Tuesday, November 30, 2004


Whoo hoo! It's official. Not only official, but REAL enough that my mother was able to go to her local Borders today and buy copies off of the shelf. Yeehaw! I am doing the happy dance.

(I know, I'm supposed to act all sophisticated and cool, but you know what. Don't care. You can't make me. Nah nah nah nah nah. I'm just too HAPPY :D)

I have a question.

I have a question. When did "nice" become a perjorative? You say someone is "nice" and people think you are "damning them with faint praise." It makes them sound weak, and in certain cases ugly (or at very least homely) and not terribly bright.

Example: You're trying to set someone up with your friend on a blind date. You say that she is "A nice girl with a great sense of humor." The man is practically guaranteed to run for the hills. Now both of those things are GOOD, or should be. But I doubt you'd describe Catherine Zeta Jones or Claudia Schiffer in those terms even if it's true. (It may well be accurate -- or not. I wouldn't know, haven't met the ladies in question). And then there's that old standby "Nice guys finish last." Say's who? Why? And if so, is it a BAD thing? I mean, if you finish first by cheating and being an asshole, is it good that you did. If it takes being a complete asshole to finish first should you want to?

So, when did nice become "Too Donna Reed for prime time"?

Monday, November 29, 2004

Forgive and Forget?

This is kind of two separate blogs. First, I lost yesterdays, where I chatted happily about the holiday decorating (at least that's how I remember it) and being content and happy. I also talked about how weird it was that I hadn't intended to blog all weekend, and wound up practically writing Gone With the Wind. But "the dog ate my homework". Now the last time that happened, some nice soul at Blogger (I assume) retrieved it from the ether. It was regurgitated onto the site a day or so late. Maybe it'll happen again. Maybe not. But either way, I'm happy, content, writing, enjoying the book being out, etc.

But, as with all good novels (and my life, my friends, is frequently either a very good or very BAD novel) there are currents moving below the surface. Which is why I was pondering the entry below.

Actually, what it probably is, is that last night I wrote when I'd decorated, and had eaten. So my blood sugar was high, and I was in a great mood. This morning, as I write this (and when I wrote the below), I HAVEN'T eaten, and am hungry and grumpy. But I don't GET to eat for another 30 minutes or so because I have to wait an hour after I take my meds before eating anything. So...


I grew up in a small town. Not TINY, but small. It's not just size either. Small town is an attitude. There are upsides, truly. But one of the big downsides is that you never outlive anything. If you are, for example, an alcoholic at eighteen, and go (and stay) on the wagon from 21 on, you will still be known as a "drunk" at 45. Someone will say "Now Marge, you know he's been attending that AA...." But the reputation is still there. Which is one reason I believe that if you have a wild and impetuous youth (which can be the best kind) you almost have to leave your home town to accomplish anything and be respected for it.

Your wondering where this is going? Well, there's another small town tradition -- "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree." Everything you do reflects on your parents, and your children. I HAD my wild and impetuous youth. For the most part I don't really regret it much. (One or two things, but that's 'cause people got their feelings hurt unnecessarily). But I don't want to embarrass my parents. (My son, thank God, is nearly embarrass proof after all these years). And I don't want to HEAR about it. Yeah, I did (insert event here, something on the level of dancing on the table when drinking). But it was @*@#$S 24 years ago! I've changed a little bit, and it's not just in appearance. I'm a better person. But the weirdest thing is, when you cross the city limits and go back.... there's this weird mojo. People start treating you that way and all the changes you've made, all the progress, just goes right out the window, and your an angry, rebellious kid again. UGH. Which is why I'm hesitant to do signings back in my home town. It would make my mother happy on one hand -- she really is proud of me for writing the books. On the other hand, it's just asking for trouble. So, I don't know what to do. I haven't a clue.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Another Morning

Another morning. Time is flying by in a blur. It's fun, but its scarey. I look at how long everything seemed like it was going to take, and how fast it seems to have gone by, and I'm just stunned.

I'm enjoying my life in Texas. I have a great job, a great boss, the house is cool, and none of it was here a year ago. But at the same time, it feels like its been here forever. It feels "right." That probably doesn't make any sense, but it's true just the same.

The day after Thanksgiving is the official beginning of the Christmas season for me. I have a "rule" that you don't get to do Christmas before then because you end up shorting two of my favorite holidays if you do. In fact, I made up a song about it when I was in my teens.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
'Though the leaves are green.
Take a look at the 5 and 10.
They're doing it once again.
Although we haven't yet had Halloween!

