It's All About the Gail

Hey all!

On Fridays as part of Fifty Days of Fail, I'm basically filling out one of those early aughts email profiles we used to love back in the day. Obviously there are spoilers for SUPERHEROES ANONYMOUS #1-3 in here, but there also might be some things you don't know about these crazy people who sprang fully formed from my head like living migraines. First up, we have Gail Godwin, the center of her (and my) universe!

Gail Olivia Godwin*

Hero name:
Hostage Girl, The Raptorlet


Superhero Apprentice, but for tax purposes she claims to be an admin

Any description in the book?
I've described her hair as curly, which is not fair to the character, as I have also never shown her struggling with this and any curly-haired person can tell you this is unrealistic. She's also very muscular, and has hazel-colored eyes.

My favorite thing about this character:
Everything? I like that she essentially plants herself in one place and forces the world about her to change. She's not going to make it easy for them, and she won't help them, either. Supervillains probably found her frustrating in her Hostage Girl days because rather than cower in fear, she treated them with unaffected and unrelenting sarcasm. It's fun to write a character who sticks to her guns, especially when I'm really not like that too much.

The most challenging aspect of this character:
See my previous answer. Gail is an inertia machine. If you plonk her somewhere, she will stay somewhere until there is a catalyst strong enough to force her to move. This catalyst typically involves dynamite, by the way. A lot of the time, I've had to resort to Gail being forced to act by other characters and by ticking time bombs. Once you get used to her, it's easy enough to figure out how to work around this, but writing SUPERVILLAINS ANONYMOUS was a nightmare.

How have they changed over the years?
Gail has gone through a total transformation over the last four books, which is a relief. If the opposite were true, they would be very terrible books--just saying. She started out as a woman perpetually waiting for the other shoe to drop—which is understandable, as that other shoe usually kicked her ass when it did drop—and over the years, she's blossomed into her own. Being able to actually hit back and make a difference is a big part of that, but I think Gail owes a lot to the very patient people around her.

Dream actor:
Anna Kendrick. 100000% Anna Kendrick.

Authorial headcanons I've never shared about this character:
Not so much a headcanon but originally we were going to meet Gail's father and half-siblings, none of whom knew about her existence, and all of them would be part of Guy's world. But even though I wrote the first book living in the Hamptons, I really didn't like that lifestyle and Gail's father (and possibly other family) remains a mystery to this day. Not an important one, for her.

Favorite Quotes:
“Doing things the smart way is not in the Gail Godwin playbook.” - #Herofail, Chapter 13
Yeah because I had the luck of a one-leaf clover. - How to Save the World, Chapter 10

And that's all she wrote today, folks! See you back here on Monday for more Fifty Days of Fail, or you can follow along on my social media on the weekend!

Stay sexy!

* Gail's original middle name was Alexandria, but I picked that for a penname instead. Olivia is 100000000000000% after Olivia Dunham, light of my life.

Quotable Thursday (47 Days to Go!)

Hello, all!

As part of my #50DaysOfFail celebration, I’ll be posting some profiles, easter eggs, etc. On Thursdays, I plan to revisit previous books and out of sheer and complete vanity, list some of my favorite quotes from those books. Warning: they’re usually Gail sassing people. But without further ado, please enjoy these quotes from HOW TO SAVE THE WORLD. Um, spoilers, obviously.
I climbed out of the passenger seat. “Do I have a curfew, Mom?” I asked.
Jessie rolled her eyes. “Do your best not to end up in an inordinate amount of trouble.”
“So a moderate amount is okay, then?”
“Let’s go with ‘expected’ rather than ‘okay.’ Text me when you’re done.”
- Chapter 11

“Yeah, yeah. Give him the money, get the stuff. Deal with it when shit inevitably explodes,” I said.
The team leader gave me a look that said he was very used to dealing with superheroes and that he did not particularly enjoy his job.
Chapter 13

“I got out of Detmer so we could be enemies, Gail. I did that for us.” Raze’s lip quivered. She flipped her visor up to give me a pitiful look.
People made of sterner stuff than me would have crumpled under the pressure of those puppy dog eyes, even though the woman in the alley had personally put me in the hospital seventeen times. I reached out and gripped her shoulder, giving it a reassuring squeeze. “I know, and I’m sorry. Do you want to come over? I’m picking up Chinese.”
She brightened temporarily. “Can I poison it? I’ve got this new formula I’m working on, almost worked out the bugs with the projectile v—”
“Absolutely not,” I said.
- Chapter 1

“I find these files out in the open and you confirm that Mobius has been here, and then almost the same day, this guy decides to ransom Mobius? Did I somehow cause this?”
“Wouldn’t be the first time,” I said.
“You love me, and you know it,” Naomi said.
- Chapter 9

“Some days I’m tempted to become a supervillain just to go back [to Detmer].”
“You’d be terrible at it. For somebody so small, you’re just brimming with really stupid feelings.”
- Chapter 7

I flicked through the magazine I’d brought until I found an article that would make Jeremy grind his teeth were he awake. “Time to wake up, buddy,” I said. “Or you’re going to hear all about what this article on perfecting smoky eye has to say. And trust me, it’s a doozy. I think they paid the writer by the word.”
- Chapter 19

See you tomorrow for the first profile. I bet you’ll never guess who it is!

Stay sexy!

48 Days to Go!

As a follower to the blog, as part of my #50DaysofFail, you get a tiny bit more than my Twitter followers do on BookQW!

Angélica would alert me if anything came up. Since she’d been my trainer and we’d faced death together multiple times, I trusted her.

That didn’t mean she liked to take it easy on me. “I thought you said that would be a one-punch bad guy,” she said as I merged into traffic.

“I mean, he technically was,” I said. “It only took one hit once I got around to it. He wasn’t much of a villain.”

“He knocked you off a building.”

“Everybody gets in a lucky strike once in a while,” I said.

In response, she played my own VOICE back at me, which made me groan. I really had said “ack” when he’d hit me.

Best to let that one go, I decided.
48 days to #Herofail!!!! #50DaysOfFail

Stay sexy!


Hey, all!

So in 49 days, #HEROFAIL will hit e-shelves and the thing I am terrible about as an author is promotion. So I’ve decided to break it up from the two gigantic things I promise myself to do and instead I’m doing 50 days of small stuff.

Otherwise known as FIFTY DAYS OF FAIL GAIL.

That’s right! For the next 50 days, there’ll be a little bit about Gail, her friends, the new book, the old books. Book Quote Wednesdays, character profiles, excerpts, online giveaways, and the first three chapters! You’ll be able to follow it here on my blog, on my Lexie FB page, on my Twitter timeline, or by tracking the #50DaysofFail hashtag on Twitter.

Today, however, I can only share my joy in the Captain Marvel trailer finally being released. I have been waiting for this moment since October 28, 2014, and I can’t think of a better way to kick off the final leg of our journey together. So let us watch, and let us revel, in the Captain Marvel trailer:

Until I see you again (tomorrow):
Stay sexy!

The Final Stretch

So when I was thirteen and fourteen, I was on a canoe racing team. Hashtag relatable, I know. It was through Girl Scouts and we met at a campsite every Sunday and raced laps around a lake in preparation of the General Clinton Canoe Regatta. You were either bow or stern and each spot had its jobs. Stern was in charge of steering, bow kept a look out for dangers up ahead, etc.

The two best events of the year were thus:

The camping weekend where we were dropped off on Friday and picked up Sunday night and in between, we had to pass a swimming test, learn how to portage, successfully empty and right a canoe that had been overturned in the water, and do things like paint the canoe trailer. Everybody stayed in a giant cabin on the campgrounds and we all listened to our coach, Cecil, tell us the tale of the Jersey Devil (to this day, my favorite cryptid). Important detail: the campground was in the middle of the Pine Barrens.

