Heather Brewer's Blog, page 7
December 5, 2011
Man, I don't know if it's just me and the fact that I am a total whiner when the weather turns brisk, but it has been COLD lately here in Brewtopian Manor, my Minions. We're talking don't-take-too-long-to-blink-or-your-eyes-may-freeze-shut cold. And I didn't quite realize just how roasty-toasty warm it is inside until I just stepped outside for a moment. HOLY ICICLE NOSE, BATMAN! IT IS FREEZING!!!
But enough about me and my whining. We have Important Things to discuss.
I know a lot of you are gearing up for various end of the year holiday celebrations (and even if you're not, this still applies to you) – so am I, actually. And my fall-back present, that gift I go to very easily and very quickly whenever I don't know what to get someone (or just really, really, really think they would love it) is a book…or a pile of books. And shopping for books is fun. I love book stores – particularly cool independent bookstores, with lots of character. My favorite indie bookstore (though I do love them all very much) is Main Street Books in historic St. Charles, Missouri.
There's just something about that shop. Whenever I walk inside, I feel like I'm at home. And then when I climb the stairs to the cool teen loft, I never want to leave. Not to mention that it's on this cool historic street, full of really interesting shops, which always seems to have an amazing festival going on. For example, currently (and running through Christmas Eve, I believe) is the Christmas Traditions festival. Visitors can meet a range of Santa Clauses from around the world, listen to carolers, and joke around with Jack Frost. It's pretty sweet, and I go every year. Normally multiple times. (So if you see me, please say hi – I love meeting my Minions!) It's a neat place. A neat town. Full of neat people.
Now, you may be asking yourself "Why on Earth would Auntie be telling us all this? Snore!" I do have a purpose. And if you do love supporting small businesses, fulfilling your holiday shopping needs (or just your shopping needs, period), and meeting Auntie Heather, then I have great news for you.
The Independent Bookstore Alliance in Saint Louis has come together to offer shoppers a really cool treat. On certain days, in certain independent bookstores all across the St Louis area, shoppers (in my case, Minions) are going to have the opportunity to not only hang with their favorite author, but also have their favorite author act as their personal bookseller (more info HERE)!
Yep! Auntie Heather will help you shop for books (and all manner of awesomeness that's at Main Street Books) and maybe..just maybe…she will bring cookies. Because she's like that.
I'll be working at Main Street Books on Saturday, December 17th, from 6pm to 8pm. So grab the family, check out the Christmas Traditions festival, eat some kettle corn, drink some hot cocoa, and then, when you're done shopping all along Main Street, head on over to Main Street Books and shop in the warm, cozy bookstore with your Auntie Heather!
December 1, 2011
Minions, you have been so infinitely patient. You've waited through a title change (BLOODBOUND to SOULBOUND), and have waited sooooo long for Auntie Heather to finish this book, this epic fantasy that's so different than my Vlad Tod or Slayer stuff. You've begged, pleaded for a taste. Just a taste! And today, I can give you just that. I'm going to give you two pressies. And when I'm done, I want to know what you think. I'm thrilled, ecstatic, so, so happy to give you both the cover of SOULBOUND, and the first five paragraphs! Are you ready? Because here…we…GO!!!
The sharp edge of the paper sliced into my thumb and I sat up with a jerk. "Fak!"
Blood blossomed from the cut and I tossed my book to the ground, shoving my thumb in my mouth and sucking on it to make the bleeding stop. I should have known that I'd give myself a paper cut. I'd just picked up the book from the book binder this morning, so its pages were still crisp, not well worn like those in the books that lined the shelves of my bedroom.
"What would your mother say if she heard you cursing like that, Kaya?" As he ducked under the moss that was draping from the tree branches above and made his way along the water's edge, my father smiled at me. In his left hand was a net full of freshly caught fish. He held it up proudly. "Dinner. I hope I didn't scare you."
Shaking my head at his subtle attempt at humor—he'd always been able to sneak up on me without much effort, ever since I could remember—I brushed the grass from my leggings and stood, clutching the book in my hand. "Scare me? I actually heard you coming. First time for everything, I suppose."
"I made certain you did. Walk back with me? I want to talk with you about tonight." He didn't wait for an answer. I knew he wouldn't. My father was a take-charge kind of person. Not cruel or demanding, but a natural leader. When he said something, people were meant to listen, and they did, for the most part. Maybe it was because he was a Barron, and people—even the Unskilled people of Kessler who had no idea what Barrons even were—just sensed that they were supposed to follow his lead. My mother was a Barron as well. Sometimes I wished that I was like them, but then I'd push that wish away. After all, there was no sense in wishing for what one could never possibly have. My parents had been born Barrons, and I . . . well . . . I had not.
November 24, 2011
It's funny. I can remember being in elementary, and getting the same assignment every year. Describe in a paragraph (or a few paragraphs) what it is that you are thankful for. It was an easy assignment. It was fun, and didn't exactly require a lot of thought. But as your Auntie gets older, Minions, it's a question I take a bit more seriously every year. What am I thankful for?
Before I share this year's answer with you, I want to tell you a story. No, no – put those cocoa mugs down. It's not a happy story. It's not a place that you will be comfortable in. You won't want to spend a lot of time there. I don't. But I feel the need to get this out, and so I turn to you, my Minions, some of the few people in the world who truly understand me, so that I can get it all out and be done with it and never look back. Are you ready? It's okay. I'll hold your hand the whole time. And when we're done, I'll tuck you all into your lil coffin beds and give you all lil skull cookies, and after a while, you might not recall our journey at all.
Here we go.
Yesterday began as a really great day. Uncle Paul was off at his college, taking classes. My son, Jacob, and my daughter, Alexandria, were being goofy and awesome. And so I decided it would be the perfect day to do some charity work. Off to Target we went to shop for Toys for Tots! I'd seen the T4T bin at my favorite Starbucks last week, and was really looking forward to filling it. See, your Auntie was very poor growing up, so T4T means a lot to me, and to so many children. It's important, the hope that each gift represents. So we shopped and shopped and shopped and before we knew it, we had two entire carts overflowing with toys!
Mind you, I'd driven the Camaro to Target. And while my car has an enormous trunk, I hadn't counted on filling it and then some. So after that, instead of hitting more stores for more gifts, the kids and I decided to swing by my favorite Starbucks, and drop the toys off.
Now…here's where the situation gets sticky. It's where you learn that your Auntie Heather did something wrong, and where someone else did something (in my mind, anyway – maybe not) more wrong. In fact, I don't even like reliving the scenario. But I have to, you see, because it bothers me. To my core, it bothers me.
A quarter of the parking lot had been roped off, so I drove around and around, looking for an empty spot, but there weren't any. In front of the Starbucks is a curb marked No Parking, but I'd seen several people in years past park their car, go inside for twenty minutes, and come back without any trouble. So…I stopped there, and put my hazards on. Should I have parked there, albeit briefly? No. That was wrong of me. Granted, I just wanted to semi-easily get the ridiculous amount of gifts to the T4T bin. But that's really no excuse. Just because other people break a rule and get away with it, that doesn't mean it's okay to break it yourself.
I began opening my drivers' side door – it was open maybe four inches – when I heard a man SCREAMING, "SIR! SIR! YOU CAN'T PARK THERE!" I had no idea who he was, and I wasn't a sir, so I ignored him. Then I heard footsteps, and glanced to see a security guard sprinting to my car from four lanes over. He was tall, bulky, and glaring so hard that his eyes might have been made of lava at that moment, or maybe shooting lasers (this is the way he appears in my memory, anyway). He runs up to me, big and scary and broad, and huffs in a voice that makes me feel like I look just like a person who once kicked his puppy when he was five, "What part of YOU CAN'T PARK HERE do you NOT understand?"
This is where Auntie Heather takes a breath. In that moment, where I take a breath, I recognize that the holidays are a very unhappy time for people, that virtually no one respects these guards, and that he's probably having a really bad day, and maybe feels just a little stupid for having referred to me as "sir" (which also begs the question…can only boys own Camaros? Why did he assume I was a sir? I mean, he called me that before he could even see me…my windows are tinted. Huh…). After I release my breath, and open my trunk to get the toys out, I calmly, say, "I'm sorry, sir. There was no parking and I just wanted to get these to Toys for Tots."
But as I'm saying the words "Toys for Tots", he SCREAMS at me, "YOU CANNOT PARK HERE!" He then puffs up his already large frame, and gets unnervingly close to me, kinda lording over me in the way that people do when they're trying to physically intimidate someone – especially someone smaller than them (much smaller, in fact). I say, "Okay, I'm going." because I want to remove myself from the situation. That's very important, Minions. If someone is on the verge of getting physical with you (and I do believe if I had been a "sir", he would have put his hands on me – you could feel it in the air, like an electric charge), GET AWAY FROM THEM.
At this point, Jacob has already taken half the bags into Starbucks. I sit the rest on the sidewalk there, go to close my trunk, and he moves in, shouting, "NOW, or I'll put a sticker on your car!"
In my mind, I'm thinking, "A sticker? Really? Like a tow sticker that I will simply remove after returning home? Wow. You have immense power, sir. Good for you." but I say nothing. I simply move past him and head for my drivers' side door. He follows me – too closely and huffing and puffing angry air out of his nose – and as I open my door, he reaches inside his jacket and pulls out a sticker. I get in my car, so angry I can barely see straight, and do up my seat belt, turn off my hazards, and pull away slowly.
The bags, full of new toys, are on the sidewalk. Alone. So I drive slllloooowllly back and forth, waiting for Jacob to come get them. He does, and we leave. But not before I blew a kiss at the security guard. I should have wished him a happy Thanksgiving. He probably needed to hear it.
But the point is, Minions, I am 38 years old, and I was bullied by a complete stranger yesterday. There was no reason to treat me that way. Yes, I shouldn't have parked there. But he didn't even ask if my car was having troubles, or if there was a medical emergency of some kind. He simply shouted and huffed and invaded my personal space. All because…what? I drive a nice car? I have weird hair? I…shower…?
I was furious the whole way home, because all I could think about was the fact that I am 38, and someone bullied me…and you Minions are (for the most part) younger, much younger. If someone can bully me…what are they doing to you? And it made me mad. And it made me upset. And it broke my heart, because all I want to do is to protect you from that kind of nonsense.
Then I went home and cried. Like that deep, soul-wrenching kinda cry. Because it bothered me so badly. It put me back in elementary, back in middle school, back in high school, back in a certain romantic relationship I had with a bully. And it hurt me to my core.
Yes, I did the wrong thing by parking there. But I did the right thing by walking away.
And as I sobbed and vented at home, Jacob and Alex both uttered protective words and hugged me, and I knew then what I was thankful for this year.
I'm thankful for my family. And I'm thankful for my Minions. Because we all seem to be the only people who know right from wrong, who know that making someone cry because you're unhappy is an awful thing to do. So thank you, Minions. For being you. You're always in my thoughts. Always.
Happy Turkey Day, Minion Horde. What are you thankful for?
November 20, 2011
Greetings, Minion Horde! Now, gather 'round. Because Auntie Heather has some news for you all. Do you all have your lil skull blankies? Everybody have a coffin-shaped cookie and a mug of steaming AB Negative? Good. To begin with…there's the BAD news.
You all have heard that I have a new series (THE LEGACY OF TRIL) beginning next summer, with the first book, BLOODBOUND. BLOODBOUND will feature katanas and monsters and epic, thrilling fantasy! BUT…the bad news is that BLOODBOUND will no longer come out next summer. Or ever.
Yeah. There is no BLOODBOUND. Not anymore. It's been erased from existence. Why? Well, because of the GOOD news.
The GOOD news is that BLOODBOUND has a new title!! It will now (more appropriately) be called SOULBOUND! And you can pre-order it on Amazon now! So…Auntie was a bit sneaky there. But yes, the same story is coming out next July, but now with a much more fitting title. YAY!
What do you all think? (I'm aware my comments are still broken – I promise to fix them soon! But feel free to share your opinion with me on Twitter/Facebook – links on the right!).
November 9, 2011
Look at that, Minions – I hadn't been blogging regularly and now, you're getting PUMMELED with my blogginess. Sick of me yet? I hope not. I do know, however, that many of you are sick of not being able to comment on my blog. There is, apparently, a bug that's in need of fixing, so I'm sicking my web guru on the issue ASAP. Also, I'll send along a list of awesome changes to the site. The forum is getting totally revamped, and the FAQ (plus several other parts of my site) are getting updated. I feel like I've been living under a rock, but now it's time to do something about this mess. Somebody grab a broom, forcryingoutloud! And by "somebody", I of course mean ME.
So, there are two reasons that I had to blog today. One is because we have winners to my latest contest! Jacob Coates, who's thirteen and from Washington, is the grand prize winner of my haiku contest. He won an XBox360, with a skin that looks like the cover of FIRST KILL! And he did it with this fangtastic haiku tribute to Vlad:
tendancy to kill
tries his best to control it
on a strict diet
Looooove it! Plus, our two first place winners (Aubrey Peel – 16, from Florida, and Kayla Rupper – 16, from Utah) each win an autographed copy of FIRST KILL. Out of almost 400 entries, it wasn't an easy pick, so congrats to the winners! If you have any ideas for future contests, just drop me a line. I'm always curious what the Minion Horde wants to win and how they want to win it.
Now…THIS. As a home-state Michigander, I am outraged, sickened, and disgusted. Spread the word, Minions. Because we can change the future, but we have to rally together in order to do so. Bullying has to STOP.
P.S. I love each and every one of you. *squish*
November 7, 2011
November 1, 2011
October 31, 2011
Ahh, Halloween! Auntie Heather's most favorite holiday of the year (and, I'm quite certain, many Minions' as well). A day that's filled with costumes and candy and frights and spooky ghosties galore. What more could you possibly ask for?
This one's for you, Minions. You're in my thoughts today. Just like you're always in my heart. My shriveled up, black lil heart.
October 19, 2011
Oh, Minions. How your Auntie Heather's head doth spin as of late. So much that it's launched from her neck, hit the ceiling and SPLATTED on the floor. I'm not sure what's worse: that teh kittehs keep swatting at the pile of goo it's become, or that Jacob keeps poking it with a stick. Nevertheless, your Auntie's been living inside a crazy tornado, waiting for some semblance of normalcy (heh) to return to her life.
AND I COMPLETELY FORGOT TO TELL YOU ALL ABOUT MY TOUR.
Yeah. I'm ~that~ brain dead lately. I went on a two and a half week tour of AWESOME, came home, and didn't even mention it in my last blog! Where is my head??? (Oh right…it's a pile of goo on the floor…)
The tour was…in a word…nommy. So nommy that I nommed on its amazingness and it nommed right back. It was so much fun! So many of you came out to see me (many of whom were Master Minions), and I loved each and every hug, treasured each and every gift, and I just want to thank you, Minion Horde, for being there for me, and for giving me some love, when I very much needed it. You guys all rock my world, and it's my pleasure and honor to rule over you.
Things here are good. I'm busy working on the second round of edits for The Slayer Chronicles #2 (due October 25th), and working on an outline for the second Legacy of Tril book (after Bloodbound). Plus, we're getting ready for some pretty major website/forum changes soon. Speaking of the forum…if you're new, and need a friend, I urge you to reach out to Mina, Tod, Pravus, and K8. They're there to be your friends. Trust me.
Are you still reeling over the graphic novel news?? I am! I've known for some time, but when Penguins say "SHHH!!!! Don't tell a soul!!!" I'm forced to super glue my lips together and hold on to all that awesomeness until I might burst. But I'm so relieved/thrilled that we can talk about it now! Are you geeked? I can hardly wait to see more artwork and share it with you. It's going to have an effect on fan art, I imagine. But we shall see.
Ooooh! I can has great news! Who wants to see the family trees of both Vlad and Joss? You can! Head on over to Hastings' website and click View the Family Tree off to the right side of the page. It ROCKS! And so does Hastings for helping make it happen.
Speaking of Joss…what are you guys thinking of FIRST KILL so far? Spoilers welcome in the comments – just be careful reading them if you don't want secrets spilled!
I'm off to do that whole typey-typey thing I do. And, of course, to relish in the hoodie weather we finally have.
Hugs and lil skull cookies for all!
October 13, 2011
Oh, yes, my hungry little Minions. The title of this post does not lie. Sooooo many of you have been BEGGING, PLEADING, INSISTING that I create a graphic novel based on my Vlad series, and now, with the amazing work of some incredibly talented peeps (including artist, Julia Laud, colorist, Richard Suwono, and brilliant writer, Tony Lee), I can bring you just what you've been asking for. I give you…the graphic novel cover for EIGHTH GRADE BITES!!!
What do you think, Minion Horde??? I completely, totally love it. And I love the script as well – Tony did a fabulous job. I can hardly wait for you all to get your grubby lil hands on it! But alas, you'll have to wait until August 16, 2012, as that's the date it goes on sale. The moment I have a link to where you can pre-order it, I'll post it. And I'll also have more yummy bits for you to salivate over soon. But for now…what do you think???