Happy Holidays to you and yours. I had some presents to give out, but a certain undead griffin ate them all.
The Big Move takes place this week, followed by the Big Unpacking, so there's not a whole bunch of news for the month.
But the news I have is very shiny. First off, RT Book Reviews announced the nominations for their 2011 Reviewer's Choice Awards. Much to my delight, my collection, A Handful of Pearls & Other Stories, has been nominated in the Indie Press Paranormal/Fantasy/Futuristic category! I am delighted to be in such fine company.
It's A Book!
In other news, I just completed copyedit queries for Queen's Hunt, and I'm continuing to work on Allegiance. Not to mention packing our house in preparation for the Big Move next month.
No wonder I'm tired. *g*
The past four weeks feel more like four years. In late August, we headed to Oregon for one last family vacation before taking our son to college for his freshman year at Reed College in Portland. It was a lovely vacation, filled with beaches, sea lions, energetic cows, a break-dancing llama, and endless waves. Oh, and watching the weather reports for Hurricane Irene, which was due to hit Connecticut the day after we returned home. Luckily, our flight landed a couple hours before they closed the airport.
Meanwhile, it's less than a month until Fox & Phoenix comes out. To celebrate its release, I'm running a series of low-key promotions. Want to read about Kai's previous adventure? Check out my short story, "Pig, Crane, Fox," now available from Smashwords, Chapters, and Barnes & Noble. Or maybe you'd prefer an excerpt of the novel itself? Or a clip from the audio book?
The promo will continue for the next couple weeks with an ARC giveaway, interviews and guest blog posts, and possibly a contest. Check my blog each week to find out what's going on.
This month is pretty much a repeat of last month. Job. House hunting. Job. And more job.
However I did accomplish a couple important tasks in Book Land. After a couple weekends of wrestling with Adobe Illustrator, I can say that my e-version of "Pig, Crane, Fox" will be ready for release by September, and I have a couple interviews and guest blog posts underway in preparation for Fox & Phoenix's release in October. Fred-the-plot-guy delivered a tantalizing scene for a third Lóng City book, told from Kai's son's point-of-view. I've written up a very short set of notes for that one, and set it to simmer on the backburner.
New job! Long commute! Fun work!
In other words, the new schedule is exhausting, but I am pleased with the job, and I hope to work in some regular writing time so I can finish up Allegiance.
Writing, writing, writing... Allegiance, of course. The final three chapters are done, or at least, in decent first-draft shape. I've skipped to the middle of the book, where we get to see Ilse through a new POV character. Maryshka doesn't play a huge role in this book—perhaps two or three scenes at most, but if all goes well with the series, I plan to write a book with more of her story. (I have a draft, but events and characters have changed so much since then, the book will need a complete rewrite.)
So why include a point-of-view from a minor character? That's something else that has changed over the course of the trilogy. Passion Play was all from Ilse's perspective. Queen's Hunt opens up to show events from half a dozen viewpoints. Allegiance takes things several steps further. (I can't say more without introducing spoilers.) One thing hasn't changed, no matter how many viewpoints in the book: the main focus is still on Ilse and her journey toward selfhood.
A somewhat fractured month so far, but a lot accomplished all the same. My splendid YA editor and I made a second pass through the galleys for Fox & Phoenix. The second edition of my collection is nearly ready for release—many thanks to Neil Clarke for all the advice, and to the many friends who tested the book! That guest blog post I mentioned is now live on The Parking Lot Confessional. And I'm experimenting with a new process for the second half of Allegiance: writing the chapters in reverse order. (So far, it's working quite well.)
In other news, my son is finishing up his last year in high school, and we're thinking about moving across the state.
I spent the first half of this month traveling around the country, or at least, that's how it felt. The first week in April, I flew out to LA to accept my award at the RT Booklovers Convention. The second week, I drove to Virginia for my talk about writing. In between, I did laundry, repacked my suitcase, caught a cold, and petted the cats. I also learned that Passion Play made the long list for the 2011 British Fantasy Awards!
At some point, I want to blog more about my experiences at RT and at my college. Both were extraordinarily rewarding, but in wildly different ways. (And that made the experiences even more rewarding, in my opinion.)
But for now, I need to unpack, do laundry, pet the cats, and write a guest blog post. Then it's back to Allegiance, which has been waiting patiently for me all this while.
Things accomplished this month: galleys for Fox and Phoenix reviewed, ARCs for Fox and Phoenix mailed out, research begun for releasing a second edition of my collection, A Handful of Pearls & Other Stories, and numerous preparations for attending The RT Book Lover's Convention next month, and for visiting my old college to give a talk there.
Meanwhile, I came across a couple very nice reviews for Passion Play on SF Site. And if all goes well, I should be able to share the new covers for both Passion Play and Queen's Hunt in the next month or so.
News Flash! Two splendid pieces of news arrived in the past week. Passion Play has won for Best Epic Fantasy in the 2010 RT Reviewer's Choice Awards, and it was named to the Long List for the 2010 Tiptree Awards.
Busy, busy month. There was snow. Yea gods, there was snow—so much that our snow plow guy couldn't find anywhere to stack the stuff. We finally hired a backhoe to clear our driveway and make it passable for the oil delivery truck. No sooner did the weather consent to ease up, when copyedits and revisions for Fox and Phoenix landed on my desk. I conquered those in record time. The book is now officially Delivered and Accepted. And just in time for Boskone, which is always fun, but which felt like a special treat this year.
And now it's back to Allegiance and writing, writing, writing…
Last year was a year of several big firsts. My first short story collection, A Handful of Pearls & Other Stories, came out in June. My first novel, Passion Play, appeared from Tor Books in October. I attended my first World Fantasy Convention and my first Book Expo of America. I also had my first sub-rights sale (audio rights for Fox and Phoenix). Okay, maybe that last doesn't sound so glamorous, but to me, it means more readers, or in this case, listeners, for my stories, and that's exciting.
So what about 2011?
Alas, 2011 will not see the publication of Queen's Hunt, which has been postponed until 2012, but it will see the publication of my first YA novel, Fox and Phoenix, which will come out from Viking Children's Books in October with a splendid cover by Nigel Quarless.
Meanwhile, I shall be working on Allegiance and the sequel to Fox and Phoenix, which Fred recently informed me would be called The Phoenix War. Beyond that, I have to see what the year (and Fred) bring me.