I haven't blogged in a while, so I thought I'd blog on why that is. Enjoy the brisk taste of meta.
Primary among my reasons for not blogging is the continuing work on Long Black Curl, the third Tufa novel that comes out in May. You'd think it would be done by now, wouldn't you? Alas, 'tis not the case. Read more
The third Tufa novel, Long Black Curl, doesn't come out until May. But you might win an advance reader copy right now by leaving a comment below telling me about your favorite folk song (new, old, original, traditional, it doesn't matter). I'll be giving away eight copies, so pass the word and let everyone know. Deadline is midnight on Read more
Recently the good folks at Arrowstorm Entertainment were kind enough to give me a sneak peek at their latest production, Mythica: A Quest for Heroes. You can read my review of it here, and an interview with two of the stars here.
Short version: I found it very enjoyable, with a terrific main character (played with full-on commitment by Melanie Read more
On New Year's Day, I did some surfing through various Twitter feeds and came across this article by Caroline Pruett. Titled, "Talking to Our Daughters About Violence Against Women in Comics," she speaks to the issue of "women in refrigerators," a term for using the death and/or brutalization of female characters as devices to motivate male heroes. It's a Read more
Recently I caught up with the cast recording of the Stephen King/John Mellencamp musical, Ghost Brothers of Darkland County. As a longtime fan of Mellencamp's, and an admirer of King's (there's a difference, and I'll explain it shortly), I was curious to see what they'd come up with working together, and in a form neither had tried before.
The results, Read more
The third Tufa novel, Long Black Curl, doesn’t come out until May. But you might win an advance reader copy right now by leaving a comment below telling me about your favorite folk song (new, old, original, traditional, it doesn’t matter). I’ll be giving away eight copies, so pass the word and let everyone know. Deadline is midnight on Sunday, February 22.
And, to get you in the mood, here’s Tuatha Dea doing their original song inspired by the book.
Sometimes a song inspires a book. Sometimes a book inspires a song.
And sometimes–okay, this is the only time I’m aware of this happening–a song inspires a book which inspires a song.
There are two wonderful songs out there that share a title with my upcoming novel. Don’t ask me to pick a favorite, because I can’t. But I can tell you the story.
First, if you go here, you can read about my introduction to the music of Jennifer Goree. She’s an amazing songwriter and singer, currently part of the group Trembling and Vine. She has been kind enough to approve the use of her song titles and lyrics for my Tufa novels, including “Long Black Curl,” from her 1998 CD Don’t Be a Stranger. My novel Long Black Curl will be out next spring.
This album cover, although it predates my novels, could easily be an illustration from a Tufa story.
Recently she was also kind enough to produce a brand-new video of that song, with a beautifully minimalist setting that perfectly complements her haunting performance.
Now we jump forward to 2014. The band Tuatha Dea has produced a wonderful CD called Tufa Tales: Appalachian Fae, based on the world of my Tufa novels. The first three tracks share titles with my first three books: “The Hum and the Shiver,” “Wisp of a Thing,” and “Long Black Curl.”
Their “Long Black Curl” is a totally different song, with nothing in common with Jennifer Goree’s except the title. But it’s just as haunting, and it’s the first time anyone has recreated the world of the Tufa for a video (you can even see the books’ recurring characters Rockhouse and Mandalay).
I can’t tell you how proud I am to be associated, however tangentially, with both these songs. Since almost everything I write has some relation to music that I love, to have this book series feed back and inspire such great music is a real honor. I hope you also enjoy both these songs, for their very different but equally magical qualities.
And if you should happen to read my novel Long Black Curl when it comes out next year, I hope you enjoy it, too.
One of the best perks about being a writer is that you get to meet other artists. Most of them are fellow writers, but I’m lucky enough to also count visual artists, filmmakers, and musicians among my friends. I’ve connected with many of them through art, either theirs or mine, as well as through social gatherings like conventions and workshops.
And sometimes, these connections turn into something you never expected.
In May of 2013, I first met the members of the band Tuatha Dea. Having written two novels about the Tufa, a race of musicians descended from Old World faeries and currently living in Appalachia, you can imagine my surprise at finding a band named after the fae (known in some circles as the “Tuatha De Danaan,” a.k.a. the “Children of Dana”), based in Appalachia (Gatlinburg, TN, to be precise), who perform the kind of Celtic-influenced music I always imagined my Tufa might play. There’s luck, then there’s serendipity, then there’s just plain astounding coincidence. I think meeting this band was a little bit of all three.
But that’s not the best thing. After reading my books, they came to me with an astounding proposition: they wanted to do an EP of original songs based on my Tufa series, titled Tufa Tales: Appalachian Fae.
I couldn’t turn down a chance to hear what this band–and they’re a great band–might do with this idea. So I gave the project my blessing. And I have no stake in this; the band is doing it entirely independently. I’m like everyone else, just waiting to hear what they come up with.
And this is where you can help. To finance the CD, they’re running an IndieGoGo campaign. As with all such crowd funding, any amount is helpful. So if you like my novels, and you ever wondered what a modern Tufa band might sound like, then please consider helping Tuatha Dea get this project off the ground.
You can find out more about the project here. Watch the video, learn about the band, and consider helping out.
Oh, and you should definitely go to ReverbNation and check out their music. In fact, the song “Hypocritical Mass,” that you can stream from this site, might just turn up in a future Tufa novel….
And here’s a rough live version of their song, “The Hum and the Shiver,” that will be on the CD.
There might be cooler things in the world than a band you really like, writing brand-new songs based on your novels. But at the moment, I can’t imagine what. Here’s Tuatha Dea premiering their original song, “The Hum and the Shiver.”
Anita Covington recently lost her husband to cancer and within two weeks was also involved in a near fatal motorcycle accident. She has massive injuries (detailed on the website) and is still in the hospital. Like so many people, Anita has no insurance. She is 62 years old.
The band Tuatha Dea has organized an auction to raise money for her medical bills, and to provide modifications for her home necessary for her recovery.
I’ve donated a Tuckerization for the next Tufa novel, Long Black Curl, out in 2015. But it’s a special kind: not only can you get a character named after you (or the person of your choice), you also get to see your favorite folk song mentioned in the story.
You can bid on this, and many other great items, at the auction site here. You can also follow the the auction on Facebook.
So pay it forward, and get a little immortality in the process.
Recently I had the honor of being invited to Rugby, TN, to do a reading and signing as part of their Appalachian Writers series. Rugby is the inspiration for Cricket* in the Tufa novels, and the real Thomas Hughes Library shows up as the Roy Howard Library. Here’s a glimpse inside.
*because I don’t work any harder naming things than I have to.
Fans of Wisp of a Thing and The Hum and the Shiver can now sip their morning Joe in a genuine replica of the coffee cups provided by Ms. Peggy Goins at her fine establishment, the Catamount Corner Motel, in Needsville, TN. Being a stylish Southern woman of a certain age, she’d never accuse a guest of stealing a coffee cup, so if one ends up missing, it must be a mistake, bless their hearts.
One more day until the official release (in stores, online, on eBook platforms and on unabridged audio) of the second Tufa novel, Wisp of a Thing. Here’s a brand new trailer featuring new music, this time by James Travis, that focuses on a completely different aspect of the story. Hope you enjoy!
As the release day for the second Tufa novel, Wisp of a Thing, approaches, you can now get the eBook of the first, The Hum and the Shiver, for only $2.99. It’s a limited-time offer, so hurry before supplies…oh, wait, it’s an eBook, they’ve got plenty. But the sale ends June 7, 2013!
Click here to order from Amazon for the Kindle, here to order from Barnes and Noble for the Nook!
I need your help. Specifically, I need the help of my Appalachian-area fans.
I’m putting together the release trailer for Wisp of a Thing, completely different from the pre-release trailer you can see here. It’ll have all-new music, and all-new video. And it’s basically done. Except for one thing.
I need one shot of the mountains, something similar to the pictures below. More specifically, I need five seconds of scenic video, because believe me, there’s nothing in Wisconsin that can stand in for the actual Smokies. Sure, I could buy a clip from iStock or somewhere, but I hate to do that. It wouldn’t mesh with the hand-held style of everything else.
So here’s my deal: e-mail me (at firstname.lastname@example.org) five seconds of scenic video showing the mountains. It can be shot with a phone camera, if that’s what you’ve got, as long as it’s shot horizontally, and even from a moving car. If I use it in the trailer, you’ll get a Tufa Gift Pack that includes:
1) A signed mass market paperback of The Hum and the Shiver;
2) Either the ARC or a final copy of Wisp of a Thing, depending on what I have on hand, also signed;
3) A mix CD of tunes referenced in, and/or used as inspiration for, the books;