Thursday, May 29, 2008


My baby's graduating from Kindergarten today. I am already verklempt.

That is all...cramming in as much work as possible before it's time to go!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Victor (Victorious)

is....PIPER! Congrats, Piper! You win a signed copy of Touch of Twilight. Send me an e-mail at susan dot, and we'll get the prize to you, with the right message and everything.

And BONUS PRIZE: Vic was kind enough to send me a copy already, but in an effort to help those critical first-week sales I'm going to buy a copy from Amazon and send it to our bonus winner: NIGHT CRITTER! Night Critter, send me an email with your snail address.

(If either of you already have a copy, you can spread the love with this one.)

The rest of you no longer have any excuse. Buy Touch of Twilight today!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

VICKI PETTERSSON: Interview! Contest!!!

And here it is!! An interview with author extraordinaire Vicki Pettersson about her new book The Touch of Twilight, the zodiac series, writing stuff, and other completely random and possibly freakish questions. CONTEST DETAILS AT THE END!

Vicki and I were born in the same year, and married in the same year (not to each other). We've been friends since we both were writing historicals, since she was a showgirl and I was...oh, I was still an editor. Right. Anyway, YEARS. She's one of my writing heroes. She knows what she wants to do, and she puts her head down and gets it done. You can see her passion and her hard work in every page.

And in spite of her currently scrabbling to finish Book 4, I pinned her down long enough to answer a few questions:

Susan: Joanna, your heroine, discovers in the first book (The Scent of Shadows) that she has superpowers, among other things. It's been rumored that these books are actually a confession of your own super abilities. Can you tell us one of your own uber-mortal talents?

VICKI: I have the ability to bruise myself in my sleep. No kidding. I'll wake up in the morning with bruises and have no idea how they got there. Of course, the first fight scene in SCENT came to me in a dream, so maybe that's where I test a scene's plausibility. (My poor husband. He'd probably prefer it if I wrote romance.)

Susan: In TOT, Jo burrows even deeper into the underworld of Las Vegas. What's your favorite new thing about that universe that you discovered while writing this book?

VICKI: Oh my. Tough question, because obviously I'm only writing about things that interest me as a writer and a reader. Without giving too much away, I suppose my favorite elements were discovering about new creatures, unfolding more of the history behind the Zodiac's matriarchal lineage, and sensing a possible subculture that none of the characters in the books seem willing to acknowledge. As Jo and I share a perverse curiosity that causes us to plunge headlong in directions others would rather us not (which I like to think of as an endearing trait), I got to indulge in all of these things.

Susan: Confession time. If you had to choose, would you rather have one night with Hunter or Ben? (I know which one I'd choose…)

VICKI: One night? Dude. There are seven days in the week. If pressed, I suppose I could divvy the days up evenly and take my day of rest on the Sabbath. How does that sound? (Slutty, I know. But I won't hold it against them if you won't. {Evil grin})

Susan: How does Vegas continue to influence the books?

VICKI: Vegas is as much a player in these books as any other major character, or so that's the goal. I want things to happen in this series that could only happen or evolve in this particular place, so I choose city settings that are unique to the environment, and that speak to me as a native. I'm always amazed at how place affects mood, and I'm sure to note my emotions when I travel. Vegas speaks to me of hope, so despite the noir tone of this series, I try to convey that as well.

Susan: Where do you get your ideas? Kidding. But about your writing process: how is it different now, with several published books under your belt, than when you started?

VICKI: I know that I can write. I know that I can finish. I know what works for me and why. (Or maybe I should say I know a lot of what doesn't work for me — that's sometimes more important.) I can tell when I'm heading off track before I get too far, and I have the tools to correct such missteps quickly and easily, so that I don't waste too much time detouring down rabbit holes. The different stages of creating a novel are now familiar to me, so even if I'm in an uncomfortable place in the text, I recognize that I've been there before, and move forward with the confidence that I'll get out of it again. But I'm still basically a plough horse about it (or maybe just a mule {G}). I just put words on the page one at a time and shove them around until the day's work is done.

