naomi_jay: (pen and paper)
So many things! Let us start with the promo-ish things:

WILD is free for Amazon Prime members right now. Free stuff is awesome. Free stuff about werewolves and drugs is especially awesome. So if you want to enjoy some awesome free stuff, WILD might be right for you!

Ethan Banning is here to save your Christmas (should it need saving). ICE, ICE BABY is my Ethan Christmas Special, in which he almost has a completely nice Christmas Eve, marred only slightly by a corpse. Like my other two Ethan short stories, you can read this without having read AFTERLIFE or DEMONISED.

I've read some really amazing books recently and you should read them too! Carolyn Crane's Disillusionist trilogy is definitely one of my top picks for the year. I adore Jusine, the heroine, and the concept is very fresh, very dark, and very cool. If you like PI books, you might also try LM Pruitt's Taken, There's a touch of the supernatural, but this is mostly a straight-up crime novel, and I loved it.

If, like me, you've heard of SOPA but didn't really know anything about it, you might want to check this video out from TotalBiscuit, and enjoy his strangely sexy voice telling you how we're all doomed if this passes.

Kit Whitfield has been analysing opening sentences of classic books. Her blog is worth reading anyway, because she's very smart and very funny, but this series has been really fascinating.

Laura Bickle is counting down the Twelve Days of Nerdmas, which involves steampunk corsets and Cthulhu sweaters, and is therefore amazing.

And that's it! Happy Monday!
naomi_jay: (Epilepsysaurus)
So! It's the last day of November, which means Anti-Nano ends tonight *sob* But Winter-Write-a-Thon is here to pick up the slack! Like Anti-Nano, WWAT is now housed over at [livejournal.com profile] squidathon, and everyone is welcome to join in. We check in on Mondays and Fridays and post writing snippets on Wednesdays. If you're working on something and would like some company over the cold, dark, lonely winter weeks, come and say hello!

My goal for Anti-Nano was to work on Undertow and Halflife. I was half-successful, in that I worked on Undertow. I'd like to have the first draft done by the end of December now, which is perfectly do-able if it works out at the same length as DEMONIZED (about 40k). I have a feeling it might be longer, but I'm planning to try out this technique to see if I can increase my wordage output. I'm not usually a planner when it comes to writing, but I toyed with this a little last week, and although I was a long way off 10k, I was definitely more productive with notes to work from. So we'll see.

I'm also planning to write an Ethan Christmas Special. It'll be one of the Ethan Banning Files - a short, self-published story, but festive! So there's a slim chance something nice might happen to Ethan. Look, it might, that's all. Hopefully I can get to work on that over the weekend (I have a novel to finish editing for Damnation Books, and a house party to avoid going to).
naomi_jay: (absinthe)
In lieu of actual contant because I am tired, here's some interesting/fun/self-promo stuff I've found this week.

First up, Bastard Books reviews DEMONISED. I really enjoy Bastard's reviews as they always give me something to think about. But I really, really enjoy this review because he says:

"The book is quite twisted, has plenty of disturbing scenes, some that I'm sure won't sit well with more sensitive readers. Some are just plain gross."

"Just plain gross"
may go on my business cards from now on.

Over at [livejournal.com profile] seanan_mcguire's livejournal, I found a couple of interesting articles; one on rape culture in YA, looking particularly at Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, a book I've been toying with buying for some time now. Now I've read the article, I think it would make me pretty furious, so I'm sticking with James Ellroy for now (because all that racism and sexism is much more tolerable coming from a man...Oh wait...)

The other article is about the recent trend of dead girls on YA book covers (or as I'd been thinking of it "girls in inappropriate dresses in the woods," because really? That's what you wear to go hiking?). There's a lot of subtext to unpack here and I'm not up for it right now, but suffice to say, the glamorisation of death is a big topic and you can pull in a lot of Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet for starters), and even classics from the Romantic era (when romance meant "adventure and fantasy" rather than "relationships" in literary terms), like Wuthering Heights and Tess of the D'urbervilles. Incidentally, Kit Whitfield has a great article on how people misremember Wuthering Heights here

And now something fun (for me,anyway). Despite being a massive AFI fangirl, I had managed to remain ignorant of Davey and Jade's side project, Blaqk Audio. How? Why? I don't know. But now I've discovered them and fallen wildly in love with Davey's voice all over again. So this is my weekend soundtrack. Enjoy!

naomi_jay: (Skeletor and Yogi)
And AFTERLIFE is one of the books up for grabs (alongside some awesome titles like My Life As A Whitetrash Zombie). You should check it out!

(Also Bastard thinks DEMONISED is sick and twisted. I will add that to my business card).
naomi_jay: (by the sea)
It's all right here.

I really love reviews that give me new insights into my stories and give me something to think about for tuture ones. Since this review does both, I'm pretty chuffed about it!

"Afterlife is darker than your usual urban fantasy, quite gritty at times with a noir ambiance. It has a little bit of everything, some mystery, some action, and even some romance."


I think Bastard Books are going to be reviewing DEMONISED shortly, so I'm looking forward to seeing what they have to say about Ethan!
naomi_jay: (mike)

Hellnotes have reviewed DEMONISED, and I have to say, they've been very nice about it too! Ethan is " one of the most engaging first person narrators I’ve encountered" and the story is "a great supernatural yarn," comparable to the Dresden Files, apparently, which is pretty damn cool. I'm sure Ethan would love to share a drink with Harry Dresden some time.

This is just adds to my desperate desire to work on Undertow, the next Ethan novella (or possibly novel), but I realistically just cannot fit it into the schedule right now. I don't know why, but people seem to have taken to Ethan more than any of my other characters (is it the porn? It must be the porn, right?), and since I love him a whole lot too, I just want to get back into his seedy adventures as soon as possible.


naomi_jay: (ethan)
First up, The Pen and Muse find Ethan's adventures "unhinging and delightful."

"Clark does an amazing job in this one and provides a wonderful atmosphere of mystery to find out who did what."

I think I tweeted a couple of other recent reviews, but didn't talk about them here, so since it's a Saturday and not much else is going on, I may as well do it now.

My Book Addiction thinks AFTERLIFE is "beyond amazing" and says she would stock it in her bomb shelter if she only had room for ten books. She also thinks DEMONISED is an "amazing novella," and thinks I know how to keep readers on the edge of their seats. Which is nice!

And Reading the Paranormal had this to say about NIGHT AND CHAOS:

"Intriguing mythology and a huge cliffhanger have me waiting impatiently for the next part of the story in this series."

And just because it's not all about me, here's some Daily Lovecraft - What About Cthulhu's Feelings?
naomi_jay: (butterfly)
This is a little different from my usual guest blogs. Greg and I were discussing ways of doing the old "author interview/guest post" bit with a twist, and this is what we came up with. His intrepid reporter, Roy Elliott, conducts a rather awkward interview with Ethan Banning over at Greg's blog. And my slightly less intrepid reporter, Janey Carter, interviews Jessica, the protagonist of Greg's new novel TORMENT right here. Let's go!


This is Janey Carter reporting for the Herald, March 21st 2011. I'm with Jessica Newman. Jessica, thanks for agreeing to meet with me today. Maybe we can start with your coming to Scotland. What brought you here?

 Um…I’m here to sort out my father’s estate. He … passed away …very sudden. I haven’t seen him for a long time. I’m actually surprised I came here, but I suppose I didn’t have a choice.

 Can you tell me a bit about your childhood memories of growing up with a deacon for a father? How did that shape you?

 I don’t know if I want to talk about that… My childhood was … tragic. My mother died when I was a little girl and it tore my family apart. 

 A lot of people think they understand Catholicism and exorcism, but have your experiences correlated with what we see on TV? Or is there more to it than we're lead to believe?

 How did you know about that – have you been checking up on me? What my father did to my mother was horrible! (crying heard) I don’t think I want to answer your questions anymore! Where’s my husband – where’s David?

 Let's talk about the house - what's it been like to be there at a time like this? Has it been a distraction?

 It’s just a house! It’s falling to pieces… my father just wasted away in it! Please can we stop now?

 Okay, I'm sorry. I didn't realise this was such a difficult issue for you. Do you want to take a break?

 (Sniff)….No, no, I’m sorry; just a bit of a mess at the moment. Sorry. It’s just so hard trying to deal with all this after so many years.

 Okay then, let's start over. Why don't you tell me how your husband's been dealing with all these … stresses? You're obviously a very close couple...

 Oh, David’s fantastic; very understanding. He’s been by my side ever since we met in college. He’s a real tower of strength you know? When I told him about my childhood and my mother’s death he was never judgmental – he just wanted to help me recover. So when I said we had to come here he didn’t hesitate to come with me. I’m very lucky to have him. Our son, though – we had to literally drag him here. David’s actually been fixing the manor since we first arrived, but I think it’s beyond repair.

 So you don't see the two of you relocating here permanently?

 No, oh God no! I couldn’t live in that house. Just feels like there’s something wrong with it – apart from the fact my father lived there. I’d say we’ll probably sell it, but still, maybe I’ll find something there that will help me get some closure, you know?

 Can we talk about your mother again? I know it's hard, but do you feel you had to grow up faster as a result of her loss?

 I guess I didn’t have a choice. I was a victim too. My father murdered my mother and I was just left to deal with it. It wasn’t her fault…she was sick and he… he just (crying heard). He was supposed to be a man of God!...

 Alright, this is … this is clearly too upsetting for you. Is there anything you'd like to say to finish things off?

 (Sniff) I’m sorry. I bet you wish you didn’t decide to pick me at random for an interview hey? I just want to get out of Scotland…I’m sorry, it looks lovely, but I think I would have preferred to visit under happier circumstances. Memories hurt. They hurt so much…

 I think that's enough now, Jessica. Thanks for your time.

Find out more about TORMENT over at Damnation Books.
naomi_jay: (journal)
And she finds it delightful and deranged, which I find awesome.

If Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter Morgan and J. A. Konrath’s Jacqueline Daniels had a baby together, Naomi Clark’s Ethan Banning would be the result.

You can read the full review right here.*

*Whenever I write "right here" I imagine myself saying it in a slightly sleazy, innuendo-ish tone. Does anyone read it that way?


Link Stew

Mar. 16th, 2011 12:58 pm
naomi_jay: (rabbit hole)
First of all, thanks to everyone who's spreading the word about mine and other authors' efforts for Japan. I've seen a definite spike in my sales for NIGHT AND CHAOS and UNGRATEFUL DEAD over the past couple of days, which is awesome! I don't know what this translate to in terms of money to donate to World Vision yet, but whatever we make, it makes a difference, so thank you!

Now, a round-up of randomness:

I'm guest-blogging at Fangtastic Books today, talking about writing like a man. If you're interested in the massive mental effort I put into understanding the male mind in order to write DEMONISED, this is a blog for you.

I'm also over at Baffled Books talking about the role of the book blogger as part of my NIGHT AND CHAOS ebook tour (which I've been too busy to talk about much, but it is happening).

And there's a review of NIGHT AND CHAOS here at Books Glorious Books. Here's a taster of what they made of it:

The storyline was great. Really different to anything I have ever read before. The idea of experiments gone wrong was great and it worked really well.

So I think that's everything for now. I'm off to scavenge for food!
naomi_jay: (ZP - yay)
Book Goggles reviews Ethan's excellent adventure right here.

 I ... loved the book & look forward to more Banning tales.

Yay!

The review does make the point that to get the full experience, you're probably better off reading AFTERLIFE first, which is something I haven't really discussed before. I tried to make DEMONISED as stand-alone as possible, but because Ethan's story really begins in AFTERLIFE, there are elements of the novella that are probably better fleshed-out if you've read it too.

Hopefully that won't discourage readers - I'm kind of hoping DEMONISED will be a gateway drug and lead people back to AFTERLIFE if they're curious, rather than making readers feel they must read one before reading the other.
naomi_jay: (hyperbole and a half)
Give me absolute freedom in which to do whatever I want, and I will usually panic and just watch hours of Come Dine With Me. Kyle and I are almost terminally incapable of making choices between us; ask one what the other wants for dinner and they'll reply "you decide," at which point the asker will panic and just watch hours of Come Dine With Me order in pizza to avoid the responsibility of making a decision.

I'd like to say I'm less flakey when it comes to writing, and that I just sit my arse down every night and work on a project until it's done, dammit, but the truth is unless I have a deadline, I'm lot more ... relaxed in my approach. I don't really buy into the muse myth, but if there is a muse for Nome, she's fickle and unreliable. So since I finished the edits for DEMONISED, instead of cracking on with Blood and Bones, Wild, and Halflife like I told myself I would, I've just been messing around with stuff. There's the [livejournal.com profile] tessa_morelock novella, the anthologies I'm editing, and some half-baked ideas about kelpies. It's not that I'm lazy about my writing, but I am easily distracted by Shiny Things.

This needs to stop! No more Shiny Things! So I've made a list of things to do in March and April. Keeping in mind that I'll be starting Urban Wolf 3 in May, this seems like plenty to be getting on with in the mean time:

1. Finish the Tessa novella. 1k a day should wrap it up by the end of the week, I think.
2. Finish editing Wild. Ideally I'd like this done by the end of March so I can publish it in April.
3. Make significant progress on Blood and Bones and Halflife. I'm not really giving myself a specific goal to aim for, because if I don't achieve it, I'll just feel bad about myself, and nobody wants that. But it would be nice to be close to finishing first drafts on both by the end of April.

I've also got guest blogs and horoscopes to write, and I need to send DEMONISED off to some reviewers, but those should be quick n'dirty tasks, so I'm not counting them in the list. So! It's March 8th! I have fifty three days to accomplish three things. That seems pretty damn achievable.
naomi_jay: (rapper with a baby)

So, I'm guest-blogging with Su Halfwerk, another Damnation Books author, right here today. I'm talking about when side characters (like, for example, PI Ethan Banning) take over. I may also be guest-blogging with David Bridger later on a related subject if I can get my email to behave, so look out for that too!

I've arranged a blog tour for NIGHT AND CHAOS. I don't know how well these things work, but it seems like fun, so more details on that as and when it happens. I also gently nudged my cover artist yesterday and he confimed he'd started work on the new cover, so hopefully there will be that soon too. I'm pretty excited. I went to school with this guy and he really is an amazing artist, so I have unreasonably high hopes, which I've decided are the only kind of hopes you may as well have.

Okay, so I know I mentioned doing a Daily Lovecraft yesterday, but I didn't think the internet would provide so instantly. Turns out Guillermo de Toro is directing an adaptation of At the Mountains of Madness. With Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise! What. The. Hell? Why would you cast Tom Cruise in anything nowadays? It's not the 80s! It's not Top Gun. Look, fine, he may once have been a credible actor, but I think those days are long past, and you're going to have to work pretty hard to convince me he can pull off using words like gibbous and ululating (I'm assuming the script will be full of gibbous, ululating things, or why bother adapting a Lovecraft novella at all?).

I am excited, because I love the story, but I'm also wary because the casting doesn't fill me with hope (I guess Ron Perlman is always a bonus but all I can see is Tom Cruise jumping on couches screaming "I worship Cthulhu! I worship Cthulhu! Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!" and it's really annoying). The good news is that [livejournal.com profile] chaostheory  is bring her copy of Reanimator round on Sunday and we're going to watch it and laugh uproariously.

*See what I did there?

ETA: I am guest blogging with David Bridger. It's all right here.
naomi_jay: (ZP - x not to die)

Here is your linkage for today (not necessarily in order of importance or relevance):
 

Lovecraft's Favourite Words. I can't believe "squamous" only came up once! I think I probably need to include that word in a story pretty soon. (Do we need a daily Lovecraft Link? I'm really tempted to make one day a week Lovecraft Day on my blog, just for shits and giggles.)

My Static Movement anthology, Serve in Heaven, Reign in Hell, is up to about 55k. Static Movement shoot for 70k in order to go to print, so there's still room for stories. If you're working on one, let me know. I know a couple of people were thinking about it and I don't want to pressure anyone, but we are approaching critical mass or something.

I'm being interviewed by my fellow Damnation Books author, Fiona Dodwell, today. She's asking me about DEMONISED and my advice for writers. I don't really feel the most qualified to give out advice, but luckily I recently read Stephen King's On Writing, so I just borrowed some from him,

Tyhitia Green over at Obfuscation of Reality is interviewing me about NIGHT AND CHAOS, and running a giveaway too, so that's worth checking out if you like free stuff.

And that's it! The only question that remains is whether I'm good and eat the delicious salad I bought to work with me, or bad and go down to Costa Coffee for muffins and paninis. Important stuff, people!


naomi_jay: (ethan)
Happy book birthday to Ethan!

You can buy DEMONISED right here at Damnation Books, where their variable pricing scheme means it's currently an absolute bargain at just $0.75! (Every time someone buys a copy, the price goes up by $0.25, so act fast to get it dirt freaking cheap).

Or you can buy the Kindle edition right here at Amazon (or here for Amazon UK). If you're a traditionalist and want the paperback version, it should be available in about a week.

So come on, show a broke, borderline alcoholic PI and his rescue dog some love, and pick up a copy of DEMONISED today!

ETA: new review for SILVER KISS, too!
naomi_jay: (butterfly hands)
So! DEMONISED is out tomorrow! 12.01am, in fact, if you're up then. I won't be, because I can only make it to about 10pm before my brain packs up, but you might be. And Damnation Books' variable pricing means if you are up then and you do want a copy of Ethan's Excellent Adventure, you can get it for free! Or as near to free as dammit!

I'm excited and nervous. I love this story, as I may have mentioned, and I want people to read it and love it too. I'm planning to do a Twitter giveaway tomorrow (if I can fit it in around being at work), so if you're not following me on Twitter - @naomi_jay - you might want to. It'll be easy; just tweet at me using the #demonised hashtag in your tweet and you're in with a chance of winning an e-copy of DEMONISED. You can ask me a question about the book, or just tweet me some random nonsense, whatever. I like random nonsense. At the end of the day, I'll draw five names and those five people will all win a copy. How does that sound?

So, in other news, I've been musing. You may or may not remember that some time ago (a long time ago, in fact), I mentioned wanting to put together an anthology for charity. Specifically, mental health charities. For reasons that are probably obvious to anyone who's been reading my blog a while, mental health care is a cause pretty close to my heart, but I'm not in a position financially to do anything to support the charities involved. I think it's a seriously important thing. One in four people will suffer from a mental health problem at some point in their life. It's reckoned that about 340 million people in the world suffer from depression and rising. In the UK, 400 per 10 000 people have self-harmed.

This is a massive issue for me, because help is available, but people either don't know where to go for it or are too scared to ask. Attitudes towards mental health have improved hugely since 1994, but there's still a lot of stigma attached to issues like depression, and a lack of understanding regarding conditions like schizophrenia (I would love for everyone to read these two articles if you have any interest in the subject).

I'm not going to get on my high horse or go off on a massive rant, because the facts are out there if you're interested in reading them. But I do want to do something to show support to a cause that I care about. And I think I'm in a better position to do so than I was before, mostly because of the rise of the self-pub option. I can put something together and publish it via Kindle and/or Createspace and Smashwords and donate the proceeds to charity. I also know more people in the writing business than I did last time I was thinking about this, and I'd hope it would be something they'd like to get involved with.

I've got two projects in mind: a novel that I was going to write anyway, and an anthology. It's all very embryonic at this stage, but I'd love to get something moving this year on both projects. Obviously for the anthology I'd be looking for contributors, so if you were interested first time around and are still interested now, just let me know so I can get an idea of whether it's worth doing.

naomi_jay: (flying objects)
Five things because Friday is awesome!

1. @ethan_banning is tweeting again. Not for the faint-hearted, easily-offended, or those who believe there's no excuse for watching dead koi carp porn.

2.Inspired by a conversation with [livejournal.com profile] spiderling , I'm going to be running a contest soon giving away signed copies of AFTERLIFE and DEMONISED, so watch out for that in March.

3. The Daily Mash reports on one of my favourite topics - stupid child names.

4. Have you read Yolanda Sfetsos' guest blog yet? I know I only posted it an hour or so ago, but time is short, people. 2012 is rapidly approaching.

5. It's pay day! I just bought a copy of The Midnight Hunt by LL Raand to add to my ever-expanding TBR pile.
naomi_jay: (Demonised)
DEMONISED is released in a week! I've been so busy with other stuff lately, I haven't really talked about it much here. I do have the official blurb:

PI Ethan Banning is smoking too much, sleeping too little, and hearing voices. One voice, to be exact: the voice of the demon that possessed him on his last case. A voice that urges him to hurt, rape, kill, and Ethan doesn't think he has the strength to ignore it much longer.

When his latest missing person case turns into a murder investigation, Ethan finds himself fighting not just demonic urges, but black magic, an incubus with a hidden agenda, and a client who just won't pay up. Luckily, Ethan's got a few friends on his side, like Detective Anna Radcliffe, and his trusty dog, Mutt. If Ethan can ignore the demon long enough, he might just solve this case before it kills him.

And of course there's UNGRATEFUL DEAD. And I'll be guest blogging in March here and there. I don't feel that I've fully conveyed yet how much I love Ethan though. Because I love him a lot, and I want everyone else to love him too. I love him even though he's a chain-smoking, borderline alcoholic. I love him even though he's sometimes a bit too sleazy and spends all his money on late-night-shopping when he knows he's in debt. I love him because he loves dogs. I love him because even know he's possessed by a demon that wants him to rape and kill and hurt people (and himself), he keeps his (admittedly skewed) sense of humour.

And I loved writing DEMONISED because Ethan was just so much fun to write, even when horrible things were happening to him, or because of him. It's funny - he was supposed to just be a side character in AFTERLIFE, a little light comic relief to Yasmin's brooding, but he took over the book for me. That's why I ended up writing DEMONISED way before I started on Halflife, and why I suspect I'll write another Ethan novella way before Halflife is finished (and hopefully published!). He's just impossible for me to resist. He's not as funny as he thinks he is, but he's a lot nicer than he'd like to pretend, and even though he's always hopelessly out of his depth, he does his best to get through. I can't help but love a man like that, even if he's a man that I made up.

So I hope, in a week's time when DEMONISED is out, some of you will read it and love him too because I want to write lots more Ethan Banning stories.
naomi_jay: (ethan)
UNGRATEFUL DEAD is now live and for sale on the Kindle! I wasn't going to upload it til next week when DEMONISED comes out, but a few people asked, so it is done.

You can still get it for free by emailing me though! I don't want anyone to feel obliged to pay for it; it is just a short story. I've priced it as low as Amazon will let me but again, you'll never have to pay for it.
naomi_jay: (Demonised)
Hey guys, guess what I have?



Yes! A free, all-new, all-exclusive Ethan Banning short story for anyone who wants one! Interested? Just email me at naomi_jay@hotmail.co.uk and it's all yours. I'll be giving away copies for free right up until the released of DEMONISED on March 1st, after that ... well, I'll still be giving it away for free, but I'll also be uploading it to the Kindle.

UNGRATEFUL DEAD is set before the events of AFTERLIFE and DEMONISED, and nothing bad happens to Ethan at all, except he has to spend the night in a haunted morgue with no alcohol or cigarettes. Here's a taster to whet your appetites:

Snippety! )

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naomi_jay: (Default)
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