Monday, May 23, 2011

For writers mostly...

A quick informational update, since I've been so quiet on the blog lately. If my sporadic posts here aren't enough for you, makes sure you follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook. You can also find me every Friday on Genreality (writing related) and once a month on YA Outside the Lines (general blathering).

For teen writers: Something cool if you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The DFW Writer's Workshop (my Wednesday night critique group that I talk about all the time) is sponsoring a summer writing program for teens ages 13-17. It meets weekly starting on Saturday June 18th through July (minus July 4th weekend). We'll have a little bit of instruction from published and experienced writers as well as time for writing, and for guided critique. The cost? It's free! You can find out more right here.

For any writer: I'm teaching an online class on loglines, pitches and queries. Just how DO you interested an editor or agent in your wonderful manuscript? This class will tell you. It's also useful if you haven't finished (or started) a novel, because you can use what makes a great pitch to plot a great novel. The class is through the YA chapter of the RWA, and you can find out more and register here. The cost is $10 for non-YARWA members. (Free for members.)

You guys do realize that I do these "where to find RCM" posts so that *I* can remember what I'm supposed to be doing, right?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

First Texas Gothic Review

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you know I’ve been a little obnoxious about the fact that TEXAS GOTHIC received a starred review in the May 15th edition of Kirkus Reviews. The whole review is online here, but here are the highlights:

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You can't get much more Nancy Drew than intrepid Texan heroines uncovering a mystery involving ranchers, Spanish ghosts, vandalized archaeological digs and lumps of gold.

Amy first meets Ben while she's chasing escaped goats and wearing nothing but cherry-spotted undies and rubber boots: an introduction worthy of the best contemporary adult romance.

This engaging mystery has plenty of both paranormal and romance, spiced with loving families and satisfyingly packed with self-sufficient, competent girls. 

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You know what this means? Even if everyone else hates this book, at least ONE person (other than my mom) really liked it.

Whew!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Texas Gothic Tidbits and other cool books

If you're interested (which I assume you all are) there's an excerpt of Texas Gothic now up at the Random House site.  (If that link doesn't show the expert, go to "about the book" and click "excerpt.")  It's also up the book's Amazon page, which means I'll be posting it soon to MY webpage.

And in Googling this, I found that Random House Australia has the book listed, with the Australian cover, which I love as much as the US cover. I mean, when a cover image works, go with it! I think the Western font is fun, but I love the tagline, which I am hereby co-opting for my own use.

You can't escape your inner witch...

If you're looking for a book recommendation, be sure and check out April's Fresh Takes column for interviews with Jenny Archer (Through Her Eyes) and Kirsten Hubbard (Like Mandarin).

Or, you could check out what the other Bookanistas* are talking about today!

*The Bookanistas are a group of bloggers and writers who love books, and on Thursday we talk about our latest love. Simple as that.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The geek shall inherit the Earth.

I suspect my mother is turning into a cyborg.

The other day I went into her room and there's this powerstrip beside her bed, with all these charging cords coming off of it, like feelers on some sort of cyberpunk parasite looking for a meal.

Leaving aside the environmental issues here, and the bad feng shui or the electromagnetic aura around her head, I'm seriously wondering if I need to worry about them hard wiring into her brain while she sleeps, in an electronic version of the pods from Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Granted, she has a reason to nest a bit, since she's on chemo and sometimes needful of distraction when in bed. But in addition to the iHome clock radio, which is the home base of the iPod, there's the laptop, the iPad, the iPhone, and the Kindle. Then across the room there's the satellite radio, the TV plus satellite receiver plus Blu Ray that connects to the Internet plus the TiVo.

It's my fault, of course. I am a cradle Appiscopalian. I don't so much drink the Kool-Aid as mix it in pitchers and hand it out to the kids in my neighborhood.

This is how Mom ended up with her iPad. I had decided to get one, and she wanted to go to the Apple Store with me "just to look." So I rattle off to the Apple guy what I want (The actual purchasing part of my trips to the Apple Store are always short. The last time I was in the store, they rather pointedly told me they were hiring. I was tempted, just because of the discount.) and my Mom says, "And I'll take one of all that, too."

I should have known. This is EXACTLY how she ended up with her first iPhone. I mean, word for word. We sidled up to the Genius Bar, I order and she's all "Barkeep, make that two."

See, Mom was part of the Science Fiction Club when she was in high school. Actually, it was in the English speaking school in Mexico City, and there were two members, her and her best friend Suzy, and I believe most of their meetings involved designing space age fashions, but the point is, when Mom got the opportunity to have her own tricorder in her pocket, there was no stopping her. 51_937-Tricorder+spock-2011-05-2-09-19.jpg

So really, there's a sort of chicken-and-egg enablement spiral going on here, since my parents are responsible for my love of science fiction, Star Trek, and gadgets. They got this newfangled thing called AOL when I was in high school and though they never really saw it's full potential back then, I did. Suddenly I had access to a world of other people who loved dragons and spaceships and writing about them. I could fly my nerd flag high... online.

And now we've come full circle. Computers are cool. The top rated shows on television have either speculative fiction elements or serious geek fu. Science nerds, history nerds, we are no longer confined to Nova and National Geographic Hour on Public Television. NatGeo has it's own channel now. There's a whole channel devoted to Science Fiction, and Dr. Who has become slick and cool. (Okay, cool with anyone who is important to me.) Writers solve crimes on television.

And even grandmothers can become hip and wired.

Well, wired, anyway.