Magic, Begin

Thanks to everyone who has suggested Victoriana for me! Especially Reader Ariella–thanks for the ISBNs, they make things a ton easier.

My project for the morning (other than bouldering and getting in wordcount) is to find a decent map of London in the 1850s; one at least 2ft by 3ft that I can get laminated and tack up over my fireplace. Of course I plan on altering things with (relative) abandon–what use is history if one can’t have a little fun–but I’d like the bones up there for me to build on, so to speak.

Yes, this is for the current work, but I don’t know if I can announce it yet, so mum’s the word until I get permission. But it’s awesome, I am hideously excited and almost dancing with glee every time I get a chance to work. This is the period of creation where everything is shiny and fun and new, where everything feeds the work and serendipity, not to mention synchronicity, is working overtime. There comes a certain point where something clicks in a book, the characters get a breath of life and start misbehaving in earnest, and the whole thing achieves a critical mass and starts behaving like an organism in its own right rather than just a disparate collection of words.

I love that.

So, I’ve a fresh cuppa and a mass of reference books stacked at my elbow, tissues within reach and the window to my street uncovered. The clouds are gray cotton, the street is gray pavement, even the grass is grayish. But there’s color and life and motion inside my head.

Let the magic begin.

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Me And That Sea Pirate

I have a croak like a raven and a slight fever, so the Tale of the Squirrel Surfer will be put off until tomorrow. I just don’t think I can do it justice in my present condition. I keep wandering away from the computer to go lie down for a little bit and put together scenes of an alternate almost-Dickensian London inside my aching, stuffed-up head.

It’s weird being me.

Anyway, in lieu of the Tale, I shall instead present you with this: what happens when you put me and Captain Jack Sparrow in a room together. Hilarity abounds. (I had so much fun with this.) Also, there is a zombie cupcake. And there’s a three-book giveaway involved–I’ll be giving away a signed set of the first three Strange Angels books to a lucky US commenter. Go, read, hopefully be entertained, and possibly win some stuff.

Other than that, let’s see…oh yeah, the Selene & Nikolai reunion story will be in the upcoming Mammoth Book of Hot Romance, which I don’t have a link for yet. You guys seem to like that Nichtvren couple and are inundating me with email! Heavens. I had no idea Selene was so likable–I found her a bit difficult, albeit for some really good reasons. And Nikolai, well, I never liked him. But we all knew that.

Anyway, I’m going to go nurse this cold and see if I can’t get the next few scenes of the sorceress and the logic machine out of my head and onto the laptop. Peace out.

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Release Day for Taken!

That’s right–the Harlequin Nocturne I had so much fun writing is now released into the wild!

Sophie Wilson never believed she was special. Avoiding a violent ex, she can’t remember the last time she felt truly safe. Then vampires murder her best friend and Sophie is kidnapped by a dangerously sexy shapeshifter.

Zach insists Sophie is a shaman–someone with a rare gift for taming a shifter’s savage side–and he needs her to help him save his pack. Now, with a malevolent enemy closing in, Sophie and Zach must risk everything on a bond that may be their only salvation…

Now available at Barnes & Noble, Borders, Indiebound, and Amazon!

Seriously. I had so much fun writing this book. It’s kind of a shock to see it out in the world; I still grin when I think about writing some of the scenes. I had a great time, and I hope my dear Readers like it.

I am also pleased and proud to present the cover of Those Who Fight Monsters, a kickass anthology premiering in March. My contribution is a fresh new Jill Kismet story, Holding The Line, and the anthology also features wonderful authors like Simon Green, Caitlin Kittredge, and fellow Deadline Dame Jackie Kessler, edited by the fantastic Justin Gustainis.

That’s just one of the upcoming anthologies I’ll be in this year. Stay tuned for more news!

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Brain Needs Solids, Thanks

Today is warm and rainy. I didn’t need four layers, gloves, and hat to venture out to the bus stop this morning, and I’m not shivering as I sit in my writing chair. This is a lovely change.

I want to once again thank everyone who has sent me letters, emails, and messages of support the last few days. I appreciate it more than I can say. Several of you sent varying versions of, “You probably hear more from the nasty people, and the ones who appreciate your message are probably quieter, so I thought I’d send this little message of support,” which was just about the most beautiful thing ever. I did mist up a couple times. Yesterday was a very damp day.

I have a short story cooking, so even though the first round revisions on the final Strange Angels book are sent back to the editor, this does not mean a rest in any way. Which is pretty much okay, since my brain is in one of those cycles where if I don’t give it something solid to chew on, it will start trying to eat itself. This is just about as pleasant as it sounds.

