Saturday, February 28, 2009

Getting a Signed Copy of Death's Daughter - Even If You Live In Timbuktu

Okay, I've been getting loads of requests from people all over the world asking me how to get a signed copy of Death's Daughter.

Here is what I think on the subject:

I will be signing at Mysterious Galaxy book store in San Diego on March 7th. If you order the book through them (and specify that you want it personalized), I will sign it for you while I am at their store and they will ship it to you.

IF you miss the above signing date:

I will be signing at Dark Delicacies book store in Los Angeles on March 21st. If you order the book through them (and specify that you want it personalized), I will sign it for you while I am at their store and they will ship it to you.

How does that sound all you folks in Timbuktu (or Arizona or Australia or Antwerp)?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Macaronies*

*(per the Oxford English Dictionary) an 18th-century British dandy affecting Continental fashions.

I actually prefer the pasta kind of macaroni, but I am open minded.

Does this make you happy? You asked for Macaroni to be placed in my blog and it has been made so.

Happy Saturday!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Looking Forward While Keeping Your Feet In The Present

I have been very lucky in my life. I always knew what I wanted to do and I had the wherewithal to put myself into the line of fire and pray for a little buckshot to hit me.

With that said, let me just tell you right here and now that I have had a crap load of rejection during my past seventeen years in Hollywood. I can't tell you how many times I didn't get a job I tried out for, or how often I got told to lose ten pounds or bleach my hair blond and wear sexier clothes.

(Actually, the saddest part of what I just said is that even when I TRIED to change myself to please the people I was begging work from, I still didn't do it right. It seemed like no matter what I did, I was one step behind everyone else. I have very vivid memories of uncomfortable push-up bras that made me look like Boobs McBooberton and short skirts that I ripped while in the process of yanking them down to cover just a little bit more leg. I was a terrible sexpot. Frankly, it was a laughable proposition and it DID get laughed at once on the Paramount lot. While in a sexy Russian Hooker ensemble that I could barely walk in, the unwieldy heels caused me to trip in front of a group of Transpo guys and land on my Russian Hooker wannabe ass.)

Anyway, I quickly learned that no matter what you do, you can't please everyone all the time. So, I stopped trying to compete with girls that just naturally understood how to dress themselves to extol their boobalicious virtues and concentrated more on the quirkier parts that just felt more like the real me.

And it worked. I just did what made me feel good about myself–and what made me happy–and the work I wanted FOUND ME.

I didn't have an uncle in the business, I never dated anyone famous or powerful and I kept my boobs pretty much where they belonged (for me at least) in my top. I just threw myself into what I wanted–and after a bit of soul-searching–found what suited me most. Then I just persisted. I didn't take the rejection personally and I did stuff for myself. (Like making CHANCE and working with Chris Golden on the GHOSTS OF ALBION web show and books.)

I just keep putting myself out there, trying new stuff, learning from my mistakes and growing.

I think that if I can do this–and I'm just some girl from Alabama with a dream and an affinity for bathroom humor–then anyone can do it. It takes an investment in yourself and it also takes time and effort, but it can be done.

I am living proof of that.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Well, it's happened.

I have gotten my first bad (and I mean the guy HATED it) review. I can't argue with someone's opinion, so I will just accept this part of the process and wear it like a badge of honor on my blog!

I do ask that anyone who is curious to read a bit of the book and form their own opinion, pop over to the website and have a peek at the first chapter. It is up and available on the Death's Daughter website.

It definitely makes you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside - like you're being roasted over a spit! :)

Where am I Gonna be?

So, I am posting this to give you guys a head's up as to where I am going to be over the next few weeks. I will have copies of Death's Daughter on hand where ever I go (starting this Tuesday). And if for some reason I don't have one on me, I will walk you over to your local book-selling place and stand next to you in line while you buy it and then sign it for you right there at the counter to your chagrin and embarrassment.

When I am not sleeping, eating, brushing my teeth or selling magazines door to door, I will be at:

1.) Friday February 27th 2009 (from about noonish until the later part of the evening.)
CONDOR
Handlery Hotel & Resort
950 Hotel Circle North
San Diego, CA 92108

2.) Saturday, March 7th 2009 (at 4 o'clock with Chris Marie Green)
MYSTERIOUS GALAXY BOOKS
7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd
Ste 302
San Diego, CA 92111

3.) Saturday, March 14 2009 (at 2 o'clock)
BARNES AND NOBLE (Store#2743)
7881 Edinger Ave.
Huntington Beach, CA 92647

4.) Saturday, March 21 2009 (at 2 o'clock)
DARK DELICACIES BOOKSTORE
4213 W. Burbank Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91505

5.) Thursday, March 26th 2009 (at 7 o'clock)
BORDERS BOOKS & MUSIC (store #57)
400 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

6.) Saturday, March 28th 2009 (at 4 o'clock)
BORDERLANDS BOOKS
866 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA 94110

Does this make sense? Is it simple to follow? Should I draw a map? I wish someone would draw me a map.

See you soon at a book-selling place near you!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Aye

Aye, aye me maties!

Found another nice Death's Daughter review :)

Gives me that warm and fuzzy Wayne's World feeling...like when you climb the rope in gym class.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Alcohol Consumption

I can't drink. I literally have one drink and I am tipsy. Two drinks and I am a red-faced babble-head. Three drinks...I think you can figure out the rest of the progression chart.

Tonight I had a beer and a half. Now I feel like crud. I was halfway to babble-headedness and then I just didn't make it.

I should have stuck with one beer.

No, I should've finished the second one and made the leap to red-faced status.

Living in this limbo land of half-finished drinks is sucky. None of the fun, with all of the queasiness alcohol leaves behind as some sort of screwy parting gift once the buzz is gone. This is why I could never be a drunk. My tolerance is for crap. I can't get to the nasty drunk state because I can't get enough alcohol into my system.

I have only thrown-up twice (maybe three times, but two very distinct times). Once I took a sip of champagne cocktail, half a beer, some scotch, two sips of Jagermeister and half a mudslide. Not a ton of alcohol, but so many varieties, oh, so very many, that my stomach couldn't handle it.

The other throw-up adventure I went on was after a book signing in NY. I had two glasses of wine and not much food (then lots of food). I started feeling nauseous, so Chris Golden gave me a Dramamine to stop the churning. It didn't help. I spent awhile in my editor, Steve's, bathroom hugging the john while Chris, Steve and his wife Dana and my friend Liesa all laughed at me. Then Liesa and I slept on the pullout couch in the living room and drunkenly talked about Batman.

I don't know why I felt like sharing, but there is something compelling about blogging, something that makes you want to tell the blunt truth, no matter what an idiot you look like in the process.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Feb. 24th or March 3rd - Wyld Stallyns Like Days Are Coming

So, I am starting to get excited because Death's Daughter comes out a week from tomorrow. I am also excited because my friend, Anton Strout, has a book coming out the same day called Deader Still which is a whole lot of fun.

With that said, I have been told that most people won't be able to find the books in their bookstore until March 3rd, so that's a bit of a bummer.

I think the 24th/3rd is going to be a great day for books in general. I think amazing things are going to happen because of these books and this day/days. We might even be talking on a Bill and Ted/Wyld Stallyns kind of level. I am actually keeping my eyes peeled for George Carlin. I know he's dead, but he might still pop by with his telephone booth.

Anyways...

I hope everyone goes out on the 24th/3rd and gets the two books and has a life-changing experience.

Oh, I have a PS: I am looking for reviews of Death's Daughter. You can post them at The Essence of Amber forum if you find them. I know that there are at least 97 books floating around out there, so someone somewhere has to have been doing a little light reading for their blog!

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Bugs

I think the bugs are dying. Been reading all about the Honey Bees disappearing, now the big rig drivers are saying they can go 250 miles with nary a bug on the windscreen. It sort of frightens me to think that this might be the beginning of something big. Something that humanity cannot control, no matter how much we seek to control it.

It just makes me think of that book, The World Without Us, the one about what Earth will be like when human beings disappear (which we will). That is a scary mother of a concept. Actually, it's not so much a concept as an actuality. One which I would love to ignore, but now that the bugs are dying...well, you know.

It also makes me think of The Planet of The Apes. The utter alien-ness of the Earth in that film freaked me out as a kid. I have a very distinct memory of lying on my grandparents' couch, covered in chicken pox, my heart palpitating at the image of the Statue Of Liberty's head buried in the sand. The idea of being alive when everyone you've ever loved was dead and buried was very unsettling to me in my chicken pox haze. I didn't like it one little bit.

The end of humanity in book and movie form. They both are frightening.

Although, I imagine that when we do finally die out, the bugs will come back. In droves.

Well, at least I would if I were them.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Another Cool Artist I Know

My friend, Liesa, is engaged to a very talented photographer, James Mignogna.

His work makes one feel that the whole "soul-stealing via photo thing" might actually have a little credence.

FYI have a peek at the amazing photographs he's taken of people on the subway. They are breathtaking.

ab







Well, That Was A Weekend.

I just spent the last 48 hours on my feet, smiling like a lunatic and hoping that my breath wasn't too stinky from lack of food and water. I bet you're thinking I was locked away in a Thai Prison for seven counts of heroin smuggling, but alas, that was not the case – I would've at least gotten some moldy bread or a drink of stagnant water out of my Thai guards. No, Thai Prison would've been a breeze in comparison to this. I was in a place that was much, much worse for my psyche. A place which took a far more insidious toll on my life force...

I was at the New York ComiCon.

Now, I'm not saying I didn't have fun...because I did. But I literally lost five pounds in the process. I ate once on Sunday. I ate once and a half on Saturday. The rest of the time I was trotting around the Javits Center like "old dog" Stump. Hell, I think I WAS "old dog" Stump.

I was at this intrepid con – which was really a quite amazing feat of comic extravagance - to schill my new book, Death's Daughter. Instead, I think I was there to get some exercise. Damn, I was all over that place.

Saturday was intense, but Sunday was insane:

First, I spoke on a panel with Kim Harrison (which was really cool because I love the Rachel Morgan books) and Tom Sniegowski (who is always a peach) called Writers on Writing: Books, Comics, TV, Movies, and Games.

Here is the blurb about the panel from NYCC:

"Join a panel of high-profile writers as they discuss the differences and the similarities between storytelling across the diverse spectrum of contemporary media."

Mostly we just talked about how to get your stuff published and took questions.

After that, it was off to the autograph line. OMG. The line was huge (which I know is good, but can be a but unnerving) and there was no way we were gonna get through all the people in one hour. It ended up getting extended another hour. There were so many people, so many smiling faces and excited hugs (and that's mainly where the stinky breath worries kicked in). It was total craziness!

Next was interview time...which was fun and actually made me have to use my brain. We finished that up and then, as they closed the Javits Center down around us, I discovered that I was ready for a vacation.

A vacation from my vacation.

A vacation from my life .•



•I know this blog is all discombobulated-y, but it is truly how I felt (and still feel) about my weekend. Yay!

Friday, February 6, 2009

OTHER FILMS - CHANCE and LOVERS, LIARS AND LUNATICS

So, as not to deluge you guys with all things Amber (which might be happening anyway - sorry), I have waited a little bit before talking about some of my past work.

I'm gonna leave the Ghosts of Albion books and web series for another blog. Instead, I am going to babble for a few minutes about the two other films that I made: CHANCE and LOVERS, LIARS AND LUNATICS. (This is the link to the very cool website for the films - you can also get your hands on a copy of one or the other there, too.)

Chance was a little DV film that I never intended to market to the world at large. It was kind of gonna be my little film school experiment just so I could see exactly what it was like to make a movie.

I've been an actor since I was a little kid. I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and did every play I could get my hands on.

(I was nine at the time, but I still vividly remember Jean-Marie Collins calling me at home after teaching me at a Summerfest/Town and Gown workshop, telling me to get my butt over to the Birmingham Children's Theater because they were doing Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs and she thought I might have a shot at being a dwarf. Thus "Amaziah" (sp?) the Dwarf became my (in)auspicious stage debut. I got the chicken pox during the run of the show and the local newspaper ran a story about Snow White and the Six Dwarfs. I literally only missed like one performance, chicken pox or no chicken pox. What was really weird was having to meet and greet kids after each performance and the little girls being severely disappointed I wasn't a cute boy under the fat suit and beard.)

But plays had never really satisfied me. I wanted to be in movies, make movies, babble-babble, etc. So, Chance was gonna be that opportunity. It turned out a lot better than I had hoped and since I kept getting interested emails from fans, I decided to put it out there for the world to see.

Do I regret it? No...well, maybe a little. When I look at the film, I see all the amazing people who worked very hard and contributed money and time to make it happen. I also see ALL the flaws that are rife throughout the movie. I have to take responsibility for them - as they are mine alone to own - but I don't regret them. I sometimes just wish I had made them in the obscurity of a film school class and not out in the real world for all to see.

I like to think of Chance as sort of a cute little puppy dog that isn't house-trained yet.

The other film I made is called Lovers, Liars and Lunatics and it's a pretty well-crafted little movie. I had a bit more on the ball as far as the directing thing was concerned and I think it shows in this movie. It's what I call a "real film". Chance was sort of a pastiche of things and Lovers is a more cohesive, cogent story. It looks beautiful and the acting is great (I think the acting is pretty damn great in Chance, too) and it has a decent running time. I like to think it has a few laughs here and there, too.

If Chance is the non-house-trained puppy then Lovers is the big Labrador Retriever who doesn't know his strength and knocks you over every time you come into the room. It has its flaws, too, but they are less visible to my eye for some reason.

I'd be very curious to hear what you, the audience member (by the way, you're playing along with the home version of the game) think. I know some of you have seen the films and I am always interested in your opinion.

ta-ta for now.

PS Hope to see some of you at the NYCC on Sunday!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

World Premiere of Diorama - Adam and I Made This!

