I may have kicked the flu virus in the nads hard enough to flee its clutches and live to fight another day. Still, I’m sucking down hot water infused with lemon and shredded ginger like there’s no tomorrow. One can’t ever be too sure.

I have Authorfest photos that I should put up, but that’s going to have to wait.

* A lot of you write to me asking about the cover models for the Strange Angels series. Guys, I do not know. You would do better asking the publisher, Razorbill. As an aside concerning Dru and the gang, I am now getting a bumper crop of mail from teachers, librarians, and youth counselors. Dear Readers…thank you. Thank you very much. I am glad to hear what you have to say. Bless you.

* Here, have Bruce Wayne’s medical report. I haven’t laughed like this since Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex.

* Jane Austen might have died of arsenic poisoning. Note that the poisoning was most likely accidental, say, a medicine to help her rheumatism. Nevertheless, I have a mad idea of a lady novelist dead of arsenic, resurrected by a form of clockwork science, and shambling toward those who pique her with the jawbone of a literary critic clutched in one rotting speckled hand…

* Oh yes, and you get a twofer: two short stories by me, released through Orbit Short Fiction. Unfallen, the prime story, was inspired to a great degree by Slacktivist’s (ongoing) reading of the Left Behind series so we don’t have to. (Incidentally, Mr. Clark, if you would like a gratis copy, please do email me.) Also included, I believe, is The Last Job, an Izzie Borden super-short that pleases me quite a bit, and is a sort of homage to Hammett, Chandler, and Woolrich. I rather like Izzie and would love to write more shorts featuring her.

I do realize I need to post pics from the Authorfest and write the second half of the Battle of Pelennor Sunroom. I’m getting there, I promise. IN the meantime, I am fueling my recovery with pita chips and ginger water (this is the first time I’ve felt actually hungry in days) and sheer stubbornness.

Over and out.

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lilithsaintcrow: (Default)
( Nov. 4th, 2011 10:23 am)

So last night’s fall at the bouldering wall seems to have no lasting soreness. It was just one of those sessions where I was clumsy all the way through, always fun. I went up to grab a hold from an undercling, missed it, and tumbled. Fortunately I was relaxed when I hit, I landed on a well-cushioned part of my anatomy (seriously, you’d think I would have no ass left with as much as I run, but OH NO) and I rolled. I stretched out after the session, came home, drank a bunch of water, took ibuprofen, and went to bed smelling of homemade Tiger Balm. (My writing partner has many, many talents.) This morning…no soreness, barely even a bruise. Which is good, because I’m climbing again today (I promised) and dealing with copyedits, which means a lot of sitting on that tender, much-abused buttock.

I know, I know, you really wanted to read about that.

Let’s see, what’s the news? I have a story, Gallow’s Rescue, in the just-release Courts of the Fey. Like Eleni, Wolf, and Tarquin, Gallow and Robin have a much longer history, and I wish I could write their story. Trailer-park fey and epidemic disease, who wouldn’t want that?

Also, I’m over at John Mierau’s place talking about Frank Herbert’s Dune, the Litany, and how I wanted to be a Bene Gesserit. And the winners of the belated release day prizes are up!

Other than that, I’m hip-deep in copyedits for the first Bannon & Clare, and the water is rising fast. Plus I’ve got to update the Books page, and that sound you hear? It’s the gears inside my head gummed up by snot. That’s right, I’m coming down with a cold.

Not in single spies, but in battalions. By the way, if you have a good smartphone app that can alert one to changes in barometric pressure, let me know? I’m tired of the pressure changing and half my head wadding up like agonized tinfoil.

Anyway, I’m going to climb, fill myself to the brim with fluids and vitamin C, and fillet more of these copyedits until they are bled dry. The crankiness of physical misery might even add something.

Over and out…

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Good morning, dear Readers. No, I haven’t forgotten about you–it’s just that the kids are going back to school, and last weekend I finished a brand-new YA book. (At least, the zero draft.) I can’t say anything about it yet, which just kills me, but just know that I’m hard at work on the next New Thing now that I’ve said a fond farewell to Dru.

