Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hi Guys! (Waves vigorously.)

Hi! Waves Vigorously!

Hi Guys! Okay, I've only got a couple of minutes. But I thought I'd stop in and catch you up on things.

First, the heat is miserable. I used to love summer. But a bout of heat prostration has made me not able to process heat well physically. (I don't know if it is an official permanent side-effect, or just something I believe, but I've heard it from a guy who had heat stroke too.) Still, things like yard work don't do themselves. So with the back yard grass up to my knees, and the temperatures showing no sign of dropping much below triple digits (and the guy who usually offers to come do my yard for $20.00 mysteriously MIA -- probably too sensible to try it in this heat) I decided to wait until sundown when the temps were at least a little lower and go for it.

Amen I say unto you UGH! Oh SOOOOOOOO UGH!

But it's done. Unfortunately its the next morning and I'm still pooped. Still, I got quite a bit of writing done this weekend. Tightened up the plot planning. Did some research. By the end of next weekend I should have the whole thing gelled enough to actually TALK about it without going blank and panicking, thus losing at least 2-4 days of writing time.

We've gotten the people hired to take over the newsletter, put together and up the new website, and are talking about the possibility of a forum after all. The art work should be just about ready for the bookmarks, ads, etc. SO, things are moving forward at a good clip.

Oh, the fledgling birds on the porch are grown and gone. Mom and dad bird were at it again, and based on their behavior, I'm thinking there're more eggs incubating. I like birds, and they are providing endless distraction to the kitties. Although I must admit the blinds have suffered for it.

Okay, gotta go.

Take care.


Sunday, June 28, 2009


Okay, it's Sunday. My "day off." Actually, it's going to wind up being my second day off. Oops. The little outing yesterday wound up taking most of the day, and while it was fabulous fun the weather was so hot (I think they said 106) that I was completely worn out by the time I got home.

Having had heat prostration once upon a time, I do not "do" heat well. Yes, the car was air conditioned, but we kept going back out into the natural oven to go between places, and even air conditioning can only do so much when it's faced with that kind of challenge.

ANYWAY, the dam has cracked, the book is actually moving forward nicely. I got a LOT of words done Friday. So I'm okay. I'll have to crank it tomorrow. But I can. Just so long as I keep the air on and don't try going out once the sun comes up. (Makes me sound positively vampiric!)

I have been given the honor of being invited to be on the Faery Court at RT in Columbus. I have accepted. BUT this means that I will be in LOTS of things like photos and videos. This is not a happy thing. After the debacle that was the acceptance video from the Career Achievement Award, we do NOT want to do this again. SO, I'm going to do the whole life change thing. It's okay. I'd started it already anyway. And I'm not fool enough to do anything drastic. People with chronic health problems should not do drastic. We just shouldn't. LOTS of reasons why.

SO, I bought a cheapy journal, have made my plans and bought a few special supplies and groceries. Periodically you should be prepared to hear me either crow or whine. Accept this and move on.

Now, having posted my warning label, and done my morning exercise, I am off to eat a suitably wholesome breakfast.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Saturday (Very Early) Morning Breakfast Serial

Ah, insomnia. But there you go. You know the drill. Bowl? Milk? Okay.

I opened a seam into the first-floor bathroom of Cassandra's house. Strange? Not really. It was the one place I was pretty sure wouldn't be affected by a pitched battle. I could seam in there and not be in the way.

I appeared in the middle of the ancient-claw foot tub, and almost fell on my ass. The house was shaking. Not just a little either. We're talking major tremors, resulting from explosions.

Oh shit.

I could smell smoke, even feel heat rising up through the floor as I ran. I could feel Cassandra's pain. I don't know how. But it hurt, making me stumble as I made my way to the staircase leading down to the lab.

As I steadied myself against the stairwell wall I realised, I still had the Ladysmith in my hand. It was loaded, but the safety was on. I remedied that, and continued downward, moving as quickly and quietly as I could. Not that anyone was liable to hear me over the sounds of battle and Cassandra's screams of pain and defiance. Still, I was hoping for some semblance of surprise.

I should've known better.

After all. Tracker had tied himself to the shields. He'd have felt me coming. I was two steps from the bottom when he turned to me with a cold, hard, smile on a face that both was, and wasn't as familiar as my own.

"Well, well, you're finally here. Hoping to save the day?"

I didn't answer. I couldn't. It was one thing to have Cassandra say we were betrayed. It was another to see, with my own eyes, that Tracker was the betrayer. Tracker, my best friend. It didn't make sense. I felt a wave of pain that had nothing to do with Cassandra's injuries, or my own exhaustion. It was purely emotional. I fought not to let it show, and failed.

He laughed. "I guess I played my part well then. I'm the last person you would've expected to betray you." With insulting casualness, he threw a blast of magical energy at me. I got out of the way in time, moving behind a ruined counter for cover, steadying the gun to take aim.

"Still no magic? Then they interrupted in time. Too bad for you."

He lobbed a ball of energy up so that it hit the countertop, spreading like magical napalm, over the formica, down the sides of the cabinets. Everywhere it went, it burned white hot, like magnesium. The light from it was bright enough to make my eyes water, or maybe that was the smoke, because smoke was filling the basement making my breath burn in my lungs. Through watering eyes I saw Cassandra's form, crumpled on the ground in the center of her summoning circle. Not far from her was a large, still smoldering corpse that had once been Lucy.

A tidal wave of rage surged through me. With a roar of defiance, using a two-handed grip, I began firing the gun. Steady, measured shots. Of course he was shielded against them. That wasn't the point. He thought I didn't have offensive magic; thought the gun was my only weapon. When the last shot was fired, he'd let his guard down. When he did, I was going to kill him.

I pulled the trigger that last time; saw the concentric rings of light and shadow as the bullet impacted his shield an instant before he dropped it entirely. Gathering my will and my power, I prepared, and threw, my best magical punch at him.

But in the instant I released the power I felt something else. A seam was opening, the shields had crumbled enough that someone was coming through. Whether it was a friend or enemy I had no clue. I turned, readying myself. But so did Tracker, and my blow, which would have killed him had it hit full on, only clipped him, setting his right side on fire, sending him into a staggering spin as he screamed hideously. I saw Buford step through the seam, Eleanor's limp form in his arms, his body interposed between me and his son. I shouted for him to get down, but he simply stood there, in dumbstruck horror. And before I could move around him, before I could do anything, I felt another seam and knew that Tracker was gone.

# # #

Helena and Evan were dead, the church burned to the ground around them. Lucy was dead; Eleanor and Cassandra gravely enough injured that they will never fully recover. I didn't chase Tracker. It was more important that I get the wards and shields back up around the house and its contents. And it was more important to me that I save my friends lives if I could.

The battle was over. Not the war. He'd be back.

And I'd be ready.


Coming Along

Okay, up until now I have been mojoless and somewhat stuck. But, it seems she's back, and the muse is a little bit happier. So now things are starting to roll. This is good news for the book (and the deadline). But it is bad news for posting and other things. Because when the muse is standing there with a bull-whip in her hands, she aint a gonna let me do no foolin' around. Got it! I will WRITE. I will write WHAT she says, just as fast as my little fingers can type!

So if there aren't too many posts for a bit, understand. It's not my fault. (OUCH! I'm DONE already! JEEZ.)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Attention Posse et al.

Attention Posse et al.

I am in deadline crunch. Mojo has been visiting (not moved back, but she's at least sneaking in for food, drink, and the occasional scritch) so the Muse is willing to work with me again. There was a delay in shipping the swag that I ordered, so I don't even have everything here to send.

SO, all that swag I promised you is going to be delayed. How long will depend on the USPS and how fast I can get the writing done. I will keep you advised. Many apologies.

Although, honestly, I think y'all would rather have books than swag anyway wouldn't you?

Cie/C.T. Adams

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Hi. I only have a minute or so. I am in a manic hurry. (a) Trying to squeeze in writing time; (b) trying to get the deal made on updating the webpage and having the newsletter get out to more people and be more professionally done; (c) getting ready for the day job; and (d) getting the pets taken care of and my exercise in. OY!

Had a breakthrough yesterday morning that may help the entire new series. Wrote notes furiously in the hopes that it wouldn't slip through my fingers. (Thyroid issues give you memory problems. Not a happy thing when the muse has been fussy.) So now I have a bit of research to do to make it work.

Many blessings to K. Segovia for the research help she gave me on this one. She gets not only attagirls, but also an acknowledgement in the front of the book and a signed copy when it actually gets to print.

Okay, I'd love to say something cute, or profound, or anything really. But I just haven't got it in me. BUT if you want something cool to look at, search YouTube for the video of Bruce Lee playing table tennis with nunchucks/nunchacku.

Monday, June 22, 2009

My Mojo/The Muse/Transformers

Hi Guys!

Okay, I've only got a couple of minutes. I've got THINGS to do. Mostly, I have to write. But there is also promo stuff on the book coming out in August that has snuck up on me with a vengeance. OY.

So, this will be short, and possibly disjointed with a little ADD thrown in on the side.

My mojo is missing. I've been busy looking for it. Basically I consider mojo to be the personal energy, power, excitement that runs through people. It makes people notice. It gives you the boost to create. It attracts the muse, that fickle creature who helps writers write.

Because my mojo is totally allergic to negative emotions, and illness it has run off like a stray cat in search of a good home. So I have to lure it back. Because the muse will not muse without it. In short, I need to have fun, be happy and light-hearted. Which is trickier than it sounds. In the meantime, I still have promo to do and pages to produce. SO, if while you're out havign a good time, you see my mojo, give it a stiff drink and a snack then pack it off home for me, will you? Many thanks.

Okay, I was doing my walking this morning (exercise plan, helps with keeping the energy up and pain at bay) and I saw something ---odd. There is a lawn mower at Wal-Mart that looks just like a Transformer/Deceptacon mask. Swear it does. I took a picture, but I don't have the right cable to put it from my phone into the computer (YET). I got this weird image of a Deceptacon trying to hide and someone testing the lawnmower. "No, this just doesn't seem to work for me." And when they turn there back it goes back to human/ish and spits out grass clippings with a choke and a grimace.

ANYWAY, the fact that I can go on these weird imaginary jaunts means the mojo has not moved out permanently, but is more on more of a bender. But I sure do miss her.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Stuff and Nonsense/AND HAPPY FATHER'S DAY


Okay, I've got a TON of stuff to do and a bad case of the "I don' wanna's." I'm reaching the conclusion of the Saturday Morning Breakfast Serial Vol. 1. I've got a book due. There's all kinds of promo needed for the book coming out August 1. I've got a family trip coming up for 4th of July, and all I can think of is:

There's an ad on my computer where she says she makes $75.00 an hour while she sleeps. Apparently he's not very good. Neither is she if she's sleeping. Doesn't exactly encourage a guy.

Yes, I know. My mind is in the gutter. But there you go.

I worked on the book Friday and Saturday. Didn't make nearly enough progress. Part of that was logistics. I had the tech guy come out and re-connect the internet. (I had disconnected it when I thought I was moving to Denver a few months ago, before I ran into the series of roadblocks and delays that have me losing my fricking mind.) But doing that meant I had to re-up my virus protection that had expired, and do all of the computer updates I'd been neglecting, and oh CRAP where did the day go?

On the good news front, it is now working and I can do the research I need on the book as I go.

Also on the good news front, I may have kind of a fun project coming up. It's in the far future, and nothing has been finalized, but I'm excited nonetheless.

All right, enough dawdling. I have me a book to write.



(Who is also going out in search of her mojo, which constant depression and negativity has swiped from her.)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday Morning Breakfast Serial

Good morning guys? Are you HUNGRY? Well, if you have your bowl and are ready, I am.

Hmn, when last we left our intrepid heroine, she was sopping wet, and about to get visitors of the most unwelcome kind.

And now I give you . . . The Saturday Morning Breakfast Serial.

I opened a seam to the office. I'd worked there long enough, I could envision the place in my sleep. And while it might not be the perfect choice, it was, at least, better than the deep end of the high school swimming pool. Certainly it would be drier. And he was close enough to home to be able to get a ride.

I didn't stay to talk. Unless I missed my guess, there was a battle going on. A battle I was a part of.

I gave Bob a fierce hug, quick thanks, and opened a seam next to the ruined counter. "Be careful Bob. I don't know how, but Evan knows I care about you, and he found this place before. He could be back if we don't stop him."

We had to stop him. The question was how? Not only how to manage it, but HOW was he finding me? I'd been careful. Damned careful. And there's no way he could've traced us to the church using magic. Not with the ambient energy of the place interfering.

As I stepped through and into a pitched battle the realization hit me. There was only one way Evan could have found us here. Someone told him where we were going. But who?

I had set my seam to empty me into the small space in the main room behind the altar. It was a bit of a ways away from the action, but I didn't want to materialize into the middle of a fireball, or gunshot. And there were gunshots. Helena had apparently gotten tired of the interference with her magic and decided that less was more. She wasn't a very good shot, and her stance was all wrong. But that wouldn't make the bullets hurt any less if by a stroke of bad luck you got hit.

I moved to the far wall, moving quickly and in silence toward the battle. As I did, I gathered my will, wondering if what I was about to try would work. If Helena couldn't do magic here, could I? If I couldn't, there was always the Ladysmith. But it was in my backpack in the farthest corner of the room. No, magic was my best bet. Assuming, of course, that our little ceremony had worked. It felt like it had. But, oh. . . crap, what if . . . . Well, there was only one way to tell.

Taking a deep breath, I positioned myself, carefully hiding the bulk of my body behind the door frame leading into the baptismal area. Gathering my will, I tried to envision a ball of fire the size of a tennis ball. I felt the power being pulled from deep within me. It was painful, but not the spike of disabling pain of before. No, this was deeper, but more tolerable. It made me ache to my bones, but I could stay upright, could still think. Narrowing my eyes against the pain, I made a motion like throwing a fastball into the center of Helena's back. At the end of the "pitch" I released the energy I'd been holding.

A blue-white ball of flaming energy the size of a beach ball hit between her shoulderblades hard enough to lift her off of her feet and send her flying, face-first, into the far wall, leaving an indent like a cookie-cutter form in the drywall before she collapsed limply to the ground.

Oh my.

My knees weakened, and a wobbled a little, both from the effort it had taken and from sheer surprise.

Evan snarled. Whirling, he launched a fireball at me that was just as powerful, and far more controlled than my own. I dived and rolled, managing to get mostly out of the way. My borrowed robe was scorched, but it was too wet from my faux baptism to actually catch fire.

