Thursday, March 01, 2012

News for March, 2012

If I could do anything else and enjoy it half so much, I would. That is, I’d do that, and then give away the stories I’d inevitably write for free. But I can’t. I shouldn’t be allowed out on my own, to tell you the truth, so it’s safer for me and for everyone else if I stay at home and work that way.
It’s been brought home to me again, how strange this world is, and how unpredictable. Or maybe I’m just thick. I’m in more demand than ever in some places, and I can’t get my foot in the door in places I used to call home. Ah well, I don’t make the rules, and as far as I’m able, I’ll follow them.
I’ve just sent a post through to The Good, The Bad and The Unread on that topic, and I hope some of you will read it, and more importantly, give your opinion. I don’t know exactly when it will go up, but it usually isn't very long. It’s a big blog with a lot of contributors, and one I’m excited to belong to.

To other matters. I got a release date for “Rendezvous at Midnight” and it’s just before RT! I’ll tell you more about it next month, just before I leave for the States. Chicago, how exciting!

Did I tell you about Nightstar? That’s my new series from Ellora’s Cave. It’s another rock band series, yay! It’s a six book series, one story for each member of the band, and it’s about change. The band, Murder City Ravens, is about to break big. They’ve had two albums out, but a change in personnel has made that invisible something click, and now the band is headed for the big time. It’s not all roses. Some of the members have other interests, and have to choose between that and continuing with the band. Which do they love best? And when they meet their soulmates, do they put that person first? (hint – I write romance!) Do they want to put up with that level of fame?
The band is a kind of infernal cross between Radiohead, Massive Attack, the Chemical Brothers and Oasis – a willingness to experiment, edgy music with a basis in solid rock.
Just to show you what I mean, or to confuse you further!
But of course, the beauty of writing about music is that you can imagine the kind of music you like best! If you want them to play the Rach 2 (one of the characters reveres that concerto) then go ahead, there’s nobody to stop you, least of all me!
The first book is written and sent in, and the second written and awaiting revisions.

And a new release for March! “Rubies of Fire” is a Dept 57 book that was out years ago, and is now reissued. But this is one of the series that I’ve rewritten heavily for its rerelease. It belonged in a specific place in the Dept 57 series, and now, with the reissues, that doesn’t work any more, so I’ve rewritten it to fit better into the new order. It’s sexier, too. I don’t think there’s a sentence that hasn’t been rewritten!
It was a joy and a shock to revisit the book. A shock to realise how much my writing style has changed, for the better, I hope, although it was pretty okay then, and a joy to realise that it still holds up well.
It’s about vampire Andreas Constant, sent by Dept 57 undercover to discover a Department mole in the DIB, the Department of Internal Business, and Roz, a vampire sent by her family to follow clues as to who killed two of her relatives two years before. Although it’s complete in itself, it also provides a lead-in to Sorcerer Fabrice Germain's book in “Diamonds of Ice.”  “Rubies of Fire” is out on March 20th.

And don’t forget that “Maiden Lane,” the seventh Richard and Rose book, is now out in print!

I’ll be in Chicago and Texas next month, part of it for the RT Booklovers’ Convention. If you’re around, please call!

News February 2012


A new year, a new start? Maybe. I don’t know because everything is up in the air right now. There’s not much news I can actually tell you, because it’s all in query or under negotiation, but I should be able to give you some real news soon.

Anyway, I always feel like a bit of a fraud doing these newsletters. What, people want to know about me? What can I say?

2011 wasn’t the best of years for me, but it wasn’t a complete washout. One book took much more time that I’d ever imagined it would, and that was the last Richard and Rose book, Lisbon. But edits are done and it’s almost there. I so miss doing the historicals, and I have written another one, but that is going out on query soon, once I’ve given it just one more polish! Instead of being Freddy’s book, it’s the start of a new series. I can’t really say much, except that characters sprang out at me while I was writing it, and their stories are mulling away, waiting to be told.

That’s why I enjoy writing series. I find a new character, but I need to get to know them. Featuring them in other stories and books means I can explore aspects of their characters, and I do find that giving them space and time means they have time to come out as three dimensional as I can make them.

I hope to have a new release for you soon, a one-off story for Decadent, set in my paranormal world, but with a completely new set of characters and ideas. Department 57 and STORM are left behind for this one, a story about the children of vampires, who aren’t vampires themselves, but can see and communicate with ghosts.

That doesn’t mean that I necessarily believe in ghosts. I’ve seen them, just as I’ve seen a UFO, but in real life I remain open minded. However, the ghosts of my stories are different, and I can do what I like with them! The ghost in this one was based on a program I saw once about ghost hunting in the old Queen Mary liner. While this story takes place on a different liner, it’s based heavily on the Queen Mary, now a floating hotel and reputed to be very haunted. It’s called “Rendezvous at Midnight” and it will be out soon at Decadent Publishing.

I do have release dates for two Department 57 stories. These are reprints, but very heavily rewritten. The plot and the characters remain, so you can reacquaint yourself with Andreas and Fabrice, but Rubies of Fire and Diamonds of Ice are the last two Department 57 reprints, coming out in March and May respectively. After that, it’s all brand new, and I’m already planning the next one!

And I designed a new header. It has my ugly mug on it, but it’s not a bad photo, taken at an RNA chapter meeting. I don’t even remember it being taken, but I do love the result, so thank you, Sheila! Any opinions gratefully received!

I did once have a professional photo session done, but he insisted that I took off my glasses, and I wear them all the time, and they were just so awful I couldn’t bear to use them anywhere. All the photos I use for author pictures are ones taken by friends or family, with me in more relaxed moments, and all but one is in natural light. I’m not very photogenic, so I keep the ones that turn out looking okay.

I’ve finished booking for RT Booklovers’ Convention. It’s in Chicago this year, and although I’ve been to Chicago before, I loved the place and I’m looking forward no end to going back there. I’ve taken a few days beforehand to stay in a hotel in the center of the city to reacquaint myself with it, and this time I won’t be alone. The last time, the volcano held a lot of people up. This time it might be the traditional Easter strikes at the airports, but I’ll just keep everything crossed that I get there okay. And thank goodness for the long battery on the Kindle!