Miss Andre and The Norton Award

(This blog is part of the SFWA Norton Award Blog Tour.)


I don’t really get nervous speaking in front of crowds anymore. Public speaking is one of those skills that can be exceptionally difficult to learn, but well worth braving that initial terror to get to the other side. The biggest benefit is that when someone in an organization is forced to find people who will shamelessly stand up in front of a crowd, your name is easily at the top of the list.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve entertained a room full of people at the drop of a hat when a speaker or guest of honor is late or forced to cancel. Stretching your improv muscle is important. Warming up crowds can be a really great game. Telling stories is fun!

And yet, the moment I was asked to present the 2012 Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, I was both honored to my toes and scared to death.

This should not have been a big deal. Two minutes on stage in front of a bunch of people I know and love. The spotlight wouldn’t even be on me, it would be on the well-deserved recipient. So why was I freaking out?

Because this time, it was personal.

How on earth was I supposed to sum up what Miss Andre meant to me in two minutes…or less? (A tired audience wants you to announce the award and get your behind off the stage tout suite.) I wasn’t sure it was possible.

I only knew Miss Andre for the last few years of her life, but it was one of the most important and valuable friendships I’ve ever had. I wrote in her library, High Hallack. I listened to her stories and her advice. We rolled around in desk chairs and laughed while she read aloud from a book of crazy answers kids had submitted on tests. I enabled her book habit by sneaking her new-release catalogs, even after her personal assistant asked me to stop.

It was a friendship that never would have happened if David Drake hadn’t ordered me to go visit her, and I hadn’t been brave enough to write her that first letter.

Miss Andre and I talked about writing, but we never really talked about her published work specifically. She loved being a librarian above everything else. She didn’t know what to do with an adoring fan, but she knew exactly what to do with a budding young writer in need of guidance and a place to work.

The last time I saw Miss Andre was in 2004 when she sold off High Hallack, piece by piece, to fund the Andre Norton Award. I missed the official sale day, but she still encouraged me to come by and personally helped me sift through the aftermath. It was heart-wrenching. The empty shelves looked like a war zone, but a good chunk of the research library was intact. We spent hours putting together four huge boxes of books (one of which turned out to be my most prized possession…but I didn’t discover that until years later). She sent me a Chinese New Year card in February of 2005 (Miss Andre had cards for every occasion), telling me that the benefit anthology project I was working on was a worthy cause. When she died that March, I was in the middle of a book expo and someone mentioned the news to me off hand. I cried for twenty-four hours straight. The first official Andre Norton Award was presented to Holly Black in 2006.


I lost a lot of sleep. I shared my anxieties with my lovely and patient Nebula weekend roommate, Kate Baker. I wrote down some thoughts on a hotel pad and managed to whittle my presentation down to six sentences. It still felt too long. Kate read it over for me and gave it her blessing. I practiced presenting the award out loud, over and over, while donning my glittery dress for the ceremony. There were bets as to whether or not I was going to cry on stage. Kate told me it was all right if I did. Rose Fox gave me a handkerchief, just in case.

And I made it through.

I congratulated Neil Gaiman in passing, as he walked off the stage and I walked on. My legs shook like crazy and I steadied myself on the podium, holding Rose’s handkerchief in a white-knuckled grip. I had written down my six sentences, but I didn’t need them. I remembered to breathe. I spoke loudly and slowly. When I thought I would choke, Connie Willis nodded and gave me courage. When I came to the end, my voice wavered, but I did not cry. And when I announced that the award went to Delia Sherman I smiled in earnest, for her name was the one I had been practicing out loud in the hotel room.

My mother always called Miss Andre my guardian angel. I remember she had a star framed on the wall, just opposite the door of the library, one of those fancy documents from the Star Registry indicating the celestial body that someone had named after her. Regardless of whether that star is recognized by any professional astronomical organization, I know Andre Norton is up there. I am 100% sure she was shining down on me that night. I only hope I did her proud.

(You can watch the ceremony here and see for yourself–I appear right around 1:11:00.)
Click here if the embed code for the video happens to die again.)

