The afterlife is full of acanthus leaves

The wonderful folks at Random House have put up a Seraphina website. Go look, go look! It’s beautiful, even with my face on it!


*dies happy*

*comes back, since post isn’t done*

I would also like to welcome the many new friends who have found this blog by connecting from that page. I feel like the world has suddenly grown much larger. Luckily, I have enough cookies and tea for everyone! I have infinite cookies and an ocean of tea! I’m running out of exclamation marks, however, so I’d better pace myself.

I am also reliably informed that there will be more exciting things to announce on Monday. I recommend against holding your breath until then, except perhaps in a figurative sense.

No, I haven’t forgotten you

Hello, darlings! I am busily writing guest posts for other blogs, which alas leaves me relatively little time and energy for my own. I will let you know when those come out, of course, and provide the requisite linkage.

Here to tide you over is a lovely review from Janicu. There will also be a bit of fun coming up later this week (note to self, confirm this with the Olympian gods, or whomever is actually in charge), which I will also stick in front of your nose.

Less than a month to go! But I have a feeling it will be a busy month.

One month + three days

Is it this way with every book, or just with the first? I feel the release date looming there ahead of me. It’s a bit hard to envision what must be on the other side of it; it’s like a wall, obscuring my vision all the way to the horizon. I’m not yet sure if I’m expected to punch a hole through it with my head or climb over it. Can I find or build a gate? I am a bit intimidated by the whole thing, I confess.

Still, I hold out hope that a portal will appear and I will walk right through – maybe even ride majestic, if I can swing it. There have been encouraging signs along the road contributing to this belief. One I stumbled upon a couple days ago, a very nice review at Parenthetical. The author of that blog has read Amy Unbounded, and it is always particularly lovely to read the reactions of people who are visiting Goredd for the second time, loving that world every bit as much as I do. Seraphina gives us Goredd from a different angle, perhaps, but the place is still deeply, fundamentally itself.

Then my friend Catie, at The Readventurer, brought another review to my attention just yesterday. This one’s at Chronicles of a Book Evangelist, and I was so moved by it that I’m going to quote it:

So often people who are scientific or logical are thought of or portrayed as being cold and passionless.  In contrast, artists and musicians are thought to be moody and mercurial.  But that isn’t really the case at all.  Anyone who has ever watched Feynman talk about, well, anything, can see his passion for science; and the methodical precision required to master the most passionate of musical masterpieces requires determined discipline.  And Math.  Math is at the core ofeverything.  … They are all interconnected.  The very idea of separate areas of study is just our human brain trying to analyze and compartmentalize  reality.  The real world, and the way our human mind approaches it, is much more complex than than that; and I think Hartman would agree.  The book itself is a testament to this idea – it is lyrical even at its most analytical.

Aw! AWWWW! (look how articulate I am, me the writer with all the words and stuff) I thought that was a pretty lyrical and incisive observation there, myself.

The day is coming. The path is clear. My heart is lifted, and I walk.

What I needed to hear:

The sublime Çetin Akdeniz on baglama, that’s what.

Ah, this song reminds me of driving through Turkey! We went into a music shop, pointed at a baglama hanging from the ceiling and said, “That! We want to hear that!” They let us have a listen to a few discs, but Çetin won, no contest. His ornamentation was lightning fast and he didn’t have a lot of pop or new-agey back-up going on.

The people in the music store all looked at us like we were crazy, and we probably were, a little. Vancouverites out in the hot sun get funny ideas: we like our baglama old-skool.

A few nice things

For a Tuesday, anyway.

My mother-in-law sent me this article (via her sister and niece) about new fantasy novels out this summer. Mine is mentioned in the recommendations down toward the bottom. Thank you for the vote of confidence, booksellers of Austin, TX!

The book has also been receiving a few starred reviews from the trade publications, which is very pleasing. I will put up some quotes soon on the front page, but so far Seraphina has garnered starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, The Horn Book, and – I just learned yesterday – Publisher’s Weekly. Thank you all so much. I am moved and humbled.

Being the mother of an eight-year-old, all these stars of course remind me of Mario Party 8. I’m imagining Donkey Kong himself flying in on a barrel to deliver them, and Bowser plotting ways to steal them back. But don’t worry! I shall distract him with Chump Charity, or Summon the Bizarre to keep him at bay!

My husband, upon hearing about the starred review in Publisher’s Weekly said, “Is that the one where Ed McMahon delivers the oversized novelty cheque?”

Given that Ed McMahon is dead, I really, really hope not. Zombie Ed McMahon is far scarier than Bowser.