Enjoy some Mayhem & Magic!
Our blog is meant to evoke fun with the magic of myths, folklore, movies and the mayhem of murder and madness. We have to keep it interesting so if you like different genres of movies and books then you're at the right blog. Our authors are a wide range of experts and our readers know what is top of the line in their favorite genres. Sometimes we post recipes that might be fun to try if a culinary author has one in her book that we think is especially yummy or one that Terri and I have created and want to share with you. Enjoy Guest Blogger Alice Duncan's monthly muse on her books and writing mysteries.
Plus you won't want to miss our book reviews, author interviews or our guest bloggers. So grab your favorite beverage then join us for some magic and mayhem! The good news is that you don't have to leave the house or your comfy chair. We have something for everyone's taste and every month we have a different topic for our bloggers: ones we feel that might be useful in your own writing and reader points of view. Not to mention, life in general. So join us and be sure to have a notebook handy as your to-be-read pile will grow as you add books, recipes, movies and t.v. series you won't want to miss. Not to mention folktales, myths or ideas you may wish to explore. Be careful what you wish for because on mayhemandmagic2 you just might find it.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Guest Blogger - Rachel Caine
You know, if somebody had told me when I was just starting out how amazing being a professional writer is, I'd have believed that. Wholeheartedly. And it IS amazing, and wonderful, and magical ... but that's not all it is, of course.
So let's talk a little about the magic, and the mayhem, and how that equation balances out (at least for me).
There is something absolutely, undeniably magical about the way that words on a page can move people. As a storyteller, it's so amazing to come face to face with someone who really connects with your work. It's humbling, too ... people are allowing you into their hearts and minds, and that's a truly personal sort of connection.
I'll tell you my two most magical experience so far, to prove my point.
Soon after I began to write the Morganville Vampires series, I got a letter from a teacher, who told me that she had bought the first three books for her class, and that one of her students who had never been interested at all in reading picked up the first one, read it straight through, then avidly read the rest. That student then came to her and said, "You never told me books were fun! What else have you got?" For me, if I never do anything else, this one thing is worth any amount of mayhem I've encountered in this business.
Second, I got a letter from a 20 year old woman who told me that she had never read a single book all the way through in her whole life ... that she hated reading, but she faked her way through school, and fooled her parents by checking out lots of books, moving around bookmarks in them, and checking them back in without ever actually reading a word. As it happened, she continued the habit even after school ... and one day her power went out in her apartment. She was bored, and a little desperate for something to do, so she sat down and read the first page of one of my books that she'd checked out. And she read the whole book. I was literally the first book she'd ever read, and she was so excited that she emailed me to thank me.
That's ... magic.
Writing ain't always glamorous, though. I have personally rarely gotten to sip champagne and eat bonbons after completing a deadline ... I mostly collapse, then drag myself up and do it again. Getting up before dawn and heading to the coffee shop to write for three hours before going to a full time day job ... that'll do some damage to you when you keep on doing it day after day, month after month, year after year.
Over the years I haven't so much burned the candle at both ends, as set the candle factory on fire, with myself inside. And that has consequences ... to health, family, friends, peace of mind. But like most choices we make, it's a matter of setting your priorities. For better or worse, I set mine to put my writing ahead of a lot of things. Which resulted in some mayhem to the rest of my life.
I've had disastrous books over the years -- one sold less than 2,000 copies nationwide, which is pretty sad considering I probably bought at least 20 of those. I've been bounced out of three publishers during my career -- I don't blame them at all, because I wasn't producing the kind of sales that they needed to see. I've had book signings where nobody but the very kind staff of the store came to see me (actually, it's embarrassing how often that happened). I've figured, every year, that I probably wasn't cut out for this writing thing (which is probably why I kept holding on to my day job).
But you know what? The magic still wins out over all that, every time. Because it's a funny thing about magic ... you only need a little bit to get you through the stress, the long hours, the doubts.
That's why it's magic.
So far, I have four books set for release in 2010: UNKNOWN, the second book of the Outcast Season series (Feb.); KISS OF DEATH, book 8 of the Morganville Vampires series (April/May); TOTAL ECLIPSE, the 9th book of the Weather Warden series (Sept.), and GHOST TOWN, book 9 of the Morganville Vampires (Nov.)
While all that is going on, I'll be working on writing GHOST TOWN, followed by the third Outcast Season book (UNSEEN), followed by the first book in a brand new series, DEAD SEXY (for release in late 2010/early 2011). Toward the end of 2010 I'll be working on the 10th Morganville book, which is currently untitled.
That's a lot to do ... but don't worry. I live by this great exchange from the movie Shakespeare in Love (all hail writers Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard):
"Mr. Fennyman, allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster. "
"So what do we do?"
"Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well."
"I don't know. It's a mystery."
In other words ... magic.
-- Rachel Caine