Monday, December 15, 2014

UF Who?

When one of my UF novels ended up in a boxed collection of 8 novels by 7 authors, a publicist sent out questions for each of us to answer. And here they are:


In Urban Fantasy the location of the story is often more than just a setting; it’s a character, and influences in what happens in the story. Does the city in your story have such and impact and how?

The Sunspinners series is set in a wealthy neighborhood where neighbors politely ignore the protagonist’s household. Possibly they assume there is an insane auntie in the upstairs room, complete with a Jane Eyre nurse. This allows the paranormal family to function without interruptions. Across town is the neighborhood setting of the Mudflat Magic series and is the opposite in that all the low income families in Mudflat know everything about each other. This creates totally different plot complications.

Some Urban Fantasy stories have a divide between the people and creatures who use and know magic and the normal everyday humans. Do you think this affects how some characters respond to emergencies?

Weak magic runs through the Mudflat families and results in them covering for each other. The paranormal sunspinners would love to have a little magic. It would make their lives so much easier. Instead all they have is a normal everyday human to cover for them and yes, it affects their behavior. They have added more security devices to their home than ADT ever dreamed of. 

While not every Urban Fantasy story uses classic monsters, there’s a lot of them in the genre.  How has the use of monsters changed over the years and what makes your monsters unique if you use any of them?
There are earthdemons threatening the sunspinners, and they are a specific race and unrelated to classic monsters. In Mudflat the monsters usually look like normal people so are hard to spot. None of my monsters are based on any I have ever read about. I like to think up my own creatures.

While Urban Fantasy is popular right now, not every one enjoys all aspects of the subgenre. To keep the genre going, what are some of the more unique trends in UF and what would you like to see more of?
Originality. Each book or series has to have new ideas. That’s why I came up with the heroine of the Turning Vampire series. She is a sweet teenager who has to learn to survive as a vampire but works hard at being a good person and never harming anyone. When all your nourishment has to come from human blood, fresh from the source, it ain’t easy being sweet.

Most Urban Fantasy stories center on magical beings or creatures, normal people still have an important role in the story line. Do normals have much of an impact in your UF story and in what way?
Always. It is the normals who have to solve the problems created by magic and by paranormals. Sorry, no superheroes here.

As we know, magic in these UF worlds can take many forms. Some are able to use it and some aren’t. Why do you think magic (of any form) such a popular concept?
Wouldn’t we all love to mumble a few spells and have our problems solved? But then there would be no story. Instead, the protagonists have to plod on alone, suffer a lot, and learn to depend on their wits rather than physical strength. Unlike romances, urban fantasies do not require ‘happy ever after’ endings.

Monsters have been around for ages in stories.  History is full of them. What kind of impact has Urban Fantasy had in dispelling some of the myths associated with some of these creatures from the past and how do you think it will shape the future?
Hmm. Maybe Homer was the first urban fantasy storyteller, earning his livelihood by entertaining his audiences with tales of real cities and normal people and scary monsters. Did he try to shape the future with his tales? I don’t think so. If I had the smarts to shape a better future for the world, I would go into politics, I guess. Instead, I write stories to entertain.

Friday, December 12, 2014

How could I not know? Why did no one tell me? Today on another blog someone talked about amazingly fun ads with long, poetic, exciting descriptions, such as appeared in magazines back in the 1920s and 30s. And someone commented that this also occurred in J. Peterman, sob, it's gone, we all thought. And another commenter said, "Not so! They are back." I went on-line and sure enough, Peterman does do an online catalog and also an honest to gosh paper one. Took me a minute to find where to sign up and another horrified minute to realize I was actually ordering another catalog to be stuffed into my overcrowded mailbox. But hey, Peterman isn't a catalog, it is art and literature. And the items in the online are truly Peterman. The other great heartbreak of my life was the loss of Banana Republic. Well, yes, I know they still exist but under different ownership and all they have in common with the original is the name. So thank God I have found Peterman and the merchandise is recognizable as Peterman. I wait breathlessly to see if the catalog prose is as exciting.

Friday, November 28, 2014

December Newsletter

Jimmyed Coffin, the 7th Mudflat Magic novel, was released October 21 in ebook and is now available in print from Amazon.

About that dog I mentioned last month, he and Rock and the Mudflat neighbors will appear in the March 2015 BookClub edition, titled Rock’s Dogs, and oh yes, it will contain the earlier Dog books plus Kitchen Dog, a new story. It will be available on March 1 in both ebook and print.

As I mentioned somewhere, all of the dog stories are based on escapades of real dogs. I don’t have their photos, just their hi-jinks, and so a fun part of putting together these stories has been finding photos of similar dogs to use on the covers.

And now, ta da!, the December LostLoves BookClub edition will be Turning Vampire 1,2, and contains the first two vampire novels in that series. URLs are listed at end of this letter. This book will be in ebook only. Print editions of the individual titles in the series are available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other bookstores.


BookClub Links for Turning Vampire 1,2:

Friday, November 21, 2014

Photo Phobia

I have a friend who takes her camera to all occasions and insists on taking pictures of everyone. She excels at catching people when they are squinting into the sun. And then she gets prints made and mails out these photos. Okay, I tell myself her hobby makes her happy. I know she thinks everyone is thrilled to get bad pictures of themselves, and maybe some are. My escape is to own a paper shredder.

There are also family members with the same bad habit. Again, hurray for paper shredders. So you can imagine my surprise when at a recent family gathering an in-law took photos that were quite good. I know they were good because said in-law emailed out a sheet showing small versions. The email was locked. There was no downloading allowed. And then there was a second email with a price list, assuming we would all want to order prints or jpegs. Hey, the photos weren’t that good.

So here come the holidays and more cameras and more fodder for the paper shredder. If I post a photo of the Christmas tree, it will be downloadable. And if you want a photo of me, you will have it, because I will be hiding behind the tree.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

UF novels in a boxed set

Under an Enchanted Skyline: Eight Complete Works by seven different writers of Urban Fantasy in One Boxed Set, and my novel, Demonspell, is included. This collection was put together by and will be on sale from Nov 15 until Dec 30. Then
it will disappear, the way holiday treats do. Priced at 99 cents it is a holiday gift, a collection of urban fantasy books to add to your ereader or computer and have a quiet read.  It is available from several sources, including Smashwords.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Squirreling away books for winter -

Right now I am finishing my WIP, Jimmyed Coffin, Mudflat Magic book 7, due out in October, and who knows, maybe then I will have more time to catch up on reading.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Lugging home a Watermelon?

More tourists, more traffic, more sunshine, more people with their brains on vacation, at least, I guess that is why the pedestrians swarm across the streets and stand right in front of the traffic and then look confused when a driver honks a horn. This is Seattle and folks here prefer not to honk horns but hey! Even more, they prefer not to run over anyone.

Now you know why I spend my time at home, not in the car. There is a grocery in walking distance which is fine except when I want to buy a watermelon. I can carry me home, but not a watermelon. So once a week I take the car and load it with all the heavy stuff.