Hiya, peeps!

Well, I’ve been way busy with the merry elves and all my cohorts over at Women and Words getting ready for our giant huge massive crazy nutso book giveaway extravaganza.

12 days of giveaways. Different lists of authors every day. And publishers.

It’s kind of insane and it takes us a while to get prepped. We start compiling lists around September, though it’s not unusual for people to approach us right after we end to get on the list for the next year.

Anyhoo, we launched today and we’re doing this dog n’ pony show through the 23rd! We post at 9 AM EST every day and have drawings every night at 10 PM EST US. It’s predominantly feminist/lesfic, so if that’s your bag, head on over. Or if you’re new to the world of lesfic, here’s your chance to get some exposure to bunches of different authors writing all kinds of genres as well as the houses that publish them.

Here’s Day 1, so you know what you’re about to get yourself into:

Come on down for some festivating!

Happy Friday, Happy Hootenanny!

Friday grooviness

Skip on over to Women and Words and catch author Baxter Clare Trautman‘s interview with thriller writer Amanda Kyle Williams. FOR REALZ!

And if you haven’t read Williams’ stuff, WHY NOT? Find out more about her at her website.

Oh, and don’t forget. Ironman 3 opens today!

Other stuff:

Have a dance party.

Jimmy Kimmel doing Lie Witness News. Made-up bands that people insist they know in the line-up at Coachella 2013.

Heh. The Suburban Jungle blog.

Fun tip:
Think up some random search terms to plug into Google and see what comes up. I just tried “Yikes, monkeys” and “butt zombies.” You’re welcome.

Happy Friday!

Cool links

Hiya, peeps!

When I find interesting-ness on the intertubes, I like to pass it along to you, to do with as you please.

First, author and awesome savant Chuck Wendig often re-posts things from his blog “Terrible Minds.” This one is one of my faves, “Ode to the Editor.” Read it HERE.

Remember the other day I blogged on the importance of editors and those urban fantasy books I was reading? And how I said I would definitely not read further in one series, but would in the other? Well, I’m reading the second in the series I enjoyed, but once again, the editor made a boo-boo. In the first of that series, the word “allusion” rather than “illusion” appeared. In this one, the word “allude” rather than “elude” appeared. Grammar monster will explain the difference here. Even though I’m 200 pages past it, it still bugs me. And sadly, I know what page it’s on. Sigh. The editor-ness in me sometimes is SUCH a burden. 😀

Anyway. Here’s another cool thing I found today. Jennifer Niven writes on women spies at HuffPo in the 20th century. Super-cool, and if you’re looking for some inspiration or ideas for an espionage novel/thriller, this piece might offer you some.

Oh, and James Blaylock, one of the dudes integral in the establishment of steampunk as a genre, tells us how that came about in his piece at HuffPo, “On Steampunk.”

I’m currently reading Phoenix Rising (by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris), the first in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series. Fun stuff, great characters. If you haven’t read much steampunk, I also recommend Cherie Priest‘s work.

Heh. And the January 15 Bloggess entry, about the Eye of Sauron. [NOTE: if you have issues with ladyparts words, don’t click that link.]

And finally, this cool song, “All of Me,” by the Brooklyn duo Tanlines. They remind me of my Erasure days in the 80s, when I wore pegged jeans, Docs, and retro bowling shirts. Oh, wait…

Anyway, this vid has an 80s cold war feel to it, too. Love the juxtaposition of the bippy tune and the grim interior of that bar/club.

direct link

All rightie! Happy reading, happy writing, and put your music on and DANCE!

Writers’ Police Academy

Hey, kids!

Okay, so I had the super-cool chance to attend the Writers’ Police Academy this year.


I’ve been wanting to go, and this year I had the chance. So I did. I’ll talk more about it in a later blog, as I’m still trying to catch up after my almost 4 days of constant go go go. But I do want to make a few things clear in this blog. You’ll see those below.

Something that helped me immensely: As a member of the organization Sisters in Crime, my registration cost was $100. That was a giant bowl of awesome. Obviously, like other workshops, you have to arrange your own transportation and lodging (the conference hotel had a conference rate) and a few meals, but for things like this, it’s totally worth it, especially since workshop/conference registration can sometimes be super expensive for many of us, like $300-$500 in some cases. Nevertheless, try to save up so you can go. And professional organizations can help cut that cost a bit.

So let me stress the following points about events like this:

1. It’s important to continue to expand your horizons as a writer, and to continue to develop your skill set.

2. Workshops/conferences give you a chance to network. You never know who you’ll meet or what new avenues you’ll be able to explore.

3. Get the most out of your conference/workshop experience. Go to panels that not only interest you, but that have something to do with projects you’re working on. The people leading the panel and the audience are all not only interested in the topic, but working on projects that deal with it, too. Networking opp!

4. Talk to the instructors/people leading the panels. They can provide more information, direct you to even more resources, and become a potential contact.

And do yourself this favor:
5. Join professional organizations that cater to the type/genres of writing you do. Membership gives you perks, including deals on conference/workshop registration. They’re also great networking opportunities. And I recommend you share the love back, and give of your time and energy to the organizations as you can. They’re always looking for volunteers to help with projects. I cannot stress this enough. Join professional organizations. Keep current on your dues, utilize the resources, and make yourself known.

Next time, I’ll give you more of my experience at WPA. In the meantime, check out this schedule. That’s what I did from Thursday night through Sunday afternoon. For those of you who write thrillers and/or mysteries, Writers’ Police Academy is something you really need to think about doing. I’ll tell you more next time.

Happy Tuesday!

Writer’s Digest interview with Patricia Cornwell

Hey, peeps!

If you’re a US writer (heck, a writer anywhere!) and not a subscriber to Writer’s Digest, try it. At least for a year to see how you like it. And if you’re a reader but not necessarily a writer, there are some FAB interviews with authors in WD.

For example! The October 2012 issue of Writer’s Digest has this super-cool interview with international supah-star crime writer Patricia Cornwell, by Jessica Strawser. As those of you who are familiar with Cornwell are aware, her premier character is medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta.

If you’re not a subscriber, find someone who is so you can read it or buy the issue. It’s available in print, but it’s not available to non-subscribers online. If you purchase the digital issue online, I believe it gives you access to online content relevant to that issue not available in the print. Like the extended version of the interview, in which Cornwell briefly discusses gay characters and mainstream fiction in the online outtakes.

I’ve been reading Cornwell off and on since Postmortem (1990) was released, and I’ve followed her career peripherally. One of the things that I really appreciate about her books is the extensive research she does for each one. It shows. And for crime writing, that is, I think, ultra-important.

In the interview, she discusses her writing process, the boundaries she keeps, and how she approaches writing and forensics. One of the things I appreciated about the intro to the interview is the matter-of-fact way her marriage to psychiatrist Staci Ann Gruber is treated. It’s mentioned, and. . .that’s it. No OMG THE GAY CRIME WRITER freakout. A mention of her marriage to her, and on to a couple other pertinent details about her successful defamation suit against a writer who accused her of plagiarism then waged an online war against her character.

So let’s have some more tidbits from the interview!

Continue reading

Gear. Up.

Hi, kids–

We haven’t had a chat about the apocalypse (whichever one you want to deal with), so I thought I’d help you out yet again. Make sure you read all my helpful tips BEFORE the apocalypse, since AFTER, most likely we aren’t going to have electricity and thus, no interwebs access.

And I’m just weird enough to share this luv with you and get you all prepared for running away from zombies. Or hordes of scary survivors. Maybe both.

So let’s chat about the ultimate nomadic accessory. Backpacks.

Carry on…

Continue reading

Thank your local librarians!

Hi, folks–

I’m a member of Sisters in Crime (cuz, like, I write mysteries), and this Saturday they’re doing an event called Sisters Solve Mysteries.

Here’s some scoopage:

For 25 years, booksellers and librarians have helped women writing crime fiction find their audience. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the founding of Sisters in Crime, an organization created to promote the advancement of women mystery writers, SinC members are thanking librarians and booksellers for their efforts by spending a day helping out in their institutions.

For six hours on Saturday, April 21, SinC member authors will shadow booksellers and librarians to learn how they solve mysteries every day.

SinC authors will serve as booksellers or library volunteers for a day, doing whatever their library or bookstore manager asks of the regular staff: shelving, bagging, sweeping, assisting patrons, pulling holds, making recommendations, taking out the trash, checking in returned books, etc.

