Hello, everyone. I’m back from my Irish road trip. Those of you who follow me on social media probably caught at least some of the onslaught of pictures I posted. I met my friend Darren, who’s been living in London for the last two years, in Dublin. Naturally, we went to the Guinness Storehouse, among other things. Then we rented a car, drove out to the west coast, and made our way slowly down over the course of several days, stopping frequently, until we reached the Skelligs, which some of you might know as that remote island chain where Rey finds Luke Skywalker at the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The weather was freakishly perfect for almost the entire trip, and the only regret I have is that I didn’t take pictures of all the warm, friendly, and fascinating people we met along the way (also, there was that time I almost accidentally started a bar fight in Dublin, but I don’t actually regret that).
Anyway, here’s a picture of me contemplating life or something while looking out over the Cliffs of Moher.
First of all, I’m pleased to say that the discounts for Hope and Red have been doing what my publisher wanted, and the numbers are definitely improving. Nobody’s making any promises yet, but it sounds like if these numbers continue, we might be able to start talking about another trilogy set in the same world, and that would be very exciting indeed.
I’m also thrilled to tell you that Hope and Red has been nominated for a UK award called the Gemmells. Anybody can vote, even if they don’t live in the UK. So please go vote!http://www.gemmellawards.com/award-voting-2017/
Also, if you have purchased a copy of Hope and Red (thank you!), please consider taking a moment to rate and review it on Amazon, BN.com, or wherever you bought it. My editor has made it crystal clear to me that those ratings and reviews have a tremendous impact on sales, and therefore additional acquisitions. So if you liked the book and would like to see more from Hope, Red, Brigga Lin, Jilly, et all beyond the initial trilogy, this is the best way you can help make that happen without spending any more money. And of course, consider buying book 2, Bane and Shadow. The US/UK/AU edition is out now, and I think the Spanish edition will be out soon, with others to follow as they’re ready.
Right before my Irish road trip, I turned in revisions for book 3, Blood and Tempest, and my editor was so pleased with them, she immediately sent it off to copyedits. Once I get those back, I have the ability to make minor tweaks, but the larger story is pretty much set now. That means I’m in the final stretch on completing my first trilogy! Whew!
Oh, and here is the cover for the Chinese edition of Hope and Red. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure how it relates to the actual book, but it’s so damn cool, I don’t even care.
I’ve been reading a lot for research lately on a secret project lately, which I’ll likely share at some point, but at the moment I’m taking a break from that to re-read American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I haven’t read it since it first came out, and I thought with the new TV adaptation coming to Starz, this would be an excellent time to return to one of my all time favorite books. I did see the first episode of the TV show, and it was great. I was especially pleased to see an old classmate of mine, Pablo Schreiber, absolutely killing it as Mad Sweeney. He and I did some shows back in college together, and he’s just such a lovely guy and deserves all the success coming to him, and more.
I’ll be subscribing to Starz at least through the end of this show, for sure. But there is something about the mood of the book that I don’t think any adaptation, no matter how skillful, could hope to capture. Bleak and sad, yet beautiful, funny, and full of wonder. The prose is performing its own sort of magic here. This is Gaiman in top form, and re-reading it feels like a master class in how fantasy can both sweep you away to another world and yet show you so much about your own world that you never noticed. This is a great book to recommend to people who don’t normally read fantasy. It might even serve as a gateway of sorts, creating more fantasy readers, which of course is exactly what we want.
Two great albums recently came out and I was struggling to chose between them. Ultimately, I decided that I might as well recommend both, since they’re both female-led, smart, catchy pop punk, and have a lot in common.
Diet Cig put out an EP called Over Easy a couple years ago that I was completely obsessed with, so I’ve been looking forward to their first full length album, Swear I’m Good At This, with a great deal of anticipation. And I was not disappointed.
"Barf Day" by Diet Cig
Charly Bliss is a band that’s had a few singles and one EP out, but I totally missed out on them until I recently heard the single off their new LP, Guppy. Now I’m going back and soaking my brain in as much Charly Bliss as I can find. They’re just as smart and catchy as Diet Cig, but lead singer Eva Hendricks has a raggedness to her voice that takes me back to my first true rock and roll crush, Kim Deal of the Pixies. Gah. I’m in love…
"Percolator" by Charly Bliss
Anyway, I hope you’re all doing well, or at least being kind to yourselves, even if, like me, you don’t totally deserve it. I think soon I'll be able to share the cover for Blood and Tempest, and perhaps some other things as well. Until next time, be well.