THE DEMON WITHIN Pre-Order Links

DemonWithin Cover

I had no idea this had happened until my editor sent me an e-mail, but The Demon Within is already up for pre-order!!!

Oh my God. It’s real.

Pre-Order The Demon Within on Amazon

Pre-Order The Demon Within on Barnesandnoble.com

As for the cover…well, I was hoping to do a big cover reveal, but, uh…TA DA! I believe the publisher is tweaking the final version a little bit, but this is the basic gist. I’m in love with it. It’s very–ahem–eye-catching, and it’s different than a lot of the other “hot girl in leather pants” urban fantasy covers you see out there. I love that the eye, while demonic, is also decidedly feminine. (See that mascara? I love that detail.)

It’s all happening.

“Doctor Who” Series 9 Wish List

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“Doctor Who” is almost back!!! I can’t wait!

Last year, before the season started, I had a bit of an informal wish list, of sorts. I wanted Jenna Coleman’s Clara Oswald to be developed more as a character. (She was.) I wanted some romance that did not involve the Doctor. (It happened.) I was also feeling in the mood for a bit of a tragic ending for that romance. (That also happened.) Being the writer that I am, I imagined a plotline where said romance ended when the lover was turned into a Cyberman. The Cybermen have always seemed like some of the most tragic villains on the show: humans who retain some semblance of their former memory and identity, but lose everything that makes them human. So much fodder for tragedy there.

It didn’t go down exactly as I imagined it—in my mental fan fiction, the lover chose to be turned into a Cyberman, but that’s not how it worked out for poor Danny Pink. Also, in my mind, the Doctor’s companion with the tragic romance was…me. But whatever. It was close enough that I wondered if Steven Moffat was reading my mind, and I was quite happy with the season as a whole.

This time around, I wanted to put my wish list into writing just in case the telepathic link between me and Steven Moffat (hello, sweetie) isn’t as strong as it was last year. Plus, well, if I do turn out to be right, I can pretend to be psychic and start making some side money from reading tarot cards.

So without further ado, my wish list for “Doctor Who” season 9.

1) I want to find out why the Doctor chose that face. When the 12th Doctor emerged at the beginning of last season, we’re given some hints that there may have been a reason behind the Doctor coming out as Peter Capaldi. “Why have I chosen this face?” he asks himself at the beginning of his first episode. Sure, it could have just been post-regeneration disorientation talking, but good fans know that Peter Capaldi appeared on the show long before he was the 12th Doctor—as sculptor and family patriarch Lucius Caecillius Iucundus in “The Fires of Pompeii” during the 10th Doctor’s run. Coincidence? Maybe. But everything that we know about this Doctor leads me to believe that, on some subconscious level, the Doctor chose to be this man. (Tor.com has a theory about this. Unfortunately, the link to the updated article—which included the War Doctor and the 12th Doctor—doesn’t seem to be working anymore.)

2) I want this to be the Doctor’s season. After spending season 7 as a cipher/plot device, season 8 was really Clara’s time to shine—and Jenna Coleman rose to the occasion beautifully. But here we are, a year into the 12th Doctor’s reign, and I still don’t feel like I really know him. What makes him tick? Is he really as gruff as he seems, or is that a façade? How dark is he, really? Capaldi has played the hell out of the Doctor, and it’s time for him to get the spotlight.

3) I want the show to address the Clara quandary. Last season, we met Orson Pink, a man from the future who looked remarkably like Danny Pink and who mentioned one of his ancestors was a time traveler. At the time, it looked like Clara and Danny might have their happily ever after and have children in the future. But we know now this isn’t the case. So is Clara now pregnant with Danny’s baby? (A sidenote: there was speculation that Coleman would leave at the end of last season. She has, of course, decided to return, but in the NewWho life cycle of companions, she is likely reaching the end of her time on the TARDIS. Could a new baby mean an exit for Clara? And what will this mean for the already dark, broody Doctor?) Update: In the time since I originally wrote this, BBC has confirmed that Jenna Coleman will exit sometime this season.

4) I want River Song back! Fans have mixed feelings about Alex Kingston’s River Song. I was always pro-River, but anti-River and the 11th Doctor, mainly because Kingston and Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor had zero chemistry. (For the record, I thought Kingston had more chemistry with David Tennant in the one episode they spent together.) River’s story might have ended, but the nice thing about River’s character is that, as a partial Time Lord herself, she can show up anywhere in the Doctor’s timeline—and he in hers. I would love to see how Kingston would play off of the stoic, much older Capaldi. Update: Rumor has it that Kingston will be returning in the Christmas special.

5) I want Jack Harkness back. Because the show was always better when John Barrowman was strutting through the world, and we still need to find out whether he’s really the Face of Boe.

6) Going along with the last two, I want more callbacks to earlier Doctors/companions/etc. One of the most fascinating and compelling things about “Who” is that it has 50 years of history to reference itself to, a fact which Moffat’s predecessor, Russell T. Davies, took advantage of regularly. But since Moffat has taken over, he has avoided throwbacks—the 50th anniversary episode notwithstanding. You don’t want the show to be so self-referential that new fans are alienated, but throw something in for the longtime viewers as well. Matt Smith was not the beginning of “Doctor Who!”

6) I want Maisie Williams’ character to ROCK! She looks pretty badass in the previews. Who is she? Could she be someone from the Doctor’s past? She called him Old Man—the Doctor’s daughter, perhaps? Or maybe his long-absent granddaughter, Susan? Capaldi does seem to have a lot of affection for that character. Foreshadowing, maybe?

7) I want a new companion. Much as I’ve grown to love Jenna Coleman, I think her time on the show is coming to an end. I want to see someone new and compelling, someone who has a completely different dynamic with the Doctor. Maybe someone who isn’t a young, attractive female, for once? Update: See above.

8) I want the show to explore the sexual tension between the Doctor and the Master/Missy. Because, c’mon, you know there was always something there, long before the Master regenerated into a female form. Don’t believe me? Just watch the scenes between David Tennant and John Simm again. So. Much. Sexual. Tension. And if any character on television should be pansexual, it’s a 2,000-something year old Time Lord.

9) I want an amazing stand-alone episode. Some of the best episodes of the new series have been the stand-alone, often Doctor- or companion-lite episodes that used to pop up about once a season or so—“Blink” and “Midnight” come immediately to mind. During the 11th Doctor’s run, the series seemed to get away from this format. But last season, we returned to it in the episode “Listen.” Both Capaldi and Coleman are fantastic in the episode, and it’s what cemented, for me, the 12th Doctor as the real Doctor. These types of episodes are what the show—and Moffat—do best, so let’s keep doing it!

10) I want David Tennant back!!!! We already found out in the 50th anniversary episode that the Doctor will re-visit his favorite incarnations—and the 10th Doctor simply did not want to die. So bring him back! Or have the 10th Doctor and the 12th Doctor bump into one another somewhere in the time stream. These things happen when time is both wibbly and wobbly. Much as I love Peter Capaldi as the Doctor, David Tennant is, and remains, my Doctor.

Yeah, it’s probably not gonna happen. But a girl can always hope, right?

The Demon Within: A Small Snippet

Now that were inching closer and closer to the release date, I thought it was about time I started posting some (non-spoilery) snippets.

One of the biggest things that I’m still working on is the middle section. I hate, hate middles with a passion. I’m good at beginnings and endings, but I often get lost somewhere in the middle, and the story starts to meander with no urgency. This is something I’ve been working on with my editor, and I believe the middle is in better shape than when I started. But I’m still working.

Here’s a little snippet of something I worked on tonight. Caveats: it’s unedited, so it may not look exactly as it looks now in the final version of the book. (Honestly, there’s a chance it might not make it to the book, so I can’t discount that, either.) If it’s got typos, misspellings, grammatical errors, etc., it’s all on me. Like I said: this is not the final version. But I’m kind of proud of it, so I wanted to share.

Okay, here’s what you need to know. Dale (our heroine) and John (our…something, heh) are at an amusement park. It’s nighttime, and the park is closed. The brackets indicate where I edited spoilery bits out. And that…I think is all I’m going to tell you right now 😛

The metal fence around the carousel was taller than I was, tapering to sharp points on the top, and the slats didn’t provide much in the way of footholds. I struggled to climb over, the sound of John chasing me getting closer and closer all the time. Finally, I made it over, and I ran across the carousel to the other side of the fence. This time around I knew what to do, and I made it more easily—though the sharp points did catch the fabric of my shirt and tear a hole into it. I ignored it and jumped to the ground.

About five seconds after I jumped the fence I heard it rattle behind me as John arrived at the carousel. Damn. How was he so close? […] “I’m impressed, Little Demon,” I heard him call. “You used the geography around you to your advantage. But it’s not enough. Not when I’m your opponent.”

I couldn’t help it. I turned around and looked at him. John had backed up until he was about 50 feet away from the fence. Then, he sprinted back toward the carousel. When he got near the fence line, he leapt into the air, sailing easily over the pointy spikes and landing in a crouch. For a second, all I could do was stare. “Holy shit.”

He rose and gave me a cocky grin.

I ran.

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

So…it’s been a while since I’ve written.

Yeah. Sorry about that.

But in fairness, I’ve been pretty crazy busy…and I do have a “Doctor Who”-themed post in the hopper that I just have to get off my lazy butt and post. But it’s probably going to be formatting/photo intensive, so I haven’t. Formatting and photo posting aren’t difficult in WordPress, but tracking down the photos I want to use can be.

And as I said, it’s been a very busy summer.

So here’s what I’ve been doing…

1) I got engaged!!!!!! My then-boyfriend/now-fiancé proposed at Disney World, at the Cinderella’s Royal Table restaurant. There was a glass slipper and everything! How friggin’ cool is that???

A glass. Friggin'. Slipper.

A glass. Friggin’. Slipper.

I took my time with the whole relationship/engagement/marriage thing. I spent my 20s dating all the Mr. Wrongs, and I’m glad I did it, because now I know, without a doubt, what an amazing and wonderful guy my fiancé is. I also know that I’ll never wonder about that “greener grass” on the other side. Been there, done that, not sorry.

My parents were similar: my mom was in her mid-30s, and my dad nearly 40, before they got married. They had both been married and divorced before. (In this case, my fiancé has, but I have not.) But after they met, they were engaged after one month, married after five, and I popped out almost exactly nine months after their wedding, a honeymoon baby if ever there was one. I asked my mom a few years ago how she would know, after such a short time, that my dad was the one. She gave me this sort of wistful smile and said, “I just knew.” She clarified that they had talked about marriage and life and their outlooks and whether they wanted to have children, etc., all that important stuff married couples should know about each other before they walk down the aisle, but her first, gut reaction was straight intuition. And that’s how I feel about my fiancé: I just knew. He’s not perfect: I am neither blind nor willfully ignorant to his faults. But I see him, and I still know. And I don’t think I could have had this experience, or this conviction, if I’d gotten married young and not had the life experiences that I did.

2) I went to Disney World. Because that’s what everyone does when they get engaged, right? Right? I went to Universal Studios, too. Although the technology and rides are more sleek and cutting-edge at Universal, the customer service experience is still vastly better at Disney. I also highly suggest you wait to visit the “Harry Potter” attractions until some of the hype has passed. Sometime around 2018 should be great.

3) I went to a wedding. Uhhh…not mine. C’mon guys. Give me a little time to breathe here, all right??? I just got engaged! My fiancé was the best man for a friend’s wedding in Natural Bridge, Virginia. Beautiful wedding, beautiful location, and I had a great time. I had met the bride and groom before, but it was great to meet so many of my fiancé’s other friends and acquaintances.

4) I found my history. My fiancé and I decided that we needed some time to ourselves, so we went to Charlottesville, Virginia, for the long weekend. We went to Montpelier, the home of the 4th President, James Madison. Very cool experience, especially since I have lived in the DC area for 10 years now and I’m a total American history geek. We tried to go to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home, but when we got there we found out that the earliest house tour we could get was over three hours later! So we spent about an hour or so hanging out in the museum instead. In the Battle of the Founding Fathers, James Madison takes this round, but when push comes to shove, I’ll always pick John Adams for the win. I do so love an underdog.

 So yeah, my breather didn’t last too long. So to close out the long holiday weekend, we booked a wedding venue and a caterer. (The best part: taste testing! Yum!) Now that we have a date, a venue, and a caterer, the hard stuff is over with. Right? Right? (Please don’t tell me otherwise; I love living in my happy fantasy world DON’T TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME!!!!!!!!)

I am still working on The Demon Within–though, I’ll admit, with everything else going on, not as much as I should have been recently–and we’re still on track for an April 12 release. Now that I’m settled at home for a while, and we’ve got some of the big wedding stuff out of the way (and it’s still 10 months away), I should be able to concentrate more on my real job.

That is, in between looking at photographer websites and TheKnot.com. I’m sure I’ll be able to squeeze the whole “writing” thing in somewhere.