Author Laura Resnick Guest Blog and Contest

PLEASE NOTE: The contest portion of the Laura Resneck event is now closed. The winners will be chosen at a later date and contacted via email.

Overdressed zombies, vicious gargoyles, a severed hand… and the night is still young!

Welcome to another day (or night) in the life of Esther Diamond, the struggling actress who is the heroine of Unsympathetic Magic (which is Esther’s third adventure). While pursuing her acting career and also trying to pay her bills (no mean feat in New York City!), Esther often teams up to fight Evil (yes, Evil) with her friend Max, a 350 year old mage, and Nelli, who is Max’s inconveniently large canine familiar. They are sometimes helped and sometimes thwarted in their efforts by Detective Connor Lopez, an NYPD cop who would be Esther’s boyfriend if he weren’t so convinced that she’s dangerously deranged.

The Esther Diamond series combines my early professional experience in the romance genre (I wrote fourteen romance novels under the pseudonym Laura Leone) and my subsequent experience in writing traditional fantasy (such as my epic fantasy trilogy, In Legend Born, The White Dragon, and The Destroyer Goddess). Above all, the Esther Diamond books indulge my love of comedy—a form of fiction which too often gets short shrift in modern society, where angst is perceived as Deeply Important and laughter is typically dismissed as “fluff.”

The ancient Greeks held comedy in high esteem, perceiving it as a greater form of art than tragedy. And I believe it is indeed the highest form of art when a writer shows me the truth of human nature and makes me laugh about it, rather than weep. Feeling too dire to go on is a common problem; while laughter is what makes going on not only possible, but a pleasure. Although I can name many books I found brilliant, moving, and unputdownable, when I think of the books that I regularly re-read, as well as the movies I watch over and over, they’re always the ones that make me laugh.

So, realistically, there wasn’t much chance of me not finding the funny in zombies, spirit possession, and evil curses when Esther Diamond encounters voodoo, sympathetic magic, and a dark sorcerer terrorizing Harlem in Unsympathetic Magic.

At the same time, however, fantasy is about the confrontation between Good and Evil, which is actually pretty serious stuff. Moreover, things like murder, body snatching, and violent assault, all of which occur in Unsympathetic Magic, are dangerous and menacing in any context. Which is fine, because comedy only works (in my opinion) when the stakes are every bit as real, heartfelt, and urgent as they are in drama or tragedy. The tone of the Esther Diamond novels is a happy embrace rather than a despairing sob or angry shove, but Esther nonetheless faces real danger, is genuinely terrified by it, and confronts her fears precisely because so much is at stake—such as the safety of people she cares about and, indeed, the survival of her city.

Fantasy is a great metaphor for the most towering, terrifying, and meaningful things in life; but it’s also really tricky to bring off convincingly, since—unlike, say, serial killers, armed robbers, and war in the Middle East—it’s realistically outside our life experience and always will be. While you’re reading an urban fantasy novel, the author has to make you believe wholeheartedly in magic, zombies, vampires, dark spirits, or demons menacing our contemporary world… even though, when you set aside the book, you (I blithely assume) don’t line your windows with garlic to keep vampires out, or wear an embarrassingly odorous gris-gris pouch around your neck (as Esther is obliged to do in Unsympathetic Magic) to protect yourself from evil sorcery.

So the goal in a fantasy novel is to make you believe with heart-pounding urgency and compelling absorption in the dangers and rewards of things you probably don’t ever expect to encounter in real life (such as a zombie attack on East 121st Street in Manhattan); and the simultaneous goal of an Esther Diamond novel is to explore, while conveying the pain of thwarted love and the terror of confronting Evil, what’s truly funny about our daily (and nightly) attempts to deal with the bizarre challenges of being alive in a crazy world.

I mentioned that this is Esther’s third adventure. The previous one, Doppelgangster, was released in January and is readily available. Due to various events too complicated to go into here (see this page of my website for details: http://sff.net/people/laresnick/About%20Writing/Crazy%20Ideas.htm), I switched publishers after Esther’s first book, Disappearing Nightly, and that book is currently out-of-print and unavailable. There will be an electronic edition of the novel released later this year; and a new print edition will eventually be published—I just don’t have a date for that yet. (Meanwhile, the book is also available second-hand and, to be clear, I have absolutely no objection whatsoever to readers buying my work second-hand when a book is not otherwise available.)

