Saturday, March 28, 2009

New Book Video for BOYS THAT BITE

Hi guys,

Well, I've been experimenting with the video editing software I bought and created this book video for the re-release of BOYS THAT BITE!! Check it out and let me know what you think. :)

I will eventually be doing a individual video for each book in the series.





hugs!
MARI

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Molly!

I thought you guys might like to see a photo of my baby - Molly! :)


molly cute


Isn't she cute!! She's almost thirteen years old now - quite the senior citizen! But she's still frisky, at least when her arthritis isn't acting up. She loves to cuddle, too and is really soft.

I've had her since she was only a year old. The people who had her before me neglected her and treated her badly - and she almost died of heartworm disease! So it was so lucky I was able to find her and give her a good home! Now she's SOOO spoiled - I bet she doesn't even remember the old days of being tied to a tree and abused. Hope not, anyway!!

Tell me about your pets!!
MARI

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Done! w00t!

Sorry I've been a slacker on the blog front for the last few days! I've been hard at work on doing my revisions for BAD BLOOD, which, I'm happy to say, I passed into my editor yesterday! w00t! Now she will send the final version on to the copyeditor, where they make sure all my grammar and facts are straight! Once they do a round of editing, I get the manuscript sent back so I can approve (or not approve) all their changes.

I have a love/hate relationsuip with copyeditors. Some are amazing and will save your life pointing out continuity errors like "Aren't her eyes brown, not blue?" Other times they'll change the most ridiculous things. Like, for the instant messages in GAMER GIRL, the copy editor wanted to change everyhing into perfectly correct punctuation and spelling. Like, she was so not into !!!!!111!!!11 as an acceptable exclamation. She didn't understand what <3 was or any of the other abreviations/slang I used and so she tried to change them all into proper English. As if. That's where the power of STET comes in. If an author writes STET next to a change, that means DON'T MESS WITH THE ORIGINAL, MISS COPYEDITOR! :)

Soo we'll see how the Bad Blood copyeditor does. There's actually no IM'ing in this book so she should have an easy time of it. (The twins are in Vegas for almost the entire story, and thus not near a computer.)

In any case - BOOK FINISHED AND TURNED IN!!! One step closer to it being released.

Now I'm going back to the book I was working on before BAD BLOOD got sold. It's called The Camelot Code and is an Arthurian adventure.

MARI

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Japan Week Continued

Are you enjoying these glimpses of Japan? Today I wanted to show you video of a cemetary I found in Tokyo. It's a LOT different than an American cemetary, as you will see. Very gothy, too. It'd definitely make for a good place for a vampire coven, don't you think? Who knows, maybe one of these tombs has a secret door, leading down into the blackness....



Japanese Cemetary from Marianne Mancusi on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

More Japan fun!

What the heck, let's make this a Japanese theme week, why don't we? Here's a video of when Liz and I went to the Harajuku section of Tokyo. You may have heard of Harajuku - it's where all the anime/manga loving cosplayers dress up and hang out. There are two main sections of the neighborhood worth checking out - first a shopping area with amazing stores (mostly catering to teens - especially the gothic lolita crowd!) and second a big square by the train station where all the cosplayers hang out to have their pictures taken.

Here's a little slideshow video showing both - first the stores and then the cosplayers. Check it out! Which is your favorite costume?



Harajuku from Marianne Mancusi on Vimeo.


MARI

Monday, March 16, 2009

Tokyo Vampire Cafe

I thought you guys might enjoy this! When I was in Tokyo this past summer, I was able to go to an actual vampire cafe!!! It was sooo cool - I had to take a bunch of photos!! Here they are, along with the story of my visit!

If you guys are interested, I can post more photos and stuff from Japan too! Just let me know!! It was an amazing trip and I hope you all can go visit too someday!

