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In Case You Pre-Ordered Hungry Ghosts…

I’m hearing from various people that their pre-orders for the next Eric Carter book, HUNGRY GHOSTS, are being canceled.

First, thank you for pre-ordering. Second, it is all my fault. Some were wondering if my publisher had dropped me.

No. At least not as far as I am aware.

Allow me to direct your attention here.

TLDR – The book is late because it sucked and I didn’t want to turn in crap. It has not been canceled. It will be coming out some time next year. Probably in the Spring.

Thank you for your patience. I really am very sorry and I hope that your interest in the series is still around when it does come out.

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Oh, The Places I’ll Be – Phoenix Comic-Con Edition

Phoenix Comic-Con is in about two weeks. AND I WILL BE THERE!

“But WHERE?” I hear you ask.

“HERE SHALL I BE!” I cry, my mighty voice booming across the land. “LOOK UPON MY PANELS YE MIGHTY AND DESPAIR!”

Also, HOLY SHIT do I have a lot of panels.

SCI FI EXTRAVAGANZA

Poisoned Pen Bookstore
4014 North Goldwater Boulevard #101
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Wednesday, May 27, 7:00PM – 8:00PM
A veritable CORNUCOPIA of authorial talent is descending upon The Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale like biblical locusts. There’s me, Beth Cato, Wes Chu, Myke Cole, Delilah S. Dawson, Kevin Hearne, Jason Hough, Richard Kadrey, Michael Martinez, Brian McClellan, Naomi Novik, Andrea Phillips, Cherie Priest, Brian Staveley, Sam Sykes, Chuck Wendig, & Django Wexler. We’ll be signing books, staring blankly at customers while drooling slightly and rocking back and forth in an anxious panic. BECAUSE WE’RE AUTHORS AND THAT’S HOW WE ROLL.

PARANORMAL ROMANCES

North 124
Thursday, May 28th, 3:00PM – 4:00PM
Come see me on a panel for which I am absolutely, unequivocally, and stupendously NOT qualified to talk about! WATCH as I look upon the audience in confusion. MARVEL at my ability to spew total horseshit about things I have no business discussing! RECOIL IN HORROR as I say something so stunningly inappropriate it drives half the room out within the first five minutes! Join me, Gini Koch, M.L. Brennan and Yvonne Navaro as we talk about werewolf love, vampire romance, and the sexual practices of The Jersey Devil! Or something.

TENSION ON EVERY PAGE

North 126A
Thursday, May 28th, 4:30PM – 5:30PM
“Good Mysteries, Thrillers, Horror, and Action Adventures hold your attention and each page builds upon the other. How is this done? Is there only one way to build tension in a tale? How does a good book keep you glued to every page?” EASY! Gorilla Glue. That shit sticks to anything. Come see me, Alex Gordon, David Lee Summers, Joseph Nassise, and Mel Odom as we talk about… glue, I guess? I’m really not sure.

AUTHOR SIGNING!

Exhibitor hall tables 16132,16136 & 1614
Thursday, May 28th, 6:00PM – 7:00PM
Me! Wes Chu! Mel Odom! Alex Gordon! Ann Leckie! Richard Kadrey! We will sign books! We will be utterly charming! We will probably not steal you wallet!

MAGIC REFRESH

North 126A
Thursday, May 28th, 7:30PM – 8:30PM
We talk about keeping magic in literature fresh! Personally, I like to wrap it tightly in Saran wrap and then in tinfoil and put it in the freezer. BUT NOT ALL AGREE WITH ME! So come see me, Beth Cato, Brian McClellan and Greg van Eekhout as we talk about our desperate attempts to not be completely fucking boring.

LIFE AFTER TRUE BLOOD

North 125
Friday, May 29th, 1:30PM – 2:30PM
Swing by and watch Kevin Hearne, Richard Kadrey and I wonder aloud about what this whole Urban Fantasy nonsense is. What does it mean? Where’s it going? What’s the next big thing? (SPOILER: Shapeshifting were-mummies who start a private eye practice in the heart of downtown Cleveland and try to have a career and a love life while fighting off an ancient Peruvian curse)

YET MORE AUTHOR SIGNING!

