I was privileged to be interviewed at Pinellas Comic and Maker Con by Scott Ertz and Marissa Schiereck at Plughitzlive.com, and I’m pleased to present it here! The new book I mention in the interview, releasing November 15th, is FAULTLINES. It’s very near and dear to my heart, and I suspect you’ll be hearing a lot about it in the coming weeks, at least from me!
Tags: bella rosa, faultlines, Lucienne diver, new release, suspense, ya, young adult
I was planning to write a post on victim-blaming and shaming some time soon because of what’s going on in the world and because they’re issues at the forefront of my mind and my upcoming novel. I wasn’t planning to write that post today. Until I saw the piece on MSN this morning about comments Donald Trump Jr. made a few years ago on the Opie and Anthony show. To quote, “I’m sure I’ll get myself in trouble one of these days — but like, if you can’t handle some of the basic stuff that’s become a problem in the workforce today, like you don’t belong in the workforce. Like, you should go maybe teach kindergarten. I think it’s a respectable position.” That “basic stuff” he’s talking about is harassment.
So, let me get this straight, Trump Sr. and Jr., men should be allowed to harass women. They should be allowed to walk in on them naked, grope them, force their verbal and physical attentions on them simply because they’re out and about where these things can happen and if they don’t like it they shouldn’t be out? Certainly not in the workforce where they might interact with men? Um, no.
Not just no, but HELL no.
This has gone on long enough. From rapists like Brock Turner (notice I did NOT call him the Stanford Swimmer, as the media persisted in doing) getting only six months for his crime to his father, who thought that was “a steep price to pay for twenty minutes of action” to the judge who worried that a harsher penalty would have a severe impact on the poor lad, it’s clear that rape culture is alive and well. Let’s be clear, it was not “twenty minutes of action”. It was rape. It was a violation. One that will have physical and emotional repercussions throughout the woman’s life.
Let me continue to be clear: drunkenness is not consent. Fashion choices, location, time of day or night are not consent. NOTHING BUT CONSENT IS CONSENT. Anything else is assault or rape, depending on how far it goes. It is not okay.
Neither is intimidation. If you creep someone out by standing too close, blocking their exit or making unwelcome advances, no matter how flattered you think we should feel, we’re not being oversensitive, YOU’RE BEING AN ASS. At best. At worst you’re an actual creeper and we’re absolutely right to be concerned. All the best men understand this. Luckily, I know a lot of amazing men. But I’ve encountered the creepers, more times than I’d care to count.
And that bullying, that intimidation, that blaming the victim, is what keeps so many from speaking up. All of the sudden it becomes the victim on trial, the implication being “what did you do to provoke the attack?” Does anyone ask what someone did to provoke a mugging? Or a hit and run? Or identity theft? Do we villainize or doubt the people who report those crimes? No, we don’t.
Unfortunately, so many people, men and women, who are victims of assault don’t speak up. They’ve already been abused. They don’t want to invite more. They don’t want to relieve the experience. They certainly don’t want the continued abuse of the haters and deniers.
We don’t need to retire ourselves from the public eye so that we never risk being abused. We need to fight back. We need to speak and support. And we need to reject rhetoric like this and the underlying assumption that it’s anywhere in the vicinity of okay.
It’s been an insanely busy few weeks around here, and it’s always my blogging that seems to fall by the wayside, thus while I tweeted the news at the time, I’m a little late here on the blog saying a Happy Book Birthday to Barbara J. Hancock and C.T. Adams for their new releases, BRIMSTONE SEDUCTION and ALL YOUR WISHES. So excited! (More below.)
I’m also late sharing my own news that on November 15th, Bella Rosa Books is releasing my first young adult thriller, FAULTLINES, in trade paperback and e-book. This is a book very close to my heart, so you’ll certainly hear more about it as publication approaches!
Back to my book birthdays!
BETWEEN DESTINY AND DESIRE
Damnation is John Severne’s inheritance, and stalking the accursed his legacy. Kat D’Arcy has her own ill-starred birthright. The strange gift that runs along her maternal line dooms her to a life trapped between daemons and those who pursue them. But Severne is unlike any daemon hunter she’s ever known. The Brimstone in his blood arouses every fiber of her being.
For Severne, Kat is the key to his salvation…until she becomes much more than that. As the ultimate danger closes in on them both, Severne must decide if he can abuse Kat’s trust—and betray his own heart.
A client begs Celia Graves―part human, part Siren, part vampire―to help return a genie to his bottle. The attempt makes Celia a target for the currently incorporeal ifrit. If she doesn’t give him her body, he’ll kill everyone she loves. If she does, he’ll use her physical form to free thousands of evil djinn.
Celia’s not going to hand over her body, but her client tries to trick her into it―so that he can kill the ifrit while it’s trapped in her flesh. That doesn’t end well for the client. Celia might not get paid for the gig, but she’s got to get the ifrit re-bottled before all hell breaks loose―possibly literally!
Now written solely by C. T. Adams under the Cat Adams name, All Your Wishes continues the outstanding urban fantasy series Blood Singer with a thrilling new adventure.
Tags: children of amarid, david b. coe, giveaway, lontobyn chronicles, publishing
David B. Coe won the William L. Crawford Memorial Award for best new fantasy author for his The LonTobyn Chronicles back in 1999. Since then he’s gone on to publish the Winds of the Forelands and Blood of the Southlands fantasy series with Tor Books, the Case Files of Justis Fearsson (SPELL BLIND, HIS FATHER’S EYES and SHADOW’S BLADE) with Baen Books and his Thieftaker historical fantasy series described as “Sam Adams meets the Dresden Files” under the pseudonym D.B. Jackson (also Tor). Kirkus Reviews calls his work “innovative and engaging” as well as “thoroughly engrossing”. His work has also been called “amazing” (Kat Richardson), “evocative and captivating” (AuthorLink) and “a tour de force” (Faith Hunter). I could, of course, go on and on.
David and I have worked together for lo these many years, and he’s recently come full circle with his very first novel, CHILDREN OF AMARID, just reissued and the sequels, THE OUTLANDERS and EAGLE-SAGE also in the works. Thus, I asked him, as a veteran of the industry, what he’s learned between then and now, and he’s here to share his insight!
I have recently edited and reissued my very first novel, Children of Amarid, the opening volume in my LonTobyn Chronicle. I call this reissue the Author’s Edit (like the Director’s Cut of a movie) because I took the opportunity to fix many of the first-novel flaws I saw in the book and have wanted to edit out since its publication. It’s not that the book as originally written was bad. Children of Amarid established me commercially and critically, and the series won me the Crawford Fantasy Award. But still, those rookie mistakes bugged me; fixing them has been great fun, not to mention satisfying. The Author’s Edits of the second and third books, The Outlanders and Eagle-Sage, will be released in October and December.
Children of Amarid was first published in 1997, which is a really, really long time ago. The person who wrote that book must be, you know, old. Not “Rime-of-the-Ancient-Mariner” old, but at least venerable. Perhaps even vintage. Certainly grizzled.
I’m not sure I was ever the Hot New Thing in Fantasy, but if I was, I’m definitely not anymore, and haven’t been for a while. On the other hand, at this point I’m a Survivor, someone who’s Been Around Forever and Seen It All. And I suppose that’s kind of cool.
The fact is, I have seen a lot. The publishing industry isn’t known for being particularly quick to change, and yet over the course of my career I’ve seen remarkable transformations touching on everything from stylistic norms of writing, to genre and subgenre categories, to the way books are sold and read.
I started writing Children of Amarid in 1993 and sold the novel to Tor Books in the spring of 1994, based on five chapters and an outline. (Because the book wasn’t finished, needed a good deal of editing, and then had to be slotted into Tor’s publication schedule, it took another three years for it to be published.) I bring up these dates because 1993 and 1994 were significant years in publishing in general and speculative fiction in particular.
But let me back up just a bit. When I first published my LonTobyn books, I did what every writer would do automatically today: I created a website. The thing is, when I did it websites were a big deal. I would tell people I was a writer and would get in response the 1990s version of “Meh.” But when I then added that I had my own website, people would be, like, “Oooohhhh! You have a website?!” As if I’d said, “I have a unicorn.” But already the world was changing. In 1994, as I was signing my contract with Tor and finishing my book, some guy out in Seattle was starting an online bookstore unlike any we’d seen before. The guy’s name was Jeff Bezos, and he called his store Amazon.
The LonTobyn Chronicle is alternate world epic fantasy, because back in 1993 when I started it, that’s what I loved to read and that’s what I assumed people meant when they talked about “fantasy.” But that same year a book came out that would change “fantasy” forever, and would influence profoundly the course of my writing career. Laurell K. Hamilton’s Guilty Pleasures, the first of her Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter novels, ushered in a new trend in speculative fiction, introducing readers to what we now think of as urban fantasy. Hamilton’s books combined horror, noir detective stories, and romance in a way that made possible the novels of Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, Faith Hunter, Patricia Briggs, and so many others, including my Thieftaker Chronicles, a historical urban fantasy series that I write as D.B. Jackson, and my Case Files of Justis Fearsson, a contemporary urban fantasy that I write under my own name.
What about those stylistic changes I mentioned? When I got into the business, editors and writers were just moving away from two things that authors used a ton in the 70s and 80s and use very little now: omniscient point of view and said bookisms. The former is a narrative voice in which the author gives readers access to the thoughts and emotions of several characters at a time, something we now refer to, and not kindly, as head-hopping. Said bookisms are those words we use in dialog attribution instead of “said” or “asked.” “He opined,” “she growled,” “he hissed,” “she inquired,” etc. Again, in today’s market, these are considered a sign of poor writing, of “telling” rather than “showing.” Looking through books published in the 80s and 90s, you’ll also find far more adverbs than you would in a book published today. Literary style, like car design and clothes fashion, changes over time.
In the early 2000s, bookstores decided that they wanted to fit more books on their shelves and keep book price points at a certain level, and so they told publishers that they preferred shorter novels. My first five novels — the three LonTobyn books and the first two volumes of my Winds of the Forelands series — each came in at over 200,000 words. Now my publisher wanted to know if I could cut the remaining two Forelands books in half. I couldn’t, but I was able to find a way to turn the two remaining novels in the series into three somewhat shorter books. My Blood of the Southlands books came in at 140,000 words. My Thieftaker and Fearsson novels are all between 100,000 and 110,000.
Of course, with the advent of ebooks, book length has become less of an issue. Big books are back in style — ask George R.R. Martin, or Patrick Rothfuss, or any number of others who are writing novels to rival the length of the epic fantasies I remember reading in my twenties. In many respects, digital books have brought on a publishing revolution that goes far beyond book length — widespread self-publishing, e-readers that can hold entire libraries and fit in a pocket, a resurgence in short fiction markets. And yet, in other ways, digital books have had less impact than one might have expected. According to some forecasts made a decade ago, paper books were supposed to be extinct by now. Just like vinyl records . . . Yeah, just like. Instead, they continue to make up more than half of all book sales in the United States. People, it turns out, like to read traditional books. Most readers are hybrids, using ebook readers for convenience, but maintaining a paper library for those books they truly love.
Charting the changes that have overtaken the publishing world in the past twenty years could fill a book of its own — a big one. And this post is already long enough. But I would leave you with a couple of thoughts. Despite the evolution of — and revolution in — publishing that we hear so much about, notwithstanding predictions of doom and gloom for the written word, several essential truths persist: Good stories continue to sell; compelling, well-conceived characters continue to drive every good story; and previously unpublished writers continue to fascinate us with new, exciting characters.
Books can take us everywhere, and with ereaders, we can do the same with them. But the written word isn’t going anywhere. It’s here to stay.
David is giving away a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card (winner’s choice), or one of two copies of CHILDREN OF THE AMARID. Open to US residents only. Click here for the Rafflecopter giveaway!
Tags: amy christine parker, audible, barbara j. hancock, blood of the earth, brimstone seduction, christie golden, conspiracy of angels, durotan, faith hunter, fantasy, genevieve cogman, harsh gods, michelle belanger, middle-grade, shadowside, steven harper, the invisible library, the masked city, un/fair, warcraft
Due to an insanely busy schedule punctuated by my son’s bronchitis, I failed to blog last week (bad agent, no cookie), though I did manage to tweet, Facebook and almost the whole nine yards. So this week I’ve very excited to wish one belated and two on-target happy book birthdays!
Last week saw the publication of HARSH GODS by Michelle Belanger, sequel to CONSPIRACY OF ANGELS, which Laurell K. Hamilton called, “A singular reading experience.” This week (today, in fact) we have the release of the US edition of Genevieve Cogman’s acclaimed novel THE MASKED CITY, which both Barnes & Noble and Amazon have named to their lists of Best SF & Fantasy for September and also the wonderfully inventive and unique middle-grade novel UN/FAIR by Steven Harper. More on all of these books below.
A few quick things first:
-Big shout out to Faith Hunter for BLOOD OF THE EARTH and Christie Golden for Warcraft: DUROTAN, both on Audible’s list of Five-Star Favs, this month’s top rated SF/F!
-Another big shout out to Amy Christine Parker, whose novel GATED (about a girl who grows up in a cult) made B&N Teen’s list of the 10 of the Best First Lines in YA thrillers. I agree and have also added to my teetering TBR pile due to this list and others like it. Booksellers, you’re certainly good at your jobs!
-Alert! Now is your chance to win a copy of Barbara J. Hancock’s BRIMSTONE SEDUCTION over on GoodReads before it releases on October 4th!
“A darkly vivid world… Her characters are intriguing, her pacing swift. More, please!”—Jim Butcher, creator of The Dresden Files
The last thing Zack Westland expects on a frigid night is to be summoned to an exorcism.
Demonic possession, however, proves the least of his problems. Father Frank, a veteran turned priest, knows Zack’s deepest secrets, recognizing him as Anakim, an angel belonging to that hidden tribe. And Halley, the girl they’ve come to save, carries a secret that could unlock a centuries-old evil. She chants an eerie rhyme, and she isn’t alone…
“HANDS TO TAKE AND EYES TO SEE,
A MOUTH TO SPEAK. HE COMES FOR ME.”
As Zack’s secrets spill out, far more than his life is at stake, for Halley is linked to an ancient conspiracy. Yet Zack can’t help her unless he’s willing to risk losing his immortality—and reigniting the Blood Wars.
Librarian-spy Irene and her apprentice Kai are back in the second in this “dazzling”* book-filled fantasy series from the author of The Invisible Library.
The written word is mightier than the sword—most of the time…
Working in an alternate version of Victorian London, Librarian-spy Irene has settled into a routine, collecting important fiction for the mysterious Library and blending in nicely with the local culture. But when her apprentice, Kai—a dragon of royal descent—is kidnapped by the Fae, her carefully crafted undercover operation begins to crumble.
Kai’s abduction could incite a conflict between the forces of chaos and order that would devastate all worlds and all dimensions. To keep humanity from getting caught in the crossfire, Irene will have to team up with a local Fae leader to travel deep into a version of Venice filled with dark magic, strange coincidences, and a perpetual celebration of Carnival—and save her friend before he becomes the first casualty of a catastrophic war.
But navigating the tumultuous landscape of Fae politics will take more than Irene’s book-smarts and fast-talking—to ward off Armageddon, she might have to sacrifice everything she holds dear….
“A dazzling bibliophilic debut.”—*Charles Stross, Hugo Award-winning author of the Laundry Files
It’s difficult enough to live in the neighborhood “freakazoid” house. It’s even more difficult when you’re autistic and neither your family nor best friend really understands you. So when Ryan November wakes up on his eleventh birthday with the ability to see the future, he braces himself for trouble. But even his newfound power doesn’t help him anticipate that the fair folk—undines, salamanders, gnomes, and sylphs—want him dead, dead, dead. Ryan races to defend himself and his family against unrelenting danger from the fairy realm so he can uncover the truth about his family history—and himself. Except as Ryan’s power grows, the more enticing the fairy realm becomes, forcing him to choose between order and chaos and power and family. And for an autistic boy, such choices are never cut and dry.
Tags: curse on the land, faith hunter, fantasy, genevieve cogman, harry potter, hugo award, ink and bone, michelle belanger, n.k. jemisin, rachel caine, the fifth season, the masked city, the obelisk gate, winner
First of all, the most tremendous of all shout outs to N.K. Jemisin for winning the Hugo Award for Best Novel this past weekend for THE FIFTH SEASON. This is such an amazing novel and you’re such an incredible writer. I’m thrilled to see you getting the recognition you deserve! And readers, check out this great list of nominees! I can’t claim to have read every one, but I’ve read at least one other novel by each of these authors and can highly recommend them for your teetering TBR piles!
