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Showing posts from 2006

an early Christmas bonus!

I got a little surprise package in the mail today, boys and girls: a pack of real live cover flats for NOCTURNE!

Honestly wasn't expecting these - I've been using cover cards. These are NICE, folks. And I'm sure you know the value of a signed cover flat on the collectible market.

*mumble*

Fine then, the value of a signed cover flat for an author people have actually HEARD of. The smartass in the back of the room can shaddup. :P

But hey, you never know! I could hit the big time, right? New York book deals, multi-state book tour, private yacht? Right? Then it'll be worth zillions!

*crickets chirp*

Okay, so what will I do with all these lovely cover flats?

Gift with purchase!

From now until the end of the year, anyone who purchases anything off my web site or CafePress shop gets a free cover flat in the mail, personally autographed by yours truly. Postage is on me and everything. C'mon, you know you want one. They're so shiny and pretty.

And because I'm not a crass co…

Abaddon musings

The editing process is actually a lot of fun for me, particularly when it's been three months since I last looked at The Beast. I'm still dissatisfied with the structure of ABADDON, but it's better than I remembered it.

Writing is always a struggle for me now. It's like I know the book in my head, I know what it can be, and what appears on paper always falls short of what I know it could be. That should make editing torture - scrambling to make the work match the book in my head, and always falling short.

But with enough distance - a minimum of six weeks - I can feel the book as though it's almost new to me. And there's a lot of good stuff here. It's not the book I wanted it to be, but it's damn close.

The only rough part, actually, is knowing how much is riding on this book. If it tanks, I'm screwed. Or at least skipping Go and failing to collect $200.

So I drown out the nattering voice chanting, "This book is important can't screw it up c…

Happy Halloween!

The list grows every year, originally compiled from "Don't Do That, You Stupid Twit!" by Dr. Ralph Donald and the denizens of the Green Mile, with my thanks. I hope everyone is having a nicely creepy Halloween!

HOW TO SURVIVE A HORROR MOVIE

If the house you are living in tells you to "GO AWAY," do it. Now.
If you're a virgin, stay that way.
If a killer with a knife is chasing you around the house, do NOT go upstairs. Go out the front door, you idiot!
For God's sake, turn on the lights.
Never split up.
Never stoop over to see if the killer is dead. He's not.
Never get naked in front of a window.
Avoid the following geographical locations: Amityville, Elm Street, Crystal Lake, Transylvania, islands, lover's lanes, secluded mountain resorts and all small towns in the state of Maine.
Never pick up hitchhikers.
If a small town off the highway is deserted, it's probably for a very good reason.
If your speedometer suddenly starts turning backward, trade the ca…

a first time for everything

I am happy to say that I sold out today's book signing.

The last signing for NOCTURNE was at the Fairview Heights, Ill. Borders this afternoon. By the end of the signing, I had sold every book, including the display copy in the front window.

Bookstore signings are tricky things. You are sometimes mistaken for a bookstore employee, and they ask you where they can find the geography books or the coffee bar. Quite often people don't realize you are the author, even with an "author" sign in front of you. Most of all, though, customers avoid eye contact or conversation. Saying "hello" can weird them out and they scuttle away.

It's the fault of those kiosk operators in malls, I swear. If you make eye contact, you're lost. They've got you, and you'll be forced - forced, I say! - to buy fifteen bucks' worth of nail care products. If you make eye contact with an author at a book signing, you're stuck. You will have to buy the book. So they act…

a quick update....

First of all, Aoife's Kiss Magazine has bought "Silent" and will reprint it in the March 2007 issue. Be sure to pick up a copy, support them and me! Don't worry, you'll get another reminder.

There's more... but I can't talk about it yet.

In the meantime, I've uploaded an excerpt from "The Cold Ones" to my YahooGroup.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/elizabethdonald

It can be accessed by clicking on "files" on the left side of the screen. You might not be able to access it if you're not a member of the group. Join us! We don't bite... oh wait, we totally DO.

Evil grins!

Halloween Sale!

To celebrate that blessed time of scaring you silly, I present the first limited-time-only T-shirt!

http://www.cafepress.com/elizabethdonald.13781496

"Can't sleep... bear will eat me," featuring the angel bear from "Jesus Loves Me." Available only until the witching hour Halloween night! This is what you people get for making me read that story aloud on the circuit all year and having to do the voice of the teddy bear.

In addition, I'm offering autographed copies of SETTING SUNS for two dollars off the regular price. $11 plus shipping, while supplies last!

Also, please keep in mind that all the Nocturnal Urges designs can be special-ordered! If you really like the design on the sweatshirt but want it in a spaghetti top, etc., I can do it for you. Just email me with what you want and I'll give you the price quote.

http://www.cafepress.com/elizabethdonald

Special offers expire at 11:59 p.m. CST Oct. 31. Void where prohibited. You must sign over your second-bor…

Zombie playlist

Because I know you're all dying to know what an author listens to while she writes, right?

It used to be much harder. You had to find just the right album for a given book. I listened to SCHINDLER'S LIST during THE POLARIS PASSAGE. For SANCTUARY it was Josh Groban (shaddup). For NOCTURNAL URGES it was Evanescence. "Bring Me To Life" is, in my head, Samantha's song.

Now, with the marvelousness that is iTunes, I can compile my own playlists. They change over the course of the book, but while I'm writing the zombie novella with the working title THE COLD ONES, here's what I'm listening to:

1. Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 (Allegro: First Movement)
2. Bad Moon Rising (Creedence Clearwater)
3. Everybody Knows (Leonard Cohen)
4. The Downeaster Alexa (Billy Joel)
5. Farewell to Nova Scotia (Three Pints Gone)
6. Red Right Hand (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds)
7. Hurt (Johnny Cash)
8. A Sailor's Prayer (Three Pints Gone)
9. The Town I Loved So Well (The Irish Tenors)
10…

A(nother) Good Cause

I'm always asking you folks to ante up the case - to my Relay team, to the Cub Scouts and buy my books, please. But two co-workers are walking in a charity drive, and I am compelled to come to you again.

There's two things making this effort different:

a) It benefits the Violence Prevention Center, and

b) They've only raised $120 of a $500 goal. And some of that is from me.

Domestic violence isn't the sexiest of charity causes. It's not universal, like cancer. Its victims aren't usually wide-eyed children. There is no pretty poster to be made. But every woman who's ever had a black eye knows how vital services to prevent domestic violence are.

Consider donating a little cash. Even $5 is enough. Paypal to elizabethdonald@yahoo.com by Friday. And bless you for it.

The Muse on Zombies

ME: I imagine it's a bad sign when I'm less than 3,000 words into the story and already reimagining the beginning.
MUSE: Yup.
ME: I always want to think stories in linear time.
MUSE: Too bad that sucks.
ME: It really does.
MUSE: You know why, don't you?
ME: The first thing that's important isn't where the story begins. The story begins with the first thing that's different.
MUSE: You're not still listening to Orson Scott Brownshirt, are you?
ME: Just because he's a right-wing homophobic asshole doesn't mean he's not right about writing. I liked SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD.
MUSE: And was that linear?
ME: Oh, shut up.
MUSE: So where does the story begin?
ME: The scream. Jeff Pagliei's scream in the street.
MUSE: That kicks Sara right into soldier mode. We'll never see her out of soldier mode.
ISABEL: And they'll hate her. She's way too cold.
MUSE: She is not.
ME: She's not cold. She's efficient.
ISABEL: Nobody's gonna like her if we don'…

Zombies R Us

That was actually a suggested title. My father is not always helpful when it comes to titles. He did come up with A MORE PERFECT UNION, but that book kinda tanked, so maybe I can blame him.

You ever hear a piece of music that just completely changes the picture in your head? I had pretty much figured out how I was going to write this zombie novella. I don't have enough time to write the whole thing, then research it and rewrite it from scratch, which is my usual procedure. So I'm doing something amazing: plotting and researching it BEFORE I write it.

This is why God laughs when we make plans.

I was just about ready, folks. Had it all, down to the willing victims (though I still need a few more soldiers). Then I attended a pirate festival this past weekend. I heard a terrific band called Three Pints Gone, and their performance of, "A Sailor's Prayer."

Suddenly the novella is going in a totally different direction. And I can't call it "The Monsters on Main St…

In lieu of actual content...

Didn't I promise you actual entries? Okay, it was a busy week.

But before we get to actual content, it's time to save one of the good guys.

Apex Digest is a good mag. It hasn't been around long, but it's printed the likes of Ben Bova. Hell, it's got a sub from me, and I'd be beyond proud to appear. And, like all the good ones, it's in trouble.

http://saveapex.maryrobinettekowal.com/category/raffle/

I wish I'd had the chance to help Undanted Press's Whispers from the Shattered Forum before it vanished. And this is the coolest idea for saving a magazine I've ever seen. Here's some of the stuff being raffled off:

A signed print of Burning Names by Alex McVey (8.5 X 11 in. acid-free archival quality print)

Have a story edited by Beth Wodzinski of Shimmer Magazine

Have a story edited by Jason Sizemore

A signed first edition hardcover of The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

A signed Midnight Syndicate t-shirt plus stickers

Copy-edited manuscript of Ben Bova’s …

Sept. 11: Kings of a Shattered Mountain

If you succumb to the temptation of using violence in the struggle, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, and your chief legacy to the future will be an endless reign of meaningless chaos.
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

There seem to be three schools of thought as to how to commemmorate the fifth anniversary of Sept. 11: a) swamp us with "I remember..." interviews for 24 hours; b) tell your story of Where You Were When It Happened; c) say nothing at all. A friend of mine posted that no one should say anything unless we have something new to say, and no one has anything new to say.

It was a crazy day for us in the news business, even as far removed from the crisis as St. Louis, and it wasn't until the special edition was on the street and things had calmed a little that we realized we were covering the biggest story we'd ever see.

Or so we devoutly hope.

Each year, I have tried to think of something to say on Sept. 11. Each ye…

Sleepwalkers Chat!

We said we'd do this quarterly, so here we are! Tuesday is the second Sleepwalkers Chat, featuring 10 percent more snark!

WHO: Jeff Strand, Elizabeth Donald, Frank Fradella, Kit Tunstall and Jay Smith
WHAT: Sleepwalkers Chat!
WHEN: 8-10 p.m. EST Tuesday, Sept. 12
WHERE: Wilderness Chat Room (directions below)
WHY: To talk! Hear about the new books, the adventures on tour, that thing about Frank signing women's breasts at Dragoncon... Oops! Also some new stuff coming out. Oh, and maybe some PRIZES...

So drop by and join us! Or else!

WILDERNESS CHAT ROOM INSTRUCTIONS

a) Go to http://wilderness.homeip.net/wilderness/connect/bean/index.html.
b) Wait while it loads. This can take a minute. You may see a little coffee cup thinking.
c) If it asks you if you trust the applet, you say YES.
d) You'll see a little black screen. Click File and go down to Connect. 
e) It will ask you for a login name and password. You only have to do this step once. Don't worry, no one's logging so mu…

DRAGONCON: Post-Con Depression

Happens every time. Conventions are like mountaintop experiences, trapped in a small space with people who share your interests and most of whom bathe. You can crack a joke that the convention center layout was obviously designed by Hal 2000, and you don't get a funny look that says, "What the hell are you talking about?" Hey, sometimes you even get a laugh. Because they've seen the same movies, read the same books, and they get it.

You can wax literary about Wonder Woman as the balancing archetype of truth between Superman's archetype of justice and Batman's archetype of vengeance. You can discuss the impact of feminism in latter-day science fiction television and warrior-woman imagery in fantasy art. You examine the impact of Victorian sexual repression on the popularity of Bram Stoker's vampiric vision and compare it to the evolution of the vampire in modern popular culture as related to the sexual revolution(s) in the latter half of the 20th century.

I…

DRAGONCON: Selling Like Quark

Happy beyond words to report that as of Sunday night, I am down to one NOCTURNE and two SETTING SUNS.

This convention has succeeded beyond my imagining. My insane schedule has proven manageable with extensive amounts of caffeine. The panels have been well-stocked with intelligent, friendly audiences and terrific panelists. I don't think there really has been a true asshole encounter yet. The booth is doing well - New Babel is selling books like candy.

Today I took a little time to be a fangirl. Just an hour, okay? I shook Nicholas Brendon's hand, and he's just as yummy in person. No, seriously, I wanted to thank him for his work as the spokesman for the Stuttering Foundation, as the mother of a stutterer. If I'd had the time, I'd have told him that my little boy used to suffer from a terrible stutter, and he's an enormous BUFFY fan. I can point to Xander and say, "He used to stutter too," and my son feels better about himself, and knows the future can …

DRAGONCON: The Agony of De Feet

Today has been a zooming day thus far, and it's only half over. Spent much of the day in the dealer's room, hawking books like mad. We're selling quite well, from my point of view, at least. I'm down to only a handful of SETTING SUNS and have sold at least half the NOCTURNEs.

Only one fan showed up for my signing, but that's to be expected, I guess. I'm signing books all the time at the booth, so that's probably why. I met the marvelous Elonka Dunin, and we chatted about Wikipedia for quite some time. Also met up with the force of nature that is Sara Harvey and several old friends.

I also had my reading, and the crowd demanded that I read "Jesus Loves Me." Good lord, do you people love the evil teddy bear. I think I may need to design a T-shirt for the "Can't Sleep... Bear Will Eat Me" image Devin Harris created. Speaking of T-shirts, Anne Freitas and Kelly Parker wore their T-shirts together, and I got a great photo of them. The shi…

DRAGONCON: Sex and Booze

Okay, not really sex.

Today was a very good day. I spent much of the day at the iHero booth hawking New Babel books, including my own. We moved several books, and I was quite pleased with the turnout considering the iHero booth is as far in the corner of the dealer's room as you can get and still be in the dealer's room and not the parking lot.

I finally met the dashing David Wallsh, and we attended the artists' reception together. There's a few really interesting pieces, and I already know the piece of art I'm going to buy if I make enough money at the booth.

I wore the Cleavage Dress to the sex panel - there's always a sex panel, and I'm always on it. The marvelous Fred Grimm was the moderator, and tossed a good bit of snark this way. He also stuck me with the Question: What's the difference between erotica and porn? I could repeat my answer, but the post-panel alcohol has muddled my brain. Suffice to say I have made an ass of myself only twice today - …

DRAGONCON: Swimming in the Hard Rock Cafe

11:32 p.m. EDT Thursday
Atlanta Hilton

This just in: Frank Fradella cannot be trusted near water.

After spending hours waiting for Anne and Dana to make it down from North Carolina, and for Frank to make it up from Florida, we finally met up at the Hard Rock Cafe. It was loud, and we're old. But a good time was had nonetheless.

I am never getting over the sight of an entire restaurant of conpeople and several waitpersons doing the YMCA dance as the Village People cavorted on TV screens. I think I laughed so hard I ruptured something. Particularly when we all pointed at Frank every time they sang, "Young man!"

This was after Frank had spilled a full glass of ice water in my lap.

This was before Frank spilled another full glass of water on Anne and himself.

The waitpeople started making cracks about our table. Each time they brought us more water, they placed it as far away from Frank as possible.

Dana suggested that perhaps our table was salvaged from the Titanic.

Conclusion: Fra…

DRAGONCON: Flying the Friendly Skies

11:11 a.m. CST Thursday
Airborne

Okay, smartasses. Whoever called my cell phone at the instant the plane was taking off? You're verrrry funny. If they take me away to Guantanamo for forgetting to turn off my cell phone, or my plane crashes because your signal mangled a thingamabob in the cockpit... well, you'll be very sorry. Meh.

In other news, INFERNII is now exactly 50,001 words. WOOOOOOOO!

----
In case anyone was wondering, Anne was the smartass.

DRAGONCON: Liftoff

9:36 a.m. CST
St. Louis Lambert Airport

I am disappointed. Not only did I not get strip-searched by the TSA, but the St. Louis airport does not have wireless, free or otherwise. Rats.

Muchas gracias to Chris, for generously getting up at the crack o' dawn to help me finangle my enormous luggage and less-enormous son. I am happy to report that a combination of judicious packing, logistics engineered by Chris, and a small shipping issue reduced Monstro's weight to 50.5 lbs. and they let me slide on the half pound. Which is good, because I try not to throw fits at airports for fear of Gitmo, but damn.

Of course, it means I'll be hauling 50 lbs. of Monstro, 22 lbs. of DanaBag and 25 lbs. messenger bag across Atlanta. Dragon Ladies: I will need a shower and possibly a shot of morphine when I arrive. Darn books.

After all my fretting and careful planning, I got through check-in and security molestation in about, oh, ten minutes. It took longer to take off my boots and barrette and pu…

Dragoncon Schedule

In which I am very, very glad I opted for the latest flight out on Monday.


FRIDAY

5:30 p.m. My Favorite Starship Commander is a Woman
(I am not kidding, they signed me up for it. Taking nominations now.)
10 p.m. The Little Death: Erotic Horror
Moderated by my good friend Fred Grimm. Fred, what HAVE you been up to?


SATURDAY

1 p.m. Autograph Session
Me and Elonka Dunin. Alas, I shall miss the Baen Books preview.
3 p.m. Reading
I'm the warm-up act for Peter David, folks. Whoa.
10 p.m. And Then What Happened? (plots that intrigue readers)
Aaah! I'm opposite the Firefly Shindig! We'll talk fast.)
11:30 p.m. Devil and Demons
I'm not actually on this panel, but Fred Grimm is, so it should be fun.

SUNDAY

4 p.m. Defining the Superhero
I'm not on this panel either, but Frank Fradella is, and it should be a great one.
5:30 p.m. I Did It!
New successes talk about getting published. Me and three others.

MONDAY

11:30 a.m. In a Glass Darkly
Creating an unsettling atmosphere. Well, by Monday morni…

Borders Patrol: A Writer's Insanity

Those of you who've tracked my career from the beginning know that NOCTURNE is the first book to achieve national mainstream distribution. The ebooks were available worldwide, but outside of romance, ebooks have yet to really penetrate the mainstream. SETTING SUNS was a small-press release, and bookstores in large part declined to stock it. NOCTURNE is allegedly in every Borders and Waldenbooks in America. That's really amazing to think about, and very humbling.

That doesn't mean it's been EASY. Though with the assistance of the Denizens of the Literary Underworld, I have been able to track our progress.

Aug. 11:
• Preliminary Denizen reports that the book is available in Nashville, Tenn. stores. This is later proven to be a computer error.
• A Denizen reports the book's appearance (and purchase) in Seattle, Wash.
• Boise, Idaho reports the book as "not yet published."
• Borders computers nationwisde list the book at "Nocturne Urges." So does Amazon.…

NOCTURNE Tour!

I have received reports that NOCTURNE has appeared on Borders shelves. Yay!

Don't forget to pick up your copy! If they don't have it, ask about it! Let's make Borders think the teeming millions are dying (heh) for my vampires!

NOCTURNE Tour Schedule!

Aug. 17: Release Chat Party, Wilderness Chat Room, 8-10 p.m. EST

Aug. 20: Edwardsville Local Authors Festival, Edwardsville (Ill.) Public Library, 2-5 p.m.

Aug. 31-Sept. 4: Dragoncon, Atlanta.

Sept. 13: Sleepwalkers Chat, location TBA, 8-10 p.m.

Sept. 16: NOCTURNE signing, Borders of South County (St. Louis), 2-4 p.m.

Sept. 23: NOCTURNE signing, Borders of St. Peters (Mo.), 2-4 p.m.

Oct. 5-8: Archon, Collinsville, Ill.

Oct. 28: NOCTURNE signing, Borders of Fairview Heights (Ill.), 2-4 p.m.

There may be a few more signings in November; negotiations continue. The next two months are going to be the second-most-grueling time of my life, since of course the day job and mommying continue during all this craziness. But it's a nice problem…

T-shirts!

Woo! The new T-shirts are up at the CafePress shop!

I particularly like, "Proud Member of Diego's Kiss." The designs were created by the brilliant Devin Harris, my wonderfully creative graphic designer. If you ever have need of design services, I strongly recommend her, folks.

Please feel free to drop by and check out the stuff! And, if so moved, buy something!

http://www.cafepress.com/elizabethdonald

Also, don't forget the Edwardsville Local Authors' Festival on Aug. 20! I'll be there 2-5 p.m. at the Edwardsville Public Library. I look forward to seeing you!

another kudos for TANDEM

TANDEM is a quickie with an enjoyable plot. Based around a weekend on a dangerous hiking trail this story is packed with a lot of adventure. Ms. Donald has done a great job building a believable story in a small amount of pages. Ms. Donald has weaved danger, love and humor all in one. In a small amount of time Ms. Donald will have you laughing, crying and full of worry that hero and heroine will make it out of the woods alive.

Ms. Donald’s characters are funny yet fearful. This reviewer was drawn in by the heroine’s fear of letting herself go to a stranger. The way Ms. Donald has her heroine withdraw immediately after their sexual encounter is shocking yet touching. This reviewer feels Ms. Donald’s knows her stuff.

This reviewer feels TANDEM is a good read for any one looking for a quick story packed with adventure.

-- Love Romances

In other news, the tour schedule for NOCTURNE is nearly final and the manuscript for INFERNII is almost done with the Tweak Phase. In short, you might a…

Super-Secret Plan for World Domination

Yup. It's about that time, ladies and gents.

NOCTURNE is about to hit the shelves of the Borders and Waldenbooks stores in your area. I've pegged the street date at about Aug. 18.

That means two things: a) I need your help, and b) PARTY!

Let's deal with (A) first. The fact is, NOCTURNE is just one trade paperback from a press that few people recognize right off the bat. Also, nobody's ever heard of me.

So I need your help if NOCTURNE is to be a success. And why should you care, you might ask? After all, you already bought NOCTURNAL URGES and A MORE PERFECT UNION.

Do you want to know what happens next?

Last night I finished the draft of third book. INFERNII. It's a doozy, folks. I made myself cry. I never cry. I got through TERMS OF ENDEARMENT without a sniffle. It's the book that takes this series out of paranormal horror-romance and into straight horror. I personally think it's gonna be a hell of a ride.

If you want to see INFERNII in stores, NOCTURNE has to be…

Local Appearance!

I am happy to announce that I am a confirmed guest at the Edwardsville Local Authors' Event, part of the library's 100th anniversary celebration! The Edwardsville Library will host local authors 2-5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20. We will all be set up at booths to sign and sell books and chat with readers.

This is the first appearance I have ever done in my own town. They say a prophet is not recognized in her own village, and my few attempts to set something up here in my town have not exactly taken off. I'm a tad nervous, folks.

It would mean SO MUCH to me if you local denizens would show. Drop by and say hello. I might even have NOCTURNE copies on hand (because I know you've all bought SETTING SUNS already, right?). I figure after it's over, we can all go to dinner together or something.

Flunkies appreciated but not necessary. I can probably handle the wild crowds of Edwardsville on my own. Dragoncon, on the other hand...

P.S. Got the sales reports for TANDEM. THANK YOU AL…

TANDEM reviews!

JERR has two reviews for TANDEM out this week:

TANDEM is a good contemporary that gives a perfect portrayal of a feisty and smart heroine in Chris. Reed is a good hero, sexy as all get out, but it is his ability to be comfortable in any situation that makes him a great hero. The camping setup was wonderful and the beauty of the scenes was captivating. The intensity of the mountains was a wonderful catalyst to the drama of the love at first sight. The sex is both hot and develops a very exciting urgency as the couple moves through the hike. For readers wanting a very short but highly entertaining love story, look no farther than Ellora’s Cave Fun in the Sun release of TANDEM.

Anya Khan
Just Erotic Romance Reviews

I enjoy stories that take their time to build up to the flaming hot sex and Fun in the Sun: Tandem did just that. Sometimes with shorter stories the author uses sex as an introduction, because lets face it, there are not many pages to work with. Personally, I really appreciate the…

Relay Volunteerism

Today I attended the wrap-up session for my local Relay for Life. I'm a team captain, and tonight I turned in the last of the cash and sat down for the annual bitch session: Tell us what we can do better next year.

There were many things cheered and a few flaws pointed out. Then I stood up.

"I realize this isn't going to be the most popular idea in the room," I said. "This has been a terrific event for us - it's our second year, and the experience has been very positive. But there was one thing I heard from all my team members, and that's how demoralizing it is for the walkers as they watch the mass exodus at midnight.

"Relay is supposed to be an all-night event. I've been doing Relay for a long time before I moved here, and this is the only Relay I've ever seen where people leave before it's over. The tents aren't supposed to come down until the sun comes up, but the tent city is like a ghost town by 2 a.m. It's hard for those of u…

Greetings from Nashville!

First of all, let me give kudos to the Hypericon staff. Darrell LuAllen, Fred and Stephania Grimm, Chip Allen and all the folks who run Hypericon make it the great show that it is. I imagine they're all still sleeping. Folks, if you haven't experienced the fun that is Hypericon, put it on your list for next year.

I've remarked to several people now that it's damned rare to find a con with no assholes. No egotistical guests lording over their minions. No drunken stupidity (well, a minimum of it). A serious lack of Drahmah. So often the juxtaposition of fandom personalities, sleep deprivation and the seesaw of caffeine and alcohol leads to mindless stupidity and some drunken idiot ends up weeping on the ledge.

Not at Hypericon. Fred pointed out that last year, their security staff consisted of one guy with a big stick, and they had fewer problems than cons with a staff of twenty. This year, the guy and the big stick were joined by a handful of teenagers, all helpful and po…

A Brief Super-Rant

I've been watching "Look, Up In The Sky," a two-hour documentary on Superman as a cultural icon, for several days now.

I'm watching it in short increments with my son. We don't watch a lot of television - no, really, I watch most of it after he goes to bed. But his favorite television show is SMALLVILLE, one of his favorite movies is SUPERMAN, and he is utterly beside himself about the new SUPERMAN movie. I predict by the time the hype is over, he'll be after me to redecorate his room from its current Mickey Mouse theme to reflect the Man of Steel.

And after all, there are few icons so appropriate. Superman has gone through his ups and downs (notably George Reeves' suicide and the debacle that was SUPERMAN IV), but has remained remarkably whole and untouched by the seventy-odd years he's been flying about our popular culture.

When Christopher Reeve stood before us and declared he was there to fight for truth, justice and the American way, only Lois laug…

SMUT FOR SALE!

I'm happy to announce that TANDEM is now available for purchase on the Ellora's Cave web site!

http://www.ellorascave.com/productpage.asp?ISBN=1-4199-0636-4

Jericho Trail was too dangerous to hike alone—those were park rules. That's how Chris and Reed ended up hiking together - two strangers.

Chris went to the woods to be alone, to think and find peace in a time of trouble. Reed went to the woods for a good time. But he had no idea the trail would be so difficult — or that he would share it with such an intoxicating woman.

Separated from the world, the dangers of the trail are nothing compared to the dance between two lost souls, forced together by circumstance but drawn together by the fire burning their blood.

TANDEM is part of the Fun In the Sun series of erotic novellas released all month from Ellora's Cave. It is an ebook, and costs only $2.99. C'mon, it's gonna fund my appearance at Dragoncon. You wanna see me at Dragoncon, don't you?

Go! Buy!

And as always,…

Chat Party!

And this one's going to be a little different.

I'd like to introduce the Sleepwalkers writing group, of which I am proud to be a member. And for the first time ever, we'll all be in ONE PLACE. Yup, the chat party on June 13 (yes, that's Tuesday the Thirteenth; Friday was unavailable) will put all five of us in the Wilderness Chat Room for you to meet and greet. I'm sure it will be dignified, intellectual and respectful, with a minimum of snark. Surely.

WHAT: Sleepwalkers Chat Party
WHEN: 8-10 p.m. EST June 13
WHERE: Wilderness Chat Room (see instructions below

JEFF STRAND (www.jeffstrand.com) is the author of the upcoming thriller PRESSURE, which has gotten such terrific reviews that the rest of us are salivating to read it. He's already cut a name for himself writing horror comedies such as GRAVEROBBERS WANTED, NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY; HOW TO RESCUE A DEAD PRINCESS; and SINGLE WHITE PSYCHOPATH SEEKS SAME, as well as others. Jeff is the king of titles, I tell …