Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I'm Beautiful

Excuse the wonky-ass formatting of this post. I don't know what happened.

My perennial stabbing victim, Andrew Patterson, decided to give me an "award". While I appreciate that he thinks I'm beautiful (*fluffs hair*), there will be a random stabbing in his future over this. Which is probably exactly why he did it. He says he doesn't like the stabbings, but they will continue until morale improves, damn it.

And now I have to do things. I'm supposed to do them in groups of seven, but I'm a non-conformist and it's my damn blog, so I'll do however many I please :P

The last 7 lines (it was really 8 lines/10 sentences but whatever) I wrote (in first draft glory--and the end will be changing later tonight, so...)
     But eventually my leather skirt’s grip on the saddle started to slide and Bessie moved faster than I could keep up with. I tumbled over the side of the bull, miraculously landing on my ass, only to have the machine whack me in the back of the head as it finished its turn. Pain mushroomed in my skull and I gripped my head with both hands. 
     There’s pain and there’s being-bonked-in-the-head-by-a-mechanical-bull pain. It felt like something popped in my head and my brain was actually screaming inside me. The world went black for a second or two. The only reason I know it wasn’t longer is bootsteps were just rushing toward me when things came into focus again.
      I couldn’t breathe. This wasn’t some flicker—there and gone again. And it wasn’t one. 

The last 7 songs listened to
What the... I don't know. Instead, I'm going to give you the seven most played on my iTunes.
     1. "Rattlesnake Smile" by Christian Kane 
     2. "The Sound of Madness" by Shinedown
     3. "Whataya Want from Me" by Adam Lambert
     4. "Breaking Inside" by Shinedown
     5. "For Your Entertainment" by Adam Lambert
     6. "Anything's Better Than Feeling the Blues" by Martina McBride
     7.  "Breathe Today" by Flyleaf

The last 7 books I read
Uh... I don't remember, so I'm doing this my way
  1. (Currently reading) Velveteen by Danny Marks
  2. (Currently reading) Blackwood by Gwenda Bond
  3. The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst <3
  4. Professor Gargoyle (Tales from Lovecraft Middle School) by Charles Gilman
  5. Wrong Bed, Right Guy by Katee Robert <3
  6. (Next up) The Angel by Tiffany Reisz
  7. (Next up) Try Me by Diane Alberts
Seven favorite movies
Oh hell no. I have too many. I'm just going to list four recent ones I loved
  1. The Avengers (*happy sigh*)
  2. Cabin in the Woods (seriously, I love Joss Whedon)
  3. The Amazing Spiderman (though I could have done without the thousands of spiders--wasn't one enough?)
  4. Sherlock Holmes 1 & 2 (RDJ--it needs no other explanation than that)
  5. X-Men: First Class (Fassbender as Magneto--totally rooting for the bad guys)
  6. Star Trek (I don't care that they fucked with canon. I LOVED this movie)
  7. Tangled (Don't pretend you don't have it bad for Flynn Ryder too. You know you do--it's the smolder)

Seven favorite authors
Nope. Just going with authors whose work I love. If I missed someone, I apologize, but I may space and not include a "favorite" because there are too many I enjoy.
  1. Kelley Armstrong (always)
  2. Tiffany Reisz
  3. Katee Robert
  4. Skyla Dawn Cameron (Not sucking up to my editor, I just love her work)
  5. Kady Cross
  6. Allison Pang
  7. Hannah Moskowitz

Seven songs that are significant to my stories
What the...? See the list up there where I did most played? That would be because they are on more than one of my playlists. So, instead, i'm going to do musical artists whose work is often significant to my stories.
  1. Shinedown
  2. Adam Lambert
  3. Daughtry
  4. Miranda Lambert
  5. Christian Kane
  6. David Cook
  7. Paramore

And seven more people upon whom I will bestow this "award"!

Yay! Victim time!

  1. Katee Robert
  2. Suzanne Lazear
  3. Angela Addams
  4. Danielle LaPaglia
  5. DB Reynolds
  6. Lola Drake
  7. Ella Grey

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cupid's Been Busy...

Guess what?

I have a new release this week! Edits moved super fast and it got bumped up on the release schedule. So, my very first M/M romance comes out Friday from Evernight Publishing. It's my second story in the Cupid's Conquests series and the first M/M for the series! I'm both very excited and very, very nervous.

So, a little story. At the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in Chicago this past spring, my friend Deanna Wadsworth introduced me to the amazing Damon Suede. Between the two of them, they basically dared me to try writing M/M. Anyone who knows me knows that it's rare for me to pass up a dare, so as soon as I had time to breathe, I started on this story of two guys who met at a time when one was still in the closet and the other hadn't decided if he belonged inside or not. Fast-forward more than a decade and our college hotties are back on campus and pretty close to right back where they started.

It wasn't the easiest thing I've ever written, that's for sure, but I understood Griff and Colby in a lot of ways and wanted to tell their story. Thankfully, Evernight was right there with me. So here's a little taste of Love & Other Indoor Sports:

Cupid still has a lot to learn, and this time he's heading to college to do it.

Griffin and Colby were shoved together by fate during a fraternity hazing game of spin the bottle but, in a world deserted by Cupid, fear and uncertainty pushed them apart. Now, twelve years later, they're getting a second chance with each other. A woman in Colby's life, however, doesn't like what she sees as competition for his affections, and she's willing to ruin both men if they don't bow to her demands. After all this time, are they willing to risk everything for a chance at happiness, or are they destined to lose each other again?

Cupid won't give up easily though. He has one last game for them to play and, this time, it's winner take all.

AND, in other good news, there are at least two more Cupid's Conquests stories coming from other authors before the holidays! The series is building slowly, but I'm so excited that other people have taken up the call to get Eros back to Olympus. I hope you'll check out Love & Other Indoor Sports and all the other titles in the series.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Deconstructing Raiders 30 Years Later

I'm back! Sorry about missing last week. Real life, blah blah blah.

First, a huge thank you to all the bloggers who let me visit during my blog tour!

Second, the post at Keri Stevens is going up THIS Friday (there was a hiccup... namely me forgetting to send the actual post. Oops.) Also, because the owner is awesomesauce, Aine's Realm is hosting a giveaway of Kiss of Death--nice and simple rafflecopter entry. Go. Do it. Now.

Thirdly, there is a release date for Love & Other Indoor Sports! I got home from ChiCon to word that it will be coming out early. So, my first M/M romance releases.... September 21! That's right, folks, just 11 days. So excited.

Okay, now that the business stuff is all out of the way, onto the fun things. The family and I went to see Raiders of the Lost Ark at the IMAX theater yesterday. Now, I love this movie, but I haven't seen it on anything other than a TV screen since my very first viewing *cough* a long time ago *cough*. First, just one general viewing negative. The movie was not filmed for IMAX and as such it was kind of grainy when blown up to that size. But... it's Raiders, so I kind of didn't care.

As for the story itself, I look at things differently than I did thirty years ago, so I spent much of the movie deconstructing the storyline with the question of "Why do we still love this film?" (Don't ask me why, but I don't do this as much when watching movies in the comfort of my own home. I'm guessing distractions.) One of the very first things I noticed was how quiet the beginning is. The tone is set, not by dialogue or voice-over, but simply by the music and the sounds of the jungle. From the very first, viewers knew that this film would have action, adventure, and laughs. As an author, this was the first thing that was very enlightening to me. It wasn't dished out piecemeal as the story progressed--the audience knew from that very first scene.

Another thing the audience got right away was a sense of exactly who Indiana Jones was. There was no pussy footing around. The opening sequence shows a man who isn't afraid to get his hands dirty, has nerves of steel, a biting wit, and zero tolerance for betrayal. The best part? This was done with every character. Marion starts out drinking and very clearly shows her pent up feelings for Indy as well as her backbone. Sallah, Belloq, Brody, the Nazis... all of them were crystal clear from the first time they are on the screen. Do parts of their characters get developed throughout? Of course, but we get a real feel for them on first meeting--and as we know, first impressions matter.

Those things were done brilliantly.

Then there was the matter of the last half hour of the movie--(spoilers if you haven't seen it) pretty much from the time the sub shows up until the wrath of God bit at the end. (Honestly, you could say from after the big car chase until the end, but I really like the scene with Indy and Marion on the boat.) That thirty minutes (give or take) is slow. Like really slow. My son was falling asleep, my daughter was a fidget butt, and even I was very "I don't remember this being so boring."

Now, I might not have picked up on this if not for the fact that YA-author-me ran into a similar issue with Pretty Souls. The entire last quarter of that book (save the big fight at the end) was re-written because it lagged so badly. I am a fan of the whole calm-before-the-storm bit, but when you're dealing with a two-hour movie or an 80,000 word novel, you can't have a quarter of that be calm. As much as I wasn't happy about changing Pretty Souls at the time, I really and truly get it now.

Is this to say that I think Raiders of the Lost Ark sucks as a story? No. I love that story. If I didn't, I wouldn't watch it as often as I do now. However, I think one of the reasons Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was always my favorite was that it didn't have that issue. He has to make his way through all the booby traps to get to the end. And then there's that momentary calm when everything is okay... and then the last trap is triggered. That's a story that wouldn't get hammered by an editor today. But movies as we know them have only been around for about a hundred years. Raiders was thirty years ago. That's a third of the time. If we look at a books written a hundred years ago, they are also very different than those written today. It doesn't make them less, it just makes them different.

I write now though, so I'm going to take my lessons learned from this latest viewing of Raiders and start really trying to apply them to everything I work on. They're good lessons, and I'm not sure they are ones I really would have gotten from a movie I haven't seen a few dozen times. It was just that seeing it in a different way helped me to really watch... and learn.

Thank you, Dr. Jones.