As you might know, I donate 100% of the royalties from my Ennek series (Stasis, Flux, and Equipoise) to Doctors Without Borders. This organization does amazing work around the globe. Because of your support, this year–for the third year in a row–I was able to donate several thousand dollars. I hope you enjoyed the books, and I think we’ve really helped make a difference.
Month: December 2013
I sometimes get envious of my writing self, who gets to spend her days (and nights) traveling and writing. My other self has to deal with things like chauffeuring offspring, calling AAA when her battery unexpectedly dies, going to meetings, and grading these:
But now the battery is replaced, the meetings are suspended until January, the offspring are about to be on vacation, and the towering pile of papers and exams has been conquered. Hooray!
So I thought it was time for a blog update. Here’s what’s new.
My holiday short story, Alaska, is now available from Dreamspinner, Amazon, ARe, and other online booksellers. It’s a bittersweet tale, a bit of a balance perhaps to all the holiday sugar.
And it looks like today it’s on sale at Dreamspinner. While you’re picking up sale books, Brute, Housekeeping, The Tin Box, and Speechless are also discounted.
And speaking of Brute, I am overwhelmed and delighted to announce that it won the Rainbow Book Award in the fantasy category–quite an accomplishment when you see the other contenders! It also tied for fourth in the Gay Novel category. This book has a special place in my heart, and I’m so pleased for Brute to get some love.
Also, Shobana Appavu’s gorgeous work for Venetian Masks tied for fourth in the Illustrated Cover category. Well-deserved, I think.
I have several new things in the works. In February or so, my next novel will release. It’s a fantasy called Pilgrimage. Here’s the blurb:
Then in April, I’ll have a novella in a fantastic anthology called Stitches. The other authors are Sue Brown, Eli Easton, and Jamie Fessenden, and I so enjoyed their stories! The stories all have themes of artificially created men, and it’s the first in a whole series–Gothika–with gothic themes. My story is called The Golem of Mala Lubovnya. Set in seventeenth century Eastern Europe, it’s a take on the traditional golem tales.
Finally, I recently submitted another novel. This one is an urban fantasy or paranormal story set mostly along the old Route 66 and in Las Vegas. It has a bit of a noir feel to it and features a ghost and a man for whom good luck just isn’t enough. I’ll keep you updated on it.
Between my busy schedule when I was in Europe and finals when I returned, I haven’t had time to write anything new for a while. My muse is furious with me, and she and I are both very excited to get back to work!
Back in the USA
I’m back home in California. It’s good to see my family again, but already I’m missing Croatia. Today I’ll be discussing a couple Croatian quirks. But first, my new holiday release is out.
Best friends Scott and Marco meet on a rooftop on Christmas Eve, each temporarily escaping from his difficult home life. With no gift to share, Marco instead promises to someday rescue Scott and take him to Alaska. As the years pass, they meet—first by design, then by chance—on occasional Christmas Eves, only to find life growing increasingly difficult. They treasure the few moments they have together, but will they ever reach Alaska?
Alaska is grittier than the average holiday tale, I think. But sometimes we need something to balance out the holiday sweetness a little. You can buy it here.
You know already that I love Croatia and consider Zagreb my second home. But like every culture, this one has a few more challenging aspects. Croatians hate to wait. Sometimes this is alarming–I’ve seen them put life in jeopardy again and again to dart across traffic to catch a tram. Even though there will be another tram within minutes. Sometimes it’s annoying; getting off those trams can be difficult when people are clustered around every door, already trying to press their way inside. Sometimes it can be funny. A few weeks ago I was standing in line at a drugstore on a busy Saturday morning. I saw a woman in her 60s shamelessly cut in line in front of the lady in front of me–who was a nun. I’m not Catholic, but isn’t there some special penance you have to pay for that?
Croatian impatience perhaps achieves art form when cultural performances end and everyone rushes at once to retrieve coats from the coat check. There’s not the remotest semblance of a line. Everyone sort of pushes and worms their way forward, claim tags held in front of them, trying to reach the harried young women who work behind the counter. And when you finally get your coat, good luck leaving because nobody will move out of your way. It’s this strange, silent melee. I found it pretty amusing, actually, but it would probably cause apoplexy in a Brit.
Now, there is one notable exception to Croatian impatience, and that involves drinking coffee. I’ve been to cities with famous café cultures, such as Vienna and Paris. But believe me, none of them hold a candle to Croatia. Croatia surely has more cafes per capita than anywhere on earth. Some serve food or desserts, but many just serve drinks. This is where you meet friends or business associates, and you sit there nursing your drink for as long as you want, chatting and people-watching. There’s a charming Croatian phrase: you can invite someone for “Čaša razgovora”–for a cup of conversation.
I’m thankful that Americans are fairly obedient at queueing, but I’d sure love to adopt Croatian café culture!
Anne Barwell on Kiwi slang!
In 2008 she completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra.
She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth.