truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (tr: mole)
::emerges, blinking, from hole::

So things have been pretty hectic for me in the past couple of months. I've started a new job as a database thrall, and The Goblin Emperor should have been turned in September 1st but persists, hydra-like, in producing two new heads for every one I chop off.

There are all kinds of things that aren't getting the attention they deserve because of this (just ask Catzilla and the Plushie Ninja if you doubt me), but one thing I've failed ignominiously to do is to provide pointers to some things people who like my writing may be interested in.

(Marketing genius, ladies and gentlemen! as Peter Mulvey says.)

1. The compiled list of recommendations from #buyabiggaynovelforscottcardday is here.

2. Whedonistas, in which I along with a fuckton of awesome women have an essay, is available for the Kindle.

3. Back in the pre-The Tempering of Men-launch week, [livejournal.com profile] matociquala posted the first chapter. So, you know, if you haven't bought it yet or haven't heard that there's a sequel to A Companion to Wolves or something . . . it's still there.

(I am so bad at self-promotion, it is embarrassing.)

4. The ebooks of Shadow Unit Seasons 1-3 are available at Barnes & Noble (for the Nook) and Amazon (for the Kindle).

5. Just a note, because I should have said it here: "Absent from Felicity" will be included in Somewhere Beneath Those Waves, which I should also mention is, if you follow the link, available for pre-order.

Also, bonus item: the fabulous cover design for the new edition of The Bone Key. (Seriously. This is the best cover I have ever had. I am in love with it and want to give it chocolate.)

There. I think that does it.

::retreats back into hole::
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: actw)
1. (via [livejournal.com profile] cmpriest) The search and rescue dogs of 9/11. These are wonderful photos of wonderful dogs, and they damn near make me cry.

2. The Tempering of Men launches today! (It's the sequel to A Companion to Wolves if you need that info.) [livejournal.com profile] matociquala is having a contest.

3. Speaking of [livejournal.com profile] matociquala, she made a post yesterday about the cunning ways PTSD encourages self-sabotage. And, I think, about the importance of telling the people you love that you care about them. Because they may really need to hear it.

4. Ariel the dolphin and her baby, which you may file under omg cute! or omg dolphins are awesome!.

5. First successful use of laparoscopic(!) artificial insemination with Pallas' Cats.

(Yes, I like animals. Frequently more than I like people.)
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: actw)
1. The Plushie Ninja passed her annual physical with flying colors.

2. Today is my thirteenth wedding anniversary. I still feel lucky every day that I'm married to [livejournal.com profile] mirrorthaw, so I'd say that's working out well.

3. Publishers Weekly both liked and understood The Tempering of Men, and give it a great review.

5 things

Mar. 31st, 2011 12:15 pm
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (smaug)
1. I dreamed Monday night that I was cast as the Wicked Witch of the West in a production of Alice in Wonderland. ([livejournal.com profile] stillsostrange was Alice, which tells you what kind of Alice we're talking about.) I've been wondering all week, more or less idly, how to make the mashup work.

2. Dear Feckless Acupuncture Clinic: If you wish us to have a client/service provider relationship of any kind, there must be a method by which I can communicate with you. Either phone or email is fine, but ONE OF THEM HAS GOT TO GET A RESPONSE.

3. Okay, maybe it's not my magnesium/calcium/zinc supplements making me queasy. Maybe it's just me. :P

4. Amazon says there's cover art for The Tempering of Men.

5. Johnny Cash covering Sheryl Crow's "Redemption Day" has depths of awesome beyond what I would have expected. And that's saying something.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (cats: napping)
Here's what's left:
  • 1 copy of A Companion to Wolves (paperback), $7 ea.
  • 2 copies of Corambis (hardback), $30 ea.


Please comment on the sale post to purchase.



And you can still buy Unnatural Creatures until midnight.



Also, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has participated so far. I'm lousy at math, but it looks like we'll easily have a $2,000 donation for the Companion Animal Fund by the end of the sale. And that's just EXCELLENT.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (cats: napping)
REMEMBER: to buy an item, comment on this post. I will reply, letting you know the item is yours. AT THAT TIME AND NOT BEFORE, hit the PayPal button.

MISCELLANEOUS
  • 1 copy of Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 42.1 (Winter 2002), which contains my sole academic article, "Speaking and Silent Women in Upon Appleton House": $5
  • 1 copy of Concussed, from Concussion (Eastercon 2006), which includes stuff from a whole bunch of cool people--M. John Harrison, Hal Duncan, Elizabeth Hand, Jay Lake, Jo Walton, Elizabeth Wein, etc.--and "Toward a Praxis of World-Building," which is a reprint of a couple blog posts of mine: $5

  • 1 copy of Paradox: The Magazine of Historical and Speculative Fiction 10 (Winter 2006-2007), containing my novelette "Amante Dorée," about a transsexual prostitute/spy in an AU New Orleans: $5
  • 1 copy of The Queen in Winter (New York: Berkley Books, 2006)--fantasy/romance anthology with stories from Claire Delacroix, Lynn Kurland, Sharon Shinn, and me (my story, A Gift of Wings, is set in Meduse, although it has no other connection with the Doctrine of Labyrinths): $20

KYLE MURCHISON BOOTH
  • 1 copy of Lovecraft's Weird Mysteries #7 (first publication of "The Inheritance of Barnabas Wilcox"): $5
  • 1 copy of All Hallows 35 (February 2004) (first publication of "Bringing Helena Back"): $10
  • 1 copy of All Hallows 41 (February 2006) (first publication of "Drowning Palmer"): $10
  • 10 copies of the first edition of The Bone Key (you should know, if you're thinking of buying it, that The Bone Key is going to be rereleased later this year, with story notes, a new introduction, and a new cover): $15 per copy

A COMPANION TO WOLVES
  • 5 copies of A Companion to Wolves (hardback): $25 per copy
  • 5 1 copy of A Companion to Wolves (paperback): $7 per copy

THE DOCTRINE OF LABYRINTHS
  • 10 sets of the Doctrine of Labyrinths in paperback: $35 per set
  • 2 copies of Mélusine (hardback): $30 per copy
  • 3 copies of The Virtu (hardback): $30 per copy
  • 2 copies of The Mirador (hardback): $30 per copy
  • 3 2 copies of Corambis (hardback): $30 per copy


If you want to donate to the Companion Animal Fund, here is your button. This is also the button to use for payments, after I have confirmed that the item is yours.

[sale over; button removed]
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (cats: napping)
THIS IS NOT THE SALE POST. YOU CANNOT BUY THINGS FROM HERE.



The Ben Jonson Memorial Fundraiser will take place on February 2, 2011 (Ben's birthday). All proceeds will go to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital's Companion Animal Fund.

Please spread the word!

I will be selling:

MISCELLANEOUS
  • 1 copy of Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 42.1 (Winter 2002), which contains my sole academic article, "Speaking and Silent Women in Upon Appleton House": $5
  • 1 copy of Concussed, from Concussion (Eastercon 2006), which includes stuff from a whole bunch of cool people--M. John Harrison, Hal Duncan, Elizabeth Hand, Jay Lake, Jo Walton, Elizabeth Wein, etc.--and "Toward a Praxis of World-Building," which is a reprint of a couple blog posts of mine: $5
  • 1 copy of Paradox: The Magazine of Historical and Speculative Fiction 10 (Winter 2006-2007), containing my novelette "Amante Dorée," about a transsexual prostitute/spy in an AU New Orleans: $5
  • 1 copy of The Queen in Winter (New York: Berkley Books, 2006)--fantasy/romance anthology with stories from Claire Delacroix, Lynn Kurland, Sharon Shinn, and me (my story, A Gift of Wings, is set in Meduse*, although it has no other connection with the Doctrine of Labyrinths): $20

