renay: artist rendition of the center of a nebula (Default)
[personal profile] renay posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
Hello, Internets! This entry comes to you in three parts:

Did you know I am about to (maybe) graduate in December after I pass my last three classes (dubious)? YES. The Bachelor of Arts in English I have been working on since 2005 will be complete (possibly). We will not talk about when I started university because then we have to talk about how long it took me to earn one degree and the time I've spent on this one I could have earned a B.A., masters, and perhaps started on a doctorate. So: no talking about it. Agreed? Agreed. I am both terrified and excited at the prospect of never having to enter a classroom again.

screenshot from That 70s show with text reading talking isn't going to help me. what's going to help me is, like, drinking

Part #2: Author Event!
Earlier this month [ profile] echthroi and I trekked to Memphis to see Cherie Priest at an author event. It was harrowing and I continue to believe that I am not cut out for large cities. Why are there so many cars! Why is everyone going so fast! Why do they not warn for road construction!? Memphis is not even that scary, driving wise — New Orleans was much worse. I will never survive outside a city larger than 80,000 people. Cue terrified country girl in big city.

This was my very first author event, because publishers don't believe people in the South read and they never send authors I like to Memphis, sob. The only novel by Priest I have read is Boneshaker. I liked it, but my feelings were mixed? It's been so long I don't remember the mixed feelings in detail, only the "hey, this was pretty great!" because I enjoy books that take history, shake it, and then suddenly zombies (or dragons, or vampires, or dinosaurs)! How do you go wrong?

The event itself was pretty laid back, very chatty. There is some super awesome news that can't be shared on the internet and it's exciting! I hope she gets to release it soon, because seriously, I would be throwing some dollars at it, and I do not throw dollars easily. (eta: The news, it is released!) I asked the question put to me by some people who knew I was going, about Priest's interaction with book bloggers. Predictably, it went immediately to the ARC place. God, I have so many feelings about ARCs and they're pretty much all negative and after this even talking about them makes me want to set every concrete ARC I've ever received on fire. I want all ARCs to be digital so this can stop being a thing I have to combat when I say "I am a book blogger". Note: I did not ask about ARCs, I asked about her experience with book bloggers, and yet we still went to Planet Book Bloggers Want Free Stuff and Here's How You Get It. I wasn't specific enough at the time with my question, because ugh, crowds. Looking at me. Judging me. sdlk'fk'a;lsdlsd

Maybe I am in the minority here, but when I was a book blogger (back when I read books? In....2010?) I actually preferred to buy the books, or ask my library to buy them, rather than hound an author or their publisher for them. This goes back to me not enjoying asking for or accepting free things and my general terror of talking to strangers. I am horrible at it. I managed two requests directly to an author in three years when I was active. The reaction to my question threw me, because the answer ended up in ARC territory (which I don't care about) and then also went sailing down by the "this is how many hits this other teen book blogger gets" river, and I had no paddle and felt really awkward and embarrassed that my question about interacting with book bloggers went to a money/fame place immediately when I a) don't blog about books for ARCs or anything but my love/hate of a specific title, b) get like five hits a month and therefore rank about -1000000000 on the importance scale. Sigh. I promise, all the other people in the crowd, I wasn't asking how to get books for free. I am just really interested in how authors think about book bloggers, how they interact, if authors have had good/bad interactions with them, if they're looking for stronger relationships in the community, etc.. Looking back, I am not sure how my question was phrased and it was probably terrible and confusing. I had other questions that I wanted to ask, but after that I was too embarrassed to bother speaking up again. The lesson I learned was that book bloggers who don't accept ARCs are rare these days, which makes me sad. I remember discussing this with Dewey, I believe, in 2007, when the ARC movement was picking up as a social tool in the YA community and expressing regret over it. Insert GET OFF MY LAWN macro here.

I hesitate to label my first author event a success. The discussion was awesome and I love listening to writers talk about their work because they get so excited. I also got things signed! Priest was super kind and accomodating and signed both of the things I brought and I got a button. But the whole question thing just looped me and cast this really gross sheen over the event, like, great, I am That Person wanting Book Handouts. All in all, I am glad I went, and now know to prepare questions better next time, ask with more precise language, and perhaps make the person with me ask the potentially humilating ones. :)

title page of Boneshaker signed by Cherie Priest

Bibliography for Cherie Priest:

Part #3: This Sucks, or, Vampires!
I am planning something. But to plan this something I actually need to do some research, which means I needed to create a list of books about vampires. I asked on Twitter, which got me started and led me to additional titles:

  • Lost Souls - Poppy Z. Brite
  • Fledgling - Octavia Butler
  • Christabel - Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • The Strain - Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan
  • Evernight (series) - Claudia Gray
    • Evernight
    • Stargazer
    • Hourglass
    • Afterlife
  • Sookie Stackhouse (Southern Vampire series) - Charlaine Harris
    • Dead Until Dark
    • Living Dead in Dallas
    • Club Dead
    • Dead to the World
    • Dead as a Doornail
    • Definitely Dead
    • All Together Dead
    • From Dead to Worse
    • Dead and Gone
    • Dead in the Family
    • Dead Reckoning
  • The Society of S - Susan Hubbard
  • Salem's Lot - Stephen King
  • The Historian - Elizabeth Kostova
  • Carmilla - Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
  • Let the Right One In - John Ajvide Lindqvist
  • Fangland - John Marks
  • I Am Legend - Richard Matheson
  • Vampire Academy (series) - Richelle Mead
    • Vampire Academy
    • Frostbite
    • Shadow Kiss
    • Blood Promise
    • Spirit Bound
    • Last Sacrifice
  • Sunshine - Robin McKinley
  • Anno Dracula - Kim Newman
  • The Last Vampire (series) - Christopher Pike
  • Cheshire Red Reports (series) - Cherie Priest
    • Bloodshot
    • Hellbent
  • Interview with the Vampire - Anne Rice
  • Varney the Vampire - James Malcolm Rymer
  • The Awakening - L.J. Smith
  • Dracula - Bram Stoker

The problem with vampire novels is that they're everywhere! It's impossible to get beyond skimming the surface on your own without having to dive into the vampiric equivalent of a ball pit and hope there's nothing horrible underneath the brightly colored friendly plastic. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm open!

Date: 2011-11-24 12:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
ugh bummer about the response to book bloggers. :(

Date: 2011-11-28 05:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
lol at the way you describe yourself...ALL THE REASONS WHY I LOVE YOU.

I think the way ARCs became a sort of game...where people were getting them just to say they had them was kind of awful. I don't know if that's still going on as I've been pretty absent from book blogging this year, but the idea that a blogger's worth came from which ARCs they were able to snag is basically a system set up to fail in the long run.

Re: vampire novels

Date: 2011-11-24 12:24 am (UTC)
dingsi: The Corinthian smoking a cigarette. He looks down thoughtfully and breathes the smoke out of his nose. (thoughtful)
From: [personal profile] dingsi
I have no idea what you're looking for specifically, but when it comes to vampire books, I will always remember Poppy Z. Brite's Lost Souls. In many ways it's pure ID-fic... vampires with sex, incest, illegal substances, queerness and goth band name-dropping. Which makes it sound either alluring or terrible depending on your POV. It's not without issues -- from the serious, like sidelining female characters, to the ridiculous, with one of the antagonists having blond hair and purple eyes (iirc). But there are instances where the writing is just extremely sensual, and to a queer (budding goth) teenager like me who lived in Nobodycaresville, Nowheregon, there was a lot of outsider-ness and freak-ness to latch onto. And loneliness. I totally imprinted on that book.

Re: vampire novels

Date: 2011-11-24 12:51 am (UTC)
dingsi: The Corinthian smoking a cigarette. He looks down thoughtfully and breathes the smoke out of his nose. (books)
From: [personal profile] dingsi
Heh, awesome. I hope you won't feel disappointed.

It just ocurred to me that I also have a comic called "The Vampire's Christmas" (by Mike Dubisch & Joseph Michael Linsner) that I enjoyed because the protagonist is a grumpy, misanthropic, absolutely un-glamorous vampire guy who was bitten outside a Sex Pistols concert in 1977. I usually warn that a pedophile appears in the story, nothing graphic but he gets his punishment when trying to kidnap a young boy and, well, no need to inflict that on unknowing people in case they have triggers. On the plus side, I was happy to see several plus-sized women in the comic, the art is pretty and the story is, albeit cynical and black-humoured at times, actually fairly heart-warming and funny.

Re: vampire novels

Date: 2011-11-25 04:40 am (UTC)
goodbyebird: Buffy: Animated icon of Drusilla making a biting notion towards Angelus. (BtVS Angel Drusilla ani)
From: [personal profile] goodbyebird
I haven't gotten to either yet, but American Vampire and I, Vampire both spring to mind. And there's the Anita Blake series(not sure if it's still ongoing). Of course there's the Angel & Faith series that just started up :)

other vampire comics

Date: 2011-11-25 04:00 pm (UTC)
dingsi: The Corinthian smoking a cigarette. He looks down thoughtfully and breathes the smoke out of his nose. (books)
From: [personal profile] dingsi
"30 Days of Night" was pretty good. The art style was a hurdle for me at first but eventually I saw that it fit the story well and was very moody and expressive.


Date: 2011-11-24 01:07 am (UTC)
samjohnsson: It's just another mask (Default)
From: [personal profile] samjohnsson
I will note, for the Vampire novels question, that the roleplaying game "Vampire the Masquerade" briefly had a novelization line, as well as an obscene amount of backstory in the gaming books themselves. Likewise Shadowrun had a couple titles, and the AD&D world Ravenloft was wall-to-wall gothic horror, with enough vampires you wonder about the food supply.


Date: 2011-11-25 12:09 am (UTC)
samjohnsson: It's just another mask (Default)
From: [personal profile] samjohnsson
not really, and it may in fact hurt. Of course, the books themselves are...well, I can give about a hundred links on ff.n that are better-written.

not _that_ fic

Date: 2011-11-25 12:32 am (UTC)
samjohnsson: It's just another mask (Default)
From: [personal profile] samjohnsson
no, no. I've seen the fic for the VtM line. It's ... interesting. I'm saying that it's not the best writing in the world.

Date: 2011-11-24 11:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
tee hee I rather love that you only list the first Vampire Diaries book instead of the series ;) Smart move, I think.

ALSO re ARCs, totally with you. I read some, at BEA I enjoy getting them, especially for drooly awesome nonfiction, but I get so awkward when people seem to assume you want them, you know? I mean, I buy almost all of my books, really. I prefer that. ASKING for an ARC or a published book just terrifies me and makes me feel all needy and awkward. I want you to know, dearest author whom I love enough to email, that I love your work because I love your work, not because I want your book free! It makes me nervous, lol. Also, that sounds super awkward at the event that she took and answered it that way.

Date: 2011-11-28 04:54 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Heh, well, I'm glad to have warned you but it's true - you *might* love them... I'm doubtful but love being proved wrong ;)

And yes, support group seems like a good idea! Though, what bothers me most is the author and publisher's insistence that it's all about ARCs, you know. You should be able to ask a question without the author going automatically there, or at least they should talk about more than that you know? I'd be tempted to avoid the author after that instead of just ARCs of their books! I mean, sometimes I read them and love it but it's only a small part, but I get SO ANGRY when authors are dismissive of what we do for them, if that makes sense!

I think that sometimes they are good though and hopefully Anna and Jodie will keep you in line ;) heh

Date: 2011-11-28 04:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Uhhh also, I forgot to log in but that was from me :)

Date: 2011-11-24 01:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I haven't read it, but Brown Girl in the Ring is supposed to be good. Christabel by Samuel Taylor Coleridge is hte precursor of the Vampire novel - no blood sucking, but its very much a book that influenced books like Varney the Vampire and Carmilla and Dracula.

Date: 2011-11-25 01:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Best thing about Varney the Vampire - YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO FIND IT SCARY. I mean really?! Run Kids! Its Varney the Vampire and his cousins Boris Badanoff and Dick Dastardly!

The idea of ST Coleridge as a sober adjudicator of taste amuses me. Like "Let me put my opium down for a moment and tell you all about how reality really is".

I REALLY think you need to add Varney to the list now.

Date: 2011-11-30 07:37 pm (UTC)
ext_289799: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
The ARCs thing D: I'd have been totally embarrassed too. This is why my review policy these days consists of one word: "No".

Now that I think of it, I did review 3 or 4 ARCs this year, but they were all NetGalley ones. I don't use the site much (too many books on the TBR already without me needing to add more), but I love how... impersonal it is, I guess? The automated request system removes the awkwardness from the interactions (I will totally join your and Amy's support group. I did one request in almost five years of blogging and it was MORTIFYING), and knowing that the books are there specifically to be reviewed makes me feel less like I'm trespassing. Plus they have books by small academic presses that I know I'd probably never have the chance to read otherwise. Also graphic novels. But like I said I use it seldom, and the plan is for my blog to carry on being 99% books I own or got from the library.

VARNEY THE VAMPIRE! It promises so much hilarity, but gah, it's so huge. Too much comedy for me, I think :P

Date: 2011-12-01 10:45 am (UTC)
sanders: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sanders
The original four of the Vampire Diaries books are actually quite good, and by original, I mean the ones I bought for like three dollars a piece at KMart in the 90s. I can't speak at all about the newer ones. The Blood Ties series by Tanya Huff, and the subsequent series, Smoke, are good reads. There's also a writer, Fred Saberhagen, who has at least two books, I think, centering around vampires. I'll see if I can dig up the titles.

Date: 2011-12-11 08:40 am (UTC)
chaosraven: Chopper (Default)
From: [personal profile] chaosraven
There is a YA (I think/assume) series called "Vampirates". Make of that what you will.

Date: 2011-12-12 12:35 am (UTC)
chaosraven: Chopper (Default)
From: [personal profile] chaosraven
You're welcome. I hope everyone loves it. *lying*


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