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Posts Tagged ‘night circus’

odessa in photos

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

widget & poppetLast 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.

odessa globeThursday 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.

circus cakeAnd 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.

odessa paperOn 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!)

midnight dinnerDinner 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:

reading castNow 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.

me&randyThank you, Odessa! Now I’m going to stay home and write and not get on airplanes for awhile.

circus art

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

I shared this over on Tumblr and Twitter last week but I thought I’d put it over here for good measure.

Illustration of Celia by the amazingly talented Abigail Larson:

celia - 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.

twitter-sourced blog post the second

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

This is the second installment of the twitter-sourced blog post. This one is book/writing focused in two parts. (Part one is here.)

 

About The Night Circus

I would love to know more behind the inspiration for the Night Circus and a possible sequel?

Possibly bad news first: no sequel. It was never written to be a series, I don’t want to try to make it something that it’s not, so there will be no book two or anything like that. Possibly good news second: I would like to write more stuff about the circus in the future, likely in short pieces of backstory or sidestory or futurestory. No idea when I’d get to that, though.

Inspiration-wise the entire thing started as a tangent in another novel that I was working on for NaNoWriMo. I got bored & sent the characters to the circus. That’s where it started, with the instant manifestation of a circus in my imagination, which at that point had lots of tents and a bonfire in the center though I wasn’t sure what the bonfire was for yet. Poppet & Widget were in that first wandering through the circus, along with their kittens. I decided to write more about the circus though I wasn’t sure what I’d do with it, so I wrote lots of little vignettes about tents, about the creators of the circus, about its performers and fans. Eventually I had enough vignettes to fill a novel and then it was a long road of revising before it reached its finished form.

There are a lot of specific influences and flavors in play, inspirations ranging from Shakespeare and Dickens to Edward Gorey and Roald Dahl. The circus itself is my ideal entertainment venue, elegant and immersive, something to explore in a self-directed way. The black-and-white came from wanting to have a clear-cut visual aesthetic and wanting to give it a formality, a circus in evening wear.

 

A tent you wanted to include but ran out of space in the book for

There was a knife-throwing tent at one point. It wasn’t so much that there wasn’t space for it, but more that it seemed like excessive amounts of knife-throwing.

There was a tent that was removed fairly late into revisions, it’s referred to in passing as being reminiscent of Indonesian puppet theatre. It used to be online somewhere as an excerpt but my search skills are failing me. It’s a paper-screen maze with shifting walls and the puppets, among other things, act out Tsukiko’s backstory.

 

As someone who loves present-tense, I would love to know why you chose to write The Night Circus in present-tense.

The present tense decision was made fairly easily, because I knew from the beginning that I wanted to include sections of the circus itself told in second person. Since the second person sections would have to be in present tense, I thought it would be too jarring to go back and forth between past and present, so I kept everything in present. I also think it worked better for the alternating timelines, keeping everything immediate. I prefer present tense and it’s usually my default writing-wise unless something really reads better in past.

 

is night circus going to be made into a movie?

Possibly. The answer will remain “possibly” pretty much until it’s in theatres, if it ever is. The film rights were optioned not long after the book sold by Summit Entertainment, David Heyman who produced the Harry Potter films is signed on to produce, I believe they’re currently looking for a director. They don’t always tell me things. I’m sure there are meetings and phone calls and such going on that I’m not privy to. I’m involved more than most authors which is still really not all that involved at all, and it’s in the early stages at this point, so it’ll be awhile but when I have updates I’m allowed to share I will share them.

 

Scent and memory.

(This wasn’t specifically circus-related but it fit so well with Widget’s Bedtime Stories tent that I thought I’d include it here.)

I have a lousy memory but a rather good sense of smell. And since the sense of smell has the strongest memory-triggering power a scent will often remind me of something I can’t remember. It’s rather disorienting. The scent of those nut-roasting street vendor carts always does that, especially in winter. I get that nostalgia kick to the olfactory receptors and I have no idea what it’s for. I don’t know if that’s better or worse than immediately being pulled back into the memory proper.

That idea of scent triggering memories and memory-as-story was the genesis of the Bedtime Stories tent. That and a mild obsession with BPAL.

 

About the new book

Literally any hint whatsoever about your next book. Even if it’s one word.

Film noir-flavored Alice in Wonderland. That’s five words. Six if we count the hyphenated one as two. (More words below.)

 

blog about what you’re working on writing-wise.

At this very moment writing-wise I’m trying to write a bunch of flax-golden tales so I can schedule them ahead of time for most of the summer and focus on the new novel. I usually write them weekly so it’s interesting to do several at the same time.

Mostly I’m working on the new novel that is still not book-shaped. Currently this consists of more research than writing, and when there is writing it is scrawled in blue-green ink with a fountain pen. I have more blue-green pages than I did a few weeks ago, though, so that’s something.

 

what is the focus of your next book?

If I knew what the focus was I’d probably be further along than I am. It is a loose riff on an Alice in Wonderland motif so I do have a central protagonist this time but it’s still a bit of an ensemble piece and I’m still putting together the ensemble. It’s a mystery (several mysteries, actually) but I haven’t piled all the clues and red herrings together yet.

If a book is like a jigsaw puzzle I’m still sawing out pieces though I have a few of the already-shaped pieces connected. I’m figuring out more of the flavors and influences for this one, the biggest ones are Alice, of course, and classic detective novels and cocktails as alchemy and Egyptian mythology. I’m worldbuilding and characterbuilding and trying to find the story within all that, and then I can figure out the best way to tell it.

