Thursday, May 14, 2009

Jeff Strand, under PRESSURE

I recently mentioned author Jeff Strand here on my blog. We met last month at the Romantic Times Convention, where I caught him ogling cover models we bonded a little over dark humor, severed heads and the fact that we live in the same Florida town. He has a new book, PRESSURE, coming out on May 26th, and is desperate for promotion eager to tell us about it! Unfortunately, Jeff is a bit on the lazy side, so he decided to put together a cookie-cutter guest blog, which I happily stole from his MySpace page, because hey... that's what friends (even new ones) do.

Anyway, I want you to read Jeff's charmingly innovative guest blog, which will be full of references to me and my own current release, You're the One That I Haunt, because Jeff kindly left tags everywhere reading [Insert Your Book Here] and [Insert Your Name Here], so I did.

(Hey, Jeff - your scheme to get free and easy promo worked! You're brilliant!)

In all honesty, I wouldn't be pimping Jeff if I didn't think he deserved it, and I mean that sincerely. I just finished one of his earlier works, GRAVEROBBERS WANTED (NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY), and it was good - mystery, murder and mayhem (Hah! The protagonist's name was Andrew Mayhem! Am I lame, or what?), graveyard humor, and plenty of twists. One of the few times I've read a mystery when I didn't know "who done it" until the very end. At any rate, Jeff is a clever guy and a good writer, and I think you should buy his books.

And now, without further ado, meet Jeff:

Hi! I'm published author Jeff Strand! My novel PRESSURE will be at a bookstore near you on May 26th, and it answers the age-old question "What if your best friend was a killer...and he wanted you to be just like him?" Publishers Weekly called it "marvelously creepy reading...the horror in this tale of twisted friendship is relentless." Sweet, huh?

But you know what? Screw PRESSURE. [YOU'RE THE ONE THAT I HAUNT] is way better. After I read it, I called up Leisure Books and begged them not to publish my crappy book. "Don't worry," they said, "not everybody can be [TERRI GAREY]. Even [TERRI GAREY] has trouble being [TERRI GAREY] some days. It's a level of awesomeness that only three or four people can attain at any given time. PRESSURE may not be as good as [YOU'RE THE ONE THAT I HAUNT] but it's still a fine piece of work."

So I broke into the Leisure Books warehouse and burned every copy of PRESSURE that my flamethrower could reach. I think a few copies may have survived, so if you've already read [YOU'RE THE ONE THAT I HAUNT] and everything else by [TERRI GAREY] you might want to give it a shot.

Aw, Jeff... I'm a little teary here from all that praise! Thanks so much for taking time out of your busy schedule and joining us today! When did you say your book was out again? May 26th? At bookstores everywhere?

Kewl. :-)

Friday, May 08, 2009

Just Say "NO" to E-book Piracy

I've been spending way too much time lately trying to get free versions of my books taken down from "file sharing" sites all over the Internet. No sooner do I find a stolen file, fill out the form to have it taken down and provide documentation that I hold the copyright to the work itself, when another stolen file pops up somewhere else on another site.

What absolutely amazes me is that people think it's absolutely fine to gleefully download these stolen files, never once thinking about who they're hurting (which, quite frankly, is me). In fact, some people even think they're doing me a favor by spreading my work around and making it easy for others to get them without having to pay for them. Um.. no. Not only are they stealing the royalty money from legitimate ebook sales from my pocket, they're stealing my numbers, which is far more damaging. Pirated books don't get counted toward the number of books I've sold, which is the biggest thing my publisher looks at when they decide to continue publishing me or not.

Publishing is all about the numbers. Publishers make an initial investment and print X numbers of books. Needless to say, for an author to be considered successful, those books have to sell. No, ebooks are not printed, but the demand for them is another huge indicator of an author's success - every sale of an ebook through a legitimate source like Kindle or Sony is registered and recorded, which is another way my publisher sees whether people are buying my books or not. So if hundreds or thousands of my books are being given away free through file piracy, my publisher has no way of counting them. An author may be hugely popular when it comes to free downloads out there, but that popularity does them no good in the eyes of their publisher, because all they see is the number of legitimate sales. So those people who LOVE those authors enough to download those files are actually upping the odds that those authors won't ever be able to publish another book, because their numbers will be too low.

Make any sense? Oh, and let's not forget this basic fact: downloading pirated files of any kind for free is stealing, plain and simple. So just say no, would you, and support your favorite authors in a way that helps them go on doing what they do. Books are very inexpensive forms of entertainment, after all.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Vampires Obviously Have More Fun!

Time to share more photos from the Romantic Times Convention!

I had a great time at the Vampire Ball, in large part because I got to let my inner "ghoul" run wild by dressing up as a Goth Vampire Chick. There were two fun parts to this, the first being that absolutely nobody knew who I was (costumes are such fun!), and the other being that when you're dressed as a vampire chick, people seem to want to get their picture taken with you! (Which, when you go back to reason #1, is actually kind of fun: "Hey, look at this picture taken with this Goth Vampire Chick! I have no idea who she is, but cool, huh?") This is me with thriller writer (and total hottie) Barry Eisler on the left. The place was swarming with cover models, but he was one of the best looking guys there, and man, did he know how to work a room!

This is me with fellow dark humorist and all-around scary author Jeff Strand, and his friend, a disembodied head. (He never said where the head came from.) Jeff's newest book, PRESSURE, hits the stands later this month. (PRESSURE was a recent finalist for the Bram Stoker award, and I can't wait to read it.) I've already ordered and am waiting on one of his previous novels, called GRAVEROBBERS WANTED (NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY). I mean, c'mon - I'm a sucker for great titles, graveyard humor and disembodied heads!

This spooky fellow on the right is actually cover model C.J. Hollenbach, who was wearing the coolest contacts I've ever seen. They were yellow in the center, with red flames sparking outward. C.J.'s costume made me think very strongly of Louis in Anne Rice's INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE. *sigh* Great costume, C.J.!

These are my dear friends Mona Risk and Janice Lynn. Mona didn't recognize me either at first, but it's hard not to recognize Janice - doesn't she look hot?

And speaking of hot :-), this beautiful woman asked to have her photo taken with me (I'm the one who looks scared in this one, don't I?) Seriously, I don't know her name, but she was very sweet and very, very pretty. (Hey, I'm straight and married, but I'm not blind, and perfectly willing to give credit where credit is due!)

And this just may be my favorite picture of all - Victoria Fraasa with Circle of Seven Productions, asking me to play with her adorable little baby! Isn't he cute? LOL (Actually, he was unbelievably creepy, in large part because he was animated. His eyes rolled, his arms waved, and he liked to bite! I seriously loved him and wanted to take him home!) :-)

Monday, May 04, 2009

I've Been Bitten... By Books!

Join me tomorrow, May 5, on this very cool "paranormal review site with bite", Bitten By Books!

I'll be answering interview questions, taking questions from readers, talking about my books and generally chatting up a storm, as well as giving away two books a day for five days!

I mean, c'mon... how could I possibly turn down a chance to hang out at a review site that gave my last book a "Five Tombstone" review? LOL You can read the review HERE, and stop by stop by for fun and prizes tomorrow by clicking HERE. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

The Paranormal Party on BlogTalk Radio

Remember that cool "Paranormal Party" on BlogTalk Radio show I mentioned last month? Well, we did the taping live from the Romantic Times Conference in Orlando last week, and it was so much fun! Authors Kerrelyn Sparks, Jeaniene Frost, Jocelynn Drake, Pam Palmer, Jamie Rush and I all got together in a suite at the Wyndham Resort, along with Avon editor Tessa Woodward and Avon publicity queen Pam Jaffee, and talked about the current appeal of the paranormal romance in today's market. I'm not going to lie to you - we had some techical difficulties - but the show turned out great anyway, mainly because everybody there was determined that the "show must go on", so we had fun with it! We talked about who inspired the heroes and heroines in our books, whether we were "fur, fang or fey" girls, and what we like to read ourselves in our spare time. If you'd care to give a listen, click on this cool little widget, and off you go!