five things on friday

Weekly wrap-up!

1. Well, the big news this week was obviously the SCOTUS decisions. I normally stay out of politics when in my authorial persona, but I think the death of DOMA is something we can all celebrate. Especially here in New York! If I remember correctly, the New York legislature voted to legalize same-sex marriage right before Pride weekend two years ago, and now all of those marriages that have formed as a result are legal in the eyes of the federal government, and that is such great, great news. It feels like tangible progress. I’m anticipating a lot of partying in New York this weekend.

(c) The Metropolitan Museum of Art

(c) The Metropolitan Museum of Art

2. I went to see the Punk: Chaos to Couture exhibit at the Met last weekend. It wasn’t my favorite Met fashion exhibit (and I’ve seen a lot of them) but it had its moments. The criticism I’ve heard from friends of mine who have seen it is that it’s too polished and/or it seems silly to look at ripped tee-shirts and jeans in a museum, but I think there’s something to be said for the absurdity of, say, an Alexander McQueen gown made of silk rendered to resemble bubble wrap. (I thought that was cool, anyway.)

The exhibit has a recreation of the bathroom at CBGB’s right near the entrance. I remarked out loud that it looked too clean. My sister-in-law, who was with me, commented that she had been to one of the last CBGB’s shows (her uncle was the drummer in a NYC-based punk band in the 70s that you’ve probably heard of if you follow punk music) and the bathroom was so gross no one would even go inside. This gay couple examining the display turned to us and one of them said, “Oh, honey, we were at one of the first shows at CBGBs. It always looked like that.” (Lots of photos here.)

3. I got galleys for What There Is this week, so I’m having some, “Wow, it feels like a real book!” feelings. Although, fair warning, this is really a 15,000-word short story. Everyone who has read it so far has basically been like, “Cute story, bro.” So while it’s not the meatiest story I’ve ever put out there, I’m thinking this will tide y’all over until my next novel comes out in the fall.

4. Speaking of, I got the cover spec sheet for The Stars that Tremble, so I will spend the weekend agonizing over that.

5. I made bookmarks, too. I was going to post proofs here, but one of them has an issue I have to fix when Photoshop and I have some time to spend together. It’s one of those things probably only I notice, but when I look at the bookmark back, it’s all I can see.

In other news, I cut my finger a couple of days ago, and while it’s not very deep, it bled A LOT, and I’m really squeamish, so I almost passed out, and that was fun. The injury is safely ensconced in a band-aid now, although having a band-aid on one’s dominant-hand ring finger is a pain-in-the-ass, let me tell you. At least the cut is on the side of my finger with the nail, because if it were on the side of the finger that has to touch a keyboard regularly, I’d have some issue.

It’s like the time I broke my pinkie toe, which is minor in the grand scheme of injuries, although it hurt like hell, and OF COURSE that was the week everything I had to do was really far from the subway. I spent a lot of money on cabs that week. At least a boo-boo on my finger just requires some band-aids. Although this was how I learned that the plastic box I call a “first-aid kit” in my apartment is basically just oddly shaped band-aids and an old tube of Neosporin. So if I ever really injure myself, I’m SOL.

I’m having some issues with my current WIP, so I figured I’d make another post about that. But in the meantime, have a great weekend, and if you are in a city with Pride celebrations going on now, Happy Pride!

Question for the Masses: Bookmarks

My general philosophy with swag is that I want to offer up things people will actually take. The two things I almost always take at conventions are pens and bookmarks. (I like to take bookmarks because I still read a fair number of paper books and I am really good at losing bookmarks. I’ve already lost a few of the bookmarks I took at BEA, and that was less than a month ago. Skills, I has them.)

Anyway, I’m almost out of the bookmarks I ordered last year so it’s time to re-stock. That seems like a good reason to re-design, since the old one is a generic one from last year that doesn’t show anything published this year.

So, okay, pretend you are at a convention and you’re walking through Swag Alley or whatever and you stop at the Kate McMurray table because you think she’s a swell gal, and, oh hey, bookmarks! What do you want to see on said bookmark?

Is it better to have a generic bookmark for the author or a specific one for one particular book? What info besides the author’s name and wesbite do you want to see? Or are eye-catching graphics and sturdy paper really all you need from a bookmark?

Just curious! Let me know what you think, readers.

five things: win a book!

Weekly wrap up!

BGW400x2001. This week’s stops on the Big Gay Wedding Tour include:

• Romance Lives Forever
Kay Berrisford

I also posted to the RWA NYC blog.

You can comment in any of these places to enter to win a copy of the book. I think these will all be open at least through the end of the weekend.

2. Second edits on What There Is went back last night and I got an email that The Stars that Tremble is next up in the queue, so I’m a busy bee. I’m also alternating work on 2 other WIPs. I like it, though! It’s a little crazy-making to have so many projects going at once, but I’m enjoying it.

3. Thing I Learned This Week: I talked one of my co-workers into giving me a crash course on Adobe Illustrator, and had a “Wow, this does all the things I wish Photoshop did!” moment. I don’t think of myself as a designer really, but I do a lot of my own graphics (for the website and for swag; I did the Big Gay Wedding Tour banners, too). So that is useful information.

4. So True Blood has gone totally off the rails, huh? The show has always had a certain trashy charm, but some of these storylines have gone in some crazy directions, and I just don’t know anymore. Why can’t I quit you, sexy vampires?

5. My RWA swag came in the mail last night. Just postcards, nothing super exciting. I’m working on my swag plan for GRL—there will be cool stuff, I promise! I’m thinking about making my own plushy baseballs. We’ll see how that goes!

five things on friday

This is a drowsy five things. I’m really tired. Zzz. But here’s what happened this week:

1. Thanks to everyone who bought and read Save the Date! It got all the way up to #2 on the All Romance eBooks bestseller list and has been on the Amazon top 100 for Gay Romance for the last week and a half or so, which I appreciate. I hope you all are liking the book!

BMMmzbmCUAA7N6N.jpg_large2. What There Is has a gorgeous cover done by L.C. Chase. Look for that (I think) next month. I just finished first edits on Monday. It’s a short (about 15K words) fluffy, sweet story, mostly about a guy who can’t play baseball anymore.

3. Ripped from the headlines: I don’t know if I’ve mentioned here before, but one of my childhood best friends is currently DOMA exiled (he spent some time post-college gallivanting around Europe and fell in love with a Czech man; they currently live together in a large European city because the husband couldn’t get a visa to stay in the US). He’s been on my mind as the new immigration bill gets debated; I miss him a lot but totally get why he doesn’t want to live in the States.

4. I’m apparently procrastinating from my actual deadline by writing a new story, a contemporary that is super angsty! But my other WIP is a historical, which I am doggedly pursuing despite the fact that everyone is telling me the historical is dead. Which I suppose brings to mind the age-old problem of writing whatever the hell you want without regard for how much money you’ll make (which is generally how I try to operate, although the royalty checks are NICE, don’t get me wrong) and trying to have realistic expectations versus doing what the market demands. I can tell you I do a lot better with contemporaries than paranormals, but I’m not really known as a paranormal author, and I feel like Across the East River Bridge and Show and Tell are light in the paranormal elements. (AERB remains one of my favorite things I’ve ever written, though.) I dunno. I love historicals; you may have gleaned from reading AERB that I’m also a huge history nerd, so I suppose those go hand-in-hand.

5. I’ve been reading a lot of nonfiction lately. Currently I’m wending my way through a history of Regency England (Our Tempestuous Day) and Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach, both of which are really enjoyable in different ways.

five things on friday: BEA and Save the Date

Weekly wrap-up!

1. Save the Date came out on Tuesday! It is now available at most ebook retailers. *dances*

2. It’s Kate McMurray Week at the Armchair Reader. Cole has bravely embarked on the task of reading my entire backlist. We also did an interview that was posted yesterday. Follow the link to all of the posts and leave a comment on the interview to win a copy of the book.

3. Other places I have been this week:

• I wrote a post for the All Romance eBooks cafe blog for Pride Month
• I guest-posted at Charlie Cochet’s Purple Rose Tea House.
• Today I’m at Flirty Author Bitches.

*The last two are stops on the Big Gay Wedding tour. Leave a comment at either to be entered to win a copy of Save the Date.

4. I missed posting last Friday because I was at Book Expo America. It was an interesting experience. Plenty of people have wrapped it up better than me, but I can tell you what I did there, which was a) sweat a lot because, as a friend of mine said, it was hot as balls outside; b) gave away a ton of books at the Dreamspinner booth; c) got some really amazing books and ARCs from around the exhibition hall; d) made some good editorial contacts; e) hung out with some awesome people; f) fangirled on some authors; g) saw celebrities, including Chelsea Handler, Julianne Moore, and Grumpy Cat.

5. I’m currently working on edits for What There Is, a short novella coming out this summer. It started out as a baseball story, but it ended up being about a former baseball player who wants to find something else to do with his life. It’s been a little bit of a struggle because I’ve been out for the count with a nasty cold most of the week, but I’m feeling much better today so I can concentrate on these edits. I saw a cover mock up yesterday and it’s gorgeous.

And that’s a wrap for this week. See you next week!

Available Tuesday: Save the Date

KateMcMurray_SaveTheDateYou’ll laugh! You’ll cry! You’ll fret about what to wear! Save the Date is out this Tuesday from Loose Id. I’ve posted an excerpt here for your reading pleasure. (Full blurb there, too.)

As already announced, I’m blog touring with a few other authors who wrote stories that are part of Loose Id’s “I do… unless I don’t” wedding event, so I’ll be dancing around the blogosphere with bells on to celebrate.

Also, this week is Kate McMurray Week at the Armchair Reader, and Cole has not only undertaken the task of reading my entire backlist, but he’s also interviewing me. So go check that out as he reviews all the books this week.

I’m also taking today to recover from the whirlwind that was Book Expo America. I’ll write about that more later in the week when I’m slightly less exhausted!

But Tuesday! Save the Date! Woo!