Your Baby is Ugly…Again

#SFWAPRO

Almost four years ago I posted to this blog for the first time. The post, Your Baby is Ugly, is about dealing with rejection. And now we come full circle. Last year I submitted a proposal to Harper for the next several books in the American Faerie Tale series (four to be exact). It also contained the first four chapters of the very next book. After several months, they rejected that proposal. I was—and still am—disappointed but I will say I wasn’t entirely surprised. The sales numbers for my books haven’t been terrible, but each book has sold progressively less than the one before. Publishing is a business and, I hope, this was a business decision. As such, I hold no ill will toward Harper or anyone there. Sure, I would’ve liked to have gotten more support in terms of marketing and/or publicity, but I also knew from the beginning I was a very small fish and there was only so many dollars to go around. It should be noted that Harper has said they would be happy to look at anything new I might have. So what does this mean?

Well if you’ve read that first post, and several others, you know I’m sure as hell not giving up!

In the short term, however the series is done. I could finish the next book and self-publish it, but I’m not ready to go that path yet. It would be the fifth book in a series and I think would be more about my vanity than my readers. Besides, I would rather devote my limited time toward something new.

And that’s exactly what I’ve done. As I write this post I’m about 30k words into the first draft and I think it’s pretty damned good, if I do say so myself. No, I won’t tell you the title or what it’s about. I’d rather wait until it’s at least close to finished, or has a publisher ready to put it out. I will say it continues my habit of genre bending, and I don’t recall seeing anything like it before. That could be good or bad, we’ll see.

I’ve also started writing some more short fiction. It hasn’t been picked up anywhere, I think I’m better at long fiction, but you only get better with time and practice. So I’m going to keep trying. I’m considering posting the things that don’t sell on here. What do you think? Post in the comments if you have a thought one way or the other. I also have one manuscript finished, Luna and the Star, and I’m going to see about shopping it around while I finish my current work in progress. It might be my first self-published work, but I haven’t decided. Stay tuned for more.

Without any new books coming out, obviously I won’t have as many appearances, but that doesn’t meet I won’t have any. I’ll be attending RavenCon (April 28th-30th) so if you’re going to be there, stop by and say hi. I’ll also be attending the Nebula awards, and will even be on some panels this year.

In the long term, my goals are still the same. Rejection is part of life, and especially part of being an author. I’m still working towards living on my writing, and I’m not about to stop. The only way I’m going to fail is if I stop trying, and I’m not going to do that. If you’ve read the books, I offer my sincerest thanks. If you haven’t, well they’re still out there and still worth reading.

Meet Wraith and How to Get Something Cool

I am not a skilled artist. By that I mean that my talents do not lay in painting, drawing, or the like. In fact, I’m pretty terrible. To me, people who can sit down and create a visual image are like wizards, especially the really gifted artists. I’m a writer, and I think a good one, but my ability to draw rests in words. But I’m a visual person and long to see my characters come to life visually. And so I hired an artist (Cindy Diamond, who is also a writer) I met when I was at CondorCon last year to do some character portraits for me. I shared the results here. I think she did a great job, but for The Forgotten I decided to hire a professional artist. As I’ve grown increasingly fond of Wraith as a character, I settled on her to be the subject. Kirbi Fagan is incredibly talented, and I found her through a friend who handles the art acquisitions for Lightspeed Magazine. I shared my thoughts on Wraith, gave some basics of her physical description, and left it to Kirbi to do her magic. She did not disappoint.

Wraith-Hi-Res

I think this captures both Wraith’s energy, and her weariness. I could tell you that Wraith is a homeless teen who uses quantum theory to create magic, but with this picture, I don’t think I have to. Awesomeness achieved.

But wait, there’s more! I’ve used the hi-res version of this image to create some exclusive post cards (the reverse side of which is a secret). So how do you get one of these super cool, ultra awesome cards? Well the first way is to find me at one of the conventions I’ll be attending this year. But fear not. If you can’t make it to a convention, or I won’t be going to one near you, you can still get one. All you have to do is buy any of my books from The Fountain Bookstore. If you can’t make it into the shop, they’ll ship anywhere in the world.

But wait, I hear you say. A signed book and an exclusive postcard of Wraith? This seems to good to be true!

Rest assured, it isn’t! But like all good things, this won’t last forever. When the cards run out, they’re done and I won’t be making anymore. That is not to say there won’t be future cards featuring other characters, but not this card. Act now and be the envy of everyone you know!

Signing/Reading with Harry Heckel!

Do you live in the Richmond Virginia area? If not, do you have access to transportation? Then you have no excuse not to be at The Fountain Bookstore this Tuesday at 4pm. I’ll be there with Harry Heckel (half of the infamous Jack Heckel). We’ll be signing books, maybe doing readings, and talking with the audience. Stop in, say hi, get books signed! I’ll even sign other author’s books! Seriously, I don’t care! Give me a pen and put a book in front of me!

For those of you who do not have access to transportation, and don’t live in the Richmond VA area, you can order signed copies of any of my books (and preorder Three Promises in paperback which will net you an EXCLUSIVE gift, did I mention it was exclusive?) and I’ll sign them and personalize them, if you wish. Just call into the store and they’ll take care of it for you. They’re very cool that way. So now you have no more excuses. Books make awesome gifts, and nothing says “insert appropriate message here” like a signed copy of The Stolen, The Forgotten, and/or (really just and) Three Promises, as well as a signed copy of Fairytale Ending (Jack Heckel). Yes, I know he misspelled “Fairy” but he’s a decent guy (or guys really) so I’m letting it slide.

Exclusive Giveaway For Pre-Orders

On 12/8 Three Promises comes out in ebook.  It’s the third book in the American Faerie Tale series (technically book 2.5) and among other things, you’ll finally get to see what happened after the events of The Stolen. Now if this wasn’t enough, I’ve got a special treat for you. With the help of the wonderful people at The Fountain Bookstore, I’m doing a special, exclusive giveaway for pre-orders of the paperback version of Three Promises (which is released 1/5/16). If you pre-order the book from them, not only will you get the book signed (and personalized if you so choose) but you’ll also get an exclusive character drawing I commissioned. These won’t be available anywhere else, and at $4 (technically $3.99) how can you not buy it? I know what you’re saying.

“But, Bishop, I don’t live anywhere near Richmond VA. How will I get my book?”

I’m glad you asked. As it happens, The Fountain will ship the book. Anywhere. In the freaking world! Just get in touch with them (phone or email) and they’ll set you up. Be the first person in your city with a signed copy, and one of the select (and super cool) people who has the exclusive character drawing.

If you do happen to live in or around Richmond, stop by The Fountain on Black Friday, or Small Business Saturday. I’ll be there signing books. And I’ll have a special treat with me.

News, Events, and a Treat

One of the (many) things beyond your control when you get published is often when the information on your books gets released. When your publisher registers an ISBN number, it usually gets flagged on Amazon and GoodReads. If you’ve ever seen “UNTL” or something like it (I honestly can’t remember exactly, it means the book doesn’t have a title but it’s ISBN is registered. I recently saw Harper registered the ISBN for book four in the AFT series (third full novel). I had grand plans to announce the title, to great fanfare because I know you’re all waiting with bated breath. The time, it seems, is now. Book four in the American Faerie Tale series will be….

The Returned

*release confetti and balloons*

So, there you have it. You’ll just have to wait to hear what it’s about. However, I’ll say that like the previous books, this one takes place in a new city. This time, it’s New Orleans. Let your imaginations run wild!


This is also a good time to say my events/appearances page has been updated. I’m delighted to say I’ll be at Emerald City Comic Con (ECCC) in Seattle WA. This is exciting since The Forgotten was set there. I might even stop by and say hi to Freemont while I’m there (read the book).

I’m also excited to have been invited to attend RavenCon in Williamsburg VA along with my friend and fellow Harper author, Harry Heckel (one half of the notorious Jack Heckel).

I don’t know yet what I’ll be attending at either con yet, they are a ways off still, but when I do I’ll update the page accordingly. So, if you’re in or around Seattle or Williamsburg, stop by and say hi. I promise I’ll be entertaining.


 

Lastly, in honor of Halloween, I’ve decided to share a treat with my readers. When I was at CondorCon, there was an author/artist working a booth near the bookseller I had camped at with. I ended up commissioning her, Cindy Diamond, to do character portraits for the main cast of The Stolen. I think she did a great job. For me, it’s how the characters would look in an animated movie of the book, along the lines of: The Secret of Nimh, Watership Down, etc.

Caitlin_SmallFiona_SmallEdward_SmallBrendan_SmallDante_Small

Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) 2015

As you might’ve heard via: Twitter, Facebook, this blog, word of mouth, or my sky writing campaign, I was at the Chicago Comic Con this year.

C2E2

I was invited to join in on a panel called “Out of this World!” It was a panel of science fiction authors, which made it doubly cool that I, a fantasy author, was invited to participate. The attendance hit a new record this year of 70,000, which I can only assume was because I was there. Two other Harper authors were there as well, Lexie Dunne (on my right) and Kelley Grant (on my left).Impulse

The panel was a lot of fun, with lots of audience participation. During which I got to meet Wesley Chu (who is insanely funny and a really nice guy) and Mike Shepherd (who might be the nicest man I’ve ever met). I also crossed paths with Naomi Novik again (I was on a panel with her in New York) and she even remembered me. That’s always an ego boost!

Like New York Comic Con, it was exhausting, but a lot of fun. The costumes were amazing! My personal favorite was in Attack on Titan gear, handmade no less.

Titan

Though without a doubt, the most original costume I saw was near the end.

Up

Yes, she’s the house from Up!

It was great to meet new readers, and I spent some time at the Anderson’s Bookshop table, who was supplying the books (and might still have some signed copies of both The Stolen and The Forgotten on hand). I met some readers, and even charmed a few people into buying some copies.

Charmer

But really, who could resist that face?

As was the case in New York, one of the best things about attending Cons is getting to meet authors. I got to meet Patrick Rothfuss who was incredibly gracious, and absolutely hysterical on his panel.

Rothfuss

For me though, the highlight was getting to meet one of my all time favorite authors, Jim Butcher. I admit, I geeked out a little when I found out he was going to be there. Then I found out he would be signing immediately after me, at the same table. After some reaching out of my people to his people (yes, as it turns out I do in fact have people, who knew?) I was told he would be happy to meet me between signings.

Butcher1Butcher2

We’re totally BFFs now. That was a joke, Jim.

He was incredibly down to earth, gracious, and friendly. He also accepted the signed copy of The Stolen I brought for him, with the page number noted of my nod to Harry Dresden. Like when I met John Scalzi, I was blown away by how friendly and approachable he was. He’s a bestselling author, had a TV show made out of his series (which is actually how I discovered it), and yet he took a few minutes out of what had to be an insane schedule to talk with me. Class act.

Overall, it was amazingly fun. I look forward to doing more Cons (if my editor or publicist is reading this, hint, hint), though I’m okay with them being spaced out. If you get the chance to attend, do it. Attend some panels, and if there are authors there, pick up their books and get them signed. You might not like them, sure, but you might just find a new favorite, and on behalf of us authors not quite to the level of Rothfuss, Scalzi, or Butcher, we appreciate it more than you can imagine.

What’s the Big Idea?

Those of you who have followed me for a while know I’m a fan of John Scalzi, both his books and his blog. In fact, I wrote a piece about meeting him on his book tour for Lock In which you can read here. One of the things I really admire about him is how even though he’s reached a high level of success, he helps other authors. This is done via a regular series on his blog called The Big Idea. This is where he gives time on his blog to other authors to talk about their upcoming book. Those of you with me since The Stolen was published know I got a Big Idea slot, which you can read here (my post about it is here). Well, he was kind enough to give me a slot for The Forgotten, which you can read here:

The Forgotten Big Idea

In this piece I talk about how a quote from Arthur C. Clarke inspired me to blend quantum mechanics with magic, and it’s something I’m rather proud of. I’ve always liked the idea of blending and bending genres and I think The Forgotten is more of a Science Fantasy than straight Fantasy. But I’ll leave that up to you, the reader.

And as if that isn’t good news enough for one day, the wait is finally over and The Forgotten is now available in paperback! Choose your retailer and pick up a copy.

The Forgotten - ExtraSmall

HarperCollins
Barnes & Noble
Amazon
Indiebound

As a reminder, I’ll be at C2E2 and on Sunday, the 26th I’ll be on the “Out Of This World!” panel. Stop by, check out the panel, and get a copy of The Forgotten (and The Stolen) signed! Copies will be available there.