Wherein romance author Jenna Black plunges into the terrifying new territory of blogging . . .
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Book video for The Devil Inside
As promised, today is the day I'm launching the book video for The Devil Inside. I think it turned out great, but I would love to know what everyone else thinks!
P.S. No, I have no idea why there seem to be two copies of the video showing up. I only uploaded it once, and it only shows once in preview. Blogger must really like it and want you to watch it twice. LOL
A couple of weeks ago, I was perusing the boards at Romance Divas and came upon an announcement about swapping trading cards. I didn't know what it was going to be about, but I opened the message out of curiosity, forgetting that old adage about curiosity and cats.
From that message, I learned about a form of art I'd never heard of before: Artist Trading Cards, or ATCs. These are small trading cards, 2.5 by 3.5 inches, and they are each miniature works of art. They can be any medium--paint, drawing, computer-generated, collage . . . The list goes on. These cards are meant to be traded, never sold, and there are various communities dedicated to setting up swaps, where you send in X number of cards you've made and get back the same number of cards from others in the swap. The Romance Divas were setting up a swap in February, which was why the topic had been brought up.
Now, my first reaction was on the lines of "gee, isn't that nice that they're going to do that, but I don't do art, so this has nothing to do with me." But as I kept perusing the thread and saw pictures of the cards the other Divas were producing, an idea tickled my brain for a way I could make cards myself without having to be a artist. After all, most of these cards are a kind of folk art, not produced by professional artists.
What I decided to do was a kind of mini collage. I printed up all kinds of colors, textures, and patterns on full-sheet label stock, then cut those swatches into various shapes and stuck them onto cardstock that I'd cut into the right size. I decided I very much liked the results, and now I'm completely addicted! I love working with interesting colors and patterns, and the miniature scale of the cards makes them somehow more approachable.
I'm really enjoying working on them, though there is a little niggling voice in my head that suggests I shouldn't be allowing myself a new obsession when I have an aggressive deadline for my next book. But still, it's nice to be able to do something creative that doesn't require me to sit in front of the computer. Here are pictures of some of my early creations:
If you're looking for a little extra online fun on Halloween, stop by my website or my MySpace profile, where I'll be launching the book video for my next book, The Devil Inside. It turned out really great, and my first instinct is to show it to everyone immediately. However, I decided it would be smarter to wait until the book release date was a little closer, and Halloween seemed like the perfect time. (And yes, I know I'm a terrible tease.)
I also just had to share this Twilight Zone moment. As many of you know, I did a couple of book signings in South Carolina this past weekend. It turned out not to be the best timing, since it was the last weekend of the state fair. The mall I signed at on Friday night was dead, dead, dead; but despite the fair, football game, and parade I was competing with on Saturday, I did manage to sell a reasonable number of books at my Books-a-Million signing. (Yes, the T.Z. moment is coming, eventually.)
Authors, if you ever have a chance to sign at a Books-a-Million, snap it up immediately! I've done two for them now, and they have been absolutely fantastic. The staff goes out of their way to make the author's experience pleasant. Now here is the fun part (which you'll only "get" if you've read Secrets in the Shadows and/or Shadows on the Soul). The store had two people helping me out. They stood one on each side of my table, talking to me when things were slow, handing out promo material when people were coming in, and otherwise taking great care of me. Their names? Gabriel and Camille. I kid you not! (They both bought books from me, and when I signed them, I wrote notes to the effect that they really are much nicer in person than they are in my books.)
I don't think this good news can quite compete with last week's new contract, but it's still pretty cool--I got my very first review from Publishers Weekly, for The Devil Inside. And it was a really good one! The highlight is: "A winning heroine, a well-crafted contemporary world where demonic possession is just a part of life and a nice balance of mystery, action and sex. . . . An urban fantasy series kickoff full of promise."
The good news is, I'm thrilled to death. The bad news is, I haven't been able to get a thing done since then. At least not anything that requires brain power.
I thought I'd also share with you my favorite line from an upcoming review from SFRevu. The whole review is very positive, but I still got a special kick out of this one: "Sex is a significant element in the tale: sex alone, sex in couples, straight sex, gay sex, vanilla sex, mild S&M sex." It does rather seem like I've covered all the bases. (I didn't realize I was making a pun until after I wrote that last sentence--guess that's my subconscious at work.) I'm off to do some more Snoopy dancing (at Curves, actually, so I really will be getting a workout).
I have just accepted an offer to write three more books in the upcoming Morgan Kingsley, Exorcist series! I'm thrilled, not only because this keeps me employed at a time when I'm planning to quit my day job, but also because I really love this series. (Don't get me wrong--I love my Guardians of the Night series, too, but I've already written four of them, and I've only written two Morgan Kingsley books, so I've got a bit more of that just-falling-in-love feeling.)
There's going to be a pretty significant gap between the release of book two (The Devil You Know, which will come out in August 2008), and book three, which it appears won't come out until summer 2009, but after that they should come out every six months or so.
I think I'll celebrate by giving myself a "get out of jail free" card on my planned workout session this afternoon. Happy dancing is a workout all on its own, right?
UPDATE: I just heard from my editor, and it looks like there won't be such a big gap between releases after all. The third Morgan Kingsley book is going on the schedule for Fall 2008. Whoo-hoo!
I finally got around to having my annual eye exam today. (Might as well get it done while I still have good group insurance!) I didn't even need glasses at all until my mid-thirties, and they were only for distance vision. But sad to say, I'm now graduating to progressive lenses. The doc said I'm borderline for them, but I might as well get them now while my insurance will cover part of the cost.
On the one hand, it will be kind of nice not to have to take my glasses off to read. (Especially nice when I'm watching TV and then reading something during commercials.) On the other hand, I didn't really want to know my eyesight is getting worse. It's a reminder that I'm not a twenty- or even a thirty-something anymore. Sigh.
To take the sting out of that realization, I decided to get some fun and funky frames. The frames I have now are very conservative. (You can see them on my author photo on my Bio page.) I guess as I was coming to terms with needing glasses in the first place, I wanted them to be as inconspicuous as possible. My new ones will not be so inconspicuous. And yes, I'll post a picture when I get them, which should be in about a week.