…and before I forget

To celebrate the release of Beauty & Dynamite AND Apex’s successful move to a new webhost, they are offering a 20% discount on all orders until June 30th. Just enter the coupon code NEWHOST on checkout!

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Jason Loves Me

And did I mention Beauty & Dynamite was out now?
I keep forgetting that…

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R.I.P. Mr Mouse

If the old-fashioned ways are still around, there’s a reason. Don’t knock them.
I’m just an old-fashioned kind of girl that way.

Sorry, boo…it never would have worked out between us.

Ironically, had I snapped the necks of my last live-in boyfriends, I might currently be a little more tolerant and well-adjusted.

Then again, I might not.

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Photo Queen

Did I mention how much I love Jaime Bley?

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History is Written by the Victors

I figured out why it was that I kept putting off writing about Mo*Con: history. Kelli Dunlap and I discussed this during one of our early-morning Garage Talk sessions — as writers, we have this special magical power to rewrite the parts of history that we don’t like.

And you are all at our mercy.

What happens at conventions? What happened last night? Last week? Last year? Whatever I decide to tell you about. Every crummy moment in my life is dressed up in pretty words and fingerpaints before I tout it for public consumption, and I continue to live in that perfect Ivory Tower that gleams mockingly at you from the horizon. I choose which juicy ripe memories in my basket will be immortalized, and I leave the rotten ones in the field for the birds.

That mess is just going to get forgotten anyway.

That’s just one of the ways we brighten our own lives, and yours, and that lady’s over there. It’s how we improve the world and leave it a more beautiful place than we found it.

The dilemma comes when we live through a time so wonderful and amazing and meaningful and dripping in perfect bliss that our writing just isn’t good enough. My dictionary doesn’t have those words. My paints aren’t available in those colors. I’m not sure the letters or hues exist that could accurately depict the shining memories I’ve been playing over and over in my head all week.

THAT was Mo*Con.

I had been looking forward to the con but I wasn’t sure to expect. Tim Waggoner had to bow out for Father’s Day plans. Geoffrey Girard cancelled at the last minute. And there would be no whiskey-drinking trash-talking Magic card Keenefest, no guarantee of any such peaceful moments of Zen.

Anticipation bred apprehension. Just because I had found nirvana last year didn’t mean I was going to again. So I bought a huge stack of books and dove headfirst into a week-long Mamatas-inspired baking marathon to prepare…I wanted the Indiana Horror Writers to remember how much they loved me.

Turns out, I had it all wrong.
THEY wanted ME to remember how much they loved me.

All the other reports you’ve read are true: Yes, I did go treasure hunting in a cemetery with Kelli and Lauren and Mark Rainey, and yes, the local police put an end to our business. Yes, the Mother Grove concert was a blast, and I posted the YouTube clip to prove it. Yes, Gary Braunbeck talked about my breasts more than once. Yes, we witnessed the musical stylings of Matt Cardin. Yes, Nick awed us all with his Feats of Strength. Yes, the food was delicious, and yes, the baklava was a hit. Yes, we stayed up until at least 3am every night. Yes, we probably talked about you. Yes, there were tai chi lessons and fireflies and shooting stars. Yes, hell rained down and grounded most of the GoHs, and yes, there was a Mo*Con III.2. And nope, you’re not going to hear about that night from me either.

And yes, the IHW did induct Keene and me into their ranks as honorary members; my official title is “Princess.” (I didn’t see Keene‘s certificate, but it might have said “Saten.”) I blushed and stammered through what is now known as the “Doug Warrick’s Awesome Handshake” speech and realized two things: a princess should always have a speech prepared, and she should NEVER, EVER forget her tiara. (*smacks forehead*)

Best of all, Maurice gave me a knight to watch over me.

He has a place of honor in my Ivory Tower, and I polish his armor shiny with my memories.

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Interact: Flying Dutchwoman

The Incredible Whirlwind of Beauty & Dynamite (that’s me) blogs about the new Tori Amos GN Comic Book Tattoo for Ingram HERE.

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Flying Dutchwoman

The Incredible Whirlwind of Beauty & Dynamite (that’s me) blogs about the new Tori Amos GN Comic Book Tattoo for Ingram HERE.

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Tuesday Morning Never Looked So Good

Back from Mo*Con.

Had a full night’s sleep and then some. I dreamt about the most wonderful people in the world, about rainbows and flowers and shooting stars, about cemeteries and dark woods and a knight to watch over me.

And this time the  cops didn’t show up.

I promise a con report (and pictures!!) when I’m more lucid.

The Princess

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Live from Mo*Con

Went geocaching in the cemetery with Mark Rainey, and the Mother Grove concert was FANTASTIC.

You wish you were here!!

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Genre Chick Interview: Shane Berryhill

Ironman, Batman, Hellboy, Hulk–it’s certainly a splendid summer of superheroes at the cinema! Are your young adult readers hungry for more? Check out Chance Fortune and the Outlaws (The Adventures of Chance Fortune)
–a superhero cut from a slightly different cloth. Join me as I infiltrate the lair of creator Shane Berryhill to find out more about what makes evil genius tick.


Alethea Kontis: What was your favorite book(s) as a kid?

Shane Berryhill: The first books I remember going absolutely giant-albino-four-armed-ape over were Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Mars novellas. When I was in junior high, I even faked being sick to stay home from school so that I could finish The Gods of Mars. Now, kids fake being sick to stay home from school for a lot of reasons, but I doubt finishing a book ranks high on the list!

AK: What was your best subject in school?

SB: Illustration. Unfortunately it wasn’t part of the official curriculum. <grins>

AK: How did you get started writing?

SB: For a would-be writer, sometimes the best book you can read is a bad one. Not long after the turn of the millennium, I was reading a novel–some bestseller by a big name author–that was pure schlock.  I finished it, certain that I could do better. I decided to try. I submitted several short stories to various sci-fi magazines, but didn’t get so much as a nibble. And rightly so. My first efforts where atrocious. But being bull-headed as I am, I didn’t let that deter me. I began studying the writing craft and honing my skills. Before long, my rejection letters were coming back with positive comments. But rejection letters they still were, admittedly. I saw that, if I was going meet my personal goal of success as a writer, my first step would be to write a novel. I set about creating a book that would excite that same 12-year-old who was so ga-ga over Burroughs. Thus was born Chance Fortune.

AK:  What’s next for you?

SB: Other than total and absolute world domination? Book two of The Adventures of Chance Fortune series, Chance Fortune in the Shadow Zone, is scheduled to release in hardcover this fall. My manager just finalized a development deal with Kickstart Productions, part of the team behind Angelina Jolie’s upcoming flick, Wanted. They’ll be shopping around my screenplay in hopes to have it optioned by a major studio. As I write this, my agent is trying to find a publisher for my middle-grade novel of Christmas fantasy-noir, The Long Silent Night. Last but not least, I’m midway through the first draft of an adult novel about a mentally and physically diseased serial killer I’ve tentatively titled Hollow.

AK: If you could have any superpowers, what would they be?

SB: The power to make Chuck Norris cry. But, as we all know, that’s impossible no matter how abundant your superpowers are. He created the universe with a spinning back-kick, after all!

AK: Describe your perfect fortress of solitude.

SB: Kryptonian sunstone structures aside, in the literal sense…
For work: My home office, the shade down, the door shut.
For relaxation: The Mud Pie–a bohemian, yet unpretentious coffee shop in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where I’m able to lose myself in a book while eating my favorite meal and drinking my favorite cup of java.
For play: Once upon a time not so long ago, a fabled hole-in-the-wall bar known as The Stone Lion existed here in Chattanooga. Despite its small size and inherent filthiness–or because of it–there truly was something magical about the place. It served as a microcosm of utopia in a city normally divided by race, religion, and economic status. I can’t tell you how many times while saddled up to a Stone Lion high-top, I watched suit-clad corporate attorneys and tattooed punk rockers toast one another in genuine friendship, if only for that hour. It was a glorious thing to behold, and to be a part of. But alas, The Stone Lion is no more. Nothing so markedly bookended my 20s as walking to work one day after The Stone Lion was closed and seeing the large statue that was its namesake tipped over onto its side. It truly was a graphic representation of the end of an era in both the city’s life and my own.

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