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!

Incoming Sins

23 Apr

This weekend, Inedible Sins is coming to Dagan Books! It’s a novella, the first in what will be an ongoing line at Dagan, available as an eBook everywhere that sort of thing is, ah, usually available! I’ve been posting bits and pieces about it here lately, but now that the wheels are really in motion (oh, that’s punny–nevermind)…

Inedible SinsYou may have heard a rumor that this novella contains a robot. True! A clockwork robot with a very specific function and/or functions.

The ‘history‘ rumor is also accurate, as this cover would imply. You think Washington, DC is a hot mess now, you shoulda seen it right before the Civil War.

Romance, too, if you’ve heard that, and in the most unexpected places. Blurring class lines can be dangerous–but that is the least of their worries.

Though our hero Jonesy covers all of the Seven Deadly Sins quite capably, Lust is one of his favorites. And oh, the trouble sex can cause a boy…

Ah, but let’s not forget the violence, the last of the promised themes. Figuratively and literally, too much sin tends to lead in that direction. Wrath, you see, is Jonesy’s favorite Cardinal Sin.

For a series of informative, short excerpts from Inedible Sins, click on through to its page here on the site. I’ll be back with more later in the week, and the book itself on Sunday. Wee!

Try Me, Part 2

12 Apr

I really need to do a proper design update, but frankly I suck at that kind of thing. But now that we’re settled in Ohio (we’re baaaaack!) and actual work is getting done again, I at least managed to give the place a good clean-up and reorganization. I checked all the links from my short fiction page, I updated the non-fiction section, and I added a page especially for editorial projects. Phew.

In the process, I noticed that some of my older stories are no longer available online where they used to be, and since my rights are all reverted to me, I put them up here on the site. I also noticed my old introductory “try me” post was woefully outdated, so here’s a new version:

Try me, I’m free!

Hi! My name’s Katey, and I write dark things. I have a few novels out right now. One is a freaky modern Appalachian fairy story called Scripped, and another is part one in a vampire series called The Family, Liam. Coming soon, I’ll also have a dark historical novella about a clockwork confessor called Inedible Sins.

There are a lot of authors out there, and I feel lucky that you took a second to check me out. Before you buy any of those things I just listed up there, maybe you want to make sure my style suits you. I would, too! All of the short fiction listed as “online” here is free, but here are some quick links to make things simpler, since I have a bunch of different styles, depending on what you’re into.

Just a couple of freebies to mitigate some of the risk factor.

Thanks for stopping by, and hopefully I’ll see you again soon.

The Reading Lessons

10 Apr

I’ve been a little bit quiet again lately, but that’s because my face hurts. Like literally, my TMJ is being horrible. BUT! I really can’t sit still today because I just caught this book trailer and… yeah. Carole Lanham’s latest. Everyone’s probably heard me go on and on about The Whisper Jar and my love for it, so you can imagine how excited I am for The Reading Lessons.

Need.

And look, it’s so pretty!

The Reading Lessons

The Reading Lessons
by Carole Lanham

Mississippi 1920: Nine year old servant, Hadley Crump, finds himself drawn into a secret world when he is invited to join wealthy Lucinda Browning’s dirty book club. No one suspects that the bi-racial son of the cook is anything more to Lucinda than a charitable obligation, but behind closed doors, O! she doth teach the torches to burn bright. What begins as a breathless investigation into the more juicy parts of literature quickly becomes a consuming and life-long habit for two people who would not otherwise be left alone together. As lynchings erupt across the South and the serving staff is slowly cut to make way for new mechanical household conveniences, Hadley begins to understand how dangerous and precarious his situation is.

The Reading Lessons follows the lives of two people born into a world that is unforgiving as a Hangman’s knot. Divided by skin color and joined by books, Hadley and Lucinda are forced to come together in the only place that will allow it, a land of printed words and dark secrets.

** Coming Summer 2013 **

ETA: Changing this to a link to the trailer! Apparently something’s all funky with the feed. Hopefully this fixes it. TRAILER HERE YAY!

ETA2: GUYS LOOK AT THE FIRST COMMENT THERE’S A DISCOUNT/GIVEAWAY THINGIE!

Inedible Newspaper Sins

25 Mar

Ah, the news. Newspapers, specifically, that 0ld standby of American existence. Wait, you’ll say, but don’t many peoples live and die by the news? Yes. However, back in the early 19th century, visitors from the UK and European continent were constantly commenting on how oddly attached their American cousins were to their papers.* How awfully middle class.

The main players in my upcoming novella, Inedible Sins, are predictably attached to their papers. Ashley Evans regales his sister Iris and our hero Jonesy nightly with the political gossip from the Evening Star, one of Washington City’s premier Democratic papers back in 1856. But it’s not all Congress and Democratic National Conventions and aborted duels–there’s also the odd column inch full of old-timey cleverness.

By which I of course mean misogyny. Oh my.

Evening Star Jul 5 1856

 

Transcription, since reading a photograph of a microfilm desk from the Library of Congress sucks hard:

-> Young Man, a private word. When you go courting, find out as soon as possible whether your affections are being planted more in a bundle of dry-goods and things generally, than a pulsating heart, hemmed in by warm ribs and all that. Many a fellow has laid himself out for a full made woman, and only found a very extensive assortment of cotton, whalebone and similar delusive institutions. Just look over the goods before going to the parson.

-> One thousand pounds of wafers are used by the United States House of Representatives in a single session.

-> “Charity covereth a multitude of sins”. So does calico.

Okay that last one is kinda funny, but not if you read it in a slut-shamey way. Still, the ridiculous things I found doing research for this book. Some of the most fun I ever had in a library. Which is saying quite a lot.

*The most famous being Fanny Trollope in her hilarious Domestic Manners of the Americans. Check the paragraph that begins with, “In truth, there are many reasons which render a very general diffusion of literature impossible in America. I can scarcely class the universal reading of newspapers as an exception to this remark ; if I could, my Statement  would be exactly the reverse, and I should say that America beat the world in letters.”

And For My Next Trick: Inedible Sins

13 Mar

It is a long-established fact that I am a historical fangirl. My love of ridiculous activities such as combing through two-hundred-year-old newspapers to find out where the most happening parties were, what hotels were all the rage, who was having what picnics where, all the best political scandal, and even the weather on a given day is well-known by now. The last big fact-finding mission I went on was in re Washington, DC just pre American Civil War: the summer of 1856. That one was for a novella working titled “The Inedible Sins of Sebastian Jones”. I once made a post about collating that research to lay out my main character Jonesy’s summer.

This is my idea of a good time! Yes, I know how to party, it’s true.

A year and some change later, I am pleased to be able to say that Jonesy’s story has new life. It will be called Inedible Sins, and will pop up with Dagan Books sometime in the very near future. In celebration, I’m going to start sharing some of the more ridiculous newspaper clippings I collected to inform my view of Jonesy’s world of Georgetown and  Washington City for the next few weeks.

But first, the beginning of the novella, just so you can see what sort of fellow Jonesy really is…

I. Invidia

In which I am dismissed from the seminary and find my new position hateful.

The moment my fist impacted with David Mullen’s face, I knew I was not intended for the priesthood. An explosion of pain in my right knuckles, the crunch of his lip into his teeth, and ruby droplets flew through the air like spilled communion wine. Mullen hit the ground wailing.

Hand still clenched, I said, “Next time you insult a man’s mother, you’ll know what to expect.” And then I turned and strode back down the hall for the Rector’s office, ignoring what fat-lipped abuse he flung after me.

A sense of clarity comes with a fight, a heightening of senses beyond anything else I know. This time, it enabled me to recognize an unexpected sense of relief welling in my breast. Of course, I would be removed from the seminary when the incident became known. I had run up against more than one of the other boys already, and it was clear I was on thin ice. Seminarians did not go around getting into arguments with other seminarians, even if they deserved far more than a few sharp words and a punch in the mouth.

But yes, I was relieved. All that remained was for me to tell the Rector that I would be on my way, no need for a fuss. I knocked on his door, pushed it open, and stared, aghast.

For there, among the crucifixes and paintings of saints and holy books, was our beloved Rector. He faced the desk, back to the door. A pair of stockinged legs wrapped around his midsection, between which he was thrusting zealously.

Small wonder that my presence went unnoticed until I said, “Good God!”

The lady, who seemed to have been reclining on two hands, sat up and looked around the Rector’s wide back. She was a pretty creature, with a high forehead and aristocratic nose, very well made up. But it was her mouth that was most familiar to me, long and wide, very much like the one I had burst only moments previous. The shock of recognition was the worst yet: she was David Mullen’s mother.

God has an appalling sense of humor sometimes, doesn’t he? What a way to shatter a boy’s illusions about his faith, his chosen profession, and the men to whom he’s confessed the darkest secrets of his heart since childhood.

At least it explained how that idiot Mullen was admitted to seminary.

Ah yes, Jonesy’s life just gets stranger from there. From the whirling society scandals of Lafayette Square to clockwork confessors in his Georgetown workshop. Because, oh yeah. Did I mention there’s a clockwork confessor involved? Sometimes, he’ll even eat your sins for you.

Monsterlove

11 Mar

What the hell am I talking about when I say Liam is a love story for monsters? Hop on over to The Armchair Reader, where Cole was kind enough to invite me to do a guest post in re monsterlove, and check it out. Oh, and enter to win an e-copy!

Vampire Movie Night: Daybreakers

10 Mar

Welcome to a not-so-newish segment where we allow Liam Corchoran and Gianni Fiorenza, the so-called heroes of my vampire series, The Family, to regale us with their unnecessary opinions on various and sundry vampire films. Got a rec for the boys? Hit em up!

Tonight is 2009′s Daybreakers. Thanks to Brian Fatah Steele for the rec! This one went over really well, believe it or not… [Some spoilers for character death follow!]


Daybreakers (2009)
Directors: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig
Writers: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill, Isabel Lucas

Daybreakers

LIAM: Okay, so we can both agree that this one is a winner, right?
GIANNI: Not perfect, and a little heavy-handed with the metaphor, but yes, I enjoyed it. For science fiction.
LIAM: Shut up. At least it’s more with the metaphor for humanity’s mismanagement of resources in general than being just a metaphor for rape?
GIANNI: It gets there eventually, but that’s one of its many flaws. However, the good does outweigh the bad.
Really, the first ten minutes of this movie are visual exposition. “Look, the world is run by vampires! Humans are in hiding because they’ve been hunted to the brink of extinction!” It shouldn’t be at all interesting, but it is.
LIAM: It’s fucking pretty, is why. Plus, the thing where the vampire Army uses Uncle Sam as their mascot is awesome. Adds a little dark humor to the post-vampire-virus-apocalyptic feeling.

Blood Factory!

Factory blood: it’s like the Matrix, but better.

GIANNI: Just promise me you’ll kill us before we’re stuck with factory-farmed blood.
LIAM: Or whatever the fuck is going on there. That’s gross. I am oddly intrigued by the idea of blood in the coffee like creamer though.
GIANNI: It’d never work, but it’s aesthetically interesting. More metaphor. And also, a little bit gross.
LIAM: Not nearly as gross as that early scene where Vampire Dr. Ethan Hawke has to test his faux-blood formula on a guy before it’s ready. Where the dude pukes all over the vampire doctors and then explodes.
GIANNI: Yes. That was gross.
LIAM: Full marks for well-done horror effects.
GIANNI: And immediately letting us know this is a movie that intends to batter us senseless with the Evil Corporation trope.

Nasty Vampires omg

So not what happens when you drink from another vampire, by the way…

LIAM: Okay, okay, but speaking of horror effects: how about that emaciated vampire thing?
GIANNI: That actually… might be what it looks like when someone is blood-starved for long enough. Truly disturbing.
LIAM: And then when they get desperate enough to eat from other vampires they turn into those nasty shriveled psychotic creatures–
GIANNI: Oh god. No.
LIAM: Definitely not a thing that happens.
GIANNI: Though what does happen is more disturbing in its way… no. Absolutely not.
LIAM: Interesting and terrifying, though.
GIANNI: And therefore approved?
LIAM: One-hundred-and-ten percent, yes. Though the crowning horror movie achievement in this one is that feeding cycle near the very end. Vampire Military Little Bro Frankie dies from the–well, that’s even more of a spoiler, so I won’t give away what he eats to make him all fucked up, then the army dudes eat him, then they die, then more army dudes eat them, then they die, then–
GIANNI: It’s wasteful and gratuitous. Why am I not surprised that you enjoyed it? Also, I think Little Brother Frankie counts as our coked up 80s vamped friend for this one, yes?
LIAM: Yes. Definitely. All the family drama happening here.
GIANNI: Sounds familiar.

Vampire Doc

A cure–a blood substitute! All things are impossible with this pharma co.

LIAM: Best line, though, “It’s never been about a cure. It’s just repeat business.” I love that the undead pharma companies are as fucked up as the living ones.
GIANNI: We’re not human, but vampires do share certain qualities with our less evolved cousins. Greed being one. I suppose I can let it pass.
LIAM: The vampire pharma angle is something Giuseppe could appreciate. We should convince him to watch it.
GIANNI: Yes, his skewed moral code is rigid, too.
LIAM: Speaking of, this is the first ‘vampire who refuses to feed on humans’ story I’ve been willing to buy. They set that shit up really nicely.
GIANNI: As nicely as possible, maybe. Also, how amusing is it that Ethan Hawke spends the whole movie smoking? The cigarette lobby loves this movie.
LIAM: Total ‘Thank You For Smoking’ moment. Oh, Hollywood.
GIANNI: I love that Oldsmobile made a vampire-safe car for this.
LIAM: It’s an old man car, so you would.
GIANNI: Brat.

CAPTURE HUMANS

CAPTURE HUMANS. It’s what Uncle Sam wants.

LIAM: Shame Willem deFoe was a human freedom fighter instead of a vampire. He’s such a perfect vampire candidate.
GIANNI: Also, the humans had excellent laboratory facilities for post-apocalyptic weak-blooded human refugees.
LIAM: Okay, that was a little flaw, yeah. But I was cheering for the humans–though this movie was surprisingly even-handed about who’s really good and who’s really bad. It’s kinda deep.
GIANNI: No. No, we will not over-analyze science fiction tonight. I forbid it.
LIAM: My life is over-analyzed science fiction. Thanks to someone.
GIANNI: You love it.

Images gleaned from here.

Radio Silence

3 Mar

Hello!

Right so here come those changes. Today is my anniversary with B (seven years and we’re both still alive!) and then tomorrow starts the great moving adventure of 2013. Really, the great moving adventure started a few weeks back, but this is go time. Therefore, I’m going to be a little bit silent–and all the things I want to do but have to wait for will be rattling around in my skull unhappily. You know how it goes!

While I’m gone, here’s some stuff to keep you:

… mmm can you tell I’m utterly scatterbrained right now? Because I totally am. Next time I talk to you, it’ll be from Ohio, my old home sweet home.

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?