However, precisely because of that publishing glitch, I wrote Doppelgangster with the assumption that it would be many readers’ first introduction to this series. Moreover, since I always just want to enjoy whichever book I pick up in a series, without “having to” hunt down the first volume and read the books in rigidly chronological order, the Esther Diamond novels are all structured (and, for the foreseeable future, will continue to be structured) so that a new reader can enjoy and understand what’s going on in any of the books, regardless of which one she picks up first. So even if you’re unfamiliar with this series, go ahead and try Unsympathetic Magic as your first installment; after all, I wrote this book, too, with the expectation that it might indeed be your first exposure to Esther Diamond, her friends, and her nemeses.

Questions for the readers: Are you a fan of comedy, or do you feel it does indeed merit the description “fluff?” What do you think makes comedy good or worth reading? Rather than being a series about one particular kind of magical element, Esther Diamond encounters a different fantasy trope in almost every novel (ex. doppelgängers, supernatural disappearances, vampires, zombies and a voodoo sorcerer, etc.); what are some of your favorite fantasy tropes? What attracts you, in particular, to urban fantasy (or paranormal) novels?

Prize: In keeping with the voodoo theme of Unsympathetic Magic, the contest prize is a pair of “vévé” coffee mugs. A vévé is the symbol of a voodoo spirit or deity. The green mug portrays the vévé of Ogoun, god of fire, war, and masculinity, who makes a cameo appearance in Unsympathetic Magic; the red mug features the vévé of Papa Legba, who guards the crossroads where the physical world intersects with the spirit world.

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Learn more about Laura Resnick here:

Read reviews of her work here.

Website: http://www.lauraresnick.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1255802348

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CONTEST INFO: Open to readers in the US.

Prizes: 2 lucky entrants will each get one Voodoo vévé Mug!

The Contest Entry rules have changed so read them carefully

1. LEAVE YOUR FIRST NAME AND THE INITIAL OF YOUR LAST NAME AND YOUR COUNTRY in your comment/post so we can give you the proper credit for your entries. Mandatory, if you don’t leave this, none of your entries will count. It is NOT mandatory to make a purchase to be entered into the contest.

2. Answer Laura’s questions and ask her some questions please make sure they aren’t duplicates. Good for 10 + entries per question. (Max 3 good towards entries)

3. Order copies of Laura’s new book Unsympathetic Magic by using the links below.

To purchase a print copy of Unsympathetic Magic from Amazon click here.
To purchase a Kindle copy of Unsympathetic Magic from Amazon click here.

To purchase a print copy of Unsympathetic Magic from Barnes & Noble click here.
To purchase a Nook copy of Unsympathetic Magic from Barnes & Noble click here.

Books in the Esther Diamond series in the order they should be read:
Disappearing Nightly – Currently out of print
Doppelgangster
Unsympathetic Magic

Good for 150 + entries per book you purchase by using the links above. Email your receipt to the prize Goddess here bittenbybooks.contests @ gmail.com (no spaces). Not valid on past purchases.

OR you can use the Barnes & Noble link HERE to make your purchase of ANY kind of merchandise during the contest. You can also use the Amazon link HERE to shop as well. Good for 100 + entries to the contest for EACH item you purchase. Not valid on past purchases.

4. Make an actual blog POST on your BLOG and invite your readers about this event and use this live link to link back to this event: http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=30852 and this cover of the book. Come back and tell us where you shared. This REALLY Helps the author spread the word about their new book, so give a hand and help them out by talking about it on your blog!!! + 125 entries

5. Twitter this phrase exactly: PzRT: Laura Resnick Guest Blog/Chat/Contest LIVE NOW: http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=30852 #BBBUnsympatheticMagic #books #Voodoo

10+ Entries per tweet (max 5)

6. Attend and participate in M.K. Hobbs’s event here today: http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=30847 + 25

7. Other fun stuff to do while you are here today! +5 entries for each of these you do.

Check out the The 21st Day of September and Blog Mania Kindle Winner post and participate in Rachel’s fun event here: http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=30844

Check out the awesome new Vampire Academy Jewelry Line and pick up your DISCOUNT CODE here: http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=30605

Attend and comment at the Weekly Book Chat
http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=30800

Attend and comment at the Weekly Poll
http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=30816

Attend and comment at Screen Bites
http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=30806

8. Tally Your own points total 1 + Entries

That’s it!

Also be SURE to check out our amazing line up of other author events this month here: http://bittenbybooks.com/?page_id=4

RULES AND LEGAL DISCLAIMERS
The contest ends on 9/23/10 at 11:59 pm Central and the winner will be contacted via email. You will receive your prize directly from the author. PLEASE LEAVE YOUR FIRST AND THE INITIAL OF YOUR LAST NAME AND COUNTRY as well as a valid email where we can contact you. REMEMBER the more things you do, the more entries, the greater the chances of winning. PLEASE ALLOW THIRTY DAYS to receive your prize BEFORE EMAILING US.

1. Please note, the prize stated IS the prize you will receive, there will be absolutely no substitutions or changes the prize is non-transferable. If you don’t want the prize being offered, please don’t enter the contest. If you ever win an electronic copy of a book, please note that it is ILLEGAL to forward, give away or copy it in anyway once you receive it. Doing so violates copyright. If we find out that it has been done, you will no longer be eligible to win any of our contests.
2. You have FIVE days from the day the we contact you to claim your prize by sending your name/mailing address to me. Failure to contact me will forfeit your prize. BBB can at that time, choose either to re-award the prize to another entrant or not.
3. The prize stated IS the prize you will receive, there will be no substitutions, trades or changes. No exceptions. Please do not ask. If for some reason you do not wish to claim your prize, please let me know as soon as possible. Bitten by Books has the option to re-award it or not.
4. Contest is open to readers in the USA except where noted above. The prizes are shipped directly from the publisher unless otherwise noted.
5. Bitten by Books is in NO way responsible for the prizes being offered in any of the contests. If for some reason a contributor does not honor their prize, there is nothing we can or will do about it. We are not worried that this will happen, but we want to be very clear that WE are not offering these prizes, the contributor is and it is their responsibility to fulfill their prize obligations.
6. These rules are subject to change or be modified without prior written notice.
7. Contest is void where prohibited.
8. By entering this contest you are agreeing to our terms of entry

PLEASE NOTE: The contest portion of the Laura Resneck event is now closed. The winners will be chosen at a later date and contacted via email. Overdressed zombies, vicious gargoyles, a severed hand… and the night is still young! Welcome to another day (or night) in the life of Esther Diamond, the struggling actress who …

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48 comments

  1. I love the paranormal world I think in my next life that is where I would end up in most likely a wolf or vamp.
    Thank you for taking the time to visit BBB. I look forward to reading your books.
    My question to you is which series should I start with first??
    RSVP
    twitter
    VA jewelry

  2. Lisa R smalltown, USA

    +25 RSVP
    +10 Definitely a fan of comedy. I actively seek out authors who are able to combine a laugh with hot sex and lots of action.
    +10 I love the scenes where the humor kind of sneaks up on you and you catch yourself laughing out loud and then looking around to see how many people think you are losing it. Priceless!
    +10 It’s not necessary the HEA that draws me more to the PR than UF but the possibility of it. In true UF the happy emotions (love, laughter, sex & laughter) seem to be lacking.
    Laura, while I have not read your books yet I do have book 1 on my shelf. Why have I not read it yet? As I love series but hate the wait between them, I tend to collect 3 or 4 before starting them and then have a marathon reading binge of one author for a day or two. The fact that I already have book 1 means I was impressed enough after reading reviews to get it in anticipation of the rest of your series.
    +10 http://twitter.com/alterlisa/status/25230627871
    +25 Attend and participate in M.K. Hobbs

  3. hi laura! i’ve been a big fan of yours since disappearing nightly (which i clutch with a death grip now until it’s republished). i ended up buying a copy for my sister because it was so lol funny! i’m glad that the series continues….

    Am i a fan of comedy, or do i feel it does indeed merit the description

  4. I like a combination of paranormal and humor. It makes the stories more readable.

    I don’t really have a favorite type of supernatural character. I prefer to vary the type of books I’m reading. I’d get bored if I just read vampire or zombie books all of the time.

    What supernatural creature would you like to write about but haven’t yet?

    rsvp’d
    attended M.K’s event
    checked out the kindle winner post
    commented on the poll
    commented on the weekly chat
    commented on screen bites
    total = 101

  5. Hello Laura,
    Yes I am a fan of comedy, not all comedy merits

  6. Hi Laura! Your books look great. Questions for you:
    1) Which is more important to you, creating characters or world-building Or both?
    2) Where do you do most of your writing?
    3) Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what?

    You questions answered:
    1) I am fan of well-done comedy that really flows with the work and isn’t there just for the laugh factor.
    2) I like books that have many tropes/paranormal elements. Shifters are my current fave, along with witches and demon hunters/summoners/etc.
    3) I love UF & PNR because it’s fun to imagine our world with those elements & entities in it! Great escape for me.

    Julie T, USA, editworks at hotmail dot com
    +25 RSVPed for this event
    +30 Questions
    +25 Attend and participate in M.K. Hobbs

  7. Question for Laura: Last year I was lucky enough to find a copy of DISAPPEARING NIGHTLY and loved meeting Esther, Max and Lopez. Now I am reading DOPPELGANGSTER and enjoying the ride even more. Where did you do t the ‘wiseguy’ research? It felt pretty real and made me laugh at the conversations between Lucky, Max, and Esther. I’m at the ‘sit down’ between the families in the church and can’t wait to get back to more time to read tonight.

    Questions from Laura:
    Are you a fan of comedy, or do you feel it does indeed merit the description

  8. OMG! It took me four tries to get one of the links to work. The internet is messed up today.

    Anyway, yes, I RSVP’d.

    I didn’t realize that you had experience in the romance genre as well. Very cool.

    I believe that a sense of humor is critical in just about any genre in the writing field. Almost all of my absolute favorite books have humor in them in some manner. No, I don’t mean that I read books shelved in the humor section either. I hardly ever read out of that section of the store or library. The main character (just as any REAL person) really needs that sense of humor or have humor in their lives for survival reasons. For the writer, having some humor in the story will keep the readers coming back.

    Some of our reading groups have a saying: Fluff is good. It lightens life up and is a great cleanser in between life’s (or reading material’s) heavier pieces. How else do we (or Esther) deal with the scarier aspects of our lives intact?

    Uhm, I thought at first that I’d missed a book in the series. For some reason, I didn’t think of the first two books as part of a series but as stand alones. Sorry. I did enjoy them both immensely. This is not necessarily a BAD thing (as I try to save face ). It means that each book can stand on it’s own.

    So here are some questions for you:
    1. How do YOU decide which supernaturals to use in each book? They were your favorites … or you just saw a cool show about them … or you thought there was a void in the writing world on that particular creature?
    2. I love the paranormal mystery sub-genre in particular and feel that your books fall under this category. There has been a huge upswing in this type of story in the last few years. (Yay!) Do you have any favorite authors in this sub-genre yourself? (ex: P.N. Elrod, Alice Kimberly, Aimee and David Thurlo).
    3. You write romance and you write fantasy stories. What do you like to read?

    Answers to your questions:
    1. Are you a fan of comedy, or do you feel it does indeed merit the description

  9. Hi Laura,

    I haven’t read you yet. My favorite genre is paranormal. What series of yours would be best for me to start with?

    I love comedy. I think it really adds to a story if it’s presented correctly. I love all fantasy tropes but vamps were my first love. I am drawn to UF and PNR by the action and escapism.

    Viki S. USA I rsvp’d.

  10. Hi Laura;
    I’m Teresa M from Missouri USA.
    I LOVE books but if they have comedy, are sexy and mysterious I am in hog heaven! I love paranormal, futuristic books
    I think my favorite characters would be shape shifters, tall, sexy, one with a mysterious side & one with a klutzy, funny side.
    I wondered how hard it was to get published the first time? Did you have to do a lot of submissions or was it picked up right away?
    I can’t wait to get your books ( I have to travel to the city to get them. The pleasures of smalltown USA)
    Thanks
    Teresa
    I RSVP’d & asked questions

  11. Total fan of comedy.
    If it is realinvent to the story.
    What attracts me to the urban fantasy is the fact that the women are ass kicking and can take care of themselves and most of the time take care of their men as well.
    I blogged at http://www.myspace.com/blackstarcat_ok/blog?blD=539347633
    I RSVPed for this event
    Attend and participate in M.K. Hobbs

    • I forgot to tell you that I’m going to be picking up your books! You sound like the type of author that I will be reading for some time! Lisa D.

