Posts

Showing posts from 2010

World Fantasy Convention 2010--Day Two

Gini and I stayed up talking all night last night.  Not too smart, considering the wake up call was set for 8 am. After breakfast, while Gini was busy, I did a lot of people watching and this is what I've got.

Today, I was accosted with the worst pick up line EVER.  While I was smoking outside, this fellow came up to me and said, "I've only ever seen you with a girl.  Are you a lesbian?"

Seriously?  I mean, seriously, dude, does that kind of line ever work?  Somehow I don't think so.  So now, I've got the line of the convention and I'm going to repeat it until people's ears bleed.  Because, you know, it wasn't enough that this moron insulted lesbians everywhere by assuming a pair of straight chicks hanging out at a convention were lesbians simply because they were not with this particular troll-like speciman of humanity.  No clue who said dude was.  All I need to know is this: what a loser.

The smoking area has been renamed 'the pariah portico…

World Fantasy Convention 2010--Official Day One

---Okay, so Gini invited me to stay with her in her hotel room for a couple of nights of the convention.  I thought that would be a great idea--it would let me stay longer and get out into the action earlier (which seemed like a good idea at the time) and work out a whole mess of business.  So yeah. Good idea, right?

Right. It was, as a matter of fact. I'm known for some pretty darn clever ideas, but that Gini Koch.  Genius. Sheer genius.

We saw LE Modesitt again.  I think I must be destined to run into him and his lovely vests.  Interesting thing about Modesitt--he's always very polite but he's always also just a little wild-eyed if you approach him.  I'm thinking some half-insane fan has approached him at some point in his past, the poor man.  Very charming overall, though, and there's always that moment of "Oh my gosh--that's LE Modesitt!"

My fangster pal Beth Bernobich's Passion Play (just debuted from Tor) is visible everywhere.  Interestingl…

Day #1--World Fantasy Convention 2010

So tomorrow, the World Fantasy Convention begins in Columbus, Ohio--but for me, today was the first day.  I went to pick up my friend, the uber-fabulous Gini Koch, at Port Columbus.  Originally, my husband was supposed to go with me but he had to work, so my daughter Audrey drove and we took her daughter Aurora (who turned one last week) with us.

The first sign of imminent awesomeness?  A text message that reads, "I'm the gal with the pink zebra print matched luggage."

After pulling her luggage from the baggage claim--it was easily spotted, by the by--Audrey and I took the luggage while Gini took the baby and we went to the car.  As I've mentioned before, little Aurora is one of the best babies in the world.  Today she had her first trip to the airport, a convention center, a big hotel and a Max and Erma's and that baby did not cry or fuss once.  She was completely enthralled by Gini and, I must say, the feeling is mutual.  Once we got Gini checked in at the Hyat…

Sticking My Toe Into The Supreme Court's Business: The Language of Hatred and the First Amendment

Disclaimer:  I am not a legal expert.  I am a citizen with google-fu, political science education, and an abiding interest in the First Amendment who is kind of pissed off.

Last week, a group from the Westboro Baptist Church stopped off in Columbus on their way to Washington, where the Supreme Court will decide on the court case that Albert Snyder, father of slain Marine Lance Corporl Matthew Snyder, brought against the group as the result of their protest at his son's 2006 funeral.  They went to a corner on the Ohio State campus, with their normal regalia, and protested as part of their 1-70 Godsmack Tour.

No offense to the rock band; I didn't name the event. They did. Voodoo is a great song, by the way.

I don't think it's a stretch to say that any decent, normal human being abhors a thought process that allows people to justify an intrusion upon a family's grief.  In my world, people don't think that soldiers killed in the line of duty are somehow God's pu…

Out of Hibernation

Image
It's been a long time since I've been this busy.  I don't think I've ever had a stretch of out and out craziness since I started this blog.  Has it really been over two months since I posted here?  Wow!

Well, let's catch you up.

Editing has taken over long stretches of time at the Elf Killing desk.  Over the past few months, I've worked with a lot of authors both at Aspen Mountain Press and at Aurora Regency: Marguerite Butler two books--both Regencies in her Mad Hatterlys series), Kimberly Nee (two books, both historicals, in her McKenzie Brothers series at Aurora), Andy Dunn (a new author with a fabulous gay romantic comedy), Lizzie T. Leaf (two books--her Cougar Club hit Butterfly Kisses and the latest in her DEAD series of erotic paranormal romances), LB Gregg (two books: the fourth in her Men of Smithfield series In and Out and her really fabulous Halloween m/m erotic romance Dudleytown), Cindi Myers (two books, both reissues of her successful string of bo…

Taking Stock

I think now is a good time to sit back for a moment and take stock of my career in publishing.  It's only been three years since my first book was published. Since then, all four books of The Asphodel Cycle have been released, my short story collection Metamorphosis, the first book of The Vampire Covenants with Rob Graham, and now the first three books of Mythos. I have ten other books completed and another seven at various stages of completion.  Two of them are paranormal romance, one is horror and the rest are either urban or epic fantasy.

I have not been writing as much as of late--I've been concentrating on my role as an editor.  Since I began editing two years ago, I have worked on over forty books with over twenty writers.  I've advanced to senior editor at Aspen Mountain Press.  I came up with the concept for the Aurora imprint at AMP and am the head editor there. With the sneak peek of Aurora next week and the official launch of the company in October, I am focusi…

Mythos 3: Beloved of a Mortal Now Available

The third book of my mythological romance series, Mythos 3:Beloved of a Mortal, has been released and is now available through Aspen Mountain Press.

After a prophecy that Thetis’ son would be greater than his father, the male gods of Olympus shun her. She is now an outcast, wandering the mountains in Greece and seething against the petty motivations of the other immortals.
Peleus is a Greek hero and warrior prince. On a visit to the king of Iolcos, he fends off the advances of the Queen. When she lies to her husband and claims Peleus is in love with her, the King strands Peleus on a mountain. Only the intervention of a beautiful immortal saves him from a horrible death.
Peleus and Thetis fall in love, but their future is uncertain. Can Peleus overcome the obstacles the gods have set in his way? Or will Thetis be strong enough to fight for the man she loves? When a goddess is the beloved of a mortal, only the help of those who love her can save her from the anger of the gods.
I love re…

Stalled

Yep, that's me.  Stalled.  Oh, I'm still writing--when I can.  At the moment, though, I'm so busy with all my other hats I'm having trouble finding the time to write.  Then, when I do find the time, I struggle for a few minutes with what I should be working on.

Problem number one of writing multiple projects at the same time.

There are so many things I need to get finsished.  I got Harlequin done, thank goodness, so I don't have to worry about that.  It's in the hands of a beta right now.  Terella is getting revamped again--yeah, I know.  How many overhauls can one project take?  The answer to that is simple--whatever it needs. I've been researching Oriental culture and society, wanting to give Terella a more non-European flavor.  It'll be interesting to see if I can pull it off.  I'm close to the end of the Covenants final book, but I'm not really sure what I should do to end it.  Usually, I know the ending of a book before I begin it, but this…

Major Reviewers, Third Party Sites, and the Continuing Prejudice Against E-Publishing

Not too long ago, my trusty Google alerts informed me that a blogger had mentioned my name in a post.  That had happened before--an old nemesis from my past had bemoaned the fact that mean people like me could get published while nice people like her couldn't.  Needless to say, I was steeling myself as the site came up.

What I found was totally unexpected.  The An American Editor blog had mentioned me very kindly as a good new author he'd found on Fictionwise.  I was pretty chuffed by the mention--after all, it's not very often you get an unexpected mention like that.  So a few weeks later, I was completely floored when the same blogger posted "LE Modesitt Jr and Celina Summers: Fantasy in Contrast." In this post, American Editor compared my Asphodel Cycle  to Modesitt's Saga of Recluseseries, giving Asphodel a great review in the process. 

At the time, I considered sending him a box of chocolates. After all, writers published through small presses rarely ge…

Work and Work and Work

The story of my life.

Work and work and more work and work still and continuing work and new work and the same old same old work.  Good grief--I've got so much piled on my plate I'm a single person smorgasbord.

But I love it, you know? I love being so busy I don't know what to do yet.  This week, my husband's family is getting together for the first time in years.  I'm meeting his oldest brother and his family for the first time and Shannon and I have been together for a decade.So naturally, I'm scrambling around trying to get the house ready for guests--some of whom are children--while, at the same time, getting work done for AMP and Aurora and me.

Oh my.

*Yes--A Wizard of Oz moment*

I've got books to be scanned, manuscripts to finalize, submissions to read, writing deadlines and editing deadlines of my own, covers to be approved, art to be assigned, publicity to get cranking and this week I have to scrub, vaccuum, clean and conceal--the latter being neces…

Catharsis

Those who know how to win are much more numerous than those who know how to make proper use of their victories.


Polybius (205 BC - 118 BC)
It's not very often that I'll blog on something that has some rudimentary basis in philosophy, but my Plato is beckoning to me from my bookshelf and I'm feeling kind of sassy. So today, this thought has been bouncing back and forth in my head, on the pages I've written and throughout my life's journey.

You know what *those* strange single days are like? The ones where everything changes and you didn't know it? Didn't see it coming? I had a day like that yesterday.  It was a normal day, save for being a national holiday. My husband was at home.  We spent the weekend just spending time together--and I don't mean in the physical *together in the same room* kind of together.  I mean together--talking, learning about each other again, having fun, enjoying each other's company. For some people, that might involve sit…

Ruminations and Revelations

Today is a strange day in my world.  Today would have been my mother's 77th birthday. 

My mother plays a huge role in my writing. She always has.  When I was a kid, she encouraged me to read and to write--except in the summers when she'd lock me out of the house and make me go play outside for a while.  Otherwise, I would have sat in my room all summer reading.  When I was in high school and doing all sorts of extra-curricular activities--any extra curricular activity that involved the word CONTEST was high up on my list--she would cart me all over the country to help me get my research done or get to a competition. 

When she died, I found copies of two papers I wrote for the History Day competition among her things.  I was a pretentious little cuss, and I'd written epic poems instead of plain old term papers. 

So, in a lot of ways, I owe the writer that I am to my mother.  As a first-generation American (French emigre') she was proud of my command of the English la…

Time Off Comes to a Close

So, yeah--my time off from blogging is done.  I've been writing and editing, but after A Month In The Life, I figured you guys deserved A Fortnight Of Silence.

All done now. It actually works out fairly well.  I've had a not-quite-stellar couple of weeks physically, including a brutal bout of insomnia and (of course) a lot of back pain.  That aside, it's still been pretty productive though.  I finished the first draft of Harlequin, which may or may not be the sequel to Deception Enters Stage Left.  I wrote the story to make. the. characters. shut. up. (Ever have a story like that? One that just wants to keep on going? Some gene in my DNA makes me want to write years' worth of fantasy soap opera. Not such a bad thing...) I'm getting close to finishing the final Covenants story--Defying The Covenants. We're shooting for a Halloween-area release on that one at AMP.  Mythos has hit the backburner.  My editor has the third book and I'm holding off on number four…

Mythos 2:Daughter of the Sea Now Available!

Image
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand it's out!

Mythos 2: Daughter of the Sea is now available at Aspen Mountain Press.




The young gods of Olympus have pursued the sea god Nereus’ daughters, Amphitrite and Thetis, since they grew to maturity. The sisters are used to the adoration of immortal men and like the attention they receive. But when the imprisoned Titan, Prometheus, makes a prophecy that Thetis’ son will be greater than his father, the gods shun the beautiful nymph. Thetis hides herself away from Olympus, leaving her sister Amphitrite angry and in no mood to deal with the fickle tastes of men.

When the King of the ocean, Poseidon, watches Amphitrite dance at a feast upon Olympus, he falls instantly in love with her. His attempts to court Amphitrite end in disaster; she flees to the one place in the three realms where no Olympian can go. Can Poseidon find some messenger to break through her anger and win her heart? Or will the great god of the oceans be spurned by this daughter of the sea?
I hav…

RT Pictures

Image
The authors' panel at Bobbi Smith's workshop.  From the left, that's Heather Graham, Debra Parmley, Linnea Sinclair and Jade Lee. I tried to get a shot of Stacey Kade (who is sitting next to Linnea) but just couldn't  get a shot around that head in the way.
This is the gift basket that Lizzie T. Leaf, Sam Cheever and I contributed to for the booksellers at the convention.

Laura Baumbach talking with Robert Gregory Browne at "our" table in the bar.  We chose the table for two reasons: first, it was right by the elevator banks and second, because it gave us an unadulterated view of our banner.  Both Laura and Robert are great people to talk to--and drink with...not that I would know...

For some reason, Lizzie T. Leaf (on the left) and Sandra Hicks didn't want this picture to be seen by anyone. *grin* So naturally, I had to post it.  I think it's funny and I'm not sure how many hurricanes and glasses of wine we'd had by this particular point in the …

A Month In The Life--Saturday, May 1, 2010

Image
Yep--you get an extra day in this month because this whole past month has been about the Romantic Times convention and this was the last day of it, at least for me.  So May Day was spent  dancing around the flower laden pole that is a book signing at a major event with major authors.

No, I didn't get to sign.  I got to watch and take pictures and run errands, which was total awesomness from my point of view. First off, I was in sneakers and jeans--sheer bliss after five days of misery. I'd determined from the beginning that while I would love to have every single darn book in the ballroom, I had to restrict myself. So I kept to books from writers who'd been especially helpful and/or friendly throughout the week.

First off, then, was the lovely and simply loveable Bobbi Smith.  Aside from hosting and directing the two-day pre convention workshop that was the most helpful event I've ever attended as a writer, Bobbi has one of those absolutely incredible personalities, t…

A Month in the Life--Friday, April 30, 2010

Image
I only got an hour of sleep last night.

I was hurting too badly to get comfortable.  I couldn't sleep anywhere--the bed, the couch, the chair, the floor. Nothing worked.  I finally dozed off for an hour around four, but woke up a little bit after five and just decided to forget about it.  My ankles had both rolled the day before and both were swollen and painful to the touch.  The flats I'd worn for the last two days had literally bruised my feet, so I chucked and went with my boots.  Yeah, I know--heels are a bad idea, but I needed the support for my ankles.

I had to keep telling myself that I only had to make it one more day. One more day of dressing up. One more day of a hectic schedule. One more day of being on my feet.  One more day of pitches.

Just one more day.

After the regular stocking session on Promo Lane and the obligatory smirk beneath the banner in the bar, I limped slowly off to the area set aside for pitch sessions.  The lady in charge of the pitch sessions is …

A Month In The Life--Thursday, April 29, 2010

So, I'd decided I was going to nail every available pitch session open on the schedule, right?  Well, by gum--I did!  I ended up with ten appointments with both agents and editors from major publishing houses.  My Thursday and Friday were now booked to the point that there would only be a very few workshops I'd be able to attend.  I was quite all right with that turn of events; I was here to promo and sell--and the promo part was going like gangbusters.

I'd come in to a completely empty promotional space yet again. When I walked up with my husband trailing along behind me with a box of water bottles on his shoulder, I was just in time to see some lady rip one of my glued down cover flats from my display.

"Excuse me," I said, removing said cover flat from her hand. "Obviously, since this is glued down, it needs to stay there."

The woman turned redder than my hair. "I'm sorry. I just really like it."

"Well, if you come to the book expo …

A Month In The Life--Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Image
Ah...the first full day of the RT convention!

I was excited for lots of reasons. First off, the AMP ladies got in yesterday for the most part.  It was really great to meet my EIC, Sandra Hicks, for the first time--and Laura Baumbach, who is the EIC of MLR Press and a legend as far as I'm concerned.  But I also got to meet some of the writers I edit.  LB Gregg is adorable--little and sassy and spunky and shoes I would quite frankly kill for.  Helen Hardt is tall and elegant and drop dead gorgeous; Sam Cheever has the market cornered on cute and manages to do more things at one time than I do without looking like a spaz--like I do.  Lizzie T. Leaf took one look at me and instantly adopted me, I think.  Instantly, our relationship went from editor-writer to younger sister-older sister.  She told me what to do all week and I loved it.  Then, my husband went to pick Cynthia Vespia up at the airport this morning--she's staying with us in Lancaster.

The first thing I did this morning…