Welcome to Biting-Edge, a blog shared by authors and vampire experts, Mario Acevedo and Jeanne Stein. We’ll cover urban fantasy, vampires, pop culture, and all things Joss Whedon. Unlike other fantasy blogs, we don’t insist on body cavity searches (unless you ask politely). Snarkiness is most welcome...though we won't promise not to bite back!
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
This, That and T'other...
Using this week to catch up on a lot of media stuff I've collected over the last few weeks. In no particular order:
From Shelf Awareness:
Sue Grafton's forthcoming Kinsey Millhone mystery, her 23rd,
will be titled W IS FOR WASTED, which will be published by
Putnam on September 10. Grafton made the announcement after inviting readers to
guess the title, which she explained to USATODAY: "they enjoy trying to outwit me, so I thought, let's just give
them a chance to participate."
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Will Wheaton on Why it's Awesome to be a Nerd-- something I think even Sheldon would approve of:
Netflix’s new horror series Hemlock Grove. The
show’s new trailer positively glories in the lack of content restrictions. “The
following trailer is restricted to Mature Audiences only by Netflix Inc,” reads
the opening card, “for Mild Fornication, Fellatio, Heavy Cocaine Use, Lesbian
Necrophilia, and Violent Hemorrhaging.”
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The latest brouhaha seems to be over the "genderizing" of covers. Huffington Post's Maureen Johnson gives some examples of "coverflip".
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One of my favorite (imho, best) of the police television dramas may not be back next year. Southlandconsistently presented police work in an honest, factual, unflinching way that reminded me of The Shield. If you missed it, find it on Netflix or Hulu or whatever and hope, the way I do, that the powers-that-be bring it back.
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Cooper to the right, back row
When I was growing up, my mother loved her "stories." She got me hooked on The Young and the Restless and no matter how many episodes I missed because of school or work or any of a dozen different reasons, I could turn it on and be caught up with the residents of Genoa City in a matter of minutes.
Jeanne Cooper played Katherine Chancellor for forty years. When she passed away last week, I felt as if I'd lost a friend. I'm sure my mom would have felt the same, though I have a feeling if there is any kind of after life, she and Jeanne are probably discussing story lines right now!
For those of you not hip to the Biting-Edge jive, Jeanne and I belong to the League of Reluctant Adults, a cabal of literary delinquents so secretive and powerful that we make the Illuminati look like impotent hermits. Our tendrils span the globe but mostly where ink-stained wretches tend to gather, such bars and pie shops (especially if there's free WiFi.)
And to further our dominance of the world, the League unleashes a double whammy of awesomeness not seen since the explosion of Mount Krakatoa (our doing, by the way).
Plant your feet, take a deep breath, and gird your loins. Check out Jaye Wells' newest urban fantasy, Dirty Magic. Trust me. No one does this kind of dirty like Wells.
Unless we're taking about Nicole Peeler. Her latest Jane True novel, Tempest Reborn(book 6 in the series), is also worth girding your loins for.
When you've caught your breath and ungirded your loins, don't forget to mark your calendar for the next Denver Noir@Bar. Thursday, May 23, 8PM, Juanita's Eat, 32 S. Broadway, Denver. Wear a raincoat for the blood spatter.
Life after a BIG con...
Romantic Times BookLovers Convention is one of three big cons that I attend each year. The reasons are many: interaction with fans, lots of good panels, a hopping "bar con" and the chance to visit with other authors I see only at events like this.
This year RT was held in Kansas City. It seems I left Denver in snow and brought the storm with me.
The view from my hotel room.
But since one rarely ventures out of the hotel, and we found the KC has this wonderful "link" system between hotels and various points of interest in the city, it hardly mattered what was going on outside.
I know Mario and I have mentioned the League of Reluctant Adults often in our blogs. We were well represented! These pictures were taken at Pierpont, a restaurant in the old Union Station.
From L-R: Molly Harper and her mom; Liliana Hart, Jaye Wells
As you can see, there is a lot of talent in those two snapshots!
Jaye and I hamming it up (there is a fair amount of alcohol consumption at these things.)
Two more of my favorite author friends: Kat Richardson and Lynda Hilburn
Angie Stanton, successful Indie author who sat next to me at the signing and shared some words of wisdom about indie pubbing.
Display that I set up pimping both the Anna book and upcoming new series. Gave away about 500 cards.
Wonder what authors talk about when they get together like this? No matter the degree of success, the topics are always the same: Will I get another contract? Should I try self-pubbing? Why doesn't my publisher do more for me? How can I better market myself? We exchange ideas, sympathize with career obstacles, celebrate career successes. Just being in the company of so much talent revives the spirit.
Now I'm back home and the galleys of Blood Bond arrived so that's my project for today. I want to thank the 1200 of you who downloaded Cloud City last week!!! I hope you'll let me know what you thought of the novella.
Jeanne is away at RT 2013 doing something scandalous. Not sure what except that it involves the, you know, wink, wink.
When I'm around other writers and the conversation turns toward our favorite and most influential authors, I get a little embarrassed in that I'm often not familiar with many of the names mentioned. Since I've been published in Urban Fantasy, i.e., speculative fiction, people tend to assume I'm well read in horror, fantasy, and science fiction. But apparently I'm not. Sure I recognize Robert A. Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, and Issac Asimov. Starship Troopers remains one of my favorite books. And I loved Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars series. I deliberately stayed clear of horror so I never developed an appreciation for Stephen King. When I wanted to read about people doing nasty things to one another, I turned to history, especially the Nazis.
I credit my dad for enlightening me to books beyond what I'd get from the library or the local used bookstore. His hand-me-down pulpy, thrillers included James Clavell, Leon Uris, Frederick Forsyth, Michael Crichton. But there was another author whose books I devoured. John D. MacDonald. My best friend Ron Zapien and I traded copies back and forth from wherever we could lift them. Travis McGee became my hero and I dreamed of an invitation to a gin-and-tonic blowout on his houseboat, the Busted Flush. The titles alone take me back to lazy afternoons sprawled on the sofa. A Tan and Sandy Silence. The Quick Red Fox. One Fearful Yellow Eye.
Besides my fiction homework for the week, it's with added pleasure that I'm going through The Red Hot Type Writer: The Life and Timesof John D. MacDonald by Hugh Merrill. MacDonald's reputation looms huge over the mystery genre with seventy novels and over five hundred short stories published in his career (on a typewriter! He's the Paul Bunyan of scribes!) To more ardent MacDonald aficionados, this biography is a rehash of what they already know. But to me, most of what's on the pages is new. One telling shortcoming is the absence of photographs. I would've appreciated seeing MacDonald with his wife, his days as an insurance salesman pounding out queries and receiving rejection letters, as an Army officer in India during WWII, drinking parties with his fellow hacks, of the novelist MacKinlay Kantor who goaded MacDonald into penning his breakout book The Executioners (later adapted into the movie Cape Fear).
A big lesson and inspiration was MacDonald's discipline to both writing and the development of his craft. He would write almost daily from 8am to noon, a lunch break, and hit the keys again 1-5pm. Then relax, usually with a drink. Years later he reflected, "It wasn't until my habits were firmly embedded that I discovered that writers tended to work a couple of hours and then brooded about it for the rest of the day."
So crack that whip. It's time to work, you slackers.
Today is the first full day for me--a panel at 10 (Vampires we Love to Hate) and an ebook signing from 2-6. Tomorrow, panel at 10 (Anything Goes in Urban Fantasy) and a Vampire Meet and Greet at 3:45 - 4:45. Saturday is the Book Fair. Fun and games for all.
A huge thank you to all who have downloaded Cloud City on Amazon. Free days are today thru Sunday, so it's not too late to get in on the fun. Check it out here .
Three Cheers. For Jon, Rudy, and Lit Fest.
What I'm reading: The Quick Red Fox by John D. MacDonald.
Thanks everybody for the outpouring of condolences regarding the passing of our good friend, Cort McMeel. He's already greatly missed and the mystery writing community has lost a valuable champion. Cort introduced me to many other inspiring writers, including Jon Bassoff, the editor at New Pulp Press. Bassoff has a novel of his own forthcoming this fall, Corrosion.
A huge grito to Rudy Ch. Garcia on being named a finalist in the Best Novel--Fantasy/Sci-Fi category of the 2013 International Latino Book Award for his novel, The Closet of Discarded Dreams. We'll raid the petty cash jar to grease the appropriate palms in his favor.
Lighthouse Writers Workshop presents its eighth annual Lit Fest & Book Fair, June 7-22, 2013. It's your chance to mingle with a fabulous bunch of booze hounds community of writers addicted to novels, poems, short fiction, memoirs, and screenplays. I'm teaching three craft seminars--You Had Me At Hello; The Longest Distance: Putting Your Ideas on the Pages; and Start with the Diamond: The Promise of a Great Novel. Plus I'm on a salon, Yes You Can: Writing in a Subjective World. Check out the catalog. See you there. I'll pour your first glass of wine.
Mario's sadness over the death of his friend made me realize nothing I planned to write about today seemed very relevant. Cort McMeel's death touched him deeply. Mario's history had a lot to do with that. But more, Mario likes to play the clown. He's always ready with a joke (usually at my expense). I can take it. Last weekend, the jokester was gone. From the moment he got the news at Horrorfest, Warren Hammond and I saw the light dim. There are always questions with a suicide, especially when one as exuberant and enthusiastic about life as Cort takes his own life. I could tell from Mario's reaction that with the confusion, there was the specter that maybe he missed something when he saw Cort just a week before. Maybe there was a sign that he should have seen, a hint he misinterpreted. That's the dreadfulness of suicide. The questions that remain with those left behind.
So all I can do for you, my friend, is be here. Just as you were for Cort.