Monday, January 24, 2011

Want to win something pretty?



Ooo....ahhh...original artwork inspired by THE LOCKET, courtesy of the talented Ms. April McGuire. You can check her out at deviant art: http://velvet-moonlight.deviantart.com/ or over at her blog http://unrelentingmuse.blogspot.com/. I've been a fan of April's art for awhile, but had no idea she's also a writer until I spent some time over at her blog today. These people with their many talents. Amazing!

Many of you may remember that April is also the artist who did the work for the UNDEAD MUCH? mugs and t-shirts:



I've gotten so many emails from readers wanting to know where they can buy a print of this and now I have a link! Go here and buy if you choose. I'm sure April will appreciate the support:

http://www.deviantart.com/print/14741486/

So in order to celebrate the release of THE LOCKET on February 3rd, I'll be giving away some swag--including a mug, some posters, and etc--in the next few weeks. Stay tuned to learn to learn how to win. And in the meantime, check out THE LOCKET teaser on my website if you haven't had the chance just yet: http://www.staceyjay.com/the-locket/

And that's what I've got today. *yawn*

Happy Monday,

Stacey

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Badassery



I am 33 years old. I haven't skated in years (though I used to be pretty badass until I wiped out on concrete and tore up my face my junior year of high school). I am relatively small and probably won't fair well in a girl fight.

But--as Liz Lemon says--I want to go to there.

I want to be a part of the theatrical badassery of roller derby. I want to wear fishnet hose and a mouth guard at the same time and see how many gnarly bruises I can acquire. (But I don't want to break anything, so I'm going to practice falling down so I do it really, really well. I need my bones. Especially the ones in my fingers for like...typing and work and stuff.)

Rawr! I'm really going to do this, ya'll. I'm going to my first practice on Monday. Assuming I can stay awake until 7:30.<--because badasses like me are usually in their PJ by 7:00.

Squee!

Bad Mama Jama [Bad Ma(a like apple)-muh ja (also a like apple)-muh] Out<--possible derby name if I can make it to 5 practices and get ready for the next round of tryouts in April. Because I am "bad" and a "mama" and because "jama" is fun to say.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Cancer is an Asshole-Win books

I don't think it's any secret that cancer is an asshole.

Cancer drops in uninvited and steals the people we love. I don't think there's a better definition of "asshole" than that, and I pretty much hate cancer like ass sores. (And I had those when I was pregnant, so I know what I'm talking about.)

I've lost family and friends to cancer and had my own close encounter with the big C when I was in college, but it's been awhile since a cancer diagnosis hit me so close to home. L.K. Madigan--fellow debut author of 2009, writer of damned fine books, and generally amazing person--has been diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. You can read her incredibly moving, honest, and inspirational post about how she's dealing with that over at her blog.

As for the rest of us...we're just trying to find some way to let L.K. know that she is in our thoughts every day. With that in mind, The Feast of Awesome, debut authors of 2009, is giving away 80 copies of L.K.'s wonderful books. Go here to find out all the details.

I hope all of you will enter to win the books and let L.K. know how excited readers are to get their hands on these stories.

Stacey

Friday, January 14, 2011

The 2011 Release Rundown

Been wanting to know what I have coming out in 2011? Been wishing that information was all compiled in one place? Want and wish no longer! For I give you, the 2011 release rundown:

1st up, THE LOCKET, which will release in just a couple of weeks!



THE LOCKET
Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Razorbill books, February 3rd, 2011
Order at IndieBound, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or wherever you like to be buying books.

How far would you go for a second chance?

For Katie, life as Isaac Tayte’s girlfriend was pretty much perfect. Until the night she messed everything up by cheating on him with their mutual best friend, Mitch. Katie is devastated over her mistake—and she’ll do anything to get Isaac back.


Then, on her seventeenth birthday, she discovers a strange, beautiful locket. When she puts it on, Katie finds herself going back in time—to the night she and Mitch kissed. At first, Katie is thrilled at the chance to do it all over again. If she can only change the past, she might be able to save her perfect future with Isaac. But as other aspects of her life become inexplicably altered, she realizes that second chances come with a dark price. Katie can’t help but wonder: is fate is meant to be tampered with—or is the most extraordinary kind of life the one that’s far from perfect?


Next up, DEAD ON THE DELTA, my first adult offering (though I think it's also appropriate for older teens):


DEAD ON THE DELTA (Dead on the Delta Book 1)
Adult Urban Fantasy Series from Pocket Books
Releases May 31st, 2011
Pre-order at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound, or etc...

If you believe in fairies, run. . . .

Once upon a time, fairies were the stuff of bedtime stories and sweet dreams. Then came the mutations, and the dreams turned to nightmares. Mosquito-sized fairies now indulge their taste for human blood—and for most humans, a fairy bite means madness or death. Luckily, Annabelle Lee isn’t most humans. The hard-drinking, smart mouthed, bicycle riding redhead is immune to fairy venom, and able to do the dirty work most humans can’t. Including helping law enforcement—and Cane Cooper, the bayou’s sexiest detective—collect evidence when a body pops up outside the barricades of her Louisiana town.


But Annabelle isn’t equipped to deal with the murder of a six-year-old girl, or a former lover turned FBI snob taking an interest in the case. Suddenly her already bumpy relationship with Cane turns even rockier and even the most trustworthy friends turn into suspects. Annabelle’s life is imploding: Between relationship drama, a heartbreaking murder investigation, Breeze-crazed drug runners, and a few too many rum and cokes, Annabelle is a woman on the run—from her past, from her future, and into the arms of a darkness waiting just for her. . . .


And lastly, but not leastly, JULIET IMMORTAL, my hardcover debut:

JULIET IMMORTAL
Young Adult Paranormal Romance
September 13th, 2011 from Delacorte Press
Hardcover edition
Pre-order at IndieBound, or Amazon, or etc... (Barnes and Noble didn't have the book listed just yet.)

Cover to be revealed. (I've seen it and it's gorgeous! But I can't share just yet.)

Flap copy:

“These violent delights have violent ends

And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,

Which as they kiss consume.”

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare


The most tragic love story in history . . .


Juliet Capulet didn’t take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But Romeo didn’t anticipate that Juliet would be granted eternity as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light.


For seven hundred years, Juliet has struggled to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent, while Romeo has fought for the dark side, seeking to destroy the human heart. Until now.


Now, Juliet has found her own forbidden love, and Romeo, O Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy their happiness.


And that's that!

I'll be back soon with some teasers from all three of the books, as well as some GORGEOUS original, story-inspired artwork for THE LOCKET from April McGuire (one of my favorite young artists). And a giveaway, of course. It wouldn't be release time if there weren't some goodies to give away.

Hope you have a wonderful long weekend!

Stacey Jay

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Thoughts for the New Year...

Hello all,

Everyone else finished up with their New Year posts last week. I'm twelve days behind, limping along in the metaphorical blogging dust.

But since one of my New Year's goals is to stop apologizing or feeling guilty for stupid things, I'm going to press on without the expected "I'm so sorry for being late/not blogging regularly/not having more stimulating posts/blah blah blah." I was working my butt off and spending time with my family so there's really nothing to apologize for. And isn't it more important that I put my best effort into making entertaining books, rather than an entertaining blog? If I have to choose between the two? Yes. I think so.

Yeay! It feels great to shed that mantle of woe. I am free! I am not guilty or shrunken with apologies! 2011 is going to be the year of liberation from old, unproductive ways of thinking!<--Or not. I do still feel a little guilty. And let me tell you why...

NEW YEAR GOAL NUMBER ONE

If I get to MEGAN BERRY 3 in 2011, I get to it. If I don't, I don't.

I promised you all some time back that I would write you a novella to finish up the Megan Berry series and self publish it in ebook format. Razorbill elected not to continue the series in mid 2010 due to concerns that zombies are "trending downwards," and I felt guilty for leaving everyone hanging.

But I honestly had no idea I would be allowed to write a cliff hanger for book 2 if there wasn't every intention of continuing the series until its conclusion. I assumed if the fate of Megan Berry was up in the air, then I would be strongly encouraged to give book 2 a more "this could be the end" conclusion. I was still fairly new in the business, and didn't understand that publishing is constantly in flux, and that my editor might be as in the dark about the fate of book 3 as anyone else.

Bottom line: I didn't know it was going to be canceled. I certainly didn't want the series to be canceled. And I would have been thrilled to write more books for the people who enjoy these stories to enjoy. But instead, I had to seek out other writing contracts in order to support my family.

Just a quick breakdown for anyone who isn't sure how the business works (I apologize if this seems condescending, but I get a lot of emails from people who seem to think that I put these books out on my own, and that I am also capable of producing full length feature films if I put my mind to it.)

How a traditional paperback usually gets to the shelf:

Author writes part (or all) of book.

Agent sells book (or partial, or idea) to publisher.

Publisher gives author money to write the book, and also pays for all production costs involved in making a word document something you can hold in your hand. (Which is expensive and is why a lot of self-published authors go digital instead of paperback. Paper is costly. So for those of you who've written hate mail regarding my decision to put the novella out as an ebook, I can only apologize for not being made of money. Oh...but I'm not apologizing this year. So I'll just flat out tell you I'm not made of money and can't afford to produce a paperback by myself. And also, that hate mail is lame.)

Publisher sells books and--once the author "earns out," or makes back all the money they were given for their advance--then the publisher begins paying the author a certain percentage of their revenues for the book.

So basically, publishers give me money to write, which is important because I write for a living and am presently the primary wage earner in my home since my husband retired. I have to think about how food and clothes are going to be acquired when I choose my writing gigs. Because of that, I'm booked pretty heavily in 2011 with stories I have signed legal contracts to write. I'm going to be writing three full length books this year. That's A LOT of writing--probably over 300,000 words or more--and I really want to make sure that I'm not so over worked that the writing starts to suffer. More than that, I want to take more time to promote my work so that this whole "your series is canceled" thing doesn't happen again. I need to spend more time getting the word out, and that is going to take time away from other things.

Like spare time to work on projects like UNDEAD TO THE WORLD, the novella that will finish up Megan Berry's story. I want Megan to have an ending--I adore Megan--but it may have to wait for awhile. I can't promise I'll get to it in 2011. I will try my best. But I can't promise. I have to attend to my contracted work and also, my health...

Speaking of health...

NEW YEAR GOAL NUMBER TWO

Get off Ambien, a sleeping aid I have been addicted to for nearly four years.

Those of you who read the blog regularly know that I have insomnia and that my doctors encouraged me to take Ambien every night for years to "cure" it. Ambien, however, is not a cure, it's a highly addictive drug. I've been on the stuff so long now that I can't go to sleep without it. Can't. At all. People tell you to take a nap when you're tired, but I can't. I can't because I can't fall asleep--not ever--without a pill. Last year around this time, I tried to get off Ambien and stayed awake for four days. By the end I was having heart palpitations, had lost eight pounds, and was a complete, exhausted wreck incapable of taking care of my kids. My husband took off work for a few days to help me out, but in the end he had to go back to work and I had to function. So I went back on the pill. For 9 months.

I can tell you, however, that it seems like only a month or so ago that I went through that. It was terrible. It was especially terrible to reach out for help to the medical community and have them tell me the addiction was "all in my head."<--not in my head. not at all.

But now, I live in California. I have a new doctor who is committed to helping me get off Ambien and learn how to sleep like a normal person again. I have an acupuncturist and traditional Chinese medical options to explore. And most importantly, my husband is retired and can help me out with the children while I kick this thing once and for all. And I need to kick it. I'm not the kind of person who can psychologically deal with being addicted to something, possibly for the rest of my life. Especially a drug so new that it could cause god knows what kind of side effects.

But getting clean, as they say, won't be easy. I know that for a fact. I may lose days of productivity during this struggle, but I can't stress out about that. This has to happen. In 2011. Go! Fight! Win!!!

Speaking of going...

NEW YEAR GOAL 3

Have an adventure!

In 2010, our family's big adventure was moving cross country with two small children. It was a costly adventure and more about survival than thrive-al. This year, however, I want to go nomad with fun in mind. The hubs and I are saving to drive down to San Diego this summer to visit some friends for the 4th of July weekend, but I'm also dying to do something solo, preferably that will put me in contact with other writers. It's easy to feel isolated in this line of work, and I've been missing my writer support system since our move. So maybe a retreat? Or a convention? I've never been to Dragoncon, but I've heard it's awesome. I'm not sure yet, but plans will be made and perhaps some new friends met!

NEW YEAR GOAL 4

Be a joiner.

I'm not a member of SCBWI. I really should be. So I'm going to join and try to make a few of my local events.

NEW YEAR GOAL 5

More music.

I listened to a lot of new music in 2010--more than any year since I was in high school--and I want the trend to continue. I've loved discovering new musicians, and I'm hoping I'll eventually get inspired enough to pick up my guitar again. Or maybe my son's ukulele. I think I could rock pretty hard on a ukulele.

NEW YEAR GOAL 6

Fewer apologies.

I'm a firm believer in saying you're sorry when the occasion requires, but I tend to apologize too much. I think I'm done with that this year, especially when it comes to apologizing for being a little different. I have a different belief system than a lot of my community, but that's okay. It's also okay to dance and frolic at unexpected moments. (My sons and I get our dance party on wherever the music is. If that happens to be the barber shop, so be it.) It's magical to be alive and I'm not going to apologize for being uninhibited enough to enjoy the magic. *sparkle*

I'm also not going to apologize for occasionally being a stick in the mud. I'm a parent, that's part of my job. I'm also not going to apologize for wanting--and probably acquiring--more tattoos. I love tattoos and there ought to be a plus side to having skin this pale (tattoos look great against fish belly colored skin, don't you know).

NEW YEAR GOAL 7

The year of a dozen new things.

I want 2011 to be the year of a dozen new things. Or at least things that I haven't done in a long time. I want to take a ballet class, go camping, and take a float trip down the river.

NEW YEAR GOAL 8

Read. More.

Pretty self explanatory. I'm going to read more. My goal is 35 books for the year. I've already read two--both awesome!--so I'm off to a good start. (My secret to finding time--reading on the stair climber or elliptical machine. That way I get a workout and a readout at the same time. I'm a big fan of multi-tasking.)

And that's it!

I'm feeling pretty excited about 2011 and my chances of actually achieving these goals. *knock on wood* I'm thrilled with all the books I have coming out this year and excited to share them with my readers, and generally thankful for the fresh start of a new year. I hope you are, too! What are some of your goals? Anyone want to share with the class?

I'll be back later in the week with another 2011-themed post highlighting all my releases for the year. I have THREE books coming out in the next 8 months!! Ahhh! So exciting. And THE LOCKET is less than a month from hitting the shelves. Big times...big times...

All best and happy Wednesday,

Stacey Jay

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Dear Teen Me

Hey ya'll,

Want to see a picture of me fondling Bill Clinton's ass? (Or a cardboard cut out of Bill anyway?) Then head on over to the Dear Teen Me blog. I'm one of their guests today and have written a little something to my teen self:

http://dearteenme.com/2011/01/05/dear-teen-me-from-author-stacey-jay-my-so-called-death-the-locket/#more-822

The blog is full of letters from young adult authors to the teens they once were. A lot of them are really touching, so go and browse and I bet you'll learn some interesting new things from some very honest authors.

My own letter...meh. I'm not so sure about it. I did the best I could, but there is a LOT that goes on in the teen years. Did I write to the nerdy 13 year old me who dressed as a Conehead for Halloween? The 15 year old me coming out of her shell and getting a little too daring? The 17 year old me who was quickly approaching the edge of reason, or the 19 year old me who had just lost her dad, been diagnosed with a fairly serious medical condition, and broken up with her first super serious boyfriend?

In the end, I decided on a semi-comprehensive overview. Hope those of you who read find it worth your time.

Oh, and the winner of THE LOCKET arc giveaway is Bailey H! Congrats! I'm going to send out an alert on the news loop and try to make contact with Bailey since I can't seem to track down the email of group members.

Speaking of, if you haven't joined the news group, you should. It's announcement only, will help you keep up with all my new releases in 2011 (of which there are three, yikes!) and you'll automatically be entered in all my contests just by being a member. So go forth and join, here is the link: http://groups.google.com/group/stacey-jays-news

Have a lovely Wednesday. I'll be back as soon as I finish my massive Welcome 2011! post. It's taking me a little longer than anticipated....

Stacey Jay