Showing posts from September, 2010

Guest Post from Rachel Aaron: The New Gold Age

Today I am being joined by debut author Rachel Aaron. I first met Rachel (and heard about her Eli Monpress series) over at the Magic District blog. More recently, I had the amazing opportunity chat with Rachel in person for a couple hours  at Dragon*con, where as well as having an entertaining conversation, she gave me a 'teaser book' with the first chapter of her debut novel, Spirit Thief.
The novel is a humorous fantasy, and you can find that same first chapter HERE. (Go ahead and go check it out, I'll wait.) I dare you to read it and not want to read the rest of the book. Spirit Thief hit shelves Tuesday, and you can bet I already pick up my copy.

And now, on to Rachel and her post on The New Golden Age:

When I tell people I'm a writer, one of the first things they say (after the obligatory “So, when are you going on Oprah?”)  is generally some variation of “too bad kids/teens/people-in-general don't read anymore” accompanied by either a defeated sigh or a fed u…

More to come

I'm working on the Writers' Police Academy post, so it should be up later today. In the meantime, I have a guest post about the Grave Witch cover up at Literary Escapism. If you've been wondering about how the cover came about (at least the process I was able to observe) then please, go check it out! There is also a contest to win a $10 amazon gift certificate, so check out the post and leave a comment there for a chance to win.

And on the topic places to go and things to win, I'm being interviewed on SciFi Guy and Obfuscation of Reality today.  Check it out to learn more than you likely want to know about me and my story, and, of course, signed books are up for grabs!

One more quick note before I return to writing the blog you are actually looking for.  Grave Witch has been nominated for "Best UF/PNR BOOK Cover For October 2010 Book Release" at Bitten By Books. The book is currently closing in on third place, which is awesome. The books GW is competing with a…

Interview with Rachel Vincent

Today I have the privilege of interviewing Rachel Vincent, the author of the Shifters and Soul Screamers series. I first met (met being virtual) Rachel when I was in the submission process with Once Bitten and she'd just sold Stray but still had a good year or more wait before it was set to hit shelves. She was one of the first authors I worked up the nerve to talk to, and she turned out to be one of the nicest, most helpful people I've ever corresponded with. She also turned out to be an absolutely phenomenal author who quickly rose to the top of my 'must buy' list. 

The final novel in her Shifters series, Alpha, hits shelves today and I'm anxiously awaiting the UPS man to deliver my copy. So it is with a great deal of excitement that I'm interviewing Rachel about her writing, the Shifter series, and Alpha.

Without further ado, the interview:

Kalayna: The Shifters series was your first published series and I know it must be a little scary for it to be coming t…

News, interviews, and appearances

Despite signing a waiver which stated that I could die during my firearms training this weekend, I have returned safe and sound from the Writers' Police Academy. I cannot recommend this conference enough. I learned a ton and came home with pages and pages of notes. In fact, so much material was covered, I'm not ready to blog about it yet. I need to go through my notes and pull pictures from my camera, so look for a post on the academy to hit the blog Wednesday.

Why not tomorrow?

Easy. Tomorrow I will be interviewing Rachel Vincent, the amazing author behind the Shifters and Soul Screamers series. You don't want to miss this one, so make sure you stop by the blog tomorrow. 

And speaking of interviews, I'm being interviewed over at All Things Urban Fantasy today. (Yes, today. Go read it!) Leave a comment or question to enter the drawing for a signed copy of Grave Witch.

Also, my interview at  is now live! Find out more about Death, who I'd talk to if I h…

From the Archive: U can has Laughs 4 UR Grammar

I'm out of town at the Writers' Police Academy, so today's post is from the blog archive. This post was originally written back in May of 2008--you know, back when the blog had maybe three viewers. So I'm bringing it for your entertainment. The post is updated slightly and now includes even more kittehs!


Admit it. You've been there. or a some other Caterday site. You've looked at the cute little animals with clever little captions because well, they make you laugh. (And if you haven't looked, you should, laughing is good for you.)

The problem becomes apparent when you think about the fact most people understand grammar intrinsically, not factually. Things sound right to the ear. But if enough people use words/phrases incorrectly, they start sounding 'right' and are eventually adopted as slang, and after enough time, slang is adopted as an evolution of the English language. That's what a living languag…

On Research

When you tell someone that you write fiction, occasionally (but more often than one might expect) one of two extreme assumptions are voiced:  

1.) The writer sat down at the computer and made up the whole thing without having to deal with any pesky research.
2.) The story is a true one that the writer somehow got someone to tell them and then changed just a few details. (This one tends to be voiced to people writing straight mysteries and such--not so much to fantasy authors.)

Both of these extremes are amusing because while I'm sure there are some writers out there who do no research whatsoever, I've never personally met one. On the other extreme, well, that one is obvious--we'd call it non-fiction if that were true.

Even in fantasy, there is a happy medium between making stuff up and knowing how things work. This covers everything from you have to know how the rules work before you break them, to the fact the reader needs to be grounded in certain realistic facts to …

This is not a post.