 

when we can expect your next book! :)

Not for a good long while, I’m afraid. It’s not finished yet, so I have to do that first. After I’m finished it’ll likely be a year to a year and a half before it’s actually in stores because it’ll need to be edited and prettied up and made all shiny.

I’d rather take my time and write something good than rush just to have another book on shelves. I’ve been working on this one for awhile but I’ve been busy and haven’t been able to sink my brain into it the way I need to until recently.

 

That’s it for the Twitter-sourcing this go-round, thank you to everyone who suggested or asked things and my apologies to the ones I didn’t get to. I will likely do this again sometime.

ponies! gala! i <3 kentucky.

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

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.)

ponies

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.

barn

 

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.

enter

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.

bookaversary thank you

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

A year ago today The Night Circus was published, official US publication date and all. I suppose that makes this some sort of book birthdayaversarysomething.

(I remain inordinately fond of the number 13.)

I am still in a little bit of disbelief that it’s even a proper book. You would think that would have sunk in by now. Though I think the fact that it’s a proper book in a great many languages, including Japanese, makes the whole thing extra surreal.

 

I can’t believe it’s been a year. It seems like everything went by so fast and yet last autumn seems so long ago.

And in some ways I feel like I didn’t really do that much this year, since the book was already finished and my year was spent on airplanes going from place to place to read aloud and babble and sign a great many copies of it to the point where my signature deteriorated (I am still crossing the t and it has developed an occasional loop after the n) and meet so many lovely people, returning home only to nap for weeks at a time.

Things happened around me, in strange and wonderful ways, thanks to a lot of people.

And now somehow it is September 13th again. Strange time, the way it continues ever onward.

So thank you. Thank you to every single person who has read the book. Everyone who came to events in so many cities that I lost count. Everyone who had a book club meeting with a color scheme.

Every bookseller who has hand-sold the book and everyone at a great number of publishing houses, particularly all my Random House lovelies.

Everyone who has tweeted or reviewed or blogged or sent me email that I am still woefully behind on.

Everyone anywhere who has donned a splash of red not for the book, but for the circus itself. Because really, that’s what it’s for.

Thank you, truly.

I hope your scarves keep you warm as we tumble into autumn, and I hope your dreams are sweet.

 

(A lucky NaNoWriMo donor will be getting these kittens inscribed in a copy of The Night Circus.)

photographic evidence of aforementioned epic paperback book launch party

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

 

 

 

Thank you all for joining in the fantabulousness! Endless gratitude to everyone at Brookline Booksmith, especially the wonderful and dapper Evan, and everyone from the Huffington Post Books team, particularly the dashing and becaped (which is not a word, but he did have a cape) Andrew, and of course, the incomparable Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys.

come one, come all…

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Brookline Booksmith

Tuesday July 3rd, beginning at 5 o’clock in the evening

The Night Circus paperback release extravaganza

featuring music by Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys

(this will very likely be epic.)

miscellaneous post of miscellany with links

Monday, June 18th, 2012

This is not an actual post, this is a list of things I wanted to tell the internet on someplace other than Twitter. I have several proper posts in-progress and at least one of them will be posted this week.

 

  • This upcoming weekend I will be at ALA Anaheim. I will be participating in two events on the morning of Sunday June 24: the RUSA Literary Tastes Program and the Alex Award Program. Other than that I will probably be wandering around attempting to resist the urge to go to Disneyland and ride the Haunted Mansion over & over & over.
  • On July 3rd there will be a paperback release event for The Night Circus at Brookline Booksmith. And by “event” I mean “Epic Circus Party Complete with Band.” Come one, come all! I am still trying to figure out what to wear.

 

I think that’s all the miscellany for the moment. Someday I will be properly caught up with email and to-do list things and actually have time to write proper posts (and fiction!) again, but today is not that day.

paperback cover & other miscellany

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Okay, I’ve seen this elsewhere on the internet so I think it’s probably safe to share here.

This is the US paperback cover of The Night Circus.

Trust me when I tell you it’ll be even prettier in person. (On sale July 3rd!)

 

And now some things in no particular order and in unnumbered list form:

  • Have I mentioned that I’ll be at Book Expo America again this year? Because I will be at Book Expo America again this year. It’ll be all full-circle and surreal and I’ll likely look less like a deer in headlights this time. I hope.
  • I have blog posts that are not post-shaped yet but I will be posting them in the next while. They involve things like books (not by me) and a follow up to the time and the not having of it post and likely photoblog travelogues but more on that later.
  • Speaking of time, I’m doing that thing where I have so many little things to do that they end up piling up to that big thing time consuming size and thus I am again behind on things like emails and laundry and laundry ends up taking priority because it’s still chilly out so I’d like to be able to wear clothes.
  • I don’t actually have a fourth thing to add, I just thought this list would look better with four items rather than just three.

 

this is a PSA about mice

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

I should add this to the FAQ, so let’s put it in question mode:

Is there somewhere I can actually get chocolate mice?

Yes. Yes there is.

The chocolate mice in The Night Circus were inspired by the chocolate mice from L.A. Burdick Handmade Chocolate.

(The main difference is that the ones in the book have licorice tails and the Burdick ones have ribbon tails and are also real.)

They look like this:

They come in three flavors: dark chocolate mice with an orange interior, milk chocolate with mocha, and white chocolate with cinnamon.

They also have chocolate penguins. And right now there are bunnies. And they have amazing hot chocolate.

There are locations in Walpole, New Hampshire, Boston & Cambridge, Massachusetts and NYC.

And they ship.

You’re welcome.