Diana Pharaoh Francis | Diana P. Francis | Diana Francis
Thursday, June 25th, 2009
Answers to Questions

So here we go with answers to questions. Remember if you want to know something about me, the writing, particular books or what have you, post a question in the comments here or here.

So first up: asks: What kinds of books are irresistible to you? Is there a certain type of plot or character or world that you can’t get enough of?

That’s really a terrific question and I’m not sure I know the answer to it. I like books with strong heroes and heroines. I don’t like books with stupid people. I like plots that twist and turn, where there is a point to the things that happen. Smart books make me happy. I like smart dialog and wit to the stories. I like description that is evocative and not just there for ornamentation. i like reasonably happy endings. I like for there to be payoff. I like emotional depth to the characters and between characters. I like some romance in there, as long as it feels real and reasonable.

As for plots and characters I can’t get enough of . . . . Hmmm. I think I really like strong characters who end up in trouble because of strong morals of their own–which is to say, not because they are stupid, but because they won’t let some bad deed go unpunished. I don’t mind people doing stupid things out of some flaw of their character–like they know they shouldn’t run into the burning building but they need to get the dog out or some such. It’s the stupid where s/he goes out alone into the darkness when there is a serial killer hanging about that bothers me.

I don’t care much for tearjerking stories or stories of unredeemed darkness. I like romance because I think that’s natural and normal, but I don’t know that I want it taking over the story. I don’t really care for anti-hero stories, like the Thomas the Covenant stories, though I do like the Elric stories. I’m not sure why.

I like stories of heroism and I don’t like stories where women are idiot wimps. I hate stories where the man is so Alpha that the woman is dragged around by the hair and thinks that’s just the most wonderful thing ever because the man is so very very very handsome and his meanness is only a cover for some deeply hidden scars and angst. Deeply hidden. So far hidden that you just want to kick him in the balls most of the time.

I also like romping adventure.

What about all of you? What kinds of books do you find irresistable?

Thursday, May 21st, 2009
progress

So wrote over 3K today. This is good, because I also got the copy edits for Bitter Night. So have to work on them. And write an acknowledgements page. And I have to make sure I don’t forget people, especially since a number of you have been terribly important to this book. My in-laws are coming to visit tomorrow for a few days also, so I’ll have to get some serious work done in the early a.m. every day.

So this is where I stand on The Traitor King:

43132 / 120000 words. 36% done!

I’m not actually sure it’s going to be 120K. I actually have taken to shooting for 100K, since I inevitably go longer. And since I usually add a lot in revision.  If ‘m already at 120K and add a bunch, then I have to also cut a bunch. But since the revision process means that I probably already cut all the fat AND added in new stuff, it leaves me with a lean manuscript and little to cut. This is crazy-making. So the long and the short of it is that I’m actually further along than that looks. But most importantly, I’m on track to have a draft by my birthday, which will give me time to revise before the deadline.

On the subject of movie kisses: Six Days, Seven Nights: Blech. Doesn’t work. Charlotte Gray–nope, and all the more disappointing for an earlier, more emotional scene. The kiss was flat as paper.  REviewing movie kisses will be an ongoing fetish for me. So feel free to join in (TV kisses too). Who does good kisses?

And on the subject of the Criminal Minds season finale: WTF? Anybody want to comment on that?

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009
Some Linkage and other stuff

So some of you know that my favorite uncle died a few days ago. Thanks for all your condolences. It means a lot.

My inlaws come and visit in a few days for just a few days. This means I’ll miss Miscon, which saddens me. I ordered a furminator. This apparently is an super special dog comb. I’m hoping it works as advertised. Also, what sort of an idiot delivers the new telephone book by dropping it over the fence onto the ground into a yard of two puppies? They weren’t hiding. So today I had a confetti party. It looks like the government is going to pass some controls on the credit card companies. I have to admit, I’m fairly happy with most of these controls. I do have to say–how the hell did the carry concealed weapons in state parks bit get added to a credit card bill? This folks, is one thing that’s wrong with lawmaking. You shouldn’t be able to tack on odd things to a bill. It should be considered separately.

Now for a bit of braggery and happy dancing.

First, Faith Hunter, (also Gwen Hunter), who writes the Rogue Mage novels, likes Bitter Night! She says:

In Bitter Night, Diana Pharaoh Francis has created a dark, unique, and electrifying world in the Urban Fantasy Genre… Max is a Shadowblade warrior to die for!”

And Rob Thurman, who writes the Cal Leandros books, says:

“Maximum supernatural ass kicking, maximum attitude, maximum action. Who can deliver all that and more? Max to the max, that’s who!”

AND a couple of great reviews of The Black Ship:

First one from Errant Dreams Reviews and the second from a reader on Chapters.

Also, a review on The Turning Tide, which includes spoilers. And you should know Jess is a friend of mine, but I think if you want to talk about spoilery things, it could be a great place to have a discussion.

Saturday, May 16th, 2009
About Kissing

Let’s talk about kissing. Specifically, let’s talk about portrayals of kisses and what makes them good and what makes them bad (as in, your stomach turns and you throw up in your mouth a little.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Thursday, May 14th, 2009
Giveaway

Today was exhausting and productive. Exhausting because the job just always has to poke at me with a sharp stick. And then last night I had diet coke too late and it made me sleep not well. Darnit. But many words were done and I am happy about that. Some introspection that may have to be cut later, but for now . . .  And of course a shocking moment for one character. And someone nearly died.

But about that the subject line . . . I have coverflats of The Turning Tide to give away. Dunno how many. They aren’t within reach. But at least six or seven. Here’s all you have to do to win.

Between now and say . . . . next Thursday, the 21st . . .  comment in this post. All you have to do is say something about something that happens in the book. Ask a question even. This may mean spoilers! So careful if you read the comments. Or  . . . You can tell me something about what you expect or hope to see in the next book, based on what you read in The Turning Tide.

I’ll draw for the winners (if there are enough answers) on the 21st. You can comment on the ljay or on the website (not both please).

Also, if you’ve read the book and want to post reviews on BN or Amazon or your blog or what have you, I’d be grateful.

And don’t forget. If you’re in the US and you want a printed map of Crosspointe, send me an email at dpf AT dianapfrancis DOT com  and put Map in the subject line and your snail mail in the body, and I will send you one. If you are not in the US, I can email you a pdf.

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009
The Fabulous Ann Aguirre says . . .

The fabulous Ann Aguirre, author of Blue Diablo and Grimspace and Wanderlust (all of which I love huge, especially Blue Diablo which is why I was hoping she would agree to read it), was invited to read Bitter Night for blurb purposes. Here is one of the things she had to say:
“In the deliciously epic Bitter Night, Diana Pharaoh Francis has married the Charles de Lint-style old school urban fantasy to the new college of asskickery in a pagan-pirate handfast. I totally loved this book.”

I am a complete puddle of goo and over the moon. *bounce bounce bounce*

Saturday, April 25th, 2009
Read Chapters 1 and 2 of The Turning Tide

Yep, it’s snippet Saturday. So I want you to post a snippet of your WIP in the comments. But my snippet is rather longish. You can have a gander at the first two chapters of The Turning Tide on my website.

It opens with a blurb about what the book is about, but I’ll give you just a little bit more. First, this book introduces some new characters–Ryland, Shaye and Fairlie. We also get to see Keros (from The Cipher) a little–he gets a lot more face time in The Traitor King. You get to see a whole lot more majick and you get to learn a lot more about spawn. As usual, there’s mayhem and intrigue and bit of death and destruction for good measure.

I hope you enjoy the first two chapters, and feel free to spread the word that they are posted!

Now, show me your snippets . . .

Friday, April 24th, 2009
The Turning Tide is coming

Hey Everyone~

Much depends on the sales of The Turning Tide. The initial print run is lower than I like, and I would love, LOVE to see it go into a second printing very quickly. This would also mean more books in the series. So. Do me a favor. Go order your copies, tell your friends, tell your enemies–tell the guy on the bus. If you like it, do reviews, blog, spread the word. If you don’t like it, that’s okay too. Go bug your bookstores and ask them to carry it if it isn’t there. Keep bugging them.

I’ll post the first chapter or two in the next day or so. Look for it.

Hope all is well wilth all of you. I am tired. And it snowed again today. Ug.

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009
Bitter Night Revisions . . . are done

I. Am. Tired. But the revisions for Bitter Night are done and winging their way through cyperspace to my editor. I hope she likes. And remarkably, they are on time. Due today, turned in today. Okay, not be 5:00 NY time, but nothing said they had to be, and as long as it’s before business open tomorrow, it counts. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Just at the moment I’m about cross-eyed with exhaustion. I need sleep. And I need to get back to work on The Traitor King. And there are one or two other things to get done too. No rest for the wicked. Or even for me.

And the remarkable Ilona Andrews has been doing awesome things with my website. Go look. It’s got some issues, especially in IE, but I don’t care. It’s lovely. And I need to add content, I know.

I’ll post the first chapters of The Turning Tide soon–how’s that?

And now, collapsing in a heap. And trying to figure out how to cook dinner while in said heap.

Saturday, April 11th, 2009
Bitter Night Revision Update

So far I’m not nearly as far along on the revisions for Bitter Night as I should be, but I am making progress. What’s interesting is that I’ve cut at least 6K words out (and I’m not quite a third through the revisions–I did say they were going slow). I say at least because though I keep a snippet file of bigger chunks I’ve cut, I don’t include single sentences or phrases or words in there and there’s been a lot of those and trust me, they add up. Anyhow, I’ve got a file of around 6K, and the novel is about 2K longer than it started out.

So that means I’ve probably cut closer to 8K and put 2 K back in. But really, I’ve probably cut more like 12K and added back in about 4K. I’m still chopping–trying to make it lean and not saggy–and also I know of at least two scenes I need to add, and maybe a third, depending. I also have a scene I plan to cut. I’ve added one large scene already.

My goal is to make this novel about the same length as I first submitted it. That’s not arbitrary. Well, yeah, to an extent it is. But I do believe I’ve been a bit wordy and in making those cuts, I’m trying to force myself to really pay attention and streamline the prose so it’s a really good, sharp read.