Deadly Ever After

The Writing Adventures of The Undead Duo–Julie Hutchings and Kristen Strassel

Archive for the month “July, 2013”

Just…just go ahead. Nicholas has something to tell you.

TODAY’S BREW: Alcohol until I am drunk.

By Julie

HAHAHAHAHAHA THIS ISN’T HAPPENING! HAHAHAHAHA

ELLIE SAYS: AMUSEMENT LEVEL…NEGATIVE ZERO.

DO YOU NOT SEE I BORROWED A DRESS FOR THIS OCCASION? IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE AUGUST FIRST. YOU SAID SO. YOU. SAID. SO.

ROMAN, CAN I KILL HIM? JUST TURN YOUR HEAD THIS ONE TIME.

EVERYONE SSSSHHHUT UP. TO DUMB IT DOWN, RUNNING HOME ISN’T COMING OUT TOMORROW? I SEE. YOU SHOULD START RUNNING NOW.

WAITING

TODAY’S BREW: Pumpkin Spice. Screw you, summer.

By Julie

(They are all by Julie, as Kristen is in my favorite place, England, and I do all the work now. ALONE. I miss your musk, Kristen.)

Kristen comes home on Running Home’s release day. BIG, EXCITING DAY. I will get all sappy and let you all know that I miss her, and I need her to come home now.

Also, I am a lot like that bride that plans her wedding too long, and now the anticipation is just annoying, and I want this goddamn book to come out fast. LIKE FAST LIKE RIGHT NOW THIS SECOND FAST. Thank God it is right around the corner, and despite the speedbumps we are still experiencing, it is still right around the corner.

RUNNING HOME WILL BE REAL AND BREATHE HOT, STINKY BREATH ALL OVER ALL OF YOU LIKE A HIDEOUS MONSTER THAT YOU CAN’T QUITE IMAGINE AWAY.

While I still cannot believe people want to read this thing, I, like all authors probably, imagine the cover blown up to six feet tall and as wide, hanging over my couch to look at every morning, and all day. I shall take down the pictures of my children to make room, and make it glow in the dark, and sing to me when I feel blue.

BUT I SHALL NEVER FEEL BLUE AGAIN BECAUSE I HAVE A BOOK OUT. A REAL LIVE BOOK THAT I WROTE AND IT SHALL HAVE PAGES AND A BINDING AND ALL THAT STUFF THAT BOOKS HAVE.

If this post seems a bit on the lunatic, discombobulated side, it is. This is what happens to me when the Brains of the operation is out of the country. Blame her.

Awaiting The End of Camp Mom

TODAY’S BREW: Pumpkin Spice! Because I am finished with this summer crap.

By Julie

I am desperate for autumn.

I cannot WAIT for my six year old to be in school all day. He needs constant mental stimulation. Constant. I cannot provide it. I am going mental providing it.

Also, I need the following things:

  1. To be able to wear a sweatshirt and go for a walk to the duck pond with a cup of coffee.
  2. For the tourists to all go home so I can drive to Cape Cod for the day with the kids and do things people who live here do.
  3. Apple picking. I don’t cook anything with apples, but I totally love apple picking.
  4. Halloween. Come on. We love Halloween at http://www.deadlyeverafter.com.
  5. COLOR. I cannot handle one more day of blazing white bright skies with beige beaches and black pavement. I want fall colors more than I can even express. It seriously just gave me a pang in my stomach how much I need color.
  6. Sweatpants.
  7. More sweatpants.
  8. Running Home to be out in all forms so I don’t have any more ulcers.
  9. Pumpkin everything. Pumpkin colored things, scented things, flavored things.
  10. My birthday. IT IS SEPTEMBER 6TH. SEPTEMBER 6TH. THAT IS THE DAY THAT IS MY BIRTHDAY.

With autumn comes a return to normalcy for me. The schedule is partly planned out, which means I am no longer Mom Camp Organizer. I suck at Mom Camp. I find it impossible to enjoy things that are hot, bright and loud, and that is all summer is to me. I cannot even pretend to enjoy it anymore. A month of this was enough. And I have a month more to go. I may not make it.

I look forward to the following things at this, the tail end of summer:

  1. Our annual trip to see our ridiculous friends, Mike and Kristen and their 2 kids that are best friends with our kids. There will be S’mores, and a pond, and movies and drinking, and more fun packed into a couple of days than I can handle. I miss them every day, and can’t wait to see them all.
  2. This trip is to Ossipee, New Hampshire. Yeah, that Ossipee, the very one from Running Home. So I get to play up there publicizing the book, and enjoying the solitude of the woods like Ellie. Also, the Black Bear Cafe. All day long. (Note: On A Clear Day, the gift shop Ellie works at, was in fact a real place, owned and run by the same friend, Kristen’s mom, Vivienne, the same one who is Ellie’s boss.) Also note, different Kristen.
  3. DID I MENTION RUNNING HOME WILL BE PUBLISHED IN ALL FORMS BY FALL?
  4. The Marshfield Fair. This is an event that supplies fried dough, overpriced games, terrifying carny rides, and childhood memories.
  5. The zoo. Any goddamn zoo. Have not been once yet this summer.

