Dec 11


Hey, cool! My Wolf the Poodle entry got picked as a Best of Holidailies!

Today is Unofficial Official Agent Appreciation Day, and anyone who’s been reading my blog for even just the past week will know that I have plenty of reason to be all about giving a shoutout to my fabulous agent, Matt Bialer, and his awesome assistant, Lindsay Ribar.

Matt has quite a few Big Name clients (who surely make him far more money than I do) but I’ve never once felt like a “small fry”. He’s done far more for me than just sell my books to publishers. He’s been my advocate, my cheerleader, and he’s talked me off of more ledges built of angst than I care to count. Mark of the Demon was on submission for six months before it sold to Bantam, and during that time Matt never once allowed me to think that the book wouldn’t sell. Even when he agreed that it might be a good idea to work on a different book just in case MotD didn’t sell, he still continued to insist that he believed it would. After the sale to Bantam he continued to earn his 15% and more by answering the million+ questions I asked, and by being my go-between whenever I had any sort of issue with the publisher. And, when we were faced with the decision to find another publisher for the Demon books, he focused so much time and attention on me and the state of my writing career that I felt as if I was his only client. He’s also not afraid to tell me what I need to hear, whether I want to hear it or not–a combination of critique partner and conscience.

I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that I feel extraordinarily fortunate to have Matt as my agent. I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for all that he’s done for me and my career.

Tomorrow I’ll go on at great length about Lindsay, because she definitely deserves a blog entry of her own!

Dec 10

Thursday thrashings

Today has been one of those days when I’ve had a frillion things to do and before I could finish one thing someone was asking me to do another thing and it’s been very frazzling and nowhere near as productive as I’d hoped it would be. It was oddly relaxing to go to kenpo tonight and throw people around/get thrown around. Ah, the calming nature of violence!


I’ve fallen completely in love with Emerald Cocoa Roast Almonds.


I need some clever programmer to come up with a program or macro that will go through my manuscript and point out words that are repeated within x number of sentences/paragraphs/pages of each other. Frex when I use the word “just” fifteen times in a chapter, or when I use the word “really” three times in one sentence. Does anyone know if such a thing already exists?

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 8

A poodle named Wolf

The CIA doesn’t need to waterboard prisoners. If they really want to break someone, all they need to do is sic a determined five-year-old on them.

It went something like this:

The Kid: I want a puppy.
Me: Maybe in a few years, honey.

(a few days later)
The Kid: Pleeeeeease? I want a puppy.
Me: We don’t have a fenced yard. We’ll have a dog someday.

(a few more days)
The Kid: Maybe Santa can give us a new house that has a yard so that we can get a puppy?
Me: Erm… I don’t think that’s going to happen.
The Kid: PLEEEEASE? I really want a puppy!
The Husband: What kind of dog do you want, Kid?
Me: [gives the husband the Look Of Death]

(several more days)
The Kid: Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease! I want a puppy!
Me: [whimpers] No small dogs! Tell daddy that you want a German Shepherd!
The Husband: [makes growly noises about how much they shed]
Me: [snickers]

(still more days)
The Husband: What kind of dog are we getting?
Me: [sighs] No small dogs. No stupid dogs.
Husband: No shedding dogs.
Me: And no destructive dogs.
Both of us: [internet internet internet]
Me: Standard poodle?
Husband: Standard poodle.

Meet the latest addition to our household:
Wolf the Poodle

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!

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