Deadly Ever After

Archive for the month “November, 2012”

Things Kristen Does Like

TODAY’S BREW: Eggnog coffee! Stellar.

So, I realize my flaw in making Kristen sound like she doesn’t like anything in my post about Breaking Dawn recently.  Kristen likes lots of things.  Twilight movies are not one of them, and our tastes are vastly different, making us the coolest friends ever.

I shall now give you several things that Kristen does, in fact, like.

1.  Her sweet cockatiel, Mcgee.  She takes better care of this little guy than most parents do their babies.

2.  Travel.  This girl will travel like the dickens, and at the drop of a hat, and just for fun.

3.  70’s stuff.  Everybody likes the 80’s.  Lots of us like the 90’s.  Kristen loves the 70’s, the music, the furniture, all of it.  She has a macrame plant holder.

4.  Cooking.  Thank God, or I would die some nights of starvation.  (Brief shoutout to my husband, who singlehandedly keeps me alive through his culinary wizardry.)

5.  Reading.  She doesn’t read just one genre, she reads all sorts of stuff, which impresses me.  I like what I like. Narrow minded and bitchy of me.

6.  Her friends.  Kristen is a great friend, loyal and kind and thoughtful.  She would give you the shirt off her back but only if you earned it. She chooses her friends carefully, and treats you like family if you make the ranks.

7.  Writing.  She writes the way I wish I could…her characters actually talk to her.  Mental health professionals may not agree, but I find this pretty fantastic.  She cares about Immortal Dilemma with ferocity, and she is completely invested in the success of Running Home.

8.  My kids.  Kristen is the only non-immediate family person to ever watch my children, and they love her.  Like cuddle up to her when they wake up from naps kind of love, and read her horoscope every day kind of love.

9.  Concerts.  Kristen could be a professional concert-goer, but without the cheap sluttiness associated.

10.  Me. And I am very lucky for it.

This post is approved by Julie Hutchings.

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Kristen’s Supernatural Stamp Of Approval

Today’s brew:  Seasonal Nog.  It’s soy “egg” nog and quite delicious. It’s amazing with Kahlua, but it’s Monday for the love of God and I have to be up at 4:30 AM. You need to know when to say when.

Since Julie told you about all the supernatural things I hate yesterday, I thought it might be wise to to follow up with the supernatural creatures that send my heart pitter pattering, or at the very least, don’t make me roll my eyes in disgust and say “not again!”

1.  Vampires.  Big surprise here.  I will never get my fill.  I prefer my vamps to be dark and a little scary. For me, some of the lure of vampires is that they are those dangerous creatures you just can not resist.  There are so many different legends to pull from, but at the core they all hold certain similarities.  There’s also many unique ways to interpret these legends while staying true to tradition.

2.  Witches. Let’s face it, witches kick ass.  It helps if you have some supernatural talent, but anyone can learn to be a witch.  Get a spell book and the proper supplies, and believe.  It’s like a religion.  I would love to see a witch who really just sucks at her witchness, and watch the mayhem and foolishness ensue.

3. Gods.  Greek Gods, Roman Gods, Chinese Gods.  All fascinating.  I recently read Kylie Chan’s White Tiger and found the Chinese mythology to be far more intriguing that the romantic plot.  Just because of that, I would be interested in reading the further in the trilogy.  I’ve also read some of Anne Rice’s Christ the Lord which is rich a thick and fascinating.

4. Historical Figures.  File under the same category as Gods.  Education was wasted on me when I was young.  My mind wasn’t ready.  Set any of these figures in any historical period and I’m interested.  I admire anyone who tackles the historical research needed to get it right.

5.  Astrology.  No one loved Vicki Pettersson’s Signs of the Zodiac series as much as I did, and that’s your loss.  I loved the thought of the astrological signs holding powers and having significant events shape the signs of the Zodiac.  I was so sad when these books ended after only six signs of the Zodiac.  I was down for twelve of these books. Are you listening Vicki?

6.  Rock Stars.  Sigh.  Okay, so I know they’re mostly mere mortals, but they have the ability to hold us in a supernatural spell.

7.  Real People.  If you can get me to fall in love with a character who’s just plain old human, then you, dear author, posses super powers all your own.

 

Let’s Get Ready to Randoooommmm!: Julie’s Ramblings on Breaking Dawn

TODAY’S BREW: Hazelnut, then pumpkin, then hazelnut, then beer.

I am especially psyched out of my mind for my midnight adventure with Kristen to go see Breaking Dawn 2.  We have been to all of the Twilight movies together at midnight, with all the teenage girls and their boyfriends, and the housewives and the occasional dad.  This time, Kristen will be drunk, though.  That last movie put her right over the edge.

So, I have heard several people’s thoughts on both Breaking Dawn the movie, and the novel.  I will not recount them for you here, so don’t change the channel.  This is just about me and Kristen, like all good things.  As far as the novel, goes, I loved it as much as Twilight, though for different reasons.  I enjoyed the gruesomeness of Bella’s pregnancy.  I also thought this was done really well in the movie, I mean she looked wretched.  And that scene where her back breaks?  Good stuff.  I loved meeting all of the other vampires, and learning about their individual stories and powers.  The mythology is original and I thought the relationships between the vampires was interesting.  I thought it gave credibility to the bigger picture of the Volturi, and took you out of Bella and Edward’s relationship just enough to be refreshing.  I mean, after that honeymoon, I needed a break.

Kristen hates all of that.  She doesn’t care.  Fair enough.

When it came to the movie, I was personally offended by the werewolves speaking to each other like people, mouths moving and all.  Kristen did not mind this.  I find this fascinating, as Kristen is annoyed by the idea of werewolves in general, and this is the cherry on top for me.  (Side note: If you don’t hate werewolves, go read Jason Starr’s The Pack.  It is super fantastic.)  Other things that gave me issue:  Apparently, in one day it is possible to travel from Washington to Brazil.  Impressive.  And do I have to mention that everyone except Bella gets uglier in every movie?  Jesus Christ, leave their hair alone.  Except Jasper–just fix it.  Make it normal.  I have high hopes for his hair in the last movie.  They have tried everything else, please get it right this time.  Esme, the poor thing, started out gorgeous in underfunded Twilightand they just destroy her more in every film.  Not nice.

And now for the moment you’ve probably not all been waiting for…WHAT DO THE UNDEAD DUO THINK OF RENEESME? Or Renesme, or however it is spelled.  Kristen is mortally wounded by the entire thing.  She wants nothing to do with the little creep.  She hates the name, she hates the power the kid has, she hates that she is the offspring of Edward, who she has avid dislike for, and mousy Bella.  I like the weirdness of the whole thing.  I love weird.  I like the creepy kid.  Talking infants that can make you see shit?  Fun.  If this were a horror novel/movie, that could be killer.  Case in point, it is not, so it is just creepy, which is good enough for me.  Four books just about Bella and Edward would be dull as hell.  The whole imprinting thing with the baby and Jacob can’t be anything but weird.  It is a baby.  Come on.  But I find it to be an absolutely brilliant solution to all of the conflicts in the series, from why Bella and Jacob can’t be together, to why the wolves have to have a truce with the vampires, and why the baby can’t be killed.  That’s some mastery and complexity to aspire to.  (I do aspire to this in Running Home, as well as the rest of the trilogy in the works.  I like complex.  Kristen prefers the Keep It Simple, Stupid approach in the Immortal Dilemma series.)

(Kristen’s note:  my approach simply refers to me preferring to stick to one mythology, i.e. vampires.  I do not believe that just because you have vampires you need to have werewolves and brownies and fae.  Pick one and make it as rich as possible.)

I will let you know in no less random format what we think of the movie on Friday.  I will have to write it because Kristen will still be nursing a hangover.  Let us know your thoughts on Breaking Dawn, the first one, the second one, the movie or all three.  We love this crap.

We Want You To Scare The Hell Out Of Us!

Today’s brew:  Next stop:  Starbucks!

The holiday season is the season of giving.  Of course, most people think of scarves, cookies, goodwill to man, and all that jazz.  Kristen and Julie have a different idea.

We want you to give us the scare of the season!

December will be Nightmare Before Christmas Month at Deadly Ever After.  So how can you give to this cause?

We want you to submit your short horror stories to be shared on this very blog.  We just ask that you keep them to under 1000 words and that you scare the living daylights out of us!

Send your submission to undeadduo (at) hotmail (dot) com.  Subject line: Nightmare Before Christmas.  Depending on the number of responses, we may choose select stories.  Please submit between November 25 and December 10, 2012.  Also include your blog address, so we can lead readers back to the source of the madness! Stories will be posted between December 1-25, 2102.

Don’t say we never gave you anything, dolls.

Read the cool stuff our friend Daven wrote. Then go support him on Authonomy. No pressure, just go.

Vampire Syndrome Blog

My short story “Mary Sue Wants To Die Forever” is now featured in Fresh Blood (Vampire Writers Support Group Anthology, Volume 1)

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The Rise of Twilight Fan Fiction: Should We Really Be Surprised?

Today’s Brew:  Hot Cocoa.  This weekly Nor’Easter thing needs to stop.

Imitation is the highest form of flattery.  On the eve of the release of Breaking Dawn Part Two, once again Twilight is pushed back to the media forefront.  If you’re one of the millions that adore this trilogy, you’re getting excited to see how the movie saga will wrap up.  You’re making your movie plans.  (Julie and I always go at midnight. I’m getting drunk this time).  You might be rewatching your Twilight DVDs or rereading the books.

But what when that is not enough?  What happens when a story sticks with you so much that it won’t leave you alone?

You may feel the urge to create your own stories based on these characters and these scenarios.  Fan fiction.

Fan fiction is nothing new.  There’s been retelling of popular stories as long as there’s been pop culture.  People even use their favorite celebrities to embroil in whatever scenarios that excite them.  Honestly, fan fiction creeps me out a bit, so I haven’t read much of it, but what I have read usually puts our heroes in sexual situations.  These are the people who star in the public’s fantasies.  Some people just write their fantasies and share it with the rest of us.

If you follow publishing at all, you know that Fifty Shades of Grey started life as a Twilight fan fiction story originally titled Master of The Universe.  In publishing news today, a story called The Office that was born in Twilight fan fiction is being published in February 2013 as a revamped telling of the story now called Beautiful Bastard.  Do you think this will encourage people to polish their fanfics and shop them around, or do you think it will cause a backlash against this and make it harder for this sort of story to get published?

I have a special interest in this trend.  All through the writing of Immortal Dilemma, I was well aware I treaded deep in Twilight territory.  The core of my story is a love triangle involving a vampire.  As I’ve reread Twilight, I’ve noticed other similarities.  I did my damnedest to not retell Stephenie Meyer’s story at every turn.  As the story continues into a sequel, I think it gets further and further away from her model.  I’ve asked my beta readers if they found Immortal Dilemma similar to any other book, to let them tell me themselves.  Not one said Twilight.  But what will this mean for Immortal Dilemma as the project evolves?  I know the public is not tired of vampires, or paranormal, and especially romance.

Hollywood has been doing this for years.  Even Red Dawn has been remade recently.  Was that necessary?  Is the cold war relevant anymore?  There is so much money on the line for movie production studios as well as publishing houses. If a formula is proven to make money, it’s a safe bet.  As much as we’re all told to be original, original scares the pocket books of these decision makers.

All ideas are versions of earlier ideas.  We all owe homage to some influence over our story telling.  Every experience we have shapes our story.  If Twilight had enough of an effect on these writers they were compelled enough to write stories that in some way resonated with their readers enough to build huge followings, is that any different any thing else that influenced these authors to put pen to paper?

I found this very interesting on the heels of Backspace. What are you going to do to be in that 5%? –Kristen

Kristen Lamb's Blog

 

 

What are the odds….really?

I didn’t even consider becoming a writer until 1999 after my father passed away suddenly. Funny how death can make us take a hard look at life, right? Anyway, I recall feeling soooo overwhelmed. I mean my odds of even getting published were about as good as winning the lottery. And the odds of becoming a best-selling author? Well, mathematically speaking, I had a slightly greater chance of being mauled by a black bear and polar bear on the same day.

It was all I could do not to give up before I began.

But, after almost 12 years doing this “writer thing,” I have a new perspective. Often it feels like we are the victims of fate, at the mercy of the universe, when actually it is pretty shocking how much of our own destiny we control. The good news is that if…

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What Twilight Means To Me: Sappiness With Julie

TODAY’S BREW:  Hazelnut. It’s snowing, so there will be a lot.

Countless times I have heard how this or that person read Twilight and said, “I can write better than that.”  And so, they tried, and hundreds of vampire books were born.  And for as many people who think they can write better than Stephanie Meyer, there are half as many who want to write the same exact book as she did.

It was February 2007 when I read Twilight.  It was days after I had my first baby, and I was wandering Walmart with my family, sleep-deprived and wildly happy.  Near the checkout counter, I realized I had nothing to read and grabbed a copy with a picture of Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson on the cover.   I was almost disgusted with myself that I was about to do something everyone did.  Read this novel that couldn’t possibly be good.

That February was very snowy, perfect for holing up with my new baby, both in our pajamas,  me drinking countless cups of decaf tea that did nothing for me.  And it was perfect for me to read that novel, with its overcast gloominess, discovery of so many new things, sparks of love that had never existed before. It was fresh, and made the ordinary extraordinary.  I still remember reading it, this baby that I was hopelessly attached to before I even technically knew I was pregnant sleeping in my arms, warm and cozy, bursting with happiness.  I remember driving him around to get him to nap, and pulling that novel out in random parking lots to read while he slept.  I remember it sitting on the table next to my husband and I in the middle of the night, when he would get up with me so I wouldn’t be exhausted alone.

Having my baby gave me a depth of emotion that I never knew was possible.  Reading Twilight when I was still in the thick of so much new emotion helped me love it, see it as a security blanket in this new world I lived in.  It comforted me with its simplicity when I was afraid, which happened often in those first few weeks.  I read all of the novels in succession, and couldn’t get enough.

It was for this reason, that I said, “I can do this.  I can create something both ordinary and extraordinary, exciting but everyday.  This is new territory that I want to stamp my feet on.”  I was floored by the power of creation, and ready to put feelings out in the open that I would never have allowed before.  It was the first time I had experienced really missing someone…that first night in the hospital when my baby had to be brought to Boston because he had been breach, and had trouble breathing.  To be so far from him, when I needed him so much was devastating.  Thank God he was brought back when I didn’t know if I could take it anymore.  This is a kind of loneliness that I had never experienced, and later was able to portray through Ellie’s agonizing departure from Nicholas that leaves her writhing in pain in her abandoned apartment.  I felt that every second.  The numbing fear that accompanies having children, and not being able to control every aspect of their safety, it helped fuel the love Ellie, Nicholas, Roman and Kat had for each other.  The otherworldly connection that Ellie has with Nicholas that doesn’t allow them to be apart is an extension of the arguably weird connection I have with my baby.  Reading Twilight at this time made me realize that I can open the door with these new emotions to create the novel I always wanted to write.  It would not have been possible before then.  I wasn’t strong enough.

I think I have read Twilight five times.  I read it when I am scared, when I am overwhelmed, and when I need something that I can’t put my finger on.  And I am brought back to this amazing time five years ago when I became a new person, and created a new person, and created Running Home.  Whether the timing was just right or not, reading that book gave me the idea of fate, perfect timing, all things happening to create a bigger picture, and for that I thank Stephenie Meyer endlessly.

The Extreme Writing Adventures Of The Undead Duo

Today’s Brew:  WATER!  I’ve never been so dehydrated in my life.

Sitting in the gas line at the Montvale rest stop on the Garden State Parkway. It look us a little under two hours to get to the pump.

Julie and I are back from The Backspace Writers Conference.  We thought we would tell you about our trip in query form to show off our new skills.

When Kristen and Julie attempt to escape the Post-Sandy zombie apocalypse wasteland of New Jersey, they never imagined that Kristen would be tempted to offer sixteen year old boys sexual favors for their full gas cans. * They traveled to city that never sleeps for The Backspace Writers Conference.  Julie charmed agents  with Running Home and Kristen figured out what worked with Immortal Dilemma. They will do almost anything to get home to make the revisions needed in order for their books to kick maximum ass. They even faced the possibility of spending the entire weekend on the side of the highway, armed only with rice crispy treats, crumpled fishnets, and a stolen roll toilet paper in the backseat of the Corolla.  Hitting every diner they came across in the tri-state area for coffee and tuna melts, the girls conjure absurd stories to entertain themselves along the journey, much like this one.

THE EXTREME WRITING ADVENTURES OF THE UNDEAD DUO is a dystopian comedy, complete at 2.5 days.  There may be more episodes.  We’ll never stop being ridiculous yet driven towards success.  It’s how we roll.

*While there were sixteen year old boys with full gas cans, no sexual favors were offered or received. Everything else really happened.

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