Why, I'm AMAZING! More specifically, I'm a new author who specializes in "rural fantasy" novels. Cowboys, natives, fishmen, etc. You can find my bio over yonder.
You have two first names? What am I supposed to call you?
I prefer Tex, because it's short and easy and perfect for hollering down a crowded hallway, but either is fine. (But just in case you ever need to know, "Arianne" is pronounced like "Marianne" without the M. Ariana, Adrianne, Adriana, Marianne, Ariel, and Erin are probably very nice people, but not me.)
Yeah! HECK yeah! You might have also heard the term "Weird Western" thrown around, but that's more appropriate for Jonah-Hex-style stories that are A) Western and B) more closely aligned with pulp sci-fi/fantasy. I like "rural fantasy" because it allows for the occasional cowboy hat or six-shooter, but also includes other kinds of literary traditions. Think about The Grapes of Wrath with migrating giants, or a Wizard of Oz in which munchkins and flying monkeys overrun Dust-Bowl Kansas. Rural, but not always Western!
Well, One Night in Sixes and its forthcoming sequels are my attempt (thirteen years in the making!) to blend the epic fantasy I loved as a kid, the capital-L Literature I read in college, and the often-horrific, truly-amazing history of the American West. (One of my readers described it as "Terry Pratchett writing The Gunslinger," which I take as a hell of a compliment.) You can read more about the books here.
Okay, but what else do you do?
Actually, my mild-mannered alter ego has had a short but storied career as an education groupie. I've been an adjunct professor, a full-time catering administrator for a junior college dining company, a private tutor, and now a master teacher for a company specializing in academic tutoring and college admissions test prep. (Basically, I teach teachers how to teach. I know, right – that's like three levels of "those who can't" right there.)
At the risk of sounding cornball, I've loved everything I've done so far, and getting to help / work with / be around people who are passionate about doing something and working hard to get somewhere is just the biggest thrill. (Being around writers and SFF fans is pretty awesome for the same reason.)
And that's how LOLcat grammar lessons happened?
Pretty much, yeah.
One of the things I've noticed over the years is that people who get out of high school without having a judo grip on English grammar and usage seem to acquire this idea that they can't learn it – that it's too hard, arcane, esoteric and just plain DULL for their mere mortal mind to grasp. GrammatiCats is my attempt to counter the sleep-inducing horror of traditional grammar lessons on the one hand, and the culture of "grammar snob" exclusivity on the other. Our language isn't like Grandma's furniture, all hallowed and dusty and too nice to sit on – it's something we use every day, for lounging and bouncing and shagging and living room fort-making, and I want people to enjoy it as much as I have! (You can read more about GrammatiCats here.)
Wow, Tex – why are you so cool and rad?
I DON'T KNOW.
And what can I do to help?
Right now, the biggest, most awesome thing you could possibly do for me is to
1.) Pre-order my book through your bookseller of choice (and add it to your accounts on Goodreads, LibraryThing, etc.)
2.) Boost the signal, so that more people can find me and my work. (It's okay if the book itself isn't your cup of tea. Anything you can do to help connect me with people who might like it, or who would enjoy the kind of yarns we spin on this blog generally, would be an enormous service.)
And if you have a cat snap or a grammar question that you would like to volunteer to help further the cause of fun feline literacy, please send them in!
You didn't answer my question!
Well, that's probably because you haven't asked! Leave a comment, and bring it on!