Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Archangel on Huffington Post

Eric Kuhn over at the Huffington Post has an article on The Archangel Project!

In a posting entitled "Political-ish Holiday Stocking Stuffers," he spotlights three new thrillers, saying, "As the holidays quickly approach and some are looking for the last minute perfect gift for that politico in your life who was obsessed in the recent presidential campaign, I thought I would go out again and find the best "Political-Ish" holiday reads. Below are three interviews with authors who recently published fictional novels with political overtones. The perfect stocking stuffer!"

Archangel is the first book he profiles.

Ever since I realized there was a whole world of swirling debate going on between left and rightwing blogs that was generally flying by under my radar, I've taken to reading the Huffington Post daily, so it's neat seeing our book highlighted there.

You can read the entire interview here.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Testosterone Overload


While most other women were out doing their last minute Christmas shopping today, I spent four hours in a gun show. In Louisiana. Picture a massive hall filled with long-haired, bearded bikers in leathers and chains, and good ole boys in baseball caps and t-shirts that say SUPPORT OUR TROOPS, many with rifles or shotguns slung over their shoulders and revolvers stuck in their belts, all drooling over Uzis and Glocks, Sigs and Winchesters. At one point I looked around and realized I was one of maybe six or eight females present. The testosterone was so thick that it was virtually toxic even to breathe.

What was I doing there? Well, part of it was research. Writing a contemporary thriller series has inspired me with the desire to be more familiar with a variety of weapons, including things like machine pistols, which I have never handled.

I grew up with guns. My dad, an Air Force intelligence officer who carried a gun in civilian clothes, was an avid hunter. And I’m married to a retired Army colonel. But I have to admit that today disturbed me. I spent many years living in Australia, where guns are illegal and, as a result, the national murder rate is equal to about one week’s worth of kills here in New Orleans. At one point today I watched a young Asian dude buy a Desert Eagle, an M1, a bulletproof vest, and a belly belt (for carrying concealed). And I thought, Hello! Does no one else find this the least bit scary/alarming?!

Nevertheless, I have to admit I had fun. They had some great guns there—revolvers from the Civil War and a gorgeous 1871 Winchester. And I saw a really nice Springfield Armory 1911-A1 Pistol with a cocobolo wood grip and stainless finish that I liked. Just over $900 dollars…

Friday, December 12, 2008

Winter Wonderland

This is a sight we don’t see too often here in New Orleans.

When it first started, I ran and grabbed my camera, because all I was expecting was a few flurries. But it kept snowing, and snowing, and snowing. For hours.

The kids down the streets went nuts, as did my Jordanian-born, Aussie-raised, kid-at-heart, just-home-from-college-in-Florida daughter.

My mom, who spent many years in the likes of Idaho and Alaska and South Dakota, got all teary eyed, saying, “Snow really is beautiful, isn’t it?

Yes it is.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Title Woes, Part III (or is it IV? IX?)

In which the title sagas wage on.

I thought the title for my next contemporary thriller had been nailed down: The Deadlight Connection. The editors liked it. The sales department (far more important and powerful than mere editors!) liked it. The recently released edition of Archangel even carried teaser chapters of the book with the Deadlight title—advance publicity. So it was a done deal, right? Wrong.

About six weeks ago, Harper Collins cover conferenced the book. This is when the editors and marketing people get together with the art department to come up with cover concepts. Only problem was, the art people “couldn’t get their heads around the title.” (Huh?) So they wanted a new title. Preferably The Dead SOMETHING Connection.

My reaction was, You’ve got to be kidding? NOW you decide the title needs to be changed. And you want me to come up with a title to fit a cover idea? With the word “dead” in it? Like what? The Dead Nazis Connection?

Round and round we went. Like a good, cooperative author (uncooperative authors, unless they are HUGE, soon find themselves OOPs—Out of Print), I tried to come up with a new title. Steve and I spent hours, day after day, brainstorming new titles, but the results ranged from the dull to the ridiculous. I kept hoping HC would give in and go with the original title. But every Monday there would be a new little email in my box: Come up with any good title ideas over the weekend?

Finally, inspiration hit. I sent the idea in. A shout of jubilation went around the editors, the marketing people, the Art Department. A new title was born. And it shall be called The Solomon Effect.

My editor thought to ask, Does it have anything to do with the book? To which I responded, I’ll make it fit.


Monday, December 01, 2008

My Cat Monday: Nick

Our visit to the vet last week didn’t bring good news on Nick, our sick cat: seems his “numbers” are still bad. But he’s eating again, and they say that cats can live for a long time with kidney problems, so we’re hoping Nick has many years ahead of him. Here’s a photo of Nick being bad, up on the table. But then, what cat can resist a box?

Nick is a real sweetheart, but he’s also one of those cats who’s so dumb he’s always good for a laugh. For some reason, he likes to paw at the floor when he drinks. Only, sometimes he’ll forget and paw at the floor with both front feet at the same time, with the result that he pitches headfirst into his water bowl. His nicknames are Velcro, Duffus, Bubba, and Nicholas Pee Cat (the latter earned when he first encountered my Big Bad Huckleberry, and was so terrified that he, well, peed. A lot.)

Steve and I have a blended cat family. When we married five years ago, he had three cats (Nick, Nora, and Press), and I had two (Huckleberry and Thomasina). Since then we’ve acquired one half-dead stray, BC (now no longer a stray and very fat) and my mother’s cat, Angel (named after the vampire). When my mom and Angel moved in with us this last summer, Nick, Nora, and BC went with my daughter, Sam, to live in my mom’s house. But we still consider all seven our cats (and have the vet bills to prove it!)

Here’s a photo of BC (Bad Cat, Black Cat, Baby Cat—take your pick), our latest addition and another sweetheart, cuddling his sick friend.