IT’S READ TUESDAY!

My good friend RLL is participating in an exciting event called READ TUESDAY, which is taking place today, December 10th. Basically, this event is a HUGE SALE on our favorite thing: BOOKS! Go ahead and click on the image above to be taken to the READ TUESDAY site. You don’t want to miss out on this HUGE EVENT!

In honor of the event, RLL has been circling blogs, answering some very personal questions in that alluring Scottish accent of his. And while I haven’t had time to reciprocate and answer these questions myself (yet…*cough* work *cough* Nano *cough* winterguard *cough* Christmas), I’m happy to host him on my blog. And let’s be honest, since Antithesis came out, I’ve kind of gone into radio silence (*cough* Nano), it’s something I plan on working on in the near future…if I have time.

So here’s RLL. Feel free to read the following in your BEST Scottish accent. And be sure to check out READ TUESDAY and RLL’s sale books (they’re FREE today!): Neon Gods Brought Down by Swords and WITCHES.

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In support of READ TUESDAY, I’ve been answering twenty questions on other people’s blogs. Writers chatting to each other on writing. I’ve given different answers to my own questions here:

   STEPHANIE STAMM.

   MISHA BURNETT.

   CHARLES YALLOWITZ.

   LISA CAPEHART.

   MARGO BOND COLLINS.

   THE RANTING PAPIZILLA.

   SUZANNA WILLIAMS.

   R.B. AUSTIN.

   ANASTASIA POLLACK.

   The next set of answers will go up here shortly: E.B. BLACK.

 

READ TUESDAY is a winter book sale taking place on the 10th of December 2013 – the inaugural sale. Get out there and find some bargains on the day. Spread the joy of reading and writing.

 

Time for some alternative answers…where possible. It’s getting tougher to answer these same questions…

 

1. Fire rages in your house. Everyone is safe, but you. You decide to smash through the window, shielding your face with a book. What is the book?

 

Unreliable Memoirs, by Clive James. If you are going to die, die laughing.

 

2. Asleep in your rebuilt house, you dream of meeting a dead author. But not in a creepy stalkerish way, so you shoo Mr Poe out of the kitchen. Instead, you sit down and have cake with which dead author?

 

Rather unsporting of me I know, but I feel like naming a writer yet-living – just to move that writer over to the dead list for the purposes of this answer. And then I’d have words.

 

3. Would you name six essential items for writers? If, you know, cornered and threatened with torture.

 

In no particular order. A weak floor. Untied shoelace. Shark in a bathtub. A pen, filched from my breast-pocket and held in my mouth. That old stand-by, a blown fuse. A woman with acute hearing.

   As the torturer enters the room, the fuse blows. I spy my chance and expel the pen from my mouth. It clatters to the edge of the weak floor. My torturer slips on the pen and then trips on his untied shoelace. The torturer’s impact with the weak-spot sends him falling into the waiting bathtub.

   A woman with acute hearing notices the crash and that scream, and it is she who rushed to my rescue. Shark and bathtub constitute one item for the purposes of this narrative. The water is thrown in, free.

 

4. Who’d win in a fight between Count Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster? If, you know, you were writing that scene.

 

Fiction is the real winner here. That’s a rubbish answer. Hulk SMASH!

 

5. It’s the end of a long and tiring day. You are still writing a scene. Do you see it through to the end, even though matchsticks prop your eyelids open, or do you sleep on it and return, refreshed, to slay that literary dragon another day?

 

I press the big red button that does all my writing.

 

6. You must introduce a plot-twist. Evil twin or luggage mix-up?

 

My plot-twist is…that there is no plot-twist. People speak of it for years.

 

7. Let’s say you write a bunch of books featuring an amazing recurring villain. At the end of your latest story you have definitely absitively posolutely killed off the villain for all time and then some. Did you pepper your narrative with clues hinting at the chance of a villainous return in the next book?

 

Given that the villain succeeds in destroying existence…

 

8. You are at sea in a lifeboat, with the barest chance of surviving the raging storm. There’s one opportunity to save a character, drifting by this scene. Do you save the idealistic hero or the tragic villain?

 

In an appalling mix-up, I save the idealistic tragic.

 

9. It’s time to kill a much-loved character – that pesky plot intrudes. Do you just type it up, heartlessly, or are there any strange rituals to be performed before the deed is done?

 

Spaghetti, always the spaghetti. I feel that’s twice I’ve used this answer. Raspberry sauce, always the raspberry sauce…

 

10. Embarrassing typo time. I’m always typing thongs instead of things. One day, that’ll land me in trouble. Care to share any wildly embarrassing typing anecdotes? If, you know, the wrong word suddenly made something so much funnier. (My last crime against typing lay in omitting the u from Superman.)

 

Another bogus question – presumably, we type ALONE and somehow KILL the typo before that witty error reaches the pubic.

 

11. I’ve fallen out of my chair laughing at all sorts of thongs I’ve typed. Have you?

 

Well, it’s saner than falling out of a thong laughing at all sorts of chairs I’ve typed.

 

12. You take a classic literary work and update it by throwing in rocket ships. Dare you name that story? Pride and Prejudice on Mars. That kind of thing.

 

Double Indemnity: The Clone Wars.

 

13. Seen the movie. Read the book. And your preference was for?

 

Brunettes over redheads and redheads over blondes. That’s not a recipe for an orgy.

 

14. Occupational hazard of being a writer. Has a book ever fallen on your head? This may occasionally happen to non-writers, it must be said.

 

I once saw a book stalk and kill a tiger in the foothills of Fictionlandia.

 

15. Did you ever read a series of books out of sequence?

 

I read a book facing the wrong way. That came back to haunt me.

 

16. You encounter a story just as you are writing the same type of tale. Do you abandon your work, or keep going with the other one to ensure there won’t be endless similarities?

 

I’ve answered this question too often and need to lie down. Think I got away with that. Oh. Have I used this excuse twice? Damn.

 

17. Have you ever stumbled across a Much-Loved Children’s Classic™ that you’ve never heard of?

 

That unpronounceable story. If I could say it, I’d know how to spell it. No, I’ll give a proper answer. There’s that Harry Potter book sitting on my shelf, unread. You know the one. Hanging in Judgement: Religion and the Death Penalty in England from the Bloody Code to Abolition. By the Reverend Harry Potter.

 

18. You build a secret passage into your story. Where?

 

On top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese.

 

19. Facing the prospect of writing erotica, you decide on a racy pen-name. And that would be…

 

Margarine Loube.

 

20. On a train a fan praises your work, mistaking you for another author. What happens next?

 

I spend twenty minutes discussing his favourite book – a treatise on stained-glass windows – about which I skilfully ad-lib. He leaves the train none-the-wiser. My knowledge-base is increased.

 

 

 

Here’s a blog post on READ TUESDAY. And here’s a funny one on CONTACTING PEOPLE FOR READ TUESDAY.

 

Featured in the READ TUESDAY sale on December the 10th, 2013Neon Gods Brought Down by Swords and WITCHES. Both will be free on the day. Pick up copies and READ them – please don’t just store endless free books on an electronic device. If you want to support me or any of the writers mentioned above, please leave reviews. We appreciate the effort made, whether one-star or five-star.

 

Note that Margo Bond Collins won’t have a sale on the day, but she will run a December sale. R.B. Austin and E.B. Black couldn’t make the sale day either – but check out their books anyway. And Papizilla hopes to publish one day. Thanks for your time.

 

MY AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE.

@RLL_author.

Signpost blog, RLL AUTHOR.

Blog, REPORT FROM A FUGITIVE. (THOUGHTS ON PUBLISHING BY AN AUTHOR ON THE RUN.)

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VAMPIRES, OH MY!

VAMPIRES.

Once again, I’m featuring my good friend RLL. Today, to complete Witches and Insanity, we have Vampires (oh my!)

