Tuesday, January 20, 2009

For the first time in a very long time, I am able to say that I am proud to be an American.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wherein I Lose Any Aura Of Mystery I Migh Have Had...

You asked me your questions... okay, seven of you asked me your questions. But the seven of you asked a lot of questions, so here I am to fulfill your burning curiosity. Without further ado:

Cheryl asks:

  • What is your biggest OMGWTF fear? Well, aside from the usual fears people cite, like death and something happening to my kids, I would have to say that my biggest fear is being cut in half by an elevator. This can and does happen, folks, to about thirty people a year. I do not want to be one of those thirty. The worst part is, I used to really, really like Six Feet Under, and I had to stop watching it because I was behind a season, and someone was like, "Oh, don't watch season 4, somebody gets cut in half by an elevator." It was not Brenda, much to my disappointment, but I'm so afraid of accidentally seeing that scene that I stopped watching the show altogether.

    One of my eyes just kind of spontaneously falling out, but still being attached by a thread of nerves is runner up to the elevator fear. I knew this guy whose eye fell out from a pretty bad injury, but he was still conscious and the eye could still see, so he said he could see straight ahead out of one eye and down at the floor with the other. I never want to experience this.

  • If you could trade lives with anyone for 24 hours, who would it be? (living or dead, but the dead part would kinda suck) Could I trade places with a fictional character? Because there was this TV show on back in like, 1992, called Covington Cross, and I love, love, love this show. I would trade places with just about anyone on that show, except for the cook that gets killed by a falling rack of cast iron cookware. Or the lady who gets strangled to death. Or the guy who gets robbed by Daniel O'Shea, because his hat was ugly.

    If It has to be someone real, alive or dead, I would trade places with Dracula and if you try to tell me he's not real I will give you a charlie horse you will never forget.

  • Did you ever find your orange sweater? I did, it was in the bottom drawer of my husband's dresser. I forgot that I had annexed said drawer last spring, to store all my sweaters in for the summer.

  • Hey, was there a limit to the number of questions? I am aware that you technically did not include this in your list of questions, but I will answer it anyway, because I like to be thoroughly obnoxious. No, there was no limit to the questions.


Anonymous asks:

  • Can you give us an update on your new series "Lightworld/ Darkworld"? I suppose now is as good a time as any. There is not, at present, a reliable release date for the series. DO NOT PANIC. That doesn't mean the series isn't going to come out or something, it just means that the original release dates, for a variety of reasons, did not work out at the publisher, so it's being shuffled around a bit so that it can hit the shelves with maximum marketing power behind it, and I can make heaps of money. And you want me to make heaps of money, don't you? The series will still have back-to-back releases, so you won't have to wait as long between books as you did with Blood Ties. Also, I've seen the cover art concepts, and if they stay the way they are, they're going to be super cool.

    You know when a larger excerpt or blurb will be going up? Excerpts and blurbs are done at the discretion of the publisher, but let me see if I can get the go-ahead to put up my back cover copy yet. As soon as I am given permission to do so, you'll see it here first.


Tez asks:

  • Word on the street is you can tell a lot about characters from the undies they wear, but does the same go for authors? That's a good question, and requires much formal study. Let me get back to this one after the next big conference I go to. I'll ask everyone about their undies and then form a hypothesis based on that.

    As for my own nickers, "usually clean" is a good descriptor of both them and myself, so, so far, so good.


Henry asks if it's cool to call me J-Arm, like J-Lo, and I think this is a fine idea. Shame on everyone else for not thinking of it first. Anyway, Henry asks:

  • Since Twilight and the much better HBO True Blood (I read your review of Twilight, the movie, nuff said)-- has given new blood to vamp genre -- any book to movie thoughts? Well, I've always said that if they made a movie of my books, Nathan would have to be played by Gerard Butler, but he's looking a bit rough around the edges lately, isn't he? Maybe Jeffrey Dean Morgan would be a better choice at this point. Catherine Hiegle would make an good Carrie... but wait, wasn't she already on that stupid sexy doctors show with ole' Jeffy there? Oh well. I still think it would work. And Ryan Reynolds would have to be Max. No getting around that. And Asia Argento could be Bella. Or, wait, no, Rosario Dawson! Yeah, she's hot! Wow, my casting rocks. I'm in the wrong business.