For those of you asking about the Defiance audiobook, I did a Google search and turned up this. Really, when it comes to audio editions, I do not know when they will come out or anything. About all I can do is hit up our overlords at Google, just like you. Sorry about that.

I’m happy to announce that Orbit short fiction will be bringing out my “teenage Antichrist” short story, Unfallen, this fall. I must admit a great deal of the genesis of that story was reading Slacktivist’s awesome blow-by-blows of the Left Behind series. (He reads so we don’t have to! And really, we’re grateful for that.) Slacktivist articulates a number of things that have always made me incredibly uncomfortable about evangelism and Dominionism, and especially the current craziness swallowing evangelical Christianity in America as a whole. All that aside, however, the short story came from a very simple question: what if the Antichrist was just a teenager who wanted to be liked?

Also included will be a bonus story–The Last Job, featuring a character I love, the private detective Izzie Borden. She’s very unlikeable, and her stories are very short–I think I give myself 5-6K max for her, mostly because I use her as an exercise in building shorts. Anyway, The Last Job is the first Izzie story I ever wrote, and I’m happy to have it see daylight.

But wait, that’s not all! Also included in the bundle is a teaser for The Hedgewitch Queen. Which, again, I can’t say very much about until my editor gives me the okay, the announcement, and the cover art. But just know that I’m excited, and I can’t wait to finally share these things with you.

All that aside, there’s not much to report, since I’m in the zombie stage that follows finishing three zero drafts in short order. I didn’t realize how hard I’d been working until I finished the YA zero draft (working title: WHITE) and opened up my calendar to search for the next fire that needed to be put out…and found out it was revisions instead of all-new drafts. Which is sort of a relief. As soon as my brain gets back to where it’s crunchy enough to start working on new wordcount, I have a project or two I’d like to smack around a bit…

…but I hesitate to promise anything. So, there it is, the full report from chowder to cashews. I’ll be interesting again very soon–I have to pen the tale of Neo and Steerpike, and Steerpike’s Fall From Grace, and the story of Loretta the Crazy Hawk.

Just as soon as I can string words together again in a reasonable fashion.

Over and out.

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Attention Selene and Nikolai fans! The story of Selene’s return to Saint City, Just Ask, is now available in the Mammoth Book of Hot Romance! I hope you like it.

Also, I’ve updated the FAQ, the Strange Angels page, and the Jill Kismet page. Preorder information for Reckoning and Angel Town is now live on those pages.

A lot of you are asking me about audiobooks, especially for the Kismet series. I do not know when or if specific books will be released on audio. I’m sorry, I just don’t know.

I’m still sore and hobbling from the fall I took earlier this week, so that’s about all she wrote. (Literally. Ha ha. I kill me.) I’m gonna go take some ibuprofen and brace myself for climbing.

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There’s a new interview with me over at Reading Awesome Books, where I talk tangentially about Christophe’s plans and why Anna’s a tragic character to me. Later this week Captain Jack Sparrow will be interviewing me over at CJ Redwine’s place. (THAT should be fun. I am told cupcakes are involved. Though the rum is gone.)

Other cool stuff this morning: how words get their meaning, sleeping protects memories, and Taco Bell “beef” is really only 35% beef. I don’t know why that last one surprises anyone, really.

My two thoughtful, lovely spawn brought home a nasty cold from school that is currently trying to colonize my corpse and I’ve got two short stories to dress up and get out the door today, so I bid you a civil adieu, dear Readers. Hope your Tuesday is magnifique.

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Good morning! It’s still crazy crazy release week for Taken, the Harlequin Nocturne I had so much fun writing. (The link to Barnes & Noble seems to be working now, thank heavens. For a while yesterday it was buggy.) If you want a signed copy, Cover to Cover Books is more than willing to oblige, and their shipping rates are quite reasonable. Just drop them an email through their website.

There’s a Q & A with me up over at the Barnes & Noble Spotlight, where I talk about Perry and which of my characters I’d most like to have a drink with.

I have a couple more general announcements/answers, then it’s time for me to get cracking on another short story.

To the people who sent money through PayPal after last week’s post about stolen ebooks: thank you. I appreciate the people who apologized for pirating my work and tried to make things right. It takes cojones to admit you were wrong, to step up and try to make reparations.

