Golden Days Ahead!

I live in one of the most beautiful areas of the country - northern Vermont - and autumn is amazing.  The leaves have the most astounding colors - crimson, orange, flame, coral.  Everywhere you go there is enough color to make your eyes bleed, and we all talk about when "peak" is - the day when the color is at its height.  Once that's past and the color starts fading and leaves start falling to the ground people tend to think it's all over and nothing but winter ahead.  But that's when one of my favorite times come - what I call the Golden Time.  The bright leaves turn gold, half of them end on the ground, the rest still on the trees, the tamaracks, which normally just look like evergreens, turn a rusty gold, and when the sun hits it gold everywhere.  It's a more subtle beauty, but gorgeous nonetheless, a perfect time for walks (the deer hunters aren't out there yet) with the smell of woodsmoke in the air.

Which brings me to the big push I've been working toward.  In the next month we're doing a massive group of releases of what I call Krissie's Greatest Hits (well, Anne Stuart's Greatest Hits).  We started with CINDERMAN, which we released today.  I rewrite and expand the books, taking out clunky stuff and adding (usually more characterization and more sex), but when I read them it's almost like reading something new from a favorite author.  Obviously I write to my own fantasies, so Anne Stuart knows exactly what I like.  And CINDERMAN was an absolute hoot!  It would make a terrific tv movie, with the t-shirt wearing heroine, the grumpy professional, the paranormal comedy.  We're starting this at a $.99 introductory price, to be followed by THE SOLDIER, THE NUN AND THE BABY (it's original title - Harlequin changed it to THE SOLDIER AND THE BABY), BLUE SAGE, NIGHT OF THE PHANTOM, and ONE MORE VALENTINE.  CINDER MAN, THE SOLDIER AND THE BABY and ONE MORE VALENTINE were all RITA finalists.  NIGHT OF THE PHANTOM was one of the 10 Best Books of the Year (RWA did that for a few years in the '90s).

Then, towards the end of November, Belle Bridge Books will released BREAK THE NIGHT, another RITA finalist and my Jack the Ripper story for the late lamented Silhouette Shadows imprint.

These are some of my finest books from one of my most fertile periods, and I've had a blast going through them - a happy respite from the political news that churns my stomach (I shall say no more.  At least, at this point).

So grab CINDERMAN while it's cheap - it's sexy, funny and ridiculous.  The hero and heroine get slimed in a lab accident and he becomes a super-hero, of course: he's invisible for two hours in the morning and the evening and when he wiggles his nose and blinks he can set things on fire. They have to go one the run from the bad guys, keeping low as he practices his fire-starting skills in the forest of northern California (it wasn't a drought back then).  And think of the sexual possibilities of invisible sex!



Chief Eagle Feather Rides Again!

I spend my summers acting.  Sometimes I'm a Shakespearian court member or a soprano in the chorus, sometimes I've got something juicier. I don't really care -- I just love being a part of our wonderful group.  I'm greedy, so this year I'm in both productions, Annie Get Your Gun and To Kill a Mockingbird.  For Annie I'm Chief Eagle Feather, complete with blonde hair and Danish complexion, as well as singing as high as an A (below high C).  Don't think I could sing a B or a C, but fortunately I'm not called to.  And our theater group, Greensboro Art Alliance and Residency (GAAR( is wonderful in finding ways for me to participate even though I can barely walk right now.  I just limp onstage and cop and squat, then do lines or sing from that vantage point.

In Mockingbird I'm a 98 year old racist/morphine addict.  I was also supposed to weigh 98 pounds but that seemed unlikely.  Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose is downright nasty, but beneath it all she's a romantic.  I can't really soften her much, but I'm having fun saying awful things to the actors playing Scout and Jem.  

Unfortunately I haven't gotten much writing done.  So today I've printed up what I have of HEARTLESS (working title for Brandon and Emma) and I'll work on that during the downtime.  I'm in three scenes in Act One and not sure how many in Act Two.  In Mockingbird I'm dead by Act Two, so that should give me lots of time to work before curtain calls.

Acting is a great way to open your mind up to different forms of creativity.  It's easy-peasy for me to create a backstory for my characters, to know them in and out.  It gets my mind going in different directions, which is always a good thing.  And most of the actors (lots of them Equity members from NYC) are wonderful, particularly our artist in residence, Marla Shaffel, who was nominated for a Tony award for lead actress in a musical a few years ago.  We've got a couple of stinkers, and every year I make a tentative gesture of friendliness towards them, only to be iced out.  And then I ignore them.  I do have a hard time understanding why people are unpleasant when it's so much nicer to be warm and sharing, but that's the way it is.  I'm not cut our for a competitive environment (one reason I haven't gone to RWA for a number of years.  The other reason is that's our theater season, and I get a lot more joy and satisfaction out of the plays).

Some summers I've written every spare moment and cherished the time I had.  (Two summers ago).  Some summers I've written grudgingly and resented it but I had a deadline (last year).  This year my only deadline is my own, and I intend to do exactly what I want to do.  Which is write this book -- I need to live partly in my fantasy world to feel truly alive - and rehearse and hobble around and be glad I'm not in the madhouse at San Diego (though San Diego is a wonderful city).

Next year's going to be a harder decision -- it's a choice between GAAR and our brand new multi-million dollar theater or Disney World.  And I really really love Disney World.

Fortunately I don't have to decide this year.  I just have to get to rehearsal in 45 minutes and sing my little heart out as a Scandinavian Native American.


I will change my ways!

Yes, we know I'm evil and I don't come here often enough, but I've decided it's time to stop being a good girl and let my freak flag fly.  I'm going to say what I want and do what I want and damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead, etc. etc.

But you already do that, Sister Krissie, you say.  I know, I know, and I've gotten into a lot of trouble for it over the years.  But you know, that's one good thing about getting older - it puts everything in perspective, and things that were devastating a few years ago are now worth nothing more than a "fuck it."

Yes, it's my birthday.  Time to make all sorts of resolutions and clean up my diet and my house and my work space and ... no, that's for the New Year, isn't it?  Maybe today my motto should be "let them eat cake."  So go out and treat yourself to a piece of cake - it's an international holiday, the 68th year in the Reign of Her Holiness, the baroness Anastasia Kristina Margarethe Elise Eugenie Stuart del Ohlroggio (better known as moi).  Despite my many flaws, I still believe the world is a much more glorious place for having me in it.

In the immortal words of Bill and Ted:  Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes!

Surprise sales!

I've had a lovely new year, having had my shoulder sawed apart and a new joint implanted (ouch!).  It's been a literal pain, and it seems all I do is go to physical therapy and do exercises, but in between I've been writing like made.  First I reread my second Regency, THE SPINSTER AND THE RAKE, and was very happily surprised.  It's a bit Old Skool, but still felt fresh, so I cut back on the Georgette Heyerisms (just a bit, because that's the flavor of the book) and added pages and pages of sex, because it seemed to call for it.  I haven't added love scenes to any of the other older books I've worked on, but this one felt like there should have been one in the first place, and only the standards at the time stopped me.  I feel the same way about LORD SATAN'S BRIDE, my first regency (and the first appearance of The Heavenly Host) but when I read through that the expansion didn't feel as organic (in other words, it was harder work and I'm lazy).  So LORD SATAN'S BRIDE will have to wait for later to be expanded, but I promise I'll get to it.

It's funny, because when people first started expanding their regencies (decades ago) my immediate thought was that I'd rather write a new book.  But I really felt constrained when I wrote LORD SATAN'S BRIDE, and decided if I ever had the chance I would through all the lush, lovely stuff I wanted into it.  Oddly enough, my third regency, THE HOUSEPARTY, felt right just as it was.

But speaking of luscious, sin-drenched historicals, the first book of The Wicked House of Rohan, RUTHLESS, is on sale right now for a mere 99 cents!  I have no idea how long the sale will last (they probably told me but the first part of the year has been somewhat foggy with pain meds - I'm off them now and just hurting stoically) but it's a definite treat.  Nothing I like better than a truly decadent hero.  

Here's a link: