Right after I turned in The Nature of a Pirate Kelly and I had a vacation, followed by a lot of out of town company. I’ve spent much of the time since then considering a possible Nanowrimo project, mostly because I was feeling the need for a bit of a mental kickstart while I waited for notes on that third Sophie book.
I wasn’t sure cranking out a draft in November was the best idea ever, though the book (tentatively titled Exposure) has some definite cool things. But we’re on the road in November, headed to the World Fantasy Convention in Saratoga Springs–I’ll post my schedule soon! I’ll be in the lucky position soon of having to do promotion for A Daughter of No Nation. And my nano drafts tend to be shambling, unlovely things, studded with wonders, blood and miracles, but a lot of work to beat into shape.
The other recent project was pulling together a grant application to do just that, polish up a book set in the same universe as the newly outlined yet purely theoretical Exposure. It’s called The After People, and it has an excellent beginning, one chained like a plow horse to a somewhat mud-spattered middle and end. I’ve wanted to set aside time to clean up AP for awhile, but Stormwrack things have, of course, been more important. Writing a trilogy while lunging across the country, it turns out, is something of a long haul.
Anyway, my somewhat cursory records seemed to show that I had sent out a grant application for AP in the spring, but I was sure that couldn’t be right. There was no rejection in my files, for one thing, and anyway I didn’t remember applying. Remembering is something I apparently can’t be bothered to do anymore if I think the information is somewhere in my sent e-mail archive. So I hauled my nicely polished beginning and attendant paperwork off to the slowest copyshop ever, to watch teams of monk-scribes scratch out every page by hand (all while taking union-mandated coffee breaks and indulging in quick bouts of Gregorian chanting) and from there I schlepped the whole thing off to not one but two post offices, because the one near the house was experiencing technical difficulties.
Then, coming home from the further-away post office and having finished precisely that errand, I opened my mailbox… and found a grant cheque from the Ontario Arts Council. For The After People.
This means I did apply in May–go me! It also means that if I’m going to insist on forgetting every act I commit as soon as I hit SEND on it, I should at least trust my electronic records. On the other hand, it created an incredibly cool illusion: to mail something and then receive the answer, to have it waiting for you at home before the package has even hit a sorting station? Very cool.
More importantly, though, it means: WHEEEEEEE!!! Thank you, Ontario Arts Council!!
Finally, it means I can allot some serious time to turning the shambling 30K-word back end of AP into something twice as long and actually worth reading.
Needless to say, I am very pleased.
Goodreads is giving away five shiny copies of A Daughter of No Nation. Does one of them have your name on it? I’d like to think so. To sweeten the pot, and of course to spread the word far and wide, I’m going to run a simultaneous draw for a copy of Child of a Hidden Sea (or, if you already have it, your choice of my previous novels, Indigo Springs and Blue Magic).
Here’s the deal:
–Post a link to this post to Facebook, or retweet this.
–Be sure to tag me, so that I capture your name! Drop me a line here if you aren’t sure.
–If you tweet and hit Facebook, that’ll count as two entries.
–On October 31s,t I’ll draw a lucky winner and contact you for your info.
illustration by Richard Andersen
I’m happy to announce that Tor.com will be publishing the next novelette in The Gales series on January 6th, 2016. The story’s title is “The Glass Galago” and it’s a follow-up to “Among the Silvering Herd and “The Ugly Woman of Castello di Putti.”
In “The Glass Galago,” First Mate Garland Parrish of the sailing vessel Nightjar finally tells his employer, Gale Feliachild, what it was that got him discharged from the Fleet of Nations.
These stories are set about fifteen years before the events of Child of a Hidden Sea and A Daughter of No Nation. Some of you may have heard me characterize the pieces as the adventures of Doctor Who and her very pretty companion. I know January’s a way off (124 sleeps, to be precise!) but I hope you enjoy it.
The second uber-fun thing this week: my cousin Tee from Edmonton is in town, vacationing with her beau. We spent yesterday mooching around Kensington Market and catching up in the very moist heat of a hot summer’s day. Toronto hasn’t been overly warm or humid this summer, but this was a classic sweatbox experience. Which meant we ended up, eventually, in a pub, with icy beers in hand. Tee and I don’t know each other well… she is awesome, but there’s a seventeen-year age gap, and the last time we saw each other was at Grandma’s funeral. Needless to say, it was really terrific to strengthen the acquaintance at an event not involving death.
Third but definitely not least: Kelly and I went to a Gothic Romance Master Class session at TiFF where director Guillermo del Toro discussed and then screened a 90 minute speed version of Jane Eyre starring Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine. The movie was lacking many things, including the entire last half of the plot and almost any significant characterization of Jane herself, but del Toro’s analysis and his obvious love for gothic romance was illuminating. Kelly did a great write-up, which is here.
I will endorse this novel if you give me a live hamster.
One: I was excited to receive my uncorrected bound proofs for the novel this week; they’re, pictured here with Lorenzo the Magnificent. What this means is I encircled him with the stuff and shot a few pictures before he could move on in disgust.
Two: The official announcement that Kelly Robson and I will be hosting this month’s ChiSeries at the Round on August 19th has been made, so I can tell you all too! Readers will be E.L. Chen, Tony Pi, and Carsten Stroud. Kari Maaren will sing, and a good time will be had by all. Come! Watch us stay up past our bedtime! Hear amazing things! Exchange dollars for alcohol, snacks and most importantly books!
Three: A learning module I created a few years ago and haven’t used in awhile proved yesterday that it does, in fact, still have the old magic.
I got up this morning to the news that Child of a Hidden Sea is on the longlist for the Sunburst Award, in the YA category. I’m in good company; in addition to a number of authors whose writing I know but whom I haven’t met personally, the ever-fantastic Caitlin Sweet and Charlene Challenger are on the list.
The full Sunburst 2015 longlist is here.
That’s a very cool thing. So, you know, EEeeee!!!
And here’s another: Kelly and I will be sharing a table of contents together, our first, within the new James Bond anthology coming out from ChiZine Publications
later this year! The anthology is called License Expired and the editors are Madeline Ashby
and David Nickle
My story features Moneypenny and is entitled “Through your Eyes Only”. Kelly’s is called “The Gladiator Lie” and is an alternate ending to From Russia with Love
. She has written on her own blog about why this story makes her obscenely happy
. And she should be. It is a furry, sick, snow-covered, ultra-bizarre thrill ride of a coming of age tale for the lovely honey trap Tatiana Romanova.
And my Moneypenny? I am extremely pleased with it, too! First, because it’s incredibly fun. But also because I’ve done some terribly clever things where voice and point of view are concerned … what this story does is not only nifty for readers, but it was a chance for me to try something new and quite hard and to pull it off.
So, having had our way with the Bond canon, we will be together in smugness between these covers, metaphorically waiting for someone to bring us our dry martinis and all the praise they can heap into an ice bucket.