A Triple B: Blogworld and BEA in the Big Apple!

May was a blur. It dawned on me yesterday morning that since the middle of April I have been going full tilt. Starting a new job, a book trailer, visiting relatives, two book events, and the premiere of The Janus Affair only highlights the madness that was May. This week marks the end of a powerhouse of promotion and networking, and it seems only right that Pip and I end our power play in the city that never sleeps — New York.

What makes this trip an epic ending for our Janus Affair launch is we will be working both sides of the Javitz Center. Initially we were invited as guests of Blogworld. The amazing Cliff Ravencraft has put together one incredible podcasting track, and with the patience of Job (as he was finalizing everything in May…) he has worked both of us into the programming.

At the same time, Pip got us a signing at Book Expo America! Continue reading

Stranger on a Train XIX

Heading home…finally.

Yeah, today was rough. I’m snapping back from the weekend at the Steampunk World’s Fair. It was beastly getting up there, but coming home was a snap. Because of that cluster-fuck journey through traffic hell, I’m planning an EARLY departure for Balticon.It torques me slightly that I’ve got to work Thursday night, but it’s a job. I’d rather have a minor inconvenience than unemployment, and this job’s keeping everyone sane…well, everyone but me seeing as I’ve got two ACX titles awaiting production, a book trailer nearing completion (so close…), and Blogworld NY looming in the distance. How did things get so overbooked?!

Oh yeah. Unemployment. Feast or famine, right?

So, in eight days, The Janus Affair happens. It feels completely different as Pip and I had copies of the book waiting for us at SPWF as giveaways. I have no clue if those attendees (some who knew us from both the book and the podcasts) really grasped that they were getting free copies of the book before its release but there you go. Harper Voyager, it feels, has an entirely different attitude about this title. Are their hopes up? Are they thinking this could be a breakaway title? Who knows…

We sure don’t.

What we do know is that our book trailer is closing in on completion, we got Balticon closing in fast, and I’m trying to keep everything on track. All this, and I have two books to get cracking on. (Writing, I mean…not the ACX titles…)

And technically, Summer still hasn’t even begun. Hoo-boy.

The event this weekend was good fun. Pip and I shopped and socialized. That P.J. Schnyder…what a dynamo. And this book? Yeah, I think the trailer does it justice.

You think I would have this “new book” thing down. I don’t. That fear before a launch — it never gets old.

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Going for Goodreads Gold…well, okay, how about Silver?

There’s a real two-edged sword when it comes to honors and awards. I remember reading about the “importance of awards” when reading titles about getting published, grabbing an agent’s attention, and even marketing a book once it is out there. Across the board: Awards and distinctions help sell books. At least that is what the pros I was reading were telling me.

For a while, though, I’ve been giving awards a sideways glance. yeah, they’re nice and all; but did The Case of the Singing Sword go gangbusters when it won a Parsec? No, not really. Picked up a few more listeners, sure, but it didn’t really give Billi a boost in print sales. So, yeah, awards — nice, and it was very cool going home with that trophy…but I can write without them.

Then Pip and I won the Airship Award for Best Steampunk Literature of 2011. Regardless of what it did for Phoenix Rising sales, I won’t lie to you — it felt good. Really good. I mean, coming-in-from-playing-in-the-snow-and-having-Cream-of-Tomato-soup-with-a-bagutte-side good.

Then, two days before heading out west to Blogworld and ComiKaze Expo, we received word from Goodreads that Phoenix Rising had been short listed for Best Science Fiction of 2011.

At first I was just happy with the nod, but then I took a closer look at the company we were keeping: Continue reading

Soulless: In Which a Vampire Displays Horrid Table Manners upon a Helpless Tea Tray

October is going to be one incredible month. There’s my appearance at Blogworld in Las Vegas. There’s an impromptu meeting (with my agent!) at the World Fantasy Convention. I’m aging like a fine single malt (as in, my 41st birthday is coming up)…

…and Gail Carriger’s Soulless is coming out, so I’d better pick up a corset lest my sides will split!

I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Gail Carriger (who made such a great first impression, she will be my first ever guest blogger here…) on my journey back from Aotearoa. She is of a sharp wit, extremely geek chic (whoofah!), and very straight-up in how she approaches you. Gail is also the next big thing in comedy Science Fiction. As Douglas Adams turned the genre on its ear with The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Gail will be doing the same thing with steampunk in Soulless. This is the inaugural adventure of Alexia Tarabotti, an independently-minded Victorian lady-of-manners born without a soul and a penchant for trouble. Part Buffy the Vampire Slayer and part The Importance of Being Earnest, Soulless promises to be a ripping good yarn! Gail and the creative people at Artistic Whispers have put together this preview. While it does not look like it will be podcast, this sample is being made available to one and all. Thanks, Gail!

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And if you are at World Fantasy in October, join us for “High Tea with Alexia Tarabotti” which will serve as the official launch of Soulless.

The New Gig: What I’m Doing and How I’m Doing

IMG_0584With a whopping 42 comments to it (and as that is the big answer, I thought the time was right for this post…), I think it’s pretty much common knowledge by now that I got a new job. I didn’t really consider how quickly the wheels got rolling on getting me in there; but on retrospect, this place did not diddle around. I was offered the job on August 4, taught my final class on August 14, and then on August 17 I walked in, filed paperwork, went through the orientation, and was then literally thrown into the thick of it. I didn’t hit the ground running. I bitch-slapped the ground, made it call me a pretty girl, and had it beg for more when I was through with it.

And the really frightening bit? After a week, I’m still not sure how my voice mail works.

But what exactly is the job? I didn’t really go into detail on that in “Perseverance and Peter Gabriel” as that post was less about the job itself and more about the job hunt. Amidst the comments of congratulations and inspiration, a few of you have wondered “So what is this job you got?” I wanted to wait until I finished the first week before I shared details, and I’m glad I did. Last week was overwhelming, amazing, and eye-opening, on a lot of levels.

I was also beat at the end of every day. Slept a lot. Now, with some of the blur that was last week processed, here it is…

Intersections is a security firm, based out of Chantilly, VA. Since 1996, Intersections has dealt with credit history and digital identity protection. They are in the business of making electronic transactions, be they financial or personal, safer; and I have been hired as their Social Media Manager. (I’d like to point out that this job falls under Corporate Communications, not Marketing. That thrills me like you wouldn’t believe.) They were looking for someone who could not only apply Social Media, but understand the different initiatives out there and what they offer.

They were also looking for someone who could write. Yeah, I think I got that covered, too.

What I’m particularly excited about with this job is the angle Intersections takes with Social Media. Obviously, I’m being called upon to manage blogs, create podcasts, edit video (which I’m doing right now), and manage an outreach program with Twitter and (soon) Facebook; but I am also being asked to investigate and research security in Social Media, something I’ve touched on in Bird House Rules but only scratched its surface. On Friday, I was forwarded some news about Social Media from a security perspective and I was floored. The ironic bit is, that morning I was catching up with The SpyCast and listening to a fantastic interview with Dr. Terry Gudaitis who specializes in cyberintelligence gathering. (That’s the June 15, 2009 show if you’re interested.)

I feel as if I am starting all over again in Social Media, this time from a new perspective I hope Blogworld will let me speak on this year. I am officially on their schedule. I’ve confirmed “But Honey, It’s For the Studio” but am working to change topics concerning my second talk. So, if you’re at Blogworld this year, stop me and say “Hi.” It should be good fun in Vegas this October!

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A cublicle in transition

So in the end, I am using my knowledge and background on Social Media for good, not for evil. While I will help in the promotion of what Intersections does, I will also be their on-call specialist in Social Media while I find out more about security matters with Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, and the like. My brain has been firing on all cylinders since Day One, and I’m soaking it up like a thirsty sponge. The first week just blinked by, and I’ve not slowed down yet.

If you were wondering, though, how the day job will affect my writing, it will only make me more productive. Now that I know my hours, I can regiment and manage my time efficiently. I’m still writing for AppAdvice; and this weekend Pip and I completed the first draft of Books & Braun: Phoenix Rising, our Steampunk CSI peppered with hints of James Bond. I’m also planning to dust off Whiskey Tango Foxtrot and start working on that. I’ll give up details with an upcoming Survival Guide to Writing Fantasy…and yes, that will be its final episode.

It’s a long story and a hard decision concerning The Guide, and I’ll save the rest for that show.

My job at Intersections is now underway, and my writing is moving forward. From here, all that I have to face now are the possibilities.