Monday, May 24, 2010

Happy Release Day!

I present to you Stacia Kane's new Downside Ghosts series, starting with the May 25th release of Unholy Ghosts!

I have been SO excited, waiting for this series to come out, and not just because Stacia is my agent-mate. And NOT just because the second book in the series, Unholy Magic, releases on the same day as another little book you might have heard of. (wink wink, nudge nudge)

Unholy Magic releases on July 6th, and City of Ghosts on July 27th.

Now, this isn't a light and fluffy fun read, folk. This is urban fantasy at its darkest and grittiest and I for one can't wait to dive into it.

Go! Buy! Read! Love!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

If you can't be an athlete...

Be an athletic supporter!

Yes, I still giggle at this joke. I’m secretly twelve.

But in all seriousness, I’ve seen a few conversations over on AW that have always stuck in my brain (trust me, there’s room up there) and I felt like pondering on them today. Those conversations inevitably start with someone saying “My parents/friends/significant other aren’t supportive of my writing ambitions, is it like this for anyone else?” Their stories often run the gamut from vague disinterest to outright and open mockery. And every time I hear that, my heart breaks just a little.

First off, this whole concept both baffles and saddens me. Why would people NOT be supportive of something that made a loved one happy? Yeah, most of us aren’t going to make that jump from writing in the corner to J.K. Rowling-level wealth, but often, that’s not why we write. So what’s the big deal, people? I mean, how petty and mean do you have to be not to just smile and tell someone “Good luck!” (and I mean in a genuine way, not in a snotty way)

For some folks, reading/writing just isn’t their thing. (I know! Mind-blowing, isn’t it? I mean, who doesn’t like to read??) For whatever reason, they don’t find enjoyment in it, and so maybe they just don’t understand their loved one’s passion. I speak from experience when I say that it’s very frustrating for all parties involved when there’s a disconnect there. The writer wants so badly to gush about a new idea they had, or talk out a plot snag they’ve hit, whereas their whoever-is-is just doesn’t understand why anyone would want to spend so many hours in front of a computer/with a notebook in hand.

For some, maybe they’re operating under the mistaken idea that they are “protecting” their loved one from rejection and disappointment. I guess I can understand that, to some extent. Sure, this writing gig is hard and roller coaster doesn’t even begin to describe the highs and lows. It’s rough, and it can be hard to watch a loved one go through that turmoil.

Still, how rejected and disappointed do you think they feel when they hear “Why don’t you get a real job instead of working on this little hobby?” or “I’ll read it if it ever gets published.”

Writing anything is like bleeding on paper. That’s part of you out there in the open. It’s me, wearing a bikini to the water park (trust me, no one needs to see that). You’re naked! And offering to show that to someone, ANYone, is one of the biggest leaps of faith a writer can make. It’s that one hurdle we all have to get past, if we ever want to move on to that big world called “publishing.” Some people never make that leap. Either they don’t want to, or they’re simply terrified to their very core to show that much of themselves to another soul.

And then on top of that, imagine having those people closest to you point and laugh at your pathetic little scribblings. It would be devastating. Crushing. Some of those people will never show their writing to another living creature again. Some will stop writing altogether, and it’ll be something they get teased about at family reunions. “Hey, remember when you used to think you could write?” Ha ha indeed.

I’m lucky. I have the most amazing family/friends/total strangers you can imagine. My hubby is the first one to say “If you want it, go get it.” He’s been my most enthusiastic cheerleader, dating clear back to high school when we weren’t even thinking of being a couple.

My real life friends are at once my greatest cheering squad, and my greatest critics, and I love them for it. At the same time they’re clamoring for more, they’re not afraid to say “Whoa, this sucks! What were you thinking?” (In a totally loving way, of course.) My online friends are just the same. They celebrate my victories, and bring me virtual alcoholic beverages when I need to wallow.

