I can’t believe it’s November already. Getting ready for book tour for THE STARLESS SEA, list of events over here. Many events are ticketed, please check individual links for more information.
I will be attempting to document tour-related things on Instagram & Twitter as much as I can. I am out of practice at such things and I am only one person who cannot go to All The Places. If you are unable to attend any of the tour stops and would still like personalized books they can be ordered from The Odyssey Bookshop.
THE STARLESS SEA will also be available as an audiobook and you can listen to a preview:
I have been trying to figure out a good system for ordering signed, personalized books for years and I finally have one, I am so very grateful to everyone who helped make this happen.
Signed and personalized copies of The Night Circus (in both paperback & hardcover) as well as signed and personalized pre-orders for The Starless Sea are now available from The Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, Massachusetts. They will ship internationally.
Today I am forty-one which makes the blog/website eleven years old. I would like to apologize to the blog for neglecting it so much in recent years and missing its tenth birthday last year because we were away for my birthday.
(Next year I will remember, when the blog gets to be twelve and I get to be the meaning of life, the universe and everything.)
Forty was momentous. I finished the new book, finally. People started reading it and seem to like it so far. It already has two starred reviews and no one has made bad “starless” puns yet. I got a kitten and Vesper did, of course, help with the book writing.
I watched a kitten turn into a small cat with more personality than I thought could fit in such a compact fluffy package. I read wonderful books and played Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild incessantly. I became obsessed with this smitten kitchen salad and drank a lot of sparkling wine and a great deal of gin. Adam & I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary six days ago in the mountains and had the most perfect anniversary sunset.
Forty-one promises to be a wild and busy and exciting year. Next week I will be at San Diego ComicCon which is apparently a real thing and not just a fever dream I had that one time in 2011. In the autumn/winter when THE STARLESS SEA comes out I will be many places and signing many books, I will post tour details when I have them. I haven’t left my house this much in a long time, I am still remembering how to be a person in the world and not just a writer hermit.
And now THE STARLESS SEA comes out in less than four months. In the meantime if you are looking for something to read I highly recommend my friend Chuck Wendig’s WANDERERS. It’s the most recent thing I blurbed and I don’t blurb for friends as a general rule but I made an exception because it’s truly extraordinary. Here’s my full quote: “WANDERERS is a true tour de force, a feat of storytelling strength that remains with you long after the final page is turned. Epic yet intimate, speculative while hovering at the edges of the now and so masterfully told that it feels as though you are walking alongside these characters every step of the way.”
This is the UK cover for THE STARLESS SEA from Harvill Secker, designed by the incomparable Suzanne Dean. I am so delighted to finally be able to share it, I’ve had the full wrap-around version set as my wallpaper since the moment I received it.
This year felt like it was a million years long. This was the year I finally finished The Starless Sea, or very nearly finished since I’m about to hand in reviewed copyedits (note to publishers: January 2nd due dates are mean) and I’ll have one more final pass sometime after that and then it will be gone and grown-up and book-shaped and wrapped up pretty for November. Which is still a million years away if 2019 ends up anywhere near as long-feeling as 2018.
This year we had foxes who lived in our yard and I spent my 40th birthday in a decommissioned helicopter and did I mention that I finished the new book? Because I finished the new book and I’m still not quite certain I believe it.
And then there is the kitten. We’ve only had Vesper since September but she is the most wonderful kitten and she fits right in. (Though there was one week when she decided that the ceiling fan was terrifying so I took her into the guest room to get away from the scary fan and there was a flock of wild turkeys outside the window. She hid behind my legs for awhile. Poor thing.)
I normally do media review but truthfully this year was a blur of mostly writing so this is a short version.
My favorite books that I actually got around to were Susan Orlean’s The Library Book, Jane Mount’s Bibliophile and also Chuck Wendig’s Wanderers which will be out in July of 2019. Honorable mentions to The Ink House by Rory Dobner because it is a gorgeous delight and The Aviary Cocktail Book that my dear Kim Liggett gave me for the holidays which is a work of art.
I’m hoping I’ll have more time for the ever-expanding to-read pile next year, I feel like I’ve fallen behind on books and media and the world and so much more trying to finish writing this particular book in this particular time.
