Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Off to Archon

Packing up, because tomorrow we're shippin' out! The drive to St. Louis is on the lengthy side, but we've done it about 1024 times since we moved from there to Omaha. Road trips are always fun and this is a good chance for me to listen to some new CDs. Bought Dethklok's new one. Metalocalypse is about the funniest thing I've ever seen, but the new Titan Maximum comes pretty close. That's the new one from the Robot Chicken guys and I about busted a gut while watching.

So I hope to see some of you at Archon. Actually, I hope to not get stuff thrown at me during the panels. Should be a lot of fun. At the bare minimum, I'll get a chance to have some Steak 'N Shake and Jack in the Box tacos!!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Prepping for ink

I've been revisiting Jesse at Nuclear Ink Tattoo lately and it wasn't to deliver a signed copy of the book. Well, I did do that, but we also talked about finishing up my Skinners tatt. Maybe I should put up some more pics of the Full Blood piece I've already got on my leg. The plan is to get another one on the other half of my leg so it all wraps around into a big Skinners scene Huh. So many layers.

So the original plan was to have a picture of Cole with his weapon drawn like he was stalking the Full Blood tattooed on the other half of my leg. Jesse (the artist who drilled this masterpiece into my flesh) and I talked about that during the 18 or so hours it took to get the Full Blood tatt done. Does that sound like I'm bragging? Well, it was 18 hours of being tattooed, so I get to brag, damn it! Now that it's time to get the next one done, I had second thoughts. According to the cover pictures (which I love but didn't have a lot to do with) and some of the description in the book, a picture of Cole might wind up looking something like me. At least, it would in the "bald guy with taco sauce on his face" kind of way. Even having a dude tattooed onto me that looks remotely like me seems pretty lame, so I decided to go with Paige as my next tattoo. That way, I get to have one of my favorite characters and a good ol' "hot chick" tattoo all rolled into one. Jesse liked the idea and worked up a design.

I've seen it and it is freaking awesome! Paige looks great. She's wielding both sickles and Jesse even got a cool picture of Shimmy's in the background. That was my idea. It's gonna be another several sessions 'o pain, but very worth it.

I could post some more pics of the werewolf tatt here if anyone's interested. Better yet, you can come to Archon in St. Louis this weekend and see it in person. I've got an autograph signing arranged and everything. I'll even wear baggy pants so I can roll up the legs and show ink on request. How could you refuse an offer like that? Heh.

Just heard from someone at Archon. Seems that of the con's two biggest booksellers, one of them doesn't even carry Blood Blade. Hopefully the other one will, but I'll bring a few copies of my own to sell. Also, I'll have my trusty advance covers for Book 2 to sign so no worries there. Maybe I should hit a Borders or Barnes & Noble while I'm in town?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Guerilla Ghost Hunting

Last night, I donned my Nevermore Paranormal shirt and went on a ghost hunt. It was at a private home in Council Bluffs, which was one of the nicest houses I’ve ever seen. One great personal triumph came in the form of me helping put the DVR system together. I wish I could say I did the whole thing, but I’m just glad to have done more good than harm. We did need to call Jason our tech guy once, but Angie and I got the cameras up and rolling. There were supposed to be some footsteps heard going up and down the stairs of this house as well as a presence in one of the upstairs bedrooms. We had some interesting moments, but will have to wait and see what comes up in the evidence review.

One very interesting moment came when we saw a flash of bright light outside both front windows. We were sitting at the DVR monitor when it happened and soon heard a rattling on the front door. Turns out the rattle (at about 2:30 AM) was a cop and the flash was from that cop’s car! It seems one of the neighbors was a little concerned to see a bunch of strangers going in and out of our client’s darkened house at odd hours in the morning carrying cases and a television set. Fortunately, the client was there to let the cops know he wasn’t being held for ransom and the authorities moved along. Score one for a very effective Neighborhood Watch!

Bits and pieces for Archon are coming together nicely. Due to an error in me filling out my form, I originally didn’t have an autograph session scheduled. That’s been ironed out due to some last-minute hustling and I’ll be available to sign books at 1:30 on Saturday. Hope to see some of you there!

That’s about it for now. I’m wrapping up another manuscript and doing all the laundry, packing, and preparing needed for my road trip to St. Louis. Jack in the Box tacos, HERE I COME!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Break out the flannels

Today is the first OFFICIAL day of autumn!!! I get more excited about this than I do with other events that come along with a day off. Granted, this hasn't been too bad of a summer, but autumn is so much better. You know how the Munsters always enjoyed it when it was gray and rainy outside their cool, run-down mansion? It's like that. Nothing against the sun per se, but I'll take cool temps and subdued lighting anytime. It also could have been worse if I still lived in St. Louis. Sure, I was able to get Jack in the Box tacos whenever I wanted, but the humidity there is a freaking nightmare. I don't even care how worn out that phrase is. It truly is a wet heat!

Some cases of the Swine Flu (or H1N1 or html or whatever they're calling it now) popped up around here. Seems like more panic that amounts to a fever and a few sick days. At least, those are the cases that have hit people in this area. Hopefully it stays at that level. I think what freaks a lot of people out is constantly seeing the microscopic pictures of the virus all over the internet and news. Kind of like when you see magnified pictures of the mites that live in your eyebrows.

Next weekend is Archon. I've been excited for this convention for a while and now it's almost here. I really enjoy this one because it's in St. Louis so it's on familiar turf and we get to visit family while we're there. Plus, as mentioned above, Jack in the Box. The release of Howling Legion is coming up as well, which means I need to line up signings and that sort of thing. Maybe someday I'll be famous enough to have a tour arranged so I can travel from store to store and appear at those huge signings where people need to wait in line and have multi-colored wrist bands. Actually, that sounds pretty overwhelming. For now, it's nice to just have people show up.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Lit Fest vs Huskers

Today is the Omaha Literary Festival. I'm anxious for the panels since they should be a lot of fun. I always like to get out and be a part of local stuff like this. Plus, there are some great restaurants near the event so even if I tank, at least Megan and I will have some good food afterward.

If you're not familiar with the whole Nebraska experience, a mandatory part of being here is that you appreciate college football. Even if you don't like it, you've got to at least know when it's around. Kind of like living near an Interstate. You don't have to drive big rigs to know when to get out of their way. With the season starting up, hopes are still high for a good season. Wouldn't you know it, there's a Cornhusker game on during the Lit Fest. Normally when I arrange for signings, I try not to compete with Nebraska football. Hopefully there will be enough writers there to attract a good crowd.

More to follow...

[added later]
Well, I'm back from the Lit Fest. It went over really well. There was a great crowd and plenty to talk about on the panel. Met some other local authors like Chloe Neill and D. Lee Hatchett to name a few (or they were local for the day) and didn't get upstaged too badly by Cornhusker football. I taped the game, so I still don't know who won. I gather from all the shouting I heard at the bar where Megan and I had dinner that there were some close moments. Anyway, I hope to keep in touch with the folks I met at the panel and keep my fingers crossed that I'm asked to return for next year's Fest.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Total eclipse of the brain

I took a few days off after finishing a manuscript. Fine.
Now it's time to get back to work and my brain just won't do it. I pull up the file that needs editing and stare at it. I start to type, but then I flip over and browse for DVDs on the internet. I don't need any more DVDs!! But hey, wasn't it cool to pick up that set of Dungeons & Dragons cartoons from the 80's? Yes it was. HEY! Stop it! I need to work!!!

Ok. Focus.

You want to see when that new Farscape set is coming out? It's the whole series. Really? I love that show. No!! DEMON!! Out, I say!!!


Why don't you write a new blog entry? It's been a while. You're right. I probably should put something up to--NO!!! Damn you!!! WORK!!!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Archon schedule

I just got the first schedule for Archon and a LOT will be going on. There's a link at the top of the page where all my appearances are listed, so click there for the whole tamale. One landmark event that will be kicking off in glorious fashion is ME appearing on some panels. I doubt there will be any parades or anything, but here are my appearances:

Friday, October 2

7:20 PM - "Fantasy World Building"

8:30 PM - "Is This the Decade of the Werewolf?" -- Needless to say, I'm pumped for this one. I wonder if anyone from the previous panel entitled, "Vampires-Stuck up blood suckers" will be in attendance? And no, I'm not ripping on the vamp crowd. That really is a panel. Sounds pretty cool to me.

