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, October 29, 2009
Just came in from shoveling a foot of snow out of the driveway….they don’t tell you about things like this when they’re talking up how wonderful it is to live in Colorado… And since this is the second snow storm we've had this year, I decided to post some pictures for comparison.
You can tell the "today" pics are taken from inside. Snow was too deep to venture out! Also note, the street has disappeared. No snow plows in our neighborhood!
Mario, bless his soul, is missing all the fun. He’s gone to LA for the weekend. To party with Hollywood types. I imagine he’ll come back with lots of stories. Hopefully, that’s ALL he’ll come back with. This is what he said: I’m going to attend a tribute to Hollywood director Jesus "Chuy" Trevino (NYPD Blue, ER, The Practice, Law and Order, Star Trek: Voyager, Babylon 5). Basically I'm there to schmooze and pay my respects to him (and get away from you). And THEN he asks me to post for him on Monday. I’ll post for him all right.
A couple of our writer pals have new books either just released or about to be released.
First is Jennifer Rardin, one of the Reluctant Adults. Her new book, BITEMARKS (I love that name) is the sixth in the Jaz Parks series. Here’s a blurb: Jaz is possessed. After biting the neck of a domyter during a forced visit to his territory, she now has unwelcome voices in her head. While fighting for supremacy in her own mind, she finds herself confronted with a near-impossible task: perform perfectly on her next mission or face the unemployment line. Here’s the Amazon Link, or check out your friendly Indie to pick up a copy.
This just in: Jennifer is doing a contest over at Bitten by Books and offering some serious swag. Hop on over and enter before midnight tonight.
Next, Caridad Pineiro’s Sins of the Flesh. The blurb: Caterina Shaw's days are numbered. Her only chance for survival is a highly experimental gene treatment-a risk she willingly takes. But now Caterina barely recognizes herself. She has new, terrifying powers, an exotic, arresting body-and she's been accused of a savage murder, sending her on the run.
Mick Carrera is a mercenary and an expert at capturing elusive, clever prey. Yet the woman he's hunting down is far from the vicious killer he's been told to expect: Caterina is wounded, vulnerable, and a startling mystery of medical science. Even more, she's a beautiful woman whose innocent sensuality tempts Mick to show her exactly how thrilling pleasure can be. The heat that builds between them is irresistible, but surrendering to it could kill them both . . . for a dangerous group is plotting its next move using Caterina as its deadly pawn.
Everyone has been waiting for this and finally, we have the answer to one of life’s most burning questions. Who will be the next J.K. Rowling. Well, here it is--maybe:
From Shelf Awareness: Is Australian kitchen saleswoman Rebecca James the next J.K. Rowling? The Wall Street Journal asked this question now that "the 39-year-old mother of four has discovered that her debut novel Beautiful Malice, a gritty psychological thriller for teenagers upward, isn't merely to be published, but has become a publishing phenomenon that is sparking an aggressive bidding war world-wide."
Well, we’ve heard that before. I wonder if she’ll live up to the press (and the advance). I’m sure the publisher is wondering it, too.
The 2009 Anthony Awards were presented at a ceremony during the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention in Indianapolis, Ind. Here are the winners:
Best Novel: The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown)
Best first novel: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (Knopf)
Best paperback original: State of the Onion by Julie Hyzy (Berkley)
Best short story: "A Sleep Not Unlike Death" by Sean Chercover, from Hardcore Hardboiled (Kensington)
Best critical nonfiction work: Anthony Boucher: A Biobibliography by Jeffrey Marks (McFarland)
Best children's/young adult novel: The Crossroads by Chris Grabenstein (Random House)
Best cover art: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, designed by Peter Mendelsund (Knopf)
Special Service Award: Jon and Ruth Jordan
Here’s a video from Penguin Classics about Vampires on Paper.
The blurb: Elda Rotor of Penguin Classics interviews Twilight expert Donna Freitas about the appeal of Stephenie Meyer's blockbuster vampire series and how it compares to Emily Brontë's enduring classic Wuthering Heights. Elda then speaks with Dacre Stoker, a direct descendant of Bram Stoker, and Ian Holt, authors of Dracula: The Un-Dead, who talk about Bram Stoker's masterpiece, why Dracula wears evening clothes, and how vampires pick up chicks even when they smell like the grave.
