An unlikely love letter

First, I have a post up on Writer Unboxed that you may find interesting. Or not. true love

I’ve been busy writing, and as you can see in the sidebar, I’m nearly done with my SKIN DIVE draft. I also wrapped up the KILLBOX galleys, so that book’s in the bag now. Hard to believe Jax is rolling toward book four, right? Amazing. At the end of August — shortly after my birthday — that book will put the series at 4/6 (or 2/3) completion. That makes me incredibly proud; that I could start something and finish it. How splendid! It’s rather a milestone, too, I think.

Other than that, I have exciting RAZORLAND goodness percolating behind the scenes. I’m finalizing the agreement for my book trailer with the UK production company, and I’ve been working with the Feiwel audiobook department. As it turns out, they’re doing a special CD sampler with excerpts from the audiobook, which will be included in the galleys. Part of that CD? An interview with yours truly. I did the call today, and wow, I was nervous, but I think I did all right. So many exciting things are coming down the pike this year. Sometimes it’s hard to wrap my head around. For instance, in the next month, I get to see my Cliff Nielsen cover art. I. Can’t. Wait. Interesting (or maybe not?) sidenote, he has done art for Charles de Lint, too, as has my Jax artist, Scott Fischer. This makes me feel like I’m playing Six Degrees of de Lint, who totally friended me on Facebook — without any prompting from me, I might add.

Along with Walter Jon Williams and Simon Green, de Lint holds a special place in my esteem, as he’s wrapped up in my courtship with my husband. Well, not literally. Geez, people. But both Andres and I love books. I logged those recommendations as another woman might gifts of perfume or jewelry; see, we communicate by recommending books to each other, and the themes say private things. The first book Andres ever told me to read was Aristoi by Walter Jon Williams. The next was Imajica by Clive Barker. After that, it was Someplace to Be Flying by de Lint. And then, of course, we discovered Simon Green’s Nightside books together. To this day, shared reading is important to us. When I find an author I love, if I love them enough, I give the book to Andres, and I say, Read this. The subtext is, I want you to love what I love. Maybe it’s goofy of me, but I see each instance as a quiet renewal of vows — that the commonalities that brought us together initially bind us still, so many years later.

I could never have imagined I would end up here… on the cusp of seeing my own words in hardcover. I marvel. Andres, on the other hand, does not. You see, he fell in love with my words first, and then the person behind them. He always knew. He always believed, even when I didn’t. His patience means so much to me now, more than I can say. And so I post a love note for all the world to see on our anniversary, vaguely blog-shaped. Love is not perfection; it is understanding and forgiveness.

Thank you for these marvelous years, my darling. May there be fifteen more and fifteen more again, until you’ve no hair, and I’ve no teeth, and I have forgotten everyone’s eyes but yours. Happy anniversary.

Love, Ann

On Courtesy

I’ve been meaning to do a better job of posting on the blog, but when I’m drafting most of my creativity goes into the book. Fortunately, I have enough cranky in my pants today to make this entertaining, I think. Lately, it occurs to me that courtesy is a dying art. I don’t just mean people who hold the door for others, or say “please” and “thank you” to strangers, although that’s certainly a part of it.

Specifically, I’m thinking about the writing world. We’ve all run across users in our journey, those who want something from us, and they only play nice as long as they reckon we can give them what they want. I hate seeing it happen to people I like because it’s hurtful. I’ve certainly been in that situation a time or two, and it stinks, seeing people you thought were your friends turn. Sometimes success causes it; sometimes the lack of success. Either way, it’s an unpleasant revelation.

Being courteous and polite to everyone, no matter who they are, is a great idea. Not because they might someday be stupidly famous and they will remember your douchebaggery, but because it doesn’t cost anything. It makes no sense to blow people off or to treat them as lesser beings. No matter what someone else has achieved, we are, at base, all human. Celebrity doesn’t change that–and if it does, then something has gone horribly wrong. I’m not a celebrity by any stretch; I don’t mean to imply that. But even I have people who dismissed me quite cruelly before I sold anything. Now those same folks are obsequious in their desire to curry favor. Do they honestly think I don’t remember?

Sometimes people act like niceness is a crime, something you don’t want to be. But I miss it. I miss the days when it wasn’t okay to interrupt someone’s award acceptance. I miss the days when people were allowed to finish their sentences without being attacked. I rather loathe the new sensational standard, where people are hungry and addicted to drama, and to that end, they put the worst possible spin on anything. Sadly, people seem eager to conform down. We treat each other like nobody else matters; self has become the altar of ultimate onanism. I do wonder if this is how the Victorians felt at the turn of the century, as if civilized behavior was on the decline. The world didn’t end, of course. Our standards merely changed.

But in a world where oil gushes endlessly, mountains fall, sinkholes open, earthquakes rock already impoverished islands, and all people want to do is make fun of Al Gore for caring, where are they going from here?

Skin Tight

skin tight “Gray has crafted a tight, suspenseful tale that will have you up at night turning pages.”
–RT Book Reviews

Uncovering the truth is her specialty
As a forensic accountant, Mia Sauter could usually tell when people had something to hide. She made her living exposing secrets while concealing her own. Then, in Vegas, she met a clever, ruthless man who called himself Addison Foster. One year later, she’s still haunted by his betrayal.

He’s a natural born liar
The truth of him had long ago been buried. Foster was only one name of many; he’d been so many men, he’d lost count. Reinvented as Thomas Strong and hell-bent on revenge, his mission is about to be compromised by the one woman capable of exposing him…

Reunited, they confront the explosive chemistry still crackling between them. But their chance meeting will have consequences, for a ruthless madman has his own deadly agenda. The question is—if they survive the fallout, will he choose love over vengeance?

So today is the release of SKIN TIGHT. You should totally go get a copy.

ETA: if you do go to the bookstore this week, would you mind taking a picture and posting a link in comments? I wish I could go and admire my pretties on the shelves, but alas, I cannot. You must be my eyes! Please? Pretty please?