My ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

As you may have seen on my Facebook page, I believe in the Ice Bucket Challenge. The idea, as I understand it, is simple: your friends challenge you, and you have a choice: donate $10 to the ALS Association and also dump a bucket of ice water over your head, or donate $100 and get to keep your current hairdo. The Ice Bucket Challenge has been sweeping the nation, and more or less putting the “fun” back in “fundraiser.” I like that. However, in the last few days I’ve been seeing a lot of backlash over the whole thing. I … Continue reading

Here are many blogs for you!

Check it out, guys: eight blogs for the price of one! Back in July I did a big blog tour in honor of my new mystery novel, The Big Keep. In case you missed it, I’m posting links to all the pieces. They cover topics like writing a new genre, how my designer put together the awesome cover, and what to do when you’re afraid of your writing subject. Kate Maruyama – “Noir, Dames, and Real Women” (on Annotation Nation) Alex Bledsoe: “Multiple First-Person Voices” Lee Goldberg: “How to Write A Crime Novel (When You’re Afraid of Cops)” Charlie Holmberg: “Crossing Genre Lines” Helen Smith: “A Stubborn Committment … Continue reading

Guest Blog: Seven Questions with Charlie N. Holmberg

Happy Tuesday, folks! (Yes, I did have to check the top of my computer screen to remember what day it was.) On Monday I will be kicking off a blog tour for The Big Keep, but meanwhile I have a great guest for you: Charlie N. Holmberg, whose first novel The Paper Magician comes out September 1st. Charlie and I have a lot in common: we both have three sisters, we both have babies, we both think hilariously worded signs are worth posting on Facebook. Too bad we’re about to become arch-enemies. Read on: First things first: your book comes … Continue reading

Gun Culture

Guns scare me. As a kid I wound up being surrounded by gun culture but never was a part of it. I grew up in Northern Wisconsin, where they close school for the opening days of deer hunting season – but my family didn’t own guns, didn’t go hunting, and didn’t really have any close friends who did. Instead, I ended up subsiding on a diet of action-adventure movies and horror films, where guns were a Powerful Item to Be Feared, rather than something everybody’s dad had in a special box under their bed. The only time I even saw guns in … Continue reading

Mini-Blog 2: My Amphibian Arch-Nemesis

Note: Recently I’ve been participating in several Facebook release parties, where in celebration of a new publication, an author hosts a bunch of other writers to show up and expound on a topic. And I got to thinking it was high time I reproduced those blogs here, in case you missed the party (which is your loss, by the way. We give away mad prizes at these things). So throughout this week, you’ll be seeing a number of mini-blogs that I’m editing and reposting. These posts usually end with a question, and since I so rarely get to exercise the comments … Continue reading

Mini-Blog 1: The Patron Hero

I don’t know how you spent your Memorial Day weekend, but I was right here in Madison, attending Wiscon, the world’s leading feminist science fiction conference. Wiscon is always fun, exhausting, thought-provoking, inspiring, and guilt-inducing, and this year was no exception. I actually sat on a panel called “Reaching Readers: Best Practices for Writers,” that was all about using social media and communicating with your readers – and then I realized just how long it’s been since I’ve posted a blog here. That’s my bad. I’ve actually been writing blogs, you just might not have seen them. Recently I’ve been … Continue reading

Guest Blog: A Serendipitous Seven Questions with Neve Maslakovic

Good morning, readers! Every once in awhile, things just work out, and today happens to be one of those days. Over the last week or so I’ve been preparing a guest blog by science fiction author (and scientist!) Neve Maslakovic. She returned the answered questions last night, and this morning Neve’s novel Regarding Ducks and Universes is the Amazon Deal of the Day! So after reading about Neve and her books below, please head straight here and pick up her first book for only $1.99. Behold, Seven Questions with Neve Maslakovic! Good morning, Neve, and thanks for stopping by. When I … Continue reading

My New Hero

Yeeps! It just came to my attention that it’s been nearly a month since I put a blog up for you nice folks. Why, Melissa, you cry in one voice. Why have you forsaken us? Well, in my defense, I’ve had a lot going on the last month: proofing Hunter’s Trail, researching independent publishing (so I can put out a mystery novel I wrote awhile back), teaching college English, writing and preparing the Molly-oriented short story, “Sell-By Date,” and of course, taking care of a couple of small insistent children who just keep on wanting things no matter how much … Continue reading

The Problem with Frozen

Frozen came out on DVD on Tuesday, and like many other parents of small children, I watched it Tuesday night. My five-year-old daughter sang along with the music. Her baby sister clapped for the reindeer. Of course, my daughters aren’t the only critics giving Frozen a big ole thumbs-up. There’s a lot to love about this movie, like that chest-thumping, show-stopping power ballad, or Kristin Bell’s perfect voiceover performance, or the whole sequence for “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” Guys, I haven’t seen such a concise, moving, and utterly heartbreaking musical montage since the first ten minutes of … Continue reading

Guest Blog: Seven Questions with Roberta Trahan

Greetings, favorite readers! This month’s guest blog post is by Roberta Trahan, a a former journalist and marketing professional whose first novel, THE WELL OF TEARS (Book One of The Dream Stewards) was published in September 2012. The second book in the series is set for release in Spring 2014. I’m excited to host Roberta, who was gracious enough to answer seven questions of varying stupidity. Read on for more information about her protagonist, her fluctuating cat herd, and why climate changes and science fiction are best friends. You can also go to her blog to read a guest post from me … Continue reading