Friday, January 02, 2009

Bringing in the New Year Right

I faxed off the corrections for DEAD IF I DO today, and, last night, as I was reading them I had an epiphany about the book I'm working on now, HONEYMOON OF THE DEAD. I realized that, in many ways DEAD IF I DO is about the trauma of GETTING married, and that HONEYMOON OF THE DEAD should be about the trauma of BEING married.

Except, of course, with ghouls and goblins and zombies, as usual.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Cap as Justice

I'll be honest. I'm not terribly happy with this one which is why it's still in sketch form. After the cool action-y pose of Iron Man, Cap is kind of a let down (and you KNOW he's my favorite Marvel superhero these days.)

But, technically, Justice is the 11th card and so I kind of skipped ahead mostly because, after drawing Iron Man, my fingers itched to do Captain America.

I think I may have settled on a subject for the Empress card, however. Medusa, Queen of the Inhumans. She's both sexy and a mother, and she rules over more than just a family (as Sue Richards does for the FF.) Plus, there's something in the Rider-Waite deck that I noticed that I'd love to include in my own... that is that the Empress sits at the edge of a cultivated field and the wilderness can be seen behind her, as though she marks or defends the end of civilization. As the Inhumans are on the moon, it would be easy to show Medusa sitting somewhere near a window that shows the moonscape behind her. Just a thought. I'll see how it all works out when I actually try to sketch it.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Do You Believe In Magic?

I was once on a panel with Neil Gaiman about... actually I can't remember what it was about exactly because I was awfully busy being awed by being in the presence of Neil, but I do remember that we touched on the fact that sometimes writers access synchronicity with a skill that's akin to magic. For example, you start thinking about a certain subject, say, alchemy and you decide -- totally randomly -- to make your vampire an alchemist from Vienna, Austria, then later, say, like yesterday, you're at Border's and you see a "Idiot's Guide to Alchemy" and you think, "Damn, you know, I know almost nothing about alchemy really, I should buy that so I can do some research and make Sebastian's alchemy more 'real.'"

So you open the book up to the introduction this morning over your bowl of Corn Flakes, and read this:

"Four hundred years earlier, Vienna and nearby Prague were the heart of European alchemy, and hundreds of alchemists flocked to the area to study."

Hairs rise on the back of your neck, and you say, "Holy coincidence, Batman. That's freaky."

I can't remember entirely the story that Neil told about his magical moment of research other than it had to do with his book American Gods, which at the time he hadn't quite finished. I just know that it's absolutely true. This isn't the first time something like this has happened to me, but it's still always so startling.

Monday, December 29, 2008

It's a Monday

Made obvious by the fact that a few seconds ago I posted a blank blog. WTF? Somehow I fumbled the keyboard. Yeah, it's Monday, all right.

Plus, as I wrote over at the Something Wicked Blog, I woke up this morning with a headache and an impending sense of doom. The headache I mostly blame on the weather. Here in Minnesota it's been warmish (for winter, with temps in the 20s and 30s F), which always gives my sinuses a workout. The impending sense of doom, however, has more to do with the fact that APPARENTLY 2008 is almost over.

How did that happen?

I feel like this entire year has been moving at super-sonic speeds. I have no idea where all my time went, though at least I appear to have some things to show for it. ROMANCING THE DEAD came out this year, and I finished DEAD IF I DO at some point. I'm only certain of this because I'm looking at a set of reader's proofs that are due back at the publisher at the beginning of next year --- a matter of days, actually. The good news there is that I'm half way done reviewing it, and I can fax back the pages that need corrections.

But what the hey? Why do I only have fifty pages on the next book done? What have I been doing with my time?

Oh, yeah, watching HELLBOY 2 and drawing Marvel (tm) tarot cards. I should really try to develop a bit more focus for the new year. Ah! A resolution! Hooray, something accomplished already.