Guilt By Association

Unless you’re a fan of one of the authors involved in what I’m about to address and read their blogs or follow them on Twitter, you may not know about this particular debacle.

Then again, you may have heard about several authors withdrawing their stories from a particular anthology.

Here’s the original post that brought the main issue to light. It’s important to read that link so you’ll understand the rest of this post.

Go on, I’ll wait. Continue reading

I’m Blogging This

It’s interesting (and dangerous, really) to not only be friends with (or married to) a writer, but to go out anywhere with them.

Writers are reclusive by nature, so when we leave our hidey-holes…yeah.

So I was out tonight (don’t faint) with a friend (I have them!) and we went to one of my favorite local restaurants. I do so love this place.

Tonight…well…a lot of things happened tonight that just….

Yeah. Continue reading

Total Pimpage! Go and win stuff!

I had to share this with you all. Barbara Vey (contributing editor for Publisher’s Weekly and all-around rockin’ chick) is hosting her 4th annual anniversary bash on her blog. It’s a major online party that goes on 24/7 for the whole week, each day with a different theme. Today (Monday) is Paranormal Day, and we’re all over there partying/commenting our hearts out. Hot men, drinks, you name it, it’s there (and if it isn’t, you can bring it). Authors like Meljean Brook, Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love are participating, and there are over 300 prizes (along with 21 e-readers!) to be given away.

Clicky here to join the party! Come on! This way!

It was awesome last year and I’m so pleased to be playing again.

Oh, yeah, I’m there too! I have a signed copy of The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance featuring my short story “Once A Demon” up for grabs, as well as two rechargeable Starbucks cards with $5.00 each on them (for a total of $10!).

Go! Go! All you have to do to enter the contest is comment. The party’s been going on for less than 12 hours now, and already the comments are nearing 800. And this is only the first day.

Barbara is also on Twitter and using the hashtag #BHBbash.

In Barbara’s own words from one of her previous blog entries: “The party officially starts at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, CST, so everyone in the world is invited and goes nonstop until midnight Saturday night. After that, commenters will not be eligible for prizes, but you can still post. Every time you leave a comment it counts as one entry, so feel free to talk up a storm, there will be many new friends to make and a wonderful opportunity for readers and authors to get together and have a great time.

I hope you all help me get the word out. We’ll be talking about it on Twitter (#BHBbash will be our party room) and Facebook. Now it’s your turn to get the word out to all your fans and friends who won’t want to miss the bash of year (and they’ll thank you forever if they win one of the e-readers or other marvelous prizes).”

So! Repost this on your own blogs, Twitter, FB – get the word out! Great prizes and lots of fun!

#Team Blankie Post 2!

Hello, everyone!

I promised you more #TeamBlankie photos today, and here they are! Today’s post is fraught (I just love that word – “fraught!”) with unorthodoxy. Two of today’s featured writers have unorthodox blankies, but they are blankies nonetheless. Despite appearances, these unorthodox blankies are no less loved by their owners, and I am proud to count them among Blankiedom.

First up we have writer Stephanie Weippert. Her blankie began life as a scarf. She is pictured here with the both her blankie!scarf and her son’s baby blankie, as well as Galaya, the polydactyl cat that owns her. Stephanie writes on the less-conventional side of things (my favorite!). According to her Livejournal, that’s everything “from love stories to dystopias, including magic and space invasions.” She’s an awesome writer!

Writer Stephanie Weippert, with the muse that owns her and blankies!

Writer Stephanie Weippert, with the muse that owns her and blankies!

Thanks for sharing your pic and blankies, Stephanie! (And your furry muse!)

Next up we have one of the writers directly responsible for this fun-and-evil. The writer who coined the hashtag #TeamBlankie in the first place, Lindsay Robertson. She is pictured here with all that remains of a blankie that’s been loved for almost twenty-four years.

Lindsay graduated from university this summer with a B.A. in English (cue the song!), and instead of finding a job right away she decided to spend more time (all right, most of her time) writing YA urban fantasy. When she’s not being terrible at blogging regularly (she said it, I didn’t!), she enjoys impersonating a mummy.

Writer Lindsay Robertson impersonating the mummy of a 1970s police officer.

