Thursday, August 7, 2008

SHADES OF DARK Cyber-Launch Book Party!

Welcome, Blog Buddies, to Linnea Sinclair's THIRD Cyber-Launch Party. Her first one, for GAMES OF COMMAND, didn't survive the transferal from the old SCD blog. You can find the second, for DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES, by clicking on her name in the Directory. This one, of course, is for SHADES OF DARK, which is in stores right now. SHADES is book two after GABRIEL'S GHOST, which won the Rita for Best Paranormal Romace a couple years back. The third installment, HOPE'S FOLLY, comes out next year.
Before I get to Linnea's interview, I should probably tell you the party is held in the comments for this post. You might want to take this opportunity to put on your protective clothing. Steel-toed boots are recommended. Besides the Jukors from SHADES, the Klingons are already there sharpening their teeth. You have had all your shots, right? Rabies? Tarkalian Flu?
I sent Linnea some questions and she graciously answered them, even though she was busy getting ready to attend the Romance Writers of America national convention. I still haven't forgiven the RWA for not awarding GAMES OF COMMAND the Rita, by the way. Anyway, here's the interview-
Kimber An: Can you share the journey you took in creating SHADES OF DARK? Did you write GABRIEL’S GHOST knowing it would be the first in a trilogy? If so, did SHADES OF DARK follow directly in your head or come later? If not, what made you decide on a trilogy?
Linnea Sinclair: SHADES, as a lot of my readers know, was originally titled CHASIDAH’S CHOICE and was plotted out (roughly) shortly after I sold GABRIEL’S GHOST to LTDBooks of Canada back in 2001 (or so—I don’t remember exact dates). GABRIEL’S was always, to me, part of a larger story and not just the story of Chaz and Sully. I very much enjoyed working with LTDBooks but never got the chance to write CHASIDAH’S CHOICE due to my being acquired by Bantam just around the time LTDBooks closed. BANTAM bought GABRIEL’S GHOST, along with FINDERS KEEPERS and AN ACCIDENTAL GODDESS but there was no talk, during that first three-book contract, of any follow-up to any of the books. GABRIEL’S winning the RITA award, however, spurred me to talk with my agent and editor about the second book.
Bantam has not, to date, looked to me to produce series for them. Maybe they don’t feel I’m a series-kind of writer. Maybe they already have sufficient series. Whatever the reason, though I know (because they’ve told me so) that they would gladly look at any book ideas I have, the have—if not outrightly so, at least with gentle but firm nudging—let me know that sequels are what they’re interested in more than series. Maybe spin-offs is better word. I’m looking directly at my notes from a conversation I had with my agent on the matter: “Not series but linked characters.” Like the TV show Frazier was to Cheers.
That’s why HOPE’S FOLLY really doesn’t make it a trilogy. FOLLY contains many of the characters found in SHADES and GABRIEL’S but it’s not a continuation of Chaz’s and Sully’s story. There’s also one more book contracted in that universe, which, sitting here at this moment, I have a few vague ideas for but nothing plotted. I have to finish FOLLY first.
SHADES is a continuation of Chaz’s and Sully’s story. It starts just about three months after GABRIEL’S ends so it’s as if readers can take a short breather, hit the loo, grab another beer and jump back into the action. For that reason also, I highly recommend reading GABRIEL’S first. Otherwise much of what happens in SHADES will lack impact.
SHADES is a very intense story and, as a number of bloggers and reviewers have noted, darker in tone than most of my other books, like FINDERS KEEPERS or THE DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES. Sully has also been a darker, more complex character to me. SHADES and GABRIEL’S are also my only first person books to date. That’s also why the tone may seem different.

Kimber: It seems to me books in trilogies are published one right after another, but SHADES OF DARK was published nearly three years after GABRIEL’S GHOST. What’s with that? Are you concerned it will hurt reviews or sales?

Linnea: I guess one of the answers to your question is that it’s not a trilogy. The other is that FINDERS, GABRIEL’S and GODDESS were a three-book contract, so Bantam had to print and release all three before we could talk about whether they were even interested in more books from me. There’s no guarantee that just because a publisher buys one book from you that they’ll buy another. They released the first three, watched reviews, watched sales, watched the buzz. If that hadn’t pleased them, then there wouldn’t have been any more contract offers. SHADES was part of the second three-book contract I had with them and was slated for the last release in that trio because it was only plotted, not written. GAMES OF COMMAND had about 55,000 words already done (but not finished). THE DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES had about 35,000 words written (but not finished). SHADES has a two page plot outline. So when the deal was done, I went to work finishing those books that were the quickest to finish.
You need to understand that NY publishing houses have a list of books already in the queue months if not years ahead of time. Two years between contract and release is about par. There’s a ton of work required in producing a book. I go through—easily—three edits plus galleys. Then there’s cover art, back cover blurb and so on. So when a book is contracted, the powers that be then look at the next available opening they have in their queue and see if that time slot would work for the book. For example, if there’s a holiday themed book under contract, they’re going to release it around that holiday. So that may take up a “next available time slot” for another non-holiday book which then gets bumped to the next-next available time slot, and so on. They also look, I’m told, at what else is being released that month. Is there another book similar or with a similar title? They won’t release two books in the same month that could be confused for each other. So you then get next-next-next bumped.
THE DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES, which was released in November of 2007, was originally scheduled for August or September. But as I was working on meeting the deadline for that, I was injured in a car accident and two months later, my father passed away. Bantam quite generously understood there was no way I was going to make deadline so my editor and I agreed to bump back ZOMBIE which bumped back SHADES. Domino effect. As it was, if memory serves me, the only reason ZOMBIE got the November slot was the author slated for that slot couldn’t make HER deadline. Otherwise both ZOMBIE and SHADES would have been out several months earlier.
Yes, I’m concerned about sales and about confusion in reviews. Since Bantam doesn’t put “book two” on the cover, there’s no way for readers to know SHADES is book two, other than word of mouth, word of blog or by reading my acknowledgments pages which says…” To my readers, thank you for waiting for the rest of Chaz’s and Sully’s story, which started with Gabriel’s Ghost.” That little sentence was the brilliant idea of brilliant author Susan Grant, who’s had to do such things before when publishers wouldn’t put a book’s sequence on the cover. One more example of how I’d be lost without the help of such terrific sister-authors.
The upside, though, is that Bantam is releasing my backlist with all new cover art and switching me from the SF shelves to the romance shelves, which means hundreds of readers who’ve never read me will now find me, and have no clue there’s almost three years between GABRIEL’S and SHADES in release date. Honestly, you kids are so used to me that you don’t realize I’m still largely “Linnea who?” SFR—as I know you do know—is a small sub-genre. I’m still clawing my way into the light of recognition. I get fan mail every month from readers who just now found FINDERS KEEPERS or just now found GAMES OF COMMAND and have never read me before. Part of that is also distribution: I’m not in Target, Wal-Mart or the grocery stores, where drive-by readers can stumble upon you. I am in all major bookstores but for the romance reader who never ventures into the SF section, I’m an unknown.
So as far as a lot of romance readers go, I’m JUST showing up, 2006 RITA® -award win notwithstanding.
Kimber: SHADES OF DARK is a romance involving an established (though new) couple. Being a long-married person, I find this refreshing, but it seems rare in the Romance genre. Was there any resistance from your agent, editor, publisher, beta readers, or cats?

Linnea: None whatsoever. My editor loves the characters of Sully and Chaz and was totally pleased with the story. In fact, SHADES was the first manuscript that my copy editor ever wrote notes in the margins to tell me how I’d brought her to tears at certain places. I guess if you get kudos from a CE, who certainly sees tons of manuscripts, you’re doing okay.


Kimber: Oooh, that's so sweet!
Linnea: I really enjoyed writing Chaz and Sully as a “given” and not having to go through the whole “does /she like me?” stage in a book. I liked playing with the “have I lost my partner’s respect?” more than “does he find me hot yet?” At least to me, that’s more what most of us are going through at this stage in our lives. Keeping love alive is a lot harder than falling in love. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy JD Robb’s Roarke and Dallas. They have their ups and downs, they have their jockeying-for-position as will happen when two strong people get into a relationship. They have to deal with the balance of needs. I find that just as if not more so intriguing than “does he find me hot yet?”
Not that established lovers don’t have their share of heat. One of my favorite scenes in SHADES involves not only heat but the easy, teasing camaraderie that is one of the perks of an established relationship:


Sully sighed. “Chasidah, your emotions run very deep. When you get in that angry-but-protective mode, it’s such a mixture of the masculine and the feminine properties. An invincibility. A belief in what’s right. You have that like no one else I’ve met. And it’s...don’t laugh at me, but it’s exciting. Arousing. Your entire aura just shimmers. I call it your ‘captain in charge’ mode.”

“You get hot when I play captain?”

Hooded eyes met mine. “I get very hot when you play captain.” He moved closer, draping his leg over my thighs, showing me just how hot he did get.
“Well, in that case, I may have to ask for a raise.” I lifted the sheet. “Oh, look. I already got one.”

I made it onto the bridge with barely three minutes to spare before the start of my duty shift.
Kimber (fanning face): What sets SHADES OF DARK apart from GABRIEL’S GHOST? What will you say to readers who wonder if it’s ‘more of the same?’

Linnea: What sets SHADES OF DARK apart? About three months. In many ways, yes, it’s more of the same: more intense action, more edge-of-your-seat situations, more hard choices. It’s Chaz and Sully three months farther along in discovering each other (a lifelong process in a relationship) while outside forces pummel them relentlessly. It’s betrayal of family, of trust. It’s adversaries who surprise you with their friendship. It’s friends who attack because they know your weaknesses. In the midst of all that, it’s a story of the resilience of love.

Kimber: Cool.
Linnea: Just like Gabriel’s Ghost.
Kimber: Is there anything else we should know about SHADES OF DARK?

Linnea: Only that the author has a Yahoo fan group and loves to answer questions about her books there:

Kimber: When’s the third book HOPE’S FOLLY coming out? Can you tell us a little about it?


Linnea: HOPE’S FOLLY is due out end of February 2009, which may seem distant to some of you, but to me, on deadline and not finished writing it yet, it’s coming up much too quickly. I have only a few more weeks before I need to turn in the manuscript. An intravenous caffeine drip is looking pretty good right about now.
FOLLY came about because in the middle of writing SHADES, Admiral Philip Guthrie—Chaz’s ex-husband and Sully’s often nemesis—showed up in my office and perched on the arm of the overstuffed chair. He was trying hard, I know, to appear non-threatening. He wanted his story told, badly. He had a point. He’d had a rough role to play in GABRIEL’S. He was even shot. Then in SHADES, he found himself in a lot more trouble. A LOT. He really is a decent kind of guy and in a matter of two books, I’d taken away everything he’d ever worked for, everything he’d ever believed in. I was definitely not easy on him.
So he showed up in my office asking, very nicely, if his story couldn’t be told. On a little better note, if it wasn’t all that much trouble. He thought he had a lot to offer as a hero (he does). He just wanted a nice little space opera with a few deep-space shoot ‘em ups where he could come out the victor.
I agreed. I found him a ship. I gave him a mission. But I also threw in something—someone—else. Surprise. He also gets Rya. Here’s the official back cover blurb just finalized last week:
From RITA Award-winning author Linnea Sinclair comes a high-stakes interstellar adventure infused with thrilling romance.
Admiral Philip Guthrie is in an unprecedented position: on the wrong end of the law, leading a rag-tag band of rebels against the oppressive Imperial forces. Or would be, if he can get his command ship—the derelict cruiser called Hope’s Folly—functioning. Not much can rattle Philip’s legendary cool—but the woman who helps him foil an assassination attempt on Kirro Station will. She’s the daughter of his best friend and first commander—a man who died while under Philip’s command, and whose death is on Philip’s conscience.
Rya Bennton has been in love with Philip Guthrie since she was a girl. But can her childhood fantasies survive an encounter with the hardened man, and newly-minted rebel leader, once she learns the truth about her father’s death? Or will her passion for revenge put not only their hearts but their lives at risk? It’s an impossible mission: A man who feels he can’t love. A woman who believes she’s unlovable. And an enemy who will stop at nothing to crush them both.
Oh, one more thing. He also gets a cat.
Kimber: Gotta love a man who loves a cat. He does love the cat, right? So…what are Brandon and Sass up to these days? Do I hear the pitter-patter of little cybernetic feet on the command bridge?

Linnea: Paws, perhaps. Or most definitely paws. As for the rest, Kimber, you know me well. I write or try to write what I can write convincingly and with passion. Children or family-type situations are best left to other authors. Besides, given the danger inherent in most of my stories, I fear my readers would have Child Protection Services after me if I put young ones in those scenes. Dealing with assassination attempts and warships loaded with ion torpedoes doesn’t make for a reasonable or responsible Bring Your Daughter To Work Day.
I do realize children are born in the midst of war zones all the time on our planet. But I don’t want to feature that in my books, validating it as something readers should aspire to. To me, that’s sending a wrong message about the responsibilities of parenthood, especially as the technology in my books is such that children are a choice and not an oops. Given that state of Sass’s and Brandon’s “world,” I feel it would be very irresponsible of them to put a child at risk in a war zone on a war ship. The safety of that child would also put an additional burden on the crew. I know some people might find such a situation romantic. I find it horrifying. But then, maybe I spent a few too many years as a private investigator seeing some of the less-than-savory aspects of life.
The only other option—given the structure of my world building—would be the one Chaz rejected: bear a child, place it with a ‘droid nanny and pick it up seventeen years later. That was the childhood in many ways that Brandon had, and I don’t think he has fond memories of it.
So my HEAs don’t include diapers.

Kimber: Actually, I was hinting at a sequel for GAMES OF COMMAND, but that's all interesting stuff too!


The rest of yas, if you want to enter Linnea's drawing, you need to comment in the comment section with a working email. Here are the really cool prizes-

Also, pop over to Linnea's website to learn more about her other books-
There you have it, folks. And now on with the Cyber-Launch Party for Linnea...
"Susan Grant!"

Angelica, calm down.
"Gwyneth Bolton!"
Junior, I'm going to tell your parents on you. (Kimber sighs) Listen, both of you, Linnea doesn't mind sharing the limelight. You can tell everybody about MOONSTRUCK...
...and PROTECT AND SERVE, if you want to.
And now, I shall wave my fairy wand and..., wait, that's for Lisa Shearin's parties.
Okay, quick change here.

And now, I shall click on my mobile link to the Transdimensional Vortext Chamber and send you to the Cyber-Launch Party. Please be respectful of my younger friends (under 18), thank you!


Update: Much to my chagrin, Wierd Al has been tossed off the stage again. However, his replacement is reeeelly cute!


Soulja Boy's rocking the house now. Click on this link to enable-


Kimber An said...

Olivia leaps through the Transdimensional Vortex Chamber and smoothes a hand over her perfectly coiffed auburn hair. No sooner has she done so than Weird Al music rattles her spine and she spins around.

Kimber An is on stage, rocking out with Weird Al, singing, “I’m so White & Nerdy.”

Olivia groans and catches forehead in hand.

“Mooooom…” Junior walks over. “Make her stop! Gwyneth Bolton will be here any minute!”

“Susan Grant! This party is for Susan Grant to celebrate the release of MOONSTRUCK!” Angelica leans on the counter, X-wing fighter helmet in hand. “Just look at Kimber An. She tells us we have to be on our best behavior because Susan makes Science Fiction look cool.”

They all look at Kimber doing the Hokey-Pokey with Weird Al. “’You put your right foot in, you take your right foot out, you put your right foot in and you shake it all about. You do the hokey-pokey and…”

Junior rubs her chin. “I wonder if the Hokey-Pokey really is all it’s about?”

Sierra, Angelica’s mother, picks up Kimber’s clipboard. “Oh, it’s all right. She’s had too much super-turbo coffee and got it into her head that she’s Weird Al’s twin sister separated at birth and now they’re finally getting in their brother-sister bonding time.”

Kimber croons, “’Little Melvin has a natural obsession, asking for Prince Albert in a can…’”

“I’ll fix this.” Olivia grabs the megaphone and lets it peel. “Kimber An? Princess Leia and Han Solo need you to babysit their twins.”

“Babies?” Kimber lets Weird Al fall into cow poo while singing, ‘We’ve been spendin’ most our lives living in an Amish Paradise…’ She runs down from the stage. “Where? Where?”

“They’ll arrive soon.” Sierra hands her the clipboard. “In the meantime, don’t you have a Cyber-Launch Book Party to get ready for?”

“Oh, right.” Kimber clicks her pen. “Has the Intergalactic Bar & Grille Shipment arrived yet? Linnea Sinclair will be here any minute!”

“No, no! Susan Grant!” Angelica slams her helmet down on the counter.

Kimber sighs. “Angelica, we’ve talked about this. Linnea knows how to share. So, just chill. Now, go get Tom Cruise.”

“Tom Cruise.” Angelica watches Kimber studying the clipboard and a wicked gleam lights her eyes. “Okay. Nooo problem.” She strides through the Temporal Vortex Chamber.

shelia said...

I wanted to stop by the party and say Hi. Thank you guys for the thorough interview. I now have a few more books I need to add to my reading pile.

Here's a cyber cheer coming your way :)

Gwyneth Bolton said...

It's a party! Yay! How's it going everyone? Congrats to all the authors with new releases.

much love and peace,


Demon Hunter said...

Congratulations, Linnea. I remember hearing about you on your agent's blog. :-) Can't wait to read it.

Congratulations to all of the other author's as well. ;-)

Kimber Chin said...

Woo hoo!
Did someone say party?
Dang it, I missed the hokey-pokey.

Kimber An said...

"Ahhh! Gwyneth!" Junior waves heartily over a group of dancing mummies.

Kimber An hooks arm with Kimber Chin to dance the Hokey-Pokey. "I'm always up for Hokey-Pokey, yanno. It's my best dance."

Sierra hands mugs of hot coffee to Shelia and Hunter. "The breakfast buffet is over there. Better line up now if you like your Klingon Blood-Worms raw and wigglin."

Lisa Shearin said...

Lisa kicks the door open, her hands full with a box filled with freshly caught Tribbles (a Klingon party snack request). Three goblins follow in her wake, lean and leather-clad, and wearing uber cool shades against the morning sun. (Goblins don't do mornings, especially not these goblins). Goblin dark mages Kontar and Tau enter behind Lisa and scan the room. When they deem it all clear, they hold the door open for their boss -- Tamnais Nathrach.

Lisa tosses the Tribbles (aka party snacks to be) on the bar. "Kimber An, this girl needs some strong coffee bad. And the boys here want expresso shots -- doubles." She looks around, peering into the dark corner booth that Linnea likes. "Is she here yet? I want to congratulate her on yet another amazing book!"

Robyn said...

Weird Al is fine; just don't let any stray Vulcans start playing. They're not soothing, they're depressing.

Congrats to all the authors!

Linnea Sinclair said...

"Coffee? Does anyone have coffee? Oh, hey there, Kimber, Olivia. Junior." Linnea wanders in then sniffs the air. "Coffee? Sorry, was up to 3AM working on HOPE'S FOLLY. Have about 40,000 more words to write so I can make the September 1st deadline and..." She stops, realizing Kimber and Lisa are sendind odd glances in her diection.

She looks down. Slag it all. She's still in her pajamas. Mutts cartoon pajamas, to be exact. "Well, they organic cotton and uber-comfortable," she announces, plucking at the cropped pants. "And there's a furzel...uh, kitty on them."

Sierra strolls over with a large mug of coffee. Linnea leans hungrily into the aroma. "Ahhhh. That should help my brain kick into gear. Pardon me whilst I slurp happily here."

Gwyneth Bolton said...

Mimosas anyone?



Tia Nevitt said...

I stopped over in Arizona again on my way to Alaska, and grabbed some chips and salsa from my favorite Mexican resturant, Mi Amigos, which is unfortunately confined to the Southwest.

[checks out the goblins]

Ack! A word verification captcha! Death to the captchas!

Mystery Robin said...

Ooo, coffee. Robin is enjoying a mug of coffee with Linnea while three little aliens spin around her ankles. They look vaguely familiar...

"Congratulations on your release!" She says to Linnea as the steam swirls around her face. Ahhhh.... coffee.

Robin plans to trek over to her favorite Barnes and Noble and look for Linnea now in the romance section before taking her space ship on a trans-universe trip this evening.


Kimber An said...

"Oh, Lisa, thank goodness you're here." Kimber places the box of Tribbles under the counter. "Here." She hands one Tribble back to Lisa. "You might want to keep one handy in case the Klingon females get a little over amorous with your buddies there." She waves to Robyn and points to Wierd Al locked in a confinement chamber with Junior standing guard. She shrugs. "Does Mimosa go with chips and salsa?" She leans over to check out Robin's three little aliens. "Awww, they're cute."

Katie-Nana, a nanny who never quite got over it, leaps through the Temporal Vortex Chamber.

Kimber hands her a serving tray.

Katie-Nana looks rather insulted. “Nannies do not serve drinks.”

Kimber sighs. “All right. You’re in charge of crowd control.”

Marianne said...

I tried sneaking in the back door to leave my offerings of adoration to the literary goddess... but... damn mind readers...

Congratulations. Spring is a LOOOONG ways away!


Linnea Sinclair said...

::Linnea settles down in a chair, props her lime green Crocs on a table top and sips coffee from a mug emblazoned with the words YOU!!! OFF MY PLANET::

Ahhh. Sweet nectar of the gods.

By the way, the cover art for HOPE'S FOLLY is just in. If you belong to my Yahoo Group, you've already seen it.

I'll try to get the file up for viewing by everyone else shortly. ;-)

Linnea Sinclair said...

Okay, here's the link to see the HOPE'S FOLLY full cover flat:


Kimber An said...

"Hi, Marianne!" Kimber An slides a Romulan Ale down the bar to her. She leans over to examine the cover of HOPE'S FOLLY. "Ooh, Linnea, so pretty."

Olivia walks by, toting her multi-vector attack rifle.

Kimber wads up a napkin and pelts her with it to caputre attention. “Olivia, who’d we get for security guards?”

“The Weird Faceless Puppet Creatures from the movie, 'Night at the Museum.'”

“What happened to Attila the Hun and his buddies?”

“The Klingon females.” Olivia thumbs over her shoulder.

Kimber cranes her neck to see the Klingon females gathered around a table, sharing blood-wine with Lisa Shearin’s goblin hotties. They break into a drinking song which booms over the dance music.

Gerb said...

Linda peeks at her emails during her Backspace Conference workshop and is drawn into the merriment of the online party. She glances up at the guest panel and turns slightly to the side so she won't have to see their questioning expressions as she chairdances in the back row.

She checks out the cover of Hope's Folly and an audible oooo! escapes her lips. Others turn and stare. She ignores them.

She giggles while reading through the posts.

Perhaps she should duck out into the hall...

Great party, Kimber An! CONGRATULATIONS, Linnea!!!

Heather said...

With a deafening roar, The Galaxy Express bursts into the Transdimensional Vortex Chamber. The obsidian locomotive stirs up clouds of cosmic dust as it rumbles to a stop.

Passengers disembark and with excited shouts head straight to the party. After waving to all the assembled guests, Heather walks over to Kimber An and gives her a hug. She presses special anti-inflammatory capsules for tendonitis sufferers into her hand. “These are from a secret government lab on planet Kjuig. Agent Z smuggled them out for you!”

Then she walks over to Linnea’s table and pushes over a package. “On the way over, I picked up a sleek new intravenous coffee drip kit for you from a mining colony in the Koronis asteroid belt—the most advanced of its kind. Those miners know a thing or two about needing to stay awake! Plus, they're beefcake hot from handling all that, I digress. But the coffee is from Peet’s!”

Linnea, congratulations on the new release! Many happy sales! That was a really great interview and I appreciate all the work that you and Kimber an put into this gathering.

(did someone just mention NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM?! Raise your hands if you’re salivating for the sequel, BATTLE OF THE SMITHSONIAN!!)

Anyway, let me go get some java and then I’ll be back with some questions and comments.

Kimber An said...

Kimber An flings a whole tray of brandy shotglasses into the air. "There's a sequel? I love that movie! I swear I've had dreams like that all my life!" She rushes away to look 'Battle of the Smithsonian' on the Internet.

Meanwhile, a cloud of Tribbles cover the dancefloor as the little furballs rush in to lap up the brandy.

Kimber An said...

"It's true! It's true!" Kimber An leaps onto a table and starts dancing to the 'Night at the Museum' theme song, 'Come Alive with Me' by Keke Palmers. "Here's the link-

Patty said...

Hi Kimber An, Linnea, everyone, great party! I just stopped in to say a quick "Hi!" Great interview guys- I can't say enough terrific things about SHADES. Well, I have to scoot for now. I need to pick my daughter up from dance class, but I'll stop by later for sure. Don't have too much fun without me!

Kimber An said...

Here's the link to the Keke Palmer song from the movie-

Michelle Moran said...

Okay, Okay. Sorry I'm late. I just got back from a three day trip, rushed to the computer, and had to stop by to give my HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Linnea :]

Michelle Moran said...

Um... may I also add that Linnea... you are seriously prolific!

Heather said...

Questions for Linnea:

Did anything surprise you about Chaz & Sully's relationship as you wrote SHADES, or was it pretty much the progression as you envisioned it originally?

I also enjoy stories where established couples go on space adventures and end up in peril. Is that a trend you'd like to continue in your work or will you just go where the muse takes you?

Does your editor ever say you have an actual word count limit?

If any of your fans wish to write about their appreciation of your work to your publisher, is there a specific email they can use?

You mentioned that there are many romance readers who have yet to discover you. The same undoubtedly goes for other SFR authors and gosh darn it, the genre itself could use more visibility.

Since there are a number of active SFR sites now (e.g., Spacefreighters’ Lounge, The Galaxy Express) plus your Yahoo group as well as threads at Shelfari (thanks to Lisa Paitz Spindler) and, do you have any ideas or a wish list about how we can leverage these fan bases to help spread the word?

Heather jumps back onto the dance floor and rocks out a la Napoleon Dynamite to Keke Palmer!

Kimber An said...

"Hi, Patty! Have an ale on the house."

"Michelle, I was wondering what happened to you when your mummy buddies came in without." Kimber leans over the bar. "Oh, dear, the Tribbles are playing with Bob's head again.

They all look to see the furballs tossing a mummy's head back and forth while the mummy tries to get it back.

"They always get like that when they've had too much to drink and, yanno, I just spilled brandy on the dancefloor."

Linnea Sinclair said...

Hey kids,

Thanks for all the nice comments! I'm very appreciative of them, especially as I'm up to my eyebrows in deadline hell. ;-)

Heather, you pose some nice Qs. I'll do what I can to answer them:

**Did anything surprise you about Chaz & Sully's relationship as you wrote SHADES, or was it pretty much the progression as you envisioned it originally?**

SHADES turned out--pardon the pun--darker than I'd somewhat forseen. I knew about Del and I knew what issues he'd bring to the table. I also knew that Sully had much to atone for, going back to GABRIEL'S GHOST. Still, his slip into "the dark side" was tough for me because I knew the pain that would result. Just because it was part of his growth didn't make it any easier. But I think he and Chaz are--if not the better for it--wiser. And it cements their relationship more deeply.

I also enjoy stories where established couples go on space adventures and end up in peril. Is that a trend you'd like to continue in your work or will you just go where the muse takes you?

I actually would prefer to write established relationships, yes. Maybe it's because at my age, "Does he think I'm hot" isn't a workable question. When you've been married almost 30 years, "Hot" pales in comparision to the depths of a long term relationship that includes emotional support, respect, understanding and honor. It's easy to fall in love in the early stages, the good times. Love surviving the bad times is much more interesting to me.

Does your editor ever say you have an actual word count limit?

Well, yeah! I thought everyone kinda sorta knew that about novels. 100K is the relative goal. I generally run about 110K which is still in the ballpark. GAMES OF COMMAND topped 135K and was cut back to 125K and that was pushing Bantam's acceptable limits. So yes, I need to write two complete story arcs (romance and adventure) in 100K words.

If any of your fans wish to write about their appreciation of your work to your publisher, is there a specific email they can use?

Haven't a clue in a bucket ::ka -ching to Paula on my loop:: Anyone can find out my editor's name by reading the acknowledgments page in my books. Random House has a Contacts page
but it doesn't specify how to reach an editor. I'm not comfortable giving my editor's private email out. I guess one could send a general email to Bantam with her name in the subject line. I know she's received missives that way before (at least, I know of one). Other than that, I do routinely forward batches of nice emails to her and to my agent, so anything sent to me in that regard she may eventually see.

**You mentioned that there are many romance readers who have yet to discover you. The same undoubtedly goes for other SFR authors and gosh darn it, the genre itself could use more visibility.
Since there are a number of active SFR sites now (e.g., Spacefreighters’ Lounge, The Galaxy Express) plus your Yahoo group as well as threads at Shelfari (thanks to Lisa Paitz Spindler) and, do you have any ideas or a wish list about how we can leverage these fan bases to help spread the word?

I adore my blogger buddies and am so incredibly grateful to you all. I think the word is spreading on the Internet and to those who are blog savvy. The problem comes for the less than Internet savvy readers, or those who don't chose to spend the time cyber-crawling that we do.

For that area, word of mouth is needed in your local bookstores. I have fans who often find my books and "face out" copies (publishers pay extra $ for that position). Of course, clerks later face them in but for a few hours, an author you like has free advertising, so to speak. The other thing is to educate you local book clerk to the fact the genre exists at all. A list of 'read alikes' is always helpful--ie: if you love Susan Grant's or Robin D Owens' books (and who doesn't?) then try Linnea Sinclair. Same is true of libraries.

Word of mouth, though, is really the thing. When MOONSTRUCK came out, I carried it everywhere and made it highly visible, reading while I waited in the grocery store line, for example. And I'd nod to the person behind me, with "Great book!" as I flashed the cover in front of their face.

Exposure, pure and simple.

Thanks for the great questions! Now I have to get back to Philip and Rya... ;-)

Kimber An said...

Linnea speaks truth. I have a GAMES OF COMMAND sweatshirt she gave me after the first Cyber-Launch Party and I've lost count how many times I've talked about her books because of that shirt. Wish I could ask for another shirt, but I live in a conservative community. I don't think the new, more passionate covers would go over well on a 'sweet little mama' like me with all her chicks in tow.

Agent Z. said...

Agent Z. arrives, fresh from her latest mission, fashionably late, looking stunning in skin-tight polyester.

Ladies! I bring you a posse of gorgeous, geeky, scientist types, who are all in need of dance partners. Grab the one you fancy!

Sinks a shot, gets up on the dancefloor, and starts shakin' her thang.

Ciara Gold said...

Oh too fun! I don't know which was more exciting. Reading Linnea's blog or crashing the party to read through the comments. Sorry, I'm late. Been out of town (on a serious shopping mission), but wanted to stop by and wish Linnea much success!

I confess. I bought my first Linnea book yesterday (An Accidental Goddess) so I'm looking forward to reading it. There wer so many to choose from, I commanded and off-worlder to help me decide. Off to mingle a bit and sip on my Wild Blue. Big Grin

I hope this doesn't post three times, but alas, I've tried three times and it won't go through. Hmmm, fourth time's a charm they say.

Kimber An said...

"Good job, Agent Z. I was afraid we were getting a little lop-sided on the dance floor. It got a little slippery too, until the Tribbles lapped up all that brandy." Kimber waves. "Hi, Ciara! Glad you could make it. Sorry about the Temporal Vortex Chamber not letting you through. I'll get R2 D2 on that right away."

Angelica leaps through the Temporal Vortex Chamber with a very pale Tom Cruise as Lestat the Vampire. His long hair is white and he has fangs. “She’s right over there.”

Kimber is talking to Obi Wan. “You were so hot in Attack of the Clones. What happened?”

“You know dialogue isn’t one of George’s strengths,” says Obi Wan. “There simply wasn’t time to…”

The Vampire Lestat lunges at Kimber’s neck, fangs flashing.

Without looking, Kimber shoves an apple into Lestat’s mouth. “Well, editing does take time, you know. I think George is an impatient editor.”

Obi Wan folds arms on the bar as Lestat tries in vain to dislodge the apple. "Angelica is at it again, I'm afraid."

"So it would seem." Kimber turns to Angelica. "I told you - I don't like blood-sucking dead guys! He's going to drip on my dancefloor and do you know how hard it will be to get the stain out?"

Angelica grumps, folds her arms, and walks away.

"I meant Tom Cruise from TOP GUN!" Kimber sighs.

Meanwhile, Lestat staggers backwards, trying to pull the apple out of his mouth.

Heather said...

Linnea, thanks for your answers! I fumbled the question about word count...I meant to ask that given you're published by a traditionally SF imprint, do you have more flexibility re: word count?

Last night I finished a 766 page novel (uh, not an SFR) so the issue was on my mind. I just discovered today that Sherrilyn Kenyon's newest release is 728 pages (eyes popping). Now I don't want to read a 700 page book every month, but I do like a meaty 375-500 pages when it comes to SFF/SFR.

So I guess I'm saying I'd have no problem if romance publishers increased the word count to allow for more plot for SFR books.

Z, you look absolutely fabulous!

Heather breaks out a bunch of roller skates and passes them around. After strapping on her neon blue pair, she promptly crashes into the nearest wall. D'oh!

Heather said...

Heather's eyes pop as she spots Obi-Wan and Lestat--arms linked--flying by on their roller skates.

Obi-Wan is eating the apple.

Shakes her head slowly. "This would happen only at one of Kimber An's Cyber parties!"

Ciara Gold said...

Oh, my bad. I flashed the wrong ID at the doorman. No worries, the sexy Stargate foursome provided escort. It's all good now.

Wow, of wow. Peers around at the fabulous designer wear for aliens. What a nice collection of bizzare threads. Oh, I'm gonna have to get me one of those - see, the whispery, layered look. Yep.

