Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Whut Up, Camel Butt?

A different point of a photographer over in Belgium. 

By Michal Osmenda from Brussels, Belgium (Different point of view  Uploaded by russavia)
And, yes, it made me giggle. In case you haven't noticed yet, I have a somewhat *cough* juvenile sense of humor. I mean, butts are inherently funny, right? Especially when you've had an extremely busy month and you're low on sleep. Just about anything is funny at giggle o'clock. 

Now, don't judge. You should see the "Hump Day" pics I'm not showing you. (You're welcome.) 

If you'd like something slightly more decorous (but only slightly--it's still me, after all), I'm visiting a different reality today--over in France!

Between Dreams and Reality

Melliane posted the interview in both English and French. Yes, it was tough learning French just to answer the same questions for her French readers, but anything to snare entice possible new readers. ;)

In other news, do you realize AUGUST IS ALMOST OVER? Is anyone else as taken aback by this as I am? How in the heck did that happen?

Tell me, what speed is your personal timeline set at these days? 

A. "Molasses in Winter"
B. "Dentist's Waiting Room"
C. "Sand Through an Hourglass"
D. "Kid Chasing the Ice Cream Truck"
E. "Sh!t Through a Goose"
F. Choose Your Own Metaphor

Whatever the present speed of your life, I hope you're having a Happy Hump Day! 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Well, shut my mouth!

I know what you're thinking. When is Linda going to keep her big mouth shut about Quick Fix?

Photo courtesy of
No, that's not actually me. 

This is me:

TG captured my joy on his smart phone last night at B&N. 

Guess I better show up there on the 31st, too. 

So, in answer to the question at the top of the post: Um, obviously not today. ;)

But at least I squeezed in a camel...

Happy Hump Day! 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

It's a Bouncing Baby...Book!

It's here! It's here! It's really here!

It's official. #2 is out there in the world. 

I don't know whether to SQUEEEE!!! or to EEEEK!!!

But this nice little book birthday present is making me lean toward SQUEE-ing:

USA Today Happy Ever After Blog

Later today I will do the typical self-indulgent author thing, and go to a few local bookstores to see if I'm on the shelves. In disguise, of course, so if I'm not on the shelves I can pretend I'm a real customer when I ask for it. (What? It would be embarrassing to ask for my own book.) 

Oh, and if you happen to find yourself in a bookstore today, and you happen to see either of my books, and you feel inclined to turn them so that they're facing out...well, that would be cool. Just don't get caught, because I'm not sure how bookstores feel about random customers rearranging their shelves. Personally, I do this for all my author buddies. But then, I get off on the intrigue of "stealth marketing"-- I'm a badass that way. ;)  

This evening I'll celebrate at a nice restaurant with TG, my son, and some good friends. 

Then, tomorrow, I'll sit my butt back in my chair and work on book 3, because that sucker ain't gonna finish writing itself.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Apparently It Ain't All Fairy Dusted Cupcakes, aka A Guest Post by Susan Spann on the Realities of Being Published

Today I'd like to welcome to the blog one of this year's debs from The Debutante Ball. (That's a group blog for debut authors--you may remember my tenure there last year. It was a blast!)

Susan Spann is a transactional attorney and the author of CLAWS OF THE CAT: A SHINOBI MYSTERY (Minotaur Books, July 2013), the first in a series featuring ninja detective Hiro Hattori ( Her hobbies include traditional archery, martial arts, rock climbing, and raising seahorses and rare corals in her marine aquarium. You can find Susan online at or on Twitter @SusanSpann.

I asked Susan about the reality of being published vs. how she thought it would be. I also asked her to include pictures of her saltwater aquarium. Here's what I got:

For Better, For Worse, and For Love of Fairy Dusted Cupcakes

Some things in life, we do because we love them. Writing is one of those things.
In the early days, we write because the words won’t let us do otherwise. We write for ourselves, for our friends, and for the dream that someday strangers may read our words.

In the midgame, after we find an agent and publisher willing to take the chance, we write with fevered excitement. We try to rein in our expectations, and, for the most part, we fail.

And then our debut book releases.

We find ourselves in a whirlwind of signings, interviews, and guest blogs. Our Twitter and Facebook feeds explode with congratulatory messages and—if we’re lucky—compliments from strangers who read and enjoyed our books.

“Curiouser and curiouser,” Alice said of the world on the other side of the looking glass.

Curiouser and curiouser, indeed.

Because even here, in the midst of wonder, joy, and excited frenzy, fear and doubt can live. Most unpublished writers—me among them until recently—believe that life after publication is made of unicorns and rainbows. Golden fairy-dusted cupcakes must be a published author’s only meals. A chorus of angels sings her to sleep, and the tinkling laughter of worshipping fans becomes her wake-up call.

Not so fast there, Tinkerbell.

Life after publication is wonderful in many ways. I know how rare a joy it is, and believe me, I don’t complain. But I am frightened also, and because I think it might help others, I’m willing to shine a light on those shadowed places.

Many parts of publication are delightful without exception. You see your book for sale in a bookstore, or on the Internet. That part is dream come true. It doesn’t matter if the book is hardback or paperback, ebook or physical copies. It exists. You love it, and you hope that it will thrive.

But a few days later, a week or so after release, the excitement starts to die down and the fear creeps in. You realize you’re only one voice amid a cacophony of titles—one author among thousands, or tens of thousands, competing for that reader’s eye. Your fear and insecurity ... the ones that dogged you daily before you signed the publisher’s contract ... creep back in.

“You didn’t think you could shake us?” they ask. “You really thought we had nothing more to say?”

And then they open up on you, just like they did before. Only now, they’ve got more leverage. Not only will they put down your sales (no matter how many books you might have sold), they’ll help you obsess over everything from Amazon rankings to bad reviews. They don’t care that no book pleases everyone, or that Amazon rankings have all the lifelong importance of a gnat’s cough in a hurricane.

If you’re not careful, you’ll forget that you fought and defeated these enemies before. You had to. You’re published. You couldn’t have gotten there without a victory over fear.

The bad news is, the fears are stronger after publication, mostly because we now have more to lose. Our private dream is a public achievement. Our secret hopes are on bookstore and library shelves.

And yet, it isn’t just the fears that are stronger. We, the authors, are stronger too. We do have the book, and it’s published, and we have the letters from strangers who actually read it and found it good to prove the publisher wasn’t mistaken in trusting our vision. The fears are with us, but we can fight them, and once again we can prevail.

Struggling with it? Here’s what works for me:

- More writing. The best way to get over your last book is your next book. (Curiously, this is also the best marketing plan for your previous story, too.)

- Family and friends. The people who know and love you will also push your shadows back. They believe in you, and their belief will help you believe in yourself.

 - Seahorses. OK, this one might not work for you exactly, but the variation is something simple, which you love for itself and itself alone. For me, that means my seahorse reef and its many quirky inhabitants. I love them. I watch them. They make me smile. That’s all I require from them, and I take true joy from time I spend in their company.

For you, it might be cupcakes, or reading, or mowing the lawn. (If so, feel free to come over and mow mine too.) But at the end of the day, it’s always joy that conquers fear, and in the post-release world, that joy is easy to find if you let yourself see it.

It’s in the book with your name on the cover that you can now hold in your fortunate hands. It’s in the smiles of friends and family—and readers—who love your work and love you too. It’s in the simple things, like lemon cupcakes, that make you smile even if they aren’t now coated in fairy dust.

Love is where the story started, and love is where it ends. Love of the book, love of the words, love of the things around you, and also love of this crazy publishing journey which, though scary, is also magical in its way.

(Back to Linda.)

Thank you, Susan! You're absolutely spot on. (Too bad, because I was kind of hoping to eat a golden fairy-dusted cupcake while riding my unicorn under a rainbow. Alas.) 

If you'd like to buy yourself a copy of Susan's wonderful book, here are a few places you can find it: 

And here's where you have a chance to get it for free (!!!): 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I am NOT titling this post "Hand Job," no matter how much TG wants me to...

A blast from Sesame Street's past for your viewing pleasure today:

[Edited to add: You don't have to fear watching this video. It's not as scandalous as the title of this post might imply. Actually, it's totally tame. In case you were worried.]

Isn't it amazing what some people can do with their hands? 

Have you ever made hand shadows? Which animals are your favorite? I can do a sheep. 

Okay, TG is reading over my shoulder. He said if I can type "I can do a sheep" with a straight face, I shouldn't have any trouble working a "hand job" into the title. (Only for you, honey.)

P.S. Maybe next time I should write the post before I have the martini...

P.P.S. This post is going up Wednesday morning. I am not writing it, martini in hand, on Wednesday morning. Or any morning. Just so you know. 

May all the shadows following you today be Happy Hump Day ones! (Um, I'm hoping that doesn't sound creepy...) 

Addendum: On Friday I'll be hosting Susan Spann, author of the newly published Claws of the Cat. She's 
one of this year's Debs over at The Debutante Ball, where I was a Deb last year, and she's written a truly wonderful guest post about how the reality of being published can be a little different than you expect. Hope you'll stop by and say hi to her. :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

The WINNER of the Camel-Vacuuming Contest!

As you recall, last Wednesday I posted a picture and asked for caption suggestions. You came through like the troopers you are, with captions clever and funny and--dare I say it? I do!--lame. 

They all made me giggle, which, as you know, was the primary purpose of the contest. Alas, I could choose but one. Since I can be an indecisive so-and-so in matters like this, I passed the responsibility over to TG, who decided for me. 

And here's the caption he chose:

"Join the foreign legion," they said. "See the world." Yeah, right.

Congratulations, S.P. Bowers! Your mixture of resignation and sarcasm really filled the bill. 

You've won the signed ARC of Quick Fix. If you'll email me your address to linda(dot)grimes(at)gmail(dot)com, I'll put it in the mail. Hope you'll enjoy it. :)

Thanks to everyone who participated! You all have my undying gratitude. 

What? That's not enough? Oh, all right. Anyone who would like a signed Quick Fix bookmark along with my undying gratitude, email me your address and I'll send you one. :)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Intergalactic Camel Vacuuming Win an ARC Contest!

I think this picture is calling out for a caption. 

By Nilfisk-Advance (Nilfisk) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
My brain is fried, and I can't think of one. Can you help me? 

Funny, goofy, clever, lame...anything goes! 

I will even pick a winner, based on the level of funniness, goofiness, cleverness, or lameness of said caption. Or perhaps on whimsy. Possibly even randomly. 

And, since my wonderful publicist sent me a few extra ARCs (advance reading copies) of Quick Fix, a signed one of those will be the prize. 

(I know! Not as good as the cheesy plastic toys or cheap candy I usually give out as prizes, but hey, I'm trying to do my promo duty here. Sue me.*)

Let's run the contest until, say, Sunday (Aug. 11, 2013) at midnight East Coast time. It's open intergalactically. 

Happy Hump Day!

P.S. If you honestly can't think of a caption--even a lame one--but still want to be considered for the ARC, just tell me in the comments. I'm very understanding about caption performance anxiety. Or if you're too lazy to come up with one, you can tell me that, too. I happen find brazen admissions amusing. 

*No, don't sue me. I really couldn't take the added stress right now.