Saturday, March 31, 2012

Update on What's Happening

For those of you who wonder where I've been, my father was ill and in the hospital and I flew off to Illinois to be with the family.  He is now out of the hospital, and doing as well as can be expected, but there are some things that just "can't be fixed."   I love my parents desperately, but they are in their eighties, so there will be things like this trip happening. 

It was a wonderful visit, despite the circumstances, and I am SO glad I went, but it has changed all of my travel plans (as in canceled).  I will no longer be attending RT in two weeks.  I am sorry.  I hope no one is too disappointed.  But there you go.

I must go now.  A friend is picking me up at the hotel to go home and I need to be ready.  But I thought I'd let everyone know.



Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Okay guys, besides being a terrific author, Shannon is a really good friend of mine.  So be nice.  Comment lots, and buy her books, not just because I said so, but because they are WONDERFUL.

I give to you (but only on loan and for a limited time)  SHANNON BUTCHER:


What releases do you have coming out in 2012?

I just had an eSpecial novella come out in February, titled BOUND BY VENGEANCE. It’s part of the Sentinel Wars world, featuring Liam and Dakota in a hunt for the demons who killed her brother. In March book 6 of the Sentinel Wars, DYING WISH, comes out. This is Jackie and Iain’s story. After that, I have another novella coming out in late summer titled FORGET ME NOT, and the third book in the Edge series, EDGE OF SANITY, coming this fall.

If you had to be “stuck in an elevator” with one of your characters for several hours, who would it be and what would you talk about?

I’m not sure I’d want to be that close to any of my characters. They all have demons, fanatical scientists, and killers after them. Way too much stress. J
You write romance (and do it well may I add), why that genre?

I grew up reading fantasy and sci-fi. I didn’t pick up a romance until 1998 (after years of nagging from some of my friends and family). I’d always scoffed at them as those books my mom read. Finally, I gave into the pressure and picked one up. I was totally and utterly hooked. This was what all of those other books I’d read had been missing—that deep connection and the thrill of falling in love. Even if I were to ever branch out beyond straight romance, I don’t think I’d ever be able to do so without that fundamental romantic core.

Do you listen to music as you write? If so, which artists? What is your playlist?

I need music for inspiration, and typically listen to rock and alternative rock. But when I write, I need silence or white noise. Anything else is simply too distracting. 

Does having another writer in the house make the process harder or easier? 

Both. There are times when there is twice the stress or double deadlines in the house. That makes things tough. But on the flip side, we also totally get what each other is going through. There’s no need to explain why I need to spend the next week with my fingers attached to the keyboard to the exclusion of all else. Jim just gets it. And being able to talk shop is nice, too.

The best part is the flexibility we have. If we want to run off on a date in the middle of the day, we can. Assuming there are no looming deadlines. J

The business of writing is changing rapidly. Do you find the change scary? Invigorating? How (if at all) have you changed your career plans/path as a result?

You know, if I worried about this stuff, it would eat me alive with stress. I’ve decided just to worry about that part that’s within my control, so I write the books I want to write as well as I can, as quickly as I can, and let people smarter than me worry about the future of publishing and strategizing.

What is one key bit of advice you would give to a prospective writer?

Write. A lot. Every day. Even if it’s only a few words you get down, your head will stay in book space, and your subconscious will work even while you’re not. Plus, one of the great benefits of writing a lot is that each word you write becomes less precious. One of the keys to writing a great book is cutting out all the crap that isn’t good. If you’ve written 100k words, you’re much more likely to cut out the bad 10k than if you’ve only written a total of 20k, and you’re looking at cutting half. And there’s that whole thing where you actually get better when you write more, and have less to cut. That doesn’t suck. J 

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Reminder -- we have a signing today at the B&N in Round Rock, Texas.  Hope lots and lots of folks show up to keep us company.

Who in the @#*$& is Boone Carter?

Sara and my mother died in the crash.  I was thrown from the wreckage on the way down.  Knocked me out, broke my leg, but I lived:  lived to testify against Abe, who'd been driving the truck that hit us.  That testimony, combined with the DNA evidence that Sara's baby was his, convinced the judge and jury to send him away for a long, long time.