Unfortunately, my conscience isn’t easy with taking the money in this manner, for a variety of reasons. So…I’ve accepted the donations, and turned them straight over to my favorite nonprofit, Kiva.org. I believe in microfinance helping women out of poverty, and Kiva is a grand, grand organization. So, to those who sent me money: Thank you very much, both on my behalf and on behalf of those who are benefiting from your stepping up and acting responsibly.

To the fan who wrote asking “where is the library for ebooks?”: look, several libraries have ebook-loaning capability. If yours does not, this is not an excuse for pirating them. Talk to your librarian and see what’s available. Thank you for your letter.

To SM: Finish writing your book first. Then, after you’ve polished it and started another one, start looking around the Internet for advice on how to write a query letter, what to look for in an agent, etc. (Shameless plug: The Deadline Dames have a lot of good advice about this.) But finish, first.

Last but not least, to S: authors have little to no control over their covers. Sometimes I think it’s a bane, other times, a blessing. I appreciate your input, but there’s nothing I can do about covers at all. If a cover doesn’t work, the best person to tell is the publisher, because they can actually do something about it. They also love to get that kind of feedback because it helps them make better covers in the future.

There, I think that’s it. Tomorrow we have another post about combat scenes. But for now, that short story calls me.

Over and out.

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Great news! Death’s Excellent Vacation has just released!

With an all-new Sookie Stackhouse story and twelve other original tales, editors Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner bring together a stellar collection of tour guides who offer vacations that are frightening, funny, and touching for the fanged, the furry, the demonic, and the grotesque. Learn why it really can be an endless summer-for immortals.

My story, The Heart Is Always Right, focuses on an EvilMart checker…and a gargoyle who wants to go to Bermuda. I had a lot of fun writing it, and I’m thrilled to be in such a great anthology. It’s available at Barnes & Noble, Borders, Indiebound, Powell’s, Book Depository, and Amazon.

That’s the big news for today–and, of course, Jealousy is still out. I’m just now getting a swell of emails about it. The next book, Defiance, is tentatively scheduled for next spring. So it’s not that long of a wait, I promise.

A couple crunchy links today: the Bookshop Blog on why the book hasn’t had its demise just yet. And Michael Bhaskar on the real cost of digital publishing:

The main argument for why royalties should be higher in digital seems to be that, given we don’t have a physical book, the costs to the publisher must be so much lower. This is very easy to answer. The per unit cost of printing a book is, in most cases, not where the majority of a publishers’ costs are directed. They are directed at overheads, at editorial and editorial management, at sales, marketing and publicity. Regardless of whether you have a print book or not, these costs are absolutely consistent. So really the only difference we can talk about is the marginal print cost difference, only a fraction of a book’s total cost.

Moreover there is then a whole new set of costs associated with digital. First, you need people, such as myself, to manage, develop and grow this new area and put in place the foundations for strong publishing companies that will last the next 50 years. Second, there is the cost of conversion of an ebook, which although small still has an impact if sales volumes are low, as they are for many ebooks. Third, there is then a host of distribution systems, business system upgrades and additions and new digital production software requiring investment. People might argue that this is a one-off cost, and once amortised should then be factored out. Yet this fails to understand the nature of most software agreements, which work as SaaS (software as a service) arrangements, whereby the software is leased on a usage fee basis. So in fact as time goes by and we use these new systems more, we will have to pay more, in absolute terms. Even basic technology can subsume surprisingly large chunks of income – DRM (Digital Rights Management) for example can eat as much as 7-9% of a book’s RRP, although this would usually not be felt by the publisher. (Bookbrunch)

I wish I could pound this into the head of everyone who says “But authors are greeeeeeedy because ebooks are cheeeeeap!” A quality ebook is not cheap to produce, kids.

Following up on yesterday’s “when students plagiarize”, today we have an article on when teachers cheat.