The only other thing I have to report is…something rather odd happening in the road. I am taking my morning run before dawn now as a matter of habit, so if the squirrels are up to shenanigans at 8AM I’m not seeing it, since I’m usually hard at work by that time instead of on the treadmill. But my writing area looks out onto my driveway and the road, and the squirrels are…well. It’s weird. They will scamper out to this one particular place in the middle of the road and spend a good five minutes looking back and forth, glancing up and down the street, twitching their little whiskers. If a car comes, they dash out of the way at the last second, then return to their spot as soon as possible.

None of them are Neo. They’re all too small, juveniles instead of full-grown ninja Terminator squirrels. I’m mystified. Is this some sort of teenage squirrel ritual? Are they waiting for the squirrel version of UFOs or playing chicken? Is there something buried under the concrete they wish to alert someone to? Are they trying to warn the monkeys about some dire apocalypse looming?

I’ll keep you posted. And sooner or later I’m going to have to tell you about the possums, too…

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Cold. And Yet, Committed

It is bloody cold. So cold I am cuddled up next to the heater wearing a hat. So cold my tuxedo kitty doesn’t even care to go outside. So cold…well, you get the idea. I’m drinking gallons of tea. It wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t have to run so many errands. Leaving the house is like embarking on a Siberian holiday; I bundle up in multiple layers and I still arrive home chilled straight through. It probably doesn’t help that I lost so much weight. I’ve got no damn insulation, physically. It’s interesting–the better I get at insulating myself emotionally, the less I need the physical padding.

Anyway, bitching about the weather isn’t what you’re here for, is it. (I’m also cranky because they’re resetting routes in at the rock wall, so I’ve missed a couple climbs. We’ll be back on a regular schedule next week.) I did make it all the way through the new Duffy CD yesterday, and the slower numbers improve the whole thing, but…that pop thing just isn’t what her voice seems to be for. I went back to Rockferry and have been humming along with it ever since.

As far as writing…here, have a link, Theodora Goss on writing every day. WORD. I don’t think it can be restated enough. But we all know how I feel about that.

I’m back at work, revising into a second draft of the final Strange Angels book. There’s also the sorceress and mentath to consider and gear up for, and I’m being taunted by both the trailer-trash fae book and the cowboys-and-zombies book. So I’m going to have to do up a schedule and stick to it for a few months if I seriously want to get all this stuff done.

Oh, Lord. Did I just say that out loud? Guess I’m committed now. In one way or another…

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So, it’s the Monday after New Year’s. Which means the kids are back in school, the house is quiet…and I had to get up at an ungodly hour to get my morning run out of the way before embarking on a chaotic mix of errands and writing that is my day today. I think, perhaps, the problem is that I’m not running enough–I put in six and a half miles this morning, with no nosebleed.

Yeah, we’ll put that in the “things you didn’t want to know” column.

I’m a little nervous about tomorrow, even though there’s really nothing I need to do except sign a paper and wait for the news. *crosses fingers* Anyway.

I’ve got the new Duffy CD in, and I have to say, when she’s belting out angry she’s much better than this pop stuff they’re trying to get her to sing. She’s like Amy Winehouse without the trainwreck; but also without that razor edge. All in all, eh. I’ll stick to the Rockferry album.

It’s taken me about a half-hour to write this, because other things keep popping up and I keep bashing them on the head. My days are an endlessly-revolving parade of Whack-A-Mole. Who knew going back to work would be this much fun? Hopefully I’ll be less scattered tomorrow.

There’s always hope.

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Small Graces

I literally have not stopped running since I climbed out of bed this morning. I even braved the post office, picking up a package–now there was an inspiring moment. Everyone was quiet, calm, smiling, and well-behaved. Considering that most trips to the post office during the holiday season are brutal survival-of-the-fittest scrums, I felt lucky to witness a half hour of strangers standing in line and making small talk, grinning at the antics of a small child, and actively helping other people out.

Today is for beating on a zero draft to finish getting it in respectable shape. I already know two major changes I have to make, but they were things I suspected would end up changing when I wrote them, so I’m not stressed. The most difficult part of this is saying goodbye to characters that have occupied my headspace for multiple years now. That part is never easy, especially when one suspects one could have told their story better, if one had just known.

Anyway, I finally managed to eat something and get some more coffee down, and now I have a whole afternoon to spend in the laborious process of revising and bidding farewell. I probably won’t cry until I get closer to the end.

Oh, who am I kidding? I’m going to be a leaky spigot. Fetch me the Kleenex and pay no attention to the sobbing. This is still the greatest job in the world.

Over and out.

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