Thursday, December 20, 2012

Things That Make Me Snarf...and Why That's Important

I don't talk politics here, because let's face it--there are smarter people than I out there who can make political analogies without zombie references. But I have to say one thing in light of recent events:

Sometimes, it's more important than ever to laugh. Sometimes, in the face of darkness, it's all you can do as you stand against it. Laugh defiantly. Laugh tearfully. Laugh delightedly. Evil doesn't like it when you laugh. This week more than ever, I've been seeking out things to make me laugh, and every time I do, I remind myself that there are things worth fighting for. And you can bet I'm fighting back. And laughing while I do it, just because the evil bastards hate that.


I can't watch this video without laughing until I cry. It's not safe for work or children, and it's ridiculous and inappropriate and just plain silly. If it doesn't make you laugh, seek out something that does, and please remember this holiday season that there are things worth laughing about...and fighting for. And thank you, as always, for taking the time to laugh with me.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Happy Birthday!!!

Let's be honest. Publishing is WEIRD. There's so much about this business that makes me all WTFBBQHUH?!?! There's also so much to love, so please don't think I'm going all woe is me on you, because I'm not, but as a writer, it's good to have people you can trust who you can send your WTFBBQHUH moments to and have them tell you honestly if they think you're being completely insane or if they agree that this is another of those moments where publishing is weird.

That made sense in my head. Honestly, it did.

Anyway, the whole point of this ramble is that it's important to have a support group, and I have a terrific one, and one of those people is having a birthday today! I've been blog friends with Elana Johnson practically since I started this blog back in 2009, or at least that's how it seems to me, and for a very long time (as in ever since) I've been secretly awed by her. She does so many things so well--she's a bleeping good writer, and she gives great critique, and she gives a heckload to the online writing community, and I think that is la awesome. And now I count her among my very best friends in that weird never-met-you-in-person kind of way.

She loves bacon as much as I do, people. It's FATE.

So I wanted to shout a huge happy birthday from the rafters to Elana! A little birdie also told me that there's a celebratory giveaway of all her books. You should enter it.

Also, BACON.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Bad Hair Winner and Ninja Snarfage

I'm sorry. I know I was supposed to post a winner yesterday for the Bad Hair Day contest (which had some EPIC bad hair in it), but bacon cheese fries were calling my name, so I went out for lunch with Slayer instead. But that's okay, because I'm posting it TODAY! YAY! HIP HIP HOORAY! INSERT SOMETHING ELSE THAT RHYMES HERE.

Ahem. So. The big winner, as chosen by Rafflecopter, is...

Mandy Silberstein! Mandy, you get your choice of a six month mentorship with me or a $100 gift card to the book retailer of your choice. Email me, and I'll give you all the deets!

Over the next few days, I'll be putting together a video of all the awesomeness so you can see it. And trust me. It's AWESOME.

Didn't win? Don't be sad. You can have this.

Turn the invisible page. You know you want to.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Come See Me, and Something That Makes Me Snarf!

Douglas Adams is a genius. This is my favorite radio bit of his:

You can also come see me this week! At Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor on Wednesday at 7! I'm collecting books for our local schools! I use too many exclamation points! Don't forget your headband!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Things That Make Me Snarf - Peanut's Bad Hair Day

Let's face it. Bad hair is funny. And bad hair plus Jeff Dunham is freaking hilarious. Although please note that this is NSFW hilarious and NSFK hilarious, because there are naughty words in it. And if your kids are anything like my kids (or your coworkers are anything like my kids), they'll point out every single fricking bad word that pops up and loudly proclaim that they didn't say it.

Anyway. Funny.

Also, I wanted to remind you all that there's an opportunity to win a gift card or 6 month mentorship with moi! All you have to do is publicly humiliate yourself like Peanut.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's TWINS! (And by that, I mean two books)


You guessed it. Those annoying high-pitched squealing sounds are being inflicted upon you because I have not one, but TWO books out today! First is BAD HAIR DAY, which is a full length Grable adventure in which Kate takes on some very hairy beasts that may or may not be werebearwolfbots. You don't have to read the first book to understand this one, although it does help. And then there's BAD YETI, which is an e-novella and a great introduction to the series if you've been on the wall about them. And it has airborne yeti in it, which I find pretty hilarious.

If you're anywhere near SE Michigan, stop by and celebrate the release with me at Nicola's Books on November 28th! All the deets are here.

I've had quite a few people ask me if I was going to do another Night of the Giving Dead auction, and I've decided to forgo it this year. First of all, there's a huge KidLit Cares auction going on right now (Round 2 is hosted by my awesome friend Joanne Levy), and you should totally bid on things there. And frankly, I just ran out of time. But I still wanted to do something fun to celebrate, and I figured it would be nice if that fun had some kind of prize attached to it.

So here it is. Post a bad hair picture anywhere on the internet WITH A LINK TO THIS POST. Your picture must have a link to qualify. If you win the drawing, and it turns out that your picture doesn't have a link, I'll have to draw another winner, and I'll make a sad face, and you wouldn't want that, would you?!?! Your pic can be old or new. If you don't have one, go crazy with the scrunchies and TAKE ONE. You can enter as many times as you want (once per day), but each entry needs to be unique. So change up the picture or the text or SOMETHING. Post on your blog, put it on twitter, make a bad hair tumblr--whatever! Find some way to change it up. And don't forget to register each entry in the Rafflecopter below.

I'm going to take these pics and make an epic bad hair day video and link to each of your websites! More traffic to book blogs = win! If you don't want to be in the video, you can note that in the Rafflecopter.

AAAAND like I said, I hope this will just be a fun thing to do that will give a little marketing help to the book blog community that has done so many awesome things for me. But I also wanted to do a little more to thank you. So one random winner will get their choice of a six month writing mentorship with me starting in January OR a $100 gift card to Amazon/B&N/BAM/a book retailer that allows for purchasing of online gift cards. This is a great opportunity to get some help revising your NaNo novel, or an extra boost with the Christmas shopping! And it's easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy to participate in!

