Friday, December 24, 2010

Glimmerglass giveaway winner

Hope you're all having a lovely Christmas Eve!

Now, for last week's Friday Fancies winner.

The winner (randomly selected) of GLIMMERGLASS by Jenna Black is...

Siobhan from Love Fantasy Sci-Fi Novels!!

Congrats! And thanks to everyone for playing. Siobhan, if you see this, drop me an email at ez at ericahayes dot net and we'll arrange your prize.

Off to set a trap for that fat bloke in the red coat...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

This year, and what I did in it

First of all, just a reminder that today's the last day to enter my giveaway of Jenna Black's fabulous YA book GLIMMERGLASS. Giveaway closes midnight Thursday, California time.

Meanwhile, over at the Deadline Dames, the fabulous Rachel Vincent is blogging about what she's achieved this year, and I thought that was quite cool. So I decided to try it myself. Just to make me feel good, and prove that I do actually do something apart from eat chocolate and hang out on the internet.

Here's a little list of what I've done for the mighty cause of words-on-the-page this year:

- Wrote BLOOD CURSED, my August 2011 release. 106K. Remember yesterday's post, on keeping the conflicts simple? That's exactly what I didn't do when I started BC, and it took a really, really long time.

- In the meantime, I did edits for POISON KISSED (one word: ugh) and suffered through release day/week/fortnight/month for SHADOWGLASS. It may look like fun. Let me tell you, it's fun from the outside. On the inside, it involves madly writing a pile of guest posts where you're trying desperately not to say the same shit over and over, a few moments of OMG, this is the best job EVA!!! and then a month of sheer panic. Highly recommended, but not for the squeamish or thin-skinned.

- Then, I made a proposal for a sci-fi series, and outlined and wrote the first book. 85K. Actually, this was already a novella before I started, so it really only counts as 50K.

- Spent what seemed like the whole of July and August doing conferences. Disneyworld Orlando, Bondi Beach, Melbourne. Breathe.

- Did another pile of guest posts and an absentee release day/week/etc. for POISON KISSED, while I was on holidays in Europe for a month. See above. Good holiday. Bad idea. Note to Self: Self, next time, stay in your own time zone for release day.

- Outlined and wrote HUNTER'S BLOOD, a short vampire romance. 15K.

- Outlined and wrote CHERRY KISSES, a Shadowfae short. 11K.

- Outlined a new paranormal romance series (yay!) and started the first book. 40K.

I think I did okay! I've made... let's see... 220K plus, not counting outlines. It's never enough. But you can only stay awake for so many hours per day :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Keep it simple, stupid; or, how to write my novel faster


First, a quick shout-out to Fang-tastic Books, where I'm doing a guest post about what my characters do for Christmas, and giving away a copy of POISON KISSED! Yay! Thanks, Roxanne!

And, another shout-out to para romance author Hailey Edwards, who does a great job pimping my books (ahem! thanks, Hailey!) and has managed to find someone who named their Kindle after the magic mirror in my book SHADOWGLASS

And, finally, a yell for @Wenj_BL on Twitter from Black Lagoon Reviews, who has created my very first piece of fan art. Awesome! Two words, folks: Aidan Turner. Phwoar. Thanks, Wenj!

Anyway. Now we've got that off our busty chests...

Started a new manuscript last Monday, and I already have nearly 40,000 words. That's 40K in 8 days with the weekend off. This may not impress some of you :) but when you realise you're talking to a girl with a word goal of 2,000 per day that she often doesn't achieve, it's a little more noteworthy.

So how am I achieving this amazing -- nay, wondrous -- nay, prodigious -- feat of stamina and endurance? How have I turned this speedy corner from Slowville and raced off into the land of fuck it, let's get this sucker done in a hurry?

Well, of course, I get up early. I sit down. I write. I don't let other shit get in the way. I wreck my brain. I go to bed. But it's more than that.

I write to an outline, because I'm too scared to do it any other way. And I'm talking a mega-outline. My bad boy for this MS is 20 pages in 12pt TNR. I do scenes, plot lines, character arcs, romantic turning points, the lot. But I still can usually make only 2K a day.

Reasons? Well, the first is that there are a hell of a lot of words in my Shadowfae books. By which I mean the writing is, by design, laid on pretty thick. They're dark, sexy, dripping with colours and smells and sensations. Keeping up that level of sensory input for 100K and not boring the crap out of the reader (oy! no one asked you back there in the cheap seats, okay?) requires a lot of thought. This new MS, bless its skanky little romantic heart, isn't like that. It's fast. It's hot. It's darkly funny. It's got all the moves, baby. I can relax, and just let it dance.

The second reason? The keep-it-simple factor. Because I make such a monstrous outline, I tend to think the romantic conflicts to death. They're subtle and complicated. By the time I'm done, frankly, they're nuanced up the wazoo, and in every scene I have to include so many obtuse motivations that even I get confused. What's more: in revisions, I always end up cutting it all out and sticking to the basics.

Why? Because a simple, high-concept, tell-it-in-two-lines conflict is more effective. The simpler and more primal the conflict, the harder your crucial scenes will hit. The bigger your black moment can be. The more satisfying and climactic the resolution.

For four books I have done this. Think it to death, write it up, cut that sucker out. Learning curve? Very shallow, my friends. No one said I was smart.

But for this MS? What a brainwave! I said to myself: "Self, how about you cut it back to basics before you start? Yeah, it's all real nice that the hero was tortured by a rabid goat as a child and has issues with getting his hair to perm properly. But if the crux of his issue with the heroine (yeah, remember her? She's quite important, being as this is a romance and all) is that last time he fell in love, his demon enemies ate his woman's eyeballs through a straw and consigned her soul to eternal housework just to spite him, and he's terrified it'll happen again? Then fucking say so, you moron. No one cares about all that other stuff."*

Self was flabbergasted. "You mean, save myself days and days of work by (gasp!) keeping to the point? Figuring out what his greatest fear is, and making him face it? Without complicating it with goats?"

Patient sigh. "Yes, Self. No goats. It's not rocket surgery. Get on with it."

So there you have it. The goat and the perm problems haven't gone away. They're still there in my head, and will pop out on the page when I feel like it.**

But the big scenes? They're sticking with the basics. Big concept, big pay-off. Chk-chk-boom. And hence, I can write like a speedy madwoman and not get tripped up by irrelevant details.

And if at some point, demons don't tie Our Hero down and at least threaten to suck his girlfriend's eyeballs out and chain her soul to the Eternal Vacuum Cleaner of DOOM(!!) -- then I'm not doing my job properly.

45K to go. Wish me luck :)

* (As you can see, me and my Self have a tense relationship. We're in therapy. It's working out. For now.)
** Sigh. No, there aren't actually any rabid goats or perms in this manuscript. For exemplary purposes only, folks. Sorry :(

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: Highborn by Yvonne Navarro

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading:

1) Grab your current read.
2) Open to a random page.
3) Share at least two 'teaser' sentences from that page -- no spoilers, please!
4) Share the title and author so others can add it to their TBR if they like the teasers.

