Monday, November 8, 2010

Agent Oompa (Code name: Loompa)

Victor C. Pellegrino says: The paragraph is a unit of thought, expressing a single idea, communicated through related sentences.

Thanks, Victor! I figured I should begin this blog post with someone's definition of what a paragraph is, because much of what follows is unlikely to meet anyone's. My brain is tired. I wrote my ass off today. I think it fell off somewhere around the last feverish bout of scribbling I did when...wait...what?! I wrote my ass off...? I admit I'm curious as to why I'd be holding my pen there.

Or what the hell I might be typing with right now.

Anyway, I worked on a few ebooks today. Given the time of year it is (personally, I hate November; I think of it as the lame middle brother of the fabulously cool October and December) many people would assume I was working on my NaNoWriMo book whilst having my butt fall off my body and plop to the floor. Of course, many doesn't describe the number of people who read my blog, so I have no idea what you who're reading this patch of italics might assume I was working on so strenuously today. Though if you happen to be that reader from Singapore, or the one from South Korea, I'd love to know whether it was the erotica story or the one about the serial killer, the detective, and the twisted letter that brought you here via Smashwords. Okay, okay, it was the sex story. (Note to self: You were right. After the serial killer blew his head off, you should have introduced the detective's sudden onset penchant for necrophilia and thrown the story several thousand feet past sideways.)

All that having been said, I'll repeat that I worked on a few ebooks today, and report that I learned my lesson. One of my new ebooks follows a female porn star-turned-serial killer who stalks and kills FBI profilers named Stan. Because the FBI doesn't have any profilers named Stan, her new career has been rather uneventful, and I'll admit it's been a damn boring book up until today. I'm pleased to note, however, that after carefully analyzing my outline, I'm confident I solved my plot's major flaw by making her a tax attorney-turned-serial killer who stalks and kills FBI profilers named Stan. Oh yeah, baby! I'm freakin' positive I tweaked this bitch to huff and puff and blow the reader's mind! Because, let's face it, tax attorney is way more Patterson than porn star is.

Anyway, one of the three ebooks I worked on today is a science fiction adventure. The other two are fantasy adventures. If you're still reading this sentence, I bet you wish you'd stayed on Smashwords or Twitter, huh? (That'll teach ya to screw with my blog's carefully zeroed out stats!)

You should read: John Grisham. (I think it's important for all of us to support non-independent authors. Hey, not everyone can be writer enough to handle the Smashwords Meatgrinder. I have it on good authority that said contraption gives Iris Johansen the willies.)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Satan and some hickeys. Wha-wha-WHAT?!

As you can see, I haven't posted much yet. I worked on a post last night (okay, so it was early this morning, around 3am) but I didn't finish it because I had other writing to do. Besides, I had a guest post on the Candlemark & Gleam website yesterday! Candlemark & Gleam is an independent publishing company started by the awesome Kate Sullivan. 

In my guest post, I talked about a book Candlemark & Gleam is going to publish early next year that was written by Isabel Kunkle and is called Hickey of the Beast. Several days before Halloween, I was on Twitter trading tweets with Kate. I mentioned that I had Satanic-hickeys on my mind, and that I thought I'd found a cool new Halloween costume. She replied that if I did a costume inspired by Hickey of the Beast and sent her pictures of it, she'd send me an advance copy of the book when it's ready.Yep. I totally pumped my fist and was all, "Yessss!") 

Originally, I'd planned to dress up as a steampunk character I'm going to introduce in a series of ebooks later this year, or early next. The second the idea that a costume inspired by Hickey of the Beast popped into my head, however, I knew I wouldn't be going to a certain party dressed as my steampunk character. Kate's reply to my idea only bolstered my decision. I mean, I really want to read that book!

Kate didn't know it at the time, but I was going to a Halloween swingers party with my husband. Okay, because I get blog visitors from several countries outside of America, I'll mention that "swingers" are married couples (though some swinger couples aren't married but are merely dating) who engage in what is also commonly called couple swapping or partner swapping. To put it simply, it's where you have sex with other couples, sometimes as a group/orgy and sometimes with only one other partner. For instance, sometimes I go to a room and have sex with a man who isn't my husband, while the man's wife goes to a different room to have sex with my husband. Sometimes we do it in the same room. Sometimes we have sex with a variety of different people in the same room. Sometimes we do it in different rooms throughout a house or a club -- just sex all over the damn place! All of which can get rather wild...and is always fun:)     

While Kate didn't know I was going to a Halloween swingers party, I certainly did, and I thought it would be a perfect place to do some creative advertising for Hickey of the Beast. I talked to my hubby about it and within minutes we had what we thought was a fun idea. Basically, he'd kiss a bunch of hickeys on my various naughty parts, then he'd draw pictures of Satan's face over them with a waterproof permanent marker. Then, at the party, everyone would have to help me keep Satan's hickeys "fresh."  

My hubby drew satanic faces on both of my breasts and butt cheeks, and one that made use of my clitoris and labia. He also drew one on his penis so he could have fun and help promote the book too! 

Of course, I couldn't send photos of those faces to Kate to put on her website; it's not like she runs a porn site! So my hubby kissed a series of hickeys on my back and drew a satanic face amongst them using a red Bic marker that's permanent, but not waterproof. He couldn't spend near as much time drawing and detailing that one as he had the others...and actually got to spend less time on it than he wanted. He hated the way it looked. He said it looked like a "shitty sketch that was all rushed and shit" and wanted to wipe it off and start over. I told him to take a photo of it so I could see it. He did. I loved it, and I told him no way was he wiping it off. I loved how it looked! It had a fun and sort of playful appearance, especially compared to the other satanic faces he'd spent a lot more time drawing on me. Most of those had received full-on attention to detail and honestly looked pretty fucking creepy! I liked the fun-sketchy-playful Satan on my back, and he's the one you can see over on the Candlemark & Gleam website blog:

If you didn't arrive on my blog from Kate's site, and you decide to head over there, I hope you'll take the time to check out the rest of the site, including the posts about Erekos by A.M. Tuomala, which was the first book Candlemark & Gleam published. It's a fantastic read, and was how I found out about Kate and her company in the first place. I noticed the book's interesting title and eye-catching cover on the night it made its debut there, back in September. I was instantly impressed with Erekos, and shortly after that I visited Candlemark & Gleam's website, and was impressed all over again by the company and by its founder...the awesome Kate Sullivan! 

I'm positive we're all going to hear a lot more about Kate and Candlemark & Gleam in the coming years. She has loads of great ideas about where independent publishing can go and about the many-and-varied opportunities it offers companies like hers. I'm willing to bet that Kate's going to find more than a few ways to capitalize on those opportunities in a big way.