I do try to keep up...

• ABADDON. Yep, it's still on line for a Sept. 27 ebook release from Cerridwen Press. No, I don't have a cover yet. I know www.nocturnalurges.com is a boring site, but I'm going to try to jazz it up before the book releases.

I've been reading the opening chapters at conventions this year, and for the most part I seem to be holding their attention, particularly since most of the folks at the last two readings were new to the series. I will note that by my admittedly vague perceptions of audience attention, the point where their attention drifts is, I would think, the least likely point in the reading. Shows what I know.

When will it be out in paperback? I don't know. I don't have a date yet. The instant I know, believe me, you will too. Because I'll be launching a massive promo campaign and book tour and signings and all sorts of things. But those of you saying, "Well, I'll just wait for the paperback"... please don't? I know many of you buy the book twice because of this ebook silliness and I appreciate it beyond words. But if the ebook sales suck, the paperback will be months or years in the offing.

Bottom line: Want more Nocturnal Urges books? Buy the ebook too.

• TANDEM. I have it on good authority that SULTRY SUMMER FUN, the anthology whose title I so did not pick, will be out this summer. Yes, I know I said May, but [Bogart voice] I was misinformed. It's not out yet, but the first of the summer anthos is. Do not mistake SEXY SUMMER FUN from Ellora's Cave (with a much hotter cover model) for mine! My name will be on the front in much bigger letters than I deserve. The cover model is wearing bling. That should help distinguish it.

• THE COLD ONES. Thanks beyond words to my kind First Readers, who helped me find the errors of my ways. I have pared it down to just under 15,000 words, entirely by cutting language, which tells me I write too fat. :) As of yesterday, it was sent to a publisher. This morning, I got an email back, spurring a panic attack - a response that fast meant they took one look at it and chucked it, nobody buys a novella that fast. Fortunately (?) it was just a technical problem, could I resend? I happily did, and now begins the endless wanking of What It Means That They Were Looking At It That Fast. I'm not a worrier, I can stop any time I want.

Wish me luck. Publication by this house would be the single best thing to happen to what I laughingly call a career since EC bought NOCTURNAL URGES - better, even, since this house is a top name in horror. I also think THE COLD ONES is the tightest piece I've ever written. It may not be the BEST thing I've ever written, but it's well-structured, the language is strong and I think it's a damn fine yarn. In my totally unbiased opinion, of course. Hey, I'm the first to admit when I've written something that just plain fucking sucks. *coughstairstorycough*

• YELLOW ROSES. As my father said over dinner a few weeks ago, "How many years have you been working on that thing?" At least another year, it seems. YR is always getting the short end of the stick: I wrote a novella, then set it aside to write some smutty vampires, then to write some nonsmutty vampires, then wrote it again as a novel, then set it aside to write some zombies... It's the perennial bridesmaid of my Pending Works.

But I think I know what's wrong with YELLOW ROSES, and how to fix it. I am determined this time. I have research materials and outlines and I'm going through it scene by scene, dissecting what's wrong. I will tear it apart and put it back together again, expand it by 15,000 words and when I'm done, it'll be the best thing I've ever written. I just have to stick to it. And if the summerpalooza of Stuff To Do would end. And if my apartment would clean itself. Wait, I just edged into fantasy.

• SMUT. The latest royalty statement confirmed just how bad 2007 is turning out to be. Sales are down at cons and royalties suck. I choose to blame the nine-month delay on ABADDON's release, not any inherent suckage in my backlist. Ho hum, look at ceiling, I don't suck that bad, do I? [/needy cry for reassurance]

So yeah, I debated slamming out a quick smut novella for Ellora's Cave, humping it onto the 'net and making myself some quick cash. It's so easy, you know? "I was young, I needed the money!" And it's honest work, don't get me wrong. I'm not ashamed of writing sex. It's just not what I wanted to do forever, money or no money. I haven't made up my mind entirely, but it's not like I can count on one-fifth of seven percent of whatever SULTRY SUMMER FUN sells for to make this year worth living.

But then poor YELLOW ROSES...

• CONS. No, I will not be at Archon/NASFIC. I really wish I could be there, but the four days of the con are the exact four days I will be off on the Family Unity Ceremony and Goat Sacrifice with my family and Stepmom's family. If any authors are planning to be there and wouldn't mind sharing, I'd be happy to contribute to the cost of table space. But I won't be attending or doing panels. Honestly, it's been so damn long since I paid to attend a con, I just can't justify it, particularly given the year I'm having.

Dragoncon, however, is a go. I am there. I have a room and everything, and soon to buy a plane ticket. Will I be in the dealer's room? Unknown. I WANT TO BE. But it's $500. I am putting together an idea on how we can all make zillions, but that's for a future discussion. We all know the way to make money at DC is to be in the dealer's room - and at that, it's still a crapshoot.

Every time I do a convention, I realize I should be doing much more of them. It's not like I'm going to get famous sitting here and whining to my blog, eh? :) I'm working on adding a local appearance or two in August, and am open to any invitations within driving distance of St. Louis. (Darn airports.)

• CULTUREGEEK. Readership is way, way up after SuperWeek and the Action-Movie series. It's down a bit this week, mostly because I haven't had much to write about. I'm going to have to watch me some HEROES instead of endless reruns of HOMICIDE, and possibly get my ass to the comic shop for the monthly haul. Thank Zod it's tax-deductible.

As always, the day-job blog lives or dies with hit counts. It can be found at http://bellevillenewsdemocrat.typepad.com/culturegeek. Thanks, as always, to my faithful readers.

• Yes, I know I still owe you a Hypericon report. I will get to it! It's been a busy week.

And before I forget, thank you all for your kind support. Don't think for a second that I take you for granted. I am blessed with wonderful friends and readers, and many of my readers ARE my friends. That is truly a blessing.