August 23, 2010

I have been remiss in not revealing this, the cover for my second YA novel, Steel.

Steel is about Jill, a nationally ranked junior fencer who’s getting frustrated with the sport and is considering giving it up entirely.  Then, while on vacation with her family in the Bahamas, she gets sucked back in time and ends up on an 18th century pirate ship.  As you do.  Suddenly, her fencing skills might save her life…

Steel is due out March 15, 2011, from Harper Teen.


23 Responses to “Steel”

  1. name (required) Says:


    I used to fence myself in my earlier years and I’m a big fantasy fan, so it’s a kind of intersection of some of my interests. I hope there’s a section where she realizes the difference between fencing and *real* sword-fighting too, by the way.

    Look forwards to reading…

  2. carriev Says:

    Oh yes. Pretty much from the first second of her first real fight.

    I hope you enjoy it! I’m also a bit of a fencer and if I was going to write about pirates, I was going to write about swordfighting pirates.

  3. Jessica Says:

    Sounds very interesting, can’t wait to read it!

    Your books are at the top of my favorites list! Never a bad story in the bunch! I love how your stories flow and never have a dull part in them, not like I can say the same for some of the other books I have read in the past. o_O

    I am looking forward to reading Steel the moment it becomes available!

  4. angiebatgirl Says:

    This sounds awesome! I can’t wait.
    I had Fencing in gym class in HS. It would have been fun but I always got stuck with partners who were too busy screwing around :/

  5. Max Says:

    I’m eager to see how many people call your swordplay completely wrong.

    I find that “real swordplay” is kind of a religious argument; there are a lot of people who will angrily and rabidly assert that THEIR knowledge of “real swordplay” is the One True Way.

    I kind of rank it up there with the other fulcrum of rabid fundamentalist hatred of our time: Apple.

    I love the cover. Cool looking sword. 😀

  6. Debbie W. Says:

    It’s been on my list of things I’m anxiously waiting for several months now. LOVE the cover art! Who did it?

    While I’m thinking of things to come, what can you tell us about After the Golden Age?? Amazon has the release date as April 12, 2011 (just before my birthday – 🙂 THANKS!) & is a hardcover from Tor available NOW for pre-order, but I don’t think I’ve heard *you* mention it yet.

    C’mon, won’t you tease us a little bit … puh-leeeeeese?

  7. carriev Says:

    Max — Jill’s realization of “real swordplay” is “Holy crap, these things are sharp and I could really hurt somebody for real.” Which does change her fighting a bit, until she gets over it.

    And I’m planning another post about the sword real soon…

  8. Adam. Says:

    Good to see the covergirl fingering the guard properly… 😉

    Having done more Historical Fencing (Rapier, Spada di Lato, Sword & Buckler) than Sport Fencing (mostly Epee), I found that sport fencers tended to lose if they tried to fight me (I think they tried to fight me because my old fashioned guards and postures threw them off their game), on the other hand once they figured that out and started fencing for points then the tables turned and I lost.

    Never having seen a sports fencer involved in a live duel with sharps I couldn’t comment about the reverse.

  9. Adam. Says:

    P.S. Come to SWASH in 2011, here in Sunny Yorkshire.

    (The announcement will be months away yet but 2010’s website is fairly typical of the last few years).

  10. carriev Says:

    Oh, and AFTER THE GOLDEN AGE is my stand-alone superhero novel.

  11. Doruk Says:

    Having done both historical and sport fencing, I would say a sport fencer would be in big trouble fencing with sharps. But I never actually, you know, TRIED it 😛

  12. Max Says:


    See, after a thorough grounding as a USFA fencer (Got a C at one point) I went over to classical fence with some people whose lineage goes back to Faulkner. Heavy book learning along with the physical, lots of study of Saviolo and di Grassi especially, as they were the easiest books to get back then.

    After fooling about with various Negrini blades mounted on Denny Graves hilts for a few years, a couple of us decided there was no way to know until we tried it. So like fools, we did. Got our hands on some sharp rapiers and determined to go at it until we’d cut ourselves just a little. Just drawn some blood, you know. Squared off and went for it.

    And holy cats, it is completely different. Different from practicing with the blunted blades, different from epee, different from EVERYTHING. Your guard gets tight and cautious and extended like crazy, your cavalier attitude goes right out the window, and your instinct to run gets wound so tight you can barely breathe. And then all the double-lunge scenarios started going through your head…

    It is wholly different than you think it is, no matter how much classical, sport, SCA, HACA, WMA, or anything else you’ve done. I imagine your mileage will vary depending on the depth of your survival instinct. Overall, I’d recommend don’t do it. We never should have, it was stupid, and what else can I say?

  13. Adam. Says:

    A little Airsoft skirmishing was enough to really underline that I don’t want to be in a gunfight (ever). Or even, come to think of it, within about a mile of one.

    I’ve done more than enough weapons arts (Japanese and European, Medieval through Renaissance to broadly Victorian) to know I don’t want to be in a swordfight either (and as much fun as going for it with rubber knives can be I _really_ don’t want to be in any knife fights).

    Contests to a single hit on the head or torso (double hits and you’re both out) also lead to the caution that Max mentions (though I guess to a much lesser degree) and markedly decreases the risk of perforating your lights and gibblets.

  14. Doruk Says:

    Max: this is true, while I have never done anything with ‘live’ European swords, I have done some sword draws with a japanese sword, and found that just even holding the live blade shoots up the adrenalin unbelievably.

  15. spiderorchid Says:

    Usually, I don’t read YA novels but I like this storyline… Sounds like fun and something I’d enjoy. Thanks for the info! ^_^

  16. Jim Van Pelt Says:

    Another great cover, Carrie. It compliments the dragon one well.

  17. Debbie W. Says:

    Carrie, do you know who did the cover art? It’s terrific!!

  18. carriev Says:

    I’m afraid I don’t — I’ll have to check the final book.

  19. Thomas Says:

    Awesome looking cover Carrie! Can’t wait for this one and your Golden Age novels since I’ve been hearing about them for ages now.

    This one sounds and looks amazing, and I’m sure it’ll be great just like all the rest!

    Now I’ll just have to make sure I can stop by one of your signings next year to get the new 3 or 4 books signed. 🙂

  20. Cat Says:

    This sounds interesting, both in the fashion of how does someone come to grips with the reality of life or death combat versus the stylized forms of an olympic sport (and yes, I too am a fencing dabbler) and how she reacts to all of the little differences that are sure to creep up in a time travel yarn.

    Also, I feel I have to dig on those people that use a Belgian pistol grip. If you ever get thrown back in time, it’s going to be a serious problem adjusting.

  21. Adam. Says:

    Actually I’m thinking pistol grips would throw you off less than you’d think. At least you’d be used to having the spur as a kind of cross-guard analogue.

    If you were over used to the doglegged French grip on the other hand things could get weird.

  22. Jenn Says:

    I know I’m late to the party, having been away, but this looks awesome.

    Swordfighting, pirates, and time travel can’t possibly go wrong.

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