Monthly Archives: January 2011

Interview at Christina Henry’s site

I’m still sick—can’t seem to shake this cold I’ve had for nearly two weeks. It’s frustrating because I hardly ever get sick. I’ve spent more days feeling lousy this month than in the previous five years. And (you knew this was coming) I have a big deadline approaching in February. I need to be able to work long days right now, and all I want to do is sleep. I’ll probably see my doctor today to find out if this is more than a cold and I need antibiotics or something.

In much better news, Christina Henry, author of Black Wings, has posted an interview with me on her website. Christina and I became friends after I was asked to read and write a blurb for Black Wings, which I thought was excellent (and readers agree—as you can see from the many enthusiastic reviews on Amazon and all over the Internet). She’s awesome, and so is her Maddy Black urban fantasy series. I’m excited and honored to be featured on her site.


Supporting writer friends

Today at Dark Central Station I discuss the topic of one of my Arisia panels: How to support a friend or loved one who’s a writer. Come on over and share your thoughts!

Tina + Giveaway at Book Lovers Inc.

As part of the one-year blogoversary celebration at Book Lovers, Inc., Tina from my Deadtown series has agreed to stop by and write a review of Hellforged. You can read her thoughts here. While you’re there, enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card.


COLD seems to be the theme around here at the moment. I came back from Arisia with a bad cold–feels like a combination of bronchitis and sinusitis. And I spent most of yesterday in bed with a fever, a box of tissues, a cluster of medicine bottles, and a poor-me attitude. 🙂

This morning I woke up to find about half a foot of new snow on the ground. No way I’m shoveling today (we’re on a corner and I have about 100 feet of sidewalk to clear), so we called our handyman who’s kindly taking on the job.

Over the weekend it’s supposed to get REALLY cold here–single-digit Fahrenheit cold. So I expect to spend most of that time holed up inside the nice, warm house with my laptop, making progress on Bloodstone. I’m not sure how much I’ll be online, because I want to use my energy (when I’ve got it) for writing.

Wherever you are, I hope you’re avoiding cold in all its nefarious forms!

Back from Arisia

I’m back from Arisia, grateful that I made the trip between storms: snow last week, ice this week–and yes, I do love living in the northeast, why do you ask? 🙂

It was a great time. All of the panels I participated in were fun and informative.  I also got to walk around the part of Boston I imagine as Deadtown and scope out a few sites from the book I’m working on now. I would’ve liked more time to do that, but it was COLD–especially walking along Summer Street from the hotel (in the Seaport area) to South Station–so I’m pleased that I got to look at some sites and avoid pneumonia. Good compromise.

My favorite part of the con were the demonstrations put on by folks from the Higgins Armory Museum in Worcester, MA. The photos below are from a demonstration of Renaissance swordplay techniques. For each style of fighting, the demonstrators would go through the attack/defense at speed, and then slow down, stopping at each step to explain what they were doing. They’d finish by showing the maneuvers at speed again. It was fascinating, especially to someone whose protagonist uses a flaming sword. (Note: None of the swords in the demonstrations were actually aflame. 🙂 )

Fighting with long swords, German style

Rapiers and daggers, using a technique described by Giacomo di Grassi

A lady defends her honor

The Higgins Armory Museum offers classes in swordplay, making me wish I lived closer to Worcester. Even so, I might plan a trip in the spring to check out one of their drop-in workshops.

Boston, here I come!

This weekend, I’ll be at Arisia in Boston. It’s my first time at this con, and I’m really excited. I’m on panels with several writers I admire, including Guest of Honor Kelley Armstrong! While I’m in Boston, I also plan to visit some of my old haunts and check out a few sites in Bloodstone to make sure I get the descriptions right.

But the main thing is Arisia. Here’s my schedule. If you’ll be there, seek me out!

Friday, 1/14

8:00 p.m.: Flirting with the Mainstream: Paranormal Romance

Paranormal romance has staying power on store bookshelves and has taken plenty of heat for diluting SF/F. However, it also has a crossover appeal to women who may not ordinarily be the audience for SF/F. Let’s chat about overlapping genres, mixing stories, and the best paranormal romances for the new reader.

Vikki Ciaffone (mod), Victoria Janssen, Nancy Holzner, Gail Z. Martin, Kelley Armstrong, Seanan McGuire

Saturday, 1/15

11:00 a.m.: Character Dynamics

You have your cast of characters, now how do you get them to interact the way you want? How can you make you them fight, love, and laugh at each other convincingly? How do you make changes in a relationship between characters come about naturally, rather than seeming forced? Our panelists will elucidate on the finer points of getting your characters to behave with each other on the page the way you imagine them in your head.

Nancy Holzner (mod), Gordon Linzner, Jeanne Cavelos, Ellen Kushner, Victoria Janssen

5:00 p.m.: From First Draft to Second Draft

What’s your writing process? Is the first draft a private letter to yourself while the second draft is more accessible to others? How does the fiction change through the writing and revision process? Our panelists discuss their methods for rewriting.

Ellen Kushner (mod), Victoria Janssen, Nancy Holzner, Kelley Armstrong, Rita Oakes

Sunday, 1/16

9:30 a.m.: My Friend Wrote a Book, Do I Have to Buy It?

Etiquette for friends of authors and other creators. How to support their endeavors without going broke or feeling you have to attend every signing. What to do when you don’t like their creations and are asked (or feel it’s expected) to give a reaction?

Elaine Isaak (mod), Genevieve Iseult Eldredge, Felicitas Ivey, Victoria Janssen, Nancy Holzner

12:30 p.m.: Autograph session with Nancy Holzner and James Macdonald

Aunt Mab’s training program

How are your New Year’s resolutions going? If you’ve already slid off track, need more motivation, or are thinking, “What resolutions?” check out my guest post today on Parajunkee’s View. Vicky’s Aunt Mab, a formidable, semi-retired demon fighter, shares her program for training an apprentice. It’ll either inspire you or make you want to crawl back into bed. 😀

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