proofs! and a release!

My proofs for Rainbird and Mourning Cloak arrived earlier this week.

Aren’t they pretty?

Proofs

They look EVEN BETTER in real life.

There really is nothing like seeing your name on the cover of a physical book. I had an ear-to-ear grin on my face for about an hour after they came.

Right now, David’s checking them for errors (I know, I know, I’m spoiled). They should be ready to go in a week or so. Keep an eye on this space!

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One Small Step

One Small Step: an anthology of discoveries launched last weekend at Conflux. Jo Anderton and I have a story in there. “Sand and Seawater” has already gotten some nice shout-outs on Goodreads, and the anthology as a whole has been favorably reviewed in places like Publisher’s Weekly.

Next week, I’ll post about our experience collaborating on this story.

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I’ve been busily working away on some short stories for the past couple of weeks, including some broken fairy tales for a follow-up to Shattered. I’m hoping to get that out in June and then buckle down to Ironhand and release that a couple months later.

What are your writing plans? Do you have any new or upcoming releases? Let us know in the comments!

a belated merry christmas!

Hope you all had a lovely holiday! I didn’t intend to be late with a Christmas greeting post, but one does not think about blogging while catching up with family, eating awesome food, and–most importantly of all–playing Angry Birds Star Wars.

Angry-Birds-Star-Wars

All the cool kids are playing this

On the way back home yesterday (long road trip, complete with cold rain, traffic jams, and boys gone wild in the backseat), I was thrilled to see these lovely reviews of Rainbird at Shelfspace Needed and Willing to See Less, both of which went immediately into my I-Don’t-Suck file.

Also, don’t forget that Rainbird is on sale till the end of January!

Rainbird Winter Sale

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Now back to work for me. Current projects include a novella set in Blackburn, the setting of Out of Shape, featuring Thad’s secretary Amanda; a short story set in Highwind, the world of Mourning Cloak; and a Secret Project that I’m not going to talk about yet *hugs it close*.  I also need to finish planning the next term of homeschool, and get my blogging schedule back in order. The time away was great, because I am excited to do ALL these things.

I love this time between Christmas and New Year’s. I love the quiet, the introspection, the comfort of the old, the excitement of the new.

What are your plans for the rest of 2012?

saturday notes

At Linda Adams’ blog, I’m talking about  The Lone Woman: gender imbalance in the action/adventure genre.

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Kris Rusch’s post on writing like it’s 2009 talks about what it takes to build a writing career today. My takeaway: focus on production and quality, get my stories in front of readers, and be in it for the long haul.

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My books are now on Kobo!

Rainbird | Shattered | Unseen | Wired

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Rainbird is now on sale for $1.99–up till the end of January! And look, I even made a graphic:

Rainbird Winter Sale

Yes, I’m ludicrously excited about making this all by my lonesome. I have a tendency to go all deer-in-the-headlights when confronted by any sort of graphics program ever since a horrendous experience with Photoshop in college. Photoshop Elements is a LOT easier to deal with.

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Do you have any sales or new/upcoming releases? Tell us about them in the comments!

under a blanket, thinking

1. This last week, I was over at A Digital Magician, blogging about what I learned about writing from video games.

2. On the writing front…*hollow laugh*

I’ve decided to step back from NaNo-lite, because I wasn’t getting anything else done. Not blogging. Not revising. Not getting to a dozen little business-y things that need my attention.

I’m still not getting any of those done, except for the revising. Which is fine, because I need Mourning Cloak to be in good shape by the end of this month. I’ll go back to Rafe after that’s done. In the meantime, he can enjoy a little rest because there’s a world of hurt coming his way (she laughs evilly).

Part of my lack of wordage is just… I’m scraping bottom. I’m out of blog ideas. I’m stretched thin among all these different writing projects. Plus, I’ve been thinking about a lot of different things recently and reading a lot and I just need time to process it all, before it comes out in blog posts and stories.

I feel struck dumb. I have nothing to say right now–at least not anything coherent that can be shared with others.

I know. And I’m writer. *spreads hands, shakes head*

3. Speaking of malevolent space dragons, here’s the trailer for Final Fantasy XIV (via Ravven). It’s an MMO so I won’t be playing it (er, watching David play it), but… dragons!

 

4. And speaking of Ravven, I don’t know if I ever linked to the post she did on the evolution of Rainbird‘s cover. It’s long, but it shows you just how much back and forth there was between us.

Friday edition

This has just been one of those weeks. I lost two writing days and eked out a miserable few hundred words on a third day.

But School Happened (yes, even when the public school kids got two days off, which did not go unnoticed by mine). We read Shakespeare retellings, made a “blubber” glove for science, plowed on through math.