Basically, it's another opportunity for me to pimp some cool books I've been reading. Sensing a theme here?

'I was looking for a friend of mine,' Brynna explained.


'Then ring the damned doorbell instead of hanging around like a hoodlum!'


'I don't know his last name," Brynna said without thinking.


'Then you're not much of a friend," the woman snapped back. 'You get out of here or I'm calling the police. This is a Neighborhood Watch area!'

--From page 17 of HIGHBORN by Yvonne Navarro.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Friday Fancies: Glimmerglass by Jenna Black

Sorry I'm a little late with Friday Fancies this week. I've been writing like a madwoman this week and worked myself into a stupor. But better late than never, and without further ado...

Friday Fancies is where I tell you all about a recent read I really liked, and then give you the chance to win a copy. Easy? Right.

This fortnight's Friday Fancy: GLIMMERGLASS by Jenna Black, first in her young adult Faerywalker series.



What it's like: a cool mix of faeries and the real world. There's a faery world that you can visit via immigration and passport control (cool, eh?) in a place called Avalon, where the human and faery worlds intersect. The heroine's dad is some kind of big-time faery dude in Avalon (and she ALREADY KNOWS THIS, folks!! It's not a 'OMG I am a FAERY!?!' book) and she runs away from her unlivable-with mother to stay with him. Warring faery hijinks ensue.

Why it's cool: did I mention it's not a lame big reveal? I mean, yeah, there are secrets to be uncovered, but the author has done so much more with them than dump them in your lap and expect you to be gobsmacked.

The heroine is gutsy. There's no mooning around or whining. The adult characters are more than plot-convenient ciphers. And the guys (it's  more a romantic elements than a romance) are interesting as well as hot. Yay! What's more, they don't inexplicably fall for a heroine who would be about as fascinating to them as a mosquito. They all actually talk to each other. Real relationships in a fantasy YA, folks. Can I recommend this any more?

If you're a writer: see above. All that whiny, annoying, unbelievable stuff that drives you insane about YA fantasy? This book doesn't do any of it. The characters' emotions are never allowed to follow plot-convenient lines just because. Also, the 'infodump' parts are really well handled -- there's a lot of explaining to do about Avalon and how the two worlds intersect, and it's never boring or obvious.

Right. Wanna win a paperback copy of this awesome book? Of course you do. Just leave me a comment here, follow this blog, tweet me something nice, etc.. Christmas is coming, you know, so let's all make friends while we still can.

I'll choose a winner at random. Giveaway closes midnight east coast US time next Thursday, 23 December. If you live where the Book Depository ships, you can win.

So you tell me: Do you like books about faeries? What are some of your favourites?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Last day to vote for the Bookie Awards!

A quick shout-out: the Bookie Awards are run by the good folks at the Authors After Dark romance readers convention.

They're nominated and voted for by readers and have categories for almost everything in romance, from BDSM Short Story and GLBT to Historical Romance and Paranormal.

Photobucket

You can see the list of nominees for this year's Bookies here.

And the polls for voting are here. Voting closes today, 15 December.

So go along and vote for your favourites! We need more reader-judged awards.

And if you care to, you can vote for me in the very first poll :) I'm stoked to be up for Debut Author of the Year! So if you enjoy my books, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: Deathwish by Rob Thurman

WIthout further ado, welcome to Teaser Tuesday.

This is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading:

1) Grab your current read.
2) Open to a random page
3) Share at least two 'teaser' sentences from that page -- no spoilers, please!
4) share the title and author so others can add it to their TBR if they like the teasers.

"Being wise is a burden." There was sympathy in my voice that I didn't bother to hide.

"Being a smart-ass moron is no cakewalk either," Cal retorted.

"So true," I offered dryly. "Yet you struggle on."

--From page 37 of DEATHWISH by Rob Thurman





And, the obligatory self-pimpage :)

Kane smiles, childlike, his black eyes swirling green. "You looked, didn't you? I warned you."

Indigo clenches steely teeth in denial. Maybe he's peeked into the glass, drawn by the shimmering silver surface. Wouldn't be the first time. He's a fairy. he likes shiny things. So what? That was days ago. Nothing's happened. Has it?

--From page 13 of SHADOWGLASS, by me :)



Hope you enjoyed today's teasers. Got any of your own?

Monday, December 13, 2010

How do I want thee? The many faces of insta-lust

Been doing research. You know, the kind that involves reading lots of cool novels. Specifically, I've been looking at insta-lust. The kind of book where the characters are shagging by chapter two, or even chapter one if they're really into it. Why? Because I'm writing a book like that, and I want to see how other authors do it.

That's what authors do, see. We copy. But in the nicest, most imaginative way possible.

So. Insta-lust, it seems to me, comes in several forms, with varying orders of lameness. Because, hey, on the whole, normal people don't walk up to total strangers and start having sex with them. As authors, we have to motivate this strange behaviour. Here, for your edification, are some justifications I found:

1) We're under a spell, goddamn it.
This is a good one when you're doing paranormals. It's magic, folks!

"A curse! Dang it! If I don't shag you right now, my head will explode/a demon will burst from hell and devour me/my dick will shrivel up and fall off!!"

Or alternatively: it's an arousal spell. "Gosh, I'm so damn horny! Oy! You there! Assume the position!"

Lame factor: I'd say 6 out of 10. This can work really well, or it can be totally pathetic.

2) Me caveman. You my destined mate. Ugh.
"Honey, we're fated to be together. Let's have sex, even though we each think the other is a total dweeb... Ooh, actually, this isn't too bad."

Or, alternatively: "You are totally hot. But we cannot be destined mates, because that would be, like, totally uncool. What? You mean it's TWUE? Aargh! My destined mate is rich, immortal and totally gorgeous with a ten-inch {redacted}!!! Oh, noes!!! I WILL not accept my FATE! Bugger off, dickwad!" etc. etc. until they finally give in six iterations later and do the deed, which of course is multi-orgasmic and awesome because, after all, they're destined mates.

Squirm. Some authors make a really good living writing destined mate stories. I can take them or leave them. But on the odd occasion, they can float my boat.

Lame factor: 8 out of 10.

3) Someone else made me horny, but I guess you'll do.
This is when a character is on the rebound from some past lover and just has to get their rocks off with anything that raises their pulse. Then, of course, they fall in lurve and spend the rest of the book trying to convince the other that it meant something.

Alternatively, the revenge shag. "THIS will teach that cheating bastard. Come here, you hot but obviously vapid stud who can't possibly be good for anything but a one-night stand... Oh. OMG. More! Harder!"

I actually quite like the revenge-shag-that-backfires (snigger). I guess I like watching characters squirm.

Lame factor: low. Maybe 4 out of 10.

So what do you think of insta-lust? Yay or nay? What's your favourite/least favourite kind?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Eve Silver giveaway winner

Without further ado:

the winner (randomly chosen) of last Friday's giveaway is...

Chrizette!!!

Yay! Congrats! Chrizette's won a book from Eve Silver's awesome Otherkin Series

Thanks for playing, everyone! And be sure to return next Friday for another Friday Fancy.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Blood Cursed cover art

Is this awesome? Or is it, like, totally awesome!?!



This is my fourth Craig White cover and I love it. Love, love, love it. It is so much what the book is about that I can't think of anything I'd like better.

"Sigh. So... what's the book about, then?" you ask patiently? Behold, cover copy.*


Enter the fierce, fantastical world of the Shadowfae, where blood is a drug, magic is a crime, and love is the most dangerous weapon of all…

To a vampire, nothing is sweeter than bloodfairy essence -- and Ember is the most sought-after fairy on the underworld circuit. Selling her blood to the highest bidder -- and robbing her clients in the process -- Ember has unwittingly become a target of dark and dangerous forces. Her enemies are everywhere. And if she hopes to survive, she needs protection...

Diamond is a glassfairy who, for better or worse, knows his way around the vampire underworld. Smooth as silk and tougher than trolls, Diamond is Ember’s only chance to keep her magical blood inside her body, where it belongs. But he also poses a threat to Ember, a strange kind of danger she’s never experienced before: She’s falling in love with him...



Yay! I'm so excited. Release date is 2 August 2011, US and UK and Canada.**

And if anyone out there's doing their Cool New Covers of the Week post, or Awesome Homicidal Chicks in Tight Dresses or suchlike, please feel free to plaster this one all over it, should you so choose :)

In other news:

Today, I finished my demon-hunting witches short story! Yay! It's tentatively titled CHERRY KISSES. Coming soon to an anthology near you.

And lastly: remember, you've got until midnight Friday West-Coast-US-time to enter last week's Friday Fancies giveaway of Eve Silver's SINS OF THE HEART. It's a great book. You know you want it.

*This may not be the final cover copy. But it's near enough.
** Those are pre-order links. The more orders, the more copies they print. If you enjoy my books, you'd really be doing me a favour...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Market research, and how not to be misled

Welcome to Writing Wednesday, where I hopefully have something interesting to say about... well, about writing. Or publishing. Or agents. Or chocolate overload during a Supernatural marathon. Or anything to do with this crazy business.*

I'm in the middle of writing a short story, which is unusual for me -- I've written I think five... no, make that six... six novel manuscripts in a row, and only three shorts in that time, two of them in the last six weeks.

And one sad thing about getting published -- about deciding to do this mad thing called writing for a career -- is that I no longer have the time to write stuff I don't think I can sell. That means I'm always writing to a market, whether it's an established line at a single house, a collection of prospective houses or even just a genre, with all its conventions and no-nos.

So if I'm writing these shorts, they're for a specific market. You think agented writers and published authors don't have to do market research? Bzzt! Lose five points or your pants. It's even more important, because a story with no market is useless to us. A waste of our time. And time, sadly, is money.**

So, market research. That's to say: reading, right? Lots and lots of it. What's selling well in a particular line? What are the really popular big-time authors doing, and how can I do it too?

Right?

Wrong. You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye.

DON'T read the big-time authors in your chosen line/imprint. No no no no no. Don't. 

Well... what I mean is, hell yes, read the big-time popular authors, because they're awesome! Just don't read them for research.

Because what they're doing, they've earned the right to do, with book after book, years of consistent sales, a profitable backlist. If their books go out on a limb, it's because the publisher trusted them to pull it off.***

I, on the other hand (and probably you, too) am a relatively new author, with only a short track record with a single publisher. Sure, I hand in manuscripts on time and do my edits without complaint and tidy up before the copy-editor. But the bestseller lists don't know me from a bar of soap. No house in their right mind is going to trust me to do jack shit.

So whom should I look to for research? The debut authors, of course. They're the ones who are selling from the slush pile, rather than on track record and a three-line pitch to the editor-in-chief from their agent. They're the ones who are dropping jaws at the editorial assistant's desk, lighting up the imprint editor's eyes and eliciting grins at acquisitions meetings.

They're the ones, in fact, who are writing what's selling, without the benefit of track record, RIGHT NOW. Not fifteen years ago when your favourite big-time author was a chicken.

Of course, in print publishing, RIGHT NOW is relative. It means probably twelve to eighteen months ago, minimum. But it's the best indication you'll get. And no one's saying the big-time authors aren't writing good books -- but bestsellers can generally write riskier books than newer authors, especially in category lines like Harlequin Whoever. If you're reading along and wondering how the hell the author gets away with first person present tense and Flashback Hell when the sub guides say third person past only and no flashbacks or we'll come around to your place and kill you -- chances are you're reading a more experienced author.

So read the new authors to find out what's selling last week. Read the big-time authors to find out what you can get away with, in a year or two when you've got credentials.

Then again, what the hell? Maybe your wacky idea will sell gazillions. If you don't try, you'll never know :)

* Yes, of course watching Supernatural for hours at a stretch is part of the writing business. You can't work ALL the time...  anyway, did you and I have that little chat about Sam? Yeah, well. I meant it. Hands off.
** Well, yeah. That's not to say it's very much money. If I worked out how much I get per hour, I'd give up and work at Starbucks. Just don't do those sums, people. They aren't worth it.
***  The book, that is. Not the limb. Mixed metaphors 'R' us.

Teaser Tuesday

It's 11:56 pm right now. I just scrape in for Teaser Tuesday :) it's a weekly meme hosted by MizB of  Should Be Reading:

1) Grab your current read.
2) Open to a random page
3) Share at least two 'teaser' sentences from that page -- no spoilers, please!
4) share the title and author so others can add it to their TBR if they like the teasers.

So here goes, from the open page on my Sony Reader:

'Vinny, eh?'

She leaned even closer. Her lips were but a kiss away from mine. A man should offer some means of thanks for such an offer. But I like to keep my lips away from the suspicious sorts.

'Short for Venezia,' she whispered.

'Isn't that in--'

'My mother had a thing for Italy. Here's the deal, Michael. I'll show you the halo. You pay me ten thousand for the information.'

--From page 8 of HALO HUNTER by Michele Hauf.


And, because I'm an author and therefore supposed to pimp my own books :) here's one of mine:

My thrall bangles tingled, and heat prickled up my arms, sickly sweet. Inside my belly, my drug-sleepy rapture coiled contentedly, lazy like a deadly snake in the sun. Thrall always knows its own, no matter how I squirm and evade.

