real book!

I got a finished copy of The Night Circus in the mail today. There aren’t really words for this, I’m torn between giddy excitement and befuddled disbelief and mild concern that it is rather difficult to take a photograph of such a shiny-covered book.

I even took a photo of it in the sunshine so you can see how the scrollwork is all holographic and rainbow-y:

It’s difficult to tell in the photos but the background is shiny and the hand and tents are matte but embossed, so the texture is amazing.

And I am apparently blessed by the endpaper gods, because this one has stripes:

Tessa remains unimpressed, of course.

the night circus – uk edition

Yesterday I got home after a very long day to find a finished copy of Harvill Secker’s UK edition of The Night Circus waiting for me.

Photos will not even begin to do it justice, but I figured I’d give it a try. Look, black-edged pages!

There’s a clock beneath the jacket, set to midnight for the first edition. The time will be changed for subsequent editions.

The endpapers have glorious rows of bowlers and top hats!

And the kittens disappearing around the edges just make me happy.

proper comic-con recap

Okay, here we go.

I have heard epic tales of the wonderment that is San Diego Comic-Con International for years. I always thought maybe someday I would like to go just to experience it first-hand but I didn’t think I’d actually be Invited and Official and it’s still hard to believe I was there.

I flew out on Wednesday and had the longest flight ever, which probably felt even longer because I haven’t been on a plane in years. I am forever grateful to my agent for suggesting noise-canceling headphones which are the greatest thing ever. I also managed to have brilliant timing weather-wise, as I missed an atrocious heatwave in Boston and the weather in San Diego was lovely.

Wednesday night I tried to stay awake long enough to meet my publicist for a drink and failed.

Thursday morning started bright and early and dropped me right into the surreality of press conference land, it is a very odd thing to be suddenly faced with a room full of reporters and cameras and flashbulbs and questions, especially once you’re finished and back in the green room again and the cast of Twilight is sitting where you were sitting ten minutes earlier.

Then there was a whirlwind of interviews (including one for this piece in today’s USA Today) and the lovely woman who interviewed me for Sirius radio had a fantastic octopus necklace and when I commented on it she told me it was cast from an actual piece of calamari, which I found absolutely delightful.

(Speaking of jewelry, I got a lot of comments on mine. The keys I was wearing on Thursday were from Star of the East and the pearls on Friday were from my beloved Savage Salvage.)

After a bit of running around trying to get my Comic-Con badge I actually got to see the floor, which was bigger and louder and crazier than I’d expected, and I had expected fairly high levels of big, loud & crazy. Wandered around a little bit just to get a taste and tried not to go into sensory overload. There’s just so much to look at it’s difficult to focus.

That afternoon I signed posters in the Summit booth, which is both the first time I have signed next to t-shirt pressing machines and also the first time I signed with a DJ doing running commentary about my signing (Thanks, Mike! You were fabulous!), so that was strange and loud but fun and they had great posters with the book cover art.

After that my darling publicist and I went back to the hotel to actually eat something. We ended up with an array of fried vegetables, mostly by accident. I was not aware that one could fry a portobello. Daniel H. Wilson came and met us after a bit of confusion, I think it is a good piece of advice for the ages that when suggesting someone meet you in the hotel bar,  you should first make sure you’re in the same hotel. I’d met Daniel briefly during BEA and it was great to see him again, once we actually found him.

And then there was catching up on emails and such and then more meeting people for drinks and fried things (including Charlie Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, who was one of the people and not one of the drinks or the fried things, and also he is lovely and his book has a fantastic title).

Thursday night was the Summit party, which was on a gorgeous paper lantern-strung rooftop at the Hard Rock Hotel, and also managed to be baby’s first red carpet.

Luckily I was told there were going to be red carpet photos and then that there weren’t, so I had already planned to look pretty decent (and I figured the red and black striped corset was appropriate for a Comic-Con party) and then the actual red carpet was a not entirely unexpected surprise. I’m not sure what’s going on with my hair, but I only had about 20 minutes to get ready and that included corset lacing.

The party itself was busy and lovely and I had more interviews (I was not forewarned about those but everyone I spoke with was lovely) and there were celebrity sightings and I got to talk to the other  Summit “soon to be a major motion picture” authors, Veronica Roth who I’d met briefly earlier for color-coordinated photo ops and Issac Marion who I had not. They are both lovely, tall people.

After that we tried to catch the end of the Random House party but it was already over. There was a mechanical bull. Seriously. So sad to have missed that. I think.

Friday morning I signed ARCs of The Night Circus at the Random House booth, which was much more serene than the previous day’s signing so I could actually talk to people instead of straining to hear.

I met Craig Thompson and Ernie Cline, which was fabulous because we’d all done the Random House librarian breakfast at BEA in May but I didn’t actually get to meet either of them there. So this time I got to tell Craig how much I loved Blankets and adore the lines of his artwork and I got a gorgeous preview of his new book, Habibi, and he sketched on the back and put me to signing shame, it makes me want to improve my handwriting. (Also, they had one finished copy of Habibi and it is glorious.) And I got to geek out at Ernie about Wil Wheaton doing the audiobook of  Ready Player One which I really want to listen to, but in the meantime I can read my marvelous shiny signed ARC.

After my signing my official duties were done, wandered around a bit and met Peter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn which is one of my very favorite books of All Time. There’s a new graphic novel version of it and it is absolutely beautiful and he was wonderful, it was magical to meet him, especially since I didn’t even know he was going to be there.

Went to lunch with publicist Alison (nothing fried this time!) before she had to catch her plane. She’s the best, truly, and I am a lucky, lucky girl to have her wrangling me.

Then I went back into the craziness to explore, took most of the quick photos I posted the other day and just soaked things in for a while. I wish I’d had more time to look through things and actually shop but I didn’t, I hope I get to go back with more time for actual Comic-Conning someday. Also, this is a perfect example of why the circus does not have clowns:

The blurred jaw? Because it moved. Ugh. I’m not an easily creeped-out person but that thing was creepy.

You know who’s not creepy? Andrea Cremer. She is a delight, I saw that she was signing and had wanted to meet her since we’re agent mates and she said lovely things about the circus. Luckily I found her during a bit of a lull since I walked by later and she was mobbed, but I had time to chat with her a bit and she is infectiously bubbly wonderful. I actually ran into her again later that night in the hotel lobby, along with Heather Brewer and Marie Lu, it was like hitting the YA author jackpot completely by accident.

I met one of my marvelous Summit producers to chat, and no, I do not have any movie news but there are meetings and wheels turning and all sorts of people working on things in that mysterious film production way. And then I had dinner with some of the lovely ladies from Random House before going back to pack, since I had to be at the airport bright and early Saturday morning to spend the entire day on planes again.

Okay, that was pretty epic but I think that’s it, can hardly believe that was all in just two days. I would have loved to have stayed for the rest of the weekend, really, just to get more of the Comic-Con experience. I do hope I get to go back again.

There are more Comic-Con photos over on facebook!

not a proper comic-con recap

This is not a real Comic-Con recap, my brain is too fried from being on planes all day, but here are a few atmospheric cell-phone photos to give you the general idea of what my last few days looked like. Had a marvelous time, met tons of fabulous people, really wish I’d had more time just to soak in the gloriousness of it all.

 

Back in Boston now, missing both the madness and the weather. Full recap forthcoming!

san diego comic-con

Hello, internet! I am in San Diego.

I am at Comic-Con, or rather, next to Comic-Con at the moment but I will be at Comic-Con proper tomorrow and Friday!

Tomorrow (Thursday) I will be signing posters at the Summit booth, #4029, at 1pm.

Friday I will be signing ARCs of The Night Circus at the Random House booth, #1515, at 10am.

And in between there will be interviews and parties and yes, thanks to Twitter approval, I will indeed be wearing Converse sneakers with seamed stockings.

If you see me, say Hi!

cookies & werewolves

Spent just about 24 lovely hours in NYC. Arrived back in Boston with circusified momofuku milk bar cookies and a personally signed copy of The Last Werewolf. Met a lot of lovely bookish people during my very quick trip and had a delightful time and did I mention the cookies?

Now I have to tackle the ever-growing to do list, but I have cookies & a shiny new book so I am a happy puppy.

it is a very strange yet wonderful thing to hear words you wrote read by jim dale

I took a very quick trip down to NYC because the audiobook of THE NIGHT CIRCUS is being recorded this week. I almost didn’t since I am crazy busy with moving things but I am thrilled that I did because it was marvelous.