There you have it. Once all of these things have occurred, my mental health will return to its previous state of only slightly manic. Because right now, guys, I am all over the place. I have never spent so much time entertaining in my life. I need my solitude to write, and these damn kids get up earlier every day, eliminating my early morning write time. It is making me an unbearable person, I’m afraid. This post is a reminder that I am not always an incorrigible bitch, only some of the time. And that time will return soon. Until then, buckle up, because Camp Mom is on the tear.

 

Running Home Character Expo: Nicholas

IF THIS IS ABOUT ME, IT BETTER BE GOOD. OF COURSE IT WILL BE GOOD…IT’S ABOUT ME.

TODAY’S BREW: The end of my S’mores coffee. Now I must drink coffee like a peasant.

By Julie

HOLY JESUS CHRIST, RUNNING HOME WILL BE OUT IN A WEEK.

Before the masses meet my main man, Nicholas French, you guys do.

Nicholas is a bit of a celebrity among the Shinigami vampires. The classic ‘men want to be him and women want to be with him’ golden boy that does everything just a little better than everyone else, and never lets you forget it. One of those guys that everybody likes almost as much as he likes himself. Sincere underneath the sarcasm that will bite your face off, what you see is what you get with Nicholas, once you dig deep enough, if you get that close.

When Ellie gets her first glimpse of him, he looked like this:

But usually, he’s more like this:

He may look really good in a tux, but he’s a lot more of a thermal shirt, tee shirt, shirtless guy, living deep in the woods in a cabin he and a few of his fastest friends built, filled with a bunch more stuff that he built, all of which help hide him away when he can’t take being Nicholas French, public spectacle anymore.

His connection to Ellie is evident right away. Only he knows why, and he’s not telling. It makes things agonizing for Ellie much of the time, knowing that there is more to how they feel about each other, and having to trust Nicholas when he says it will all make sense one day. Nothing ever makes sense for Ellie Morgan, and when Nicholas shows up, filling all the gaps she’s always lived with, she doesn’t care to wait to uncover any more mysteries. As usual, Nicholas knows what’s best, and the rest of us are just along for the ride.

You may have noticed, Nicholas looks a lot like Robert Downey Jr.

THAT’S BECAUSE HE KINDA IS.

So, if you had another vision of him, sorry. But this charming, mature, painfully witty, well-read, martial artist extraordinaire is Nicholas French in every aspect, right down to his voice and eyes that can almost make his snarky comments for him. He’s perfect. And like any perfect man, he has depths that stay hidden even from him at times, making him not just another pretty face. And arms. And hands and abs and thighs.

Wait, what was that? Oh yeah, blog post!

I don’t want to tell you about Nicholas’s life here, or why he’s a vampire, or what the Shinigami truly are. I don’t want to tell you what tortures my Nicholas….Ellie’s Nicholas, whatever….but you’ll know soon enough. I promise surprises with this character that you won’t soon forget.

Kristen’s Peppermint Brownies

Today’s Brew: Let’s spike some egg nog.  This makes me in the mood for Christmas.

by Kristen.  Obvs.  Julie can’t cook.

Peppermint Brownie Goodness. These aren’t mine, as I’ve never photographed such food porn.

One of the things that attracts Ellie Morgan to Nicholas is that her first memory of him is his scent; peppermint brownies. The vampire’s scent is ever-changing. Ellie equates the scent of baked goods with home, something she doesn’t know, and fears she never will. Intended to lure her in, Nicholas’s scent speaks to this basic need of hers.

Lure in your own prey with this recipe!

Everyone knows that food is love.  I love to cook, and share my creations with other people, which is usually Julie.  Every time I bring a dish somewhere, it’s always brownies.  Not to be a self important you know what, but my brownies are the bomb.  It’s an undisputed fact. People have proposed marriage after having them.

In celebration of Running Home’s release, I will share my recipe, which is more like a formula, for these little squares of heaven.  And forget about your diet.

  • Get a good box of brownie mix.  Yeah, I said it, these bitches are from a box.  I usually get the Betty Crocker Supreme with the Hershey’s Fudge Packet and the chocolate chips.  Of course, you can add these things on your own, but why bother when Betty’s so willing to please.
  • Whatever it amount of water the recipe calls for, you replace that with peppermint schnapps. No water.  Just booze.  Eggs and oil as suggested. And no schnapps while you’re baking, you big boozehound.  Unless it’s left over.  But a nip usually will suffice.
  • Mix the batter as little as possible.  The more you mix, the more air gets in, giving a cakey texture.  If I wanted that, I’d make a frigging cake. Also from a box. Listen, no one bitches. So stop judging me or I won’t make you any more dessert. Less mixing gives an ooey gooey fudgy texture.  That’s how brownies were meant to be. Don’t let anyone tell you different.
  • Spread the mixture into a glass pan.  Crumble white chocolate peppermint bark over the batter.  I suggest Ghiradelli, but you could use any brand.  I like Ghiradelli because it’s in easy to break up squares. For Christ’s sake, don’t use candy canes unless you want to break your teeth.
  • The chocolate melting on top forms a ganache, but it makes the brownies take a little longer to cook.  Watch them closely once the cooking time is up.  For best results, slightly undercook them.  Yup.  Don’t wait until the knife comes up clean or your brownies will be dry as shit.  Undercooking makes them moist and wonderful.

I don’t share my secrets with just anyone, so realize this is a classified info.  Please make them and share. With me.  As I said before, food is love.

My One Regret And Now I Have A Frigging Mission

TODAY’S BREW: Is hot dogs a brew?

By Julie

I am absurdly lucky, or intensely egotistical in that I have no regrets in life. People say this, but really do have them, and say it just to be cool. I firmly believe that every choice I’ve made is the choice I had to make for various reasons, and that I would not be as happy as I am today if I had done differently. I try everything I want to, to a stupid degree. Even things I don’t want to, I do because I don’t ever want to say that I didn’t try it.

One time I was invited to a fire walk, one of those things where you take your shoes off on the beach and walk across hot coals? I declined. Then the “please, just come, you can just watch” happened, and I said no, I cannot because I can never just watch. I always have to do it. I’m a jerk that way.

But there is one thing I have always wanted to do, always wanted to try, and just never have. Not fear, just laziness. This, I do regret.

I have wanted to learn how to use kamas. These super amazing weapons:

I like these ones the mostest mostest:

They were originally used throughout Asia to cut crops, but have evolved into weaponry.

I mean, come on. This chick looks awesome with these weapons in hand, and I bet she’s even cooler practicing with them.

AND I AM SO MUCH COOLER THAN THIS.

In all seriousness, I have weirdly always felt attracted to them as a weapon, and always felt like they were my weapon. Like picking them up would feel right, that this would be my thing. I can use other weapons, and anything can become a weapon, but I am drawn to these things in a way I can’t explain. Have been since I was a teenager.

So, I guess saying this to all you folks solidifies that I need to learn how to use the kamas, or else I’ll look like that person who says “I always wanted to do that but I just never found the time,” and holy shit does that annoy me. Now I have this mission, and all it was was a goddamn blog post. For Hell’s sake.

The Undead Uno. Sigh.

TODAY’S BREW: S’mores coffee all the live long day.

By Julie

SHE LEFT ME ALL ALONE WITH HER BIRD AND 2 KIDS.

Kristen is in my favorite place in all the world, England until NEXT THURSDAY! I was there way too long ago with a bunch of friends and my then-future husband, drawn mainly by the punk festival Holidays in the Sun, which was SPECTACULAR and WEIRD AS HELL AT MOMENTS, but we did All The Things while we were there and the husband and I dream of moving there forever and ever. Until then….I live vicariously through Kristen, who had better get me the best presents ever.

She comes home the day Running Home is released, and until then I am all alone in the world and she expects me to water her plants ACCORDING TO INSTRUCTIONS, like I never watered a plant before. And yes, I may have a black thumb, per se, but I have several plants that I have had for several years that like me just fine.

It makes it hard, because of the jealousy of course, that she has gone to my favorite place without me, not to plot little pranks while she is away. She knows she’s coming home to an Edward Cullen doll. BUT WHERE WILL IT BE? In her bed? Too obvious, not creepy enough. It has been suggested by our darling friend, Chynna Blue Scott, that I replace all of her plants with less law abiding plants. I’ve also considered making all of her ice cubes out of vodka, but then I realized it didn’t freeze, so NO.

Anyways, until Kristen returns, I am the Undead Uno, who coincidentally, is kick ass at Uno. I will not be hosting a blog radio show until her return out of sheer rage that she went without me.

But when she does return, we shall take the Undead world by storm, mostly poolside, always with coffee, sometimes with beer, and we shall entertain and plot our next move which I assure you will be monumental and terrifying to some degree.

