Interviewed by SF Signal

I was recently interviewed by SF Signal, a Hugo award winning magazine. It was a fun interview, which you can probably tell from the length. The interviewer, Carl, was great and I’m proud to say he was rather taken with The Forgotten. He and I talk about how I got published, and some deeper points to my novels you might not know. It’s definitely worth checking out. While you’re there, browse around, you don’t win Hugo awards for having a mediocre magazine. Among other things, you can read some of the other interviews Carl has done

[GUEST INTERVIEW] Bishop O’Connell (AN AMERICAN FAERIE TALE) on Compelling Characters, Publishing and (of Course) Faerie Tales

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.

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.

Read an Excerpt of The Forgotten

The Forgotten - ExtraSmall

So it turns out you can read a portion of The Forgotten online, for free no less! What a remarkable world we live in. However, there were some problems with it so while it’s being worked on, I’m posting the first three chapters here, just for you my dear readers. Enjoy, but I make no apologies for a sudden compulsion to run out and buy the book to find out what happens next.

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3

 

Available on ebook here:
HarperCollins
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Google Play
iTunes

Or in paperback
HarperCollins
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Indiebound

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.

Thoughts on Reviews, Giveaways, and My First On-Camera Interview

The Forgotten was released (in ebook) on Tuesday (to much fanfare and celebration, no doubt). Since then, a few reviews have been posted up:

Addicted to Heroines, which might be the coolest blog name I’ve come across.

Between Dreams and Reality, which is reviewed in English, but for those of you so inclined, you can read the review in French here.

The Qwillery has also posted a review, is hosting a giveaway for a book (you can choose either The Forgotten or The Stolen) and some swag. As if that wasn’t enough, The Qwillery has also posted an on-camera interview I did during New York ComicCon. It is my first such interview, and it was a lot of fun.

It might surprise some people that I link to and share reviews that aren’t full of praise or adulation, though none of the three above are bad. While it’s true I don’t see myself ever posting an outright negative review, I’m okay with reviews that say the book was good, if not great, so long as the review is honest, and I think it explains why the reviewer thought that way. It’s not an easy thing as a writer to let your child go off into the world, and harder still to find there are people who really don’t think it’s the single greatest thing ever. For the record, it is, they’re just wrong. However, I don’t get to say they’re wrong. I released the book, it belongs to the world now. I can disagree with a review, I can be genuinely sorry the reviewer didn’t enjoy it, but I can’t say they’re wrong. It’s their experience with the book, and it’s their own. I actually appreciate all reviews, truly, even the bad ones, though I obviously prefer the good ones.

Sure, I hope absolutely everyone reads and enjoys my books. But, since I’m not an idiot, I know that isn’t possible. So if someone reads my book (thanks for that first of all) and then also took the time to write a review, well it’s something I appreciate; I know how precious time can be. Even if they didn’t like the story, perhaps they’ll save someone of a like mind the time of reading it, and instead guide them to a book more to their liking. Don’t get me wrong, I want the book to sell, but why would I want someone to read it who isn’t going to enjoy it?

Reviews are a tough thing for writers, but the most important thing to remember is that the reviews aren’t for us, they’re for other readers. When a book is published, we’ve given it away to the world, and the world gets to do with it as it pleases. That’s cost of being a published author. That being said, sometimes there is something to be learned from a bad review, an area you can learn from and improve. It’s up to the writer to make the most out of every review, good or bad. If it’s just negative, well the person just didn’t like it, let it go (I know that’s much easier said than done sometimes) and move on.

All that being said: my books are truly the greatest ever, and everyone, everywhere should buy them, read them, and tell everyone they know how amazing the books are.

Attention: the preceding statement was said with tongue so firmly planted in cheek, it’s amazing the words could be understood.