It didn't bring them back.  Nothing could.  At fourteen years old I was alone, with enemies that wanted me dead.  I stayed with a foster family until I graduated high school at seventeen.  They were nice enough folks.  They took good care of me.  But I didn't love them, and I don't think they were heartbroken when I went out on my own.

After Katrina I went down to New Orleans, started over in a new place with a new name. 

But you carry your past with you wherever you go.  It's part of who you are.  It may not be as immediate as it was.  But it's there. 

And now the enemies of my past where here.

The question was, what was I going to do about it?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Ladies and gentlemen, I want to take a minute to do a bit of a special introduction for our Visiting Dignitary this week.  Melissa Singer is our editor, the editor at Tor who has worked with us for several years and gives us the kind of advice that is sometimes hard to hear but ALWAYS makes the book better.  She is a wonderful person, too, and I feel absolutely privileged to work with her.  She even took time from her hectic schedule to stop by and do a blog post.  So please give her an especially warm welcome.  I give you - Melissa Singer.


Melissa Ann Singer is a Senior Editor at Tor/Forge Books, where she has worked for more than 25 years. She began her career in publishing at the ripe old age of 19, as an assistant in the science fiction and fantasy department at Berkley Books, and survived at least three corporate mergers before moving to Tor, where she began by editing horror and a series of nonfiction books on parenting—topics which any parent will tell you dovetail nicely. In the years since, Melissa has edited just about every category of genre fiction there is, from sf/f to westerns, from woman-and-child-in-jeopardy to disaster thrillers, from historical novels to police procedurals. She edits Tor’s monthly email newsletter, supervises the graphic fiction publishing program, occasionally acquires fiction for, and goes to far too many meetings. Melissa is a 3rd-generation native of New York City, where she is currently raising a teenage daughter. In her wild youth she studied stage combat and could periodically be seen slinging steel in Central Park, often while very oddly dressed.


I am a lucky, lucky woman.  I grew up with parents who not only understood genre fiction; they were fans.  In my household, Star Trek was fodder for dinnertime conversation (which series? which captain? would you rather be in engineering, science, or command?); as a teenager, when I finished my weekly stack of comic books, I’d pass them to my dad; my mother still reads sf. 

So I grew up surrounded by titans of category fiction (all kinds of categories, not just sf/f).  When I was 19, I started working in publishing, first in sf/f, later in horror, and even in comics, a tiny bit.  Now I edit pretty much any category that appeals to me.  I was in my early 20s when I started meeting some of the writers who had shaped my literary life.  I am eternally grateful for their courtesy and tolerance for what I am sure was a fair amount of fangirl squee. 

Cool as meeting some of my idols was, actually working with them was utterly terrifying.  I mean, how dare I tamper with their words?  What would convince them to take editorial advice from me, snot-nosed child that I was? 

At some convention in the mid-to-late 1980s I walked up to my boss, Tom Doherty, who was chatting with an older man, and Tom introduced me to:




I almost fell on the floor.  The man was a god.

He was also one of the nicest human beings in the entire world.  (This is true of many horror writers, btw.  Nice, nice people.  All the nasty goes into the writing, I guess.)  He and his wife invited me to their home (!!!) and introduced me to their cats, who were sweethearts too.  Bob and Ellie Bloch were completely, devotedly in love with each other; it was wonderful to see. 

And then we worked together.

I. Edited. Robert. Bloch.

I cannot tell you how terrified I was to send off my first editorial letter to Bob. I just kept thinking, Are you people all insane?  Why are you trusting me with this?

Bob was a gentleman, so even if I had sent him a letter full of twaddle, he would have found a polite way to express his displeasure. Bob had been a working writer for decades longer than I’d been alive.  I think I entertained him with my youthful enthusiasm, and once I stopped treading on eggshells around him, we developed a good relationship.

Bob really enjoyed his work.  Once we had lunch at  convention (probably the first World Horror Convention) and talked shop through most of it, working out plot details for the book he was writing and hashing over the Crippen case, which we were both fascinated with.  We were deep in discussion of various methods of disposing of bodies (quicklime, dismemberment, etc.) when the restaurant’s manager came over. 

Apparently we had terrified our waitress to the point where she refused to serve us!

We gaped at the poor man before bursting out laughing.  I reassured the manager that no actual crimes were being plotted, only fictional ones.  I gave him my business card and introduced Robert, author of Psycho, Bloch.  The manager went off to calm the waitress, who eventually returned, bringing tea and the check.  I tipped her a little extra in an attempt to compensate for the scare we’d given her. 

Bob was not-so-secretly delighted that he’d frightened the woman.  As he often said, he had “the heart of a small boy.”  (“I keep it in a jar on my desk.”)

Scaring people was what he did.  On the page, on the screen, and in real life.  I’m so happy I got to witness some of it.

I’ve been lucky to work with many authors whose writings I’ve enjoyed, but there are only two others for whom I felt similar youthful passions.  One is Kit Reed.  The first thing of hers I remember reading is the short story “Automatic Tiger,” which was published in 1964 but which I suspect I read sometime around 1971, when I had begun devouring my dad’s sf library.  Reed’s feminist and subversive sf changed the way I looked at the world.  I edited three novels of hers, and one of them, Thinner Than Thou, is a powerful and important work that I will always be proud of being associated with.

The other is Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, whose Hotel Transylvania was published in 1978.  I read it that year, shortly before I started working in publishing.  I was 18, just a few years older than the novel’s heroine, and Hotel Transylvania was the major romantic vampire story of my youth.  Quinn and I have now done ten books together and I cannot begin to tell you how much I’ve learned from her.  On every book, I try to think, what will make people feel about this novel what I felt when I first read Hotel Transylvania

Editors want to kindle passion in people.  When we get to do that with writers who inspire passion in us, it’s a huge bonus and one that we treasure.  

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Saturday Evening Post, BLEECK

Hi Guys. 
It is Saturday, it is Evening, and therefore I post.  But I post quickly because I am not feeling well.  Which sucketh big pond scum covered rocks.

No, it is not serious.  Nothing to worry about.  Just annoying.  VERY annoying.  I have a cold.  I also am having . . . ahem, digestive distress.  Simultaneously.  Which seems mightily unfair to me. 

But in a day or two the cold will be gone.  The distress is already waning.  So I will rest and all will be well. 

EXCEPT that there will be fewer pages produced this weekend than I needed to.

Le sigh.

At least the pages that have been produced thus far are keepers.

Take care.  Be well.  Be happy.


Wednesday, March 07, 2012


Yes folks, indeed, in honor of the release of THE ISIS COLLAR we have the other half of the dynamic duo visiting today.  Give a warm welcome to CATHY L. CLAMP!  (WOOOO HOOOO!!!!)

The Making of a Hero

In THE ISIS COLLAR, our heroine Celia Graves continues to struggle with which of her two favorite guys she prefers. Bruno DeLuca is low-key and thoughtful but funny. He’s caring but sometimes thoughtless, while John Creede is flashy but surprisingly private. He’s supportive but sometimes condescending. In other words, two very typical alpha males. They’re both heroic in their own ways, and both can often clash with what Celia needs or wants.

How does an author create a hero? What traits do they need to be BOTH a knight in shining armor while still realistic enough to have conflicts with the heroine. Most alpha males have things in common that make them the modern equivalent of knights. They frequently have a willingness to help others (or at least can be talked into it with money or power.) They’re physically and mentally tough enough to get through a crisis. They’re driven to excel in what they do and have a high opinion of their talents (usually justified.)

But the flip side of those coins are what are often exasperating to a likewise driven female warrior. They have egos. Oh, lord do they have egos! They expect to get their own way (read as: tough and driven), whether or not anyone has other plans. They’re often moody when they’re losing or likely to lose.

So what makes them so darned endearing? At least for Celia, it’s the caring. Her alpha heroes care about doing the right thing. Yes, sometimes they tromp on the flowers on the way to saving the forest, but by hell or high water, the forest will be saved! They’ll give their last dying breath to be sure they attain their goal. And who doesn’t find that loveable?

We recently did a poll at Coffeetime Romance to ask whether Celia should wind up with Bruno or Creede. So far, Creede is in the lead. But Bruno is the shining star of THE ISIS COLLAR, so will the polls change once everyone has had a chance to read it? Only you can be the judge! Here’s an exclusive excerpt of a kiss from each of the guys. Which one rung Celia’s chime more? Let us know and you’ll be in a drawing to WIN an autographed copy of THE ISIS COLLAR!

First is Creede (because I created Creede so he’s my fav to win!)

Creede knelt in front of me, his hands still on my shoulders. His gaze locked with mine and the compassion in his eyes made me believe the words he spoke next. “I don’t know. But I’m going to find out. I promise.” His fingers squeezed just a bit. “All right?”

A promise from him could be put in the bank. “Okay. Thanks. What should I do until then?”

The corner of his mouth turned up a fraction and his hands moved until they were on either side of my face. “Quit trying to be superwoman. Ask for help when you’re hurt. Remember that if you’re hurt, it’s serious.”
It sounded so logical when he said it. But . . . “That’s not so easy for me.”

The quirk of a smile became an amused flash of teeth. “Tell me about it.”  Without any warning, he leaned forward and eased his lips against mine. I found myself being pulled into the kiss before I realized what was happening. His hand slid around my head, fingers twining in my hair and my eyes closed automatically. I leaned into him before I realized I was doing it. My breath froze in my lungs and I couldn’t seem to think past the dual sensations of magic and gentle pressure as he slowly moved his soft, full lips against mine. Warm breath on my cheek, magic sweet as candy and the caress of his tongue made my knees weak and my stomach do flip-flops. His hand, lightly stroking my hair, sent electric shocks to my scalp. It was a good thing I was sitting down. My heart began pounding hard and my fingers buried themselves in the fabric of the armrests to keep from wrapping around him and pulling him into my lap. I wanted to . . . a lot. The strength of the desire terrified me.

The kiss was probably over in seconds, though it felt like it lasted a week. He drew back slowly and I wound up suspended, eyes closed, enjoying the remaining pull of the magic that tugged at my stomach. A quick, nearly chaste kiss in the back of a store shouldn’t really be that big a deal.



And now it’s Bruno’s turn (Bruno is Cie’s favorite, so he always gets equal time!):


Bruno arrived first and wrapped me in a hug when I opened the door that left me warm but breathless. Then the kiss he bestowed turned what was left of my muscles into jello. “How you doin’?”

I let out a slow sigh and allowed myself to rest against his muscled chest. “Better. The feds used some magic on me. Apparently, my vampire healing doesn’t work on burns. I could still use a little more rest. You?”

He nodded and lowered his mouth to mine once more. I could feel his warm breath on my face as his mouth ate at mine gently. God, those lips. I’d missed them. He smoothed his hands down my back, knowing just where to touch to make me moan. I pulled away after a few moments, shaky but pleased. “Mmm. Much better now. Actually, I’m headed back to New Jersey. Just stopped by on the way to the airport.”


Which of Celia’s guys do you like better, and why? We really want to know!

Oh, and if you’re intrigued (and you know you are) go out and buy THE ISIS COLLAR by Cat Adams right away! And if you’ve never heard of Celia Graves’ earlier adventures in BLOOD SONG, SIREN SONG and DEMON SONG, they’re on sale until the release of ISIS! It’s a really good sale, too: only $2.99 for a Kindle download. Heck, that’s three for the price of one! And if you’re a print fanatic, they’re also on sale at Amazon on a 4-for-3 special. But lots of other retailers have them on sale too, so go to our publisher’s website ( , scroll all the way to the bottom and choose your favorite store.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Edits going well, closing in on the end./Breakfast Serial

Edits are going well.  I'm closing in on the end.  YAHOO.  Not there yet, but progress is being made.  So is research.  LOL.

Okay, I'm doing a short serial this week so I can get back to my edits. 


Who in the @#$&* is Boone Carter
(Who is, alas, still in flashback mode.  Were this a book I'd be checking to see if it was too long and needed editing.  Good information, but need to get back to the main plot.)

Even seeing the headlights, knowing it was probably them, the first impact was a hell of a shock.  My mother swore, fighting for control of the truck, Sara roused enough to scream.  They hit us again right before the next curve.  The truck swerved.  Metal screamed as we scraped against the guard rail.  The truck bucked and wove.  Mom might have recovered control if they hadn't chose that precise moment to hit us again.

There was a horrible, sickening moment when the guardrail gave, and we were airborne.



Friday, March 02, 2012

Hanging in there.

Sometimes I just get tired.  Part of it is physical.  Part of it is mental and emotional.

I'm VERY glad it is Friday.  I truly hope to get some rest this weekend.  It doesn't look like I should.  But I think I may do it anyway.