Hello my lovelies!
Sorry I’ve been MIA. I had our June residency for our MFA, and that’s always a ton of work (albeit very fun work). Our MFA in Writing Popular Fiction is what they call a “low-residency” degree, meaning that most of the coursework is done long-distance, through on-line classes and through an individual relationship with a mentor. But twice a year, every January and every June, all of our students converge, en masse, to Seton Hill, where we have an intensive five day Residency, full of critique groups, workshops, and tons of other things.
I had a great time at this residency. As usual, I taught our “2s” (second term students) in a module on close reading. I led three critique groups, all of which had some absolutely fabulous stories. Finally, I taught a workshop on Trends in Mystery. Half of the workshop was on trends, the idea of trends, and specific trends in mystery. But it was the very last day of the residency when I led the workshop, and my goal was to leave everyone inspired. So the second half of the workshop was loads of group and individual work, scoping out the scene in mystery (or whatever other genre the attendee writes) and coming up with some ideas for other, future projects. I think it went well, and I know I was inspired at the end of it!
We also had great speakers visiting! The lovely Heather Osborn, editorial director of Samhain, and equally lovely Lucienne Diver, author and agent with the Knight Agency, came in to speak. They were fabulous: super enthusiastic, excited about the business, and really knowledgeable. I also got to spend some bonding time with both ladies, which was great as they’re awesome.
The day after Residency, I packed up and headed to Chicago. I solved my laundry issue (there was not time to do it during Res) by taping shut my hamper and sticking the whole thing in the car. So I basically turned up at my parents like a college freshmen, laundry in tow. It was like an episode of the Cosbys! I’d like to say I was playing the part of Denise, but realistically I’ve always been a Vanessa.
But in the meantime, much has been happening with my upcoming release, Eye of the Tempest! Publisher’s Weekly says that the fourth book “brings even more sass, snark, and supernatural action.” Meanwhile, Romantic Times gave the book 4 1/2 stars, saying that I “keep the action brisk and the emotions sharp.” Don’t cut yourself!
I’m betting there’ll be Eye spottings in the wild as soon as the middle of this month, but if you need something to read in the meantime, have no fear! First off, Sophie Littlefield’s Bad Day For Scandal came out a few weeks ago. I love this series, and can’t wait to dig into this book!
If you want something in the Urban Fantasy realm, have no fear. K.A. Stewart’s Shot in the Dark is coming July 5th. It looks great! I love these covers:
And speaking of cover love, my critique partner, Diana Rowland, has her ABSOLUTELY AWESOME book My Life as a White Trash Zombie also coming July 5th, although I just saw it yesterday on the shelves of Barnes and Noble:
This cover by Dan Dos Santos absolutely rocks my world, and the book is great. Even if you don’t like zombies I think you’ll like this one, as Diana’s taken the zombie to a whole ‘nother level of trashy-cool.
Kevin Hearne’s Hammered also has a July 5th release. I blurbed the first book of this series and can’t wait to catch up with the rest. These also have great covers, as I greatly enjoy Atticus and his mighty sword.
Releasing from my own publisher, my friend Philip Palmer’s Hell Ship comes out this month, and it looks awesome. I’ll be hanging with Philip in London, and will definitely be digging into this bad boy before I see him. It’s got a skull! And a pirate ship! And I heart it hard:
Last but certainly not least, my other fellow-Orbiter, Gail Carriger, is releasing Heartless today. Happy Book Birthday, Gail! Can’t wait to read it, as I’m a big fan of the series:
So there’s a roundup of some recent/new releases! As for me, I will also be released into the wilds of London tomorrow. I am stupidly excited to get back, as you can imagine. I’ll be there for a whole month, and it’ll be great to see all of my friends, and to finish my fifth book in the country where I wrote my first. It’s all circular, and shit. I can’t wait to see everyone, and to be back in a real city. I’m at a really good place in my life, and it’ll be nice to be in that great place while also being in an actual great place–London’s a fabulous city and it’ll be nice to give it real twirl rather than just being a regular, week-long tourist.
But don’t worry–I’m sure I’ll be blogging, Facebooking, and Tweeting from London, have no fear! In the meantime, feel free to read some good books. There’s a ton coming out over the summer!