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, August 27, 2008
Release Day + One

There’s still time to enter the Legacy give away at Patricia’s Vampire Notes. Pop on over and leave a comment and who knows? You might just be the winner of a signed book and a set of four book cover magnets. If you mention Biting Edge, I may just throw in a Devil Duck, too!!! Deadline is midnight tonight, Wednesday.

This was interesting, the author of “100 Things to Do Before You Die”—died. He was only 47. Evidently, he died in a fall at his home. Weird. Think it’s a karma thing? He did all the things he wanted and then….

Here’s a clip from Terminator-the Sarah Connor Chronicles. Season One is out now on DVD. I think I read in season two, John will not be such a wuss… It’s about time.

Do you write poetry? Info on Writers Digest Poetry contest here. Cash prizes (the best kind of all.)

DragonCon is SO organized. They already sent me my schedule. Here it is. If you’re attending, please look me up.

Title: Dragon*AutoGraph
Time: Fri 02:30 pm Location: M301 - M304 (Length: 1 Hour)

Title: Mean Streets: Urban Fantasy
Description: What gives urban fantasy its edge? This panel looks into the grit and the grime that go into writing compelling urban fantasy novels.
Time: Sat 08:30 pm Location: Montreal / Vancouver (Length: 1 Hour)

Title: Dark Secrets, Shadowed Hearts
Description: Tortured anti-heroes or insufferable jerks? Why we love (or hate) alpha males and "bad boys."
Time: Sun 01:00 pm Location: Montreal / Vancouver (Length: 1 Hour)

Title: Dragon*Reading: Jeanne C. Stein
Time: Sun 02:30 pm Location: Williams (Length: 1 Hour)

Title: Laurell K. Hamilton
Description: A one-hour look into the dark and sensual worlds of Laurell K. Hamilton - author of the "Anita Blake" and "Merry Gentry" series.
Time: Sun 05:30 pm Location: International South (Length: 1 Hour)
Moderator / MC for panel

Title: Dragon*AutoGraph
Time: Mon 11:30 am Location: M301 - M304 (Length: 1 Hour)

Also, just signed on at BookTour. A good way to keep track of appearances.

Now, on to a subject near and dear to my heart. This from Elaine Bergstrom who got to see the first four or five episodes of True Blood. Take it away Elaine:

Oh yes. I will be watching this big time. Spilling is problematic because I have taken a pledge to not spill (my job) but I thought Anna Paquin as Sookie is marvelous. Bill is interesting, really seems older, as he should, and I am finding him, over time, to be the most sympathetic character in the series, other than her. I am really enjoying the southern decadence of the setting and characters. Since Alan Ball (6 Feet Under) is doing it, it has a lot of different subplots; I would suspect even more than the books. Of course, it's already had a few murders, so it's a kind of whodunit. I'm glad I never read the books.

Erik just has a few minutes so far, but it's a killer scene. I think you'll all like it.

Yippee Skippie!!

Thanks to all my pals who have pimped Legacy this week. It’s much appreciated.

Laugh of the day--Weird headline numero dos:

Sunday, August 24, 2008
  Oh Fair New Mexico
Mario here:

Just got back from Bubonicon 40, New Mexico's Science Fiction/Fantasy con.

As a former pilot, I am still an airplane geek. The Albuquerque airport has an extensive display of models representing airplanes with some connection to New Mexico (It could be as trivial as breaking down on the way to somewhere else). Here's one that caught my eye, this funky airliner that flew the route from Albuquerque to Cheyenne back in 1934.