It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas.
Carols everywhere.
And the difficult part for me
as before each year will be
Acting like I care.
Acting like I care.

Now don't get me wrong, I like Christmas (although I hate that people think they need to go into debt for six months to pay for it!). It's just that when they start it in August or September I just get TIRED of it. There are only so many Christmas carols that get played in every BLASTED store... You get the drift. BUT after Thanksgiving it's fair game.

SO, I bought Christmas cards, and James and I picked up some decorations to replace ones that got lost or destroyed in the whole move thing, and we started going at it last night. We'll finish tonight when he gets off work. I could do it during the day, but then I'd be doing it alone, and my son wants to be a part of this. Which is really seriously cool when it comes down to it.

Musically, I really like the Trans Siberian Orchestra's Christmas music, so that'll probably be the album of carols (album -- aren't I just showing MY age) we use. And I will play it, and we'll have decorated, and I will celebrate all the good things in my life, and pray for those less fortunate. And I will try not to feel guilty about the fact that I can't do and BE everything to everybody who wants and/or needs me to. Because given even the vaguest opportunity, I feel guilty. (In my case it's an Irish Catholic thing, although my Jewish friends tell me that they are quite good at it too.) I just need to repeat the mantra: "I get to be happy. I GET to be happy."

Friday, November 26, 2004


Hi guys!

I'm having a good day today. Wrote on the mss. It's one of those transition points, so it's hard going -- but I'm WRITING.

Hunter' s moved way up on the B&N standings, partly because they're the first ones shipping. Cathy said she hopes that the spread out time frame doesn't screw with whether or not we make the bestseller list(s). Frankly, I'm thrilled. I mean having to WORRY about bestseller possibilities? What horror (hah, big grin), how AWFUL (can you hear the laughter in my voice?). Seriously, it's absolute joy to have the book stuff going so well. I can't seem to get this big grin off my face.

The Abyss is an anthology that Mind Games (a/k/a Ian) is in. It's a very dark romance anthology. The person who put it together worked her butt off to put it together and get it out in a quality format before the holidays. And now she's catching crap on the lists because of the cover, etc. Ugh. I mean, I'm not a huge fan of the cover, but it was posted for well over a month before the book came out and nobody complained beforehand -- so I don't see that they get to now that it's after the fact. And the fact is, the cover gives more than a good clue as to what we're dealing with -- a very DARK book with horror themes and romance. I made sure that Nancy (the person in question) knew that I am grateful to her and her crew for their hard work, I'm not offended by the cover (dark red with black, woman in lacy negligee with a pentacle behind her -- NOTE: pentacle not pentagram. You can tell the difference because it points up not down [among other things]), and that yes, we will be featuring it on our website and have it at our signings. I'm proud of Ian, but the story isn't for the faint hearted, and it's probably one of the milder offerings in the anthology. (I don't know for sure, because I haven't read them all!) Now I won't be participating in some of the other anthologies they will be coming up with. The reason for that is that they've decided to move more toward erotica, which is just not what I'm interested in writing. But I don't, and have never, believed in censorship. Just DON'T go there. Freedom of speech and expression is a VERY big deal to me. And yes, I'm aware that we may catch some flack. I'm sorry about that. I hate that people can be closed-minded, but that is their privilege. They are just as entitled to their opinions as I am mine. I'm not going to wave the cover in front of the noses of fundamentalist ministers or ASK for trouble, but we may get it anyway. Sigh.

So, anyway, the cover is up on the website (if you want to take a look at it) featured prominently, with a write up/warning about what the anthology is about. Cathy and I decided to do that, even though we have really been wanting to feature Hunter during this first critical period, because we want to support (a) Nancy personally, and (b) freedom of speech and expression. It's more political than I like to be, but I think it's important. Wish me luck.

Had a long, lovely chat with my son last night about the Sazi world, filling him in on the backstory for various characters and the general direction we're wanting to go with it and different possibilities. The Sazi world existed before Tony was even a twinkle as it were. There are literally dozens of people, each with their own stories, and at least two major multi-book story arcs (sp?) . The trick is that most "worlds" where the world has books from different characters tend to be "softer" fantasy as opposed to our more "hard" approach. I mean, Piers Anthony, Mercedes Lackey, and Anne McCafferty have done it, but there's some question whether the publisher will let us do it. Cathy could write Tony books forever. I'd prefer to look at the world from the eyes of the people I've written about too. I think that Tony will have more books -- particularly from his new job. There will be LOTS of book fodder there. (Can't say more for fear of serious spoilers. Sorry) :)

But I want there to be books about and by Cat, Raphael, Antoine, Holly, Raven, Lucas and others where Tony is a minor character (if he appears at all). We'll have to see if I get the chance. It will depend on the publisher, the public, and my co-author. But I'm keeping my fingers crossed! (Well, not really, or I couldn't type. But you get the idea).

