Big Funny, Big Prizes, I Like It!!!

Hey awesome peoples, I have a teensy favor to ask, and PRIZES to offer: if you have read Bigfootloose (or enough to have formed an opinion), pretty please leave a review.

Bigfootloose and Finn Fancy Free

Just one click on a link below and another click on some stars, then write a sentence or two about how it transformed your life and healed your chronic inability to speak Sasquatchese — or, you know, whatever you want.  Bing bang BOOM!  Taking a minute to leave a review is the best way you can help get Bigfootloose into the hands of folks who might enjoy it (or any book you read, for that matter).

Links to Review Sites:

Goodreads

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Powell’s (who also offers their own contest for people who leave comments!  Bonus!)

iTunes  (select “Launch in Application” at top of page)

 

And if you leave a good review with lots of stars, that will help offset those weird reviews where they give it only 2 stars because they reserve more stars exclusively for To Kill a Mockingbird and The Bible, or because the book was shipped a day late, or because when they dropped it on their foot it left a bruise, or because they thought Kevin Bacon would be narrating the audio version.

 

But of course, leave an honest review.  They all help.

 

In two weeks on APRIL 2nd (edited to actually be two weeks, not one) I will select* three random reviews, and three favorite reviews (most entertaining or eloquent or that makes me blush the brightest) and the six winners will win:

 

  • Your own pet Bigfoot, and a shiny $20 gift certificate for a bookstore near you.

PLUS EITHER

  • a shiny signed UK version of Bigfootloose,

OR

  • a shiny signed ARC version of Bigfootloose (though why the Arcana Ruling Council is printing copies I don’t know).

 

THANK YOU!!!

Links to Review Sites once again:

Goodreads

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Powell’s (who also offers their own contest for people who leave comments!  Bonus!)

iTunes  (select “Launch in Application” at top of page)

Bigfootloose UK and ARC

*Selection will be made from all reviews posted across all sites listed above with dates between (and including)  3/18-4/2/2016.  Favorites will be picked first, then the random drawings determined from remaining non-winners.  Reviews copied between sites will be entered once per site for the random drawing (increasing odds of winning), but can only win once.


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When Worlds Collide: Diversity in Fiction vs Drumpf

I see two major conversation streams in my world converging here: Diversity in fiction, and our current political circus.

Diversity in fiction is about many things, but one of those is that it allows us to experience lives unlike our own, and through that experience gain a deeper understanding of people who are different from ourselves, and the ability to empathize with other experiences. This applies across all media.

Perhaps if we had more popular media that shared an honest view of the Mexican immigrant experience, for example, we might not have a demagogue winning votes by promising to build a giant wall and kick people out of the country, or playing on other racial and religious fears.

Not saying diversity in fiction is THE solution to any problem, but this is just one example of why I feel diversity in media is actually important not just for any specific group who see themselves continuously ignored or badly stereotyped in media, not just for those who are marginalized or persecuted in society, but for everyone. Because we are all in this together — at least until we find a way to teleport to our own planet where we can mess it up however we want without affecting others.


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Finn Fancy Love Time: Ticking Clock Edition

Bigfootloose and Finn Fancy Free comes out February 16th.  This is a really critical and exciting time for the series! I hope you’ll join in the fun.

“So, this is your apartment?  Nice.  Where can I slip into something more comfortable?”

“Right over there, in the door past that copy of Finn Fancy Necromancy.  Oh my gosh, have you read it?  It’s REALLY exciting and funny an — uh, like you.  I’ll get the wine.”

Why do I give this fine example of Finn Fancy love?  Well, if you think it might be cool for the series to continue past book 3, continue reading.

Finn Fancy Force-omancy

This IS the book you’re looking for!

 

The Finn Fancy series is not in trouble, but it has reached its first critical test.  Whether or not Tor wants to publish more Finn Fancy books will likely be based on sales of book 1 and pre-sales/ sales of book 2 (Bigfootloose) over the next couple of weeks. Just because that’s how the industry works.

What this is:  Me asking you to take a few minutes to support Finn Fancy if you’ve read and enjoyed it, OR if dark and quirky contemporary fantasy is something that interests you and you MIGHT read it someday.  Or if you are just feeling generous toward me and want to support my dream, I suppose.

So if you DO want to help guarantee more Finn Fancy books, here’s what you can do, in rough order from most impact to least.  I’ve tried to make it easy:

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Finn Fancy Knitomancy: Gnome Hat Edition!

I think this counts as my first fan art!  Heather Seevers of NW Handspun Yarns knitted a Finn Fancy gnome hat!  And she created a pattern so you can do the same! :)

Heather Seevers of NW Handspun Yarns knits a Finn Fancy gnome hat!

Here’s the knitting pattern:

Finn Fancy Gnome Hatsy knitting pattern

I know that Heather’s also working with some folks on a new line of yarn specifically dyed in geek-friendly colors, like Police Box Blue, or based off of comic book colors, etcetera, so if you knit, keep a lookout for those!

