jeanmarieward: (Default)

People are still reading With Nine You Get Vanyr and enjoying it!  Go us! 
[personal profile] gwynraven  was kind enough to review Vanyr in her blog yesterday.  I've enjoyed and appreciated all the reviews for Vanyr, including the not-so-great ones.  gwynraven's was wonderful, but better than that, gwynraven is a fan.  For Teri and me, Vanyr was one big love letter to fandom, and it's indescribably splendid to know the book gave at least one fan a really good time.
Aside from doing the happy dance about the review, I've been deep in the writing cave ever since Capclave.  I had a good time at the con, but bad person that I am, I haven't formatted my photos yet.  Another item for the pre-World Fantasy Con to do list, which is getting longer by the minute.  But what else is new?
Well, the fact I may actually get to moderate a panel at World Fantasy.  It looks like a really good one too.  I'll post the details as soon as the schedule is confirmed.
Last but certainly not least, the spouse person reengineered his web site to work better on Word Press.  You can see the new version of
Hail Dubyus
by clicking on the link.  Go Greg!
Cheers and smiles,
Jean Marie
jeanmarieward: (LizSmall)
The only reason I won't be buying Jeri Smith-Ready's (aka [profile] jer_bear711) new book Wicked Game at my local Borders today is because I was one of the folks lucky enough to buy it at RavenCon a couple weeks ago.  Which means I've already read it (aka devoured it in one sitting).  Which means I can honestly tell you to run out and buy it, because it's a fabulous book.  
Yes, the book has vampires.  (Hawt vamps, even.)  Yes it has romance.  But it takes both in directions you've never seen before.  The heroine, Ciara, is a con woman trying to go straight by helping a group of vampire DJs keep their station from being gobbled by a homogenizing radio conglomerate.  (Can you say Clear Channel?  Jeri didn't, but that's what it reminded me of.)
The vamps were turned at the transformative moments of 20th century music--the delta blues of the Twenties, the rockabilly of the Fifties, the psychedelic Sixties, the reggae of the Seventies, the Eighties' goth and alternative scene, and the grunge Nineties.  But they're stuck there.  Jeri modernizes the old Eastern European tradition that a vampire can't cross a threshold which has been scattered with grain.  According to the tradition, the vampire will be forced to count each grain and will be trapped until sunrise.  In Jeri's hands this translates to OCD vamps, and it works beautifully.  
Just about everything in the book works beautifully--plot, characterization, language.  My only gripe is how long it will take before book two is ready to roll.  But Jeri's trying to mitigate the pain.  Over the next twelve months, Jeri will be posting the turning stories of each of her vamps on her site.  I'm looking forward to them all.
But I really want to read what happens next.
Cheers and smiles,
jeanmarieward: (Default)
[profile] gidget83 's review of Vanyr in My Boyfriends Live In Romance Novels took me completely by surprise--in a good way.  Folks are still discovering the book.  Wow!  Cheers and happy dances, Jean Marie
jeanmarieward: (shoe1)
 Pan's Labyrinth just reminded me of all the reasons I loathe Hans Christian Anderson.  
Real fairy tales exist to show the rewards of grit and resourcefulness, and the consequences of wickedness.  All sacrifice has a purpose, and virtue is rewarded in this life, because face it, we have no guarantee of any other.
Sure it's fantasy.  But it's empowering fantasy.  All so-called "fairy tales for grown-ups" do is remind you this life is screwed, and anything you try to do to make it better will only make it worse.  Which, thankfully, is not always the case.
I so didn't need to see this exquisitely realized gloom fest before bedtime.  Its internal inconsistencies are pissing me off too.  I know bleeding chunks (emphasis on the bleeding) were left on the cutting room.  Otherwise some of the characters' actions make no sense.  I can even guess the contents of the deleted scenes.  (Steam.Steam.Steam.)
Nope, I'm not mad at writer/director Guillermo del Toro.  He's entitled to his vision, and give the man his props, he realized it exceedingly well.  But I think all the critics who gushed over the damn thing without letting audiences know what kind of experience they were in for should be handed over to Captain Vidal and his trusty hammer for a good, old-fashioned question and answer session.
Snarls and kisses,
Jean Marie
(Off to find something meaningful to look the original King Kong.)
jeanmarieward: (Default)

All right, who's having the attack of hysterics in the nosebleed seats?  Do you have any idea how hard it's going to be to get the medics up there?  They'll have to carry their own oxygen.
Oh well.  Ahem.  As I was saying...
Like any good Virgo, I track my Amazon and B&N sales on Publishers Marketplace.  It's not an absolute indicator of how well With Nine You Get Vanyr is doing, but it helps me gauge the effectiveness of individual online ads, the impact of con appearances, etc.
At the end of July, I noticed a bump in Amazon sales rankings extending from the 25th through August 2.  I was pleased but stumped.  I hadn't taken out any new ads.  My name had fretted its hour on the DragonCon front page and been replaced by newer additions to the schedule.  Could word of mouth have finally started a buzz?
Sort of.
Today while trolling for reviews for the first time since May, I came across a very entertaining notice in Raph Koster's Book Review-o-Rama.  Raph was kind enough to review Vanyr, even though he hated it.  He called it a Mary Sue "trainwreck" (sic).  Bless his heart.
Seriously.  This is a classic example of the old marketing axiom: There's not such thing as bad publicity as long as they spell your name right.  It also demonstrates the only thing nearly as powerful as a great review is a terrible one.  People will drive ten miles out of their way to look at a train wreck.
The numbers line up.  Raph posted the review on July 21.  Allow a couple of days for people to get past the weekend and finish whatever they had been reading, and suddenly my Amazon rankings are almost as good as they were the month Vanyr was reviewed in Romantic Times BOOKreviews.  The only bad part is Koster probably won't believe my thank you note is sincere.
Much better for the ego, if not for the pocketbook was the notice I found on the website of the New England Science Fiction Association.  NESFA maintains a catalogue of "recursive science fiction".  Don't know what that is?  Neither did I until I read the helpful explanation.  The short version is a work of fiction which refers to science fiction or fantasy fandom, or pointedly to another work of science fiction or fantasy literature, cinema, television or related media.
WooHoo!  Vanyr belongs to a recognized sub-genre and is included in its catalogue--without any effort on my part.  The book's in good company, too, amid works by people like Mercedes Lackey, Fritz Leiber, Sharyn McCrumb, Fred Saberhagen, James Tiptree and Roger Zelazny in a catalogue of over 950 works.  I didn't notice [profile] acheronp's DragonCon story, though.  Will have have to bring it to NESFA's attention by way of a thank you.  
Speaking of DragonCon, I'm going (as if there was any doubt) and I'm going to be a very busy girl.  So far, I know about six panels in two tracks (SF/Fantasy Literature and Matters of the Force/Star Wars), but apparently there will be more.  (Big hugs and smoochies to [personal profile] vampry, Cathy and Nancy.) Will post the schedule as soon as I know what it looks like.  Hope to see some of the usual suspects there.
Hugs and smiles,
Jean Marie



jeanmarieward: (Default)
I won’t pretend I’m the mildest of women. I’m not. But I do tend to bend over backwards to give writers, editors, choreographers and movie makers the benefit of the doubt. I almost never write a bad review for the simple reasons that 1) it never makes me feel any better about wasting my time on the item to begin with, and 2) there is no such thing as bad publicity as long as you spell the perp’s name right.
But sometimes, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. And this girl’s gotta trash Peter Jackson’s misbegotten KING KONG.

Rant and possible spoilers behind the cut )


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