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Preview: The Temp, The Actress and The Writer

The Temp, The Actress and The Writer

Updated: 2017-11-23T20:41:52.497-05:00


Adrienne Kress Books


MIDDLE GRADE - ages 8 - 12ALEX AND THE IRONIC GENTLEMANWinner of the Heart of Hawick awardFinalist for the Red Cedar awardPUBLICATION DATE: September 18 2007 (USA), October 1 2007 (Canada)PUBLISHER: Weinstein Books (USA), Scholastic (UK/Canada) FORMAT: Hardcover, paperback, audio book, ebookAVAILABLE FROM: IndieboundAVAILABLE FROM AMAZON: USA, CanadaAVAILABLE FROM: Barnes & Noble (USA), Indigo/Chapters (Canada)AVAILABLE FROM: AudibleSYNOPSIS: "Kress's debut is a wonderful blend of whimsy and moral, with winks at the reader on every page. . . This inspired book should hold up to many re-readings."- Publisher's Weekly, starred review"Quirky, hilarious and genuinely exhilarating."- Eoin Colfer, best-selling author of the Artemis Fowl SeriesOften mistaken for a boy because of her haircut and name, Alex Morningside is an inquisitive girl of ten-and-a-half who attends the prestigious Wigpowder-Steele Academy. Luckily for Alex, the new school year brings an exciting new teacher. Mr. Underwood makes lessons fun and teaches her how to fence. But Mr. Underwood has a mysterious family secret - the swashbuckling and buried treasure kind - and not everyone is glad he has come to Wigpowder-Steele. When the infamous pirates of a ship called the Ironic Gentleman kidnap Mr. Underwood, Alex sets off on a journey to rescue him, along the way encountering a cast of strange and magical characters, including the dashing  Captain Magnanimous, Coriander the Conjurer, the Extremely Ginormous Octopus, and the wicked Daughters of the Founding Fathers’ Preservation Society.TIMOTHY AND THE DRAGON'S GATEFinalist for the Red Cedar AwardFinalist for the Audie Children's Book AwardPUBLICATION DATE: January 13th, 2009 PUBLISHER: Weinstein Books (USA), Scholastic (UK/Canada)FORMAT: Hardcover, paperback, audio book, ebookAVAILABLE FROM: IndieboundAVAILABLE FROM AMAZON: USA, CanadaAVAILABLE FROM: Barnes & Noble (USA), Indigo/Chapters (Canada)AVAILABLE FROM: AudibleSYNOPSIS: "Timothy and the Dragon's Gate is an old-fashioned tale told by a gifted storyteller." - Quill and Quire, starred reviewEleven-year-old Timothy Freshwater has been expelled from every school in the city. With nowhere else to go, he joins his father at the Tall and Imposing Tower of Doom and lands himself an internship with Evans Bore, its hopelessly awkward CEO. When his father is called away on business, Timothy's real education begins. Left in the care of his eccentric neighbour Sir. Bazalgette, Timothy learns some curious facts about Mr. Bore and his unusually loyal mail clerk, Mr. Shen—facts that lead to unbelievable revelations: about dragons, servants, and the laws that bind them. With time running out, Timothy takes it upon himself to change one dragon’s fate, and begins an adventure that will not end until he is relentlessly pursued by a pack of blood-thirsty black cabs, a crazed ninja and the most feared pirate in the South China Sea!The sequel to Alex and the Ironic Gentleman - this books starts off as its own unique tale of daring-do and then halfway through meets up with the end of Alex's story.  It is at this point that Timothy and Alex join forces to finish this crazy adventure together.YOUNG ADULT - ages 12+THE FRIDAY SOCIETYPUBLICATION DATE: December 6, 2012PUBLISHER: Dial, Penguin (USA), Razorbill (Canada)FORMAT: Hardcover, ebook, audio book (narrated by the author)AVAILABLE FROM: IndieboundAVAILABLE FROM AMAZON: USA, CanadaAVAILABLE FROM: Barnes & NobleAVAILABLE FROM: Chapters/IndigoAVAILABLE FROM: AudibleSYNOPSIS: "This book is pure fun and adventure, and the author’s casual, irreverent sense of humour is apparent on every page." - Quill and Quire, starred reviewBe your own hero.An action-packed tale of gowns, guys, guns--and the heroines who use them all.Set in London, 1900, The Friday Society follows the stories of three very intelligent and tale[...]

Pictures of Atticus


Because I'm feeling guilty that I haven't blogged in a bit after being so excited to be back (why must life be so  . . . life), I thought I'd just do a quicky blog post today to make up for my bad behaviour.  Though those of you who do not share my fondness for fuzzy animals, namely cats, will likely have preferred I not blog at all, than post what I'm about to.PICTURES OF ATTICUS!!  My cat.  Atticus.  He's fuzzy and weird and stuff.   And here are some pictures of him.  Because why not.This is his purse. He loves it.  It actually is his, my friends gave it to him because he loved it so much.He likes sitting by the fire.He also likes pretending he's a chachka on the mantel.He likes to sit on top of the fridge which is cute, but from certain angles it can catch you by surprise.[...]

World meet OUTCAST, OUTCAST meet world


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

Well, ladies and gentlemen, it is anon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


For those of you who may remember, I did an event this past August up in Orillia with some amazing fellow authors.  I had a fantastic time, and the whole thing was organised by author extraordinaire Julie Czerneda. Let me tell you, the word prolific was invented for this woman. She read from her upcoming book, A TURN OF THE LIGHT, and I was instantly captivated.  I couldn't believe I'd have to wait until MARCH to get myself a copy.Well how quickly the time flies.  It came out yesterday.  And this Saturday is its official launch!Everybody, if you are in Toronto (or if you are not but have a hankering for some traveling) get yourselves to Bakka Phoenix Books this Saturday for the launch of her book.  That, my friends, is an order.  Plus, you seriously will not regret it. Some info on the launch followed by info on the book!IT'S TIME FOR A TURN OF LIGHT!On Saturday March 9th, Bakka Phoenix will help launch Julie E. Czerneda's new book, A TURN OF LIGHT -- and we're thrilled!  This is the noted SF author's first fantasy series, and it's going to be a great party.  There will books, cookies, toads, and of course, Julie herself.  I mean, what more can you ask for?  Please join the celebration:  drop by the store at 3pm next Saturday, the 9th. ---------Bakka-Phoenix Books84 Harbord St., Toronto, OntarioAbout A TURN OF THE LIGHT: The village of Marrowdell is an isolated pioneer community, but it is also the place where two worlds overlap, and at the turn of light--sunset--the world of magic known as the Verge can briefly be seen.Jenn Nalynn belongs to both Verge and Marrowdell, but even she doesn't know how special she is--or that her invisible friend Wisp is actually a dragon sent to guard her... and keep her from leaving the valley. But Jenn longs to see the world, and thinking that a husband will help her reach this goal, she decides to create one using spells. Of course, everything goes awry, and suddenly her "invisible friend" has been transformed into a man. But he is not the only newcomer to Marrowdell, and far from the most dangerous of those who are suddenly finding their way to the valley...And about Julie!Julie and me!Biologist Julie E. Czerneda's science fiction has received international acclaim, awards, and best-selling status. She is the author of the popular "Species Imperative" trilogy, the "Web Shifters" series, the "Trade Pact Universe" trilogy and her new "Stratification" novels. She was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Her stand-alone novel, In the Company of Others, won Canada's Prix Aurora Award and was a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award for Distinguished SF. Julie lives with her husband and two children in the lake country of central Ontario, under skies so clear they could take seeing the Milky Way for granted, but never do.[...]

Steampunk Tuesday - Interview with props master Paul Marsh


 I discovered Mr. Paul Marsh on a random procrastination through etsy searching the word "Steampunk" (which I do a lot).  I was absolutely stunned by his Steampunk iPhone cases and could tell there was a real craftsman behind them.  I knew two things: I needed one of those cases, and I needed to get to know him and his work.  And while the case is mine ALL MINE, I can share with you all the amazing talent that is Mr. Marsh in this here interview below.  Please enjoy!The wondrous case. It's a little darker in person, with subtler distinctions between pieces, but I thought this instagram filter really showed off the attention to detail.  Ain't it purdy?What got you interested in prop/model building? What movie really inspired you to pursue it? My interest in model and prop making started when, in 1978 I watched a movie called Star Wars. I remember running home and tipping my Lego out on the floor and attempting to build the robots and ships from that film. Shortly afterwards on TV there was a documentary about the making of Star Wars and seeing the miniatures and the props and sets being built further fired my imagination and determination.Paul Marsh left, and yes, that's Bill Murray on the right. You've worked on the Harry Potter films, Captain America as well as many others, any cool behind the scenes stories you can share with us?I have worked on 26 films now and each one is very different from another. I have worked on two Harry potter films and was blown away by the quality of the set building. I personally think the ‘Ministry of Magic’ set is one of the most breathtaking sets ever built. Daniel Radcliffe is a real gentleman and when I took my eight year old son on a tour of the studio during the filming of The Deathly Hallows he came up to us both and spoke to Jack, my son, for about fifteen minutes. The assistant directors were trying to hurry him back to do another take but he shooed them away gently and said ‘I’m still talking to Jack.’ I have worked with many actors and each have impressed me with their professionalism. Jack Black is a personal favourite as he is such a fun guy and very talented musician. What is the most exciting thing about your job?The most exciting aspect of my job is the challenge of creating something that does not exist yet. It is very creative and even though someone else may have designed an impression of the model, or prop, it is the prop maker who realises it into existence. See the harness that Jack Black wears in Gulliver’s Travels. Myself and a good friend Jim built it and it was a beautiful but complex costume prop. It probably had around 2000 components to it.Jack Black in a harness Paul designed for GULLIVER'S TRAVELSWhat work is coming up on the horizon for you and what would be your ideal gig?My ideal gig would be the next bunch of Star Wars film which will be in production here in the UK at pinewood studios. Fingers crossed for that one. Also I’d like to meet Kate Bush under any circumstances. I have just finished on a Tom Cruise film and there are many films waiting for the green light. I can't say too much at present but obviously Star Wars would be fun. Who do you admire in your field today and why? The people I admire in the industry are the prop makers and special effects technicians. They are really unsung because not many people realise how much work goes into each and every shot. Even if it's just for a couple of seconds. Also, I have a bunch of supervisors above me who are brilliant, not only on the bench at building, but in their handling of the many stressful situations thrown at us. A couple of them in particular make sure the s*** doesn’t hit our fan. Also there is a guy called Chris Clarke. Go on youtube and look at his showreel. He is an animatronics wizard.For anyone interested in pursuing a similar career path, what advice would you give them?If you are interested in getting into this industry i would high[...]

I Have Returned!


And the internet breathes a collective sigh of relief.Or, you know, didn't realise I'd taken a break in the first place ;) .But yup, I did, I took quite the break as you can tell from the below post which was about my book launch early December.  It was nice to do so, and I'm glad I did it.  Taking a break from something allows you to miss it!And, yes, I have missed blogging :) .I have several interesting things to share with you, stuff has happened over the past several months, and there may or may not be a new book coming out from yours truly in the early summer maybe.  But I'll be posting on all such news in the coming days/weeks (I am nothing, if not a tease).  Today is more for me just to say hi, it's good to be back etc.Though, I do have one most important thing to share with you all . . .I cut my hair.Yes.I know.  Stop the presses.But I haven't cut my hair short since I was 14 and it was a rather traumatic experience I must say.  Though ultimately it was also amazing.  It's weird, I never thought I particularly identified myself by my hair.  It wasn't like I ever did anything particularly crazy with it or anything.  But after cutting it I realised just how much I subconsciously had.  It's silly, but something as innocuous as cutting one's hair (and, not sure if you heard, but hair?  It totally grows back) can be a pretty huge emotional experience.  It wasn't like I went all pixie haircut either.  Didn't pull an Anne Hathaway (though, if I ever cut my hair that short, you'd better believe I'll be singing as it happens like she did).  Still.  Emotions were felt, my friends.  Emotions were felt.Here is a photo diary of the experience:Waiting at the salon - Salon Bespoke in Toronto"Well hair, this is it."". . . that happened."And there it all is.  In a baggie.  And no, not for a keepsake, I donated my hair to Wigs For Kids.And the final result. . . Being an actor I then had to immediately get new headshots (yes, it makes any decisions about changing one's look delightfully more complicated :P ) so here's the oh so serious fancy picture (that I instagrammed a bit for fun . . . or maybe because I have a serious instagram addiction . . . )And that is the story about cutting my hair.The end.ALSO . . . did you know the fox was the new owl??  (because evidently animal trends are a thing)  This is a big deal for yours truly because as a pre-teen I was OBSESSED with foxes.  While my friends had pictures of boy bands covering their walls, I had foxes.  Yup.  Should I have admitted that? . . . you know I don't see how that's any more embarrassing than boy band pictures if I think about it so I admit it with pride!Anyway, it's brought back the 11 year old Adrienne and I've had such fun surfing the net and looking at all the pointless (but AMAZING) chatchkas out there one can buy that are fox like.  And I stumbled on this print and I think it's wonderful, and wanted to share.  I know little about the artist aside that their handle is cat_using_a_computer.  I think it's just lovely, it has a very whimsical British feel.  Enjoy! That's it for now!  We have some pretty cool stuff coming up this week, an interview with an amazing prop maker for some major films who also in his spare time makes the coolest iPhone steampunk cases for Steampunk Tuesday, details about my new book . . .  and more!  Stay tuned!  Same bat time, same bat channel![...]

Steampunk Tuesday - A most successful gala!!


Last Friday was the book launch for THE FRIDAY SOCIETY.Or rather THE FRIDAY SOCIETY gala!!It was held at The Gladstone Hotel here in Toronto, and organised by yours truly - and IT WAS SO TOTALLY AWESOME.We had displays of steampunk props and inventions by Messrs Smith and Bodine.  We had a demonstration of Bartitsu (with EW Barton Wright himself explaining the technique).  We premiered the trailer.  And of course I read.People came in costume.  People posed in the photo area with awesome props.  People ate cake.  Oh yes.  I let them eat cake.  Not just one cake but FOUR CAKES.How did it all come to be?  Well first of all I had insane amazing help from Chris Reed at Small Print Toronto and Adam Smith with Steampunk Canada.  And of course the amazing support from the staff at The Gladstone.Second of all I had awesome help from my parents.  They drove me to the hotel at 4:30pm that afternoon, and my mom and I (along with some very helpful folks from The Gladstone) helped set up the room in a way that I thought worked best (yes we moved couches across the room, and then back again when I changed my mind).Then the hotel technician came by to see what I wanted tech wise and he was just fantastic: highlighting certain areas of the room with light, and making sure the reading/trailer screening/fight demo ran smoothly.Adam (along with adi, a fellow Adrienne and one of the organisers of the Ad Astra convention) showed up at 5pm, and set up a table where he could show off his amazing Steampunk props.  They also helped me set up the stage area which was where the photo area was.  I always get annoyed that stages take up so much space and are underused at events like this.  They are used for the reading and then there's this big empty space.  So I decided to set up one end to be a photo area.  The room has amazing exposed brick walls and lovely deep red curtains over the windows so it worked really well.  Prop a Penny Farthing (one of those oldy-timey bikes with the one giant wheel and one little one) against the wall and you're good to go! Adam helped set up a table of Steampunk props that people could pose with.  And let me tell you, it went over gangbusters.  People loved it.  And the stage was well used over the course of the evening. :)Then Mr. Bodine (his character name) showed, and set up another table with his fantastic Steampunk devices. The fight team who were doing the demonstration came a little early to run through the fight on the stage.  And then helped put up some twinkle lights.  Because twinkle lights make everything awesome.And of course Chris Szego and her team from Bakka Phoenix Books were there by then to set up the books (they also very kindly helped sell some of my friend Katie's jewelry - I've shown you some of her work before).And then people arrived and everything went beautifully (I was seriously stunned by this, usually something goes wrong. . . but no!  So crazy!).  People took pictures on the stage, they loved the trailer and the Bartitsu demonstration (and were rather fond of the reading if I do say so myself :) ).  And OMG, the costumes!  People really outdid themselves.It was an amazing evening, full of fun - and it wouldn't have been what it was without all the amazing people who came.  I was so overwhelmed by the support, and I say it all the time, but it's well worth repeating . . . I know the most talented, most generous, and most awesome people on the planet.  Yes.  I am just that lucky.  So thank you, again, all of you.  It meant the world to me to share this evening with you all.But enough words, the best way to share the evening is through pictures.  Bear with me.  There are a lot of them :) .Me all books!some of the crowd (photo credit The Renaissance Pap[...]

So You Want To Dress Steampunk...


...but you don't have the time nor funds to invest in a complex Steampunk ensemble.Sometimes we have Steampunk events we must attend, but what happens if we don't have any Steampunk outfits to wear?  Or we'd like to go to the event and participate, but we aren't technically a Steampunker? Well fear not!  For Adrienne is here to help you create your very own Steampunk outfit from what you already own!  Huzzah!First of all, for those of you who, like me, are visual people, I will reference some films that might help focus your thoughts.  For Edwardian examples think MOULIN ROUGE, MARRY POPPINS (or most any of those Edwardian 60s Disney musials i.e.: CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG), MY FAIR LADY and DOWNTON ABBEY.  I actually find the Edwardian slightly easier for people to emulate using contemporary clothing because it is closer in time period to our own.  But for Victorian examples think OLIVER! (any Dickens adaptation), JANE EYRE (so many adaptations), THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ERNEST (any Wilde adaptation - ie: AN IDEAL HUSBAND), THE AGE OF INNOCENCE, TITANIC and PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.Second of all, you might notice all my suggestions would also work if you were invited to a neo-Victorian/neo-Edwardian party.  There is nothing particularly Steampunk about the clothing choices.  What makes something steampunk are the accessories.  These are those accessories:Accessories -Hats: newsboy hat, bowler, top hat, fedora (actually a hat meant for women invented in the late 1800s), small top/bowler hats for women, fascinators, large wide brimmed hats you'd wear to Ascot or to star in My Fair Lady.Eyewear: round glasses/sunglasses, goggles - aviator/lab/motorcycle, monocleJewelry: anything really, but in particular: cameos, pocketwatches, chains with a solitary pendant, chokers, rings.Belts.  Belts belts belts belts belts.  Thick ones, thin ones, layer them one on top of the other, over the shoulder for a holster effect.  Leather, of course is preferable.Canes, sticks, parasols.Weapons - all oldy-timey and preferably fake because of the whole going out in public thing.  But: swords, old fashioned guns (small and discrete, large and formidable), daggers.There's an amusing video called "Don't just glue some gears onto it and call it Steampunk" that mocks, well, the obvious.  To which I respond, why the heck not?  If you want to put in a bit of an effort, there is no surer way to Steampunkify your ensemble than gluing some gears onto it.  Here are some inspirational photos.Now for the clothing part.MENI really like using Moulin Rouge as my reference, but if people don't know it, I've also included pics.The easiest for men is a SUIT.  There is a day suit, usually brown, maybe tweed (think what Henry Higgins wears almost all the time throughout MY FAIR LADY), or there is a tux or evening suit - black, sharply put together complete with a top hat.If you have a colourful suit jacket you can suddenly become an MC of your very own Burlesque show :) .  Think Zidler.Or if you happen to have a smoking jacket, replace your suit jacket with that, and add a white cravat (where does one get one of those, well it's easy enough with a scarf, but look around your place and see if you have any random bits of fabric, or if you really feel like it, cut up an old bedsheet) and you've got a lovely outfit to rest in for the evening.  And you'll look like The Duke in the Like A Virgin number.This was seriously the best pic of his outfit I could find :P Or add a lab coat and a pair of goggles and suddenly you're a scientist! But if a full suit is not in the cards, then there are some other Moulin Rouge inspired looks that work:The Semi-Dressed Man aka the Roxanne Musical Number - dress pants and shoes, a white tank top/under shirt, if you have them, suspenders add a certain [...]

Reluctant Reader


Hi.  My name is Adrienne Kress and I'm a reluctant reader.I don't know if they had the term when I was growing up, and it took me a while after I'd first heard it to learn that reluctant reader did not necessarily mean someone who found the act of reading difficult, ie: had dyslexia.  Of course those who do find the act of reading difficult can definitely become reluctant readers due to sheer frustration. But I discovered that the term also referred to people like me.  People who don't struggle with the act of reading, but do struggle with remembering that reading is a totally awesome way to pass the time. This might sound truly odd, seeing as I'm an author and all.  It might also sound truly odd considering how many books I have read over my lifetime.  But I wanted to talk about it to offer a bit of a insight into the mindset of someone like me.  I also thought it might be useful to authors who want to take reluctant readers in mind when writing their work (not that it is necessary to do so, but if you are interested then well, here you go).  Being not only one of those readers, but an author of books who has been told by multiple teachers that her books are popular with reluctant readers, I feel I can offer some decent insight.  As always, if anyone has anything to add to my post, please do feel free to leave a comment.  After all, ultimately this is coming from my personal experience, and I can't necessarily speak to some universal truth.So.First of all, what do I mean by reluctant?I mean someone who would rather relax doing something else.  Whether that be watching TV/Film, playing video games, playing sports, doing music etc.  I mean someone who doesn't think reading and goes, "Ooh yes!  That's what I'd like to be doing right now."  Someone who needs to be reminded every time she picks up a book that she actually really enjoys reading.And yes, I need to be reminded every time.  I've grown as a reader.  I've worked hard to do so, I now read almost every genre (aside from horror because it scares me).  I am willing to fight my way through a more dense work because I see a value to it, when once I would have just given up.  But still.  I need to be reminded every time.  I don't automatically trust I'll enjoy a book the way I automatically trust I'll enjoy a film. As such, I wanted to share what does keep me reading, and more importantly what got me reading when I wasn't yet willing to put in the effort.  When I really needed the book to do all the work for me. And one of the things I've noticed that some are doing to try to engage reluctant readers is to write shorter works with simple words and plot.  For me this is the wrong tactic to take.  This is not not what engages such readers.  As I said above, reluctant readers don't struggle with the act of reading, nor with comprehension.  They just don't think they enjoy it.  But books like Harry Potter have shown us that people of all stripes will pick up long books with complicated stories so long as they are entertained by them.  And that's the key: the books need to be entertaining.Reluctant readers don't need easy language and story.  That's just as likely to turn off a reluctant reader as anything else (it's condescending and not really that compelling).  What they want is proof that this story will keep them reading.So what are some elements that help keep us reading:Short Chapters - not less complex, but chapters where when you flip ahead you can see an end point.  Short chapters give permission for a reader to pause.  It also gives the reader a sense of accomplishment.  Short chapters can also oddly make you want to read more.  The whole, "Okay I'll just read one more chapter since [...]

Steampunk Tuesday - Adrienne's Steampunk Photoshoot Part Deux


I already posted the spontaneous photoshoot pics I took a while ago, but here and now I can finally share with you some of the professional photos I had taken so I had some I could use for various Steampunk events etc.They turned out amazing, and it's all down to the fantastic Tanja Tiziana - a professional photographer here in Toronto.  She was creative and hilarious and totally understood the look I was going for.  Her work is fantastic - check it out at her site here.We had a lot of fun playing with costumes and props, as well as lighting, hair and makeup, it was an all day affair.  And here is the end result! I really think they are pretty sweet (click on pics for larger versions):I shared this chair on this blog before: it's at late 19th century music hall chair. Underneath there is a wire frame where you can store your top hat :) .Poll time:  of the two above, which do people prefer, smiling or not smiling?And . . . close-up of the same shot.Me with a very large Steampunk gun.  Courtesy of Mr. Adam Smith.Now a pair of fun shots. Made this one look oldy-timey!  Aka: SepiaMe as an anime character? The Giant Eye picture.  Took a while to place the magnifying glass just so, but well worth the effort I think :) .[...]

Steampunk Tuesday - and the winner is . . .


And the winner of the gorgeous Steampunk necklace designed by Lora at London Particulars is . . .


Please email me at adriennekress @ gmail . com your mailing address and the necklace will be shipped to you directly!

Just in case people were wondering, the selection was made at random by Lora herself, because, quite frankly, how could we choose from between all of you lovely people??  Thank you so much to all who entered, and I do hope that even if you didn't win you might consider still investing in a piece from the shop, 'cause, you know . . . her work is fabulous!

That's enough excitement I think for one Steampunk Tuesday.  So, until next week, this is Adrienne Kress saying . . . if you're going to go punk, go steamy.

The Friday Society Book Launch Info!


So it has finally been decided and the book launch for THE FRIDAY SOCIETY will be . . .

December 7th, 2012  at The Gladstone Hotel (doors open at 7pm and reading is at 7:30pm).

And all of this so wouldn't be possible without the help of the amazing Chris Reed at Small Print Toronto and Adam Smith from Steampunk Canada (oh, and I guess Penguin Books have kind of sort of been awesome too).  These two gents have helped me find a venue space and book acts, and let me tell you, it is going to be a FANTASTIC evening.

We'll have a demonstration of Bartitsu (the first mixed martial arts technique, invented by Sir Edward Barton Wright back at the turn of the century - uh, not the most recent turn, the one before that) by members of the incredible stunt team Riot A.C.T.  We'll also have some amazing Steampunk props/inventions on display courtesy of Mr. Smith himself and R. Phinius Bodine.  The book trailer will have its premiere public screening, and of course, I, Adrienne Kress, will be doing a reading.


Dress in your Steampunk finest (or whatever you feel like, but know you won't be out of place either dressed up all Steampunky, nor will you be the only one in street clothes), and be prepared for a delightful time.

(for tips on how to dress Steampunk using items from your existing wardrobe, check out my post here)

Also all ages are welcome!

And in honour of the occasion, here's the poster I designed for it (click for a larger version):

Steampunk Tuesday - London Particulars & Contest!!


I stumbled onto the etsy page for this jewelry maker about a month ago, and maybe just maybe fell a tiny bit in love.  She does create Steampunk jewelry, so of course there would be a big yay factor for me already.  But I also find her work unique and very elegant. In any event, we got in touch via the email, and it is my pleasure not only to share an interview she did for me, but also a contest to win an absolutely gorgeous original piece of Steampunk jewelry! How to enter the contest:  All you have to do is leave a comment below! (contest closes next Steampunk Tuesday - ie November 6th)And here's the piece! A fantastically Detailed Vintage Watch Movement BUTTERFLY Steampunk Necklace, beautifully bejeweled in shades of Violet, Red and Pink! Intricate and detailed in the neo Victorian style, Sure to be a treasured gift, for someone special, or perhaps for yourself!The Vintage Ruby Jeweled Watch Movement measures 18mm x 15mm and is accented with beautiful Siam Red, Amethyst and Fuchsia Swarovski Crystals. Mounted upon an intricate silver plated filigree butterfly and suspended upon a 18 inch antiqued silver finished Cable Chain and the total dimensions of the pendant are a perfect 34mm by 40mm.  So without further ado, please meet Lora from London Particulars!LONDON PARTICULARS*Blog* *Etsy Shop* Tells us a bit about how London Particulars came to be!I started London Particulars in 2008 to offer Steampunk Jewelry, artwork as well as the occasional curious curio.Making beautiful, unique pieces of Steampunk Jewelry has been my goal and I love serving people with a penchant for the Neo-Victorian and a flair for the unusual. I can honestly say I have some brilliant customers and it's been a total pleasure and dream-job!When and why did you start making jewelry? Ever since I was a kid I've had a natural curiosity when it comes to crafting and I have always loved making all sorts of things myself including jewelry. But I started making pieces in earnest in 2006 both as a creative outlet and to have unique pieces to wear myself. Sometimes you just can't find what you're looking for and you have to make it yourself. What interests you about the Steampunk Aesthetic? I love the materials, the detail, the sheer eccentricity, creativity, imagination and style. I've always had a penchant for all things Victorian, Gothic and bizarre. I think the Steampunk aesthetic neatly combines all three of those categories (and many, many more).When did/how did you discover Steampunk? I heard about Steampunk in the late eighties and saw elements of it in Roleplaying games. I never played them, but loved the aesthetic immediately. Steampunk has been in films and graphic novels for awhile now, prior to its recently large revival. One of my favorite Graphic Novels in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and I think that piqued my interest once more, along with seeing people's inventions on the Internet.What's one of your favourite items you've designed? One of favorites was a pendant with horological collage of a clockwork cat, I made one of a snail around the same time. Both pieces sold quite a while ago, I wish I had taken a better pictures of them!What's your proudest moment as a designer? There have been several, so it's hard to choose. My jewelry was used in a photoshoot for (the UK) Bizarre magazine, which was really exciting. It's also been featured in "Gothic Beauty" magazine, which was really cool. But I get a lot of really nice pieces of feedback from my customers and that always makes me immensely proud. People have chosen my jewelry to wear for their weddings and to give as gifts on holidays and special oc[...]

New York Comic Con


I was in NYC over the weekend, attending New York Comic Con, and I thought I'd give as brief a summary of the events as I could now.Brief for me being . . . not so much.  But I'll try.View from plane. ThursdayArrive in New York, head immediately to meet with my editor, Nancy and my publicist Jessica.  But I was a little early.  So I sat in the Pret a Manger [because a) yum and b) free wifi] and creeped on the Penguin building across the street.When it was time, I went across and ran into Morgan Rhodes (author of FALLING KINGDOMS and a delightful person with whom I've spent time at cons with in the past) waiting in the lobby too.  We hugged.  And then she was whisked off and I never saw her again.  Well, that day.Nancy came down to get me and we went to her office which is even more amazing than it was the last time I saw her.  Honestly she's a woman after my own heart in the way she decorates.  Little drawings everywhere, little collectable toys too.  It's so nice to meet a fellow chachka lover.  Jessica joined us and we had a wonderful chat about TFS plans.  Then Nancy and I chatted a bit longer.  And then I was off. . .. . . To face rush hour traffic and cross the city from the downtown west side, to the upper east side.  Eventually I made it to my friends' place just in time to say goodnight to their adorable daughter and hang out a bit as they packed for a conference in New Oreleans.  I was very happy I got to see them before they left.Friday5:00am - sounds of the family departing are heard.Later.I get ready to head to New York Comic Con.  I wanted dress a bit Steampunk so I wore my lace top and brown cords with knee high brown boots.  I also wore the customed made TFS necklace that Lady Lilleigh had made for me, and also my goggles.There's a similarity to be found in all Comic Cons, and it happens upon your approach.  You always know you're going the right way as colourful costumed characters start to replace the day to day wear of the average person, until you have unwittingly joined a parade of quirk.  It's very fun.  But also a little clausterphobic.I arrived and finally made my way to the Penguin booth where I stashed my stuff and went on a tour of the hall.  Now I realise from my pics it looks like this was "Oldy-Timey Convention 2012", but there were other booths for all manner of geekitude: comic books, games, T-shirts, costume pieces etc etc.Self explanatoryApothecary StandOldy-Timey fun times!Hats!Ah ha!  One non-oldy-timey geek picture!Gandalf and Bilbo in lego!Then at 2pm I signed ARCs.  It was a lot of fun and I met a lot of lovely people, in costume and in plain clothes.  And whenever the line dwindled Colleen Lindsay would turn into a carnival barker and the line would be replenished.  You see it's a different experience at a Comic Con.  At BEA everyone knows the books are free, and you have to be careful not to take one accidentally for sale.  But at a Comic Con almost everything is on sale.  So people were very stunned to learn they would be given a free book.  Stunned but quite pleased.  I don't really have any pics of me signing, but once again I ran into Morgan Rhodes, who took a picture!Then Thea from The Book Smugglers came by and we stood in the corner of the booth as she interviewed me.  Let me tell you, she's just delightful, and I kind of hope she got something coherent from the interview.  I do go on.  As you all know.  We shall know how she managed when the interview goes up on Thursday.Then I went home to rest.  But first I took a picture of myself with my one purchase from[...]

Steampunk Tuesday - An Adrienne Photoshoot


. . .The director of a film I shot last year needed some still photographs for said movie, and he suggested that for a lark after we took those we could play and take some more pictures, maybe some Steampunk stuff.And of course he had me at Steampunk.Now I actually did a photoshoot earlier this summer for some Steampunk photos that I could use for conventions etc, but those pics aren't ready yet (my fault, I was given a contact sheet a mile long and the photos are really good - which I take no credit for, it's all the photographer's talent - so choosing which I want is quite the effort), so in the meantime I felt like sharing some of these from the spontaneous shoot.  'Cause . . . why not? :)You'll note they are very Adrienne Steampunk.  That is to say, they have a dash of Steampunk, but aren't as intensely Steampunk as some of the amazing pics you'll see out there.  I know it sounds odd, and counter to everything that makes the genre what it is, but I'm kind of into a minimalist Steampunk aesthetic, lol.  So without further ado . . . some green!. . . A lot of green . . .   Last but not least . . .  Slightly blurry thumbs up!  The funny thing about my pics is that I look oh so serious in them and yet when taking the pics I can barely keep a straight face.  [...]

Canadian Thanksgiving


I've always considered Canadian Thanksgiving an odd beast.  We really don't have the same reason to celebrate the holiday as our neighbours to the south.  In fact I always assumed we had it because we thought, "Oh hey, that looks like a fun holiday, let's do that too!  Only to be a little different, let's change the date!"Well it turns out I'm both right and wrong. Some speculate it originated like The first formal Canadian Thanksgiving was held just over 40 years prior to the pilgrims landing in Massachusetts. An English explorer named Martin Frobisher had been trying to find a northern passage to the Orient. He did not succeed but he did establish a settlement in Northern America and he did celebrate a harvest feast. This is considered the first Canadian Thanksgiving. In 1957, Parliament announced that on the second Monday in October that Thanksgiving would be "a day of general thanksgiving to almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed."And others claim:York U researcher Peter Stevens: Canada’s Thanksgiving –first celebrated in 1859 -- has little to do with ... Martin Frobisher’s ship on a visit to Baffin Island in 1578, Ontario’s Protestant church leaders appropriated the American autumn holiday in the 19th century and transformed it into an instrument of Canadian nationalism By the 1870s, American holiday traditions -- family gatherings, turkey dinner and stories of pilgrims – came to Canada, creating commercial opportunities for businesses and a way for Catholics to celebrate the day as a non-religious event. Because the [American] holiday was too late in the year for Canadians to spend the day outdoors, in 1899 the federal government scheduled the holiday for mid-October most yearsFor my family it really has never been a big deal holiday.  In fact we don't really celebrate it.  So my interest in Thanksgiving is not really . . . big.  That being said, the idea of giving thanks is still a nice one.  And I think we often forget to think about all the good things, when the bad things can be kind of overwhelming.  So here's my list of what I'm grateful for:- my health.  Seriously, I know it's all very, "Well at least you have your health" but darn, I really am beyond grateful to be a healthy person.  I am very lucky that way.- my family.  Best. Family. Ever.  Both immediate and extended.  They have always been there for me, supportive of me and my goals.  And they make me laugh.  In the best way.My cousin Devorah and me.- my friends.  I've gone on and on about them before, but I have been truly honoured to have these insanely talented, clever and hilarious people in my life.  Not a frenemy in the crowd and like my family, as supportive as all get out. I don't know how I got so lucky.Just an example of but a few of my awesome friends.  L-R: Emily, Me, Carrie, Penny.- my cat.  I mean, it's not like he just happened into my life.  I wanted a cat.  I went cat comparison shopping (courtesy of The Toronto Cat Rescue).  And when I met Atticus, he was just perfect.  But I am grateful for him, because he makes me extremely happy.  He's silly, he's infuriating, he's sometimes rather clever.  And he's so soft and schnooglable.Schnoogle!- my career(s).  You know, I'll be honest, I'm not 100% satisfied with how things are going - but I'm a difficult person to please.  Nonetheless, at least things are going.  At least I am doing something that I am passionate about and love.  Which is likely why it also drives[...]

On Comedy


Why do I like comedy?Because it's funny.The End.Well that really is the number one reason I like comedy.  It makes me laugh.  It makes me feel good.  But there's also another reason why I like comedy.I like how it handles serious moments. Often I prefer how comedy handles drama better than how drama handles drama.  I feel that there is a lighter touch to it, and the juxtaposition between what is irreverent and then suddenly serious affects me more profoundly.  In fact I often find myself more moved by a serious moment in a comedy than I am when a show/book is being oh so serious.  When Abed revealed in a totally ridiculous movie he had cut together that his mom walked out on him and his dad and he thought it was his fault in season 1 of COMMUNITY, yup I got a little teary.  And while a drama, the most exciting and "Yes exactly that!" moments in THE WEST WING came with a punchline.  Wes Anderson many dismiss as being too absurd and silly, yet his characters break my heart these days and seem more emotionally honest more than any others.  Then there's Judd Apatow.  The creator of some pretty silly movies that, each at their core, have a bucket load of heart.  And even a lesson or two thrown in for good measure.  Now caveat time:  I love drama.  As I've said before, I really do enjoy all genres.But I feel a need to defend comedy today because I think it needs it.Yes comedies are often very successful, but they still don't get no respect.  It is a rare thing indeed that a comic film gets nominated for best Oscar.  Or a funny book wins any major literary awards (trying to think of the last comic book that got nominated for the Giller . . . does anyone know?).And why is that?I'll tell you my theory.  And there are two reasons, both having to do with tone.Tone Reason 1Good comedy must seem effortless.  A joke is never so uncomfortable and bad as when the person telling it looks like they are trying too hard.  And because good comedy seems effortless it can come across like it took no effort.Uh, yeah . . . kind of obvious there Kress.What I mean is . . . it takes a lot of work to be funny.  It takes practice, it takes fine tuning, it takes putting yourself out there and knowing not everyone will find your particular sense of humour humorous.  It takes self editing, and a self awareness.  Joan Rivers has itemised drawers of jokes.  Sketch comedy acts go through rounds and rounds of scripts.  And books, well like all books, they are edited over and over again.But if anyone sees this work in the finished product, it's a failure.It's like when I was a theatre technician.  The audience only ever noticed my work when it went wrong: when say the follow spot didn't turn on at the right moment, or the mic made that horrible feedback sound.  Otherwise no one really noticed that they could see and hear the actors.  When no one noticed, I knew I'd done a good job.One could also compare being funny to being the creator of works for children.  Again because the writing is simpler, people think it's simple to write.So that is the first reason.  People think it's easy to write comedy.Tone Reason 2 When the tone is comic, clearly the subject matter can't be profound.When the tone is serious, when we know that what we are watching or reading is very serious, we as an audience know how we are supposed to respond.  We are supposed to take the art very seriously.  And often the same is true of a light comic tone.  People assume they are supposed to consider the ma[...]

Steampunk Tuesday - Intro To Steampunk


Hey all!Having already a rather crazy week so this spawns . . .LAZY BLOG POSTING *echo, echo echo*But with the lazy can come something of use.  I think.  Or maybe it's just an excuse.  I dunno. At any rate, the other day a friend asked for some links etc to help her get a basic sense of what this whole Steampunk thing was and I sent her some. And then I realised . . . this might be a good list to compile officially here.Now, to be fair, it's a bit of a biased list.  Towards me.  And previous Steampunk Tuesday posts I've made.  But as I've already collected a lot of stuff to aid in the explanation of "What the heck is Steampunk", I feel like it's okay to be biased towards me.  Especially as the content within said posts are courtesy of mostly . . . not . . . me.Anyway, here's a nice list of links that I think will help any newcomer to Steampunk get a better sense of what it is: Steampunk as Aesthetic - by The Steampunk Scholar aka Mike Perschon   A collection of videos made about Steampunk A list of Steampunk Books - on my blog, but courtesy of The Steampunk Scholar And list and some trailers of Hollywood movies with a Steampunk aesthetic[...]

I'M BORED by Michael Ian Black, illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi


A while ago I did a feature on the very talented author/illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi.  And now I am very happy to share that the book she illustrated, I'M BORED, has made its way into the world and it's awesome, full of wit and charm . . . and a potato.

But don't just believe me.  Here's what the New York Times has to say about it:

"Black is a comedian and actor (“Stella,” “The State”) when not writing children’s books (“A Pig Parade Is a Terrible Idea”), and he tells his story in sprightly fashion. The illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi convincingly draws a child full of life, a potato full of — well, potatotude, and computer drawings that look just like good old-fashioned linocuts. Her smart cartoony artwork matches Black’s perfect comic timing, making for a fun ride that should leave you amused, perhaps pensive, and no longer bored." - David Small, The New York Times Sunday Book Review

In any event, here's a synopsis, and if you are interested in more information please visit Debbie's page on her website about it which has links galore!



Written by Michael Ian Black
Illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

There is NOTHING boring about being a kid, but one little girl is going to have to prove it in this anything-but-boring picture book from comedian Michael Ian Black.

Just when a little girl thinks she couldn’t possibly be more bored, she stumbles upon a potato who turns the tables on her by declaring that children are boring. But this girl isn’t going to let a vegetable tell her what’s what, so she sets out to show the unimpressed potato all the amazing things kids can do. Too bad the potato is anything but interested.
This tongue-in-cheek twist on a familiar topic is sure to entertain anyone who’s ever been bored—or had to hear about someone else being bored—and is filled with comedian Michael Ian Black’s trademark dry wit, accompanied by charismatic illustrations from newcomer Debbie Ridpath Ohi.

Steampunk Tuesday - SF/Fantasy


Author J.M Frey (left) and Me as Rorschach and Laurie from WATCHMENLast week I discussed my number six, that is to say number one, reason why I love Steampunk (from the list I made here).  And so this week it seemed on right to carry on to number five, number two:I love SF/Fantasy.Now some of you who read my Fake Geek Girl blog post will know that I'd never really defined myself as a geek.  Nor really as an SF/Fantasy fan.  It wasn't until I took stock of the kinds of entertainment I enjoyed that I realised, "Oh wait, yeah I really do love that stuff!"I think the thing for me was that I like a lot of stuff.  And a lot of genres.  I'll pretty much watch any film/read any book so long as it isn't scary.  But there is something about the SF/Fantasy genre that I think is just wonderful.  And that's what I'm going to talk about today.ESCAPISMI think most genre fans come to it as a means of escape.  I think most people come to media in general for that reason.  I know that it was definitely the case for me.  As a young teenager, I spent several summers feeling very alone and very much outside of the "cool group" (I was fine during the school year, I went to an arts school where people understood and accepted my personality).  When I would return home after a long frustrating day, I would go up to my parents' room, turn on their computer and write.Now I had tried writing many different things over the course of my young life, many attempts at the middle school/high school experience type stories.  But the one I wound up sticking with, that really helped me, was a pirate adventure story.  Because as it turns out, I didn't want to write about my life.  My life was kind of sucky in that moment.  I wanted to write about an exciting other world.  With pirates, and adventure, and drama oh my!  It made me happy, I got to leave my existence for a time. And I think that's why a lot of people love to escape into genre.  We don't have to interact with the mundane real world.  We can experience cool futuristic technology, or go back to a time where everyone rode horses, or play with magic, fight with swords.  Be a hero, a wizard, a warrior, a thief ('cause thieves, like pirates, in genre, are way cooler than in real life).  I think too that's why people love portal stories so much (see a little book series called Harry Potter . . .).  You get to experience the mundane and then travel into the fantastic.  You get to pretend there is a viable way to enter that wonderland.IDEALISMFor me, and not necessarily for all fans of genre, I like that there is a place for idealistic characters.  For good guys to win and bad guys to get their due.  This is not to say there isn't something wonderful in the grey.  I also love books where the bad guys win, and the good guys aren't necessarily that good (big fan of WATCHMEN for example - see pic above).  But it's definitely the notion that good guys don't finish last in SF/Fantasy that draws me to it. I know it's cool to be a fan of Batman.  The dark anti-hero.  And I do really enjoy him - though I prefer the villains :) .  More on that in a moment.  But Superman will always be my hero of choice.  I like that he was noble.  That he had no reason for doing good except for the fact that he had powers and could do good.  He made the decision, when he didn't need to, to be a hero.  In a time when so many people feel a ne[...]

Word on the Street 2012


Yesterday was the Toronto Word on the Street, a book festival that has been running in our fair city for . . . well as long as I can remember.  It's pretty fantastic.  All the publishers and literary publications set up booths (some authors do too, and this year there were several theatres who were there as well), there are tents where panels and readings are held.  There's also a stage for performances for kids. Setting up for Word on the Street the day before.It's always very well attended, and this year since I don't have a book out until December and thus couldn't really read or sign, I was invited by Penguin to moderate their Women of YA panel at The Penguin Pavilion.:So my day . . .The delightful Lesley Livingston and I planned to meet up at said Penguin Pavilion at around 12:30pm.  We'd had a rather late evening the night before (involving a very loud pub) so we thought that that would be reasonable. The Penguin Pavilion - lovely setup, but, that's a poster, not an actually wall of books :) I arrived, and said hello to the Penguin people, including my publicist Vimala (a total rockstar).  I noticed that they were giving away some swag, and asked what was going on."Oh we're giving away swag for following us on Twitter, if you would like anything -""A mug."I might have jumped the gun slightly on that.  But let me explain.  When I was living in London, UK, I and my housemates had purchased a couple Penguin mugs.  Why?  BECAUSE THEY ARE AWESOME.  They have the classic Penguin covers on them, and come in a variety of colours and titles.  But when I moved back home to Toronto, I couldn't bring the mugs with me.  It was just too much to bring something so breakable along with three years worth of things.  Since then I've been longing to acquire said mugs once again, but aside from online I haven't been able to find them anywhere.So when I noticed they were giving away said mugs yesterday . .  ."A mug."And I got a mug!!!!!!I used it for the first time at breakfast this morning.  Yay!Shortly after the mug incident, Lesley found me and shortly after that moment a host of delightful blogettes found us as well, totally by accident.  One such blogette - Wendy - had evidently at that moment been speculating if I would be signing at Word on the Street (I wasn't), and then poof!  I appeared!  I'm like Voldemort that way, you say my name and I show up.  And I'm evil.  And don't have a nose.At any rate it was awesome, because she had an ARC of TFS, and I signed it.  And I just happened to have a HERO button on my so I gave it to her as well. Courtesy of Wendy's instagramThen we all became Lesley's posse and followed her to the This is Not the Shakespeare Stage, where she and authors Mariko Tamaki, Deborah Kerbel and Natalie Walschots were reading:Note: up until this point it had been relatively warm and sunny.Then.Deborah mentions her gratitude it is nice and sunny and not stormy.Lesley starts to read a scene involving a huge storm.AND THE HEAVENS OPENED WIDESeriously, it started to pour.  We were under the tent, so we were okay, but still.  It was pouring.  It also was freezing.  And by the end of the hour I, the lovely blogettes, and the authors on stage were shaking. Lesley signed some stock, and then we quickly wound our way to the VIP room for food and hot beverages. So cold were we, we just kind of sat there wondering what the heck had just happen[...]

A story . . . an idiom brought to life.


So when I was a teen I worked as a theatre technician during summers at The Georgian Theatre Festival.

One evening I was sitting in the hall backstage before any of the actors etc had shown up.  It was just us techies doing pre-show set up.  I was watching my fellow techie Lauren ironing some costumes.  She had set up the ironing board in the musicians' dressing room.  We were chatting.  Just chillaxing.

Now in theatre the word "strike" is used as "remove".  So one strikes a set, for example, at the end of the show.  If there's a chair where it shouldn't be someone might call out, "Hey, could someone strike that chair?"

That kind of thing.

With that in mind:

The technical director came around the corner, up to us.  It was getting close to when the actors etc would be arriving.

"Hey Lauren," he said.  "Could you strike the iron and board and stuff?  The musicians are on their way up."

"Okay," she replied.

He walked away and she unplugged the iron and picked it up, accidentally touching the bottom.

"Ow, that's hot!" she said.

And I sat there, having observed all this, with my jaw on the floor.

"OMG, Lauren," I said, "do you realise what you are doing?"

She just looked at me.

"You're striking while the iron is hot."

Now unfortunately she had never heard that idiom before, so I had to wait to go home and tell my English teacher parents about it in order to have someone to share the awe of the moment.  But I'll never forget it.  It's not just that she was literally striking while the iron was hot.  It was also that the technical director had said "strike" and she had actually said "hot".  It was . . . perfect.

And yes, this is the kind of thing that just makes my life.

So what about you guys?  Have any of you witnessed an idiom/saying/metaphor come real? 



Okay! So I thought I should share some FRIDAY SOCIETY updates as, you know, there are some.* First and most importantly, for anyone seeking to read an excerpt - chapter one is now available online here! Yay! * Second I will be appearing at Word on the Street, 4pm on Sunday September 23 at the Penguin Pavilion moderating the Women of YA panel.* Third . . . here is what the jacket is going to look like!  I believe the proper term for this is "squee".  This is so beyond exciting for me.  The cover is printed on pearlescent paper so it has this sheen to it, and the title/my name/three girls are embossed.  I also really like the section they quoted on the back cover - and check out the silhouette!  How Charlie's Angels is that :) .  I also love how the flaps continue with the pinwheel design, and have these little decorative features in the corners.Unfortunately despite numerous attempts, my pictures are slightly out of focus :P .  But I think you get a decent sense of what it looks like:Zee jacketZee shinyZee reverse side - where you can see the embossing* Last but not least I am very honoured to share with you a blurb from science fiction and fantasy author, Ms. Julie Czerneda. She's an all around amazing woman, very talented, and extremely generous. You should buy all her books now. Though she is also quite prolific so it might make a slight dent in your wallet. And so . . . “THE FRIDAY SOCIETY is what I’ve been waiting for, a dashing adventure bursting with atmosphere and originality, where the day shall be saved by women of brilliance and character. Keep writing, Kress! I must have more! Most highly recommended.”- Julie E. Czerneda, author of A TURN OF LIGHTAnd . . . that's it for now!  Further bulletins as events warrant!  (<-- a sentence I learned when I was a child from Calvin and Hobbes):  [...]

Steampunk Tuesday - Anachronisms or You can DO that??


Steampunk laptop:  You can DO that???First off, I have to say, I love the word "anachronism".  By which I mean, not just, "Dude, that's a sweet word with an awesome definition."  I mean I love the word.  I love saying it. Say it out loud to yourself, right now. It's a fantastically chewy word. One where you really have to enunciate each syllable or you run the risk of tripping over yourself. Yeah. I really like saying that word.Second.You may recall a while ago I finally broached the subject of why I, Adrienne Kress (yes, I am Adrienne Kress) love Steampunk. I had a nice list. Said list is here.And the first, or rather sixth but technically it was meant to mean first, reason why I love Steampunk is Douglas Adams. That is to say my love of absurdity.  That is to say my love of mixing things together that never could possibly actually be mixed together in real life.  That is to say my love of, "You can DO that??"So today I thought I'd elaborate on my number one, or rather number six, reason why I love Steampunk. And that's when we get to say, come on, all together now:Anachronism.If I was in highschool the next thing I'd say is:The Webster's Dictionary defines Anachronism as: 1: an error in chronology; especially : a chronological misplacing of persons, events, objects, or customs in regard to each other  2: a person or a thing that is chronologically out of placeNow if that isn't Steampunk I don't know what is.The idea that one can set a story in the past but include all manner of things that never existed back then is just so totally mind-blowingly amazing to me.  You see, it's fiction.  It's all fake.  So . . . why not?  Why not just play with what does and doesn't belong in stories?  I just love that.  I love the person who first thought outside the box like that.  It makes so much sense to me.  And it's also totally ridiculous.  Which makes it all the more amazing.I love also seeing the problem solving involved in it.  The creativity, e.g.: how do I invent a means to travel to the moon using the technology of the time?  Scott Westerfeld is utterly brilliant at the how.  I love the humour, reading a description and then realising that what the author is sharing with us as seeming so foreign is actually working towards the reveal that what is being described is, say, a cell phone.  I love how a society that shouldn't have any relationship with futuristic technology can be so laissez-faire about it: "So tomorrow morning I shall be taking the dirigible to Cambridge, that is, of course, unless you need it."  I also like how one can be not only anachronistic with props and costumes and set pieces, one can be anachronistic in attitudes and behaviour.  One can explore race and gender issues, bring them to the surface with far more ease than in a purely historical novel.  Play with what ifs, not be constrained by what happened in the historical timeline but speculate how the timeline might have been different.And then there's voice.  I mean the voice in which the novel itself is written.  And something that I have wanted to write about for a while: my own process at finding the voice for THE FRIDAY SOCIETY,  which I think is perfect for this subject because the voice I chose is inherently anachronistic.So . . . Aside from all of the above, I decided to play [...]

The month and a bit that was . . .


Well now that was a whirlwind is what that was.August came and went and left this temping actress writer in more than just a little daze.However I'm back now, and I'm going to return to regular blogging. Especially my Steampunk Tuesdays as I've come up with some new topics about which I am rather excited to write. But I thought I'd start things off with a little summary of what I've been up to in this crazy month.First: The Temp. Not glamorous at all I realise, but necessary, and actually quite enjoyable. I really do like meeting new people, and seeing how various businesses run their . . . business. Also sometimes you temp places with cool views:Second: The Actress. I got a small role in a film. I haven't actually filmed my day yet, but there has been a table read and getting to know the cast and crew, and it's been all kinds of awesome. More details as I am allowed to reveal them.I was also cast in a TV pilot called PARANORMAL INVESTIGATORS - a parody of those supernatural investigating shows. It was a lot of fun to do, with a lot of very talented people both in front and behind the camera. The actual weekend of that shoot was crazy though: by day I was the actress and by night . . .Third: The Writer. . . . I had to drive an hour and a half outside of the city to participate in an author event in Orillia with fellow authors Julie Czerneda, Anne Bishop and Mark Leslie. I arrived just in time for the readings to begin, and they were awesome. Truly. Everyone read so well - which as people who attend author readings often can tell you, doesn't always happen. Then we crossed the parking lot to the Stephen Leacock house for the cocktail party.  It was his cottage once upon a time and I've decided it is pretty much my dream cottage: Biggest pool table ever.I had a fantastic time touring around and chatting with folk. Then I stayed overnight in a hotel and first thing the next morning drove back to be . . .The Actress again, shooting day two of PI. Here are some pics from the two days!The gang watching back some footage.Take six!The DOP: Bob.Me and the possessed kid we investigated: Jayden. He has assured me that when I am cast in his movie, I get to wear comfortable shoes. Score!L to R: Scott Leaver, Shawn Ahmed, Patrick McKenna, Me, Nicole SmithBack to The Writer: This was also the month of FanExpo - the big SF/Fantasy convention here in Toronto. I attended all four days (with a brief escape to be Actress again and do an audition), and did one panel - on Steampunk writing of course, with my usual cohorts: J.M. Frey and Rob St. Martin. It was . . . for want of a better word exhausting. But it was also a great deal of fun. Hanging out with fellow author buddies like Lesley Livingston and Violette Malan; seeing Doc and the DeLorean reunited; and watching people stand in line for two hours to see Gillian Anderson.Yup that totally is Doc (Christopher Lloyd) sitting on the DeLorean.Me and Lesley Livingston.Me and Gandalf. He didn't talk much. Or move. Or breathe.The lead up to FanExpo was also exhausting as I had to prep a lot of stuff to bring with me. Most of all these buttons, which I designed and made myself (well made as in on Photoshop, the physical product was put together by the amazing people over at am most proud of my Michiko button. You may notice I had to give her a neck (Cora's arm covers it in the original image). [...]