Urban Fantasy: conjures up tales of the mean streets, doesn’t it? Wizards on a case, stomping the alleyways of gritty Chicago with their magic staff; Druid investigators tracking down evildoers in South Boston; PIs joining with a vampire partner searching for demons in downtown Toronto. From vampire executioners in St. Louis to all the amazing and wonder leather-clad kickass female heroes and heroines in today’s urban fantasy, we all love these stories set in modern cities.
But what about the country? Small towns, rural areas? There’s no lack of intrigue, suspense,backstabbing partners, and all the things you’d find in a large city (except perhaps for the high-rises and traffic).
I chose to set my Blood Lines series in Rio Seco, Texas – a fictional small town very much based on a lovely Hill Country community I lived in during my late high school years, Lago Vista, Texas. The Hill Country, dotted with small towns, rural communities and resorts remains, to this day, a jewel in the bellybutton of the state. Lakes, rolling hills, gorgeous scenery complement the hustle and bustle of the major cities. It’s a place to get away and a wonderful place to live. Even as early as the late 1970s, the Hill Country was becoming a mecca for those with money/fame/power to buy a vacation home. Now, in the early 21st century, nearby cities keep expanding into this once isolated area, bringing with it the pressures of new population, new development. Small towns may not have the numbers of people as in cities, but they certainly have the same issues, often magnified because people all tend to know one another.
Reviews for the series:
“This is an absolutely spectacular addition to the paranormal landscape.” (Bookfetish)
“Full of more interesting surprises than a candy store.” (Charlaine Harris, New York Times best-selling author)
“Another kick-ass heroine enters the paranormal arena…a biting sense of humor…” (Romantic Times Book Reviews)
“Urban fantasy fans are going to love this–especially the Kelly Clan, an extended family of supernaturals living within human society…A strong tale that fans of Kelly Armstrong and Kim Harrison will want to read.” (Worlds of Wonder)
Agatha Award Nominee for Best Short Story 2004
originally published in Chesapeake Crimes I.
What happens when your weird cousin sends you a telegram stating that your aunt’s dead and the butler did it? Lindsay Graham discovers that there’s more in store than a traditional English funeral and the requisite neighborhood gathering. Way more.
San Diego Noir; Akashic Books
Maria Lima contributes something rare for the Akashic Noir series, a crossgenre story set in the heart of the city’s downtown.
San Diego is home to miles of beaches, Balboa Park, a world-famous zoo, and some of the country’s most expensive home and resort real estate. Yet the city also houses a few items that aren’t actively promoted by the visitor’s bureau: a number of the country’s most corrupt politicians, border-related crimes, terrorists, and the occasional earthquakes. A noir feast!
In the 50-plus years since Raymond Chandler set Playback in Esmeralda, his name for La Jolla, the population has grown by more than a million, and crime has proliferated as well. San Diego of the past and the present offers the book’s contributors a rich selection of settings, from the cross on Mount Soledad to the piers of Ocean Beach, and perpetrators and victims from the residents of its wealthiest enclaves to the inhabitants of its segregated barrios.
Essays & Other Non-fiction
In the Hunt: Unauthorized Essays on Supernatural; Benbella Books/Smart Pop Series (March, 2009)
A relative newcomer to the paranormal-teen drama scene, the hit TV show Supernatural has already developed a rabid and deeply committed fan base since its debut in the fall of 2005. When their dad mysteriously disappears, brothers Dean and Sam Winchester join forces to bring him home and are pulled headlong into the world he knew best—one full of demons, spirits, monsters, and ghouls. Featuring essays from three lucky fans as well as leading writers and pop culture experts, this insightful anthology sheds light on a variety of issues, including why such a male-centric show has such a large female fan base, “Wincest” and homoeroticism, how Supernatural can be interpreted as a modern-day Brothers Grimm, and the questionable nature of John Winchester’s parenting habits.
A Taste of True Blood: The Fangbanger’s Guide; Benbella Books/Smart Pop Series (June, 2010)
True Blood, Alan Ball’s critically acclaimed television adaptation of Charlaine Harris’ bestselling Southern Vampire mysteries, has successfully glamoured millions of viewers and brought vampire-lovers everywhere out of the coffin. With smart and quirky pieces on a range of tasty topics, A Taste of True Blood: The Fangbanger’s Guide gives you something to savor between episodes—and whets your appetite for more.
A Taste of True Blood also includes a quick reference guide to the show’s first two seasons, with episode summaries and memorable quotes.
Filled With Glee: An Unauthorized Glee Companion; Benbella Books/Smart Pop Series (November, 2010)
Is Sue is the true driving force behind Glee? Who the real alpha male in New Directions? Why do we really keep coming back to Glee week after week? From its quirky character insights to its inspirational, funny, and touching stories from fellow gleeks, Filled with Glee is the perfect companion for the fan who can’t get enough Glee.
Filled with Glee also includes a guide to putting together a glee club in your own school or community; an index of songs by episode; and the musical biographies of the main and guest actors (including where and when they’ve worked together before).
Whedonistas: A Celebration of the Worlds of Joss Whedon by the Women Who Love Them ; Mad Norwegian Press (March, 2011)
In Whedonistas, a host of award-winning female writers and fans come together to celebrate the works of Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, Doctor Horrible s Sing-Along Blog). By discussing the impact of Whedon’s work, their involvement with his shows fandoms and why they adore the worlds he’s created, these essayists aim to misbehave in Whedon’s rich, fantastical worlds.
An ebook series of essays and blog posts from over the years, addressing such varied topics as the writing process to miscellaneous thoughts about life and social mores to thoughts about television episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
The Truth about Vampires
Wherein I talk about my love of vampires and how I got hooked.
Mystery Readers Journal: Paranormal mysteries (volume 26:2, June, 2010)
Chesapeake Crimes II is an eclectic mix of mystery and murder. No sooner do the stories start than the bodies begin to fall.
Fifteen mysteries written by fifteen different authors – all members of Chesapeake Sisters in Crime and some of the hottest authors in mystery today – are a must-read for anyone serious about murder mysteries. In these pages you will find Edgar, Anthony, and Agatha Award winners.