Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Blog Hop--Let's Talk About the Weather

Weather in Colorado is whacky. You might think weather in your state is whacky, but it’s got nothing on Colorado.

When I moved to the mountains west of Denver after seven years in New Jersey, I had to learn new weather words. Words like sublimation and virga and graupel. I had never heard of this nonsense. (I shall now define these terms for you so I feel all smart and stuff.)

  • Sublimation. When a solid moves directly to a gas without stopping at liquid or passing go or collecting $200. Basically this looks like snow or ice on the road turning to a massive evil cloud attacking your car as you attempt to go grocery shopping.
  • Virga. This is rain that hits dry air and evaporates before it hits the ground. It looks like a big dark rain cloud with long, gray stripes coming out of it. Or sometimes like a ginormous jellyfish hovering over your car, attempting to eat it while you try to go grocery shopping.
  • Graupel. The official definition of this is snow pellets. They tend to be kind of soft. They look and feel like some nutcase in the vast heavens is pelting you and everything around you with tiny balls of Styrofoam while you try to go grocery shopping.

So what does this have to do with writing? Well, I have this bad habit that drives me to use new words in stories when I find out about them. So when I found out about these weird weather phenomena, I had to work them into a story somehow. What better way than to make one of my delectable heroes a meteorologist?

Now you might not think this is sexy. You would be wrong. A guy who knows something about the weather is totes sexy. And so was born Carter Allen, the meteorologist hero of Mostly Sunny with Chance of Belgian Chocolate. So basically, I wrote that novella so I could use the words graupel and virga in a story.

So what does this have to do with Christmas? Not a lot, except that our Christmas weather is shaping up so far to be particularly weird, and I wish I had Carter around to tell me whether we’ll have snow or not

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Next Big Thing Blog Hop

So I got tagged for this thing by Cindi Myers, so I'm posting my post today which is the posting day I was supposed to post my post. So here's my post:

1. What is the title of your latest release? Necromancing Nim. The question also asked about WIPs, so I'll just add that I have several WIPs on the front burners, one of which is the follow-up to Nim. The tentative title is Sorcelling Sebastian. (Should that be one "l" or 2? I keep waffling...)

2. Where did the idea come from for the book? I wanted to write an urban fantasy-style story with a kickass heroine, but I wanted to avoid or subvert some of the clichés that have begun to develop around the genre. Like kickass but whiny heroines and annoying love triangles that never resolve. Also that whole thing where everyone the heroine meets falls for her, and where she eventually becomes some kind of supernatural being. (Nim does experience some side effects, but I didn't want her to be supernaturally powerful in any significant way. She's just a kickass chick with a water gun full of holy water.)

3. What genre does your book fall under? Urban fantasy with erotic romance elements.

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie version? Sebastian is Alexis Denisof, no doubt about it. Colin is sort of David Boreanaz from his Angel days, but he drifted quite a bit. Mostly because I got mad at Boreanaz for cheating on his wife. And for being a Flyers fan. (I can forgive him for the former if his wife can, but the latter? Sorry, DBor.) I didn't "cast" Nim when I was writing. When I put together the cover art form I settled on a picture of Zooey Deschanel, mostly because she has the big anime eyes. But Nim has short, shaggy black hair. The cover art captured her pretty well, I think.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? One domineering vampire was enough—can Nim handle two and still avert the vampire-zombie apocalypse? (I totally cheated on that cause it was originally two sentences. But I'm an editor. I can do that.)

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Um.. neither? This is a weird question to my overly literal mind. It’s published by Samhain Books, and it came out on October 23.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? LOL. Four years? More or less? That was writing sporadically, setting it aside and coming back to it. A lot of that was struggling with the voice and getting the plot to work. I’d never written a full-length novel in first person before, and a lot of the challenges of that approach, well, challenged me. I promise the next one won’t take as long…

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Maybe Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake books and/or Charlain Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series. My ménage in the book is almost a direct reaction to Anita Blake’s constant back-and-forth between Richard and Jean-Claude, which I found ridiculous. Quit whining, girl! Two hot guys? Do 'em both? Which of course is what Nim does. And they do each other, cause that's hot. But there’s a lot of screwed-up, quirky humor, which begs for a comparison to Sookie and maybe to Maryjanice Davidson’s Queen Betsy.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book. I think I kinda answered that question already. Although another tidbit is that Nim's name came first. I had run across a fanfic writer named Nimuë Tucker (I think it's a pseud--I'm not sure). I loved the name, so I wrote it down. When it came time to write the book, I checked online and discovered she was still writing under that name, so I figured it'd be better to change it a bit. So I stole my best friend's last name and called her Nimuë Taylor instead. At which point I decided I was really glad I decided to write it in first person cause that umlaut is a PITA.

10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest? It’s funny. I even laughed at it myself when I was doing edits. (Maybe that’s not the best recommendation?) But even when there are vampires exploding and shit hitting the fan, Nim has a sarcastic voice that keeps things grounded

I tagged Angela Parson Myers for this, as well, but I don't see her post up yet. Go visit her site anyway. (Hi, Mom!)

And yeah, I know I was supposed to tag five people, but it looks like everybody in the WORLD has already been tagged for this hop, so I didn't. Also: