happy lunar new year

A Lunar New Year story time gift for you: “The Inn at the Edge of the World,” one of the stories-within-the-story from THE STARLESS SEA, read by the incomparable Erika Ishii

The Inn at the Edge of the World”
excerpt from THE STARLESS SEA by Erin Morgenstern
, copyright 2019 E. Morgenstern LLC

Read by Erika Ishii, performed with permission from the author

THE STARLESS SEA is available in audiobook form read by a full cast from Penguin Random House Audio

I keep neglecting the poor blog. It sits here gathering digital dust and I feel bad about it but there is actual dust to be dealt with in my house (most of it is Vesper fuzz) and “update blog” keeps slipping down the to-do list and now here it is September again so I’ve collected a bunch of little things and links and wonders to put here.

The Starless Sea is now available in beautiful new paperback editions in both the US and the UK. Translated editions are beginning to appear in German and Slovak and Spanish and French (I don’t have a copy of the beautiful Italian edition yet) and there are more on the way.

You can get The Starless Sea in hardcover or paperback from bookshop.org & help support indie bookstores, or even better: order directly from your local indie or a far-flung indie, many independent bookstores will ship & stores that I went to on tour back when I still wore shoes and left my house may still have signed copies.

You can still order signed and personalized books from The Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, Massachusetts. (Personalized ones will take awhile but they usually have signed copies in stock.)

There’s a list of some of my favorite story-heavy video games over on Penguin UK. (I have been playing a lot of Ghost of Tsushima lately. It has great story structure and also slaughtering Mongols is very therapeutic.)

Paul Semel interviewed me recently about The Starless Sea and also Vesper.

The official playlist for The Starless Sea can be found with explanations for each song choice over here via Largehearted Boy. I went through a lot of different versions through the years it took to write but this is the definitive one.

Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi comes out on September 15th and it is a treasure.

Some circusy things as we roll into autumn, which is, of course, circus season:

Le Cirque des Rêves candles are back at Frostbeard Studio

If you are looking for official Night Circus merchandise there are fantastic collections at both Storiarts and Out of Print

The Night Circus will be 10 years old when autumn rolls around in 2021.

I have no concept of time anymore. There are crows in the yard, too scattered to count, and the air is starting to get that crispness around the edges. The leaves are thinking about falling.

I’m working on something and I’ll need to lock myself away with it soon so I can listen to it whisper. It is currently bits and pieces and cherry blossoms and secret histories and closed doors and lost time. Eventually it will be a book, someday far, far in the future.

I will likely be away from the internet for most of the autumn/winter with occasional photos on Instagram or Vesper’s Instagram or both. Probably both. I will be mostly away from Twitter but if there is anything worth mentioning I will mention it there.

At some point in the foreseeable future this entire website will need a proper dusting and update so it might disappear for a bit and reappear again a short time later, like magic.

It feels like it’s been forever and a day but The Starless Sea came out less than a year ago. Thank you for supporting this book in this long, strange year. Thank you for sharing this story about stories. Thank you for sailing the Starless Sea.

May you always find that which you seek.

home again, home again

This is what book tour looked like, constantly forgetting to take photos of books and people and holiday decorations and only remembering to snap occasional mirror selfies while waiting for elevators or sometimes in the elevators if the elevators had mirrors in them.

Thank you to everyone who came out to events, especially those in inclement weather and the ones I coughed through because of course I have a head cold. Now I am behind on everything and home is made of naps and snow.

Thank you to everyone who has sailed The Starless Sea already and to all of you who might embark on journeys there in the future. (Many of the bookstores I have visited recently have signed copies in-store for your holiday shopping needs.)

I will be out & about again in January for another stretch of US events, everything on the schedule is listed on the events page. There will not be any other events for the foreseeable future, I am only one person and I am tired and I miss my cat and my husband when I’m away from home so much and I would like to write another book someday. Thank you for understanding.

Some things that I have talked about on tour, with links!

The perfume company I often mention when talking about scent & descriptions is Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

Most of my jewelry is from Blood Milk Jewels

The program I write with is called Scrivener

Lady Vesper Victoria Sparkles Motorboat Morgenstern-Scott is on Instagram

And the toasted-marshmallow-tasting honey Chuck Wendig & I discussed at the Strand is called Meadowfoam. Bee Raw has a lovely one, as does Asheville Bee Charmer.

Traditional New Year’s Eve post of year-end favorites forthcoming. I hope your holiday season is both merry & bright. A gift for you: Kat’s cinnamon sour cream cookies mentioned in The Starless Sea are, of course, my mom’s cinnamon sour cream cookies. She kindly said I could share the recipe:

Cinnamon Sour Cream Cookies

1 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
Topping: 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 cup sugar

In an electric mixer, cream butter & sugar, then add eggs & mix well.
Stir in sour cream & vanilla.
Combine flour, salt, baking powder & baking soda.
Gradually add flour mixture to batter. Beat well.

Drop by spoonful onto greased or sprayed cookie sheets.
Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar topping.

Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.
Bottoms should be light golden brown. Do not over bake.

Note: Cookies will look light and slightly underdone on top. Recipe works best using cookie sheets that are not insulated.

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.

More information is available over here on their website.

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.

There is an article about THE STARLESS SEA over on Publishers Weekly and it has the most delightful headline.

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.”

Dusting off the blog to show off Doubleday‘s beautiful cover for the US edition of THE STARLESS SEA. Art by Dan Funderburgh, design by John Fontana.

Many more things to follow, more covers, more keys. Will post here & elsewhere when they’re shareable.

In the meantime I’ve added a page for THE STARLESS SEA over here where you can find pre-order information!

The snow has melted and the flowers are starting to tentatively appear outside. Lots of newness around here. I haven’t seen any bees yet but I know they’re coming.