Life is funny. One minute you are up. Next one you are down. My life is about to embark on a rollercoaster for the next while. Lots of change. But it's a good change and I think only good things will come of it.
Today was a high. I interviewed this guy:
photo by moi
Probably the biggest interview I have ever done. But he was a talkative, insightful and nice man. Easy to converse with, got great quotes from him about everything Soundgarden. Pretty fucking awesome.
Haven't been to a movie in a looooong time, but Drive was one of those movies that I've been interested in seeing and managed to catch the matinee. I'd heard one friend of mine saying it was terrible and dragged on way too long, but Rotten Tomatoes gave it like a 90% rating so I knew it could go either way. Like books, I take reviews with a grain of salt and prefer to make my own decision.
Now, I do agree the movie did go on a little long (in fact, it felt longer than it actually was), and it was not really like they advertised, which was that it was a non-stop action moving with lots of driving. Instead it was kind of like a character study. It had a slow, dreamy quality filled with an 80's-ish, swoony soundtrack and lots of shots of a very silent Ryan Gosling staring at people or out windows or out of a car. But Gosling was amazing to watch, the subtle acting he does with his eyes, the way his character goes from a quiet, mysterious, observing stunt driver by day to full-on, tormented barrel of rage as he face-stomps mobsters and tries to do the right thing for the woman and child he loves.
I guess I'm a bit late to the Gosling love. I've never seen The Notebook (don't like romantic movies) and though I thought he was a good actor before, his looks had never sold me. But in Drive, he's such a fine specimen of a man and an understated, underrated actor to boot. He's beautiful.
Bryan Cranston does a fine turn in the film as Gosling's friend and hapless, desperate mechanic shop owner, while Albert Brooks is strangely menacing as a mob-type person. Maybe it had something to do with his lack of eyebrows. Think about it...you shave anyone's eyebrows and they become someone you don't want to mess with.
I'd give Drive a 7 out of 10. It's suspenseful but subtle...until it takes an extremely violent turn (face-stomping was just part of it...there were scenes where I was closing my eyes and laughing at the absolute shocking brutality). Despite the lulls throughout, it kept my attention and the open-ending was at least a little bit more hopeful than the way I thought it was going to turn out.
So when I said I was doing 30 days of blogging, you all realized that I didn't mean CONSECUTIVELY right?
It's been a crazy week and a bit. My head has been all over the place. I haven't done any work, it feels like I'm back in college and partying and eating shit every day. BUT things change tomorrow. It's hard with four people in such a tiny space but my guests have jobs to get and things to apply for, and I have writing to do, marketing to do, and a book trailer to plan.
Yep. Come tomorrow, it's time to buckle down. I'll be back at the gym, eating well and taking time out of the day for ME. I need to write and get my head on straight. It's been all over the place for various different reasons. It's been a rollercoaster, up and down, but I think some good, albeit life-changing things, are coming in the future. It's scary but I'm ready for it.
Lookeee. Though I am known for my anti-Twilight statements, for some reason I was roped into being an extra in the Breaking Dawn film. Yup. I'm in the movie. I'm part of the Denali clan on the Cullen side of the Family. I'm sure those interested have seen the trailer already, and so, here I am:
Ahhhh. It reminds me of when I actually saw my first Twilight film. This is what happened. Me + friends + Booze + matinee.
Yeah I was Team Patton. Best Team Ever. Only way to survive it. God works in mysterious ways...
Last week was a fantastic week for my Experiment in Terror Series. Book reviewers and bloggers heaped a bunch of glowing reviews for Dead Sky Morning, Red Fox and Darkhouse and I couldn't be more thrilled and grateful. Check 'em out:
Reviews for DEAD SKY MORNING
"Loved this novel! Dex and Perry have me hooked, and couldn't get enough." "Halle comes back with yet another awesome novel. I absolutely loved reading the relationship between Dex and Perry." From Living Life Through Books
"with Dex and Perry, you just want to spend every moment following them around and watching them interact. They could be sitting in a library reading Hemingway for the entire book and it would still be enthralling. They could talk about hangnails for 45 pages and I would say “tell me all about it!” There is just something about the two of them that makes ever scene super-charged and intense."
