Zombie Ted, Farmer

Farmer Ted was out tending the chickens on his organic farm when the zombies caught him. Because he’d never used pesticides, herbicides or hormones in his farm or his life, there were almost no barriers to the zombie virus that flooded his bloodstream.

That’s right–Farmer Ted became a dreaded “fast one”. He quickly realized bird brains weren’t nutritious enough to satisfy his new craving for organ meat and set out for the house.

On the minus side, his family had no warning and didn’t have time to escape. On the plus side–for human survivors–while the lack of preservatives allowed him to zip around like a hummingbird at first, he’ll deteriorate faster than other zombies.

Jody W & Meankitty
www.jodywallace.com  * www.meankitty.com

Zombie Manuel

(Zombie Manuel, not to be confused with zombie manual, which is more of a how-to book for the undead.)

It took Manuel, a wealthy, successful banker, a couple weeks to realize he was a zombie, turned a month after the onset of the Zombie Apocalypse. Not only did he think the apocalypse was a hoax, but he didn’t find it that unusual when one of his customers leapt across the desk and bit him when he rejected her for a loan.

Now that he understands his undead destiny, he thinks you should make a deposit…in his bank for BRAINS.

Jody W & Meankitty
www.jodywallace.com  * www.meankitty.com

Zombie Grandma

Grandma loves you, you little whippersnapper, and she is not happy that you haven’t been to visit her in six months. When you finally trek across country, dodging gangs and hordes and snipers, to rescue her after the Zombie Apocalypse hits, you may be in for a surprise.

Come closer to where she sits in her rocking chair. What big, buggy eyes you have, Grandma. What…moldy green hair you have, Grandma. What is that in your mouth, Grandma? GRANDMA!

Jody W & Meankitty
www.jodywallace.com  * www.meankitty.com  

Zombie Teresa

Poor Teresa. She’d always been a bridesmaid, never a bride. Which was fine by her until she met Max and realized they were meant to be. The wedding would have been glorious, too, if it weren’t for the fact it was located at ground zero of the Zombie Apocalypse. For better or for worse, in sickness and in health…and in death they parted. Mostly because Teresa ate Max’s brain.

Jody W. & Meankitty
www.jodywallace.com * www.meankitty.com

Zombie Darrell

The front line of defense against the Zombie Apocalypse, the United States military was only able to stem the horde for a week before it broke through. And now, zombies like former army sniper Darrell have the training, the skill, and the commitment to shamble their way across all fifty states, proving once and for all that undead enlisted men eat more brains before nine AM than most zombies eat all day.

I requested that anyone who scores one of the zombies keep us informed of their further post-mortem adventures, whether photographically or otherwise. Sure hope some of the winners do 🙂

Jody W. & Meankitty
www.jodywallace.com * www.meankitty.com

Because one Darrell just isn’t enough, here he is being sneaky:

Zombies Will Eat Your Yarny Brains

At the upcoming Authors After Dark convention (http://www.authorsafterdark.org/) in August 2012, fellow author and zombie apocalypse expert TJ Michaels (http://www.tjmichaels.com/) is giving away some amazing gift baskets full of literary, zombierary, and other assorted loot. In the spirit of how awesome this conference is, I have contributed several zombie amigurumis to the baskets that participants can possibly win, if they’re very, very lucky.

Here’s a couple group shots:

How terrified would YOU be if you saw this horde coming to eat your brains??

Here they were waiting patiently, with only a few protesting moans due to hunger, to be tucked into the box I mailed to TJ.

Thought you might want to get a better picture of their ravenous faces, so we did a little non-aquatic water ballet and snapped this shot.

Stay tuned this week as we feature each of these evil amigurumi (which are based on the patterns in this book: http://www.amazon.com/Creepy-Cute-Crochet-Christen-Haden/dp/1594742324 with necessary modification). Zombies aren’t just faceless, moaning monsters. Every zombie has a story.

Jody W. & Meankitty
www.jodywallace.com * www.meankitty.com

RWAtips: Helpful Hints for Surviving an RWA National Conference

I’ve been in RWA (Romance Writers of America) a long time. Probably not longer than most of you have been alive, unless you’re a kid, but long enough that I’ve managed to attend 2 RWA National Conferences, held annually, and watch from the internet sidelines as I did not attend umpteen more. Each year in the weeks leading up to the conference, participants discuss comfortable shoes, baggage weight limits, hotel to airport transportation, restaurants within walking distance, available postal services, dress code for the awards ceremony, workshop schedules, and the like. Some of these RWAites schlep to conferences on a regular basis; some do not. Some are good with large crowds; some are not. Basically, the variety of writers and other industry professionals at these conferences is great.

But everyone could use a little advice to get through the week, right?

The other day on Twitter, I noticed some kind, generous RWAites swapping and sharing tips for the conference. I pitched in, because I too am kind and generous.

Meankitty helped.

Here is a collection of the #rwatips posted by me so far (and, I have to add with a bit of a O.o, which trended on Twitter on Thursday, July 19, for a brief while.)

1) During meals, sling everyone’s plates off the table and announce that you’re ALL playing the Hunger Games now! ‪#rwatips‬

2) Telling conference attendees, “You have a lot of spunk, young lady!” will never, ever be taken out of context. ‪#rwatips‬

3) Go to as many publisher spotlights as you can! Be sure to photograph the editors so it’s easier to stalk them. ‪#rwatips‬

4) Belching loudly and sitting w/legs spread is a known sign of an author who writes authentic male characters. Do you? ‪#rwatips‬

5) Tell ppl not invited to Harlequin party they’re letting in first 100 who show up in bathing suits. Take pics. ‪#rwatips‬

6) If ‪#rwatips‬ or some other RWA hashtag trends, add it to your self-promo! Just think of all the eyes that will see it.

7) RITA night. Swan dress. Do it. ‪#rwatips‬

8) Secret RWA tradition: spanking Rita and GH finalists as if it’s their birthday. Be part of the in-crowd and whack away! ‪#rwatips

9) If all else fails, stare at your phone and curse loudly, exclaiming, “NYT List again? I’m so tired of this fame!” ‪#rwatips‬

10) Said to @sandyjamesbooks: It’ll be here when you get back. Just like the editor you should ditch midsentence to “tend to national security” ‪#rwatips‬

11) Remember–not everyone is a conference veteran. Newbies will be so much easier to misdirect and clear your path! ‪#rwatips‬

12) The most complete way to experience the conference is Twitter! DO NOT take your eyes off your phone or you might miss something. ‪#rwatips‬

13) Collect all the business cards and email addys you can. Ask strangers! It will really bulk up your mailing list for promo. ‪#rwatips‬

14) Tell everyone you meet you’re a porn star since the romance genre is all about sex. And you ARE a star! Don’t hide your light! ‪#rwatips‬

15) It’s passe to photograph ppl’s shoes at RWA. Might we suggest ppl’s butts? Call your Tumblr “The Asses of Romance” ‪#rwatips‬

16) Apply perfume liberally! Romance writers are always encouraged to engage all 5 senses. ‪#rwatips‬

17) ‬The smaller the font on yr business cards, the more kudos about yourself you can squeeze in! 7 pt is the max you should be using. ‪#rwatips‬

18) Note: 7 pt single spaced with .01″ margins. For the old fashioned among you. ‪#rwatips

19) Anything someone mentions that you don’t understand, tell them it’s “so 5 minutes ago”. Especially if they said it 5 minutes ago. ‪#rwatips‬

20) If you write YA, squeal a lot and sulk if anyone asks you to do anything. Ppl need to know you really ‘get’ teens. ‪#rwatips‬

21) “Ew, smell this!” is a great way to bond with other authors. Once again, romance writers are supposed to engage all 5 senses. ‪#rwatips‬

22) When making conversation, ask people if they are on “the Twatter” instead of Twitter. Naivete re: social networking is charming! ‪#rwatips‬

23) During meals, tell everyone your chef is better than this one. It’s important to act like money if you want more money. ‪#rwatips‬

24) If you forget a name, just call people “Nora.” They will be soooooo flattered! Note: in group situations, add “Jane”. ‪#rwatips‬

25) Conversely, if you don’t remember a name, call ppl by your own name. Ppl need to hear it 7x and then they’ll buy! ‪#rwatips‬

26) Always be late. Ppl will assume you had important appointments and feel more desperate to get your attention! ‪#rwatips‬

27) Take your laptop everywhere and shush anyone talking so you can write. Ppl will be impressed by your industriousness. ‪#rwatips‬

28) When complimenting someone’s appearance, don’t say they look good, say they look “so much better”. Ppl like to know they improved. ‪#rwatips‬

29) I am basing these ‪#rwatips‬ on years of not getting to go, so you can trust me.

30) During workshop of your competitor author, pass out tiny bags of peanuts “for the long, boring flight.” ‪#rwatips‬

31) When you wear the required T-shirt with yr book cover, photochop your face over heroine’s and the agent you stalk over the hero’s. ‪#rwatips‬

32) If anyone tells you they blog, say, “Oh, you’re one of THOSE?” Refuse to explain, since writers are supposed to be mysterious. ‪#rwatips‬

33) Be sure to salute editors and agents when they walk past and yell “Attennnn-tion!”. They will enjoy the mark of respect. ‪#rwatips‬

34) When ppl ask about your family, have pics ready on your iPoon–and book covers. Say “How did that get there?” in surprise. ‪#rwatips‬

35) Wear 2 obviously different shoes. When ppl ask why, claim lost luggage, and you might get free clothes out of the exchange! ‪#rwatips‬

36) Snacks can help you through long workshops! Loud, crunchy ones will attract attn, and you’ll make hungry friends; pack extra. ‪#rwatips‬

37) If you do something really dumb at conference, you can always pretend to be someone else. Carry an extra nametag JIC. ‪#rwatips

38) Paint each toenail a different color, and then you’ll match every outfit you brought with you. #rwatips

39) Don’t be afraid to speak to that author you’ve loved forever. Get her to sign the GoogleEarth printout of her house. #rwatips

(Me, Gena Showalter, and author Trish Milburn)

40) From a friend: Drop hints you’re working with a certain reality TV star from NJ on her next book. Ppl will love you! #rwatips

41) Laugh loudly when someone isn’t funny and say, “That sense of humor will be your downfall someday!” It will make them feel better. #rwatips

42) Take knitting into all workshops. When asked @ it, say, “Gotta keep my hands busy or I’ll just be slapping ppl all day!” #rwatips

43) Stuff your drawers with foam rubber, then ask ppl if these pants make your butt look fat. This is how to discover yr real friends! #rwatips

44) A strategic “slow clap” after a rejection during RWA Idol-style workshops will let everyone know that lemon wasn’t yours! Esp if it was. #rwatips

45) Refer to editors and agents as “clueless” or “dinosaurs” interchangeably. You never know who’s listening, and edgy is *in*! #rwatips

46) Paper is so dated. Give agents & editors your manuscript on thumb drives customized with your name and web address. #rwatips

47) By next week, jokes about Goodreads and bullies will be freakin’ hilarious. Keep a list on your phone to jazz up conversations. #rwatips

48) Anytime there’s a lull in conversation, pretend you’re getting a call about your bid to purchase Author Solutions. F-ing Penguin! #rwatips

49) One word: WHEELIES. #rwatips

50) Clever tip: go up to agents and say, “I just met you. And this is crazy. But here’s my manuscript. Call me maybe.” #rwatips

51) Pretend to be reading a blog on yr phone, burst into laughter, say “You gotta read this!” to closest person. And it’s your book! #rwatips

52) It will be worth the extra baggage fees to take the karaoke machine to the workshop. Trust me on this. #rwatips

53) Actually that last one is true. Probably. Depending on if it’s your workshop or someone else’s. #rwatips

54) Good quotes for RITA/GH speeches: anything from Pulp Fiction. Because it’s about FICTION! That gets PULPED! Like paperbacks! #rwatips

55) The RWA conference is a great place to discuss your kickstarter campaign to afford PublishAmerica’s fees. Hand out pledge cards! #rwatips

56) During busy conversations, go deathly silent. Then, in a hiss, warn everyone winter is coming. #rwatips

57) Photobombing with yr book cover is particularly effective after RITA/GH awards, because those images get uploaded everywhere! #rwatips

58) In workshops, insist on standing right by the door, no matter the number of seats. Tell ppl it’s “in case there’s another fire.” #rwatips

59) In any workshop called a “spotlight”, it would be memorable & clever to take in a huge flashlight and shine it on the presenters. #rwatips

60) Yell “Marco!” in the lit signing. Lots of ppl around to hear you. Whoever yells “Polo!” can be your new BFF. #rwatips

(Me and author Trish Milburn)

61) If anyone asks who your editor/agent appointment was with, tell them “The Goddamn Batman”. They’ll know which one you mean. #rwatips

62) Take several copies of yr book to slip into the stacks at your table. Squeal & tell everyone you heard it was better than 50Shades. #rwatips

63) Ask famous authors, “Do you mind if I write fanfic of your books and then sell it? I like to know who’s litigious ahead of time.” #rwatips

More from Lucy Woodhull: http://missworded.tumblr.com/post/27634778891/hott-smexy-tips-for-romance-networking And on Twitter: https://twitter.com/lucywoodhull

Stare in every mirror you pass and complain about your unruly mass of luscious spiral hair and unfashionably narrow waist. #rwatips

Romance people like cats, so make your agent pitch in meows. If you feel you’re losing your audience, it’s hairball time. #rwatips

If you’re a male romance author going to RWA, bring a blonde wig. When conversation stalls, tell everyone you’re Fabio. #rwatips

Good luck in Anaheim!

Jody W. & Meankitty
www.jodywallace.com * www.meankitty.com

Group Author Photo From Lori Foster Conference

Let’s play where’s Waldo, only with me. I’m not wearing a red striped shirt. In a blindingly original fashion, I’m wearing a black shirt, because authors NEVER do that.

I really am in here, I swear! Photo courtesy of Kathy at http://www.kathysreviewcorner.com/ . Anya Bast snapped an individual photo of me in my blindingly original black T-shirt. I’ll link you to her blog if you want to see her illustrated conference report: http://www.anyabast.com/2008/06/09/lori-foster-get-together-picture-post/

I’m kind of camera phobic. I don’t like having my photo taken but I love photos. I’m a terrible photographer but I’m always disappointed when I don’t snap enough shots. As I believe these two things are typical of most humans, I’ll refrain from further reflection.

Also typical of many humans, I have to go to the dentist now and be chastized for my crappy flossing technique (eg: I only floss the day before and the day after my dental appointment.)


Back from Cincy and I Still Haven’t Unpacked

As I have mentioned ad nauseum on the blog the past month, I attended the Lori Foster Readers and Writers Get Together this past week-end as my first foray into booksignings as a published author. While that part of it wasn’t a roaring success for various reasons, the rest of the week-end was a highly enjoyable experience. Unfortunately, I have no pictures to share because (a) my sister wouldn’t let me take pictures; (b) I kept forgetting the camera; and (c) ok, maybe I did take a few pictures and they stink like diaper pail, so I’ve deleted them without even showing them to the people IN the photos, which they’d thank me for if they only knew. I’m *so* not a photographer, unless you count my mysterious talent of always capturing expressions of demonic possession on people’s faces.

At the Get Together, I met a ton of people I’m not going to list because I know I’d forget somebody. I also ate a ton of food and chocolate I’ll be remembering almost as long as I remember the people and party atmosphere. Part of the Get Together was pizza Friday night, pastry Saturday morning and a really tasty lunch of sandwiches and soup Saturday afternoon with awesome, thick wheat bread. On Saturday night, some local Nashville folks teamed up to dine at…oh dear, some nice Italian place I’ve promptly forgotten the name of, but the food was delicious and the service was impeccable. See what I mean about names?? They don’t stick with me, but the impressions linger. I also loved the spinach and egg white fritatta I had when I breakfasted with my agent Sunday morning and the Moolatte I got from the DQ on the way home. Food is an important part of my daily diet, so it rarely goes unremarked.

The service at the Marriott was incredible, too. I think they hire extroverts and part of their job description is to smile at patrons and make them feel welcome. Combine that with the beds, and even if I hadn’t been schmoozing with authors and readers all week-end, I’d still have had a grand time. And I only squabbled with my sister (that’s Nanny Slave to those of you who follow Meankitty’s exploits) about half the time! I can’t verify whether the two ladies we drove to Cincy with threatened to separate us if we didn’t behave, but it’s possible.

Now that I’ve returned to normalcy, or what approximates it in our household, I believe I owe my newsletter subscribers a much delayed release and everyone else the name of my contest winner, now that I have cool additional loot to stuff inside my handmade giftbag. I’ll be announcing that as a separate entry and soon, like tonight or tomorrow morning, after I randomize the selection process. The newsletter will also go out soon, though not AS soon as the contest winner’s name, but it should include the next part of the free story I’ve been sharing, another delicious (ha!) recipe, and other updates.

While I was gone, I gather DH and the girls partied like rock stars, but he’s so competent that the house was CLEANER THAN WHEN I LEFT when I got home. Isn’t he amazing?? So far, nobody except me has gotten sick! I have considered milking my sinus thing another day so he’ll break down and unpack for me but that seems a little selfish, all things considered.

Contest results soon —


Lori Foster Readers and Writers Get Together

I have been deep in the bowels of website redesign and conference preparations this week, so my newsletter and announcement for who has won my fabulous April-May contest will be delayed until after I get back from the Lori Foster Readers and Writers Get-Together in Cincinnati this week-end. You still have time to send in your name for the gift bag contest until Monday or thereabouts. It’s my first official book-signing and first time away from the family, in particular the children part of the family, since I got pregnant with #2.

Hey, maybe the wait will be worth it (the wait for the newsletter, not the wait to strike out on my own) and I’ll have fun pictures and gossip to share when I get back! You should also have a brand new website to pore over soon. Mine, not Meankitty’s. Meankitty’s is way too huge to redesign unless I have an extra month.


PS from Meankitty: Leaving us behind with Food Slave and the small slaves for the week-end, huh? Methinks Big D and I should plan a jailbreak so that frantic phone calls about the cats being missing ruin Typing Slave’s fun time in Cincinnati. Okay, maybe not, we might get FLEAS out there.

PPS: I just made this little card to give away at the conference. It doesn’t say paranormal ROMANCE but hopefully it does say “Pick me up!”