Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Haunted?



Some of you may have noticed that I've been in a bit of a foul mood of late.

I could blame work stress, I could blame kid stress, I could blame life or the often capriciously cruel twists of fate, but I should lay the blame where it belongs. At the spectral feet of the ghost (or ghosts, I can't be sure) that haunt my bedroom.

Yes. Ghosts. In my bedroom.

NOT JOKING. <---capitals so that you can understand just how not joking I am.

My new bedroom is truly haunted. Let me break it down for you, all these ghostly things that happen in this accursed room:

1. Lights turn on in the middle of the night. Until my husband found some way to permanently disable the overhead lights, we would wake up two and three times a night to find them blaring. That may not sound that crazy, but think about it: Lights. Suddenly on. Two in the morning. Three in the morning. Four in the morning. AHHHHH! Crapping ghosts and your disconcerting light flicking! You're messing with my California dreaming. Literally. Who can dream with that much REM phase disruption?

2. Children singing. I hear them. All. The. Time. But especially at around 4-5 a.m. I don't know if this is because this is the witching hour--or the ghostly children's singing hour--or because this is around the time my sleeping pill wears off and I start listening for the angelic sounds of my own children waking. But that's when I hear them. High, sweet voices, singing a song I can't recognize in the way that kids all sing songs in a way I can't really recognize.

Slightly off key, lilting, scary as all crapping hell when they come at your eardrum at 4 in the morning. And you go out into the hall and realize that your children are sleeping soundly. And not singing. For real. NOT SINGING<---so you can know how much they are really not the ones making these noises.

3. And in related phenomenon, my oldest son has started singing when he wakes up in the morning. He never did that before. Not until he heard....(wait for it)....the "other kids doing it when they wake up"....

....

....

AHHHHHH!!!!!!

But seriously. I think I'm living in a haunted house. I am afraid to research this joint because I don't want to know who tragically died here. And then I'm afraid not to because...what if there is something I need to know? What if tragic events are destined to repeat themselves?

What if....<---too scared to go on, also knocking on wood, also having trouble swallowing water with calcium supplement fizzing inside of it. Because of the calcium? Or because of the GHOSTS!!??!! I don't know!

Any ghost settling tips? I'm cool with zombies--obviously--but ghosts...whole new ballgame. Maybe I need to contact Marley Gibson.

Stacey Jay<---who is probably haunted and may start wetting her bed or wearing earphones or both because there is nothing more fun than listening to your ipod while wetting the bed.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Stealing, Illegal file sharing, General SUCKing butt, whatever you want to call it

I'm still slammed, but I had to dash off a quick blog to address the rash of illegal file sharing of my books that's been taking place in the past few weeks.

I've received 10 google alerts in the past week. 8 were for people sharing my books illegally on rapid share sites. And all those sites have had hundreds (or sometimes even thousands) of downloads.

People ask why my series wasn't continued. Honestly, the sales weren't as good as the first book, and I believe illegal file sharing plays its part in that.

It also plays a part in making me seriously rethink taking the time to self-publish an ebook finishing the Megan Berry series. I know it will end up being illegally shared. I KNOW it. And I don't know that I can afford that. Financially, it would hurt me. Emotionally, it would continue to destroy what little faith I have that people aren't complete ass hats who suck butt and care nothing for anyone but themselves. (I really want to believe in humanity, but humanity keeps doing it's damnedest to prove it is anything but kind.)

I haven't made a call for sure about axing the ebook, and I really do want to finish the series for all the great readers who've written me email, but I will say this: I'm bummed. Deeply bummed. And to all you people illegally sharing and downloading my books I say this: You Suck. You deeply suck and I hope your computer is infected with a nasty virus and a plague of locusts descends upon your house.

