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1986 Wishes You a Merry Christmas

Della’s going to kill me for this one. ūüôā

Merry Christmas!!

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Adam Ezra’s ENCHANTED Easter Egg

If you’re one of those folks who likes to know little background DVD-extras for novels, this one’s for you.

At the end of the acknowledgments for ENCHANTED, I thank the Adam Ezra Group because I wrote most of the acknowledgements while waiting for their show to start at the 8×10 club in Baltimore, MD. I told the guys that I’d write them into the book — they probably thought I was joking. But no!

As it turns out, the show had a pretty small audience, but those who were there were pretty big fans. Along with some New York Times bestselling princess, there was a professional photographer, and Joe stumbled on these videos of some of the songs on YouTube the other day. The sound quality is even pretty darn good. It’s fabulous that I will always be able to go back to that show and relive that moment in my life.

You, too, can finish reading Enchanted and then click on these videos for the full experience.

“Burn Brightly”

“Miss Hallelujah”

“Eddie Whistles”

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A Hellaciously Long Dragon*Con Post

There are those days in our lives that we consider our Best Days. I’m not sure I could pick out one as The Best Day Ever, but there are certainly ones I will never forget: my high school graduation, Orson Scoot Card’s Boot Camp, selling my first book, really kissing Joe for the first time. The Saturday of Dragon*Con 2011 was one of those days for me.

There are people who live their whole lives and never have a day like that. I would just like to let those people know that I honestly and truly appreciated every minute of it.

It started off just like every Saturday morning at Dragon*Con: there was an alarm, a very groggy Leanna, and a parade. I woke up a little before the alarm, so I’d have more time to draw stars on my face and make tea for my lovely nightingale roommate. I was up and dressed and looked FABULOUSLY CUTE and got to SEE LEANNA WEAR PINK. (The latter happens far more rarely than the former.) When we arrived at the staging area, I dropped Leanna/Romana off with the Doctor Who folks and met the Dark-Hunters–a large handful of which were children this year. I love kids. Especially kids who dress up.

Eddie had hurt his knee the night before so he wasn’t able to help carry the giant Dark-Hunter banner. Joe offered, but two strapping young men had already stepped up to volunteer. But as the Bloodmobile bus revved up and started pulling away (vampires always walk behind the Bloodmobile), we noticed that the banner was sagging a bit in the middle.

Sherri groaned and then said, “Alethea, will you go hold that thing up?”

There wasn’t time to debate logistics, and as I never have any qualms about being front and center, I hopped to the task. Happily, my crew of minions (a word I wouldn’t normally use, but they were kids AND Dark-Hunters!) jumped up beside me and helped me hold the banner as well. The little Simi and I had a great time waving to people and smiling, and every time we stopped she yelled, “YOU ALL LOOK TASTY!” or some variation, which sent me into fits of giggles.

The best part about being front and center with that banner was that EVERYONE SAW ME. My dear friend Crissy yelled and waved and blew me kisses as we rounded the corner. My friend Cass did the same later on down the street. I arrived back at the hotel to find numerous posts saying, “I saw you in the parade!” which was just fabulous and awesome.

I also arrived back at the hotel to find that I had completely sweated through my costume (thank you, Atlanta). Since I still had a bit of time before my first commitment (Leanna’s autograph session), Joe and I went to the Walk of Fame (which was closed) and the Exhibitor’s Hall. I’d bought a corset last year at Passional, and I had my eye on getting another one this year before the pickings were slim. I threw on my “back-up dress” (one always brings a back-up dress to Dragon*Con) and proceeded to spend WAY TOO MUCH on a gorgeous green full corset (because green is my favorite color) and a long black ruffly skirt (because if I was going to spend that much, I may as well get a whole outfit out of the deal, right?). We stopped back at the room to drop off purchases and I changed into my new GORGEOUS outfit, ready to face the day!

I left Leanna a little early to make it to the Hour With Sherrilyn Kenyon Panel. I’m so glad I keep getting invited to MC this panel, because I swear I do less and less every year. The best part for me is always warming up the crowd before Sherri gets there. I adore the Dark-Hunter fans–in a way, I’ve grown up with them. Those ladies & gents are my family. We are all friends on Facebook, and every year it’s like a family reunion. They knew me back when I was just a picture book writer and they cheered me when I hit the NYT Bestseller List. So I was INCREDIBLY PROUD to be able to show off not only my new dress, but also the book cover for ENCHANTED! By the time the panel started, I was absolutely giddy. I’m sure it showed.

I’m very glad too that I was able to chat with everyone before the panel, because directly after I was whicked away by my friend Gaia to see another panel over at the Sheraton hotel. See, I’ve been a guest since 2006 or so, but before then I was a FAN, and I miss it! I miss seeing panels (that I’m not on) and getting autographs (they’re so expensive now!) and shopping and collecting things. You have to wait HOURS to see panels now, and I just don’t have that kind of free time. I am a busy woman every year at Dragon*Con. They put me to WORK!

Back before I was a fan of much of anything besides books, I was a Next Generation Trekkie. Yes, Captain Picard was (and in a way, still is) my Captain. This year at Dragon*Con, a lot of the ST:TNG folks were in attendance. Gates McFadden, who played Beverly Crusher (my favorite character — the Warp Bubble episode is still my favorite), was doing a panel with Wil Wheaton & Brent Spiner, moderated by Garrett Wang. It was seriously killing me that I had to miss this.

But my dear, patient, and long-suffering friend Gaia is what we nowadays call “handicapable”, and those folks are allowed to the front of the line and let into the auditoriums first. They are also allowed to have one slave to assist them. I GOT TO BE THAT SLAVE. (Happily, she told me I could be a slave princess sans metal bikini, for which I will be eternally grateful.)

Gaia wasn’t even a fan of Star Trek (as was pointed out during the panel, they just don’t have Star Trek in France), but she loves me, and the panel was SO MUCH FUN that she actually had a great time. Gates and Brent and Wil and Garrett told stories and picked on each other and cracked us all up. We smiled and laughed and I took a bunch of pictures and I had the time of my life because I know this rarity was probably something I would never be able to experience again. It was a gift from a friend–one of the best gifts I’ve ever received–and I will never, ever forget that. Thank you, Gaia, darling.

Of course, squeezing that panel in made me subsequently late for my 5:30 autograph session, and there were already people waiting for me when I arrived. Gaia and Jacqueline and a few other girls helped me set up my table and welcome everyone, flustered as I was. Edmund Schubert had a chance to come in and sit by me a while which was a special treat, as he is someone else I miss dearly and never get to see enough of. He invited me to dinner with David Coe and Faith Hunter, but the hour came and went and I never stopped signing…and the Dragon*Con staff weren’t kicking us out…so I kept on signing and chatting with everyone until Sherri’s line disappeared.

I think Joe and I grabbed a quick bit to eat after–I don’t remember eating much at Dragon*Con this year. Yes, we did eat then, because I changed out of the fabulous green corset and into some jeans so I could eat. I wanted to save the dress to wear to the Yule Ball the next evening, and technically I was “off duty,” so jeans & a t-shirt were more than acceptable.

I knew David and Faith had a panel at 8:30, so I swung by quickly afterward to see if I could catch them before it started. I passed fellow Codexians Mary Robinette Kowal, Danielle Friedman, and Helena Bell who invited us to sit with them in the Marriott restaurant/bar, but I told them we would join them after I accomplished my mission. I found the room the panel was in about two minutes before it started. Jeremy Lewis was there along with Faith and David, and Carol Malcolm (my favorite Dark Fantasy track moderator) was holding court.

Two minutes or no, I proceeded to Hug Bomb the panel. Because Princesses have that right. I never saw Jeremy or Faith or David again after that, but it was just so lovely to see their faces and touch them for five seconds, to remind myself they were real, and how much I missed them (though I think it’s the first time I’d ever met Faith in the flesh)…it’s one of those unique feelings I wonder if anyone outside Dragon*Con knows.

We joined the Codex table at the Marriott, which grew as Leanna joined us, and then Tempest Bradford and Andrew Mayer. The company was both lively and relaxing at the same time, and I began to wind down from my fabulous day. I knew I had promised a few people that I’d make an appearance in the Green Room, and I wanted to make sure I fulfilled my duties before it closed for the night. I reluctantly excused myself from the table and left…but not before I heard “Alethea!” called from a table near the door.

A gorgeous girl dressed as Elvira told me that she’d been at the panel earlier, and complimented me on my bubbliness, for which I thanked her. And then she GOT UP FROM HER DINNER and asked if she could take a picture with me. ME! In my jeans and t-shirt! This happens to Sherrilyn Kenyon. This happens to Felicia Day and Jewel Staite. This does not happen to ME. I was honored and humbled and speechless as I made my way through the habitrails to the Hyatt Green Room.

Everyone ended up there, too, eventually, and they finally kicked us all out in the middle of our fabulously good time, some time about 1:30am. On the elevator down to the lobby, Joe made some fantastically snarky comment about which David Nykl said, “That guy’s funny.” This of course meant nothing to Joe, but I had an inner fangirl moment. David is a frequent visitor of the Green Room. One of these days, I will finally tell him how much I loved his character on Stargate:Atlantis.

Down in the lobby, I waited for everyone to decide what to do…and tried my best to remain upright. I was DEAD TIRED. It had been a long–albeit magically amazing–day! Jim Minz wanted to go to karaoke and Joe wanted to check out Rocky Horror Picture Show, but Leanna recommended tea and bedtime, so I happily took her advice. So Joe and Jim went off to cause trouble and Leanna and I chatted until sometime before three–I think I fell asleep while she was talking. From beginning to end, it was a perfect, PERFECT day.

The only thing I regret–because there is always something–is that I cried off and went to bed as soon as I did. Mom always says, “If you’re having a bad day, crawl back under the covers and give up, because nothing will go right. If you’re having a great day, ACCOMPLISH AS MUCH AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE on that day.”

While Leanna and I were sharing sugar in our tea and talking best friend business, Joe and Jim had gone down to Rocky Horror, where they found Eddie standing in line amidst a completely disorganized mess of people. So they chose plan B and headed over to karaoke. The text I received from Joe read:

Doc Brown and Sylvester McCoy are at karaoke.

Dammit.
But that’s okay. I still consider it a pretty darn perfect day.
And that was only Saturday.

Vive La Dragon*Con!

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Beautiful by Gaslight

The lovely, haunting book trailer for Leanna Renee Hieber‘s Darker Still: A Novel of Magic Most Foul, coming in November!

Want more? Read the first 30 pages here!

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Inconceivable

Some things in this life are just incredibly hard for even me to imagine. Leslie Banks not being in this world is one of them.

Yes, I knew she was sick. I knew it was bad. Even that was hard enough to get my head around. In the grand scheme of things, this morning’s news was to be expected and answered with a “Thank God she didn’t have to suffer” reaction. My grandmother has dementia. I have a very clear perspective on what that suffering is like and how much it costs — both emotionally and monetarily.

But if you ever met Leslie–even for just five minutes–and I hope you did–you know exactly what I’m talking about. She was the kind of person you remember for the rest of your life, and feel better for knowing. The thought of Leslie just brings sunny images to mind. She was so optimistic and upbeat and sweet as pie and genuine and tall. She was just so full of life that death is simply…inconceivable. It’s like waking up one morning and realizing the sun’s not there anymore. Inconceivable.

Sherrilyn Kenyon introduced us during a panel switch at Dragon*Con. I was a buyer for Tor then, and was very familiar with (and proud of) the rise of her Minion series. It was a brief encounter, in which Leslie and I immediately expressed our mutual love for one another, and we looked forward to seeing each other soon, later at Dragon*Con, or another convention. We exchanged a very few emails over the years–nothing too deep or soul-searching. And we never did get to meet in person again.

Like many of you, I will regret that I did not know Leslie better…but I honestly feel that my life is blessed having met her just that once. Like I was kissed by a fairy on a misty day and got to see a rainbow: it is an event that will never happen again, but one I will treasure forever.

If you would like to contribute to the fund set up for Leslie’s hospital bills and her daughter, please click here. Thank you.

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Tennesse Bound

…but first I have to put in a shift at the bookstore.

That’s right, kiddies — this afternoon, I am headed back to Tennessee, for far less time than I’d like to stay, of course. One day I’ll kick the renter out of my house and use it as a summer spring winter home, but for now I must (finally) move my worldly possessions to a giant storage unit in VA.

But before then I will have homemade cornbread. I will get ribs from The Slick Pig and cornbread muffins from Calypso Cafe. I will sign books at Hypericon. I might even stop by the Smyrna Library. I am bringing the Fairy GodFamily, you see, and I am anxious to show off my former life.

What I regret the most, of course, is that one day next week I will be driving into the parking lot of the Job That Shall Not Be Named (because They like to Google Themselves and then pass around inter-office memos about it), but I will not be able to go inside and hug every single one of those people I miss. (Thank the gods for Facebook.) This is a bridge I burnt myself, so I have no one to blame but me. I just hope everyone in that building (they know who they are) knows that I love and care about them and think about them all the time and miss them like crazycakes, and so long as I have the address I will continue to send Christmas CDs, because it’s tradition.

If there’s one thing I learned from my life in Tennessee, it’s tradition.

Lord, how I miss my little house. I wonder if the roses are still blooming.

See y’all soon!¬† xox

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Nebula Princess

The Prez & The Princess

Juggling is a precious talent. It’s so much fun to see so many things flying in the air over your head. You feel so giddy when they’re up there, so proud of yourself that you have come so far and are able to do so much. In that moment, you’re on top of the world.

God have mercy on your soul if you ever fall behind.

What with pushing myself to the edge and trying to be everything (and almost succeeding) I needed some time to recover that didn’t include new jobs and sick children and dusty to-do lists…but I don’t get to choose that part. Instead, I write notes to myself on the iPhone while I’m half-blind on the elliptical machine in the morning and I keep everyone hydrated and full of vitamins and I wash my new apron and stay until midnight to unload the truck if that’s what needs to be done. And if I don’t get to write about this past Nebula Awards weekend until Thursday (while I’m supposed to be recording another Fairy Tale Theatre podcast), that doesn’t make what happened there any less special.

I have this saying — I don’t remember when I came up with it, or to whom I said it first, but I’ve been saying it for a few months now: Strangers are just best friends I haven’t met yet. I do, in my heart, honestly believe that each one of us is special. Optimistic and crazy, oh yes, I am fully aware. But as a princess, that’s my prerogative.

It’s so easy to turn away from the stranger on the train, so easy to scream at the idiot driver in the car that just cut you off. We know fully well that inside each sack of flesh we encounter is a living, breathing soul full of life and love and complex beauty…and yet we do it anyway. It’s so much easier ignoring all that. It’s so much easier not to know. It’s so much easier managing a small group of friends. It’s so much easier to juggle fewer flaming batons. It’s so much more forgiving for someone with a lengthy, never-ending to-do list.

But I made a choice when Andre Norton died. When I got home Sunday night, I pulled Beauty & Dynamite off the shelf and read that essay again in the twilight to remind myself of the exact words.¬† I love having friends. I want as many as my heart can hold. I want them all. Even if it means that eventually and painfully I’ll have to lose every single one. The minutes and hours and years on the roller coaster of happiness and sadness with them are worth every second of gray numbness.’Cause when I get to heaven, I want there to be a heck of a lot more than five people waiting.

Friends are worth all the additional balls you have to juggle, and every bullet point on a never-ending to-do list.

Nebula nominee Barry Deutsch appropriately summed up the Nebula Weekend by saying that the convention was a very small group of people with a much higher ratio of really cool folks to the socially awkward off-putting variety. With that in mind, I took the opportunity to step way out of my box and introduce myself to people I didn’t know. I roomed the first night with a friend and a stranger. I threw myself into the one workshop I signed up for and the two that I audited. I sat down next to people I didn’t know and chatted with them until we stood up as friends. I was sure to gush compliments when compliments were due and asked to lend a hand if one was needed. I stayed up until way past my bedtime and I was babbling and incoherent. I took pictures whenever I remembered that I had a camera. And I wore the tiara, because Mary Rodgers reminded me that I wouldn’t be the same without it. She was right.

I would list all the new and wonderful friends I met this weekend, but I won’t — first, out of fear of forgetting someone, and second, because I need to email them all or add them on Twitter or tag them on Facebook, and I’ve spent far too much time on this blog post already. Suffice it to say that I have no idea why Kate Baker and I hadn’t met before, but I’m awfully glad we finally did. Michael Whelan is a fabulously nice guy, and far more approachable than I ever imagined. MK Hobson can seriously rock a dress, and Rachel Swirsky’s gorgeous jewelry brings out my dragonlike tendencies. Amal El-Mohtar can bring the shiny with me any day. Walter Cuirle needs to host his own radio show. Mike Zipser asks great questions. Bud Sparhawk tells great stories. Myke Cole is very good for my ego. Emily Whitten is a godsend from Geek Heaven. John Grace has great taste in comics, Eric Fullilove has great taste in t-shirts, and Shannon Rampe and Trodayne Northern have¬† impeccable taste in hats. Janice Shoults is a woman after my own heart. Kathy Morrow has great patience. Peggy Rae Sapienza and Bill Lawhorn can do anything, I am sure of it.

My Codex Homies

Possibly even more fun than making new friends was seeing the old ones–most especially, the Codex Writers. Every year that goes by I am so happy that the handful of us little kids with big ideas came up with that place. They are the family that gets reunited whenever there’s an event like this…even when we’ve never met in person. We still know each other. We have that much more in common. We can cheer like hell when one of us walks away with an award…and then stand up and do it all over again when one of us walks away with the next one, too.

