Hello computer-friends. You’re probably wondering where I’ve been. In a hole, is where, working hard on the Tess of the Road sequel. It’s still called Tess of the Sea, and am very close to finished. Just a few more twiddly fixes, and then it’s off to copyediting. As soon as there’s a date, I’ll let you know.
My other exciting news, however, is that my first novel, Seraphina, has been translated into Irish by my extremely smart and talented husband, Scott Oser. It will be out soon from Coiscéim (another date I will let you know as soon as I have it). Below is the cover, featuring some repurposed artwork of mine. Those of you who have been with me a long time will recognize it as a panel from Belondweg Blossoming, plus dragon.
Below, you can read a PDF preview of the prologue (in Irish!). If you can’t read Irish yet, no worries! I’ll leave it up long enough for you to learn.
Thursday, August 24th, I will finally have the privilege of sharing the TESS OF THE ROAD cover with you, along with new covers for the re-release of SERAPHINA and SHADOW SCALE.
I’m so excited, y’all, and I’m glad it’s coming soon because it’s hard to keep my mouth shut. I’m really happy with these, especially TESS, and I hope you’ll enjoy them, too.
In other news: a few nice reviews are already trickling in at Goodreads. I read ALL the reviews for my first book, and none of them for my second, and now — older and wiser — I’m wondering whether I can read some of the reviews, some of the time, for my third. Nothing in excess, as the Delphic temple of Apollo used to say.
I accidentally typed “odder and wiser” at first, which was inadvertently accurate.
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:
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:
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.
Seraphina has done well in Germany, so it’s no surprise that my German publishers are quick off the mark with their Shadow Scale cover.
Titles often get changed in other languages, of course, and I’m sure Shadow Scale will see this a lot. Those two words won’t always make sense, shoved together like that. The German title translates as “Seraphina: the Shadow Dragons Rise.”
Ooh! That kind of gives me shivers, right there.
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:
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:
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.
It’s on Amazon already, so I’m overdue posting it here:
Yes, the wood-block print is by the same artist who did Seraphina‘s cover, Andrew Davidson.
The Amazon listing describes it as “a companion to Seraphina,” which is already causing a little confusion over on Twitter. Let there be no doubt: Shadow Scale is a sequel, plan and simple, told from Seraphina’s point of view. It begins about three months after the events of the first book. It is also the conclusion of Seraphina’s narrative, so it’s not the middle volume of a trilogy. I refuse to call it a “duology,” however, because I strongly dislike “duology” as a word. I have strong opinions about words, it seems. This should surprise no one.
The date is listed as March 10th, 2015. As with all things publishing, there is a non-zero chance that this might change.
This is so wonderful to me. This book and I have been through so much together, and I can’t even tell you how it feels to know it’s really done, it’s really happening, it’s nearly here. I know March seems far away, but it’s eight months. Babies gestate longer than that. You’ll blink, and it will be here. I’m sure of it.
I know, I know, I wasn’t going to post this week. I was going to ensconce myself in my Chamber of Clandestine Composition and work until my fingers bled (and believe me, that’s what I’ve been doing). However, I have news so exciting it couldn’t wait. I had to bust out and tell you (also: get myself a cup of tea. Composing clandestinely is thirsty work!).
It’s the new cover, darlings. Here it is!
So it turns out, ha ha, the new edition is coming out earlier than anticipated (in the US, anyway) because shops are running out of the older edition. These have already shipped, and shops will be putting them out soon. If you dearly love the original cover (and I do, so I understand that), your time to find those may be limited. I merely mention the fact.
I don’t know what the schedule is for the changeover in Canada. I do know that Canada is planning to re-jacket on the original book; the bonus material will be available online from Random House Canada (link provided on the jacket flap). Once those all sell, the next printing will have the bonus material inside. When I learn any more details, I’ll let you know.
So there you have it, bright and festive, new but not unrecognizably so. I like it a lot, particularly the new font, and that S that looks like a little dragon in its own right.
All right! Back to work with me!
Hello, friends! I am still visiting family, but I just had to pop in for a moment and tell you that my husband discovered that someone has started a Seraphina wiki site. It contains many, many spoilers, so don’t peek unless you’ve already read the book. They’ve got an impressive number of pages already – a real labour of love! – but Goredd is massive and this is the tip of the iceberg. I believe anyone who’s interested can join and contribute, and I bet the creators would welcome the help.
And thank you so much, site creators! I am so very pleased and flattered!
From Amazon.co.uk — it’s kind of awesome!
Just so we’re all completely clear: the US/Canadian cover will be nothing like this. I am not at liberty yet to say what it will be like, unfortunately. Still, this is very exciting for me.
Thanks to my husband for noticing it was up!
(It’s been a while since I wrote an Origins post! If you’re interested in the previous instalments, here’s the first one, or you can check out the “Roots” category under the “Preoccupations” heading on the sidebar.)
I sometimes hesitate to bring up my influences because it can create inaccurate expectations. If I list Tolkien as an influence, you might assume I’ve written a sword and sorcery quest book. If I mention Neil Gaiman, suddenly my book (in your imagination) turns into a Goth girl with black nails and an ankh necklace. Which would be awesome, but nothing like my book.
I guess my caveat here is that influence isn’t the same as resemblance. If you want to know who I write like, I would protest loudly that I’m probably the least qualified person to answer that question. If you won’t accept that answer, I might say, “John Green?” in a squeaky little voice. Which is nuts, right? Except that it’s not: we’re both preoccupied with epistemology and our books are full of nerds. I’d call that a resemblance. (I fully expect this to come back and bite me someday, when somebody sends me an irate letter saying, “Hey! Your book is fantasy! I was expecting John Green!” Allow me to say preemptively: Oh, were you? Oops.)
I can’t call Green an influence, though, because I never read any of his books until Seraphina was pretty much done, and my husband has not yet invented that time machine I keep asking for. (Confidential to my husband: DUDE. TIME MACHINE. I need it like, yesterday.)
I consider influences to be writers (or others) who have taught me something new and expanded my understanding of what is possible in art, people I technically owe a thank-you note or maybe even a fruit basket. Seraphina and I owe this debt of gratitude to Terry Pratchett, Lois McMaster Bujold, and George Eliot (TIME MACHINE, NEUTRINO MAN).