Sunday, July 26, 2009

Teeth Gnashing Over "Torchwood"

Yesterday, I spent seven hours of my life watching the "Children of Earth" marathon. It was good. In fact, it was far better than I'd expected. I especially liked the wry humor and moral ambiguity of the lead character.

However, what got my dander up throughout these Season Three episodes was the ongoing implication that Captain Jack Harkness and that Anita Blake clone (where's my barf bag?) had more of a thing for each other than Harkness and his male lover had.

Look at the poster. That says it all. Stick the chick between the dicks and give her some guns. GAH! To cinch it, the gay-for-you boyfriend was effing killed off!

Why is it that every television series or movie in every genre (contemp drama, comedy, paranormal, sci fi, historical) always ends up having some damned undercurrent of sexual tension and romantic promise between the male and female protagonists? That threadbare plot element is so bloody tiresome! What made it even more offensive in this case was the fact the female lead was married and pregnant, yet still acted like a swoony, angsty teenager over Harkness -- even in front of his boyfriend and her own damned husband! WTF?

"Torchwood" initially promised a genuine break from conventional TV fare. Its take on alien hunters (a generally overused trope) was often unique and entertaining. But the most refreshing aspect of the series was the "omnisexual" hero who seemed to have a distinct preference for men. Yeehah! thought I. British television producers sure have bigger balls and imaginations than their American counterparts, who've been in a vaginas-and-violence rut for decades.

However, it's starting to look as if the Brits are no different.

I have no clue about the future of "Torchwood." I'm not a regular follower of the show. But if it does return, I'll certainly NOT be watching should the producers pull yet another gag-worthy hero-heroine pairing.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Celebration Time!

WOOHOO! Nearly three years after its original publication in electronic format (it's also available in print), Acts of the Saints, my black sheep, is in the black! That means it's finally earned back its $100 advance (yeah, yeah, I know -- pathetic, isn't it?) and, in spite of not being an erotic romance, has crept into the red.

To the tune of $2.20. (Hey, at least I no longer owe Samhain!)

Big thanks are in order.

So, to Mrs. Giggles for her generous review . . .

And to Book Utopia Mom, for having the kindness, and guts, to resurrect this novel long after its publication date . . .

And to the elite group of readers who actually risked buying the book . . .

My boundless appreciation for taking a chance on something a little controversial, a lot heavy, and not loaded with smexxin'.

(I think I'll go out and buy me a couple of packs of gum to celebrate. Oh yeah, life is good!)

Click on the post title if you're wondering what all the fuss is about.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Now here is the perfect world. A sultry summer day. A lake cottage. A beautiful, wet, dark-haired man. A beautiful, dry, fair-haired man.
I think I'm going to take up residence in this cover when I'm finished being Nathan's lunch (you'll have to look at the previous post to understand that statement . . . maybe).

See ya.

(Oh . . . there's an excerpt up at the Liquid Silver forums, but I'll be posting a new one, here, soon.)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Oh GAWD, I want to be this hamburger!

How the hell did he get out from under my desk????

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Do you have any idea how hard it is . . .

. . . for cover artists to come up with models who closely resemble the protags in certain books?

I know different people have different attitudes toward covers. Some are happy with eye candy from the neck down. Others want faces, so they can better visualize the characters. Still others don't care if a cover has any human element, as long as it's well-wrought and relevant to the storyline. As a reader, I have no particular preference, as long as the cover isn't a complete assault on my aesthetic sense. But as a writer, I have a considerably greater investment in how the game of image selection and manipulation plays out.

Seems to me, the most problematic covers are those that feature people whose heads haven't been conveniently lopped off. I invariably feel a swell of guilt when I have to tell an art director, "Sorry, but that guy doesn't really look like my guy." I know designers' options are limited. They don't have their pick of models; they can't spend countless hours molding each and every cover element to fit the author's vision. Yet, when the final cover appears and a model makes some character look significantly different from how I've pictured and described him, I feel obliged to apologize to readers.

Sometimes, though, serendipity strikes, and a graphic artist's talent and resources mesh nicely with an author's vision. This was the case for me with Looking for Some Touch and InDescent. I could've nitpicked (Pablo should be a little more well-muscled; Adin Swift should be more beautiful and somber, a la the photo on the right from a Kresley Cole cover), but basically I was thrilled with the final results.

So now I wait with bated breath for the Bastards and Pretty Boys cover, which is in the tweakage stage at Liquid Silver. And I'm trying desperately to keep in mind what I wrote above. There can't always be accurate depictions of characters on covers. So far, for B&PB, I have one that's right on the money. (Meet, and feast your eyes on, Booker, below. That's definitely him.) But even if Charlie, the POV character, doesn't end up with quite the right look, I'm hoping readers take their cues from the text and let their imaginations make the necessary alterations. Oh, and that they give the talented artist props for everything that did come together in an expert way.

Movement far off to the left caught my attention. Caught and momentarily held it. My neighbor immediately to the south, or one of my neighbor’s guests, walked to the lake and waded in. A tall, wiry man with tousled dark hair, he wore plain cutoffs. Not Speedos, nothing tight and microscopic. When he was about hip-deep, he gracefully tilted forward and slid beneath the water like a warm knife into butter. Resurfacing, he lapsed into a strong, smooth crawl. I wasn’t sure why the sight transfixed me.

* * * * *

I liked the way he looked. I liked it more each time I saw him. I liked his high cheekbones and stark, whisker-peppered jaw, a shallow divot marking the center of his chin. I liked his long nose and handsome mouth. His lips, delineated by clean, soft lines, were just full enough to be alluring. I wondered how skillfully he used them . . . and silently chided myself for wondering.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Gift of Life

I don't usually post on serious topics because . . . well . . . many avid readers seem to have an aversion to the real world. (Can dig it.) But this bears mentioning.

An employee of one of my publishers lost her 28-year-old daughter five months ago. (Names are not only unimportant here, they would violate privacy. You have to trust me on this one.) Said employee/mom just found out that her and her daughter's gift of organ and tissue donation has benefited -- get this -- 67 people. SIXTY-FREAKING-SEVEN. That's sixty-seven human beings whose lives have been prolonged and/or improved via one tragic death. That's one humble twenty-eight-year-old woman who's left behind an incomparable legacy.

Instead of rot, revival. I apologize for being so blunt, but that's what it comes down to.

I'm as big a believer in this as I am in adopting shelter animals and providing safe havens for victims of domestic violence and allowing GLBT persons to marry whomever they choose and curbing population growth. And that's BIG. So please, if you haven't already done so, modify your driver's licenses or living wills to allow for organ and tissue donation. What's the alternative, after all? Think about it.

I just hope those precious gifts didn't go to assholes. That's all I hope. Oh, and that I someday get my own penis. (Sorry, sorry. Just a touch of levity.)

Monday, July 06, 2009

My Favorite Michael Jackson Song

I've never been a rabid fan, have always tried to reserve judgment on his troubled personal life, yet do believe he was an extraordinary entertainer. So . . . wherever you are, boundless peace and love, MJ. And, for God's sake, keep dancing.

For some reason, I've always found this song rather hauntingly beautiful--as is this performance. (Check out his "robot" at the end. Whoa.)

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Break Out the Doobage!

Because psychedelic gonads and good music have a place in this world!