Posts from 2006
Well, now. So much has been happening, I'm not quite certain where to start.
The first weekend in April I spent at Smith College in Mass. attending ConBust for the second year in a row. I really, really like small conventions. I shared a room with Lynn Flewelling, who very graciously allowed me to read Oracle's Queen, the conclusion of her Tamir trilogy -- awesomely good book coming out (finally!) in July. You folks are in for a real treat. In addition to being a terrific author, she also tells great ghost stories in the middle of the night. Jennie Breedan, artist and author of The Devil's Panties was there this year, too. I didn't get a good chance to talk to her -- she's a very good storyteller and has the most awesomely interesting family ever. She gave me the comic panel she did last year after reading Dragon Bones and it will have a place of honor in my office -- as soon as I get one. ConBust was a terrific convention, and is getting better every year. It's mostly female and the average age of attendees is about 20, which makes it interestingly different from a lot of other conventions I've been to. If you live in that area of the country, you might consider attending next year.
Let let me thank you for the tremendous response to Moon Called. It spent several weeks at the number one spot on the Barnes and Noble fantasy best seller list, as well as two weeks on the USAToday list, surprising both my publishers and me. It is already in its third printing. There have been a few immediate results -- the first is that I have a contract for two more Mercedes books (for a total of four). I'm very happy about this, because Moon Called and Blood Bound (Feb 2007) were a lot of fun to write. Furthermore, Daniel dos Santos, the artist responsible for the cover of Moon Called has been asked to do the cover for the second book. Lastly, as those of you who have emailed me can attest, I am now more than a month behind in answering emails. Before Moon Called I answered emails once a week or so and was seldom more than a couple of weeks behind. I do answer all my emails myself, so I ask for your patience. If you have written to me (and included a valid return email address) I will answer you.
Since it will be a while before I get everyone answered, let me respond to a lot of the questions I've been hearing. Yes, Mercedes is going to get her own series. I don't know if it will go longer than the four books, because I won't write the series if I get tired of the characters. No, even though I have moved to Montana, Mercedes will stay in the Tri-Cities. Unlike me, she enjoys the hot summers, and she'd like to keep a little distance between herself and the Marrok. She has no intention of letting him rule her life. I will consider writing a book or two with a different protagonist, but the three books that aren't yet in print (or written) all have Mercy as the protagonist. I love both Samuel and Adam -- and I have no idea who Mercy will end up with. Neither does Mercy. David Christiansen is not in the second book, though I think he is a fascinating character and I would not be surprised to see him in another book.
Late July 2006
For those of you who are interested, I have the cover for Blood Bound on the Books page, so you can go check it out. Daniel Dos Santos is a a terrific cover artist!
I'd forgotten how much fun Butte has over the 4th of July. Fireworks night, which was July 3rd, looked like World War Three. We're living at the top of the Butte hill for now, and we could see fireworks all over. There were so many that there was a pall of smoke over the whole valley, even before the city-sponsored show began. After years away, it was really neat to see how many people came out for the Butte Parade -- six or seven people deep standing shoulder to shoulder from one end of the parade route to the other. The only thing I really missed was all the horse units. Butte used to have two equine drill teams: the Sherriff's Posse and the Petticote Patrol (an all women drill team) as well as several breeders and the stables I took riding lessons from. One of my riding teacher's horses, a big white (grey for all you picky horse people, since only an albino can truly be called white) Anglo-Arab, used to carry the governor of Montana every year. This year there were lots of beautiful floats, marching bands, bands on floats (my daughter was in one of them), convertibles, old cars, highland pipers, and politicians -- but only six or seven horses. I miss them.
A few weeks ago I went out horseback riding with my son and our dog in the hills west of Butte and ran into a coyote. I've seen lots of coyotes before: they aren't exactly an endangered species. But I've never seen one so close. Our dog thought he'd make friends with it, but it wasn't interested (I'm glad Romeo is fast and the coyote was too wary to come closer than about twenty feet from us. We stared at each other for a while and finally my son and I rode on into the hills. When we rode back, the coyote was still there. It followed us for about a half mile, staying pretty far back.
Writing news: I'm just finishing up a story for an anthology Ace will be putting out that should be in print sometime next summer/fall. The other writers will be Karen Chance ( Touch the Dark) Sunny (Mona Lisa Awakening - forthcoming), and Eileen Wilks (Mortal Danger). Just as I wrote that last sentence, I realized I've blurbed for all of them. Obviously they are all fine writers so it should be a great anthology. The novella I'm writing for the anthology, untitled as yet, is the story of what happens to Charles when he goes to Chicago. It takes place at the same time as the last half or so of Moon Called. Blood Bound, Mercy II, is mostly finished. All I have to do is edit the galleys and my job will be over. The Mercy book goes into a little more detail about the vampires. I hope you have as much fun with it as I did. I have also gotten a lot of questions about the revised version of Masques and its unpublished sequel. I don't know, at this point, when it will be out. Ace wants me to work on the Mercy books in preference to Masques and Wolfsbane. I'm going to try and get the rewritten duology finished after I finish the third Mercy book, which should be this coming February.
Also on the writing front, Dragon Bones and Dragon Blood have sold to the German publisher Heine. That makes the third language for Dragon Bones (which was also published in Russian) and the second for Dragon Blood. Which means I have books in English, German, Czech, and Russian. Very neat. Also on the terrific news front, I was talking to my editor the other day, and Moon Called is going back to press for a fourth printing which puts its print number just over the 100,000 mark. Wow. You know, there are a ton of absolutely terrific books out there that, for one reason or another, just never sell. To have Moon Called do so well, is sort of like winning the lottery. You have to buy the ticket -- ie. write a decent book -- but having it sell this way is sheer dumb luck.
Hah. It looks like I haven't been updating this as I should. For now, I'm going to put the April 2006 update here, but I think I'll see if I can't come up with a better use for this page sometime soon.
The first chapter of Blood Bound is on the books page for those of you who have been asking for it.
Winter in Montana somehow isn't as bad as I remember it. Maybe I've spent too many years telling stories about it -- or, more probably, the cold weather just hasn't hit yet. That's just as well, as I brought over a couple of horses in September who are used to the more moderate climate of the Tri Cities. The longer the cold holds off, the better off they'll be. We've moved out to our own place, just outside of Butte. I was looking for a place I could put my two horses. Now I have seven. They say Rome conquered the world in a fit of absent mindedness. I know how they felt. One of the horses came with the place we bought, a BLM mustang, I believe, from the freeze brand under her mane -- and the six inch tall numbers on her rump. Poor thing doesn't like people much, can't say I blame her, looking at the honking-huge brand on her large-pony sized rump. She's been on the property, mostly alone, for over fifteen years, my neighbors tell me. Another horse we took in for a friend of my daughter. So those two don't count, but the others are all my fault. However, there is plenty of room here(over forty acres) and I love to watch them charging around the field. Graceful, elegant Arabians, one smooth moving, powerful, quarter horse, and the drafty looking mustang, who doesn't quite fit in with the others -- but she looks so happy to finally have a herd that she's beautiful, too.
Writing news: I'm just finishing up a story for an anthology Ace will be putting out that should be in print sometime next summer called On the Prowl. It has a terrific cover, too, and I'll post it as soon as my editor sends me the final version. The other writers will be Karen Chance ( Touch the Dark), Sunny (Mona Lisa Awakening, and Eileen Wilks (Mortal Danger). They are all fine writers (I've blurbed for all of them) so it should be a great anthology. The novella I'm writing for the anthology is "Alpha and Omega". It's the story of what happens to Charles when he goes to Chicago and takes place at the same time as the last half or so of Moon Called. I hope you have as much fun with it as I did. I have also gotten a lot of questions about the revised version of Masques and its unpublished sequel. I don't know, at this point, when it will be out. Ace wants me to work on the Mercy books in preference to Masques and Wolfsbane. I'm going to try and get the rewritten duology finished after I finish the third Mercy book, which should be this coming February.
Previously I reported that I'd sold German publication rights to "Dragon Bones and Dragon Blood, but actually it was Raven's Shadow and Raven's Strike. However, publisher (Bertlesmann) has now purchased Dragon Bones and Dragon Blood, too. So it was really true, just not when I said it (grin). Which means I have books (officially) in English, German, Czech, and Russian.