Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Guest Post and Promo for Khelsey Jackson's Black & Blue

Khelsey's stopped by an had a chat with us before, so these are some new follow up questions and a cover-spread for her new novel, Black & Blue...

What's your favorite childhood memory?

I would say going to Disneyland on Christmas with my dad, brother and grandma.

What is the biggest mistake you've made in your life and what did you learn from it?

I trust way too easily, and I've learned not to put my trust in people so easily. 

What do you do when you are alone in the car?

I don't drive! lol I have my husband drive me and I walk. 

Is there someone you'd just die if they read your books? (For example, my high school English teacher is a fan of my work. I haven't died yet, but it was close...)

There are a couple, Richelle Mead, and Lisa Renee Jones. I adore their work.

Everyone always gives writing advice - write what you know, write daily, learn the rules of grammar first and then break them. What piece of writing advice have you been given that sucks, or that you'd definitely say is not useful to you?

I would say not to write unless you are feeling it. If you force something out of her head it will be that, forced and your readers will see that.

Do you have a phobia? What are you scared of? What are you scared of that you know you shouldn't be, and are scared of anyway? (don't ask me about junebugs. just don't.)

I am scared to death of spiders, I have my four year old kill them for me.

Remind me not to invite you over for coffee... I'm currently hosting a very nice lady orb spider on my porch. She eats mosquitoes and flies, which I appreciate, and she picked a nice spot for her web that's out of the way of the door. So, I say hi to her in the morning and leave her be.

What's the weirdest thing you do (or eat... a weird favorite food. I like banana and mayonnaise sandwiches...) 

I eat my food in sections, like my meat first then everything else. 

The end of the world is coming and you have a small room where you can seal yourself and what you love in until it's safe (assume food, water, and waste disposal are already attended to.) What do you NEED once your basic living requirements are met?

Well my family, and I need something to write with or I would go crazy.

If you could pick any day in your life and go relive it (not make changes, just have those experiences again) which day would you like to revisit?

I would like to relive the day I met Richelle Mead and Richel Caine

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Pod Cast

Couple of notes;

One: I had a misspeak moment; I said Delilah Dawson (who writes some awesome novels and is a really fantastically great lady) but I meant Delilah Devlin (who writes awesome stuff and is ALSO a really fantastic lady)... that was a screw up on my part... I have not worked with Dawson, altho I've read a bunch of her books... Delilah Devlin, however, was my editor for Smokin' Hot Firemen.

Two: Wow, is my accent really that strong? I don't really notice, obviously, when I'm talking, but I don't usually hear my own voice, either.

Three: I'm also not used to having a constantly open mic, so there are a few times that you can hear me sniffing. Sorry about that, I'm allergic to air.

Thanks to Jonah and Mikey for having me on their podcast; it was certainly fun. I love to talk, and this was a great opportunity to do so...

So, here's the podcast link: It's a bit long, and somewhat explicit (I'm prone to swearing, altho I don't think I actually DID much in this podcast, but we do talk about erotica and vaginas and make some dirty puns... nothing too extreme, but you probably don't want to listen to it on your speakers while you're at work. Or maybe you do, I don't know...)

Podcast Link

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Exciting Things!

I think I threw a teaser out here that I'd meant to get back to faster, and didn't...

And here it is; I'm guest podcasting for Jonah Knight and Mikey Mason's Pros & Cons Podcast. Which is just super exciting for about half a dozen different reasons.

  • Jonah and Mikey are completely cool, nerdy guys who sing the kind of music that I love. In fact, Jonah was my live talent last year for my Christmas party (and will be again this year!) and I use a lot of his music to inspire my stories. The entire London Steam series of short stories have been inspired by Jonah's album Age of Steam: Strange Machines.
  • The podcast was nominated for a Parsec Award and was a finalist this year, so that's pretty awesome and it means I'm getting some potential new readers (hi!)
  • It was just a lot of fun to do - I love both guys to pieces and I'm really happy to work with them on projects.
  • I think I've mentioned that Jonah's working on another project, Antimatter Press, and so after (or before) the show started, we chatted a bit about my idea and what I was going to be doing.
  • Mikey is almost as dirty-minded as I am, so after the show, we cracked some really inappropriate jokes and had a giggle. He's also a fan of good beer and has another podcast called Beer Powered Time Machine that's kinda like sitting around with your friends, drinking beer and telling stories; pants optional. You should totally check it out.
  • And I got to do my favorite thing, which was talk about my work with people who actually care. (I try really hard not to bore people to death in my real life with details about my job.)
So, I'll link here and probably put something permanent over on the side bar for y'all to listen to when it goes live... 

Other exciting news, I got some swag for Blood Cries Up:

These are scented soy-wax tarts - Whipped Pumpkin and Kettle Corn - with the Lights Out! cover art... made by my dear friend at Raven Hollow Candles. I'll be giving these away as part of the blog tour I'm doing, along with some other nifty things...

And then, most extremely awesome:

My short story, Full Frontal Neighbor, got accepted into the Sexy Librarian's Big Book of Erotica. I'm really, really excited about this; I particularly love this story and I think y'all will, as well... So I'll let you know more about those details as I get them. Also, this makes 18 publications I've had now in the last two years.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Promoting, Blog Tour, SWAG, and the other 99% of writing

I, like many, many other writers I know, sort of suck at Marketing. (There are some exceptions; Rue Volley, for instance, is like the Marketing Queen and Diva-extreme of Self-promo... and if you don't know who she is, you should find out, because she's pretty dang awesome.)

Aaaand, I'm trying to get better, especially with my first novel coming out soon. (I don't know yet, sorry. Early 2014...)

So, with Blood Cries Up coming out in less than a month - 16 days and counting! - I thought I'd try to do some more marketing and self-promo and see if I can't... well, figure it out.

On that note, I am getting some SWAG for Blood Cries Up. My friend at Raven Hollow Candles is making me some fall-scented tarts (You will need a tart warmer to use these) with the cover printed on the container. Pumpkin Whip and Kettle Corn will be my two fall scents, and they should go quite well with the cover, don't you think?

These will be given away during my promo blog hop. I've already talked to a number of writers that I adore and who have offered to host me (if you keep a blog and want to host me, please note in the comments or shoot me an email at lynntownsend dot writer at gmail dot com)

So far the dates look like this: (**subject to change as I talk more with the blog authors and get things nailed down...)

October  1 - On Torquere's Romance for the Rest of Us
October  2 - Release Date, here at Paid by the Weird
October  3 - Kinzie Rose
October  4 - Chris T. Kat's The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat
October  5 - Elizabeth L. Brook's Every World Needs Love
October  6 - available
October  7 - Victoria Chisholm's Books
October  8 - Sommer Marsden's Unapologetic Fiction
October  9 - available
October 10 - V. L. Locey's Thoughts from a Yodeling Goat Herder
October 11 - available
October 12 - available
October 13 - A.R. Moler's Bodies Making Chemistry 

People who comment on the blog tour will be entered in a drawing to win a $10 gift card at Torquere Press (or Amazon, or Amazon.UK), free copies of the story, swag bundles (including a scented tart!)

I may have a Facebook release party - I'm still working on the details of what that entails...

Anyway, lots of fun things, so keep an eye out. Also, I have some exciting news coming up. And I still can't talk about it because the official announcement has not been made... but I'll be doing a (redacted) with some amazingly talented guys who were nominated for a (redacted) award earlier this year and... yeah. exciting. jeeeez, I wish they'd make the announcement already before I 'splodo!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Vacating, Day Two

So, the second day of our vacation we got up fairly early - Fort Sumter is on an island, and you can't get there without a boat. Not having a boat of our own, we had to catch the ferry. There's two ferry docks; one of them is owned by the National Park Service and the other one is not. They are, however, only separated by about twelve miles. We figured we'd aim for the one in Charleston and if we got there too late, we'd go up to the dock on the other side of the bridge.

We got there in plenty of time, went through the small museum on the shore, and then went out to the dock. While out there, I saw some river dolphins sporting around in the water. I pointed urgently to the husband. "Look, dolphins!" Of course, by the time he looked, they weren't there anymore. Someone else heard me, looked, didn't see them, and started muttering to his companions about people with overactive imaginations.

So when they popped back up and the woman from the other group saw them, I had that nice surge of being validated. Eventually, my husband saw them, too. About a half dozen or so.

I'm on a mother-fucking boat!
We got on the boat and listened to one of the park service guys talk about the history of Fort Sumter. (If you're really interested, there are tons of reference materials out there for you to look it up.) My mother is a Civil War historian, so I kinda zoned out a bit; I've heard most of this before. Except that my mom calls it the War of Northern Aggression, which may tell you a little bit more about my mom than really, you wanted to know.

I suspect I could call her on the phone and ask her for the schpiel on Ft. Sumter and she could do it - accurately - without having to look anything up.

While we were on the boat, the Park Ranger gave us a bunch of safety rules and regulations, as well as some other rules.

Do not take the bricks. I wondered why anyone would do that - a brick is a brick, right? Also, what are people gonna do, pry it out of the wall? But then, yeah, people are dumb.

Second rule; do not climb on, or sit on, the cannons, brick walls, or other parts of the park. "I want you to remember what you came to this island on. The boat. Well, if you fall and hurt yourself, this is your ambulance. So, think about that for a bit; how long it's going to take us to cart you back to land once you've broken your leg, your sternum, managed to embed a piece of cannon in your leg, or gotten a concussion from rolling down the hill headfirst into the wall."

He's got a big gun!

Do Not Climb into Cannon.
Not advice I needed.

The boat took us out, let us walk around the Fort for about an hour, and then we headed back to the dock. We grabbed a couple of sandwiches out of the cooler (quick shout out to 31 consultant, Victoria, who sold me a wonderful picnic cooler; I got 8 cans of soda, 8 sandwiches, crackers, and a bag of mixed nuts in there.) and headed on to Atlanta...

Monday, September 9, 2013

Guest Post, AR Moler

One of the best things about being a writer is the community. I have tons of weird, crazy friends who are just as weird, wonderful and perverted as I am.

One of them is AR Moler, who I've "done coffee" with a few times and our children are close in age and share a frightening Pokemon obsession.

Her new book, Burning Now, just came out from Torquere Press, so you should check that out.

What are your greatest challenges in your writing career?

Time. I have “real” part-time job, and I homeschool my kids, so writing gets sandwiched in in weird slots and chunks (like when I have to park my behind for 2 hrs beside the pool while my kids have swim team practice).

When did you find out that you wanted to be a writer? What inspired you to put pen to paper? 

I’ve been writing since middle school (back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth). It was mini-mysteries and fan fic stuff back then. I wrote all through college and even traded some stories with friends.

What's the worst thing that ever happened to you that you've incorporated into a story? 

The most direct insertion was being told by an orthopedic surgeon that I was fat and old and needed to learn to live with the pain (when in fact she missed my MCL tear on the MRI completely). I used it almost verbatim in a story with an smart awesome ortho, where he is interviewing a dr for a job. Needless to say that doc failed miserably.  (I told the real one to take a hike too.)

How much of your life and the people you know end up in your work?

I confess to having characters express MY opinions frequently. People I know? Enh, not often.

What projects are you currently working on? Are you willing to share a small excerpt from a work in progress?

I have a shifter piece called Burning Now.

Gideon lifted Vanya's hand. "What happened to your finger?" He gestured toward the Band-Aid around Vanya's index finger.
"I cut it at work. It's nothing."
Gideon sucked on the next finger over.
It was a toss-up as to whether it was the wet heat of Gideon's mouth or the rub of his thumb across the skin on the inside of Vanya's wrist that was a biggest turn on. Vanya drew in an uneven breath.
"We could pick up where we left off yesterday," Gideon suggested. 
Vanya was silent, having an internal argument. Was it priznanye or not? What if it was his dick doing the talking and the rest was just his imagination? Did it matter?
"Wrong thing to say?" Gideon slowly let Vanya's hand go. "I thought..."
"That I wanted to get naked and horizontal? I do. I really do. I just... I like you, and I don't want to give you the impression that I'll bend over for anyone who asks. Fuck, I sound like some teenager girl about to give up her virginity." Vanya stood up, picked up the plates and carried them to the sink. Lord, he was screwing this up big time.
Gideon crossed the kitchen and stopped behind Vanya. He spun Vanya around slowly and stood with a hand braced on the sink, bodies almost touching. "I get it. There's a weirdly scary level of chemistry between you and me. Something that goes way past looking for a casual fuck. I wish somebody could explain why I want to tear your clothes off and do you against the nearest wall and at the same time it bothers me that you cut your finger." His hand touched Vanya's cheek.
"It's priznanye," whispered Vanya. It had to be. There was no other sane explanation.
"Priznanye. I'm different. My genetics aren't like human's. My people interact differently, well, sometimes anyway."
Gideon frowned. "Your people? I understand there's cultural differences between us, but..."
"Take a step back. I'll show you," Vanya said. What the hell was he doing? He'd never changed in front of someone who wasn't zhar-ptitsa, never even been tempted, but somehow it seemed crucial that he show Gideon how different he was. Either the guy would run screaming out of the apartment or they'd come to some sort of understanding.
Taking a couple of steps back, Gideon eyed him dubiously.
Vanya pulled off his t-shirt  and dropped it on the floor then he willed the change.

Is there a character or story that's stuck in your head and won't leave, from either your work or someone else's?
“A” character? How ‘bout the whole troop of them that wake me up at 3 am and insist they need to visited again.  Some characters get used for 1 story to probably never be seen again, others… just do not go away.

What writers or novels do you consider “must reads”? 

Time Enough for Love by Robert Heinlein, The Amber series by Roger Zelazny, Hyperspace by Michio Kaku (not a novel – quantum mechanics)

Tell us three things about you that are interesting.

I ride a motorcycle.
I teach chemistry to college students.
I periodically do contract costuming for people (medieval / Jedi /anime /Star Trek etc)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Just Because You Like It...

That don't make it good.

I've talked about reviews before, I think. Or at least, I meant to.

I have this friend, Kay*. Kay and I have been good friends for upward of 20 years now. We have a lot in common.

Aaaaand we have a lot of NOT in Common.

For instance, she thinks (she is deluded here...) that Bon Jovi is good music. She also believes (erroneously!) that Fight Club is a very bad, stupid movie.

Despite these befuddled, deluded moments on her part, I still believe that Kay is a wonderful person. Intelligent, beautiful, kind, compassionate, funny, sarcastic, a killer punster, generous, and amazing.

And she hates Fight Club.

And I decided that if someone that smart can hate Fight Club, this does not make Fight Club a bad movie. It just means we have differing tastes.

(Bon Jovi still sucks, tho.)

I say all this because I've recently come across these two reviews...

This one, from Publisher's Weekly:

This firefighter anthology starts off with a fizzle: Rachel Firasek’s “Smoking Stilettos,” featuring a pair of stunningly immature characters and almost no sexual chemistry. Fortunately, it flares to life with some kinky heat in Sabrina York’s “Saving Charlotte,” setting the pattern of ups and downs with some seriously hot stories (such as Lynn Townsend’s “Big Trucks”) and some that aren’t much more than smoke and bluster (such as Adele Dubois’s “Hook Me Up”). Likewise, the firemen vary: there’s the sweet hero coming home to make hardcore love to his worried girlfriend in Shoshanna Evers’s “Falling Ashes” and then there’s the jerk willing to take advantage of a terrified woman in Cynthia D’Alba’s “Something’s Burning.” Despite the variation in tone and quality, any woman who has ever had a fireman fantasy can probably find one or two stories to enjoy. (Oct.)

(emphasis mine)

And this one from an Amazon reviewer

Big Trucks by Lynn Townsend: Another firetruck hookup involving two firefighters. Only story in the collection with a female fighter (woohoo!), but unfortunately both Amy and Steve felt disconnected as characters. The love scene isn't hot and the story boring to follow; my eyes glazed over this one (Rating: 2/10)

Same story. Two completely different - and opposing - viewpoints.

I used to worry that I'd be devastated by bad reviews**. (I have shown this tendency in the past to be a little bit oversensitive...)

I'm pleased to report this hasn't been the case.

* Not her real name

** This does not include obvious trolls who attack the writer, not the story. I haven't yet dealt with much of that (except for the occasional dick shot that shows up in my email... can someone explain to me why men like to take pictures of their dicks? Because, really... I mean, I don't get horrified by it, it's just flesh. But it doesn't really do anything for me, either.)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Vacating, Day One

I've always sort of wanted to take a road trip. Not a nine-hour slog to get to my mom's where she's going to drive me crazy for three days before we turn around and drive nine hours home. But an actual road trip.

I'm not as impulsive as I used to be. I like to have things planned. I like to know what I'm doing and where I'm going.

And a road trip just seems like the epitome of everything that I'm not. Impulsive. Crazy (as in carefree, not crazy as in psychotic, because I think we all know that I'm psychotic.) We should do that. Oh, that looks interesting, we should stop there!

Joking around with my dad, this summer, I leaned in close to him at the July 4th picnic and said, "Hey, old man, I'll trade you my daughter for your car."

Did I mention my dad has a Porsche?

To be honest, I didn't really expect him to go for it... that's a hella expensive car... But he did, and so Saturday, we drove our daughter and all the stuff she was convinced she needed for a week at the farm (she's terrified that YouTube will vanish if she's away from a WiFi connection for a week.) and picked up the car. We arranged for a friend to take care out our cat and turtle, and to board our Chinchillas. (The Chins are VERY high maintenance pets, and the lady who runs the Chin rescue also boards them for a ridiculously small fee... and that way we know they're being well cared for.) (PS - because I really appreciate everything that Whimsy does, I'm going to link this; you can Sponsor a rescue chin until they find the right home!)

I was a little dubious, at first, about whether or not this was going to be a fun vacation. I mean, we all know that a long road trip is the ultimate relationship test. And the husband had - in recent weeks - described it as being my vacation.

Which made me wonder if he really wanted to go at all. And that was going to suck, among things I might have forgotten to mention, because I don't know how to drive a stick. (I've done it a few times; once I pulled the clutch-cable out of the firewall in an exboyfriend's car. No, I don't know what that means, but people who do make a really awful scrunchy face about it. And the other time was being taught on a 14 hour road trip with my dad, up to New York, in a pickup truck where my feet didn't reach the floor, no matter how far up I pulled the bench seat. Which was a terrible, scarring experience that I have no yen whatsoever to repeat.)

But we got into the car that first day - first day, we drove down to Charleston, SC via back roads, mainly 17 and 11 - and for the whole trip, he just grinned... (he doesn't like to have his picture taken, so I can't really show you... but he just radiated smug and satisfied, like a cat in a sunbeam... )

Pie Iesu domine, dona eis requiem

The first truly random stop - as opposed to the like 15 million times we stopped to get soda, stretch our legs, go pee, etc... - that we made was at a Garden Statuary warehouse shop. These were huge, huge statues, not cute little garden gnomes, although they did have some of those, too...

BuGawk, motherfucker

The husband shown in this picture for scale. These were some giant fucking chickens. (If you wander off to the Bloggess's site, please remember to come back. I'll miss you!)

You could ride this damn thing

What I liked best about this gargoyle, aside from the look on his face, is that all the flats under the gargoyles were smashed. This was not the case with any of the other statues that were standing on wooden flats, so I had a good time imagining that the gargoyles themselves had smashed the flats by coming in a little too hard on their landings.

You could also get painted statuary... (not pictured here are some incredibly racist little "negro child" statues eating watermelon. I shit you not. They had those. I was... baffled, really.)

After many hours of driving around, we arrived at our hotel. I forgot about the Spanish Moss shit. Maybe I just watch too many of the wrong sorts of movies, but I don't think this stuff is romantic. I think it's creepy.

Our first misadventure started after we checked in - getting food. I don't like eating out of boxed restaurants while we're on vacation. Seriously, I can get TGIFridays here. I don't need to eat at one in South Carolina...

However, a lot of the local places were all seafood... which is no good because the husband's allergic to shellfish and we've found out the hard way that getting a burger at a seafood place is 1) not very tasty and 2) usually contaminated by seafood ANYWAY...

We looked at the map and asked the clerk at the hotel and eventually decided that Zeus's greek sounded good. So we drove over there...

And it was CLOSED, Mondays only. (This will become a theme...)

So we poked around at the map some more. Looked at a place called Opal (too expensive and waaay too ritzy for us in our travel-wrinkled t-shirts...)

We ended up selecting a nearby Irish-sports bar. (I'm almost positive there was nothing Irish about it... they did have Guiness on tap, tho, so I guess that was good.)

The waiter was fantastic, lots of fun to talk to, a native Hawaiian world-traveler and he shared some interesting stories about his most recent trip to Madrid... and burgers were tasty and on sale. I got chicken wings with their special secret sauce, which were also on sale. It was Monday, and slow, and our waiter didn't really have any other customers until about halfway through our dinner, so he hung out with us and chatted...

After dinner, we went back to our hotel and crashed. The bed was exceedingly marshmallow. I mean, don't drop a dime on it, you'll lose it, smushy.  We poked at our phones a bit and planned our next day. Fort Sumter.

While we were driving down, I noticed the signs for Sumter and said, "Oh, Fort Sumter... I didn't realize that was here... oh, wait. No, I knew that. I did."

Husband, "Good. Because if you didn't, I'd probably have to tell your mom on you."

(Note: my mother is a historian. The Civil War - or the War of Northern Aggression, depending on when you're talking to her and how States' Rights she is at that particular moment -  is her specialty.)

Tune in for more vacationing...