Of course, I must mingle quickly. Not much time before Scotty beams me to another planet. (I've a hot date with my son.)

Ciara Gold said...

OMG, Heather. over 700 pages? I think I'm in awe.

Agent Z. said...

*mops brow - maybe skin-tight polyester is living a little TOO dangerously*

Ms. Sinclair - I have a question or two.

1) I just finished reading 'Rimrunners' by CJ Cherryh. I loved it! Someone told me you are a huge Cherryh fan. I have quite a backlist to tackle. Could you help me out and tell me the names of the five novels you would select as her best?

2) On a similar note, which writers do you consider to be your main influences - on the romance side, as well as the SF side?


Kimber An said...

Kimber hands the Borg Queen her drink. "You know, they make light sabers that way on purpose. Why did you have to re-animate Lestat with nanoprobes?"

The Borg Queen waves to Darth Vader.

"You were showing off? That's disgusting!"

"What your complaining about?" Angelica grabs a serving tray. "Now, he doesn't have to suck blood and ruin your dancefloor dripping it all over the place."

Just then, two gigantic Jukors charge out of the Temporal Vortex Chamber.

"I beg your pardon?" Katie-Nana walks over. "Kindly wipe your feet please." She points at the floor-mat.

"Uh, Katie-Nana, I think maybe we should let Linnea handle these dudes." Kimber drags her back behind the bar. "Dang, I'm fresh out of Klingon disruptors."

Linnea Sinclair said...

Z, I love the entire FOREIGNER series by Cherryh, so that goes way beyond your alloted book count. ;-) I also love her Chanur series. Then there's SERPENT'S REACH (probably one of the more romance sub sub plots), HELLBURNER, TRIPOINT and MERCHANTER'S LUCK.

Hit a used book store and find her Merovingen Nights series. Fantasy with a strong romantic subplot. Tough to find, though.

Heather, limited flexibility. 100-110K words.

Z, again, my main writing influences? Hmmm. I enjoy several authors immensely but I can't say they define or contribute to my stuff. I read Anne Perry, PD James, Julie Czerneda, David Weber, Carole Nelson Douglas, Arthur Conan Doyle, JD Robb.

My voice is very much the same one I've always had. If you dug out stuff I wrote (Trek fan fic) in my late 20s, you'd recognize it as me immediately. (Some of it's on my site in my free short stories section in the Bar.)

I've read Regency romances on vacations fairly consistently over the past 20 years but not based on author, but rather based on cover art and back blurb, and what was available in the supermarket. I've read very few contemporary romances, very few historical romances. I did read Harlequin Intrigues much in the same way I read Regencies--whatever fell into my shopping cart. But being a retired private detective, many of the stories and depictions not only of PIs but of cops annoyed me. ;-)

I do like Sue Grafton's books very much.

I realized now I'm sadly lacking in the romance reading department.

My favorite movies, though, are Casablanca--well, any Bogie and whoever ones, as well as anything with Cary Grant. I wept openly at the play, South Pacific, as a child. "Some Enchanted Evening" still gets me all misty-eyed.

So does Nat King Cole singing "Unforgettable." (and most of these in their originals were before my time--I guess I'm a bit retro.)

Today, Michael Buble makes me swoon.

So does Enrique Igelsias singing Let Me Be Your Hero.

If my character Branden Kel-Paten (GAMES OF COMMAND) had a theme song, that would be it.

I think that's more where the romance edge in my books comes from.

Does that help?

Mikey said...


Adjusts his wide brimmed golf hat, leans his golf bag in the corner and pulls up a chair in the corner, clutching his vente charbucks decaf. You can just make out the grey and white spotted treecat sitting on Mikey's padded shoulders.

Congrats Linnea!!!

Can't wait for Folly :)

Mikey said...

Oh, forgot to ask, anyone have any celery for Slash (my treecat)? I forgot to pick some up at the nearest interplanetary trade depot.

Sits back watching Kimber An on stage.

Heather said...

ciara, it was a freakin' excellent book so it flew by like it was only 200 pages.

Great questions, Z! I love SOUTH PACIFIC! Linnea, there's your next book--South Pacific in space! Holy palm trees! I'd love to read something like that.

Heather slips SOUTH PACIFIC and NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM into the dvd player so everyone can watch them back to back.

Kimber An said...

Kimber salutes Mikey. "And now for my next song with Wierd Al, 'Living with a Hernia.' I'm not living with a hernia, by the way, but anyone who suffers chronic pain will relate. One warning, if you're pregnant don't listen unless you WANT to go into labor. One, two..." She notices the Predator walk in. "Hey, Walt! How's it going?"

The Predator growls and rumbles, showing his long teeth in what could be interpreted as a grin.

"What? Again? You two have nine kids already! Haven't you figured out what causes that yet?"

The Predator growl-chuckles and pulls up to the bar.

Kimber covers her eyes. "Okay, that's not an image I want in my head right now." She waves to Sierra pouring lemonade for the rollar-blading disco aliens. "Can you get a vodka for Walt? It's on the house. His wife laid a new clutch of eggs."

Sierra's face lights up. "Oooh, congratulations!"

Kimber An said...

Kimber waves to Heather. "On with the song!"

Patty said...

Hey, everyone, sorry it took me so long to get back! Hi, Mikey!

Look what I snagged on my way through the Temporal Vortex Chamber: a pitcher of margaritas. Whoo hoo! Come on over!

Say- I heard Lisa Shearin brought that hunky goblin Tamnais Nathrach with her this morning. Is he still here? Since it's dark now, he should have his sunglasses off. Hmmm, where could he be....

Mikey said...

OMG. I just watched that video.
Once I got the tears out of my eyes and picked myself off the floor, I sent it to my shotlink chairman who has a inguinal hernia.

Hmmm. Got any non-alcoholic margaritas?

Agent Z. said...

Anyone for a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster?

Thanks for answering the questions, Linnea. I've written down all the Cherrye recs. I hope I can read my own handwriting in the morning.

You throw a mean party, Kimber An!

Anonymous said...

booting the door open, carrying a shot glass and a beer mug--Is Sin around?, and festooned with computer networking cables, and pieces of slagged computers.... AND a blowtorch. Time to put certain machines out of their misery. Ever hear a computer that sounded like a military get engine? Turn it on and instead of acting like a computer and booting up, the fan whirs into high... that's ONE of the reasons for wanting a boilermarker.
As for tribbles, tribble 'n Klingons don't like one another! Besides, there's this blowtorch. Anybody else wanna toast some slagged computers and network cables?? (Don't torch the tribbles though, burnt tribble fur probably reeks!)

Kimber An said...

anon, yeah, burnt Tribbles reek to high heavens! However, you should keep your blow-torch handy for the Jukors.

All right, everyone! It's almost night-night time way up here in Alaska, so I'm gonna put names in a coffee can to draw out a winner. Be back in a minute to announce.

Kimber An said...

Okay, my eldest child has drawn a name out of the coffee can. I will now contact the winner and let you all know when he or she knows he or she has won.

In the meantime, you all can party, but I'm going to bed!

Sweet dreams.

Ranurgis said...

I guess a lot of readers still haven't tumbled to the sci-fi for women books. I haven't even seen many in the bookstores in my area and none of Linnea's have been available. There's only one in my city library system, "Wintertide" which I read and very much enjoyed a couple of years ago.

I'd love to read more and I'll continue my efforts to get some in. Unfortunately, I just don't have the funds to buy them.

Maybe I'll win a copy.

Susan Grant said...

Hey all! Wow, what a do! Kimber, you sure know how to put on a party. (puts down suitcase then straightens, blinking). Been in revision hell all day. The characters finally let me go off to have some fun. Say, we authors need a union to protect us from work-aholic characters. "Drink...I need a drink!" (accepts an oddly colored liqueur from a tall furry creature) You invited wookies? Do you have any idea how they party? Kimber, youre going to have a hell of a mess. (looks around, swallows) looks like you already do. "Linnea!" Gotta go say hi to Miz Brillance. And wish her a fab run with Shades. She deserves every success--amazing storyteller, fantastic friend. None better than her, I tell ya. (picks up suitcase) This? Oh, gotta go pack. Tomorrow i go into my telephone booth to change from author back to pilot. Headed to Sydney late tomorrow. But first, "Hey Chewie--how about another one of those? And have you seen your cutie pal Han around?" (walks off hopeful enroute to Linnea at the bar)

Scifibookcat said...

Love the books Linnea, and you have my support for facing out books in section and placing your books in the Queue (register) Line at work, not to mention hand selling. Good luck on making your deadline.

Kimber An said...

Kimber An awakes beneath a pile of Risa Chocolates wrappers. Gripping the edge of the bar, she pulls herself up as the wrappers slide off. Leaning hard on both arms, she reaches over a leg and kicks the Super-Turbo Coffee Machine. "Where is that Intraveneous Coffee Drip thing that Heather gave me?" She looks one way, eyes bloodshot and only partially open, and then the other. The Machine shoots out the first cup and she guzzles it down.

Finally able to stand up straight, she sees midnight guests chatting to the mummies and zombies who, after all, never sleep because they're already dead. She waves and props chin in hand, elbow on counter and coffee cup firmly in hand. "'Mornin', all. You know, Ranurgis, you can ask your local library to order whatever SFR books you want. When I first moved here, they had Susan's but none of Linnea's. I pointed out to the librarians that the library was across the street from two military bases full of powerful women who needed a little more in their Romance novels than drawing room antics. The bookstores and grocery stores around here already knew better."

Kimber fills a tray of banana nut muffins and carries it out to the new guests. "I've turned books face out. I've even carried books from the Romance aisle to the Science Fiction aisle. Most of the SFR readers I know found SFR in the Science Fiction aisle. Many of them won't go into the Romance aisle. I think the Internet is mostly responsible for the cross-pollination. We're able to mix things up easier out here. It can be safely assumed that readers of anything SF-flavored are computer-saavy. Anyone who wants to follow what SFR readers are thinking and wanting should start with Heather's blog,

Well, that's it." She yawns. "Gotta get breakfast on the table in the Real World."

Just then, Angelica bounds in, flight helmet under her arm. "Hey, me and Susan Grant just blew up the Death Star! It was totally freakin awesome!" She flails hands around. "Ka-boom! That thing went up before Luke even got there. Did you know X-wing fighters are faster than standard Romulan fightercraft?"

Kimber blinks. "Susan was here?" She looks around. "Dang. Missed her again." She watches Angelica link arms with a wookie and stroll towards the coffee machine. "Well, thanks for stopping in, everyone, but the party's over. The Wierd Faceless Puppet Creatures will be here any minute with fire hoses to clean up the place. See you elsewhere in Cyberspace!"

Coffee cup in hand, Kimber staggers through the Temporal Vortex Chamber and vanishes in a flash of white light.

DeAnn G. Rossetti said...

Hey all, ::::waving at all the characters at the party::: just wanted to stop by and say hi to all the groupie loopies from Linnea's listserve, bar and grille. I know I'm somewhat late, but it looks like you are all having a great time.
I loved Shades, and posted a review on my blog, butterflybooks (which is also on blogger) and I sent Linnea a question through the bar and grille, but it sounds like she has been too busy to answer, with her deadline looming. As a reporter, I can relate.
Anyway, congrats, Linnea, on the launch of a great novel. I can't wait for Hopes Folly!

brimfire said...

Agh. I can't wait to get my hands on this book. I wonder how long it takes mail to get to the UK from the US.......