It’s been a long time since I’ve done a Fantastical Friday video. This one made me laugh like a lunatic. For your viewing pleasure, Python Style:
Thanks to everyone who stopped by for a visit and to let Norah Wilson and myself know who you think is the perfect (and sexy) hero. Got a lot of votes for Daniel Craig.
Bet that made you smile. I know it did me! (By the way, if you want that screensaver, click on the pic and you can get a shiny new one all to yourself.)
A big congrats to Roxy for winning the Norah Wilson giveaway. SQUEE! Roxy, please email me at email@example.com and let me know you prize selection (as listed on the post here). Please also include your physical address if you’re choosing paperback, or your preferred email address if ebook.
Hope you all have a wonderful week.
This week’s Writer Wednesday guest is another fabulous Montlake (and indie) author, Norah Wilson. But I didn’t meet her through Montlake. I met her over a year ago through an online writer group and we’ve been friends and super-fans of each other ever since! I asked Norah the question: Why do you love romance?
I am a life-long romance reader, having started reading my mother’s tame Harlequins long before I perhaps should have been. There was always something so comforting about them. No matter the challenges (or should I say the misunderstandings? I seem to remember a lot of them!), no matter how arrogant or bull-headed the hero (I remember a lot of them too!), the heroine always managed to set him straight, after which they got their happy ending. A lot has changed about romance since those days, including the level and nature of the conflict. Heck, these days, the H&h might not even be the same species. But much remains the same, including the work and/or sacrifice required for the couple to earn their happily ever after.
Happy Friday everyone! Hope you are enjoying the day, wherever you roam.
Friday Video Goodness:
Since Othello went down so well last week, I thought I’d share another episode of Sassy Gay Friend: Romeo and Juliet (Everything’s better with a Sassy Gay Friend!).
See, told you everything’s better.
Friday Book Club:
This week I polished off two exceptionally good books.
First was the fabulous NL Wilson’s second Dix Dodd mystery: Family Jewels. It was hilariously good fun and even better than the first book, if you can believe it.
If you love Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, you will love NL Wilson’s Dix Dodd. Her adventures are just about as wacky, and she has and equally hawt guy in her life.
Second was the short story Underneath by Heather Marie Adkins. I literally read it in one sitting. Okay, not so impressive. It is a short story after all.
Anyway, I love archaeology, mythology, creepy aliens, and paranormal goodness, so this was right up my alley. I would have love more expansion in certain areas of the story, but this wasn’t a novel. It was a short story. I’m kind of hoping the author will expand on the theme with a full length novel or a novella at some point. Maybe have to suggest it …
You can download it FREE over on Smashwords. Don’t say I never did anything for you.
Fantastical Linky Goodness:
From storm serpents to the Beast of Dean, Gene Lempp visits some fascinating mythical monsters.
Anne-Mhairi Simpson interviews author Theresa Ragan over on her blog and we all discuss the important topic of dragons versus unicorns. Dragons win. Naturally. Or do they?
From Buffy to Bella, Angela Stapleford discusses whether or not vampire fiction has lost it’s teeth (heh!) over on Vampires These Days. (I think my little pic on the left illustrates exactly what I think about that.)
And finally, Craig Hallam turns my Sunwalker (along with some other creepy creatures) into a movie poster.
And that’s all folks! Until tomorrow when we talk a walk on the wild side.
Happy Fantastical Friday, my fabulous peeps.
I want to start out with a very special video for my bloggy friend Craig Hallam who is currently studying Othello. I really think this should be required watching for all Shakespeare aficionados. And, in fact, anyone of the female persuasion who is planning on doing something stupid over a man.
The world would be a better place if we all had a Sassy Gay Friend to steer us straight. Don’t you think?
There’s loads of stuff blowing up and zombies getting shot and people getting chomped. What’s not to like?
Not to mention I’ve liked Milla Jovovich ever since I saw her in Fifth Element. Even better, Wentworth Smith and Bruno Kodjoe add some serious eye candy.
And let’s not forget Warehouse 13 is finally back on UK tv screens this coming Thursday.
I can’t help it. I really dig this show. I mean mysterious artifacts with magical powers? Come on! That is SO full of awesome!
After all, those of you who’ve read my book Kissed by Darkness are well aware of my love for ancient magical artifacts.
First of all, a big congrats to Heather Marie Adkins whose new paranormal novel Abigail just went live on Smashwords today. Seriously, people, you’ve gotta check this out, it sounds amazing! Murder, revenge, faeries, treachery. Oh, SQUEE!
I’m about three quarters of the way through Family Jewels, the latest installment in Norah Wilson’s Dix Dodd mysteries. Fantastic! Honestly, this one’s even better than the first book.
And finally, for more paranormal coolness, check out Talia Jager’s The Ultimate Sacrifice. Demons, super powers, shamans, and secrets. Got to love THAT.
And that’s all she wrote, folks. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Supernatural Saturday. Hmmm… wonder what kind of supernatural creature will pop up for a visit…
It’s Friday and once again it’s time for a Friday mash-up.
Video of the Week:
And here’s a mash-up to end all mash-ups. Star Trek as the A-Team!
I’m not sure which is funnier, Scotty as Baracus or Spock as Face.
Books of the Week:
This week two exceptionally good authors have published exceptionally good books in completely different genres.
If you want to learn not only how to self-publish, but why you should, don’t miss out on David Guaghran’s brand new release Let’s Get Digital: How To Self-Publish and Why You Should. This is no boring, dusty tome. This is well researched, cleanly laid out information written by a man who has suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.
Or something like that. Personally I consider this book a must-read for anyone for anyone who ever wrote a book, whether they’ve considered self-pubbing or not. It’s an eye opener folks. Best of all, Dave is offering the PDF version FREE on his blog. But if you prefer a different format or you just want to support a great author, you can purchase other formats for just $2.99 at Smashwords and Amazon.
The amazing Norah Wilson is at it again with the next installment of her Dix Dodd mysteries: Family Jewels. Many of you may remember Norah from my post back in June when I interviewed her about the first Dix Dodd book, The Case of the Flashing Fashion Queen.
You better believe I went straight over to Amazon UK this morning and bought Family Jewels for my precioussssssssssssss. Er. I mean my Kindle.
All I can say is that Janet Evanovich had better watch her back. Stephanie Plum has got some serious competition!
Blogs of the Week:
For a more intellectual discussion of vampires and their origins, check out Vampires These Days.
Need some writing inspiration? Or just love reading about archaelogy and mythology? Check out Gene Lempp’s blog. This week’s post was on the real Dystopia Island. Fascinating stuff. Gene’s is probably one of my top favorite blogs.
Love reading paranormal romance and urban fantasy? Want to read reviews, author interviews, fun guests posts, and have lots of chances to win great books? Then head on over to werevampsromance.org. So many great books, so little time!
It’s a lovely sunny day here in old London Town. Tonight I’m having a girls night with my friend the REAL Kabita Jones. Pizza and Pimm’s all around!
And that’s all she wrote, folks! HAPPY FRIDAY!
Tuesdays are all about the things that thrill me. Whether it’s James Rollins’s new thriller, or my discovery of mango margaritas. It’s anything goes, as long as it’s thrilling.
Today is a pretty thrilling day for me. Why? Because I’m being interviewed over at Norah Wilson’s blog. Norah is the author of the Dix Dodd mystery series (Which could give Janet Evanovich a run for her money. Heh.), as well as a cool new vampire novel: The Merzetti Effect.
Also, I’m a major fan girl of Norah’s, so SQUEEEE!!!!
Ahem. Anyway, pop over and check out the interview. We talk casting couches, inspiration, and upcoming novels. It’s super fun and Norah claims I’m 110% awesome. Right back atcha Norah!
Also, my friend and fellow author L.M. Pruitt has featured me on Teaser Tuesday over at her blog. She rocketh muchly.
Anyone who knows me at all knows I love chocolate. Like whoa. I bought some Charbonnel et Walker Pink Champagne Truffles to celebrate the release of my very first novel, Kissed by Darkness. Honestly, I’m not sure which I was more thrilled by, the release or the truffles. ’Cause DANG these are good. If you can find them, you gotta try them. Nom. Nom.
Come on girls, you know what I’m talking about right? Lovely, thick towels that make you want to cuddle in and never leave. Mmmm… yeah. Talk about thrilling.
I’d never have been able to afford these. Hello, they’re like £30 or something stupid, but if you have money to burn, there’s nothing like them.
Not thrilled. So not thrilled.
But it’s every bit as good the second time around. If you’re a fan of magic, mayhem, vampires, werewolves, maenads or witches, you have GOT to watch True Blood. Seriously, it’s full of tasty goodness.
Finally I’m super thrilled that my current WIP is coming along swimmingly. It’s a post-apocalyptic paranormal romance with dragons. And what do I always say?
Everything’s better with dragons!
Now how’s that for a hodge podge of thrills?
Have a thrilling Tuesday!
Today I’m interviewing the fabulous Norah Wilson, author of The Case of the Flashing Fashion Queen. (You can read my review here.) Norah has been traditionally published and has now taken the plunge as an indie.
Now on to the interview. Inquiring minds need to know!
Shéa: Thanks for agreeing to be my very first interview victim participant. I really, really loved The Case of The Flashing Fashion Queen and I can’t wait to be nosychat with you.
So, without further ado, the questions:
Just for kicks and giggles (and because I’m a dork), if you were a Star Trek® [or Star Wars® ] character, which one would it be?
Norah: What a great question! I think I’d be the Doctor on Voyageur. And yes, I dorealize he’s just a hologram! But he’s attempting to evolve a more human personality as he acquires more experience. In a way, I feel like that’s what I’ve been doing my whole life.
Shéa: The Doctor was amazing! He was one of my favorites, too.
What inspired you to become a writer? Was there a person or an incident which made the “I want to write!” light bulb go off in your brain?
Norah: I’ve always wanted to write, but didn’t realize I wanted to write fiction. Initially, it was just the challenge of arranging words in such a way as to persuade the reader over to my point of view. If I’d gone on to be … I don’t know … an ad writer or a lawyer or some such occupation that allowed me to satisfy that need, I probably never have turned to fiction. The idea of actually trying to write a book came to me one day when I was reading what I considered a poorly written romance. I figured I could do better. I quickly discovered I could not. Well, at least not before a long period of apprenticeship.
Shéa: What authors inspire you?
Norah: Oh, God, so many! Since I was initially interested in writing romance, I was especially inspired by Anne Stuart, who has managed to thrive in this tumultuous business by adjusting to the market and writing exceptional books. I was also influenced by Linda Howard, Suzanne Brockmann and many others. But I always liked to change up those intense romantic suspense stories with the occasional funny one. Carl Hiaasen might be my favorite author in the world. And of course, I enjoyed Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, which won’t come as a surprise to anyone who reads a Dix Dodd mystery.
These days, the writers who inspire me the most are the ones whose imaginations just won’t quit. I think I am so in awe of them because my own imagination is so paltry by contrast. I’m fortunate enough to be paired with such an individual in my Y.A. writing (we call ourselves Wilson Doherty). Heather Doherty is my hero.
Shéa: I definitely picked up on your Janet E love! I’m also a fan of Brockman, Howard, and Stuart. Amazing writers who’s stories still stick with me years later.
Do you have a writing “uniform” (Be honest. I write in my pajamas, after all. Lol)?
Norah: I am happiest at the keyboard wearing sweats (or leggings and a t-shirt in summer). It’s something I just fell into because most of my writing sessions are preceded by walking the dog, and that’s my dog-walking uniform. You know, roll out of bed on the weekend, walk the dog, put on a pot of coffee and sit down to work. Or come home from work, change, make supper, walk the dog and hit the keyboard.
Shéa: What is the last book you read?
Norah: That would be Colleen Gleason’s “The Shop of Shades and Secrets”, a romance with a mystery and a paranormal element. It’s been described as Dharma & Greg with ghosts, which I thought was very apt!
Shéa: I’m going to have to check that out. As you know I’m a huge Joss Ware fan (Colleen Gleason’s alter ego.). In fact, I’m totally in her debt for introducing me to the wonderful world of Norah Wilson an Dix Dodd!
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
Norah: For me, writers block is always about not knowing where to go next. (See note above re my paucity of imagination.) You would think I could just sit down with some writer friends, kick the problem around for a while and jump-start my muse, but nooo. I’m my own worst enemy that way. On my solo projects, I usually have to suffer it out until I solve it on my own. Not sure why.
That said, the Dix Dodd books are the exception. Maybe because they don’t have the same seriousness or intensity as the other solo stuff. Whatever the case, I brainstorm all the time with my YA partner, Heather Doherty. She’s all, “It would be so funny if Dix did this,” or “You know what Dylan has to do now, right?” I’d happily have slapped her name on the cover with mine, but her response to that suggestion: “Um, maybe not.” Not because she doesn’t think Dix Dodd rocks, but because she writes child lit and YA lit. Probably not the best match for Dix’s penis humor.
Shéa: What’s your all-time favorite quote about writing and/or reading?
Norah: That would have to be Elmore Leonard’s sage advice: “Skip the boring parts.”
Shéa: That’s excellent advise.
Why did you decide to self publish?
Norah: I guess I just need to frickin’ make something happen. Traditional publishing is so slow. I do have an agent, and she is presenting my stuff to the market, including the jointly written YA material, but it can take 6-12 months for the major houses to weigh in on a project, and you have to wait for 80% of them to pass on the first project before floating the second. I’m even writing in multiple genres (cosy mystery, dystopian romance, paranormal romance, etc.) to try to make more efficient use of that time. We certainly haven’t given up on traditional markets, but dude, it can be like watching paint dry. So when I got rights back to my first mass market novel LAUREN’S EYES, I decided to give self-publishing a whirl. When I saw that it wasn’t exactly rocket surgery to put up a book, I decided to do the same with my Golden Heart-finalling romantic suspenses. What did I have to lose? I couldn’t have given them away to New York. But to my delight, they’re all doing very well. Three of them are in the top 10 highest rated romances at Smashwords, and sell steadily. I’ve since published the Dix Dodd mystery and launched The Merzetti Effect, a paranormal romance.
Shéa: I’m thrilled to hear you’re books are doing so well! I’m also excited about reading the Merzetti Effect.
What was your inspiration for Dix Dodd and the delicious Dylan?
Norah: The idea in writing this book sprang, as I’ve said, from the need to diversify. As for where the characters came from, basically they evolved over drinks at the pub with the aforesaid Heather Doherty. We’re both 40-somethings who’ve arrived at the point in our lives where we’re just too old to take crap from anyone. Thus Dix was born. And the delicious Dylan? Well, his origins should be obvious. I did mention we’re 40-somethings, right?
Shéa: Well, I’m close enough, so I’m going to say that’s a big ten-four! lol
You’re going to write more Dix. Right? RIGHT????
Norah: LOL! You bet! Actually, the second one is almost ready to go. FAMILY JEWELS will see Dix head to Florida to bail her eccentric mother out of legal hot water. Of course, Dylan and Mrs. Presley have to go along for the ride. There will be more hijinks and, of course, more sizzle between Dix & Dylan. (Mmm, sizzle….)
Shéa: Oh, goodie!
Any words of wisdom for newbie authors or authors thinking of taking the plunge into self-publishing?
Norah: I read a great article this week to the effect that self-publishing is not a yard sale. Don’t bring that purse with the broken strap or the shirt that will be perfectly fine if the buyer just replaces that missing button. That is not the path to self-publishing success. Write the best book you can possibly write. If you can afford it, have someone edit it for you (I know a good free lance editor who’ll work for a penny a word). If you can’t afford that kind of investment (and there’s no guarantee you’ll get it back, at least not overnight), trade critiques with other writers. Recruit some beta readers. Take what they tell you and make the book stronger. If you want a reader to buy your second book, you have to give the first one your all. And when it’s gleaming from all that polishing, pair it up with a good quality cover. It doesn’t have to cost the earth. I’ve spent as little as $35 for a high resolution stock image that just had to be dressed by a graphic artist, to $125 for a professionally designed cover, to $250 for a custom painted cover. What you want, hopefully, is to put a product up that is virtually indistinguishable from its traditionally published counterparts.
Norah will be answering questions over on my blogger site, so pop over there to post your questions: http://sheamacleod.blogspot.com/2011/06/flashing-fashion-queen-interview-with.html
Thanks to Norah for the FANTASTIC interview. I really enjoyed it. She’ll be returning the favor and grilling, er, interviewing me next month.
In the meantime be sure and check out her blog, Norah Wilson Writes.
You can buy The Case of the Flashing Fashion Queen at any of these fine online retailers: