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Back in the day

6 Mar

Is there anything more groan-inducing than opening up an old manuscript and realizing just how terrible it is?

No, I take it back. It wasn’t terrible. I liked the story, I liked the characters, but oh my god, technically, what a hot mess. Five years–just five!–and the damage was just unbelievable.

Things at which I was more terrible than I am now, apparently, complete with ranty tumblr moments from me and various others on these subjects.

-Overwriting. Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick, how many actions does a character need to commit in one sentence? NO ONE IS PAYING ATTENTION AFTER THE FIRST ONE.

-Similarly: excessive description. Especially when you’ve already described them once. What the hell is this, Dickens? Move on, already! Delete. No one cares.

-Epithets. Okay honestly, I never used these a lot since I started submitting stuff; I’ve hated them for some time thanks to some very clever betas and fellow RPers. However, even titles can get just… bad. Even ‘the Secretary’ and ‘the Inquisitor’ are hard to follow after a while, man.

-Who the hell is talking? Okay, I still get accused of this a lot, but wow. Just. Wow.  Related: tags. Terrible, terrible tags. Hissing words, laughing words, snorting words.

No, Katey. Just. No. That is not a thing that happens.

-Looking. Looking at this, looking at that. Stop, okay, Katey? If you describe something we know the PoV character is LOOKING AT IT. Who else would be? Oh right!

-In a similar vein: filter words. “She felt” “he thought” “he knew” “he saw”… no shit, Sherlock, who did I think was feeling and seeing the crap I was describing? It’s tight third person limited PoV–there is only one possibility! (Assuming I wrote the PoV right. Which, well, at least I didn’t fuck that up!)

-Passivity. Passive voice can be used to such great effect, but I feel like shaking it off as a default has been pretty much the longest process of my entire writing life.

Now I look at this list and wonder, five more years down the road, what horrors will I find in my current works? Ah, it’s the fate of the writer to grow up in public a little bit, I suppose. Bless editors. Bless you all. And bless people who’ve hired me to edit between now and then, because thanks to you I have my little Elements of Style book memorized. And though many of its rules are outdated, it’s still the solid foundation it was back in the day!

Le sigh!

Please do not consider this a writing advice post, but do consider it me taking the piss out of myself. As an editor myself, these days, I find it necessary to reassure authors that I’m not just being mean and I TOTALLY understand where they’re coming from. Let this stand as proof. Because god, that only took a few days to edit up, but it felt like years.


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.

The Week and a Half of Flail

13 Nov

Not fail, definitely not, but flail. Oh my god, I have never flailed so much in my entire life. Witness the glory of my flail:

Friday, Nov 4: Receive edits for Scripped. The formatting is done, it’s gorgeous, I am happy as a clam. Accept all of Jodi’s magical things, then workworkwork. For like 20 hours.

Saturday, Nov 5: Wonder why these edits are taking me so long. Realize something is wrong, and that the last edits I did on it have been utterly lost in the Great Belfire Virus Attack of 2011. Want to cry, think Jodi is going to  kill me, drink half a bottle of Jack, continue eviscerating my own work of fiction for another 20 hours. Not necessarily in that order.

Sunday, Nov 6: Receive second version of Scripped, because Jodi is all over that bad boy. Do another round with her stuff, then another with mine, catching the larger-picture things I missed nitpicking the shit out of it the day before. Another 20 hours. Woo!

Monday, Nov 7: Realize Riot Boy is dropping tomorrow. Panic and freak out. Receive Scripped proof, get through half of it, line by line, before brain finally explodes. Receive word that Riot Boy is live at 10pm — about 2 hours before expected, which is awesome. Panic and start doing Riot Boy shit. Sleep for about 3 hours.

Tuesday, Nov 8: Riot Boy release date. I update my profile on every romance site ever, submit a bunch of copies for reviews, buy a bunch of (discounted) copies to add to my contract freebies for giveaways and reviews to add to the ones the pub already does, hit up all the sites that will run ads for me based on my subscriptions to them or for free, email everyone in the world, drink a lot of absinthe to keep calm. Make husband take new author photos for Scripped purposes — ask Jodi to pick which one I should use because they all look absurd.

Wednesday, Nov 9: Try to get through more of the Scripped proof. Panic because I catch myself skimming, my brain is so dead. WE CANNOT SKIM ON THE PROOF. Update author photo and bio everywhere in the fucking world. Thank various gods that Jodi has others on the proof, too. Realize Riot Boy release party is tomorrow. Sort shit out for that. Panic some more. Receive mockup of gorgeous Scripped wraparound. Get pretty much no sleep.

Thursday, Nov 10: Release party at TRS. Post a bunch of Riot Boy excerpts, read a bunch of awesome things, talk to a bunch of cool people, drink a bunch of absinthe, drive everyone bonkers on twitter. Run a giveaway that ends up way more hectic than expected because TRS was awesome about directing traffic to it. Give random shit away on twitter. Blink and realize it’s midnight and I have a train to catch in the morning. Send emails to winners, try to sleep, fail.

Friday, Nov 11:

  1. Out of bed at 7, catch 8 o’clock apartment shuttle, on Metro at 8.20, at Union Station at 8.50.
  2. Discover Scenes from the Second Storey has dropped. Yay! <3 <3 <# my favorite story comes to light!
  3. Train delayed, but arrive in Philadelphia around noon. Meet up with the lovely Carrie Cuinn.
  4. Work, then talk publishing, Dagan Books, and other naughty things over beer and a mostly-ignored lunch.
  5. Receive visit from the badass known as Simon C. Larter. Drink more beer, talk more trash.
  6. Best friend Tara and her husband arrive from Pittsburgh. Drink more beer, talk more trash.
  7. Carrie goes home, my crew and I check into our hotel.
  8. Husband arrives. We try to find a place to eat dinner, but it’s all slammed around the theater.
  9. Witness the glory of Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds in the beautiful Kimmel Center. Not even sure how many times I’ve seen this guy live, but this was the smallest venue and the funniest show. Band was awesome, and Noel was chatty with the audience. And funny as fuck.
  10. Drinks. Complaining. Talking. Catching up.
  11. Bad, bad sleep. As in, no sleep. Again.

Saturday, Nov 12: Lunch The City Tavern (it’s in The Resurrectionists!) and a little tour of Philly with friends. Drive home. Finish Scripped proof. Do publisher things. Sleep. Finally

Sunday, Nov 13: Be awakened WAY TOO EFFING EARLY by husband concerned that there’s a lost cat outside.

I kid, it wasn’t early at all. Also, the cat belongs to a nearby house we know, and I almost feel human again. In fact, I am kind of dying to write something. But I just thought I’d share because describing my writerly and readerly idiocy has always been the point of this blog, god knows. :/I can hardly believe last week happened, let alone that I didn’t end up in tears several times.

It’s not the being busy. I fucking love being busy. It’s being busy with these things, these things I wanted so bad and have worked non-stop for like ten years to be able to do. It’s being busy with Jonah (Scripped!) and Brady and Etienne (Riot Boy!). It’s not for the faint of heart, like everyone warned me. But it is wonderful. My only regret is that it went so fast I didn’t get to enjoy it properly.

Fingers crossed that I get to do it again some day.

Thank you so much to everyone who said nice things to me personally last week, retweeted me, gabbed with me, virtually hugged me, emailed me — even about business, or anything at all. Special thanks to Jodi Lee, who was AMAZING through this whole thing. Everyone really, really helped me keep my shit together. (Okay, that and self-medicating with alcohol. Don’t worry, I’m detoxing this week.) I know it’ll get easier, and I know it won’t usually be two big hits at once like this. But I wouldn’t care if it was. Because yeah. Wonderful.

And that’s the story of my flail. Uh, back to Nano, I reckon!

Hiding Out

17 Oct

Okay, I’ve been hiding out. You caught me.

See, there’s this thing we all do. Some people talk about it to get it out. Me, I usually whine to my friends — I have a personal journal just to whine, make scene lists, ramble about characters, and otherwise drive my darlings mad with my head issues and voices. A lot. The truth is I had a bit of a rough week last week, personally speaking, and though things are going rather well now, I’m officially in my yearly funk. This generally lasts a week to a week-and-a-half, and consists of me hating everything I’ve ever written.

I know you all do this. That is some comfort. But mostly, all I can do is keep working and wait for it to go away.

Pathetic story: I need to make a scene list. If I’m going to write JAMES (sequel to LIAM) for Nano — my first Nano! — a scene list would be good. I know the plot backwards and forwards, inside and out. I’ve had it in my head for ten years, just like the other three that come after JAMES. I wanted to learn how to write to tell this story. But since I already wrote this one once in ’06-07, I’m sure I can use a lot of the scenes, as in rewrite them, in this brand new version.

Except I can’t make myself open it. If I hate everything I write now, oh god, can you imagine the potential trauma of opening up something that old? Unthinkable! So instead I’m sitting here, avoiding my own writing, avoiding as much of the world as I possibly can until this crippling fear passes.

Because it will. I will totally go back to being thoughtless and stubborn and coughing up half-formed novels like it’s my job (oh wait, it totally is, now! See, why am I even complaining?) very soon. I always do, because frankly I am not deep enough to stay depressed for long. Being as shallow as a mud puddle on a hot day comes in very handy at times like these.

Lucky thing, too, since now is kind of a bad time. I had the RIOT BOY proof over the weekend, and I gave it a nice, hard, final read before sending it off to my incredible editrix, Raven McKnight. And I even liked it. I sat there going, “Hey, this is kinda cool. These characters are all right. The voice is pretty solid. You’re getting there with the first person thing. Hm, that was hot. Man, Raven really saved this thing.” And then I put it down and went back to EVERYTHING SUCKS OMG.

But you know something? That book is coming out in like three weeks. So I don’t have time to be a fucking punk ass emo kid, and I don’t get to hide. I have to get on with the business of preparing for a release: setting up a release party, getting advertising sorted, planning contests, talking to people, choosing and adding excerpts, and otherwise putting myself out there.

Because I love this shit, man. Sometimes I wish it wasn’t based on something as horrifically fragile as an ego, but if that’s my biggest problem, I am winning this game. So I’m posting this not to complain, but just to admit that even though I turn up with these long lists of projects and balls in the air and things that apparently make it sound like this is all very easy for me, I am in fact a complete and utter punk sometimes. And I know you guys understand.

I swear to god, without the blogosphere, I would be way drunker. (I’m not drunk at all right now, I just mean in general, I’d need a lot more self-medicating.)

Apologies and Good News

8 Sep

So, as I mentioned before, I had a hack on the site. There was a big hack, actually, as someone found an exploit in a lot of WordPress themes all at once, which was a thing my own theme uses. I fixed it by updating the theme and getting rid of the nasty malware (which was, in fact, a redirect that infected zero people) immediately — like, sometime last week. But there were crap files left on my server space that needed cleaned, and I didn’t know how where to begin trying to find them. An issue, since I, like so many other writers, am my own webmaster.

But it’s alllllll good now. I spent the first part of the Week After Labor Day looking at malware and badware pwning sites. Found this service, who for a very reasonable fee — and, I might add, with zero access to my server, site, etc — told me how to find where the bad stuff was and inform google that I’m not a bad guy. So… for real this time, it seems to be sorted out. I really apologize for all the warnings, but rest assured, nothing actually bad came of this. I’m kind of baffled as to why they even bothered, really, as it doesn’t seem like anyone is terribly fooled by their attempts to redirect us to Russian Viagra ads from inane websites, but hey. What do I know. Maybe they’re just in it for the chaos.

I feel the same sometimes, so whatever, man. Just keep out of my, uh, back door. Yeah.

They did cost me a few bucks, but just a few. And it was worth it not to have to scrap this entire site, which I’ve finally got to behave just how I want. That woulda been a shame.

So yeah, apologies, but it’s okay now. Really. Even my own strict antivirus and google are letting me see my site again, so I feel it’s safe to post and to go and reply to other posts, now. Score.

Oh, and the good news is that SCRIPPED is sorted for the end of the month. Which officially means that this week doesn’t have to end as crap as it began. Fuck yeah! <3 <3 <#

(That last heart up there, see, it exploded. Cuz it’s so happy. See!)

In Which My Vampires Find a Home

12 Aug

Once upon a time, I wrote this book. It’s enough to say that this book is the reason I started asking for help, starting showing people (apart from my best friend) my work some ten years ago. It’s pretty much the story I want to tell.

Not because it’s deep and meaningful. I mean, you guys know me. But it is my perfect combination of sex and death. The two most inescapable fascinations humanity has, tangled up together in the precise way I always wanted. It is My Thing, and some of the characters have been with me since–no shit–childhood.

(See poster boy over there. His name is Aldo, as I’m sure I’ve said before. He’s irritated my best friend Tara since I was 13 years old, but we all have our favorite children.)

And finally I did a 13th draft and looked at it and said, “Huh. I think this is the one.” I’d just sold Scripped earlier in the year, and I thought, okay, I’ll send this to Belfire when they open up and see if they agree. They seem to get this fucked up murderousness meets really wrong love story thing I’m kicking. A book containing violent sex one chapter after someone gets their throat ripped out? They might be into that!

So if you saw me crowing about good news some time last month–or maybe it’s been two now, I don’t know, I’ve been sitting on this news for what feels like ages–they did agree. The first in my vampire clusterfuck epic, Liam, gets a home with them sometime next year. You can see it here at the site if this inspires curiosity, though I’ve already got the domain masking for the series working (, it’s still the usual looking page for the moment.

To be brief, Liam is a love story for monsters. It is mean, it is dysfunctional, it is ugly and mindfuck-y, but hopefully a little bit pretty in its unabashed screwed-up-ness, too. I think it qualifies as a dark paranormal romance, but that implies a lot of things it’s not. (It’s definitely not a Katey Hawthorne story. The trauma that might induce…) The rest of the story explodes from it hard, and they leave many, many bloody trails in their wake, once all of the vampires get their own book.

But this is the beginning. And it’s mine. And I’m so fucking excited I could scream.

Saying thanks to everyone who helped me with it would take up like 10 blog posts alone, so I’ll save it for the book. But guys, this is huge.You know who you are. <3

Phew, I said it! I found out just as the Scripped stuff was kicking up, and I’ve had a contract for nearly as long, but I didn’t want to, you know, spread myself too thin. Concentrating on the matter at hand, and all that. But now there’s a little lull between pre-orders beginning and release, so… here it is.

*high five*

And now, I have some prizes to mail!

Now playing: Kasabian – Seek & Destroy
via FoxyTunes

For Sale

12 Jul

There are things I want, and the days or weeks where I’m not wholly consumed by my pig-headed drive to get them leave me miserable, listless, angry. I’m like one of those dogs that chases its tail and snaps if you don’t give it a task — except that I hate, absolutely fucking hate to be told what to do, also being the world’s largest brat.

The dog metaphor is still good, though, just that I’m particular about choosing my own work. Then I sink my teeth in and I don’t know how to let go, even if good sense would tell me it’s not such a good idea after all. A bulldog, then, who won’t let the little kid’s skateboard go even though the trucks are causing bruises and bleeding gums.

(I’ve been called worse by nicer people.)

Sometimes tenacity has a payoff, though. Bruises heal, blood clots, but the prize is yours forever if you win. And that’s why I do it — let’s not beat around the bush, that’s why we do it. I quit my job and devote myself to a story, The Story, and even I know it’s shit. Move on, they say, so I do, I write other stories (little “s”) in the meantime, find them homes, learn how to suck less. But then I circle back around. I pour all the lessons back into The Story. I toy with the idea of finding a place for it after five years, but I’m not ready. I bury it for another five years, digging it up every time I can justify a few weeks for another circle back.

Thirteen times, to be exact. This is my magic number, because I get this feeling I’ve never had before: this is what you wanted it to be. I shove it out the door before I can convince myself not to.

Welcome home, Story, The Publisher says.

For weeks after, I don’t know if I should laugh or scream, so my throat aches from silently trying to do both at once. My eyes burn, so I drink a bottle of champagne, but it wears off too fast. Every time I start to cry I just start laughing and can’t finish, so it’s all still gummed up inside me, and it will be until I’m finally having a day where I feel shit enough to cry for some other reason, which will also take out the excess from this one. Then I’ll be able to breathe.

The people I know and love, the response to my little (huge) success is wholeheartedly amazing. More amazing than I would’ve had the guts to imagine, if I had any at all. But I guess they weren’t just humoring me with the endless edits and heroic scientific efforts and dialogue coaching and comments and love — wow, that’s some serious fucking love, man. I realize that feeling right there is why I wanted this in the first place — the feeling that we’re all on this wavelength, or at least know how to find it. A story without a reader has a half life, a half meaning. That’s no way to exist.

I get some passive aggressive bullshit, too. You’re finally getting lucky or you finally know the right people, they say.  Worse, too, things I’m not supposed to hear, that they’d be mortified if I did because they probably don’t mean it, not that much, anyhow. I get it. I mean, I don’t get it, as bulldogs don’t really have time for that kind of thing. But I am getting lucky in that I know genuine people, too. I still want to make them happy and connect with them and laugh and scream and holy fuck, my throat hurts.

But maybe that makes me doubt — or maybe it just makes me smart. I dissect my themes, my characters, my intention, and I look for the worst possible thing anyone can say about it, because they will. I’m okay with it, because that’s not an insult. The insult would be not noticing it at all. But I should be prepared, have the armor ready so I can stand up and accept my mistakes and apologize for my stupidity and survive my own happiness intact.

I get sick of myself after a day of that and wish I could justify another bottle of that champagne, but it’s expensive, and no one’s getting rich. Just crazy, crazier, and I’m not using that word lightly because I know what it means, believe me.

This is what it is to be For Sale, I say to absolutely no one. Some people will be amused by what I’m selling just like I wanted, some people will pretend to like it out of kindness, some people will willfully misunderstand it out of spite, some people will be disappointed in me personally, some people will point out my lack of understanding, and they’ll all be right. (Because a story without a reader has a half life, a half meaning. That’s no way to exist.) Most people will ignore it, because in the grand scheme of my fucked-up chosen world, this is a drop in the ocean. This, the inbetween of absurd elation and crushing vulnerability, this is what it is.

Now I’m talking to myself:

So maybe you are a lucky fucker after all, girl. Next time someone tells you that, nod and smile and stop being such a brat about it. And get the fuck back to work, before you start snapping.


And that’s how it feels when I get a “yes”. My latest “yes” for a novel, specifically, but with a few changes, it can apply to any or all. I don’t know what it feels like for other people, which is why I finally decided, after lots of fearful excuses and doubt and other useless bullshit, to post this after all. Excuse or ignore the wankery — or tell me how it feels.

DC Comics and Self Doubt

10 Jun

Not as cool as DC Comics and Chocolate Milkshake, but it’s all I got.

Before I get into a comic book ramble, let me ask y’all something:

Have you ever re-read something you’ve written, gone, “This is definitely the best thing I’ve ever done,” and then gotten really, really depressed because you’re pretty sure it’s not any good at all?

Yeah, it must be one of those weeks. I always have them after I’ve been less productive than I’d like, as I most certainly have been over the last few weeks–as previously noted.  Alas!