Writer Lindsay Robertson impersonating the mummy of a 1970s police officer.

Thanks for the pic, Lindsay (and for the cool hashtag I totally stole, and for the evil idea, and for making it fun, and for including one of my anthologies in the background of your pic. Flattery will get you everywhere. What? Of course I’m shallow! I’m mostly evil! Shallow = evil, right?)!

Rounding out this batch of unorthodoxy is #TeamBlankie participant Johanna Harness. She writes YA dystopian fairytales and MG contemporary. You want to talk about cool hashtag coinage? Johanna coined the whole #amwriting chat community thing, and is awesome at helping writers both professional and aspiring with their writing goals. She’s brilliant and pictured here wrapped in her blankie with her laptop on her head. She literally has writing on the brain here, people. You could only hope to be so dedicated to your profession!

Writer Johanna Harness with her laptop on her head, and her blankie around her shoulders!

Writer Johanna Harness with her laptop on her head, and her blankie around her shoulders!

Thanks for your awesome, Johanna! (And the pic, too!)

Keep those fantastic pics coming, writer peeps! You know who you are!

Until next time, go #TeamBlankie, and remember, there’s no “i” in “team!”

“There is a ‘me’ though, if you jumble the letters up a little bit.” – House, M.D.

#TeamBlankie Inaugural Post!

Hello, all!

I put out the call for photos of writers with their blankies, and behold! Responses! Awesome responses!

As promised, I post for your viewing pleasure, #TeamBlankie victims! “Participants!” I meant “participants!” In order to avoid image-heavy posting for those who might have slow or unhappy connections, I’ll keep these in batches of three #TeamBlankie writers per post!

Since I’m the one “hosting” the #TeamBlankie party, I figured I should probably pony up and start us off. It’s only fair, right? To ask you all to do something I’m not willing to do myself…that’s just not right. So! Here you are!

Here I am. Dina James, herself. Also known as “Our Lady of the Blankie,” pictured with the Blankie of Ultimate Softness.

Dina James, Our Lady of the Blankie

Dina James, Our Lady of the Blankie

Here’s another of Our Lady of the Blankie, being not so reverent:

Dina poses with her books and the Blankie of Ultimate Softness.

Dina poses with her books and the Blankie of Ultimate Softness.

I’m sure if you’re here you know about pretty much all you need to about me, but in case you don’t I’ll reiterate for you. I am Dina James, Chronicler of the Paranormal (which is cooler than saying “I write about vampires and other things that don’t supposedly exist.”), tea junkie and mostly evil. If you want to know more, check out my website to learn all you could ever hope to know about me.

Our next #Team Blankie vict- er…participant is none other than the wonderful (local for me!) PacNorWest author of the undead, Mark Henry. His blankie has EYES! Check it out! It’s alive! ALLIIIIIVEEE! Mark said I could have his blankie, but I had to share, so here it is! I’m sharing! Just like we learned in to do kindergarten.

Mark Henry and his little dog too!

Mark Henry and his little dog too!

Thank you, Mark, for being awesome and having a great sense of humor! (And sharing your blankie!)

The next victim to fall prey to the power of the blankie is writer Jess Ring. She writes many different genres. However, science fiction and fantasy for young adults is her favorite. She is also a screenwriting student and enjoys that medium a great deal. Check out her Twitter feed here! Jess has an awesome cat and fantastic color on the wall behind her! I want that room in my house!

Writer Jess Ring and her cat Meow Meow

Writer Jess Ring and her cat Meow Meow

Thanks for the pic, Jess!

Need more blankie!love? Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post featuring more writers and their blankies.

Go #TeamBlankie!

Blanket Post

I know, I’ve been absent from the blog for awhile. I’ve been absent from most online things for awhile, so don’t feel as though I’ve just been neglecting the blog. Oh, no. I’m an equal-opportunity neglector, however this is not the point of this post.

This post is about blankies.

More to the point, I was on Twitter tonight broadcasting the fact that I have in my possession, wrapped around me at this very moment, a thing of awesome.

It is a blankie.

Not just any blankie.

This is the Blankie of Ultimate Softness (+25 to snuggles and waylay for those playing at home).

As I said on Twitter, it makes me want to run up to random strangers yelling, “FEEL! FEEL THE SOFT! OMG!”

This led to a discussion about blankies and being too old for blankies and to make a long story short, the hashtag #TeamBlankie was born, coined by writer Lindsay. Another contributor to this latest Evil Idea is writer Marissa, owner of a Blanket of Coolness.

So this got me to thinking about writers and blankies. #TeamBlankie people all seemed to be writerly people who love their blankies…. Writers on blankies….

Well? What would you do with that information? Writers don’t have calendars and layouts and stuff like heavy metal bands with hot chicks on cars. So you know what I decided?

I decided writers need a PHOTOSHOOT.

This is the official call for those photos. The topic?

THE WRITE BLANKIE. (Yes, yes, I know, but this is creativity late at night after a long day on short notice. Shut up and take the photo already.)

Here’s what this is about/for/what to do:

1) You must be a writer. You don’t have to be published, but if you’re not yet, you do have to have aspirations of that nature/be of the writerly sort. Yes, poetry counts, as does non-fiction. Writing is writing.

2) Take a photo of yourself on/wrapped in/with your favorite blankie (or blankies). You can be as creative as you want here. Toss some of your books (or your favorite books) on your blankie with you. YOU MUST BE IN THE PHOTO, not just your blankie(s). Don’t give me any excuses about how you’re not in shape or you hate how you look or whatever. Take the bloody photo, wuss. Wrap yourself up in your blankie if you don’t want anyone seeing anything more than your face. Wear sunglasses. I don’t care. You just need to be in the photo.

3) KEEP IT CLEAN. I don’t care if you want to pose on your back deck in your bikini or in your altogether with one of your books over your junk, but PLEASE do make sure your naughty bits are covered. These pics are going to go up on this blog/my FB/online, etc. so keep that in mind when you take it. I’m not going to post amateur porn here, people. This is supposed to be fun.

4) Send your photo to dina {at} dinajames {dot} com with the subject line “#TeamBlankie Photo.” Send your pic in the body of the mail – NOT AS AN ATTACHMENT. I get a lot of spam and I don’t want your photo to be caught in the filter or deleted. Also, I don’t open attachments, so if you want your photo up on the blog with your blankie, send me a photo the proper way! Also, by sending me your photo, you’re giving me permission to post it on my blog, so be aware of that before you send it! If you’re okay with me using your photo for a possible calendar or something creative later, tell me that too.

5) Tell me when you send the photo how you want to be credited on the blog. If you have a link you want me to include, I will do so. I’ll write something like “This is _____. S/he writes ____, and can be found at _____.” Then I’ll include some clever/witty/evil comment about your awesome.

If I get enough photos, I may think about putting together a calendar for people to either buy or maybe just for fun. Who knows where this could go! I need photos first!

Come on, writer peeps! Let’s have some fun with our blankies!

EDIT: There’s no deadline for these pics, really. Whenever you get a minute would be cool. We’ll just keep this thing going however long we want to! I think two weeks ought to do for word to filter around and fun pics to start rolling in, so whenever!

Stuff, Things and So Much Fun

I love being evil! Hee!

Tuesday the 25th I went up to Powell’s at Cedar Hills to attend the joint signing of Lilith Saintcrow, Ilona Andrews, and Devon Monk.

I got there nearly an hour early. It’s a two hour drive into Portland for me, and I was going to be arriving during the tail end of traffic. Plus the weather driving in from the Oregon Coast on a two-lane highway known for some of the most horrific and deadly accidents in the state wasn’t all that great, but I was determined to go.

And wow, was I glad I showed up when I did. Nearly an hour early and already the first three rows of seats were filled, and the rest were filling. Soon it was hot and stuffy with all the people there, but I didn’t care. There were three authors of my genre about to speak and sign!

I met up with my wonderful friend and fellow writer Skye Forbes and her tall spouse, over whom I shall not perv on my blog (except to say that he has really nice eyes…that’s not very pervy, is it? Let’s just say Skye is a lucky lady.). We sat and talked and saw some people we knew (Meljean Brook was there to support her fellow writers! She’s awesome, everyone, just so you know.) and talked more, then it was time for the writers to do some talking.

There was a Q&A (remember, this was just an appearance and signing, so no one read excerpts or gave any spoilers for upcoming works, don’t worry!) and then a giveaway/raffle of some swag, then the signing itself.

You’re wondering what my being evil has to do with all this, aren’t you? Well…I’ll tell you.

In addition to books for each author to sign, I brought evil gift bags.

I ransacked each author’s blog/site for stuff about them I didn’t already know.

(I also cornered Lili on her Twitter to ask her about her particular preferences for a gift I had planned for her under the guise of acquiring knowledge of how different coffee blends taste. Everything I said was true, Lili! I don’t know these things! I drink tea! Yes, I owned a coffee shop once, but just because I know how to make different coffee drinks and brew different blends doesn’t mean I know what they taste like! And I can’t ask my mother the coffee hound, because though she is a mega-coffee freak and weird about her coffee, if it resembles a coffee-like substance (i.e. Folgers, Maxwell House, Yuban), she’ll drink it. A remnant left over from her Army days. (Yes, my mother wore combat boots, and I’m very proud of that fact, thank you!) Even though she knows what “good coffee” tastes like and will grind her own beans in her expensive bean-grinding timer-capable coffee pot I bought her, she’ll still make a cup of instant. Why? Why?

Besides, now I know for research purposes and got to be evil at the same time. Two birds, one stone and all that. Anyway, I digress.)

Back to the eviltry. So I used my powers for evil here.

Ilona Andrews is actually two people – Ilona and her husband Andrew (who goes by Gordon just to make things easy). Ilona likes knitting and Gordon likes action figures and comics. Also, they have dogs that I want to hug, and I’m a complete animal person, so in their gift bag I put knitting things for Ilona, a treat from Harry & David for Gordon (I know jack about comic and action figures, and I’m sorry, I went the Man Route and gave him food. Yes, I know. Shut up. It was GOOD FOOD!), and treats for the pups. Yes, I spoil other people’s pets in addition to my own.

Lili Saintcrow is an awesome woman and brilliant writer. I can’t say enough cool things about her. She ROCKS. She also loves coffee and has recently had hair issues in addition to starting rock climbing. Well, what would you do with that information? I put hair things, a bandanna and some good locally-roasted coffee in her gift bag.

Also, on Twitter, there’s a little in-joke between me, Lili, and a couple other writers about evil cupcakes. I am in charge of evil cupcakes.

Well, again? What would you do with that?

I, being evil and in charge of cupcakes, brought Lili a dozen evil cupcakes. No, I did not make them myself. But that does not make them any less evil.

I surprised the ever-loving Hell out of Lili with those, and THAT, my friends, is what makes me evil. The look on her face was priceless when she realized I was “THAT DINA!”, and my place as Evil Gothic Goddess was assured. I love you, Lili. You’re the best.

On to Devon.

I don’t know a great deal about Devon (pronounced “De-VON”, not “Devin”). Her books are in my TBR (to be read) pile, and all I know about her is she’s a local awesome writer and I have a short story in The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2 with her.

This did not stop me from making her an Evil Gift Bag. Devon also likes to knit, so I put some knitting things in her bag as well.

Let’s get one thing straight. I know next to nothing about knitting, but I was assured by both Devon and Ilona that the things I’d chosen for their Evil Gift Bags were actual, usable, knitty-crafty things.

So there you have it. I got to be evil, I had books signed by all four wonderful writers, had a great time with conversation and meeting people, and was – for the most part – social. No beings were harmed in the event of Dina being out of and away from her Lair.

I know. I’m impressed as well. But there were evil cupcakes that needed delivering.

Then I drove home, two hours in the car, on that two-lane dangerous highway in the dark, through the rain and fog. I got home about midnight.

It was SO WORTH IT. So much evil fun, it’s taken me three days to recover and post this.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Here are some pics. Sorry for the messy posting – I’m still getting used to this blog thing. I’ll put them on FB too, just because I’m evil that way.

A Panel of Awesome

A Panel of Awesome

Lili Has An Itch?

Lili Has An Itch?

Happy Authors

Happy Authors