Monday, May 05, 2008

Rainy Mondays

It's a rainy Monday, and I may be one of the few people in the world who thinks that's great. I may be inspired to work today, depending on which project is up for it.

I got mildly sunburned Saturday at the CAPE free-comic day expo, and, ironically, it was because it was so cold. I thought it would be like it often is at this time of year when there's a chilly morning, where you might need a sweater at first, but by mid-afternoon you're sweating, so I just threw a hooded sweatshirt on over my light top, but then I never took the sweatshirt off. We were under a tent, so if it had been warmer, I'd have been in the shade all day, but I kept going out in the sun to get warm. Oddly, the spots on my face that are pinkest are where I put the extra SPF 45 sunblock, which was over SPF 15 moisturizer and under SPF 15 makeup, which makes me wonder if it's really wind burn, or considering my skin, an allergic reaction to the sunblock. I picked up a few comics, and of the ones I've gotten around to reading, there's one I really like, Love and Capes, which is a sort of romantic comedy superhero sitcom about a superhero and his normal girlfriend. The cartoon style is similar to newspaper cartoons, and it's sweet and funny. I guess it would figure that when it comes to comics, I'm the girliest girl who ever girled.

I did run into someone from Borders who remembered me from last year's signing and who said that you can't always rely on the inventory information that comes up when you check store inventory online through the Borders stores web site. He assured me that the area stores that say on the web site that they don't have the new book really do, and said that if you're having trouble finding the book and the web site says a store doesn't have it, you should call the store, and the in-store inventory system will be more accurate. So, just a tip for those who've been frustrated about book availability.

I'm touring on the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit this week. There's an interview with me up at Sara Hantz's blog. today. Meanwhile, I'll subject myself to my own regular interview questions here:

What was the inspiration behind this book?
I originally never planned to set any of the books in this series in Texas. It was all about the New York setting where everything was magical. But when I was traveling around Texas doing book signings for Enchanted, Inc., I ended up going through a lot of small Texas towns, and I started imagining what fun it would be to pay a visit to Katie's hometown. I'd already written Once Upon Stilettos at that point, so that then meant that I needed to find a way to get the characters from the end of that book to a reason to go back home, and the third book was more or less reverse-engineered to get to what I wanted to do with the fourth book. If that makes any sense whatsoever. However, I think the ending of the third book was already foreshadowed in the first couple of chapters of book one, so my subconscious was already going there. One of Katie's worst fears at the very beginning was having to go back home to Texas, so of course I had to find a way to make her choose to do so, because I'm evil that way.

Are there any similarities between Katie and me?
A lot of people who know me and who've read the books think I'm just like Katie, but I think the similarities are mostly superficial. I have lived in a small Texas town (actually, on a farm outside a small Texas town). Katie talks a bit like I do, but she's actually a little snarkier and edgier than I am. I'm not nearly as assertive as she is. I do share her independence -- I got some criticism for the fact that she keeps trying to handle things herself instead of asking for help, but that's totally the way I would have handled those situations. I HATE asking for help. I have been known to tell store salesclerks that no, I don't need any help, even though I've been wandering the store for an hour, desperately searching for something that I can't find. I've had to learn to force myself to ask, and I still feel like I'm dying a little inside when I do. My parents say my motto when I was little was "I can do it MYSELF!" So, yeah, that part of Katie is me. On the other hand, I think I have a bit more life experience than she did at the start of the series. While I didn't manage to go too far afield in choosing where I'd live as an adult, I'd already lived in ten cities, four states and two countries before I was an adult, and I'd traveled even more widely, so I think I had a broader worldview at that age than she did. I've never really felt like much of an outsider in New York when I visit there. I'm the person locals ask for directions (though, of course, I never ask for directions because I can do it MYSELF.).

What am I working on now?
Lots of things. I don't have anything scheduled for publication at the moment, but I'm trying to finish revisions on a complete novel to get out for submission (if I ever get the next round of revision notes) and I just started playing with a new idea for a book. Meanwhile, I don't need suggestions or ideas for a book 5, if I ever get to write it. That book is completely outlined and planned, and five chapters are written. I do want to finish it, but I can't afford to do so without a contract. Short of marching with torches and pitchforks on 1745 Broadway (not that I'm suggesting such a thing, but send me pictures if you do) or writing letters to the publisher to demand another book (that zip code is 10019) so they know there's demand for more and you feel ripped off about not getting it, the only thing to do is keep getting people to buy books. Money talks. I do have an evil scheme forming in the back of my brain, but it's best not to be too public with it.

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