  • Would you ever consider writing screenplays? Yes. In fact, Mr. Jen and I are working on an untitled super hero spoof at the moment. Don't know if it will ever sell, but Stephen Sondheim says it's the little things you do together that make marriage a joy mmmm hmmmm, so we're doing this. I think it falls under "hobbies you pursue together."

  • One of the things that I love about the series -- aside from the respect of the lore of the vampire world -- is the complex relationships (i.e. Carrie and Nathan) -- as in real life they have their ups and downs...and it gets messy. I love messy. Was that intentional? Are you a complex relationship type? -- How much of that is autobiographical? That was definitely on purpose. When I started writing Blood Ties, the paranormal romance genre was starting to get kind of bogged down in the cutesy vampire books. There were like, two people who could do it well, at that point, but a lot of people were trying. The rest of the books were like, the ones where the vampire would see the heroine and there would be this instant, mystical connection and they loved each other immediately but spent the rest of the book trying to fight their forbidden urges. So, I did set out to try and make a vampire book that was different in a couple of ways, and one of those ways was to have realistically complicated human relationships in the book.

    I got a lot of flack for Carrie's indecision from readers. People who were like, "Ugh, she should make up her mind already!" But really, how often do people make up their minds in real life very quickly and without a second thought? Especially if complications arise in the process?

    As for whether or not it was autobiographical, no, I'm not into complicated. That's not to say that some of my relationships with people haven't had complications, but I just cannot handle the day to day drama in a romantic relationship. Which is why I can never leave my husband, because we're both non-drama people.

  • You might have written a blog on this before, what's the nuts and bolts writing life -- from morning to night? how many hours a day? rewrites? do you type or hand write ...?? etc. don't skimp on details for us wannabee writers. I don't have a writing "routine" that I can really set out for you. Some days, I don't start working until after 8pm. Other days, I get up at 6:30, get my kid to school, and write until it's time to pick him up. Other days, I don't write at all. Type or handwritten? I do both. I don't like to transcribe what I've handwritten, so I try to avoid it if possible, but if I hit a block at the keyboard, then I switch to pen and paper. And for those of you interested, I use Moleskine notebooks and a Scrittura Multi-Hue ballpoint pen by Barnes and Noble for all my handwriting needs. My notebooks usually have only bits and pieces of scenes in them, sometimes a checklist of scenes that still need to be written, or brainstorming, so they're no good to anyone but me, and when I die I will look totally crazy. I do not rewrite while on my first draft at all. I write straight through, from beginning to end, then hand it over to my editor, who I am sure appreciates that a whole bunch. But I feel that since I'm the one who wrote it, I can't be trusted to edit it, so rewrites don't happen until after Linda sees it and sends me her changes.

    Basically, I try to get ten pages out on my WIP per day. If I can do that, I'm happy.

  • What makes you smile? I honestly don't know. A variety of muscles and nerves in my face, I imagine. But I smile pretty much all the time. It doesn't take much.

  • If you were a tree...what kind of tree...um, scratch that one...what are some of your favorite authors that you are currently reading? Right now, I'm reading "What A Scoundrel Wants" by Carrie Lofty, and it's basically the best historical romance novel I've ever read. It's so good, I actually resent my family for intruding on my reading time.

  • What are you thoughts on Yoga as a way to get the juices flowing? Well, see, I'm fat, so I don't really do anything that requires me to bend, because my various rolls and folds inhibit that movement. I heard it works, though. I tried to take Yoga in college and ended up dropping the class because I couldn't figure out how to get the door to the fitness center open.


Anonymous asks:

  • I wrote an email some time ago and realized you can't answer every single message. But do you read them all and respond to some when things are calm? First of all, sorry you didn't receive a response. I get a lot more email than I ever anticipated getting in my entire life. But yes, I do read every single fan email I get. In fact, the come directly to my BlackBerry, so I read them just as soon as they hit my inbox. However, sometimes I'm not in a place where I can give a reply the attention it would need, so I set it aside for later. Other times, I can't think of a reply beyond, "Thanks for reading!" which sounds fake and form lettery, and I try to not send that out, if I can help it.

    Also, if someone sends me a note about why they disliked my book, I usually email them back. I get some of the craziest things, like people emailing me to tell me that my books aren't as good as some other writer's books and here is what they didn't like. I usually respond to those people to tell them to send email to the authors they do like and to leave me the hell alone.