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
- Uprooted by Naomi Novik (Del Rey)
- Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie (Orbit)
- Seveneves: A Novel by Neal Stephenson (William Morrow)
- The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher (Roc)
Need more books for those TBR piles? (Sure you do!) Amazon has posted their buzzworthy books for fall, and lists THE MASKED CITY by Genevieve Cogman, CURSE ON THE LAND by Faith Hunter and THE OBELISK GATE by N.K. Jemisin among their top reads in science fiction and fantasy!
And more? How about 13 Books Like Harry Potter for Adults from Early Bird Books, including INK AND BONE by Rachel Caine?
Finally, in the category of books I’ve read and loved but in which I have no stake – Blake Crouch’s DARK MATTER. Read it. Seriously. This is not a drill.
Tags: award, chloe neill, contemporary fantasy, devil's isle, fantasy, n.k. jemisin, sequel, the fifth season, the obelisk gate, the sight, the veil, urban fantasy
So excited about today’s new releases: THE OBELISK GATE by N.K. Jemisin and THE SIGHT by Chloe Neill, coincidentally both on this month’s list by Smart Bitches, Trashy Books of exciting August releases! As a quick intro, THE OBELISK GATE is the sequel to N.K. Jemisin’s THE FIFTH SEASON, which had been up for a whole host of sf/f awards and is a current Hugo Award and World Fantasy Award finalist! THE SIGHT is the sequel to THE VEIL, the first in bestselling author Chloe Neill’s Devil’s Isle series. Want more? Here you go!
“VERDICT Jemisin’s follow-up to THE FIFTH SEASON is exceptional. Those who anxiously awaited this sequel will find the only problem is that the wait must begin again once the last page is turned.” —Library Journal, Starred Review
“In this compelling, challenging, and utterly gripping work that combines elements of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, Jemisin draws readers deeper into the extraordinary setting and characters she introduced in The Fifth Season… Once again Jemisin immerses readers in a complex and intricate world of warring powers, tangled morals, and twisting motivations.” — Publisher Weekly, Starred Review
“Jemisin builds off of the strong foundation laid in the previous novel, further exploring the cosmology and history of her engaging setting, all the while maintaining the strong characterization and plotting that grounds the at times expansive scope of the series’ action. This novel should be of interest to general fantasy readers looking for an interesting new series as well as already avid Jemisin fans.” —Booklist
Continuing the trilogy that began with the multi-award-nominated The Fifth Season
- Shortlisted for the Hugo, Nebula, Audie, and Locus Awards
- The inaugural Wired.com book club book
This is the way the world ends, for the last time.
The season of endings grows darker, as civilization fades into the long cold night.
Essun — once Damaya, once Syenite, now avenger — has found shelter, but not her daughter. Instead there is Alabaster Tenring, destroyer of the world, with a request. But if Essun does what he asks, it would seal the fate of the Stillness forever.
Far away, her daughter Nassun is growing in power – and her choices will break the world.
“Neill’s sequel to The Veil continues to prove her adept at worldbuilding and nonstop action. Claire’s honesty and straightforward attitude make her a great character for a harrowing time.” —Library Journal
“The battle for what is left of New Orleans after a magical war heats up in Neill’s terrific Devil’s Isle series…This story is an excellent showcase of how both physical and political threats can warp individuals.” —Romantic Times
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Chicagoland Vampire novels, a brand new Devil’s Isle Novel…
The paranormal war that engulfed New Orleans seven years ago is over. But the battle for the city is just beginning . . .
Claire Connolly is a Sensitive, infected with magic when the Veil that divides humanity from the world beyond fell. Magic can easily consume and destroy a Sensitive, and if Claire’s secret is discovered she’ll be locked into the walled district of Devil’s Isle along with every other Paranormal left in the city.
Bounty hunter Liam Quinn discovered Claire’s secret, but refused to turn her in. Together they saved New Orleans from the resurgence of magic that nearly destroyed it. But now a dangerous cult is on the rise, and it will take both Claire and Liam—and magical allies within Devil’s Isle’s towering walls—to defeat the growing threat before magic corrupts them both…