There’s definitely some special knitting that goes on in Bigfootloose.  So I would LOVE for others to knit gnome hats and send me pictures of them. :)  Or, if you want to get crazy, you could knit a Bigfoot I suppose.  But they probably don’t look as nice on your head.


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Important Update: All the Awards I’m Going to Win in 2016!

It’s award nomination time!  AND THANK GAWD, I don’t need to ask you fine folks to nominate or vote for me or anything, because I already know all the awards I’m going to win this year.  The people behind the people behind the scenes have told me I’m a shoe-in.  So here’s the list.  Don’t be jealous.

 

2016 Locus Award for “Best Use of Magical 80’s Tech versus PTA Blood Witches”: (magical Casio calculator watch) from Finn Fancy Necromancy, by Randy Henderson.

2016 Locus Awardish Finn Fancy Necromancy

 

 

2016 Ricky for Best Line to Read in an Alan Rickman Voice*: “Bloody Mary, and make it as spicy as Shakira shaking her hips in a jalapeño field, please.” From Finn Fancy Necromancy, by Randy Henderson.

2016 Ricky Award

 

2016 Nebula for: Depiction of Gnomes Almost Awesome Enough to Make Us Forget the Travesty that was Gnomeo and Juliet:  Finn Fancy Necromancy, by Randy Henderson.

2016 Nebula Award Finn Fancy Necromancy

 

The 2016 Ziggy Award for Four Completely Random Lines of Dialogue from a Novel Best Sung Together like a Ziggy Stardust Song:

“Feet too, Stormer,” I said.  “You’re a loner, a rebel.”

“He drew me close and snuffled my head, surrounding me with his musky cedar scent.”

“I like that you look at me like I’m still that girl who didn’t know The Clash from The Cure.”

And Petey said,

“I took your Pacman watch.”

All lines from: Finn Fancy Necromancy by Randy Henderson

2016 Ziggy Award for Best Novel Lines

 

2016 Hugo for Best Novel Idea about Use of a Hugo: “Condom demonstration prop in sexual education class for cyborgs“, submitted by Randy Henderson, author of Finn Fancy Necromancy.**

2016 Hugo

 

Now I suppose if you have an empty slot after you realize that City of Stairs was 2014, and All the Birds in the Sky is 2016, you can actually add Finn Fancy Necromancy to your nomination ballot.  Not that I have any expectation of winning but oh boy could I have some fun pretending like I might for that brief month or so.

 

Or if not me, you can add your deserving-writer-friend-whose-book-you-haven’t-read-yet-because-let’s-face-it-it-just-isn’t-your-thing-and-you-have-so-much-to-read-already-but-you’re-sure-they-are-a-great-writer-and-wonderful-human-being.  That’s cool too.  That’s what I’ll probably do with that last slot on my own ballots.

(On a completely unrelated note, I define “deserving-writer-friends…” as folks who have eligible works for award nomination and happen to take me to a delicious meal and/ or offer a really good neck and shoulder massage.  Just saying.  No reason.)

 

There.  Done.  Phew.  Now I don’t have to do all that uncomfortable promotiony stuff about awards for the next several months.

 

PS:  All joking and Finn Fancy aside, you really should nominate the stuff you read and liked in 2015.  Those folks worked hard, are no doubt mired in Imposter Syndrome, and it really makes them feel good to have that work validated by nominations.

 

Ending Soonish Nomination details:

If you are a SFWA member, you can nominate for the Nebula Award until February 15th. Note the word-counts when nominating.  And you can also nominate for the Andre Norton award for YA books as well.

If you’re a member of the 2015, 2016, or 2017 WorldCons, you can nominate for the Hugo awards.  You’ll need your membership number (emailed to you by MidAmeriCon if you’re registered for 2016, or by Sasquan if you went 2015 but not going 2016).  And you’ll need a PIN, emailed to you by MidAmeriCon (and if you haven’t received it by Feb 5th you’re supposed to email them at hugopin@midamericon2.org).

 

Have fun!  And good luck to all the amazing authors who really do deserve an award.  I’ll probably list a few suggestions when I find the time again.

 

Cheers!

 

*You know you tried it.

**EDIT NOTE: I realized upon re-reading my post that the Hugo bit may be seen as me devaluing or desecrating the Hugo, a sensitive topic after last year.  Just wanted to say that’s not the case, I think the Hugos are awesome, and hope truly great works and good folks win the awards this year.  Left the joke though.  :)


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Book Club Finn Fancy Fun!

I’m having a blast visiting book clubs to discuss the Finn Fancy series.  Here’s a couple of photos (more to come):

Tacoma SFF Book Club

Greater Tacoma Scifi/ Fantasy Book Club

 

Bellingham SFF Bookclub

Bellingham Scifi/Fantasy Concern Bookclub

 

Seattle Book Club

Other Realms Book Group, Seattle

 

If you are in a book club, might I humbly suggest this is a great time for you to pick Finn Fancy to read? Here’s why:

* Reviews describe it as a fast paced and fun read full of laughs, laughs and more laughs — a great way to stave off those post-holiday winter blues!

* It came out in paperback January 5th!  Or you can get the Hardback for nearly the same price with all the deep discounts — WHAT A DEAL!  But wait, there’s more … 😉

* The sequel, BIGFOOTLOOSE AND FINN FANCY FREE, comes out February 16th!  So no long wait to see what happens next!

* If your book club is within reasonable driving distance, I’ll happily come join your discussion of the book if you’d like, and answer any questions you have!

* If your book club is in distant lands, or is online, I will happily participate in any online Ask Me Anything-style discussion you set up (e.g. via Skype, Google Hangouts, or invite me to your Meetup group or email thread, etc).

So when you all go to vote for what to read in next month, might I humbly suggest that Finn Fancy Necromancy (or Bigfootloose) is, if not the best choice, then the even besterest choice!

Finn Fancy Necromancy

Finn Fancy Tor US Cover

 

Bigfootloose Cover


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On “City on Fire” and Mocking Bad Writing

In my social media feed, a lot of people were sharing this post about City on Fire, a book with sentences so bad they are funny (much like entries into the Bulwer-Lytton “Dark and Stormy Night” contest but not intentionally so).

I laughed.  Then I learned about the author, and the history of the book.

I think we can learn a lot from this example, but not just about bad sentences.

City on Fire

WHEN I FIRST READ THE HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE SENTENCES:

First, yes, these sentences are pretty bad.  As in, this is a master class in bad sentences. I think an annotated version of this list that breaks down just why each is so bad would be very helpful for writers.

The examples range from pretty common writer errors like:

“But that was where the drawing ended. Below was just white space.” The problem here is stating something so redundant and obvious that it becomes ridiculous. So we can take this, and learn from it to make sure, for example, you don’t write something like “His heart beat in his chest,” because if you are human, where else would it be beating?

To a wide range of other issues as in these examples:

“Just then, a horripilating Scaramouche appeared at her elbow.”

Or

“Breasts like bronzed mangoes.”

In fact, there appears to be a lot of bad breast descriptions in the book.

 

 

HOWEVER:

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Some Finn Fancy Love Time

“So, this is your apartment?  Nice.  Where can I slip into something more comfortable?”

“Right over there, in the door past that copy of Finn Fancy Necromancy.  Oh my gosh, have you read it?  It’s REALLY exciting and funny an — uh, like you.  I’ll get the wine.”

 

Why do I give this fine example of Finn Fancy love?  Well, let’s play a quick Choose Your Own Finnventure:

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The Benefits of a Con Where Few People Came

Rustycon 2016 lights out

When the lights went out in the room due to the lack of bodies, we had to laugh.

 

I was a panelist at Rustycon this weekend, a lovely small local con run by very dedicated and passionate volunteers.   Unfortunately, several factors led to smaller than expected turnout — horrible Friday weather and traffic, every other person in the State apparently having the flu, and a Seahawks game on Sunday among them.  As a result, my panels all had two to five attendees.  The Guest of Honor’s had maybe fifteen.   I was lucky enough to have a handful of people at my reading, but several writers had nobody show.

I’m glad I went.

Like a lot of people, I’ve been crazy busy of late, essentially three-full-time-jobs level busy.  So there are those who might question whether a con where only a handful of people attended my panels might be seen as a “waste of time.”

But here’s why I don’t feel it was:

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The Fate of Grimdark the Grimdarian and the Rise of Shiny Fantasy

Like most people I think, I read by both taste and mood.  Sort of like how I eat.  Or make lo — uh, make the food I eat.

 

While I enjoy dark fantasy and so-called “grimdark” (official term and sponsor of the 2000’s Stuff Nobody Agrees What the Official Term Should Be For-athon), it feels like heavy lifting to me, as it is often filled with a sense of hopelessness, of fear, of pain, etc. that, even when cut with the occasional moment of joy, can still feel draining to read (at least for me).   I have to take my dark in small doses, like absinthe, or Carrot Top, or the awareness of my inevitable death.

Grimdark Hamlet

Swallow My Darkness!!!

 

Don’t get me wrong.  I think that Shakespeare guy has a real future with those crazy dark tragedies of his.  And when done well, “grimdark” can be satisfying reading in the sense that you feel these complex and sometimes uncomfortable emotions evoked by the work, and feel rewarded for that heavy lifting.  It also is able to explore deep and difficult themes and subjects in a more focused way than other fantasy, topics such as the darker side of human nature, moral ambiguity, torture, the origins of cruelty, etc.

 

In the words of that wise bard Trent Reznor, “I hurt myself today, to see if I still feel.”

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