Update Oct. 11/17

In life: Fighting the usual baby-borne illnesses. The shorter days and my lack of exercise are taking their toll on my health and well-being. Currently taking a reading break to fill the well, reading Macgruder’s Curiosity Cabinet by H. P. Wood, and catching up on some comics.

In bookish news: I’ll be signing at Indigo Books at Yonge and Eglinton in Toronto on Oct. 21. Check out the Events page for details!

Started on the final book of the Devil’s Revolver series, tentatively titles The Legend of Diablo. Book 3, The Devil’s Pact, is undergoing edits. I’ll be sad to leave Hettie and her friends behind, but it’s been a wild ride. The plan from my publisher is that all four books will be released by September of 2018.

In pop culture: TV is back and making it so hard to focus on work! Among my faves:

Lucifer is somehow still super enjoyable even though it falls into a lot of the same pitfalls and ruts as many crime-of-the-week police procedurals do. (You can always tell who did it by which actor has more than two lines and is given a name.) If it were a purely fantasy/paranormal show, it wouldn’t work either–it’s the blend of the two, stitched together by Tom Ellis’s over-the-top performance, that keeps everything together.

Star Trek Discovery is going where Star Trek hasn’t gone before! I’m enjoying the fresh new take on the franchise, and really loving the characters and look of everything so far.

Kim’s Convenience is a Canadian comedy based on a stage play by the same name, about a Korean Canadian family that runs a convenience store in Toronto. The father is nearly an exact copy of my own father. We’re not Korean, but the parallels are uncanny.

Arrow/Flash/Supergirl: I’ve been really impressed by the work Greg Berlanti has done with the DC properties on TV. They don’t always work episode to episode, but cohesively, they’ve maintained a look and storylines and even a lot of canon storytelling while keeping things fresh for the small screen.

In stuff I like: Podcasts! SYFY25 Origin Stories is hosted by former Mythbuster Adam Savage, interviewing tons of people in sci-fi and genre TV, film, and literature.

The guys who do The Greatest Generation podcast have ended their reviews of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and are about to move into reviewing Deep Space Nine. They’ve also begun a new podcast about Star Trek Discovery, launching every Tuesday.

This Bob Ross Funko Pop vinyl figure is one of the few that I’ve actually coveted. I promised myself I wouldn’t buy any more hunks of plastic…but this is tempting.

The Devil’s Revolver Book Launch and Signing Events!

The Devil’s Revolver is coming out September 5! Woo!

I’ll be launching the book at Bakka Phoenix Books in Toronto Saturday, Sept. 23 at 3pm. Bakka Phoenix is an awesome bookshop dedicated to fantasy, spec-fic and sci-fi. It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to sign there, and now I get the chance! Come and pick up your copy, hang out, chat with me, and check out the amazing selection of books there!

I’ll also be attending Toronto’s Word on the Street Festival at the Harbourfront, Sunday, Sept. 24, signing and selling at the Toronto Romance Writers booth at 1pm. This is a unique event: If you buy a copy of The Devil’s Revolver from me at WOTS, I’m giving away an exclusive gift to the first 25 customers–a handmade “talismans” cellphone charm/zipper pull, made by yours truly. I’ll also be at the Harlequin booth after 2pm signing and giving away copies of Matinees with Miriam, my sixth contemporary romance writing as Vicki Essex.

Minor updates: there are still a few fine first editions of The Devil’s Revolver available directly from my publisher, so if you like fancy collectors’ editions, pick one up before they’re gone! Only 100 copies were printed!

The Devil’s Revolver has a Zazzle store! If you love that cover by Cassandre Bolan (because you know I do!), you can get it on some awesome swag. If you have any requests, feel free to send them my way, too!

I’ll be updating this website soon with a page for all events. I’ll be setting up more signings, as well. Come back soon!

Squee!

Deanna Raybourn was one of the first authors I’d ever met at the launch of her debut book Silent in the Grave, kicking off her phenomenal Lady Julia Grey series. She is also notoriously one of the only author my mother likes. Mom calls her “That lady with the good books.”

So you can imagine my glee at receiving this lovely praise from a New York Times bestselling author! Make sure to check out Deanna’s historical mysteries featuring the smart and charismatic Lady Julia and my book crush, the darkly handsomely brooding hero Brisbane at www.deannaraybourn.com.

Update July 13/17

In life: Always sick, thanks to baby. Dealing with the latest round of stomach bugs passed on by the one my husband calls “the Irrational Biped.”

In bookish news:

Wow, so much! THE DEVIL’S REVOLVER cover is out, and the book is now available for preorder!

If you want to read about how the series came to life, read my blog post at my publisher’s website: http://www.brainmillpress.com/vickiso/voices/the-birth-of-devils-revolver/

In pop culture: (This calls for ALL CAPS:) WONDER WOMAN. OMG LOVED IT SO MUCH. I WAS BASICALLY CRYING FROM MINUTE ONE AND I’M STILL SMILING AT ALL THE STRONG WOMEN AND HOW MARVELOUSLY IT WAS DIRECTED. BY THE GODDESS, MY FAITH IS RENEWED!

The Dark Tower! I’d only read (book on tape) the first installment, The Gunslinger, and frankly, I had a hard time with it. But the movie looks like much more cohesive as a story. Looking forward to it!

Wynonna Earp! I just binge watched this on Netflix and it is awesome. A contemporary feminist paranormal Western, like, if Jessica Jones were playing Buffy the vampire slayer an it took place in a dusty small town. A very enjoyable show with some very hunky hero sidekicks.

In stuff I like: Found and got interviewed by a great podcast called Sample Space, which is like This American Life but featuring stories from POC, as well as Canadians, such as moi.

Did I mention Wonder Woman?

The Devil’s Revolver Cover Is Here!

Coming September 5, 2017

 

This gorgeous painting was created by Cassandre Bolan, an amazing award-winning artist. I absolutely love everything about it, from the image of Abby in the gun to the little touches like the flowers around Hettie’s wrist. And the fire in her eyes! It’s so arresting! Check out Cassandre’s other fantastic work here: www.cassandrebolan.com

The font is a custom font called MCGRATH that is owned by my publisher, Brain Mill Press. I love that’s it’s a blend of Art Nouveau and saloon chic with a hint of devilry behind it.

The icon in the right corner is custom, too. The book number will be in the center for each book in the series.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments, and preorder your copies today!

www.devilsrevolver.com

 

Save

Update Mar. 25/17

In life:

Been dealing with a series of colds and flus since Christmas, thanks to the germ pool that is daycare. What doesn’t kill me just makes me really sick, right?

In bookish news:

Edits for THE DEVIL’S REVOLVER (book 1) and THE DEVIL’S STANDOFF (book 2) have been turned in! The first two books of The Devil’s Revolver series should be coming out back to back, I’m told. I’m working on THE DEVIL’S PACT (book 3) now. Book 1 is going out as ARCs now, so if you’re interested in reading and reviewing, please contact my publisher, Brain Mill Press. Also, I got a glimpse of the cover painting by the amazing award-winning artist Cassandre Bolan–it is so beautiful and perfect. I absolutely LOVE it. (Sorry, no peeks just yet!)

In other great news: the Ontario Arts Council has given me a Writers’ Reserve Grant to work on THE DEVIL’S PACT on the recommendation of publisher Wolsak & Wynn. Thank you, OAC and W&W! This is why supporting the arts is so important: so that people like me can continue to work and, you know, eat. You can check out all the awesome work the OAC does here.

In my other life as a romance author, check out my blog post on a behind-the-scenes look at a Harlequin photo shoot! I was there…as a MODEL. It was the most amazing day of work I’ve ever had. There’s a viking and a real live horse in an elevator and I get swept away by a hunky military man…

In pop culture:

Logan was amazing. I don’t need a Last of Us movie after watching that. Still psyched for the sequel, of course, though I didn’t play it–I’m more of a stand by and watch between my fingers while I hide my face kind of gamer when it comes to zombie games. Except for Red Dead Redemption Undead Nightmare. I feel safe on top of a horse, you see.

In stuff I like:

For writers and anyone interested in worldbuilding and storytelling, the Imaginary Worlds podcast is terrific. The episodes are relatively short–around 15-20 minutes–but they’re really well researched and produced. While not strictly about sci-fi or fantasy, there are lots of episodes about Harry Potter and Star Wars. One of my favorite episodes is about what Avatar: The Last Airbender meant for Asian Americans.

Update Dec. 30/16

In life:

Christmas this year was a bit of a bust. The baby caught a horrible stomach bug on the Wednesday before Christmas, and two days later, both my husband and I caught it. We were flattened for three days, and I broke my 31-year no-barf streak. Had to cancel Christmas and Boxing Day plans and send the baby to stay with family. It was tough but we’re over it mostly now. Just dealing with a wicked cough.

In bookish news:

I’d hoped to get more writing done on book 3, THE DEVIL’S PACT, this holiday, but dealing with all this sickness has been tough. Instead, I’ve been reading, refilling the tank and just trying to get better.

In pop culture:

ROGUE ONE was terrific. I’ve always been a Star Wars fan and Disney has taken the franchise exactly where it needs to go: the universe is rich and needs to have more stories told within it.

I am deeply saddened by the death of Carrie Fisher. There’s not a lot I can say that others haven’t said about her life and career. What I will say is that Princess Leia was the first feminist figure in my life, and the moment she takes control of her own destiny trying to escape the Death Star told me as a child that I could be a princess AND rescue myself.

