MY BOOK IS OUT!!!! You can buy it at your ebook retailer of choice! Links can be found here as well as a link to read the first five chapters for free. To celebrate I bring you an un-edited conversation between my editor, Brian White, and myself about the launch.
Brian White: guess what your book is now live in all channels
YOU ARE A PUBLISHED NOVELIST
Minerva Zimmerman: not the west coast yet 🙂
Brian White: really?
MZ: yeah no still preorder
MZ: yep, time zone dependent
BW: oh well who cares about that coast anyway
MZ: fuck you and your wrong sided ocean 🙂
BW: let’s start the conversation right there
MZ: lol Ok
MZ: So. We seem to have published a book.
MZ: or at least you’re saying so, the west coast hasn’t had it happen yet
so I’m future published?
BW: hell in Europe you are already old hat
isn’t it tomorrow already
BW: there is a statue of you in Melbourne City Parke
MZ: that would be so incredibly creepy
BW: It sounds more like a Gibson novel to be honest
MZ: I dunno, I think if there are statues of you, you better be dead.
or married to an artist
BW: You’d think? That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.
OK so when I was in Kentucky
This was back before they cut off pork-barrel spending
so Mitch McConnell would bring in all kinds of money, and had various things named after him
including, in the town I was working in, the workshop of the engineering lab, which was a big concrete thing with rolling doors etc. and we at the newspaper just called in Mitch’s Garage
MZ: Heh. My boss actually named the bird watching station after my former coworker cause she told him that “Only old rich white guys get stuff named after them.”
BW: I guess it was the “Senator Mitch McConnell Advanced Manufacturing and Robotics laboratory”
MZ: and he just wanted to prove her wrong.
MZ: Also she seriously made the whole project work and deserved to have even more things named after her. But my boss is a serious contrarian that way.
BW: You should name something after him
MZ: I am genuinely not sure that is safe to do while he is able to run as fast as I am.
BW: this is why everyone needs a desk bat
MZ: I have a desk swan.
…well I do have a desk bat
but it is the kind that flies
and it’s mounted on a wire
BW: that was a nicely escalated series of 5 lines, each creepier than the last
MZ: There is a lot of taxidermy in my office.
it is pretty creepy
BW: mine too but the reporters hate when we call them that
MZ: The local theater brought back a sheep’s head I didn’t know we’d loaned them the other day.
BW: You have a weird job
MZ: I do, and it doesn’t help that either I or the front desk volunteer is usually hard of hearing so when they say something I thought was “Doll Sheep Head” I wasn’t sure what I was going downstairs to pick up.
BW: i hope you have gloves handy at all times
MZ: Yeah, I learned the hard way that you never touch anything you don’t know what it is cause sometimes touching history is scary.
Oh, I suppose I can tell this story.
So I got a package in the mail and it had a letter and a funny little like… button with a long stick off the back of it that had been packaged inside a clear film canister.
And I was like “Huh weird. I wonder how this works.” And had taken it out and was looking at it, and figured it was some kind of weird historical fastener.
…then I read the letter.
Which informed that the lady who was sending it to me always remembered it being on her mother’s dresser and how she was never allowed to touch it, and it wasn’t until she was older that she learned was a pessary even WAS.
(waits for you to google this)
MZ: …and that’s why I always wear gloves. Cause I accidentally handled a 120 year old pessary.
BW: (Waits for readers to Google this)
OK who’s still with us?
MZ: Probably no one? We can probably safely talk about the book we intended to promote now?
BW: Yes the real dirty business
MZ: Holy crap. We published a book… and we have to do it all again, two more times!
BW: BOOK BOOK BOOK
In publishing we call that a trilby.
BW: Could be
MZ: So my brain is still kind of fried. I just turned in the manuscript for Book 3: Running Down A Dream to you on… Saturday? So I’m a little temporally confused in reality and in fiction.
What do you suppose people want to know about Book 1: Take On Me?
BW: Probably first what flavor it is.
MZ: I tend to go with Tragically Comedic as a description, but I”m not sure that really gets the information across.
I tend to write funny things about terrible events.
BW: I can dig that. To me, this is a book about two people thrown together by an awful moment, and forcing each other to figure out who they are. Two snarky snarky people. Who happen to be vampires.
MZ: I dunno if snarky is incorrect, it just feels a bit incomplete in describing the characters. Hannah is, well, she’s a teenager and acts like it. Alex personally feels more glib than snarky… but I think the two of them together is snarkyville.
MZ: Can I just mention that I’m really glad I accidentally sold you this series, cause I still haven’t figured out how to query it.
BW: That is a good way to avoid that.
MZ: Unfortunately you do still make me write up book summaries.
BW: I am an editor it is my job to make writers suffer
MZ: …and then rewrite them. And rewrite them again…
BW: This is Writer Torture 101
MZ: I thought that was writing author bios.
BW: I dunno I didn’t really come up through publishing school
MZ: You’re a newspaper guy
BW: Guilty as charged
MZ: That’s actually why I approached you originally. Cause your whole professional life is fixing text.
and I figured if anyone could deal with my little weird inconsistencies, it’d be you.
also, I knew you had a similar sense of humor, which is really important for this series.
BW: Yeah I think that we meshed really well on this
MZ: And I just want to point out that for the record, I did really, truly, originally try to pay you to edit this. Like, I think we even had a price pretty much figured out?
BW: I think that may have happened, yes
MZ: So, when did you think that you wanted to publish this? Like, what was it that made that decision?
BW: It was two things I guess: I loved the world you had created, and especially the characters. Both Hannah and Alex, but also the supporting cast. And I was also excited about the idea of experimenting with three shorter novels, and maybe with more in the future, given that it was pretty clear you had a lot more to write about in this world than these three books.
BW: Which I guess maybe doesn’t answer your question? But I’m not sure I had a single moment. In talking to you about the manuscript though, it was clear we’d work well together and had similar ideas about things like trying a rapid-release schedule and other things on the publishing side of things.
MZ: Yeah, when you suggested we publish it together rather than my original self-publishing idea it felt like the right choice. I still had to rationalize it all out, but I’ve never questioned that I found the right home for these books.
Cause you’ve always been “OK how do we make sure you do what you were trying to do and make everything as good as it can be.”
When we didn’t see eye to eye, it was because I hadn’t managed to convey what I meant.
MZ: Other stuff was just “Here, if you do this it will make this other thing work better”
Ugh this is turning into a self-congratulatory love fest.
throws hedgehogs at you
haha ok so here’s something I never asked you about
In the book a lot, you talk about Hannah having a scent of cherries and steel, and Alex of granite and rain. Where did this touchstone come from, and why those scents?
MZ: Oh. Uhm, well partly it came from the fact that scent is used so rarely in text.
MZ: It seemed like a good layer of information to add on the world, and since my vampires are designed to be plausible, their urge to feed on blood has to do with transmission vectors. They are strongly attracted to the scent of blood that is able to host the virus, so it made sense in my weird little head that people who were already vampires would have a different layer of scent information.
MZ: And I don’t think I ever talk about it, but it’s almost always a mix of two scents and honestly I picked them to reflect things about the characters origins and personality.
MZ: So Cherries and Steel is sort of this modern big city origin mixed with the real smell of cherries, not cherry flavor. The steel also goes with her strength.
MZ: Rain and Granite has to do with Alex’s origins and his sort of earthy, grounding personality. Also that’s a sense memory most people have but don’t actually know that they have consciously?
I mean rain on asphalt is also a very specific smell, but rain on granite is similar but earthier, more natural.
…and he kind of predates asphalt.
MZ: I was trying to make sure to use all the senses in information that’s given in the story. I’m not sure how well I did consistently, but I’m pretty happy with how my vampires smell.
BW: It passes the sniff test
MZ: In some of my other writing, I tend to exaggerate one sense in a character to show how their POV is unique. I don’t do that as much with Alex and Hannah because their vampire-ness is stronger in how they sense the world.
MZ: I think maaaaybe people might notice that more when there’s a third POV that is non-vampire (trying to not be too spoilery)
MZ: I don’t think they mention scent… hardly at all. While both Hannah and Alex tend to notice smell information in the people around them, one way or another.
BW: I definitely think that bears out
MZ: Well, what else do you think we should tell people? The trilogy is finished, there’s no way they won’t gt all 3 books. Book 2 comes out in December, and book 3 in February. It’s vampires, but they aren’t your… little sister’s vampires?
BW: or your mom’s if your mom was into Anne Rice
MZ: …shut up youngster.
Anne Rice was not THAT long ago.
/sticks fingers in ears
la la la la la la la
BW: God rest her soul
MZ: She’s alive. And I would never ever ever say anything about her online, ever.
OK we should get some sleep. Tomorrow we have a GODDAMN BOOK TO FLOG
MZ: wait, was I supposed to order a special book flog?
BW: jesus christ no one reads my memos
MZ: Did you send it from Bibi?
BW: Bibi doesn’t do memos, Bibi dictates memos
MZ: I only read Bibi memos.
MZ: How was I supposed to know any of the others were important?!
BW: This is a disaster
MZ: I do have a duck and a hose and know where to get rubber pants in our size at this time of night?
And… I better annotate the hell out of that last bit.
I’ll bring the tarp.
MZ: Wooo there aint no party like a book flogging party cause a book flogging party don’t stop until… well, no they never DO end.
BUY MY BOOK
/presses “Launch Book” button