Caitlin’s book Night Life releases today, and has gotten great reviews, not least from me. And if I say you should buy it, well, then you should. So do. Here’s the blurb:
The first book a thrilling, addictive new series by a talented new voice in dark fantasy. Welcome to Nocturne City, where werewolves, black magicians, and witches prowl the streets at night…
Among them is Luna Wilder, a tough-as-nails police officer whose job is to keep the peace. As an Insoli werewolf, Luna travels without a pack and must rely on instinct alone. And she’s just been assigned to find the ruthless killer behind a string of ritualistic murders-a killer with ties to an escaped demon found only in legend…until now.
But when she investigates prime suspect Dmitri Sandovsky, she can’t resist his wolfish charms. Pack leader of a dangerous clan of Redbacks, Dimitri sends her animal instincts into overdrive and threatens her fiercely-guarded independence. But Luna and Dimiri will need to rely on each other as they’re plunged into an ancient demon underworld and pitted against an expert black magician with the power to enslave them for eternity…
I’m here today to alert you to several serious medical conditions that are mostly likely affecting a writer that you know this very instant. The information below was designed to help you understand and combat your loved one/co-worker/frenemy’s disease, and failing that, recognize the signs so that you can run away.
Take another swig of your appletini and settle in—and if you’re one of those people who throw up in their mouth watching Bizarre Foods, for god’s sake, go look at icanhascheezburger until this post has scrolled past. What follows might shock you…
5. Francophonia (AKA cat-waxing.)
Definition: Obsession with Hollywood actor James Franco.
Usually affected: straight women writers, gay male writers, comic book geeks
Symptoms: James Franco wallpaper on the desktop, James Franco’s face gazing from every surface in your workspace, James Franco shrines in the file cabinet, obsessive surfing of IMDB, repeated viewings of Spider-Man 3 (Note to readers: this may also be a symptom of really terrible taste, and you should break up with this person immediately.)
Cure: A marathon of the brilliant-but-cancelled teen dramedy Freaks and Geeks.
Definition: The crippling fear that someone, somewhere is talking trash about you on their blog.
Usually affected: Writers who blog
Symptoms: Refreshing LiveJournal, GoogleReader, Myspace and Facebook every minute on the minute. Keeping a tab open for each entry you think is about you, and crashing your browser. Self-googling upwards of 20 times per day. Paranoia that general statements on agent’s and editor’s blogs are directed at you. Paranoia that LOLcats are directed at you. TYPING IN ALL CAPS.
Cure: Dude, it’s just the internet. Turn off your wifi card and do some work, already.
Definition: The insistence that your characters are alive “inside you”.
Usually affected: Pretentious genre writers, schizophrenics with MFA degrees
Symptoms: Talking about your characters like they are particularly cute and precocious children: “I told Lord Darkerayne not to cut the head off of that eldritch horror, but he went right ahead and did it! Can you believe how sassy he’s become since he was transformed into a half-angelic pirate tasked by the CIA with fighting the forces of darkness?” Claiming that your characters are real people and tell you to do things. Blaming murders or tax fraud on your characters. Listening to a lot of Enya.
Cure: Self-editing. Lithium.
Definition: Claiming you cannot write/are blocked because you haven’t developed your “craft” sufficiently, and you are AN ARTIST. Not to be confused with actually improving your craft.
Usually affected: Lit majors, grad students (except engineering grad students), hipsters, writers who scribe experimental poetry in their own urine on sidewalks.
Symptoms: Hanging out at coffee houses because you want to, not because you’re too broke to afford your own wifi. Wearing spectacles from the 1950s. Reading literary ezines to impress the ladies. Contracting tuberculosis. Living in a garret. Contracting tuberculosis because you live in a garret. Never actually writing anything. Getting huffy when your editor or agegnt suggests you “get off your ass and produce some words”. Crying at the sublime beauty and horror of our world, and smearing your black eyeliner.
Cure: A sharp slap upside the head.
1. Revision Rage
Definition: A fit of uncontrollable rage, usually expressed by typing OMG WTF BBQ (in all caps), brought on by receiving negative reviews, editorial feedback or a rejection.
Usually affected: Everyone who’s ever written something for publication.
Symptoms: Crying, drinking, drooling (because of the drinking), threatening to set your editor’s desk on fire, threatening to set your hair on fire, setting your hair on fire, Fire Down Below starring Steven Segal, public intoxication, giving a statement to the police consisting entirely of demands that they RECOGNIZE YOUR GENIUS (in all caps), begging editors for an extension of your deadline, reading rejection letters upwards of 50 times each, posting on RejectionCollection, posting blog screeds that destroy your credibility, drooling on Amazon reviewers, realizing that you still have a lot to learn.
If you know a friend or loved one suffering from any of the above, remember: they’re not normal, they’re a writer. There is no cure.
Although I wouldn’t say no to a sip of that appletini you’re holding.