Thursday Hangovers

The Woken Gods release day continues its approach:

And a new pretty image et quote:



More soon!

Quote Unquote

So, Christopher kindly helped me fill in some text on several of these neato graphics with quotes from the new book… I asked him when I should start sharing them, and he said, a little pitifully, “Maybe now, since I worked so hard on them?”*

You reblogging/sharing, if you so choose, will make him happy too—and me, obvs—if you’re so inclined. I'm putting these at tumblr and pinterest, one a week through release (note helpful buttons below post).

Number one… *makes tah-dah arms*




*The computer with all the design software died, so we have to recreate all but this one tomorrow. Ack!

Thursday Hangovers Et Things

And some The Woken Gods things:

  • TheWokenGods-mediumThe preorder contest is still going, of course, so watch video or read post! Then buy! Email! Get a postcard with a relic! Spread the word! Yay! (I'm really looking forward to writing these, and thanks SO MUCH to everyone who has already entered and who's signal boosted. Every book sold helps feed dogs et cat, so they thank you too.)
  • And soon I will be all everywhere guest posting and doing interviews and etc.; if you want to be a part of that, get in touch with me or the fabulous Caroline Lambe at Angry Robot/Strange Chemistry, and we'll do our best to accomodate.
  • Los Angeles area lovelies, I'm coming your way! My first-ever west coast event will be Oct. 13 at 2:30 p.m. at Mysterious Galaxy Redondo Beach. Calendarize and come out. And speaking of events, my Lexington ones for The Woken Gods are also now confirmed on the events page–so Kentucky peeps, come one and all.
  • A couple more happy-making advance reviews this week, including this lovely one from Torre de Babel, which you can read in English at GoodReads: "Behind an amazing cover lurks a well-crafted divine drama. If you like alternate realities and mythology turned true, you're guaranteed a heck of a good reading." Plus, Kyra and Anzu love. Yay.
  • Another nice one at the The Founding Fields: “A great, fast paced and fun novel that puts a new spin on the 'Gods Are Real' storyline that fans of the Percy Jackson series and other similar titles will love. … Kyra’s character is strong and awesome, and when this book hits shelves next month, you should certainly pick it up if you can. Young Adult readers will love this one.”
  • And Daphne at Winged Reviews put me among 'I'm seriously not worthy' company on her Tuesday top ten books she wants sequels to. *beam*

(Nonphony) Preorder Mania!

So, I think it's time for a little preorder contest for THE WOKEN GODS, which is out on September 3, less than a month! This is a contest where you win IF you preorder, basically. And I even made a video. If you are not the sort of person who delights in watching awkward author videos (or if you are!), the details are all below too.



The details…

Things to know about The Woken Gods relevant to the contest:

  • The book takes place in a world where the gods of ancient mythology awoke five years earlier, and is set in a transformed Washington, D.C. The magic of the gods has unpredictable effects on technology, which means more advanced forms of it often don't work in places like D.C.
  • For centuries, the Society of the Sun (no longer secret and headquartered in the Library of Congress) has been collecting relics, objects that hold divine magic and have specific effects. For instance, in the book there's a shoe owned by Vidarr from Norse mythology which bestows invisibility on the wearer and anyone they're touching.

The contest:

  • TheWokenGods-smallPre-order anytime by midnight August 15 (UK or US) and you will receive a shiny The Woken Gods postcard with a relic and its story typed by me on a typewriter and signed. The first 25 people (and maybe a few more if I go nuts) will get a custom relic and can even pick their pantheon, and I'll choose a god and type up the specific relic for them. Everyone else will get a shiny postcard with one of a few relic stories I'll create specifically for this. Old school! Typewritten! In the mail!
  • Email proof of purchase of book or e-book to WokenGodsATgmailDOTcom, snipping out any private details and including your snail mail address, and we're good. If you order from an indie or local bookstore, I'll take your word for it*, and if you send me a picture I'll tweet about them (yay bookstores). Ordering links**:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Powells

I wanted to do something a little bit different to reflect the book, and hopefully you guys are into it. And please do share the video and spread the word, if you're so inclined.

Also, hey, the book is  starting to get some early reviews. Here's one from the weekend that made me happy:

Ink Scratchers: "I can't recommend The Woken Gods enough, the world, the writing, the action and the characters are all so awesome. This is a unique concept that you have to try even if you aren't a fan of the YA mythology genre. This book is political thriller mixed with mythology which doesn't sound like it should work… yet strangely they go together like cookies and cream."

*Unless you go out of your way to seem like a grifter…which seems unlikely, but just caveating.

**If you don't want the postal relic, but preorder anyway, well, that is just fine too, obviously. As is purchasing when it's out (or asking your library to order it). But I wanted to offer a fun thank you.

Thursday Hangovers

It's August 1! My reaction to this news over at Facebook. *bats eyelashes while semi-panicking*

And now some hangovers; several of these are old, but hey, I stockpiled them for some reason and maybe you missed them. Closing ye olde tabs.

I Heart Stuff (The First In An Occasional Series)

One of the things I used to be much better at using this space for was recommending things I've been loving of late — whether it was books, music, movies or TV — and that often also led to recommendations from you guys of other stuff I ended up loving. Of course, I do this in a piecemeal way on twitter and facebook and etc., like we all do, but it feels more scattered. So consider this the first in an occasional series of posts about great stuff I've been enjoying that's out or about to be out. Not, of course, comprehensive.

 OrphanBlack-Playlists-1024x576I spent the weekend deadlining on a couple of different nonfiction things by day, and marathoning the first season of Orphan Black (which just came out on DVD) by night. If you like smart science fiction TV–particularly with an actress's consistent tour de force performance at the center–you will want to check it out. And avoid spoilers beforehand, if you can and care about such things. All I knew was that it was a genre show and people I trust said it was realllly good. It doesn't hold onto the secret that is its premise for too long, but long enough that it's fun to watch the pilot without knowing. Fab characters. (Felix = j'adore!) There are playlists for Sarah and Felix's characters here that are fun, and obviously where I snitched that pic from. If you've already watched it, here's a second season preview-let (+ interview snippets with the cast by Charlie Jane at SDCC) at io9.

Books! Even though I've been insanely overrun lately, all I want to do is sit around and read and work on various novel projects. Magically, I have managed a decent amount of reading (if not nearly as much writing time as I want). You can also check out this page for more or less up to date reading recs, anytime.

Siege and StormSo…I finally got around to reading the thoroughly excellent second installment of Leigh Bardugo's Grisha series, Siege and Storm. This is undoubtedly one of my favorite series at the moment, in YA or out of it. Epic sweep, great characters and world-building, witty banter, and a delicious romance that manages to complicate heroine Alina's story, rather than simplify it. LOVE.

Speaking of romances, as most of you know, they are my go-to stress reading of choice. And one of my favorite series is Julie Anne Long's Pennyroyal Green books. I believe I've now read all eight of them, since I discovered her earlier this year. The eighth in question is It Happened One Midnight, and just recently out. It became an instant favorite. Such a fun read. And if you haven't tried Elizabeth Essex yet, well, seriously, Almost a Scandal is waiting for you; girl dresses as boy to get on board ship, proves to be an excellent sailor, has exciting adventures and falls in love. Oh, and Courtney Milan has a new one as well, also FABULOUS: The Heiress Effect. There you go.

Books-amy falls down

And for something completely different, I'm just finishing up Jincy Willett's latest, Amy  Falls Down, a loose sequel (same characters–including protagonist Amy Gallup) to The Writing Class, which my love for is well-documented. Here's an interview I did with her when that book came out–something else I used to do more of here, but have fallen out of the habit of.

But I'm going to try to be better about these things, time permitting, especially since we're about to enter the season of The Woken Gods promo (I love you forever if you pre-order–and, if you do, save your receipt, because there might just be something in it for you; more details anon). Anyway, I shall endeavor to make it at least semi-fun for all of us. Karmically, I'm only happy if I'm recommending and talking about stuff by other people, in addition to promoing my own work. And, in fact, my wonderful pub sister Kim Curran will be dropping by at some point this month, and she and I are going to talk second books and the last year and etcetera. Speaking of which, run don't walk to get your copy of her follow-up to Shift, Control, the second book in her fabulous Shifter series, which is officially out next week.

That's probably more than enough for now, so ciao, bellas and fellas.

Monday Hangovers

Context Is A Gift

Last night was my birthday eve, and today is my birthday, and most of you know how much I enjoy birthdays in general. Christopher and I were supposed to be in Boston, but the universe pulled a neat trick in making it all right that we ended up staying home.

Joseph-Beth, bookstore extraordinaire, just happened to be hosting one of the last event's on the epic Neil Gaiman final signing tour. Now, here's the thing, Neil is one of my oldest friends. I've known him since I was a teenager. And another of my oldest friends is Sunshine Ison, who I've also known since I was a teenager, and is actually how Neil and I met. Because we are all busy and far-flung and a host of reasons, we haven't been in the same place in more than a decade.

But here we are last night, in the green room before the event.


Green room hijinks!


That was a birthday gift.

So many memories I have with both of these guys (late nights watching Jerry Springer and snarking on beauty pageants, discovering screwball comedy and books that remain favorites). It was absolutely lovely to see them both, especially at the same time, and steal a little catch up. (And, holy moly, I do not know how Neil is doing this–well, I do, because he held up his hands side by side to show us the swelling in the signing one. Yeeouch.) I'm lucky to have so many people I've been friends with almost as along. And I'm lucky to have friends who are dear to me who I haven't known nearly as long, like Laurel Snyder, who the universe is bringing through town tonight, randomly; I couldn't have wished for better birthday serendipity. My storehouse of memories is constantly growing.

The point I want to make with this is my problem with the way we're supposed to feel about getting older. We're supposed to hate it, especially us ladies (what good will we be when we're oldies and our looks go? goes the dumbdom–the opposite of wisdom). But I have rejected that since I was a teeanger. I know there are bad parts about getting older–I imagine this is especially true when people you know and love start to pass away, and illnesses strike with greater frequency. But.

What you get back in return is the context of yourself, of your life lived. All the things you learn, all the things you still have to learn. All the people you've known, and still know, and will come to know. Every dear friend I have is part of who I am today, this minute, this second. Relationships change over time, just as we all change over time, and we can hope and try to make it for the better whenever possible. Birthdays are to be celebrated, because life is to be celebrated. All these days we get are gifts. Recognize the bad and let it go, and embrace the gift instead.

Speaking of embraces… One of my favorite books of all time is Eduardo Galeano's The Book of Embraces–I'm not sure if I discovered this first or if Sunshine did, but I do know we both loved it, way back in high school. The other night, on a lark, I searched tumblr for Galeano quotes, and found disappointingly few. One that kept turning up was this one: "We are all mortal until the first kiss and the second glass of wine."

Which is nice (though hardly his most important work), but which seemed wrong to me. So I pulled down my copy and found the context. If you haven't read The Book of Embraces, do yourself a favor; it's a unique mix of the universal and the specifically political; it's got strange, ironic, wonderful illustrations, and brief pieces that sometimes tell a story and sometimes don't. It all adds up to something special and magical. Here's the short piece that quote came from in its entirety, because it also seems birthday-appropriate:


The sun was gentle, the air clear, and the sky cloudless.

Buried in the sand, the clay pot steamed. As they went from ocean to mouth, the shrimp passed through the hands of Fernando, master of ceremonies, who bathed them in a holy water of salt, onions, and garlic. There was good wine. Seated in a circle, we friends shared the wine and shrimp and the ocean that spread out free and luminous at our feet.

As it took place, that happiness was already being remembered by our memory. It would never end, nor would we. For we are all mortal until the first kiss and the second glass, which is something everyone knows, no matter how small his or her knowledge.

It's better with the context, isn't it? Yeah, of course it is, and so is life.

This book also has my favorite dedication ever, one that makes me tear up every time I read it: "Cedric Belfrage died shortly after finishing his translation of my work The Book of Embraces. We had already worked together for many years. Each one of his translations increased our certitude of mutual identification. I would recognize myself in each of his translations and he would feel betrayed and annoyed whenever I didn't write something the way he would have.

"A part of me died with him. A part of him lives with me."

My birthday can only be happy because of all the people in my life, and so thank you, all of you, and most especially Christopher. Go out and do something happy today that your memory will already be remembering.

Tuesday Hangovers

ALA Confidential (+ ARCs + Contest Winner)

Okay, so, was ALA only last weekend? Two quick things, and then a little trip report.

  • Thing the First: The Woken Gods lives! aka, there are ARCs. As always, the author is the worst place to get these, though I'm happy to point people in the right direction. If you're a reviewer/bookseller/librarian, you can go request on Netgalley or contact Strange Chemistry about print ARCs. A couple people have asked, so to clarify: this is not a sequel to Blackwood, but an all-new world and characters, completely different. (By the by, if you're not on the Chemistry Set email list, where notifications and things go out, you can also sign up for that.) *nervous* Hope all you lovely early readers (and the ones who come later) like the book! (Stating the obvious, I know. I doubt there's ever been author who was truly all: "I am not nervous at all. And please, hate my book, it's what I do this for.")
  • Thing the Second: The winner of the signed copies of Blackwood and The Woken Gods is… ::drumroll:: Tiffany Snyder! Who I'll be contacting via email. Hope your students enjoy them!

So…my time at ALA was brief but wonderful. It was my first time there, and I didn't have any official events or programming so was just able to wander around and get a feel for how it works and see people. And even though I managed to see a LOT of them, there were plenty more I missed (Jules, for one!), saw far too little of, or only found out were there afterward. Such is the conference life.

I did take my camera with me, but–as usual–left it in the car the whole weekend. I seem to have mostly managed to take photos of food and cocktails with my phone, so I'm stealing a couple of pictures for this post via twitter. Mwahaha. The rest behind the cut; gratuitous mentioning of people ahead (always dangerous, but otherwise I forget who I managed to see, so you're getting it–if I forget anyone, it's because my brain is a sieve).