Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Spring Fling 2014: Part Two

Random disclaimer: The Internet messes with your head. Specifically, social media. At this moment I follow 764 people on Twitter, mostly other authors and industry professionals, so at conferences I see a lot of names and faces that I recognize but can't figure out how I know them. I pretty much suck at remembering names to begin with, so my apologies if I met you/missed you at the Spring Fling and didn't realize it.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Spring Fling 2014: Part One

The Chicago-North Spring Fling Writers Conference took place this weekend. This was my fourth trip to the SF (and BFF Diana's third), and I have a lot of love for this conference. The SF was the first conference I attended, the 2008 Fire and Ice was my first contest win, and the 2012 SF was my first local book signing. I had a fun time, and as always the organizers did a great job of putting everything together.

So here's the round-up of this year's adventures. :) (An abbreviated round-up, apologies to anyone/anything I left out.)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Author Thursday: Interview with Yolanda Sfetsos

Today's guest is awesome author Yolanda Sfetsos, who has a new book out this week from Samhain! w00t! And, in case you didn't know, new releases are always 30% off at the Samhain store. Good book, great savings, what's not to like? ;) And the cover is gorgeous! Kanaxa does the best covers. (I know, because she's created all of mine.) ;)

1. What flavor is your writing? (Spicy? Action? Space odyssey? Ninjas? All of the above?)

The flavor of my writing would have to be otherworldly. I write in several genres—urban fantasy, SFR, horror, futuristic, whatever strikes me. All of my stories have several things in common. The supernatural always manages to squeeze itself in there somehow (because I love toeing the line between light and dark), romance is usually a big factor (because without love there’s not much of a story), secrets (because uncovering hidden secrets is fun), plus I enjoy throwing some action into the mix.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Spring Fling 2014

The Chicago-North Spring Fling is this weekend, w00t! And I will be signing books there on Saturday, April 26th, from 9:30-10:30 am, along with this list of fabulous authors: http://chicagospringfling.com/conference-info/book-signing/. And I'm bringing a few ARCs of Poison in the Blood to give away. And free chocolate! And Samhain swag! Be there or be square!

I've been attending the Spring Fling since 2008 (before Blood, Smoke and Mirrors was published, it took first place in its category in the Fire & Ice contest). There have been many memorable Spring Fling moments. Like in 2010 when I lost my dorky fangirl mind at Sarah Wendell. I generally have an over-excited Golden Retriever moment at one author per conference, and SB Sarah was the lucky winner that year.

BFF Diana and I spent much of the 2012 Spring Fling stalking our girlcrush Tiffany Reisz, who we love and worship and have the T-shirts. (BFF Diana and I are going to be on our best behavior this year. We promise. Serious face is serious.) 2012 also featured my first book signing in Illinois, which my loud, boisterous, and extremely proud of me family totally ALL showed up at, causing me to get the stink eye from other authors. I promise there'll be less family this time. Again, serious face is serious. (I can't promise that my mom won't go from table to table informing everyone that her daughter is an author too. That's how she rolls.)

The book signing is open to the public. Hope to see you there on Saturday! ;)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Author Thursday: Interview with Cathy Pegau

If you follow me on Twitter you've probably noticed me crazy fangirl stalking author Cathy Pegau, because I adore her sci-fi romance series. I campaigned for her novel Caught in Amber during this year's DABWAHA, and she just barely missed going on to the second round by a handful of votes. (So close!) I'm thrilled to have her as my guest today.

1.What flavor is your writing? (Spicy? Action? Space odyssey? Ninjas? All of the above?)

The books I currently have out are all science fiction romance with a bit of suspense thrown in. Two have lesbian romances at their center and the other is het. I prefer to write speculative fiction, or at least tend to lean in that direction, but not always.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Lives Change at Your Library

This year National Library Week is April 13-19, and the theme is, "Lives change @ your library". (Yes, there's actually an @ in it. I'm not sure how I feel about that.)

The Berwyn Public Library played an important role in my development as a reader and a writer. I remember the glowing pride I felt when I received my first library card, and how I marveled at the responsibility of having something with my name on it. *I* was entrusted with the welfare of the books I checked out--not my parents--and I could choose what I wanted to read. It's empowering. A library card is like a TARDIS, giving the reader access to visit any time period and infinite worlds to explore.

I remember riding my pink Schwinn bike to the library on 16th Street and coming home with my basket filled with new books. The walk down the stairs to the children's section filled me with excitement. New books! To this day I'm excited by the promise of a new book. I love to wander the shelves and explore, looking for new series and new authors.

During college I worked in the main library at University of Illinois. I LOVED that job. The stacks are enormous--two buildings, ten floors each--and that's just the main library. According to the site:
The University Library holds more than thirteen million volumes and 24 million items and materials in all formats, languages, and subjects, including 9 million microforms, 120,000 serials, 148,000 audio-recordings, over 930,000 audiovisual materials, over 280,000 electronic books, 12,000 films, and 650,000 maps.
And I believe it, because I was a shelver. I also searched for books marked "not on shelf" for whatever reason. It's easy to lose a book in a library that enormous. I'd crawl all over looking for books that had fallen behind shelves, or that didn't fit on the shelf and were stacked on the floor. I loved that too. Me, rescuing knowledge and restoring it to the masses (you'd think I'd discovered the One Ring instead of a missing volume on crop production).

Libraries are so important to our communities. They offer not only books, but movies, music, Internet access, adult education programs, activities for kids and teens, tutoring, book clubs, writers groups, and more. Libraries are life changing.

What are your favorite library memories? Do you have a favorite local library?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Author Thursday: Interview with Maddy Barone

My guest today is fellow Romance Diva Maddy Barone. I met Maddy at the Lori Foster Reader and Author Get-Together a few years ago. I'm bummed that I won't be able to see her and my other RAGT friends this year, but I hope to next year.

If you like werewolves, you should give Maddy's After the Crash series a try. It's fast-paced mix of time travel, paranormal, and post-apocalypse romance with an Old West feel.

1. What flavor is your writing? (Spicy? Action? Space odyssey? Ninjas? All of the above?)

I think of my After the Crash novels as “Vanilla Erotic”. It’s hard to pin a single genre label on them, though. The heroines jump forward in time to a post-apocalyptic world that has few women, and where there are werewolves looking for mates. So is it a time-travel, post-apocalyptic, werewolf paranormal series? Or just paranormal romance?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Poetry and Poison in the Blood

April is National Poetry Month. As an English major, I have read a lot of poetry. Perhaps all the poetry... Okay, not all the poetry, but a sample of poems from Western poets from Old English onward. (Have you ever read Old English? It's like Klingon. Middle English is not much better.) I enjoy Shakespearean sonnets, Emily Dickinson, pina coladas and getting caught in the rain.

As an author I've been inspired by poetry, and the second Emily book Poison in the Blood was inspired by "Goblin Market" by Christina Rossetti. (Also, my advance copies of Poison in the Blood are here! Yay! Yes, there will be giveaways, and also a blog tour during June when the print version officially releases.)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Author Thursday: Interview with Lissa Matthews

I've had the pleasure of hanging out with author Lissa Matthews at a few Lori Foster Reader and Author Get-Togethers. Lissa is awesome and always fun to talk to, and I'm thrilled to have her as my guest today. :)

1. What flavor is your writing? (Spicy? Action? Space odyssey? Ninjas? All of the above?)

Sexy, sassy, emotional, real...

2. Where do you get your inspiration?