I am no longer a royalty-check virgin…

1

Got my first royalty check for my first published novel, BLOODANGEL. The check is dated for the period ended Feb 28*, which means the book earned out within a few months (earned out= made back its advance, which is why the first royalty check is so significant, since it basically means that the gamble your editor made on you when he/she acquired the book has now quite literally paid off, and also that you the author will get to see a bit o’ cash over and beyond the advance).

I would frame the thing, but I believe I will cash it instead.

2

As behind the times as I tend to be when it comes to anything resembling technology — a bit of an irony for those who know who my husband is — it does seem that I must confront and navigate the wild badlands of myspace.com. I started a page there eons ago, when my sister suggested it would be a good idea, and then completely ignored and/or forgot about it until very recently. I still don’t know what the hell I’m going to do with it. Something. I’m not going to be one of those people who scoffs, “Oh, that place! It’s for teens and perverts!”, because I don’t think that’s true, but I do wish the site in general wasn’t so bloody ugly.

3

Although I haven’t signed the contract yet, my YA supernatural thriller STRANGER (in which the young Kelly Ruland attempts to save her older brilliant prodigal brother from the angelic/demonic leader of a motorcycle cult — or, as I like to tell people, “It’s like LOST BOYS. Except really different”) will be published by MTV Books, now an imprint at Simon & Schuster.

I’m psyched about that.

And I’m psyched about continuing to work with Liz Scheier at Roc/Penguin on the Bloodangel series.

So.

Feeling fortunate. I went into my first publication experience having heard so many horror stories about the evil publishing machine and its stupid and/or psychotic editors who MUTILATE YOUR BABY that I felt jaded and cynical through vicarious experience alone. So my expectations, going into this, were not high. Yet here I am, intact, unbloodied, looking forward to the future, feeling privileged to have met some very sharp and amusing people. Knock wood. Knock wood some more.

Also feeling strangely buzzed on very little beer. What I wanted, of course, was a stiff gin-and-tonic, but am forced to make do with half a glass of Heineken. Bleh.

4

And speaking of the Bloodangel sequel, I wrote a sequence yesterday which had me pushing back my desk chair and muttering to myself, “Yes. The book has now gotten officially messed-up and weird.” One scene in particular managed to creep me out in a most delightful way. I’d been musing to myself that if the first book was heavily influenced by King and various other children of horror, this book is going off in more of a fantasy direction, more influenced by, say, China Mieville and even George R R Martin, despite the urban contemporary setting. I’ve also been hugely impressed by local literary boy Steve Erickson, who wrote the mind-bending DAYS BETWEEN STATIONS, THE SEA CAME IN AT MIDNIGHT and OUR ECSTATIC DAYS — what he’s doing is different from what I’m doing, and yet there’s something in his vision of Los Angeles that delights me to the bone, which I can feed from and be inspired by. Add the fact that one particular storyline demands some actual historical research into 1860s Paris — which finally has me reading Zola, one of those writers I’ve always intended to read yet managed to spend the last ten years avoiding — and I feel pretty confident that this book will come out as my own unique mix. I’ve said before that BLOODANGEL was the first book I ever wrote that truly felt like ‘mine’ — like no one else could have written it but me — and the unfolding story continues to feel that way. Whether that’s bad or good, of course, who can say. It is what it is.

But as I was saying. I don’t try to be a particular type of writer who writes a particular type of story; I write what I want to write. And I’ve reached a point in this particular book where I see how it will indeed earn the ‘Roc Horror’ imprint most likely stamped on its spine.

I just seem to be that kind of girl.

*It went first to my literary agency, where commissions were deducted.

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