Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Why Vampires?

Why indeed? Isn't this craze over with?
...funny story, that...
Back in 2005 I noticed that the vampire genre was once again on its way out. Sure, we had Blade, who was a bad ass, but then they had to go and make the 113 minute iPod commercial known as Blade Trinity. I won't even acknowledge most of the other vampire flicks from that era and outside of Harlequin Nocturne, vampire literature was scant.
So I decided that I would single-handedly revive the genre with a fresh take on the myth and set it in the original vampire capital of New Orleans. Now, by a fresh take, I meant a scientifically plausible take, because I am, after all, a lover of sci-fi. Armed with nothing more than the knowledge of DNA that I retained from reading Crichton's Jurassic Park a decade earlier, I began writing a miserable tale that I called Vampire Fan Club.
Note that this was 2005. I began writing in January and had 20 chapters written by August. I don't think I need to tell you what happened in New Orleans in late August of 2005. I stopped writing out of respect.
Soon after that I was laid off and focused all of my energies into learning a new job and the book was forgotten. A year later I tried to re-image the story into a fictional setting. This proved disastrous because I am not capable of merely changing a name and creating a few made up locales. No, I had to throw myself into full-on world building and suddenly I had convoluted backstories and histories that would have made Tolkien and Lucas proud. But I still had no story, so I said, (beep) it! And swept the whole project aside.
Now fast forward a few years and my husband's constant and not so subtle encouragement starts to finally take hold. It's 2011, enough time has passed that I can feel comfortable using New Orleans as the backdrop so I dig in.
In the meantime, vampires skyrocketed in popularity thanks to the addition if sparkly skin and vaguely stalker-like tendencies. Yet despite the... ahem... revamp... at that point, vampires were once again already on the downward slide into obscurity.
But despite the makeover, vampires were still, well, vampires. They were still immortal, still mythical, and just as implausible as ever. So I still had a niche to carve. Armed with the same scant knowledge of DNA, now going on two decades old, I scrapped nearly all of the content of Vampire Fan Club and threw myself into what would become Eyes.
I am not afraid to say that I'm proud of my creation. Is there a place in the world for enigmatic immortals? Of course. I enjoy a good vampire tale as much as anyone else who spent the majority of thier youth wearing too much black eyeliner. But I'm also not afraid to admit that I want a scientific explanation for everything, even if it's a stretch.

Book News: Free Promo Countdown

From time to time, I give away The Eyes of The Sun for free. I will be doing this again this weekend, Saturday June 1 and Sunday June 2.
The promotion begins at approximately midnight Pacific time Saturday morning and will end at midnight Pacific time on Monday morning.
A description and link to the book's page is located under the My Books tab at the top of the page.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Why Robots?

What do you think of when you hear the word robot? Chances are you aren't thinking about precision machinery used on assembly lines or advanced medical equipment. If you're anything like me, and you poor dear, I'm so sorry if you are, you are imagining a life-sized, metal humanoid with arthritic movements and an electronic monotone voice.
For me, robots symbolize the mid-twentieth century's ideal image of the futuristic world of the twenty first century. In my last post I tipped my hat to Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles. There's a reason for that. This is the book that firmly solidified my lifelong love-terror relationship with science fiction. Specifically, There Will Come Soft Rains, the story of the automated house that carries on its daily routine despite the fact that the family it serves has perished in a nuclear holocaust. My middle-school brain was at once fascinated by the idea of total automation and terrified of the idea that machines may outlive us all.
Blame the Cold War propaganda of the 80s and the original Terminator for that. But again, now we are only in the second decade of the twenty first century and not only is total automation within the realm of possibility, but sadly, so is the total destruction of mankind, if not by nuclear war then by our own disregard for the planet.
But this isn't a political blog, nor is it even a blog about technological advancement. The point that I am rambling toward is simply that while we may not have flying cars, ftl drives, or personal robot assistants, we have come a long way in a short period of time. For me, at least, looking back on the speculations and comparing them to reality is truly amazing.
For an in-depth and utterly insane time drain on this very subject, I highly recommend the Paleo Future blog. The original is here and the new blog can be found here.
And do you know what is even cooler? Not only are we now living in the future, but science fiction not only continues to exist, but it's just getting better, more prolific, and best of all, more acceptable to the mainstream. Both Star Wars and Star Trek continue to be popular with new generations. We have an entire channel devoted to (admittedly dubious) sci-fi programming. And if the internet is to be believed, the world still loves Dr. Who and we've turned an astrophysicist into a god-like celebrity.
So why robots? Because even more than a quarter of a century later, they still give me the same sense of awe that they did when I first became a fan of our shiny metal overlords.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Why Vampires & Robots?

Being both a nerd and a girl in the 1980s was tough. There was a delicate balance between Sweet Valley High and Star Wars, Madonna and The Martian Chronicles, and Star Trek's Holodeck vs Jem and the Holograms. Whether I was sitting in bed, flashlight in hand, reading about spaceships or first dates, I remember thinking that I could not wait to be old enough to do either.
Well, fast forward a few decades and no, I haven't made it to space yet, but I've had enough first dates to know that Francine Pascal and her ilk lied to me about how awesome teenage romance is. But the future? The future I'm living in is pretty awesome. Which brings us to the title of this blog.
Three decades later, I'm still an awkward nerd girl, obsessed with, well duh, vampires and robots. But I'm owning it, awkwardness and all. In this future, I'm broadcasting my nerd ramblings from my backyard, using a magical five inch long box that I keep in my pocket. I'm the proud author of two books that can be read from the same magic box. And best of all, this future hasn't adopted the unflattering skin-tight jumpsuit yet! Though apparently, we haven't learned our lesson about skinny jeans, so we aren't out of the woods yet.
Future posts will likely include more fangirl musings on stuff that I love, book news, book extras and tidbits of information that I feel enhances the universe that I've created, as well as recommendations and shout-outs to other artists that I enjoy.
Thanks for stopping by!