~~

MY TRIP TO THE TOKYO VAMPIRE CAFE

Being a vampire lover, when I found out there was an actual vampire cafe in Tokyo, I realized had to go!! The problem was, it wasn't a touristy place and so it was a bit difficult to make the visit happen. First, I had to have our Ryoken host (A ryoken is like a Japanese bed and breakfast) make the reservation for me as all of the website was in kanji. Luckily, they had a prix fixe meal plan so we didn't have to choose what we wanted to eat. Then there was getting there. It was in the Ginza section of town, but there was no English directions on how to get there by subway. No street address either! (The way they address places here is really confusing and it seems the whole city has no idea how to get anywhere.) My friend and I decided to take a cab and even the cab driver, after a long discussion with our Ryoken host, still had a hard time finding it. Oh and it was pouring rain, to make matters worse!

But we finally made it! We went up the escalator and entered Dracula's chamber. It was really cool inside - all black and crimson. They sat you down in a private booth and pulled red velvet curtains closed to seal you in. Then they'd bring you the courses -- almost all of them had some kind of vampire theme. (A lot were shellfish, which I can't eat, but there was enough other stuff that I didn't starve.) The waiters were all dressed as gothic butlers and the waitresses as French maids. It was a LONG dinner - over 2 hours long for all the courses.

Anyway, a few pictures below! More if you click one of them and go to Flickr.

Vamire Cafe

Vampire Cafe

Vampire Cafe

Liz Japan 031

Vampire Cafe

Vampire Cafe

Vampire Cafe

Vampire Cafe

Vampire Cafe

Vampire Cafe
Liz eating pasta with chopsticks!

Vampire Cafe
Dracula Dessert!! :)

Vampire Cafe
Me holding up the Japanese version of Boys that Bite!

~~
So there you have it! A real life vampire cafe! What do you think??? Would you go visit if you were in Tokyo?

MARI

Saturday, March 14, 2009

BAD BLOOD

I should be getting my edits for BAD BLOOD by Monday from my editor at Berkley But in the meantime, she sent me the back cover copy for the book! Check it out and let me know what you think!!! :)

BAD BLOOD

Sunny McDonald is in the ultimate forbidden relationship. Her boyfriend Magnus is a vampire, and the leader of the Blood Coven. Their differences have never been an issue, until now…

When the Blood Coven decides that Magnus needs a mate to be his co-ruler, Sunny’s humanity puts her out of the running. The Coven’s chosen candidate is Jane Johnson, a magna cum laude graduate of Oxford University who just happens to look like a vampiric celebutard.

Sunny is suspicious of a Rhodes Scholar who can’t answer the most basic poly-sci questions, but Magnus brushes it off as petty jealousy. Still, when the Blood Coven goes to Las Vegas for a vampire convention—where Magnus and Jane’s bonding ceremony will be the main event—Sunny and her sister Rayne secretly tag along. And Sunny’s not going home before she learns the truth about Jane. Because not everything stays in Vegas—especially bad blood…

Zombie Giveaway Winner!

I had Random.org pick our winner and it is BROOKLYN GREEN! Congrats girl! And thanks for everyone who left comments. I hope the rest of you will pick up Amanda's book anyway -- trust me, you won't be sorry! :)

Brooklyn - can you email me (mari@marimancusi.com) your address so we can get you your autographed book?

I'll be having more guest authors soon - so everyone check back often for more chances to win!

xoxo
MARI

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Zombies are Coming!!! Enter and WIN!!!

Today I have a special treat for you. An interview with author Amanda Ashby who's book "Zombie Queen of Newbury High" has just hit store shelves. I was able to score an advanced copy of the book when I attended Comic Con in NYC about a month ago so I got to read it early! And let me tell you - it's super funny. If you like the humor in my books, you'll love this!






I asked Amanda to stop by and do an interview with me. (Well, virtually stop by - she lives half a world away from me in New Zealand!) Here it is, for your reading pleasure. AND BONUS!!! She's giving away a SIGNED COPY of her ZOMBIE QUEEN to one lucky commenter!!! So read the interview and then leave a comment! I'll announce the winner tomorrow!!


For those who haven't read it, tell us a little bit about Zombie Queen of Newbury High.

