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Charlaine Harris on her Sookie books, ‘True Blood,’ Bill vs. Edward July 30, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors.
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Photo by Caroline Grayschock

Photo by Caroline Grayschock

Charlaine Harris is pretty much everywhere these days. The author of the Sookie Stackhouse series, which HBO is basing its TRUE BLOOD shows on, is working on her 10th Sookie book (due out May 2010), keeping an eye on the TV show as well as appearing at big fan shows such as Comic-Con. (CLICK HERE TO SEE TRUE BLOOD INTERVIEWS FROM COMIC CON). We caught up with her right before Comic Con to ask her a few things about the latest book out, DEAD AND GONE, and a little bit about the show! (Thanks to fellow Sookie book/True Blood fans at www.sookiestackhouse.com for their book questions!)

Q. Do you think Eric has grown because of his relationship with Sookie?
A. I think parts of Eric have surfaced that he thought were buried for good.

Q. What will it take for Sookie to understand the blood bond? (It seems as if she is losing her ability to distinguish between her own feelings, Eric’s feelings and those generated by the blood bond.)
A. This is an issue in the next book.

Q. How would you compare the strengths between the bonds of vampire and sire, a vampire and his/her king or queen, and a vampire and his/her sheriff?
A. The vampire/sire relationship is the strongest.

Q. In one podcast interview, you said you didn’t see Sookie turning into a vampire or even winding up with one — in the sense that she would lead a normal life and be with a human. Do you still think she will be able to do that — settle with one person? Not a vampire?
A. I said that Sookie will never become a vampire. And a vampire can’t give her what she’s always thought she wanted; a regular marriage with children. But that doesn’t mean Sookie will end up with exactly what she wants. I see no reason why she couldn’t settle with one person.

deadandgoneQ. What did you want readers to take away from DEAD AND GONE?
A. I don’t know that I had a specific goal; I had several themes, though. The ruthlessness and inhumanity of the fae, the outrages we commit in the name of love, and the loneliness of those who simply can’t fit in and are doomed by their own nature . . . those were all elements of the book.

Q. Do you have a good idea of how the series will eventually end? If so — have you ever changed your mind about the ending?
A. I do know how the series will end. And I have never changed my mind.

Q. Tell us a little bit about your cameo at the end of season 2!!!!
A. I’m sitting in Merlotte’s at the bar talking to Sam. I’m wearing a striped shirt. I have a line. I almost hope they cut it. I’m not an actor.

Q. Alan Ball has certainly developed the HBO show differently from the books. Does his vision of the show make you think about how you’re writing your current book? Have you ever gotten an idea from the show to build on in the book series?
A. I keep them separate in my mind. The book characters have been living with me for a long, long time.

Q. Do you and Alan Ball talk before, during, after the season?
A. We email back and forth from time to time, more frequently before each season.  We are both very busy people. If I’m in Los Angeles, we usually have lunch together or something. And we have some good conversations when we’re doing publicity for the show.

Photo courtesty of HBO

Photo courtesty of HBO

Q. To you — what’s been the most interesting/surprising or creative storyline(s) that HBO has developed in the series?
A. Jessica, without a doubt.

Q. Which parts of the TV series most visually match what you envisioned when you wrote your book series?
A. Sookie’s house is perfect, though it doesn’t have the same layout. But the rooms are just right. In Sam’s office, the desk is turned in a different direction, but other than that it’s wonderful.

Q. Do you know ahead of time what is on each episode? Do you watch each Sunday?
A. I do know ahead of time. And I do watch each Sunday.

Q. OK — gotta ask because it’s everywhere! Bill Compton vs. Edward Cullen?
A. There is no contest.

What’s next for Charlaine this year? Three releases.


JENNIFER LYON: ‘Blood Magic author talks about her hero and Hugh Jackman’ and CLICK HERE for her writing tips.

SHANA ABE: ‘Author of Dragon series on next book and its renegade lovers’ and CLICK HERE for her writing tips.

LINDA O JOHNSTON: ‘Her Alpha wolves practice safe sex’ and CLICK HERE for her writing tips.

SUSAN SQUIRES: ‘Author of vampire series on strong women, kinky things, time travel’ and CLICK HERE for her writing tips.

ALYSON NOEL: ‘Evermore author on teen angst, immortality and her next book’ and CLICK HERE for her writing tips. See what she says about social media networking HERE.

Textnovel: These authors really are writing on the Web! July 30, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, News.
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If you’re looking for some new names in paranormal romance, check out Textnovel.com, a social network site for writers and readers of all kinds of serial fiction. It lets members write and read fiction with their cellphones, computers, text messages, emailbigtext and whatever other online tools you can think of. The cool thing about this site is you can read an author’s work in progress and submit feedback. The site often partners with publishers for contests — current contest is for a publishing contract with Dorchester and you must submit at least 20 chapters (6,000 words) by Nov. 1. (CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE RULES) — and it’s also a place to get noticed. In May, an editor at St. Martin’s Press read the winning entry of one Textnovel writing contest and bid to publish the novel (CLICK HERE TO READ RELEASE). Textnovel.com  founder  Stan Soper also uses the site to  offer literary agency services to aspiring writers.

I just logged in so I could read and went straight to the romance-paranormal category. DEATH’S ANGEL by Christiana Cameron was the most popular and you can click on the entry and start reading for yourself. If you don’t sign up — it’s free — you just get the synopsis and can’t read the entire manuscript. here’s also an urban fantasy category, too. So if you’re a reader and looking for something new — just be patient because these are new writers and works in progress — or if you’re an aspiring writer, check it out. Let me know what you think! Here’s a sampling from paranormal:

221 Cover Image DEATH\’S ANGEL By: Christiana Cameron Vote for this story Subscribe to this story Story Rating In Progress
Death is a lonely business. Devlin O’Neal knows. He’s been the caregiver to millions on their journeys to the afterlife. But when he witnesses terminal care nurse Vivienne Dupre’s genuine compassion toward her patients, his lonlienss turns to longing. Taking human form, Devlin decides he must make her his, even if it’s only for a little while.  More…

Comments(19)  |   Fans(69)  |   Votes(110)

149 Cover Image The Full Moon People By: Deborah Nicholson Vote for this story Subscribe to this story Story Rating In Progress
What do you do when you can’t sleep? How do you get through the next day, only to find you can’t sleep again the next night. And what do you do when you start to notice the same people are up when you are? And who do you talk to when you start to change? When you find yourself on the streets chasing muggers with a baseball bat in hand? Or having sex with strangers in public parks? Those are the questions that face Beth as she sits up in her bedroom, night after night, and starts to notice the same people are up when she does, and then goes out to meet them. She must find out what is happening to her before it’s too late, and the only way she succeed is to try and make contact with the other full moon people and make them realize that only they can find the man with the yellow eyes; the man who might have the answers so that they can save themselves. A little scary, a little sexy and a lot of fun!  More…

Comments(3)  |   Fans(37)  |   Votes(102)

126 Cover Image UG Sweets By: Veronica Blue Vote for this story Subscribe to this story Story Rating Editor's Choice In Progress
When magic is in the air … it just means the lawyers get nastier. Witchy sweet-treaters Carolyn and Lori are being sued by an unhappy customer over a love potion gone wrong. Can they keep their business, keep their heads and not lose their hearts in the process?  More…

Comments(9)  |   Fans(50)  |   Votes(74)

119 Cover Image REAPER. By: Katherine Crouch Vote for this story Subscribe to this story Story Rating In Progress
Darius used to be a respected Guardian. He used to believe in a higher purpose, until the day he loses both his way and a soul trusted into his keeping.Darius is given a chance to redeem himself as a Reaper after he loses that soul.Can he recover the soul that changed him forever in time?  More…

Comments(2)  |   Fans(43)  |   Votes(65)

106 Cover Image Courting Demons By: Kerri Nelson Vote for this story Subscribe to this story Story Rating Editor's Choice In Progress
When a teenage obsession with witchcraft results in the tragic death of her best friend, Paisley Barton abandons her Wiccan ways forever. Fifteen years later, she’s living a normal life as a wife and mother until she desperately seeks a way to vent her rage towards her cheating husband by casting an impromptu vengeance spell that goes awry and sets off a sequence of unfortunate mystical events. Find out what happens next as Paisley’s life turns from being an every day working mother to a Judge for the demon world!  More…

Comments(10)  |   Fans(36)  |   Votes(57)

Book pick: ‘Map of Moments’ gritty, urban time-travel tale July 26, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in Reviews/summaries.
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So while we are waiting for some of our fave books to be released — and for me to post my Charlaine Harris interview, which is coming this week — my little sister San in Philly found this gem — THE MAP OF MOMENTS by Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon — and sent in a little review (thanks San!). Here’s her take on the book: map

I must admit, I am a sucker for stories about time travel. I’ve read a lot and I am always hopeful the story will be worthwhile.  In all honesty, most time-travel tales are not worth the effort.  I am, however, always hopeful because a good time-travel story is so intriguing to me.

This one intrigued me though. Months after leaving New Orleans, history professor Max Corbett is returning to a place he hardly recognizes.  The girl he loved and lost is dead, and the city has been devastated by Hurricane Katrina.  After attending Gabrielle’s funeral, a strange old man offers Max a map and an insane proposition.

It looks like an ordinary map, but the old man claims that it is marked with a trail of magical moments from New Orleans’ history that might just open a door to the past.

I had a hard time putting this book down.  Maybe I wanted a change from the usual paranormal romance?  This book does have a romance told through flashbacks, but to me is much more of a dark urban fantasy tale.  The authors get the flavor of New Orleans right with a mix of creepy characters, violence, and the paranormal underbelly all woven together.  The post-Katrina angle makes New Orleans seem almost post-apocalyptic at times.  Max isn’t handed much free info in his travels and everything is not as it seems.  The real truth is discovered and revealed little by little, but that just makes you want to keep reading.

I enjoyed this book, but there are a few caveats.  Want the traditional paranormal romance all tied up with a little bow?  Don’t read this one.  Want a gritty, dark urban fantasy tale … enjoy!


‘Seducing Mr. Darcy’ wins best parnormal romance July 19, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in News.
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Yup — That’s your paranormal winner from RWA this year. seducing

Seducing Mr. Darcy by Gwyn Cready, Simon & Schuster, Pocket (ISBN: 9781416541165)


Dragon Wytch by Yasmine Galenorn, Penguin Group USA, Berkley (ISBN: 9780425222393) Kate Seaver, editor
Mine to Possess by Nalini Singh, Penguin Group USA, Berkley Sensation (ISBN: 9780425220160)Cindy Hwang, editor
Moonstruck by Susan Grant, Harlequin Enterprises, HQN (ISBN: 0373772599)Tara Parsons, editor
The Darkest Night by Gena Showalter, Harlequin Enterprises, HQN (ISBN: 0373772467)Tracy Farrell and Margo Lipschultz, editors
The Healer by Sharon Sala, Harlequin Enterprises, HQN (ISBN: 978077825444)Leslie Wainger, editor
The Undead Next Door by Kerrelyn Sparks, HarperCollins Publishers, Avon Books (ISBN: 9780061118456) Erika Tsang, editor
Thunder Moon by Lori Handeland, St. Martin’s Press (ISBN: 0312949189) Jennifer Enderlin, editor

Alyson Noel book signing: She believes in happy endings July 17, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors.

OK, I probably wasn’t the oldest person in line to get my copy of BLUE MOON signed by Alyson Noel — but close. I did chuckle when one daughter told her Mom, who said she wasn’t into vampire stuff: “They’re not vampires. They’re Immortals.”IMG_1202

Most of the 50-some fans lined up were really the YA crowd, and they were excited to meet the New York Times best-selling author. “Is that her?”  they whispered when Alyson slipped into the Barnes & Noble in Orange on Friday night. “Hi everyone,” she said. “Thanks for coming.” And she got down to signing books and chatting with her young fans.

A couple of things she chatted to fans about:

–She believes in happy endings. (“Yes — but their touch to each other is fatal,” one girl said. But Alyson replied: “There are four more books to come.”)

–She will write a spin-off series — four books — on Riley, Ever’s ghostly sister. The first book is expected in Fall 2010.

–All of the great YA blogs out there. “Look at what all of things they can do today,” she said. The author of the FRENETIC READER — who calls herself Khy — happily pointed out that a quote from her blog review of the first book was reprinted inside BLUE MOON’S first pages.

bluemoon1–Yes, BLUE MOON is doing well. It is No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list for children’s paperbacks and No. 14 on USA Today’s best-seller list.

–The third book in the Immortal Series, SHADOWLANDS, comes out a month earlier than expected — January 2010 — and not February 2010.

–She loves watching HBO’s TRUE BLOOD series and wants to read the Charlaine Harris’ books. “I just think what (Alan Ball) has done is super creative.” She’s a big fan of his work, including American Beauty and Six Feet Under.

–Check out her new Immortals Web site HERE.

Read my previous interviews with Alyson:

  • ALYSON NOEL: ‘Evermore author on teen angst, immortality and her next book’
  • See what she says about social media networking HERE.

Visit Alyson online at:

Her Web site

‘True Blood’ gets just a nip of Emmy love July 16, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in News.
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None of the “True Blood”actors received any Emmy nominations, but the HBO show did get a few nods. The 61st Emmys show will air Sept. 20 (Sunday) on CBS.

Sookie with vampire Bill. (Photo: Courtesy of HBO)

Sookie with vampire Bill. (Photo: Courtesy of HBO)

“True Blood” nominations:

  • Outstanding Art Direction For A Single-Camera Series – True Blood – “Burning House Of Love”, “Cold Ground”, “Sparks Fly Out” –  Suzuki Ingerslev, Production Designer Cat Smith, Art Director Rusty Lipscomb, SDSA, Set Decorator
  • Outstanding Casting For A Drama Series – True Blood – Junie Lowry Johnson, CSA, Casting Director Libby Goldstein, Casting Director
  • Outstanding Main Title Design – True Blood – Rama Allen, Designer Shawn Fedorchuk, Editor Matthew Mulder, Creative Director Morgan Henry, Main Title Producer Camm Rowland, Designer Ryan Gagnier, Designer

For a complete download list, CLICK HERE.

Paranormal Romance: Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander Tour July 13, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in News.

OK — fess up. How many of you have traveled to Scotland after reading Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series? Last year my little sis and I dragged our spouses across The Pond to — well — sort of look for traces of Jamie Fraser, the handsome IMG_055718th-century gentleman/ warrior, or anyone who might have looked like him. (I secretly hoped for some cool time-traveling experience, but — alas — I was meant to stay in this time period.)

However, I am not alone.  Mary Platt, spokeswoman at Chapman University, brought this nifty little article in Scottish Life magazine to my attention. (Thanks Mary!) The Outlander Tour by Penny Carnathan. You can read an excerpt by CLICKING HERE. The article retraces some steps in the book and discusses how Gabaldon researched her work and in other outlandercases she wrote something and later found out it was historically true! In this article the magazine writer visits the real-life MacKenzie’s Castle Leod;  Clava Carirns, one of the three ancient stone circles here is very similar to the one Clare was exploring before she was whisked back to 1743. And Carnathan even “sees” Charles MacKenzie Fraser — the real-life laird of Castle Fraser. “His was the only truly ‘handsome’ portrait I saw in all our travels in Scotland,” she writes.

Gabaldon says her  seventh book in the series,  AN ECHO IN THE BONE, should publish in the fall. (Amazon says Sept. 22)echo

Now what about that movie? The latest thing I could find was that it was still on, but it’s an old posting from Diana. CLICK HERE to read it. But if it really is made into a movie — watch out? (But who are they gonna cast as Jamie?)

Coming soon: Interviews with Christine Feehan and Charlaine Harris. (Questions? Add to comments!)

Also: For folks in Orange County, book signing by Alyson Noel, who just released book No. 2 in her Immortal Series — BLUE MOON. She’ll be at the Barnes and Noble in Orange at 6 p.m. on July 17 — a Friday.


JENNIFER LYON: ‘Blood Magic author talks about her hero and Hugh Jackman’ and CLICK HERE for her writing tips.

SHANA ABE: ‘Author of Dragon series on next book and its renegade lovers’ and CLICK HERE for her writing tips.

LINDA O JOHNSTON: ‘Her Alpha wolves practice safe sex’ and CLICK HERE for her writing tips.

SUSAN SQUIRES: ‘Author of vampire series on strong women, kinky things, time travel’ and CLICK HERE for her writing tips.

ALYSON NOEL: ‘Evermore author on teen angst, immortality and her next book’ and CLICK HERE for her writing tips. See what she says about social media networking HERE.

Ebooks: Will book publishers fail if they don’t adapt? July 8, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in News.
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If I could afford a Kindle right now — I’d buy one and purchase my books via downloads. I read A LOT. I have boxes and boxes and boxes of books in my tiny beach condo. And while I love the feel of a good old library book or new hardback book, I find Kindlemyself reading more stories online.

But not everyone agrees. In some Twitter feeds, I’ve seen authors and editors discussing the merits of traditional books vs ebooks. And my guest blogger today — my little sis Sandy in Philly — sent me this: (see my response after)

savannahI was just on The Bitten by Books Web site because it had an  interview with author Lucy Finn, a.k.a. Savannah Russe, who wrote the Darkwing Chronicles, an urban-fantasy series. Yes, she talks about her book and characters, but the interesting question for me was what she thought about ebooks.

Man, she hates them (Click here and scroll down the interview to read her response) and strongly believes it means less profit for book sellers and publishers and therefore will not make it in the future.  I was really stunned by her response.  She also softens her response by saying that readers will miss the bookstore experience.  Also, she disclosed an interesting statistic.  Her books have 15 readers per book and out of those 15 readers, one actually paid for the book.  Hmm ….. wondered how they tracked that stat.  Now, I am really curious about why she thinks less profit for the e-readers.  She must also be worried that people will “share” more with e-readers than paperback?

Well — that’s one perspective but Angela James, executive editor for Samhain Publishing, has a great Web site with some samhain1good articles on epublishing. I mean — look at how many publishers are starting to offer up books for download. Not only does Samhain publish electronically, but powerhouse Harlequin does, too. They are all over the Web — you can customize your own newsletters, participate on blogs, download books, and in some cases they’ll accept book pitches online in live chats.

I think the book industry is kind of like the newspaper industry — they don’t want to get rid of their printed pages. Many authors are all over the Web with book trailers/blogs/cool Web sites/more and more of their sneak peaks are online. But check out some of Angela James’ articles. One of my faves:


Here’s an excerpt:

angelaMyth: No one reads ebooks.
Reality: My royalty checks beg to differ with you! I think it’s better to say that not everyone does or wants to read ebooks. That’s absolutely true. But that companies thought there was a viable market in dedicated ebook readers shows that people are reading ebooks. As do the piracy sites dedicated to exchanging ebooks.

Myth: You won’t (can’t) make any money in epublishing.
Reality: I think this is probably the question first and foremost in most author’s minds when they consider epublishing. The plain, no-holds-barred, unvarnished truth is that some people will make money and some people won’t. When I did my research on this, I found that the answers varied wildly from authors who’d made just a few dollars on their books to authors who’d made a few hundred thousand dollars in one year on their books.

Here are some of her other articles:

Epublishing Business Model

Choosing a Digital Publisher

YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary)

Digital Publishing Contracts

Digital publishing and print

Reasonable Expectations

Formats and Devices

Who knows. I wonder what folks will say about this at the national RWA conference? Let me know!!!

Coming up: I need to get some more author interviews out. And to read!!! If you’d like to help guest blog or have a paranormal romance topic/question/suggestion, lemme know!

Do novelists need to be on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook? July 5, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors.

Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, a blog. Alyson Noel, the author of the NYT bestseller  EVERMORE , the first book in the Immortal Series about Ever and Damen,  is all over the Web. Do authors need to social network on the Web? I asked Alyson, whose second book in the series , BLUE MOON – is due out Tuesday!

Q. You have a book trailer on YouTube for EVERMORE. Will you have one for BLUE MOON?

A. Book trailers are fun and readers seem to enjoy them, so I hired Circle of Seven to make one for BLUE MOON, which you can see here:

Q. You’re on Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, blogging etc. How important is that to your success? Do you get any ideas from it?

A. While it doesn’t spawn any ideas and can be incredibly time consuming, it’s the quickest, easiest way to connect with readers and writers from all over the world, so yeah, I’m pretty much addicted! It’s also a great procrastination tool on those days when you just can’t seem to get going but still want to pretend that you’re “working”!

Q. Any tips for writers on using social networks? Do you have to be in this space, especially if you’re a YA writer?

A. If you want to be where the teens are, then establishing an online presence is imperative since most teens are online. That blueMoon(2)said, there are gazillions of blogs and twitters these days and it’s hard to stand out from the crowd, so you should only do it if you enjoy it and want to be there. The posts that seem to resonate the most are from writers who clearly enjoy reaching out in that way, but if you’re not one of them, don’t sweat it, just use that time working on your next book — which is all readers really want from you any way!

Q. Any Web sites of fellow authors that you think are fab?

I think Meg Cabot’s blog is consistently funny — I don’t know how she does it! And PC and Kristin Cast have a rockin’ Web site for their HOUSE OF NIGHT series with all kinds of cool extras. And while I subscribe to a lot of author blogs, I won’t attempt to list them all here for fear of leaving some out. Though I’m really excited to be part of “Living Your Five” a new blogging/vlogging venture featuring Kay Cassidy — the brains behind the blog whose debut novel, THE CINDERELLA SOCIETY, is out in April 2010, and Tera Lynn Childs — author of OH. MY. GODS and the sequel, GODDESS BOOTCAMP, and Becca Fitzpatrick — whose debut novel, HUSH HUSH, will be published in October ’09. Each of us will commit to doing five things over the course of the year that will impact the world in a positive way and then blog/vlog about our progress on a regular basis. It’s going to be fun and challenging and inspiring and I can’t wait until it’s up and running — we’re shooting for August!

MORE: Read part 1 of my interview with Alyson (‘Evermore author on immortality, teen angst, her next book’) HERE and check out her advice for writers HERE!

Visit Alyson online at:

Her Web site

BOOK SIGNINGS: Alyson will be signing copies of BLUE MOON (release date July 7) at the Barnes & Noble  store in Orange on July 17 at 6 p.m.  She’ll also be on a discussion panel and signing her book at Comic Con at the  San Diego Convention Center on July 24. (Panel: 12:30- 1:30 and book signing: 1:30 – 2:30.)

Suggestions? Have an author you want me to interview? Let me know. Just post in comments section.


JENNIFER LYON: ‘Blood Magic author talks about her hero and Hugh Jackman’ and CLICK HERE for her writing tips.

SHANA ABE: ‘Author of Dragon series on next book and its renegade lovers’ and CLICK HERE for her writing tips.

LINDA O JOHNSTON: ‘Her Alpha wolves practice safe sex’ and CLICK HERE for her writing tips.

SUSAN SQUIRES: ‘Author of vampire series on strong women, kinky things, time travel’ and CLICK HERE for her writing tips.

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