Something Wicked...

.... wicked AWESOME that is.

You have no idea how long I've been wanting to write this blog post. I've kept it under wraps and now that ink is on paper and things are legal and binding I can finally--FINALLY--say some amazing magic words.

My debut novel has been picked up by a publisher.

That's right, guys, I've finally mastered that strange alchemy of turning words into an actual factual contractual deal with a purveyor of books.

Meet me below the jump for the details! (Cause I've been dying to tell you all about it!!!)

So, for those who don't know, my book TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES** (Book 1 in my Etudes in C# series) has been on submission to publishers since mid-June. This means that my agent--the fabulously stellar Jennie Goloboy--sends an email &our big ass proposal document to editors at various publishing houses. If they like the sound of my book from the proposal, they will ask to read the manuscript.

As I said, the book had been out to several different houses over the course of about 4 months with various degrees of success and failure (depending on how you measure both). Tuesday, November 27 I got word from Jennie that an editor was taking the book to the acquisitions board at her publisher. (As I'm sure you can guess from the title, an acquisitions board is in charge of acquiring new books. In other words: someone was interested in buying MY book.)

I spent that evening freaking out and full of anxiety and researching this publisher and talking myself out of it and basically turning myself into a ball of self-defeating tension. The next day I emailed Jennie with some of my concerns and we talked on the phone for a bit. (This is the part of agenting that I think requires the patience of a saint: putting up with my insecure ass when I'm hopped up on anxiety and caffeine.) She laid things out clearly, explaining some things that I hadn't quite understood from the email. Then she said, "By the way, she's calling me tomorrow to let me know if we have an offer."
We have just lost cabin pressure.
An offer? Soon? Like tomorrow? Oh sweet dear god! So, as you can imagine, I didn't sleep much on Wednesday (the 28th for those keeping score). I was up all night (again) with my brain doing backflips and inverting on itself and and and oh sweet lords of chai kill me for all the shit going through my brain! I woke up Thursday vibrating and messaged Jennie to tell her so. (She then told me to breathe and not have too much chai. How well she knows me.) She told me that she'd be calling later with the results of her conversation with the editor in question.
So, I went to the gym. And I puttered around the house. And I waited... and I checked my email. And I waited. And I looked at my phone... And innocent pixels died. Then it was time for me to go pick up my daughter from school."Alright," I said to my phone. "I'm leaving now. I'll be back in about 10 minutes. You know, in case anyone wanted to call. You could just...wait til I get back."
Wouldn't you know... the phone rang about a minute after I pulled out of the drive way.It was Jennie. She'd talked with the editor. We had an official offer.
We talked out all the details. I took notes. We both had a bit of a freakout because it was made of win. She had let all the other editors still reading the book know we had an offer and had given them a deadline as to when we needed decisions. Monday (December 3). By Monday we'd either move forward on this offer or have to possibly entertain others...but either way, Monday was going to be a big and decisive day.

Not much to do... other than celebrate!

I was all...

I was so freakin' happy and pumped full of mood altering hormones that I felt like I was going to vomit sparkling rainbows. So, I immediately hugged my husband. I sent a text message to my Attack Fish (my devoted Beta Readers who are epic amounts of amazing). I called my mother (yes, I do that). I called my father, but, he chose that particular week to be out of the freaking country bobbing around in an ocean, so this was the response I got from his voicemail:
I'm on a boat.
That night we had dinner plans with friends, so I took along a bottle of champagne to their house. When one of said friends saw the bottle she just looked at me and said, "Really?" I nodded because being a writer I like to show and not tell. There was rejoicing. And my friends were all like...
I got to spend the weekend waiting and pinching myself. "Yup, offer of a book deal is still real." FINALLY got to tell my father and some other friends. Spent Sunday burying myself in football and housework to avoid the fact that the clock was moving too slowly. Started practically vibrating again....And then Monday rolled around.... by the end of the day I had an email from Jennie telling me that Cat and Marius have found their home. Long story short (too late), we officially accepted the offer from Entangled Publishing. And I was all...

And I couldn't wait to tell the whole freakin' planet. I wanted to grab that guy at the gym and shake him like an 8 ball telling him, "DUDE! They're going to publish my book!!!" I wanted to buy everyone daisies and write it in the sky. I wanted to post far and wide my joyous squees... but I couldn't. Things weren't legal. Ink wasn't dry. Contracts still had to be negotiated and all that fun stuff.
Honestly, it took a while to sink in. A week later, when the vibrating stopped (or at least slowed down), I just sat down and the depth of it hit me. This is really happening. This is the real deal. Oh my fuck.It's taken some time, and I've developed tremendous restraint not to just blab this all over the Intertubez, but now... NOW!... I can finally squee out loud and fill you all in. Now I can tell you that my debut novel TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES** will be available as an ebook from Entangled Publishing.
We totally did it, guys. We got this far. We got to the part where the book gets published and you all can finally--FINALLY--read it!!! For real!I'm very excited to work with Entangled. They're enjoying a lot of successes right now and more good things are on the horizon for them. I'm very proud to be counted among their authors.So, as things get closer, we'll be pimping it and having all sorts of fun gearing up for the release. Until then, I've got some work to do, kittens.

HOLY SHIT!! :-D*bouncy happy squee*
**EDITED 16 September, 2013: This book has a new name! Henceforth it shall be called WILD CARD.

Writer Grab-ass 2: Electric Boogaloo

 Visual approximation of Tex Thompson.So, agency sibling, feline wrangler and all-around kickass human being Tex Thompson shot some questions my way in a new game of "Tag The Writer". (You need to check out Tex's blog. She has a great voice, a stellar wit and the book she's written will knock your stripey socks right the fuck off.)I know that you do not, in fact, mess with Tex(as), so I had no choice but to do as she bid me. The mission I've accepted? To tell you about my Work In Progress. Well, the thing is I can't tell you about that because it would be all spoilery and stuff. Currently I'm working on edits of Book 2 in the C# series, plotting (and soon to be drafting Book 3), a short story set in a completely different 'verse and a Super Secret Project that has no title. BUT! I can tell you about the book my agent and I are currently shopping around, Book 1 in the Etudes in C# series "Technical Difficulties"**.

What is your working title of your book? "Technical Difficulties", so named because this book focuses on Trickster gods and technomancers. If you've ever tried fixing a computer or dealing with chaotic gods, you know as well as I do that things don't go smoothly. Thus, my protagonist experiences ... Technical Difficulties.

Felicia DayWhere did the idea come from for the book? I thought it would be a lot of fun to play with a character named C. Sharp. At first, her name was "Candice", but I really hated the idea of her being called "Candy". And while I know every urban fantasy heroine these days is called "Cat" (or "Kat"), I went with Catherine. There are other reasons for this choice, but if I told you I'd have to stuff you in a box with rats and rutabagas. Or Lou Bega. *shudder* You don't want to know where he keeps that little bit of Monica.

Anyway, I wanted to play with a character with that name. I also wanted to explore other careers for urban fantasy heroes. We've got private investigators coming out of our ears. A mechanic here. A waitress there. Then there are specialized vigilantes or those who freelance their power set. Me? I wanted to take a 21st century working class geek. All hail the Code Monkey!

At the same time I was kicking around this idea of a game of poker among trickster deities. After doing a proof-of-concept piece (my short story Ante Up), I decided to flesh out that idea and it snowballed into a 5-book series from the point of view of one Catherine Sharp, your personal Ms. Fix-it when it comes to all things tech.

What genre does your book fall under? Urban Fantasy. However, the constant temptation from a snarky satyr named Marius could make an argument, I suppose, for Paranormal Romance.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Oh, honey. I have whole files full of images that I use for casting my characters. Catherine would be played by Felicia Day. In a perfect world, I'd go back in time and kidnap Jason Carter from around 1997 for Marius, because that man's voice IS Marius. But, since I can't do that, I'd go with David Tennant. The long hair/goatee he sported in Fright Night? Hummina. Totally Marius. Supporting cast includes Tom Hiddleston, Chris Hemsworth and Zoe Saldana.

Just add horns and David Tennant is my Marius.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? When Catherine Sharp discovers that her soul is a bargaining chip in the poker game of the gods, she must turn the tricks back on the deities in order to win her freedom. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Agency. In fact, those interested in this title should contact my spectacular agent Jennie Goloboy at Red Sofa Literary. (Available while supplies last. Have your credit card ready. Please expect 6-8 weeks for delivery. May cause shin-splints, frizzy hair and a desire to shout YOUR MOM! at random passers-by.)

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Three weeks. (Of course, that was 14 months ago so factoring in inflation...carry the one...) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? My book fits up there with American Gods by Neil Gaiman, Coyote Blue by Christopher Moore and WebMage by Kelly McCollough.

Who or what inspired you to write this book? At the root of it? A strong desire to see someone paint a picture of the Tricksters (Coyote, Anansi, Loki, Eris and Maui) playing poker. I want this picture (preferably on black velvet) hanging in my house. Make it so.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Catherine is a geeky, snarky, adept heroine coming into her strength. She's got her flaws and secrets--some of which she tries to keep from herself. As far as protagonists go, Cat is a sympathetic, multifaceted narrator with a great sense of self-deprecating humor. Her partner in crime, Marius, is a bitter satyr with a black-belt in seduction. He's got his own problems and debts to Eris to deal with, and if he can slither out of the trap he's been caught in for centuries, he will do it no matter who it hurts. Together they run around Las Vegas taking the best and worst that some of the stronger trickster gods can dish out while trying desperately not to kill one another. What's not to love? I have had a blast working on this book and its sequels/side-projects, and I really think that translates to an enjoyable ride for the reader.

So that about does it for this foray into obscurity  silliness. Seriously, go check out Tex Thompson's blog. She's awesometastic and you'll want to watch her. Good things are in her future. Also, the meme says I should tag 5 other authors to do the same. While I would love to see them do this for their own works, I'll just name drop some authors you REALLY need to check out.

Joe McCourt - Go bug him and tell him he needs a blog for his snark. Rebecca Blain - See? She's on top of this shit and has her own site! Danielle E. Bowers - I'm totally going to get a banned book before her. Janet Nye - Because she's a blast to tweet with. Kerry Schafer - Because her debut novel BETWEEN comes out next year!

Until next time, kids, just remember to keep your souls away from nefarious gods or satyrs.


**EDITED 16 September, 2013: This book has a new name! Henceforth it shall be called WILD CARD.

Practical Magic

So, back in 1999, my mother and I sat down one lazy weekend and made our very own pouches of Faerie Dust. No joke. I still have mine and I'm pretty sure my mother still has hers. We even stitched together the little bags ourselves. The ingredients were oddly precise for something so random. I can't tell you what all went into hers and I won't divulge all that I poured into mine. While there are some universal components, each recipe will change depending on who is making it. After all, my juju is not the same as yours and would make a terrible spell for you to carry around.

That afternoon we wove magic in a very odd way for two grown women. We played. We imagined. We created our own secret recipes for a talisman of sorts, a bit of whimsical power we could carry with us wherever we went. We laughed, we hugged. And I know I won't forget that. I was 19 and playing in a very pure way with my mother. Those bags are still with us...even after multiple moves and disastrous floods.

So you can imagine my concern when my 7 year old daughter came to me today and told me that one of her imaginary fairy friends was out of dust. There's only one thing you can do then... make more.

So, after dinner, K and I got together the necessary ingredients. Again, I will not tell all of the family secrets of our Faerie Dust, however, there are some things that are basic.

Start with a pouch, something that can be closed tightly and that will not spill. So, nothing gauzy. Fill the pouch about half way with fine grain sand from your local craft store. They have some that sparkles, too, so it's even better for this. Add glitter. The amount added and the color(s) used are entirely at the maker's discretion. For girls, also add a spoonful of sugar and spice (your choice as to which, but cinnamon is a good  option).

Then, fill it with the things that are magical to you. Love, music, the warmth of a campfire, a kitten's pur, a spider's web, starlight. Whatever.

Finally, you will need to clap, giggle into the bag and add something jingly. Tie it up, stitch it shut and you've got yourself a bag of Faerie Dust. Keep it safe and keep it closed. The Faeries who need it will come get it in their own way and it won't lose any of its magic.

It took us less than 20 minutes to make K's bag...and yet, there was some powerful mojo in such a small time. I love moments like that.

I hope she does, too.

Chai-fueled Rambling

Hey there, kids. I know, I've been remiss in my bloggery of late, but shit happens. Accept my sincerest apologies and this picture of Tom Hiddleston with a puppy.

I wanted to talk about the Penguin/Random House merger (All Hail the Random Penguin!), Disney's acquisition of all things Lucas and even the election. But time has gotten away from me and there's nothing I'd be saying about any of those topics that hasn't already been said (more succinctly) by someone else. *tosses blog notes over shoulder* So that's bollocksed that up a bit, now hasn't it? I've been working of late. Epic fantasy short story. (Can you have an "epic" short story? Calling it "high" fantasy sounds either pompous or like Bilbo was getting stoned with trolls. Anyway...) It's a bit of a stretch outside my comfort zone, but I love the piece and think it's got some legs. More on that as events transpire. Also started a Super Secret Project with a friend. Hope to have this one on the tables for Phoenix Comic Con. There will probably be a Kickstarter announcement soon. Watch this space. (No this one. THIS ONE.)

Submission plays with my sanity. According to Bransford's Pictorial Model I am somewhere between Black Widow and Jon Stewart. (That post by Nathan Bransford is still one of the best things I've ever seen. Ever.) On top of that, I'm waiting to hear back of a few things around ye olde homestead. (None of which I can speak about publicly at this time.) They're all connected, too. If one happens and the others don't, that's cool, but if all things come back in certain combinations, life will change in some interesting ways and some choices will have to be made. Grr. I don't feel like I've got too many irons on the fire or balls in the air... I feel like one of those cartoon firemen holding a trampoline, waiting for three or four people to jump. Which will I catch first? What if all those bitches fall at once? What the hell is going on? This is not my beautiful wife.

And the days go by....

Gah, anyway. Also, had an awkward anniversary. My daughter turned 7 just before Halloween. On the same day we marked one year since Nicki died. Someone posted a video that made me bawl my heart out. So appropriate. Quite cathartic. She would approve. We all wore our stripey socks in our Zoot's memory. Damn I miss that woman.

And now we prepare for Thanksgiving. How the fuck did we get here already? Last week it was damn near 90 degrees outside. That's not hyperbole or some nostalgic shit. I'm serious. Last week it was in the high 80s and I had the a/c on. Tank tops and shorts, for fuck sake! This week? I'm freezing. Right now? Bundled up in fleece, monkey socks (MONKEY SOCKS!) and still shivering. I caved and turned on the heat. I'm weak. (How the hell did I survive actual winters with snow and stuff in Indiana?) Started plotting Thanksgiving dinner among friends and fambly and was legitimately surprised to see that it's NEXT WEEK! What the hell? Where did the time go?

How is my daughter 7? How has it been a year since I saw Nicki? Since I held a bee on my hand at her wake?

Life moves pretty fast, so sayeth the Bueller. I haven't blogged much of late, because I'm trying to look around. I don't want to miss anything.

How about you?


And We're Back

Hi! School started today so that means I have more time to actually contribute to this blog! Woooo! So, I thought we could talk about something near and dear to my heart: The Olympics. I love the Olympics. Winter. Summer. Doesn't matter where they are. I. Love. Them. Sadly, they are now over for another 18 months, but London put on one hell of a show. I thought the Opening Ceremonies were breathtaking. Last night's Closing Ceremonies took the mother fucking taco. I kept a running commentary going on my personal Facebook page. My soul friend and fellow Olympics Guru BJA joined me for some clever color. Meet me after the jump for my version of the Closing Ceremonies.

