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!

Thursday, July 16, 2009
  Why Can't I Sleep?????
Late again—another of those nights when I got about three hours sleep. Lately, I can’t seem to sleep through the night. Any suggestions for insomnia? Except the anesthetic drug, Propofol, which is thought to have killed MJ. I don’t like needles.

Now, on to the BIG news—my illustrious blog and critique partner was named Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ Writer of the Year for 2009!!! Let’s hear it for Mario. The coronation ceremony was conducted at a picnic last Saturday in a Denver Park. Highlights included:

Pic of Mario and the two candidates, Kay Bergstrom ( who doesn't have a website but whose impressive list of books can be found here) and Pam Nowak

Pic of Mario with his entourage (he’s very big with the tween set)

Pic of Mario being his usual sophisticated self after getting lei’d. By me, of course, I didn’t think the big day should pass without a memento of some kind.

Next up. The release date of Retribution in fast approaching. August 25. Got my first review from Kimberly Swan’s Darque Reviews. If you are interested, here’s the link. She gave it a starred review!! Thanks, Kimberly.

It’s up on Amazon and Barnes & Noble sites but still no cover. However, you can preorder if you have a mind to…

I’ll post my full signing schedule in a couple of weeks. Nail biting time again.

And I have my Comic Con schedule. If you’re in San Diego, here it is:

Thursday July 23rd
Signing at Penguin Booth #11-17
11 am

Saturday July 25th
1:30-2:30 pm Signing to follow in the autograph area

Off Site Borders event
668 6th Avenue
San Diego CA 92101

Authors: Patrick Rothfuss, Rob Thurman, Thomas Sniegoski, Amber Benson, Seanan McGuire, Jeanne Stein, Kat Richardson

Panel discussion and book signing celebrating science fiction and fantasy.

Other panels I plan to attend: Dollhouse with Joss Whedon and Eliza Dushku and the Tru Blood panel with Charlaine Harris and Alan Ball and the cast. Of course so do the other 120,000 attendees at this con.

Other news items that caught my eye this past week:

Superman's birthplace -- restored house of creator Jerry Siegel -- to be unveiled Saturday

A group of comic-book devotees and fans of the many popular incarnations of the hero came together last year to raise money to restore the 90-year-old house where Superman was dreamed up by Jerry Siegel.

This is an interesting story. Check it out here.

You knew it was coming:

Kindle rip-off from China

By Paul Biba

From E-Ink-Info.com, a Chinese company called Peking University Founder has duplicated the exterior, at least, of the Kindle 2: They say they will release it by the end of 2009, in Japan, for around 210$ (the kindle is available for 299$. . It includes a cellular connection (they say it needs a SIM card) to download new books, and will use their own ‘Apabi’ ebook software. The screen is ‘about’ 6″, not sure what kind of display yet.

In the same vein: The next generation reader? For all you techies who have to have the newest: Pixel Qi Introduces Color/Video Screens for E-Readers and More

Maybe an entry for the contest? If this isn’t a “what was I thinking moment”, I don’t know what is.

1 dead at Pamplona; first goring death since '95

PAMPLONA, Spain - A charging bull gored a young Spanish man to death Friday at Pamplona's San Fermin festival, the first such fatality in nearly 15 years. Nine others were injured in a particularly dangerous and chaotic chapter of the running of the bulls.

A new Vampire Con celebrating “the world’s first convention devoted exclusively to Vam-Pop culture.

The weekend-long event debuts August 14th –16th, 2009 in Hollywood, CA. Vampire-Con kicks off on Friday and Saturday with a Vampire Film Festival at the New Beverly Cinema featuring special guests and prizes

Check out the details here:

Considering the images they use to advertise:

Felix and Mario are SO there....

A clip from the Dollhouse episode I hope to see at ComicCon== Epitaph One

Okay-- that's all I have for now but remember: the contest is on until next Thursday. You still have time. I’m going to bring back something from ComicCon to throw on the prize pile so besides books and swag and a tee shirt from the Tattered Cover, there will be a special surprise in there, too—
Oh that I could go to San Diego next week!! Have a hootin' time. Those will be two fun panels. TAKE PICTURES, pretty please! DH would like a pic of Eliza Dushku and I would like to see a pic of Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammel, and Alexander Skarsgard.
You are going to be jammin' with some cool authors at the offsite book signing. The only one I've not heard of (yet) is Patrick Rothfuss and I am off to rectify that now. Everyone else is either on Mt Git'r'Read and/or on the Wanton Wantin' Book List.

Congratulations to Mario!
As for what I use for sleeping through the night, I stop drinking anything caffeinated by 5pm if at all possible and I take one Tylenol or Advil PM just as I lie down, read for a bit then out like a light. I wake a few times in the night to visit the porcelain throne, but tend to go right back to sleep. That's also why I keep bedside books, so I can at least rest if not actually sleep on the nights that I do get insomniac tendencies....reading BLOODY GOOD - Georgia Evans right now as bedside fare.
I will do a better job of replying later tonight but for just a quick moment I wanted pop in and wish Maric Congrats.

Also, Jeanne remember that author I told you was going to be at ComicCon but didn't have any more info? Now i've got it. According to her site "the Lady of the Manners will be attending San Diego ComicCon, and will be doing a signing on Friday, July 24th from 3:00 – 4:00 PM at ComicCon signing table AA6. (Other than that, the Lady of the Manners will just be wandering around the convention, so keep an eye out for her!)" she shouldn't be hard to miss even at a Con. Knee length ruffled skirts, boots, most likely striped leggings, usually a top hat, and a corset.

