On January 4, I resolved to do a number of things this year, most of them involving something I would accomplish weekly. So it's been ten days. What have I done so far? Last blog post was 8 days ago, but I did two posts that week, and 8 is only one more than 7, so I'm giving myself a check mark here.Read More
You can help change that. Team Megibow agent-mate Kat Brauer is once again organizing her annual Crits for Water drive, where I'm offering a query letter critique in exchange for a donation to this important cause. Writer Mary Baader Kaley was also kind enough to interview me on her blog about my thoughts on critiquing.
In case you're wondering why the picture of a fountain in Russia...surprisingly, the water supply in St. Petersburg, a major European city, is non-potable, and must be boiled before drinking. But lots of places have it worse.
While working on my Acknowledgments page for The Midnight Court, it occured to me that many of the people I thanked in The Fallen Queen may have missed that they were mentioned. So for those who didn't see it in the back of the book or just haven't had a chance to pick up a copy, I thought I'd print it up here: My deepest gratitude goes out to the people who believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself: Martin Pedersen, for reading my fanciful stories from his home across the sea and always telling it like it is; Stephanie Rossi, for listening to me talk about the people in my head as if they have lives of their own (they do) and only occasionally looking at me as if I’m certifiable (I am); Cat Ellen, my cheerleader, for reading voraciously and wanting more; Daphne Phillips, whose invaluable critique made my work stronger and whom I adore for adoring my boys; Diana, my first reader, whose appreciation of my dark side sometimes prompts me to write scenes where somebody eats a baby (which didn’t make it into this book); Jon and Beth and everyone at Wednesday afternoon tea, for listening to me whinge; my son Samson, for putting up with a mom he only saw over the top of a computer screen for most of his childhood, and who, for some reason, seems to like me anyway; and a special thanks to my late husband Jack, for letting me plot out loud (also known as “listening to me whinge”) and for providing much loving inspiration for the relationship between my naughty demons—I wish you were here to meet them.
I’m also grateful to Allison Pang, for being Vasily’s first fangirl, and for encouraging me to dig deeper; to my agent, Sara Megibow, for believing in Anazakia and the boys and putting them into the right hands; and to my editors, Liz Pelletier, for loving the book and believing in my voice (and for not changing that line that contains the word “gluttonously”), and Catherine Kean, who did the heavy lifting.
Lastly, I’d like to add a special thanks to Lynn Flewelling for inspiring me with her magical world and her inimitable rogues, and for bringing together the wonderful writers of Writing on the Waves—as well as to the writers on those waves with whom I’ve shared the voyage; to the Bling Babes of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers 2010 Colorado Gold, and the amazing writing community on Twitter with too many to name, who’ve provided unending support along the journey even as they embark upon their own; and to Kate Bush, whose album Aerial accompanied the all-important dreamtime of my writing.
To celebrate the May 15 mass-market trade paperback release of The Fallen Queen, I'm excited to present my new book trailer!
There will be several giveaways on my upcoming book release blog tour, so stay tuned for the complete listing of blog dates...and don't forget to rate my video on YouTube if you have a moment. :)
Things are heating up on Twitter, with the heroes of Entangled Publishing duking it out next week using the hashtag #HeroWars. I've convinced Belphagor to play along, even though he isn't quite sure what's expected of him. Here's a sneak peak at his stats:
Name: Belphagor, an airspirit demon of Raqia in the Third Heaven
Build: Wiry but muscular
Eye color: Ebony
Hair: Dark, short, spiked on top
Body art: Numerous Russian prison tats, including on hands and fingers; pierced eyebrow; pierced nipples
Strengths: Fiercely loyal; able to manipulate the element of air, including influencing the mind; as a BDSM top, he makes people feel cherished and protected with an almost paternal sensibility
Weaknesses: Has difficulty trusting others and keeps things to himself to his own detriment, resulting in getting himself into trouble he might otherwise have avoided
Leading Man: Vasily, a firespirit demon
Favorites: The game of wingcasting (a kind of celestial poker); cigars; spanking naughty “boys”; a good Russian tea
Occupation: Gambler and thief
Nickname: Prince of Tricks
Quote: "I can't imagine why you think I'd have sex with a girl."
Well, according to me, it looks like this:
A black and white version appears in the book, but I thought readers might enjoy seeing the original on a single page.
If you've read The Fallen Queen, you'll notice there are many places on the map not visited in the book. You'll see much more of the Heavens in Book Two, The Midnight Court.
Copyright © 2011 by Jane Kindred
Last night I was perusing Netflix streaming for something fun in Sci-Fi/Fantasy, and I came across Black Lightning—Черная Молния (Chernaya Molniya)—a Russian movie about an underdog hero with a flying Volga. It could have been ridiculously cheesy, but it was actually rather sweet and totally fun. It's in Russian with English subtitles, though apparently there's talk of the director Timur Bekmambetov remaking it as an English-language version. Part of me hates the idea of a remake and dreads what the Hollywood machine would turn it into, but on the other hand, I wouldn't mind seeing it with a less helpless/precious love interest, which would almost certainly happen with an American movie. It's not like I won't be watching it, either way. It's too awesome to pass up.
