|Da Winnah and new stuff
||[Jun. 21st, 2010|07:33 pm]
Congratulations to morliane who won the book drawing! PM me with a delivery address!
My apologies for no new posts lately. I get busy. It's too easy for a month to slip by these days. Brace for lots of incoming.
This July 20, DARK AND STORMY KNIGHTS will be released! Yaaaay!
The earliest reviews have been gratifyingly positive. All the writers brought their A-game to the table for this collection. I'll be pimping this book more as things get down to the release wire, but here's the oh-so-nifty cover:
Yes, I certainly DO encourage everyone to pre-order and avoid the rush. These things tend to vanish from the bookstores pretty quick. Not that I mind!
Other coolness--I was in Oklahoma City for SoonerCon and much enjoyment was had.
I can't say enough nice things about the SoonerCon people. They did a remarkable thing and I thank them muchly for having me up.
I was able to have some quality visiting time with many friends, including writers Sue and Bradley H. Sinor. They've been keeping busy and it was great to catch up.
Brad hung out with me in the dealer's room, and I don't know how he found the time, but he did one heck of a job selling books for Yard Dog Press without even sitting at their table. I was just grateful if anyone came by to get a book signed. I brought books to sell, but alas, only two went home with someone else. Bright point: I was able to sign what looked to be my entire backlist an uber-reader brought to the con.
On the downside, while we chatted, a laser light flashed right on Brad's face, making him wince. Seems there was a batch of fans in some really GOOD Borg costumes--a little too good. They had laser light projectors on the costumes, and they were flashing randomly all over the dealer's room like a bad disco revival.
Don't know about you lot, but I only have two eyes, and I'd like to keep their retinas unburned. Brad went over to ask if they would mind shutting the lights off for the time being since it was dangerous. C'mon, there were kids all over the room at just the right eye level to the lasers. I know Brad asked nice, he doesn't know how to be anything else, but the Borgs stayed in character and blew him off.
Grr. I don't deal well with bad manners even if they are Borg. Time to pull rank. I charged out and went to the con registration desk.
"Hello, I need a pit bull with the authority to get some fans tossed out. Who's spoiling for a fight?"
It was gratifying, really, at how many evilly grinning faces swung around at that opening.
One of the con com members heard me out and damn if she wasn't faster than I when charging back to the dealer's room. She came by my table later to say the Borg were going to put masking tape over the dangerous laser lights. Brad was glad to hear it, his eyes were still recovering from the initial flash.
This brave con person said the Borg were reluctant to do the right thing, saying, "We didn't have any trouble at Trek Expo." She let them know they weren't at Trek Expo, there are kids present, and we all have to play in the same sandbox." No more lasers or blindness for other SoonerCon patrons, yay.
Saturday was tiring, I did panels, signed at the table, and a lot of hiking back and forth to my room to make sure my dogs were doing all right. It was a pet friendly hotel, but I'll have more on that later.
In the evening, since I'd brought a couple of boxes of stuff for the charity auction, I helped publisher and chief editor of Yard Dog and toastmaster guest, Selina Rosen out with the art + charity auction. I don't know how her voice held out, but she got through it, while I and some others played runner for the art. Damn, that was FUN!!
For a bit I was afraid they wouldn't put the items I'd brought into the charity, no paperwork, not much time left, but they relented and we got through the last bit. I felt VERY proud. The things I'd brought kicked the charity contributions up over the thousand dollar mark, which was MOST cool. The money went toward buying formula for hungry babies, yay.
After that I dragged to my room, walked the dogs--gawd, it was soooo HOT--and had to dodge kids wanting to pet them. My girls are kid-friendly, but I'm not. I couldn't get the brats to go away so my girls could do their business before I fell over from heat stroke.
Back to the room. Water. Cool down. Get ready to make the rounds of room parties.
So my room was way on the other side of the hotel, then you have to cross a parking lot to get to the con. As I stepped outside I happened to look up. The second floor above the convention area has more rooms, and they have floor to ceiling glass windows.
Oh, yeah, you can see inside a 2nd floor room from that angle. From nearly every part of the parking lot, actually.
Much to my amusement I saw a couple had only partially drawn the privacy curtains, but the inside lights were on and the sheers were partway open. The couple within had clearly forgotten that at night, while you can't see out through sheers, everyone in the world can see IN.