Kane stared at me, green sparks of amusement dancing in his hair. My heart sank, but at the same time, an unfamiliar, unwelcome warmth shivered through my blood. For once, I was pleased to see him.

--From page 16 of SHADOWFAE, by me :)








Thanks for playing, folks!

Monday, December 6, 2010

In the middle of a new story

I had a few votes against Man-titty Mondays (boo! hiss!) so we'll stick with random m-words until I can think of something better. Muddlings? Madness? Mutancy?

Spent the weekend watching cricket (eek!) and doing my civic duty as a Romance Writers of Australia contest manager. Any of you entering the Valerie Parv Award this year? You'll be dealing with me, bwahahaha...

I'm in the middle of a new short story (demon-hunting witches, yay!) and it's going pretty well so far. It's a challenge to write to a theme, yet keep the story true to the world-building I've already done. It's a Shadowfae story, in case you're wondering. New characters, new messes, same horny fairies. Amen :) All things going well, you'll see it in a St Martin's Press anthology later in 2011.

Writing a 10K short is challenging, too, when you're used to 100,000 word novels. The outline has the same shape - it's just a lot smaller, and everything has to be simplified. World-building has to be slimline. And as for backstory -- forget it, unless you can work it seamlessly into the story. You don't have time for flashbacks or paragraph-long ruminations on what just happened. Efficient scene-cutting (as in, deciding where you start and finish a scene) is crucial... hey, I just had an idea for my writing post on Wednesday! I'll shut up about it now :) you'll have to wait for my wisdom. Sigh. Oh, well.

Meanwhile, don't forget to enter last week's Friday giveaway -- Eve Silver's SINS OF THE HEART.

And here's an interesting link: one author's take on what it's really like to get published. I'd have to say I agree, though I'd never have believed myself two years ago -- selling is the easy part, folks. 

Don't get me wrong. I'm the last to whine about how hard it is to have a contract with an advance and an awesome editor and a big publishing house distributing my books. Wow, this diamond up my ass really hurts, y'know?

But pre-contract, all you have to care about is how good your book is, and researching markets. That's it.  Once you sell, there's so much more at stake. So much more you can mess up. So much more you have no control over. You think rejections are frustrating and beyond your control? Wait till you have to deal with sales figures, and reviews, and why your book is or isn't in stores, and why your book is or isn't an ebook...

But hey, I wouldn't give it up for anything :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday Fancies: Sins of the Heart by Eve Silver

Hello and welcome to Friday Fancies, a new feature on my blog where I'll be sharing some recent reads I loved and giving you eager reading folks the chance to win your very own copy.

This fortnight's Friday Fancy: Eve Silver's SINS OF THE HEART, book 1 in the Otherkin series from HQN.



What it's like: Egyptian mythology, plus romance, plus some lovely icky bits! Hot hero who doesn't posture (he's cool enough not to need to -- and yay! he's blond! see, you can have a blond hero), strong and active heroine who doesn't whine. A good mystery plot. Oh, and bleeding hearts in bags. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Why it's cool: horror and romance. I mean, real horror. Not just dudes we are told are bad-ass who never actually, well, do anything bad-ass. These guys are the real deal. Soul reapers who actually reap souls -- and it's not some nice clean magical process where no one gets their hands dirty. It's messy, painful and scary. An author after my own heart :)

If you're a writer: Eve Silver knows how to mix subplot material with the romance plot without letting the main story get lost. She lets the characters' actions speak for themselves, instead of having to tell us how cool they are. And unlike some writers {cough me cough} she knows when to stop with the horror. Just enough gory details to fill in the picture, and then she lets you go. So it isn't overwhelming.

So. Wanna win a paperback copy* of this awesome book? Of course you do. Leave me a comment here, follow me, tell all your friends about Friday Fancies, do something nice like that (it's the season for nice things, after all!) and next Friday I'll pick a winner at random. If you live where the Book Depository ships, you can win. Easy.

"But I already have this book!" you cry? Well, that's okay. If you win, you can choose any book from the trilogy for your prize -- SINS OF THE HEART, SINS OF THE SOUL or SINS OF THE FLESH. I have them all, and they're all equally cool.

So you tell me: do you like horror, gore and icky stuff in your paranormal romance? What are some other good horror romances? Who's your favourite bad-ass hero? Or,  do you prefer your vampires sparkly and your werewolves to change in a puff of 'it's magic, okay', rather than all that flesh-tearing and tendon-popping?

*I can't gift e-books. Sorry, I'd love to, but this is Australia. We don't have e-books here.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My new blog!

Welcome!

If the Blogger gods are smiling on me, this will cross-post to LiveJournal as planned -- hope it works!

For any LJ folks who might want to switch over, my Blogger site is http://erica-hayes.blogspot.com -- and my LJ remains http://faerylite.livejournal.com. I'll be cross-posting everything, at least for a while, so follow me wherever you like!

If you're wondering where all the posts below came from, I've imported everything from LJ. So not a single pearl of my wisdom will be lost. I know, I know -- what a relief!

Seeing as I've got this new flashy site, I'm gonna kick off tomorrow (Friday) with some Friday Fancies. What's Friday Fancies, you ask? Well, it's where I get all gushy about a book I like, and then give you the chance to win a copy. Simple.

I'll be giving away a new book on Friday every couple of weeks, whenever I read one I feel is worthy of the instant fame and glory my recognition will bring. That's the kind of generous soul I am.

So stay tuned, bat-listeners. I'll also be doing Writing Wednesdays, where I share my latest earth-shattering epiphanies about the mysteries of writing and publishing. And when I can think of something cool and alliterative for Mondays, I'll do that too.

In fact, I'm open to suggestions. What's a good M-topic you'd like to see on that dreaded first day of the week? Mournful Mondays? Monsters and Mayhem? Monday Man-titty*?

*Actually, no. This blog will be a MTFZ (man-titty free zone)! Unless, y'know, it's on a book cover. Or I really feel like it.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

UK release, we haz it

Just a note to say that POISON KISSED is now available in the UK!! So if you're one of those folorn, left-out folks who can't access the US Amazon or Book Depository sites, you can now order from Amazon UK or BD UK.

Also check out my latest interview and giveaway at Nocturne Romance Reads. Ever been dying to know what the Shadowfae Chronicles theme song is? Sure you have.

In the meantime, I've been working on a vampire short story, and kicking a few proposals for novels into shape. They don't look much like novels yet. But they're getting there.

I start with some random idea, about a turning point or a character dilemma. But novels need plots, and I have neither the time nor the reckless hubris (you know who you are, folks) to begin writing on a project when I don't know for sure there's a decent plot in it.

An idea is not a plot. A scenario or a pile of world-building is not a plot. 'And then they fall in love and defeat the bad guys and save the world' is not a plot. Even if a few six-figure-advance YA authors seem to think it is.

