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Attention Houston People!

I have some Things coming up that you may be interested in!

Thing the First: I’ll be having a belated Our Lady of the Ice release party at Writespace Houston this Friday, March 18, at 7:30 pm. There will be cake, snacks, and giveaways! Maybe tango music if I can swing it! Stop by if you can. Here are the directions to Writesapce. It’s hard to find if you’ve never been before. PS: This event is freeeeeeeee!

Thing the Second: I will be teaching a six-week Fiction for Beginning Writers workshop at Writespace starting March 21. Classes will be every Monday evening from 6-9 PM, running from March 21 to April 25th. We’ll be focusing on the building blocks of writing fiction–plot, character, setting, pov, and dialogue, and all students will have a chance to have a story or novel excerpt workshopped. We’ll also be reading published short fiction and doing a bunch of hands-on writing exercises, because that’s how I roll. Cost is $245 if you’re not a Writespace member (and $215 if you are).

Thing the Third: I’ve been invited to participate in a reading at the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston in conjunction with their current exhibit, “The Interview: Red, Red Future,” an installation piece examining the future of Martian colonization. I’m going to write a new piece especially to read, and there will be other local writers and poets reading as well. Read more about the event here!.

Monthly Roundup: Writefest Edition!

My February was basically consumed by Writefest, but I’ve still got some things to round up!

Books Finished

Gutshot by Amelia Gray. A short story collection that I’d been reading on and off for several months. Most of the stories are very short, and they have an overwhelming, dreamlike quality that I loved dipping into. Reading them was a bit like stepping into freezing water: there’s a sudden jolt, a moment of numbness, and then you have to move on. Which is not to say I didn’t like them.

Also, one of the stories referenced my hometown so

Dark Force Rising by Timothy Zahn. My Star Wars obsession continues. Second book in the Thrawn Trilogy. More delightful Star Warsian batshittery.

Southern Gods by John Hornor Jacobs. I’ve been drifting back to my horror roots lately, and this book really hit the spot. It’s a Southern Gothic story with a Lovecraftian bent. Jacobs did a great job with the setting, really capturing that humid, creepy southern underbelly. I really enjoyed this.

Flesh and Gold by Phyllis Gotlieb. This book showed up on a list on the B&N blog of space operas that aren’t Star Wars. It’s a dense book, despite having a relatively simple plot–the language reads more like poetry at times, and it works surprisingly well for a space opera. I also liked how small scale the plot was, while still capturing the feel of an epic, galaxy-spanning society.

Stuff Watched
I was going to talk about the X-Files revival here, but except for one episode, it was such an overwhelming MEH. The one episode strong episode was REALLY strong, though. I always loved the funny episodes of the X-Files the best, where the show gets weird and whimsical at the same time. A lizard person who turns into a were-human after a psychopath (played by Kumail Nanjiani <3 <3 <3) bites him? This is the greatest pitch of all time. tumblr_o1wgeht24G1sp5781o3_250

Words Written
I wrote 17,279 words of fiction this month. I’d feel bad, but so much of my time was spent with Writefest, which recharged my writer energy BIG TIME. I spent a week teaching and interacting with new writers, and nothing helps you overcome your cynicism about the perfidy of the publishing business like hanging around people just starting out. I’m also trying my hand at more short fiction–something I’ve been wanting to do for awhile, but WF really gave me the boost I needed–as well as dabbling more in the straight literary fiction of my roots.

Parting Shot
I give you one of the greatest cat videos of all time. SHE IS THEIR GOD NOW.

知唔知咩叫『痴身』,喵星人BB完美示範俾你睇!Source: MİYA==========================#etnetshare #搞笑 #有趣 #得意 #短片#喵星人

Posted by ET Net 經濟通 on Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Monthly Roundup: Nothing but Star Waaaaaaars

I thought I might start doing some monthly roundups with things I’ve read, watched, and written. Just so you can get a taste of the glamorous writing life. Let’s look at what I did in January.

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Books Finished
Star Wars: Before the Awakening, by Greg Rucka. Three novellas about Finn, Poe, and Rey prior to the events of the movie. Everybody loves the Poe story but tbh the stories for Finn and Rey stuck with me a lot more. Also, this book is illustrated by my art bae Phil Noto. So they’re beautiful, is what I’m saying.

Heir to the Empire, by Timothy Zahn. Somehow I missed this trilogy the first time I was obsessed with Star Wars (which was in 7th grade). It’s, um, kind of amazing? I see why people were pissed about the EU being thrown out now. I’m also learning What The Deal Is with Mara Jade and that Deal is that she is the best.

Stuff Watched
I started watching The Clone Wars TV series this month, to get my Star Wars fix in without having to actually watch Episode 1. I’m only into the second season and I’ve already cried during an episode. Keep in mind this is an animated kids’ show. Except it’s also a lot more than that. Like, it single-handedly made me care about Padme and Anakin’s relationship, and I love love looooooove Anakin’s padawan Ahsoka Tano.

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Words Written

I wrote 25,371 words of fiction this month. Only about 400 of that was Star Wars fanfiction. I can’t decide if that’s a win or a lose.

One thing I’m doing a little bit differently, word-count wise, this year, is to keep my daily word count expectations low (about 250 words a day). That takes me about 15 minutes, and it’s a lot less pressure than telling myself I have to write 1000 words when I also have classes to plan and Star Wars Clone Wars episodes to watch. So while my daily word counts have been a bit low, I’m also being a lot more consistent, which I appreciate.

I’m hoping in February to get that number up to 27K or so!

ETA: Pictures Drawn
How could I forget my Star Wars sketches? First off we have the Neko Atsume Star Wars Characters, aka my most popular post on Tumblr. I also did some sketchy portraits of Finn, Rey, and Kylo Ren while I was at a writing retreat. Art!

Stories Published

The Witch Who Came In From the Cold kicked off this month, and will be continuing for thirteen glorious episodes! Spies! Magic! Golems! I am so in love with this project, you guys.

Parting Shot

In keeping with the Star Wars theme, here’s the video to one of the greatest Weird Al songs of all time. I might not be able to bring myself to rewatch The Phantom Menace, but I will listen to this song:

The Witch Who Came In From the Cold Launches Today!

Today is the launch of my latest project, a collaborative serial called The Witch Who Came in from the Cold. We’ve been working on it for pretty much the last year, and I’m so excited its finally out in the world for you to read!

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Here’s a summary from the publisher, Serial Box:

Through a haze of cigarettes and vodka there lies a version of Prague where spies practice sorcery in their games of intrigue. While the world watches the bitter rivalry between East and West fester along the Iron Curtain, the Consortium of Ice and the Acolytes of Flame continue waging their ancient war of magic. Kept to the shadows, this secret contest crosses the lines of politics and the borders of nations with impunity – the intrigues of spies may know clear sides but the battles of witches spill out over all.

Tanya Morozova is a KGB officer and the latest in a long line of Ice witches and sorcerers; Gabe Pritchard is a CIA officer and reluctant Ice recruit. Enemies at one turn, suspicious allies at the next, their relationship is as explosive as the Cold War itself.

Cold Witch isn’t an ordinary novel, though. It’s a collaborative effort–lead writer Lindsay Smith led the rest of us (Max Gladstone, Ian Tregellis, and me) through a super-intensive brainstorming weekend where we plotted out the entire first season. For Cold Witch, that’s thirteen episodes total. We divvied up the episodes and set to writing them, then revising them, with lots of dialogue back and forth to ensure we got the story perfect.

As a writer, it was an awesome experience. I loved working with my brilliant co-authors, and I am so in love with the final version that I’m just like

The episodes will be released every Wednesday, and the pilot, out now, is free! If you subscribe, you’ll get audio and text versions of every episode for just $1.59 each. That’s a pretty sweet deal!

butwaittheresmore

Serial Box also runs a Tumblr with lots of extra goodies, like author interviews, link roundups, and insights into the experience of creating each episode. Aaaaand there’s a Cold Witch-specific Tumblr with lots of cool spy and witch stuff. Consider giving ’em a follow!

ConFusion Schedule

I’m going to ConFusion this year with all the cool kids (shh, don’t tell them I’m not actually cool). It’s held in Detroit which means it will be cold and there will be snow (I think? I hope? This winter has been weird) so I’m also excited about that. I’m on some panels, so if you’ll be there maybe stop by and say hello!

Anyway, here’s the schedule…complete with

free glitter text and family website at FamilyLobby.com

Saturday, Jan. 23

10 AM: Whose Subgenre Is It, Anyway?
One hat is filled with titles of well known novels. The other hat is filled SFF’s favorite sub-genres. Panelists draw from the hats and reconcile their selections. How would you defend _Little Women_ as a grimdark tale? Tom Doyle, Cassandra Rose Clarke, Dave Robison (M), Ken Schrader, Sal Palland

Spoiler:

deadpool rainbow

11 AM: The Value of Fans’ Work
Fan-fiction, fan vids, gifsets on Tumblr, fan meta: what value to fan works bring to TV and movie fandoms? How is the value of these works measured or dismissed based on gender, source material and where fanworks are posted and discussed? Cassandra Rose Clarke, Susan Dennard, Julie Winningham, V.E. Schwab

Spoiler:

ship it fedex

12 PM: Novel Gazing
The Male Gaze is often discussed in relation to how women are objectified in fiction. Less common is the Female Gaze, which is often confused as a direct opposite to its Male counterpart. What are the Male and Female Gaze? How are they different? And how is the Female Gaze changing fiction for the better? Diana Rowland, Doselle Young (M), Jim C. Hines, Cassandra Rose Clarke, Kimchi Zerbe

Spoiler:

thrandruil pretty face

5 PM: Autograph Session
You know the drill: I sit at a table, you bring me stuff to sign! Or you can stop by and chat, even if you have nothing to sign! I might give away a copy of Our Lady of the Ice, too.

Spoiler:

rhodey slow blink
Sunday, Jan. 24

11 AM: Formative Fiction: The Books That Hooked You
Every one remembers the book that turned them into a reader for life. The panel will discuss the books that were formative in their reading lives. What makes a piece of fiction formative? How does formative fiction evolve with time? Is this work different for today’s new readers than it was for the previous generation or, even, the one before that? Mary Lynne Gibbs, Ferrett Steinmetz, Cassandra Rose Clarke, Mur Lafferty, Sarah Gibbons

Spoiler:

the heat book

Newspam: Exciting Holiday Edition

It’s December, my classes are almost over, and I’ve got a pile of excitement to share with you all!

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Excitement No 1: This is the biggie, and I’ve been plastering it over my assorted social media accounts the last few days. I’m delighted to announce that Saga will be publishing all of my Angry Robot backlist: The Mad Scientist’s Daughter, The Assassin’s Curse, The Pirate’s Wish, The Wizard’s Promise, and the heretofore unpublished The Nobleman’s Revenge! All the books will be getting new covers (I’ve already seen the cover for The Mad Scientist’s Daughter and it’s GORGEOUS) and a new lease on life! I can’t wait to release these books back into the world. Check back here (or to the books’ individual pages) for more information about the specific release dates and other key details.

Excitement No. 2: About a month ago, I started offering editorial services through Writespace. I’m available for content/developmental editing, and I can also work with students on school writing assignments. Perhaps most exciting about this arrangement is that I’m available to meet both in-person and online, so you don’t necessarily have to live in Houston to take advantage! For more information, check out my editor profile at the Writespace page.

Excitement No. 3: Well, it’s that time of the year again, when all the Best-of Lists start popping up around all corners of the Internet. I’m honored and delighted that Our Lady of the Ice has made some appearances!

Bookworm Blues

The Speculative Herald

And while not a true Best-of List, Our Lady was also selected as one of 56 fabulous holiday books by the LA Times (and the Chicago Tribune)!

Newspam: Quickie Edition

Last week I learned that Our Lady of the Ice has been nominated for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award in the science fiction category! Super exciting!

And for a nice balance, let’s go from my latest book to my first, with this awesome write up about The Assassin’s Curse and the Pirate’s Wish. Those books have been getting some attention lately, which is very cool consider a year and a half ago the publisher closed down. It also goes to show that writing really is a long con.

Finally, I’m happy to announce some more details about the Serial Box project I’ve been working on with Lindsay Smith, Max Gladstone, and Ian Tregellis. It’s serialized project called The Witch Who Came in From the Cold, and the link says it all:

The Cold War rages in the back rooms and dark alleys of 1970s Prague as spies and sorcerers cross murky lines to do battle for home and country. The fate of the East and the West hangs in the balance right along the Iron Curtain—and crackling beneath the surface of it all is a vein of magic, raw and waiting to be tapped.

Trust me, it’s AWESOME.

The pilot episode will be released in January, and there are thirteen episodes total, all weaving together to tell a larger story.

Our Lady of the Ice Release Day

free glitter text and family website at FamilyLobby.com

That’s right, today is Our Lady of the Ice’s release day! It’s available in hardcover or ebook wherever books are sold. Like, oh, these places…

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

IndieBound

Or you can go into a bookstore or library and look for the cover:

If they don’t have it, just politely ask them to order a copy! Then Our Lady of the Ice will be yours!

What’s Our Lady of the Ice about? Here, have some cover copy:

Hope City, Antarctica. The southernmost city in the world, with only a glass dome and a faltering infrastructure to protect its citizens from the freezing, ceaseless winds of the Antarctic wilderness. Within this bell jar four people–some human, some not–will shape the future of the city forever:

Eliana Gomez, a female PI looking for a way to the mainland.

Diego Amitrano, the right-hand man to the gangster who controls the city’s food come winter.

Marianella Luna, an aristocrat with a dangerous secret.

Sofia, an android who has begun to evolve.

But the city is evolving too, and in the heart of the perilous Antarctic winter, faction will clash, dreams will shatter, and that frozen metropolis just might boil over…

Want to know more? I answered some questions about the book over at Shelf Awareness. I also wrote a My Favorite Bit piece at Mary Robinette Kowal’s blog. And if you’re more of an image person, I also created an aesthetic post over at my Tumblr.

ETA: My friend Maki made a playlist for Our Lady of the Ice! Freaking awesome!

Thank you to all who have read and reviewed the book so far. And thank you to those who will read in the future. You are all the best!grouphug

Our Lady Giveaway and News Roundup

Well, it’s October 12, which means in two weeks Our Lady of the Ice will be unleashed onto the larger world! Ahhhhh! Our Lady has had some cool coverage the last few weeks that I wanted to share you with you all.

Firstly, it was featured on Shelf Awareness’ Maximum Shelf. There’s also an interview with me about the book. Secondly, it was selected as one of B&N’s Bookseller’s Picks for 2015. Finally, it received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly!

If all this has you as excited as it does me, you might be interested in knowing that Goodreads is currently running a giveaway of Our Lady of the Ice! You have two more days to enter at the link.

I leave you now with a photo of the two completed copies of the book I received a few days ago. It’s beauuuuuutiful!

Robert Barcatheon decrees that you shall read Our Lady of the Ice!

Robert Barcatheon decrees that you shall read Our Lady of the Ice!

Story Sale + Kickstarter

cover

I sold a short story!

It’s called “A Night in New Veroshtin” and will be featured in the Women in Practical Armor” anthology, alongside awesome people like Mary Robinette Kowal. Here’s a snippet:

The war was changing.

That was what Lieutenant Raza told Salima during the debriefing. “They don’t want us fighting battles the way we used to,” she said from behind the big mahogany desk where the politicians had shoved her after the Battle of Anausi.

 

The anthology is being funded by a Kickstarter campaign that is veeeery close to funding as I type this and will probably be funded by the time this post goes live. Which means your donation will go toward funding the various stretch goals the publisher has planned! Definitely check it out.