10:50 PM - "Vampires with a Curfew?" -- I really don't know what this one is about. I don't have a curfew. Nymar come and go as they please. Details to follow.

Saturday, October 3

Nothing scheduled for me on Saturday so far. Looks like this day is more for the superstars of the con like the guests of honor and other folks with more than one book out. With the whole convention thing being such a fluid process, I may wind up doing something here, but if not I'll still be there hanging out. If you see me, feel free to say hello.

Sunday, October 4

1:30 PM - "Disguise & Deception" - Werewolves and shape shifters in fiction. This one should be interesting because I always like talking about the shifters. Also, Laurell K Hamilton will be on the panel. This crowd should be huge and stacked with people who will be wondering why the chunky bald guy is up on stage with Anita Blake's Grand Creator. Heh. I'll try to get a word in if anyone cares to hear it.

I've met Laurell Hamilton once, but I'm sure she doesn't remember. It was back at a little writer's gathering at a Borders in St. Louis. Lunatic Cafe had just come out, which is (I believe) the 4th book in the Anita Blake series. She seemed pretty nice for the two or three minutes we actually spoke to each other. Her series wasn't anywhere close to the juggernaut it is now and I was barely starting in my career, so I was mainly there for some free coffee and leftover danish.

Friday, September 11, 2009

With my head down and working on my own schedule, it's easy to forget what day of the week it is. I barely thought about it being September until I saw all the back to school stuff (which is mostly late August anyway, so that shows how on-point I am). Then after posting the last blog entry, I saw it's September 11th. There's so much that comes along with this, but most of it is personal and tough to express. Also, most of it doesn't need to be expressed because it's the same thing that most of us feel when we think of 9/11/01.

My big memory involves standing in line all day long to give blood. I was living in St. Louis and after I saw what happened, the news affiliates were predicting the Red Cross would need as much blood as possible to help the victims. This was while things were still happening, so they didn't know for certain whether anyone needed extra donations or not. That was the only thing I could do at the time, so I went to give. I'd never given blood before but I had to do something. When I got there, most of the city seemed to be lined up so they could do something too. I waited in that line all day long and honestly don't even know what they did with all that blood. There had to have been way more than what they (or all of the local Red Crosses) needed, but it was moving to be there and witness the entire country bleeding for our loss.

I don't appreciate being told to "never forget" as if I COULD forget. I'm also not one to feel more emotional about something because the calendar tells me to. Seeing the towers fall impacted me along with everybody else and I won't forget about it come September 14th or March 27th. Still, it is good to see everyone bleed for a good cause.

Beatles stuff OTHER than Rock Band???

Seems like I can't go to any video game store or electronics department without hearing Beatles music. It's pretty cool. 9/9/09 also saw the release of the remastered albums. On one hand, this is great because it keeps the music alive and vital. On the other hand, I can usually never really tell a difference when I hear older versions of songs as opposed to newer, "cleaner" versions. Unless the old one is from a scratchy record, my ears aren't sharp enough to catch all the tweaked nuances. That said, I bought a copy of remastered Revolver to see if I could tell a difference.

I put the new one on my MP3 player with the old one and did some side-by-side comparison. The difference wasn't mind-blowing, but it was there. I was especially impressed with the string sections. Listening to Eleanor Rigby made me feel like I was in the same room with the orchestra. So I guess that is pretty mind-blowing. It's a good time to be a Beatles fan. Although, it's also a time when I get to see teenage girls behind the register at Best Buy rolling their eyes while sighing, "More Beatles stuff? So is this, like, any good?" Just give me my receipt.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My DVR hates me

As a general, sweeping statement, "The DVR changed my life" is pretty accurate. Of course, like any addiction, it's rearranged my day-to-day functions in a way that also makes me dependant on it. I cannot go back to watching TV shows the regular way. I just can't. Watching live TV with those unwanted ads injecting themselves into my viewing with their chirping and...oh yeah, commercials. Those things. I feel bitter and cheated when I actually have to watch them anymore. Also, since I always have a backlog of around 15-20 hours of crap to watch, there's no more down time. When I want to see something, there's something to see. My DVR has made this possible.
I love my DVR.
I even named it. Instead of calling it TiVO (because it's's one from my cable company) I call it Rupert. Megan came up with the name, but I decided it needed a name. See? Joint effort.

Sometimes, Rupert acts up. Maybe it's just a way to make me appreciate it more when it's working properly. Or, it could be revenge for making it tape some sort of rerun, cooking show, cartoon or poker game throughout 93.8% of its day. Last night, Rupert threw a little fit. When I actually wanted to watch something (gasp...LIVE), it wouldn't let me. Every couple of minutes, it popped up with "Some other thing is scheduled to record on another channel. Do you want to proceed? Yes / No" I hit the button refusing that rerun of Robot Chicken, and it switches channels to record anyway. A couple minutes later, Frasier wants to record. I refuse and it switches over ANYWAY!! I think Rupert was pissed because I was enjoying TV as it happened. Don't worry, baby. You're still my regular Saturday night thing.

This morning I check on stuff that it taped overnight. Sure enough, as one last little flick to my nose, it cut off the first half hour of Poker After Dark. Man, that would be a great title for a porn series. Instead, this was real poker and I missed out on how Tom Dwan bluffed Phil Ivey out of a slice of his stack. You showed me, Rupert. Well played.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Lit Fest-Mania

It's been a little while since my last post, but there hasn't been a ton of stuff going on here. First of all, the Omaha Literary Festival is coming up on the 19th. If any of you are in the area, you can come enjoy some bookish goodness. My panel will be "Vampires (heart) Zombies: the art and language of horror” and will be held on Saturday, Sept 19, at 3 pm. There's going to be a good mix of authors there and I assume we'll be talking about everyone's favorite blood suckers and brain eaters. Should be a good time and while I will be talking up my Nymar brethren, I will most definitely be representing the shape shifters as well. Can't let the pretty boys hog the spotlight all the time. There's more info on the link at the top of the page where I list my upcoming appearances.

Another bit of excitement for me has been the release of The Beatles Rock Band. A local store had a midnight release for preorders, so I preordered it that day and went back at midnight to pick it up. I swore the price on those replica guitars was too high and I simply wouldn't pay it (no matter how cool they looked). Even though this store knocked $15 off, they were still in the "too expensive" range. Megan, being the coolest wife ever, got me the Rickenbacker for an early anniversary gift. So, awesome replica guitar in hand, I played some Beatles last night.

First of all, I'd like to mention how great it was to see a line at the store for the midnight release. I knew this game was a big deal, but have also heard plenty of Rock Band fans griping about how "easy" the Beatles songs are. They're basically looking at this as just a gaming challenge instead of an interaction with Beatlemania. In short, they're not Beatles fans. Fine. Fandom is the most subjective thing in the world. I respect that. Also, the hardcore gamers are the ones who line up at midnight to get advance releases so I figured I'd be the only one (or possibly one of three or so) to show up for my copy. Folks my age and above are more likely to be Beatles fans and we're also more likely to say, "Yes I want the game, but I also want to sleep. They'll be there tomorrow." So I show up to get my copy and there's a line of like-minded night owls backing all the way out to the street. Did my heart some good.

Back to the game. It's great. Plain and simple. It looks great, plays great, SOUNDS great. I'm a major Rock Band / Guitar Hero fan and I knew the songs wouldn't be Dragonforce-level shredding, but I was pleasantly surprised to find Expert level kept me on my toes. Did I fail out, humbled by the rock devils? No. Did I find myself doing the "John Bounce" while playing? Yes. It's extra cool to hear the 60's-era girls in thick plastic-framed glasses scream louder when you hit star power. Topped off my evening with Paperback Writer before getting to bed. Hey, I'm old. Plus, it'll be there in the morning.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Wii (not as) Fit (as we thought we were)

I used to belong to a gym. Then stuff started getting in the way that prevented me from going. Namely, the economy and my hatred of the gym. The gym itself was nice. Good equipment, lots of TVs and stuff to distract me from what I was doing. Plus, a friend and I were into Racquetball which was a lot of fun. That’s one of those sports that’s great as long as both people agree they’re not out for blood. The moment one person gets competitive and the other doesn’t, it loses its appeal and turns into a contest to see who can hit each other with “accidental ricochets” the most. That’s not why I gave it up. It was just life happening. Plus, a whole lot of naked old guys in the locker room. What’s the deal with that? We all have to change clothes. We all gotta shower. Why do the old timers insist on displaying their goods while brushing their teeth? Can’t they air that junk out when they’re at home?