So if I seem unproductive for a while, it's because I'm spending time plotting. And I plot because I don't have time to waste. Strange, but there it is.





Tuesday, October 26, 2010

the big reveal, and how i can make it work

 I'm outlining some new books, see, and that on top of some recent reading got me thinking about the Big Reveal.

You know: the Big Secret that comes out and changes the book. Things aren't what the main character (or the reader) thought.

And yeah, I'm working with a Big Reveal idea. No, I won't tell you what it is. Sigh. There's always one, isn't there?

Anyway. Seems to me that the BR (we're friends now, the BR and I, so I can call him that) the BR is all about timing. Whether it works depends on where in the book you put it. And where in the book you put it depends on how much gets torn down by the secret coming out.

There are first act BRs, the kind that start the story. Neo takes the pill, and finds out the world is a lie. Or: surprise! you're the fairy princess. Now come with me to Fairyland and save the world. Or: you know that old ring you've got lying around, Bilbo Baggins? Well, let me tell you something...

Think about it. These can't sustain a second act climax. If the story's about the fairy princess saving Fairyland, she'd better get started right away or it'll be boring. Ditto with Bilbo's ring being the RING OF POWERRRR. The only place for that BR to go is right at the beginning -- it's the initiating incident.

But we can do second act climax BRs. This is what modern mystery/thriller writers do. The hero finds out who the killer is, and spends the third act chasing the killer down. No earlier than second act, or it won't be a mystery. WIthout the reveal, the purpose of the book is defeated.

And your second act climax BR better be like that -- it's the purpose of the book. It's earth-shattering. Luke, I am your father.

That's not only the 2nd act climax of The Empire Strikes Back -- it's the 2AC of the whole trilogy. It's that big. It changes the way Luke looks at everything. It makes sense of information we've been fed for two films.

There are third act climax BRs -- the twist ending. Think Robert DeNiro and Mickey Rourke in Angel Heart. Wondering why you can't find the killer, Mickey? Wondering why these murders keep following you around? Open your eyes, son, and smell the blood.

Brrr. Just thinking about that one gives me shivers. Love it. But the point is that this BR is the 3AC. It's too late for Mickey to do anything about it. He's already in too deep. If he'd figured it out earlier, the situation could have been saved. But not now. Game over.

Good twist endings are rare, for the simple reason that they're hard. It's like writing a story with 2 opposing yet plausible interpretations, keeping everything consistent along the way -- and the twist has to matter. We have to care that Mickey's... well, that Mickey's what he is, in case there's someone poor deprived soul out there who hasn't yet seen Angel Heart. You know who you are. DVD store. Get thee.

We even have epilogue BRs, otherwise known as the Dirty Twist Ending You Rotten Screenwriter. Think you know who Keyser Sose is? Think again. But the false solution's already packaged up so neat and tidy that no one will ever believe Chaz if he told them, and in any case there's nothing he can do. Again, very difficult.

Anyway. My point is the if you're using a BR, you have to look at where to put it. Ask yourself: how much of a mess does the information make of the situation? What are your characters going to do with that information? How does it change the way they behave? Does it require immediate action? And what's already done that can't be undone? What's happened that the MC can't take back, and must now deal with?

Is it a story-starter, like Neo taking the pill? Does all the story's action stem from the reveal? Is everything before it just the set-up? Is it the kind of reveal that you'd put in the back cover copy, to explain what the story's about? If so, it belongs in the first act.

Is it the kind of secret that you'd never put in the back cover copy, because it'd 'give the story away'? Is it the purpose of the story, like the killer's secret identity? Is it the Fact that Makes Sense of the Whole Thing, like the fact that Iron Man's trusted friend is the bad guy, and now he must go and put things right? If so, it belongs in the second act, and the 'putting things right' is the third act.

Or is it too late for anything to be done -- is the action over, and the BR just makes sense of it all, for good or ill? Then you're looking at a third act BR.

And please, please: don't make it the 2AC when it should be the initiating incident. That spells lame. OMG the hero is a VAMPIRE!!! Sorry. You're a few years late with that one. Make it the start of the story, and run with it.

Anyway. Them's my thoughts. Gotta go plot my book now :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

YA romances, and what I didn't get until now

Been reading a few YA books, just because they happened to reach the top of my TBR. Some really enjoyable ones. Some not my thing. But I figured something out:

You don't write a YA romance the same way you write an adult romance.

Wow. Yeah. The big issues, huh? This may not seem like rocket surgery to some. But I figured out that the reason I get so frustrated with a lot of YA romance -- here you can picture me cursing and throwing things at a really big screen showing the New Moon movie -- is that THERE'S NO CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.

We keep getting TOLD how much in love Edward and Bella.. umm, I mean the characters in a YA novel... we get TOLD they lurve each other and will DIE without each other and can't LIVE for a MOMENT APART... but we're never shown why. We're never shown what she thinks is so great about him. There's no basis for any real relationship.

My epiphany was this: in a YA, no one cares.

In a YA, love is meant to be mysterious. The heroine isn't supposed to understand why she thinks the Mysterious Boy is so hot, or why she feels drawn to the half-angel-demon-fairy-vampire-witch boy who's trying to murder her/drag her to hell/suck her blood/use her skin as wallpaper. It's meant to be all perfect and dreamy.

In an adult book, you would never get away with this. Beyond a few chapters of insta-lust, that is. Readers want more.

So yeah, I get it now. Doesn't make it any less frustrating to read, though. The YA romances I like best will still be the ones where I get to see them like each other.

What do you guys think? Do you buy into instant YA lurve? Ot do you prefer to see more than just 'there was something about him that drew me in', etc.??

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

i'm interviewed at smexy books!

Does this mean I'm famous? Yes, yes, I believe it does... 

I'm interviewed by the lovely Tori at Smexy Books today, talking about the Shadowfae series, snake shifters and what else I've been working on, among other things. Come by and have a chat, and leave a comment for a chance to win POISON KISSED.





Yo can also check out Tori's 4-star review of POISON KISSED, wherein she says:

"Fast paced and smoothly written with plenty of action, danger and internal conflict, Hayes writes an addicting dark and erotic urban fantasy that appeals to the darker side of our nature. The part of us that we like to keep hidden and safely under wraps. I will definitely be reading the next one in this series."
 

Awesome! Thanks, Tori!

In other news... I'm home from vacation. This means I have to get back to work. What am I working on, you ask? Bit of this, bit of that. Maybe more Shadowfae. Maybe something else. When I find out, you'll be the first to know...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

who's your favourite bad guy?

First, on the topic of good guys: I saw the Pope today. Cool! I'm not even in his club, but it was still cool. Check out his Benedictness in the Pope-mobile in St Peter's Square at my Facebook page.

Moving right along... I'm guest posting at Dirty Sexy Books today, where the lovely Rebecca has kindly given POISON KISSED a four-star review. She says:

'...it's dark, sexy and dirty, and it's also fearless. Her stories go places that many writers fear to tread, and I appreciate the wicked eroticism that she injects into every scene."
 
Awesome! My work here is done :) you can read the rest of Rebecca's review here.

Of course, I'm giving away a free copy - come by and tell me which bad guy (or girl) you'd love to see get their own book or movie for a chance to win.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

guesting at fiction vixen

 I'm a guest with the fabulous Fiction Vixen today, talking about what I love in urban fantasy and the cliches we'd love to put to rest. And giving away a free book, of course. Come check it out!

Monday, October 11, 2010

fantasy book giveaway winner!

Sorry for the slight delay, but I've been busy gawking at St Peter's basilica... got here too late to see the Pope. Maybe next time :D

There's much more security here than there was ten years ago when I last visited -- back then, there was no metal detector or anything. You could just walk straight into the church. Still, it's better than the alternative. This place is a work of art, and anyone who tries to damage it is a scumbag, I don't care what religion they are.

Anyway. Without further faffing about... the winner, chosen at random, of my fabulous fantasy book giveaway is...

Jennifer Schmidt Helmerick!!!!


Yay! Congrats! Jennifer wins a book pack containing these fabulous books:


Thanks so much to everyone for entering, and welcome to all my new Facebook and Twitter friends!

I'll be doing some more giveaways on Facebook soon, so stick around.

Friday, October 8, 2010

the steamy side of UF

 I'm guesting today (Thursday) at All Things Urban Fantasy, talking about the steamy side of UF and why you should get into it. And giving away a copy of POISON KISSED, of course!

Come by and check it out!





Also, don't forget to enter my fantasy book giveaway, which runs until this weekend. Ilona Andrews, Jennifer Estep, Merrie Destefano, J.K. Beck and me. We're fantasy. We're hot. You know you want us. Git on over there and enter!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

UF vs PR -- what's your fancy?

 I'm guest posting at SciFiGuy today (Tuesday), talking about the difference between romantic UF and paranormal romance -- which do you prefer? Who are some of your favourite couples? Come over to SciFiGuy and tell me, and have the chance to win a copy of POISON KISSED.

Also a reminder abut my fantasy/romance book giveaway, ending this Saturday. I'm giving away books by Ilona Andrews, Jennifer Estep, Merrie Destefano, J.K. Beck and moi. Check it out on yesterday's post here.

Monday, October 4, 2010

fantasy book pack giveaway!

 
To celebrate my release week, I'm giving away a book pack of some awesome fantasy and romance books that released this week too. Here's what I've got:

AFTERLIFE by Merrie Destefano
VENOM by Jennifer Estep
WHEN PLEASURE RULES by J.K. Beck
BAYOU MOON by Ilona Andrews
POISON KISSED by Erica Hayes (that's me!)


That's a whole pile of really cool books, and they can all be yours!!!

If you live where the Book Depository ships, you can enter. So leave a comment here, telling me what you've done out of the following (one entry for reach):

- Friended me on Facebook (that's the Like button at the top of the page, folks)
- Followed me on Twitter (I'm @ericahayes)
- Tweeted this contest (you can RT my tweet if you like)
- mentioned this contest on your blog/sidebar (include the link so I can gloat!)
- any burning questions you want to ask me, about books or anything at all.

If you really hate FB and you don't have a FB identity, tweet me @ericahayes with an anti-FB rant, and I'll include you in the contest too :)

Contest is open until... oh, let's say, next Saturday 9 October, midnight EST. Winner chosen at random.

Let the fun begin :)

P.S. I'm on the internet sporadically at the moment, like once a day maximum. So don't be offended if I don't reply immediately. But I will reply :)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

guest posting and giveaway madness

In case I screw myself over with no internet for a day again... yeah, book release week is a great time to be in the dark ages. I so recommend it. Uh...

My Bitten by Books event is still open, until 29 Sep midnight Chicago time. Come chat with me (slow time, but I will reply) about what kind of UF heroine you'd like to be, and the chance to win some Amazon gift certificate goodness! 

Wednesday's post is at the Romance Writers of Australia blog; I'm talking about overwriting, what it is and how to fix it, and doing a book giveaway for Aussie readers.

And on Thursday, I'll be at Sidhe Vicious, talking about banshees and why they're cool.

So come share the joy! And when I next pass a McDonalds (is there no other wi-fi in this strange place called Europe??) I'll come meet you :D



Wednesday, September 29, 2010

poison kissed release day

 Yay! POISON KISSED is in stores today! I hope you all enjoy it. This is the one I've enjoyed writing the most so far. It has a banshee heroine, and a ravenous newly-made vampire and a rusty ironfairy as the villains.

A few FAQ: Yes, it has a new cover, different from the others. But it's the same series, the same world, the same everything. The cover and the new mass market format are a new look, but that's the only change.

And yes, Kane is in it :) he and his demon rival, Delilah, have a confrontation in this one. It's messy :)

Remember, you can check out Chapter One online at my website here. And the trailer is here. Enjoy!

Blog tour news: today, I'm at Bitten by Books for a bit of release day madness!! I'm talking a bit about the book, and you'll get an exclusive snippet from Chapter 2. Also giving away some gift certificates for prizes! So you can expand that book collection.

And on Thursday, I'm at Sidhe Vicious, talking about banshees, and why Mina, my banshee heroine, is a bit different.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

blog tour and giveaway goodness

 POISON KISSED hits shelves (thud!) in three days. Cool! So I'm doing a bit of a blog tour. I'll keep you updated.

Tomorrow (Sunday) I'm guesting with the fabulous Deadline Dames!! I'm talking about the coffee shop, and why I write there when I'm such a stickler for order and silence. Giving away a free book. Yu know how it is. Drop by and leave a comment! Make me feel wanted.

And on Tuesday, I'm throwing a release day party at Bitten By Books.

I'm chatting about the book and other stuff, and giving away some Amazon gift certificates as prizes.

You can RSVP and get extra entries here: http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=30904

I'll drop by to chat, but I'm on vacation without internet (right now I'm sitting in Macdonalds on some French country town) so it might take me a little while to make a reply.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

trailers and excerpts, we haz them


My website is updated, and you can read Chapter One of POISON KISSED here!


And here's my new book trailer for POISON KISSED. Oyy... Feel free to share if you think it's cool!











And now, I'm on holidays! Yay! Off to the airport this arvo to get on the big plane. Will be sure to post pics from exotic locales and make you all envious -- the SD Card of Death has been replaced and troubles me no more.

Can't wait. Been hanging out to do some reading and now I've got loads of blissful, uninterrupted hours ahead...

Monday, September 13, 2010

the facebook, he is here

I've got a brand new author page on Facebook! Do come by and friend me, or like me, or whatever it is we do on Facebook this week.


Oh, and some fun news: you can currently get Shadowfae for Kindle for US$2.99!!

Awesome!! Even I could afford that!* So if you've been wanting to check the series out -- or you just love cheap ebooks -- get on over there. Special promotion, not for ever etc..


* If I could buy it in this country. Which I can't. But hey. I would If I could.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

worldcon madness

WorldCon was cool.

I mean, a lot of conventions and conferences are cool. But WorldCon was a bit different from others I've been to, which have mainly had a romance focus. Obviously, they talk more about specfic and less about romance - but they're also more opinionated. They're not afraid to say they don't like something, or disagree, or think that Writer X or Show Y or Book Z is full of shit.

Where at some romance cons I've been to, everything is sacred. We're so immersed in being supportive, and promoting the genre, and not stepping on anyone's toes, that our right to a dissenting opinion -- to voice it in public, that is, not the right to dissent itself -- gets diluted.

Refreshing. I think each approach has its merits. But on with a few pics

 
This fluffy green Cthulu at the Masquerade cracked me up,
especially beside tiny Rorschach.



Tracey O'Hara
and Tez Miller taking it easy at Koko Black



NZ fantasy author Helen Lowe, Tracey and me


More pics next time, when I bribe them off Tracey's camera...

And a quick shout out for Among the Muses, where I'm doing an interview and giving away a copy of one of my books, including if you choose my October release, Poison Kissed.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

yes, I'm a hopeless blogger...

 Jeez please. Was it really June last time I posted here? I'm ashamed, truly I am. I promise to do better.

What's news, you ask? Well. I had a lovely time in Orlando at Romance Writers of America. My roomie Kylie Griffin won a Golden Heart. I met my agent, Marlene, and my editor, Rose. They are real people. I had lunch with Ann Aguirre (fangirl moment) and her friend Gwen, which was awesome.

Alas, I have no pics, thanks to a very naughty SD card that will burn in hell for eternity, let me assure you. I know some demons. They owe me. It won't be pretty.

So suffice it to say that Orlando went off.

On the way home, I visited Las Vegas and Fiji. See above re: hellbound SD card.

Suffice it to say that Monte Carlo, Cirque Du Soleil, the Grand Canyon and Denerau Island also went off.

Then it was Sydney's turn, and Romance Writers of Australia. We haven't got it together to have our conference in summer down here, so going to Sydney is the next best thing. A fab time had by all.

Once again, see above re: the SD card of Eternal Suckage.

Since then? Madness. I've been finishing off a sci-fi story, and cooking up ideas for possible Shadowfae #5.

This weekend, I'm at WorldCon in Melbourne. There'll be mutancy. There'll be costumes. There'll be a new SD card.

And after that, I promise to blog more. Mkay?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

my excuse this time?

Where have I been, you ask? Well. Long story short, and all: there I was, busily finishing off Shadowfae book #4 (yay!) when the editor revisions for Poison Kissed (book #3, the banshee one) arrived.

They weren't hard. In fact, once I figured out what to do, it only took a couple of days. But they were NASTY. I mean, wallow-in-denial-and-self-pity-for-a-week nasty. (That's pronounced 'NA-sty', by the way, with a short 'A'. Not 'nar-sty'. More fun to say that way.)

But eventually I figured out how to solve the issues to everyone's satisfaction. Go me. It's an awesome book. You'll love it. Promise. The heroine, Mina, is kick-ass and cool and damaged. It's desperately romantic. The hero is... well, he's a bit odd. But you'd expect nothing less from the Shadowfae world, right?

After that, of course, I needed to make changes to my just-finished book #4. And fix character arcs. And cut some words. Fiddle, snip, hack. Mmm.

In the midst of all this happy toil, copy edits for Poison Kissed arrived, and can we have them next week please? No worries. After 3 books, my copy editor has me trained. The edits didn't take long. Apparently I only used the word 'twist' 5,872 times in this one. That's an improvement.

And then, back to book #4. All taking far longer than it should. But it's done. Submitted. Gone.

Yes! I like it, Sam-I-Am. I do so like this book-4-with-no-agreed-title. It has fairies, vampire villains, poison and magical brainwashing. The heroine is a bloodfairy tricked into demon servitude... (yes, that demon. He'll get his. Eventually.) The hero is... well, he's pink. You'll see.

So that's my excuse for not blogging. Work ate my brain for a space. Now, I'm free.

And I'm working on something new for a while, before I return (hopefully) to more Shadowfae shenanigans. Anyone out there like space opera? Secret agents? Plasma guns and pirates? Oyy. This heroine kicks some serious butt. There's an evil empire (or is it?) and some freedom-fighting terrorists (or are they?). And there'll be aliens. Eventually...

Sorry. Can't talk now. Got work to do.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

the manuscript, he is finished

I've been head down, bum up finishing Shadowfae book #4, as yet untitled. I was running kinda close to deadline, so I went crazy for a week and wrote loads of words. My usual target is 2K a day. So what the hell, I did 5K a day. Exhausting. But I got that sucker written. 

Just goes to show, it's all in how bad you want it. And boy, did I want this book to be over :) I mean, I love it. I love these crazy fairy characters. But my brain is full. I need a rest. It was hard work.

So now I'm in revisions, cutting lazy words and identifying problems to be fixed. It's in reasonable shape, probably only a few days of work once it's trimmed. That's what I love about my outlining process: not much rewriting.

The trimming, on the other hand, is slow going. Hackity hack, slashity slash chop. Word by lousy word. Eh.

Apart from that... well, not a whole lot going on. 

Cleverly Inked ButtonA quick shout out for Cleverly Inked's Birthday Phenomenon, a massive load of giveaways and other fun.

She has piles of books, swag and fun stuff to give away from dozens of authors including moi. So pop along and check it out.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

poison kissed

...because I just can't restrain myself any longer.

Shadowfae Chronicles Book #3
28 September 2010

 
Beyond the veil of magic, a fairy otherworld pulses with glamour and dark beauty... It's a place where passions run deep and dark -- and death is just one kiss away...

Mina is a banshee whose greatest power lies in her siren song. She's beholden to her boss Joey, a snake-shifter who once saved her life and now employs her as a gang enforcer. She refuses to upset the fragile balance between them by admitting that she longs for him, that his embrace is the only thing she craves more than revenge for her mother's death...

When Mina learns that Joey may have been involved in her mother's murder, fury threatens to spill out of her, note by vicious note. She and Joey have always trusted each other to stay alive, but now she's not sure what to believe. The evidence stacked against him -- or the one man who haunts her dreams and burns in her blood...


Is she not awesome? Here's what I had to say in my newsletter:


Mina and Joey are two of my favourite characters from SHADOWGLASS, and when the time came to write book #3 they just wouldn't go away! And that cover looks so much like Mina as I see her.

But aren't Mina and Joey the bad guys? you might ask. Well, yeah. In SHADOWGLASS, they are.

Why write a book about the villains? Hell, why not? And the Shadowfae Chronicles is the perfect place to do it, because to some extent, everyone's bad. But no one really thinks they're the villain in this gang war, and I thought it'd be awesome to read a story from the other side. In POISON KISSED you'll meet the DiLuca clan, demons and hungry vampires and murderous fairies and all. I love this book. It's my favourite so far in the series. Mina and Joey have a... tense relationship. And yes, Kane is in it :)

 
Yes, it's a new look. Different but complementary to the others. And those of you with sharp measuring eyes may have noticed that it's a different shape, too. The fabulousness of mass market paperback is upon us! It says so, right here on Amazon. So it'll be cheaper! It'll fit in your bag! It'll fit on the shelf next to your other books! And hey, it's pink. Who wouldn't want one?


P.S. A lot of e-books are being repriced (upwards) from April 1 under the new agency model for big NY publishers. If you're sitting on some e-book buying money, this weekend might be a good time to spend it. Just saying.

Friday, March 19, 2010

fairies on the Kindle

 Yay! SHADOWGLASS is available for Kindle. Right here.

This makes me happy :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

more bloggy goodness

This week, I'm at Fang-tastic Books talking about fairies and new slants on traditional paranormal critters.

I'm also at Tynga's Reviews, talking about... well, me. And my book. Sometimes, you just gotta do that.

Of course, I'm doing giveaways at both of those wonderful blogs. Soon, the whole world will own SHADOWGLASS. Bwahahaha...

I'm also at Bitten by Books today and tomorrow, giving away some book money and SHADOWFAE e-books. So git along there and comment!


Tynga's Reviews


And tomorrow, I'll be at SciFiGuy.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

everywhere? why, yes, I am

Time for a quick recap on blog tour goodness, Because, y'know, if no one knows you're on a blog tour, then what's the point? 

Come check out these awesome book blogs. I tend to give away free books at these things. I'm an author, books are what I've got to give.

I'm a guest at Sara's Urban Fantasy Blog, talking about where my ideas come from. And no, it's not the supermarket.

Wanna know why you should read my book? Check out my post at Sidhe Vicious

I'm also at All Things Urban Fantasy, about how you explain 'urban fantasy' to people who've (gasp!) never heard of it.

And today I'm at Literary Escapism, exploring that standard author wackiness called 'my characters talk to me'. Do they? Well... sorta.

Awesomesauce? Definitely.

Oh, and while I'm talking awesome, you have to check out the book lottery at Ann Aguirre's blog. She's got oodles of free signed books to give away, one each day for the rest of the month, to celebrate the upcoming release of her book HELL FIRE.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

and the winner is...

Okay, it's time for the winner of all those awesome downunder books. Thanks to everyone for coming along and joining in. You are all awesome.

I have to admit, you guys crack me up. How am I supposed to choose a winner from that lot? You're all crazy book obsessives. You all deserve to win oodles of books. If I had fifty copies I'd give you all a set.

But alas, I have to choose one. Life's unfair like that. So, by a secret combination of wind direction, blood pressure, the price of fish in Beijing and asking my cat what he thought, the winner is...

breeziesbooks!!!

Congrats! I'll ping you on Twitter too in case you don't see this.

Thanks so much to everyone for playing. It's really nice to see so many people interested in new authors.

(For those who missed out, I'm also currently doing some giveaways (of my own book, that is!) at EllzReads, Sara's UF blog and Sidhe Vicious.)

Friday, March 5, 2010

spreading the goodness, or how awesome book bloggers are

Today, I'm at Sara's Urban Fantasy blog, talking about where ideas come from. And giving away the obligatory book. Of course!

And tomorrow (Friday), I'm dropping by Sidhe Vicious. On Monday, I'll be at All Things Urban Fantasy

Book bloggers are awesome, see. I've had nothing but support from everyone I've contacted or been reviewed by. I even got an email the other day from someone who wanted to apologise in advance because they were about to do a post saying they didn't like my book.

Can you imagine that? A reader, apologising to me for not liking my story! I was touched. And of course I wrote back to say: you are awesome, post whatever you like.

You guys don't owe me anything. You are all helping me promote my books, and you're doing it for free. For an author like me who lives in Australia, internet coverage is vital. I couldn't do this without you.

I just wanted to say that. Seems that recently, some authors are giving the impression they think readers owe them a living. Uh, nope.

Oh, and remember, there's only a day or so to go in my fabulous Aussie (and New Zealand, of course, Nalini!) book giveaway. Leave a comment on the original post for a chance to win books by Nalini, Keri, Tracey, Denise and me.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

the great aussie fantasy giveaway!


It's huge. It's happening. It's here...

Behold!!

The Great Aussie Fantasy giveaway!


I'm giving away these four wonderful books by some fabulous downunder authors. Click on the cover images to find out more about them. Plus, of course, a book of mine. It's called SHADOWGLASS. And why, look, it comes out today! Thanks for asking. I'm very pleased.

Five hot fantasy books, all yours. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment saying why you want them. I'm cool and casual like that.

Why am I feeling so mighty generous? Well, I'm glad you asked. I may have mentioned it. It's because...


SHADOWGLASS is released today!

A seductive magic mirror lies hidden deep in a demon’s lair, with a simple warning: don’t stare at the glass…

Ice is a thief and a scammer — a troubled fairy trying her best to survive in the squalid underworld of the Shadowfae. When she spends a hot night with a demon lord, she discovers a powerful magic mirror in his lair — and pilfers it, knowing it’s the key to escaping her bleak life as a two-bit con artist. But Ice soon discovers that the mirror's power comes with a price… madness, which is slowly overtaking her.

Indigo oozes darkness, danger and tempting sensuality. He’s been sent to destroy Ice and bring the mirror back to its rightful owner. A mission that, if he fails, will cost him his life. But when he meets Ice, he faces an even greater challenge: an insatiable sexual hunger that neither of them can deny, and dark passions that threaten to claim them both forever. The trouble is, the longer he stays within the mirror’s reach, the greater its hold on his sanity—and the stronger his determination to save Ice...


You can read Chapter One or view the trailer at my website. Buy links are in the sidebar. Hope you enjoy it!


Anyway, don't forget to leave a comment to enter the giveaway. Tell me why you should win all these books. Are you a Riley Jenson fan? In lurve with Nalini's Raphael? Adore Denise's scorching hawt fantasy heroes? Wanna try some vampire hunting action from Tracey O'hara? Or do you just like free books from new-to-you authors? Impress me with your wit. I'm easy :)

I'll be picking a winner when I get up on Saturday morning, which is late Friday afternoon in the US. So make sure you include an email or a Twitter name or something where I can get hold of you, especially if you're not an LJ-er.