Tag Archives: interview

Bittersweet

I’ve got a bittersweet post for you today.  I’ve steered clear lately of the depressing state of Borders closing their doors, but I had the opportunity to take part in Babel Clash’s last guest post.  (Border’s SF/Fantasy blog) I was the first guest way back on spring 09, and I was honored when they asked me to be their last.  I also did a Start Wars Sunday post for them which you can see at the same link.  Babel Clash–Kim’s thoughts on StarWars and the evolving book industry

And along those same lines, if you are an author concerned with pirated works and the daunting task of trying to protect your rights, go check out my agent’s post today.  If I’m understanding it correctly, Curtis’s clients are already enjoying this new protection as the agent puts on yet another hat, but it looks like you can buy into the service as well.  Too cool. Pass it on . . .

As for me, I’ve set aside my anthology offerings to start my rewrite of the next Hollows novel.  It won’t be the last, since my editor won’t see it until December, but I think it will be the most extensive as I have totally ripped it open in my thoughts and am now rearranging the insides.  The outside, oddly enough, is going to remain largely untouched, though very much simplified.  I may actually start adjusting the text today, and I can’t wait!

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Friday wrap-up (and thank you!)

Yesterday I got some links to an interview and some reviews revolving around Blood Work, and I want to pass them on to you.  Along with them, I want to pass on my heartfelt thanks to all of you who have gone out to find BLOOD WORK.  As I mentioned when it came out, it hit the number one spot on the NY Times Best Seller list for hardcover graphic novels.  It dropped that second week, and I thought we were moving off, but I found out that it’s back at the number two spot for the week of Aug 21, so that is very, very cool.  Thank you.  I spent a summer trying to figure this new medium out, and I learned a lot.  Knowing that you, the readers, appreciated the results, is gratifying.

So, the interviews!  This first one I remember giving at Comic Con.  She transcribed my words verbatim, it looks like, so you can almost hear the background noise and chaos of the crowd in my words.  Ain’t it Cool News  (review and interview)

Huntington News review

Arts Beat New York Times review

Tulsa World review

 

Monday we’re having a manic monday for mini-mugs.  I’ll have info at 8:00, but don’t order until noon EST.  I’ve got 50-100 of these to move out, so we should be able to keep taking reservations for at least an hour or two.  🙂

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To E or not to E?

Had a great weekend working in the dirt, ripping out one very overgrown bush and moving three from another part of the property into its place.  It was doubly satisfying because the three we moved were crowed and going to have to come out anyway, and now they’re in the ground, not the dumpster.

Working too hard on the weekend is part of my master plan to get things done during the week.  If I’m too achy and sore to do anything but sit for three days, then I’m more likely to ah . . . sit for three days.  Grace is moving forward.

I’ve got a bit more from that unused interview for you today concerning my thoughts on the pros and cons of electronic books.  Enjoy!

 

What do you feel are the benefits of the new electronic readers such as Kindle, Kobo & Nook to the environment?

This is a hard question to answer as the benefits in avoiding chopping down trees, the enormous impact on the environment turning said trees into books, and then trucking them across the country only to then relocate unsold books into the waste stream can’t be dismissed.  However . . . there’s a largely untalked about problem in the toxic waste generated in simply making electronic readers, compounded by the problem that many are made to last only a few years before needing to be replaced, either because of designed decrepitude or that sparkles of the next model are irresistible.  These toxic compounds are likely going to end up in a landfill where, when compounded with others in huge techno dumps, can damage the environment from cradle to grave.

I’ve not investigated the pros and cons with enough depth to give a solid yes or no to the benefits of e-readers, but it seems to me that the consumer should purchase what form of book works best for him or her.  Me, I like my tactile paper books, but the benefits of having your library at your fingertips is hard to dismiss.  It’s a personal choice and I don’t see a problem in having both.  Perhaps some effort should be spent in redesigning a new production and marketing system for paper books that doesn’t involve quite so much waste.

What impact do electronic readers create on the bottom line for authors in the end? Do you feel they have a negative impact or positive, or no impact at all that you can see?

It has been my personal experience that electronic books have had a positive impact on my sales, not just from established readers tired of agonizing over where to put their new book shelf, but for garnering new readers as well.  That a lot of my readership stems from romance and science fiction, both of who are computer and Internet savvy, doesn’t hurt.

It’s far easier for many people to take a chance on a new-to-them author if the format is electronic.  It’s not always about the price, but the space that an unwanted book takes up and the decision on what to do with a book you don’t like.  Most people who read love books, and the thought of throwing a paper book away, even one they didn’t like, is akin to nails on a blackboard.  Giving your friend a book you didn’t enjoy isn’t likely to happen, either.  Tossing electrons back into the ether is a lot easier on the soul.

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Can’t stand coffee . . .

Work is moving forward, back on Grace again.  It has the feeling of a hand in a glove, if you will forgive the analogy.  Not much to say so I’m going to drop a few more questions from that unused interview since a few of them answer questions I’ve been asked by you, the readers, from time to time.

What sort of things influence you into naming settings and characters from your books as they are named?

Naming settings and characters is one of my favorite things about being a writer, and I once told an audience that I became an author just so I could name more than my two children.

Names are important, and I put a lot of care into choosing them, often using baby-name sites, the social security’s list of names and their popularity over the decades, or simply pulling them from my favorite movies or books.  The sound a name makes over my tongue is taken into consideration, or whether a name ends in a vowel (softening it) or a consonant (giving the character a no-nonsense feel.  I work hard at having no two characters names beginning with the same consonant, though sometimes it’s hard to avoid.

One of my pet peeves is a name with hyphens, apostrophes, or too many syllables, and I use them only when I want to draw attention to the uniqueness of the character or point out how silly they are.  My favorite names are those that are short and utterly recognizable, though my ultimate favorite name right now breaks all my rules–Ku’Sox Sha-Ku’ru, which very loosely translates to Left Hand of the Sun in Pawnee.  I could not resist.

What’s your greatest comfort food?

Hands down, my favorite comfort food is pasta with butter and Parmesan cheese.

Who is your favorite cartoon character? Which cartoon character is most like you?

My favorite cartoon character is Samurai Jack because he can save an entire civilization without saying a word.  He is truly a stranger in a strange land. The conception of the artwork is amazing as well.  Which cartoon character is most like me?  Ahhh, I’m going with Buttercup from the Powerpuff girls on this one.

Out of all the books you’ve written, what character do you most relate to?

I often do Meyer-Briggs personality workups on my main characters to help me grasp their reactions faster, and it came as no surprise to me whom I share a personality profile with.  I often tell people that I swear like my pixy Jenks, plot like my vampire Ivy, and try to live my life as open and honest as Rachel, meaning full throttle and with no regrets apart from when my mouth gets in the way of common sense.  I could now add that I like to wear skull shoelaces like Madison.

 Who do you enjoy writing about more Rachel Morgan or Madison Avery? What makes them so special?

I like writing Rachel Morgan because she is the girl next door and totally approachable, both on the page for the reader, and for me when I write her.  She’s fun, and her friends are as complex as she is.

I like writing Madison because though younger, she makes smarter decisions than Rachel and has the determination to dream big and the raw innocence and determination to expect those dreams to come true.  She is ever optimistic.

A day writing Rachel Morgan is generally more interesting than Madison, but I think that’s due to her world being more evolved rather than any fault of the characters themselves.  Having nine books on the shelf puts more toys in the toy box to play with when it comes to Rachel, and I’ve enjoyed being able to slow down and tell a story at the pace it needs to be told.

 Will you tell your readers something about yourself that not many people know?

I’ve been fortunate to be able to keep in contact with my readers on a daily basis for a long time, and some of them know me pretty well, but it might surprise them to know that I have two dusty black belts, can successfully throw a pot on a wheel, and stuff a bird, (as in taxidermy), that I love to fish, (troll, bobber, or fly) and I can’t stand coffee.

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Sensuality in YA

I’m going to be taking the next couple of days to bring you bits and pieces of some PR work I did for Harper Teen that, as far as I know, hasn’t been used.  I’m never one for wasting anything, so here’s a couple of questions on a topic that was hot a couple of months ago: sensuality in YA, which I could also widen to include an overabundance of sex, drugs, and abuse, all of which I think have a place in YA literature, but give us some fair warning with the cover so the 14 year old who doesn’t want to read about incest doesn’t have to.

What are the challenges you face writing young adult and dealing with the sensuality?

I’ve never thought of sensuality as being a challenge when I sit down to write young adult.  I know teens are being challenged enough in their day-to-day dealings, and whereas many authors excel in writing sensual YA that seems to be connecting with a wide audience, I’m frankly not that comfortable with producing it myself.  I’d much rather give teens a “mostly sensuality-free zone” where they can take a break and concentrate on other issues they are dealing with.

Romance, though, which doesn’t have to include lips, hands, and skin, is always on my want list when I sketch out a young adult book.  I’m a big believer that though sex moves the world, (and sells books) it’s a small fraction of any healthy, long-lasting relationship.  I like my characters to be friends before they swap spit, and sometimes that takes a couple of books before I’m comfortable moving forward, if at all.

Why do you write for young adults? What do you think is different about writing for teens than for other audiences?

I like writing for young adults because I found my love for reading on those same shelves, and the books I read then still hang in my memory with the same new-penny brightness they had when I first picked them up.  Some of my favorite emails are from young readers who confess to me that they hate reading but that they like my work.  Knowing that I’ve been able to reach those vulnerable readers and share my love of reading with them is a great feeling.

What is different about writing for teens than other audiences?  For me, not much really, apart from shifting my main character’s focus a touch to the “now” rather than the future.  The highs are higher, the lows are lower, the fallout if things don’t go as planned are seemingly more insurmountable since teens generally don’t have as many resources, both physically and emotionally, as adults.

I’m a big believer that teens are looking for many of the same things that adults are in their literature: a character they can cheer for or envy, companions that are brave or exasperating to balance the main character, a goal that is clear and seemingly unattainable, a happy ending where the same flaws that impeded them serve to help them achieve their goal.

Your comments/discussions are welcome, but as always, I’ll be closing the page after tomorrow.

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Radio Interview

I’ve got a radio interview for you today.  I did this way back in Feb when I was in Cincinnati, WVXU interview with Barbara Gray but they just aired it a few days ago, and now it’s available.  I don’t even remember what the focus was, but it’s something to do with Black Magic Sanction.  -grin- Work on the next Hollows book is going great.  I pushed through most of the problem areas, and all that’s left is rewriting the end.  The end is okay as it stands, but I’ve got something better in mind that will send echos into the next three books.  If I’m lucky, I’ll get to it by Friday.

And . . . the hummers are back!  The male buzzed the hook where the feeder was last year at about 10:30, and I had sugar water out at 10:38.  Didn’t see him again until about 6:00, but he was there this morning when I took the dogs out, and it was great to hear wings in the garden again.  If you’re wondering, hummingbirds are where I pull a lot of my inspiration for pixies from the flash of red, to the sound of the wings, to the aggressive chattering that they make.  And hummingbirds are NOISY!  So having them back feels good.

Also back, and not so good, is the Luna moth.  I found this one plastered to my house, just outside my door.  My first response was “Ooooooh!” in delight, then a quick “Oh crap.”  Every time they show up, someone dies.  I can be cavalier about it until the owls show up.  So far, they are keeping their distance and just hooting in the distance as owls do, but if one perches outside my window, I’m going to be ticked.

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Happy St. Patricks Day/Radio Interview link

I’ll be wearing my green today, and Guy is going to make green pancakes for dinner.  Yum.  It’s the small things that make traditions that mark the years, and we have some weird ones.

Yesterday, the work FINALLY started to come together, and I’ve just about fixed the continually issues that moving the bit of magic from chapter one to chapter six engendered.  My conclusion?  I like what I’ve done.  The beginning is a bit faster, I tried throwing something right out on the table instead of taking several chapters to get to it, which I thought might be anti climatic but actually increases the tension.  The entire beginning makes more sense.  Rachel is being smarter AND more stubborn, and Trent actually looses his temper.  All in all, a good bit of changes that address my editors concerns one way or another.  Now it’s just wash, rinse, and repeat for the next 400 pages, and we’re good.  (ha!)  My ending needs a lot of work, but the next few hundred pages will simply be tweaking.

I’ve got a link to a radio interview I did last week.  I can’t get it to work on my machine, but Guy can, so here it is.  You might have to scroll down a bit, but just look for the bright blue cover.  Mario Acevedo has one, too for his WEREWOLF SMACKDOWN.  😉  Enjoy!

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