There are several others in the series that you might want to check out, too. Here’s the link to the site.
Yet another new reader: As indicated earlier this year (Shelf Awareness, July 20, 2009), Barnes & Noble will sell the QUE proReader from Plastic Logic in its stores and on its website--after it is introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nev., January 7, the retailer said yesterday. The QUE is designed "to support the lifestyle of modern business professionals" and is the size of an 8.5 x 11 inch pad of paper and about 1/3 inch thick. The QUE offers access to a range of documents, including more than a million e-books available through the QUE store, powered by Barnes & Noble.
Bad news for anther library: Seattle Public Library is proposing a 23 percent cut in library hours in response to Mayor Greg Nickels' directive to city departments to cut budgets in response to a $72 million revenue shortfall. Lit Life correspondent Mary Ann Gwinn argues the cuts are too deep.
Just got my contracts for the audio editions of the Anna Strong Chronicles. So here’s my question to you: If you listen to audio books, do you have favorite readers? Not that they’ll ask me (I have about as much input as I do with my covers) but I can always pass along recommendations.
And to end with a smile, Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for the Worst First Line 2009 Results are in!
Grand prize entry buy David McKenzie:
Folks say that if you listen real close at the height of the full moon, when the wind is blowin' off Nantucket Sound from the nor' east and the dogs are howlin' for no earthly reason, you can hear the awful screams of the crew of the “Ellie May," a sturdy whaler Captained by John McTavish; for it was on just such a night when the rum was flowin' and, Davey Jones be damned, big John brought his men on deck for the first of several screaming contests.
My favorite: Grand Panjandrum's Special Award
Fleur looked down her nose at Guilliame, something she was accomplished at, being six foot three in her stocking feet, and having one of those long French noses, not pert like Bridget Bardot's, but more like the one that Charles De Gaulle had when he was still alive and President of France and he wore that cap that was shaped like a little hatbox with a bill in the front to offset his nose, but it didn't work.
Every one is hilarious-- the contest, began at San Jose State University in 1982 is an international literary parody contest, the competition honors the memory (if not the reputation) of Victorian novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873). The goal of the contest is childishly simple: entrants are challenged to submit bad opening sentences to imaginary novels. Although best known for "The Last Days of Pompeii" (1834), which has been made into a movie three times, originating the expression "the pen is mightier than the sword," and phrases like "the great unwashed" and "the almighty dollar," Bulwer-Lytton opened his novel Paul Clifford (1830) with the immortal words that the "Peanuts" beagle Snoopy plagiarized for years, "It was a dark and stormy night."
Costumes, a crazy man, and a timely dose of pharmaceuticals Mario here:
Well, it's over. Another MileHiCon has come and gone. It was a lot of fun meeting old friends, making new ones, and hobnobbing with the fans. Of course, we can't forget the awesome costumes and attitude.
Among the highlights, the panel Must Action/Adventure = Dumb/Mindness with the bemused Betsy Dornbusch and the expressive (and Locus Award winning) Paolo Bacigalupi. (He's from southwest Colorado where people normally act like this.)
Paolo had much to celebrate. He's next year's toastmaster and his much acclaimed debut sci-fi novel, The Windup Girl, just hit the bookshelves.
Steampunk was the prevailing theme with an amazing assortment of takes on the costumes. Jacob shows off his matching tarboosh and robe as he holds a copy of Cherie Priest's steampunk novel, Boneshaker.
If you love Steampunk,unbuckle your corset and wave your gloves.
One new acquaintance was Stuart Neville, who journeyed all the way from Northern Ireland to flog his new thriller, The Ghosts of Belfast. What cultural wisdom did Stuart share? That there is nothing sadder than an Irishman and his empty glass of beer.
The look of frustration. Jeanne was all set to proclaim Spike as the sexiest vampire of all
time. Then another panelist beat her to the punch. Jeanne did not take it gracefully. I was about to hit 9-1-1 on the cell. Here she is after we administered Valium.
A Winner! Though none of us Biting-edgers attended Bouchercon last week, we can tell you that fellow mystery writer James O. Born won a Barry for his short story "The Drought."
We’ve got lots of ground to cover but first—there’s something I’d like you to do—actually, two things. First, over at Bitten by Books they’re running a poll—favorite paranormal author for 2009. Believe it or not, I’ve been nominated. Here’s where I need your help. Click through on this link and vote. You have two votes, hopefully one will be for me. This is the last round and the deadline is Sunday. Here are the winners of the first three rounds:
Week 1: Kim Harrison and Charlaine Harris Week 2: Richelle Mead and Karen Marie Moning Week 3: Stephenie Meyer and Michelle Rowen
Stiff competition, no? So go on. Click the link. Vote. I’ll wait….
Second short detour, for all of you who have wanted to see Felix and Anna get together, here’s your chance. Romance University asked us to do a he said/she said scene. Take a look and tell us what you think.
Okay, on to the real reason you stopped by:
Now that it’s pretty much been determined that the Balloon Boy story was a hoax, what else has been happening? There’s lots of Whedonverse goodies to share.
Starting a week ago, four major broadcast networks — ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox — began slipping service messages into more than 60 shows. It’s the centerpiece of I Participate, a multiyear effort to encourage Americans to volunteer led by the Entertainment Industry Foundation — Hollywood’s leading charity.
I caught the first one on Dollhouse. Full details here.
And ever wonder what comics Joss Whedon reads? The answer from Kirkmania:
In Joss Whedon we trust—his "Season Eight" of the comic book version of Buffy The Vampire Slayer has been nothing short of transcendent. So we asked the writer extraordinaire, "What comics do you still find the time to read in your ridiculously insane schedule ?" Turns out it’s a short list. Very short.
Upon this pedestal sits only The Walking Dead, the incredibly depressing and compelling zombie saga written by Image’s Robert Kirkman. "That is the only comic I still read—literally," reveals Whedon, who added that when he first picked up the book he "paced myself because it was deep into the trades by then and I only let myself buy one trade a week, for a few weeks before I broke down because it was my favorite soap opera."
So yeah, we could’ve left it there. But instead we called up Kirkman for his reaction. "That’s way awesome," says Kirkman who also adds, only half-jokingly we think, that he’d love to hear from the revered writer sometime. "I really respect Joss’s work and he’s done all kinds of fantastic stuff with Buffy and Angel and I love that Serenity movie. And I just bought Dollhouse on DVD. It’s really validating to know that someone whose work you admire is reading your work."
The Walking Dead is an American monthly black and white comic published by Image Comics beginning in 2003. The comic was created by writer Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore (replaced by Charlie Adlard from issue #7 onward, Moore continued to do the covers until issue #24) and chronicles the travels of a group of people trying to survive in a world stricken by a zombie apocalypse. A television series was announced to be in production on August 11, 2009.
The Prez, the Shamus, Marines, and a funny pet costume Mario here:
Lots of great news to share.
First of all, Tony Garcia, the Artistic Director for El Centro Su Teatro, was a special guest at the White House for "In Performance at the White House" a concert of Latino superstars hosted by the President and the First Lady. Other guests included Sheila E, Marc Anthony, Gloria Estefan, George Lopez, and Los Lobos. Here's Tony with Millie Duran in the Red Room of the White House.
Next up.Lori Armstrong won a Shamus for her mystery thriller, Snow Blind. This was the second time she's been nominated so we're glad that the Private Eye Writers of America decided to finally consummate the relationship.
You never know where your fans are. So I was surprised when Tiffanie Gabrielse of the Encore weekly newspaper dropped a line and asked for an interview. She said my fans include Marines from nearby Camp Lejeune. Who knew? Hoo-ah!
Friend and artist Jennifer Mosquera hosted an art opening at the Thin Man Tavern, a cozy and appropriately narrow bar in uptown Denver. Here's Jen giving us the big grin beside her new fish painting.
Call for entries: Uniquely Basil, a literary bilingual journal is seeking contributions from writers and artists. Pub date: March 2010.
Checking in on Biting-Edge expat Marta Acosta, come to find she's running an awesome scary book Halloween contest. So get your prize-coveting self over to Vampire Wire.
This Halloween, the happen'n style is humiliating
your pooch as in:
Nothing like a drink to either smooth the edges off a rough week or prime you for going back to work. Westword is running a contest for the Best Dive in Denver. All you have to do is pen a love letter about your favorite place to hoist the hootch. For details, go HERE.
FINALLY. If you're interested in a great summary about ebooks versus traditional print, and I'm talking numbers and $, then visit Joe Konrath's blog, A Newbie's Guide to Publishing.
Show and Tell...
Lots of images to share with you today.
I’ll start off with pics from a couple of Mario sightings. The first is The Monday Art Walk that featured our hero last week. I’m sure he wants to post more, so I’m including only two.
RMFW represented by Warren and Cathy Hammond and me…
This one needs no explanation. Yes, if you haven’t seen it before, this is the famous gun bra…
Next, yesterday Mario gave a talk to an enthusiastic crowd at the OLLI South daytime learning program. It’s offered by the University College at the University of Denver through funding from the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). Here are some pics from that event.
Our Mario was a brave soldier even though he was not feeling well. You can tell by the glazed look in his eye. Anyway, I popped in to record the event…
Okay, moving right along....
From the Paley Center for Media:
Who Is the Greatest TV Vampire of Them All?
…our current infatuation with bloodsuckers is just the most recent iteration of the enduring appeal of these dark avatars; our fascination with the vampire never really dies, though it goes underground from time to time. Here we present a brief survey of vamps from the small screen, encompassing interpretations that range from the repulsively horrific to the seductively suave. We even have vampires for children, who, of course, like to be safely scared too.
Place your vote for TV’s all-time greatest undead bloodsucker—that’s TV, so no Edward Cullen or Lestat.
Choose your favorite—both Angel and Spike are listed (among others). I know who I voted for—how about you?
From Shelf Awareness this morning…
Yesterday at the Frankfurt Book Fair, Baker & Taylor unveiled an e-reader for computers, smart phones and cell phones--essentially one of the fanciest e-reader apps we've ever seen--for which it is acquiring and distributing content. The reader was developed by (a) joint venture of Kurzweil Technology and the National Federation for the Blind. (Kurzweil created the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind.) Besides offering full color images and allowing text to be adjusted in a variety of ways, the reader offers audio versions--both basic text-to-speech audio and the recorded audiobook versions of the texts that are synchronized. Publishers can add various video functions to the texts on the device as well. Retailers will be able to sell titles through the e-book reader and have the reader branded with its name. The reader will be free to retailers.
The National Book Foundation named the 2009 National Book Award finalists. Winners in each of these categories will be announced at a ceremony on November 18 in New York City, where Gore Vidal will be honored with the NBF's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters and Dave Eggers will receive the Literarian Award for Outstanding Contribution to the American Literary Community.
I only included the Fiction finalists but here is a link for the entire list. My question, where is Mario? Where am I?
Fiction American Salvage by Bonnie Jo Campbell (Wayne State University Press) Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann (Random House) In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin (Norton) Lark and Termite by Jayne Anne Phillips (Knopf) Far North by Marcel Theroux (FSG) New Leonardo da Vinci Discovered Lumiere Technology Makes Monumental Announcement at Toronto’s IdeaCity Conference
Experts believe there is a fingerprint on this painting belonging to Leondard da Vinci. The painting was originally bought for $20,000. It’s value has jumped considerably…like to $150 million.
An iPhone software application developed by PepsiCo Inc. is causing a stir because it gives men pickup lines to use with a variety of women, and a bulletin board to brag about their conquests.
The app, which promotes the Amp energy drink, is called "Amp Up Before You Score." The app has drawings of what it calls different female types, including the aspiring actress dressed in waitress garb, and the bookworm with pulled-back hair and glasses. The app supposedly gives guys just the right line to win over a particular type.
Okay, how sexist is this? Where’s the App for women? How about putting our heads together and coming up with the pick up lines for the following:
A bit of BSP—I got a nice mention in the ColoradoBiz mag.
I you have twenty minutes, this is a wonderful video from Ted.com Ideas Worth Spreading.
Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice -- and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.
PS This weekend I will be attending the San Diego County Library's Celebration of the Written Word. My panel is on Sunday at 1:30 PM at the Poway Library. If you're in the area....
Since we here at The Biting Edge always strive to leave you on a highpoint, here is our joke for the day:
What is the difference between Bird Flu and Swine Flu?