- There should be one more stop coming on the real-life imaginary places tour sometime this week, and I have the aforementioned convo with Kim to post here, but today links. Because time is short.
- I was ecstatic to find The Woken Gods in truly marvelous company on io9's Most Essential SFF of September list yesterday. Yay. And a gentle request to please spread the word if you're reading and enjoying the book: word of mouth is a beautiful thing.
- Quick reminder for local folks that I will be at Morris Book Shop at 6 p.m. on Saturday to read and chat and sign–and I'll be bringing cupcakes. So. Be there! It should be a fun time.
- I absolutely love Paolo's Big Idea essay for Zombie Baseball Beatdown, a book which sounds like it will be as much a blast to read as it was to write. I've mentioned here before that Christopher and I have been writing a book together this summer, and it has been just this kind of invigorating in creative terms. This spring, I was feeling pretty burnt out after finishing The Woken Gods at a fever pitch and entering the time of waiting for it to come out. But circumstances conspired to give us an idea that came at just the right time, with a few months where I (and C) could play around without worrying about imminent deadlines or dropping the ball on something else. It's so easy to lose that sense of play. Now I remember why it's important not to. Collaborating has been a great experience, and it's a little odd now that I've also been working on something new solo again (and soon circus edits!). Anyway. Go read Paolo's essay.
- J.L. Bell on narrative momentum.
- Katherine Langrish on witches in children's literature.
- Charlie Jane Anders has a brief but potent new story in Tin House, "The Skunk," which is odd and funny and a little sad and well worth your time.
- I loved this account by Diane Zahler of her publishing journey. That is commitment.
- A great post you've probably already seen by Madeline Ashby, but pointing to it here in case you missed it. Snippet: "YA is what Clayton Christensen would call a “disruptive innovation,” a product that addresses the needs of a neglected customer segment not being served by the dominant incumbents in power. That some of the fiction isn’t terribly innovative doesn’t matter. What was innovative was treating teens like the serious market demographic that they are: a tightly-connected, actively social group in possession of disposable income who want books about the characters that nervous agents and major publishers won’t touch, like queer characters, non-white characters, and girls." Go read it all.
- Speaking of which, Malinda Lo considers why adults read YA from a slightly different vantage than the usual.
- Drunk History's Dolly Parton segment. I heart Dolly. Forever.
In yesterday's tour of The Woken Gods' D.C., I talked about Dupont Circle becoming Oracle Circle. Today, we're visiting one of my favorite real life–and fictional–locales from the book: Dumbarton Oaks, which is the site of the Houses of the Gods.
Bonus shot of treacherous arbor and path
A couple of happy-making new reviews, and then I'm sending you elsewhere today. Though I will have a convo between me and my lovely book sister Kim Curran up here later this week and a long overdue I Heart post where I recommend stuff by other people (I can't help but feel guilty talking about my own stuff all the time, even during release season!):
- I'm grateful for all reviews, but I think other authors will know what I mean when I say very occasionally you get one from a reviewer who has read exactly the book you hoped to write. This review from Leo Elijah Cristea is one of those for me. (He also has a very engaging critical voice–someone start paying him to write reviews, please.) A snippet: "The Woken Gods is moreish and addictive and incredibly, deliciously strange. This is an offbeat book that chooses its course and sticks to it. There is romance, there is intrigue and there is the ever-important Parent Thing. If a YA book doesn’t depict some kind of parental relationship with the protagonist—even absent parents, dead or otherwise, parental figures, guardians, etc—then it is not authentic. … The Woken Gods is dark and witty and compelling."
- And from Kevin Holtsberry at Collected Miscellany: "If you are looking for YA fantasy with a compelling female character be sure to check out The Woken Gods. If you are the publisher, have Gwenda make this a series."
- And you can still enter the Tor.com sweepstakes to win one of five free copies.
So…this week's posts elsewhere about THE WOKEN GODS will be a little different. I thought it'd be fun to spotlight some real-life locations in Washington, D.C., that I used, and how they change in the book–especially since I have a zillion photos I took myself. Today, I'm at Take Me Away talking about how Dupont Circle became Oracle Circle.
Bonus pic of the Metro entrance/exit, complete with Walt Whitman poetry
(briefly referenced in book)
Head there for more.
A nice Friday sweepstakes surprise over at Tor.com:
“If you like mythology and fast moving YA novels with decisive and strong female protagonists,” Tor.com reviewer Rajan Khanna says in his review, “The Woken Gods might just be for you.”
We know plenty of you fit that description, so we’ve got the perfect sweepstakes for you today: a chance to win one of five copies of Gwenda Bond’s The Woken Gods, out now from Strange Chemistry.
