Geek Love In Memoriam Book Club

I think all writers–all readers, and most every writer I know is a reader first–has those handful of authors that they have a specific fascination with. Those writers that we encountered at a point where their work became part of us, their voices a promise of what was possible with words. Katherine Dunn was a writer like that for me. I first read her in high school. I can’t remember why I picked up Geek Love. Was it because of my latent love of the circus, already there because of the one-ring circus that spent a week or two outside my elementary school and how immediately Philippe Petit charmed me during an earlyish Letterman appearance? Was I just browsing at the bookstore, sold by the cover? Did Sassy Magazine recommend it? That’s the way I discovered a lot of things.

I tend to think it was probably a serendipitous bookstore pick, though, because I tend to have firmer memories of books being recommended by friends or certain media or placed in my hands from that period. And I would have been susceptible not just to the cover, but to the National Book Award nominated tag. However it made its way into my hands, it was this edition.

GeekLove

To say I loved (LOVE) this book is an understatement of the highest order. Katherine Dunn became an immediate obsession of mine. I read her first two books–Truck and Attic–and was comforted even as a young writer by how they were interesting, but not the works of genius that Geek Love had ascended to. And then, at my first day job, where I sat at a desk at least some of the time (in the Governor’s Office, natch) I took up searching for her name and discovered that a great deal of her regular writing–columns on boxing and movies–were ending up online. I followed her byline like a religion for years afterward. I was one of the gleeful when she popped up in the news for having beaten off an attacker in a Whole Foods parking lot several years back, because of course she’d taken up boxing as an adult. I ended up talking with a former sales rep for Knopf at a party in Decatur and the book came up and I learned the first edition had an added leg on the famous borzoi logo (confirmed last night, so it’s wonderful and true). I felt the same excitement everyone did when the Paris Review editor coaxed that excerpt of The Cut Man from her; we might finally get a new Katherine Dunn novel. I didn’t care what it was about.

We may still yet get it–but no matter what, it’s a truly sad thing that Katherine Dunn is no longer here with us. The world was a better, stranger place with her in it. I say that purely as a fan; I know people who knew her, and I offer all of her friends and family my greatest sympathies. A former Clarion student of hers, Jessica Reisman, described her personality to me like this on twitter last night: “Charming and profane in equal measure, dry, and so so smart.” Which is exactly how I’d always imagined her.

One perfect, rich, odd book that spoke to the freak in so many of us is a big legacy to leave behind. My first thought last night (after sorrow) was that it’s been far too long since I’ve read Geek Love and that we really should have some sort of group reading In Memoriam. So let’s get our books in the next couple of weeks and read or reread it together during June, okay? I can host posts here and we can use twitter OR I’m happy to set up a Goodreads group; if anyone has strong feelings either way, drop them in the comments.

RIP.

Double Down Is Here! (+ YALLWEST Photos)

So… I missed posting here for release day, traveling and then recovering from yet another round of my late trapped-in-airport curse. But the sequel to Fallout is now available wherever fine books are sold; if you visit a store that doesn’t have it, just ask them to order it for you!

The details:

Double Down Final Cover

Lois Lane has settled in to her new school. She has friends, for maybe the first time in her life. She has a job that challenges her. And her friendship is growing with SmallvilleGuy, her online maybe-more-than-a-friend. But when her friend Maddy’s twin collapses in a part of town she never should’ve been in, Lois finds herself embroiled in a dangerous mystery that brings her closer to the dirty underbelly of Metropolis.

Buy links here. Please drop a review somewhere once you’ve read it, if you’re so inclined.

Kirkus gave Double Down a star and said: “That’s a lot of balls to juggle, but Bond never drops a single one. She fills this adventure with the Golden Age sci-fi weirdness that permeated the comic books of the 1930s and ’40s. The three mysteries dovetail together nicely in the end, with a few bread crumbs leading toward the next installment. Best of all, the novel ends as Lois crosses a line she will never be able to turn back from, a line that will mean big changes moving forward. In a sea of series that keep the characters status quo and rehash the same mysteries with different names and doodads, this is a godsend.”

And here’s Tim Hanley: “For me, Gwenda Bond writes the best Lois Lane out there right now. The best Lois of the 21st century, really, at least. When I wrote Investigating Lois Lane, I read/saw/listened to pretty much everything Lois has been in, and Bond’s Lois is one of my very favourites. She encompasses everything I love about past incarnations of the character while also being fresh, modern, and unique in her own way. Here’s a spoiler for my own book: Fallout and Double Down are the last things I talk about in Investigating Lois Lane, and there’s a reason for that. In an era where Lois has been criminally underused, Bond has crafted a Lois that shows why she’s a relevant, fantastic character who deserves the spotlight.”

Thanks so much to everyone who has supported this series; I adore you all. Last week’s tinyletter talks about where book three stands (aka in the hands of the fate), so keep spreading the word.

And now some YALLWEST pics (it was fabulous)…

IMG_3540

Blue ladies, me, Shannon Hale and Holly Black

IMG_3541

Me and Holly again

IMG_3556Me and Alaya Dawn Johnson in the green room

IMG_3604Tiger Beat doing a gorgeous Prince tribute number

IMG_3618I finally got to hang out with Kate Leth! Team Girl Over Paris!

IMG_3624Speaking of which… some hijinks ensued. Kate, Marguerite Bennett photobomb by Jeremy Lambert.

IMG_3626

Me, Marguerite, and Kate

IMG_3643

Last but not least, I took my new instant camera and yesterday made a little board with all the (not)Polaroids I took with it. Good times!

Where I’ll Be at YALLWEST!

Hey there! Wow, NTTBF was some amazingness. One of the best events I’ve ever been to. Annnnd festival month’s big finale is coming up this weekend — YALLWEST! If you’re there, come say hi. There will be copies of Double Down for sale and then officially all across the land! First week sales are very important, so if you can swing it you have my gratitude.

Here’s where I’ll be….

Friday night preview party:

  • Humiliating myself at some point in a classic country duet with Kody Keplinger (who is one of the only people that could talk me into this)

Saturday:

  • HEROES & VILLAINS (THE CHICKEN & THE EGG) (MG/YA): 11 a.m. Barnum: Which Comes First? Which Matters More? Good guys, bad guys, and so-bad-they’re-good guys. Moderated by Sabaa Tahir, with Victoria Aveyard, Leigh Bardugo, Gwenda Bond, Ransom Riggs, Kiersten White & Neal Shusterman
  • THE PANEL CREATIVELY TITLED “THRILLERS” (YA): 2 p.m. Humanities Building: No mere mortal can resist the pull of a thriller, but it’s not easy to pull off. What makes a thriller fierce – or flop? Moderated by Gwenda Bond, with Alaya Dawn Johnson, Brendan Reichs, Brenna Yovanoff
  • Signing: 3 p.m. (I’ll have some What Would Lois Lane Do? wristbands with me, but I’m running low so if you want one this is a good time to score it! Also possibly a few Girl in the Shadows ARCs…)

Sunday:

  • Signing: 2 p.m.
  • STORY/MAKERS: COMICS & ADAPTATIONS (MG/ YA): 3 p.m. Cafetorium: Make it your own – but how? Moderated by Lorraine Cink, with Gwenda Bond, Kami Garcia, Ryan North, Danielle Paige, Margaret Stohl

Then I will collapse. Haha, just kidding, then deadlines.

Where I’ll Be At NTTBF & Charitable Auction Info!

RT was a blast, even if our hotel in Vegas had a smoky cesspool vibe. You can read a little more about that in my tinyletter #3 (or sign up to get future weekly letters in your inbox — I was determined not to miss one so soon in) (if you’re like tinywha?, I decided to move my newsletter to a less formal weekly letter with just links to news at the end). But my travels are only just beginning. Next up is…North Texas Teen Book Festival at the Irving Convention Center this Saturday.

Just as at RT, there SHOULD be early copies of Double Down available, eep!

Here’s where you can find me at NTTBF:

  • 9 a.m. GB1: Where’s My Super Suit? It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…superhero books! With: Gwenda Bond, Faith Erin Hicks, Jeramey Kraatz, Margaret Stohl, moderated by Mandy Curtis
  • 11 a.m. MR7: Do You Believe in Magic? Maybe it’s real life, maybe it’s magical realism. With: Kathi Appelt, Gwenda Bond, Natalie Lloyd, Samantha Mabry, Jessica Taylor, moderated by Donalyn Miller
  • Noon GB5: “Cause This is Thriller, Thriller Night” You’ll be on the edge of your seat with these thrilling reads. With: Gwenda Bond, Ally Carter, Janet Fox, Jennifer Latham, Brendan Reichs, Teresa Toten, moderated by Diane Ramsay
  • 2 p.m. MR3: Superhero Origins : Discover the true story about adapting comic books into novels. With: Gwenda Bond, Margaret Stohl, moderated by Jeramey Kraatz
  • 3:30 p.m. Signing with everybody!

Writing for Charity Refugee Benefit Auction

The amazing Shannon Hale and Mette Harrison put together a giant online charity auction and here’s the lowdown: “Authors Shannon Hale and Mette Ivie Harrison have mobilized book people to donate items for an epic online auction. You will find one of a kind offers, critiques, art, books, personalized visits, and unique events from our generous helpers. Due to a generous donor who is covering our administrative costs, EVERY CENT will go to Lifting Hands International, a charity that gets life-saving supplies directly to refugee camps. Go bid!”

You can see all the items up for grabs here. I’m donating an up to one hour Skype session (could be in person if you’re within an hour or so of Lexington, Ky) for a bookclub, library or classroom along with up to 20 signed copies of Lois Lane: Fallout. This would normally cost about $400, but you can start the bidding at $100 and contribute to a great cause!

And next week I’ll be back to post my YALLWest schedule and remind you Double Down is out imminently, then collapse. Haha! Kidding. I’ll have collapsed way before then.

Where I’ll Be At RT Convention!

I’m so excited to finally be experiencing the legendary RT Convention firsthand, and in Vegas no less!

My hair is now ALL blue (et voila), so if you see me say hi!

Here’s where I’ll be:

YA: Who Runs the World? Girls!

Hit TV series like The 100Agent Carter, and Game of Thrones are starting to reflect what readers and authors have known all along: Women in charge make for fierce and fabulous fiction. Which shows do the best job of portraying women in positions of power? What makes strong female characters so captivating? Join top YA authors for a discussion of formidable females in pop culture entertainment. Moderator: Rae Carson Panelist(s): Kass MorganRichelle MeadDanielle PaigeVeronica Rossi (aka Noelle August)Gwenda Bond, and Michelle Knudsen.

Friday, April 15, 10:00am-11:00am, Conga
Cf7PfqpUIAAusCV.jpg-large

YA: Humble Beginnings: Your Favorite YA Authors Share Their Teen Writing

Authors are blessed by the writing gods from the moment they pick up a pen or touch a keyboard…aren’t they? Decide for yourself as more than a dozen YA authors read excerpts from the poems, stories, and fan fiction they wrote as teens. Moderator: Bree Despain Panelist(s): Kass MorganRachel HawkinsAdi AlsaidGwenda BondAnn AguirreJenna Black (aka Abby Lombard)Rebecca DonovanSophie JordanC.C. Hunter (aka Christie Craig)Amalie HowardCourtney StevensBrodi Ashton

Saturday, April 16, 5:00pm-5:45pm, Palma A
I’ll also be signing at Saturday Teen Day from 10 to 2! See you in Vegas!

Escape Your Taxes Book Sale! Whee!

Escape-Your-Taxes-Sale-med

I don’t know about you guys, but taxes OUCH. So a group of super writer pals have teamed up to offer some deals on books to either a) help with the pain or b) help you spend your refund wisely.

My book on sale is The Woken Gods, which only recently came back. You can pick it up at Amazon for $2.99, discounted from $3.99.

This book comes from my love of mythology and specifically of tricksters, so if you’re always thinking to yourself, man, I wish people would use lesser known pantheons and we could get SUMERIAN gods and Loki and Legba in conversation, etc., etc., with a smart, rebellious girl trying to win against them, well…this is the book for you! But why believe me when you listen instead to the brilliant Carrie Ryan, NYT bestselling author of the Forest of Hands and Teeth Series, who said this about it: “Unique, fast-paced, and rife with tension, The Woken Gods brilliantly pits loyalty against survival, trust against inevitability, and love against fear.”

Here’s a rundown of what everyone’s offering:

Go get yourself some books! I know I am. And spread the word, if you’re so inclined.

The Cirque American Is Coming To Comics!

OH. MY. WORD. I have never wanted to blab so much about anything, and yay, today we finally get to tell you about a project that’s been months in the making!

My divine editor for Girl on a Wire and Girl in the Shadows Courtney Miller and Jet City Comics editor Paul Morrissey asked me last winter if I would have any interest in telling a side story about the Cirque American, perhaps set between Girl on a Wire and Girl in the Shadows, IN COMICS. And who is on my dream team list and they’d do their best to get them on board.

Of course, I said YES and proceeded to name my favorites. Never in my wildest dreams did I think we would actually get Kate freaking Leth on board to write and Ming freaking Doyle on board for the art. But we did! And so we’ve all been working on a four-issue miniseries that will come out starting in July, to your local comic shop and Comixology, and then be available in a bind-up thereafter. Today we get to show you the cover for the first issue and reveal a little about the series. PREPARE TO SWOON at Ming’s beautiful cover.

