Archive | Plaguebringer RSS feed for this section

Writerspiral~

18 May

Stuff goes on over here. I went to WV last weekend to see Mom–whom I haven’t seen since New Years, which is just depressing–and the rest of my time has been all about revisions. Oh, and drinking heavily because I managed to fuck up my back during the trip home. (Better now; I can turn my head and everything! Yay heating pad/cold pack! Yes, I am like 84091 years old, it’s true.) Honestly though, it was a long time coming. I always fuck up my back when I’m stressed, even if it’s for no reason at all. Like now!

Now that I’m over it, I can discuss the awesome spiral of suck I experienced while coming down from Italy. You know that thing where you’re just really, really tired from nonstop SOMETHING for weeks and you come home to loads of work to do and you’re pretty sure you’ll never be caught up again and hey, you’re a writer, so your life is all about rejection, which is usually fine but not in that fragile state? (To clarify, I didn’t actually have anything rejected at that time, it was more the expectation of it, which is always worse–but I’m getting to that.) Yeah, so that happened. I know, I know, I went on a long Italian vacation, my life is sooooooo fuckin’ hard, right? If there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself, it’s that these things can’t be rationalized. Sometimes you’re just tired and you hate everything you’ve ever written. Fact.

So I came home and, uh, see, I had this plan to sub to Angry Robot’s two week open door period this year. I had this epic fantasy all written and I worked really hard on editing it and since I’ve got a lot going on it’s just been languishing. [Side note: the fuck is up with me and the run-on sentences today? Sorry.] But of course, it wasn’t totally ready to go before I left for Florence, so I came back to the task of squishing a 150k novel into two pages–not just a synopsis, but character descriptions, one-sentence summary, and author motivation/inspiration statement. And then there’s the endless combing and recombing of the first 10k words to send with it. You know what I’m talking about.

The synopsis wasn’t that hard. I convinced my friend Jay, who had no prior knowledge of the story and therefore was in a position to tell me, “Hey, this makes no fucking sense, btw,” to check it out for me. The problem was that by the time I was done with it I was like, “Oh god, this is absolute shit. What was I thinking? Oh no, it’s not just this, everything is shit oh god nooooooo!”

Which is silly, but y’all know exactly what I’m talking about. Tired cranky writer is tired and cranky and hateful. I bought myself Fantastic Four Season One and that Scorsese movie about George Harrison (which is awesome) as retail therapy. I looked at my Italy pictures. I worked on RPP–which, what did I do for sanity before that? Seriously? (PS: New issue=awesome!) Raven the Editrix emailed and told me I had a romance novel accepted.

Okay, that last one kinda set me straight, not gonna lie.

But I was still carrying around all that needless tension in my back, so I guess it was time to get properly fucked up and get over it. And here I am, out the other side, yay! And that’s my less-than-exciting story of douchey anxiety.

Anyhow, some of y’all may be interested to note there’s a blog hop with a great message atm, the Hop Against Homophobia. It’s mainly reviewers, authors, and publishers who work with romance featuring m/m pairings (some people call that a genre–I call it romance, but whatever). Anyhow, it’s worth checking out, and if you like theater stuff maybe you’ll dig my post about The Laramie Project.

Right, check y’all later. And sorry for being a pill last week. I put on my big girl pants now, promise.

WiP Wednesday in Disguise

11 Apr

Today I am packing. Tomorrow, plane. Therefore, pre set-up WiP Wednesday fun–since I am positive I will be working on editing this baby down on the plane…

I promised a war and politics excerpt from my weird epic fantasy/clockpunky Plaguebringer, I know. Thing is, most of that stuff won’t excerpt properly, so I went for a sort of subsidiary issue: Nieva Zarathas (why yes, yes she is the hero of “The Silver Quarter”, along with swordboy from last week’s excerpt–that story is their shared history) and her quest for ET.

No, this is not sci-fi. Emergent Technology, of course. A mercenary outfit like the Company of St. Rage needs to keep ahead of the weapons curve, after all, and who better than their very own mechanical genius to manage things? And so she returns to her home country of Navaquin with a powerful contact (Ciprian) and a fellow mercenary (Ruarigh) in search of something new. But women can’t just go wandering around these places…

The Hornet Club, hub of leisure for the sons of these rich Navaquin lords, was several steps above everything else. Apart from the real estate itself, in the coveted center of Corteva Gates, very near the Palacio Corteva itself, and the sheer incomprehensible size of it, the interiors were overblown. Never had she seen such a profusion of rich textiles, both Navaquin and Senecan, of plush carpets and hand painted tile-work, of arched doorways made from ancient mahogany and soaring ceilings. A small ensemble of guitarist and singer here, dancers there, and all of it drowning in Senecan cane liquor — the latest fashion, so Ciprian had told them — and illicit Valdonian l’anisea.

That, Ciprian seemed to think, was how they would recognize the room in which they ought to look for his contacts. Where l’anisea went, one could generally expect a tattoo-sporting Valdonian blackwood runner. In this case, one also running weapons.

They wandered through crowds of sweet-smelling men, no one over thirty-five years of age, no one with less of a fortune than a duke’s heir, whether he was or not. Here and there was a blond head or white face of a Minaddon or Fearghan boy sent for educational purposes to Corteva Gates, the heart of continental politicking. Ruarigh, who had cleaned up very prettily in Navaquin leathers, drew very few stares apart from appreciative or respectful ones. Nevertheless he hung back, allowing Ciprian and Nieva to make way for him.

Ciprian shot her an irritated glance as he snatched two glasses of cane liquor off a passing servant. He handed one to her. “That disguise is idiotic.”

“It’s not a disguise.” She accepted the liquor and breathed deeply. Smelled good, but then, alcohol made from sugar. What was not to love?

“You look ridiculous.”

“I look exactly how I always look, but with no boobs.”

“That’s what I said, Nevian, you look ridiculous.”

She hardly had any boobs, so she wasn’t sure how biding them made much of a difference. And she always dressed like a boy, anyhow. “You can’t come in here with boobs, Ciprian.”

“You could if you said you were with me. We’re surrounded by sheepfucking sons-of-whores, perhaps, but they won’t fuck with a DaCorteva’s girl.”

“Thanks for the offer, Ciprian, but I’d rather die in a fire.”

He finally shut his mouth there and led them toward the back of the club.

So I chose that little excerpt because it proves that Nieva is fairly unchanged from the adolescent depicted in “The Silver Quarter”, and realized it also refers to the other story I have out there from this world. “The Runner” is about a “tattoo-sporting Valdonian blackwood runner”. But I’ll come back to Cami later.

WiP Wednesday Goes Epic

4 Apr

As I’ve been spewing everywhere, I’m about to go on vacation. Yay!

Of course this means I can feel the pre-vacation freakout hovering in the air just behind my left ear. As Bertie Wooster says (though about a different sort of bird), “I can feel the beating of its wings.” Therefore I’m bound to be a horrible blogger once more. You know how it goes — the week before, when everything dissolves into nonsense. The travel days, when something must go horrifically awry. The being there, when time moves waaaay too quickly. The week after you come back, when all you want to do is sleep.

In order to fend off blog lethargy, I’ve decided to set up some pretty little WiP Wednesday posts to run while I’m gone. This is appropriate because while my social networking skillz will not be out in force, I will definitely be working on a few projects while living it up in beautiful Florence. Or… okay, let’s be honest: wandering around beautiful Florence utterly lost, which is more likely.

Here is the first, in re a project very near and dear to my heart, which got plenty of air time here while I was drafting it. A little (by which I mean gigantic) epic fantasy called Plaguebringer which I hope to have in submission shape before the end of the month.

It’s actually a book about political plots and, ultimately and unsurprisingly, a horrific plague/war combination. However, I’m going to throw out a bit of the interpersonal stuff that weaves through it today because–well, for one thing, those make for better excerpts. But also (warning: ulterior motives!), it’s actually relevant to my recent story in Niteblade, “The Silver Quarter”. Its hero, a badass little teenage swordfighter called Elanzah, grows up to be an even more badass swordmaster with the mercenary Company of St. Rage. And there are certain words you do not say in his presence–as “The Silver Quarter” explains–unless you want your ass kicked. Even if you’re royalty.

The figure that appeared in the doorway was hooded, and the candle in the hall flickered faint. But Elanzah recognized it perfectly for all that.

His heart fell into his boots.

He stepped in front of Cuinn. “You should go.”

Cuinn looked over his shoulder, but Elan stepped in front of him again, blocking his view. Cuinn’s brow furrowed. “I don’t –“

Elan shoved him toward the stairs, but gently. “Trust me.”

Cuinn’s pale eyes flickered to him, then to the figure in the doorway, but in the end his admirable tendency toward obedience won. He turned, and though he hesitated the whole way, clomped down the stairs.

When Elan turned again, Prince Ronan stood bare-headed and breathing hard, not a foot away from him. He glared like only royalty offended could.

“What are you doing here?” Elan asked. And more importantly: how had he even gotten inside?

The boy sneered. “I might ask you the same, Swordmaster.”

Elan set his jaw. “It’s none of your business.”

“Oh, I think it is. I think I have a right to know if the man entrusted with my education is a boyfucker.”

An icy sensation shot through Elan’s chest, starting somewhere below his left shoulder. Blind to everything but the pain, he grabbed the boy and slammed him into to the wall with a thump.

Elan’s head pounded, the word, that awful fucking word, echoing through it like an empty cavern. He leaned in close, inches from the prince’s livid pink face until he could see it again, still pinning him to the wall. If Ronan was bothered by his compromised position, it didn’t show. His blue eyes, usually so open, had frozen over.

Elan lowered his voice to a growl. “Whatever you think of me, I do not. fuck. boys. And if I fuck men, what does it matter to anyone?”

“It matters to me. How many of my soldiers have you had?”

He knew he shouldn’t, knew it was a mistake to show this reaction. But it came out all the same: “Just the one. So far.”

Ronan’s upper lip curled in what could only be disgust.

The cold stabbing sensation inside Elan was followed by a great crack, and the small part of him still begging for restraint was silenced. All he wanted was to wipe that look off Ronan’s face. To get rid of that word in his head.

Whether he does or not, well, I’ll leave that where it is for the moment. Did I mention that if Plaguebringer has a hero, it’s probably Prince Ronan? Oh yeah. Preeeeeetty much.

Whoops.

Next time, politics and war! Well… sorta.

Rewired

16 Mar

Man my head needs rewired this week. I’m doing that NEW BOOK PANIC! thing and I cannot concentrate to save my fucking life. Instead of stringing actual paragraphs together and trying to make sense, I’ll just link things that may be of interest (or not) and, um, see if any of it works.

Thing 1:

This month’s Niteblade is free now! That means, yes, “The Silver Quarter”, the story for which I brazenly displayed my nerdery in mapmaking last week, is free to read. Teenage swordfighter badass (but not as badass as he thinks)! Young genius behind bars in a brothel! Adventure! Excitement! Hookahs!

Exclamation points!11!!one!!!1!

Thing 2:

Oh hey, new book! Nobody’s Hero! So I’m doing this massively fun giveaway over at Superpowered Love, in which you can win romance by the good me (as opposed to the evil me — this one), plus comics and paddy rock and stuff. It’s a pretty cute book though. Well, cute and hot. Lots of sex. As usual. And alcoholic whipped cream!

Thing 3:

Related — an interview/giveaway with me at the fabulous Joyfully Jay. Some of you darklings have expressed a genuine or morbid curiousity about the sunshinier side of my writing, so there we go — and I talk about evil me there too. Fun times. Free book. Etc. Ohhhh and Jay did a wonderful and thoughtful review of the book the day before, so check that out too.

Thing 4:

Also related — if you follow me on twitter or tumblr, there’s gonna be good old fashioned paddy rock tomorrow for St. Patrick’s. You can hit up the DJ Kellan tag or just… you know. Twitter.

I mean, when you’ve got these guys as characters, this sort of thing is inescapable, right? So even if you don’t want the romance, I must recommend the music, because Kelly knows his shit. Even when he’s been at the Powers…

Jamie and Kellan by Astro

(Jamie and Kellan by Astro)

Vacation in Lovely Mirador City!

1 Mar

Okay, so Mirador City is sort of a wretched hive of scum and villainy — at least, the Silver Quarter is. But home is home, right?

I’m really excited that Niteblade Fantasy and Horror Magazine — which I have wanted to be in since, like, forever — published my story of two exploited teenagers kicking some ass in the March 2012 issue. Meet Elanzah and Nieva in “The Silver Quarter”. Yay! Rhonda Parrish is fabulous to work with, so thank you, Niteblade.

(Can read the first half for free, but then the rest is in the pdf/ebook version, which is all value-priced. I think they end up free eventually, though, once the issue is paid off through people kind enough to purchase.)

The story takes place in one small corner of the larger world I created for the novel I’m currently trying to beat into submission shape, Plaguebringer. Another story that takes place in this world, “The Runner”, can be found in Beauty Has Her Way, edited by Jennifer Brozek.

Bonus content: I am such a nerd that I even have maps! Here’s the country in which “The Silver Quarter” takes place. It’s called Navaquin (it’s Nav-ah-KEEN — I’m sure everyone would lose sleep at night not knowing that. God, I am such a nerd…). That city down south, where all the rivers dump into the sea? That’s the place. Click it to make it bigger and pretty and stuff!

Navaquin
Warning: “The Silver Quarter”, though I’d say it’s a fun story, deals with some heavy shit. The characters are young and subject to different forms of sexual exploitation, one of them in a long-term way. I didn’t want to flinch from that — would’ve defeated the purpose — but I didn’t show any of it on the page. It could still be triggery, though, so I wanted to give fair warning.

And in closing, I’ve been a crap blogger, but my brain got hijacked this weekend. Just now getting it back after puking up a novelette. Sorry!

WiP Wednesday Makes New Worlds and Destroys Them

8 Feb

So, I’ve been sick, as I’ve mentioned countless times. (Sorry about that.) Last week was a complete waste because I was so ill that I couldn’t even read. I did manage to keep up with certain administrative duties for RPP and my various projects, but that was about it, man.

One thing I did manage was to continue, little by little in moments of clarity, cutting a bunch of crap from a certain book. I mentioned a certain resolve to return to Plaguebringer last month, my gigantic epic fantasy clockpunk clusterfuck thing, and I meant it. Now, you’d think that cutting random crap wouldn’t work that well when so sick, but it made me so cranky that I was far more likely to hate everything. And as we all know, it’s much, much easier to cut large sections from a book that’s way too effing long when you’re super cranky.

I’ve cut 5.5k from the first 7 chapters, the only ones I consider finished. I’ve been working on 8 and 9, but not much got done there just yet due to catch up issues. It’s good progress, but I was really hoping to maintain a 1k average per chapter… which is probably absurd. There’s a whole new world I’m trying to intro without infodumping, after all. S’okay, I’ll catch up on later chapters. (See, I’m totally not being a dick to myself!)

For the first time in a long time, I am actually frightened of writing a synopsis. Urk. Worksheets, don’t fail me now!

I do have maps all printed out and hung up in my office, though, which is cool. And my royal family crest — which I think I shared here once upon a time before I moved to my own server, but none of my images made the move.

Aidhan Crest

(It says, in a completely made up language vaguely based on various Celtic* languages, “Our blood, Fearghan’s blood” — Fearghan being the country. Exciting, I know.)

It’s like having little patron saints hung on the walls, egging me on. “C’monnnn you can cut it down to a reasonable, readable novel! Look at all the work you’ve already done! You love us!” It’s all about creating the environment to motivate, right? Er, right.

So that’s what I’m up to on the writing front. Which is not writing at all, but destroying. Awesome. Don’t forget, by the way, that there’s still loads of time to enter the Valentine’s Day Giveaway. The guest list is already frightening, and I’m sure it will only get better. :D

*Every country gets their own aesthetic, obviously. That just happens to be the one that goes with backwater northern hick Fearghan. I like Navaquin’s best, because they have a Moorish Spain kind of feeling, but that’ll pop up when “The Silver Quarter” goes live at Niteblade next month. Wooo!

Epic

29 Jan

B hates the word “epic” when used as an adjective to mean “awesome” or something similar. He’s like a cranky old grandpa who hates to see the language being abused and twisted. Which is funny, because he doesn’t even consider it “his” language. (I know you’ll see this, Balaji. You know it’s true!) I don’t mind it — I even kind of like it because it reminds me of when I first started playing MMOs with EverQuest, and the ultimate quest for your character was their “epic class quest”, and the weapon you got from it was referred to like, “Oh, dude, you have your epic! Nice!”

Anyhow, sorry, I’m getting all nostalgic. My point is that I like things epic. Including fantasy. Maybe those of you kind enough to hang out here now and then for the last year will remember that I even wrote a massive epic fantasy novel — tinted with a healthy dose of clockpunk, which I can almost never resist. There are certain calls for submissions that will be coming up very soon that make me think it’d be worth my while to get my ass moving on that. As in, bust out that 180k behemoth and finally edit it down to something resembling a readable, coherent novel.

So I will. But it brings to mind the age-old issue of genre and the writer. I don’t really believe in the writer-as-brand — I mean, that’s part of why I love self-publishing, because it transcends all those false created bullshit labels and celebrates — *gasp!* — good fiction as good fiction, and fuck everything else. And yet, I have two pen names for a reason, and that’s because I don’t want to mislead anyone. I believe people should know what they’re getting when they spend their money on a product, and that the fiction I write as Hawthorne is so utterly different from the fiction I write as Taylor, it’s worth making the divide obvious. Though I’m nowhere near it, one hopes that in some distant golden future one’s name might be enough to convince a person or two to give a book a try.

I mean, how pissed would you be if you went to buy a horror novel and ended up with a book full of superpowered street fights and blow jobs? I know, right? And I can see someone trying to buy a sweet-but-punchy romance novel and ending up with psychopathic faeries slicing skin off a kidnapped human boy.

I’m not trying to give people nightmares, here. In either direction.

But that’s as far as I draw the line. It’s a very simple thing for me, which books fit under which penname. And yet, I wonder about the opinions of others. Not the same people who perpetually love to tell the world that they know alllllll about how to publish and write and blah blah blah, but people I really like and respect. As in, you. So how far do you hold an author to expectations, genre-wise? I think of it now because Scripped and my upcoming Liam are decidedly urban fantasy/paranormal type stuff (yes, I know many of you object to “paranormal” as a genre — I get it, but it’s a thing). And Plaguebringer, the massive project I am trying to work myself up to reopening, is pretty much as far to the other end of fantasy as it can get.

Personally, I like it when an author does a lot of different stuff, but you can still feel their voice through it. I’d like to be like that when I grow up. But what do you say? Disorienting? Or cool?

Short Fiction – I Have It!

13 Dec

Yes, it is a thing, and though it’s been a long time since I had any news about it (uh, I wrote a lot of books this year, as it turns out…), I have some now. My epic fantasy-style adventure/coming of age/whatever “The Silver Quarter” is going to be in the March issue of one of my longtime favorite mags: Niteblade. I’m really looking forward to working with the wonderful Rhonda Parrish on it.

“The Silver Quarter” takes place in the same world as a big long epic fantasy novel I have in the first draft stages. I think I wrote it last year, so maybe some of y’all remember me posting WiP Wednesday stuff about it or ranting about drawing maps– it’s called Plaguebringer. My story in Beauty Has Her Way, “The Runner”, takes place there too. They’re both backstories of main characters from Plaguebringer. “The Runner” is about Cami and her escape from her home clan, and a country run by swampy drug lords. (She grows up to be an awesome city planner and civil engineer in Plaguebringer. I wouldn’t want to meet her in a dark alley, either, just for the record.)

“The Silver Quarter” is about Elanzah, a once-upon-a-time city street rat and tavern boy, and his best friend Nieva, a clever-but-clueless country girl being held captive by some, um, unsavory types. It’s how they met at the age of 15. And saved each other.

From what? Well, yeah. The story deals with some pretty intense shit, to be honest. We’re talking a couple of kids who are being used and exploited by every single grown up around them, effectively. But take heart: In Plaguebringer, Elan ends up a badass swordmaster, and Nieva a space-cadet of a brilliant academic. So you know it can’t have ended too badly for them when they were little scrappers, after all.

In other news, I’ve been really quiet lately because:

1. I’ve been finalizing edits on the winter issue of RPP, which is going to be amazing, of course!

and

2. That book I started writing RIGHT after Nano? Yeah, it’s called Reentry Burn, and is 65k right now. Almost done. Trying to finish banging it out today, so it’ll leave me alone for a few. It would’ve been done sooner, but I read a bunch of books about “How to Survive in Prison” and “How to Make it Through Your Parole Without Being Thrown Back In”, and so spent a few days in a downward spiral of despair at how fucked up society is. (Malory the MC = ex-offender. And trying to stay that way.) Good god.

Of course, thinking about Cami, Nieva, and Elanzah, I now want to go back to Plaguebringer and edit it. But that mother is about 180k, and needs to be about 120, and frankly, I think I want a few days of quiet…

But I always say that, don’t I?

Lag Lag Lag

8 Feb

Okay, so I’m mostly over the jet lag, but I caught some kind of weird thing and have had a low grade fever for a few days. Twitter friends may have noticed my inability to produce a sane sentence on Monday… or maybe not, since I’m not sure I ever manage that. But it was worse than usual!

I did discover, however, that listening to Gorillaz with a fever induces hallucination. Well played, Albarn. Well played.

Those of you aware of my football issues will know that I am a dyed in the wool Pittsburgh Steelers fan. I was born about 25 minutes outside of Pittsburgh (depending on how fast you drive), and my dad is from about 10 minutes outside–these things are never a matter of choice, but in general, I’m glad I was born a Pittsburgh fan. That said, this year my heart has not been in it for reasons that football fans may guess easily, and others won’t give a shit about. Let’s just say it starts with an R, ends with an R, and has a lot of unintelligible letters in the middle. It is also an absolute creeper.

So when I say that I am happy for the Pack, I mean it. I like the Packers, always have, and my heart is vaguely traitorous at this point anyhow. Plus, they played the better game.

Since my thoughts are scattered and still a bit laggy, allow me to do a quick series of links that will sum up my main interests at the moment.

1. It is Monster Awareness Month! Join in the fun over at the official blog, enjoy the movies and commentary, and hey, you can even win a Hammer Horror Boxed set from a good pal of mine, the wonderful NK Kingston.

I get to review The Mothman Prophecies, so I’ve been re-reading the book for a leg up. Yeeeah buddy, West Virginia rules!

Ahem.

2. Editor Jennifer Brozek’s Beauty Has Her Way got a really in-depth review. It’s one of those really thoughtful, fascinating reviews we all want, and I was lucky enough to come away with a nice mention of my story, “The Runner”. You guys remember that long-ass fantasy novel of mine, Plaguebringer? Yeah, it’s set in that world, and is kind of the backstory of one of the main characters. Added happiness on my part.

She really liked Pete Kempshall‘s story. I’ve talked several times here about how keen I am on Pete’s stuff–and hey, he’s a nice guy to boot! It’s even nicer seeing your friends get a good review, somehow, isn’t it?

3. It’s Women in Horror Month! Yay! Thanks to Louise Bohmer for the heads up–and the mention.

4. This actually happened before I left, but Dagan Books has announced the official ToC for In Situ. This is my first straight up sci-fi story, and it was inspired by Chennai–you know, the city in which I just spent two weeks hanging out on a terrace, reading and playing with my niece. That one! But I can’t wait to see this book, and I’m really, really excited to be a part of another Dagan project. And there’s another one coming up, too…

5. The Red Penny Papers’ run of Kirsty Logan‘s Abigail Larson illustrated Pullen & Bumber’s Catalogue of Particulars has finished. These two women are so very, very talented, and I’m so grateful they were willing to take a risk on this little project. Take five minutes to glance through it–it’s a quick read–and I promise you’ll at least smile once. It’s magic!

For the moment, I’m just finishing up a really cool project for Morrigan Books, attending to Monster Awareness (very important issue, you know!), and arranging things for the Spring issue of RPP, which is going to be killer. Oh, and trying not to be ill, because it’s really inconvenient right now. Sleep and sickness are for the weak!

I do miss India. But it’s really, really nice to be home.

—————-
Now playing: Gorillaz – Kids With Guns
via FoxyTunes

The Annual Thank Yous, Pt. 1

5 Jan

So good stuff happened for me this year, and I feel like I accomplished–well, the occasional thing, writing-wise. I mean, I sold a book! A book that, if I could’ve chosen one, just one to put out there to give people an idea of what I love to do, that’d be it! I started an online magazine! A magazine that–okay, you get the idea. Rather than make a list of that stuff, I’m going to do what I did last year, and say thank you to the rock stars that made it all possible.

I cited The Fratellis and Oasis last year as “mad inspiration for the weird crap I’m working on now”. That weird crap turned into Plaguebringer, and the continued presence of both bands on my last.fm top artists (last 12 months tab, especially) is pretty much all because that was the first thing I wrote. Throw in some Hot Chip, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club–who I saw live this year for the 3rd time since I fell hard for them in the yearly part of the decade–and I’ve got myself a novel the size of–

Two novels. Not looking forward to that edit, but it’s nice that I have a massive soundtrack to which I can return for support.

Oh golly, look how I set up this segue! Speaking of returning to a soundtrack for editorial support, last year I mentioned Paul Banks/Interpol and Kasabian as food for The Resurrectionists. This year, my return to 1820s Philadelphia for the Historical Romance That Is Not Actually A Romance Novel* got a leg up when Interpol decided to release their 4th album. The first song, Success? Turned out to be one of my characters’ long lost theme songs. Oh, and look, the first time I ever heard this song, which was a few months before the album’s release at Mr. Small’s Theater in Pittsburgh, is immortalized on YouTube. (Also, Paul Banks in a Pittsburgh Pirates hat. Fuck yeah.) But since no video can capture the energy of a live show, try the album version.

And then I saw them again here in DC just when I was wrapping up the edit and the album had been out a while. So hey, thanks again, guys.

There was also an increase in my Mendelssohn intake–both Felix and Fanny–which served as a soundtrack for both of these big projects. Throw in Schoenberg, who was responsible for my Cthulhurotica offering. A sudden demand by a certain character for more Ravel in his diet that spurred my new (and ultimately satisfying) edit–and submission–of the vampire project. And, okay, I admit it, I listen to Bach when I can’t get into an editing mode because it’s like listening to math and makes me feel… reasonable. Or it just puts all the voices to sleep. Either way, it works, and I did a lot of editing this year.

And there’s my classical inspiration, too.

Okay, this is getting really long, but I still have more to say that gets a touch more personal. So this is part one!

Who did it for you, this year?

*You have to have a Happily Ever After or Happy For Now ending to call it a “romance novel”. Let’s just say a haywire reanimation gets in the way.

—————-
Now playing: The Tossers – Whiskey Makes Me Crazy
via FoxyTunes