KYLE MURCHISON BOOTH
  • 1 copy of Lovecraft's Weird Mysteries #7 (first publication of "The Inheritance of Barnabas Wilcox"): $5
  • 1 copy of All Hallows 35 (February 2004) (first publication of "Bringing Helena Back"): $10
  • 1 copy of All Hallows 41 (February 2006) (first publication of "Drowning Palmer"): $10
  • 10 copies of the first edition of The Bone Key (you should know, if you're thinking of buying it, that The Bone Key is going to be rereleased later this year, with story notes, a new introduction, and a new cover): $15 per copy

I also want to do a limited edition chapbook of the four uncollected Booth stories: "The Replacement," "The World Without Sleep," "White Charles," "The Yellow Dressing Gown." Working title is Unnatural Creatures. Price will be $20, although in this one instance, not ALL proceeds will go to the Companion Animal Fund, as some will have to go to production costs. But I will not take a cut.

By "limited edition," I mean a print run of 50. If you would be interested, please comment here, so that I can make a guess as to whether it's worth doing. And if more than 50 people indicate interest, I will consider making it a print run of 100 instead. Unnatural Creatures will be on sale from 02/02 2:00 P.M. CST to 02/03 2:00 P.M. CST. This will be a "speak now or forever hold your peace" kind of deal.

A COMPANION TO WOLVES
  • 5 copies of A Companion to Wolves (hardback): $25 per copy
  • 5 copies of A Companion to Wolves (paperback): $7 per copy

THE DOCTRINE OF LABYRINTHS
  • 10 sets of the Doctrine of Labyrinths in paperback: $35 per set
  • 2 copies of Mélusine (hardback): $30 per copy
  • 3 copies of The Virtu (hardback): $30 per copy
  • 2 copies of The Mirador (hardback): $30 per copy
  • 3 copies of Corambis (hardback): $30 per copy


And I will auction off my last set of the Doctrine of Labyrinths in hardback. Starting bid will be $100.

All items will be signed. They will be personalized at the discretion of the buyer. I will ship anywhere in the world.

The sale and auction will start on February 2, 2011, at two o'clock P.M. Central Standard Time. The auction will run until two o'clock P.M. CST, February 3, 2011. The sale will run until either everything's gone or it's obvious people are done buying. All payments will be made via PayPal, and there will also be a button for those who don't want or can't afford to buy anything, but who would still like to make a donation.

Have I forgotten anything? Have a question? Please leave a comment!

---
*Meduse is my name for the world of the Doctrine of Labyrinths.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
1. Yesterday, the CEM of The Tempering of Men started its journey back to New York. If it doesn't get there by Tuesday, it's because of UPS, not me and the $74 I shelled out.

2. Yesterday, also, I had my first full-length dressage lesson since July 31st. (I'd had a couple of lessons previously, but they'd been much shorter, as my dressage instructor has been very careful and cautious about overtaxing my ankle.) This morning, my thighs are telling me ALL ABOUT IT. I have never been so happy about sore muscles in my life.

3. The orthopedic appointment on Friday went very well. My orthopedist was amazed at the range of motion my ankle has achieved; it was much more than he'd expected. (The word "awesome" may have been used. *g*) I have the green light to start weaning myself from the lace-up brace, and I don't have to go back to the orthopedic clinic until June.

4. These three things need listing because, otherwise, I've had a crappy week--due mostly, it seems, to PMS (depressed, clumsy, exhausted, retaining water like a camel, plus the random menstrual cramps like being stabbed in the kidney.) The Mirena has certainly reduced menstrual flow (which was not something I was ever actually particularly concerned about), but other than that, all it seems to accomplish is making everything as irregular as fuck. Gynecologist appointment in January, and we will most certainly be discussing the matter.

5. I haven't done this for a while, so: if you are a reader of this blog, and you would like to introduce yourself, please feel free to do so in the comments to this post. This offer is 100% obligation free; there is no pressure here of any kind.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (mfu: ik-stet)
It's the last day of November, it's snowing, and the CEM of The Tempering of Men has showed up on my doorstep like a foundling child. Since we turned in the final manuscript sometime in August--late August? Early September?

. . .

Since we turned in the final manuscript sometime in the part of my timeline that is now nothing but narcotic sludge, I rather expect this pass through to be a voyage of discovery. Imagine what wonders I will find!

It's due back in New York on December 7. So if you need me, you know where I'll be.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
I'm keeping a mental list of things about this broken ankle that don't match up with broken bones in fiction. I already wrote about the sound of my ankle breaking, but here are a couple others:

1. if your crutches are adjusted properly and you're using them properly, they will not make your armpits hurt. They won't even touch your armpits. On the other hand, they will give you calluses on the heels of your palms.

2. maybe this is because of the surgery, or maybe it's because I'm a wuss, but it's been a month, and I still have no fucking stamina. Taking a bath exhausts me. I can hobble the length of the block, but then I have to lie down and pant. I'm still sleeping ridiculous amounts, and I have neither any ambition, nor the concentration to do anything about it if I did. I actually accomplished some work today (a second draft on an essay owed to a lovely person who knows who s/he is), and I'm hoping to be able to tackle The Tempering of Men (a.k.a. the sequel to A Companion to Wolves) this week, even if I can only manage it two pages at a time.

3. On the other hand, the itching? That part's true.

I am wildly grateful that I started this quilting project just before I broke my ankle, and equally wildly grateful to the kind and awesome ladies at the local quilt shop, who ironed and pin-basted it for me, because quilting around Kliban cats is pretty much the ideal activity for me right now, interspersed with playing Diablo II (again) and rereading Golden Age mysteries. I started with John Dickson Carr and have moved onto Ellery Queen.

(As a side note, I'm currently rereading The Siamese Twin Mystery, which inspired me to find wikipedia's entry on conjoined twins. I was particularly fascinated by Lakshmi Tatma, who was born in 2005 with four arms and four legs--conjoined to a parasitic headless twin (x-ray, if you're having trouble visualizing)--and was worshipped in her native village as an incarnation of the goddess Lakshmi. The surgery to separate her from her parasitic twin when she was two was successful and quite complicated (follow the links from the wikipedia article if you're interested), and she survived. I hope she's still doing well.)

And somebody commented with some questions about the Doctrine of Labyrinths, which I am happy to answer:

Q: I'd like to know more about the obligation de sang - is it a baby step toward the obligation d'ame, or something distinct?

A: The obligation de sang is cast on wizards; the obligation d'âme is cast on annemer. They have similar effects, but, no, they're not the same thing.

Q: And I'd like to know more about Cardenio - how he and Mildmay became friends, particularly, and whether my reading of him as (1) clearly in love with Mildmay and (b) asexual is correct.

A: I don't know how Mildmay met Cardenio. The friendship emerged in my head full-grown, as it were, with no backstory.

Cardenio definitely has a crush on Mildmay--"love" is a tricky word, and I hesitate to use it--and I don't know about his sexuality. He is very shy and very reserved, and he hasn't told me.

Q: My sense is that Mildmay mostly disappeared for the bulk of Corambis - that the last book, more than any of the others, was weighted heavily toward Felix, and his growth as a character - specifically, for himself and for his brother. Were you trying to get Felix to the place Mildmay already was (or at least seemed to be), where he could see his brother as a person? Or am I misreading?

A: I wouldn't say that Mildmay disappeared--he is, after all, still a narrator, and his character arc in Corambis is important--but I will say that I conceived of The Mirador as Mildmay's katabasis and Corambis as Felix's. Katabasis is the descent to the underworld and return which Joseph Campbell describes as part of the Hero's Journey--I'm not entirely sold on Campbell, but with the particular psychology of my two particular narrators, they both had to go through their own personal metaphorical hells in order to come to terms with their pasts and their damage and emerge on the other side as functional, compassionate adults. (Which is also not to say that I think either of them is "fixed" or "healed"--they still have to live with their scars, both physical and emotional, and there are going to be bad days and backsliding--but I think by the end of the series they are better, both in the sense of psychologically healthier and in the sense of being able and willing to care about each other (and by extension, other people like Kay and Corbie) than they were at the beginning.)