I'll take entries through November 30th, and the winner will be announced on December 3rd. I feel like I haven't quite communicated my excitement, so let me say this again--I WANT TO MENTOR YOU! I WANT TO BUY YOU BOOKS! BECAUSE I HAVE TWO OF THEM OUT TODAY, AND I'M SUPER LUCKY, AND I WANT TO SHARE THAT! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

I also want to share this. It's a WARNING NOT TO DO THIS TO YOUR HEAD.

Er...yeah. I went through an awkward phase. Or like ten of them. Simultaneously.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monster Bash Winner!

So! Thanks everyone for taking the time to comment on all the Monster Bash posts. I probably had more fun writing them than any of you did reading them, if we're going to be perfectly honest here. Anyway, I'll be back with all the release day awesomeness tomorrow. (BAD HAIR DAY and BAD YETI release tomorrow! HOW DID IT GET SO CLOSE SO FAST?!?!?) But in the meantime, I've got one last outstanding bit of Monster Bash business.

The winner of the signed books.

Now I will confess that this year I had to CHEAT and draw two winners via, because the first one turned out to be ME, because I'd commented on a post and of course out of all the entries, it had to pick the one person who couldn't possibly win. But then it came back with a big old 64, and I was pretty thrilled to see that it's my new friend Kimberly, who made it a point to comment on every single Monster Bash post. Diligence pays, peeps. :)

So congrats goes out to Kimberly, and now I'm going to dash so I can plan ALL THE THINGS.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Monster Bash: Ze Big List of YA Vampire Books

You knew it had to come eventually. We've listed off werewolf and zombie books, now it's time for the vamps. And this list is LOOOOONG. If you're a fan of the fang, you've got plenty to choose from.

Again, the deets. This list is for YA titles only, so anything shelved in adult didn't make the cut. I've limited to traditionally pubbed books in an effort to keep the list from exploding my brain. The list is organized by author last name. And these are books in which the main character is a vampire, or hunts vampires, or the main love interest is a vampire. If a vampire appears once on page 12 but otherwise the book is about weredonkeys, it didn't make the list. And yeah, I totally want to read that.

But first, the LIST.

  1. THIRSTY by MT Anderson
  2. THE DEN OF SHADOWS SERIES by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes 
  3. PRETTY DEAD by Francesca Lia Block
  6. THE SLAYER CHRONICLES by Heather Brewer
  7. THE CRAVE SERIES by Laura J Burns and Melinda Metz
  8. THE HOUSE OF NIGHT SERIES by PC and Kristin Cast 
  10. THE VAMPS SERIES by Nancy A Collins
  12. THE BLUE BLOODS SERIES by Melissa de la Cruz
  13. TEETH by Ellen Datlow
  14. THE VAMPED SERIES by Lucienne Diver 
  15. DRINK, SLAY, LOVE by Sarah Beth Durst
  17. THE JESSICA SERIES by Beth Fantaskey 
  18. THE BITE ME SERIES by Melissa Francis
  19. THE HUNT SERIES by Andrew Fukuda
  20. THE EVERNIGHT SERIES by Claudia Gray
  21. LOOK FOR ME BY MOONLIGHT by Mary Downing Hahn
  23. THE DRAKE CHRONICLES by Alyxandra Harvey 
  24. SWEETBLOOD by Pete Hautman 
  25. THE ALEX VAN HELSING SERIES by Jason Henderson
  26. THE VAMPIRE KNIGHT SERIES by Matsuri Hino and Tomo Kimura
  27. ROSARIO+VAMPIRE by Akihisa Ikeda
  28. NIGHT ROAD by AM Jenkins
  30. THE BLOOD OF EDEN SERIES by Julie Kagawa
  31. THE BETH FRASIER SERIES by Julie Kenner
  32. THE SILVER KISS by Annette Curtis Klause
  33. THE OTHERWORDLIES SERIES by Jennifer Anne Kogler
  34. TEAM HUMAN by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan
  36. THE VAMPIRE QUEEN SERIES by Rebecca Maizel
  38. SLAYED by Amanda Marrone
  39. SUNSHINE by Robin McKinley 
  40. THE BLOODLINES SERIES by Richelle Mead
  42. BLOODTHIRSTY by Flynn Meaney
  43. SUCK IT UP by Brian Meehl
  44. THE TWILIGHT SERIES by Stephenie Meyer
  45. THROAT by RA Nelson
  46. THE SUCKS TO BE ME SERIES by Kimberly Pauley 
  47. THE DARKANGEL TRILOGY by Meredith Ann Pierce
  48. THE THIRST SERIES by Christopher Pike
  49. VAMPIRE HIGH by Douglas Rees
  50. FAT VAMPIRE by Adam Rex
  52. VAMPIRE CRUSH by AM Robinson
  53. THE VAMPIRE KISSES SERIES by Ellen Schreiber 
  55. THE TANTALIZE SERIES by Cynthia Leitich Smith
  58. THE VAMPIRATES SERIES by Justin Somper
  59. JANE JONES: WORST. VAMPIRE. EVER. by Caissie St. Onge
  60. NEVER BITE A BOY ON THE FIRST DATE by Tamara Summers
  61. THE ETERNAL KISS by Trisha Telep
  63. COMPANIONS OF THE NIGHT by Vivian Vande Velde 
  64. THE VAMPIRE STALKER by Allison van Diepen
  66. THE PEEPS SERIES by Scott Westerfeld
I have to admit that out of all of the creatures I've done so far, this list was the most overwhelming. So I'm ready for suggestions! I know I forgot some books--what are they?!?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monster Bash: Ze Big List of YA Zombie Books

EEEEEEEEEEEE! I cannot believe that BAD HAIR DAY and BAD YETI come out one week from tomorrow! I haz copies, and they are la gorgeous. I can't wait to see them out in the big wide world! Anyway, that means that we're coming to the end of our monstery celebration, but we've still got this week to talk about monster books, because monster books are AWESOME.

If you missed Friday's post, there's a nice long list of YA werewolf titles for those of you who enjoy a good book about a hairy Cuisinart.

And today, I'm compiling a list of YA zombie titles! I'm looking to keep these lists updated with new releases, so this will be a resource for people to return to. But in order to do that, I need your help to nudge me with the titles I'm missing! As a brief reminder, these lists are limited to traditionally published titles just to keep them semi-manageable size-wise. And I'm sticking to books in which the MC or main love interest is a zombie or zombie hunter. So Monster High wouldn't make the list even though Ghoulia is a zombie. I'll be listing the lotsa monster titles later. And lastly, the list is organized by author last name.

So...without further ado. Zombie book fodder for your TBR list!

  2. THE INFECTS by Sean Beaudoin
  3. THE ASHES TRILOGY by Ilsa J. Bick
  4. ZOMBIES VS. UNICORNS by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier 
  5. THE KATERINA SERIES by Robin Bridges
  10. SOULLESS by Christopher Golden
  13. BAD TASTE IN BOYS by Carrie Harris
  14. THE ENEMY SERIES by Charlie Higson
  15. ZOMBIE BLONDES by Brian James
  16. MY SO-CALLED DEATH by Stacey Jay
  18. THE BENNY IMURA SERIES by Jonathan Maberry
  21. THE DARK INSIDE SERIES by Jeyn Roberts
  23. STRANGE ANGELS by Lili Saintcrow
  24. THE ZOMBIE WEST SERIES by Angela Scott
  26. ALICE IN ZOMBIELAND by Gena Showalter
  27. THIS IS NOT A TEST by Courtney Summers
  31. THE OTHER LIFE by Susanne Winnacker
So. I know there are books that I'm missing here. WHAT ARE THEY?!

And don't forget--there's only a little time left to comment. One random commenter on a Monster Bash post will received a signed set of all the Grable books!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Monster Bash: Ze Big List of YA Werewolf Books

So. Now that Halloween is over (and I've BEGUN to recover), let's talk books. I've lost track of how many people have come to me saying, "Dude, this kid loves *insert monster here* books. She's read ALL of them." To which I naturally say, "Have they read X? Have they read Y? HAVE THEY READ Z?!?! OMG Z IS SO COOL!"

Ahem. I get a little overexcited sometimes.

Anyway, the point is that I've been saying that I'd love to have a list of monster books, organized by creature, so that people with a serious love for books about people who turn into slavering furry monsters have a place to go for assistance. WE NEED TO SUPPORT THE FANS OF SLAVERING FURRY MONSTERS, PEOPLE. IT'S A MORAL IMPERATIVE.

I will get to the point eventually. And the point is that here's a list of werewolf books targeted at teens, organized by author last name. These are books in which the main character is a werewolf or hunts werewolves or the primary love interest is a werewolf--there's a bit of a grey area here because of books like Twilight, but I'm trying to figure out a way to keep from listing the same book about a bijillion times. (Because of course I'm going to do lists for other monsters!) I'm including only traditionally published titles simply because opening up to self-pubs would make the list HOLYCRAPSOBIG. But if you know of a title that I missed, leave it in the comments and I'll add it!

  1. THE RAISED BY WOLVES SERIES by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  2. THE WERELING TRILOGY by Stephen Cole
  3. THE NIGHTSHADE TRILOGY by Andrea Cremer
  5. THE 13 TO LIFE SERIES by Shannon Delany
  6. WOLF MOON by Charles De Lint
  7. THE DARK DIVINE SERIES by Bree Despain
  9. THE SKINNED SERIES by Judith Graves
  10. BAD HAIR DAY by Carrie Harris
  11. THE DARK GUARDIAN SERIES by Rachel Hawthorne 
  12. THE WOLF SPRINGS CHRONICLES by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
  13. THE WOLVING TIME by Patrick Jennings
  15. THE WEREWORLD SERIES by Curtis Jobling
  16. THE CLAIRE DE LUNE SERIES by Christine Johnson 
  17. BLOOD AND CHOCOLATE by Annette Curtis Klause
  18. RED MOON RISING by Peter Moore 
  19. HEMLOCK by Kathleen Peacock
  20. SISTERS RED by Jackson Pearce
  21. WEREGIRLS by Petru Popescu
  22. UNLEASHED by Kristopher Reisz
  23. THE FULL MOON BOOKS by Ellen Schreiber
  24. RED RIDER'S HOOD by Neal Shusterman
  25. THE WOLVES OF MERCY FALLS SERIES by Maggie Stiefvater
  26. THE WOLF PACK SERIES by Edo Van Belkom
What titles have I missed? Let me know in the comments, or tell me how many of these you've read! Remember that every commenter on a Monster Bash post will be entered into the random drawing for a complete signed series of the Grable books--including werewolf title BAD HAIR DAY. WOOT.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Monster Bash: Happy HALLOWEEN!

This is what happens when I hang with my homies: Neil Gaiman (and his eyebrows), JK Rowling, John Green, and Maureen Johnson. I've watched this about a bijillion times, and I laugh harder each time MJ starts rapping.

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monster Bash: Things That Make Me Snarf

I used to do this weekly feature on random internetty things that make me snarf stuff out my nose, and then I took a bit of a blog hiatus and stopped doing that. Well, today, my son's a little under the weather, so I'm going with a quick monster bash post, and what's better than some things that make me snarf?

Like these:

Also, let's revisit some of the dance movie themed lolzombies I made a while back. This one's my favorite:


Don't forget to comment! One random commenter type person on a monster bash post will receive a full signed collection of all three Grable books! WOOT.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Monster Bash: Easy Halloween Ideas

Are you a procrastinator who hasn't yet picked out a Halloween costume? Are you sick of buying costumes because your makeup skills are limited to bright blue 80s style eyeshadow? (If so, I think that's awesome.) There are actually some really easy tips that you can use to create an awesome Halloween look, and they're really easy to do. In fact, most of them will require things you've got right in your cupboards. Here are a few easy tips for you procrastinators out there.

  1. FAKE BLOOD. If you forgot to buy a little tube of blood for your vampire costume, you don't need to run out to the store at the last minute. A little red food coloring in some corn syrup works well, with a bit of corn starch mixed in to thicken it. (Sometimes I also put in a small drop of blue to make it darker--just be careful with that so you don't end up with purple alien blood.) If you're worried about staining, put a little Vaseline on the skin to seal it and then dab the blood on with a Q-tip.
  2. DO-IT-YOURSELF-SCARS AND WRINKLES. Spirit gum is your friend. Spirit gum is the sticky stuff you see at Halloween and theater stores; people use it to adhere masks and wigs and all kinds of things. But you can also use it to create wrinkly, puckered skin. To create a scar, draw a long line of spirit gum on skin and let it dry. It shrinks as it dries, pulling the skin a little out of shape. Now you can apply makeup on top to make a scar or stitch marks. I've also used this to make zombie makeups a little more convincing. A bit of spirit gum around the edge of the mouth makes it look a little more sunken. And some of it painted on the face can contribute to a dehydrated, undead look. I imagine in a pinch, you could also try this with regular school glue, but I can't say from experience how well it lasts. And of course, please don't put this stuff on your lips or near your eyes!
  3. MUMMIFY OR ZOMBIFY YOURSELF. You can make an awesome last minute makeup with stuff you've already got in your house. Make a paste out of 2 parts flour to one part corn syrup. Apply the paste to your face and then cover with jaggedly ripped pieces of plain paper towels. If you want to be a mummy, wrap the rest of your head with either a rolled bandage or cheesecloth. If you want to be a zombie, apply makeup over the top of your new rotting flesh.
  4. INSTANT STUBBLE. This one's really easy. Put some Vaseline on your face and press a little bit of coffee grounds into it.
Easy, right? Don't forget to comment on the Monster Bash posts; one random person will win a complete set of signed Grable books!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Monster Bash: I HAVE BAD HAIR



Cannot think past the high pitched squealing. More later. :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monster Bash: Old Horror Movies You MUST See

It's probably no surprise that I'm really into 80s and early 90s horror. It's just so silly and scary, and who can resist monsters with big hair? NOT ME. So in the spirit of the season, here are a few Halloween classics that you need to pick up the next time you need a good snarf-stuff-out-your-nose viewing experience.



I talk about this one a lot, but it definitely bears mention here. The vampires are back in this sequel, and they're going to take revenge on the nerd who killed off their buddies, only he's pretty much convinced himself that everything that happened in the first movie was a hallucination. This is not the movie you want to watch if you're looking for serious film. Frankly, don't even expect plausibility. Any self-respecting vampire is NOT going to strap on a pair of roller skates to hunt down victims. But watching it happen in slo-mo has to be one of my favorite things ever.



This one actually has a pretty interesting premise--Brayker holds the last key containing the blood of Christ, which has been passed down through the generations by demon knights who hold the forces of darkness at bay...and refill the key with their own blood at the end of their service. And Billy Zane is the crazycakes collector who dances around with monsters and swaggers around like a cowboy on crack. I mean that in the most awesome way possible. Frankly, every time I see his face, I get the giggles.



So in this movie, Jim Carrey is a virgin, and the vampire countess needs to feed on one before Halloween so she doesn't turn into a freaky nosferatu type. And she's a slut who eats buttons. If you can't tell from the picture above, it's all very SHOCKING. I wish I could tell you more about this one, but I just keep laughing and shaking my head. It's that kind of movie.

Have you seen any or all of these? Let me know! Don't forget that one random commenter on any Monster Bash post will get a collection of all the Grable books. Plus, there are lots of things you can use in your own Halloween celebrations--the playlist is my personal favorite.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Monster Bash Foods: Cupcakes

I don't know what it is about cupcakes that just screams monsters, but they seem to go together about as well as chocolate and peanut butter. (And I've just made myself hungry for Reece's at 8:30 in the morning, so I hope you appreciate the sacrifices I'm making for you.) Anyway, I think I've already mentioned that I got a copy of the cookbook, "A Zombie Ate My Cupcake" from one of my fabulous critique partners.

Proof that zombies + cupcakes = awesome

This Halloween, I'll be attempting the brain cupcakes, but I can tell you a little bit about my experience making the sugar skulls. I will admit that I cheated a little; instead of making the cupcakes themselves from scratch, I used a mix to save time. And I'm kind of glad that I did, because it took me over two hours to decorate about 16 cupcakes. Although admittedly, it was an uber fun couple of hours!

What you do is wrap the cupcakes in fondant to make them look like skulls, and I think an experienced fondanter (yeah, I totally made that word up) would be much quicker at this than I was. As a fondant newbie, I struggled a bit at first trying to get the right thickness, and I think the next time I make them it'll be a little quicker simply because I have a better idea of what works. So there may be a learning curve if you've never done that part before. But the decorating was SO FUN. I piped on flowers and pointy teeth and all kinds of crazy decorations. I mean, LOOK.

These skulls make me happy. Is that so wrong?

And I have the artistic skills of a gerbil. Imagine how cool these would look if done by someone who actually KNOWS how to draw.

The last thing I wanted to mention about these in particular is that it's a good idea to mention that people should take a nibble of the fondant, and if they don't like it, peel it off and eat the cupcake inside. I had a bunch of kids take a huge bite of the fondant and spit it out on the ground because I didn't give the disclaimer. Whoops.

Anyway, wish me luck on the brains! Of course I'll post pictures.

Don't forget to comment on all the Monster Bash posts to win a signed collection of Grable books!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Monster Bash Event Smash (aka COME TO MY PARTY)

Do you want to know what you get when you combine...

This Bride of Frankenstein awesomeness, courtesy of Dahlia Deranged...

These Bride of Frankenstein earrings, courtesy of CAB Fayre...

These werewolf shoes, courtesy of Iron Fist...

And this not-so-blurry-in-real-life dress, courtesy of Jackdaw Landing?

You have an opportunity to find out! I will be wearing them at the official BAD HAIR DAY signing event! I may or may not also have stuffed ravens in my hair at said event, because nothing says "bad hair" like birds. Or...uh...something.

Anyway, here are the deets!
  • WHAT: The official BAD HAIR DAY signing event!
  • WHERE: Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, MI
  • WHEN: Wednesday, November 28th, evening-ish (obvs, I'll update this once we settle on a time)
  • WHY: Because you want to see my outfit. And maybe also my book. And maybe me biting my book, because that's a thing now.
There will also be opportunities to win signed books from my lovely Written in the Mitten tour buddies and probably monster-themed desserts, because one of my critique partners, the lovely Laura Riken, bought me a monster-themed cupcake book, after which I professed my eternal love for her. I keep expecting the restraining order, but it hasn't arrived yet.

Don't forget to comment on the Monster Bash posts! You'll be entered into a drawing to win a signed set of Grable books! And that's exciting! Almost as exciting as putting ravens in my hair, although maybe I'm biased.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monster Bash Interview Smash: Knot by Granma

Welcome back, monsterphiles! I'm super excited to be featuring another monstery interview with a longtime friend of the blog, Jess of Knot by Granma! Jess designed the zombie football player doll that I gave out during the release of Bad Taste in Boys. ZOMGSOCUTE. Anyway, if you're looking for creepy cute monster dolls to either purchase or make on your own, she is your hookup. And she's here today. With a coupon.

Dum dum DUUUUUM.

First, a quickfast interview!

LA CARRIE: I lovelovelove your monster designs. Were you a mad scientist in a past life? Where do you get your ideas?

I mean, who could not love this?!? I WANT A CHESHIRE CAT JUST LIKE THAT ONE.
KNOT BY GRANMA: I have 2 boys, so they help out with ideas. I also was an insane monster sketch artist back in another life (or high school) and look through them for inspiration. If none of those work, I sit down with a pencil and paper and see what ends up sketched out.

I'm generally not a Valentine's Day person, but I will totally make an exception for tentacles. I mean, COME ON. TENTACLES. 

LA CARRIE: Speed round! Tell me your favorite... 

MONSTER MOVIE: The Rocky Horror Picture Show
GHOSTBUSTER: Egon... Yes. I was that girl.
Tentacles plus ballet plus monster = Carrie is speechless with delight
LA CARRIE: Tell us how to find you. And I mean that in an internetty way, not a stalk-you-from-the-bushes way. GIVE US THE LINKS!
Maybe if he was guarding my books, people would quit borrowing them and not returning them...

So cute, right? RIGHT?!? And the best part is that you now have a chance to get one of your very own WITH A DISCOUNT. For the month of October, you can get 20% off everything in the Knot By Granma store with the coupon code CARRIELOVESMONSTERS. Which, of course, I do. Although you should be forewarned that if you don't send me a picture of your loot, I will pout like the wind. Or the dickens. Or something that can actually pout.

Happy shopping! And don't forget to visit the rest of the Monster Bash posts and leave a comment! Not only do you get leads on some ZOMGAWESOME monster stuff, but every comment gives you an entry into a drawing for all three signed Grable books! (Okay, I won't actually sign Bad Yeti, because it's digital. But I will sign it IN MY MIND.)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Monster Bash: Shoe Nerdcrafts!

One of the things I've learned in the past year-and-a-half-ish of being a published writer is that teachers and their feet are saints. I have oodles and oodles of cute, monster themed shoes, and after one classroom presentation in them, my feet are ready to stage a coup and make a run for it. Or maybe a hobble. So anyway, I've been eyeing this set of instructions for nerd shoes for a while now. Here was an opportunity to make some cute monster themed shoes with less than a three inch heel that I could wear to events! And when I decided to do Monster Bash, this seemed like a great opportunity to give it a try and tell you how it went.


Why, HELLO, slightly blurry Grable-themed hotness!

That's right. I now have a pair of ballet flats printed with my book covers and website images (thanks to the awesome Manning Krull). And they are CUUUUTE.

The actual instructions are pretty simple, and I plan to try it again with some comic books at some point. I'm thinking I really need a pair of Tick themed shoes. And if decoupage isn't really your thing, you can follow that link to get ideas for shoes that require the use of stencils and the ability to draw a straight line, which I'm not particularly good at.

The actual shoe makery was easier than I expected it to be. I probably spent an hour and a half on them not counting drying time, but that also included time trying to get my stupid printer to cooperate, so I think an hour would be reasonable, especially if you're cutting pictures out of comic books. The actual assembly wasn't too tough; I think you could give this project to tweens quite easily. Just make sure you use fairly good quality printer paper if you're printing your own pics. I think thin, cheap paper might rip, but I didn't have any problem with that, and I used regular copy paper from Staples.

Porous papers seem to work well; I didn't try any slick magazine type paper, but I suspect it would be fine too. I did learn that you might as well take the number of pictures you think you'll need to cover the shoes and multiply that by three. I also wish I would have picked a pair of shoes with an unadorned heel. This pair had a raised seam on the back that made it really tough to get the paper to stay where it was supposed to be.



I'd like to have a different pair for every day of the week. And that's all I have to say about that.

Don't forget to leave a comment! One random commenter on a Monster Bash post will win signed copies of all three Grable books! Let me know what kind of shoes you'd like to make!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Monster Bash Party Smash - Halloween Playlist

I love Halloween parties. One time, I went to a party where this guy was dressed up as a Twister board and kept going up to all the girls and shouting, "Right hand on yellow! Right hand on yellow!" This has nothing to do with why I love Halloween parties, but I thought it was funny. Anyway. Parties. The one thing about Halloween parties that sometimes gets me down is the music. Yes, I love the Monster Mash. OF COURSE I DO. But do we really need to play it at every single Halloween event in the universe? We do not. Because there are tons and tons of monster themed songs to choose from, and chances are pretty good that you haven't heard of them. So this year, instead of going to Target to buy one of the same old same old Halloween mixes for your party or to play outside the house while the kids are trick-or-treating, try out something different.

The following playlist is full of Halloween music, most of it campy and ridiculous because that's how I roll. If you're looking for scary thrash metal, this is not for you. (If all the neon pink and green didn't clue you in already.) People with small children, please take the time to go through the playlist before sitting them down to listen! There are a few bad words and people hitting people with mops and bloody yuck and people shooting zombies in the head. Even the little kids. That's a lyric from a song, so you don't need to call the men in white coats.

Music Playlist at

Let me know what you think of the music! What songs do you like the best? Remember, one random commenter on any Monster Bash post will win a signed collection of all three Grable books. WOOT.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Monster Bash Interview Smash: Play Attention Games

Welcome to more Monster Bash, now with fewer calories! Actually, it has no calories, unless you've been licking the screen, and if you've been doing that, I think you have bigger problems than weight loss.

ANYWAY. Today, I'm super happy to bring you a new monster-related interview today. This one is with my old friend Matt McFarland, with whom I once played a tabletop RPG in a hot tub, and he killed me. I was NOT happy about that. Well, I was happy about the hot tub, but otherwise it was made of suck. Now he's an owner of Play Attention Games, a new company that makes awesome creature-related games.

For those of you unfamiliar with tabletop RPGs, you really need to try them out. Think of it like an exercise in storytelling. You and a group of friends act out your characters, while the gamemaster/dungeonmaster/minor deity in charge gives you situations to deal with. RPGs have really grown since the days of old school D&D and its focus on gathering gold and killing gazebos. At least 3/4 of what I know about writing dialogue came from roleplaying. And it must work, because a lot of bookish peeps are into gaming. I once wrote for White Wolf games along with Dawn Metcalf, Ari Marmell, and Jim DiBartolo. I'm sure there are more, but those are the people I can think of off the top of my head.

ANYWAY AGAIN. Matt and I have been friends for ages. Long enough, in fact, to have once created a Batman parody in which he was Mattman, our friend Mikal was Robinson--his last name, and I was Poison Carrie. This is one of the only things I will ever have in common with Uma Thurman. He also came to one of my murder mystery parties in a kilt. I'm going to talk more about those later on in Monster Bash, so stay tuned for that!

But for now, here's and introduction to Play Attention Games, and their first game, curse the darkness...

POISON CARRIE: Tell us a little about Curse the Darkness!

MATTMAN: *curse the darkness* (lowercase deliberate) is a post-apocalyptic roleplaying game about hard choices. The basics of the setting are: ideology (including religion, politics and national identity) are outlawed and punishable by death, enforced by a mysterious dictator and monsters from the shadows. The players set up the details about the scenario, including the goal, but before they can reach that goal each one needs to make the essential choice: give up and admit that the world is what it is and can't really be changed, or refuse to quit fighting and try to exert some control. In essence: Light a candle...or curse the darkness?

What's your favorite monster-related RPG that ISN'T curse the darkness and why?

MATTMAN: Ooh, wow. I think probably the World of Darkness in general. That's actually a collection of a lot of RPGs using the same setting, but eh. The World of Darkness has some great themes to it - humanity, hubris, secret conspiracies, morality vs. practicality. Plus it's fun to pretend to be a werewolf for a while. 

POISON CARRIE: What would you like to say to people who haven't played a tabletop RPG before?

MATTMAN: Try it! It's awesome! There are games where you can play monsters, mermaids, adventurers, pirates, professional wrestlers, and even cats. Really, contact me on Facebook or through my company ( and I'll help you find one for you and your friends.  

POISON CARRIE: If you could pick three people--alive, dead, imaginary, whatever--to be in your zombocalypse survival team, who would you choose?

MATTMAN: Wow, that's a wide net. OK. Definitely my brother; he's a badass cop and he's a good shot. How about Geena Davis? Not only is she an awesome actress, she's an Olympic archery competitor. And my daughter, Teagan. If I'm in a zombie apocalypse and I'm still alive, so is she. 

POISON CARRIE: You really enjoyed killing my characters when we gamed, didn't you? ADMIT IT!

MATTMAN: I always enjoy killing characters. If it's happening in my game, there's some drama to the moment and it's a cool story (unless we're playing Paranoia, in which case it's...just a game of paranoia).

POISON CARRIE: Where do we go to learn more about curse the darkness. GIVE US THE LINKS. WE WANTS THEM.

MATTMAN: Hot diggety!

Our company website:
You can buy the game here:
Our new game, A Tragedy in Five Acts:


So there you go! I hope you'll take the time to check out curse the darkness, and like Matt said, if you're intrigued by the idea of gaming but ctd isn't for you, contact him or me and we'll recommend something that's more your speed. There are LOTS of options out there, and it really is a great way for creative types to learn something new.

And as always, don't forget that Monster Bash is celebrating all things monstery....including the release of BAD HAIR DAY and BAD YETI on November 14th! Leave a comment on any Monster Bash post (or all of them) to be entered into a random drawing for all three Grable books with my name on them. And I'll even write my name myself! And then I'll write your name, which means you'll be in a book, and that's pretty awesome. I still get a kick out of seeing my name in books.

Yeah, I'll shut up now.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Monster Bash: Paper Nerdcrafts

Welcome to the last Monster Bash post for this week, which is about nerdcrafts. I love nerdcrafts. You can use them as activities for libraries or classrooms, birthday party fun, or if you're like me, you can just do them at home BECAUSE YOU WANT TO, DAMNIT. So as a part of Monster Bash, I'm going to try out a variety of nerdcrafts and recommend some that you might enjoy. Today, we're going to talk about papercrafts, because who doesn't like cutting and gluing things? (Except for the parts where you stab yourself and glue your fingers together, which I did in the making of this post, because I SACRIFICE FOR YOU.)