Click THIS LINK to find out if libraries in your area are participating.

And if not, well, that’s okay. Maybe you could organize an event through the writers’ groups/organizations you belong to and do something like this, that shows some love for your local libraries.

Because I’ll tell you what. NOTHING solves problems like a good librarian.

Happy reading!

And if you don’t have a librarian action figure, WHY NOT? Here. Now you, too, can be awesome.

Abe Lincoln and alt-history

Okay, so I went to see The Hunger Games this weekend. I’ve read the trilogy (which I really enjoyed), but the movie could only do so much in 2.5 hours. A lot of the characters got short-changed, I felt, and the movie didn’t capture what I’ve been calling the utter banality and brutality of the Capitol. But again, there’s only so much you can do with a 2.5-hour movie. The cast was great, and I enjoyed the pacing of it, so there you go.

ANYWAY, my point is, I was sitting in the theater getting ready for The Hunger Games and the previews came on, including. . .

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

For reals, yo. And it freaking looks like it’s going to kick some serious ass. Check out the trailer:


OMG you know you want more of this! Keep reading!

Continue reading

Mars, baby.

Hi, kids–

As some of you may know, I cut my spec fic teeth back in the day reading everything I could get my hands on that was written by Edgar Rice Burroughs. ERB was doing most of his writing from about 1912 to the mid-1940s. He wrote classic pulp fiction, which is what I try to model my space opera series, the Far Seek Chronicles, after. That is, in terms of his spec fic, high adventure, high drama, and amazing settings.

And c’mon. You know who this guy is. He’s the creator of Tarzan. But he’s also the creator of myriad other worlds, including a vision of Mars that his Earthling character, John Carter, had the opportunity to visit and make part of his life.

I also want to be clear. ERB was writing at a time when it was okay and even expected to be racist and sexist. ERB himself leaned toward eugenics, as author John Taliaferro notes in his biography of the writer. (read chapter one here) So yes, these books are racist and sexist, some more blatantly than others. But they’re also highly imaginative, with amazing creatures, characters, and settings. ERB was definitely a product of his time and background, which certainly doesn’t excuse some of the things in his books, but hopefully, it explains it to you, people who may not be familiar with his work. As much as we don’t like to admit it, writers are products of their times and contexts, too, and yes, that can and does get reflected in our writing.

There’ve been tons of Tarzan movies over the years, but here, at long last, is a movie version of what I’m guessing is the first book in ERB’s Mars series, though the title’s wrong. The first book in the Mars series is A Princess of Mars, and it was published in 1912. This was the first novel ERB wrote. So though he’s known more for the Tarzan series, he was writing the Mars series as well.

The premise of the Mars series is John Carter, a veteran of the Civil War (who fought for the Confederacy). After the war, he goes prospecting in Arizona and ends up in trouble with some Apaches. He hides in a sacred cave and there’s something hinky/freaky in there, because BOOM he’s transported to Mars (Barsoom), which is a dying world ravaged by war (and awesome characters and creatures). Because he’s from Earth, he has amazing powers in the low gravity of Mars. He gets caught up in the battles for justice, and there’s all kinds of adventure and some romance, too.

The title of the movie is John Carter, and I’m thinking that probably it’s an amalgam of several of the books, though I could be wrong and it could be based on the first book in the series. Princess of Mars celebrates its 100th birthday this year, and Library of America will be releasing a special commemorative hardcover edition. Kinda cool. And kinda neat that this movie will be released March 9th. ERB fans, rejoice! Let’s hope this one does the pulp fiction master proud.


“A Matter of Blood” wins a Rainbow Award

Hi, kids!

I’m pleased and honored to announce that the second book in my space opera series, the Far Seek Chronicles, won a Rainbow Award.

That would be A Matter of Blood.

source: andimarquette.com and Bedazzled Ink

Here’s the link with the complete list of winners in every category.

Here on my site, you can read an excerpt from A Matter of Blood here.

And you can go here to see where you can purchase it, if you’re so inclined.

Wow. Feels good. Congrats as well to my fellow authors who also won Rainbow Awards, and to my fellow authors who received honorable mentions. Write on!