Bear, Storm

Polar bear
© Sailorr | Dreamstime Stock Photos
Pouring rain one moment, blinding sunshine the next. It’s definitely spring.

Along with muting a few Certain Keywords for a week, I decided to take yesterday mostly off social media. It was nice to sink fully into a story and not check what new beast was slouching to Bethlehem and Armageddon at the same time. I also turned my phone off once the Little Prince was home. That was welcome, let me tell you.

This morning I’m listening to an old radio show featuring Lead Belly and Woody Guthrie. Guthrie admits to not reading Grapes of Wrath, but “I seen the movie three times.” It may be time for a reread, now that I’ve listened to Ballad of Tom Joad with my mouth slightly open and my eyes closed, hearing history.

Maybe it’s the hail and the occasional thunder, but I’m curling up inside my shell this week. The sheer amount of hatred in the American air is overwhelming, and I have very little left to fight it with. I’m sure I’ll feel better after I recharge, but right now I’m channeling a polar bear–leave me alone, or I will stand up in a blizzard and wallop a head or two clean off.

Which reminds me, I’ve never seen John Carpenter’s The Thing. I hear the remake was dismal; should I even bother with it, or only admit the existence of the original, like I do with Star Wars? (No, I refuse to watch any more of those movies. You lost me with Jar Jar fucking Binks, Lucas.)

ANYWAY. Polar bear. Spring storms. My hackles are up, and I’m not even in my final fighting form.

Over and out.

RELEASE DAY: She Wolf and Cub

It’s time! It’s finally time!

Ever since they gave her a new cyborg body and a steady stream of murderous work, she’s known the rules. Keep your head down, do your job, don’t get involved.

Then they sent her to assassinate a child.

Instead, she took him out of the City and into the Waste. Of course they’ll be coming for her, and for the strange, quiet, thirsty boy she’s rescued. Because he’s not just a child — he’s a profitable experiment. Bounty hunters. Fellow cyborgs. Cannibals. Monsters. They’re all after him. All she has on her side is an almost-invulnerable body, a lifetime’s worth of stubbornness, and the willingness to kill whoever she has to.

It’s going to have to be enough.

Now available for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and in paperback.

Mucho thanks are due to Fireside’s team of fabulous people, especially Brian White and Pablo Defendini. And now my cyborg-assassin-Western is out in the world, rolling around and racking up a body count. See if you can spot the names of original Patreon backers in the book! Also, I’ve just found out that even a release day for a re-edited serial makes my stomach knot itself up with nervousness. Something about a paperback makes it seem all too real.

If you read the serial and enjoyed it, you could do both me and Fireside a huge favor by leaving some stars or a review on the platform of your choice. We’d both muchly appreciate it.

And now I’m going to finish my coffee and see if my running togs are dry yet. A good hard half-hour at full speed will either settle my stomach or empty it to the point that it has nothing left to complain of.

Over and out.

SHE WOLF AND CUB Preorders!

GUESS WHAT.

NO, GO ON, GUESS.

Oh, I can’t stand the suspense. I’ll tell you.

She Wolf and Cub, re-edited, is now a book you can preorder!

Ever since they gave her a new cyborg body and a steady stream of murderous work, she’s known the rules. Keep your head down, do your job, don’t get involved.

Then they sent her to assassinate a child.

Instead, she took him out of the City and into the Waste. Of course they’ll be coming for her, and for the strange, quiet, thirsty boy she’s rescued. Because he’s not just a child — he’s a profitable experiment. Bounty hunters. Fellow cyborgs. Cannibals. Monsters. They’re all after him. All she has on her side is an almost-invulnerable body, a lifetime’s worth of stubbornness, and the willingness to kill whoever she has to.

It’s going to have to be enough.

Ebook available for preorder from Kobo, iBooks, and Amazon; paperback and Nook will be added on Release Day, March 28.

Longtime readers will remember She-Wolf was originally a Fireside serial. (They’re committed to paying writers a working wage, so show them some love if you can.) I had a ton of fun writing it, and I love the heroine. She’s one of the few characters I actually like personally, for reasons probably best left unsaid. Longtime readers will also remember PACK, an e-short out through Orbit, that was one of my first attempts at writing the short story that eventually became She Wolf and Cub. Just in case you wanted to see how a story can change, and morph, and become something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.

Not Dead

vinicon Nope, I’m just resting. I think I’ll go for a walk.

Frau L came down with a bit of a travel cold, and the Princess had a resurgence of her almost-flu. For the last few days it’s been kind of sickbed central around here, and I’m feeling none too perky myself today. Trying to slow down and take a day off is almost as stressful as gathering all my resources and bringing t hem to bear on a copyedit in order to turn it around in the tiny timeframe allotted by the production department. Look, I love every single Production Department that’s ever handled my books, they just have some really small windows and I am no longer as spry as I used to be, sliding through them.