Adam gave me a Nintendo Switch and a kitten for my birthday so he clearly both knows and loves me deeply and also never wants me to get anything done ever again. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is just as amazing and wonderful as everyone said it was. I’m nearing the end but I still need to catch more fish to upgrade my stealth pants which is not a sentence I ever thought I would type. (After I properly finish the book I get to replay Dragon Age: Inquisition because that has been my book-finishing reward to self for literal years.)
I always do a song for the year but there wasn’t a single song for this year, there were a lot of songs and I’m looking forward to finalizing the Starless Sea official playlist but for this year I’ll leave you with the sounds that filled my office most of the time. It’s long, which seems appropriate.
Hello website that has been languishing away and gathering dust, it’s been awhile. I even managed to miss the 10 year anniversary of the blog back in the summer but I was busy turning 40 and trying to finish writing this book.
It’s finished, by the way.
It’s called The Starless Sea.
It will be published in the US, UK & Canada on November 5th, 2019.
This has been a long, difficult process but I wanted to get it just right no matter how long it took. This book existed in bits and pieces for a long time and some of the pieces stayed and others changed or wandered away entirely and it refused to be book-shaped for a very long time and then one day it was. I’m still kind of surprised that it’s finally reached this point. Probably won’t be letting the blog get so terribly dusty for the next while and I will be heading out for book events and such in the future instead of just sitting at home and typing words and staring at them and then deleting those words and typing different words. I’ll post additional book information as I have it (like when it has a cover and such) both here and over on Instagram.
In other news, there is a kitten.
Her name is Vesper, after the cocktail because her mom’s name is Mint Julep and we figured it would be appropriate to give her a cocktail name. This is one of the photos I took on her first day at home when she refused to stay still very long. I wasn’t sure I wanted to have a cat again but Adam talked me into it and gave her to me for my birthday. She’s the most darling, slightly crazy purr monster. She’s on Instagram, too, because of course she is.
She has been very helpful while I’ve been finishing the book, she has chewed on printed pages and stood on my keyboard and stolen my pens.
I know next November seems very far away still but there are many book things still to do and I’m sure time will go faster than any of us expect. I’ve spent the last several years living in this book and it’s bittersweet and wonderful to be at the point of packing up my bags and sweeping the floors and dusting the bookshelves so you all can live in a Harbor on the Starless Sea for awhile, too.
The world is strange and hard right now. I wrote a different book than I might have if I’d started it at another time, but it’s the story it is supposed to be and I hope if at this time next year you choose to sail its seas you enjoy your time there.
I’m not even sure where 2017 went. It seems like it was just snowing and now it’s snowing again. Perpetual winter though I’m pretty sure there was a summer in between.
The still-new house is more house-like, more us and more lived in. There are still places missing furniture and oh so many cardboard boxes in the basement with the mice but it is cozy and currently there is a fire burning in the fireplace and cocktails on the coffee table and snow outside and stars and it is a wonderful, wonder-filled place to be.
It was a mostly-at-home year but also this year I floated in a perfect sunset-lit pool in Florida and stood in complete cave darkness in Virginia and went on a very cold perfect date night in Toronto.
I watched an eclipse and made friends with a butterfly and finally bought a bottle of Yellow Chartreuse.
I finished yet another draft (two, actually) of this thing that will someday be a book. Someday.
It’s getting there. I think. I hope. I sort of know. Insert metaphor about baking or sailing dark seas or something else here. It has been a forward motion year even though I spent most of it standing still, staring at computer screens and trying to make the words work. January will be a locked away in that world month and then I’ll see what happens on the other side.
2018 should be interesting.
Annual review of media things, 2017 edition
This was a writing year more than a reading year but I did manage an eclectic list of favorites:
I love this game with a love that is pure & true and knows no bounds. (Adam gave me a Funko Aloy for Yule which is my first & only Funko.) Still haven’t played the Frozen Wilds DLC, saving it for a snow day treat but I’m sure we’ll be in for a lot of snow days in the coming months.
I still think about moments in this relatively short game months after we played through it. It’s full of brilliant gaming moments and brilliant storytelling moments and I’m waiting to revisit and replay it.
