Monday, June 27, 2011

3rd Sanctuary Book Finished!

This post is probably coming a bit late because I actually finished Marc and Charmeine's story four days ago. I spent the weekend editing, but am not quite half way through yet. Hopefully I should have it finished by Friday though, and then its a question of what to work on next.
I have a novella I need to write to go in to the anthology for the Noble Authors blog tour I'm doing in November. The manuscript is going to be about 10,000 words and I have the story all ready to go, so I should be able to knock that over in a week or so.
I have a few options of what I could go on with, I could continue on in the Sanctuary universe and write Drayke and Leandra's book, though I'm still a bit cloudy on their details and the scribe angel, Ethan, has been pushing for his story (yes, my characters do try to tell me what to do.). Ethan's story is very clear in my mind, but for the sake of certain events unfolding chronologically, Drayke and Leandra need to come first.
Instead I could finish poor Ric and Madi's romantic suspense that I got a bit over halfway through. And then there was the warlord novella I was all excited about a few months back. The end of that needs to be entirely re-written.
Or, I could return to my Atrophy universe and write the second book in that series, because if the Certain Publisher or Certain Agent who both have Atrophy get back to me with the answer I'm hoping for, then it'd be nice to have the second one all ready to go.
But I don't have to decide today. Right now, I have over half a book to continue editing, so I should get on with that!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Query Limbo

I'm in query limbo and I can tell you its a very strange place to be.
Since the beginning of the year, Atrophy has been out with a certain publisher that shall remain nameless. The editor I've been dealing with has expressed marked interest in the manuscript and I've been waiting (and waiting and waiting) for a final answer. At the moment all I'm getting is radio (or Internet) silence. I know I'll hear any day now, but seriously, not knowing is hard!
In the meantime, about 3 months back I was involved in an online pitch session with an agent at an agency that is on my short list. She requested the full (much to my obvious excitement) so I sent it off and got back to waiting (and waiting and waiting).
And now query limbo is starting to get to me. In the past two weeks, two other agencies on my short list have either hired a new agent or come out and said they are specifically looking for sci-fi and romance. My first instinct is to rush out and send off a query, with a paragraph stating that Certain Editor from Certain Publishing House has the manuscript and seems very interested. Except I suppose they probably hear that all the time.
Instead, I'm wondering if I should wait to hear back from the certain nameless publisher with or without an offer and go from there. Obviously having a contract up my sleeve would make a world of difference when approaching these agents. So, I suppose I have my answer. I just need to keep waiting (and waiting and waiting).
Hmm. Maybe if I did as much writing as I did waiting, I'd be finished Marc and Charmeine's book by now. Speaking of which, I should get back to it.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Does There Come a Time When an Auhor Should Stop Writing?

This question has been plaguing me for a few days now. I'm three quarters of the way through the fourth book in a series by an author I once would have quickly claimed as a favorite. But a couple of things have let me down.
First, let's focus on the book I'm reading before I recant my entire collection of her works. This series started out great, it was a New York Times bestseller, though this wasn't the first time she'd published these books. The first time around, many many years ago, apparently they didn't do so well. But that's kind of besides the point. I know this author is capable of great things, which obviously made her a multi-New York Times Bestseller. She had something that really spoke to people.
This book I'm reading now, its like the words and the story is there, but the spark, the passion behind it is missing. And quite truthfully, though she writes several different genres, all her books are starting to sound the same to me. Like, A plus B with a little of C, D and E. Viola! You have a book.
There's been more than a few times I've had to go back and re-read a sentence or paragraph because it'd been composed awkwardly or so convoluted I forgot what the original point at the beginning was.
I'm sorry, but to me, this just smacks of laziness, from everyone concerned. From the author, her agent, and editors at the publishing house. Yes, I know this author's name probably guarantees a squillion sales alone, but doesn't quality matter?
In the course of the story, the author touched on one of the secondary characters being gay. I have absolutely no problem with this. One of my favorite couples/stories ever is Suzanne Brockmann's Jules and Robin romance. It was just done so fabulously. I've read a few other authors with tough, gay characters, JR Ward notably being one of them. I don't want to call it a trend, gay romances are becoming more acceptable in mainstream fiction. I even have a vague notion I'd like to tackle on myself one day. Not because everyone else is doing is, but because of the difference, similarities and intricacies of bringing something like that successfully to the page. Except when I read the gay character in this book, it didn't feel authentic, it felt like a popularity grab. I don't know, maybe I'm just being too cynical and harsh these days.
Its getting to the point where I'm having second thoughts about buying any more of her books. And this is not the first time I've been stung by this author. There have been other books in other series that were written so badly, I had to wonder if it was even the same writer. There was one in particular that comes to mind, I never even finished it.
All of this brings to mind the future of my own career. I'd like to think that in ten or twenty or thirty years, if I write something sub-standard, something that is lazy or crap or just plain horrible, then there might be someone around with enough balls to tell me so. I don't care if my name on a book will mean an instant 500,000 copy sale, I want to know that my readers won't be left disgusted or disillusioned. Quite truthfully, I'd rather be making next to no money, but know that what I'm putting out is worth the time my readers put into it.
Right now, I have so many ideas and dreams and plans. But what happens when I reach the day when I've explored them all and achieved everything I set out to? I'm sure every writer dreams of eternity, that there won't come a day when they have nothing else to say. It could happen though. Will I be brave enough to put down my pen or stop bashing my keyboard? Because if the spark and passion is gone, is there any point pushing on? Readers can tell and readers can be ruthless. So do you risk the reputation you've made to try and hang on to your glory days? Or do you fade away with quiet dignity? Many authors have faded away with quiet dignity and we may not give them much more than a passing thought. It's the ones who destroy what they've built we remember long after the flames have subsided.
I don't know about anyone else, but I don't really want something like that to be my lasting legacy. I don't know what the future holds, I guess all we can do is the best with what we have to deal with.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

