Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Sunday, April 10, 2011

New story, new character for NoHo Noir

For the last several months I've been writing two stories a week for NoHo Noir, which gives me a lot more latitude to follow the ever-growing cast of characters. I haven't really done much with Rouzan, the character who has chosen to opt out of the luxurious lifestyle provided by her Armenian gangster father and find her own way. She's a character I really like and this weekend, I introduce a new storyline that will feature her. As always, the story is illustrated by Mark Satchwill.

Here's the link. I hope you enjoy it.

The scene I will never write

When you write crime fiction, there are certain conventions and expectations that come with the genre,along with a whole series of scenes that different authors play with according to their needs. There are some scenes, though, that just don't work, yet we see them over and over and over again.

The scene I'm thinking of in particular is the one where a person (usually a woman) is grabbed and thrown into a car trunk--feet bound, hands cuffed, mouth gagged. Okay, so far, so good. It looks bad for that character and there's clearly something nasty waiting at the end of the journey. The character in the trunk knows that and is struggling to free him or herself. But when the car comes to a stop and the trunk is popped, there s/he is, feet bound, mouth gagged, and hands cuffed IN THE FRONT.

What? I have never found myself in this situation but I don't understand how a desperate character wouldn't manage to tear off the tape, or pull out the scarf. It'd be another thing if your hands were secured behind your back but all cuffing them in front does is limit your range of motion. You can reach up and remove a gag; you can reach down and untie your feet.

If one of my characters ever gets tossed in a trunk, he or she is going to come out of that trunk kicking and screaming.

Friday, April 8, 2011

A short rant about Castle

I don't watch a lot of television but for the last few seasons, I've made it a point to watch Castle. Yes, I like Castle and Beckett but I really like Ryan and Esposito. This year, though, the scripts have taken a slide. So here's my question. Am I the only one who thinks they should write Alexis out of the series until someone, anyone, figures out how to write her character.

Even in the best episodes she was written WAY too young and in an episode that ran a week ago, the writers had her hanging out with kids who were shoplifting stuff for kicks. Seriously? The character they created would just not do that. The actress playing Alexis is a lovely young woman and talented too, but half the time she's reduced to staring at Nathan Fillion with her big blue eyes.

It's a shame...The series has been renewed for another season and it would really be great if they could get their first season mojo back.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

When Good Candy Goes Bad

I'm from the South where the prevailing notion is that anything good will be even better if it's deep-fried. And mostly, I get it. But a few years ago, deep-fried Oreo cookies started showing up at the county fair. I bought some for a friend who was totally intrigued and even though they were cold by the time he ate them, he pronounced them scrumptious. (Well, he probably said something more like, "These are frickin' amazing," but you get the idea.)

I like Oreo cookies more than is good for me, but I thought they looked disgusting.

And now come deep-fried candy bars. A heart attack wrapped in a diabetic coma. If you want to make some at home, here's a recipe.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sunday, April 3, 2011

More Sunday self-promotion than usual!

Like everyone else who has a stash of stories moldering on their hard drives, I have been intrigued by the opportunities of "indie publishing." (Who knew that "vanity publishing" would morph into something so respectable?)
Thanks to the encouragement of horror novelist G. Wells Taylor, I dipped into the waters last fall with my fiction collection Just Another Day in Paradise. (Available in kindle edition and in all epub formats.)

Now I've added two more books to the mix--L.A. Nocturne and Fairy Story. Both are urban fantasies--Nocturne is a collection of five stories; Fairy Story is a long tale taken from my upcoming novel Misbegotten. L.A. Nocturne is available in kindle and all formats here.

Fairy Story is awaiting approval on kindle but is available in all formats here.

I've also just learned that my zombie story "Z Cruise" made the cut at Hesham Horror Books. It will be included in the anthology Alt-Dead, to be published in print and in kindle this September. Edited by writer/publisher Peter Mark May, the themed anthology includes 16 stories.

And finally, there's a double shot of NoHo Noir this week. Check out Forgiveness and Wedding Party. If you tweet, consider following NoHo Noir at @nohonoir.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Apostle Rising by Richard Godwin

I am reading Apostle Rising by Richard Godwin. Why aren't you? His book appeared on the cover of Bookseller Magazine today (no April Fool's Day joke that). I'll be reviewing the book for Dark Valentine soon.