Thursday, February 26, 2015

A midnight visit with vampire author Adrienne Monson

Adrienne Monson
It’s been two years since Adrienne Monson first arrived at the Blog Mansion in the middle of the night to talk books and vampires.

This time I was very careful to specify that she arrive at 3:00 in the afternoon. I was therefore surprised when at 2:00 am, I woke up to see her silhouetted against my window.

Johnny: Ahhhhhh!

Adrienne: Chill Johnny, it’s just me.

J: Adrienne? What the hell?

A: You said three o’clock.

J: p.m.

A: Oh, I didn’t change my watch from Tokyo time.

J: Yes, I guess that could happen. It is pretty dark. Turn on a light.

A: You don’t use those full spectrum sunlight bulbs do you?

J: No. Too expensive.

A: Okay, go ahead.

J: You look pale.

A: I haven’t eaten today.

J: You want some, uh… you know what? Never mind. I’ve known you for two years now, following your progress with Dissension the first book of the Blood Inheritance Series. Just for the record, how’s that been received?

A: Really good -- better than I expected. I guess people actually like my work!

J: You’re my hero as far as signings go. I need to up my game. Are signings the best part of marketing or is it hanging out in the green room with me?

A: Hanging with you in the green room just happens to be an awesome perk. My best marketing has been online, but you know how much I love book signings. It's just so much fun to talk to people in person. (And, up your game? Really Mr. I-Sell-Out-Every-Time?)

J: I don’t mean to pry, but like I said we’ve been shadowing each other across Comic Cons and Symposiums for years and you have become known as something of a vampire expert. Even lists you as an expert. Now, uhm… not to delve too deeply into your personal affairs but how has this happened?

A: Wouldn't you like to know... ;) Let's just say a lot of studying and interesting life experiences has been my certification to expert status.

J: Please put the cat down.

A: I told you I didn't eat yet. You shouldn't have perfectly good food wandering around where I can get it.

J: Yeah, what was I thinking? Okay. Defiance, Book Two in Blood Inheritance Series is about to launch. Wait. Is this a series or a trilogy?

A: Trilogy. Which means I already know what happens in the end. Haha, readers.

J: Okay, so tell us about Defiance. Where are Leisha and Samantha headed?

A: They're going to have some character development growing pains in Defiance. But don't worry, there's still plenty of action.

J: Did it take you two years to write Defiance?

A: Just a year. Then a few months of edits with my spectacular editor.

J: You said before you don’t write to outline. Is that still the case?

A: Yep. Discovery the whole first draft. But it makes the story surprise me as I write, which hopefully transfers to the readers' enjoyment.

J: How’s Book Three coming?

A: My editor has it now. Once I get his notes, we'll get it perfected and hopefully released next year. (No official launch date from my publisher yet)

J: You’re an exciting, beautiful talented writer and friend, but please don’t stand in front o the mirror. It’s freakin’ me out.

A: Really? I don't see anything."

J: Right.

A: Oh. Yeah. Most people think it's pretty funny when I do that.

J: Here kitty-kitty.... This Saturday you’re launching Defiance. Two questions: Where and when and do you have enough sunscreen?

A: The launch will be at 2:00 pm, Utah Time, at the Sugarhouse Barnes & Noble. And as for the other thing, I've been around for a while, Johnny. I know how to work it all out.

J: And where on the internets can peoples find you?

J: And how can people register to win a free copy of Defiance?

A: Right here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

J: Well we should probably end it here. I can tell you’re really hungry and probably want to flash out and get someone, I mean something, to eat.

A: You know me so well, Johnny. Any recommendations where I should go for dinner?

J: I have a list of people. Just pull a few names out of that rejection pile over there. Bon Appétit!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Fan-X 2015 Photo Album

I’m a little late on this, but I thought I share with you some pics from this year’s Salt Lake Comic Con Fan-X.

I had a GREAT time!

I got a table in the Vendor’s Area but didn’t know about it the first day so I had to hustle and bring something to sell the next day. This gave me a home base to connect with fans and people watch. I sold a few books. Talked Danish to people and drank too much coffee. That’s a lie. There’s no such thing as too much coffee.

I had three panels, one a day, which gave me ample time to hang out with my buds make new friends, stalk stars and celebrities and absorb all the excitement and pageantry which is a Comic Con.

If you’ve never been you have to go. They’re amazing. I connected with so many people. I am a fan and now I even have a few fans of my own. These things are part family reunion, part Mardi-Gras, part university and all fun. Hats off the people behind this annual geek fest. You’ll see me there again in September for Comic Con and the next Fan-X, and the ones after that!

Enjoy a few snaps I took.

I love other things too, just so you know.

Hell yeah, I'm a rebel.

One of my favorites. Terrifying.

Yeah, I met God. She's pretty cool.


Glad somebody was looking

Felicia Day is SOOOO cool.



The Trolls almost squished us!

Intimidating audience for one of my panels.

Cosplay so good it hurts.

Steam Candy

Thursday, February 12, 2015


Galen Reed is more than just a political activist. He is a guerrilla fighter waging war against corruption with wit, guile and embarrassing facts. Galen is a blackmailer – a careful and successful one. But when he moves too fast to pin a philandering son-in-law of a political hack, things turn bad and Galen’s whole crew is exposed. With short time, high pressure and unlikely allies, Galen must solve the mystery of Brand’s greater crimes to save himself, his friends and more than he imagined.

A politically motivated mystery in the footsteps of Edward Abbey's The Monkey Wrench GangThe Brand Demand follows a group of political activists who strike at the system with cunning and guile and get rich doing it.

Galen takes most the risks and so most the money, but when things go awry and it's his ass is in a sling, he quickly learns that politics are no substitute for wits.

Galen has to come to grips with his own boundaries of action and love while running for his life in Southern Utah. He has to stay under the radar, dodging skinheads and corporate moguls, LDS Romance writers, cheating husbands and of course and always, the authorities.

Coming April 6, 2015 from Cherokee McGhee

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Creating Symbolism in a Few Lines

If you’re a student of semiotics and deconstruction as I am, you know we live in a symbolic universe. Everything we sense is but a beginning in a long chain of referential connections. 

"CAT" is just a collection of lines, straight and curved, but to an English Reader, it’s a connection to an idea, a thing, a personal experience. A beloved pet. 

Writers naturally unavoidably draw upon a chain of connections with every letter and syllable and word they write. The trick is to focus the connections toward a single endpoint of meaning.

In long form fiction an author has a lot of leeway to subtly lay down trails of suggestive meanings, breadcrumbs toward a thematic end. Which when pieced together offer a complex and undeniable idea.

In short form fiction, economy takes the place of ornamentation, speed for endurance. References are more noticeable since proportionally, they take up more space in a short fiction.

In my story A THOUSAND SECRET DOORS, part of the new SECRETS & DOORS short story anthology, I gave myself only 3,400 words to pose a mystery that an observant reader can answer before the end, while creating a positive portal for imagination and existence.

My symbolic referential connections are placed in the house of a lost Uncle who has bequeathed to his nephew “a thousand secret doors.” Knick-knacks are clues, doors to memories – shared and secret. A man’s life is explored and explained in the halls of his empty house by his surviving family. The overarching mystery of inherited secrets plays out under the shadow of a passage through the ultimate secret door - death.

The reader may not associate with each specific symbol but the culmination and accumulation of them all, when set up to the Uncle’s life and the survivor’s ultimate understanding, shines light upon his existence and unites us all in the spaces behind a thousand secret doors.


The Secret Door Society

Open the door and unlock the secrets in eleven short stories from The Secret Door Society, an organization of fantasy and science fiction authors dedicated to charitable work. All proceeds from this anthology benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in their quest to cure Type One Diabetes (T1D).

In these pages you’ll discover a modern woman trapped in an old fashioned dreamscape, a futuristic temp worker who fights against her programming, a beautiful vampire’s secret mission disrupted by betrayal, a sorcerer’s epic battle against a water dragon, the source of magical mirrors—and more. There are tales for every science fiction and fantasy taste, including new works from award-winning authors Johnny Worthen, Lehua Parker, Christine Haggerty, and Adrienne Monson

Join us in the fight against T1D as you peek into a world of magical and mysterious doorways—if you dare.