Associated Disruptions

It was a long strange weekend, but at least I got all the housecleaning done. And thanks to the fireworks ban, both the dogs and I were quite calm all the way through. There was artillery in the distance, certainly, but we didn’t have any mortars popping near the house, which I am devoutly grateful for.

Also, I’ve been experimenting with BookFunnel. The first half-dozen or so chapters of Harmony are available for free download here; when HOOD gets its wrap cover and begins wending its way through the last quarter of the publication process there will be a free teaser for it as well. I might put some other freebies up, just to see how they do and if they drive interests to other titles. Might even put up a Freebies & Swag page, but I need to think carefully about whether or not I want the deluge of entitled demands it might spark.

I also spent the weekend polishing off a few books–reading, not writing. The Coldest Winter and The Coldest City, as well as a graphic novel adaptation of The King in Yellow, kept me occupied for an afternoon; I also finished James Holland’s The Rise of Germany and polished off two Christine Feehan novels. The last are like crack, I can’t read just one, kind of like Shannon McKenna novels. Now I’m on to a history of the Byzantine state, which is filling certain lacunae in my understanding of just how things were administered in the late Roman empire.

What I wanted was to get a few more chapters of Season Two done, but the Glorious Fourth and associated disruptions put paid to that little dream. But I got the revised cover list off to the artist, and there’s plenty of time for everything that needs to get done for the next couple books.

I’ve spent a lot of time these past few days thinking about growing up, logistics, rain, how to get a prince back to his homeland, whether or not I want to write The Highlands War, whether or not I truly want to write Hell Tide, how I’m going to get Maid Marian dancing with Prince John, genetic plasticity, and a whole host of other things I’d put on hold to think about after HOOD‘s Season One was sorted. Now all those things have come back to roost and I must give each the time they demand, from a few moments’ worth to a day or so of concentrated thought while the rest of me goes about the business of living.

It’s a form of mental housekeeping. Plenty of writing is keeping the creative cauldron bubbling at a certain pressure so the steam moves everything through one’s internal tubes. Weird facts, historical narratives, tangential fiction–all these things are fuel. So is the habit of observation when I have to leave the house, storing up notes on how these human creatures behave.

Can’t write what you don’t understand or observe. It’s probably the only use of my over-sensitive empathy that won’t drain me to transparency and leave me day-drinking. (Of course, I can’t drink without getting hives now anyway, but you know what I mean.)

In any case, today is for getting a needle back in the groove of work. There’s Incorruptible to revise and HOOD‘s Season Two to pile bricks for, and Hell’s Acre to think about. I’m pretty sure the last will be the next serial, which will be super fun to write. I always did like steampunk.

I hope your weekend was pleasant, dear readers, and that there was a paucity of artillery in your neck of the woods as well. I’ve got a bellydancing bagpiper to listen to while I write, and honestly, since my coffee is staying down, I really can’t imagine anything better.

Over and out.

Going Gets Tough

I’ve been blogging for a long while now. There are dry periods, where I have nothing much to say except for the minutiae of daily life–how the book-sausage gets made, what the dogs have done now, how publishing is changing. Oh, and the weather. Of course the weather is a constant concern.

I partly blame reading military history; weather is always the third general upon the field, and one who can’t be ignored. Today the rain has washed away everything except a few sheltered snow holdouts. The streets are awash, the roof kissed over and over by falling drops. The dogs aren’t going to like our outing, at least not when the initial oh boy we’re outside WITH MUM wears off.

That takes about ninety seconds in a downpour. They must love me a lot.

This morning I woke up with Jack T. Colton from Romancing the Stone yelling “Oh, man, the Doobie Brothers broke up!” Which meant I had to go listen to What a Fool Believes and then onto a Twitter rant about how much I love that damn movie and how it’s probably responsible for my current career.1

Now you know who to blame, I guess? When the going gets tough

Copyedits continue apace. I spent some serious time yesterday looking into Ingram Spark and mass-market paperback trim sizes. If I get the whole PDF cover template thing done, the first experiment is Steelflower in mass-market size.

It’s a great time to be self-publishing, IF one knows what one’s doing. If one doesn’t, the options available might boggle one into inaction or worse, signing away one’s rights without proper compensation. Or one might think that because of a crying fit brought on by frustration (I fucking hate PDF cover templates, let me sing you a whole song about how I hate them) the entire thing isn’t worth doing, and toss it all out the door.

Yes, I was tempted yesterday. But today’s a whole new day, I’ve got my spark back and the heat set to the wick. Today is for more copyedits, and when I can’t do that anymore because my head will explode if I look at one more comma placement question, I might put together a soundtrack for HOOD and poke a bit more at cover templates.