Anyway. One of the best things about papercrafts is that they're really inexpensive (as in FREE other than printing costs and possibly stitches), but they're still uber fun. So I went trolling the interwebs for monster-related papercrafts and found a lot of awesome.
I decided to test out the My Little Cthulhu craft. In total, it took me about 45 minutes to print, cut out, and assemble. I started out using a glue stick, which worked really well on the larger parts, but the smaller pieces--like the legs--needed some school glue to make them stick. So it seems like a good idea to have a variety of glues on hand if your papercraft requires sticky stuff. The assembly was fairly complicated; with the exception of the Little Monster dolls, I probably would recommend these projects for teens.

So. How did my nerdcraft turn out? This is Carrie.

 Not even my Zombie Dance Crew shirt can fill the void in my heart.

 And here's Carrie with a Cthulhu papercraft!

My life is complete now. Cthulhu fhtagn!

I also have to give a shout out to the Etsy shop Artist in La-La Land, who does some HECKA GORGEOUS monster-themed papercrafts. Now that I have some idea of how tough it can be to make these things look like a five-year-old didn't make them, I have mad respect for this. You should totally check out her awesome shop!

Aaaaand, one last reminder that this whole Monster Bash thingy is all in celebration of my upcoming monsterrific releases! Leave a comment on any Monster Bash post and get entered to win a signed collection of all three books!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Monster Bash Interview Smash: Dahlia Deranged

For our first Monster Bash feature, I'm supermegauber stoked to introduce you to Dahlia Deranged, who makes some of the awesomest creature-themed accessories in the universe. I WANT TO OWN THEM ALL, MY PRECIOUS. Seriously, you guys have to help me choose, because I can't do it. Like, if I was a dragon, I would horde everything in this woman's Etsy store. That doesn't sound creepy, does it?

*twitch twitch*

Edward Scissorhands necklaces make it all better. That's why I NEED one.

Anyway. Dahlia was kind enough not to think I'm a total creeper AND to answer some questions about all things monstery. You need to learn all about her and visit her store and buy me things. Or buy yourself things, but don't tell me about that because I'll be really jealous.

Oh yeah. I was supposed to be introducing the interview, wasn't I?

LA CARRIE: I start planning for Halloween in November, and something tells me you're a fan of the holiday too. Tell us about one of your best costume moments.

DAHLIA DERANGED: Well let's see, since I was a wee little ghoul, I've almost always dressed as a vampire for Halloween. There have been a couple times, around the ages of five or six, I steered off the vampiric path and decided to be a Jack-o-Lantern and then a Zombie the year after that. My best costume moment was about two years ago, my friend and I decided to be vampires, again. My friend is a fantastic make-up artist and transformed me into a "Lost Girl." A little spin-off of the "Lost Boys." I think I'd have to say that was my best costume moment. I looked so real that, it might sound a little odd, but I was craving some blood!

File under Things That Are Bloody and Awesome.

LA CARRIE: I love the Lost Boys. "Marco, what's going on?" MUST WATCH THIS MOVIE AGAIN. Anyway. I think monsters + jewelry = PURE GENIUS. Tell us a little about your first piece and how you got started.

DAHLIA DERANGED: My first official piece was the Skull and Crossbones Rhinestone Ring. It sits on a baroque setting on a bed of Swarovski rhinestones with an adjustable backing. However, I have always made bracelets, keychains and odd little crafts since I was about six or seven. As I got older, I was very much inspired by my favorite designer Betsey Johnson to make wearable and affordable statement pieces. I've always had a crazy imagination and wanted to bring my twisted imagination to life and I believe that Betsey Johnson proved that it is possible. Having a passion for jewelry and an undying love for all things horror, gothic and macabre, it was only natural for me start creating these pieces but with a dark twist. I've also always admired the idea that you can take a boring outfit and make it into something fabulous by adding a few embellishments....twisted embellishments that is. Everything was just pointing me in this direction and it was only natural for me to make pieces and accessorize peoples' dark sides.

Skull plus rhinestones = THIS SHOULD BE ON MY HAND

LA CARRIE: Sparkly vampires--thumbs up or down and why?

DAHLIA DERANGED: No, no. Thumbs way down. In fact, if I may borrow your thumbs we can do four thumbs down. Sparkly vampires are just not okay. Bram Stoker and I are not having it. There is a difference between Glam Vampires- sexy, put-together, red lipstick etc- and "sparkly" vampires. Real vampires do not sparkle in the sun.

This sparkles in the sun, and it is AWESOME.

LA CARRIE: If you could choose three people--alive, dead, imaginary, whatever--to be on your zombocalypse survival team, who would you pick?

DAHLIA DERANGED: I'd have to pick my main ghouls Pinhead, Bela Lugosi and Beetlejuice. I think I'd have one hell of a team with these three guys. The zombies are gonna have a bad time.

It's a flask. Shaped like a coffin. With Poe on it. I think it would make the zombocalypse bearable.

LA CARRIE: Speed round! Tell us your favorite...

 - MONSTER BOOK: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein  
 - MONSTER MOVIE: Little Monsters (Maurice counts as a Monster!)
 - CREATURE: Frankenstein. It's got to be Frankenstein. I hold him so dear to my heart.
- PIECE YOU'VE DESIGNED: (Yeah, I know. It's like asking you to pick a favorite child. I'm MEAN.) I have to say, The Monstrosity Necklace. It's a necklace and a pet in one, you just can't go wrong.


LA CARRIE: Where can people find you? I'm talking internet links, not your address. I'm not into enabling stalkers. 

DAHLIA DERANGED: Ha! Well they can definitely find me on This links directly to my Etsy shop that I check hourly. Also Dahlia Deranged Design's Facebook page ( is a great place to keep up to date with new pieces and exclusive offers and it wouldn't hurt to check out my Instagram @dahliaderanged. There you can find projects that I like to do in my spare time and sneak peeks on new pieces! And last but not least, some of my pieces can be found on and

Because Day of the Dead and hair fascinators go together like chocolate and peanut butter.

LA CARRIE: Now I have to get back to agonizing. Do I want Poe or the Bride of Frankenstein or the TEETH? If I wore them all at once, that would be overkill, right?

DAHLIA DERANGED: You want all three and I'll tell you why. I think everyone is entitled to wear whatever they like. If you want to wear the Bride of Frankenstein necklace and a Poe necklace, I don't see the harm in that. They all reflect an undying love for all things horror and you can never, ever have enough of horror.

LA CARRIE: So so so true. Thank you so much for visiting us! And readers, if you're looking for an inspiration piece for Halloween or a gift for the monsterphile in your life, you should absofrickinglutely check out Dahlia's shop!

Also, don't forget--we're ramping up to the release of BAD HAIR DAY and BAD YETI in early November! One random commenter on a Monster Bash post will win a full set of signed Grable books! Comment below and tell me which Dahlia piece you like the best so I can drool over it with you.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monster Bash!

So I have these two books coming out next month, and they're practically overflowing with monsters. We've got werewolves and zombies and yeti and unicorns and ligers and dragons--it pretty much puts Dorothy's lions, tigers, and bears into perspective, doesn't it? Anyway, in celebration of the monsters AND my favorite holiday ever, I'm declaring October to be Monster Bash month! I'm going to be featuring some monster themed artists, freebies, and crafts that you will not want to miss. Because they are awesome.

And to make the pot sweeter, I'm going to give out a free signed collection of Grable books to one random commenter on any Monster Bash post. You'll get BAD TASTE IN BOYS, BAD HAIR DAY, and an e-copy in the format of your choice of BAD YETI. This contest starts with this post, so comment below and let me know your favorite monster! I'm going to have to go with zombies, because I find lurching corpses to be really hilarious.

You can also file this under Things I Find Really Hilarious.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Get a Sneak Peek of the BAD YETI Bonus Novella!

So if you've been stalking me around the interwebs, you may have noticed a strange phenomenon. PEOPLE SEEM TO THINK I WROTE A NOVELLA ABOUT YETI. And if you noticed that, and if you know me at all, I imagine that you thought something like, "A secret novella about yeti? I scoff. Carrie would never write A TICK. CARRIE WROTE A NOVELLA ABOUT YETI." And you would be right.

It started out as a fun project. I've made it no secret that I am unabashedly Team Jonah, and I thought I'd write a short story about him and an airborne yeti, only it kept getting longer and longer, and finally I was done, and I was all, "Uh...Agent Kate? I have this thing about Jonah Grable and an airborne yeti and a bunch of gamer geeks, and I don't know what to do with it." And after asking me if I've been taking my medication, she submitted it to my publisher, who also asked if I'd been taking my medication and then offered to publish it as a bonus ebook, which is now available for pre-order from your e-bookseller of choice!


I even haz a cover! And a description of the book!

Set in the world of BAD TASTE IN BOYS and BAD HAIR DAY, this digital story is the perfect introduction into the funny high school world of  CARRIE HARRIS, where humor meets horror (and sometimes zombies, werewolves, yetis, and yes, even unicorns).

Jonah Grable hasn’t minded living in the shadow of his older, zombie fighting sister Kate, but this weekend he’s definitely raising his profile. A weekend of epic epicness—waving swords and flirting with girls in elf ears at his LARP club event—is totally up Jonah’s alley. But when his alter ego, Sir Talatien Maguirier, Nightdark Clanlord, comes face to face with a real, live Yeti, Jonah—or, rather, Tal—has to take matters into his own hands.  So he sets off with gamer goddess Lady Amethyst,  brown-eyed Europa, and Calamity, a braid-wearing barbarian in fur, into the great unknown on a search for yeti-related awesomeness. . . .

So, if you've been thinking about giving the Grable series a try and haven't quite gotten there yet, this is a prime opportunity to do so...or it will be when it releases on the same day as BAD HAIR DAY, which is November 13th! Because it's a novella, it's on the shorter side--about 80 pages or so--so you can try out the series without committing to reading a doorstop. As with all the Grable books, it does stand alone, so no worries if you haven't read any of the others yet. And timeline-wise, it occurs between BTIB and BHD, which I guess makes it number 1.5 in the series.

If you can't already tell based on the massive longwindedness plus the overuse of exclamation points and all caps, I'm pretty excited about this! And to celebrate, I'd like to give five of you the opportunity to participate in the BAD YETI exclusive sneak peek! You'll get a taste of YETI before anyone else, and you'll get to post it on your website or FB or tweet it sentence-by-sentence, except I really don't recommend that because it will piss people off. Anyway, the point is that YOU will get to expose the yeti! know what I mean, right?

Entering is easy! All you have to do is write a sentence using the phrase "BAD YETI." For example, "Bad yeti, no biscuit!" Then put it online with a link to this post. Let me stress this--YOU MUST LINK TO THIS POST FOR YOUR ENTRY TO COUNT! It can go anywhere! Your FB, twitter, tumblr, blog, website, wherever. You can post multiple places, but each one must be a unique bad yeti sentence! It can be about the book, or why the yeti is bad, or what happens to bad creative! I'll pick five winners in a completely subjective manner (i.e., the people who make me snort the most stuff out of my nose and/or wow me by plastering the ENTIRE UNIVERSE with "bad yeti" sentences). And then submit a link via the form below so I can read it and snarf things out my nose. You have until noon EST on October 1st to get your entries in. I'll announce winners on the 2nd.

Got questions? Pop them in the comments, and I'll answer pronto! I'm sure I'm forgetting some essential piece of information here. Otherwise, HAVE FUN AND GO CHASTISE SOME YETI!