Where has Beth been, and Embracing the Demon news!

18581919_10154572581991053_7353713526235117285_n

I have been, to say the least, a dreadful blogger lately. Must be something about that late spring/early summer time frame.

Last year at this time, I was busy getting married–and no, I can’t believe it’s been a whole year! This year, I’ve spent the last few months hard at work on Embracing the Demon (Dale, book 2). The first draft is due to my editor very, very soon, and I’ve been burning the midnight oil. He’s already read the first 50,000 words or so, and he thinks it’s in good shape. It’ll need some polishing, but nothing like the extensive rewrites I had to do on The Demon Within.

I’ve also been crazy busy at my day job, and I’ve been going in early and staying late a lot over the last month or so. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it’s going to let up much through July. My days have mostly involved going to work, writing, and sleeping…or going to work, and falling asleep without writing because I’m too exhausted to drag my butt to the computer.

But the good news is that Embracing the Demon will be out in March 2018! Once my draft is turned in, I can start focusing more on cool stuff like cover reveals, guest blogs, and giveaways…and maybe even a few more conventions/personal appearances.

19274928_10154572263311053_2276664042269017423_n

Meg (left) decided that Chick-fil-a should sponsor her next book, since she spends so much time writing there. As for me: Starbucks all the way! The sheer number of Frappucinos I’ve bought there has put many a barista through college!

Speaking of conventions…on June 16-18 I appeared at Awesome Con in Washington, DC. I’ve been to AwesomeCon as an attendee for the last three years, but this was the first time I had actually gone as a vendor. I shared a table with fellow California Coldblood author Meg Eden, whose book Post-High School Reality Quest, about a recent high school graduate who believes she is stuck in a video game, just came out. I’m not lying when I say that I have been jonesing for this book for over a year, since my editor told me about it, and I can’t wait to read it. Thankfully, I’m taking some vacation time in July. I also got to spend time with authors Kathy McMillian, Tobie Easton, and Nik Korpon. Nik and I actually have a mutual friend, Baltimore-based writer Patrick King, who used to write over at CC2Konline with me. When I found out Nik was going to be on a panel with Meg, I searched my brain trying to figure out where I’d heard the name before. Turns out I’d just missed him years ago at a reading I did–of, coincidentally enough, The Demon Within, years ago up in Baltimore.

The experience made me feel much more connected to the local writing community than I have been before–and it was a lot of fun! AwesomeCon has gotten bigger and bigger every year I’ve attended, and I was so glad to be a part of it.

Happy Book Birthday to THE DEMON WITHIN

DemonWithin Cover

Unofficially, The Demon Within has been out in the world for a couple of weeks now. Officially, though, the release date is today. You should be able to get the book everywhere now, and any brick-and-mortar bookstore should be able to order it if it’s not in stock already.

I wrote out the book’s acknowledgements several months ago, before the book went to press. But since then, the list of people to thank has grown, and I want to make sure I do so here:

I got some amazing blurbs (basically, those things on the cover of a book saying, “This is the best book ever!”) from some amazing authors and bloggers: Jenn Bennett, author of the kick-ass Arcadia Bell urban fantasy series as well as the Roaring Twenties paranormal romance series; Carolyn Crane, author of the Disillusionists urban fantasy series and the Associates series of romantic suspense novels; Joe Alfano from the Wicked Lil’ Pixie blog; and Jodi Scaife from Fanboy Comics (which is currently rebranding as Fanbase Press). Thank you all for taking the time to read my book and for writing up such amazing blurbs! It’s incredible, as a first-time published author, to open your book to the front page and read all the cool things people are saying about it.

I want to single out Carolyn Crane in particular because, in addition to providing an awesome blurb, she has also been a friend and an inspiration to me for several years now. I first started talking to Carolyn back in 2010, when I interviewed her for CC2K, the blog I wrote for at the time. After that, we started talking more via Facebook and Twitter, chatting about writing, the publishing world, and, of course, our cats. I got to meet her last summer when we attended the Romance Writers of America Conference, and she’s just as sweet and down-to-Earth in person as she had been online. Carolyn, you’re seriously just a super cool person, and I’m so glad to have you as my writer friend.

Several blogs have already featured me, either as an interviewee or guest blogger, and I’d like to thank them as well: Audrey Kearns and the Geek Girl Authority blog; Andi Cumbo-Floyd and her AndiLit writing blog; and Barbra Dillon from Fanboy Comics.

I would also like to thank my friends and family members for supporting me in this endeavor. I’m shocked, and humbled, by how many of you have bought the book, spread the word about it among your own family and friends, and reviewed it. I tend toward the cynical end of the spectrum, but I feel like I’m having my George Bailey moment right now. Remember, no man is a failure who has friends. No woman, either.

And then there is everyone else. Maybe you bought the book at Wizard World Comic-Con, and I signed it for you. Maybe it was recommended to you, likely by one of my amazing network of friends and family. Or maybe you saw it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble and thought, “This sounds cool,” and bought it just because. However you got there, thank you for taking a chance on an unpublished, unproven writer, and I hope you like the book.

For almost six years now, Dale Highland and her dark, crazy world of angels and demons with superpowers have been taking up real estate in my brain. And now they’re here. No matter what else happens, Dale is a part of the universe now.

Happy birthday, Dale.

 

 

 

 

 

THE DEMON WITHIN is out in the world!

12440582_1142019295828403_6884585387248212538_o

One happy customer. Photo courtesy of Bernie Goltermann.

 

The Demon Within is seriously, for reals, out in the world now.

The official release date is April 6, but Amazon has “soft released” the book–meaning, basically, that they have started shipping the books early. I don’t know whether Barnes and Noble or any other book retailers have done the same, but Amazon is, for sure, shipping.

12920414_10208961824543971_325353008529523798_n

This copy is on its way to Florida for vacation. My book is barely out, and it already gets to take a vacation! Photo courtesy of Allie Berg.

 

The e-book version is not out yet, nor is it available for preorder. The preorder links should be up any day now–but I suspect you won’t be able to download it until April 6.

Nonetheless, the book seems to be doing quite well on Amazon so far…

Screenshot 2016-03-26 19.31.23

Just for context: there are, according to this Quora post, over 1.8 million books for sale on Amazon. And that sounds about right, because I’ve definitely seen those ranking numbers, in the months that Demon Within has been available for pre-order, over the 1 million mark. So for a book that is not yet “officially” released and still doesn’t have an e-book version…I am pleased.

Some friends, family members, and even acquaintances have asked what they can do to help out. The big things are:

  1. Buy the book.
  2. Leave reviews on sites like Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, etc., or your own personal blog.
  3. If you’re really feeling ambitious, you can certainly chat the book up with your local bookstore or donate a copy to your local library. (I say “really ambitious” because I am a huge introvert and this is the thing on the list I’d have the hardest time doing. It’s even worse because it’s my own book.)
  4. If you have any friends who might like the book, talk to them about it, too–or even buy them a copy.

And of course, don’t feel obligated to do any of these things.

So yes…I am a really for real author now! And now I’m going to go eat pizza and watch some Netflix to celebrate, because I’m living the good life!

(No sarcasm there. With my fiancé out of town for Easter, a night of pizza and Netflix does sound just about perfect. Yes, I’m a recluse. But I’m okay with that.)

Wizard World Wrap-Up

I had an amazing time at Wizard World Comic Con in Las Vegas this past weekend.

I spend most of the convention at the California Coldblood Books booth, where I was signing copies of The Demon Within.

12795052_10207632807191163_4813128790918041458_o (1)

Yes, this is really me. And yes, I am really signing my book.

Yes, you heard that right.

It’s been nearly six years since I started my first draft of The Demon Within, and now it’s out in the wild—unofficially. Although official release won’t be until April 6, attendees of the conference were able to get some early, signed copies. I also have confirmation that Amazon started shipping copies earlier this week, some of which have already arrived. (Not sure about Barnes and Noble or other online sites.)

But the first copies went out into the world at Wizard World last weekend. For those of you who bought copies—thank you, and I hope you enjoy!

I was able to sign most of them, I think, but I know a few of you came to the booth while I wasn’t there. If you’d like, e-mail me (my contact info is available here) and we’ll figure out the best way to get the book signed and personalized for you.

While I was there, I got to spend time with Robert Peterson, editor extraordinaire and the author of The Odds. He had preview copies of Omegaball, a young adult futuristic sci-fi about a disabled young woman who is a superstar in the vicious sport Omegaball on the Darknet (a virtual reality), and has to decide whether she wants to live in the real world or spend the rest of her life inside the Darknet. I haven’t had a chance to read it since Bob’s latest round of revisions, but I can tell you from seeing the preview copies this weekend that it looks and sounds amazing.

I also got a chance to meet Adam Korenman for the first time, the author of When the Stars Fade, a military sci-fi novel set in outer space. He was just amazingly cool, and we got to commiserate about our respective revision processes (and troubles thereabouts). I got a signed copy of his book before I left for the weekend, which my fiancé—who was practically salivating when he heard the book description—now has stashed in the TBR pile on his nightstand.

1493362_10207633098998458_3034795754885792943_o (1)

Bob, Adam, and me during a rush at the CCB booth.

I also participated in two panels. The first, the “Spoilerific Force Awakens” panel on Saturday, was moderated by Bob; Adam, Jessica Tseang, and I were the panelists. Jessica is a comic book historian and the founder of Little Geek Girl, which targets young girls under the age of 12 and helps them pursue their “geeky” interests. This was the first time I’d met Jessica, and she was an incredibly knowledgeable, articulate panelist—not to mention incredibly friendly. It was my first panel, ever, but she immediately put me at ease.

…And then we spent 45 minutes talking about The Force Awakens. The main thing that we learned is that 45 minutes is not enough time to talk about The Force Awakens.

On Sunday, I moderated a panel called “The Women of ‘Doctor Who.’” Yes, indeed, I did go from losing my “panel virginity” one day, to moderating the next. It was…pretty friggin’ terrifying, actually. I’m good in front of an audience. I did theater and public speaking competitions, including impromptu speaking, growing up, and my day job now requires me to stand in front of an audience all the time. But I still get butterflies in my stomach at the thought of going up in front of people and not knowing what I’m going to say. I get through it. But the anticipatory jitters are still a bitch.

But I got through it, and it was an amazing experience. Adam and Jessica were panelists again. The panel also included Dr. Travis Langley, the author of Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight and the editor of the upcoming Doctor Who Psychology: A Madman With a Box; and Dr. Janina Scarlet, a psychologist who runs Superhero Therapy, which is devoted to incorporating characters from pop culture into evidence-based therapy. Janina is also a contributor to Doctor Who Psychology.

980780_10207642588595692_3944047688920456789_o

The “Women of ‘Doctor Who'” panel (L to R): Jessica Tseang, me, Travis Langley, Janina Scarlet, Adam Korenman.

 

I was moderating a “Doctor Who” panel with the people who literally wrote the book on “Doctor Who.” I was seriously outclassed.

All in all, it was a great panel. I could talk about “Doctor Who” forever, and the audience was enthusiastic and had some great questions. I was surprised, and pleased, to get such a great turnout on a Sunday, which is usually the sleepiest day of conventions. Once again, 45 minutes wasn’t nearly enough time, and I feel bad that I had to rush both the panelists and the audience during the Q&A portion. Several audience members came back to speak to me at the CCB booth afterwards, which was great. (I also may have lost track of time late Sunday afternoon at Travis and Janina’s booth, with several of the attendees, having a conversations about the merits—or lack thereof—of Clara Oswald as a character. This is what happens when you put too many “Who” fans into a room together.)

It was a great conference, and I’m only sorry it’s over.

Release Date News & Wizard World Vegas

DemonWithin Cover

A couple of big things to report tonight.

The release date of The Demon Within has been moved up one week. The book will now come out on April 5, 2016. That means that those of you that preordered the book should now be getting a package in your mailbox one week sooner than expected, and that I will officially be a published book author one week sooner than expected. I should be excited, but mostly I’m too busy being terrified right now.

But hey, you might not even have to wait until April 5 to get your book, because I will be appearing at Wizard World Comic-Con in Las Vegas this weekend, and I’ll be signing copies of the book there. I will also be appearing on two panels. This is what my schedule looks like:

Saturday, March 19

12:00-12:45: Spoilerific Star Wars Panel (with my fellow California Coldblood author Adam Korenman and author/editor extraordinaire Robert J. Peterson), room N114

Sunday, March 20

12:00-12:45: The Women of ‘Doctor Who’ Panel (with Jessica Tseang), room N112

1:00-3:00: The Demon Within book signing, not sure of location yet.

I won’t be the only California Coldblood author doing signings during the weekend. Adam Korenman will be signing his novel, When the Stars Fade, on Saturday from 1:00-3:00, and Robert Peterson will be signing his novel The Odds all day on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

All of us will likely also be spending a lot of time in the California Coldblood Books booth, #539, throughout the weekend.