But there are good things in the world too. Like digital comics. Everyone’s talking about the DC reboot–okay, this isn’t quite as extraordinary as they want us to think, as I’m pretty sure they’ve tried to do this before. Like 12 times. And I’m not sure why they couldn’t just do the Marvel thing and produce an “Ultimate” line–which was one of the coolest things Marvel ever did, seeing as Ultimate Fantastic Four got rid of everything that was annoying about the FF and made it awesome again.

Anyhow, my DC experience is limited compared to some. My brother is a huge fan of the Green Lanterns and Green Arrows (plural on that second one because he was most into it during the Kyle Rayner/Connor Hawke era. And if you’ve ever read Emerald Allies, that slash mark will seem freakishly appropriate. Way to do the fanficcer’s work for them, DC), so I was subjected to those through him. For myself, I bought Uncanny X-Men, Amazing Spider-Man, Robin (Yes, it was Tim back then, I’m not that old), and Superboy every month as a kid, so I was about half and half, but as I got older I developed a definite preference for Marvel. Even when I’m going through one of my five year long temper tantrums.*

But hey, whatever, I’ll bite, DC.

So I got the DC app and started buying digital comics with Flashpoint #1. It’s the official start of the reboot, but the Flash series previous to it did a runup. The basic idea is Barry Allen wakes up and the whole world is DIFFERENT. Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert, so of course it rocks, because it’s Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert, right?

And okay, I’m gonna keep reading it. But I’ll decide for sure after the miniseries is over.

And then there’s the fabulous Barry Napier/Luis Puig Birdwatching from Mars, #1. Which I’ve got loaded up and ready to go on ye olde Kindle App. Mmmm, delicious.

It’s weird, though. I have this huge shelf just outside my office door covered with comics. Mine, my dad’s, stuff I dug out of bargain bins (all my first New Mutants and Alpha Flight runs came from that practice, as I was too young when they were actually running to know they existed), graphic novels. I never, ever thought I’d be okay with digital comics.** Like, isn’t that something you collect? Keep forever? Cherish? I mean, I have my dad’s, right? How cool is that?

I don’t know why I’m okay with it. Maybe because I have too much crap cluttering my shelves as it is. Maybe because I’ve been burned too many times by comics writers, and I think I’ll be less likely to freak out if it’s digital? (See temper tantrums*.) It’s not like these stories mean less to me than the other books I read. For Christ’s sake, I had a Spider-Man tattoo before I ever had my Lord of the Rings one.

I don’t know the answer, man. But I do know that shit looks awesome on the iPad, so I’mma roll with it. Yay, comics!


**I’m actually going to need a print version of Birdwatching, too. But just in terms of DC and Marvel, here…

Now playing: Manic Street Preachers – You Love Us
via FoxyTunes

Convalescing With Superpowered Science

22 Apr

No, no, I’m not sick and never was (er, knock on wood). But I’m definitely shaking Jonesy out of my head with the latter part of this week, both with reading and beta reading. Nothing else is going to do it. He’s clinging. Still.

My to-read list is out of control, and so I decided some time last month that I absolutely must knock off at least one a week, no matter what I’m doing. This has increased my happiness exponentially, and is proving a good distraction this week.

Other distractions:

Collecting tickets to summer shows. So far: Arctic Monkeys, Art Brut, Interpol–what next? Come to DC, awesome bands! Come! And I’m getting a little MMORPG action, too, which I always forget to do when I’m writing something. Crack of choice: The Lord of the Rings Online. Sometimes, killing orcs is all that helps. Listening to my music really, really loud. Wanted to go to the National Gallery today, but it’s going to storm and it’s a few blocks from the Metro–and dude, wet jeans? No thanks.

Maybe I should go shopping. Retail therapy? That helps, right? (Uh, no books though. Really. No.)

What do you do to recover from a brutal draft? You know, the kind that leaves you feeling a little bruised and lonely. Tips? Advice? Anecdotes? Accusations of madness?

