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, June 29, 2011
Thanks to Catfriend, Suzanne, unseelieme and Vickie for filling in last week. Good job--if you'd like an autographed copy of HEXED, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vickie, send me that zombie movie the kids made and we'll post it right here!
Here's the video submitted by unseelieme--it's pretty cool!
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For you Neil Gaiman fans, here's an interview where he talks about his new TV series:
Sean Wallace | Jun 27, 2011 in NewsVampires: The Recent Undead is now available in Kindle and Nook formats through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. (Eventually it will be in the iBookstore, Kobo, Sony, and Borders—they just take longer to process.) We also have it available for direct purchase for a limited time for only $6.99!
Yesterday, Penguin released the Penguin Classics Complete Annotated Listing app for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. In addition to featuring annotated descriptions of more than 1,500 Penguin Classics titles, the app challenges readers to test their Penguin Classics knowledge and features a "Discover the Classics" section that lets readers choose which classics they should read based on their interests (or they can give their iPhone a shake and let the app pick a title for them).
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There's still time to check out Larissa's Bookish Life and get in on my seven book giveaway. Check it out here
And our pal Mario is the featured interviewee on the Chiseled Rock Blog wherein he talks about Machine Guns, Vampires and the Writing Life. Check it out here
That's it for me this week. What's going on in your world?
Summer has finally arrived and here in the Biting-Edge headquarters, we've stripped to our skivvies and are sticking to the vinyl upholstery, it's that hot. Admittedly, not Dallas or Atlanta hot, but we're miserable enough to complain.
If you're lucky, the best way to ward off the summer heat is hiding in a place where you can dip at your leisure into the water. Once you've done that, survive the doldrums by: indulging in a cool adult beverage; and losing yourself in a good beach read.
If you're jonseing for a good great beach read, then pick a book from one of my favorites authors, Carl Hiaasen, the master of skeevy characters and sarcasm. Admittedly, it's been a while since I've cracked open a Hiaasen book, so it was a delight to return to his world of the treacherous and the perverted, in this case, his most recent novel, Star Island. We're treated to another masterful and biting satire of pop culture, big business, and Florida politics, served hot and hilarious.
Hiaasen's wields his prose like a chef's knife, expertly chopping the objects of his ridicule into delicious bite-size morsels. As when a doctor is summoned to aid the amoral and moronic music star, Cherry Pye:
"Upon arriving at Room 309 of the Stefano, he'd found the starlet nude, speckled in sunflower husks and twiching like a poisoned cockroach on the carpet. The bodyguard had pulled the doctor aside and provided a list of all known subtances that the girl had consumed during the night, and the approximate amounts. It was the doctor's earnest desire to be free of this crew before those three hundred milligrams of Dulcolax kicked in." (In case you don't know, Dulcolax is a laxative)
Later, Cherry Pye is forced to attend the Rainbow Bend rehab clinic, where she hooks up with Methane Drudge, a rock-n-roll drummer also on the mend. They climb the clinic wall to escape, and Methane wrenches his ankle.
"When Methane said his leg hurt too badly to continue, Cherry told him to man up. They couldn't call for a ride because neither had a cell. Rainbow Bend had confiscated the devices upon admittance, due to a problem with patients secretly phoning their drug dealers, who would ditifully drive out to Malibu and lob Baggies of pills, rocks, buds and powder over the wall. On some mornings the serenity garden looked like the Customs locker at LAX."
Stalking Cherry is the hapless papparazzi louche, Bang Abbot:
"But beaches weren't Bang Abbott's favorite place to work. Concealment was difficult, and the lighting conditions were often bright and harsh. Worse, beaches were usually hot, and Bang Abbot was miserable in the heat. He perspired in unnatural spumes, soaking rapidly through his shirt, cap, even his pants. The odor didn't bother him so much as the stares; it was impossible to be inconspicuous while dripping like a Nile hippo."
Which is what I have for this week. Finishing the final (first) draft for the next Anna book, Haunted, took up all my perusing time. So here's the deal...YOU write the blog this week-- tell us what caught your eye in the news, what movies you saw or want to see, what books you read, what videos you found, what's new in your life. There just may be a prize(s) involved so get to it!!!
I know you can't post videos in comments, but give us a link.
Father's Day makes me a little extra wistful for my old man and reflect on how different my life is versus the way his turned out. He died at 51, under circumstances that I'd rather explain in another blog.
A big difference is my circle of wonderful friends. I can't imagine my dad, or a man of his generation for that matter, having the web of informal acquaintances that I have, especially with women (no hanky-panky...really). It's not unusual for us--in groups or paired up--to have dinners, go to the movies, road trips, even indulge in some crotch couch-surfing. And we talk about everything, mostly about stuff that during my father's time, would've been delivered in a plain brown wrapper.
It's a lifestyle (outwardly irreverent and pervy but inwardly, we all work our asses off--being a Bohemian ain't cheap) made possible because I'm blessed to live in Denver, where I've found my two tribes: Writers and Artists...who both happened to have hosted spectacular soirees this weekend.
My writer tribe--in the guise of the Lighthouse Lit Fest--convened in the beautiful Montclair Civic Building (located way the hell out on east Colfax) for the Final Agent's Reception. Executive Director Michael Henry, in his snazzy linen suit, emceed the literary carousing. <--one handed reading...erotica, no doubt
Harrison Candelaria Fletcher and Andrea Dupree kept the conversations smart and bubbly.
Anticipating that I might be drinking a bit (with so much free booze, who could resist?) I took the bus, the infamous 15L, a.k.a. the Colfax Ghetto Cruiser a.k.a. the Vomit Comet.
Karma Points for writer pimpage! --> From Publishers Lunch:
Kevin Hearne's IRON DRUID urban fantasy trilogy set in Tempe, Arizona, featuring a rare book salesman, herb peddler, and 2,000 year old druid - the last of his kind - who has been on the run for over two millennia from a very angry ancient Celtic god; the first book HOUNDED primarily features the many Celtic gods; HEXED will focus on Coyote and the Bacchants; HAMMERED will be about a plot against Thor (everybody hates Thor), to Anne Clarke at Orbit UK, by Evan Goldfield at Jill Grinberg Literary Management (UK and Commonwealth).
Chuck Wendig's BLACKBIRDS, in which a woman is cursed with the ability to foresee how people will die, but without the ability to save them --until she foresees a death that forces her to try to change fate, and MOCKINGBIRDS, to Lee Harris at Angry Robot, by Stacia Decker at the Donald Maass Literary Agency (World English).
Not that I'm much on resolutions, but seeing as I'm always telling writers to read, read, read, I decided that it's best if I lead by example. So this week's offering is another splendid book by the amazing Sherman Alexie. First published in 2000, The Toughest Indian in the World is an anthology of Alexie's short fiction. As befitting the title, the works are one-two knockout punches, first a left with humor then a haymaker loaded with poignancy. He'll beat you senseless and you'll love the pounding. Now go read.
Just got the word that Hexed is #32 on the NY Times Extended Bestseller list!! Finally got to see my name on that list!! It's pretty cool. Thanks to all of you for your support.
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Here's the first trailer for the American version of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
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Want sneak a peak at Crossroads? RomCon has the beginning of Chapter One featured this week here
While you're there, check out the conference. This one is fun!
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To all you Buffybuds out there: Season Nine is available for preorder here
Love this Jo Chen cover!
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This is a cool trailer because it contains clips from the actors' first readings. They look SO young!!
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One of my favorite finds of the week from Flavorwire How to Drink Like Your Favorite Author
Here's a sample:
Drink: Boilermaker. For the uninitiated, a boilermaker is a whiskey shot paired with a beer, a drink that, needless to say, packs a lot of punch. Again, Bukowski was a big drinker, so it’s a little hard to nail it down, but even if this wasn’t his absolute favorite, we think it jives with his hardcore, drop dead drunk, party boy persona.
Motto: “That’s the problem with drinking, I thought, as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen.”
Spent an awesome weekend in Grand Junction for the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers' June educational workshop. Saw old friends and made plenty of new ones. My stay on the Western Slope was bookended by a wickedly fun road trip with author pals, Chris Goff (L) and Robin D Owens (here with host Vicki Law in the middle). We traded jokes and gossip, and if your ears were burning, then we were definitely gabbing about you.
Big Thanks to Marne Kirstatter and Vicki for their wonderful job making sure the workshop ran smooth as top shelf vodka.
As the headline instructor, Charlotte Cook dished tons of valuable writer know-how. Chris, Robin, and I were brought along to critique and offer our humble advice. Over all, we were mightily impressed with our fellow scribes on the far side of our home state.
We toured the remodeled downtown, which was decorated with statues ranging from the whimsical to the provocative to the commemorative, like this one of Grand Junction homie Dalton Trumbo--the acclaimed novelist (of the horrific Johnny Got His Gun) and screenwriter (Spartacus)--depicting the blacklisted writer scribbling in his bathtub.
<--Photo by Andrew Gulliford
The one nit this weekend was not having the time to plow through Robert Crais's newest mystery, The Sentry, which so far (at page 83) earns 100 Mario points. When I grow up, I want to write like Crais.
Kevin Hearne Hits Denver!
And Denver hits right back!!
Last night, UF author Kevin Hearne made his first official author stop at Who Else!Books . His back-to-back releases of three in the Iron Druid Chronicles (the third next month) is garnering reviews and raves. Well, why wouldn't they? Take a look at these covers:
Kevin is not only a great writer, but funny as well! He kept us entertained with his readings, wit, and general good nature--unlike Mario who was his usual...well, you know. Let me show you what I mean.
Here we are on our best behavior...fellow league members sharing a little good will.
Then Mario starts acting up....
And all hell breaks loose.
And Kevin with his family in the audience! (Although I did notice mom and wife snapping away, too. Daughter was trying hard to pretend she didn't know any of us.) Still, all I can say is shame, Mario, shame.
For you Denverites, there are signed copies of Kevin's books available at WhoElse!Books and you can call or stop by to get your very own!
I'll post more pictures of the signing on the League Blog later today.
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Well, HEXED is on its way, as is CHICKS KICK BUTT. Preliminary sales have been good and I want to thank you all for that. A little Anna Strong fix before CROSSROADS.
Speaking of which, Crossroads takes place on the Navajo Reservation in Monument Valley. I took a trip there several years ago and fell in love with the area. There are Navajo characters in the book and one thing I didn’t think of while writing it was that when the book is read for audio, the Navajo language would be difficult to deal with. My narrator Dina Pearlman contacted me for help and I had to refer her to the websites I used for translation. But I don't know how much help that will be. So, if there are any Navajo speakers out there, contact me and I’ll put you in touch with her!
I went to the grocery store this afternoon and for the first time, I saw my name on the cover of a book on the racks!!! HEXED was right there! That's fun.
But then I went on Amazon to read some HEXED reviews..I know, I know, I hear the groans out there. And really, I don't usually do this. But there was this from a reviewer:
"Blood Debt" by Stein. One star trash. Gratuitous profanity, then warehouse is misspelled 'wearhouse' and I stopped reading there. Might have gone two pages. I dropped this author's series at book two, and it was obvious she still has no idea about writing.
Okay, I just would like to set the record straight. Wearhouse was not misspelled. It's the name of a business, Men's Wearhouse, which is why it was in caps.
Okay, I've gotten that off my chest. Now I'm never going to read another Amazon review again. EVER.
The Iron Druid, Rage, and what's on the other side of the Swamp
In case you haven't tuned into the grapevine lately, urban fantasy scribe and fellow Leaguer Kevin Hearne will be coming to Denver this week. Wednesday, June 8, he'll be signing at the Broadway Book Mall at 7:30PM. Hexed and Hounded have been getting great reviews. Drop by and learn about the awesomeness that inspired these outstanding covers.
Another Leaguer, the razor-sharp and erudite Jackie Morse Kessler, gives her response to a Wall Street Journal article that used her YA novel Rage as an example of modern teen literature that exploits youth self-injury and other adolescent destructive behavior. As expected with these hatchet jobs, the article took pieces of Kessler's narrative out of context and didn't bother to interview her about why she thought to address the issue of self-injury in the book. Kessler speaks of self-destructive behavior from personal experience and uses her novels as a forum to bring light on these issues.
If you want to meet other Denver area writers, stop by the Creative Connections Expo, this Thursday, June 9, 2-7PM, at the Colorado Community Church, 3651 S Colorado Blvd, Englewood, CO 80113. The event is sponsored by the Creative Connections trade show and the Denver Writers Meetup’s Writer Services Fair. And it's FREE!
Besides doing yeoman duty for the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, I've got a busy schedule with Lighthouse Writer's LitFest. This Tuesday, I'll be at Denver Civic Theater with the Salon: The Final Word--On Final Words, where a panel of most-excellent authors: Eleanor Brown: David Wroblewski; and William Haywood Henderson--plus me--will slice-and-dice writing that part of the novel way past the tricky beginning and the swamp in the middle...I mean, THE END. For more info, check out this posting on the League blog.
Talking (Trailer) Trash
Okay--so that sounded much cleverer in my head then it looks on the page...but I came across trailers for some of my favorite programs--most starting in a month or two--that I thought I'd share. First, though, a word about my birthday trip to Havasu. Thanks to my daughter Jeanette and her significant other, Steve, we had a wonderful time. I took about three hundred pictures but haven't had a chance to go through them. You know how it is with digital cameras...you just keep snapping. I even took some video and if I can figure out how to post those, I will. Thanks to all of you, too, who shared birthday wishes on Facebook. And to my critique group for the cake last night and to Mario for this great book:
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Okay, on to the videos. First, the new Torchwood trailer:
Debuts on Starz 9 PM July 8
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Oooooo..True Blood Season IV
Watch for the new season on HBO June 26
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Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2, to be released on July 15
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From Blastr.com : The embarrassing moment Superman met Doctor Who
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Did you see this magazine on the stands?
Here's a first look at Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss in "The Hunger Games" from EW
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Bits & Bites...
June 7th is the release date for two anthologies in which I have stories.
HEXED - with Ilona Andrews, Yasmine Galenorn and Allyson James. My novella, Blood Debt, introduces a new love interest for Anna. But first she has to save his life, and her own.
Chicks Kick Butt featuring a host of authors including Rachel Caine, Lilith Saintcrow, Jenna Black and many others. My story, Superman, is a story taken from an episode in Crossroads. Max and Anna track down a rogue vampire on the Mexican border.
Johnny Depp has been talking about making a film version of the late 1960s gothic soap opera Dark Shadows for nearly four years. A tale of witches, vampires and other assorted creatures of the night, the project fits in perfectly with Depp's and director Tim Burton's sensibilities, but has taken a long time to actually get made, the two pairing on Sweeney Todd and Alice in Wonderland in the interim. Today the duo's dream is realized.
Warner Bros. has sent out a press release announcing that production on Dark Shadows has begun. Also included in the release is a full plot synopsis and cast list, which includes the previously unannounced Jonny Lee Miller, who will be playing Johnny Depp's bad-seed brother Roger, and Gulliver McGrath, who will be playing Roger's son. The full plot synopsis is below. If you don't wish to know anything about this project, then you probably shouldn't have clicked on this article.
As you can see, I didn't include the spoilers but you can check it out if you're curious...
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For the wordsmiths among us, what do you think is the most used word in the English language? Any guesses? Post your guess in comments and then check here to see if you're right!
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All I have to say about this next one is hmmmm...I know the economy is bad but you have to be really hard up for a job to let somebody do THIS to you!
By Chris Morran on June 1, 2011 12:15 PM The job interview process can be quite taxing to the applicant's mind, body and wallet, but at no point should it involve being tied up, flogged and tortured... right?
Authorities in suburban New York have arrested a man who did the above-mentioned things, and more, to men who thought they were applying for high security gigs in the intelligence-gathering industry.
The jobs were fake, but the pain was real.
According to the AP, between 2008 and 2010, a man recruited a handful of men for these imaginary jobs, saying he would help train them for their eventual work overseas. That "training" included stripping them down, whipping them and sticking needles under their fingernails.
Police found a kit in the man's car that included rope, needles, strapping tape... and vegetable oil. No mention of whether it was corn, canola or peanut oil.
The man was arraigned on 29 counts, including assault, criminal impersonation and forcible touching, and ordered held on $250,000 bail.
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One last thing from pal Kat Richardson. She's looking for minions...interested? Get details here. Sounds like a great idea. I think I'll enter. Maybe I'll even try it myself...any potential Anna Strong minions out there?