February 14, 2014 by Heather
Yesterday was a big news day: The Vampire Diaries and The Originals were both renewed by the CW, which is fantastic news, and Crissy and I were able to (finally!) reveal the cover art for Love You to Death 5, as well as who is writing our foreword. (Spoiler alert: It’s someone awesome.) In case you are wondering what our thought process was on the LYTD5 cover, it went something like this: KATHERINE KATHERINE KATHERINE. KATHERINE.
And we also posted an update about a possible guide for The Originals, which I encourage you to read if only to understand the obstacles we face in putting out these companion books. In short, it’s not easy, and a lot of work for little return other than our personal sense of pride and kind words from readers. Wanting to do something and being able to do something do not always align, sadly, but it doesn’t mean we’ve given up.
Hope you like the LYTD5 cover as much as we do!
January 8, 2014 by Heather
My friend Abby (who now has a blog at abbygrams.net, check it out!) has been asking for a (new to her) song every day since January 1st, so I thought I’d make her a wintry playlist of songs and amuse myself in the process.
Category Vital Listens | Tags: Ane Brun, best people, covers, Elbow, Jesca Hoop, M83, Mark Lanegan, monthly playlists, music, Neko Case, Piano Magic, Radiohead, School of Seven Bells, Shearwater, Soulsavers, Underground Lovers, video, Yoshida Brothers, Zola Jesus
January 1, 2014 by Heather
Conversation I had at a party last night…
Friend: Do you have an resolutions?
Me: Not really a resolutions person, but my friend Dianne does something I think is awesome – she chooses a word, like an attribute, and reinforces it in her life throughout the year. I think it’s simple and clever, so I’m thinking about doing that. But I can’t decide on a word.
Friend: Maybe your word should be “decisive.”
2013 was a challenging year for me. I kicked off the year with no debt other than student loans, and have finished the year with a car payment (after my old car was stolen for the third, and final, time) and thousands of dollars in hospital bills from two emergency surgeries. As financial security was a huge contributor in my marriage ending, I have been struggling with that uncomfortable and overwhelming feeling of being in the hole, again; a feeling connected to a lot of painful memories that I’d managed to distance myself from after striking out on my own last October.
I let those emotions get the better of me in the latter half of 2013, but the cold, logical side of me knows this is nothing insurmountable. I am still better off than I was two years ago in every sense, and I need to refocus on the positive. Strangely, this kick in the ass came about three weeks ago, in the form of an astrologist.
I know, I know. Stick with me.
But first, a side story (if you follow me on Twitter, you might remember when this happened): About a year, year and a half ago, I was at work when a customer grabbed my arm – a petite, older woman who was dressed as if she’d come to my store straight from a tennis lesson. Now, normally I would ask any stranger to kindly remove their hand from my person, but before I could say a word, she blurted, “What’s your sign?” Surprised, I told her Aquarius. Immediately she said, “Oh, no. No. You’re not an Aquarius.” Bemused, I assured her I was most definitely an Aquarius, told her my birthday, and all the while she had me pinned with this look I can only describe as shrewd. “Honey, you are a Leo. Is Leo your rising sign?” No, ma’am, according to a chart done many moons ago, I was Gemini rising. She seemed frustrated with me, and 100% convinced that she was correct. She said, with utter conviction, that I radiated Leo, from my hair to my demeanor, and that I should get another chart drawn up. I said okay, thoroughly amused at this crazy woman and the randomness of the situation.
Back to three weeks ago: I had an astrological chart drawn up – and, as it turns out, a correct one. Turns out Gemini is not my rising sign. Guess what? Yep, that “crazy” woman was right – I’m an Aquarius with Leo rising. Here I was, getting a chart drawn up for shits and giggles, and I was gobsmacked. All I could think about was that woman and her gently superior tone of voice as she assured me that “my fiery aura” was “all Leo.”
Do I believe in astrology? I don’t believe the stars predetermine my life, but I view this entire series of interactions as a prism through which I can parse out my own psychology. Sometimes you need a complete stranger to put things in perspective, whether they intended that outcome or not. The point is not that I am a Leo rising (though that’s fun to know!) but that my brain is nudging me towards this Leo thing as a way of going, “Hey, maybe these are the attributes you need to work on or incorporate?” Or at least that’s how I am choosing to interpret it in the New Year.
When my friend joked that my word for the year should be “decisive,” she had no way of knowing that the two words I was leaning towards were the Leo-esque “determined” and “resolute.” Yes, all three of those words mean the same thing.
I think that’s a good sign for 2014.
November 28, 2013 by Heather
Another year, another Thanksgiving. Looking back on the last year, I could not have predicted the huge changes that would occur, the opportunities that would arise, or the outpouring of love and support I would receive during one of the most challenging times of my life.
Thank you. Thank you to my family, my friends, and to perfect strangers around the world who offered a kind word when I needed it most. Whether we know each other personally or not, please know that encouragement has meant everything to me.
For those who are celebrating the holiday today – I hope it’s a wonderful day full of good food and those you love. And to everyone else I wish the same, even if it’s just another Thursday for you.
October 24, 2013 by Heather
As promised, I am writing weekly reviews for The Originals at Vampire-Diaries.net, and it only took four episodes to remember that I should mention it in this space. It’s a busy television season already!
I’ve added an index (accessible from the menu above) for easy linking, and will of course add new links as they go live. In the meantime, here are the reviews so far:
On the LYTD and other stuff front, there should be news of the breaking variety going live soon. Exciting! Keep an eye on LoveYouToDeathTVD.com.
October 1, 2013 by Heather
Today is the official release day for Love You to Death – Season 4: The Unofficial Companion to The Vampire Diaries – now available everywhere in paperback and ebook format – and the first reviews have arrived!
First up, Tiffany at Angelized1st:
Aside from the Timeline, my favorite parts of the book are the questions, the interviews with the show’s cast and crew, and the musical list for each episode. As a fan of the series myself, I’m always theorizing each episode. What I love the most is how Calhoun and Vee come up with very insightful questions and theories in the episode reviews. For instance, “What will Jeremy’s, “Oops, I’m not dead” explanation be? and why did Silas tell Stefan, “It doesn’t matter, does it” after he reveals Bonnie has died. Not only did co-creator Julie Plec provide the foreword for the book, but the book also contains interviews with executive producer Caroline Dries, write Jose Molina (Sleepy Hollow), and more! If you would like to relive season 4, or brush up on what happened before The Vampire Diaries season 5 premiere this Thursday, then be sure to pick up your copy of Love You to Death this Tuesday.
And Clarissa at ScreenFad also gave us a glowing review:
The admiration that Julie Plec, Caroline Dries and all of the people who work on the show have for the fans (and for Crissy and Heather as cheerleaders for the show) is evident throughout the pages, from Plec’s forward to the interview quotes peppered throughout the series. This is a show whose fans are passionate – and occasionally demanding (admit it) – but who love this series and the writers, producers, editors and other staff know this. And they’re not ashamed to admit what they love about the show and what they feel they could have done. In fact, it’s these small admissions of “I wish we had done this differently” or “this is where our challenges lie” that “Love You to Death” displays so well, connecting the production staff with the fans in a way that’s utterly refreshing.
Crissy and I have also done our first interviews in support of the book. Over at The Televixen, Melissa asked us a variety of questions about our personal Vampire Diaries Season 4 highlights and what we’re looking forward to as we head into Season 5:
Is there a particular Season 4 episode that you think everyone should watch again before the new season begins?
Crissy: Oooh, good question. I think anything with Silas mythology will prove useful. I recently rewatched the last four episodes in prep for Season 5 (from “The Originals” to “Graduation”), and that felt like a good refresher, but I think revisiting Shane’s exposition bombs about Silas would be good. Bonus: Atticus Shane back on your TV.
Vee: Did we mention we have an unhealthy Professor Shane fixation…? Well, everyone should watch “The Originals” again in preparation for the season premiere of the show after The Vampire Diaries on Thursday, October 3. That’s a freebie. In terms of TVD, I’d agree with Crissy that the Silas stuff is going to be important heading into Season 5. I’d say rewatch “The Walking Dead.” I can’t help feeling that there is important info embedded throughout the episode, and it’s fun watching the scene with Bonnie and Silas in the tunnels now knowing Silas’s true face.