This is not the post you are looking for. But, when you click away from the page, you will decide your reader needs from this blog are fulfilled for the day. And hopefully you will return tomorrow when the blog party continues with a new, fascinating, and REAL, blog post. Today I am buried under writing novels.

Until tomorrow . . .

Guest Post from Lucienne Diver: Top Ten Things to Love about Being Fanged and Fabulous

As many of you probably know, the absolutely fabulous Lucienne Diver is my agent. What you may not know about Lucienne is that on top of being a wonderful agent, she is an amazing author. She writes a fun and sassy YA novel you have to check out. I read the first novel, Vamped, when it first came out last year, and I can't wait to dive into the sequel, Revamped, which just hit shelves. What, on top of adventure, danger, cute boys, deception, vampires, and a character with perfect fashion sense makes this series one that can't be missed?

Voice. And lots of it.

Lucienne's guest post is full of that same great voice, so I hope you enjoy!

More of Gina's Gems (from the notebooks of Gina Covello, fashionista of the damned and star of Vamped and Revamped)

Top Ten Things to Love about Being Fanged and Fabulous

Vampires don't get zits.  Score!

Paparazzi can't catch candid shots of you with stubble, smudgy eyeliner, plumbers' butt or other fashion disasters.

When some…

On Endings

"Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop."Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
 The king's advice to the white rabbit in the above quote seems too easy, too self-explanatory to be of any use to a writer. And yet, how to begin or end a story is an issue I see discussed and bemoaned on craft loops on a regular basis. More emphasis seems to go into the beginning of a book, as that is what agents and editor, and eventually readers will see, but how you leave a reader is as important as hooking them in the beginning. I've blogged before on beginnings, so I thought I'd take a look a endings today.

"Go on till you come to the end. Then stop." Seems easy enough, right? But I bet we've all read a book that left us more than just unsatisfied; endings that just didn't work. Two examples leap instantly to my mind, and I won't be naming any names here for various reasons--spoilers and that it would be in bad ta…

Title Trivia

Today, purely for your amusement, I thought I'd share some random trivia about my titles. It's possible I've shared some of this information before, but I'm sure I've never put it all down in one place. I hope you enjoy!

When writing ONCE BITTEN, I initially titled the book Dead Cats Don't Cry, which is a line Bobby says to Kita in the third chapter of the book. At that time, I planned to call the second book in the series Good Cats Stay Dead, which was a line planned for the second book. (When I shuffled the plots of the second and third book, that line was moved and is still said by the intended character, but in book three instead of in book two.) I abandoned these names long before selling the series.

By the time the books sold, the first book was titled Dark Haven. The second and third books were planned as Crimson Death and Moonlight Gate. My working series title was The Kita of Firth Series. My editor tossed the initial title as not sounding urban fantasy …

Guest Post from M. K. Hobson: Making things go poof

Today I have the privilege of introducing you to one of the amazing author guests I have the honor of hosting here on the blog party. I know debut novelist M. K. Hobson from The Magic District blog where we both contribute. Even if the blurb of her recently released first novel, The Native Star, hadn't already convinced me to add it to my TBR, this inside look into her magic system would definitely make me stop and take notice. I found her magical worldbuilding absolutely fascinating, and I hope you do as well.

Without further ado, M. K. Hobson:

Making things go poof

While we write in slightly different genres (historical versus kick-ass urban fantasy) there's one thing Kalayna and I obviously agree on: witches are seriously cool. So when she kindly invited me to do a guest post, I thought I'd head straight for our common ground and talk about my magic system and how I created it.

My debut novel THE NATIVE STAR was released from Spectra at the end of August. Set in 1876, i…

So you see, what happened was . . .

While I have a project on the back burner that is completely unrelated to either of the series under contract, nearly all of my attention is currently on the two series I'm writing. Which means everything I'm writing right now is a sequel to the book or books before it.  In a series, each book should stand alone, as in the major issue presented at the beginning of the book should be resolved to some fashion by the end so the story has its own arc. But most series are connected by more than just character and world. While the main plot might be tied up at the end of each book, plot threads are often woven through a series. Also character growth, relationships, ability development, and such are explored over the course of a series. This means that while theoretically you could pick up a series and read it out of order, you'd get a lot more out of it by starting at the beginning.

That doesn't mean everyone starts at the beginning. In fact, I'd gamble from other discu…

What does an author look like?

When you close your eyes and try to picture the quintessential author, what/who do you see?

I mean, when prompted with 'football player' you probably think of a big, muscular guy. 'Basketball player' probably summons images of someone tall. How about librarian? Do you suddenly picture a woman in glasses maybe? Okay, so these are stereotypes, but at the same time they are stereotypes because they are common.

So what is the stereotype of an author? What is the first image that pops in your mind? When you read an author's work and then find them (either in person or online) are you often shocked by their appearance?

I get the feeling I might not be what most people picture as an author. A series of recent responses to my appearance prompts this particular observation. In particular, a recent interaction with a bookstore employee really left me wondering. The encounter went down something like this:

Me (approaching the information counter): Hi, my name is Kalayna Price…

Want to win a copy of Grave Witch?

Anne Sowards posted a preview of the upcoming releases for the Ace/Roc line on Dear Author a couple days ago, and Grave Witch is up there and in great company. I didn't see the cut off date to enter the drawing, but it looks like Anne has 2 copies of Grave Witch as well as copies of the new Briggs, Andrews, Caine, and several others to give away. If you'd like to enter, go check it out! 

Happy Friday everyone. I hope you have a great weekend.  The blog party will start back up here again on Monday, so I'll see you soon!

Dragon*Con Photo Splash Post

When you go to a convention like Dragon*Con the people watching (and more accurately, the costume ogling) is a big part of the experience. I'll be honest, I'm terrible about taking pictures. I walk around thinking "wow, that's a great costume" and I feel like I'm constantly taking pictures, but at the end of the day, I tend to walk out with only a handful. Thankfully, I have friends who take many, many more pictures than me.

Every year you guaranteed to see dozens if not hundreds of Slave Leias, storm troopers, and other immediately recognizable characters. They are great, but you've probably already seen pictures of them and most start blending together. So, in this photo mash-up, I'll focus on the costumes which either delighted me in originality, were from obscure sectors of geekdom, were absolutely stunning in execution, or made me laugh or say 'aww'.  Ready?

First up is the cutest Captain America I've ever seen. This kid must have bee…

The people who influence you

As previously mentioned, I just returned from Dragon*Con, the largest Sci-Fi/Fantasy Con in the South East. The guest list for Dragon is always impressive. Big name TV/movie stars, best selling authors, and some of the best underground musicians are pretty much par for the course. Lines for events are sometimes blocks long and many rooms fill to capacity (and beyond, though then the fire marshals tend get rather irate). You'd pretty much have to be living under a rock (or, I guess, just not be a geek) to have never heard of at least a few of the guests. Whatever your particular flavor of geekdom, there is probably someone there that you're dying to hear speak and maybe get a signature and a photo. I'd almost guarantee that there is a guest in attendance whose work you respect greatly, and maybe there is someone whose work has influenced or inspired you.

This Dragon*Con, I had the opportunity to see one of those people who influenced and inspired me. And not only see her, bu…

Interview with Kelly Gay

Good Morning everyone. I'm back from Dragon*Con (more on that in a future post) and I see that something went askew with my scheduled posts. I'll have to reschedule them for another day because today I'd like to welcome our very first guest to the Grave Witch release Blog Party, Kelly Gay.

Kelly and I blog together over at the Magic District and on Fangs, Fur, and Fey, but I'd actually picked up her first book, The Better Part of Darkness, before I joined either group. The second book in the series, The Darkest Edge of Dawn, was just released, and as I absolutely adored the first book, I have the feeling the second will be skipping in line on my TBR pile. I was thrilled to have this opportunity to interview Kelly, so without further ado, let's find out what was said.

I started the interview with a couple in depth questions about the Charlie Madigan series/world:

KALAYNA:Charlie Madigan's world is wonderfully complex with many different 'races' of superna…

Cons--The Big One

Dragon*con is the big con of the year for me. Oh, there are other big cons out there: RT booklovers con, RWA National, and World Fantasy, but even with those, Dragon holds its weight (and besides, I still haven't made it to any of those others). With around 40k people annually and more than two dozen tracks (each filled with panels) Dragon is a con where you never see everything--it's just too big. That said, despite my geeky ways, I can narrow down the tracks I want to see, and typically there are only a few conflicts where there are two (or sometimes more) places I want to be at once.

For me, Dragon is a time interact with other writers, to hear about new books, to pick up some crafting tips, to see cool costumes, to hang out with favorite bands, and to generally immerse myself in geek culture. I always walk away from Dragon with some new idea or interest. I can't even tell you how many bands I was first exposed to at Dragon, and my interest in hooping was initially ger…

Blog Party starts today!

Wow. It's September. That totally caught me off guard.

In that case, someone give me a hand with these balloons, and please, help yourself to some virtual chocolate dipped strawberries and champagne because it's BLOG PARTY TIME! For the next month and a half we are going to keep the blog hopping with special guests, cool contests, and exciting events. To kick things off, I have two announcements:

Firstly, I am very pleased to present an extended excerpt of Grave Witch! I know I've been teasing you with just the first two pages for the last few months, but I've now posted the full first chapter. I hope you enjoy!

Secondly,  I would like to quickly share with you a  list of guests you can look forward to seeing during the Blog Party: (Guest list subject to change. Listed in order of planned appearance)

Kelly Gay, author of the Charlie Madigan series .

Lucienne Diver, author of the Vamped series.

M. K. Hobson, author of Native Star.

Marcia Colette, author of Stripped.