Evan gathered his will, and would've attacked me again, but Buford was on him. The fire that blazed in his dark blue eyes was a match for the lightninglike power that was loosed from his hand, flying in an eye-searing bolt over Eleanor's prone body and into Evan's hastily-raised defenses.

I crawled toward my backpack. Helena wasn't moving; wasn't breathing, but I wasn't ready to try magic again just yet. I'd put too much of myself into that one blow. Besides, the lack of control frightened me. If I tried to loose a blast at Evan, I'd be likely to take Buford with him. So I didn't dare. But I could shoot the bastard. Oh yes I could!

I was holding the backpack, drawing the gun when I felt . . . something. A shudder ran through me, from head to toe, and the crystal of my necklace burned like fire against my chest.

In my mind, like a pained scream, I heard Cassandra's voice. Sahara, I NEED YOU!


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Questions for the Audience

Okay guys. I'm feeling a little lonely here. I've been trying new things with the blogs, the newsletter and such, and I don't know if they're working or not. What do you like? What don't you like? What would you want to see more of?

I mean, I haven't been getting too many comments. Some of the contests get enthusiasm, some don't get any reaction at all.

SO, I'm asking for input. WADDAYA WANT?

Also, to encourage even MORE participation (TOLD you I was feeling a little lonely) this is the day to ask me questions. Book questions, writing questions. Whatever. (If it's too personal I may pass, but otherwise, the door is open. Ask away).

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


The Rosie Hughes Project

The Rosie Hughes Project wound down with one last entry that is a “What are they doing now?” entry in most of the blogs. (It missed Cie’s because she was in Denver house hunting and didn’t have access to a computer on the agreed date.)

Now that it’s (le sigh) over, we are working on having the entire series bound and available at Café Press. Tee-shirts will be available in both the standard Rosie Hughes and a LINE UP THE PENGUINS. Boxer shorts of the penguins may follow. Cafe press address to look at (and order) said wondrous items is: http://www.cafepress.com/morganville (if not up yet, they soon will be). The penguin shirt is available at the main cafepress store by searching for Rosie Hughes. :)

Since the blog ring is officially finished, it is time for a contest.

Below are the questions. Answer them in an e-mail to: CATADAMSFANS@GMAIL.COM marked “MAKE-UP AND MAYHEM” in the RE: and you will be entered to win one of the following:

FIFTH PRIZE: One stuffed penguin named Anita.

FOURTH PRIZE: One extra-large official Rosie Hughes tee-shirt or (assuming we get it finished in time and it is available) an extra-large “LINE UP THE PENGUINS” tee-shirt.

THIRD PRIZE: Stuffed penguin (named Blake), and one of each of the two tee-shirts.


Okay guys, there are two bags. One for Second and one for the First place entry. These bags and their contents are PINK, I mean eye-searing in the words of my fellow workers at the day job (a pair of SERIOUS girlie-girls who are both fond of pink in all its varieties: “Oh my THAT is PINK!” and “WOW! ALL RIGHT THEN!”) IF you love pink, you’re in for a thrill with this one.

The Second Place bag contains:
(1) The bag (DUH)
(2) Double-matted art photo of a pink cactus flower
(3) A pink watch
(4) A pink with white hearts make-up bag containing a fluffy bath thing (I can’t remember the name of it now, but you use it to get the most out of your shower gel or soaps), a pink massage mitt
(5) One pink hairbrush
(6) A pink necklace and earrings set that was hand-made by an author friend who does beading. I told her to “Go for the gusto” and to make it “As pink as you possibly can.” She succeeded. Admirably. Someone’s little girl will love this.
(7) A pink fluffy key-chain
(8) An extra-large Rosie Hughes tee-shirt autographed by C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp

(This bag contains:
(1) The bag (DUH AGAIN)
(2) Double-matted art photo of a pink cactus flower
(3) A pink watch
(4) A pink camo make-up bag (perfect for hiding in the peony bushes) embroidered with white skulls (really folks I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried) containing: a bath fluffy thing (I still can't remember the name of it, but you use it to get the most out of your shower gel or soaps) and a pink massage mitt,
(5) One pink hairbrush
(6) Hot pink dangling earrings (VERY eye-catching, trust me.)
(7) An extra-large Rosie Hughes tee-shirt autographed by C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp
(8) A pink flamingo key chain
(9) A pair of your very own pink lawn flamingos (named, coincidentally, Rosie and Max) (So you, too, can have your own, tasteful arrangement ---pond not included)
(10) A copy of the bound manuscript of The Rosie Hughes Project (as is or soon will be available at Café Press with all proceeds going to charity.)
(11) And finally, a copy of the classic movie: “Pretty in Pink”

**NOTE: We thought about putting make-up and/or nail polish in the bags, but the post office has about mailing liquids and flammables, and nail polish is both.

A reminder as to the Rosie Hughes plot :

(In the immortal words of Rachel Caine)

In a nutshell, Rosie Hughes, vampire, has been forced to relocate and change her career, and now she’s a major distributor of Suzi Q cosmetics in Florida – a pink lady, living in the land that just about invented pastel.

Well, someone has to sell sunblock to the undead, now, don’t they? IT MIGHT AS WELL BE HER. As Rosie has opened up her markets (mainly through cheerfully illegal use of her vampire-based persuasion techniques), she’s made enemies, namely, the other Suzi Q reps. They’re taking it hard. And they’re not taking it lying down. In fact, they’ve hired the famed Max Hunter to put an end to Rosie’s reign of pink terror.

But will even Max be able to stop the horror?

Answers to the questions below are in the posts on the various blogs in the chain, or if the book is available at Café Press, you can get a copy, support charity and find them there:

What is Max’s middle name?
What is Mary Ssss’s actual name?
Who had “man bones”?
What undercover operative was murdered by Rosie’s sister?
Name Rosie’s sister.
Name that penguin.
What was slipped into the product that proved to be lethal to some of Rosie’s underlings?
What is the shade of foundation that is repeatedly mentioned in the series.
Who is Mary Ssss’s idol?
Name two of Rosie’s cosmetics rivals who met and hired Max.
Correct entries will be entered in a drawing to be held on July 1st with the winner being announced in our July newsletter.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Visiting Dignitary

Okay, only here for a second to post this. Deadline looming. Book progressing and all that.

Please give a very warm welcome and LOTSA comments to Rachel Caine. :)

So, welcome to the blog. Now there are some pesky rumors that have arisen that I’ve resorted to beating other authors about the head and neck to drag them here, which is simply not true!

I would like to assure your readers that you did not beat me about the head and neck, or drag me here. There was a lasso involved, but the bruises hardly show, really.

ANYWAY, I’m going to dive right in. Is there any one character you’ve written that is your absolute favorite? Why?

I feel guilty saying it, but yes ... it’s Shane, from the Morganville Vampires series. Although honestly, I love writing all the characters from that series. I always hate answering this question because I think I should love ALL my characters equally, and now I feel that I’ve let down David and Joanne, who are also brilliant fun to write, and Cassiel is coming to kick my ass from Outcast Season ... great. Now my characters all hate me. Thanks.

Writing is hard work! Have you ever had the dread WRITER’S BLOCK? If so, what do you do to get past it?

Procrastination. No, seriously. If I’m blocked, I wait until the looming deadline panic overwhelms the deadly ennui of being “uninspired.” That always works.

