Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Brat-tastic Jayk Parker

I am so excited to announce that The Brat-tastic Jayk Parker, sequel to Wacky Wednesday, is officially a go! Thanks to MC Blackman for designing a wedding invitation for my boys Jayk and Amon, so I could announce this book in style.

Because yeah, Brat-tastic takes us down Jayk and Amon’s somewhat, um, rocky road to the altar.

The sequel picks up a year after Wacky Wednesday left off, as Jayk and Amon are preparing for their very small, very simple wedding. They’re totally happy to be getting married. Absolutely 100% utterly and completely sure this is the best possible choice they could have made at this point in their lives.

Except…okay, maybe once in a while the doubts creep in. But that’s normal, right? Not doubts about their love for each other or about the validity of their relationship. Just doubts about standing up in front of everyone they know minus the people who won't come because it's a gay wedding and enacting a ceremony with hundreds of years of often oppressive tradition behind it and a somewhat intimidating statistical non-success rate during which they’ll publicly promise that they can love and take care of each other forever.

Those doubts.

Still, they couldn’t be happier.

Until they arrive in Grosse Pointe Park for the wedding and meet Ron and Jennifer Gaines-Brake, a rude, perpetually bickering couple who’ve pre-hyphenated their last names, and whose wedding is the day after Jayk and Amon’s at the same venue.

When Jayk and Amon are drawn into the Gaines-Brakes' drama, their own doubts and fears about marriage are magnified. And when they accidentally switch bodies with Jennifer and Ron the day before the wedding, their simple, stress-free celebration starts looking like a nightmare.

As the couples attempt to deal with each others' families, secrets, and last minute wedding preparations, things spiral out of control. Add to the mix a missing cat, a vigilant police officer, an intimidating dildo, and a cake like no other, and it’s anybody’s guess whether the weekend will end in bells or bedlam.

Brat-tastic is scheduled for release in June, which is quite a while from now. But it worked out nicely, because a couple of days after I sent the manuscript to my editor, Loose Id announced a June special call for wedding-themed novels. So we decided this one would be a good fit for the “I Do…Unless I Don’t” theme.

So what am I going to be up to in the meantime?

I’m querying my editor with another novel right now. This one’s dark, violent, and has been a pain in the butt to write. It’s funny how different the writing process is for different books. It took me about a month to get a draft of Brat-tastic done, because Jayk and Amon are such easy characters to work with, and they basically write their own story. This dark, violent one has been in the works since January, and it’s just one problem after another. But the first draft is about 20,000 words shy of being complete, and once a rough draft is on paper (or on MSWord Document), it’s usually easier to see what needs to be done to make it less…horribly painfully relentlessly rough.

AND there’s something else. I may or may not be co-writing a novel with a certain ultra-awesome author (I am). It’s an incredibly fun process, and one that really keeps the creative juices flowing. It fills my writing days with purpose and giddiness—even more giddiness than usual—and the collaboration eliminates those I’m-stuck-and-can’t-go-on moments that have kept me working on a certain other aforementioned manuscript for nine months. We’re writing at breakneck speeds, and I hope to have more to share with you on that front soon.

So that’s my long update. The Brat-tastic Jayk Parker, coming to a virtual bookstore near you in…it feels like forever...okay, nine months. Less than a year. It’ll fly by.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fun with Equal Marriage

The Onion shames us from the future:,19099/

Jon Stuart and North Carolina:

"Does your wife know that you can't see the difference between the consensual love that leads to matrimony and the enjoyment you get from a Dairy Queen blizzard?"

Love it.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wallet Photos

So I love animals.

I get this from both my parents, especially my dad, who seriously makes Pocahontas look like Michael Vick. He used to rescue bugs that were "trapped" in our house. Most people see bugs as intruders, not victims. Anytime anyone is looking for a home for a pet I try to work out how I could adopt it and still afford to eat, keep my sanity, and have room to move a few inches in my tiny cabin in the woods. I believe I'm friends with all the creatures who hang out in my yard, even though most of them want nothing to do with me. Except for adorable stray dog Andy, who won't let me near him, but will use me for free milkbones and Smartbacon. I sometimes read scenes from my drafts aloud to my dog and watch her face and change things based on her reactions. Her yawns are the worst. I lose so much confidence.

I am a shamelessly anthropomorphizing, bleeding heart animal lover, and I love to give characters in my books fun pets.

Jesse in Calling the Show has a rat, Craybill. A rat seemed like the perfect pet for a recluse, though I certainly don't mean to contribute to the idea that rats are the shadowy companions of the psychologically troubled.

Rats are awesome pets. Seriously. They are as smart or smarter than a lot of dogs. They're playful, they'll come when they're called, they can be litterbox trained, and they'll hang out with you. I had gerbils when I was little. Let them out of the cage and they'd run and hide. Rats actually like to stay where you are and will sleep on your lap or shoulder. Plus they're adorable. Even the tails.

Tiny dogs, I'm telling you.

Unless you get them from a pet store. Don't do it. Pet store rats usually have no idea how to interact with people. Get them from reputable rat breeders. Yep, there are rat breeders. That's my PSA for the day.

Anyway, this post is mostly just an excuse for me to post pictures of my former rats, who inspired Craybill. I had two pairs at different points, Kate and Toby and then Brunhilde and Dezba.

Okay, I'm getting out my wallet and forcing you to look at pictures...(Do people still do that? Pictures are all digital now. Okay, I'm getting out my iPhone and showing you pictures.)

Dezba and Brunhilde at 6 weeks

Baby Toby - named for the rat in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. Anyone else? Best book ever?

Baby Dezba. She had a double rex coat, which is why she looks bald.

Baby Kate. This rat. Was. Awesome.

Grown up Kate terrified my sister's Chihuahua. "We're the same, you and I..."

Thanks for indulging me. My sister's trying to get me to adopt a ferret now.

We'll see.