(Today’s post is cross-posted from the Evil League of Evil Writers blog. You all do know I’m a member of the ELEW, right?)

My turn to continue our two-week theme of self-care tips for writers. No, I’m not going to talk about being sedentary or not killing the person in the house playing a musical instrument while you’re trying to solve a plot issue.

I want to talk about eyeballs. Continue reading

New Book Annoucement!

News, I has it.

Yeah, I was supposed to write this post before April 29, when I had a guest interview at the lovely Sarah-Jane Lehoux’s blog (thanks again for the fun, SJ!) that announced a new shiny thing, but I got busy with things and before I knew it, it was April 29! I was industrious and got the interview done early, but um…kind-of neglected to post to my own blog about it.

What am I talking about? Here…I’ll excerpt the part of the interview that I was supposed to blog about.

… “Light in a Dark World: Legends of the Destrati.” It’s a collection of my short stories focusing on the vampire clan Destrati. Clan Destrati is unique in that the whole of its members have turned away from the one they traded their soul to in order to gain immortality. Destrati feel that the parasitical cost of their existence is too high, and have sworn to redeem themselves in the hope that the soul they traded for immortality might find salvation. Destrati work to keep others from being coerced into trading their own souls, alone or with the guidance of others. These are their stories. Coming from Mundania Press, January 2012.

Yeah. Um…Dina!fail on the announcement there. Time just got away from me. I still need to update the website and send a newsletter and and and….

But! It’s announced now! Here, as penance for my tardiness, I’ll give you a little more detail about this upcoming project.

Light in a Dark World: Legends of the Destrati will be Kyle-centric, but will also feature others associated with Clan Destrati. There will be five or six short stories (this still hasn’t been decided yet – it will depend on my verbosity and the wordcount I end up with) set in various parts of the Destrati world, told from various points of view.

I’ll give you all more specifics as they develop. I know January seems far away, but in the writing world it really isn’t. A lot has to happen between then and now, and I have other projects I’m working on as well.

I love it.

What Makes A Writer Evil?

I was going to post this on Monday, but I completely forgot about the crossposting thing I was going to do.

What am I talking about?

Well, a couple weeks ago I announced the launch of the Evil League of Evil Writers website, of which I’m a member. Monday saw my first blog post. I’ll be posting there every two weeks and crossposting those entries here – in theory; we’ve already seen how well I remembered to do that!

Anyway, better late than never, so here you are. Warning: Language and no sympathy. (Hi, Mom!)

Monday’s blog post, crossposted to the ELEW. Continue reading

Evil, Evil, and a Book Giveaway!

No, this is not an April Fools’ Day joke. It just happens to be April 1, and with today comes the launch of the website that Skyla Dawn Cameron and I have been plotting for quite some time. Special thanks to Skye Forbes for the domain names.

What am I talking about, you ask?

The Evil League of Evil Writers.

We went live today with our first evil interview with our Bad Horse – our Patron of Evil – Lilith Saintcrow.

We’re also giving away one of her books to a lucky commenter. Be sure and include the words “Lili is Evil” in your comment for a chance to win one of Lili’s awesome books.

So, go! Go! Don’t stand around here listening to me! Go visit us!

It’s a good day to be evil!

Wait…that’s every day.

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

The Great Office Cleanup of 2011

Catchy title, huh?

Yeah, it’s not as great as it sounds. For those who aren’t following me on Twitter, here’s a partial recap of the event. I was going to live tweet the progress, but I was cleaning my desk for the most part, and the lappy had to be moved. So I did a recap, and now this blog post about it. 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!

Announcement! All Wounds, the Novel

A promise is a promise, and I promised to let you all know about the fate of All Wounds, the novel version the moment I had any news to share, good or bad.

Guess what? I have news, and it’s GOOD!

All Wounds, a Stranger Things novel, has been accepted by Mundania Press, and is scheduled for release in both print and e-book format October 2011!

When I have an exact release date, I’ll share that with you as well.

Thank you to all who have sent me fan mail and kept interest in this novel throughout the long road to publication. I often say that it’s my readers/fans that keep me writing! It pleases me beyond words to finally be able to announce that the novel you’ve been patiently waiting to hear about will soon be ready for you to read. (Legally read, please – you all know how I feel about e-piracy of my work. Remember I’m a small author and if you want me to continue to be able to write stories for you to enjoy, please support me and my publisher by obtaining a copy of my work legally, not through a torrent or file-sharing site. I know my readers are awesome, so if you know someone or see someone stealing my work – because that’s what it is, plain and simple – please ask them not to. There are other, legal ways to get my work to read, no matter what country you’re in, as long as you’re willing to wait. Thanks!)

This is really all the news I have for now! Again, thank you all for your support and patience.

Thank you too, Mundania Press and awesome editor Skyla Dawn Cameron, for allowing me this opportunity.


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