With the recent release of NIGHT THUNDER’S BRIDE in ebook format, I thought it would be appropriate to tell you a story very dear to my heart. It’s a story about my cat, Midnight.
Off to the left here is the cover of the new ebook, NIGHT THUNDER’S BRIDE. Isn’t it a beauty?
The story starts with a book tour that I did for the book, NIGHT THUNDER’S BRIDE. It was on this tour that my brother in law discovered a black kitten who was begging for food at a convenience store. The cat didn’t belong to anyone and so my brother in law brought the cat to my husband and myself. Now, here I was with a book called NIGHT THUNDER’S BRIDE, and here was a black cat, and so we named him Midnight Thunder — or Midnight for short.
Off to the left here is a picture of Midnight as a small kitten. Isn’t he cute? I was touring all through the state of Montana and I believe my brother in law had found the kitten in Wyoming, and so we brought the Wyoming cat back with us to California. Last May Midnight had gone missing. I was out of town at the time and so my husband had the burden of trying to find Midnight. He wrote up a poster and posted it on as many telephone poles as he could find. He went door-to-door in a neighborhood that we had just moved in to. And he went out calling for him each night.
We eventually found Midnight at a shelter, and put together what we think happened that sent him missing. Midnight loves to sleep on cars and we believe that he crawled into the back of a truck parked close-by to us and whoever owned the truck drove off with Midnight inside, unknowing that he carried a passenger.
We were so happy to have Midnight back. However, the shelter insisted on giving Midnight a full round of vaccines (and Midnight was an older cat — at age 13) and they put a chip in his head. We begged them not to do so as Midnight had been sick prior to getting lost, and we were afraid that a full round of vaccines would destroy his already overloaded immune system. But in California our pleas fell on deaf ears due to strict laws in California.
The sad news is that we lost him only three months after he returned to us. But rather than dwell on our loss of him, let me tell you about this wonderful cat who lived with us for thirteen years, and who stole our hearts.
Midnight was a social cat. He loved people and no matter where we have lived, our neighbors might not know us, but they’ve always known Midnight. He’d been shot as a kitten by some mean-spirited person, and so my husband and I were really glad to give him a home. He turned out to be the heart of the family — no matter what new cat we brought home (and there have been many), Midnight was always there to welcome them. When all the other cats would ignore the newcomer, Midnight was always a friend.
He was potty trained from the beginning, by the way– always a plus. Once we had a neighbor who took it into his mind to shoot him with a pellet gun. It broke his leg. That neighbor paid the vet bill on that one. And so Midnight continued to make friends in the neighborhood.
Now, my Lakota Godson told me that Midnight was once a dog, and Midnight has many “dog traits.” One of them is that he will always come to you when you call his name — very un-catlike. While other cats might be stand-offish, Midnight was always been friendly to everyone, and he was a dearly loved part of our family.
I promised to tell you a bit about the story of NIGHT THUNDER’S BRIDE, so perhaps I’ll close with some reviews of the book — here’s one from Amazon:
It’s not that I don’t want to grow old, because, as the line goes, ‘consider the alternative,’ but it’s because I often forget.
I play tennis. I have since I was 9 or 10 years old. For the past 20 years my partner of choice has been my sister. Late last year she injured her knee and hasn’t been able to play since, so I have been just going to tennis workouts. Last Thursday as I was leaving the workout, I noticed a flier about USTA (US Tennis Association) League Tennis. I was a member of USTA for years when I played in leagues and tournaments, but after I stopped, I let my membership lapse because I didn’t seem to need it – you have to be a member to play in leagues and tournaments.
So, back to the flier. It seems USTA has changed the age brackets and, much to my surprise, not only am I a senior, but I am now a super senior. Not only did that surprise me, but when I decided to look up the previous ages, I discovered that I had been considered a senior many years ago, much earlier than I would have expected. Someone, somewhere, thinks that you age faster as an athlete. I’m not so sure I believe that, but it’s working in my favor for now, so I won’t dispute it.
I’ve heard it said that age is just a number, and you’re as young as you feel. But, for me, sometimes it helps to remember that I really am aging and there’s a reason why I come home a bit sore after a workout – whether at the gym or on the courts – and that it also takes a little bit longer for my muscles to recover than it used to.
As for tennis – I have improved over the years and I have no doubt that if I faced off with my high school tennis persona now, her youth might outlast me, but she wouldn’t walk away with an easy win – if she won at all. Experience does count for something.
Join Samhain Romance author Mary Hughes at this years Wisconsin RWA Booksigning for Literacy event. The event will be held on June 1st from 3:15-5:00PM at the Olympia Resort and Conference Center. Mary will be signing copies of her Samhain Romance titles from her Biting Love series.
Join Samhain Romance author Cat Johnson on Saturday, June 8th from 2:00-4:00PM. Meet and greet with Cat Johnson as she signs copies of her titles.
Meet Samhain Romance author Amy Sandas on June 15th at 11:00AM. Amy will be signing copies of her upcoming print release of Rogue Countess. The Meet-the-Author portion of the event will begin at 11:00AM. Amy will begin signing from 1:00-3:00PM with a reading around 2:00PM. So don’t miss out on the chance to meet Amy Sandas and hear an excerpt from her scandalous, yet passionate book.
Would you like to meet Samhain Romance author Marie Sexton in person? Well now you have the chance! Check her out at some of this summers great events:
Saturday, May 18th: Fort Collins Pride Festival – Marie will have a booth at displaying her titles for sale as well as signing all purchased copies.
June 15th and 16th: Denver Pride – Marie will have a booth displaying her titles for sale as well as signing all purchased copies. Don’t forget to come on out to one of the largest Pride celebrations in the country.
June 21-23: Crested Butte Writer’s Conference – Marie will be signing copies of her titles. For more information please visit http://crestedbuttewriters.org/conf.php
July 12-14: UK GLBT Meet in Manchester
For more information, please see Marie Sexton’s Website.
It’s the time of year where everyone is trying to lose weight and fast, for shorts and bathing suits, right? I have just the diet.
It’s called the Candy Crush Saga diet. If you’re not familiar with Candy Crush Saga, it’s a game on Facebook where you match three candies in a row to make them disappear. Candy Crush is a little different because it has levels, and each level has different challenges.
It is the most addictive game ever. BUT I have decided to use this to my advantage.
I play the game on my phone while on my exercise bike. If I have five lives (you only get a new life every half-hour, so I save them) I can ride five miles. That may not sound like much, but it’s better than sitting on the couch running through five lives.
If I’m playing the game, I’m not snacking. Hard to play and eat, you know!
The game makes chocolate unappealing. At certain levels, chocolate creeps up over the candies, hiding them so you can’t play those pieces. I’ve been known to mutter, “Grrr, chocolate,” words that have never before been spoken by me.
So if the next time you see me, I weigh 130 pounds (my ideal, and FAR from where I am now!), you’ll know the diet works! But be warned—the addiction to CCS is severe. Only undertake it at risk to your productivity!
Writing the fifth Nick Lupo thriller (Wolf’s Cut) found me strangely in need of a certain kind of music. Of course, everyone who’s read a Lupo books knows my musical interests because, well, they’re Lupo’s too. Lupo prefers his rock progressive because I do. Sometimes you can assume that traits exhibited by a character are shared by his or her creator. Though you wouldn’t want to make a habit of it – after all, Thomas Harris probably isn’t a serial killer… but I bet he likes a good Chianti.
But for some reason much of my collection just didn’t feel right while I was working on extended portions of the novel. I went back to writing in silence, or whatever was playing on the loop at my Starbucks office. However, I missed music to write by. I started listening to my stand-bys again, the various Genesis-related offerings, the Alan Parsons Project, the Yes, Muse, neo-prog stuff such as Spock’s Beard, Marillion, Transatlantic, and so on. I loved all the music, but it didn’t seem right. I flailed about, looking for music that would inspire me somehow.
Then on a whim, a procrastinatory Amazon shopping trip led me to soundtracks. I have always loved soundtracks. I’ve had favorite soundtrack composers since the early 70s. There are quite a few I admire, and some of those who cross over into cross over into prog I’ve often used as music to write by (Keith Emerson, Goblin, Tangerine Dream, Christopher Franke, etc.), but others are simply film composers in their own right, such as Ennio Morricone, John Barry, John Williams, and so on. And then there’s my earliest favorite: the sadly departed Jerry Goldsmith.
I’ve loved Goldsmith’s work since those early days, when I was forming my musical tastes and listening carefully to the movies I enjoyed. Listen to some of Goldsmith’s stuff and you will realize how much depth a soundtrack can create beyond the life of the movie in which it lives. Goldsmith is responsible for composing a huge list of brilliant scores, but some of my favorites are The Wind and the Lion, Masada, The Omen (Oscar winner), Alien, The Boys from Brazil, Patton, Papillon, Planet of the Apes, Rio Lobo, First Blood, Runaway, Star Trek, The Man from UNCLE, and on and on. I had quite a few of these on vinyl, transferred a few to CD, bought a few, but something I didn’t have is what I ran into on that impromptu Amazon browsing trip…
I found someone had finally transferred two of my all-time favorites to one single soundtrack CD : Our Man Flint (1966) and In Like Flint (1967). The order was reversed, some tracks were shuffled and one or two I remembered were now missing, but there they were! Two favorites from my youth. The movies were James Bond spoofs (starring James Coburn as the incredibly arrogant, suave, and ultra-competent Derek Flint) from a period that was certifiably spy-crazy, and cashing in on Bond-alikes was a cottage industry. But Goldsmith’s music went beyond the necessary peaks and valleys of a movie, even a silly spy movie spoof, and I’d always loved every minute of it. I bought the new disc immediately, spun it and fell in love all over again. And I played the hell out of it. And I’m still doing it.
Always a composer willing to do what was necessary, like recording unusual ethnic instruments or bypassing instruments altogether, using whatever style in his huge repertoire, creating unforgettable music even for the occasional forgettable film, Goldsmith may have used John Barry’s heavily jazz-tinged Bond music as a model, but besides the traditional piano trio-based jazz and big band sound he also introduced infectious sambas, exuberant Latin percussion, some classical and ethnic in the guise of “Russian” ballet music, 60s rock and roll led by some lively soloing on the “Mod”-sounding reedy organs of the day (probably Vox and Farfisa), not to mention RMI electric harpsichord, and much of it layered over cleverly hidden 12-bar blues runs. I can’t listen to this music without wanting to air-play all the instruments! Plus he created a Flint theme every bit as memorable as the Monty Norman/John Barry James Bond theme – a deceptively simple little set of notes made up mostly of accidentals and which can be shaped into innumerable musical styles so it sounds fresh and exciting in all of them. Goldsmith’s Flint music outguns the movies themselves. It has an amazing amount of soul.
Those two movie scores sustained me in a weird way. Often during long writing sessions I played the combined soundtracks literally over and over on Repeat. This is probably why Wolf’s Cut ended up stuffed with action scenes. I just couldn’t keep still, and the characters demanded I let them lock and load, then rock and roll. I gave in. In fact, I’m listening to In Like Flint‘s goofily mellow “Your Zowie Face” (lyrics by Leslie Bricusse) and Goldsmith’s bolero-like instrumental version right now, as I write this. And I still love it. Go figure.
If you’re a fan of the written word like I am then you are probably aware that Samhain Horror has been consistantly delivering some of the best genre literature of the past few years with a stable of authors that includes Ronald Malfi, Bryan Smith, Stephan Laws, Brian Moreland and filmmaker-cum-author Kristopher Rufty, whose “Angel Board” was one of the best debut novels of the last decade. So it comes as a pleasant surprise to find that Samhain will be publishing “The Guns of Santa Sangre” from one of the best writers (film or otherwise) in the genre, Eric Red…
Red’s prose has even received some high praise from legendary horror author Jack Ketchum, who said:
“In our mythos of the Old West, there are bad guys and even badder guys, but Eric Red’s are the biggest, baddest guys of all…”
Please visit Joblo.com to read the full article.
Written by: Kevin Woods of Joblo Horror News
I’m one of the newer editors here at Samhain, and I thought I’d take my first blog to talk a little about writing on proposal. I’ve had a few queries from authors about the possibility of contracting a book based on a proposal and sample chapters, rather than on a finished manuscript. It sounds like a great proposition–the author knows the book will get published, the editor know what her schedule has in store. Win/win…right?
If you are an author who has a solid working relationship with an editor, writing on proposal might be mutually beneficial. In that case, both the author and the editor has been through multiple rounds of edits–they’re both comfortable with the past edits and know how the process will play out. If the author is one who routinely submits clean, ready-to-go drafts, responds well to edits, and returns things consistently on deadline, writing on proposal might work.
But there are a few things to consider about writing on proposal, especially if an author doesn’t have an established relationship with an editor:
- Unless the writer is a super-specific plotter, there is a good chance that the book an author plans to write just doesn’t pan out. Characters can do the darndest things sometimes, and suddenly that funny contemporary has an alien invasion.
- Even if a writer is a super-specific plotter, there is a good chance things will turn out differently than expected.
- If the writer isn’t familiar with the editor’s style, edits might not go as smoothly as either party might hope.
- A writer has an upcoming contract, but just got the most amazing idea that she wants to work on! And now she has to write that other book.
And the big one: Life Happens.
Even the most disciplined, professional author is susceptible to life’s little surprises. People get sick, day jobs go wonky, and family has issues that need to be dealt with. Suddenly, that book that was going to be “no problem” to turn around is due in two weeks–and it’s nowhere close to done. In this case, the book already has a place in the publishing schedule and in the editor’s schedule, so often the draft that’s submitted is nowhere near as strong as it could be if the writer just had a few more weeks or another month or two. In this case, edits are going to be much more stressful and they may not get the book to where it might have been if the author had time to finish the draft before getting a contract.
If your editor seems reluctant to take a book on proposal, it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t believe in you as a writer or in your stories. It means that she’s aware that life happens, and sometimes it’s safer to have a manuscript ready to go first. For everybody involved.