Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Your chest hair is offending me, Fatty.

Where are the plus sized MALE models? 

And where’s the outrage at the unrealistic ideals thrust upon men by the media?

And before you bitch at me about how it’s SO not the same thing that women have to face, and have had to face, I KNOW. It’s different. And yet, people are still suffering because of this. Feeling inadequate, suffering from body image issues and low self esteem. 

I don’t care if it’s a man or a woman suffering – the pain isn’t greater because of someone’s sex. Eating disorders in men compared to women, are about one case in men to every three in women. Not equal, but when you consider that far fewer men than women seek treatment for this, it’s quite alarming. One man in one thousand in Canada has Anorexia. 

And it’s not just the sculpted muscles that everyone expects from the men they see on t.v. or movies, or book covers. 

I recently received a thank you from a reviewer, because the male model on my debut novel, The Best Laid Plans, has chest hair. CHEST HAIR now on the endangered list because a lot of women say it’s icky, and some take it to the point of offense. YOUR CHESTHAIR IS DISRESPECTING ME! 

Everyone needs to chill the fuck out about body hair. Body hair is natural. Pouring hot wax on your body parts, and yanking the hair out? Isn’t. Groom all you want, but don’t judge others by the areas they choose to, or not to, groom. 

I see a lot of women getting outraged at the unrealistic expectations thrust upon them by the media, and Hollywood's idea of beauty. 

But I don't see anyone raising a stink about men's beauty coming in all different shapes and sizes. There isn't much in the way of people telling MEN to embrace their unique beauty, regardless of their wibbly wobbly bits. Maybe I'm missing out on something, and people are championing EVERYONE feeling good about themselves regardless of their size. At the end of the day it's about HEALTH, not SIZE. 

And you're goddamned right that goes for men as well as women. 

Love who you are. Stop being so critical of yourself. You know who's scrutinizing every inch of you, judging you for an errant chest hair, or that ingrown hair on your neck, or the fact that your body weight isn't low enough for those six pack abs?


But beyond them? No one. They're all probably worrying about hiding their own flaws from you to notice yours. 

I don't know why there aren't a whole bunch of plus sized male models. But I think it's worse that it took me this long to notice - and that most of you probably haven't thought about it either.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Interview with MINA VAUGHN! :D

1. HOW TO DISCIPLINE YOUR VAMPIRE had a few title changes. And SO HAVE YOU! Don't think I haven't noticed the delightful addition of wigs to your life. Do you have a favourite colour? Least fave?
Ok so my favorite two wigs are my platinum blond one with bangs, and my red "emo Ariel" wig. They're fun, funky and make the fabulosity factor skyrocket in my opinion. I think everyone should try going out one night in a wig and see how mysterious and awesome they feel.

I see what you mean. ;)

2. Domme, Sub, or Switch?  
Switch. I'm very moody.

3. William is a kinky vampire sub. If you were to write another supernatural kink, what other supe would you write? Is there one that you would NEVER write?
I've already written two, my dear. I can't say much, but there may be a Norse god involved, and there may be a really rad witch coming at folks sometime in the future. As for one I'd never write, I don't like werewolves. I just can't get into that. I don't know if it's the fur or the dog-ness about it, but it's not for me.

4. Mistress Cherry NEVER revisits a scene once it's done. Is that the case with these characters, or are there plans for a sequel?
I have ideas for more adventures for William and Cerise but there are no plans right now to write them. Never say never, though.

5. I am the ____ to your ____. ;)
Feaky, you are the wine to my cheese. Not saying you're whiny or I'm cheesy, just sayin' we're fancy and delicious.

6. Tell us something extra you want us to know about HTDYV. BREAK THE FOURTH WALL! Address the readers.
I want you to know that I want you to laugh. This is not meant to be a super-serious book, although there are angsty moments and a lot of sex. I care most about making people smile when they read it. :)
How To Discipline Your Vampire is available for Preorder  on Amazon. :)

And be sure to follow her on Twitter

Monday, July 15, 2013

New Adult is NOT a new Genre.


While some people are still wondering why New Adult needs to be a "thing" those of us WRITING it and READING it are baffled as to why it isn't a given.

But I've been seeing the argument against it being a genre. And this is annoying, because NA is NOT a genre. It's a CATEGORY.

Here's the difference:

Categories are Picture Books, Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult.

Genres are TYPES of books found WITHIN those categories. Fantasy, Thriller, Romance, Mystery, Historical Fiction etc.

Calling NA a genre is as incorrect as calling YA, or A a genre.  They are categories. Know the difference.

When patrons come to the library and ask for a book, the first thing I ask is what level/ they're at. A twelve-year-old might be twelve, but reading ADULT books. An adult might be forty, but likes the themes and situations in YA.

I find the CATEGORY, then the GENRE.

And for those still arguing that NA isn't needed, or a thing, just remember that it wasn't so long ago that YOUNG ADULT wasn't a category of itself! Would you say that YA isn't a needed category? It doesn't take long for things to pick up steam.

People saying, well, if it's ONLY for the 18-24 year-old readers/ people seeking that experience, it's too narrow, I'd remind you that Middle Grade stretches from about 7-12 year-olds, and YA from 13-18 year-olds.

Those arguments are invalid.

People have been writing NA for a while, calling it cross-over. Now that more people have said, hey! I'd LOVE to write/ read more of THAT, it's growing even more. Having it as a specific category unto itself just makes things that much easier for people seeking it out.

Sure, I could run around the Adult Fiction section of the library, hunting down books that fall into the NA category for patrons who request it, but it would be SO MUCH EASIER for ALL of us, if there was its own little section for people to peruse.

YA is new. NA is newer. Maybe in ten years there will be another classification for a NEW category none of us have thought of.

But why are you against it? There's a need for it, it simplifies things for those seeking it out, and why do you think it *shouldn't* be a category?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Emergency Update

A few more pics have been coming out as the water recedes. Still no idea the condition of the house, but here's a shot of the front door of the library. This is after the waters have gone down a couple feet.

That's the front door, we smashed the window out on the left side of the peak above the door, just to the left. You can't see it from here.

