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Almost Halloween…..

I’ve always loved this holiday when imaginations and scary stories are celebrated. Of course my vampires object to the fake teeth and Dracula costumes. They see their fangs as quite elegant, and they are up on the latest fashion trends on the Paris and New York runways. So if you decide to be a vampire for Halloween, add some cool designer inspired accessories and lots of big faux-jewel rings. The Baron Mordecai would approve.

I’m always home on Halloween, because I love to give out candy to the kids. It is so fun to see all their crazy costumes, and delight at getting treats. I still remember one of my kids coming up to my husband when they were little the night after their first Halloween and asking to go out trick or treating again.

My second book is done, and my editor is politely making corrections. He said, “I know you see and hear everything you’re writing about but the reader needs a few more details.” He is right!

This week I’ll send out agent query letters. Wish me luck!

Thank you all for loving books and supporting my endeavors! You Rock!

Shades of Vampires….

On Twitter recently someone compared politicians with the undead. I took offense which made my friend on Twitter laugh. Vampires may have some unsavory habits, even lethal at times but they stick to sucking dry sexist, racist, abusive twits. They are very particular about their sources of nutrition. They call them, “Worthy Targets.”

My nocturnal vigilantes see themselves as elite assassins improving the gene pool one repulsive soul at a time. They are very invested in this world as they have no reason to plan for the next. They appreciate the beauty of nature though it is by moonlight. In the third book I am currently writing the Magus takes out the disgusting  head of an elephant poaching business in the Congo.

Whatever you may think of vampires please do not slander them by comparing them with politicians. They are egotistical, seductive as hell, brilliant, and vengeful but never boring. Bless their dark little hearts!

Banned in Marysville….

The Farmer’s Market in Marysville, Washington politely declined a request to sell my book there. Apparently Vampire Paranormal Romances are not considered appropriate for their church sponsored market. I imagine that everyone who attends that market has seen at least one vampire movie in their life. Just saying.

I had a great time meeting people at the Arlington Street Fair. It was fun discussing the creative process and encouraging aspiring writers of all ages to pursue their dreams. The wax vampire teeth we handed out were popular with young and old. I was pleased by the variety of people interested in the book. Very cool!

When I consider all the amazing books that have been censored or burned because of ignorant fears about how the written word might corrupt the morals of the masses, I feel honored that my fun paranormal romance has been banned. Remember years ago when they burned Beatle’s records? Also there was concern that Tarzan and Jane weren’t married. I might start putting a “Banned in Marysville” sign on my fair booth.

I’ll be at the Barnes and Noble in Lynnwood, Washington on August 4th at noon.
ENJOY THE READ!

Who is Miranda Ortega?

People have different theories about who Miranda was based on. It’s only slightly me. She represents most of the young working women I have known. She wants a career as a writer and has to try and find a way to continue to pursue it in spite of vampires threatening  and seducing her, children being born, and struggling to keep her sense of humor in such a bizarre demanding reality.

She has been described by some reviewers as a “faulty” human being, which makes her a better heroine somehow. I appreciate that compliment. Her stubborn streak and ungratefulness keep her from being swept away by the forceful personalities of the undead. I love her spirit, and indignant cussing. Wouldn’t you love to tell off your boss like she tells off Baron Mordecai and the Magus?

The second book in the trilogy is being edited, and I’ve begun the last book. As Miranda evolves the vampires are having a difficult time keeping up. Women are powerful!

#savelucifer and Vampires, and Zombies, and Werewolves, etc…..

This week if you desire, go to Twitter and #savelucifer. It’s an amazing TV series about the head Devil/fallen Angel being fed up with hell so he goes to Los Angeles.

Having grown up in L.A., it makes perfect sense to me. The show examines the humanity from the perspective of a Fallen Angel, sort of a spiritual antropoglogical study of our psyches. It’s based on the writing of NeilGaiman. One of my favorite writers. Do yourself a favor and read GOOD OMENS by Gaiman/Prachett.

Vampires, devils, werewolves give us a chance to explore our morality, and how quickly we rush to judgement turning away from villains instead of  gaining insight into their behavior and our own.  I love the werewolf hero in Harry Potter that J.K.Rawlings created. These tortured creatures often mimic our own struggles to survive in a world that has difficulty with different thinkers and different ways of life.

This week the creators/actors/staff of the TV show Lucifer have requested we storm the gates of social media and proclaim #savelucifer to help the show survive. It’s on my twitter page. C’mon, think about it, why wouldn’t Lucifer reside in the city of Angels?

 

 

Vampires are seductive as hell, till you marry one……

April 24, 2018

Bram 1
Bram and me at MoPop Seattle

My vampires see themselves above the rules of the bourgeoisie. They never worry about good behavior to redeem their souls, they are focused on their status in the vampire world. Consider a crime family where everyone wants to look good to the Godfather. The vampire world was begun by the Magus. They want to garner his approval by appearing chic, clever, and loyal. The transformation to a vampire has the effect of enhancing the attractiveness and intelligence of the now undead. They become the ultimate pleasure and thrill seekers. After being around for a thousand years existence can be boring, even for them.

Enter Miranda, a mortal who becomes involved in their world, and seduced by one of the most powerful vampires. At first, she is blown away by the vampire world she discovers. Though she succumbs to the charms of Tristan, it does not happen as he would expect. She is flippant and critical of his supposedly superior existence. When the Magus orchestrated Tristan and Miranda’s union he did not envision a modern woman, who would at times reject vampire society. The ruling vampires are confused by her ingratitude and defiance. As Miranda says, “That’s nice, no one gets sucked to death on date night.”

The vampires in my world were inspired by the people with addictions that I worked with. Miranda was inspired by the loved ones who struggle to understand the person they love, the pleasure/thrill seeker who is being consumed by their choices. There is a little of Tristan and Miranda in all of us.

 

 

Wow…ComicCon….

March 19, 2017

Books in any form, comics, photographs, novels, etc. introduce us to other worlds. Going to Comic Con was like stepping into one of those worlds. People allow themselves to be their favorite character, hero or villain. It was so amazing to be in an environment that encourages letting your freak flag fly. The next time I go, I’ll go as a vampiress!

Phone pics 282 (3)

There was a lecture about Marsten the creator of Wonder Woman, and his unusual book about the psychology of normal people. The lecture emphasized that Marsten saw women as more balanced and flexible than men. Nice. When you have to deal with a condescending coworker think, “What would Wonder Woman do?” but don’t lasso anyone. I got to meet E.A. Channon, a fantasy writer. He was very supportive and encouraging of my writing efforts.

 

Comic Con 2016

Which character would you like to become for a day at Comic Con? You could be the Joker, Catwoman, a Dragon Ball Z or Final Fantasy hero, Princess Leia or a Wookie. Years ago, I went to the Superman Festival in Metropolis, Illinois. Walking down the streets of a small city in the cornfields surrounded by Marvel super heroes was awesome. When my husband complimented a Batman costume, the man responded, “We take fighting crime very seriously Citizen!” In Metropolis they stay in character.

Find a ComicCon near you, be your favorite character for a day, meet a writer, Sci Fi actor, or Illustrator. I think you’ll be impressed by how much they love fans. Comic Con is a celebration of the appreciation of creativity, and a homecoming for the hero in all of us.

“Is that what’s going on in your head?”

My dear friend asked me that after reading Rare Blood. She said she had a hard time putting the book down, hated Tristan and wanted Miranda to make better choices. Ha!

Miranda is me when I first got my psychology degree and started working in Mental Health. I reminded my friend of all the people in crisis we admitted working the night shift in Psych Emergency. Most of the time it felt like I was helping someone, keeping them from hurting themselves, till they had the strength to tackle life’s pain and injustice.

Then there were the strange rangers with delusional systems that no amount of treatment would change. A few years later when I started working with the normal substance abusers, who could manipulate and charm you into believing every word, that is when I found my vampires.

My mother-in-law, Pamela Kaufman, wrote great books about Eleanor of Aquitaine, and her royal offspring. She did a lot of research while getting her doctorate from UCLA. I am grateful she encouraged me to write.

My research happened in psychiatric hospitals, and rehab clinics. The addicts I know could be set down on a city corner broke, and within a day have found shelter, a meal, and probably a way to make a few bucks to get high or buzzed. Resourceful, secretive, and in many ways invisible.

The wealthy ones had a network of people to do their bidding. One client had his butler bring him house plants for his room with crack hidden in the soil, he had a lot of plants. Attorneys, accountants, agents, and family members that hadn’t been burned out yet, kept them solvent.

There were also a few psychiatrists over the years that were hard to distinguish from the clients. I based my head vampire, the Magus, on them.

Getting back to my friend, she understood when I explained how our employment inspired me to write about vampires. I also told her to give Miranda a chance, she was so young when she met Tristan.

In my twenties I fell in love with an engineering student from Algeria, he was handsome, brilliant and spoke several languages. I was a Valley Girl. I got swept off my feet. A few years later I had moved on, it was a relationship/romance learning curve that Miranda is in the midst of.

Give her a chance, she’s pretty fucking brilliant herself.

Life Happens…

March 5. 2018

People ask me if I outline the plot then fill in the details. Miranda and I start out in a certain direction and then life happens. Some of the biggest surprises in the plot were not planned, they just came about as the story developed.

When I first married in my twenties I thought that would be it for life. Now three marriages later due to a divorce, early widowhood, and my current marriage, it is apparent we make our plans and then…life happens.

My family and friends have been a constant source of support as well as source of plot lines. My kids are brilliant good hearted rascals with a biting senses of humor. Though they might roll their eyes at some plot idea, they always follow with, “Go for it mom. I’m proud of you.”

Maybe you’re like me and you have your day planned out and think you know how it will go. You might stop for coffee at your usual place, thinking about what you are planning to do. Then someone pats you on the back and says, “Hey! long time, no see…” You don’t have a clue who they are. You tell them they must be mistaken, but it kind of throws off your concentration. You grab your coffee, get in your car and back into a BMW. It belongs to a mafia guy the Feds are tailing. (Please feel free to use this in a story if you like). I hope to inspire people to write. This is how plots develop for me, my mind always goes to, “What if Miranda…”

I would have published Rare Blood thirty years ago but life happened. My computer, with the only copy of my first draft (which of course, I hadn’t backed up), was fried during a lightning storm in Illinois.  It turned out okay, it gave me years of good, weird, sad, funny and inspiring additional material to work with.

Tristan was inspired by one of my clients, and if not for him I don’t think I could have found my first vampire. There are some people in this world that take your breath away and speed up your pulse. Sometimes there are people that you just want to throttle.  In my professional life I had to smile and maintain professional boundaries.

I could not change what might have happened to a client, but writing is another matter. That is the reason my vampires go after those who have abused women, hurt children or generally have “gotten away” with some heinous act. In my books, karma really can be a bitch or a vampire, or both.

So, grab a cup of coffee, find a pen, pull out a notebook (okay, or your laptop if you must) and let your story begin. Writer’s rock!