Feedback Friday!!!1 Fan Girl Overload

Posted: October 18, 2013 in Feedback Friday
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Happy Friday everyone!

Before I jump in to all the cool stuff I want to talk about this week, I want to chat just a little bit about the chapter that went up this past weekend. It was short, I know; most of the chapters I’ve been posting have been between 1500 and 2500 words, which is about 4 to 6 typed pages. Chapter 7 was just a touch over 1200, about 3 pages of text, so not quite as long as I’ve been posting. There was a reason for that: Chapter 7 and Chapter 8 were originally one full chapter, and I broke them apart into two. The second part, which will go up this Sunday, is 2600 words on its own; if I’d posted them the way I originally wrote them the chapter would have clocked at a little over 3900 words, which is significantly longer than anything I’ve put up for you to read. On paper, that might not be so bad; turning 10 or so pages isn’t much more of a hardship than turning 6. But on a computer? I was iffy on that. I feel like the attention span for reading online is a little bit shorter, in general, that it would be for reading a book, and the last thing I want to do is annoy or lose anybody who is currently enjoying the story. (Which I hope is a fair number of people!)

So let me ask you, the readers, a question: How have you felt about the length of the chapters that have gone up so far? Too long, too short, just right? I personally think I made the right call in splitting the last chapter up into two, but I’m not the only one whose opinion on this matters. I’m asking because if, in the future, I end up with a monster 4,000 word chapter again, my tendency will be again to split it, unless someone can make a case for not doing so.

Okay, with that out of the way, let’s talk zombies! This week was a great week for zombie fans: the new season of The Walking Dead premiered, and the Canvas.net class based around the show opened up. I’m not sure yet how I feel about the show – except, of course, HI DARYL – but the online course, so far, is fascinating. They’re making liberal use of clips from the show to illustrate lesson points, which I think is super helpful in making facts relatable, and also have actor interviews that pertain directly to the week’s lesson. In short: awesomeness. If you’re not doing this, you seriously should; enrollment is open (and it’s free!), so you can sign up anytime. There’s also no grade, so if you want to just go through the lessons on your own, without having to worry about assignments or discussion forums, you can do that.

In exciting news for this blog, a profile and link went up at postapoc.net, an online database that brings together all kinds of media relating to the apocalypse and post-apocalyptic fun-times. If you’re interested in that kind of thing I really encourage you to check the site out; there are independently-created games, online serials like this one, websites about prepping and survival – lots and lots of cool stuff. I’m very excited to be part of that, and to have the chance to maybe bring in a few new readers.

On a much more personal note, here’s where I have to let go of the leash and let my inner 13-year-old fan girl run around like a hyperactive yappy dog: I MET ANNE RICE LAST NIGHT.

A couple months ago we got a new bookstore in my town (thank GOD, it was terrible being without one), and somehow, through dark magic I don’t know about or understand, they arranged for Anne Rice and her son Christopher to come to town, record a radio interview in front of a live audience and then do a book signing.

This might not seem like a big deal, but a) we are a TINY town. Like, I seriously don’t know how they convinced them to visit us. Stuff like this does not happen here. And b) ANNE FUCKING RICE, PEOPLE. I’ve been reading her books since I was old enough to start stealing them off my mother’s shelves. Plus, I’ve always considered her to be an inspiration; when I start to become despondent over my writing career (or lack thereof) I remind myself that she didn’t write her first book, Interview with the Vampire, until she was 32, and sold it when she was 33. A lot of writers seem to think we need to “make it” in when we’re “young” or we’re failures who will never amount to anything. (As someone who turned 30 this year, I consider that still ‘young’, but I most certainly didn’t a few years ago.) She’s a reminder to me, along with a few other authors, that there is no too late.

ANYWAY. I snapped tickets up and took my mom to this thing last night, and it was amazing. I wasn’t sure how it would go, since I didn’t know much about how she interacted with her fans and knew even less about her son; I was nervous all day leading up to the event.

Let me tell you: Anne Rice? Nicest person ever. She interviewed so well for the show (which is supposed to air in 2 weeks on public radio – I’ll link to it when it’s available so you can strain your ears and hear me clapping), she was kind enough to answer questions from the audience after the interview recording was over, and the signing? She was so, so gracious. They had rules set up beforehand that indicated she would sign multiple books for people but only one would be personalized, and we were welcome to take pictures but there would be no posed photography. People being people, of course, they went up with armloads of books that they wanted personalized – and she did it. (And I mean arm. loads. Some people had tote bags FULL of books. It was ridic.) Many people also ignored the “no posed photography” thing and asked to be allowed to stand with her and Christopher for pictures. And? She let them. Happily, it seemed; she granted every request, smiled sincerely and seriously never seemed put-out by any of it. Considering there are people out there who charge for autographs, I was so impressed. I love her even more now than I did before.

I took two books with me, which were actually two copies of the same book: The Witching Hour. I’ve read almost all of her other books, including the entirety of the Vampire Chronicles, but Witching Hour remains my absolute favorite. My original copy, which I filched from my mother many many years ago, has been read and re-read so many times that it’s falling apart. Literally – the cover, title pages and first few pages of the manuscript are gone, lost who-knows-where. I don’t need them; I know most of the book by heart anyway. I’ve never been terribly upset about the condition of the book, up until I realized I wanted her to sign it but didn’t really want to present her with this shabby, torn-apart copy. My mother, being awesome, purchased a new hardcover copy for me to have signed (which I’m in the middle of reading, because of course I am), so I brought that with me. I also, at the encouragement of my mom, brought the old copy.

You guys. I gave her that old, battered, beat-to-hell book (which is the one I chose, in the end, to have personalized) and she thanked me for bringing it. She told me she loved to see books like that, books of hers that have been obviously well-loved. I was so worried about offending her, and she was thrilled to see it.


She then offered to personalize my other book too, so I could put the old copy away for safe-keeping. When my mother followed behind me and thanked her for signing my old book, she said very seriously that she was honored to do it. I didn’t hear her say it – I was too busy standing off to the side forgetting to take my mother’s picture, because ANNERICEOHMYGOD – but I thought my mom was going to cry.

I’ve never met someone famous before. I’ve fantasized about meeting Vincent D’Onofrio (we bang like rabbits, naturally) but have never really considered what it would be like to meet and speak to someone I admired so damn much. The fact that it happened, and that she was such an incredibly kind and wonderful person, will go down as one of the best experiences of my life.

Now, if the bookstore could just figure out how to lure Stephen King here.

BOOK RECOMMENDATION

This week’s recommendation is non-fiction, but still in the romance area. I bought and read Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches’ Guide to Romance, which dissects the romance genre and takes a hard (and hilarious) look at all the parts, good and bad. The authors are huge fans of romance novels, so rather than coming off as someone ripping on the genre for the sake of snobbiness it reads very much like two people who love the books and want them to be the very best they can possibly be. The phrase “man titty” is used with wanton abandon, and dick euphemisms abound. If you’re a fan of romance, I really urge you to check it out. They also have a website, which I admit I haven’t spent much time at but plan to browse more in-depth when I have free time. So, next year some time.

That’s it for today. See you Sunday!

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