So! Today I am cleaning, doing laundry…and revisions on yet another book loom. She Wolf and Cub is going to be a book instead of a serial! I am revising now, packing even more cyborg-assassin-Western goodness into my homage to one of the greatest goddamn manga ever.

I’ve glanced over the manuscript in order to prep the revision engines inside my skull. I’d forgotten what it was like to slip inside that nameless narrator’s head. She’s very crisp and very efficient, and I find myself thinking in more clipped terms, moving with a different precision around the house. No, my characters aren’t me, but sometimes wearing their skin bleeds over into my life. It’s a funny job, this balancing between the outer world, the inner world, and the worlds one creates.

And that is my deep thought for the day, because I really need to get to work now. There’s some sunshine, so maybe I’ll even get a bit of spring weeding done if I can get enough inside work out of the way.

Here’s hoping.

She-Wolf and…Batman?

swac The final episode of SHE-WOLF AND CUB is up! You can begin at the prologue and read all the way through. Zombies, cyborg assassins, and Westerns all rolled into one, with a bonus twist. Heh. I love taking the conventions of Westerns and twisting them ever-so-gently.

I had a TREMENDOUS amount of fun with that story. Plus, Fireside Magazine pays its writers a living wage, so that’s awesome as well.

The kids are back in school after a long weekend; I, however, might need a damn break after all the running around in the past three days, not to mention a frenzy of housecleaning. At least we didn’t paint. There’s not much left to daub, unless it’s the accent wall in the dining room, so…

No. No painting.

Baaaaane I found a small Batman crushed in the road yesterday. He’s recuperating with Fred and George. I’m not so sure how good a nurse George is–he seems to think a lager will fix everything right up–but Fred is precise and punctual, which makes for good medical care. The poor Caped Crusader kept shuddering and moaning “BAAAAAAANE…” and that turned Fred an interesting shade of pale–or as pale as a russet squirrel can get–but when I checked this morning, he was sedated.

Me: Where’d you get the meds from?
Fred: I HAVE WAYS.
Me: Please tell me you didn’t just hit him on the head.
Fred: COGNITIVE RECALIBRATION WASN’T NECESSARY. I’M A DOCTOR, NOT A SUPERVILLAIN.
Me: …good to know.
George: *ambling in* RIGHT THEN, MATE, WE’VE GOT A SUPPLY FROM JOE FOR THE NEXT COUPLE–OH, HULLO, M’UM. COME TO CHECK ON THE OLD PATIENT, HAVE WE?
Me: And the mystery is solved.
George: YOU WON’T STAY FOR A CUPPA?
Fred: DEAR LADY, UNLESS YOU WANT ME HARVESTING THE POPPIES, EMPHYSEMA JOE’S THE ONLY PHARMACIST IN TOWN.
George: MIRANDA SAID SHE SAW SOMETHING ABOUT THIS. SURE YOU DON’T WANT A CUPPA?
Me: …no, really, I’ve got to go wash my hair. See you.

I have a bad feeling about this…

She Wolf and Plumbing

swac That’s right, a new chapter of She Wolf and Cub is up! Our heroine is back to one of the things she does best–dishing out murder. Also, wandering naked on the streets. Bonus!

The plumbing saga continues apace. Looks like the leak’s been there–and invisible–for a very long time. Which means I get to see if my homeowner’s insurance is any good. And if my premiums will go up! New life skills will be earned, new dragons will be sung to sleep.

Damn. I’d better level up out of all this XP.

Real Commitment

swac Issue 21 of Fireside is out, which means more Geoff and Abby! True to form, Abby’s decided the most efficient way to get what she wants, and in this case, that means getting into a bar-brawl.

Do I even need to say how much I really like this character? Once she makes up her mind, she is ALL IN, no matter the craziness. I respect that, both in characters and in meatspace. It shows real commitment.

kin Also, tomorrow is the release day for KIN, my retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. Preorders and first-week book orders are important, so I’m going to be hitting the marketing gong for a little bit.

This is the last YA book I’ll be releasing for a good long while, possibly ever. Publishing in YA for Strange Angels was a wonderful experience, but there was a certain friction between the publisher, I think, wanting something a little more “marketable” and me in my corner, just not that sort of writer. The issues became somewhat acute during the fairytale retellings. I do not write by committee and will resist, in any way possible, any suggestion meant to take the blood and guts out of a story because “kids can’t handle that!” I refuse to “talk down” to younger readers, and while I think the fan response justifies that, it’s nerve-wracking for a publisher. I perhaps wasn’t as graceful as I could be during the whole process, either. During Wayfarer, the Cinderella retelling, I was buying a house, and we all remember how stressful THAT was.

So, yeah. The constraints of YA, and the energy spent fighting against dilution and bullshit in that genre, mean I’m tapped out and won’t return there for a good long while.

All that aside, I love the fairytale retellings with a fierce, fierce love. I fought for them, and the covers are wonderful, and I think in each of them I ended up saying what I set out to say. I think that comes through in them. I hope readers agree.