Tuesday, May 28, 2013

These work for writers too

I was up all night working on the prequel novella for Slayers. The good news is that when it comes out, it will be free! The bad news is that I already killed off Nathan, Dr. B's brother, in the first book of Slayers and sadly there was not a good way to bring him back from the dead. Dang it.

So, as I stopped making any cognizant sense somewhere around 4:00 am, I thought I would share a picture from my son's comic blog. You can see other things he's drawn at http://theodd1sout.tumblr.com/

I'll be posting a real blog after I sleep.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My Double Life E-book

Remember months ago when I said I would have the ebook for My Double Life up soon?

Soon is a relative term.

Anyway, here it is for 2.99 with the bonus scenes included:http://www.amazon.com/My-Double-Life-ebook/dp/B00CRW7VKG/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1369119673&sr=1-2&keywords=my+double+life

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The best group of losers

I've been at the LDStorymaker's conference this week. It's always super fun because I get to see so many writing friends and because people at Storymaker's actually think I'm cool. (My children refuse to believe this fact, but it's true.)
Here I am with Angela Morrison and international bestseller, Anne Perry. She was the keynote. Pretty much everything she said sounded amazing because she can quote Shakespeare, Dante, and speaks with a British accent. Memorizing large passages of classic literature is probably beyond my abilities, but I may start working on a British accent.

Every year at Storymakers, the Whitney Awards are given out. This year I was presenting the romance award with Sarah Eden. We were supposed to come up with a cute way to introduce the contestants. The problem with that was that Sarah and I spent two days joking around about all the bad and completely inappropriate ways we could present the award, so what we really did was come up with our introduction while we were getting dressed for the event. I'll put it in a future blog: Ways to tell you might be addicted to romance novels.

Every year, the funnest part of the Whitneys, (at least for me) is the after dinner drowning-your-sorrow-in-cheesecake because you didn't win pictures that Julie Wright, James Dashner, and I started years ago.

I didn't even get nominated for a Whitney this year. (The one book I had out in 2012 was disqualified because it was a rewrite of an earlier book.) So I figured that made me a double loser and I was completely qualified to crash the loser photos this year.

Here I am with the lovely Julie Wright, Melanie Jacobson, and Krista Jensen.Julie does despondent so well.

And here's the bitter group photo with awesome writers: Kelly Oram,  Tanya Parker Mills, Julie Wright, Melanie Jacobson, Krista Jensen, Theresa Sneed, Gregg Luke, Marsha Ward, and Annette Lyon.

Every time I look at Gregg I laugh. He's got the concept down.

Even though I love the loser photos, it wasn't my favorite moment this year. Julie Donaldson won the romance category for her book Edenbrooke (and best novel by a new author), which was especially  neat for me because she was one of the ladies in a week-long class I taught at BYU a few years ago. When she accepted her award she thanked me. I seriously nearly cried. I was so touched. It was way better than winning a Whitney.

Monday, May 06, 2013

research, sky-diving style

I hate getting details wrong in my books. This may not be entirely apparent since I have more than once gotten details wrong in my books, but I really do a ton of research. 

In Slayers: Friends and Traitors (due out in October) I have characters jump out of a plane, and I decided it would be a good idea if I went skydiving so I could write a more authentic scene. I didn’t think it would be too frightening since a large amount of people skydive every year. I figured, hey, people pay a lot of money to skydive so it’s probably even fun.

That was my first stupid assumption. People are idiots and you should never do something just because a lot of people pay large amounts of money to do it. Case in point: golf.

So I booked an appointment, went to the airport, and signed the twelve page waiver that detailed all the hideous ways I might die.  This was my favorite part:

Basically it says I may be struck by passing aircraft, hit by vehicles on the ground, or may run into trees, buildings, or poisonous snakes.

I still wasn’t all that nervous because I knew I was going to be strapped to an experienced instructor. He was not likely to skimp on parachute inspection or whatever, because he didn’t want to die any more than I did.

Then I met my instructor. He was a twenty-three year old guy who I suspect had no sense of his own mortality. I became a little nervous.

He took me to a small plane that sounded like a lawn mower and seemed to be held together with duct tape, super glue, and erector set pieces. I was a little more nervous, but I was still okay because I figured the pilot had been flying the plane for quite some time so he had a lot of experience doing important things, like not dying. 

We took off, gained altitude, and putted around in the sky for several minutes. I was now more nervous and cursing myself for ever switching from writing romantic comedies to action novels. Really, when you come right down to it, it would be fine to write a book about boring people who never do anything dangerous.

And then the plane door opened.

At that point a spike of terror hit me. I realized that people are born with several strong survival instincts and one of them screams: DO NOT JUMP OUT OF A PLANE! IT WILL KILL YOU!

I said many things at that point, all of which my twenty-three year old instructor ignored as he dragged me out of the plane.

And then we were falling through the sky.

Falling at around 130 miles an hour was like standing in a wind tunnel. All I heard was the wind screaming by. I couldn’t even tell I was falling because nothing around me was moving. Then the parachute came out and I glided through the air at a gentle 15 miles an hour. It did feel like flying then and was really fun—especially when we did spins. Spins are the best.

I landed and felt great.

This would normally be the end of the blog except for one thing.  Later that day I got a call from the skydiving company telling me that their computer crashed. (I guess this is better than hear that their plane crashed.) They had unfortunately lost all the pictures of me but they would let me skydive again for free if I wanted to reschedule.

Well, at that point I was still thinking about how fun the last part of skydiving had been and not the terror of the ominous open-plane-door-moment, so I not only rescheduled, I decided to take my teenage son with me. (Yep, these are all pictures from the second jump.)

This dear readers just proves that there is no cure for stupidity. Because there is only one thing more terrifying than being in a plane when the door opens and you know you’re going to plunge out of it. And that is: being in a plane when the door opens and you know your child is going to plunge out of it.

I do not recommend this as an after school activity.

When I went out of the plane the second time, I wasn’t looking for sensory details to use in my novel. I was searching the horizon to make sure my son’s parachute had opened.

It had.

And when you all read the skydiving scene in Slayers: Friends and Traitors I hope you appreciate my diligent research.