Monday, March 31, 2008

Book Four Promo Like Whoa Kickoff Post

EDIT: The book DOES come out June 1st. However, I am being good and flogging its dead carcass two months in advance, like everyone else does

So, you may have noticed that is is nearly April. That means that very, very soon, Blood Ties Book Four: All Souls' Night will be hopping from the shelves into your hot little hands. And those better be bookstore shelves and not library shelves, 'cause I got bills to pay, yo.

I get a lot of questions about what is going to happen in future books. And obviously, I can't answer them. The landslide of "IS ZIGGY REALLY DEAD OMG !!!!!!11!!!ELEVENTY-ONE!!!!!" mail that I got after the first book was so, so hard to deal with, because I felt bad for not being able to tell people. I'm not good at keeping secrets, unless there is some kind of real world consequence, so this series and all its little twists and turns have made me a bit batty.

There is, however, one question I can answer without giving too much away, and that question is...

What can readers expect from Book Four?
At this point, if you are one of those people who doesn't want to know ANYTHING about a book, stop reading. I'm not going to give away "spoilers" by saying stuff like "Nathan learns he's double jointed and runs away to join a freak show," but I am going to mention things that will happen in the book.

  • First, and this is a big one, three major characters die in Book Four.
  • Second, and nearly just as important, this is the grossest book I've ever written. Bring barf bags.
  • For the first time ever in one of my books, hot, male/male love scene.
  • Zombies.

Now, to wrap up today's post o' doom, my dear friend Brynn Paulin thought that Sweeney Todd has not been represented adequately in my blog as of late. So, Brynn, this is for you:

Japanese Sweeney rehearsal. Hells yeah. I wish there were videos of the actual performance.

In any case, the DVD of the Depp version comes out tomorrow. So, I know what I'm doing with the rest of my week.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

By the blue, purple, yellow, red water.

I may have mentioned before, but I love musicals. A really, really lot. It doesn't gibe with my usually sarcastic, misanthropic persona that I carefully cultivate, but everyone has to have some surprises about them. Creates an air of mystery.

But here's the thing: While I love all musicals, I don't go gaga over some of the more "popular" ones. I mean, I love listening to Wicked and Les Miserables and hello, the movie version of The Phantom of The Opera? Fugeddaboutit. Gerry Butler's voice was like instant panties remover. But the musicals that really capture me are usually ones that people who are just kind of "meh" about musicals don't get a chance to see. The shows that you're not going to spring for on your vacation to New York, because they close before you get there and Hairspray is something you've just got to see. Which, you know, I don't blame people for, because I do the same thing when I'm in New York. The only shows I've seen on Broadway are Les Miserables, Grease, Damn Yankees (with Victor Garber, *SQUEE*), The Phantom of The Opera, and Jekyll and Hyde (holy moses do I regret that one!). So, I get the lure of the big production value musicals, I really do.

Anyway, because I'm too lazy to make an actual entry today, I'm going to let YouTube do the work and share with you some of my favorite musicals, in no particular order.

Parade by Jason Robert Brown and Alfred Urhy

Parade is the true story of Leo Frank, a Jewish man accused of the rape and murder of a child in Georgia in 1913. Because of his faith and because he had grown up outside of Georgia, the local media portrayed him as an inhuman killer and he was ultimately convicted and sentenced to death. When an appeal ended with his sentence commuted to life imprisonment, he was kidnapped from jail and lynched. It seems like a strange story to make a musical about, but the writers treat it with such sensitivity that it's surprisingly natural when the characters break into song. There are two recordings of the show, I highly recommend the Donnmar Warehouse production over the Original Broadway Cast recording.

Side Show, by Bill Russel and Henry Krieger

Side Show was a musical that either got overlooked or completely panned, but the music is really phenomenal and it blew me away from the first time I listened to it. Another true story (albeit with some fictional liberties), the musical is about Daisy and Violet Hilton, conjoined twins who became stars on the Vaudeville circuit before going to Hollywood to appear in the movies "Freaks" and "Chained For Life". Side Show focuses on the sisters' frustration at being able to achieve fame, but never being truly accepted by the men they love. As far as I know, the only available recording is the Original Broadway Cast, but even if others existed, there's no sense in listening to anyone but Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner, anyway.

Sunday In The Park With George by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine

Sunday In The Park With George tells a fictionalized story of the painter Georges Seurat as he works on his masterpiece "Un dimanche après-midi à l'Île de la Grande Jatte". This number, "Sunday", is performed at the end of the first act, when Georges finishes his painting after working on it for two years. Seriously, if there is one scene in a musical that can make me sob like an idiot, this is that scene. It's the song that gets me, and Mandy Patinkin's manic intensity as Seurat. Also fun? Look for Star Trek: The Next Generation's Brent Spiner, who plays one of the figures in the painting.

I highly recommend that if you don't like musicals, you start liking them. Because when I am high potentate grand ruler of the world, I intend to make reality a full production musical. That means that no, you can't just ask people if they want fries with that. You have to sing it. Yeah, I'm talking to you, snotty drive thru girl at McDonald's this morning. You're not just going to say, "Did you want to make that a value meal?", you're going to emote it in a passionate ballad that will somehow segue into a lavish, old Hollywood musical spectacle in which the hashbrown and drink I did not order because I did not want them start dancing with you as you had me my bagel.

And there better be napkins, or it's gonna be a grand finale for your ass the next time I come here. Les Miserables style, where everybody dies.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Wait, what?

I've been absent while I slave towards a seemingly impossible goal of finishing my current WIP before the end of the month, but I had to break my silence to report of the stupidest headline I've ever read. On, a headline reads "A Star Explodes Halfway Across The Universe".

Okay, wait, what? If the universe is infinite, as some believe, then how does one determine a halfway point? Or, if the universe if finite, but too large to be measured, as others contend, you still can't determine a halfway point.

To say something is "halfway" across the universe is to say that you know where the universe begins and ends. So, what's wrong with just saying "A Star Explodes A Long Way Away"?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Driving Skills Pop Quiz...

Question 1
You are in the right turn lane. The light is red. Do you:
A. Watch for an opening in traffic and safely turn on red?
B. Punch your accelerator and cut into traffic without a care for the drivers who have the right-of-way, because you are clearly in a much bigger hurry than they are?

Question 2
You are on a road with four lanes of traffic. The lane beside you is moving faster than the lane you are in. Do you:
A. Wait until there is an opening in traffic and safely move into the other lane?
B. Wait until there is barely a car length between the two cars beside you, then force your way in just before a red light, possibly creating a pile-up and, for the driver who ends up behind you, a ticket for failure to stop at a safe distance?

Question 3
You are a busy mom who has little time in the mornings. Do you:
A. Drop your child off at school, then make important phone calls while drinking your coffee at home?
B. Make important phone calls while drinking coffee and dropping your child off at school in you enormous SUV, even though you are clearly a stay-at-home-mom and could do two of these tasks at home without endangering the other drivers and children in the parking lot?

Question 4
You are driving a large lumber truck. Do you:
A. Keep in mind that you are seated above much of traffic, and proceed with extra caution to avoid possible accidents?
B. Assume the way is clear and tear out of the lumber yard without looking, causing the car directly in you path to swerve into oncoming traffic to avoid being crushed, then flip off the driver of said car, even though you did not have the right-of-way?

If you answered B to any of these questions, you were one of the jackasses that nearly killed me in my morning commute today. Thanks a lot, dillweeds!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Pieces Of My Misplaced Childhood

That sounds like some fake ass "memoir" that James Frey would write, doesn't it? Anyway, I'm looking for some books. I know it sounds crazy, but there are books that I loved as a child that I cannot for the life of me remember the names of now. I know that some of you who read my blog also have kids, and they might know what the heck I'm talking about. If you have any information regarding the titles or authors of these books, let me know, because it's been driving me crazy for years.

  1. A collection of short stories in a giant, hardcover book. One of the stories was about a kid trying to outwit his sister in picking the color of the new toothbrush he wanted. He knew it was important to pick the color that he truly wanted and not be swayed by his sister's machinations to get him to pick the color she didn't want.
  2. A Y/A novel about a girl who was a medium. She helped the police to solve cases, and it was set in either the late 19th or early 20th century. At one point, she was trespassing on someone's property and he shot a shotgun full of rock salt at her, if I recall correctly.
  3. A chapter book about a boy who lived in a town that was so foggy the residents had to memorize how many steps it was from landmark to landmark to make their way around town. The lead character was an errand boy and at some point a sinister magician-type man comes to town to commit a bank robbery or something nefarious.
  4. A book about about a doll house family who come to live when no one is playing with them.
  5. A book about a family of tiny people with tails who live in the walls of a house and get into all sorts of adventures.

Ring any bells for anyone?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

RIP Dungeon Master...

Thank you, Gary, for all the fun had and time wasted playing your silly little game.

Monday, March 3, 2008


I have very little time to blog today (big, important, superhero rock star things to do), but I had to share this. By share, I mean torture you with it. And by torture, I'm talking more about the "hurts so good" bdsm thank-you-master-may-I-have-another kind of pain, because I guarantee that some part of you is going to like this. The part that is trying to wrestle your bleeding wrists out of the warm tap water.

What? Vampires aren't alive. They're dead. That's part of what makes them vampires. But I think my favorite part, aside from the interpretive dance, is the line "I sleep through the daylight, hence my grave." It's like he's just singing a conversation. Like he's the singing, speed-dating vampire. You just sit down and the trippy club music starts and he's like, "My name is Peter and I like to ski! I have a time share in Hancock MA!" (Sing that to the tune of the music, trust me, it's hilarious.