So please show up and say hello! I would love to meet you.

 

Carolyn Crane Blurbed THE DEMON WITHIN

Mind Games

USA Today bestselling and RITA award winning author Carolyn Crane gave an amazing blurb for The Demon Within:

This inventive and exciting tale had me breathlessly flipping the pages—and I loved every minute! Get ready for a sexy, twisty, dangerous ride that crackles with pure awesomeness.

I’m ridiculously flattered by this. Carolyn is an author whose work I’ve loved for a long time. Her Disillusionists trilogy (Mind Games, Double Cross, and Head Rush), about a woman who weaponizes her hypochondria to become a crime fighter, is one of the coolest, most unique entries in the urban fantasy genre.

As a fan of her urban fantasy, I was a little nervous when I found out Carolyn was writing a romantic suspense series. I’m kind of picky about romantic suspense. With some romantic suspense, I feel like I’m reading the same story (damaged sexy hero and TSTL heroine on the run from a serial killer) over and over again. But The Associates novels focuses on a quasi-legal worldwide spy organization–and of course, everyone involved is super suave and sexy. Think James Bond spy stuff meets The Thomas Crown Affair intrigue and sex appeal. Also, the heroines are as badass as the heroes. One of them is a not-quite-reformed criminal safecracker; another is one of the leaders of the Associates who goes undercover to infiltrate a drug cartel.

 

Basically, it seems like no matter what genre she’s writing in, Carolyn looks at the rules and tropes…and then ignores them altogether and does something completely different. It makes her books unexpected and awesome.

 

Carolyn CraneI interviewed Carolyn for the CC2K pop culture blog back in 2010, and I’ve spoken to her quite a bit on Twitter and Facebook since then. This summer, I actually got a chance to meet and speak to her during the Romance Writers of America Conference in New York City. She was a wealth of information about writing and publishing, and the experience was one of the highlights of my year. (She’s also super sweet, and just one of the coolest, most generous people I’ve met in the writing world.)

 

 Thank you again to Carolyn for this amazing blurb!

Jenn Bennett Blurb, and Other Cool Stuff

Jenn Bennett, the author of the Arcadia Bell urban fantasy series and the Roaring Twenties paranormal romances, blurbed The Demon Within. (Basically, think of how, on most books you read, you’ll see quotes on the front that say things like, “This is the most amazing book since sliced bread!” — says Important Author.)

She said, “Engaging, old-school urban fantasy. Will appeal to readers hungering for spirited supernatural action with a dash of forbidden romance.”

This is my very first blurb, so I’m doing happy tap dances over here. Better, it comes from an author whose work I already love. The Arcadia Bell series is high-stakes and consistently fun, and it has one of my favorite book couples of all time: Cady and Lon, whose relationship always struck me as sweeter and more realistic (not to mention more equal) than a lot of other romances in the alpha-male dominated UF market. The Roaring Twenties books I actually read much more recently, and I loved them. Great characters, great world building, and a unique setting (1920s San Francisco). I had been hungering for historical sci-fi/fantasy that was NOT steampunk. Not that I dislike steampunk, but I’ve been seeing so much of it lately that no longer has that unique feel that made me love it in the first place. So the Roaring Twenties books really hit the spot.

title_ny_eastside_cityhall

The old City Hall subway station in New York City, which has been abandoned since the 1940s and is featured in The Demon Within.

 

In other news, I am being featured today on the AndiLit Blog giving some tips for scene building and “setting the stage.” As a writer, this is one of the most difficult things for me to do. I tend to focus more on character and plot than on stage setting. It was also one of the things that my editor from California Coldblood pushed me hardest on during the revision process. I had to come up with some strategies to compensate for my lack of visual imagination. I talk about a few of the strategies I’ve learned to use. Thank you to Andi Cumbo-Floyd for hosting me 🙂

Guess what I got?

Galleys!!!

To put it into layman’s terms: the galleys are a typeset mock-up of the book so you can see what it will actually look like. Back in the good ol’ days, those mock-ups were usually printed, but now they’re often created electronically.

And because they’re electronic, I can post screen shots!

I am completely in love. So amazing.

It still doesn’t feel real to me.

Screenshot 2015-11-29 21.00.10Screenshot 2015-11-29 20.59.53

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.