Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Surrey International Writers' Con schedule

So in my last post I mentioned I’d be at the Surrey International Writers’ Conference in Surrey, BC, Canada later this month. It is, arguable, the best writers’ con in north America and I’m honored to be a guest there for the second year running. More about the con can be found at the above link, and if you can’t make it this year I highly encourage you to try next year. It’s useful for writers of all levels - I’ve already picked out the workshops I’d like to attend - and the camraderie between panelists and attending authors can’t be beat.

Here’s my tentative schedule (though I have blue pencil sessions every day as well, and I read some amazing pages there last year!):

Friday, October 24th, 3:30-5:00 pm: Panel -THE SCIENCE OF INSPIRATION. 

I am totally qualified to teach this as I learned to French braid my hair in high school chemistry. Trust me. Oh, wait. Here’s the official description:

A peek into the secrets behind best-selling speculative fiction from the weavers of alternate reality - and one guy who really buys into it. 

Saturday, October 25th, 1:30-3:00 pm: GET OVER YOURSELF - AND GET WRITING. 

How do you keep out of your own way long enough to sustain an idea and write that idea into a finished book? A look at goal-setting, making time, and helping first-time authors stop making excuses and beat the mind games that stand in the way of publication.

Basically, this is where I get to unleash my inner-writing beast and say, “If I have to work this hard, so do you! Neener-neener!” 

And then I proceed to give you tools that show you how

Let me make a sports analogy, if I may: When I was learning to play tennis my coaches would all say, “Footwork is key…move your feet!” which was undeniably true. But the best coaches would then go on to tell me exactly how to do that. This stuff is not necessarily intuitive, and a good coach/teacher/instructor will find you new ways to tell you old advice so that something finally clicks with 1) your way of learning and 2) skill level. (Wow. That was a long ‘aside’.) 

Anyway, this is the second year I’m teaching this workshop and I’ve been told that it was one of the most popular/useful last year. My only guess as to why is that all advice offered is done in the Surrey spirit: to connect with other writers and see all our dreams come true. I’d love for you to join me in this.

5:30 - 7:00 pm - Book Fair! All presenters are on hand to sign. I sneak in a glass of wine and goggle at all the other authors. They are my rock stars.

Sunday 11:00 - 12:15: Blood Runs Cold - Fear, Shock and Horror in No-Holds-Barred Chillers. Two best-selling authors discuss handling all the delicate issues (and tissues) of modern horror.

This is with Michael Slade, a wonderful writer and speaker, and I think the ‘No-Holds Barred’ bit means I get to put him in a headlock. Who wouldn’t pay to see that, right?

For those of you who are attending, please say hi if you see me wandering dazedly around the hallways. That's why I'm there. {s}

Saturday, October 4, 2008

October events

An oddity about finishing my latest round of revisions on CITY OF SOULS (fourth in the Signs of the Zodiac series) - I was a zombie for about two days afterwards. And not in a genre-appropriate good way! I finally gave up any pretense of usefulness and watched movies all day in bed. That was yesterday. Today? Refreshed!

So maybe there really is something to all this take a break/fill the well garbage, huh?

As autumn and October in specific is my favorite time of year, I’m not starting anything new. I’m going to enjoy the weather, catch up with my poor Real Life cast-offs - if they’ll still have me - and finish the rewrites on the short for next year’s anthology with Kim Harrison, Melissa Marr, Jeaniene Frost and Jocelynn Drake. Speaking of which…

If the crick don’t rise, it shall now be known as UNBOUND. Thematically speaking, it fits these adult UF stories, and I love it. So I’m excited to put that story to rest.

However, it is not all candy corn and sloth, and I do have a couple of work-related events I’m looking forward to in October. First,

Sunday Oct 24th-26th - Surrey International Writers’ Conference/Surrey, BC, Canada. This is my second year attending, though I’d been wanting to attend for a good half-decade before that. This is a con for writers of all levels, and it offers one very important thing that most other cons cannot: intimacy. 

This does not mean you get to sleep with the presenters. 

(That would certainly alter the auction aspect of the con, though! {G}) 

It does mean that you get one-on-one time with them during Blue Pencil Cafe sessions (I mean, when else are you going to get the chance to force-feed your work to author Diana Gabaldon or agent Janet Reid?), you get to pepper them with questions over lunch and dinner because they’re not at a separate ‘writers/presenters’ table. And the workshops have been prepped, planned, well-thought out, and aren’t {koff} sessions meant to stroke a certain author/panel’s ego. (Have we not all attended something like that before? Sorry, but if I want to be treated like a pleb, I’ll go shopping at Nordy’s in my flip-flops. I don’t need the attitude when I’m working hard, prepping a manuscript for submission, and have paid good money for professional advice, thanks!)

So, in a nutshell, the goal of Surrey is to offer writers of all levels a venue to come together and support each other. It’s also extremely well-priced compared to other cons. For more info, click on the above link. I’m going to talk about a couple of other events so they don’t get lost in the Surrey-love, but I’ll have my full Surrey schedule up next week.

Next: Something I must mention because I was supposed to be a part of it, and am heartbroken that I cannot: 

In Las Vegas

Sunday October 26th - all day: Cheesecake and Crime’s (Mystery Book Shop and Cheesecake Joint) Sunday Spooktacular — “Dracula’s Bite” Blood Drive. 

What a wonderful idea, huh? I love this bookstore, and I’m going to go back and take some pictures so I can blog about why I love it so much, but this sort of fun and ingenuity is one good example. Chris Marie Green (who writes the Vampire Babylon series, and whom I got a chance to meet at this year’s Comic-Con) will be there signing her books, and I know they’re going to have a pumpkin carving contest, a costume contest, and they’ll be showing “Dracula” at 6 pm. I am so sorry to miss this event, but if you want to check out more about Cheesecake and Crime (and I highly suggest doing so!) you can find them at the above link.

Thursday Oct 30th - All Soul’s Eve/Halloween Podcast on BlogTalk Radio at 3:00 pm EST. You can call in or text questions you have for me or (drumroll, please): Melissa Marr, Jeaniene Frost, Mark Del Franco, Jocelynn Drake and Holly Black. It will be an hour program, but if you miss the live feed, it’ll be available for download immediately after. So if you have any question for me or any of these other amazing authors, bookmark the above link and write in or call during the show: 347-826-9684.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Best book club meeting evah!

So I took a break over the weekend to attend a local book club. I’m friends with one of the members because - let’s be honest here - she likes my books. (What, I’m going to attend a book club where they don’t?) I actually met LeAnne when she carted TSoS up to the register at Borders while I was standing there with “the Cadillac of strollers” and signing books. So after getting the rest of the girls to read my latest (Reading the book is not actually a requirement for this bookclub. Being able to hold your own on a playdate and in a dive bar is) and promising me there’d be mixed drinks, I dropped by their latest meeting.

And by “meeting” I mean to say, “What the hell?”

Because at one point, after a drink or three, I said, “Look, are you guys ever going to talk about my books?”

They said no, and we moved on to more important things. Like:

*Lill knows definitively who killed JFK, but she’s mostly keeping her trap shut about it, so don’t come after her if you’re worried about the truth getting out. (And if you do, she’s second from right in the picture below, not the one in the middle. That’s me.)

*The classic ‘dog-ear book pages or not?’ debate. This was divided, and some people seemed to play favorites with hardcovers. I’m very right-wing about my book use, and not opposed to banging the b*stards against the wall if I feel like it, but I’m also tolerant of those with more exacting standards. As we all liked one another, we declared it a draw.

*LeAnne asked that I inform Harper that my books aren’t terribly well bound. For instance, she was holding SCENT when she fell off her floatie and into the pool, and then left it out in 100 degree heat and the damned binding fell apart, making it hard to read. So I’m here to say, Work on it, Harper! These harsh elements aren’t going anywhere soon!

*Republicans should never, under any circumstance, get laid. This was almost unanimous. (Don’t worry, LeAnne. They’ll never find that body.)

*Keri reads the most of all of us: 4-5 books a week. B*tch has my life.

*I need more sex in my books. (I did not get to vote in this matter.)

*If you want to wear it, you know it’s good champagne. (This is book related because I’m going to put it in one.)

*LeAnne is the queen of the dead. She can tell you everyone who has died recently. Or ever.

*Though some book club members have clung to their classic Catholic guilt, most of us would become Pastafarians (Worshippers of The Flying Spaghetti Monster) if pressed.

*Owning your own business while raising four kids really cuts into your reading time. (Note, Anje, I didn’t say “Boy, you have your hands full!”)

Unfortunately we all had to go home before we drank ourselves sober - a Vegas girl hazard - but we’ll meet again soon for the Haunted Vegas tour. 

Thank you, ladies, for the invite, the much needed break, and the laughs.

(BTW, I know it looks like I have to goto the bathroom in the pic below, but I’m really just wringing my hands. I was tired, and pulling on body parts to stay awake.)

Keri, Anje, me, Lillian, and LeAnne

Monday, September 15, 2008

Congratulate her if you must...

Rachel Vincent announced she finished her book today. What she didn't tell you is that we've been encouraging one another behind the scenes - checking up on our respective progress daily, calling if we need a pep talk - and just being there for one another, if needed. We don't have entirely similar working methods, but we do some things the same. F'rinstance, the whole one-word-in-front-of-the-next-and-don't-stop-until-you're-finished is pretty tried and true.
So are notecards. 
For example, here's a shot of mine:

And here's Rachel's:

Good work, Rach.
I'm SOOOOO shocked you finished first.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Just a quick note...

to those of you whom I own an email...

I'm sorry.
I'm behind in all my correspondences. 
And I'm going offline for a week or so.
I promise to answer in good time...there's just not a lot of that to be had right now!

So: deadline. Then deadline.
Then Surrey! Yay!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Harper Rocks.

Okay, so I know the majority of authors probably love their publishers. But I really do love Harper. They're such a supportive house, and in addition to the very cool author microsites on their Harper pages, they've now launched a new site for Avon books - - which includes sneak peeks at forthcoming novels, full access to many backlists, videos, essays, sweepstakes and book tour information. IOW, one-stop shopping for the voracious reader. 

Better yet, their "Love Gives Back" program allows readers to preview the opening chapter of Avon romances two full weeks before they're in stores! Other books will be available online in their entirety, for free. Avon will track reader visits and donate books to ProLiteracy Worldwide (


Now that's true love.

Also, check out the direct click through to RomanceRadio. They'll be airing interviews will many popular Avon authors.

And speaking of radio, Kim Harrison will be answering questions from readers this Thursday, the 21st, at 2:30 p.m. EST. To call in and ask Kim questions, call (347) 826-9684 during the show. To listen in, click here

If you can't hear the show, go to this link.The podcast will be up about 10 minutes after the show, and we'll also have links on the Eos blog and on our webside at

THE BEYOND is just one of several new radio shows featured on, so check them all out!

Monday, August 18, 2008

An open letter... the guy I yelled at while running this morning:

Um ... sorry.

But here's the deal. You looked exactly like my husband.

And when I yelled at you in Swedish, you acted like my husband does whenever I mangle his language.

And when I threw my arms in the air as if to say "What the fuck are you doing?" you responded like my husband, and threw up your arms as well.

And when I chased you, thinking, "Yeah, you'd better run, buddy" you outpaced me, just as my husband would.

Just to clarify, I don't really want you to be at my house watching my toddler while I go for my morning run. I have my husband for that. 


But next time, wear something to distinguish yourself from the man I've known for fifteen years, and don't respond to my Swenglish.

And you're welcome for the added kick to your workout.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Just a quick note...

If I owe you an email, I apologize for the delay. I'm under deadline and my inbox is suffering. Thanks for understanding!

Back to it...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

CITY OF SOULS edit letter...

...has arrived.


New Interview!

To celebrate the release of my first three titles in the UK I've done an interview with the E-Zine, Falcata Times, which can be found here. My interview starts on page 18, but this issue also showcases Charlaine Harris, Laurell K. Hamilton and CE Murphy, among others, so be sure to check it out if you're a true UF lovah.

Thank you to Gareth for the insightful questions, too. You're on notice, G. I'm stealing your name for a book! {wink}