Child of a Hidden Sea
The Nature of a Pirate will be out on December 6th, just over a month from now, and Goodreads is running a giveaway for all of October. This means you have one more spooktacular day to sign up and potentially win one of the five advance copies on offer.
But wait–there’s more! What if you haven’t read the first two books in this series? I’m pleased to say Goodreads is also running a giveaway for ten copies of book #1, Child of a Hidden Sea. You’ve got a little longer to get in on that offer–it runs to November 9th.
To recap and make it easy.
These two books are the first and last in the Hidden Sea Tales trilogy. The middle book, A Daughter of No Nation, won the Prix Aurora for best novel this past year. They feature, collectively and in no particular order, a scuba-diving biologist from San Francisco, tall ships, a magical world that might be a future earth devastated by climate change, handsome sea captains, pirates, spies, murderers, diplomats, swordfights, mermaids in the navy, forensic science, and an international incident caused by a fight over turtle migration.
The books are the story of Sophie Hansa, who went looking for her birth family and found them on the world of Stormwrack, and who finds in Stormwrack her professional calling: a world that offers endless mysteries to tempt her boundless curiosity, and whose profligate use of magic is a challenge to her rigorous training as a scientist. They are books where a woman who believes that scientific puzzles are there for the solving delves into the question of magic, and how it can exist at all, on a world whose people mistrust the curious, seeing them as defective at best, spies and troublemakers at worst.
To make matters even more complicated, Stormwrack has a perfectly good supply of real spies and troublemakers, people who would like to get Sophie and all of her questions out of the way, so they can get back to the business of trying to rekindle a massive international war.
Can haz interview?
As we all wind our way into what I hope is an utterly glorious autumn, I am embarking on a little fall cleaning of this site, updating this and that, and getting back into the habit of posting interviews with other authors. I will have S.B. Divya here on Wednesday, answering the Heroine Question. There will be other interview series sharing space with Heroine in the Wednesday slot as we get going, so keep your eyes peeled.
With the launch of The Nature of a Pirate starting to near, I expect to be blog touring myself. I have already written one essay, on the peculiar nature of piracy on Stormwrack, for Tor’s newsletter. I will no doubt be faced with at least a few assignments that boil down to “Write anything you think is interesting about your upcoming novel.”
And that’s where you can help! (Please please help!) I am infinitely less great at write whatever you feel like assignments than I am at hey, answer this specific question ones. And this’ll be the third Stormwrack blog tour. I’ve been talking about these books in public spaces for a long time, and I’ve mined my grey matter for most of the obvious-to-me thoughts. So if you have a question, or an angle you’d like to see explored, post a comment and let me know. I will shower you with gratitude, and also answers. And then more gratitude.
I am happy to say I am the Author of the Month this June at The Heroine Bookstore, an online venture that promotes genre works with female protagonists. There’s an interview with me at the bookstore site and, to sweeten the pot, THB is giving away copies of Child of a Hidden Sea and a A Daughter of No Nation. Entry deadline is June 24th; the winner will be announced the next day.
You can enter the contest here.
As I write these words, we are at the halfway point between the release of book two, the above-mentioned A Daughter of No Nation and the final episode in the Hidden Sea Tales, The Nature of a Pirate. The third book brings Sophie back into direct conflict with the nations of the Piracy, and particularly with Convenor Brawn of Isle of Gold.
With the exception of Issle Morta, Parrish’s monk-riddled homeland, the surviving nations of the Piracy have been frustrated for over a century. They see pillaging on the high seas as an important cultural practice, and they argue that the Fleet’s protection of the smaller and most vulnerable nations of Stormwrack is doing these peoples no favors. Pirates firmly believe in the idea of survival of the fittest… where the fittest are themselves and any country with a navy powerful enough to deter all comers. Many of the big political events since Sophie’s arrival have been caused by the Piracy’s determination to break the Fleet and the treaty that holds it together. Come December, you’ll all get to check out their next big try.
Some of you may have already seen my new Cynthia Sheppard cover on the The Nature of a Pirate Amazon page and/or when I posted it on social media, but here it is again for your delectation. Isn’t it beautiful? My editor very kindly gave me a version without the art, too, so that I can have a Sophie icon that doesn’t have random pieces of alphabet all over the place.
These three books now have, between them, some of the most thematically appropriate, well-matched and flat-out nicest covers I’ve seen on any trio of novels, and I love them all with every cell of my circulatory system, up to and including the big glob in the midst.
In related news, Tor Books has reissued Indigo Springs and
Blue Magic with new covers, and these too are very pretty indeed. I think they’re very appropriate to that universe, and the seeping magical blueness that causes so much trouble for Astrid Lethewood and her poor doomed magic-contaminated friends.
Here they are:
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.