Friday, April 19, 2013

Stanley Kubrick is Awesomesauce

So for my Humanities class we had to do a presentation on an artist, architect, filmmaker, or musician. We drew names out of a hat and I almost jumped for joy when I drew Stanley Kubrick. The assignment was to post 5 links relevant to the person and their work and write a few sentences describing the relevance of each link.

I had so much fun with the project that I'm going to share it with you guys.


This Wikipedia article describes Kubrick’s life and family information and his transition from photographer to filmmaker. A chronological description of his films and how he made them follows. Description of his trademark film techniques are also given along with some fun trivia. In the end you realize this man was a true master of his craft.

Demonstration of Kubrick’s use of one point perspective

This video demonstrates Kubrick’s use of the one point perspective (shown above) in all of his films. One point is more often used in paintings and photography, but Kubrick made it into an art in his movies. As you watch, notice how effective such a perspective is in capturing the importance of scene. Classical music plays throughout because Kubrick liked to feature that type of music in his films.

Film psychology: THE SHINING spatial awareness and set design.

This video describes how someone designing a video game level based on the movie stumbled upon the fact that the layout of The Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s THE SHINING was flat out impossible. Further research was done and more impossible doorways, corridors and windows are discovered and shown. It is then revealed that Kubrick did this on purpose to cultivate the horror vibe by messing with the viewer’s perception and spatial awareness.

On the youtube screen you should also find plenty of links to other videos showing hidden stuff in THE SHINING. There are so many crazy conspiracy theories about the details in this film that a documentary was made called “Room 237” I want to see it!   

Extreme details in 2001, A SPACE ODYSSEY

This was a fascinating article which describes the insane detail that Kubrick put into his film, 2001, A SPACE ODYSSEY. Not only do we learn how many of the special effects were pulled off in a time BEFORE CGI was invented, but we also learn about how deeply Kubrick and his team were involved with research for the project. They visited NASA space stations MANY times. Kubrick wanted the set equipment to actually be able to work on the Moon!

Visions of Stanley Kubrick

This is part 2 of a video because the first half they mostly talk about THE SHINING…which is cool, but I already shared a link about that film. Anyway, directors and other film people discuss how Kubrick’s skills as a photographer influenced and improved his movies. Different innovations in camera technology and the unique ways Kubrick applied them are shown.

Kubrick’s thing with bathrooms

I added this as a bonus link because it likely won’t count. does a bunch of lists of articles with interesting trivia. However, the section on Kubrick I believe is more a technique than mere trivia. I also don’t think he had a “fetish” with bathrooms. I think he set all of his pivotal scenes in bathrooms for more psychological impact because one is more vulnerable in the bathroom. Just my 3 cents. Anyway, all of the Cracked features on Stanley Kubrick are entertaining as well as educational. J

Monday, April 15, 2013

Recap of My First Book Signing!

Sorry it took so long to post this, I've been visiting so many fun sites that I've been neglecting my own. Anyway, on Saturday, April 6th, I had my very first book signing at Hastings Entertainment in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

I was utterly petrified. What if I disgraced myself and had a panic attack? What if I said or did something embarrassing? And worse, what if no one showed up?

Thankfully, I had a lot of support. My fellow Sourcebooks authors donated tons of books and goodies for the gift baskets I planned on raffling off. My neighbor helped me with my hair and jitters and arranging the baskets. My friend, author Shelley Martin helped me shop for wine, chocolate, and cookies. 

I made it to the store on time and set up my table.

But.... I FORGOT A PEN! Thankfully, the store let me borrow theirs. 

A ton of people showed up! Close friends, family, people from my writers' groups, my English professor, a lovely new friend I made on twitter (Waves to Mei Lu) and plenty of people I didn't even know! My best friend since 3rd grade drove with her mom all the way from Tri-Cities to come!

Shelley helped organize the line and I didn't embarrass myself, though I felt like stuttering the whole time.

Even better was that I sold more books than I expected.

Afterward, my friends at my local pub threw me the most amazing after party ever! My best nerd friend delivered a toast that almost made me cry. My dart mentor played a few rounds of 301 with me.... which I lost because that outfit isn't conducive to darts. All in all, it was a magical day. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Research Trip! (Guest post by Ashlyn Chase)

Because both my last series and its spin-off series take place in my native Boston, I had a good feel for the area. However, considering how much the city has changed and how long ago I lived there *cough—the seventies—cough*, I felt a research trip was in order.


I set Strange Neighbors     (title of the first series and the first book in that series) in my old neighborhood, the Back Bay. It’s made up of two hundred year old brownstones, and I couldn’t help being awed all over again by their uniqueness and old-world beauty.
It was early June when I visited. The flowering trees that line the brick sidewalks were blooming, and the college students had gone home for the summer. You could almost feel the city breathe a sigh of relief. There was no need to worry about what kind of havoc the BU frats on one side of Beacon Street and the MIT frats on the other side might get up to. Back when I lived there, the students were fond of stopping Volkswagon beetles, picking them up and turning them around on the one-way street—or setting them on the sidewalk. And that’s if they weren’t having toilet paper fights with each other. *sigh* Perhaps that isn’t the case today. I imagine they’ve found better ways to entertain themselves…probably with video games and ipads.
Last year I visited again to research my new series Flirting with Fangs.

Book 1 is Flirting Under a Full Moon  and this time I walked around Beacon Hill. It’s an affluent area of old Federal-style buildings with the Boston Common right across the street. I had it in my head that I’d set my bar on Charles Street, which is the major thoroughfare. To my surprise, there was an actual neighborhood bar in the same place I’d imagined it.
I was with my family that time, and even before we made it to the door we were stopped and my daughter was carded. We joked about why he wasn’t carding the rest of us, but Bostonians aren’t known for lying politely to make you feel better. He just laughed in our faces and opened the door for us.
It was a tiny hole-in-the-wall place, not as upscale as I’d made it in my mind. That’s okay. That’s what imagination is for. Because it was packed that Saturday afternoon and there was nowhere to sit, we didn’t bother to stay and order. The bouncer laughed again when we left right away and went to the cupcake place next door. I guess tourists’ expectations are hilarious to the locals. Hey, you’ve got to get your humor where you can find it.
And, oh yeah…I couldn’t help addressing the age-old Boston-New York rivalry too. Yankees vs. Red Sox. Patriots vs. Jets…etc. Sports rivalries go waaaay back and spill over to other issues between these two cities. New York was set up in grids with the streets of Manhattan numbered and lettered for your directional convenience. i.e. West 44th street. Whereas in Boston—the older city—they just paved the cow paths.
Here’s an in-your-face example of Boston humor.

The bar in my book is called Boston Uncommon and it caters to the local paranormal population. Most people don’t know that the city is teeming with paranormals, but Anthony Cross does. He’s a vampire and has made it his life’s mission to decrease hostilities between the supernatural factions simply by providing them a safe place to socialize and get to know each other better.
His first victory is making a friend on the Boston Police force—which is largely made up of werewolves. Nick Wolfensen refers a few others, and before they know it, Anthony’s theory is tested. Readers will be introduced to other supernaturals too—brownies, shapeshifters, wizards and witches. All of whom have their suspicions about the others.
And who keeps watch over all this potential mayhem? Mother Nature. She’s the head honcho. The Grand Poobah. The supreme ruler of the Supernatural Council, and when it comes to anyone disobeying her rules, she’s the judge and jury. What’s rule number one? Never reveal your paranormal identity.
As soon as Anthony, Nick, and all the regulars are on her radar, they have more to worry about than each other!  

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Around 18 months ago, when I signed my 1st publishing contract, I'd anticipated this day... though it never felt truly real in my mind if that makes any sense.  After seeing the cover, working on edits and writing the next two books, it still didn't feel real.

I got my ARCs in and cried a little, so afraid it was a dream.

Then the advanced reviews began trickling in. Publisher's Weekly AND RT Book Reviews featured it. Somehow that made the realness even more tenuous.

More reviews came in and my publicist (it still feels crazy saying "my publicist") and I shared many emails about my book signing and my virtual tour, which kicks off today.

I got an agent for future projects...the same day as I received my editorial notes for Book 2. And I'm close to finishing book 3. I think they keep you busy at this time to keep you from going crazy.

Now the reviews are POURING in and BITE ME, YOUR GRACE is out in the wild! My friend and I are going to go look at it on the shelf as we prepare for my release party. Maybe then it will feel real. :)

For now, here's where I'll be for my virtual tour. Be sure to stop by these amazing sites, for there will be tons of chances to win a copy of BITE ME, YOUR GRACE!

Monday April 1
Tuesday April 2
Night Owl Reviews
Wednesday April 3
Thursday April 4
Monday April 8
Tuesday April 9
Wednesday April 10
Thursday April 11
Sunday April 14
Wednesday April 17
Thursday April 18
Tuesday April 23
Wednesday April 24
Thursday April 25
Monday April 29
Tuesday April 30