February 9, 2016

Books books books!

I am the WORST at Goodreads. I never remember to go there to tell people what I'm reading. I never think people care what I'm reading.

But I've read a lot lately, and thought you might like to hear about some of it! Maybe? I don't know. Perhaps. Well, no matter what, these are awesome books, and you just might enjoy them.

Picture this: a family who lives in filth by choice. A family who collects junk, loving on those bits and bobs of cast-off detritus like most of us love on each other.

No, this isn't an episode of Hoarders (though that show is, to me, like a train wreck - I can never turn if off if I've happened upon it). This is the Iremonger Trilogy by Edward Carey.

Beautifully written and illustrated by Carey, these young adult books are freakishly charming. Set in Victorian London, they follow the tale of Clod Iremonger and Lucy Pennant, two star-crossed teenagers who wind up having to save the world from the Iremonger clan. This devilish family can manipulate trash, and while that doesn't necessarily sound terrifying...it is.

In this wild and imaginative world, people become objects, and objects become people, and again, it doesn't necessarily sound terrifying...but it is.

I swear.

You should definitely check it out.

Okay, okay, okay...I should have read this book YEARS ago, I'm sure. But it came out before I'd heard of Neil Gaiman, who has since become one of my all-time favorite writers, and I only noticed it on a shelf in our personal library a few weeks ago.

But I picked it up and dove into his slightly-fractured fairy tale, and fell immediately in love. Seriously. Tristran Thorn is my new literary boyfriend, and I've even watched the movie. Twice.

If you haven't read it and you love the magical, please, do yourself a favor...go read.

* * * *

Beyond these books, I've read lots of nonfiction again lately, and I've been watching lots of movies. I think it's my way of refilling the creative coffers before diving into the writing of the sequel to HEARTLESS, which I will begin pretty much as soon as I'm done with this blog post.

No one can create in a vacuum, that much I know. Sometimes I need those outside influences to spark some flame of creativity in my belly. I love seeing how these voices, literary and otherwise, wind up influencing my own stories...and so we'll see how it all comes together.

In the meantime - go forth and read! Have fun! Enjoy!


February 8, 2016

Self-Promo and Linkies and Pre-Orders, Oh My!

The time has come, y'all! A moment of absolute transparency. A minute of begging. And a whole heaping helping of love to you, my friends, family, and supporters. 

See, here's the thing: in order to keep doing this writing-thing, this thing I love, I need help. I need to sell books. I need readers and fans and all sorts of other things.

In short, I need YOU!

A writer's career will be very short if she doesn't sell books. It'll be very short if she doesn't reach readers. It'll be very short without YOU.

But here's the problem: I hate hate HATE asking people for things! HATE IT! But I can't succeed without your help, and to get your help, I have to ask.

It's a conundrum.

So here's a post where I am asking - no, begging - for your help! I'll try to keep it short.

1. This is important. In order for bookstores to want to order HEARTLESS, they need to see that it'll sell well. So pre-orders on Amazon become VERY important, VERY quickly. If you are considering purchasing a copy of HEARTLESS at any time (either the hardcover or e-book edition), I'd be super-thankful if you'd go ahead and pre-order a copy here.

2. I have a shiny, new, official author page on Facebook. From that page, I'll share info moving forward about ALL my writing projects! I'd love it if you'd not only give it a like, but also click the Liked button and choose the option to Get Notifications...that way you won't miss any interesting and exciting posts!

3. There's still an open Goodreads giveaway for six of the gorgeous advance copies of HEARTLESS. Advance copies are used for promotions, for reviews, and (most importantly) for finding all those last minute typos we'd all rather live without. It's cool to have an ARC of a book from an author you love, so if you want one of mine, please do enter!

4. Regarding signed copies of things....so. I don't know if/when I'll have a stash of actual copies of HEARTLESS to sign and sell directly to you. Here's what I do know, though. 
  • This summer, I'll be doing as many events as I can find bookstores to host me. I hope to travel around the lower east coast, as well as up in the tri-state area. Maybe I'll even head to Tulsa, Oklahoma! You just never know. Hopefully I'll get to come to a bookstore near you, so I can sign your book in person! Stay tuned here and on Facebook for dates/times/events!!!
  • I am always, ALWAYS willing to sign and ship a book if you order from Amazon and have it sent to me. If you're interested in this, contact me directly via email and we'll talk. 
5. I will be at Captain's Comic Expo (February 20-21) again this year. I'll have the advance copies of HEARTLESS for you to see but not sell. I will be selling my Undead America series, however, and I'll have some fun swag to give away (including adorable HEARTLESS buttons courtesy of Marianne Quirk - she took the cover and made little button images for me and I love them and can't wait to share!!!). I am also trying to come up with a fun contest around the event...so we'll see what we can do! It should be a great time!

and 6. Work starts this week (time permitting) on a sequel to HEARTLESS. Tentatively titled SHAPELESS, it'll follow Lucy and Eli and some other familiar faces on further adventures into the dark side of the pesky Order of the Adversaries....and it's going to be FUN to write!

You guys. Seriously. I wouldn't have come this far without you, and I am so grateful for this wild ride of mine! You are the BEST and the most WONDERFUL and I absolutely adore YOU!!!!

February 3, 2016

Gamut Magazine's Kickstarter

Hi friends! How are you? What's been going on?

I'm excited right now. Want to hear why?

It's because one of my favorite writing pal's, Richard Thomas, is trying to start a brand spankin' new literary magazine/web site for transgressive, interesting, genre-bending fiction!

Called Gamut Magazine, when it gets off the ground, it'll publish new fiction, reprints of cool older work, poetry, and essays. It will focus on the darker side of the world - neo-noir, or the new black, so to speak.

And seriously - it's got some of my favorite writerly people involved.

First we've got Richard Thomas, who I've worked with at LitReactor for several years. Richard's a fabulous writer and editor - a short story anthology he was a part of editing, Burnt Tongues, went pretty much off the charts last year. He's also a publisher at Dark House Press, so to say that Gamut has someone at the helm who's been in the trenches and knows what's up would be an understatement. Richard is also kind and generous with his time, and he's been like a literary big brother to me.

Also on board is my awesome bud, Dino Parenti. He'll be one of the fiction editors, which is great, because I've never read work from Dino that hasn't ripped open my soul. We met when we were both taking part in a weekly writing contest, and though the entries were always anonymous, I'd know Dino's voice anywhere. Dark and tragic, while still funny and engaging...he's someone special. Trust me. Oh, and he's a total sweet pea who'd do anything for anybody, too. So yeah. Good to have on staff, to say the least.

Other staff members include Keith Rawson and Max Booth, two razor-sharp writers I've traded jabs with at LitReactor. They're fantastic.

And the lineup Gamut has planned? Jeeeez. They already have amazing writers promising to submit stories and other work...like the aptly-named Sarah Read (her stories will make you ache), Rebecca Jones-Howe (her short story collection garnered her an angry email from a granny, calling her a "dirty girl" or some such nonsense) and the ever-amazing Amanda Gowin (who's one of my favorite people with whom to karaoke). Transgressive master Stephen Graham-Jones is on board, along with Laird Barron....and oh man, I could go on and on.

The pay rate is totally professional ($0.10/word), so you can make some cash if they start publishing your work, and they even hope to run some novel serializations (Richard, talk to me about this, because I can't write short form anymore! Hahahaha!!).

Oh...and if you don't want to listen to me babble on about it, why not listen to Fight Club author, Chuck Palahniuk, who says:
Now that short fiction has become as standardized as the SATs and Common Core—all in order to 'judge' and 'rank' writers—I'm excited to see what Richard Thomas brings to the game. Gamut will be the new magazine not written for the little old lady in Dubuque.
So. Gamut Magazine. Go check out the Kickstarter (which has raised over $8k in two days!), and support it if it sounds like your thing. And it should sound like your thing! After all, you're friends with me, aren't you? 

Happy reading, and good luck to Richard, Dino, and the amazing Gamut gang!