Recent and Upcoming Things + Reading Recs

The LA Times Festival of Books schedule is live, and I’m so so so excited to be going for the first time. Everyone I’ve talked to who has ever been, as guest or attendee, absolutely loves the FoB. My panel info is:

April 18, 12:30 p.m.: New Takes on Classic Tales: Moderator: Aaron Hartzler. Panelists: Sara Benincasa, Gwenda Bond, Danielle Paige.

There will be a signing after the panel, and there should be copies of Girl on a Wire and Lois Lane: Fallout available (yip! early!). In fact, I believe this will be the first place there will be copies of Fallout, so Los Angeles-area peoples come out. For more information and to see details on all the fabulous panels and events, visit the festival website.

I’m also working with Joseph-Beth Booksellers, which is hosting my local launch on Friday, May 8, to offer the ability to order signed copies of Fallout through them (with a nominal shipping fee), for anyone who wants to. More details to come on that. And, of course, you can always order your copy of Fallout from your local indie. Or through your local comic shop, as evidenced below:

(!)

There are many plans afoot as release is getting so. much. closer. Must finish a book draft by then (in the last third, woo!) and do many other things. Exciting times. (Not ideal for my back to stage a revolt, though it has, and so I’m taking it easy-ish this week.)

In the meantime, thanks to you guys for your enthusiasm about the first short story extra for Lois. Tim Hanley wrote some kind words about “A Real Work of Art” and Fallout: “Lois hasn’t had much to do in comics as of late, so it’s very exciting that she’s about to star in her own YA novel. And you can get your Lois fix right now with this free short story! I highly recommend checking it out, and picking up Lois Lane: Fallout on May 1. I promise you won’t be disappointed.”

And it got written up on io9 (!). You can still read it at the Capstone site, Wattpad, or via Netgalley. Thanks, as always, to everyone who has read, reviewed, and helped spread the word. I heart you, Lois Army. Story two should be coming pretty soon, and I hope you guys have fun with that one too. Eep!

Also, a thank you for a milestone Girl on a Wire passed last week, which was 500 reviews on Amazon. To everyone who has read and reviewed my weird little circus book? You rock. I start writing the follow-up to it very soon.

Last, I’ve also been reading some wonderful books, so here are a few recommendations for you:

Shannon Hale’s Dangerous — I expect I’ll be recommending this one a great deal. Maisie Danger Brown is a great heroine and I enjoyed this book so much. Clever, superpowered fun for everyone who ever wanted to run away to Space Camp or save the world. (Also: Shannon Hale is my hero. When I found out she had sent in a blurb for Lois, I burst into tears. No kidding.)

Laura Ruby’s Bone Gap — Okay, I’m a broken record on this lately, but seriously, this book should be getting alllll the attention. It should win all the awards. Laura Ruby’s gorgeously-crafted portrait of a small town and a handful of its inhabitants, new and old, when they become snared in a story of mythic darkness that feels utterly real, is one of the most startling, original books I’ve read in ages. I loved it.

Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven — Just adding my voice to the chorus on this one. Stories that have pandemics almost always drive me crazy with bad science, so I put off reading this longer than I should’ve. It’s just as good as everyone has told you.

Christine Heppermann’s Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty — This fierce, feminist collection of poetry looks at what it’s like to be a teenage girl by mashing up modern realities with fairy tale conceits. This is one that our book club universally adored, and that’s rare enough that I feel confident in telling you: do not miss. Bonus points for lovely design; I really dug the art paired with the poems.

New Lois Lane Short Story!

I told you guys there would be two Lois Lane short story extras, and lo! the first is now posted. You can find “A Real Work of Art” on Wattpad as previewed below or on the Switch Press site (over on the left under previews; bonus: prettier formatting).

There’s also a 25 percent off preorder code at the end for Fallout that you can use at the Capstone/Switch Press site. Preorders from here, there or anywhere (I like doing it through my local indie stores, but anywhere is awesome) help tell the book gods you’re excited about something. And when the book gods are happy, I’m happy.

Now for a little about these stories and the idea behind them…

These are stories to help introduce this version of Lois, obviously, but they also detail incidents mentioned in passing by Lois or others in Fallout* from her storied (ahem) permanent record. But, of course, her school administrators never know the real story. Only you get that. (And, yes, there might be a little more SmallvilleGuy in the second one…) Both take place before her move to Metropolis and each one stands alone.

I hope you have as much fun reading these as I had writing them. I thought of them as a gift to y’all for being so patient waiting for the book. As always, I appreciate the spreading of the word, and hopefully these will also reach new people who haven’t heard about it yet. And now I’m going to hide under my desk biting my nails for a bit.

