I’m a member of the League of Reluctant Adults — a fabulous group of urban fantasy and paranormal romance authors. While I haven’t been very active on the blog lately I still value being a part of this great group of writers.
Over at Mario Acevedo and Jeanne Stein‘s blog, The Biting Edge, they’ve been doing lots of things (minds out of the gutter, people): posting Weird Al Yankovic videos (bless ‘em!), interviewing the amazing Juliet Blackwell about her yet another new series, and so much more. And if you haven’t checked out Mario’s Felix Gomez adventures—in novels and in comic books—and Jeanne’s Anna Strong chronicles, you should. And congrats to Jeanne for CHOSEN being nominated for an RT Reviewers Choice Award for Best Urban Fantasy!
Michele Bardsley‘s hysterical Broken Heart Vampires series keeps getting better and better! CROSS YOUR HEART came out earlier this year, and a series (Wizards! Witches! Rah!) will kick off in March 2011.
Leaguer Sonya Bateman also has a novel hitting the shelves in March 2011: MASTER AND APPRENTICE, the highly anticipated follow-up to this year’s MASTER OF NONE. If you think genies are all like Barbara Eden in a bottle, think again.
The ever amazing Dakota Cassidy launched a new series, the Ex-Trophy Wives. The first book, YOU DROPPED A BLONDE ON ME, hit the shelves earlier this month. Get thee to a bookstore and buy! Now!
This has been a great year for Carolyn Crane. The first two books of her Justine Jones: Disillusionist trilogy hit the shelves and wow, look at the awards that her second book, DOUBLE CROSS, has been nominated for: Goodreads Best Paranormal Fantasy of 2010, RT Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Urban Fantasy, and Authors After Dark Best Fantasy! Congratulations, Carolyn!
Molly Harper will have a fourth Jane Jameson “Nice Girls Don’t” vampire book coming soon. But coming sooner (February 2011) will be her first werewolf book, HOW TO FLIRT WITH A NAKED WEREWOLF. Preorder now!
Kevin Hearne, author of the upcoming Iron Druid chronicles, is eagerly looking forward to the book birthdays of HOUNDED (April 2011), HEXED (May 2011) and HAMMERED (June 2011). What’s that? You don’t want to wait until April? Lucky for you that Kevin has a FREE STORY set in the HOUNDED world, right here on Suvudu. Enjoy!
Mark Henry‘s Amanda Feral has been a busy zombie deadutante. First, she’s up for an RT Reviewers Choice Award for Best Urban Fantasy Protagonist. And she’s also Mark’s pen name for a super naughty novella called “A Stocking Full of Coal.” You know you want it. As for Mark, check out his YA debut as Daniel Marks in the anthology KISS ME DEADLY, on sale now.
Have you read Stacia Kane‘s amazing Downside series? If not, WHY THE HELL NOT? I don’t know who I love more, Chess Putnam or super enforcer Terrible. Run, don’t walk, to buy, not borrow, UNHOLY GHOSTS, UNHOLY MAGIC and CITY OF GHOSTS (nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Paranormal Fantasy). And hey, Stacia is up for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Goodreads Author! Rock on! And make sure to download her free short story about Haunted Week!
My Icarus Project coauthor, Caitlin Kittredge, has been damn busy. I know, surprise, surprise. The third book her her Black London series, BONE GODS, came out at the end of November, and she’s working on the fourth book now as well as preparing for her YA debut, THE IRON THORN, first book in The Iron Codex. It hits the shelves in February 2011, and you can (and should) preorder now.
The third book of J.F. Lewis‘s Void City series, CROSSED, comes out in January 2011! And did you know you could get “Welcome to the VOID” t-shirts? You can! Author clothing line, proudly sponsored by the League of Reluctant Adults!
One day, I’m sure that Richelle Mead will hit the big time. Until then, you may want to check out her little-known series, Vampire Academy. Oh—sorry, I must have bamfed over to a parallel universe or something, because we all know that the last book in the first VA series, LAST SACRIFICE, came out earlier this month and made serious waves. Congrats, Richelle!
If you’re a fan of Kelly Meding‘s Dreg City series like I am, you’ll be happy to know that she’s got a collaborative story, written with Lara Adrian, Harry Connolly, Lucy A. Snyder and the League’s Stacia Kane, available now as an e-book! The third Dreg City book, ANOTHER KIND OF DEAD, will hit the shelves in July 2011.
Nicole Peeler has been making waves with her sexy selkie Jane True. Her upcoming January 2011 release, TEMPEST’S LEGACY, is an RT Top Pick, huzzah! And in January, you can get all three Tempest audiobooks. Nicole’s got tons of terrific reviews for LEGACY, so hop over to her website and check them out! And then go buy the book!
DREADNOUGHT, the sequel to Cherie Priest‘s multiple award-winning steampunk novel BONESHAKER, came out earlier this year. Coming in 2011: GANYMEDE, the third book in the Clockwork Century, as well as the launch of her new urban fantasy series, BLOODSHOT.
The fifth book in Kat Richardson‘s Greywalker series, LABYRINTH, came out in August, and the next book, DOWNPOUR, will hit the shelves in summer 2011. Can’t wait for more Harper Blaine!
Michelle Rowen has been OMGBUSY this year! She launched the Living In Eden series with THE DEMON IN ME, and the second book, SOMETHING WICKED, just came out in November. The second book in her YA Demon Princess series, REIGN CHECK, hit the shelves in May, and she had a YA short story appear in KISS ME DEADLY. In case smoking-hot contemporary romance is what you’re looking for, check out her other November release, TOUCH AND GO. And the first book in an all-new vampire series, NIGHTSHADE, comes out in February 2011! Huzzah, Michelle!
Diana Rowland‘s third book in her Kara Gillian, Demon Summoner series, SECRETS OF THE DEMON, hits the shelves at the start of January! What better way to kick off a new year than with a new Kara story? Preorder now!
Have you read K.A. Stewart‘s A DEVIL IN THE DETAILS yet? This urban fantasy debut earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly, saying: “This crackling series launch hits the trifecta of strong story, characters, and prose. Jesse James Dawson is a retail clerk, a samurai, a redneck brawler, a good husband and father, and a Champion: a demon slayer who fights to free repentant souls from hastily entered contracts.” I’m telling you, books make **terrific** presents.
Anton Strout and I both have stories in the upcoming AFTER HOURS: TALES FROM THE UR-BAR. Mine is a Hell short story, and his is set in his Simon Canderous series. But hey, that’s in March. Before that, in February, pick up book 4 of the series, DEAD WATERS. It’s hard to fight evil on a budget.
The third book in Jaye Wells‘s acclaimed Sabina Kane series, GREEN-EYED DEMON, hits the shelves in March 2011! If you haven’t read RED-HEADED STEPCHILD and THE MAGE IN BLACK, do so. Now.
And that’s the latest about the crazy folks in the League of Reluctant Adults.
I’m not really making any new year’s resolutions this year. For writing, I’m going to continue doing what I’m doing — listen to both my muse and my gut and try to write the best books I can that I hope my wonderful readers will enjoy.
The new thing I do want to do in the new year isn’t really a resolution, more of a rediscovery.
I haven’t always been a writer, you see. I went to college for graphic design and I did that for a dozen or so years as a career while writing on the side until I got more serious about the writing than the design. Before becoming a graphic designer I was really into art and drawing. I wanted to be an illustrator of children’s books. Or a fashion illustrator. I never really had the major talent for it, which is why I moved into graphic design instead, but I enjoyed sketching and painting and all of that. So that’s what I want to do in 2011 — as a hobby. I haven’t drawn anything in years so I’m going to get a sketchbook and doodle often.
So, I guess that’s my new year’s resolution — DOODLE MORE OFTEN. I think I can accomplish that without much of a problem.
Here are a couple of pieces I worked on back in the day that I still like….
Do you have a new year’s resolution? What is it? Please share. I’d love to hear about them!
Only a few days left of this year. Wow, it seemed to go really fast. Like, REALLY fast.
While I’m in no hurry for 2011 to get here (that of my *cough* 40th *cough* birthday in February. *SCREAM* No, really, I’m making my peace with it. PEACE. WITH. IT. AHH!!), but 2010 has definitely been a bit of a challenge. I can’t really say I’m sorry it’s over. I’m hoping that the coming year is going to be full of awesome.
I finished the first draft of THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC today. Hooray! It’s rough, but I’m happy with it. I have the month of January to make it shinier before my official deadline. It was lots of fun to spend time with Darrak again. Oh, and Eden too. But mostly Darrak.
2010 had the release of a bunch of novels from yours truly — THE DEMON IN ME, DEMON PRINCESS: REIGN CHECK, SOMETHING WICKED, and TOUCH AND GO. Lots of demons. And a couple psychics for good measure. I was very happy to hear that SOMETHING WICKED is up for the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice award for Paranormal Fiction!
I’ve written a lot this year. Let me see….I wrote BLOODLUST, BLEEDING HEART (novella), INEVITABLE, and TOBM, along with a full spec young adult manuscript (aka an entire 85K book I wrote without first being contracted for it — this shall be making the rounds early next year), while I was waiting to hear back on the proposals I had out and about. Happily both of those proposals ended up selling so I’ll be writing NIGHTWATCHERS (young adult) and BLOOD BATH & BEYOND (paranormal mystery) next year along with their sequels shortly afterward.
There were a few other things I worked on, including a super dark dystopian young adult proposal which I like a lot, but my agent and I decided to table. For now. I’m already going dark with NIGHTSHADE. May as well not rock the boat TOO MUCH in the Rowenverse until we see how my darker side goes over with readers. And, obviously, I hope it goes over VERY WELL. Time will tell.
I’ve now finished my year as president of Toronto Romance Writers, which was a great experience (not the finishing, that is, but the presidenting). This year I also went to the Romantic Times convention in Columbus, Ohio, and the RWA National Conference in Orlando, Florida, plus the Polaris convention here in Toronto. All awesome, but I have a goal next year of going on a vacation that has absolutely nothing to do with writing. It could happen.
FAVORITE TELEVISION SHOW: In 2010 I discovered the world of Doctor Who. I’ve had my geek card double stamped because I am REALLY loving it. Not so much Matt Smith (he’s okay, I guess), but I’m definitely a David Tennant fangirl. I tried to check out a couple DVDs of retro, scarf-wearing Doctor Who and it doesn’t work as well for me. I like the new stuff — and since I’m a hopeless romantic, I am a Rose/Doctor shipper all the way. If you can make me laugh and cry in the same episode, I’m hooked.
FAVORITE MOVIE: The two that stick out the most in my memory are Inception and Knight and Day. Two very different movies, but I enjoyed both and found no fault with either. Good times. Although I think I’d like to see Inception again just so I can try to understand it a bit better.
FAVORITE BOOK: This has to go to Stacia Kane‘s Downside Ghosts trilogy beginning with UNHOLY GHOSTS. At the urging of Eve Silver, whose Otherworld trilogy comes in a very close second in my favorite category), I got ‘em for my Kindle. “You’ll love Terrible,” Eve told me. “Really?” I said after I started reading the first few chapters. “What’s so sexy about this creep?” However, it didn’t take much longer for me to be fully convinced of Terrible’s deliciousness as I promptly fell head over heels for him. Stacia, hands down, is a master at sexual tension and crafting a love triangle that had me literally shouting at certain plot twists. I don’t know how she does it but my hat is off to her. If I wore a hat.
FAVORITE PURCHASE: My 3G Kindle. It’s wonderful and easy to use. Makes buying books TOO easy. But I’ve been reading more than ever before, which is great. I’ve decided to buy mostly mass market paperbacks on it and will still buy the dead-tree version of trade paperbacks and hard covers, since they look pretty on the shelf. What? It’s a thing.
All right, so that’s just a very brief, very Rowencentric overview of 2010. My fingers are crossed that 2011 is going to be an amazing year all around!
Speaking of NIGHTSHADE (well, I was earlier in the post), here’s the book trailer I made for it recently. I can’t believe it’s a month from the release!!
Night Owl Reviews says: “Ms. Rowen proves once again with Nightshade that she is a top author in the genre of paranormal romance…Nightshade is exciting, sexy, edgy and suspenseful. This is an excellent addition to paranormal romance and the first of what looks to be a promising new series.”
Nice! By the way, I’m giving away two signed ARCs of this book over on Goodreads. Contest closes on December 31 so check it out while there’s still time!
So, it’s apparently December. Yes, this is news to me too.
What have I been up to, you ask? Well, let me tell you….
Yesterday I hit page 220 of my THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC first draft, a nice healthy number. I usually aim for about 350 manuscript pages. That’s roughly 85K or so. Anyway, I just hit 50K which means that I completed Nanowrimo successfully…ten days late. Oh well! November was more of a brainstorming and ramping up writing month and I really couldn’t push myself and write salvageable prose. December is when I’m bringing this puppy home. My personal 1st draft deadline is next Sunday. I think I can do it. Then I’m revising a spec project (ie: something I’ve written without a contract or any guarantee of publication just because my muse is pushy) between Christmas and New Year’s and starting the second draft of TOBM in January.
Tomorrow is the holiday social for Toronto Romance Writers and marks the last month I will be President for this chapter. After that I go back to being a general member with no responsibilities…until I get bored and volunteer again, of course. It was definitely interesting and rewarding to be a board member for two years and I’d recommend it to anyone associated with an RWA chapter. It’s a great way of feeling involved and getting to know your chapter mates. I took on the reins as prez for two reasons, 1) because I wanted to give back to an organization I believed in, and 2) because I knew it would help me work on my confidence when it comes to public speaking.
It definitely got me started. I now feel rather confident when I get to be bossy and order people around and call attention to myself. I love doing panels and answering questions and having a conversation with a group of like-minded people. I’ve realized what I don’t like to do is give speeches, talking AT a crowd, especially when I’m ill-prepared to do so. I need to feel extremely confident about the presentation and my subject matter before I get over my stage fright. As a writer I know if I’m in this for the long-term, I will inevitably be called upon to speak publicly, so I’m easing into it the best I can.
Next year I’m doing two workshops, both with my wing-gal, Eve Silver. She, unlike me, is endlessly excellent at public speaking, having previously been a teacher. But I’m learning. And now, after a year as President and the previous year as VP, I feel like I’m a little farther ahead than I was before.
Hmm. Wasn’t going to talk about that in this post, but there you go. Michelle Rowen is facing her public speaking fears and stomping on them like doubt weasels. Good times.
Anyhooo… the writing on THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC is going well. Things are always a bit shaky in the first draft and I have to continually remind myself that I always feel this way (stomp that doubt weasel) and that a first draft doesn’t have to be PERFECT right out of the gate. I love the movies that show the novelist sitting down at her desk, pen in hand, and writing with a smile on her face. Yeah, not so much. Some days are great and the words flow, but other days…it really feels like work. Which is exactly what it is. Once you start doing this gig for a living, it becomes less of an expression of art and loveliness, and more of a job. And nobody likes their job, everyday, do they? No they do not.
People are sometimes astounded when they learn how many books I’m producing at the moment (currently, it’s approx. four a year…next year’s looking like it could creep up to five). Quite honestly, that’s a bit more than I feel comfortable with writing in the long run, I think I’d feel really happy with 2-3, but when you’re writing for eight plus hours a day, sometimes seven days a week, you’re going to be producing pages. Lots of them. Currently I have very few distractions in the Rowenverse, which is good because I’m currently booked (Ha! A pun. Booked), through 2011 with contracts.
Following TOBM, which is due February 1st, I need to immediately start writing NIGHTWATCHERS #1 (specific title forthcoming), my exciting new YA for Harlequin Teen. On its heels, after it’s due May 1st, I’m jumping right into BLOOD BATH & BEYOND for NAL, which has been moved up from 2013 to have a nice, cozy Summer 2012 release date, which I’m extremely happy about. That’s due July 1st. Seems like a while off, but that’s a whole lotta books purging forth from my imagination on a rather tight schedule. Plus promo for the books I have releasing, editorial revisions, copy edits, galley proofs…. dude, this is a full time job. And then some.
And I’m totally fine with that, believe me. Obviously, I’m working this hard because I’m focused on having a book come out bigger than previous, hitting some major lists and helping take my career to the next level, and every decision I’ve been making lately (well, most of them) is with that solidly in mind. I’m really hoping that 2011 will take me closer to this goal, even taking the current dire state of publishing into consideration. Here’s hoping!
So I have lots of books on the burners, which is awesome, but I have three specific categories that I’m trying to adhere to so I don’t get too scattered and distracted. Who me?? Yes, me. I tend to get several ideas for new books weekly, so I need to keep myself focused.
My game plan:
1) Darker urban fantasy with romantic elements (allegedly very marketable at this time in the publishing world, plus this is my preferred genre for reading) — like NIGHTSHADE.
2) Young Adult urban fantasy with romantic elements (because I honestly LOVE LOVE LOVE this genre and I’m extremely determined (pigheadedly stubborn…say what??) to keep writing in it, thank you very much) — like NIGHTWATCHERS.
3) Light Paranormal Fiction (this, actually, is my natural voice, that fun and humorous women’s fiction feel that I love to write best of all and feels like home to me, but also with an edge of mystery and danger to keep it interesting) — like BLOOD BATH & BEYOND.
Unless my ideas fit into one of these categories, I file them away and try to ignore their siren-like call. TRY TO. I still have that sexy space romp that begs to be finished one day. Um, no. Not right now, dear.
Plus since I think always in continuing protagonist series — as opposed to different hero/heroine in each book — I need to structure my writing so the books are still individually satisfying. I’ve made the mistake once now to end things with a lot of questions left unanswered, with new books in the series not guaranteed. I swear on all that is holy I will try to never let this happen again. We live. We learn. We twitch.
TOP PICK! “Rowen jumps from paranormal romance to paranormal mystery without skipping a beat…Here’s hoping Sarah will have many more adventures in her new series.”—RT Bookreviews on Blood Bath & Beyond More reviews...