Sunday, August 30, 2009

Meet Kate Brady

I've started a new feature on my Web site in which I ask a fellow author some goofy questions. September's featured author is Kate Brady, author of One Scream Away, which I finished reading last week and enjoyed very much (my God, the ending!). Anyway, here's a little taste of what you'll learn about Ms. Brady at www.joycewrites.com:

I asked: If you could have a superpower, what would it be and how would you use it?
Kate (that's her at left) responded: "I’d be Domestic-Goddess-Scrub-Woman:  Able to clean a house top-to-bottom with the snap of a finger, blink of an eye, twitch of a nose… Or able to control a bunch of woodland creatures who could come in and sweep and mop and sew, preparing meals and cleaning the kitchen afterwards while humming lilting tunes to the descant of whistling birds…
"I’d be Adolescent-Mind-Reader-and-Teenage-Child-Tamer:  Able to know with a single glance whether a teenage girl is about to lavish me with love or strike out with inexplicable fury, and whether a teenage boy is lying about how much homework he has…
"I’d be Shapely-Dessert-Eating-Porsche-Driver:  Able to achieve the body of Jennifer Garner while eating chocolate mousse without ever going to the gym, and always looking great behind the wheel of that Porsche…"

And there's more. Much more. I also asked Kate: If you were a car, what kind would you be and why? (She waffles on that one.) What's your favorite way to procrastinate? And other burning questions. To see what she had to say, plus get a glimpse of what makes One Scream Away so special, visit www.joycewrites.com.

So ... what superpower would you have? I'd be invisible so I could listen in on what other people are saying about me. I'm not insecure. Nope. Not in the least. Nuh uh.

Friday, August 28, 2009

I can tell it's time ...

You know that antsy feeling you get when a big storm is coming? You're kinda jittery and anxious but also looking forward to it just a tiny bit? That's how I feel right before I'm ready to buckle down and tackle the next book. There are other signs:
1) Cleaning frenzy: Even the ceiling fan has been cleaned. Isn't it shocking how much crap collects on the blades? I can't help but worry about breathing in all that cat hair and dust. They need to make Swiffers for your lungs. 
2) Organizing frenzy: My desk is clean. Receipts filed away. Books shelved. Even the stray paper clips have found their way into the little silver bowl that represents my five years (six years ago) at USA Today. (I knew it'd be good for something!)
3) I've started zoning out: I had at least one conversation at work tonight that I checked out of and then checked back in to find my co-worker looking at me as if it was my turn to respond. I had nothing, except for a way for my bad guys to track down my on-the-run good guys. A very productive zone-out.
4) I've been seeking out favorite TV episodes that inspire me: The ep where Buffy sends Angel to hell. The ep where Crichton dies in Aeryn's arms. The ep where the dorky guy almost seduces Scully while impersonating Mulder. The ep where O'Neill and Carter end up on opposite sides of a force field. Ah, romance.
5) I'm not chatty: Maybe this goes with zoning out, but trying to have a conversation with me right now could be an exercise in futilty. My brain's working some stuff out. Check back later, please.
 
Put all this together, and it can mean only one thing: It's time to write. Lucky for me, the story I'm diving into now is one I've been looking forward to writing for almost two years. Let the fun begin!

(Fun logo designed for my Web site several years ago by great friend and great artist Chris Clay.)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

What I'm listening to

I'm a HUGE fan of audio books (thank you, Audible.com!). Especially when I'm in my car. I actually feel like I'm being productive if I listen to a book while I'm on the road. That focus on a story also probably spares me from the inevitable road-ragey thoughts.

On my drive back from vacation in Illinois earlier this month, I listened to the audio book of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. So good! And that was a loooooooong drive -- 14 hours, thanks to traffic in Chicago, a backup on the Ohio turnpike and road construction in Pennsylvania. Luckily, I had Katniss and Peeta to keep my brain thoroughly entertained as they competed in a Survivor-like reality show. Instead of getting voted off the island, though, losers are just plain offed.

I thought the ending was a bit abrupt at first, until I realized The Hunger Games is the first in a trilogy. I can deal with that! Catching Fire will be released on Sept. 1. You can bet that when the audio book is ready, I'll be listening.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fan mail rocks!

One of the joys of being a published author is opening your e-mail to discover a reader has sent you some love.

Excerpts from some of my recent fan e-mails:

"I read Cold Midnight and enjoyed it very much. So much that I have been looking for your other books."

"Cold Midnight was fantastic! ... You created a storyline that was interesting with plenty of red herrings and likable characters.  The relationship between Kylie and Chase was fantastic. ... The cast of characters as a whole made the entire story engaging."

"Thank you for the hours of great reading."

"Just had to let you know how much I enjoyed Cold Midnight. I am an avid reader and have a gazillion books, this is one of the very best I have ever read."

"I just finished your book Cold Midnight. It was GREAT!!!"

"Just finshed Cold Midnight, it was the best I have read in a long time."

Thanks, readers! :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What I'm reading

Before I went on "vacation" (a loose term, cuz I was doing some book promo, though I did go out of town and I did take time off work and I did have a fabulous time with lots of friends and family), I started reading One Scream Away by Kate Brady. As soon as I started it, I knew I had no choice but to set it aside. I didn't have the time I needed to read a can't-put-it-down-even-to-go-pee book. So the plan was to read it on "vacation."

Well, as it turns out, I didn't have time then, either. I was exhausted by the time I went to bed each night (and, well, let's be honest here: often a tiny bit drunk) and knew better than to pick up a book that would keep me  reading until the wee hours (or the wee-wee hours, if you know what I mean).

That brings us to now. I'm reading it, wee hours be damned. And it's rockin'! Kate, I want to write like you.

Cheers!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Howdy!

I'm planning to yak here about whatever happens to be on my mind. Could be something about writing, could be something about ... writing.

Hey, be sure to check out my other blog: Save the Copy Editor, Save the World. That one gets updated weekly (mostly). It's a serial mystery about newspaper copy editors trying to find kidnapped reporters while gabbing about grammar and punctuation. Yes, we really do do that. :) And it might be more fun than it sounds. It's at www.joycewrites.com. If you make a comment, you could win a signed book! (Written by me, of course.)

Speaking of books, maybe you'd want to check out the excerpt on my latest romantic suspense novel, Cold Midnight, after checking out Save the Copy Editor, Save the World. (I'll wait. You kinda have a lot to do at the moment.)

Back already? OK, that's it for the shameless self-promotion (for now). Anything you want to talk about?