Posts Tagged ‘the killing moon’

Happy Holidays, everyone! The office is officially closed between now and New Years, but I’ve got some finishing up to do, so I’m in today and excited to post about this week’s new releases: THE DREAMBLOOD DUOLOGY by award-winning author N.K. Jemisin and the official movie novelization for ASSASSIN’S CREED by Christie Golden! More info below.

dreamblood-duology THE DREAMBLOOD DUOLOGY by N.K. Jemisin (Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Indiebound)

The Dreamblood Duology includes the novels The Killing Moon (nominated for the Nebula and World Fantasy awards) and The Shadowed Sun.

“One of the most celebrated new voices in epic fantasy.” — Salon.com

The city burned beneath the Dreaming Moon. In the ancient city-state of Gujaareh, peace is the only law. Upon its rooftops and amongst the shadows of its cobbled streets wait the Gatherers — the keepers of this peace. Priests of the dream-goddess, their duty is to harvest the magic of the sleeping mind and use it to heal, soothe . . . and kill those judged corrupt. But when a conspiracy blooms within Gujaareh’s great temple, Ehiru — the most famous of the city’s Gatherers — must question everything he knows. Someone, or something, is murdering dreamers in the goddess’ name, stalking its prey both in Gujaareh’s alleys and the realm of dreams. Ehiru must now protect the woman he was sent to kill — or watch the city be devoured by war and forbidden magic.

assassins-creed-novelization ASSASSIN’S CREED: The Official Movie Novelization by Christie Golden (Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Indiebound)

The official movie novelization of the “Assassin’s Creed” motion picture starring Michael Fassbender.

We work in the dark to serve the light. We are assassins.

Through a revolutionary technology that unlocks his genetic memories, Callum Lynch experiences the adventures of his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th Century Spain. Callum discovers he is descended from a mysterious secret society, the Assassins, and amasses incredible knowledge and skills to take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organization in the present day.

A few quick things to celebrate (and I promise a pithy post or rant or whatnot in the near future)!  Huge congratulations to:

killing moon1 N.K. Jemisin, who is a NEBULA AWARD NOMINEE (sorry, was I shouting?) for her amazing novel THE KILLING MOON

CowboysTexasRescue200 Beth Cornelison for making the Bookscan Romance bestseller list with COWBOY’S TEXAS RESCUE.

black city Christina Henry for the release of BLACK CITY, the latest novel in her fabulous Black Wings series.  You can read the first chapter or get more info over on her website.  Just click here!  (If you’re a Beezle addict, you can hear him grumbling over in the Sidekick Corner at Literal Addiction.)

wicked earl Vicky Dreiling whose publisher is celebrating the upcoming release of the first novel in her Sinful Scoundrels series, WHAT A WICKED EARL WANTS, by giving people the chance to win one of ten copies at GoodReads (ends tomorrow, so enter asap)!  Of course, you can always guarantee yourself a good read by pre-ordering it today.

I’m sure I will think of a million more things as soon as I post, but that’s what tomorrow is for!

Killing MoonShadowed SunWhile we’re on the subject of “Best of” lists, holiday book recommendations, et. al., iO9 has come out with their Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2012 list.  Fabulously (and unsurprisingly to those who’ve read and loved her), N.K. Jemisin’s Dreamblood series, THE KILLING MOON and THE SHADOWED SUN, made the list!

nexusIn other news, SF Squeecast, Episode 19 squees about some amazing authors, among them, Ramez Naam, whose debut sf thriller NEXUS you might have heard me talk about just a bit.

risktaker_smKira Sinclair has entered The Next Big Thing blog hop, and I’m pleased to present her post at The Writing Playground about her new book THE RISK-TAKER and what’s inspired her to write about a reckless POW who just wants to forget and the journalist (and girl who got away) who wants him to do anything but.

IceyBooks is doing an exclusive cover reveal today on Amy Christine Parker’s incredible debut (coming in August from Random House Children’s Books), GATED.  Since it’s about an apocalyptic cult, it’s entirely appropriate that today’s the day.  Assuming the world doesn’t actually end, I can HIGHLY recommend that you check this one out!

FangtabulousAnd a reminder that FANGTABULOUS, the fourth book in my Vamped series that began with VAMPED, REVAMPED and FANGTASTIC, is coming out in just a couple of weeks (though it may be shipping a little early!).  I may be a little biased, but I think this is a great young adult series for those who might like their tongue firmly implanted in cheek.  Or a little bark with their bite.  Kirkus Reviews gave FANGTABULOUS this amazing review, “Another amusing romp in the series, this installment also sees its hardy heroine beginning to mature, adding further dimension to her character.  Reminiscent of Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse and Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, Gina never fails to deliver the goods.”  I think this might be the best present ever!  (The review, I mean, though if you take it as referring to the books, well, I certainly won’t protest.)  Buy early and often!

Okay, now really and truly signing off (temporarily) for the holidays.

We’ll start with a contest that’s free to enter and might win you a membership to the brand new (and totally amazing) Olde City, New Blood conference in beautiful St. Augustine, FL in February 2013.  Details below:

Dearly Beloved, 
We are gathered here today, to join two awesome things in a state of increased awesomeness.
Today, we’re bringing together an author/reader mini-con, and the chance to WIN YOUR WAY IN FOR FREE!
       That’s right, ladies and gentlemen… starting today, you will all have 7 days to hop around from author to author, blogger to blogger, and enter at every stop to win one of 3 FREE REGISTRATIONS to Olde City, New Blood, the upcoming urban fantasy/paranormal romance mini-con in St. Augustine, FL next February.
       You can check out the official website for the complete list of Featured Authors (I’ll give you a hint… one of them is ME!!) and Featured Bloggers. There’s also a main contest post with all the participating authors, bloggers, and dates for the contest. It’s super easy. Visit each of the spotlight blog posts and author websites listed, fill out the Rafflecopter link on each one (one entry PER POST, not per day… and yes, they will be checking), and POOF, multiple entries to WIN!!
       The prize is one of 3 FREE REGISTRATIONS to see me and about 49 other authors on the sunny beaches of St. Augustine, Florida, from Feb 8th-10, 2013. We’re going to be doing panels, readings, meet & greets, and just generally having a fun weekend with our incredible fans!! Please keep in mind, if you win, you’ll have to cover your own travel and hotel expenses, but your ticket into the party will be on Olde City, New Blood!!!
       The contest runs from September 30th – October 6th, and the 3 winners will be announced on October 7th. Don’t forget to click the Rafflecopter link below before you hop off to check out the rest of the contest posts!! Good Luck, everyone!! I hope to see you ALL in Florida this February!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And now, for your reading pleasure, two fabulous new releases and one extra special pricing promotion.  Just released: DEATH’S RIVAL by Faith Hunter, the latest novel in her New York Times bestselling series featuring Cherokee skinwalker Jane Yellowrock and the trade paperback of Rachel Caine’s BLACK DAWN, also part of a NYT bestselling series (The Morganville Vampires).  And you know why I love them both?  They just keep getting better and better.  I don’t know how it’s possible, but there it is.  The special pricing?  To celebrate Orbit US’s 5 year anniversary, they’re discounting five of their bestselling titles, including N.K. Jemisin’s THE KILLING MOON to $1.99 for the Nook, Kobo and Kindle.  A little about these series:

BLACK DAWN by Rachel Caine

Berkley JAM | Young Adult

Other series titles:  GLASS HOUSES (2006), DEAD GIRLS’ DANCE (2007), MIDNIGHT ALLEY (2007), FEAST OF FOOLS (2008), LORD OF MISRULE (2009), CARPE CORPUS (2009), FADE OUT (2009), KISS OF DEATH (2010), GHOST TOWN (2011), BITE CLUB (2011), LAST BREATH (2011)

“Rachel Caine is a first-class storyteller who can deal out amazing plot twists as though she was dealing cards.” —Charlaine Harris

“Heartbreaking drama mixed with heart-stopping action.” —Romance Reviews Today

Ever since the draug—mysterious creatures that prey on vampires—took over Morganville in LAST BREATH, the lives of student Claire Danvers and her friends have been thrown into turmoil. Most of the town’s residents have evacuated, but Claire, Shane, Eve and Michael have chosen to stay and fight.

