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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thursday? Already? Are You Sure?

So...I've been seriously neclecting bloggerly duties. Cheating on all of you with livejournal and the League of Reluctant Adults. I'm thinking I really need to split these blogs into two purposes. Burlesque will be my spot for pimpin' of books, movies and music. While livejournal will be my main blog. It's just so much easier, and the comment structure is awesome. I've kind of already started doing it. In fact the last two blogs have been posted over there, exclusively.

What you've missed:

1. Finishing the draft of ROAD TRIP OF THE LIVING DEAD.
2. Turning it over to agent and beta readers.
3. Total fucking author meltdown (it's no good, piece of crap, etc.).
4. Deep cleansing breaths, followed immediately by...
5. Screwing up my website (SEE). Though, I'm loving the razor blade.
6. Frustration ever since.
7. The League book club seems to be a success.

On that note, I have announcements...

I got my first print review! Romantic Times gives HAPPY HOUR OF THE DAMNED...

Wait for it...

4 stars

Unless you're a subscriber, you can't see the whole review, but I have and the reviewer issued a WARNING! For me, that's just like telling people there's candy inside. Sure that candy is made of body parts, but it's still sweet as hell. Glee!

The other thing...

On March 25th, I'll be travelling down to Portland with the lovely and talented Mario Acevedo for a Reading/Signing at Powell's in Beaverton. Mario will be hawking his new book, THE UNDEAD KAMA SUTRA, which--come on--that title fills with the chagrin of jealousy. Not to mention that I have cover envy so bad, that I'm thinking of including those metal scrotums that dangle off the back of truck hitches with every copy of HAPPY HOUR sold (just joking people, seriously, don't hold me to that. Those guys that buy those things look like they're willing to pay tons for their inferiority complexes, just look at the trucks). Just look...



Why must I be tortured like this?

Anyhow, it's looking like it might be an all out urban fantasy rumble. With some Seattle heavies hittin' the road to do the Portland thing. Can the Oregonians pull off a party filled night of fantasy for our travelling band of hellions? Or will it end in a frenzied dance off álá West Side Story?

We'll see. We shall see.

As for why this post is a cornucopia of font sizes spacing errors, only the Gods of Blogger know.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Want to Talk About Books?

Hola! The League of Reluctant Adults is hosting its first monthly book club, this whole week we'll be chatting about C.E. Murphy's Heart of Stone. The author, herself, will be stopping in to chat, and comment with the club. Swing by everyday for new topics as well as our regular weekly posts. It's going to be a busy week.

Oh...and there's this...

A special parting gift will go to one of our club members! Check it out here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Back on Schedule


We're back on regular schedule with the League and my post is up now. It's all about my revision plans with ROAD TRIP OF THE LIVING DEAD. Whether it's effective or not, well, it's too early to tell. But it's taken a lot of pressure off, so there you go.

So swing on by and leave your revision tips for the gang.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Is This the AA Meeting? No? No?



Friday night, Caroline got off work early so we could enjoy a white tablecloth dinner in Seattle and then bounce on in for the main event, the Richelle Mead/Lilith Saintcrow (or vice-versa) reading at the University Bookstore. Because we are, in fact, us. Things didn't go as planned.

Reservations were made, Caroline got home in plenty of time and then the mishaps began. Jesus wept, with all the mishaps. First, I forgot my camera. Because I am a consciencious blogger and knew how dissappointed (read suicidal) all my electronic friends would be, we pointed that car back toward Questa Verde and subjected it to the Sunday driving habits of the minivan set.

15 minutes and three miles later. Camera.

So, we hit traffic, now bumper to bumper. We live south of Tacoma, but on a good day it only takes about tweny minutes to make the curve up to the "big" city. Friday, it took 45 minutes. Needless to say, we didn't make our reservations and ended up in a hole in the wall Thai place that served the most awesome Pad Thai ever, Thanks Mae Phim! Enter at your own risk, the food is awesome but the kitchen looks like a health hazard and it's open to the restaurant like a floorshow. Not the kind were the chefs sport crisp uniforms and stainless steel appliances, either. In fact, the only reflective material was the wall of tin-foil, and the twist ties the carried the bolts of power cords in from some undisclosed location.

Can you say, Deathtrap?

Anyhow, the service was quick and the food cheap, so we were willing to put up with ambiguous bacterial threats to our physical safety.

We got to the reading early and looked around the store, which is huge and spread out over three stories, so it's like a fantatic reader's heaven once you get past the homeless person perennially guarding the back door. If you ever make it to Seattle, you've got to check out the sci-fi fantasy section at the University Bookstore. Huge selection and I'm not just pimping it because they're hosting...

An Evening of Werewolves and Zombies
A reading/signing event with debut novelists Caitlin Kittredge (Night Life) and Mark Henry (Happy Hour of the Damned) March 27 @ 7:00 PM.

No. I pimp because it is the best selection in the state.

Now. Onto the photo spread.

This is Duane...and Lilith...and Richelle (in descending order of height, oddly enough).



Duane is a great advocate for the genre and he always peppers his announcements and introductions with a quick wit and a resounding love for all things speculative. Lilith hit the podium first reading from--prepare to be jealous--not the fifth Valentine book (To Hell and Back, on sale now), but from her new series superstar, Jill Kismet, and the first book, Night Shift. I'll pause so that you can wipe a tear. Richelle read a scene from Succubus on Top, that had the crowd giggling over demonic potheads. They took questions and did the signing thing.


And...I got to meet new lj and blogger friend Synde, which was awesome and affirmed to me that you people actually exist.

It was about this time that we realized we had nothing to contribute to the after party. No booze of any sort, nor cute gifts that grow--or turn into greasy stains--when soaked in bathtubs full of water. So we sped off for the Ballard Safeway and bought a lovely Kendall-Jackson Pinot and an OK magazine (becuase Britney's trying to get pregnant). Our checker was none other than Frances Dollarhyde, the Red Dragon from the first outing of Hannibal Lechter. Creepy? Possibly. But this one would at least joke with you before taking a bite.

So...we were set. All we needed was a corkscrew and a toilet.

We arrived to a party in full swing...

Seattle glitterati mix with visiting author.

After a quick lap, a glass of Cab and an actual intro to Ms. Lilith, we settled in to a comfortable crowd watching location on the oft-mentioned salmon loveseat and I began to take note of the debauchery. Scads of debauchery. Promise.

With Richelle's cat sitting in judgement (see opening photo), Kat Richardson (Greywalker, Poltergeist) regaled us with a tale of underage drinking at an undisclosed con involving tighty whiteys...

...which Lilith found thoroughly entertaining...

...but drove Cherie Priest (Not Flesh Nor Feathers) into an unexpected rage...

Actually. That last bit was fictional. But this isn't...

Holy Shit! Mockumentary Lesbionics!

You only see it here, folks. Anyway, great party and lots of fun talking to Lilith (who gushed about Happy Hour and made me blush). She was a blast, sarcastic, witty and all about the fun.

Looking forward to the next big reading (Kim Harrison, I think).

Note to photo-victims: if you absolutely can't live with your image on my blog, shoot me an email and I'll replace it with something even more offensive (or just remove it).

Cheers!

Friday, January 18, 2008

An Actual Post!

Just kidding.

My weekly post is up over at the League of Reluctant Adults, and though it's short, I think you'll agree it's potent and life affirming. Or a big piece of crap. Either way, I'm jumping back into the manuscript early. Have to be done by 4:00. Caroline and I are doing a nice dinner and then heading over to the University Bookstore to hear dirty little devil stories from Richelle Mead and Lilith Saintcrow and then party like it's 1999, that's right, retro style.

Plus! This time I'm going to be in control of the damned camera. Now you'll see the real debauchery that takes place at these so-called "author events". It's sure to be scandalous!

That's it. I'm out.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I Nearly Peed Myself

Before I jump into todays new pages, I have to comment about a film that I'm dying to see. Literally. I can feel the years shaving from my life every day I have to wait. You see, it's Clive Barker's MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN!

Aw hells yeah, peeps! Say it again. MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN!

I read a lot of horror, starting with Amityville back in the 5th grade and progressing from there. Mostly of the grocery store paperback variety, even some bad novelizations (THE FOG, HALLOWEEN). I was an addict.

Or was I?

I like to think of those years as training. And the professors of the genre were undoubtedly Stephen King, John Saul, Ira Levin and Peter Straub. I tore through King's work, couldn't get enough. Read some twice (THE STAND)--and that's no small feat for someone as distractible as me. But when Clive Barker published his BOOKS OF BLOOD, he snared a fan for life.

The collection of stories was groundbreaking, disturbing as hell, and completely visionary. I still remember the tag line and it's been years since I actually held one of the 3 volumes.

"Everyone's a book of blood, wherever we're opened, we're red."

Or something like that. It appeared in the opening story, CROSSROADS (I think). Creepy. But not nearly as creepy as what came next. MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN is by far the most effective piece of short horror fiction I've read to date and I'm dying to see it on the silverish screen.

Sure. I know it's probably going to be bad. After all, Hollywood massacred THE MIST, but MIDNIGHT'S premise is very basic, very simple and absolutely horrific.

I expect nightmares.




All aboard!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Grinning!

Wanna know a whole lot about Happy Hour of the Damned? Well then, head over to this here Book Blog. Janice has written the most thorough account of the book I've read yet and she likes it. Though, must say, I've been called out on Amanda's meandering.

Still. Dead on.

Thanks Janice!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Last One Today, Swear to God!

In our ongoing effort to keep you guys entertained in the style to which you've grown accustomed, this weekend, tomorrow actually, marks the return of the...


Hold onto your poop bags cause this one is gonna floor you. Richelle Mead is swinging by the lounge for chatting, imbibing and discussion of all things salacious. You won't want to miss it. Unless you're lame. Are you lame? Oh...wait. We already did that today.

See you tomorrow!

Just a Couple, No Cause for Alarm

Here's a video that takes me right back to High School. Particularly those John Hughes and Fast Times rip-off movies.



Does anyone else get an image of a topless girl riding a horse or Phoebe Cates rolling around on a beach with Matthew Modine? I'm thinking that one was PRIVATE SCHOOL FOR GIRLS.

While we're at it--and I know you were stung by LAND OF THE DEAD, so was I, but--the trailer for George Romero's comeback bid, DIARY OF THE DEAD...



Looks good. We'll see.

Honored by a Mention

Oh...hey. Fancy me bringing you a link to an awesome article that has tons of speculative fiction authors talking about their favorite books of 2007 and what they're looking forward to in 2008. Including my good buds, Joe Schreiber (EAT THE DARK), and Lilith Saintcrow (TO HELL AND BACK), who puts HAPPY HOUR OF THE DAMNED on her 2008 list along with another book I'm drooling over, Justin Gustainis's BLACK MAGIC WOMAN.

Where might you find such a fantastic article? Why over at Fantasy Book Critic. Go there now. Unless your lame. Are you lame?

Oh and swing back by and tell me what you're looking forward to (other than Happy Hour, of course).

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I Know Where I'm Going to Dinner...



Thanks Lisa!

New League Post

Hey! My weekly post is up over at The League of Reluctant Adults. It's Top Ten week and this time it's all about Distractions. Want to see inside my brain? Swing by.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Everything Old

So I'm kicking around Last FM while I'm writing and this song came up...



So...I loved the song. Sweet Troubled Soul by Stellastarr* (the asterisk is not optional). So eighties. In fact, the guy sounds a lot like the lead singer of The Damned.

But, when I pulled up their album on iTunes, look at the cover art!