I love old National Geographics and that quaint nostalgia I get reading from them, especially about life during the 1920-30s in the Southwest. Back then, people were setting all kinds of quirky flying records. This airplane belonged to the German aviatrix Ellia Bienhorn capturing the record from New York to Costa Rica (probably with a Mojito in her cupholder) and she made a pit stop in Albuquerque back in 1933. I wish I could've been there:

Bubonicon is one of the smaller cons and a little different because of its literary focus. Years ago, at my first writer's conference, one of the visiting agents kept telling us to write a story like Game of Thrones. In fact, she kept repeating, Game of Thrones, Game of Thrones. This weekend I finally met the author, the master himself, George RR Martin:

Writing Sci-fi is serious work. Giving us pointers about the business was the con headliner, the prolific and successful, David Weber (Seen here giving his keynote address. Note the moose hat):

I hobnobbed with a bunch of great writers, to include fellow Eos author Eldon Thompson, and others such as Steven Gould (whose book Jumper is in movie development (I'm burning with jealousy)), Melinda Snodgrass, Ben Bova, and artist Bob Eggleton.

What's a fantasy con without costumes? One take on steampunk:

The winner of the costume contest, Nightmare on Elmo Street:

Don't judge a book by its cover (I recognize her from Match.com):

For some reason I'm compelled to add this picture of an Orion slavegirl. I think I'm drawn to the artistic merit of her presentation:

This week, it's a volcanic eruption of political wonkness in Denver because of the 2008 DNC. I'll prowl the streets, risk the tear gas, and give you my report. Stay tuned.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Don’t know how many of you remember, but next Tues, Aug 26, Legacy hits the shelves. For the last three weeks or so, in between conferences, I’ve been answering interview questions for various blog spots and trying to come up with different ideas for columns for others. It isn’t easy to be clever on demand. It isn’t for me to be clever, period. So I’m throwing it out there—what subjects interest you? What do you want to know about an author? What should I write about? Help me. Please. I’ll even offer a bribe—a signed ARC of Legacy to the best idea.

Here's the line-up so far:

Patricia Altner interviews me on Aug 26 on her vamp blog spot.

Pop Syndicate- featured the first week of September. This is Angela Wison's gig.

Sept. 8 I guest blog on ParanormalityUniverse-- Lynda Hilburn's blog.

I’ll post the dates of the rest of the interviews and blogs as they come up.

Here’s the cover for an anthology I’m in: At the Scene of the Crime. Pub date is November 3—Here’s how editor Dana Stabenow describes the contents:

The scenes of crime are all over the American map, from Brendan Dubois’ story set in a coastal fishing village in New Hampshire, to Julie Hyzy’s in a retirement home in Florida, to Kristin Katherine Rusch’s in a suburb in Oregon, to mine in a wilderness in Alaska. Anything is grist for the investigator’s mill, from forensic dentistry to the rate of nuclear decay. John Lutz uses satellite imagery as part of his crime scene equipment to solve the murder of a retired major league baseball player.

Loren Estelman writes about twins separated at birth reunited by murder, Jeremiah Healy sets his story in a McMansion in an Everygatedcommunity, and Edward Hoch writes about an arsonist who may or may not be retired. Maynard F. Thompson tells of a retired medical examiner’s memories of his first murder. Max Allan Collins and Matthew V. Clemens write about high life in the heartland, and Michael Black’s hero takes a bite out of crime in the Arizona desert. N.J. Ayres writes a haunted memoir set in rural Pennsylvania, and Jeanne C. Stein sets a tough urban narrative in the rare book room of a Denver university.

And then I, just to be contrary, wrote a Liam and Wy story that proves that sometimes it isn’t all about the evidence. Sometimes it isn’t, sometimes it’s all about the hunch, whatever that is, wherever it comes from, and whatever you call it, at the scene of the crime.

Pull on your rubber gloves and your paper booties and come on in.

Spent last weekend at a writers’ retreat in Fairplay, CO. The weather was perfect—cold and rainy—so none of us were tempted to venture outside much except in search of food. Here are a couple of pictures. There were eleven of us, ten women and one man who hid out most of the time. Most were members of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. The location was the Hand Hotel—no telephones or TV’s in the room. It was serene and beautiful and except for the times when we burst into spontaneous conversation, quiet. Got a lot of work done.

My room and the sunroom where we hung out most of the time.

Vicki Law--one of the organizers of the weekend--Thanks, Vicki-- Susan Smith (on chair) and Carol Berg discussing something important...probably where we would go for lunch.

Susan showing off her "typing" gloves.

Michael, who with his staff, fed us wonderful breakfasts and dinners. And Carol, Susan
and Robin Owens in line for some of the same.

Okay, this friend of mine sent me a bunch of newspaper "headlines." I decided to do a dumb headline of the week with each blog. Here's #1:


Oh. That reminds me. I may not have mentioned it yet—I accepted an offer for two more Anna books—six and seven. I’m glad. Anna and I have a few more stories to tell and evidently Ace is willing to let us...
Monday, August 18, 2008
  It's no graveyard romance
Mario here:

Check out the cover for Felix Gomez book 4. Awesome, no?

Pub date is March 2009. Mark your calendars.

I've been busy this week tweaking (as in completely rewriting) a proposal that my agent kicked back. It's a steampunk story and my agent asked for more world-building. He also gave me homework. Ack, it's like school.

For you aspiring writers, here is a great article about agent pet peeves in the blog Guide to Literary Agents.

This Friday I'm off to Bubonicon 40 in Albuquerque. I'm told it's a more literary con. I'll bring pictures of the hijinks.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Denvention was a kick. I wish I had more pictures, but Mario and I spent too much time schmoozing and not enough time paying attention to business. Anyway, here’s what I have…really pathetic considering I was there FOUR days.

Kat Richardson getting ready for a panel.

Well known Denver fantasy writer Carol Berg (second from left) on a panel.

Mario playing with...something.

Maybe someone else will post pics and I’ll send you that way. Was really impressed with the HUGO ceremony. WOW—it’s like the Academy Awards—held in a theatre, lots of gowns and glittery stuff and big name presenters. I, however, was the only one in my group that wanted to go. Some people are SO jaded…. Here’s the list of winners:

* Best Novel: The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon (HarperCollins; Fourth Estate)
* Best Novella: “All Seated on the Ground” by Connie Willis (Asimov’s Dec. 2007; Subterranean Press)
* Best Novelette: “The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate” by Ted Chiang (Subterranean Press; F&SF Sept. 2007)
* Best Short Story: “Tideline” by Elizabeth Bear (Asimov’s June 2007)
* Best Related Book: Brave New Words: The Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction by Jeff Prucher (Oxford University Press)
* Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: Stardust Written by Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn, Based on the novel by Neil Gaiman Illustrated by Charles Vess Directed by Matthew Vaughn (Paramount Pictures)
* Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: Doctor Who “Blink” Written by Steven Moffat Directed by Hettie Macdonald (BBC)
* Best Editor, Long Form: David G. Hartwell
* Best Editor, Short Form: Gordon Van Gelder
* Best Professional Artist: Stephan Martiniere
* Best Semiprozine: Locus
* Best Fanzine: File 770
* Best Fan Writer: John Scalzi
* Best Fan Artist: Brad Foster

The winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, sponsored by Dell Magazines and administered on their behalf by the World Science Fiction Society, is:

* Mary Robinette Kowal

Season Two of the Sarah Connor Chronicles begins Sept 8. Photos and video here.

I have to tip my hat to the folks at Apple—my three year old iBook crashed about ten days ago one month before the warranty expired. After several trips to ICU, still nothing. I now have a brand new, bigger, more powerful iBook!!! No hassles, no arguments, no trying to sell me something else. Thank you.
Monday, August 11, 2008
  Denvention 3
Mario here:

Whew, Denvention 3 a.k.a. WorldCon 66 is over. It was non-stop party and schmoozing. Met and reconnected with scads of great people...writers, artists, publishers, and readers.

First, the important news. Congratulations to the award winners. Here are Campbell Award winner, Mary Robinette Kowal (in the awesome dress) and Hugo Award winner, Best Fan Writer (and runner up for Best Novel) John Scalzi (not in a dress). He's carrying the fantastic Hugo trophy rocket which must give airport security fits (no, the rocket doesn't vibrate despite its shape).

