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Overdue Update Time!

14 Nov

Business Update!

WELP if you have not yet gotten your copy of SUPERPOW, I highly recommend it for obvious reasons!

 

Superpow cover by Astro

Check it out. *narrowly avoids an urge to capslock the shit out of that*

ALSO, there are some really fabulous interviews with Superpow Authors at Milo James Fowler’s blog of awesome right now:

Alan Baxter talks “Autumn of the Greatest”

Louise Bohmer talks “Unsuper Translator”

William Vitka talks “Bruiser”

You can click the book cover above to find out where to get your copy, but there will be more retailers coming soon–and a print run, yay!

Personal Update!

Productivity was doing all right there, but has come to a bit of a halt again–mainly because it’s physically difficult for me to write more than a paragraph at a time, and that is a really, really difficult way to write and/or edit, sad to say. I’ve had back problems for some time now, but it’s gotten to the point where–uh, not to go into gross details, but my spine is getting jacked by some of my discs and I can’t really use my arms as well as I could a few months ago, even. SO THERE’S THAT. I’m working on a solution, obviously, with docs and stuff, but that’s the short version of what has been a very painful and INCREDIBLY FUCKING FRUSTRATING saga. So if you don’t see me around as much and notice a drop in what was looking like a reboot in productivity from me… yeah. My spine has decided otherwise.

FOR NOW.

All the Books

2 Jun

Well, as expected, these past few months since moving into the new place have been spent making up for last year’s dearth of productivity–in terms of writing, I mean. But they actually have been productive; all of my series except for The Family are caught up, with their next books published and out there, and so vampires next! But first, getting RPP’s next publication together, to which end I am devoting my entire month of June. Nothing else. Just RPP and superheroes.

But yes, more on that soon!

For now, I want to explain my lack of net presence recently. I’ve been on and off social media often, but mostly off for the last few weeks, but I have a good reason.

And that reason is books. See–no better reason is possible!

So, our new house. It has this glorious, huge space in the front of it with a half-vaulted ceiling and lots of good light. This flows directly into another space obviously intended to be an eating area (because there’s a pass-through from the kitchen). Then in the back of the house, there’s a kitchen and another living space–the one with the fireplace, so clearly, that had to be our main sitting room.

What to do with this gigantic front space with the great ceiling though?

Obviously, it had to become a library.

I had this plan in my mind from the moment we offered on the house, and of course, Balaji was behind it. Because books. We’ve spent eight years piling our books up on top of each other, in front of each other, and every which way we could, which doesn’t lend itself to finding things. To two such book lovers as ourselves, this is intolerable.

So we made a plan. And enlisted my mom and dad to help. Dad’s a handy dude with a lot of power tools, and they were both super keen on the project. And so, Memorial Day weekend, they spent three days working their butts off with us. Partly to reclaim the yard from the landscaping, which had gone a bit Sleeping Beauty while the house was unoccupied, but mostly to this:


Yeah. So. That was a lot of measuring. And cutting (thanks, Dad!) and painting. And screwing in brackets. And and and. BUT AT LAST, my dream of library domination was near!

… and a week later (because yes, it took me that long to arrange everything, we have this…


Which comes complete with a special section for fiction:

Yes, those are two of the originals of Megan Eckman‘s RPP covers in frames there. And my Sirius Black wand. And and and. STUFF!

Also, many books by friends there on the middle right hand side. :D

And then there’s the non-fiction, of course:

So yeah. THIS is where I’ve been. I just thought I’d share because… books! Now, we still need to find a proper couch and rugs and stuff, and my comics need to come out of their huge ugly tupperwares, but that can totally wait. For now I’m just gonna go stand int he middle of all my books.

And then back to work.

Bullet Point Update!

24 Mar

Oh, life. Are we ready to slow down yet? Sure, I knew we were! Here are the recent developments in Kateyland in bullet point form, since I still have furniture to put together (grrrr argghhhh)!

  • I own a house. Weird but true. It’s a very cute house, too!
  • Lucy the mutant cat approves of the house, it would seem. Or at least, she approves of the windows.
  • St. Patrick’s Day came and went and I packed fueled entirely by Guinness and Paddy Rock that day. Not a bad plan… if no heavy lifting is involved. Probably.
  • Katey Hawthorne has a book coming out tomorrow. Oh, the timing. The terrible, terrible timing. Good reason to hop right back on the horse, though!
  • This week and weekend are RPP week and weekend. Next year’s schedule shall be finalized, emails shall be answered, and even if we don’t get the entire list of potential subs sorted out, we will be well on our way.
  • I am so tired of winter. Can it please be warm again?
  • Vampire Movie Night starts up again this weekend. Apologies in advance for what the first one will be… Fascination. It’s bad. So very, very bad.
  • Did I mention I own a house? Sorry, this is just weird. I also own almost enough furniture to fill it… but not quite. So we’ll be building a library. No really. A library. What else should a second living area be used for? Tea parties?
  • I need to have more tea parties tho.
  • I may be exhausted and slap-happy.

 

Red Penny Moves

22 Jan

I’ve explained a lot of what’s going on with me lately, but I wanted to specifically explain stuff as it happens with The Red Penny Papers. Since sending out an email isn’t going to hit everyone who needs to know what’s going on there, I thought I’d put it here so it can be easily found. Basically I created RPP as a creative outlet–there was no magazine doing the kind of pulp I wanted to read, and I love editing as a creative process. People who’ve worked with me as an editor might have noticed–I get really into it. To the point of leaving over-enthusiastic comments on bits I really like.

I’m a generally super productive and self-motivated individual, so RPP me something to do that took me out of my own head and into others’ in my spare time. For two years everything was quite perfect with it.

About a year ago B and I discovered we’d have to move suddenly. We weren’t sure to where, but we had to get out and find a living, and asap. As soon as we were finally settled, that’s when the things with my family and health started going awry. A series of family tragedies and some interesting medications later, we’re about to move again–I detailed a lot of the drama in a post a few months back, so I won’t belabor the point or what it did to my own writing (which was: kill it). This time, though, we’re moving in the same town, somewhere permanent where we can finally settle into our life again.

Cue house-hunting taking over my life. Anyone who tells you this is a fun activity is on drugs. Seriously. I thought apartment shopping was soul-crushing. Oh, little did I know.

Maybe my point is becoming clear now. That meant bad things for RPP, since my partner-in-editing had similar issues at the exact same time. It’s impossible to publish a magazine when things are in flux like that, however. Not just financially–which has been a little bit of a concern just due to uncertainty, but not nearly as bad as it could’ve been–but from a time and effort standpoint, it wasn’t gonna happen. And having Thunderbird blow up on me didn’t help either. (I managed to migrate to Outlook after finally giving up and shelling out for a piece of software that could do it without requiring I open Thunderbird at all. Pray to your heathen gods for my computer, okay, because if that goes I’m even more screwed. Yay new iPad, at least?)

Once I know for sure that we’ve secured a place to live after our lease is up, I will be announcing a new publishing schedule for RPP, starting with a large book project we’ve been working on over the last year while in flux. (I thought that was gonna happen a few weeks ago… the deal fell through. And then another one fell through again this week, hence me just making this post instead of waiting any longer.) After that, my goal is to shift RPP’s balance more equally to serial novellas and short fiction issues. This is the reason we’ve not been able to accept anything for the last reading period yet–we’re not sure on the timing of anything. At all. And we can’t be until I know I have a place to live and can build our schedule around that, so as to keep things moving smoothly instead of these endless delays from 2013 carrying over.

So that’s my explanation–mind you, not an excuse. I also don’t want to sound like I’m complaining, because I am really loving being back in Columbus, and without the job/place to live upheaval, that wouldn’t have happened. The family things–well, that’s obviously crap, but it did push me to the point where I got some help for health problems I’ve been trying to ignore for literally a decade now. Things are really looking up around here, and I have absolutely no plan to abandon RPP or its writers and artists, who have been so patient and fantastic with me and the magazine this year. You totally deserve an explanation if you want it, so here it is.

And in closing, if you haven’t checked out Samatha Lienhard’s The Book at Dernier, I gotta recommend it. And the cover by Galen Dara. Wow. Expect more of this kind of classic, pulpy darkfic from us in the very near future.

This is Halloween

31 Oct

Gotta watch it at least once today, right? God knows it’s been stuck in my head all day.

Happy Halloween!

Thirty-Two

10 Sep

I recently turned thirty-three. In retrospect, I have to pronounce that thirty-two was not a great year for me.

The first few months went well enough, me still sort of coming off the Italy trip that was everything I could’ve hoped for. The late fall trip to Chennai for Diwali was also brilliant.

And then things went sideways and just never got upright again. The crisis that caused me to put RPP on hold involved a sudden job hunt and the plan to move. Where, we didn’t know. We could’ve stayed in DC, but it’s so expensive, it seemed like this was the opportune time to finally get out and move somewhere we could enjoy an easier lifestyle in a more sensible way. There were months of uncertainty, knowing we’d end up somewhere, but that was it. Texas was mentioned. Seattle. Places that I like, actually, but are very far from family and other comforts we’d both rather be nearer to for various reasons.

I don’t do uncertainty. My mind is constantly unsettled, and I know I’m not the only creative person to deal with this. (We’re insomniacs and self-medicators for a reason.) I rely on the outside world for my sense of stability, and when it starts to break down, so do I. Luckily, B is very good at providing stability when I can’t (and vice versa–this is probably why we work so well, really, we balance out the crazy). And honestly, he provides me with a reason to be grounded when he can’t.

But that was our winter. I had a few  books happen–Liam at last made his debut. Without him I don’t think I’d even have done any of this. I was overjoyed. A romance novel, too, Losing Better happened just around the same time (amidst some confusion and fear, but bless my publisher, they made it happen beautifully). Both books I’d completed, at minimum, a year and a half previous. Edits were done amidst my own personal confusion, and it was lovely. Kept me a bit sane.

Thankfully, we landed in a very familiar place, the place we met, actually. Columbus is also the place where most of the worst (and unstable) years of my life were passed, but I don’t really associate it with that–or if I do, it’s in a sort of fond, “Oh, Ten-Years-Ago me, you were so ridiculous” kind of way. That eased the transition considerably, and I was happy to see it–and still am.

It seemed I had my feet under me, and I began catching up with editing work. I still hadn’t written anything in over half a year, but then, that seemed understandable in the circumstances. RPP started getting its wheels back into motion and my other editing work came along perfectly. Inedible Sins–possibly my favorite thing I’ve ever written–came to light perfectly in April.

Then summer happened. I mentioned before that my uncle died. We’re a very, very clannish sort of family, so it was a rough go; I don’t know if I was more sad for myself or worried about my family in the aftermath. Then the lovely wedding, with all its strange emotions.

I finished a short story as a lead in to a new romance release, and it felt damn good. The first thing in some nine months, probably, that I had managed to summon the concentration, sit down, and write more than three paragraphs at a time. I know, ‘put your butt in the chair and write’, but it’s not that easy for me sometimes. When I write, I write non-stop, but the more the year dragged on, the more difficult a time I had recovering from little disasters. A week or more was required just to get my head straight, to stop the constant whirring. For the big disasters, well, you can imagine.

But I finished it, and it gave me the confidence to do my first con as an author–and I did, and it was absolutely lovely. The panels were fun, the people were great, I felt good about it. I turned thirty-three the week after, and Re-entry Burn, another book I’d written over a year and a half ago, happened that night at midnight.

I hadn’t written anything in ten months, by then, I don’t think.

Four days after my birthday, my Great Aunt Mary died. It’s hard to say what all this meant to me and my family without rambling incessantly. I’m sure I’ll do some kind of post about her shortly, once I’ve had time to organize my thoughts without being overwhelmed by them. Maybe in a week or two. But suffice it to say that B referred to her as “My BFF Mary” because any time we were at the table together, no one could get a word in edgewise.

I spent Labor Day weekend at my parents’ dog-sitting for them while they went to Virginia to help my Uncle Jim, Mary’s brother, manage things. I spent most of the week after that in Virginia with them, going through her apartment, cleaning it out, organizing her things for her relatives or the auctioneer. When I said I’d go and help, I wasn’t sure if this was going to be one of the worst decisions of my life–something like that can only go one way or the other and there is no inbetween.

But it was good, after all. Just a bit surreal.

I have a bunch of art things from her, plus all my great-grandfather’s columns when he was the editor of the paper, his letters to my grandparents, etc, which should entertain me vastly some day when I am feeling weird and just need an organizational project to settle my nerves.

Within a month or two, I’m sure I’ll be back to writing things. And my editing work will be caught up at last–so close, but so far! But I’m putting this here because after years in a row where I updated this blog without fail about my wild amounts of writing progress, this happened. I’ve gone almost a year without producing even one new novel–unheard of! And now, considering the year I’ve had, there’s even more fighting to get out. Not to mention the three (yes, three) half-finished novels still waiting for me and the two others that are plotted and partially scripted. I was just lucky I had a backlog to get me through it, or my lack of productivity would’ve been even more glaringly obvious.

TL;DR Katey’s been a bit fucked up. But it’s okay. Last time I had a year like this, I started writing romance novels as well as horror. So this is probably gonna mean something good in the end too.

But this year is fired. So here’s to thirty-three.

Update Post is Updatey

8 Jul

Ooooh I dropped off the planet again, I know. It has been a very weird month around these parts–well, month-and-a-half, really. But now I finally feel like I have a grip, which is good, because I’ve got a super awesome and busy couple of months coming up here to finish out the summer. So just to get past the whole update thing quickly!

Personal things (skip past to the interesting stuff, if you like, I will understand):

  • Had a pretty crushing blow. Close family member died unexpectedly. Everyone was really thrown off by it and we’re still not okay, but yeah. Glad we moved back to Ohio where we’re closer to most everyone. We’re one of those gigantic families that tends to work through things best when we do it together.
  • A few weeks later we had an excellent wedding. Everyone was still pretty emotionally worn out, but it was exactly what we needed. The wedding was brilliant and beautiful and my cousin Shannon was the cutest bride ever okay. A good time was had by all. Just. All the feels.
  • And of course the Fourth of July immediately following, which as some of you know is one of my favorite holidays. But after that month with all the emotions and the driving and the worrying and the uh, drinking, I think my body just kind of gave up on me, so I’m dealing with some serious back pain right now. Working through it! Hot pack/cold pack!

Writer-y things:

  • This interrupted service on a few really exciting projects I’m editing right now. For one, there’s an RPP special coming up shortly. I’ve reached an agreement with one of my favorite artists to do the cover and… well, I’ll save it for later. But by the end of the summer we should see something really exciting and wholly new at The Red Penny Papers!
  • Plus all our usual stuff, of course. Got a new serial in the works and a summer issue that’s amaze. That’s just how we roll. It’s so good to be back.
  • I’m working with the amazing Shannon Page right now on her forthcoming novel, Eel River, for Morrigan Books. This book is an absolute pet of mine; I’ve had my hands on it from submissions and begged for the edits to be assigned to me too. Mark did me a solid with this one. Cannot wait to unleash this one on the world. It’s scary as hell. Hippie horror!
  • The other me has another book meant to drop in September. More superpowered romance, so yay good times! That contract turned up just when I needed it most, in terms of ‘oh god, something good happen, please!’ Yay!
  • I’m also prepping for some cons and writing some things. The second Family book has been trying to get ready for months now, but life keeps kicking poor James while I’m down. Almost there, though. Maybe I can just hide for a week and do nothing but finish perfecting it.

That’d be a great vacation, right?

Right!

Okay back to my heating pad for the moment, but that’s the basic “where the hell have you been and what the hell are you doing right now” rundown. ♥

The Sinful Soundtrack

25 Apr

Thanks to the wonders of Grooveshark, my obsessive playlist-making can now be conveniently shared with the world!

… I say that like it’s a good thing.

Anyhow! When I was writing Inedible Sins, I was no less obsessive than usual. Since the book is coming on the 28th, I figured I might as well set it up here, in case people are interested. So. Soundtrack!

Here is my TL;DR commentary:

1. “Smash the System”. I don’t belong here in your garden/I should be up there on your throne. Yeah, basically 50% of Jonesy’s personality, right there.
2. “Town Called Malice”. Though decidedly written about a small working-class town in England, it’s safe to say this can apply to DC, especially at this point in time, in many, many ways.
3. “Yourself”. All the self-loathing. All of it.
4. “Sweet and Tender Hooligan”. If we hadn’t been able to decide on Inedible Sins as a title, I really might’ve suggested this…
5. “Gintlemen’s Club”. Again, wrong city, but the posh poser vibe stands.
6. “Get Myself Arrested”. In so very many ways, really.
7. “Broken Boy Soldier”. Did I mention there’s Civil War stuff? There’s Civil War stuff!
8. “The World Was A Mess But His Hair Was Perfect”. If Ashley Evans existed today, this would be his theme song. It would just spontaneously start playing whenever he walked into a room.
9. “My Mistakes Were Made For You”. From Jonesy, to Jude and Emily.
10. “Bad Taste In My Mouth”. Now I’ve got all the things that I wanted/There’s still a bad taste in my mouth. Worse than ever, in fact.
11. “Pace is the Trick”. Jonesy’s issues with the world and himself (and Brother Alfie) in one convenient (and lovely–great song!) package.
12. “Blood Money”. Oh. But blood is so much better than money, by the end.
13. “Evil and a Heathen”. Jonesy and Ashley, for sure.
14. “Handlebars”. The quintessential crash-and-burn delusions-of-grandeur song.
15. “The Butcher”. By the last two chapters, this is basically on repeat in Jonesy’s head. Much to Brother Alfie’s dismay.
16. “Salvation”. For all the irony.
17. “Rebellion (Lies)”. Not just the lyrics, but the music. That keychange punches me in the throat every time, which is precisely the feeling here, yes.
18. “505”. Acedia. As in the final chapter. Over and over.

Inedible Sins

Coming Sunday!