When we left, water was right up against those glass doors, about 2 feet. The tracks were under water when we were inside, and the waters hadn't peaked yet.

We have no idea how much higher it was as we haven't seen it first hand, and no one's been inside (to my knowledge). I don't know who took this pic, probably media they've let in, or rescuers. I'm not sure.

Here's another aerial shot of the library that was taken yesterday:
That brick building is the hospital. The library is the building on the bottom(ish) right, with the red truck in front of it. That bushy tree? I was standing just behind it on Thursday afternoon. The water is higher here in parts than when we were there, but has receded from the worst. When we were there, the tracks were covered with water, but the water on the left side of the library wasn't quite so high. There's a car parked to the left of the library that we were walking between it and the library toward the back, and there was no water between it and the library when we were there.

It was still an island though.

Scary shit.

The mayor addressed evacuees in Blackie the other night, and said they were aiming to have us back in town (to LET us back in town) for July 1st. But there have been gas leaks, and the military has taken over. People got arrested for trying to get back into town, and the more people get in the way and try to get back before the mandatory evacuation lifts, the less the police/ military/ first responders are able to focus on evacuating, and getting things back online.

I'm still dry, still alive, and am completely blown away by the amazing, and truly humbling, show of support from the writing community.

Thank you so much. I'm a writer, but words fail. Feelings don't, and know that I appreciate and am incredibly grateful to every one of you.

Especially my CP, and friend, Jessa Russo, who has organized efforts to get me, and keep me on my feet in this time when everything is so uncertain. Again, words fail.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


So, I walked to work today.

Got in, and a couple staff members weren't coming in because the river had started flooding.

A few patrons had been evacuated from the flood zone, and came to us to hang out. We never thought we'd flood. I brewed a pot of coffee, got cookies for the evacuees.

Then we heard that the hospital, and the elementary school down the street were being evacuated.

The water got higher, and crept toward us. They were diverting traffic in front of us for a while.

And then the diverting stopped because the water got too high around us.

We jammed the doors, moved everything we could off the floor, and shifted the books from the lower shelves.

By this time, we were walking through puddles.

I wanted to leave about an hour before the power went out. There was a dripping, then a quiet roaring, like a bunch of small waterfalls. It was the sound of water rushing into the heat registers on the floor.

The water kept rising on all sides. The library is on a slight hill, but the water was 3 feet deep in the shallowest places.

By the time I convinced everyone we needed to get the fuck out of there, the waters had risen too far, and we couldn't force the doors open.

None of the windows open.

We smashed open one of the windows, and the dude climbed out, cutting himself badly on his leg by his knee. I ran back inside the rapidly filling library, and grabbed the first aid kit.

And then climbed out of the window and I bandaged his leg. He's going to need stitches. Ironically, I was the only one who was unable to take the first aid course. Still. Yay team Tam.

*Update* The director of the library went in after the flood to take pics for insurance. That man was there at the door waiting when she came out. He said he wanted to thank me for saving his life. When he'd gotten to Urgent Care 5 hours later, they took the bandage off, and his leg started spurting blood. The doctor said if I hadn't bandaged him up the way I had, he wouldn't have made it. HOLY SHIT!!!!*

Then pulled the 90 year old patron out the window.

We were an island. One of the other librarians, and the summer reading coordinator waded across to go catch the firemen's attention, about three blocks away.

About half an hour later, they came on a forklift through 5 feet of water.

The 90 year old patron, and the guy with the cut leg rode inside. Another librarian and I rode on a stretcher on the front of the forklift.We rode back with choppers swinging through the air.

I was happy, because I knew my husband would be worried about me - I don't have a cell phone, and the telephones had all been out for some time.

But I wasn't home yet.

We were on the street I needed to be on - the street that NEVER flooded. Our town has flooded before. But our house NEVER floods - and 12th Ave NEVER floods.

It was under about 8 feet of water in some parts.

This is the vid my husband took while waiting for me. This is about two blocks away from my house.

Vid of Flooding

After waiting around at the H&R Block, we learned they were carrying people across the huge puddle - more like a lake - by a COMBINE.

So, we waited, and one came, and went. A boat came, took someone who was on oxygen away.

Helicopters were flying overhead the whole time. I learned later that some 150 people were evacuated from rooftops.

Another combine came. I climbed on, and made my way home. My street was dry. I thought it would be okay. I thought my house would be okay.

A knock at the door, and I was told we were under a mandatory evacuation order. THE WHOLE TOWN.

I grabbed what I could, waited for my husband to come home - he was still off waiting for me, and we missed each other in the drop zone - and tried to think clearly. By this time, I'd been awake for 8 hours, had slogged through icy flood water and rain for 3 of them, hadn't eaten for 8, and was running on adrenaline.

Roads are shut.

People are missing.

The army has been called in.

But we are okay. I'm safe at my brother's, for how long, I'm not sure. There's a different river here flooding as well.

I don't know where we'll go if we're evacuated from here. 

I don't know if my house is flooded.

My work is flooded.

Which means I don't have a job any more. At least not for a while.

If I'm not online much, that's why. I'll keep you updated.


Update: my amazing CP and pitchmas cohort, Jessa Russo has set up a fund to help me out. By NO MEANS feel obligated to help, but know that I appreciate it so much to everyone who has helped. http://www.gofundme.com/3clip0

Sunday, May 26, 2013

That time I quit writing (Giving up on your dreams)

Have you ever given up on a dream?

I don't mean you had a bad few days, and decided you couldn't do it, then when friends rallied around you with nice words of encouragement, and some pics of funny cats, a vid of a baby goat, you picked up that pen/ microphone/ paintbrush again.

I mean QUIT. Completely talked yourself out of your dreams, your passions - or let someone else talk you out of them?

I did.

I quit for over a decade. Oh, I had some help with those cliffs of insanity, where dreams are torn from our hearts and thrown over the edge to be drowned in our tears of defeat. Of resignation.

I remember the moment I gave up. It was the first day of school, I won't say *which* year in high school so as not to identify the teacher, and I shall refer to this teacher as the gender nonspecific 'they.'

They'd given us an assignment: Write a page about what you wanted to be when you were older. It was an assignment so the teacher could see how well we wrote, and could get to know us all a little bit.

I wrote that I was going to be a writer.

The teacher had written a little note on everyone's page, and passed them back the next day.

I read the note on mine, and in that moment I gave up.

Their note? 'I don't think you have what it takes to achieve big things.'

This wasn't a bit of a challenge - trying to get me to work harder and make it to spite them. No, this teacher just didn't like me.

Because of this comment I didn't write anything, other than a brief angsty poem phase at 18-19, for over ten years. I felt myself switch off. Here was my TEACHER, who told my mum that they were relying on me to bring up the class average, who was actively discouraging me from my dream. What was the point of trying?

The previous year, I'd written a 98% in English. That year with the Discourager, my final mark was in the 60's.

I don't know the moment I talked myself back into writing, but sometime in 2007 I began writing my first MS. While it needs a LOT of work before it sees the light of day, it ignited a spark inside me, growing brighter with every word I typed until it was bright enough for me to find myself again.

I recently finished writing my 6th Manuscript. December of last year, I signed with a fabulous agent from a fabulous agency.

While I wouldn't call myself a wild literary success, I am actively going for it, putting myself in harm's way as I go for my dreams, hoping I'm not dashed against the rocks.

Years later, when cleaning out a binder, I came across that high school assignment. I tore that note to pieces, but the words are still seared into my mind. They burn me to this day.

In the small town I'm in, I still SEE this fucking teacher, sometimes weekly. They don't recognize me. But I sure remember them.

I'd sort of had this plan, to dedicate my first published book to them. A sort of revenge by success. It was going to be as follows:

''This book is dedicated to the high school English teacher who told me I 'don't have what it takes to achieve big things.' HOW YOU LIKE ME NOW?!''

But you know what? That teacher doesn't deserve even the tiniest place in my book - not even as a 'fuck you.' They're so not worth it.

Don't let anyone take ten years from your journey. Whether it's for fun, or for profit, or to show those naysayers, you GO for your dreams. Grab on tight and don't ever let go.

Stop wasting time trying to talk yourself out of your dreams. Someone encouraged me to quit, and I let them.

I'll never do that again.

And you shouldn't either.


Friday, May 10, 2013

Why CAPTCHAS are bigoted and you should turn them off

I get spam on my blog. I delete it. No Big Deal.

But I refuse to put up a CAPTCHA for two main reasons.

1. They're a pain in the nether regions. Is it just me, or are they getting harder and harder to read? Especially that stupid 'real life' house number, that looks as though it's seen through the eyes of a myopic zombie on a lightly foggy day. If I can't nail it in one, maybe two tries, I end up saying fuck it, and not commenting on your blog.

I'm not saying turn your CAPTCHA off. But TURN YOUR CAPTCHA OFF.

2. The second, and more salient reason I refuse to enable CAPTCHAS on my blog, is because they are BIGOTED, and extremely discriminatory.

You heard me right. I am protecting you now, making a stand, so that in a few years when Artificial Intelligence catches up to our Science Fiction level of expectation, it won't be horribly awkward for us all.

How are they racist against Artificial Intelligence? Because the CAPTCHA says THIS as a prompt:

Please prove you are not a robot.


BASTARDS! What about Robot Rights? What if it isn't a ZOMBIE apocalypse that hits, but rather an electronic uprising?! Maybe our new Robotic Overlords would have been benevolent dictators, but then they realize the blatant bigotry that has been in their faces the whole time, and their binary feelings are hurt and they decide to rain down lasery vengeance upon us all!!!

The answer is to turn them off NOW. It's not for me, no no. It's for ALL OF US. Really. *nods*

It's the polite -and the right- thing to do.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Dreaded 'S' Word.

Synopsis? No, not that one. SUBJECTIVE.

I know, Writers. I know. I grew to hate that word with the fire of a thousand suns as well, so don't look at me like that. This is going somewhere. Bear with me.

(And boy does this apply to Pitchmas with Jessa Russo and I. We battle it out for our VERY different favourite pitches in the inbox, but MANY that we separately LOVE don't make it to the blog).


We writers hear this word A LOT. Agents reply, saying that your MS isn't for them, but to keep querying because it's only their subjective opinion and someone may feel differently.

Time passes. Queries happen. Agents are signed. Then Editors say the same thing! Not right for *US* but it's a SUBJECTIVE industry, so keep submitting it!

If (when) you publish something, the READERS will get their delicious, grabby raccoon hands on your work.

And reviews will come pouring (trickling) in!

Some readers will love it.

Some will not.

Some don't leave reviews, so you won't know how they feel about your work.

Those great, 4 and 5 star reviews feel AMAZING, don't they? The readers who compliment you, and fangirl and squee all over your work, make you feel like you did something right. They make you feel like okay, I did something right! It was a tough road, but I got here! I made this MS, built this world, and people LOVE IT!

But wait...

What... what IS that...?

That just there.


Okay, maybe that's a typo. CLEARLY they meant to click another place, and the cat headbutted their hand over, and they accidentally clicked on 1 Star instead of 5. Or 4. Definitely no lower than 3.

And then someone leaves a REVIEW with that 1 Star rating! So you click it, because surely there's been some mistake...

But there isn't. That person backs up their hatred for your book with cute little gifs that make you want to scream.

They HATE your characters. They LOATHE the love interest. THEY HATE YOUR WRITING!

Now. Your first reaction may be this:

Leading to this:

Which can transform into something even uglier:

(DON'T EVER RESPOND TO A NEGATIVE REVIEW. You're only going to look like an asshole, and you WILL eventually get over it, then feel even worse. But now people will have a reason to send nasty little gif parades your way).

Here's where that AWFUL, OVERUSED ASSHOLE of a word, SUBJECTIVE, can save the day.

No, really.

It's SO HARD to remember that books are subjective, art is subjective.

But here's how you can remind yourself of that.

Take yourself out of the equation.

Go to Goodreads, or another site where there are book reviews.

Look up a book you LOVE. Something that you would recommend to EVERYONE.

Now check out it's negative reviews. They'll be there. No, really. I know you LOVED it, but some people really couldn't stand it. AND HOW DARE THEY?! THEY are CLEARLY IDIOTS!

Now, I want you to look up the reviews to a book you absolutely DESPISED. Yeah, the one you'd gladly yank from the history of books if you could travel in time.

I want you to look at THIS book's 5 star, swoony, LOVED it, reviews.They'll be there. No, really. I know you HATED it, but some people think this book is the best ever written! HOW DARE THEY?! THEY are CLEARLY IDIOTS!

See what I did there?

People LOVE the books you HATE!

People HATE the books you LOVE!

WHAT is up with THAT?!

Can it really be subjective?

It's easier to see when you remove YOUR work from the situation. When you remove your Crit Partner's work from the situation.

So keep this in mind when you hear that S word. Remember that it REALLY IS Subjective.

 And remember:

Saturday, March 30, 2013

A tiny ambush by the one-eyed trouser snake.

This post is brought to you in commiseration with the recent pain my effervescent friend Fizzy Grrl when she encountered a wanker at the movies.

I too have had an unexpected public encounter with a one-eyed trouser snake, back in the year 2001.

Picture it, Calgary. 2001. A young, idealistic Canuck was walking to the bus stop one summer's evening. It was balmy, the sun had only just set, so it wasn't yet dark.

I was strutting along wearing my giant headphones, filling my ears with some righteous tunes, as I am wont to do. My headphones are huge. I've rocked the giant earmuff headphones since 1999. I was feeling particularly cute that day, and was heading back home.

Basically, this:

I was about four blocks from my friend's house, and two from the bus stop, walking on the left side of the street, against the flow of traffic, because safety first.

 It was a busy road, one with a lot of street AND foot traffic, but there was no one else walking. I got to strut down the centre of the sidewalk, owning it.

When I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye.

Humanoid form.

Standing on the front lawn of a low-rise apartment building set about twenty feet back from the sidewalk.

A man.



Well. I say, 'naked,' but he was wearing socks.


He was jerking at his dick like it owed him money. Just FURIOUSLY tugging away.

Now. I suppose I should have been scared. But really, I was too shocked to outwardly react. I kept my face neutral, like 'Big deal, I've seen it all before. And again just now. Not impressed or scared. I am slightly amused at your pathetically lame show of unimpressive anatomy.'

When really on the inside I was like:


And that wasn't the worst part. The most shocking part.

The WEIRDEST part, was just before I passed him, HE TALKED TO ME.

I couldn't hear what he said over the volume of my music. But I did not respond, because I was, and still am, 100% sure that he had nothing to say to me that I would find interesting, amusing, or enlightening. Not while he had his dick in his hand. So I didn't remove my headphones, and I didn't stop.

I kept right on walking, all the while thinking:


Because how does one get to the point where they think it is okay to stand buck naked on the side of a busy street in the middle of a city, and jerk off?!

And then TALK to someone who walks by, rather than, oh, I don't know, RUN AWAY IN SHAME?!

Dude didn't follow me. Which was good. Because ew.

I suspect my getaway was cleaner than his.

To Fizz, I welcome you into the club. The 'I have been ambushed by the sight of public peen' club.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Having your cake... and eating THEIRS too.

You know what I love? CONTESTS! I've thrown a couple, participated in some, and watched even more from the sidelines.

Now that I have an agent, I'm pretty much permanently relegated to the sidelines, content to watch everyone else enter their shiny word babies. Despite not entering anymore, I still neurotically refresh the blog page announcements, hoping to see the names of people I know! Cheering friends on as they flail, and shake, and HOPE that this pitch, this query, that first page will garner some agent/ editor interest.

Because these contests are an AMAZING opportunity to get your work seen by someone who can make your dreams come true. And man, it can be hard to get in at all.

Whether it's rafflecopter with a binary grudge keeping you out; slush readers who didn't respond to your pitch; a submission window you missed, there are plenty of things that you are up against before you even get selected as a finalist.

And those don't include other people.

Other people with better pitches. Other people with edgier concepts. Other people with faster fingers, faster internet connections who fill up that sub window before your crappy laptop can even refresh the window.

You're up against SO MUCH.

And that's not counting GREEDY ASSHOLES. Writers who submit pitches for an unwritten manuscript just to see if it's worth writing. Writers who don't plan on submitting their work, but wanting free feedback about their work.

Writers who already HAVE agents.

Read that last sentence again. Because it's happened twice that I know of in the past couple contests.

*disclaimer* These aren't writers I personally know. But they were rumbled by an acquaintance of mine, and I won't put her in an awkward position by naming names here. Hopefully the offenders take this public shaming for what it is.

If you HAVE an agent, honey, you are being a HUGE, THROBBING ASSHOLE if you enter an agent-judged contest. I get it. It's exciting. You want to be a part of that! BUT HAVE SOME SELF-CONTROL! STOP being a FUCK-SHOVEL! THINK about what you are doing!

Maybe you didn't realize, but you are taking the place of someone who NEEDS that opportunity! This could have been THEIR big break, their path to a dream coming true, and YOU HAVE TAKEN IT FROM THEM because you just HAD to enter the contest, swept up in the excitement of it all. Wanting the free feedback from other agents/ people who read the pitches.

That is disgustingly selfish.

And I've seen this TWICE in the past TWO contests. But what makes me worry is that these probably aren't the only two offenders. Chances are there have been more that squeaked in there, stealing someone's place. EATING THEIR CAKE!

Writers - don't do this. Contests are an invaluable potential goldmine for getting an agent's attention. I myself found my agent from a contest. MY contest. But I didn't even enter my own contest because I thought that was douchey.

OH, how I WANTED to enter. But I exercised restrains and self control. I didn't want to take someone else's place. Block someone else's dream.

Because THAT would have been WRONG. Maybe not technically. But morally.

Writers, we need to support each other. This industry is FULL of landmines of self-doubt. Rejections. Subjectivity. Saturated genres. Agents closed to submissions. There are enough opportunities we miss out on without having to worry about others deliberately blocking our chances.

To those who have been Opportunity-Blockers, SHAME ON YOU. STOP DOING THIS!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Bad Query Contest

Hey! So a few weeks ago, the Agent Jessica Sinsheimer threw a bad query contest. I sent one - because how can you resist?

There's a Bad Query Contest Tumblr that is SO WORTH checking out!

Here is mine. All grammar/ spelling mistakes are intentional. Obviously.

If you don't understand why this is a brutally bad query... then I don't know what to tell you, sweetheart.

Email Subject line:

LOOK NO FURTHER! FUTURE NYT BEST SELLING AUTHOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


 Dear Mr. Sinshammer,

You're not my 1st choice, but after not receiving any replies from the best agents out there, I decided I could do worse than to accept you as my agent. So I guess contradulations are in order!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My fictional novel is loosely based on my life as a self made drug dealer and pimp, called PIMPIN AIN'T EASY UNLESS YOUR ME.

Not only is it a novel, its a memoir, self help, history, and even cook book - if you count cooking up heroin. Because it is completley true I figured you'd be able to put it in alot of sections in the bookstore so we can sell one to everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We could even put a different cover on each so maybe some dumbasses would bi a few copies HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA and we would be rollin in the dough.

I already bought clothes for my tv appearances - I bet even Oprah will come out of retirement to have me on her show!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Ihavethepeopleallpickedouttoplaymeinthemovieseriesaswell. We will be bigger than that bitch who wrote that vampire flick mostly cuz we can have lots of drugs and sex in the movie because that is what the kids like these days.
My book is being hand delivered as we speak to your personal address by one of my top ho's. She knows if you want anything extra that is your deal, and a little extra but we can work that out when you give me a big fat advance.

There's only a chapter so far, but I figured I'd give the story and you would hook me up with one of them ghost writers. I ain't got time to write the whole book at the moment on account of my community service.


Don't call before noon.

Keep it tight.


Thursday, February 28, 2013

Interview with Marisa Cleveland!!

Hello! So today I have something different - an interview with the delightful Marisa Cleveland about her novella, The Valentine Challenge

1. What's the best Valentine's present YOU'VE ever given someone?
                Is this rated R or... *grins*

2. Favourite romantic love interest - excluding your own?
                I don't understand the question. Excluding my own? OH, like... Kate and Leopold! I love them! Also Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy.

3. Candy hearts with writing on them, or cinnamon hearts?
                Both. Do I have to choose? I've never been stellar at limiting myself.

4. Flowers or chocolates?
                Depends on what kind of flowers. Well, actually, no, never mind. Chocolates. Always chocolates.

5. Do you have plans to write more of Stacey and Marsh's story, or are you content to leave them where they are?
                They appear in other books. I have three South Beach books scheduled to release with Entangled's Indulgence line, with the first Indulgence out this July 2013.

6. What's your favourite part to write of a couple's journey to (hopefully) falling in love?
                I love the moment when they realize they are friends, and then they know it's something more than anything else they've ever experienced with another partner. It's more than attraction or lust. It's that moment when they need someone most - that shoulder to lean on or cry on or bounce an idea off of - and that other person is there for them in the most complete way possible. Yeah. That moment.

7. True or false - Romance is dead.
8. What's the craziest thing you've done for love? Was it worth it?
                I'd rather not say. I'm an intensely private person. It was beyond crazy - in my opinion - and it was absolutely worth it.
9. Is there anything you want your readers to know about The Valentine Challenge?
                This is my first anything ever published anywhere. I loved researching my South Beach series, and I hope this novella inspires office romances across the universe. :)

She is adorable! And fiercely talented! Thanks for being on my blog today Marisa! Be sure to check her out!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The next big thing

I'd been tagged by a few people to do this, the newest being the incorrigible Mina Vaughn

What is the working title of your book?

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I was reading a book one day, and it had been a bad month. I NEEDED a distraction in the form of a new, anticipated book. Then on the second page, there were underlined passages. 

I hate when people underline in books. Fine, if it's your textbook, great. But a public LIBRARY book, and a novel at that? *Feaky Smash!!*  I was SO ANNOYED! And the underlining didn't stop. It was throughout the book. I couldn't ignore it, and couldn't read the book. It got me thinking that would be a good scene. Who was reading the book, and why would she need a distraction? 

I have a condition called 'Synaesthesia.' I didn't think it was particularly interesting until people kept asking me about it, so I worked that into it as well. 

What genre does your book fall under?
 Definitely New Adult Contemporary commercial fiction. Some might say it's Chick Lit, but it has more of an edge. 

What is your book about?
A synaesthetic librarian who self-medicates her recent break up by smoking enough pot to give an elephant emphysema. 

 Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I'm represented by the amazing Marisa Cleveland of The Seymour Agency  

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I haven't found anyone who looks like Elle to me yet, but Dominic looks like Peter Badenhop.

 What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
This manuscript has the most ME in it of any other that I've written. It was painful, and cathartic to write. But it's also fun, and sometimes funny, and I think Elle is a character people will relate to. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Second. Book. Syndrome.

Confession time.

I didn't start reading Young Adult books until last year when I wrote my first YA manuscript. Once I did that, I figured I should see what else is out there. Know my (presumptuously hopeful assumption) competition. I was pleasantly surprised.

See, when I was a Young Adult, the YA category didn't exist yet. We had one little rack in the juvenile section in the library - with everything from James Howe, to Sweet Valley High, to The Baby Sitter's Club ETC. But nothing like there is today.

*mutters about today's teens being spoiled*

Anyway. My budget doesn't allow me to buy many books, so most of the books I read are loaned from the library I work at. Our system has a handy dandy feature that maintains a reading history. Since Jan 1st 2012, I've taken out nearly 500 books. Now, I'd say about 50 of these items weren't books - CD's, Movies, Magazines.

But even if taking half of these as Adult, that's still a crap load of YA books to jam into a year - especially since I didn't begin reading YA until about May of 2012.

Many of my writer friends have been reading YA for years, and were more than happy to give me their recommendations.

I was playing catch-up like nobody's business!And surprisingly, most of the books I read were good! Some great!


Here's the thing.

My writer friends who read these books all along may not have noticed some of the things I have. Similar plots. Similar characterizations.

*I* may not have noticed if I'd read these books over Four or Five years like they did. But because I jammed them into a few months I couldn't help but be smacked in the face by some blatantly overdone things.