Before we can do the next Sazi novel though I need to finish what I'm working on, and Cathy needs to finish the edits on Kate. One day and one thing at a time. But oh, it does make me happy. Now if it'll only make me wealthy. (grin). People keep talking about rich and famous. Frankly, they can keep famous. I want to be "Roebuck" to Cathy's "Sears." Earn a very nice living, but stay more in the background.

But I'll tell you a secret. If it falls through, and we don't have the huge success. I'm still incredibly happy about it. The books exist. They're a physical reality, on the shelves and in people's minds. That is an almost indescribable joy. Don't get me wrong -- I want (and will definitely take) the money. But oh thank you God, I'm so very happy and grateful.

Best wishes to all.


Thursday, November 25, 2004


It's early Thanksgiving morning, and I wanted to post something special for my family.

Thank you!

Everything good I am, have been or will be can be traced directly back to my parents, my siblings, and my son. They taught me the meaning of real love. I am able to take the risks I need to in this life because I KNOW, absolutely, that you're there and that even if it doesn't make sense to you, and drives you crazy, you will sigh, shake your head, and wait to see how it works out for me. You're there to congratulate me when I succeed; and there to help piece my life back together when I don't.

You've taught me that if you can laugh at something every day you can get through it, and that there's something to laugh about just about everywhere. You've taught me that you can be tough without being hard or cruel (and that I'd damned well better be! :) ) I've learned from you that consistent hard work pays off, slow and steady is good; but fast and steady is better. You don't have to be perfect, just do your best Money can't buy happiness -- but life can be a real pain in the butt without it. But even when it's a pain in the butt, it's ok. Because there are people who love you and will help you get through it.

I've learned from my family not to judge people by the amount of money in their bank account, or the status of their job. You judge a person by what they do, what they believe in, and how they behave. In short -- their character. (And in our family, there are some *real* characters. :) )

I think I may be on the cusp of success. If I manage it, take a bow, because you're the ones who got me here. If I don't, I'll keep laughing, and keep trying, because that's what we do.


Wednesday, November 24, 2004


I am thankful for:

My life.
My family.
My friends.
I have a warm home, plenty of good food.
A sense of humor.
Reasonably good health.
The world we live in.
The freedoms I too often take for granted.
The ability to read and write.

And so very much more.

Welcome to Pre-Thanksgiving Mode

Welcome to Pre-Thanksgiving Mode. I'm going to be off-line for most of the holiday weekend as far as posting, but hope to WRITE. The last few days have been seriously weird. Great good stuff, then equally pain in the patooty stuff. Kinda hard on the old psyche.

Went home at lunch yesterday and one of my cats was seriously sick, had to rush him to the vet in the afternoon. He's on high-powered antibiotics. We're hoping it'll help. But he is a very old pussycat (somewhere around 14 or 15). So I'm keeping an eye on him and keeping my fingers crossed.

The book looks great. We got an e-mail from our editor because she hadn't received HERS yet (weird that B&N shipped before the TOR copies went). She asked if it was pretty. I pointed out that it was like asking a mother if her baby is beautiful. DUH. That it was GORGEOUS and that I'm not in the least bit prejudiced! Teased her a little. She did get herself a copy by the end of hte day. Not surprisingly, she agreed. :)

It's cold and drab today. But maybe that'll encourage me to get a lot done. I hope so. I really have a ton to do. Not so much at regular work, I'm fairly caught up there, but real life... Ugh it's depressing just thinking of how long the list has gotten. And some of this stuff is really critical too.

I'm back to trying to find a workable balance in my life. I am constantly juggling my needs, the needs of the people I love, work, ordinary life b.s., and writing. It's hard because everything always wants more time than I have to give. I don't want to be selfish, but I also turn into a raging hag when I take care of everything else but myself. I don't mean to, but I do. I suspect that this inability to balance it out and maintain my good humor is one of the main reasons I have such a hard time in relationships. I'm very good at living alone. I'm rarely, if ever, bored. I am a massively difficult person to live with. I feel sorry for my son. He's had to put up with it off and on for years.

But then the question becomes, can you change? Particularly, can you change your basic nature? I told a former friend once (the brains fall out lady) that I thought a person can move along the continuum a little bit, with a massive effort. But on a scale of one to ten. If you're a 1, you may move to a three with hard work. You won't be seeing nine. Ainta gonna happen. I still believe that's true. So, my social abilities are a solid 2.5 naturally. (There are worse. Really, there are. Just not too many :) ). I would like to think I've nudged them to a 4, maybe 4.5. But when I'm tired, or having problems, life is not cooperating, etc. I slip back down. I think that's normal. But it is discouraging. Fortunately I have people in my life who accept me the way I am. I am very lucky, and very grateful.

I am also a space cadet. I left my glasses at home. Need to go get them NOW if I'm going to be able to do any work today. Later.


Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Hi Guys!

Good morning! I was going to post a "serious" blog where I pondered change, forgiveness (mostly forgiving yourself) accepting your own faults and all kinds of DEEEEEEEEP stuff. BUT, you've been spared. THE FIRST SHIPMENT OF THE BOOKS HAVE ARRIVED!!!!!! We got them from Barnes & Noble. Haven't received our copies from Tor yet, but that's OK. THE BOOKS HAVE ARRIVED. THEY'RE SHIPPING!!! (Can you tell I'm excited.)

This is just what I needed. Life had been a bit hard lately, and this was JUST the perfect thing to make me feel less bad about myself for not being perfect, being bad at some of the more "practical" stuff, etc. HAPPY TIMES!!!! (Cie is now doing the happy dance).

Took the first book from the box and signed it with my full name -- that copy is going to my parents with a note that tries to tell them how much I love them. We're doing a charity thing where we're auctioning off a "reader's group" package of 5 or 6 autographed books, promo pens, limited edition bookmarks (that Cathy and I designed), and a list of suggested discussion questions. This is a "thank you" to Laurell K. Hamilton and is being donated to one of her favorite animal charities. I hope it does well. The arc auction did, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed (when I'm not typing).

ANYWAY, the hard times are hard to get through, but THERE WAS A POT OF GOLD AT THE END OF THE RAINBOW THIS TIME!!!!


Monday, November 22, 2004

Good Morning

Happy birthday to me.
Happy birthday to me.
Happy BIRTHDAY, happy birthday.
Happy birthday to me!

Hoping for a great day. Going to a training session out of town for most of it. Yesterday was the day my son James and I celebrated. Had a lot of fun. Good presents. Thanks to Everybody!

One of the things that's going on at the RT conference we'll be attending in April are a pair of costume balls. I bought the fabric to make my costume. Decided on a rennaisance vampire convertable to a princess for the costumes. I love the clothing of that era AND it's easy to make. I didn't really "fit" well in the SCA, but I do miss the garb. Go figure. Of course, it was a very long time ago and I was doing the single mom thing. Maybe I'll try again sometime now that James is an adult.

Uh oh, lightning and thunder. Time to shut down the computer. Have a great day all!


Sunday, November 21, 2004

A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far, Far Away...

All right, maybe Illinois in my late teens and early twenties isn't QUITE that far away, but it sometimes feels like it.

Anyway, I've been thinking. The kind of thoughts that lead to a serious and admittedly odd blog. So, you've been warned. If you don't want serious, and you can't handle odd, stop right here.


Ok, if you didn't stop, it's your own darned fault!

When I was nineteen or twentyish, in a bar, I had a discussion about being different. One of the men flirting with us (my friend and I) got incredibly incensed, and said something along the lines of "what makes you think YOU'RE so special?" (obviously didn't do his chances at scoring any good :) ). I pointed out that different and special are two completely separate concepts. Special implies better. Different is simply "not the same." Apples are different from oranges. That doesn't make them better -- or worse either for that matter. Just not the same.

Society when I was growing up (at least in my schools in a smallish town in Illinois) (and I think maybe now as well) places/placed a premium on "fitting in" and being the same. There was a significant social price for being "different" "odd" or "weird." All of which I was.

When I was in high school an aunt came to visit and said to me "These are the best years of your life." And I responded. "Then just shoot me now!"

Fortunately for her (and even more fortunately for me!). They weren't. Not even close. My life continually gets better. Which was why I was able to tell my son. "This too shall pass." And MEAN it. School (through high school/compulsory public education) is appx. 12 years out of your life, early in your life. Then it's over. You're approximately 18 and out in the world. How sad it would be (in my opinion) if "the best years of your life" are over before you're even able to drink, vote, and so many other things? I mean the average life span is something like 80, so you're not even halfway through. Do you really want the whole rest of your time on earth to be anticlimactic? EWWWW.

I mean, if you can, have fun in school. Enjoy every minute of it. If you can't. (And a lot of us can't), know it has a limited shelf life, it will be over soon, and that things DO get better.

