What Stace had to say on Saturday, March 10th, 2012
Your Excerpt

I figured what the hell, I’ll post it now.

CHASING MAGIC was the overwhelming winner! And I’ve tried to pick something that gives some hint of Big Things happening but isn’t a spoiler–this is NOT a spoiler, this excerpt, so don’t worry. It is, as requested, a Chess/Terrible moment, and I get a kick out of it and I hope you guys do too.

For those who don’t want to see anything from CM until after SM comes out, I’ve hidden it under a cut. So, without further ado…

Read the rest of this entry »

What Stace had to say on Friday, March 9th, 2012
Chess Wins!

So thanks to all of you, Chess won the first round of the Suvudu Cage Match! Look at that, 68% of the votes! YAY!

And epp! Because this means she goes into Round 2, where she will be “fighting” Brandon Sanderson’s Kelsier. Who can manipulate iron, which as you all know is rather a large part of our Chessie’s magical arsenal. Which means, yeah, I’ve got some serious work to do here. I *do* have an ace up my sleeve, of course, but the question is do I want to play it now, or do I want to hold on to it in case she advances further?

I believe Round 2 will be posted on Monday.

I also believe–well, no, I know for a fact–that I promised to share a new excerpt for every round Chess wins. So you tell me, which book do you want an excerpt from for Round 1, SACRIFICIAL MAGIC or CHASING MAGIC? Let me know, and I’ll post it on Monday. (And again, if she wins Round 2 I’ll ask again and post another one.)

You guys are so awesome! I hope you’re having fun with this, too. Writing Chess battling the sorts of characters/creatures she’s not usually up against is a hoot, it really is, so I hope you enjoyed her battle against Babcock and will enjoy her battle against Kelsier. Which is gonna be HARD, yo.

Anyway.

Also either later today or over the weekend or Monday, I will post SACRIFICIAL MAGIC’s playlist!

I’d do a poll here but apparently don’t have that capability. So you’ll just have to “vote” in comments: SACRIFICIAL MAGIC or CHASING MAGIC for the excerpt?

What Stace had to say on Tuesday, March 6th, 2012
Cage Match is UP!

The Suvudu Supernatural Cage Match 2012 has started! Sixty-four characters from your favorite (or not-so-favorite) fantasy/urban fantasy/paranormal/sci-fi novels, battling it out on the Suvudu blog, and readers pick the winners. And Chess is a “contestant!”

Suvudu asked me to write a battle scene for them; it’s Chess vs. Giles Babcock, the main vampire Big Bad from Justin Cronin’s THE PASSAGE. Yes, I got to write a scene where Chess fights a vampire, which was something I never thought I’d do, since, you know, they don’t exist in Chess’s world. It was actually really fun, and really fun to kind of play with someone else’s character a bit, and especially to find a way for Chess to beat his vampire ass. Heh heh.

Now. When the Suvudu editors did their “picks” last Friday, they all predicted Chess would lose. Probably because THE PASSAGE was a huge NYT bestseller, and because Babcock is a genetically altered vampire with skin like steel and superspeed and all that stuff.

BUT.

This clearly shows that the Suvudu editors do not understand that I have the most awesome readership on the planet, because if they did, they would know that genetically-altered-steel-skinned-vampire bastard may be tough and all, but he doesn’t stand a chance. You guys make all the difference here. And part of the game is for us to get our readership out there voting and commenting and playing along; like I said, the winners are picked by readers, and reader participation is what makes the Match so much fun for everyone.

So please, take a few minutes to read the scene, and place your vote! Leave a comment! Make your presence known!

If we can get Chess into Round Two–and she is currently ahead, thanks to awesome readers like you guys–I’ll post a special new excerpt from either SACRIFICIAL MAGIC or CHASING MAGIC! (And will do the same for every round she advances.)

I say we show them how things are done in Downside; what do you say?

What Stace had to say on Friday, March 2nd, 2012
Heroes and, ahem, “self-love”

I’m curious.

This is something I’ve wondered about for a while–a long while, actually–and a discussion elsewhere has finally prompted me to go ahead and ask. (I want to emphasize that this is all just hypothetical/what ifs/conjecture; I’m not strictly endorsing any of these ideas, just thinking aloud and providing talking points.)

How do we all feel about heroes who masturbate? Especially when thinking of the heroine?