While We're on the Subject...

Okay, I know we're so behind here in Australia, but last night they screened Supernatural episode ten of season six. I just had to say that Castiel kissing Meg was one of THE most hilarious moments I've even seen. Dean's face was priceless. Well done to the writers, because I didn't see that one coming.
I really like the fact that despite season six being overlaid with the dark tones of Sam having no soul and being on the scary-evil side, the writers have managed to get back some of that laugh-out-loud snark from earlier seasons. It got pretty heavy there for a while with the apocalypse and everything. Its good to see (and hope) that this show might still have a few good seasons in it.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Best Quotes of Supernatural Season 2

Once, a long, long time ago, I promised I'd compile a list of quotes for season 2 of Supernatural. Yes, it was July 2007, almost exactly four years ago. This promise was made in the original post of Best Quotes of Supernatural Season 1. I'd like to say "I can't believe it took me four years to get around to doing this." But actually, I'm kind of not surprised. Let's hope it doesn't take me another four years to do it for season 3, because that would just be pathetic.
So, without further ado, here they are. Now, I don't know if I just paid closer attention to this season, or if maybe the writers were feeling a bit more snarky and settled into their places, but there seems to be a lot of really great quotes I've written down. So go grab a snack and a coffee, you might be here a while....

Deanisms:
- "Dude, I full on Swayzed that mother."
- "You're much prettier than the last reaper I met."
- "I think I'll pass on the seventy two virgins, thanks. I'm not that into prude chicks anyway."
- "You know what? You're right. Come here, I want to lay my head on your shoulder. Maybe we can cry, and maybe even slow dance."
- "This is humiliating, I feel like a frigging soccer-mom."
- "So much effed up crap happens in Florida."
- "Yeah, but Max Miller was a pasty little psycho."
- "These things are vicious, they're violent, they're so nasty they rot the ground around them. I mean, come on, haven't you seen Pet Cemetery?"
- "Man, that dead chick can run."
- "He full on Obi-waned me, its mind control, man."
- "One day I'd just like to sit down and eat something I didn't have to microwave at a mini-mart."
- "Its ectoplasm. Well, Sam, I think I know what we're dealing with here. It's the Stay-Puft Marshmellow Man."
- "You know, Casper the blood thirsty ghost?"
- "My name is Dean Winchester, I'm an aquarius, I enjoy long walks on the beach and frisky women."
- "Pee break, so soon? You might want to get your prostate checked."
- "What have you got on the case there, you innocent-harmless-young-man-you."
- "Myspace? What the hell is that? Seriously, is it like some sort of porn site?"
- "These people are actually making deals with the damn thing. You know, coz that always ends good."
- "We know a little bit about a lot of things. Just enough to make us dangerous."
- "You know, I usually like to be warned before I'm violated with demon tongue."
- "What's the point of saving the world if you don't get a bit of nookie every now and then?"
- "I just figured after Ava, there'd be more droopy music and staring out the rainy window... yeah, I'll shut up now."
- "Wow, that attitude is just way too healthy for me. I'm officially uncomfortable now."
- "Old-school haunted house. You know, fog, secret passage ways, sissy British accents. Might even run into Fred and Daphne inside... mmm, Daphne. Love her."
- "Don't you think this place is a little too white-meat for hoodoo?"
- "Don't go surfing porn, that's not the kind of whacking I mean."
- "Wow, this is a lot of dolls. And nice too. No, they're not super-creepy at all."
- "I guess mixing whiskey with Jagar wasn't such a gang-buster idea."
- "I think you could have totally hooked up some MILF action there, bud."
- "I just think its creepy how good a fed you are."
- "Shape shifter... I hate those frigging things."
-"Well, I think I learned a valuable lesson. Always take down your Christmas decorations after new years or you might get filleted by a hooker from God."
- "You ducked in two days ago under the name Richard Sambora. Of course, I think the scariest part about this whole thing is that you're a Bon Jovi fan."
- "Dude, you full on had a girl inside you for a whole week. That's pretty naughty."
- "How could it get any worse? Some alien made you his bitch."
- "Plan A was to get you out of here. Obviously that didn't go over too well with Farmer Roadkill."
- "You know, just once I'd like to round the bend and see a nice house."
- "I call this one blue steel."
- "Wait, who looks better, me or Nick Nolte?"
- "Don't worry, Sam, I won't trade you for smokes."
- "Man, I am frigging velvety smooth!"

Samism (there aren't as many, but he still got a couple of one-liners in!)
- "Looking for a cursed object is like looking for a needle in a stack of needles."
- "Wow, give you a pile of severed heads and a bunch of dead cows and you're mister sunshine."
- "My daddy shot your daddy in the hee-aad." (just had to fit Evil Sam's line in here somewhere.)
- "Dude, I'm not enabling your sick habit. You're like one of those lab rats that pushes the pleasure button instead of the food button until it dies."
- "A seance? Oh great, I hope Whoppi is available."
- "You know, maybe the spirits are trying to shut down the movie coz they think it sucks. Coz, I mean, it kinda does."
- "Yeah, being fugitives, it's a frigging dance party."

And now for the rest...
Jo - "Most hunters come through that door, they think they can get in my pants with some pizza, a six pack and a side one of Zeppelin four."
Dean - "What a bunch of scum bags."

Dean - "Come on, you still bust out crying whenever you see Ronald McDonald on the TV."
Sam - "At least I'm not afraid of flying."
Dean - "Planes crash."
Sam - "And apparently clowns kill!"

Sam - "Dean, get me a bucket."
Dean - "Why, did you find something?"
Sam - "No, I'm going to puke."

Sam - "I don't think they're killing people."
Dean - "Then how do they stay alive? Or undead. Or whatever the hell they are."

Sam - "Silver bullets?"
Dean - "Enough to make her rattle like a change purse."

Sam - "You think Angela's after someone?"
Dean - "No, I think she went out to rent Beaches."

Dean - "Besides, if I ran off with you, I think your mother might kill me."
Jo - "You're afraid of my mother?"
Dean - "I think so."

Sam - "Dean, you had OJ convicted before he even got out of his white Bronco and you've got doubts about this?
Dean - "He just doesn't seem like the stone-cold-killer type, you know? And OJ was guilty!"

Dean - "That was mind control, it's like being roofied, man. No, I'm calling a do-over."
Sam - "What are you, seven?"

Dean - "A young girl has been kidnapped by an evil cult."
Sam - "This girl have a name?"
Dean - "Yeah, Katie Holmes."

Dean - "What do you think, Scully, should we check it out?"
Sam - "I'm not Scully, you're Scully."
Dean - "No, I'm Mulder. You're a red-headed woman."

Jo - "Take it, it won't bite."
Dean - "No, but your mom might."

Dean - "You got a neighbor named Mr. Rodgers?"
Sarge - "Not anymore."

Dean - "Man, if you ever take off like that again--"
Sam - "What, you'll kill me?"
Dean - "That's so not funny."

Dean - "Of course, the most troubling question is why do these people assume we're gay?"
Sam - "Well, you are a little butch, probably think you're over-compensating or something."

Dean - "You know, she could be faking."
Sam - "Yeah? What do you want to do, poke her with a stick?.... Dude, you're not going to poke her with a stick!"

Dean - "Frigging cops."
Sam - "They're just doing their job, Dean."
Dean - "No, they're doing our job, only they don't know it, so they suck at it."

Dean - "I like him, he says okey-dokey."
Sam - "He could be the shifter."
Dean - "Well, then we follow him home and put a silver bullet in his chest plate."

Dean - "There's a lot of lore on unicorns too. I hear they ride on moonbeams and shoot rainbows out their asses."
Sam - "Wait, there's no such thing as unicorns?"

Sam - "Alright, I'll admit it, we've gone pretty ghetto with spell work before, but this takes the cake. I mean, a Sponge Bob placemat instead of an altar cloth?"
Dean - "Just put it Sponge Bob side down."

Sam - "Dude, were you on my computer?"
Dean - "No, why?"
Sam - "Oh really? Because its frozen now, on busty Asian babes dot com. Just don't touch my stuff any more."
Dean - "Why don't you control your OCD."

Dean - "You're like a walking encyclopedia of weirdness."
Sam - "Yeah, I know."

Molly - "Oh, thank god!"
Dean - "Yeah, call me Dean."

Sam - "Why do you always get to hang out with the hot girls?"
Dean - "Coz I'm older

Dean - "What's a PA?"
Sam - "I think they're kind of like slaves."

Hendrikson - "You think you're funny?"
Dean - "I think I'm adorable."

Sam - "Considering our circumstances, I'm going to need something a little better than 'pretty sure'."
Dean - "Really pretty sure."
(and later...)
Dean - "I'd like a little better than 'pretty sure'."
Sam - "Okay... Really pretty sure."

Inmate Tiny - "Are you talking to me?"
Dean - "Another guy who's seen Taxi Driver one too many times."

Dean - "Bitch."
Sam - "Why are you calling me a bitch for?"
Dean - "You're supposed to say 'jerk'."
Sam - "What?"
Dean - "Never mind."
(alternate reality Sam apparently has no sense of humor.)

Dean - "Don't forget the extra onions this time."
Sam - "Yeah, I'm the one whose going to have to ride in the car with your extra onions."
Dean - "And get me some pie... I want pie!... love me some pie."

Well, that's it people! I hope you've enjoyed this compilation and I do promise one day I will also get together a list of best quotes for season three. Though, since it took me four years to get around to this one, I'm not putting any time lines on it. In the meantime, here's another picture to keep you occupied...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Couldn't Help Myself

As you can see by the wordcount meter down the page, I'm 45,000 words into Marc and Charmeine's story. Its going well enough at the moment, my crit partner hasn't picked up any major problems so far. Though, we'll see what my other crit partner and editor think about it before making any broad, sweeping statements about how its really coming along.
Meanwhile, the other morning I woke up feeling energized because another new idea had come to me over night. I'm feeling particularly excited about this story because its not like anything I've tried to write before, its more Urban Fantasy and doesn't actually have that much romance in it. There will be some, of course, because I think that sort of tension in a story can take it to another level.
I started out doing some research for it and it's only fired my imagination further. I knew the paranormal subject the story is based around would have quite a bit of myth, speculation and history to it, but I've still been surprised at the depth and variety I found, which fostered even more ideas. I'm keeping hush about it now because I don't want to invest too much in this story since I have several other projects pending with agents and editors. But this book is demanding attention, so I'm attempting to find a balance between passion and where the muse is directing me, and the projects I'm already committed to. At least I'm not sitting here twiddling my thumbs with no inspiration or words to write.
That being said, I should get back to Marc and Charmeine. Happy writing and reading for the weekend!
Okay, if you really want a clue, I'm calling this new idea my Shadow Hunters series, but that's all I'll say on the project for now.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Lovely Review For Sanctuary

And it also happens to be the first review for Sanctuary!
I can't believe I forgot to post this up here when I got it, so this is kind of old news. A few weeks back I got a great review over at Joyfully Reviewed. I was actually surprised and very touched by this review, and I actually agree with the reviewer's sentiments that she wished Tori and A'albiel had more time to get to know each other. But I wrote it as a novella, so I guess there was only limited time I could spend on the getting-to-know-you stage. Maybe one day I'll be able to add in the scenes I left out, plus a few more and turn it into a full-length book.
Nonetheless, here's a few quotes from the review:

"Although Sanctuary is a well mapped out story, the plot is filled with lots of surprises because the author is very good at not giving anything away."

"There’s enough action to keep the story flowing fast forward, and then unexpectedly, the romance blooms and explodes all over the place until your heart is filled with such warm fuzzy feelings you’ll feel as if you’re going to explode from the warmth flooding your heart by the end."

"Best of all, I liked the unyielding element of timeless romance that played and tugged at my heartstrings. This is a lovely read for all the die-hard romantics and angel fans, and everyone else, too."

To read the review in full, go here:

http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/new-reviews/sanctuary-by-jess-anastasi

And while we're in the Sanctuary universe, here's an update on Marc and Charmeine's story: I've gotten past the half way mark, so now its a matter of counting down. I've got about 25,000 words left to write, hoping to have it done in the next couple of week.