Five Things Make A Friday Post

1. Heading out this weekend for this year's Bat Cave retreat. It's set up exactly like this:

(Image from here.)

Except replace the underground stream with a hot tub. There's really nothing more energizing, wonderful, and magical than spending a chunk of time holed up in a scenic locale with a gaggle of writers talking fiction and being silly and sharing war stories and in-jokes and, yeah, I can't wait. Especially because I am still being attacked by rogue deadline and have to rewrite some more words to escape its clutches. But! Nearly finished.

2. A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to teach a day-long workshop to this year's class of the Young Women Writers Project at the Carnegie Center. I can tell you that these are some amazing writers, who you'll be hearing lots from in the future. And I'm so sad to miss their big reading. If you're in the Lexington area, however, you should go: it's next Friday, April 19, at 5:30 p.m. (during Gallery Hop) at the Carnegie Center. Go support them.

3. I can't remember where I saw this regional dialect map first, but it is fascinating.

4. A typically wise post from the fabulous Robin LaFevers on the ups and downs of life in publishing. The creative life is definitely not for those who are afraid of heights or lows.

5. Speaking of which, this week has obviously been a high point for me. When you sell your first book(s), it's impossible to know if you'll publish more of them after that. It feels, often, that this must be an accident or a mistake, and to expect it to happen again, well, that's some nerve. That's tempting fate. But you keep writing anyway, of course, because you can't stop and there are stories to tell and what's fate for, but to tempt? (See also: Chuck Wendig's post on imposter syndrome.) Girl on a Wire was a book I started not thinking at all of the market, before I sold Blackwood, just because I wanted to tell this story, and it would be worth it even if it never saw the light of day. And then I finished it and revised it because I still felt that way, despite the shadow voice whispering that my first sale was a fluke. To have that book find such a great home is just as surreal and marvelous as selling Blackwood and The Woken Gods (eep! hope you like it too) was. In some ways more, because of all of the above. I can't wait to get back to work on it. But I just wanted to say again THANK YOU, sincerely, for the overwhelming flood of congratulations on twitter, tumblr, facebook, email–wherever congratulations are possible–this week. It means more than you can know.

So, love to y'all, and happy weekend.

New Book Deal! The Circus Book Finds A Home!

So, I'm delighted to share this news, from today's PW Children's Bookshelf:



This is the book I finished the first draft (well, the first draft of the second draft, natch) on New Year's day–fitting, because while there will be plenty of time to detail the combination of swirling things that became Girl on a Wire, I know precisely when the first inkling of it arrived…over New Year's 2011. (When I'm asked where I got this idea, I can say from The Flu and it will be somewhat true.)

Anyway, I'm really proud of this book, and I hope you'll all love it. It comes from many of my obsessions–the circus, high wire walking, girl daredevils, classic screwball comedies, multi-generational family mysteries: if any of those are things you like, well, you're in luck. (It's set in the here and now, by the way. Though I hope it's infused with lots of history.)

I must give many, many thanks to the 2012 Bat Cave workshoppers, who gave me such great advice on the first draft–especially to Laurel Snyder and Beth Revis, who read the whole messy thing and helped me figure out what was working and what wasn't. And, of course, massive thanks to my fabulous, best agent on earth Jennifer Laughran, and to Larry Kirshbaum, Tim Ditlow and their team at Amazon Children's for truly getting the book and being so very enthusiastic about it. You left me with no doubt that this is, simply, the book's best possible home. I'm excited to work with you on it.

(On a different note: I just want to make clear that I will always support independent bookstores. I hope some of you–my dear friends at fabulous indies–will consider stocking the book when it comes out next year. But if not, then we will work together on other things and I will tell people to come in and order it from you anyway. There is room for everyone in this literary future, that I believe.)

And now! A photo of Jules'–the main character's–hero, Bird Millman, over New York City:


Bird new york

I truly can't wait for you all to be able to read this one. Yay!

Upcoming Event: Ladies With Flaming Pens

Pens-on-Fire-YA-Author-Panel-WEBOr something like that! Just a quick post about an event coming up this weekend.

On Saturday, I'll be at the Woodford County Public Library for a panel discussion with fab YA authors Kelly Creagh, Bethany Griffin, Katie McGarry, and Heather Sunseri. Check out the nice graphic the library made for us (click to embiggen) and come out if you can.

I can't wait.

Now back to pretending a vast ocean of Things To Do does not stand between me and the weekend…

Thursday Hangovers


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Thursday Hangovers

Haunted at 17: The Open Road & the End of the World

Nova Ren Suma’s new novel, 17 & Gone, comes out this week (today, as a matter of fact), and to mark the release of this story about a 17-year-old girl haunted by the missing, she’s asked some authors she knows to join her in answering this question… What haunted YOU at 17? To see all the authors taking part, be sure to visit her blog

(Because I'm trying to meet another deadline, I missed the deadline to get my post over to Nova for this. But here it is, anyway. Loving seeing all these, both there and elsewhere, so if you feel moved to contribute: please do and send her the link.)


The Open Road & the End of the World

Every morning during my senior year, I drove into the school parking lot blasting R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)." And not just blasting it, singing along at the top of my lungs, especially on that parenthetical (you know I love a parenthetical). "AND I FEEL FINE!" I would shout it, as loud as I could in my terrible, abysmal, never-any-good voice, because it didn't matter, because there was no one there to hear. Car singing is the safest kind of singing, safer even than dancing around your room. It's you, moving through space, the music turned up so it obliterates your voice and even you don't care if you're off tune. You might still be able to hear yourself think, but you can't hear yourself sing. So: "AND I FEEL FINE!" Was it the truth?

Of course not.


Two Quick Yaylets

1. Thing the First:

I believe since it's in the Taryn Fagerness Agency newsletter for March, I can finally announce where that first-ever foreign sale* I mentioned on twitter awhile back was to…


Blackwood is going to Italy! Where it'll be published by Fabbri Editore. Quite happy-making. Here's hoping there are more foreign adventures in its future.

2. Thing the Second:

The 2013 Locus Awards Ballot (aka poll & survey) is now live. Anyone can vote, subscriber or not, and I am delighted to mention that Blackwood is on there in the First Novels category. And also that Christopher Rowe's "The Contrary Gardener" is on in the Novelette category. As well as many other fab works, so go forth and vote!

And now back to work. Nose, grindstone, that is all.

*In translation. The book is already published in the UK, of course, due to the English-language world domination plans of Angry Robot. Yay!

Monday Hangovers

Look, when I'm working lots I take little breaks and snuffle up interesting stuff, which keeps brain overdrive from causing me to scare door-to-door pamphleteers in my bathrobe or yell at guys who let their dogs run loose to attack mine (at least, it keeps me from doing exclusively those things). Since I'm currently working nonstop, there are many links to pass on. And this is after the tumblr frenzy. I can't explain it. Only demonstrate. Herewith: