Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Holiday Antics in Guild Wars


Whatever you celebrate, I hope you have a wonderful time. At the Lewis Household, we've been baking, fruitcaking and all kinds of stuff. Heck, we've even found the time to fight off a cold or two. And in between, we've even had time to play a little Guild Wars and help keep

Wintersday safe from the grenches.


Grenches are mean little guys who work for Grenth, the Guild Wars equivalent of all the nastiest gods in various mythologies.

Fortunately, TJ, my warrior, is up to the challenge. With peppermint shield and sword in hand, Yule Cap (which looks deceptively like a Santa Hat) firmly on his head, he sets out to the Secrete Lair of the Snowmen to save Wintersday. Hey, it's for the kids! :)
Heh. I call this last shot: To me, my Snowmen.

Happy Holidays, Everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dragon Page Cover to Cover Interview (or Mike Stackpole says you should buy my book)

I've spoken before about The Dragon Page Cover to Cover podcast and how much I love the show. Well, the guys were nice enough to have me on for an interview. We don't talk about the Staked or ReVamped much, but we *do* talk about the recent unpleasantness regarding the personal attacks I've gotten as a result of the publication of both books.

There is also some very interesting chat between Mike & Mike about beliefs after the interview.

Cover Art for ReVamped

Well, as some of you may have notice (Hi, Jerry) Amazon has some cover art up for ReVamped. Currently, that version has the wrong quote, but this one doesn't:

The cover artist is Gene Mollica this time around and I think he did a great job! :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Holiday Happenings At Urban Fantasy Land

The folks over at Urban Fantasy Land having been contacting urban fantasy authors to find out what they do for the holidays. I'm up today, so here's a link. And for those who were wondering if I *really* wear that black apron with the Zelazny quote...


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Dead Robots' Society Interview

So... if hearing me blab on and on about Staked and writing is your idea of a good time, then head on over to the episode 62 of the Dead Robots' Society. It was great fun speaking with Justin and Terry (even if Ryan was too busy wandering around the mall to be there and give me my Candanian Rage fix). If you haven't heard this podcast before, these guys are great. Check 'em out.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I Can Haz Blurb?!?

As further proof that she's just plain nice, Sherrilyn Kenyon took time out of her busy (and I do mean busy) schedule to read ReVamped (Book 2 in my Void City Series) and provide the following blurb:

"J.F. Lewis has delivered an explosively written vampire tale!"

- Sherrilyn Kenyon #1 New York Times best selling author of the Dark-Hunter series.

How cool is that?!?

Thank you, Sherrilyn! :)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Urban Fantasy Author Gets Facelift...

... for his website.

Hey! Wait. Was that misleading? ;)

That's right, folks, Mark Henry, fellow Leaguer and Urban Fantasy Author, all around funny guy, self-proclaimed Zombie Enthusiast and Snark Stylist, the man with two first names... has rolled out a new look for his website. He's even giving away books to celebrate. So if you like snarky zombies or free books, be sure to swing by and check out the new look.

Monday, November 24, 2008

It's Dream Given Form Time Again

Please pardon my Babylon 5 reference...

I sent the page proofs for ReVamped off today via next day UPS goodness so it will be in the hands of my editor by the deadline. Yay! Meeting deadline = good. :) It took longer than intended for me to get through the page proofs because a bizarre combination of bronchitis and a small cut in my ear canal. For several days, the ear canal injury was worse than the bronchitis, but the coughing and wheezing has finally overcome the ear issue. Only two more weeks of antibiotics and inhalers to go! Woo-hoo!

Which kind of makes me a bit:

But not no worries, because I *did* meet the dealine, so, to reward myself, I watched The Incredible Hulk (the new one not the hideous one from a few years ago). They had me at "Hulk Smash!" That's really all I can say about the movie. It's not as awesome as Iron Man, but it's sooo much better than the Hulk's previous movie outing that I can go watch Ang Lee's really cool martial arts films again with out cringing because of Hulk aftertaste.

I've also been listening to plenty of Trans-Siberian Orchestra Christmas music (I know it's not even Thanksgiving yet, but I'm doing it anyway - MWAHAHAHA!) and I even got to watch the Iron Chef America Thanksgiving episode. All of which has left me much more:


(A quick note to all the WebKinz owners who see Percy at zero Happiness and wonder what I did to my poor little WebKin to make him so unhappy: I wasn't me. It was the ghost. 'Nuff said.)

Coming up soon-ish: An updated publication journey to publication timeline as we near the publication of ReVamped. Soon it will be a real physical object! Squee!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Be Afraid and Win a Copy of Staked!

I've got a guest blog about one of my phobias as well as a chance to win a copy of Staked over at Amberkatze's Bloog Blog: here

Here's a video hint about what scares me:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Free Fiction from Phaedra Weldon Over At The League

I know I already mentioned the Halloween fun we're having over at the League of Reluctant Adults this week, but I want to call special attention to Phaedra Weldon's contribution (because I'm the one that asked her for it and it's pretty much the bee's knees.)

She's wrote us a short story called Ghoul that touches on what vampires are like in the world of her Zoe Martinique Investigation series. She's also giving a copy of Spectre (book two in the series) to one lucky commenter, so check out the cool free vampire story here and then comment on the post (the one with the short story, not this one) to have your shot at free paranormal investigatory goodness.

If you like what you read, make sure to grab a copy of Wraith and Spectre and be sure to swing by Phaedra's home page for all the newest info about Phaedra's upcomming books like... oh, I don't know... Phantasm (due out in June 2009).

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Superhero Haikus & Halloween Goodness

You can find a cool post over at James Maxey's The Prophet & The Dragon blog featuring superhero haikus. If you haven't read anything by James, he's the author of a really cool series of novels involving an age of dragon dominance over humans. The first book is Bitterwood and it absolutely rocks! Think of it as Planet of the Dragons instead of Planet of the Apes. He followed that up with Dragonforge (which I've purchased, but haven't read yet) and will conclude the trilogy with Dragonseed, which is slated for release in July 2009.

He's also written a superhero novel called Nobody Gets the Girl, which is how we get back around the haikus. You can find the post here, and if you look closely, you just might find a haiku by someone you recognize. (Hint: He wrote Staked and its forthcoming sequel - ReVamped.)

Also, if you haven't been checking out the League of Reluctant Adults blog, this would be the week to start. We've got tons of guests and giveaways. Check it out here.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Win a copy of Staked and learn about Werewolf Dentistry

I'm guest blogging over here at Lynda Hilburn's Paranormality Blog. I'm giving away a copy of Staked there, too.

But that's not the only place to win a copy. You can subscribe to Patricia Altner's Vampire Notes blog (here) and win a copy of Staked (written by me) or Fangland by John Marks.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Puppies & Copyedits

I talk a little bit about one and a whole lot about the other over at the League of Reluctant Adults today.

Here's a link.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Cleaning Tips From Talbot

Heh.

I'm interviewed today over at the Reality Bypass Blog, but the interesting part is this: so are Eric and Talbot. :)

Here's a link.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Posting at the League

It's Saturday, so I'm posting over at the League of Reluctant Adults.

So what are you waiting for? Come chime in! Here's a link.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Somewhat Weekly J - AlphaOops: The Day Z Went First



Those of you who have read my comments on Webkinz or seen me toting my Lil' Kinz White Mouse, Stanton (or as Alethea calls it - Jeremy's Rat), around at conventions, already know that my sons play a very large role in my life. They can get their dad to sing lullabies and read everything from Frog & Toad (with special voices) to the latest issue of Ranger Rick aloud at bedtime. As a result, I'm always on the lookout for new cool stuff to read the boys at bedtime. We've read longer works: The Hobbit, Peter Pan, and even a little C.S. Lewis, but the favorites, the ones we always come back to, are shorter works. I love to read classics from my own childhood: Dr Seuss' Cat in the Hat, The Lorax... Little Bear. That sort of thing. But I am always on the lookout for cool intelligent kid-friendly works... and I've found one.

I have to submit a new title to the list of what I consider to be masterworks of children's fiction: AlphaOops: The Day Z Went First by Alethea Kontis. Published in 2006 by Candlewick Press, this book's simple, yet brilliant premise is that Z is fed up with always going last. He stages a minor revolution allowing letters to go in any order they choose. Some are happy with their spot, but most are ready for a change and Alethea explores the ensuing chaos with an air of gleeful magic, a magic that is displayed with utter perfection by illustrator Bob Kolar.

I first read AlphaOops: The Day Z Went First aloud while standing out in front of my friend's car while he went to go pick up a painting he’d purchased from Ruth Thompson. Soon, my writer's group was crowded around the car, grinning from ear to ear and, much like my two boys, jockeying for position to get a better look at the pictures. Upon my return home, I read the book to the boys at naptime and then twice more at bedtime. It should be noted that at naptime the boys were not the only ones grinning at this priceless gem of alphabetical mayhem. The grownups paid attention too. Infact, I had to back up and start over for one adult (who shall remain nameless) because she’d missed a few pages.

In the two days since my return from Dragon*Con, I've read the book to my boys a dozen times and my four year old and seven year old have each read it to themselves too, though the four year still needs a little help on some of the pages. My oldest even took it to school for his "share", the modern equivalent of Show & Tell. The next book in the series, AlphaOops: H is for Halloween, has been scheduled for a Fall 2009 release by Candlewick Press and I have not looked forward to the release a children’s book so much since I heard a special about Henry Hikes to Fitchburg by D.B. Johnson and rushed out to grab a copy.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Good Company

Check out this link and see if you see anyone named J.F. Lewis on it.

As the article says, this is not the ballot, but it's still cool. And just check out the folks I'm on the list with! Wow!

:)

Monday, August 18, 2008

And Now... We Wait

In case you were wondering, that nervous "I hope this is as good as I think it is" feeling you get (or *I* get anyway) when submitting the revised novel manuscript to your editor is exactly the same the second time around. The novel grew by about 18,000 words (lots of which were new Talbot scenes) and it's a better novel for having undergone the process.

My favorite addition to the revised manuscript for ReVamped? Getting to show Talbot in full "supernatural combat mode" a book earlier than I had originally intended... though the Eric and Talbot buddy scene near the end was fun to write, too.

The weirdest thing about this set of revisions? They were much harder. I was stuck for several weeks on how to accomplish a requested change and I'm not exactly certain why. I was much busier this time around - running to cons and such - which may account for part of it... and I did have to make a substantial change to the way I did edits for STAKED, but when it clicked, I had the exact same "I'm an idiot! All I need to do is roll these four fixes together, insert these six scenes, revise these three scenes, and it fixes X,Y, AND Z while paralleling Q!"

In any case, the revised manuscript was sent out in a timely fashion... slightly before the deadline. Yay, team!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

We're traveling back in time...

...over at the League of Reluctant Adults.

In short, I forgot to blog yesterday, so I backdated the post. Wanna know what I did on my birthday? You can find out here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Possible Last Call

I'm still caught in the midst of rewrites for ReVamped (the revised draft is due August 18th, 2008), but I wanted to do a quick t-shirt update. We are now out of of mediums and XXXXL. I think we still have one large and several XL, XXL, and XXXL. If you are interested in having your very own WELCOME TO THE VOID 2008 t-shirt (like the one Eric wears in the book), you might want to act soon.

Supplies are dwindling and once these are gone, we won't be making any extras of the 2008 shirt. You can order one here.

BTW, I think folks are going to be very happy with the second book. In ReVamped, we even get to see Talbot's full transformation.

:)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Playing with the Cool Kids

It's been a cool few days here at the offices of the Void City Echo.

J.C. Hutchins called me "the brilliant author J. F. Lewis" and played my audio promo for Staked on his 7th Son Obsidian podcast. Kimi over at Tale Chasing played it. Shaun over at Adventures in Sci Publishing played it and some other really cool folks have agreed to drop it in their feeds, too. To be honest, I kind of everwhelmed at the niceness and comaraderie to be found in the podcast community, particularly when I don't even do a podcast... yet.

Mwahahaha!

So here's my question... what would you want in a J. F. Lewis podcast? Original stories? Background content and bonus stuff related to Void City? Something completely different?

Let me know.

J

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

San Diego Comic-Con 2008

It is quite possible that I should have announced this earlier, but I'll be at San Diego Comic-con this weekend. I'll even have a signing at the Pocket Books table! The signing is at noon on Friday, but I'll be wandering the convention area through out the weekend.

I hope to see you there!

J

Monday, July 21, 2008

Adventures in Scifi Publishing

Some of you may have noticed the audio promo for STAKED popping up here and there. I can't tell you how nice everyone has been about agreeing to play it for me. I don't just make blind requests either. I listen to the podcast first. I often wind up subscribing as a result, because quite frankly... there is some astonishingly cool content out there.

Take Adventures in Scifi Publishing for example. They've started a series of Clarion interviews to which I've been glued. I've never been to a big writer's school like Clarion and I've always been fancinated with the idea of getting to go... so it's really cool to hear tidbits about the goings on there or even just thoughts on writing from the talented people teaching there.

This week is the third Clarion episode and next week... Neil Gaiman.

While you're downloading the current episodes, be sure to check out the new website here. It's a a very slick look with cool interviews, events, news, reviews, and links to youtube videos that might interest scifi fans... like the new book trailer for Jeff Carlson's Plague War. (Hi, Jeff!)

Also, don't forget to participate in The Keys to Publishing Contest. You'll need to listen to Adventures in Scifi Publishing as well as Mur Lafferty's I Should Be Writing... but you should be doing that already.

Go check them out and if you haven't heard it already, you can catch the Staked promo, too. And since people have asked... yes, for good or for ill, that's me doing the voiceover. :)

Best,

J

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Weekly J: Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog is up

Act one of Joss Whedon's musical miniseries is up and it is wonderful. Act two will be up on July 17th, and the final act goes live on July 19th. Neil Patrick Harris is great! Felicia Day from The Guild Podcast is fantastic... and Nathan Fillion... there are just no words.

Whether you're a fan of Buffy, Angel, Firefly, or just a fan of good musicals, you owe it to yourself to click here and watch.

J

Monday, July 14, 2008

What Was This Blog About Again?

Don't forget that I'm guest blogging over at Patricia's Vampire Notes today. She asked me to stop by and talk about Eric's forgetfulness. You can find it here. I'll also be checking in throughout the day (as best I can) to answer any questions.

See you over there,

J

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sovereign Summer Sunday

Just a quick update to let you all know about something awesome that's happening as I type. Matthew Wayne Selzinick is doing a live event to promote the release of his book, Brave Men Run. He's streaming live video of himself most of the day today, giving updates on the Amazon numbers, reading new stories in the Sovereign era by folks like Mur Lafferty, J. C. Hutchins, Matt Lowell, Matt Wallace, J. R. Blackwell, P. G. Holyfield, and Jared Axelrod... he's even got a live chat going on. For more info, go here for the full announcement.

I'm about halfway through the podcast version of the novel and it's well worth the read. I've placed my online order today and if you can, so should you. So order your copy on Amazon and then join everyone over at http://www.bravemenrun.com/ for the event!

J

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Audio Promo for Staked

Want to hear something really cool? Go check out the most recent Variant Frequencies Podcast.

This time around, it's a steampunk story by Bryn Sparks called "The Destruction of Sennacherib." If you hang around for the promos, you'll even get to hear the audio promo for STAKED! :) A big thank you goes out to Rick Stringer for agreeing to play it and another big thank you goes out to Matt Wallace and Anne Stringer for all the great podcasting info at Hypericon.

You can hear great fiction each month on Variant Frequencies and if you don't believe me, just check out the Parsec Awards that they have to prove it. And if that doesn't satisfy your yen for cool audio, check out Matt Wallace's The Failed Cities Monologues.

Now, I know it may sound a little weird to do a promo for a non-podcast book in a podcast feed, but I had to... it was a moral imperative. Why? Would you believe me if I said, "J C Hutchins told me to?"

A few weeks ago, I mentioned how much I enjoyed J C Hutchins' 7th Son Trilogy (and continue to enjoy his 7th Son Obsidian podcast, I might add). If you haven't listened to it yet, I highly suggest that you give it a start. Check out iTunes or http://jchutchins.net/ to start listening now.


As if writing a fantastic (and soon to be published by St. Martin's Press) trilogy wasn't enough, J C is a nice guy, too. When I sent him an email telling him how much I enjoyed the trilogy, I also mentioned that I had recently published my first book and he made me an offer I couldn't refuse: Give him a sixty second promo for Staked and he'd drop it in the 7th Son Obsidian feed.

How cool is that?!?

Speaking of the 7th Son Obsidian Podcast, if you listen to nothing else, you simply must listen to the episode containing "A Rose By Any Other Name" by Mur Lafferty. That story is awesome! It's set within the Obsidian universe, but it works whether you've listened to the rest of the series or not and I highly recommend it.

What are you waiting for? Go start listening.

Best,

J

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Guest Blog Alert!

I just wanted to give everyone a heads up that I'll be guest blogging over at Patricia's Vampire Notes Blog on Monday. In the meantime, be sure to drop by and check out her site. You'll find reviews, news, cool links, and even a contest from time to time.

You can find her blog: here.

What's the blog going to be about? Well... it's about Eric... one of his defining traits and here's your hint: Hmmm. That's funny. I can't seem to remember the hint. Or maybe that *is* the hint.

Guess you'll just have to wait until Monday to find out. :)

J

Monday, July 7, 2008

Revising Void City

I am now trapped in the happy doom that is a revisions letter.

If you have a good editor... or are lucky enough to have a great one (like mine), you will be a little surprised at the things you missed in the "final draft" of your book. Everyone who enjoys the Void City series (It's more than one book now! Yay!) can thank Jennifer for pointing out things like an appalling lack of Talbot during some portions of the book and a failure on my part to reveal a very essential something by the end that I *thought* I'd made clear.