This morning was full of unpleasant business, but the sun has come out and all is well now. There are nice things about my life now, and the unpleasantnesses are getting further and further apart. It’s a good thing.

i hope your day is similarly perking up, dear Reader. Now it’s time for me to take a bunch of werwulfen through Central Park on a dare…

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Most of the Dames are at RT this week. (You can see some fun pics here and here and here.) I, however, am at home. (Well, mostly.) I am actually engaging on a mini-vacation before my drop-dead date hits.

A “drop-dead date” is the date I set myself when I’m looking at publication schedules and figuring out how much time I need to produce a certain novel. I have to carefully look at what else I’m under deadline for during that time; turning in 18-hour days are no fun. Well, they’re fun, but hardly healthy. I do occasionally have to shower and do laundry and spend time with the little ones I’m working to feed. Go figure.

The drop-dead is usually a week after I’ve finished something else. I try to have at least one or two weeks a year when I’ve turned everything due in, during which i can kind of power down and write on trunk novels, or just on little things for my own private delectation.

My drop-dead for starting the next novel is May 1, so this is my last day of kind-of vacation. I’m still producing about 1K a day on different things, but that’s just to keep the pump primed. It’s nice to write to deadline, but it’s also nice to write solely for one’s own enjoyment.

So, I’m just going to have a link salad today. Since I’m resting and all.

* Yesterday I talked about trunk novels and e-book pricing. I am monitoring the comments pretty closely, because there has been trollage. I laugh quietly at the trollage and then hit ban, so play nice.

* How many ways can a mystery writer kill a character? Parnell Hall takes a stab at answering. (Hat tip to the Dame who brought this up. I love it.)

* Only tangentially about writing: does a “thick skin” mean you just have to put up with harassment?

* Did I already post this? Advice on writing from 15 fiction writers.

* Asimov’s is accepting electronic submissions! Huzzah!

* Marjorie Liu’s awesome new video game.

* Want some hilarity? Are you a Labyrinth fan? Do I have a blog post for you. Jareth goes traveling.

A bit thin on writing advice, but sometimes one just has to take a while to be amused and fill up the well of images we draw on to make these stories. If I were to advise for the week, this is what I’d say: be conservative in what you estimate you can do. I can work on three novels in tandem and turn out a short story every two months while doing so, but I don’t recommend it and I don’t precisely like to. I like to either work on two contracted novels OR a novel with various short stories due every couple months. This gives me some time to actually breathe between projects. Your mileage may vary, but I find it’s a good rule to start with about half of what you think you can. You can always revise upward and provide someone with a nice surprise–a book finished early, or a really precisely-edited short. The quality of relaxed work is usually much higher. And you get the reputation of being a hard, turn-things-in worker instead of a fruitcake who’s always rushed or late.

Trust me, you want the former.

If you have a specific writing question, feel free to drop it in the comments. I can’t promise to answer everything, but I do take questions from comment threads and email and build writing posts around them. Just thought I’d mention it. *sly grin*

Over and out.

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I am writing this on the shiny new MacBook Pro that was delivered yesterday, a full day ahead of schedule. Yesterday was a day of lucky breaks, from the Coyote showing up just as I was leaving for errands to lunch in Portland at PF Chang’s. (Verdict: OK wine, garlic and sauces good, service all right, not sure it’s worth what they’re charging.) I got to wander around Powell’s for a while, and just as I got home what should show up but a lovely little box with this new laptop in it?

My brain hurt with the switch between operating systems, but I’m doing OK today. Thanks to everyone who gave me help and advice! I’m sure I’ll be flailing with other things in the future. Right now I’m trying to make my MSWord display the way I like it. I like the print layout view, but with one page at a time at 100% zoom, the rest of the screen a blank Word window. For some reason this little Mac doesn’t seem to like that. So it’s button-mashing for me for a while. I seem to learn everything on a computer by just playing around and pressing things at random until I get the effect I want. It makes for some interesting times.

So now I’m settling into an afternoon of writing, since I just got home from getting the first hip tat shaded in. Yowch. Generally the easier the outline, the harder the shading is, and vice versa. My other hip tat is outlined, but the shading won’t be so bad. At least, my tattoo artist swears it won’t be. Funny thing, though–these are the easiest tats I’ve ever gotten. The back was gruesome, to say the least; the ribs were ZOMG painful.

Anyway, I doubt you want to hear about my Adventures in Body Modification. I’m still whacking away at that short story. It will be a lot easier now that my workspace has settled down. I can work just about anywhere, I know…but I don’t have to.

It’s a bright sunny day and I have smut to write. Catch you tomorrow for our regular Friday post, and next week more in-depth blogging should resume. For right now, though, let’s see how much trouble I can get these characters into…

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Am I really undertaking to write 4-5K of solid smut?

Apparently I am. But being in a pissy mood means that every single word of a sex scene has to be pulled out with pliers. Not really very sexy, so I’ll just link to my old advice about writing those smexx0rs and call it a draw.

Today was a day of errands and waiting and more errands and a haircut and turning the scene over and over inside my head, trying desperately to find the hook that will let me step in and catch the flow. Some days one keeps reaching and reaching, and the words come out only in dribbles. Like Devon Monk recently wrote, I’m turtling toward a dream today.

Oh well. The characters want to fall into bed, I want them to fall into bed, I just have to arrange things so they will.

*cracks knuckles*

All right. Let’s tango.

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lilithsaintcrow: (Default)
( Apr. 12th, 2010 02:27 pm)

Oh, Monday. Just when I thought my week couldn’t get any better, you come along.

Thankfully I don’t have to visit the dentist for a while now. I mean, they’re nice people, and the nitrous is okay, but the less time I spend there the better.

I had an extraordinarily productive weekend, between tax filing, mowing the lawn (always my favorite chore, NOT) and cleaning gutters. You’d think gutters would be right up my alley. Alas, no. I loathe cleaning them. Except I put together plot architecture, mumbling under my breath while I scooped out sludge and freed up stagnant water. If that book turns out soggy, I know who to blame.

So now it’s working on that short story and waiting for my mouth to feel like it belongs to me again, while I listen to Brahms and long for a cup of coffee.

Oh, Monday. In a few hours you’ll be gone, and we’ll both be happier that way.

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lilithsaintcrow: (Default)
( Apr. 8th, 2010 10:22 am)

Tired today. Not sure if the coffee will help. I know I’ll sleep well tonight, but that doesn’t really help when I’m longing so hard for just a little more sleep. Maybe the treadmill will shake the cobwebs out of my head.

*time passes*

Yeah, I just started a blog post and wandered away. I’m not firing on all cylinders this morning. Or more precisely, I am, but the story living in my head is taking up about half of the cylinders. I’m in that weird in-between space where a story is germinating. It looks like it’s just laying there, but it’s actually really busy under the surface putting itself together. I can even hear it, like Morlock machinery in the dark.

Selene has changed. I guess a century or so of living on your own and working as a mercenary will do that. It’s nice to see–I could have just about strangled her, before. Poor character, wanting to control her own destiny. Doesn’t she know that’s MY job? *maniacal laugh*

It’s a sunny morning, and I’m a little tired. So I’m just going to take it really easy today and let the story bloom. Some things you just can’t rush. If there’s one useful thing I’ve learned in the past (however many) years of doing this for a living, it’s that feeling or weird breathless rumbling while the subconscious engine puts together the rest of a story, right before the rumble breaks up out of the earth’s crust and downloads itself through your fingers.

Catch you later.

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I really don’t have much to report today. Yesterday was the first rock-climbing class (not mine, mine got rescheduled) and it looks like the kids are going to love it. I also visited the dentist yesterday. Big fun. They act like I’m a big baby when I insist on the nitrous, but I don’t care. It’s stressful enough enduring fillings; why suffer if I don’t have to?

Today I got the outline of the first of a pair of hip tattoos. I was kind of dreading it, but actually the hip isn’t that bad. My back was loads worse, especially around my ribs. Ouch! But the hip was ticklish-painful in a couple places, otherwise not so bad. Yes, I will probably have a couple pictures when everything heals up. I just hate looking at pictures of freshly-done tats; they look so raw. Plus, I’m pretty pale and I flush very easily (you wouldn’t think it, but I do blush at the drop of a hat) and it always looks worse on me, especially since I only get black-and-white work done.

Last but not least, I finished the zero draft of a teaser for Angel Town, the last (planned) Kismet book. I’m giving it a day to rest, polishing tomorrow, then sneaking it in under the wire for inclusion in Heaven’s Spite. Now I can turn my attention to the Selene & Nikolai short, which I planned the skeleton for yesterday. I will post more about where and how the short will appear (it will be in a print anthology if everything works out all right) as soon as we have definitive answers.

Whenever I do a short story, I usually do at least two or three “false starts” before I find the real story. Then I bang my head against the first few scenes of the real story, and finally in exasperation do a sort of halfass outline of the rest, scene by scene and planning for each scene to be 1-1.5K. Then I let the thing rest for a day, and suddenly when I go back to it everything spills out in a rush like it was just waiting for me to show up. I’ve learned not to agonize over this process too much. The false starts are frustrating, but they sometimes provide a base for other things, so I just stick them in the graveyard and be done with them.

And…that’s all the news that’s fit to print. I’m going to go back to my coffee and poking at the short story now. After that beast is zero-drafted I have a first pass on the fourth Dru book to perform, and the end of May should see me with nothing on my slate but proof pages and Angel Town.

Ahhh, that sounds like heaven. Catch you later.

PS: I am still ruminating on my next laptop possibly being a Mac. Feel free to go comment, answer questions, give me the benefit of your thinking.

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Rock climbing classes for the kids start this week. My own class got pushed back to May for some reason. Oh well. Plus there’s a trip to the dentist in my future. Fortunately the dentist’s office understands about My Issues: “Tell me what you’re going to do before you do it. Keep me updated. If there is a chance of it hurting, warn me. If I lift my left hand or wave, stop and tell me what you’re doing. I find this stressful and this will make it easier for both of us.”

You know, once you start setting boundaries it just never stops. *snort*

I’m also trying out a new workspace, sitting on an exercise ball instead of cross-legged in the CHAIR. We’ll see if that ameliorates some of the pain issues I’ve been having. Changing around the workspace is a good way for me to really prove I can write whenever, wherever. So, we’ll see.

Also, I am considering a Mac for my next laptop. I hear good things about them. So, if The Great Interwebs can answer a few questions, I’d be grateful.

1. How’s the keyboard action on a Mac? I love my current Asus, but the keyboard really leaves a little to be desired.
2. Does MSOffice work okay on Mac? I love Word and Excel and don’t want to change to a new word-processing program. Specifically, does Word on Mac have trouble opening .docx files?
3. Is it worth the initial price? I mean, do they last longer than PC laptops?
4…oh, there is no 4. I guess it’s just three questions. Comments and answers appreciated.

Also, I am a bit silly from a late night last night. Nothing dire, just up chatting with a friend. Wrenching my schedule back to normality from the chaos of Spring Break (most days I slept in until *gasp* 9AM! Unheard-of, I know!) is predictably making me a little goony today. If you see me on Twitter, it’s probably going to be goofiness. You’ve been warned.

Last but not least, can I please write one short story that doesn’t require three or four effing starts thrown out before I get something usable? I’m under deadline here, Muse. Kthxbai.

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Yesterday’s OMSI trip was a blast despite the crowds. The youngest among us loved the room that shoots little blue balls everywhere, the middle crowd went gaga over the space exhibit, and us oldfolk had the most fun with the T. Rex skeleton. H. told me that there’s some thought that T. Rex was actually more of a scavenger than a predator, which I have to say makes some sense given their teensy arms. I leave it to the paleontologists to sort out, possibly with a caged deathmatch. SCIENCE FIGHT!


Today is the day I take myself on a Valentine date. *primps hair* I’ll report back on the Wolfman tomorrow.

Oh, also, yesterday I goofed. Fellow Razorbill author Suzanne Young is signing tonight out at Cedar Hills Crossing. The Princess loved her book, The Naughty List, and Suzanne is a ton of fun. If you can, go out and show some love! I don’t know if I’ll be able to get out there, but I’ll be there in spirit cheering her on.

Before I take myself on a date, however, I have to make a stab at a short story. 5K, five scenes 1K apiece. This is going to have to be careful, delicate surgery, my dears, requiring gallons of caffeine and lots of staring into the distance, turning the story over inside my head before I draw and make my cut.

Wish me luck.

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Good morning, Tuesday! Some news: A Girl’s Guide To Guns & Monsters is out! I loved the idea of this anthology. My story, Best Friends, is…well, there are teenage lesbian vampire killers. I enjoyed myself to the hilt, writing it. You can probably imagine. Anyway, there’s a ton of great authors and great stories in it, so if anthologies are your speed, check it out!

Let’s see…there’s John Scalzi with a call for author support, and Jay Lake with an open letter to Kindle enthusiasts and ebook activists. What I like about the Lake piece is that he explains why ebooks are NOT free, why it costs money to make them.

I’m celebrating Imbolc today, mostly because I was too sick to be enthusiastic about anything yesterday. But the wonder that is the immune system has kicked the cold’s ass, and I’m on the mend, helped along by a gigantic portion of tea and other fluids. (When all else fails, drown a cold.) The Princess has recently read War of the Worlds and listened to the Orson Welles broadcast (we have it on CD) and there were many jokes this past weekend about how we would survive the common cold and the Martians wouldn’t.

So, happy Imbolc. And happy Groundhog Day. I can already sense spring in the rising sap; some of the trees are budded out and crocuses and tulips are beginning to show.

It’s about damn time.

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lilithsaintcrow: (Default)
( Nov. 29th, 2009 10:50 am)

I didn’t make OryCon this year, but I will be at the SF/F Authorfest at the Cedar Hills Crossing Powell’s this afternoon from 4-7PM. It promises to be a smashing good time, what with Timothy Zahn, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Barb & JC Hendee, fellow Dame Devon Monk, and yours truly as well as plenty of other awesome authors there. The 501st is also putting in an appearance.

Now I’ve got to bash at a short story before I have to get ready to go. Wish me luck.

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lilithsaintcrow: (Default)
( Aug. 3rd, 2009 04:23 pm)

Today I blazed a trail down to the store and sorted 16 boxes of books. It was a lot of fun–made me think of working for the bookstore I started out in, nights when we’d get pizza and beer and do inventory. (It’s more fun than it sounds, and yet…not.) On the way home we stopped at what has got to be the last Dairy Queen in America without a drive-thru. It is a surprisingly clean, jolly, and lovely place to stop on a whim. I haven’t had a dipped cone in literally a dog’s age.

byblood2So, news! My story A Standup Dame, originally in the Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance, has been reprinted in Night Shade Books’s By Blood We Live, which also has stories from Stephen King, Tanith Lee, Joe Hill, LA Banks, and a whole slew of awesome authors.

Vampires. They are the most elegant of monsters—ancient, seductive, doomed, deadly. They lurk in the shadows, at your window, in your dreams. They are beautiful as anything you’ve ever seen, but their flesh is cold as the grave, and their lips taste of blood. From Dracula to Twilight, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to True Blood, many have fallen under their spell. Now acclaimed editor John Joseph Adams brings you 33 of the most haunting vampire stories of the past three decades, from some of today’s most renowned authors of fantasy, science fiction, and horror.

Charming gentlemen with the manners of a prior age. Savage killing machines who surge screaming from hidden vaults. Cute little girls frozen forever in slender bodies. Long-buried loved ones who scratch at the door, begging to be let in. Nowhere is safe, not mist-shrouded Transylvania or the Italian Riviera or even a sleepy town in Maine. This is a hidden world, an eternal world, where nothing is forbidden…as long as you’re willing to pay the price.

By Blood We Live is 245,000 words of the best in vampire fiction. Thirsty? By Blood We Live will satisfy your darkest cravings…

I’m kind of geeked-out giddy at being in an anthology with so many luminaries. I am a screaming fangirl of Stephen King and Tanith Lee is only my favorite author EVER, and LA Banks is one of my favorite human beings bar none. I’ve met Harry Turtledove and he is a Class Act. (There’s even a Sergei Lukyanenko story in there, and we all know how I squeed over his Night Watch series.) Can you hear my inner Geek Girl screaming her fool head off? So, if you’re craving some awesome vampire stories, you know where to go to find them.

