When I started this blog in March of 2009, I had only just started on my urban fantasy reading journey. I didn't blog much that year - there are only six posts - because my life was crazy. (When is it not?) I had a handful of authors I'd discovered, and a new-found love for worlds where my I could immerse myself and my problems could be abandoned.
Fast forward two years. I'm a reading machine.
In order to keep track of my growing library of books, I created an Urban Fantasy List. Yes, I know - that points to a serious book addiction. My list is highly organized: Author (last name first), Is It Released (date if No, Y = yes), Do I Own It (H = hardcover, T = trade paperback, P = paperback, E = eReader, left blank if No), Have I Read It (Y/N), Title (listings are organized by series in sequence), Genre (SF = science fiction, Ro = romance, YA = young adult, My = mystery, Li = literature, Ho = horror), Specifics (vampire, shifter, werewolf, paranormal, magic, fae, ghost, demon, angel, nephilim, steampunk, alt world, historical, etc.), Rating (1-6 stars). Books that I have read are followed by a brief synopsis and sometimes a review.
This list is now 108 pages long!
In addition, I now have other lists - Books Missing from Series List (only 2 pages), Release Date List (by month/day - 5 pages), TBR List (8 - gulp - pages) and Books Read By Month (so I can keep track for this blog).
I've read somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 books since I started with (yes, you can cringe) Twilight on Thanksgiving in 2008. (If you've read what I said about Twilight, you will know that I liked it because it reminded me of Jane Eyre and Rebecca - very old world in its style. And I think Bella was the only monster in the series.) The second series I read was Jennifer Rardin's and that is what set me on this journey. I loved Jaz, she is such a kick-ass heroine. As a 46 year old mom, slightly overweight and more than a little stressed out, I am not ashamed to say I wanted to be her.
My husband finally broke down last year and let me redo the living room when my stacks of books started overtaking the house. We went to IKEA and picked out some very nice bookshelves (Billy bookshelves - they're freaking awesome because you can buy extra shelves for them & create shelves for paperbacks). Out went the entertainment center (it was a piece of shit anyway), up went 9 feet of bookshelves. (They're 6 1/2 feet tall!) The books are arranged alphabetically by author (OCD? Me? Nah.)
I'm running out of room on them.
What's next? The family room. There's a wall there where I can put another 7 ft. of 6 1/2 ft. tall shelves and another wall that can hold 9 ft. of shelves as long as they're only 3 ft. tall. Does my husband know this is coming? I suspect he does. lol
Over the last two years,I started following authors and urban fantasy blogs. I've won a number of contests. I have signed books from Jennifer Rardin, Kelly Meding, Lilith Saintcrow, Mario Acevedo/Jeanne Stein (came with a signed devil duck & magnets). I've won a contest by Jaye Wells (not a book but a Halloween contest - fake blood!), and a few others. My favorite contest was a writing contest from the Deadline Dames. I wrote a short story & they chose it as their favorite.
I'll tell you a secret - I've wanted to be a writer most of my life. I've been writing for as long as I can remember. My teachers loved my stories and poems. Every teacher from first grade on has told me I need to be a writer. Some told me to never stop writing. But my parents were practical people. We were poor. They wanted me to go to college for something that would make money. Those same stories that teachers loved? My mother laughed at them - and not in a good way. She made fun of my characters. She picked at my worlds. She insulted my ideas. She went so far as to tell me they were garbage, tore them up and threw them away. Who did I believe? The teachers who gave me A's? No. I believed my mother. To this day, I still write. I don't let anyone read my stories. Except that one I submitted to their contest.
And yes, I have a BS in Journalism. I flunked out of my first major (one my parents encouraged) and fell back on my writing. I never wanted to be a journalist, though I did work at a newspaper for ten years.
I hope that some day I grow big enough kahunas to submit one of my stories to a publisher. My promise to myself for this year was to submit some of my short stories to SF/Fantasy magazines, and risk the humiliation of being rejected. It's a tiny step.
In the meantime, my TBR pile (including the eReader books, many of which are short stories) is 200 books (yes, you read that right). And I'm going to go dive into one of them...
The Last of the Demon Slayers by Angie Fox
I've been waiting for this book to come out since December, and following Ms. Fox's woes in trying to get it published. I was ecstatic when it finally came out! I entered a contest to win it (I lost), but Angie Fox liked my comment so much she sent me a "Kiss My Asphault" tee shirt (giggling wildly - it's wicked cool). I came home from shuttling my son to his classes today (he's loving college) and found my Amazon box (containing the book) and Angie's package (containing the shirt) waiting for me. Its a VERY good day. A book that I know is going to be excellent & a tee shirt to help promote it.
Are you feeling the love?