Friday, July 30, 2010

Favorite Con Moments

I liked the guy dressed as a steampunk ghostbuster. Well played, sir!

Also, the man dressed as a superhero with the white bodysuit and red man panties. He had his cell phone tucked into the cheek of his undies. Hilarious! I guess he forgot to pack his utility belt.

p.s. - Some day I might actually take a camera to comic con...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Scott Pilgrim Takes Over the World

Or at least Scott Pilgrim took over Comic Con 2010. One entire side of the Marriott Bayshore was covered with the movie poster. There was a Scott Pilgrim Experience which looked kind of like a fun house where you apparently entered the world of Pilgrim. There was also an SP video game and a food truck handing out free garlic bread. (Yes, SP goes viral via garlic bread.)

And all that was outside the con. Inside it was even more Scott Pilgrimy.

Reflections with Coffee Review

Reflections with Coffee was kind enough to review What I Learned From Being a Cheerleader.

My favorite quote from the review:

"Her grandmother is a character that made me hoot, but I don't want to "grow-up" to be like her!"

I'm glad you like Elaine's grandmother, Betty, but don't worry. I think you're a far cry from being such a stickler. ;O) Thanks for the nice review!

Monday, July 26, 2010

I Survived Comic Con 2010!

For those of you who have been to San Diego for the con, you'll understand that my title is perfectly serious. For those of you who haven't attended, understand that there is always a point at Comic Con where you fear you are going to collapse from exhaustion and be slowly trampled by attendees shuffling to get in line for the Scott Pilgrim experience or enter the lottery to attend the True Blood panel.

More on comics later, but in the meantime, two more reviews came out for What I Learned From Being a Cheerleader.

Emily from The Ninja Librarian gave the book a nice review. One of my favorite lines from the review: "This book brought me back to my sixth grade self in a big way." - Thanks Emily!

p.s. - LOVE the idea of a Ninja Librarian!


Melina from Reading Vacation gave the book a read. One of my favorite lines from the review" " I appreciate that Ambrose got Elaine’s emotional and maturity levels just right. The tween voice wasn’t overdone – it was perfect." This is a huge compliment because Melina is 11, so if she said I got the voice right, then I got it right. Yay! - Thanks Melina!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tim Beedle Interview!

Fraggle Rock Volume #1 - Hardcover edition is launching this week at Comic Con in San Diego. To celebrate the launch I harassed the mighty Fraggle Rock editor, Tim Beedle, into doing an interview (I sent him the questions awkwardly numbered with the promise that I would fix them before publishing this post, but he found the off-numbering funny and suggested I keep it.):

-1) What's new with Fraggle Rock at Archaia?

We’re on the brink of releasing the trade hardcover edition of the first volume, and we’re just getting started on the second volume, which will be coming out in the fall. We’re aiming for a more ambitious, slightly darker tone with these second stories. We figure since this is our Volume 2, it needs to be our Empire Strikes Back. One of the Fraggles will be frozen, another’s hand will be cut off. I wanted to have Gobo and Red get trapped in Outer Space in the midst of a blizzard and have to spend the night sleeping inside of Sprocket for warmth, but Henson nixed that idea. However, they were okay with Wembley getting mauled by the Poison Cackler and having to spend a week in a stasis tank, so go figure.

0) You've recently launched a new website. What new and fabulous content have you brought to the web?

I’ve just posted the truth about what really happens to us when we die, a map that leads to a cave along the Florida coast full of gold and precious jewels left there by shipwrecked Spanish conquistadores and the private phone numbers of Christina Hendricks and Bradley Cooper, along with their favorite topics of conversation.

Think that’ll get people to stop by?

The truth is that the website is pretty new It’s still very much a work in progress, but I’ll be blogging about Fraggle Rock and other projects that I’m involved with, as well as comic book and publishing news, farming innovations, mothmen sightings, handball, professional hopscotch and whatever the hell else strikes my fancy. I’ll also be blogging about where sayings like “strikes my fancy” are derived from. Because seriously, why would you want a fancy if everyone’s going around striking it? Sounds like a recipe for trouble if you ask me.

I’ll also be posting my short fiction there because try as I might, I can’t get the comic book publishers I’ve worked for to publish it. Not even after offering to add sound effects and end every other sentence with an exclamation point. So until I can convince them that what comic book readers want even more than lots of explosions and characters that like throwing down while wearing what look like circus costumes are talky stories about college kids playing pool and discussing poetry, I’ll be publishing it on the web myself.

1) Who is your comic book crush?

It’s a toss-up between She-Hulk and Big Barda. Someone large and intimidating, since I’m clearly not. You get in a weird sort of gender role uncertainty when dealing with female superheroes and male civilians. If someone breaks into your house, which of you is supposed to go downstairs and deal with it? Which of you does all the yard work and heavy lifting? At least with Jennifer Walters or Big Barda, you kinda know where you stand…which is pretty much wherever the hell they want you.

2) What are the plans for the future with Fraggle Rock and Archaia?

