Monday, March 19, 2012

Cover Art for The Tainted City!

Poking my head out of my writing cocoon to say: The Tainted City has cover art, woo hoo!  (Also, the book is now available for preorder at Amazon!).  The artist is the enormously talented David Palumbo, who did the art for The Whitefire Crossing.  Check it out:

Cover art for The Tainted City
I don't know about other authors, but for me it's both amazing and surreal when I first see cover art for my book.  I guess because the art is the first proof that the manuscript you've slaved so hard over is going to be a real, honest-to-gosh book sitting on the shelves...something other people will actually read.  (Whether or not that idea inspires glee or panic depends on the day!)  First all I can think is a resounding, Keanu Reeves-style Whoa.  And then all day I keep running back to the computer to peek at the art again, like it might've vanished when I wasn't looking.  (Just the other night my husband had to be all, "Quit staring at your cover art and finish writing the darn book!")  Can't wait to see what the final cover design will look like, with title and all!  And in the meantime, yes, back to finishing the story...             

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Silent Running

In one month and ten days, I must turn in The Tainted City to my editor.  This week, something I thought would be one chapter multiplied into two, which leaves me with (still!) 5 chapters to go, and not much time to write them.  I'm going to need every spare moment to do it - so, for the next month or so, no more Book Rec or Thursday Adventure posts.  I might do a few super-short "progress update" posts as I close in on the book's end, mostly for my own benefit.  I'll also still occasionally be around on twitter, since it's easy enough to fire off a 140-char tweet as I zoom past the computer in pursuit of my toddler (writing actual story prose in scattered five-second bursts sadly does not work for me).  But other than that, I'll be pretty scarce.  In the meantime, wish me luck, have a great spring, and I'll see you in late April.

Tainted City Stats:
Current manuscript length: 120,918 words.
Deleted scenes file length: 21,307 words.  (Sigh!)
Chapters left to go: 5
Number of times I've used the words "bitter," "sardonic," and "wary": far too many.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Book Rec: The Serpent Sea (Martha Wells)

Ok, so I'm kind of cheating on this book rec: I haven't yet read The Serpent Sea.  It is sitting on my Kindle, waiting to be my reward when I finish writing The Tainted City.  But oh gosh, it's so hard to wait.  The Serpent Sea's predecessor, The Cloud Roads, was one of my favorite reads last year.  Great adventure, wonderful characters, and some really fascinating worldbuilding (Wells sets the novel in a secondary world populated by a myriad of nonhuman races, all with their own cultures, appearance, and customs).  In addition, Wells does some really neat things with gender roles, and manages to make the traditional theme of "loner finding his place in the world" feel fresh and exciting.  (Just goes to show how the power of a story lies in its execution!)  I've been salivating for The Serpent Sea ever since finishing The Cloud Roads last year - especially since I have full confidence The Serpent Sea will be an equally great read, after having loved all of Martha Wells's many previous novels.  (Besides, I've seen some very good reviews for The Serpent Sea, like this one, and this one.) 

So if I'm looking forward to the book so much, why wait?  Well, I'm not one of those people who can read new books in little bits and bobs.  Once I start, that's it...I keep right on reading until I finish.  Since I read fast, that's only a couple hours.  But right now multiple-hour chunks of time are so precious and so desperately needed for writing that I simply can't afford to give one up, not even for a book I'm anticipating with such excitement.  But!  You are probably not in the same situation.  So, if you've read The Cloud Roads, hurry up and get The Serpent Sea.  If you haven't yet read The Cloud Roads, you're in for a treat: start there, and then jump right into the sequel.  If you've any taste for adventure fantasy with great worldbuilding, you won't regret it. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Greatest Adventure

So this week's excuse for bailing on blog posts is that I've been busy organizing my son's birthday party (coming up this weekend: 18 toddlers bouncing around a gymnastics gym full of trampolines.  The energy in the room should be enough to power a small country or two, eek!).  At not-quite-3 years old, he's an old hand at the climbing gym, the skating rink, the swimming pool, and our local trails.  Sadly he's never been much of a backpack baby - too energetic to sit still for more than a few minutes! - so unlike some of our friends with young kids, we haven't been able to do serious hikes with him yet.  But soon enough, I expect he'll be outhiking me up peaks and beating me down mogul slopes.  (I'm also hoping he'll share his parents' taste for science fiction & fantasy!  We're off to a good start there, with Jane Yolen picture books and the like...)

So anyway, no official adventure post this week.  Instead, here's a few pics to prove that adventures don't have to stop once you have a kid:        

Toddlers make great climbers
Hiking near Telluride