Keysotosoto129 asks:

  • Fun facts about your Blood Ties characters. You know, the silly nonsensical crap that is somehow extremely hilarious! :D Well, technically, that is not a question, but I will answer it because you put a smiley face on it. I don't know how hilarious these are, but they are unknown, or little-known, facts about the Blood Ties characters:
    • Nathan's favorite music is classic rock, because it used to be "new" to him, and he's a bit behind in the times. His favorite group is Pink Floyd, and his favorite song is "Comfortably Numb."
    • I put a little bit of myself into every character, but the one that is most like me is Max.
    • The only character that doesn't have a little bit of me is Anne, the receptionist at the VVEM. That's because she was inspired by a real person, my cousin Kari. Anne got her name from Kari's middle name, since there couldn't be two Carrie/Karis in the book. When Max calls her Carebear, it's because that what we called Kari when she was a kid. She has not, to my knowledge, ever tortured anyone with power tools before.
    • I was either writing or had just finished writing Possession when the season of American Idol that Taylor Hicks won was on the air. There was a girl named Kelly Pickler that season, and since Mouse's name was Stacey Pickles, somehow my friend Bronwyn Green and I started joking about what would happen if Cyrus was trapped in a basement with Kelly Pickler. The answer was that she would say something incredibly stupid like "What's a vampire?" in her cutesy southern accent (which I was CONVINCED was a put-on) and Cyrus would just snap and start stabbing her with the nearest available object. In our little fantasy, this was a ball point pen, and he kept stabbing her long after she was dead.
    • In the first draft of Ashes to Ashes, Carrie and Max have drunken sex, not just a drunken grope session. It was hot, too.
    • In their Happily Ever After, Nathan and Carrie have five kids, all girls.

  • Would kill, positively sacrifice someone to get a tidbit from your new Lightworld/Darkworld series! Human sacrifice won't be necessary. Just keep checking back here, and I promise I will post my back cover copy as soon as I am allowed.


Well, that was quite the exercise in answering stuff. Now, my fingers are tired, my brain is dead, and I have the dumb. Hope your questions were well and fully answered, and if you have more, we might have to do this again some time!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Podcast Listening Help

Okay, since it has come to my attention that some people who want to listen to my awesome podcast (next episode goes up today, y'all!) and can't, I am here to possibly fix your problem. Maybe. Actually, switchpod.com's tech support are here to help you, I'm just relaying the message. Also, part of the iTune's FAQ will be helping you, as well.

They work through me. I am a conduit for knowledge.

Okay, so first of all, if you put the URL of the RSS feed into your browser and all you get is gobbledy guck, make sure you're using the absolutely most updated version of your browser. Most browsers will have a built in RSS feed by now, but if you've never updated your browser, you're missing out. You're probably missing a lot of awesome other features, too. So, update your browser, or get the latest version of Mozilla Firefox, which is my favorite browser. Be just like me, you know you wanna. Go to Mozilla.com to get Firefox, if you want it.

Now, if you have the latest version of your browser and it's still not working, you can get yourself an RSS reader. There are tons of them out there, and tons are free. Just got to google and type in "free RSS reader" for a list of sites where you can download the suckers. RSS readers will let you add all sorts of feeds that you want to keep up on, like news stories and things like that, in addition to podcasts.

However, if you have iTunes, this is probably the easiest and most sensible way to do it. You can get your butt into the "Advanced" menu in your iTunes program, select "subscribe to podcast" and copy pasta the URL of my RSS feed into it.

For your copy/pasta pleasure, here is the RSS feed URL for my awesome podcast: http://www.switchpod.com/users/jenniferarmintrout/feed.xml

In other news, you have just the rest of this precious twenty-four hours to bring me your burning questions in the post below this one, because I'm going to dig in to the question answering tomorrow.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

It's Been A While (Insert Nickelback Song Flashback Here-- You're Welcome).

Well, the holidays. WTF were they about. Weeks of preparation, and suddenly, BAM they're over. I feel like a prom dress, worn briefly and discarded on the Motel Six floor. It's not even the Honeymoon Suite, for God's sake.

So, things should be back to normal 'round these parts. In celebration of such, if you're still reading, if you're still out there, now is your chance to ask me anything. Anything at all. I doesn't even have to be writing related. This is a standing offer to all people who listen to my podcast, but not everyone does, so I thought I would open the floor, just this once, to the folk who have always wanted to know what color my underpants are. Answers will be compiled in my next blog post, so don't let me down. I don't want to have to think of another idea for my next post.