What took me aback was seeing all these people I knew from somewhere else and they were in my hometown of Denver. Here is the sign for the Eos HarperCollins party in LoDo. One late night I was waiting for the lightrail to go home when my editor and her crew walk by. Very surreal.

One of the highlights was getting together with the fantastic cover artist John Picacio, (on the right) seen here with local scribe Rudy G of LaBloga celebrating the vanquishing of yet more beers.

The godfather of independent publishing, Jeremy Lassen, of Night Shade Books, holds court over food and booze.

Our rep from Team Seattle, Kat Richardson, reads at the Tattered Cover from her newest book, Underground. Go buy many copies. Kat needs the money for her ferrets.

I leave you with this: Behold, the future. Shelly Li. 15 years old. A writer of fantasy novels...and she has an agent. The rest of us are nothing but slackers.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Mario here:

WorldCon update: Mucho fun and partying. Jeanne and I are drinking like thirsty fish. So far, so good.

Also, Justin Gustainis is guest blogging at Lynda Hilburn's Paranormality Universe. Check it out.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Two new books on the shelf now from writer pals.

Jackie Kessler's HOTTER THAN HELL-- the third in the Hell on Earth series. And the first in Richelle Mead's new series, STORM BORN. I've had the pleasure of reading both --I say run to the bookstore and check them out!

Getting ready to head off to Denvention this weekend. Mario and I plan to hang out and take lots of pics to share. We met at the convention center yesterday to register before the crowds—it was VERY quiet. Today and tomorrow will not be.

In the meantime, something from the NYT. Alan Ball talking of True Blood, his series featuring Charlaine Harris’ wonderful Sookie Stackhouse. Here’s what he said and a link to the full article:

"The first season of “True Blood” will essentially follow “Dead Until Dark,” the first book of the series. “We’re trying to remain as true to her books as possible, “Mr. Ball said. “Charlaine’s world is very detailed. It feels very real. So we’re not going to change the structure very much. And the identity of the main killer is so well done, I didn’t want to change it. So I just hope that people who know how the story turns out will keep it themselves.”

A couple of cool videos, The first, a 4 minute animated Buffy episode for a series that was never made.

And RWA RITA finalists making fun of themselves in a great promotion: Talking Trash

BTW, Kristin Higgins (the one with the puppy on her cover) won.

I said I’d post my schedule for the next two months. Here it is—

August 26 -- LEGACY released

August 29 - Sept 1, 2008 Dragon Con Atlanta, GA

Sept 4 – Signing Tattered Cover LoDo—Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ Writer of the Year Program 7 PM

Sept 7 – Signing Denver Book Mall – Who Else Books 3 PM

Sept 10 –Signing Tattered Cover Highlands Ranch 7 PM

Sept 18 – Mysterious Galaxy San Diego 7PM

Sept 20 - Mystery & Imagination Glendale 2 PM

September 12 - 14, 2008 Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold Denver, CO

Please check the website for details. I appreciate the interest.

And just got the German cover for Many Bloody Returns. Don’t have a clue what Happy Bissday means (though I suppose I could guess seeing as how it's a birthday cake and all)! Or vampirgeschichten… Even my trusty Babel Fish failed me.
Monday, August 04, 2008
  Smells like Otto's jacket*
Mario here:

I got in late last night from a weekend trip to Las Cruces, NM, for a family reunion. It was great to visit cousins I hadn't seen in 15+ years. Also interesting to see was the new generation--the children of the cousins.

My son and I take the scenic route through Fairplay, CO, to Taos (instead of the boring trek down I-25). South of the NM border, the drive takes you to this big spectacular bridge over the Rio Grande.

Close by you'll see a collection of funky homes built along the ground. It's the settlement of the Earthship Project which uses recycling of materials and renewable energy for the dwellings. Some of them look like junk houses:

Others have an alien aesthetic.

Considering the alternate lifestyle and the proximity to Taos, don't be surprised if you whiff patchouli and associated aromas. (*points if you recognize the reference)

This week, we're in the short countdown for Denvention 3 a.k.a WorldCon 66. I'll dish dirt on the madness. Stay tuned.

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