12 August, 2013

Crap! It's August already!

I've had such a busy summer. Been babysitting my granddaughter quite a lot, which is fun but exhausting (at 20 months, she's getting so big and, wow, is she BUSY!! Wears gramma out! lol), and I've been trying to find a good home for SPORE, plus working on a round of revisions on MORGAN'S RUN to better fit the market. I finished the revisions yesterday, so it'll go out into the world later this week, most likely.

I've received such lovely comments on both books, and I'm so excited to be working again!

I love both novels, even though they're vastly different from each other or anything else I've written. I think MORGAN has fairly wide market appeal and SPORE, good golly, the cross platform and interactive media potential is staggering. Plus both books totally rock. :) I am very, very happy with my work.

I do, however, worry about author branding. I'm not good at writing easy to categorize books, let alone able stick with one mix of genres for anything resembling category consistency. That's not a good thing for a writer to do, especially in this crazy competitive market. We're supposed to be romance writers or YA writers or political potboiler writers or whatever, slap on a label and call it good. I, however, am rather label-defiant, despite knowing it's gonna bite me in the butt. Probably really, really hard. Yet here I am, typing away, dancing about with my hands over my poor bitten butt. ;)

But I can guarantee that every tambobook (that's MY brand, dammit, tambobooks!) are fast-paced fun and violent and honest and darkly riveting with a splash of humor and hope. Whether it's Morgan running from her memories or Sean drawing his terror into his comic or Dubric staggering forward despite the burden of his ghosts, I write about real people facing very, very bad shit. I try to tell the truth, as best I can. I don't pull punches, even when it's a hard jab to the reader's gut. That's a tambobook (yes, with a lower case t. Sheesh! ;), by golly, regardless of what category shelf it lands on.

With that in mind, I've begun a new story featuring Lars as he investigates a string of rapes, and it's coming along nicely. It's currently titled SIX SIDES OF BLUE and will, I think, end up novella length. I'd like to write an entire Lars-centric book at some point, but neither of us are ready for that just yet, especially since my story idea is several years in Lars's future (should he survive that long, ha ha) and the main Dubric series is still in the 'now'. Speaking of Dubric, his fourth novel, STAIN OF CORRUPTION, is stalled. Again. I think it's because I am not ready to face the massive explosions that are about to happen in the story. It's gonna be brutal. For me, as well as the singed and charred characters.

I mean, shit. It's a fire mage, people. Massive. Fucking. Fire. Miles and miles of instant incineration. Ka-BOOM!! Everyone isn't only fucked, they're fried.

I look at it and think maybe I need to start drinking. Maybe a little tequila will help me get past the initial char-fest at least. ;)

But I don't drink, so I need to find courage somewhere else.

Seriously, though. This is a freaking brutal book. Damn. I just don't know if I have enough guts to go as far down the hole, as far into the dark, as I need to, but I keep poking at it and make a little, if sporadic, progress. It's the middle book of the series and everything takes a hard shift in a different direction. Just be prepared to lose a lot of characters.

In less stressful news, I've also been sewing. I started a block of the month sampler class at a nearby quilt shop from the Eleanor Burns' Quilts From El's Kitchen book a couple of months ago. Mine is the smaller version, in 6" blocks, with a hot pink calico as the primary fabric. Here's my center basket block.

Just look at the points on those teensy triangles! :)

In addition to the sampler, I've also been working on a series of small, artsy quilts. One, my jewel-toned take on a traditional Carpenter's Wheel block (only much, much smaller) is going out in the mail tomorrow along with an even more quirky adaptation of a Dresden Plate, all in pink, that I should mail out Wednesday or Thursday.

I'm really enjoying the smaller format quilts. I can do a lot of precision piecing (which I love gobs) without having the hard, heavy work of pushing a large quilt though my sewing machine (which I don't love much at all). I can complete them by myself, from initial fabric cutting, through piecing, quilting, and binding, unlike bigger quilts, which I usually send out to get quilted. I really, really don't like doing large quilts, but these small ones (less than 24 inches square) fit me nicely, plus they've so far been made right out of my stash, which is nice, too. And they're quick, totally doable in a weekend, even when the piecing is complicated. What's not to love?

As for super great OMG stuff, my friend Shirley Damsgaard's latest novel, The Widows of Braxton County came out a couple of weeks ago and, today, a reading group was at the quilt shop!! I got to plug Shirley's book for them and got them all revved up and excited to read it. Whoop! Go Shirley!!

That's about it for me. I hope you're all doing well and staying cool. {{hugs}}