweets and, as sugar is used in Genny’s world to amp-up magical ability, they’re the ones she always carries with her when she’s spellcracking. But the reason they’re her favourite is because she was bitten by a vampire and has 3V (vampire venom and virus infection) and since vamp venom smells like liquorice, 3V sufferers (who resist Getting Fanged) end up craving anything with a liquorice scent. That might seem an odd bit of worldbuilding, until you discover liquorice comes with a health warning; it can cause hypertension (high blood pressure) which is one of the symptoms brought on by 3V. Other 3V symptoms mimic those of Polycythaemia Vera (PV) which causes high red cell count and makes blood extremely viscous. All of which seemed ideal for a vamp fang-injected virus which addicted those it infected. After all, what vamp wouldn’t want their meal’s blood pumping hard and thick and fast? *g*

And then there are the other creatures!

Mountain trolls love butter pebbles (actual pebbles covered in butter-flavoured candy; the reason why trolls’ teeth are often worn down).

Naiads love raw fish, especially done sashimi style. (Yep, it’s a tad cannibalistic, but hey, each to their own. *g*)

Dryads have a thing for maple syrup, and turpentine is their ‘champagne’. (Not that
eating/drinking tree sap is in any way vampiric . . .)

Satyrs tend to be picky vegetarians who prefer their food raw, unless they’re drunk in which case they’ll have a chew at nearly anything put in front of them and can often be found munching happily on the nearest (dryad occupied) tree! O_O

Goblins will chomp on whatever they come across that isn’t quick enough to get out of their way, such as insects, rodents, and the odd feral cat, though really they prefer their food on the decomposing side so are happiest rooting through dumpsters and landfill sites. Oh, and they love anything wrapped in foil – goblins are all about the shiny! :-D

So what food would you match with what fantasy creature and, if you have a reason, why?

Bio: Suzanne McLeod is a UK author who writes the series, full of magic, mayhem and murder, and liberally spiced with hot guys, kick-ass chicks and super-cool supes! Books #1 - #3 are published by Gollancz in the UK and Ace in the US. Book #4 – The Shifting Price of Prey  – releases on Aug 30 (UK only so far). Outside of the UK it can be purchased from The Book Depository  or .

Suzanne on twitter @Suzanne_McLeod 

Blurb for The Shifting Price of Prey:

Sometimes a bit of magical help might cost more than you bargained for . . .

London is hosting the Carnival Fantastique, and Genny's job has never been busier or more fulfilling. Only not everyone is so happy. Genny believed she’d cracked the fae’s infertility curse . . . but the fae are still barren. It’s a devastating plight to which the mysterious Emperor may have the solution – if Genny can find him.

She needs help.

She turns to the vampire Malik al-Khan, only to find he’s wrestling with his own demons and, when the police request Genny’s assistance with a magical kidnap, her own problems multiply too. Is it all unconnected, or can the Emperor help her solve more than the fae’s infertility? Soon Genny is hard on his trail, so it seems she’ll have a chance to ask . . . but will the answer cost more than she’s willing to pay?

All pictures ©Suzanne Mcleod

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Adventures in Shelving

For the last six years our books have been stored in a three-drawer bureau... and a hope chest.... and the TV cabinet.... and under our bed. We have a lot of books.

So David and I decided to add a bookshelf all around the top edge of our bedroom like a wallpaper border. We only managed to fill half of the bookshelves. I have to buy more books. (Poor me.)

While I was stocking the shelf, I realized a few things- one, that I'm not tough enough to be a librarian! My arms are so sore. Other observations:

-The first book I put on the shelf was "Writing Romance Novels for Dummies." When I bought it, I was young and thought that possessing those books somehow guarenteed that I would someday be published.

- I collect copies of "Pride and Prejudice" like crazy people collect copies of "Catcher in the Rye."

- I own enough Ann Rule "woman snaps and kills her husband in a grisly manner" books to make David pretty nervous.

- I like a lot of authors whose names begin with "R" - Roberts, Rowling, Riordan, Rule..

- It's more difficult to shelve the books in alphabetical order when you know the authors by their real names, not their pen names. I'm looking at you, Jennie Bentley.

- I like making interesting author neighbor combinations. I put Shirley Jump next to John Jakes. I put Delilah Marvelle next to Lucy M. Montgomery. I think they would all get along.

- Also, I put my erotica collection next to the Twilight books, because it amuses me.

- Speaking of my erotica collection, I don't know if it's because I'm paranoid, but for some reason, titles like "Taming Samantha" and "Their Virgin Captive" seem to stand out more than the other titles.

- If there is an earthquake, I am completely screwed.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My AAD Highlights

Rather than give a full update about the AAD con, I'm just going to focus on a few of the more interesting shenanigans. (And with so many Leaguers out and about, you know there are some good ones...though I'll only mention the ones I was involved with, including eating a place that served...Clover Weenies. Pure Beef Pleasure, yo. And yes, that *does* say that "select members of our staff are available for private parties" under there. Feel free to use your sordid imagination any way you like. )

1) Cupcakes - League friend @Zombie_Joe was awesome enough to show up with some home-made themed cupcakes. Mark Henry and Jaye Wells each got a did I - specifically known as the HornyCorn. (Made with corn and pig candy, no less...pretty much a perfect combination, all the way around. And yes. Horns.)

2) Red Dress Race. Nothing to do with AAD at all, but there is still something surreal to see thousands of people drunkenly staggering around the French Quarter wearing nothing but red dresses. All day.

3) And last is the centerpiece that Carolyn Crane and I put together for our table for the Friday night banquet. We had many idea, some of which did not happen simply due to being unable to find certain things (apparently no pharmacy in NoLa sells ribbon. Or scissors. Or silver sharpies. Hello?), but we did the best with what we could. And this is what we came up with... (and yes, I'm cutting out a paper penis there. Because that's how I roll. We glued them to the bottle. Which was full of glow-in-the-dark fairies)

A few additional shots below. Yes. Gumby is getting railed by a Monsters Inc toy. Because of reasons.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

My AAD stress dreams, and leaguers in New Orleans!

So, a number of us leaguers will be at the Authors After Dark conference in New Orleans this coming week--Nicole Peeler, Diana Rowland, Allison Pang, Kelly Meding, Mark Henry, Dakota Cassidy, Jaye Wells and yours truly. (did I get everybody??) 

So, if you're in the New Orleans area, you should totally come to the big public book signing--it's on Saturday August 11th from 2-4 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel. We'll all be there signing books with a boatload of other authors.  

I'm really looking forward to it! However, I realized I must be really stressed out about being ready for it becuase I just tossed and turned all night. Here, some brief scenes from my stress dreams:

1. Distracted by a surprise meeting with Nicole Peeler at the New Orleans airport, I forget to meet my galpal Julie at our arranged rendezvous time for our ride together from the airport to the hotel.

2. Julie does not make it to the conference for two whole days, something I only realize when I notice mobs of people are mysteriously angry at me. Noooo! Must head back to the airport to find Julie!

3. I have four back-to-back panels starting in five minutes that I haven't prepared for.

4. I can't find the schedule of panels anyway.

5. When I find the schedule, the hotel layout makes no sense. Thanks a lot, Stella, for booking a hotel designed by M.C. Escher!

Gah! This type of hotel layout
makes it REALLY hard to get to your panels!

6. I only brought this one black dress to wear, and it is full of cat hair.

7. All the panels are in one large room, with lots of people sitting at tables, and I don't know anybody there.

8. I go through the whole conference not seeing any of my league buddies, except, of course, evilly distracting Nicole, who started all the trouble in the first place.

Needless to say, I am not ready, and I have a million things to complete before I can even start to get ready! I shouldn't even be blogging right now. Even typing this right now, my chest tightens up and I forget to breath. Nevertheless, I am really excited. Don't worry, Julie, I won't leave you at the airport!!

image: Isometric Flaw by Icey, from Wikipedia Commons

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