Category Archives: My Novels

Posts about my published novels and book-length works in progress.

Speculating Canada on the queer in Stormwrack

Derek Newman-Stile of Speculating Canada says this about the book:

Dellamonica explores the isolating power of homophobia and its ability to displace LGBTQ populations in her general narrative of displacement.Child of a Hidden Sea is powerful as a narrative because it embodies both curiosity and the desire to find a sense of home and place to belong as well as its ability to point out that displacement is still a persistant feature in our world, one that is further sharpened by economic inequalities, sexism, homophobia, and general power structures that serve to elevate certain groups of people over others.

Here, for a change of pace, is the trailer for the hands-down best of the films we saw at the festival: Behavior, from Cuba:

Strange Horizons reviews CHS, plus Cumberbatch at #tiff14

imageSarah Frost of the ever-marvellous Strange Horizons says nice things about Child of a Hidden Sea in a lovely, thoughtful, even-handed review.

Dellamonica has imagined a world in which a class of warrior-lawyers spend their whole lives training to duel one another. It would be ridiculous for Sophie, whose primary weapon up until this point has been the waterproof camera case, to pick up a sword and be able to compete with them. No matter how long a twenty-first century heroine has spent pounding the rattan in the SCA, no training montage will make her a match for people whose combat skills have been a matter of life or death since they were old enough to hold a weapon.

I have been quiet this week because I have family in town and we’re going to movies, movies and more movies at the Toronto International Film Festival. Yesterday’s entry was The Imitation Game. It was the most conventional and least challenging of the bunch of things we’ve seen so far, and the script was exceedingly heavy-handed, but the cast was excellent. We’ve got Oscar material, folks.

Book Smugglers Review of Child, plus vacation…

imageThea of Book Smugglers says this about Child of a Hidden Sea:

Sophie is sympathetic and genuine, and her motivation to learn more about her origins and her family comes across as wholly believable. Her insecurities when compared to her siblings – her fierce half-sister Verena, and her genius adopted brother Bram – only enhance Sophie’s sympathetic nature, as she struggles with her own feelings of inadequacy and confidence.

I’ll be taking next week off to see a bunch of films at the Toronto International Film Festival (Kahil Gibran’s The Prophet, This is My Land, Luna, A Pigeon Sat on a Branch, Charlie’s Country, the Imitation Game, and Behavior, in case you’re wondering) and hang out with my lovely and wonderful cousins. So, you know–I’ll be online less. Write me if you  need me.

Which isn’t to say I won’t tweet a little about the movies, or any especially good food that comes my way. Because in the world of Instagram, my vacation is your vacation. Or something.

Kirkus Review Blog and other commenters on CHS

keep readingMost of you probably saw me twittering about this elsewhere, but the Kirkus Reviews Blog (in the person of Book Smuggler Thea James) says some  very nice and gratifying things about my execution of portal fantasy in Child of a Hidden Sea.

Fewer of you may know that I keep a separate Facebook author page, for people who want to know about book and story releases, and who are perhaps less interested (if this is actually possible) in seeing pictures of my kittens, wife, regular coffee stops and new hometown.  If you don’t know this, it’s because I have never ONCE spamgested that You Like This Page!

Anyway, over on said author page, a fan who enjoyed the book–but wasn’t so sure about Sophie–wrote:

If you are planning a subsequent book and make this a series, DON’T get her (Sophie, that is) together with Parrish.

I mentioned this to author Charlene Challenger, via text, and she is pro… Sophish? Parrie? Sophland? She’s into the whole Sophie/Parrish thing. So, finally, here are her thoughts:

Child of a hidden sea comments

(If you are at all curious about Challenger’s new YA novel, The Voices in Between, here’s her Tumblr feed.

VWF, now with more me!

Alyx portrait 2014 smallI am extremely excited to announce that I’ll be appearing at the Vancouver Writers Fest, which takes place on Granville Island October 21 to 26th. I’ll be appearing in two events: the first is called Serial Success and is intended for high school students.
But the other event is all ages, all the time and will probably sell out fast so if you want to see me, William Gibson and Sebastien de Castell, don’t wait, don’t waffle, and don’t wonder. Tickets go on sale September 8th.
Probables and impossibles
What’s the difference between fantasy and science fiction? Fantasy can’t happen. Science fiction is something that hasn’t happened, but could. Two fantasy writers and one science fiction writer talk about the worlds of the probable and the impossible that they’ve imagined onto the pages of their new novels. William Gibson’s The Peripheral is his latest invention in a long string of inventive novels that have earned him rave reviews and a worldwide following over three decades.  Working in the world of the impossible are fantasy writers A.M. Dellamonica and Sebastien de Castell. Travel to Dellamonica’s Stormwrack, an ocean- based world on the other side of the portal. Or duck the barbarians at the borders of de Castell’s Tristia. Good thing these worlds are impossible—and very entertaining.
On the 28th, I’ll be moving on to the U.S. where I’m signing Child of a Hidden Sea (and of course my other books, if you happen to  be collecting) at the University Bookstore at 990 102nd Ave NE in Bellevue, Washington.

CHS Review @Quillandquire

imageYesterday was one of those days. The kind where the computer attempts to die and the kittens take a leak on your dirty clothes, and when you go downstairs to pitch the reeking laundry hamper, the dumpster full of compost belches unspeakable fluids all over you. Plus the building’s hot water is down for the day for necessary annual maintenance.

You remember this last bit after you’ve peeled your clothes and begun attempting to decontaminate.

Then, in the evening, you hit yourself in the front tooth with a salad bowl without any idea of how you actually achieved that.

I spent much of the day alternating between grading student exercises and deconstructing my office, so the floor repair could get done today. Having to fix the floor so soon after having put it in has been a bit of a morale dampener.  (Then again, so was having those boards crackle underfoot.) Having to put the house back in a state where it looks as though we’re only half moved in has also been less than joy-inducing.

But! Kelly fixed the computer, I kinda hated that hamper, there was  (after a disheartening interval) just enough hot water even though the “Hey, we’ve turned on the fire again!” announcement didn’t come until two hours after I got in the shower, we’ll feel better when our floor no longer crackles, I might rearrange my office, the tooth didn’t chip and yoga, as always, heals much.

My dear friend Fearless wrote to say she loved my book, and the Quill and Quire did too. Which means, on balance, the day was definitely a win.

 

Tag, I’m It: Writer’s Process Blog Tour

write memeIn our last exciting episode, the kittens continued to be incredibly adorable, while Caitlin Sweet tagged me and Kelly in the Writer Process Blog Tour. She’s posted her answers to the questions in that meme here.

What Am I Working On?

I’m currently waiting for other people to get back to me on a few things, so in the meantime I’ve been writing short stories, putting together grant proposals, and looking over old projects. I wrote the first chapter of a mystery novel to see if I liked the voice and the direction I was considering. This week I reread a horror novel I drafted in about 2011, but haven’t yet rewritten. There are a couple anthologies I’d like to submit stories to, but I’m not happy with any of the ideas I’ve had for them.

(Yet, she said hopefully.)

In other words, I’m sort of snuffling around to see what grabs my imagination hardest. This is less fun than it probably sounds.

How Does My Work Differ From Others In Its Genre?

Early in my career a writer friend praised me for, essentially, having a wild imagination. Now, whenever I’m stuck, that’s where I try to push things. I’m not saying my work is more imaginative than anyone else’s–that would be insanely egotistical and untrue–but lately I’ve been getting praise from reviewers about the worldbuilding in Child of a Hidden Sea. I see the two things as being related: the positive reinforcement for some crazy-ass thing I wrote fifteen years ago and the invention of a world with over two hundred island nations, each with its own microclimate, magical resources and system of government.

By that token it could mean that imagining stuff means, for me, going out of my way to make it horrifically over-complicated.

Why Do I Write What I Do?

The only thing I don’t write much of is straight-up literary fiction, so the answer to this is: because I’m greedy! I want my mysteries, my horror SF, my seafaring adventure crime procedurals, my magical toxic spill sexfests, my thinly veiled Vietnam War stories. I write because I feel driven to write, unable to stop.

And I write all sorts of things because that’s part of what makes it fun.

How Does My Writing Process Work?

I write drafts longhand, except when I type them directly into the computer or dictate them into a note on my phone. From there they go straight into a properly formatted manuscript document on a simple word processor–no Scrivener for me!–and I rewrite them from beginning to end. Then I rewrite them again. And again. And, OMG, again. And then I get someone to read it and I rewrite it again. And again. And again…

I often do over twenty passes on a single project. Sometimes I reach a point where I’m convinced it’s irrevocably broken, but I’ve invested too much time to quit. (Sometimes it’s irrevocably broken.) Other times, there’s a moment where the clouds part, and I see a fine thing shimmering just beyond my grasp, and I run after it like a fiend. Only, you know, from a seated position, in a coffee shop.

Eventually I find myself desperate to write something else, or making it worse rather than better, or the deadline comes, and so I send it off to market.

Tag tag tag! I tag Jessica Wynne Reisman and Gemma Files.

I’m a Functional Nerd! (for a Day)

imageMiss the sound of my voice? You can hear me on the Functional Nerds podcast today, talking about Penny Dreadful, a Twitter tiff Kelly and I had about whether (film) Tony Stark is a better man than (film) Steve Rogers, and, of course, Child of a Hidden Sea.

There are also new reviews on Eloquent Codex and BookNerd. And Julia, at All Things Urban Fantasy, says:

And it was just this mix of personal ability and magic that made this book irresistible. While exploring a new world is nothing new for contemporary fantasy, Sophie and her brother Bram do so with zest and personal abilities, not through the emergence of heretofore unknown magical legacies. Their very human approach, albeit aided by considerable intellect and prior knowledge in natural sciences, opens up this new world in a very believable fashion.