  12. Are you a fan of comedy, or do you feel it does indeed merit the description

  13. I love comedy in books, especially within the paranormal genre. There’s so much potential for very interesting jokes and new funny situations that wouldn’t occur normally.

    I’ve never thought of comedy writing as fluff. In fact I think that it is hard to write funny and have it be univerally funny for different people.

    I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of Weres and shapeshifters! I also like the fae and when I get to see some of the more obscure entities.

    What attracts me to the paranormal genre is the chance to delve into a world that I wouldn’t be able to involve myself in. It’s everything that my world is not.

    How did you come up with the name Esther Diamond?

    Since you do have so many different entities in your books, do you do a lot of research or does it mostly come from your imagination?

    And just curious what, if any, TV shows are you addicted to?

    Thanks!
    Rae M., USA

    RSVP’d for this event +25
    Participated in M.K. Hobbs event +25
    Checked out 21st Day of September +5
    Checked out Vampire Academy Jewelry +5
    Commented on Weekly Poll +5
    Commented on Screen Bites +5
    Commented in Weekly Chat +5
    Asked and Answered questions +30
    Tally Points +1
    Total = 106

  14. @ Shirlry M, #1: “My question to you is which series should I start with first??”

    I’ve only written one urban fantasy series, this one (the Esther Diamond series). My other series (the Chronicles of Sirkara) is traditional sword-and-sorcery.

    (If you meant which BOOK should you start with–?

  15. @ Ruth T #5: “Do you have a favorite mug or glass you use for almost anything?”

    Not one, but a bunch of them. I’m careful with money, but one of the WAYS I’m careful is that I won’t buy anything I don’t love and won’t enjoy owning for a long time. So I love all my mugs and glasses, and I enjoy drinking from them all. In particular, my coffee mugs are all different, and I enjoy each one. (Including the voodoo-themed ones I bought myself to celebrate completing UNSYMPATHETIC MAGIC; the prizes today are each mugs from the same company.)

    @ Vickie B #7: “Where did you do t the

  16. @ Julie T @ #6:
    “1) Which is more important to you, creating characters or world-building Or both?”

    Characters. I read books to read about characters whom I find compelling, connect with, care about, want to spend time with. I think that world-building is exactly like research in the sense that it needs to be reliable, consistent, immersive, interesting, and DONE WELL

  17. @ Amy T #:

    “1. How do YOU decide which supernaturals to use in each book? They were your favorites

  18. @ Teresa, #10: “I wondered how hard it was to get published the first time? Did you have to do a lot of submissions or was it picked up right away?”

    As it happens, I’m guest-blogging about my first book sale (which occurred many years and many books ago) on Jim Hines’ “First Book Friday” page this Friday, 9/24 (http://www.jimchines.com/blog/), so stop by to read the full answer to that question and to say hello! Short answer: After being rejected by a dozen agents, I sold my first book myself to Silhouette Books, where an editorial assistant hoping to be promoted was searching the slushpile of 6,000 unsolicited submissions in hopes of finding a new author that Silhouette could buy and publish

  19. @ Rae M #13:

    “How did you come up with the name Esther Diamond?”
    Ah! Originally, I had no idea. It simply popped into my head one day, fully formed, and seemed absolutely right for the character. Diamond is a family name (my paternal grandmother’s maiden name and the surname of a number of my relatives, as well as my father’s middle name), and I’ve used it before. However, I didn’t realize until my mother pointed it out to me, after DISAPPEARING NIGHTLY was published, that

    • This so makes me want to get some of those shows now, especially Jonathan Creek. As if I don’t watch enough TV!

  20. 1. USA
    2. Are you a fan of comedy, or do you feel it does indeed merit the description

  21. 1) Yes, I’m a fan of comedy, and I don’t think it merits being called fluff. I think even the darkest story can benefit from a touch of humor.
    2) Anything that makes me laugh out loud while reading a book is good. If it makes fun of a scary situation, or just the characters making light of anything going on, it’s all good.