And also! I’m at two other blogs this week, answering questions about writing, life, and Rainbird:

At Forego Reality, I talk about finding time to write as a homeschooling mom, the inspiration behind the sunway, and my commitment to quality as a self-publisher.

And today, I’m at Liv Rancourt’s blog, discussing where I picked up my style, how a girl from Pakistan ended up in Northern Virginia, and the YA elements in Rainbird.

And, thirdly, I’m strongly leaning towards joining the slow blogging movement. I’m a fiction writer with limited time. I enjoy blogging, but I cannot put out three or more high-quality posts every week. I have to drop down to one longish post and (maybe) one shorter, quick-to-put-together post like this one per week. I’m still thinking about this, so if you have any opinions about this change, let me know!

dragons I have known

When I first started writing fantasy, I swore that I would never ever include something so cliched, so stale, so overdone, as a dragon.

Riiight.

Whether I wanted them or not, dragons crept or stormed into my fiction anyway.

The sleeping dragon whose awakening would restart an ancient war. The cultured dragon who likes books and foreign travel. The continent-sized space dragon whose skeleton is home to humans and humanoid species.

And these are all in some way influenced by the dragons I have known, and fall in one of the categories below:

Force of Nature/Actively Evil

The dragons of Western literature dragons are seen as forces of nature–like a destructive storm–or actively evil. These are the dragons that Beowulf and St. George battle. These are the dragons from the movie Reign of Fire. The ones that are intelligent as well as malevolent are the most compelling and frightening of all–from Smaug in The Hobbit to the transformed Maleficent in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.

Loyal Companions

Two words: Pernese dragons.

Admit it, you were thinking about Pernese dragons too when you saw the “Loyal Companions” heading

These telepathic dragons are genetically engineered to bond with human riders and fight Thread. They are sentient, but they are also totally, irrevocably loyal to and protective of their riders. These dragons fulfill a powerful human fantasy to command the utter devotion of such fearsome beasts.

They’re also from my grown-up perspective, a little boring. (I wonder what would happen if a genetic mutant in that sort of world didn’t bond with a human, didn’t die from lack of such bond, and grew up wondering what made humans so special that dragons had to obey them?).

Cute and Cuddly

These abound in children’s books, from the little kitten-sized dragon in There’s No Such Thing As a Dragon to the three, darling troublemakers in Good Night, Good Knight.

See, dragons just want to be cuddled and petted. Hmm, also sounds like Pernese fire lizards.

Very cute story. And look at those adorable little dragonlings!

Just Like Us

They may have sharp teeth and be overfond of princesses and sparkly stuff, but they are like us. They talk, they give dinner parties, they form governments. They argue and form alliances. Some of them are inquisitive and question everything. Others would rather read poetry than fight. They are easy to identify with.

Who are your favorite dragons? Any dragon categories I might’ve missed?

linky-links

My guest post, Balancing Act: On Raising Both a Family and a Writing Career, is up on FableCroft Publishing’s blog. Come share your tips on fitting your writing into your family life!

Also, I’m working with Kellie of ReaWrite Reviews to get some more publicity for Rainbird. If you’re interested in receiving a review copy, please fill out this form.

I’m seeing a lot of recipes from my fellow WANA bloggers in my RSS feed. Like for instance, these salmon, lime and mint patties (gluten-free) and this yummy pecan-topped dessert (not gluten-free and probably not the most health-conscious *grin*).

I’m most of the way to my 1500-word goal for today. How are the rest of you NaNo and NaNo-lite peeps doing?

a list for wednesday

1. I have a guest post on atypical fantasy protagonists up at the Turtleduck Press blog. Come check it out!

2. Also,  you might’ve noticed I’m doing interviews and guest posts recently. This is my Low-Key Sorta Blog Tour for Rainbird’s release. I’m happy to do more of these, so if you have an open spot on your blog that you want to give me, feel free to ask. I’d appreciate it. :)

3. Remember that last week I shared the Peter Hollens and Lindsey Stirling version of the Game of Thrones theme music? Well, their Skyrim rendition is even better! I am hooked on this.

 

How’s your week going?

video

interview and music video

Two things:

1. I’m over at Ellen Gregory’s blog today, talking about Rainbird, the fantasy genre, and some of my recent favorite reads.

2. One voice, one violin, one soundtrack:

Rainbird is out!

 

She’s a halfbreed in hiding.

Rainbird never belonged. To one race, she’s chattel. To the other, she’s an abomination that should never have existed.

She lives on the sunway.

High above the ground, Rainbird is safe, as long as she does her job, keeps her head down, and never ever draws attention to herself.

But one act of sabotage is about to change everything.

For Rainbird. And for her world.

Rainbird is a fantasy novella of about 31,000 words.

Now available at Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords