Uno: I sent DAUGHTER OF NO NATION (a.k.a. the second Stormwrack novel) off to my first readers and my agent on Monday, only three days late on the self-imposed deadline. I did it in the dark, by candle and gadgetlight–the power went off in our neighborhood and the cafe where I work was plunged into blackness.
This is me, last week, during the final push. Yes, I’ve grown an extra head.
Due: For the next three weeks, my fiction time will be less structured; I’ll write whatever pleases me most. I had a major plot bunny stabbing at me the whole of last week. The interior monologue went like this:
Bunny: Me, me, me. Here I am with the answer to that unresolved setting question that’s kept you from writing me!
Me: I am finishing a frickin’ book, shut up.
Bunny: Me me me! Shiny! Sexy! New!
… so that’s what’s pleasing me now.
Tre: I am spending the holidays in Reno, with my aunt, uncle, and cousins. This is the first time Kelly and I have been to Nevada in the entire quarter-century that we’ve known each other. Barb’s coming, too, and I’m very excited.
Well, no. Jonathan’s a superstar. And here’s my weekly essay: “Slaying is Hard! Let’s Go Shopping!”
I have enjoyed rewatching S4. It’s been long enough that I forgot a lot of the nuances and hilarious lines, and frankly it’s easier to gently mock the episodes that are, oh, let’s say a little shaky. This may mean that after S5 the rewatches will get funnier and funnier; that’s my hope, anyway.
And while I’m all me, me, me, link!, ’tis the season to remind some of you that I have Nebula eligible fiction. There’s my novel, Blue Magic, which was out in April, my novelettes “Among the Silvering Herd” and “Wild Things,” on Tor.com, and a new squid story, “The Sweet Spot,” about the Fiend invasion of Hawaii, on Lightspeed.
A couple weeks ago I told you all that this novelette, which is set in the same universe as my books INDIGO SPRINGS and BLUE MAGIC, was available for pre-order at the usual big e-retailers. Today it’s officially out, and you can read it on the Tor site.
“Wild Things” takes place between the events of the two novels, but is mostly set here in British Columbia rather than in Oregon. It’s a little picture of the mystical outbreak as it plays out in Canada, in other words. Here’s the opening.
My swamp man wasn’t what you’d call a sexy beast, though I found his skin strangely beautiful. It was birch bark: tender, onion-thin, chalk white in color, with hints of almond and apricot. He was easily bruised, attracted lichens, and when he got too dry, he peeled.
And the thoroughly gorgeous Allen Williams cover:
My novelette “Wild Things” will be up on the Tor site soon where every any anybody can read it, but the eBook version is available for preorder today on the MacMillan site, on Amazon, on iBooks and at Google too. (All versions are DRM-free, and the prices aren’t identical so do shop around). Eee!
“Wild Things” is set in the same universe as my first novel, Indigo Springs, and its sequel, Blue Magic. Timewise, it happens between the events of the two novels, and it’s set here in the Lower Mainland of B.C. and in the wine country around Oliver and Osoyoos.
Here’s the cover:
Here’s what Tor says about it:
Ah, love. A many splendored thing. Here is a rather unusual love story, sweet and strange as could only happen in the post-magical reality of the Indigo Springs “event.” Read More…
In lieu of a writing lecture or an Off My Lawn essay, today, I give you this: the incomparable and fantastic Jessica Reisman has tagged me in the “Next Big Thing” meme. Here are her answers, about Deep Terrain. Which I’ve read, which means you may all now be jealous of me because it’s a furling diamond of a book, packed with sparkle and wonder.
1. What is the title of your Work in Progress?
I have a trilogy coming out from Tor Books, set in the same universe as my novelette “Among the Silvering Herd.” The first of these is (currently, tentatively) entitled Child of the Hidden Sea. The second one, which is the book I’m actually working on right this minute, is called Daughter of No Nation. I think it can fairly be said they’re still both in progress.
2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
A few years ago, after the eighth or ninth family funeral, sometime after I had finished Blue Magic and realized it had a quite imposing body count, I set out to find myself a project that would be nothing but fun. (Fun for me, you understand, but also fun for readers.)
I did a lot of thinking, then, about the things I always write, the things I find fun, the character traits I most admire in my loved ones, the books I like to read and basically everything I find cool, compelling, or adorable. I thought about writing books that would have adventure! And sex! And the ocean! And alternate worlds and serial killers (okay, slightly less upbeat there) and old lady spies and child geniuses and all the splendor of the natural world and nations of reformed pirates who claim to have gone legit and magical sailing ships and at least one character of jaw-dropping, unsurpassed, make-the-room gasp physical beauty. Those of you who’ve read “Among the Silvering Herd” already know who I’m talking about.
3. What genre does your book fall under?
I call it other world fantasy. Ecofantasy also, once again, does apply.
4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Gale Feliachild would have to be Helen Mirren, with a very butch haircut and not a British accent.
Clydon Iblis Banning is Paul Gross. And by that I mean Paul Gross now, chewing scenery and looking lascivious but also waving a big sword around. Did anyone else see him in Eastwick? OMG. That.
Sophie Hansa? Dunno. I have yet to see a 24-ish actress with bigtime comedy chops, curly brown hair, the shoulders of a swimmer, and more cute than you can shake Paul Gross’s sword at.
As for Captain Parrish, I think we discussed this here, once. I will try to find the thread for you soon.
5. What is a one-sentence synopsis of the book?
When marine videographer Sophie Hansa goes in search of her birth parents, she finds herself on the world of Stormwrack, caught up in the attempted murder of a government operative who might also be her aunt, and hunted by pirates who think she may hold the key to breaking a hundred year old peace compact enforced by an immense magical warship known as Temperance.
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I am blessed and delighted to be able to say this is my next project for Tor Books, and that my agent Linn Prentis sold it to Jim Frenkel earlier this year.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Well! With the first book, I wrote a few chapters to give my editor an idea of what I was planning. And then I had created this fabulous universe to play in. But what if the book didn’t sell? So I wrote “Among the Silvering Herd.” And then another story. And then I couldn’t contain myself any longer, and I wrote a few more chapters of the first book. And then I wrote another story… A year later I had a novel and five stories, plus fragments of other things. So, really, who the hell knows?
With the second, sixteen weeks, with the help of the Clarion West Write-a-Thon. That’s the difference between waiting to find out you’ve sold something and suddenly having delivery dates.
8. What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?
Actually, I see overlaps with Jessica’s novel: ships and banditry and adventure are part of the picture in both series. M.K. Hobson and I also write about similar things, often, though the end result is nothing alike–magical goo and the intersection of science and magic and enchantment fueled disasters and now–I’m a chapter or so into the rocking and delightful The Warlock’s Curse–slavery.
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Stormwrack is a world with two hundred and fifty island nations, each with their own microclimate and unique ecology. These nations are the Galápagos Islands on a world where there’s almost nothing but ocean. Those islands, the people who study and film them, and Darwin’s travels there were key sources of inspiration.
10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
There will be humor! And romance! And people trying earnestly to do science that might explain a world (or possibly a future Earth) where you can raise the dead and magically ‘tame’ a volcano or turn someone into a giant. I am having an obscene amount of fun writing all of these Stormwrack pieces, and the idea is for all of you to have a blast reading them.
I am tagging Hobson on this. Here’s a link to her Goodreads giveaway, and the beautiful Warlock’s Curse cover: