Thursday, 30 January 2014

MORE Book Launch Awesome!

Now that you know you have a fight to the death to look forward to, I can only imagine that you're already at Maxwell's, lining up for tomorrow's book launch.

If not, then this will do it: there will be live music!  Yes!  Those of you who were at my very first book launch, back when I was a freshly published author (but still one who loved her caffeine), may recall a wonderdul saxophonist beautifully playing the evening away.  Well, Megan Postin has in fact agreed to return!  It only took her four other book launches to remember the poor pay and working conditions. Thank goodness for fallible memories.

A bit more about Megan:

Megan has been playing clarinet and saxophone since junior high school and big band swing music has always been her favorite to perform. She studied music at the University of Ottawa under Yves LaRoche and performed with the jazz ensemble at the Ottawa Jazz festival. Megan has performed with various bands and choirs in both Ottawa and Calgary and is in her third season with the Standing Room Only Big Band based in Almonte ( She is also an obsessive hockey fan cheering for the Sens, Flames and Blues.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

More Book Launch Awesome

The Destiny's War book launch is taking place this Friday.  Woo!  (Details here.)

So, not only will I have cool books for sale, we'll also be giving away SQUISHY STRESS STARS!

Because blowing up stars can be stressful.
But wait!  There's more!!!  We're also going to have cute centrepieces to give away, either via raffle or fight to the death.  I haven't decided yet, but I guess the venue should get some say on the latter.

And, as Roomy and I haven't yet made the centrepieces, they may yet turn out to be the most hideous things ever created under this unblown up star of ours. In that case, it'll definitely be a fight to the death scenario.

Tonight, listen in as I chat Destiny's War with Mitchell Caplan's Click Here on CHUO FM (89.1), or stream it online.  I'll read a bit of the story, too.  And yes, I do now have my voice back.

Can't make the book launch but still want your own shiny copy of the book?  E-mail me to request a  signed copy (marie (dot) s (dot) bilodeau (at) gmail (dot) com), or pick yours up at any online store.  They should all be available on Friday.

Lots of exciting stuff!  See you all soon!

Friday, 24 January 2014

Cool Stuff From This Week

Several cool things popped up in my life this week.  I'll list them here so I don't spam everyone on social media. You're welcome.

My reading at ChiSeries was video taped by Silver Stag Productions and put up on YouTube.  I read two scenes from Destiny's Blood.  I admit - I couldn't see my page very well.  But I pushed through. Check it out!

There's now a GoodReads giveaway for all three Destiny books! Sign up to win destruction-y goodness.

This is totally not related to anything, really, but I was amused by it.  I posted this on Facebook on Wednesday evening:  "Lesson of the day: Don't cook and text. Then you won't inform your sister-in-law/BFF that you ate a bus load of rabbits when in fact you performed the much less shocking act of eating of a bushel of radishes."

And two of the sweetest things ever were said to me by friends:
  1. Congratulations! You are now the family member we don't talk about. 
  2. You are the character missing from too many novels.
How sweet?  My facebook friends are the best!

And, last but certainly not least, Nicole Lavigne, of ChiSeries Ottawa fame, made this and left me in very touched giggles:

It's nice to have people who read your books and like them enough to meme about them.  Thanks, Nicole!  

This weekend is G-Anime. I'll be there Saturday and Sunday.  Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

G-Anime Schedule!

I love G-Anime.  The organizers are great to deal with and the cosplay is out of this world.  This year, the organizers of G-Anime were kind enough to invite Roomy and I as guests once again.  The Sunday is "Trottawa," a local pony con.  Roomy's programming is mostly on that day, but she's doing some panels with me too, which is fun. I'll also be joined by the wonderful Jay Odjick and also by local author and collector Mary Pletsch.  And other folk that I look forward to meeting, of course!

My schedule:

Heroes And Protagonists - Saturday at 1000 in Panel 3

Collaborative Writing - Saturday at 1200 in Panel 3

Collecting 101 - Saturday at 1500 in Panel 3

Collecting 102 - Saturday at 2100 in Panel 3

Living The Creative Lifestyle - Sunday at 1000 in Panel 3

Writing Workshop - Sunday at 1100 in Panel 3

Hope to see you there!

Friday, 17 January 2014

Destiny Reviews

I'm receiving the first reviews for the Destiny series finale, and I feel like I can breathe again. So far it's all pretty favourable!  No one wants to hurt me (that I know of).  Which quite frankly only leads me to believe my readers are a tad sadistic. Makes me love you all more.

Here are some review highlights for me this week.

The Geeky Godmother posted a lovely review of the Destiny series, based on the first two books.

I love this piece of insight: "The world Marie Bilodeau has created is a wonderful mix of science fiction full of high tech, space ships and aliens, but it has a feel of myth and legend about it. Although I kept reading about metal ships and computers, I kept seeing in my mind's eye great old galleons and quaint villages, castles and magic. It's a fabulous bit of storytelling and it's very distinct from anything else I've read."

That's very much how I view the series, so it's nice to see her highlight it.
Check out the full review.

Another wonderful review also popped up this week, from local author N.L. Lavigne.  She also picked up on the mythical aspect, which again, I *love*!

"The Destiny series is a sci-fi story that feels in many ways like a fantasy set on space ships with its ether races and the importance myth plays in the story. It’s wonderfully written and I just dare you to put it down. I certainly couldn’t and polished off the second half of Destiny’s War in one day; always a good sign for me."

Check out her review!

Monday, 13 January 2014

Destiny's War Ottawa Book Launch!

On January 31, 2014, from 5 to 8 pm at Maxwell's Bistro in Ottawa, Ontario (340 Elgin Street), join me for the release of the third (and currently final) volume of the Destiny Series, Destiny's War! This will be a pretty casual event. We'll have one reading, maybe two. People can order food and drinks, and there will be books for sale! I'll have a special gift, too - the first 50 to buy the third book will receive a Star of Mirial. ...It's a squishy stress star, because when your sun is about to blow up, you get stressed. 

Everyone is welcome! Come and celebrate this new book and share some laughs. :D


"Marie Bilodeau knocks my socks off. She's got an amazing eye for detail and a sumptuous narrative voice. Destiny's Blood is a winner -- another home run from one of Canada's best new authors." -- Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of WAKE

"This book is a highly enjoyable read—it’s compelling and well-written tale of Layela Delamores and her twin Yoma ... this story is well-crafted and often cinematic. The story’s pace is fast, with many plot turns. ... Bilodeau writes these numerous action scenes so well that I was more than happy to go along for the ride." -- Regina de BĂșrca, The Future Fire

"This series is much more than a captivating and exciting read; it's an experience. It plunges us into a dark reality, fraught with danger, and we become pleasantly immersed in the struggles of some truly amazing women and imaginative species. Science Fiction, your universe just got a lot deeper." -- Sheena McNeil, Sequential Tart

""The world Marie Bilodeau has created is a wonderful mix of science fiction full of high tech, space ships and aliens, but it has a feel of myth and legend about it. Although I kept reading about metal ships and computers, I kept seeing in my mind's eye great old galleons and quaint villages, castles and magic. It's a fabulous bit of storytelling and it's very distinct from anything else I've read." -- Geeky Godmother

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Choosing What To Read

Choosing what to read at any public event is important. Well, unless you're not actually supposed to be reading there. Then it's just downright rude.

There's the big question: will you be funny, dark, philosophical, colourful, witty and/or charming?  Sure, those are important and I'm confident you'll figure it out. Other people have said wise things about this in the past - go read their blog posts.

Here, we're just going to stick to technicalities for a minute.

What if you have a cold and your voice gives out on you?  Now we're talking important stuff.  I tend to lose my voice (very sad for a performing storyteller) and I've learned many tricks to working around it when necessary.

At my first Ad Astra AND my first reading at a con, which I shared with the ever entertaining Hayden Trenholm, I had no voice. It just didn't bother showing up that morning (which would unfortunately become a common theme for me at cons. Wussy, wussy voice.) 

