So basically I woke up this morning and realized it’s April. Holy cow. Here’s where I disappeared to and what’s going on at Milford Command Central.
What’s going on: this Saturday, 4/2, I’ll be appearing as part of the 5th Annual Mt. Airy Kids’ Literary Festival in Philadelphia, at the Big Blue Marble Bookstore! The whole weekend’s lineup is wonderful, but my discussion and signing is Saturday at 3pm. I’ll be appearing with Beth Kephart, author of many, many books including the new Dangerous Neighbors.
Also, the audiobook of The Boneshaker is out in the world! At the moment, it’s unclear how you go about getting it except directly from Recorded Books (libraries and individuals can purchase the unabridged audiobook through their website) or through your library. But it’s out there. I ordered one just to make sure, and it showed right up at my front door. Also, the paperback edition of The Boneshaker comes out 5/23, and it’s available for preorder at all the usual suspects, or you can place an order with my beloved McNally Jackson Books and I’ll sign it for you before we send it out. If you can’t wait until May, McJ has copies of the hardcover.
So where have I been? Finishing the companion book to The Boneshaker, which comes out a year from now and goes by the monicker The Broken Lands.
This has been a very interesting writing process; the original idea for the book, which is a prequel, was a one-page synopsis that I thought I might turn into some kind of novella or something. Then my wonderful editor at Clarion got her hands on it and decided it ought to be longer. She was absolutely right. Still, this meant building up the vague idea for a story into a full-length draft in four months, including all the requisite research, which I had not even begun. And there was A LOT of research. I’m still doing it. Coney Island, the Civil War and Reconstruction, hoodoo, card games and card sharps, and (requiring the most reading), fireworks, alchemy, Taoism, and the Brooklyn Bridge. And other stuff, too. My husband did a lot of lecturing on certain elements of the Linux startup procedure, for instance. I’ll leave you to wonder how that factors in, since this book is set in 1877. I still have lots of work to do, but I’m really happy with how it’s going, especially since the wonderful Andrea Offermann will be returning as the illustrator.
I also got a really bad case of bronchitis THE WEEK BEFORE MY DEADLINE. Talk about crazy-making. I haven’t been so sick in a long, long time. I slept for six days. I lived on ice cream and toast and old X-files episodes, very few of which did I manage to watch straight through without snoozing. The week after my deadline, though, I attended Yonkers Montessori Academy’s Writers’ Day for the second year. I cannot tell you how wonderful these kids and their teachers are. After weeks of being frantic or sick or both, it was so nice to get to spend the day with these amazing 4th-6th graders. They were ready with wonderful, thoughtful questions and intelligent discussion, and they made me feel like a rock star.
So that’s my story. Now, back to revisions…