    Barbara E., USA
    +20 Questions Answered
    +25 RSVP’d
    +25 Attended/participated in M.K. Hobson’s event
    + 5 Checked out Vampire Academy Jewelry Line
    + 5 Voted/commented on the weekly poll
    + 1 Total Points
    Total = 81

  22. Hey Laura,
    I’m Jessi C and I rsvped. I love comedy and in no way see it as fluff. Comedy is worth reading because it’s good to laugh. Laughing makes you feel good even when you otherwise wouldn’t be feeling so well. I like vampires, werewolves, druids and mages. I love urban fantasy because it takes you out of “the norm” for awhile.
    My questions for you: 1)Why did you choose to write about zombies? They don’t creep you out? 2) Do you have any type of ritual before you begin writing(putting on music, eating a bowl of cornflakes, etc)? 3) How different is it writing urban fantasy as opposed to romance?

    rsvp= 25
    participate in MK Hobbs event= 25
    Questions= 30
    tallying me point= 1
    _________________
    81 points

  23. Hi Laura,
    I was thrown for a minute there, third book. I just got my copy of Unsympathetic Magic on Monday. I have also found that while it may no longer be in print I can still get a copy of Disappearing Nightly. I really hope you have a deal with some of these places the prices range from $17.06 – $182.86.

    answers to your questions….

    Comedy is a wonderful and necessary thing. We all, out here and in books could use it. Just last night I was reading a very emotional scene that was just about to tip over into the realm of too much, with one line the author had me laughing right in the middle of it. That is talent.

    It is the individual twists to myth and legend that make me love the genre.

    questions for you…..

    what do you do to reward yourself when you reach your goals?

    If you write a scene that you just love but for some reason it just won’t work in the story, do you keep it elsewhere or does it just go away?

    • @ Koren Cota #23:

      “I can still get a copy of Disappearing Nightly. I really hope you have a deal with some of these places the prices range from $17.06 – $182.86.”

      Oh, if only! But, alas, no. ?

      “what do you do to reward yourself when you reach your goals?”

      It depends. At the end of UNSYMPATHETIC MAGIC, I bought some coffee mugs and som books. At the end of my final category romance, I decided to spend 8 months crossing Africa overland. At the end of VAMPARAZZI, I hope to go to New York for a few days. So, it depends. ?

      “If you write a scene that you just love but for some reason it just won

  24. Questions answered:
    1. I’m only a fan of well-done comedy otherwise Comedy is a no go for me.
    2. I think Comedy is good when there is a particularly awkward situation that people are trying to break the ice of. Comedy however has no place in a very serious situation and it irks me when people use it in such. I don’t mind Comedy being used once in a while in a book, but to constantly use it and childishly just throwing it in for the sake of having it really makes it hard for me to read.
    3. My favorites are Vampire, Werewolves, Fae, and Elves.
    4. I like Urban Fantasy and Paranormal because it gives the setting of everyday that unrealistic and dark edge.

    Questions for you:
    1. If you could make your books into a movie, who would you cast to be your characters?
    2. If you could be any character in any of your books, who would you choose to be?
    3. What do you feel is the most cliched plot line in today

    • “1. If you could make your books into a movie, who would you cast to be your characters?”

      I wouldn’t even know where to start! A good actor can fit in many roles and make them his/her own role, so the range of possibilities is wide.

      “2. If you could be any character in any of your books, who would you choose to be?”

      One who can eat anything without gaining weight and buy anything without ever running out of money. But, come to think of it, I have so far neglected to write such a character!

      “3. What do you feel is the most cliched plot line in today

  25. other contest stuff…

    1.Koren C USA
    2.asked 2 answered 2 +30
    4.posted with cover and comments
    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1339196135 +125
    6.attended M.K.’s event +25
    7.checked out 21st day +5
    checked out VA jewelry site +5
    participated in book chat +5
    commented on and voted in poll +5
    commented on Screen Bites +5
    8.tally own points +1

    I RSVP’d +25

    total 231

  26. Hi there. I am a fan of comedy, some of my fav books are the ones that make me laugh out loud while reading, and they are not comedy books, but they have elements of comedy in them. I love it when my husband looks over at me while I’m reading, even tho he usually doesn’t get “it”, I try to get him to laugh at the same thing, but he just calls most of my books vampire smut. (no matter what I’m reading!) I love reading about all sorts of diff things, zombies, vamps, shifters, I am on a para romance kick right now, but I bounce back to horror, or fantasy too. I love Brian Lumley, Mercedes Lackey, Robert Jordan. I like being able to escape into my books, so I need them well rounded. I do want that HEA sometimes, and then again sometimes I just want some of my favorite characters to just survive whatever is being thrown at them. I really like the books where the “world” I’m reading about mirrirs our own, with just some slight differences to make it believable, with shifters or vamps or zombies being part of the known world.

    I was wondering if any of your books are available in audio at all? Do you listen to audio at all? I think it helps make my day go a little faster. I have put your books in my wish lists at amazon, and will be checking them out soon. They look really good.

    JOani S from USA
    rsvp’d
    attend Hobb’s event
    checked out the jewelry and got my code
    did the chat
    did the poll
    did the screen bites
    tally my points for a total of 101

    • “I was wondering if any of your books are available in audio at all? Do you listen to audio at all?”

      I love audiobooks and have always got one going on my car stereo and/or my iPod. (Currently, I’m listening to GUNS, GERMS, AND STEEL by Jared Diamond, which is mercifully condensed in the audioversion. Next up is the unabridged new Elizabeth Peters novel.)

      None of my books are available in audio yet. I’d like that to change. Indeed, I would so MUCH like that to change that I personally pestered a contact at Audible.com for about half a year. But so far, none of my books are availale in audio, nor is there any sign on the horizon of an audio deal yet.

      • fingers crossed for you. I just went to audible and looked for a “this is who I want to listen to” button, but couldn’t find a place on the site for my preferences. I did a search on you, maybe they keep tabs on which writers get searched on the site. I will email them next and push for you. Promise!! :)

  27. Are you a fan of comedy, or do you feel it does indeed merit the description

  28. Beverly G USA

    Hi Laura!! I love your book cover itsvery different
    ! Cant wait to read your book it sounds awesome will be adding it to my wish list

    Are you a fan of comedy, or do you feel it does indeed merit the description

    • “I love the covers of your books and all the designs did u have any say in those?”

      The illustrator is the fabulous Daniel Dos Santos (http://www.dandossantos.com/home.html). When DAW told me they had commissioned him, I was thrilled; I knew his work and thought immediately he was the best possible choice for this series. He’s been very hands-on and enthusiastic (he also did the cover for DOPPELGANGSTER), and we hope he’ll be the cover artist throughout the series.

      The way it works, Dan reads the book (or if I’m running late on the book, then he reads the detailed synopsis I usually write early in the process), and he does some cover sketches on that basis, then sends then to DAW to discuss. I also see the sketches at that point and give my input, too–which one(s) I think work(s) best, any other suggestions. DAW has been very hands-on about this process and also gives input, and they and I discuss what we agree/disagree about, so that everyone’s on the same page and Dan isn’t getting erratic or conflicting feedback from us before he does the final painting.

      I gave additional feedback on UNSYMPATHETIC MAGIC because Vodou/voodoo is a very visual, imagery-oriented religion, and I had found all sorts of cool images that I thought would help Dan “see” what’s in the book, so I sent a big file of those to him. He enjoyed that and used some of those ideas when working on this cover. But the clever composition and the way the many elements are used–that was all him. As is the imagery in the DOPPELGANGSTER cover, where my entire input consisted simply of saying which preliminary sketch I liked best. I think Dos Santos is a genius and I can’t wait to see what he’ll do with the cover of the next Esther Diamond book!

      “If you could chose any character form any other literary work of fiction to go on an adventure with who would it be and what would you do?”

      Toooooo many great choices. I feel overwhelmed! I must lie down.

      “Have you ever considered who would play your characters in a movie if ur books where turned in to one if so who would play who?”

      See above.

  29. +10 I love to have humor in a book & not I don’t think it’s fluff. It makes a book more fun(unless it’s a serious one).
    +10 Question for author~What is something fun you would like to do but; haven’t got to yet?
    +5 Check out the The 21st Day of September and Blog Mania Kindle Winner post and participate in Rachel

  30. Hi Laura. Thanks so much for joining us here at BBB.

    One of the big attractions to paranormal fiction for me is the “what if” factor. I enjoy imagining another world existing side-by-side with our own.

    Comedy, if done well — meaning the author/writer does not try too hard to be funny — adds a lot to a tale, I think. Of course, the humor/comedy should also mesh well with the tone of the rest of the work, also.

    It is difficult for me to pick a favorite paranormal fantasy trope, but I do really enjoy vampires, as I think they lend themselves to a myriad of incarnations. I also like ghosts and magic, and shifters are grwoing on me. :)

    Laura, what sorts of things do you enjoy doing for relaxation?

    (USA, I did RSVP)

    • “Laura, what sorts of things do you enjoy doing for relaxation?”

      I love to cook, and I love to spend time with my friends. So one of my favorite ways to relax is to cook a meal and have friends over to enjoy it.

      Apart from the fact that I love to EAT, I think I love cooking because it’s the antithesis of writing; it’s physically and sense-oriented (whereas writing is all in my head), and it’s ready to be shared and enjoyed in an hour or two (whereas after it leaves my desk, a book doesn’t get seen by anyone but my editor for 6-12 months… by which time, I’m writing something else and hardly remember what’s IN the book that people are now reading).

  31. I really enjoy the comedic romances, paranormal or otherwise. It takes a lot of skill to be able to pull off the story well without making it just bad. I think I only have one writer whose books I know will be a fun comedic read while maintaining a great story. Others are simply great stories with hints of humor.

    What kind of background research did you do for your stories? Are you a fan of horror movies? What is the best one you would love to see again? Do you have one where it was so bad it was funny?

    Thanks so much!
    Biki P., USA
    I rsvp’d for this event
    Attend and participate in M.K. Hobbs

    • <>

      The Research Library page of my website ( http://sff.net/people/laresnick/About%20Writing/Research.htm ) talks a bit about this. I do a lot of research reading, and when possible, in-person or hands-on research (ex. in addition to my research reading for UNSYMPATHETIC MAGIC, I also spent a couple of days touring Harlem on foot, which is the setting of the book–some of the photos of sites I found then and used in the book are at: http://sff.net/people/laresnick/Fun%20Stuff/Pictures.htm )

      “Are you a fan of horror movies? What is the best one you would love to see again? Do you have one where it was so bad it was funny?”

      I’m not a fan of horror movies or novels, for the specific reason that I get scared too easily. If I see a horror movie, I have to sleep with the lights on for a few nights afterwards! Seriously. So I avoid them.

      • Don’t ever go for the Asian horror movies.. they really mess with your mind rather than go for the thrills, lol. I’m always careful when I watch horror movies too because my mind likes to remember those creepy moments at inappropriate times. :(

  32. Are you a fan of comedy, or do you feel it does indeed merit the description

    • Forgot to mention the USA part

    • “I was wondering if you have traveled anywhere, and if you did, in what way did the experience affect you?”

      I did the usual backpack-across-Europe sojourn after college, also worked in rural France for a summer (I speak French), and then volunteered on a kibbutz in Israel for a while. After a year of living in New York, I went back to Europe and lived in England for a little over three years, then lived in Italy (I also speak Italian)–in Palermo, the capital of Sicily, for a year. Since those days, I’ve been back to Europe a number of times. I came back to the US, wrote a dozen romance novels, then spent a year crossing Africa overland, from the shores of northern Morocco down to the Cape of Good Hope. More recently, I worked in Jerusalem (yes, -that- Jerusalem) for about half a year in 2006.

      So, yeah, I get around. :) And it’s certainly shaped who I am as a person, and therefore who I am as a writer. I think the most important thing that speaking in other languages and living in other cultures teaches a person is how to see the world differently than just the way you grew up seeing it, or just the way the people who are all ethnically, socially, economically, and culturally just like you see it. This is important for everyone, IMO (and I really think that no one should be considered qualified for a position in media or politics in the US unless they have learned a foreign language and lived abroad for at LEAST a year as working adults, in environments that are NOT US-inhabited compounds separated from the countries they’re supposedly living “in”), and certainly useful for a novelist, who has to write from the perspective of many characters who are not herself.

  33. Sarah C USA

    sarahcoulsey03 at gmail dot com