Thursday, August 30, 2012

Random Thursday--Tomorrow, Tomorrow...

That's right. Tomorrow, Michele and I leave for DragonCon. I won't do any actually squeeing, but it's pretty damn close. I'm held back by the simple fact that I'm in public and people would look at me strangely. Not that this normally stops me, but I'm trying out subtleness today.

I'm going to spend the day doing last minute shopping for things that are absolute necessary--like batteries for my camera and contact lens solution (because even if I don't want to sleep, my eyeballs are going to make me). Then there are things that I really want but I may not end up getting--like kick ass heels to go with like three different outfits and a statement belt (which I may not even need--it depends on the shoes). I also get to go to the bank, go to the laundry-mat, clean my kitchen, put away all the clothes I've been letting pile up and that aren't going with me, and make sure the litter box is clean--my mom will feed and water and play with the cats while I'm gone, but she won't clean the litter box. Also at some point today I need to eat dinner, actually pack, take a shower (because I can't go on a road trip without a shower--yes, I'm weird), and sleep.

Because Christ knows I won't be getting that much while I'm out of town.

What are YOU doing today?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Tuesday Buildup--Frankie's Fashion

Yes, I know I'm late. But I had to do an extra shift at work this week, plus I'm trying to plan to pack (it's not as crazy as it sounds--I'll explain the basic principle at some other time) and not go school girl giddy with excitement. But I digress.

If you're like me, you sometimes read a book and go, "Hmm. I wonder what that dress/outfit really looks like." Maybe you don't. If you're in the second group this post is not for you. But if you're in the first, well...feast your eyes on this!

You may be going--"wait--Frankie is a private investigator--why do I only see dresses and heels here?" That's a very good question. This isn't really Frankie the PI's wardrobe. Obviously if she's doing a stakeout or something similar she's in practical clothes. This is more Frankie in her off time clothing, or Frankie doing decoy work clothing.

It's also Frankie's disguise, for lack of a better term. People often judge others on their outside appearence, which obviously includes clothing. If you dress like you have money, people believe you do. If you dress like you're successful, people tend to think of you that way and treat you accordingly. And if you dress like someone who knows their true worth, people give you the appropriate level of respect.

Frankie dresses like a responsible, respectable citizen with nothing to hide.

But you and I know better....

Friday, August 24, 2012

Food Friday--Collard Greens

My friend Michele and I like to try new restaurants once in while. Sometimes it turns out good. Sometimes it doesn't. Our latest new food experience was hit and miss. I had some macaroni and cheese that was phenomenol (I really want to know what kind of cheese they used) and her pepper steak with gorgonzola was good, too. (We swapped bites--sue us).

Where it failed, for me at least, was the collard greens.

For some ungodly reason--they had onions in them.

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against onions. I frickin' love onions. At work, if an employee meal pops up and it has "add onions" the general (correct) assumption is said meal is mine. So my annoyance didn't come from not liking onions.

It came from the fact that the collard greens had onions in them.

I've lived in the South all my life. I probably will, if only for the fact I really sincerely don't like cold weather--by which I mean anything under sixty degrees. I've grown up on what's alternately called southern food and soul food (I'm not going to argue on whether they are or are not one and the same). I was raised on things like fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, and lemon meringue pie (I don't know if that's Southern or not but just go with it).

Never in my life has anyone I have ever known put onions in collard greens.

The more I think about it, the more insulting it is to true Southern cooking.

Every born and bred Southern cook knows that the key to cooking collard green is to cook them slow, because it keeps them tender, with a little salt and oil. And finally, you add some sugar to them, to counteract the natural bitterness of the greens. Here's where my mother and I differ, because she adds the sugar at the end and I add sugar throughout the process. Her explanation is you can't tell the sweetness until the end. I say you want to cook the sugar in to the greens.

Either way--there are no onions.

If you take anything away from this post, it should be that simple fact--you don't put onions in collard greens.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Random Thursday--One More Week!

One more week until DragonCon! I'm super excited, can you tell? For one, this is going to be the first Labor Day weekend I've had off in eight years. For two, it's a road trip with one of my best friends, Michele, something we haven't indulged in in way too long (darn you, school and work!). For three, it's my first vacation since New York in March. And fourth--um, hello? It's DragonCon!

I'm still ironing out the schedule but I'm going to be attending a shit-ton of panels. And they're going to be amaze-balls (as my friend Casey would say).

On Friday:

If we make it, we're kicking things off with Inside the Mall: Urban Survivalism. Yes, I'm totally going for a panel involving surviving the apcolypse. Because I'm a dork. If we can't, then our first event will either be a True Blood panel or Cough and Sneeze: The Science of Epidemiology. We're following that up with Costuming Alternate History 1600-1800 and then Frightening Folklore. We've got a break for dinner, and then we're going to Saloon Girls, Actresses, and Other Fallen Women followed by A Steampunk's Guide to Sex.

Saturday doesn't start until noon, which gives us time to sleep, eat, and travel. Barely. And then we start going and we don't stop.

First up is either True Blood or NY Times Bestsellers Tell All. I'm not sure how alike the various True Blood panels are going to be, so I may go to one or I may go to all. Who knows. I promised my mom I'd go to Ghost Hunters, so I will. And then things get tricky. We can go to either Costuming Alternate History 1800-1920 or Zombies: Beyond Armageddon. I'm torn between my desire to find out about clothes and my love of end of the world craziness. Then we have to choose between Urban Fantasy: What exactly is it? and Vampires, Demons and Werewolves--Oh, My!. At some point we're going to grab dinner, probably on the way to Heroism and Sacrifice or if we can't do that we'll grab it on the way to Jack the Ripper: The Many Faces of the Murderer. Our final choice of the day will be between Alternate Apocalypse: How Many Ways Can the World End? and Heroines Among Us.

Are you tired yet? Because I am. And we've still got two days to go.

Sunday--the day of rest, my ass. First choice (possibly--we may have this figured out by then) is True Blood or First Ladies of Fantasy. Immediately following this is The Witching Hour and then Ghost Excavation. We get a nice, decent gap before the next round when we have to make our toughest choice for the entire convention: Victorian Mysticism OR Laughter in the Graveyard OR Why Actors Choose Their Roles. I have no idea what we're going to do. We may just have to wander around until we pick one. We're going to hit up Editors and Agents Tell All  and then Hollywood or Georgia Bound--Screenwriting 101 before partying the rest of the night away at The Mechanical Masquerade. And yes--we will probably be in costume.

Monday morning will probably be going through the vendors, doing any last minute shopping and what not. Our final panel is in the afternoon--Women in Alternate History. After that, we're packing the car up and making the trek back down to Florida.

I know. I'm going to be ridiculously busy. But never fear, I'll keep you guys updated with pics and tweets and Facebook posts. Wish me luck, guys!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tuesday Buildup--Frankie Post Teaser

As promised, some of what I've been working on. I'm hoping to get more back in to this soon, but I'd rather take a while and do it right than rush and get it wrong. Okay, enough of that--happy reading!

I poked Ian with my left foot. “Hey. You’re awful quiet.”

“Sorry, I didn’t want to interrupt Abbot and Costello.”

“Weren’t they both men?” I poked him again, harder this time. “What’s going on in that detail-orientated mind of yours?”

“You say detail-orientated like it’s a bad thing. You’ve benefited from my attention to detail numerous times, I’ll have you know.” Ian frowned at the computer, picking up the connected headphones, holding one muff to his ear. “There’s some kind of shipment coming in.”

“Probably liquor. We’ve been low on some of the top-shelf stuff for the last week or so.” I turned my attention back to Jack just in time to catch him swallow, grimacing. “Really? It can’t be that bad.”

“Shut up and let me eat this garbage. Actually, tell me which club we’re going to target next. Maybe work will take my mind off what I’m eating.” He looked at the half-eaten slice in his hand, shuddering. “Or not. But I’m willing to try.”

“Don’t the Iskovs own two other strip clubs? Why don’t you see about transferring to one of them?” I bit back a giggle at the pained look on Jack’s face as he took another bite. “Just because one is mostly legitimate doesn’t mean the others are.”

“Good point. Let me talk to Boris, see if I can swing a transfer over to The Tea Room.” Huffing out a breath, he looked at the pizza then looked at me. “Do I have to eat the crust, too?”

“No, you don’t have to eat the crust.” Rolling my eyes, I leaned my head back against the sofa, lifting my hand to chew on my thumbnail. I needed to get a pack of gum, quick, before all the little smoker tics became obvious. “Ian?”

“Working. You two amuse each other.” He shot a glance over his shoulder. “And I don’t mean have sex.”

“You talk about sex more than we do.” Both men snorted. I kicked Ian with my toes, elbowing Jack in the ribs at the same time. “Careful, or nobody gets dessert.”

“I rest my case.” Ian grabbed my foot before I could kick him again, gripping my toes. “Stop that.”

“Once a lawyer, always a lawyer.” Sighing in relief, Jack dropped the mangled crust in the box, flipping the lid closed and setting it on the floor on the far side of the sofa. Throwing his arm around my shoulders, he hauled me against him, his fingers tickling my ear. “Casey Lynn still doing fine at Diamonds?”

“Took to it like a duck to water. Guess all those acting classes really did pay off. There are days she gets back from work and it takes her an hour to drop the accent.”

“Which one? The fake Russian used by the English girl or the fake English one used by the American?” Jack pinched my earlobe and I elbowed him again, harder this time. He knew how much I hated that. “She has so many it’s hard to keep up.”

“Her and I both. I slipped up a few weeks ago when I dropped a glass and cut myself. Thank God the only person around was Timur and he was half-comatose.” My entire body went cold at the thought of trying to explain the sudden change from a cockney accent to a Kentucky twang. “He woke up and asked me what American show I’d been watching on the television.”

“You need to be more careful, Frankie.” He pinched my earlobe again, all the teasing gone. “One slip up is all it takes to sink all of us.”

“Guys. I think we got something.” Ian yanked the earphone jack free, his hands flying over the keys. Jack and I both winced at the high pitched jibberish that erupted from the speakers. “Sorry, rewinding.”

“Do they still call it rewinding if it’s on a computer?” Jack grunted when I drew back enough to punch him in the ribs. “Hey, I broke those a few months ago.”

“And I was shot. I win this battle of the scars.” Leaning forward, I squinted at the green scales and squiggles on the screen. “What’s up, Ian?”

“Your boss, Aleski, had a conversation today with a Sven Ivasoski. Sven talks about a shipment coming in to the Port of London in three days.” Ian used the touchpad to adjust various levels, things I’d given up on after only two sessions. Jack had a slightly better grasp, but this was really Ian’s territory. “Listen.”

I blinked at the mechanical voice coming from the speakers. “That doesn’t sound like Sven. Or Aleski.”

“It’s a translator, not a replicator. I told you, listen.” Ian raised the volume, leaning back against the couch. “This is what I’m talking about.”

It is a good shipment, Aleski. Many fine products.

Is the special item on there?

Yes, it is on board this time. The captain has assured me.

If he is lying, you will see to it he never does so again.

Of course, Aleski. And the special item?

I will take possession. The buyer has waited long time for his product. He is impatient.

The other products?

The Tea Room has first pick this time. A half dozen girls.

“Guess I should hold off on getting that transfer.” Jack squeezed my shoulders, rubbing at the tension knot between them. “Do they get more specific?”

“Sven says he’ll be back the day the ship is due to confirm everything with Aleski. Then they talk about the bartender—that would be you, Frankie—and Sven asks how long Aleski is going to play with his little flower before plucking its petals.” Ian coughed, red creeping up the back of his neck. “It goes on like that for a bit and then you come back on and the conversation is over.”

“Three days. Doesn’t give us much time.” Jack scratched at his chin, arching a brow. “You ready to go to work, Frankie?”

My smile was all teeth. “Oh, definitely.”

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Media Monday--On A Sunday--TRUE BLOOD

So we're at the penultimate episode for season five of True Blood. And if it's anything like last week's, I'm going to be weeping while I write this running review. And I really do mean weeping. It's strange how I will rarely cry in "real life" but put something in dramatic form (film, book, music) and I will just fall apart. You don't even want to know how I reacted to all the deaths in the Harry Potter series--I think I actually embarrassed my mother in public for the first time in...I really don't even know how long.

And we're starting! God help us all.

Oh, great, the psychotic episodes are beginning already. I really don't have a single fucking clue if Bill is just faking this entire Lilith thing or if he is so deep in shit territory that he can't find his way back out. I do know that they did the most horrible casting job with the role of Lilith--or if not the casting then just the costuming. It's so distracting, in a way that nudity never is on this show. So, is Bill crazy? I sure as shit don't know.

Is it wrong of me that everytime I see the credit sequence I'm like, "I swear, I've been in a town like this." I may, in fact, have been in bars and churchs like this. Okay, I know I have, I'm just trying to be coy.

Oh, Nora. Having second thoughts? I would too if I saw my Maker destroyed in front of me. Or if i just had a brain. But, hey, here's Salome to do a little more brainwashing. Good old-fashioned brain washing, just what the doctor ordered.

Wow, Bill, that's a dick move. Not wanting to deal with the "trivial matters of humans". Pretty speech, and if I had to pick someone as a spokesperson I'd go with that charming accent. Oh, shit. Jessica. This is a really, really bad idea. Nice spin, or attempted one anyway. Oh, shit, shit, shit. This is looking bad on every level.

Is it me, or has Erik just looked tortured in one way or another the majority of this season? And wow, that was not a good costuming choice for Nora. And this is how we do acting, ladies and gentlemen. They don't even need words, but all the emotion is there, and the ones they do use--perfect.

I have to say, I love the entire Sookie/Jason storyline this season. We're finally getting to see them act like siblings, much more than in previous seasons and definitely more than in the books. I'm going to go on record as saying letting Jason out into the big, bad world by himself is a really, REALLY bad idea.

And where the hell are we now? Oh, it's the outside of the Authority complex. And that's a lot of fancy gold braiding and stars. I'm going to guess this dude doesn't make it out alive. Okay, total side note, but I just have to say I really love the way Salome carries off the heels 24 hours a day. Oh and there it goes--way to lay it down there, General. And way to keep choosing the wrong words, General. For a man with a lot of stars and I'm guessing experience with crazy situations you are not striking me as a smart man. But then again, I could be wrong--or not. I'm not sure what Erik's doing but it's probably not good.

And this is definitely not good. Oh, I hope Jessica has a plan. I really, really hope she has a plan.

Bill--I'll say it again. You're a dick. But it was nice to watch Salome freak out.

Yes! A plan! Oh, but sad face. Jessica can't catch a fucking break.

Oooh, Pam and Tara. And now Jessica. I have to say, I did love the "ginger bitch" comment.

And that was definitely one of the better kills. Oh, yes! Brother and sister going rogue! With kick-ass boots, no less.

Oh, it's Sam and Luna. As much of a non-fan of Luna as I am, I do admire her total drive to protect her daughter.

Okay, I'm really not sure what's going on with this fairy thing. But I do find the reference to Ke$sha pretty flippin' funny. And the "slut your heart out to every cute guy with fangs" is spot on. Warlow is...who? WHO!?!?! Damn it! I want to fucking know!

Okay, as much as I like having glimpses of the rest of the BonTemps inhabitants, I really just feel like this is dragging things down. And don't get me wrong, I love me some Andy Bellefleur, but, damn it, there is too much else going on at the moment.

Alcide without his shirt. I was wondering when that was going to happen again. And some werewolf drama/history that, again, I could care less about.

Yes! Back to the faeries! And finally something that makes a little bit of sense. Taking a stand as opposed to just being hunted. And more lovely Stackhouse sibling interaction. Aww, it just occurred to me that I can't remember the last time the siblings exchanged I love yous.

"I'm a bitch, not a snitch." I'm going to make that my flippin' motto. And more awws..."She saves my life every day." And I love the way Arlene just breaks everything down to the very basics.

Okay, Bellefluer and Morellia. This is interesting. Oh, and acts of war. Always bad.

Oh, look, Pam is giving lessons. And snark. "Fucking baby vamps." And girl-talk confession time. Maybe we'll get a Tara-Jessica friendship thing after all.

And for once, there's a good stripper on the pole at Fangtasia. But we also have the Authority bitch, so...well, this is bad. Bitch was the crazy sheriff's maker. And now Pam is arrested for Tara's crimes. And damn, bitch found Jessica. This is just getting worse by the minute.

Fucking Lilith. I am getting sick of this bitch. What does it say that I almost hope Bill is just delusional? I don't know, to be honest.

I have no idea what the hell is going on with Alcide and his father but.. I don't care.

Ooh, ooh, ooh...Jason and Russell. And Steve. I really hope this is all part of the plan. I really, really do.

And--see the statement above this statement in regards to the killing scene that just occurred.

More Sam and Luna. And Emma! And more Sam being self-sacrificing.

That was the cleanest kill I've seen in a long time. We're about to have a whole lot of "what are you doing here's", which could be comical or not. Maybe.

Well, that's bullshit. Bill, hitting Jessica officially put you on my shit list. And, hey, guess what? Bill IS hallucinating, him and everyone in the entire nest. Looks like Pam's little lesson was spot on.

And this is...interesting. That was a lot of light into one vampire. And this is bad all around. I really lope this was part of the Elder's master plan. Oh. Oh, this is bad. This is very, very bad.

Okay, that's enough rambling. Now we're reminded why I don't do this that often. I hope you guys enjoyed listening/reading me rambling as much as I enjoyed the episode--and hey, no weeping!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tuesday Buildup: What's Going on with Frankie

So, in case you missed my various comments over the past few weeks, you know Borrowed will not be out over Labor Day weekend as originally stated. Why, you may ask?

To be blunt: I'm pretty much working myself into a breakdown.

I will admit to being the most overachieving underachiever probably in existence. I was one of the kids who was constantly told I wasn't living up to my potential. Even  now, as soon as people find out I have a college degree I'm quizzed on what I plan to do/want to do with my life. I'm sometimes tempted to say "nothing" just so people will freak out. But I'm digressing.

After high school and at some point after college I realized that what other people thought of as my potential and what I think of as my potential are two different things. And while I'm happy with not living up to other people's view of my potential, I have problems not living up to my view of my potential. So I push myself and push myself, which isn't bad--unless I'm pushing myself to the point of exhaustion trying to work full time and write full time and still live an actual life.

So I'm slowing down a bit. Not a lot. Frankie will still be out before the end of the year--should be out no later than mid-October. You'll still get another Jude book, most likely in December. And both will be better for me not rushing to put them out.

Next week I'll have a snippet for you. Something fun and upbeat. In the meantime--let's all take a breather, okay?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Food Friday: What I Miss

There's an art to cooking. As much measurement and specification and precision as the process of cooking a meal requires, there's an art--if you don't have that undefinable something, you can taste it in your food. It's the difference between merely good food and amazing food.

I understand the basics of making biscuits. So does my mother and my sister. So do my aunts. We all understand the basics of making biscuits. And yet none of us can actually make biscuits. No matter what we do or what we try, they just don't come out the way my grandmother's did.

I remember growing up there was a big sort of trough type thing we used to hold flour. My sister and I would sit or stand on one side of the counter and watch my grandmother add water and oil and knead the dough and shape it. Sometimes she'd let us cut out the dough into perfect circles with the rim of a glass but usually they were handshaped. And they were, somehow, always perfect.

We'd have them for dinner that night, usually with fried chicken or collard greens or something so quintessentially southern just saying the words conjures images of Sunday dinner on the church grounds. Some nights my granddaddy would mix together peanut butter and cane syrup and sop it up with a biscuit--that was dessert. If we had any left over, then in the morning we'd have refried biscuits and grits and eggs.

My grandmother passed away almost three years ago. Just thinking about her can still make me cry. I don't think that'll ever change. And I don't think I'll ever stop missing her cooking.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Random Thursday: Ugh.

Yes, ugh. It's been raining for pretty much the entire week here in Florida, which means my ankle is not happy with me. Which means I'm not going to the gym. Which means I feel like a slacker.

Yes. I work 40 hours a week waiting tables, roughly 20 hours a week writing, maybe 5 doing blog posts and social media/PR stuff, and I feel like a slacker for not going to the gym.

In case you're wondering, my mom and friends tend to look at me like I grew a second head whenever I call myself a slacker or lazy. So that look on your face? Totally justifiable.

I did spend the morning plotting the rest of Winged. So I feel somewhat accomplished there. If all goes well, beta readers will have it by the end of the month. Once I finish up with that, I'll be able to focus on Borrowed and have that in your hands no later than mid-October. The next Jude book will then be out in December (title still undecided) and then 2013 will bring you the entirety of the Winged series. More details on that at a later time.

So. I'm going to straighten my kitchen up. Cook some dinner. And hopefully do some writing. Cross your fingers.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Writing Wednesday--Free Stuff!

I'm going to keep this short and sweet. I'm more than a little stressed out because I've got a lot going on on obht the writing front and the personal front and I've got less than a month until DragonCon. Holy crap. I'm on the verge of a panic attack just thinking about everything I need to do this month.

Anyway--what you're here for--free stuff!

Remember the whole "hey, I've been blogging for a year, have some free stuff" thing I had going on last month? I hope so. I also hope you left a comment. Because if you did...


That's right--just shoot me your e-mail and all 6 books are yours! Yeah for you!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Random Thursday! Randomness!

So--I have an idea brewing for another "reporting" piece. Really, it's just more STGB drama, but I need to do some research across various mediums and since I plan to actually write this morning, it'll have to wait for a different time.

Moving on--my friend Sara is back! She and her husband moved to Savannah about a year ago so he could go the the art school there. Unfortunately, life got in the way and plans had to change. They've moved back to Florida and she starts back at work today. Fun and crazy times are going to ensue!

DragonCon is less than a month away! I'm excited, can't you tell? I've never been to a conference of any kind before and this promises to be huge. Plus, it means I have like a week off from work. Since my last vacation consisted of me nursing a wisdom tooth, this one will be infinitely better.

I'm redoing my work schedule. What does this mean for you? It means you're going to get a Frankie book and a Jude book by the end of the year, definitely. After that, my main focus for the next year or so is going to be Winged. Will there possibly be another Cari book in the near future? Possibly. But I'm pretty much working myself into a severe case of exhaustion which is going to be bad for everyone. So, I need to slow down just a bit. For everyone interested in Cari's story, it's going to be told--it may just take a bit.

Finally, it's catch up on TV watching day! Yes, I devote one day a week to catching up on television programs I may have missed. This is usually just something like Haunted Collector or School Spirits, but it makes me happy.

Ok, guys--tomorrow will either be a special edition reporting piece of something food related. Speaking of food, I'm hungry, so I'm going to go eat before my stomach growls any louder. Catch you on the flip side!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Writer Wednesday: Naomi Clark

I met Naomi through rather...interesting circumstances. I'll leave it at that. Since then, we've developed a Twitter-iffic relationship (yeah, that was a bad joke--cut me a break, I'm exhausted) and she's been at the top of my beta-reader list for my last three books. Today, she's here doing a guest post and talking about her latest work. Take it away, Bob!

Guest blog – Night and Chaos

I knew several boys called Ryan growing up, but I didn’t stumble across a girl called Ryan until I started reading Point Horror books (I had a ridiculously large Point Horror collection. I wasn’t allowed to read Stephen King, so I invested heavily in Point Horror instead). I can’t remember the plot or the title of the book, but I remember the heroine was called Ryan, and that for some reason that really lodged in my brain. For whatever reason, I thought being a girl called Ryan was pretty cool, and I must have filed that idea somewhere in the back of my mind. When I first came up with the concept for the Deva Chronicles, the very first thing that popped into my head was the heroine. And I knew she’d be called Ryan.

So I wrote away quite happily and then submitted the first chapter to my writers’ group...all of whom assumed Ryan was a boy and were confused when it turned out she had breasts. A lively debate ensued in which I insisted readers would understand Ryan was a girl and everyone else suggested alternative names for her.

I vacillated for a while, trying to think of girls’ names with the same “feel” that Ryan had for me, that still suited my heroine and conjured up her image when I wrote it. I thought maybe Rhianna or Rianne would be a nice compromise, but the minute I changed names (even mentally), I changed the character. Ryan, as I always envisioned her, was brave and cautious, prickly but yearning for affection. Rhianna or Rhianne didn’t hold those connotations for me. Now, I’m sure if I’d started writing NIGHT AND CHAOS with a heroine called Flossy, I could still have made her brave, cautious, prickly, or whatever I wanted her to be, but for me there was no changing Ryan.

I’m a firm believer in the right name for the right character, and have agonised over stories in the past because one of the characters just wasn’t working. And I usually find that as soon as I stumble upon the right name, everything comes together. I don’t know why – I’m sure I’m not alone in this though. So there was no changing Ryan, although I admit that my writers’ group’s confusion over Ryan’s gender stuck with me while I redrafted NIGHT AND CHAOS. I did have visions of readers spending the whole book worrying over whether Ryan was a boy or a girl. Nobody’s mentioned it to me yet, so I guess my fears were unfounded, which is nice!

I’m interested in how other people feel about it though – does seeing a heroine with a traditionally male name bother you?

Night and Chaos

 Ryan McCarthy fled Applied Paranormal Theory and Tactics, her father, and her lover six years ago, desperate to build life away from the weird science and supernatural experiments of her childhood. But everything she hoped to escape comes back with a vengeance when she’s kidnapped and tortured by a possessed APTT employee out for revenge on the man responsible for his possession: Ryan’s father.

Now, reunited with the lover she abandoned, Ryan is forced back into a world of danger and darkness she no longer understands, pursued by enemies with powers she can’t fathom. But Ryan’s not entirely powerless herself. She’ll have to use every trick she knows – as well as the mystic gift she hates – to stay ahead of those enemies. And that will be easier said than done.
Author Bio

Naomi Clark lives in Cambridge and is a mild-mannered office worker by day, but a slightly crazed writer by night. She has a perfectly healthy obsession with giant sea creatures and a preference for vodka-based cocktails. When she's not writing, Naomi is probably either reading or watching 80s cartoon shows, and sometimes she manages to do all three at once. Find out more at