Blog

Just When You Think It’s Safe to Live, You Remember Death

This was me two weeks ago, playing a heist in GTA5 online. The FIRST heist. Shhhh. My team pretended they weren't super pissed. They were.

I turned 40 recently. F-O-R-T-Y. 

And you know, part of me wants to hide it. To leave everyone who doesn’t know me in real life kind of guessing. Like, “How old is that chick who wrote that book with a bad ass heroine who seriously kicks ass?” So that they’ll think I’m younger and much cooler and well, wait. I am cool. Heh heh. 

Yeah.  

Come on. YOUTH does not equal cool. OK. So if you are a young person, like say younger than 30, let me just give you a bit of advice (I know you want it!) . . .

Oh damn. Did I almost just turn into one of those curmudgeons that goes around telling younger people that they’re nothing special just because they’re young?

“In my day . . . *grumble, grumble* hey, kid, get of my lawn!” 

Well, at least I caught myself before I one hundred percent became a crotchety butthead. 

CRISIS AVERTED.  

My age doesn’t matter, guys! I’ll be fucking sky-diving at 80 with my blue hair whipping in the wind and my face on fire with happiness because that’s how I roll. 

Yeah. And that’s *ahem* how I’m planning my escape from the flesh . . . skydiving “accident” at 85. So, this is the only warning you’ll get, all you younger people who will want me to stick around well into my 120s. 

So now you know. I just turned 40. And so far it’s been pretty damn great. I let out a back-cracking sigh when it happened and then I had a party with my husband because I don’t do big group parties. I like to know the people I’m with. Like, really know them.

I probably should have emphasized really in that last sentence because know is starting to, I don’t know, look like a biblical sense of the word. 

But I’m gonna leave it because it’s funny. To me.

That’s how all my humor works. It’s me, not you. 😉

Anyway. The people in my life. I like to know what songs they like. I think I know what they love about themselves and I sort of know what they hate about themselves and I love them for both. 

So tonight, I was making this Spotify playlist for a friend who will never listen to it, because that’s also how I roll. I like to make them. And sometimes I never give them to the person because honestly, I don’t think they’d give a crap.

But it’s one way I remember the people I love, with music, and sort of like thinking, “Oh yeah, I remember how [insert name here] turned me on to Widespread Panic. What a cool jerkface they were. I miss them!” Except I don’t love Widespread much anymore. That was an ill-advised detour into Phish-like jambands. And I was never high enough to really appreciate it in the longterm. Not high. That’s key.  

I thought about all this stuff, and I realized this thing out of nowhere (sort of):  I have a lot of friends who’ve died. And I still remember them like they’re alive. 

So what I want to do is make a list of the friends I’ve lost. I know I’ve forgotten some of the people, which is kind of sucky of me. But as I get closer to my own old age, creeping closer to me like the River Lethe, that is my excuse: old age. Forgetfulness. 

If you’re reading this, thank god, you’re still alive. Drop me a line. Let’s hang out. Grab a drink. Have a chat. I fucking miss you. 

Christie B. How we met: 3rd grade. She was funny and interesting and I was jealous of her for being one of two children. Just the other day I remembered how, during college, she used to take a jar of pennies to the airport (pre-9/11) and fake-trip down the walkway and “spill” her jar of pennies. Then she’d clean them up and act embarrassed and secretly laugh at the situation. Her sense of humor was prime–and apparently quite physical and situational–and I am lucky that I knew her for so long. Her song, the one that I think of when I think of her: Faith Hill, “It Matters to Me.” Granted, Christie had a lot of songs she liked, but I’ll never forget her asking me if I was going to try singing, randomly, when worked at JCrew in Nashville to try to get a record deal, because that’s how Faith got discovered.

Drew. How we met: he was a customer at the indie record store where I worked during college. And he was sweet, and pretty damn adorable. He smoked and I thought I could influence him to maybe be a bit less cynical. For some reason I was less cynical than a lot of the people around me. Call it naivete. Because that’s what it was. Drew was studying something intriguing like environmental engineering (I made that up) because he was more interesting than me (English lit, gag). He acted tough and he wore square dark-framed glasses that were uber handsome on his face…His death was this random shock. I think it was a freak heart-attack when we were in our twenties. His song, and how i knew that he was a damn softy beneath that tough exterior: Rocky Votolato, “White Daisy Passing.” 

Eames. How we met: don’t remember, precisely, but we became rock climbing partners for a while. He was in a rough spot with his girlfriend, and I was in a rough spot with this guy (super ill-advised boyfriend, 14 years older than me, he dumped me for a YOUNGER girl, WTF?! Classy). At the time, my heart was raw and Eames’ heart was raw, and he was a better climber than I was (translate: he led all the climbs and set the route so I could just top-rope it ha ha ha ha, you wimp, you, Nik), so it was a match made in heaven. We hung out a lot and drove all over to climb. I kept a soft spot in my heart for Eames for a long long time. Though we spent a lot of time in the car driving to climbing haunts, I don’t remember what he listened to. But I’m going to go out on a limb and say it was something like DMB. He was a chill guy, who said words like “jonesin’ to get on the rock” and he wore Smith sunglasses and was always super cool and had beachy sensibilities. Good guy, old Eames.

I’m glad there’s only three. A lifetime is a long time to live without your friends. Not included here are the people who died in the traditional order of nature: my father, my grandmother, grandfather, uncles. 

Sometimes it just seems worth it to stop and take stock of what you have and what you’ve lost, I guess. So you don’t forget to appreciate the people you can still hold onto. 

Hands of the Colossus Steampunk Swag and $50 Giftcard Giveaway

Another wicked sweet launch, another wicked sweet giveaway. This one will flesh out your amazing steampunk cosplay gear. Those goggles, when worn correctly,  will increase your peacocking sensibilities to an 11 and you’ll be the life of every party, subway ride, and workplace water-cooler gossip session.

That watch? I heard (rumor? Maybe…) that it is actually capable of time-travel. Yep. It comes with a chain so you don’t lose it when you’re out and about, sporting your vest while peacocking to get the attention of birds everywhere (why are you always peacocking?).

I know that what you’re really here for is the eBook. But I’m also offering a signed paperback version of Hands of the Colossus, because as part of everyone’s peacocking HOME collection, you really ought to have great books in your bookcase. Signed, preferably. To impress geeks like me at all the parties you’re constantly throwing.

Tweet every day for more chances to win, and be sure to share and like on all your social media outlets.

God speed!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

That Moment When You’ve Written a Perfect Scene

The scene that I just wrote tonight, is perhaps the most perfect scene I’ve ever written.

Maybe it’s the mania talking–that feeling that comes after I’ve done something I think it is wicked awesome. Could be. I mean, it’s late, and I might have had one drink. And I might have gotten swept away in the song that I feel helped facilitate the scene (which I listened to on repeat), and so, in short, who knows?

I don’t know. I think the scene is perfect. It wasn’t easy to write either. I began it a few days ago, but it’s a night scene. A serious scene. And I was writing it while the sun ripped through the sky happily shining on everything, illuminating every last thing.

And this scene, is a poignant one. The setting is night. The emotion is sorrow and regret, and some form of penitence, mashed together with self-defense.

I couldn’t write it in the day. It needed to be night. And I needed to be in a certain frame of mind to tap into the emotions.

I’m still not sure if I did it justice for Holly Drake. I tried my best, and the readers (you!) will decide in the end if it works or not.

And tomorrow there’s a really good chance I’ll read back over it and laugh and ask, “What the fuck was I thinking?”

But right now, I feel like I’ve never written anything more tender and gentle about a character and her life than this one in this moment.

Holly Drake’s stories are sci-fi, steam punk, space opera. But I write real scenes about real grief and real joy. It’s not a love story, but there is love in it, and hope, and desire. And that’s because I think those are the things that make the excitement and adventure worth more than a monkey’s ass. Without the human grief and emotion, who really gives a shit about a wicked awesome scene where Holly is basically surfing through the sky on a thin slab of metal?

I ask you. What’s the point?

 

Oh, and here’s the amazing song I listened to on repeat. You’re welcome, my friend. You’re welcome.

Eye of the Colossus $50 Amazon Giftcard Giveaway

Hey so as part of the festivities over the launch of the Eye of the Colossus, I’m doing this giveaway. The big prize is obviously the signed paperback copy of Eye of the Colossus. The smaller bit is just the lame $50 giftcard (I mean, who even wants one of those things? Yuck). I know, right? But I’ll make you have it if you’re the winner, because that’s just part of the deal, though I know what you’re really here for is the wicked sweet cosplay aether blaster and the pendant (it came all the way from FRANCE, guys, FRANCE!).

So enter in as many ways as you can and remember, you can do the Tweet this message thing everyday for additional entries. 😉

God speed!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Eye of the Colossus Cover Reveal

Ready for this? OK, so normally I want to have a post full of interesting things in addition to the cover reveal, but as it happens, I’m swamped with EVERYTHING at the moment. So I’m just going to throw this puppy up there and say thanks for coming by to check it out. Here is the pre-order link if you’re interested. There’s going to be more fun throughout the month of April leading up to the launch day on the 19th (giveaways, takeovers, etc!). So check back and like my Facebook page so you don’t miss a thing! 

Blurb: 

The City of Jade Spires, the biggest in the 6-moons, is a breathtaking symbol of hope and unity for the four races. But it’s also a hub of corruption. Holly Drake is proof of that. Fresh out of prison for a mistake framed to look like cold murder, she’s broke, jobless, and branded with a prison record.

When she lands a gig stealing back the Eye of the Colossus jewels, the chance for a big payout means she won’t have to depend on anyone else. She’s never had that kind of freedom. She’ll do it. Even if the work is only a shade lighter than outright crime.

But soon she finds herself pursued by thugs from the Shadow Coalition, an underworld government that wants her dead. Pulling off the heist without getting killed means putting trust in recruits she hardly knows. The clock is ticking to get the jewels, but a mistake now could be fatal. Chasing across the 6-moons to complete the job will test her grit and determination to succeed when everything is stacked against her. More than that, finding out just what secrets the 6-moons hold will either turn her into the hero the moon system needs, or destroy her…

Preorder on Amazon ➝ ➝ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BSXR15C

Six Shadows Cover Reveal

Meet Detective Gabe Bach, of the City of Jade Spires. He enjoys long rides on the spireway, unfiltered IPAs, wearing a jacket during an eclipse (there are just a few in the 6-moons region) and digging into a good homicide case.

Coming soon….patrons will get it first (free, except not free, because it’s patronage and all that!), after that, get it on Amazon.

New Series Name Reveal

Hey! So great news. I’ve finally named the series I’ve been working on. It only took me FOREVER to name it. If you didn’t already know, I hate naming pretty much anything. Unless the name is the first thing that I come up with, the process is usually fraught with a lot of tension and stress.

Remember when I had 9 months to come up with the name of my son (first kid)? It took nearly the entire 9 months. I know there are people who actually have the baby in their arms and still no name. That’s pushing it A LITTLE far, guys. Come on. Give your kid a name!

Ok, so that’s not me. But I do struggle with it. Because names are EVERYTHING. Unlike that fine, fine Shakespeare quote: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other word would smell as sweet.”

Bull shit. Ha.

Want to have an argument about names and how important they are? Does anyone wish to challenge me? Come on! I’m breaking out my dueling gloves . . . I’m about to do some glove-slapping . . .

Please take two minutes to watch “Glove Slap” if you haven’t seen it already. It’s too good to pass up. And it will bring you pure joy and possibly some of the best lines you can incorporate into everyday life.

“Glove slap, I don’t take crap!” “I choose pistols at dawn!” “Oh why did I have to slap a guy who says ‘suh.'”  I could keep going . . . I mean, it’s never-ending. One of my top Simpsons episodes. Actually, this entire episode is so freaking good, empirically speaking. The entire, ENTIRE thing. 

Anyway, wow, what a tangent. Back on track.The series is officially named (well, not quite official, it can be changed until it’s got an ASIN assigned to it and I can’t change it without getting a new ASIN and whatnot). Here you go, in refreshing bullet-points with a side of lemonade: 

  • Eye of the Colossus: A Holly Drake Job Book 1
  • Hands of the Colossus: A Holly Drake Job Book 2
  • Heart of the Colossus: A Holly Drake Job Book 3

And beyond the Holly Drake Job bit, they fit under the umbrella “6-Moon Adventures” (still playing with this one.) First I’ll be releasing the Gabriel Bach short story. Gabe is loosely related to Holly–he’s a detective in the police force in the City of Jade Spires. Yeah, Spires! Right? Everyone loves a good spire.

It will all make sense someday . . .

The first to read Gabe’s story (which I haven’t named yet, but is nearly done), will be the subscribers to my Patreon, followed by the readers on my mailing list–people who’ve signed up via one of the forms on my website, either to nab “Feed 0.5” or “The Blue Blue Eyes of Dark Dark Space.” 

So if you’ve signed up that way, you’re in. Otherwise you’ll have to grab it through Amazon. It won’t be free on KU because then I can’t give it to my most loyal readers! Check back in a week or so to see the name of Gabe Bach’s short story or to see if I’ve revealed any covers. Because this stuff is happening quick!

2018: the Year for B.A. Heroines

Welcome to 2018! I know everyone thinks 2017 sucked, but honestly it wasn’t that bad, IMO. I mean, things can only get better, right? 

Here’s how I’m getting over 2017 and the disaster it seemed to be. Setting goals for 2018!

I’ve spent a few hours mapping out my plans for the year and they’re like HUGE. I’m all in, but if you don’t go hard, go home, is what I always say. I mean, to myself. I say that to myself. Not you. You’re obviously extremely and eagerly welcome here even if you don’t go hard. 

So what’s on the slate? 

Feed 4 is coming out soon. And once that’s done, I’ll bid farewell to that long-time coming series. Here and there I might revisit it, depending on what feedback I get from readers, but for the most part, I’m going forward. It’ll be weird to say goodbye, but it’s definitely not good riddance. 

I’m currently finishing up a short/novella crime procedural set in this wicked awesome universe that I can’t wait for people to visit. It’s got a great little cast of characters that I LOVE. And if readers love them too then I’ve got two spin off series’ set in that universe. 

Spin off is a loose term. Because, it gets complicated. 

Let me explain. I’m currently in the midst (also) of outlining the first book in a series set in the same universe. Starring a bad ass heroine. She’s connected to the cast of characters in the crime procedural. But her story(ies) moves in a different circle. The story/stories weirdness is because I’m outlining three books. And if readers like them, I’ll keep writing more. Each one will have a resolved ending, but more books will be easy to add. 

Bad ass heroines. Future cities. Capers. Heists. Aliens (cool aliens). Space. Just keeps getting cooler and cooler and more kickbutt and tougher. Sidenote: my book won't be so grim-looking...

So. Bad-ass heroine on the way. It’ll be sort of steam-punk, but not heavy, and that’s mainly due to the setting and the tech-level. It won’t feel like Victorian-era steam like H.G. Wells and such. At least, at this point. 

Anyway, the crime procedural cast are detectives in the police force. They also live in this universe. The setting is wicked sweet. It’s a big part of why I’ve got this stuff going on. Because I love it. And I can’t just plan one story in it. So one of the characters in the crime procedural is related to the main character in the BA heroine series. Which still doesn’t have a name. 

Some of this depends on reader reception. What I think is awesome may be totally lame to my readers. But this is what I have planned. Of course, I also have a novella planned in one of my other universes, where the Blue Hearts of Mars takes place. And as usual, I keep writing and posting short stories on my Patreon page, and I tend to do that every month. 

So what’s on your list? I’d love to hear about it. If you have thoughts about the direction I’m going, let me know in the comments. 

 

<3<3<3<3

Nicole 

Ten Days of Feed 3: Teaser!

Introducing: Leo Brandon

Keeping with the release day madness, here’s a teaser featuring a new character. Click the image to zoom in. 

Feed 3 comes out on Amazon (Kindle and paperback) on December 15th–the ebook will be  99 cents for the first week, then it goes up to $2.99. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...