14. December 2016 09:19
I'm working on revisions for the Sekrit Project Alex extras and the final tie-in story for 2016. They both have fiddly bits to get correct. So, here's a Bubble & Squeek for you.
All I want for my Birthday (and Christmas for that matter). Please consider buying one of my books for yourself or as a gift for someone else. It helps keep my cats in kibble and me working on the fiction you know and love.
Article: On the Qwillery – The Perfect Line in the Sand on why zombies are the perfect kind of monster and why we used them so much.
ebook Release: The kindle version of THE LAST DAYS OF SALTON ACADEMY is live! Here is the Barnes and Noble link.
Interview: On Wag the Fox focused around THE LAST DAYS OF SALTON ACADEMY and YA fiction.
Interview: On Ginger Nuts of Horror. This was one long, meaty interview filled with intriguing questions I’ve never had to answer before.
Release: TEMPEST, All-New Tales of Valdemar. I've got my second story of Hadara and Kitha in here. This is the fourth Valdemar anthology I've written for. I'm still pinching myself at how lucky I am I get to play in Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar world.
Review: Ginger Nuts of Horror reviewed THE LAST DAYS OF SALTON ACADEMY – It doesn’t look like the reviewer liked it very much. But they are correct in saying the book was written for a different age group. (I much prefer these kinds of reviews. :) )
And a picture of Mena being oh-so-dignified. I love this picture of her.
9. November 2016 13:30
Here's a Bubble & Squeek for you. I'm going to keep on writing. There's not much else I can do right now.
Article: On Risingshadow. The Apocalypse Has Come and Gone. I talk about where The Last Days of Salton Academy is set.
Article: On Ragnablog. The Idea That Won’t Leave You Alone. I talk about what prompted me to write a YA zombie novel when I don't like zombies.
Article: I got mentioned on Kirkus Reviews in 13 Horror Books to Put You in the Mood for Halloween for The Last Days of Salton Academy! The fact that I got mentioned in Kirkus has me over the moon. Then, to be in such good company...
Ingress: In completely non-writing news, I got mentioned by a major Ingress character on his blog. So, that was exciting. I also was awarded a really hard badge to get: the EAW badge.
Review: Slap Happy Fun Time reviewed The Last Days of Salton Academy and really liked it – “…this is the kind of novel that you simply don't read. It consumes you, it demands your attention just like a great novel should.”
Review: Goodreads review of The Last Days of Salton Academy – “Gothic zombie book.”
25. October 2016 11:43
The Last Days of Salton Academy has been released! This YA horror novel is getting some love.
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Ragnarok Publications
It's referred to as 'The Outbreak,' and it happened just over three months ago, casting the world (or at least this part of it) into a state of powerlessness and chaos. The Salton Academy has become a rare sanctuary for those few students who remained behind over fall break.
As winter approaches, cracks are revealed in the academy's foundations as it's discovered someone is stealing food, another is taking advantage of a captive audience, and yet others have banded together and are thinking about mutiny, even murder. One thing's for certain — a supply run must be made soon, or everyone will starve before winter's end.
Oh yes, and then there’s the matter of the headmaster’s son and his undead dog…
“The Last Days of Salton Academy is a dark, twisted rollercoaster of a book. Jennifer Brozek knocks it out of the park.” — Stephen Blackmoore, author of City of the Lost and Broken Souls
“If Lord of the Flies had occurred during a zombie outbreak, it would read something like this. A bloody good tale you can really sink your teeth into.” — Timothy W. Long, Author of the Z-Risen series.
“The Last Days of Salton Academy is a delightful character study which combined boarding school antics with the survival horror of a post-apocalypse thriller. The characters are fresh, the dynamics interesting, and the story engaging from beginning to end. It is a YA story I heartily recommend.” — C.T. Phipps, author of Esoterrorism and Wraith Knight
“As much as I love all things undead, what kept me turning pages wasn’t the zombie horde, but something far more horrible: the students and staff of a pretentious prep school. The Last Days of Salton Academy is compulsively readable—I devoured it in one sitting. With a cast of all-too-believable characters and a set of ever-ratcheting disasters, this novel is guaranteed to keep you up past your bedtime.” — Wendy N. Wagner, author of Starspawn and Skinwalkers
26. July 2016 09:31
I've finished MAKEDA RED. I've edited 3 novels and I'm on a novella. I'm starting to prep for WorldCon and Tracon—both of my schedules require research. Life is slowing down. It is. But this is the calm before the storm.
Article: On the Semiotic Standard: The Collective: Bringing Books to Film. I didn't cheat and say Melissa Allen. I talked about my true love... THE DARK TOWER.
Awesome: The daughter of a friend has just cosplayed one of my characters: Melissa Allen. Achievement unlocked!
Review: Nice review for the World of Shadows anthology from Forgotten Tomes.
In the SFWA section...
SFWA Chat Hour about game writers... wherein we talk about the background behind the decision to admit gamer writers.
Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America to Admit Game Writers. The actual guidelines.
Follow-up SFWA Admits Gamewriters, All Heck Breaks Loose, Film at 11.
No, the guidelines aren't perfect. Yes, we are looking at specific cases. Yes, it will take time. We will not be making a knee-jerk reaction to everything.
18. May 2016 09:19
When I first got home from StokerCon, I wrote:
Home from StokerCon. I did not win a stoker award for my YA novel, NEVER LET ME SLEEP. John Dixon did for his, and he is a complete sweetie. But, I didn't walk away empty-handed. I got to see old friends like Lucy A. Snyder and Jonathan Maberry, meet new friends, pitch the Melissa Allen series to a producer, have an in-depth conversation with an agent, meet Gini Koch, got asked to write a short story, and finished red lining my Shadowrun novel. It was a good convention.
My thoughts haven’t changed. It was a good convention. It was the first time I’ve been thanked by a winner of a major award during their acceptance speech. Lucy gave me a shout out and I appreciate it.
However, I hate the Vegas strip. I can’t say I hate Vegas. I spent time with my friend Drake in the north end of Vegas and it was lovely, if hot and dry. You can buy a lot of house for a lot less money than you can in the Seattle area.
That said, I won’t ever move out of the Pacific Northwest if I can help it. Monday, when I was taking out the trash, I had an honest-to-goodness “Calvin and Hobbes Trash Moment.” I dropped the trash in the can, then stopped and realized how quiet it was. I could only hear birdsong. Not even cars at that moment. The sky was filled with light grey clouds, bringing a depth the world around me. I could actually fill the moisture in the air. After 5 days in Vegas, it was exactly what I needed to truly appreciate where I live.
I’m home now. I’m catching up on email and other notices.
Here’s a really great review of NEVER LET ME from Amazon. This is the kind of review that makes my heart sing.
Also, my location supplement, Colonial Gothic: Roanoke Island, has been nominated for d-Infinity Independent Game Awards for best RPG supplement. I’m not going to win. It’s one of those click to vote popularity things but I’m happy to have been nominated.
7. April 2016 13:59
It is all Shadowrun all the time right now. I'm deep into MAKEDA RED and that's pretty much all I'm doing right now. So, here's some links for you and a chance for you to win a set of Melissa Allen audiobooks.
REVIEW: Here's a great review of NEVER LET ME. I really appreciate reviews like this.
REVIEW: Here's a really good review of APOCALYPSE GIRL DREAMING. I love the fact that some of the stories stick with her.
REVIEW: Here's a great review of DECISION POINTS. The reviewer says that my story, "The Prince of Artemis V," hit a home run.
SALE: Apocalypse Ink Productions is having a sale of my Karen Wilson Chronicles books! If you were waiting to get any of the individual trade paperbacks, Now is the time to get them. After May 1st, they are gone for good. Karen Wilson Chronicles Trade Paperback Last Chance Sale. 4 Trade for $30.
AUDIOBOOKS: All three Melissa Allen audiobooks are available. You can listen to NEVER LET ME SLEEP, NEVER LET ME LEAVE, and NEVER LET ME DIE, read by the marvelous Elizabeth Evans. Also, email me at gaaneden at gmail dot com for a chance to win all three audiobooks!
20. January 2016 08:50
So much writing on Project Joe! Other than my computer setup exploding on me recently, requiring me to get a new keyboard and to vacuum the dust from the computer, my life is mostly about writing and editing. And petting demanding cats.
EVENT - READING: I will be reading at the University Bookstore in Seattle on Jan 26th. Please come! There will be cookies and book giveaways and I'll be reading from NEVER LET ME which Publisher's Weekly calls "a strong, entertaining tale."
And now back to your irregularly scheduled Bubble & Squeek.
Article: MIND MELD: The Growth and Future of SF/F. An interesting question.
Article: Nightmare Magazine – The H Word: Shifting Away From the Common. I talk about what I enjoy about shapeshifters that aren't werewolves.
Blog: I have a guest blog over at Jim Hines’s Blog site about revealing personal details in your writings. I didn't manage to post about this more than once. So, here it is again.
Event: I am a workshop leader at Foolscap on Feb 5th. I'm teaching a class on writing series called "Combat in the Land of Forgotten Details."
Review: Publisher's Weekly reviewed NEVER LET ME. It's a good review. I'm happy with it. I don't even mind the quibble.
SALE: COLONIAL GOTHIC: LOST TALES. This is one of those "oops, I have a fiction collection" sales. Totally unexpected but very happy for it.
SALE: MAKEDA RED. I'm running the shadows again. This time in novel form. I've wanted to write a Shadowrun novel for ages. Now I get to. MAKEDA RED stars the protagonist from my Shadowrun short story, "Rune's Avatar Cafe."
29. December 2015 10:34
When it comes to year in review posts, there’s two ways for me to look at it: What did I do? Did I enjoy myself? The short version answer to these two questions is: A lot. Yes.
Being a full-time freelancer, I need personal metrics that keep me going. To let me know I didn’t just spin my wheels. To know that I have done good. I can’t rely on money to tell me whether or not I’ve been productive. The publishing industry is so weird about money and timing. It’s feast or famine… mostly famine. Even if you’re working all the time.
So, to answer the second question first. Did I enjoy myself? On the whole, yes. I’m happier that I’ve ever been. Yes, there were hard times. Yes, I really do understand “leveling up to a better (harder) class of problem” thing. And yes, not everything was a success. But, by and large, I had the best time.
As for the first question of: What did I do? I keep a daily summary log. I need to. I must schedule myself and I must know what I’ve done and when I did it. Thus, I can quantify my freelance year like so:
- Writing: I wrote 110,000 words of new fiction. This does not count any blog posts or articles written.
- Editing: I edited 10 novels, 4 novellas, 1 anthology, and 90 EGM.Shorts flash fiction pieces.
- Submissions: I had 5 of 9 short stories accepted. Not bad. Just didn’t have a lot of time to submit short fiction around.
- Published: 4 novels, 1 novella, 1 fiction collection, 1 anthology, and 5 short stories. That is a lot. A whole lot.
- Email: Answered email 320 days out of the year. This is much worse than last year. I answered email 268 days in 2014. I had hoped to do less email. I failed.
- New Positions: Managing Editor of Evil Girlfriend Media and voted in as a SFWA Director-at-Large. I am still the Creative Director of Apocalypse Ink Productions.
- Awards: I had 4 nominations (Scribe x2, an ENnie, and a Hugo). 1 win (Scribe for best YA tie-in novel for The Nellus Academy Incident).
- Reading: I read 41 novels (mostly for pleasure). Not bad, given my schedule.
- Vacation: Took 23 days off to do nothing. This is better than I did last year. This averages 2 days off a month. Though, most of these came in the last third of the year.
Honestly, reading this list makes me both proud and tired. I already know I will be doing a lot less of some and a lot more of another in 2016 but that’s for another post in a week, next year.
24. November 2015 10:03
I am home from OryCon and SF Authorfest 9. I had a fabulous time. It was so much fun. In lieu of content, here is a Bubble and Squeek.
Article: Mind Meld: More Children’s Movies that Scared the Crap Out of Us.
Podcast: LIMETOWN. If you aren't listening to this podcast, you are missing out. It reminds me of American Elsewhere and Night Vale.
Review: A Lovely review of Jazz Age Cthulhu and "Dreams of a Thousand Young" from Hauntology. I really am fond of this novelette.
For the Melissa Allen section of Bubble and Squeek...
Article: Over on Wag the Fox: Characters with a mind of their own. AKA why the sequel, Never Let Me Leave, exists.
Article: Why a Bat? Over on Damien Walter's blog, I discuss why Melissa Allen use a baseball bat when fighting monsters.
Podcast: SF Spotlight Radio from 14 Nov 2015. I talk about a lot of things. Mostly the Melissa Allen series.
10. November 2015 09:01
Book two of the Melissa Allen series, NEVER LET ME LEAVE, has been released! I'm really happy with the series. The first book, NEVER LET ME SLEEP, is getting great reviews.
What would you do if you found yourself locked in an underground lab with a murderous alien hunting you? Melissa Allen and her new friends know exactly how it feels. With no help from the outside and time running out, it’s up to Melissa to keep herself and the other teens safe. How can she do that when she’s not sure who she can trust?
Someone in the lab helped that alien escape. Someone human.
NEVER LET ME LEAVE almost didn't happen. This is why it did.