Black Lightning is easily as good as any of the recent American superhero movies, so if you don't mind subtitles (or, like me, you love listening to the Russian language), I highly recommend it.
And afterward, when you're hooked on Russian sci-fi/fantasy, check out Nochnoi Dozor and Dnevnoi Dozor (Night Watch and Day Watch), also directed by Bekmambetov; I'm impatiently awaiting the final installment in that trilogy: Sumerechniy Dozor (Dusk Watch).
Google Alerts just brought me this awesomeness from Saveur.com - The Devil's Garden Cocktail:
From the article:
My favorite cocktail, Devil's Garden, is not a drink for the faint at heart. At first sip, lime juice and fresh mint refresh the taste buds, but soon the smoky and spicy undertones of chipotle-infused mezcal creep over the palate. A touch of Cynar, an unusual liqueur made from artichokes, adds a veil of mystery. On hot nights like these, it takes a little dark magic to forget about the rising temperatures outside.
A "veil of mystery"? How awesome is that? And they were kind enough to provide the recipe to this awesomeness. Om nom nom. (Wait...can you om-nom-nom a drink?)
...at least they are this week, because it's FREE BOOK WEEK at Carina Press! Starting June 20, every weekday, all week, Carina is offering a spectacular title for free download. And when they say free, they mean ACTUALLY free. Not "sorta free," or "free with a $50 purchase" free, but actually, totally, no strings attached FREE! So get thee to Carina Press to download a free book every day! Here are the books being offered and the links and promo codes for your free download:
Monday's FREE BOOK is: The Debutante's Dilemma by Elyse Mady Just type in the promo code DEBUTANTEFREE at checkout
Tuesday's FREE BOOK is: Demon's Fall by Karalynn Lee Just type in the promo code DEMONFREE at checkout
Wednesday's FREE BOOK is: The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale by Christine Bell Just type in the promo code TWISTEDFREE at checkout
Thursday's FREE BOOK is: Blue Galaxy by Diane Dooley Just type in the promo code GALAXYFREE at checkout
Friday's FREE BOOK is: Friendly Fire by Megan Hart Just type in the promo code FRIENDLYFREE at checkout
But wait, there's more! You can retweet and win! Follow @_ChristineBell and @ElyseMady on Twitter and retweet any of their tweets that mention the hashtag #CarinaFree and you'll be entered to win the following fabulous prize pack:
An autographed print copy of "The Debutante's Dilemma" by Elyse Mady and an e-copy of her latest novel "Learning Curves"
Christine Bell's souped up RWA swag bag including Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale mug, magnet, romance trading cards and Carina Press coupon, and a bag of Hershey's Kisses and any book off her backlist
A $25 Amazon Gift Card
Since I posted his picture on Looking for Belphagor, Robert Downey, Jr. has been responsible for the lion's share of keyword search traffic leading to this blog. Fully 78% of keyword searches are now robert downey jr. Let's see; what other keywords are leading people here?
Another 13% include Robert Downey Jr., Robert Downey, Jr., robert downey, robert downey junior (how cute; they spelled it out), downey, Robert Downey Jr. 2011, and robert downey jr 2011. An additional 4% end up here by typing роберт дауни and роберт дауни мл. (Guess what they spell in Cyrillic?) That's 95% of all keyword searches devoted to RDJ. Oh, wait; there's one more: robert downey site:http://www.janekindred.com. (Huh?) So, 96%.
What's bringing the other 4%? Bartek Borowiec, santi Waine, mateus verdelho interview, two searches for tattoos, and...wait! Look! Two instances of demon porn! One of which includes my name!
That clinches it. I obviously need to start writing demon porn starring Robert Downey, Jr. Do you think he'd mind?
According to the latest spam comment on my blog, I have "great high quality facts." I'm laughing so hard I can barely compose this post. Thank you, "Cheap Coffeemaker," for brightening my day. :)
I adore the NY Times archives. I come across these old articles every once in a while during random research that are so entertaining it makes me wish I lived a hundred or so years ago if for no other reason than to look forward to the morning paper. Tonight I was researching steamboat speed for the Anamnesis Delta and came across this gem, which I've typed up in its entirety from the October 8, 1892 issue of the NY Times and offer it for your enjoyment. (I assume this is in the public domain, but I'm sure someone will come along soon enough to ask me to cease and desist if it isn't.) The Speed of Steamboats
The steamboat season may now be regarded as at its close. It goes out in a blaze of glory, owing to the advent of a new vessel, whose Captain has succumbed to the inevitable temptation of beating some other vessel in a race and then boasting of his steamer's remarkable speed. This seems to be a very good time to say that in the bright lexicon of the steamboat Captain there is no such word as slow. In his merry imagination miles are ticked off by the boat's clock in spaces of time which are strangely mysterious. For it should be noted that these wonderful bursts of speed never take place on regular trips of the boats; or, at any rate, no passenger has ever been found who reached his destination the sooner because of one.
The real truth of the matter is that in the waters around New-York City there is not a steamboat afloat to-day that can make the speed with which she is generally credited in the minds of steamboat travelers. It is not for us to say who is responsible for the popular misinformation on this interesting topic. No doubt the steamboat Captains can easily prove that the disseminators of the exaggerations are the newspapers. We are not prepared to deny this, but content ourselves with expressing the hope that no one will press the inquiry as to who told yarns to the reporters.
It should be added that the popular mind is led further astray by the failure to discriminate between nautical and statute miles. No steamboat Captain was ever guilty of the gross carelessness of stating the speed of his vessel in sea miles. A land mile is shorter by about one-seventh of its own measurement than a sea mile. Therefore a steamboat can log more land than sea miles to an hour, and, equally therefore, the steamboat Captain uses the former in his reckonings of speed. Hence when the ordinary wayfarer on the waters hears of a steamboat's making 20 miles an hour he thinks she is going at the habitual gait of the City of Paris; which she is not by about 2-1/2 land miles per hour.
Now, it appears that in the latest contest of speed on Long Island Sound one of the racers, according to her skipper, made 22 miles an hour--land miles, of course. The steamboat which did this plies between a point near the Brooklyn Bridge and City of New Haven. The distance from the bridge to Sands Point, where this recent race ended, is 17-3/8 nautical, or 20 land miles, and from the Point to the Southwest Ledge Light at the entrance to New-Haven Harbor it is 42-1/2 nautical and 49 land miles. Now, knocking off the exra two miles--which may have been due to forced draught, in the furnace room or the pilot house--and putting the ordinary running speed of the boat at 20 land miles an hour, she ought to make the run from her wharf here to the Southwest Ledge Light in three hours and a half. However, we must allow her an extra half hour for the delays of East River and Hell Gate navigation, and give her four hours for the run. When she makes it in that time, the passengers will no doubt be very highly delighted.
The Captain of this vessel properly referred to the Sandy Hook boats as models of speed. They are, indeed, fast, but not quite so fast as they are said to be. The time which they usually occupy in making the run from Pier 8 North River to their wharf at the Atlantic Highlands is an hour and five minutes. The distance from the Battery is 17-1/2 nautical and 20 land miles. When a boat makes 20 miles in an hour and five minutes, she is traveling at the rate of 18-1/2 miles per hour. This is excellent going; but as most of the old travelers on the Monouth and Sandy Hook are under the impression that these vessels can do 22 or 23 miles an hour, it is disappointing. No doubt they could and would do it if they should chance to meet that New-Haven boat out in the widest part of Long Island Sound on a dark October night.
This whole matter of steamboat speed is best explained by the absence of all satisfactory tests. The trial over the measured course in water unaffected by tidal currents is not given to steamboats as a rule. The trial trip of a new boat in this part of the world consists of a run down the bay or up the Hudson, in the course of which many men of maritime pursuits discover the sun over the foreyard at irregular but frequent intervals. When the boat returns the Captain announces that she attained a speed of so many miles per hour. She then goes into her regular daily business, and never attains that speed again. The result of which is that some observant persons are forced to the conclusion that a steamboat is a vessel which can go very fast--but won't.
Ever feel like you're living in a very odd, alternate reality? Sometimes it seems I've fallen into Frederik Pohl's There Will Be Time or Richard Bach's One, or anything by Philip K. Dick. I have the niggling suspicion that I took a wrong turn, or a thousand wrong turns, and every subsequent action further tangles the continuum. Eh. Maybe it's just PMS.
Whatever it is, it's accompanied by a sort of "waiting for the other shoe to drop" anxiety, as if at any moment the curtain will be pulled back (or the false skin on the prophet's mutant face) and the wrongness of it all will come spilling out like a pile of maggots on a sloughing corpse. Yeah, I'm in a mood.
I suppose writing until 2:00 a.m. and sleeping until 10:00 a.m. and waking with a massive sinus headache to a dismally grey fogged-in May morning hasn't particularly helped my state of mind. Also, the fact that I want to finish the novel I'm working on, finish my novella's pre-edits, and finish up three months' worth of work projects before I leave for my cruise next week may be putting a tad bit of pressure on me. Without pressure, though, I accomplish nothing.
Still, it isn't just today. It's that on days like today it's impossible to ignore the idea that everything around me is a prop in an elaborate farce. I used to think about that a lot as a kid. Sitting in church, where I got all of my weird, creative ideas as my mind wandered away from the pulpit, I would look around and think, "What if none of this is really happening? What if I'm not really here, not really doing any of this, and everyone else is in on it?" And then I'd think, "What if I'm just a memory of this moment?" And I am, now—or at least the ten-year-old me having that thought is. And that's pretty unnerving.
Bah. I think I'll go get some coffee and set off another hundred alternate realities, and leave the rest of this to Stephen Hawking.