The big race up in upstate New York where we stayed on campgrounds and put on lavish demonstrations of animosity towards our biggest rivals. This included a very long lecture from Cecil about the drunks we would encounter on the river. Upon arriving in New York, a member of each crew was selected to go down the river, in order to be familiar with its hazards.

The hazards are the important thing to bring up. My race involved three segments. We were the last leg of the relay, which meant we crossed the finish line for our team after five miles of having nobody but each other (and we did not get along). Right before the finish line, there was a giant, open space where the crowd could see us coming.

That space also contained a wind tunnel. So after five miles of arguing, our muscles tired, throat aching from counting, neck and neck with the other racers, we had to fight through the wind to reach the end. It. Was. Brutal.

Right now, I feel like I’m back in that wind tunnel.

#HEROFAIL will be on e-shelves on November 6th, 2018. It’s a book that’s more than a year behind deadline due to illness, anxiety, bad luck, writer’s block, and editor woes (though I’ve worked with some very lovely people and consider it an honor). It’s a story that constantly causes me to teeter back and forth between love and absolute loathing. Some days I call it a masterpiece (vanity, thy name is author) and other days it makes me doubt my very existence.

Currently, I’m on my final edits. Apart from some copy-editing, I won’t touch the book again and then you’ll see the finished product in November. Chapters 1-3 will be on the website starting on my birthday (because I can do that) and then throughout October. I’m not having issues letting go of it for once. I’m actually super happy to hand it over and dust off my hands and return to another project1.

SUPERHEROES ANONYMOUS began on November 1st, 2008. It was a way to distract myself from a job I hated and to make myself feel powerful. As a series, it will end 10 years and 1 week later. Here is a spoiler: it does not end on a cliffhanger. My goal was to give this book—and its series—a proper ending. I can see that finish line in sight. I am excited to reach it, and when I get there, I hope whatever melancholy I feel about walking away from Gail Godwin and her glorious adventures will be vast outstripped by a sense of pride and happiness in what I’ve accomplished.

I just have to get through the rest of this wind tunnel first. And hopefully, I’ll see you on the other side.

Stay sexy,

PS - This week's #bookqw cracks me up so I'm sharing it here.

1 - On September 1st, I am embarking on a project called Shitty Book September (+October) where I am giving myself permission to write the worst book possible. I'm really tired of high standards, guys. It's 1230 words a day and they don't have to be good words. Feel free to come along.

This post is literally just about my pets


So it's been like eight months since I updated here, as my sister Grace just pointed out to me. She's actually hanging out in my office with me—not something she usually does—because in the last few months some changes have happened in the Dunne household.

And both of those changes have four legs. One lives in my office under a heatlamp and the other likes to sleep in my office under my feet.

First up, meet Darcy Lewis Dunne, a five-year-old pit bull who once went by the name Goose.

She's a rescue that we brought home in April in hopes of providing some companionship for Nikki. Unlike Cindy, Nikki does not seem to fear her. It's more of....a tolerate. Darcy is happiest when sleeping on or near a human and her love of naps really allows her to fit in around here.

She thinks she's a lap dog
Our newest addition is much more recent. Our cousins are moving to Germany for a couple years and didn't want to take their eight-year-old bearded dragon with them. So now we have...Axel. Who I call Lizard.

How YOU doin'?
Axel has been the source of so much Googling over the past three weeks. Thankfully herp enthusiasts—that's what they call themselves—are plentiful and very helpful to each other online, making it very easy for a first-time owner to panic a little less. Care of Axel has fallen squarely into the hands of my siblings as no way in hell am I touching a superworm. We learned this the hard way when my sister accidentally flung one at me and I screamed.

Sleepy Axel

We've been feeding him worms and carrots and grapes, so he gets a much healthier diet than I do. Plus a lot more sunlight. He makes for a good office buddy; while I write, he skitters about or stares at me in judgment. Which are the two things I think all readers of the Superheroes Anonymous series do, really, so it's nice that he's preparing me.

And of course, there's always this one. Who wants you to know she loves you.

Just kidding. Nikki hates everything.

An Unranked list of 17 Good Things that Happened in 2017 Because It Seems Necessary

Nikki from 2011 Enjoying Some Snow and Sticking Her Tongue Out At You, You're Welcome

Hey, all!

I'm not doing an Accomplishments post this year because, frankly, I didn't accomplish all that much. I had the publishing date for my book pushed back twice, once due to illness and the other due to my own issues. My word count for the year, which typically averages out to 1k per day, is down to less than 100 words per day. And things are a little scary for people in my position right now, so I decided to focus on the positives. So without further ado, 17 That Didn't Suck about 2017!

1. Joined a D&D game DM’d by the marvelous ShinyKari, where I got to play a gnomish artificer with a “thunder cannon” named Matilda (she has a spare named Miss Honey). This also led to getting to play a mechanical tiger named Cooper Steadman, and is a highlight for the year 2017.

2. Bought a house. That was pretty cool.

3. Set up an office with a bitchin’ accent wall.

4. Got rid of a gallbladder that caused a lot of pain since 2015.

5. Spent a really marvelous day in Chicago with Christina Henry, where I learned both about Chicago architecture and how to play games like Fluxx. Am considering retiring from Fluxx having never lost.

6. Visited the Santa Monica Pier and the Time Travel store with my uncle and grandmother. Am now the proud owner of a pen that transform a caveman into a robot and really, you can’t beat that.

7. Ate In’N’Out.

8. Bought an Instant Pot, which is a magical device. The best thing about it is now I can decide if I want to make soup on the same night rather than having to wait at least four hours for stock to be done (I can’t have store-bought).

9. My very good friend drove all the way from New Jersey to watch the eclipse with me in front of a McDonald’s in St. Clair, MO—which is a very “we live in the consumerist future oh god oh god” sentence, if you think about it.

10. Watched The Good Place.

11. Watched The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

12. Got to see the cast of Dark Matter in person and ask them questions that I hope weren’t inane. (we’re not going to talk about Dark Matter’s cancellation)

13. All those times Nikki flopped down next to me and used my ankle as a pillow, really.

14. Watched Wonder Woman.

15. Watched The Last Jedi.

16. Watched Thor: Ragnarok.

17.  Got to see the cast of Wynonna Earp in person and was honestly too starstruck to ask them questions, so I don’t have to worry about whether they were inane or not. #SilverLining

Loads of other amazing stuff happened this year that I'll remember just as soon as I hit publish, for sure. But in the meantime, people should leave me comments about the awesome things they did. Let's end this year right, even if everything's on fire.

Stay sexy!

Returning from the Half-Dead

Hey, all!

How’s everybody doing? Well? Good-ish? I know it’s Monday, which is universally the most hated day of the week, but I thought I’d check in. I just woke up because I’m on Day 5 of recovery from surgery, but I’m feeling up to sitting at my desk and working, so I thought I’d stop in and check on the blog, which has been super neglected of late.

The reason for that being that ever since I bought a house, I’ve been pretty sick. I started getting horrible stomach- and backaches in the end of February that I attributed to a bad diet while I didn’t have a kitchen. Between my day job, handling all the paperwork dealing with a new house, getting a second dog (she’s so cute, you guys) and writing, it’s been…stressful. Even better than that: it took me two full months to realize that my chronic fatigue wasn’t just me being lazy. I was actually, physically, completely exhausted (and not a failure).

