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Saturday, October 29, 2011

No Good Deed…

(This short story was originally published in August 2011 for the Fantastic Fables book giveaway contest at  
©2011 Edward Lazellari

Lelani did not think the street looked right. The houses were too small and the blue sky looked like a matt painting used in stage plays; everything felt claustrophobic. She consulted her teacher’s notes and things were just off -- really off. There was no mention of any yellow brick road in his texts.
“Lost?” asked a woman’s voice behind her.
Lelani spun around and laid eyes on the strangest women she’d ever seen. She looked as though she stepped out of a children's storybook, plump with a greenish hue -- too tall for any of the houses in this town -- in a black and blue robe. She wore white socks with black circular stripes and ruby-colored shoes, a red cone-shaped hat with a large brim, and held a long gnarled walking stick. Her eyes were a deep black. Lelani sensed great power in this woman.
“Actually, yes,” said Lelani, cautiously. "How can you tell?"
“You are too tall and swarthy to be from this village,” said the woman. “And far too beautiful. Nineteen?” the woman guessed.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Recent AWAKENINGS Reviews

Blog Critics posted a new review on Awakenings today.

"...the writing itself is excellent. Early in the book the author describes the lack of sensation as a character gets her head chopped off:
"She heard a creak behind her. Before she could turn, there was a swish, like the sound of a switch whipped through the air. Then silence. Not a drop of rain, not a squeak; someone had pulled the plug on the whole world..."
Check out Awakenings on bookstore shelves today!"

Also, New Jersey's largest paper The Star-Ledger had its review (I'm a Jersey resident)

Sorry that I haven't been posting these more regularly. Things have been busy.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My 2011 New York Comic Con Experience

Signing books at the Tor booth.

I and many fellow comic book and sci-fi/fantasy fans, made our yearly pilgrimage to the Javitz Center on October 14th to partake in New York Comic Con’s 2011 opening. What made this year different for me is that this year I was there as a published author promoting my first fantasy novel Awakenings.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 Says Awakenings Is Meaty, Delicious, And Wonderful

 "Interesting start to a new series, I can’t wait to read more!" --Shannon

Awakenings has received a "4-Steak and Potatoes" rating from Books Devoured; This is one of my favorite reviews because of the following observation:

"It has been a while since I have read a fantasy book and it may be the first time I have read one that is set up in the way this one is. We learn about the fantasy elements but we are not really taken there.  Everything we learn is told in memories and stories.  The action of the book takes place on Earth in the current time.  I actually liked this because it kept so many elements relatable.  At the same time, I feel like I understand enough about the other world to be able to follow the story."

Yes! (Huzzah!)

Every author hopes readers will "get" the nuances of his or her story. With Awakenings, I purposely set out to write a fantasy novel that would also appeal to popular fiction readers while staying true enough to the tenants of fantasy for long-time sci-fi/fantasy fans to enjoy. My choice of words in this story was very exact -- I was aiming for almost neutral description of fantastic ideas.  I also wanted readers of mystery, adventure, young adult, and romance to feel that they had some skin in this game.

When I was in art school, one of my favorite teachers, Ben, would discuss art, politics, business, and everything else under the sun while we took life drawing. One day, he brought up the classic movie "The Fly" because there had been a recent remake, and the consensus was that it was not as good as the original. The question of the day was "why?" Using classic Socratic method, Ben would press us for our opinion about why the classic was the superior movie, and of course, a bunch of 20-something know-it-all art students were getting it all wrong. The answer, according to Ben, was that the original movie was not about the scientist who had turned into the Fly. It was about a wife dealing with a misfortune that had befallen her husband, and her efforts to save the man she loved. Though this was marketed as a horror movie, and had wonderful elements of horror in it, it was the romantic connection in the movie that gave it its humanity. Yes, the special effect in David Cronenberg's remake was better, but the story lacked that human elements that amplified the horror. Ultimately, the classic was a story of the wife's and best friend's loss, even as Vincent Price smashes a rock on the last vestiges of his mutilated friend's head in the last scene. This was one of the most important lessons I'd ever learned about story telling-- that any story in any genre needs to pull elements from other genres to give it dimension. 

Every once in a while, a reviewer will pick up on the things I like about my own story. And that puts a smile on my face. And this review from Books Devoured gave me a very pleasant start to my Monday.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Friday October 14, 2011, 8:45-9:45 p.m., Room #1A15

I'm sharing a panel with best selling authors Patricia Briggs, Kim Harrison, Anton Strout, Rachel Caine, Christina Henry, Duane Swierczynski, and Richard Kadrey. 

In this, the tenth anniversary year of Neil Gaiman’s AMERICAN GODS, the ultimate urban fantasy road trip, we’ve seen a rash of infernal plagues infect some of America’s greatest cities. Witchcraft and demonic activity infect Kim Harrison’s Cincinnati, while Patricia Briggs’ novels wreak havoc on the shapeshifter, vampire and demonic tribes of the Tri Cities region of Washington State.  Anton Strout and Edward Lazellari see New York as the ultimate urban fantasy battleground. Rachel Caine has created an apocalyptic outpost in the Lone Star State vampire-controlled city of Morganville, terror has taken a bite out of Christina Henry’s Chicagoland, and Duane Swierczynski’s newest novels take us straight to Hell. These authors will argue that there truly is a continental divide between the forces of East and West; North and South; Good and Evil.  Grab a bag of Cheetos, a six pack of Red Bull, and some holy water and join us as we explore the road to perdition….
Moderator: Diana Gill, Harper Voyager

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fictional Frontiers Interview Is Up

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of doing my first-ever interview, with Sohaib Awan of Fictional Frontiers, regarding my new book AWAKENINGS. This discussion series is one of the more innovative and thought-provoking of its kind on the InterWeb, and after you listen to my conversation with Sohaib, I encourage you to mine the archives for other fascinating dialogues with the most interesting creators of our time.

Hope you enjoy it.

P.S. God bless Maria Sharapova. (Inside joke.)