All you illegal downloaders have a crappy rest of your weekend,

Stacey

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Deep in the Trenches

Revision Trench

I'm doing a revision. A big one. Fast. A big fast revision. I have bruises on my wrists and my shoulders ache all the time and I think I might be starting to go blind from staring at the computer for too long<--only melodramatic part of that was the blind part. I'm not going blind yet, but I do have bruises on my wrists and even ibuprofen can't help my shoulders. I think I need a new keyboard. Or new wrists and shoulders. Or all of the above.

Mommy Trench

My six year old has so much homework this year. And then he asked for extra because he is a strange, sad little child who will probably grow up to be a workaholic just like his mother. I get to help him with this homework, of course. It takes a long time. Especially the constantly reminding him to "look at the words" and "you won't be able to read by guessing and looking at my face to see if you guessed correctly." That's a really fun part of teaching kids to read. I remember doing that with my stepdaughter for yyeeeeaaarrrsss. I'm really looking forward to round two of that<---sarcasm. (But it will be worth it in the end because then he will be able to READ! and what is better, I ask you?)

My nearly two year old is going through an extremely fragile time. He whines and cries and falls down constantly. A combo of new teeth and about an extra inch of height he seemingly acquired overnight has him all messed up. Poor thing. (Really poor rest of us. We have to listen to him and he is so loud. And when he's not being pissed at the world for giving him new teeth, he's doing his new dinosaur impression<---which is hysterical, but also very, very loud. I've had to start leaving the house to write because I can hear him even when I have my headphones on and music blasting. And then I go to a coffee shop and people try to talk to me<--bastard friendly people! curse you! Or I go to the library and the teenagers are talking constantly<--curse you teenagers! just kidding, I actually like to eavesdrop and hear what's "going down with the young people" but really. It is a library. Some of us go there for quiet.)

So anyway: Concentration, it is not easy for me these days.

Oh, and extracurricular activities started this week. Taekwando and Mommy and Me Music and blah blah blah blah.

So that's that. Anyone else in the trenches?

Stacey Jay

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Thoughts from the road...

I promised y'all my road thoughts over a week ago, and figured it was time to deliver. (Sorry the blog is suffering a bit. I swear I'll get back to the blogging with ruthless efficiency as soon as my revision for JULIET IMMORTAL is complete.)

So, road thoughts from the cross country drive from Arkansas to Northern California:

If I were suddenly turned into a cow, would I automatically develop a taste for grass?

Heartland is a scary word...think about the visual.

Now I know what it would look like if a giant butt were murdered in a rest stop bathroom.

(Really, we stopped at this place where there was feces exploded over, spread up on the walls as high as my face. I went in there to change a diaper and I quickly went back out again, shielding the baby's eyes from the HORROR. And then, as we were leaving, some creepy guy came over to our car and asked me if I'd gotten a flier. I said, "no, I don't want one, thanks," and gave him the "get lost" look, but he kept getting closer.

I was holding the baby, everyone else who'd been parked by my van had left in the two minutes it took me to discover the butt murder and make a run for it, and I guess this dude thought I'd be an easy mark. Instead, I turned around and braced myself to kick the living crap out of him. I guess he saw the inner crazy ninja warrior in my eyes because he quickly turned and walked away. As he did, I saw there was a long brown streak down the back of his pants, leading me to believe he may have murdered the giant butt in the bathroom. Gross and scary and...ew.

What have we learned kids? Don't stop at rest stops, even if the baby has filled his diaper with a big old stinky.)

The world's largest cross (in Oklahoma somewhere? I think?) is across the street from the world's largest corn field. Is that spooky to anyone else?

Gruhlkey, Texas. Heh. Gruhl. Key. Gruuuuhhhlllkeeeeyyyyy.

Sign in New Mexico: COPS ARE EVERYWHERE!! (This was false advertising. They were not everywhere. They were certainly not at the rest stop where the butt murder took place. And I went eight miles over the speed limit just to see if they were out on the highways. I didn't get it a ticket. Take that, cops. Who are not everywhere.)

Another sign in New Mexico: Gusty winds may exist. (Another winner. I think we can all agree that gusty winds exist. It's been proven by science and stuff. Shouldn't this be, "gusty winds may be present" or "may occur" or "you might experience some gusty wind" or something? I'm disappointed in your signage, New Mexico.)

Hillbilly Figurines. Who collects these?

And there you go. Some thoughts.

Oh, and remember, the contest to win an ARC of THE LOCKET is now open. Join my news group between now and October 1st to be entered to win: http://groups.google.com/group/stacey-jays-news

Some people have had trouble joining, so just email me for an invite if that happens to you and I will get one right out.

Happy Wednesday!

Stacey Jay

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Megan Berry Book Three: The Announcement

Yes!

There will be a third book. Read on for all the news, both happy and sad:

First, the sad news:


Razorbill has elected not to continue the Megan Berry series, citing concerns that zombies are trending downwards. After careful consideration, I've decided not to ask my agent to shop this series any further. My schedule is fully booked through 2012. I am busy, busy, busy writing the two books in the JULIET IMMORTAL series for Delacorte, a stand alone book for Flux, as well as my first adult Stacey Jay releases for Pocket books (more about that later!)

So, even if I were to sell the next Megan book to another publisher, there would be little chance of the book hitting the shelves earlier than 2013. The publishing process takes a very long time and--no matter how fast I wrote the story--there is no way the book could get into your hands in less than 2 years. Or...is there...?

The happy news!:

I have decided to self-publish a novella finishing the Undead series. The book, tentatively titled UNDEAD TO THE WORLD, will be available as an ebook only in late spring/early summer of 2011. (I plan to write the book during my Christmas break, get two of my published author friends to edit, and then hire a professional copy editor to make certain the novella is as tight as a drum before publishing it via the Amazon self-publish system.)

This may not please you die-hard "But I must hold the book in my hands! MY HANDS!!!" folks, but I would like to remind you that there are such things as printers, and you can use them to print things that you wish to read on paper.

Also, I would like all of you readers to know that this is a story I am writing because your feed back matters. Because over 500 of these types of emails:

Subject: PLEASE!!!

Message: I really need you to write a new book to the you r so UNDEAD to me seires!!! Please my best friend and I love your books and cant wait to see the next one and see if ethan and megan get back together!! Please write another book thanks and please write another book. BYE.


Subject: The undead series

Message: I was wondering if you are going to do a third book for the undead series? I have been checking your website but I can never find anything about it, because I really love those books.


Subject: zombie settler series

Message: I just finished Undead Much? Please tell me that you are going to continue the series.
Subject: and next book Message: you should write a 3rd book for the undead much and you are so undead to me.

Well...these emails have meant a lot to me. If I'd known that Book 3 in the Megan Berry series wouldn't be published in trade paperback I would never have written such a cliffhanger into Book 2. But I did, and I dig you guys too much to leave you hanging. So I'm going to write that novella, and I'm going to publish it, because you all rock. Thank you for reading my books. Thanks for caring about these characters and sending YOU ARE SO UNDEAD TO ME into a fourth printing. Thank you for writing me email. And thank you for bearing with me while I waited for the final answer to this question.

Stay tuned for more updates and a teaser chapter of UNDEAD TO THE WORLD, coming to my website in early 2011.

But in the meantime...I've got some exciting news. Advanced Reader Copies for THE LOCKET arrived on my doorstep late last night!!



Now, I only have six. Six, that's it, and I'm going to need to save most of those for giveaways closer to the February release date. But, as a thank you to loyal readers of the blog and website, I'm going to open a contest for one copy now.

To enter to win, join my new newsletter group between now and October first. Here's the link to join: http://groups.google.com/group/stacey-jays-news

This group will be primarily for my quarterly newsletter and announcements about contests and book releases. (It will be very low volume, probably no more than one email a month so it won't clog your in-box.) And once you join, you will never go hungry for news or wander in the zombie-infested forests of confusion again! Yes, my lovelies, I am also newly dedicated to keeping you informed.

So that's that. Hope to see all of you on the loop!

Happy Thursday,

Stacey Jay