I didn't think about backing out of my reading, but I also didn't think about changing them to fit my complete lack of voice.  I was reading two scenes from Destiny's Blood.  One had a bunch of dialogue, and inflections are absolutely impossible to do without a voice.  Trust me on that one.  I sounded like I was having a muted yet forced conversation with myself. I had to add dialogue tags as I read so people knew who the heck was wheezing out all of my finely crafted witty sentences.

Being done that scene was a relief.  The next scene had only a few lines of dialogue.  Oh ya, and singing! Have you ever tried to sing without a voice? I have.  It's painful for everyone: the audience, the singer, the spirits of your ancestors eating popcorn in the back row... 

I was a trooper though. I got through it. And, when I looked up, everyone was looking down trying not to laugh.  So I started laughing, which sounded like a gerbil was choking in my throat.

That was my first reading. It's a miracle they still let me do these things!! 

So, tonight I have a radio interview where I've been asked to do a short reading from next week's ChiSeries. Except I'm still fighting my Christmas flu and my voice is almost existent but not quite. I've been testing my pitches and I can do lower pitches. So no dialogue and no laughing for me. And for the love of all that's good and just in this world, no singing.  I selected something short from Destiny's War. I think it's a good passage to get people interested in both the event and the book, and to make sure my voice doesn't give out halfway through.

... now, if only I can refrain from laughing during the interview, everything should be just fine...

See how successful I am at that tonight on CHUO FM Click Here!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Upcoming ChiSeries!

I have the honour of reading at the next ChiSeries on Tuesday, January 14 (see pretty poster below). I've gone on about it before and I will again - the ChiSeries is a great event put on by great people, and Ottawa is lucky to have such a dedicated bunch of volunteers who are trying to fire this once sleepy Ottawa geek community into overdrive. The readings promise to be excellent and there will be so many awesome people that it would be silly not to show up.

These events won't keep happening unless we all show up and fill the room, however. January is a scary time to host events, but we're Canadians, right?  We'll show up. (Remember that I said this when I announce my book launch details tomorrow...) 

ChiSeries is at Maxwell's, so they'll also have food and drink (er, at your own expense, to be clear), and it should be a heck of a good time.  Come on down!

Still not sure? Tune in to Click Here with Mitchell Caplan on CHUO tomorrow at 5pm to hear snippets of readings. It'll give you a good idea of the types of stuff you'll hear, and also why you really don't want to miss out. Plus, you'll get to hear my "sexy getting over the flu" voice (or, as Roomy calls it, my gross and sick voice. Whatever).

Thanks to Matt Moore for inviting me and to Nicole Lavigne for being our host that evening!

Friday, 3 January 2014

Resolutions vs. Goals

Happy New Year!

I had a great time this holiday season, save for getting the flu for Christmas. It was from my mom or brother, so I know they gave it to me out of love. Surely.

After watching a bunch of B-movies and all of Justice League Unlimited, I seem to now be able to sit at the computer for more than 2.5 minutes, so of course I'll write a blog post!

Since 2014 snuck up on my fevered self, I'm just now thinking about my goals.  It's a bit of a semantics play to call them goals instead of resolutions, but it works better for me.  A goal has measurable outcomes and a plan. Resolutions just seem a bit too airy-fairy for my liking. I'm at my best when I'm accountable.

I also don't set goals on New Year's, usually. I set them as I need them. But, since I'm in need of setting new goals now anyway, the timing seemed good.  Here's how I intend to go about it:
  • Get a "goals" buddy who'll help keep me accountable, and I'll return the favour.  (Check on that one.)
  • Each Monday morning, send weekly goals to buddy.
  • Each Sunday evening, report back on how we did on our goals. We set this on Sunday evening so that we had the weekend to catch up. That's all about coordinating goals with life. ;)
That's it! Overall, most of my goals are writing-related.  Last year was great but not my most productive. This year is the time to pull up my socks and get more words down.  More, better words.

I'm hoping for at least 5,000 words per week, but that goal will change weekly to adapt to my life situation.

What about you guys?  Any goals for 2014?

Here's to a successful year!