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!
Am writing this with a brain that feels like it’s wrapped in cotton. Been battling what I thought was hay fever since I got back from RT only to find that it turned into a full blown cold. Egads—the second bout of this crap I’ve had in the last two months and always after a plane trip. I never used to get caught by these damn bugs.
Anyway, here are some photos from RT-- First two view out of my hotel window (just in case anybody was curious about what Pittsburgh looked like)
Not very good pic of a former Mr. Romance who landed at our table during the charity dinner. He was handsome, personable and very, very nice. The pic was taken by table buddy Marcia Collette.
Look close—that’s Fabio in the center. He really is nicer looking in person and has a quiet rather than flamboyant personality.
This is well known author Angela Knight and two of the cover models.
And ta-da here’s Angela and me and Adrian Paul. My deer in headlight expression says it all.
For a fantabulous RT round-up click on over to Jackie Kessler’s
blog. And then onto Urban Fantasyland
for the COMPLETE lowdown and more pics than you can shake a cover model at, including Mark Henry’s
Now on to some book news:
New York state has decided it needs money so badly it’s passed a law
to collect sales tax on Internet sales. It’s expected to be challenged (duh).
And it looks like Cassie Edwards and publisher Signet have parted ways over those plagiarism claims. Signet
says all rights have reverted to the author.
For fans of the Whedonverse (in honor of Dollhouse in production NOW--can we all say YEA!!!)
with Anthony Stewart Head— (nothing to do with Dollhouse, but appropriate)
Joss Whedon’s ten shinest moments composed by Ben Lankester at Den of Geek
(a site I love). Want to add your own?
Some then and now Buffy shots
(again, not much to do with Dollhouse, just thought it was cool). Part Deux here
And some Buffy
action figures that are a bit strange. For instance:
Who knew Willow had boobs?
Last but not least, lots of new books out that you UF buffs might be interested in. Here's a link to check out the latest from the Fangs/Fur/Fey crowd.
Also, a new one from C.E. Murphy
for your consideration.
So what’s happening in your world? I feel like I've been out of touch for a long time.
Circling back home
I'm finally home from my book promotion swing: Tucson->Phoenix->L.A. I expected to post a lot of pictures but my camera started to have fits. (Didn't help that my water bottle leaked all over the camera.)
The tour started in beautiful Tucson. Here are my gracious hosts at Clues Unlimited
, Chris and Marcelino. Sophie, their cute pot-bellied pig, was a no-show as she had to call it an early night. (Either that or she wouldn't stoop to having her picture taken with me.)
If you go to Tucson, check out at the 4th Avenue business district. It's full of funky shops and eateries such as this:
Translated literally from Spanish, the awning reads: Martins Fucking Good Food. Another local store is Hippie Gypsy, a throw-back poster head shop. While I was there (purely for research), I overheard a trio of Junior Leaguers (tourists, judging by their deep Southern accents) comment to the clerk that they couldn't buy glass pipes back home in Georgia.
Tuesday I spoke at the Mesquite Public Library in Phoenix. Here's Patrick King (with halo) who set up the signing.
That evening I spoke at Poisoned Pen
Wednesday I drove to L.A. (I stopped for gas in Blythe, where for the first time ever, I paid over $4/gal.) That afternoon, I met with Christina of Media Boulevard
where we shared coffee at a Koreatown Starbucks.
Thursday I put on my tweeds and "lectured" at Cal State L.A. about how to write the genre novel.
Friday I appeared with Harry Shannon
at the gruesome and entertaining Dark Delicacies
Saturday was the big day. I signed with Mysterious Galaxy
at the L.A. Times Festival of Books. Met a huge number of fans and fellow writers. It was HOT! I almost melted.
I arrived late last night. Right now I'm surrounded by laundry, receipts, and lots of books. And that's stuff from my last two trips. Wait until I empty the luggage.
I know I promised to post RT stuff and of course, didn't. To make up for it and to offer a tease-- here are three pics. I'm still on the road and when I get back, will load more including a picture taken with Adrian Paul at a charity function. Wow-- he's as good looking as ever!
This was taken at breakfast one morning. L-R: Rachel Vincent, moi, Mark Henry and Kim Harrison and her companion, Guy.
This was a panel, Urban Fantasy 101 with L-R: Kelley Armstrong, Jeri Smith-Ready, Keri Arthur, Rachel Vincent, me and (not pictured) Richelle Mead
The HUGE Saturday book signing event.
I will get more pictures off my camera and will post links to other writers and readers who put pics on their blogs. Romantic times is a conference like no other.
Beam Me Up!
I spent the weekend at StarFest/HorrorFest here in Denver. Wow, what a great time! An extravanganza of fantasy. Witness a renewed appreciation for Ghostbusters:
There was plenty of creative nuttiness as in this karaoke. I'm not sure what the girl is doing with a triangle on her head but she was having fun providing backup vocals.
I met Nichelle Nichols. What an elegant woman and class act. Here she is in her much younger days as Lt. Uhuru.
Many of you may remember the Gun Bra
. If you liked that, then check this out. Look at Dawn vamping alongside Beth who is showing off her impressive warheads.
April was my big travel month. First Norwescon in Seattle, followed by the Powell's signing in Portland. I sang hosannahs following my trip to Charleston. Tomorrow I leave for Tucson, Phoenix, and Los Angeles. Wish me luck.
Today I noticed a lot of kids wearing T-shirts emblazened with pictures of the marijuana leaf. A few even had the leaf painted on their faces. What was up with that? But course. Today is 4/20, the Holy Day for Potheads
. So light 'em up if you got 'em.
I know, I know, it's Wednesday. I got into Pittsburgh for Romantic Times after a twelve hour travel day-- Now it only takes about four hours to FLY to Pittsburgh-- but leaving at 5:30 am to catch a shuttle, spending an hour and a half in transit, another hour and a half at the airport, two hours in the air first leg, another hour in the airport til the connecting flight left, a two hour time difference....well, you get the idea. But I did get to have dinner with Richelle Mead, Jeri Smith-Ready, Mark and Caroline Henry and later, Jackie Kessler so the evening ended well. I'm going to break with tradition and try to post here and there during the week.
I wish you could all be here, too.
You know you want it
It's another chance to win a Devil Duck. For those of you who don't know, I'm this month's pick in Barnes & Noble's Paranormal and Urban Fantasy book club. So it's an opportunity for a contest. Last week I noted that the most awesome book trailer of all time was mentioned on MediaBistro Galley Cat. The contest? It's my Lego vampire trailer against Second Life. You choose.
How do you win the Devil Duck? Go to the Barnes & Noble book club by following this LINK
Simply post a comment on the B&N book club that you've seen the videos and you're in the running. Warning though. This Devil Duck has special mojo.
Last week I'd returned from my spectacular, life-changing trip to Charleston, SC. The trip started great when on the airliner, a guy two seats over was reading one of my books. Zowie!
During my trip I had plenty of time to read and I zoomed through two fabulous books by kick-ass women authors featuring, what else? Kick-ass female protagonists.
First up, Hallowed Ground
by Lori G. Armstrong
This novel won the Willa Literary Award from Women Writing the West and was nominated for a 2007 Shamus Award for Best Paperback Original by The Private Eye Writers of America. The story? PI Julie Collins is drawn into an investigation of a kidnapped girl when Collins is hired by a tattoed, bad boy biker business owner, Tony Martinez. Add the Mafia, crooked local businessmen, an estranged father, filter through the smoke and booze of hard-boiled noir and you've got one hell of a read. Collins is as tough as the Dakota landscape. No wimps on her social calendar. Armstrong knows how to carve her words into gritty prose.
Speaking of carving, here's a completely different story of ghosts, lost memories, and best of all, knife fights. Cherie Priest
gives a literary dagger between your ribs with her southern gothic tale, Four and Twenty Blackbirds
. Priest takes risks in presenting the saga of Eden Moore, an orphaned bi-racial young woman in search of her identity. Eden's stalked by an ancient magician keen on using the living to execute his demonic intentions. Did I mention knife fights? Priest takes a story about a society as haunted by their prejudices as by their fears and lays it out in compelling modern detail. If you're curious about Cherie Priest, check out her and her nose ring HERE
Oh baby, I'm in love. Twice. But I won't say it as these two women can kick my ass.
As promised—first hand report from my buddy Kris Bochum--
So...Paleyfest. i have been going to the Paley Festival for over 10 years - I’ve seen so many panels, including the first Buffy panel. Sdo it was great to see the reunion one as well. The tickets did sell out lickety split! There were so many people trying to get Paley tix the day they were available that the whole system crashed. So, I didn't actually get tix from Paley; I got mine on ebay - and for a very pretty penny, too, I might add.
So, I took a whole day off work to go, and my brother and I headed down to Hollywood around 11 am. And good thing we did too. Sunset Blvd was closed off for many, many blocks due to a protest. It took us about 45 minutes just to make our way from Hollywood and Highland to the parking structure! Egad! When we got down to the Cinerama dome, there were already people in line - one with tickets on one side (about 50 in line), one with no tickets in the "standby" line (about 20). we asked a few people when they got in line: 12 midnight & 3 am were the two times that were crazy. We went next door and shopped at amoeba records for awhile. Then, yep, we got in line - around 2:30 pm. where we stayed... it was pretty fun. lots of fans. some weirdos. Some rude-o's too. They let us in around 6 pm - and it was really nice to sit in seats, rather than on the sidewalk. Lots of rows were taped off, so we ended up kind of in the back. We were in the center though, so we thought we made out ok, considering.
Then we had to wait again, for about another hour. there was a woman behind us, she was with some organization - I want to say whedonopolis but I don't want to be wrong. Well, she was sitting right behind me and she was very very loud and at one point she stood up, walked to the end of the aisle and started shouting at the top of her lungs: 'Garth! Garth!' jean, I am telling you, I don' think I have ever seen (or heard) someone so absolutely rude before. I really couldn't believe that security didn't kick her out. Anyway, the hour passed and the president of the Paley center came out and talked about the Paley center and the son of the founder and the sponsors, and then about "Buffy." finally!
Matt Rousch from TV guide was the moderator. He was ok, not great but it helped that he was a fan and had actually watched the show and knew all about it. We were shown "once more with feeling" and it was really great seeing it on the big screen. Unfortunately for me personally, the woman behind me thought she was at a rocky horror picture show and was throwing in lines in between dialogue. I don't mind the singing with the show - quite the contrary, I’m all for it! But the endless one-liners were really obnoxious.
After the viewing of the episode, Matt Rousch came up and in order, he introduced the guests: David Greenwalt, Amber Benson, Seth Green, Charisma Carpenter, Marti Noxon Michelle Trachtenberg, Emma Caufiled, James Marsters, Nicholas Brendan, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Joss Whedon. (Alyson Hanigan and Eliza Dushku were no-shows).
Lots of questions were asked by the moderator, and then the audience got to ask some. Unfortunately, the first guest question took up about 20 minutes: what's your favorite movie and what's on your ipod?
To Emma: how'd you do that speech in the body, where you just break down? She had to pee really badly!
To Sarah from the mod: once and for all - Angel or Spike? She didn't choose.
Joss said he and David called Sarah Jimmy Stewart, cause she was so professional and always hit her mark. Sarah was asked about the comic book: did she know that her Buffy character had sex with a woman? Sarah laughed and said she had just found out 5 minutes before the show started. Joss said, well, experimenting and all that, hadn't we all been to college?
To amber: what was your reaction to 1) yours and willow's relationship? And Tara’s demise? She said she thought Tara and willow had the best relationship on the show and was glad that it happened. As for dying, she didn't get to answer so much as she was interrupted many times.
To Charisma: Angel or Buffy? Angel, as she got to do much more on that show.
After it ended, hundreds dashed for the stage for autographs. To their benefit, everyone stayed and signed autographs as long as they were allowed to (the Paley center people kicked them out). It was a lot of fun, I have to say. And I had heard a lot of bad things about Sarah Michelle Gellar, but she was very gracious and sweet and seemed genuinely sincere and happy to be there. Below are some pics for you, from the show. Remember, I was way in the back, so the lighting is kinda funky.
Not to worry, Kris-- For more PaleyFest Buffy and the gang photos, here's a link to MediaBlvd Magazine,
where another pal, photographer extraordinaire Christina Radish, shows off her considerable talents.
Not to be out done by gun-totin’ Chris Goff, Linda Anderson took these pics of Mario and I at Left Coast Crime. Do we look dangerous or what? Note Mario's Superman pose. Thanks, Linda--
In case you’ve been wondering, the winner was announced in Amazon’s
Breakthrough Novel Award contest: Fresh Kills by Bill Loehfelm. If you follow the link you can read what the judge’s said about it.
Yippee!! James Marsters is coming to DragonCon
. I chased him all over last year. Maybe this year with GA pal Carol Malcolm, we’ll catch him! This pic was taken by my friend Kris Bochum at Paleyfest. See *note* below.
Don’t even remember where I saw this, but it’s from a book by Timothy B. Benford
. Does this 1680 coin have a flying saucer on it or what?
Every week there’s a new flap. By now you’ve probably all heard about a new Harper Collins publishing group
that will offer authors profit-sharing instead of cash advances and eliminate returns. Friends in the movie business talk about the creative way companies can cook the books to show no profit made from popular and even block busting movies. Can the publishing business be far behind? That’s not to mention how most writers live on their advances
since royalty statements are few and far between.
Is it a coincidence that right after Mario left South Carolina they voted out their blue laws? I think not. Probably figured out how much money they lost by denying him booze on Sunday.
Colorado lawmakers showed some intelligence by killing a bill that would ban the sale to minors of works that might be “harmful” to them because of sexual content. The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression played a critical role in defeating S.B. 125—good job. Must have been something in the air because they also voted to repeal our blue laws. If Ritter signs that bill, it goes into effect July 1.
Organizations, including the Authors Guild, are lining up to consider action against Amazon’s recent move to restrict POD publishers to their own in house publisher, Booksurge. Antitrust issues might be at stake.
On a personal note, still on target to complete the fifth Anna Strong adventure, Retribution, by deadline.
Next week, I leave for Romantic Times
. If any of you are planning to attend, look for me at the following panels:
WEDNESDAY 12 -1
A Bite With a Twist - Infusing new blood in the vampire genre: A discussion about transfusing blood from other genres to keep vampires flourishing. Examine the cross-genre vampire novels of today with some of the genre's top authors. LA Banks, Rosemary Laurey,
Kim Harrison, Caridad Pineiro, Moderator: Jeanne Stein
Friday 11 -12
URBAN FANTASY 101
Everyone says it's the new 'it' genre, but what is urban fantasy anyway? How does it differ from paranormal romance? Are there rules about 'tough girl' protagonists and the amount of allowable sex? Richelle Mead, Kim Harrison, Kelley Armstrong, Jeri Smith-Ready, Jeanne Stein, and Rosemary Clement Moore discuss reader expectations and where an author draws those blurry genre lines.
Friday 4-5 PM
The Color of Blood: Tired of the same old brooding immortal? Find out how today's authors are borrowing blood suckers and heroes from other cultures in order to bring new blood to the vampire genre. Jacqueline Frank, Rene Lyons, Mandy M. Roth, Jeanne Stein, Moderator: Angela Night
And of course at the big book signing on Saturday.
**PS For all you Whedon/Buffy fanes—on Friday, I’ll post my pal Kris Bochum’s first hand report on Paleyfest. It must have been a blast! Pics included.
The not so Holy City
My book trailer got a mention on MediaBistro GalleyCat
Let's remember Charlton Heston, shown here in his gun-toting hunky prime.
I recently got back from my most awesome visit to Charleston, SC. Yes, that Charleston, a.k.a. The Holy City because of all its churches and Wicked Charleston for...guess. (That's the awesome part). Home to pirates, patriots, and prostitutes. Lots of pics to share. All G-rated so go look for porn elsewhere.
This writing biz has allowed me to meet a number of wonderful people. At the top of that list are my hosts for this last trip, professional tour guides Rebel Sinclair
and Mark Jones
of Black Cat Tours
. I met Rebel at the West Virgina Book Fair and we've kept in touch. When I told her that I was going to set one of my vampire books in Charleston, she and boyfriend Mark rolled out the red carpet which included a stop in the diviest of Charleston dives, Big John's Tavern. (Guess who is Mark and who is Rebel.)
A shot of Big John's with requisite bras hanging from the ceiling.
Classy place. When I asked for a Manhattan, the bartender replied, "Do you know where you are?" I settled for a series of rum and Cokes, sophisticated drinks for Big John's. Practically girly.
Charleston is as beautiful as it is historic. Here's one of the magnificent residential gardens. Marvel but keep your distance.
Being a southern town, the place is full of quirks like this address of zero, not one, but zero.
Prohibition forced communities to test the limits of sophistry for a simple quenching of one's thirst with an adult beverage. In Charleston they hosted blind tiger fights. Buy a ticket and you'd get complimentary drinks (it was illegal to sell alcohol but you could serve it). Then management would announce that the blind tiger was sick so no fight but you could buy a ticket for tomorrow's bout (with more complimentary drinks). Commemorate the not-so-sober past by seeing double at the present Blind Tiger Pub. I did.
Mark took me to the tunnels underneath the city where you could find shwag from the Revolution (death to Tories!) and the Civil War (bombardment parties!). Entry gained through a trap door in a liquor store, where else?
The trip wasn't all sightseeing. I had signings with CJ Lyons
and Nina Bruhns in the local Barnes & Noble stores. Here is Community Relations Manager Ashley Burnes smirking as she puts autographed stickers on my books.
Mark fixed me up with a radio interview with John Dixon of WQSC.
Finally, time to return home. The rain picked up. On the way to the airport, Mark and I swung through town and found Rebel waiting for tourists with her percheron Chief hitched to the carriage.
No time to rest once I got to Denver. My sons and I accompanied fellow novelist Chris Goff
and her family for a machine gun shoot near Fort Morgan. Wholesome Second Amendment entertainment. Here, Chris goes full auto with an AK47. Charlton Heston would've been proud.
Capping the weekend was a great signing at the Denver Book Mall.
With so much going on, the only thing left to do was scrounging an invitation to a blind tiger fight.
Short one this week. Big news seems to be Amazon’s decision that they will no longer offer small-press books for sale on their web site unless they are printed by their own POD publisher. Once the 'in-stock' supply has been sold, the 'buy button' will be removed from the listing. If this is of interest or concern to you, a plethora of articles about it can be found here at Writers Weekly
Rachel Vincent's newest,Rogue, hit the stands yesterday. She’s having contests on her blog
(one of my books is a prize) so click through and enter. Oh, and buy the book!
Ever google yourself? I think this
is kind of fun. I have a namesake in New York who plays bridge. Nice to see I’m not the oldest Jeanne Stein in the book….
Mario mentioned being featured writer on B & N
this month—drop in and share the fun.
As for me, I’m 30 days from deadline on the fifth Anna—wish me luck. Also, will have an article in this month’s LKH fan newsletter
. If you’re a subscriber, watch for it.