Spring continues to hold on with uncharacteristic tenacity in the Mid-Atlantic region. I feel bad for some of my friends who find the wet, chilly weather depressing. But personally, I'm happy to put off the swampy miasma of DC summers for as long as possible.
I did something new and a little frightening yesterday. I said "no" to a potential project. Turning down even possible income is a little scary for someone new to working for themselves. And it wasn't even that I disliked the project. I just didn't love it as much as the other projects I'm already working on, and it's getting to the point where in order to take on a new project, I would have to put another one on hold. So after discussing it with my agent, I decided I'd let this one go by. It wasn't a liberating or thrilling feeling. In fact, it was a little sad to accept that I can't do ALL THE THINGS. And it was a bit nerve-wracking to let go of some potential income.
Fortunately, my foreign rights agent just accepted an offer from SF&F publisher Bragelonne to publish the Empire of Storms trilogy in France! Yay money! And for those keeping score, that brings us up to 9 foreign rights contracts!
My agent also tells me that early reviews for Hope and Red on Goodreads are extremely enthusiastic. Honestly, I can't even think about checking Goodreads without getting queasy, but I'm glad to hear it looks good. Comments on Amazon, Goodreads, etc, are tremendously helpful. So if you ever have the inclination to leave positive feedback about a book (mine or someone else's) on one of those sites, it really does help out.
If you missed it last week, or are new to subscribe, here are the links to free PDF downloads for the first three chapters of Hope and Red. I'll probably post chapter four next week.
By the way! Anyone in the Maryland/DC/Virgina area, mark your calendars! We are having a launch party for Hope and Red on June 28th at 7pm at One More Page Books in Arlington, VA. There will be chocolate and a free wine tasting. The more you taste, the more enjoyable my reading will be! Please come! I really can't drink all that wine on my own. I mean, I could, but it would be a bad idea. So if at all able, come rescue me from that bad idea!
I would also be remiss if I didn't mention that today is the official release date for Summer Days and Summer Nights , a YA romance anthology edited by Stephanie Perkins that includes one of my short stories. Four starred reviews, an all-star author list (plus me), and a stellar editor. It has a wide range of styles and genres, so pretty much anyone who doesn't hate love stories will find something in there for them.
It's not a book, or even a comic, but I wanted to draw your attention to this fascinating article called Immortality Begins at Forty, by Venkatesh Rao, about the power shifts in society from Baby Boomers to Gen X & Y to Millennials. Here's an excerpt:
There is an obvious question that everybody should ask but nobody does: how would you know if you were immortal?
It is not enough to merely go through one or more death experiences, miraculously surviving each one. By virtue of living in 2016, you’ve probably already sailed through many infections and diseases that would have killed you a few hundred years ago. You’ve probably also committed what would have been capital crimes in ages past.
No, you begin to experience immortality the first time you recognize the transience of experiences you thought were permanent, and more subtly, the permanence of experiences you hoped were transient.
This recognition generally ruins culture for you, since culture is built around the game of a meaningful search for eternal truths, timeless values and changeless habits of prowess. And, it goes without saying, transcendence of the unpleasantly transient.
Time, of course, is the merciless slaughterer of all these infinitely qualified anchors of the meaning of life. Wait long enough, and every truth will crumble. Wait long enough, and every value will dissolve into moral ambiguity. Wait long enough, and every habit will decay, first into ritual, then into farce. Wait long enough, and every slain demon will rise again.
And then you will be free. Something almost nobody wants, but almost everyone is forced to endure past 40.
Unless you have kids, in which case you may be eligible for an extension.
This is toward the beginning of the article. It goes on from there. It's very smart and quite funny. Also, I'm turning forty in September, so for me it's a bit prescient as well.
Also not quite my usual, instead of recommending a new song or album, I thought I'd mention Radio Etiopia, a music podcast that has zero DJ chatter and brings together some of the coolest, chillest, most haunting sounds I've ever heard. Anything from cutting edge contemporary to as far back as the 70's (I've heard one or two obscure Pink Floyd tracks on there). Most of it is instrumental, which makes it ideal for me to write to. And best of all, it's completely free. So check it out. Go to the link above, or search for it in iTunes or your podcast manager of choice.
I'll be at the Gaithersburg Book Festival this Saturday, moderating a panel on World Building and Fantasy in Young Adult literature. The panel starts at 1:15. Come say "hi" if you're in the area.
Until next week,