Thursday, May 27, 2010

Number Two

This post is brought to you by the number 2.

All sorts of interesting things are coming together today, and they all have to do with the number 2.

For instance, two years ago today I received an email about a manuscript that had been referred from an agent I queried to an agent she thought might be interested. Turns out he was, and within that email was an offer of representation. Okay, so it was like a week later that I officially said yes and mailed back the agency agreement, but it was my first ever offer and turns out it was the only one I needed. I couldn't be happier, so Happy Two-Year Anniversary to my amazing agent Jonathan Lyons.

Going along with the theme of two's, said amazing agent has also brokered two new deals for me in the last month. I can't talk about them quite yet, but soon all shall be revealed! Yay for good news!

Today also marks two months before the release of AS LIE THE DEAD, book two in the Dreg City series.

Eep! In a couple of days I'll be able to say my book comes out next month, and that's when panic set in last time. I haven't seen any reviews yet, but I sincerely hope it lives up to THREE DAYS TO DEAD. I think it does. But I'm slightly biased. *grin*

And if I really want to stretch this out, two relatives who live in Nashville (and whose house was spared flood damage) came out to visit last weekend, so I got to see them. One is a cousin who spent five months in Los Angeles learning to do makeup and styling and effects. Check out her awesome website!

So what's happening folks? Good news? Great news? Any news at all?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hell to Pay

Jackie Kessler was one of the first authors I met online (through, and also the first author to read and blurb THREE DAYS TO DEAD. Naturally I was thrilled to meet her last fall at Dragon*Con, and she was just a blast to hang out with.


She's also the author of some of the best books you might not be reading. The "Hell on Earth" series (HELL'S BELLES, THE ROAD TO HELL, HOTTER THAN HELL) features a succubus who is on the run from Hell and hides on earth as a stripper. She's also co-author of the awesome superhero novel BLACK AND WHITE (with Caitlin Kittredge). That's not even counting her various anthology stories, and her new YA coming out this fall.


So why the Jackie bio? And what's up with the post title?

The post title is also the title of Jackie's new serial novel - the fourth book in the "Hell on Earth" series. HELL TO PAY launches today with the prologue, and Jackie will post a new chapter every Tuesday, concluding the novel on the last Tuesday in December 2010.

I think the wait is going to kill me.

If you haven't read anything by Jackie...well, first of all why the hell not? Second, get thee to a bookstore or Amazon or your online vendor of choice. The Hell series is amazing fun. Jezebel is sassy, sarcastic, sexy, and occasionally vulnerable. And who doesn't love a demon who has to learn to be human? (And no, the fact that I named my cat Anya after the former vengeance demon from Buffy, the Vampire Slayer does not mean I am biased in this matter.) Also, HOTTER THAN HELL has the honor of being one of the rare books that has made me cry buckets.

So check out the Hell series, and while you're at it, check out BLACK AND WHITE, too (sequel SHADES OF GRAY due out June 22!).

Your funny bone will thank you.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Never Judge a Movie by Its Trailer

I love movie trailers. Sometimes they can be as good as (or better than) the movie itself. I think two of my all-time favorite trailers are for THE GREEN MILE and WATCHMEN. They both give an amazing sense of their films' content, story, and overall atmosphere. I can watch them over and over.

This trailer has the distinction of being the only film trailer that's actually made me tear up.

Good movie trailers should sell the movie to audiences. But sometimes they are deceiving. I've seen comedy trailers that put all of the funny bits in the trailer, and the rest of the movie is spectacularly un-funny. I've seen trailers that highlight a certain sequence that is maybe a blip of the overall story.

And because it's so easy to edit clips together, movie trailers can make a film look like whatever they want. Have you seen some of the awesome mash-ups on YouTube? I love the one that turns SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE into a horror film.

My most recent encounter with "Good Trailer, Disappointing Film" was the remake of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. I admit, I was annoyed when the remake was first announced. I mean, why mess with a classic? (And if I had a good answer to that, I could probably put an end to the equally-pointless, upcoming remakes of POLTERGEIST, ARMY OF DARKNESS, ALIEN, THE THING, and HELLRAISER.)

And then the first trailer surfaced, and I was in love:

It looked dark, scary, creepy, and I didn't even mind the recast Freddy Krueger. I started getting excited that the remake would do justice to the original.

I wish.

While the the movie wasn't bad, it wasn't as good as it should have been. It was easy to pick Nancy as the lead in the original 1984 film. In this movie? I couldn't figure out who our main character was. And the actress who played Nancy was in a coma the entire film. I don't think she cracked an expression, even when she was supposed to be scared.

And the rewrite of Freddy's backstory? HATED IT. Why? (SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS) Because for a brief period of time, we were led to believe that Freddy was innocent of the crimes against him, and that killing the Elm Street kids (although it was never established that they all lived on the same street, just that they all attended the same pre-school, so what the hell?) was some sort of justified revenge. Not only that, but instead of Freddy being arrested for multiple murders and then let off on a technicality, the parents in the remake went after him on their own because of lack of evidence. *facepalm*

I did like a few things. It had good atmosphere, and the dream sequences were cool. Some of the deaths were interesting. And I just love me some Clancy Brown, even if he was completely wasted in his role. There were also some fun nods to the other films: the Springwood Diner, the pool party bit, a character on the swim team, burning her arm to stay awake.

And Jackie Earl Haley as Freddy? Meh. The problem was he kept using his Rorschach voice from WATCHMEN. He was creepy at times, and had a few good lines at the end, but overall...I'm undecided.

So yeah, Trailer Win, Movie Fail.

But on to the actual inspiration for this rather lengthy post.

THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (The First Sequence)

The trailer is probably not work safe, but here you go:

The internet is abuzz with talk about this movie and it's "shocking" science. People are comparing it to SAW and HOSTEL and other gore-fest films that rely on shock value. Naturally, this caught my attention. After I watched the trailer, I was equal parts appalled and intrigued.

And now I'm determined to watch it, if for no other reason than I can say I SAW IT AND AM JUDGING THE MOVIE FOR MYSELF. About half an hour ago (as of this writing) I read a rant by someone online calling for people to boycott this movie, to not watch it, to not support such awful, disgusting filth, lest it turn into the next SAW franchise.

Erm, okay....

All this based on having seen the TRAILER. I mean, jeez. It's about as bad as people who say "don't read this book, it has magic and is therefore awful and satanic."

Also? Check out this review at Babbling About Books. It's from someone who's actually, you know, seen the movie. Which apparently isn't as awful and graphic as people are assuming.

It's what helped cement my decision to watch it. And when I do, I shall report back.

Monday, May 03, 2010

In the Wild: Germany

One of the benefits of having friends in other countries is that they send you awesome photos likes this:


Spotted at a military exchange in Stuttgart, Germany! And if you don't already follow the amazing @JasonTudor on Twitter, get to following!

Thanks so much, Jason!!!