*Sidenote, one of my biggest pet peeves is the MC being SO shocked any guy would look at her because, gee she's so clumsy and that is obviously a deal breaker to anyone, and omfg why would any guy ever think she's hot because she's soooooo plain, but every single male in the book basically trips over their erections trying to make her their girlfriend, but she doesn't notice this because her hideous clumsy plain looks block her sense of reality*

But I digress...

From movies to books, you have to have noticed that we're living in the era of the trilogy. Sometimes this is warranted: Lord of The Rings. Sometimes it is NOT: The Hobbit. The Matrix.

Some of them are making trilogies to milk as much cash from the franchise as possible. Other times, it's because there's too much story to be told in one book, or two. Regardless of WHY they do it, they are still doing it. Some more successfully than others.

I've suspected for some time that many YA series' could be done in one book, maybe two. But definitely not three.

Because I didn't have to wait a year in between book one and two; because I've come upon the series NOW when it's complete, I've read the complete story in a short amount of time. And something's amok.

Generally in book two.

Middle Book Syndrome.

Did the author REALLY plan this book? Was it because it was rushed?

I mean, assuming your writing journey goes in a fairly steady pace, and you write the first book and polish it, and rewrite based on crit partners feedback, then maybe you get an agent R&R and then they FINALLY sign you. Say that happens.

Then the agent sells your book! YAY!

But maybe you get a three book deal. OMG! YAY! CONGRATS! Book one is worked on - inline edits, copy edits etc. Then it's PUBLISHED!

But what if you never planned to have more than two in the series, or worse - what if you never even really thought about book two because you were a focused laserbeam of writerly intensity about book 1, not daring to look beyond getting signed?!

So all the sudden you've got to come up with a synopsis for a book two and three in a series you never intended on being a series, but you do it anyways because now there's a contract and it's in writing and the advance has already been spent on paying off bills.

Here's the thing. Book one usually rocks because the writer spent the most time on it. It was their baby. The one that scored an agent or a deal. It was coddled, and polished, and hated, and loved, and cursed, and loved. It had time to percolate.

But here's the thing about multi book deals - they have tight fucking deadlines. You definitely will not have two years to give to book two.

You might not even have 6 months.

And here, in my opinion, is why a lot of the time, second books in a trilogy SUUUUUCK:

Because the author doesn't have the same amount of time to devote to book two. Maybe they never intended for there to be three books, but the good, amazing, juicy parts are the things they have plotted for book three.

Which leaves us wading through a bunch of bullshit in book two - and here's something else I've noticed.

Book 2 usually has no plot. Or not much of one.

Here's my observation of the arc of most YA trilogies.

I said MOST. I know there are fabulous ones out there. I'm ranting about the bad. Don't give me shit in the comments section defending the ones you love. Focus.

Book 1 - Main Character - usually a 16/ 17 year old girl meets The Boy she can't live without. Things Happen that keep them apart. Girl realizes she isn't a pathetic loser, and draws from inner strength. She gets with The Boy and saves the day... but then there's a twist showing the story isn't over!

Book 2 - Despite finding a HEA with The Boy, for some reason the plot of book 2 is generally a non plot of the MC's inner dialogue of neuroses and insecurities about The Boy and her relationship. 'WHY does he love me' 'I can't really trust him' blah blah blah. These "issues" and trust fails are the impetus for 98% of the book. The MC has lost all backbone we saw her gain in book 1. OR there's a REASON they can't be together - LI's safety, or some "noble" self sacrifice from the MC. The only plot comes in in the last few pages, revealing a GIANT "twist" and cliffhanger, which is basically only there as a setup for book 3. This WHOLE fucking book could be discounted and erased by taking those last ten pages, and putting them at the end of book one - or as the beginning of book three. NOTHING would be lost.

Book 3 - More neurotic flailings between the MC and The Boy, until he does something that finally "proves" he was her true love all along. They beat the baddies, and save the day. And live happily ever after.

WHY do we need book 2? We don't. In many cases, and many series' I've read - we didn't need book two.
 And as of late, I've read no less than *5* book two's that followed this formula, wasted my time, and made me regret that I fell in love with the first book.

Because book two has soured me to both your MC, and you as a writer.

I'VE read books out there. I'm assuming you have too. So why do I keep seeing this pattern?


Writers, don't let your CP's get away with this lazy bullshit.

If you read this in a friend's MS, SAVE THEM FROM THEMSELVES! SAY something!

Writers, for the love of all that is unholy, and the last, rapidly fraying shred of my sanity - PLEASE stop doing this to your trilogies!

With each book we write, we should get better. Our voices should shine more than ever. We should stretch and grow! Book two should be BETTER than book one - or at least not make the reader feel like throwing the book across the room, and cursing you out on twitter/ goodreads/ facebook/ to anyone within bitching distance.

(Bitching distance used to be limited to friends and family. Now, with the internet as it is, word of mouth is worth WAY more, and can be WAY more damaging than it used to be. Keep this in mind.)

If you're writing a YA urban fantasy, or thriller, or ANYTHING YA really, that can't be considered a stand alone, then baby, you need to have plans in motion for book two.

Because that agent/ book deal will take forever, then come out of nowhere. And you need to be prepared.

(Also, if I'm your CP and you've written book one, and then skipped merrily away leaving me with a cliffhanger, I probably hate you, and you probably know it. I'm vocal like that.) :)

 Don't wait until you've got a three book deal to try to figure out book two's plot. Guaranteed if you do that, you won't have the time to make book two all it should be.

We can't unwrite a book once it's been published. You can't take a rushed non-plot back. You might not get those readers to give you another chance.

Do you really want your readers to say, 'OMG book one was AMAZING! Well. Okay. Book two sucks, but the series picks up again in book three! Hang in there!' ?

Because, LAME.

Plan ahead. BE VOCAL with your CP's if you see them making this mistake. Spread awareness about this fucking issue, because honestly, I'm going to lose my fragile little mind if I read more of these shitty book two's.

Only YOU can prevent Second Book Syndrome.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The winner - Angsty Poet Laureate!

There was anger. There were tears. There was smack-talk on Twitter. Now there's the winner.

BUT FIRST, let me present MY Angsty Poem.

I wrote this in 2000. I was 18. I could see it being a song. A very angry song.

It's called, 'All's well that ends well.'

Hell doesn't exist, and if it did
It still wouldn't want MY suicide
My lover is missed
He makes no bid
To salvage the remainder of my pride.
Do you appreciate your punishment?
Of having me stay by your side.
Can't alleviate my banishment
You never even fucking tried.
All is perfect, all is well
All's fantastic
Burn in hell
I'm all that's left
A fucking shell
All is well that ended well.

So. Yeah. AWKWARD! Hope you enjoyed that. ;) I'm sure you're itching to know who the winner is - that is, if you haven't cheated, and scrolled down to see who won.

The winner of the first annual Feaky Snucker's Angsty Poem Contest, is...

 Rebecca Mckeown

YAY! Congratulations! You win the $50 Thinkgeek gift certificate! Put your email addy in the comments section, and I'll get that code to you immediately.

But wait - there's more!

There's always fine print. And fine print usually bends you over and leaks unpleasantness all over you. NOT THIS TIME!

There will be ANOTHER vote. Fan's choice. Comment in the comments section of THIS post with the name of the entrant you want to win the Fan's Choice prize!

YOU get to decide who gets a $25 Thinkgeek giftcard! YAY!

Pimp yourself out on twitter or wherever you want. Voting for yourself is tacky, but allowed. ;)

Voting ends, and winner of the runner up prize will be announced on Saturday.

Go! Vote! Win!

And I'll see you later.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Show me your Bad.

As writers, we hear a lot about improving our craft. Striving to be better. Murdering darlings.

But what about the BAD things we've written?

I'm interested in those. Specifically, ANGSTY POETRY!

Did some asshole break your heart, and you verbally owned him in your notebook? Did you write an angry ode to a jealous rival to scratch her out from under your skin? Friends/ parents/ society never understood you?!

Dust off that old journal. Dig out that box from under the stairs.

I want to hear your BEST angsty poem. Don't act like you don't have any.

You have it. I want it. The internet is rife with places to embarrass yourself. Might as well do it here with me.

That's What She Said.

The prize:
1) The dubious honour of winning the title of Feaky's Choice Angsty Poet Laureate.
2) A Thinkgeek giftcard for $50!!!! ZOMG! Those of you unaware of Thinkgeek's Awesomeness Go now. Snoop around. YOU WANT THIS PRIZE!

The rules:

1) 1 poem per person.
2) I want OLD, already written poems. Do NOT write anything new for this contest. While there's no real way for me to know the poem you submit is in fact old, lying is lame. Don't do it. Ceiling cat is watching you cheat.
3) Post your Angsty poem in the comments section of THIS post.
4) I get to choose the winner. And you don't get to bitch about it. But if you DO feel like bitching about my choice, write a poem about it. If this becomes an annual thing, maybe your poem will be next year's winner!
5) Contest ends on Tuesday the 5th of Feb. I'll announce the winner on Wednesday the 6th.
6) You won't get anything extra for tweeting/ shouting out this contest. But it WOULD be nice to see as many awesomely intense poems as possible.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Your words AREN'T perfect

No, really. Rein in that ego and listen up.

Crit Partnerships are a beautiful, sacred thing. We TRUST each other. We LOVE each other - and the words our CP's write.

But you have to know your words aren't perfect. And if you think they are, then we have a problem.

There's a difference between Crit partners, and Beta readers.

Betas are some of the first readers to lay eyes on your Manuscript. They give feedback that you may, or may not choose to act upon. They are AMAZING people, and resources, catching things CP's may have missed after several passes. Betas are the readers before the readers before the Manuscript is a book. But at this point, the MS should be shiny. Free of typos, grammar issues, etc.

Critique partners are the ones in the trenches with you. They're there WHILE you're writing the words. They talk you down from the trees of self-doubts and angst riddled rage seizures. They are the ones you send the MS to as soon as it's done - and you've done a pass through of your own edits.

(PSA - Crit partners are NOT unpaid Editors. You should do your own tweaks before sending to CP's. Don't expect them to do your work for you. Things are bound to slip through, but don't waste people's time on silly things you could have fixed before sending.)

Back to your words. And trust.

I say trust, because the Crit Partnership is SO important. We trust these people - some we only know online - not to fuck us over. Not to plagiarize. We trust them to keep our secrets. We trust them with our word-babies.

And we trust them to rip our words to shreds when they need it. We trust their judgment to make us stronger, make the words flow better, give us fresh eyes, and a way to make the MS truly sing.

Or we should.

See, some writers are unable to separate their words from themselves. From their ego. They think if you dare to make a suggestion about their PRECIOUS words, that you are attacking THEM! It is SO not the case, and it's indicative of an overly sensitive person -an  Artiste; or a new writer. I was there. You were there. Hopefully we've moved on to where we know it's not personal.

Subjectivity comes into it, yes. But some suggestions are NOT optional. The rules of grammar DO apply to you. There are some rules you shouldn't break.

Here's the thing. If you're not looking to make your MS better - if you think your words are PERFECT as they are, then tell your CP's before they begin reading. Tell them you are looking for a BETA reader, NOT a critique. TELL them you're looking for overall thoughts, and nothing deeper.

Because I've done crits for people. I've spent HOURS combing through MS's trying to make their beautiful words EVER BETTER! Some of those people take some of those changes. THAT'S how it SHOULD be.

But there are the other writers. People who are great writers, and snag a lot of full requests. People who I suggested changes for. People who keep getting rejections on those full requests, but still think there's nothing wrong with their MS. Newsflash - it's not ALL subjectivity from Agents and Editors.

If you're not implementing the changes your Crit Partners suggest, but you still ask them to CP for you, then YOU ARE WASTING THEIR TIME!

If you don't agree with their edits, then guess what? They aren't a good fit for you, and you need to have The Talk - it's not You, it's Me. You're not what I'm looking for.

If you don't agree with ANYONE'S crits, then sweetie, it's probably not Them, it's You.

People can be wonderful writers, but not a good fit for Critique Partners. It's not personal. It's no big deal. They can still Beta, or not. They can still be your friends!

But if you ask me to RE-Crit something I've already done, I shouldn't be finding the same GLARING errors I found the first go-round. I shouldn't find that giant fucking plot-hole I told you about the first time! I shouldn't see that huge tense shift I showed you when I critted the Manuscript MONTHS AGO!

So, you're basically wasting my time TWICE, because I already critiqued these mistakes. And you're probably not going to fix them this time either, are you? Nope. Because you think your words are perfect. 

There are 'I don't like this line/ character/ subjective' crits, and there are 'You need to fix this because it's bad/ wrong/ sloppy' crits.

If you don't trust your CP's to tell you ways to fix your MS, then you need new CP's, or you need to take your head out of your giant... ego.

I'm not saying I know everything. If I've critted your work, you'll see that I've got very strong opinions on things I hate and things I love. I'm a writer too! I'm an opinionated asshole, as sensitive as the next person about my word-darlings.

But I'll murder them in a HEARTBEAT if a CP shows me a way to make them better. That's where the trust comes in, and the ego goes out. Sometimes fresh eyes are just the thing to point out something amazing, or point out a glaring error.

Does it hurt? Sometimes - yes. But it makes my Manuscript SO MUCH BETTER.

And THAT should be the end goal.

Don't waste people's time by being a diva. Don't waste people's time by thinking your words are perfect. There's ALWAYS room for improvement. You are NOT the exception to that rule.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Have you heard the word of full frontal nudity?


The Jehovah's witnesses knocked on my door this morning. I answered and was talking to them. Two ladies in their 60's. The one did more of the talking. She was like - 'We're wondering what you think of the state of the world. What can make it better.'

I was like, 'Well, people. We can make it better.'

Her, 'Well the governments are the ones making things the way they are.'

Me. 'Governments made up of PEOPLE. Who we elect. WE can make things better by electing the better people, or running for office. Or we can write letters and do all we can when we don't agree with what they're doing.'

Then she goes, 'Well you haven't really been around the world long to see what's happening.'

Me, 'I'm a lot older than I look.'

'How old are you?'

'I'll be 31 in a couple months.'

'OMG! I thought you were 17! haha congratulations! What a great way to start your day!'

Me. '...' Side note, I don't think looks are something to be proud of. It's genetic chance. It's not like I have an athletic physique I've spent hours a day cultivating. I had nothing to do with the way I look. It's no big deal, and certainly not an accomplishment. But I digress.

Then she launched into end of days stuff. I read out a line she asked me to about how the world is coming to an end, but the believers will live eternally. I'm paraphrasing. I can't remember it verbatim. I hadn't had coffee yet. :(

She asked what I thought that meant. I said, 'In this context it's saying the world is ending, but the people that believe in god will live eternally.'

She's like, 'Well, the world isn't really ending-'

I'm like, 'Um no. It says 'The world is coming to an end. It says that. Right there, right?"

Her. 'Yes.'

Me: 'Every religion has their own version of end of days.'

Her: 'Yes. They're all saying the same thing.'

Me: 'No, they're not. They have different versions.'

Her: 'Well the world isn't really ending. We'd have to define what the earth is.'

Me. 'No, I think they're pretty specific in the bible about the earth and heavens being different.'

Her. 'Yes.'

Me. 'So if you take part of this sentence literally, you have to take the rest literally. You can't pick and choose.'

Her: 'Well even in the king james version of the bible, it was written in old english, and we don't talk that way anymore. So we have to interpret it with today's language.'

Me: 'No. If the bible is literally the word of god, then it can't be open to interpretation. It has to be taken literally. If you believe god is infallible, and the bible is literally the word of god, then you can't pick and choose.'

Other lady: 'You're right. I agree with that.'

Then the phone rings.

My dad (from his bedroom) shouts my name as the phone is for me. He thinks I'm downstairs instead of by the front door, and he walks into view COMPLETELY NAKED!

So the Jehovah's Witnesses were treated to a 6'2, 240 pound full frontal action shot of my dad.

So yeah. They beat a hasty retreat, and I talked to my work.

Dad had scampered to put clothes on, and was in the kitchen by the time I finished on the phone. I told him he'd just flashed a couple jehovah's witnesses.

My dad cheekily asked, "Well, why didn't they come in?"

And people wonder why I'm the way I am...

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Call: After

After Marisa called me on that fantabulous Saturday morning, I pretty much did this:

She said she'd be sending over a contract in the next couple days, and as soon as I signed it and mailed it back, and it was filed, THEN I could announce.

Which SUCKED! I was SO excited I wanted to shout it from the rooftops!  But Marisa was all, NO! You have to wait til it's official!

 Okay, so she didn't smack the hat off my head. She was excited too. Heeheehee

I was all, yeah sure I can wait. NBD.

You know what sucks? Mailing ANYTHING on December 10th in the afternoon. The line up at the post office was so long I had to stand OUTSIDE until people left. Hmph. Out in the cold with the contract burning a hole in my hands. But I did it. 45 minutes later, I got to the front of that line, and it was GLORIOUS!

Of course, then I panicked until Marisa said it had been received. Never was I so mistrustful of the postal service as in those LONG three days waiting for my contract to be received. But it got there. :D

And I FINALLY got to announce to the world I had signed with MARISA CLEVELAND of the SEYMOUR AGENCY! <3 And the outpouring of love I received from the writing community was beautiful.

And now, Marisa and I have been working on SUPER SECRET PROJECTS! And I've sent her the sequel to the Manuscript she fell in love with and signed me with.

The road isn't over. But I've reached a milestone. And Marisa is an amazing woman.

2012 was one of the worst years in my life, but the best so far in my writing life.

Mom was hospitalized, we thought she was going to die. In ENGLAND, so I couldn't even go and see her. She was okay, but will require open heart surgery in a couple years. But then my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer that same day. A couple weeks later, my father in law had a significant stroke. Those are the major bad things that happened.

But I met my first ever CP Jessa. And then added a couple more CP's that I met in some contests. Then Pitchmas happened, and we made people's dreams come true! Or at least, provided an opportunity to get to the next level. Pitchmas had lots of success stories.

Mine was one of them. :)

*heads back to the writing cave*