All posts by Alyx Dellamonica

After twenty-two years in Vancouver, B.C., I've recently moved to Toronto Ontario, where I make my living writing science fiction and fantasy; I also review books and teach writing online at UCLA. I'm a legally married lesbian, a coffee snob, and I wake up at an appallingly early hour.

Goodreads AMA for Child of a Hidden Sea

imageThe previously mentioned author Q&A is up at Goodreads. I am taking all questions, from now until the end of July. Ask me things! I will answer.

(I know many of you have asked me questions here, and I appreciate it. But if you missed your chance earlier, or have just now thought of something, do consider posting it there. And if you’re an author yourself, and have done a Q&A of this sort before? I would eagerly accept any and all pro tips.

All questions are welcome as long as they’re at least vaguely writing-related.

Magical Words #3, plus a kitten picture…

Today at Magical Words I’m talking about my particular variation on the writing lifestyle. And next week the plan is to be there with an essay about plot, so stay tuned.

 
Here be kittens. CinCin:

And LoZo, in a bit of a glamor shot:

Kelly and I have been discussing the crucial issue of their portmanteau. CinZo? Or LorenCin? (pronounced ChinZo / Laurentian.) They have a follow-up vet appointment this weekend, and will probably get scheduled for neutering very soon.

Stormwrack: Blame the Museum Stores!

imageI have a short article about the worldbuilding in Child of a Hidden Sea up at the Tor Forge site, called “Enough with Zombies! Bring on the Pirate Apocalypse!” Essentially, it argues that you can blame the coffee cups at the American Museum of Natural History for everything I do.  (Later in the week, I am planning to blame porn. Because nothing is my fault!)

Meanwhile, there’s another review of the novel, and quite a good one too, at Cherry Blossoms and Maple Syrup.

There will also be a Goodreads Q&A soon, but as of today I can’t quite work out how to turn it on. I’m pretty sure there’s a PICNIC error involved, and have sent craven pleas for assistance to qualified persons.

How young is too young for a bit of sex and murder?

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A few years ago I had the awesome good fortune to meet Greta Wenzel at the Surrey International Writers Conference. Greta has many fantastic qualities, and she curates one of my favorite Pinterest humor boards. We cross paths on Facebook too, from time to time.

She also has children.

Because I have been posting a good deal lately about Child of a Hidden Sea, she reached out on the weekend and asked how kid-appropriate it might be. She is not concerned about her two eldest, but her youngest is eleven years old, and would love a seagoing fantasy adventure.

This is the kind of question I find incredibly difficult to answer, because I grew up in a house where nobody ever thought to try and stop me from reading whatever text happened to waft my way. I remember reading both Jaws and Roots at around eleven, for example. The former was gory and the latter was rapey, though neither was as sensational as the family pornography archive.

(I also remember asking about the plot of Romeo and Juliet after seeing an epic Man from Atlantis episode based thereon, whereupon one or the other parent handed me the complete works of William Shakespeare.)

Some of that reading was beyond me, and bits of all of the above-mentioned works went over my head. (Except, of course, the Man from Atlantis episode.) What I’m tempted to say when asked about who my books are fit for is “It kinda depends on the kid.” But that’s not a great answer for school librarians trying to figure out if my novel’s going to get them in trouble with the parents of children I’ve never met.

What I would always say with Indigo Springs was that there is a sex scene. Onstage sex! Not overtly raunchy, but nothing hidden either.

(I’m sure it’s tactful to pause here to allow any smuthounds time to rush out for a copy of that first book.)

Anyway, the new novel. Two of the characters do have a fling. But the steamy action’s not onstage. I’m trying to build up to the steaminess slowly, if you know what I mean.

As for violence and without getting spoilery, this book has a few on-stage killings. There’s mention of a possible sexual assault in the past. There are a couple of brawls. Some arm-breaking. At least one animal and a couple of monsters die. (The animal is not fluffy, if it makes a difference.)

So now I’m polling: What do you think? Would this have stopped you at eleven? Should it have? Would your parents have made you wait a couple years? I am especially interested in the answer to this if you have already read it and/or have children.

I’m thinking my standard answer should be that Child of a Hidden Sea falls somewhere between PG and PG13.

Toronto, day 395

imageI know this blog has lately been all taken up with OMG Kittehs on the one hand and OMG Child of a Hidden Seaon the other. I know, too, that most of you probably don’t mind.

Still, I wanted to at least try to say something else. (Anything you want to know that isn’t cat or book related? Let me know!)

My second summer here is beginning. It is neat to be able to start comparing, having some perspective. To able to say last spring was rainier. Last summer we got to the heat sooner. (It is supposed to get quite toasty this week, but right now it is cool and rainy.) Even to just say “At this time last year, I’d been in Toronto for one short month. Wow!”

I’ve not made any serious effort to get myself somewhere new to take pictures in awhile. This is hardly surprising, since the trajectory since March has been: Texas trip, move house, adopt cats, book. It’s something I hope to remedy soon.

One thing that will help will be a couple of excursions, one to Prince Edward County to see what’s up with Ontario wines, and another to Amherst, where I will be signing books at a Barnes & Noble on August 9th.

It will be good to venture out of the city. Right now my comprehension of local geography is essentially a staggering understanding of where and how to find decent coffee within a 90 minute radius, walking and… well, allegedly there is stuff north of here. And perhaps elsewhere too.

I knew every bump in the Coquihalla by the time we had been in BC for 15 years, and these things come with time. Right now I’m still at the point where I meet people who live in places like Pickering and I wonder if they’re having me on.

Friday Friday Three Bags Full

full_wildthingsIt has been a full week. There was an extra run to the allergist, and I got a tooth filled before it could crack. Yoga, as usual, happened Monday and Wednesday and will happen again this evening. I also got to go on a cafe-writing date with Gemma Files. I love writer dates; I refer to them sometimes as parallel play and I find they inspire me to get a lot of writing done.

I am waiting on some notes from my editor on Daughter of No Nation, the sequel to Child of a Hidden Sea, and in the meantime have been chasing a short story. It’s a piece that’s been fighting me. I think it’ll be somewhat different from my usual sort of thing, if I can be said to have a usual sort of thing, and maybe even a leap forward in some ways. But right now the POV is slapping me around. Oddly, this fills me with hope, because “Wild Things” was a pretty tough ride, too. In the end I was quite delighted with it. So we’ll see if it catches fire or fizzles.

I read Joe Hill’s Horns, did some teaching, and, as mentioned in other posts, did some more guest-blogging. I walked a lot, voted in our recent provincial election–first time as an Ontario voter!–and didn’t answer quite enough e-mails or post enough pictures of the cats.

So here they are napping by the pool:

There were dark edges here and there: Jay’s death was on my mind at times, and Grandma’s birthday came and went. But things were and are generally good. The weather is fine, the new neighborhood is lovely, the cats continue to grow like extremely fun weeds, we have friends coming to visit on the weekend from Vancouver, and I’m excited about my upcoming book birthday on June 24th.

Curiously Bookish loved Child of a Hidden Sea

imageThe lack of recent kitten pictures was probably all you needed to guess that I am having an insanely busy week. Today will be better… if you’re waiting on something from me, it’ll almost certainly happen by Thursday.

In the meantime, this lovely review has made my morning.

Child of a Hidden Sea has all the fun of a light and fluffy book, but it can surprise you at times with the amount of depth Dellamonica was able to pack into the world and it’s inhabitants. I enjoyed this book a lot, as you can probably tell, and I really loved the main character, Sophie. It’s tough in adult fantasy to find an engaging, intelligent, and flawed female lead– and this book definitely had that.