Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Book, Some Breathing Room, and More Books

First, The Book:
Books are such odd creatures. With the possible exception of the cover, which I love but isn't grayscaling well, I have all the necessary ingredients for the release of Darkness painstakingly assembled. Returns from trusty readers, edits, lovingly scattered versions, rigidly organized versions, even some pictorial versions; clearly, this book has been loved. And so, with a small break upon me, I'm going to take a little bit of breathing room before release in the hopes of avoiding what I call pre-launch insanity. This is a real phenomenon around the Keire household when releases loom near. Here's the actual post from back in December, when I launched Gifts of the Blood, my first novel:  Pre-launch Insanity  Not. Pretty. So I'm going to do the world a favor and take an internet break until ROW80 starts back up again, which really isn't all that far away. A week? Which brings me to thing two:

If you haven't signed up already, you can do so here. It's going to be a lot of fun! Maybe we'll be on the same team. We can have a secret code, pull pranks, and get matching satin jackets. No, wait. The satin jackets are for my girl gang. Darn! Oh, yeah, and writing goals! There's those, too. Very cool.

Some fantastic current and impending releases to check out between now and then:

Stacey Wallace Benefiel's Dormant is out! This is the third in her line of more adult- oriented novellas. They take place in a world where witches and angels rebel against corrupt gods, a theme of which I never tire. It's a highly imaginative, fun and sexy world, and I really like Stacey's choice of the novella to explore it. We get to know an ever-expanding cast of characters, yet they're all part of the same tightly woven plot. In a sense, it's like seeing the same dystopic society from extremely varied points of view. At any rate, it's worth checking out at the low price of $1.29. Glimpse, the first book in her ever-popular Zellie Wells series, is .99 cents for a limited time, so its a great time to snatch that up, too.

Flora’s twin sister Fauna and her boyfriend Clark are fiercely committed to the rebellion and to each other. When Bartholomew, the Head Guardian Angel, takes control of their souls and tries to rewrite their history, that commitment wavers. Can Fauna and Clark find their way back? To the rebellion? To their bodies? To each other?
Does your soul remember who you love, even if your mind doesn’t?
Buy Dormant on Amazon here

It's hard to beat free, right? Both Kait Nolan and Susan Bischoff have two shorts available:

Kait's Blindsight, Mirus Short Story: 
Isla's ability as a Seer has made her a life-long captive of a paranormal crime lord. Fae assassin, Ransom, offers her a chance at escape, but when she touches his hand she sees only blood, horror, apocalypse. What reason can Ransom have for wanting to rescue her, and can she possibly trust a man who deals in death? 

Available for free on Goodreads, which is where I got mine. There are various other sources that you can access by going directly to the source, Kait's page for Blindsight.

and Susan's Impulse Control:

In the world of the Talent Chronicles, kids born with supernatural powers are taken from their families and forced into government research facilities called State Schools. At one such school, a dangerous experiment has killed two young inmates and threatens others. Ethan, a shape-shifter, is reluctantly recruited by his best friend Karen, a telepath, and Elle, the unique Talent he has a crush on, to thwart the faculty's plans. If they’re caught they face Detention, and Detention at a State School has a whole different meaning. 

Available for free on Smashwords, where I got my copy thanks to a head's up from fellow ROW80'er Andrew Mochete. (Thanks Andrew!)

Both "Blindsight" and "Impulse Control" are available in the Kiss Me, Kill Me anthology. This anthology is only .99 cents, and features short stories from lots of popular paranormal authors. Best of all, all profits go to charity!
H.P. Mallory , Zoe Winters , Susan Bischoff , Lori Brighton , M.T. Murphy , Kait Nolan, Toni LoTempio, Daniel Arenson , Stacey Wallace Benefiel 

And finally, there's the much anticipated impending release of
                             J.L. Bryan's Tommy Nightmare. 

Can you tell I'm excited about this book?
I had the chance to read it early, and I think I'm annoying people because I won't shut up about it. Because really, it's annoying if all you can say is, "It's soooo goood" over and over again. Which is all I can say because, well, that's the nature of impending release.
It's not quite as bad as reading the very first civilian copy of Melissa Marr's Darkest Mercy seven months in advance. That was seven months, after all. But it's almost that bad.

Here's the Goodreads summary:
While Fallen Oak recovers from the Jenny pox, someone new is hunting Jenny. 
Like Jenny, Ashleigh Goodling belonged to a pair of opposites with powers that mirror each other. 
Now Jenny and Seth must face the opposite of love...

I read Jenny Pox in five or six hours straight, then went through a glove phase all that winter. The line "Daddy was a Handy Man, when he wasn't Drinking," became a cherished catch phrase among some of my friends, most especially when they were drinking. 
I fully expect similar delights from this second installment in the Jenny Pox series, which I describe elsewhere as "a mix of Gothic, horror, pathos, acerbic wit, polymorality, love, a distinct sense of place, all blenderized into some kind of contemporary, somethings-under-the-bed but it stole your PS3 first and just might kick your ass at Killzone before it eats you kind of thing. " My kind of monster, people.
I know there are other fantastic releases out there, and if I've forgotten yours, I do heartily beg your pardon. I know there are other fantastic releases I have yet to discover. If we had but world enough and time...  

Thursday, March 24, 2011

C'est Finis- But There's Art!

(Unless you're reading this on Goodreads. They only give you text. Sucks, I know, but I promise, there are pictures here.)
Three months is a long time.
Lifetimes, occasionally.
Certainly long enough to establish new habits: good ones, hopefully. Bad ones because we're human and bad is fun. When composing this ROW80 post, I have, in fact, had a rather profound realization that the defining events of my life over the past year and a half occurred in eerily regular three month intervals, as if my life has been measured by some prescient giant metronome.
But there's no way I'm getting into that now.
I want to keep this light and happy. Have I met my ROW80 goals? If I put them under a microscope, then for the most part, yes. If I back up and look at the spirit of the thing, which is much more in my nature, then hell yes, ROW80 rocked my Casbah.
Harley on Rue Bourbon
Still Life- Exactly as Found
Now I've been sitting at this computer trying to think of something profound and encouraging to write for half an hour. Well, it's just going to have to wait until the next round. I'm happy to say I'll be one of the sponsors, and I hope to see ALL of you back.                  
I'm already thinking of goals for Round 2:
* Release "The Resurrection of Blake House," a Whitfield novella
* Formally launch the Rock Your Kindle campaign/ tour
* Attempt an alternating chapter collaborative novel with someone masochistic enough to try it with me
*Bad faeries, a Krewe of vampires, and a mentally ill empath; thematically speaking, of course

Anyway, that's what's on my mind. I'll close with a selection of some of my favorite things for some of my favorite people: art and music from the American South, without which I would never have been inspired enough to first put fingers to keys, for all of you who've been so helpful.

Until April,
Vicki Keire
(all images property of and reproduced with permission of Tribble Studios- thanks, D!)                                
Midnight Hydrangeas
Remnants of Katrina

Song: "Me, William, and the Mountain" written and performed by Joey Knieser for Music for the Mountains, a collaborative fundraising project to help stop the practice of strip mining, or mountain top removal, in the Appalachians Mountains.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Positive Reinforcement

It's hard to believe this is almost the last Sunday ROW80 check in. When I think back to the first of the year, I realize just how much my life has changed in three short months. My first ROW80 coincides exactly with the release of my first novel. I was pretty much a nervous wreck back in January. Gifts hit Amazon on Dec. 28 with a ranking somewhere close to 100,000, and B&N on Jan. 1 or 2. I had a lot of anxiety. See if any of this sounds familiar:
Will anyone like it?
It it any good?
What the hell am I thinking?
How dare I put myself out there with real writers?

For roughly two weeks I drove myself and everyone around me a lot crazy. If you don't believe me, check my archived entries over there. Some of them are not pretty. But I had ROW80, tolerant friends, and an angelic spouse, so I had a plan and forward motion. Then something weird happened: people started buying my book, and liked it. I kept writing, met other writers, and at some point, I started thinking of myself as a writer. Not "fake," or "self-pubbed," or "real." Just a writer. As in, one who writes. I don't know at what point the switch flipped. I just know that as ROW80 draws to a close, I have a book with a ranking I'm pretty happy with, another on the way, a great support network, some disciplined work habits, and some writer friends I can bug when I'm stuck or feeling silly. Best of all, whenever I hear the phrase "real writer," which still sadly gets thrown around a lot in regards to Indies v. Trads, it comes out in my head in this hilarious, high-pitched Pinnochio cartoon voice: "I'm a real boy," but insert writer instead. Of course I'm real. I'm sitting here at a keyboard, aren't I? I'm getting paid for my work, and I'm producing more. Let the controversies roll on by. I have stories to tell instead.

My original ROW80 goals went something like this:
1. Four writing-intensive days a week. I put a heavy word count on this- 1500. I think as far as work habits go, the "writing intensive" idea works best for me. I need to stay loose with it. Sometimes it means editing. Sometimes it means freewriting. Sometimes it means drafting. When I'm deep into a book, "writing intensive" almost always means a chapter a day.
2. Two writing related blogs a week. ROW80 worked out nicely here, with bi-weekly updates forcing me to blog.
3. Read a book in my genre and review it at least once a week. No problem there, either. If anything, I need to cut back on the reading, or perhaps specify that I read an Indie author, or perhaps a non-fiction craft related book.
4. I planned to spend about 30 min. a day networking and marketing 5 days a week. Honestly, that's just too conservative an estimate. It's also a very limiting way of thinking about it. A better way is that I should limit internet time, and plan very targeted, formal marketing campaigns around specific releases and/or ideas.
5. My biggest ROW80 goal was to have my second book finished by the end. It's looking like I might just make this one, which would be amazing. And if I do, then what? I know there's another ROW80, and I plan to participate. But I need some kind of positive reinforcement. So that's my new and unexpected ROW80 mini-task:

Think of a reward. One that won't reinforce other bad habits, so chocolate's out. :) Something in proportion to the achievement, like a quick trip to the ocean, or the spa, or shopping. I have a household to factor in to the equation, and there's still a week to go, so it's something to think about. But what about the rest of you? Has anyone thought about possible ROW80 rewards, and if so, what are you thinking?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Rock Your Kindle: Ebooks and SXSW

It's been a busy few days here at The Ides. I didn't do a lot of actual writing. A ton of publicity stuff, including a spotlight feature over at Indie Paranormal Book Reviews, and lots of editing. And of course reading. I don't seem to be able to stop that, no matter what I do. Today is about my first ROW80 coming to a close in a matter of days, the impending release of my second novel, a pile of writing related "to do" things that never seems to shrink, and someplace I'm not. Namely, the epicly awesome American music festival, South by Southwest, held every year in Austin, TX.

What I've done, before I get back to hitting the keys, is to pay a brief tribute to these bands that helped birth Gifts, some of whom appear within its pages. The one below is a particular favorite of mine; The Only Sons' newest release American Stranger rocks my Kindle, people. And, because they're at SXSW, Gifts is kinda there by proxy. (Ok, so that's a sappy stretch.) I've included a very brief excerpt from where they actually appear in the book. It won't spoil anything if you haven't read it- it's just for context. Kent & co., I know you guys are enjoing SXSW. Please raise some hell for me.