Susan: We know the advice for writers in the midst of books: Read, write, don't stop. What's your advice for writers with a finished book, starting the query process or in the publishing waiting game?

VICKI: Why? Do you know someone in that position? {Innocent blink}

Actually my advice is to do the same thing that you do in all other areas of your life: build on it. Do what you've been doing all along - write. It's really the only thing you can control anyway, but fortunately it's also the most important thing. And while seeing your work on the shelves is definitely a Dream Come True, the writing is still the best part of the job. Enjoy it.

And now you KNOW you need to read TOUCH OF TWILIGHT, right? To enter to win a signed copy, just post in the comments to this post, and we'll do a random drawing. Contest ends at midnight MST. Good luck!!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Reminder: contest/interview tomorrow

We're back home, and I'm wiped a happy, busy-weekend way. Seattle was sunny and perfect.

Just wanted to post a quick reminder that I'll be posting an interview with Vicki Pettersson tomorrow, and doing a giveaway of...a signed copy of TOUCH OF TWILIGHT! Stop by in the morning for details and to enter.

And I did get Ghost Girl to my beta-readers on Thursday. Yay!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Heads up!

I'm jamming through the third draft lickety split--I'm already on Chapter 9. Beta-readers heads up.

I'm leaving with the fam tomorrow for a 4-day weekend in Seattle, but wanted to remind you that:

Vicki Pettersson's Touch of Twilight is being released on Tuesday, May 27th! To celebrate, I'm going to post an exclusive interview with Vicki. Yes, I asked the questions, so it's sure to

AND I'll be hosting a contest on Tuesday, to win a very special Touch-of-Twilight-related prize. Make sure you come back then!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

GG 2nd draft: check!

Just finished the 2nd draft of Ghost Girl! Yay! flipping right back to the beginning to work on the 3rd draft. I honestly can't help myself. This is my favorite draft, where I get to just concentrate on the language. And I'm getting excited about this book in spite of myself.

Can I say that I still love the last 2 chapters?

{happy sigh}

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

More gin over here, please

There's a party going on right here...

in honor of Miss Snark. It's been a year since her blog shut down. I used to read her every day, to absorb some of her knowledge about writing and the writing world (including the mysteries of agents and editors). I'd be much MORE of a nitwit without her.

Thanks, Miss Snark. *clink*

That meme

Carol tagged me on Friday, and I'm finally getting around to it. Because that's how I am. As usual, I reserve the right to not completely follow the rules and not tag anyone else specifically. If you're one of the two people who hasn't done this meme yet, join in and let me know.

A Meme about Various Things

  • What were you doing ten years ago?

    Um. You know, that's a really long time ago. Let's see, I had been married for 2 years, no Child yet. I was working at Academic Press in San Diego. I think I'd just started dabbling with my first book, then called TRUST.
  • What are five things on your to-do list for today (not in any particular order)?

    • Fill out insurance form for next year.
    • Work on choosing websites to focus thesis on.
    • Do some planning for this weekend's trip to Seattle.
    • Review possible pictures for next year's calendar (work).
    • Edit at least one chapter of GG.

  • What are some snacks you enjoy?

    I LOVE snacks. I'm one of those grazers. Chips & salsa, nuts, chocolate, limes or lemons with salt, popcorn.
  • What would you do if you were a billionaire?

    Spend lots of money. Duh.
  • What are three of your bad habits?

    • Eating too much salt (see above).
    • Not exercising at all.
    • Solitaire.

  • What are five places where you have lived?

    • Penryn, California (teensy-tiny)
    • Long Beach, California
    • San Diego, California
    • Brighton, England
    • Butte, Montana

  • What are five jobs you have had?

    • In-home pet caretaker
    • Retail goddess
    • Copyeditor
    • Desk Editor
    • Publications Editor (aka Goddess)

  • What were the last five books you read?

    • A Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read
    • One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
    • The Killing Floor by Lee Child
    • Repossessed by A.M. Jenkins
    • A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce

  • What are five web sites you visit daily (in no particular order)?

    • Google Reader
    • Pandora
    • Statcounter
    • Facebook
    • The Blueboard (Verla Kay)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Dialogue share...and a snip

Nathan Bransford, generous blogger and literary agent that he is, is doing another contest. This time he's tackling dialogue.

I was sooooo tempted to enter, just because I like to blather about dialogue, and I like to write it. Most times it comes easiest for me, and I have to fight against scenes coming out like scripts, all dialogue and nothing else. But I'm not entering, because I have a marvelous agent already.

Instead, I'm going to inflict one of my favorite GG dialogue-heavy scenes on you! It's a bit pared down to remove spoilers, but I like it. This little guy is just so real to me.

From Ghost Girl, by Susan Adrian:

"You're not dead."

I jerked around. It was the old man, the winker, standing next to me. Too close. Long white hair straggled out from his navy blue "US Marines" cap, perched too high on his head. "Most these folk can't tell the difference. Me, I spot 'em easy." He tapped my shoulder, and nodded to himself. "Not dead."

"I guess not," I said back. His face was a perfect map of wrinkles. That map wasn't going anywhere I wanted to go.

"What you doing here then, missy? Spying?"

I couldn't help it; I laughed. "Yeah, that's exactly what I'm doing. I'm spying for the other side. All the live people are just dying to know what y'all are up to."

"Shouldn't mock. Could be." He stroked his white-whiskered chin, studying me. "Picking up secrets you oughtn't know."

The next person ordered and moved to the end of the counter. Almost my turn. The old man moved along with me. "What you here for?" he repeated.

"I'm looking for someone. My mom—she looks a lot like me."

The way his eyes traveled over my face, you'd think he was memorizing it.

"She's not dead either," I added. "Have you seen her? Her name's Molly. She'd be with another woman."

"Nooo," he said slowly, lifting his cap and scratching under it. "Ain't seen nobody looks like you. You're the only one I've seen that ain't dead, in a good fair time."


How about you? Share a favorite dialogue bit here in comments, of your current book or one you're reading. Under 250 words, please!! Maybe sometime along here soon I'll look at a few and see what works. :)

News, and fun

WHAT a kick-ass fun weekend.

It was 80 or near-80 all weekend, so everyone in the whole state was in shorts, tank tops, and sandals, as far as I can tell. And we all were outside enjoying the sunshine. I swam! I went to the park with Child! I picnicked! I sat in a lawn chair and wrote! I mowed!

All good, my friends. All the trees and flowers in our yard are flipping out at going from snow to summer. It was weird to have summer weather when our tulips haven't even bloomed yet, but I'll take it.

And a new, fun development: on Friday at noon I took Child to the library to get her some chapter books--she JUST started reading them at school, and wanted to try the Magic Treehouse books. So we got the first one, a Junie B. Jones and a Nate the Great. I figured that would last a few weeks, as she tended to be a little slow working her way through them.

She finished the Magic Treehouse by 3 PM that same day.

Then she finished the Nate the Great Saturday morning, and Junie B. yesterday. It was SO cool--she was so excited about it, and proud of herself.

We went back to the library on Saturday and got 4 more books!

Edits are going really well on GG--I made some good plot changes, and am jamming along on the second draft. I might finish it this week. Then comes the fun third draft, where I really get to fine-tune the language. That's my favorite. Then: beta-readers! Woot!

Last bit of news: See the sidebar for a countdown to Vicki Pettersson's release date for her new book, Touch of Twilight. I'm going to team up with Vic for a promotion here on the blog, around release day. Watch this space!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

America's next top model in a bikini?


I've been here, just working at a trade show booth for the past couple of days, so no chance to blog. Fortunately lots of down time to edit GG, though...I got at least 5 chapters done. Woot! This is good, since today at lunch I desperately need to watch the finale of America's Next Top Model and find out WHO WON before someone tells me accidentally.


Today I also want to point you over to a wonderful friend of mine, Linda Gerber, whose book DEATH BY BIKINI is released today. I can't wait to read it! I've known Linda forever from the Compuserve Books and Writer's Forum, and she is the real deal, so this one will be good. Go visit her blog today for fabulous fun and prizes!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Mother's Day Good/Bad

Good: It's Mother's Day, which just makes everybody think about and appreciate the mothers in their life even more. I love my Mom. I LOVE being a Mom.

More Good: We played this morning, which I don't ever have as much time to do as I want. We made orange rolls.

Bad: Child felt a little squicky.

Good: We went swimming, and had fun splashing in the pool.

Bad: Child felt more squicky. Still insisted she was okay, though.

Good: We went to see the Duquesne University Tamburitzans, a wonderful folk dancing/singing/music playing group we've seen before and love. My Mom came too, and we ran into one of Child's best friends, so they sat together and giggled.

Bad: Child not feeling better. I made her mac & cheese, but sadly it was rather a lost cause at that point, and stomach virus took over. Poor thing. We spent the evening in the bathroom, and then wrapped up in a big soft blanket sipping sparkling water, nibbling graham crackers, and watching a Barbie movie.

Good: She's been asleep for a couple hours now, next to our bed. I'm so hoping she sleeps through the night and feels better in the morning. I HATE seeing my baby sick. {sigh}

We shall see about school/work in the morning, though I'm doubting it...

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Like there's no tomorrow

Last night was the first performance of Child's dance recital. Of course she was utterly cute and perfect (whether she did the steps or not), and when she's on stage I can't look at anyone else but her. She glows for me.

When she's not on stage...well.

I was a ballet dancer for 8 years. I was in a professional ballet company (even though I was a teenager). I also did tap, jazz, and modern. I am cursed for the rest of my life with the dancer's eye.

This means I see how it should be, each move: arms, hands, fingers, legs. Extension. Arch. I see whether a movement is on beat or off. Whether the group is together the way they should be. Whether everyone hits their jumps at the same time, who is weak at turning left, who can dance fine on their own but doesn't do well as part of a group. It's similar to when you learn to be a writer and you have trouble reading just for pleasure anymore--you see craft, or lack of craft, everywhere.

But I realized again last night, watching girls of all ages and all different skill levels on that stage, a vital truth. It is NOT, ever, the most important thing to be technically perfect. It wasn't the technically perfect girls my eye was drawn to, that I enjoyed watching.

It's the ones who put their hearts into every move.

They were confident, not hesitant. They didn't hold their bodies back for fear of making a mistake--or even if they did make a mistake. They owned the dance. They sold it. They smiled, not the fake grit-teeth smile plastered on, but the smile that says "This is ME dancing. I am enjoying the hell out of this."

Watching someone dance like that, I forget about all the technical stuff. I nod along, and wish I was up there too--because damn, it looks like fun.

That's the kind of writer you want to be too. Confident in your words, your characters, your images, your story. Not writing for other people--that's like the fakey-fake smile. Writing for your ownself, and enjoying the heck out of it. Dropping your whole heart into every line.

And you know what I was thinking last night, as I was clapping another girl who hit the last beat, arms spread wide, grinning like she would do it again, this minute?

Maybe that's one of the secrets to life, too.

The title for this year's show: "Dance Like There's No Tomorrow." Indeed.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Woo-hoooooooooo! I just turned in my last paper. I am officially DONE with this semester.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Tids & Bits

I'm still on a high from our amazing getaway weekend. WOW. Highlights:

--As a surprise, hubby bumped us up to first class. Picture me at 33,000 feet lounging in a plush chair, my feet dangling above the floor, sipping a gin-and-tonic at 11 AM and completely engrossed in reading about Bones (Jeaniene Frost's yummy hero--and Vic, he is so mine.). Aaaaaaah. Also, the board room at the Seattle airport is a secret haven.

--A full 4-course Thai meal with hubby. I love me some Thom kai gai soup.

--Sipping my first-ever Cosmos (pink!) with hubby in a bar in downtown San Diego, rocking out to bouncy live jazz as people streamed by outside.

--Shoe-shopping. Chocolate shopping, at the Ghirardelli store.

--The concert we actually went for, KT Tunstall, was sooooo fun. I loved it. The front row seats we bought on E-bay Actually Worked!

Unfortunately we did have to get up at 4:15 AM Sunday to catch our plane, but it was worth it.


I finished the aforementioned book, One Foot in the Grave, on the plane rides. Yowza. I recommend Chapter 31. {cough} Well-written, engrossing, and I adore the characters.


I turned in my final project for the multimedia class-from-hell on Friday! Hurrah. Just have to write that ethics paper today...


Edits on GG are going well again, because I gave in and started editing chronologically. Apparently I just am more comfortable that way.


Child has a dress rehearsal this afternoon for her dance recital, with performances tomorrow night and Thursday night. Then in two weeks we have Kindergarten graduation!!!



Jo has posted some amazingly excellent writing advice, which is not unusual for her. Jo's advice is clear, well-illustrated, and SMART. Listen to her.


That is all for now! I've got a paper to write and some trouble to stir up!

Friday, May 02, 2008

One more sharing Friday: snippet

Quite a sharing week. I've shared a good link, music, books, and a picture of me. It's Friday, and we're back to what I share best: words.

One more snippet of Ghost Girl to whet your appetites, before I go back to GG radio silence. (and I go back to finishing my final projects! Almost...done...) Today, meet Tony.

From Ghost Girl, by Susan Adrian:

Tony walked in, and my stomach flipped. I took a shot of him before he saw me, his dark blonde hair sleek from the wind, sunglasses hiding his eyes. Coatless, T-shirt and jeans filled out just right, a parade of goosebumps down his arm. Yeah, I'd save that shot for later. Maybe blow it up.

He looked around the room, acknowledged us with a chin jerk, and strode over. He didn't sit, though, just took off his sunglasses and tapped them on the table. "Hey."

"Hey," we all said, almost in chorus. My heart was drumming its own rhythm, a fast salsa beat.

"What's up?" His eyes flicked to mine, and held. His bottom lip twitched. There was just the slightest hint of stubble there, on his chin. I'd missed that bit last night when I was fantasizing.

Waiting for you, I wanted to say. Instead I said, cool, "Just got here."

"Can I talk to you for a sec?" He scanned the room again. "Outside?"

I frowned, with a quick glance at Dana. God, he wasn't a smoker, was he? I didn't think he was. But what did I know? She made a shooing motion, and I realized I hadn't answered him. "Sure," I said, as nonchalantly as I could manage.

I followed him out, zipping my coat up as we hit the frosty air outside. He headed around the corner toward the dumpsters, then stopped. He didn't whip out any cigarettes, though. Whew. He just stood shifting his feet, looking at me, eye to eye. I waited. He waited. Somebody was going to have to say something eventually.

He twisted to look behind him, then again at me. "So I heard about this ghost thing with you." His eyebrows drew together. "You're the ghost girl, right?"

Crap. "That's why you want to talk to me?"


Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Thursday share: me

And we have a winner! Two winners, actually.

#1 winner: Julianne! You get first dibs on the books.
#2 winner: Carmella!

Please contact me at susan dot adrian with your shipping address, and I'll pop these puppies in the mail.

CONGRATULATIONS! And thanks for sharing the book love yesterday. That was fabulous.

For today's share, I'm sharing a real! live! photo! of! me!

I know, you're thrilled to pieces. But this is rather a big deal, as I've never posted a picture of me in the 3 years of having this blog. Not only that, but it's me in my true form.

Bwa-ha-ha! Now isn't that scary?

What? No, I'm a witch, get it? A scary witch? It's scary because of the witch--

Oh, never mind.