Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pictures of Atticus

Because I'm feeling guilty that I haven't blogged in a bit after being so excited to be back (why must life be so  . . . life), I thought I'd just do a quicky blog post today to make up for my bad behaviour.  Though those of you who do not share my fondness for fuzzy animals, namely cats, will likely have preferred I not blog at all, than post what I'm about to.

PICTURES OF ATTICUS!!  My cat.  Atticus.  He's fuzzy and weird and stuff.   And here are some pictures of him.  Because why not.

This is his purse. He loves it.  It actually is his, my friends gave it to him because he loved it so much.

He likes sitting by the fire.

He also likes pretending he's a chachka on the mantel.

He likes to sit on top of the fridge which is cute, but from certain angles it can catch you by surprise.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

World meet OUTCAST, OUTCAST meet world

I mentioned in my first blog post back last Monday, after my rather long hiatus, that I had some book news and that I might or might not write a wee bit more about it anon.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, it is anon.

And here is the official Publisher's Marketplace announcement about my next book (!):

Adrienne Kress's OUTCAST, a quirky romantic YA, set in the deep south, about an unlikely pair of heroes leading a band of misfits against a host of "angels" that have been kidnapping their fellow townspeople, to Mary Cummings at Diversion Books by Jessica Regel at the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency, Inc. (World English). 

Yes. I have a new book coming out, and I couldn't be more thrilled!

I am also thrilled to be working with Diversion Books. The world of ebooks is definitely a new one for me, and I am looking forward to learning a lot about it. I am especially excited to be working with Mary, who loves OUTCAST as much as I do. I also like how the book will be available Print on Demand – so if you want to you can get a paper copy.

And you'll get a chance to get a copy. Soon.

Because it'll be out in JUNE of this year.

Yes, you read that right. That's the amazing thing about ebooks, the quick turnaround.  It's kind of crazy :) .

I love this story. It's funny, it's sweet, it's a little sad in places too (apologies ahead of time). And it's the first romance I've written. Though true to Adrienne form, it's very . . . me: a romance based on mutual respect and shared interests. To me, there's nothing more romantic :)

I'll share more about OUTCAST in future blogs (maybe even a sneak peek or two).  And of course I'll be sharing all about the process and everything I learn about the world of ebooks with all of you. We'll be learning together, and I think it's going to be – dare I say it? – fun.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Upcoming Launch of Julie Czerneda's A TURN OF THE LIGHT

For those of you who may remember, I did an event this past August up in Orillia with some amazing fellow authors.  I had a fantastic time, and the whole thing was organised by author extraordinaire Julie Czerneda.

Let me tell you, the word prolific was invented for this woman. 

She read from her upcoming book, A TURN OF THE LIGHT, and I was instantly captivated.  I couldn't believe I'd have to wait until MARCH to get myself a copy.

Well how quickly the time flies.  It came out yesterday.  And this Saturday is its official launch!

Everybody, if you are in Toronto (or if you are not but have a hankering for some traveling) get yourselves to Bakka Phoenix Books this Saturday for the launch of her book.  That, my friends, is an order.  Plus, you seriously will not regret it. 

Some info on the launch followed by info on the book!


On Saturday March 9th, Bakka Phoenix will help launch Julie E. Czerneda's new book, A TURN OF LIGHT -- and we're thrilled!  This is the noted SF author's first fantasy series, and it's going to be a great party.  There will books, cookies, toads, and of course, Julie herself.  I mean, what more can you ask for?  Please join the celebration:  drop by the store at 3pm next Saturday, the 9th.

Bakka-Phoenix Books
84 Harbord St., Toronto, Ontario


The village of Marrowdell is an isolated pioneer community, but it is also the place where two worlds overlap, and at the turn of light--sunset--the world of magic known as the Verge can briefly be seen.

Jenn Nalynn belongs to both Verge and Marrowdell, but even she doesn't know how special she is--or that her invisible friend Wisp is actually a dragon sent to guard her... and keep her from leaving the valley. But Jenn longs to see the world, and thinking that a husband will help her reach this goal, she decides to create one using spells. Of course, everything goes awry, and suddenly her "invisible friend" has been transformed into a man. But he is not the only newcomer to Marrowdell, and far from the most dangerous of those who are suddenly finding their way to the valley...

And about Julie!

Julie and me!

Biologist Julie E. Czerneda's science fiction has received international acclaim, awards, and best-selling status. She is the author of the popular "Species Imperative" trilogy, the "Web Shifters" series, the "Trade Pact Universe" trilogy and her new "Stratification" novels. She was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Her stand-alone novel, In the Company of Others, won Canada's Prix Aurora Award and was a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award for Distinguished SF. Julie lives with her husband and two children in the lake country of central Ontario, under skies so clear they could take seeing the Milky Way for granted, but never do.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Steampunk Tuesday - Interview with props master Paul Marsh

 I discovered Mr. Paul Marsh on a random procrastination through etsy searching the word "Steampunk" (which I do a lot).  I was absolutely stunned by his Steampunk iPhone cases and could tell there was a real craftsman behind them.  I knew two things: I needed one of those cases, and I needed to get to know him and his work.  And while the case is mine ALL MINE, I can share with you all the amazing talent that is Mr. Marsh in this here interview below.  Please enjoy!

The wondrous case. It's a little darker in person, with subtler distinctions between pieces, but I thought this instagram filter really showed off the attention to detail.  Ain't it purdy?

What got you interested in prop/model building? What movie really inspired you to pursue it?

My interest in model and prop making started when, in 1978 I watched a movie called Star Wars. I remember running home and tipping my Lego out on the floor and attempting to build the robots and ships from that film. Shortly afterwards on TV there was a documentary about the making of Star Wars and seeing the miniatures and the props and sets being built further fired my imagination and determination.

Paul Marsh left, and yes, that's Bill Murray on the right.

You've worked on the Harry Potter films, Captain America as well as many others, any cool behind the scenes stories you can share with us?

I have worked on 26 films now and each one is very different from another. I have worked on two Harry potter films and was blown away by the quality of the set building. I personally think the ‘Ministry of Magic’ set is one of the most breathtaking sets ever built. Daniel Radcliffe is a real gentleman and when I took my eight year old son on a tour of the studio during the filming of The Deathly Hallows he came up to us both and spoke to Jack, my son, for about fifteen minutes. The assistant directors were trying to hurry him back to do another take but he shooed them away gently and said ‘I’m still talking to Jack.’

I have worked with many actors and each have impressed me with their professionalism. Jack Black is a personal favourite as he is such a fun guy and very talented musician.

What is the most exciting thing about your job?

The most exciting aspect of my job is the challenge of creating something that does not exist yet. It is very creative and even though someone else may have designed an impression of the model, or prop, it is the prop maker who realises it into existence. See the harness that Jack Black wears in Gulliver’s Travels. Myself and a good friend Jim built it and it was a beautiful but complex costume prop. It probably had around 2000 components to it.

Jack Black in a harness Paul designed for GULLIVER'S TRAVELS

What work is coming up on the horizon for you and what would be your ideal gig?

My ideal gig would be the next bunch of Star Wars film which will be in production here in the UK at pinewood studios. Fingers crossed for that one. Also I’d like to meet Kate Bush under any circumstances.

I have just finished on a Tom Cruise film and there are many films waiting for the green light. I can't say too much at present but obviously Star Wars would be fun.

Who do you admire in your field today and why?

The people I admire in the industry are the prop makers and special effects technicians. They are really unsung because not many people realise how much work goes into each and every shot. Even if it's just for a couple of seconds. Also, I have a bunch of supervisors above me who are brilliant, not only on the bench at building, but in their handling of the many stressful situations thrown at us. A couple of them in particular make sure the s*** doesn’t hit our fan. Also there is a guy called Chris Clarke. Go on youtube and look at his showreel. He is an animatronics wizard.

For anyone interested in pursuing a similar career path, what advice would you give them?

If you are interested in getting into this industry i would highly recommend doing a course in model making. I studied at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK and it is second to none at getting people into film. I probably worked with 20 people on the last movie who had all graduated from there.

Tim Burton standing on the Chocolate Factory set (he's way tiny in the middle)

Why Steampunk?

I love Steampunk because, for me it harks back to simpler times. Products were created for their aesthetics as much as their function. There is something living about a clockwork mechanism. The movement and sound seem like its breathing. That is why I wanted to build this iPhone case. But it's just the first of many things I am building at the moment. Look out for my walking cane soon.

Why Steampunk iPhone cases?

It was when I was working on The Fantastic Mr Fox that I had the idea of creating a steampunk phone case. I built an ipod classic one for myself first and all my friends and colleagues raved about it. So when I was on Jack the Giant Slayer and World War Z, I spent my lunch times designing and building the case you see now.

Miniature luggage for THE FANTASTIC MR. FOX (next to a pound coin)

Can you tell us a bit of about how the iPhone cases are created?

I bought a dummy IPhone 4s which I then took a vacuum forming of. It's when you heat up a sheet of plastic film and it is sucked around the shape. I didn’t want to use a real phone because a lot of heat is generated. With the vacuum forming I had a shape to build upon. I sourced many components. Cogs, gears and watch parts and selected ones which looked as though they interacted with each other. Once I had built it, I then had to sculpt plastiline under each tiny section so the silicon would not run underneath them. This took days. Once finished, I encased the case in silicone and then, once cured, cut it out. The tool I created in silicone had holes for a feed and smaller holes for risers, for air to escape, making the finished product tough. The metal powders are delicately brushed into the separate area and then the tool is run through a vacuum casting machine. The whole process takes about 2 hours to create each case. That is why they are not £2.00.

Silver bullets from WOLFMAN

What is your favourite Steampunk piece that you've created?

I think this case is my favourite piece so far, but the cane is shaping up nicely. It has an amber top with insects in.

What's your favourite Steampunk piece that someone else has created?

I love the steampunk laptop with the quill pen. Inspired stuff.

Monday, March 04, 2013

I Have Returned!

And the internet breathes a collective sigh of relief.

Or, you know, didn't realise I'd taken a break in the first place ;) .

But yup, I did, I took quite the break as you can tell from the below post which was about my book launch early December.  It was nice to do so, and I'm glad I did it.  Taking a break from something allows you to miss it!

And, yes, I have missed blogging :) .

I have several interesting things to share with you, stuff has happened over the past several months, and there may or may not be a new book coming out from yours truly in the early summer maybe.  But I'll be posting on all such news in the coming days/weeks (I am nothing, if not a tease).  Today is more for me just to say hi, it's good to be back etc.

Though, I do have one most important thing to share with you all . . .

I cut my hair.


I know.  Stop the presses.

But I haven't cut my hair short since I was 14 and it was a rather traumatic experience I must say.  Though ultimately it was also amazing.  It's weird, I never thought I particularly identified myself by my hair.  It wasn't like I ever did anything particularly crazy with it or anything.  But after cutting it I realised just how much I subconsciously had.  It's silly, but something as innocuous as cutting one's hair (and, not sure if you heard, but hair?  It totally grows back) can be a pretty huge emotional experience.  It wasn't like I went all pixie haircut either.  Didn't pull an Anne Hathaway (though, if I ever cut my hair that short, you'd better believe I'll be singing as it happens like she did).  Still.  Emotions were felt, my friends.  Emotions were felt.

Here is a photo diary of the experience:

Waiting at the salon - Salon Bespoke in Toronto

"Well hair, this is it."

". . . that happened."

And there it all is.  In a baggie.  And no, not for a keepsake, I donated my hair to Wigs For Kids.

And the final result. . .

Being an actor I then had to immediately get new headshots (yes, it makes any decisions about changing one's look delightfully more complicated :P ) so here's the oh so serious fancy picture (that I instagrammed a bit for fun . . . or maybe because I have a serious instagram addiction . . . )

And that is the story about cutting my hair.

The end.

ALSO . . . did you know the fox was the new owl??  (because evidently animal trends are a thing)  This is a big deal for yours truly because as a pre-teen I was OBSESSED with foxes.  While my friends had pictures of boy bands covering their walls, I had foxes.  Yup.  Should I have admitted that? . . . you know I don't see how that's any more embarrassing than boy band pictures if I think about it so I admit it with pride!

Anyway, it's brought back the 11 year old Adrienne and I've had such fun surfing the net and looking at all the pointless (but AMAZING) chatchkas out there one can buy that are fox like.  And I stumbled on this print and I think it's wonderful, and wanted to share.  I know little about the artist aside that their handle is cat_using_a_computer.  I think it's just lovely, it has a very whimsical British feel.  Enjoy!

That's it for now!  We have some pretty cool stuff coming up this week, an interview with an amazing prop maker for some major films who also in his spare time makes the coolest iPhone steampunk cases for Steampunk Tuesday, details about my new book . . .  and more!  

Stay tuned!  Same bat time, same bat channel!