Thursday, September 27, 2012

Miking the Frog (Literary Underworld Blog Tour Post)

Special note: I am proud to host a guest post from author Angelia Sparrow, an author whose work I think a lot of.  This post is part of the Literary Underworld Blog Tour Week, to raise awareness of a great site supporting quality small press and self-published authors by carrying their titles both in an online store as well as setting up at conventions.  You've heard me brag about them before! :)    Enjoy Angelia's post and then visit the Literary Underworld! 

Miking the Frog

The story is told that in the early days of the Muppets, Jim Henson was being interviewed and had taken Kermit with him. As the cameras rolled, the crew realized they couldn't hear Henson at all. They called for a commercial and checked the situation. The sound man had attached the microphone to the Frog.

Interviewing authors is a little like miking the frog. Most of us don't have a lot to say, about ourselves at any rate. We'd rather tell you about all our imaginary friends, about the weird places we vacation and  what our next book is about. If you get two or more of us in a room, there is likely to be comparison shopping of publishers.

I had one of those imaginary friend moments. I'd taken a writer friend to see JOHN CARTER. I had waited for this movie since I was 10 years old. I'd read all 11 books, owned some of the very short-lived comic book and all the usual fannish things. In fairness, I had already seen it and was eager to share something I loved so very much. My friend immediately translated this into terms of her imaginary friends and talked for an hour and a half about them, instead of sharing the movie experience we had just seen. You ask this friend about herself and she won't have much to say.

The trick is getting the imaginary friends to work for you, instead of hurting your material friends' feelings. Most of the time, this is accomplishable. Sometimes the friends go to Aruba, without so much as a picture post-card, and sometimes they stop talking altogether. But we soldier on.

So what do you do, when¡ยชas frequently happens in this day of constant social networking-- someone has miked the frog and started asking the writer questions?

We tapdance as fast as we can, trying to make ourselves as interesting as possible. We share memes and cat pictures and quiz results. We do photo-dumps of everyone else's cat pictures. We interview our characters. We irritate everyone with our politics or religion. We keep to-do lists. We post recipes and excerpts.

But our readers expect good stuff from our blogs, from our facebook, from our twitter. They want more than State of the Sooky (that's Succubus for the uninitiated): Angel wrote 2000 words, edited a chapter, failed her workout and cleaning, fed the family frozen pizza again and went to bed. They want more than endless twitter reposts, even the funny ones: I love how bottles of baby powder say "mild," as if "extra spicy was an option.--Della Buckland

They want more than endless self-promotion. Fifteen days until my book comes out, here's the cover! Fourteen and a half days, here's a picture that looks like the main character. Fourteen days, here's an excerpt. The book came out, who wants to win a copy?  You get the idea. 

There are endless websites with ideas and creative writing prompts to fill your blog with interesting posts. This is what google is for.

On the other hand, I never have to worry about that with my friends at the Literary Underworld. Most of them have blogs that are interesting and far more entertaining than my endless failure at my daily task roster. So I put them on my blog roll and read them, instead of working out.

Yep, you miked the frog.
If you want to let the interesting folks speak, you can find them at Vampiric sex workers, half-angel steampunk lesbian demon hunters, gay Christmas werewolves, dragons and inventors. Dwarves and Nephilim, and Zombies, oh my.

And just for reading, there is a 15% coupon for use at checkout: LUBLOGTOUR

Angelia Sparrow is the author of  9 novels and over 60 short stories. Her tenth book, HARD REBOOT releases Sept 30, the 11th, SPELLBOUND DESIRE is coming Oct 26. Her work can be found at and of course at

Sunday, September 16, 2012

My Nominations for Celebrate Womanhood 2012

My Nominations for Celebrate Womanhood 2012

Kriss Morton, the Cabin Goddess!
Jessica Lay, Queen of all that is Badassery!

Today is evidently Celebrate Womanhood Day 2012.  I found out about the special day a little late, but I am definitely one who is more than happy to celebrate the greatness of women!  I am immensely grateful to so many wonderful women in my own life, who have inspired me, influenced me, taught me, took care of me, been friends to me, and made my life so much better.   Many great women have helped make me who I am today :)

While I've had many very special women in my life, today, as a guy, I thought it would be fun to jump in and nominate two in particular to share the title of Woman of the Day for this 2012 celebration of womanhood..

Jessica Lay and Kriss Morton are those women.  The dynamic duo have been such amazing friends.   Strong, witty, colorful, hard-working, kind, caring ... I could go on forever, but just let me say that it has been a real blessing to have these two women come into my world.

I got to meet Jessica shortly after she had begun to follow Jackie Gamber's activities when Seventh Star Press re-issued Redheart, Book One of Jackie's Leland Dragon Series.  Jessica had reviewed the book on her site, Jess Resides Here.  Jessica and I began a friendship that grew strongly over the months that followed, leading to the day that she wanted to introduce someone that she had a particular fondness for, a friend of hers from Alaska who was also a blogger like Jess (Kriss' site is The Cabin Goddess).

Needless to say, Jess bringing Kriss into my world was like getting hit with a Tsunami of Awesomeness.  Kriss takes no prisoners, knows what she wants and goes after it.  Jessica and Kriss are both fiery, passionate women, who both have a tremendous degree of loyalty and integrity.  If we are talking about celebrating womanhood, then these two women are outstanding representatives of that wondrous gender!  :)

I now have the honor of working with the both of them in First Rule Publicity, and it has already been so fun and wonderful to be on active projects with them and making some new things happen.  They both bring so much into a project, from their creativeness, drive, insights, and so much more.  They are multi-talented women without question, and I am lucky to be in business with them.  Three really is company in this instance! LOL

Jess and Kriss inspire me, they make me smile on the tough days, they give me an ear and a shoulder to lean on when I need it, and I know that in any adversity they have my back, with the ferocity of lionesses.  When it comes to Jess and Kriss, we're talking all badassery, and no asshats allowed!  Their friendship means so much to me, and while there are many incredible women that have made such an impact in my life, I wanted to take today to give some special recognition to these two bright lights in my own life.

They rock, they rule, they embody what makes women so great!   Jessica Lay and Kriss Morton are my Women of the Day!  Celebrate Womanhood!  They DO make life a grand adventure! :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

New SSP Kickstarter Project for Book Involving Writers Like Neil Gaiman, Orson Scott Card, and more!

Big Announcement:  Would you like to help a small press release an incredible project?  Please visit our Kickstarter Page for full info and a short video about The Writers' Workshop of Science Fiction and Fantasy, a fantastic book project including collaborators such as Neil Gaiman, Orson Scott Card, Harry Turtledove, Joe Haldeman, James Gunn, and many more.  Help Seventh Star Press make this project happen!  It will be a book of tremendous valuable for science fiction/fantasy writers everywhere!  Spread the word!