Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Time

I have to admit I didn't really feel the ending of the 1996 Matthew McConaughey and Samuel L. Jackson courtroom drama hit, A Time to Kill. Probably because it was aimed at a an audience that put blacks just marginally above farm animals (or maybe not, as I don't think white farmers take too kindly to their animals being abused and slaughtered just for lack of something to do on a Sunday afternoon).

Or maybe we were supposed to somehow be able to see through the eyes of bigots. I'm referring to the final line of Matthiew's closing statement, where he asks the audience, their eyes closed, to imagine the victim was a young black girl instead of a young white girl.

I remember thinking - THAT'S your big ending??? Are you kidding me???

It's hard to imagine that for some people, in some places, they need to actually be instructed to treat certain classes of human beings as, well... human beings.

It was that scene in A Time to Kill that popped up in my mind when I happened upon this article today.

To summarize, we've now officially started using the "surplus" brown people of the developing world as human guinea pigs in the interest of "free trade" and globalization.

Before you slap a Communist sticker on my forehead, I believe in free trade as much as the next internationally-distributed author out there (I've lived and worked all over the place, I hold a Canadian citizenship, my readership is mainly American...) but I also hold dear the belief that free trade actually needs to be free, and not in the if-poor-people-don't-care-if-their-kids-get-killed-then-who-am-I-to-stop-them sense. We, as the holders of money (ie: power) in this transaction dictate the term of the trade.

And this is how we've chosen to conduct business. By saving little bunny rabbits from experimentation, but not little brown babies.

Let's dust off Matthew's line, shall we?

Imagine a bunch of little babies, crammed together in an orphanage. Imagine unspeakable, sci-fi like experiments done on them. Imagine these teeny tiny one-year-olds are being given adult doses of an experimental blood pressure medication. Imagine some die as a result, probably horrifically, but they're babies so they can't tell us anything, and free trade agreements only guarantee the free flow of money, not information, so we'll never know the reasons or circumstances of their deaths.

Now imagine these babies were American.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Loving Your Inner Demon

It's not every day we feature paranormal writers here on Confessions, so I am honored to present fellow GCC sister Jackie Kessler whose latest, Hotter Than Hell, is on bookshelves now. And check out the great press below...

In HELL’S BELLES and THE ROAD TO HELL, Jackie Kessler brought readers into an unforgettable Underworld populated by alluring demons and sexy devils. Now Daunuan, the most irresistible incubus of all, is facing one Hell of a challenge...


"Jackie Kessler is firmly on my list of favorite authors. Hotter Than Hell is edgy and filled with hot temptation--in the form of an incubus so sexy, daring, and delicious that you'll be offering him your own soul. Fast paced and clever, Kessler's writing shines."
— Cheyenne McCray, New York Times bestselling author of Shadow Magic

"Kessler has outdone herself by giving readers a glorious book three of her deliciously sinful series, Hell on Earth. Daunuan's sexy supernatural antics make sparks fly, and if you're not careful you'll singe your fingers as the pages speed by. It's packed with quirky characters, a spicy, fast-paced plot and witty dialogue. Be prepared for a demonic treat that's hotter than hell."
— Romantic Times, 4.5 stars (top pick for August 2008)

"Sexy and bold"
—Publishers Weekly

Name three authors at the top of your “to watch” list:

I can’t count, so here are four. :)

Heather Brewer. Heather, my critique partner, is the fantabulous author of the YA series THE CHRONICLES OF VLADIMIR TOD, all about a teenage boy half-vampire, who has to deal with math tests, school bullies, and fang control. Oh, and avoiding vampire slayers, and curbing his ever-growing thirst for blood. And (shudder) girls. A terrific, funny, poignant series. Go buy EIGHTH GRADE BITES and NINTH GRADE SLAYS.

Richelle Mead. My fellow succubus diva, Richelle has not one, not two, but THREE series out now (I know, I have no idea when she sleeps, either): the Georgina Kincaid SUCCUBUS series; the YA series, VAMPIRE ACADEMY; and the new STORM BORN, first in the DARK SWAN series, which just launched on August 5. Richelle just keeps the hits coming — and she recently made the NY Times Bestseller list with FROSTBITE, the second in the VA series.

Caitlin Kittredge. My co-author for the upcoming BLACK & WHITE, a dystopian superhero novel to be published by Bantam Spectra in summer 2009. Caitlin, who is hugely talented (and smart, and funny, and pretty, and YOUNG, damn it! 23 and brilliant. It’s so unfair), is the author of the NOCTURN CITY series about a cop who’s also a werewolf, as well as of the upcoming Lovecraft/Gaiman evil lovechild of a book, STREET MAGIC (oh, I do so love this book. I (heart) Jack Winter!) in early 2009.

Toni McGee Causey. Author of the spectacularly funny and intricately plotted Southern caper comedy BOBBIE FAYE’S VERY (very, very, very) BAD DAY and its follow-up, BOBBIE FAYE’S (kinda, sorta, not exactly) FAMILY JEWELS. These are two of the few books out there where I’ve laughed out loud. A lot. And how many authors have buttons that declare “Shuck Me, Suck Me, Eat Me Raw”? (It’s the motto of an oyster house in the first book. And it’s the shirt that Bobbie Faye wears, that s-l-o-w-l-y gets destroyed, a la Catwoman’s costume in BATMAN RETURNS.)

Name a book you’ve read over and over again, and you’d probably read again:

Right now, the two contenders are:

What typically sets off your thought process when beginning a new book?

I have to get into the character’s voice, if it’s a first-person novel. For HOTTER THAN HELL, it took me months to shed Jezebel from my voice and find Daun. But once I did get his voice, the story flowed like chocolate syrup. Mmm. Chocolate syrup...

Do you write full-time? How do you juggle the day job with your writing?

Nope, I have a full-time day job. I write first thing in the morning, but I do the bulk of my writing at night, after the kids are in bed. When I’m on a deadline, I don’t get to sleep until around 1:30 in the morning or so.

What up next for you?

In January, my erotic novella HELL IS WHERE THE HEART IS will appear in the RED HOT VALENTINE’S DAY anthology from Avon Red. And in the summer of 2009 will be BLACK & WHITE, from Bantam Spectra. Two superpowered women — once best friends, now on opposite sides of the law — must join forces to fight the Big Bad Evil. (Bwahahahahahaha!) I’m currently writing the fourth HELL book now, tentatively called HELL TO PAY.

What has being published changed about your life?

I sleep a lot less. :)
Actually, I’m a very shy person, but doing the conference circuit and signing at bookstores and speaking on panels has really helped me grow more confident about public speaking and just having a great time in general with tons of people.

...Thanks for the great interview Jackie!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Wild Wild San Francisco

Little known fact: I was addicted to comics as a child. I started with your standand English-language Archie comics, and eventually graduated onto Asterix and Lucky Luke. As the Super Shuttle zipped along the freeway towards what looked to me a desert mountain range, speckled with brownish shrubs along the horizon, I thought I'd somehow been teleported back a few hundred years and landed smack dab in the middle of Cowboy Land.

That, or an Isabel Allende novel.

Besides the traveling that the RWA Nationals bring, there's the creative stimulation. All those readers, writers, agents and editors all gathered in one place... I don't know why, but I always come back itching to write.

Here's me at the TOR sponsored signing of Cutting Loose ARCs:

(A little too much cleavage for a signing, eh?)

...And after the awards ceremony with fellow writers Aryn Kenney, Heather Davis, and Marley Gibson:

And a big ol' shout out to my ladies whom I didn't have a change to get on film since I really suck at remembering to bring my camera along: CPs and roomies Wendy Toliver and Kristin Wallace (who also threw a kick ass chick lit party, along with Amanda Brice), and cyber buddies Dona Sarkar, Marylin Brant, Kwana Jackson (who's waaaay better at remembering her camera than I am) and Kelli Estes & sis Carolyn.

As much as I love the internet and the virtual writing and chatting forums it provides, I can't help but wish writing was a proper 9 to 5 job with cubicles and water coolers and coffee machines where I can hang around with other writers instead of catching up just once a year. Then again... I get to work in my pyjamas and in cafes. Guess I can't really complain : ) Until next year...