Welcome to Biting-Edge, a blog shared by authors and vampire experts, Mario Acevedo and Jeanne Stein. We’ll cover urban fantasy, vampires, pop culture, and all things Joss Whedon. Unlike other fantasy blogs, we don’t insist on body cavity searches (unless you ask politely). Snarkiness is most welcome...though we won't promise not to bite back!
YEGODS!!! I just realized I'm supposed to post tomorrow and I haven't planned a thing and will be on an airplane winging my way to New York for World Fantasy Con! The reason for being so addleheaded? One word: deadline.
Anna Strong Book Four, The Legacy, is finished!!! One day before the Oct 31st deadline!!
So-- remember the Bad Santa Contest rules are up on Friday-- and I'll try to give a progress report or two on World Fantasy (as well as a wrap-up of last week's MileHiCon) in a day or two!!
Mario-- you have the con.....
Had a busy weekend at the MileHiCon 39. BIG kudos to Rose Beetem
for doing such a great job honching the event. As if that wasn't challenging enough, the hotel gave up all available rooms to host the Red Sox fans coming into town to cheer Boston trample the Rockies. So we had a lot of pirates and Jedi knights looking for a place to sleep.
The con had wonderful costumes
but the cake had to go to Mr. LupeLope:If you're wondering what your costume says about you, click here to find out.Every year I promise to make myself a costume and every year I procrastinate. This year I helped my youngest son with his costume. In an homage to our Mexican indigenous roots I used papier-mache and felt to make an Aztec Eagle war helmet...which my sons called the Chicken Hat and the PeckerHead.
Our Super Brain Award
goes to Johanna Novales
for winning Richelle Mead's
Scavenger Hunt Contest.Don't forget the bad Santa contest. Rules posted this Friday. Get your keyboards ready.
J.K. Rowling stunned/amazed/delighted her fans at a Carnegie Hall appearance when she announced to the audience that Dumbledore was gay. She added that Dumbledore was in love with Grindelwald and “that added to his horror when Grindelwald showed himself to be what he was.... That was Dumbledore's tragedy." Other tidbits: Hagrid doesn’t marry or have children. Neville Longbottom marries Hannah Abbott, who becomes landlady of the Leaky Cauldron, above which the two of them live. Snape gets his portrait on the wall with other Hogwart’s headmasters.
I would love to have been in that audience!
The Well Red Coyote, Sedona, Az bookstore has been voted Best Bookstore in Sedona for the second year in a row. The store is owned by former San Diego pals, Kris and Joe Neri. Congratulations, Kris. I love Sedona. Wish I could get there more often.
An article in BBC
news lists “10 ways to get you to read a book.” Word of mouth and book clubs are right up there.
Buffyverse news: Joss Whedon will direct a second episode of The Office. Episode 10, “Branch Wars.” No air date or other details available.
On Monday, January 14, the Sarah Connor Chronicles debuts. Summer Glau stars with Lena Headey, Thomas Dekker and Richard T. Jones. It will air right before the new season of 24.
The contests are still up and running at Author Island
. Check them out.
And voting is still going on at the Night Owl Romance Contest.
I’m at the very bottom of the vote totals, but since I realize there aren’t legions of fans out there that know me, I’m thrilled to have been nominated!
This weekend Mario and I appear at MileHiCon. We do a reading together and appear on a panel: Vamp Psychology 101. I’m moderator. Here are the questions I’ll be asking. If you think of others, let me know.
From straightforward predators to tortured souls, authors and Hollywood have psychoanalyzed vampires for years:
• What are some of the interpretations currently in favor?
• Does the changing view of vampire as complex/tortured/psychological simply mirror a growing societal awareness of psychology, or is something else going on here—and if so, what?
• How free are authors and Hollywood allowed to be when exploring the vampire mythos? Are there boundaries one shouldn't cross?
• Who has been most influential in shaping the above?
• Who or what are your personal influences?
Almost finished with rewrites for book four, The Legacy. The Watcher comes out next month. I’m way behind in promo for that one and feeling less than confident about Legacy. I go through this every damned time it gets close to release date for one book while I’m finishing another. It’s what I call prepublication, postcompletion panic syndrome. Some days I envy those “literary” writers who have one or two YEARS between books. Whatever must that be like?