Closing Ceremonies commentary #1: Largest STOMP cast ever assembled = Jamie-gasm. Also, opening with STOMP + a choir singing a gorgeous Beatles tune? Jaw-droppingly happy me.
Closing Ceremonies commentaries #3 & 8: Imagine is the perfect Olympics song! And now I have something in my eye. Yes the Lennon tribute made me cry.

Closing Ceremonies commentary #10: BOWIE!  --Well, sorta Bowie. Music and pictures and supermodels. Sean asked me, "Why couldn't they just GET David Bowie?" I then went into my long-winded conspiracy theory that he was busy being Annie Lennox for the evening. I mean, come on. You never see Annie Lennox and David Bowie together at the same time. Sure, they toured together, but I didn't see it, so I have no actual proof that they aren't the same person. Just sayin'.  Closing Ceremonies Commentary # 18: Annie Fucking Lennox!! --I think I've made my point. 

Closing Ceremonies commentary #23: Are you fucking kidding me? Russell Brand ruining some of of the best songs ever?!?! Love his costume and the bus, but gah! NO!

Closing Ceremonies commentary #30: Fat Boy Slim? Poi please! Let's get this shit spinning!

Closing Ceremonies commentary #39: Between the ringmaster-ish costume from Brand, the song Freedom by George Michael, and the commercial that just played Katy Perry's "Peacock", I officially miss Sin Aesthesia. What I didn't miss? Spice Girls.


Closing Ceremonies commentary #49: Finally! A Python!!!! (and a Rutle.)

Closing Ceremonies commentary #50: MOTHER FUCKING FREDDY MERCURY!!!!! Closing Ceremonies commentary #63: What? Flags? No... no flags. Bring back the rock concert to end all rock concerts! BJA: Brazil has a fun, catchy anthem. Makes me want to prance about the house in my knickers. Hmmm. Be right back... Closing Ceremonies commentary #69: Rio's presentation better have half-naked people dancing with beads and drums and go carnivale style if it's going to compete with Freddy Mercury's Ghost.

BJA:  I could send you shots of my half-naked prancing to the Brazilian anthem, if that'd help.

Me: As long as you never show me your Brazillian.

BJA: Radioactive drum majors? Jamie, why do they have drums on their heads? Is this a weird marching band thing the rest of us are unaware of?

Me: Ah, yes! The oft forgotten cranial percussionists. Disbanded in 1979 because of an East German doping scandal.

Closing Ceremonies commentary #73: Holy shit, it's Pele!

Closing Ceremonies commentary 79: No more talky! GET TO THE WHO! BJA: Dr. Rog sounds like a Bond villain.

Closing Ceremonies commentary #82: Does the flame have to go away? :( *sad panda*  *gasp* OMG PHOENIX!!!
Closing Ceremonies commentary 88: FUCK Animal Practice! I want to see THE WHO perform Baba O'Reilly (which I totally called an hour ago)! Goddammit, NBC!
BJA: I declare jihad on NBC.


Thank you, London. That was the best damn Olympics I can remember. Class, character and grace. .... and now, I start counting down for Sochi 2014. This ends our coverage of the London 2012 games and the Closing Ceremonies thereof. From all of us here in the studio we'd like to say that Bob Costas sucks, London rocks and I'm so full of adrenaline from that concert, how the hell am I going to sleep. This is the Blue Bee Girl signing off. .... For now.

So, I'm thinking that between now and February 2014, BJA and I have to prepare a podcast where we can be the awesome commentators we truly are. We're better than Costas and the Today Show crew (who turned the Opening Ceremonies into a London version of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade). So yeah. This will be fun! Commentating from FANS, not from people who have scripts, teleprompters and tape delay. Or pesky FCC regulations regarding profanity.