Sunday, August 29, 2010

The changing faces of vampires

I've been a fan of vampires for a long time, starting back with books by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, the queen of vampires. Her stories led me to Anne Rice, then Laurell K. Hamilton and continued through Kim Harrison's and Stephenie Meyer's takes on the vampire phenomena.

Tonight, I watched True Blood and got a laugh out of a sign in the opening montage I hadn't noticed before. Instead of God Hates Fags, it said God Hates Fangs. Don't know why I found it so funny, but after all the different types of vampires, I guess the one thing they all share is fangs.

Some sparkle, others burn. Some walk in sunlight, others burn. Some can't be killed ... yes, I'll say it again. Others burn. And yet vampires fascinate us, and keep us coming back for more and have since Nosferatu, the ugly, pointy-eared vamp of early films. Dracula by Stoker made vampires more attractive, and other forward-thinking authors continued the trend. Now, we get all dreamy about Team Edward or Angel or LeStat or Eric Northman - they are good looking, there's no doubt. And we love these paranormal bad boys. They're hot and they're hungry and we should be scared, but we aren't.

Some say there is nothing new in the vampire mythos, but I disagree. For every author out there who writes about the fanged creatures who hunger for blood, there is a different story waiting to be told, a different version of the first vampire, a new twist on an old creation. And I love to read them all.

So what do you think? Will the vampire frenzy die or will it continue to endure and evolve? And whose team are you on? Enquiring minds want to know.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Clip Show

Ever heard of a "clip" show? That's when the production company tries to save money by creating an episode that's composed largely of "clips" from previous shows. The late Stargate SG-1 and it's ilk were notorious for these.

Well, folks, today's post is the Pie Inspector's clip show. Many of the TV series I've talked about in the last few blogs are up and running, and I thought I'd check in and see how they're doing.

Eureka: The back-to-the-future thing is still working nicely. Kudos to the writers for continuing to twist the concept, creating more trouble for the characters. I'm loving poor Henry trying to avoid telling his "wife" that he doesn't know her, and finally copping to what really happened so he has to court her all over again. I'm loving the complication of Zoe falling for Jo's (past) boyfriend, Zane; the awkwardness of Jack and Allison STILL not connecting, (that Jack is such a clueless guy...) despite the kiss and Dr. Grant (hey, sport...); and watching Fargo try to run the whole shebang is hilarious.

Haven: I'm liking the relationship between FBI agent Audrey, her partner, Nathan, and the spoiler, Duke, but the jury is out about the paranormal events they get involved in. I liked the ep about the woman who gave birth to babies using the energy of the fathers, who ended up aging rapidly and dying. Some of the other eps--like the kid with mind control--were kind of obvious.

Warehouse 13: Still finding the whole show difficult to follow--who is HG Wells anyway--and kind of choppy because of the two-story plotlines; one that follows the agent (s) in the field and one that follows Artie in the warehouse. But I did like the Beautiful Mind ep about Pete's artifact-induced paranoia.

Through the Wormhole: The first ep, which tackled the creator myth (or its reality), was fascinating but so densely packed with new concepts from quantum mechanics and physics that I had to stop the show several times and rewatch explanations. Although I really, truly wanted to know about black holes, I just couldn't make it through the second ep. I just have too much right-brain energy in me, I guess.

Still waiting on Fox's Terra Nova, which isn't scheduled until Fall 2011( boo). Coming this fall, however, is another alien invasion series, Falling Skies (TNT), which stars Noah Wylie as an ex college professor who ends up leading a group of soldiers and civilians struggling against an alien occupation force. My husband used to BE a college professor, and unless the alien force is occupying our libraries, not sure we stand a chance...

Finally, don't forget ABC's No Ordinary Family, which is due to begin September 28, and has already started its promo campaign.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Look Inside Sourcebooks, Inc.

Ever wonder what it's like to be a multi-published author? Or what it's like to write for Sourcebooks, Inc?
This is your chance to find out. Today, you'll connect with Terry Spear. She is a multi-talented author, teacher and artist whose latest book Seduced by the Wolf is coming out this month. It is published by Sourcebooks, Inc.
I'm betting Seduced by the Wolf, will draw readers in and be the page-turner Terry's other books are. If you're like me, you'll love the compelling action, the rich descriptions and the sheer realness or authenticity of her supernatural characters.

