Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Did I mention a writing contest? Breaking News!

“Sometimes, you just have to get the right voice in your head.”

“Well, just tell all the other voices you don’t want to hear from them today.”

Ah, yes, another insightful conversation with evilkev. Who happened to be home yesterday. It’s called a long weekend, only it doesn’t mean much to us writer-types, who work seven days a week, driven simply by our passion. Or some sort of compulsive disorder.

But it was interesting, because in the past week, he has flooded me with ideas for our upcoming contest. Ah, yes, did someone mention a contest?

Well, I’ll get to that in a moment. It’s our sneak peek, found first on Sandrablabber. Because I’m being contaminated by the evil I married. It’s not my fault.

Anyway, as I was saying, evilkev has given me idea after idea. Man, you’d think he’d learn after all this time, but noooo. He must impose his vision for a story upon me and try to force me to write it the way he sees it.

It’s Misery without the crazed fan. Just psychospouse. Anyway, much as I’ve told Kevin time and again you have to write the story that’s calling to you, he still barges in, like a kid, gushing with enthusiasm about this great idea he has for me.

I remember when he came in and started yapping to me and I said, “Be quiet! There are voices talking in my head and I have to hear what they’re saying.”

Aw, come on. You writers understand. Right? I’m not completely crazy… Am I?

Anyway, it finally happened. Oh, not with the first story he gave me. Or the second or, for that matter, the third.

But I finally found the trigger point, the voice of the narrative, that beautiful first line that just tells you “this is going to work”.

And it’s my own friggin’ idea, so get over it Kev.

Although I will readily admit that he inspires thoughts of murder on an almost daily basis.

But do you know what I mean? Not just with writing, although I think of that, but that moment when you know that everything is just going to go perfectly? I suppose stepping on the ice before performing your free program and having that feeling that you’re just on would be comparable… Oh, yeah, I’m talking about the moment when you have your perfect starting point. Not the moment my husband inspires you to think of murder.

Now, what’s that about a contest, you say?

Next week, we will launch the Cozy Noir contest. What is cozy noir, you ask?

Well, guess what? We need a definition.

And that’s where the pre-contest contest comes in.

Here’s the idea. Noir stories, unusual protagonists. Now, conversely, I suppose cozy noir could also be cozy stories with unusual protagonists. Of course, being the sickos we are, we were thinking of the first definition. If you’re a bit hazy on subgenre definitions, check out the subgenre guide.

So, here’s the deal. I need your tag line and definition. How would you describe Cozy Noir?

Email me at sandra.ruttan@spinetinglermag.com and give me your suggestion. Say “Cozy Noir Definition” in the subject line please so I don’t miss it. If anybody emails, on Thursday, I’ll post the top contenders and let you, the reading public, vote for the winner.

This is when we find out that only two people read my blog, and my mother-in-law is one of them…

The winner will get their choice of a $10 amazon gift certificate or a copy of the Spinetingler Anthology with my signature in it. Or I’ll buy you a drink at a conference if I’m going to see you in person. Or maybe the prize would be having me NOT buy you a drink and leave you in peace. I’m easy.*

Which substantially increases the value. Not. But the anthology does have this really cool short story in it by Stuart MacBride.

And here’s the inside scoop on the contest. Stories can be submitted between June 21 and September 5 – stories submitted before or after will not be considered. You will need to check the next issue and follow the submission guidelines.

And we’re cutting it off at 100 entries. Which is why knowing now is a bit of an edge, because it gives you one extra week to get those creative juices flowing.

No editing on the contest, so take the time to polish your entry. There will be one or two sample stories in the next issue of Spinetingler so that you have an idea of exactly what we mean.

And prizes? Well, publication in our Winter Issue and an autographed book. No, you don’t get an autographed book by each author, but you get at least one book, maybe more. We will have autographed books by Mark Billingham, Anne Frasier, Simon Kernick, JA Konrath, Stuart MacBride, Ian Rankin, Cornelia Read, JD Rhoades, David Skibbons and Duane Swierczynski. Some will be ARC’s of their next works, some will be UK copies of books not yet released in the US…

And I would like to thank all of these fantastic authors for agreeing to sign books for us. No coercion was involved in securing their agreement, I assure you.

Other than the threat of 10,000 spam emails from me. See the lengths I go to to get decent prizes, people? I’m committed.

Oh, and there is NO ENTRY FEE for the contest either.

Blogdom is growing

Another fantastic author blog, The Lady Killers, featuring Lyn Hamilton, Mary Ann Evans, Meg Chittenden, Rhys Bowen and Cara Black. Another clique that’s making me feel alone and unwanted. Well fine, phooey on them.

But they still have a cool blog, so check it out.

Oh, for the love of god (or not) – Da Vinci sequels>

Aparently, Sony has the rights to Da Vinci code movies #2 and #3.

I can see it now: Da Vinci Code II: Jesus’s kid’s stepbrother’s descendants revenge.

And the fantastic JT Ellison sent me a link yesterday to the evolution of dance.

Word is, Stuart MacBride will be performing this live at Harrogate, Saturday 2 am. Right after his karaoke session with James Oswald.

Tomorrow, more kitten pictures! And if you’re artistic and would like to draw a picture for our cozy noir cover, email me. Kevin has an idea, but no talent. And we’ll like you a whole lot.

And damn, you guys! This is just too frickin' funny! Unless you worked at the food plant. Would you like a hand grenade with your fries? Ah, no, I think I'll pass.
Those Europeans. Always trying something new.

* Not that way, Forrest.


JT Ellison said...

The idea of cozy noir is absolutely killing me! I can't wait to see what people come up with. Great concept!

For The Trees said...

See how you are with the innuendo? God, you're good. (Lucky Kev!) And I NEVER said you were "easy." Even though you've admitted it yourself. I have SOME respect for you Canucks.

Actually I have some SERIOUS respect for someone who can think of 22,397 ways to kill me, AND get away with it. So there's NO disrespect meant or intended or even inferred.

Interesting concept, this contest. Wonder if I oughta jump jenres and just jot down some jiffy notes, then jink them into a juke joint journal? Am I noir enough yet? Or do I actually have to write about blood, guts, and glory? (God Bless George Bush for sending all those kids to Iraq and getting many of them killed. Opens up all KINDS of employment positions here at home. Yeah, Prosperity! Boo, King George.)

Um, wait...didn't we already revolt against King George once? The Boston Tea Party? Or was that some OTHER King? I'm so old I'm fuzzy on the details...and I was there!!

For The Trees said...

Personally, as a former- and degree-holding Journalist, I find the following statement to be a sad commentary on the statelessness of the field:

"There was no danger to the general public on either days," said a company statement.

Where the hell did they get "days" to coincide with "either"? Or am I so far off in my SinTax that I got it wrong (again!)?

God, the way the Toronto Star can slaughter the King's English. Whatever happened to good ol' Texan? I KNOW owah influence reaches at LEAST that far...

Sandra Ruttan said...

JT, I too can't wait! I think there will be a lot of fun and a lot of disturbing stories. I'm pretty psyched about it.

Forrest, yeah, The Toronto Star is, well, in Toronto. (Ducks while Torontonians launch rotten tomatoes at western Canada.)

But I'm glad my murderous skills have earned me at least your respect.

Trace said...

Excellent idea, Sandra! And don't worry, I have all my male friends scrubbing your name off the bathroom walls.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Thanks Trace, but weren't those the warning messages that told them to keep their hands off or I'd break their fingers?

See, I'm really not easy. Just ask Ev...oh, never mind.

angie said...

I am totally stoked re. contest. Okay, I've got about zero free time at the moment, but the cozy noir concept rocks! I'm especially excited because what I've been working on is something I'm calling a "hard cozy." Not up to noir nastiness, but a far cry from the trad. cozy bloodless storyline. I only hope I can squeeze in a little extra time to work something up...More coffee. Must have more coffee now!

Amra Pajalic said...

My husband tried to help me the other night with my novel (he's my little proofreader but sometimes forgets where his duties end). He had a really cool sentence for my novel and got quite pissed off when I didn't jump up and down for joy. It was a great night. Resulted in one of those conversations only people who know each other really well get into. The conversation where you're both so tired and you're making digs at each other without really saying anything at all.

Great idea for a contest. I have a cool story idea but it's always finding the time that kills me. But at least it's something to aspire to.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Well Angie and Amra, you guys have some extra time. And we don't start taking entries until late June. So, let the ideas simmer, see what happens.

Hard cozy. I like that.

And Amra, oh, do I understand those conversations... Boy, do I ever!

JamesO said...

Cozy noir is when there's a mix-up at the pharmacy and Miss Marple gets given benzodiazepine instead of her arthritis pills.

Or am I missing the point?

Sandra Ruttan said...

LOL James! I think you haven't quite let your imagination run wild just yet!

Andrea at Lochthyme said...

Cozy Noir? It's a dark and dreary night and Grandma is sitting in her rocker with an AK47 strapped to her chest while knitting in her rocker surrounded by her maneating cats. She's just itching to have a go at Mad Mama Murphy who will be arriving shortly to try to steal Grandma's secret recipie for Butternut Oatmeal Cookies(arsenic optional.

Sandra Ruttan said...

PLEASE enter the contest Andrea!

Andrea at Lochthyme said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Andrea at Lochthyme said...

Well I'm thinking about it. But I'm not sure that I can even write my way out of a box. :0

Evil Kev said...

That's funny, murder crossed my mind last night as well. (About 162 times to be precise...)

Sandra Ruttan said...

Oh Andrea, I think you can!

evilkev, it's not nice to think that about our cats. Really.

M. G. Tarquini said...

My God! I go have one day of a real life and you post like 15 blog posts.

That's a helluva list of prizes. I'll be very envious of the winners. Bummed I can't enter, but I look forward to writing up a promo cozy noir for this. Cozy noir is like a luger in bunny slippers.

How's that - can you use that for a tag line?

Or cozy noir is like a glock in bunny slippers?