I have some good news and some bad news.

There’s been some confusion because the back of “Silver Bullet” says one thing and I’ve been saying something else. The deal is this: my editor and I came up with this hoopy plan to release #5 and #6 back to back, as a sort of two-parter. This required moving the schedule around a bit, to give me a couple of extra months to get #6 ready in time.

So the bad news is, Kitty #5 (which still doesn’t have a title, darn it) is currently scheduled for February 2009, not fall 2008.

The good news is, Kitty #6 is currently scheduled for March 2009. Shortest wait ever.

In the meantime, I have two Kitty related short stories due out in anthologies in 2008.

“Life is the Teacher” is about Emma, who at the end of “Washington” was turned into a vampire against her will. It will appear in “Hotter Than Hell,” edited by Kim Harrison and due out in June.

“Il Est Ne” is about Kitty, and another rogue werewolf she meets on her travels. It’ll be in an anthology of werewolf Christmas stories, “Wolfsbane and Mistletoe” edited by Charlaine Harris and due out in October.

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Maybe…someday… I don’t really get to make that decision, ultimately, unless I win the lottery and can form my own production company. Hollywood is a weird duck.

 

Oh, and please support the WGA strike. Thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of books start with the premise of “what if vampires and werewolves existed in the real world?” The stories tend to get soap-opera-ish and angst ridden. I decided these folks needed their own call-in advice show because Dr. Laura just couldn’t handle their problems.


I wrote the first short story initially because I figured an idea that silly couldn’t possibly last for more than a short story. It turns out the radio show was the perfect format in which to discuss just about every aspect of the supernatural, paranormal, and all its attendant literatures and stereotypes I could possibly put my mind to. So, five short stories, a couple of spin-off short stories, and four novels later, I’m still writing about Kitty and her world.

 

A side note about Dr. Laura: I was working in a bookstore at the time (mid-90s) and her book, Ten Stupid Things Women Do to Mess Up Their Lives, was hitting best seller lists. I despise that book. No, I haven’t read it. But 1.) the title is so condescending it makes my blood boil, and 2.) a great number of the people who bought the book were middle aged and elderly men who said they were buying it to give to their daughters and granddaughters.

 

Oh. My. God. It was all I could do not to yank the book out of their hands and bitch slap them with it. Is it any wonder girls have low self esteem when the father figures in their lives are basically telling them, “I’m expecting you to mess up your life.”

 

By the way, it’s not usually a good idea to give a self help book, any self help book, as a gift to anyone. Even if you mean well. Especially if you mean well.

 

FAQ: Why Werewolves?

August 7, 2007

I honestly didn’t think I had anything new to say about vampires. Werewolves on the other hand have been sadly neglected. I felt like I had a lot more to work with.

One of the cool things about writing werewolves, I’ve discovered, is the ability to pick and choose what traits I want them to have. I think that’s the key to writing werewolves — at least werewolves in my universe. I look at them as being a scale rather than either/or. On one side of the scale is wolf, on the other is human. Some werewolves fall a little closer to wolf, some are a little closer to human.

But the really, really cool thing is both wolves and humans are highly individualistic. So the wolf end and human end of the scale is going to be different for every werewolf. Instead of the standard Jekyll and Hyde werewolf template that has saturated film and literature for the last hundred years, where the whole point of the werewolf has been about losing control of the inner beast, can’t control the monster within, yadda yadda stereotype, I have a whole world of individual werewolves to play with.

 

I’ve done quite a bit of reading on wolves, and wolves have many personalities. As a result, depending on what combination of personalities you get, every pack is different. This is very cool as well. It means I can keep werewolves in Kitty’s world interesting, rather than using the cookie cutter monster template.

 

No. I have a whole list of proscribed songs, mostly because they’re too obvious. Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like the Wolf” is on the list. The Shangri-La’s “Leader of the Pack” is right on the edge. Pretty much anything with “wolf” in the title will probably not ever end up on a playlist. But I did use The Beatles’ “Hey Bulldog” on playlist #4. Is that close enough?

I’ve been promising a chatty FAQ on my website, and I figured this might be a good way to do it. I’ll add as inspiration strikes.


Is that me on the covers? No. I think there’s this thing that happens where all blonds look the same from the back. It’s like you say someone’s a blond and you don’t have to say anything else about them. Also, I wonder sometimes if I was part of a secret government cloning program (ala Mildred Ames’s Anna to the Infinite Power), because I’m always being told, “I have a cousin who looks just like you!” So who knows. The artist, Craig White, uses a model for the covers. Maybe she’s one of those cousins.

 

A related question that I’ve been asked a few times: how similar am I to Kitty? And that’s a good question because all my characters basically start out being me. I ask myself, “What would I do in this situation?” But that gets tempered by “If I were this kind of person what would I do in this situation?” Which in turn gets tempered by “What would someone go through to become that kind of person?” So in the end I have a lot of different characters who are quite different from each other and me.

 

Back to Kitty and blonds. I made her blond (like me) because that is one of the last great acceptable stereotypes. Lawyers are slimy, blonds are dumb and popular. And I actually get quite pissed off at the blond stereotype. How many novels (esp. in the paranormal/urban fantasy genre) have you read where the heroine has some flavor of dark hair, is insecure about her appearance, and often compares herself to someone of her acquaintance who is blond, glamorous and kinda dumb?

 

Or maybe I only notice that sort of thing because I’m blond. And not glamorous. And not dumb. So mainly I made Kitty blond because I think Buffy Summers may be the only blond heroine in the world of paranormal fiction and I wanted to change that. I also made Kitty an English major — like me — so I could throw in the literary allusions I love so much. But I’ve never worked as a DJ, unlike Kitty.

 

As far as how similar we are in other ways: people who only know me a little say we’re a lot alike. People who know me very well say we’re not. Oh, and I have a pretty good internal editor. Kitty doesn’t.

 

But I did know I was in trouble one evening when I couldn’t decide what to wear to go out with friends and I found myself thinking, “What would Kitty wear?” What’s scarier is that I knew what Kitty would wear and could pick it out of my closet. Heh.