Header by Samulli

Terry has agreed to answer my publishing questions which, I'm hoping, are yours, too.
1. How did you get started as a writer? First, thanks so much for having me here today! I remember a writer once saying she would take a pencil and a notepad and climb a tree as a child to “pencil” her first stories. I always loved the image that conjured up and wished that had been me. But I did write stories at an early age, and was an avid reader and lover of stories—which usually goes hand in hand. My father was a great oral storyteller and I’m sure that influenced me to make up my own stories and share them with my girlfriends. On one very special occasion on a Halloween night, we had gone trick-or-treating, dressed in ballroom gowns purchased from a resale shop (we were all fairy princesses) and sitting under a ping-pong table in the dark with blankets covering it like a tent, and a flashlight to provide us with a spooky light, I began telling my ghostly tales. Talk about great for mood and ambience! All we needed was a spectacular Florida lighting storm to make it perfect. J
2. What do you enjoy most about being a writer? Sharing the stories with others and loving it when readers fall in love with the characters and want to see more of them. I make award-winning teddy bears also, and there’s something to be said about sharing that creative endeavor with someone else that makes them smile and creates a little bit of happiness.
3. Seduced by the Wolf features werewolves. Are they different from the werewolves we've seen in popular movies? In some of the versions, like the one with Jack Nicholson, or others like it, the werewolf was a man who was bitten/cursed, and changed into a beast-like wolf, who for the most part, had no control over the shifting or the terrible deeds they did when they were the wolf. In others, like Underworld, the wolves are again like beasts, but they seem to have more human thought processes and they are what they are. With mine, I wanted to create a werewolf who was just like a wolf when in wolf form, only he has human thought processes. He’s not cursed, and is as one with his wolf half as he is with his human half. He is not strictly human when human, or wolf when wolf either. He is a werewolf, and as such, he retains both halves of his personality in either form. Also, most of the early werewolf tales I remember, wolf pack dynamics weren’t really shown. It was a case of a lone werewolf. Or a couple who fought each other. And that was it.

4. How long was it from the initial publisher's request to see your manuscript until it reached published form? It took several months to have the manuscript read, then I received a call asking if it had sold, then my editor said she’d get back with me when she read the end. After that, she called me and said she was taking it to the acquisitions meeting. And then it was a sale! After that, it was a year before it would be published.
5. What steps were involved to elevate your manuscript from a submission to a published novel? First, my editor calls and gives me a list of things she wants me to think about. After I’ve sent in the revised manuscript, I receive an edited manuscript to review and then a final line edit, and the book is ready to be published.
6. What advice would you give other authors who hope to interest Sourcebooks in their manuscript? Polish the story, and watch our Casablanca blog. Our editor offers advice on what she’s looking for every month.
7. What reasons would you give an unpublished author for sending his or her manuscript to Sourcebooks? In other words, what do you particularly like about your publisher? The staff at Sourcebooks is wonderful. I love working with Deb and her assistant editors while editing the manuscript. And with Danielle, our publicist, who is great at setting up blog tours. The art department does a super job on covers. And the marketing department is great about making sales to the book stores and online sources.
8. What inspired you to write Seduced by the Wolf? I do research all the time about wolves and other topics, read a lot of current news, etc. So when I came across a story about a wolf biologist who had discovered a she-wolf who had lost her mate to a hunter and she was trying to raise a litter of pups without a pack, I wanted to write her story, in a werewolf version. The story had a happily ever after, a true romantic wolf tale. And that was another reason that it inspired me so.

9. Typically, how long does it take you to write a book? Usually about 3-4 months.
10. What's your writing schedule? I work at a library full time, so I write around it. In the morning before work, on my days off, after work and during lunch hours. J Some of that writing is in the form of promotional efforts too. Once you sell, you always have a commitment to promote your work. You can’t just expect for the books or a publisher to sell your product. So self promotion is extremely important. Right now, I’m finishing up Dreaming of the Wolf (Book 8), will be getting edits for Heart of the Highland Wolf (Book 7)soon, and will be working on Seduced by the Wolf’s blog tour. And I just received the request for book cover and marketing information for Dreaming of the Wolf. Plus I’ll begin working on Book 9 soon. So there’s a lot of juggling with several books at the same time. I also teach online writing classes nearly every month during the year.
11. What excites you most about Seduced by the Wolf? Leidolf. J I’ve written about him as a mystery wolf in Heart of the Wolf, the brother to the heroine in Destiny of the Wolf, the leader of a pack in To Tempt the Wolf where Hunter’s pack is encroaching on his territory, and investigating a terrorist cell of sorts located in his territory who have roots in Maine, in Legend of the White Wolf. He’s home right now in Seduced by the Wolf, dealing with his abused pack when he meets a little red wolf who turns his whole world inside out. And I loved writing about Cassie Roux as the spunky red werewolf who works as a wolf biologist and is having a really difficult time focusing on her mission to stick with real wolves and avoid Leidolf and his kind.
12. Could you share an excerpt? Feel free to check out my website, for excerpts.
13. Where can readers find you on the Web? (Twitter, blog, Facebook, Website)?

Thanks again for having me here!!!
We hope you've found Terry's interview interesting. We appreciate your questions or comments.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Did you rule the playground?

Generated image

You Were a Geek

You didn't exactly relish your time on the playground - you would have rather been reading.

You probably avoided any kind of physical activity and preferred friends that did the same.

And while you may have been a bit awkward as a kid, you rule the world now - as all geeks do.

You've got the smarts and skills to compete in this modern world. Thank goodness you didn't waste your time playing sports!

Quick answer - no I did not rule the playground.

While I would not go back to the days of recess and hanging out on the playground, I can think about how it shaped who I am today. I think back to the kids reading in secluded corners, the kids standing tall on the slide clearly dominating all around them (or so they thought back then.)

My favorite thing to do on the playground was and always will be the swings. The rush of wind in my hair, the feeling of flying high above it all - the time to daydream about knights and damsels in distress. I think my first alien story was crafted on the swings while I was in third grade, something about aliens coming to pick apples and little kids (I'm sure it would have been a bestseller had I ever shown it to!)

Now that I have kids I find myself at the playground again. I see the different personalities at play, the equipment my kids gravitate toward and I wonder what they're thinking. My boys loved playing pirate ship pretending they were swashbucklers and Captain Hook. My daughter is a swing girl - just like her mom.

It's these moments, these carefree times as kids that imaginations run wild, ideas are born and personalities shaped. And now, more than ever, in this age of video games and texting, the brief moments of pretending on the playground are even more important. Running through the tunnels, down the slide and slaying the dragon on the playground is much more than seeing it on the screen.

Paranormal on the playground is the norm afterall. The sand becomes the dessert, or the dark depths of a raging sea where a sea monster is emerging. Som the next time you find yourself at the playground. Close your eyes and soak it in. Dream!

You might find your next story lurking at the top of the slide or while gliding through the air on a swing.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The ‘IT’ Factor – Debut Author Karin Harlow

UPDATE: It's come to my attention that Karin Harlow is not a debut author after all. She also writes under the name Karin Tabke. Oops.

Enemy Lover
Pocket Star, May 25, 2010

Book Blurb:
It’s Jax Cassidy’s first mission for L.O.S.T.—one that will give the former cop who went rogue a chance to prove herself. Her assignment: gain the trust of assassin Marcus Cross . . . eliminate him . . . then take down Marcus’s mentor, Joseph Lazarus, a man with a bold eye on the White House. But the woman who’s known by her team for being a femme fatale succumbs to passion, only to discover Cross’s deadly secret. He’s a vampire, and Joseph Lazarus is his creator.

Left for dead by his platoon in the violent hills of Afghanistan, special ops sniper Marcus Cross was given a second chance at life. His newly heightened skills make him the perfect killing machine, and as Lazarus's right hand man, he’s quickly rising to the top of his dark empire, purging enemies with speed and precision. Only when dangerous beauty Jax Cassidy is sent to bring him in does he begin to question Lazarus’s motives and his own actions. But when Jax’s life is threatened by the one thing that can destroy them both, Marcus must make a bitter choice—her death or his.

Major Rule Breaking (in a VERY good way):

1. The hero isn’t introduced until Chapter 7. If you haven’t read the back blurb for the book, you might assume he could be any one of Jax’s fellow operatives introduced at the beginning, including her boss.

2. The hero and heroine don’t meet until Chapter 10. You’re reading that right—CHAPTER 10! That’s unthinkable in the romance genre. As writers, it’s beat into our heads to get the hero and heroine together as soon as possible. Because of that, I get dinged in contests all the time because I don’t have my hero and heroine meet in the 1st chapter. But you know what? It works here. What many might consider setup overkill really fleshes out Jax’s character before they come together. Sure, most of it could have been skimmed over or ‘told’ to us in a paragraph or two but instead the author ‘shows’ us what brings this damaged woman to this point in her life. Harlow keeps the pace going and the tension high so we hardly notice it’s even happening.

3. Marcus and Jax aren’t your normal romance genre hero and heroine. They’re both emotionally scared and it takes them the whole book to open up and change. The author never sugar coats who and what these characters are. They are both cold-blooded operatives who have no problems killing for a living. Jax is no assassin with a heart of gold. She’s ruthless and calculating, much like Bridget Fonda’s character in the movie POINT OF NO RETURN.

4. The emotional part of the romance takes a long time to unfold and I enjoyed the entire journey. This is no love at first sight story (although there’s definitely chemistry and a heaping dose of lust) and the characters don’t do an immediate about-face after the first kiss. They don't like each other very much and they certainly don't trust each other, but the intrigue and one-upmanship keeps them going. The cat and mouse game Marcus and Jax play with each other takes the reader on a thrilling ride. Throughout the entire book, each uses the other for their own means, knowing full well they will probably have to kill the other before it’s all over. And they have no problems with that. Brilliant!

Plot Holes and Speed Bumps:

As skilled as this author is, she made some major boo boos IMO…

1. Jax was brutally raped before joining L.O.S.T. and still has issues with physical contact (she comes close to seriously hurting a few of the guys when they touch her accidentally) yet she admits to seducing a fellow cop for information soon after her assault. Beating the info out of him? Yes. Sleeping with him for it? No. The author builds the trauma of the rape as a big part of Jax’s character. I'm sorry, but this type of emotional pain can’t be turned off and on to suit the plot.

2. Marcus was able to track down the mother who abandoned him as an infant when he was 12, yet we’re led to believe that he doesn’t know who she is now. I might have bought this if she was a housewife stuck on a farm in the middle of Kansas. But she’s a high profile senator’s wife who’s on the road to possibly being the Vice President of the United States. She’s constantly in the public eye and easy to keep track of in this age of the internet--and our hero is a tech savvy guy--so what is supposed to be a shocking revelation to his character at a critical moment comes off as contrived and forced.

3. Marcus rushes into the cockpit of their plane to save them from skidding off the runway. This little snippet was totally unnecessary. It did nothing to move the plot forward and was so brief it was laughable. We already know Marcus is hero material, we didn’t need this little side trip to prove it.

4. SPOILER ALERT AHEAD: At the ending climax, the author has Jax’s fellow operatives wimp out and abandon her and Marcus, leaving him to die. I suppose it was suppose to reflect both of their pasts, when their fellow cops/soldiers abandoned them when they each needed them most. I’m all for having things come full circle, but this was soooo out of character for the kick-ass L.O.S.T. guys I was going WTF? I mean, really, was that necessary?

The ‘IT’ Factor:
Speed bumps and plot holes aside, Harlow is an extremely talented author. It's hard to believe this is the author’s first published novel. Not many editors are going to take a chance on an unknown writer who breaks so many rules in the romance genre, but Harlow thumbs her nose at the dreaded ”formula” and gets away with it. The ‘IT’ factor for this book is an author not afraid to push the boundaries of the genre and having the chops to do pull it off. You go girl!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Reading Is Good For Your Smart!

I suppose it won’t surprise anyone if I tell you that I love to read. After all, writers generally do. What do I like to read? Everything! I’m one of those people who will (and have) read the back of a cereal box if nothing else is available. I'm generally reading two books, one fiction and one nonfiction.

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

I suppose my eclectic reading tastes is the reason I had such a hard time figuring out what I wanted ot write. I tried chilrens stories, science fiction, mystery, women’s fiction, and several subgenres of romance. I finally stumbled into paranormal romance and found my niche. I hope to expand into romantic suspense soon. And who knows what else. I love trying new things.

funny pictures
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

What do you like to read and/or write?


Thursday, August 12, 2010

13 Things about the Cyberpunk Subgenre

Samhain Publishing's latest call for submissions is for a cyberpunk anthology. Editor Sasha Knight is looking for a few good futuristically oriented novellas with a deadline of February 2011. You can check out the full call for submissions at the Samhain Paranormal Authors blog, where I posted the request. Or here

Don't know much about cyberpunk? Here are some tidbits to get your creativity flowing:

1) Think of movies like Blade Runner, Terminator et al, The Matrix, A Clockwork Orange, Akira, Brainstorm, Brazil, Robo Cop et al, Heavy Metal, Tron (and New Tron, coming soon to theaters near you!), Alien et al, Wargames, Fifth Element, eXistenZ, Gattaca, Ghost in the Shell, Hackers, Johnny Mnemonic (on second thought, DON'T think of this movie), Tank Girl, Twelve Monkeys, Virtuosity, Appleseed, Aeon Flux, Gamer, I Robot, Minority Report, Imposter, Surrogates, Trouble and her Friends

2) Think of books like Neuromancer, Naked Lunch, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, The Shockwave Rider, Mirrorshades, Islands in the Net, Wetware, Snowcrash, Mona Lisa Overdrive, Hardwired, The Diamond Age, Mindplayers, The Difference Engine, Glass Hammer, Halting State, Diaspora, Kamira: The Sky Village, Kiln People, The Hunger Games, the short-lived Shomi books, Archangel Protocol

3) Check out this article about female characters in cyberpunk (you'll notice the books are almost all written by dudes):

4) Here's an interview with a female cyberpunk author, Pat Cadigan, with some fascinating reflections of what it means to be a feminist:

5) When you Google Cyberpunk Romance, Samhain's call for submissions and the various repostings of it are one of the main things that appear. Which means the cyberpunk romance field is wide open!

6) Here's a discussion about whether cyberpunk is dead at Absolute Write forums:

7) Adjectives I've seen repeatedly in connection to "What is cyberpunk?": dystopian, cynical, post-industrial, bleak, gritty, cybernetic, techie, near-future, computerized, post-modernist, troubled, dark, sinister, Orwellian

8) Nouns I've seen repeatedly in connection to "What is cyberpunk?: wasteland, Earth, datasphere, film noir, anime, future, corporations, networks, cyberspace, virtual reality, rebellion, revolution, hackers, Japan

9) According to several online sources (Wiki, others) the bleakness of cyberpunk was in part a rejection of the ebullient science fiction utopias so common in the 40s and 50s. That being said, considering cyberpunk didn't really take off until the 80s, I guess they had to work themselves up for a couple decades. Not to mention survive the 60's and 70's with their brains intact enough to write...

10) Site with a ton of cyberpunk movie reviews:

11) Cyberpunk is different from other subgenres of science fiction because it's usually near-future earth, very dystopian, and focuses on the implications of a totally networked culture, where genetic and cybernetic alternations, Ais and androids are common and giant corporations generally control the world instead of governments.

12) According to several sources, cyberpunk also often contains a lot of drug references, violence, Asiatic influences, anti-heroes and anti-heroines and a general nihilism.

13) Steampunk is more optimistic than cyberpunk.


What else marks cyberpunk as distinct from other science fiction genres?

Jody W. *

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My writing twin -- Stephen King

A few weeks ago, a blog friend, Colleen, posted a link: to "I Write Like ...."
An explanation: The Website says it's “a statistical analysis tool, which analyzes your word choice and writing style.” You plug in a writing sample, press the gray ANALYZE button and, voila, the program magically matches you to a famous writer.
Now I wouldn't bet my life on the accuracy of the program. But I'm not displeased it says I write like ... Stephen King. He uses lots of action verbs and so do I.
I'm delighted to be hooked up with one of my favorite authors.

Header courtesy of samulli

So, in celebration, here are 13 of Stephen King's finest books, starting and ending with my absolute favorites.

  1. Black House. I like this best for the high "creep factor," and because it’s also written by Peter Straub, another must-read author. And it has lots of characters, settings and interactions that seem authentic to its Wisconsin setting. (And there’s plenty of weird stuff that, thankfully, living in Wisconsin I’ve never encountered.)

  2. The Dark Tower
  3. Different Seasons
  4. Misery
  5. Bag of Bones
  6. Thinner
  7. Hearts in Atlantis
  8. The Green Mile
  9. Lisey’s Story
  10. Rose Madder
  11. Four Past Midnight
  12. Dolores Claiborne

  13. On Writing. This is my second favorite. In it, you’ll find all kinds of useful tips and personal reflections on what it means to be a writer.

I invite you to put a piece of your prose through the "I-Write-Like" analyzer and tell me who you’re linked with. I bet you'll be surprised!

Please visit on Thursday, August 19, when multi-talented and multi-published author, Terry Spear will be blogging about her new release, Seduced by the Wolf.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The ‘IT’ Factor – Debut Author Gabi Stevens

The Wish List
Tor Books, May 2010

Book Blurb:
Kristin Montgomery is more than a little shocked when her aunts inform her they’re fairy godmothers. Worse, after dropping that bombshell they hand her a wand and head off on a world cruise. Now Kristin’s uncomplicated life as a CPA in San Diego has disappeared like magic and she not only has to deal with her burgeoning magical powers, but also a reluctant—and distractingly sexy—magical arbiter.

Tennyson Ritter is a historian. A scholar by choice, he is yanked from his studies to act as arbiter for the newly chosen fairy godmother. He doesn’t want to waste his time with a woman who doesn’t know anything about magic or the magical world, but soon the beguiling Kristin draws him away from his books and into her life.

But before Kristin can hone her skills and pass the tests necessary to fully claim her powers, she and Tennyson must work together to defend the world – both magical and human – against those that would claim her powers for their own.

A Brief Note:
I was excited to read this book, but not for the reasons you might think. For years, I was under the impression that TOR’s paranormal romances were more plot than hot, meaning the fantasy/paranormal elements were the driving factor of the book while the romance part took a backseat or was sometimes stuffed completely in the trunk and out of sight. I had always heard they leaned toward 75% story/25% romance. But I knew as soon as I started reading THE WISH LIST that it could have just as easily been published by Kensington or Avon or any of the other NY romance powerhouses. I’m thrilled, because I never thought what I write was TOR material – that my books are too romance-heavy. Now I’m thinking otherwise and that’s a good thing since I have two fulls currently sitting on the TOR editor’s desk!

Now, on with our story…

The Pluses:
The author has a pleasant humorous voice. Writing humor is an art and I can always tell when it comes naturally and when it’s forced. Ms. Stevens has a natural talent for it without going over into slapstick territory.

The story isn’t a heavy read so it’s easy to breeze right through it. It’s one of those books you can easily read in one day or one you can put down and pick back up later and dive right back into without missing a beat.

The author has come up with a creative history for how and why fairy godmothers came into existence and live among us.

The Minuses:
The instigator for nearly all the love scenes is a love/hate fight reminiscent of (I’m really going to date myself here) Sam and Diane from Cheers:
Diane: “You disgust me. I hate you.”
Sam: “Are you turned on as I am?”
Diane: “More.”
We could easily substitute Kristin and Tennyson’s names in there and you have the precursor to each love scene in this book. Yes, anger and attraction often get mixed up in the heat of passion and it’s a standard plot device authors use to get two people who act like they hate each other together. It was cute the first time but I would have liked to see a little more variety for the second and third rounds in the mattress matches.

The author tries to throw in some red herrings but most were fairly obvious right away (for example, who the villain was).

The author sometimes slipped into telling vs. showing. For instance, I wanted to witness Tennyson defending Kristin to the Arcani Council, not be told what happened after the fact.

The ‘IT’ Factor:
I’m not one to buy my books by publisher so I can’t honestly say how many TOR romances I’ve read, but I’m thinking this one is stepping out of the usual mold for them. THE WISH LIST is definitely a departure from the dark urban fantasies and sci-fi futuristics with their kick ass heroines I’ve come to associate with this publisher. While this book does not re-invent the wheel as far as paranormal romance goes, I think TOR took a chance on a humorous voice and a fresh twist on the standard fairy godmother story and it paid off.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Keeping your finger on the pulse ...

One of the things we need to do as paranormal/urban fantasy writers and readers is to keep our finger on the pulse of publishing and where it's going. Good places to start? Well, Tor is considered the forerunner of paranormal fiction and they have a well-rounded website at which includes articles, up-and-coming authors, future books and more.

Orbit Books is another publisher making a name in the genre. Their website ( also offers news and information of interest to those of us who love magic and all things dark and spooky, as well as author links and a blogroll.

Night Shade Books ( goes a little darker, adding more horror to the paranormal. Their website has bookseller links, author websites and editorials about things that go bump in the night.

There are many other publishers who publish books in the paranormal genre, like Samhain (, Penguin ( and Juno ( Ace Books and St. Martin's Press also publish paranormal/urban fantasy, and the market seems to be growing with the success of the Twilight series, Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse novels, which inspired the HBO series True Blood and the House of Night Books from P.C. Cast and her daughter Kristin.

In other words, paranormal fiction isn't going anywhere. It's here to stay and bigger and better than ever. Still, you have to keep your eyes and ears open to stay ahead of the trends, to keep the blood fresh and the words flowing.

Happy writing.