The blog tour n support of the re-release of Haunting Blue by Seventh Star Press has kicked into full swing and continues all week. During that time, Haunting Blue will be discussed somewhere in the “blogosphere” several times a day. But how’s a casually obsessed RJ fan supposed to keep track?
Fortunately, I make it a goal to take good care of the casually obsessed RJ fans, so I’ve provided this single link page, which I’ll update, so all you need to do is keep checking here once a day to see the latest.
Monday, July 14 Jess Resides Here A new interview with my good friend Jessica Lay. Beauty in Ruins Setting, urban legends and self-identity as examined in Haunting Blue. FUOnlyKnew A whimsical top ten “bucket list and new 4-star review!
Three years ago, a new author took on the challenge of putting together his first book trailer. He had ambition if no experience and he perhaps took on more than was reasonable or necessary, but he also had a lot of help from his friends. I’d like to take this space to again thank Ash Arceneaux, who created the original art and edited the final video, high school drama teacher Scott Siler, who created the audio track and provided the voices of Gunther and Chip, and Sami Susterich, a former student of Scott’s who volunteered to voice Blue for me.
Yes, voice-work. Did I mention I had a lot of ambition? While the results were not perfect, they were also none-too-shabby, and these people put a lot of time and effort into the clip we created.
When the book went out of print a few months ago, we also removed the book trailer. With the re-release, I could have chosen to start over, but….that was a LOT of work the first time and most of the trailer was still pretty rocking. So I turned to my friend, author buddy and someone also none-too-shabby with digital editing, Eric Garrison, who attacked my wish list of edits and did what was needed to let me reuse most of the old clip. So here it is, polished and back in service, and also showing off the fabulous new work by Bonnie Wasson, the book trailer to Haunting Blue!
Inconjunction was the first con I ever attended over 20 years ago as Mrs. RJ’s date. The authors were my heroes and I always wanted to be where they were. Now I’m dpoing just that for my third time. Unreal.
So it turns out, the awesome people who throw Inconjunction (the Circle of Janus) moved their monthly meetings to a few miles down the road from where I live. I opened my big mouth and said “sure, the SFG will do as many panels as you want.” So they got us hopping this year!
Here’s your Stalker’s Guide to finding me.
Friday, July 4th
4 pm–Main Programming Room: Book Trailers–what are they good for? With: Eric Garrison and Author Co-Guest of Honor Kat Falls.
7 pm–Grand Ballroom 7 and 8: What are your favorites in genre television, and why? With: Mike Suess
8 pm–Grand Ballroom 7 and 8: Analyzing the History of the Comic Book Movie With: John F. Allen and Mike Suess.
Saturday, July 5
11 am–Indianapolis Ballroom D: SFG Writer’s Workshop: Point of View: Why it’s Better to Have One With: the SFG: John, Eric, Matt, and Crystal, plus Rosemary Laurey
1 pm–Room name coming: Discussion on genre television, title forthcoming: With John F. Allen
4 pm–Grand Ballroom 7 & 8: Making the Jump to a Series With: John F. Allen and Mike Shepherd.
7 pm–Harrison Room: SFG Writer’s Roundtable: Making the most of local settings in genre fiction With: The SFG: John, Eric, Matt, and Crystal.
10 pm–Grand Ballroom 7-8: Candlelight Horror Reading With: John F. Allen, Crystal Leflar and Jeff Seymour.
The print proof of Haunting Blue arrived in the mail today and it looks amazing. After a quick look-over to confirm the accuracy (or fix a bitty thing or two, if needed) the paper copy should be ready to go very soon. In the meantime, I got a little silly and took a few photos of the series you can see here.
I spent the last part of Memorial Day Weekend and thru Wednesday night re-reading Haunting Blue front to back, checking the publisher proof against all revisions, ensuring that this will be the final, most accurate version of the story. It’s an odd thing for a writer, looking back on an earlier work.
Because our craft is one of constant growth, I can say without apology that if I were to start over from scratch, if I were to pen the first book in the Adventures of Blue Shaefer today, it would be a very different book than what it is now. I’d like to think it would be a better book.
An author’s writing is like a time capsule, at least to the author. As we gain experience, beginner’s mistakes become more obvious, tangents that we might have thought better of stand out more clearly. I have heard that some authors, at least privately, have a tendency to disown, or try to disassociate themselves from, their first works.
And while I “get it” to some extent, as I reviewed the work, head to toe, I can honestly say I am still very proud of Blue Shaefer’s premiere adventure. Yes, she’s melodramatic, over the top, and, yes, I roll my eyes at certain moments in the novel. When the time came to re-release the book, I had a choice to make–I could have gutted and rewritten the tale, or simply tweaked the text to address the bigger errors but otherwise let it stand as a time capsule of the start of my journey as a published author.
The great Harlan Ellison recently observed about his own early work (and I’m not comparing myself to a genius whose career goes back decades–this just happened to resonate) “I look back over my earlier stories and say, ‘eh, the kid did the best he could with the tools he had at the time.'”
I think this is very true, along with other factors. One that is obvious to me is my “everything plus the kitchen sink” approach. I thought of Haunting Blue as my one shot, maybe the only novel that I might ever put out, and I put my all into it, because who knew when the next book might get published. This is another factor that contributes to the drama of the tale.
Of course, I now know, and am blessed to be assured, that I have plenty of readers and a publisher very anxious for my next story. And my next, and my next. I don’t need to “put it all out there,” which brings far greater focus to my later stories, a benefit to my readers as much as myself.
Another reason to tweak rather than gut: it’s fair to observe that when I drafted my angst-driven high school punk girl, I was much closer to her age than I am now. Who am I to second-guess how much of my narrative is genuine, when I’m much further from the source?
So starting tonight, and into tomorrow, courtesy of Seventh Star Press, Haunting Blue goes back into print, with the major ebook formats, and the softcover hits a couple days later. It is slightly tweaked, with a new cover and interior art by Bonnie Wasson, a new poem by Nicole Rinaldi, (who also wrote the pieces in Virtual Blue). The softcover will look quite spiffy next to Haunting Obsession and Virtual Blue, giving the trilogy a unified series look for the first time.
Haunting Blue is a paranormal thriller, an edgy first novel by a new voice who did the best he could with the tools he had at the time. Having just re-read it, it still moves me and accomplishes what I intended. I still love it, and if you’re experiencing the story for the first time, I hope you will, too.
I’m thrilled to announce that Seventh Star Press officially unveiled the cover for the officiall re-release of Haunting Blue, plus they announced a release date for the ebook! The softcover will go live a few days later.
Yesterday Seventh Star Press launched Red Lotus: Innocence Lost, a “Super” Single short novella ebook at over 17,000 words (longer than a short story, but not a novel) for $1.99. The process started in the afternoon and took all day for all outlets to offer it. As with all my books, I have a devoted “leap” page for each product with all the details and the links that let you pick the outlet and format of choice with a click. All the links are live and you can view that page here.
Book blogger and good friend Jess of Jess Resides Here graciously agreed to host a new flash fiction story in which I consider what might happen if I ever come face to face with my character Rebecca Burton! Check it out–you might find a special announcement hidden within.
I’m pleased to share an original story by author Rj Sullivan who is a mega awesome guy. This was meant to be featured on The Cabin Goddess’s blog but she is taking a well deserved break, I’m sure Rj will be hanging out in the cabin at some point in the future. Stay tuned! I’ve read a couple of Rj’s books and must say I particularly love how his focus is on strong female characters. Rj is very in touch with his feminine side and I say the Little Mermaid Mug is to thank for that. So read and enjoy. Also leave some feedback. I’m sure Rj would love it.
A funny thing happened while killing time in Broad Ripple…
Those that don’t live in Indy won’t care about the details, but suffice it to say, several of my long-time friends live north and east of Indianapolis. I am the only one of that clan to live south and west of downtown. One of my friends still lives in Broad Ripple, a place I used to visit frequently in my teens and twenties and now visit only a couple times a year.
Yes, that Broad Ripple. Fiona “Blue” Shaefer’s hangout prior to moving to the scary small town of Perionne, as referenced in Haunting Blue. Though an older, well-established suburb with many historical buildings, the presence of Butler University injects the area constantly with liberal youth often at odds with its long-term residents.
I took a trip north to meet up with my friends, and in a rare instance, we decided to group up in Broad Ripple. In a not-so-rare instance, being self-employed, I arrived in town a couple hours prior to my friends who all have to punch a clock. I thought I’d take advantage of the atmosphere to bring along the laptop (I really needed to replace that thing with some sort of pad–someday soon, I hope), find a coffee shop or restaurant, take in the local atmosphere, and see how it affects my muse.
Not many people know that the coffee shop Café Expresso as mentioned in Haunting Blue and Haunting Obsession really existed–past tense. It was a favorite hangout during my college years, a place for the more artistic type to meet during the day and, looking back, feel a bit insufferable about ourselves. Unfortunately, the little shop closed down around 1990 and so its legacy continued only in the pages of my stories, my little homage to a very cool place.
Or so I thought.
I barely had the presence of mind not to drive up onto the sidewalk when I saw the awning over a historical building in downtown Broad Ripple that declared itself to be the Café Expresso. I managed to pull over before embarrassing myself, and sat there for many seconds staring at the little shop and its ironic name. Dare I say…I felt like I’d seen a ghost.
The drive was smooth and the weather perfect (though I’m glad I remembered my sunscreen) for the Fourth Annual Author’s Fair at That Book Place! But enough about me, if a picture is worth a thousand words, here’s a novella to check out!
This weekend marks my third consecutive appearance at the annual Book Fair at That Book Place in Madison, Indiana. Pretty cool, given this is only the fourth annual event.
At the second annual event, I was honored to be one of perhaps 20 authors. This year, Frank Hall, the owner of That Book Place, is making room for more than 40 authors. Fortunately, he’s expanded his store to double its previous size, which means room for more books and more authors than ever!
The Annual Book Fair at That Book Place has turned into quite a mini-gathering of regional authors. This year, I know for sure, that Seventh Star Press will be well represented, with authorly buddies John F. Allen, Eric Garrison, and Michael West joining me, plus Selah Janel and the awesome Stephen Zimmer. I expect to see Ren Garcia, Matt Adams, Tony Acree, and….wow, I just looked at the guests list. Click here to check it out for yourself.
It’s no exaggeration that That Book Place has thousands of new and used books in an astronomical variety of genres. And Frank makes sure that indy (and Indy) and small press authors are well represented at That Book Place. That’s why we love him, and that’s why we gather up in force at his little shop every year. John Allen recently called it the “pre-season event” of the convention season, and I think that explains it well.
This year I’ll be bringing the always popular Haunting Obsession, and new since last year , my latest novel, Virtual Blue. Although it is out of print, I will have very limited copies of the Haunting Blue paperback on hand. All paperbacks are sold through That Book Place, and as always, Frank is offering a discount on all Fair merchandise.
Autographs are free and worth every penny you pay.
If the weather is as warm as predicted, there’s a very good chance that Blue, the main character in my series, will make an appearance! She doesn’t like the cold, but it looks like the weather will hold out.