My book is out! You can buy it! Let me know if you need help working out how or where! (I’m not expecting many takers on that, honestly. You all know how to buy books.)
As I tweeted yesterday, Sarah at Bookworm Blues liked Child of a Hidden Sea, and says:
Sophie, our protagonist, is far from perfect. She’s a fairly flawed person, in most senses of the word. She’s no pillar of perfection, and many readers will instantly bond with her due to that. She’s a little lost, slightly stalker-ish, has a serious case of being overshadowed by her genius brother. She’s lost, and that sort of lost feeling is something that I instantly bonded with. So many authors fill their books with characters that don’t feel, well, human, and Sophie was incredibly human. She was flawed, and her flaws kept her believable and interesting.
On a related front, I’m still keen to answer questions, here or at the Goodreads Ask Me Anything area.
My Green is the New Violet post from last week has gotten a fair number of replies, generating a discussion about culture, our assumptions about beauty, and whether queer readers see themselves in SF/F. Feel free to chime in, if you’re interested.
And what post is complete without a kitten picture? This is what CinCin is doing right now. (Meaning 22.5 hours before this post went live, as I was writing it.)
Miriam Williams at Inky Realms liked Child of a Hidden Sea to the tune of 4.5 out of five stars, praising it for having a racially diverse cast and gay characters, and even shipping Parrish/Bram. (Pramwell? Brammish?) She also felt the book needed a map, while acknowledging my earlier note about why this was challenging. (Short answer: too much ocean, not enough land.)
The review gave a nice lift to a peculiar weekend; I had an anaphylactic reaction at immunotherapy Friday. While it wasn’t serious, it wasn’t fun either. I was at the clinic for hours, in what turned out to be a real hip-wrecker of a chair, and was left creaky and wheezy all weekend. On Saturday we took the kitties in for their second round of immunizations–they are in perfect health, and have put on another half-pound or so each.
Though CinCin has a feather allergy–did I tell you this? I feel extra smug about having plucked her out of the wild given that she’d have sneezed constantly whenever hunting or eating birdkind.
July is busy time at K’s office, so we both worked a fair amount on Sunday.
Good things abounded: we made it to the edge of Pride in time for a Stonewall reenactment and the obligatory sighting of a well-built guy dancing in sandals and a posing pouch, the Met in HD rebroadcast of Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte was delightful, and we followed that up with delicious, delicious sandwiches at Corned Beef House. We watched Austenland and I liked it–which wouldn’t have stopped me from rewriting it significantly if I was in charge of the universe–and tried out The West Wing on Netflix.
How was your weekend?
I 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.
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.
It 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.