A while ago, my doctor was worried about my heart. She made me eat healthier, which was actually a good idea. See, I’d been working under the philosophy of, “Life is short. I like Texas Whoppers. I’ll eat as many of ‘em as I want until there’s a reason not to.” Well, avoiding a heart attack was good enough reason for me. Turns out that Megan’s a good enough cook that even the healthy stuff tasted fine and my habits stayed changed. Yes, there’s still the occasional Whopper but it’s no longer a philosophical statement.

So, combine these two things and you get someone who eats ok but hates the gym. What’s he supposed to do, fitness-wise? We have a Wii, so Megan suggested getting Wii Fit. You know, the one with the balance board. I thought, awesome! I can finally brush up on my Hula-Hooping. Plus, maybe it’ll get me moving as a happy substitute for the gym. Never one to turn down a reason to drop some cash on video game crap, I got the Wii Fit. It actually was pretty fun, right until the Body Mass test.

For those of you who don’t know, the Wii allows you to make a Mii which is a little dude who looks like you (or anyone else you can make) that shows up in a lot of menus and games. I made my Mii look like me, since I like seeing myself in a Kart race with Donkey Kong. Some kids dream of sports crap. Anyway, I like my Mii. My Mii holds the world record in Trampoline in the Summer Olympics (The Mario and Sonic version at least). My Mii looks a lot like me if I was put into a cartoon. In all fairness, that’s not a bad place to be. Then Wii Fit chunked him up to reflect my Body Mass measurement. Holy Lord!!! I know I could stand to lose a few, but come on!! Nintendo is supposed to be the happy, feel-good company full of hopping plumbers and smiling suns. They sucker-punched me by taking my cool little video dude and turning him into a potato sack stuffed with bowling balls on two legs! Nintendo says their goal is to make people more aware of fitness goals and help them achieve them. If their other goal was to make me hate myself….MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!

I’m still going to do the Wii Fit. It is fun and does give me a workout which I desperately need. It’s cheaper than the gym and the only naked old dude in the showers is my dad when he comes to visit. At least he keeps his junk gift wrapped when people are looking. Heh, sorry Dad.

If I don’t lose any weight, I’ll make a Mii that looks like Biff from Back to the Future to kick my original Mii’s pasty ass!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Year(s) of the Full Blood

Seems like the newest supernatural bandwagon for the entertainment press to jump on has been werewolves. I've heard this since the beginning of the year, with all the cool kids discovering shapeshifters and MTV putting them on the air. Here's one of those articles that says once this stuff hits, it'll on for lycanthropes.

For me, the Year of the Werewolf has been roughly 1981-present. That's an advantage to being consistent. You wear the same thing for enough years in a row and odds are it'll eventually drift into fashion for a little while. And speaking of 1981, American Werewolf in London will be hitting Blu-Ray later this month. YESSSS!!! So glorious. I haven't been floored by the difference between DVD and Blu-Ray enough to start replacing my collection, but I gotta get this one.

I'm genuinely thrilled to see things like this article proclaiming the Year of the Werewolf. With all of these upcoming movies and projects in the works, it's more for me to watch. Sure, there are a few must-misses in there, but I like the trend. Skinners: Book 2 is coming out on Oct. 27th and with a title like Howling Legion, you know there will be plenty of Half-Breed / Full-Blood goodness going on. That's the thing about trends. You can't really count on them to be there for you but when they are, it's pretty nice. I've got my fingers crossed that this will help Skinners keep on rollin'.

This is what happens without editors

I'm Marcus Pelegrimas, author of the SKINNERS series. Here you'll find various ramblings about movies, video games, TV, and...oh yeah...those books I write. If there's anything you'd like to discuss, just let me know. I try to update whenever the mood strikes me, so feel free to leave comments. There may be some occasional foul language, but anyone who's too easily offended probably doesn't read my stuff anyway.

Free Stuff

Here's how it goes. As usual, I've got my truckload of promo covers from EOS Books. I'll be going to some conventions, so I hope to see you there and I'll gladly sign your books. If you can't make it to a con, just email me your name, address and any inscription so I can send you a signed cover.

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, 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.