An apocalypse novel that’s more love letter than death wish. The pandemic’s depiction is chilling, and the visions of life before and after are vivid and heartrending. I loved how the story jumped from hints of disaster to global ruin in a quick thirty pages, then alternated back and forth, allowing the past and future to coexist, just as they coexisted in the minds of the survivors. Nostalgic quiet hangs over everything. It made me want to hang onto things more, and made me feel better about letting things go. Sad, wonderful book.
Writing: A scattered week, but I made some decent headway — enough so that I don’t feel stressed today.
Nature: Waiting for the wet yard leaves to sun-dry so I can mulch them with the lawnmower.
Personal: I drank a glass of imperial pumpkin stout, and it tasted like pumpkin pie with a graham cracker crust, and nutmeg, and vanilla, and hints of chocolate, and some kind of holiday cookie with cream, all melted together into a beer, and it was just too much and I really wouldn’t recommend it.
To my dear Rabid Fans with literary froth dripping from your lovely, pearly white fangs:
In an effort to better engage with you all in the buildup to BELL WEATHER’s release, I’m upping my social media game and hope you’ll join me.
I have a new official Facebook page. Please hop over and click “Like”.
My Twitter account is getting more active, and you can follow me at @Giganticide.
And please consider adding BELL WEATHER to your “To-Read” list at Goodreads.
Your continued Voracious Support is most appreciated.
Here’s the gorgeous cover for my novel BELL WEATHER, coming July 7, 2015 from Henry Holt.
I spent the week copyediting BELL WEATHER and I’m almost done. Once I mail the manuscript back on Monday, I’ll begin plotting the sequel.
BW is the first novel I ever carefully plotted. I did something called The Scheherazade Experiment and the process worked beautifully for me. The story felt more organic than one without a plot; why not take more chances, and follow more instincts and blind alleys, when it’s only a mess of notes? When I began the actual writing, I was able to focus on the language and storytelling techniques more than on the plot.
But the plotting phase is intensive. I’ll be working out a high-level outline, a brief summary of each chapter, and then a detailed description of each chapter — so detailed that the notes are virtually a first draft. It’ll take all fall, maybe longer.
Other news: Holt commissioned my dear friend Melissa to draw the two maps that will be included with the book, and she’s doing marvelous work. I also signed off on the final cover design. It’s gorgeous. I’m not allowed to share it until November, but here’s a 50×50-pixel sample:
The copyeditor of my next novel, BELL WEATHER, listed all of the book’s proper nouns and invented words as a reference guide for future proofreading. Here’s one-tenth of them:
- Bell, Molly
- bird crabs
- Bread Riot Massacre
- craven (bird)
- deadfall (season)
- Dick’s Fortune
- Elkinaki (tribe)
- ember gourds
- Lumen Night
- Maimers, the
- merryweather tea
- Orange, Tom
- Pike’s Salty Herring
- Scabbard Island
- song bees
- St. Verna’s Fire
- suicide weeds
A few updates on my next novel, BELL WEATHER:
— Holt will publish the book in July 2015. The tentative date is 7/7.
— It’s more or less done. I have a copy-editing round coming up, during which I will correct lots of stupid errors I failed to catch in my own many read-throughs.
— We’re considering cover-design options. I’ll post the finalized cover here as soon as I’m able.
— My agent and editor are Men of Worth.
— I’ll begin working on the sequel this September.
For the truly compulsive hobbyist, there comes a time when a collection gathers weight — metaphysical, existential weight. It becomes as much a source of anxiety as of joy.
BELL WEATHER is officially the title of my next novel, which will be published by Holt in Summer 2015.
Here’s a description:
A young woman floats down a river in colonial Floria, a strange and vivid country in a reimagined 18th Century. Her name is Molly Bell, and her origin is unknown when she is saved from the water by Tom Orange, a surly local hero running a tavern plagued with trouble.
Molly — full of life and naturally calamitous — is powerfully drawn to Tom, who keeps her close but keeps his distance. As Molly makes her way in the isolated town of Root, fragments of her past come to light against her will. A desperate voyage overseas with threatening storms and shipmates. A genius brother, grim but loving, now mysteriously absent. Echoes of a tragedy she hasn’t fully escaped.
As perils intertwine and secrets are revealed, danger menaces the tavern Molly and Tom call home: supernatural weather, forest thieves who steal people’s limbs, and a growing number of enemies who will force them to decide between surviving on their own or risking everything together.
Follow me here at the blog or on Twitter (@Giganticide) for future updates.