I don't really have any news to impart at the moment, but I turned 40 today, so I hope you'll forgive me if I use this platform to get a little sentimental. If sentiment isn't something you go in for (and trust me, I completely understand), you may just want to hit Archive on this one.
I'm not doing anything particularly spectacular for my fortieth birthday. While I'm certainly not adverse to receiving presents, I don't generally dwell too much on age or birthdays. So I didn't think one way or the other about it until people started asking me if I was doing something special for my fortieth. It's a landmark year, after all. I remember when my parents turned forty. There were lots of gag gifts like black balloons and gravestone cards. Generally, the sentiment was that the best years of your life were over and now it was time to face the slow but inevitable decline into dreaded "old age".
To be honest, that summary of forty doesn't resonate with me at all. If anything, I feel like I've only just begun. I still have (most of) my hair. I'm in probably the best physical shape of my life. It's true that I hoped I'd be more stable in my career by this point. But my anxiety is offset by the hard-earned self-confidence I gained in my thirties, which tells me that even if everything goes to hell, I'll find a way to get through it. And that's not foolish bluster. It's based on experience. Things have gone to hell for me at several points in my life already, and I got through it each time. And really, I was only just finally able to write full time less than two years ago! Now, I'll be the first to admit, I could be deluding myself terribly. But my gut feeling is that my life is still on the upswing. And until I see evidence to the contrary, I'm going to run with that.
As I said, I have no writing news. Still working away at Book 3 in the Empire of Storms trilogy, which still doesn't have a title, or an editor for that matter. In a previous newsletter, I wrote about What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami and how it compares writing novels to long distance running. That's never been more true for me than with this book. There is a lot to tackle in it, if I'm going to draw this trilogy to a close. I can't think of the end of the race. I can't get impatient. I can only work on the scene in front of me, then move on to the one after that. It's slow going. I'm kind of known for being a fast writer, so initially that was frustrating. But this book is teaching me patience with myself and with the work. And, I suppose, with my life and career as well.
Oh! There is one small news item that may interest you. My UK editor told me that the audiobook for Hope and Red will be part of Amazon's Daily Deals on 9/24, costing only £2.99, which is a just under $4 US. Anyone who's ever bought an audiobook knows this is crazy cheap. I'm not sure if this is available for folks outside the UK, but if you've ever wanted not only to read Hope and Red, but to have it read to you by me, this is an amazing deal. So set yourself a reminder to check it out this Saturday:
I've temporarily put aside research to get ready for Capclave, which is the local convention for SF&F here in the greater DC area. One of the guests of honor is Sarah Beth Durst, and I've been given the pleasure of roasting--I mean interviewing her. So right now I'm gorging myself on her books. I just finished her YA novel Drink, Slay, Love, which is possibly the most delightfully subversive vampire book I've ever read, pitting those age old enemies against each other: vampires vs. unicorns. And now I'm reading her new fantasy novel for grownups, The Queen of Blood, which is the first book in her Queens of Renthia trilogy.
Sarah and I know each other pretty well, so this interview is going to be a lot of fun. If you're in the greater DC area, consider coming to Capclave Oct 7-9. It's not free, but compared to a lot of other cons, it's pretty cheap. Fran Wilde will also be there, and Tim Powers, one of my writing heroes! Plus of course me!
My current jam is "No Woman" by Whitney. It's weird and quirky and dreamy and catchy. Give it a listen:
And that's it for now. We've got our first Shut Up & Write of the at the Central Arlington Library tonight at 7pm. This one is free, and I'll be talking to YA authors Hanna Barnaby and Kristen-Paige Maldonia. If you're local, stop by!