Mario Acevedo's Blog, page 3

April 25, 2013


Mario's sadness over the death of his friend made me realize nothing I planned to write about today seemed very relevant. Cort McMeel's death touched him deeply. Mario's history had a lot to do with that. But more, Mario likes to play the clown. He's always ready with a joke (usually at my expense). I can take it. Last weekend, the jokester was gone. From the moment he got the news at Horrorfest, Warren Hammond and I saw the light dim.  There are always questions with a suicide, especially when one as exuberant and enthusiastic about life as Cort takes his own life. I could tell from Mario's reaction that with the confusion, there was the specter that maybe he missed something when he saw Cort just a week before.  Maybe there was a sign that he should have seen, a hint he misinterpreted. That's the dreadfulness of suicide. The questions that remain with those left behind.

So all I can do for you, my friend, is be here. Just as you were for Cort.

And to remind you, it's not your fault.

So, go ahead...hit me with your best shot!











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Published on April 25, 2013 05:02 • 114 views

April 21, 2013

Mario here:


In a week brimming with bad tidings, we were still sucker punched by the news that Cort McMeel took his life.

We all know people who seem to teeter on self-destruction, and if they happen to do themselves in, we're not surprised.

But Cort was a different story.

You couldn't help but notice him. He was loud, boisterous, and earthy--a roman candle of mirth and optimism. Highly educated and exceptionally well-read, he wasn't shy about sharing his opinions, especially when it came to literature and writing. And he was just as gracious and friendly. Already a physically imposing character, his ebullient personality filled a room like exploding fireworks. Yet you never felt diminished by him, in fact we all shined brighter the closer we stood beside him.


 Me and Cort at a Lighthouse gathering.
His reputation truly preceded him as I learned about Cort through his Murdaland anthology months before actually I met him. And when we did meet, he instantly acknowledged that he knew of me through my books and that he had looked forward to the introduction. And he was as effusive with other writers. When he recently became acquainted with our own Jeanne, Cort gushed that he enjoyed her Doc Holliday story.






Above all, Cort loved hard-boiled noir. He'd summon a few of us fellow mystery writers like Benjamin Whitmer and Jon Bassoff to his favorite watering hole, The Thin Man in the Park Hill neighborhood, where we discussed books, teaching, and our writing projects. It was through Cort that I learned about Charles Bukowski, Graham Greene, and Daniel Woodrell. He was eager to receive our comments on his almost completed cage fighter novel, and he was equally excited to read my next work-in-progress. But foremost, Cort cranked the levers of those projects promoting his beloved mystery genre. Having already demonstrated his chops as an editor and publisher with Murdaland, Noir Nation, and Bare Knuckles Press, he was ready to move forward with an ebook publishing venture. He was the force behind Denver's Noir@Bar and saw that venue as the foundation for an ambitious mystery writing program.


 Dan Manzanares (l) and Cort at Lighthouse.
Cort led writing seminars at the Lighthouse Writers Workshop where he was fondly regarded as an exceptional and popular instructor. To appreciate his infectious radiance, check out these photos of the book launch party for his debut novel, Short.

It wasn't as if Cort didn't face challenges. He had recently lost his job as a day trader but assured me that he had enough money set aside and had several writing projects to help with the family cash flow. 



Writer, author, boxer, rugby player, hunter, Cort swung at opportunity with two-fisted bravado. He tackled life with Hemingway-esque drama, and ironically, died the same way.


Demons tormented Cort. Not mischievous imps or the devil's henchmen that we find in urban fantasy, but real demons--those destructive impulses that torment a person to madness.

I knew Cort as a raucous, happy drunk. Even with his reputation as a hard-drinking Irishman, around me he'd cut himself off at two drinks (more or less), claiming that he had to behave himself. The one time we did plan a late night of boozing, I was done at eleven but Cort still knocked the drinks down, slapping backs and making new friends around the bar. He dismissed my concerns about him getting home safe, and I let it go at that. After all, I wasn't his nanny. The next morning he texted that he had slept the night in his car and then driven straight to work. Two weeks ago at our Mystery Writers meeting, I bought him beers for his dinner. But the truth was, Cort struggled against the bottle. Concerned about the affect his alcoholism was having on his wife and children, Cort tried AA. And quit. And continued his lonely battle.

