Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Guest Blogger: Paul Jessup

I have something a little different for you today, friends. Writer Paul Jessup is stopping by as part of his Virtual Blog Tour, and he's chatting a little bit about his thoughts on Urban Fantasy.

Welcome, Paul!


Urban Fantasy as a Reaction to Classic Horror

I make no bones about it, I love me some classic horror. In the movies, on television, in my books, whatever, whenever I can find it. The pitch perfect time was those three decades where low budget meant bad acting and limited special effects, but it was made up for with sheer terror.

But let's be honest. The golden decades (60's, 70's and 80's) had a small problem. Especially in serial killer/slasher films, but in monster films as well. And that was, plainly put, sexism. It continues onto this day, and it's not just sexism, it's violence towards women glorified to pornographic levels. Especially any woman that's not the "last girl" (the good girl who doesn't have sex or do drugs and ends up surviving the terrifying ordeal somehow).

Look at most most posters for Horror Films. It shows women crying, screaming, or abused. What does that say, when this is your advertisement for a movie? What does it say about your genre?

IMHO, Urban Fantasy is a straight up rebellion against that. Their is no Last Girl. The Last Girl was a victim who fought back. Urban Fantasy protagonists are not victims and they are definitely not good girls who don't have sex or do bad stuff. It's a moral grey area, the entire existence of the heroine of an UF novel. The good guys do bad shit. And they kill. And they are the ones fighting monsters.

And it's not like Epic Fantasy where the good/evil lines are drawn clearly in the sand. No. A lot of UF protags end up risking becoming the very monsters they fight. They are the ones in power, and they are the ones taking risks. Sure, it uses all the horror tropes and horror monsters, but it turns the very groundwork of the horror genre on it's head.

For the longest time I wondered why there was so much vile hate in the Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror community towards Urban Fantasy. Esp. from the old guard. And now I realized this is the core of it- they want their female characters abused and victims. They don't want strong, sexy woman kicking the crap out of some terror that walks in the night.


Paul Jessup is a guest blogger, going on a small virtual tour of the internet to promote his new book Werewolves. It's an illustrated book about the journey of one High School teen named Alice, and her voyage into the violent werewolf community. She tries to find a cure, help her brother, and survive violent pack conflicts. You can purchase a copy here. The art is done by Allyson Haller, and it's published by Chronicle Books. You can view the rest of the blog tour as it chugs along this week at his website, http://pauljessup.com.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I Am Thrilled to Finally Announce....

You remember that "other good news" I was teasing about early this summer, but couldn't talk about yet? I can talk about it now!

Here it is (cribbing from the original Publisher's Marketplace announcement):

Kelly Meding's WARDEN'S TRANCE, the first book in a new series in which adult children of the world's slaughtered heroes suddenly regain their lost superpowers after a mysterious, fifteen-year absence, only to face a fearful public, a leery government, and the villain responsible for the deaths of their parents, to Jennifer Heddle at Pocket, in a two book deal, by MY SUPER-AWESOME, AMAZING AGENT!

So that wasn't exactly how it appeared in PM. I might have embellished one part.

*happy dance*

For those of you who've followed my publication struggles these last few years, I wrote WARDEN'S TRANCE a year before I wrote THREE DAYS TO DEAD. I submitted TW to agents, received a lot of rejections, and a handful of requests. I admit now that the book did need some work. And through the wisdom of a lot of people, including my agent and an amazing crit partner, plus what I learned by writing TDtD and its sequel, I whipped WT into shape and we sold it to Pocket!

So my advice to folks who are querying agents, feel they have a strong query, but find that they aren't having any luck? Write another book. Not all good books are good FIRST books.

Also, the awesome site i09.com did an interview with me back in late May, when the deal was first announced. You can read it here.

The first in this new superhero series, WARDEN'S TRANCE, should be out some time next summer/fall. Book two, QUEEN'S CAPTURE, will follow at some point after that. :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Peeking Out of the Cave

The last two weeks have just flown by, and I truly cannot believe it's already August 11th. What's happening to my summer????

I'm all moved into the new apartment. There were only three casualties on moving day - two glass tumblers and the carafe of my big coffee pot (the little one survived). The apartment is just as spacious as I remember, and except for a few minor tweaks here and there, all decorated. Kitteh is settling in, as well. We're settling into a routine, and the new place is starting to feel like home.

So here's the laundry list of stuff to catch y'all up on....

BOOK SIGNINGS - I have two events coming up.

Saturday, August 14th, 1-3 pm
Camp Hill, PA

Saturday, September 11th, 4-7pm
Barnes & Noble, Christiana Mall
Newark, DE

Following that is the sad news that I'm no longer able to attend Dragon*Con this year. Something came up, and it was a hard decision to make, but it had to be made. However, I have every intention of being there next year (and some other cons/events, as well).

I'm thrilled to say that AS LIE THE DEAD is an August Pick for the Barnes & Noble Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Book Club. It's easy to become a member and join in the discussion.

Reviews for AS LIE THE DEAD have been popping up on various sites and blogs.

The wonderful Carol, at Bitten By Books, had some lovely things to say. On Evy's emotional journey:

Evy’s struggle to accept and embrace the melding of her former identity with that of Chalice’s memories, emotions, and physical reality results in confusion and pain, but she never doubts that her purpose remains the same – to fight to protect the innocent and those unable to defend themselves.

ALTD also received 4.25/5 stars at Nite Owl Reviews. Among the lovely comments was this gem that just made me squee for joy:

But it did bring Phineas to the forefront so, there you go. If there was going to be teams, I would so be Team Phineas!


We'll see what happens, shall we?

Now it's time to go back to my cave. I have Dreg City 3 edits due back in two weeks, plus Dreg City 4 due to my editor by October 1 (and hoo-boy, is this one going places I didn't expect...).