Until then, keep me company! I’m so alone.

August First, Bitches!

TODAY’S BREW: I shall make Kristen buy me Starbucks for driving her into the city and leaving me.

By Julie

Yes, today is the day Running Home  was supposed to come out. YES. YES, I KNOW.  And you have all been so concerned for my mental health since I told you it would be out late. Or maybe you have just been concerned that I would fucking lose it and there would be deaths. But, in all actuality, that is really not how I am though I come across as a goddamn lunatic.

First off, I have a new release date!

RUNNING HOME WILL BE RELEASED IN EBOOK ON AUGUST FIRST!!!!!!!

I cannot wait, but before that, my serious sentiment was that I am lucky as a motherfucker to have my book being published, and so I am not that upset that the release date got pushed back. I just don’t like telling people one thing, and having something else happen. But hey, such is life.

When I wrote the book, I just wanted to see it on a book shelf. That’s going to happen. So, really, I’m going to complain about the day it happens? No. No I am not.

I’m the kind of person who can have a good time at a funeral, be happy that I’m eating fucking nasty meatloaf because someone bothered to make it for me, and not be upset that I have to watch that awful show How It’s Made because it means I’m sitting with my family, who loves it. I’m sort of annoyingly positive in this way.

Regardless, I am also a bitch, and the bitchy wheel gets the grease, you summabitches. So August first it is! I’m very thankful to Roy and Books of the Dead Press for the urgency around my book, and even more so to all of you who have been waiting for it. Dream come true stuff, right here. Thank you all.

I’m an Idiot!

Today’s Brew: I’d get drunk if I didn’t have so much to do.

by Kristen

Yeah.  I’m going away for work.  For weeks, I thought I was leaving on Tuesday.

I leave tomorrow.

I’m running around in a half panic, since I have nothing done.

Since I’ll be on a plane, I have cancelled tomorrow night’s blog radio show.  We didn’t have enough time for Julie to find a guest co host.  But don’t worry, I’ll be back and we’ll be better than ever.

And if you’re even thinking about breaking into my house, it is guarded by HIV Positive rabid dogs. And my meth mouthed and other crazy neighbors.  There’s enough crazy here to make you think twice about wanting my stuff.  Don’t steal my stuff.

I FINISHED A BOOK

TODAY’S BREW: brews. Know what I mean? Like beer.

By Julie

So, whatchu guys doin’? Me? Oh, nothing, just finishing a book. (scribbles on pieces of paper and bats them off desk).

Yes, Running Home is the big news right now…..WHENEVER IT COMES OUT…but I’m always working on something. Keep the wheels in motion. I wanted The Harpy finished by 7/22 and I finished 3 days early. Boom.

I say this about every book I write, but man, I love this book.

Right here, you have the Harpies of mythology, and mother of God, they were gross bitches.

The Harpy Sisters Aello, Okypete and Kelaeno by artist unknown.

In Greek myth, Zeus punishes a king who has the gift of sight by blinding him and putting the guy on an island with a huge buffet. These bitches come and snatch the food out of the blind king’s hands before he can eat it, and literally poop on the rest of it, so he is eternally hungry. You’ve also got the spin where the Harpies are 3 vindictive sisters, agents of punishment that revel in torture and cruelty. And here’s where these nasty things live:

In Dante’s Inferno, the Harpies live in the 7th ring of Hell, the Wood of Suicides, where the “self-murderers” are eternally tortured by having their bodies grow into trees, twisting and maiming them, so that the Harpies can live off of their flesh for having committed this sin. I mean, wow.

Me,  being me, loved the grotesqueness of all of this, and wanted to put a spin on Harpy mythology, and modernize it, as is my way. And you have met my Charity before, right here. http://wp.me/p2x7oj-o4

Here’s my girl.

Christina Aguilera on the set of "Lady Marmalade" inspirado for my new MC's look.And she’s also a little of this:

There's my girl. Charity.Charity’s childhood abuse has turned her into a intimidating, vengeful thing trying to decide which of her lives to run from. She has her soft spots; a salt of the earth, rock and roll neighbor with a heart of gold, a new friend she meets at her psychiatrist’s office that she clicks with, a put together business type gentleman whose path crosses hers, and unicorns. Yes, unicorns. Not real unicorns. Little statues of them and stuff. They’re on her bed spread, for Chrissakes. But the horrible Harpy world she is invited into takes away the underlying pain that drives her every breath, and her choices become more complex than she is willing to deal with.

I had a shitload of fun with this book, and could not be happier to have finished it. I’ll be querying it soon, looking to kick this crazy bitch out of my house.

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