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Meet An Author Tuesday

Today's guest is Margarita Felices, and her book is called "Judgement of Souls."

If you have to find a sacred book in order to redeem your parents, find and kill Max, the person responsible for their punishment. The same man that broke your heart and turned your perfect world upside down and try to keep the mortal man you now love safe from this vindictive Vampire’s sword, then you should read Rachel’s story.

JUDGMENT OF SOULS is a Gothic horror in which a na├»ve pureblood Vampire is tossed into the mortal world. Rachel meets Daniel, a nightclub owner and his group of friends and after Daniel’s best friend is murdered by Max, becomes embroiled in the search for an ancient Vampire artifact. Rachel tries to fight off her feelings for Daniel, even siding with her Vampire friend Arun to think again about Daniel’s involvement, but he’s her love and she’s going to protect him, no matter what.

Rachel, Daniel and Arun’s quest would immediately excite readers of Stephenie Meyer's The Twilight Saga, Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake Vampire Hunter and L.J. Smith's Vampire Diaries books. Rachel is a Vampire of today: conflicted, compassionate, idealistic and now extremely dangerous. She’s kind, thoughtful and also a vicious killer. JUDGMENT OF SOULS is the first of a proposed series of three books that will chronicle her life from leaving the safety of the Vampire Elysium to her subsequent battle with Max that spans over 300 years. The first book will lead with the discovery of the book by Rachel’s father in the Crusades and finish with Rachel’s birth. The second will follow Rachel as she searches for Max travelling from continent to continent; she will make her first ever mortal friend only to see her murdered by Max. She will encounter a mysterious Count heading for execution in the French revolution and a run in with a group of Vampire killers called the Righteous. These novels will be blood thirsty and violent, but along the way there will be tales of love and romance and heartbreak.

Q) What inspired you to write this story?
I've had this story in my head for too long. I wanted to write a different type of vampire story. For so long we’ve had the same type, I wanted to modernise it a bit, have them act differently, not always having that murderous thirst. It started out very different though. I soon realised I had to change it. I’m glad I did.

Q) How long did it take you to write?
I'm ashamed to say JOS3 has taken me 5 years. But that was mainly because of
my work. I had a job that took me away from it for 9 months, I didn't write a
thing during that time. I'm hoping that this next one will be written and edited by

Q) What is your favorite thing about writing?
The way the story takes a direction, it’s such an adventure. I start to write about one thing but it takes me somewhere else and it's always full of surprises. And I love being involved in the lives of my characters, they're friends to me and I care about them.

Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing?
Trying to find someone who would want to publish it once it was finished. I loved writing JOS3, I did get a few blank mind days, but it didn’t last and then you’d be on your way again. And then once you did find a publisher, you get an editor who decides to cut your story down and sends you suggestions for re-writes. It was hard cutting out sections because some of them you liked, but they know their job so you take notice. My corrections and edits took four months!

Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
I’m skipping this question. It’s not me being arrogant or anything like that; I just don’t know who I’d like to be – even for a day. I could suggest lots of people that I admire, but none that I’d like to be.

Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?
That must be a jam or a sauce or something similar and might be at least a year old. I try to keep it all clean and up to date, though but you can never help one of those bottles reading 2010 can you?

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
Well Judgement of Souls is a trilogy. I started at the end and I'm working my way
backwards. After all three are written I may do a few stories about my main
characters searching for occult artifacts. I have a few other stories that are written as scripts which I'd love to re-write into short stories.

This is the link to JOS3.

And if anyone wants to get hold of me, they can go here and any messages will be forwarded to me from them. My website will be ready soon... it's having a few tweeks!

Movie Review Monday

Fright Night (1985)

A classic old film. I know I've seen it once before, but I couldn't remember what happened. I wanted to watch it again because the remake is coming out and I want to be able to compare and contrast.

The film is about Charley, a high school student who discovers that his neighbor is a vampire. This, of course, doesn't make the neighbor happy, so Charlie finds himself fighting for his life.

By today's standards, the graphics in the film were subpar. I thought they were fun, though. I mean, back then, they had to do all the special effects with models and claymation. CGI didn't exist. The one scene where Evil is transforming back from a wolf into a human, that was kind of creepy. The creature was not right. My kids definitely can't watch that movie until they're older. That would have scared the crap out of them!

I liked the film. I was picking it apart as I watched, attempting to find the deeper meaning. I think I found some of the hidden messages (missing fathers/father figures that destroy the family, teens who are corrupted by the adult generation), but I would need to sit down and watch it a few more times to figure them all out. As a mindless film, it was an enjoyable watch. We own it, so I can watch it any time.

I'm very excited to see the remake. Colin Farrell plays Jerry Dandrige. I'm pretty sure there will be more blood in the new one. And I'm pretty sure the graphics will be better. I'll let you know how it compares after I see it!

This Week in Writing

I started chapter 6 of my dragon story. I've finally got a schedule down, so things are going well. I started working on this story on a weekend, when it was just me and the boys, so it began with a pen and a notebook. It's a lot easier to do it on paper when it's me and the kids because dropping paper in an emergency isn't as detrimental as dropping a computer.

I thought it might be fun to write the whole novel out, see how it went (that's how I used to do it back in the day). I was about halfway through chapter 5 when I decided it wasn't fun anymore. My wrist hurt and my finger was cramping. I typed up the material I had, then started work on the new chapter. Let me tell you, it's a lot easier typing. Although, I will still hand write when it's just me and the boys!

I'm almost done with my current editing assignment. While that's with the author, I plan on focusing solely on the dragon story. I've been thinking about some short stories, but nothing is screaming to be written. I'm going to enjoy the silence of the voices and work on one story for a while.

A couple weeks ago, the boys decided they wanted to go to the Dollar Store. We walked down the toy aisle, and they oohed and aahed over everything. The 4 year old found what he wanted pretty quickly, but the 2 year old took his time. He walked to the girl's side and picked up a fairy doll.

"Me want that," he said.

His brother walked up to him. "That's a girl's toy. You don't want a girl's toy."

"Yeah. Me want that."

I didn't care. It was his money, he could get whatever he wanted.

"Why?" his bother inquired.

"She has a butt," was the 2 year old's response.

Oh, crap! I thought. Someone save me now!

In the end, he decided on something else, but at least he knows that girls have butts and can appreciate them. Have a great weekend!

Trudging Along

I was just getting back into the swing of things, recovering from the holidays, then the kids got sick. Which means I got sick. Thankfully, it didn't take long for everyone to feel better.

I've been busy, busy, busy. Editing, writing, working my evil day jobs. Haven't had much downtime, but I guess that's what the holidays were for. I have had a few moments of hanging out with friends, and those have been lovely. I need to do that more often.

Things are shaping up pretty nicely for 2012, I must admit. I think I forgot to mention, but I signed two contracts for some works a couple of weeks ago. One was for my sequel, "Death to the Undead," and the other was for a short collection of stories, "The Devil Made Me Do It." I have some more submissions out there, and I'm optimistic someone will pick them up.

As you know, I've also changed my Tuesday posting to highlight an author/artist. I put some announcements on some boards I'm a member of, and I'm booked through May. June is filling up fast. I will be introducing you to many wonderful writers!

January is almost over, so 2012 isn't really new anymore. I'm looking forward to the ups and downs, and hoping the ups are waaaay better than the downs!

Finding Time

Last week on my Editorial Advice blog, Michelle had a really great question: How do I juggle them and still make sure they are as polished as they can be (and still have time to eat and sleep)?

She was involved in several different rounds of edits and a work in progress. I answered her the simplest way I knew how: Prioritize. I thought it merited a deeper look.

I work two part-time jobs, have children who will soon be 3 and 5, two dogs, and a spouse. I freelance edit for two publishers and I write. Trust me, there isn't enough time in the day to accomplish what I need to accomplish. I'm sure many of you have very busy lives, too. Sadly, things don't take care of themselves. (Stupid laundry! Wash yourself!)

So how do I do it? Like I said, I prioritize. What has the closest deadline? That one is obviously the most important, so I work on that. Things will be sacrificed, they have to. No one can do it all. So, if that work in progress isn't due, you might have to put it away for a while. I know it's more fun to create a new story and meet new characters than it is to reread a story for the third or forth time, but (I assume) that one is being published. That one is going out to the world! As soon as you're done, work on something else. Time management is extremely important.

It's not a secret that the publishing world moves slightly faster than erosion, which means there's a lot of down time between projects. Use that to get all of the stuff off your plate. While one story is with the editor, work on something else. After I've sent an author their edits, I work on my own stuff. Sometimes, I break the day up. I'll spend a couple hours working on edits, then another couple hours working on something new.

Don't ever forget to take some time off. You will burn out if you don't. Even if it's just a day or afternoon, it's always good to recharge!

Meet An Author Tuesday

MIDNIGHT OIL - Book 2 of the Witches of Galdorheim

Shipwrecked on a legendary island, how can a witch rescue her boyfriend if she can’t even phone home?

Kat discovers that an evil forest spirit has kidnapped her brand-new boyfriend. She sets out with her brother, Rune, from her Arctic island home on a mission to rescue the boy. Things go wrong from the start. Kat is thrown overboard during a violent storm, while her brother and his girlfriend are captured by a mutant island tribe. The mutants hold the girlfriend hostage, demanding that the teens recover the only thing that can make the mutants human again–the magical Midnight Oil.

Mustering every bit of her Wiccan magic, Kat rises to the challenge. She invokes her magical skills, learns to fly an ultralight, meets a legendary sea serpent, rescues her boyfriend, and helps a friendly air spirit win the battle against her spiteful sibling. On top of it all, she’s able to recover the Midnight Oil and help the hapless mutants in the nick of time.

Also in the Witches of Galdorheim series:

Bad Spelling: Released October 2011
A klutzy witch, a shaman's curse, a quest to save her family. Can Kat find her magic in time?

Scotch Broom: Scheduled for Spring of 2012
A magical trip to Stonehenge lands a witch in the Otherworld where an ancient goddess is up to no good.

Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a free ebook.

Marva’s websites
MuseItUp Buy Page
Book Trailer

NOTE: The Midnight Oil trailer is featured on this month’s You Gotta Read Videos. Voting is open from January 21st-26th, so please vote for #20.

Join Me At:
Twitter Handle: @Gurina


Kat’s grandfather has come to the witches’ island to collect his son’s frozen body for transport to Siberia for burial. The witches believe that Kat’s almost-dead father should have a proper send-off.

The crowd hushed as Ardyth moved forward to stand before the black-draped altar. She drew two candleholders from her carryall and set them on the cloth. She placed a black candle in one and a white candle in the other. Next, she stood a carved-stone pentacle on a simple oak base midway between the candles. Her preparations complete, Ardyth lit the candles with a flick of her finger then took a half step back and raised her open hands to head height. With her palms facing toward the ice-encased body, she bowed her head. The others followed her lead for a moment of silence.

Taking a deep breath, Ardyth raised her head and spoke. “The pentacle symbolizes man. This man, my beloved Boris….” her voice constricted, she took a deep breath and then continued, “is moving on to the next phase of life, leaving this one behind.”

The other Wiccans murmured the traditional response, “Peace be.”

“These candles represent the duality of nature—light and dark, male and female, sun and moon.”

“Peace be.”

Ardyth lowered her hands and looked at Kat. When her mother stepped back, Kat moved to stand by the altar. She laid a circlet of flowers on the altar and looked with sad eyes at the shadowy form of her frozen father.

“These flowers stand for the eight virtues: mirth, reverence, honor, humility, strength, beauty, power, and compassion. All these we wish for my father in his journey.”

“Peace be.”

Kat moved back, and Thordis took her place. “We welcome the Guardians to our presence.”

With her palms pressed together, Thordis pointed north. “Earth,” she intoned. She turned to face west. “Air.” She completed the circle with “Fire,” and “Water.” She faced the body again. “May the guardian elements protect our brother on his journey to his next life.”

“Peace be.”

Thordis nodded to Ivansi, who hesitated for a second before stepping slowly to the altar. Kat’s heart swelled with a sudden surge of admiration for her grandfather. His culture had taught him to fear and mistrust witches his whole life, yet here he was participating in a ceremony with them. Kat could only guess at the courage it took for him to come forward.

Ivansi removed a small, sheathed knife from the pouch at his belt. Pulling it from the sheath, he grasped the knife by the blade with both hands and held it out, elaborately-carved hilt first, toward his son. He spoke with solemn tones in the Sami language for a few sentences and then carefully placed the knife on the altar touching Kat’s flowers. He bowed his head for a second and whispered something else in Sami. Kat didn’t know what he said, but she felt her grandfather’s love for his son.

When he straightened and moved back from the altar, the mourners intoned, “Peace be,” and slowly shuffled out of the cavern.

“Well, that’s that.” Thordis clapped her hands. “Now, all we need to do is cut out enough ice to keep Boris frozen until he gets home.” The witch turned to the ice, pointing at a spot well away from the body. A point of purple light appeared. “About here look okay to you, Ardyth?”

Ardyth wiped a tear from her eye. “That ought to do it.”

Better Late than Never

You can check out my guest blog here. Enjoy!

Movie Review Monday

Will not be seen today because I'm supposed to have a guest blog on another site. It hasn't popped up yet, and I haven't received permission to post. Sooooo, I will keep my eye out and post the link when (if) there is one.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

This Week in Writing

I'm pretty sure I turned in the final version of my nonfiction book. I was told to pick out pictures, the editor reordered my chapters, and he sent an author questionnaire. I'm not exactly sure when it's supposed to come out, but I'll keep you informed.

I finished the content edit I was working on. That allowed me to finish chapter 3 of my dragon story and start on chapter 4. I've been handwriting this novel because it's easier than being chained to my computer, especially when it's just me and the kids. I got chapters 1 and 2 typed up, but then I decided to move forward with the project.

I'm hoping to get some work done this weekend, but we shall see how that goes. Things have been crazy in my house lately. *sigh* I'll find a way to survive.

A Really Good Reason to NOT Let a Dog Lick You

He might have been drinking from the toilet...after a 2 year old pooed in it!

That is the boys' toilet adapter around his neck. I hope he enjoyed it! Have a great weekend!

A Wonderful Review

My friend, Mary Palmer, was kind enough to read Life After the Undead and write a review. You can find her blog here and her books on Amazon.

She says:

Your book uses all of the elements of a horror story: It's gory and graphically gruesome with unyielding vicious characters. It has exciting, vivid descriptions clearly illustrating man's inhumanity--or zombies inhumanity--to man. Krista and Quinn, the gentle people, are well characterized. But Krista can rise to the occasion. That's seen when she kills zombies and proves that survival is man's strongest instinct. She also has her own quirk of personality: She blames her parents for dying and leaving her, calling their failure to protect her bad judgment. Her resentment almost makes her seem like a tragic heroine. Is it possible that she has to have an excuse for their deaths? Is hate substituting for love?

Although I rarely read vampire-type stories, I found yours fascinating. I probably have an unusual way of viewing it. I see the zombies as a metaphor for all problems humans face. They represent the evil we have to overcome to save our souls and get to heaven. Part of the difficulty is that they have to be dealt with straight on. You can't reason with them; it's futile to try. And you can't just destroy part of them, you must get to the core, the brain. Unlike ordinary humans, when almost all else is gone, the zombies survive. I see all of this as symbolic of the horror in the world today.

It seems that way behind this story is a disillusionment with this crazy world we live in. The government knew the danger of these zombies, they hid them from the public and didn't do enough to prevent them escaping. That seems to be a comment on real governments, and their officials, hiding things from their citizens.

I especially appreciated Krista's philosophy that life can change, but we all have to change it. And I liked the idea that instead of building a wall, people should find out how the plague started, stop it and keep it from happening again.

I like her youth because it shows how, in a crisis, you have to learn at a young age how to protect yourself, if not the zombies, symbolic of the greedy, manipulative people in the world, will control you.

Krista's strong instincts are those of all of us. She needs her own space, someone to trust and someone to give her hope. When she has to clean house, I see that as symbolic of cleaning up a mess in life while realizing that what is done shouldn't be done selfishly, but for the greater good of the whole.

It's interesting that Liet is an ex-con. He seems like a protector to Krista but he shows a callous, unmerciful side. Will he be revealed as evil, too?

All in all, the zombies are symbolic of the horror in the world today, the lack of good values, and it suggests that the way they're dealt with will determine our future and our fate.

Thanks so much for a good read. The tension and fast pacing keeps your interest.

Editorial Advice

I'm involved in several different aspects of publishing. I'm an author and an editor. At one point, I was even reading submissions and deciding their fate. I don't do much of that anymore, which is probably a good thing. I shouldn't have that much power. Mwahahaha!

As an editor, I wanted to give some pointers on how to make the editing process painless for all those involved. This is just a small list, and perhaps in the future I will give you more.

1. Put your email address on your story. I know this sounds like common sense, but you'd be amazed how many times I've had to track an email address down. You know I have to talk to you, so make it easy on both of us, and put your information where I can find it. I don't care if it's on the title page or in the header, just make it available. It wastes my time and the publishers if I have to hound them for your email address.

2. Format your manuscript. Again, this sounds like common sense, and with all the strict submission guidelines, you would think it wouldn't be a problem. However, some companies have fairly loose standards when it comes to formatting. BUT, that doesn't mean you should. Make your manuscript look professional and legible! Yes, eventually it will be formatted to the publisher's standard, but make reading it easier on me. I can't tell you how frustrating it is to try and figure out where paragraph breaks are. And use the "page break" function for chapters. Putting in extra spaces convolutes things. If you don't know how to put in a page break, use Help to find out.

3. I'm going to find mistakes. That's what I get paid for. I have a Master's in English, I write, AND I edit, and editors still find mistakes in my stories. No one's perfect. I enjoy when an editor goes through my work because it's only going to make things better. However, some of their suggestions don't always jive with what I want to happen in my story. I will probably make suggestions in a story that the author won't agree with, and that's fine. Let's talk about it. Figure out what's going to work best. I'm not an ogre, and it is your story. We can work things out.

Most editors are there to help your story out. They want it to be the best it can. But remember, we aren't miracle workers. It's a give and take on both sides, and you still have to do your part!

Meet an Author Tuesday

For my first guest, I would like to introduce Lisa Lane. Lisa Lane shares her humble home with a philosopher, two cats, a feisty gecko, and a geriatric turtle. She writes erotic sci-fi romance and erotic horror, but also has a clear passion for speculative fiction and postmodern literary elements.

Her vampire trilogy THE DARKNESS AND THE NIGHT pushes the conventional boundaries between romance and horror. The trilogy has received enthusiastic reviews from respected authorities on erotica and horror, such as Penthouse Forum and Bitten by Books. Her space operas, LUST IN SPACE and PANDORA'S HOPE, push time, space, and love to their furthest limits and have won numerous reviewer and readers' choice awards. She also writes speculative science fiction, particularly dystopia and satire, under the name Leigh M. Lane.

Author links:




Q) What inspired you to write this story?
A) “Insatiable” is a short sequel to my erotic horror trilogy The Darkness and the Night. While the series is inspired by a novel I co-wrote with my twin sister, based on recurring dreams we incidentally shared, this particular story was based on a hypnogogic nightmare I had in which ghouls emerged from the walls and came at me from all directions. I knew I needed to write a story around that terrifying moment. When the very talented Inara LaVey and Kilt Kilpatrick asked me to contribute to their Angels and Demons anthology, I jumped on it.

Q) How long did it take you to write?
A) Like most of my short stories, I wrote it in one shot then took a few days to redraft.

Q) What is your favorite thing about writing?
A) I love the escape. It’s like watching a movie or reading a good book. I love finishing a story, especially a novel, and the feeling of accomplishment that comes with it. I love sharing what I’ve written with others, especially when I know I’ve written something particularly unique or provocative.

Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing?
A) Redrafting. It’s a necessary component to writing, but I generally detest doing it.

Q) If you could be any famous person, who would you be and why?
A) This is probably going to sound insane, but I cannot think of anyone else I’d rather be. All lives have their good and their bad, and most famous people seem to experience extremes in both. I’ll take my quiet, humble life over any celebrity’s.

Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge?
A) A1 steak sauce.

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
A) I have more erotica in the wings, some scary, some kinky, and some even humorous. I also have a non-erotic horror I’m currently shopping based on Edgar Allan Poe’s mysterious death. I have a few other serious sci-fi stories screaming at me for their attention right now, and it’s anyone’s guess as to which of them will win out.

Movie Review Monday

Green Lantern (2011)

Finally, I was able to see this movie. I've wanted to see it since the previews, but somehow, time got away from me.

There is nothing more wonderful than being able to sit and watch a movie and not have to think. I love suspending disbelief and just going with the flow. That's the beautiful thing about superheroes, they don't have to make a lot of sense. As long as they kick butt and save the world, who cares how implausible their origins are?

Give me a movie with explosions and eye candy, and I'm happy.

Green Lantern is one of my favorite superheroes. Who wouldn't want a ring that created anything you could imagine? Plus, when Ryan Reynolds plays Hal Jordan, life is good!

The film had a good story line. It wasn't a new one, good versus evil, but there's something comforting in that notion. Isn't that why we're such superhero fans? Because we know the good guy is going to prevail? There are bumps and obstacles along the way, but the hero always overcomes them, he always saves the day.

I'm hoping they make the sequel. They set Sinestro up perfectly to be the bad guy in the next one. Why doesn't anyone find it convenient that he's the only one who survives an attack by Parallax? No one's curious why he's the one who gets the yellow ring? Come on, people! Think!

It helps that I watch Batman: The Brave and the Bold, so I know he's a bad guy. I could be wrong, but I kinda doubt it. Watching that movie really makes me want to get into comic books, but I don't have the time or the money. Maybe I can start pushing my kids in that direction!

This Week in Writing

It's been a very busy week. Edits, edits, edits. Like I mentioned yesterday, I got the cover image for my nonfiction book. I also had to go through and pick out photos for the inside. I got that accomplished, so now I have to go through, do some formatting, and add in the spots where the photos are going to go. I have a busy weekend ahead of me.

I haven't done any actual writing, and that depresses me some. I'm still on chapter 3 of my dragon story. With a little luck, I'll have more stuff done this weekend and can get back into it next week. Keep your fingers crossed!

I also want to mention (though I'll remind you later) that I'll be having a reading at a local bookstore in town on February 22.

Well, I was going to send you into the weekend with a funny story, but then I got called to pick up a sick child, who then proceeded to throw up down my coat and my shirt. Sooo, have a great weekend!

Loss of Confidence

I'm my own worst critic. Always have been. You are probably your own worst critic, too. It's natural. I'm very psychotic when it comes to my writing. On one hand, I think I'm pretty good at what I do. I enjoy it, or else I wouldn't do it. But there's always that voice in my brain that tells me I'm no good.

I like having my work published. I like being able to share it with others. But, right before it comes out, when I have the galley proof to go through, I have a little freak out. It suddenly hits me that people are going to read this and judge it. What if they don't like it?

After that initial issue, once the book is actually out, I'm fine. There will be people who don't like. I can't do anything about that, so why worry about it? I'm thick skinned. I can handle criticism. You have to, or you won't make it past your first rejection. I'll just keep doing what I do.

Yesterday was said freak out. The editor sent me the image that will be used for my nonfiction book. It's Michael Myers, which is fine, though he's not my favorite killer. It doesn't have the title or byline on it, but I'm sure it will be awesome when it does. After looking at the image, it hit me: this book is really going to come out. Someone is going to publish this. People are going to read it.

And cue freak out. What if they don't like it? What if they tear my argument to shreds? I know it will be fine. Things will work out. And if they don't like it or disagree, nothing I can do about that. There were books I read for research where I didn't agree with the authors' arguments. I highly doubt it bothered them. In fact, they probably don't even know (unless they read the book, then they'll know), but I doubt it will break them. More than likely, it won't break me either.

I haven't gained all my confidence yet. I don't have the book in my hand. Plus, I'm sure I'll have a few more edits. Do you think it's too late to withdraw my submission?

Faux Pas?

In the summer of 2011, I sent out several submissions for a story called "The Way She Makes Me Feel." It's a romance story told from the male's perspective.

I sent it to one place that sounded very promising on August 11, 2011 (I know because I have the email that says I sent it then). I never heard anything, sent my follow up email, still never heard anything.

In reality, it's not that uncommon to not hear something from a publisher. Some places tell you that no reply is the same as a no. I assumed that was what happened with this place. I never got an email that said they received my story, so it could have gotten lost in cyberspace. When I sent my follow up email, nothing. Soooo, in October, I signed a contract with my publisher for the story.

On January 8, 2012, I received an acceptance from that publisher. At first, I was really excited. Woo hoo! An acceptance! Then, I remembered I'd already signed a contract. Crap! Did I forget to send a withdrawal email? Of course, I cleaned out my emails the week before, so I didn't have any records of sending stuff to the publisher.

I felt horrible! Publishers always tell you there's nothing more irritating/frustrating than accepting a story only to find out it's no longer available. I went to the site to see what their policy was on simultaneous submissions. Nothing. I looked to see if it gave a time frame for when they would reply. Nothing.

I know the publishing world can take a long time, but 5 months? Don't you think it would have been courteous to shoot out an email and say, "Hey, we have your story and it's going to take us some time to get to it. Please be patient"? Or maybe have an automatic response that lets the author know you got the submission.

I can't remember if I sent an email that withdrew my submission, and the publisher said she never got one. The courteous thing to do is to send one out, and I normally do. However, if they never responded to any of my other emails, what would make me think they'd respond to that one?

I still feel slightly bad that the situation turned out that way, but I don't think I'm totally to blame. There needs to be mutual professionalism on both sides. And I don't think the publisher is angry, but it's hard to tell through email.

It got me to thinking: when is a reasonable amount of time for a publisher to get back to you? Some people say 6 weeks, some say 3 months. Also, it varies if you're sending a novel or short. I tried to play it safe, and it was over 2 months before I signed the contract. I guess I'll have to be more diligent in the future.

Switching Things Up

I've been thinking about the layout of my blog lately, and I've decided I'm going to change my Tuesday topic. Since no one answers my questions anyway, I'm going to start highlighting authors and artists. Next week will be my first guest blog (hopefully), so stay tuned!

I also wanted to let everyone know that the Kindle version of Life After the Undead is finally available. Check it out here.

Movie Review Monday

Just a few more days to vote in the Preditors and Editors poll. Please take some time to vote for Life After the Undead. You can vote for it here and for the cover here .

Super 8 (2011)

From the first moment I saw this preview, I knew I wanted to see the movie. I knew the creature was going to be interesting and the film was going to be fun. I wasn't disappointed.

The movie is about a group of kids who are filming a zombie flick for a contest. After sneaking out one night to film a portion at the train station, a horrible accident occurs, then strange things start happening around town. The Air Force shows up, pets and people go missing, strange objects are found.

The film has its moments of predictability, as can be expected, but it was enjoyable. The alien was cool. I'm a big fan of creatures. Big fan. The movie itself was an homage to older science fiction films, and it wasn't a secret. As a science fiction fan, I really enjoyed it. There was a lot of nostalgia.

The spouse wasn't too fond of it. He thought the writer/director tried to cram too much into it, so you didn't get to really feel/absorb the essence of the film. I can see that. There was a lot crammed into it. And if you didn't have a frame of reference from older films, you might have missed something.

I totally recommend this movie if you have a moment. Has anyone else seen it?

This Week in Writing

I've been working hard to get revisions on the nonfiction done. I'm going through a read through right now (hopefully close to my final one), then it's back off the the editor. My goal is to have it done this weekend and sent to him by Monday. I should be able to make it, but I'm really, really tired right now, so I might fall asleep before it's done.

I also have a final read through to do on a content edit. I plan on getting to that just as soon as I'm done with my other edits. With a little luck, I'll have that done by next weekend.

Please don't forget to vote for my story, Life After the Undead. You can vote for it here and for the cover here . I would appreciate it much!

The other day, I picked the boys up from daycare and we were on our way home. I asked them how their day went.

"I'm gonna quit daycare," the 4 year old tells me.

"You are? And what are you going to do?"

"You're going to stay home with me."

"I am?"

"Well, maybe not. Maybe I want to go to daycare."

Thank goodness! I love my kids, but there's no way we could afford me staying at home. Unless, my book becomes a national bestseller and grosses me thousands of dollars.

Get out there and buy my book! My poor children want me to stay home with them!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Throwing My Hands Up In Defeat

I'm high maintenance. I'm not gonna lie. I have high expectations of how people should act, and I get p*ssed off when they don't act like that. The thing is, I don't expect you to do anything that I wouldn't do myself. For example, give me the courtesy of answering my emails. I get email on my phone (and I check it a bazillion times a day), so I respond in a timely manner. I'm not saying you should reply within the hour. Within a day or two is acceptable. I know you're busy.

When you don't respond, or I have to send another email to get a response, that really irritates me. But you know what? I have no control over their actions. So why am I getting so upset about it? I'm resigning myself to the inevitable. I'm giving up. Keeping other people's ducks in a row is exhausting, and I have my own crap to worry about.

So what does that mean? Well, it means that my books/stories might not come out for 800 years. Publishing takes time, I know that. I've been in the game for a while, but when you constantly and repeatedly miss deadlines, something else is wrong. But I've done all I can to help out. Aside from opening my own company or self publishing, there's nothing else I can do. Like I said, I have no control over other people's actions.

I'm not going to let it get me down. I can't. There are too many other opportunities in this world to get bogged down. I'm going to hold my head up and move forward. Maybe things will work out.

Being a Jerk

The last couple of weeks, I've apparently been insensitive. Unintentionally, I've been saying things that have hurt other's feelings. I haven't even realized I've been doing it. The holidays stressed me out, and I haven't had as much exuberance as I normally do. When people pointed it out, I apologized. Lately, I've been trying to watch what I say.

For all the times I've accidentally hurt someone's feelings, there are several where I want to be a jerk. I can't stand it when people don't do what they say they're going to do. If you don't have the time, tell me that. If things have to happen at a later date, fine. My calendar is usually wide open.

I'm usually pretty good at being the adult and being professional, but dang! Sometimes I want to scream at the top of my lungs and tell people what idiots they are! I'd like to think that would help, but I know it wouldn't. Instead, I sit back, take a few breaths, and complain about it to my friends.

Tough Question Tuesday

Did you have a great holiday season?

Mine was pretty good. I didn't stay up late on New Years. I rarely do any more. I had a bunch of stuff to accomplish this 3-day weekend, so I needed as much rest as I could get.

I'm very glad the holidays are over. I'm ready to get into the new year. I need my schedule back!