"Let’s just say that Halle really knows how to dish out the appetizers, but seems to take a sadistic pleasure in withholding the main course." "Halle does an excellent job of doling out just enough information about Dex and Perry in each book to keep you dying for the next book. I stayed up until 2:30 in the morning to finish Dead Sky Morning." "Karina Halle’s writing simply rocks, and the Experiment in Terror series has shot its way to the very top of my “absolutely must read the minute it comes out” list." From Pretty Opinionated
Reviews for RED FOX
"This book totally went above and beyond my expectations, and completely surpassed Darkhouse on all levels" "Karina Halle really has a talent for sketching believable, interesting characters with as many flaws as qualities and a good mixture of both" " Halle is truly ruling the horror genre this season with her Experiment in Terror series" From I <3 Reading
"There was still never a dull moment even after I’d figure something about the story out! Karina’s writing in this one is just as easy and free flowing as the first." "She (Perry) is such an incredibly relatable character to todays society and I think that’s why she’s grown on me since the first book even." From Me, MyShelf and I
Reviews for DARKHOUSE
"This book is really entertaining read, and I'm just dying to know more. It's eerie, creepy, totally mysterious, and, in a way, kind of funny :)" "The characters are complex, and not anywhere near picture-perfect"From The Magic Attic
"I love that this story has me guessing and trying to figure out what is going to come next. If you like ghost stories or if you haven't read many ghost stories before, I would recommend this. This is a great debut novel and is perfect for anyone that likes a good ghost scare!" From Pawing Through Books
"I'm not going to give anything away but this book creeped me out so bad. It was so good though. I was rooting for Perry the whole time. She's a great leading lady and I loved all of the supporting characters as well, especially Dex and Ada. I give this book all of the stars in the world. I'm looking forward to reading more with Perry and finding out what happens to her next!" From Awesome Sauce Book Club
"I couldn't stop reading this book. I needed to know what happened next. I was absolutely terrified during the scary parts and I noticed my heart actually began pacing while I read." "I'm not sure what his (Dex's) issue was but I loved and hated him. He was annoying and lovable.I couldn't help but want Perry to hug and kiss him, and punch him in the face." "Karina Halle is a great writer. I enjoyed the characters she infused in the story and will definitely read every book in this series!"From Beckoned By Books
I feel like I'm half-assing these blog posts but that's to be expected. After all, I'm having a crazy month full of peeps and fun and blogging is the last thing on my mind. I'm probably drunk 24/7 which makes it hard to buckle down and concentrate, enjoying the awesome weather and just hanging with my best friends who I haven't seen for so long.
Tonight's post is about kava. I drink kava a lot. I write on it. I discovered it when I lived in New Zealand in 2003 because my neighbours were Fijian. It's a lovely, slow high. It's like pot, but without paranoia, and gives you a clear head. It helps you sleep. Gives you vivid dreams. It just tastes like dirt.
However, I had never drunk it in the traditional sense. So Alex and Kelly broke out the kava they bought in Fiji. We had a dinner party while they stirred together a huge pot of the drink. Then we all took turns drinking the kava. Men first, a clap and a "bula" followed by drinking the kava out of a coconut shell. Everyone claps three times. And then you drink. Women are next.
There were seven of us taking part, passing the cup around. Brought a little bit of the south pacific to our steamy, hot Vancouver apartment.
Ta - da! Presenting my first piece of Experiment in Terror art work, by the lovely artist Bret Taylor. I am absolutely thrilled with this and can't wait to put it on notebooks, mousepads, totebags, etc. Expect more wonderful and exciting artistic representations of the series in the future!
Kia ora everyone, it's Kelly, I have just arrived in Vancouver from Auckland, New Zealand via Fiji. For those who don't know me, aka everyone, I'm a friend of Karina's who goes back to her New Zealand days. She's actually the reason I first moved to Canada in 2004. I got fed up with New Zealand, she suggested Canada and it's all been sunshine since then...
Today I thought I'd blog a little about how to survive long distance travel. My husband and I left Auckland on Sunday September 4th at 12:50pm and got to Fiji three hours later. It was an easy flight and we were heading to a booze filled four days in paradise so we were just eager to get there. I have to give a big shout out to the staff at First Landing Resort in Lautoka, Fiji. If ever you go to Fiji, and I suggest you do, go stay there, it's reasonably priced, the staff are amazing and a beach front bure offers everything you dream Fiji to be.
Leaving paradise however is never easy...
On September 8th we left the resort for Nadi Airport. We arrive there to find the whole place filled with sirens and firemen walking around. We then spent an hour and a half waiting in line in a tropical airport that hasn't heard of air conditioning. At 10pm we flew from Fiji to LAX on Air Pacific. I foolishly thought that flying late at night would mean we could easily fall asleep, wake up 8 hours later refreshed and be ready for the next part of our journey. Unfortunately I was wrong. Instead we had a screaming baby close by, an entertainment system that seemed to be on island time and hardly worked, and I had the joy of an over excited child sitting in the seat in front of me. During the 10 hour flight I got about 1 hour of broken sleep. And just when I reached a good sleeping point they turned all the cabin lights on and started serving a wonderfully tasteless breakfast.