So I'm watching this very fit young fellow--I couldn't see his partner at that angle, just as well--in the process of going for the money shot. Damn, he was active, and apparently tireless, up-down, up-down, rumpity-pumpity-pump-pump-pump!! Grrrrreat rhythm! Huzzah!
And what the hell, I wanted to share!
I waved at some smokers standing outside, taking a break from the convention. "Hey, ya'll come check this out!" They wandered over, looked up, and hooted with joy. A healthy crowd collected by the time I left. I got to the first party--the one for FenCon hosted by my good bud Julie Barrett--with a shiny new con story in my mental file.
Oh, hell yes, I shared it with the room!
Brad said I should have had the crowd line up under the window with scoring numbers the way they do at the Olympics.
I'd thought of it, but there wasn't really time, though I did feel badly about the oblivious couple. With the energy of youth it was possible they'd be going for seconds after a short rest. I just wanted some paper and a pen.
Honestly, I was only going write a note suggesting they draw their privacy curtains.
I really was.
But the first sheet of paper I found was the back of a flier for....Contraception 21, a well known "relaxacon" held in Kansas City every year. It's a very "adult-friendly" event. Wink-wink, nudge-nudge.
It was Fate that put THAT flier on the floor next to my chair. I never went looking for it. I couldn't have planned anything better as I'm normally not that smart.
T'was Fate...and too good to pass up.
So, blame Fate, dear couple, whoever you are. And me.
On the back of the hot pink flier I wrote "On behalf of attendees of SoonerCon, we thank you for the excellent show, and invite you to do an encore here." (Here I put a line to indicate one should unfold the flier.) PS, you might want to draw the curtains next time."
I signed it with a little Cupid's heart with an arrow through it.
Then Brad, Sue, a few others, and I hiked around to that part of the hotel. We went out for a look. The curtains were still wide and I saw a young lady apparently snuggling contentedly against her gent. Afterglow. *sigh*
With Sue watching my six, I climbed the stairs and shoved the flier partway under the door. I'm so out of shape, I was afraid I wouldn't make it down in time to not get caught. It's no fun if you get caught right away.
We hightailed it back to the party with much breathless, silly giggling more likely to come from young teens, not a pack of middle-aged writers. It just proves we chose not to grow up.
The next morning at breakfast, Sue reported that last night the curtains were drawn, so that was good to hear the message got to them.
I must repeat--that guy was in GREAT shape, but I'd never be able to identify him. I mean, it's not like I saw his face, and I wouldn't know his partner. No one knows who you two are, but thank you again for the show!
Sunday was less exciting, but no day is a downer when I can hang out with friends. I'd planned to stay through until Monday morning and tackle the long drive home fresh after a good night's sleep. I did pack things up, though, books unsold, clothes unworn, that kind of stuff.
The Sinors and I were meeting my agent, Lucienne Diver at a Barnes & Noble which was hosting a signing for her and three other writers. Lucienne remembered them from other events and after the signing she loaded into my car and we all went to an eatery in Bricktown near her hotel.
Long dinners with good friends are GREAT, certainly my favorite way to pass an evening. Of course we talked about all kinds of stuff, and Brad interviewed Lucienne about her Vamped series, which you all need to go out and buy, as they're terrifically fun, clever books.
But don't believe me, believe Rachel Caine:
Vamped is a total delight! Diver delivers a delightful cast of undead characters and a fresh, fast take on the vampire mythos. Next installment, please!" —Rachel Caine, New York Times bestselling author of the Morganville Vampires series
Gina Covello's (the heroine) Perks and Pitfalls of Vamp Life:
1. Hello?! Eternal youth and beauty!
2. Free. Designer. Clothes.
3. My hot new boyfriend Bobby went from chess dud to vamp stud.
4. No reflection! First order of business: turn my own stylist to stop the downward spiral from chic to eek.
5. Vampire vixen Mellisande has taken an interest in my boyfriend, and is now transforming the entire high school into her own personal vampire army.
If anyone's going to start their own undead entourage it should be me. I guess I'll just have to save everyone from fashion disasters and other fates worse than death.
So there, no excuses, go get them!
Back to dinner: Lucienne grabbed the tab, which was super nice of her, but then she simply IS super nice. Thank you! Truth to tell, that was the first serious meal I'd had the whole weekend. I tend to live on whatever's in the consuite or green room, and usually the good stuff is gone by the time I get there!
I'll let you know I was able to hand-deliver a shiny new book proposal and 60 finished pages of a new series to Lucienne.
No, I can't talk about IT. The next step is she has to sell it to a publisher and I don't wanna jinx the process.
I'll let you know it is a steampunk! Woooo!
However, with the proposal out of the way I'm back working on a NEW book, the sequel to Quincey Morris, Vampire.
This one is waaaay overdue, and my guilt is prolly why I've had writer's block for so long, but it's started and I don't stop until Quincey Morris and the West End Ripper is finished and off to its editor at Baen Books.
Yes, I'm LATE on it, but this will be a better book than I might have written back when I signed the contract. I'll make sure of it!
Dinner had to draw to an end. The Sinors had a 2-hour drive back to Tulsa, and I was going to have a nice decompression back at my hotel after such a long day. Heck, I even bragged about putting my feet up for the evening.
After finding my way out of Bricktown, overshooting my exit to the con hotel, (I get lost easily and have no GPS thingie) I pulled into a sun sizzled station to gas up the car. Oh, gawd, it was hot. I feel the heat more these days, it's just the way of things when you have my mileage. Anyway, I'd swelter now, and tomorrow just load the car and leave fresh in the morning, right?
Not so much.
I parked, went in the hotel, and opened my room's door yet again.
I've not mentioned this until now, but this hotel, the Biltmore, REEKS. It stinks, it smells, it stinks some more. It is tired, it is dirty, and have I mentioned how much it stinks???
I love Soonercon, but if it's in the same hotel I just may stay home or find another, cleaner place. This one is disgusting. They must have gotten a good price on the convention space, and the rooms were discounted, but for half that price I could have been at a much cleaner, newer Motel 6 across the road.
Could NOT go down the hall to the guest's greenroom. The restrooms serving that hall smelled of mold and SEWAGE that must have flowed out and into the stained, dirty carpeting.
Yes, I had a non-smoking room. There was a sticker on the door. Other hotel doors had "Breathe Easy! This is a smoke-free establishment!" And the Iranians aren't trying to build nuclear bombs. Bollocks.
People routinely ignored the non-smoking signs and puffed away in their stinking rooms; the air system just sent more smelly air in, nothing "clean" from the outside. I doubt the air filters had been cleaned since the hotel was built in the 70s.
Add to it that there are no elevators--damn skippy I got a ground floor room!--a strange, inconvenient layout, and it is my idea of a dump.
My bathroom floor was sticky. Took a washcloth and wiped it down. The bed was ancient, coils--yes, felt every one of them, the carpet--let's just say I kept my shoes on and felt bad for my dogs.
ALL of it was due to the dreadful, disgusting STINK of cigarettes. It was in everything. Even with the AC going full blast, the first thing to hit my nose as I went in was that reek AND a mildew smell from the damp cold, stale air. Could the staff have not been supplied with some Fabreeze? Just as a token effort? It is now a staple in my travel suitcase.
You can get used to such a stink if you have to, but I didn't have to. This tipped it. NO WAY, NO MORE.
I finished packing. The dogs and I were OUT of there by 8pm with a 4-hour drive ahead. I was tired and I hate driving after dark, but I was NOT going to spend another night in that icky, dirty room. I would sleep in my own clean room after a thorough shower.
We made it home. I listened to an audiobook and sucked down a Coke to stay alert. This being Sunday night there wasn't much traffic so it was pretty fast trip, but I don't recall much about it.
I was SOOOO grateful to pull into my own drive, walk in, and turn on the AC with a newly changed filter. The girls were glad to be in their own yard and off the leash. I was tired, but had to unpack.
Imagine the gross-out to realize *everything,* including the dogs, still reeked of ciggy smoke. I stripped and threw my stinky clothes, every stitch, into the washer and started a cycle, then took that longed-for shower. I Fabreezed the girls' bed and put a fresh cover on it, left my books outside so the sun would burn out the stink. I had to Febreeze my purse, my bags, my shoes--anything with fiber had to get spritzed, and the next day I wiped down the inside of the car and Fabreezed the trunk.
If you have kids, impress upon them not the dangers of smoking, but the sheer, gross smelliness of it. If they like to smell good, then they can give ciggys a big wide pass!NOW--go out and get those VAMPED books, and reserve your copy of DARK AND STORMY KNIGHTS!