But for right now, it’s raining and the dogs need a walk. See you around, chickadees.

Read ’em and weep. I always do.

So That Happened

Oh, yes. Do try to mess with me. I'm hungry.
Oh, yes. Do try to mess with me. I’m hungry.
Last week was a little rough. I can at least hold my head up, so to speak. Taking the high road and behaving well is not just for the internets, folks. Plus, there were hijinks! Not by me, no. When the Selkie does her post about it I’ll be able to say more, but she gets pride of place.

So. It’s Monday. What’s going on here at the Chez?

* I’m doing revisions on Agent Zero, which has been bought but I don’t know what the end title will be. (Recent events have driven home that even titles are not in the author’s control. Sigh.) It will kick off a brand-new duology, one I’m having so much fun with it’s almost obscene.

* I have discovered that ripping CDs into one’s iTunes is strangely soothing, especially in the middle of a breakup where you don’t have the bandwidth to do serious work. Who knew?

* I am within spotting distance of finishing Rattlesnake Wind. It will be a relief to get that out of my head.

* Remember the Watcher series? There’s some exciting news coming up about that. *is mean and cruel for teasing*

* As I type this sentence, Odd Trundles is attempting to dominance-mount the Mad Tortie. This is having predictably loud and strange results.

* Now Miss B is chastising both of them. It’s a wonder I can hear myself think.

* …what was I saying?

* Oh, for God’s sake.

* Okay. They have finally collapsed to their corners to take naps. Did you know that in lots of places, the internet does go to sleep at night?

* Now things have calmed down a bit…I redid some number- and time-crunching yesterday, and the result was thought-provoking. It being fall and my productivity ramping up again (the rain, it makes me go go go), I am thinking of POSSIBLY doing a crowdfunding campaign for another Steelflower book. The drawbacks are that I would have to ask for a significant amount up-front, both to produce the paperback and “perks,” and also to make it worthwhile for me to fit it into a project slot. I am not so worried about myself, but the kids and dogs get a bit testy when they don’t eat. Frankly I’m not sure there’s enough of a fanbase for that book/series to make the crowdfunding for a reasonable advance feasible.

* I’ve dusted off my old profile, so if you want to see what I’m listening to while I write, head on over.

Oh, and did anyone else update to Yosemite this past week and start having network problems? Anyone? Bueller?

Soundtrack Monday: ANGEL TOWN

Angel Town Redemption Alley and Heaven’s Spite were too painful to have soundtracks. Or, to be more precise, they have soundtracks, but every time I listen to them I’m reminded of the awful time I had with both books. Jill wasn’t the only one feeling a bit battered by the end of Heaven’s Spite.

Angel Town was just as emotionally difficult, but it completed the circle for me. And by the time I finished writing it my personal life had calmed down somewhat, too–or at least, I was certain I was going to survive. (It was touch and go for a little while.) So, in a very real way, the ending of the series, while painful, is also very hopeful for me. I know what happens to Jill, Saul, and the crew afterwards, of course…but I don’t know if I’ll ever write that. Maybe it’s better to just let her rest.

And now, the soundtrack!

In My Own Grave Sweet Talk, The Killers. If the hunters have an anthem, this is it.
Caretaker Michael Dirty Hands, Bear McCreary. The thing about hellbreed is, the other side is just as bad.
Perry/I Know You Somehow Let’s Never Stop Falling In Love, Pink Martini. Perry has a fondness for cabaret music.
Theron/Get To The Barrio Starbuck Takes On All Eight, Bear McCreary. Theron just can’t keep his mouth shut.
Anya/Where Did You Go? Wrong, Sister Machine Gun. Anya takes no prisoners. She’s named for my editor.
Saul Bring On the Wonder, Sarah McLachlan. Again, if Saul and Jill’s genders were reversed, nobody would ask the nasty questions I get asked about them.
Galina In The House of Stone and Light, Martin Page. Galina’s such a gentle soul.
My Dear Kiss Darn That Dream, Billie Holliday. The awful thing is, Perry loves Jill, at least as far as a creature like that can love.
Suiting Up Back In Black, AC/DC. The original, and still the best.
The Pattern/Betrayals Love the Way You Lie Eminem/Rihanna. “Your pattern blows. It hurts innocent people.” “It is all we have.”
Kismet’s Theme Ebla, E.S. Posthumus. This will always be Jill, to me.
As Long As Saul Survives I Walk the Line, Johnny Cash.
Call The Hunters Niveneh, E.S. Posthumus.
Hyperion’s Gambit/Argoth Pompeii, E.S. Posthumus. I listened to this over and over again during the writing of the final battle. You can hear the point at which she flings herself into the hellmouth…
Nothing Could Be Worse Than Losing You Crossfire, Brandon Flowers. I won’t lie, it’s mostly the video that makes this one.
Driving Into The Desert Paris, Texas, Gotan Project. A girl, her boy, and her dog, driving into the sunset.

Book Playlist Monday: FLESH CIRCUS

flesh-circus I’m going a little out of order here, mostly because the playlist for Redemption Alley reminds me of where I was while writing that book, and it’s not comfortable at all. Maybe next week I’ll post that one.

Anyway, Flesh Circus was an odd book to write. Mostly because I would start writing circus scenes, and then realise I couldn’t insert them because they weren’t in Jill’s POV. I do have an idea for a related project–a set of short interconnected stories about a circus of the damned–but that will have to wait for a while. Some of the bits I wrote might get recycled into that. *is thoughtful*

Anyway, here’s the playlist! And for the record, I find calliope music so goddamn creepy it isn’t even funny.

The Cirque’s Hostage Twelfth Street Rag, (on calliope)
This Is My Town Trouble, Elvis Presley
Papa Legba, Close The Door Haven’t Got Time For The Pain, Carly Simon
An Attack On The Cirque Kitten Pig, Pentaphobe
Perry/Business With MY Hunter U.R.A. Fever, The Kills
Jill and Saul No Ordinary Love, Sade
The Woman has The Advantage Big Wheel, Tori Amos
Once A Catholic Girl Only The Good Die Young, Billy Joel
Mama Zamba Marionette, Chris Spheeris
Hyperion’s Smile Solitary Man, Neil Diamond
A Horse Just For Me Let Me Call You Sweetheart, (on calliope)
Do You Still Need Me? I’ll Be Waiting, Lenny Kravitz
I’m A Hunter Sweet Talk, The Killers

Soundtrack Monday: HUNTER’S PRAYER

hunters prayer This was the Kismet book I wrote first. Much like Dante Valentine came from a whisper in my ear (“My working relationship with Lucifer began on a rainy Monday…”), Jill Kismet did too. In Jill’s case, it was her walking into the Monde Nuit. “It’s not the type of work you can put on a business card.

I was very tired, by that point, of urban fantasy/paranormal books where the protagonist had an adversarial relationship with the police. I thought, well, if there were paranormal predators, the cops and first responders would know–and they’d be glad of the backup. This led me to think about the paperwork Montaigne is always moaning about, and (more to the point) what kind of person would find this sort of law enforcement to be a viable career.

And then Jill started telling me her story, in a level, quiet tone. She doesn’t believe in raising her voice much.

There were so many things in Hunter’s Prayer she insisted be left in that I didn’t know would come full circle later in the series. She always knew where we were heading, I just had to transcribe. Funny how that happens.

Anyway, here’s the soundtrack. Enjoy!

Santa Luz Surface Of The Moon, Del Amitri
The Monde/Business Card Boom Swagger Boom, The Murder City Devils
Melisande Belisa Sugar Water, Cibo Matto
Saul Black is the Colour, Nina Simone (There is a Corrs version that I’d set a Jill/Saul love scene to as well.)
Lucado Street/Flesh Gallery Everybody Got Their Something, Nikka Costa
These Are The Rules Furious Angel, Rob Dougan
Perry/Eventually, Kiss Lullaby, The Cure
Our Very Own Kiss Follow You Home, Nickelback
Ricky’s Girl Hope/The One Who Bought Us Stopwatch Hearts, Delerium
The Dragon Staff Teahouse, Juno Reactor
The Sorrows/Evocation Transylvanian Concubine, Rasputina
I Am The Fucking Law In This Town Clubbed To Death (Kurayamino Mix), Rob Dougan
Not Nice, But Good/Cleanse The Night Shape of My Heart, Sting

Soundtrack Monday: NIGHT SHIFT

Nght_shift_23 You guys have been so patient. Almost, dare I say it, Perry-patient. (You can’t see it, but I’m wearing an evil grin.) And before I get started, if you’ve written to me about Glocks and hammers, go here.

Night Shift was actually the second Kismet book I wrote–the first was Hunter’s Prayer, so NS was more of a prequel than anything. My editor wanted to know how Jill and Saul met, and I spent about ten minutes telling her about the Cenci case, and she finally sighed and said, “Look, Lili? Just write me that book.”

So I did.

Readers may find it interesting to note where Cenci’s name came from. Also, I had a series of Harp and Dom books in my head, but they never quite jelled. Harp never blamed Jill for Saul’s choice, she’s not like that…but Jill never knew. And that’s all I can say about that.


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