More covers

Foreign editions trickle back to me in their own time, with little rhyme or reason as far as I can tell. Yesterday I received one that looked like this:

Isn't that pretty? I think this is one of my favourites.

Isn’t that pretty? I think this is one of my favourites.

I assumed, based on the alphabet, that this must be the Russian edition, but my husband (who is some kind of language-bot, or possibly a dragon) said, “Not so fast! It might be Bulgarian!”

It turns out he was right, this is the Bulgarian edition, but that begged the question: what does the Russian edition look like? I know there was one, but I don’t have a copy yet. A little digging (my dragon husband is also a Wizard of Googling) produced this result:

Rahrr! I'm a dragon!

Rahrr! I’m a dragon!

Nice, eh? It’s so much fun to see the kinds of cover art the book inspires. I should probably gather all these together on one page someday.

Morris season is here again!

That’s right, folks. YALSA has just announced the 2015 Morris Award nominees, and they look like a lovely bunch of writers (and books). As is our ancient and venerable tradition, we previous Morris winners will be interviewing this new crop of fresh-faced youngsters in the weeks leading up to ALA Midwinter. Watch this space, darlings! I will be announcing the schedule as soon as I know it.

Congratulations to all the finalists!

Welcome December

Made it through November unscathed!

Well, no, not entirely. But it was a better November than some I’ve had, despite the fact that our apartment suffered a major flood from above. Flooding sucks, although I’m sure it’s better than fire. It may even be better than famine, but it’s still a giant pain in the rear. I’m tempted to say, “It’s just stuff,” which is an attitude I try to have about my belongings in general, but in this case it’s not just stuff — or not primarily stuff. It’s time and space, and stress and uncertainty, all of which turn out to be ten times the headache “stuff” ever was.

I hate not knowing how long we’re going to be living like this. I hate not being able to plan.

I don’t quite understand it, but somehow I was still able to work. In spite of all this stress and nonsense, I got 30K words written. It’s not quite NaNoWriMo speed, but I think it’s as close as I’ve ever gotten (especially in darkest November). In a way, writing was the one thing that didn’t seem to be floating away, a little island among whirlpools and eddies.

I’m hoping it continues, that this stream of words will keep sweeping me along. I know, I know, I’ve just transformed writing from a welcome island into the stream itself. For my next trick, I’ll turn it into a marmot.

But my point is: it’s December. We made it, darlings. November, mon ennemi, adieu.

The Seraphina paperback, coming soon

So I finally got a few copies of the soon-to-be-released Seraphina paperback, which is very exciting. Here it is sitting demurely on my windowsill:

With the sun right on it, it was too shiny from some angles. SHINY...

With the sun right on it, it was too shiny from some angles. SHINY…

Notice that little yellow stripe along the right-hand edge of the cover? That’s what’s called a “step-back” (oh these fancy publishing terms!). You’ve seen such things before, even if you didn’t know it had a name. It means, essentially, that the book has a double cover, which is super fancy from a production standpoint. Here’s what you get when you flip the first cover back:

Why yes, that is my real hand. You think I should be a hand model? Well, only if this writing gig doesn't work out.

Why yes, that is my real hand. You think I should be a hand model? Well, only if this writing gig doesn’t work out.

YIPPEE IT’S A MAP. I know, right? Maptastic.

Other exciting features of the paperback include:

  • A Sneak Peak at Shadow Scale (NOT the same material from the preview I linked to before)
  • Discussion Questions (for you scholarly types)
  • A Q&A with Rachel Hartman
  • Rachel Hartman’s Favorite Authors (SOME of them)
  • A Playlist for Seraphina
  • “The Audition,” a Prequel Short Story (I believe this was also in later editions of the hardcover)

So there you go. It will be in fine bookstores across the US and Canada on December 23rd, and is available for pre-order now.

*whew* Shillin’ so hard here, friends. Unaccustomed to this sort of exertion. I probably need a nap now.

A-touring we shall go

So just a little heads-up hint of goodness to come:

It looks like the lovely folks at Random House will be sending me out on tour again, not just once but twice! I was certainly hoping there would be a Shadow Scale tour, come springtime – and there will be – but it looks like I may also have an opportunity to tour in early February to promote the North American paperback release of Seraphina. I will be posting dates and cities once I know them for sure. There are some exciting place-names floating around, but I don’t want to break anyone’s heart by telling you before it’s carved in stone.

Seraphina comes out in paperback on December 23rd. You can pre-order it already, of course. You may be thinking that we’re cutting it a bit close for Christmas, but I believe the hope is that when people go shopping after Christmas — returning things they don’t want, or spending gift cards — that there she’ll be, all shiny and new. The paperback has some new material: an author Q&A, authors who influenced me, a list of music I listened to while writing, a study guide. I understand there are some copies coming my way, so I’ll tell you more when I’ve got the book in hand.

I suppose that’s all the news for now, unless you want to hear about how my apartment flooded. I’m not sure I’m ready to tell that story yet, but I will just say: if you hear the sound of rain coming from inside your closet, it’s best to find the source of the noise right away. It’s really not supposed to be raining in there.

So I’m working on a thing

A thing! I just reached 30K words, which suggests it may be bookish, this thing.

The work is going swimmingly so far, which is why I haven’t been talking about it much. I am still utterly convinced of my November jinx, despite 13 days of evidence to the contrary. (THIRTEEN DAYS! Now I’ve done it!)

However, I asked my lovely in-house editor whether I may announce this in some way, and she said yes, so here goes: I get to write two more books set in Seraphina’s world! The working title for the first one is TESS IN BOOTS. Obviously that might change. I anticipate another duology, but that could also change, if it turns out Tess can be all contained in one book. I sort of doubt it, the way things are going right now, but then again, this stage of crafting is less like writing and more like coughing up hairballs.

How’s that for a glamorous image? Ah, the writing life! I hurk all day and gag all night.

Seriously, though, I’m having fun, which may be the very most shocking thing of all. I was burned out for so long I’d forgotten what that’s like, and I was also a little bit worried that once there was an actual deal, actual numbers and expectations, that the weight of that would descend on me again. So far, however, it has not.

Weirder still: I don’t think it’s going to. This book is different. I feel like this book is already written, like some part of me has been working on it for years and all I’m doing now is discovering the pieces. It will still take some effort and ingenuity to fit them together; I’m certain there are unforeseen frustrations yet to come, brand new headaches I’ve never had before.

Doesn’t matter. Bring it, I say. Remind me I said that when I’m grousing later on, would you?


Seraphina in Spanish

Coming soon!

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I am particularly intrigued by the tagline, which translates as: Everyone lies. You, too.

In North America, by contrast, Random House used: Can one girl unite two worlds?

The Italian edition says: The girl with the heart of a dragon.

Now I kind of want to go through and make a study of these! It’s always interesting to me how many different angles one can take on a single work.

Anyway, I’m eager for this one. I corresponded quite a bit with the translator, who impressed me as a smart and conscientious person. I may even try to read it; I studied Spanish from junior high all the way through university, and I was (at the height of my powers) reading Cervantes and García Márquez. I’m twenty years out of practice, but I’m pretty sure the words all still live in my head somewhere.


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