Archive for July, 2007

30
Jul
07

Jeanne C. Stein: Blood Drive

Anna Strong is a vampire caught between two worlds. She clings to what makes her human, her family, her job, her lover. But the pull of the undead is a siren song becoming impossible to resist. She discovers she has a niece, Trish, a child caught up in the worst kind of human nightmare. To save Trish, Anna may have to surrender to the animal side of her nature. Concepts of good and evil are no longer clearly defined as Anna must determine who is the real monster—a human who preys on children or the vampire who tries to save them.

What makes Blood Drive stand out is Jeanne‘s handling of Anna’s journey. It’s a more nuanced and complex exploration of what immortality means to someone newly immortal, paralleled by Anna travelling deeper into the world that she is now part of.
My main gripe about the series is that the male characters in the series are rather flat, though this has improved since the first book, The Becoming, especially with the introduction of Daniel Frey. But this detracts rather less from the book than it should, perhaps because this book is first and foremost about Anna Strong.

Blood Drive is one of the best urban fantasy novels I’ve read in awhile, and I can’t wait for the next book, The Watcher, to be released.

Blood Drive rates 4 out of 5.

Full Disclosure: Jeanne sent me this book, and I have interviewed her recently. There is also another extract of Blood Drive available here.

28
Jul
07

MP3 Players

Here’s hoping somebody can help me out.

I’m looking for an MP3 player.

  • 2-8GB–preferably on the higher end of this range
  • Has a hard-drive, not a flash drive.
  • I don’t care about photo/video capability.
  • Minimum 10 hours playback time.
  • Easy to use software.
  • Flat would be a huge plus
  • Coming in black color would be a huge plus too–because I have to match
  • Being able to use it as a back-up hard-drive for smaller files (eg WIP files) would be nice
  • Small is beautiful

That’s basically it, I think.

I could head straight for an iPod, but I’m not sure I want to pay the premium for having the Apple logo on my MP3 player.

I could get 2 Creative Zen Stones for the price of 1 Shuffle, or a 4GB Neeon 2 for roughly 30% less than an 4GB Nano.

Not to mention, it might kill me because I’d be paying SGD436 for an 8GB black Nano when I could get a 30GB iPod for the same price!

I don’t want the 30GB iPod because it’s BIG (I repeat, small is beautiful), and I really don’t need that much space.

On the other hand, getting an iPod would mean the convenience of being able to buy directly from iTunes without converting formats and what not–I know how to use a computer, but I like things complication-free.

Thoughts?

22
Jul
07

So Many Drollerie Press Releases…which one is the lucky winner getting?

You’re probably wondering, am I the lucky winner? Because I’m Evil, I’m not going to tell you yet–okay, okay, it’s my fault. I blew it and forgot to draw a winner yesterday. But I’m going to make you wait anyway.

Oh, and if you want to buy it, clicking on the cover will get you to the right page. ;)


Both of these are by Cindy Lynn Speer, and aren’t they just lovely? Especially the second one. I’m definitely getting A Necklace of Rubies but haven’t decided on the other one.

Everything else (at least, I think I’ve all the titles) is below the cut.

Continue reading ‘So Many Drollerie Press Releases…which one is the lucky winner getting?’

21
Jul
07

Joely Sue Burkhart: Survive My Fire

Trapped as a dragon for centuries by a curse impossible to break, Chanda is consumed by rage. Her heart broken, her life ruined, her entire tribe dead by her own actions, she never expects the warrior outside her lair to know the secret of her curse. Let alone that she will fall in love with him.Jalan survives the White Dragon’s teeth and claws. He survives her fire. He even survives her love. But he doesn’t come to break her curse or win her heart. Not exactly. His dark god will spare Jalan’s tribe–if the White Dragon is sacrificed.While Jalan must choose between the love of his heart and the safety of his tribe, Chanda realizes she may at last break her curse forever.

If she’s willing to make the greatest sacrifice of all.

It’s dark. It’s got dragons. It’s got bloodshed. It’s got writing so beautiful, tears come to your eyes.

And I’m so jealous that I didn’t write it myself, I’d probably put sugar in her petrol tank if she weren’t so nice. (Hey, it rhymes!)

What makes Survive My Fire shine is that you can see that Joely’s put everything she had, and then some, into it. You can tell that it is written by a woman with passion for her craft and a gift for storytelling.

It should be noted that I felt that the book kicked into high gear from the second scene. This doesn’t mean you should skip the first scene–you shouldn’t because the rest probably wouldn’t make enough sense to you then–just that you should at least continue reading past the first scene.

On top of being a friend of mine, Joely’s also just one of those writers whose voice is like crack for me. So there’s no grade, but since I think her voice is like crack, it’s kinda obvious what she’d get, don’t you think?

If you’re still not convinced–in which case I would never be able to get a job as a bookseller–check out the excerpt below. Her writing speaks for itself.

Continue reading ‘Joely Sue Burkhart: Survive My Fire’

21
Jul
07

Joely Sue Burkhart on Fairytales, or Here Be Dragons

Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City, to take back the child you have stolen. For my will is as strong as yours and my kingdom as great. You have no power over me.–Labyrinth

Ah, but such tales do have power over us. Fairy tales, legends, and mythology, magical stories of goblin kings and fantastical creatures, princesses, quests, faraway castles, evil queens—they cast a spell on us even today.

I’m not speaking about Disney fairy tales, but the “original” stories that were often… Grimm. Those violent, darkly erotic, bloody tales of things that go bump in the night. They encompass our fear of the unknown, darkness closing in, risk to our immortal souls, the possible victory of darkness over light forever. Pulse racing, heart hammering, spine chilling tales, I still can’t get enough.

Here be dragons.

These tales both haunt and fascinate me. What if Jareth the Goblin King had succeeded in wooing Sarah? Just how close did Lily come to killing the unicorn in Legend? What if Sam and Frodo hadn’t made it up the side of the mountain to cast the One Ring into the fire?

I love many of the modern Disney movies, but I wonder if they’ve done a disservice to the fairy tale. The gruesome or painful ends of so many of my favorite tales have been forgotten. The “bump in the night” thrill has been lost. The pain, grief, and sacrifice—a huge part of the human condition—has been prettied up into “they lived happily ever after.”

But if you read the original fairy tales, you find the truth. Not every princess found her prince. In fact, sometimes a great price was paid for that love, and the love was still lost. This theme haunts me, permeating everything I write, and I can trace it back to one main influencing work. The original “Little Mermaid” by Hans Christian Andersen.

For love, she gave up her voice. For love, she walked on two feet, even while pain like knives stabbed her viciously with each step. And in the end, her prince chose another woman, and she was doomed to 300 years of service to mankind, trying to earn her immortal soul. Oh, what a lovely agonizing tail… er… tale.

In comments, tell me an unhappy or brutal ending to a fairy tale story that haunts or delights you to be entered to win a free download of my romantic fantasy novella, Survive My Fire; a White Dragon mug; and your choice of a fairy tale DVD (may I suggest Labyrinth, Legend, Pan’s Labyrinth, MirrorMask, just to name a few; to be ordered after the winner is selected in case of a non-USA winner).

You can get Survive My Fire here and here. An exclusive excerpt will be posted later, together with my thoughts on the book, or you can check out the one on her website.

20
Jul
07

6 Questions with Deena Fisher

Deena Fisher is the Founder and Publisher of Drollerie Press.

Drollerie Press opens today!

Today’s Releases:

Joely Sue Burkhart‘s Survive My Fire (Woohoo Joely! The horrifying Sister of the Severed Hand passes through tomorrow!)

Imogen Howson‘s Falling (she was here yesterday peeps, and her contest is still ongoing!)

Ed Morris’s Atlantis 1999

Tala Bar’s Ja’el

Cindy Lynn Speer‘s Every Word I Speak and Necklace of Rubies

G. L. Simmons‘s Orb of Enori

Tim Mulcahy’s Monday Night at the Vampire Lounge

Connie Neil’s Shepher to the Wolves

Elena Murphy’s Provenance

1. On a scale of one to ten, rank your current level of insanity–where ten is belongs-in-lunatic-asylum insane–and tell us why.

Ten, without doubt, but it’s a fun ten. My kids are amazing people. I have three children that keep things lively, the best husband in the entire world, one cat (and my husband has one cat. They don’t hang out with one another), one dog and a gerbil. Okay, I’m lying about the gerbil, but our oldest son brought his cat over for long-term babysitting, so the numbers are even. Our five year old daughter, Kara, wants a rabbit. We’re thinking about it. Thankfully she only asks once a day now that she’s been given a stuffed one. The insanity… well, I’ve always been a little odd to most people. I like books too much, not just reading them, but holding them, the smell of ink and paper, admiring the cover art. I get a very satisfying aesthetic from a good cover. I’ve bought books just because of the cover art, some of which I slightly regret, but if the art is good they’re still on the keeper shelf. But I’m digressing.

Right now I’m juggling a lot. I have a small business that pays (some of) the bills and has just started to grow beyond where I thought it would be, and now I’ve added Drollerie Press to the mix. Then, recently a gallery owner saw some of my digital art and asked me to do a show, so I’m trying to get enough pieces done that I wouldn’t be embarrassed to display to the public. This is the first time my art will be seen in a non-commercial setting so I’m a bit nervous about it. On top of that I have fibromyalgia and arthritis, and our youngest child is both albino and autistic of as yet unknown degree. (Our middle child is a precocious five year old artiste and our eldest is a rock star) I believe the challenges our youngest faces have made my husband and me better parents and more aware of the difficulties that differently-abled children have to face, and he’s an absolute joy but he’s also a lot of work.

I digress (again) for a PSA: There are two kinds of albinism. Oculocutaneous (the kind we think of when someone says albino or albinism) and ocular albinism. People with ocular albinism may have poor eyesight without knowing why. People with either kind of albinism don’t usually have red eyes. Our son’s eyes are rare in that they’re a sort of soft peachy-red color but most people with albinism have pale blue, green, or hazel eyes. Albinism is not a disability of mental faculty. People with oculocutaneous albinism have white hair, pale skin and poor eyesight–a condition called “low vision” that means that they’re neither far-sighted nor near-sighted but the effect is probably similar to both at once. Aidan, our son, can see poorly to about a 6 foot radius. To top it off, he inherited his parents’ near-sightedness and astigmatism and wears glasses to correct those problems. Since he’s both four and autistic, he only wears the glasses sometimes. Other times they’re “in the shop”–recovering from one of his fits of temper. Aidan also has nystagmus, a condition that is part of oculocutaneous albinism. Nystagmus is a condition that makes a persons eyes “jitter.” Sometimes they tilt their heads a particular direction to lessen the effect. Aidan often looks like a little bird with his head cocked when he’s trying to figure something out. If any of your readers would like to know more, they can e-mail me or visit http://www.albinism.org/.

The rest of the interview is behind the cut.

Continue reading ’6 Questions with Deena Fisher’

19
Jul
07

Extracting Falling by Imogen Howson

Falling by Imogen HowsonLinnet has a secret that is tearing her apart. While her world falls apart around her, Linnet learns that it takes courage, and the grace of a new kind of friend, to learn that not all secrets are meant to be kept.

This graceful and unexpected retelling of Rapunzel in a futuristic setting is a wonderful story that will delight you.

This book will be available from Drollerie Press tomorrow. Until Sunday, it’ll be at half-price, so be sure to get your copy. I can’t wait to get mine!

But if you comment today, I will pick a winner tomorrow, and you’ll get choccie and a free download of this book.

In the meantime, check out the excerpt below.

Continue reading ‘Extracting Falling by Imogen Howson’

19
Jul
07

Imogen Howson does Fairytales, or Playing With The Rules

Everyone knows the rules of fairytales. Heroines are beautiful. Princes are noble. Witches are evil. Stepmothers are cruel. Moving from a lower social class (scullery maid) to a higher (princess) is a good thing. The forest is dangerous and contains things that will eat you—usually in a nasty tricky way like pretending to be your grandmother first, or by building a house made of gingerbread.If someone mentions a ‘fairytale ending’ we know they mean ‘happy ever after’. You might want to check, though—they might mean the fairytale ending of the first print version of Little Red Riding Hood, by Charles Perroult, where Red Riding Hood doesn’t escape the wolf.

Which is the interesting thing. There’s a lot of darkness in fairytales—even in the ones that do have the ‘happy ever after’ endings.

It’s the cruel stepmother who insists Hansel and Gretel must be abandoned in the forest, but it’s their father, who loves them and grieves for them, who complies with her demand.

In Rumpelstiltskin, the scariest villain is, of course, Rumpelstiltskin, who tries to take the heroine’s baby. But coming in close second and third are surely the heroine’s stupid father who boasts that she can spin straw into gold, and the greedy king who threatens her with death if she can’t manage it—and whom she ends up marrying (now there’s an abusive relationship for you).

In Rapunzel, the witch doesn’t even need to steal the baby from her parents. Rapunzel’s father gives her away instead, in exchange for some salad for his pregnant wife.

This is in contrast to the wholly good characters—who are, sadly, often a bit disappointing. Heroines who are beautiful but kind of dull, and who sit patiently waiting to be rescued. And heroes who—well, I can’t be the only reader who prefers the Beast to the handsome prince he turns into at the end of Beauty and the Beast.

Maybe this is why, in recent fiction, people have started to write about the monsters, rather than the heroes—or have made the monsters into the heroes. In the England I live in, the old fairytale forests are now no more than a fairytale themselves—bears and wolves were hunted to extin ction some three hundred years ago. And although goodness knows there are plenty of girls who’d like to be princesses, nobody thinks that moving into Buckingham Palace guarantees a happy ever after.

Now—probably because it no longer exists—there’s something rather alluring about the deep dark forest where the monsters live. I don’t want to keep safely to the path and get back to my village, or be swept up onto the prince’s horse and taken off to his castle. I want to explore the wilderness, the darkness. I want to see the glowing eyes and find the tracks of something’s paws on the marshy ground.

I want to read books about the ‘other’—the werewolves, the beasts, the witches—those who are outside the safety of the village or castle. I want to find heroes in unlikely shapes. And the villains—why not take those hints of malice or indifference in some of the ‘good’ characters, and turn them into the real antagonists?

I’ve played with some of these ideas in Falling, my Drollerie Press story, which is a re-imagining of Rapunzel set in a futuristic world.

Imogen Howson

Website

Blog

And, for a chance to win a copy of Falling, plus 300g of best-quality chocolate (your choice of flavour!), tell me in the comments—what’s your favourite version of a fairytale? The original Little Red Riding Hood? The Disney version of The Little Mermaid? Jennifer Crusie’s Bet Me? The anarchic mixture of stock fairytale characters in the Shrek films? Robin McKinley’s rich-textured rewriting of Sleeping Beauty in Spindle’s End? Or which fairytale would you like to see rewritten—and why?

Excerpt coming up!

10
Jul
07

Extracting Blood Drive by Jeanne C. Stein

Anna Strong is a vampire caught between two worlds. She clings to what makes her human, her family, her job, her lover. But the pull of the undead is a siren song becoming impossible to resist. She discovers she has a niece, Trish, a child caught up in the worst kind of human nightmare. To save Trish, Anna may have to surrender to the animal side of her nature. Concepts of good and evil are no longer clearly defined as Anna must determine who is the real monster—a human who preys on children or the vampire who tries to save them.

Check out the Blood Drive excerpt below! And isn’t that a lovely cover?

Continue reading ‘Extracting Blood Drive by Jeanne C. Stein’

10
Jul
07

6 Questions with Jeanne C. Stein

1. On a scale of one to ten, rank your current level of insanity–where ten is belongs-in-lunatic-asylum insane–and tell us why.

Oh, maybe a 2 or 2.5. I’ll tell you why. I’m finally doing what I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve never felt better or saner. Writing about vampires is the most liberating job I’ve ever had and I’m loving it. When I worked day jobs, that’s when I would have ranked my insanity up around 10!

2. Some of this week’s blog readers will probably be thinking, “Not another vampire series.” What separates Anna Strong from the pack? And do you think that there’s always space for another vampire series?

I’ll answer the last question first: yes, I think there’s always space for a GOOD vampire series. I hope mine qualifies.

As for what separates Anna, she’s tough, she’s strong, she’s independent, she’s smart. You won’t find her going alone into a dark basement when she knows there’s an ax-murderer lurking around. She’s not about false bravado and she doesn’t do stupid. If she needs help, she asks for it. At the same time, she’s fearless when it comes to protecting those she loves. These are all characteristics she possessed as a mortal. The fact that she is now a vampire only magnifies the scope. I like to think she represents the best in womankind and that we all see a little of ourselves reflected in her persona. I see Anna as a grown up Buffy, only instead of slaying vampires, she’s become one and the demons she battles can be mortal or immortal. The stories all come down to relationships, what we perceive as good and evil, and how we make moral decisions.

3. The Becoming was originally published by ImaJinn books. How did it move from a small press to a New York publishing house?

I used The Becoming as a tool to query agents. When I queried Scott Miller of Trident Media, he read it, called me and said he could sell it to New York. I’d always been told New York would not touch anything already published by a small press. He busted that myth wide open. I had an offer in about two weeks. Ace Books (part of Berkley) bought The Becoming, Blood Drive (also published originally by ImaJinn) and a third, The Watcher. I am now under contract for books 4 and 5, scheduled for release in 2008.

4. Why do you think bounty hunters are such popular characters?

The laws regarding bounty hunting haven’t changed since the Wild West days. Bounty hunters are free them from the constraints of traditional police procedure. They don’t have to be concerned with due process because the guilt or innocent of their quarry has no bearing on what they’re hired to do—find a bail jumper and bring him or her in. It’s simple. Black and white. And it allows greater freedom in storytelling than if Anna were a cop or lawyer and I’d have to research exactly what she could or could not do in a particular scenario. That’s the best part of all.

5. Was The Becoming rewritten for the re-released version?

Very little of The Becoming was rewritten. Now, the second book, Blood Drive, was. It’s a much longer, much richer book. My editor at Ace, Jessica Wade, made some excellent suggestions to expand the story and it went from about 60-some thousand words to over eighty thousand.

6. How did you like your first Romantic Times convention? Would you do it again?

Romantic Times is a kick. It’s also exhausting and expensive. Meeting readers makes it worthwhile, though, and getting on panels allows access you really can’t get anywhere else. So, yes, I will do it again, but I hope to participate in writing panels as well as genre panels. I’m always impressed with how many good pre-published writers there are out there. Writing is a tough business. I’d like to share a little of what I’ve learned along the way and maybe make someone else’s journey a little easier. I’ve also had wonderful mentors and writing/critique partners. Another aspect I can’t emphasize enough. A good critique group can take the level of your work from good to great.

Jeanne C. Stein blogs at Biting Edge.

Her current release is Blood Drive, to be followed by The Witch and the Wicked in the Many Bloody Returns anthology (September) and The Watcher (December).

Now, Contest! Jeanne is super-nice, and she’s giving away 2 signed copies of Blood Drive to two lucky winners!

We have two contests:

1. Comment!

2. Blog about this interview, the contest and Jeanne C. Stein (with links to said interview and Jeanne’s website). Then email me the link at miladyinsanity (at) gmail (dot) com with BD Contest in the subject line or leave it in comments. Bonus entry into draw if you wait and include the link to the excerpt that will be posted shortly. 

One copy for each contest, and you can enter both. Deadline is July 13th and 17th respectively (Friday and next Tuesday), and you have to come back to find out whether you won.

09
Jul
07

NO NO NO NO NO!

Do not sign the Waterstones petition to get JK Rowling to write more Harry Potter books.

(If you do, I suggest you don’t come here and tell me because I will never ever speak to you again)

Any more HP books after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows just won’t be the same.

And pity the woman. She’s been with him for SEVEN books already.

Jeez….

07
Jul
07

The Not Killing of Harry Potter

Won’t happen.

I think Amie Stuart is right when she says:

Who would want to see the rest of the movies if they knew he died?

Sigh. Now they’ll accuse me of thinking evil and nasty thought about JK Rowling and claiming that she’s a sell-out to big business.

(It’s not true, purely because I’d do the same thing in her position…hey, I like money!)

But I know she is absolutely right when she says this:

You are evil

This begs the question: Do you know of my as-yet unrevealed new project? The not-a-book-but-writing-is-involved project?

Hmm…

Also, should I take part in Seventy Days of Sweat? I’d have to decide on a WIP, figure out a goal, and possibly create a plot. Vote.

06
Jul
07

Harry Potter Dies

Go have a stiff drink.

I did not read a early copy of HP7 or anything like that. So you still have hope that he didn’t die.

But I think he did.

And I think he should.

Then, like I told Colleen Gleason who called me a spoilsport (what is it with authors who call me names? Must be because I’m a reviewer or something), it’s a guarantee that there won’t be any Harry Potter spinoffs.

Plus it would make a great ending. Imagine the impact of killing Harry Potter!

03
Jul
07

Alexis Fleming guestblogs!

Hi everyone,

First, thanks to May for having me here.

My name is Alexis Fleming and I’m thrilled to pieces to be one of the debut authors for Total-e-bound e-Books. It’s always a little daunting starting up with a new editor, but Claire Siemaszkiewicz, one of the owners of Total-e-bound and also my editor, has made it easy. She’s a dream to work for, although I must admit I wondered if she’d let me get away with the first couple of lines in the blurb for Sink Or Swim. Not everyone gets my quirky sense of humour.

Mind you, somewhere between now and August next year, I’ll need to learn how to pronounce her last name. I’m hoping to take a trip to England next year so I can meet my fabulous editor. Meanwhile, I need to finish up a couple of outstanding contracts I have with my other publishers so I can write the next saucy water-baby tale to send to Claire.

Alexis Fleming

Do mermaids have orgasms? Who knows, but she’d better find out quick before she exchanges her girly bits for fishy slits.

A mermaid who can’t swim? What could be worse?

When Samie McIntyre finds out she’s about to turn into a mermaid, a legacy of her selkie father and mermaid mother, she realizes she has one major problem. Well, er, maybe two… First, she can’t swim. And second, she has aqua-phobia. What good is a mermaid who’s afraid of the water? As far as she can see, there’s only one thing to do. Talk the sexy Jonah Billings into teaching her to swim.

And if she can convince him to indulge in a bit of horizontal wrestling before she becomes a pickled sardine, so much the better.

Here’s what Coffee Time Romance had to say:

“…Ms. Fleming shows the struggles they deal with and the heat they have between
them very well. I was impressed with how far she went and it had me reaching
for some ice water…Sink or Swim is one sizzling hot story!

~ 4 Cups – Krista – Coffee Time Romance

You could win a copy of this book by commenting here!

Continue reading ‘Alexis Fleming guestblogs!’

03
Jul
07

KS Augustin: On Bliss

Hoara Felin thinks she’s in love. The problem is, the man she’s fallen in love with is forbidden to leave the planet. Plus, he’s not quite a man…Sub-Commander Hoara Felin of the Republic Space Fleet has crash-landed on a planet. Her ship is inoperable, her shipmates are dead. The only thing that can make a bad situation worse is finding she has crashed on the notorious prison-planet of Bliss—a place condemned criminals are sent…and never leave.She finds an unexpected ally in Toh, a handsome and caring man who treats her injuries and hides her from those who would hold an officer of the Space Fleet for ransom. But, as Hoara is about to find out, Toh is keeping a terrifying secret of his own.

KS Augustin has managed to pack quite a bit of conflict and worldbuilding into a little short story.

Part of it is simply her writing style, but a bigger part of it is simply that she’s got a knack for only giving us the necessary details that we can fill in the rest on our own.

I think where the book is weak is the romance plot. A lot of it has to do with the fact that Toh is a basically a blank canvas. It’s kind of hard to imagine someone falling in love with a blank canvas.

But I like her voice. I like her voice a lot, and with me, that’s practically be all and end all.

On Bliss rates 4 out of 5.

03
Jul
07

Extracting On Bliss by KS Augustin

Hoara Felin thinks she’s in love. The problem is, the man she’s fallen in love with is forbidden to leave the planet. Plus, he’s not quite a man…

Sub-Commander Hoara Felin of the Republic Space Fleet has crash-landed on a planet. Her ship is inoperable, her shipmates are dead. The only thing that can make a bad situation worse is finding she has crashed on the notorious prison-planet of Bliss—a place condemned criminals are sent…and never leave.

She finds an unexpected ally in Toh, a handsome and caring man who treats her injuries and hides her from those who would hold an officer of the Space Fleet for ransom. But, as Hoara is about to find out, Toh is keeping a terrifying secret of his own.

You can buy On Bliss now, or check out the excerpt below. You could win this book!

To learn more about the author, go to her website, where there’s another excerpt.

Continue reading ‘Extracting On Bliss by KS Augustin’

03
Jul
07

6 Questions with Claire Siemaszkiewicz

Claire is the Managing Director and Founder of Total-E-Bound.

1. On a scale of one to ten, rank your current level of insanity–where ten is belongs-in-lunatic-asylum insane–and tell us why.

LOL. I think at the moment, it’s about trying to be as sane as I’ve ever been. I’ve got to be to juggle everything involved in setting up a business like this. I’m a pretty level headed bird (very English saying there LOL) anyway, and I don’t tend to let things faze me too much. I’m sure some people would say that I must be insane to set this business up in the first place—but hey! there’s nothing like a good challenge is there? I’m the kind of person that if someone says I can’t do it, I will and I’ll prove them wrong.

2. What do you have to say to people who are thinking “Yet another erotica romance e-pub”?

They are absolutely entitled to their opinion. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it though does it? As far as we are concerned, there are very compelling reasons for us to set this business up. This isn’t about trying to justify our existence, because we don’t need to do that.

We’re probably among the first of many. I think people will start getting used to the idea. In 50 years time people will find it odd when looking back at how many trees were cut down in the name of fiction. Now to completely contradict myself—we will be print publishing in the near future. LOL We would love it and look forward to the day that a low cost, easy to use iPod type eBook reader is available to everyone, but unfortunately that day is not here and in the meantime we don’t want to deny our authors the opportunities that print publishing offers.

At the end of the day I think that ePubs are a fantastic platform for unknown authors to generate a fan-base, building the experience and confidence to move on to bigger things, if that’s the route they decide to take. It’s still a growing industry, so I’m sure there will be plenty more ePubs setting up in the future too. It’s a big old world out there full of authors and readers, and ePublishing is the way to go with the world the way it is.

3. Unlike most of the other romance e-publishers, you are based in the UK. Do you think this makes it more difficult for you to keep ahead of trends and such?

No, not at all. We’re all part of a global village now. I’m a citizen of the world and I reside in the UK! *g* It’s an internet business, primarily isn’t it? So we have the same access to information that you have from that perspective. As for the rest, well we do have a publishing industry over here too. Inside and outside of the USA, we’ve had hugely positive responses to our setting up an ePub, which is very promising and we’re very pleased about.

4. Is there a particular subgenre of romance that you, as a reader, want to be the next trend?

I think that each of the genres listed on our site has its place and there’s a market for each of them. What I’d like to be the next trend as a reader doesn’t necessarily mean it will be. Personally I love reading sci-fi, futuristic, paranormal, ménage (saucy!), a bit of Bondage & BDSM (yes I definitely have a naughty streak!) *g*

I’d actually like to see people pushing the envelope a bit more. In some respects we have to be careful not to cross that invisible line, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t get damn close to it. For a lot of women, it’s the build up to the actual event that gets them totally hot—a lot of it is in the mind, and I’m seeing quite a lot of mind games coming through in stories at the minute, which I think is really hot, and hopefully that will really take off. I love to see authors doing something a bit different. So, that would certainly be something that I’d be keen to see in manuscripts hitting our submission inbox.

5. You are offering to edit and make available ebooks by authors not contracted to Total-E-Bound. That assumes that you think authors will benefit from the arrangement. Wouldn’t most authors be better off attracting traffic to their site by posting their stories on their sites as opposed to having it on the Total-E-Bound site?

Yep, absolutely – they should put free books on their sites, but as you know bigger sites generate more traffic than most authors own websites. There’s no reason why they can’t do both actually. But of course, the question assumes that they already have websites too. We’re offering this service because we genuinely do want to see good authors get on in their careers. Why shouldn’t they take advantage of a free offering to help them? Surely editing their book and posting it as a free read is a good thing for them. We aren’t saying that these books have to be contracted to us. It’s just a way for them to have a clean copy of their work visible to the readers, and it gives our readers some free stories to get stuck into. Readers coming to our site to look for a particular author are likely to be exposed to these authors’ free works. What could be better—a reader finds a great new author and an author finds another fan— I can’t see a catch.

6. Tell more about the Brit themed anthologies you’re doing. Do you see it as a way to brand Total-E-bound?

Absolutely. We are proud of our roots, so it would be an honour to be branded with a British theme. The only downside is that people could assume that we are Brit only, which is not the case. We accept authors from all across the world. We felt that there was a lack of British themed books in the market and it makes sense to work with what we have and where we come from. Also, we really do want to encourage UK authors to work with us. There are some fantastic British authors out there and we want to see them do well. We’ve already got some wonderful English authors like Portia Da Costa and Saskia Walker working with us.

All of our anthologies will be ‘Brit’ labelled, and have an associated theme. But we’re happy to leave what the association is to the authors—it could be a British character, a location in England, Scotland, Ireland or Wales—it’s their call, as long as they stick to the guidelines for the particular anthology (don’t want to stifle their creativity!! *g*) You can see more of what we’re looking for at our submissions guideline page. There are plenty of projects to get stuck into, and we’d love to hear from all the talented authors out there.

Total-E-Bound is a new Erotic Romance publisher based in the UK. They were launched yesterday.

New titles will be available every Monday, 9AM GMT. That’s 5AM EST if you’re in North America.

There will be excerpts (3), and two contests. Yes, we have another one apart from this one. So have fun!

02
Jul
07

The Total-E-Bound Contest

We have a little treasure hunt for you.

Head on over to the Total-E-Bound website, and look for the answers to these questions:

1. What is the second book in the Campus Cravings Series by Carol Lynne called?

2. What date did we launch TEB?

3. Which country is TEB based out of?

Total-E-Bound has been kind enough to donate a book of choice as a prize to one lucky winner!

Some of the answers to these questions you already know if you actually read my interview. ;)

Then email them to me at miladyinsanity (at) gmail (dot) com, with TEB Contest in the subject line by July 5th, midnight EST.

Don’t post them in the comments. That’s for if something goes wrong. If you post the answers in the comments, I shall hunt you down like a dog and disqualify you after I delete your comment.

01
Jul
07

6 Questions with Shiloh Walker

And so, we have the Brat on the blog! Thank goodness she didn’t bring her bratlets along with her, or it would be the end of the world (at least for this wee blog). 

Contest deets at the end of the post. ;)

1. On a scale of one to ten, rank your current level of insanity–where ten is belongs-in-lunatic-asylum insane–and tell us why.

Hmmmmm…. I’d say a seven. Not quite normal but not quite dangerous, unless I get ticked off and then hide your car keys. And I don’t know why-do crazy people ever really know why they are crazy? ;o)

2. Are you really THAT fearsome? Anya Bast doesn’t dare post a pic of you because she says you’ll skin her alive if she does.

When it comes to pics? Oh yes. *G* Anya knows if I let her take a picture, she has to swear it to secrecy. I know where she lives. I know what sugar does to gas tanks. (fyi, for those who don’t know me…. I’m mostly kidding…mostly… ;op)

3. How did you get that bratty reputation of yours? *ggg*

Doesn’t the above answer give you a bit of an idea?

4. Two years from your first sale, you quit your dayjob. It’s been three years now that you’ve been a full-time writer. Looking back, would you have delayed dropping your dayjob? Why, or why not?

Nope. Wouldn’t change it. I got out of nursing because I was getting burned out and I knew there may come a time when I had to work outside of writing. When and if that happens, I don’t want to go back to a job I hate.

5. I’ve done my research, so I won’t ask who your favorite authors are. Instead, I want to know what your platform would be if you were running for President of the SL Viehl/Lynn Viehl/Paperback Writer Fan Club?

Uhhhh….hmmmmm….. I don’t think anybody, including SL Viehl, would want me for a president of any organization. I’m a bit too hotheaded for that. Can I decline the nomination for presidencies… of any kind?

(moi says “No, you can’t!” ) 

6. The Hunters: Declan and Tori turned me into a fan of yours. Because of that, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to read I’ll Be Hunting You. Was it an especially difficult book to write? And what have readers said about it?

Actually, it wasn’t hard at all. And go ahead and read it, May… it’s a romance. It ends happy. And while I won’t give away spoilers…can you see Tori living happily ever after with anybody BUT Declan?

Readers have enjoyed it. Most of them claim that they wanted to strangle me…until they finished the book. Then they were glad they read it. Come on, May… I dare you… if you read it and honestly don’t like it, I’ll send you a free ebook…your choice from my ebook backlist. (But this isn’t a contest…. it’s for May only)

Shiloh Walker blogs by herself, with the Vamps & Scamps and is also part of After Midnight Fantasies.

She has just released Always Yours from Samhain Publishing and One Night With You from Ellora’s Cave. Hunter’s Salvation will be in a bookstore near you in the next few days. For The Love Of Jazz will be available later in the year.
Shiloh’s giving away an ebook from her backlist each TWO winners, soooooooo comment! Rate Shiloh’s Brattiness (I think it’s a 10 out of 10)! Or tell us how much you love so-and-so from a Shiloh book! In other words, Say Something to Shiloh. ;) 





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