Whee! Go there and comment to enter! (Open through Sept. 10th.)
I've been meaning to start a master post with all the handy links to interviews and guest posts and other stuff related to THE WOKEN GODS, and now that the book is actually out and people are reading it (I hope!), here it is for those who want more. I try my best to make all these different and worth your time.
There's a few more fun things coming up, and I'll add those (and blog pointers) as they do. And some very happy-making new reviews have come in yesterday/today, so I'll point to those then too. In the meantime, have a happy weekend and a whole bunch of links:
- On Reinventing Legends at E. Kristin Anderson's. Snippet: "As a writer, I’m first and foremost a reader and a magpie–I think most of us are. And we all have certain shiny objects or topics that attract us more than others. If you’re a writer, published or not, I bet you have at least a couple different rows of books (if not more) that would count as “Research” on any given topic. And, of course, there are also kinds of stories that attract us, as readers and writers."
- On Creating Intertextuality and Maintaining Authenticity at Oh Chrys. Snippet: "All of this was tricky. Because I also didn’t want to imply, while using all these varied gods, that America was the only place on earth that mattered. I wanted the landscape of the story to make sense as a focal point, but I wanted to make sure it was clear that there were plenty of gods who did not swarm to D.C. and settle there, that most gods stayed where they were."
- The Big Idea at Scalzi's: "This is the part where you’re expecting me to tell you this time, this time, it finally came together. And it had started to come together, but it still wasn’t working. I knew everything about the world, but I was still hovering outside my main character, above her, watching Kyra, but not feeling her. When I went back to edit that draft, the problem was clear to me."
- Book Notes at largehearted boy (you can listen to the playlist on spotify). Snippet: "Playlists were incredibly important to each and every draft of this novel. They helped me settle on the tone I wanted, helped me imagine a landscape that had shifted from the current version of D.C., and helped me figure out the characters. Here are some highlights from the playlist titled Trickster Fu."
- Pub(lishing) Crawl interview. Snippet: "I’m going to go with dead, because I know too many living writers I can happily close down a bar with to narrow it down to just three. So… Dorothy Parker, Oscar Wilde, and Nora Ephron. Because, hey, that would be one witty night of one-upsman(and lady)ship."
- Sophomore Spotlight interview for Read My Breath Away. Snippet: "Wow, I just don’t know. Most of my favorite story worlds have some serious downsides. Maybe some kind of bohemian utopia, if such a book exists? Or possibly the Graceling world (but only if I got to have a grace!)."
- Red Reader Reviews interview. Snippet: "Kyra is a mass of contradictions. She’s desperate to have real connections with other people, but she has a difficult time trusting them or letting them see who she really is."
- Authors Are Rockstars podcast: In which we talk Blackwood, The Woken Gods, but perhaps most importantly about loving cracktastic Christopher Pike novels as teens and wanting a reread club.
- Winged Reviews interview. Snippet: "I guess I would want a relic that allowed me to travel places very quickly, which I’d imagine would be something of Hermes’. And since this is Winged Reviews, it seems only appropriate to pick Hermes’ winged sandals. Failing that, something that results in deep, uninterrupted sleep. Those are both boring and adult things to want, though, aren’t they? I’d better say I also want one that produces high-end champagne from water."
- Dash Cooray interview. Snippet: "Work on something as long as it takes to make it the best you can on your own, then send it into the world and start something new. The start something new is the important part, because we all face rejection. Careers happen because writers keep writing in the face of setbacks and rejection."
- 10 Questions About THE WOKEN GODS at Chuck Wendig's Terrible Minds. Snippet: "I’ve always loved mythology–especially its odder, dustier, less explored corners–and tricksters and urban fantasy. I like secret organizations that have to come out into the light, and I like stories where politics play a role, be they larger societal ones or smaller familial ones. So, this story comes from my own desire–as a reader and a writer–to have all those things at once, plus some monsters."
- Gabfest: A Convo With Kim Curran (here!), in which we talk debut year, second books, and the importance of writer friends.
Tour of THE WOKEN GODS' Washington, D.C.:
- Stop one at Take Me Away: Dupont Circle becomes Oracle Circle.
- Stop two at the Bookshelf Sophisticate: Dumbarton Oaks becomes the Houses of the Gods.
- Stop three: To come! Featuring Einstein monument, Library of Congress, and the Mall.
Other Fun Things:
- THE WOKEN GODS pinterest board (which also has all the pretty quotes on it)
- Flickr set from research trip to D.C.
- Flickr set from launch signing.
- Goofy pre-order video, in which I talk about the world and show off my typewriter.
- And, of course, you can always find all my posts here by tag.
Today is release day in the UK and Australia! Purchase links for those corners of the world:
And the US links again:
You can find out more about all this month's releases from Strange Chemistry here. (And Blackwood and a handful of other SC e-books remain on mega-sale.)
The new book and I are still popping up in the cybercorners of the world:
- The Book Notes feature at largehearted boy is one of my all-time favorite blog features; I adore it. And so I'm thrilled to be over there today offering up a playlist for THE WOKEN GODS. Go forth and read, then stream it. (I might have gotten a little carried away with the number of songs, but I pared down from my first draft of essential tunes–I promise! Of course, the master playlist had about 80-100 songs on it, so… These are the mega-repeat listens, the book's soundtrack in my head.)
- I also have a new interview up today by Dash Cooray, filled with writing advice (including what I think the trick to a career is), info on what's next from me, and more.
- Over at Kirkus, John DeNardo picks his Best Bets for Science Fiction & Fantasy Books in September, and yours truly is honored and delighted to be included alongside the likes of Paolo Bacigalupi, Stephen King, Margaret Atwood, and Jamie Lee Moyer.
- Lovely review at Bull Spec magazine's site; snippet: "All three teens and their parents are wrapped in a save-the-world-from-disaster scenario which uses the DC landscape and buildings for things which you will have to read to believe. This is an exciting urban fantasy adventure which hopefully will get further volumes. The characters are engaging and the setting familiar but with strange twists. One of the most enjoyable young adult contemporary tales set in the US that Your Humble Reviewers have read in a long while." *beam*
- A happy-making review from Kate Ormand; snippet: "THE WOKEN GODS is a captivating story of secrets, mysteries, lies and adventure, blending rich mythology with a contemporary setting. I’d recommend to fans of Neil Gaiman, Zoë Marriott and Cassandra Clare. I was already a fan of Gwenda Bond after reading her debut novel, BLACKWOOD." *double beam*
- Anndd signed copy giveaway is still going at the Book Cellar.
Thanks to all of you who've tweeted, retweeted, facebooked, reblogged, cheered–I'm grateful to each and every one of you. And please feel beyond free to send/tweet me pics of the book in the wild should you encounter it, let me know what you think if you read it, and, if you enjoy it, consider leaving a review at Amazon, GoodReads, B&N, or tell a friend. Books (and authors) live (or die) by word of mouth.
Now for some photographicals Christopher snapped at the signing event Tuesday night at Joseph-Beth, which was so much fun:
Many thanks to everyone who came out and to the store.
And thanks to Christopher, who agreed to help out with a brief bonus reading from the middle grade we've been working on together (and which we just finished up a round of revisions on). I suspect his dragon stole the show. As he put it, he's the Benedict Cumberbatch of Kentucky. And he also got me this necklace for our ninth anniversary.
I might have picked it out.
If you're local and missed the event, I'll be at the Morris Book Shop at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14.
It's release day! My second novel, THE WOKEN GODS, is officially born. A bookseller friend sent me the following picture this morning:
— Gwenda Bond (@Gwenda) September 3, 2013
I'll be there later this month. And, of course, I'll be at our other local bookshop, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, tonight at 7 p.m. Come one and all! Tonight Christopher and I might even share a little snippet of our just-finished middle grade, if there's time — and it's our ninth wedding anniversary today.
I am a few other places, too:
- Over at Scalzi's giving the inside dirt on how hard this book was to write with a Big Idea;
- Stopping by Winged Reviews with an interview about all sorts of fun things; and
- On a very fancy Authors Are Rockstars joint podcast gabbing with librarian and podcast rock stars Steve Thomas and Allison Tran.
A funny little thing those of you who know me personally may notice…
Sometimes in the production process something happens and it doesn't get caught until too late to fix (until reprints). Such a thing happened to the first print editions of THE WOKEN GODS and its dedication page. My parents are alive and well, as are my grandmothers, thankfully. Those of you getting e-books should get the right one, but just so everyone knows THE WOKEN GODS is dedicated to:
Karen Joy Fowler, Kelly Link, and Ursula, three of my favorite tricksters
Amanda Rutter, who kept the faith
These things happen, and, hey, the more copies of that first printing you buy up, the sooner we'll have a second one with a correction. My first errata! And the important thing is the actual book itself is as it should be. *grin*
My sincerest, enormous thanks to everyone for your happy wishes today. And, last but not least, here are some purchasing links:
(And Blackwood's still on sale!)
I didn't intend to fall off the map, but I might have taken on a couple of extra deadlines that have eaten the long weekend (along with the viewing of many, many episodes of Scandal on Netflix instant). But THE WOKEN GODS release day is…tomorrow!
Some handy dandy purchasing links (UK versions here):
I've heard from a couple of people who got their relic postcards, so those of you who haven't should get them anytime.
Some happy-making new reviews have been coming in:
- A very lovely one at Bibliotropic. Snippet: "Between the diverse cast of interesting characters, the creative plot, and the engaging writing style, The Woken Gods has a guaranteed place on my shelves for a long time to come. YA fans who enjoy a departure from standard material, female protagonists who can stand on their own two feet, and a wild creative ride will do well to check this one out." *beam*
- Scottish Bookworm in Quebec says: "Strong narrative. Bond takes us through the story at a brisk pace, keeping the narrative tension high. The writing style is smart and efficient and kept me hooked on the story. Great characters. Everyone should have a best friend like Bree!" Click through for more.
- From Ladybug Literature: "This book was easy to fall in love with from the start. … I think that is artfully done for an author to take a slightly less appealing character and show them in a different light with the help of a well liked character. The book as a whole, dragged me into a world I want to read more of. I want to know what happens next."
- And Rob Bedford gives the book a nice Recommended review at SFF World. A snippet: "Bond does a lot of things well in her second novel. Her pacing is as brisk and frenetic as in her previous novel and her characters, particularly the protagonist Kyra, is far more than simply the “plucky, clever girl.” Kyra’s emotions come across very well; her urge to help her father, the conflict she feels over Oz, and the fear she has for her friends. I empathized and believed in her as a character and felt for her plight."
- The delightful Erica Haglund has a spotlight on THE WOKEN GODS today, along with a chance to win a signed copy. I'm not doing a ton of giveaways this time around, so go enter if you want to win one.
- There's another stop on the "resistance-to-blog-tours-is-futile blog tour" today over at Oh Chrys. Chrys asked a really interesting question, and I gave her a really long answer about how I went about mixing and matching mythology to try and create my own. Check it out. (And thanks to the bloggers who have participated, and the ones coming up.)
- AND a reminder to local folks I'll be doing an event tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. at Joseph-Beth. Come out! Also, if any of you want to order signed books from afar, I'm sure they can accomodate you. Just give them a call in advance.
And last thing, here's one more day-before-release, pretty graphic quote for you:
Back tomorrow, when I will be whirling–even more–with crazed excitement and nerves.
Swamped, and so today is another elsewhere day. I'm over at the fabulous E. Kristin Anderson's place, talking about using established legends and mythology.
Snippet: "Probably the biggest single reason for this commonality in my work so far (and my next book, while set in the modern day also draws on the history of the circus) is that I write from my obsessions and interests. As a writer, I’m first and foremost a reader and a magpie–I think most of us are. And we all have certain shiny objects or topics that attract us more than others. If you’re a writer, published or not, I bet you have at least a couple different rows of books (if not more) that would count as “Research” on any given topic."
(And, yes, I know I need to make a master post for bloggish tour things to live in; I'll do that soon.)
p.p.s. Don't know how long this will be true, but the Kindle price for Blackwood has dropped to $1.39. Buy now, and spread the word!
Time flies, my friends, and there is not enough of it. A few little things…
Blackwood's ebook is now on sale for the low, low, a-steal-really price of $.99p or $1.99 at Amazon and B&N. And if you buy from Amazon, you can add the audiobook for $3.49.
On to The Woken Gods, which releases in a week! Ack! I'll be at Joseph-Beth the evening of Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. to sign, read, and babble. Come out if you can.
If you participated in the preorder contest, your relic is winging its way to you as of today. I think these turned out pretty swell and they were lots of fun to do. I'm hoping you'll get them before you get your copies of the book, and do let me know if they don't show up in the next couple weeks. Here's a little peek at a handful as I took them to the mailbox:
(It ended up working out better to type the descriptions on labels and afix, because otherwise the postcards got destroyed on their way through the typewriter machine. You will also learn how you obtained said relics.)
- Blog tourishness continues! I neglected to point to an interview with Red Reader Reviews last week that covered all sorts of topics, like how I'd spend my last day on Earth, my favorite quote, what animal I'd be (spoiler: a dragon!), etc. Check it out.
- New review from Ashley at the A P Book Club. Snippet: "I'm always looking for a book where ancient mythologies are blended with contemporary settings. Take the Percy Jackson series. I loved those books, and I was kind of really excited to see that this was a book for fans of them. But honestly, I think Bond does it so much better. So I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for something along the lines of Percy Jackson, but maybe a little more complex and a lot darker." *beams*
And last, but definitely not least, I believe at least a little bit of book money should be spent on a frivolous splurge (whenever possible), and so I might have procured the most insanely great custom e-reader cover ever:
Yay, Etsy. More anon, lovely people.