He kept his other demon well hidden. Behind his smiles and good-natured swagger, Cort habored a corrosive bleakness about the futility of life. Despite his accomplishments and plans and people in his corner, he somehow talked himself into believing that he had run out of hope.

Last Friday, Jon and I waited at The Thin Man to plan for the next Noir@Bar. Cort never showed up and I texted him, asking if he was okay. He never answered.

Many years ago, my father committed suicide (as well as other heinous acts), and it took decades for the wounds to heal. So while my grief for Cort is biblical in its pain, I cannot pretend that my anguish is close to what his family suffers.

I can't claim that I knew Cort as well as other writers, especially Les Edgerton. Even so, I deeply admired Cort and will miss him dearly.


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Published on April 21, 2013 21:20 • 155 views

April 18, 2013

This has been an interesting week. Cover went up for Blood Bond:





For the first book my new series, The Fallen Siren Series, Cursed:

(In case you're wondering, S.J.Harper is the pseudonym co-author Samantha Sommersby and I are publishing under)
And I received copies of a new German edition of the first three books in the Anna Strong Chronicles:

Hardcovers-- very nice!!
#  #  #  #
Now for book news that's NOT about me... From Shelf Awareness and the Independent: <!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:"Times New Roman"; panose-1:0 2 2 6 3 5 4 5 2 3; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:50331648 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} a:link, span.MsoHyperlink {color:blue; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;} a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed {color:purple; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;} table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-parent:""; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} </style></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal"><i><b>William Boyd</b>'s new authorized <b>James Bond</b> novel, publishing this fall, will be titled SOLO. The author said at the London Book Fair it features Bond on a "self-appointed mission of his own, unannounced and without any authorization," traveling three continents, "with the main focus honing in on Africa." Boyd said, "It's what happens to Bond in Africa that generates his urge to 'go solo' and take matters into his own hands in the USA." In further Bond trivia, a 60th anniversary release of an early version of Ian Fleming's Casino Royale <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-ent..." target="_blank">shows</a>  that the spy was originally named "Secretan… James Secretan."</i></div><br /><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ao_ILBWqEug..." imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="268" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ao_ILBWqEug..." width="320" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"></div><br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">"Secretan...James Secretan." Just doesn't have the same ring, does it?</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">#  #  #  #</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;"> <style><!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:"Times New Roman"; panose-1:0 2 2 6 3 5 4 5 2 3; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:50331648 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-parent:""; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} </style></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal"><b><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/-04BS2tV..." width="640"></iframe></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b> </b>This is for Tamra Monahan...I know she can identify!<br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;">#  #  #  # </div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">Something new in the local scene:</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3XfDy3_y9BY..." imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3XfDy3_y9BY..." width="200" /></a></div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://news.bookweb.org/news/bookbar-..." target="_blank">BookBar</a></div><div style="text-align: left;">— “A book shop for wine lovers. A wine bar for book shoppers”— is set to open its doors this month in the arts district of Denver, Colorado, at 4280 Tennyson Street. The store will feature a menu of wine, beer, tea, coffee, hors d’oeuvres, and desserts to be served alongside an inventory of thousands of handpicked titles.</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">#  #  #  # </div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">All this late spring snow has murdered my tulips. They looked like this after the last storm:</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-WXuEF67jDGc..." imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-WXuEF67jDGc..." width="320" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div></div><div class="MsoNormal">That was bad enough...but  now they look like this:<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-E2mvZCdejg8..." imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-E2mvZCdejg8..." width="320" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"></div></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">And they were so beautiful!!<br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;">#  #  #  # </div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">One final word. The three musketeers: Mario, Warren Hammond and I will be appearing at Horrorfest this weekend. Check the schedule <a href="https://starland.com/wp/starfest/" target="_blank"> here</a> . </div></div></div>
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Published on April 18, 2013 04:16 • 38 views

April 14, 2013


Mario here:


What I'm reading: Cape Fear by John D. MacDonald.










I speak to a lot of newbeis about writing. Mostly about craft. Some about storytelling. We have discussions about technique versus craft. What I've learned is that there is no one way to tell a story. Some people get hidebound over style and throw ugly conniptions about POV shifts and exposition as if these were the most foul of human trespasses. I've come to appreciate there is a difference between writing and storytelling. Some authors are very good writers yet mediocre storytellers, and as a result, in a novel, they lose their readers. Other authors are fantastic storytellers yet middling writers. Their prose doesn't dazzle. But roll out a good story and readers will overlook a lot.

One drawback to being a writer is that I've had to retrain myself as reader. It was too easy to read a book through my critiquer goggles and get so nit picky that I missed the richness of the story. This doesn't mean I finish every book that I start. If I put a book down, it's seldom because of style but because the story lacks coherence (i.e., a plot).

One bit of advice hasn't changed in my years as a writing instructor. And that is: Read. A lot.
Read bunches in your genre and bunches out of your genre. I'm amazed when I asked a wannbe to list their favorite books and they reply that they're too busy to read. Or they want to pen a (fill-in-the-blank--mystery, thriller, historical) and haven't bothered to read one. Last year I challenged myself to read a book a week and so far, I'm on the money. Here is my TBR pile, in no particular order that the books will be consumed. Four are nonfiction, the rest novels.


If life was truly fair, then local writer Manuel Ramos would be in the end caps at Costco with Michael Connelly and CJ Box. The Denver Post gives Ramos a bit of his due in this chingaton review of Desperado.

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Published on April 14, 2013 19:50 • 37 views

April 10, 2013

 <!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:"Times New Roman"; panose-1:0 2 2 6 3 5 4 5 2 3; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:50331648 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-parent:""; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} </style> <br /><div class="MsoNormal">Lots of good news from writer pals—Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ Cindy Myers<span style="mso-spacerun: yes;">  </span>(<a href="http://www.amazon.com/View-Here-Cindy..." target="_blank">The View From Here</a>) and Warren Hammond (<a href="http://www.amazon.com/KOP-Killer-Warr..." target="_blank">Kop Killer</a>) are finalists in the 2013 Colorado Book Awards. Now Cindy is a regular at Fair Play and Warren is a critique party so I'm especially thrilled for them both.</div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><style><!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:"Times New Roman"; panose-1:0 2 2 6 3 5 4 5 2 3; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:50331648 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-parent:""; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} </style></div>On the League front: Jaye Wells (<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Blooded-Va..." target="_blank">Blue Blooded Vamp</a>) won the RT BookReviewers award for Best Urban Fantasy Novel and Diana Rowland (<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Even-White-Tras..." target="_blank">Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues)</a> for best Urban Fantasy Protagonist! As a former RT winner myself, I know how exciting this is! I look forward to partying with them next month at RT in Kansas City. <br /><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">Not too long ago Mario was named on a B&N List of best paranormal fantasy books of the decade. This week Mark Henry's <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Happy-Hour-Damn..." target="_blank">Happy Hour of the Damned</a> was honored as one of the top <a href="http://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/th..." target="_blank">20 Zombie novels </a>of the decade. Paul Goat Allen is at it again!</div><br /><div style="text-align: center;">#  #  #  # </div><br /> A small tribute to Annette Funicello-- she really was an American sweetheart--<br /><br /><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9ngTd7S..." width="640"></iframe> <br /><br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"> #  #  #  #</div><br />Next Tuesday, April 16th, pal Jackie Kessler debuts the latest in her YA series, the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse: Breath<br /><br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-biEqq4GHIkI..." imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-biEqq4GHIkI..." /></a></div><br />  <br />From <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Breath-Riders-A..." target="_blank">Amazon</a>:  <i>Contrary to popular belief, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse aren’t just harbingers of doom—they actually keep life in balance. But what happens when their leader and creator, Death, becomes suicidal?</i><br /><i>      </i><br /><i>Before the first living thing drew its first gasping breath, he was there. He has watched humanity for millennia. And he has finally decided that humanity is not worth the price he has paid time and again. When Death himself gives up on life, a teenager named Xander Atwood is the world's only hope. But Xander bears a secret, one that may bring about the end of everything.      </i><br /><br /><i>This heart-pounding final installment of the Riders of the Apocalypse series looks at the value of life, the strength of love, and how a small voice can change everything . . . forever.</i><br /><br /><i> </i>If you haven't tried this series, you can start with <i>Breath</i>--the  books don't need to be read in order. Jackie is a wonderful writer and <i>Breath</i> appeals to more than the YA audience. You should give it a try.<br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;">#  #  #  # </div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: large;">This one stunned me: </span><style><!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:"Times New Roman"; panose-1:0 2 2 6 3 5 4 5 2 3; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:50331648 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} h1 {margin-right:0in; mso-margin-top-alt:auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; margin-left:0in; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; mso-outline-level:1; font-size:24.0pt; font-family:Times;} a:link, span.MsoHyperlink {color:blue; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;} a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed {color:purple; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;} table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-parent:""; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} p.first-text, li.first-text, div.first-text {mso-style-name:first-text; margin-right:0in; mso-margin-top-alt:auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; margin-left:0in; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:Times;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} </style></div><h1><span style="font-size: large;"><a href="http://kotaku.com/disney-shuts-down-l... style="font-family: "Times New Roman";">Disney Shuts Down LucasArts, Cancels Star Wars 1313 And Star Wars: First Assault</span></a><span style="font-family: "Times New Roman";"></span></span></h1><div class="first-text"><span style="font-size: large;">Disney has laid off the staff of LucasArts and cancelled all current projects. Full story  <a href="http://kotaku.com/disney-shuts-down-l..." target="_blank">here</a></span></div><div class="first-text"><br /></div><div class="first-text"><span style="font-size: small;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/BQyGu4Eq..." width="640"></iframe></span></div><div class="first-text"><br /></div><div class="first-text"><br /></div><div class="first-text"><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-size: large;">Too  bad-- I thought this looked good! </span></span></div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;">#  #  #  #</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;">From last week: Christa, email me at jeanne@jeannestein.com so I can send you your gift card. You were correct with your answer, even though it made me realize there were actually two errors in the timeline--one of which has yet to be mentioned. Makes me appreciate how thorough the copy editors of my books are and how much I need them!</div>
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Published on April 10, 2013 18:54 • 30 views

April 7, 2013

Mario here:

What I'm reading:

Gil's All Fright Diner, by A. Lee Martinez.











Last week, Jeanne gave in to her inner sparkly vampire and posted the movie trailer to Stephenie Meyer's The Host. So to even out our karma, please visit Rotten Tomatoes to read their opinions about the movie. Among my faves:

"Come back Bella and Edward - all is forgiven." James Croot  flicks.co.nz
"An invasion of the body snatchers is preferable to realizing that the true horror perpetrated here is not on the characters but on the audience."  Connie Ogle Miami Herald
Years ago, the future was chrome and fins, clean energy, and bounty for all. Jobs? Ha! We don't need no stinking jobs. Who cares about money? (When did you ever see anyone on Star Trek ask a buddy to spot him some cash? Just until payday.) Or worry about deductibles?

Now that we're well into the second decade of the 21st Century! it's obvious we're getting the toys and gadgets but little of the promised enlightenment. The dark side of high-tech is definitely ugly. Lately there's been a lot of noise about Google glasses and FaceBook's smart phone, and its obvious that the primary purpose of both gizmos is to collect as much data about you as possible. They'll record where you are, who you're with (through facial recognition), what you're doing, what you're buying, who you're texting/talking to. If you think Google and FaceBook care a whit about your privacy, you're a fool. And those who claim you can opt out of the tracking or data mining are even bigger fools. For example, I joked in an email that I'd been eaten by a giant carp. The next time I opened my Gmail account, they had posted an ad for carp fishing. I can opt out of receiving ads based on my email content, but not out of Google shifting through my (not-so) private correspondence. And FaceBook is notorious for fudging the line when protecting your privacy. Some restaurants have already banned Google glasses, and you know it won't be long before some jerk causes a car crash because he was looking at porn while driving.

Plus we have drones. More and more of them. Getting deadlier. And smaller. Some new ones are the size of large wasps.What does this mean for privacy?

Another unforeseen consequence of high-tech is how it affects the way we're communicating. Cell phone users under the age of twenty-six text more than they talk over the phone. Many of us geezers lament the loss of communication skills. And how will we writers realistically and dramatically portray someone texting? Some have tried by including blocks of text-speak, but it makes for a boring narrative. Maybe we are boring.

The best book I've read that extrapolates the present trends--technologically, culturally, and politically--to their logical frightening developments is Richard K. Morgan's chilling Altered Carbon. It's a future that I'll gratefully never see.









Thankfully, we're not completely there yet. You can celebrate the joys of great traditional prose with Seattle author Jeanne Shortridge, who will be signing Water Love Memory at the LoDo tattered Cover, April 10, and she'll be presenting a workshop on Voice: Tapping into the Distinct at Lighthouse Writers Workshop, Saturday, April 13.