FICTION FACTORY. Welcome to my mini-self-publishing imprint for short stories running around 30,000 words. These stories are not collected or bundled with other tales. If you buy WITCHES, you won’t suffer disappointment in later life by finding WITCHES reheated for a collection called TALES TO IMPRESS PALAEONTOLOGISTS. Be thankful for that small mercy.

 VAMPIRES.

 Crashing parties used to amuse Vance. He hurled himself into a world of no commitments. When the synthetic blonde offered more of the same, guided by brusque phone texts, he didn’t see the harm in another meaningless fling.

 “Rule 1. If I text and you are busy, that’s fine. The rule runs in both directions. No pestering.”

 He was okay with that.

 “Rule 2. We never attend social functions. I don’t do weddings, though I will crash parties.”

 Suited him, just fine.

 “Rule 3. No gifts.”

 Saved money.

 “Five rules. Rule 4. If we see each other with strangers, no questions. No introductions to family, friends, neighbours, colleagues, serial killers…”

 Vance had no problem with the fifth rule. He thought his problems began next day.

 There, in red lipstick, she’d left a mirror message.

 WIPE THIS OFF. STICK TO THE RULES. SEE YOURSELF OUT.

 The bar? Reasonable. Didn’t try too hard to be trendy. He knew no one here – not on a Wednesday night. Vance watered at the venue on the odd weekend. Open the door on a world without strings. In.

 Scene. The jet minx in front of him shook hailstones from her bobbed coiffure. Melting pellets bounced off his heavy coat. By contrast, she appeared to be wearing a black plastic bag for no protection from the night.

 He eyed her tight black jeans. Painted on. Sheathed legs stopped at bare ankles and shiny stab-me black shoes. Hang about…

 37,000 words, plus notes.

The Prologue:

This prologue is best-read while listening to Pretty in Pink, by the Psychedelic Furs.

VAMPIRES.

“What the fuck’s this?”

“That’s self-evident.”

“Oh yeh? Do me a favour, love. Next time you declare something self-bleeding-evident, make sure you know it’s self-bleeding-evident to me.”

“This is an invitation to a masked ball.”

“Very similar to a dropped ball. Sounds a bit hairy.”

“We have been cordially invited…”

“Invited as cordial.”

“To. A. Masked.”

“What?”

“You were being flippant.”

“I parked on yellow lines once. What a crime.”

“Don’t believe you.”

“It’s true. I was lying about parking.”

“Are you finished?”

“No.”

“Please do go on.”

“When’s this masked ball?”

“Are you still being flippant? You CAN read the time on the invitation.”

“I wasn’t being flippant a moment ago. Am being now, though.”

“FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF…”

“Don’t do the eff-thing. I hate that.”

“You swear all the time.”

“Not word after word, love. Fuck fuck fuck. I don’t do that. Apart from just then.”

“Neither do I. I use the word off as a stress-reliever. Are we going to this fucking party or not?”

“Were you invited?”

“YES. HERE’S. THE. INVITATION.”

“I’ll consider going.”

“You are going. I’m bored. Bored bored bored. Existence is boring. I want to party. You haven’t been to a party since…”

“The last time. What was the last party you were at? Oh, I remember. The Nazi Party.”

“Don’t judge. That was 1933. I look stylish in black boots and a peaked cap.”

“Seen Adolf lately?”

“He’s back with Eva.”

“Yawn. Heard it all before. Quiet night in with the Hitlers.”

“They are now the Goldstein family.”

“Learning Yiddish, is he? Blending in?

“He’s clean-shaven. And he stopped wearing brown shirts. Hebrew. He’s learning Hebrew.”

“Yawn again. What do they get up to, of an evening?”

“Stuff. You know. Things.”

“Wall-to-wall history shows. He foams at the mouth every time someone mentions Churchill or Stalin. Come midnight, Eva blacks up and does her minstrel cabaret act. His heart’s not in the playbill.”

“She sings all the wrong songs. Won’t listen to advice.”

“Then it’s some half-arsed bloodsucking from the bags in the fridge. She spends her time on the world’s largest jazz cigarette.”

“That alleviates the tension.”

“He stays up until dawn writing letters to the party faithful and trying out new speeches in front of the laptop. Computer wallpaper? Freeze-frame shot of a rally. Massive crowd. Look closer and you’ll see it’s a photo of the London Marathon. All the colours of the rainbow represented, but someone’s cropped the rabbinical contingent from the happy event.”

“Bormann’s a Microsoft engineer. He dabbles in desktop publishing. Admin’s more his thing.”

“You can say that of a lot of Adolf’s friends. I thought Bormann was declared dead in 1973.”

“Marty still had friends in government then. Called in a Bundes-favour or two.”

“Night in with the Hitlers, eh. Timeline? Five minutes until cock-crow. Adolf suddenly remembers he’s a vampire and reluctantly returns to the bunker. Am I wrong?”

“Your sweep of the details is broad. Though that sweep is, lamentably, correct.”

“Are the Hitlers going? To this ball…”

“Don’t know. Should I call and ask? Oh, what if they haven’t been invited? Does it matter, either way?”

“Depends. Wouldn’t be the first party Hitler crashed. Does it matter to me, you mean?”

“You may imagine from my impending silence that I am mentally repeating FUCK OFF in a loud angry manner. Inside my head.”

“Well that saved a bother of repeating it outside your head, next mine. What was the question?”

“Which side were you on, back then?”

“When?”

“World War Two.”

“Was there a second one? Bloody hell.”

“Are you being flippant? Before you answer, you should know that I am being flippant in asking.”

“I can’t remember. Things were quiet at first. Then there was a load of bombing. I’d wander the war-torn streets at night, picking up tasty nibbles. Could have been anywhere.”

“Were the nibbles speaking German?”

“I didn’t give them time to speak, love. You don’t talk to the food.”

“That’s nonsense. I always do.”

“You are the chatty type.”

“So from 1939 through to 1945, you managed to survive in some war-torn landscape. Without ever having a conversation.”

“Don’t remember. What’s there to talk over? Someone bombed my house. You’ve had a rough day, mate. And the night’s about to get rougher. Fang you very much.”

“Crap. You were in London in 1941.”

“Maybe. It’s all a blur.”

“You still have that accent. Go by landmarks. Transport. Music of the time.”

“Nothing. Accent. Yeh. Where did you dig up that American accent, exactly?”

“Concentrate. Fashion. Slang. News items. THE LANGUAGE.”

“Oh.”

“Yes. Finally. The language. Goes with the accent, I’m guessing.”

“I remember wandering choice sewers. Built to last.”

“Victorian engineering.”

“Yeh. London, then. Going by the sewers. Had to be.”

“Well, I strolled in Berlin. For a time.”

“Where did you go, after?”

“I lived in Moscow. That must have been 1942. Mix-up. Commie phase.”

“Looked stylish waving a red flag, did we?”

“If we meet Hitler at this ball, and he starts waxing lyrical about his vampire superspy deep in Soviet territory…”

“Stroll on. Seriously?”

“The story may surface. Let’s ensure it surfaces as I’d prefer to tell the tale.”

“Are we going?”

“Yes.”

“Right. Dress inappropriately. Then you’ll match me.”

Here’s the link:

BUY VAMPIRES

neon gods brought down by swords cover 61Neon Gods Brought Down by Swords. FREE TODAY AND TOMORROW.

Visit RLL in all the following locations:

@RLL_author.

 Signpost blog, RLL AUTHOR.

 Blog, REPORT FROM A FUGITIVE. (THOUGHTS ON PUBLISHING BY AN AUTHOR ON THE RUN.) See the HALLOWE’EN INAUGURATION page for a free story – The Chalice in the Snow. Also available – TWICE AROUND THE LIGHTHOUSE. A complete Doctor Who novel, released as fan fiction on my blog.

 Author of…

 Neon Gods Brought Down by Swords.

 INCOMPLETE UNCOLLECTED SHORT WORKS.

 LYGHTNYNG STRYKES.

 And in the FICTION FACTORY line…

 THE MADONNA GAMBIT.

 WITCHES.

 WEREWOLVES.

 INSANITY.

All the best,

Kacey