One of these days I'll make it to ComicCon. Until then I will wish I was there and dream up awesome costumes I would wear if i could go, beacuse oh yes I'm one of "those" people.
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Ok I'm back to comment on eveything else I didn't plus a little more.

so again - congrats to Mario.

Retribution - I'm excited :) I've had a copy on preorder for some time. My pre-orders are always like that. I had a Raymond E. Feist book come in for me the other day and one of the people at the bookstore thought ti was funny that I had had it on pre-order for like 6 months. I have to have the store remind me of release dates b/c after waiting all that time I forget when books were supposed to come out. As a side note, I can't believe that Amazon and B&N still don't have a cover image yet. The cover has been out for a while now (and it's spectacular by the way).

Knock off Kindle - While I have nothing against knock-offs for so small a price difference I don't see what would entice someone to by the fake when they could have the real. I mean it IS $89, but at the same time you just know there are going to be numerous compatibility issues that will come up and make you wish you had paid that extra $89.

Dollhouse - that clip looks awesome and makes me wonder if there is some kind of future group of people finding the Dollhouse. It didn't look super dusty, but that was the first thing I thought of. They had better include that in the DVD set or show it next season - one of the two.

Unrelated but Still Vampires - I swallowed my pride tonight and watched the extended preview of the CW's Vampire Diaries series. Let me just say I've had it up to here with vamps in daylight without a good reason. I haven't read the Vamp Diaries books so I don't know if there is a reason for it. I know that it allows yur characters to have more face time, but if you are going to break away from mythology atleast tell us WHY they can be out under the Daystar. I don't know why, but I have a feeling that this show will stomp all over vamp mythology without telling us why, and that bothers me a bit. Thankfully, though, there is no sign of sparkles in the show so I’m feeling a little better. It seems mushy and over dramatic and is apparently produced by the people responsible for Dawson's Creek(a show I could never stomach). It is also quite clear that they are modeling the look of the characters after those in Twilight in order to bring the crowds in and I wish tht if they were going to do they show that the producers would just let it be its own animal. (The *very* pre-teen message boards for the show are out to inform us that the CW got the characters looks all wrong) Even with all that though, I know that I will end up watching it anyways. Curse these genre shows and their wily ways.

(Side note: Jeanne thank you for taking the time in your books to tell us WHY your vamps are the way they are. Trust me, it makes all the difference.)
********CONGRATS MARIO**********

And I totally forgot to vote too. I was going to vote for you. Glad I wasn't the tiebreaker.

I wanted to go to that picnic but alas! I was trapped on a 7-hour emergency conference call for work, trying to make sense out of what a posse of Indian (like, from the Punjab) software developers were chattering about in their heavily accented English.

The picnic would have been a little more fun.
@Jeanne re insomnia:

--Are you drinking caffeine or eating sugar? Try cutting them out late in the day.

--Are you physically active during the day? If not, try getting in a little walk at some point. Maybe you're not moving enough.

--Set a bedtime. Try to stay away from the computer and the TV for a full hour before bedtime. Perhaps even reading. (ok, on this one I definately need to follow my own advice!)

--The warm shower or bath always helps me.

Those are my best suggestions.
On the insomnia - I second Gina's suggestion of a hot bath/shower. I find if I set aside the time for a hot bath and then sit in there with a book until the water cools then I'm all nice and relaxed and ready to sleep. I also concur about the computer an hour before bed. The first couple years of my undergrad I fought with insomnia a lot (not I just take it in stride :p ) and took melatonin supplements. In some research I did on the supplement before deciding to take it, I ran across a number of people who said that it was counter active to take the melatonin and then sit in front of a lit screen (tv/computer) or stay in a room with bright lights. It had something to do with your brain thinking it was still day time and preventing the effects of the extra melatonin from kicking in. I don't know how true all that is but circumstantial evidence makes me think it might be on to something. Even this past weekend I found I was going to bed earlier and was sleeping better because I couldn't use my computer before bed. (It was on the fritz and I ended up having to rebuild it.) This, of course, though is one of those do as I say and not as i do things. Case in point, it is 12:17am here, I have to be up in 6.5 hrs for work, and I'm still not in bed.
This is a pretty good article.


Ok, I'm off to combat my own insomnia and get a bit of sleep.
Thanks you all for your tips on curing insomnia. I'm ready to try them all. I'm one of those people who need at least seven hours sleep a night so this is killing me....

Truth be told, though, I think part of it is good old-fashioned stress--one book due on Aug 1, two short stories due before Aug 15, Retribution about to see the light of day. I keep thinking I'll get used to the nervous stomach but so far, it's not happened.

Anyway, it's not like I'm complaining, mind you-- writing is the best job I've ever had and I really am living my dream.

Thanks everybody for the mentions about my getting the WOTY. The picnic was great. I was in my intellectual element, playing lawn darts with 10 and 12 year olds. Cheers.

Walks. definately take the walks. They don't have to be long. Hopefully they'll let you take the edge of the stress monster too.

Do you know what author Kevin J. Anderson does? He goes on long walks or hikes in the wilderness, and takes along a recorder. He dictates his books into the recorder as he walks, then has it transcribed.

Not suggesting you do the same but just proves you can still be productive in that time.
Congrats, Mario!
Hi Jeanne, I'm not having an insomnia problem right now because I'm in the middle of the RWA national conference right now and am exhausted, lol. There was a great paranormal pannel today with Melissa Marr, Kelly Armstrong, Jeannie Frist, and Rachel Vincent. Tomorrow's the "lessons from the Firefly pannel." I am having a great time (tho I miss the tot).
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