Eric, I am so freaking proud of you. I’m still busting at the seams. When you shared your precious bag of Reese’s Sticks with me while my left leg was going numb in that hard plastic chair at Orson Scott Card’s boot camp–even after I’d threatened to slap your characters–who knew that we would be here right now? Who knew how far we would go? Who knows how far yet we still can? I hope that every time you see that shiny award you remember what it felt like…but right on the heels I hope is the memory of sitting at that lunch table with me and Scott Roberts while we each confessed to the fact that we were still freaking out inside at random intervals to the theme of “Holy crap, that’s Orson Scott Card right there!”

For me, watching Eric walk on stage and accept the Nebula Award this weekend was second only to watching Mary Robinette Kowal accept the John W. Campbell Award. It is so hard to believe that these people I love so dearly were strangers to me once. I can hardly remember a time before the Reese’s Sticks and the keys locked in the car running in my driveway (that was Mary). I know it’s true, though. We might have passed in an airport sometime in those first couple of decades, or waited in the same line at the World’s Fair. Back in those days, we were just best friends that hadn’t met yet.

Imagine what life would be like if we’d realized it then.

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Genre Chick Interview: Leanna Renee Hieber

Dear Month of Writers Blog Festival,

It’s really no secret how much I love Leanna Renee Hieber. She’s my kindred spirit, my bosom companion, the Anne to my Diana…and my Dragon*Con roomie. She just had a book come out this month, and her brand new YA series debuts this November.

And today, she gets to play our little game, too.

So, without further ado… Immobulus!

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Mac or PC?
PC

Coffee or Tea?
Tea (A different tea for whatever series I’m working on. Clove tea for Strangely Beautiful, Earl Grey for Magic Most Foul.

Travel the World or Travel Outer Space?
Both, with The Doctor

Fantasy or Science Fiction?
Fantasy

Music or Silence (while you write)?
Music (Classical)

What weird food do you like?
Fried pickles

What is one of your most irrational fears?
Being buried alive. Not just buried alive. But inside a pyramid. No joke.

Did you watch the Royal Wedding? Why or why not?
No. Because I was too busy dressed up as Narcissa Malfoy at the time. Again, no joke.

How many novels/short stories/screenplays/poems/etc have you published?
3 novels (4 come November), 3 novellas, 2 short plays, 3 short stories, 2 non-fiction articles

How much do you write every day?
What? We’re supposed to write every day? Well, I can promise at least a scribble in a notebook or on a napkin…

How much do you WISH you could write every day?
3 or 4 thousand words would be stellar

What are you working on now?
Back and forth between the last Strangely Beautiful novel and the next Magic Most Foul novel.

If you could write like one author, who would it be?
Edgar Allan Poe during a mind-meld with J. K. Rowling

If you could be one superhero, or have one superpower, who/what would it be?
Flight

What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done?
I’ve attained a level of professional Geek. Being a Geek is my job. That’s the coolest thing ever.

What’s the coolest thing you’re about to do?
Continue working on the musical adaptation of The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker

Name three things on your List of Things to Do Before You Die.
– Travel the world’s great rivers
– Meet Alan Rickman
– Hit the New York Times Bestseller list with a bunch of my friends listed beside me

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A southern Ohio native with a degree in theatre and a focus in the Victorian Era, the author, actress and playwright got her start in publishing with hot-headed little plays still produced around the country and has adapted 19th century literature for the professional stage. Her ‚ÄúStrangely Beautiful‚ÄĚ debut, THE STRANGELY BEAUTIFUL TALE OF MISS PERCY PARKER hit Barnes & Noble’s Bestseller list, was listed as a 2009 favourite on 14 book blogs, won two 2010 Prism Awards and has been optioned for a Broadway musical. Her books have been chosen for Rhapsody and Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book Clubs. Her next series, MAGIC MOST FOUL, a Victorian Paranormal Young Adult series set in 1880s New York City, will hit bookstores November 2011. A proud member of Actors Equity, the Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA, she can be found working on sets for film and television when not on a book deadline. She lives in New York City, happily coupled with her real-life-hero and rescued albino lab rabbit; Persebunny.

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Genre Chick Interview: Elaine Isaak

May’s Month of Writers Blog Festival brings you an interview with a wonderful and talented woman today: SF author Elaine Isaak.

Elaine and I have been friends and fellow writing-group buddies for many years now. Rumor has it, you would not want to be her hero. And no, I’m *not* going to tell you her pseudonym.

Not today, anyway.

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Mac or PC?
PC

Coffee or Tea?
Tea

Travel the World or Travel Outer Space?
The world currently has more that I would be excited to see and capable of enjoying without a cumbersome suit.

Fantasy or Science Fiction?
I have to choose?  SF is my first love, Fantasy, my main squeeze.

Music or Silence (while you write)?
Music. (mostly Celtic.  Loving Pandora on-line radio)

What weird food do you like?
Ethiopian raw-meat.

What is one of your most irrational fears?
staircases that have open spaces beneath the runners.

Will you be watching the Royal Wedding? Why or why not?
Watched it by accident at a hotel–and was very glad.¬† Good research for my British-set historical.

How many novels/short stories/screenplays/poems/etc have you published?
3 novels/10 stories/no screenplays/ dozens of poems!

How much do you write every day?
3 hours Tues/Wed/Thurs when my son is in school, plus 1 hr or so when he’s not.

How much do you WISH you could write every day?
4 or 5 would be good and not excessive.

What are you working on now?
an amazing historical fantasy series under a pseudonym

If you could write like one author, who would it be?
I wish I could be as inventive as Tim Powers, as generous with ideas and images as Cat Valente, as devastating as Mary Doria Russell.

If you could be one superhero, or have one superpower, who/what would it be?
To say the right words at the right time.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done?
Took a falconry workshop that ended with a hawk landing on my fist.

What’s the coolest thing you’re about to do?
take a sail on a pirate ship.

Name three things on your List of Things to Do Before You Die.
Mostly when I think of one, I just try to do it.¬† But here are some I haven’t done yet:
Visit Haida Gwaii
Climb the Colorado 14-er’s
create a bronze sculpture

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Elaine Isaak dropped out of art school to found Curious Characters, designing original stuffed animals and small-scale sculptures, and to follow her bliss:¬† writing.¬† She is the author of The Singer’s Crown (Eos, 2005), and sequels The Eunuch’s Heir¬† (Eos, 2006), and The Bastard Queen (Swimming Kangaroo, 2010).¬† Her new dark historical fantasy series will be starting in 2011 with DAW books under a pseudonym (shhh!) A mother of two, Elaine also enjoys rock climbing, taiko (Japanese drumming), weaving and exotic cooking‚ÄĒwhen she can scrape the time together.¬† Visit www.ElaineIsaak.com to read sample chapters and find out why you do not want to be her hero.

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Genre Chick Interview: Leah Cypess

Today the Month of Writers Blog Festival brings you an interview by lovely YA Fantasy author Leah Cypess.

And if you haven’t seen the cover to her new novel Nightspell, you must go check it out. It’s one of the most gorgeous covers I’ve ever seen. I covet…

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Coffee or Tea?
Tea. I resisted coffee for years because I couldn’t see that it did
any good — my mother drinks coffee, my father doesn’t, and the only
difference between their alertness levels is that my mother needs
coffee to get to the same place. Then, one desperate day at work, I
drank a cup of coffee and discovered that my stomach can’t handle it.

Travel the World or Travel Outer Space?
The world. It seems much more fascinating. Also, more filled with that oxygen thing.

Fantasy or Science Fiction?
Primarily fantasy, though science fiction comes in second.

Music or Silence (while you write)?
Silence while I write; music while I revise.

What weird food do you like?
Cheddar cheese together with peanut butter. My own invention.

What is one of your most irrational fears?
Flying. Not that it’s completely irrational, but the enormity of my fear definitely doesn’t come from a rational place.

Will you be watching the Royal Wedding? Why or why not?
Nope (or I should say now — it happened, I didn’t watch it). I don’t even have time to watch the tv I’m interested in!

How many novels/short stories/screenplays/poems/etc have you published?
Two novels, seven short stories.

How much do you write every day?
It varies by the day, from zero to 30K words (which only happened once or twice).

How much do you WISH you could write every day?
I like the variation, but as long as I’m wishing, I wish I could double my daily word count as a general rule. (Which would still leave some days at zero. Those days are important.)

What are you working on now?
A new book about sorcerers, assassins, and (not surprisingly) murder. Also a short story that takes place 15 years after the story of Rumpelstiltskin ends.

**********************************

Leah Cypess used to be an attorney in New York City, and is now a writer in Boston. She much prefers her current situation. She published her first short story while in high school, and then spent 15 years getting her first novel published. She currently spends most of her time chasing her daughters around the playground while simultaneously scribbling in a notebook.

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