While standing in line at a Indian Restaurant in Midtown Manhattan, Adam and I met Anne and David Garland. They were in line behind us, waiting for a table, too, and somehow we started talking. It turns out that David had a radio show on WNYC called Spinning On Air (which Adam was a fan of) and Anne and David had just gotten turned on to the magical world of Buffy by their son, Kenji (who has excellent taste). So, needless to say, there was a lot to talk about.

Adam and I made a video for David Garland's latest album, NOISE IN YOU. This links takes you to a page on his site talking about the genesis of the video.

It's for a song called DIORAMA and Sufjan Stevens sings on it. It's really cool and it was really fun to make. This link takes you to the video.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Lisa Had A Little Dog

Oh, lord help me. Our friend just got one of those teeny, tiny chihuahua dogs. I mean, it's smaller than a pen. The writing kind. Literally.

You can put it in your pocket and carry it around.

I want one. I keep asking my boyfriend to steal our friend's one. Just put it under his coat and no one will ever know. It sounds like a poem Shel Silverstein might have written for A Light in The Attic or Where The Sidewalk Ends.

Lisa had a little dog,
a little dog I coveted.
I saw her walking by one day,
and followed her home.
I sat upon her kitchen chair
and stared and stared and stared
whilst talking about whatever thing
Lisa, my friend, wanted.

Lisa had a little dog,
a little dog I wanted.
It was too far gone now for me
I had to get it in my hands.
For wanting was so much worse, you see
than coveting ever could be.

Lisa had a little dog,
a little dog I wanted.
So, I tied Lisa up and left her all alone
and stole myself the little dog
and brought it to my home
and then the little dog did something,
something quite unfounded:
it pooped on my floor.

I had to take it back
and leave it at Lisa's door.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Thrilling Adventure Show

Sometimes you go see a play or hear a band because a friend is acting/playing in it and they have invited you–begged you even sometimes–to come. We all know that this usually means that you are about to see/hear something really bad. I mean, like really, really, really bad.

Okay, so this "friend" has asked you to come and support them and you feel like a jerkoid if you say no. (At least the first time) So, you do it. You suck your teeth and grin and bear the three hour interpretive dance/play about Menstruation or the band who can't keep the beat or sing in tune, but somehow manage to maintain a 5000 decibel level throughout the entire show.

You do your "friendly" duty and then after you've paid your ten dollar cover at Spaceland or shilled out a twenty to pop into one the 99 seat theaters on Santa Monica Blvd., (all in the name of friendship) you're free to get out of going again by coming up with whatever lie/excuse you can. I'm a particular fan of the "sorry I can't come to your Shakespeare spoken word/reggae slam, but I have a date with a lethal injection over in Leavenworth, Kansas".

But, really, I've found that anything you commit to will suffice.

I've done the above like a million times in the seventeen years I've lived in Los Angeles and I can think of only a handful of times that I've been surprised. Here are a few:

An early incarnation of Rilo Kiley playing at The Dragonfly like fourteen years ago. I met Blake at a party (then worked with Jenny on a film) and I remember getting call after call inviting me to their shows and me so not wanting to go, but liking Blake and Jenny, so finally going and being shocked at how good they were–even back then.

Getting invited to see Peer Gynt at the Actor's Gang Theater. Peer Gynt being played by some then unknown actor named Jack Black...uhm, hello?

I think you get the picture.

So, it was with trepidation that my boyfriend and I went to see our friend doing this weird radio show thing called "The Thrilling Adventure and Supernatural Suspense Hour". It was at a cabaret house called The Mbar in Hollywood and you so weren't getting out of the thing cheaply. It was a ten buck cover and then you had to order dinner, too. Eek!

So, we show up at this thing, I order the Chicken Marsala and prepare myself for some dumb, poorly done play/radio thingamabob that I just knew I was going to resent having paid so much money to see.

I didn't finish my chicken...I was too enthralled with watching some dude called Sparks Nevada (Marshall on Mars) banter back and forth with his Martian tracker sidekick, Croach. This had been preceded by the alter egos of the comedy duo (two guys called Acker and Blacker – real names, not kiddin) who had actually written the show. The alter egos had called each other names, made fun of every other medium, but radio and then sung a silly song about getting on with the show....and I was hooked.

The show was hysterical. Funny, smart, well-written and acted. I wanted to be in it, it was that good. And so, as fate would have it, we ran into one of the actual Acker at the now defunct Doughboys in LA and basically babbled about how much we liked the show and the rest was history.

And now, the second Saturday of every month, you can find me and the boys from the band, Common Rotation, at the MBar, watching our favorite radio show in the whole universe. Oh, and if you stick around after the show, the boys and their friends will play a little music for you.

Just for fun...but only if you're nice.

Lesson learned: sometimes you gotta go through a whole lot of crap to get to the good stuff.