Whoops.

Fortunately, you'll only ever know about those glitches and others like them because I told you about them. They won't be in the final final draft.

So a round of applause for the lady with the red pencil, ladies and gentlemen. She deserves it.

:)

J

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Bloggin' at the League


I'm blogging at the League of Reluctant Adults today. Don't procrastinate... go check it out here.
J


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

League-y Goodness

Lots of cool stuff is happening this week in the Jeremy-verse. I’ve been interviewed by Mike Brantley of the Mobile Press Register, my hometown paper. (I’m a native Mobilian, ya know.) And I’ll be interviewed by Brian Simon for the El Segundo Herald tomorrow. If you’d like to know what STAKED and El Segundo have to do with each other, I’m afraid you’ll have to read the book. :)

In other coolness, the folks over at the League of Reluctant Adults are suffering from temporary insanity and have invited me onboard as their Saturday Blogger! How cool is that?!? Anton gave me a fun bit of hazing on Monday and Mark made me a cool banner and everything. So come on over to the League of Reluctant Adults and play!

J

Saturday, June 28, 2008

“It’s like Being in the Presence of Barbara Streisand!”

“It’s like Being in the Presence of Barbara Streisand!”

That line (from an old Disney World Animation Tour video where Robin Williams meets, and is in awe of, Tinkerbell) sums up how I felt yesterday when I was on a first novel panel with Glen Cook. Glen Cook has been writing since the late sixties, and I was a bit over-awed by his presence on a panel that was otherwise populated with relative newcomers.

I tried to be helpful and tell about my writing journey, but to be honest, I was a little preoccupied listening to advice from the man with forty-some odd books under his belt. It occurs to me that the same thing happened a few times at last year’s Dragon*Con when I first met Peter David and again at Mobicon when I met Jim Butcher. In all three case, the person to whom I was momentarily unable to speak was quite friendly… more than willing to chat… The problem was all in my head.

Which is what leads me to a question:

Has this ever happened to you?

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Almost-Weekly J: J. C. Hutchins

So, as some of you know I got an iPod recently and I’ve blogged about good podcasts, etc, but I haven’t blogged about a podcast book before, because, until recently, I hadn’t listened to one. I have now. The 7th Son Trilogy by J.C. Hutchins. Holy frijoles, guys! This series is all that and a bag of chips. You know those really good podcasts, the ones with the great bed music and the good sound… the ones that make you feel like you're listening to a professional production? 7th Son is that to the Nth degree.

Review: 7th Son Book One: Descent starts out with the assassination of the President of the United States… at the hands of a four year old boy. From there, the books goes into the lives of seven men who have far more in common than they think they do. And it’s very hard to tell you more than that without giving away the goods. You see, when I started listening, in fact, the entire time I listened to the books (starting a few weeks ago), I purposefully avoided any sites related to or mentioning them. I enjoyed the series in a completely unspoiler-ed state and it’s a feeling that I wish on everyone who enjoys a good action-thriller.

If you’re into Clive Cussler, if Tom Clancy is da bomb in your book then get your iPod to http://jchutchins.net/ or iTunes and start your download. Go ahead. I’ll wait right here.

The download will take awhile and the listening will take longer, but it's a ride that I’m glad I didn’t miss. St. Martin’s Press certainly seems to agree, because they’ll be releasing the trilogy in print format starting in 2009.

For the record, my favorite character was Kilroy 2.0, hands down… and I can’t tell you why. The scene where Kilroy confronts ________, the scene where we find out who _______ is. The scene where we find out that Binary Faerie is __________. The top secret planes. The stuff with the UN. And of course, John Alpha. Dude, the man is evil in the twisted, non-repentant, but strangely comprehensible way that you want a villain to be.

All three books get two thumbs way way up in my book.

Listen now: Buy it when it comes out in print. Support this guy because we really need more novels out of him.

J

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Countdown to ReVamped

This looks like a good sign to me:

http://www.simonsays.com/content/book.cfm?tab=1&pid=633864&er=9781439102282

Simon & Schuster just added information about ReVamped (the sequel to Staked) to their website. They list the pub date as March 10, 2009.

J

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Holy Guest Blog, Batman!

Hey! Mark Henry over at the League of Reluctant Adults invited me over to guest blog about free beer, porn, and comic books!

Okay… not really, but he did invite me to do a surprise guest blog. It’s about… oh, just run over to the League (www.leagueofreluctantadults.com/blog.html) and check it out.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that I'll be giving away a signed copy of Staked there too. Good luck!

J

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Belated ConCarolinas Report

In the whirlwind of the last few weekends, I was lucky enough to get to go to Charlotte, North Carolina and attend a pretty darn cool convention.

We set out Thursday morning in the officially unofficial WTF van owned by the mighty Dan & Karen. The WTF van has just enough room for four folks to ride comfortably with all the assorted baggage and copies of the book for sale and WELCOME TO THE VOID t-shirts and it even comes equipped with St. Dan, who drove the whole way, and Navigating Action Karen who made sure that we didn’t get lost (except for that one stretch where they’d covered up all of the road signs - I still don’t know what was up with that?!?).

On the road, I got a chance to finish Personal Demons by Stacia Kane (see the mini-review below) and read most of Heart of Stone by C. E. Murphy.






Until I recently, Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse was pretty much the only psychic I was interested in reading books about. This was recently expanded to include Anton Strout’s Simon Canderous from Dead To Me (I’ll be picking up the next book in the series, you can count on that) and now Dr. Megan Chase has joined that list as well. It’s got more romance to it than I usually read, but that didn’t bother me at all. It’s funny, scary… definitely the beginning of a series that I want to keep reading. I’d have to say that my favorite characters were the demonic body guards (Malleus, Maleficarum, and …. The unfortunately named Spud). They filled the same enjoyable niche for me that Nuncio and Guido do in Robert Asprin’s Myth series, without turning Personal Demons into a comedy. Anyone who has read Staked knows that I’m fond of the funny, but I like it not to overwhelm the action and Stacia balanced both wonderfully.

Stacia Kane is a member of the League of Reluctant Adults as are Mark Henry (the author of the zany zombie-fest that is Happy Hour of the Damned) and the aforementioned Anton Strout. I definitely plan of checking out the books of the other “Leaguers” and you should too.



I wasn't on any panels on Friday, so I got to spend some time sitting in on my buddy, Rob Hudson’s, gaming panel. I also got a chance to hang with David Talon author of The Last Guardian of Mosh Caltun and meet fellow Codexian James Maxey (Nobody Gets The Girl, Bitterwood). James invited me to join him on his 13 Dooms panel and the blogging panel. He even forgave me for doing my darnedest to turn the 13 Dooms into The Thirteen Dooms of Scooby-Doo. ;)

Saturday, I got to share an author table with Gail Z. Martin, author of The Chronicles of the Necromancer series. I’ve just started reading Book One: The Summoner. As Gail might say, “it’s got ghosts, vampires, and a necromancer as the good guy.” If you check out her ConCarolinas video blog for Saturday, you’ll even be “treated” to a snippet of me near the beginning.

A group of us went to dinner together, which was cool. Thanks for the invite, folks! And special thanks to David Coe for not killing me when I accidentally stomped on his foot while reaching for the copy of Staked that I sat under the table. Again, mea culpa, David!

I think my favorite panel on Saturday was “Rogues: Why We Love Our Bad Boys” (though David B. Coe never did explain why he loves bad boys which gave Faith Hunter the giggles… ) Hmmm, maybe it was just the lateness of the panel. We got into darker territory than originally expected, but other than that we decided Han Solo is one of the perfect examples of a modern rogue (which I think I’ll delve into a little deeper in another blog) and the attendees seemed to enjoy things until we were drowned out by Klingon Karaoke.

My only regret about the entire con was that I had to vanish before dawn on Sunday so that I could catch my flight to Disney World. I hope they invite me back. It was a blast!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Live (or undead) from Disney World...

Good morning Orlando, Florida! I'm mostly away from my laptop right now, but this news just can't wait until we get home: it looks like the sequel to Staked will be headed your way in 2009 with March as the tentative release date. Everybody do the Snoopy dance for me!

J

P.S. I really enjoyed ConCarolinas, although I had to leave before dawn on Sunday to join my family's annual vacation. I'll post a more detailed review of the con soon. :)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Houston, we have t-shirts!

So… because my mother-in-law is completely awesome AND because the people at Custom Ink do such a good job AND because Go Daddy's Quick Cart is so reasonable… we have T-shirts, and we can sell and ship them!

Those of you wanting WELCOME TO THE VOID t-shirts of your very own can go to my home page http://authoratlarge.com/ and click on “shop” or you can just click here.

If you haven’t read Staked yet, then you might be interested be wondering what in the world these WELCOME TO THE VOID t-shirts are about.

Staked is set in Void City, a place where average folks are kept from discovering the supernatural by a fragile artifact called the Veil of Scrythax kept in a vault in the depths of the Highland Towers building – one of the most exclusive vampire residences in the area. In Void City, the police and local government are in on the cover-up. If vampires or other supernatural beasties don't do a good enough job cleaning up after themselves, the city does it for them with the help of the police and the Mage Guild.

The Void City Music Festival happens every summer in Void City. It’s a huge party and it is also the only time of year that the supernatural residents are not allowed to prey on the unsuspecting portion of the populace. For that weekend and that weekend alone, all the norms are safe and the supernatural residents do their best to make sure no one gets hurt – even in mundane on mundane violence.

Like so many music festivals aroung the world, the Void City Music Festival had annual t-shirts... but one year... “WELCOME TO THE VOID CITY MUSIC FESTIVAL” was supposed to be printed on the front and the year and the list of band names was supposed to be printed on the back, and when the shirts were delivered from the printer “WELCOME TO THE VOID” was printed on the front and the words “CITY MUSIC FESTIVAL” plus the year and the band list were printed on the back. The festival attendees loved it, and bought so many shirts that the festival head honchos dropped the correct version altogether in favor of the misprint and there was much rejoicing. There's a new Welcome to the VOID shirt every year.

In Staked, Eric, my male co-tagonist, loves the t-shirts and wears them all the time, even though he generally only remembers half the story behind what they mean.

In the real world, my wife surprised me with a prototype one day made with a printable iron-on. I loved it so much that she found a company that could actually screen print replicas of the t-shirts and we did an order for all the members of the WTF as well as folks who had helped out in major ways… you know like my agent and my editor, plus about six for me. I tend to wear one every Friday for casual day at my corporate day job.

Look for me in my WELCOME TO THE VOID T-shirt at upcoming conventions like ConCarolinas, HyperiCon, WorldCon, ComiCon, and DragonCon... At conventions I tend to wear a WELCOME TO THE VOID t-shirt on Friday and Saturday (not the same one, a different clean shirt each day) and either a GET STAKED t-shirt on Sunday or something non-related like one of my Amber t-shirts or my Mesopotamians t-shirt from the They Might Be Giants concert that the WTF attended here in Birmingham.

Anyway, we have the shirts in stock from an Adult M through a XXXXL, and we'd be happy to ship you one, two, ten... whatever. Also, we are working on having prizes for non WTF-members caught wearing their shirts at conventions I am attending.

Now you know.

J

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The News from Lake MobiCon...

(Note: A friend of mine suggested that I call this blog “Jim Butcher hit on me.” Obviously Mr. Butcher did no such thing, but it was too funny not to mention.)

In short, Mobicon was great. The con was well organized and thirty-five more copies of Staked were adopted into loving homes. My only complaint about the dealers room isn’t a complaint with Kim who was running the dealer’s room (Kim rocks!) but of utter shock at the lack of book dealers. I mean… Jim Butcher was there and there was no way short of a quick trip to Books-A-Million or Barnes & Noble to get a copy of his books if didn’t already own them (or if you happened to leave them at home… like I did.)

This is another con where we cut things a bit too close to the con date for me to get onto many panels, which was solved by the other guests (and the mighty Kathy who made sure things ran smoothly for the panelists) just inviting me to show up to their panels if they thought I should be on them. Sharon Green in particular (after we’d been on a few panels together) told me to show up to the “Hangovers: Bad Con Experiences” panel- which was great, because though I only had a few stories (as authors go, I’m so new that I still have my price tag on the back), the panel was a blast… and Jim Butcher was on it.

Patrick Harris, Jim Butcher, Davey Beauchamp, and Colin Cunningham (plus one of the panel attendees with a story about a first-time con goer who was injured by one guest and wound up marrying another) really stole the panel. They were all hysterical!

The Sexuality in Sci-Fi panel turned largely into a discussion about the differences between the way men and women handle relationships, followed by a debate on the existence of love at first sight. You know… I’ve yet to be on one a panel where the discussion has actually been about sex in writing... usually we wind up talking about the dynamics of relationships.

All in all, it was a great con and I met tons of great people!

Next stop: Con Carolinas!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

MobiCon and the Drunken Round Table

I’ll be at MobiCon this weekend (where, if I’m lucky I’ll get to meet Jim Butcher!) so I wanted to make sure to post this before I hit the road.

Jason over at The Drunken Round Table internet radio show has been nice enough to ask me for an interview.

You can listen to the Drunken Round Table Friday nights at 9PM EST. I’ll be on Friday, May 23, 2008 around 9:30 PM Eastern/8:30 PM Central/7:30 Mountain/ 6:30 Pacific - and for those of you overseas, that's 01:30 GMT. Make sure to tune in for the wackiness that will undoubtedly ensue.

Listen here: http://www.nowlive.com/member.asp?id=100220383

Visit their website here: http://www.drunkenroundtable.com/

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Waiting Game

So… for a while now I’ve written largely about stuff not so much related to the writing process as things I’ve been doing and people I’ve met. So I thought I’d take a look at the writing side of things again. Mainly the waiting. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… the publishing process takes a long looooong time. I’m not talking about the writing process, although I’ve had some personal stuff that has slowed that down recently. I won’t get into it here, but let’s just say that it’s a bit overwhelming when folks take the step from saying that they prefer not to read something to declaring it evil and sinful and casting aspersions on the writer personally. It’s Fiction, folks.

But enough about that.

Back to waiting.

And waiting.

And waiting.

So far, it hasn’t gotten any easier. Sending off the second manuscript evoked the same feelings and fears that the first one did. Will they like it? Will they want to change it? And so on and so forth. At least now that I've been published, there is a reasonable assumption that the second book will at least be opened and read.

I'm a trifle obsessive and I stress about everything... What if the first book isn’t selling well enough for a second book? Even if I had the sales numbers, I wouldn’t know whether they were good or not. What if they want a second book, but they want it to be about cross-dressing penguins? I’d do my best, but I don’t have any cross-dressing penguins plots lying around waiting… (okay, so maybe I have one *now*, but it’s not a necessarily good one).

And I always wonder what I should do while I wait.

Should I keep working on book three? Should I write something else? Both?

Patience appears to be the only answer… patience and perseverance. Which is why I just finished a chapter of the third Void City novel last night in which I give away half of the secret behind Talbot’s parentage and what he really is. By the end of book three, most of the cat will be out of the bag on that one. (Ack! Bad pun!) My other projects are still proceeding as well- because in the end, if you’re a writer, that means you have to write.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Who Sank my Dragonlance?

Listeners to the DragonPage Cover to Cover Podcast and constant visitors to the Dragonlance Nexus or Dragonlance Forums won’t need me to tell them this, but I’ve just heard some rather disheartening news. According to a press release posted back in March, Wizards of the Coast is NOT going to be publishing the third book in The Lost Chronicles trilogy: Dragons of the Hourglass Mage. (My wife, who has read the first two books of Lost Chronicles at least three times each, is going ballistic over this... Raistlin is her favorite. He's mine, too.)

Folks over in the Dragonlance forums have suggested that those who want to see this book released send a polite email to WotC expressing how much you’d like to read the book. I’ve just done so, myself. They have a customer service form you can fill out, or you can try sending snail mail to:
Wizards of the Coast
Attn: Customer Service
PO Box 707
Renton, WA 98057-0707

For more information, check out http://www.dragonlanceforums.com/, http://www.dlhnexus.com/, or listen to Cover to Cover #308A to hear Tracy Hickman talk about it.

J

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Weekly J: Podcasts

Some of you may know that I recently got my first iPod. I’d been using a Creative Labs Nomad Zen USB 2.0 for my portable music needs, but the iPod has made me a total convert. It’s how I discovered New Amsterdam (free download of the pilot episode via iTunes). But the biggest change the iPod has made for me has been Podcasts.

I tended to listen to NPR on the way in to work each morning, but lately, I’ve been catching up on some cool podcasts, so I thought I’d mention the ones to which I subscribe. Some of them are just for fun and some of them are for research

1) Dragon Page Cover to Cover. Of the podcasts out there, this is the only one to which I was listening long before owning my iPod. It’s part of the FarPoint Media group of podcasts as are several others in my list and if you like books, I really can’t recommend it enough. I particularly recommend it if you’re a big Michael Stackpole fan (I know I am) because he is one of the hosts, along with Summer Brooks, and Michael R. Mennenga. They talk about new books coming out, have interviews with authors (last week’s was Jim Butcher!) and talk about cool things happening in the industry.

http://www.dragonpage.com

2) Mur Lafferty’s I Should Be Writing Podcast. Mur describes this podcast as “a podcast for wannabe fiction writers by a wannabe fiction writer.” She’s been sick for a few weeks, but there is a glut of great info available here. I’ve been slowly going through old shows, particularly through the interviews. Speaking of which, I think everyone who uses a web browser should go listen to her Neil Gaiman interview.

http://isbw.murlafferty.com/

3) Slice of Sci-Fi. Done by some of the same folks from Dragon Page Cover to Cover, Slice of Sci-Fi is something that I listen to so that I don’t have to spend hours cruising the internet to know what new and cool things sci-fi shows are coming out. They have cool interviews too.

http://www.sliceofscifi.com/

4) Orson Welles: On The Air. This one is a pure guilty pleasure for me. I’m the only one I know who has tracked down every episode of Orson Welles’s The Many Lives of Harry Lime radio show, which details the adventures of the con man from the black & white classic The Third Man. Orson Welles: On The Air showcases a new episode of Orson Welles’s vast collection of radio work each week… ranging from The Mercury Theater, to The Black Museum, to the afore mentioned Many Lives of Harry Lime. It’s radio gold and a must listen for fans of yesteryear.

http://show.vintagemedia.net/orsonwelles/

5) PodCastle. A relatively new podcast, PodCastle (like it’s sister shows EscapePod and PseudoPod) is focused on fiction. PodCastle’s focus is on fantasy. I’ve only listened to the first two episodes: “Come Lady Death” by Peter S. Beagle and “For Fear of Dragons” by Carrie Vaughn. These folks have great taste in short fiction!

http://podcastle.org/

6) Tale Chasing. If you ‘re reading this blog, odds are that you like Urban Fantasy. Tale Chasing is all about Urban Fantasy, both tips on writing it and interviewing authors who do. Check out Kimi’s interviews with Stacia Kane and Rachel Vincent and sometime in the near future… yours truly.

http://www.talechasing.com/

7) The Guild. Okay, so this video podcast has absolutely nothing to do with furthering my writing, but it has everything to do with poking fun at folks who let their MMORPG gaming play way too big a role in their lives. If you’ve never played an MMORPG, you might not “get it”, but if you have, then hilarity will ensue.

http://www.talechasing.com/

8) NPR: Fresh Air Podcast. One of the main reasons I used listen to NPR on the way home from work is to make sure that I heard as many of Terry Gross’s weekly interviews as possible. Now I don’t have to miss a thing. If you haven’t ever heard Terry Gross do an interview then you are missing out.

http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=13

9) Rick Kieffel: The Agony Column. I really have a love/hate relationship with this podcast. Rick either has me engrossed for the entire podcast (the norm) or loses me in the first minute and a half. You’ll note that I’m still subscribed. The show is often excellent! I particularly recommend the stint he did (last month?) about the term Machiavellian and where it came from, how it evolved, and a bit about the man whose name gives us the term.

http://trashotron.com/agony/

10) Japancast. I’m a big anime geek, so the idea of learning Japanese appeals to me… particularly now that we are in the same region with Japan for Blu-ray.

http://japancast.net

I’ve yet to find a SuperRobot-centric podcast, though…

If you know of another podcast that you think is a must listen, please comment about it and let me know.

Jeremy

Friday, April 25, 2008

Contests galore!

Two new contests based on Staked begin this week! Between the two of them, there are five copies of Staked, a custom book thong, and a WELCOME TO THE VOID T-shirt up for grabs.

Over at A Book Blogger’s Diary, aBookworm has been nice enough to give Staked an awesome review and to run a contest. Four copies of Staked and a very cool custom book thong are yours for the winning here. The contest ends May 5th, so make sure to get those entries in before it’s all over.

From the review:

“[Staked is] serious yet funny, gory yet tender, magical and still down-to-earth; a proper study in contrasts, if you will. In other words, a must-read!”
- A Book Blogger’s Diary

I’ve also been invited to do a guest blog over there, so that’ll be coming your way soon, too.

Sidhe Vicious Raves & Rants also has a review up. She enjoyed the book enough to do an interview and it’s where you’ll have to go if you want a shot at a WELCOME TO THE VOID T-shirt before we start selling them. Since they’re so rare at this point, the T-shirt is first prize and a signed copy of Staked goes to the runner-up. The review is here and you can find the contest and the interview here. The contest ends May 15th. So get over there and enter for your chance at a t-shirt or a signed copy of the book. Read the interview too. I think you’ll enjoy it.

J

Thursday, April 24, 2008

T-shirts are coming soon!

T-shirts are coming soon! Believe me, I want to see people wearing WELCOME TO THE VOID T-shirts every bit as badly as people want to wear them… and I feel like I owe some of you an explanation for the delay. We’ve considered lots of places for having the T-shirts printed up, including Café Press (which can’t print on the back of a black shirt, by the way) and other places that handle sales as well as printing- but the T-shirts ended up being over $30 each (not counting any profit). So, we’ve decided to handle the sales end of things ourselves (and by we, I mean me, my wife, and my mother-in-law, Jenny, who is practically my personal assistant lately- I need to get her some business cards).

Since that time, we’ve been caught up in trying to do things “right” from the outset, with a business account, a business license, state sales tax, etc. These things are almost completely resolved at this time, and we are almost ready to place our initial order. We’re looking several sales possibilities, including selling from our existing eBay account, launching an eBay store, selling through Amazon.com, or possibly trying to handle it all ourselves on my webpage... we should know something within a week. We’ll get the T-shirts from Custom Ink, the same printer that did thour original WELCOME TO THE VOID shirts… so the ones we sell will be “real” ones that look just like mine. We haven’t determined the actual prices yet (how much we pay depends on how many shirts we order at a time) but shirts will probably be between $20 and $25.

Last, and possibly most important because this is how you can help, I’ve posted a survey on the sidebar of my blog (if you’re reading this from Amazon.com or elsewhere, you’ll need to click through to http://writethefantastic.blogspot.com/.) I need to know how many of which sizes to get on my initial T-shirt order… if you’d please go to the survey and click on the shirt size(s) you’d like, when we order, I’ll make sure we get what you want.

Thanks!

J

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Weekly J: The WebKinz got me!

You may ask yourself… How did an urban fantasy author (and day-time corporate stooge) wind up with a WebKinz? It’s easy: kids.

In case you don’t know, WebKinz are the new, improved, and more insidious than ever interactive Beanie Baby/Tamagochi hybrid. They are little stuffed animals with a digital double-life. You buy a cute little panda (or the new Bengal Tiger, in my case) and you get a special code that lets you go online, register the WebKin as your pet and BAM! They have you. For a full year, you can go online, play with your pet, take part in online contests, play games with other WebKinz owners (with a very child-safe only pre-selected statements allowed chat system similar to Disney’s Toon Town MMORPG). What happens after a year? I’ll answer that later…

Once your pet has a name, your pet gets a one room house of his or her very own, some starting KinzCash and you’re set. Buy clothes, games (anything from Battleship to Checkers), story books, coloring books that you can color online… furniture, new rooms, a back yard… If it’s kid-safe, you can probably buy it.

My experience with these plush little monsters began when my wife (ever attuned to what kids want) got the boys Webkinz for their birthdays. I mostly avoided the whole thing, though family dinner discussions did lean toward what gem who got in the Curio Shop, who KinzPosted what to who, and who bought what in the W shop. My wife stepped in to manage their little accounts, helping them learn a bit about budgeting while logging in every night to earn them a little extra KinzCash.

Then, my wife got a Webkinz of her own, and dinner discussions began to lean toward the possible ingredients involved in certain secret recipes. Before I knew it, her Webkinz Panda, Rosie, was a well-educated pet with a well-decorated house and a tidy little bank account. She’d research the secret recipes, cook up batches of them, and KinzPost the food over to the boys’ Webkinz along with new games, clothes, tidbits for their room themes, etc. (Just like a good mom…) They responded by KinzPosting presents back, somewhat haphazardly, but very generously. They would all log in at the same time to play games together in the tournament arena.

Then, they decided Dad needed a WebKinz, too.

Youngest son: Dad. Where is your WebKinz?

Me: I don’t have a WebKinz.

Youngest son (astonished): Did Pop Pop (his name for my dad) take it away?

Me: No. I just don’t have one.

Youngest son (instantly in tears): But, Dad, you have to have one! You’ve been good and everything.

Me: No, it’s fine. I don’t need one.

Youngest son (still crying): Yes you do! If you don’t I can’t come play to your house in WebKinz World and play with you.

Me (at this point, I am holding my crying little guy and he has buried his head against my shoulder): So you want me to get a WebKinz so that we can play together?

Youngest son (still crying): Yes.

Me: Can’t we just play with Legos?

Youngest son (considers that): Well, yeah, but Dad… you still need one to keep you company while I’m asleep.

Me: I’ll be fine. Mom can keep me company, and you know, I write at night. I won’t be lonely.

Youngest son: Please, Dad.

Me: …

Me: If you still feel that strongly about it in a week, I’ll get one.

(One week later… and you’ve got to understand that this little guy has very little concept of time beyond a matter of minutes, tomorrow, or the distant future)

Youngest son: Where’s your WebKinz, Dad?

Me: I’ve still got to pick one out.

Youngest son: Okay, but make sure to introduce him to me when he gets here.

So now I have a WebKinz- a Bengal Tiger named Khan. He “sleeps” on the bookshelf and every few days, my sons' WebKinz have a sleepover with him up there on the shelf so that he won’t be lonely. And yes, I log in and feed him, take him to school, search for gems, play games against my kids, spin the Wheel of Wow... it's true. The WebKinz got me.

Here’s a picture of Khan with some of his shelf mates. They seem to be getting along quite well.




In a year, if I don’t buy another WebKinz or renew his year long activation code… he’ll "expire". Die. How evil is that? Fourteen bucks a year or we delete your pet, kid.

In the meantime, though, if your Webkinz gets stomped at Atomicalicious by a tiger named Khan, well, I'm probably guilty.

J


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

STAKED gets good reviews...

I haven’t posted any reviews in awhile, so here goes:

“Staked will probably appeal to most readers who like Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden but wish that Harry would stop being so damn nice all the time.” -Amanda, LoveVampires.com

How’s that for a hearty endorsement? Read the rest of Amanda’s review here.

Oh! Oh! And my book made it to Vienna (yes, as in Austria)! I only know this because Amberkatze has posted a nice review on Amberkatze’s Book Blog. She was even cool enough to give away a copy of the book in a contest with a very cool concept. In Staked, a new vampire seldom knows the extent of his or her true powers. Sometimes, those who can change into an animal will only be able to change, for all time, into whatever they first attempt. Amber asks contestants to choose which animal they would pick. Enter her contest here.

As it that wasn’t enough, she interviewed me, too. Here’s that link.

Speaking of people who enjoy Staked…

FantasyGirl has an awesome review over at BestFantasyStories.com: “From the start I could tell this book would be something special. By page 8, I was proclaiming it a winner to my friends. I’m happy to report that I was correct.” Read the rest of the review here.

Proving that Staked can appeal to guys too, Frank Hagen posted a review at his blog. You see, he bought the book for his wife (because he’d read the Big Idea article John Scalzi was nice enough to post over on his Whatever blog), started reading it, and it hooked him. Read his review here and if you need any advice with C# Programming, Frank might be just the guy to help you out.

Rachel over at ourgaggleofgirls.com reviewed Staked last month and I *thought* that I blogged about it, but didn’t: “Once you get caught up in the world of Staked, you’re stuck in its thrall. There’s enough violence and death to keep the novel going, but not so much that you can’t read it before bed. Staked walks a great balance with the suspense and gore… it’s a balance one rarely sees in first novels.”

Read the rest of her review here at Our Gaggle of Girls or here at Boston Now.

Lastly, Lou Anders sent me an email to let me know that my “author debut party” was covered in the most recent Locus magazine. I ordered a few copies, but they're not here yet.

Next time… my WebKinz review! Be afraid. Be very afraid! (Okay, don’t be really afraid... They’re just WebKinz…)

J

Monday, April 7, 2008

Superman to lead Avengers, Tony Stark sees Dollar Signs.


So… I’m sure that all of you have been pouring over the most recent Patent,Trademark, & Copyright Journal (vol. 75 No. 1862) and immediately noticed the article (beginning on page 591) by Anandashankar Mazumdar entitled “Superman Co-Creator’s Heirs Successfully Terminated 1938 Assignment of Rights."

No? Well me neither, but a good friend of mine was kind enough to send me a copy of the relevant pages. Here’s a link to the article on the court decision at Scribd.com: http://www.scribd.com/doc/2386369/Superman-Jerome-Siegel-Copyright-Decision

As I understand it, there is another level or two of appeal possible before anything really happens and assuming the end result puts things in the hands of the Siegel and Schuster heirs, I’m quite sure that DC/Time-Warner will wind up paying a ludicrously large sum of money to keep the man of steel in the DC Universe, but it got me thinking… what if they didn’t?

What if Marvel found a way to top their offer? What if Superman joined the Avengers?

Imagine the first issue of the Avengers in which Superman is tossed through the boundaries separating the Marvel and DC universes and lands in New York. How do you work that conversation so as not to tread on DC copyrights?

___________________________________

Superman: I’ve got to contact those friends of mine back at that satellite where we watch over everything. Surely my friend… oh, what’s his name, the bat-themed detective... will be looking for me. Maybe that chap with the brown hair with white side-burns, the one the with the green… ring could use his… ring and the green powers it gets from the… little powerful blue midgets to create a portal of some sort… Or perhaps my lady sorceress friend in the top hat and fishnet stockings could use magic. She could say “Bring Superman back home” backwards or something.

Iron Man flies up.

Iron Man: Oh crap! It’s another Skrull and it’s a copyright violation to boot. Now we’re in real trouble.

After a brief discussion with top SHIELD legal experts, Iron Man realizes that Marvel owns Superman.

Iron Man (thought balloon): I OWN SUPERMAN!!! BWAHAHAHA!!!

Iron Man: Hi, Superman. Sign here. I need you to register your powers and then I’ll put you to work leading the Avengers. And I'm sorry about your wife, but I’d like you to hook up with Ms. Marvel as quickly as possible. I want to franchise your children.

Iron Man (thought balloon): SO WHAT IF I GOT STEVE KILLED! I’VE GOT FRICK’N SUPERMAN!!! BWAHAHAHAHA!!!

Superman: I’ve got to find other members of... that team to which I belong. The one based in America that fights for justice… or the society with similar goals.

Iron Man: Yeah, that’s getting a little too close for copyright reasons, Clark. I’ll need you to stop referring to your old reality. Would it be okay if I had Professor X edit your memory? Maybe you could have Sentry’s wife. Now that you’re here, I don’t need him anymore…

Superman: What?!? I’ve got to find the really quick guy, the one in red with the lightning bolts on his costume? Maybe he could use the treadmill that he has to come pick me up. I wonder if that wonderfully powerful woman I know could ask the gods…

Iron Man: Wonderfully powerful woman? Do you realize how close to infringement that is?

Superman: What are you talking about?

Iron Man (thought balloon): I wonder if I could team him up with Bucky… I mean the new Captain America and call it America’s Finest… or maybe World’s Most Excellent… Universe’s Finest? Too close? Think of the marketing. BWHAHAHAHA!!! I wonder if this means we own kryptonite?

Superman: It’s a longshot…

Iron Man (thought balloon): Wait! No… no, it’s okay. He can say Longshot. We own Longshot.

Superman (continues): I’ll have to travel to… Atlantis… I call still say Atlantis… Maybe there’s hope. The new underwater hero person who rules Atlantis knows some… magic.

Minutes Later. Superman is underwater staring at Namor.

Superman: You’re not blond. Where the heck is bat-themed detective guy that I trust so much, because he can do anything and still just be a human?

Meanwhile, Iron Man still hovers above New York.

Iron Man (thought balloon): I wonder if this means I own Lois Lane…?

___________________________________

Wouldn't that be just crazy?

--Jeremy



Thursday, April 3, 2008

MidSouthCon

I'm back from MidSouthCon and it was very nice. I particularly enjoyed spending time with Haley Elizabeth Garwood, Joy Ward, and Ruth Souther. They were nice enough to let me share table space with them as I'd heard about the con too late to purchase a table of my own. Haley writes books about real women warriors in history: her books include Zenobia, Ashes of Britannia, and The Forgotten Queen. Joy has written a book called Haint that is about extraterrestrial dogs trying to save us from ourselves after the apocalypse. She's a professional blogger on the internet's second most popular dog blog, so she defintely gets the breeds right when it come to the funny ways dogs act. Ruth wrote Death of Innocence which she describes as mythological fantasy. She also has an urban fantasy underway, that I'm not certain if I can blog about that or not... so I won't, but it sounded interesting to me.

MidSouthCon also gave me the opportunity to do some more hanging out with Dan and Jackie Gamber of MeadowHawk Press. This was a particularly cool weekend for Jackie, because she was awarded her first Alex Award. Since I was away from my WTF support team, Dan and Jackie went out of their way to check on me throughout the weekend and let me tag along with them a good bit when they weren't on panels or running the MeadowHawk booth.

I met Candace Havens at an autograph session (we were sitting next to each other) and she was nice enough to chat and buy a book! :) Candace has written tons of tv-related behind the scenes info and was infamous at the convention for having a preview copy of the first episode of Battlestar Galactica on DVD in her purse. She's got some fiction books under her belt too, from Charmed and Dangerous to Like a Charm.

One of the best things I noticed about MidSouthCon was how well organized they were. The con suite ran like a well-oiled machine and around meal times, it contained actual meal-type items like hot dogs or on one night, pizza. They knew how to treat their guests and the dealers too. Several times a day, runners came through the dealer's room checking on everyone working the tables to make certain that they had something to drink and around lunch time on Friday and Saturday, they even brought food.

As at all cons, there were a few last minute schedule changes and a double booking, but it was all handled extremely well and chaos was kept to a minimum. I missed the closing ceremonies, but the opening ceremonies were handled by the SCA and involved all the guests of honor getting gift baskets and being introduced briefly to the crowd.

Selina Rosen, in her role as official toast master, was hilarious.

The dealer's room was cozy, but there was a wide variety of merchandise represented, including a book table run by Glen Cook (author of the Black Company series) and his wife. Allan Gibreath author of the Galen vampire series was at the Kerlak Press booth. I still haven't read his book yet, but I can tell you that he's a very funny guy and fun to hang out with.

I was only on one panel (again, not the con's fault, I didn't express an interest in attending until twelve days before the con). It was on Romance in the Underworld, which I hope we correctly turned into a discussion about the importance of love (emotional, physical, or both) as a driving factor even if your book isn't exactly a romance novel. It's a basic human need and by giving that same need to one degree or another to supernatural creatures, we writers enable our readers to better identify with them. The one panel appearance sold three copies of my book.

All in all: fun con. They are looking for a new hotel next year since they can't really grow much in the current hotel. If you're in the Memphis area for the next MidSouthCon, I suggest that you show up. It was very well done indeed.

Jeremy

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Belated Thanks

I’ve been a little under the weather (and still am) so this post has been delayed. I owe a big belated thank you to several folks both from OmegaCon and the Little Professor.

First, OmegaCon. OmegaCon was a very good con for me. Books-A-Million sold all forty copies of Staked by 2pm Saturday and then Edge Books borrowed some of my author’s copies on a sell and replace basis. They ordered replacement copies of those that sold and are shipping them out to me. All in all, more than sixty copies were sold at the con. This was thanks in no small part to my writers' group who helped run my table so that I could go to my panels, work the halls in the dealer’s room, etc… but it is also thanks to Jack, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s personal assistant, who put a copy of Staked at the mighty Mrs. Kenyon’s register and wore one of my Welcome to the Void t-shirts to help spread the word. As if that was not enough, Sherrilyn wore one of my VOID t-shirts to her autograph session. I was so floored that I still can’t remember what I was supposed to be doing when I walked past the autograph table and saw what she was wearing.



How cool is that?!?

My second big thank you goes out to Sara at the Homewood Little Professor for having me out there for a signing. They printed up posters and mailed out postcards to some of their customers and even let me leave some flyers and bookmarks that they’ll be stuffing into some of the bags at the store. Sara rocks! Go by and check out the store, not to mention Sara’s jewelry which can also be purchased at the Little Professor.


Another big thank you goes out to Dan & Jackie Gamber of Meadowhawk Press . They are absolutely nice folks. Dan even went so far as to put in a good word for me with MidSouthCon when I’d waited far too late to submit a request to attend as a guest. I'm planning to be at MidSouthCon this weekend- just look for my signature VOID T-shirt. (Speaking of which, we'll be selling those soon... everyone seems to want one.)

M.B. Weston deserves a thank you, too. She’s the author of A Prophecy Forgotten. She was one of my table neighbors, and she went above and beyond the call in answering all of my very naïve questions about table sales, taxes, etc. She makes a good co-panelist too! She and the Wandering Men were on the Writers' Group Panel with me late on Saturday night. Since the panel was so late, and the panelists and friends of panelists outnumbered the serious attendees, my writers' group turned it into a party and served great appetizers prepared by real chefs, which we left for the panel after us and then moved out into the central hallway for the late night folks. What can I say? I have a great writers' group.

Lastly, a huge thank you goes out to all the nice folks who have taken the time to send me emails letting me know how much they enjoyed the book! I think I replied to everyone, but my apologies if I missed someone.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Blog!

Wow! When it rains, it pours. I’m Whatever’d and First Book’d today.

John Scalzi posted my Big Idea piece on his Whatever blog today. You can read it: here.

As if that wasn’t cool enough, Scott William Carter was nice enough to post an interview with me to The First Book blog. You can read it: here.

Thanks, John!

Thanks, Scott!

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Weekly J: Scotty Roberts


The Weekly J is a column I'm starting in an effort to keep my blog up-to-date. In it, I'll comment or something I'm watching, reading, listening to, or a cool person I met. Expect more than one of these per week for a while as OmegaCon has left me with lots of great blog fodder.

For my first Weekly J, I'd like to highlight a book for younger readers: The Rollicking Adventures of Tam O'Hare by author and illustrator Scotty Roberts. We met Scotty in the autograph room at OmegaCon.

I've only read a portion of it, but Tam O'Hare looks like it will be the next book in my kids' nightly bedtime rotation after we finish Spiderwick. For more, see Scotty's website for Tam O'Hare wallpaper and a link to his discussion board. He really is "a rescuer of damsels in distress and all around decent chap". He also makes a good table neighbor at a convention. :)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Live and Undead at OmegaCon


I've met several cool people so far at OmegaCon, ranging from the very famous and equally tall Peter Mayhew (that's Chewbacca to you) to David Talon, author of The Last Guardian of Mosh Chaltun. We also picked up a copy or three of The Rollicking Adventures of Tam O'Hare by Scotty Roberts. As to be expected of a first time Con, there's been a small amount of chaos that seems to be smoothing out nicely. If you haven't hit OmegaCon yet, it's well worth the price of admission.

Best of all, the folks over at the Books-A-Million booth have sold at least twelve copies of my book. A special thanks goes out to the members of my Writers' Group, the WTF, for manning my table and sometimes the tables near mine. They'll also be providing a nice surprise for attendees of the 9 PM Writers' Group panel.

Back into the fray,

J

Friday, March 14, 2008

My Omega*Con Schedule

Above photo is "A Poorly Drawn Map" of the con which is, nevertheless, the best available.

FRIDAY
1:30 PM - Get to the Con early, 'cause I'll be signing books in the Author's nook at along with Ann Aguirre and William Jones.

SATURDAY
10:30 AM - Yawn, stretch, and come to the blogging panel, where you'll find me along with Lou Anders, Joy Ward, Allen Gilbreath, and William Jones.

7:30 PM - I'll be on the vampire panel with Sherrilyn Kenyon, Allen Gilbreath, Christina Barber, and David Kopaska-Merkel. This should be a fun one!

9:00 PM - For those of us who aren't out partying, there's a Writers' Group panel at 9 PM. I have a fantastic writers' group, but I've known all the members for years. They helped with almost every aspect of editing and revising Staked.

SUNDAY
1:30 PM - Full-time job, Part-time writer: the Write More, Sleep Less panel. I'll be there along with Marilyn Kosmatka, Shane Moore, Ted Kosmatka, and M. Keaton.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My Publication Party: Write a Novel - Get an iPod

The book is officially out there in all the places one might expect to find a new book. Some stores have it in the Fiction/Literature section, so if you don’t see it in Fantasy/Science Fiction, check for it in an alternate spot. I have no idea what that means, exactly, but there ya go.

As you may guess, it’s been a very exciting week for me. My group at work threw me a party on Monday complete with red and black balloons and a huge cake with the cover of the book on it.

Tuesday morning, early, I was treated to a rendition of "Happy Vampire Day to You" performed loudly by a four year old and a six year old. It completely set the celebratory mood.

Tuesday night, I had my Publication Party at the Historic Rucker Place. Lou Anders was nice enough to do the intros and mention the party on his blog here. William H. Drinkard, author of Elom, was in attendance as well. I was completely blind-sided by presents: a cool hardcover edition of Dracula from Dan & Wendy, an iPod from my crazy family, and coolest of all, Chris McGrath sent me a print of the cover art for STAKED. Several people seem to think the guy in the background, behind the S in Staked, looks like me. How cool is that?

The Hunter Lawley Trio provided live music for the event. Hunter sang my favorite of his original songs, Big Daddy, and was even nice enough to pain-stakingly figure out the music to Rudolph, the Red-nosed reindeer at the request of my youngest son. (Tell a four year old that he can request a song and see what you get...)

I’ll be attending William H. Drinkard’s big Elom launch at the Brookwood Books-A-Million on Thursday.

Then, on Friday, OmegaCon will kick into high gear. Shaun Knopf and all the hard-working OmegaCon volunteers have really done a great job setting this thing up. Here’s hoping it goes off without a hitch! Birmingham really needs a cool science-fiction fantasy convention and has never had anything close to OmegaCon before.

There should be several opportunities for me to serve on panels, sign books, etc and we may also have a room party. More on that when I get the final and official schedules. :)

I hope to see you all there!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Recharging

Sometimes we all need to recharge our creative batteries.

I was thinking about the topic after working on lit track panels for OmegaCon. (It’s only a few days away, BTW – so if you can get there - be there) Everyone had worked VERY hard. Sacrifices of personal time and sanity points were made all around. I felt completely drained, but then I went with some out of town family and my normal Friday Night Crew to the They Might Be Giants concert over at Work/Play here in Birmingham. Even the opening band was great (Oppenheimer, if you were wondering). TMBG did three encores including a version of “Istanbul” that began with a fantastic acoustic guitar solo.

We came home listening to HERE COME THE 1, 2, 3’s with the strains of “Istanbul” and “The Mesopotamians” still ringing in our heads.

Tonight, as I rather sleeplessly wait for the official release of Staked to roll around at midnight (Tuesday March 11th, 2008), I’m listening to Oppenheimer’s debut CD in rotation with a little Robyn Hitchcock via streaming audio (at a friend’s suggestion).

I’ve also been enjoying a good book (Kay Kenyon’s BRIGHT OF THE SKY).

What recharges you? Hugging your little ones (an instant partial recharge most of the time, for me)? Watching a good movie? Hanging out with friends?

Let me know.

Jeremy

Sunday, March 2, 2008

IT'S SHIPPING!!!

I got an email from a reader (and co-worker) who ordered the book direct from Simon & Schuster. Her copy of Staked was waiting for her on the front porch when she got home from work yesterday. It also looks like the book is shipping from various on-line booksellers as of yesterday. Yay! So order one, read it, and let me know what you think!

:)

I'm really looking forward to my Publication Party at the Historic Rucker Place in Birmingham, AL on March 11th from 5 pm to 7 pm. We're not selling any books there, but if you already have a copy, I'll be happy to sign it for you. The Hunter Lawley Trio have agreed to provide the live music, each room of the house will have a different theme, and the Rucker Place's chef will be cooking up some great appetizers. Hunter has a very bluesy country rock vibe that I really enjoy. Check out his website http://www.hunterlawley.com/ for a sample (Big Daddy's on his Way is my personal favorite although Homemade Porno is hysterical), to buy a copy of his CD, and for show dates.

For those willing to make the trip, OmegaCon will hit the Birmingham downtown Sheraton on March 14-16th and there is an incredible lineup of literary guests... ranging from authors like Ben Bova, David Weber, Eric Flint, David Drake, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Steven Brust, Kay Kenyon, Mike Resnick, Lou Anders, and Alan Dean Foster to newbies like me, Anne Aguirre, and William H. Drinkard. Check out the con site for a more complete list as I'm typing from memory here.

If you get Bright House cable, you can look for my brief appearance alongside William Drinkard on the Dean and Company cable show, which airs on Monday nights. The Deans were really nice to us and to the whole crowd from OmegaCon. Special thanks go to Renda from the OmegaCon staff for setting it all up.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Upcoming Events

March 1, 2008 - Along with several other OmegaCon guests, I'll be interviewed for Bright House Cable TV's "Dean and Company" which airs Monday nights at 7:30PM on Channel 4

March 11, 2008 - The official release date for STAKED. We're having a publication party at a great venue- the Historic Rucker Place- with live music from the fabulous Hunter Lawley Trio, lots of great appetizers, and a huge guest list. Each room of the spectacular historic house will have a different theme- it's going to be really cool. Also, I'm supposed to give a two minute speech around 6 PM. (Send me an email if you'll be in town and would like to be invited.)

March 14-16 - OmegaCon hits Birmingham's downtown Sheraton with a really amazing literary track. I'm scheduled to appear on panels with Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lou Anders, Bill Drinkard, and lots of other great folks. Books-A-Million has promised to stock the books of all the guest authors and will have ten tables in the dealers' room. I'm sure there will also be time for signing books... more about that as soon as I get the details.

March 22 – Big book signing at Little Professor in Homewood! The folks at Little Professor are very, very nice and are hosting a book signing for me on Saturday March 22.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Another Good Review!

Check out my review from the Library Journal:

"Lewis, J.F. Staked. Pocket Bks: S. & S. Mar. 2008. c.352p. ISBN 978-1-4165-4780-8. pap. $14. FANTASY

The hero of Lewis's humorous debut is Eric, a vampire having a bad week, with a poor memory and raging blackouts. In the midst of a rough tantrum, he realizes he has torn off the head of a fellow undead, but he can't remember who the victim is or why he killed him. As the story continues, however, Eric proves to be a much nicer guy than the opening would suggest. With a host of interesting characters—the elderly human Marilyn, the greatest love of Eric's life; Tabitha, the stripper-turned-vampire who loves Eric; evangelical werewolf William, who erroneously believes Eric killed his son; and Roger, co-owner with Eric of the Demon Heart Strip Club—this is a fast-paced story with a heady mixture of humor, violence, and sex. Recommended for large fantasy collections."

http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6529602.html

That seems like a pretty good review.

J

Friday, February 15, 2008

Wow! This All Takes A Long Time Part III

So... my last timeline brought us up to November 25th, so of course now I need to back up a step and include something I left out:

November 17th, 2007 - I found out that Erica Feldon was the publicist for STAKED. (She's absolutely great, BTW... and if you notice that I keep saying that about everyone, it's because I've been very fortunate!)

November 19th, 2007 - Author Questionnaire (See previous timeline)

Novmber 25, 2007 - Sent back filled out Author Questionnaire.

November 27th, 2007 - Got permission to post the cover art for STAKED to my blog and my website.

November 28th, 2007 - Got feedback from Jennifer assuring me that yes, I did give them the info that they were looking for when I filled out the Author Questionnaire.

December... I don't have any specific manuscript type details listed for December. I was working, though. I made a list of three hundred bookstores that I could get to with moderate ease so that I could contact them for possible signings in 2008. I also sent off some Christmas gifts, fought with my laptop, and took on the job of Pressbook editor for the SFWA.

January 5, 2008 - STAKED got its first review, a favorable one from Don D'ammassa about which I, my friends, my family, my agent, my editor, and my publicist were all suitable thrilled.

January 22, 2008 - I found out that the print run for STAKED was 15,000 copies, which is about three thousand copies more than I had theorized and "a respectable trade paperback genre number."

January 31, 2008 - Some slight weirdness happened with my Amazon.com listing. The description of the book was added, but it was followed by the bulk of the text from the first chapter. (As an asided, the great folks over a Pocket are working on getting it fixed. There's nothing hideously wrong, it just makes it take a really long time to scroll all the way down past the description.)

Somewhere in there, I also found out that my in-laws were going to throw me an Author Debut party on the day my book comes out.

A little after that, some of the bookmarks we'd ordered came in along with my new business cards and some fridge magnets. :)

February 12, 2008 - A day thaat shall live in infamy. Four copies of the final product were waiting for me on the front porch.

And that pretty much brings us up to date.

Best,

J

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

IT'S A BOOK!!!

In a very Pavlovian type reaction, I am now conditioned to get very excited when I see tan/orange DHL envelopes sitting on my porch. So far, they have brought me: copyedited manuscipts for my perusal, ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies), cover flats, and on February 12th, 2008, they brought me my novel. Four copies of the final product.

If you're not a writer, I'm not sure that I can fully explain what it feels like to hold your novel for the first time. I'm embarassed to say that it was only a half step removed from the way it felt to hold my boys when they were born. The experience was just that visceral, that primal. All along the way, I plagued myself with little doubts and fears: Sure, Jeremy, you have an agent, but she'll come to her senses and get rid of you anytime now... Okay, so an editor wants to buy the novel, but she'll never get the purchase approved... Alright, it's was approved but they'll never accept the final version...

Perhaps every writer does not feel those same inner doubts, but I did and I do, and I lack the words to explain what it feels like each and every time those doubts get smashed aside and proven wrong. Holding the finished version made me want to unleash a very Dead Poet Society-esque "Viking Yawp." I didn't, because my flu-stricken wife and youngest son were both napping, but it echoed on the inside for a few days, even though it never came out.

You want to know something though... when I sent out the proposed sequel to my agent, the same doubts I had on the first one reappeared. Here's hoping that they, too, are banished with decisiveness.

Best,

J

Thursday, February 7, 2008

OmegaCon

OmegaCon is coming March 14-16, 2008 at Sheraton Birmingham... three days after my book comes out. How's that for timing? Check out the website here.

It has been a long time since Birmingham has had a local science fiction/fantasy convention and I hope it does well. We certainly have cool guests (myself included). The Literary guests cover the whole spectrum from David Drake, Ben Bova, Eric Flint, Alan Dean Foster, David Weber, Steven Brust, Sherrilyn Kenyon and tons more. I am currently scheduled to be on a panel about vampires with Sherrilyn Kenyon, on a panel about blogging with Lou Anders, and on a panel about working full time while writing with Bill Drinkard, another local Birmingham author whose book Elom comes out one week before Staked.

The last meeting before the con is happening February 16th and in the Atrium of the site hotel, and anyone who is interested in volunteering at the con should be there (if they are over 18). I know I will.

J

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Nintendo Ate My Brain

It's true. My sons got LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga on the Wii for Christmas (not to mention versions for their DS Lites) and I have found myself completely sucked into the game.... so much so, that I absolutely can't wait for LEGO Indiana Jones. Being able to build custom characters is just too much fun! I've taken to running through levels trying to reach 100% completion for the game with my darkside lightsaber-toting Jawa.