The Magic City

The Magic City

Monday, August 29, 2011

So I Married a Dalvahni Warrior

The weather may be cooling down, but the heat is ratcheting up in a new anthology from Angie Fox, Kathy Love and Lexi George.  I am pleased to have a guest interview with Lexi George, one of the three authors who contributed to the soon to be released So I Married a Demon Slayer.  Lexi's debut novel, Demon Hunting in Dixie, came out earlier this year and features the so-hot-they'll-make-your-teeth-sweat Dalvahni warriors.  We see the return of the Dalvahni in Lexi's story The Bride Wore Demon Dust.


           Tell me about your hero? I’ve always wanted to know more about demon slayers.

Rafe is a Dalvahni warrior, an emotionless, impassive race of inter-dimensional bounty hunters created to hunt down and capture rogue demons before they wreak havoc on other worlds.  The Dalvahni are matchless in battle, but a teensy bit lacking in the self-awareness department.  
As in totally clueless.  They feel battle rage and lust, but little else in the way of emotion.  
Oh, yeah, and the Dalvahni happen to be hot-tays, tall, broad-shouldered, heavily muscled and drop dead good looking.
Rafe Dalvahni is no exception, with his garnet red hair and piercing green eyes. He considers Brand, his fellow warrior, beneath contempt after Brand falls in love with a Southern girl.  The Dalvahni do not love.  Such a thing is unheard of.
Rafe regards Brand’s peculiar affliction as an anomaly among the Dalvahni, a freak occurrence that will never be repeated.  Certainly, nothing of the sort will ever happen to him.
And then he meets Bunny Raines, the Hannah, Alabama librarian, and Rafe Dalvahni super stud falls in love. It takes him a while to glom onto the fact thought.  Like I said, the dude is clueless.

Who is your heroine, and how is she dealing with her new hubby?

Bunny Nicole Raines is a small town librarian with a double stripper name.  (She will never forgive her parents for not naming her Emma or Jane.)  She meets Rafe Dalvahni one night when he saves her from a mugger, and falls completely and totally in love with the gorgeous Mr. Dalvahni. Everything is perfect, buttercups and roses, until after the wedding, when she finds out that her new husband is (a) not human; (b) an immortal demon slayer; (c) she was really attacked by a demon, not a mugger; and, (d) she is no longer human, because Rafe changed her when he saved her from certain death after the demon attack.
Bunny is not a happy camper.  To top it all off, she is pregnant, although she hasn’t told Rafe.  So, not only is she married to a stranger and no longer human, she’s pregnant with ET.  
How does she handle it?  Like most of us would, I suspect.  She runs, away from the wedding and away from Rafe.  He follows her, of course.  There’s a demon on her trail, although she doesn’t know it.

What was the inspiration for your novella?

Megan Records, my editor, asked me to participate in the anthology.  I was thrilled, especially when I found out that Angie Fox and Kathy Love had also been asked to participate, but I was a little nervous, too.  I’d never written a novella.  Megan told me the theme—So I Married A Demon Slayer— and left the rest up to me.  Since I already had my small-Southern-town-gets-invaded-by-demons-and-hunky-demon-hunters thing going with the first book, I decided to go with that.

How different was the process for writing your novella as opposed to one of your novels?

My process is pretty much the same every time:  organized chaos.  I’m a pantser with plotter envy. I figure out who my hero and heroine are going to be and come up with an idea for the story and start writing.  After I’ve written a few chapters and gotten to know my characters a little, I make a list of plot points and try to connect the dots.

What is your next project?
Right now I’m working on book three of the demon hunter series, DEMON HUNTING IN A DIVE BAR.  New characters and new story, so it’s going a little slow, but that’s typical for me.  

What are you reading now?
I am reading Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series and I’m reading SIZZLING SIXTEEN by Janet Evanovich.  Love me some Sookie and Stephanie!

Thanks to Lexi for agreeing to this interview.  Please leave a comment to win a copy of So I Married a Demon Slayer. You must live in the U.S. to win.  A winner will be announced in the comment thread on September 2, 2011.

You can follow Lexi on Twitter at @LexiGeorge12 or you can like her fan page on Facebook.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Book Publicity: An Interview with Maryglenn McCombs

      Whether you are published or pre-published, book publicity is something you must be mindful of.  The amazing Maryglenn McCombs has graciously agreed to endure an interview with me in order to share some of her knowledge on the subject.  Maryglenn has actively been working in the book publishing industry for nearly 20 years.  She has served as a guest lecturer for publishing workshops, conferences and events, including serving as a panelist for the Southern Festival of Books. She is a member of the Publishers Association of the South (PAS) and Publishers Marketing Association (PMA). 

.       What are the reasons an author should consider using a publicist?

I think there are two main reasons authors should consider hiring a publicist. First, it makes a huge difference to have someone who is familiar with the media, understands the timing of when (and when not) to pitch a book, how to pitch a book, knows what reviewers and journalists are looking for, and knows the ins and outs of how to get a book reviewed, covered, or featured. Second, I think it would be extremely hard to try to promote my own book—assuming I had a book to promote. I would definitely want to hire a go-between to do the promoting for me. That isn’t to say that there aren’t a multitude of great authors who also happen to be great self-promoters, but I would definitely want to have someone doing that work on my behalf as opposed to trying to do it myself. I have reviewer contacts who’ve told me they prefer working with publicists and while they love hearing from authors, don’t necessarily want to be pitched by the authors themselves. Sometimes that can get a little tricky, I’m told.

            With social media becoming more and more prevalent, how have you seen your job as a publicist change?

Social media has definitely had an impact on my job. Journalists—especially those who have a social media presence—seem to be more accessible (and it doesn’t hurt to be able to know what they’re thinking, blogging, tweeting, or Facebook-ing about). Social media, in some ways, has exponentially increased the value and scope of good reviews. I encourage all of my authors to share good reviews and coverage via social media. Having an outstanding quote or review to share with your social network can be a wonderful way to get people excited about your book—and build momentum.

3       Is there a timeline that an author should consider when it comes to publicity and/or contacting a publicist, and if so, what is it?

In a perfect world, all authors would contact me about 6 months in advance of publication. In the real world, I’m happy to have a little advance notice (at least a month) but do occasionally take on books that are already released. Having lots of lead time can help, but there are ways to promote books past their release dates. In fact, I tend to tell authors that it is really never too late to promote a book. I recommend starting early, though—or at least that authors start thinking about PR early.

4       You have a reputation for “thinking outside the book” when it comes to publicizing your clients and their books.  What are some of your favorite things you have done to promote a client/book?

Thanks for asking that question. I have some good stories but my favorite has to be one that happened last December.  I’ve worked with mystery writer Don Bruns for years—I think we’ve done 7 or 8 books together now. I begged him for years to include my Old English Sheepdog, Garcia, as a character in one of his books. (On a sad note, I should mention that we lost our Sweet Garcia in June after 11 wonderful and glorious years.)
I finally wore Don down and he made Garcia a character in Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, a mystery novel that came out last December.

I had heard through the grapevine that Rush Limbaugh was a proud Old English Sheepdog owner so I sent his dogs (Abby and Wellesley) a pitch letter from my dog, Garcia, telling them about the book and how great it would be if the dogs could convince their “dad” (Rush Limbaugh) to talk about the book –and Garcia, of course—on his show.

And he did!  So now I have the distinction of telling people that I was successful at getting my dog (and Don’s book) on the Rush Limbaugh Show. Don and I still get quite a chuckle over that story. Our phones rang off the hook for days…I had no idea just how many loyal Rush Limbaugh listeners there were!

5       In a challenging economy such as this one, each dollar counts.  For a pre-published author who has to decide between spending money on conferences, memberships in writing organizations, websites, etc., what advice do you have for the not-yet-published author in terms of where to direct their resources?

Conferences, conferences, conferences.  So valuable—and the networking opportunities alone far exceed the price of admission. I’m a big fan of genre-specific conferences and recommend them highly to both published authors and those looking to be published.

6       What book(s) are you  currently reading?

I am reading an incredible November mystery, Fever Dream by Dennis Palumbo (Poisoned Pen Press) which I’ll be representing. It is so good it is almost criminal that I get to call this “work." I am trying—trying—to convince myself to pick up The Art of Racing in the Rain but I’m not quite there—yet. In time!

Thank you so much, Heather; I appreciate the fun questions!

Maryglenn's website is

Saturday, August 20, 2011

September 24 Writing Workshop: Law and Order for the Writer

SOUTHERN MAGIC PRESENTS:  LAW AND ORDER FOR THE WRITER - FULL DAY WORKSHOP - Members of the law enforcement and legal community will present workshops on issues relevant to writers. 

September 24, 2011 from 9:30 to 3:00 at the Homewood Public Library (Birmingham, AL)

The schedule will be:

9:00 - 9:30
9:30 - 10:30 Getting the Crime Scene Right - Law enforcement professionals will discuss how to secure a crime scene.

10:30 - 11:30 Interrogation Techniques 
- Law enforcement professionals will walk attendees through what can and can't be done to interrogate a witness, and if we're lucky, they may share a few tricks of the trade for securing a confession.

11:30 - 12:00 Lunch
12:00 - 2:00 Surveillance - Who Has the Eyeball? Sheila Stephens, retired ATF agent and police officer, discusses the techniques and technology used by private investigators as well as the new technology being used by law enforcement.

2:00 - 3:00 What Dick Wolfe Got Right and Wrong 
- A first hand look at how the legal system is depicted in fiction by legal professionals. Their panel will include a general overview of the legal profession as well as the errors Hollywood continues to make about how judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys do their jobs.

Location: Homewood Public Library; 1721 Oxmoor Road; Homewood, AL 35209

Admission:Pre-registration closes on September 16
Southern Magic Members: $20.00
Mystery Writers of America Members: $20.00
Sisters in Crime Members: $20.00
Non-Southern Magic/MWA/SinC Members: $25.00
At the Door (regardless of membership) $30.00
To Register:Email your name, preferred email address, and payment method (check or PayPal) . Please use "September Workshop" as your subject line.

You can pay for your registration via PayPal by sending funds to 
(Please note in the comment section for your payment the funds are for the September workshop) 

Or mailing your check to 
Southern Magic RWA
 c/o Laura Hayden, Treasurer
P.O. Box 241312
Montgomery, AL 36124

(Please note in the comment section for your payment the funds are for the September workshop). 

For more information, go to  

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Doing the Happy Dance

For those days when you just need to do the happy dance, Les Grossman can oblige.