 

GoaW01_cover_final-dressed

 

Issue 1 Description / Series Description

From acclaimed fantasy writer Gwenda Bond (Girl on a WireGirl in the Shadows), this four-issue comic book series features a new stand-alone story set within the world of Bond’s exotic, magical Cirque American. Written by New York Times bestselling comic book writer Kate Leth (Patsy Walker A.K.A. HellcatAdventure Time: Seeing Red) and featuring stunning art by acclaimed artist Ming Doyle (The KitchenConstantine: The Hellblazer).

After a high-profile tumble, Cirque American’s star wire walker, Jules Maroni, has a lot to prove—and her invitation to an exclusive exhibition in Paris looks to be just the opportunity to put her back on top. Unfortunately, the City of Lights glitters with distractions, including the presence of her first serious boyfriend and a mysterious figure haunting the venue.

*

Jules and Remy are going to Paris! There will be high wire walks above the city and drama and perilous trips into the Catacombs and I just can’t wait for you guys to read this. This project has been such a gift, and I’m learning so much working with these two wonderful geniuses. You can order the first issue on Amazon now and on Comixology or ask your local comic shop to order it for you (it’ll be in Previews in May!). It comes out July 6, the day after Girl in the Shadows release day. More to come.

You absolutely can read this without having read Girl on a Wire or Girl in the Shadows, but it will be extra fun if you have read Girl on a Wire I think!

EEE!

The Woken Gods is back!

As promised, The Woken Gods is now once more available in ebook and for just $2.99! This is what I think of as my weirdest book and it’s definitely my most world-buildy. I’ve often said it’s my take on if Indiana Jones was an untrained teenage girl who had to go up against trickster gods in a transformed Washington, D.C. (I even gave her Indy’s jacket!) (The sharp-eyed among you may have noticed that Blackwood has once again disappeared; that’s because it has found a great new home and I’ll tell you more about that when I’m sure I’m allowed to. It’ll be back next year though. Yay.)

Here’s The Woken Gods new cover and description, and a buy link:

gwendabond_wokengods_6x9_front_final

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 Lois Lane: Fallout and Girl on a Wire comes a divinely different fantasy that will appeal to fans of Neil Gaiman, Cassandra Clare, and Rick Riordan.

“Unique, fast-paced, and rife with tension, The Woken Gods brilliantly pits loyalty against survival, trust against inevitability, and love against fear.” — Carrie Ryan, New York Times bestselling author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth series

Get it at Amazon (for now, for any kind of ebooks at some point). And if you’ve already read the book please feel free to review it!

This is NOT the big news of Monday. That’s coming later. MWAHAHA. Oh and p.s. the Fallout Read-Along is underway and super fun. Join us!

Fallout (Re)Read Group!

I’ve set up a group for the Lois Lane: Fallout Read-Along over at Goodreads, where I’ll post a kick-off thread each week starting March 20. I plan to divulge some tidbits about writing the book, and will happily answer questions and I hope you guys will discuss. You can also ask questions or comment on twitter or tumblr — just make sure you use the tag #FalloutReread — and if there’s call for it, we could do a weekly half-hour chat on twitter about that week’s chapters too. Basically, I’m game for whatever makes this group reading project the most fun for everyone!

Reading schedule:

Week of March 20 – Chapters 1-4
Week of March 27 – Chapters 5-9
Week of April 3 – Chapters 10-14
Week of April 10 – Chapters 15-19
Week of April 17 – Chapters 20-26

One week break then DOUBLE DOWN comes out. Yay!

Join the group here.

Monday Lois Miscellany

Good morning, dearies. I hope your clocks are all reset and the sun is shining to compensate for the blergh of DST. I think perhaps I will get to reveal to you a MOST EXCITING THING this week (finally!), but today some miscellaneous things.

  • I wrote a piece about why Lois Lane matters for the Guardian (!!), which ran on Friday. I’m really proud of how this turned out, so check it out and share if you’re so inclined.
  • I also did a 10 Things I Love About Lois Lane for Maximum Pop.
  • I’ll be chatting with Mariam Khan (and you?) for #FeminisminYA at 7:30 p.m. UK time/3:30 p.m. Eastern Standard tomorrow on twitter.
  • The ebook sale is almost over! So click with the clickety if you haven’t! And if you’re an ebook fan, it looks like the preorder of Double Down is also on sale. I’ll put up the details for the group read-along of Fallout later this week, but basically we’ll have a hashtag and I’ll be lurking to answer any questions during discussion on a certain evening each week covering a few chapters for the next month.

FalloutSaleGraphicLastCall

Last but not least, if I met you at SEYA you were delightful. What a fun time that was. And now back to work.