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Looking for artist suggestions

Hi, everybody!
I'm looking for a cool cover artist for a book I'm going to be putting out with a horror theme. Can you recommend someone who might do a piece that you'd like to have on a Tshirt or hanging on your wall?

:)

Thanks!
Angel...

Advice on how to delegate, please!

I've been quiet for some time, primarily because about 7 months ago (God, has it really been that long?!), I took on the role of Webmaster for the Horror Writers Association and proceeded to dive headlong into it.

I don't regret it one bit. It's been fulfilling, and I've met some awesome people as a result.

However, the president of the HWA has informed me that the time has come when I need to delegate more of the menial tasks so I can focus on the broader picture. And, he's absolutely right.

I haven't written more than a thousand words of my fiction since I took on the job (for 7 whole months), and I'm jonesing so bad to write that I'm losing sleep. I lie there, thinking about how I wish I were writing, but knowing that if I don't get any sleep, I'll feel like crap the next day. I end up not sleeping anyway, and wake up feeling like crap.

So, I need to get the writing back in my life, and that means delegating.

Does anyone have any nuggets of wisdom about how to delegate? What works and what doesn't. How much I have to micro-manage and what risk management steps I need to take.

Delegating does not come naturally to me. I'm a take-it-all-on-myself kinda girl.
Woo hoo! An anthology containing one of my stories is on the final nominees list for a Sir Julius Vogel Award. These awards are given to works published in 2012 by New Zealand publishers and authors.

The publisher of Tales for Canterbury (Random Static) resides in New Zealand. It was edited by Cassie Hart and Anna Caro.

This is the benefit anthology put together as a fund-raiser to help those people affected by the terrible earthquakes in New Zealand last year. I contributed "Pipsqueak," one of my favorite little urban fantasy stories.

Other contributors to the anthology include: Neil Gaiman, Gwyneth Jones, Juliet Marillier, Helen Lowe, Jeff Vandermeer, Jay Lake, and many more!
Dan Rabarts took first place in the Wily Writers/SpecFicNZ short story contest. His science fiction short, entitled "Crucible," had to work very hard to beat its competition, but it did it!

Wily Writers podcast the story, using the rich voice talent of Scott McGough. Give this wonderful story a listen.

After millennia spent crossing the galaxy, spawning new worlds out of barren wastes, meteorologist Cyran considers himself no longer a man, but a god. But when his lover Kayla betrays their ship, the Crucible, Cyran must choose between love and immortality as the life he has known spirals into chaos. [28mins]




Debbie Cowens was the runner up, with her incredible noir fairy tale entitled "Upon a Star". Philip Pickard did a fantastic reading of it. Go listen!

In a city where Prince Charmings can’t be trusted and getting what your heart desires can be deadly, a string of murders leads PI Robin Goodfellow to the Blue Fairy night club. Noir meets Fae in a tale of lust, betrayal, corruption and broken dreams.




SpecFicNZ is a writers organization dedicated to speculative fiction writers in New Zealand.

What's Game Writing Like?

Occasionally, I get people who ask me questions about my job, and I know others may also be interested. One bright young woman just sent me a bunch of questions, so I thought I’d share my answers here as well.

They're on my professional blog, here. Feel free to comment there or here, either place, if you'd like. :)

Kitten in a Ball!

Daily Vote Reminder!

Don't forget to vote for me every day! It would mean so much!

Vote here! Search for "angelmcc".

Thank you!
Angel...

Review: PERSONAL DEMONS by Greg Lamberson

Angel's Adjectives: terrifying and twisty

A Bram Stoker Award winner, Greg Lamberson is making his mark as one of horror's new forces. This is his second novel and the first in the Jake Hellman series (of which the second book is also out). It introduces coke-snorting police detective Jake Helman, a man whose life goes from Not Too Bad at the beginning to Complete and Utter Shit by the end of the book. At every turn, Lamberson turns the thumb screws on his poor protagonist. It's like watching a horrid car wreck, in slow motion, with the volume on high and splatter effects turned up to the max.

The way Jake Helman's life falls apart is terrifying to watch. You get the impression early on that he doesn't always make the best decisions, and then--blammo!--he's knocked for a major loop. At first, it's hard to feel too sorry for him, because he's brought it all down on himself, but as the book progresses, and as Jake learns his lessons, he becomes more and more sympathetic. Unfortunately, his circumstances grow increasingly more precarious at the same time.

Lamberson did a great job of gradually building the tension in this book, using plot twists to keep ramping up the stakes. I said, "Holy shit!" several times as I was reading it, whenever something unexpectedly took a turn for the worse. By the end, as Jake made his bid to overcome odds that were way over his head, I was biting my nails. I won't tell you the ending, but I will say that Jake was not a "winner" in this struggle. He was, however, a survivor.

If you don't mind horror with lots of gory descriptions, heads exploding, and bodily fluids, then you'll enjoy this book. Part of the joy of reading it is to discover just how bad Jake's life can get. Believe me, it can and did get worse. I'm looking forward to reading Desperate Souls, the next in the Jake Helman Files. My morbid curiosity just won't let me look away.

Description from Amazon.com:
Jake Helman, an elite member of the New York Special Homicide Task Force, faces what every cop dreads—an elusive serial killer. While investigating a series of bloodletting sacrifice rituals executed by an ominous perpetrator known as the Cipher, Jake refuses to submit to a drug test and resigns from the police department. While battling a cocaine addiction, Jake starts a high-pressure position as the director of security at Tower International, a controversial genetic-engineering company. Beneath the polished exterior of the corporate identity and the CEO—who has a reputation as the frontiersman on the cutting edge of science—is a deranged mind. As Jake delves deeper into this frightening laboratory, he discovers much more than unethical practices performed in the name of human progress. Sequestered in rooms veiled in secrecy is the worst crime the world will ever see—the theft of the human soul. Horrifying and gruesome, this is a gripping, suspense-filled novel that offers intense arguments about science, ethics, and human life.


VOTE HERE!

It's a silly thing, but for some reason, I really want to win this contest. Or, at least, place in the top 20.

I have long been a fan and student of Neil Gaiman's work. That's how writers learn. They study other writers, their work, their careers, their marketing strategies, and their behavior. It sounds stalkerish, but the fact of the matter is that there's no school out there that teaches a writer how to be successful and how to behave once you are.

Thus, the stalking. It's a respectful stalking, purely professional (though he is a cutie).

There's so much that adds to Neil's success that goes beyond his writing. He's a package of awesome, and while I don't know how much of that is natural, and how much is cultivated for the public, it feels quite sincere.

This package includes:
  • his general courtesy and friendliness to everyone

  • his ability to give good speech

  • his accent

  • his looks

  • his "costume" of black pants, black tee, and leather jacket

  • his cultivation of associations with other famous people

  • his general sense of whimsy in his own life, and how he expresses that outward to the world

  • his willingness to travel, do keynotes at conventions, and readings in churches

  • his readiness to donate his stories to benefit anthologies


I've been in Neil's presence numerous times, at World Horror Conventions and here in Seattle when he came and did a reading/talk in the University District. He's larger than life, and yet, his ease with his audience bridges the gap between them and him. It's uncanny. Even sitting in a room with hundreds of people, and him up on the stage, you feel like you're just hanging out with him. He's lanky and loose like that. It's lovely.

Long ago, I heard the best advice I've ever received about how to become a successful/good writer. This advice wasn't about writers, but about careers in general, but it applies quite aptly. The advice was this: "Find someone who is doing what you want to do, then study them. Follow their lead."

For me, Neil Gaiman is that person. I suppose you could say he's my unwitting mentor, unaware that he teaches just by being.

It's pure whimsy to even consider that I might win this, but you know what? I learned that from him too. Why couldn't it be me? I believe it could!

So, please take a moment and vote for me. Every day, if you're willing. You can vote anew every 24 hours. You would be doing me a solid, as they say.

Some links regarding American Gods and Neil:
Editors Cassie Hart and Anna Carro are putting together a short fiction anthology whose proceeds will go to the Red Cross fund to assist victims of the earthquake that caused so much death and destruction in Christchurch, New Zealand last month.

The initial 7.1 earthquake hit the city on September 4, 2010, and the aftershocks have continued ever since. The largest was a 6.3 that occurred on February 22, 2011. This aftershock killed at least 166 people and did incredible property damage. Utilities went down, and PTSD is widespread. Even now, the aftershocks continue to rattle the area.

The New Zealand Red Cross is helping as they can with sheltering, grants, counseling, and reconnecting families. They could use your help as well!

The goal of this anthology is to raise $5000 to send to the Red Cross. You can follow their progress on the Tales for Canterbury site.

I appeal to you to do one of two things. Either pre-order a copy of the anthology (e-book version available as well), which has many talented writers represented in it (see below), or make a donation at the Red Cross web site. Whichever you choose, you'll be giving a little of yourself to help others in need, and that's a good thing!

Love!
Angel...



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