Friday, May 7, 2010

Blind Eye Books stumbles onto the island with e-books!

Nicole Kimberling: Hello – Nicole here, Editor at Blind Eye Books, talking with fellow author Astrid Amara.

Astrid Amara: Hello!

Nicole: Frequent visitors to our website already know this, but Blind Eye Books is partnering with Weightless Books to put out digital versions of Blind Eye Books titles. In March, Ginn Hale's Wicked Gentlemen was released.

Astrid: Woo-hoo!

Nicole: And in April my own book, Turnskin came out.

Astrid: Yee-haw!

Nicole: So you’re just going to yee-haw? No information to share?

Astrid: I work best as a support network.

Nicole: ...okay...

Astrid: But I will throw in that Turnskin was a Lamba Literary Award winner! And Wicked Gentlemen was a Lambda Literary finalist, and won the National Spectrum Award for best fantasy!

Nicole: Have you ever thought of joining the Booster Club? I think you'd make a great cheering section.

Astrid: Zing pow!

Nicole: "Zing pow!" does not qualify as a cheer. But I'll let you have it this time.

Astrid: Action cheering. The kind of cheer that punches you hard in the thyroid. So what’s coming out next?

Nicole: The next book to be released digitally through Weightless is your very own chariot-intensive fantastic epic, The Archer's Heart.

Astrid: All right! More cash!

Nicole: Is that all you care about?

Astrid: Yes! I’m only in this for the money.

Nicole: Yeah. That’s why you spent years writing this novel… for an independent publisher.

Astrid: … Okay. Maybe I also like writing hot stories where dudes fall in love with each other.

Nicole: Well, I personally think The Archer's Heart digital release is really cool because we're going to try our first experiment in serialization. We've divided the book into three sections and will be releasing them sequentially. I personally love serials. I like the idea of having the next part of a story to look forward to--especially when I know that the whole story is already finished.

I know a lot of people have been burned on serial novels because of huge waits between segments and the ultimate pain that occurs when an author simply doesn't finish writing the story for whatever reason. But fear not! The Archer's Heart is not only complete, but has a really cool ending.

Astrid: I LOVE serialized stories. There’s nothing quite like the anticipation of the next part of the series, and then when it arrives…. *sigh*. Perfect joy. Unless of course the author sucks.

Nicole: The Archer's Heart will not let people down. It too, I should point out, was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award.

Astrid: Yeah, I’m pretty excited about the e-book version of The Archer's Heart as well. As much as I love the fact that, in print format, it is heavy enough to validate its status as “potential murder weapon” I think that the e-book version will make it more accessible to a lot of e-book-only readers. Plus, easier on the wrists!

Nicole: What, besides its convenient new format, should people know about your novel?

Astrid: Well, it’s my favorite novel that I wrote, and not just because it took freaking forever to write. I think epic fantasy allows for some really intriguing themes to be investigated, and this book has a lot of them. Plus I got to spend time developing the “bad guys” into real guys, i.e. no one is a cardboard cut-out of Evil. And I love blurring the line between hero and villain, and how a person can change direction based on what roadblocks life erects in one’s path. Heh. I used the word “erect.”

Nicole: When do you not use the word “erect”?

Astrid: I always use it. I also laugh at Lake Titicaca.

Nicole: Has anyone ever told you that you have the mind of a third grade boy?

Astrid: Is that why I liked the Transformers movie?

Nicole: I think that’s because you like robots.

Astrid: True. Although for the record, The Archer's Heart does NOT include robots. It does, however, have magical weapons, demigods, horses, archery, sex, men in gold vests, more sex, betrayal, violence, war, chariots, some sex, family conflict, moral uncertainty, and intriguing bad guys.

Nicole: I think you didn’t mention your favorite part enough.

Astrid: SEX! Actually I like character development more than anything else. And speaking of that…. What about your book that came out from Samhain Publishing, Ghost Star Night? I think that has one of my favorite blurrings of bad guy/good guy characters in any of your novels.

Nicole: Smooth transition! (LOL) But yeah, I liked Ghost Star Night too. It was a real challenge to write. Readers have probably figured out by now that you and I are friends in real life, (we are have been exchanging our stories for about fifteen years now) so I think it might be interesting for them to know a little bit about the creative exchanges that can take place between two authors.

Ghost Star Night is a great example of this. When I started writing it I had THE CRAZIEST POV EVER. Sort of first person omniscient. Really confusing to read, but in order to get the first draft of it written at all, I had to use this bizarre approach. I don't know why. Writing can be weird that way. As I recall you were supportive but firm. Supportive of the story and me as an author while definitely putting your foot down about using the crazy POV.

To me, telling one of your author friends that they've gone to far is, in my mind, the exact equivalent of telling a friend that she's not only put her shirt on inside out but also has toilet paper hanging off her shoe. Painful and awkward, but better for her in the long run.

Astrid: I guess my “toilet paper” moment would be the time I wanted to write an upbeat, cheerful holiday Chanukah story that involved an abusive ex-boyfriend, the mafia, torture, and a high-speed car chase in a mall. Thanks for stopping me on that one.

Nicole: No problem.

Astrid: So back to Ghost Star Night…

Nicole: It comes out in print this June. It costs $14 normally, but last time I checked seemed to be discounted to around $9. I have no idea how long they're going to be discounting it, but if you'd like to pick up a copy of the book made of real paper you should head on over and get it while it's hot.

Astrid: Huzzah! Hazzoo!

Nicole: All this cheering is just compensation for the fact that you never made the cheerleading team, isn't it?

Astrid: I didn’t try out. I was too busy being the goth in the corner who wore a cape and a coffin around her neck, cursing the world for its inherent cruelty.

Nicole: So, really you haven't changed much at all since then, eh? *g*

Astrid: I’ve changed. Love of ponies makes you a happier person in general. You can’t be an angry-at-the-world-goth when you ride around on cute ponies all day.

Nicole: Don't tell me when I can't be angry! You're not the boss of me! As a side note: I was wondering how long an interview with you could continue without at least one mention of ponies.

Astrid: Ponies! *squeeeeeee*

Nicole: Can we try and focus here? We’re supposed to be talking about Blind Eye Books titles and the topic of speculative fiction and romance.

Astrid: Fine. I’ll focus. What do you like about speculative fiction?

Nicole: I’m most intrigued by the opportunity to look at common conflict points from an angle that is rarely (or never) seen in a person's real life and in that way bring a sort of freshness to the subject.

Astrid: Uh-huh. Like the time I had this dude in my story and he totally wanted to get down with this other dude? But he couldn't because he'd get in trouble?

Nicole: No. Not like that at all. That's a real conflict that people deal with every day. I mean if one of them is a psychic warrior and he can't get down with this other dude because the power imbalance between them is so great that he'll make the other dude's head explode. Psychically.

Astrid: Yeah, that’s cool an all. Exploding heads. But I’m more about exploding passion, and guy’s whose #$$%%$#...

Nicole: FOCUS!

Astrid: Fine.

Nicole: Do you have anything truly fresh or relevant to say about this dude-getting-down-with-other-dude topic?

Astrid: Uh…. I like it??

Nicole: *sigh.* I really wanted to bring substantive discussion about the valuable contributions of speculative fiction to the literary world. Or perhaps plumb the depths of how the exquisite creative-intellectual interaction between fellow writers that can result in tremendous frisson and excellence.

Astrid: And you thought you could do that with me here? Ti-ti-ca-ca.

Nicole: You’re right. What was I thinking? Blue-footed Booby.

Astrid: Heh.

Nicole: Heh.

Astrid: On a clear day I can see Uranus.

Nicole: And… I think we’re done here.


Chris said...

LOL! Loved the interview, Astrid and Nicole!! Very non-linear.

Tracy said...

lol You guys crack me up. Great discussion ladies. I can't wait to read both Turnskin and Archer's Heart in digital!

Thanks for playing on the Island today.

Anonymous said...

Chris & Tracy - Thanks! It's always a pleasure hanging out with the ladies on this island. Although I feel like I should be drinking pina coladas now that I'm here. *Looks around for a place that serves pina coladas at ten in the morning...*

Chris said...

Kris probably has tequila body shots going in her hut - she's on Australia time.

Kris said...

*Oh, that's why I have a headache this morning. Damn tequila.*

LMAO. Terrific interview, ladies.

Question. Is it weird that I own all of the print books from BEB yet still squeed for joy when I saw they were being released as ebooks too?

Me: BEB are releasing ebooks!
Me: You own them already.
Me: But ebooks!
Me: *bouncing happily*
Me: *squee*
Me: *sigh*


Anonymous said...

Mmm. Tequila body shots....
Kris: Is it weird that I own all of the print books from BEB yet still squeed for joy when I saw they were being released as ebooks too?

Ha! I do that too, and the reverse. I read an ebook I like and then I order the print version when it comes out, FOR NO REASON. I guess just to hold it or something. I think e-books and physical paper books stimulate different pleasure zones of the brain. It's more fun to read a book on my Kindle, but it's more fun to hold and smell and stare at a pretty print book.

Renee said...

Great post, Nicole and Astrid!

As much as I LOVE the beautiful job BEB does with their print books (Wicked Gentlemen and Stranger of Fortune are some of the most attractive books on my shelf) I'm thrilled that we will also have an ebook option.

And, I'm so glad to hear that The Archer's Heart is coming out in e-format! I've heard such great things about it.

Thanks for visiting the island!

Anonymous said...

Chris & Tracy--glad we could entertain you!

Kris with a "K"-- tequila, eh? Well, I can't say no to that. Especially not when on an island.

Renee--I'm excited about the ebooks too. I'm really happy that we found an digital option that we all liked.

Anonymous said...

Erect. heh.

Anonymous said...

Renee - Hope you enjoy it!
Sharrow - heh. You may share my impressive level of maturity. :)

LesleyW said...

LOL - loved this interview. Hope you'll be regulars on the island. :)

KT Grant said...

I am such a Ginn Hale fan girl and so very happy to have a publisher like Blind Eye Books around.

Anonymous said...

LesleyW-- I hope to hang around the island more too!

Anonymous said...

KB-- Thank you. It makes all the world of difference to be appreciated!

Josh Lanyon said...

I see Astrid has been reading Batman comics again.

LOVE the interview and even the in-depth-discussion-of-spec-fic-that-never-was.

But what new works can we expect to see from BEB in the near future? EH?

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