Try as we might, life is not all sunshine and chocolate. Acclaimed science fiction author Iain Banks announced that he has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Please read Orbit's blog where he bravely discusses the news and his immediate future.


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Published on April 07, 2013 14:21 • 35 views

April 4, 2013

First order of business: A Contest!!


 
For those of you have been nice enough to order and read Cloud City, I'm offering a chance to win a $25.00 Amazon gift card. All you have to do to win is answer a question: There is an error in the story timeline. Do you know what it is? First person who replies below with the right answer is the winner!

If you haven't ordered it yet,  and would like to, here's the  link .

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 <!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:"Times New Roman"; panose-1:0 2 2 6 3 5 4 5 2 3; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:50331648 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-parent:""; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} </style></div>--> <br /><div class="MsoNormal"><b><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/uOP2zX6K..." width="640"></iframe></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: left;">New trailer for the Host which starts Friday. <b></b></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;"><b><br /></b></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;">#  #  #  #</div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: left;"> Something fun- <a href="http://www.thebookseller.com/news/gob..." target="_blank">Diagram's</a> winner for the oddest book title of the year: <i>Goblinproofing One's Chicken Coop</i><b>.  </b>Yes, and we all know how important it is to goblinproof one's chicken coop.</div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: left;"> <style><!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:"Times New Roman"; panose-1:0 2 2 6 3 5 4 5 2 3; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:50331648 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-parent:""; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} </style></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal"><i>Philip Stone, The Bookseller charts editor and Diagram Prize administrator, said: "People might think the Diagram Prize is just a bit of fun, but it spotlights an undervalued art that can make or break a work of literature. Books such as A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time all owe a sizeable part of their huge successes to their odd monikers."<span style="font-family: Times; font-size: 10.0pt;"></span></i></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; mso-margin-top-alt: auto;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; mso-margin-top-alt: auto;"><b>The full shortlist and their share of the vote:</b></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; mso-margin-top-alt: auto;">1) <i>Goblinproofing One's Chicken Coop </i>by Reginald Bakeley (Conari Press) 38%</div><div class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; mso-margin-top-alt: auto;">2) <i>How Tea Cosies Changed the World </i>by Loani Prior (Murdoch Books) 31%</div><div class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; mso-margin-top-alt: auto;">3) <i>God's Doodle: The Life and Times of the Penis </i>by Tom Hickman (Square<span style="font-family: Times;"><br /></span>Peg) 14%</div><div class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; mso-margin-top-alt: auto;">4) <i>How to Sharpen Pencils </i>by David Rees (Melville House) 13%</div><div class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; mso-margin-top-alt: auto;">5) <i>Was Hitler Ill? </i>by Hans-Joachim Neumann and Henrik Eberle (Polity Press)<span style="font-family: Times;"><br /></span>3%</div><div class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; mso-margin-top-alt: auto;">6) <i>Lofts of North America: Pigeon Lofts</i> by Jerry Gagne (Foy's Pet Supplies)<span style="font-family: Times;"><br /></span>1%</div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;">#  #  #  #</div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: left;">Just returned from a wonderful visit with friends in Vegas and daughter in Havasu. The weather was perfect, sunny, warm; the lake smooth as glass. </div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-YLEe_BwwS9M..." imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-YLEe_BwwS9M..." width="320" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: "Times New Roman";">Friends Patty and Jay Salam from Vegas</span></div><div style="text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-frT8NejTjF0..." imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-frT8NejTjF0..." width="320" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;">"Family Portrait"</div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-jcHH18ulZjM..." imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-jcHH18ulZjM..." width="240" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: "Times New Roman";"> </span>Jeanette and "Maddie"- who has her own FB Page!</div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;">#  #  #  #</div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: left;">The Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer's Colorado Gold writing contest is open. Go  <a href="http://www.rmfw.org/contest/" target="_blank">here </a>for details. A good opportunity to get your manuscript in front of agents and editors. Deadline is June 1. </div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: left;">And with that, I bid you all a good day!!</div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: left;"><b><br /></b></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: left;"><b><br /></b></div>
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Published on April 04, 2013 04:07 • 44 views

March 31, 2013

Mario here:

What I'm reading:

 



Pulse by Jeremy Robinson.







