Yeah, it’s been forever since I’ve blogged. I’m finding Twitter and Facebook to be so much more convenient, you know?
So, brief writing updates:
1. A short HELL story, “A Chance In Hell,” will be in the anthology CARNIEPUNK, coming this August! This one’s a lot of fun. The story stands alone, and it’s a bridge between the HELL ON EARTH series (and if you haven’t read the last book, HELL TO PAY, it’s now available as an e-book for 99 cents — worldwide! Rah!) and the new series, PIT & PARADISE, which I really, really, really will write. My goal for 2013 is to write the first book, BEFORE THE FALL, and since I’m planning on e-pubbing it, it should be available this year as well. It’s on my to-do list, really! CARNIEPUNK is awesome for many other reasons – namely, Rachel Caine, Kevin Hearne, Rob Thurman, Jennifer Estep and so many other authors, many of whom are from the League of Reluctant Adults! I’m sure this anthology will have something for everyone — as long as you’re into warped carnies. 🙂
2. A short story, “Thirst,” will be in the anthology VERY SUPERSTITIOUS: MYTHS, LEGENDS AND TALES OF SUPERSTITION, coming this October! (Sorry, no cover image yet, and not yet available for pre-order.) This is a story set in the Riders of the Apocalypse universe (so it’s under my YA name, Jackie Morse Kessler), and it’s a Famine story. While I won’t tell you which myth/legend/tale I am revisiting in the story, I will say that I mention it in one of the Riders books. 🙂 This is a charity anthology for SPCA International, and the book will include stories from a number of awesome authors, including Shannon Delany and Mari Mancusi! I’ll be signing copies at BEA this year, so I hope to see you there!
3. My YA novel BREATH will hit the shelves on April 16, 2013! Yes, I know, some places are still saying June 2013. Don’t believe the hype. Mid-April, the book will be available. This one’s the biggie: It’s the fourth, and final, book in the Riders of the Apocalypse series, and it’s Death’s story. It’s also the story of Xander Atwood, a boy with a secret. The book answers…well, all the big questions in the series. All of the Riders are in it. I really love this short description at the Book Depository:
In the fourth and final volume of the Riders of Apocalypse series, high school senior Xander Atwood has a secret. Death, the Pale Rider, has lost his way. What happens when the two meet will change the fate of the world.
There’s a longer description, too, which is available via Amazon, B&N, Book Depository, Indie Bound…you know, everyone. 🙂
Also, I’m working on making posters for this book, as well as a composite poster of all four covers. I will have them available for RT — where I will be signing copies of BREATH! While I’m not looking forward to flying — apparently, my knee is uber sensitive to changes in pressure, ugh — I can hardly wait to be at RT and see so many friends. Hope you’ll be there!
4. I have an announcement. But I can’t announce it just yet!!! I know, obnoxious, right? 🙂 Stay tuned.
Where In The World Is Jackie Kessler?
She’s at home, sick. Alas. But thanks to tons of ginger tea, with honey, and homemade chicken soup a la Loving Husband, I’m on the mend. Huzzah and all that.
So I’ve been working on the LOSS page proofs — sending them back to my editor tomorrow, yay! — and starting to sketch out ideas for BREATH. And I’ve been working on a sekrit project that I’ll have to set aside to truly concentrate on BREATH, but I’m hopeful that will be done before the end of the year. BREATH is due to my editor in March. Expect me to be a neurotic mess for the first quarter of 2012. Just sayin’.
This, unfortunately, means BEFORE THE FALL — the first book in Pit and Paradise — has been pushed back. I’m looking forward to writing Hell 2.0, I truly am. Luckily, Jezebel and Daunuan are extremely patient. Well, more accurately, they’re good at waiting. They’re damned impatient, but they’re good sports. Um, evil sports. Oh, you know what I mean.
So Albacon 2011 has been canceled, alas. But I’ll be doing a breakout session at ALAN in Chicago in November, and there may be a panel/signing there too. More to follow.
So hey, check it out: I’m going to be the Writer Guest of Honor at Albacon this year, October 21 – 23, 2011. Rah! It’s right here in Albany, NY, which is, like, so close to New York City (on a map) that it’s practically kissing the Upper East Side.
What is Albacon, you ask? It’s a local fan-run SF/F convention that celebrates science fiction and fantasy books, flicks and TV. But hey, it’s not just epic fantasy and space opera; it’s urban fantasy and paranormal romance and military SF and horror and almost any sub (and sub-sub) genre in the SF/F field. It celebrates fiction for adults and fiction for teens. There are panels and workshops and vendor booths galore. There are banquets and costumes and (rumor has it) a keynote from yours truly.
Albacon is very laid back. It’s a fun, low-pressure sort of convention, run and attended by terrific SF/F fans and authors who love the genre. And hey – there’s a bar. Woot!
Programming is being finalized, but I’m crossing my fingers that there will be:
– A panel on the worlds of Joss Whedon. And that’s not just because I wrote a short comic set in the Buffyverse! Give me Firefly. And Doctor Horrible. (Dollhouse? Erm.) And yeah, Buffy and Angel and the Scoobies.
– A favorite monsters panel, be it vampires, werewolves, zombies, ghosts, or something completely different. Me? I’d vote for demons. Some people might say “Death,” but any character that looks like Kurt Cobain just can’t be a monster, sorry.
– A writing-focused day of workshops that cover a broad array of topics (OMG, I’ve lapsed into Business Speak!), including queries, the changing author/agent relationship, the realities of e-SP (electronic self-publishing), spicing up nooky scenes, choreographing an action scene…really, my hope for this sort of thing is almost endless.
– Hey, if I’m fantasizing, I also hope that Matt Damon will be there. And Nathan Fillion. And Neil Gaiman.
And hey, I mentioned there’s a bar, right? (That part’s not a fantasy. That’s a fact. Bars at SF/F are mandatory.)
Registration is cheap, the authors and fans are awesome, and hey, you need something to do in October. Come to the thriving metropolis of Albany, NY, and hang your hat at Albacon.
From the mouths of babes
From the You Can’t Make This Up files:
Over dinner, Tax Deduction the Elder told us how his friend’s baby sister has finally started talking.
“Do you know what her first word was?” he asked.
“What?” asked Loving Husband and I.
” ‘Shit.’ ”
Loving Husband and I try not to laugh, but to no avail.
“Why are you laughing?” asks Tax Deduction the Elder.
Tax Deduction the Younger pipes up, “Because ‘shit’ is a bad word.”
And that’s when Loving Husband and I lose it completely.
Kevin Hearne’s The Iron Druid series
There are so many fabulous books out there, by so many fabulous authors. But one that I have to make special mention of is Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid series. Kevin is part of the League of Reluctant Adults with me, but that’s not why I’m pimping him. Well, okay, only partially why. The main reason is because I read his first novel, HOUNDED, a few weeks ago, and I absolutely inhaled it.
First, there’s the cover.
Now, I know that authors have very little say over their covers — God, do I know this — but Kevin absolutely lucked out, or maybe he made the appropriate sacrifice to the right cover god, because this is a hell of a cover. First, there’s a guy on it who A) is dressed, B) is hot and C) has a sword that’s not a convenient crotch metaphor. That’s because Atticus, the protagonist, isn’t just some beefcake whose job it is to make some heroine A) swoon, B) discover her own latent magical power, or C) pregnant. Not that there’s anything wrong with any of those things — actually, there’s a heck of a lot RIGHT about those things, yowza — but it’s so terrific having a hero who’s exactly that: a hero.
Okay, so I sort of segued into the content. In a nutshell: I loved HOUNDED. Loved, loved, loved. Loved on the scale of chocolate and Matt Damon, and Matt Damon in chocolate. Loved to the point that I started imagining writing fanfic about Atticus. Seriously. Loved. This. Book.
Why? Well, Atticus is an incredible narrator — he’s smart and witty and humorous and serious and clever and powerful. I’m gushing, but it’s well-deserved gush. He can perform magic and wield a sword and deliver a quip and hold his own with gods. And it’s all organic; none of it feels forced. Just as important, Atticus isn’t perfect. Oh, no, definitely not. He makes his share of mistakes, and he’s got one hell of an Achilles heel (even though that’s not the body part in question). Tied into that, the writing is a pleasure to read. The pace is tight, the plot is solid, and the story is engrossing.
So…yeah. Loved it. 🙂
And today, the second book in the series, HEXED, hits the shelves.
It’s another fabulous cover. And I’m sure it will be another fabulous book.