*These little easter eggs were added after the first ARCs, if you won or have one and are stumped about the mentions. That’s why!

Three Quick Things

The first is that in the midst of traveling I forgot to mention that Girl on a Wire made the Locus Recommended Reading List for 2014, in very good company indeed. *beams* Which means you can also vote for it in the Locus Awards if you’re so inclined.

The second is a new interview about Lois Lane: Fallout up at Dynamic Forces. (If it seems like I’m a little cagey about some details here, it’s because I did this not too long after the announcement. Thanks again to Byron and DF!) Also, I honestly can’t believe that it’s now just two months before release (*breathes into bag*). I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it here yet, but there will be two free short stories coming very soon–one each month–to help introduce this version of Lois that take place pre-move to Metropolis.

Last but not least, if you haven’t yet backed Ninepin Press’s The Family Arcana: A Story-in-Cards by Jedediah Berry on kickstarter, why not? An extra incentive: I’m going to be contributing a horoscope story, along with eleven way fancier authors, as a new perk. Jed’s work is always wonderful, and I can’t wait to see the final results of all this excitingness.

Shiny New Website!

After far too many years of putting it off, I finally hired someone who knows what they’re doing to make me a real website and… voila, this is it! Let me know what you think—I love it.

And also let me just put in a plug for Jeremy Tolbert at Clockpunk Studios, the someone who knows what they’re doing. He made this entire process as seamless and easy as possible, migrating over all my old content and coming up with the beauteous design. If you’re looking to do a new site, especially an author site, definitely check them out.

(Oh, and if you have any links to my site, they should still be fine unless they were directly to the old typepad URL. If so, update! And you may need to grab the new blog feed if you’re a feedreader-user. Or you may not, I forgot to ask. But if this is showing up in your reader, I guess that answers that.)

p.s. There just may be something fun coming Lois Lane fans’ way next week.

Starred!

LoiscoverSo, hey, it turns out I can reveal the March 1 news early, because the review was posted online today. Here goes…

Lois Lane: Fallout got a STARRED REVIEW from Kirkus!

Kirkus! Snippet:

"This lighthearted and playful tone permeates the novel, making for a nifty investigative mystery akin to Veronica Mars or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Readers are in for a treat. A spectacular prose start for DC Comics' spectacular lady."

This is my first-ever starred review, and I reacted with complete class and composure when my editor called to tell me. I believe my exact words were: ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME?

This is perhaps embarrassing to admit, but true and so I will tell you that mere days before I got this news I had told some friends that I'd come to terms with the fact that I would probably never be the kind of writer who got starred reviews. Thank you, universe, for proving me wrong. Lesson: Complaining works. 😉

We Have A Winner

Well, all of you are winners in my book and in my heart. Thank you for being so excited for Fallout and being so game to participate in this impromptu contest. I'm a whimful creature, and so I didn't give you much warning. But it was so much fun to read everyone's posts and see your favorite Lois and Clark moments.

I thought I'd highlight a few of your super posts, before getting to the business of who is taking home this ARC:

 

I'm giving this baby away in a quick Galentine's/Valentine's #FalloutARC contest!

A photo posted by Gwenda Bond (@gwendabond) on Feb 13, 2015 at 6:23am PST

 

Here's a sampling of entries, and you can find links to a whole bunch more at twitter by searching the #FalloutARC hashtag (tumblr tags not cooperating as well for some reason, but I'm almost 100 percent certain I managed to track down all the posts made there).

And last but not least, I loved this Tumblr gifset of reasons why Lois would make a great friend. Honestly, every single entry made me grin. You guys are the best valentines and galentines ever.

To choose the winner, I made a good old-fashioned paper drawing, giving every entry one slip. I wish you could all win, but there can be only one and that person is…

::drumroll comprised of clacking keyboards in a newsroom::

SHADES OF LIMELIGHT aka @CertainShadesL! DM me your address on twitter and your signed ARC will be en route tomorrow.

Thanks again to everyone, and you can always preorder the book if you haven't (something tells me most of you have). And there will be lots of news and sneak peeks and other things coming soon as we get closer and closer to release. Stay tuned! <3 <3 <3

Hello & Galentine’s Valentine’s Fallout ARC Contest

Hi there! I’m back, after a week writing like mad in sunny Mexico on retreat with several of the smartest, most awesome ladies and writers I know–Holly Black, Cassie Clare, and Sarah Rees Brennan (along with some also awesome boys). And then I went straight from there to Winter Institute to do my first Lois Lane: Fallout event, meeting lots of wonderful, amazing booksellers, as well as the wonderful, amazing Capstone marketing ninjas Shannon and John, and seeing friends old and new. Especially glad I got to catch up with one of my oldest friends Ms. Kelly Link (whose new collection you have already purchased, RIGHT?), Maria Dahvana Headley (we have been ships passing in the convention bar night for years!), Megan Shepherd (who is very fancy), and Nova Ren Suma (her new book is just as amazing as you’ve heard and we got to share a signing table!), and and and so many other people I will miss someone and feel terrible.