ZOMBIE QUEEN OF NEWBURY HIGH is the story of what happens when Mia Everett tries to do a love spell to stop herself from getting dumped just days before prom. Unfortunately, instead of doing a love spell, she accidentally turns her entire senior year into zombies. Seriously, it could’ve happened to anyone. Then she has to work with zombie hunter hottie, Chase Miller to try and find a cure before she becomes first course on the zombies new flesh-only diet.

What inspired you to write this book?

Honestly, it all started out as a bit of a joke because there is something so inherently funny about the word zombie and it always makes me laugh. However, the more I joked about zombies, the more I realized it would be fun to actually write about them and so I sat down my horror movie addicted husband and we brainstormed out an idea. And can I just add, that this in itself is a marvel since my husband normally hates brainstorming with me and apart from the zombies, the only other time he has been remotely interested was when I asked him what would be the best way to blow up the world (a subject on which he knew just a little bit too much information for my liking!!!!

Who's your favorite character in the book and why?

Oooh, tough question. I love my heroine Mia because I can totally relate to her. She’s just a normal girl who gets herself into a totally ridiculous situation and is then forced to try and fix it. However, I also love Mia’s best friend Candice who was so over the top and outrageous that every time she spoke I laughed! And the other thing I really liked was that despite their differences Mia and Candice are really good friends who would do anything for each other and I really like that!


Zombies are sooo hot right now! What do you think is the appeal of these braindead creatures?

I know! It’s so funny because when I first wrote this book I’d never even seen another zombie book and suddenly (and completely by accident) I seem to have stumbled onto ‘the new black’ sort of thing! As for their appeal, from a horror point of view I think zombies are pretty scary because while they might not think much, they’re hard to stop, they’re always hungry and they seem to multiple at an alarming rate, so it’s a bit like being caught in a never ending nightmare.


Do you have a favorite zombie book or movie?

Shaun of the Dead is hands down my favorite zombie movie, closely followed by Fido and then 28 Days Later. Also, after careful consultation it has been decided that Serenity can count as a zombie movie so that needs to be in my list because of the whole ‘Nathan Fillion is gorgeous’ thing!!!!

As for books, I love Mark Henry’s Amanda Feral books. Stacey Jay’s You Are So Undead to Me is hilarious (and has such a great cover). I also really, really love SG Browne’s Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament and next up on my zombie reading list is Carrie Ryan’s Forest of Hands and Teeth, which I just know is going to be amazing!

Your heroine is a big Buffy fan? Are you, as well? If so, what's your favorite episode? And gotta ask - Spike or Angel?

Hahaha – yes, in one of those strange co-incidences I am a big Buffy fan! Actually when I first wrote the book I just had Mia being a TV addict but my editor wanted me to be a bit more specific and suggested I have her watch something like Buffy. Er, okay, if she insisted!!!!! As for my favorite episode, that’s so hard to decide. I’d probably have to go with the end of season two where Buffy has to kill Angel. It is just the perfect moment of tragedy that it never fails to get me.

As for the big Spike/Angel question, I’m Angel all the way and my David Boreanaz obsession has been well documented. Actually Marta Acosta over at Vampire Wire even made up a lovely Naked David Boreanaz club for me, which I think was very kind of her!!!!!

Are you watching Joss Whedon's new show, Dollhouse? If so, what do you think about it?

Can you hear that wailing noise? That’s me because Dollhouse hasn’t been released yet in New Zealand, which makes me very, very sad! However, hopefully we’ll get it soon or else I’ll be buying the boxed set just as soon as I can.

Okay, back to you and your books! You started out writing women's fiction with "You Had Me at Halo". Why did you make the switch to teen books? Which do you think is more fun to write?

Strangely enough YOU HAD ME AT HALO started life as a young adult book! That’s what my agent signed me on and that’s how she submitted it, but the publisher who ended up buying it wanted me to turn it into women’s fiction by making the heroine 22 instead of 16 and adding 30,000 words. Of course all I heard was the bit about them wanting to buy it and so I did the revisions!

