Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years Stuff

So here we go into a new year. I feel lucky to have emerged relatively unscathed from this one. For a lot of people I know, it's been an absolutely awful time, but I'm very optimistic that 2010 will be so much better....

When I went over my calendar to see what I accomplished this year, I was at first surprised at my stats--usually I'll write about five books per year, but in 2009, I wrote "only" three books and one short story. But as I analyze that further, those books were big ones--two of my post-apocalyptic urban fantasies (to be published in 2011) and one Vampire Babylon (DEEP IN THE WOODS, to be released on 3/2/10). Normally, my statistics look more productive, but that's when I also write shorter Special Editions and Blazes, too. So, considering that, I didn't do too badly.

Next year is going to be a write-a-pa-looza though. Here's my schedule:

* The first book in a new Special Edition series, Cowboy Billionaires, Inc.
* A Montana Mavericks book (to be released in October, 2010)
* The second book in Cowboy Billionaires, Inc.
* The third post-apocalyptic urban fantasy book
* The third book in Cowboy Billionaires, Inc.
* A Blaze book

And that's what I know at this point. Naturally, I'll also be working on proposals for other projects, and I have an idea for a sort of paranormal epic fantasy that could go a lot of ways--paranormal romance or in an urban fantasy type vein. I'll be thinking about that more.

I hope your new year is fantastic and full of little gems that you discover day by day. May you find contentment and happiness (and thank you for keeping the publishing industry going by reading!). : )

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you all! I'm so glad you guys come here and I've had the pleasure of meeting you.

Here's a little holiday fun, and it just proves why "The Twelve Days of Christmas" is the most repetitive, annoying song ever while, at the same time, being one of the most awesome.

Thank you to Christina Radish for passing this along!
Have fun today, you all. :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Amazing Sam Tsui

So my music loving brother has been drawn to GLEE, right? He heard its version of "Don't Stop Believing" on YouTube, and it was over.

But that cover song led to a link of GLEE-type songs, and now my brother has lured me into the world of Sam Tsui.

I guess this guy is a college student who works with another student, and he's put his songs on YouTube. He is AMAZING. Just watch this video of a Michael Jackson medley, and I know you're going to agree. He and his friend used simple equipment to mix Sam's vocals (and one vocal for the friend) and every person in this video is Sam (except for the friend on the side).

Sam--you are ready for the big time!

Enjoy, you guys.


Monday, December 21, 2009

SUPERNATURAL Blog at Selena's Site

Our wonderful Selena is hosting a week of TV features over at her site. She asked me to muse about the greatness of SUPERNATURAL and, naturally, I was all over it.

Come on over and tell us why *you* love SUPERNATURAL, too!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Okay, I might have to see AVATAR. After the holiday rush, of course.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

From Mail--Christmas Eating Tips

This is being passed around on the Internet, and it pretty much sums up my "screw it" attitude toward eating during the holidays....


1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Holiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It's rare.. You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Holiday party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner. Remember this motto to live by:

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate and wine in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"

I'll eat better come the new year. I promise!!!

Thank you to Mary Leo. :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Robin Hood!

Hey, guys,
I've been in my writing cave. I'm winding up that second Bloodlands book and having a good time, but I'm getting increasingly nervous about all the post-apocalyptic urban fantasies I'm seeing released waaaaaaay before my 2011 shelf date for this trilogy. I'm really afraid that everything I do will be "been there, done that." I'm even seeing more western-themed post-apocalyptic paranormals out there, in the spirit of PRIEST or HELIX. I'll blog about this at a later time, because it's really been on my mind, but I just keep telling myself to keep writing. Period.

In all this drama, I wanted to share this new trailer with you. It's for the new Robin Hood movie with Russell Crow. Love! I've missed him. And talk about a subject that's been done many times before. This just reminds that you can take a story/subject that's been approached by other authors and spin it into something very cool.

(Sorry I couldn't find a way to embed this, but here's the link):

Have a great one!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Life Is Weird

Okay, so I'm sitting around yesterday, and I start thinking about one of my old projects that was put far, far away on the back burner. I've talked about this one before--it features an early twenties heroine who is a pop culture geek, and she aspires to be a manga penciler. Old school style, of course. I wrote it way back when Red Dress Ink first came out, so it's got that chick lit voice. But it came just short of selling to RDI because it wasn't *quite* what they were looking for. I remember there being something about the heroine being a little too young, and there's a strong storyline about how she and her "best friend" are realizing that they aren't the same people any more, and they're floating apart. At the same time, the heroine is making new friends--ones she never expected. It's about transition and how tough that can be. To me, it was very real, because I went through a time when I experienced that same heartbreaking realization about one of my own friends.

Throughout it all, there's a subplot, told in graphic novel/manga form, about the heroine's alter-ego, a girl raised by wolves who turns into a kick-ass superheroine. It echoes what the real heroine is going through, and in the end, it shows that, no matter what happens to her--no matter how she's been broken by life--she's going to be strong and continue fighting on.

I think this book was sent to fifty million editors a few years ago, and it came close, but wasn't *just* right for anyone. Luckily my agent has always kept faith in this book, and there might be some new avenues opening up for it. She told me this morning...after I was thinking about the book yesterday.

Coincidence? Or Christmas miracle?

I'm rooting for the latter!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

What This Geek Is Looking Forward To This Month

December usually brings some pretty good movies to the theater, and even though I don't go to the movies half as much as I used to, there are two films that'll get me there.

I just decided recently that I want to see this. The first trailer didn't do much for me, although it looked fairly funny. It was only when I saw Jude Law as Watson calmly telling Holmes to get whatever is in Holmes' hand out of his face that I decided I've got to be a part of the hilarity. The partnership between Robert Downey, Jr., and Jude Law looks to be very amusing, and I just can't pass that up.

I haven't seen NINE on stage, but I did see 8 1/2, the film on which NINE the musical is based. Basically, it's about an Italian director--a fairly major scumbag, even though he's all cool and suave--who thinks about all the women who've impacted his life while he tries to come up with a real premise for his movie. And his movie is already in production. I can't resist all the star power of this film. Just. Can't.

What I decided I'm not looking forward to:

I know. How can this be? It's James Cameron, and he *always* pulls through. The man never fails to mix a truly touching love story with some major kick-ass action. I was really anticipating AVATAR, too, until the first trailer came out. It's those blue things. Like a lot of other geeks, I can't get over them. I hate looking at them. It could be that'll I'll change my mind; after all, I'm sure the 3-D viewing in and of itself will be spectacular. Also, Stephen Lang is in this (Did I spell that right?), and I saw him in a play once. Plus, he was in TOMBSTONE, and we all know that TOMBSTONE is one of the best movies ever.

Do you guys have anything you'll rush out to see in the theater--or *not* rush out to see?

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Today I Explore a Mine Shaft...Sort Of

I'm revising today, and a part of that includes finessing some details that I didn't include during the "hair-on-fire" writing of the first draft. (Occasionally, when I want to look up more details about, say, a Predator Drone or something important to a scene, I'll just put ******** and then move on. This allows me to keep going in the flow of the scene, and I'll come back to the chapter very soon to wipe out those helpful *****.)

I thought I'd show you guys what I "finessed" today in my postapocalyptic western paranormal world for BLOODLANDS, Book Two. I needed a place for my characters to hide after they committed quite a bit of trouble back in a city, so I decided upon a mineshaft, since they're near in a place that used to be Denver. Thanks to this lovely video posted on YouTube (among others), I got to travel to a mineshaft and peek inside it, without the hassle.

Technology can be good.

Here's the link:

Kudos to Redneckman for posting this.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

I Made the Sci-Fi Scene!

Near Halloween, I chatted with Robyn Carr at the Paseo Verde Library in Henderson, NV. Brenda Dupont, from was there to report! You can check it out at .

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

And the Writer Wrote On...

Well, after being majorly stuffed during Thanksgiving and then taking advantage of the holiday to excuse a couple of days off, I'm back in the saddle.

The next couple of days will be all about revision on my second Bloodlands book (2011 release date). Currently, my characters are in that "entering the Death Star" phase, where they've arrived at the Hidden Fortress, Dragon's Lair, Evil Castle part of the hero's journey. I'll be tweaking the big action scene today. Those are always a challenge, mostly because of the pacing. I want the scenes to be vivid, so instead of going off on a lot of description, I try to find economical words that'll convey much more than a long sentence would. Does that even make sense?

Of course, during those action scenes, I always want there to be some character development, as well. It's not just about Character One fighting off, say, a zombie or whatever. It's about how the fighting affects them and either advances their character or threatens it. Same with love scenes--you can't just go from position A to position B; the actions lead to very telling *reactions.* A character should never come out of a love scene or action scene unchanged, right?

Off to work....