Using the city’s water system to spread, the draug have rapidly multiplied. Things in Morganville look grim, especially since vampire Amelie—the town founder—has been infected by the master draug’s bite.

Now, if Claire and her friends don’t figure out how to cure Amelie and defeat the draug, it looks like Morganville will become little more than a ghost town…

DEATH’S RIVAL by Faith Hunter

Roc | Urban Fantasy

Other series titles: SKINWALKER (July 2009), BLOOD CROSS (Jan 2010), MERCY BLADE (Jan 2011), RAVEN CURSED (Jan 2012)

“Jane Yellowrock is one of the most intriguing heroines in urban fantasy, and Hunter skillfully doles out tiny pieces of Jane’s backstory to keep readers coming back for more. Mystery and action are at the forefront here, but the romance from the first book continues to build slowly. Readers eager for the next book in Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series may want to give Faith Hunter a try.”    —Library Journal, Starred Review

Jane Yellowrock is a shapeshifting skinwalker you don’t want to cross—especially if you’re one of the undead…

For a vampire killer like Jane, having Leo Pellisier as a boss took some getting used to. But now, someone is out to take his place as Master Vampire of the city of New Orleans, and is not afraid to go through Jane to do it. After an attack that’s tantamount to a war declaration, Leo knows his rival is both powerful and vicious, but Leo’s not about to run scared. After all, he has Jane. But then, a plague strikes, one that takes down vampires and makes their masters easy prey.

Now, to uncover the identity of the vamp who wants Leo’s territory, and to find the cause of the vamp-plague, Jane will have to go to extremes…and maybe even to war.

THE KILLING MOON by N.K. Jemisin

Orbit | Fantasy

Other series titles: sequel – THE SHADOWED SUN

“Jemisin’s talent as a storyteller should make her one of the fantasy authors to watch in the coming years.” —Library Journal

An exciting new series from award-winning author N.K. Jemisin…

In the desert city-state of Gujaareh, peace is the only law.  Priests of the dream-goddess maintain order by harnessing the power of the sleeping mind to soothe, heal… and kill.

Yet Gujaareh has enemies both within and without, and those enemies have no peaceful intent.  A soul-devouring monster called the Reaper stalks the land, and an insidious, deadly plague of nightmares has been unleashed.  Two of Gujaareh’s priests, a holy assassin and a healer, must use all their magic and cunning to save the city of dreams.  But can even the purest priest dabble in corruption without becoming corrupt too?”

Quick note before I introduce the amazing N.K. Jemisin: Faith Hunter was kind enough to host me over on her blog this week, so I didn’t want to miss out on sending y’all over there as well.  I’m talking about the writing life.  And now, without further ado….

When I think new and innovative in epic fantasy, I think N.K. Jemisin.  Last year with her debut novel THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS, she was up for about every major award in the genre, and this year her new Dreamblood series (THE KILLING MOON and THE SHADOWED SUN) is already making lists of most anticipated reads:

Wired Magazine Summer School for Geeks: 11 New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

Publishers Weekly’s Best Summer Books 2012

National Public Radio (NPR)’s fantasy summer reading list

and inspired Kirkus Reviews to a compile a Top 10 Female-Penned Fantasy novels/series

I’m so pleased to have her here giving away a signed book to one lucky commentor and sharing her knowledge of:

Five Things I Now Know About Being a Professional Writer (That I Didn’t Know Before)

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, my first novel, was published in February of 2010. My fifth novel, The Shadowed Sun, just came out this month. Now, I know how it looks — two years, five books — but that’s deceptive. Anyone who knows anything about publishing understands that it’s icebergian: the part of it that’s visible to the public is miniscule compared to the stuff that led up to it. For me this whole saga actually began a couple of years before the first book’s publication, in 2008 when I sold my first novels to Orbit. Or maybe it really started a few years before that, in 2004 when I got Lucienne as an agent. Or did it start in 2000, when I first resolved to buckle down and get serious about becoming a published writer? All this leads me to the first of my Things:

1) Everything takes longer than you think.

Ten years from resolution to publication is nothing. It took longer than that, really; I’m not counting the preceding ten-plus years I spent writing “just for fun”, because I was convinced that there was no real point in my trying to get published. It just seemed too difficult. A lot of aspiring writers feel this way, I know. Some of them resort to self-publishing, not because they genuinely think it’s a good publishing model for them, but because they aren’t willing to keep at it and they don’t think they can break in any other way. Some of them can’t. But some of them could, if they put in the time and effort. Persistence is the key.

Then there’s the matter of timelines. I’m on deadline again right now, working on the first of a new fantasy trilogy. I have a year to finish each book, so I’m pacing myself, doing 1000-1500 words per day. In theory this should mean I’ll finish each novel in about four months — but in actual practice I know it’ll take much longer. For one thing, I’ve got to plan around a day job. I work in education; the month of September is to us what the month of April is to accountants. I probably won’t make my wordcount goals that month. And I’ve got periods of heavy travel and promotion to consider. Since The Killing Moon and The Shadowed Sun came out very recently, I’ve had a steady spate of readings and guestblogs and convention appearances and signings… so I haven’t made my wordcount goals lately, either. And sometime during the year I’ll need to take the time to read through the published versions of both books to try and catch typos before the mass markets come out. Once I’ve turned in the first book of the new series, I’ll have to plan in time for edits and second edits and copyedits and first pass edits while I’m working on the second and third books. When the first book comes out — probably while I’m still working on the third book — I’ll also have to slot in time for promotion again.

And that’s if I don’t decide to scrap what I’m working on and start over. Did that several times with each book of the Inheritance Trilogy. Sometimes I make my wordcount goals, but they’re the wrong words.

So it will probably take me close to a year to finish each book — and that’s if no major family emergencies, employment emergencies, etc., happen in the meantime. I’ll aim for four months anyway. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

2) Robots are a good idea. (Or help of some sort.)

I am not blessed with children. This is a sad thing, because according to my mother, children are darn handy for doing chores.

In lieu of children, I have invested in technology: a Roomba and a countertop dishwasher. I have also chosen to pay for certain services that most people would do themselves: drop-off wash & fold laundry and (occasional) grocery delivery. I bought the dishwasher out of my first advance check, and I deduct the laundry when I itemize my taxes, per an accountant’s advice. This is because I’m specifically investing in these services/devices as a way to make time for writing. The four hours I would otherwise spend doing it myself at the corner laundromat is time I can use to hit my daily wordcount goal, or write a guestblog post. In fact, because I’m paying for it, I find myself more motivated to get the writing done — because otherwise I’ve wasted an investment in myself.

Which leads me to my next realization:

3) Time-thieves are everywhere. And they love you.

I have relatives and friends. You probably do, too. And one of the problems I continually have with my relatives and friends is that they want to do things with me. I know, right? Terrible! How could they.

Professional writers need to have lives. Writing well depends on lived experience; none of us can be single-minded worker bees cranking away on wordcount all the time. But what I didn’t understand before I got published was how much time I would have to spend on tasks that aren’t writing. Before publication, all I had to do was write, and occasionally do some writing-related networking. After publication, I travel to conventions. I do readings. I do research. I do blog posts and guestblogs. I do interviews. I check copyedits. I write jacket copy. I read and sign contracts. I do mailings. I fill out foreign tax forms. I still do lots of networking, now in person. Oh — and I write, too.

What I also didn’t understand before publication was how hard it would be to get all this across to my friends and family. They still think all I do is write. They still think writing isn’t hard. They still don’t understand what I mean when I say that I have two jobs (I have a day job too). I’ve tried to explain and most of them just don’t get it. So I have to say “no” a lot, and I have to repeat myself a lot, and sometimes even when I don’t explain I simply have to put my foot down and let them know that my writing time is sacrosanct. As a result of all this, I’m not the most popular girl on earth… but I make my deadlines.

4) I still get rejected. Lots, in fact.

I used to be in the BRAWLers, a Boston-area writing group. They had a great tradition that I recommend to all writing groups: they celebrated rejections. At 50 rejections we went out for a beer. At 100 we had a full-on margarita-and-mojito bash. Nobody got to 150 while I was in the group, but I imagine if we had, the party might have involved strippers. Just speculating.

Rejections are part of being a writer — yeah, even for a pro. Before publication I thought that once I had some novels out, it would be easier to sell short stories — and to a degree this is true. My submissions go to the head of the slushpile at some markets. I get a lot of invitations to write for anthologies and magazines that otherwise I would never hear about. Even so, they don’t always buy the work they’ve solicited. That’s because not everything I write is good enough to publish. Of course not; this is art, and some art sucks.

So, in part because of that old BRAWLer tradition, I treat each rejection as a badge of honor — a sign that I’m continuing to improve and grow as a writer. In fact, I’ve kept every rejection letter I’ve ever gotten. My first novel rejection is framed and hanging above my writing desk. My short story rejections are in a box; I’m planning to wallpaper my bathroom with them, once I buy a house.

5) I am no longer a reader.

This one’s hard for me, because I still think of myself as a science fiction and fantasy lover who happens to write. But this is no longer true. The instant my name appeared on a book spine, my status changed; I am now part of “the establishment.”

What that means is that I need to remain aware at all times of my power in the community, relative to readers. Sometimes it’s laughable to think of myself as powerful; unless they’re mega-bestsellers, writers are pretty much at the bottom of the hierarchy in the publishing world. But the fact remains, we have more influence than any individual reader. We have — and it’s hard for me to even say this word, because it still feels kind of egotistical to think this way — fans. And ultimately, if our work gets enough attention, we have the power to change the genre itself.

So I stop myself, now, from jumping into discussions that once upon a time I would’ve eagerly joined. Reviews are a great example. I view reviews of my work as useful critique. Maybe it’s the years I’ve spent in writing groups, but whenever I see a review (good or bad), I desperately want to ask questions of the reviewer and see what I can learn that will help improve my writing. I did this a few times after my first book came out — until I realized that some reviewers and readers are genuinely creeped out when the author pops up in the comments. Even if the author doesn’t behave badly, the author’s presence inhibits and skews the whole discussion; people who would otherwise talk freely become concerned about (or intent upon) hurting the author’s feelings, and it’s just a big mess. By the same token, I also avoid reviewing other authors’ works if I don’t like them. I used to. But now I know that I might meet this author at some future convention or event. It’s hard to have a civil conversation with someone if you’ve publicly declared their work to be utter dreck, and if they remember you said so.

I also miss the power that I had as “just a reader”. Once upon a time I could rage publicly about something an author had written or a publisher had done, without consequence. Once upon a time, I could influence cover art and content merely by writing a blog post — something I can’t do now without substantial risk to my career.

I still choose to do these things sometimes — sometimes the risk is worth it — but it’s rare now. I pick my battles. And I have more power to change things through my work, so I spend the bulk of my energy on that.

So that’s it. I’ll revisit this article in a few years, I think, and share any new things I’ve learned in the time since.