Then while I was waiting for Halo to come out, I decided to write another young adult book just because I had so much the first time around – and this time we actually sold it as a ya which was even better!

I do like doing women’s fiction as well but I honestly think my voice and my ideas are more suited for the young adult market. Plus, it’s where I really love being. I’ve always watched a lot of teen television/movies and most of the books I read are young adult as well so it just feels like a good fit (plus gives me the perfect excuse to watch Gossip Girls and call it research!!!)

You live in New Zealand, but your books are published in America. How does that all work?

It definitely has some drawbacks not living in the same country as where my books are published. For instance I can never just say, ‘oh, I’m going to have lunch with my editor/agent today’, which is what every author dreams of doing!!!! Also, it means I can’t do any physical promotion like book signings or stalking people into buying my books (oh, hang on, apparently that sort of thing is frowned upon over there, so perhaps it’s a good thing I’m over here!!).

Apart from that though it’s all been quite easy. I’ve long learnt to operate on New York time not New Zealand time and since most things are done via email it hasn’t really been a problem. Though, actually the other tough thing is learning to ‘write American’. There are a lot of spelling and grammatical differences that I’ve had to learn. For instance we say ‘mum’ not ‘mom’ and you guys like the letter Z where as we prefer S and we also use a lot more Us as well (organize/organise and labor/labour).

Lots of my readers are hoping to become authors themselves someday. What advice would you give them?

The single best advice I can give you is to remember that you’re telling a story. It’s so easy to get caught up in worrying how to sell your book, or what font you should use (or what you should wear to the Oscars when your book is naturally turned into an award winning movie). But you need to forget about that stuff (well maybe not the Oscar dress, because let’s face it, it never hurts to be organized) and concentrate on creating a story that is so compelling that an editor has stayed up all night just to find out what happens. Of course figuring out how to do that isn’t always easy, but the more you remember your job is to tell a story, the easier that will become.

What's up next for you?

My next young adult book is about a girl who goes to an elite slaying school and wants to follow in her dead mom’s footsteps by becoming a dragon slayer. Instead she gets stuck chasing after four-inch fairies. Not exactly the stuff high destiny is made of! But soon she starts seeing a different kind of fairy – of the killer variety. Unfortunately, due to her earlier complaining (think girl who cried wolf but worse) no one believes her and she is forced to fight the killer fairy on her own while trying to figure out how it figures into her own mom’s death.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Meg Cabot!

Are any of you Meg Cabot fans? I, myself, adore her books and was psyched when I had a chance to interview her for my television show a while back. She was super nice in person -- warm, personable, and fun! Totally didn't have any of that "big time author" snobbery AT ALL. She even told he she would go home and read Gamer Girl! :) (Of course, she may have just been being nice - but still!!!)

Anyway, I had to hold the TV segment until her new book, "Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls #3 - Best Friends and Drama Queens" was released. But now it's airing tomorrow on the Better TV show (where I work) and so I'm allowed to show you the clip! I'm not in it, of course, since I'm a producer and thus behind-the-scenes (I prefer it that way!) but I'm the one who asked her the questions and wrote the script. (That is my real life beyond writing books, lol.)

Check it out! And let me know what your favorite Meg Cabot book is! I just recently read AIRHEAD and loved it! There's a sequel - BEING NIKKI - that's out in May and I can't wait to get it!!





MARI

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Blood Coven Vampire NEW COVERS!!!!!

They're here! And I can finally show them to you! These are the new covers for my Blood Coven Vampire series!! The three originals AND the new cover for BAD BLOOD. They are a LOT different than the former covers.

Let me know what you think!!!! Which is your favorite???


boys_that_bite

stake_that

_girls_that_growl

bad_blood

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Awesome homemade book trailer

One of Heather Brewer's minions--er, fans--made this book trailer for her book "8th Grade Bites"! Much awesomeness!!!

So when do I get a book video from MY readers? Hmmmmm....??? :) Maybe I should do a contest. Would you guys make me a book video if I offered a super fabulous prize??

