Jan 3


It’s a new year?? Holy crap, how the hell did that happen?

Okay, so I didn’t mean to lay off blogging for six months. (Cringe!) Things got busy, yanno?

Anyway—here’s a bit of catch-up:

July: Went to San Diego ComicCon. Had a total blast. I LOVE this con and fully intend to go every year if possible.

July-ish: The German version of Mark of the Demon came out.

German cover for Mark of the Demon

Isn’t it purty??? I can’t read a lick of German, so I’m taking it on faith that it’s really my book. :-D

August, September, October, November: Wrote. Caught up on various TV. Prepared for the holidays. Gained too much weight. Wrote some more. Didn’t blog. (Heh.) Did something to my knee that made it hurt. A lot. Went to the doc, had an MRI, was informed that I have an impressive amount of osteoarthritis in my right knee. Go me! Sheesh.

December: Got mad at myself for gaining too much weight. Re-joined Loseit! (loseit.com) along with a handful of friends, got my ass back into the gym and become BFFs with the elliptical (since I can’t run any more.) Got back into the heavy weight-lifting as well. Love me some muscles! Lost 8.5 pounds since Dec 5th. Go Me! Did some more writing, but nowhere near as much as I needed to. Sigh. Survived Christmas. Did promo for Secrets of the Demon. Holy crap, I have a book coming out soon!

January: Still exercising, still writing!

So, yes, Secrets of the Demon officially comes out tomorrow, but I’m hearing lots of reports of sightings! I have a signing at the Barnes & Noble in Mandeville, LA, on Saturday, Jan 8th, from 2-4 pm, and another at the Books-A-Million in Baton Rouge on Jan 15th, also from 2-4pm.

And I know many people who don’t believe in making resolutions, and I seldom do, but my routine and my already-paltry organizational skills fell apart during the latter half of 2010, so my biggest resolution this year will be to stop screwing around so much and get the work done that needs to get done. 2010 was actually a terrific year for me in a lot of ways, and I’m hoping 2011 will build on that and totally rock. I have a lot of great opportunities popping up for me, and if I miss out on them, I’ll only have myself to blame.

Oh, and I’m thinking of getting pink stripes in my hair once I reach my goal weight. :-D

Dec 9

Distracting puppy is distracting

More cool news came down the publishing pipe yesterday: Mark of the Demon has gone back for a second printing!

I had a busy day today, even though I spent most of it sitting on my butt. I’m trying my damndest to get the draft of the third Demon book finished by the end of the year so that I’ll have time to get feedback from first readers and critique partners (and rewrite accordingly) before my Feb 1 deadline. I managed to set down about 3200 words today, which, while quite respectable under any sort of normal circumstance, was a bit of a disappointment to me since I’d really hoped to make it to 5K. (2-3K in a day is my norm.) However, as cute and adorable as the puppy is, he’s also a HUGE distraction in a million different ways (many of which involve puppy bodily functions which I would prefer for him to conduct outside.) And yes, I do crate him at intervals, but then the distractions consist of varying degrees of puppy-whining. Besides, I can’t exactly keep him in the crate all day. Sigh. Frustrating. I’m hoping tomorrow is better, because otherwise I have a feeling I’ll be saying, “I’m sorry, but the dog ate my novel.”

In other news, The Kid recently referred to “God gave Rock and Roll To You” as “a catchy tune.” Somewhere, Gene Simmons is crying.

Also, The Kid also told me that she KNOWS that there’s a spirit world, because she saw it on Scooby Doo and the Goblin King, so therefore it MUST be true. Watch out, wikipedia!

Dec 7

Welcome to the madhouse!

Well, both of my loyal readers will be pleased to know that, once again, I’m participating in the Holidailies challenge, which is to post a blog entry every day for a month–Dec 7th to Jan 6th.

So, for any new readers coming to this blog, you can find out a little bit more about me by reading my bio. Basically, I’m a published novelist with one book on the shelves already, another coming out at the end of February and many more coming out in the next few years. (More on that later!) I worked in law enforcement and death investigations for close to a decade, I’m married and have one daughter, I’m currently training in kenpo karate, and I like chocolate waaaay too much.

This is my umpteenth year doing Holidailies. Yeah, I’m one of the ones who updates perfectly for Holidailies and then lets it slide afterwards and then updates only once every couple of weeks. Really, I’m going to try to do better this time. (Yeah, I say that every year as well, but I will at least do my best to make this month as interesting and entertaining as possible!)

This whole daily-updating thing should be interesting with a deadline LOOMING Looming looming looming…

Okay, the deadline thing is my own damn fault, but luckily I’m one of those people who works better with a deadline. If a deadline is many months away I will find any and every reason to put off doing what needs to be done. (Trust me, in many ways looming deadlines are good. It means someone wants what you’re writing!!)

So, here’s the BIG NEWS, and the reason why I have a LOOMING deadline. (Note: those of you who follow me on Twitter and Facebook already know the Big News, but here are few more details about the whole thing.)

DAW is buying three more Demon books–tentatively titled Secrets of the Demon, Sins of the Demon, and Touch of the Demon. (These titles are not set in stone, but so far they give a bit of a hint as to what the themes of the books are. This could change upon the writing! A few of you might be aware that the working title of book three used to be Promise of the Demon. I’m pretty far into that one right now, and realized that “Promise” didn’t work, hence the change to “Secrets.” At some point in the process it may well change to Frickin’ Pain In The Ass of the Demon.)

So, hurray!!! Three more Demon books! I’m unspeakably excited about this for a number of reasons. First off, obviously, is the fact that I get to keep writing about Kara and Ryan and Rhyzkahl. There’s a LOT of story to tell, and I’m thrilled that I’ll get to reveal more of who’s who and what’s what and how it all fits together. Secondly, I’m quite pleased to have a job for a while longer yet..LOL But the last reason I’m so excited about this sale is a bit more complicated. A few observant readers have noted that I have apparently changed publishers. Yes, this is true. The first two Demon books have been/are being published by Bantam. I’ll say this right now: I had a WONDERFUL experience with Bantam/Random House in damn near every way. I knew perfectly well that I was a very small fish in a very large pond, but I almost never felt that way. My incredibly skillful and fantastic editor, Anne Groell, was an utter delight to work with, and she guided me and goaded me into making Mark of the Demon and Blood of the Demon 10,000% better than I ever thought possible. Her input and insight was nothing short of brilliant, and I’m unspeakably grateful that I was able to begin the series under an editor of her caliber. Her assistant, David Pomerico, was an absolute godsend as well, and was incredibly kind, patient and supportive of me as I made my debut as a published author.

Unfortunately, as they say, “love is love, but business is business.” When the time came to negotiate a contract for more books, the Powers That Be at Bantam were unable/ unwilling/ unsomething to make an offer within the option period, which meant that my agent and I were faced with some difficult decisions. In the end we decided that our best move was to look for another home for the Demon series, and thankfully DAW made an offer that was quite acceptable. I’m going to miss working with everyone at Bantam, but I’m confident that the door is always open for future projects.

Okay, so on to the rest of the good news! See, while we were going through the contract stuff with Bantam, I was busy working on proposals for other projects (since I was being realistic and mature and all that crap and had accepted the uncomfortable truth that the series might not sell anywhere else which would then put me in a bit of a publishing limbo for a while.) One of the projects I decided to work on was an idea that I’d been noodling around with a while back, about a “white trash” girl who gets turned into a zombie, who then has to get a job as a morgue tech in order to have easy access to brains. (Yum! Heehee.) As I wrote the sample chapters and synopsis for it I got more and more excited about the project, and saw it as a really neat and fun–and oddly meaningful–coming-of-age story. As a zombie. I finished up the proposal and sent it to my agent, who replied that he loved it. (This was in sharp contrast to his reaction to a previous young adult/urban fantasy proposal that I’d sent him, wherein he said–far more nicely than I deserved–that it didn’t knock his socks off. He was being quite kind, because what he was probably thinking was, “Oh my god, this sucks ass.” Because, really, it did. I can see this now.)

Well, you’ve probably figured it out by now, but, yes, my agent also sent the new proposal on to the editor at DAW, and she made an offer for three of those books as well.

Six books sold! SIX. BOOKS. (Commence alternating between elation and terror. Holy shit, I sold six books! Holy shit, I have to write six more books! LOL)

And now, here we are! I have two month to finish up Demon #3. And I’m going to post every day. Welcome to my madhouse!

Sep 15

Caption contest winners!

The winners!

Okay, I know I’m a day late, but it was harder than I thought it would be to pick a winner. In fact, it was so hard, that I decided to pick three winners! Not that getting to pick three made it any easier, because there were a lot of really terrific entries and quite a few that made me laugh out loud. Huge thanks to everyone who participated!

So, without any further babbling from me:

Winner #1: Cathy R with “Crouching Author, Hidden Demon”

Winner #2: Debbie_D with: “Hypnosis can be a very powerful tool. As you can see, Ms. Rowland actually believes she’s a dog. We’ll take a 10 minute break now, she needs to be walked”

And Winner #3: (and this one proves that I sometimes have a completely retarded sense of humor, because I laughed out loud when I read it!) Rayna with : (thinking in my head)*Don’t fart, Don’t Fart, Don’t FART!*

I’ll be in touch with the above posters about your prize!

However, I have to give a shout-out to a couple of runner-ups who also made me snicker:

Ashley N with: Epic Annihilation In 3…2…1…

Marilyn with: “the girls” will be a good fit!

And kiaras with: “The author, after she finds her work on yet another torrent site.”

But seriously, I loved them all, and if you didn’t win, don’t fret! I’ll be having more contests in the coming months! Thanks again, everybody!

Sep 7

Caption contest!!

During a recent search for loose change, I found a usb drive that contained a picture that was taken at a martial arts seminar I attended about seven years ago.

I look waaaaay too serious here, and this picture is in serious need of captioning. Best one wins an autographed copy of Mark of the Demon! (And yes, this is open to readers outside the U.S. as well :) )

ETA: Contest will close next Monday, September 14th, at noon (Louisiana time), at which time entries will be judged by a motley group of people with suspect opinions.

ETA #2: Captions can be serious, funny, lolcatty… anything goes! (Unless it’s something that’s just plain skeevy/gross/creepy, at which time I reserve the right to delete said skeeviness without prejudice.)

ETA #3 (sheesh!): If you already have Mark of the Demon, I’ll put you down for an autographed copy of Blood of the Demon as soon as I get copies!

Aug 18

My very very late Comic-Con post, including how I met Felicia Day

My Comic-Con report, finally!

Yes, I’ve been back from San Diego for a few weeks now. [insert lame apology for not posting sooner.]

I had a total blast. I walked a lot. Holy crapoly. The convention center is eight blocks long. There were 126,000 people crammed into eight blocks. (Think of half the population of New Orleans crammed into eight blocks. Yeah, there were time when I wanted to curl into the fetal position!)

I sought refuge hung out at the Random House booth quite a bit. I was also featured on the Suvudu website a few times, which was a helluva lot of fun. (Four different links in that last sentence–don’t miss any of them!) Met and re-met all sorts of incredibly awesome people, (see the flickr set!) but I think the absolute coolest experience of the convention was meeting Felicia Day. Not only because Felicia Day is an incredibly cool person, but because of the way I finally managed to meet her.

So, I’ve been a bit of a fangirl about Felicia Day for a while, and it’s a poorly kept secret that in my little delusional world where Mark of the Demon gets made into a movie or TV series (hey, I said it was a delusion, okay?) I think Felicia Day would make an awesome Kara. Plus, she’s a big fan of urban fantasy and paranormal romance, so I wanted to be a pushy bitch find a way to meet her and give her a copy of my book. I quickly discovered that there’d be no way for me to just randomly run into her (yeah, there were a lot of people there. Holy Kamoly.) And, by Saturday, I realized that I needed to be a lot more proactive about stalking finding her. I finally tweeted something to the effect of, “Okay, first person who can hook me up with @feliciaday wins an autographed copy of Mark of the Demon!”

Not two minutes later I had a direct message from @feliciaday, telling me where to find her. SCORE!!

Unfortunately, being that I was new to ComicCon, I got very confused about where I was supposed to go. I ended up walking (jogging?) to the very ass-end of the convention center (five or so blocks away), only to discover that I had been in the right place to begin with. So, another five block walk/jog back and I made it to the Browncoat booth, where Felicia was signing autographs.

She seemed excited that I made it, shook my hand and said she was happy to meet me, at which time I proceeded to act like a spazzing fangirl. (At least it felt that way.) At one point she asked me for my card, and even though I had about a hundred stuffed into my bag I couldn’t find a single one.

Y’know, I used to be a street cop. I’ve chased down crackheads. Been in a shooting and numerous fights. Worked with the most alpha of alpha male cops. And I still managed to turn into a complete blibbering idiot. *facepalm*

But I did manage to give her a copy of Mark of the Demon, and she was incredibly nice and gracious and didn’t call security on me, for which I’m quite grateful.

As far as the rest of Comic-Con goes, I hung out with lots of cool and awesome people (again, see the flickr set!), but mostly Jackie Kessler and Shawn Speakman. Ate breakfast at Richard Walker’s Pancake House almost every morning; it usually had a line to get in, but it was a fast-moving line and always worth the wait. I got to see my friend, Gigi Gridley–who looks AMAZING and has inspired me to stop being a weenie about my diet and exercise. My bandaid giveaways were a huge hit, and I was even complimented on the cleverness of the idea by a Random House VP. (The bandaids were my one utterly brilliant idea for my life, I fear.) I was invited to a lovely little dinner party hosted by Samantha Sommersby–and since Charlaine Harris was also in attendance I was finally able to thank her personally for the wonderful blurb she gave for MotD and give her a signed copy of the book.

Even though Comic-Con wore me out far more than I expected, it was still the most fun I’ve ever had at a convention–possibly because it was absolutely impossible to be bored. I love Worldcon, but there are only so many times you can wander through the dealer’s room before you’ve seen everything, and eventually you end up just sitting in the bar to hang out with your peeps. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) But at Comic-Con there’s no way to see everything, so whenever I got restless I could just make my way to a different zip code in the convention center and see more cool and exciting stuff!

Of course, that’s probably why I was so exhausted by the end of it. [g] Anyway, I definitely want to go again next year!

Jul 18

Comic Con schedule

I’ll be heading off to San Diego next week for the San Diego Comic-Con. I’ve been attending science fiction/fantasy conventions since I was old enough to drive, but this will be my first Comic-Con and I’ve been told by many that SDCC is a completely different animal. I’m used to thinking of WorldCon as “large”, i.e. ~5,000 people or so. From what I understand, attendance at SDCC is somewhere around 125,000. (Holy shit!)

I’m getting in on Tuesday so that I stand a chance of actually getting to see some of the area before diving into convention stuff. But, if you’re looking for me at the convention, here’s what I currently have scheduled:

PANEL 10:00-11:00 Escapist Fantasy— What are the pluses and perils of adding magic and monsters to our world? Panelists Juliet Blackwell (Second Hand Spirits), Marjorie Liu (Darkness Calls), Jackie Kessler & Caitlin Kittredge (co-authors, Black & White), Diana Rowland (Mark of the Demon), Sina Grace (Cedric Hollows In Dial “M” For Magic), Seanan McGuire (Rosemary & Rue), and Harry Connolly (Child of Fire) weigh in on the options. Moderator: Maryelizabeth Hart, Mysterious Galaxy. Room 10

SIGNING 11:00 am–12:00 pm (immediately after the panel)
Juliet Blackwell, Marjorie Liu, Jackie Kessler, Caitlin Kittredge, Diana Rowland, Sina Grace, Seanan McGuire, Harry Connolly

SIGNING 4:00 – 4:30 p.m.
RandomHouse Booth #1128 Diana Rowland (Mark of the Demon) FREE BOOKS (while supplies last)

The rest of the time I expect to be either wandering around in a nerdgasmic daze, or recovering in a nearby bar.