Holy shit! And this is a question for those who've read HAPPY HOUR. Is that a coincidence or is that Ms. Amanda Feral?

Freaky.

Friday, January 04, 2008

An Evening of...What?

Caitlin Kittredge wasn't there last night to hear a big announcement, so I'm posting it here so she can share in the magic, catch the fever, bask in the glory, all them shits.

It happened at the Patricia Briggs/Yasmine Galenorn/Kat Richardson signing (which has already been detailed by Richelle Mead with true photojournalistic fervor, swear to God, go see!). Duane, The Tall Man--but not the one from Phantasm--who many of you have run into at cons, the paparazzi layouts in Locus, and/or the magnificent University Bookstore in Seattle, always takes a few minutes to report upcoming author events. He gave us the run down on Charlaine Harris, Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, and of course, Lilith Saintcrow and Richelle Mead's January 18th Hoedown (with an "e" as to be less inflamatory). And then he said it...

On March 27th at 7:00 pm, the University Bookstore proudly presents...

"AN EVENING OF WEREWOLVES AND ZOMBIES!"

Aw hells yeah, the audience erupted into "oohs" and "aahs".

He went on to say...

"First time novelists Caitlin Kittredge and Mark Henry will be reading from their (fantastic) debut novels, Night Life and Happy Hour of the Damned, answering questions and signing books (some of them their own)."

I'm paraphrasing, of course, and interjecting, if I may. And the oohs and aahs may have been my stomach growling, but you get the picture.

The rest of the evening was great. Patty filled me in on the local eccentricities of the Butte, Mo. area that is home to a key scene in Road Trip, to which I'll be forever greatful. There was much feasting, imbibing and discussion of books, authors, and victorian erotica, which gave me the idea for a filthy little Dickens-esque voyeur perv who peeps something he wishes he wouldn't have.

Anyhow.

Good times.

Oh and Missy wrote up a snazzy little review, in which she admits being converted (or subverted) by HAPPY HOUR OF THE DAMNED! It's the awesomeness! See for yourself.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Putting Off Today, What I Could...Eh

My first post of the new year is up over at The League of Reluctant Adults. This one is about the elusive writer's high. Not funny, but still worth a peek.


I'd intended to start my top ten lists today, but I seriously need to finish this manuscript, plus I'm reading a friend's manuscript (Stacia: it's fucking awesome) and need to finish and gather my very few notes and send them off (by Friday I swears).

I'm finishing this draft of ROAD TRIP by Monday. If it kills me, or others.

I have to mention that I got my first guy review. I'd wondered how Happy Hour would play to a male reader. Want to know? Check out Todd's review.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Some Goals and a Winner

I've enjoyed life this past year, moreso than the previous 10, I guarantee. What with the book deal, the career change, the blogging and meeting so many great people (both online and off). But, despite finishing my first novel and delivering it for sale, I've developed some bad writing habits.

So this year...
• I will write everyday (and blogging doesn't count), writing comes before promo, internet, everything (except family, obviously).
• I will write during two distinct sessions per day, morning and afternoon (morning has been my lazy time and by six I'm too distracted to write anything remotely resembling a sentence).
• I will finish three manuscripts (ROAD TRIP OF THE LIVING DEAD, DARK RITES and AMERICAN MINIONS).
• I will meet all my deadlines *cough* January 15th *cough*.
• I will read a book a week, instead of watching so much TV (I can't really pinpoint when my reading scheduled wained).

There.

It's out. Not really resolutions, per se, I've got those, too (lose weight, exercise, be more social). Cuz I've been terrible ever since I got back from New York. I swear...like ten pounds of bad. Now, my wife and I are sitting here watching Inside Brookhave Obesity Clinic, feeling only marginally better about ourselves. Anyone notice that all today's shows are about weight loss? I gotta get outta here.

Anyhow...

We have a winner in the first ARC Contest of 2008.

jayamei

Email me your address and I'll get that off to you in my next post office run.