Semi-related news: I did get my superpowered romance contract back from The Publisher, so it’s probably safe now to tell you that it’s a novella called Equilibrium and is gonna be with Loose Id. Might’ve seen me mention them before, since they publish my dear Mina Kelly, which is why they were the first place I went. I begged her help and advice beforehand, or I would’ve had trouble getting up the guts. But yeah, they’re awesome so yay!

I’ve been indulging in superpowered science with Neuronaut Reenie this week, is why it’s semi-related. Romance novels: way hotter with SCIENCE!

But then, what isn’t?

Anyhow, there’s not much there now, but if you’re into that kind of thing, I’m gonna take the discussion of this particular topic over to Katey Hawthorne land. I’m sure I’ll squee or do WIP stuff here about it, but nothing more than what’s already been and gone. It’s a work in progress, but what’s there looks pretty cool, I reckon.

All proceeds from Ms. Hawthorne’s sex-and-fire schemes will go to support The Red Penny Papers, for the record. So if you need an excuse to indulge, there you go. (Fuck advertising–selling pulpy superhero sex is so much more appropriate.)

Superhero science and romance novels–also good for recovery, by the way. So what else?

Now playing: Art Brut – DC Comics and Chocolate Milkshake
via FoxyTunes

A Whole Lot of People

5 Apr

“Writers aren’t exactly people…they’re a whole lot of people trying to be one person.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald

Of course this is more about the characters. God knows my particular method of writing is to let whatever character is in charge of that story run roughshod over my psyche. I got all used up by Sebastian just a few weeks ago, and my friends, it sucked. I tanked the poor guy’s life (well, he did, cuz he’s kind of a dummy) and then felt briefly like I’d tanked my own. Waaaaa method acting!

But today I’m just talking about me. Katey. (Yes, I do know the difference. Most of the time.) I’ve just signed a contract that made yet another personality of mine a real entity. So let’s take a tally:

1. KV Taylor. Writes dark fiction, edits for Morrigan Books. Creepy chick, into historical, the supernatural, and psychological horror, usually with a fantasy injection. Faeries, vampires, demons, clockwork, violence, madness, blood. That about says it all.

2. Magdala Twistleton. Late 19th century married lady, likes sensational fiction. No lie, when I read for RPP and I’m wondering if something fits, I genuinely have the thought, “Would Magdala get excited about this?” Seriously. I’m not kidding. I do this.

3. Katey Hawthorne. You know how you’re supposed to construct your porn star name by using the name of your first pet and the name of the street you grew up on? Well, I thought Tiger Hawthorne was overkill, frankly (not as awesome as my best friend’s, which would’ve been Muffy Hiddenwood, but still pretty bad). Anyhow, I can still use my same blogger account if I stick with, you know. Katey. Also, it’s my name.

So when I did my annual “Thanks Rock Stars” post(s) in Jan, part 2 mentioned that during a really crap couple of months for the Taylor Family, I couldn’t handle writing anything dark. And yet, not writing is never an option, so I rose to a challenge I’d thrown down earlier in the year and wrote a handful of UF romance novels. (Occasionally explosions–lots of fire and stuff, but I can’t help myself.) Wellllll by some miracle I’ve managed to place the first of them with a really cool romance e-publisher.

Yeah, I know. Bit stunned, myself.

When I get the contract back signed by said publisher I will of course make mention of more detail. (They’re amazing–I know this is for real. Just, you know how it is. One gets a contract, one thinks, “This can’t be for real…”) And then I will remove such romantic ramblings to a blog I’ve created just for Ms. Hawthorne’s superpowered romance adventures and leave a link to her over in the sidebar. So never fear, you won’t be inundated with queer erotic romance–

Oh, except the queer erotic romance that constantly peoples my dark fiction. You’re still stuck with that.

(Hey I left my actual legal name off that list! Oh god, we should start a pool on how long it’ll take before I go batshit insane, shouldn’t we?)

Now playing: Kaiser Chiefs – Learnt My Lesson Well
via FoxyTunes