Exhibitor hall tables 16132,16136 & 1614
Friday, May 29th, 3:00PM – 4:00PM
Me! Leanna Renee Heiber! Amy K. Nichols! By this time we should still be reasonably charming, largely odor free and willing to sign most things like books or movie deals.

AND EVEN MORE AUTHOR SIGNING!

Exhibitor hall tables 16132,16136 & 1614
Saturday, May 30th 4:30PM – 5:30PM
Me! Again. I’m so sorry. Really at this point you can’t get away from me. I’M COMING TO GET YOU, BARBARA. Also Jamie Wyman, Max Gladstone, Chuck Wendig, Naomi Novik and C.J. Hill. Highly suggest you wear some sort of gas mask or other odor reducing facewear. Don’t expect much more than grunting and perhaps a fart or two.

DRINKS WITH AUTHORS

Sheraton Valley of The Sun
Saturday, May 30th 6:00PM – 9:00PM
Drinks! Authors! Perhaps a celebration of those halcyon days of authorial feuds with a Mailer-esque fistfight or two! But probably not.

WORLD BUILDING-GET OVER IT

North 124
Sunday, May 31st 12:00PM – 1:00PM
Yeah, I get it. You REALLY want to tell us about currency exchange rates between the Snow Elves of The North and the Island Nations of Questionable Stereotypes. But at some point nobody gives a fuck about your treatise on 11th century macrame traditions and they just want to read the goddamn story. Join me, Jason Hough, Max Gladstone and Melissa Marr as we disabuse you of the idea that you have to tell your readers every detail of your fantasy world’s hygiene practices.

THE LAST AUTHOR SIGNING I’LL BE DOING HONEST DEAR GOD WHY WON’T YOU PEOPLE JUST LET ME DIE ALREADY

North 126b
Sunday, May 31st 1:30PM – 2:30PM
You saw us tear down your precious belief that you have to include ALL that research you did, now come to our signing table and tell us how horrible you think we are for our painfully blunt honesty. Also, maybe to sign some books. Me, Jason Hough, Max Gladstone and Melissa Marr.

And that, as they say, is that. Hope to see some of you out at the con.

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Books For Your Earholes

So for a while now people have been asking when my urban fantasy novels will be out in audio. Seems folks want to listen to huge numbers of F-bombs and over the top violence on their daily commute into the office.

Go figure.

Well, fret no longer! My novels CITY OF THE LOST, DEAD THINGS and BROKEN SOULS are being put out by Graphic Audio. Unlike your usual boring guy reading a book at you, these are done more like radio plays. Multiple cast members, sound effects, Ovaltine commercials… Okay, maybe not Ovaltine commercials.

First up is CITY OF THE LOST and it comes out July 1st.

So watch this space, folks. I’ll post more as I know more.

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I Am A Jelly Doughnut

My experience of the German language pretty much starts and stops at screaming “Ein, zwei, drei!” at the top of my lungs while naked in the desert, high on mescaline and blindly firing a .45 into the midnight sky. There may even have been talking snakes or perhaps some coyote spirit telling me ancient wisdom, or some such bullshit. The hell should I know? I’m hardly what one would call a reliable narrator.

So it’s a little shocking to me that the first language that my books are being translated into is the language of Wagner, Beethoven and Otto von Bismarck. Yes, the people who gave us schadenfreude and scheiße videos will be the first to read my works translated into their native tongue.

The first is a translation of City of The Lost, titled STADT DER VERGESSENEN. Which means, well, City of the Lost… or Forgotten. I’m a little fuzzy on that. I’ve also seen the title as STADT DER VERLORENEN, which would be a little more literal.

Anyway, here’s what it looks like.

Stadt Der Vergessenen

I think I know what that rat monkey thing on the cover is supposed to be. Only I don’t recall him looking quite so… ratty. Anyway, it comes out May 15th, and if you are of a particularly Deutschland bent you can grab yourself a copy.

Next up TOTE DINGE, Dead Things.

Tote DingeThat is one pretty looking cover. It’s got birds and… well, pretty much just birds. Comes out January 14th and for you German speaking ladies and gentlemen, or just you completists out there, you can grab a copy here.

I have no idea how good the translations are, but I’m stoked that they exist.

I’m really hoping for Esperanto next.

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Oh, The Places I’ll Be

Convention season is upon us! More or less. Seems like there’s always one going on somewhere.

Anyway, I’ll be at some of them over the next few months. And if you’re the stalkery type, well, here’s your chance! Be forewarned, I carry pepper spray and a baseball bat loaded with rusty nails.

But so long as I don’t owe you money or you need to serve papers on me for some paternity suit from the 1980s I hope to see you at some of these. More…

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An Update On Hungry Ghosts

There are two cardinal rules that I really try to follow in my professional life. “Don’t suck” and “Don’t be late”.

I hate being late. Like become Hulk levels of enraged by being late. Which, living in Los Angeles and trying to drive anywhere, you’d think I’d be used to by now.

I also hate sucking. Oddly, that one’s actually a little easier to deal with. Somebody somewhere is always going to think my books suck no matter what I do, so I try not to stress too much about it.

Last year I managed to break both those rules.

My next Eric Carter book, Hungry Ghosts, was set to come out in June of this year.

That is not happening.

For various reasons that I won’t get into here, many of which we will simply label sub-good and move on, I am late. Like waaaaay late.

I was set to turn in a draft a couple months ago. That didn’t happen. So then it was going to be the end of February. About three weeks ago I realized something. Holy Christ on a cracker, does this book blow monkey chunks. I think it might be the worst draft of a book I have ever written. And that’s saying something.

It was so bad that, as I got close to the end of it, I realized the whole thing needed to be scrapped. Wholly two thirds of the book needed to go away, I had to cut characters, pull a fuckton of exposition, and completely rethink the plot. It was boring, slow and made no fucking sense.

And there is no way in hell I was going to subject you people to it.

I would like the people who enjoy my books to continue enjoying my books. Trying to pass off a steaming pile of moose shit with a pretty cover ain’t gonna cut it. I like y’all too much to do that to you.

Right now there’s no date on when HUNGRY GHOSTS will come out. I’m running on an “As Soon As Fucking Possible” timeline for turning in a draft, but production lines being what they are it’s a good bet that we’re talking about some time next year.

So for those of you who were waiting for the book, please accept my most humble apologies. I very much want to give you a good book, one that you’re going to enjoy reading and feel good about spending your time and money on. As readers we put our trust in an author that they are going to give us an enjoyable and memorable time. I do not want to violate that trust.

The book will come out. I can promise you that. Just not in June and not in this half-baked, steaming pile of crap form. It’s still available for pre-order on Amazon and B&N, though I don’t believe they’ve updated their release dates.

Mea culpas all around. Thank you for reading my books. It’s greatly appreciated.

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Guest Post – Gothic, Gaslamp Fantasy author Leanna Renee Hieber

Hey! *blows dust off blog* Wow, I still have this thing? Huh. Who knew?

Well, I can’t think of a better way to kick off returning from a long hiatus over here than by letting somebody else do all the work… I mean, giving some space to an amazing and awesome writer.

And so today I’ve got Leanna Renee Hieber author of THE ETERNA FILES, her new gaslamp fantasy series, the first of which just came out. She’s here to talk a little about what you can do when things don’t quite go your way.

You can grab a copy of THE ETERNA FILES through IndieBound, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon.

Eterna Files Cover

 When your worst nightmare happens, write anyway

It was 2008 and I’d just signed a 2 book contract with a small New York publisher with good mass market distribution, with those fabled “books of my heart” – the novels I’d been slaving away over for nearly a decade. I had “made it!”. The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, a Gaslamp Fantasy set in a ghostly, mythic, atmospheric London in 1888, and it’s sequel, sold well, garnered acclaim, hit Barnes & Noble bestseller lists, won some awards, and then by 2011 my books were going out of print and the publisher going bankrupt. It wasn’t just many thousands of dollars I was owed in royalties and ancillary payments that was demoralizing, or the battle for the rights to return, but just the simple daunting reality of the school of hard knocks when it hits not only you in your wallet but your creative babies right in their innocent faces.

There was such a period of turmoil and soul-searching after this freefall, and until the first books in the series are reissued, I will not be fully healed from the trauma of a career held hostage and a series left incomplete. I field regular questions about when the fourth Strangely Beautiful book will be out because Amazon seems unwilling to take down the ISBN listing. Every time I have to explain the situation it’s a knife. But every time I’m also so grateful someone wants to read that 4th novel.

The ordeal taught me what to do and what not to do in the future. Perhaps most importantly; yes, invest in your career but not more than your budget can truly handle, this mistake cost me debt on top of money owed that I would never see, regardless of the fact I felt it was wise to invest further in a series that was selling well out of the gate, my debut novel went into 4 print runs. On the ‘to do’ side, it was and remains incredibly wise to maintain and foster industry connections; to be able to make lateral or hopefully upward moves. Thankfully a Dorchester editor had moved to Sourcebooks and acquired me for their YA line with another Gaslamp Fantasy series.

On the ‘to do’ side, it was and remains incredibly wise to maintain and foster industry connections; to be able to make lateral or hopefully upward moves. Thankfully a Dorchester editor had moved to Sourcebooks and acquired me for their YA line with another Gaslamp Fantasy series.

Another important aspect is not tamping down on the pain, the rage, the frustrations of what happened but to just keep writing through it, toxic though those negative energies are. If ups and downs in the industry can stop you writing entirely, then it means giving over your muse to a non-creative entity that is out of your control and has no opinion or value of your quality of writing, good or bad. And just because a business went under and the value of my work went from successful series to thin air, I couldn’t take that on as my responsibility. Part of me, growing up in a country that doesn’t have state-supported art as a backbone of cultural identity, thought, “well, that’s what I get for trying to follow my dreams, I should have done something more practical.” No. That a business failed doesn’t mean I did, I had to rally myself time and again.

It is true I started writing for the love of writing, with no sense of commerce or career about it. I had to get back to that as a reset button. But, after having become a professional author, I wasn’t going to give up on writing as a career. Writing is my job. It isn’t a hobby. Art isn’t superfluous, a luxury, something to cut when purse strings tighten. It isn’t free, no one is entitled to an artist’s products, it is as legitimate a profession as any that exists, careers and callings that have been around as long as civilization, far longer than most of the types of “real” jobs in the modern workforce. Mindset is everything.

I am very lucky in that a fortuitous meeting at a convention where I was a featured guest author led to my being signed with Tor for my Eterna Files series as well as the revised, author preferred editions of the Strangely Beautiful books, including that never before published 4th book. But it wasn’t just luck. It was because I was present. I stayed in the game. I kept writing. I kept trying. I hurt and I seethed with frustration but I kept that toxicity away from my characters. I refused to become a hateful or jaded person despite the hard knocks.

I appreciate writing and the privilege of a book contract as much as ever, and the importance of staying relevant with new material. I’m thrilled THE ETERNA FILES, extending my Gothic, Gaslamp Fantasy settings into an expanded universe where all of my worlds collide and characters cross over, is a culmination of everything I’ve done up until this point. Nothing has been wasted, much has been learned, but I do hope I’ll have better luck this time around. So far, so good. But that good has a lot to do with whether readers continue to support the industry of writing. I hope you will. If not my book, someone else’s book. Hug an author, actor, artist or creative professional today. Thank them for creating. Their art gives the world transcendence; and it often has been through hell and high water just to get to you, to make your day magical.

So, as author Sam Sykes would say, “Buy My Book.” (But I’ll put a please in. “Please buy my book.”) Thank you and may this encourage any struggling artist to keep making art, no matter their setbacks or circumstances.

Cheers,

Leanna Renee HieberLRHieber author photo
http://leannareneehieber.com
http://facebook.com/lrhieber
http://twitter.com/leannarenee

 

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Bouchercon! Noir At The Bar!

Crime fiction aficionados! I will be at Bouchercon in Long Beach this November! Doing stuff! And things!

Mostly hanging out at the bar.

Here’s where I’ll be!

Thursday, November 13th

1:00pm – Murder Most Ghostly and Paranormal (Regency B)

Just a guess here, but I think we’re talking about ghosts and murder and stuff?

5:30pm – Noir at the Bar: Author Readings (Regency C)

YES! WE ARE ACTUALLY FUCKING DOING THIS.

Eric Beetner and I will be emceeing, probably reading. We’ll announce the actual list of readers soon, but so far we’ve got OVER TWENTY READERS lined up for this thing. AND WE’RE GIVING AWAY BOOKS.

YES. GIVING AWAY BOOKS. AS IN FREE

So, you know, be there.

I’ll be floating around the con on other days, too, but those are the days you can be sure to find me.

 

 

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BROKEN SOULS Is Out Today!

My latest novel, BROKEN SOULS, is out today. Everybody do the Snoopy Dance. If you are so inclined I would love it if you would pick up a copy.

It shares a birthday with Delilah S. Dawson’s SERVANTS OF THE STORM, Kat Richardson’s final installment of her long-running Greywalker series REVENANT and Lev Grossman’s THE MAGICIAN’S LAND. I’m sure it shares a birthday with lots of other books, too.

There are, after all, 299 SF/F books coming out in August, not counting self-published releases.

There’s Karina Cooper’s ENGRAVED (8/11) Jaye Wells’ CURSED MOON (8/12), Richard Kadrey’s THE GETAWAY GOD (8/26), Kameron Hurley’s THE MIRROR EMPIRE (8/26), John Scalzi’s LOCK IN (8/26), John Hornor Jacobs’ THE INCORRUPTIBLES (8/14), Dana Fredsti’s PLAGUE WORLD (8/26), Ann Aguirre’s HAVOC (8/26), and many, many more.

This is awesome.

I’ve heard some people comment that that’s too many books. That authors will be lost in a tidal wave of so many releases, as though we were all competing against each other. It’s easy to see why people might think that. They’re used to the way movies or television work. When you see a movie you sit in the theater for two hours and you consume that experience. You buy the ticket, you see the movie. One directly leads into the other. That first week is crucial.

But books are not like movies. If we don’t crack our first day box-office nut we’re not going to be relegated to a two week run at some grindhouse theater where the floors are sticky with questionable fluids. Though an opening week is undoubtedly good for business, books are neither bought, nor experienced that way.

When you buy a book, you don’t necessarily read it right away. Sometimes it goes onto a To-Be-Read pile or sits in an archive on your Kindle to get to later. Or maybe you don’t hear about the book until a friend mentions it and it’s been out for a year. Try that with a movie and you might never get a chance to see it. Maybe it’s some art-house flick that doesn’t get a DVD release, or it’s a huge seller that they don’t want to release to a streaming site like Netflix.

A book doesn’t suddenly become inaccessible simply because it didn’t earn out in the first two days. There are options to get a book now that didn’t exist twenty years ago.

If there’s any competition going on it’s with everything that takes your attention. Books, sure, but also movies, videogames, the baby screaming in the other room, the day job, getting the kids to school, sleep. You know, LIFE. We’ve only got so much time in a day and it’s a precious commodity.

Now I think BROKEN SOULS is a pretty good book and it’s already getting some good reviews, I know that it may not be for you. It’s noir. It’s dark and violent. There’s a lot of swearing. If you decide to take a chance on it know that I am grateful and thankful for your time and attention. I hope it’s a book that’s worthy of those things.

But if it’s not your bag, maybe check out some of the titles up top, instead. I’ve heard excellent things about all of them and I’m sure you’ll find something you like.

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Looks Like I’m Not The Only One Giving Away Copies of BROKEN SOULS

Hey!

Not only am I giving away copies of BROKEN SOULS, looks like my publisher is doing it, too. They just put up another Goodreads giveaway for 16 copies ARCs.

You can enter here.

So if you want to up your chances you can enter for mine (details here) and up your chances by entering the one at Goodreads.