Only about halfway through this one but loving it so far. I’m not usually an Assassin’s Creed person but I’ve had a thing for ancient Egypt ever since I was little (thank you, The Egypt Game) so even just running around this gorgeous game is a delight plus it has everything I love about an open world and I get to shoot hippos.
Also when had a terrible cold I played Cat Quest on my iPad and it made me feel better.
We still don’t have proper cable or internet so this category is light as usual. Favorite movies I saw this year were Wonder Woman, The Last Jedi & Get Out.
I’m still anxiously awaiting a chance to see The Shape of Water. Hopefully soon.
The only TV I’ve been watching is The Great British Bake Off, over and over and over again. That probably says something about my 2017 mental state. It’s soothing and full of things I can’t eat and I love it.
This year I listened to Vaults and Arcade Fire and ODESZA and the Baby Driver soundtrack and the new Taylor Swift but with Look What You Made Me Do edited out. I’ve also kept the Skyrim Atmospheres track from the Skyrim soundtrack on repeat as background in my office a lot lately.
This is the other song I had on repeat this year. Not sure why, it just sounded right.
Today I am 39. My grandmother used to say she was 39, every year, and when I was young and my dad turned 40 I was very confused as to how he could be older than his mother. Math is hard. Age is just a number.
I believe this means the website/blog is 9 years old. I should bake it a cake next year when it reaches a decade.
Rainy birthday. For a moment it there was hail but now the sun is trying to peek out again.
Hopefully going to have a very interesting year ahead of me.
There is a signed 1st edition US hardcover of The Night Circus in this auction to benefit Planned Parenthood organized by the wonderful Kelly Braffet & Owen King. It is also–because it is the 101st year of operation of Planned Parenthood–annotated on page 101 with circusy footnotes & nonsense, so it is utterly unique. The high bidder gets to find out where, precisely, my glittery red pen ran out of ink. Bidding is open through July 15th.
We are getting used to house things. We had a frozen pipe in the winter and bats in the walls and it seems like a crash course in home ownership but we also have hummingbirds and sunsets and a brief June burst of peonies.
There are several still unpacked cardboard boxes, mostly in the basement. We finally have chairs for the library. My office is still a work in progress but it’s getting there.
We are cooking a lot. We got a grill. Our dish of the summer so far is this Ina Garten quinoa tabbouleh but I replace the tomatoes with diced strawberries dressed in balsamic vinegar. It’s better that way. Sorry, Ina.
I don’t have proper internet right now. I am typing this while running a wireless hotspot off my phone. Supposedly there are plans to get this area of wilderness wired properly in the foreseeable future but for now I am mostly only able to do internet things on my phone or my iPad and I am a terrible touchscreen typist so I have been and will continue to be fairly scarce around the internet in general. It’s hard to keep up with things when everything takes ages to load if it even loads at all. Twitter hiatus continues.
We don’t have cable, either, so no new tv for me. I have been catching up on Adventure Time and binge-watching British Baking when I have tv time.
I have been listening to ODESZA and Oh Wonder and Halsey.
Game-wise I am a little bit obsessed with Horizon: Zero Dawn. Not quite finished with it yet, and I keep randomly stopping because the light or the environment is just so pretty. It does so many things I like in a game and does them really well and thoughtfully and with a strong story line. Super excited that they already announced DLC & I hope they franchise the heck out of it, I would play sequels upon sequels in this world.
Favorite game I’ve played and finished is What Remains of Edith Finch. In certain ways its the best game I’ve read/story I’ve played. It has distinct mini story-sections that are all inventively different and there’s a moment in one of them that when I realized what it was doing with the controls I was probably the most giddily delighted I have ever been when playing a game.
And of course, mostly I have been writing.
I am very close to a new draft. I am not quite where I wanted to be by birthday-time but not too far off, either. It is book-shaped again but the end is missing and there are a couple of holes in the middle.
It is a different book-creature than it was at the beginning of the year. It is stretching its wings and finding its feet and only occasionally hissing at me. Not quite tame but it doesn’t really want to be, not entirely. It’s also very proud of me for not using a cake analogy to describe its current state.
Going to spend the rest of my summer mostly in my head. I don’t get sunburned there and there’s less hail.