July 11, 2017

I really should stop posting about Meddling Kids now

But it's really one of those days where I could just sit F5-ing my socials and I'd be really happy. On behalf of the Blyton Summer F*cking Detective Club, thanks for the welcome!

Meddling Kids: On sale today!

July 4, 2017

A Meddling Week

Yeah, borrowed from The Woman in Black.

In case you were wondering, in my experience an author is not particularly anxious days before their book comes out. Things move slowly in the business: it's been a year and a half since contracts were signed, months since the last revision, and the agony of the wait fades as the deadline nears. By this time the author has held samples of the final book, read a lot of reviews (thank you for those!) and made their peace with what's been printed. So though they tell me there's a lot of buzz about Meddling Kids coming out on the 11th this month, I'm cool about it. No anxiety there.

It's the part about me getting a friggin visa so I can buy a last-minute plane ticket and be in the US to do signings and readings and feel the pulse of the book for myself--that is what's driving me UP THE F*CKING WALLS. 

June 26, 2017

Meddling Mythbusting

I wrote an article on Unbound Worlds about my meticulous writing process. It's really edifying, in a "How not to write horror books" kind of way:
The very first scene of Meddling Kids recounts a nightmare just like the one I had the morning after the book was greenlit. The dreamer, Kerri, wakes up in a dismal apartment that was inspired by my hotel room in Manhattan from three nights before. And Kerri’s dog is a Weimaraner because, while in New York, I couldn’t stop thinking of a woman back in Barcelona who owns a Weimaraner. [Continue reading.]
You can read the full article here. Meanwhile, I'll be signing copies of MK for other dogs I love. Many projects on the way, big changes, much excitement.

June 9, 2017

Meddling Unboxing

ME, an author with a vast lexicon and excelling ability to express my emotions:  Ah!  Ah!  AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

So, yup.  Here they are.  Care for a sample?  Why not from the just-finished audio-book version narrated by the enchanting Kyla Garcia?  Well stop daydreaming about it, listen to her NOW!

Meddling Kids. Coming July 10th. Or was it 11th? Definitely not the 12th. Pre-order.

May 11, 2017

Meddling Supporting Characters

I like non-human characters. I don't mean vampires or demigods (nothing against those either); I mean animals or even objects that manage to share the spotlight with human characters. I like the challenge of making part of the team someone that is by nature different from the team. Like the dog, Help, in The Supernatural Enhancements. Or the ghost. In Meddling Kids we've got a dog too--and a canary! And a penguin! But I'm confident those will be well received; people usually root for the pets. What I'm hoping for about MK is people liking the car.

In my first version of the novel, the sleuths' vehicle (and a testimony to their status at the start) was a 13-year-old AMC Matador Coupé. I chose that model after days of research--meaning I had to google several variations of "lame American cars" before it popped up. When Doubleday acquired the manuscript, one of editor Robert Bloom's top priorities was convincing me to recast it. I liked the Matador Coupé because it has a sporty air about it, but it's a commuter's car, a failed attempt at coolness; most of all, it looked really unsuitable for the initial road trip from coast to coast, let alone the high-speed chases through haunted hills. But being no American myself, I didn't know that the model never left much of a print. It had no value.

Bloom wanted to bring in a station wagon, because "nothing is as epically, comically, embarrassingly out of date and boring than a station wagon." I shared that view, but I wanted a two-door car, to make things more inconvenient during action scenes. Luckily I learned on Wikipedia that two-door station wagons were a thing in the seventies. The Ford Pinto was at the top of our list, but I felt its history of spontaneous combustion would condition the plot too much. (Some weeks after this, I was happy to recognize a Ford Pinto as Winona Ryder's car in Stranger Things.) I settled with the second best, and that's how the kids ended up driving a Chevrolet Vega. One spookily close to this one, too.

"And I even like the color."

I know nothing about cars, really--I don't even drive. But I think cars have personality. I'd like to believe it's because of the memories and feelings of freedom and empowerment we attach to them, but I'm not that deep, so I guess I just see the front lights as eyes. Anyway, I want that Chevy Vega to look scared and ill-prepared, just like the meddling kids; I want it to say, "What's happening here? I'm a suburban family vehicle; you kids make a dysfunctional antihero team at best and you're gunning me at 120mph down the Cascades?! And you painted racing stripes on me?!" Of course, I can't just quote the car's thoughts. (Well I can, but it's cheap, so I won't do it. Much.) But I suppose I still can make you all feel for it, somehow. Maybe. To be honest I don't know half of how this writing thing works. But as I said, it's a challenge. :)

Meddling Kids. Coming July 10th. Pre-order.