Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Nerdmas

Hope that you are having a Merry Little Christmas, if you celebrate it. Here at Chateau de London we're having a geeky good time. My nerd-cred is yet again supported by the things I've received.
  • Action figures
    • Hong Kong Phooey
    • Captain America
    • Rocket Raccoon
    • Rocket Raccoon with sound and lights
  • DVDs
    • Jonny Quest, Season One (classic, of course)
    • Scooby Doo, complete series
    • Maleficent
  • Three books on the Wars of the Roses!
  • T-shirts
    • Black cat with witch books
    • Hoth/Icee

Here's wishing you get everything you were hoping for this holiday season! And a few things you didn't even know to hope for.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Giveaway: Autographed Paperback of Common Christmas

Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Common Christmas by Sue London

A Common Christmas

by Sue London

Giveaway ends November 30, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Saturday, June 14, 2014

"To be alive is to be vulnerable"

I was actually a little surprised at this result in the "What Emotion Are You Guided By?" quiz. Then again, I'm an INFP. We cover it up in various ways, but emotional vulnerability is kinda our thing. Feel free to share your result or thoughts in the comments below.


You are a very emotional, sensitive person. You act upon your feelings, even if it's hurting you, and your strong and vivid emotions tend to get the best of you. Being vulnerable is not a negative thing - it makes you more aware of other people's emotions and when they might be hurt. Trying to grow a thicker skin might be a good idea, but don't hurry. Keep your tender soul alive for as long as you can, it's precious

It doesn't take a talent to be mean
Your words can crush things that are unseen
So please be careful with me, I'm sensitive
And I'd like to stay that way.
                       ~ Jewel, I'm Sensitive

“When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability... To be alive is to be vulnerable.” ~ Madeline L'Engle

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Guest Post: Career Choice: Writer or Supervillain?

by Nicholas Olivo

It's no surprise that many people struggle with the choice of becoming writers or supervillains. The required skillsets often overlap and leave many people debating whether to choose a pen name like Mark Twain or a more colorful moniker like "The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight." To that end, I created this brief survey to set folks in the right direction. To set things up, grab a piece of paper and a pen. Draw a vertical line down the middle of the page and label one side Writer and the other side Supervillain. We're ready to begin.

Do you enjoy building themed incendiary devices (e.g., exploding chattering teeth, dynamite filled rubber duckies, pumpkin bombs)? If yes, put a tick mark in the Supervillain column.

Have you ever killed an entire race/planet/bloodline solely for backstory purposes? If yes, put a tick in the Writer column.

Do you prefer to dress in spandex (tick Supervillain) or sweats (tick Writer)? 

Tick Supervillain if you'd like to kill your mother-in-law. Tick Writer if you'd like to kill her over and over again.*

Have you ever created a person solely to foil your own plans? If yes, tick Writer.

When planning a bank robbery, do you note all details, including the lobby's upholstery patterns, carpet texture and what the tellers had for lunch? If yes, tick Writer. If no, tick Supervillain. 

When crafting a poison, do you know the Latin derivative of the poison's name and at least three famous people who died because of it? If no, tick Supervillain. If yes, tick Writer.

Do you prefer to monologue to a captive hero (tick Supervillain) or to yourself (tick Writer)?

Can the hero easily escape from your overly complicated death traps? Tick Supervillain if yes, Writer if no.

When building a giant death dealing robot, do you ever pause to consider the men and women who inevitably died during its construction? If yes, tick Writer. If no, tick Supervillain.

*Also tick Writer if you like your mother-in-law. People need to hear those stories.

And there you have it. Add up your tick marks and it should be pretty clear which career path you need to head down. I look forward to seeing you in the headlines, one way or another. ;)
Today's guest blogger is Nicholas Olivo, author of Imperium and other Caulborn stories, and friend of the show. You can chat with Nick on Twitter at @NicholasOlivo.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Paddy's Day! Sue-has-the-Blarney-edition

Most people celebrate St. Patrick's Day by wearing green and drinking (also perhaps wearing beer and drinking green). But me? This year I celebrated by grabbing a co-author and writing a little book about Werechauns.

What's a Werechaun you ask? Someone who turns into a Leprechaun, obviously. Or is it a Leprechaun that turns into an animal? Or is it both? Well, it's certainly not someone who turns into both, right? Now I'm really confused. But not as confused as Kyle Monaghan, a typical Bostonian 20-something who finds out that he IS a Werechaun. And not just any Werechaun, but one who might change the fate of all the humans and all the Leprechauns.

American Werechaun in Dublin $2.99 on Amazon

Kyle Monaghan has a problem. Sometimes, on nights of the full moon, he blacks out. When he wakes up he finds gold coins in his pockets. It sounds like a good problem to have, but he lives in fear of arrest or worse. This year he decided to travel back to his grandfather’s home in Ireland to see if he can solve the riddle. The last thing he expected was to step into the middle of a clan war with all of the gold at stake.

Genre: urban fairy tale

Want to meet my co-author? You can find Andy Click over on his Tumblr One Click Too Many or on Twitter @overclicked.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Lucky Me! Werechaun book in the works

Proving how fast things can happen in the 21st century, I teased my buddy Andy with a joke and now we're coming out with a really cool ebook just in time for St. Patrick's Day based on the concept.

That concept? Were-leprechauns.

Come on, you know that made you laugh.

If you want to laugh for a few hours (and enjoy some thrills, chills, and a really cool new leprechaun mythos), pre-order American Werechaun in Dublin, exclusively on Amazon Kindle.

Kyle Monaghan has a problem. Sometimes, on nights of the full moon, he blacks out. When he wakes up he finds gold coins in his pockets. It sounds like a good problem to have, but he lives in fear of arrest or worse. This year he decided to travel back to his grandfather’s home in Ireland to see if he can solve the riddle. The last thing he expected was to step into the middle of a clan war with all of the gold at stake.

Check my author website for Werechaun updates.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Nerd Lunch: Turning Movies Into TV Shows (The Sequel)

CT and the boys invited me back to sit in for Nerd Lunch Podcast 120! Technically I was sitting in for Jeeg, but then Jeeg had to sit in for a Pax, so we just all piled onto one chair and started talking about the movies we would like to turn into TV shows.

Check it out!

You probably won't be surprised by my pick... Humorous science fiction? Hmm, we never would have guessed. There is also a Harold Ramis film in the mix. Let us all have a moment of silence for one of our favorite writers and directors. And actors! How many of us started collecting spores, molds, and fungus because of Egon? We recorded before hearing of his passing, but now I see it as something of a tribute.

If you love this "Movies to TV Shows" theme, go back and take a listen to NerdLunch podcast #56.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Publishing Is a Business

Since everyone has had something to say in the recent kerfuffle over traditional publishing vs. self-publishing vs. I dunno, narwhals or something, I thought that maybe I should jump into the fray with my opinion. What is my opinion?

Tommy, if you please:

Seriously, I don't care. Not much. See, here's my position. I want to do my thing. I want you to be able to do your thing. I'm excited that we have so many options these days to do different things. Yay for us! This is one of those times when I don't understand the forming of "sides" and the pressing need people feel to "convert" others. Is publishing a religion and no one told me? I don't think so. I think it's a business. An industry somewhere on the order of $280 BILLION DOLLARS (not including Internet, whatever they mean by that). If you're not familiar with business, let me clue you in. There are likely to be some varying opinions on how to get your piece of the pie.

I'm not talking about the art and craft here. That's a different thing entirely. And you know what? Art is a helluva subjective thing. It's quite possible that we could find the one perfect piece of fiction in the entire world and it wouldn't sell. Because that's the way life is sometimes. Van Gogh only sold that one painting in his lifetime. To a friend's sister. Sales don't equal quality. Quality doesn't equal sales. Cry about that all you want, but it's the truth. Everyone working on your art? Good. Stay on that. We need awesome books. But let's not bring the writing part into this discussion and only concentrate on publishing and sales because really that's the core of what's being discussed here - the disruption of an industry.

A few people have likened self-publishers to entrepreneurs, and I think that's a fairly accurate connection to make. If publishing is a business then there are a number of roles that need to be played. Prior to the boom of ebooks, if you wanted the "writer" role (and wanted the chance to make a good deal of money at it) you were probably going to need to work with a publishing house. That's because of the capital and connections required to do broad scale publishing. Quite simply, a model that used economies of scale was more successful. There is nothing inherently good or bad in that, it was just what the industry required. Then things changed. Among them, Amazon rather aggressively pursuing the question of "What if we changed the rules a little bit?" Primarily to horn in on the action. If you were to really analyze what goes into making and selling a book, Amazon is only working as the distributor for a self-published author. And making a heck of a percentage in that role. But it means that the key to distribution is accessible and now an author wanting to 'go it alone' only has to, you know, figure out all the other stuff beyond actually writing a book. Editing. Graphic design. Promotion. And managing all of it. A business. If you don't want to manage a business (small though it may be), then self-publishing is obviously not for you. If you salivate over the idea of running your own business, then maybe it's something you should consider. I'm not trying to convince you one way or the other, I'm just saying that publishing is a business and you have more options to participate in that business than you did before.

But do you know what this whole traditional vs. self publishing thing isn't going to do for you? Guarantee your success. Nothing is going to do that. New York can't guarantee that. Amazon can't guarantee that. Your religious figure can't guarantee that. No one can make that happen. Not even you. You can work really, really, really hard at it. But hard work doesn't equal sales, either. It just increases your chances. All of this is about finding the path that best optimizes your chances for being a successful author. Your path probably looks different than mine. That's ok, right? We probably had a different breakfast (unless you had Cheerios and a vanilla latte?) and will talk to different people today. Lots of things are different. Unless we choose to connect and celebrate our sameness, while also choosing to admire and respect our difference, there is just likely to be unpleasantness.

At heart what is my opinion on the trad vs. self fight? I think everyone needs to calm down. The people who actually should be panicking haven't yet. For the rest of us we need to take off our crankypants and take a nap so that we can wake up refreshed and ready to write or publish or fight narwhals, or whatever it is we need to do this afternoon.

In that spirit, here's Uncle Sammy with the exactly right bedtime book for the mood everyone has been in (NSFW or delicate ears):

Note: I have not discussed my opinion on writing or readers in this piece on purpose. This is only about business.