Video streaming by Ustream
For me, the best thing about those six sentences is that it got people talking about Miss Andre and the Norton Award. I swapped some great stories that night with SF luminaries I’ve admired my whole life. As far as I’m concerned, this award cannot have enough praise or visibility. I encourage you all to spread the word about the Andre Norton Award to your friends, teachers, and librarians. Especially the librarians.

For the past two weeks, members of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America have been blogging about the Andre Norton Award–its origins, its importance, and recent books worthy of the accolade. I’m honored to be the final essay in the tour…but I’m not sure I can convey the sheer importance of this award in one blog post, even though I was allowed far more than two minutes and six sentences this time.

What can I say? It’s personal.



Click here for a complete list of past Andre Norton Award recipients and nominees.


Norton Awards Blog Tour Schedule:
Dec 1 ~ Erin Underwood
Dec 2 ~ Sherwood Smith
Dec 3 ~ Norton Jury Interview by Jenn Reese
Dec 5 ~ Malinda Lo
Dec 6 ~ Lee Barwood
Dec 7 ~ Nancy Holder
Dec 11 ~ Peni Griffin
Dec 12 ~ Beth Revis
Dec 13 ~ Jenn Reese
Dec 14 ~ Diana Peterfreund
Dec 15 ~ Alethea Kontis


Enchanted by Alethea Kontis

Yes, my debut fairy tale novel Enchanted is eligible for the 2013 Andre Norton Award.

Click here to find out more about Enchanted.


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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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10 Tips for Marketing Your Book Online

My dear friend, bestselling thriller author J.T. Ellison, recently posted “10 Tips for Marketing Your Book Online.” In a world where banks have started holding payroll checks because so many of them are bouncing, online marketing’s a particularly savvy tool that all writers should investigate.

Most importantly, J.T. includes the most important piece of advice that should be on every list: Don’t Be a Jerk. (She calls it “Be Polite.” She’s nicer than me. Sometimes.)

You might recognize J.T. from her weekly contributions to the blog…or from the books on your shelf…or from seeing us pal around Nashville…or at The Edge, where she and I both patronize the same hairdresser (because Angie ROCKS).

Know the other cool thing I stole from J.T.’s site? This button. Have you donated to Nashville Flood relief yet? You should. Even if it’s only ten bucks. Just because you don’t hear about it anymore doesn’t mean everything’s all new and shiny again. Trust me. It’s not.

(J.T. does live in Nashville — I was worried about her when the Internet of Middle Tennessee went down and she could only send desperate emails from her phone. She (and her home and her loved ones) thankfully survived intact.)

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Books on the Bed: Ronia the Robber’s Daughter

(Books on the Bed: Novels and stories I read as a child that still remain in my collection. Recommended reading for all ages. If you can find them.)

The first box I packed during my half-move from Tennessee was for my friend Ariell. She was the first person on Awesome Porch who I ever saw crack a book. (Everyone else here does, but in private apparently.) We started talking and discovered that we had a lot of the same interests. She recommended a few books to me — I’m currently halfway through Barry Lyga’s The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl and I’m enjoying it immensely.

In return, I brought up a box of fun books for her to borrow that she’d undoubtedly never heard of…books in my eclectic collection that I’ve been promising to talk about on this blog as my recommended reading list. I started a “Books on the Bed” series late last year with They Call me Boober Fraggle. I’ll now be posting one every Friday. Here’s recommended reading title number two.

Title: Ronia the Robber’s Daughter
Author: Astrid Lindgren
US Pub date: 1983
Status: Available!

“I’ll carry this summer around in my memory as long as I live.”  –Ronia

Everybody knows about Pippi Longstocking, because she’s the one who had the movies. We all wanted to be like her, wearing giant boots, having friends like Tommy and Annika, going on Grand Adventures, and sleeping with our feet on the pillow and our heads at the foot of the bed. (I still do the last one. When I actually *have* a bed. It’s not quite the same on an air mattress.)

But my favorite of Miss Astrid’s heroines is the much lesser known Ronia.

Black-eyed harpie-haired Ronia was born to the Robber Chieftain Matt on the same night a terrible lightning storm split Matt’s Fort in two. When Ronia is old enough to explore the forest, her father advises her to: 1.) Stay away from Gray Dwarves, wild harpies, and Burka’s Robbers (Burka being Matt’s sworn enemy) 2.) Don’t get lost in the woods or fall in the river and 3.) Don’t tumble into Hell’s Gap — the giant split in the fortress.

Ronia encounters all these things…only when she visits the top of Hell’s Gap she finds a boy there about her age–the only other child she’s met in her life. He is Birk Borkason, yes, son of her father’s enemy, and they have moved into the abandoned other half of Matt’s Fort.

Despite their families’ quarrel, Ronia and Birk inevitably become friends. This, of course, leads to hardship and adventure and the limits of how far one must go to heal old wounds.

Ronia — like her cousin Pippi — is one of the original kick-ass heroines. She is beautiful and independent and headstrong and fearless and will fight for what and who she loves. She’s a fabulous role model for young girls today, and I wish there were more like her. Luckily, Ronia the Robber’s Daughter is still in print, so she hasn’t gone very far.

Now I wish it was March already. I feel a Spring Yell coming on.

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Goth Girl’s Guide to Better Traction

In the twenty-first century, it’s not uncommon to have several Thanksgivings and Christmasses. You’ve got your mom’s family, your dad’s family, your stepfamily, your work family, your own family, and seven other families I forgot (but you best not have). I’m luckier than most in that I only had one Thanksgiving and two Christmasses this year — one in SC and one in PA. But then…I quit my job and moved right before Thanksgiving so I’ve been able to actually TAKE PART in all the festivities, and see friends along my amazing road trip that I normally wouldn’t have been able to see. As a result, I’ve come away with so many pictures I don’t even know where to start.

So I’m going to start here.

Sometimes Seven had their Christmas last night. The Gypsy got me these awesome shoelaces that look even MORE awesome in my Doc Martens…the shoes I should have been wearing yesterday morning when I slipped and fell on the ice. This will encourage me to wear decent shoes when I leave the house and limit my sneaker wearing to the house only…until Spring, anyway.

So…how many holidays do YOU celebrate?

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Because We’re Insane

Two seriously crazy geeks.

Eddie and I are in the Barnes & Noble at the Avenue. The weekend before Xmas. We came for the Starbucks & wifi. I’m going to download this Memorex Label Design Studio and print these labels if it kills me. (It just might kill me.) This would be SO freaking easy if the desktop weren’t dead. Did you know you can get a Canon color printer at Wal Mart for $30? No kidding. Cheaper than ink.

I’m sure everybody in line looked at me funny when I opened up my Jolly Roger computer bag and pulled out two laptops — an HP and a Macbook — each with their own Van Gogh schticker (HP has Starry Night & Mac has Apple Blossoms…because it’s ironic) — and proceeded to boot them both up. I’m ambicomputerous. Today, it’s coming in handy. Now I get to blog on the Mac while Eddie tries to find the Memorex software for the PC. Why is this hard to find? For that matter, why are decent CD labels so hard to find nowadays? No dice at 2 Wal Marts, K-Mart, or Target. Thank goodness for Staples. Silly Memorex.

One day I suppose I’ll get one of those printers that prints directly on to the CD. Do those things really work?

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Help, I’m a Prisoner at the Auto Shop

I’ve been here since 7:45 this morning. It is now 1:37. For all you math-challenged people that would be almost six hours.

Six. Whole. Hours. They should pay me for working the entire day here.

It was recommended to me on Twitter that I just start writing. So here i am, writing and hoping that it’ll be like going to the bathroom in a restaurant so the waitress will come. I’m going to keep updating this post every time I write a section, so click back to see how long it actually takes me to get out of here. Ready? Set? GO.


I came here for two simple things: to get my struts replaced and to fix the thermostat (which is the reason my Check Engine light is on). I’m about to drive 8 hours to SC before Xmas and then 10 hours back to PA after Xmas, so I was going to be a good girl and make an appointment with my favorite Auto Doctors so I would have a smooth, worry-free ride.

I brought my laptop and CD envelopes and CDs to burn — that’s right, though belated there WILL be a Happy Holidays 2009 CD. If you receive yours after Xmas, you’re just going to have to forgive me. Life has been a little insane. It’s probably more insane of me to be trying to shoehorn CD-making into everything I’ve got going on, but this is my 9th year of making it and there would be too many disappointed people — including me — for it to not happen. So it’s going to happen.

I actually took Robin McKinley’s The Blue Sword OUT OF MY BAG before leaving the house, but I did have the presence of mind to take the apple I stole from the bowl yesterday afternoon in Awesome Kitchen.

See? I can be smart sometimes.


I originally had plans for lunch. I was going to have sushi with some of the girls from the office. Only I got an out of office message from the one I emailed this morning — a couple of texts and a few messages later I discovered that Tracy was incredibly sick, Lillie was at the doctor’s too, Shannan’s departmental potluck had been rescheduled for today, and lunch was rescheduled to Monday.

Which ended up being a good thing BECAUSE I’M STILL HERE. See? Everything does happen for a reason.


So the struts that we ordered, after checking the production date on the car and everything, didn’t fit. This was about 2 or 3 hours into the visit. They did make another size strut for the Volvo wagon that year, but no dice trying to get one here by Monday.  Shortly after it was discovered that the thermostat bolt had been stripped. Easy enough — pop across the street to the Auto Parts store and get one. Only…they don’t have one.

Kenny from the front office actually drove to the Hardware Store to get some bolts to try. He and another guy both offered to pick me up something to eat. (Luckily, I found some peanuts in my bag from last night — thank you, Southwest.) I thanked them both but declined, asking them to please just PUT MY CAR BACK TOGETHER.

This is my last weekend in TN for a while. I’ve been planning exactly what I want to eat and from where before I go. This afternoon was going to be Newk’s Deli. Tonight, Eddie and I are getting take-out from Taste of China. Tomorrow might be a stop by the Noodle House or Slick Pig. Either way, it’s definitely our bagel place for breakfast.

In none of these scenarios was McDonald’s ever an option. I’d rather starve. So I am. Kenny got back about 20 minutes ago. He seems to think one of the bolts he found would work. My fingers would be crossed if they weren’t too busy typing for warmth. (Did I mention it was cold in here?)


I finished signing all the CD folders and writing my website on them — I plan on posting the playlist online so everyone can check it out. Only I don’t like giving the songs away too soon — part of the present is the surprise of wondering which crazy song the princess is going to add next. I’ll hand off a box to the girls Monday at lunch, and probably post the songs and artists…how about Christmas! That would be a good Christmas present. Cool. I could even start writing that post NOW. Except I’m too busy writing this one.


Sweet!! Kenny just got an email. He can have official honest-to-god bona fide Volvo struts here by 1:30 on Monday. I would happily stay in TN another full day if it means I can get this all fixed up. It also means that I can go to lunch with the girls and then just come back here straight after. HOORAY! See? The universe does provide. It’s all a little bit of good magic.

Shame I’m not a more patient individual. Then again, I think 6.5 hours is pretty darned patient…


Christmas is going to be awesome, btw, and not just because it’s the second time in 17 years that I’ve had more than one day off for the holiday. (That’s a big factor, though.) If you happen to be in Charleston SC on Christmas Eve, we’ll be partying all day at Dixie Dunbar Studio with champagne and wassail and all sorts of other goodies until close. 192 King Street, Charleston SC. Bookmark it into your iPhone and come on by!

(And yes, if you bring copies of AlphaOops or the Dark-Hunter Companion or Beauty & Dynamite or anything else I would be happy to sign them. I don’t have a huge stash of my own to sell you, though, so think about picking some up before you come! If you order now on Amazon you could have them by the 24th using Standard Shipping…or ship them straight to the studio with a note including your name on it so we know to hold them!)


A guy just came in and started telling me about how his buddy had promised him all kinds of favors and then never fixed his car. It’s okay because he has a ride home for Christmas, and it’s been nice saving money while it’s been out of commission, but it’s nice to have a car, you know? Oh, and the dog winked at him.

Did I mention Murfreesboro was a college town?

We’re easing up on hour seven. How long does it take to replace a bolt? Scratch that. I don’t actually want to know. But if they want to lend me that classic black Impala just inside the door, I’d be happy to vacate their lobby and go run my errands. I need to stop by Wal-Mart and pick up better CD labels because the ones I got are crap. And I need another printer, because I killed my desktop before I left and the printer I have, though wonderful, is too old to connect with a USB cable.


HOLY CRAPINOLI, THE BOLTS WORK. *sob* When I come back on Monday I’m bringing CDs and cookies and hot chocolate. And one of the books I need to be reviewing for my next IGMS column. And a cushion for my tushie.


And you know what? I’m still going to Newk’s for lunch. And when Eddie gets here we’re still having Chinese. I can always skip the bagel place and have leftovers for breakfast.

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2009 Southern Festival of Books

What? You haven’t heard about Southern Festival of Books?

The Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Written Word is a three-day literary Festival celebrated each year during the second full weekend of October. It is free and open to the public. No advance registration or tickets are required. All seating is on a first-come basis.

Come one, come all, October 9-11 To War Memorial Plaza in lovely downtown Nashville. Go to the website to check out the amazingly long ilst of horribly famous authors you’ve known for years, and new blood you might want to check out. Follow them on Twitter (@SoFestofBooks) — they’re doing fun author trivia contests and giving away free books every Friday. For sure you should come see me host the Young, Fanged, and Undead panel. It will take place on Sunday, October 11 from 2:30-4:00 and features Melissa de la Cruz’s The Van Alen Legacy, Daniel Waters’ Kiss of Life, and David Macinnis Gill’s Soul Enchilada. (David and I go waaaaaay back — we were Orson Scott Card Boot Campmates together in 2003. Expect there to be some ribbing.)

And check out this official 2009 poster! It’s one of the best ones yet. The one on my wall starts out red at the top left and fades to purple by the bottom right…it’s really super lovely. A lot of people get the poster and then hang out all weekend, trying to get signatures from every single one of the guest authors. It’s a pretty classy idea. I’m tempted to try it myself!

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My Grueling Commute to Work

Takes me about 20 minutes every day to get to the other side of that rainbow. Music helps pass the time.

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Genre Chick Interview: Cherie Priest

Cherie Priest is a displaced Tennessee Gal–she may live in Seattle now, but she was born & raised in the South, so we still claim her as one of our own. Similarly, the setting for her new steampunk novel Boneshaker is the Pacific Northwest, as opposed to the Southern settings of Four and Twenty Blackbirds and Fathom (Tennessee and Florida, respectively). We’re also super excited about Cherie’s new ventures in the shared world of the Wild Cards series, edited by George R.R. Martin. I saw Cherie recently at Penguicon in Detroit–she’s a beauty, a ball of energy, and looks great in costume. I took the opportunity to open her skull and pick her brains a bit, just to see what makes her tick. You know…like I usually do.

Corsets and Goggles and Superheroes, oh my!

Alethea Kontis: What’s the most difficult part of a steampunk costume?
Cherie Priest: Integrating color. My friend Jess Nevins says that steampunk is what happens when goths discover brown, and he’s at least partially right–but the Victorians loved loud, tacky color, and so do I.  And although I appreciate a good charcoal outfit that sucks up all the light in the room, sometimes you just want to get a little festive.  Fortunately, it’s easy and fun to add a certain “Ringling Brothers” vintage carnival element with the help of stripes, oranges, reds, and golds.  Add some colored petticoats and skirt lifters, and you’re good to go.

A lot of people think that the corset must be the hardest part, but it really isn’t.  If you have a good, properly fitting corset with serious, sturdy boning (steel or fiberglass), after the initial shock of getting the thing on correctly, they’re quite comfortable over the long haul.

AK: What’s the best way to remove coal stains from a corset?
CP: If Oxyclean doesn’t do it, then I say just smudge the rest of it down with charcoal for an old-fashioned, blue-collar working-class look.  It’s not a bug, it’s a feature!

AK: What should one look for in a decent pair of aviator goggles?
CP: It depends on if you’d like a pair to wear, or a pair to stick on a hat for an accent.  If you’re looking for a wearable pair, you don’t want something too hot; avoid fur-lined or rubber-sealed lenses, and look for something with a more open, spectacle-style design if possible. Even a nice light foam rim will get sweaty in time.  Also, adjustable straps are a must, because what’s comfortable at breakfast won’t be comfortable at suppertime.  And make sure the lenses aren’t tinted too darkly, unless you’re using them as sunglasses and plan to spend all day outdoors. Eye strain isn’t sexy on anyone.

If you just want something to mount on a top-hat, then pretty much anything goes except fragile pieces that might not survive the height, any dancing, or the constant pull on the strap. Vintage goggles are awesome (I have a WWII pair, myself), but you have to treat them a little more gently.

AK: Make-up or no make-up when wearing goggles?
CP: I always wear make-up under the goggles, because I never wear them very long.  More than a few minutes on the eyes, and they leave a goofy raccoon ring impression that takes forever to fade.  So I tend to just keep them up on my forehead, or on the front of a hat.

AK: Have you ever been up in a hot air balloon?
CP: Now that you mention it, I haven’t …

AK: Who’s the craziest character in your family?
CP: Oh, I’d better not go there.  Besides, my family is stuffed with so many bananas, how could I pick just one?

AK:What sort of historical research did you have to do for Boneshaker? How was it different from Four and Twenty Blackbirds?
CP: Well, I started by taking the Seattle Underground tour nearly a dozen times, and generally getting to know my way around Pioneer Square downtown (which was easy, since I worked there for about six months).  Then I nabbed every bit of weird local history I could find, including strange ghost stories and bizarre historic characters, and started stalking the cemeteries for names and peculiar facts.

Finally, I made up a bunch of stuff about zombies and decided I’d stick a big wall around the place.  It was really a lot of fun.

Four and Twenty Blackbirds (and the subsequent Eden books) are all set in a real city in the real present, though there are definitely fantastical elements peppering them throughout.  But Boneshaker is an alternate-history version of Seattle, set around 1880.   And beyond that, there are plenty of more general thematic differences.  For example, Eden’s books are about Eden and maybe a couple of other people; they’re very tightly focused–but Boneshaker comes with a cast of thousands and a sprawling backdrop of historic weirdness.

AK: What’s it like working in the Wild Cards universe?
CP: It is awesome and terrifying.  This is a world where there have already been about 20 books written over the last 25 years or so, not to mention entire role playing games and reference volumes of world canon.  Sometimes it feels so huge that I have no idea how to start writing; I’m afraid I’m going to fictionally step on someone else’s character, or mess up something in the canon continuum, or do something that breaks the rules of the Wild Cards universe.

But at the same time, it’s very rewarding and I’m learning a lot. I’m not quite halfway through my portion of the next Wild Cards mosaic (Fort Freak), but I’m quite frankly very proud of what I’ve got so far.

AK: As a successful blogger with a significant online presence, what are your thoughts on Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking sites?
CP: I really like Twitter, I’m indifferent to Facebook (though my Twitter feed crossposts there), and I just deleted my MySpace account a few weeks ago, because it gave me nothing but porn spam and band spam.  I have a livejournal too, though my “proper author webpage” crossposts there these days–so although I do participate in a lot of online social sites, I double-up to save energy.

I moved around quite a lot when I was a kid; I went to about eight schools all told, and I lived all over the country … so it’s always neat to reconnect with people I knew back in the day.

AK: You’re working on so many projects…what *aren’t* you doing in the next six months?
CP: I am not sleeping, not keeping my apartment from falling into squalor, and not quitting caffeine like I’d been planning.  But really, it’s better to have too much work than not enough.  I’m always happiest when I have things in the queue; I don’t know what to do with myself when I don’t have a deadline looming.

AK: If you could be any superhero, who would you be and why?
CP: I used to have Wonder Woman Underoos, so she’s the immediate favorite that comes to mind–even though I never liked her background story and until Lynda Carter got hold of her, no one seemed to do anything very interesting with her.  My ambivalence is rooted in the old dilemma of being a girl who loves superheroes… back when I was a kid in the seventies, there was just … Wonder Woman.  That’s all.  So if you wanted to play superheroes with your cousins and friends, well, that’s who you had to be, even if you didn’t like her very much.  Therefore, I eventually acquired a defensive affection for her–and I’ll fight to the death anyone who calls her crap.

Even so, sometimes when I can’t sleep or I get bored while stuck in traffic, I fantasize about actually, formally, thoroughly rebooting her franchise. And it’s the only time I ever consider writing anything like fanfic.

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