Crissy: Agreed! There’s a line in that episode that’s like, “Oh well, now we will NEVER SEE his true face.” And you just know — now that we have seen Silas’s true face — how much fun the writers were having screwing with us. Those rascals!
Our publisher ECW Press is also giving away five copies of LYTD4 via GoodReads, open to entries through October 31st! (U.S. and Canada only.)
And, finally, Crissy and I sat down for a chat with Lucia of the Heroine TV podcast yesterday and the episode is already available for your listening enjoyment at Heroine TV. We discuss everything from how the interviews came together, the logistics of long-distance writing collaboration, our feelings about Vampire Diaries Season 4, and our expectations about Season 5 and TVD’s spin-off, The Originals.
Oh, and enjoy this reminder that the Love You to Death series now has an official site:
— julieplec (@julieplec) September 28, 2013
Thanks to everyone who’s purchased the book and sent us lovely messages. We’re beyond appreciative.
September 21, 2013 by Heather
One of these days I’ll have a substantial post to make, but for now I’m overwhelmed with excitement/nervousness as people tweet to say they have Love You to Death 4 in their hot, little hands. Will this feeling ever get old? I hope not.
And the great Vampire Diaries season 5 and Originals season one machine begins its grind into top gear. It’s going to be a busy TV season, y’all. Crissy Calhoun will continue to review TVD at Vampire-Diaries.net for its fifth season and I’ll be dipping back into the review waters myself with weekly musings on The Originals. I will try my damndest not to be terrible. Or to go overboard on the Elijah love.
Anyway, the real point of this post: check out the official site of the unofficial companion books to The Vampire Diaries, Love You to Death! (Trivia: The Julie Plec quote is from the LYtD 4 foreword.)
September 16, 2013 by Heather
A few days ago, we had a Skype meeting (and when I say meeting, I mean a silliness session), and Crissy asked if my copies of Love You To Death Season 4 had arrived yet. Well, they arrived today:
I was expecting a manila envelope with a few copies, not an entire box. Crazy times!
Speaking of, we’ve been busy with the Season 4 posts over at Vampire-Diaries.net: Crissy and I break down the killer moments of Season 4, and the entire V-D.net gang gets in on the Favorite Episodes of Season 4 action. Both posts are loads of fun, so swing by and love the copious amounts of blood vomit with us!
September 13, 2013 by Heather
Nostalgia is a sleeping bag and I’ve spent the last week with it zipped up to the chin, trying to sort out if I’m feeling the effects of the (ever-so-gradually) changing season, I’m coming down with a cold, or I’m stressed out with finances, day job stuff, and the impending television season. My guess is a combination of all of the above, served up with a hot side of general dissatisfaction with The State of Things™, and I just want the aural equivalent of curling up in a nice, fat sunbeam.
Enter Rhino’s The Brit Box: UK Indie, Shoegaze & Brit Pop Gems set. I remember when this set was first released in the latter naughts, but I was probably too broke to fork over cash for a collection of songs I still know all the words to. So when a Brit Box landed in my lap recently, I brought it home and spent the evening wallowing in tracks that are programmed into my DNA (“Vapour Trail,” “Common People,” the list goes on and on), as well as experiencing ground-shaking quantum leaps of “holy shit, I haven’t heard this since I was in middle school/high school/college” (“Kite”) and realizing that I miss Dodgy more than I ever would’ve guessed. Do you remember Gay Dad? Because I do. I owned that full-length. They were called Gay Dad.
So, despite being a bit baffled that whoever compiled this set thought “Tracy Jacks” was the best representation of Blur’s Parklife (really?), it’s been fun visiting this playground again. Objectively, a few of the bands are terrible, and I don’t care. Without them, I wouldn’t have discovered better bands. Under the cut are five songs that brought it all back for me, for better or worse: Trashcan Sinatras, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, Nick Heyward, Catatonia, and (of course) Dodgy.
September 8, 2013 by Heather
I use “lately” loosely, as I’ve managed to read a handful of books since July, and my GoodReads 2013 Reading Challenge widget is mocking me as a I type this. The To Read stack has become various piles of books scattered throughout my apartment, with highest priority reserved for beside the bed, because I am that person, always.
Note: I’m not including Scott Lynch’s The Republic of Thieves on this list because I’ll post something closer to its October publication date.