It was a great time, is what I’m saying. And then as soon as I got home, my fabulous editor Beth called with a piece of AMAZING news that I can’t tell you until March 1.

Post-signing photo from Winter Institute — and keep reading for quick contest details to win a signed ARC of Fallout:

Signing done! #loislane

A photo posted by Gwenda Bond (@gwendabond) on Feb 10, 2015 at 4:54pm PST

And what was I signing you might ask? Why, shiny brand-new for this occasion ARCs of Fallout, and I might have slipped one in my purse and hatched this plan for a quick Galentine’s/Valentine’s giveaway. Read on for how to enter!

I’m giving this baby away in a quick Galentine’s/Valentine’s #FalloutARC contest!

A photo posted by Gwenda Bond (@gwendabond) on Feb 13, 2015 at 6:23am PST

This contest will be open through midnight Eastern tomorrow night, US entrants only, and it’s going to be supereasy to enter — how easy?

1) In honor of Galentine’s today, tweet or Tumblrize or Instagram a reason you think Lois Lane would make a great friend and use the hashtag #FalloutARC so I can find it.

2) In honor of Valentine’s tomorrow, and Lois and Clark being the number one comics couple of all-time, tweet or Tumblrize a reason/fave gif or image set or Instagram about your favorite thing(s) about the Lois and Clark relationship and use the hashtag #FalloutARC so I can find it.

Each tagged post will count as an entry, and since this is only running a short time, feel free to make as many or as few as you want on whichever place is your fave. And if you don’t win, still be EXCITED because it’s out in May, which is SO CLOSE!

Book News!

I'm so thrilled to be able to tell you guys that there will be more Cirque American–I got this news right at the end of the year, which made this both the best way to end 2014 and begin 2015. The Publishers Marketplace announcement:

GIRL ON A WIRE author Gwenda Bond's next Cirque American novel, in which a teen would-be magician auditions for the Cirque against the wishes of her famous magician father, and finds that perhaps there is more to her talent than she ever expected, again to Courtney Miller at Skyscape, for publication in Summer 2016, by Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

Just as Girl on a Wire allowed me to geek out about all things circus (my favorite) and wire-walking, this will allow me to continue to do that and also geek out about magic. Which is one of my favorite, favorite things. As much as I love it, though, it's undeniably a field where women get pushed off to the side, all too often The Lovely Assistant sharing in little of the actual spotlight. Well, the heroine of this book is no one's lovely assistant, and I can't wait to introduce you guys to her and some new characters. And, yes, although there will be a new central character, and a new mystery, the cast from Girl on a Wire will be there too–there will be more of Jules and Remy, Dita, and of course the Cirque itself. The working title of the book is Abracadabra Girl, but that may well change.

Also! Girl on a Wire is a Kindle Daily Deal today and you can snag it for $1.99!

One other little newsy item–the rights to Blackwood and The Woken Gods officially reverted to me at the end of the year (thank you for that, Angry Robot). So you can't presently get e-book editions of them anymore, though I'm sure used print copies are available and my local indie bookstores still have a stockpile on hand. Blackwood will probably return at some point this year. But I'm likely going to hang on to The Woken Gods until I can maybe tweak it a bit and write you a sequel; it may be a long while before I have time, but that's what I hope to do.

And that's it. I hope y'all are excited to return to the Cirque!

Pretty Good Year

In fact, it was a good enough year that my head, heart, hands and at least one foot are in 2015 already–forward momentum is always a good thing. Or as Jules puts it in Girl on a Wire:

With motion comes purpose. With motion comes discovery.

But there's a value to taking stock and keeping a record too. And the amusement value of looking back from another year on, as I just did to last year's post (pretty on point, actually, though as always some things took longer to get to than I expected). I said last year that 2013 felt transitional, and it did. And so this past year, 2014, was more settled in many ways. Oh, sure, there was the usual anxiety and upheaval, but I also had a building sense that I was doing what I wanted to be, telling the stories I wanted to tell, with a better idea of how I want the story of my career and my life to take shape. Those are truly stories only we can tell, after all. On the practical side, it's also really nice to be paid well and have teams of people to work with who take care with and support your work.

I stopped feeling like some sort of fraud writer whose career would be snatched away–most days anyway–and like someone who just kept their eyes ahead and focused on doing the work. And that's my plan for 2015–to keep telling the stories I want to tell, while trying to get better at telling them, always, and to keep working with great people. I'm having more fun as a writer than I ever have, and I hope that translates to more fun for you as readers. Without you, I don't get to keep doing this. So please know your support means the world.

Another discovery? Lois Lane fans are truly the absolute best. I can't wait to get to share Fallout with you guys.

I only managed to finish two books last year, and one of them was a collaboration (which just got done literally yesterday, so cross everything; I'm really proud of that one). Amid doing a bunch of other things. There were swathes where not much writing got done, but that was tied to the not-good parts of 2014, which involved both my parents having serious surgeries at an overlapping time. They are both in much improved health now, and that's a huge relief and something I'm grateful for every day. (It also taught me a real lesson about how fragile my routines are and reaffirmed the lesson of always working ahead.) But I came out of the year with several projects I'd like to tackle at some point in the future and energy for the ones I'm working on now. And we took a marvelous trip to Portugal.

Writing stuff:

GIRL ON A WIRE – Thanks to all of you who've bought and read and recommended it to others. And please keep on doing so! It's hard to believe, but it's only been out for a handful of months and I've been too busy writing to do that much promotion, other than a few events and a tweet here or there. But people are still finding it, and that's all due to the publisher and you guys. The reception to this book makes my heart feel many sizes bigger. The Cirque thanks you guys. Significant events in blog posts: Kindle First launch  and Release Day.

The announcement of LOIS LANE: FALLOUT – What a whirlwind that was! And we're just four months away from the official release now, y'all. Four. Months. I'm so grateful for the early reactions this book has gotten. Significant events in blog posts: The Secret is Out (!!!) and Media Round-Up. (Having been the recipient of many excellent Superman-themed T-shirts and sweaters and pajamas over the holidays, I'm hoping this is a hit at least partly so maybe we could get some more Lois-themed garb. Who's with me? Even just the cool name treatment from the cover. A girl can dream. 😉

image from www.gwendabond.comLooking ahead…

LOIS LANE: FALLOUT - This is going to be my year of Lois, and there'll be much ado from me around the launch, I'm sure. This is going to be a year of firsts–my first Winter Institute, my first BEA appearance, my first Many Other Things. I'm so so excited, still, to get to contribute to the legacy of one of the most iconic, incredible characters ever and, oh, do I hope you guys enjoy this book. Also, Lois is one of the funnest characters to write, period. When stuck, I just ask: What Would Lois Lane Do? Voila! Solution. Hashtag: #WWLLD

And I'll also be writing TWO MORE BOOKS in 2015 that I can't tell you about quite yet. (Hopefully soon, at least for one of them!) But there will be at least two new books by me for you in 2016. And I can't wait to get them written.

More surprises coming this spring! Including a completely revamped website (finally!). Other things I'm looking forward to: a retreat in Mexico in February and a retreat in South Carolina in April. I'm hoping life will also surprise me (and Christopher!) in good ways, and that maybe a leap I've been eyeing for a long while will become possible.

Other Significant Blog Posts of the Year:

I didn't blog that much last year, but there were a handful of longer posts people seemed to enjoy, in chronological order.

Happiest of New Year's to you all. I hope 2015 is a time of marvels.

Beauteousness

When people ask me what my favorite part of the publishing process is, it is very easy to answer:

It's working with all the talented, amazing, smart, funny, generally wonderful people that it takes to make a book a, well, book. From agent to editors to the publicity and marketing teams and art directors, et cetera, seeing how much they rock their jobs is a joy. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Book people are the best people.

And I've been so tremendously lucky this year to work with some of the greatest of the best people. In fact, I just came back from mailing them all presents.

(The opposite of all this is true too, by the way; a big part of being a happy writer is feeling that your work is in the right hands. And I think that's true whether you're an indie and that's your own and your hand-selected team or a traditionally-published author and working with a publisher.)

Which is to say, the importance of the care the right hands take can't be underestimated. An example is the reason for this post. I LOVED the great cover Switch Press designed for LOIS LANE: FALLOUT — so much it's my phone case and I constantly show it to people (glance over to the right for a refresher). But great was not great enough for them, so they kept working on it and voila…

I LOVE IT EVEN MORE.

The cover deities have smiled on me once again. Trivia: I do believe that the newsprint is now a little snippet from the book itself, from a scene inside the videogame, which is a nice touch. Also: I've had a glimpse of the entire jacket and it's spiffy.

That's all for now, but I'm putting together my last newsletter of the year to send later this week so sign up if you want it. (Tidbits will include: Girl on a Wire made the First Lady of Kentucky's Top 10 Winter Reading List. *beam*)