Monday, October 26, 2009

Holy Rusted Metal, Batman!

I'm on Amazon!

A Devil in the Details is available for pre-order, and the official release date is July 6, 2010.

Also, fellow Purgatorian, Kasey Mackenzie is ALSO up on Amazon with her book, Red Hot Fury!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

We interrupt your usual silence

So that I can be a squeeing fangirl.

Per Jim Butcher on Twitter:

First sentence of Changes: I answered the phone, and Susan Rodriguez said, "They've taken our daughter."

And, per, a blurb about the newest Dresden Files novel, Changes:

Long ago, Susan Rodriguez was Harry Dresden's lover-until she was attacked by his enemies, leaving her torn between her own humanity and the bloodlust of the vampiric Red Court. Susan then disappeared to South America, where she could fight both her savage gift and those who cursed her with it.

Now Arianna Ortega, Duchess of the Red Court, has discovered a secret Susan has long kept, and she plans to use it-against Harry. To prevail this time, he may have no choice but to embrace the raging fury of his own untapped dark power. Because Harry's not fighting to save the world...

He's fighting to save his child.

Say it with me, folks. Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Somebody Stop Me!

For those who don't know, NaNoWriMo approaches. You may recall that last year, my first as a Nanoist, I was triumphant in writing 50K words in just 30 short days. This served as a bit of an ego boost for me, proving that I could indeed write quickly when I needed to.

However, this year, I am currently working on Book 2 (reached the halfway point, storyline-wise. Yay!) and I know that I should continue that instead of starting a new project for NaNo.

I know this.

Really I do.

But...I waaaaaaannna!

Part of it is just that I need a break from DD's world. I have promised myself that, so long as I finish the first draft of Book 2 by Christmas, I can spend the first few months of the year working on a new project. Unfortunately for me, I am of the generation who wants instant gratification. Christmas is a long way off, people!

In an attempt to appease myself, I've spent the last couple of days working on some world building for this new project. Toyed with plot points, done some research. Checked on my NaNo account... What? It's just so I can watch how my friends are doing when THEY do it this year.

It remains to be seen if my urge to NaNo will overtake my good sense. I suspect that I won't have an acceptable (to me) outline in time to start, which will probably be a good thing. And when I have Book 2 done by Christmas, I will have a bright and shiny new toy waiting for me to start at the new year.


In totally unrelated news, I have gone against very sensible advice and decided to read The Forest of Hands and Teeth. I'm almost done with it, even as I'm taking a break to write this blog post. (taking a break, 'cause the heebie jeebies are getting to me) Kat, you were most likely right, and so any nightmares I have are my own fault. But honestly, this zombie phobia is a ridiculous thing, and I need to find a way to work through it.

This book is not the way, however. *shudder*

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Teaser Tuesday 12

Trying to get back in the swing of things, despite the plague running rampant lately. Here's a teaser from Peacemaker. It's actually part of a dream sequence/flashback, showing something from Caleb's past. Dream sequences are something I use heavily in this book (which is supposed to be a no-no) but the dream world actually turns out to be integral to the plot. Hope you enjoy.


The air scorched his lungs as he breathed in, and he slapped at the burning cinders that had fallen into his hair, his hat long since lost in the chaos. “Here! There’s more in here!” Ernst appeared around his feet, the black cat nudging him toward the location of more trapped residents. Caleb found his path blocked and put his shoulder against the smoldering beam, trying to heave it out of the way.

Rufus appeared out of the smoke, coughing and hacking, but between the two men, they cleared the doorway. Inside, voices were calling for help, screaming out in terror. “I’ll get them, you clear me a path.”

He nodded and reached for the fire all around them. It lurked in the ceilings of the building they were in, curling hungry fingers around the floorboards under their feet. He could feel it, angry and seeking, and he grabbed hold, pulling all of that destructive energy into himself. It railed inside him, imprisoned in a form it was not meant to take. Another day, well-rested, he might have been able to feed that extra power out through his familiar, but that much control had been lost sometime in the previous hours, and so he would hold it himself. A moment’s lapse in concentration, and it would find a way out. His skin would curl and burn from the inside. He’d just seen it happen to two other Peacemakers.

“Smuel,” he whispered. Smolder. The walls around them snuffed out suddenly, wisps of smoke replacing tongues of flame. “Hurry, Rufus. It’s getting stronger.”

The other Peacemaker bolted into the dark hallway, charred floorboards creaking ominously under his boots. Caleb could feel the power behind the fire looking for him, furious that something had stolen its energy. He would only be able to hold on so long.

“Go go go!” Rufus herded a soot-blackened family past him, carrying the youngest child in his arms. “Give us thirty seconds Caleb, then get the hell out!”

He tried to count to thirty, but the flame inside him would not let his mind find the numbers. It was hungry, it was angry, and it wanted free. Ernst was butting his furry head against his knee, urging him to let go. Finally, he was forced to release it, and he could only pray that Rufus had gotten the family clear.

The flames roared back to reclaim their territory and then some, and Caleb felt his hair and eyebrows singe to nothing as he staggered for the stairs. It followed him, drawing in a breath deep enough to flutter the tatters of his shirt sleeves, then bellowed out a gout of flame and ash that would easily incinerate him.

A shield sprang up around him, and the fire whipped around the globe, raging when it could not find entry. Caleb breathed the artificially pure air in great gulping lungfuls until he staggered into the street, collapsing at Rufus’s feet. Ernst appeared right next to him, the tip of his long black tail smoking.

The blond Peacemaker, hair long gone as dark as Caleb’s own with soot and sweat, dropped the shield he’d put around his partner and yanked him to his feet. “This block is lost, Caleb, we have to go!”

Reluctantly, he let Rufus drag him from the scene, and the building gave a ponderous groan as it collapsed behind them. There were other men moving in the smoke around them, passing buckets between, sparks of power flaring where people tried futilely to direct the flames around their homes or businesses.

“George! George, over here!” Rufus waved to two other Peacemakers as they crossed the street a block away. “Where are we supposed to be making a fire break? We got separated from Daws about an hour ago.”

George was supporting his partner with one arm, the other man sporting a vicious gash over one eye. He barely paused to answer. “It jumped the river, we’re pulling back! It’s lost!”

“Dear God…” Rufus’s eyes were wide and staring, the whites showing brilliantly against his ash-blackened face. “They can’t just let it burn…”

“There’s no letting it, man, it’s going to do it whether we want or not!” George staggered off as fast as he could with an injured man in tow, leaving Rufus and Caleb alone in the middle of the charred buildings. Even the hardy water brigade had abandoned their positions, buckets lying next to empty water barrels.

Chicago was burning.

Caleb knew they had to move. He knew, like the rest of his dreamed memories, that the building to their right was going to collapse in another moment, the rain of debris trapping Rufus beneath it. He knew that the beam would crush his partner’s life from his lungs, and that he would be forced to leave the body or burn along with him.

He knew it, and he could not prevent it, could neither move nor speak a warning. Such was the way of dreams.

In the alley to their left, a woman’s voice wafted forth, humming softly. It was a soothing melody, lilting, and it had no place in this frequent terror of Caleb’s nights. Even in the dream, he was able to frown in puzzlement.

The shadows moved in the alley, at first easily mistaken for the swirls and eddies of smoke. But there was no mistaking the dark eyes he found looking back at him, framed by twin black braids.

The Indian woman tilted her head curiously, her skin and clothing remarkably free of ash and char.

“No…no you can’t be here…the building is going to fall, you have to run!” She obviously didn’t understand him, and she smiled softly. “No, don’t smile! Run! You have to…” He suddenly remembered Rufus, realized that he could speak again. “Rufus, you have to run!”

But Rufus was gone. There was no one standing in the street beside him. The flames seemed to have halted their inexorable advance and merely flickered in the windows and rooftops, waiting.

“Ernst?” The black cat was gone too, and there was no sense of his presence nearby. “What…?” He blinked, wiping sweat and blood from his face as he stared around in confusion. “What’s happening?”

The Indian woman never answered, merely turning to walk down the street in the opposite direction, humming softly. Every so often, she glanced back to see if he was following.

Numb, perplexed, he did. In his daze, he stumbled over the rubble in the street, fell…

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Show vs. Tell: The Voice Issue

Greater persons than I had a great idea the other day. As a result, several of us Purgatorians have decided to blog about this most interesting topic today, that being the epic Show vs. Tell debate.

Now, anyone who's even thought about writing has had this driven into their skulls. Show, don't tell! It's enough that even the sound of an "sh" can give a writer a nervous twitch.

And then someone will inevitably come along and say "But wait! Telling isn't always bad!" At which point, the writer will drop their computer out a seventh story window and go into advanced underwater basket weaving.

So, as a boon to all writer-kind, I am here to offer an example of just WHEN telling is ok.

When debating over a show vs. a tell, think, "What exactly is my voice?" No, not you great sopranos out there, whom I shall always envy. The voice of your writing. There may be moments when showing just doesn't fit!

Follow the bouncing ball for an example:

The tavern fell silent when the dark man entered. Gazes dropped to their drinks and conversations stilled as he passed. He took the seat in the farthest corner, and it seemed even the lights dimmed for his passing.

Sounds like a scary dude, right? Now, look at this same thing in a different voice:

It got real quiet when the dude walked into the room, and I could tell that he was a bad mamma jamma.

Not nearly as poetic, but depending on the book you're writing, it might be much more appropriate. The writing techniques you choose will vary greatly depending on your voice. Your epic fantasy about the farmboy saving the world will most likely sound very different than your urban fantasy about the hard-bitten, hard-drinking ex-satyr PI. (Hmm, not a bad idea if I do say so myself)

And, even as I write all this out, I have to insert the standard disclaimer: Your mileage may vary. If we had absolutes in this business, it'd be math.

Here are a few others who had thoughts on the subject, so have fun wandering through other minds today too!

Dee Garretson
Bryn Greenwood
Gretchen McNeil
Amy Bai
Wendy Cebula
Tracy Martin

Friday, October 9, 2009

We're still here....sorta...

So, living in a house of plague for about three weeks is interesting... Funny how being sick just saps the urge to blog right outta you. Or me. As the case may be.

So, lessee, what have I forgotten to update you on?

Last week, The Editor and The Agent and I discussed different titles for my series. We threw out all kinds of ideas, back and forth. Some I didn't like, some the marketing department didn't like... It was interesting! Ultimately, we came full circle back to the original title we'd thought of. I had to laugh.

With all the sickness going on around the house, I haven't been writing like I ought to. I'm really close to being done with chapter 10, which will mark the midpoint, storyline wise. And I should be coming in right at the halfway point of my assumed first draft word count, too. (as we all know, my first drafts are almost exactly 75% of my desired finished word count) Which means I'm on target!

And now for some fluff... Here are the pictures of kiddo's braided hair from Renn Fest, in the various stages as we finally took it down. I apologize that some of the pictures are fuzzy.


Coming undone:

Lookit all these curls!:

See, NOW she looks like a child of mine. Instead of stick straight hair like her daddy. ;)

Hopefully, I'll be more diligent about blogging from now on. (I know, I say that every time, but I DO mean it!)