Changes

24 Feb

Before I get into the upcoming changes to life, wanted to give a shoutout to Ishtar. You guys might remember this badass goddess book I got to edit with Amanda Pillar for Morrigan’s little sister, Gilgamesh Press? It’s on the Locus Recommended Reads list for 2012! Woohoo!

Congratulations to Kaaron, Deb, and Cat. Beautiful, vicious stories about a beautiful, vicious goddess.

In personal news, I am moving! After spending seven years in the DC area, B and I are heading back to where we met: Columbus, Ohio. We’re both pretty excited about this; I loved living in Columbus, and he became really fond of it while we were dating. (You know, that whole month before we got engaged and moved here together. No biggie.) So even if the cost of living wasn’t far, far more reasonable, we’d still be excited. As it is, that’s just a nice bonus.

We’ve known we’d have to move soon since the holidays, we just weren’t sure exactly where or when until about a week ago. Which was, as you can imagine just so much fun. We spent this weekend trying to find a place to land–which is difficult when you live eight hours away, but at least we knew the town and the kind of place we wanted. Also, there’s a thing called a relocation specialist that can help with that, apparently. This is news to me, but it was awfully nice having someone babysit us while we were trying to find a rental to hold us over until we get settled–B in his new job, me in the town again.

So yes, this has much to do with why The Red Penny Papers has been on hiatus this winter. Life in this house has been extremely up in the air, but it had to be settled by spring. So RPP will indeed be back then with a huge, superpowered bang.

And now I have things to pack. Though apparently there are also people who will come to your house and pack things for you? Oh, strange new world of corporate relocation–where have you been all my life?

Airplane Crud

29 Nov

In our business, people know all about the infamous Con Crud. It is an inevitable fact of being a working writer: you go to conventions, you meet up with friends and colleagues (in some cases, frolleagues–okay that’s not a thing, but it should be), you drink too much, you get involved in several million projects, you enjoy the local food and drink (did I already say drink?), you stay up til stupid o’clock, you make wild promises of delivering epic awesome to your favorite presses, and you fly home hungover. Which inevitably leads to  Con Crud the week after, a creeping illness that is part and parcel of the whole glamorous working writer experience. And totally worth it.

Not dissimilar is general Airplane Crud. While it is rare (but hardly unthinkable, as I know some Aussies who come to ReaderCon–HARDCORE) to spend more than 12 hours on a single flight for the sake of a convention, it is less rare for other reasons. As in flying to India to visit in-laws. If you have in-laws in India. Which, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, I totally do.

We got home two days before Thanksgiving, which left just enough time to retrieve the cat and go to Whole Foods to buy ALL THE FOOD. Yes, we had a prepared cheater Thanksgiving, but oh man, I do not trust myself in the kitchen on good days, sometimes, let alone when I’m surviving that level of epic jet lag. I somehow managed to survive the live culture experiment that is the airplane on the flight from Italy earlier this year, so I had it coming, but holy fuckballs, am I sick and miserable right now.

But seeing as I went to both Italy and India this year, I really don’t feel like I’m allowed to complain. So here’s a picture of me in my Diwali sari, because this is what happens when my in-laws dress me up for holidays. I am very proud because I managed to successfully keep this one on, which is more than I can say for the ridiculously formal silk one I wore to my BiL’s wedding six years ago.

Diwali Sari Time!

… okay so maybe it took some getting used to, but I even managed to light fireworks in it and not set myself or anyone else on fire, so clearly I took to it pretty fast.

Fireworks!

 And yes, that is a lot of fireworks carnage, I know. That was Diwali morning, and we had been very, very busy the night before, too. Chennai sounded like a war zone for a good 48 hours. It was awesome.

So yes. Worth the Airplane Crud. But holy Jesus SIIIIIIIIIIIIICK.

In oddly related news, In Situ, the Dagan Books anthology of alien archaeology stories, got a couple of really nice reviews while I was lighting fireworks and dragging my family on day trips to random temples. Related, because, of course, my story within is called “Chennai 5″–which is the name of the new planet my main characters are colonizing. Named after the biggest city in their home state of Tamil Nadu, of course. This one is by James Aquilone at SF Signal, and declares that the book contains “no clunkers”, which I always love to hear. (He’s not damning with faint praise, I just like that phrase a lot. It’s a great review.) This one from A Fantastical Librarian goes really in-depth to look at favorites and less-than-favorites. “Chennai 5″ got a shout out with the former, so I of course have the most ridiculous grin on my face right now.

In Situ  is out from Dagan now, as a friendly reminder. Check it out here, if it sounds like your speed, and here’s a little interview I did about “Chennai 5″ and what inspired it.

If the above discussion of hanging out with the in-laws didn’t already answer that. Ha!