Friday, November 30, 2012

Zombies, Trolls, and Piercings, Oh My!

I love 28 Days Later. It's my favorite zombie movie (George Romero fans everywhere a calling a Judas). Part of the reason that I enjoy it as much as I do is probably because it was such an intense viewing experience for me the first I saw it. I'd just gotten a snug piercing.
This is a rook piercing
The "snug" piercing is the the thick part. Not the three ones in the lobe.
I love 28 Days Later. It's my favorite zombie movie (George Romero fans everywhere a calling a Judas). Part of the reason that I enjoy it as much as I do is probably because it was such an intense viewing experience for me the first I saw it. I'd just gotten a snug piercing.

The snug piercing was the most painful thing I've ever done, yet stupidly, I went on to get a rook piercing a few months later.(I'd always thought they were both rooks, but in research just now, I discovered they were different things. I was also unable to find a picture of of anyone that had a rook & a snug in the same ear, so apparently, I'm the only one stupid enough to do that).

Neither of the piercings fully healed. They frequently got infection and were full of problems. I had them for something like 5 years, and that entire time I could never sleep on my left side (the side the peircings were on). Taking them out was probably the smartest thing I ever did.

But anyway. I got the piercing, and I went to the movie. I don't know if you've ever watched a zombie on the big screen while you're in huge amounts of pain, but it's very intense.

Zombies freak me out. A lot. There's current trend in literature to humanize that I'm super into. The point of zombies is that they're a senseless mass. They don't feel pain. They don't feel remorse. They can't be reasoned with.. Their hunger is never satiated. And no matter how many you kill, there's always a thousand more waiting behind them. That is terrifying.

It also makes them the most awesome monster because they're so unstoppable. You can't ever really defeat zombies. You can kill some, but there will always be more. You can only hope to hide out somewhere long enough you to catch your breath.

Since I'm afraid of zombies, it probably seems weird that I would write about them.

But then you consider that I'm super terrified of trolls (like I have to check under my bed to make sure they're not hiding under my bed like Cat's Eye or Earnest Scared Stupid to this day). I do not like trolls. They're gonna live in my walls and steal my stuff and kill my pets and then one day murder me. 

I'm also frightened of the ocean. Not immensely so, but I assume there are monsters in there that are going to eat. I am afraid of sharks, but that's not even what I fear so much as like some weird sea creature with ten billion teeth and Angler Fish. You find one thing more terrifying looking than the Angler Fish. You can't. They are monsters.

One of my favorite movies is Labyrinth, but to this day, I'm frightened of the goblins. I'm actually scared of at least 50% of Jim Henson's creations. I used to have nightmares about Sam Eagle.

So given all this, it seems a bit strange that I'd write books about zombies and the ocean and trolls. But since I like Jim Henson and 28 Days Later, maybe I like being frightened.

No. I do not like to be frightened. Not all. But I am obsessed with my fears. I'm really incredibly neurotic. So all of my thoughts naturally go to the things I fear most, like zombies, trolls, dying alone, Christian Bale. (I'm also terrified of Christian Bale. People mistake my obsession with him for a crush, but it's really terror).

Every book I write about is just me working through my fears. You guys are all part of my therapy. Thank you everyone. You've been very helpful through this time, and I've actually been able to stand in my room with the lights off without being certain that a tiny troll with a very strong grip is going to reach out from under the bed and grab my ankle.

The moral of the story: 28 Days Later is a very good movie. The zombies are awesome, the cinematography is wonderful, and Cillian Murphy is the greatest.

(Another side note: My favorite part of all of The Dark Knights Rises was Cillian's cameo. I squealed aloud in the theater, but I think everyone around me was cool with it, because they'd been clapping a lot. They clapped 5 times during Batman Begins at the trilogy viewing at the AMC I was at. Five times. I was like, "Dude. This is a movie. Christopher Nolan can't hear you, and right now you're applauding over the dialogue so I can't hear Cillian Murphy talk.")

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Lullaby is Out!

Yes, it's true. Lullaby - the second book in the Watersong series - is available now. The first print run is signed (as I mentioned in this post: here), so that's pretty cool, too.

My life-size cardboard cutout of Bane is showing off the fact that his bicep is as large as my book.
I'm also going to be doing some giveaways and other fun things over the next couple weeks, so keep an eye out. Right now I'm doing a giveaway on a Twitter, so be sure to enter if you're following me there. If you don't have Twitter, fret not, I'll be doing more things on my blog and on Facebook.  

If you're interested in getting Lullaby, go: here for all the links and places to get in ebook or hardcover.

The first chapter of Lullaby is available to read: here, (and here's the first chapter for Wake if you haven't read that yet). You can also check out the soundtrack for Lullaby: here.

And if you've already Lullaby and are chomping at the bit for the next book, Tidal (which I know some of you speed-readers are), don't forget to check out Forgotten Lyrics - the short story prequel to the Watersong series. It actually hints at a few things that are going to happen to in Tidal, but if you haven't read Lullaby or Wake, the story still works as a stand-alone.

So that's all my stuff for today. But I'll be working on a vlog, some more giveaways, and a few other things over the next few weeks.

As always, thanks to everyone for checking out my books and making Lullaby's birthday such a splash! (Get it? That was a pun.) 

Also, don't forget to check out Lawless, starring Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce, and Gary Oldman, out on DVD, Bluray, and Vudu.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Winners, Trailers, & Lullaby Stuff

Lullaby is coming out tomorrow in the US (and I believe it will be out December 6th in the UK). The contest for copies of Wake and Lullaby has ended, and the winners are being notified (so watch your email if you entered). Thanks to everyone who entered!

So, since Lullaby is officially going to be born, I thought I'd do some fun facts and little known secrets behind the Watersong series. But first here is the brand-new trailer for Lullaby:

*Alex's character was almost named Fitzwilliam. It was REALLY close. I've always wanted to name a character Fitzwilliam, and Alex seemed the right balance of awkward and sweet to carry a name like that. But in the end, I thought it would it would be too distracting and pull people out of the story every time they read, so I went with the more basic Alex.

*The Watersong series is a quartet, and there is emphasis on the number 4 throughout the books. Some are more obvious than others. Like how there's four sisters, and Penn, Thea, and Lexi all have four letters in their name.  But there's other more hidden ones in there, too.

*The girl on the cover of Lullaby is supposed to be Harper.  (The girl on the cover of Wake is supposed to be Gemma, and Daniel and Penn are on the cover of Tidal).

*I listened to TONS of Florence + the Machine (mostly "Ceremonials") while writing Lullaby.

*Lullaby and the third book in the series, Tidal, were written back-to-back. It's the first time I've written books in a series right after each other. I usually take a break between books.

*A main character in each of my books shares a birth date with my friend Valerie (January 9th). Harper shares a birthday with Wendy from Trylle, Remy from Hollows, and Alice from MBA. Many of my characters share birthdays with my friends or my favorite celebrities.

*The town of Capri was partially inspired by Amity in Jaws. There are is actually a reference or allusion to Jaws in all of my series, because it's one of my all-time favorite movies/books.

*Sawyer's house in Lullaby was inspired by a documentary I saw about film sets. They used a lot of white in movies and TV shows to represent optimism, especially in the 80s. They talked particular about 1974's film version of The Great Gatsby and how the sets were all white around Mia Farrow to really represent her innocenance and the optimism, so the viewer was looking at her through Gatsby and Tom's eyes. Anyway, that really stuck with me, and I liked the idea of Sawyer's house being this white stark place, so it was like this pure limbo, almost like a blank slate for the characters to reveal their true colors.

*Whenever I finish writing a Watersong book, I have to do a "find and replace" to get rid of all the uses of the word "pop" and replace it with soda or Coke.

Elroy & Sophie
*My dog Elroy is always in my office with me when I'm writing. He used to lay by my feet, but since I got him a dog bed, he just lays on that. I got a new cat Sophie in July, and she's usually in the office when I write too. My other two cats are not allowed in the office because they just knock things off the shelves and cause trouble.

*On two separate occasions, a spider has fallen on my laptop while I've been writing in my office. I didn't enjoy it either time.

*I was obsessed with Greek mythology as a kid, but my favorite story wasn't about sirens - it was about Icarus. While Icarus doesn't make an appearance in the Watersong series, some of my other favorite Grecian characters do pop up in the series.

*I originally intended the short story Forgotten Lyrics to be published between the release of Lullaby and Tidal, so some of the things and characters that come up in it are hints toward what happens in Tidal.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Exciting News, Free Stuff, & a Couple Giveaways

I’m always looking for ways to make each new release fun and a little bit different. The second book in the Watersong series, Lullaby,will be out November 27, 2012, and I wracked my brain for a way to say thank you to fans and make the release special.Here's what I've come up with.

The first is a special short story Forgotten Lyrics set in the Watersong world. Forgotten Lyrics is $1.99 wherever eBooks are sold, but as a special treat for my fans you can read it HERE free of charge for a very limited time. It's already been free for a few days, and I think it only has a couple days left, so check it out free while you can.

And now to the NEW exciting news. The entire first printing of the new Lullaby hardcover will feature a special collector’s signature. As a reader I love adding signed books to my collection and wanted to do that for people who buy my book.

But signing thousands of books would be tough, especially when I am working on Elegy, the final book in the series. Plus I would feel bad for the person who received the 50,000th signature - it probably wouldn’t be readable. (If I'm being honest, everything after the 50th signature would be pretty lame).

So my publisher and I found a cool way to do it. I signed a few sheets of paper, each one with a different signature and then an actual pen traced my signature into all of the books. I don't completely understand how they did it, but it looks really awesome. They completely duplicated the way the ink looks from the pen I used and everything. It's kinda crazy actually.

And onto even more fun news! Since Lullaby is coming out right around the corner (it's like two weeks away), I thought it'd be fun to do a little giveaway before the release. I'll be giving away TEN signed hardcovers of Wake (the first book in the Watersong series), and ONE hardcover of Lullaby signed with a personalized message. Both giveaways will go from now until November 21st. Sorry, it's open to the US & Canada only.

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