29 November 2007

Thirteen Things about EMBER CASE

1 - Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your life?

What's the best way to describe it. Hectic? Often. Relaxing? When I make the time. Fun? Definately. Between the kids (two of them), husband (just one!), businesses (we run several from home), and writing (three works in progress at the moment) my day usually starts at 5:30am.

2 - Do you write everyday? Any routines or rituals? Are you a plot or seat-of-your-pants writer?

Every day would be a dream. Some days, the most I can manage is a sentence scribbled on a scrap of paper. But every day is the goal, and I hit it more often than not.

Rituals - coffee or tea. Usually a candle nearby, to stare into when I need to blank my mind to better hear 'the voices'. I'm a plotter, but not a detailed one, and the actual book rarely ends up looking like what I thought it would when I plotted it out. I'm ok with that - as long as the book makes sense when it's finished!

3 - How would you describe the genre in which you do most of your writing?

"There can't be only one!" Ahem. Sorry. Most of what I write is erotic romance, but some of it has been more adventure than romance, and then there's the paranormal, fantasy, historical, and one contemporary story in there. SciFi is a big love, and I've got a "space western" I've been sitting on for way to long that I need to dust off and polish. So... varied, I guess.

4 - Star Wars or Star Trek?

Harrison Ford in a gun belt, or Patrick Stewart's beautiful green eyes? I'll get back to you.

5 - What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?

That first sale. Nothing makes you feel motivated like success.

6 - Once the deadlines are all met and the manuscript is delivered, what do you do to relax and give yourself a break?

Does laundry count? How about dishes?

I read as much as I can, every genre I can. Ebooks have made it incredibly easy to have a book at my fingertips whenever I find a spare moment, and I've usually got several loaded on both the laptop and cell phone so I can pick up wherever I left off.
I just received my print copy of the fabulous Love and Lore yesterday, and got through most of it last night before I finally couldn't keep my eyes open. Fabulous book! Go buy a copy now!

7 - What web sites or reader groups / author groups do you frequent and recommend?

Samhain Cafe is a fabulous place for readers and writers to talk about their favorite books, life, whatever. Romance Divas has been a huge help since I started writing. And I love blogs. I skim several hundred a week, and have over 50 on my daily "must read" list.

8 - What kinds of books do you like to read? Who is your favorite author?

I read anything that I can lay my hands on. Favorites are romantic fantasy, scifi, paranormal, some romantic suspense.

I'm lucky so many of my favorite authors are published with Samhain - I get to consider them "sisters". Lauren Dane writes some of the best paranormal erotic romance I've ever read. I'm afraid to list names here because space is short and I'll leave someone out, but the three authors in Love and Lore (Carolan Ivey, Gia Dawn, Sela Carsen) are all fabulous.

I love, love, love Nora Roberts and Linda Howard - I've been reading them both since before I ever really thought about trying to write my own stories, and they never dissapoint. Sylvia Day has been a huge inspiration, as has Angela Knight. Eden Bradley is someone whose books I look for on release day as well.

9 - What is your latest book about?

I'm doing that dreaded two-projects-at-once thing right now. I've got a short sci-fi piece in the works, about a bounty hunter and the woman he's hired to rescue. And a contemporary, about an ultra-rich playboy and the woman he can't get out of his mind.

10 - What will your next release be about?

My next release is also my first - Hunting the Huntress releases on January 8th from Samhain. You can read an excerpt to get a taste for it now, then hurry back and order it in January!

11 - What are the goals you are still working toward?

Time management. Ugh. Self discipline. I constantly ask my little sister, "what's it like to have willpower?" I want it all, now!

12 - When people look at your books, how do you want them to be remembered?

As someone who made people feel. Love, anger, happiness, passion, excitement, anticipation, joy. I want to wring emotion from the reader, so when they sit a book down unfinished they can't wait to hurry back to it. And when they finish it, I want them to be lingering over the last pages, unable to walk away.

13 - What do you believe makes a book sexy?

Emotions. Make me feel what the hero and heroine are feeling, make me know every thought in their head, so intensely I don't hear the phone ring or the kids asking "what time will dinner be ready". Make every page come to life, and you'll have me hooked.

A Tyson Beckford lookalike doesn't hurt either >G<

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

28 November 2007

Have Yourself a Scary Little Christmas

It's easy to assume that Halloween is the most paranormal holiday out there, but is that the truth? Let's take a turn around the Christmas Tree and perhaps we might start to feel differently...

Here's a festive ornament; Santa in his sleigh with a load of toys. A timeless figure who was been known by many names throughout history....Santa Clause, Chris Kringle, St. Nick, Father Christmas. He's been around for ages. Why? Because he's an Immortal! I wonder what he takes in return for all those presents found in our stockings?? Is he a big elf, or something else...vampire, fallen angel, a jolly Druid perhaps?

Next on the tree is a trio of his little helpers. Those industrious elves painting trains and rocking horses. Are they immortal like their boss? Or perhaps these elves are enslaved by some sinister magic?

Farther up on my tree I see a familiar fellow flashing his red nose. Good old Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Yeah, a deer that can fly and has a glowing nose--that's seems perfectly natural! Makes you wonder what kind of spell these poor animals are under. Or perhaps they are spirits trapped in the bodies of reindeer until they perform enough good deeds to be freed.

And who is this brightly painted little soldier? It's the Nutcracker. Reminds me of Frankenstein! I hope the only things he cracks in that jaw is nuts.

Frosty is peeking out from the wrapping paper below. A man made of snow who uses a magic hat to come to life. An Arctic circle golem! His could be a kiss that chills you to the bone.

Over on the piano my song book is open to "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing." Can you imagine how scared those poor shepards were when angels from heaven came a calling? Any holiday with angels, guiding stars, an evil king (Herod), and a baby who is the savior of mankind has the right elements for a paranormal legend.

At this time of the year who needs werewolves and vampires....we've got angels and flying reindeer!

Wishing you a joy as we start our holiday season!


27 November 2007

One of the Magical Musing's gals has her second book out from Samhain today! Be sure and check out the speculative romance offerings for November 27:

"Promise for Tomorrow" by Liz Kreger
Genre: Romantic SciFi-Futuristic
ISBN: 1-59998-694-9
Length: Novel
Price: 5.50
Publication Date: November 27, 2007
Cover art by Anne Cain

Rianna and Jhaan fight to bring a promise of hope to a world on the edge of extinction. A Part of Tomorrow book 2.


"7% and Rising" by Kim Knox
Genre: Romantic SciFi-Futuristic
ISBN: 1-59998-695-7
Length: Novella
Price: 3.50
Publication Date: November 27, 2007

He used her. She can’t trust him. But the fire burns between them hotter than ever.


"To Catch a Wolf" by Colette Denee
Genre: Paranormal Romance
ISBN: 1-59998-698-1
Length: Short Story
Price: 2.50
Publication Date: November 27, 2007

The best way to catch a wolf? Use your heart as bait.
Jody W.
A SPELL FOR SUSANNAH--January 29, 2008, Samhain Publishing
http://www.jodywallace.com/ * http://meankittybox.blogspot.com/

Going Electronic: Writing Contests

I just wound up our local RWA Chapter's first chapter contest as the coordinator. It was my first year to be the woman behind the curtain, and with a few small exceptions, the whole contest ran smoothly and was a great experience, hopefully for everyone involved. One of our final round judges even requested some full manuscripts, which is the best part of all. All that's left for me to do is to post our talented winners on the website and send them their prizes--and we give money, not jewelry!

There are so many RWA chapter contests right now. RWA chapters have to make enough funds to stay afloat, pay RWA dues, rent meeting space, etc., and contests are the moneymaker du jour. I tweaked ours in hopes of making it stand out. After the first-round finalists were announced, I expressed the scoresheets to them and offered to give any of the finalists who were interested a bonafide "Grammar Wenching" (that would be me) so they could use the scoresheets, my reactions, and their own gut to revise the entry one last time before we sent it to the final round judges--the industry professionals. Hey, two fulls got requested, so maybe our revision period benefitted them.

Anyhow, we're deciding how to improve our contest even more next year. I've already agreed to coordinate again, but there are more changes afoot. For next year our chapter is considering going electronic. I thought I'd bring some of the benefits and detractors to the Beyond the Veil cyber-table, since many of our bloggers and readers are quite familiar with the ins and outs of reading electronic fiction. But first, a few facts about our chapter so you'll understand what our constraints are:

1) The contest is our primary moneymaker aside from dues, and entries are down. We are faced with reducing services to members, primarily our awesome member retreat.

2) Although a small chapter, we use *all* in-chapter judges. This limits how many entries and categories we can have, but we decided this was a necessary evil. That way we can train all first round judges and we know where they LIVE *heh heh heh*.

3) We have a diverse membership, as do all chapters, from complete newbies, to a granny who writes some of the hottest erotica ever, to a lady minister, to a New York Times best-selling author or two.

4) We have 3 categories (contemporary, historical, paranormal), take 25 pages with no synopsis, and make an effort to find appropriate first-round judges if said entry has inspirational content, erotic content, or falls under "romantic elements" instead of straight romance.

So here are the pros and cons we have tossed around about going electronic:


1) Saves trees -- paperless entries, maybe paperless responses

2) Saves money -- no postage, printing, etc.

3) Might increase the number of entries since many perceive electronic entry as "easier" or "quicker"

4) Many judges filled out their scoresheets on their computers, anyway

5) It has a hip/modern factor that might attract entrants who would not normally be attracted by our contest

6) I have wanted an excuse for an ultra-huge e-mailbox that can hold a lot more than the 10 MB my regular account allows, so I went ahead and got one. Ok, that's not really a "pro", that's just me being greedy.


1) More chances of snafus with format incompatibility between entrant, contest coordinator, and judges

2) Some judges honestly do not enjoy reading on the computer, which means:
a) Will this reduce the number of judges in our limited pool? We don't want to go outside the chapter for judges.
b) Judges already volunteer their time and energy. Is it fair to ask ones who do not enjoy reading on the computer to use their paper and ink to print out the entries?
c) Conversely, is it too expensive for our chapter to print the entries for first-round judges who want to participate but don't enjoy reading on the computer (or can't for whatever reason)?

3) Might increase the number of poorly edited/sloppy entries since it is easier to pop off an email than print out the entry, sweat over the formatting, and find time to go to the post office

What I'm looking for, if you're willing to jump in, is a discussion of the pros and cons of a contest like ours going electronic, maybe a few new pros or cons we haven't considered. Then I can take a fully-fleshed proposal to our chapter board and we can decide what the best route for our chapter is.

Thanks for being my sounding board! (Oh, my local chapter is Music City Romance Writers, http://www.mcrw.com/.)

Jody W.
A SPELL FOR SUSANNAH--January 29, 2008, Samhain Publishing
http://www.jodywallace.com/ * http://meankittybox.blogspot.com/

26 November 2007


I think there's time for a more writerly discussion today on a topic that's been on my mind quite a bit of late as I finish up my latest paranormal novel, Sweeter Than Wine (releasing December 11th from Samhain). Now that the obligatory plug is out of the way, the thing I've been wondering about is just how long the amazing popularity of paranormal romance might last.

I've been an avid reader since high school and have a paperback collection that tops 3,000 books - and those are just the ones I've organized and counted! (There are ALWAYS more lurking in the shadows of my home. They seem to multiply in the dark.) I remember a time when it was really HARD to find a paranormal character in a romance book. I remember a time when having characters with paranormal abilities was a strict no-no in the publishing world. Okay, maybe around Halloween each year, they'd publish a few paranormal-type books, but that was about it.

Only in recent years have the taboos lifted. I think the trend started with Christine Feehan's phenomenal success and the change in the popular culture brought about by the success of things like Buffy and all the copycats/spinoffs. Now, it seems, paranormal is everywhere! But that begs the question: how long can it really last? Is it a fad? Is it a fashion that will go out of style next year or the year after? Just when might the bubble burst?

As a writer, I'm concerned about trends, of course. I want to write things that have the best chance of selling, of course. But, more importantly, as a reader I want to know the kinds of books I really like will be out there and available for me to pick up and consume. My fear is that - as has recently happened with historicals and westerns - the books will just dry up as the bigger publishing houses decide they aren't as profitable anymore.

Personally, I'd hate to see that happen. Of course, there are now a wider variety of smaller publishers that can take bigger risks and can publish things that bigger houses may pass up. So that's one thing in the reader's favor that wasn't there before. But I do think that every publisher - regardless of size - is always looking for "the next big thing." A few years ago that was Chick Lit. Today it appears to be paranormal. I wonder what will be next?

Bianca D'Arc
Come over to The D'Arc Side... www.biancadarc.com

25 November 2007

Divination Sunday: Celtic Ogham - Tinne

Ogham letter: Tinne ("chin-yuh")
Plant: Holly
Month: December (some sources say July/August)
Color: Bright red (other sources say Dark Grey)
Element: Fire
Bird: Starling
Animal: War Horse
Planet: Saturn
Deities: Brighid the Smith, Goibniu the Smith, Cerdne the Craftsman, Lugh
Crystal: Bloodstone
Old Irish: Tind=Brilliant; tend=strong

Creative force; making; mastery of a skill (or oneself); arts and crafts; wealth, money; today (as a time indicator in a reading). With its evergreen quality, it is linked in inspiration and resilience. Balance of strength and power; integrity; courage; fatherhood, growth. Sticking to one's principles. Justice.

Tinne in a reading indicates challenges are on the way. You need to face life's ordeals with the endurance of a warrior. Even in adversity, you will grow stronger. It could also mean that you are letting fear hold you back; you have a lack of direction or balance, or justice is not being served.

Tinne is a protective energy, which makes sense because weapons were once forged in the heat of a holly fire. Shamans and metalsmiths were once held in the same high regard as workers of magic.

It's interesting (to me, anyway) that Tinne reversed is the same as Fearn, or Alder, which carries on the "fire" in terms of inspiration and relying on one's intuition.

Have a good holiday season!

PS - Feel better soon, SJ!

For more in this series, click on the "ogham" tag at the end of this post.


24 November 2007

The holiday eating stops here.

My family just headed out for their 8 hour car trip back home, leaving my house a quiet place. But a place with much depth and brilliance, courtesy of my "little" brother and his tree lighting skills. Sis taught him well.

The holidays are a dangerous time in my house. Not just because I don't know how to change a light christmas tree light bulb- although it did get ugly yesterday. There were many broken fingernails, then pliers got involved, and then there were many broken bulbs. Cursing ensued. No, mostly it's dangerous for my waist, my wardrobe, and my productivity.

I've spent too much time in the kitchen and not enough at the keyboard (or on - gulp - the treadmill) this week. I'm so overly stuffed I can barely type today. It may have something to do with the bread pudding with whiskey cream sauce I had for breakfast - and midnight snack, and dessert last night. It may have more to do with all the pineapple casserole, mashed potatos, apple pie, macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, grilled pork chops, stuffing, and half a dozen other dishes I've greedily devoured the last few days. Notice "salad" is missing from that menu. It's a good thing I've got kids to decorate the lower branches of the tree, because I probably couldn't have bent over to do it myself yesterday.

I'm going to need a bigger treadmill if I don't stop eating soon.

I've got a bad habit of nibbling while I write, and the three buckets of snack mix (home made, and the best damn "nuts and bolts" I've ever tasted) aren't going to be easy to resist. Especially since I can clearly see them siting on the top of my fridge from my desk.

I need a holiday resolution, and I can't afford to wait unti New Years. More writing, less eating. And no rewarding myself with food, because my willpower is a mythical thing - "Imaginary; fictitious." When I tried a Hershey's Kiss for every 100 words, it turned into "I might as well eat a half dozen, because I don't want to have to stop in mid-paragraph to have my reward".

Today's post is going to be a short one. I think before anything else gets done today, I need to clean out the fridge - and most of what's in there is going to have to be disposed of. But it's for my own good really. If all these delicious treats stay around any longer, I won't be able to fit in my car by Christmas, never mind my clothes.

Everything must go. Except for the snack mix. A girl's gotta have *something* to use for brain food.

Anyone else go overboard on the eating this week? >G<

22 November 2007


First off, Happy Thanksgiving for those of you in the US! Here in Canada we celebrated our Thanksgiving back in October, so it's just a regular November day—grey, wet, cold. But I hope you all enjoy your day with family, food and laughter.

I'm just doing a regular post today. It's about my next book to be published at Samhain, Marked by my alter ego, Joely Skye. Dawn did a fantastic job with the cover. (She also did my other two werewolf covers: The Strength of the Pack and The Strength of the Wolf.) Cover artists at Samhain do incredible work, imo.

Anyway, here is the blurb for Marked, which will be released December 4.

Marked as prey, Alec refuses to fall for a werewolf. Until he’s forced to turn to Liam for protection.

Alec Ryerson carries a scar over his heart and scars on his psyche, ugly reminders of a nightmare that still doesn’t seem quite real. Even a year later, he stays inside on full-moon nights and avoids most people—until he meets the strange and beautiful Liam.

Liam feels an undeniable pull toward Alec. However Liam is a werewolf; Alec is a human who clearly has trepidations about a relationship. Then Liam discovers he is not the first werewolf Alec has encountered. Alec has been marked for death by the murderous “quad”, a group of twisted werewolves who prey on humans. Now the quad’s sights are set on recruiting Liam’s eight-year-old brother into their murderous pack.

Liam will do everything in his power to protect both his brother and Alec from the wolves, even if it means calling in favors and killing those with whom he once ran.

Because Alec, like it or not, is Liam’s chosen mate.

20 November 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Yes, it is a day early, but since this is my day to blog and it is the day before Thanksgiving, I'd like to talk about what I'm thankful for. Of course, there's my family, my job, and my life. But, I'd like to thank the readers and reviewers. Your feedback goes a long way in making my smile brighter and making me want to keep writing just because you've let me know you like my stories. Believe me, you've helped me through some tough times, and I wanted to let you know that you do make a difference.

I know it seems like it doesn't sometimes, but you do. Whether you're a reviewer for a website, or just a reader with an opinion, every word, good or bad, matters. It, as much as money, is bread and butter, it helps direct me, shows me where I might have strayed and maybe leads me back to where I need to be. So..

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you out there.


Samhain New Releases, November 20

This week's paranormal releases from Samhain Publishing focus on men of all stripes. We've got musicians, werewolves, magicians, and an assassin. Check them out!

"On Wings of Blue" by Anne Cain
Genre: Gay-Lesbian Fantasy Romance
ISBN: 1-59998-689-2
Length: Short story
Cover art by Anne Cain

A world away and centuries past, nothing in this feudal kingdom is ordinary—especially love.


"The Assassin Journals: Hunter" by S. L. Partington
Genre: Romantic SciFi-Futuristic
ISBN: 1-59998-690-6
Length: Novel

An assassin can’t afford a conscience. It’s bad for business.


"With Caution" by J.L. Langley
Genre: Gay-Lesbian Paranormal Romance, Red Hots!
ISBN: 1-59998-692-2
Length: Novel

A brother’s vow. A lover’s promise. Both could put them all at deadly risk.


Jody W.
A SPELL FOR SUSANNAH--Winter 2008, Samhain Publishing
http://www.jodywallace.com/ * http://meankittybox.blogspot.com/

18 November 2007

Over-saturated But Still Thirsty

I’ve been reading lately about how the urban fantasy and paranormal romance genres are over-saturated when it comes to vampires and werewolves. I understand how this could be assumed with the sheer number of titles out there with vampires and wolves running about at their carnal or otherworldly best. However why does it seem I’m still forever looking?

Perhaps I, like many vampire fans, suffer from selective perception. As we peruse the shelves, picking up this one and that one, and looking for that spark of connection, we filter out those that don’t resonate. Through that filter we cease to see those which don’t connect and only focus on looking for more of what does. Depending on what you’re looking for, it can make the shelves seem like a virtual wasteland; each favorite, a tiny oasis in a desert of the not-quite-right.

During that torturous time inbetween releases of solid favorites comes The Search. It’s tentative at first. A shy glimpse at a title here, a curious peek between the covers there; all done with a soaring hope that another will now fill the void left behind. We talk to our friends, look for recommendations on line, and search out excerpts and blurbs like the cure for some deadly disease of mundane-ness we seek to avoid.

The first time a friend enthusiastically pushes us toward a title we take a deep breath, hesitate and then dive in. Like any blind date, we don’t expect too much but secretly we hope for everything. We imagine a happily ever after where we’re reading the series or author five books from now, ten, more. We foresee celebrating triumphs, weeping over losses and blushing over carnal victories for characters that become like friends or even family over time. And at our luckiest, we get it.

We get everything we hope for and there’s yet another staple on our PR/UF shelf waiting for the next release. But then, well then, we have to start all over again with the search and we’re rarely so lucky twice in a row. We try another, a third, a fifth, all hoping for that spark, that happily ever after again. And then we drink it in until we’re full and the search begins anew.

I’m new to werewolf UF/PR and find myself even pickier than with my vampire fiction. That connection is harder to find and even more fleeting at times as so much can go wrong with shifter mythos. Of course at the same time, so much can go right and that’s why I still search. It’s why we all still search. But the fact that we much search by definition means over-saturation doesn’t hit the reader the same as the industry.

If we connected with everything out there and were left swimming in titles every week, as readers we might see what the publishers are looking upon. But because we must sift and sort and search, it seems like there’s never enough of what we want as individuals to even get sufficiently wet, let alone drown in choices.

In the end, as with all things, it’s a matter of perception and reception. One side perceives endless choices while the other is only receptive to a limited few. And just like in dating, it’s not about the numbers but about the quality within the quantity that appeals to our particular palates.

Everyone is looking for the next big thing, but there are still of those at the core of it all that are looking for the next good thing, even if looks like the same old thing to the untrained eye.

Perception Ramble Done


16 November 2007

Breton Mythology

At the very northwestern tip of France lies a region called Brittany, or Bretagne. Directly north of it, across the English Channel, is Cornwall. And a very long time ago, they weren’t so different from each other.

When the Romans came to Gaul, they called the area “Armorica.” Trade between Armorica and Britain had been long established and Brittany had far more in common with Cornwall than with its Frankish neighbors to the south. They even shared a language across the strip of sea.

So it’s no surprise that they also shared a mythology. It’s difficult, however, to find much information about it. The French are a trifle tetchy about their Barbarian roots, so there hasn’t been much research forthcoming from them. What survives are the folktales of the area and a strong link to the Arthurian cycles that come from Cornwall, Devon and Wales.

I’m not going to go into the Arthurian legends in this article, but talk about some of their folklore instead. First, we’ll start with the Grim Reaper himself – Ankou. That’s a picture of the jolly guy himself. Charming.

But the mythology indicates that we base our modern image of the Reaper on Ankou. Tall, wearing a wide-brimmed hat and a long coat. He doesn’t carry a scythe, but rattles along on a rickety wooden cart, into which his skeletal helpers toss the bodies of the dead. If you ever hear the rattle of his cart on a misty Breton moor, you’d better run before you end up as cargo!

The Breton Korrigan is, in some tellings, very similar to the Cornish pixie. Troublesome, but not usually malicious, depending on the tale. If these female sprites steal a mortal baby, they raise it as their own. They’re also associated with water and in these instances are beautiful creatures with long flowing hair – but their sexuality is dangerous. If a mortal man falls in love with a korrigan, he is usually doomed to die.

Other tales of the Korrigan can be found at Celtic Twilight

Morgens are also water sprites (Brittany is a peninsula, surrounded on three sides by water – no wonder there are so many water sprites in their mythology). Again, like the Korrigan, her beauty is dangerous. She lures men to their deaths by showing them glimpses of undersea treasures. But her power isn’t always deadly. The Lady of the Lake in Arthurian legend, is named Morgen. And the story of Morgan Le Fay, Arthur’s half-sister, may have risen from Breton tales.

The last water-spirit of Brittany is the cannard noz. She’s the Washer Woman common in almost all Celtic mythology. In Breton, her name means “night duck” because she has webbed feet. In Ireland, she’s the Bean Nighe. She washes the grave clothes of the dead and is a portent of death. You don’t want to catch a glimpse of her at work.

Finally, we come to the legend of Ys. Ys is the Celtic version of Sodom and Gomorrah. There was a good and faithful king named Gradlon, who ruled wisely and well, but his daughter, Dahut, was a wicked young woman who reveled in sin. The city of Ys was built below sea level and protected by a dike. The king kept the key to the dike on a chain around his neck.

Dahut stole the key to let her lover – supposedly the Devil himself – into the city and retribution arrived. The entire city was swallowed up and only King Gradlon was saved. He went on to found the city of Quimper and when he died, a statue was erected of him on horseback, pointing back to Ys.

Dahut became a mermaid who haunts the waters in the Bay of Douarnenez and in stormy weather, the bells of Ys still toll to warn seafarers from the shore.

Here’s the thing. There’s a good deal of evidence pointing to the fact that Ys was apparently real. There are Roman roads that lead to it, Gradlon is pointing to it, and several of the locations mentioned in the legend are real. In addition, there’s a 5th century account of a Breton city being swallowed by a deluge.

You can find more information about Ys at The Legend of the City of Ys and Brittany’s Legends.

So there you have it. The folklore of the Breton. It’s easy to see the links to other Celtic and Welsh myths and the history that binds the cultures together.

For more information on Breton mythology, see Legends and Romance of Brittany by Lewis Spence, compiled in 1917.

14 November 2007

Paranormal Tunes (or Monsters that Make You Want to Shake Your Booty!)

"Werewolves of London" by Warren Zevon. Who doesn't crank up the radio when that tune comes on? It came on this morning while I was doing the school commute and has been playing in my head all day.

So for fun today I'm going to list as many paranormal songs as my hubby and I can brainstorm. If you guys can think of more--add them in the comments.

Werewolf, Vampire, Zombie, Witch and "other" songs (in no particular order):

  • "Bloodletting" by Concrete Blonde
  • "Monster Mash" by Bobby Picket
  • "Wolf Moon" by Type O Negative (I got to see these guys in concert--twice! Peter Steele=yummy)
  • "Suspended in Dusk" by Type O Negative
  • "Witchy Woman" by the Eagles
  • "Magic Man" by Heart
  • "Black Magic Woman" by Santana
  • "Ghostbusters" by Ray Parker Jr.
  • "J.B. Witch Dance" by Masters of Reality
  • "Of Wolf and Man" by Metallica
  • "Sympathy for the Devil" by the Rolling Stones
  • "Thriller" by Michael Jackson
  • "Dead Man's Party" by Oingo Boingo
  • "Twilight Zone" by Neil Norman
  • "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" by the Charlie Daniel's Band
  • "Bark at the Moon" by Ozzy Osbourne

And my husband says, "Pretty much anything by Rob Zombie."

Just for an side note--I'm not listening to any paranormal themes at the moment. I've got "Fingers" by Pink playing. Hmmm...I wonder how many songs are about...?

~That's it for now :)

13 November 2007

New Releases, November 13

While today's releases from Samhain exhibit a definite Western flair, there were two paranormal novellas to tempt you:

"Night Song" by Sharon Cullen
Genre: Paranormal Romance
ISBN: 1-59998-688-4
Length: Novella
Publication Date: November 13, 2007
Cover art by Scott Carpenter

He’s a centuries old vampire who doesn’t do domestication. She’s a single mother struggling to survive. Evil brings them together, but will their love be enough to keep them alive?


"Hearts Unbound" by Rebecca Goings
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Romantic Time Travel
ISBN: 1-59998-680-9
Length: Novella
Publication Date: November 6, 2007

Their bond brought him back for a second chance at life—and love. Book 2 of Cursed Hearts.


Jody W.
A SPELL FOR SUSANNAH--Winter 2008, Samhain Publishing
http://www.jodywallace.com * http://meankittybox.blogspot.com

Survival TV and the Writer's Imagination

The most interesting part of the show "Survivor" to me, back when I used to watch it, was when the castaways would create shelter and find water and food. When they did, that is, because more and more they ceased to do so--and I was done with the show. Imagine my surprise when my daughter and I were watching the Discovery Channel the other day and I realized there are several programs that discuss survival techniques -- from "I Shouldn't Be Alive" to "Survivorman" to "Man Vs. Wild". While "Man Vs. Wild" is enduring a blaze of controversy regarding just how much roughing it the host does, I found myself fascinated by some of the environments and situations the rather attractive and expressive Bear Grylls encountered.

I don't think I'd ever get stranded in the Everglades or the Sahara -- God forbid --but what if I wanted to write about it or something like it?

There's all kinds of research you can do when you're writing and worldbuilding. There are more accurate sources of survival information than television programs if you want to picture your hero and heroine fleeing from the bad guys across the Costa Rican rainforest or getting some pirate booty (hee hee!) on a deserted island. However, there's nothing like visual images of unusual and exotic landscapes to get your internal sensors flickering.

For example, when Bear trekked across the subarctic lava fields of Iceland, as far as the eye could see, there were large black rocks and sand and scattered moss. It didn't look like any part of Earth I'd ever seen, not that I've seen a lot -- but still. Definitely fodder for science fiction or fantasy settings. And then he came across an ancient lava tube, an oval cave through the earth where one could find shelter, hot springs or, well, death, considering Iceland is a geographically volatile area. He added some semi-scientific details about how the water inside the lava tubes had been filtered enough to be more drinkable than on top and showed viewers how to make a torch out of sticks, T-shirt strips and animal fat.

To check out more cool lava field/tube/Iceland photos, I found the photo I included here on this fella's page: http://www.simonho.org/Photos_Ice.htm

In another episide, we watched Bear slog through the Everglades. He demonstrated how one might build a platform in a cluster of trees as well as how to put a fire on top of the platform. Then he cooked a cooter (turtle) and squiggled his way out of quicksand. Or maybe the quicksand was in the Sahara episode, where he also snarfed down a scorpion, constructed a dew trap and sheltered in a rock bed during the cold desert night. I do not think, however, we'll be watching the episode where he tauntauns a camel. I could have done without some of the animal and insect munching scenes -- Fear Factor has never, ever interested me. It would have been enough for me if he'd have pointed out what was and wasn't edible, though I understand people do like to see it live.

No matter how realistic Bear's adventures actually are, they definitely contained things that activated my writerly imagination. The characters in my next book might not dine on treefrogs, but they may need to make a makeshift minnow net or navigate a bleak, alien terrain.

After Bear's show, there's a National Geographic program on about the Octopus Volcano on Stromboli Island. Dang, that sounds a lot tastier than a cooter!

Jody W.
A SPELL FOR SUSANNAH--Winter 2008, Samhain Publishing
http://www.jodywallace.com/ * http://meankittybox.blogspot.com/

10 November 2007

Here a cat, there a cat, everywhere a Werecat

I love cats. I love their sounds, their touch, the subtle brush of their tail as they stalk past on quiet feet. Beings of quiet mystery, they entertain me and stimulate my creativity just being around them.

Cats are the masters of passive aggresive. When they want attention, they're just as likely to use a cold shoulder and a turned back to get it as to jump in your lap and headbutt you into a cuddle.
Family allergies have made us a dog house, and though I adore dogs as well it is a different love. A more boisterous, in your face, I'll lick you until you pay attention to me sort of love.

When I sat down to write my first shapeshifter story, I didn't even debate what sort of animal my Chimaga would be shifting into for their moonlit runs. The cougar jumped into my mind, and from the first few sentances I knew who these people were. Their animals were a part of them from the beginning.

I need to find a way out─now! The desperate thought chased Nilana through the night.

Behind her, she sensed the pair of cougars drawing closer. The warrior and the shaman hunted her tirelessly, their paws passing without sound over the rock-strewn canyon bottom. *

Different cultures had werecat folklore from before written history. These were fables and stories based on the cats native to a particular land. In Asia, there were tigers - portrayed as a cattle eating sorcerer in India, and a protective spirit in Malasia. European werecats were more often giant housecats, and usually considered witches. And the Americas, long before Columbus, had were-jaguars and were-cougars.

Today werecats have become a thing of fiction. In movies (Sleepwalkers and Night Watch), TV (Manimal), and books (the Anita Blake series, The Southern Vampire series), shapeshifting cats take the center stage. They entertain, they thill, and they appeal to a purely animalistic side of their fans.

And to me, there's nothing like that quiet moment when feline eyes meet your own in an unblinking stare of mysterious communication. I'll never know what is going on behind those beautiful eyes. But they're an endless source of inspiration and wonder.

*Excert from Hunting the Huntress, coming January 8, 2008 from Samhain Publishing

08 November 2007

All Creatures Great and Small

Well, it sounds like it could be a paranormal title, don't you think?

But apart from that, this post doesn't have too much in the way of a paranormal angle. No, instead I was thinking of my new favorite show, House, and my old favorite show, All Creatures Great and Small. And then, a light bulb went off when I realized that, in fact, House is an updated version of All Creatures Great and Small.

Okay, so they moved from a veterinary practice to a hospital, from country to city, from Yorkshire to New Jersey, but it's still medicine. There's more sex and cynicism, but, updated. And the woman has a job beyond, wife.

  • Siegfried = House (eccentric, not-so-old bastard)
  • Tristan = Chase (feckless young, pretty man)
  • James Herriot = Foreman (ultimately the one easiest to relate to—okay, perhaps you have to ignore parts of season two)
  • James Herriot's wife (whose name I cannot even remember) = Cameron (caretaker, only in House she got matched up with the wrong guy)

Alcohol has been updated to prescription drugs and fewer shows center around slapstick drunkenness. But still, I think this analogy works.

Since I'm sick of Wilson analyzing House with his less-than-insightful platitudes, I'd be happy for him to go anyway.

So, what do you think? Nicer scenery in All Creatures Great and Small but House has more plotlines.

And Hugh Laurie and Robert Hardy carry/carried the shows.

06 November 2007

Thanksgiving Paranormal Style

This is a fried turkey, which if you must know is the only way we eat it down here in Bayou Country.

Since it’s almost that time, I thought I'd post a little day in the life of Gilda, Suburbia’s Own Very Desperate Housewitch. It’s a normal Thanksgiving in a peaceful suburban household, until we give it a paranormal twist. Read on and with my favorite blessing.. Amen and Dig in.

Hello! I'm Gilda, welcome to my humble abode here in Paranormaville USA. We're located a bit left of center, down a path that is a little less traveled. You're welcome to join us, just mind the garden gnomes, they bite.

Come right on in, please ignore the mess.. you'll notice we're pretty normal, except for the fact that the pumpkin pie was teleported to the table by good old Uncle Joe. He’s been able to do that since they put the steel plate in his head after the war, dontcha know? Yeah, Uncle Joe, we really love it when you poof frogs in grandpa’s underpants. Man, lookit him go, hey, he forgot his walker! Too bad you can’t do that with cranberry sauce. Now that would be a useful talent so I wouldn't have to beg my teenaged son to go to the store. Any other day he'd be nagging me for the keys. *mutters*

What's that noise? Oh it's great-Aunt Milly in the living room, talking to the dog. Of course, the dog talks back and he’s bitching about losing five bucks on the football game. Doesn’t he know better than to bet against a psychic? I learned that after she bilked me out of my allowance--in the third grade.

You'd better grab a seat, the rest of the family are starting to drift in. I do mean that literally, levitating is easier and it also keeps them from getting their shoes dirty. Since the incident with She Who Shall Not Be Named (Psst! my brother Max’s ex-wife Shelia) who tried to put a spell on him but missed hitting the surrounding grass instead it’s been impossible to grow anything but mud, much to my mother’s everlasting horror. She’d been trying for Lawn of the Year that spring. Sometimes, I think she’d rather it had hit Max instead of her prize roses.

But that’s in the past, we’re all one big happy family now—except for Shelia who can’t break the magical restraining order, thank Justice. And I mean it's a big family, cousins, uncles, aunts, outlaws, and the inevitable in-laws too. Ick. However, in the name of the holiday we sit down at the table, together and give thanks for all that we have. Paranormal or normal it's the same.

Oh dear look at those feathers fly! The turkey just came back to life! It seems my husband’s little sister, Heather, the vegan, hasn’t gotten the hang of her powers yet. Gahh, puberty has gotta be a bitch when you’re a teen witch! Of course, you realize this means that my mother-in-law really is a witch. And you norms thought you had it bad, huh? Oh well, I guess grandpa will have to carve us up pizza again this year.

Happy Thanksgiving from Gilda and of course from me..

Jenna Leigh

05 November 2007

Walk-Ins Welcome

As a long-time student of all things paranormal and occult in nature, one of my favorite subjects is one that the average person doesn't know much about - the walk-in. Now, if you mention reincarnation to someone, they know what you mean. Angel sightings...no problem. But mention a walk-in and you'll be treated to a head cocked to the side and ears up like a dog who doesn't understand a command.

If you don't know what one is, here's a very basic definition: it's the soul that takes over a body when another soul leaves. (Like I said...very basic). I've read varying reasons for why this occurs. 1) The walk-in as discarnate spirit who takes over the body of the host to raise spiritual consciousness in a population. 2) An immature soul resides in a body placed under extreme trauma. An older more experienced soul takes over to "teach." - In this instance, it's unclear to me whether both spirits occupy and integrate into one within the body, each having their own function or how it works out. 3) The immature soul leaves because it cannot cope with situations placed on it, so an older soul takes over to finish their own journey if they can benefit from the lessons learned in that life.

Of all the definitions I've found, I think I like 3 the most. The one about raising the spiritual awareness of a population seems a bit inefficient to me. Wouldn't a soul as important as that enter the body it needed to be in from the very beginning?It seems like too much moving and sorting after the fact.

The second seems a bit crowded, but makes sense with some of the articles I've read about people who claim to be walk-ins. Some walk-ins report they experienced a "reorientation" period to their own life before finally finding the strength to move on. (This after some horrific trauma in their life.) One woman I read about had been physically abused by her husband for years and said he'd beaten her so bad she landed in the hospital unconscious. When she woke she felt as if she didn't belong in her body, or her life anymore. (Brain damage? Could be, but this is a paranormal blog, not a medical one so I'm not wearing that hat at the moment.) As she healed, she found the strength to leave her abusive husband. All her attitudes, thoughts and beliefs changed seemingly overnight. A new woman was born from the ashes of her destructive circumstances.

However, I think I like reason number 3 because it's kind of like you and a buddy splitting a shift at work so you can both have half the day off. It's also an extremely efficient way for souls to learn their lessons and move on without having to live an entire life. Kind of moves things along...though what is eighty some odd years to an ephemeral being?

Oddly enough, though I have read paranormal romances ever since they were like finding the proverbial needle in that freakn' haystack, I've only read one book which utilized this extraordinary and largely overlooked concept, and that was a charming book titled Wrapped in Wishes by Olga Bicos. Not only does it incorporate the idea of walk-ins but also reincarnation.

I've been trying to formulate a storyline that fits with a walk-in character - not to be confused with a walk-on one - and have to admit it's a difficult concept to incorporate into a novel without having to over-explain the matter. Still I find it an interesting concept and always keep my eyes out for articles pertaining to it.

Ahhh...perhaps one day.


04 November 2007

Paranormal Marathons and the Future of Television

DVR is the greatest thing since sliced bread. In fact, it goes Modern Medicine, Harnessing Electricity, DVR, Sliced Bread, and Everything Else. While dealing with illness, deadlines, and the rest of life, my DVR stacked up five weeks worth of Supernatural and Blood Ties for my weekend viewing pleasure. Yay. Now where I love to catch my favorite shows every week rather than go longer between fixes, there is something supremely satisfying about a good preternatural marathon.

Following the adventures of Sam and Dean on Supernatural as they battle the forces of hell on earth, well, it makes my job seem rather relaxing in comparison. The show has everything you could want in a good urban fantasy; preternatural beasties, handsome heroes, sex, violence, and a frantic deadline as Dean’s deal with a crossroads demon bears down on them and his one year to live winds down. Add in an ever-expanding gray area of what exactly is good and evil and--who is on what side--and you have the makings of a wonderful series exploring the human condition through inhuman characters and situations. All while providing lovely eye-candy in the form of the Winchester Brothers and the inhuman hotties they track down on a regular basis.

The Lifetime series Blood Ties is another orgy of otherness that is a personal fave and one I’m oh-so-happy to have caught up on. Here we have another exploration of what it means to be human as seen through the non-human lens of vampire Henry Fitzroy and the supernatural forces he and human private detective Vicky Nelson track down each week to bring to justice. But the monster-of-the-week isn’t the most compelling thing about Blood Ties for this watcher. This, as the fact it’s on Lifetime might give away, is a show about relationships above all else.

Vicky has a past relationship with her former partner on the police force, Mike Celluci. The on-again/off-again relationship is given long term distance when Vicky quits the force due to her degenerating eyesight. The two are brought back together when her new enterprise as a private detective takes the sudden supernatural twist of a demon seriel killing in the city. Just as they rejoin one another’s lives, Henry enters Vicky’s life as the only one willing to believe what’s going on because he himself is part of the preternatural community of things that go bump in the night.

The attraction between Henry and Vicky is obvious from the beginning, as is the fact that Mike wants what he and Vicky once had, along with what they never quite achieved. It leaves Vicky caught between two men and her own fear of commitment. Watching her try to have both without committing to either is worth the price of admission alone. Meanwhile, Henry and Mike develop a begrudging respect over time and the mental dance between the three of them makes for the best scenes in the series in my opinion.

Shows like Blood Ties give me hope for the future of urban fantasy and paranormal romance on television. It’s a story we’ve seen a thousand times yet placed in a paranormal setting that makes it new again. Its success could open the doors even wider for new and varied shows proving there really is something for everyone if studios are merely willing to take the chance. (And it doesn’t hurt that the better UF/PR does on television, the more likely we are to find viewers seeking books while their shows are on hiatus and that means more readers for us. But really, it’s the future of television I’m looking out for, honest.)

With more and more shows deviating from the mainstream each season, and more finding their audiences each fall and summer, I think we’re at the tipping point of taking over the airwaves the way UF and PR are taking over the bookshelves. I know that the statistics say we have fewer people reading, but the shows out now are shaping the imagination of future readers and I can’t help but think that there’s a middle ground between the watchers and the readers that will soon be hit upon. It’s a great time to be paranormal and there are great shows displaying the value of what we love for all to see.

Okay, back to soaking up a few episodes before heading out for the vampire shift at work.

Paranormal Marathon Ramble Done


02 November 2007

Don't go Fishing in the Moat

A.K.A. What Happens in DunVegas, Sorta Happens in DunVegas.

So, here you are. You've scrimped, saved, sold your auntie's jewelry and hawked a few tons of ancient Persian antiques and you've done it. You've bought a week's party vacation time for you and your girl in the ritzy spot on The Strip, DunVegas. So with pool parties, crap shoots, baccarat and slots to keep you both amused during the day, and hot tubs, whirlpools, sauna’s and other more esoteric entertainments to tickle your fancies at night. But strangely, you’re stuck. What should you take your girl to try? Take a skinny dip in the aquarium to kiss the kraken and meld with the mermaid? Fish for selkie in the moat? Toss up your chips at the poker table? Or should you find the latest in lean cuisine and try the famous DunVegas rat on a stick? What little tricks will have her oohing in delight and melting, naked, into your arms at night?

Well, never fear. Our special Agent Double D.3 has risked life, limb and baccarat to troll hidden delights in the pleasures of DunVegas. Want to know what really, tickles her nipples, and dampens her panties? And why a brown poker chip will make her giddy, and a white one will require you undertaking genital surgery. So gather your cash, and be prepared to spend with Agent Double D.3's special report on What Happens in DunVegas, Sorta Happens in DunVegas:

Agent Double D.3 reports :

1. Vampires: Well, Duckiepoo, let’s face it. You’re not going to be doing much during the day, so you’re going to have to grin and bite it while your sexy sweetheart flashes about the place in her barely concealing shorts and Tee. Be patient and bide your time, try to ignore her tales of super hunks, and swimming pool flirtations. When the moon comes out, you can swagger to the poker table, with your beloved on your arm. Now’s the time to use your special skills, charm the pants, shirt and chips off your opponents and win tons of money. Make sure you give your lass a brown chip or two. These little 5000 dollar markers, the instant panty remover, will soften her up. When you get her back to your room, and tipsy on champagne, a special version of Texas Hold-‘Em will make her, ooh, through the night. Warning, under no circumstances believe a handful of white will make her happy. Around here a dollar chip isn't even enough to make a ten percent deposit for a cola, let alone buy one and you may find a dainty stiletto heel embedded in your groin.

2. Werewolves: Massages, and moonsbane, what more could you need, besides the raw buffalo steaks in the exclusive restaurants. Oh, yes, your beloved. Ooops, how could your obsessive alpha personality forget about her? Yes, there are tons of other alpha's all waiting around the tables raising your hackles and signaling the challenge. Don't let this cause you to neglect her. Instead make sure she see the benefit of lazing by the pool. Provide a constant supply of daquiri’s delivered by that handsome, make your panties wet, bartender, and you’ll be able to play those tables to your heart’s content. Do avoid temptation and don’t let the scent of strange werekitties cause you to change and go chasing the poor pussies. If you do the Deathly Buzzing’s, Wolverine Penile Enhancer she bought might just get used with somebody else.

3. Ghosts: Yes, this is crazy. You came here expecting to be one of a few, but everywhere you look there are ghosts popping out of thin air. And they're parent’s for God’s sake. You'll find no decent hauntings here. No chance of giving the local tourists or staff a middle of the night fright. Worse still, you're chance of a quick peek in their showers is likely to end up with the PMS carting your ass off to the ectoplasmic cooler, period. Not to mention your beloved is very adverse to a bit of slap and tickle with translucent voyeurs wandering into the bedroom every five minutes. Why don't you take your sweetheart and do what you do best. Go cheat. Take her to the roulette table and, when no one can see you, just put the ball into the number she's bid on. Bingo, she’ll be a millionaire overnight. Just suggest, when you return to your room, that millionaire’s don’t wear such cheap, flimsy panties or give a fig for voyeurs. Hey, why not? It’s worked for you before…

4. Invisible men: You've just worked out there's a big disadvantage to being invisible where almost everyone can smell you coming from a mile away. So you cant do your usual party tricks ( at least not without being ripped into were snacks) big deal. Just smile, chin up and walk proudly around this fine establishment wearing your specially laundered new bandages, all subtly scented with catnip, garlic and moonsbane. Not that you're vindictive, no, you're just protecting your sweetheart. It has nothing to do with your poker opponents half collapsing at the table. Once you've won stacks of money, treated your girl to a handful of browns, and filled her with a gallon or two of DunVegas's home vintage. Now is the time to take her to your room and demonstrate the trick of the vanishing panties. Oh, if you go walkabout at night, take plenty of wooden stakes, pepper spray and a sidearm with silver bullets. Some of those poker losers are going to be pissed.

5. Mermen: Okay. Let’s try to forget you’ve just seen four of your sisters and three of your brothers squirming at the mercy of an oversexed kraken (yes we know you're going to need psychiatry for years). This is your big chance to prove to your sweetheart she means much more to you than the sea, raw fish and caviar. Yes, big scary thought. Take her to a show, a restaurant (not The Abyss. You don't want to see those guys playing with the kraken.) Later in the evening you can flip a few chips on the tables before easing into her slot, uh, easing her into the slots. Whatever you do, avoid walking anywhere except in the foyer and the casino. Yes, we also know that the whirlpool tub does wonderful tingly things to your dorsals, but why should she care if you're going to go all floppy on her?

6. Incubus: Okay, so you’ve never seen one. I’ve never seen one, in fact very few of us have ever seen one. So why the hell did you try go fishing in the moat for one? Your beloved has been excited about this trip for an entire year, and now she has to spend most of it in ER while they cut you out of Nessie's stomach. And once you're out, is she really going to fancy you now you're all covered in gunk? Give it up dude. Throw your bank balance at her and let her party while the nurses de-gunk you. Whatever you do, don't be tempted to do your thing with the nurses. The way your luck's going this week, you sweetheart is bound to find out and trust me, braised incubus sweetmeats, is the last thing you want to see on the DunVegas menu.

7. Djinn: This is almost your cup of tea. Okay, so the minarets don’t quite look right. And the doors and windows are sadly missing their arches, but the pomp and grandeur is here, in a dismal sort of way. Your recent encounter with the delectable Ms. Bast has also assured you that the sexy, dancing slave girls are still around, they just dress differently in this century. Keep a low profile and give your beloved the thrill of her life by supplying a constant stream of jackpots in those coin slot things she plays. Then fast food nachos and peppermint chocolatini’s will satisfy some of her bodily cravings. If you've played it right, and treated her well, you'll be assured of your own little jackpot tonight.

Agent Double D.3 report ends.

Don't forget guys, all Agent Double D.3 reports, along with a rare image of the lass herself, are now archived on my forum (see link below.)

Web Page : www.sjwilling.com
LiveJournal : http://hundakleptisis.livejournal.com/
MySpace : http://www.myspace.com/sjhundak_sjwilling
Newsletter : http://groups.yahoo.com/group/thewillingcourier/
Forum : http://www.sjwillingforum.com

01 November 2007

Thirteen Things about JODY WALLACE

Thirteen Things about JODY WALLACE

1 - Tell us a little bit about yourself and your life?
I'm a stay at home writer mom who doesn't clean or do yard work, butI'm an excellent dancer (in the kitchen), I can type 1-handed, and I can restrain a 1 year old with one arm and a 5 year old with the other while brainstorming on the telephone with a critique partner.

2 - When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
When I got to college and my professor told me I was too much of a weirdo to be a psychiatrist. That and my knee-jerk avoidance of college level math classes nudged me into my so-useful MFA in creativewriting. I have that sheepskin around here somewhere. I think the tube it's in is propping up one of the shelves in kid #1's closet.

3 - How would you describe the genre in which you do most of your writing?
I'm still, as they say, waiting for the spaghetti to stick to thewall. Okay, maybe "they" don't say it, but Grannie did. I've written sf/f, paranormal romance, and humorous women's fiction; my favorite would be a spotted hybrid of the three. Why spotted? I don't know. Seems like hybrids are often spotted, doesn't it? Or infertile, but I haven't noticed that side-effect so far. Right now I'm picturing a ratty, wire-haired terrier mutt with a lot of energy and a strange,unexpected appeal, a dog you take home with you even though you didn't WANT a dog. Which I can't argue with -- I don't want a dog, either. I'm a cat person.

4 - Star Wars or Star Trek?
Firefly! (Woohoo! EC)

5 - What would you say are the biggest challenges that you face ?
Balancing home and career. And the stack of dishes from lunch long enough to get them to the sink safely, even though the Drool Monster is clinging to my legs and yelling. I can't tell if she wants more food or a clown show.

6 - What would you say has been your most significant achievement as awriter?
The fact I'm still chasing it down like an escaped housecat after two high risk pregnancies and a lot of rejections.

7 - The deadlines are all met, and the manuscript is delivered, whatdo you do to relax and give yourself a break?
Start the next book! The first 1/3 is always sheer pleasure. I also update http://www.meankitty.com/ and read my friends' books.

8 - What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Find a good nag circle, aka critique group -- nag yourself to write and critique, nag them to send you more chapters and critiques, and in turn they'll nag you for the same things. Also, research publishing opportunities very carefully before signing on the line. Speaking of which, why do they say "dotted line"? It's never dotted.

9 - What kinds of books do you like to read? Who is your favorite author?
I read the same stuff I write -- sf/f, romance, women's fiction. I'vebeen on an urban fantasy kick lately, which is easy to do because the market is on an urban fantasy kick. I also read a lot of Teletubbies,fairy tales, baby faces board books, and Dr. Seuss. My favorite is anything that has lift-a-flaps because it holds the baby's interestthe longest. Until she rips them off and eats them, but hey, quick lunch!

10 - What is your latest book about?
The book due from Samhain in early 2008 is A SPELL FOR SUSANNAH. It's a grown up version of the 12 Dancing Princesses. By grown up I don'tmean erotic, though one has to wonder what those naughty princesses got up to in the secret castle with all those men! I've also got a bonafide erotic romance under my pen name, Ellie Marvel, out inDecember 2007 from Red Sage Publishing. In "Heat", a futuristic romance in SECRETS Volume 22, a beta male alien has to juggle going into heat and his tomboy best friend's little problem at her job in the mines. I adore beta males when they're forced out of their comfort zones by their love for the heroine.

11 - What will your next book be about?
I'm working on a light urban fantasy wherein the heroine can see lies.Handy skill, right? Not when she uses her mysterious talent for...absolutely nothing! Except finding out whether or not she really looks fat in these pants. Luckily for my readers, within the first chapter, the paranormal underground finds out what she can do, and she has to face up to some of the lies she's been telling herself.

12 - It's a special night - cook in, or eat out?
OUT. Someone else to cook, someone else to do the dishes, and someone else to babysit the kids.

13 - Now for the most important question - what do you believe makes a booksexy?
My name on the cover. In the author spot, not the title, because I seriously doubt my (auto)biography would be sexy. Maybe funny, if we exaggerate a lot.

Find out more about Jody by visiting her website at http://www.jodywallace.com/

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