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, June 13, 2010
  Where I hide to find the Muse

Mario here:

This week it’s a look at where we writers go to find the Muse, fickle bitch that she can be and put her to work to help pay the rent.

But first. Major, MAJOR thanks to everyone for the HUGE turn out for Juliet Blackwell’s witchcraft interview. On top of that, last week, A Cast Off Coven was a B&N national bestseller--#4 in Mystery, #38 overall. Hoo-Rah!

We had such a great response that Juliet decided to give two sets of prizes.

The winners are:

Dana Fredst and ONe PiNK FiSH.

To claim your prize, send your snail mail address to Juliet at Julietblackwell dot net

The magic continues as Juliet Blackwell has another interview of A Cast-Off Coven at the Amber Katz blog.

Our pimpage bombardment attracted a lot of witchy allies such as the snarky and fun blog, Confessions Of A Pagan Soccer Mom.

Thanks so much to everyone.  Much witchiness to you all.

ALERT!  Felix Gomez is on Facebook!    Friend him HERE.  

And now...to our regularly scheduled programming.

In case no one has clued you in, writing is hard work.  It’s tough slogging through the word count, much less trying to cobble something worth reading.  And while we try to create a space at home conducive to creative thought and easy word flow, sometimes the walls crowd in and we need an escape.  When the words get stuck somewhere between our heads and hands, often a simple change of location can dislodge our thoughts and stimulate new ideas.  It’s a balance.  Too much silence and our thoughts echo in our heads.  Too much noise distracts us.  I think the right level of adjacent table conversation keeps us connected without swamping our inner voices.

So where do you hide?

Here’s a sampling of locations from my fellow authors in the League of Reluctant Adults.

Kat Richardson

I occasionally hide out at the bar or the counter in front of the pizza oven at the Hi-Life restaurant in Seattle. No writing ever happens there, alas. If I feel the need to work at a cafe, it might be the Fremont Coffee Company or the Barnes and Noble either at Northgate or Pacific Place.

Stacia Kane     I just sit on my couch.

Nicole Peeler

When I'm feeling a bit humdrum and uninspired, I just hop on a plane and go to my favorite little place on the Thames, where I can enjoy British hospitality and a pint of warm beer. 

I do have to be careful not to let the Queen know, or she's all, 'You must come to tea!' and I'm all, 'Ohhhh, Lizzie, you know I have to work!' and she's all, 'I have a beautifully verbose footman who can write that pesky book for you, quick as a wink!' and I'm all, 'Well, if you've made crumpets,' and she's all, 'Crumpets with marmalade!' and I'm all, 'Fuck it, you're on,' and she's all, 'Sweet, I'll call Phillip, let him know you're coming.'

It happens just like that, every time. Really.

Diana Rowland

I usually split my writing time between my living room couch or my Writing Lair.

The Lair gets less use in the winter because it gets stupid cold up there. It also gets less use when I’m tired, because I tend to drink more coffee when I’m tired and there’s no bathroom out in my lair which means I have to come back to the house to undrink the coffee. But the advantage of the Lair is that I’m better at settling in to work since there are far fewer distractions. If I ever get a decent influx of money, I’m going to have proper stairs built, because right now the only way to get up there is via Scary Ladder, and I know that I’m going to totally bust my ass one of these days.


On those times when I don’t want to do Lair or living room and have to get OUT of the house, I’ll sometimes pack the laptop up and go to the coffee shop at the Barnes & Noble. It can get kinda noisy, but I can usually make myself do a thousand words or so there, since I feel that if I don’t I’ve wasted the trip. There used to be a really terrific coffee shop near my house that had a whole back area that was just for people who wanted to do work-type stuff. Big tables, free internet, all that good stuff. But the whole chain went out of business last year, and I still haven’t found anyplace that’s as good.


I also bring my laptop to my daughter’s karate classes. I have close to an hour of free time there, and can usually get some work done. The best thing I ever did was shell out the $$ for a Toughbook. It’s light and small, with a full-size keyboard and Windows XP, and it’s durable enough that I can stuff it into my purse and not worry too much about it getting banged around.

Mark Henry


I have a perfectly good office at home, with all the necessary comforts (coffee pot, office chair that leans back, plenty of streaming porn and a seemingly endless supply of tissues), but when it comes to writing I always seem to have to get out of the house to get anything done, get away from the internet to kick start myself. I have a few places that seem to work and one that I threw in just to see.


My "go-to" hideout is my old college library which is about 20 minutes from home. The place looks like a mental institution but it's quiet and I never have a problem snatching my two favorite spots (a desk in the back corner, with an awesome view, or a spot right in the middle of the reading room). Interesting fact: the college is catholic and houses a rather large monastery, so occasionally, while I'm writing a monk will come in and read the paper--always at the same desk as myself--it lulls me into a stupor, the sound of the paper turning in the otherwise quiet space. I fear I'm being seduced. Do with that what you will.


My Wednesday spot is the Lakewood Barnes and Noble. Where I have access to the internet (and shouldn't because I end up taking pictures of people and texting them to friends--I know it's wrong, don't judge). They know me there and always ask how things are going. Bad, I tell them. Very. Very. Bad. (don't tell but I always check my stock of books there every week, the same two books--signed--have been sitting there since the beginning of time. I'd suggest handselling, but these folk are more in the mood for jokes. "Someone should write a zombie romance!" LOLz and ROFLs.

On alternate Friday's, I meet up with friends and try to pound out a few words in public, mostly Synde (of Cemetery Cat designs) though the roster has included Kat Richardson (Greywalker) and Richelle Mead (obscure writer of young adult vampire fiction). One of our favorite places it Trophy Cupcakes in Wallingford. Not only do they have the BEST cupcakes anywhere (and I've done comparisons) they've got some surprisingly private seating for talking shit about the publishing industry, other writers (such as Mario), and generally chowing down. Love it there.


This week I gave a place called Old Skool Pizza a shot. It's a divey joint in Olympia, our capital, which smells less of legislature and more of unshaven women's armpits, but that's neither here nor there. The place has two things going for it. Fucking awesome pizza and Joan Jett posters watching over me like little baby jesuses everywhere. I can't say as I got much work done, but I sure enjoyed the andouille sausage and roasted garlic pizza.


As for me, I have several.  The closest is Fluid Coffee Shop, about a ten minute walk from home. 

Michaelangelo’s is a great spot on the drive to my mailbox.  The Market on Larimer is where I’ve copy-edited most of my work.  It’s the best place for a marathon session because you can go from morning coffee to lunch and finish with dinner and beer without having to leave your table.

And finally, another contest.

To promote their new book, Shade of Gray, co-authors Jackie Kessler and Caitlin Kittredge, have a contest.  For details, go HERE.

It pays to play.

Enjoyed reading about the writing haunts of all these authors. They have really fun voices. Makes me want to check out their books!
Sorry I meant to sign about enjoying the haunts - Karen Lin (anonymous just doesn't quite flow, though it does sound a bit like tonight's hair style).
OH, this post is really fun! Look at everyone!
Fun post! Great to know I'm not the only one who runs away from my perfectly nice home office. When I lived in Seattle I used to go to the Fremont Coffee Company, too!
Hearth Cricket
Great post. I loved Mark's comment about his old college and the monastery. I just got a job at one of my alma matters and don't hide in the library, I sit on the patio where I can watch the ocean while I type...I mean eat lunch, lol
Suzanne: I wish I could go and watch the ocean. The mud puddles outside my window don't count.
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