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!

Sunday, March 31, 2013
  Zombies, tweakers, and debauched amphibians
Mario here:

What I'm reading:


Pulse by Jeremy Robinson.

Get your pencils ready--real or virtual--because I have a boatload of people to pimp.

Saturday night at Lighthouse Writers Workshop I got to meet Peter Stenson, author of the forthcoming Fiend. How's this for the logline? Breaking Bad meets The Walking Dead. That alone is worth fifty gallons of undead blood spatter. Preorder your copy from Amazon.

Next up, more pimpage for an amazing writer, Julie Kazimer. Her sarcastic takes on urban fantasy may seem breezy and light, but they are loaded with cleverness and wit. She puts a keen hard-boiled and pervy spin to her f***ked up fairy tales. Plus, she was banned for being too racy for the blue bloods of Methminster Westminster. Read what the Denver Post says of Kazimer's latest, Froggy Style.

Way back when, my sister passed along an ARC from Jennie Shortridge and I've been hooked on her work ever since. She's coming to Denver within the next two weeks for the signing of her fifth novel,  Love Water Memory, Wednesday April 10 at the LoDo Tattered Cover and then for a workshop on voice at Lighthouse, Saturday, April 13.  Unfortunately, Shortridge's sales may be hurt because she's caught in a turf battle between her publisher Simon & Schuster and Barnes & Noble. So stick it to the Man. Go to the Tattered Cover and buy an armload of copies.

And gargantuan congratulations to Jason Heller and the staff of Clarkesworld Magazine for their Hugo nomination for Best Semiprozine. And to John Picacio, for yet another nomination for Best Professional Artist.

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Thursday, March 28, 2013
  On the Road..
Jeanne here: Writing this from Las Vegas after a thirteen hour drive...should have taken eleven but we hit snow around the tunnel and it was practically a white-out until we got through Vail Valley. But here it's 80 degrees...staying with good friends Patty and Jay Salam and then on to Havasu to visit with the daughter.

Couple of quick hits-- think those who work on the publishing side of the business make big bucks? Think again...check out this  link  on what your editor really makes. Of course, this doesn't take into account any  bonuses that might be paid for finding the next JK Rowling.

And for those of you who may have missed it, CBS Sunday Morning had a bit about erotica and featured Ellora's Cave and author Desiree Holt. It's interesting. The bit was called The Popularity of Mommy Porn, a title which I personally think has a big ick factor...

More next time, I promise
Sunday, March 24, 2013
  Nothing succeeds like success

Mario here:

What I'm reading this week: In The Woods by Tana French.

Getting published is an emotional boxing match, you versus Goliath. Unless you got an enchanted sling and rock in your backpack, expect a long, bruising battle. You pour yourself into your work, and it's so easy for an agent to say no. Once upon a time, they had to take minutes to scrawl a negative missive on your letter and stuff it into an SASE. Now with the magic of the Internet, rejection takes seconds. David Cameron performed an experiment to demonstrate how myopic the process can be. He copied a short story published in The New Yorker, thinking here is a work that had been vetted by the top pooch in the dog pile of American short fiction, and so it must easily pass any literary smell test. But no. Every magazine he submitted the story to, rejected it. Including The New Yorker. What did Cameron prove? That the system was unfair? Waa, waa! Like that's a surprise.

For the past couple of weeks, millions of computer bytes have been chewed up regarding Hugh Howey, the success of his novel Wool, and what that means in the publishing world. Many have hyper-ventilated in their claims that Howey's experience with Kindle was a game changer for writers. Namely that us hacks no longer needed the blessing of the New York Six to make money from our work. We can all get rich self-publishing our ebooks. After all, Howey turned down seven-figure advances. But not so fast. What Howey proved was to demonstrate that old truism: If people can make money from you, they will come knocking. And, like Howey, you can turn down their deals if you got plenty of fuck you money in your pocket. Howey hadn't done anything that others haven't tried. Some with better success than others. (A few friends have managed to quit their day jobs; others have yet to sell more than a half-dozen copies.) Howey happened to have the alignment of the stars, some luck, and a damn good story well told. Have self-pubbed ebooks changed the market? Only by 25%. That means 75% of book sales are still in traditional paper form.

Though we've pimped them before, to keep the pump primed of some deserving writers recently venturing into the self-pubbed ebook swamp, including our own Jeanne, please patronize these offerings. If you already have copies, then please post a review and hustle the books to your friends.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013
  Signs of Spring
Jeanne here:

And one more thing. I put my first Kindle book up on Amazon...Cloud City...it's an Anna Strong novella and if you'd like to check it out, here's the link 
and the cover:

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Writers spend a lot of time talking about money...and even more time thinking about it. On one of my loops, I came across this post by Lawrence Block on getting by on a writer's income. It was posted a year ago, but it's as relevant now as ever.

Here's just one quote that I can relate to:

Let Financial Need Be a Spur, Not a Sledgehammer
Mickey Spillane has told of the time when he was living on an offshore island, spending a lot of time on the beach and generally taking life easy. “I decided it would be fun to write a story,” he recalls, “but I couldn’t get an idea. I took long walks, I sat at the typewriter, but I couldn’t seem to come up with an idea. Then one day I got a call from my accountant. He said the money was starting to run short. And you know what? All of a sudden I started getting one idea after the other.”

Now I realize I'm lucky...I don't have to live on my income. It's a good thing really.  But writing is certainly a crapshoot and one should never forget that!!

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This is so cool!!  I joined!! Veronica Mars Kickstarter Program! I loved this show...

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Wondering what to do when you retire? Turn your house into a bookstore

Ever wish you had a bookstore in your living room? It's not unusual for some people to have large home libraries, but those are private spaces; now, a Japanese couple has worked with Atelier Bow-Wow to design a home that's intended to be open to the public. 

When the couple retired, they moved to Izu, a vacation area in Japan, and decided to build a home. They told the architects they wanted "a house with a bookshop and a cafe where neighbors and visitors can stop by," according to Japan Architecture Urbanism. A bedroom and guest room are tucked behind the shop and cafe. 

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Last but not least: two Reluctant Leaguers with new books for your enjoyment

Jackie Morse Kessler 


Contrary to popular belief, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse aren’t just harbingers of doom—they actually keep life in balance. But what happens when their leader and creator, Death, becomes suicidal?
Before the first living thing drew its first gasping breath, he was there. He has watched humanity for millennia. And he has finally decided that humanity is not worth the price he has paid time and again. When Death himself gives up on life, a teenager named Xander Atwood is the world's only hope. But Xander bears a secret, one that may bring about the end of everything.
This heart-pounding final installment of the Riders of the Apocalypse series looks at the value of life, the strength of love, and how a small voice can change everything . . . forever.

Check it out here:  Amazon

Next Mark Henry

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Jeremy, an infamous foot fetishist doomed to the quirkiest 12-step group ever, falls off the wagon spectacularly when he meets Beverly. She is a "beneather", one of an alien species living alongside us after rising from the depths of the ocean. She is perfect for Jeremy. Smart. Beautiful. Great feet. But does Beverly's reciprocation smack of a sinister and slimy secret? Will Jeremy's probation officer revoke his freedom before he meets a bitter, sweaty end? And more importantly, did someone remember to bring donuts and coffee to the 12-step group?

In this short tale of aliens, foot fetishism and life choices gone horribly awry, Mark Henry returns to his roots, stirring up comedy and horror, muddling in a little sex and serving it up ice cold.

 Get it at Amazon here

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Monday, March 18, 2013
  For less than a dollar
Mario here:

What I'm reading.

Just finishing Swamplandia by Karen Russell.

And have started On The Grind by Stephen J. Cannell.

 Update your calendars! Denver Post U hosts the seminar, The Story Behind The Story. Local authors Manuel Ramos, Mark Stevens, and Sandra Dallas will discuss how they develop and research their stories. Wednesday, April 3, 5:30-7:30PM, at the Denver Post Auditorium. The event is free but you gotta sign up.

Over at Jane Freidman's Writer Unboxed, she gives us five publishing trends we scribes should heed. One of them is the usual: exercise due diligence with your contracts. With the rise and importance of ebook rights, you should see how and when you can get your digital rights back.

Thankfully, she also says that writers (and by that I understand to mean fiction writers), and especially new writers, should bag the whole author-building platform. Instead, write and write well.

What can you get for less than a dollar? Hell, it seems that won't even buy a candy bar. But you can get some darn good short fiction from writer pal, Bonnie Ramthun. 99 cents snags you her new short story, Blood Print.

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013
  Jim Butcher, New Star Trek, Much Ado About Nothing, and other good stuff
This week: a new book deal for Jim Butcher and some vidya's (homage to Aaron Ritchey) for you to enjoy.

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For you Jim Butcher fans from mediabistro:

The Dresden Files novelist Jim Butcher has inked a seven figure deal for three books in a new steampunk series.

The Cinder Spires series will begin with The Aeronaut’s Windlass. Publishers Weekly broke the news, reporting that Donald Maass Literary agent Jennifer Jackson negotiated the deal with Anne Sowards.

Here’s more from Butcher’s official site: At the Reddit AMA a few months ago, Jim said, “It’s kinda League of Extraordinary Gentlemen meets Sherlock meets Hornblower. There are goggles and airships and steam power and bizarre crystal technology and talking cats, who are horrid little bullies.” Jim is still writing the first book, The Aeronaut’s Windlass, so we don’t have a release date yet. We’ll let you know as soon as there’s something to announce!

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In case you ever wondered...video below from galleycat:

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I screwed up and thought I was publishing this THIS week and instead it got tacked on to last week's blog so I'm repeating it here:

Another geek treasure too good to miss!!

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And in case you missed this:

 Coming to a theater near you in June!!!

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No covers yet to share...hopefully soon!! In the meantime, a St. Patrick Day wish:

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Sunday, March 03, 2013
  Hook me up
Mario here:

What I'm reading this week: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.

Weapons-grade pimpage for your edification.

Critique buddy Aaron Ritchey is presenting another of his awesome classes. Let his writing magic rub off on you.

Over at the ITW Big Thrill, check out my interview with the writing team of Maynard-Sims about their mystery thriller, Dark of the Sun. They've nailed the Caribbean ambience right on. You smell the open water and feel the sway of the boat as they navigate through murder.

Don't forget this Wednesday, March 6. A fundraiser for Apparatus Publishing at Flatiron Coffee, in Boulder. 6PM. Readings by Jesse Bullington, Julie Kazimer, and me.

Plus, I'm teaching a 4-week workshop for Lighthouse Writers, Writing Your First Mystery.

And now, our first Dirty Sanchez of Shame Award goes to Random House for their Hydra ebook publishing venue. We all know that ebook sales have exploded, and that ebook self-publishing has become a viable option for many authors. What Random House has done is sneaky-snaked into that opportunity by packaging an ebook-only deal that strikes many writers as too similar to smelly vanity-press contracts. You as a writer get a fifty-fifty split with the publisher (not too different from  other ebook publishers), but it's a tar-baby life-of-copyright contract that you're stuck to. Plus, the only advance to you is that the costs of publication are applied against future royalties, meaning no out-of-pocket fees. But expenses are counted against net proceeds which means you might not ever see one dollar paid to you, and you have no control over those expenses. So beware.

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