Anyway, check out the video. Oh and check out Heather's Vlad Todd series, too. Cause it bites. In a good way, of course!! :)





MARI

Teachers who blog

I came across this awesome review of Gamer Girl in a blog written by a teacher named Mr. Lang. Now I don't know who he is or where he teaches, but I love the fact that he has a blog for his students! From what I can tell, he gives book reviews and homework assignments to his students on it. How awesome is that? He also seems pretty straight-forward and honest about his opinions. Definitely seems like a Mrs. Reilly type teacher, don't you think? I bet she would be the type to have a blog, too!

Do any of your teachers have a blog? I have no idea if this is a common thing or not. Back in my day we didn't even have the Internet, lol. (Can you imagine?!)

Anyway, not that he'll probably read this, but I am totally psyched he reviewed (and liked!) Gamer Girl! :)

MARI

Monday, March 09, 2009

Fields of Fantasy

Hi guys,

I get a lot of you guys asking if Fields of Fantasy is a real videogame. Unfortunately, it's not - I made it up for the book. (Though it should be!! I'd totally play it if it was!!)

However, that doesn't mean there aren't other games like it! The games are called Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games. Or MMORPGs for short. The one I modeled Fields of Fantasy after is called World of Warcraft. In World of Warcraft you can actually have elf characters very similar to Allora.








Some people even cosplay these elves at fantasy/sci-fi conventions. Isn't she pretty? (I don't know her, I just pulled her picture off the internet.)







One difference though between World of Warcraft and Fields of Fantasy is these "blood elves" as they are called are part of the Horde faction. Human characters are on the Alliance team. So a human (like Sir Leo) and an elf (like Allora) would never be able to play together in World of Warcraft. They'd be sworn enemies!

But I couldn't have that for my book!! So I changed the rules for my own game. That's the good thing about making up a game!

And yes, I was a World of Warcraft gamer girl myself!! And my character's name was Allora! But she was actually a human warrior, not a blood elf mage. :) I had to give up WoW last year though - as it was taking up too much time that I should have been devoting to writing!!

Marianne

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Just Read: Vampire Academy

I know, I know. This book has been out forever and there's already two sequels. I'm slow, okay? I mean BUSY. I'm busy writing books and have no time to read them!!





Anyway, if you are just as slow as me and haven't yet enrolled in Vampire Academy yourself, the time is now, my friends. Great book, kick butt heroine, interesting twist/take on vampire mythology, and lots of action--both the fighting kind and the romance kind. And...I have to say, the character Christian is one hot vamp. I liked him more than the guy the narrator's interested in, Dimitri, to tell you the truth. Which probably says something about me - liking the rebelious emo boy over the tough, older alpha guy. But whatevs.

I'm actually going to be on a panel in April down in Orlando with the book's author, Richelle Mead. So if any of you are fans and have questions you want me to ask her, let me know!

In the meantime, while you're waiting for Book #4, check out Vampire Academy. :)

MARI

My Kitty is Emo

Just something to make you laugh!!





:)
MARI

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Vampire Knight Manga

I love this manga series. So cool they've done an anime of it! Now they just need to dub it into English! :)



Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Boys that Bite for $4.00?? Gurls that Growl for $2.99?? Yes!!!

I just noticed that Amazon is having a sale on BOYS THAT BITE and GIRLS THAT GROWL. Probably to get rid of all the OLD VERSIONS before the brand spanking new versions hit this fall! So if you're curious about the series or have only read a library version - go get yourself to Amazon and place an order! (Or have your parents do it.) Remember, they're changing the covers of these books very, very soon and so these old versions are going to be the collector's items! :)

Amazon Boys that Bite for $4.00

Amazon Girls that Growl - $2.99

Yay, cheap books!!!
MARI

Monday, March 02, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!!

Today's my birthday! It's also the day I'm turning in the manuscript of BAD BLOOD to my editor!! Wonder what she's going to think of it!!! I can't wait to find out. :)

In celebration, here are a few virtual gothy/vampire cakes I found on the internet that seem somewhat appropriate! Which is your favorite??