Browsing the Radiation Canary category...

One of the downsides to writing a book about musicians, and one reason I wasn’t sure I wanted to, was the fact you would never actually hear what the band sounds like. I could describe it, you could imagine it, but I personally really wanted to HEAR the songs I was writing about. There were readers who said the only thing they didn’t like about the book was that they’d never get to hear Radiation Canary, and I thought that was a shame as well.

When Britt Kusserow bought a copy of the book, I joked privately to our mutual friend Kate that maybe she’d decide to record one of the songs for real. It wasn’t any time at all before Britt came back and asked if I would mind if she “messed around” with a song from the book. Mind?! Mess around?! PLEASE DO. So I gave her permission to do whatever the heck she wanted.

The result was this beautiful and amazing version of Radiation Canary’s biggest hit, “Say a Prayer (If You’ve Got One).” This is a song I wrote, but it’s like… a real song! How cool is that? She has her own music to work on (links on the video! Go support her, how ’bout it?) but I wouldn’t protest very hard if she wanted to do a whole album of Canary covers.

Say a Prayer (If You’ve Got One)

This month’s Patreon story went up today! It’s a prequel to Radiation Canary that tells the story of Lana Kent’s mother, explaining who she was and how she reacted to Lana’s sudden arrival in her life. Since I know some people may be wary of Patreon, giving their information to a site like that, or just don’t like the idea of a subscription, I’m making this one available as a one-off $1 purchase! Just go through Paypal and you should get a PDF from Dropbox (if not, let me know and I’ll fiddle with stuff). And if you want to see what Patreon is all about, you can find my page here!

Oh, and for anyone who may be worried about spoilers, you don’t actually have to read very much at all in order to read this. If you know what the Radiation Canary novels are about, you’re already more spoiled than this story will make you.

Summary: 1979. Metairie, Louisiana. Debra Kent and Celeste Lafitte begin a friendship that will take them through their final year of school and into a life neither of them ever anticipated.

By popular demand polite request, I’ve written the official backstory of Dash Warren and Naomi Marrow. I’ve left a few things out because I felt they deserve their own stories that I might go back and cover at some point. I just don’t want to throw all my Dash Warren stories into one pile. I may have let her die, but I won’t let her pass away completely. 😉 And because this ended up being such a large story, I decided to do something different. Sort of an experiment, suggested by one of the people who requested the story (thanks, Britt!). You can download the story in PDF format from Dropbox by following this link. I tried to make an option where you can pay zero and still get the story, but apparently Paypal isn’t going to play ball with that. So I made the cheapest option paying a penny, because that seems like the closest thing to nothing you can get. And I’ve always wondered what it would be like to busk as a writer. 😉 If there are any issues, please let me know!

Lessons in Cartography

Set after Radiation Canary: Greatest Hits: The offices of Cartography Records plays host to a documentary crew interviewing people from Dash Warren’s life. Naomi Marrow is more than happy to help, even if some of the memories are more painful than others.

Pay What You Like!

We’re just a few days away from the release of Radiation Canary: Greatest Hits! Just like how I didn’t want to write the first novel, I didn’t think there was ever going to be a sequel. But the Canaries kept pestering me until I discovered there was indeed another story waiting to be told. So I went got the band back together! Lana, Karen, Codie, and the newly-rebranded Vanessa (formerly Nessa) are back onstage and in the studio working on their comeback album. But will the audience be willing to welcome them back?

In honor of the release, I sat down one night and began doodling. The end result is a picture of Lana and Karen as I’ve always seen them in my head (notice I kept their faces turned away, just in case your idea of their faces differ from mine). But I couldn’t resist sharing this as part of the roll-out.

Lana and Karen

Get your copy here, or wherever hardcovers and ebooks are sold, add it to your Goodreads, tell your friends about it!

And let me know in the comments if you’re interested in buying a signed hardcover directly from the source. I’m not sure when I’ll open that up, but if the demand is there, I’ll make sure it happens as quickly as possible! If you want to buy a signed hardcover of The Rise and Fall of Radiation Canary, that can definitely be arranged as well. If you want one of each, well… kudos to you, Moneybags! But I’d be happy to give you the details for that as well.

See you February 1!

In honor of the hardcover release of The Rise and Fall of Radiation Canary (available now from Amazon, B&N, or wherever you buy books!), a brand-new “bonus track” story featuring Lana Kent. This takes place during their “off” year of 2010 before their live album, when the band was focusing less on recording and more on just enjoying their newfound celebrity. This doesn’t spoil any larger plot points of the book, it’s just a fun little side story about what the girls got up to one Saturday afternoon.

Perfect Pitch

by Geonn Cannon

Copyright © 2014 Geonn Cannon

Click to read more …

I’ve always wanted merchandising! Specifically merchandising that doesn’t cost me anything. ::g:: In this case, you can now buy a bag (or a tin, but unless you REALLY like tea…) of RADIATION CANARY TEA! It has green tea, cherry, blackberry, orange peels, all kinds of good stuff. I wanted to taste it before I advertised it (I mean, it’s only fair I get it first! ;D) and I’m no expert about tea. My cup was more milk than tea. But Mom drinks a lot of tea, and she gave it a thumbs-up. And it’s not that the taste was objectionable to me. The smell is <i>really</i> nice, very interesting. Right now it’s only available in the US, and I’m not sure how/if I can change that. Hopefully there’s a way to make it worldwide. I’ll let you know if the availability changes!

So if you like tea, and you like Radiation Canary, enjoy!


(I’m also considering a possibility of other flavors and combining them into a “SQUIRE’S ISLE TEA” group. A blend of Nadine and Miranda Powell, a Coffee Table Books blend, maybe even a Bitches Investigations flavor (since Dale is a fan of the tea). If anyone’s interested let me know! And if you have flavor suggestions to go with your requests, I’ll totally take them. Like I said, not a big tea drinker. ;D)

The reviews are still coming in for The Rise and Fall of Radiation Canary, and they’ve all been glowing! Best-reviewed book I’ve ever written. Oddly, I don’t feel proud of myself. I feel happy that people seem to love these four girls as much as I do.  There was some anxiety putting it out there, but reviewers have been putting my fears at ease left and right. So thank you!

The most recent review on Amazon UK mentioned wishing the band was real. I am right there with you! I wish I could pop in a CD and listen to “Say a Prayer (If You’ve Got One)” or “Scene of the Crime.” Unfortunately, short of putting together a Monkees-type dream band, it’s not going to happen any time soon (although if anyone out there has a guitar, a cello, a violin, keyboards, and a set of drums and wants to give it a go, by all means…!)

So the next best thing is to listen to music that resembles Radiation Canary. Artists who, if you close your eyes and let your mind wander a bit, recreate a little bit of what you’d hear on a Radiation Canary album. I’ve been doing it myself so it’s only fair that I share some of the playlist I’ve created so you can go out and, through the power of YouTube or iTunes, make your own!

1) Brandi Carlile – The matron saint of Radiation Canary. She was the basis of Lana Kent’s character, the Seattle rocker with a guitar and curly dark hair. Her voice isn’t quite Lana Kent’s, but the power behind it definitely fits. “The Story” is definitely Karen’s anthem (“These stories don’t mean anything if you’ve got no one to tell them to” makes me think about her journal every time I hear it), and I can hear Lana bringing an entire venue to tears with “Just Kids” and “That Year.”

2) Coldplay – They have a nice balance of hard, noisy music with quiet and introspective songs. Radiation Canary would bring down the house with “Fix You,” and “Viva la Vida” seems custom-made for Karen and Lana to duet. Chris Martin’s voice may be too masculine for the girls (well, usually ;D) but if you want an idea of how they sound you could do worse than popping in “Viva la Vida (or Death and All His Friends).”

3) David Bowie – Perhaps an unusual choice, but definitely a right one. A few of his rarer songs – “Conversation Piece” and “Everyone Says Hi”, both from the deluxe version of Heathen – could definitely fit into the Radiation Canary oeuvre. The first features all the right instruments, and it’s perfectly easy to see the ladies playing along as Lana sings.

4) Sara Bareilles – This would be the Nessa-heavy songs, with a strong focus on the piano and Nessa’s vocals. “King of Anything” is a great example of how Radiation Canary puts together a song, along with “Love Song.” I also think Lana could convince her to sing “Sweet As Whole” in concert.

5) Emilie Autumn – I have a very clear mental image of Radiation Canary performing her cover of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” with Karen killing a cello, Lana dancing, and Codie performing vocals. Her songs tend to be a bit more baroque and Gothic than I imagine Radiation Canary to be, but for the occasional song it definitely fits.

6) Andrew Bird – Definitely, without a doubt, Andrew Bird. With his violin and crazy literate lyrics, he fits. “Fake Palindromes” is a definite Radiation Canary song, along with… well, too many to list.

There you have it! Maybe not a definitive list, but more than enough for you to go out and explore and maybe get a feel for what the girls would sound like if they did, in some magical alternate reality, exist. And if anyone does create that dream band, I’ll be first in line to buy tickets. ;D

Now that The Rise and Fall of Radiation Canary is out at long last, a certain question might start popping up and I want to address it right out of the gate. That question is…

Which of your universes does this band belong to?

That’s an excellent question, and I’m not just saying so because I asked it to myself. I’m currently writing three different series that exist in their own universes. Squire’s Isle is the main universe. It’s like ours, maybe a bit more fairy-tale, but generally just left of real life. Sure, there’s the occasional ghost and things go a lot better for the characters than they might if they were real. But for the most part, it’s the real world.

Secondly, I have Underdogs. Again, it’s like the real world but with a “secret history” of canidae (thanks to Jo Graham for that phrase!). See, everything about the world is normal except for the fact that werewolves really do exist. Like Squire’s Isle, it exists in the Pacific Northwest, but geography is all they share. Squire’s Isle has no were-people.

Thirdly is the Riley Parra series, which is off in its own little supernatural corner. It’s not entering into this discussion, so I’ll just set them aside for the time being.

Radiation Canary is a band in the real world. No superpowers, no demons or werewolves, just four girls in a band. Patricia and Jill’s son Michael attended a Radiation Canary concert. So case-closed, Radiation Canary is Squire’s Isle, right? Right! But also wrong.

About 3/4 of the way through the book, there’s a brief cameo by a “large dog” that appears backstage at a Canary concert. People who read the short story “Howl at the Moon” will view the scene from another angle and realize that the large dog is none other than Ariadne Willow in her wolf guise, hot on the trail of a case. So that seals the deal. Radiation Canary is an Underdogs story! Right! But also… wrong.

Radiation Canary belongs in both Squire’s Isle and Underdogs universes. I debated this with myself for a while, and I decided that it makes sense for a group as famous as Radiation Canary gets to exist in both universes. After all, they’re not so different… in one, there are werewolves. In the other, not. The universes are alike enough that the formation of Radiation Canary was unaffected. So Ari can attend a Canary concert, and Michael Colby can take his girlfriend to see that same concert, but Ari and Michael will never cross paths. They exist just to the left of each other.

It’s like the Doctor Who episode where he meets Nixon and watches the moon landing. The President and that historic moment are so huge that they happened in both our real world and a world where a Time Lord flies around time and space in a police box.

So to put it simply, no matter what world they were born into, Karen, Lana, Nessa, and Codie were destined to meet up and play music together. They might even exist in the Riley Parra universe, but I doubt Riley listens to them. ::g::


As of today, I’ve written and released 14 novels. On the Air, Gemini, Tilting at Windmills, Only Flame and Air, World on Fire, The Following Sea, Riley Parra Seasons 1-4, Gunfire Echoes, Wolf at the Door, Railroad Spine, and Underdogs. Way back when I realized I might be making a living at this, I wondered how many novels I would need before I considered it a true oeuvre. For some reason, I chose fourteen. Once I had fourteen novels, I would be able to relax and declare myself an author. So that time has come and now…

On March 15, my fifteenth novel The Rise and Fall of Radiation Canary is going to be released on Kindle and other ebook formats. It sort of feels like the start of a new era. I love all the books I’ve written up to this point (even the ones that aren’t out yet… Underdogs: Beware of Wolf blows the first one out of the water in my humble and biased opinion). But there’s just something about Radiation Canary. The characters, the stories, the world I created… for some reason it feels like THE Novel. The one I’ve been practicing for with my other novels. I’m so proud of it. And I think for a long time, when people ask which of my novels is my favorite, I’m going to have to say Radiation Canary just because it won’t let me go.

In my first fourteen novels, I wrote romances, action, westerns, steampunk, horror, supernatural thrillers, mysteries, ongoing series… Maybe in my next 14 I’ll try comedy and scifi just to tick all the boxes. I know for sure part of my next 14 will involve at least two (or three or four) more Underdogs novels, Riley Parra Season 5, and Radiation Canary Bonus Tracks. And what else? A Railroad Spine sequel? A book about a female safecracker being caught in the Great Seattle Fire? A story about a female soldier (because apparently I have a really big following in the armed forces, and I could not be more thrilled/humbled by that)?

Time will tell. But it’s good to know that the muse seems to be just getting started with me. The fact that my fifteen novel is my favorite – and will hopefully become the favorite of lots of people – is very heartening.

The contest has been running for a week, and already there’s a frontrunner in the contest! Someone went back and left a mind-boggling ELEVEN reviews on her past purchases. Since she asked, and other people might be interested in knowing, every review is a different entry. So right now there’s a very good chance she could get all five covers if I picked randomly!

All you have to do is leave a review on Amazon, Smashwords, Kobobooks,, anywhere, wherever you got your copy of the book you want to review. Even if you didn’t love it, just be honest with how you felt. Of the eleven reviews the frontrunner left, most were four-star (and one was three-star, gasp, how dare she?!? ::g::).

Also, a review was left for Gunfire Echoes on on 3/3, but there’s no identifying information. So while that person is technically in the contest, there’s no way to identify them as a winner! So remember, when you leave your review, be sure to post a comment here, on my Livejournal, or on Twitter so I’ll be able to enter you in the contest.

The winners will be revealed here on my blog on April 1! So get those reviews in, and be sure to check out The Rise and Fall of Radiation Canary when it’s released on March 15!