Madness? This is Comic-Con!
Author Guest / July 31, 2014

Fresh Fiction’s own Kate Cornell attended Comic-Con International this month, and she was kind enough to share her awesome experiences with us. Welcome, Kate! Comic-Con International: San Diego. Once upon a time, it was a a convention celebrating comic books. It has since become the place to premiere, explore, and celebrate the world of all things sci-fi and fantasy. This year, I packed up my car and made the nerd pilgrimage down from LA. I had a deal with myself that, if I was able to go in as a professional, I would go in costume. Great choice. If you go, you’ll find so many people celebrating their fandom with amazing costumes, it’s exciting to join them. While so much of SDCC is hurry up and wait (I’ve never been so excited to stand in line!), there is one important thing you have to remember about Comic-Con: make your own good time. On Friday, after, naturally, standing in line for 3 hours to get into a party on an aircraft carrier (yes, literally, an aircraft carrier), we were turned away at the door. Disappointed, foot sore, and a little angry, we ventured back toward the convention center in search of…

Glenn Cooper | Five Things No One Ever Told Me About Being a Writer
Author Guest / July 31, 2014

I wanted to be a published writer for as long as I can remember but I didn’t actually get it done until I was older than I’d care to say. In the run-up to crossing the proverbial threshold I was reasonably prepared for rejection and got a good workout on that score, to wit, sixty-six literary agents told me to pound sand before one said, yeah, I’ll give you a shot. But I was frankly unprepared or even aware of a number of other things which turn out to be fairly important to the life and times of a working writer, or at least this working writer. Here are the top-five things I didn’t know in advance. And by the way, even if I had known them it wouldn’t have changed my mind one bit about aspiring to the writer’s life. 1. A good third of everything I do is geared to the business of being a writer as opposed to writing. I had no idea! Maybe I’m less efficient than other writers or maybe it’s a function of the fact that I chose not to single worldwide deals for my books or even single English-language deals. I have separate…

Lisa Kessler | Are you a Binge Reader?
Author Guest / July 31, 2014

Since Netflix started offering complete seasons of television series available for streaming, I started hearing the team “binge watched”. Even before Netflix, I was buying DVDs of my favorite shows and then devoting a weekend to watching episode after episode, no commercials, no waiting a week for the next installment. Bliss! (I can actually admit to watching all the seasons of ANGEL on DVD in one weekend more than once! LOL) But TV seasons aren’t the only binges out there. Before I was a writer, I spent every spare moment being an avid reader and series were always my favorite! However, waiting for the next book in a series I loved was NOT! 🙂 Now that my Night Series is complete, I’ve started hearing from “binge readers”. They typically wait until a series is complete, then load up their eReader with all the books and dive in for a week of total fictional escape! Sounds fun, right? Are you a Binge Reader? Have you ever tried it? My Night Series is now complete! It centers around a secretive race of immortal blood drinkers called, Night Walkers. They’re actually descended from the mysterious Mayan civilization and have been living among us…

Kindle Unlimited vs. Owning Books
Author Guest / July 30, 2014

This week Amazon launched Kindle Unlimited, and it’s all anyone who uses a Kindle or ereader can talk about. For $9.99 a month, you can read over 600,000 thousand titles and thousands of audiobooks. I know I would sign-up. I live in a small town where book selection is limited even at the library. I like the sheer variety Kindle can offer and while the choices aren’t going to be the most popular or newest titles, I’m excited to try new authors and genres. Not everyone is as thrilled with Kindle Unlimited as I am. Some people call it a glorified library card. Others see it as a game changer for the publishing industry. What impact will this massive online library do for the future of book sales? Will people be willing to buy a single title at a cost which is sometimes more expensive than an entire month’s fee? When you’re a teen and have a limited (or non-existent) income is $9.99 a month even an option? I can’t answer those questions, but in talking to friends about how Kindle Unlimited could change the future of ereading, I did realize two things about myself. One: I love to read,…

Paula Altenburg | I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends
Author Guest / July 30, 2014

My apologies to the Beatles. But those boys were right. Over the years, you acquire a variety of them. I have friends from my childhood, from university, and friends my husband and I made as a couple. When my kids were small, my immediate group of friends tended to be other mothers. My two closest friends are still my sisters. (Not that I don’t love my brother. But there are some things he simply Does Not Want to Hear About.) These groups aren’t mutually exclusive. There’s a fair bit of overlap. In fact, one of my sisters is also a writer. And of course, my husband ranks up there as one of my very best friends. We’ve known each other since we were sixteen and eighteen. He and I, however, have vastly different interests. When it comes to my writing, which makes up a significant part of my life these days, his eyes tend to glaze over. Don’t get me wrong. He’s supportive. But it’s the same reason he doesn’t care to watch World Cup soccer with me. He claims my enthusiasm “isn’t sincere.” So when you find friends who not only share your interests, but also your sense of…

SEP Read-A-Long with Loretta Chase and BREATHING ROOM
Author Guest , Author Spotlight / July 30, 2014

We’re kicking off our Susan Elizabeth Phillips Read-Along this week with BREATHING ROOM, and Loretta Chase is here to discuss why she loves this particular SEP title. Welcome, Loretta! 1. The pristine beauty and simplicity of the first line, and the anticipation it awakens: Isabel Favor prized neatness. I could not possibly say another word about this. It’s perfect. 2. Enter the hero: Lorenzo Gage was viciously handsome. You know, killer gorgeous. Which is what he is, in the movies. Sometimes a serial killer, sometimes not, but but always bad, bad, bad. “And sadism has made me famous.” 3. Also, he’s Italian. Be still my heart. 4. Fifi. 5. The Four Cornerstones and the various Rules, like “the Healthy Relationship Rules of Fair Combat, not one of which advocated yelling ‘shut up.’” 6. Dialogue, dialogue, dialogue. The gift of the screwball comedy snappy comeback muse: Sparks of happiness rushed through her. “Watching me eat this is turning you on.” He looked irritated. “I’ve been a little sex-deprived lately, so it doesn’t take much.” “Sure. It’s been, what? Five days?” 7. Tuscany. You can see it and smell it and hear it. And taste it. Especially the gelato. 8. The subplot–no,…

Robin Hobb, George RR Martin in conversation – tickets on sale now
News / July 29, 2014

Tickets for HarperVoyager world exclusive event with George RR Martin and Robin Hobb are now on sale.  Spend an evening listening to two to two of the world’s greatest storytellers, discussing how they build their fictional universes, create their characters and balance fantasy and reality; about their influences and inspirations, their struggles and successes. The event will be taking place on the 19th August 2014, at 7:30pm in a central London location that we’ll disclose nearer the time. Tickets cost £45 and each will include a copy of Robin Hobb’s new book,Fool’s Assassin. Tickets are selling fast, so if you’re not lucky enough to get one, our event sponsor blinkbox Books will be streaming the full event – live and exclusively – on their Facebook page. We’re also running a competition to win a signed box set of both A Song of Ice and Fire and a signed copy of Robin Hobb’s Fool’s Assassin. Simply ask your best question for either author on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr using #AskGeorgeAndRobin before 5pm on the 8th August and the 3 best questions will win.

Elaine Viets | Feline Magic
Author Guest / July 28, 2014

No cozy is complete without a cat. Mysteries have talking cats, crime-solving cats, and in Sofie Kelly’s Magical Cats series, felines walk through doors and materialize in strange places. Sofie’s cats transported her series to the New York Times bestseller list. My Dead-End Job mysteries also have cats. Thumbs is a six-toed polydactyl cat who belongs to South Florida private eyes Helen Hawthorne and Phil Sagemont. Thumbs is a more earthbound feline, but he has practical magic. CATNAPPED!, my 13th Dead-End Job mystery, is set in the world of cat shows. A pedigreed Chartreux show cat has been kidnapped for half a million dollars. Helen and Phil, the husband and wife PI owners of Coronado Investigations, are waiting for the catnapper to call. During this tense time, Thumbs uses all his feline powers to comfort Helen Hawthorne: Cats are magical creatures, Helen thought, as she sipped her coffee on the couch in Phil’s apartment. Her own cat, Thumbs, was curled up next to her, purring. Cats can’t talk or walk through walls, though they seem to have those powers. But they are calming. Since nine o’clock this morning, I’ve downed four cups of coffee, waiting for the catnapper’s call. Phil’s…

Joan Johnston Update – THE BAREFOOT BRIDE
Author Guest , News / July 26, 2014

One of my favorite historical western romances, THE BAREFOOT BRIDE, was just reissued and is now in stores in paperback with a fabulous new cover. This is yet another mail-order bride story, about a Boston widow who comes all the way to Fort Benton, Montana to meet her country doctor husband. Read more… For so many of you who have asked about UNFORGETTABLE, I’m not done yet. AAACK! I know how much you’re looking forward to reading it. Probably as much as I’ve been looking forward to writing it. I thought I’d be able to finish up sooner, but the plan is to have it available in August. Check with my Facebook page or website where I will post the release date as soon as it’s finished. The good news is that SINFUL is finished and due for publication on April 28, 2015. It will be followed by SHAMEFUL in late June 2015. Next I’m off to San Antonio, Texas, to attend the Romance Writers of America annual conference where I’ll be speaking and also participating in a literacy signing with hundreds of fellow authors. It’s open to the public, so if you’re in the area, please come and say…

Chris Culver | What My Infant Son Has Taught Me About Suspense
Author Guest / July 21, 2014

When people ask me what I do for a living, nine times out of ten I tell them I’m a stay-at-home dad. And that’s true, mostly—I do watch my son most of the day. I’m only a writer from about ten at night to midnight when my wife and little boy are asleep. When my wife and I came up with this arrangement, I never expected it to help me become a better writer, but it has. I write crime novels mostly, but I enjoy reading psychological suspense, books that are exciting not because they’re filled with car chases and gunfights, but for the uncertainty they evoke in their readers. They leave us on edge the entire time we’re reading them. Gillian Flynn did this marvelously in Gone Girl. Sometimes it’s hard to root for her deeply flawed [but superbly written] characters, but it’s hard not to feel a pervasive sense of angst while reading her books. About two years ago, I came up with what I thought was a brilliant idea for a psychological suspense novel. To save her life, an average guy helps his girlfriend disappear and then frames her evil and quite powerful stepfather for her murder….