Year: 2014

Before the Dark Knight: Gotham

In all the movies, in all the cartoons, in all the comics, never has anyone done as perfect of job of capturing why Batman exists. Batman exists because Gotham exists, and Gotham is the Heart of Darkness. The city depicted in this TV show is so corrupt, so morally bankrupt, so beyond redemption, that the creators of this show are answering a question I never even realized I was asking: why would Batman put on the cowl in the first place? What made him who he becomes?

New Release: Blood Sin

Zander Sin is the bad boy of rock-n-roll, known for his wealth, his temper tantrums, and his love of hedonism, but to K&R expert and newly born maran vampire Jackson Pastor, Zander Sin is something else: murderer, monster, and kidnapper. After Zander’s Whore of Babylon tour comes to Los Angeles, Jackson also learns that Zander Sin has a grudge with Jackson’s family that goes way beyond money or power, and stretches all the way back to ancient Rome. Zander may be on everyone’s hit list, human and supernatural alike, but when Jackson learns that Zander’s keeping his younger sister Monika prisoner, he finds himself face-to-face with the most objectionable of outcomes: being forced to help Zander Sin get what he wants. Even if it means Jackson may have to betray everyone he loves to do it. You all can rest easy. I am done publishing books for 2014. (I published 3 books this year. If you went back in time to tell 20-year-old me this information, 20-year-old me would have mocked you for telling unbelievable …

Monsanto Wants Your Soul (book reviews)

Or, reviews of two dystopian novels: Karen Faris’s Grumbles the Novel, Part I: Take a Pill and Chuck Wendig’s Under the Empyrean Sky. (Note: I purchased both books, and was not asked to review them.) So a few weeks ago my business required me to do a fair bit of airplane travel. In a perfect world, that would mean five or six hours of solid writing, but coach airplane chairs are so small it’s almost impossible to do any real typing without smashing my elbow into the poor bastard sitting next to me. So instead I read a couple of books. In hindsight, I was amused to discover that I had unwittingly chosen books of a THEME, that theme being: GMOs are going to eat you. In both cases, literally. The first book I picked up was part 1 of Karen Faris’s Grumbles series. Now, I’m going to start with what I hated about this book: it’s not a complete novel, but ends just the story is starting to ramp up. Now, trilogies can be tricky …

Updates and Motivation

So I’m about 85,000 into the first draft of Making Shiva, and progress is slowing. Much of that is due to real life issues that I won’t get into and the release of Blood Chimera (which has required a lot more active marketing support than my self-published titles,) but at least the ‘wall’ has nothing do with actual writing this time. Still, what I’d hoped to finish in one mouth will definitely take two, maybe three (although hopefully not more than that.) That said, I thought we might talk a little about motivation. You know that thing that actors are always asking? “What’s my motivation?” That. I was recently watching a movie (it will remain nameless but it rhymes with Gorilla) where the primary motivation for the majority of characters was “what will advance the plot to the next action scene?” The characters had no other plausible motivation. They made decisions that seemed to be based solely on what the director needed, not what was internally consistent for their own histories and personalities. Self-interest wasn’t invited to …

New Book: Blood Chimera

This has been a long time coming. I’m just a touch excited. A little. A smidge. To put it mildly. Okay, fine: I’m so damn excited. Here’s the cover for Blood Chimera, a paranormal mystery coming August 12th from World Weaver Press. [Correction: OUT NOW! YES!] Warning: what follows is a whole lot of author gushing about how the hell this book happened and that includes some world-building thoughts which might be considered spoilery (at least as far as meta book details are concerned). I’ve always wanted to write a vampire book (well, since I was eighteen and first read Dracula, or maybe since I was fourteen and first saw The Hunger? Back during the Triassic, in any event.) I was always told not to. “It’s been done,” I heard. “Anne Rice owns the genre. The publishers don’t want to look at that.” (Which later became ‘Laurell K Hamilton owns the genre’ or ‘Charlaine Harris owns the genre’ or ‘Stephanie Meyers owns the genre’ but always with the strong suggestion that vampires are overdone and nobody wants …

Blood Chimera Release Date Announced!

Alpena, MI (July 2, 2014) – World Weaver Press (Eileen Wiedbrauk, Editor-in-Chief) has announced Blood Chimera, the first novel in a new paranormal mystery series by Jenn Lyons, will be available in trade paperback and ebook Tuesday, August 12, 2014. Some ransoms aren’t meant to be paid. Kidnap and Ransom negotiation used to be straightforward. The bad guys kidnap someone, and K&R expert Jackson Pastor negotiates their release, skillfully traversing a maze of bloodthirsty monsters: criminals, terrorists, police, and especially the FBI. But that was before he met real bloodthirsty monsters. When Jackson Pastor arrives in Los Angeles to help a new client recover his kidnapped wife, he finds himself dropped in the middle of a 500-year-old war between rival European and Mexican vampire clans, a conflict that threatens to escalate into a full-on public gang war. Worse, Jackson hasn’t been brought to Los Angeles to be a negotiator. His new boss wants to turn him into an assassin. With Jackson about to be caught in the middle of a clan war, his only hope of escape may lie with a secret …

Glamour Review (plus a sale!)

One of the books my publisher World Weaver Press recently published is called Glamour (written by Andrea Janes), and while on the surface the book is about witches, don’t let that fool you. It’s really about how power corrupts, the contrast between haves and have-nots, judging books by their covers, and the dangers of getting what you wish for (especially when it comes at someone else’s expense.) Good stuff, wonderfully written. Really the kind of work that deserves to be shared, so where I am, sharing it. So I wasn’t given an advance reader copy of this book but I actually went out and bought it myself. Because. (Okay, I liked the cover art.) I’m very glad I did. As Hannibal Lecter once asked: What do we covet, Clarice? Answer with me: we covet what we see every day. In this case, the ‘we’ is a young woman named Christina, who grew up in, lives, and works in a small Cape Cod resort town that might once have been the set of a Lovecraftian group of cultists, but now …

Leaving Carcosa: Post-Mortem on True Detective

This is coming in a bit late for those who have already finished watching the first series of True Detective (I wrote this the night after the season finale, but real life interfered with the posting,) but I figure the show will have a long tail as people watch it later, so here we are. So first, some background: I only started watching True Detective because I heard about the King in Yellow connection. For those unaware, the King in Yellow is the name of a collection of short stories written by Robert Chambers, published in 1895. He borrowed the city of Carcosa from writer Ambrose Bierce, but otherwise introduced the idea of the mysterious titular entity, a occult ‘Yellow Sign’ and a play that would drive its viewers insane. Only four stories in the collection directly concern the King in Yellow, but that was enough. Chamber’s work was lovingly appropriated by H.P. Lovecraft and merged with the greater Lovecraft milieu, becoming part of a rich body of horror mythology, the King in Yellow accepted …

Kumiho

Kumiho was a short story I wrote about 10 years back, and semi-autobiographical. I chanced upon it when looking through some old files and decided to share it. _______________ Since my boyfriend lost his car last summer, I’ve been taking the bus a lot. You meet a weird lot riding the bus, especially in Los Angeles, where public transportation is the option of last resort. There are the people who hop on and immediately open up the cases of stolen watches, the homeless who haven’t bathed in weeks if not months and sometimes, the people like me who are just enduring the commute to work. These are generic descriptions, but there are some very specific characters I’ve encountered: one fellow who carries a white cane and pretends to be blinds so he can ride for free; an old sweet-looking grandmotherly woman who always wears the same tweed suit with lace gloves and is so terrified that there won’t be any room for her on the bus she always cuts in front of the line, even …

SFWA blows up…again.

For the last year, pretty much coinciding with my determination to make this writing thing really happen, the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America has been embroiled with multiple strings of ugly controversies involving sexism, racism and the unfortunate growing pains of a changing marketplace and industry. Full disclosure: currently, I can’t join SFWA, because I’m a hybrid author who doesn’t meet their minimum qualifications for book advances, something that I don’t see changing until they modify their requirements to be more inclusive of self-publishing and indie-publishing. (Hugh Howey, making $40K a month from his Wool series, wouldn’t have qualified either before he signed his recent print publication deal–they really do need to update their by-laws, which currently exclude a whole lot of authors who might otherwise benefit from membership.) So I am an outsider, and I’ve never been a member of the organization. That does not mean, however, that I don’t look to the organization, and that I don’t expect them to represent my interests. I do. I find Writers Beware to be …