After being delayed by the snow my copies of the Books Illustrated editions of The Night Circus have finally arrived and they are even more gorgeous in person than I could have possibly imagined.
The illustrations by Anne Yvonne Gilbert are all incredible, I’m still obsessed with how magical and layered each one is. Every detail of the book has been so well thought-out and perfectly executed, they are truly works of art. My eternal gratitude to the entire Books Illustrated team.
Edited to add this beautiful, thoughtful unboxing of of all three editions from the lovely Patrick Fogarty:
The Books Illustrated edition of The Night Circus has been coming together more quickly than I could have imagined and it has been astonishing watching their entire team, especially Anne Yvonne Gilbert, elevate this story into a stunning piece of art. I am continually blown away by Yvonne’s ability to layer so many elements and moments into single images, with so much texture and expression and detail. They are truly magical.
One of my favorite parts of this process has been seeing Yvonne’s initial sketches to get a glimpse of how she begins to conjure all of these layers. It’s like getting to peer behind the curtain at a magic trick in progress. Some illustrations have minor adjustments between sketch and final version, others remain almost precisely the same. Below are some side-by-side comparisons. The sketches are already so beautiful and then the colors breathe so much life into everything. I suspect most people would expect a lot of monochrome from an illustrated version of The Night Circus but these are just buzzing with color.
There are so many details that I adore, from Mme. Padva’s jewelry and Tsukiko’s cherry blossoms and Bailey’s dog to the way the circus tents loom in the background of certain images. And of course I am a little bit obsessed with Poppet’s perfect curls and the most delightful squirrels. (I cannot pick a favorite because they are all so wonderful but the Wizard in the Tree is possibly my favorite so far, it is so sumptuous and autumnal.)
There is still more to come, cloud mazes and bottles and other wonderments, and much more information on this very limited edition of The Night Circus can be found at Books Illustrated. You can sign up for their Night Circus newsletter & they post frequent previews on their Instagram.
You can find more of Anne Yvonne Gilbert’s beautiful artwork on her website.
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.”
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.