Friday, May 05, 2006

Officially a Best Seller

I just got word a few minutes ago that Tall, Dark & Dead jumped to the #10 spot of BookScan's trade paperback fantasy bestseller list.

I wasn't terribly excited about this until I did a little google research. has a very intersting article about how BookScan's figures are tallied. Apparentely BookScan tracks actual books leaving retail stores. Check it out:

There might be champaign in my future.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

My Crowded Brain

I have a lot of people sharing my head space.

I don't know where other people get their characters, but mine, I swear, have been with me since I was born (like the eggs in my uterus – weird aside, did you know that girls are born with all the ova they will ever have? How strange is that?)

Take Sebastian, for instance. I've known his entire back story since I was, I don't know, maybe twelve. I pick twelve out of a hat because somewhere in there is about when my creative brain really started to mature. I always had imaginary friends, but I started writing about them and developing their stories in my late pre-teen years. One of the first vampire stories I wrote involved a slightly altered version of Sebastian. It was called "The Dark Gift" and I sold it (actually, I gave it away) to a 'zine called Nocturnal Ecstasy Coven.

I made a PDF version of it and uploaded it HERE, if you’re curious to read it.

I also started a couple of stories about Benjamin, his house ghost, which I never finished. I'd actually like to revisit them now and see if any part of them are salvageable. I find it interesting that even my earlier version of Sebastian had a thing for witches, as he’s dating one in both those stories as well.

One thing that has bummed me out is that, like any author, there are things about my vampires which I KNOW, but have never had a literary opportunity to explain or reveal. Like Parrish's back story. I allude to it in TDD, but I've never had a real opportunity to "show" it. This may also have to be fodder for a story for another day. Except I suck at period pieces, which his "making" would have to be, what with him being 200 years old.

Yet, unlike my ova, some characters just show up, uninvited. Matyas, Sebastian's son, did that (which is very in keeping with his character, don’t you think?) But, then again, so did William – although to be fair William is loosely based on people I know. I very rarely "crib" characters from real life, but when I do they're almost always an amalgam of several different people. I never lift someone wholesale from real life, because most people aren’t nearly weird enough to fit into my universe-- well, in my previous authorial life there was one exception. (You know who you are.)

One of my favorite parts of being a writer, actually, is that time just before I fall asleep at night when I get to bring out some of the people I've never written about and just play with them in my head. Only occasionally have I caused myself insomnia hanging out with my imaginary friends, and that was embarrassing because I was, at the time, desperately re-writing the entire prequel Star Wars trilogy. (No, I don't want to talk about it. But, yes, thank you, I'm over it.)

As a writer you never have to give up you imaginary friends. How much does that rule?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Happy Birthday, Garnet!

Today is the first day that Tall, Dark & Dead officially goes on sale.


There was a really wonderful article about MOI, as Ms. Piggy would say, in the Saint Paul Pioneer Press on Sunday. If you're interested, check out:

Can I tell you that I'm completely freaked out by all of this?

I'm trying very, very hard to be excited. There's no reason to think that TDD won't do well, but, I feel a little bit like a formerly abused spouse who's getting married again. This is different, I know that...

BUT. I think I'd be feeling a lot more hopeful if there wasn't a day, five years ago, when I felt so much more exhilaration walking into the nearest Barnes & Noble and finding a copy of my book on the shelves. I was so excited. I took a picture of myself standing next to the aisle like a proud parent.

Today, when I drove out to HarMar Mall with my son in tow, I wasn't at all surprised they didn't have Tall, Dark & Dead in stock. The nice information clerk explained that she figured their shipment had been delayed. "Whatever," I said, and meant it. I mean, I've been through this process enough times to know that no one cares if my books are out ON TIME. Tate Hallaway is not on par with Charlaine Harris, whose fans would have a conniption fit if her newest, which also comes out today, isn't on the shelves.

Also, although my friends are excited about my sales ranking, I keep thinking, "Yes, but for how long?" And, "But, is it enough for what it is – in other words, will NY be disappointed by THE NUMBERS?"

It doesn't help that my agent and I, who are ready to propose more books in the Garnet Lacey universe, were told to wait a few weeks until more sales figures came in. From where I'm sitting, that just smells like doom and gloom.

I wish I could be more optimistic.

The only thing I know for certain is that, if by some chance, this venture should fail, I will keep writing. Last night as I was staying up to write (I wrote an amazing 2,500 words on Dead Sexy, the next Garnet book), my partner turned to me and said, "Hey, I’m really proud of you." And, I knew what she was talking about. It wasn't the fact that I was up writing, or that my book officially came out in an hour (this was at 11 pm), but the fact that when I could have quit, I reinvented myself.

And I’ll do it again if I have to.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Why I LOVE Minnesota

Today, on the way back from the Minnesota Zoo, Mason and I spotted an egret in a drainage ditch. On the way out, we saw a hawk perched on a street light....


Oh, and as a post-script, tomorrow is my big day. Tall, Dark & Dead officially hits the shelves.