My books in publication order, from newest to oldest. Follow the links to their full pages to see more information about each one.

LOIS LANE: FALLOUT – forthcoming, May 1, 2015



Lois Lane is starting a new life in Metropolis.
An Army brat, Lois has lived all over—and seen all kinds of things. (Some of them defy explanation, like the near-disaster she witnessed in Kansas in the middle of one night.) But now her family is putting down roots in the big city, and Lois is determined to fit in. Stay quiet. Fly straight.

As soon as she steps into her new high school, though, she can see it won’t be that easy. A group known as the Warheads is making life miserable for another girl at school. They’re messing with her mind, somehow, via the high-tech immersive videogame they all play. Not cool. Armed with her wit and her new snazzy job as a reporter, Lois has her sights set on solving this mystery. But sometimes it’s all a bit much. Thank goodness for her maybe-more-than-a friend, a guy she knows only by his screenname, SmallvilleGuy…

Pre-order or add on Goodreads:

Lois Lane: Fallout
by Gwenda Bond 
Young Adult
Switch Press/Capstone (May 1, 2015)
ISBN: 978-1630790059

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Powells | Add on Goodreads

See more information about LOIS LANE: FALLOUT.


GIRL ON A WIRE – available now




A ballerina, twirling on a wire high above the crowd. Horses, prancing like salsa dancers. Trapeze artists, flying like somersaulting falcons. And magic crackling through the air. Welcome to the Cirque American!

Sixteen-year-old Jules Maroni’s dream is to follow in her father’s footsteps as a high-wire walker. When her family is offered a prestigious role in the new Cirque American, it seems that Jules and the Amazing Maronis will finally get the spotlight they deserve. But the presence of the Flying Garcias may derail her plans. For decades, the two rival families have avoided each other as sworn enemies.

Jules ignores the drama and focuses on the wire, skyrocketing to fame as the girl in a red tutu who dances across the wire at death-defying heights. But when she discovers a peacock feather—an infamous object of bad luck—planted on her costume, Jules nearly loses her footing. She has no choice but to seek help from the unlikeliest of people: Remy Garcia, son of the Garcia clan matriarch, and the best trapeze artist in the Cirque.

As more mysterious talismans believed to possess unlucky magic appear, Jules and Remy unite to find the culprit. And if they don’t figure out what’s going on soon, Jules may be the first Maroni to do the unthinkable: fall.

Buy  or add on Goodreads:

Girl on a Wire
by Gwenda Bond 
Young Adult
Skyscape (Oct. 1, 2014)
ISBN: 978-1477847824

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Powells | Add on Goodreads

See more information about GIRL ON A WIRE.


THE WOKEN GODS – available now




Five years ago, the gods of ancient mythology awoke around the world. This morning, Kyra Locke is late for school.

Seventeen-year-old Kyra lives in a transformed Washington, D.C., home to the embassies of divine pantheons and the mysterious Society of the Sun. But when rebellious Kyra encounters two trickster gods on her way back from school, one offering a threat and the other a warning, it turns out her life isn’t what it seems. She escapes with the aid of Osborne “Oz” Spencer, an intriguing Society field operative, only to discover that her scholar father has disappeared with a dangerous relic. The Society needs it, and they don’t care that she knows nothing about her father’s secrets.

Now Kyra must depend on her wits and the suspect help of scary gods, her estranged oracle mother, and, of course, Oz—whose first allegiance is to the Society. She has no choice if she’s going to recover the missing relic and save her father. And if she doesn’t? Well, that may just mean the end of the world as she knows it. From the author of Blackwood comes a divinely different fantasy that will appeal to fans of Neil Gaiman, Cassandra Clare, and Rick Riordan.

Buy or add on Goodreads:

The Woken Gods
by Gwenda Bond 
Young Adult
Strange Chemistry/Angry Robot (Sept. 3, 2013)
ISBN: 978-1-908844-25-5

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Powells | Add on Goodreads

See more information about THE WOKEN GODS.


BLACKWOOD – available now




On Roanoke Island, the legend of the 114 people who mysteriously vanished from the Lost Colony hundreds of years ago is just an outdoor drama for the tourists, a story people tell. But when the island faces the sudden disappearance of 114 people now, an unlikely pair of 17-year-olds may be the only hope of bringing them back.

Miranda Blackwood, a misfit girl from the island’s most infamous family, and Phillips Rawlings, an exiled teen criminal who hears the voices of the dead, must dodge everyone from federal agents to long-dead alchemists as they work to uncover the secrets of the new Lost Colony.

The one thing they can’t dodge is each other.

Buy now or add on Goodreads:

by Gwenda Bond 
Young Adult
Strange Chemistry/Angry Robot (Sept. 4, 2012)
ISBN: 978-1-908844-07-1

Indiebound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Powells | Add on Goodreads

See more information about BLACKWOOD.

Heres & Theres

Looks like the site is back up! Knock wood it stays that way–I feel terrible for the typepad staff and hope they have vanquished the evil DDoS villains once and for all.

ANYWAY, just dropping by for a quick note to say that I'll be at the Southern Kentucky Book Fest this Saturday, and if you're there you should come say hello and I'll also happily sign books for you. Here's the details:

April 26 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.: Southern Ky. Book Fest at the Knicely Conference Center in Bowling Green, Ky.     
Panel at noon in the auditorium: YA Fantasy/Paranormal: Gwenda Bond, Kelly Creagh, Bethany Griffin, Julie Kagawa, CJ Redwine 

Should be a fun time. And then Courtney Stevens and I will caravan through the mountains to the annual wondrousness that is the Bat Cave retreat, where we will workshop and eat delicious food and gossip and hot tub and be generally merry. And where I will be holing up a few hours a day to work on my revision of Secret Project, because deadlines wait for no hot tub. Or something.

And if you're local, you should come out to Joseph-Beth tonight at 7 p.m. and see the fabulous Ann VanderMeer talk about the Time Traveler's Almanac. We'll be there with figurative bells on–and Christopher will have just passed his thesis defense (it's at high noon, but I'm calling it early!).

Lastly! Since the site's been up and down, just in case you missed it:

Cover Reveal – GIRL ON A WIRE!

I'm so so SO excited to be able to show you guys the cover for GIRL ON A WIRE (aka the circus book). Please feel free to grab, share, and spread at will.

I love it beyond (I am officially a ghost, because I died of happiness when I saw it). And I hope you love it too. A giant shoutout and my thanks to the designer Neil Swaab (go look at his other amazing work) and to the fabulous team at Skyscape, especially editorial director extraordinaire Courtney Miller.

Without further ado…


About the book:

A ballerina, twirling on a wire high above the crowd. Horses, prancing like salsa dancers. Trapeze artists, flying like somersaulting falcons. And magic crackling through the air. Welcome to the Cirque American!

Sixteen-year-old Jules Maroni’s dream is to follow in her father’s footsteps as a high-wire walker. When her family is offered a prestigious role in the new Cirque American, it seems that Jules and the Amazing Maronis will finally get the spotlight they deserve. But the presence of the Flying Garcias may derail her plans. For decades, the two rival families have avoided each other as sworn enemies.

Jules ignores the drama and focuses on the wire, skyrocketing to fame as the girl in a red tutu who dances across the wire at death-defying heights. But when she discovers a peacock feather—an infamous object of bad luck—planted on her costume, Jules nearly loses her footing. She has no choice but to seek help from the unlikeliest of people: Remy Garcia, son of the Garcia clan matriarch and the best trapeze artist in the Cirque.

As more mysterious talismans believed to possess unlucky magic appear, Jules and Remy unite to find the culprit. And if they don’t figure out what’s going on soon, Jules may be the first Maroni to do the unthinkable: fall.

GIRL ON A WIRE will be out Oct. 1, 2014, in e-book, hardcover, paperback, and audio—and you can always kindly add on Goodreads or preorder now.

(A quick note on pronunciation: The American in Cirque American is pronounced "Americ-ah-n," because I wrote the book and I say so!) What do you guys think of the cover?

Gone Revising

This is just a quick note to say that posts here will be scarce for the next month. With edit letter in hand and mind, I'll be busy revising Secret Project, employing some of my favorite techniques…




 …and occasionally muttering "We all go a little mad sometimes." The best.

I'll drop by here if there's news, and I'm sure I'll still be on twitter and occasionally on the tumblr machine. And back with more regular stuff after deadline.

Extra, Extra: Some John Green Interview Outtakes

As long-time readers of this blog know, I've been a fan of John Green's work since Looking for Alaska, which was one of the first novels I read that featured hyper-smart, sarcastic southern teenagers like the ones I grew up around. (And they even drank the same syrupy sweet Boone's Farm we sometimes snuck – don't tell my parents. Kidding! I think they caught us and there was an epic grounding.) Anyway, John and I have known each other online for years, share a whole bunch of friends in common, but had never actually gotten a chance to chat.

So of course I said yes when I was asked recently if I'd interview him for the LA Times, in honor of winning the Innovator's Award, which will be presented at the Festival of Books. We had a nice long talk (aside: it's strange to talk to someone for the first time whose voice is so familiar), but the newspaper space, it can only accomodate so much. One of the tough things about interviews is that sometimes you have to pick out little bits and pieces, and the rest disappears forever. And of course we went down some nerdy paths that don't really fit in a piece for a general audience, many of who may not be regular YA readers.

You should all go read the interview at the LA Times, in which John says smart things about teenagers and the future of publishing and activism and misconceptions about YA…

…and then come back and read these further smart thing rescues from the cutting room floor. Basically, I feel like I have a moral imperative to post these, because a) I have them transcribed already and b) John had a cold and still did not balk when I said things like, "Elaborate on business models!" Plus, as an amateur contemporary art geek, I am super-excited about "The Art Assignment" (PBS Digital series created and hosted by Sarah Urist Green) and wanted to talk lots about that.


On the vlogbrothers: When we started, we really liked YouTube and we liked the idea that online video could be a portal for communication and collaboration. In my wildest imagination it never occurred to me that we would still be making videos seven and a half years later, let alone that we would have such a broad audience. We never imagined the reach that YouTube would eventually have or the role that we would get to play on that platform.

I guess the first time it ever occurred to me that we could do this as a job was in 2008, about a year and a half after we started making videos, when YouTube introduced advertising. We made something like 225 videos before YouTube had ads. It still seems weird to me that it’s a job. I’m a very old-fashioned YouTube user and so I romanticize the non-monetized days.

On books and publishing: I think the book is an underappreciated technology, and I think that the novel is an underappreciated form of storytelling. One of the reason that books are proving somewhat more robust than CDs or DVDs did is that books are really good technology. They’re extremely functional, and they deliver 99 percent of the experience someone wants when they’re reading a book.

My big concern is not the overall health of book publishing or the overall health of reading. My big concern is that publishing is going to become so blockbuster driven that we’ll lose some of the depth that makes us special and unique in contemporary artistic discourse. Because right now Hollywood makes what – 150 or 200 movies a year, and we publish 10,000 books a year? That’s a huge advantage. We have much more diversity. There’s much more room in publishing for books that may have a smaller built-in audience, and that’s really important.

On experiments with narrative: When I was trying to think of why I might have won this award – which I’m very grateful for, but I don’t feel like my publishing life has been tremendously innovative – the only thing I’ve ever made that was truly innovative was Tom (This Is Not Tom). Which was read in total by perhaps 1200 people because you had to solve such complicated riddles in order to read the story. The story was really an afterthought. People enjoyed solving the riddles, but then they’d be like, ‘Oh, right, I’ve got to read this thing again.’

I’m interested in trying to find non-traditional ways to share text stories, or even multimedia stories that involve a lot of text. But I don’t think that it’s ultimately going to be me who makes a lot of progress on that front. It’s going to be some person who’s younger and more talented than I am and has a deeper understanding of the internet and the way that young people share and experience story today. And I’ve accepted that.

On being an introvert: People think, ‘Oh, you make YouTube videos, so that means you’re outgoing,’ but actually the problem is that you make YouTube videos alone in your basement, talking into a camera and then spending four or five hours alone in your basement doing this very meticulous, repetitive work of editing a video. And writing is kind of the same. It’s very isolated and introverted and I love that. It gives me tremendous pleasure. So as long as I’m making videos by myself or writing by myself, they feel like complementary activities to me. But when I have to go out and do other stuff and talk to people, that’s a whole different ball of wax.

On “The Art Assignment” (This is where I was all, business models and PBS, talk about that): Hank and I are not that interested in making stuff for the most possible people. We’re interested in making stuff that people will feel really passionate about or that people will feel like is important to them. So, PBS – even though everyone sees it as this ultimate legacy media company – in truth, for a long time now, they’ve been very innovative in this sense. Not many people watched Bob Ross teach them how to paint. That was never one of the most successful shows on television. Except that it was one of the most successful shows on television. Even though only 50,000 people were watching it, all of them were being transformed by it. They were forming a relationship with painting and art that they didn’t have before they watched the show. And that’s so much cooler than having 10 million people watch something that you made and not really care about it.

It’s astonishing to me that almost everyone in America can name a living writer or a living musician and very few people – including me before I met my wife – can name a living artist. And so I think what inspired us on “The Art Assignment” was thinking about that and also thinking about the old days of YouTube back in 2007 and 2008, when it was a very collaborative environment and where projects were shared together. Instead of videos being something that existed because you watched, videos were more project-oriented.


And that's a wrap!

Another aside, this time about Bob Ross: My grandfather, when he was dying of cancer, got really into watching Bob Ross, and even got a paint set.

And now you should all go watch the latest episode of "The Art Assignment":

Wednesday Hangovers

Sorry to poof out of existence again. There were page proofs for the circus book to do (lovelove the little design elements!) and then a flurry of other work and tax stuff and various deadlines large and small. And I seem to be working on a new book that came out of nowhere, but is accumulating actual words and an outline in the form of emails to myself…so I guess I'll start a file for it and hope that doesn't spook it out of existence.

But I've collected quite a few links, so in the interest of closing ye olde tabs…

Rebel With A Pink Bike + Links

How is it already Thursday? How is it already mid-March?

Been trying to get back into my 6 a.m. drafting/revising groove, and have done so successfully… But I had forgotten how sleepy I get during the day at first. So I'm probably yawning right now as you're reading this, no matter when it is. And if I'm not, it's because I resorted to extra coffee.

I also have an exciting afternoon on the way which involves getting a filling replaced at the dentist (ready to hum my favorite dentist song as always–thoughts of Steve Martin are the only pleasant thing about going). The tooth in question is one of my front bottom ones, and broke cleanly in half and went through my lip a bit below my mouth when I was in fourth grade. It was a very exciting day, and I remember it well, because this was one of the only brief times in my life I thought perhaps I was coordinated in the hand-eye way. I had discovered that I could fly down the steep hill on the dirt and gravel road behind our house on my bike–a pink Huffy–and jam on the breaks at the bottom, whipping around to stop with an enormously satisfying skidding sound and leaving a giant dust cloud in my wake. Obviously, I was super-cool. 

NotmybikeUntil, oh, the third or fourth time I did it and had a catastrophic dismount–in front of kids my own age who were visiting the neighbor whose house I was riding in front of, and probably trying to impress with my badassery. I remember the neighbor coming out and asking with great concern if I needed them to help/call home/etc, but not to be completely shamed from my Evel Knievel fantasy, I forced myself to get on my bike and ride home.

All the drama ensued, though it was determined I didn't need stitches because of where the wound was. The tooth came all the way through, and I had picked it up, but alas, it could not be put back on, so filling. But, you know, flaming disastrous dismount aside, this was the grade where if you had a broken arm or leg or stitches or any kind of visible injury you were a mini-celebrity for at least a day at school. Of course you were! You'd survived a brush with DEATH. And so, I took the pain in stride, expecting my moment of glory.

It was not to be. Because what I had was not cool stitches or a cast people could sign. What I had was a giant scab above my chin. Which, unbeknownst to me until the straightest of the straight A students in our class turned to tell me, looked not like a battle scar but like "You have chocolate on your face."

And scene. 

Anyway, I actually dropped in not to tell you that story, but to point you a couple of other places I am today.

  •  First up, I talked to Jeffrey Lee Puckett at the Courier-Journal about YA and dystopians and Divergent in particular earlier this week. We discussed all sorts of things–dystopian themes, gender politics, some of our favorite YA and children's books. But I had no idea I was going to be my own sidebar. And I'm a writer and scholar, which sounds very fancy.* The story is here.
  • Also, the wonderful Sandra Nickel invited me by her place for her "What's on…" interview series, which I love reading and was honored to be a part of. You can find out what's on my mind, reading stack, windowsill, TV, playlist, and in my catalog of fears thither.

*Remember the pink Huffy.  Never forget.

The Return of Veronica Mars Talk (movie edition!)

Veronica_Mars_Film_PosterSo, things are different now and we don't do the TV gabfest around here so much, but I feel the need to create a spoilery haven for discussion of the movie (which we just watched on Amazon streaming, and I will probably watch again later!), if people want to.

Ye olde Veronica Mars Talk returns.

Let me know what you thought in the comments, if you're so inclined.

Call The Reading Police

Yesterday morning I tweeted a handful of insomnia-fueled things related to some discussions that have been floating around in the ether this week:

But then I realized I wanted to unpack some of this a little more and make an auxiliary point or two, as you do. So rambly post, it is.

After I made these tweets, I skimmed the post that touched off this latest round of discussion about Heinlein and whether someone has to read the SF classic canon to be a fan of the genre or a contributing member of the field, and also went and read Scalzi's reaction to it (which I very much agree with).

Even having been around the field as long as I have, I don't really feel like I understand fandom very well, so I'm not going to talk about that much.

What I mainly want to do is throw out a few ideas about reading.

So, first tweet, my Heinlein policy: I'm only half-joking here. Ask most YA authors or professionals who've attended SFF conventions and they'll confirm that at most of them, whether it be chatting in a hallway or on a panel, someone will ask you about the Heinlein juveniles or express their regret that they don't make books like that anymore and this new-fangled YA stuff has just taken over or tell you about what they want the next trend to be (note: Heinlein-y stuff!*).

It does get tiresome–especially because YA science fiction and fantasy has been in the midst of a new golden age for more than a decade, as far as I'm concerned, and if people want to write it (as many of the people who say the stuff above do), then they should be reading current YA. Which isn't to say you can't read old stuff or classic works can't inform us now. They absolutely can. But to assume that the progression of excellent fiction and exciting worlds and ideas and work stopped decades ago, when you were a kid reading the stuff, well… I just have to go to the bar. Be right back.

Also, you all know one of the things I hate most is when people have Strong Opinions about a genre or subgenre or type of book and have read zero to a number of examples that can be counted on one hand of that genre or subgenre or type of book and decided that they then understand the entirety of offerings under the umbrella. (Extra hate if they're writing about it in the Wall Street Journal or similar and pearl-clutching about the children, the children.)

Being really well-read in one genre or in all sorts of genres is a beautiful thing. Most of my favorite people on earth are. But to the second point I made yesterday morning, I have zero patience for reader shaming or for making people feel lesser or unwelcome or clueless because they haven't read the same things you have from some inevitably problematic canon checklist. 

For kicks, here's a little excerpt of some thoughts I posted about my issues with The Canon as a thing at the Nervous Breakdown several years ago during a censorship controversy: 

I don’t want to lay all this at the foot of The Canon, certainly not. But, hear me out, I do think that the elitist desire to rank fiction–when the rankers always, always have an agenda, be it a clear-cut one or not–ends up contributing to certain crazy ideas people hold about literature, especially people who don’t get out enough. And by get out enough, I mean who don’t read contemporary fiction, because it hasn’t been stamped by the mighty passage of time. Do I believe that history sorts out good books from the pack? Sometimes. Do I believe excellent fiction gets swallowed up as the years pass? Sure. Do I believe that the only healthy approach to reading involves throwing some newer stuff into the mix? With all my brain.

(Always nice when you still agree with yourself after time goes by.)

And yet, despite that, I'm actually not bugged by the Heinlein juvenile rhapsodizers not being current on modern YA–if it's not their thing, it's not their thing. What I'm bugged by is the casual dismissal of a body of work they're not familiar with, a determined averting of the eyes from it with their explicit or implicit insistence that the old classics are somehow innately better than books they haven't read.

Back to what I said yesterday morning: Never feel bad about your reading history–it's yours. And we're all still living our reading lives, which means if you encounter a blind spot and are interested in filling it in or giving something new a try, then you can do that.

I certainly have. When I decided to go to Vermont, one of the major reasons was because I didn't feel like I had enough context to fully understand children's literature and YA. Sure, I'd read plenty of current YA and I was writing it. But I hadn't read many of the classics of that field and I wanted a better grounding. My very first residency had a survey course, for which I read something like 70 books ranging from picture books to middle grade to YA, both older and newer, and then for the next two years, I read along that spectrum nonstop.

I like sinking into a new genre's worth of reading, picking up techniques and an idea of how different fields and genres and subgenres have evolved and continue to. But I absolutely don't expect everyone else to do this. I love recommending books, but I'm never offended if people pass on the recommendations.

If there's something you aren't interested in or haven't been interested in yet–or that you tried and didn't like–hey, fine. Your reading life is your own.

Re: point the third that our reading helps define who we are. I think we all know this, right? Books become a part of us. Everything we read enough of or react to strongly does. A reader is a person books are important to.

And so attempts to claim people don't belong or have the right frame of reference if they haven't read this or that is basically a complaint that people are trying to come to your party who aren't exactly like you. It does strike me as a variation on the "fake geek" argument, an attempt to put a sign on the old clubhouse that says No Admittance, not getting into this party without the stamp of approval.

But isn't it a way more fun party if new people show up, people who don't care whether you approve of them or not?

Which brings me to the real reason I wanted to do a post, because there's something I didn't touch on that I think is important.

While your reading history–past, present, and future–is your own, I do recommend giving some periodic thought to it. If, for instance, when asked to come up with a list of your ten favorite books every one of them is, say, written by a man or there are no authors of color included, then you might want to notice that and think about why it might be. Same if the last ten books you read can be described that way. But your reading is your own, ultimately, and while I suspect it would be richer if you got out more and mixed things up (and while such lists make me crazy), if it's a list of favorites, then your favorites are your favorites.

The problem comes when that list somehow gets mentally shifted from a personal favorites list–a this-is-what-Ilike-best–to an empirical** best list–a this-is-the-highest-quality-example-of-book-type. And it's even more problematic if you're writing for a media outlet, or making a list to share in the real world, or nominating for awards, or writing reviews, or choosing what's important enough to be reviewed, or putting together an anthology, etc., and that difference isn't clear to you and something you correct for thoughtfully if need be.

When people point that kind of omission out or the attitudes that lead to it, that is not policing reading. That's inviting more people to the party.

*Nothing necessarily wrong with that, just no vacuum-sealed, as if it was gently lifted from a time-capsule stuff, please.

**Same problem as canon. Reasonable people can try to agree, but there will always be issues.

Pictorial Hijinks

I promised I'd share some new author photos soon and soon is now (unless you already saw them on facebook, that is).

So I'm not that much of a procrastinator, not where work is concerned. But I can definitely put off other things that need to be done but aren't critical for a looong time. *hangs head in e-mail shame* Another example that demonstrates what I mean would be this website, which I've intended to overhaul for years now. Or, say, the fact that Christopher and I got wedding bands…for our fourth anniversary. At least, I think it was the fourth. The jewelry store people were flummoxed by the delay–and by the fact I didn't care about diamonds (but that's to be expected).

The photo I've been using as my headshot is also an example. I had to come up with a high res shot on a tight timeframe in 2010 for RWA to run with a Q&A they did with me when I won that year's Veritas Award for a PW piece. Christopher gamely agreed to shoot a quick picture in the backyard, and that's exactly what we did. We didn't even bother to crop the thing. Which has now appeared in the back of both Blackwood and The Woken Gods, as well as many other places.

I'd been intending to get some actual professional author photos taken (which I really do believe authors should have) for ages, but finally decided about a month ago to Get It Done. After gathering a number of suggestions, I ended up going to the site of queen of dessert Stella Parks, aka the Brave Tart, an amazing pastry chef and an amazing writer (you'll be wanting her first cookbook as soon as it's out, trust me) who I knew had great photos. Those turned out to have been taken by the wonderful and conveniently local Sarah Jane Sanders, a frequent collaborator of hers on food photography, who also has an excellent body of portrait and other work. 

I was beyond delighted when it turned out Sarah was available and would do some photos for me. She prefers to shoot in natural light without any sort of elaborate set-up–though we did tidy our bookshelves for the first time in years in preparation–and she made the shoot fun, despite the fact that getting my picture taken is not my favorite. She even laughed at my smizing jokes. She's fabulous.

Local folks who need portraits, take note.

I'm sticking a few of the new pics behind the cut tag: