A post by someone cooler than I
Today I have a treat for you and me both, dear reader.
In my quest to absorb ALL THE THINGS about writing in print and audio form (it helps if you boil it all in a cauldron and bathe in it) I came across the podcast I Should Be Writing. (Subscribe: iTunes || RSS)
“I should be writing,” I mumbled to myself as I gleefully parked my work van on someones front lawn. Using my finely honed skills of deduction, I realized this must be a writing podcast — exactly what I was looking for at the time.
And this was the gateway to all things Mur Lafferty.
Mur Lafferty has written podcast fiction, published novels, penned words for RPGs, all the while keeping up a regular scheduled podcast on the art and craft and insanity that is writing.
And when I heard she was looking for places to pimp her new book, Ghost Train to New Orleans, out March 4th, I said to myself, “Hey, I have a blog…” and promptly contacted her via smoke signals and carrier pigeons. And when that didn’t work, I used email.
I am almost done with the first book in this series, The Shambling Guide to New York City, an inventive and fun mix of the absurd and the mundane — a New York City filled with water sprites, demons, fiends and zombies, all living in plain sight, yet hidden among us clueless humans. And the human woman who is writing a travel guide for them sure has her hands full not becoming lunch.
It’s like Terry Pratchett, clothed only in pages torn from urban fantasy novels and scrolls of ancient lore, ended up on the set of In the Mouth of Madness and decided to sit down and type out a book.
Ghost Train to New Orleans takes us to the next city that needs a good travel book for the undead — New Orleans.
There better be a zombie Mardi Gras, or Mrs. Lafferty is gonna hear from me…
From the blurb:
Zoe Norris writes travel guides for the undead. And she’s good at it too — her new-found ability to talk to cities seems to help. After the success of The Shambling Guide to New York City, Zoe and her team are sent to New Orleans to write the sequel.
Work isn’t all that brings Zoe to the Big Easy. The only person who can save her boyfriend from zombism is rumored to live in the city’s swamps, but Zoe’s out of her element in the wilderness. With her supernatural colleagues waiting to see her fail, and rumors of a new threat hunting city talkers, can Zoe stay alive long enough to finish her next book?
Needless to say, I got that bad boy on pre-order.
So, without further blathering, I present to you Mur Lafferty.
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I do writing wrong.
The TV movie about my fascinating life will have to be edited heavily. I’m bad at things that writers are supposed to do.
I don’t smoke. But i’m not sure if that stereotype still holds true, as smoking has gone out of style. I used to smoke, but not since the 90s.
I don’t drink scotch, whiskey, or absinthe. We have it in the house, my husband enjoys all of those things. But I can’t stand any of it. I enjoyed gin for a while, and sometimes would make myself a martini in a martini glass and feel like an ad exec coming home from work, and sometimes I’d make a martini and put it in a coffee cup and call it my writer’s martini- give me the gin, not the fancy crap. But then gin and I had a falling out, and we don’t talk much anymore.
Now I drink wine, which is just so very New York loft party. (actually I haven’t been to New York in a while. Is it NYC loft party to drink wine? Am I making stuff up? I can call it North Carolina suburban writer’s party of one. But that’s just sad.) I also like rum now, and was delighted when my favorite drink – rum and ginger ale – turned out to be called a “dark and stormy.” How is that for perfection? This is a WRITER’S drink! (<– best Klingon voice here.)
Lastly, I don’t do coffee well. I like coffee, but I’ve done the fancy beans, and the Chemex carafe, and the filters that look like a folded napkin BUT MORE EXPENSIVE BECAUSE CHEMEX. I read my friends talk about it like it’s a new religion, OMG COFFEE MUCH DIFFERENT SO BETTER, and then I make my own and… It’s good. It hasn’t changed my life, but it’s good. I even joined Tonx so I could get fancy coffee beans delivered to my door every 2 weeks. And the new coffee is… good. I’ve looked online to make sure I’m doing everything right, from warming the carafe to letting the coffee “bloom” to keeping the beans airtight and whole until I am ready to grind and brew. I even play the coffee soothing music while I go through the holy ritual, and make sure I only use water wept from orphans on the full moon.
OK, I exaggerate. The children who weep at the full moon have parents. Their parents just hate them, that’s all. Why do you think they’re crying? You monster.
But after all this, my coffee is still… good. I like it. And the ritual is a nice way to start the day, get the brain going and all that. Sleepy brain must wake in order to not break glass or burn self, after all. But even after all this, I’m not getting why this coffee is better than the coffee I was drinking before. And my writer friends still talk about all these things as if they’ve found Jesus. Would you like to hear the good news about coffee?
On bad days, I feel left out. On good days, I enjoy my coffee and try not to think about how much I’ve spent on coffee compared to how much someone with Dunkin Donuts coffee and a Mr. Coffee maker has spent. On bitter days, I assume this coffee is my ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ and I just am too chicken to stand, point, and go THIS COFFEE IS THE SAME AS ALL THE OTHER COFFEE, ONLY WE ARE STUPID AND SPEND MORE.
I’m also very sensitive to caffeine and have 1-2 cups a day, max. Very not writerly.
Lastly, I’m allergic to cats. All writers have cats. I have dogs, and they’re not allowed in my lap or on my desk and they do nothing cute to keep me from writing (eg. sit on my chair or lie on my keyboard or hold down my lap so I can’t possibly get up and write.)
Thus, I will fail as a writer. It’s over. Stick a fork in me, I’m done. It looks like all that’s left is the actual book that’s coming out, which has a distinct lack of cigarette smoke, whiskey stains, or coffee cup rings on the manuscript. The only thing this book has is WORDS.
But I hope you like them. Ghost Train to New Orleans. Out March 4.
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