Dorothy Sayers binge read

September 6, 2018

When two of my favorite writers (Connie Willis and Lois McMaster Bujold) cite the same influence, it’s high time I go read that influence. Which is daunting, because Dorothy Sayers wrote a lot of books. I asked some advice, and got a bit of a reading list for specifically the Lord Peter Wimsey books, and here are my thoughts:

The Nine Tailors: I have to admit, I didn’t like this one so much. The pace dragged — every conversation with every person is given in excruciating detail. Part of the mystery is exactly how the victim actually died, and I knew it 30 pages before everyone else figured it out, which was frustrating.

Strong Poison: But I kept going because I wanted to meet Harriet Vane, and this is the book she’s introduced in. I liked it a lot better. Moved at a better clip, some interesting side characters, and Peter is much more conniving and active and competent in this. And in this one I could really see how Sayers’ writing influences Bujold’s handling of relationships and so on.

Murder Must Advertise: Not quite finished with this one yet, but…it’s great. Should have started with this. It’s kind of nuts, Peter is hella competent and conniving, and this is the one where I can basically see a bunch of Connie’s writing style and where she gets it — the banter, the absurdism, etc.

It’s also been interesting reading these after watching 8 seasons of Midsomer Murders, how deep the roots of British cozy mystery really go and how established these tropes are. Like, it’s as much about dissecting various incarnations of British psyche as it is about the mystery.

But my final takeaway from this binge-read is that I’d really like a movie version with Tom Hiddleston playing Lord Peter Wimsey.



new stories!

September 3, 2018

As I mentioned earlier, I went from having only one new story out this year to having three new ones out just in the last couple of weeks. No wonder I get confused!

This month sees the publication of Lightspeed’s 100th issue, and it includes the newest Harry and Marlowe story, “Harry and Marlowe and the Secret of Ahomana.” This one moves the story forward in kind of a big way. It’ll go live on the site in a couple of weeks, but you can buy the whole issue and read it — and a bunch of exclusive content — right now.

The Sept/Oct issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction includes “The Huntsman and the Beast,” my gender-flipped retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I’m quite fond of this one!

And the reissue of Wild Cards VIII: One-Eyed Jacks includes a new Lady Black story by me, “A Broken Thread in a Dark Room.”  A companion story, “Unraveling,” will appear in Volume IX: Jokertown Shuffle. My mission to retroactively insinuate myself in the entire series from the beginning is going swimmingly! The next few reissues are true mosaic novels and solo novels, so it’ll be while before I can further infiltrate with new/old stories. And then we’ll be just about caught up, which will be weird…

I’ve also added a chapter to It’s Tough Being Cobra These Days.

And it’s probably time for me to go update the website!


late-breaking appearance

August 31, 2018

I’ve scheduled a signing in Denver next month:  Friday, September 14, 5 – 7 pm, at Talking Books Plus in Lakewood, CO.

I’ve got a couple more events lined up before the end of the year, including Mile Hi Con. Stay tuned!

And that short story I mentioned needed revising? Revised it Wednesday, sold it today. Woohoo! If only all the projects could work that smoothly…


one thing after another

August 29, 2018

I have returned from Bubonicon and am mostly recovered. Mostly. This only means that all my next round of projects are arranged before me and what I think I’d really like to do right now is sleep.

Writing:  I’m revising one of the half-finished novels from the Year of Stalled Projects. I have also started a novella, have a short story to revise, another novella I’d like to start, the stage play I’ve been working on for a year that I want to noodle with, and a proposal for a couple more novels.

Guys, this is pretty much what it’s like in my brain all the time. It’s frankly miraculous I get anything done. I think this is partly why my “write a little bit every day, every single day” strategy works so well for me. If I tried to completely binge-write one specific thing, I’d explode.

Crafting:  Emmy’s Halloween costume is underway. So is a completely frivolous gown I’m making for no reason at all. At least three knitting projects started — I’ve lost count. Oh, and I figured out at least one thing I want to do with that Porg fabric. It’s a surprise.

I should also probably clean the house and weed the yard.

And I am reading three books simultaneously.

A nap actually sounds pretty good right now.



August 24, 2018

I am at Bubonicon this weekend.

I’m hoping to spend time with friends and have some quality hanging out time and maybe buy some books. You know, good convention stuff.

I hope you’re having a great weekend.




I have been remiss! I knew this was out and just forgot to mention that THE WILD DEAD (Like Bannerless before it) is available on audiobook, for thems who wants audio. Go forth and listen!

And here’s a new thoughtful analysis/review of both books, by Liz Bourke over at I’ve really been appreciating these in-depth takes on them both as crime fiction and post-apocalyptic fiction.


Monday update

August 20, 2018

I did practically NOTHING all weekend and that was nice. Well, not entirely nothing. Went birding at Barr Lake, wrapped up a critique, polished and submitted a set of short stories, and pulled out one of the 3/4 finished novels from The Year of Stalled Projects to see what I can do with it.  So you know, almost nothing.

Reminder:  This coming weekend is Bubonicon so I’m getting ready for that, too! Hope to see some of you there!

Oh! And I can tell my brain is coming back online after months of working on The Longest Novel Ever because I’m crafting again. Like, a lot. Made a hat for my brother for his birthday, and Emmy has decided on her Halloween costume, which means I’m watching YouTube tutorials on how to dye faux fur. And while I try really really hard not to walk out of fabric stores with stuff I didn’t intend on buying, sometimes it’s just impossible. Like when I found this:

I KNOW RIGHT?!?!?!?!