I think they intend to make it official in a year or two, then maybe settle down in a nice little place in Napa…

Oh, you mean the actual series! Well, we’ll be dancing our cares away again, but this time with a fresh batch of talent. The first issue of the new series hits stores in November and will feature stories from Grace Randolph, Joe LeFavi and Jake T. Forbes. Now if you know those names, you know that each of them has experience bringing Jim Henson properties to the realm of comics. Grace wrote Muppet Peter Pan, Jake wrote Return to Labyrinth and Joe was The Jim Henson Company’s Director of Publishing and Development until recently where he oversaw all of their current comic book projects. They’re kind of a supergroup of Henson comic creators and we have them all in the same issue! And that’s not all! We also have David Petersen drawing one of the covers, with interior art by Chris Lie, Mark Simmons and Cory Godbey. That’s a lot of cool talent and that’s just the first issue of the new series.

3) Which supervillain do you most resemble and why? This can be for appearance or personality.

Hmm… Which one is the most brilliant and the best looking?

Well, I’m certainly not crazy, power-hungry or even particularly greedy, so that rules out most supervillains. I also don’t have a giant head or mutant powers, and I’m not a robot. I think we eliminate about 80% of supervillains just by getting rid of those three categories alone. I think I have to go with Loki here because if I were a god, I think eventually I’d probably start messing with people just to keep life interesting as well. And because those horns are something else. I would so wear those if I felt I could get away with it and not lose my day job.

4) What book are you currently reading?

I’m making my way through American Gods, which is kind of interesting considering I just chose a god for my supervillain. I swear I don’t have a god complex. Really, I don’t. You WILL believe me!!!

After that, I’ll probably dive into Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. In part, because you recommended it, but also because women seem to read a lot of YA fiction for some reason. I’m not sure why that is, but I figure reading more of it myself will give me a way to break the ice with the available ones at parties.

5) What comic are you currently reading?

For some reason, I stopped reading Scott Pilgrim after Vol. 3. Not because I didn’t like it, but because I got busy and just never got around to picking up the later volumes. So I’m rereading the earlier volumes and will finally be cracking open the later ones in anticipation of the final volume and the upcoming movie.

You’ve read Scott Pilgrim, haven’t you? What did you think of it?

6) What's your latest creative project?

I’m kind of playing in a few different pools at the moment. Obviously, I have the second volume of Fraggle Rock to get out, but I’m also writing a few original projects. One of them is a comic, but the other is sort of an illustrated novella. Kind of a children’s book for adults. I’m really excited about it, but I have no idea what I’m going to do with it when it’s done. “Children’s books for adults” is not exactly a huge segment of the book landscape. However, to tell this story any other way just wouldn’t have worked as well.

Anyhow, I’m working with two totally different, but equally amazing artists on those projects and they’re absolutely rocking my world. I’ve also started writing short fiction again, really just to get those particular creative muscles back into shape. It had been awhile since the last time I’d flexed them. I’ll be posting at least some of my short stories on, so if anyone’s interested in reading them, that would be the place to start.

7) What your dream project? (as a creator or editor)

Here’s the part where I get all sappy and sentimental because working with The Jim Henson Company on telling new Dark Crystal, Labyrinth and Fraggle Rock stories really is a dream come true for me. Getting a chance to write a Muppet miniseries was an absolute thrill. I was such a huge Jim Henson fan growing up and if you had told me then that as an adult, I’d be working with his company on telling new stories set within these amazing worlds and with these characters that I’d fallen in love with, I would’ve thought you’d had a lobotomy for breakfast. So I feel like I’ve been very fortunate as far as dream projects go.

However, I’d love to eventually write a Dark Crystal story myself, and it’s been a goal of mine for a couple of years now to add a Storyteller comic to the mix.

Outside of the Henson realm, I’d really love the opportunity to work on a Batman title. The Batman comics are the one line of superhero books that I still try to keep up with. He’s absolutely my favorite superhero and his rogues gallery is the best in comics, in my opinion. I don’t have a huge drive to write superhero books, but I would love, love, LOVE to work on Batman, Nightwing, Catwoman…pretty much any character in Gotham.

8) How did you become the editor for Fraggle Rock?

I got a call one day from a man with a deep voice who told me life as I know it is an illusion, and that in reality, I am asleep in a pod that’s part of a living battery being used to power an army of machines that have taken over the earth. He said something about following him down a rabbit hole and freeing myself, but I figured that knowing my life was a dream would allow me to dream about something really cool. So I passed on the whole rabbit hole thing and instead, I dreamt that I was the editor of a really excellent line Fraggle Rock comics.

And so I was.

9) You have to have dinner with either Ernest Hemingway, Sylvia Plath, Neil Armstrong, Zelda Fitzgerald or P. G. Wodehouse. There is no alcohol served. Who would you choose to dine with and why?

Well, with no liquid courage available to me, I’d probably be a nervous wreck, so it would probably be better if the person I chose WASN’T someone I really admire. That would rule out Ernest Hemingway, Sylvia Plath and Neil Armstrong. That leaves Zelda and P.G. I’ve never ready any of the Jeeves books, so the problem with dining with Wodehouse is that I’m not sure what we’d have to talk about. There could be a lot of awkward silences, and again, with no alcohol, those silences would pretty unbearable. So I guess I’d have to go with Zelda Fitzgerald. I figure we can gossip about F. Scott and talk classic American fiction. Yeah, I can see that being a memorable evening.

10) If you couldn't live in the United States, in which country would you live? Why?

It’s probably not the most interesting answer out there, but I’d move to England. I love British accents, get an absolute kick out of U.K. politics and I’d get to watch new episodes of Doctor Who before all of my friends!

11) Anything else you'd like to add?

I’d like to add that I’m about to embark on a world tour with my band, but I probably shouldn’t because it’s entirely untrue. I don’t even have a band. But I wish I did because I’d really like to add that to this interview.

So yeah, that’s what I’d like to add. Damn shame I can’t.

To learn more about Tim Beedle, check out his site:

- Thanks Tim!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Comic Con 2010 is Coming

There's no stopping it. You might as well just gird your loins and embrace the Con.

Comic-Con 2010 - What's New
Yes, I will be there getting my Fraggle Rock on with the lovely people from Archaia Comics. The hardcover for Fraggle Rock Volume #1 will launch at the show. Yes, you heard me correctly.

The husband will stay at home tending to our school of rabid land piranhas and other dangerous pets.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Jane Austen Formula

I don't know if she originated the formula, but she used it to such advantage that I'm giving her credit and officially entitling what I'm about to describe as The Jane Austen Formula. If as a writer, you want to use a female protagonist in your story and to make women get all swoony about it, have her pursued romantically by two men.


Pride and Prejudice - Lizzie initially thinks Darcy is a jerk and Wickam is a hotie, but then it turns out Wickam is unscrupulous and Darcy is self-sacrificing to save her reputation.

Sense and Sensability - Marianne initially thinks Col. Brandon is a bore and Wilhoubhy is dreamy, but then it turns out W is a jerk-face and Col. B. is self-sacrificing.

This formula also applies to Persuasion.

Other obvious classics?

Gone with the Wind - Ashley or Rhett?

In our modern setting, The Twilight series and let's not forget, The Hunger Games.

I give this to you for free. It's my writing tip of the day and the last two centuries.

Illustration of Elizabeth Bennet, by Robert Ball (1945)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

It's All About Books

It's All About Books reviewed What I Learned From Being a Cheerleader. Well, actually, her 11-year-old daughter reviewed it and I am absolutely thrilled with her response. (Especially seeing that the narrator in my story is eleven.)

Here is my favorite part of her review:

"I was happy because it's a fast paced book and I never wanted to put it down, and I hadn't read that kind of book in a while. Also it made me want to read during the day, which I usually only like to read before I go to bed, and in the morning."

I love reading a book that I find hard to put down and to have created that experience for someone else is a HUGE compliment to me. Yay!

Plus, look how fabulous my reviewer is. She looks super fun!:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Sad Day in Cleveland - Harvey Pekar dies at 70

It's a sad day in Cleveland. No, not because some ridiculously paid sports star has gone off to some other ridiculous team, but because Harvey Pekar has gone to that big comic book store in the sky.

What a peculiar and interesting man he was. For more about his life, go here.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Booking Mama gives What I Learned a Thumbs Up

Hello Lovely Friends,

The wonderful Julie P, over at Booking Mama was kind enough to review What I Learned From Being a Cheerleader. Please click on the link to see her review.

Thanks for the nice review, Julie!


Thursday, July 8, 2010

It's out!

Oh, in case I glossed over it in the last few posts, What I Learned From Being a Cheerleader has launched! That's right, baby. It's out!

And on Kindle.

And soon to be available at Barnes and Noble.

And other fine retailers.


Teens Actually Read - Blog Review

Hello - I just received a lovely review for What I Learned from Being a Cheerleader from:

Teens Actually Read
Who would have thought that teens actually read

(No, this is not my comment, this is part of the title)

A nice way to start off my morning and it's good to see that someone who is 3 years out of sixth grade thinks the story rings true.

Thank you for the review, Ari!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

English Compliment

An English friend just emailed to ask me what I meant in my previous post by, "It is very English and I mean that as a compliment under these circumstances". He wanted to know when being very English wasn't a compliment. Good question and here is my reply.

How's the food?

Very English.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Are These My Basoomas I see Before Me?

I find Louise Rennison's series Confessions of Georgia Nicolson a guilty pleasure. So silly and fabulous. They always make me feel a little wistful that I wasn't more carefree and whatnot as a teen. I stumbled across Knocked Out By My Nunga Nungas by accident, but I think it was a good way to enter the series. Here's how I rate the whole thing.

Book #1 - Good, but Rennison is just warming up.
Books #2 - #5 Increasing in hilarity and madness.
Books #6-#9 The plot moves slower than you'd like and by book 8 you keep reading, but it isn't as fresh as before
Book #10 Good finish. Nice resolution.

And, full confession here, I have a bit of a crush on Dave the Laugh. I do hope they make this series into a movie and don't do anything dreadful to it like basing it in America. It is very English and I mean that as a compliment under these circumstances.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What I Learned From Being a Cheerleader on Kindle!

What I Learned From Being a Cheerleader is now available on Kindle! Check it out here.