This is a link-happy post.

I have been remiss in mentioning that Discord’s Apple is available on unabridged audiobook.  I’m awfully pleased because they got two readers — a woman, Angela Dawe, for Evie’s chapters and a man, Luke Daniels, for Sinon’s chapters.  This is awesome.

Another point I should have added to my defense of TronThe soundtrack is amazing!

I just saw the second trailer for Tron: Legacy, and it about blew the top of my head off.

I have also finally seen the Thor trailer, and it pushes all my many Viking buttons.  Hmm, Vikings. I really love Vikings.  Saw The Thirteenth Warrior in theaters twice.

Also seen this weekend:  the super ultimate extended Watchmen, with added Black Freightery goodness.  Which, as one of my friends observed, was a tad reminiscent of Heavy Metal, which was oh so appropriate for a film trying to recreate the mid-80’s.  Loved the whole thing.

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Discord’s Apple doesn’t have anything like a soundtrack, not like the Kitty books or Voices of Dragons do, but I do have an album that was incredibly inspirational and helped the idea of the book come to life:  American Angels, by Anonymous 4.

Anonymous 4 is an a cappella vocal quartet best known for medieval chant and polyphony — they sound like this:

For me they’re the soundtrack of everything that’s magical and exotic about medieval Europe, and I’ve loved them for years.  Then American Angels came out — the superb clarity in tone, the beautiful harmonies, the otherworldly music, but this time singing American folk and gospel music.  It was a revelation:  my own heritage, the same songs my southern and pioneer ancestors would have known, transformed into magical high art.  Click here for a sample of “Angel Band” to hear what I’m talking about.

The album came out around the time I was writing Discord’s Apple, and it fed right into the theme, and right into what had inspired the novel in the first place:  discovering a vast and amazing heritage in the most unlikely of places.

and so it begins

July 8, 2010

Reminder:  I’m signing at the Tattered Cover on Colfax tonight at 7:30.  First round begins!

And on Saturday I’ll be at the Rocky Mountain Romance Convention, signin’ books and stuff.

I’m very scattered at the moment.  Lots going on, the to do list keeps growing, and I start three weeks of travel next week.  First, I’ll be at Launch Pad, which will be my first crunchy science coursework since the geology field class I took in college.  Oughta be fun!  I then have one day for laundry and snuggling my dog before I head out on my first book tour.

That list of things I was supposed to do before leaving is getting to be daunting.

Here, have a song that will never appear on a Kitty playlist, in the category of Too Obvious.

Discord’s Apple Day!

July 6, 2010

Today is the official release day for Discord’s Apple, my second hardcover and first stand-alone novel marketed as fantasy rather than YA.  This means I’m slowly ticking items off my career “to do” list.  Getting this one out in the wild was a big one, and now it’s here.

Many announcements to go with this:

Some behind-the-scenes looks at the story:  This novel probably has more autobiography in it than any of my others, but much of it would only be recognizable to other people in my family.  Because it’s about family, in many ways.  Not individuals so much as family history, heritage, and roots.  I spent a chunk of 2002 learning about my family, and that’s the process that ended up in the book.  I also changed a bunch of the names to make the story my own, but it’s rooted in reality.

In May of 2002, I lost two family members — my paternal grandfather, and my maternal grandmother’s older sister.  I visited Aunt Rose a month or so before she died, and this was the first time I’d ever visited someone for the purpose of saying goodbye like that.  I was there with my mother, my grandmother, Aunt Rose, and one of their other sisters.  The three of them told stories about growing up in Swink, Colorado, and I heard a lot and learned a lot I never knew before.  When my grandfather passed away just a few weeks later, I had a similar experience outside of Anniston, Alabama — after the funeral, we visited the house where Grandpa had grown up, and once again I heard stories I’d never heard before, and had a sense not just of family, but of family tied to a place, with a history.  After that summer, I started writing the story of Evie, who goes home in a time of crisis to be with family and discovers a treasure.

Lots and lots of other bits went into the story — lots of mythology, the Greek soldier Sinon who helped win the Trojan War, the military comic book that Evie writes, and so on.  But it started with family.

Some visual aids:

This is the house near Swink, Colorado, where my grandmother and her siblings grew up.  It’s not quite the house that I imagine Evie’s family living in, but the landscape is similar — open prairie going on for miles — and this location is what I was thinking of when I wrote those scenes.

This is Bent’s Old Fort (or rather a reconstruction of it).  This was one of the first trading posts to be established on the Santa Fe Trail, and marked something of a crossroads where various groups from east, west, and south came together.  In Discord’s Apple, the place appears as Hope’s Fort, which gave its name to the fictional town where the story takes place.  (In reality, the nearest town to Bent’s Old Fort is La Junta.)

quick note

July 4, 2010

I’m back from the war (i.e. large SCA event with lots of people camping in a small area and periodically beating each other up with fake swords), and have to catch up on my real life once again.

The blog’s spam filter has been doing battle with a particularly pernicious spam bot, and I came home to find way too many spammy comments to go through so I purged the whole thing.  If you’ve made a comment in the last few days and haven’t seen it post, it probably got caught in the purge, and I apologize for that.  Will you please repost?

Also, Discord’s Apple appears to be out in the wild before the official Tuesday release date.  Hooray!  Now, I don’t want to hear ANYBODY complaining that they have to wait too long between books ever again, okay?

Also, happy Fourth to ya!

Discord’s Apple is an actual finished book!  Yay!  I don’t think it’s really out yet, I just got a couple of early copies from my editor.

Still no signs of Kitty Goes to War in the wild, but it should be soon now.  Let the watch begin!

Also, I have a guest blog post up at Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist.

July Book Tour Dates

June 7, 2010

The horse show post will have to wait, I have tour dates — I’ll post times when I get them, but I wanted to get this on the calendar ASAP.  A real book tour.  Huh.  I’m going to be busy.

Now, before y’all start posting comments about why aren’t I coming to your town, and can I please come to your favorite store, or when am I coming to someplace that isn’t on the list, please keep in mind that I didn’t set any of this up.  This was arranged by the publicity department at Tor Books.  So, if you want me to go someplace to do a signing, what you need to do is tell your favorite bookstore and ask them to put in a request with Tor Books.

Updated for times and locations:

July 8:  Denver, CO  Tattered Cover , Lodo Branch (1628 16th St.), 7:30 pm.

July 20: Albuquerque, NM, Bookworks, 7:00 pm.

July 21: Portland, OR, Powell’s Cedar Hills Crossing, 7:00 pm.

July 24: San Francisco, Borderlands 3:00 pm.

July 26: San Diego, CA, Mysterious Galaxy 7:00 pm.

July 27: Burbank, CA, Dark Delicacies 7:00 pm.

July 28: Phoenix, AZ, Poisoned Pen 7:00 pm.

July 29: Seattle, WA, University Bookstore 7:00 pm.

July 31:  Denver, CO  Who Else Books 3:00 pm.

Whoa, like I said, busy…