Another thing, in the movie X-Men 2, there were two scenes that stuck in my mind. The first is when the parents ask their son if he could "Just try not being a mutant?" That was so sad to me. Because it denies all the individuality that makes him special just to fit in and make things comfortable. And for the record. It's not possible. You can *try* and sometimes you can even *pass* but it kills a little piece of you and degrades who you really are. Which leads to the second scene, where Nightcrawler is talking to Mystique and points out that she can look like anyone. She could "pass." So why didn't she just look like everybody else all the time?" And she answered that she shouldn't have to.

I think about this stuff sometimes. Because I think creativity is important. And creativity by its nature means doing something "different" and going somewhere new that people haven't gone before, or looking at things differently. That's the only way progress gets made. Somebody had to "discover" fire, and they didn't do that sitting on their heinie under a stack of furs going "*$#@$ it's cold!" OK, so maybe they did start OUT there, but they didn't STAY there. They got up off their tookus (sp?) and DID something. And they probably failed at first. Maybe a lot of times. But eventually it worked.

I tell my son that it does no good to turn the steering wheel if the vehicle isn't moving.

Every day is a new start. If you don't like where things are, today is your chance to change them. Oh, and actions have consequences. Even inaction has consequences -- so you can't just get away with saying "I'm not responsible for this fire crap -- I was just sitting here huddled under my skins minding my own business..."

OK, so much for serious. Have a great day everybody.

Happy Birthday Cathy

Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday to you.
Happy BIRTHDAY dear Cathy.
Happy birthday to you. :)

Saturday, November 20, 2004


Hi all! Cie here.

Time is flying by. Just a few more days until the book is out. We haven't received our copies yet, but I'm jumping up and down with impatience to get them. We've decided not to actually post the cover of the next book until people have actually had the chance to get the first one. I can understand the logic, but argh! I want them out! I want the next one finished and sold. I want, I want, I WANT......

I feel like a little kid throwing a tantrum. It's funny. Before I got caught up in the actual process of getting published I had no CLUE how long everything takes. Patience has never been my best thing, but I'm learning. SLOWLY. Be patient with me. :D

The other day I stopped by one of the sites that has sample chapters and read it. Because of all that's been going on, it's been quite a while since I just sat down and read one of the completed mss. As I looked at it I had one of those "board across the head" moments (not literally, but you know what I mean). "This is actually a *book*. I mean, it's *readable*. I'D buy it. Whoa."

I know that probably sounds stupid. To understand you'd have to know that I've spent my whole life with all these stories running through my head. I've always wanted to write fiction, tell my stories, and *hopefully* have people like them. Make people *think* about things -- like how even though somebody may have a completely different viewpoint than yours, to them it is a perfectly valid viewpoint. They have reasons behind it, facts and experience that support it. It's all a matter of perspective. One of my friends who is also a writer, Tami Cowden, told me once that "The villian is the hero of his own story." That's why I am not likely to ever "draw moral conclusions" as one of the reviewers said she wanted us to. I mean, who am I to say? I know what I believe. I have very strong opinions about right and wrong; about religion. (Not so much about politics... it gives me a headache.) But just because I believe it doesn't mean it's right for everybody else. It's right for me, and that has to be enough. Of course a former friend once told me "You're so open minded your brains are going to fall out!" She meant it as an insult, and was really incensed when I took it as a compliment. :p

I want our characters to feel real, as though they're somebody you might run into at the mall or a bar. Weird and quirky maybe, but real. I mean, I can actually "hear" Linda going "EEEW" over the goose poop on her Jimmy Choo shoes in my mind. I can "see" Liselle doing the limbo in her motorized wheelchair. They only exist in our minds and on paper, but they still feel valid to me. And they have things to say. Not always things I agree with either. I don't want the books to be a forum to "preach to the masses." The masses are doing just fine without it -- or, well, as well as they ever do.

That's one of the good things about the partnership. Cathy and I come from different backgrounds and have very diverse opinions on things and we don't always agree. So we can cover all the bases, or at least most of them.

Another thing we really try for is diversity. Our villains are bad guys because they personally are a rotten individual, not because of their cultural background, ancestry or religious beliefs. Our "good guys" and "bad guys" come in all shapes, sizes, colors, genders and belief systems and backgrounds. On the other hand, its quite likely that we (and some of the characters too) won't necessarily be "politically correct." Because a lot of people just aren't. I mean, I try not to be an ass, but I'm frequently not PC.