There’s also my short story in The Eternal Kiss, titled Ambition. SciFiGuy did a reviewette of it, and I’m breaking (kind of) my rule about responding to reviews long enough to say that I’m very, very happy with the review. This is exactly the reaction I wanted to provoke in the reader. It’s nice to know I achieved my goal, if only for one reader. It makes me very very happy.

I’m also happy to report that I’ve finished a Jill Kismet short story, tentatively titled Holding The Line, for an upcoming anthology edited by my good friend Justin Gustainis. Further bulletins on that as time and information permit.

Now I’ve got to go get some work done. No rest for the wicked, no sir…

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

You can win a copy of The Eternal Kiss, a YA vampire anthology, by heading on over to Suzanne McLeod’s place this fine morning. The Eternal Kiss is due out July 27 and features stories by a ton of awesome authors, including Libba Bray, Holly Black, Rachel Caine…

…and, well, yours truly has a short little story in there calledAmbition, which almost didn’t make it in. Because it’s dark and nasty. Actually, it’s one of a very few “bilateral” stories I’ve ever done. A bilateral story happens when I take a whack at a short story, I don’t like it, I scrap it and start all over again, and then go back and finish the first start anyway because the second whack at the short story showed me what the first one should have been about in the first place.

Sound confusing? It’s doubly so when I’m working at it.

Short stories are far more difficult for me, because the execution has so little space to move in. Each choice in a novel narrows down further choices, from the very first line. In short stories this is taken to the Nth degree.

And now I have to finish my coffee and get down to getting the third Dru book into reasonable first-draft shape. If I can keep up wordcount and polish at the same time I will reward myself with a sliver of choco tonight. Mmmmh. I can already taste it.

Over and out.

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

It’s a projected eighty-degree day out there, so I closed up the house early and got out before noon to run errands. The UnSullen dragged the portable air conditioner out of the freshly-cleaned garage, and I just munched two sea-salt caramels that Someone Wonderful (the same wonderful someone who got me a copy of Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice For All Creation) left at the bookstore for my birthday.

Life is good.

I also got something wonderful in the mail recently–a copy of PN Elrod’s newest, The Devil You Know. IS THIS NOT AWESOME? I can’t wait to read it, since I’m a big Jack Fleming fan–Jack Becker in A Standup Dame is an indirect tribute to Fleming and Elrod, as well as Hammett and Chandler. Plus, Pat Elrod is one of the nicest people I know in publishing. Go take a peek, and if you haven’t already been introduced to Mr. Fleming and his nightclub, good Lord are you in for a treat!

I’m also reading a review manuscript of Kelly Gay’s upcoming The Better Half Of Darkness, which is starting off a little slow but otherwise enjoyable and well-crafted.

The second Strange Angels book, Betrayals, is showing up on BN.com and Amazon. (It is not out until November 2009.) I was mildly surprised to see it classified at the latter under “Books > Teens > Social Issues > Pregnancy > Fiction,” since there is no pregnancy in the book. I mean, there’s two first kisses, but no sex and definitely no spawning. But then, we all know how Amazon likes to classify and declassify stuff according to their world-domination plans at the moment. So I am merely amused at the whole thing.

I’m at a weird stage with the short story for the Girl’s Guide To Guns & Monsters anthology. Every short, for me, has a point where I’ve finished the setup and have to get the crisis clear in my head before I can go any further. Shorts take so, so much more planning for me. The planning looks a lot like I’m just sitting and staring into space, but trust me–there’s wheels turning and smoke roiling inside the old noggin. I’m also looking at working in something I’ve been thinking about for a while. You know how on a hot day, there’s a certain type of smell from older concrete and a certain type of low juniper bush? An acidic, old-man-urine type of smell. I’m trying to get that into the story, because it sets the scene so beautifully. This is the hat-trick of writing, to reduce a sensory experience to black and white marks on a page.

Boil it down, distill it, breathe in the steam. Uncork the bottle, let the genie out.

So now it’s back to staring off into the distance and jelling it inside my head on a sleepy summer afternoon.

There are worse things.

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.



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