Just like it took two months to get a diagnosis on what was hurting me. Luckily, once we had a diagnosis, things moved quickly: a week later, I went under the knife. It was an outpatient surgery that involved sedatives and anesthesia, and I have huge gaps in my memory. I don’t even remember being wheeled out of my waiting room or saying bye to my parents before the surgery, or what I talked about to the nurses on the way to the operating room.1 The first two days weren’t exactly fun, but I prefer the incision pain to the gallstone pain by about a thousand percent. Now it’s Day 5, I’m off the ice pack and even better I’m drinking my first Dr Pepper since March 5.

It’s such a sweet, sweet nectar of life, you guys. I have missed this.

Now that I have more energy, I can make other announcements! I posted about my friend Dan Koboldt’s second book coming out, and you definitely should check out that post and go give Dan some love on Twitter. The second book is such a special experience.

But the first book is truly magical, which is why I’m so goshdang proud to mention that my friend Susan Mann’s first book The Librarian and the Spy will be out tomorrow. She sent me a copy and I can promise this is a great book with funny, heartwarming characters and a great and hilarious plot. It got me through the first couple of days after surgery. Susan’s a good friend of mine: we’ve been writing buddies from our (mumble mumble) days. Watching her take the leap to write her first novel, getting an agent, and getting published has been one of the most legitimately cool things I will ever get to witness. Like Dan, you should throw her some love on Twitter. She’s got a cute puppy named Lucy, and she’s one of the wittiest people I know, you won’t regret it.2

Oh, right, speaking of new books—did you know that I’m writing a fourth SUPERHEROES ANONYMOUS book and that it’ll be available either late this year or early next year? That’s right! More Gail! AND you can already pre-order it. I’m so excited to return to Gail and Guy’s lives and ruin the completely. Everybody’s coming back in this book! More Angélica, more Kiki, more Jeremy, more villains, more evil masterminds, more…superhero history? Whaaaat? Gail’s terrible at school, but we’ll see how she does as the newest student of the first superhero (spoiler: probably not well). So make sure to preorder your copy of GAIL 4: THE GAILENING3 on your favorite e-store!

Speaking of which, I’d better get to work, eh? How’s tricks, everybody? Catch me up in the comments! I’ve got another week off work and would love to talk!

Stay sexy!

1Given that the first thing the nurse asked me when I was shaking off the effects of anesthesia was to spell my penname and tell her about my books, I DO have an idea about what I might have talked about.
2 Susan’s the witty one. Lucy might be witty, too, actually, come to think of it.
3 Title pending. It’s hard to follow up a title like HOW TO SAVE THE WORLD because that one’s…a little grandiose.

Guest Post: Dan Koboldt!

It's here! It's here! It's finally here! After leaving us all hanging at the end of THE ROGUE RETRIEVAL, Dan Kobolt's second novel in the Gateways to Alissia series, THE ISLAND DECEPTION is now available for your SFF reading pleasure. Here's all the info and buy links on Dan's newest book baby!

Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release Date: April 11, 2017

What happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas. But what happens after you step through a portal to another world, well...

For stage magician Quinn Bradley, he thought his time in Alissia was over. He'd done his job for the mysterious company CASE Global Enterprises, and now his name is finally on the marquee of one of the biggest Vegas casinos. And yet, for all the accolades, he definitely feels something is missing. He can create the most amazing illusions on Earth, but he's also tasted true power. Real magic.

He misses it.

Luckily--or not--CASE Global is not done with him, and they want him to go back. The first time, he was tasked with finding a missing researcher. Now, though, he has another task: Help take Richard Holt down.

It's impossible to be in Vegas and not be a gambler. And while Quinn might not like his odds--a wyvern nearly ate him the last time he was in Alissia—if he plays his cards right, he might be able to aid his friends.

He also might learn how to use real magic himself.

Continuing the exciting adventures from The Rogue Retrieval, The Island Deception blends fun and mystery into a brilliant new fantasy from Dan Koboldt.

Learn More About The Island Deception

Buy It Now:

HarperCollins | Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | B&N |
All e-book formats also available here

About Dan Koboldt

Website | Twitter | Mailing List | Facebook | Amazon | Goodreads

Dan Koboldt is a genetics researcher and fantasy/science fiction author from the Midwest. He works for the Institute for Genomic Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, where he and his colleagues use next-generation DNA sequencing technologies to uncover the genetic basis of pediatric diseases. He has co-authored more than 70 publications in Nature, Science, The New England Journal of Medicine, and other scientific journals.

Dan is also an avid hunter and outdoorsman. Every fall, he disappears into the woods to pursue whitetail deer and turkey with bow and arrow. He lives with his wife and three children in Ohio, where the deer take their revenge by eating all of the plants in his backyard.

Finally, An Update!


Good morning. Happy Tuesday, even! How’s everybody doing? You’re not hallucinating. There is indeed a blog post up on the LexieCon. I know! I’m shocked, too. But it turns out those “diet and exercise” recommendations actually do some good. Who knew? (Besides everybody who recommended them to me) I’m feeling much better these days, so I figured I’d sit down and write a blog post.

I’ve moved into my new house, which is 40% of the reason for my silence! It’s frankly terrifying because there’s so much about houses that I never knew. My home comes complete with a messy set of pipes that needed cabling on the first weekend I moved in, a furnace with the world’s shyest pilot light, and frankly more rooms than I know what to do with at the moment. I’m sloooooowly starting to put things in places and being able to actually locate things again. Boxes are being unpacked one by one.

It’s been an interesting journey because a combination of stress and bad eating habits nearly put me in the hospital. As it is, I’ve had to make some major adjustments. Also, while I was dealing with that: the night before the movers showed up, Nikki hurt her leg and subsequently refused to eat anything. We think the latter may have been due to stress, but the last time one of our dogs stopped eating she didn’t come home from the vet, so I was a little paranoid when I rushed Nikki to the vet hospital in the middle of the move. Luckily, she’s fine and after a couple weeks, everything seems to be mended. So. Plumbing issues, heating issues, health issues, dog issues, all on top of a new house.*

Did I mention I have a book due in May?

So, really, this is a great time to announce I’ll be at C2E2 for the third year in a row! Come see me at my panel on Saturday afternoon on April 22nd! Richard Kadrey, Alex Gordon, Rachel Dunne, and I will be led by Daniel José Older in a discussion about writing realistic superpowers. I have absolutely no experience with this topic and hope I don’t drag everybody else down. We’ll be doing a signing afterward and you’ll be able to get signed copies of HOW TO SAVE THE WORLD, a title I regret more and more every day because that’s seriously a guide we need right now and my book is definitively not a guide.

Other things happening:

The first Wednesday of every month, a bunch of really great Harper Voyager authors get together on Twitter and have the #SFFChat. It’s a good time, and if you’re on Twitter, you should check it out. I’ll let you know when the next session is as soon as I know.

First and third Wednesday of every month, my friend Khrys hosts a #StrongWomenWrite Twitter chat. Right now she’s trying to put together a great expo for women writers on how to write fight scenes, so you should meander over and check out that tag.

I’m trying to be a little more active with my Tumblr. We’ll see how it goes, but it’s basically just a random posting of things that I like and things that make me laugh, so if you’re having a bad day, have a peek.

Speaking of Tumblr, I’ve been curating a cross-referenced research Tumblr for a couple years now, just putting things that I find helpful on it. I’ve updated the theme and the tag system (though it’s a work in progress), so you should check it out: the-lexiecon.

Chuck Wendig strikes again with awesome writerly advice.

Boaty McBoatface hits the high seas.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a new Amazon pilot and you should really, really, really watch it because it’s Amy Sherman-Palladino’s writing and I can’t help it, I am a sucker for the banter.

And that’s all, folks. See you in *looks at blog* three months, probably.

Stay sexy!

* Cindy the dog will not be moving in with us; unfortunately she’s developed cancer, so my parents are going to keep her with them for as long as she can remain comfortable.