OK, looking at this post I should probably say now that all of this is MY opinion. I can't speak for Cathy here. But that's ok, because she doesn't hesitate to speak for herself. :)

On a completely different tack, I've been posting on various boards and have met some truly remarkable people. Make me feel downright boring they do. But I find I'm not as worried about that as I used to be. I've lived long enough to my mind to deserve and have EARNED boring. Got a whole bunch of my "not boring" stuff out of the way.

My mom (or my sister, I don't remember which) told me once that "If anybody actually wrote your biography, nobody'd buy it. They'd put it in fiction." Which is, more or less, true. For one thing, as Diane put it. "Things happen to people. THINGS happen to you." I'm still hoping for the big lottery win. I mean, I've been hit by lightning, and they say the odds are not that dissimilar...

So, anyway, I'm ready for peace and quiet personally and lots of action and excitement in and about the books. I'll just have to see if it works out that way... and be patient.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Hi Jim!!!!

Hi Jim!!!!

I'm so glad somebody actually read the blog and responded! I was beginning to feel like the tree that fell in the forest. I have to say, the whole writing thing is exciting, fun, and a little bit scary (kind of roller-coaster scary, where you're in line going "Oh sh**" but then afterwards do the "OOOOh let's do it again!"). I'll talk to Cathy about the German link you suggested -- AND about posting the new cover, which I've forgotten how to do.

I am trying to keep in touch with people, but sometimes it's just time to move on. I'm also trying to accept that sometimes people *have* to learn the hard way, and the best advice in the world won't help if they won't listen to it. (Not that I actually GIVE the best advice in the world, but STILL...)

Anyway, thank you so much for your posts. I hope you'll keep stopping by!


Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Another Rainy Tuesday

Another rainy and gloomy day. Apparently winter is the rainy season in this part of Texas, although frankly we've had a very wet year since I arrived this spring. But it doesn't matter. I'm looking on the bright side! It's light jacket weather for me -- in MID-NOVEMBER! I've only had one day that was cold enough that the body was in pain, stiff and rebellious about moving. Normally by this time of year I'm having to take hot baths periodically just to keep moving. I've had people say that it's psychosomatic. To which I respond horse sh**, bull hockey, and several less printable things. Because a lot of it has to do with circulation, which is affected by the thyroid and pituitary problems. So, "nah, nah, nah nah nah. Plttt! and SO THERE!" (That was childish, but really fun! :) ) I really am in a very good mood. Funloving and snarky -- the kind where you want to blow soap bubbles, if that makes any sense at all. (It may not.)

First, the previous book in the Tor series we're in hit the USA Today Bestseller's List. Since we're doing better on Barnes & Noble, and Amazon than that book I'm very excited and hopeful! It would be seriously cool to make a bestseller's list with our second book! I'm trying not to get ahead of myself, but judging from what we can find out about orders (there's all kinds of formulas for Amazon ranking, B&N ranking, a phone number you can call about Ingrams, etc.) it looks as though we're going to earn out our advance straight out of the box. This would be SERIOUSLY COOL! It also bodes well for our future career.

Also, we saw a color ad that was placed in "Affaire de Coeur" a major romance magazine. It's absolutely gorgeous, and is solely for Hunter, not the whole line. I tried to forward it to Mom, but it didn't go through, so Cathy printed her out a color copy on photo paper that I can send with the RT magazine with the big review.

I don't know if I already mentioned it or not (may have, haven't re-read previous posts), but in our web search we came across a group in Germany (the text was in German) where they are fans who are on pins and needles waiting for OUR BOOK. The site was about Hunter! Way cool! Cathy and I both responded. (She had someone who could translate.) I responded in English.

The Werewolf Cafe is going to run the first chapter of Moon's Web for the next full moon. We were very well received last time. This is very exciting stuff. Also, we heard about some charity doings that we may be contributing to along with some *very* big names in the business next year. We've been invited to be on a panel. Cathy's speaking at the RT conference, and working as judge for a contest. LOTS of good things, good news. HAPPY HAPPY.

Things on the personal front are coming along. Not perfect, but improving. It's slow going, but it IS going. One day at a time. My health isn't perfect, but it's hanging in there. Some of my relationships are a little strained because of distance and things I have to do for my health and to get enough rest. That makes me sad, but I really DO have to take care of myself. It's not something that anyone else can do for me. I only get one body, and I have to keep it running as well as I can. I know it's inconvenient for other people (believe me, it's not exactly easy for me either), but it is necessary. Part of the problem is that I don't *look* sick, another is that it's cumulative. No one of the things wrong with me causes the whole problem. UGH.

ENOUGH OF THAT. It's ruining my bubble blowing mood! :) My birthday is coming up on the 22nd. The book is being shipped on the 30th. The first anthology is out (with Ian in it). I have been WRITING!!! (Actual page production that is LEADING TO THE CONCLUSION OF A DRAFT MANUSCRIPT!!!) I REFUSE to be bummed! Tonight I may even get the chance to READ! I love reading, but lately I've been too tired at the end of the day. Tonight I feel GOOD.

Well, I will go now. If anyone is reading this, have a GREAT, TERRIFIC, WONDERFUL evening -- because I surely do intend to!


Friday, November 12, 2004

Feeling Better/Personal Stuff


I was just grumpy as all get out the last several days. Today's better. Don't know why. It's cold and gloomy outside -- but then again, cold and gloomy down here is still warmer than I'm used to this time of year. No snow yet either. Which means the body hasn't been hurting like it usually does this time of year. So, while I've been tired, I'm not in pain, which is a major big plus!

Anyway, apologies for the all round growly tone.

It's fun, we got a translation of the German on the site where they were discussing Hunter. Cathy and I each posted a reply to them. I'm just thrilled that there's so much buzz about the book. I sent an e-mail to most of the people I'm still in touch with in Illinois and Denver with updates about how the writing is going and with the picture of the new cover (which is WAY cool).

Cathy's doing a great job of amping up the romantic/sexual tension in the vampire book. Good news. I just have to admit that since I'm determinedly single at this point in time I have a hard time thinking romantically. It's just not where my mind is at -- particularly when I'm tired. When there's somebody in my life, I can manage romantic quite nicely. But I've been alone for a while now and I guess I'm just out of the habit. :) Maybe I need to work on that? ;)

Anyway, we've gotten through the week. It's not quite 5:00, but I'm thinking positive! Looking forward to a great weekend.

Everybody take care.


Thursday, November 11, 2004

Hi Guys

This is only partly a business/writing blog today. Kind of want to write some personal stuff too. And, since nobody seems to be logging in to look, I don't figure it's a problem. I'm thinking that we may get more traffic on this after the book comes out -- but maybe not. You just never know.

Writing first. 19 Days until Hunter comes out. Today Cathy sent me something fun. A site, in Germany (in German) that has our cover, a description of the book, and (I think, since I can't read German I'm not sure) reviews of the book. It's just wild. I guess one of the copies from Frankfurt got out and about.

The edited synopsis went out on Kate. We've come up with a new proposed title "Touch of Evil." The changes to up the amps on the romance angle are actually fairly small at this point, which is good.

We've gotten the cover for Moon's Web. VERY nice. Makes me happy to see it. I'm going to TRY to put it up. If I can't, I'll have Cathy do it. (HA). The draft we have has the original Hunter quote from Laurell on the front. That bugs me, so we're trying to see if she'll give us a quote for the second book (she and Darla have read it). We'll see.

We found out that they're planning a print run of 95,000-100,000 books. THIS IS HUGE. Mid list is generally 40,000. That they're printing this many means they really believe in the book and the pre-orders have been hefty. Actually, judging by the numbers we've been able to scrounge up, we're already at the earn-out point -- and the book isn't even on the shelves yet!!!!

I was hoping to get the first draft of the book I've been working on (The Raveners) done by the end of the month, but the body has been acting up. I'm so tired a lot of the time that I can't think clearly -- let alone creatively. I'm going to make an appointment with my new doctor (I moved to Texas, switched insurance, and am starting over. UGH). I think a big part of the problem is that it's time to up the thyroid medicine again. I'm feeling stupid, slow, and frustrated. I'm trying not to let it make me grumpy, but that's part and parcel of the problem.

I've been thinking (always dangerous) about the fact that the Sazi world is so much more in line with what's popular now. And I've been thinking "How would I feel if we just end up doing Sazi books for the next 20 years, just working within that world?" I think that the Sazi may be our major breadwinners, with the other books being supplemental. But we have a large enough world with enough people in there to make it stay interesting. People like Mercedes Lackey have made wonderful careers out of one world. I do worry that the stories STAY interesting. the first series of Dune was great -- the follow up returns, (in my opinion) not so much. A lot of the Pern books were good, but one or two were kind of tired (again in my opinion). So we'll need to work really hard to keep them all interesting.

I do hope that we can put out one non-Sazi book a year too (at least). But if the Sazi make us a good living they'll be a joy and be gravy.