Get your pencils ready--real or virtual--because I have a boatload of people to pimp.



Saturday night at Lighthouse Writers Workshop I got to meet Peter Stenson, author of the forthcoming Fiend. How's this for the logline? Breaking Bad meets The Walking Dead. That alone is worth fifty gallons of undead blood spatter. Preorder your copy from Amazon.









Next up, more pimpage for an amazing writer, Julie Kazimer. Her sarcastic takes on urban fantasy may seem breezy and light, but they are loaded with cleverness and wit. She puts a keen hard-boiled and pervy spin to her f***ked up fairy tales. Plus, she was banned for being too racy for the blue bloods of Methminster Westminster. Read what the Denver Post says of Kazimer's latest, Froggy Style.







Way back when, my sister passed along an ARC from Jennie Shortridge and I've been hooked on her work ever since. She's coming to Denver within the next two weeks for the signing of her fifth novel,  Love Water Memory, Wednesday April 10 at the LoDo Tattered Cover and then for a workshop on voice at Lighthouse, Saturday, April 13.  Unfortunately, Shortridge's sales may be hurt because she's caught in a turf battle between her publisher Simon & Schuster and Barnes & Noble. So stick it to the Man. Go to the Tattered Cover and buy an armload of copies.




And gargantuan congratulations to Jason Heller and the staff of Clarkesworld Magazine for their Hugo nomination for Best Semiprozine. And to John Picacio, for yet another nomination for Best Professional Artist.

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Published on March 31, 2013 19:58 • 57 views

March 28, 2013

Jeanne here: Writing this from Las Vegas after a thirteen hour drive...should have taken eleven but we hit snow around the tunnel and it was practically a white-out until we got through Vail Valley. But here it's 80 degrees...staying with good friends Patty and Jay Salam and then on to Havasu to visit with the daughter.

Couple of quick hits-- think those who work on the publishing side of the business make big bucks? Think again...check out this  link  on what your editor really makes. Of course, this doesn't take into account any  bonuses that might be paid for finding the next JK Rowling.


And for those of you who may have missed it, CBS Sunday Morning had a bit about erotica and featured Ellora's Cave and author Desiree Holt. It's interesting. The bit was called The Popularity of Mommy Porn, a title which I personally think has a big ick factor...


More next time, I promise
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Published on March 28, 2013 06:39 • 28 views

March 24, 2013


Mario here:


What I'm reading this week: In The Woods by Tana French.










Getting published is an emotional boxing match, you versus Goliath. Unless you got an enchanted sling and rock in your backpack, expect a long, bruising battle. You pour yourself into your work, and it's so easy for an agent to say no. Once upon a time, they had to take minutes to scrawl a negative missive on your letter and stuff it into an SASE. Now with the magic of the Internet, rejection takes seconds. David Cameron performed an experiment to demonstrate how myopic the process can be. He copied a short story published in The New Yorker, thinking here is a work that had been vetted by the top pooch in the dog pile of American short fiction, and so it must easily pass any literary smell test. But no. Every magazine he submitted the story to, rejected it. Including The New Yorker. What did Cameron prove? That the system was unfair? Waa, waa! Like that's a surprise.

 
For the past couple of weeks, millions of computer bytes have been chewed up regarding Hugh Howey, the success of his novel Wool, and what that means in the publishing world. Many have hyper-ventilated in their claims that Howey's experience with Kindle was a game changer for writers. Namely that us hacks no longer needed the blessing of the New York Six to make money from our work. We can all get rich self-publishing our ebooks. After all, Howey turned down seven-figure advances. But not so fast. What Howey proved was to demonstrate that old truism: If people can make money from you, they will come knocking. And, like Howey, you can turn down their deals if you got plenty of fuck you money in your pocket. Howey hadn't done anything that others haven't tried. Some with better success than others. (A few friends have managed to quit their day jobs; others have yet to sell more than a half-dozen copies.) Howey happened to have the alignment of the stars, some luck, and a damn good story well told. Have self-pubbed ebooks changed the market? Only by 25%. That means 75% of book sales are still in traditional paper form.

Though we've pimped them before, to keep the pump primed of some deserving writers recently venturing into the self-pubbed ebook swamp, including our own Jeanne, please patronize these offerings. If you already have copies, then please post a review and hustle the books to your friends.











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Published on March 24, 2013 20:55 • 85 views

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