In stuff I like:

Just finished Daniel Jose Older’s Shadowshaper–one of the first books I’ve read outside of work in a while. It’s a richly painted YA featuring diverse characters. I’m reading Nalo Hopkinson’s Brown Girl in the Ring next–long time overdue in my TBR pile.

If you’re a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation, I highly recommend The Greatest Generation podcast. It’s salty and irreverent and often off-color, but it’s also a thoughtful episode-by-episode review of series by two guys who have a background in television production.

Update Dec. 13/16

In life:

Dealing with a mild case of hand-foot-mouth disease, which I probably got from the daycare, but who knows? Holding my breath and praying baby and hubby don’t get it.

Christmas is upon us, and the stressful joy is high! Mostly looking forward to vacation time, in which I can write and watch movies with hubby while baby is at daycare.

Star Wars: ROGUE ONE is out Friday. Am really, really excited to see it. Arrival, Moana, and Fantastic Beasts are also on the to-watch list. Any others?

Earl Bonehead

I’ve mounted this gift from my sister and brother-in-law above my TV. It’s a carved cow skull, purchased from a special dealer in Ontario. Cow skulls and other animal skulls are carved as part of the Balinese tradition, and have numerous meanings. It’s partly to honor the use of the entire animal, as well as linking life and death. It’s also damn cool.

I’ve named him Earl Bonehead. When baby comes home from daycare, she waves to him, and he asks about her day in Bullwinkle’s voice. They are quite friendly. I may have to get him a hat.

 

 

In bookish news:

I have a tentative publishing date! The first edition of THE DEVIL’S REVOLVER should be out from Brain Mill press next May. So exciting to see them be excited for the book!

I’ve completed a draft of THE DEVIL’S STANDOFF, book 2 in The Devil’s Revolver series. It is with my editors now. Wioth any luck, it’ll be released quickly after the first book. I’m currently working on book 3, THE DEVIL’S PACT.

In pop culture:

Westworld is everything I’d hoped it would be and more. Flavors of Battlestar Galactica and Dollhouse in there. So chewy. So good. Can’t wait for season 2, which unfortunately won’t be out till 2018. Good things are worth waiting for, though.

My review of Dr. Strange: Meh, but fun meh. Visually stunning–I didn’t think Marvel could actually make the superhero genre more interesting, and yet they did. Cumberbatch with an American accent is a bit disturbing–why not let him use his magnificent voice per its usual mellifluous British drawl? Also pretty sure Mads Mikkelsen walked off that set and onto Rogue One without changing his costume.

In stuff I like:

Captain Cowboy and the Moneymaker is a local Toronto band that plays Cowboy and Western classics. They busk and play shows all over Toronto, and every time I hear them, I feel like I’m walking into Hettie Alabama’s world. Love them. Check them out here.

I’ve discovered amazing Creative Commons Zero licensed hi-res photos at unsplash.com. I’m combing through their collection and marveling at how any of these photos can be free. Trying to decide what to use to make banners…or maybe some merch or something. So good.

Stuff I like

Apologies to anyone who’s been trying to visit my blog and only got maintenance messages–something crazy has been going on with my website and I’ve only now fixed it. 8 (

Greetings from the tail end of my maternity leave. If you’ve followed me at vickiessex.com or on Twitter @VickiEssex, then you know that about a year ago I gave birth to a wee little human. The wee bairn is in daycare now, and I’ve been spending the past few weeks recovering physically and mentally from the very long/very short year. Having a baby is hard, yo.

I’m going to *try* to write regular posts, but with my day job starting up again soon, a one-year-old bent on walking, a husband who loves me, a sick cat, writing, and innumerable hours of excellent TV to watch, that may be a pipe dream.

For now, here are some excellent things in the world of Westerns!

  • io9 is reporting Rockstar games’ latest teaser and IT BETTER BE RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2. As my only other post (culled from vickiessex.com) of any substance says, RDR was the inspiration behind THE DEVIL’S REVOLVER and it is probably the only sandbox console video game I have managed to complete (in addition to its zombie cousin, RDR: Undead Nightmare). 
  • If you haven’t seen HBO’s WESTWORLD yet, you are missing out. The nearly perfect pilot episode had me at Howdy. A fantastic and talented cast, great dialog, characterization and story actually tie in well with the idea of sandbox gaming and moral alignment. I was a huge fan of the J.J. Abrams/Jonathan Nolan collaboration Person of Interest, so I know this will be a real treat.
  • The Magnificent 7 remake debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival, and while I haven’t seen it yet, it’s pulling a steady 63% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Kind of hard to judge a modern remake of a Western  based on a Samurai film, but I’ll get around to it eventually.