Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Eleven days?

Have I really had nothing to report for eleven days? Wow. Well, still not a lot to report, or maybe it's just that my brain's not working due to lack of sleep. After getting to bed past midnight (I tend to stay up late writing, then sleep in if I can), I couldn't sleep most of the night because a cold has suddenly decided to descend upon me (do those echinacea and vitamin C supplements mean nothing to such a common, ill-bred virus?) and I don't know about you, but I find it hard to sleep when I can't breathe.

After finally drifting off in what felt like the early hours, Her Ladyship Miss Pepper started up her new trick of whining pitifully and scratching at the bars of her crate. Well, okay, but the thing is my brother got up at 4 to go to the airport (he's off to Doha, don't ask) and let her out then, so for her to start whining at 6.30 as if her last toilet break was twelve hours ago was damn annoying. She's let out at 6.30 by my dad, who sensibly goes back to bed, and then she starts whining again.

Honestly. The reason she's crated overnight is because if left unsupervised, she pees on the floor, out of protest at being left alone. So we're trying to break the habit by crating her whenever she's alone--at eight months, she can handle an overnight (at eight months, she damn well ought to be housetrained!), but she's a stroppy little madam, and she's learned that barking and whining gets her attention (I know. It's not me who's paying her the attention. It's also not me who ignores all advice given, but we won't get into that again).

So, basically, I'm tired and I still can't damn well breathe. Mum expressed amazement that the Wonder Pills that allow her to sleep soundly through every cold left me with a nose that felt like someone had stuffed a firework up it. Yeah, you needed that image, didn't you?

So I'm taking a sickie, going to a friend's house and intend to spend the rest of the day watching really daft films and eating rubbish. TTYL!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Four dollars will buy you

...a used copy of Sundown, Inc! Featuring that wonderful story, What a Wizands wants, and also a two men a woman romance.

Don't you love eBay?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thursday Thirteen...books I want to write

Thirteen…books I want to write

Okay. Here we go. These are all the things floating around in my head, books I’m gonna get down on paper one day. When I’m done writing the one that’s under a deadline. And the sequel to that. And the one I started ages ago and put on hold because of the deadline. And the one…

Yeah yeah, excuses. Let's call this my To Do list instead.

I wish I could work on more than one thing at a time, but I find it hard to constantly switch back and forth. I have to get myself immersed in something, and not dip in and out with another book. Fidelity is a terrible thing!

1. Almost Magic, or whatever I’m going to call Kett’s book. Erotic Romance. Sequel to Almost Human. This is actually one I keep trying to get back to, but something else always gets in the way. I am having huge fun with it though. Kett is pretty much the opposite of Chance. I mean, you wouldn’t want to meet either of them in a dark alley, but while Chance is charming and elegant and beautiful, Kett is older, snarkier, and so angry she vibrates with it. Chance smiles; Kett swears. She’s great. And her hero, Bael? Is like Kett, only slightly more…more!

2. Devil Makes Three. Chick-lit Mystery. This is the next book in the Sophie series. Actually, I tell a lie…the next book is Still Waters, and it’s contracted with Samhain. After Still Waters comes Run Rabbit Run, then Wink Murder, then Dead To Rights. Those are all written, even if they need some work. DM3 will be book eight (eep!). Sophie is still going strong, having survived multiple murder attempts, the pursuit of MI5 and the CIA, losing her job, her cat, and her boyfriend…several times. She’s even made a music video. And been engaged. And dyed her hair pillar-box red.

And now she’s on her way to Vegas.

3. The Untied Kingdom. Alternate History. I really, really want to write this book. It is, as the Monty Python team would say, something completely different. It’s about Britain…but a different Britain. A Britain who never had an empire. An England who lost every war she’s ever been involved in, even when she was fighting herself. A United Kingdom so divided that Wales and Scotland have seceded. A poor, undeveloped country to whom Africa sends aid workers.

England is at war with herself again, and the rest of the world is watching with minor interest to see when she’ll implode. So when a washed-up popstar falls through a hole in space, into the Britain where nothing works (from a Britain where only some stuff does), it’s like the whole world has come unravelled. A Great Britain who was never great. A United Kingdom…that has come untied.

Plus, it has the best hero I’ve ever written. A bit Sam Vimes, and bit Richard Sharpe, a bit Mal Reynolds…and he looks like Richard Armitage. Swoon!

(thanks to Phillipa Ashley for the picture!)

4. The Spaceport Book. Erotic Romance. Spaceport is a series emerging from Changeling next year. It’s sort of the bastard brainchild of Firefly and Babylon 5, set around a rusty and decaying spaceport hovering over a dead planet on the edge of civilised space. In a place where prostitution is legal and scavenging dead ships is organised, all kinds of people wash up. Including a jaded bounty hunter searching for a pampered princess, and a pampered princess disguised as a whore.

Oh, and the cats have opposable thumbs.

5. The Madam Periwinkle Book. Erotic Romance. I really need to title this one, the proposal is due in soon! Another Changeling series, from the brain of the wonderful Michele Bardsley, based around the eponymous Madam P and her little shop of rather unusual items. Every purchase comes with something extra, whether it’s a Magic 8 ball that’s actually magic, or a vibrator that comes with a repairman who’s the real deal. Or perhaps a bra that opens a portal between dimensions.

I don’t know what I was smoking when I came up with that one.

6. That Sundown Book. Erotic Romance. Johann’s story. Devout readers (I must have one somewhere) might remember Masika and Magda’s irascible boss from the beginning of the series. He’s the only member of the team—and I use that phrase lightly—who is actually human. His only superpower is a ferocious temper.

And does anyone remember a shit-stirring faery? She locked Lily in a fishing float and tried to kill Aura and her unborn children. And I have a sneaking suspicion she had a lot to do with the hit on Ruarc. Well, she was turned into a human…and at some point, maybe, she’s going to run into Johann. And snarks will fly.

7. Another Sophie book. Chick-lit Mystery. This time set in a ski resort. I don’t have much on it, apart from the sheer comedy value of Sophie on ice. I have a yen to call it It Shouldn’t Happen To A Blonde.

Maybe I’ll write a new series about blondes. Is It Because I Is Blonde? could be one. Blondes Have Less Fun could be another.


8. That Paranormal PI Book. Paranormal Mystery. There’s no title yet (at least there may have been one, but I, um, forgot it). This has its roots somewhere in Sundown…or maybe Sundown has its roots here. I started it a while ago, but didn’t get very far due to other projects that were actually going to make me some money. The basic features are: a girl with pink hair who can see ghosts; a very snarky Victorian child who is her guardian angel; a WWII pilot stuck haunting the same office…which now houses a paranormal investigations agency. Where the secretary was going to be a werewolf, but probably isn’t going to be any more! Oh, and some guy who looks like Fox Mulder.

9. Caged Bird Singing. Erotica. This has been lurking in the back of my mind for aaages. The premise—which believe it or not actually did come to me in a dream—is basically European King Takes Teenage Mistress. When she’s of age, obviously. Although he has no intention of marrying her, he makes her position almost official. She’s a celebrated figure in their tiny country. Then…he gets older and nastier…and…she’s falling for his court doctor, but she belongs to the king and can’t leave. It’s a sort of memoirs of a courtesan sort of thing. I’ll probably never write it.

10. That PA Book. Rom-Com. While I was brushing up on my romantic comedy skills, an idea came to me for a book about the PA to a rockstar. Her name is Lucy. He’s basically Robbie Williams (only without the burnout). That’s…about all I have right now, but it’s a start.

11. Lip Service. Rom-Com. Slightly more developed in my head. I have an author who puts everything that happens to her in her books. She starts a new job so she can research how a holiday park runs, and in the meantime falls for a colleague…who incidentally is dating her best friend. And who is going to be really mad when he finds out she’s been writing about him.

12. The One With All The Mistresses. Erotic Romance…probably. Another half-baked idea that came in a dream, clearly after I’d been eating too much cheese. The giant insects alone were terrifying. Anyway, this is about a futuristic society (I was going to say ‘dystopian’ but I don’t actually know what it means) where the ruler is genetically created, and has a harem of 28 women who run his city for him. And sleep with him. Once a month. He falls for one of them, but he’s not actually allowed to marry, just donate DNA for the next ruler to be grown from.

The giant insects attack the power plant, incidentally.

13. Another Book About Striker. Erotic Romance…probably. Yeah, I love Striker. I wrote a whole load of books about him and Chalia and Tanner, Chance and Kett’s parents and their friends. But they were rubbish, so I shelved them, and came up with Striker’s daughter, Chance. But now I really, really wanna write about my favourite psychopath again. Bless him.

So there you have it. Thirteen things on my To Do list, and that’s not counting the books contracts, in edits, to be promoted…it never ends!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It's easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Shame You're A Maniac

Nicked this from the Smart Bitches, who have taken the 'summarise in one sentence' idea of book pitching to the next level. Summarise In Four words (see what I did there?). They had lots, of which I only got two for sure (and half a dozen that sounded like every bad romance I've read: The Widow's A Virgin; No Memory? No Problem! etc).

I added a few more. See if you can get them?

Happy Crook Marries Mayor

Loved Through Past Lives (okay, I admit that’s a bit generic; could also be Past Life Suicide Pact)

Sex Slave In Book

I’m A Fuckwit Magnet

Like Whoa, I’m Royal?

Actually, I’m A Ghost.

...all of which were inspired by a quick gander at my own bookshelves. Now, I'm going to try my hand at a few for my own books:

Shame You're A Maniac (all right, that could be a lot of my books)

Gay Best Friend Sex

But I'm A Blonde

She Speaks In Dreams

Actually, You're A Werewolf

Don't Eat Nice Man

School Again? No Way!

Whoops, I Killed You

This Is Your Kid

Greek Soldier Saved Me

Hot Guy, Great Coat

I Hate Faerie Politics

Fuck. Blame My Dad.

Stuck In Fishing Float

It's Spelt Like That

Anyone? Anyone at all? I mixed them up a bit (wrote them in order, but that's too easy, right?).

Anyone have any more?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Chicken out!

No, not me backing down from anything (would I?), but the name of a campaign against battery-farmed chickens. I think it's a bit of a lame name, but it's for a good cause, so go and sign up.

I must be having a charitable weekend: tomorrow I'm off on a sponsored walk to raise money for breast cancer awareness. Well, theoretically I am. If I wake up tomorrow feeling like I did today, I might just give them the money and stay at home. Stupid sinuses. Ears. Whatever.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The book club

So I'm out walking Pepper yesterday. It's pouring with rain, I'm wearing waterproof shoes (sexy!) and jeans so dirty they could probably stand up by themselves (point of putting on clean clothes when walking dog who loves mud: none) and my fleece, which is almost as dirty as my jeans but is meant to be white, so looks even dirtier. I have on no makeup, my hair is dripping wet and since it's raining so hard I've left my glasses at home 'cos hey, they're useless when wet anyway.

Up pulls a car, and I'm glad I'm with my mum who has decent distance vision, because she recognises our neighbour. "Hey," he says, "Now that you're a famous author, my wife's book club is going to read your book next!"

Book club. I, Spy?. It's one of the silliest things I've ever written (not the silliest, that would be Baby Sham Faery Love). It's about a blonde ditz who becomes a spy. There are no big overarching themes. No literary nods. It's, like, a fun chick-lit novel.

"And she wants to ask you to come along and talk about it," he adds.

I refrain from asking if I should come as I am, but mainly because I'm too busy repeating, "Oh God, oh God, oh God," over and over.

It's not that I don't want people to read my book. I wouldn't have published it if that was the case. But a book club? Has anyone ever belonged to a book club that discussed ordinary, fun books, not litrachur? And they want me to talk about it! To give insights!

Oh God, oh God, oh God.

At least this means they'll all buy it.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Official notice

That Almost Human is out in paperback! With its new cover, which apparently is legitimate. I'm still not sure why a new cover had to be created; the old one wasn't obscene or revealing and yes, it was a Poser illustration, but I thought it was pretty good. The characters actually looked rather like the people in the book, for one thing. And the fonts and layout were excellent. The new one is very dark; the hero appears to have short, curly blond hair (not thick black hair like a lion's mane, as in the book); and yes, I'm pretty sure girlie there is wearing jeans. But it's hard to see, because it is so very dark.

Anyway, here's the old one:

And here's the new one:

Which do you prefer?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Hmm, that's interesting

Amazon has Almost Human listed--with correct publisher and ISBN etc--but no cover, so I can't verify it. The eBay listing, several people pointed out, has been taken down--only to be relisted under a different url. Ellora's Cave has the book listed as in print, with the new cover. The link on the EC site points to the eBay store. Is that the official EC store? Was the other link pirated? If it is the official EC store, why has my book suddenly popped up there without any notification to me, and with a cover I wasn't told about? Maybe it's the authentic copy; maybe it isn't.

I'm still waiting to hear the official word from Ellora's Cave.

Puppy still untrained. Dad thinks I'm sulking because he let the dog bark and wake me up. No, I'm not sulking, and no, it's not about one incident of barking. It's about six months of being ignored, contradicted and generally undermined.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

I'm sorry, I've had enough

Of a puppy who isn't even house-trained, thanks in no small part to my dad who sabotages everything I try to do with the dog and ignores all the advice I'm giving him. I'm running out of ways to explain basic puppy training rules to him, and now we have a seven-month-old puppy who pees inside, barks incessantly, bites and chews whoever and whatever she likes, climbs on the furniture and even the windowsill, and doesn't do a thing she's told. So, I've had enough. I blame myself for failing to realise that my training methods were all bollocks and that what I should have been doing is what my dad's been advocating, which is basically letting the puppy run riot everywhere.

I understand that dogs have pack heirarchies. The Alpha doesn't listen to the lowest ranking pack member. Guess which one I am?

There are other things I've really had enough of right now, plenty of them relating to Almost Human, but I'm not going to air them here. I probably shouldn't have aired the puppy problems here either, but today is a day when I just don't give a crap.

Friday, October 05, 2007

A pirate copy?

Of my book?

Well, it looks like it. Google Alerts washed up something called Almost Human on eBay--it has my name on it and the blurb is accurate, but I don't know where the hell that cover came from. And nobody from Ellora's Cave has given me any official notification that the book's out. There's no ISBN, either. So for now I'm treating it as an unofficial, pirate copy.

Go and have a look, and tell me if your computer monitor shows up the cover any more clearly than mine; it looks to me like girlie there is wearing jeans, which is interesting for a pre-industrial fantasy 'verse.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Trust me, I'm a doctor.

I found this picture of David Tennant, but could only link to the thumbnail because the proper image was...I dunno, unlinky. Isn't it a hoot?

Just in case that's too small for everyone, here's a close-up. Still not a big enough image, but I'm hunting!

(Incidentally, I looked at the Labels section of my blog, and David Tennant has more mentions than most of my books. I I really talk about him that much?)

Monday, October 01, 2007

Monday already?

Good lord. And it's October! Oc-freaking-tober!

Wow. I'm finishing up the latest Sundown story (about an incubus and a fashionista elf), working on an idea for a new series Changeling is putting out next summer, still trying to persuade people I've never met before in my life and people I've known since childhood alike to buy my damn book, dealing with the Demon Puppy who is having her first season and is therefore even madder than usual, trying to find time to finish Almost Magic (and come up with a better title)...and for some reason this week I've decided to give up alcohol. Well, not really for some reason, actually because I had way too much to drink on Saturday and have just had enough of hangovers, thank you very much. It'll probably last until I go to Southwold on Thursday and have to deal with a) the Demon Puppy (you want to try taking the mad hound into a pub for lunch? Argh!) and the temptation of the local cider, which is just too yummy.

So, what are you all up to this week?