Sunday, January 31, 2010

I Have Stolen Someone Else's Life

Someone much more famous and fabulous than me. The kind of person who lands three book deals with Berkley and has a real office (not just a bed, and a laptop, and one of them things you can buy from bookstores so the laptop doesn't burn your kneecaps off) and who goes to conventions where people actually know who they are and there's more than nine people who like their work.

I've stolen that person's life. Or even someone less famous than that, someone who has just written something really interesting or weird or cool or has published in a few places and is worthy of notice. So worthy of notice that they get a review, on Dear Author.

Because that's what happened. I got a review, on Dear Author. And not just a DNF review or an F review, either. I got a B grade. Me! Less than nobody me! I'm a speck. I have two things of my own out. People were actually complaining that I didn't have a bigger backlist.

I would have squeezed stuff out of my right nostril, if I'd suddenly had the facility to pass published works through said orifice.

However, they weren't complaining that I didn't have a bigger backlist in the review comments. Oh no no no. Because apparently when you briefly steal someone else's life, you get the full works. And so my tiny little novella, Waiting In Vain, was #romwin-ed.

Which is basically like #romfail, only Jane from Dear Author takes an hour to talk about how orsum your book is, rather than how much it sucks, on Twitter. And everyone joins in. And I pass out.

I've passed out several times, since all this happened. I tried to type last night that I'd got a review, but it's really hard to make sense when your typing fingers have turned to jelly. I just don't know how three-book-deal-with-an-office-loads-of-people-know-who-they-are-has-written-something-interesting-and-cool person does it.

People keep commenting on how giddy I am, but I can't help it. I used to laugh at myself, for one day imagining that I would get a review on one of the big romance blogs. I'm so grateful, for everything that's come into my little life over the past couple of years. For the actual published stories and the people saying nice things and just everything. And to think, I almost didn't send Waiting In Vain to Total-E-Bound!

I shiver, thinking about that, now. Don't ever let that happen to you.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mancandy Monday: Tem and Aley

I know it's weird having characters you created as Monday Mancandy. I know it is. But I lo-ho-ho-ove them, all right?

They're the two weirdoes in the thing that's consumed me for the past couple of weeks- Past Pleasures. Which is set in the future, where women are non-existent and men are confused about the tingly feelings in their nethers.

And by confused I mean they all snog each other loads, and have no idea what to do when a woman time travels there.

You can see why this story would eat my soul, right? And also why I totally want to smother my main characters in Marmite and spread them on toast. I suppose it helps that they look a bit like this:

While wearing lycra bodysuits.

And also that I get to boss them around, in my head.


Why can't real life be like insane sci-fi?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Mancandy Monday: Rock My Socks Off

Well, technically it's going to be a Mancandy Monday that covers more than one thing written by Jeremy Edwards, but "Mancandy Monday: Stuff Written By Jeremy Edwards" sounded weird. And "Mancandy Monday: Jeremy Edwards" sounded even weirder. Sort of like I sit outside his house every night, in a tree, with night vision goggles on. And that's okay if it's Sharlto Copley we're talking about, because I almost never talk to Sharlto Copley and I don't care if he's scared.

But I care if Jeremy Edwards is scared, because he's orsum. And don't just take my word for it. Here are his own words, saying stuff, from the wonderful Laura The Laugher:

"She looked fancier in her near nudity than most women looked in ballroom gowns. The two-piece silk outfit that glimmered around her breasts and hips—it seemed too grand to be called a “bikini”—was two or three shades of watermelon deeper than the empty areas of the spotlight, falling somewhere between flamingo and vulva on the Pantone wheel. Hundreds of individual pieces of silk had been sewn together to form the garment, mimicking the texture of feathers and creating a ticklish effect for the observer."

See, Jeremy Edwards doesn't just describe things. He describes things in a way that a) gives you a clear and clean and exciting visual, and yet somehow, simultaneously, includes b) words and worlds and terms and things you've never heard of. How does he do it??

I just don't know. I always think of the term "wordsmith" when I think of Jeremy Edwards' writing, but somehow that doesn't seem adequate enough. "Wordking", maybe? Only saying "wordking" implies he sits on a throne and has a big crown and laughs when we can't understand his glorious technicolour tapestries of words, where as he has the absolute nerve to make his work accessible and sexy, too! Rock My Socks Off, the fabulous novel that is properly released today in the UK - yes, today! Why haven't you bought it yet?? -

- is so warm, charming, funny and sexy that I'd hate him, if he were not too orsum to hate. Because that's the thing about Jeremy Edwards. Not only is he a brilliant writer and some sort of Lord of the Erotica scene, he'll take the time to say lovely things about other erotica writers' work. He's not shy with his praise. And his praise is a thing to behold. Several times he's reduced me to tears of relieved happiness, though I want to be clear- I'm not writing this blog to return the favour. After all, Jeremy Edwards did write this:

"Her light summer skirt was just billowy enough that a hand could slip under it without unduly stressing the fabric. Whether a hand was or wasn't making itself at home beneath this sort of skirt could be a woman's own secret - and, of course, that of the hand's owner."

Which isn't even the sexiest, filthiest or most lyrical excerpt from Rock My Socks Off. It's just a bit I felt would leave you wanting more. It does, doesn't it. So you'd better go buy it, hadn't you.

Right now.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Winner and Excerpt!

I put the names in a "hat" (or my cupped hands) and drew out...

Justine Elyot!

Which is orsum, but also kind of embarrassing because she's my good mate and there's probably going to be an enquiry into the legality and veracity of this hat drawing. Especially as I used my hands. That's got to be questionable. Plus I used little scraps of post-it, which are in no way the official forms of hat drawing.

So to distract the Board of Hat Drawings, I'm going to a) give out another copy of Waiting In Vain, to the second person drawn from the "hat" b) post an excerpt from the aforementioned novella and c) flash a pic of some mancandy about!

Totally street legal, eh?

And the second person drawn from the hat was...

Janine Ashbless!

Who is also kind of a mate of mine. But just shut up, okay, because all three of the entrants are my friends! So what am I supposed to do? Argh, stupid enquiry!

Quick, check out this excerpt:

I always feel awkward at the Hennessey’s annual family Christmas get-togethers—maybe because I’m just the sister of a brother-in-law. I don’t have any family except for him, so I get to be the tag-a-long. But I guess this year my awkwardness isn’t quite so unwarranted, when you consider that the revoltingly handsome eldest son has his hand on my thigh, under the table.

I try to act cool. I’ve never had a hand on my thigh, under the table. Cathy—my brother’s wife—is telling a very funny story about the family’s trips to Bridlington, and her elderly Grandmother is doling out peas, which makes the experience even stranger.

Though it could be that he didn’t intend to put his hand on my thigh. Maybe he has some sort of inner ear problem, and thinks he has his hand on his own thigh. Maybe he thinks he has his hand on the thigh of his brother’s wife—Kelly, the cute little redhead. I mean, it could be that he’s having an affair with her and just didn’t look properly at the person he sat down next to at this heaving dining table.

But when I glance at him surreptitiously to confirm, he’s staring straight ahead at nothing as though everything’s just as it should be. His Gran offers him peas and he says, “Oh, yeah, thanks Gran.”

If only she knew what a devil he is.

I know his name, of course. The youngest is George and he’s Mick. Still not married and with something of a reputation. But if he thinks he’s going to splurge his reputation all over me he’s got another thing coming.

God, that hand is high up on my thigh. How do I get it off without looking like I’m getting it off? I’m in the middle of eating this fabulous Christmas Eve dinner, pork with apple sauce halfway to my mouth. I can’t just suddenly put my hand underneath the table.

They’ll all know if I do. He probably does this sort of stuff all the time. He’s tall and pouty-mouthed and masculine all at the same time, with these limpid, dark blue eyes that could steam off a pair of knickers from twenty paces.

Are you distracted, yet? No? Then quick, have some mancandy:

What did you mean, that's not hot? No wonder you work for the Bureau of Minor Competitions. You're insane.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Mancandy Monday: James Cameron

Shut up, all right. He's hot. He made Aliens, for God's sake! And yes, I know he also made Titanic. I know he did. But he made Terminator, as well, so I forgive him! I would forgive him anything, for Terminator and Aliens- two of the greatest movies of all time. If he had then masturbated in a paddling pool filled with play-doh for the rest of eternity, I would have forgiven him. Because he's James Cameron and he made Sarah Connor.

And yes, I know he seems really arrogant and like Hitler. But if Hitler had done that bit where the aliens are actually in the ceiling and they just don't know it, history might have judged him a little more kindly.

Though probably not. But even so- that bit is orsum! So James Cameron is this week's Mancandy. Especially as he's totally still got it. That man can tell a story, even when he's busy also fiddling with 3D doo-dads and fizzbongs and what-not.

Oh, and P.S. I have a free story featured in the January newsletter over at Total-E-Bound! So if you're interested in some free Charlotte Stein-ness, why not pop on over?



Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

Yes I am doing that fing. Here are my fings:

1. Drink more. Even though I don't drink.
2. Smoke more. Even though I don't smoke.
3. Eat more. Especially things that will turn me into The Blob. I intend to take over small town America in a Society/Slither type fashion by the end of the year. My insides will not be made of acid and/or people, however.
4. Write more. I intend to go for at least 3k a day, even though I am also going to be The Blob and typing may become difficult.
5. Send off to more places with stuff. This stuff may or may not be gelatinous. Important publishing types should expect extra jelly for their Christmas trifles.
6. Attack at gunpoint any publisher that dares to close. The gun won't be real, however. I feel my Blob-like status will be terrifying enough to make them forget things like profit margins.
7. Write more things that are as brilliant as Oglaf.
8. Fail at the above.
9. Read more. But not an 800 page Stephen King in two days, because this definitely causes blindness.
10. Review more. Especially movies. I adore movies, and hardly ever talk about them on my blog. Which is just madness, frankly, considering all the drivel I do ramble about.

I think that's enough for now. But know that I'm completely open to requests and suggestions. If you feel you know how Charlotte Stein could better serve the New Year and, indeed, yourself, drop her a line! Turning oneself into an amorphous mass doesn't take up that much time!