At least, that's what I was trying for.

So, yes, to use a semi-accurate shorthand, Mildmay "grew up" in The Mirador and therefore there was less that needed to happen to him in Corambis, in terms of his psychomachia, than there was for Felix.

Q&A 3

Jul. 1st, 2010 09:00 pm
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
I have sent A Reckoning of Men to [livejournal.com profile] casacorona and [livejournal.com profile] arcaedia on behalf of [livejournal.com profile] matociquala and myself. Deadline met. I definitely need some distance on this one before I look at it again.



1.
Q: When does A Reckoning of Men start, in relation to A Companion to Wolves?

A: The first chapter actually overlaps with the end of ACtW.

2.
Q: Is Stephen sterile? Is that why he never had any children with Emily? Or was it the other way around?

A: They were married for two years or less. I don't think there's any need to assume any medical problems on either side.

3.
Q: Do Felix and Mildmay stay in contact with the Mirador? And do you know anything about what happens to the people still in the Mirador?

A: In order, yes and no.



And, for lagniappe, in answer to a question that [livejournal.com profile] bluestalking asked me at Wiscon: the lighthouse of Grimglass is part of the manor house of the Warden of Grimglass.

Bah.

Jun. 14th, 2010 08:14 pm
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (shalott)
Today has not been one of my better days. Depressed, disheartened, misanthropic. And my uterus decided that what would be REALLY FUN tonight would be unscheduled, unannounced, and copious menstrual flow (for certain values of "copious" which I realize are a mere nothing to some women). However. I did exercise. And I paid the quarterly taxes--which did not exactly help with the disheartened and misanthropic part. (Dear Federal Gummint: LIVIN IN THE FUTURE, UR DOIN IT RONG.)

On the unambiguously plus side, the experimental bread (two cups rye flour, two cups whole wheat flour, two cups and change white flour) has turned out rather shockingly tasty. Hopefully, it will turn out to be good sandwich bread also, and then I only have to work out how I think I'm going to store three different kinds of flour, plus oats.

And now I have 1,000 words of wolves to write. As the man in Ngaio Marsh says, Excelsi-bloody-or.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
1. The new bread pans work very nicely. They're a little shorter (length-wise rather than depth-wise) than my old ones, so I get these very tall majestic loaves. They do, however, definitely need greasing, at least around the top.

2. Also, the new bread pans are deep red. My bread mixing bowl is golden-yellow. Our counters are bright blue (so not our choice). As I said to [livejournal.com profile] matociquala yesterday, I feel like I've wandered into some trendy yupster magazine article on baking your own bread.

3. Stuff I'm working on right now, at least hypothetically: (1) A Reckoning of Men: [livejournal.com profile] matociquala lobbed the ball back and it's awesomely cool, but I have to figure out how to play it. (2) Shadow Unit: "Hope Is Stronger Than Love," which gave me something this morning which should be OMG TEH CREEPY if I can make it work. (3) "Doc Holliday Makes A Deal": I hope this will consent to be a short story, but otherwise it's the first chapter of Doc Holliday, Demon Hunter.

