Wednesday 29 June 2011

Publisher's Special!

The good people of Dragon Moon Press believe in the power of informed decisions (truly).  Since Destiny's Blood was nominated for the Aurora Awards, my wonderful publisher is running a few specials to encourage readers to check it out and consider voting for it.  How awesome is that?

For those of you who love a good e-book, you can now get Destiny's Blood for free (100% discount).

Destiny's Blood (Ebook) by Marie Bilodeau

Those amongst you who prefer a lovely print edition, we will be holding con specials.  For example, I'll be selling them for $10 (50% off) at Polaris.  It's a deal not to be missed!

The Aurora voting period should begin shortly.  Since there are five awesome full length novels and multiple other works to be checked out, we wanted to give you a bit of a head start.  I'll post the info for the voting as soon as it's available.

Thanks for considering Destiny's Blood, and thanks to Dragon Moon Press for being made of win!

Monday 27 June 2011

Reviews, Awards, Shows... Oh My!

Last week was awesome.  By last week, I mean Monday to Sunday.  It was a good stretch!  First of all, two reviews were spotted for When the Hero Comes Home, and both gave a nod to my story.  And both loved the title of my story.  Andrew Jack said: "There’s also a story in there called The Legend Of Gluck by Marie Bilodeau. If a title that awesome doesn’t interest you then you’re dead to me."

Who knew that title would be so loved?  And it's my first review that promises bodily harm.  Brought a tear of joy to my eyes, it did.

Next piece of awesome news came on Saturday, when I learned that I'd won the bronze medal in the science-fiction category of the Foreword Book Awards!  I can now call myself an award-winning author, which I think is fun!  Dragon Moon Press kicked ass, bringing  home four medals!

Gold Medal in Fantasy: Chris A. Jackson for Scimitar Sun
Silver Medal in Fantasy: P.G. Holyfield for Murder at Avadon Hill
Gold Medal in Horror: Toothless by J.P. Moore
Bronze in SF: Destiny's Blood by Marie Bilodeau

Congrats to Dragon Moon Press publisher Gwen Gades and Editor-in-Chief Gabrielle Harbowy (who personally handled all of these books) for championing us all!

Then the Kymeras summer solstice show, Earthborn, took place last night.  And it was awesome.  Thanks to fellow Kymeras Sean Zio, Kathryn Hunt and Ruthanne Edward for being a constant source of inspiration, and to our wonderful audience for being so wonderful.   Cause they're a wonderful audience.  See how that works?

... Mind you, I didn't kill anybody at last night's show, which worries me a bit.  I may be getting soft. Um, didn't kill anybody in my stories, is what I'm saying.  Yes...  Will remedy that next show, so that Kathryn Hunt will stop accusing me of being a good clone. 

All in all, a great week.  I have high hopes for this week as well, so the pressure's on!


Tuesday 21 June 2011

Launch at Polaris! With Mimosas!

The Dragon Moon Press team is proud (and giddy!) to bring you a Canadian launch of When the Hero Comes Home, at Polaris on July 17!  Confirmed authors so far include Erik Buchanan (author of Small Magics and Cold Magics) and J.M. Frey (Author of Triptych), and myself!  Here are the details:

WHEN: Sunday, July 17, 2011, 11 am to 1 pm
WHERE: Ten-Forward at Polaris
WHY:  Really?  Do you really have to ask?  Here's the book cover and blurb, just to bring things home (like heroes!)

HEROES come in a thousand guises, and so do stories about them. The only survivor of a war struggles to return to a home that doesn’t exist anymore. A rebel leader loses everything she fought for and must start from scratch. A hero who has fought for her village her whole life must retire into obscurity without ever being known for her deeds. A starship returns to an Earth that is much changed, yet too much the same. A soldier is haunted by the very thing that saved his life. And King Arthur returns in Albion’s hour of need. Dark fantasy. Urban fantasy. Political intrigue. Science fiction. From the horrific to the heartwarming. Introducing 19 pulse-pounding tales, by luminaries and great new voices. Co-edited by Gabrielle Harbowy and Ed Greenwood. Featuring an introduction by Susan J. Morris.
There you go.  Now you know the why.  That, and we'll have champagne mimosas!  Dragon Moon Press knows how to throw a party!  

... wait?  What's that I hear???  You can't MAKE Polaris OR the book launch?? *gasp!*  No worries.  The book is available on  But be forewarned - this version doesn't come with Mimosas (and now you know the real disadvantage of online shopping).

Friday 17 June 2011

Guest at Hal-Con

I'm super excited to announce that I'll be a Guest at this year's Hal-Con!  If you're there, make sure to come say hi! The con is in Halifax, on November 12 and 13.  I've heard awesome things about this con, so I'm very much looking forward to partaking of the fun.  I'll post more info as soon as I have it!
Click on the logo to go to the con site.  Aren't I just super tech-savvy today?

And may I add: YAY! 

Wednesday 15 June 2011

Five-Year Plan - Goal Setting

I received quite a few questions on my five-year plan.  I um'd and ah'd for a few weeks, but I decided to share selected pieces of my plan and how I came up with it.  This will be a blog series for the next four to five weeks.  I love blog series!  Makes it all sound so official.

It took me months to figure out what I needed to do and how (with the action plan.  Weeks only for the blog posts.)  With books coming out and storytelling gigs popping up and an exciting job, I felt I needed more guidance in how to prioritize my time and not die of anxiety by the time I was 35.  This journey is supposed to be fun, and it's more fun when it's not completely out of control (at least most days), and when I know where the heck I'm hoping to go, not just aiming my sleigh randomly down the big hill of life (will use non-winter metaphors next, I promise).

The plan is basically a way to prioritize my life's activities.  I have lots of them, so prioritizing is good.  I created this approach from a bunch of ideas, chats with people and long sessions alone in the car talking to myself.   I've been using it as a guideline since March 2010 and so far I'm on track. 

I'm putting in the disclaimer that I think you're all very intelligent and wise individuals, and will in fact understand that because this system has sprouted good results for me, it hardly means it'll work for you. But maybe you'll find a few seeds to help grow your own action plan, if that's what you're hoping to do. (Gardening metaphors.  Promise kept.)  (I have another disclaimer at the end of the blog post, too.  I'm full of disclaimers today!) 

Where to Start

So the first step, and perhaps the hardest step, is goal setting.  I didn't make mine an all-encompassing plan.  I figure that I'd tackle one major goal that I knew could be accomplished solely (or mostly) through my actions. Meaning I'm not setting an impossible goal, like "meet soul mate" or "find Fountain of Youth."  Awesome if I do, but hard to plan for.

The goal has to be simple, straightforward and achievable through personal actions, and not dependent on outside decisions or influences (which is why my goal isn't along the lines of "get published by New York."  That would be neat, but really, I can't control that.  I can help it along, sure, by writing the best books I can and getting my name out there, but it's still ultimately out of my hands.  For all the control freaks out there, make sure you have a good idea of what you can and can't control.  Otherwise you're setting yourself up for failure from the start.)

Choose a realistic goal.

The main part of my goal was to "get more options."  Life is quick, eh?  Ever notice those days, weeks and months slipping through your fingers?  I have, and I hate feeling like I have few options.  "But you do have options," I hear you say. Of course I do.  I live a happy life.  I make sure more days than not are fulfilling and filled with laughter.  That's awesome right there.

But say, five years from now, I decide that I want to become a traveling storyteller/writer?  Say I want to become the first woman to tell the entire Norse cycle while bungee jumping off buildings across the world?  Is that feasible? (I mean, aside from the obvious logistics and mental well-being issues.)

It's not, mostly because my finances demand that I maintain a certain pay scale.  No money = no food.  I don't like that scenario.  I'm rather a fan of food, actually.  I'm lucky in the fact that I love my job and what I do.  Most people don't have that velvet.  But more options doesn't mean changing that happy part of my life.  It could mean just traveling more, marketing my books more, buying a cottage... you get the idea.  And it's not just financial, either.  But you'll see when I get to strategies what I mean by that.

Okay, so to achieve my goal of "more options" within five years, I set strategies and objectives.  Nifty, eh? The goal was the easy part, for me.  As soon as I figured it out and imagined where it would lead me, I felt this immense feeling of well-being and relief.  So imagine you've accomplished your goal, whatever that may be for you, and then see how your future imagined self feels.  Then you'll know if that's the right goal for you.

Next week I'll discuss my first strategy.

**Dislcaimer here: The examples listed here do not fully reflect my five-year plan.  I've ripped out parts of it completely. It's a personal thing, you see.  I love sharing details, but it makes me a tad uncomfortable.  I'm doing a study in breaking out of my comfort zone, I suppose.  Regardless, if you'd like to actually know more, or discuss ideas, e-mail me or buy me a drink when next I see you.  Buy me two drinks and I'll sing the whole plan.  In rhymes, to boot!

Friday 10 June 2011

Letters with no Reply - Hallmark

I was cleaning out my really, really messy filing system, and came across a few letters that never received an answer.  Which was too bad, as I had lots of fun writing them. Oh well, at least they'll make for fun blog material, now!

This one was drafted to Hallmark, several years ago.  I lost the accompanying screenshot, which saddens me a bit.  I had e-mailed AND faxed it, to cover my bases, but never heard a peep back from the card-wielding company.  I guess they didn't have a pre-fabricated message that dealt with this particular issue.


Dear Hallmark Canada,

Let me begin by stating that I am a long-time fan of your products and services and do enjoy sharing and receiving Hallmark Moments.  I think they’re just neat and very targeted – you promise sentimental and usually the person cries nice heartfelt tears; you promise funny and guffaws of laughter echo down the hallway.

Which is why I feel it’s imperative to write to you regarding some false promises you are currently making.  It all began when my brother helped me out with various household chores and, wishing to appropriately thank him, I sent him a Hoops & YoYo card promising “a million thank yous.”  To be honest, I thought that was a lot of thank yous since I’d already given him a LEGO and bought him supper, but what the heck, a million thank yous could be the icing.

I innocently sent my brother the card.  Now, let me just state here that my brother can be obsessive.  I mean, once, when we were children, he spent days (I believe) cataloging each piece of LEGO from his collection (which was impressive then and is really impressive now.  He’s over thirty and happily married, in case you’re wondering.  I certainly would be.)  So I shouldn’t have been surprised when he left the card running on his computer to actually count out his thank yous.

Each day at the end of the day he would send me an update on the card and how many thank yous he had received thus far.  This was cute for the first three days, but on the fourth day Hoops & YoYo dared to continue thanking my brother beyond the stated million, and it just got embarrassing.  I mean, I didn’t want to thank him THAT much, so now I have to think of other chores for him to do so he can earn them, and meanwhile he’s thinking that he’s earned all those thank yous, and I don’t want him to get the wrong impression.  Thank yous don’t come freely, as I’m sure you know.

I’ve attached the screenshot he kindly sent me of the final thank yous seconds before he closed the card, finally.  As you can see, he received 10,519,023 more thank yous then intended.  I have to break it to him that I didn’t mean to send him that many.  Do you fine spreaders of good cheer have a “Thank You Retraction” card, perhaps?

Thankfully my brother and I are good friends, so I’m certain we’ll get through this hump.  But perhaps you could be more careful in future advertising.  One can only thank the man who used to lock you up in closets so much.

I hope you have a lovely day.



I can't remember what lovely thing my brother had helped me with, unfortunately.  But he was thanked for it, that I'm certain of.   We're still good friends, so we worked through this, but it was no thanks to Hallmark.

Wednesday 8 June 2011

Lost a Week

Well, a blog week.  I certainly didn't lose the week per say. I was busy running around and had no good Internet connection.  Note to self: next time, prepare posts in advance.  Ah well, live and forget what you learned.  

I'm not going to try to go over everything, even though some awesome stuff happened. Instead, I give you a week in pictures!

On our way to AnimeNorth, my car (Maude) started shaking funkily on the highway.  Roomy and I looked at each other and decided to pull off (we're SMRT!)  Turned out a piece of my front breaks had slipped onto my rotor.  Neat, eh?  So we visited Trenton for a while and enjoyed some subtle geekness on the Park Motel's sign (to the left of the picture).  We also got candy at Bulk Barn and wandered around garden centres and a dollar store.  There's not much to do, in that corner of Trenton.
We made it to AnimeNorth!  I was late for my first panel, but ran in for half of it regardless. I'm all about panel crashing. (This isn't a picture of my panel. It's a chocobo.  If you don't know what a chocobo is, your gaming life suffered greatly, and you have my sympathies.)

This is one of my panels.  We're all a little fuzzy here, but we're writers, so we can pull it off.  From left to right - Eric Choi, Timothy Carter, me, Derwin Mak.  They're a great bunch.  Check out their writings - you won't be disappointed.

Roomy rocking a panel on customizing.  It was Roomy's first con appearance, and it went over very well. Both her events were full, and she's been invited to several other cons.  Go Roomy!  (Note her authoritative wielding of a pony. That pony is headless in just a few more shots.  I won't show them to you, for my blog will not be the stuff nightmares are made of.  You're welcome.)
AnimeNorth is not for the weak of heart.  Don't blink!  (If you don't recognize this stone angel, it's from Doctor Who.  You blink, you're dead.  So there you go.  Don't blink.)

I blinked!

Got home from AnimeNorth on Sunday night, barely had the time to enjoy piles of cats with dangly extra-toed feet, and I was off to Quebec City for a full week of work extravaganza!  Woo!

I used to be able to keep my creative and professional lives separate.  But now, I work with very enthused and fun folk, and many have found out about the writing and storytelling.  So I've stopped trying to separate the two.  I'll come out and tell you what I do in my day job: I work for people who make castles, like this one, in TWO days.  Truly, I do.
Back in town on Friday, off to a show with the Kymeras on Saturday.  We were the opening act for Evalyn Parry's and Brad Hart's Spin show.  It was awesome.  If you can - go see it.  Well worth it. (We have one pant leg rolled up in honour of cyclists who, um, roll up their pant legs.  We're cool.  We know.)  That's Sean and I in the green room, getting prepped for the show.  

The Almonte show was well attended.  More than 170 people showed up .  Those seats?  All filled.  And all the other ones, too.  

Sound testing, getting familiar with the stage.  Kathryn Hunt was totally there too - she happened to take all the pictures. Ruthanne Edward, our fourth Kymera, was rocking a storytelling festival and couldn't be there.  The show was fun.  We went on and we were on.  The audience was wonderful and we were lucky to perform for them.
And the week ended on a very high note (higher still!), with the unveiling of the cover of When the Hero Comes Homes.  Isn't it beautiful?  It's going to be up on Amazon and all that good stuff soon. I'll post links when I have them!

Okay, now I'm back to regular updates.  Next one on Friday!  On something exciting, I'm sure!