Happy Halloween: BOO!(k release)

Crazy_Like_Fox_400x600So it turns out, there is something more fun than heralding the electronic release of your new book.  Namely: heralding it again when it comes out in print!  Starting today, Crazy Like Fox is available in paperback on JMS Books (dot com).  More of a Kindle guy?  Good news: the eBook is still available, too, and this week (until November 2nd), JMS is having a Halloween Sale, and ALL eBooks are 35% off!

Thanks, JMS Books!

Thanks, JMS Books!

On the fence about Fox?  See why Tina at The Novel Approach highly recommends it in this 4-star review.

Read an excerpt and buy the book here.

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The Month Formerly Known as “November”

NaNo 2013 FB CoverNational Novel Writing Month is again upon us!  My most favoritest month of the year is only a week away.  Where once boring old November heralded little more than grocery store pyramids of canned pumpkin and the beginning of Holiday travel mayhem, since my introduction to NaNoWriMo it has been reborn as thirty coffee-soaked days of work shirking, writing like mad, and Art for Art’s Sake.  This year will see the production of my eighth NaNo masterpiece, so I sort of have my pacing down, and I take a lot of vacation from my airplane gig, so I have more time in my month than most people, but 50,000 words in 30 days is still a challenge.  An ambitious yet achievable goal which every November 3rd I know for a fact I will trounce, and every November 17th seems impossibly, sadistically unreachable.  The hilarious highs, the finger-paralyzing lows, the character whose name you keep changing — it’s all part of the process, and the need to push, pull, or drag a story across the 50K finish line before midnight on the 30th smashes the limits of my creativity like nothing I’ve tried before or since.  Because they’re 50,000 words of Awesome?  No.  In many cases, quite the contrary.  But they’re 50,000 words I didn’t have on October 31st.  They’re words I can render into beauty or comedy or bird cage liner, and they breathe life into characters whose stories no one else was going to tell — whether anyone else reads them or not.

I’m already in love with this year’s characters, who I hope will love each other; if nothing else, we’ll have a Vespa-riding grandma to fall back on.  My blurb on the NaNo website reads thusly:

Santa Fe attorney Danny Hanrahan is the King of the Easy and Obvious Choice, and falling for sexy Ashok Rai is a no-brainer. Embracing Ashok’s alter ego, drag diva Raima Reason, is more challenging; Danny divorced his wife for a reason, and it wasn’t so he could go out and find someone who takes even longer than she did to put on make-up. When Raima’s career looks set to take off, Danny has to decide if he’s along for the ride, or if a boyfriend who’s sometimes a girl is more than he can handle.

"Love has reasons which Reason cannot understand." - Blaise Pascal

“Love has reasons which Reason cannot understand.” – Blaise Pascal

 

This year I revisited a Year One trick of inspiration and designed a cover for my book.  I’ve put pictures of guys that look like my characters around my desk, and I’ve been watching drag shows with a more critical eye of late, figuring if I can’t get a book out of what my husband’s intro to the drag scene has brought into our lives in the last year, then I might as well skip it.  And in case I’m not geeked up enough the night before National Novel Writing Month starts, this year my latest novel, Crazy Like Fox, which itself began life in November, is celebrating its print release.  Watching a NaNo novel make good (such as I did last year when Kiss Me, Straight was released in November, too) is sure-fire inspiration to write to the finish, whatever the cost to logic and grammar, and it is my hope that this year’s novel will one day have a crack at the world, too.  But first I have to stay home from work, slip into my jammies, put Sheena Easton on Pandora, and write like no one is watching, because the one book you can be sure no one will ever read is the one you don’t get around to writing.

Want to write a novel of your very own?  You’ve even got a week to plan!  Sign up at nanowrimo.org 

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Crazy_Like_Fox_400x600Want a print copy of Crazy Like Fox?  Get it at JMS Books for the introductory price of $12.00 starting October 31st!

City Code Snapshot: PIT

Cinnamon NeedsAs you know, I do love my downtown layovers (oh God, this again?).  Largely because I love to go out and get coffee and look at cute boys on them (oh God, this again??).  Today’s sojourn to the South Side of Pittsburgh handily satisfied these cravings.  (As well as all my cinnamon needs.)

I’ve been to Pittsburgh before, but it’s been ages since I’ve been off the airport property, where we used to layover.  I have great memories of coming here fifteen (+) years ago with one great friend to visit another.  We bowled in a dinky upstairs bowling alley and rode the incline and I acquired my yellow souvenir mug from Beehive Coffee.  I sipped from it just the other day, in fact, little suspecting that I would ever visit Beehive again.  Much less in two days, thanks to the (often well-hidden) beauty of Life on Reserve.  Heck, I was just glad the place was still in business, as it would give me a reason to get out of bed and get out of my hotel room, in whose comfort it is sometimes tempting to stay ensconced after a 3-leg 13-hour day.

You can always tell you’re in a place where everybody drives everywhere when the front desk clerk admits that she’s lived there her whole life and can’t tell you the best way to walk to a bridge that’s eight blocks from her job.  But walking around it is the only way to get a feel for a place — you’ve been in the backseat of one taxi cab, you’ve seen ’em all.  It’s by moving through a city’s streets on your feet that you can peruse the architecture, the accent, and the lunch specials.   That you stumble upon bookstores run by eccentric old men of the kind you fear (and hope) you’ll become, or upon rugby teams from local universities raffling off dates with toothsome players to passersby (which I, alas, did not win.).  After suggesting multiple alternatives to walking (a cab, the T, she might have muttered something about hitchhiking), my pal at the front desk was able to unearth and (skeptically) provide me with a map, and off I went, across the Monongahela (which I mention mostly to carpe the diem of having the opportunity to drop a cool riparian place name  like “Monongahela”) into a gorgeous fall day. 

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Writing Exercise/City Code Snapshot: SNA

greetings-from-orange-county-californiaHey gang!  So today we’re going to try something a little different, and use (slightly more than a thousand) words instead of a picture to offer a snapshot of the Orange County layover.  Partly, yes, because I neglected to take a picture while I was there yesterday, but also because I used my one Orange County Outing as a writing prompt, the results of which I am moved to foist upon an unsuspecting public share.

The sun-soaked oceanfront county of Orange is home to 3 million people.  It encompasses such scenic byways as Laguna Beach, San Juan Capistrano, and Tomorrowland, and boasts a glamorous mall and a very manageable airport named after the man who shot Liberty Valance.  It is, in other words, as depicted on this-here postcard, probably delightful as a vacation hot spot; at the very least, judging by all of the dernier-cri sportsters zooming along the 12-lane surface streets, it is a great place to get rich selling really expensive cars.  And, as is often the case in this post-fun day and age of flying, we see none of that.  No Laguna art galleries or Capistrano swallows for these crews; rather, we lay over in an airport-adjacent business park close to a fountain, a few drastically trimmed shrubs, and bugger all else.  If you are firm in your resolve to get coffee, however — and you know how in this arena my resolve does not waver — you can walk 3/4 of a mile, take your life in your hands crossing the hugest intersection in Southern California, and get you a Starbucks.

Which is of course what I did yesterday.  Having collapsed onto my bed at something of an early hour the night before, I was up and at them, and rolled up at the Starbucks at like a quarter to nine.  A stone’s throw from the Southern California headquarters of every company in America that has a Southern California headquarters, this particular Starbucks was jammed.  Men in suits, women in heels, everyone on their way to work or getting a jump on the first meeting of the day, everyone talking, either into their phones or at each other.  The baristas were rushed off their feet, friendly and loud.  And over here along the wall, as is apparently required by some bylaw in company policy at every Starbucks location, sat the Guy Working on His Laptop.  I was like, Really?  This is where you’re going to come to try and get some work done?  I myself have a crippling fear of being perceived as a posturing Look At Me! douche anytime I so much as refer to my laptop in public, and so naturally I judge others harshly against this standard that I hate having applied to my own self, you know how we do.  But then I caught myself doing it — which is much less rewarding than just blithely judging people and getting on with your day, as you know — and reminded myself, You don’t know this dude’s story at all.  And, because I prefer to think of myself as someone who Knows It All, I remedied that by sitting — on a lovely patio chaise, but still — at the very same Starbucks amidst the very same distracting crowd, and writing (it hurts from the irony, I know), and deciding that his story is this: Continue reading