Well, heck. I have not written a post in quite a while. How is everyone’s summer? Do you live anywhere near the San Fernando Valley, in Los Angeles? Then no need to answer. I know how your summer is going. You are in hell. The ground is as hot as the surface of the sun. All thermometers lie. That delightful cactus in your yard is looking wilty, as if even the cactus is having a really rough go of it and could use some Pedialyte®.

I think anyone into Bikram® yoga is insane. Just sayin’.

So, what have I been up to? I had a milestone birthday. Yep. 20. No, dammit. I didn’t turn 20. That’s a rotten, filthy, lie. If I was turning 20, I would not be: plotting the irrational-but-highly-creative demise of people I’ve barely met. If I was 20, I would not be yelling at people younger than myself to get a clue — out loud — in public. Well, they *didn’t* have a clue, but I probably should not have brought that to their attention. Perhaps they really *did* need to drive while texting as they headed toward the concrete median barrier separating the 101 from the 405. Really. If I was 20, I would not be re-adopting bad habits I had in my 20s that I released myself from. Like nacho cheese Doritos and Jamesons. If I was 20, I would not stand in front of an open refrigerator with no intention of looking for food. If I was 20, I would not burst into tears at old episodes of Mary Tyler Moore and wonder if I ever did turn the world on with my smile. If I was 20, I would not have published 1 novella and 2 novels. I’d still be trying to convince casting directors that I had a bit more acting versatility than the bubbly headed, curvy blondes they considered me for, and I would still be making questionable choices in the love department. Or sex department. I mean, I did grow up in a time (for a while, anyway) when safe sex was considered a padded headboard. Wait for it….

So. Let’s start with the Novella:  Under the Looking Glass” — a psycho thriller, puzzle mystery (99 cents on ebook for an indefinite period of time, starting today). Good for those people who like having their brain twisted or sanity threatened. So they tell me. An absolutely lovely actress named Crystal Sershen did the narration for the audio version and I’m thrilled to have that out and available on Audible, Amazonand ITunes.

I *finally* finished “The Broken Angel’s Wings (Death’s Order)” — Book #2 in the Death’s Order series. Paranormal/Romance/Thriller. If you happen to have read “The Puppet Maker’s Bones (Death’s Order)” — Book #1 — you’ll recognize a few of the characters.

Speaking of “The Puppet Maker’s Bones” — that novel is in its final moments of quality check by the folks at Audible.com. That means the audio version of that book will be available very soon at Audible, ITunes and Amazon. I am completely overwhelmed to get veteran VO actor William Salyers to narrate, since he’s currently working on an Emmy Award winning animated television series and is very busy. (Whoops, looks like I just dropped a name).

The rest of my summer is being spent on a less ambitious project, but fun nonetheless. I’m putting together a collection of short stories that fall into one of the many dark and twisted themes I like to explore.

Hope everyone is well, as we head into September. Remember. September is flea season and those little critters are NASTY. Also, milk gets out ink. Oh, and if you leave the avocado pit in your guacamole, it’ll take longer to turn brown if left out on the buffet table.

I do love my guacamole.

 

 

© Alisa Tangredi, all rights reserved.

Bullying is not a laughing matter. Bullying sucks the life and joy out of anyone who is unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end. I have close friends who were bullied in school. I have close friends who have children who are bullied – in one case, a friend’s child was so horribly bullied that the child had to be removed from school for the sake of safety and is now home schooled.

I was bullied in school. Whether it was being punched in the stomach till the wind was knocked out of me, on the ground gasping for air while the kids laughed, or first day of 8th grade when six girls dragged me into the bathroom and made me strip to prove I wasn’t a “stocking stuffer.”

Every year, when the first day of school rolled around, the teachers would always have us write down a list of the books we had read over the summer. My list was usually pretty long, and the teachers assumed I was fibbing. No one spends their entire summer vacation reading thirty or forty books. Well, it sure beats the hell out of being around people. That was my thinking.

Fantasy literature was one of the genres I would immerse myself in during those summers where I sat up in the oak tree in my parent’s yard, reading till it was time to climb down and eat lunch or use the bathroom or feed the dog or . . . .  I would escape into other worlds where I would become the story’s protagonist, fighting my way through one adventure after another, eventually becoming the hero – frightened of nothing.

In real life, I was still afraid of the dark.

Author Greg James (who also writes horror fiction under the name G.R. Yeates)  has launched a new book that addresses what I was just talking about – A Young Adult Fantasy called The Sword of Sighs (The Age of the Flame: Book One). Here is my review:

Greg James wrote a line in THE SWORD OF SIGHS that I think encapsulates the heart of this richly woven fantasy: “Strength is not merely proved by how much blood one has spilt, how many foes defeated, or how many battles won. Sometimes, living day-to-day, hour-to-hour, and minute-to-minute is a truer sign of one’s mettle.” Sarah Bean is a bullied teen. That alone is its own nightmare and the author conveys the fear, helplessness and horror of living with that day-to-day, hour-to-hour experience so many young people experience – and can identify with – in a writing style that packs the emotional punch it should. Running from one group of bullies in her home town, she finds herself thrust into a bizarre, unfamiliar, hostile world filled with fantasy, magic, and creatures born of darkness and pain far more dangerous and isolating than the world Sarah Bean was abruptly removed from. The Sword of Sighs is the first in a fantasy adventure series about one young girl’s strength, bravery, and discovery of her own unique power as she triumphs through one nightmare battle after another.

Personally, I’d climb up the oak tree in my parents’ yard to read this one, and the next and the next.

 

©Alisa Tangredi, All Rights Reserved

“The End”

Posted: 3rd March 2013 by atadmin in Errata
Tags: , , , ,

There should be nothing more satisfying to an author, than writing those two short words. Yet for most of us, writing “The End” is yet another beginning. “The End” means the book is, at that point (hopefully, if one has done a bunch of drafts before daring to write those two powerful words) ready for a handful of others to read. We call the handful of others ’beta readers’ — (or more accurately, heroes) — they are not editors — they are those amazing people willing to read a product full of typos and grammatical errors that has not yet seen the careful eye of the professional editor. They are the heroes that ask questions if there are plot holes — who ask about the place where some odd character appears at random (because they were part of an old edit that never got properly deleted), or some very important detail got overlooked. They are the heroes that let you know if things flowed. If they laughed, cried, were creeped out, angered, moved to keep reading to the point they were late to work, or if an entire section simply did not make sense due to problems discerning whose point of view was at play, etc. . .

In short — Beta Readers let you know whether or not your book is ready for the editor. Some might disagree with me, but readers deserve nothing less.

After MORE edits are made, based upon Beta Readers observations, then the work that has “The End” written on its last page goes to the editor, then a few proof readers, then a formatter  (who might pick up another typo along the way), and so on . . . kind of like you may have already done with this post.

Basically, the writing of those two words, “The End” is a quiet accomplishment, experienced with a nod to the computer, maybe a good cry for the months of work (depending on what the heck one was writing about), maybe a ritual beverage or comforting grilled cheese sandwich.

I finished “Without Intent” this week. I’ll still honor my Spring release date (barely), but this one took longer. I changed deadline dates on the editor not one, but two times. That’s okay. I got a cheese sandwich when I was done.

Self doubt will remain, but this part of the job has come to its conclusion. No sleep for the weary, however, especially for those of us still balancing our writing job with the second job that pays our insurance benefits. Our candle will always be lit at both ends.

And that’s how we roll.

 

©Alisa Tangredi, All rights reserved, 2013

 

That’s a line in a Sondheim song I used to sing back in my singing, dancing and acting days. Yeah. Just so we’re clear, I didn’t screw up the song when I sang it. In case anyone was wondering. When it comes to Sondheim, one should.

I’ve been working on Book 2 of the Death’s Order series, which is why I haven’t been posting. Holed up in my cave, while timing my writing with my day job.

Swing shift. Law firm. Actual responsibility, and a job where NO ONE knows that I have a second job as a writer. Go figure.

Kind of fun living a double life, but it can get darn inconvenient.

Oh shush. If any of you were going to think “well, if she’d traditionally published, she wouldn’t have to work a day job” — I love to do research (anyone who has read my work knows that) and I’ve done it here as well,  So pshaw. I wish that were true, but no.

Many a midlist traditionally published writer still works a day job — there is no difference between them and the indie these days. But it does take a toll, no matter which path you’re on; indie, or trad pub, because you’re required to put in the time and do a good job at the place that pays your insurance benefits, while waking up at an hour that enables you to write for your other job. I called it my “part time job’ but my husband, Manpants, corrected me and said it was my second full-time job. Maybe that’s why I feel tired a lot and Jamesons after work gets more attractive.

For those who have been waiting for the next installment, rest assured, I’m on the home stretch. It is closer toward readiness for the editor, and for those people who enjoyed The Puppet Maker’s Bones, I do hope to satisfy the next chapter in the saga for you.

I don’t know about you, but I welcome the Spring. In Spring, literally anything can happen.

I like to do research. That is to say, I like to do research when I’m writing something new. Since I like to write about things that do not always occur in nature as we know it, whether it is psychological (delusion) or paranormal (fantasy) I often have to invent that which does not exist (queue Death’s Order books reference). This week, I spent a lot of time researching different animal species and evolution.

One friend asked on a particular day what I was writing.

I answered: “I wrote a love scene.”

My friend responded: “Love. Yay!”

I followed that with, “Then I researched which animals eat their young.”

My friend responded. “My day is ruined.” (Or something like that – I don’t want to reveal specifics).

The result of my research, combined with a wild imagination:  I created two new species. Which I happen to think is cool.

The first book in the Death’s Order series referenced a lot of cultural and world mythology –stuff already in existence that I chose to expand upon. I have, since childhood, been a huge fan of all things mythological. I read it all. Envision if you can, the expression on Father Bob’s face at my Anglican confirmation, age thirteen, when I showed up wearing an Ankh instead of a cross. That’s me.

The new book delves a little more into science and genetics. And, admittedly, somewhere along the way, or throughout, it remains a little bit personal. I found out a few scientific tidbits about my family this year that have spun the wheels that effect, not only my sense of well-being, but my imagination. This new book has been taking a bit longer than I hoped. Perhaps that is because I have a very personal connection to the whole “genetic marker” thing that science has improved upon and that has hit very close to home. Perhaps something within my subconscious made a decision to explore that, albeit within the paranormal fantasy realm.

Where better, than in a world where an entire species can cause unspeakable harm?

 

 

©Alisa Tangredi, All Rights reserved

Greetings, and welcome in to the New Year.

2012 was an interesting one. Some good days, some bad, some days not mentioning ever again due to the sheer embarassment factor.

The highlights, however as pertains to me –  writer (as opposed to me - cubicle drone, hobbiest gardener, dog parent and devoted wife) are:

<drumroll>

I published two books.

The Puppet Maker’s Bones
and
Under the Looking Glass

Now if you had asked me in 2010 or 2011 if that was a plan in my lifetime, I would have said, “Ruh Roh?” Let’s just say, life can throw a curveball sometimes. A really oddly shaped, laughing mad curveball.  I received some pretty favorable reviews and am grateful to each and every individual who read either or both of them, whether you liked it or not. I’m just happy you read them.

I did get some nice recognition — I was listed as one of the Highlights of 2012 in The 2012 Papyrus Independent Fiction Awards for The Puppet Maker’s Bones and am thrilled to my very bones that Caleb Blake placed me on the same page as this year’s winner, Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1 – 5) (Silo Saga) by Hugh Howey,  which was by far one of my favorite reads of the year. I am now an official Wool-ite. That’s right. That’s what I’m calling myself, fan girl that I am.

Another absolute favorite this year was: Girl Blue  by Alan Nayes. Breathtaking.

I have 96 books in the queue of my Kindle, and an additional stack of paperbacks — all waiting for me to read. I have no idea what order to read them in. Should I do it by genre? Alpha by Author? Not a clue.

Last but not least, I am slogging away, writing my follow up to The Puppet Maker’s Bones:

Without Intent.

This one is proving to be a challenge, kind of like wading through hardening mud while wearing a sumo wrestler costume, but my research has taken me to some interesting places this time and to tidbits of history I knew nothing about.

That’s the news that is fit to print.

I hope your year is smashing!

Be Well,

A.

I’m out for the holidays, as well as making an attempt to finish writing my book. May you all have a joyful and festive rest of the year, filled with food, good friends, family members you get along with, and a stocking full of great books to read.

Remember, books make the best gifts, because they can be enjoyed and then passed on to someone else. And no, that’s not a plug to buy mine. That’s me being a cheerleader to books. My first drug of choice.

Be well, and happy reading (or drinking, or binge eating, or running marathons or whatever you madcap and zany types like to do).

Best wishes,

Alisa

 
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Hello there, and happy December! Did everyone remember to say “Rabbit” first thing in the morning upon the December 1? No? What the heck is the deal with saying “Rabbit?” No idea. Something I learned somewhere. It’s supposed to be for luck or something.

ANYWAY, I wanted to announce that I’ll be doing a book signing as part of a local author event at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena, California. For those that read “The Puppet Maker’s Bones,” you will recall that a hearty portion of the story takes place in that beautiful city.

 The details are as follows, and if you live in the greater Los Angeles area and are so inclined, come on out! Vroman’s is a fantastic bookstore, not to mention a great place to do some holiday shopping, since the store is filled with other shiny items.

 LOCAL AUTHOR DAY:

 

Featured authors:

Nita Whitaker LaFontaine,

P.R. Slimko, &

Alisa Tangredi

 

Start:  12/13/2012 7:00 pm

Location:

695 E. Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, California 91101 United States

 

Nita Whitaker LaFontaine presents and signs Finding My Voice

After 20 years of marriage, three daughters, active careers, and the ups and downs that come with any relationship, nothing could have prepared singer Nita Whitaker LaFontaine for what she would face after she lost her husband, legendary voice-over king Don LaFontaine, to complications resulting from cancer treatment. Silenced by his death and lost in a world without him, she was forced to face the looming quiet that overtook her. Finding My Voice is at once a love story and a painfully raw portrayal of one woman’s journey through crippling grief toward her discovery of a place where she can sing once again.

 

P.R. Slimko presents and signs True Calling

Madison knew early on in her life that she was destined for a higher calling. She’s always felt as though her existence had been preordained for another lifestyle, but she would have to wait for that new groove to find her. Before long, she was operating in the high-tech world of Government Ops, and it would take very little time for her to realize her true calling. The sniper world was about to be turned on its heels by a rogue youngster hungry for action. 

 

Alisa Tangredi presents and signs Puppet Maker’s Bones

Loneliness can drive a man to madness, but Pavel Trusnik is not a normal man. After committing a crime that leaves him shunned and isolated, he has only the fading memories of his tragically flawed life, and his one great love.  When a violent sociopath sets his murderous desires upon the elderly shut-in, only an ancient order that knows Pavel’s secrets can come to his aid. But for Pavel, the vicious intruder is the only company he has had in decades…

 

(“I will also have copies of my new psychological thriller, “Under the Looking Glass,” available)

 I would love to see some So Cal people there!  Happy December to all, and may your holidays, whatever they happen to be, be bright

I am posting a link to a blog that I think deserves a good read. Yes, trouble has been brewing in the traditional publishing industry for quite some time, but their solution — to use Author Solutions — is no such solution and will do nothing but drag them into a hole of unbelievable failure to remain credible or relevant.

Read it Here: Simon & Schuster Joins Forces With Author Solutions To Rip Off Writers