Arriving in LAX, jetlagged and exhausted I comforted myself in knowing we could just go through to the transition lounge where I could sleep. We got through LAX customs quickly (yay) and waited forever for our luggage (crap). Then I had to go declare my kava from Fiji (look it up, it's amazing!) Then we get to the luggage area for transition flights and they look at my bags and shake their head. For a quick recap, Air Pacific told us we could have 23 kgs of checked luggage in any amount of bags. Auckland Airport told us we could only have one bag each. I had one, my husband two (in all fairness one of his bags was my shoes)In Fiji we got the two bags wrapped together, problem averted right? Wrong. We get to LAX and they say each bag needs a label. So we had to leave the luxury of the transition lounge and walk 20mins to the Air Alaska counter to check in our luggage separately. Then after all of that we have to go through security. I can finally say I know what those violating TSA machines feel like. Finally after 2 hours we reach the transition lounge and I'm no longer tired enough to sleep.
At 6:30pm, almost 24 hours after we first left Fiji, we got on an Alaskan Airways flight that took us to Vancouver. We arrived at 9:30pm and I had to proceed to the immigration counter to get my Canadian Residency. There I waited half an hour while people tried to dodge the system and bring in birds nests from China.
Let's just say it wasn't the easiest of traveling. However, I'm not one to dwell on the negative. I got four days in beautiful Fiji and now I'm a resident of beautiful Canada. I also (finally!) get to live in the same city as my beautiful best friend Karina.
Thanks for letting me vent. And for those off to see the rest of the world, happy travels and good luck!
Wow. I've almost been blogging for a week straight now. That's crazy. Not that any of my posts have been of high caliber (except my seagull one, even though NO ONE has volunteered for the job yet).
Last night I saw The Kills. Amazing. So much sex. Allison Mosshart is my one and only rock queen. Panther. Wicked Witch. Hound in Heat. Etc. And Mini Mansions. Wow. So glad I finally got the chance to see them. So much energy and complexity. My review will be up tomorrow!
A short one since I'll be home after midnight - covering the Mini Mansions and The Kills show.
I just saw The Kills recently and absolutely adore them, especially Allison Mosshart, who is the only chick rock singer that I think really hits the mark. She's like a panther.
But I've never seen Mini Mansions. I adore them though. I got the opportunity to interview them in LA last November and they were really sweet and funny. Their album is wicked too, can't recommend it enough.
Gorgeous, sunny late summer day. Went out for drinks and bizness talks with Bret, the wonderful artist who is bringing his artistic vision to the Experiment in Terror series.
During the course of the meeting - and after I got a glimpse of a wonderful painting of Dex and Perry - I realized that with his art book on the table, and my Dead Sky Morning, we were both published authors...with our photos on the back to prove it. So I had to snap the photo ;)
I'm so excited to show you guys the finished product. It brought a serious SQUEEE out of me :)
I'll keep this short. Ever get those days where the planets and stars align and try and tell you something. You aren't sure what, even if it's anything important, but whatever it is ends up affecting the way you see the world and see others?
Sounds deep, I know.
I've tweeted about Techno Neighbour a lot. He's been next door to me as long as I can remember. He doesn't work (I know this cuz I work at home) and he plays loud techno AND TV AT THE SAME TIME at 1AM or 7AM...or 4PM. He's like the friggin seagull.
Anyway, I have written PLENTY of notes to Techno Neighbour. I don't confront if I don't have to. But eventually my BF did one day, telling him to keep it down.
It worked. Now if TN is loud, I bang on the wall and the volume goes down.
We have a system.
So yesterday morning, I'm waiting for the elevator to go up to the pool. And this guy comes out of the staircase near my door. Maybe mid-30's, blonde hair, red shirt. And he look at me and says (as he is walking quickly past)
"You live on this floor?"
"You should come by 308 and smoke a joint sometime."
*awkward laugh* "Sweet" and I jump in the elevator.
308? That means he is TECHNO NEIGHBOUR. And then I am left to ponder two possibilities. Either he was hitting on me OR he knows who I am. I never met him but maybe he's seen me before somehow. I mean, we do live on the same floor. And maybe the invite to smoke pot was his way of saying "chill the fuck out and stop pounding on the wall"
But, come on, he plays techno...
Then today I was walking around the neighbourhood with my Team Dex tank top. I like wearing it. Because I love my character and more often than not, people actually DO stop me and ask what it means. I normally say, "oh just a book character" and walk away but if they keep pestering, then I open up and I say "Oh I'm the author." I don't know, admitting I wrote the series makes me really embarrassed. Not that I should be since people love it (me included) but you know... I wear it more out of irony (take that stupid team vampires) then as a marketing tool.
But then I realize, in a way, it really is a marketing tool cuz people do ask me. Anyway, today I was asked by a cute young guy. I opened up a bit as we walked. He invited me to play beer pong on the beach, I said no, but gave him my business card and told him to check out the books.
Well....an hour later I get a text from him wondering if I'll meet up with him sometime. Something tells me, when I give my business card to young guys who invite me to play beer pong, I really shouldn't expect a formal business inquiry.
Ah....I'm a slow learner.
Anyway, I know what I said at the start of this post doesn't seem to have much to do with what I just wrote (techno neighbour and beer pong). But one day it will. And then I shall blog about it.
You know, I've been living in the West End for over five years now and been living in Vancouver for, oh, 29 years. So I've always been by the ocean. Heck, in a way I grew up ON the ocean thanks to my dad's revolving door of sailboats. So you'd think I'd be used to seagulls.
And I am. I am.
But lately, the never-ending calls of the gulls around my apartment building are having me reach for my BB gun. Only problem is, I don't have a BB gun. Or a slingshot. Or a high-powered rifle.
A few years ago we had a seagull we nicknamed WHINEY. For obvious reasons. He would sit on the rail in the parking lot, by my car, and just whine ALL.DAY. LONG. Whiney eventually grew up and now he's a big fat seagull who eyes me warily as I go to my car. But we have an understanding. I don't feed him (though some idiots in our building do) but there is mutual respect. I can see it in his eyes.
But now there's a new Whiney. This one is a million times worse. I've got my music blaring in my ears AND I CAN HEAR HIM STILL. He hangs out on the apartment building next door and just does this incredibly high-pitched squawk. It seems to be directed at the adult seagulls, like he expects them to feed him, but they just ignore him... you know, like you're 18 now, time for you to buy your own food and get your own place.
It's like a gull version of Failure to Launch (somehow the gull IS as annoying as Matthew Maconuserfjhfgrgy or however you spell his name). This bird does not SHUT UP. He is relentless. Like, how does he even breathe? It's like having a car alarm going off outside your window 24 hours a day. I have to sleep with earplugs. He's squawking at 7AM. At noon. At 4:20PM. At midnight. At 3AM.
IT. DOES. NOT. END.
So, now I've got two options. Find a BB gun and pick him off (OR kidnap him, but finding chloroform seems to be as difficult as locating a gun in Canada) OR I can wait for him to find a Sarah Jessica Parker gull (shudder) and GET THE HELL OUT OF HIS HOUSE.
The best part of 30 days of blogging is the title - I don't have to come up with a witty title. Which is good. Because I never do.
Last night, as I anticipated this day, I wondered what on earth I was going to talk about for 30 days. My life is not very exciting (when I'm not hanging with Slayer jk). But seriously. It's not. All I do is write, read, listen to music.
Then I was kept awake by a seagull all night (and I mean all night, every night, for weeks) and I started fantasizing about ways to kill it. And I thought now THAT would make a good blog post.
I think I was a bit delusional though...now I'm more awake and decided a post like that is better left...to tomorrow.
Cuz today, I'm gonna talk about what JUST HAPPENED.
The ARCs (Advanced Review Copies) of my THIRD book - Dead Sky Morning - just arrived yesterday and I am absolutely thrilled with the way they turned out.
The cover looks gorgeous, I especially love the black and red together.
It's now in a semi-matte finish which works way better than the gloss previously.
I included some reviewer's words about the series at the front.
There's a MAP!
For those out of the loop, here is the backcover blurb for DSM: With the Experiment in Terror show finding some success, amateur ghost hunters Perry Palomino and Dex Foray embark on their most terrifying investigation yet. A tiny, fog-shrouded island in the rough strait between British Columbia and Washington State has held a dark secret for decades: It was a former leper colony where over forty souls were left to rot, die and bury each other. Now a functioning campground, Perry and Dex spend an isolated weekend there to investigate potential hauntings but as the duo quickly find out, there is more to fear on D’Arcy Island than just ghosts. The island quickly pits partner against partner, spiraling the pair into madness that serves to destroy their sanity, their relationship and their very lives.
Dead Sky Morning - Experiment in Terror #3 - is officially published on October 13th 2011.
Till then though, you can pick up the first book in the series, DARKHOUSE, for just $0.99 at KINDLE, NOOK, and SMASHWORDS.
And in case you're really out of the loop, here's a great summary of Darkhouse from one book reviewer:
“Darkhouse turned out unlike anything I’d expected. It drew me in from page one, with its easy-to-relate to, flawed but loveable characters, its fast pace, the unpredictable plot twists and its eerie, surreal atmosphere. If you’re searching for the scariest book of this season, then search no more. Darkhouse is exactly what you’re looking for.” — I Heart Reading
Anyway, I'll try and not blabber about my books too much but honestly, I am an author and these books are a huge huge part of my life. But I'll keep it to a minimum.
Tomorrow...we kidnap a seagull. Now, can anyone lend me some chloroform??