Hollows Playlist: Takata

Takata is one of a handful of characters who has been with us since Dead Witch Walking. He began as a wish for me to be in the band, and by the time I had finished writing The Good, The Bad, and The Undead, I knew who he was and how he related to Rachel. We were still looking at only three books at that point, and I figured I’d never get the chance to bring his relationship with her out, but I began to lay out the clues anyway. If I was going to play the “I’m your father” card, I wanted the clues out early and faint–hence seeing him in drips and drabs through his lyrics.

It took almost six books, but I managed to create in Takata’s lyrics something that could both foreshadowed Rachel’s ultimate future as a demon as well as her hidden past. I was never able to bring more than a phrase or two into the actual texts, but I did write them all out, and if you look through hindsight at them, you can see Takata’s shame and regret for having given his son and then his daughter to the woman he loved to be raised by his best friend from college. Sift the clues from the dust, from my lives, of my will. / I loved you then. I love you still. (You can see the lyrics in their entirety at the website [lyrics] ) It still gives me pause, that regret that he gave her away, and he was telling Rachel even then that the clues and hints to her future and past were there in his music–if she would slow down and listen. Takata was my oracle, the one who knew everything–bound to silence by a promise he made to the woman he loved. Even as he ached. That he and Rachel’s mom are now together makes me happy at night.

So…when I found Rockstar by Nickleback, it was an obvious peek into Takata’s soul, and unlike a lot of the music that the characters grow out of, I think it still fits him pretty well.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you which track holds Pike’s soul. No worries if you don’t guess. No one but I have met him yet, but you’ll get an introduction in AMERICAN DEMON, and a really good look in MILION DOLLAR DEMON (formally titled The Rule) If you want to try to find his music, he’s a vampire from a very good family, but as the youngest and still alive…he’s in a bit of a spot.

Looking for the entire playlist of the Hollows? I’ve got it here: https://open.spotify.com/embed/playlist/6qYXtGoaMxjMoravl5Jt21  (You don’t have to upgrade from free to see it.)

Remaining characters:

Jenks (1), Rachel (3), Ivy (3), Trent (3), Newt (2), Pike (1), Kisten (3), Piscary (1), Ceri( 1) … and one for me–my theme song after a hellish couple of years now dumping into one hellish year for everyone.

Remaining songs:

Red Tape: Agent Provocateur
Pearls: Sade
Not Going Away: Ozzy Osbourne
New Years’s Prayer: Jeff Buckley
DOA: Foo Fighters
Viva La Vida: Coldplay
Filii Neidhardi: Corvus Corax
Only: Nine Inch Nails
Your Own Worst Enemy: Alice Cooper
You & I: Jeff Buckley
Every Day is Exactly the Same: Nine Inch Nails
The American Way: The Crystal Method
Bury Me Face Down: Grandson
Never Say Never: Queens of the Stone Age
Extraordinary Machine: Fiona Apple
The Line Begins to Blur: Nine Inch Nails
Lullaby: A Perfect Circle
Short Skirt, Long Jacket: Cake
Living Dead Girl: Rob Zombie

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Hollows Playlist: Al

When I began to write Al, he had no soul. Well, his character did, but I didn’t know who he was. His soul, his desires, his fears were all hidden behind his big-bad-ugly persona. At first, that was okay with me. But then we got to where Rachel had to either destroy him, or start to understand him. Al was far too interesting to dispatch, and so–ever so softly–Al began to open up to me in words not said, actions not taken, hesitations that held a memory of his past.

It was then that my muse began to ping against the music, sending me in search of Al’s soul, the hidden past that he wouldn’t dare show Rachel. But me? As the architect? He would speak to me. ;-).

I first found Al in Sympathy for the Devil by Guns and Roses. The callous, cocky attitude, the power, the dismissive ego, the long life and the indulgence that stems from it raw and in your face. Of all the characters, Al is probably the one who is still evolving the most, and after he was given the trust of two little girls, I found Al’s deeper history, the one with blue butterflies and regret and longing. And so Lilac Wine by Jeff Buckley became Al as well. I think the slow, soulful sounds of an artist taken way too soon from us capture him well.

Lilac Wine Jeff Buckley

Sympathy for the Devil Guns and Roses

Tomorrow I’ll tell you of Takata. His track is easy to find if you listen to the lyrics.

Looking for the playlist of the Hollows? I’ve got it here: https://open.spotify.com/embed/playlist/6qYXtGoaMxjMoravl5Jt21  (You don’t have to upgrade from free to see it.)

Remaining characters:

Jenks (1), Rachel (3), Ivy (3), Trent (3), Takata (1), Newt (2), Pike (1), Kisten (3), Piscary (1), Ceri( 1) … and one for me–my theme song after a hellish couple of years now dumping into one hellish year for everyone.

Remaining songs:

Red Tape: Agent Provocateur
Pearls: Sade
Not Going Away: Ozzy Osbourne
Rockstar: Nickleback
New Years’s Prayer: Jeff Buckley
DOA: Foo Fighters
Viva La Vida: Coldplay
Filii Neidhardi: Corvus Corax
Only: Nine Inch Nails
Your Own Worst Enemy: Alice Cooper
You & I: Jeff Buckley
Every Day is Exactly the Same: Nine Inch Nails
The American Way: The Crystal Method
Bury Me Face Down: Grandson
Never Say Never: Queens of the Stone Age
Extraordinary Machine: Fiona Apple
The Line Begins to Blur: Nine Inch Nails
Lullaby: A Perfect Circle
Short Skirt, Long Jacket: Cake
Living Dead Girl: Rob Zombie

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The Soul of the Hollows–and the music it resides in

Music and I have a joined existence. It’s that way for a lot of writers. Most days, my music is sedate and slow, background tonal and nature sounds that allow my thought-to-finger brain to function at optimal speed.

But when I plot… Oh, when I am in those glorious hours/weeks/months of what-if… That is when the music gets loud, and varied, and is played over and over and over, (as my kids would attest) stimulating a slightly different part of my brain, letting me use the music and lyrics to find not just what my character is doing this exact moment, but also his or her past and future. If any part of this process is magic, this is it, using other artists dreams to fuel my own.

Pouring into my brain through my ears is the soul of the characters, the part that doesn’t always get on the page, but is just as real.

I’d like to share the sound of some of the character’s inner souls with you, but because I like games and diversions, I’m going to give you the list of music, and the list of characters, and let you match them up. (grin)

Every day until we hit all 11 characters, (M-F) I will tell you one character’s soul song (some have more than one) and a little of why that music speaks to me of their path.

The list is on Spotify to make for easy listening, and if you aren’t a member, you can sign up for free as I have. (Your phone is an excellent platform for this.) They don’t ask for anything but name email, and I think birthday to make sure you are over 18, so if the link takes you to a sign-up page first, don’t despair!

If I can find a way to make a public list for you to drop your suggestions in, I will. (suggestions from readers familiar with Spotify how to do this are appreciated!)

So for today, I give you the 22 songs and the 11 characters that are my number-one picks for the soul of the Hollows. Tomorrow, I’ll tell you which two songs are Al’s. One is easy, the other…not so much as it is his deep, blue-butterfly longings.

Characters: Jenks (1), Rachel (3), Ivy (3), Trent (3), Takata (1), Newt (2), Al (2), Pike (1), Kisten (3), Piscary (1), Ceri( 1) … and one for me–my theme song after a hellish couple of years now dumping into one hellish year for everyone.

Music: at Spotify. https://open.spotify.com/embed/playlist/6qYXtGoaMxjMoravl5Jt21

Lilac Wine: Jeff Buckley

Red Tape: Agent Provocateur

Pearls: Sade

Not Going Away: Ozzy Osbourne

Rockstar: Nickleback

Sympathy for the Devil: Guns and Roses

New Years’s Prayer: Jeff Buckley

DOA: Foo Fighters

Viva La Vida: Coldplay

Filii Neidhardi: Corvus Corax

Only: Nine Inch Nails

Your Own Worst Enemy: Alice Cooper

You & I: Jeff Buckley

Every Day is Exactly the Same: Nine Inch Nails

The American Way: The Crystal Method

Bury Me Face Down: Grandson

Never Say Never: Queens of the Stone Age

Extraordinary Machine: Fiona Apple

The Line Begins to Blur: Nine Inch Nails

Lullaby: A Perfect Circle

Short Skirt, Long Jacket: Cake

Living Dead Girl: Rob Zombie

 

 

 

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Last AMERICAN DEMON ARC–and virtual panel event

Hi all.

We are so close to the release date that this will be the last AMERICAN DEMON ARC give-away. So I’m going to double your chances, and give away two! Already entered a previous week? You can do it again! Here’s how you enter toda

Using an email you have access to for the next five days, email Tim at <coldtoastwritingsllc@comcast.net>  Put “My favorite Hollows book is” in the subject line so we know you’re entering the contest. In the email, tell me which Hollows book or short is you r favorite. Mine is a toss up between Pale Demon and The Witch With No Name. Bonus points for telling me why it’s your favorite. Bonus-bonus points for sharing your answer here, too. One entry per household please.

I will cut off entries at midnight, PST on Wednesday, May 27th. Winner will be announced Thursday morning, after I email he or she back for the address where they want me to mail the ARC to as well as find out if and how they want me to sign it.  Winners will have until that Friday, May 29th, midnight to get back to me to claim the ARC and tell me their mailing address. If I don’t hear from you by Friday, May 29th. midnight, the ARC goes back on my shelf. Last week, Michael won out of 1,100+ entries. Congrats, Michael!

Out of the U.S? We were having some issues, but we’ve since found a way to ship books to Mexico or Canada, so you are again welcome to enter. Envelopes and letters are still okay even overseas, (so you can still send me a SASE for a freebie)

Books will go out USPS media mail, which takes some time. Chance of winning depends upon how many enter. Winners will be chosen by a random number generator, and I can’t be responsible for mail that goes astray.

THANK YOU FOR PLAYING ALONG WITH ME THE LAST SIX WEEKS! We are almost to the release, and I can hardly stand it. There are a few online events scheduled to help replace the tour. Look for me this Thursday at the Library Journal’s Day of Dialog virtual panel. (It’s all free this year, but you have to register. ) I’ll post a link when I get it on FB and Twitter. I’m not sure what we’re going to be talking about, but it going to be fun!

–Kim

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American Demon First Chapter Sneak Peek and ARC contest

We are four weeks out, which means I can give you a little teaser! It’s just the first page here, but follow the link to my website for the entire first chapter of AMERICAN DEMON. It’s a huge relief to be able to share this with you. This industry moves so slowly, and even with being the Queen of Delayed Gratification, the wait from first idea to shelf is long. So please, take a look and tell me if I lost Rachel’s voice or if she’s still the girl you knew next door. I missed her. Having her back makes my world feel a little more normal.

AND…

I’m giving away an ARC this week! If you have already entered one of the previous contests, that’s A-OK. You can enter every week. This time, I’m looking for your favorite breakfast cereal when you were a kid. (and if you still eat it!)

Using an email you have access to for the next five days, email Tim at <coldtoastwritingsllc@comcast.net>  Put “My favorite cereal” in the subject line so we know you’re entering the contest. In the email, tell me what cereal you couldn’t wait to dig that spoon into when you were growing up–and if you still find yourself putting it in the shopping cart today. Mine was, ah…Lucky Charms. I kid you not.

You can also share your favorite cereal here, too. One entry per household please.

I will cut off entries at midnight, PST on Wednesday, May 20th. Winner will be announced Thursday morning, after I email he or she back for the address where they want me to mail the ARC to as well as find out if and how they want me to sign it.  Winners will have until that Friday, May 22nd, midnight to get back to me to claim the ARC and tell me their mailing address. If I don’t hear from you by Friday, May 22nd. midnight, the ARC goes back in the pool and I will give away two next week. Last week, Debra won out of 1,000+ entries. Congrats, Debra!

Out of the U.S? We were having some issues, but we’ve since found a way to ship books to Mexico or Canada, so you are again welcome to enter. Envelopes and letters are still okay even overseas, (so you can still send me a SASE for a freebie)

Books will go out USPS media mail, which takes some time. Chance of winning depends upon how many enter. Winners will be chosen by a random number generator, and I can’t be responsible for mail that goes astray.

That’s it. Apart from coming  back next Tuesday to enter again with a new question! I’ve got this one and one more left to give away.

And good luck!

–Kim

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Week Seven: AMERICAN DEMON ARC give-away

Hi all.

It’s the seventh week of the AMERICAN DEMON ARC give-away! I’ll be doing this every Tuesday from now until June. Already entered a previous week? You can do it again! Here’s how you enter today.

Using an email you have access to for the next five days, email Tim at <coldtoastwritingsllc@comcast.net>  Put “My surprise move  is” in the subject line so we know you’re entering the contest. In the email, tell me what movie you most recently sat down to watch with your kid(s), significant other, or when you were just that bored–and were surprised at how good it was. Mine was Ant Man and the Wasp. I love all the Avenger movies, but I avoided this one for whatever reason,  (Might have been the ants) and when I sat down and watched it in my Avenger’s marathon (23 of ’em) I was delighted.

You can also share your surprise movie here, too. One entry per household please.

I will cut off entries at midnight, PST on Wednesday, May 13th. Winner will be announced Thursday morning, after I email he or she back for the address where they want me to mail the ARC to as well as find out if and how they want me to sign it.  Winners will have until that Friday, May 15th, midnight to get back to me to claim the ARC and tell me their mailing address. If I don’t hear from you by Friday, May 15th. midnight, the ARC goes back in the pool and I will give away two next week. Last week, Jim won out of 1,200+ entries. Congrats, Jim!

Out of the U.S? We were having some issues, but we’ve since found a way to ship books to Mexico or Canada, so you are again welcome to enter. Envelopes and letters are still okay even overseas, (so you can still send me a SASE for a freebie)

Books will go out USPS media mail, which takes some time. Chance of winning depends upon how many enter. Winners will be chosen by a random number generator, and I can’t be responsible for mail that goes astray.

That’s it. Apart from coming  back next Tuesday to enter again with a new question! I’ve got a bunch of these to give away.

And good luck!

If you missed my video on how to learn how to knit, I’ve got it here! If you have ever wanted to learn, I walk you through it very slowly. Grab your needles and yarn, and let’s spend thirty minutes learning something you will carry with you for the rest of your life!

https://youtu.be/oWWM7Abz-N0

–Kim

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Week Six: AMERICAN DEMON ARC give-away

Hi all.

It’s the sixth give-away for an ARC of AMERICAN DEMON! I’ll be doing this every Tuesday from now until June. Already entered a previous week? You can do it again! Here’s how you enter today.

Using an email you have access to for the next five days, email Tim at <coldtoastwritingsllc@comcast.net>  Put “My relaxation go-to is” in the subject line so we know you’re entering the contest. In the email, tell me what you do to relax! Play with your dog, read a book, watch a movie, talk with friend, baking, online gaming… There’s no wrong answer. Mine is gardening, but I’ve been known to lose entire days to computer games and as you see, I make a mean pie.  You can also share your healthy distraction here. One entry per household please.

I will cut off entries at midnight, PST on Wednesday, May 6th. Winner will be announced Thursday morning, After I email he or she back for the address where they want me to mail the ARC to as well as find out if and how they want me to sign it.  Winners will have until that Friday, May 8th, midnight to get back to me to claim the ARC and tell me their mailing address. If I don’t hear from you by Friday, May 8th. midnight, the ARC goes back in the pool and I will give away two next week. Last week, Dorothy won out of 1,300+ entries. Congrats, Dorothy!

Out of the U.S? We were having some issues, but we’ve since found a way to ship books to Mexico or Canada, so you are again welcome to enter. Envelopes and letters are still okay even overseas, (so you can still send me a SASE for a freebie)

Books will go out USPS media mail, which takes some time. Chance of winning depends upon how many enter. Winners will be chosen by a random number generator, and I can’t be responsible for mail that goes astray.

That’s it. Apart from coming  back next Tuesday to enter again with a new question! I’ve got a bunch of these to give away.

And good luck!

If you want to skip the chaos and pre-order, I have a list of my favorite stores that I’ve signed at. If you like your local store where they are, please consider ordering online from them. Not just my book, but any book during this time. Everyone loves Amazon, but you want your local bookstores to survive, and the inventive people who run them are finding ways to adapt. List of Kim’s Favorite Stores

–Kim

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Week Five, AMERICAN DEMON ARC give-away

Hi all.

It’s the fifth give-away for an ARC of AMERICAN DEMON! I’ll be doing this every Tuesday from now until June. Already entered a previous week? You can do it again! Here’s how you enter today.

Using an email you have access to for the next five days, email Tim at <coldtoastwritingsllc@comcast.net>  Put “My Sign of Spring is” in the subject line so we know you’re entering the contest. In the email, tell me your most cherished, funny, or otherwise real sign of spring you always look for. It might be a flower, it might be a bird, it might be driving with your window down or the smell of rain. (And tell me if you’ve seen/done it yet!) Mine is the smell of wet sidewalk in a haze of morning sun, but the sound of a cardinal singing in February is, according to my grandpa, when winter’s back is broken. You can also share your story here. Bonus points for a picture!–which actually gets you nothing, but hey, sharing is caring. One entry per household please.

I will cut off entries at midnight, PST on Wednesday, April 29. Winner will be announced Thursday morning, After I email he or she back for the address where they want me to mail the ARC to as well as find out if and how they want me to sign it.  Winners will have until that Friday, May 1st, midnight to get back to me to claim the ARC and tell me their mailing address. If I don’t hear from you by Friday, May 1st. midnight, the ARC goes back in the pool and I will give away two next week. Last week, Lisa won out of 1,300+ entries. Congrats, Lisa!

Out of the U.S? Change here: I’m going to have to limit this to U.S. readers only now because the USPS has stopped accepting international packages. And if they won’t take them or give me a custom form, I can’t send them. Envelopes and letters are still okay, (so you can still send me a SASE for a freebie) but a book? No. Can’t do it. I am sorry. This is not how I like to do things.

Books will go out USPS media mail, which takes some time. Chance of winning depends upon how many enter. Winners will be chosen by a random number generator, and I can’t be responsible for mail that goes astray.

That’s it. Apart from coming  back next Tuesday to enter again with a new question! I’ve got a bunch of these to give away.

And good luck!

If you want to skip the chaos and pre-order, I have a list of my favorite stores that I’ve signed at. If you like your local store where they are, please consider ordering online from them. Not just my book, but any book during this time. Everyone loves Amazon, but you want your local bookstores to survive, and the inventive people who run them are finding ways to adapt. List of Kim’s Favorite Stores

Also, I’ve heard from my local yarn shop that they still have a few kits available to knit up Ivy’s market bag. If you’ve not seen these yet, this is my own pattern with two handles, one shoulder strap for when empty and over your shoulder, one lower, sturdier handle for when it’s laden and full. Each kit comes with a predrilled, Hollows coin you can attach to the bag if you want. 😉 And of course the pattern. If you don’t knit, but know someone who does, guess what? Each kit makes two bags, so if you can persuade that someone to make them, you both win.

Knitting has been a godsend to me lately, requiring enough concentration to settle my thoughts and the satisfaction of making something pleasing and useful. If you don’t know how to knit, this is not where to start, but I suggest that you find a good online youtube do. It has quite truly saved my sanity, and probably my health over the years.  Scarves are good, but potholders and dishcloths are faster and you learn the same skills.

The kits below feature high quality linen or cotton with the right strength to make a sturdy bag that won’t jack out with use. I’m pretty sure the linen is colored in small batches and supports small-house artisans. Sandra takes utmost care in what she brings into her store such that it supports good practices.

 

–Kim

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New AMERICAN DEMON give-away and AMA

Hi all.

It’s the  fourth out of tenth give-away for an ARC of AMERICAN DEMON! I’ll be doing this every Tuesday from now until June. Here’s how you enter today!

Using an email you have access to for the next five days, email Tim at <coldtoastwritingsllc@comcast.net>  Put “TP score” in the subject line so we know you’re entering the contest. In the email, tell me how many rolls and where you got your last TP fix. Mine was unexpectedly a reader. (Thank you, Eric! I wish you had included an email in your care package. It was lovely!) You can also share your story here for bonus points–which actually get you nothing, but hey, I’m sure some of you have interesting stories concerning TP runs. One entry per household please.

I will cut off entries at midnight, PST on Wednesday, April 22. I will contact the winner Thursday morning, and announce them after they return my email. The winner will have until Friday, April 24, midnight to get return my email with the address they would like me to mail the ARC to as well as find out if and how they want me to sign it.  Again: winners will have until that Friday midnight to get back to me to claim the ARC and tell me their mailing address. If I don’t hear from you by Friday, 4/24, midnight, the ARC goes back in the pool and I will give away two next week. Cathleen won last week out of almost 2,000 entries. Congrats, Cathleen!

Out of the U.S? You can still enter to win. ARCs have no cash value, though they may get held up in customs forever. Books will go out USPS media mail, which takes some time, especially now. Chance of winning depends upon how many enter. Winners will be chosen by a random number generator, and I can’t be responsible for mail that goes astray.

That’s it. Apart from coming  back next Tuesday to enter again with a new question! I’ve got a bunch of these to give away.

Good luck!

And a quick heads-up! I will be doing an AMA this Friday at 4:30. Set your phone, tell your reading buddies. This was supposed to be an in-person event at a con, but…well…my PR is all online this year, making me concerned my usual readers won’t know about the new Rachel/Trent book.

So write down your writing, knitting, gardening, and yes, Hollows questions for me for Friday. Not now. Friday at the AMA site. I’ll have a direct link at the time, but if you want to check AMAs out and get signed in before the crush so your electronics talk to their electronics, here’s a link to their website.

reddit.com/r/Fantasy

–Kim

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Week three, AMERICAN DEMON ARC give-away

Hi all.

It’s the third give-away for an ARC of AMERICAN DEMON! I’ll be doing this every Tuesday from now until June. Here’s how you enter today!

Using an email you have access to for the next five days, email Tim at <coldtoastwritingsllc@comcast.net>  Put “My go-to comfort food” in the subject line so we know you’re entering the contest. In the email, tell me your most yummy go-to comfort eats! Mine is hot cocoa. You can also share it here. Bonus points for a picture!–which actually get you nothing, but hey, sharing is caring. One entry per household please.

I will cut off entries at midnight, PST on Wednesday, April 15. Winner will be announced Thursday morning, After I email he or she back for the address where they want me to mail the ARC to as well as find out if and how they want me to sign it.  Winners will have until that 3/17 Friday midnight to get back to me to claim the ARC and tell me their mailing address. If I don’t hear from you by Friday, 3/17, midnight, the ARC goes back in the pool and I will give away two next week. Last week, Jo won out of 800+ entries. Congrats, Jo!

Out of the U.S? You can still enter to win. ARCs have no cash value, though they may get held up in customs forever. Books will go out USPS media mail, which takes some time. Chance of winning depends upon how many enter. Winners will be chosen by a random number generator, and I can’t be responsible for mail that goes astray.

That’s it. Apart from coming  back next Tuesday to enter again with a new question! I’ve got a bunch of these to give away.

And good luck!

If you want to skip the chaos and pre-order, I have a list of my favorite stores that I’ve signed at. If you like your local store where they are, please consider ordering online from them. Not just my book, but any book during this time. Everyone loves Amazon, but you want your local bookstores to survive, and the inventive people who run them are finding ways to adapt.

Nicola’s Books, Ann Arbor, MI **Personalized copies available**

Joseph Beth: Cincinnati OH, Lexington KY

University Books, Seattle, WA

Powell’s Books, Beaverton, OR

Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego, CA

Schuler Books, Grand Rapids, MI, Lansing MI,

Entire list of Kim’s Favorite Stores

–Kim

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