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!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

It's here...

Today's the day they release the newest James Bond. Sebastian Faulks penned this one. In honor, I've decided to do an all James Bond blog.

Borders has a video about the book and author here as well as a feature of the "best" of Bond.

ABC ran an excerpt of Chaper One here.

Borders also ran "10 Things You Didn't Know About James Bond and Ian Fleming." Here's their list:

1. Although James Bond is regarded by many as the quintessential English hero, he is actually half Scottish and half Swiss. He also hates that most English of drinks, tea—and describes it as "mud"!

2. Bond has had many famous incarnations on the big screen, but, prior to these, he was first played on the radio by British actor and game show host Bob Holness.

3. Bond's arch-nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld shares a birth date with his creator. On Her Majesty's Secret Service reveals that Blofeld was born on 28 May 1908. Ian Lancaster Fleming entered the world on the same day at 7 Green Street in London.

4. President John F. Kennedy was a big fan of the Fleming novels. He listed From Russia with Love as one of his top 10 favorite books. Bizarrely, both Kennedy and his assassin Lee Harvey Oswald are believed to have been reading Bond novels the night before Kennedy was killed.

5. Ian Fleming is also the author of the classic children's adventure Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which he wrote for his son Caspar. When the book was adapted for the big screen, it was another very well-known children's author who co-wrote the screenplay: Roald Dahl.

6. Fleming wrote all his Bond books at Goldeneye, his Jamaican home. Although now part of a luxurious holiday resort, the house was very basic in Fleming's time—so much so that his friend and neighbour Noel Coward referred to it as Goldeneye, Nose, and Throat!

7. Although Ursula Andress wears the most famous bikini in cinema history in her iconic performance in Doctor No, in Fleming's novel her character Honeychile Rider is naked save for a knife-belt.

8. The first Bond novel, Casino Royale, originally had a different title when it was published in the US title. It was initially published here as Too Hot to Handle.

9. Breakfast is James Bond's favorite meal. He has a particular penchant for scrambled eggs, and the short story "007 in New York" even includes his own recipe for them. He also has a marked fondness for sauce béarnaise.

10. Miss Moneypenny was named after a character in an unpublished novel written by Ian Fleming's brother, the travel writer Peter Fleming.

They left out some even better ones regarding the movies. For instance, did you know that Ursula Andress and George Lazenby (who, btw, best fits Fleming's physical description of Bond) were both dubbed in their movies? Their accents were considered too hard to understand. Or that the actor who played Goldfinger in the movie of the same name spoke so little English that his costar Honor Blackman would simply wait for him to pause to speak her lines? Or that all those great ski and flying tricks were done by REAL people--no animation?

I love all things James Bond-- the movies, the books--whether written by Fleming, Gardner, Benson or now, Faulks-- I have them all. And if you're looking for a good movie set, The Ultimate James Bond is the one--it even includes the newest movie with Daniel Craig. (The only one missing is Never Say Never Again because it was done by a different studio.) The best part of this set is the special features disk that accompanies each movie. It is amazing what went into the planning, stunts, sets and the thought behind how each movie would reflect what was going on in the world at the time. I know the movies aren't representatives of the novels at all--but there is a spark of creativity there that fascinates.

Okay, that's my contribution for the day. If you'd like to comment on your favorite (or least favorite) Bond novel or movie, be my guest. I'd love to hear some thoughts.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
  literary shwag

Mario here:

I attended Chuck Palahniuk's signing at the Tattered Cover LoDo, one of the premier signing venues in the country. My son and I got there a half hour early and the place was already PACKED. 300 at least. Any author would be jealous of such a turnout. The butt beads were attached to bookmark shwag (this was a literary event, after all) promoting the new movie based on his book, Choke.

Palahniuk read a short story he had penned especially for this Denver signing. The story was Loser, about a frat boy tripping on LSD while a contestant on The Price Is Right.

The lowbrow festivities continued when the TC staff tossed out blow-up dolls as souvenirs.

Here is Palahniuk describing his new work-in-progress: "Pygmy is about a thirteen-year-old foreign-exchange student who comes over to the United States among maybe a dozen fellow exchange students who are twelve or thirteen-years old. And they’re from an unnamed totalitarian, dictatorial, maybe third-world country. And they’ve all been placed through this good Christian organization to live for six months with these nice, middle-class suburban families in the Midwest. And the truth, the gradual reveal, is that Pygmy and his fellow exchange students are all super-Ninja secret agents who’ve been trained from infancy in killing methods, and they’re all trained to exploit the families they’re with and gain government secrets, and then create science-fair projects that will be taken to Washington, D.C. for the finals – and the science-fair projects are weapons of mass destruction that will explode, killing millions of Americans."

I attended another signing last week, Latinos in Lotusland, an anthology of short stories edited by Daniel Olivas (Bilingual Press, Tempe AZ). The contributing authors are from all over (Mario Suarez and Richard Vasquez have passed on) so in Denver, the TC Colfax signing was hosted by local writers Manuel Ramos (left) and Rudy Garcia (right).

Writers familiar with the elusive and frustrating struggle to break into Hollywood will especially appreciate the stories by Ramos and Wayne Rapp. Garcia's story was an intriguing noir tale about a ghostly Chicano legend.

I leave you with this amazing picture of the Rocket Wing Man, Swiss pilot Yves Rossy. Any bets when we'll see this in a James Bond movie?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Hey all—late today. Our critique group went until 10:30 last night—not that we all had pages to share or news but because we just like getting together. It’s a terrific group.

Brenda Novak is holding her annual on-line auction for diabetes research. From her website:

Welcome to my 4th Annual On-line Auction for Diabetes Research. Thank you for supporting my efforts to make a difference to my son and all those battling diabetes. In the first three events, we raised over $250,000. Our goal for this 4th auction is $300,000!

Once again I'll be offering a fabulous prize package to the person who places the highest number of bids over all (even if that person doesn't win a single item). This year it will be a brand new Camcorder (retail value of at least $1,000), Your Name In My Next Book, an autographed copy of TRUST ME (on sale 5/27/08), and chocolate (lots of chocolate)!

This year, be sure to check the closing times for all the items you want. Because the auction has gotten so big, we're having to stagger them, otherwise you wouldn't be able to get around to everything. There are also a lot more ONE DAY auction items. These go up for auction and end in the same day, according to how they're listed, so check that category so you don't miss anything exciting.

New: The first $150,000 in auction proceeds will go the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the balance will go to the Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami.

It’s a good cause with lots of great stuff to bid on including vacation packages and lunch or dinner with famous authors. Also, for aspiring writers, there are opportunities for meetings with agents and editors. Check it out.

Speaking of aspiring writers, there is still time to enter Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ Colorado Gold contest. Finalists are judged by editors and agents AND you get a pitch appointment with the judge if you attend the conference. Go to RMFW website to download entry forms. Deadline is June 1. Hint: follow the guidelines carefully. You wouldn’t want to be disqualified because you didn’t.

Joss fans, rejoice! Here are some Dollhouse links to whet your appetite! I, for one, can hardly wait. Sookie on HBO and Dollhouse on Fox—Yippee skippee!!! PS: some of these links contain spoilers.

Mario shared his Aussie pics, so here are mine along with one of the photographer, Tez Miller and bestseller Jodi Picoult. Pics taken at Angus & Robertson Bookseller in Melbourne. Thank you, Tez.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
  That Woody
Mario here:

Got my revision letter for book four. It's madness here at rewrite city.

Old Man Winter may be in retreat but doesn't mean that Mother Nature won't have her way with us. My sister sent this picture of the aftermath of an Austin, TX, storm. Her poor Prius. All the car wanted to do was reduce its carbon footprint and look what happened.

Here in Denver, my time at the keyboard was interrupted by a loud drumming in the ductwork. It would start in the morning and occur at odd times during the day. Figured out it was a crazy woodpecker banging on a pipe sticking out from the roof. My son and I chased it away with a volley of high-tech rocks.

Meanwhile, my books keep popping up all over. (Thanks, everybody) Tez Miller, a most beloved Australian book lover, posted this pic of my books in the Melbourne Central Borders.

I've got my meager fortune hanging on making this writing-novels-for-a-living gig work. But as a fallback, I had this incredible job offer come to me:
Brify Design Compnay©: Introduces the position of offshore financial
manager, you being our offshore manager your Responsible is to
processing payments from customers and clients, you did not did not need to
travel to meet our client or Customer all payment will be delivered to
you at home.

The requirements for the candidates are:

-Being energetic, responsible, honest and industrious
-Being under 18-90 years old
-Having a few (1-2 hrs a day) to check your email
-Having a phone, (home and mobile)
-Having an email
And I get to keep 10% of the money that is processed through my bank account. What a windfall. I like that the company isn't at all uptight about punctuation or spelling.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Last week I sent the fifth book in the Anna Strong chronicles off to the publisher.
I’m now experiencing what I call postpartum depression. It happens every time I finish a book. So I have a ritual—clean house, organize my desk, catch up expense reports, get back to the gym, etc etc.

Only this time nothing is working. I’m still depressed. I pretend that I’m not. I’m sure no one I met last night at Janet Lane’s signing for her new Five Star release, Emerald Silk, had a clue. I’m very good at hiding my feelings. Have been since I was a kid.

Now I know next to earthquakes in China and cyclones in Myanmar, my angst is a pimple on a gnat’s ass. I shouldn’t even be mentioning it. But hey, we’re friends, here, aren’t we?

So, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let’s get on with some fun stuff.

Besides the aforementioned Emerald Silk, Jeri Smith-Ready’s Wicked Game was released this week. Check it out, too.

The newest author authorized (no pun intended) by the estate of Ian Fleming to continue the James Bond saga is Sebastian Faulks. His novel, Devil May Care, will be released the end of this month to mark the centenary of Ian Fleming's birth.

Buffy in Skin Games: Follow the link to choose your favorite of 21 Examples of Gratuitous Sex in TV—of course, any love scene between Buffy and Spike is listed… but what’s gratuitous about sex between Buffy and Spike? In fact, the hope that there would be MORE sex scenes between Buffy and Spike kept me coming (no pun intended) back.

One last note—Mario and I have both been nominated for Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers' Writer of the Year. Here’s your assignment—come up with ways for me to make Mario NOT appear to be the good guy he really is so people will vote for me… The best suggestion wins a devil duck… Beat you to it, Mario… heh-heh-heh

Wow-- being evil makes me feel better.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
  In Memoriam
Mario writes:

You may not recognize his name or face but you know his artwork.

John Berkey, one of America's greatest illustrators, passed away on April 29, 2008. He was born in 1932. An extraordinary and popular artist, Berkey was named to the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame which includes titans of American art such as Norman Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth, Frederick Remington, and John James Audubon. I bought many sci-fi paperbacks simply because I loved Berkey's magnificent cover art. Even though he was known for his spaceships, his poster for the Dino De Laurentiis King Kong remake (1976) may be Berkey's most famous artwork.

But Berkey was most regarded for his haunting and amazing impressionistic paintings of spaceships such as these:

Berkey lived a full and accomplished life but it's sad that he's passed on. There will be no more fantastic John Berkey spaceships to amaze us.

On a personal and more cheery note, the audio rights were sold for my first three books.

Don't forget the signing that Jeanne and I will be doing this Thursday, May 15, noon to 2PM at the Barnes & Noble at 555 East Arapahoe Road, Greenwood Village, CO, 80112.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008

One of the best things about Romantic Times (besides having Adrian Paul’s arm around me) was meeting librarians and booksellers. Some of the booksellers were: Kathy Ross of Half Price Books in Springfield, MO, Blanche Nixon of Daniels Read-A-Lot Books in Asheboro, NC, Darlene Krogol and Lori Zyren of Another Look Books in Taylor, MI, and Sara Loftus of the Bookworm’s Attic in Huntington, WV. Sara is running a contest and one of the prizes is a book bag she had signed by a ton of attending RT authors. Hop on over to her website and enter today!!! Support your local indies—

Don’t have much to say today. It’s raining this morning, even had some lightening and thunder—odd for CO—thunderstorms usually roll in in the afternoon. It’s a good thing, though, because I’m working on edits and nothing like a stormy day to make you want to hunker down and write.

Last night we welcomed a new member to the critique group. Mario brought him in—Warren Hammond author of a futuristic techno/thriller sci/fi series. Check him out.

Next Thursday Mario and I are taking our dog and pony show on the road—signing together at Barnes & Noble at 555 East Arapahoe Road, Greenwood Village, CO, 80112. It’s an impromptu thing, we’ll be there on Thursday, May 15 from about noon to 2. Stop by if you’re in the area.

If you’re interested, follow this link to a fangs/fur/fey preview of snippets from works in progress. Lot’s of names you’ll recognize there--
Sunday, May 04, 2008
  A week of words and laughs
Mario here:

NEWS FLASH! Check out my thoughts about the future on the Eos HarperCollins blog.

This week I've been settling back into my routine, which meant lots of writing, writing, and writing. And reading.

Finished Elaine Viets hysterical mystery, Shop till You Drop. Helen Hawthrone takes a dead-end job in an upscale boutique where she endures one indignity after another until murder and mayhem come to the store. Viets slices and dices our materialistic society with satiric observations:

On the screen was a photo of a luscious-lipped blonde in a tight black dress with a zipper up the front. In the next shot, Desiree was in a loose-fitting black body bag with a zipper up the front. Desiree's enormous breasts created a mountain in the body bag.

I'm working on Night Life by Caitlin Kittredge. She is May's featured author in the Barnes & Noble Paranormal and Urban Fantasy Bookclub. Drop in and say hello.

Jackie Kessler (left) chats it up with Caitlin on Richelle Mead's comfy red sofa.

Last Saturday I attended Lighthouse Writers Workshop's Inside the Writer's Studio, with novelist (and 5280 editor) Eli Gottlieb interviewing poet Mark Strand (take a deep breath--former Poet Laureate of the United States and Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets, plus three National Endowment of the Arts grants, fellowships from the MacAuthur Foundation and the Ingram Merrill Foundation, and much, much more). Here's Strand waxing poetically when he's actually about to knock back that martini. (Photo lifted from flickr)

After an afternoon of such high culture, that night I took the low road with a show by the Queen of Raunch, Margaret Cho. Nothing, nothing, was taboo or so funny.


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