April 4, 2013 by Heather
Cool news: Love You To Death 4 – The Unofficial Companion to The Vampire Diaries is now available for pre-order on Amazon! So if that is your preferred means of getting your greedy, wonderful paws on our shiny book, there you are. Official release date: October 1, 2013! That seems…not so far away, now that I’m looking at it.
Speaking of LYTD4, now that I am back from my North Carolina vacation, work will begin in earnest! It’s going to be all book, all the time for the next few months, and that’s rather exciting. I’m playing with the idea of documenting the process here on the blog, especially since Crissy and I are using a shared Scrivener project, so that may be of interest for those curious about collaboration tools. Also, when Crissy and I are involved, things get hilarious, so I’m sure there will be amusing writing-related stories to share here and there. We’ll see. It may only be interesting to us but we can be pretty funny.
In the meantime, I’ll try to get back to a proper blogging schedule.
February 22, 2013 by Heather
So 2013 is turning out to be quite the year and now I can (finally!) announce one of the reasons why: I am co-writing Love You To Death, Season 4: The Unofficial Companion to The Vampire Diaries with the inimitable Crissy Calhoun!
Crissy has the full Love You To Death, Season 4 announcement on her blog (including some very kind words about me that I can only hope to aspire to, my goodness). What she doesn’t mention is that I had to be talked into signing on because I was mightily intimidated. If you’ve read the previous three volumes of Love You To Death, you know that Crissy’s companion guides are not only packed with knowledge, trivia, and all the little details that fans dissect and go nuts over, but she also writes from a place of genuine fandom. She strikes a perfect balance between objective (if you read her Vampire-Diaries.net reviews, you know she’ll call out the show when she feels it’s necessary) and genuine fondness for the intricacies of the show’s characters and world. Oh, and then there’s the fact that she’s just a damn phenomenal writer. Who wouldn’t be intimidated?
But I said yes because 1) Crissy and I have talked about working on a project together for a while, 2) the opportunity to work on Love You To Death made my heart pitter-patter in a way that both elated and terrified me, and 3) did I mention that Crissy is one of my favorite people on this planet? In the end, this was an epic no-brainer, and I am grateful and flattered and full of squee about re-watching TVD, taking notes,
missing making deadlines, and generally having a blast with my rock star friend/co-writer. Bring on the rest of Season 4!
So thanks to Crissy and ECW Press for the opportunity. Now check out the Love You To Death, Season 4 cover below, illustrated by the talented and lovely Carolyn McNeillie and get a boatload of book and cover details over at Crissy’s blog. We hope you’ll love this volume as much as you love the first three books!
January 29, 2013 by Heather
Wow, I haven’t blogged in nearly a month, so this entire blogging experiment is going SUPER WELL, RIGHT? Ugh. But I’m on
vacation VEECATION and there’s just no excuse for not at least attempting to blog.
A lot has happened, nothing at all has happened. Sometimes the soundtrack is this and sometimes it is this and, once in a while, it is this, but I suppose that’s to be expected because everything sucks and is beautiful and won’t you please pass the bourbon, thanks?
Oh, hey, I did this on Friday, as a birthday present to myself:
I should probably tone my arms or something, yeah? I’m a huge Alexandre Dumas fan, so it seemed appropriate to dedicate my first tattoo to him and The Three Musketeers. Next will be a piece centered around The Count of Monte Cristo, my favorite novel by anyone, ever. My tattoo veteran friends were mildly alarmed that I was going for something rather involved on my first trip, but hey – go big or go home, right? Right. I’m in the peeling stage now and want to scratch my arm off but I’m slapping it like a pro instead, promise.
This is where I would normally dump a bunch of random links but I haven’t been keeping track of WHO IS WRONG OR AWESOME ON THE INTERNET lately, so I’m just going to list some stuff I am SUPER PLEASED ABOUT:
- The potential Vampire Diaries spin-off The Originals because HOLY SHIT, A WEEKLY DOSE OF DANIEL GILLIES, HOW ABOUT THEM APPLES? I am, of course, also pleased that Joseph Morgan will star, but Elijah sightings on TVD are effin’ monumental. Can you imagine that GQMF radiating from the screen and into your retinas every single damn week? NO, YOU CAN’T, because the awesome might break your fragile brain. I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that this is a real, actual, happening thing. This is the very definition of fan service, so stop whining that Julie Plec hates happiness because obviously the woman is wielding her powers for good here. Ah-ah-ah – STOP. DANIEL GILLIES. See what I did there?
- …Huh. I swear I had other things for this list, but the above just wiped it completely from my brain. OH WELL.
Category Behind the Scenes, Weekly Currents | Tags: A Madness of Angels, Alexandre Dumas, books, Daniel Gillies, Elijah, Esben and the Witch, Joseph Morgan, Kate Griffin, Klaus, Matthew Swift, music, tattoos, television, The Carrie Diaries, The Following, The Joy Formidable, The Originals, The Three Musketeers, The Vampire Diaries
January 1, 2013 by Heather
Generally speaking, 2012 was a terrible year for many people I care deeply about, and to say it was personally challenging would be an understatement (and already well-documented on this blog). That being said, this is just a list of things – mostly pop culture-related – that brought joy or all-consuming obsession (looking at you, George R.R. Martin) into my life this year.
December 27, 2012 by Heather
Friday Listens is where I highlight a band/artist I’ve just discovered; one or two artists, every Friday.
On her Facebook page, Wolf Larsen describes her sound like so: “The Cowboy Junkies + Leonard Cohen.” That’s pretty damn spot-on. One listen to “If I Be Wrong” reveals the slow, honey-rich bed of instrumentation you’d expect those comparisons to lay on, and Larsen’s voice is definitely comparable to Margo Timmins’ famous, languid alto. In addition to just being a downright beautiful song, this one of the loveliest videos I’ve seen in the past few years. Buy Quiet at the Kitchen Door by Wolf Larsen on Amazon US or iTunes US.
Apparently Wolf & Crow have just compeleted a Kickstarter campaign to self-release their first album, so that’s great news! Then maybe I can stop watching this live footage of “Fear No Evil” to get my fix. (I told you I was on an Americana kick.)
(Image via Wolf Larsen Facebook page.)
December 26, 2012 by Heather
(Eugenides graphic via Imperfect Cogitare.)
I originally had a long preamble detailing my rediscovery of epic fantasy this year, but I’ve decided to move it to a different post because it was the wordy equivalent of mega-flaily hands and we need a bit more focus here. Not that there will not be flailing in this post – oh, there is FLAILING – but, while epic fantasy accounts for 50% of the following list, I wouldn’t say the genre overwhelmingly dominated my overall favorites for this year, particularly when you account for the honorable mentions.
This is not a “2012 favorites” list, just favorite books I read this year, though several were indeed released in 2012. Interestingly, six out of 10 books on this list are part of a series, and six out of 10 are Young Adult.
Per usual, I hunger for your book recommendations, so please feel free to push your favorites in the comments!
Category List-lessness | Tags: books, Daniel Abraham, Elizabeth Wein, Ellen Kushner, Epic Fantasy, Fiction, George R.R. Martin, Gillian Flynn, Holly Black, Jennifer A. Nielsen, John Green, Laini Taylor, Maggie Stiefvater, Maureen Johnson, Megan Whalen Turner, Rachel Hartman, Robin Wasserman, Sarah Rees Brennan, Scott Lynch, Young Adult
December 20, 2012 by Heather
Well, here I am, behind again. In my defense, I barely know what day it is any given time of the week, so the past few weeks have slipped past in a blur. This time of year always reduces my brain to the consistency of oatmeal, and while I should feel out of sorts about having no family-related holiday plans, it’s mostly…just another day. At least Christmas affords me a three-day weekend this year; no day-after work madness for me! What I do know is that 2013 is already shaping up to be a special year and I love having something to look forward to.
First things first: The very first behind-the-scenes production video for Game of Thrones Season 3 (focusing on art direction) and it features the rarest of rare things – Jon Snow smiling. Ho ho ho. Is it March 31st yet?
A smattering of random linkage:
- Over at NPR, author Maggie Stiefvater lists “5 Young Adult Novels That You’ll Never Outgrow.” I just read one of the books on this list, have just started another, and now have added the rest to my to-read stack. (Ms. Stiefvater wrote two of my favorite books I read this year, so I’m inclined to give her opinion a lot of weight.)
- Prominent blogger and Huffington Post columnist Foz Meadows pens a must-read guest post for The Book Smugglers on bad boys, romance, and Young Adult.
- While part of me wishes the Indiana Jones package mystery had remained unsolved, it’s still a super-charming, entertaining story. Read this and then this. My middle school self is still completely geeking out.
- The L.A. Times interviews Michael Chabon about entertainment and he feels the same way I do about Homeland, so the crush continues. Also: Holy shit do I want his and Ayelet Waldemann’s HBO series right now.
- Tor.com reviewers pick their favorite reads of 2012.
Category Weekly Currents | Tags: Beachwood Sparks, Birdy, books, Chairlift, Elizabeth Wein, film, Game of Thrones, Gillian Welch, Glen Hansard, Laini Taylor, Leigh Bardugo, Maggie Stiefvater, Megan Whalen Turner, Michael Chabon, Rachel Hartman, Santigold, Sarah Rees Brennan, television, The xx, video
December 12, 2012 by Heather
Well, this is lovely news on a Wednesday morning: One of my all-time favorite vocalists – John Grant, formerly of the late, criminally underrated The Czars – has a new album coming out via Bella Union, and it features guest vocals from another of my all-time favorite singers, Sinéad O’Connor. Behold, the title track for Pale Green Ghosts:
If you’re unfamiliar with John Grant or The Czars, I cannot recommend them enough and you should just download everything. Trust me:
- Gorgeous cover of Tim Buckley’s “Song to the Siren” [Amazon US] [Amazon UK] [iTunes US] [iTunes UK]
- Before…But Longer [Amazon US] [Amazon UK] [iTunes US] [iTunes UK]
- The Ugly People vs. The Beautiful People [Amazon US] [Amazon UK] [iTunes US] [iTunes UK]
- Sorry I Made You Cry [Amazon UK] [iTunes UK]
- Goodbye [Amazon US] [Amazon UK] [iTunes US] [iTunes UK]
December 9, 2012 by Heather
I realized this past week that I had allowed a small anniversary to pass without a mention: I’ve been living in my own place for six weeks now. Strange to look at my situation in terms of days, particularly when I analyze how different I feel: I’m eating differently, I actually care about how I look when I leave the house, I’m going out with friends more, and the constant knot of anxiety and unhappiness that’s been living in my gut for years is completely gone. Not lessened. Not faded. Gone.
While this is a change I can definitely recognize in myself – in the cold, logical, compartmentalizing way I have a tendency to rely on – I’m amazed that others (family, friends, co-workers, even complete strangers) have noticed this adjustment without me saying anything or even knowing about my situation at all. No one asks me if I’m doing well, they just see it. And that has been an amazing thing to experience and absorb. I haven’t second-guessed my decisions at all because I feel validated by my own happiness.
That’s some tricked out, New Age bullshit, am I right? I’m forcing my inner cynic to embrace and nuzzle this new, relaxed me’s neck.
November 16, 2012 by Heather
Friday Listens is where I highlight a band/artist I’ve just discovered; one or two artists, every Friday.
I go through hardcore, waist-deep music phases, where I just want to listen to a particular genre non-stop for a few weeks (or months), and right now I’m in an Americana phase. There’s something about banjos and steel guitar that makes me think of dry leaves crunching under my feet, overcast skies, and wood smoke. In other words: autumn. This is the time of year I get particularly homesick (home being North Carolina), so I like to wrap myself in some lonesome and get comfortable. Enter Black Prairie. Somehow, inexplicably, this band has never landed on my radar, but thanks to Amazon’s free monthly up-and-coming artist downloads, I’ve been seeking out everything I can get my hands on by this Portland-based band. “How Do You Ruin Me” is a fantastic place to start. Buy A Tear in the Eye is a Wound to the Heart by Black Prairie on Amazon US or iTunes US.
(Photo courtesy of the Black Prairie Facebook page.)