Sunday, November 29, 2009

There Be Questions (Part 1)

Recently I made an appearance at the Entertainment Marketing Class at Kennesaw State University. Besides having a grand time with the students, I left with a handful of questions. So I thought I'd answer a few.

D. Howell asks: What are you reading right now?
Scott Westerfeld. Scott has one really unusual imagination (as evidenced by his latest book LEVIATHAN) and I thought I'd check out this series. The premise is that when you turn a certain age you are changed from an Ugly to a Pretty and get to lead the good life. Of course, not all is as it seems and that's why I'm enjoying the book so far.

D. Howell also asks: Are any characters based off of yourself?
Sorta, but not really. Great answer, huh? There are elements of me in all my characters, but if I did a Mary Sue and made the heroine just like me it'd be a darned dull story. So I incorporate some of my traits (usually unwittingly) into my characters. An example is Jacynda Lassiter (my heroine in the
Time Rovers Series) who fears tunnels that go underwater. I'm the same. She has a tendency to thump annoying people over the head. I used to do that when I was a kid but gave it up since I don't really need a criminal record. There are other examples, but on the whole I avoid writing my characters based on me because my life is nowhere near exciting as theirs.

J. Smith asks: Iowa being the sprawling metropolis it is, did that help you in your writings or make you depend on your creative side when you were growing up?
I like the idea of Iowa sorta sprawling around, elbowing Minnesota and shoving Missouri further south (grin). Living in Iowa, per se, didn't affect me as much as being an only child. The best way to entertain myself (and not get into trouble with my eagle-eyed mother) was to exercise my imagination. I lived in my own little world (still do most of the time) where I created other people to hang with, talk to and share adventures. Couple that with voracious reading and you've got logical stepping stones to becoming an author.

J. Smith also inquires: What are your single malt recommendations?
Now there's a question close to my liquor cabinet! I choose single malt based on my mood. I usually head toward the peatier (smoky) varieties like Oban, Talisker or Laphroaig. Every now and then I'll try some Abelour A'bunadh. I have some 16 y/o cask strength Abelour right now that is just smoother than anything. Some nights it's a beer. Just depends on where my head is.

I'll tackle a few more questions in the next couple of days. In the meantime enjoy your leftover turkey, folks.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Going Global

One of the coolest things about being an author is knowing that folks are going to be reading your work. Even better when it's in a different part of the world. I've been sitting on some awesome news and now I can share it!

My Demon Trappers Series has gone international.

e German foreign rights have been sold to Fischer, which means my books will be sitting on shelves in Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich sometime down the line! Wheeee!!!!

And then just last week as we walked off the plane in Las Vegas there was an email from my editor -- Pan MacMillan has purchased the UK rights. Books in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Dublin!

Clearly we have a lot to be thankful for and I'll be making note of all that on Turkey Day. Thanks for sharing the good news. It makes it so much more fun that way. Publishing is a tough profession and it helps to celebrate the good stuff and share the bad. This time around it's the good stuff.

Wishing you all a very wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Postcard from the Writer Person

Manuscript to Editor on Nov. 1st? Check
House tidied? Check.
Twitching to work on next book? Check.

All systems normal here. While I await The Verdict from my editor on the first book in the Demon Trapper's Series (tentatively titled THE DEMON TRAPPER'S DAUGHTER) I've been tidying up my environment in an effort to keep me away from Book #2. I need a break, but the writing virus doesn't believe in time off so I have to trick it into submission by diverting its attention. So far that diversion has been successful.

I've had a couple folks ask how matters will progress from this point forward. It's pretty simple, actually. The process is much like it was for Dragon Moon Press, though on a grander scale. Once I've made any revisions my editor requests and she gives it a thumbs up, the next step is copy editing, wherein some wonderful person fixes my grammatical boo-boos etc. Somewhere along the line I'll get to see the new cover design (can't wait on this one -- St. Martin's has gorgeous covers) and I proof the "galley" for any typesetting issues. Then the book is into the chute and headed for press. ARC (Advance Reading Copies) will come out first and be sent to reviewers, then the real deal will land on my doorstep and in bookstores. There will be champagne flowing on that day, for sure.

I'll start working on Book #2 after our vacation and Thanksgiving. Meanwhile I'm enjoying the time off, while trying to ignore that tiny nagging voice hissing "Must Write!!" Time to clean another closet, me thinks.