___________________________

Check out N.K. Jemisin’s Dreamblood duology or Inheritance trilogy.  Follow her on Twitter!

I’m really pleased to host Girlfriends’ Cyber Circuit sister Elana Johnson with an interview about her latest novel, SURRENDER!  But first, some quick congratulations:

To Lynn Flewelling for sitting pretty on the PW and Bookscan Fantasy Bestseller list at #8 with CASKET OF SOULS (her latest Nightrunner novel featuring rogues Alec and Seregil)!  You can chat with Lynn Flewelling on Twitter this Thursday at 4 p.m. ET, hashtag #knightauthor.  Come join us!  Details here.

To N.K. Jemisin for THE KILLING MOON being named to Publishers Weekly’s list of Best Summer Books 2012!  Best of all, the second book of the duology, THE SHADOWED SUN, releases tomorrow, so you can read the books back to back!

And now, a bit about Elana Johnson and SURRENDER:

About Elana: Elana’s work including POSSESSION, REGRET, and SURRENDER is available from Simon & Schuster wherever books are sold. She is the author of From the Query to the Call, an ebook that every writer needs to read before they query, which can be downloaded for free on her website. She runs a personal blog on publishing and is a founding author of the QueryTracker blog. She blogs regularly at The League of Extraordinary Writers, co-organizes WriteOnCon, and can be found on Twitter and Facebook.

She wishes she could experience her first kiss again, tell the mean girl where to shove it, and have cool superpowers like reading minds and controlling fire. To fulfill her desires, she writes young adult science fiction and fantasy.

About SURRENDER: Raine has always been a good girl. She lives by the rules in Freedom. After all, they are her father’s rules: He’s the Director. It’s because of him that Raine is willing to use her talent—a power so dangerous, no one else is allowed to know about it. Not even her roommate, Vi.

All of that changes when Raine falls for Gunner. Raine’s got every reason in the world to stay away from Gunn, but she just can’t. Especially when she discovers his connection to Vi’s boyfriend, Zenn.

Raine has never known anyone as heavily brainwashed as Vi. Raine’s father expects her to spy on Vi and report back to him. But Raine is beginning to wonder what Vi knows that her father is so anxious to keep hidden, and what might happen if she helps Vi remember it. She’s even starting to suspect Vi’s secrets might involve Freedom’s newest prisoner, the rebel Jag Barque….

 Interview with ELANA JOHNSON

What is your writing process like? Are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you schedule time to write each day or are you a spree writer?
My writing process is extremely messy. I’m a pantser who loves the thrill of discovery writing. I’ve been getting better and better at brainstorming and quasi-outlining though, but it’s hard.
 
At the beginning of the day, I check the Google calendar and decide if I have a block of writing time. This usually happens on days my daughter has dance, because I can drop her off and go to the library to write. If I have a block, I write during that time. If I don’t have a block, I take the 15 minutes before school, and the 25 minutes before dinner needs to be started, and the hour or two after the kids go to bed.
 
What is the hardest part about the publishing process for you and how do you get through it? (For me, it’s copyediting and barbeque pita chips.)
The hardest part of the publishing process is the social networking. It’s also the thing I love the most. Weird, I know. But twitter and Facebook and blogs take a lot of time. They sometimes also remind me of what others have that I don’t… And I try really hard to not compare marketing plans, etc.
 
To get through the social media maze, sometimes I just turn the computer off. It’s fabulous!
 
We drop your hero or heroine on a deserted island. Quick, what are the three things he or she can’t live without?
Electricity, gloves, and a hoverboard.
 
 
Are there any contests or upcoming appearances/interviews/etc. you’d like to plug?
GIVEAWAY: Elana is hosting a Spectacular Seconds giveaway this week! You can enter to win one of five signed sophomore books by Beth Revis, Ally Condie, Veronica Roth, Kristi Cook, and Kim Harrington. CLICK HERE for all the details and to enter.
 
Congratulations on your fabulous new release!
Thank you!