It’s not something we see often, is it? Which is kind of funny, actually; I think this is maybe one place where female sexuality is permitted more expression, because it’s not uncommon to see female MCs engage in a little solo play, but it is–to my knowledge–quite uncommon to see men do it, especially to see them do it to completion. I’ve read a couple of books where the hero perhaps starts to do it, but then realizes what he’s doing and stops himself, for various reasons (“What I’m doing is disrespectful to her/I’m too grown up to do this,” that sort of thing).

Are men just supposed to have more “control” over themselves/their desires, or are they simply supposed to want to only share sexual experiences with the heroine and if she’s not there it’s empty? Is having control over his sexual needs to the point of being able to sublimate them completely another way that the hero becomes the ubermensch: extra strong, extra smart, extra brave, extra controlled? Is he supposed to be so devoted to his heroine that he refuses to or just doesn’t want to have any kind of sexual feelings or release unless she’s involved?

Maybe we just don’t find the mental image of the hero having to wipe off his stomach or rinse the shower walls or whatever afterward to be all that sexy? I mean, even if we find the act arousing/interesting/understandable, thinking about him messing about with a handful of sticky tissues after just…maybe feels a little “teenage boy,” or just a little silly or embarrassing or whatever. Or perhaps it’s because of the porn money shot, which seems to appeal to men much more than women (I’m not saying it absolutely does, just that it seems to be aimed [no pun intended] at men; to my [admittedly sketchy] knowledge, many of the porn films put out by all-female or female-run production companies, or aimed specifically at the female audience, don’t tend to depict the money shot with such vigor and focus and don’t tend to focus so much on “Look! Semen!” as the ultimate sexy sexiness). I mean, again, female masturbation is depicted maybe not regularly, but certainly more often than male, and there’s generally little cleaning up to do after; most women don’t have to check the walls or furniture to make sure no stray fluids shot over there. (Yes, I know about Rainwoman, but she’s hardly the norm.)

Is there something just sort of inherently non-heroic–inherently sad, embarrassing, or pitiful, even–about thinking of the hero all by himself with a head full of fantasies and a bottle of lotion, or something?

Do we perhaps expect him to sate those desires by sleeping with some other woman, and isn’t that sort of worse, really–using some other chick’s body while in his head he’s banging the heroine? Does it change if he feels guilty about it, or doesn’t intend to use the other woman in that way but realizes midway through that he’s pretending she’s someone else?

It just seems to me that, while I would never say “all men masturbate*,” I’m sure a healthy proportion of them do at least occasionally. I find it hard to believe that NO hero in any novel which involves a sexual/romantic relationship ever finds himself trying to sleep one night with a body that absolutely refuses to let him, or finds himself practically unable to walk, especially in those early stages where he’s obsessed/consumed/whatever and is practically a walking hormone. And yet while it’s often considered sexy for the heroine to masturbate thinking of the hero, we almost never see the hero do it (again, from my reading; I freely admit I don’t read very much romance/erotic romance these days if any, so there may well have been a revolution in male masturbation in the last few years). Like I said, I did read it a few times, but the hero never went on to orgasm without the heroine’s actual involvement, i.e. she caught him at it and encouraged him to continue, perhaps lending him a helping hand, or, you know, a helping vagina. (Here, let me loan you this vagina. It’s the helpful sort. Hee.)

Does it feel objectifying, like he’s reducing her to mere jerk-off fodder in his head? Especially if their relationship isn’t yet sexual, does it seem almost like he’s mentally molesting her–taking what he wants without permission, mentally “having” her even if she hasn’t given him permission to do so yet in real life?

Is it maybe that in the world of novels aimed more toward women, with a female audience, men are the ones whose sexuality shouldn’t/doesn’t exist outside female involvement? We’ve all had the uncomfortable sensation of being undressed by a man’s eyes without our permission, so maybe it’s just not something we want to think of a man doing without our knowledge. Or are women simply more uncomfortable with the idea of masturbation in general? I’ve known more than a few women for whom the idea of their boyfriends/husbands watching porn or masturbating is very uncomfortable, even upsetting. So is the idea that the hero shouldn’t be masturbating related to that, or an extension of that, or even a perpetuation of that?

Do we simply not want to write male sexual fantasies? We live surrounded by them; male sexual fantasies are everywhere. Maybe we just don’t want them in our fiction; maybe we want books aimed at women to be about female sexual fantasies, if there are any fantasies being shown, and men can keep theirs to themselves (or, you know, out in popular culture where they are now.)

What do you think? Do you want to read that, or not? Why, if you’re comfortable sharing? Would you feel differently about a male character shown masturbating? What about the “starts to but then realizes he’s doing something wrong” idea/scene? Is the hero masturbating sexy and a sign of how badly he wants the heroine, or is it distasteful or a turn-off? Why? Do you agree or disagree with any of my conjecture?

*I personally dislike the broad assumption that all men or all women masturbate but just refuse to admit it, and that if someone denies it they’re automatically lying. Making such assumptions about the sexual expressions of other people strikes me as rather rude, and taking their denial as a sign that they’re liars just ashamed to admit it is especially rude. Sure, perhaps some people who say they don’t are lying, but I find it hard to believe that no one is being truthful when they say they don’t. There are indeed people who just don’t, for whatever reason, and that’s just as fine and valid as being someone who does.

ETA: Let’s assume for the sake of the discussion that there is a way for the masturbation scene to advance story, plot, and/or character, okay? Obviously we all know that sex-for-sex’s-sake is unnecessary, and I’ve written more than once about that subject here. I’m not so much interested in structure and whether or not the scene fits as in how people feel about those scenes and whether or not they’re sexy/unappealing/whatever, or whether people think another way should be found to advance story/plot/character that doesn’t involve masturbation.

What Stace had to say on Wednesday, February 29th, 2012
Squee! Squee!

First, I got to do the most awesome thing this weekend, on Sunday. See, it was the first-ever London Super Comic-con, and hubs and I decided we wanted to go. Then we saw that Mr. Stan Lee was going to be there, and we could get books signed by him and get a picture taken.

Now, let me just say I am not one to pay for autographs or for pictures, in general. It’s just not my thing. Sure, of course I’ll buy the book I’m getting signed, but in general? Nah. However. This is STAN LEE. STAN THE MAN. The guy who invented pretty much every character in the Marvel comics stable. You bet your ass I wanted to meet him. And I especially wanted the girls to meet him, because how awesome is it to say you met Stan Lee when you were ten?

Because we were paying for the autographs, hubs and I decided to forego them for ourselves and just get them for the babies. So both Princess and Faerie got to hand their books to Stan and say “Thank you, Mr. Lee,” and they got to say who their favorite characters were, and it was pretty awesome. And then, we got to do the picture. Here it is (under the cut): Read the rest of this entry »

What Stace had to say on Friday, February 24th, 2012
Q&A Group!

So I have a few things to rant about; I’ll probably do that Monday or Tuesday, if I do it at all. For now I just want to mention that I went ahead and started an Author Q&A group on Goodreads. I figured I’d open it now to give people time to find it, and we’d start the discussion on March 20, but people have already been joining and posting (which I didn’t expect at all!) so…well, I don’t really know what to do; I’ve gone ahead and answered a few questions but figure I won’t really jump in with both feet yet, because there’s some preliminary-type reader-only discussion taking place there, too, and I don’t want to interfere (but neither do I want to just ignore everyone).

I am reading, though! And I may take a few of the questions and add them to my FAQ page at some point. So please do join up if you want to hang out with some cool readers, and discuss some of my books with me, and feel free to start discussions/ask whatever questions you want, about anything.

So I hope to see you over there!

What Stace had to say on Monday, February 20th, 2012
Countdown Starting!

We have FIVE WEEKS until the release of SACRIFICIAL MAGIC in the US, can you believe it? It’s almost here!

And of course I’m starting the freak-out that will inevitably lead to me spending release day huddled up on the couch puking and crying and whatever else, terrified I’ll have let everyone down. But I’m trying to be optimistic.

Its helping that so far the advance readers seem to be enjoying the book very much. And I link to that page because, if you are a Goodreads member in the US, you can enter a drawing to win your very own copy!

Also lovely are the great reviews so far for HOME, the Heroes & Heartbreakers short. It is a *romance* story; I think it’s probably about as romantic and cheerful as a Downside story can be, really, and I’m thrilled and amazed by how enthusiastic everyone has been/is being about it. Remember, though, it’s only going to be available for a couple more days; after that it will be pulled, and will be “officially” released for sale in April (I believe it’s April), so read it now!

And of course, I’ll be posting some bits and pieces from SACRIFICIAL MAGIC here soon; the first chapter, and the songlist, and probably another excerpt or two (in fact, there’s one at the end of this post!). Deleted scenes etc. will go up one month after release.

I’m looking for someone to perhaps help design a few new t-shirts for the Downside Market (our desktop with the image program is in storage at the moment, so I can’t do them myself just now, which sucks). I can’t really pay money but I *can* promise a free t-shirt, so please let me know if you’re interested.

Additionally, for my artist pals out there…Suvudu is doing an art contest for the Supernatural Cage Match 2012! Details here. As I mention below, Chess will be “competing” in this, and I’d loooove to see not only your vision of her but see one of my readers get exposure like that; a lot of people read Suvudu and especially the Cage Match, and I’d be thrilled to see one or more of you get to participate. (Of course, you don’t just have to draw/create an image of Chess; there are sixty-four characters in the Match!)

AND…I’m thinking contest(s), and I have a couple of GREAT prize ideas, including one I’m really excited about that I can’t discuss quite yet but will be able to soon. But think merchandise you can wear that isn’t clothes. Hee.

So far I’m thinking I’ll run entries the way I did for the Name-a-Character contest I did for the release of CITY OF GHOSTS: you get two entries for pre-ordering the book, two for blogging about the books/series, one for tweeting about it (using, I’m thinking, #sacrificialmagic as a hashtag).

I didn’t do entries for reviewing on Goodreads/LibraryThing/Shelfari/Amazon/B&N for the last books and I’m still not sure how I feel regarding that, so I’m considering it and am open to your thoughts. See, the thing is, I’m very conscious of how it looks to ask for or encourage reviews on those sites and it bothers me personally to do so; I feel it’s unethical. But I also feel like anyone who spreads the word about the books and/or takes the time to write a review deserves some sort of entry for it and I hate to ignore people who don’t have blogs or Twitter or even accounts at various reader sites; if the only place you participate as a reader is Amazon, how is it right or okay for me to tell you that you don’t get to enter, you know? But at the same time, it *is* rewarding reviews on Amazon/B&N and I just think that’s kind of icky, so… Perhaps I’ll just leave it at Goodreads/LT/Shelfari and skip Amazon/B&N, which feels much better to me, because those sites aren’t actual stores where people go to buy books. (There will be a separate contest for the Downside Army, too, so members can enter both.) (Also, did you know you can “Like” books on Amazon? I just realized it, how long has that been going on?)

Speaking of Goodreads, I’m considering doing one of those Author Q&A groups, where you can ask questions and stuff for a set period of time; I was thinking of maybe March 26th–April 17th, which is about a month. Would anyone be interested in that? I’ll be doing a lot of interviews etc. elsewhere, as well; I’m already booked on several sites for the week before and week of release (and if you’re interested in having me as a guest on your site/blog, please do get in touch soon, because my calender is filling), so there will be other chances, but the Goodreads Q&A seems like fun and we can have a special section for spoilers that will ensure no one else is, well, spoiled by the questions/discussion.

Upcoming:

Chess will be “competing” in Suvudu’s big huge Supernatural Cage Match, which will take place throughout March. I know who she’s battling and can’t tell yet, but a big part of the Cage Match is reader participation, and we’re encouraged to urge our readers to go and vote. So look out for that; I’m really excited about this and very hopeful that Chess can advance to the next round!

I’ll be posting my Big Release event schedule soon; a lot of blogs are doing some really cool giveaways you won’t want to miss! And of course I’m trying to think of some more fun stuff to do as well. It’s just crazy that we’re so close!

A little excerpt:

She wasn’t going to run away. From what, a ghost? Some asshole who decided it would be fun to have a little tea party with a ghost? No fucking way.
She pulled her knife out of her pocket and snapped it open, used her left hand to grab a handful of asafetida and graveyard dirt. Let them fucking come. She was ready.
What she wasn’t ready for was the quick, fast whoosh of something flying through the air, or the heavy sharp pain in the back of her skull. The dirt and her knife flew from her hands; the floor flew up to greet her. Painfully.
She barely had a chance to realize what had happened before everything went dark.

What Stace had to say on Tuesday, February 14th, 2012
A Valentine’s Day gift at HeroesandHeartbreakers.com!

It’s up!

My little Downside romance short story, HOME, has been published on the HeroesandHeartbreakers.com website, free to registered members. Go here to read it and comment on it!

HOME is, as I said above, a romance story; this is the one I originally wrote for the MAMMOTH BOOK OF GHOST ROMANCE but pulled over the whole “gay stories aren’t romance” thing. So it’s definitely romance; it’s about love and relationships and all of that, and I think it’s rather a sweet little tale (though not too sweet; this is Chess we’re talking about here). SPOILERY (highlight to read): And for those of you who’ve wanted a chance to see Chess and Terrible just being happy together, here it is.

The story will be up free for one week, after which it’ll be pulled and released for sale in April (I believe). So please do go register now and read it, or you’ll have to wait a few more months!

A little excerpt:

“Love is not the most powerful magic. But it feels like it is.”
—Truth for Teens, a Guidebook for the Young Adult, by Elder Carroll

Chapter 1

Most—no, all—of her cases started the same way: A homeowner or building resident called the Church to report a haunting. The Church assigned a Debunker to the case to investigate the haunting and hopefully disprove it, to make sure the person in question wasn’t just faking in order to get a nice fat settlement in exchange for the Church’s failure to protect them from the dead.

After all, just because the population was smaller thanks to Haunted Week twenty-four years before, when the ghosts had risen and killed every living person they could, and just because the Church of Real Truth was in charge now, didn’t mean people didn’t still need money. They did. Just like Chess. She needed money for food, for rent, for the electric bill and the cell phone bill and all of those other things. And of course for drugs: the things that made her life worthwhile.

So Chess worked, and she worked hard, and she’d handled a lot of cases and gotten a lot of bonuses for disproving a lot of hauntings. But she’d never had a case before where a neighbor called the Church to report the ghost and the homeowners insisted there wasn’t one.

I really hope you all enjoy it!

What Stace had to say on Wednesday, February 8th, 2012
The SFX Weekender!

Oh, man, what a fun con, seriously. I had a great time. It didn’t start out that way, but it certainly ended up that way.

Why did it not start that way? Because of a train derailment. I was supposed to travel from London Euston to Chester, and from there catch a train to Prestatyn, where the con was being held. Yeah. Nothing was going out of Euston on Friday, so instead of my happy little three-and-a-half-hour or so trip I ended up spending seven and a half hours either standing in crowded train aisles or perched on the edge of a seat (my suitcase took up most of it). Or just standing around in the freezing cold; the train out of Derby I was told to take was so full some of us had to wait an hour for the next one.

But I finally arrived, and after some confusion found where I was supposed to check in (which I did, along with the female Holley from Red Dwarf, who was so nice. Then I went back to get my key–they had to cut me a new one–who did I find standing there but the male Holley, who was also very friendly and nice and we had a lovely little chat. So I met both Holleys in my first half hour there, which was pretty cool).

I don’t know what it is about me and cons, but I always seem to end up rooming with these gorgeous curvy brunette sex goddesses. First, of course, there is my wonderful friend Caitlin Kittredge, with whom I room because we plan it that way. But Caitlin wasn’t at this one (and I missed her!) and SFX was handling my accomodation, so they had me rooming with Maria Dahvana Headley, who–guess what?–is a gorgeous curvy brunette sex goddess. Seriously, the woman could stop traffic. See how stunning she looks on her website? Doesn’t even come close.

Anyway. The con was held at a Pontins, which for those unaware is a “holiday camp.” It looks like a gulag with exclamation points. But our “chalet”–actually just a pretty standard little one-bedroom apartment in a block of them–was clean, which was more than I expected, and the electric radiators worked fairly well, although there wasn’t one in the bathroom. And the bathroom door wouldn’t stay closed. And the smoke alarms beeped randomly and irritatingly, at least until Maria, um, fixed them.

We did not have a mirror in the whole place.

I ended up staying in the room Friday night–I didn’t know anyone there–and doing some work. Or, well, I was supposed to be working but I ended up watching The Untouchables. Oh, and standing up every fifteen minutes or so to lean over the radiator and warm up.

Saturday was the Big Day. Of course, I totally forgot about the shiny red jeans I bought specifically for that con, so they languished in my suitcase, dammit. And it was COLD. So very, very cold. It also rained. And the “chalet” was so very far away from the main building.

My first panel was “What is Urban Fantasy?” And dude. Most cons I go to have maybe a hundred, hundred and fifty people at each panel. This one (and the later one)? In a huge room. A huge full room. I saw someone estimate the capacity at a thousand, but I think it was probably closer to half of that; then again, I wouldn’t know, because the room was dark and we had lights aimed right at us so I couldn’t see the audience (that’s important later; I couldn’t see beyond the front row).

So “What is Urban Fantasy?” was me, Paul Cornell, Ben Aaronovitch, Benedict Jacka, and Sam Stone. And it was awesome. A really interesting, in-depth look at the genre, and not one person suggested it was just chicks in leather fucking vampires. We talked about the nature of monsters and the darkness inside all of us and whether UF is sort of like horror where the protagonist lives (I LOVED that definition, as you can probably guess). Just such a cool panel, and so much fun to be a part of. I felt a little weird being the only American there, but it didn’t seem to matter at all. (There’s a picture of that panel on the Orbit blog.)

Next I signed books at the Forbidden Planet booth (Forbidden Planet is a huge UK SFF bookstore chain) with Maria. We had a great time, and she fixed my lipstick. Somewhere there should be a picture of us together but I don’t know where or if it’s up yet. Unfortunately–or fortunately, I’m not sure which–FP ran out of our books in the first 15 minutes or so. I’m hoping that’s a good sign but for all I know they only had five copies of each, so who knows. And what matters is that it was fun; Maria and I had some laughs, we got to meet some great readers, and it was just cool all around.

Then we had the “Ready Steady Flash!” panel. Okay. This was basically, the moderator–Lee from Angry Robot Books, what a cool guy–gave us a topic and we had five minutes to write a flash story about it. I have never written flash fiction before, but figured hey, why not? And it meant I got to be at a table with Juliet E. McKenna, Paul Cornell (again, and let me tell you he is awesome), and Tony Lee. One of these things (read: me) is not like the others…

(My flash pieces and the rest of the con under the cut) Read the rest of this entry »

What Stace had to say on Monday, January 30th, 2012
A little stuff avalanche

Okay, first? Indulge a Mommy for a minute, because this is seriously so cute it hurts.

I was in the car with both of my babies (Princess is ten, Faerie is just-turned-seven, for those unfamiliar) and the subject of Pluto came up. Pluto the suddenly-not-a-planet, not Pluto-Goofy’s-dog. I mentioned how it’s not a planet anymore, and Princess said that it’s a dwarf planet, and I said how disappointing that was because I’d always liked Pluto and was sad when it was demoted.

And then Faerie pipes up, in this thoughtful little voice, “Maybe they could find another planet for all the dwarfs to live on, and then Pluto can be a regular planet again.”

I am not making that up.

I told you, so cute it HURTS.

(It reminded me of when I was eight and being tested for the Gifted program at my school, and they asked me to define the word “dilatory,” and I figured, well, a dormitory is a place where they keep people, so maybe a dilatory is a place where they keep pickles? [That’s not correct, btw; dilatory basically means “slowpoke.”]) So according to my Faerie, a dwarf planet is a place where dwarves live. I almost died from the adorable.

So, beyond the cute…

I’ve written three blog posts, about the whole writer/reader/reviews etc. thing, and not posted them, because frankly I don’t have the stomach for whatever misinterpretations and controversy would erupt from them. I do have something more to say about that whole thing, though, so I’ll try to get that up this week.

In the meantime, I have my schedule for the SFX Weekender, which is this weekend, Feb 3-5. It is:

Sat 2/4:

Panel: What is Urban Fantasy? 11 am
Signing: 12 noon
Panel: Ready! Steady! Flash! 1 pm

The Ready Steady Flash panel is frankly terrifying, since I’ll be given a topic and then five minutes to write a story about it, and given my over-reliance on the word “fuck” in my first drafts…well, let’s just say I’m a bit nervous. But, if any of you are going to be at the Weekender, please, please come introduce yourselves! I literally only know one person who’ll be there, the very awesome Suzanne McLeod, so I anticipate a weekend spent almost entirely alone, working in my little room (which online reviews assure me will be filthy and stink of urine, though I’m trying to be optimistic). I’m not even really allowed to drink because of this stupid fucking ulcer I still have, so that pretty much kills any thoughts of fun for me. (Seriously? I’ve had maybe three Cokes since I had my surgery. I’m not supposed to have caffeine or alcohol. You cannot imagine how much this blows. But, you know, I’m not really ready to die yet.)

I am considering venturing into the town of Prestatyn for a proper butcher etc. on the Saturday, though, and maybe even making a nice come-one-come-all meal on Saturday night like I did at Dragon-con a few years back. Hey, Brian Blessed follows me on Twitter now, maybe he’ll come and we can all listen to him recite Shakespeare. Who knows? It’s North Wales in February, baby! WILD TIMES.

I have just painted my nails a dark teal for the occasion. Not sure I’ll keep it.

Oh, and here’s the cover for CHASING MAGIC: