Tune in tomorrow

… for the TESS OF THE ROAD cover reveal!

I was originally going to show you the new SERAPHINA and SHADOW SCALE covers at the same time, but apparently those require a bit more awesomeness before they’re ready for general consumption. Which is kind of bizarre, to me, because I really liked them already. However, I trust that the publishers know their business on this, and hey, who am I to complain about having two cover reveal dates? It’s like spreading your birthday out over a whole month.

Still excited about tomorrow, though. I woke up in the middle of the night and thought about the TESS cover and literally gave myself chills. They gave me art, friends. ART. I’ve always been so lucky in my covers.

See you then!

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?


A pair of book birthdays

I’m early for one and late for the other, but let’s just pretend it’s Presidents’ Day and celebrate both together! Here’s the cover for the Brazilian edition of Seraphina, which came out in April:

Capa Seraphina

Hurray! I hope Brazilian readers are enjoying the book!

And then, coming out at the end of May, we’ve got the Indonesian Seraphina!

Indonesian cover

My Indonesian translator informs me that this is original art by Martin Dima. I love how it’s reminiscent of the North American cover – sepia tones, Medieval city – while still being entirely its own thing.

Happy (late and early!) birthdays, international editions! It is humbling to realize how many places people are (and will be!) reading my book.

A few items of news

Hello darlings! I know you all miss me terribly when I don’t report in very often, but it’s actually a good sign. It means I’m working very hard on the sequel – and we all want that, right?

While I’m occupied elsewhere, of course, news keeps accumulating. I have a few items of interest for you.

  • Random House is so excited about Seraphina that they’re going to be re-issuing the hardcover on February 26th! This is a huge vote of confidence and I am flattered and honoured that they’re lavishing this kind of attention on me. This edition will feature bonus material compiled especially for the re-release, along with a new cover. Those of you who love the original cover, fear not: that beautiful woodcut still features, but enhanced and re-envisioned in the spirit of celebration. I can’t say more. We shall reveal it closer to the date.
  • The Morris Award winner will be announced at ALA Midwinter in Seattle on January 28th. I’m driving down and will be giving a little speech (won or lose! rain or shine!) along with the other nominees, who will be appearing on video. I think I’m the only one in close driving distance. Any librarian friends or fans in attendance, though, I’d love to meet you and say hi!
  • The Morris Award speeches – text and video – will be available online at the YALSA site. I’ll let you know when those go up.
  • Also, in conjunction with my nomination, I will be doing a couple interviews over the next few weeks. Watch this space for more information on those!

Annnnd… is that all? Probably. I could tell you how much I have left to revise on the sequel, but that might make you sad. Let it simply be said: I’m having FUN again, writing. I fell off that pony cart for a while, I admit, but I’m back, it’s good, and heck it’s nearly spring, right? OK, in Vancouver spring is virtually identical to winter, except the days get longer and there are flowers, but still. Longer days. I’ll take that.

Happy British book birthday II

Today is the release of the UK paperback edition of Seraphina! It’s a bit confusing, I realize, because I believe the original UK edition was available in both hardcover and paperback. But this edition is from Corgi Press, and has a different cover, the North American cover art without the border and with a new font.

Here’s how you celebrate in corgi language, as per the inimitable Pam Bliss: Yark! Yark!

And here’s a lovely review of the new paperback at Bookwitch.

Three cheers: Yark! Yark! Yark!

Fan art Monday!

Hm. I guess if I wanted to be alliterative, I’d have waited til Friday. I know from experience, though, that waiting begets procrastinating, which begets forgetting, which begets embarrassment, which begets more procrastinating, etc. It never ends. The time for fan art is NOW! I have proclaimed it thus, and thus mote it be!

Two lovely pictures after the fold. The second image is possibly spoilery. You have been warned.

Read the rest of this entry »

Happy German book birthday!

Hurrah! Serafina – Das Königreich der Drachen: Band 1 is out today! Here’s the beautiful cover:



I really think I should get come cake on these birthdays, don’t you? Hm… I should see about fixing that.

More thoughts on the blues

So my father-in-law, who is a big fan of the blues, apparently read my confused gibbering on the subject a few weeks ago and decided to help me out by getting me a nice introductory book. Thanks, Mike!

