I am over the moon about this and I cannot wait to see how it turns out 🖤
The Night Circus was published ten years ago today. To say this book changed my life would be a massive understatement. It shifted my entire world. I have been to so many places because of this singular imaginary ambulatory location that used to live only in my head and now lives in so many more.
I’ve gotten to meet so many people I wouldn’t have otherwise, including the wonderful Ethan M. Aldridge who has lent his extraordinary talent to commemorate this occasion with the above illustration of Bailey in his tree.
“We lead strange lives, chasing our dreams around from place to place.”
A sentiment for the rêveurs, to carry with you wherever your dreams may lead.
The Night Circus has done a lot in 10 years. It has been published in dozens of languages around the world. It has won awards and been on bestseller lists and it was named one of TIME Magazine’s Best Fantasy Books of All Time.
I don’t tend to post a ton of Night Circus-related stuff on social media but from now until October 13th (which is, of course, the 135th anniversary of opening night of le Cirque des Rêves) I’ll be posting circusy things on twitter & instagram to celebrate 10 years of Night Circus: old photos and different editions, cocktails and red yarn and whatever other dream dust I can dig up. Do please share your own Night Circus memories or shenanigans or tattoos or cosplay or cupcakes as well with hashtag #NightCircus10
Thank you seems too small a phrase to encompass ten years worth of gratitude but thank you. Thank you to everyone who put so much work into publishing and promoting. Thank you to librarians and booksellers for championing a strange debut by an unknown author. Thank you to everyone who has turned these pages and found themselves walking through circling paths amongst black-and-white striped tents, where the night air smells of caramel and bonfire smoke.
Thank you for visiting le Cirque des Rêves.
It has been my honor to share this place with you.
It is officially spring and we are still buried in snow. Confused little flowers are trying to bud in the yard and the sun feels spring-like sometimes, coercing things to melt. Slowly.
Adam took some photos of me mid-blizzard last week. We got two feet of snow. Most of it is still here. There are paw prints near the trees that might mean our fox is visiting again.
There is an interview with me up on Haute Macabre today. I have not been doing interviews of any sort as a general rule but I made a single exception for Jess because I’ve followed her work at bloodmilk for years. I adore & collect her jewelry, I’m wearing her naja owl talon crescent moon in the photo above. It was a pleasure to be interviewed by her, even though I’m a bit out of practice with the whole interview thing.
(It’s always strange to re-read interviews awhile after I gave them. The more recent reading list includes The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel & The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill.)
We spent the weekend running around caves and caverns. It was like being underwater, so many beautiful deep dark things. One of them turned the lights off so we could not-see how darkest dark cave dark is. (It’s really dark.)
Home again and snow again and back to revising again. Getting through the deep dark unseeable parts. Finding my way toward the end.
The Night Circus was first published five years ago today.
It’s been a wonderful, strange, emotional roller coaster since then and I am still so very grateful to everyone who embraced and supported the book and visited the circus.
I have been a bad blogger this year. I have been very deep in the writing cave and I really did have a blog post half-drafted that was a summertime check-in of sorts around my birthday but now it is September and beyond the point of summertime check-ins.
This is not a proper check-in. This is just a quick September bookaversary internet hello before I crawl back in my cave. I might grab a pumpkin to autumn-up the cave decor while I’m here.
I am fairly certain there will be news of varying sorts to post here in the foreseeable future. I might even be allowed back on Twitter sometime soonish. Lots of things are afoot and busy and buzzing like bees.
We spent the first weekend in May in South Bend, Indiana for their One Book, One Michiana celebration of The Night Circus. The weather was perfection, the city is absolutely lovely, and I was incredibly impressed by how much enthusiasm and effort was put into every detail. They have the loveliest librarians and the most extraordinary library, I wanted to live in it.
From the pins and the programs (some of which had moving parts!) everything was so detailed and thoughtful.
I have been in my writing cave for so long I was a bit concerned that I might not remember how to speak in front of people but everyone was so delightful and welcoming. All of the events were wonderful, there was delicious food and chocolate and it was a flattering if slightly surreal reminder that there are still people reading and enjoying and celebrating, even when I’m getting used to being at home staring at blank pages and trying to make them not so blank.
I wish I could explain properly how much fun it was. I didn’t take enough photos but there are lots over here. There were cocktails and fancy dresses and I had an excellent tarot reading (someone please tell Barbara the Gray Witch I did get a new pillow, she was right about my neck). The children’s section of the library had a tunnel made of vintage luggage, I was serious about wanting to live there.
My gratitude and appreciation to everyone in South Bend who put so much time & energy into creating a truly wonderful experience.
Home now, back in springtime NYC and blank pages waiting to be filled. No more appearances for awhile, so this was a very good high note to end on.
Last week I was in Odessa, Texas as part of their One Book Odessa festivities for The Night Circus.
It was a wonderful, magical, fantastic couple of days and I met so many lovely people. I am amazed and awed at all the work and attention to detail that went into everything, Chandresh himself would be proud.
Above are some of the decorations from the Ector County Library, silhouettes of mini Widget & Poppet in the children’s section. The whole library looked amazing, the stairs were the Cloud Maze! And I loved the Wishing Tree.
Thursday was the Night Circus Gala held at the grounds of The Globe Theatre. Did you know that there are replicas of Shakespeare’s Globe & Anne Hathaway’s cottage in Texas? I didn’t, so it was a delightful surprise and a gorgeous setting for all the circusy festivities, including magic and tarot reading (I got a very spot-on reading myself) and the most adorable contortionist and fabulous music by White Ghost Shivers.
And then there was this cake which I was completely blown away by, photos can’t do it any justice because there was so much gorgeous detail from every angle. It was made by Brenda Ornelas and there are more photos on her facebook page.
The next day we were on the front page of the newspaper.
On Friday during the day I got to meet a bunch of wonderful high school students who had created their own circus tents that were all incredibly imaginative and fun. And that evening we had an onstage interview and q&a and book signing that was full of interesting questions and I apologize again for saying the name of the Scottish play (several times) in a theatre.
Then there was a beautiful (early) midnight dinner with exquisite little courses by Chef Alejandro Barrientos, which was extraordinary. (Also there was Night Circus wine!)
Dinner was followed by a special presentation of the dramatic reading of Part One of the book by Mark 10 Theatricals which was absolutely wondrous and so creative. This is me with the gorgeous cast & director:
Now I’m home in NYC and it all seems like a lovely dream. I’m truly astounded by the thought and care and creativity on so many levels, and I feel honored to have had my book embraced by the community so enthusiastically.
And huge thanks and gratitude to Randy Ham, who was not only a gracious escort for our time in Odessa and a splendid interviewer but the ringmaster behind all the circusy festivities.
This is an announcement regarding New York Comic Con.
Saturday October 12th I will be signing copies of The Night Circus from 4pm-5pm at the Random House Booth. #2205, I think. Books will be free (as far as I know) until there are no more books and then I will still likely sign whatever until there are no more pens or until we have to go home.
On Friday October 11th I will be running around the floor doing fangirl type things and trying to find Volume 4 of the deluxe edition of Ex Machina. Feel free to say hello if you see me.
Illustration of Celia by the amazingly talented Abigail Larson:
Prints are available over here. I already ordered one.
The Night Circus was published 2 years ago this week. It seems like it was just yesterday and so very long ago, both together at the same time. Something about this picture is perfect for how I feel about it lately, moving toward something else but still surrounded by stripes and feathers and magic.
I am attempting to not do many events this year because I have a book to write, but when I was asked to go to Lexington, Kentucky because they had chosen The Night Circus as their One Book, One Bluegrass community read the invitation said something about a “gala” and who am I to resist a gala?
First, though, there was proper library talking and book signing in Frankfurt on Friday night and then on Saturday during the day there was pony racing! (I admit, beyond the word gala the whole “ponies” and also “bourbon” thing made the entire weekend appealing, and it more than lived up to my expectations.)
Kentucky is just gorgeous, with stretches of green field and blue sky and wooden fences stretching as far as the eye can see. And I had never seen proper in-person pony racing before. I am really, really bad at guessing which pony is going to win. I didn’t loose that much money, though.
And then on Saturday night there was the gala. I’m not sure it can be properly explained, but it was amazing.
My original event info that said “gala in tents & barn.” Now, I’m from New England. When I hear “barn” I picture something boxy and red or possibly white.
Barns in Kentucky do not look like that. Barns in Kentucky have chandeliers.
I’m not sure I can even explain it properly. It was big and buoyant and there was so much to look at, from performers and musicians to countless guests in amazing costumes. (I had considered that I might be overdressed when I was packing my corset, I really had nothing to worry about.) There was an aerialist and a marching band and the whip guy! And cocktails in commemorative glasses and food and a silent auction of of beautiful art and jewelry and things and really the only minor negative is that it was chilly, which I realize upon re-reading the prologue of the book was probably my fault. Sorry.
And seriously, the most beautiful barn. It looked like a cake! All round layers and twinkly lights. I am told there were over a thousand people there, yet it always felt busy and bustling and not crowded, and everyone appeared to be having a fantastic time.
I’m already not entirely sure it actually happened, or if I dreamed it, but there appear to be a great deal of photos. (There are a few more over on my tumblr.) Even the next day when I spoke at the beautiful Lexington Library it seemed far away in a dreamlike haze. And now I’m home in NYC. No circus, no ponies. At least I have bourbon.
I am eternally grateful to everyone who spent so much time and effort in planning and coordinating a truly astounding feat, and to the performers and vendors and all the deliciously lovely people who attended. I was honored to have been there.
For future circus events, the bar has been set. It’s been set really, really high.
Tomorrow I am heading to Kentucky for a number of events as part of One Book, One Bluegrass. They chose The Night Circus for their 2013 community read.
I am keeping events to an absolute minimum this year because of that book I need to be writing, but this proposal sounded too fun to decline. There’s a gala! How could I refuse a gala?
So, my schedule is as follows:
Friday April 19th at 6:30pm – reading/babbling/signing/etc at the Paul Sawyier Public Library 319 Wapping Street, Frankfort, KY.
Saturday April 20th 7pm-11pm – The Night Circus Gala at The Red Mile-Round Barn 1200 Red Mile Rd, Lexington, KY. There will be magicians and dancers and fire and a whip guy and tarot readers and costume contests and all sorts of circusy wonderments. (And bourbon, I was told there would be bourbon.) Also I will be signing books and possibly wearing a corset.
Sunday April 21st 2pm – reading/babbling/signing/etc at the Lexington Public Library 140 East Main Street, Lexington, KY.
It should be great fun and these will be the last proper events I do for quite awhile, so I will try to babble as much as possible before I come home to NYC to shut up and write another book.