I was also thinking about Denver. I was very happy there for a very long time, and there are things I miss. But my present and future are (at least for the foreseeable future) here. I'm not up to the heavy traffic. I can't afford the high cost of living (comparatively). I really need the slower pace. I've found a great job with an incredibly good boss. I do hope to stay in touch with people back there. But frankly, it doesn't necessarily seem that a lot of them are that interested in keeping in touch with me. So maybe its time to move on. But I don't want it to seem to people that I'm letting success go to my head, either. Does that make sense? On the other hand, mostly I'm keeping in touch by e-mail because I'm spending my time at home either (a) asleep; (b) writing (not as much as I'd like because of a); and (c) doing things with James. A lot of people really don't like e-mail as much as the phone, so that may be part of the problem.

Anyway, I don't want to be a bummer, and don't want to be bummed. Things are turning around. It's taking time, but things are going to be very, very, good. I just have to pray hard and hang on. I can do that.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Trying again :)

Good news, Hunter's Moon ships in 22 days (WOO HOO). The website is getting lots of hits. We got contacted by another Australian bookseller wanting to highlight our book in their catalogue and asking for us to list them as having the book available on our website. (Which we are happy to do). All the reviews thus far have been dynamite, which is so very cool.

The anthology with Mind Games is coming out on the same day that Hunter's Moon ships, which is cool also. I'm not thrilled with the cover, but you can't win them all. Cathy likes it. I think I'm just too Catholic to be comfortable with the pentagram, particularly since my story at least has absolutely nothing to do with any religion (Christian or non-Christian).

Neutral news -- Kate needs tweaking to make the romance more integral to the plot. Frustrating, but Cathy and I discussed some things and she's going to work on it. I think the reason that this book fought us so hard was that it was never really intended to be romantic, but more horror. So we had to go back and stir that in and it didn't work as well as I would like. I'm just not really a romantic type of person, so that part is very hard for me. Still working on the names too as "Deadly Rapture" just doesn't do it for me, or Cathy either for that matter.

Bad news -- can't go visit the family for Thanksgiving. Ah well, maybe Christmas. By then the book will have been out a bit...

Good News -- the manuscript I'm working on is rolling along nicely, which makes me very happy. I don't know if it's any good. It could be absolute dreck. But it's in my head and insists on being written, so write it I will. It is much darker than most of the stuff we've put out so far, so it may have to appear under a different name. Or not. We'll see. If it's total dreck it may just get filed in the cabinet for review and revision later. Or filed in the round file.

Everybody have a great day.


Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Welcome to November


Welcome to November. Lots of good news.

Halloween was great. My mom had a good birthday, and Cathy and I had a great time dealing with the folks over at The Werewolf Cafe. It was a howl! The folks there are great.

Let's see, where to start...

We got our review in Romantic Times. 4.5 stars and a TOP PICK. WHOO HOO. Got another great review from Harriet Klausner -- five stars! The good reviews and the publicity work have gotten us under 10,000 on Amazon, which means we are selling well. Cathy has found out the procedure for how many sales equals what rank. She explained it to me yesterday, but, alas, my memory is a sieve and the information is gone this morning. Sigh. Still, it very much looks like we'll "earn out" our advance -- which is WAY COOL.

The charity auction for an autographed ARC of Hunter's Moon for Granite City APA (Laurell K. Hamilton's charity auction) is going well. It's currently fetching $110.50 -- not bad for a 6.99 paperback! (BIG GRIN). THANKS to everyone who has been bidding!

I'm amazed at all of the good charity work I've been hearing about other authrs doing. It makes me very happy to know there are such good people out there!

I can't believe it's just one month until the book is out! WOW has the time been flying. We'll get our author copies early, of course. Cathy has been sending out the postcards to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America list in groups. I'm in awe of her ability when it comes to publicity.

I'm hoping to get to send out cards to a buch of the folks in Denver. If not, I'm going to do an e-mail to everyone with the photo embedded. I'm just very happy and proud, and I DO want to do my part to support the book.

With regard to other projects --

The Abyss (Dark Romance Anthology) with "Mind Games" is coming out this month.
Hunter's Moon is coming out December 12 (WOO HOO).
Secrets (Mystery Anthology) with "Apple" is coming out in (I think) January.
Moon's Web is coming out in August, 2005.

After Happily Ever After -- we're looking at getting an illustrator and reorganizing it before we try to sell it.

Kate/The Thrall/Deadly Rapture (Can you tell we're having a hard time finding a good name for this one!) is currently with the agent. Keeping our fingers crossed that she'll find a good home for it!

Cathy is currently working on the re-write of Blue Lights while I am currently working on the first draft of The Raveners.

All in all a very busy, productive, and good time.