To all my San Diego pals-- My thoughts are with you. I lived in San Diego a long time and this is by far the worst fire in memory. I've restrained from calling because I know the lines need to be kept clear. If you need anything, you know how to reach me.
Mario here:Unless you've been hiding in a cave or living in Flower Mound, Texas, you know that the Rockies are going to the World Series. The joke in Denver has been that the Rockies will make it to the World Series when Hell freezes over. Guess what? Today, it was cold and snowy as a mo-fo. A shout out to our urban fantasy buddy Richelle Mead for this news announced in Publishers Lunch:"Richelle Mead's untitled third novel in the VAMPIRE ACADEMY series, about two best friends at a secret boarding school for vampire royalty, to Jessica Rothenberg at Razorbill, by Jim McCarthy at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management (World English)."
I've had crappy book signings but nothing that drove me to do something this pathetic. For you fans of The Donald
, here's more from Publishers Lunch
"People Paid to Line Up for Trump Book
Learning Annex president Bill Zanker paid people to line up outside the BN store on Fifth Avenue and 46th Street yesterday for a signing by Donald Trump of their joint book THINK BIG AND KICK ASS IN BUSINESS AND LIFE. Zanker dispensed $100 each to the first 100 people in line, $50 each to the next 100, and $10 each to the next 1,000 or so people." Must be some book if you have to pay people to show up.This last week was the Colorado Book Award banquet. My first novel, The Nymphos of Rocky Flats, was a finalist in the category of popular fiction. The banquet was a gala extravaganza with everyone pulling out the stops to glam up. Not to be outdone by anyone, Colorado Humanities staffer Jen Long wore these awesome boots:The finalists were asked to provide items for a basket to be auctioned off. Our own Jeanne helped me assemble this great offering. We had vampire swag, books (natch), chocolate, a Devil Duck, and in the spirit of writers everywhere, a cocktail glass and Prada vodka.Acting as chaperone to the decidedly raucous Table 18 (our table) was none other than the esteemed Devil Duck (shown here peeing into my beer).Congratulations to Ann Parker for winning the category of popular fiction for her novel, Iron Ties.I accepted defeat with my usual aplomb.
Don't forget, the Bad Santa contest. We've collected prizes that would make Ali Baba drool (unlike what this guy is doing).
2007 National League Champs
Greetings sports fans—
Okay, I admit, I’m not REALLY a sports fan. Still, it’s hard not to get caught up in the excitement of Colorado’s first ever World Series berth. My loyalties were divided when the Rockies played the Padres. Controversial call aside, even you, Jeff
, have to admit the Rocks are playing world-class ball.
Now—onto other things.
in the NYT last Sunday talked about all the supernatural stuff on television lately. The point I liked best was this:
Nobody really knows where network executives come from or where they go after being fired. Perhaps those neatly groomed suits marching in lock step through Burbank are themselves the undead, demons, witches and vampires who suck the blood of Nielsen pollsters, turn viewers into zombies and howl at the Moonves. They are taking over the planet one show at a time.
And that’s a problem why? I thought Pushing Daisies would win my best of show this fall (I am a Dead Like Me fan and Bryan Fuller was instrumental in both that production and Daisies.) But the more I watch Reaper, the better I like it. The casting director was spot on in choosing the four young leads of that show. The chemistry between them is terrific.
What are your favorites and why?
Shades of Hannibal Lecter—a writer in Mexico City was arrested after police found parts of his girlfriend in his apartment. He had boiled some of her flesh, but apparently hadn’t eaten it. Yet. He is also under investigation for the deaths of two other women. His WIP, also found in the apartment, is titled: Cannibalistic Instincts.
Yikes—That’s taking research to a whole new too-horrible-to-contemplate level.
Two new multi-media writing contests to announce:
Court TV, Borders and Gather Inc are sponsoring a Next Great Crime Writer Contest. It’s for first time mystery/crime authors. First prize is a contract with Borders, Inc and a $5000 advance. Details
Amazon and Penguin are sponsoring The First Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest. They will accept the first 5000 unpublished manuscripts between now and November 5. Grand prizewinner gets a contract from Penguin and nine finalists will receive a Total Design Freedom package. Details
The winner of Media Predict’s writing contest is Lori Culwell’s Hollywood Car Wash. Culwell’s entry was chosen over hundreds entered on the Media Predict site. She will be offered a contract with Touchstone Books.
Sly Stallone’s newest Rambo movie, Rambo to Hell and Back, also features Buffyverse’s Julie Benz (Darla on Buffy and Angel.) Sly Stallone has always been one of my guilty pleasures. I don’t care that it’s been twenty years since the last Rambo movie. Look at that face. He’s still a hero in my book! Release date is January 25, 2008. Who wants to go with me to see it?
On the personal writing front, have begun rewrites on the fourth Anna Strong book, Legacy (or The Legacy—the powers-that-be haven’t decided yet.) My critique group, bless them, have the draft now and are working feverishly to help me polish in time for the Oct 31st deadline. Haven’t had to resort to Richelle’s
Mountain Dew diet yet. But it may be coming.
First Ever Urban Fantasy Scavenger Hunt
Jeanne and I have announced our upcoming Bad Santa contest. Coming November 2.
To tide you over, we've got another contest...a scavenger hunt. Ilona Andrews, Jackie Kessler, Richelle Mead, Kat Richardson, and I cobbled together this awesome contest worthy of any literary Hercules.The rules?
1. Answer the following questions about these authors. The answers can be found on their websites, in their bios, in their book descriptions, and in their posted book excerpts. Don't worry--you don't have to go their blogs.
2. Mail your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org
by 11:59pm PST on Saturday, October 20.
Please list answers like this:
3. Succubus Blues
No need to copy and past the actual questions. Note: those are not the first three answers.
3. That's it! If multiple contestants answer all correctly, than a winner will be randomly drawn. Good luck!The Questions:1. In Kate Daniels' world, what color would a human mage register on the magic scanner?2. Which author was first published at age 9?3. Which character wears Banana Republic clothing?4. Which epic myth was one of these authors' first bedtime stories?5. In what government facility did this author teach art?6. Which author's character shudders at the thought of being monogamous?7. Where did Felix go to solve the Blanford case?8. Which author busted her mom doodling on a comic book cover?9. What piece of music is busted at the beginning of one author's book 2 excerpt?10. Ilona accidentally dyed her hair the wrong color. What was it?
Author Websites:Mario AcevedoIlona AndrewsJackie KesslerRichelle MeadKat RichardsonThe Prizes:9 signed books and a Devil Duck brought to your home by a uniformed official of the US government.
BAD SANTA WRITING CONTEST COMING SOON!
Rules posted Nov 2.
Check out Author Island
this month. From their website:
We've got Demons, Vampires, Shape shifters, Werewolves, Ghosts, Aliens, Witches and other Immortals hanging out over at AuthorIsland.com this month. As a matter of fact, I have so many great contests going on over at the Island right now, I couldn't include them all here. (Can you believe this is less than half of them?)
So be sure to head over to the AuthorIsland Contest Page to find all the other fantastic prizes waiting to be won from more fabulous authors of horror and paranormal like Caridad Pineiro, Devyn Quinn, Candace Havens, Diane Whiteside, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Susan Squires, LA Banks, F. Paul Wilson, Jeanne C Stein, Jennifer Cloud, Shiloh Walker, and Lori Handeland.
Hit the link and scroll through the contests. There are a lot of goodies up for grabs.
Read an article
about libraries in Medford, OR being outsourced because the county ran out of money. An outfit called Library Systems and Services is taking over, providing books, employees and maintenance on the buildings. For half of the $8 million dollars previously spent on libraries, LSSI will have a full time staff operating 24 hours a week. Does this mean the for-profit company will stock the shelves with bestsellers only? Are librarians going to be replaced by service reps? Will the current librarians have to reapply for their old jobs at a lower salary? Am I the only one not crazy about this idea?
Is there another Serenity movie in the works? It seems the Serenity DVD Special Edition is selling so well, Universal may be considering it. Go Browncoats! And check out this site
for all kinds of great Can’t Stop the Serenity stuff.
Ever wonder what the world’s worst poem is? The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography has proclaimed a piece written in 1873 by Theophile Jules-Henri Marzials the winner (he should have gotten points for his name alone.) Anyway, for your reading pleasure (or pain) :
The barges down in the river flop.
From the slimy branches the grey drips drop...
To the oozy waters, that lounge and flop...
And my head shrieks - "Stop"
And my heart shrieks - "Die."...
Ugh! yet I knew - I knew
If a woman is false can a friend by true?
It was only a lie from beginning to end--
My Devil - My "friend."...
So what do I care,
And my head is empty as air -
I can do,
I can dare
The barges flop
I can dare, I can dare!
And let myself all run away with my head
Yikes, what do you think? Can you think of any poem that’s worse?
art for the masses
You read the teaser for our upcoming Bad Santa contest. To prime your creative pump, check out this article in the Seattle Weekly.
My social life, aside from researching the naughty articles in alternative weeklies, is volunteering in numerous nonprofits such as CHAC (the Chicano Humanities and Art Council). Here in Denver, once a month we have the First Friday Art Walk, and CHAC confirms its presence on Santa Fe Drive with an exhibition of local artists.
Mostly I pour drinks to soothe the parched paletes of so many guests whose mouths have gone dry in awe of the splendid artwork. My accomplices in aggravating the cirrhosis of our patrons are the industrious Kendra and Brian.
Besides visual and libationary arts, we also have amazing Andean/jazz/hip-hop music too cool for any one category. No wonder hipsters flock to CHAC.
Beyond the walls of CHAC you'll find plenty of quirky creations like this flaming Halloween pig installation...accompanied by lyrical musings on an electronic didgeridoo. Appropriately bizarre.
Saturday was more subdued but no less stimulating. Lighthouse Writers Workshop hosted the book launch party for Gary Schanbacher
and his collection of short stories, Migration Patterns
Gary's prose mesmerized the Lighthouse crowd. (Notice the booze. Writer's block is a symptom of a thirsty liver. Remember that.)
The Biting-Edge Bad Santa writing contest.
Rules posted Nov 2. Happy Fanging.
Congratulations, first off, to Lynda Hilburn
a fellow Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer, for the publication of her new book The Vampire Shrink. Enjoy this special time, Lynda.
Been watching as many of the new super/paranormal shows as I can. Last week caught The Bionic Woman. I found this review
and it pretty well sums up what I thought, along with the fact that I fell asleep. I will in fairness, however, give it one more try.
I also caught Reaper
, on CW, which I thought was very funny and very entertaining. I love the way they promo it as being the one new television show that will NOT inspire, change the way you think or transform your life. Gotta love heroes who go after demons garbed in protective clothing made up of Home Depot gear and armed with dirt devils! Pretty damned clever.
Looks like John Grisham is being sued
over his book The Innocent Man. Attorneys for a district attorney and a former Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agent said they will file a lawsuit accusing Grisham of libel and conspiracy. The book chronicles the trial and lengthy imprisonment of Ron Williamson and Dennis Fritz, who were wrongly convicted of the 1982 rape and murder of Deborah Sue Carter of Ada. DNA evidence later cleared both men and implicated Glen Gore, who was convicted last year of Carter's murder. Grisham's book is critical of investigators and Pontotoc County District Attorney William Peterson.
Other targets of the lawsuit include another author, Robert Mayer, who wrote a similar book; Fritz; attorney Barry Scheck, who helped free Fritz and Williamson; and publishing companies involved with the two books.
Some Buffy Alumni News:
Smallville: James Marsters will be back as Brainiac later in the season. He also has a recurring role as a detective in Without A Trace.
Supernatural: Mercedes McNab (Harmony), will be guest starring on the November 15th episode of Supernatural. As a vamp, of course.
Criminal Minds: Nicholas Brendon ( Xander) will be appearing in a guest star role as Kevin, described as "a computer expert who’s part of the investigative team." His website says the role has the potential to be recurring.
On the personal writing front, yesterday was one of those days when everything I wrote looked like crap. I hate that. I’ll go over it about a million times today, but why is it that some days the words just flow and others, you have to pull the muse kicking and screaming out of her hole? Any hints as to how to coax that little demon to be more cooperative?
PS Richelle, as my deadline approaches, I’m considering your Mountain Dew diet. My question, should I warn family and friends beforehand?
PPS Mario and I have decided on a new contest. Details will be forthcoming so stay tuned!!
PPPS Read Barbara's comment posted below for more on the convolted Grisham, et al lawsuit. Thanks for posting.