My family… They have always believed that whatever I said I wanted to do would be done. If I’d have said I wanted to ride a bike to the moon, they’d have sat patiently in front of the TV, waiting for the news bulletin with complete and utter faith that it was coming shortly. My mother-in-law is currently stalking bookstores, waiting for her moment to push my book into unsuspecting people’s hands. All of hubby’s family is the same way, bragging to anyone who makes eye contact long enough.

I have a support group that spans the entire U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii, a good chunk of Canada, Mexico, England, Sweden, and several tropical islands that I have only the vaguest idea the location of.

And the big secret is, if I had never found an agent, if I had never signed a book deal, they’d have all still been there for me. My success doesn’t matter a whit to any of them, so long as I’m happy with what I’m doing. That’s what a support group is supposed to be.

So, for all those writers out there who aren’t getting any encouragement from your family, your friends, I say to you “Keep at it! You can do it! It’s hard work, but if you want it, it’s there for the taking.” Because I’ll be your support group. I’ll loan you mine. There’s plenty to go around.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

This author thing is hard!

Here we are folks! Two (count ‘em, TWO. Uno, dos.) months away from the release of A Devil in the Details!

I’ve hit that point where I should be banned from the internet. “Oh god, she has a better Amazon ranking than I do!” “How come he’s getting so many reviews?” “They hate me…they really hate me…” “ Google alerts is just teh ebul, ‘cause it just proves that NO one is talking about me!” Insert some wailing and flailing here, too.

I’m a hazard to myself and others.

See, running around promoting myself goes against some intrinsic part of my nature. It was drilled into me from a very young age, you do NOT brag on yourself. You are modest. You do not seek out compliments, and if they are offered, you gracefully accept and direct attention away from yourself.

Do you know how hard it is for me to run up to people and say “Hey, I wrote this book, lemme pimp it to you!”? And yet, that’s kinda what I need to do. I need to be able to approach people I don’t know and say “Hey, can I do a bit of promoting on your blog/in your bookstore/at your local garage sale?” Ok, maybe not the last one, but you get the idea.

It just feels so…wrong to me, even though I know it’s not, and it’s a customary (necessary) part of being an author.

Luckily, I have some truly awesome writing friends. (Stacia Kane, Jill Myles, Kelly Meding, to name a very, very few. Seriously people, go read their books. I’ll wait.) They talk me down, they tie the pretty white coat tight, they put me in a nice padded room, and if I’m good, there’s pudding on Sundays!

Over the next few months, I’ll be guest blogging in various places, most of which are still being arranged. So expect to see me popping up in strange places, rather like the BK King (and is that dude scary or what???).

Some of it will be my rambling thoughts on writing, some of it will be interviews, and there MAY just be a very interesting interview with one Jesse James Dawson, samurai demon-slayer extraordinaire.

Right now, one that I have scheduled for sure will be on my release day (July 6th! Yes, I DO have that tattooed on my butt, why do you ask?), at the blog of an amazingly lovely writer, Janice Hardy . Don’t wait for my post to be up there, though, go over there and explore right now! There’s neat stuff there. It’s shiny.

I’ll try to keep you posted as to where I might be appearing, and reminders when the dates of said appearances are looming large.

And for the more mundane process of simply updating my status: Book 2 is with betas, and feedback is trickling in. Most of them are very enthusiastic, but are still finding places where I can tweak, and that makes me happy! Muse is with The Agent, hopefully I’ll hear something back on that within the month. And to keep my hands busy (‘cause idle hands are…idle), I’m working on finishing up the first draft of last year’s NaNo novel. I like it, I think it has great potential. I have about 2 1/3 chapters left to go on that one, and then I might wing it out to betas too, just for shiggles.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Wild ARC Sighting

Just dropping in quickly to direct you toward The Book Lush, who happens to have an ARC of a rather familiar looking book!

Still rather amazing to me that people I don't know are reading my words. I think I'd be scared to death, if I stopped to think about it.

Guess I'm just waiting for the reviews to hit now. (ignore that shrieking you hear, it's just my sanity escaping)