4. Saturday night of Penguicon, [livejournal.com profile] mirrorthaw and I were flipping channels (we don't have cable, so this is a sort of weird special occasion thing when we stay in hotels) and we found a college women's fast-pitch softball game, Tennessee vs. Alabama, and Tennessee was getting shellacked. [livejournal.com profile] mirrorthaw can confirm that I turned into the most geeked out, fangirliest fangirl EVAR, because OMG there are women playing sports on my TV. I'm totally the same way about women's basketball, even though basketball is not a sport that does much for me, so IMAGINE MY GEEKITUDE. And not only was it women playing baseball (under the generous definition of baseball, yes), but, unlike with women's basketball, these were not women built like supermodels. This is totally not a slam against the women who play basketball, but their sport selects for women who are tall and willowy and thus fit right in with the cultural image of what sort of women you see on your TV. Fast-pitch softball does not select for tall and willowy; from the evidence of the Tennessee and Alabama teams, it selects for women who are short and stocky and strong. Women who are built like me. I can't even explain how awesome it was. I also loved the breakdown of the dichotomized performance of female gender roles: these are athletes, visibly powerful women (Alabama hit several home runs while we were watching), wearing softball uniforms (and Tennessee with that terrible orange, too), and they've got the black bars under their eyes to cut the glare, and yet the Tennessee pitchers have all done their hair the same way, with the French braid along one side and the pale blue bow at the back, and I love the way that they're doing both, that they can be serious athletes and yet still make choices about their gender performance--they can code themselves along a spectrum of femininities*--and they can by god play their sport and mean it.

5. I want to say thank you publicly to Penguicon's concom and staff, who did a wonderful job this weekend--especially but not at all exclusively Yanni Kuznia, who was running the literature track. Thank you all very much!

---
*[livejournal.com profile] pitselly objected to my using the butch/femme dichotomy/continuum to talk about this, but the suggested replacement of masculine/feminine is wrong, because it implies that there's only one way to perform femininity, and that is NOT AT ALL what I mean. It also implies that the women who didn't go for the braids and pale blue bows were being, or trying to be, like male athletes, and that is equally not what I mean. They're all women athletes, and what I love is the fact that they have a variety of gender performances without being stigmatized as quote-unquote masculine (those girls are just trying to pretend they're men) or stigmatized the opposite way as quote-unquote feminine (those girls, they can't cope with a real man's game). And there isn't a lot of vocabulary to talk about that.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: fennec)
[livejournal.com profile] janni has a wonderful writing contest on her blog. And you can win a copy of her new novel, Thief Eyes.

Catherynne M. Valente (a.k.a. [livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna, she of the Hugo Best Novel nomination, the Norton nomination, the Lambda nomination . . .) is now fiction and poetry editor of Apex Magazine. They'll be open to submissions again in June.

I'm working on this next chunk of A Reckoning of Men and also a Storytellers Unplugged post (since my slot is tomorrow and I missed last month) about Tombstone. It's kind of weird; I woke up this morning and (a.) I wanted to write and (b.) I had ideas. I brushed my teeth and took my pills and fed the cats with the background music in my head mostly being the wolf book.

I can't write very much in my head before I have to write it down; my memory doesn't retain long chunks of anything (this would be why I am one of the few Shakespeareans you will ever meet who cannot recite great wodges of Teh Bard off the cuff; I can't even manage an entire sonnet). But when things are going well (which they have not been for the past couple months), I will wander around wrestling with a sentence or two, maybe as much as an exchange of dialogue. Cleaning litter boxes is great for this, which frequently means I have to make cryptic notes to myself before I climb into bed. Because in the morning, I will remember that I had a good idea, but I will not remember what the idea was, and I hate that feeling with the burning fury of a thousand fiery suns.

So, yeah. It's spring outside; the daffodils are blooming, the apple tree is budding, and the rose bushes are starting to unfurl new green leaves. And it seems to be spring in here, too.

5 things

Feb. 15th, 2010 12:52 pm
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
1. This is now quite possibly my favorite ad of all time.

2. John Scalzi has declared this International Grover Appreciation Day. Personally, my heart belongs to Mr. Snuffleupagus.

3. I'm finally starting to feel better. I still clearly have a cold, but I don't feel like I'm devolving into some horrible crawling mucus-monster anymore. We're gonna count that as a win.

4. It's snowing.

5. This is going to sound flip, but I swear it's a serious question. Do you ever have days where you get up and look at your current project and think, What the fuck IS this shit? Who in their right mind is ever going to take this seriously?

I'm sure this question applies to all fiction--and, in fact, all projects--but I mean it specifically in terms of the sfnal or fantastic element. Because the telepathic dire wolves got me that way this morning. And, obviously, there's already been one book published about the telepathic dire wolves and people have not fallen over themselves laughing at it, so this isn't like a rational or legitimate concern--which is why I'm asking: does this happen to anyone else?
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
The dreams about failing high school calculus HAVE GOT TO STOP. Especially like the one I had last night, in which I dreamed I was failing high school calculus and then woke up to discover it was true. ARGH.



Made progress on the new wolf book yesterday. Let's be generous and call it 500 words. Which is 500 more words than I've written in a kind of appallingly long time.



The indefatigable [livejournal.com profile] fidelioscabinet has found an awesome photo-reference for Mehitabel. This is Natalia Alexandrova Pushkina, the younger daughter of Aleksandr Pushkin, and if I could have had her on the cover of The Mirador, I would have been a very happy Mole. (No, it isn't an exact match, but it's really startlingly close.)



I'm not bothering with segues today, but if I were, this would be a good one to my first Q&A question:

Q: I am super interested in what you told the cover artists of ACE. From the previous posts, I am inclined to believe that you had very little input in the whole cover art business, but you did mention that you described the tattoos and they listened. Would you have wanted the cover art done any other way? If you had said you weren't satisfied, what would have happened?

A: My input extended only so far as the artist and the production team decided to listen to me. (I did object to the cover of The Mirador because I found--and, honestly, still find--the size and shape of Mehitabel's head disturbing. It did me no good.) When they asked me questions, I answered them and was delighted when my answers showed up in the cover art: Felix's tattoos, the cityscape behind Mildmay--the cover of The Virtu is probably my favorite for precisely that reason--Mehitabel's dress. In three of four cases, my descriptions of the characters were followed: Kay, for instance, does look like David McCallum on the cover, and that's exactly how I described him for the artist. Mehitabel is the exception there.

Okay, that's an honest answer to your question, but I want to be clear that it isn't a complaint. I think the covers for these books are fantastic. They're compositionally strong--which many fantasy covers aren't--they have coherent color schemes, they give an impression of lush baroquerie which is exactly what's called for. Most importantly from the purely mercenary point of view, they do exactly what they're supposed to do, which is catch people's attention. I've gotten emails from several people who have confessed to picking up Mélusine on the strength of the cover alone. The fact that devoted readers (and the neurotic pink circus poodle of an author) can list everything the covers get wrong is, well, par for the course.

Q: How did you choose the titles of the individual books of DoL? The main reason that I can think of is because most of them are the places all the events which transpire in, but then Virtu throws a wrench right at that reasoning, and it's really gnawing at me like a rat.

A: I did not choose the titles. Ace did. My titles were Strange Labyrinths, The Labyrinth's Heart, Labyrinths Within, and The Labyrinth of Summerdown. (I've mentioned before that I suck at titles, right?) And even after they'd explained their single-word evocative-of-fantasy title theory, I wanted to call the second book Kekropia and the fourth book Summerdown, and got vetoed again.

Q: spoilers for Corambis )



Q: I have been trying to find a paperback copy of The Virtu, and nobody seems to have one. Do you happen to know where I could find one? All the others in the series are available, but that seems to have disappeared...

A: The Virtu is out of print in both hardback and paperback. I am really really sorry. My agent is making a formal protest on my behalf to Ace, and if/when the situation changes, I will definitely make an announcement.



Q: I have a question more about one of your short stories than about your books (which I liked a lot, but I can't think of any question that has not been asked yet): I enjoyed "A night in Electric Squidland" very much and remember faintly that you said you wrote or planned on writing more short stories with Mick and Jamie. If you have written and published them, is there a way for this fan from beyond the sea (Great Britain) to buy or read them?

A: I have not managed to publish any more stories about Mick and Jamie. (I have one written that no one will buy, and something else that seems to be the first chapter of a novella, and then three or four other ideas that are thus far obstinately refusing to be phrased in the form of a story.) Hopefully, this situation will change for the better.



Q: What's your preferred baseball team, if any? I only ask this because of, well, I suppose an auxiliary reference question--the writer Ynge, is it a reference to Brandon Inge?

A: I forget where I got Ynge's name, but no. It wasn't that.

I was raised an Atlanta Braves fan. Now, [livejournal.com profile] mirrorthaw and I follow the Milwaukee Brewers on the radio. But I'm more a baseball fan than I am a fan of any particular team.

[You can still ask your question(s) here.]



ETA: The Sekrit Origin of the Virtu revealed! (Hint: it isn't the toaster.)
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: actw)
[livejournal.com profile] matociquala has posted the map of the Iskryne we figured out a couple years back.

And, for those of you who, like me, think the Edda of Burdens is the shiniest thing since chrome, she's also posted her map of Eiledon.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: actw)
[livejournal.com profile] matociquala and I have sold two sequels to A Companion to Wolves--tentatively titled A Reckoning of Men and An Apprentice to Elves--to Tor Books (i.e., in this case, [livejournal.com profile] casacorona), via my wicked and yet excellent step-agent [livejournal.com profile] arcaedia.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
I'm closing the polls on this round of Q&A. Fear not! I shall do another, probably sometime after Corambis comes out.


A reminder: if you do not have a LiveJournal account, please sign your comments. I like to know who I'm talking to.


Not a Q, but I'm saying it anyway because, well, because dammit.

If your religious beliefs lead you to conclude that marriage between two consenting adults of the same sex/gender is wrong, then that is a reason to refuse to preside as a minister at their wedding. Or to refuse to attend their wedding should you be invited. It is not a reason to write/campaign for/vote for/pass legislation on the subject. Getting married is not a democratic process. We should not be able to vote on whether somebody else's marriage is real or not. Proposition 8 and all its kind make a travesty of marriage, and as a woman who has been married for ten years to a man whom I love deeply, I object with all the strength I have.

I'll say it again: people who love each other choosing to get married is not a threat. It is not an insult. It is not a desecration. It is an act of love. Trying, through and because of hatred and fear, to prevent people who love each other from having that choice? Threat. Insult. Desecration.


And now on with the show.

Q: spoilers for The Virtu )

Q: more spoilers for The Virtu, also for the end of Melusine )

Q: This is a silly question but why did you give Midmay a scar? I am curious. Wasit just a random thought...oh lets create this character with a a scar down his face? :)

A: if you haven't read Melusine, this is a spoiler )

And finally, a bunch of questions about A Companion to Wolves, which I have also prevailed upon the lovely, talented, and recently tattooed [livejournal.com profile] matociquala to answer.
cut for possible spoilers and certain length )


Thanks to everyone who asked questions. You all made this a lot of fun.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
The Lone Star Stories Reader will be out soon. (Features my story, "A Night in Electric Squidland.")

So will Fast Ships, Black Sails. (Features the story I co-wrote with the fabulous and talented Elizabeth Bear, "Boojum." Think Lovecraft as written by Tiptree.)

The September-October issue of The Willows features a new Kyle Murchison Booth story, "The Replacement."

Speaking of Booth, here's a story by story review of The Bone Key. I think Ryan Harvey thinks I think a little too well of myself (didja follow that?), which is totally his prerogative. I would like to confess, however, that I have never read Algernon Blackwood--aside from failing to get through "The Willows" (oh the cruel irony! the shame! I weep!)--so the presence of Blackwood that Harvey detects "echo[ing] as strongly" as Lovecraft and James through The Bone Key is illusory. I'm really sorry.

And speaking of Bear, two reviews of A Companion to Wolves, here and here.

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