The one in which I explain why I couldn’t write for nine months

Just over a year ago, I had one of the biggest shocks of my life when I found out I was pregnant for the second time. And in those early weeks, when the belly hasn’t grown yet and there is little to no physical manifestation of said pregnancy, I actually did not believe it. Then, about nine weeks in, the extreme tiredness set in, followed very quickly by the pregnancy brain.

For those who have never experienced pregnancy brain, this is how it goes: “I am pregnant! Holy crap! How did this happen? What’s going on? I need to sleep!” These thoughts are quickly followed by somewhat of a period of non-thought, in which you may fall asleep, or simply stare blankly into space. As soon as you come out of it, these thoughts occur:  “I am pregnant! Holy crap! How did this happen? What’s going on? I need to sleep!”

Repeat this for about seven more months. I’ve even woken up in the middle of the night to pee, tried to roll over and get out of bed, failed, and then thought “Why am I so fat?” before remembering I was many months pregnant. Basically, it was a nine-month period of having no short-term memory and barely functioning as a member of society.

I’m sure there are women to whom this doesn’t happen. Those women might be able to do awesome things like hold a coherent thought, leave a room without forgetting why they left in the first place, and believe that they are pregnant and are able to make plans for said baby or even buy a diaper before said baby is born. I am not one of those women. My brain only started functioning again about a day after the baby was born, and I then had the wherewithal to order diapers and formula online to be delivered before we got home.

Anyway, the point is that even though I was about 5,000 words into Demon Blood at the end of last year when I found out I was pregnant, my writing immediately dropped off. I was somehow able to get another 5,000 words done by April, which is when I became too pregnant to function. The baby was born on July 10th, and by the end of August, the thought occurred to me that I was in the middle of writing a book.

Fortunately for me, the baby had not been informed that newborns are supposed to be bad at sleeping, so I was able to pick up writing again more quickly than I anticipated. My maternity leave was over October 2nd, and through a shear force of will, I somehow managed to finish the first draft of Demon Blood at 5pm on October 1st.

Since I’ve started writing the Vampire in the City series, I’ve been able to get out one book a year, and I realized that the end of 2014 was rapidly approaching and the book wasn’t ready yet. So from the beginning of October until now, I’ve been working on the editing of Demon Blood almost without break. (I have several types of edits I go through, and usually give myself a few days off between them.)

In short, I have given up things like my lunch hour at work, sleep, and the playing of video games, but finally, with less than a month to spare, Demon Blood is coming out on December 5th! Here’s where you can reserve a copy!

Cemeteries I Have Loved

In honor of Halloween being this week, I am devoting this post to all the cemeteries I have enjoyed exploring. And there have certainly been a lot of them!

Being that I write vampire books, it’s no surprise that cemeteries are strongly featured in them. Unless you live in New York City, and specifically the borough of Queens, what you probably don’t know is that there are more cemeteries in Queens than there are in all the other boroughs combined.

What this means is, if you live in Queens, you most likely live pretty close to a cemetery. I have many fond memories of visiting cemeteries–when I was growing up in Maspeth, Queens, my house was within a block of an entrance to the cemetery. Since my grandmother’s family was buried there, my grandma took me for walks in the graveyard quite often. Much in the way people in the suburbs would picnic in the park, my grandmother would pack us some sandwiches and we would go behind her parents’ grave and have lunch, while she told me stories about growing up in NYC in the early 1900s.

When I was a little older, it was decided by my parents that it was too dangerous to ride my bike in the park, but the cemetery, with its wide paths and infrequent traffic, was fine. So understandably, cemeteries always had a pleasant connotation for me rather than a negative one.

Below is a photo of some odd Queens magazine that features an ad for the cemetery that I used to live near as a child. Notice how they misspelled the word “cemetery” in their own ad.
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And for some reason, whenever I travel, I feel compelled to visit at least one local cemetery. In April 2005, my husband and I went to New Orleans for our honeymoon. We took the below photo at the Lafayette Cemetery No 1.
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In April 2010, we went to Paris to celebrate our fifth year anniversary. Our hotel was by the Père Lachaise Cemetery, where this photo was taken. Despite the fact that I was actually trying to be creepy, I was three months pregnant at the time and not feeling great, thus paler than usual.
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I have many more cemetery photos, but the above two are some of my favorites, taken in two of my favorite cities as well.
Lastly, in news that is somewhat related to cemeteries, I am pleased to announce the release date for Cold Blood is November 17th! For more information, plus giveaways, excerpts, and the cover reveal, join this Facebook event !

Witch Blood Released!

It’s been a very long time since I’ve posted, but I have good news–the third novel in my Vampire in the City series, Witch Blood, was just released!

The cover:

What have I been up to since I last posted, other than getting this book out? Glad you asked!

1. Working on the 4th book in the series, which is called Cold Blood. The first chapter is included in the above-mentioned book.

2. Working a day job. I’d been a freelance editor until about a month ago. Working 9-5:30 is much more stressful than working whenever I feel like it.

3. Buying a house. This is why I took the day job. Ack, huge mortgage! We haven’t moved yet, but the closing should be sometime this month.

4. Being caught in a hurricane. Fortunately, my part of Queens was mostly spared. But we were very lucky, as I know more than a few who have lost literally everything. I can’t imagine what I would do in that situation. Those who want to help can donate to the Red Cross here. If you’re an animal lover, like me, also consider the Wildlife Conservation Society. They run the New York Aquarium, which is closed indefinitely due to extensive damage.

I don’t want to end on a sad note, so here’s a photo of my cute kitty Pyewacket.