This is what happens without editors
BONUS ---> If you would be so kind as to write up a review for any or all Skinners books and publish it on a site like Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Borders, or any other major review site, I can send you something extra. I made up some bookmarks (which I'll sign) and I've even put together some Shimmy's VIP passes (which I'll also sign). Can't guarantee the passes will get you into a real strip club, but I think they look pretty cool. Send me a link to your review along with your name, address and inscription, and I'll get these out to you as well.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
What I'm really excited about is the premier of Hell's Kitchen. I freaking love that show! Gordon Ramsey is just the right kind of obnoxious and unleashes on the ones that really deserve it. You say you can cook, but can barely make spaghetti? Look out! You brag about graduating from chef's school, but serve raw chicken? Better hide the knives! You're a customer who has to march up to the window and speak your mind in the middle of a dinner rush? Sit down, you DONKEY!!! Heh. Anyone who's worked with the public must have wanted to unleash on a customer at least once. If not, you're a saint and have accrued a lot more karma points than I.
Has anyone seen that show on The History Channel called Cities of the Underworld? It's all about the underground tunnels, chambers, sewers, and whatever else may be under cities all over the world. It sounds like it may be boring, but it's very cool. It also has potential for a damn good drinking game. Obviously, you drink every time the host says, "underground". The kicker is to drink every time you hear this one particular music track. They play it whenever they're cutting from a shot of a street, down through some dirt and then wind up with a shot of the underground (drink) location. If you've seen the show more than once, you'll know the music I mean. Some episodes use that same music three or four times. Even without the game, that's a very cool show. With the game, it's very cool and very blurry.
Heroes is dead to me. There's no going back. They messed up too many times. Bye-bye.
I've really got to stop blabbing so much during these interviews. I'm guessing they'll edit most of the garbage that I type, but a lot of it winds up in there. At least my ramblings dispel the whole "writers must be smart" myth.
Also, there's a review posted for Blood Blade on that same site. You can read that by clicking here. I found this one particularly amusing because the reviewer describes Cole as a "horny bastard". That's pretty good. Remember a few posts ago when I said how cool it was to see what each person takes from my book? Here you go. Now, don't get me wrong. Cole most definitely is a horny bastard. This is just the first reviewer to really nail that so succinctly. I believe my reference to a wet dream was more of a joke than a real nocturnal problem, but that's just me being crude. The sad part is, that WAS the toned down version. See what my editor has to deal with?
Seriously, though, thanks to beelzy at Meandering Entertainer. It's been a rough couple days and this really made me smile.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Megan and I went to all our local bookstores to see Blood Blade on the shelves. We struck out. Yep. 0 for 5. Zippo. We asked for it at one Barnes & Noble and they had some in the back, but that's not the same. I'm not new to this, so I should have known better than to expect to see anything on day one. At least the trip wasn't a complete waste. Megan had a bunch of books that she wanted to get, which also came out today and we found them just fine.
Yeah. . .I'll try not to think too hard about that one.
Tomorrow, I'll make the rounds to the local bookstores to see if I can find it. Hopefully, I'll spot it somewhere on day 1. I know sometimes stores don't put stuff on their shelves right away, so I won't get all anxious if it's not at every Borders or Barnes & Noble in town. When Megan and I head out to the stores, I know she'll want to take pictures of the displays or shelves where it does appear. She's excited to buy a copy with her credit card to see if the clerk notices. Heh. No matter how cool I'll try to act, I'm sure I'll succumb to the ol' "standing around until I can point the book out to someone and say 'I wrote that' " trick.
I read a blog review of Blood Blade earlier today and it wasn't bad. It said the book was "good in a guilty pleasure sort of way", which was pretty much where I was aiming. I enjoy guilty pleasures. After all, "pleasure" is right in the phrase. Webmaster Steve and I also put some last-minute tweaks to the main website, so that's good to go. Now, I've just got to sit back and wait to see what the readers think.
Monday, January 26, 2009
On the positive side, my medicine has kicked in and I'm groggy. Pretty colors....slight dizziness. Fun. Seriously, though, that interview turned out really well. You can see it for yourself right here. There's even a sound byte at the bottom where you can hear me trying to make sense as I talk through my coughing, medicated haze. Considering what little he had to work with, I think the interviewer did a hell of a good job. Also, I'm one day away from seeing Blood Blade on the shelves. It came together nicely and I know it'll find its place among all the other monster books out there. I know I'll hear from fans and non-fans alike. That's all a part of the game and I'm glad to play. Let's do this!
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Been playing through the first Gears of War with my wife. Megan is actually a damn good sniper! With TV just starting to come around again, we've been playing more games during the time we'd normally be plopped in front of the set. This is where I really don't see why non-gamers give us such a hard time for playing through a video game instead of engaging in "normal" activities like watching Momma's Boys or Flashpoint. I thought Flashpoint would just be some action cop show about a SWAT team. The commercials were filled with guys in black tactical gear kicking down doors and yelling, so I wasn't jumping to conclusions here. The episode I tuned in for was about a crazy woman who'd gotten some bad news and then promptly went off the deep end with a knife firmly in hand. At one point, she dropped the knife and was wrestling with her hostage and the cops STILL didn't bust down the door. Now, keep in mind, the cops were outside listening, watching through a window and poised at the door WITH A BATTERING RAM! All I'm saying is don't advertise an action show and then deliver half an hour of some lady's breakdown topped off by an armored tactical response to a garbled 911 call. My wife was nearby and thought I was watching a bad Lifetime movie.
Anyway, Gears. Yeah. Megan can snap off some great head shots while under fire. I was very impressed. She catches flack from her sisters about me turning her into a gamer, but it's just as productive as voting for the next American Idol. Granted, I'm watching the new season just for the train wreck auditions. Timeless television. I've also got high hopes for the new show, Lie to Me. That looks cool. Fringe is back with new episodes. BSG is back. I nearly stopped recording CSI once Grissom left, but Laurence Fishburne is doing a great job so I'll keep the "Series Record" option on the DVR in tact. We also just got the second disc in the BBC Jeckyl series from Netflix, so we've got some good "normal" stuff to keep our eyes busy.
That's it for today's rambling. Back to work....
Monday, January 19, 2009
I wrote this whole series as something that’s fun to read and. . .well. . .that’s it. There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s plenty of angst, tortured romance, forbidden pleasures, and cuteness on the urban fantasy shelves right now. There’s a good mix of those things on the horror shelves too, so I just wrote something that I would enjoy if I picked it up in the store.
Now’s the time when people read my book and decide whether they like it or not. Some will love it because of the action or the humor or whatever else. Some will hate it because it’s not what they thought it would be or it’s not like the other series they read. Maybe they’ll like it because it just keeps them entertained for a bit. Maybe they won’t like it because it’s not their cup of tea. Maybe they don’t like tea. Maybe they prefer coffee or pop. Ok, now I’m thirsty.
My point is that I can do all the publicity I want, but it’s still a matter of people (hopefully) buying my book, reading it, and (hopefully again) enjoying it. Everyone who reads it will have an opinion of some kind. There’s nothing I can do about that. I just write stories that I think are amusing and now I need to see if anyone else out there finds them amusing as well.
This is the hard part.
I hate waiting.
I guess I’ll keep myself busy by writing the next story.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
That's why I don't like having my own author photo taken. I don't like posing for pics in general because I'm not good at smiling on cue. They always come out as awkward and vaguely disturbing smirks. And not disturbing in a good, "perfect for a horror writer" kind of way. More like in the, "Honey, don't walk little Suzy by that man, ok?" sort of way. I put it off long enough. I need an author photo to go along with various publicity stuff for Skinners. My editor asked for one a while ago and I declined because too many other dudes had stolen my patented "bald guy with glasses and goatee" look. Now, I've just got to suck it up and get in front of the camera.
Fortunately, my wife Megan has a nice camera and a good eye (Some might say she has two. Ba-dum-BUM). She took the author photo for my Galloway westerns and she took this one as well. The weird thing is that I actually like it. Also, I didn't have to meet a photographer somewhere and try to look scholarly in front of a fire exit.
PS - This is NOT the author photo, but it fit well under the words, "What a tool".
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
In other news, Megan’s trying to get me to watch Superstars of Dance. I don’t know. Some of the dances are ok, but I miss the familiar hotties from Dancing with the Stars. Cheryl and Julianne fill out their little outfits nicely. Anna Trebunskaya looks great, but she looks like an ass kicker. She really fights those judges! And I know Edyta wears sparkly clothes like everyone else, but she just always looks naked. It must be some strange cloaking mechanism designed to distract and confuse the males watching the show. Anyway, (changing gears drastically) I get a kick out of the Chinese guy from Superstars. Thanks to him, I can now go to China and interact with the locals by looking down, pressing a button and saying, “Pa. . .ehht.” Anyone who’s seen the show knows what I’m talking about.
I’ve also been seeing commercials for Heroes. Ahhh, Heroes. A little while ago, I said I was through with this season, but might give the show another chance when they started a new story arc. You know what? That show’s already gotten about 5 strikes so it’s OUT. I cancelled the series recording for it on the ol’ DVR and it felt niiiiice. Now, when I see Heroes commercials, I feel relieved and lighter somehow. You know when you quit a job that you really hate and then you drive past the old building? Your soul just feels better because you don’t have to pull in there any more. That pretty much nails it.
Monday, January 12, 2009
There'll still be a few hiccups on the site every now and then, but my Webmaster Steve (That's his new title) will iron them out quickly enough.
One feature on the site that should be cool is the appendix. I've split that into two parts. The first is called MEG Files and will be info about different Skinners shown throughout the series. The second is the Skinner Field Guide, which will outline the different breeds of werewolves, Mongrels, Nymar and other creatures shown in the books. I'll get those going after the first book has had a chance to make the rounds and will add to them periodically. Since I'll be the one writing all of this, the information will remain 100% accurate.
I'm very pumped about the site because I think it turned out great. Also, according to other various sites, it looks like Blood Blade has been selling some pre-order copies and that bodes well in general. All I can do now is cross my fingers and keep trying to spread the word. Before too long, I'll be making the convention rounds. That'll be fun.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
I also played the demo for the upcoming Lord of the Rings: Conquest. That's a game very much like Star Wars Battlefront, but in Middle Earth. Lots of huge battles. You can play as different types of soldiers and occasionally take the role of hero characters from the movies. Sound fun? It IS! Plus, there's split screen multiplayer so my wife and I will give the ol' controllers a real workout.
The Eagles beat the Giants today, which is cool. I'm not a die hard fan of either team, but I've been watching the Eagles this season. They're pretty impressive. Plus, my Dad's a fan so I went with them. Megan's pick all the way through to the Super Bowl is Baltimore. Her reasoning is that they're the Ravens and this year marks Edgar Allen Poe's 200th birthday. Some of the plays in that game did have the feel of being hexed by a renowned horror writer from beyond the grave. The Ravens did win their game yesterday and I'm not about to take anything away from Poe, so GO RAVENS!!!
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Box-office hits: 'Blood' lust:It's a happy new year for Stephenie Meyer: Her Twilight teen vampire series has the top four positions on the list, continuing the dominant best-selling run she had through the end of '08. Fans hungering for more vampire/werewolf drama can look forward to another author's take with the publication Jan. 27 of the romance/fantasy Blood Blade by Marcus Pelegrimas (Eos, $7.99), the first in a series. "This is a female-dominated genre," says Pelegrimas, referring to authors such as Meyer, Kim Harrison and Laurell K. Hamilton, "but in my books the romance is more from the guy's point of view." The romance, between two "Skinners" who hunt vampires and werewolves, "is more the guy being a guy and the woman keeping him in check."
The link for it on the USA Today site is: http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/news/2009-01-07-book-buzz_N.htm
Pretty cool, huh? I know Twilight is huge right now, but it's strange to be mentioned in the same breath with such a phenomena. Here I am, seeing all the Stephenie Meyer coverage while eating cereal and now my name and book shows up in a national article with it. I just hope someone looking for a romantic fantasy doesn't take offense once the Nymar and Full Bloods start tearing people in half. There's definitely a spark between Cole and Paige, which is a big part of the story, but I never thought I was writing a romance. It's just funny to see what each person takes out of a single book. Publisher's Weekly focused on the Skinners acting as an enforcement arm of MEG and USA Today focused on the romance. It's great to hear all the different angles. That's the biggest difference between books and any other medium. Everything from name pronunciations to character descriptions and locales can be tweaked by every set of eyes looking at those words.
Nothing really new or groundbreaking in these observations. I just get a kick out of the whole interpretation process. That's probably why I do this for a living, right? Ok. I'll shut up now.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
No, I'm not seeking out a new doc to help me through the stress of the upcoming release date. Apparently, this guy in the pic is the new Doctor Who. Of course, fans are up in arms because David Tennant was so popular, so great and oh so dreamy. I can vouch for the first two and my wife never gets sick of talking about the third (especially when he wears his glasses. At least she likes that sort of thing on dudes). Now she, like lots of others, are either not sure about the new guy or they completely hate him. Sure, the guy's head is on the large side and I don't know what the deal is with the hair (Megan just said the Flock of Seagulls thing annoys her), but The Doctor is supposed to be on the quirky side. I think most of the seriously angry and verbal detractors are new to the Doctor Who universe. The Doctor regenerates and changes it up. That's what the show DOES.
Not all of the unhappy ones are newbies. Some just really like Tennant and hate to see him go. I've got to agree with that. Tennant was awesome as The Doctor. I was also upset when Christopher Eccleston left. I thought he was great and was just getting set in his Gallifreyan ways when he regenerated. Then Tennant comes along and nails it. He's been doing well for a while and, for whatever reason, it's time to regenerate. My main concern is that the new guy looks a little too much like David Tennant. I was rooting for maybe a black Doctor or something else that hadn't been done or was nothing like the ones that came before. A woman Doctor? No. If this is supposed to be the same entity regenrating into new shells, I would think it would keep something as basic as gender. If a woman was chosen, however, I think the writers on the show would have given a good explanation and gotten me settled into the idea quickly enough. Plus, that would have really thrown a curve ball to everyone.
That's what this whole thing goes back to: faith in the show's writers. If there's been one constant in the newly updated Who, it's been the excellent writing and story lines. I will forever say that Blink is one of the best written TV eposodes ever and one of the few to pull off time travelling loops and twists with such ease. Unlike most time travel-heavy stories on TV, this one was twisty and turny (The Doctor would approve of such language, you know) and it STILL worked! Simply awesome. These writers, or any other writers entrusted to helm such a beloved franchise, have already proven themselves. I'm sure they didn't pick Matt Smith out of a hat. They wouldn't hand over a series with such a long history to someone they didn't think they could work with. I've watched the series since it was brought to my local PBS in the '80's and have liked some Doctors more than others. Still, there haven't been any, in my opinion, that were AWFUL. They all have their own unique thing going on which makes the show great.
Give the new guy a chance. His name is Matt Smith. Go on and say it. David Tennant will live on in DVD. Also, don't forget the occasional crossovers where past and present Doctors share a few shows. Now, for a very real and very personal gripe. Where's ROMANA???
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Today, I got a call from USA Today. Yes, THE USA Today. It's a little piece for their Book Buzz section about Skinners and how I'm making my way in a genre dominated by women. That should be out this Thursday, so I'll post a link to that as well after it hits.
Apparently, the whole "man in a woman's genre" is going to be a big deal. I never really even thought about that until I was well into writing Skinners #2. I looked around at my own bookshelf and saw how most urban fantasy is written by women. Sure, there's Jim Butcher and a few others, but I suppose we are a minority in the vampire/werewolf category. I just never really thought about any gender issue. In the end, it all boils down to the stories, so I hope mine hold up. I'm also seeing Skinners pop up on lists of upcoming books or "stuff to look out for". I'm so pumped. It's getting really close!
If you gotta read an interview right now, don't forget the one at Popin's Lair. There's a link to that site under my link list at the side of this page. Don't mean to get all wrapped up in plugging my own crap, but I figured I'd hit it all in one big post.
In the normal life category, I picked up my BSG season 4 DVDs (dog tags and all). Also convinced Megan to buy a Fender bass replica for Rock Band. It's pretty cool, so I hope she'll let me try it out once or twice.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
This Tuesday, Battlestar Galactica season 4 comes out on DVD. Unlike other shows, BSG has maintained its high quality level. Sure, some of the last season episodes were boring and spent too much time with dreams and political crap, but it got back to the good stuff quickly enough. I'm willing to give any good show some slack, just as long as they don't stay slacked. Slacked? You know what I'm saying. I'll be springing for the deluxe version at Best Buy, because it comes with a pair of Colonial dog tags. Those will look great hanging next to my desk, or around my neck when I'm debating who the last Cylon might be. Frak yeah!
To make my shopping dilemma worse, the complete radio series of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was just released. Since I was inspired to write by Douglas Adams, I couldn't pass this one up. Looks like I'll have to cut back on stuff like food and electricity for a little while to pay for this. I also tacked on a cool Gears figure on Amazon.com of a Locust drone in mid-head shot. Nice, bright red blood streams and skull chunks spewing from the neck and everything. Plus, it comes with some metal Cog tags. See a theme here? All I need is a pair of official Fringe earrings to complete my dork jewelry set.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Not that my wife and I are party animals. We brought in the New Year with a continuous flow of appetizers, a movie, and flipping around to the countdown shows on TV. Appetizers included Spinach and cream cheese puffs (excellent), mini hamburger pizzas (awesome), dill dip and rye bread (better than it sounds), buffalo cheese sticks (fan-f’ing-tastic), and some honey apple wine (every bit as gross as it sounds…we had it laying around and thought we’d pop it open for a toast…ugh). The movie was Wanted (Great action, but the premise of the original comic book was better. A secret band of super villains is just cooler than assassins. Still…Angelina Jolie = eyes glued to screen. Very cool movie!). As for the countdown shows, did anyone see the one on Fox where Robbie Kenievil jumped over the volcano at the Mirage? The network thought they needed to keep our interest by working up all sorts of computer animations displaying worst-case scenarios for the jump. “This one shows what happens if the pyro is triggered too early” – roll down ramp, jump, catch on fire, tumble, tumble, crash, die – “This one shows if his engine fails before he gets enough speed” – roll down ramp, jump partway, crash into other ramp, tumble, tumble, pain, agony, die – My personal favorite was, “Here’s what happens if he doesn’t get enough speed and falls into the volcano” – rolls down ramp, flies a little way, lands in fake casino volcano, flails, kicks, burns, screams, flails, kicks, burns some more, flails some more, dies- Very odd. When he made the jump without a hitch, the commentator didn’t even try to hide his disappointment.