The official blog of author Jean Marie Bauhaus

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Robin Waldrop Interview and Book Giveaway!

This week we’re joined by author Robin Waldrop, who is busy making the blog circuit to promote the latest novel in her Blood Moon series, Shadow of the Blood Moon. Robin tells us about her favorite legends and how they inspire her writing and also talks a bit about the best way to market your books. And keep reading after the interview for details on how to enter and win e-book copies of not ONE, but BOTH books in this series!

Hi Robin! Thanks for joining us this week. Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a wife, mother, grandmother, business owner, and author of YA/Urban Fantasy paranormal novels. TIES TO THE BLOOD MOON is book 1 in my series and is available on all digital sites, and also print and audio as well. SHADOW OF THE BLOOD MOON is my current release and the second book in the BLOOD MOON series. 

Your Ties to the Blood Moon series explores a world of fairy tales, myths and legends. Tell us about your top five favorite fairy tales or legends.

I have such a twisted mind, my top five are as follows from least to most favorite: The Legend of Spooky Hollow, The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs, Bloody Mary, The Hook, The Killer in the Back Seat. These are all legends I grew up with, and I am sure most of us did. I can remember growing up in Ohio, a bunch of us kids would load up in four or five cars and cruise out to Spooky Hollow road where we would go ghost hunting…lol.

How much did you draw on these tales for your novels? How did you spin them to make them fit into your own world?

I didn’t per se use them in my novels, but it just goes to show you how twisted my mind can be. Needless to say, I am extremely afraid of the dark.

Do you have any advice for authors stepping into the self-publishing arena regarding marketing? What’s worked best for you, and what has proven to be a waste of time?

All I can say is SOCIAL NETWORKS! I never paid much attention to Twitter until releasing this series. I could see a major hike in sales after tweeting just a few times. Facebook is also a valuable tool. I have about 3500 friends, which comes in handy when you’re trying to spread the word. It is a lot of work, though. Don’t just use these and other social sites for your benefit. You’ve got to help out fellow authors by spreading the word for them, too. Also, if you book is free or bellow three dollars, make use of sites such as Pixel of Ink, Kindle Daily Nation, and others. Most are free and have submission forms. Just remember, it’s best to seek out these sites as soon as you have a solid release date for your novel.

How much time and energy would you suggest new authors spend on marketing versus simply writing and getting the next book out there?

I don’t know if I have the right answer or not. I do know volume sells, but you also have to let readers know you are there. I would say 75/25, writing/marketing. It’s also extremely important to start the next novel soon after you finish whatever you are currently writing. Always keep writing.

To learn more about Robin Waldrop and check out more of her work, visit her at these links:

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4823084.Robin_P_Waldrop
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/robinsauthorpage
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Robinpwaldrop
Blog: http://www.robinpwaldrop.blogspot.com/

Genevieve Labreck is back with a score to settle. Her mom has been kidnapped by Zane, hybrid and all-around monster. Rumors fly that Gen’s mom is holed away in Prague, a city recognized by humans for its serene beauty and intense culture, but Gen and Will know something humans don’t. Prague is haunted by dark, evil forces.

Can Gen and Will save her mom, or will they be too late?

Some will live, others will fall. At what price do you walk away from those you love?

Buy Shadow of the Blood Moon on Amazon or get it on Smashwords.

OR! Get it AND its predecessor, Ties to the Blood Moon, right here for FREE! To enter to win both books, just leave a comment here telling us about YOUR favorite fairytale or legend. You can also earn additional entries by 1) linking to this post from your blog or website (just leave a link here in the comments to the page you linked from); 2) sharing this post on Facebook (again, leave a link here to your Facebook timeline to show us that you shared it); and/or 3) tweeting a link to this post on Twitter (include #BloodMoonGiveaway in your tweet to be sure it gets tracked). You can earn up to four entries!

You have until midnight on September 28th to enter. One winner will be randomly chosen from the entries and announced here on Saturday, September 29th, at which time Robin will also be notified that we have a winner. The timing and method of prize delivery is up to her.

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl

The long wait between new updates for Marble Hornets left me flailing about a few Sundays ago, scouring Youtube for a Slender Man fix (but not yet willing to commit to one of the other Slender Man series, because the last thing I needed was another thing to obsess over and eat up all my time). And somehow I landed on The Haunting of Sunshine Girl, which A) has nothing to do with Slender Man and B) instantly became a new thing to obsess over and eat up all my time.

Hi there, irony! Won’t you have a seat?

Something always happens with me this time of year. We get into the dog days of summer, and the weather is nasty hot, and I start yearning for fall like whoa. And then I start craving good ghost stories, because they put me in mind of Halloween and my favorite month of the year. So it’s no wonder that when I stumbled onto this little gem of a vlog about a teenage girl and her mom and the scary, paranormal goings-on in their house, it really hit the spot, and suddenly I couldn’t get enough.

The series is broken up into “seasons,” each with its own story arc. Like any show, some seasons are better than others, but they’re all pretty entertaining.  The current season (which I believe is the sixth or seventh) seems to be struggling a little to find its way, especially in the wake of a rather disappointing end to the prior season’s plot line, which was building to a pretty cool climax that would have taken the show into a really interesting direction before it suddenly got dropped in rather anti-climactic fashion. I can only guess that the direction they were headed in would have outstripped their budget and resources, so they had to re-think a few things. But regardless, Sunshine Girl remains entertaining, primarily because at it’s core it’s about the mother-daughter relationship and how they stick together to weather all the weirdness in their lives; and besides, the sometimes erratic storytelling fits better with the conceit that this is a reality vlog about real people experiencing real hauntings.

But it is, in fact, a work of fiction, despite the many, many YouTube commenters who insist it’s all real and will cut you if you dare to suggest otherwise. The brainchild of Coat Tale Productions, they set out to make Sunshine Girl a sort of Gilmore Girls meets Paranormal Activity, and I think they’ve succeeded quite nicely. I think part of what makes it work so well is it’s rather unique nature as a blend of fiction and reality. The hauntings and situations are made up and plotted out in advance and the characters are played by actors, but the dialogue is entirely unscripted; the mother and daughter are such in real life and are basically playing themselves, so all that chemistry between them is real.

So is it scary?  Sometimes. I’d say not as deeply unsettling as Marble Hornets, but there are some genuinely creepy moments that might come back to haunt you when you’re lying in the dark. Otherwise, it’s good, clean fun, and its star, the bubbly Sunshine Girl, is about as engaging and charming a heroine as you’re likely to find.

Cover Wars! Again.

All righty, gang, I finally found the time to re-redo my cover for Dominion. To refresh everybody’s memory, here is the clear favorite from the last round of cover voting:

 

And here’s the latest version, which pretty much goes in a completely different direction:

 

And to help you decide which fits best, here’s the synopsis:

When the unimaginable happens and the dead come to life to roam the earth in search of human flesh, Hannah Jordan and her infant brother Noah take refuge in their family’s backyard bomb shelter. Months later, they emerge to find a world still overrun by zombies and ruled by vampires. These new self-styled “protectors” of humanity keep their food supply “safe” inside interment camps all over the world.

Hannah and her brother are quickly rounded up and taken to such a camp, where Noah is taken as a hostage to keep Hannah in line; but in this stark new reality, infants like Noah are a rarity. He draws the attention of vampire Alexandr Konstantin, a doctor, scientist and lone champion of human rights who wants to use Noah’s pure, untainted blood in his vaccine research. Alek pulls strings to take Hannah and Noah back to his own camp at an abandoned Army base, where humans live in safety and co-exist with vampires in peace.

For a little while, life is good. But when the ruling class of vampires decide they like things the way they are, they order Alek to shut down his research, and his commune, and turn those under his protection over to the interment camps. As Alek, Hannah and the commune’s other residents prepare to do battle to defend their home, a breach in the base’s fence lets the zombie horde into the camp. As all hell breaks loose around them, can Alek and Hannah develop that vaccine in time to give what remains of humanity a fighting chance? And if they do, what will it cost them?

Genre: Horror/Urban Fantasy (NOT YA)

Right, then. What say you, dear reader?

By the way, if you’re on Facebook you can also vote for your favorite cover version on my Facebook author page (which I don’t need to ask you guys to like because you’ve totally already done so, right?).

