Sunday, April 29, 2012

Have You Come Out Of The Closet?

I'm sure most of you have noticed that when you tell people you're a writer, you often get lukewarm responses. When I was writing novels in my teens, people would say, "Well that's nice, and what are you going to do when you grow up?" And as an adult I often get strange or even incredulous looks since my full-time job is as a department head at a non-profit corporation. Especially when people ask me what I write and I have to explain what urban fantasy is...

So, when I got back into writing in 2009, I kept it quiet at first. It was a fragile hope, and just easier not to talk about. But writing has gotten to be such a big part of my life that I can't keep quiet about it anymore. And so, my horrible secret has leaked out - I'm one of those dreamer-artsy people. I'm incredibly lucky in that my family and friends, and even the few coworkers that know about my secret life, have been very supportive. Then the only problem I have is that everyone wants to read my books.

See, the book I'm querying now is not exactly something I'd want my grandmother, aunt, or super sweet father-in-law with the Jesus decal on his car to read. It's laden with foul language, some pretty sultry scenes, and my own personal take on angels, demons and the Devil. And thinking about that makes me realize that once my baby is published, anybody can read it! Okay, so I can hear you muttering, "Well duh, Captain Obvious." I guess what I mean is that once I'm published, the secret is fully out of the closet. Then I guess I just need to advise some of my family that they may want to wait until my middle grade fantasy comes out :)

Are you kind of one foot in the closet, one foot out, like me? How far in or out of the closet are you?

P.S. No query news yet. Still sane (yay for me).

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Weather in Queryland and Other Adventures

I'm back from semi-hiatus! As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I've been finishing up the line edits and final polish of Noir a/k/a Martinis with the Devil, and was going to start querying. Well, I did and I have! I usually send in small batches, so I've sent 6 out, and will see what kind of feedback I get before proceeding to Round 2. So, clear skies thus far in Queryland, though I have no doubt there'll be some rain clouds along the way. It's just the nature of the agent-finding beast.

So, now that Noir is out the door, I'm going to be starting the first draft of my middle grade fantasy soon. I always love first drafts, so I'm excited. And since I finished one big portion of my goals for the year with Noir, I checked the little timeline I'd written at the beginning of the year, and I'm only about a month behind on them. Not so bad, huh? I can catch up.

In other random news, I finished the Hunger Games trilogy. I read the first one over a year ago, and then never moved on to the second until the movie came out. I thought the second was good, but - don't kill me - I really did not like Mockingjay, the last book. Not that the writing is less great, but it was just such a depressing and sudden ending to me. You guys who have read it will know what I mean. And the conclusion to the whole Peeta vs. Gale thing? Lame. Anyone else felt like that about this series, or another?

So, what all have you been up to, writer friends?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Urban Fantasy New Releases for April

Hi, blog friends! My April urban fantasy newsletter went out yesterday, and I've listed some of my top picks below. I love fresh content for my newsletter, so if you are an urban fantasy writer or know an urban fantasy writer who'd like to be featured in some way in an issue, please let me know! Here's a link to this month's issue, with way more new releases, a book review, an author profile and a really well-done book trailer. I hope you enjoy!

I met Holly Black at World Fantasy Convention, and she was super cool. The book sounds cool, too:

Cassel Sharpe knows he’s been used as an assassin, but he’s trying to put all that behind him. He’s trying to be good, even though he grew up in a family of con artists and cheating comes as easily as breathing to him. He’s trying to do the right thing, even though the girl he loves is inextricably connected with crime. And he’s trying to convince himself that working for the Feds is smart, even though he’s been raised to believe the government is the enemy.

But with a mother on the lam, the girl he loves about to take her place in the Mob, and new secrets coming to light, the line between what’s right and what’s wrong becomes increasingly blurred. When the Feds ask Cassel to do the one thing he said he would never do again, he needs to sort out what’s a con and what’s truth. In a dangerous game and with his life on the line, Cassel may have to make his biggest gamble yet—this time on love. 

I like the choice of New Orleans for an urban fantasy... and there's a vampire pirate. Groovy.

As the junior wizard sentinel for New Orleans, Drusilla Jaco’s job involves a lot more potion-mixing and pixie-retrieval than sniffing out supernatural bad guys like rogue vampires and lethal were-creatures. DJ's boss and mentor, Gerald St. Simon, is the wizard tasked with protecting the city from anyone or anything that might slip over from the preternatural beyond.

Then Hurricane Katrina hammers New Orleans’ fragile levees, unleashing more than just dangerous flood waters. While winds howled and Lake Pontchartrain surged, the borders between the modern city and the Otherworld crumbled. Now, the undead and the restless are roaming the Big Easy, and a serial killer with ties to voodoo is murdering the soldiers sent to help the city recover.

To make it worse, Gerry has gone missing, the wizards’ Elders have assigned a grenade-toting assassin as DJ’s new partner, and undead pirate Jean Lafitte wants to make her walk his plank. The search for Gerry and for the serial killer turns personal when DJ learns the hard way that loyalty requires sacrifice, allies come from the unlikeliest places, and duty mixed with love creates one bitter gumbo.

This sounds creepy and fun:

Miriam Black knows when you will die. She’s foreseen hundreds of car crashes, heart attacks, strokes, and suicides.

But when Miriam hitches a ride with Louis Darling and shakes his hand, she sees that in thirty days Louis will be murdered while he calls her name. Louis will die because he met her, and she will be the next victim.

No matter what she does she can’t save Louis. But if she wants to stay alive, she’ll have to try.

So, I'm still working on line edits, on target to begin querying in 10 days. Otherwise, nothing new. How about you guys?