Thursday, November 6, 2014

WFC 2014 Day 1

The trip from Los Angeles was long and tedious.  Up since 7 AM PST Tuesday morning to get ready and taken to the airport about 20 hours later for two flights and a stopover in Dallas.  Love Field... it conjured up old memories of when my stepfather used to fly in and out of that airport decades ago.  Lordy, how it has grown!

And of course somewhere along the line I picked up a bloody cold!  I also picked up large quantities of Emergen-C and Earl Grey tea, which will help me get through it.

Right now I am totally time-warped and my ears have not cleared from the changes on pressure, so everything is coming into my head through what feels like a tub of thick, viscous oatmeal, but I'm sure it will clear up eventually.

The room at the Hyatt Regency is enormous, the staff cordial, and the little restaurant across the street, the Clark Street Grill, was quick and the food was both good and inexpensive, which made up for the lack of food along the way.  I am going to really have to reset my body clock!

Ran into my convention buddy from last year in Brighton, Elizabeth Crowens, as I was checking in, and hope to spend some time with her during the week.  Meanwhile, trying to figure out how to get this huge canvas bag filled with books (which was presented to me at check-in) back to Los Angeles with all the other stuff I have with me.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

And He Took With Him The Sun

This has been one of the saddest days of my life. My husband and I were awakened at 4:21 AM by a phone call from our dear friend Linda Paddon, wife of my publisher Peter Paddon. Peter passed away sometime during the night.
We had enjoyed dinner with both of them just hours before at the same restaurant we usually frequent on Wednesday evenings. He had seemed fine then, happy with the buttons and key chains and postcards for "Raven's Daughter" promotion which I would be taking with me to the World Fantasy Convention early next month, chatting excitedly about some new projects in the works, and discussing last week's episode of Doctor Who. We never realised we would not see each other gain.
His passing is hard to deal with. He was a relatively young man, 50, filled with life and love and enthusiasm, bright, cheerful, creative, a fine writer as well as a fine publisher. He was a man I had known for over 20 years and never known him to be other than kind and generous.
Jay and I met Peter in England at a retreat in 1991, a few years before he went into publishing. We became friends and I visited him when I went over again in 1994 and invited him to visit us should he ever get a chance. The following year he took me up on the invitation and stayed with us for a couple of weeks, met our house mate Linda and fell in love with her. He moved over here the following year, married Linda and opened Pendraig Publishing.
I was by no means the first author he published. He began by publishing a whole raft of nonfiction books, and when he was ready to start doing fiction he asked me if I still had the manuscript for the book I had been working on when I had visited him in 1994. I told him yes, and in 2010 the first of my 10 novels, "Uneasy Lies The Head" was published by Pendraig. It has been a long and happy relationship.
The new novel, "Raven's Daughter" is the impossible novel. Begun in 1995, it was lost in a computer crash until last May when my husband found 50,000 words of it backed up on one of his old computers in Word 95. He was able to translate it to a current version and I completed it and handed it off to Peter in August of this year. The paper and ink version is up on Amazon; the Kindle version  is up for pre-order and will be out 31 October.
Peter, I wish you could have stuck around for the on line launch party. I hope it does you justice.
I will miss you forever.

And as the Gods have willed it, a few moments ago a partial solar eclipse began in the skies above California.  When Peter left, he took with him the sun.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sci-Fi For Your Wi-Fi: Panel on Krypton Radio

Tomorrow I, along with fellow novelists Robert Seutter (the Brass Jack novels) and Maggie Secara ("The Dragon Ring", "King's Raven" and "The Mermaid Stair"), will be doing a panel on creating a fantasy world. It will be recorded for broadcast on line on Krypton Radio (kryptonradio.com) on the following dates and times:
Saturday Sep 27 9PM Pacific
Sunday Sep 28 5AM Pacific
Sunday Sep 28 4PM Pacific
Thursday Oct 2 5AM Pacific
Thursday Oct 2 4PM Pacific
Saturday Oct 4 5AM Pacific

The panel will be presented at The Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society (LASFS).

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Launch Date 31 October 2014!




The novel that almost didn't happen will be published this 31 October, just in time for me to take it to the World Fantasy Convention, this time in Washington D. C.!

I started this book ("Raven's Daughter")  in 1995, got about 56,000 words into it and suffered a total computer crash.  Needless to say, I was heartbroken.  I had a lot of it in longhand, but the prospect of doing it all over again was a bit more than I could bear, so I started in on the two series "The Glastonbury Chronicles" and "Tales of the Dearg-Sidhe" which Pendraig Publishing picked up in 2010.  Then a few months ago my wonderful husband, Jay T. Mayer happened to find a file on one of his old computers.  He had backed up the entire 56,000 words for me and forgotten about it.  It was in a very old form of Word, and on Mac format instead of PC, but with a lot of work he was able to convert it and deliver it to me in a format with which I could work.

Two months later, to the day, I finished the book and turned it in to my publisher, and last night the publication date became finalised.  To say I am elated would be an understatement!

Enjoy!



Friday, August 1, 2014

What's In A Name?

     I just saw the mock-up of the cover for my latest novel.  It was wonderful, except I noticed the title had been changed from The Raven's Daughter to Raven's Daughter.
     "Why?" I asked.  
      Before I had a chance to ponder the question for more than a few seconds my publisher responded that it was a stronger title without the article and that the use of the word the at the beginning of a title was disappearing.
     A sign of the times.  We have gotten so used to texting in shorthand, speaking in shorthand and conversing in shorthand that those wonderful building blocks of speech, articles, are beginning to be banished from our consciousnesses.  I mourn their loss.
     Fast cars, fast food, fast talk.  The use of an article as the beginning word in a title makes it difficult to find the title in a search engine.
     Sigh.
     Yet  I do recognise the truth of it and have been guilty for a long time of the same article abuse, even when referring to the plays of  William Shakespeare.  Tempest, Merchant of Venice, Taming of the Shrew, Winter's Tale...all of these seem to have lost their article when mentioned in conversation and nobody seems to miss them.  Gone also is the initial A in such plays and films as Hard Day's Night and Streetcar Named Desire, which at times is simply called Streetcar.
     Welcome to the twenty-first century.
     As Bob Dylan sang, "The times, they are a-changing."
     Wait...maybe that's where one of the missing articles went...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Once Upon A Time

About 19 years ago I began to write a book,  It was a fantasy romance about Jacynet Corbeau, a Bladeswoman and member of the Raven Guild, a redheaded sword-for-hire in a mythical land  filled with political intrigue in a society somewhere in the Middle Ages, and the man who would become her true love, a young Bard called Donall with a mysterious past.  Somewhere  about 50,000 words into the novel I was beset with a profound and total computer crash and I thought the manuscript had been lost forever.

Thank The Gods I was wrong!

Two months ago my husband Jay, that steadfast, good-hearted dear soul whom I have known since we were children together, my dear husband Jay found a back-up of the book on one of his old computers.  It was in a version of Microsoft Word so old that he had to strip the files entirely and reconstruct them to get them into the current version of the same program, but techie that he is he was able to restore everything I had written up to that point.

I spent the next several weeks reading, editing and finishing the book, which now stands at about 71,000 words, and with any luck "The Raven's Daughter" will be out this Fall, in time for the World Fantasy Convention in Washington D. C.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The World I Used To Know

I have been in the UK for a week now.  So much has changed in the last 14 years...I barely recognize London, with all its new modern glass-enshrouded buildings.  Even the Tower of London has changed.  There are parts of the various towers which are now open, closed on my prior visits, and the White Tower is filled with exhibits, and not just a place to wander about and seek history on one's own, but a carefully laid out tour, as well as a place in which garbed historical recreationists wander, trying to bring a sense of history to the various tourists.

It was in one of the rooms of the White Tower that I happened to run into one of my readers, a very nice, very tall young man called Simon, who was as surprised to run into his favorite author as I was surprised and delighted to find such a dedicated fan.

As a dedicated reader and fan myself of many authors, I had made various pilgrimages myself in the prior few days, first to the grave of J. R. R. Tolkien in Oxford, then to Shakespeare's birthplace in Stratford and various other sites associated with his life.  I also had the rare privilege of seeing David Tennant perform in Richard II, a fantastic production with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Today is a day of rest, and tomorrow I head to Brighton for the World Fantasy Convention.