 

Cabin In the Woods

This will be short, because there’s not really a whole lot you can say about this movie without spoiling it. But Husband and I celebrated Independence Day by finally catching this movie at the second-run theater before we missed our chance to see it on the big screen, and I’m glad we did. It’s gotten a lot of hype, both from Whedon fans and non, and it did not disappoint. Y’all, this movie is awesome.

Is it scary? Yes. Well, if you’re like me and you grew up on a steady diet of slasher flicks and are pretty much inured to the genre, then it’s more fun than scary. But if scary movies actually scare you, then there’s a good bet that this one will, because it plays the horror parts straight. I went in expecting over the top jokey horror a la Evil Dead 2, and although there is some of that, I was delightfully surprised at the parts of it that were straight up horror movie. If you are the sort who is bothered by that type of gorey slasher horror, then I’m hesitant to recommend this movie to you — although I’m also tempted to say that if you can at all stand it, then it’s completely worth it, because the last act takes a turn that is purely Whedonesque and fifty shades of awesome.

Of course, I can’t tell you what that is without ruining the whole premise of the movie. And so, naturally, I will do it behind a cut.

Ehrrrmagrrrrd, you guys, Marble Hornets

I’ve got a new obsession, folks, and it’s taken me by surprise — if you had described this little Youtube series to me a few weeks ago and told me that I shouldn’t watch it because I would spend my days obsessively refreshing all of the relevant sites for updates and reading fan blogs and Tumblrs and what have you (and spending my nights being terrified of every dark corner…) I would have scoffed. And then I probably would have watched it anyway and been right where I am now.

The Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing; Or, Why It’s Right for Me (But Maybe Not So Much for Everyone)

In my previous post about getting over the stigma of self-publishing, commenter Michelle (a.k.a. The Barenaked Critic) asked me several good questions, one of which was to elucidate on the pros and cons of self-publishing. I think I pretty well covered the pros in my previous post: you avoid the sometimes years-long process of trying to get through the gatekeepers of traditional publishing, which often ends in rejection, often for perfectly good books that simply aren’t seen as marketable by those in charge; depending on the channels you choose to sell your book and what kind of fees they charge for the service, you get to keep anywhere from 75 to 100 percent of the royalties instead of having to give ten to 20 percent each to your agent and publisher; you never have to worry about earning out your advance, having your books remaindered, or seeing them disappear from the shelves after your publisher’s print run has run its course and they’ve moved on to other things; you have the satisfaction of having your work out there, being read and enjoyed and slowly but steadily building up your fan base; and last but absolutely not least, you have total control over your writing career.

Lest all of that sound too good to be true, there is a down side which prevents it from being right for everybody. Self-publishing takes a lot of work. You either have to learn how to be your own story editor, line editor, print formatter, cover designer and marketing and publicity agent, or you have to come up with the money to pay for those services out of your own pocket. I think self-publishing is such a good fit for me personally in no small part because I already brought to the table training and experience as both a copy editor and a graphic designer, and also a strong rapport with some trusted beta readers who are excellent at catching mistakes that I miss. To be honest, if I wasn’t confident in my own editing abilities, or in my ability to produce a professional-looking, eye-catching book cover, I probably wouldn’t have chosen this path, because there’s just no room in our budget currently for hiring out those tasks.

Another thing I bring to the table is writing experience. Restless Spirits is the first novel I published, but it is FAR from being the first novel I’ve written. Between finished trunk novels, half-finished attempts at novels, short stories, and several volumes of novel-length fan fiction, I more than put in my 10,000 hours before I reached a point where I thought my writing could stand up the kind of scrutiny under which my decision to self publish would place it. I’m not some starry-eyed young ingenue who thinks every word she puts on the page is the equivalent of candied rainbow unicorn toots and that the world just needs to wake up and smell her brilliance. I was 38 when I published my first book, and tired of and deeply discouraged by the current sorry state of traditional publishing.

I should make another confession here: I have made attempts to publish via the traditional route, but honestly, not that many. I’m impatient, I have a pathological fear of having to write cover and query letters, and I’m so prone to procrastination when it comes to submitting my work that usually I move onto another project before I ever get around to it and then it never gets done. Which is not to say that it has never gotten done — I have a nice, thick binder full of rejection letters that run the gamut from polite form letters to encouraging hand-written notes. I just hate the submission process and I, personally, would rather put in a hundred hours on editing and formatting and marketing my own work than sit down for two hours to try to craft a decent query letter and then drive myself completely insane while I wait several months for a response. In short, it should be noted that my personality is simply better suited to self-publishing.

But back on point; probably the biggest con to self-publishing, the one I see cited most often by successful traditionally published authors such as John Scalzi as the main reason why they don’t jump ship and go the indie route so they can rake in more money, is that you are completely on your own when it comes to marketing and publicity. There is no big publisher publicity machine to back you up. Although, from what I’ve read from midlist authors, these days the publicity machine is really only there for the established bestsellers, and even then, traditionally published authors are being expected to put in more and more time and work to market their own books. Just as the size of the typical new author advance has greatly diminished over the last few years, so has the amount of support a newly published author can expect from their publisher on the marketing front.

But make no mistake. Marketing your own books takes a lot of work, and it’s something you have to stay on top of if you want it to keep selling, especially in the early stages when you don’t yet have a fan-base who can be counted on to buy your next book.

Self-publishing takes a lot of self-discipline, and it also takes a lot of patience. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and the focus is on long-tail success, which might take years to achieve. It’s definitely not a path that’s suitable to everybody. But if you think it might be the right path for you, then I suggest the following blogs, which are practically required reading for anyone who’s even considering becoming self-published:

Also, late last year best-selling author and renowned writing instructor Holly Lisle announced that she was in fact jumping ship and leaving her publisher to take charge of her own back catalog and full control of her future work by transitioning into self-publishing. Her web site is already a treasure-trove of educational resources and information for fiction writers, and now she’s also teaching what she knows about self-publishing. And this lady knows a LOT.

How I Got Over the “Stigma” of Self-Publishing

How I got over the stigma of self-publishing

Six Books by lusi on sxc.hu

Over the last few years there’s been an explosion in self-publishing, with the advent of not just the e-reader, but accessible technology that makes publishing an e-book easy, low- or no-cost, and potentially very lucrative. And it’s not just e-books, either. Gone are the days of vanity presses where an author who couldn’t get published the traditional way would have no other option but to pay thousands of dollars to buy a print run of their book and then be on their own for selling all of those copies boxed up out in the garage. Print-on-demand web sites like CreateSpace and Lulu have made print publishing as accessible as e-publishing.

And yet, perhaps because it is so accessible that literally anyone can do it, and despite the fact that more and more professional, traditionally published authors are turning to self-publishing as a means of taking charge of their careers, there’s still a sense of snobbery toward self-publishing that prevents a lot of aspiring authors from going that route. It’s this idea that being self-published isn’t really being published; it doesn’t really count without the blessing of an agent and a major New York publisher. And there’s this pervasive fear that self-publishing will be seen as “giving up” and you’ll be looked down on by your peers and by the writing and publishing industry as a whole, and you’ll give up your chances for good of being traditionally published. That fear pervades even as one self-published author after another is making headlines by getting major book deals from the major publishing companies because of their self-published books.

I know because I had to get over this fear and sense of snobbery myself, and I still see it all the time among my aspiring author friends. I would look at self-published authors who were doing well and think, “That’s great for them, but I won’t feel like a real author if I don’t get traditionally published.” Obviously, I’ve gotten past this line of thinking. So what changed?

For one thing, I watched my fellow indie author David Michael, who I know locally from NaNoWriMo meet-ups, as he began and grew his self-publishing career. His books looked professional, he was getting excellent reviews and making money, nobody appeared to be looking down on him for being self-published, and most importantly, he seemed like he was having a blast. I saw him transform from a wannabe author like me into a professional career novelist, and it was awesome.

That inspired me to give self-publishing a little more consideration, and I started doing the math. I could go the traditional route with my newest novel and send out agent queries. If I was lucky, I would hear back from one or two agents in three to six months who asked to read my novel. If I was really lucky, I’d hear back another six months after that from one of them wanting to represent my book. And if I was exceptionally blessed, I would hear back in another six months to a year that they’ve found a publisher for my book who wanted to pay me a $5,000 advance (yes, that’s the average size of advances for new authors these days; the giant, six- or seven-figure advances you hear about in the news make headlines because they’re so rare that it makes them newsworthy when they happen). And then I just have to sit back and wait another two years or so for the official release date!

But as an aside, let’s say you’re one of the very, very lucky ones who scores a $100,000 advance. Divide that over the year (or several) that you spent writing and polishing the book, the additional year or two (or three) that it took to find an agent and a publisher, and the additional two years it takes the publisher to actually publish the book… and congratulations! You’ve now made the equivalent salary of an underpaid schoolteacher.

So I could go that route, or I could try this self-publishing thing. I could cut out the middle-man and take my stories directly to the readers—something musicians and other types of artists and creatives are expected to do, with no stigma attached—and I could have them out there, getting read and building a fan-base and making money. Not a lot of money, especially in the beginning, but percentage-wise, a lot more than I’d be making per book than if I had an agent and publisher both taking their cuts. And I would only need to sell about 2,300 books at $2.99 to make the equivalent of that $5,000 beginner’s advance. And I wouldn’t have to worry about having a limited print run and a short window of time to sell enough books to earn out that advance before they all got remaindered and taken off of the shelves, because virtual store shelves never run out of space and virtually published books never go out of print.

Taking all of that into consideration, it seemed like kind of a no-brainer, and yet I was still hesitant. What gave me the final push was an epiphany I had one day when I was looking at a paperback that my husband had just gotten from Amazon. I was looking to see who had published it, and I realized that it was a self-published POD book from Xlibris. This wasn’t obvious at first glance, and I was impressed with the quality of the book. I asked my husband if he realized the book was self-published, and he said that he hadn’t realized it—nor did he care. That knowledge made absolutely no difference whatsoever to his desire to read that book, and it wouldn’t have made any difference in his decision to buy it.

That’s when I realized that the self-publishing stigma is limited mainly to aspiring writers and to those whose livelihoods are threatened by the rise of self-published books—and even among that latter group, the stigma is waning as they begin to mine self-published authors for talent in order to stay afloat. Among the vast majority of the reading and book-buying public—the people who turn books into best-sellers—the stigma doesn’t exist. They simply don’t care where a book comes from, as long as it’s a good read. Oh, sure, there are the literary snobs who turn their noses up at self-published books, but these are generally the same people who also turn their noses up at genre and commercial fiction, and they are in the vast minority. The average citizen reader couldn’t give a rat’s poop whether the book they hold in their hands came from Simon and Schuster or from CreateSpace.

And that is when I realized that the stigma shouldn’t exist for me, either, and I decided to become a self-published author; and in terms of personal gratification and career satisfaction, it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

 

How to Publish an E-book

I was recently asked how to make an e-book available on Amazon. The short answer, I said, was to go to Kindle Direct Publishing and go from there… and then I promised to write a post explaining the long answer. So here’s that post.

The first step… well, the first step is to write your book. But we’ll assume that part’s already done. So the first step toward publishing it as an e-book is proper formatting. For this, I follow the Smashwords Style Guide. It’s free, and although it’s specifically written for getting your document ready to run through their file conversion software, their guidelines also work nicely for prepping your work for conversion to the Kindle’s proprietary Mobi file format. One caveat is that it has to be a Word doc. But although this guide put’s a lot of emphasis on formatting your manuscript in Word, I used Open Office Write to format Restless Spirits and saved it as a Word doc, and that worked just fine.

Once your book is formatted, it’s ready to upload to Smashwords. This part is simple—just fill out the publication info, upload your Word doc and submit. Smashwords’ “meatgrinder” program will then do its magic and convert it into every e-book file type that there is, and automatically make it available in their store. I recommend doing this step because a) it’s free, b) it’s really simple, c) it helps your work reach a wider audience than just Amazon (Smashwords will also distribute your book to BN.com and the iTunes store), and d) you can then take advantage of Smashwords’ coupon generator to give away free promotional copies, run promotional discounts, participate in site-wide sales, etc. Really, there’s no good reason not to upload your work to Smashwords.

But to get your book on Amazon takes a few extra steps, which you can find outlined in detail in the Kindle Publishing Guide. When I published Restless Spirits last summer, I had to save my document as an HTML file and then use a free program called Mobipocket Creator to convert it to a .mobi file, and then it was ready to upload to my KDP account. But it looks like things might have changed a bit since then, so follow the guide to be sure. The first step to Kindle publishing, though, is to create your own account at Kindle Direct Publishing, click “Add New Title,” and go from there.

There’s one more marketplace you can upload your book for free, and that’s through Barnes & Noble’s PubIt web site. Of course, you can just wait and let Smashwords submit your book to BN.com, but doing it yourself through PubIt is faster, and it makes it easier to track your BN.com sales. It’s also super-easy—just fill out the information on your book and upload your Word doc, and you’re done.

A couple of things to remember before you go forth and publish: first, each marketplace has different speeds at which your book actually becomes available in their store. Smashwords tends to be fastest, taking only minutes, whereas Amazon’s vetting process typically takes two or three days before they approve your book for sale on their site.

The other thing is a word on ISBNs. Each site will assign its own ISBN (or in Amazon’s case, an ASIN) to your book at no charge. You only really need to consider purchasing your own ISBN if you want to publish the book under your own publishing imprint or, in the case of paperbacks (which are a whole ‘nother post), you want to be able to distribute it to brick and mortar book stores and libraries. For new authors especially, my advice is to take the free ISBNs; that way, unless you spend money on professional services like cover design or editing, you end up making pure profit. And you can always go back later and reprint the book under your own ISBN if the need arises.

So that’s how you publish an e-book. Any questions?

Chosen

No, not to be the one girl in all the world with the strength and skill blah blah blah. Although that would be nifty. But it seems that we’ve been selected to become a Nielsen household.

You guys. Seriously? Why–and I ask again, WHY?!–could this not have happened a decade ago? You know, back when I was obsessed with TV? And my obsessions usually ran toward obscure SF-nal shows that were always in danger of cancellation, or simply doomed from the beginning? Why does it have to happen now, when I can take or leave most of what’s on the air and every now and then I actually seriously pondering giving up television entirely? When we don’t even have cable and most of what we watch is online, and only really use the TV to watch local programming or DVDs? WHERE WERE YOU WHEN YOU MATTERED TO MY LIFE, NIELSEN COMPANY?

Sigh.

So, we’re debating whether to do it. And if we do, we probably won’t admit it, because we don’t want to be getting obsessive e-mails from fans of bubble shows pleading with us to watch it. Although, I’m sure we could find a way to exploit that sort of thing, if we were all exploitative and stuff, but we’re not, really, so never mind. Nevertheless, it seems to require a time commitment that neither of us are really able to make. And neither of us are keen on having their tracking software hooked up to our PCs. Not that we have anything to hide, it just seems a little creepy. And if we have to fill out weekly diaries instead… like I said, who has time for that?

I was surprised to find the packet on our door informing us that we’ve been selected. They sent us a survey a few months ago, but we never got around to filling it out, and so assumed that we’d missed our chance. We still have to call the number on the card to find out exactly what’s involved and what would be required of us. Of course, phone-o-phobes that we both are, we’re debating whether even that much is worth our while. But I think we should probably call and have all the facts before we make our decision.

I just can’t get over how much this would have been a dream come true if it had happened when Joss Whedon was still doing TV.

Mid-Season TV Roundup

Once Upon a TimeThe TV season’s halfway over — okay, more than half. I’m a little behind on this — and that means it’s time to see which shows from my start-of-season roundup I’m still watching, which I’ve pulled the plug on, and which mid-season shows have made the lineup.

First, the breakups:

Survivor/The Amazing Race/America’s Next Top Model/The X-Factor

I never thought the day would come, but… reality competition shows just aren’t doing anything for me anymore. I know, right? I can’t believe it, either. But I just COULD NOT do another season with anybody from the Hantz family, or with Coach, or with “I used to be awesome but now I’m a whiny douche” Ozzy, for that matter, and I found myself paying less and less attention. And TAR, while not really irritating me the way Survivor did, just wasn’t holding my attention. The X-Factor also started to feel like a chore to sit through after the first few eliminations. The only reality show I watched all the way to the end of the season was ANTM, and then there was that hinky business with Angelea, and I just don’t have the energy for any more of Tyra’s shenanigans. I’m done.

Glee

I had already reached the point where I was just in it for the singing. I almost dumped it for good after that cracked-out Christmas episode, but then a preview of the Michael Jackson ep pulled me back in; but by the time the Valentine’s Day ep got here I wasn’t even enjoying the singing anymore, certainly not enough to endure Very Special Episode sermons about how my religion should feel about certain issues from Ryan Murphy. I couldn’t even get excited about finally seeing Rachel’s dads even though it was some of the best casting ever. I just didn’t care. Goodbye, Glee.

The New Girl

I only made it four episodes, none of which lived up to the hilarious pilot, before going back to my No Half-hour Comedies rule. Life is too short. Sorry, Zooey Deschanel. I still think you’re adorable.

Chuck 

I didn’t break up with Chuck, it broke up with all of us, and broke my heart a little in the process. I will always love you, Chuck.

 

The New Shows:

Once Upon a Time 

Technically not a midseason replacement, but it got a late enough start to not be included in my original round-up. Actually, I didn’t even know about it yet when I wrote my last TV post. But I’m glad I found out, because it’s my favorite new show by far. It’s a fairy-tale soap opera wrapped up in a Lost-style mystery, with a villain who is completely unapologetic and evil (with Jane Espenson’s involvement I suspect it’s no coincidence that the best TV Big Bad since Mayor Wilkins is… another Mayor! Shout-out!), and another villain who seems to possibly be poised for a redemption arc, and you know how I am about those. It’s not my favorite favorite show (yet), but it’s got all of the ingredients for getting there.

Sherlock

Matt and I actually watch this one together. The extremely short seasons are hella frustrating, but my word, is this show good. I always said that Doctor Who had a lot of Sherlock in him and now Sherlock’s got a lot of The Doctor in him. It’s smart, witty, sexy, and a pure fangirl delight. Do not miss this show.

Smash

This is filling the void in the Broadway geek part of my soul quite nicely. It has a great cast, the writing is good, and the musical numbers are making me want them to produce Marilyn the Musical in the real world. And I didn’t start watching AI until David Cook’s season, so I’m not a big fan of Kathryn McPhee (not to say that I don’t like her… I’m just not a big fan), so I keep rooting for Ivy.  Who is played by Megan Hilty who is an actual Broadway star and was a Galinda, so how could I not? She’s pretty awesome. You should look up her “Popular” performance on Youtube sometime. Also, Jack Davenport: Rawr.

The River

Paranormal Activity in the Amazon. The execution isn’t perfect, but it has its moments. Besides, it’s only 7 episodes long, so it’s not a huge commitment.

Alcatraz

This is a solid show. I’m not all a-flutter over it yet, but it has a good cast, good writing, and enough intrigue to keep me coming back for more. And this is pretty much exactly how I felt about Fringe during its first season, so yeah, you can bet I’m going to give it plenty of time to find its crazy legs and become another Bad Robot masterpiece.

Speaking of…

Still watching:

Fringe

Oh, Peter.

And that’s all I’m going to say about that, other than that this is still my favorite US-produced show currently on television.

Doctor Who

… and I’m incredibly frustrated that it’s on hiatus until OCTOBER! Why are they torturing us? Why?

Supernatural

Although, the urgency is gone, and I’m several episodes behind. First Cas, then Bobbie, and I love my boys, but I also loved their family that they had built around them, and now they’re all gone. I can’t say I agree with the decision to keep going another season. But I just can’t quit them, either.

But dang it, I really miss Cas.

Castle

This show is as entertaining as ever, and I loves me some Fillion, but seriously, show: you cannot drag this will they/won’t they schtick out another season. Get them together already, or don’t, and make it stick. Sheesh.

Ringer

I’m still loving watching Buffy and Evil Buffy. And I’m impressed that this show has so much that could make it into pure camp, but it never crosses that line. It’s a good show, as nighttime soaps go, and SMG is as delightful as ever. Also, this rule is proven to still be true: if Buffy cries, I cry.

 

So that’s what I’m watching these days. What shows are you watching?

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