Saturday, July 26, 2008

Special Delivery

So, I asked my editor if there were any ARCs of Hell Week lying around so I could give a couple away at RWA Nationals. She said she's send me a package. Look what just arrived.

(I didn't realize until now that Photo Booth takes pictures in mirror image.)

ANYWAY, that's a real copy of the actual book, and an ARC of Highway to Hell. Go here for better images of the covers.)


Anyway, if you're going to RWA, or just to the literacy signing (open to the public) on Wednesday, find me in the "C"s where I'll be signing PROM DATES FROM HELL (2008 Rita Finalist for "Best First Book") and registering folks to win a copy of HELL WEEK before you can buy it (on August 26th).

Friday, July 25, 2008

Grumbles d'jour

I must be PMSy today, because despite my excitement at leaving for San Francisco in less than 48 hours, all I can really think about is how much I have to do, how I'm going to fit everything in my suitcase (since I don't want to get dinged for too much carry on). My tourist clothes are negligible, except my athletic shoes for walking the streets of SF. (Huh. That doesn't sound the way I meant it.) But a formal gown, party dress, business type clothes and the shoes to go with? Ugh. I think it would be easier if I wore "real" clothes more often. I have several outfits in the closet for when I need them (i.e., one booksigning outfit, one speaking at schools/libraries outfit, one little black dress that has seen every conference I've been to in the last three years.) but none of them coordinate in any kind of way that would make packing easier.

Anyway. Other things annoying me today:

1) The woman next to me on the eliptical machine at the gym was wearing so much perfume, I had to stop my workout because I couldn't breathe. Now, I realize that I'm hyper-sensitive to perfumes used in detergent, air fresheners, scented candles, etc. But seriously? Who wears perfume to go to the gym? That's just ridiculous, aside from being really fracking inconsiderate where people are breathing hard. The whole reason I go to a gym is because I can't run outside without the polution triggering an asthma attack. I don't need someone's perfume doing the same thing indoors.

That happened to me at the grocery store the other day. I got in line behind someone whose perfume was so strong, it made my nose run from a good 10 feet away. There was still a cloud of it lingering when I go up to pay. I really don't understand this. I know lots of people who wear perfume that I cannot smell at all unless I give them a hug, so I know it's possible to put on scent without fumigating a 20 foot radius.

2) Technically this happened last night, but I'm bummed about Will going home on So You Think You Can Dance. I know Twitch has more charisma, but Will is just beautiful to watch dance. On the other hand, he's the protege of Debbie Allen, so it's not like his carreer won't be going places without the show.

Anyway. I guess Twitch is now my favorite of the remaining guys, though I've really liked Joshua since the beginning. Neither of them is as good outside their genre, but I enjoy watching them. My favorite dancer of all of them is Katee, who has both technique and stage presence. I think she'll outlast the other girls, but if it comes down to her and Twitch, I think Twitch will take it on charisma (and fan base). And that'll be okay.

Oh, and I should mention, I'm not really bummed about Comfort's departure. (I think that she performed very well since coming back, but just comparing her to the other girls, she's the least strong dancer.) But I will say, though I didn't love her dancing, I think she was a classy competitor and she impressed me with her grace and humor at being in the bottom every single week, which had to be rough.

I guess that's it for grumbles. There was something else, but like usual, I get over most annoyances quickly. Except for the perfume thing, which is still making me steam.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Natural Disasters

I hope my friends in South Texas are staying high and dry right now. It's a little surreal watching the news, because that's what we lived with while on the coast. Hurricane Season is serious business. It always has been, though of course the rest of the country treats it more seriously since 05.

I'm sure I've told y'all about the time we were hunkered down through Hurricane Claudette, right? It was supposed to hit south of us as a Category One, but it took a quick turn north and came ashore with winds gusting into the Cat 2 range. Took out all our trees, pulled off half my parent's roof and blasted out the windows of their back room (which we'd missed with the plywood). It took out all our trees, including a three story tall anaqua that had probably been there from Texas Republic days. (When it was lying on its side, the truck was as tall as Mr. RCM--about 6 feet.) That it didn't fall on the house was a miracle.

We were without power (or water, since the well pump was electric) for 10 days. This was while Mom was on crutches, recovering from the skin graft and reconstruction of her leg.

What's funny (sort of) was that it hit on the one year anniversary of Mom's breaking her leg in the first place. I was sitting on the couch, watching the weather channel, and I said, "It won't hit here. There is no way that God would top off this banner year (which had included 3 leg surgeries, a total of 5 weeks in various hospital stays, and one flooded river) with a hurricane."

That'll show me. If it happened in a book, I wouldn't have believed it.

I guess I tell that story every time there's a hurricane in Texas. But lets just say it was a really vivid memory. That cliche about the wind sounding like a freight train going by? Cliche for a reason. It's not just the sound, it's the way it vibrates the house. I spent the time in the closet with the dog, eating mint chocolate chip ice cream, because it was going to melt with the freezer off. I mean, if I died, the calories wouldn't matter. :-)

So, to everyone in South Texas and North Mexico, here's to you. Good luck today, and in the aftermath.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The needs of the many don't count with me where coffee is concerned

As you may have heard in the news, Starbucks is closing 600 stores nationwide, including MY Starbucks, where I've been going since I moved here. I wrote large portions of Prom Dates there, and I do most of my proofreading on that couch.

I'm bummed. I'm not terribly surprised, since (a) there are 9 stores within 5 miles of my house, (which actually includes three in-store kiosks at Target and B&N plus the one in the mall), and (b) I figured the ones that would go would be the ones without drive-thrus.

It's a stupid thing to be upset about, except that I like those people, and the manager. The next nearest store is very... social. Not like quirky-cozy-social, but like yuppy-and-singles-social. Not a good place to work, not to mention, the street that it's on, it's only easy to get in and out of if you're going in one direction--the main direction of morning rush hour. All wonderful things for business, but terribly inconvenient things for ME! Do my needs count for nothing?

Yes, I know. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. But it's very grumpy-making when you're the one, and it involves the delivery of your drug of choice.

And to the anti-big-corporate-coffee-mogul people... I feel you, but I live in the chain-restaurant capital of the world. Or at least of North Texas. I would love to patronize a little corner coffee cafe if such a thing existed among all the Taco Hells and Olive Gardens around here.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Weekend report

So, spent Saturday at Portus 08, a Harry Potter symposium by some very nice fans who take HP quite seriously, but not in a creepy way. As far as I know, there were no fist-fights over shipping wars or anything, though that would be kind of awesome, come to think of it. I think, though, that people are much more civilized about their disagreements, even their rabid ones, when face to face, without the annonymity of the internet.

Anyway. Did a reading in the morning, hung out with the awesome Rachel Caine and her husband, the also awesome Cat. Met Jim Dale, and was later shushed by the same (Not just me but... well, I'm chatty, and people kept wanting to record him saying stuff for their podcasts and stuff, so there was an inherent difficulty in my being stationed nearby for a booksigning, and I don't mean to say he wasn't completely charming).

But the truly awesome thing was to go to the masquerade ball in the evening. There were some really cool costumes! Not just Harry Potter stuff, but of course that was the theme. Seriously (Siriusly?) extravagant robes and gowns. And I swear this one guy looked so much like Cedric Diggory (from the movie) that it sort of freaked me out.

I felt slightly boring (but cute!) in my muggle dress at the ball, though I did trot out my Gryffindor tie for the daytime activities.

Then I came home and did nothing but read on Sunday. It was kind of nice. :)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Free Online Class!

So, you've written a fabulous novel, you've revised it so that it sparkles. Your mother thinks it's the best thing she's ever read. Now how to convince the rest of the world of that fact?

This week I’m teaching a FREE class through Candace Haven’s Write Workshop. It’s an e-mail class and she’s had some fantastic instructors, from agents to editors to NY Times Bestselling authors. It would be worth signing up even if the workshop wasn't free. Which it is!

You can sign up here.

Some of you have taken my query letter class before, but this week I will expand on that info so that it applies to in-person pitches, too. I'll touch on the "thirty-second elevator pitch," the sit down version, and a little bit of pitching etiquette. I'll also talk about how to put these things on paper to make a winning query letter so that whether you're pitching on paper or in person, your query/pitch will be your ticket in the door.

Here's the "official" scoop on the class.

A targeted and polished query letter (and/or in-person pitch) is your ticket in the door of an editor or agent's office. Learn how to make a pitch that will up your chances for a request and move your manuscript to the top of the stack. Get step-by-step instructions on how to target your book to the right editor or agent, write an irresistible query letter, and make sure you and your book say "we are an incredible, sellable package!”

Rosemary Clement-Moore went from “going to finish a book someday” to a multi-book, hardcover contract in less than five months. Her query letter got a 89% request rate, and acquired representation in less than six weeks. Whether this was beginner’s luck or simple brilliance, Rosemary is happy to share the secrets of her “instant” success (results not typical, your mileage may vary).

A recovering thespian and unrepentant book addict, Rosemary writes full time because she can work in her pajamas and doesn’t have to wear makeup. Her first book, Prom Dates from Hell, is a supernatural girl detective story for Young Adults of every age, is available now, with sequels scheduled for summer 08 and spring 09.

Monday, July 7, 2008

From the Kirkus review of HELL WEEK (coming out in the July 15th publication).

Maggie’s snarky humor and quirky personality keeps this novel’s first half light, but the second takes a dark, page-turning twist as Maggie is forced to figure out and destroy the ancient source of the [Sigma Alpha Xi] sisters’ power. (Horror. YA)

*glows*  Kirkus is notoriously exacting, so trust me, I'm really pleased there was no dreaded "but" anywhere in that paragraph!

(I haven't posted an ApolloCon report, but I've been so sick the end of last week!  Karma, I guess, for taking a vacation. I'm back at the grindstone today.)