It is my great pleasure to introduce today’s Dame for a Day. Not only is Laura Bickle the author of the (debut) urban fantasy novel, Embers – out on Tuesday! – she is a fellow Wonder Woman fan. Anyone who loves Wonder Woman as much as Laura does is absolutely okay with me. *g* Oh, and just like our Amazing Amazon, she has a secret identity: she will be releasing another book (also published by Pocket/Juno) in June 2010. Look out for Dark Oracle, which will be published under the name Alayna Williams.
Anyway, I’ll shut up and hand you over to the wonderful Laura Bickle, but stick around until the end for a giveaway…
The Amazon in my Office
By Laura Bickle
Wonder Woman oversees my writing.
Okay, slight exaggeration. I’m sure that the *real* Wonder Woman would have much better things to do than watch me stare at the computer screen, shovel cats in and out of my lap, and swill Coca-Cola. I’m sure that she’d have no interest whatsoever in my barely-legible index cards, my swearing, and the crunching noise my broken backspace key makes. She has better things to do than watch me work – things like saving the planet from alien invaders or plagues of mutant robots.
But she still watches me write. Not her, but a twelve-inch Wonder Woman replica doll, perched on my desk. She’s powerful, fearless of my mistakes and indecision. She doesn’t snicker when I read a run-on sentence aloud. Being plastic, she’s not terribly judgmental.
Wonder Woman is one ally among many in my writer’s nest. My nest is my bit of sacred space. It’s part of a little-used guest room. I made a desk by heaving a six-panel wooden door on top of two file cabinets. I spread large pieces of glass from an old coffee table on top, so that I can slide pictures, notes, and little treasures underneath. My reference books are tucked away on shelves, and a brightly-painted balsa wood dragon spins slowly from a hook on the ceiling. A dream board for my current project is propped up on the desk, containing clippings, sketches, and quotes, a clumsy storyboard that I’d be embarrassed to show anyone. Odds and ends are scattered hither and yon: Tarot cards, sticky notes, cat toys, candles. A cat is asleep in a pet bed under the desk. It’s perfect chaos.
But it’s mine. My writing nest. I’ve learned that having a nest is vital to me, to be able to close the door and focus on writing. I think that, if you honor something by giving it physical space in your home, it takes up more real estate in your head. It becomes real. It reminds me of how important writing is to me every time I walk past it, and my mind immediately jumps to the next scene in my story. And, so, when I sit down to write in that semi-sacred space, I become someone else. Like Diana Prince becoming Wonder Woman, I’m transformed into a writer.
I sit and chew on a pen, staring at the Wonder Woman doll, my silent cheering squad. She reminds me to forge ahead, to be powerful. That if the entire word can be saved from hordes of alien invaders by one woman… one woman wearing high-heeled boots, no less… I can put on my own Wonder Woman boots to power through this story.
Resolutely, I put pen to paper.
Truth burns. Unemployment, despair, anger—visible and invisible unrest feed the undercurrent of Detroit’s unease. Homes and businesses are increasingly invaded by phantoms and now, with the annual destruction of Devil’s Night approaching, a supernatural arsonist is setting blazes to summon a fiery ancient power that will leave the city in cinders. A sizzling debut from a red-hot new author.
By day, Anya Kalinczyk is an arson investigator in the Detroit Fire Department. At night—accompanied by her elemental familiar, a salamander named Sparky, and an eccentric group of ghost hunters—Anya pursues malicious spirits. Anya’s the rarest form of psychic medium, a “Lantern.” She doesn’t allow spirits to communicate with the physical world through her, like most mediums. Instead, she devours restless souls and incinerates them. She’d like to get closer to Brian, a ghost-hunting techno-wiz, but a lifetime of those she loves getting hurt makes her hold back. Her two roles mesh when she trails a serial firebug. She discovers the arsonist is attempting to use the fires to rouse Sirrush, a supremely powerful elemental, from the salt mine beneath the city of Detroit. Anya must capture the arsonist before Devil’s Night, when the spell will be complete and Sirrush will rise to raze the city.
Laura has very kindly offered a signed copy of EMBERS to one lucky reader. All you have to do to be entered is comment on this post – I’ll leave the contest open until the the end of the day Friday, April 2nd and the winner will be announced sometime over that weekend. The giveaway is open to all.
Get commenting, and thanks for stopping by! 🙂