You know how rare me having a clean house is when the fact that my house is clean makes it a tourist attraction. Yep, the parents had to come over today to see it for themselves. Then we went out to lunch and I got to play personal shopper for Mom at Macy's. I also found a killer red dress at something like 80 percent off. It will be perfect for wearing to go swing dancing in New York in a couple of weeks.
I have my first book event set up, so start marking your calendars. My Austin-area appearance will be at the Hastings Books and Music in Round Rock the evening of May 9 (it's a Wednesday night). They're having me come speak to their book club, but everyone's invited. I like this idea of my store appearance being tied to an existing event. It means I'm pretty sure someone will be there, which is better than sitting all alone behind that table for a couple of hours. I don't know if I'll be doing a separate Austin signing because we're still working on the schedule.
I've been working on developing a workshop for a conference where I'm speaking next month, and that had me digging through some notes I've made from books about fantasy fiction. I love the reasons one author mentioned for the "purpose" of fantasy: recovering the power to see the world magically like a child, escaping restraints of the modern world, the comfort of the happy ending and return to the normal world, and developing idealistic goals. Though I think that some of the darker current fantasy doesn't exactly carry out all those, particularly the happy ending and the idealism. I'm not personally a fan of the "life sucks and people are mean, and there is no hope" brand of fantasy. You can take me to some dark places, as long as you bring me back out again. Just don't leave me there!
From the same book, there were definitions given for various kinds of fantasy. I've been using the tagline "fairy tales for modern times" to describe my work, and looking at the definition they give for fairy tales, it looks like that's appropriate. They say that fairy tales are on a smaller scale than high fantasy, explore the boundary between the safety of "home" and the danger of the unknown, and they offer lessons of practical value. I think that fits my work pretty well, since I really look at that boundary between the magical world and the real world, and the challenges of crossing the line on either side. Food for thought.
I may get back into playing with book 5 tonight. Chatting with that reporter yesterday really got my mind back into the story. No, it hasn't actually sold yet, but in case it does, it would be nice to have it already mostly done, and if it doesn't, having a complete manuscript might make jumping houses easier. For just about every question the reporter had about some of the mysteries I've set up in the series, my answer was, "that's what book 5 would be about." I also have another series I'm trying to develop that I need to work on. Plus all the promo and PR work that's really ramping up for the next book. I'm so very busy and important. (Ha!)
But first, I've discovered that OnDemand is carrying the new BBC Robin Hood series, even though I don't get BBC America, so I think I must watch that. I liked the first episode, and the second episode is now up. If this is just a teaser and they aren't going to give us the whole series, I'll be very annoyed.