Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Alternative Hump Day With HP Lovecraft

I've been reading a lot of Lovecraft and Lovecraft-mythos stories lately. This is really not going to surprise anyone who knows me, but I'm reading with a purpose beyond just "yay, Lovecraft!" at the moment. Two main reasons:

1. My current wip, Nightmare Moon*, has some decidedly Lovecraftian elements, and I really want to immerse myself in that atmosphere. Re-reading classics like The Call of Cthulhu, tales that inspired the Cthulhu Mythos like The King in Yellow, and stories that have taken their own inspiration from the mythos - it's all helping me create the mood and feeling I want. I know lots of writers try to avoid reading anything that might influence them whilst working on a particular story; for me it's sometimes really helpful - it builds a mental mood-board that helps me shape the story, the language, and the characters.

2. With my Common Brimstone hat on, I'm currently brainstorming ideas for a new perfume line that takes inspiration from Lovecraft's Dream Cycle stories. So again, soaking up the themes and imagery of his works is going to play a big part in the development of that project.

Since I'm pretty much living and breathing Lovecraft right now, a quote from him seemed like a good choice for Alternative Hump Day (I am going to make it a thing), and when I remembered this one, I inevitably started thinking about UNDERTOW (coming soon from Ragnarok Publications!). UNDERTOW could, at a stretch, be described as "Ethan Banning Goes to the Seaside," which would of course skip over all the horrible, terrible, unfortunate things that happen to him/because of him in the book. I love the ocean. I love writing books set near the ocean and incorporating legends and folklore from the ocean into the stories. UNDERTOW really let me go all out with the setting and the story in this respect. And this quote very neatly captures one of the prevailing themes of UNDERTOW: there are things with which man should not fuck. Now that is about as Lovecraftian as you can get.

*Yes, I know it's the name of a My Little Pony character. In my defense, I have never seen an episode of MLP and dammit, it's a good title.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Guest Blog - DC Stone is bringing us Intimate Danger!

This morning I'm kicking the day off in style, with an excerpt from DC Stone's smoking suspense novel, INTIMATE DANGER. Dark secrets, mysterious FBI agents, and a good old dose of hot sexual chemistry - what more could you ask for? I'm going to let DC take it from here...

Intimate Danger

A sleeping threat has awakened in the small town of Nyack. Crimes in the cozy village, garner the attention of the FBI, who assign two agents to assist Charlie in tracking down the sick and deranged perpetrator. Agents Trent Rossi and Dillon Echols work closely with Charlie, but as the crimes progress, dark secrets begin to cloud the air, blurring the line between who is on the side of the law and who’s against it. Being Charlie’s first major case, she’s unprepared not only for the menacing killer on the loose, but also with the unexpected feelings Trent draws out of her. 

While Trent holds secrets, disappears at random, and seems to understand their perpetrator all-too-well, Charlie’s suspicions grow along with the pull she feels toward him. Her attraction could become fatal, yet she does not realize it until it is too late.

Read on for an excerpt and buy links!

Monday, 16 June 2014

Reasons We're Not Friends Anymore

Every now and then I go through all my social media platforms and cull a bunch of people. I'm really sorry. It's not personal. But I have four Twitter accounts, one personal Facebook page, three "business" Facebook pages for my writing and perfume projects, three Pinterest accounts, and two Tumblrs. That's a stupid amount of social media, and every now and then I get overwhelmed by how much stuff I'm seeing, how much repeated content there is, and how many chances there are I'll say the wrong thing in the wrong place and unleash hell somehow.

So sometimes I do go through and unfollow/unfriend people and things. And sometimes people notice I'm not following them and they get pissy/upset and demand answers. That actually happens. So here's a quick list of reasons I'm not following you anymore:

1. My interests wax and wane. Sometimes I really, really want to see pictures of baby animals all the freaking time, so I follow accounts that show those. And then I get fed up of seeing a million pictures of a piglet in a flowerpot, so I unfollow.

2. I don't know who you are. Having been published by a few different publishers, I find I'm friending/following a bunch of other authors out of pure politeness. And then a year goes past and we've never interacted and I can't remember why we're Facebook friends, so I unfollow.

3. You're my ex boyfriend from when I was a teenager. And I have no interest in you in any way.

4. You're really fucking annoying. Okay, I guess that is pretty personal. But if all you do is tweet links to your books/reviews, I don't care. I don't want my Twitter feed to be your advertising board.

5. You're a twat. You want to post racist/sexist/prejudiced bullshit everywhere? That's your bad choice. I'm not obliged to see it though.

And can I just add that it's weird to contact someone to ask why they've unfollowed you or say something like, "I see you don't subscribe to my blog anymore and I just wanted to say goodbye." I mean, it is weird, right? It's not just me who thinks that? It's a tad Orwellian. I don't think people need to justify this stuff. It's not that I don't think online friends are real friends; it's just that there's still a difference between a genuine friendship formed online and following someone because you share a publisher, or have a brief mutual interest. And you're not automatically friends with someone because you're following them somewhere online, just the same way you're not automatically friends with someone you sit next to at work.

So, in short: I'm sorry if we're not friends anymore, but it's probably not for any sinister or mean reason.

Most of the time.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Happy Hump Day!

I was going to write a thoughtful and serious post about thoughtful and serious things, but it devolved into a rambling stream of consciousness nonsense about the Slenderman Field Research Organisation, which is a thing I just made up, and then I made myself angry about some other stuff and scrapped it all anyway.

So in lieu of all that, here are some vintage adverts I find amusing:

Monday, 2 June 2014

State of the Nome: PHANTOM FEARS and everything after

So! PHANTOM FEARS is out and it's free and it's currently riding high on All Romance Ebooks top ten for Lesbian ebooks! Huzzahs! Cue celebrations:

I'm not kidding you - this came up when I searched for "celebration" at I don't know what he's celebrating, but it's shady as hell.

If you're after more free stories from Shannon's perspective, don't forget to check out A Wolf In Girl's Clothing, which is the story of Shannon and Ayla's first meeting and is right here on the blog.

And if you want more f/f fiction from me in general, my next Evernight release will be THE BEAST OF BIRCH HILL! Contract is signed, cover art/blurb sheet is returned, and I have a tentative release date of "sometime in July." Here's the unedited blurb for that:

Wildlife photographer and cryptozoology blogger Emma Jordan came to Birch Hill expecting to find another urban legend. The rumours of a big cat stalking the woods around this quiet town surely had to be just that - rumours. But when the evidence starts to pile up that Birch Hill really does have a killer cat on the loose, Emma finds herself caught in a confusing game of cat and mouse. And her blossoming relationship with Abi Blakely might just be pushing her further into danger.

This will be part of Evernight's great Romance on the Go line, so think of it as a fun, short, hot read, and remember it's from me, so there's alien big cats as well as romance. Yay!

In the mean time, I've started work on a new urban fantasy WIP, which is actually a reworking of the novel that landed me a literary agent once-upon-a-time. It's pretty early days, but I'm stupidly happy to be revisiting this world and bringing it up-to-date. I'm waiting for news on UNDERTOW, which has a projected August release and has been through one round of edits already, and I am desperate for this book to be released. You don't even know. And I'm toying with ideas for another short story. After last year's miserable writing drought, this feels really good.