I will admit I have not heard more than snippets of the Harry Potter audiobooks so my “that would be fabulous” response to “how would you feel about Jim Dale doing the audio version?” was mostly based on his narration from Pushing Daisies, I knew he had that wonderful classic storyteller voice. It was absolutely marvelous to get to meet him and everyone working on the recording and everyone was simply delightful.

Jim Dale & me:

There are more pictures over here of various adorable smiling people in the studio courtesy of the lovelies at Random House Audio.

Here’s a sneak peak (sneak listen?) at page one:

 


 

I was not there for that particular bit but I did get to hear from around page 97 to page 113, which was a rather good range of characters and voices. I thought beforehand that it was going to sound more strange to my ears than it did, it ended up being this wonderful amalgamation of the way it sounds in my head with its own distinct sound layered over top and the result is delightful. Jim truly has the perfect storyteller voice and I couldn’t be more pleased.

The audio version will be available in September when the book comes out, and I’m sure it will be absolutely magical.

night circus uk cover

Hi, internet! I’ve been ignoring you. I’m sorry. I’ll likely be missing in action quite a bit for the next few weeks but there will be occasional quick posts and flax-golden tales, still.

For now, here is the long-awaited, gorgeous UK cover for THE NIGHT CIRCUS:

 

this is a proper post-BEA post. (part II)

Part II of the post-BEA musings. (Part I is here if you missed it.)

Wednesday! My first scheduled event was the second of my two interviews, this one held at the Standard Hotel. Diane Keaton walked into the lobby right behind us. She wasn’t wearing shoes. Also, the Standard Hotel has spectacular elevators with video art on the walls.

Having had a rather straightforward audio interview the previous day, I was not quite ready for the setup that awaited me upstairs in the suite that had been converted to author-interviewing space, but that was probably good because if I’d known it was coming I would have had more time to make myself nervous. I half-expected a couple of chairs and a webcam, only in a classy sort of way. This was fancy lights and multiple cameras and a whole crew of very nice people and I had to creatively run a microphone down my dress (that was a first) and a makeup lady would swoop in to powder my face when I was apparently getting too shiny under the fancy lights. I remember very little of what I said but apparently I sounded coherent, I was asked excellent questions so that made it easier. There was a lot of stopping for technical things or because there were sirens outside or whatnot. It was very fancy. They even had a clapboard for the cameras on an iPad, I cannot even say how much that delighted me. Really, it was a surreal sort of experience but everyone involved was absolutely lovely.

After that I was whisked back to the Javits for my signing.

I was around the Random House booth for a bit before it started, meeting people and chatting with other people that I’d met the day before, and then people started coming up to tell me about the line. There were hand gestures and waving and use of walls to describe just how far it went and I truly thought people were exaggerating. And then came the tales of how they were having to turn people away because they didn’t have enough galleys.

My future brother-in-law happened to be at the Javits for a different event and he managed to get into BEA and took some footage of the line, I don’t think I really believed it until I saw it.

I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who stood in that line. I am sorry that I was somewhat delirious by the time I got about midway through and I know my handwriting was rather atrocious by the end, not that my handwriting isn’t always rather atrocious. I was scheduled to sign for half an hour and I know it went long but I’d lost all concept of time. I’m told it went over an hour.

This is me post-signing (I had to take my jacket off, no one warned me signing was such an athletic activity,) with my incredible editor, Alison Callahan, and my amazing agent, Richard Pine. They are both just as delightful as they appear. Also included in this photo is a Sharpie that is very nearly out of ink.

A lot of people commented on my necklace, it was made for me by my absurdly talented dearest darling Clovia Shaw. Her Etsy store is over here. She does custom work. I’m just sayin’.

After the wonderment that was Baby’s First Book Signing, we of course ran into Margaret Atwood again, because it was like a theme. That’s the encounter that there are pictures of. There are a bunch of pictures from the signing & post-signing over here on facebook.

Then I had meetings and drinks and then I was done with all my official proper author responsibilities. I stayed in NYC for a few days afterwards, more on that in a future post. (Yes, I went to see Sleep No More again, for the seventh time.)

I am eternally grateful to everyone at Doubleday, they are truly wonderful people who made what could easily have been an overwhelming couple of days a fabulous and enjoyable experience. They’re all really cute, too.

I didn’t manage to accumulate many books, I didn’t have much time to hunt and my to-read shelf is overflowing anyway so I felt guilty adding to it, but this is the pile of things that managed to make their way home with me:

So I have lots to read, when I find the time. I’m still not sure how I managed to be back from NYC for more than a week already. More miscellaneous NYC stuff forthcoming, though unfortunately I did not take nearly enough photos.

this is a proper post-BEA post. (part I)

Okay, it’s all starting to feel like a dream but here we go, not sure if I’m going to break this into multiple parts or not just yet. (Yeah, parts. This can be part I.)

Monday! I left for NYC. I took a train from freezing rainy Boston to rather warm Manhattan without too much trouble. Here’s a lapin on the train:

While I was settling in at my hotel, my editor was presenting THE NIGHT CIRCUS on the Editors Buzz Panel. I know she was fantastic even though I wasn’t there because you can watch it over here. You probably won’t blush as much as I did while watching it, either.

Monday night there were remarkably sedate alarms going off in my hotel at 1am, followed by mysterious announcements about investigations, and then declarations that the alarms were in fact, false. That was interesting. I’m just glad I was still awake.

I hardly forgot anything, packing-wise, except for a pen. Which made me feel like a sorry excuse for a writer, but how often do you really need a pen? However, I am never forgetting pens again, I might even invest in one of those sassy pen necklaces. I borrowed a pen (well, stole a pen because I still have it) which was wise because I had to speak to breakfasting librarians first thing Tuesday morning, and while I had very nice notes typed up on my laptop I didn’t want to drag it there, so I scrawled barely legible notes with my stolen pen on tiny sheets of hotel stationary (the hotel pen didn’t work, of course). This is the point of the story where I would normally say “I need an iPad” but I have one! I just wasn’t clever enough to pack it for this purpose. Now I know.

Breakfasting librarians appeared to like me though I was terribly nervous. The other authors were marvelous, I’m sad I didn’t actually get to meet any of them, particularly Craig Thompson so I could tell him how much I love the lines of his artwork, and I do wish I’d thought to grab an ARC of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One but it was 8am and also Baby’s First Book Event so I wasn’t really on the ball with my galley-grabbing.

And then it was hot out and my hair was going all curly, so I changed into something a little more weather appropriate while cursing the fact that I had been *this* close to packing my sandals but I decided not to. This is what happens when you’re freezing while you’re packing and then all of a sudden it’s incredibly humid at your destination. So if you’ve seen any photos of me all curly-haired in my Trashy Diva dress, that was unplanned but it seemed to work. Truly, my one BEA regret is that I did not pack sandals.

In the afternoon I actually got to see the wonderment that is BEA proper at the Javits center, which was a lot of space filled with a lot of books and several sections of surprisingly squishy carpet. Doubleday had marvelously tuxedoed, red-scarfed reveurs handing out cards promoting my signing on Wednesday and they were delightful.

I had an audio interview which was pretty good considering it was only my second interview ever, and afterward I discovered that when you walk around BEA with your publicist who is also Margaret Atwood’s publicist you actually end up talking to Margaret Atwood and her fabulous agent and then you try not to faint because it’s Margaret Atwood and you want to tell her how you learned everything you know about rhythm from the Modern Women Writers class you took in college where your professor had you read the opening pages of Alias Grace aloud around the room one sentence at a time but you can’t because it’s MARGARET ATWOOD and she is HOLDING YOUR HAND and you are busy trying not to faint.

There are pictures of me with Margaret Atwood over here (along with a bunch of shots from my signing, more on that later) and that is actually my second encounter, because, you know, shared publicist and I still managed not to pass out but I was not particularly articulate.

After that there was the Knopf Doubleday cocktail party, at which there were lots and lots of lovely booksellers to meet and my Doubleday team was impressively adept at maneuvering me around the crowd and facilitating introductions.  At one point I remember standing outside talking to people (including Joan Didion) about how my circus has no clowns because no one likes clowns and my dress got all floaty Marilyn Monroe style in the breeze. I’m not sure any other moment topped that for pure surreality.

Post-party I went to dinner with my wonderful editor, which was the perfect way to wind down after a long and somewhat crazy day, complete with blackberry souffle.

And now this post is rather long and rambling, so I will post the Wednesday recap separately.