Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Change of Address

To streamline my life, which has gotten complicated for some reason, I'm blogging on only one site from this point on - my Jana Oliver blog on the main website. I will continue to check here on LJ to see what you folks are up to, however, and post as needed. Can't miss your exploits.

If you want to follow my doings there are many ways to achieve that:
Twitter (crazyauthorgirl)

Now you know why life has gotten complicated!

Happy Holidays to One and All! Here's hoping 2011 is a WAY better year for all of us.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Busy, Busy

Busy, busy. But getting better. That's the weather forecast in Jana's world. The first weekend of the month began in North Carolina. When we were driving out of Atlanta it began to sleet. Yuck. Then we get twenty minutes from home and I realize I didn't pack the camera or (more important) the video projector for my talk in Charlotte. Dumb. So we drive home, get said items, and head back north again and by this time the sucky weather had passed.
The projector and portable screen are merely contingency plans (I've learned the hard way on that score) and definitely not needed at the Hickory Tavern in NW Charlotte. The room was huge, with massive open windows, and there was big projector screen. Unfortunately it was way sunny so some of the images got a bit bleached out, but overall it went really well. The Charlotte folks were so gracious and so many of them were at the beginning of their writer journey. After the event the Spouse and I adjourned to a Panera, commandeered a table and eat bread bowl soup while I edited a non-fiction article. Yum. I love soup this time of year.

Thanksgiving Day went very well. We had a wonderful turkey dinner, just the two of us. The kitchen cabinet painting was in full swing so things were a mess, but I didn't care. It was great to break out the good china, sit in the dining room (the kitchen table was full of stuff from the cabinets) and have a really fine meal.

Many things are In The Works. On the US side, DEMON TRAPPER'S DAUGHTER is garnering reviews. My marketing lady tells me that there will be the first two chapters of the book posted on closer to publication. And there will be special short story about Riley's first solo trapping adventure entitled RETRO DEMONOLOGY.

On the UK side we've created a Google map that shows some of the places used in the series and we're developing a Picasa photo site so folks can check out pictures of those sites. Reviews are rolling in over there as well and the first few on Amazon have been amazing. Another trip to Oakland Cemetery is in the works, but this time it won't be purely for reference. I wanted to give my new camera road test before we go on the road, but the Kitchen Cabinet Painting Project chewed up all of last weekend. And where are you off to now, Ms. Oliver? South Georgia. But I'll tell you more about that later this week.

Wishing all my US friends and readers a belated Happy Thanksgiving. Despite all the gloomy news we are forced to endure 24/7, we have much to be thankful for. And I'm very thankful for all of you.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Temptation on the Doorstep

A new post on Temptation at my website blog!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Goodreads Contest

Hey folks! My US publisher (St. Martin's Press) is running a contest on Goodreads through Dec 1st and the prizes are copies* of  THE DEMON TRAPPER'S DAUGHTER. They're giving away 48 copies, so be sure to pop out and register. You do have to be a member of Goodreads, so if you're not be sure to join. It's a great place to connect with other readers.

*Initially I thought these were advanced reader copies, but it appears they're the real deal. That's even better.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Paperback Dolls Interview

Just a quick post to invite you to Paperback Dolls today. My interview is up and later today they'll be posting my article about Oakland Cemetery. There is a gift basket in the offing! Drop by. Leave a comment. You know you want to!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Zombies, Beaches and Vodka

Zombies, beaches and vodka. Just what do they have in common? My life (and thanks for asking). The zombies were everywhere in Atlanta over Dragon*Con. They even had a Zombie Ball. No, I have NO pictures of zombies. My husband did take a few (see left for a fine young specimen rifling through the newspaper machines.) So what is it with me and zombies? Why did I hot foot it out of Oakland Cemetery one day when a Zombie Walk invaded the place?

Personal confession: I'm not cool with the undead. Vampires/vampyres (no matter how you spell the word) fall into this category. Whenever I see one I think "You're so dead, dude. Here, let me complete the process with this wooden stake." I know that vamps can be charmingly hypnotic, able to leap tall buildings, seduce virgins and can even sparkle, but THEY'RE DEAD, okay. Zombies are just a lower social class of vamps. The ones with no fashion sense and few social skills. They wear ratty, blood-stained clothes, moan a lot and complain about how they never get enough brains to eat. They shamble or shuffle and are truly grotesque. Hence my dislike of all things Zombie. Movies, comics, TV shows, you name it. And especially Zombie Balls. At least a Vamp Ball would have some class and I bet their mixed drinks would be unforgettable.

Fortunately, a friend of mine knows my desire to Avoid All Things Zombie so she steered me away from the Westin hotel right after my Alternate History panel since that's where that aforementioned ball was being held. I briskly hiked outside (you don't dare run or they'll come after you) only to encounter them on the street in their tattered dresses, their gray and bloody faces and with their pathetic moans. Sigh. Maybe by next year the con goers will fall in love with something less nasty--like werewolves or something. How's about a Werewolf/Lycanthrope Ball for a change? Though they might be shaggy and have raging cases of Full Moon Syndrome, werewolves are cool. Even cooler in a tux or a ball gown. I'd so be there. With a flea collar, of course.

Of course, because I have a thing against Zombies I included a version of them in my Demon Trappers Series. My reanimates (Deaders) don’t eat brains and they dress nice for the recently deceased. Shopping when you're a copse is problematic. They don’t shuffle or shamble and they don’t hold social events. Deaders are kinda sad, actually. They’re not supposed to be above ground so their minds don’t function quite right. Often they go “screensaver mode” and just stop moving. Quite sad. No, these guys will not be trotting off to some ball in downtown Atlanta in the near future. Or if they do, I don’t want to know about it, okay?

But what about the beaches and vodka you ask? Those references are to the delightful news that my Demon Trappers Series has sold in Brazil (for Portuguese translation) and into Mother Russia! Beaches and vodka. I have no idea when those editions will see the light of the day, but I'm still jazzed.

I bet the Brazilians and the Russians know how to handle zombies properly. Just sayin'...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Research Happens

No matter what, just like death, taxes and manuscript revisions, research is inevitable. Especially when you're a writer. No matter how well you know a subject it's always best to check your sources. So here's what I'm up to nowadays.

First out of the box -- the research for my panels at Dragon*Con. What, you say? Research for a panel? Don't you wing it?" It really depends on the panel. Some I can, others require my nose in a book or some surfing on the Internet. I research the panel topic because I have no desire to look like a complete idiot in front of a roomful of people. Who will tell their friends. And their pets. And all of Facebook that Jana is *cough* dense. Hence the homework.

Currently, I'm collecting data for my Myth and Reality of Victorian London panel, digging through my extensive collection of Victorian tomes to tease out just the right (and hopefully intriguing) facts. The Face of the Demon panel has me scrabbling for all my demon/Fallen angel reference books, along with some of the fiction that has defined demons over the centuries. The other panels require less research, which is a blessing.

And I'm researching tattoos (the history of) for an essay I'm writing for an upcoming BenBella SmartPop anthology on the House of Night series (by my buds P.C. and Kristin Cast). Fascinating subject, tattooing. Now I just have to boil all the info (and the HoN lore) down to less than 5K words.

Finally, there's the history of Lucifer, from the first appearance of hasatan (The Adversary) in the Hebrew Bible all the way through the New Testament and Lucifer's metamorphosis into Satan. That research has me parsing Jewish, Christian and Muslim resources. Some aren't that easy to understand, but as long as I get the drift of the commentary, I'm good.

All of this research will spill over into my writing, of course. Even the Victorian bits though I'm not writing about that time period. There's an "additive" effect when you conduct research -- it sparks the brain cells, gets you thinking in new directions. And more times than not, that leads to a another story idea.

So what are you researching at present? The history of stamp collecting? How to balance a plate on your head? Come on, don't be shy. We really want to know.