We didn’t speak much on the drive home. I knew I must have looked alarmingly bad because Logan didn’t even complain once when I played the same song over and over. He hated it when I did that. After our third listening of The Only Sons’ American Stranger, I eyed him sideways. “Aren’t you even going to mock me? I mean, I appreciate the play time and all, but I kinda miss the insults.”
He snorted but kept his eyes on the road. “You look awful, Cas.”
And that was it. I should have guessed much worse was in store.
                                                                                                                           - Gifts of the Blood

"Gone Down Swingin' " by The Only Sons:

I find myself increasingly tied to Indie musicians: for inspiration, as successful business models, because they're creative people fighting the same battles as me. I have yet to meet a single one of them, no matter how successful, who isn't incredibly down-to-earth and approachable. (Ok, maybe one. Maybe two. But that's still a very small margin.) And it shows up in my work. I'm more tied than a lot of writers I know; I'm married to a label exec. Who's here, not in Austin, in part because of my impending release. So he's getting an almost constant barrage of information about the amazing things he's not a part of this year: a BBQ crawl, like a pub crawl, but with pig and beer and bands. Impromptu dream bands just playing in the streets. His own bands playing anywhere and everywhere.

I've written a lot about the connections between the music industry and the publishing industry in this Indie age of ours. I've even engaged in lengthy discussions, blogs, tirades- whatever platform I could find- about how this is so much bigger than just being able to bypass New York. That we're in the midst of an actual Indie movement, just as the Romantics were a literary movement in the early 19th C. 100 years from now students will open Lit books and read about "The Indie Movement of the early 21st C." The thing is, it's hard to see change when you're smack in the middle of it. So it's unsurprising that most "movements" get defined by the generations that come later. Hey, whatever; we've all got enough to do anyway in the here and now, right? But what's so cool about being caught up in the Indie Movement, if we let ourselves, is that it does seem to cross genres. This is rare but not unheard of in the history of literary movements; the Pre-Raphelites were both writers and painters. If there are any lingering doubts about the creative power of all things Indie, be they musical or not, just check out some of the live feed coming out of Austin. Rock your Kindle: I’ll be doing it all week.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Not-So Lazy Sunday Update

Spring in the Pollen Belt: that enchanting sucker-punch combo of beautiful new growth and microscopic spores cabable of knocking fully healthy humans flat on their backs. Who needs alien invasions? Come to the South in spring. You will find a land lush with azaleas, dogwoods, and graceful Live Oaks. In college towns like mine, perfectly tanned, disturbingly similar young women, ages 18-24, with shiny long hair in short floaty strapless dresses decorate vast college lawns like ornaments on Christmas trees. And yet, within weeks our cars will be coated with a disgusting snot-green layer of pollen so thick you can, and will, write "wash me"or worse on strange vehicles. You will suffer migraines that might send you to the ER, or you will at least strongly think about it. You will ingest every painkiller known to man to make it stop, but it won't. Prescription, non, doesn't matter. Your eyes will be so raw and red everyone will think you spent the whole night crying. Pollen season... er, spring, that is... is the the real reason Jack Daniels was invented.

This is all my way of explaining why the beautiful, creamy white daffodils blooming right outside my studio door and I have a complicated relationship. And why my Sunday is complicated too. On Friday, those daffodils made me cry from my first sinus-induced migraine of the season. Maybe not them, specifically, but they're good representatives. They're beautiful, and I love them. I look forward to their arrival every spring. And yet, I've spent the last thirty six hours flat on my back in a dark room because light and motion made me nauseous. I have crap to do, Daffodils. And yet you don't care. Spring has no pity. At least next month is April, and I get to make TS Eliot's "The Wasteland" jokes : "April is the cruellest month...." insert stupid statement making fun of Great Dead Poet's Greatest and Least Understandable Poem.

Just what have I done...hmm. ROW80 Sunday demands accountability: Two more writing days after my last update. 2434, 3175, 2112, and 183. One of those days I pulled two shifts, so two of those chunks were actually in one day. Also, the 183 kind of doesn't count- I think it belongs with the 2112. So yeah, that's two days.

What did I read: Jason Lett's Inevitable, which I very much enjoyed. Finished Catherine Fisher's Incarceron. Did I mention Jenna Black's Glimmerglass? Also Renee Carter's His Eyes and Cindy Bennett's Heart on a Chain, both refreshing YA journeys into Realism. Jason Lett's book and these last two are both Indie releases, and I'm not kidding when I say they were my favorites. Something's happening to me as a reader. I think I mentioned this in an exchange with Claire Farrell and Stacey Wallace Benefiel. If you're into Indie reads at all, you know that they often break the rules in a way that I've come to find incredibly refreshing. I've long since found being Indie liberating as a writer. What I'm shocked to discover is the depth to which I've been conditioned as a reader by traditionally imposed standards. I'm frequently finding traditional releases kind of stale. I will gladly trade a typo (the biggest gripe against Indie) here and there for a truly innovative approach to storytelling, or voice, or narrative perspective. Caveat: Not all traditional releases are stale, nor are all Indie release innovative. I'm currently reading The Forest of Hands and Teeth, and I'm loving it. At any rate, this is a huge topic. I'll have to address it further in another post.

Publicity/Networking Stuff: A spotlight coming up with IndieParanormalBookReviews, which I think is the very first Indie site I ever joined back in the day. Very exciting. I did this giveaway thing. I sent out emails to the winners, so if you didn't get an email, please contact me again. No reader left behind! Also, I have something in the works with our Indie friends over in the music biz. Does it strike anyone else that there's some cross-marketing potential there? Indie music audiences are roughly 16-35 (and older, true), and very e-savvy. Plus I know a lot of musicians personally who carry Kindles on the road- they're so easy to pack. That's not the same as audience, that's true, but what I'm getting at is that we have some built-in allies over in music land. And I know a lot of ebook readers who are truly passionate about music, too. Many writers post playlists to go with their books, or at least mention the bands that inspired them. And Kindle does have an mp3 feature. Seldom used, but still, it's there. So I have something in the works called "Rock Your Kindle," and that's all I can really say about it now, except that if it works, other interested parties can play too.
That, and it helps to be married to a record label exec. :)
Finally, I think just maybe I'm making headway on a cover for Book 2. Early beta responses have been in favor of a title change. I have to agree with them. I love being able to just Poof! change the title if I want. Gifts will soon be available in print form through CreateSpace, and the digital copies will be available as second edition. There will be a "sneak peek" chapter for book 2 added on, as well as an "if you liked this book, check out Jenny Pox by Jeff Bryan" section. And maybe, if I can swing it, my Rock Your Kindle promo. But everybody's at SXSW, and I'm not sure I want to hold back the release. We'll see.

Ok, so that was epic. Whoops. Pray indulge. Hope everyone has a good week.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Update and Book Giveaway

Hi all!
Just a quick ROW80 shout out first, because I really have been tearing up the keyboard and I need to get back to it. I've managed two solid writing days so far (3000ish wc days), and one day of kind of putzing around. Read a lot. I'm going to have to do something about this reading disorder of mine. What's truly frightening is the "to read" pile that's growing on my Kindle. I knew this would happen the closer I got to launch. I should be on Hoarders. Except I'm a digital hoarder. Is there a show for that?

The great news is that my book is doing really well. It's really surprising. People who know me keep telling me no, it's not surprising, but I have to beg to differ there. It just is, ok? It's only two months old and it's exceeded my expectations by miles and miles. So, thank you!  I'm really blown away and grateful by the positive responses I've gotten, the support I've gotten from ROW80 and various forums, from readers, book bloggers, and everyone else I'm accidentally leaving out.

What I'd like to do is this: for the next few days, I'll be giving out free copies of my book to anyone who visits my website and leaves a comment there. E-copies, that is! Just go to and leave me a comment, and I'll get back in touch with you and make arrangements to get you a free e-copy of Gifts of the Blood. How about from today, Wednesday, March 9 until midnight Friday, March 11? I'm on central time but I'm not that strict, people.

Ok, to repeat:
A free copy of my book to anyone who leaves a comment on my website between now and Friday at midnight! Tell your friends!
Update: You can use the contact form to send an email, or just leave a comment in the box. Either way, though, make sure to leave contact info! Thanks!

Feel free to explore while you're there, but let me warn you that some areas are musical. It's good music, but still, just a head's up.
Oh, and thanks to Indie Paranormal Book Reviews for including me in their Whatcha Reading spotlight soon, where I'll get to talk some more about Gifts, including which character I'd most like to be. Hmm. Good or evil? So many choices.
Have a great rest of the week!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

(Not) Taking Myself Too Damn Seriously... Plus Books!

I'm going to apply some advice that worked really well in another life:
Don't take yourself too damn seriously.
I can get stuck for hours, evenings, days, on a single adjective. The perfect sequence of scenes. Whether a character's backstory is deep enough. Things have been going a lot more smoothly since I've been just getting the hell over it. So, in the interest of accountability Sunday: Definitely hit the writing and editing goals this week. Logged at least five days of straight writing, and three of them included some pretty heavy editing. Three chapters of 3862 w, 5482 w, and 3781 w, respectively. Ok, so that middle one's a monster. Maybe it's two chapters. I'll put that on the editing to-do list. I finally (wince) picked my haunted house novella back up, but it made me sad. It's going to take a lot of work. But it's due out in April, and it's very close to finished, and I know I can salvage it if I apply myself. Then something really strange happened. I've been making jokes about the public's seemingly bottomless appetite for vampire novels, and how I should just force myself to crank out a vampire novel. Friends and family, of course, are like, "Well, duh. Why didn't you do that first thing? I mean, fallen angels? Seriously." I forgo explaining that I can't write something if I don't have an idea for a plot and have nothing but scorn in my heart for the subject. But then, the unthinkable happened: I actually thought of a vampire series I could stand to write. In fact, I got downright excited about it. Even worse, I actually have a half-finished series that's pretty much a ready-made shell for this thing.
*___* Bangs head on keyboard *___*
I feel kind of sick now. I have a scarlet V on me somewhere. I will be answering to the name Vampire Whore for the next few days. Go ahead, play along; it will help assuage my guilt.

But what I really want to talk about are these amazing books I read. J.L. Bryan's Tommy Nightmare, the second book in the Jenny Pox series, seriously rocks, people. He's got such an intriguing aesthetic- a mix of Gothic, horror, pathos, acerbic wit, polymorality, love, a distinct sense of place, all blenderized into some kind of contemporary, somethings-under-the-bed but it stole your PS3 first and just might kick your ass at Killzone before it eats you kind of thing. He's about to hit it really big. Deservedly so.

Then there's Tabitha Suzuma's Forbidden. An amazing love story containing graphic, consensual sex between a brother and sister who've spent their young lives trying to keep their family of five out of foster care after being abandoned by their parents. I actually wrote Tabitha this on Goodreads, a first for me:
  I finished Forbidden two days ago. I keep trying to talk about it. I start sentences and leave them unfinished because I don't have an adequate adjective...I am only beginning to process the impact it has had on me as both a human being and a writer. 
So if any of you get the chance, read this book. Full review to come later this week, I hope. I've never had such a hard time finding language for a book as I have for this one, so I'll pull a Hemingway and just say it's damn fine.

March 15th is The Ides of March, an obviously important day around here. Just a head's up that I'll be having an Ides Week Celebration, with prizes, special musical guests, and maybe even a disco ball! No shamrocks, though. Shamrocks are completely and utterly forbidden. They have their own holiday, and all my best to them and theirs. Mark it down, the Ides will rock, beware beware! I just know I'm forgetting some other important ROW80 thing. Oh well, sorry! I hope everyone is having an excellent week full of smooth writing, fluffy plot bunnies, and pie. Pie makes everything better.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Best Twitter Saga Ever, ROW80, and Sequels

(ROW80 final para.)  All's quiet on the digital front, or at least, it has been here at The Ides for the last week and a half or so.  My enforced Internet break was interesting. I hadn't really expected it to make that much of a difference. Honestly, as far as productivity, it didn't much. But surprisingly, it created what I can only describe as an extra edgy mental space. I hadn't ever really placed social networking and Internet relationships on the same level as real-time ones. They're not the same, of course. That's not what I'm saying. But they have the same, if not greater, level of personal intensity. The mental and emotional investment I have in some of these relationships is just as great. I simply hadn't realized how closely enmeshed I had become with my digital universe until I unplugged from it a bit. Quite revelatory all around. What am I going to do with this information? Heck if I know. Get pulled further in, I'm sure. Make better friends with my iPhone.

Speaking of, I really miss @MayorEmanuel. If you missed this amazing sideshow to the Chicago mayoral race, it's worth revisiting. I'm convinced the whole @MayorEmanuel Twitter saga pushed the boundaries of what social media can do, and may well be the very first successful Twitter "novel." It was damn fine entertainment, at times funny, foul-mouthed, dangerous, action-packed, and touching. When @MayorEmanuel was sucked into the alternate dimension, after Carl the Intern confessed his love, I knew the impossible had happened: the birth of something new under the sun. According to The Atlantic, which uncovered alter-Rahm's creator:

@MayorEmanuel is a new genre that is native to Twitter. When you try to turn his adventures into traditional short stories or poems, they lose the crucial element of time. The episode where the mayor gets stuck in the sewer pipes of City Hall just does not work when the 15 tweets aren't spaced out over 7 hours. It's all over too fast to be satisfying. There's no suspense.
The plot is simple: @MayorEmanuel is running to be mayor of Chicago. His adventures sometimes overlap with the campaign activities of the real-life Rahm, like when the latter visits Groupon or does a 50-ward tour or watches the Bears. But a lot of the time @MayorEmanuel's adventures occur in an alternate reality. He has wild dinners at his brother Ari's house in Los Angeles. He moves into the crawlspace of Emanuel's rented house in Chicago, and later into an igloo. He gets stuck in the sewers underneath City Hall and kidnapped by current Mayor Richard M. Daley. During that last adventure, he realizes that two Mayor Emanuels can't coexist and goes through a time vortex, ending the story (for now).@MayorEmanuel is sometimes accompanied by political advisor David Axelrod and a cast of imaginary characters: Carl the Intern, Hambone (a dog), and Quaxelrod (a duck with a moustache).
It's as weird as it sounds, at times even reaching the Pynchonian realm of highbrow slapstick.  (excerpt from The Atlantic. Read the whole article here.)

It is my first ROW80 check in after my I-net return, and I am pleased to report that my word count is ramping back up, as is my editing. As the deadline for book 2 of my trilogy approaches, I'm even thinking of adjusting my goals to reflect this. The focus needs to be on getting this sequel out. However, for now, four writing days and one chapter a week is what I initially defined, and I'm sticking with that. It's Wednesday, and I've accomplished two writing heavy days out of four, and one editing heavy day. I'm blogging right now, so that leaves one more, and I've beta'd for someone this week. Maybe it's a stretch, but I'm going to count that towards my one book a week goal. Oh, who am I kidding? I also read Lori Brighton's The Mind Readers, which I loved. I have a reading problem. I just can't stop. Thank god for ebooks. I don't know how I managed the mortgage before .99 and 2.99 books. There are so many exciting new releases coming up. VJ Chambers just released a new one, and JL Bryan has the second Jenny Pox book coming out, not to mention his Haunted Ebook, which I haven't read yet. Who else? I know I'm forgetting something. Oh, right! Tabitha Suzuma's Forbidden should be here in the mail any day. I've heard nothing but good about that book, so much so that I actually bought a physical copy and had it shipped. I've been staring at the mailman like a sad starving puppy everyday he hasn't brought it. Snail mail sucks. Am I missing anyone? Shout out if you have a new release or want to recommend one, please. Help feed the monkey! And everyone have a good week! -VK