Instead of a typical blog entry, today I am linking you to a blog I wrote for Horror Writers of America! For the month of October, to celebrate Halloween, HWA does daily posts from the writers about something related to Halloween and their lives or writing. I offer some thoughts on the costumes that I wore growing up. Enjoy!
Last week, I decorated the house for Halloween! I realize that many people think this a ridiculous use of time for an adult, but I still love to transition the house during certain holidays with special decorations, visual signals – if you will, of the change in seasons. So I decorate for Thanksgiving, Christmas – especially Christmas in my house!, a few Valentine’s Day items, Easter/Spring, and even a few things for the 4th of July. And yes – that dance through the year includes Halloween.
This started for me, as far as I can tell, when I was still in elementary school. I loved how my teachers transformed the classroom for each month and holiday, so I took it upon myself to do the same for my room at home. Something in me, even as a youngster, loved the visual signs of change. In an ode to my already anal retentive personality, I had files and organized the decorations to keep them save when stored away.
As an adult, I continued this tradition, though not the monthly ritual of it, as a way to remember that youthful past, to remind myself to take the time to note the season’s change. To embrace what it means as time passes, as we transition throughout life and the year. Instead of seeing it as a waste of time or juvenile, for me it insists that I not take life too seriously – even as I note its fleeting nature, how it always seems like just yesterday that I put these decorations away.
And Halloween decorations bring meaning different from all other holidays or seasons. They represent scary images, right from the darker parts of my mind that I tap into when I write horror. As I write this blog, a ceramic skull glows at me. They bring fond memories, such as the cross-stitch pictures my mom made for me that hang on the walls. They make me laugh, like the silly ceramic and giggling ghost that sits next to my bed. And they even harken to the original meanings of Halloween – as a way to remember those who came before me, as a time when the line between the living and dead blurs and crossover becomes easier. The summer and warm weather slowly disappears and the chill autumn air warns of winter harshness to come.
I even managed to expand the decorations this year, despite always insisting that I have enough decorations and no time to put more up. Somehow a 4′ black tree with orange lights appeared! What?! Spooky fun!
Happy Halloween, everyone. Take some time to decorate for it.
NineStar Press hosts a blog, where rotate author entries about a variety of subjects. Each day, the blog hosts a general topic, and the author focuses on that. Wednesdays focus on humor – I contributed this week by writing about the space in which I write. It mostly concerns interference from two canines that reside with me . . .
Another review of The Vampire’s Protege is in!
I am so excited about what Susan at www.thebloggergirls.com had to say!! It still thrills and humbles me to read reviews of my work.
“It was definitely well written, and I was literally enthralled throughout the entire book. I was fascinated.”
“If you love vampires, sexy times, humorous and diabolic dialogue, if murder and mayhem are not a deal breaker, and you want a well-rounded story without the strong romantic happy ending…yet, then I highly recommend this book. Personally, I can’t wait to see where Damian Serbu takes Charon from here, but whatever route he takes I will be right there for the ride.”
Now that The Vampire’s Protege hit the bookshelves, some reviews are starting to appear. I thought I would share the ones that I am aware of thus far. Follow the hyperlinks below. Enjoy!
Reviews appearing on Goodreads
As an artist, you never know what public reaction will be once your work hits the market. The kinds words so far are humbling, and touching to me.
With the release last week of The Vampire’s Protege, I found myself reflecting on the excitement of the moment and realizing just how long it has been since my last novel was released. (Follow the hyperlink to check The Vampire’s Protege out on Amazon!)
As I explained in this blog a couple of times after I parted ways with my previous publisher, I took my time and deliberately searched for my next publishing home. I was willing to let Damian Serbu retire to a farm rather than go with a press that did not feel like a good fit for me. And I came close to sending myself right out to pasture! But along came NineStar Press, and I knew I had found a good home for my work! Anyway, that was a long winded explanation to the fact that it’s been a few years since my last release.
In the back of my mind, I remembered the thrill of a new release, but it came roaring back to me last week with all the same energy! The first book review that appears about it; the reader reviews appearing on Goodreads; the arrival of my hardcopy in the mail; telling friends and family that it’s available; knowing that something that I spent hours and hours working on, a precious work of art, just went out into the world for everyone to see.
It also reminded me about the importance of publicity. And that is not a strength of mine! I am willing to do as much as possible to help NineStar market my book, to do as much as possible to get sales at a point where they want to continue working with me. But marketing creativity is not my forte. I am shy by nature, not a great self promoter, and am still gaining knowledge about how to get word out there about my novel. It still startles me in these early stages that it takes so much time! But duh – of course it does. Little in life comes as easily as waking up in the morning. So I am plugging away on that today.
Which reminds me, I better get back to work. Thank you for the encouraging words and for reading this blog. Thank you for letting me know what you think about The Vampire’s Protege.
Yes, you read that correctly, the book is out, no pun intended! Follow the link below to check it out on Amazon! You can grab either an e-copy or hardcopy for yourself!
The Vampire’s Protege was released this week. It is a new story from The Realm of the Vampire Council, or the gay vampire universe that I’ve created. Below are a couple links to early reviews and interviews that came out this week with the first wave of publicity. Enjoy! I can’t wait to start hearing your feedback! It still makes me giddy to get the first copies of the book for myself, and I still love when readers react.
A Five Star Review: Gaybooks.Reviews
A review and interview with me: Bayou Book Junkie
An excerpt/interview question: Queer Sci Fi
A Free Giveaway! Rafflecopter
An Interview with Anne Barwell: Anne Barwell
A guest post: Shari Sakurai
An interview and excerpt: Scattered Thoughts
Just one more week until it releases! I am barely containing my excitement: The Vampire’s Protege will be available on August 21st!!
I am spending time on publicity, especially looking for reviews and other places to announce it. Of course, I continue to work on other stuff – which will include a major announcement very soon about my next project! But no stealing the thunder from The Vampire’s Protege!
A young man without a care in the world gets offered a proposition: enter a game led by a mysterious stranger. Win, and you become a vampire. Lose, and you die. What will Charon do?
Buy my book and find out!!!
I still get totally giddy when I first see the cover art for a new book. FYI – the release is just around the corner!!
Just a quick summer update. I hope everyone is enjoying your July thus far!
First, get ready! We’re about a month away from the release of The Vampire’s Protege!! I am totally stoked about getting it out there to you, and hearing what you think. The vampires are back, but with a much different twist this time around. The great team at NineStar Press and I just finished the copy editing; next, the proofs arrive – soon! – and then it will be time to gear up for the release. Stay tuned for more information, teasers, and reviews!
Other than finishing that and working on a couple of projects that I’ll share with you later, I’ve spent the last month with family. We always spend the 4th of July weekend with Paul’s family in Michigan, which is a lovely time. This year proved just as fun and special. Chewbacca even decided to make the weekend more exciting but jumping out of the boat in the middle of the lake! Oy. But he had a nice swim, and we rescued him without incident, except that it made his sister, Akasha, quite upset with him!
I took a trip back to Colorado, too, and we’re returning next week. My father is in failing health, so it’s an especially important time to be with family. Sitting quietly with him, and being there for mom, and seeing my family in general – it consumes me a lot right now, in a loving, special, and crucial way. I know that emotion and energy are making their way into my writing, too.