October 2, 2015
The weather is changing. It’s cloudy. I need to get to yoga class because I haven’t been yet this week. I keep re-doing my to-do list rather than actually, you know, getting things done. The list keeps growing. Especially writing projects. I need to finish something before starting something new. People keep asking me, “What are you going to work on next? What are you excited about?”
ALL OF IT. I’m excited about all of it.
And I also need to clean house and sew Emmy’s Halloween costume and. . .and. . .
Baby steps, grasshopper.
September 23, 2015
I spent a few days last week in Truckee, California, researching the Donner Pass area for my current WIP. (Dark Divide, the new Cormac book, which some of you had a sneak preview of if you’ve been to certain recent readings.)
Irony abounds here.
There’s a Taco Bell not more than a quarter of a mile from the primary camp where the Donner Party wintered over, with disastrous consequences. There are at least four ski areas around the pass itself. I’ve been doing quite a lot of reading, and accounts of the Donner Party tragedy — which happened more than 150 years ago — make the area sound so remote and inhospitable. It’s part of the storytelling of the incident, to get across the sense of isolation and desperation.
But the thing about the Donner Pass is it’s about the easiest place to cross the north Sierra Nevadas. Lots of wagon trains went that way, even before the Donner Party. Then the transcontinental railroad. Then the first transcontinental highway. Then the interstate. I-80 runs pretty much straight over the primary site of the Donner Party camp. Now, the place is a congested tourist area. It’s a huge mental disconnect, between reading about tragic isolation to actually being here and not being able to shut out the noise of semi trucks roaring down the interstate.
It’s also a really massively beautiful area and I had a good time. The highlight was a 6 mile hike through some of the most gorgeous mountain forest I’ve ever been in. It was a research trip, but it was also a really nice vacation.
September 11, 2015
I returned home to find leaves changing and a chill in the air. The season turns again, and where did the time go? The eternal question.
I took a couple of days to visit family in Alabama after DragonCon, which is why it took me awhile to get home and wrap up. DragonCon was otherworldly. It’s doubled in size since the last time I went, and I floated through a lot of it, I felt like. I did a little shopping and a lot of programming and didn’t really get to do anything outside my own schedule, which made me sad. There were a couple of panels featuring most of the cast of Battlestar Galactica that I just didn’t get to because I couldn’t face the lines and crowds. Didn’t get to any concerts or dances, and didn’t get to the main hotels to see the costuming.
But I did wear my Robotech uniform for the last half of Sunday. That was fun. Got a few comments!
The last day, I ducked in to see the art show, and there was Pandora Celtica, a fantastic a capella group from Denver, singing in a mini-concert. So I got to see some really great art and hear some really great music. It was magical and a really nice way to wrap up the convention.
I met so many people and signed so many books, and that was fantastic. People were really glad I was there, and that made me happy. While I probably won’t make it back to DragonCon next year (seriously, next year is looking booked up already), I’m sure I’ll be back at some point. It’s a really unique place and time. A geek Brigadoon.
September 7, 2015
The question I’ve been asked over and over again for the last month: Am I sad that Kitty has ended, that I reached the end of the series?
No. No I’m not. What’s more I feel no need to be sad. First off, I finished writing the book more than a year ago. I finished the galleys about six months ago, and that’s when I really said goodbye — that was literally the last piece of actual work I was going to do on the content. I knew it was coming, I was prepared, and that was that.
But now that Kitty Saves the World is out, how do I feel? Well, I’ve been thinking about it, and I’m still not sad. I’m triumphant.
I’ve been working on these books since 2002. That’s 13 years. I’m forty two, which means I’ve been writing Kitty books for over a quarter of my life. In that time I produced over a million words of cohesive story. I’m so incredibly proud of that.
The older I get, the Kitty books will comprise a smaller and smaller percentage of my life. But right now, and forever, and whatever I accomplish moving forward, I have done this huge, meaningful thing that I know made an impact and that I know is good work. A lot of people never get that. A lot of people never get to experience that, having something huge to point to and say, to announce, to proclaim: I DID THAT.
I am triumphant.
September 4, 2015
If all is going as planned, right this minute I am at DragonCon running around like a mad thing being on panels and doing early holiday shopping and gawking at costumes and so on and so forth. I am very likely having a good time!
In the meantime, I think I’ve mentioned I’m re-watching Babylon 5 and enjoying it immensely. On the book side, I’ve just read Naomi Novik’s Unprooted, and it may be the best thing I’ve read all year. It reminded me very much of Robin McKinley’s and Patricia McKillip’s writing, and that’s very high praise indeed coming from me. Very recommended. I’ve also just read (late, I know!) Tamora Pierce’s Beka Cooper series, and I can’t wait until my niece is old enough to start handing her books by ALL these authors. Actually, I’d recommend the Beka Cooper books to just about anyone as well. Good adventure stuff right there.
Next up, as soon as I get back from the convention: Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Water Knife.
September 2, 2015
Title: Mission Statement: Objectives in Urban Fantasy
Description: Authors discuss stated protagonist goals in the genre: protecting the human world from the supernatural, or vice versa.
Time: Fri 10:00 am Location: Chastain ED – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
Title: Autograph Session
Time: Fri 04:00 pm Location: International Hall South – Marriott (Length: 1 Hour)
Title: Transformations: Werewolves in UF
Description: Authors in the genre discuss their chosen variation of this intriguing supernatural being.
Time: Fri 05:30 pm Location: Chastain ED – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
Title: Heroism and Sacrifice
Description: UF protagonists who sacrifice happiness to make the world better for others.
Time: Fri 10:00 pm Location: Chastain ED – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
Title: Hunting Monsters
Description: Whether a job or a calling, our panelists’ protagonists track down and destroy monsters
Time: Sat 05:30 pm Location: Augusta Ballroom – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
Title: Comedy and Calamity: Humor in UF
Description: Authors share ideas on combining humor w/ more serious aspects. Laughs guaranteed.
Time: Sat 10:00 pm Location: Chastain ED – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
Title: Reading: Carrie Vaughn
Time: Sun 10:00 am Location: Edgewood – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
Title: Backdrop: Settings and Locales in UF
Description: Our panel of authors discusses how their settings influence their characters and worlds.
Time: Sun 11:30 am Location: Chastain ED – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
On Sunday at 1 pm I’ll be signing books at the Missing Volume, Booth 1301-1303.
I’m also going to be spending time at the Wordfire Press booth extravaganza, tables 39-41 I — not sure exactly what times yet, but they’ll have my books for sale.
So PLENTY of opportunities to see me and get books signed. I don’t want to hear anyone say after the con they couldn’t track me down!
August 26, 2015
Bubonicon is this weekend, and DragonCon is the weekend after. And then a research trip and a book festival. And so begins a month of travel. I think I’m ready for it. We’ll see. Will I see you there? Are we super excited yet?!?
It may not feel like it some days, but I have been a busy little monkey, and the products of my busy-ness will be trickling out over the next year. What can you look forward to?
STUDY ABROAD: This is my YA space opera novel, the one I might have referred to as “the Polly book” over the last year or so. It’s due out in May 2016 from Tor. I’m sure I’ll be talking a lot more about it in coming months.
AMARYLLIS AND OTHER STORIES: I’m working with Fairwood Press to put together a collection of short stories, not specifically Kitty and not limited edition, spanning the whole of my career to date and across all genres. There won’t be any overlap with Straying from the Path, and I think this’ll really be a great intro to my short work. Patrick of Fairwood Press published many of my early stories for Talebones magazine, and we’ve been talking about doing a collection for going on ten years now. I’m so happy it’s finally going to be a reality. This’ll be out sometime in 2016, but Patrick has already kindly put up a pre-order link. That’s how excited we are about this!
I also have a couple of surprises in the wings. More info for you when I get some solid release dates.
A couple more links for ya:
My talk at the Tattered Cover a couple of weeks ago was recorded, and the podcast is up! This includes me reading my current work in progress — a novel about Cormac.
I did an interview with Adventures in Sci Fi Publishing.
And now, back to the word mines! Heeee-ya!