Saturday, January 28, 2012

First Month Check-In, or I Am an Impatient Minx.

Well, Super has been out for one full month. I read somewhere that the average ebook sells two copies a month; I'm definitely doing better than that, though I'm certainly nowhere near bestseller status, quitting my day job, or turning up my nose at the unwashed masses while I sardonically swirl my martini. I'm learning the ropes of book promotion slowly but surely. As I mentioned in my last post, my first author interview is up here, and then today I even got my first review! I had been told that a 20% acceptance rate at book review blogs was a success; I'm cruising along at a level closer to 70%, though several of the bloggers warned me that it would be months, in one case as long as a year, before they worked their way through the TBR pile to get to my book. I have no idea why I have this inordinate success rate. I don't do anything fancier than reading the blogger's favored genres and requirements before emailing them, being enthusiastic and friendly in my correspondence, and then thanking them for their time afterwards. It really is true that luck is a huge component, though being laid-back and accessible certainly can't hurt.

In fact, when I release my inevitable self-publishing how-to (because that's what all the cool kids are doing), it's going to consist of one sentence repeated over and over again: Don't be an asshole. Don't worry, I'll make it a free download.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday!

Welp, I'm going to take the plunge and start carrying my baby around the neighborhood. Here are the opening lines to my current WIP, Siren:

They had a system, and it worked. Ophelia worried. Naomi distracted her. On a good night, they punched people.

Naomi hoped that this was going to wind up being a good night. She leaned against a humming air conditioning unit and listened to the cacophony that only registered as a murmur to Ophelia beside her.

Siren is the fourth book of the Super series, which I hope to release in December of 2012. Look for the second book, Fire with Fire in April, and the third, Leech this summer. In the meantime, the first book, Super itself is available for the low, low price or $2.99 here.

(Does anyone else picture themselves in a loud coat like a used car salesman when they pimp their stuff? It makes me laugh.)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Book Giveaway in Tribute to Deceased Indie Writer L.C. Evans.

Full details here.

No strings attached, it's being done completely for their friend's memory. Be sure to swing by on January 24th to pick up your book.

In other news, I'll do my best to start posting actual content again soon, but I started the first draft of the fourth Super book, Siren, earlier this week. (That would be Naomi's book, in case you had doubts based on the title.) Dear Reader, it is kicking my ass. I hope to see you again before my brain dribbles right out of my ears.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Link and Commentary: Why SOPA Is Dangerous

Mashable article here.

Unless you've been living under a rock (or are the lone college student who doesn't use Wikipedia as a go-to source at the first opportunity), you've probably heard about the impending SOPA and PIPA bills being considered by Congress. You've probably heard that they're bad things, with little in the way of pro-SOPA commentary.

That's not because the media has a liberal bias. (LOL.) That's because SOPA and PIPA are bad things. They are very, very, very bad things. If these bills pass, they mean the end of every website out there that allows its users to upload content. That means the end of FaceBook. Of Twitter. Of Wikipedia, Tumblr, and YouTube. It means the end of fan-dominated sites like Livejournal and Dreamwidth, where writers ranging from nobodies like little old me to heavy hitters like Cassandra Clare and Naomi Novik learned their craft. Shutting down YouTube will cut off performing artists, since most people these days are discovered through viral marketing. (You might say that a world without Bieber would be a better one, but: I may not agree with your decision to shellac your hair and sing like a prepubescent, but I will defend to the death your right to do it.) The end of sharing and critique sites cuts off up-and-coming writers.

Yes, SOPA and PIPA are very, very, very, very bad things. Functionally, they mean the end of the internet.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Link: David Gaughran hosting guest posts for KDP Select authors.

Marilyn Peake is the first guest author.

I'm leery of KDP Select simply because there's a lot of weaselly language in the user agreement ("reasonably expected to compete"?), but it's worthwhile to listen to the authors for whom it has been a good choice, and why. Who knows, my mind might get changed.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I just made a statuette out of tinfoil, DON'T JUDGE ME.

You know why I love being a blogger? You get to accept awards in your pajamas! The fantastic Gareth at 1000 Trillion Suns has nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award! (Practicing a speech in front of my bathroom mirror, anyway, doesn't make me weird, does it?) Outside of giggling and preening, here are a handful of rules:

1. In a post on your, blog, nominate 15 fellow bloggers for The Versatile Blogger Award.
2. In the same post, Add the Versatile Blogger Award.
3. In the same post, thank the blogger who nominated you in a post with a link back to their blog.
4. In the same post, share 7 completely random pieces of information about yourself.
5. In the same post, include this set of rules.
6. Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.

My Nominations:

Caroline Clemmons

Book Obsessed

L.J. Kentowski


Kathy Lynn Hall


Sarra Cannon


Alchemy of Scrawl

Charissa Weaks


Mimi Barbour

Jessica and Donna

Melissa, Anachronist, and AimeeKay

And with another curtsy back to the very generous Gareth.

And now for the random facts about me:

1) I have more colors of nail polish than I have shoes.

2) I keep my laundry change in a silver skull named Yorick.

3) I name all of my electronics. The laptop is named Nikita, my iPod is named Cameron. (Because it's a tiny machine that likes music, duh.)

4) I have to carry a day planner to remember what day it is.

5) In spite of #4, I can sing every lyric to a song I heard once six months ago.

6) Stephen King and Teddy Ruxpin are jointly responsible for my horror fascination.

7) I have a weird fetish about my pens.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Which came first: the writer, or the Valium?

I have a panic/anxiety disorder with attendant depression. (That I have to pretend is depression with an attendant anxiety disorder so that I can get my meds, but drug distribution in the US is jacked up, news at eleven.) Due to a massive snafu, my primary care physician went out of business without, uh, notifying any of his patients. My insurance is working on fixing the problem and getting me into a doctor as soon as possible, but it could take a week and a half or more.

Up to two weeks in which I am flailing through the wild with only my jacked-up neurotransmitters to keep me company.

Wow. This is going to be fun. (Please note sarcasm. Also, if you could give me some leeway on Twitter if I have a sudden CAPSLOCK RAGE explosion for the next few weeks, that would be sweet.) Naturally, one well-meaning and unfortunately clueless person has already told me, "But this will help you in your writing!"

What is it about writers and mental illness, or writers and substance abuse? It's not like peanut butter and jelly, but more like pizza and sprouts: tasty for about ten minutes, but you're going to regret it something awful later. When did this romantic delusion come about? I have a feeling that I need to go back in time and kick Lord Byron's ass.

On the other hand, I did get about five thousands words of Fire with Fire edited today, so let's give a cheer for manic phases.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

REVIEW: Jenny Pox by JL Bryan

NOTE: This review will contain spoilers.

Description: Jenny's touch spreads a deadly supernatural plague. She can't control her power, so she devotes her life to avoiding contact with other people in her small Southern town. Her senior year of high school, she meets the one boy she can touch...but if she's going to be with him, Jenny must learn to use the "Jenny pox" inside her to survive his devious, manipulative girlfriend, who secretly wields the most dangerous power of all.

My Thoughts: Wow, I am so blown away by and in love with this book. Firstly, readers should know that, while this book centers around high school characters, it is not YA and is not recommended for people under eighteen by its author. A good thing, because I was going, "...uh, Aud's not kidding about YA going into some dark places, damn." Secondly, I read It at the age of eleven and haven't turned into a serial killer yet, you'll be fine. Jenny Pox is too good for you not to read it based upon genre expectations. The heroine, Jenny Morton, seems at first glance to be your basic high school misfit made even more physically monstrous based upon her ability to kill with a touch. Her enemy, Ashleigh, doesn't seem to be anything more than the typical bitchy cheerleader who plays upon her looks and a certain superficial charm to get what she wants. Ashleigh's boyfriend, Seth, is the dumb jock that our misfit heroine is inexplicably attracted to even though he's a giant tool.

None of this is actually true.

Jenny Morton is a good person, but she's not passive and shy by nature the way that most heroines of her trope are. Ashleigh trades on her sex appeal, but she has the ability to drive people so wild with lust that they'll do anything for her, right down to committing murder, and she's not interested in getting a hot date for prom. Ashleigh wants to rule the world; if she's not stopped while she's young, she has a good chance of doing it. Seth is a dim bulb (and the book doesn't try to pretend otherwise, up until the very last chapter when it does), but his surface assholery is due to Ashleigh's mind control. Left to his own devices, he's actually very sweet, even though his power doesn't come anywhere near the destructive potential of Jenny and Ashleigh. And that is why I adore this book. The two girls have pee-down-your-leg terrifying abilities, and neither of them is rewarded for thinking small in their use of them. Jenny gets rapped on the knuckles pretty hard for thinking like a hometown girl while Ashleigh is ranging so far ahead, is smarter than Seth (which both Jenny and Seth acknowledge and don't have ego-boo moments over), and unleashes one of the most gripping climaxes I've ever read when she finally settles in to use them. I actually would have preferred that Poor Doomed Seth stayed dead, because I liked the goodnatured and strangely normal (phenomenal cosmic power and all) boy more than I did the omniscient godling, but that's such a minor nit against such a great book.