Another thing that works is to figure out where my story stopped being interesting to me ... because the block is, to me, a sign that I’ve gone off the rails somewhere, and I just need to find out where. If I can’t, after a reasonable effort, I jump past it to another part of the story, then go back and fill in.

Almost every author I’ve met gives back to the community by supporting favorite charities. Do you have one? Could you tell me about it? Is there a particular reason why that charity?

I particularly support the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, which is a great advocate in fighting breast cancer and funding treatment advances. It’s not only an awesome cause, it’s also personal to me. I had breast cancer in 2005, and had two surgeries and aggressive radiation to combat the disease. Not only that, I know several wonderful ladies who’ve also faced this challenge.

I also support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, in honor of my friend Timothy Bartz, who was one of the best, most interesting people I’ve ever known. CF took him from us at the age of 33.

And naturally, as the writer of the Weather Warden series, I promote the Red Cross!

So, what does your schedule look like for the next few months? Anything new coming out that we should keep an eye out for? Tell us a little about it.

June 2 - the release of CARPE CORPUS, the 6th Morganville Vampires book. June 8 - the release of the audiobook of GLASS HOUSES, the 1st Morganville book. July 7 - the release of STRANGE BREW, an anthology by P.N. Elrod, with an original short story from me in it. July 14 - release of the audiobook of THE DEAD GIRLS’ DANCE (Morganville #2). July 27 - ETERNAL KISS comes out, another anthology edited by Trisha Telep, with an original Morganville short story. August 4 - CAPE STORM, the 8th Weather Warden novel. August 11 - release of the audiobook of MIDNIGHT ALLEY (Morganville #3). September 12 - release of the audiobook of FEAST OF FOOLS (Morganville #4). November 3 - FADE OUT, the 7th Morganville novel.

You might say I’m going to be a wee bit busy.

What type of books do you read for pleasure? Any favorite authors?

I absolutely love suspense novels, and that’s what I love to read ... mainstream suspense, police procedurals, mysteries, thrillers, big epic adventure books. I also love historical mysteries, like John Maddox Roberts’ SPQR series. But I equally adore fantasy and SF. So my reading is all over the map. Right now, I’m reading Lee Child, Richelle Mead, P.N. Elrod (she has a new limited-edition Jack Fleming novel out via her website at www.vampwriter.com), Charlaine Harris, Douglas Preston & Lincoln Childs, Jim Butcher. Just read Susanne Collins’ HUNGER GAMES, which is an amazing book.

Do you have a day job, or do you write full-time?

Ouch. Day job. Full time. Plus the writing.

Do you have any hobbies?

Sleeping. Okay, and movies and TV. Is email a hobby? Because I do a lot of that.

OKAY, I’m going to do one of those short MEME things here.

Favorite song: Today? Eeek. “It’s The Little Things” - Danny Elfman. Of all time? “Supermassive Black Hole” - Muse
Favorite movie or TV show: ... Today: “CASTLE” (TV). “UP” (movie). Of all time: “Buffy” (TV). “Aliens” (movie).
Favorite color: Purple. Or orange. I’m not consistent.
Favorite food: Indian food. Preferably curry.
Favorite drink: A really good glass of wine.
Is the glass half-full or half-empty: Like Schroedinger’s cat, it is exists in a state of being and not-being until it is drunk. Then, of course, it’s empty.
What animal do you think is most like your personality? A hedgehog. Something cute, but spiny.
Vampire/Werewolf/Other: Vampire, baby! Or other. Like I said, I’m not consistent. Can I vote for Djinn?

If you could only give one piece of advice to new or aspiring writers, that would help them in the business, what would it be?

Be patient. This is not a fast process, the exceptions trumpeted in the news to the contrary. And it IS a process. Stay focused on your goals, learn, grow, and adapt. And just don’t ever quit.

Thanks again for this. Do you mind if I take the piece of advice and put it in our newsletter and on our website in “The Craft Corner”? (If no, it’s okay, but I really would appreciate it.)

No problem!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Okay, first, I'm feeling playful guys. That's a good thing. But it means that I will be feisty occasionally. Don't fret posse members. I'm not actually torqued. But the packing and tech issues mean that I can't find all of your e-mails. I've actually decided to put them all in a honest-to-God-in-print-so-I-can-find-it-without-tech ADDRESS BOOK. So if you can and you haven't, please re-send the address. Mucho thanks.

OY -- It was bound to happen eventually I suppose. But my old, faithful, I have it exactly the way I want it, Yahoo account CHANGED. Yes, they're UPGRADING. I LOATHE upgrades. Seriously. There are always bugs. And they make it so FRIENDLY and HELPFUL. Damn it, I don't want to waste my time doing friendly and helpful with cutesy on the side. I just want to get to my freaking e-mails. I'm an old fashioned kinda gal. I love tech. I do. But I want to be in control of it. If I want to set up an outline, *I* want to decide how I want it. I don't want the computer to tell me how I'm going to do it and I DON'T want to have to wrestle the software two out of three falls, go through twelve substeps in the basic tool bar, and pray to God just in HOPES that I can get it the way I want it.

Every time they try to make things "EASIER" and "USER FRIENDLY" it screws with me. I hereby state that I am, for the record, a singularly UNFRIENDLY user.

What's worse, they keep doing it more and more to justify their existence (I refuse to believe the populace is getting that much more stupid. That would be just too depressing.). So that eventually your useful, faithful, lets you do it the way you actually want it done without arguing, software won't WORK with the hardware any more. You are FORCED to upgrade. Or your old, but still runs perfectly for crying out loud, hardware is so outdated that none of the present machines will cooperate and work with "granny over there."

I'm green. I believe you use it until it isn't useful, then you recycle it. If it still runs, why replace it? My truck is old, but runs like a champ. (Doesn't look so hot any more [thanks to a teenager with one of those huge Texas monster trucks who wasn't looking where he was going and a couple of severe hail storms] but it RUNS and it's PAID FOR.) My computer is getting up there, and was the forced replacement for Bessie, a 386 that was still running fine when I had to retire her due to above incompatibility issues. I like older houses with big front porches that you can hang a swing on, claw foot bath tubs, and actually walking or riding my bike places. I use my phone as a phone. Yeah, I learned to take pictures on it -- mostly so that I could manage NOT to keep taking photos of my foot by accident. Yeah, it CAN cruise the web, but when I'm somewhere where I need a cell phone, it's 'cause I intend to be AWAY from the computer. I have never deliberately gone online with my phone. I can't say I've never accidentally done it, because I do. I have, however, gotten the incidents of this down to about once a month -- usually when I'm exhausted. It can text. But I don't. There's nothing I can text that I can't actually say faster, and I'm a big one on words. (Most writers are.) Full words.

I am looking for tech that allows me to either upgrade if I want, or NOT.

I am tired of every time I tell the blog to post getting a Google error that says I've made a "BAD REQUEST". How the hell can it be a bad request? I just clicked on the damned button YOU provided. That makes NO sense whatsoever.

Now Yahoo e-mail, my last bastion of safety has fallen. ARGH!!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Whipping people with a wet noodle/Saturday Morning Breakfast Serial

All right Posse. What is WITH you guys! I mean the new members are being oh so very good, despite the bad example set by the older crew who simply are NOT sending the addresses I requested. Do I have to get all "Evil" overlordy? Is it that I'm just not intimidating enough now that I'm "Not-so-Evil?" HMNNNN? (Stomping my not-so-little foot, which, by the way, seriously irritates the bunions.)

All right. I'll say it. (I may actually choke on this you know.) PLEASE. There. I said it. PLEASE send me your addresses to catadamsfans@gmail.com . If you like you can put either WET NOODLE or DARN IT YOU SHOULD ALREADY HAVE THIS in the re line.

All right. That said. Time for the early edition to the Saturday Morning Breakfast Serial. It's going to be short, but I've got to get to the day job. And I'm giving myself some slack because I'm on deadline for the book due August 1. But if I have time, and there's outcry, I may try to find a way to do more mid-week next week.

Ready? Enjoy.


Panic! Absolute total freaking panic. The logical part of my brain might know and trust Bob, but I couldn't BREATHE. Elbows and knees lashed out, but the blows were slowed by the water, and he held me inexorably under. As the pressure of the breath I was holding built in my lungs, my magic built too. Sparkling stars shot across my darkening vision, and I felt a stab of blinding pain as my power tried to shoot outward, slamming against the dam my father had built. Then a sharper, lance of pain, like a scalpel slicing across my mental skin.

I felt the rush of power hit me like a speeding truck. So much power. Damnation, was I really that strong? Wow. In the same instant, Bob released me and I rose to the surface to gasp for sweet, glorious oxygen.

"Did it work?" Bob asked. "I hated holding you like that, but they insisted."

"Oh yeah." I looked into his eyes and smiled "It's okay." Turning to Eleanor I started to say thanks, when I saw a telltale shimmer in the shadows behind her, felt power wash across my skin.

Nor was I the only one. Eleanor whirled around, power at the ready. Buford started wading as fast as he could toward the end of the pool. Glancing over his shoulder at me he shouted "Get him out of here!"

"What's going on?" Bob looked back and forth, trying to grasp what was happening, and failing.

"We've got company coming, and not the happy kind. Hang on!" I grabbed him by the arm, gathered my will, and opened a seam.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Guten Morgen

Greetings and salutations.

Okay, the winner on Anna Katherine has been notified. Thanks to contestants.

Rosie Hughes stuff is at Cafe Press, it is in with the Morganville Vampire items. Look for it there.

Congrats to new posse members.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Serial will probably be posted on Friday this week. Yes, I still do know the days of the week. BUT I'm on deadline now, cranking the book out, and I will be getting up early and sitting at the keyboard working on the next Celia book instead.


"OPEN TELL 9:00"

Okay, just a quick post because I wanna. I have been frustrated by the fact that people in my area for the most part just don't read. They think reading is frivolous (or maybe even sinful, except for the bible.)

It bugs me. Because you learn from reading. Even fluffy entertainment books teach you things . . . mostly without you intending them to. Like vocabulary and spelling, and weird esoteric facts that make for interesting conversation.

There was a little Mom & Pop restaurant that popped up on the square in the town where I currently reside (not Denver. Not YET. But dammit I am working on it!) that has (sadly) already gone out of business. But the first week it had hand-printed signs on those "sandwich board" stands around the square that said "Open tell 9:00". Not until. Not 'til. Nope TELL. So I decided to take it as a viral ad campaign. We're open. Tell 9 people about it. I know that WASN'T what they were doing. But it salved my irritated sensibilities.

So now we have a book coming out in August. My call to arms is "Open -- TELL 9." That's right. TELL 9 people that it's coming. They should buy it. That we're wonderful. Whatever.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Attention all posse members. I have new swag. Contact me at the catadamsfans@gmail.com account confirming your mailing information so that I can send it out. :)

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Visiting Dignitary/Oy, and Stuff

Okay, I was supposed to post the Jackie Kessler Visiting Dignitary interview yesterday. But I got food poisoning and breakfast and never quite got my day back. SO it's today, and I'm hoping I didn't screw up all of her promo. OY.

Plus, we sent out the newsletter late because tech was not being cooperative. Again, OY.

Good news is the book is started, and I think it is coming along nicely. Bad news, it's due August 1st. I am REALLY going to have to crank on this one.




So, welcome to the blog. Now there are some pesky rumors that have arisen that I’ve resorted to beating other authors about the head and neck to drag them here.

Of course the rumors aren’t true. We know you don’t beat people into submission. You blackmail them.

ANYWAY, I’m going to dive right in. Is there any one character you’ve written that is your absolute favorite? Why?

Wow, that’s a tough call. I adore Jezebel, and I love the incubus Daunuan – he’s deliciously evil and yet he understands the meaning of love. Plus they both have a wicked sense of humor. But I also really, really love Jet, the superheroine who works with shadows. She acts like she’s a by-the-book hero, but beneath the skin she’s this huge jumble of complexes and instability. All she wants to do is the right thing. And yet, at her core, she might be completely evil herself. **rubs hands gleefully**

Writing is hard work! Have you ever had the dread WRITER’S BLOCK? If so, what do you do to get past it?

God, yes. For me, writer’s block occurs when I’ve taken the story in the wrong direction, and it doesn’t go away until I’ve figured out what went wrong and how to fix it. Sometimes, this leads to interesting conversations with my characters.

For example, I got into a huge fight with Daun when I was writing HOTTER THAN HELL. There was this one chapter where the entire point was Daun needed to talk to the former demon Jezebel to get information. So I had him go to the strip club where Jezzie worked. I wanted the scene to open with him and Jezzie already talking in the private room. But Daun, the bastard, told me that he wanted to watch Jezebel dance on stage first.

“Daun,” I told him, “readers have had two books of Jezzie dancing. Enough with the dancing. Let’s cut to the chase.”

But no. He wanted to watch her dance. “If she’s not dancing,” he told me, “I ain’t working.”

And boom: writer’s block.

I will say this: more often than not, my characters know more than I do about how the book should go. When I finally caved and wrote that scene with Daun watching Jezebel dance first, it wound up being a powerful scene that revealed some important information – both in terms of character growth and in terms of touching on a series plot point.

Do I sound crazy yet?

Almost every author I’ve met gives back to the community by supporting favorite charities. Do you have one? Could you tell me about it? Is there a particular reason why that charity?

My upcoming YA, HUNGER (Harcourt, fall 2010) will have a portion of proceeds going to the National Eating Disorders Association. NEDA does terrific work educating people about eating disorders, let alone helping those struggling with eating disorders (whether they’re going through it themselves or a loved one is), and I can’t begin to tell you in just a paragraph why this is so important. I wish that everyone, everyone, could be satisfied in their own skins and love themselves for who they are, not hate themselves for not being some idealized version of themselves that culture tells them they should be.

The link to NEDA is http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/.

So, what does your schedule look like for the next few months? Anything new coming out that we should keep an eye out for? Tell us a little about it.

Well, BLACK AND WHITE, the first book in The Icarus Project, is a dystopian superhero novel (Bantam Spectra, June 2009) that comes out on June 2. I coauthored it with Caitlin Kittredge. I write in the POV of Jet, the superheroine who works with shadows. She writes in the POV of Iridium, the supervillainess who works with light. I’m the tortured hero; she’s the evil genius. (Of course, she gets all the great lines.)

The next book in the series, SHADES OF GRAY, is scheduled to come out in summer 2010.

Back in Hell on Earth, the mass-market reissue of THE ROAD TO HELL hits the shelves November 2009. As for the fourth book, HELL TO PAY, I’ll be talking about what’s happening with that book over the summer. Stay tuned!

In fall 2010, HUNGER will launch (from Harcourt/Graphia). HUNGER is about an anorexic teenage girl who becomes the new Famine of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. It’s a hard look at eating disorders (and to a lesser degree, world hunger), and it focuses on the protagonist’s struggle with internal demons and external forces. This is my first-ever YA novel, and it’s also completely different than anything else I’ve written. If I had to pigeonhole it into a genre, I’d call it “magic realism.” If I write one important story throughout my entire career as a novelist, this one’s it.

I’m working on a number of other projects, too, but nothing I can officially announce. Yet. **rubs hands gleefully again**

As for appearances, I’ll be at CR-RWA, RWA National, SDCC, Dragon*Con and Albacon, plus a number of local signings in NY and NJ. Please check my website for details: http://www.jackiekessler.com.

What type of books do you read for pleasure? Any favorite authors?

Why, Cat Adams, of course!

I read tons of things, mostly in flavors of fantasy (including paranormal romance and dark fantasy). My favorite author, bar none, is Neil Gaiman. I’m also a fool for Jim Butcher, Rachel Caine and Chris Moore. An upcoming UF author I highly recommend is Kelly Meding. My BLACK AND WHITE coauthor, Caitlin Kittredge, has a new series out, Black London, which is terrific. On the YA end of things, give me Rachel Caine (again), Richelle Mead and my very own crit partner, Heather Brewer, any day!

Currently, because I’m working on a middle-grade UF, I’m reading Artemis Fowl and Percy Jackson. (Okay, no I’m reading these series because they’re damn good.)

Do you have a day job, or do you write full-time?

Day job. Full time day job. Plus two young sons, a loving husband, and a geriatric officekitty.

Do you have any hobbies?

Who has time for hobbies?

OKAY, I’m going to do one of those short MEME things here.

Favorite song: Currently? “Voodoo,” Godsmack.
Favorite movie or TV show: Lost.
Favorite color: Red. No, black. (Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!)
Favorite food: Chinese, with a side order of pizza. And, of course, chocolate.
Favorite drink: Wine.
Is the glass half-full or half-empty: Half-full.

What animal do you think is most like your personality? Cat.

Vampire/Werewolf/Other: Other. J

If you could only give one piece of advice to new or aspiring writers, that would help them in the business, what would it be?

Never be daunted. Seriously. There’s going to be a lot of rejection along the way. Don’t let that stop you. Keep writing, keep trying, keep learning. To that end: hook up with other authors (I highly recommend Backspace and Absolute Write) and learn from those who’ve been there before. And, while you’re learning…share. Give back to the writing community. Writers shouldn’t be in competition with one another. Writers support writers.

Now to thank folks for popping in -- IN SPITE OF CIE BEING A DUFUS AND FORGETTING TO POST -- Jackie will give away a signed copy of BLACK AND WHITE to one of the folks who comments on one of the blogs. Same procedure as usual. You comment, your name goes in the hat. I draw a name and we get in touch with the winner.


Sunday, June 07, 2009

Turning 50

Okay, I'm getting ready to turn 50 at the end of this year. Never, ever, ever thought I'd see that. (Mainly because of some ongoing health issues and a knack for having THINGS happen to me -- i.e., getting bit in the crotch by a black widow spider.) But it looks as if I'm actually going to make it. Which means I need to start thinking about something special to do to celebrate.


Oh, and just FYI, I'm STILL not in Denver. But it's getting closer. I can FEEL it.



Saturday, June 06, 2009

Saturday Morning Breakfast Serial

Welcome to another Saturday morning. :) Hope you all were good this week? You weren't. No, don't tell me about it. I'd like to keep my illusions intact thank you.

Now, let's see, bowls at the ready? All right then:

When last we left our intrepid heroine she was about to get dunked in the baptismal font to recreate the situation where her ability to perform offensive magic was bound.


Chapter ????
When in Doubt . . .

I slid the white baptismal robe over my head and walked, barefoot, to the edge of the pool. Bob was right behind me. Uncle Buford had already waded in holding a big bible wrapped in plastic. Eleanor was sitting on the edge of the pool, looking more serene than I'd ever seen her.

"Is the residual magic of this place going to cause a problem?" Because there was a lot of it. As much as the Catholic church where I'd taken sanctuary. I felt it humming around me, pressing against me, as powerful as a high-tension electric wire.

Eleanor answered. "If your father could do enough magic to bind you, I should be fine."

When does confidence become arrogance? Then again, she might just be that good. She had quite the reputation.

"Enough stalling." Buford growled. "Get in."


The pool was bright blue, and the lights beneath the surface reflected through the water, giving the entire room a blue-green tint, with ripples of light and shadow that moved across the walls as ripples flowed across the pool.

Bob waded in ahead of me, his expression still worried. It almost made me smile. I'd been right to choose him. He'd look out for me. A sudden thought occurred to me. "Bob, can you swim?"

"Like a fish. Why?"

"Oh good." I didn't answer his question. It was kind of embarrassing really. But if this went sideways, and I wound up creating a seam, we'd probably wind up in the deep end of the high school pool again. It was where I'd gone the first time; where I took Tracker; and for some weird reason I couldn't explain, my 'default setting' under stress.

We stopped facing Buford, who began reading the words of the baptism ceremony, his deep voice booming and echoing through the big room. He had a certain natural theatricality, and made the most of the reading. The words were beautiful, moving. And in that instant I wished, very much, that I did believe. I wanted to. I really did.

I felt Eleanor's power building, but it was as if from a distance. Everything seemed . . . odd. . . almost surreal. It occurred to me that I might be going into shock. For a brief instant I thought about calling the whole thing off. But no, I had to do this. I had to.

And then the moment I'd been dreading came. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and ducked under the surface as Bob's hand pushed down on the top of my head, and held me under.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Another Week Done

Another work week over. I will be posting tomorrow (something about serial . . . . hmnnn, what was that again LOL)

I am in the process of learning the camera. My decision is that, with or without pictures, the newsletter will go out tomorrow.

Picked up the new Anita Blake/Skin Trade. Halfway through. Am going home to finish, so, toodles. Until tomorrow.


Thursday, June 04, 2009

Good Morning

Okay, it's been a couple of days, but the Visiting Dignitary responses have started rolling in. SO, today we're having Anna Katherine -- author of Salt and Silver.

Now folks, Anna and Katherine co-author (much like Cathy and I do), so some of these questions will be answered by her, and others by her co-author. To sort it out, Anna’s answers will have A- in front of them. Katherine’s will have K-.


So, welcome to the blog, ladies. Now there are some pesky rumors that have arisen that I’ve resorted to beating other authors about the head and neck to drag them here. Could you please reassure the readers that you’re here of your own free will and volition?

A: Haha!! Absolutely we are here of our own volition! I am a really big fan of doing interviews, actually--I love answering questions, especially questions about writing and myself!

K: I love doing interviews. Excuses to talk about myself? I could do it for hours. (Note: I did not read Anna’s answer super-carefully. I now see that we are both in it for the “me” questions. Awesome.)

ANYWAY, I’m going to dive right in. Anna before you were a published author, you were an editor at Tor. What did you look for in authors submitting to you?

A: The number one thing I looked for in submissions was voice. I almost always skipped over the cover letter and synopsis and went straight for the text of the submission itself. That's really what matters, when we get down to brass tacks. If the voice of the narrator, or the voices of the characters, were very strong, that almost always drew me right into the story. A strong voice, of course, is not enough--there must also be a strong story and an interesting twist. The majority of books I edited while at Tor, no matter what the genre, had some kind of twist to them that made the story fascinating above and beyond the interesting characters and strong voice.

Another thing that was very important to me was that the author follow the submission guidelines. I bought quite a bit from authors who were unagented, but I never bought from an author who hadn't followed the submission guidelines. I know it sounds a little ridiculous, but the submission guidelines exist for a reason--and when someone followed the submission guidelines, that told me that this author was someone who valued my time and respected the rules, which meant that person might be easier to work with than someone else.

Any favorites you got to work with?

A: I was absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Madeleine E. Robins on her amazing noir Regency mystery series featuring a female private detective, Sarah Tolerance. Mad is an incredibly amazing writer (I particularly enjoyed her contemporary sf novel The Stone War), and when she and her current editor decided she needed a different editor for the second book in the Sarah Tolerance series, I lobbied to have that editor be me!

How did the editorial background help and/or hurt you in your own writing?

A: I was a writer long before I was an editor, although it was never a goal of mine to be published. (The year I started the paranormal romance imprint at Tor Books was actually my most productive year, writing-wise--I wrote over three hundred thousand words while working an average of eighty hours per week!) While sometimes being an editor has gotten in my way, and I've tripped over my compulsive need for perfect punctuation and a new! Interesting! Brilliant! Incredible! Never done before! story, most of the time I've found that it's served me very well: I am very very familiar with the "rules" of writing, and therefore very skilled at breaking them!

With writing Salt and Silver, I actually didn't have to worry very much about plotting--Kat did most of the heavy lifting there. I just wrote as fast as I could--we only had a month, after all. There was absolutely no leeway in our deadline for my little editorial brain to worry about anything. In a lot of ways, that absolutely was a blessing!

How did you connect with your co-author?

A: Kat and I have been friends for many years. I have always had a great big crush on her amazing brain. She's an incredible writer with a lot of fantastic ideas, a huge capacity for random details and factoids, and the ability to put words together in such a way that no matter what she's writing, I want to read the next sentence. When I first wrote Salt and Silver, it was only 150 pages. After ruminating on it for almost a year, I approached Kat and asked her if she'd like to work with me on breaking it down and making it a longish short story that we could sell to a trade magazine. It was actually only a week or two after teaming up that I was approached by Tor to write a paranormal romance, and my brain immediately offered up Salt and Silver! Talk about timing!

K: Totally untrue. My brain is not at all amazing. What it is, is extremely scattered. I keep notes on everything, because otherwise it all falls out. Like jelly, or some other really gross description. But getting back to the question, as I recall Anna sent me the 150 pages of Salt and Silver, and I kind of drooled all over it and begged that she let me poke at it with sticks. It’s exactly my kind of story, with real magic and hells and consequences, along with Anna’s amazing touch for voice and characters and situations. When she was approached to write it as a full-length, and then she approached me… forget the drooling, this was like Christmas or something. It’s all turned into the most amazing experience.

How do the two of you work out the process of co-authoring a book?

A: The major thing my partnership with Kat has going for it is a huge amount of respect and trust. I really respect Kat's abilities and knowledge, and she respects mine. I trust that if I write something that sucks, she's going to call me on it--and she's going to be able to make it better. If she writes something that sucks, I'm going to do the same for her. We don't need to pull any punches with each other, or worry about ego or hurt feelings. I know that she would never criticize my writing only to hurt my feelings--if she changes something, it's because that thing needs to be changed.

Another great thing we have going for our partnership is the fact that many of our skills and talents are complementary. For example, I am terrible at plotting, while Kat is absolutely amazing at it. I am great at writing sex scenes and emotional confrontations.

(K: --Yes! Whereas I tend to shut my eyes and flail a bit. Though I do go back in and edit, and I think I tend to leave notes for Anna like, “Then they do something emotional here.”)

One of my favorite thing about co-authoring is the ability to skip scenes I don't want to write! I could just write a note in the manuscript like, "[there should be a scene with blah blah blah here]" and not only would Kat know exactly what I meant by "blah blah blah" but she'd write it so I wouldn't have to! And she was able to do the same. We actually were able to write incredibly quickly this way.

K: It’s like there was no such thing as writer’s block, because I’d just send the story back to Anna, and then there’d be more! It was amazing! And kind of like getting to see the book as a reader -- I could read the twists and turns and voices as if they were new to me, because they were. Such a cool sensation.

Is there any one character you’ve written that is your absolute favorite? Why?

A: I really love Ryan and Allie (the main characters in Salt and Silver). I particularly love Allie because when I conceived her, I had been thinking of every single thing I hate about sf/f and romance heroines. I wanted Allie to be a lot more true to life than what I've seen in the past. It's 2009, and Allie is in her late 20s! I wanted her voice to reflect that. I also really hate the reluctant hero, which helped shape Allie's character into someone for whom it's very important to do the right thing and take responsibility for her actions (both her purposeful and inadvertent actions). Allie's had to adjust to a lot of things in her life, and she takes it in stride. She doesn't get hysterical. She doesn't want to be saved--she wants to help save other people. I love that about her.

K: For sheer fun, I definitely love Allie. Writing in her voice, with her inflections and opinions, was beyond addictive -- it threatened to take over! Being Allie, even for such a short time, was just fun.

Writing is hard work! Have you ever had the dread WRITER’S BLOCK? If so, what do you do to get past it?

A: Block is absolutely terrible. I've had it several times, although rarely has it lasted for longer than a week or two. I've found that the best way to get over it is to just put the damn words on the damn page. Any words. My pattern is to get writer's block before I start new projects. I get completely paralyzed and feel like I can't put any words down at all! Sometimes when that happens, I'll start writing in the middle instead of the beginning. Other times, I'll try writing something completely different. I have writer's block right now, actually--so Kat is working on our new novel while I have been writing some nonfiction.

K: I get it, too, and like Anna I tend to slide over to a different project to see if that gets stuff going. Sometimes I know that the words aren’t coming because I haven’t thought through a project as thoroughly as I need to (what with ideas slipping out of my brain, as mentioned earlier), so I go on a train ride or get stuck at a bus stop or something, pull out my notebook, and write essays to myself about whatever’s bothering me about a story or idea. In fact, my favorite notebook for this is one Anna gave me in, what, 2002? Maybe? One of those marbled composition books. One of these days I’ll actually give it back to her.

Almost every author I’ve met gives back to the community by supporting favorite charities. Do you have one? Could you tell me about it? Is there a particular reason why that charity?

A: My favorite charity is Heifer International. Every year for the major gift-giving holidays, instead of buying gifts for people, I donate to Heifer International in their names. Heifer International is devoted to helping communities build sustainable agriculture--they teach animal management and green earth management. When you donate to Heifer International, you can donate toward their schooling programs, or you can donate animals--rabbits, chickens, cows, etc. I think sustainability is so important--not just for the earth, but for the morale of the people being helped.

So, what does your schedule look like for the next few months? I know that Salt and Silver just came out. (And if you haven’t bought it yet, you should.) Will there be a second book in the same series, or is there anything else new coming out that we should keep an eye out for? Tell us a little about it.

A: Right now Kat and I are working on several projects! There is another book set in the Salt and Silver universe--but this one stars vampires as the protagonists. After working so hard in Salt and Silver to make the vampires evil and disgusting, we thought it would be a fun challenge to try to make them sexy. We also have a couple of young adult novels in the pipeline--and Kat's always wanted to write a zombie romance. I'm a little skeptical, but I do think brains are pretty sexy...

K: Zombie romance is a great idea! Think of it: For the living dead, moving and thinking and talking must be incredibly difficult and time-consuming. So what does it mean when one of them learns your name? Saves up breath to laugh with you? We just need to get past that whole rotting-flesh thing, and this idea is golden. (I suspect I’ll be writing a lot of little essays in my notebook before this one gets off the ground…)

What type of books do you read for pleasure? Any favorite authors?

A: I will give any book a shot. Unfortunately, the habit I got into as a full time editor has stuck with me--which means that if I'm not interested in a book by the end of the first page, I rarely bother to keep reading. Luckily there are a lot of good books out there! I read a lot of young adult books of all stripes. My favorite young adult author is Garret Freymann-Weyr; she just released a new book called After the Moment that I really loved. I also always look forward to Linda Howard and Suzanne Brockmann books. My favorite author of all time is poet and science fiction novelist Candas Jane Dorsey. I actually have a line from one of Ms Dorsey's poems tattooed on my arm!

K: I’m much more picky than Anna, though once I start a book I usually give it sixty pages to do something for me. I read a lot of short stories and anthologies, usually sf/f -- I read historicals and historical romances by the bucketful. Space operas, cozies, and urban fantasy are all in there as well. I read a lot of nonfiction these days, too; my favorite author is Vic Gatrell, who I first read when I picked up his City of Laughter: Sex and Satire in Eighteenth-Century London. Amazing, thorough, and just as magpie-ish as my own head. It’s a pity that he only has two books to his name, but I would fangirl him in a heartbeat if I could.

Do you have a day job, or do you write full-time?

A: Right now I'm writing full time, although every once in a while I'll take on a freelance editing gig if the project sounds interesting or if I like the author.

K: I work at a nonfiction publisher right now, but I definitely try to make writing a priority. It’s a bit like having two part-time jobs -- if I’m not doing one, I’m doing the other, and at some point I sleep a little.

Do you have any hobbies?

A: I am an avid knitter and crocheter. My grandmother taught me how to crochet when I was five or six, and I've been doing it ever since. She also taught me how to knit, but I only really got serious about it in the past few years.

K: I also do the needlecraft thing -- freehand embroidery, hand sewing, and I used to do weaving and tatting. I also doodle, but unlike the needle stuff, I have to sacrifice the writing if I want to draw (and vice versa). Go figure.

OKAY, I’m going to do one of those short MEME things here.

Favorite song:
A: "Wanted Dead or Alive" by Bon Jovi
K: “Jolene,” by Dolly Parton, and every cover thereof

Favorite movie or TV show:
A: My number one favorite movie of all time is Terminator 2! I love me some Sarah Connor! Recently I've also really been enjoying the USA Network's original series Psych. Dule Hill is amazing--and totally hot!
K: Favorite movie is (and this is so embarrassing) the 1990s remake of Sabrina. Favorite TV is currently The Mentalist, though I waffle constantly.

Favorite color:
A: Black
K: Blue.

Favorite food:
A: That's tough... it's either matzo ball soup with lots of celery and onions, or masala dosa.
K: Cha siu baau -- steamed or baked pork buns. Basically I’ll eat any dim sum put in front of me.

Favorite drink:
A: I drink a lot of diet Coke. I also love The Balvenie, which is a type of moderately expensive and 100% delicious scotch--but if I'm at a bar, I'm probably drinking a vodka Collins or a vodka gimlet.
K: Very boring: I love thick chocolate milkshakes. And at the bar, I’m as likely to order a Shirley Temple as anything else.

Is the glass half-full or half-empty:
A: Half-empty
K: Is there milkshake in the glass?

What animal do you think is most like your personality?
A: In the last few years, I have actually been compared the most to "an invading army of cylons"! Does that count? Okay, okay, I am probably the most like a domesticated cat. Picky, vicious, and obsessed with sleeping in the most comfortable spot on the couch!
K: I think I’m a squirrel. A generalist with a cheery manic quality.

A: Witch!
K: Van Helsing!

If you could only give one piece of advice to new or aspiring writers, that would help them in the business, what would it be?

A: Publishing is a business of subjective opinions. Something that couldn't sell in 1999 could be sold in 2009--or vice versa. I really think that the key to surviving in this business is persistence. Persistence and a thick skin.

K: I also think publishing is a business -- not to be confused with a dream, or a “necessity”, or some kind of mystical experience. You want to write? Write. You want to be published? Write something, and then send it out -- and keep doing it until someone buys it.

Now the ladies have graciously offered to supply a signed copy of Salt and Silver to one of the people who comments on the blogs. The way we're going to do it is, you comment here, and the people on MySpace comment there. I take all the names, drop them into my new gray fedora, and pull out the winner, who will then be notified however the heck I can get hold of them.

Fair enough?

Let the games begin!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Fog and Penguin Shopping

I have been in a thick fog. This is not unusual after a migraine. I usually catch them before they get too far along, but sometimes they get away from me, and I wind up with the side-effects. For me, frequently the side effects include things like: Aural sensitivity (to the point where a fly sounds like a jet landing), light sensitivity (OW), inability to think clearly and focus, and sometimes, when I'm really lucky tunnel vision. OOOOOO BABY. Usually I manage to get the meds in me before I get the "feels like an ice-pick through the left eyeball" headache part. But even the meds can't always keep me from having trouble focusing and being clear for a day or two after. Which sucks.

So, yesterday and today have been soft-focus days where I do things that don't require analytical thought. Like penguin shopping.

You think I jest? I do not.

I am doing up the prize/swag bags for The Rosie Hughes Project contest that is going to be in the newsletter tomorrow (assuming I am clear headed. It was going to be today, but I'm afraid if I do send it, it may be very "through the looking glass" ish. -- Rumor has it that Lewis Carroll wrote that when having a migraine. It may be a foul rumor, but I certainly can believe it. That story READS like migraine imagery enhanced by really good medication.) One of the key items in the story are penguins. SO, I was penguin shopping. I found some lovely (a bit too lovely, not nearly kitschy enough for my taste, but they were the only stuffed penguins out this time of year so I am SOOOOOOO not complaining) stuffed penguins and also a "pull and swim" set of plastic penguins. I had to have them. HAD to. They may or may not make it to the swag bags. The last time I had pull-and swim toys was for my son when he was little. They wound up fascinating the cats like you wouldn't believe. So they may well be cat toys. We'll see.

Got out the digital camera and charged it up. I am going to have to go on line and get an instruction manual for the danged thing. I got it used from a friend who has to have the latest and greatest tech and wanted to upgrade. I just wanted somthing to take pictures. Alas, he did not have the book because, it has bells. It has whistles. It has bells AND whistles. I swear the silly thing could probably TAP DANCE if I just knew how to ask it to. I accidentally got it to do a video (of my shower curtain. I really hope I didn't save it. But I might have.).

I am generally fine with tech once I get a chance to mess with them a bit. Especially if I get to read the directions. (Yes, I DO read directions.) But I will admit that while I am instinctively good with software, hardware is not my best thing. But WE SHALL OVERCOME! I WILL get the camera to submit so that I can take photos of the swag bags for the newsletter.

Well, gotta go. The day awaits.