Showing posts with label wolf ice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wolf ice. Show all posts

15 June 2015

Converting a Reluctant Reader: My Mother

by Melissa Yi

“I never read fiction,” my mother used to say, as a point of pride. When I was a kid, she would glance at my library books and say, “Why are you reading that? You already read it!”
After I won second place in Writers of the Future, my first big milestone, I signed one of my complimentary copies to my parents, thanking them for their (ahem) support. “Do you want it back?” said my mother, a few weeks later. “We already read it!”
“No, thanks,” I said annoyed. My then-boyfriend, now-husband, Matt, always encouraged me to write. My parents didn’t care. You know how writers joke, “I only sold two copies, and one of them was to my mom”? I’m like, You’re lucky your mom reads. Good on ya.
My parents & my newborn son: better than a book!
My mother did occasionally come to my book readings and/or buy a copy. She lives in Ottawa (about 1.5 hours’ drive away from me), or she’d come more often. I suspected that she shoved the books in a corner, or gave them away, but was grateful for her presence. As you may know, it’s a challenge to get people out.
But a few years ago, after while taking the bus, she got so bored that she started reading one of my anthologies, Indian Country Noir. “It was good!” she said, sounding astonished.
I think she also read The Dragon and the Stars, which won the Aurora Award in 2011, but I didn’t hear anything for four years.

Not until Tuesday, when she attended the ChiZine Reading Series and marched right up to the book table. “I have to support my daughter,” she said, and bought WOLF ICE and NOTORIOUS D.O.C.
Would I have given the books to my mother? Of course. But I also think she really wants to support me. As in sustain me, help lift me up. And since I’ve come to realize that success depends not just on financial vagaries, but psychological toughness, I accepted. I’m not to proud to accept charity from my mom (or Patreon from my fans).
Then on Friday, I spotted WOLF ICE not only splayed open on her bed, but halfway finished.
“It’s so good. I can’t put it down,” she told me and Matt. “It’s actually bad, because I wanted to do the gardening on Thursday, and I never got out, and on Friday, it rained, so I didn’t get anything done. How much is TERMINALLY ILL? The next time I come, I’ll buy that one.”
Wow. A compliment from my mom. I’ll take that over gardening any day.

How about you? How does your family react to your writing and your passions? Did they encourage you, or tell you to knuckle down and study the times table instead? How has that changed over time? And how do you support your children, if you have any?
I have to admit that when my son announced he wanted to be a police officer, I gulped.

01 June 2015

Would you like a little werewolf in your mystery? And how about some sex and swearing?

by Melissa Yi

Personally, I love a little genre shake-up. I’m the kind of person that, if you asked me, “Chocolate, vanilla, or mirabelle plum?” I’d say, “Is it possible to have all three?”

I know that Dixon Hill has investigated romance and mystery, and Eve Fisher's viral post on the $3500 shirt covered history and mystery. But what about fantasy and mysteries?

At the World Fantasy Convention in 2000, I leaped on Dead Until Dark, the first Sookie Stackhouse book by Charlaine Harris, which of course have since become the massive TV series, True Blood.

Fun fact: remember how I was vacillating about spending money to travel for writing? Last weekend, I flew to Los Angeles for the Roswell Award presentation, and Sci-Fest LA co-founder David Dean Bottrell, who played the professor on True Blood, shook my hand and said, “I just realized who you are. Wonderful story.” Yes! More fun LA moments on my blog.

"The creature" & David Dean Bottrell from THE LUNCHTIME SHOW at Sci-Fest LA

I also adore Charlaine’s “grave” series featuring Harper Connolly, the girl who was struck by lightning and left with a strange gift: she can now sense dead people and relive the way they died.

Who could resist Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden, the big, powerful Chicago wizard who shoves himself into a tiny Volkswagen Beetle and regularly solves crimes, fights bad faeries, and saves the world?

If you’re like me and prefer werewolves (warm, furry) over vampires (cold, dead), I’ll throw in Sparkle Hayter’s Naked Brunch, where a Manhattan secretary with “lycanthropic morphic disorder” investigates a series of murders. This isn’t my favourite of Sparkle’s books, but I always love her craziness.

Full disclosure: I wrote a werewolf thriller of my own, Wolf Ice. I’m reading it at ChiSeries Ottawa Presents on June 9th. They’re putting me last because I asked, “Is it okay to have sex and swearing in our reading?” The paraphrased answer: yes, but we’ll put you last because sometimes a child will come to the readings, and this way, the parents can discreetly usher the minor out before you start your X-rated show.

In all seriousness, I won’t be cussing and tossing my characters in compromising positions the entire time. But close! And extremely fun for someone who spends her days in a buttoned-up job. In fact, I’ll be driving directly from the hospital to the venue, so I had to ask if there was anywhere in the hospital where I could shower off the germs first.

One of the side effects of joining two book clubs is that I realize most readers (alas, most people) don’t think the same way as me. They might think genre mash-ups are the Death Star of literature. Or they might want to throw Sookie into Hurricane Katrina, especially because they disagree with the series’ ending. I’m curious what you think, dear readers.

Hands up if you love some mixing and matching. Weigh in if you think it’s ruined both genres. If you want to hear more about L.A., hit me up in the comments! Or just click on my Patreon account to leave a tip. Cheers!