Fun with concept art

A lot of writers I’ve spoken to at conventions swear by the little extras at their table– I already have pins and little polymer dragons, but they particularly talk about the power of concept art and maps.

Which resulted in the following conversation:

Me: “Hey, do we have room in the budget for concept art?”

Partner: “For which book?”

Me: “I was thinking a map and some characters for the one I’m working on now… but maybe start with Urban Dragon? Arkay, Rosa, maybe Meph?”

Partner: “…If you add Terry to that list, by god I will make room in the budget.”

Sometimes it slips my mind just how much he loves Terry.

For those who don’t remember, Terry is the groundskeeper of the Hoarde’s secret base– a multidimensional amorphous conglomeration of eyes, teeth, bones, and miscellaneous viscera, who accumulated all those various bits and pieces from the trespassers they’ve devoured over the years.

They’re also an insatiable gossip and an utter drama queen.

Really, most of the Urban Dragon series can be boiled down to “mix one part sinister and one part silly, and add a bit of gore for good measure”.

I kept getting reminded of that trying to explain my characters to the artist. Arkay and Rosa are easy enough– I’ve described them to cover artists enough times that I’ve got that part down.

I spent a whole lot of time describing Meph’s physical features like he’s some kind of action hero, and then I tried to sum up his vibe: “he takes himself way too seriously, which usually results in him being either very flustered or very confused, especially when he’s around Arkay.”

I can’t wait to see how the art turns out, but I’m really most excited to see what this artist does with Terry.

My beloved eldritch abomination is either going to be a whole lot of fun for them, or else they’re going to be an absolute nightmare.

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Birthday time!

Today is my birthday, and that means all of you get a present!

From the 25th to the 29th, you can get a free ebook of Mark of the Dragon on Amazon.

If you want to give me a little something, how about leaving a review?arkay birthday

All my love to you

I’m taking some time off this week, because today is my tenth wedding anniversary, and I want to spend it celebrating.

My partner has been a constant source of encouragement and support, and I can’t imagine doing any of this without him in my life.

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So while I’m off enjoying ten years with the love of my life, I hope you find someone who means a lot to you– romantically or otherwise– and you tell them how much they mean to you.

A walk in the woods

A few months back, I went to a convention that had a fairly unusual layout compared to the rest of my experiences. Instead of me sitting alone at my little table hawking books to passersby, the author’s alley was like a little bookstore featuring all of the guest authors, with volunteers there to tell anyone who came in about all of us and the things we’d created. We were free to hang out in the author’s alley and sign books or just chat, but we were also free to leave whenever we wanted. It was incredibly liberating and relaxing compared to what I was used to.

While I was hanging out, one of the other authors mentioned that there was an abandoned amusement park less than a mile from the hotel– mostly torn down, though supposedly a lone roller coaster was still standing. As my insanity is fairly predictable, I was entranced. Continue reading “A walk in the woods”

Monsters and Metaphor, Part 2

To recap the previous post:

There are a lot of horror stories that like to use monsters as a metaphor for people with mental illnesses. I prefer to think of the monsters as the mental illnesses themselves, whereas the people dealing with them are more the Buffy-esque badasses who deal with them.

An unrelated conversation got me pondering a fairly common question: “Why do kids these days have to put a label on everything?”

Well, since I’ve already got the metaphor onhand, let’s talk about the thing:

Continue reading “Monsters and Metaphor, Part 2”

November 9, 2016

 

I spent today looking around at the beautiful city I live in and wondering how things got this way.

I look around at the amazing and diverse people who make this city what it is, and my heart breaks for them. How many of their rights are at risk? Their safety? Their lives? And I truly don’t know anymore. Because right now, we’re all going into the unknown.

For the next four years, we will fear the worst and hope for the best, but a lot of things will be beyond our control.

But here’s one thing you can control:

Take care of yourselves, and to take care of each other.┬áThe future is uncertain, so make sure the ones you love know that you’re someone they can trust to have their back– and surround yourself with people you know will have yours.

Whatever comes our way, we can handle it, so long as we don’t lose that.

Podcast Rec: The Penumbra

No matter who you are, if you’re living in the USA (or in any of the many many countries that’s going to be heavily affected by the USA’s policies), this election cycle has been a long and very trying one, but it’s almost over.

Whether you did your voting early, you’re standing in line, or you can’t vote and are forced to watch from the sidelines, we’re all in for a lot of really stressful waiting until the votes are all in, tallied, and posted.

So here’s something to help lessen the stress.

If you’re a fan of the Urban Dragon series, you’re going to love The Penumbra Podcast. It’s gonna have all the same things you loved from the series:

  • Canonically, actively LGBT protagonists who are as angsty as they are awesome
  • Confident rogues who will charm the pants off you (and the head off your shoulders)
  • The darkest back alleys of a city so impressive it might as well be its own character
  • Strippers (because who doesn’t love strippers?)
  • Exciting genre stories that dabble in gore without getting torture-porn-y
  • And just plain wonderful characters and settings and writing.

In short, I had a lot of fun with it. And at the moment, dreams of queer noir in a far-future Mars is giving me hope that the world won’t end tonight.