I’m enjoying it so far; I love reading about music, and the early bluesmen and -women were a colourful crew. The one fly in the ointment, as you can probably guess – and as I discovered while writing Seraphina – is that words can only approach music obliquely. I still needed to hear it for myself.

So I went to YouTube and poked around, starting with Robert Johnson and proceeding in a haphazard manner through Blind Lemon Jefferson and Leadbelly and I can’t even remember who. I can’t remember because none of it was sticking with me, alas. This is usually the case with me and new (to me) music: it slides right off my Teflon brain.

Then all of a sudden I hit one that made some kind of sense to me: Robert Petway’s Catfish Blues. Go listen. I’ll wait.

Now listen in close succession: Rolling Stone by Muddy Waters, which was supposedly inspired by Catfish Blues. I can hear it, but it’s subtle

OK, you’ve got those? Well then, ta-daa! The piece de resistance: Voodoo Child by Jimi Hendrix. Don’t quite hear the lineage? Go back and listen to that Petway again.

Aha! I say. AHA! I have successfully connected dots in my brain.

So what was different in “Catfish Blues” that let me connect with it where I was having trouble with the earlier stuff? I have to say it was the livelier guitar line. (My husband was making fun of me just a little bit because I was like, “Oh, this one’s kind of jolly!”  There’s a reason it’s called The Blues, he claims, and I suppose he has a point.)

That said, my favourite of the Robert Johnson songs – “Kind Hearted Woman Blues” – had some pretty impressive guitar. Maybe that’s a way in. Tune in, uh, next time to find out!

2012 reboot

Hello, friends! I am popping in to say I’m popping out for a week.

2012 got off to an overwrought, melodramatic start – those of you who frequent Goodreads will know what I’m talking about, but it wasn’t just Goodreads. It was everything. My son was sick, good intentions went awry, and I got nothing done.

I had dreams of starting the year in a tidy and organized fashion. My word for the year, I’d decided, would be “perspective”. After feeling overwhelmed much of last year, some perspective seemed just the thing.

I hadn’t anticipated that 2011 would hang on for an extra week.

In any case, I’m declaring a reboot. Start over. The start of the year is an arbitrary point in the annual cycle anyway, so I’m wishing myself a Happy New New Year, as of this morning, and I’m going to faithfully do what I intended last week, before I let myself get swept away: calmly set to work and take good care of myself. So until I am back in the good groove, I am effectively off the internet. I anticipate returning next Monday.

I want to just acknowledge a few things before signing off, however. This blog had a record number of views this last week; thanks to everyone who dropped by to see the new cover! On Goodreads, more than 1000 people have added Seraphina to their to-read shelves, nearly half of those added in the last week. I am humbled an honoured. My thanks to each and every one of you.

Tomorrow, January 10th, marks exactly six months until the book comes out. This is the home stretch. If there was ever a time to take a moment, breathe deeply, and make sure I’m keeping things in perspective, it’s now.

More review goodness

Here’s a nice one at Book Catching. Thanks, Stephanie! (This one may have some spoiler-y info, depending on your definition of spoilers. I don’t think it spoils anything, but I’m kind of spoiler-insensitive)

Bloggity-Blog-Blog reviews it for a second time, in more depth. Thanks again, Laura!

In other news: thanks to everyone who’s dropped by here the last few days, for all the support and kind words about the cover. This is all so exciting that I’m probably going to have to put a paper bag over my head and go lie down for a while.

Yesterday was my son’s first day back at school after vacation, and my first day back working seriously on the sequel. It’s always so hard to get started again, even if I take a weekend off. I don’t know why that is; it’s like being very flabby and getting back to exercise. When you’re really exercising regularly, though, you come back refreshed after a day off. Why would writing muscles get flabby so quickly? Maybe there’s something wrong with the analogy.

I usually refer to this ailment as “The Mondays”, since that’s when I usually get it. Yesterday I had the Mondays to end all Mondays, but it was Tuesday, which was just embarrassing. This morning was much better.

To these two reviewers, then, waiting for the sequel: I’m on it.