Frenxiety, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Stay the Hell Home

If you follow SFF internet skirmishes at all, you may have heard about one making the rounds on social media beginning yesterday.  Former Guest of Honor Monica Valentinelli announced that she is pulling out of this year’s Odyssey Con because of their insistence on placing her on panels with a known harasser, someone who she is explicitly uncomfortable with. (Many more details here.) To those of us in the niche SFF convention community, the topic of harassment at conventions comes up all too often. There is so much debate, vitriol, accusation, and defense. It can get exhausting, even on the … Continue reading

Nightshades Online Essays

In honor of the release of my new novella, Nightshades, I’ve written a number of essays for a few different outlets. I’m participating in Tor.com’s ongoing series “That Was Awesome,” which is where writers discuss another author’s work; “Five Books About,” where I’ll be discussing five other books about government agencies that deal with the supernatural; and “And Related Subjects,” which is a (hopefully) funny piece about my quest to find a hobby in my thirties. I’ve also got a piece over at “Read it Forward,” which is about finding signature weapons for vampires. Below are the release dates for … Continue reading

As Requested: UF Recommendations List

During last night’s extremely fun Live AMA to celebrate Boundary Born (which you can still watch, by the way), I was asked about my book recommendations in the urban fantasy genre. I listed a few favorites off the top of my head, but I also promised to share a larger list here on the blog. This is me, sharing. What I would really love is for you to comment on this post with YOUR recommendations — I’ve definitely never pretended to know all the great UF books! Here are the urban fantasy series that I personally have read and recommend to … Continue reading

Tribute to Jennifer Rardin

There are two reasons why I’ve been thinking about Jennifer Rardin lately. Before I ever began writing fiction, let alone urban fantasy, I read the first five installments in Rardin’s Jaz Park books. When you read as much as I do, details tend to blend together, but a couple of things always stuck in my mind about the Jaz books. For example, in Rardin’s books, vampires die during the day. Not sleep, not weaken but remain conscious. Die. Way back when I was doing the prep work for Dead Spots, I remembered that some authors have their vampires actually die, … Continue reading

Shut up about Rogue One.

I’m seeing so many men posting on Facebook and Twitter defending the decision to have a female lead for Rogue One. The posts begin with something like “”I guess a bunch of guys are upset that the new Star Wars film stars a woman,” and they go on to explain why that’s a dumb opinion. When this happened with the Ghostbusters remake, I kept my mouth shut, because I realized that all my male friends who were throwing support to the casting had truly good intentions. But now they’re all proclaiming the validity of Rogue One, and I just can’t … Continue reading

Building Twitter Followers Part II (Son of Building Twitter Followers)

About a year and a half ago now, I published a blog for writers about how to build Twitter followers. There’s a lot in there that’s still applicable, so you should check it out, as I’m not going to summarize too much here. However, some things have changed in the last 18 months. Tweepi, the tool that I used to build my followers from 360-some to multiple thousands, has been effectively dismantled. Twitter asked Tweepi to stop allowing users like me to “flush” the people who don’t follow us back, and since that was the best thing about Tweepi, I no … Continue reading

In the Bag

As an urban fantasy author, one of the best parts of my job is traveling to SFF conventions, where I participate in panels, meet new and familiar readers, and hang out with fellow authors that I generally only see on the internet. I’ve been doing these conventions for years, but last year I did a personal-best SEVEN cons of 2016, including old favorites like CONvergence and Worldcon, and new favorites like Dragoncon and Anomalycon. Because of all these adventures, I think 2016 was the year that I really perfected an important aspect of con life: the con bag. I’ve got this thing boiled down … Continue reading

Another Pro to Cons

Good morning, internet! This morning I read a fantastic blog called “The Pros and Cons of Pro Cons” by the notorious Chuck Wendig. It was actually a response to a blog by my friend Marko Kloos about the total cost of attending CONfusion, (which I also attended). You should read these excellent posts, but here’s the crux: Marko’s post was about how cons are fun but expensive, so be aware as you consider going. Wendig’s post was about how cons are fun and can be professionally useful, or not, and we should be sure to do a bunch of stuff, … Continue reading

Writing Race

You may or may not know this, but on my website there is a page called “IAQs,” which stands for Intelligently Asked Questions. My readers are, by and large, a very smart bunch, and sometimes they ask me really interesting things that I (in my hubris) think others might be interested in, too. Guys, I LOVE answering your smart questions. It makes me feel like I’m not alone in a career that’s mostly solitary. If you’ve got a question about the Old World or my books or my characters, I encourage you to leave them in the comments on that … Continue reading

Updated With Photos: Boulder Research Trip

Back in January, I posted a blog about my four-day research trip to Boulder, CO for Boundary Lines. With the book coming out in just over a week(!), I thought it would be a fun time to update and expand on the real-life locations that inspired the novel’s fictional events. Here’s how the original research trip broke down: (Warning: if you work really hard at figuring things out, I suppose this could contain vague spoilers for Boundary Lines.) Saturday I. Breakfast with friends My flight left Madison at 5:08 in the morning, and I arrived in Denver just after eight a.m. After … Continue reading