Deadly Ever After

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Find Us On Facebook!

Today’s Brew:  Coffee, and coffee, and more coffee.

Julie and I are bringing the Undead Duo Experience to Facebook!  We want to make it easy for everyone to keep up and comment on posts.  Of course, we are going to add our own special touch to the page.  What that means …we’ll make it up as we go along.  That’s how we do. Come make Facebook cool with us.  We can do this.

Click here to view our shiny new page!


Happy Birthday, Crybaby Vampires!

TODAY’S BREW: coconut. as much as I can get.

As my birthday quickly approaches,(1 week from today!), I am faced with the fact that I will probably not live forever. I don’t look any older. I am not afraid of losing my looks all that much. (Side note: While one would think that only ugly people would say such a thing, I interject that I am not ugly. Just what an ugly person would say, you think. Well, you just go ahead and think that.) I would like to live forever because I love my life. It is not perfect, and I love it. I don’t ever want it to stop.

And this is probably why I like vampires so much.

On the other hand, I do like the concept of living each day like it is your last. Not in the skydiving/bungee-jumping/world traveling way, but in the enjoy-the-little-things way. You don’t know how long they will last, and they are all a part of your life. Love that first cup of coffee in the morning. Love those two minutes of complete silence while you’re getting dressed. Love that your baby calls everybody a monkey. Love the fresh air as you’re walking to your car to do God knows what. Love your kids singing too loud, and even arguing–it’s life. They are learning to love it every minute. Love watching repeats with your husband. Love cookies. Love your favorite t-shirt when it comes out of the wash. Love having zero control over your day because it reminds you that there’s always something to learn. Okay, that one is a bit of a stretch. But when everything seems to be hitting you about the head and neck with irritation, expectation, and general malaise, remember that tomorrow…what if it all ends?

This, my friends, is what vampires lack. They may look cool, and they may be rich, and they may have all the time in the world to do all of the things they want to do, but they lack this. They know that today is not their last day. I suppose that could get pretty dull. I mean, why would you ever finish anything? You could do it tomorrow. Probably makes birthdays suck for the most part, too.

However, whether or not you believe in vampires, and whether or not you believe that said vampires can or cannot only drink blood, I like to think that they actually get an eternity’s worth of birthday cake. Man, I love birthday cake. I love yellow cake with white frosting and yellow roses. I love chocolate cake, German chocolate cake, cheesecake, red velvet cake, you name a cake and I like it. And a vampire can probably eat as much as they want, right? It’s not like they will get fat. And even if they aren’t supposed to ingest anything but blood, if they get sick, it isn’t like it will kill them. (Chances are, if cake did kill them, they wouldn’t want to survive to experience the humiliation of that anyway.)

Cake for eternity trumps boredom with immortality any day. Crybaby vampires.

Julie’s Token Twilight Day

TODAY’S BREW: Dunkin’s baby. This one’s all Julie.

You know you wanted it, and I wanted to give it to you. Put away grownup stuff for a moment. Enjoy reminiscing about staying up way past your bedtime and demolishing any chance of a productive Friday post midnight-movie-premiere.

Here, I share gratuitous photos of my favorite scenes in each Twilight movie…

Twilight: Edward leaning over Bella in the woods, between the rock walls. “And so the lion fell in love with the lamb.”

New Moon: Edward stepping into the sun.

Eclipse: The Jacob kiss before the fight scene on the mountain top.

Breaking Dawn, part 1: The first view of the wedding outside.

You’re welcome.

(Kristen’s take on Twilight…I read the books because my mall reading girls gushed about them. They thought I was crazy that I couldn’t stand Edward and routed for Jacob. Of course, this was pre movie and pre Taylor Lautner. Now they see my side of the story. I’ve read the books once and seen all the movies once, at midnight, with Julie. When she was working like a crazy person and had two super little ones, it was one of my only chances for Julie time. So I took what I could get! Now it’s our tradition. And even though I don’t get what you girls all see in Edward, Robert Pattinson, if you are looking for a new Kristen…call me.)

Even Bath and Body Works Celebrates Vampire Week!

OK, so they’re from their Halloween collection, but they are so cute I couldn’t resist picking them up. They’ll make a great addition to my makeup kit for the Halloween makeup season.

Bonjour! French Vampire Mythology and Sightings

TODAY’S BREW: Gloria Jean’s Mudslide. Yeah, baby.

We thought it would be fun to give a little history lesson on vampires from around the world. While it sounds like the Disney ride nobody goes on, there is a lot of validity in some of these stories, and they are all interesting.

Today we go to France, briefly. The French are red hot lovers, so of course, their predominant vampire is all about sex. This is the Incubus. Before they were a rock band, Incubi were legendary “energy vampires” that preyed on women at night, sapping all of their physical and sexual energy.
The Incubus would drain their victims with tireless sex and tormenting their dreams. Our friend, the Succubus, is the female version of this predator, because the French are fair to all sexes.

In the 1700’s a mysterious French gentleman named Comte Sainte Germaine made a name for himself in the country. He was odd,eccentric, immensely intelligent, speaking 6 languages. He was unequivocally wealthy, and yet no one could say where his wealth originated. He kept the company of dukes and kings, even the philosopher, Voltaire. Sainte Germaine never seemed to eat, but was always sipping wine. His unique love of alchemy and knowledge of cosmetics and herbs had people assuming that this was the reason he maintained his youth so well.

Reported to have died in 1784, there have been several sightings of the man since. He continues even still to have an occult following to this day.
Next, our Disney tour takes us to New Orleans in the jazz age, the 1920’s. A man named Jacques Saint Germaine is popular in the city. Strangely, he has all of the same characteristics as our friend from France, Comte Sainte Germaine. One night, Jacques attacked a woman, and tried to bite her neck. The victim escaped…by falling off a balcony, but still alive, and ran to the police. Saint Germaine had vanished when the police rushed to find him. They searched his apartment, finding several blood-stained tablecloths. There was no food in the kitchen, only wine, which Jacques was always seen sipping. The officers poured themselves a glass, and were horrified to realize that the wine was mixed with human blood.

New Orleans also brings us the story of the brothers, John and Wayne Carter. They lived together in the French Quarter in the 1930’s. Times were hard, and they worked long, hard days as often as possible, doing not much else…or so it seemed. One night, a young woman ran from the Carters’ apartment with slashed wrists oozing blood. They were not cut to kill, but shallowly, so as to to drain her blood slowly. When they discovered her, the police rushed to the apartment where they found 4 other girls tied to chairs with the same cuts. They had been there for days. The Carter brothers abducted the women, and drank their blood at the end of their long work days when they came home at night. Police found 14 more bodies not long after. It took 8 officers to hold down these two reportedly average sized men when they were captured after one of their habitually grueling work days.

Both men were executed. Many years after their burial in the Carter vault, another family member was being buried in the same vault, as is often done. Both bodies had disappeared. There was later a sighting of both Carter brothers on their 3rd floor balcony, whispering to each other. They then jumped off of the balcony and ran away.

New Orleans has the highest murder rate in the country, as well as constant unexplained disappearances. While these circumstances are often credited to the tourism and way of life in the city, there are many who think otherwise.

Hungry for more Vampire history? Check out Vampires, Eh? What’s That All Aboot?

Pinup Zombies and Calendars, Oh My!

Last year I gave my friend and colleague, Rob, a fantastic idea and he took the ball and ran with it. He created a zombie pin up calendar. Last I spoke with him a couple weeks ago, the shooting was nearly complete. He is raising funds to get this baby to press! He’s well on his way to his goal. If you donate at this link, you will be preordering this calendar for 2013. With Halloween just around the corner, Christmas is not to far behind. What are YOU going to buy for your favorite zombie lover? Hmmmm? Huh?

Anyways, let’s face it. We all need to know what day it is.

AA: Authonomy Anonymous

TODAY’S BREW: Dunkin’ Donuts coconut, hot, light, no sugar (If this doesn’t tip you off Kristen isn’t around, nothing will.)

So, Kristen and I posted Immortal Dilemma and Running Home on, a writer’s site run by Harper Collins, the gods of publishing. Hundreds upon hundreds of writers post their manuscripts of all varieties here to be read by others of the writing community. If you consider yourself a writer, I highly recommend this site. It’s a bit daunting, what with the forums, rankings, starring, bookshelves, watchlists, editor’s desk, latest authors, most commented authors, top rated authors this week which is always changing…there’s a lot happening. And it is incredibly easy to develop a habit.

A page full of authors who want the same thing as you do pop up the second you click on the site. All you can think of is reading their books, and letting them read yours, and what will they think, and what will I think, and how fast can I get on the editor’s desk and what if I suck? So, you start to try to make friends based on their bios and their pretty, pretty pictures. Long story short, the comments start rolling in. Your heart jumps to your throat, then escapes your mouth, falls on the floor and finds its way back in somehow long enough for you to click on the comment and find out how much your life’s work means to people. The highs and lows of this are mind boggling. Literally, I have been brought to tears twice because the community is so pleasant and supportive. As soon as you get that first comment on your novel, you want more and more and more. You start asking everyone to read your book. I, for one, looked for the best ballbuster I could find just to see if I could take it. Before you know it, you are up until 3:30 in the morning working on this site, and don’t even care that 2 small children will demand a lot of energy in just a few short hours. I am getting all jumpy just talking about it.

What Authonomy offers is a ranking system that, for the Undead Duo, tells us in a number or 3 exactly how good we are. We are creatures of retail management. We need to be given a rank, and that rank had better be one or God help you all. Quickly we became obsessed with watching the rankings, creating a network, promoting each other’s works and escalating the high we got from all of those fantastic reviews. I’m fairly certain that my favorite friend on Authonomy thinks I am stalking him since he gave me a glowing review and defended me against a semi-harsh critique. Then he got all his friends to read Running Home, and back it. We call him The Hero around here. I send the poor guy a hundred messages a day about different issues. I may get kicked off the site for this, but let’s hope not.

Kristen finally figured out that we had hit bottom, and needed to let up a bit. I disagree. I think we should be allowed to binge directly following finishing our hard work as a celebration! We didn’t get drunk when we finished writing our novels, so it’s only fair that we indulge in something, right? I give myself a week of obsessing with Authonomy, and then I will just be a casual checker. If I fall off the wagon, I am sure Kristen will rope me back in, if she isn’t hiding an Authonomy ranking habit of her own.

For now, I think we will just take it one day at a time.

Sequels, Prequels and Social Networking…Oh My!

TODAY’S BREW: some weird thing from Hannaford

It’s late.

Kristen just returned seconds ago from some big movie makeup job (yay, Kristen!), and I just returned from an hour nap with my 5 year old. Get ready to work!

Now, not so long ago, this is the time when both of us would have immersed ourselves totally in writing our first novels. We would both be in pajamas, drinking coffee against our better judgment, running up and down stairs doing laundry, talking about Callie and Tristan and Eliza and Nicholas like they were right there in the room. TV would be on, usually something more to amuse Kristen’s cockatiel than to amuse us, but occasionally I would be forced to watch Chronicle. There was always cookie making at the same time (God forbid we sit still), or minimally cookie-eating of Oreos. There was a pattern, and it was comfortable, and creative, and we flourished with it.

Kristen’s cockatiel, McGee.

Here we are, a year later, and the process of writing novels has evolved immeasurably. Just two days ago we sat together, room silent, looking at each other.

Julie: Wanna read what I wrote?
Kristen: Yeah! Eat some pizza.
Julie: I have no cash.
Kristen: Did I ask if you had any? Eat some pizza. What do we need to do tonight?
Julie: We gotta post my book on Authonomy. And we gotta check out how much it costs to go to the Agent Hoopla in November. Could go over some blog ideas.
Kristen: Are we writing at all? Are we drinking at all?
Julie: We could. Let me see what you have. And let’s go to the liquor store.

It was then that we realized that for the first time in a long time, our agenda was pretty undetermined. No agent queries to pull our hair out over, no blogs to worry about, now that we had a steady process between us for that, no laundry to do.

And no novels to write.

The fact of the matter is, we both have clear visions of where our stories go next. We can bounce our ideas off of each other and edit each other’s works in small doses, but we both prefer the most creative parts of the process be done alone now. Our sequels are both well underway, and now our biggest problems are just how in Hell do we do everything we need to do to ensure the success of our first novels while writing another one? Or two?

So, it was 11:00, and we went to Walmart. We wanted a dry erase board, and had no other serious pending matters. Dry erase board seemed like the answer to all of our problems. Office supplies change the game. We needed somewhere to write everything…big…that we need to do in a day from blogging, to writing our sequels, to writing our prequels/spinoffs, to stalking our backers on Authonomy, to facebooking. Looked like our job was a lot more now about social networking than it was about just nurturing our creativity. So, what do we do when we are together now? Sometimes, there is so much on your plate, it looks like there’s nothing on your plate. This is where we find ourselves now. Our routines require total recall, and we need to take the writing adventure to the next level.

What we have determined is that we both need to come to the table with a minimum of one new chapter per week to discuss. I need to work 5 days a week on Running Away, book 2, and spend the other 2 days on the prequel, with no more than 2 hours spent social networking of all kinds. Kristen just needs to survive her workweek in Movieland. But one thing that hasn’t changed is that we endlessly support each other and remain committed to keeping each other committed. We know that we will hold each other responsible for continuing this journey that has begun, and to make it into something greater than it is already.

The Undead Duo never rests in peace! (Get it? Rest in peace?)

Follow Kristen on Twitter! It’s fun. I promise.

Thank You!!!

TODAY’S BREW:  we are both doing hard time on water.  Don’t love it.
Deadly Ever After has been alive and kicking for a whole month!  We are ECSTATIC about the interest all of you have taken in the foolishness we have posted.  More importantly, we could not be happier in the support we have gotten thus far for our first novels.  Your encouragement is appreciated like you would not believe.

We are psyched to have actual followers! I mean, it’s just us!  The people we have had the chance to interact with from all over the world in just one month is nothing short of inspirational. For the first time, we feel a real sense of community with other writers, and we owe it to you.

Feel free to comment, on any old thing!  All of your opinions are sought after, at least by Kristen and Julie.  Your input has everything to do with the success of our writing careers, so don’t be shy!  We can take criticism like champs…we want it, even.  Tell us what you would like to see more/less of, or how you feel about the excerpts we have posted.  Tell us what works for you.  We pore over this blog like it’s a tiny little bird that we have to feed every hour.

Next, we want to hear from Russia.  That’s right, the ol’ hammer and sickle is very quiet!

Thank you all again, and keep reading!

Make Way For Book Two…What Happens Next?

(No coffee, just sushi.  Julie is out on her first date with her husband practically since they’ve had children, so tonight, Kristen is the Undead Uno.)

Julie and I were faithful about getting together once or twice a week during the writing stage of Immortal Dilemma.  We’d go over new stuff, talk about ideas, get me out of pitfalls, write a little, have treats, and do laundry.  I would read Running Home since she had it all written and was in the editing stage while I was still writing.  Since she had wrote most of her book in many notebooks and I typed mine on the computer, luck had it that we finished everything roughly at the same time.

We are still really good about getting together to work on book things. We’re probably better about it now than we ever have been.  But our focus has changed.  We’re coming up with blog material and promoting the blog.  Getting people to this site is a job in itself!  We have also been sending out preliminary copies of the book to friends who have promised to go over with a critical eye and give feedback on the stories.  That is very exciting and nerve-wracking.  We are hanging on their every word but we have to try to act cool about it.  Scariest of all, we’ve started to send out query letters to agents.  Every day without a rejection is a good day.

But when does this leave time for writing new material?  In addition to our passion for writing, we both work.  Julie works at a preschool and has two children that are not yet school age.  I travel all over New England between doing work on various entertainment projects as well as being an assistant regional manager for a cosmetic company.  There are only so many hours in the day.

Now that people are reaching the ends of our books, they find that they are both book one. They want to know what happens next!!  Julie plans a trilogy, while I may be able to wrap things up in two books.  Plus, on the wild and crazy assumption we can get a lot of people reading these books for real, we are going to need have more material ready. But when can we do it?

I come up with some of my best material when I am driving.  Many times, I allot extra travel time in case there’s traffic, so I arrive to my destination well before work starts.  I can frequently be seen in random parking lots scribbling down my ideas on any piece of paper I can find in the car.  Today and many days, it’s the back of my mapquest directions.  I wrote some of a romantic scene for Immortal Dilemma on a chiropractor receipt while waiting for my appointment.  The lady in the waiting room with me insisted on talking to me about my cute purse while I was writing it…she probably couldn’t understand why that would have made me blush so much.  I felt like I’d been caught doing something naughty in public.

Julie is also a parking lot author…she drove her kids around in hopes they’d go the f to sleep.  While she was held hostage in the vehicle by sleeping babies, she made constructive use of her time.  She also works well late at night.  Her best work is basically done while the kids are sleeping.

We’ve realized we need to structure our writing time together better…it’s that time during the week we have to dedicate solely to our books.  We have to go back to holding each other accountable for coming up with new material on a regular basis.  And Blog.  And send out letters.

It’s a very exciting time for us.  Like I say all the time about my makeup work, it’s not a job it’s an adventure!

Follow me on Twitter@KristenStrassel

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