Ask the Author and S’Mores

The water was a lot of dead algae and also a thick pancake batter-like sludgy foam. Yech.

The water was a lot of dead algae and also (not pictured) a thick pancake batter-like sludgy foam. Yech.

So, I missed the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold conference last weekend, and I feel pretty bad about that. I’ve been to the Colorado Gold only once, last year, but I really enjoyed the people I met there and the conference sessions themselves.

We should maybe rethink some of our environmental stewardship choices.

Dead fish everywhere. We should maybe rethink some of our environmental stewardship choices.

But I did get to spend a weekend at another (non-writing) event with friends, being eaten by mosquitos beside the highly questionable waters of Maumee Bay and Lake Erie, so that was some consolation. The tap water was officially safe again, but the lake water, not so much. I’ll let you know if the pollution-affected mutant mosquito bites turn out to have imbued me with superpowers. We can always hope. Continue reading

FAE releases today!

FaeToday’s the day! Fae officially releases, with my story “And Only the Eyes of Children.”

If you’ve got a few minutes, please drop by the online release party tonight, from 7-10 pm EDT. It’s easy — it’s right on Facebook, no additional sign-in or contact info required — and there will be a lot of fun stuff going on, from giveaways to real-life fairy doors to recipes to a short history of Hoosier cuisine. I’ll even be giving away two Kitsune Tales books!

And just in case you’ve somehow missed why I’m so excited about this…. Continue reading

Buy Early, Make a Fortune

So I discovered something kind of interesting on Amazon yesterday…. Continue reading

FAE pre-order and release party!

FaeJust a note…. I’ve had a number of questions about obtaining Fae, the anthology of fairy, and now there’s a simple answer: You can pre-order it here, in paperback or ebook.

Of course it will also be on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and a gazillion other sites (and your favorite independent store can easily order it, if they don’t already have it stocked).

Have I mentioned that Fae includes one of my favorite short stories? Continue reading

Beware of Writers

English: Beware of Bull Beware of Bull on publ...

This photo is not directly relevant to being cautious of writers. It’s just great on its own. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve said that people just passing through a hotel hosting a writers’ convention must be frequently alarmed. For example, I was sitting in the hall at my last such conference and overheard someone pleading for ideas on how to dispose of a body. “I tried burying it, but that didn’t work,” he said, “and I’ve thought about acid in a tub but it didn’t seem likely to clean up well. Can you help?”
Continue reading

Adventures in Translation: “Purple fine Doo number”

Seimei Shrine 晴明神社 devoted to Abe no Seimei. K...

Seimei Shrine 晴明神社 devoted to Abe no Seimei. Kyoto, Japan. Seimei Well (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I did a fair amount of research for Kitsune-Tsuki and Kitsune-Mochi, and some was much easier than others.

There’s a lot of research involved in any historical piece. I heard Susan Spann, author of Claws of the Cat, say that she had spent over two hours looking up historic ikebana seasonal arrangements, just to put the correct flowers (hydrangeas) in a scene. I myself spent considerable time researching the histories of such commonplace things as daikon and goldfish. But sometimes the source material is hard to come by, especially in English. Continue reading

I (Heart) Vampires

Illustration in Carmilla, Joseph Sheridan Le F...

Illustration in Carmilla, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s vampire story. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I (blood-red heart) vampires. Not any particular incarnation of them (though there are some incarnations I do particularly dislike), but the mythos of them. Creeping, skulking, life-stealing, blood-drinking, vein-piercing, sexual-metaphor-but-not-sexy-themselves vampires.

How do I love vampires? Let me count the ways. Continue reading

What if Book Reviews and Author Interviews Ran Like Football Commentary?

This was long thought to be the only portrait ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So I was watching some football highlights and player interviews — okay, I wasn’t watching, exactly, I happened to be in the area when a television was playing. See, I don’t exactly follow football, as I tend to be of the opinion that if these guys are getting paid millions of dollars, they can each afford their own ball and they shouldn’t have to fight over one. Continue reading

Pirates! and a free sample

International Talk Like a Pirate DayAarrrgh! It’s offic’ly Talk Like a Pirate Day! And in honor, we’re goin’ t’ look at a burnin’ question: Why d’ our pirates talk like this?

Of course, thar aren’t a lot o’ recorded pirate speeches. Even court records o’ tried and convicted pirates don’t capture t’ dialect o’ t’ accused. What we think o’ as “pirate speak” developed rel’tively recently in modern media.
Continue reading

Where Do Plot Ideas Come From?

There’s a joke among fiction writers about people who offer, “Hey, I’ve got a great idea for a book. You write it and then we’ll split the profits.”

There are a few problems with this, but one of the most obvious is that the idea is the easiest bit. It’s the writing that actually takes time. Ideas are everywhere.

Don’t believe me? Let’s take a walk and look for plot ideas. How about last week’s Country Living Fair in Columbus, Ohio? Continue reading