Tomorrow's my bookday! Happy bookday!

winter long
As of tomorrow, The Winter Long will be officially available from bookstores all over North America, and from import stores all over the world. It's been spotted in the wild from California to New York, with several points between also chiming in to let me know that they've got copies. Hooray!

Since it's release week, I figured it was time to once again answer the wonderful people asking how they can help. So here are a few dos and don'ts for making this book launch awesome.

DO buy the book as soon as you can. Sales during the first week are very important—think of it as "opening weekend" for a movie—but they're not the end-all be-all. If you can get the book tomorrow, get the book; if you can get it at my book release party next month, get it at my book release party. Whatever works for you. Brick-and-mortar store purchases are best, as they encourage reordering. If you've already bought the book, consider buying the book again during release week, as a single copy might get lonely. They make great gifts!

DON'T yell at other people who haven't bought the book yet. I know, that's sort of a "why are you saying this?" statement, but I got a very sad email from a teenager who'd been yelled at for not buying A Local Habitation the week that it came out. So just be chill. Unless you want to buy books for people who don't have them, in which case, don't yell, just buy.

DO ask your local bookstore if they have it on order. If your local store is part of a large chain, such as Barnes and Noble, the odds are good that the answer will be "yes," and that they'll be more than happy to hold one for you. If your local store is small, and does not focus specifically on science fiction/fantasy, they may have been waiting to see signs of interest before placing an order. Get interested! Interest is awesome!

DON'T berate your local bookseller if they say "no." Telling people they're overlooking something awesome doesn't make them go "gosh, I see the error of my ways." It makes them go "well, I guess it can be awesome without me." Suggest. Ask if you can special-order a copy. But don't be nasty to people just because their shelves can't hold every book ever written.

DO post reviews on your blog or on Amazon.com. Reviews are fantastic! Reviews make everything better! Please, write and post a review, even if it's just "I liked it." Honestly, even if it's just "this wasn't really my thing." As long as you're being fair and reasoned in your commentary, I'm thrilled. (I like to think you won't all race right out to post one-star reviews, but if that's what you really think, I promise that I won't be mad.)

DON'T get nasty at people who post negative reviews. You are all people. You all have a right to the ball. That includes people who don't like my work. Please don't argue with negative reviewers on my behalf. It just makes everybody sad. If you really think someone's being unfair, why don't you post your own review, to present an alternate perspective? (Also, please don't email me my Amazon reviews. I don't read them, I don't want to read them, and I definitely don't want to be surprised with them. Please have mercy.)

DO feel free to get multiple copies. No, you probably don't need eight copies for your permanent collection, but remember that libraries, school libraries, and shelters are always in need of books. I'm donating a few of my author's copies to a local women's shelter, because they get a lot of women there who really need the escape. There are also people who just can't afford their own copies, and would be delighted. I wouldn't have had half the library I did as a teenager if it weren't for the kindness of the people around me.

DON'T feel obligated to get multiple copies, or nag other people to do so. Seriously, we're all on budgets, and too much aggressive press can actually turn people off on a good thing. Let people make their own choices. Have faith.

DO check with your local library to be sure they have a copy of on order. If they don't, you can fill out a library request form. Spread the paperback love!

DON'T forget that libraries need books. Many libraries, especially on the high school level, are really strapped for cash right now, and book donations are frequently tax deductible. If you have a few bucks to spare, you can improve the world on multiple levels by donating books to your local public and high school libraries.

DO suggest the book to bookstore employees who like urban fantasy. Nothing boosts sales like having people in the stores who really like a project. If your Cousin Danny (or Dani) works at a bookstore, say "Hey, why don't you give this a try?" It just might help.

DON'T rearrange bookstore displays. If the staff of my local bookstore is constantly being forced to deal with fixing the shelves after someone "helpfully" rearranged things to give their chosen favorites a better position, they're unlikely to feel well inclined toward that book—or author. It's not a good thing to piss off the bookstores. Let's just not.

So those are some things. I'm sure there are lots of other things to consider; this is, at least, a start. Finally, a few things that don't help the book, but do help the me:

Please don't expect immediate email response from me for anything short of "you promised us this interview, it runs tomorrow, where are your answers?" I normally make an effort to be a semi-competent correspondent, but with a new book on shelves, final edits due on Chimera, and Chaos Choreography in need of finishing, and me gallivanting around Europe, a lot of things are falling by the wayside. Like sleep.

Whee!
winter long
The Winter Long comes out on Tuesday, to my terror and delight, and the early reviews are beginning to filter in.

Whatchamacallit reviews has posted a review of The Winter Long, and says, "The first thing I have to say about Seanan McGuire is that her October Daye series gets better with each book. While I've liked each book, I've found that with each successive book in the series the overall series and each book got better, to the point that now when a new book in the series comes out I have to immediately go buy a copy and often finish it that day."

Also: "McGuire has done something I've seen only a precious few other authors do successfully, turn their entire world upside down. That's what The Winter Long is, it's a complete reversal from everything readers and fans of the series have known from the first book in the series. This is the turning point and while McGuire has built upon changes created from previous books in the series, she executed a perfect shift for the others leaving readers utterly unable to control their collective jaws from dropping."

Ta-da!

My Bookish Ways has posted a review of The Winter Long, and says, "Seanan McGuire mentions in her acknowledgements that this is the book that all others led up to, that everything she's done until now was for the sake of getting here. Indeed. What she manages to do is make it very clear how intricate Toby's story is, and the richness of Toby's world is a thing of genius. And don't worry, while The Winter Long clears up a TON of stuff, it’s made clear that Toby's story is far from over. This is a good thing. The Winter Long is a testament to McGuire's ability to take so many threads and pull them together into a harrowing, and believable tapestry, and it's all Toby’s own. While there's plenty of action, this is one of the most introspective books in the bunch, and of course, another great book in the Toby-verse."

Now that the reviews are out of the way, I have two requests. I promise they're small.

The first is to please remember how stressful and upsetting I find it when people put books out for sale early. The Winter Long comes out on Tuesday. While you are absolutely welcome to buy it if you find it before then, and may not have a choice (some retailers ship early), I am begging you, please don't tell me. My chances of making the New York Times list, which is still a big deal in finding out whether a series will continue, ride on that first Tuesday to Tuesday window. So if you can refrain from buying until the book is officially out, please do, and if you can't, please, for the love of the Great Pumpkin, don't tell me you got the book early.

The second is to please wait until I open the official discussion post before you begin your book discussion. I'll be in Scotland at the time, so it should be open very early indeed on the 2nd. But just in case something goes wrong, please don't start discussing here, or elsewhere on this blog. Spoilers are a big, big thing with this particular book.

It's almost here!

Flashback: And then Seanan went to PARIS.

pony
When I realized that I was going to be staying in Europe between Loncon and Eurocon (I mean, I'm staying much longer than that, as witness the fact that I am writing this entry from a kitchen table in Ireland, but that realization came later), I immediately turned to Vixy and went, "Let's go to DISNEYLAND!"

Yessssssssss.

Brooke, who is a genius of travel planning, used Air B&B to find us a glorious Parisian apartment with four bedrooms, disturbing murder art on the walls, a full kitchen, a hot tub, sauna, and steam room, and wifi, all on the ground floor, which meant I had zero obligate stairs. It was perfect. Vixy and I checked in first, on Sunday, to be followed by the rest of our party (Brooke, Amy, and the Crowells) on Monday.

Sunday was the Eurostar, followed by checking in, a wander around our temporary neighborhood, and dinner at an outdoor cafe, where I had a ham and mushroom pizza that had been very generously outfitted with ham. We showered in The Serious Shower, which I think I will dream about for the rest of my life, and planned our adventures to come. I misidentified the train station we'd need to get to Disneyland Paris. This will be important later.

Monday, we decided to take the train to Disneyland Paris and wander around the Disney Village (their equivalent of Downtown Disney) for a few hours, just to get the lay of the land. We were not going to go into Disneyland that day, and indeed, we didn't. Instead, we walked roughly a mile in the wrong direction in our attempts to find the right train station, and when we arrived, we visited all the shops. I traded pins with a bunch of cast members, who viewed my single-minded approach with amusement and bewilderment. Vixy bought things. I did not. A good time was had by all.

When we got home, our housemates were there, and we gloried in the hot tub and not being at a convention. We spend so much of our time traveling to and from cons that sometimes it's nice to just be together, without a program grid dictating what we do and when we do it. Amy was delighted that we had refrained from going into Disneyland Paris without her, meaning that her first time on the Phantom Manor would also be my first time on the Phantom Manor.

Eventually, we slept.

In preparing for this entry, I had time to give a lot of thought to the essential question of whether I wanted to do one big Paris post, or one Paris post and one Disneyland Paris post. The latter won. So here are the Paris pieces:

Tuesday, Amy, Vixy, and I went back to Disneyland Paris, following what I thought was the correct route. It was sort of very wrong, and while we got there just fine, we had a bit of a "tired people navigating places" tiff on the return journey, ending when Amy brilliantly hailed a cab.

Wednesday, Amy went off to see Paris, while Vixy and I finally went to the train station the right way, which was much, much shorter. We also returned home earlier, content and perfectly tired. Vixy and Amy went out with Brooke and the Crowells to have Fancy French Dinner; I stayed home with Simon, the Crowells' teenage son, and had Leftovers and The Internet. Everyone was happy.

Thursday, Vixy, Brooke, and the Crowells went out to a museum, while Amy and I went to the airport. The ladies at the Aer Lingus counter were pleasant, but recommended we call a wheelchair, given the size of the airport. We called a wheelchair. We waited.

And waited.

And waited.

After half an hour, we walked to our gate, since otherwise, we might have missed our flight. We were off and running for Ireland, and our French adventure was finally complete.

Flashback: And then Seanan went to Loncon.

sparrow hill
When last we left our intrepid heroes, they were arriving at the Aloft, hence to set up base camp for the convention. Hooray! Only...not so much hooray, as my bank had turned my credit card off for fraud after seeing it used at Heathrow Airport and our initial hotel. In England. Where I had told them I would be.

I called the bank and had a borderline hostile conversation, ending when they turned my card back on and I was able to check us into the hotel. Wes and I then went to pick up the wheelchair Amy had booked for me. (My walking difficulties are continuing to improve, but "improving" doesn't mean the same as "better," and we very much wanted to be sure that I would be able to walk both in Paris and at Eurocon the following week.) It turned out that, despite us having put the booking in ultra-early, there were no independent mobility (IE, "big round wheels") chairs left, and I was put into a hospital-style chair that required someone to push me. Not so awesome.

We got me checked in and were off to my first panel, on pseudonyms. While I was there, Wes took the hospital chair back to the mobility desk and got me upgraded to a mobility scooter, on account of I did not have the independent movement I had been promised and no one wanted to have to help me get to the bathrooms. Everybody wins! (Vixy and I did not have a fully handicapped-accessible room, but had decided that parking the scooter in the shower was better than, again, no independence at all.) The panel went well, and we borked off for supper with a lot of my favorite people—Mary and Simon, Talis and Pippa, Brooke and Amy and Vixy and Wes—at the Indian restaurant at the end of the walk. We ran into Wesley Chu on the way back, and a good time was had by all.

That night was I'm Sorry, I Haven't A Clue, hosted by Lee Harris, and we had a splendid time. It was me and Cat "vs." Paul and Emma, and everyone acquitted themselves handsomely. I was still struggling with the tail end of my cold, and so made plans to tap out if necessary (Heath was ready to be our stunt Seanan), but I was able to get through the whole session, and only coughed so hard I stopped breathing once. Meg was seated in the front row, and was able to interpret my pantomime and get me my cough syrup. Life was very good indeed.

Friday passed in a blur. For my reading, I did half of "We Are All Misfit Toys in the Aftermath of the Velveteen War," and followed it up with an impromptu hallway signing that lasted no shit half an hour, courtesy of my not having an actual signing. (This was not the fault of the convention; I was the one who mis-booked the train tickets.) The queue was remarkably orderly, and crowned by Hisham walking over and offering me Pokemon. I LOVE YOU HISHAM. Pokemon: the way to my heart.

Saturday's panel on girl scientists was excellent, and I basically used Amanda as my guide. "Does this piss Amanda off?" I would ask myself, and then ask the question.

My concert was splendid and the filk track organizers were brilliant when they forced me to accept the big room (I had said I would be perfectly happy with the normal filk concert space). It held three hundred people, and we near to filled it. Dead Sexy was wonderful, as always. (Dead Sexy is the version of my backing band consisting of Bill and Brenda Sutton, Amy McNally, Dr. Mary Crowell, and Michelle Dockrey.) We scrapped "What A Woman's For" at the last minute, due to concerns about my voice and our arrangement, and dropped in "Still Catch the Tide," because it's something we can do without lyric sheets or practice. Talis was in the audience.

She'd never heard us do it live before.

I made Talis cry.

It was a good night, overall, and I am very glad to have been there.

I stayed on Sunday, just long enough for my panel on fan works, and then it was off to the rail station to catch the Eurostar to Paris. Vixy and I "watched" the Hugos over Twitter from our Parisian apartment (the wireless wasn't good enough to stream), and while I was sorry not to be there, Sunil was so happy to be me that I was honestly glad to have mis-booked the train: he glows in all the pictures I've seen, and I am always happy when I can give good experiences to my friends.

Congratulations to all the winners, solidarity to all the losers (of whom I am one), and I'll see you all next year.

Next up: DISNEYLAND.
sarah
...a lot of oysters, and no pearls.

This is the shape of my 2014, with travel dates and everything. Beautiful travel dates. Hope to see you in the months to come! We are now solidly into 2015, as 2014 fades into fall and slides toward leaving. Which is terrifying in its own right, if you think about it.

Publications

"Lady Antheia's Guide to Horticultural Warfare," August 30 (Clockwork Universe).
The Winter Long, September 2.
"Midway Relics and Dying Breeds," September 24 (Tor.com).
"Snakes and Ladders," October 14 (website).
"The Fixed Stars," November 4 (Shattered Shields).
"Turn the Year Around," November 14 (Harvest Season).
Symbiont, November 25.
"Knit A Sweater Out of Sky" (print edition), November 25 (Dead But Not Forgotten).
"White As A Raven's Wing," December 9 (website).

"No Sooner Met," January 6, 2015 (website).
"Broken Paper Hearts," February 14, 2015 (website).
"The Happiest Place...," February 2015 (Wastelands 2).
Pocket Apocalypse, March 3, 2015.
"In Skeleton Leaves," April 7, 2015.

"The Moon Inside," unknown.
"Long Way Down," unknown.
"Driving Jenny Home," unknown.
"Rolling in the Deep," unknown.
"Opening Band," unknown.
"There is No Room For Sorrow in the Kingdom of the Cold," unknown.
"Best Served Cold," unknown.

Conventions/Appearances/Travel

Filk Continental, October 3-5, Hamburg Germany.
Windycon, November 14-16, Chicago IL.

ConNooga, February 27-March 1 2015, Chattanooga TN.
Eastercon: Dysprosium, April 3-5 2015, London England.
BayCon, May 22-25 2015, Santa Clara CA.
Westercon 68, July 2-5 2015, San Diego CA.
Tuscon, October 30-November 1 2015, Tuscon AZ.
Chessiecon, November 27-29 2015, Baltimore MD.

No fixed deadline/being written/unsold:

The Best Thing
"Target Practice"
"Decay"
"Fiber"
"Carry Me Home"
"Pixie Season"
"These Antique Fables"
"All the Pretty Little Horses"
"Brotherly Love"
"Split Ends"
"Sleeping Beauty"
"Frostbite"
"False Love's Kiss"
Echo
Chaos Choreography

Again, to clarify some recent confusion: some things, especially novel-length things, may appear more than once, on both the "publication date" and "being written" lists. This is because the "being written" list is an aggregate, which also includes "no fixed deadline" (IE, being written on spec or for the website) and "unsold" (IE, being written because I can). So new books will appear there for a long time before they vanish, since books take a long time to write, but may also have pub dates listed higher up.

Look at that list. It's so shiny!

Flashback: And then Seanan went to London.

average
I flew Virgin Atlantic to the UK, as is my wont: when I can stay within the Virgin family of airlines, I am a happy rabbit. I had a window seat on the Lady Penelope. I also had my housemate's cold, which he had handed off to me as a thoughtful parting gift. (Given the length of the flight, I am sure the people around me also had my housemate's cold by the time we landed. I am so sorry. I thought I was done with the cold, until we got into the air and the cabin pressure said "ha ha have some snot.") Lastly, I had Kate's old iPad, which she has kindly loaned to me for the duration of the trip. Loaded on the iPad, I had all of Leverage and all of Fringe.

I slept a little. I read a few pages of my book. I ate the airline food, which was surprisingly excellent. But most of all, I watched Leverage. Ten and a half hour flights leave a lot of room for television. Big, big thanks to Meg, whose clever little portable charger allowed me to top off the iPad every time it started yearning for a bigger battery. I drained that sucker dry, and I have no regrets.

So before I flew, I had been a sensible girl, and booked a car service to take me and Vixy from Heathrow to our temporary hotel in Crawley (near Gatwick). Only it turns out that we hadn't been that sensible, as Vixy called me before I got to the airport in San Francisco to tell me that she was flying into Gatwick, a fact that we had both forgotten. Oops. I wound up in the car alone, and had a lovely chat with Colin, the driver, about spiders and New Zealand and the wildlife of England. A+ car service, would screw up booking again.

Vixy had already landed by this point, about an hour and a half before me. Her name was not actually on the hotel room, but she had a copy of the Expedia booking, and the front desk let her into the room, where she gloried in the presence of a decent bed. I showed up, and we summoned Amy before having a wander and dinner in the (overpriced, under-qualitied) hotel restaurant. Then we went to bed, and when I woke up the next morning? I had become the plague queen.

Amy went to the Boots and bought a bunch of cold remedies, including a cough syrup which turned out to contain, no shit, chloroform. It tasted funny. (Brooke was quite distressed when I told her about it.) Amy spent the next few days looking dreamy and saying "I chloroformed my girlfriend." Of such simple pleasures is the world made. I, on the other hand, spent the next day in bed, yearning for death. The day after that, my fever had broken, and it was time to decamp for LonCon3.

Wes met us at the train station and carried our bags to the hotel. Wes is a god among men.

Vixy and I were in the Aloft, the hotel nearest to the convention, while everyone else was in the Novatel at the other end of the convention center. Oops. Such is the consequence of lottery booking. And as this takes us to the end of the pre-con travel and the start of the convention, I shall continue later.

England!
indexing
Psst.

Remember the ATI Management Bureau, and the brave, foolish, overworked people who tried to protect the world from fairy tale mischief? Henrietta Marchen, Snow White and field team leader; Sloane Winters, Wicked Stepsister and unlikely defender of mankind; Demi Santos, Pied Piper and new recruit; Jeff Davis, Shoemaker's Elf and Archivist; Andrew Robinson, whose brother died in a fairy tale gone wrong. They did their best to save us. They told their story. They walked away from season one battered but breathing.

Let's see if they can survive season two.

I am pleased to announce that Indexing: Reflections will be coming from 47North and the Kindle Serials Program in 2015. As with the first Indexing, the book will be serialized in bi-weekly installments, and collected in print and eBook form at the end of the season. (Also as with the first serial, the eBooks will be available for Kindle only. I'm sorry about that.)

All your old friends, and some of your old enemies, will be coming back to active duty, along with some surprising new faces on both sides of the fence. It's going to be a fairy tale catastrophe, and it's going to take some serious scrambling for the good guys to come out on top. There's no guarantee, when you go into the whiteout wood.

Now come on. Say it with me.

Once upon a time...
me
I'm about to go and be a Guest of Honor at SHAMROKON, the Irish Eurocon, held in scenic Dublin, Ireland! I hope to see you there; if you're not already planning to attend, you probably aren't going to do it on a whim, because it's a long flight from many places. So, well...if you're not coming, you will be missed, and here's all the fun we're going to have!

Friday.

Filk Warmup for the Terrified, 4:00-5:00pm, D. Ulster (Double Tree by Hilton Dublin Burlington Road).

An intro and warmup session for people who would like to stand up and perform but would like some guidance first. Me and Tim Griffin and stuff about filk!

Opening Ceremony, 6:00-7:00pm, A. Pembroke (Double Tree by Hilton Dublin Burlington Road).

We're at the con, so we better get this party started! Brian Nisbet (M), Michael Carroll, Jim Fitzpatrick, Gareth Kavanagh, Seanan McGuire, Andrzej Sapkowski, James Shields, Ylva Spångberg. I have no idea what we're going to do to open the con. Maybe there will be a can opener. It's anybody's guess!

Probably gonna have a concert in here. I will post the exact time when I know what it is. Which is sort of terrifying, given that the convention is, you know. Tomorrow.

Late Night Conversation with Seanan, 11:00pm-12:00am, D. Ulster (Double Tree by Hilton Dublin Burlington Road).

Quoth the con: "Join one of our Guests of Honour, Seanan McGuire, for a casual chat, touching on Zombies, Tumblr, Pokemon, filk, parties and everything inbetween. Bring a drink and an open mind!" I'mma touch stuff. Touchy touchy.

Saturday.

Guest of Honour Interview, 2:00-4:00pm, A. Pembroke (Double Tree by Hilton Dublin Burlington Road).

I'm going to be interviewed by Janet O'Sullivan! I have no idea how this is going to play out! Maybe I will eat her! Come see for yourself.

Pseudonyms, 5:00-6:00pm, D. Ulster (Double Tree by Hilton Dublin Burlington Road).

Pseudonyms, anonymous publications and pen names have been a part of SF&F writing ever since Frankenstein was published anonymously. Sometimes they're an open secret to aid branding (eg Mira Grant) and sometimes they're a secret to allow a work to be judged on its own merits (JK Rowling). Ann VanderMeer (M), Laura Anne Gilman, Seanan McGuire.

Jamming Session, 8:00pm-12:00am, C. Munster (Double Tree by Hilton Dublin Burlington Road).

Tim Griffin and I are apparently doing a jam session. I don't know. Maybe we're making jam. I like jam.

Sunday.

Guest of Honour Signing Session, 10:00-11:30am, A. Pembroke (Double Tree by Hilton Dublin Burlington Road).

Mass guest of honor signing! Woo!

The Zombie Infection, 1:00-2:00pm, E. Room 1/2 (Double Tree by Hilton Dublin Burlington Road).

It's spread from film, to books and comics, to songs, to board games, dice games, video games. A look at the cross genre infection, and how each genre is effected by it and what it brings to the brain buffet.

Genre Toys, 3:00-4:00pm, D. Ulster (Double Tree by Hilton Dublin Burlington Road).

Warning: I'mma talk about Monster High.

Closing Ceremony, 6:00-7:00pm, A. Pembroke (Double Tree by Hilton Dublin Burlington Road).

The end of the convention, where the winners of the ESFS awards and the Golden Blasters will be announced, and trophies will be given out. Victory and survival!

Ready, set, here we goooooooooooo!

rose marshall
Well, here we are: in twenty-four hours I will be at the airport, going through security, getting ready to board a big metal sky-bird that will carry me away to England. Most people know this, since the Great Pumpkin knows, I've been talking about it a lot. What many people do not seem to have put together is that I will not be flying back until October 7th. Yup. October.

(Why am I doing this? Well, because I am Guest of Honor at Filk Continental in Germany the first weekend in October, and staying in Europe made more sense than flying home, financially, time-wise, and seeing my friends who I never get to see-wise. I will still be working essentially every day, since deadlines budge for no one, but I will also be seeing people, enjoying things, and eating cheese. Mmm, cheese.)

What does this mean for you?

Well, for one thing, nothing's getting mailed until I get back. I have tried my best to clear all pending mailing before I left; whatever hasn't been sent out is going to have to wait until such time as I am back where the things live. Fun for the whole family!

Because we are still verifying T-shirt payments and orders, we will not be shipping shirts until after I get back.

I will have internet access, but it's not going to be completely dependable from day to day; there may be a longer than usual delay in replying to messages. Also, messages may have random cat pictures attached, as I start to go into serious withdrawal.

It's going to be an adventure!

I will miss you all.

Seanan at Loncon: where can you find her?

me
It's almost time for Loncon, Worldcon in London! Hooray! I was so excited when this convention won the bid, and I'm still excited now. But where am I gonna beeeeeeee?

Thursday.

What's In A Name? 4:30PM, Capital Suite 7+12 (ExCeL). Megan Lindholm/Robin Hobb, Iain (M) Banks, Tom/Thomas Holt, James SA Corey, Mazarkis Williams: many people publish under pseudonyms, some more subtle than others. Why do writers opt for a pen-name? Why do some have more than one? How important is "branding" to marketing genre fiction, and what role do genre and gender divides play in the decision? Basically, it's "why are you Mira Grant: the panel."

I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue 10:00PM, Capital Suite 7+12 (ExCeL). Two teams of fans/authors enjoy a battle of wits, and are given silly things to do by their chairman, Lee Harris. Games include: One Song to the Tune of Another, Sound Charades and Mornington Crescent. The con's obsession with scheduling me on late night panels begins.

Friday.

Literary Beer 2:00PM, The Bar (ExCeL). Literary beers are like koffeeklatches with beer instead of coffee. Sign up if you plan to attend!

Signing 7:30PM, Capital Suite 16 (ExCeL). Because I am bad at reading train schedules, this is my only signing of the weekend.

Saturday.

Girl Scientists 1:30PM, Capital Suite 13 (ExCeL). Lise Meitner, Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin: women have always made a major contribution to science, even if they didn't always get the credit. But how does YA fiction approach female characters with an interest in science? Does YA fiction contribute to, or challenge, stereotyped beliefs about girls and science? What are the best examples, and the worst? Are girl scientists best presented as exceptional, or the norm? And does girl's science have to be pink? SCIENCE.

Seanan McGuire and Dead Sexy in Concert 10:00PM, Capital Suite 7+12 (ExCeL). Me. Dr. Mary Crowell. Amy McNally. Bill and Brenda Sutton. Michelle Dockrey. ALL THE POWERS OF HEL—er, some really rockin' music. Be there or be surprised when our wave of might sweeps over the con and obliterates all in its path.

Sunday.

Authors Accept, Encourage, and Create Fan Works Too 11:00AM, Capital Suite 7+12 (ExCeL). Fanfiction, fan art, and other forms of transformative works can be a sensitive topic with authors understandably having mixed reactions to works based on their creations. In this session four successful authors embrace forms of creative (not-for-profit!) ouput based upon their works. They discuss the benefits and difficulties of having fans creatively engage with their material. Beyond that they openly talk about their own experiences with fan works, whether they have written, still write, or read fanfiction or produce other forms of fan works.

Seanan Leaves For Disneyland Paris 1:00PM, Later Gators. That whole "I can't read schedules" thing? Yeah, I bought non-refundable tickets on the train to Disneyland. I paid enough for them that I'm missing the Hugos (Sunil will be attending as my representative). I would feel worse about this, but...Disneyland. If I win, through some strange whim of fate, Sunil will get to read a speech that opens with "Seanan is already on her way to Disneyland." I find this awesome.

London! I'm gonna eat so much cheese!
sarah
...find out what's there, what you can mean.

This is the shape of my 2014, with travel dates and everything. Beautiful travel dates. Hope to see you in the months to come! We are now solidly into 2015, as the year is more than halfway over. Which is terrifying in its own right, if you think about it.

Publications

"Lady Antheia's Guide to Horticultural Warfare," August 30 (Clockwork Universe).
The Winter Long, September 2.
"Midway Relics and Dying Breeds," September 24 (Tor.com).
"Snakes and Ladders," October 14 (website).
"The Fixed Stars," November 4 (Shattered Shields).
"Turn the Year Around," November 14 (Harvest Season).
Symbiont, November 25.
"Knit A Sweater Out of Sky" (print edition), November 25 (Dead But Not Forgotten).
"White As A Raven's Wing," December 9 (website).

"No Sooner Met," January 6, 2015 (website).
"Broken Paper Hearts," February 14, 2015 (website).
"The Happiest Place...," February 2015 (Wastelands 2).
Pocket Apocalypse, March 3, 2015.
"In Skeleton Leaves," April 7, 2015.

"The Moon Inside," unknown.
"Long Way Down," unknown.
"Driving Jenny Home," unknown.
"Rolling in the Deep," unknown.
"Opening Band," unknown.
"There is No Room For Sorrow in the Kingdom of the Cold," unknown.
"Best Served Cold," unknown.

Conventions/Appearances/Travel

Loncon 3 (Worldcon 2014), August 14-17, London England.
Disneyland Paris, August 18-21, Paris France.
Shamrokon (Eurocon 2014), August 22-24, Dublin Ireland.
Filk Continental, October 3-5, Hamburg Germany.
Windycon, November 14-16, Chicago IL.

ConNooga, February 27-March 1 2015, Chattanooga TN.
Eastercon: Dysprosium, April 3-5 2015, London England.
BayCon, May 22-25 2015, Santa Clara CA.
Westercon 68, July 2-5 2015, San Diego CA.
Tuscon, October 30-November 1 2015, Tuscon AZ.

No fixed deadline/being written/unsold:

The Best Thing
"Target Practice"
"Decay"
"Fiber"
"Carry Me Home"
"Pixie Season"
"These Antique Fables"
"All the Pretty Little Horses"
Echo
Chaos Choreography

Again, to clarify some recent confusion: some things, especially novel-length things, may appear more than once, on both the "publication date" and "being written" lists. This is because the "being written" list is an aggregate, which also includes "no fixed deadline" (IE, being written on spec or for the website) and "unsold" (IE, being written because I can). So new books will appear there for a long time before they vanish, since books take a long time to write, but may also have pub dates listed higher up.

Look at that list. It's so shiny!

Let's get back to Buckley, shall we?

barbie
It's time for some free fiction. Hooray! And since I forgot to post on the last release day, we're essentially celebrating two new stories today! Double hooray!

In the first, "Oh Pretty Bird," Jonathan and Frances Healy are finally going after the woman responsible for the death of their firstborn son. This is best read after "Stingers and Strangers," published in the anthology Dead Man's Hand, although that is not absolutely required.

In the second, "Bury Me In Satin," we spend some time with Mary Dunlavy, Alice's favorite babysitter, as her world changes forever, and we discover just how entwined Rose Marshall's world is with the world of the Healy family.

You can download both stories now from the InCryptid short fiction page. The PDF link for "Bury Me In Satin" will be fixed later tonight.

This also serves as your discussion post.

Unexpected discoveries in a car!

wicked
So Chris, who used to drive me all over the place before he got a better job and had to stay in the South Bay more, was cleaning out his old car when he found a CD longbox that had apparently gotten lost in there, like, literally years ago. Many, many years ago. And in that CD longbox (which he returned to me, because he is a good Chris), I found a bunch of copies of the original run of Stars Fall Home. The one with the owl and me on the cover. Yeah, that one.

Wow.

This is the original, crappier version of the album. The version that is currently in print has been fully remastered and has a new track ("Continental Divide"). There's nothing extra on this version; it's literally just older and a little less awesome. But when I recorded it, it was the best thing I had ever done, and it's definitely a different version.

So:

If you are a collector/completest, and would like to own the first edition of my first album, I have fifteen copies. They are $10 if you're going to be in a position to pick them up; $15 inclusive of postage if I have to mail them within the US; and $20 inclusive of postage if I have to mail them outside the US. Email me through my contact form if you want one, and get them back out of my house.

ETA: Please stop asking about Pretty Little Dead Girl. I am selling fifteen copies of Stars Fall Home, first edition, at this time. I am not selling anything else.
ashes
Let us begin with the deep past, as I try vainly to reclaim my link file before I leave for Europe (I did mention I was leaving for Europe, right?). The Quiet Voice has reviewed Feed, and says, "Feed fractured my heart, and then broke it—so, of course, it deserves to be my first five-star book of 2012. It is definitely not your typical zombie story with sleazy action sequences and creepy cliches, but a wonderful mix of zombies, blogging, and politics." See how behind I am? I am so behind.

Geek Girls Rule has posted a review of Discount Armageddon, and says, "There’s lots to love in this book. Like her October Daye Books, she includes lots of background information on the critters inhabiting her world, without it ever feeling forced. She includes wit and humor amongst even the darkest scenes. Her characters are always well-rounded and believable, even the most unbelievable or unreal. When a character changes their mind, it feels like a natural decision or outgrowth of what’s gone on, not at all out of character or forced." Hooray!

Apocalyptic Movies has posted a review of Feed, and says, "Which brings me to media-spread panic and the reason why Feed isn't only a great read, but an important eye-opener for the folks out there who don't spend a lot of time questioning the things they are told. Feed is, in the end, a book about the power of information—and disinformation—and its message is as relevant to us, today, as it could ever be in a world full of zombies." I love it when people get what I was going for.

Seduced By a Book has posted a review of Feed, and says, "I found Feed engaging, thought provoking, dramatic, and emotionally moving. Make sure to have a box of tissues handy and find yourself a cozy little spot to read this one. Once you get into the story you're not going to want to put it down." Rockin'.

Finally for this look at the ancient days, Owlcat Mountain has posted a review of Discount Armageddon, and says, "So what does all of this add up to? Fun. Lots and lots of fun. Great characters, great plot, great backstory. I can't wait for the next one. I wonder if the author can be bribed with chocolate to write faster." Alas, I can write faster, but I can't speed up the publishing industry!

That's all for today. I know this is one of the random administrative things I do here, and I appreciate your patience as we move into a brave new world of this damn thing fitting entirely on one page.

Excelsior!
coyote
I am delighted to announce that my story, "Long Way Down," will be appearing in the anthology Genius Loci, along with a bunch of truly awesome authors and some really good friends.

This is a book of stories about place and connection to place. My story is about the creek I used to play in which I was a little girl, both as it really was, and as I always secretly believed that it could be. I'm really excited for you all to see it. But that's not the best part of this anthology for me.

Look at that table of contents. Look at all those new names, sandwiched between names you maybe know already. Look at the name "Sunil Patel." Look at the name "Caroline Ratajski." That's Sunil and Carrie, you guys. That's my Comic-Con roommate and my comic book slumber party buddy. Those are my friends, sharing an anthology with me, sharing a table of contents with me, and with Ken, and with Chaz, and with everybody.

Carrie and Sunil are great people. They're warm, generous, friendly, and have made me a better person by being a part of my life. And now I get to share a book with them.

How awesome is my life sometimes? I mean really, how awesome is my life?

Pretty awesome.

What I am dealing with.

indexing
First, and somewhat amusingly, given my last post, reply amnesty is on for this entry. I will not respond to comments. I may not even read them. I don't know yet. Please do not email me or message me privately about the contents of this entry. I really need some space.

Second, I said yesterday that I was dealing with some shit. Here is the shit.

On the morning of Wednesday, July 23rd, I was with Carrie and Doc in Southern California, having spent the night at Doc's place preparatory to heading for San Diego Comic Con around noon. I was reading comics in the front room when my phone rang. I said something foul about the phone ringing, because I did not want to get up. I got up. It was my mother, who was also my designated cat sitter.

Something was very, very wrong with Lilly.

She was having seizures, foaming at the mouth, hissing, and biting. There was blood. Mom, knowing that none of this could mean anything good, asked for my permission to take her to the vet. "She may not come home" was not said; it didn't need to be. I gave my permission. There was nothing else I could do. I was very far away, and I couldn't possibly get home in time, and Lilly deserved better than to suffer for the amount of time it would have taken for me to catch a plane. I gave my permission. And then I hung up, and sat down on the bathroom floor, and sobbed until I wanted to be sick, because I wasn't there.

My mother contacted me again roughly three hours later to tell me that Lilly had lost all kidney function; that the vet had recommended euthanasia, as the collapse had been so abrupt and so complete; and that she had given permission. A lot of people gave permission that day. I thanked her. How could I do anything else? She was there for my girl when I couldn't be. She made sure that Lilly didn't suffer more than she needed to. So I thanked her, and I sat in the back of Doc's car and cried all the way to San Diego.

I think I got through the convention mostly because it didn't seem real. Lilly couldn't be dead; she had been there when I left, and she would be there when I got home. But when I got home, Lilly wasn't there. Lilly is never going to be here again. She's never going to lick my elbows or share my ice cream or burrow under my blankets. She's not hiding, or sleeping in a sunbeam somewhere. She's gone, and I wasn't home when it happened, and the thought of her dying without me with her makes me want to crawl into bed and never get out again.

Lilly was a great cat. All she wanted was to hang out with me, and be held, and be loved. I loved her so much. I hate me in the past for all the times I didn't hold her when she asked, all the times I was too busy to cuddle with her until she was done. I miss her so bad. I am still reeling.

Alice and Thomas are well, if confused. They help to blunt the pain a little. Not enough, but a little.

I miss my girl.

Dealing with some shit: a plea.

knives
I am dealing with some shit right now. Some of you probably already know about the shit; others may be hearing that shit has happened for the first time. I will talk about the shit more, here, soon. It's just that LJ is an innately long-form medium, which means I've been putting off bringing the shit here until I can think about it reasonably. Know that I am coping, I am not alone, and I will explain myself better before much longer. But that is not what this post is about.

Because I have been very busy recently, and because I am known to be dealing with shit, I'm getting more and more "do not reply to this" messages, and "no answer needed" emails. And this is...this is not good. This is incredibly stressful and upsetting and has started sending me into panic spirals when I go to answer my email.

Look: no one can say "reply amnesty" except for me. If I say it, I am telling my brain "okay, you can rest." If you say it, to me, what you're telling my brain is a lovely combination of "I do not want you" and "I do not think you can handle your own responsibilities." This is because my brain is a jerk sometimes, and does not want me to be happy. This is an outgrowth of my OCD. I generally handle it pretty well, but right now, I'm getting a lot of "please do not reply" messages from people expressing sympathy or solidarity, and it's doing horrible things to my mental health.

I am not a fast correspondent. I do not answer everything instantly. I am not capable of keeping up with everything, all the time. But I do my best. I try to endure. Please don't tell me to stop talking to you.

My heart can't take it.
sarah
...they were ready to cook my goose, but God had other plans.

This is the shape of my 2014, with travel dates and everything. Beautiful travel dates. Hope to see you in the months to come! We are now solidly into 2015, as the year is more than halfway over. Which is terrifying in its own right, if you think about it.

Publications

"Lady Antheia's Guide to Horticultural Warfare," August 1 (Clockwork Universe).
"Bury Me In Satin," August 5 (website).
The Winter Long, September 2.
"Snakes and Ladders," October 14 (website).
"The Fixed Stars," November 4 (Shattered Shields).
Symbiont, November 25.
"Knit A Sweater Out of Sky" (print edition), November 25 (Dead But Not Forgotten).
"White As A Raven's Wing," December 9 (website).

"No Sooner Met," January 6, 2015 (website).
"Broken Paper Hearts," February 14, 2015 (website).
"The Happiest Place...," February 2015 (Wastelands 2).
Pocket Apocalypse, March 3, 2015.
"In Skeleton Leaves," April 7, 2015.

"The Moon Inside," unknown.
"Long Way Down," unknown.
"Driving Jenny Home," unknown.
"Rolling in the Deep," unknown.
"Opening Band," unknown.
"There is No Room For Sorrow in the Kingdom of the Cold," unknown.
"Best Served Cold," unknown.

Conventions/Appearances/Travel

San Diego International Comic-Con, July 23-27, San Diego CA.
Loncon 3 (Worldcon 2014), August 14-17, London England.
Disneyland Paris, August 18-21, Paris France.
Shamrokon (Eurocon 2014), August 22-24, Dublin Ireland.
Filk Continental, October 3-5, Hamburg Germany.
Windycon, November 14-16, Chicago IL.

ConNooga, February 27-March 1 2015, Chattanooga TN.
Eastercon: Dysprosium, April 3-5 2015, London England.
BayCon, May 22-25 2015, Santa Clara CA.
Westercon 68, July 2-5 2015, San Diego CA.
Tuscon, October 30-November 1 2015, Tuscon AZ.

No fixed deadline/being written/unsold:

The Best Thing
"Lay of the Land"
"Target Practice"
"Reading Lists" (formerly "Library Card")
"Decay"
"Fiber"
"Carry Me Home"
"Pixie Season"
"These Antique Fables"
"All the Pretty Little Horses"
Echo
Chaos Choreography
Chimera

Again, to clarify some recent confusion: some things, especially novel-length things, may appear more than once, on both the "publication date" and "being written" lists. This is because the "being written" list is an aggregate, which also includes "no fixed deadline" (IE, being written on spec or for the website) and "unsold" (IE, being written because I can). So new books will appear there for a long time before they vanish, since books take a long time to write, but may also have pub dates listed higher up.

Look at that list. It's so shiny!
me
It's almost time for the San Diego International Comic Convention, and you know what that means: I am busier than a chicken with a field full of caterpillars to devour, and it's time for me to tell you where to find me. Since otherwise, well...it does not bear thinking of.

Wednesday.

Preview night begins with a bang, and I'll be there the whole time! I am going to be in a wheelchair again, for the duration of this convention, because otherwise I won't survive. I'll have some fun prizes for the first few people to find me during the con. I also have a request: namely, I did not successfully get this year's Monster High two-pack during the pre-sale, and I am not going to be terribly mobile (see again, wheelchair).

If you find yourself in the Mattel line, and if you feel like picking up a two-pack (or two, since I like to unbox one and keep one mint-in-box) for me, I will gladly pay you back. Note that I am making this request because I don't want to pay scalper prices: I'm happy to negotiate some signed books, or mailing you some CDs after the con, but I really am hoping to find a kind soul who's already going through the line and will grab them for me at cost. Don't worry about being Kind Soul #2: I will totally buy as many two-packs as people bring me, because I have nieces and friends who collect.

Bring on...

Thursday.

Orbit booth signing, 11:00am. I/Mira Grant will be signing at the Orbit booth at 11:00am! I don't know what they'll be giving away vs. what they'll be selling, but I will also sign books you bring with you. Big fun!

When Magic & Myth Meet Main Street, 3:00pm. Join me, Amber Benson, Jim Butcher, Richard Kadrey, Thomas Sniegoski, and Greg van Eekhout as we discuss urban fantasy and why it's AWESOME. Room 25ABC, to be followed by a signing in the Autographing Area.

Friday.

Penguin booth signing, 11:00am. I'll be signing at the Penguin Booth, along with some other awesome authors, and you should totally come. There may be cool surprises...

Saturday.

The Art of Fear, 2:30pm. It's time to get creepy. Join me, G. Michael Hopf, Katherine Howe, April Genevieve Tucholke, Brenna Yovanoff, and James Rollins as we talk about what scares us, and what should scare you. Room 8, to be followed by a signing in the Autographing Area.

California Browncoats booth signing, 11:00am. One last signing to finish out the weekend and make everybody's morning a little more terrifying.

Mind you, all this assumes that we're going to survive the Rising; events may be canceled at any time as zombies eat us all.

Even as a zombie, I will still want those dolls.

The battle never ends: more anthology news!

coyote
I am very pleased to announce that I will have a story in Operation Arcana, edited by John Joseph Adams, coming from Baen in 2015. I will be appearing alongside my beloved Tanya Huff, Carrie Vaughn, and Jonathan Maberry, as well as many more.

My story, "In Skeleton Leaves," is one that I'm really pleased with and proud of, and I can't wait for you to read it.

Yay, anthologies!
me
Every year around this time, someone says to me "Gosh, I've never been to the San Diego International Comic Convention before. I don't see what the big deal is. I really don't believe it's as big as everybody tries to make me think it is." And every year, I smack myself in the head and update this guide and pray for their survival.

Since I've been posting these obsessively-detailed Guides to Comic-con on a yearly basis for some time now, I strongly suspect these people are being aimed at me. But since I love you all (those of you I know, anyway; I am well-inclined by amiably indifferent toward those of you who just came in out of the cold), and want you to have the best convention experience you possibly can, I have once again updated my Handy-Dandy Survival Guide to the San Diego International Comic Convention. See? It's handy and dandy, and that means it must be good! This guide includes tips on:

* Reaching the convention alive.
* Getting a hotel room.
* Enjoying/surviving the con.
* Things to do at the con.
* Eating food.
* Staying healthy and sane.
* Not getting killed by your friends.
* Budgeting.
* Bathing.

It is also heavily biased toward my own opinions on all these things, because hello, totally me. But I'm honest about my biases, and I'll be factual whenever it's fact, rather than opinion. (In short, don't expect me to falsify hotel room rates to suit my own ideas of "fair," but don't expect me to recommend a good Thai place, either.)

Ready? Okay!

Click here for Seanan's handy-dandy Comic-con survival guide! Read and be enlightened in all the ways that matter, which is to say, all the ways that Seanan actually thought of. Freshly updated for 2014.Collapse )

Shirt update!

barbie
So shirt orders are closed, and this is an update! Specifically, the update is this:

Kate, who is handling the administrative side of this shirt order, just got a new job, and is thus somewhat behind at contacting people to clear up things about their payments, shipping info, etc. She is still doing it. People are being contacted, and payments, once received, are being entered on the spreadsheet. Remember that "we're not making any money" disclaimer? Unfortunately, that means I'm not paying her, which is why she needed the new job, and why she's slow right now.

Everyone's order will be dealt with. Queries should go to the merch address; if you send them through the contact form, they have to go through Kate, and this is what happens:

1. You email.
2. Kate bounces the email to me.
3. I bounce the email to Kate, because I literally know nothing about where she is in the process.

It is not efficient, and it takes time away from her processing the pending orders. I promise, it's happening; we just need to be patient while we work the latest batch of kinks out.

Shirts soon!

Six months of the full-time life.

knives
As of today, it has been six months since I quit my day job to become a full-time writer.

In those six months, I have traveled all over the country; I have seen and spent time with friends I hadn't really spent time with in years; I have finished writing multiple books; I have made word count more days than not; and I have slept. I have actually slept. It's hard to make people understand how important that is. I really had not been sleeping for several years. Slow sleep insomnia + things I had to do in the evening if they were ever going to happen + a 5am alarm all combined to = half my sick days were literally "I have pushed myself to the point where my body will not allow me to get out of bed." And now I am sleeping.

In the past six months, I have been seriously ill once, and that was a twelve-hour stomach bug that came on like a wrecking ball, and had me throwing up so hard and so consistently that I actually pulled muscles on both sides of my ribs. That may not sound like a good thing, but it was the sort of illness that fells whom it will, and doesn't care about your overall health. It wasn't brought on my exhaustion. Prior to quitting my job, I was literally coming down with a cold, flu, or other illness once a month. I am no longer losing my health to exhaustion.

I have to be a little more fiscally careful now, just because my income isn't as certain. I have to learn not to overcommit myself (I traveled a wee bit too much in the first part of the year, just out of the joy of freedom). I need to get better about finding anthologies, rather than waiting for them to come to me every single time, just to keep my finances moving in the right direction. But.

I am not sorry.

This was the smartest choice I ever made.

I can sleep, and that is worth everything that is more complicated than it used to be.

Four years of Thomas.

alice
Today is Thomas's fourth birthday. We have celebrated with treats and petting and much indulgence, all of which he has accepted as his absolute due. He doesn't really know what "happy birthday" means, but as it comes with good things, he really doesn't care.

He's enormous now. He has vast, spatulate paws that can work a doorknob, and a high, chirpy voice, like he's gargling songbirds. He likes to be held while I'm at the computer, just so he can prove that he is more important than the tappy box. He enjoys watching videos of birds, and will sometimes sing to them, because he is a bird too. He is my best boy, and I can't imagine life without him.

Happy birthday, Thomas.

We're gonna enjoy a whole lot more.
feed
The Rising only lasted for three years. The repercussions will last forever. For Elaine Oldenburg, those repercussions are about to change everything.

"The Day the Dead Came to Show and Tell" is available now from most ebook outlets. This Newsflesh-universe story fills in a piece of the past that has previously been left hidden, for good reason. Join Elaine as she tries to get her students out of an outbreak alive, and without casualties. (Try not to read the blurb on the landing page, as it's way spoilery.)

She's not going to save them all.

I'm really excited about this one. It's a story I've wanted to tell for quite some time, and it pulls no punches, which is always nice for me, since I fancy myself a horror author. Better yet, it will prepare you for what's to come. (It will also help feed my cats. As always, a major concern.)

This will also serve as your discussion post.

Zombies!

Current projects, July 2014.

editing
Every month I make a post to tell folks what I'm working on, a) because it seems polite, b) because it keeps me accountable, if only to myself, and c) so you will understand why I do not have a social life. This is the July 2014 post.

To quote myself, being too harried to say something new: "These posts are labeled with the month and year, in case somebody eventually gets the bizarre urge to timeline my work cycles (it'll probably be me). Behold the proof that I don't actually sleep; I just whimper and keep writing."

Please note that all books currently in print are off the list, as are those that have been turned in but not yet printed (The Winter Long, Symbiont and Pocket Apocalypse). A Red-Rose Chain and Chimera are off the list because they're finished and in revisions with the Machete Squad. The cut-tag is here to stay, because no matter what I do, it seems like this list just keeps on getting longer. But that's okay, because at least it means I'm never actively bored. I have horror movies and terrible things from the swamp to keep me company.

Not everything on this list has been sold. I will not discuss the sale status of anything which has not been publicly announced. If you can't remember whether I've announced something, check the relevant tag, or go to my website, at www.seananmcguire.com. Please do not ask why project X is no longer on the list. I will not answer you.

What's Seanan working on now? Click to find out!Collapse )
wicked
Fifty days. That's how long we have before The Winter Long will be on bookstore shelves (US on-sale date is September 2nd). Book eight. We made it to book eight. I remember when I was just caught in a loop, rewriting books one through four over and over again, making grandiose plans for book five, but never quite managing to break free and do anything new. Now I'm getting ready to start on book ten, and the path is very clear ahead of me.

Fifty days and five years: that's the distance between Rosemary and Rue and The Winter Long. At an average of 350 pages a book (average; please don't comment to say "but this one was only 338..."), that's almost 3,000 pages of Toby, with more to come. Honestly, I'm amazed she's lived this long, given everything that I've put her through. She's too stubborn to die and too fun to kill, which is probably the only thing that's saved her.

Fifty days and you get to find out everything I haven't been saying since book one. This is the volume where a lot of chickens come home to roost: it's always been planned as the game-changer for act one of the series. I think I managed to accomplish that. Early review copies are out in the world, and thus far there have been no spoilers, for which I am very grateful. I really like it when people can discover what I've done for themselves.

Fifty days. I'll be somewhere in Europe when this book drops (probably in Edinburgh, with Amal, hiding under whatever piece of furniture I can wedge myself beneath), twitchy and waiting for the reviews to come in, yet terrified of reading them. I wish I could be here to do my normal release day funtimes. I'm glad I'll be far away. Somehow, both emotions are succeeding in existing at the same time.

Fifty days. That's so long.

Fifty days. That isn't long at all.

Lafferty Air, now boarding.

barbie
The random number generator has spoken, and the winner of two signed books by the awesome MUR LAFFERTY is...

apocalypticbob!

Please send me an email via my website contact form, so that I can pass it off to Mur and get this party started.

Thanks to everyone who entered. If you've been looking for some summer reading, I highly recommend picking up a copy of The Shambling Guide to New York City. It's a heck of a lot of fun, and it's always nice to discover a new author with an awesome body of work.

Go forth, and read!

The periodic welcome post.

average
Hello, everyone, and welcome to my journal. I'm pretty sure you know who I am, my name being in the URL and all, but just in case, I'm Seanan McGuire (also known as Mira Grant), and you're probably not on Candid Camera. This post exists to answer a few of the questions I get asked on a semi-hemi-demi-regular basis. It may look familiar; that's because it gets updated and re-posted roughly every two months, to let folks who've just wandered in know how things work around here. Also, sometimes I change the questions. Because I can.

If you've read this before, feel free to skip, although there may be interesting new things to discover and know beyond the cut.

Anyway, here you go:

This way lies a lot of information you may or may not need about the person whose LJ you may or may not be reading right at this moment. Also, I may or may not be the King of Rain, which may or may not explain why it's drizzling right now. Essentially, this is Schrodinger's cut-tag.Collapse )
me
LJ Messenger.

So I've been experiencing a real uptick recently in people using LJ's internal messaging system to reach me. I don't know why? I don't know if this is a societal switch toward "let's use one site for absolutely everything, always, and if you ever have to switch tags, that's bad," or if LJ has started giving out free kittens with every message sent, or what, but I am here to beg you to please not do that.

One of the functions of my OCD is that I feel compelled to answer all comments that are not somehow covered by comment amnesty, such as being second-level (a reply to one of my replies) or on a post that's connected to the RNG. This can take a long time. I have over 1,300 unanswered comments right now. I do not mind this! Comments are very rarely time-sensitive, and when they are, such as with the WG orders, I either get help or I leave myself a post-it. But this means that anything that's not on those entries just gets buried. Your message can wait up to a year for me to notice it.

Please, if you need to reach me privately, use my website contact form. That's what my website contact form is for. I get all that mail. I read all that mail. I answer most of that mail (some things do not require an answer). I do not overlook that mail for a year. Please, do not message me here, or on Tumblr, or on Facebook. Use my contact form. Please.

Slasher Chicks shirts.

I have answered all currently outstanding inquires, and I still have pretty, pretty Slasher Chicks shirts for sale. So pretty! So totally random in terms of color and size! It's an adventure every time I have to look up a size/color combo, and the adventure can be yours.

Old ARCs.

I have two ARCs of Half-Off Ragnarok left over, and I would like to see them go to a good home where they will be turned into art. People periodically need books for art projects, so...anyone out there looking to do some fun papercrafts and need an ARC or two? Please do not ask if you want to keep the ARCs in book form for reading purposes; I'm looking for people who are looking to make things. US addresses only, since postage is expensive and I'd need to ask you to pay it and ARCs aren't worth it (unless you're emulating a friend of mine and making something like a bridal bouquet out of ARCs, because that's a really important and long-term papercraft, and justifies you paying for postage).

Go ahead and comment on this post if you're interested, so other people can see that the ARCs may have been claimed. Again, please, crafters only.

Media stuff.

Surprisingly good: the movie Big Ass Spider.

Also surprisingly good: Girl Meets World.

...and thus do I summarize my entire experience with media in two three-word titles.

More later, but these are the things that mattered right now!
pony
It's no secret that I spend a lot of time thinking about fanfic. (And those links are just "fanfic as a general concept"; they don't touch on my frequent crankiness about the concept of the Mary Sue, or connect to any of my actual fanfic.) I think fanfic is a hugely important part of the way we interact with stories as a society, and that it's really so much older than anyone wants to admit. Remember that Shakespeare was, in many ways, writing fanfic. Remember that the Brothers Grimm changed the stories they collected to better suit themselves, which is part of the definition of fanfic. It's an ancient tradition, and it goes back to the first time someone told a story they'd heard about a friend, but modified it to be a little bit more interesting.

I am not saying that everyone in the world needs to write, read, or adore fanfic. For one thing, I don't think there's any truly universal "everybody has to do this" experience, except for maybe peeing. Everybody pees, right? For the purposes of this essay, everybody pees. (If you do not pee, please don't tell me.) So no, if you're not into writing fanfic, I am not judging you. I am not saying you're not awesome. If you're not into reading fanfic...I think there's a very good chance your definition is too narrow. Shakespeare, as I have said, wrote fanfic. Virgil. Bridget Jones's Diary and Wicked are both alternate universe, or "AU," fanfic of other people's properties. 10 Things I Hate About You and Easy A, also basically fanfic. Any company or studio-owned property where the original author is no longer in charge? Kinda fanfic, on a lot of levels.

You do not have to read Harry/Draco romantic coffee shop Little Mermaid AUs to be reading fanfic. Fanfic is everywhere. The fact that some of it is based on things that have slipped into the public domain does not make it any less fanfic: it just makes it fanfic that can be sold for a profit.

In recent discussions of fanfic, I've seen several people say things along the lines of "but all fanfic is about sex" and "it's not okay when people write relationships that don't exist in the canon." (Neither of these is an exact quote: I am paraphrasing from multiple sources, in part because I'm not trying to call anyone out in specific, and in part because these are sentiments that I've seen repeated on almost every discussion of fanfic. I think that it's something we need to talk about.

First up, "all fanfic is about sex."

This is patently untrue. A huge amount of fanfic is about things other than sex. I read a novel's-worth of fanfic every week or so, and I very rarely read explicit sex unless it happens in the context of a long, long story about other things. Most of my favorite fanfic would not be rated above an "R." Much of it wouldn't get above "PG-13." But let's assume, for the sake of argument, that 50% of fanfic is purely about the sex. 50% of fanfic, however well or poorly written, is only there for bangin', clangin', and bringing down the house. Okay.

And?

Erotica is a big deal. Porn is a big deal. There's a huge amount of it out there, and there's a whole industry dedicated to making porn parodies of popular properties. XXX-Men and the Anal Avengers and Wet Dream on Elm Street, these are all things that exist. They're basically thinly veiled visual fanfic, much of which is incredibly male-gazey and heteronormative and gives us the superficials ("A dude dressed like Giles is going down on a chick dressed like Willow in the latest installment of Muffy the Trouser Slayer!") without giving us the things that draw us to the property in the first place. "Porn with plot" is a huge fanfic category because people want to write some fun erotica, but want it to actually be about characters, not cheap cosplay with enormous primary and secondary sexual organs.

Some of the pairings fanfic authors pursue will make some people uncomfortable. I used to be heavily involved with Supernatural fandom, and I hated the most popular pairing, which put two brothers together in sexual situations. But the nice thing about fanfic is that responsible fanfic authors will tag their smut. So if I clicked a link for a piece of fic and saw "M/M, Sam/Dean, Incest, NC-17" as the tags, I knew that I needed to nope on out of there. The authors, who hurt no one, got to have their fun; their readers, who hurt no one, got to read some awesome smut; I went and found stories about Dean and Jo being awesome, often in a fully platonic way. Not everything is for everyone.

But okay: some people don't want to read about non-canonical sex. That's cool. Just don't click that link, and you'll be safe from all the porn. Porn cannot in fact follow you home.

Note: I am not saying that you need to start reading fanfic porn. No one is required to read anything, unless they're taking a class. (If you do not want to read fanfic porn, avoid courses titled "Tranformative Erotica in the Copyright Age.") But using "there is porn" as a way to shut down all fanfic is reductive and unnecessary, and what it shows is not a clean-minded commitment to the canon; it's a refusal to consider that there could be depth and meaning to something that is hugely important in a whole lot of lives.

Secondly, we have "it's not okay when people write relationships that don't exist in the canon."

I want to tell you two very important things that it took me a long time to realize. The first is that if you're talking about something like a TV show or a comic book or a movie, the odds are very good that those characters, and that canon, were created by committee. You will have multiple people putting words into the same mouths, and while there's generally an effort made to keep characterization relatively straightforward, at the end of the day, each of the real people will have a different version of that fictional character in their heads. Take, for example, Usagi Tsukino, better known by most people as "Sailor Moon."

Usagi's role on the show is to love. It is to be a soldier of love, a warrior of love, someone who will die for love. She is love all-encompassing, love without limits. Yeah, she's a little immature sometimes, but that's okay, because she loves you.

My friend Nikki is doing an end-to-end rewatch of Sailor Moon. In a recent episode, there was a scene where Usagi, upon being presented a love letter from a girl, said "I'm taken," which is totally great and good, and then "But you should fall in love with a boy, it's way better" (paraphrase). Um, what? This is a girl who has died and been reborn for love, who is in awe of the relationship between two female friends, and who has never said anything like this before. It's just a little dagger of heteronormativity coming unexpectedly from the mouth of the living avatar of love. (Nikki points out that Usagi did say something similar once, about a hundred episodes earlier, before she really got to know Haruka and Michiru, and that both times, it was done purely for comedic effect. So take that as you will.)

It's canon. She said it on the show. But it's not a thing my Usagi would ever say, and it may not be a thing that Naoko Takeuchi's Usagi would ever say. Naoko Takeuchi created the franchise. She did not write that episode. Do you see where I'm going with this? It is entirely possible to have things in the canon that contradict the character as it was intended.

The second is that creators can be wrong. I have written scenes in various books and stories that were pointed to by my beta readers (thankfully) as being incorrect. Sylvester wouldn't say that; the Luidaeg wouldn't do that. Because I have good betas, I can fix those things, but there's always the chance that someday I will go entirely off the rails. I will kill a character because I am mad at a real person who loves the fictional person I have created. I will write a final chapter before I actually begin the series, and refuse to revise it. I will do something that makes my most loyal readers go "whoa, fuck, back it up babe."

Some of them will back it up with fanfic.

Note that this only addresses creator failure. With shows and movies, there's real life to be considered as well. I know a lot of Glee fanfic authors who have gone fully AU following the deal of Cory Monteith, who played the romantic lead. They don't want to continue the series without him, and I can't blame them at all.

Now that I have told you these two very important things, and their sub-things, here is another thing: who cares?

When I watched Kim Possible, I always expected Kim to wind up with Shego, not Ron. I believed that Myka and H.G. were meant to be (I still do). I looked at Parker and Hardison and Elliot and saw a family unit that was never going to give a damn about who was sleeping with who (although Elliot would probably tell you that Hardison had a very distinctive snore, while sleeping with Parker was like sleeping with an abnormally large housecat that hogged the pillows). In the first, it was a cartoon; never going to happen. In the second, I'm not sure why the writers made the choice they did. In the third, I got my wish. But if I hadn't, the way I viewed the show would have remained entirely valid.

I get checking out when someone is writing a pairing that doesn't work for you. My dislike of Sam/Dean in Supernatural has less to do with them being brothers than it does to do with the fact that I just can't buy them as a couple. But sometimes couples have surprised me. I just finished reading an epic-length Harry Potter fic where Neville/Padma was a primary pairing, and I would never have expected it to be awesome, and it was awesome. There is room for beauty outside the canon, especially when the canon is the work of many hands.

Especially with older fandoms, or with pairings that involve a lead character, straight is an assumed default. Well, statistically, that's not right. One in ten. So that's one Ensign, one Companion, one whatever in ten, minimum, who shouldn't be straight. When I'm writing fic about a show that didn't give me the representation I needed, what's wrong with wanting to see it? (Before the inevitable question: the reason writing Buffy/Faith is applauded, and Tara/Xander is likely to get you a frowny face, is that same issue of representation. One in ten. Currently, we have less than one in fifty on a canonical level. Taking it away because you want to show that it's an equal playing field is not creating an equal playing field. It's being a jerk. Unless that is the only story you want to write, please, consider the numbers, and don't.)

I'm not expecting to convince anyone who's already decided fanfic is awful that they should give it another try; some ships have sailed. But I am asking that you consider the arguments you hear about it, and consider why they might be flawed. There's nothing wrong with writing a little smut. There's nothing wrong with having your own view of the canon, especially when that canon goes on for more than a single book. And there's nothing wrong with seeking representation where there isn't enough.

These are all reasons that fanfic is glorious, and that I am so, so glad to be a part of the fic community. I always will be.

Plan your next trip with LAFFERTY AIR!

lycanthropy
Nothing says "big American holiday" like planning a trip to a city you've never seen before, right? And what better way to start your trip planning than with a pair of travel guides showing two famous American cities from a...different...point of view?

I'm giving away two signed Mur Lafferty books: The Shambling Guide to New York City and Ghost Train to New Orleans. These fun, fascinating, unique urban fantasies follow the adventures of a travel guide publishing house for, well, monsters.

Yes.

One part urban fantasy awesome, one part Travel Channel enthralling, and all Mur Lafferty snark, these books make me happy. And now they can make you happy! (Although they could also make you happy if you bought them, so remember, all books are available through other means.) To enter...

1. Leave a comment on this post.
2. Name a city you've always wanted to see.
3. Identify your country of origin.

That's it! The winner will be chosen from qualifying entries via RNG on Thursday, July 10th, so you have a week.

Game on!

A question for you InCryptid folks.

princess
So say I was going to go back and write some more Johnny and Fran stories. And say those stories were going to fill in the gaps between the stories that already exist (or are forthcoming, which I know, is a little harder to predict).

What stories do you feel were "skipped"?
What would you like to see them deal with or encounter?
What's missing?

Suggest whatever you like: I'm just trying to get a feel for the shape of things. Speak me wisdom!
sarah
...the secret son of the chambermaid and master.

This is the shape of my 2014, with travel dates and everything. Beautiful travel dates. Hope to see you in the months to come! Things are changing and shifting quickly now, but I am keeping my wits about me, and soon we will have solid ground.

Publications

"Oh Pretty Bird," July 8 (website).
"The Day the Dead Came to Show and Tell," July 15 (Orbit Short Fiction Program, as Mira Grant).
"Lady Antheia's Guide to Horticultural Warfare," August 1 (Clockwork Universe).
"Bury Me In Satin," August 5 (website).
The Winter Long, September 2.
"Snakes and Ladders," October 14 (website).
"The Fixed Stars," November 4 (Shattered Shields).
Symbiont, November 25.
"Knit A Sweater Out of Sky" (print edition), November 25 (Dead But Not Forgotten).
"White As A Raven's Wing," December 9 (website).

"No Sooner Met," January 6, 2015 (website).
"Broken Paper Hearts," February 14, 2015 (website).
"The Happiest Place...," February 2015 (Wastelands 2).
Pocket Apocalypse, March 3, 2015.
"In Skeleton Leaves," April 7, 2015.

"The Moon Inside," unknown.
"Long Way Down," unknown.
"Driving Jenny Home," unknown.
"Rolling in the Deep," unknown.
"Opening Band," unknown.
"There is No Room For Sorrow in the Kingdom of the Cold," unknown.
"Best Served Cold," unknown.

Conventions/Appearances/Travel

San Diego International Comic-Con, July 23-27, San Diego CA.
Loncon 3 (Worldcon 2014), August 14-17, London England.
Disneyland Paris, August 18-21, Paris France.
Shamrokon (Eurocon 2014), August 22-24, Dublin Ireland.
Filk Continental, October 3-5, Hamburg Germany.
Windycon, November 14-16, Chicago IL.

ConNooga, February 27-March 1 2015, Chattanooga TN.
Eastercon: Dysprosium, April 3-5 2015, London England.
BayCon, May 22-25 2015, Santa Clara CA.
Westercon 68, July 2-5 2015, San Diego CA.
Tuscon, October 30-November 1 2015, Tuscon AZ.

No fixed deadline/being written/unsold:

The Best Thing
"Lay of the Land"
"Into the Green" (formerly "Crying the Neck")
"Library Card"
"Decay"
"Fiber"
"Carry Me Home"
"Pixie Season"
"These Antique Fables"
"All the Pretty Little Horses"
Echo
Chaos Choreography
Chimera

Again, to clarify some recent confusion: some things, especially novel-length things, may appear more than once, on both the "publication date" and "being written" lists. This is because the "being written" list is an aggregate, which also includes "no fixed deadline" (IE, being written on spec or for the website) and "unsold" (IE, being written because I can). So new books will appear there for a long time before they vanish, since books take a long time to write, but may also have pub dates listed higher up.

Look at that list. It's so shiny!

Anthology funtimes! Fun with anthologies!

princess
Oh, hey: the table of contents for Streets of Shadows is live, and there I am! "Best Served Cold" is a story of wolves and winters, Seasonal Monarchs and what really goes on at Jack's Place when no one's looking. I'm super excited to be sharing the ToC with some amazing authors, including my best-beloved Jonathan Maberry, who I just can't seem to get away from these days.

BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE.

HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!! and Other Improbable Crowdfunding Projects, an anthology of weird crowdfunding tales, is available now for purchase. It is an Amazon exclusive until October 1st, when it will go to all eBook formats.

I funded an eternal Halloween under the control of an unforgiving Harvest God. Because why would I not do that, given the opportunity?

Anthologies!

So y'all know...

average
...I have no issues with pointing out typos, especially in the Velveteen stuff, which is quite long, but maybe you could also, you know, acknowledge liking the thing (assuming you did)? Otherwise it gets a little pointed and aggressive-feeling, and decreases the odds of getting another story.

Velveteen vs. Santa Claus.

pony
Title: Velveteen vs. Santa Claus.
Summary: The trials of a formerly retired superheroine are destined never to be done, especially when the heroine in question was foolish enough to agree to serve the seasonal lands...

The sky over Santa's Village was clear, affording the citizens a beautiful view of the Northern Lights, which painted the air in a hundred shimmering shades of orange, green, pink, and pearlescent blue...Collapse )

Reminder: shirt orders closing!

wicked
This is your reminder that we will stop taking orders for a new run of Wicked Girls shirts, as well as the first-ever run of "My Story Is Not Done" shirts (for those of you who have asked for something a little more gender-neutral), at midnight PST on Monday, June 30th. So the second it becomes July, we are no longer taking requests.

Instructions on ordering, and what our options are, are all lain out on that initial post. Kate, using the "seananmerch" account, is reaching out now to confirm people's requests. I have no involvement with this part of the process, and emailing me directly (either via my contact form or because you have a contact address) just gets you bounced to Kate.

What does this mean for me?

It means that you must have commented on the original post by midnight June 30th to be included in the order.

But I haven't heard back from Kate!

No one who has commented on the post will be left out. Kate had real life loom on her a bit (as sometimes happens to even the best of us), but she's getting caught up, and everyone will make the spreadsheet. This does mean I won't be submitting the T-shirt order at 12:01am July 1st, but let's be honest: that was never going to happen anyway. For one thing, I was going to be asleep. I like sleep.

Please make sure you have added "seananmerch" to your spam filters.

Kate has been emailing people, but not everyone has gotten back to her to confirm mailing addresses and provide payment. This is a problem, since your shirt will only be printed if you pay for it (that being the nature of this particular ordering process). If you have commented on the original post and received a reply saying that you're on the spreadsheet, that means you should also have received an email. Please check!

We mean it when we say we can't promise delivery before October.

We opened this order period as early as we did because we want to be able to get the shirts back from the printer and shoved into envelopes before I leave for Europe in early August, but there are a lot of moving parts involved, and it's possible the printer will miss the deadline for mailing by as little as a day or as much as two weeks. If the shirts hit while I'm out of the country, they're not going to be mailed until October. We will not give refunds in September because you expected a shirt in August. I'm being really upfront about how long this could take, and this is part of why. Which brings us to...

I am not a store; we are not making any money off of this.

The last two shirt runs have netted cost of shirts + cost of postage and packing materials + one pizza party for the people who pack the shirts to mail. I am not a big shiny clothing manufacturer who prints her own shirts and can afford a shit-ton of extras. Teefury can do $11 shirts because they print their own and have runs well in excess of anything I've ever done. I am fighting to keep from needing to raise prices for these short bespoke runs. This is why I request non-CC PayPal and do my best to avoid transaction fees, which nibble away at the already very narrow overage.

Kate and I are both going to be as open and responsive as we possibly can be; transparency is best in a situation like this one. But please, please don't buy a shirt if you're going to approach it like buying something from Hot Topic. We're not that kind of operation. It'll be a long, long time before we can be.

Thank you.
feed
I am pleased to confirm that my novella (as Mira Grant) "The Day the Dead Came to Show and Tell," will be available for purchase on July 15th, 2014. So you can get ready for the Rising in style, with this all-new adventure in the world of Newsflesh.

Purchase details are here. Because Amazon is still not playing nicely with Hachette, there is no pre-order button on the Amazon website, which means the story is not at this time available for Kindle. I honestly don't know if that's going to change: I wish I did, I assume it is, but I cannot confirm. Also, I recommend against reading the summary, as it reveals some of the surprises the novella might otherwise contain for you.

I am so excited to finally tell this story. It's been lurking for a long time, and it's time the truth of what happened at Evergreen Elementary finally comes out. (This is a zombie story set in an elementary school. So, uh, yeah.)

When will you rise?

TheDayTheDeadCameForShowA
sarah
...I ain't gonna paint this pretty face the way you paint the town.

This is the shape of my 2014, with travel dates and everything. Beautiful travel dates. Hope to see you in the months to come! Things are changing and shifting quickly now, but I am keeping my wits about me, and soon we will have solid ground.

Publications

"Lady Antheia's Guide to Horticultural Warfare," July 1 (Clockwork Universe).
"Oh Pretty Bird," July 8 (website).
"The Day the Dead Came to Show and Tell," July 15 (Orbit Short Fiction Program, as Mira Grant).
"Bury Me In Satin," August 5 (website).
The Winter Long, September 2.
"Snakes and Ladders," October 14 (website).
"The Fixed Stars," November 4 (Shattered Shields).
Symbiont, November 25.
"Knit A Sweater Out of Sky" (print edition), November 25 (Dead But Not Forgotten).
"White As A Raven's Wing," December 9 (website).

"The Happiest Place...," February 2015 (Wastelands 2).
Pocket Apocalypse, March 3, 2015.

"No Sooner Met," unknown.
"Driving Jenny Home," unknown.
"Rolling in the Deep," unknown.
"In Skeleton Leaves," unknown.
"Opening Band," unknown.
"There is No Room For Sorrow in the Kingdom of the Cold," unknown.
"Best Served Cold," unknown.

Conventions/Appearances/Travel

San Diego International Comic-Con, July 23-27, San Diego CA.
Loncon 3 (Worldcon 2014), August 14-17, London England.
Disneyland Paris, August 18-21, Paris France.
Shamrokon (Eurocon 2014), August 22-24, Dublin Ireland.
Filk Continental, October 3-5, Hamburg Germany.
Windycon, November 14-16, Chicago IL.

ConNooga, February 27-March 1 2015, Chattanooga TN.
Eastercon: Dysprosium, April 3-5 2015, London England.
BayCon, May 22-25 2015, Santa Clara CA.
Westercon 68, July 2-5 2015, San Diego CA.
Tuscon, October 30-November 1 2015, Tuscon AZ.

No fixed deadline/being written/unsold:

The Best Thing
"White as a Raven's Wing"
"Sleepover" (formerly "Sweet Cherry Pie")
"Finals"
"Crying the Neck"
"Decay"
"Fiber"
"Carry Me Home"
"Pixie Season"
"These Antique Fables"
"All the Pretty Little Horses"
Echo
Chaos Choreography
Chimera

Again, to clarify some recent confusion: some things, especially novel-length things, may appear more than once, on both the "publication date" and "being written" lists. This is because the "being written" list is an aggregate, which also includes "no fixed deadline" (IE, being written on spec or for the website) and "unsold" (IE, being written because I can). So new books will appear there for a long time before they vanish, since books take a long time to write, but may also have pub dates listed higher up.

Look at that list. It's so shiny!
feed
And that title is—drum roll please...

Chimera!

There are many books with that title, some of which I highly recommend, but this is the only one by Mira Grant! Coming in Fall 2015, Chimera will conclude the story of Sally Mitchell, who didn't intend to get swept up in a science fiction universe.

Books in this series:

Parasite (hardback 2013, paperback coming this fall)
Symbiont (coming this fall)
Chimera (coming 2015)

It's a trilogy!

Make a little space, sell a couple shirts.

barbie
slasherChicks800

Look! The new Slasher Chicks shirts are here!

These lovely, colorful tanks allow you to embrace your inner roller girl, while also looking awesome in the hot summer weather. With art by the fabulous Sfe Monster, this was our first experiment with printing on bright colors for fun times. All tanks are fitted (no straight cuts this time, I'm afraid).

Here's the thing: they're all in a big box, and I'm not 100% sure what I have. So I'm going to post shirts a few at a time, and update this post when I add more shirts for sale. First up, we have...

Banana Yellow, 2XL
Banana Yellow, XL
Banana Yellow, S
Purple, XL
Purple, XL
Red, XL
Red, S
Bright Pink, M

All shirts are $20 + $5 shipping US/$10 shipping International. If you're wondering about a color/color family and size, please comment, and I'll happily look it up. If you want a shirt, comment here, and I'll provide payment info and all that fun stuff.

Shirts!

ETA: When I say "use my contact form," I mean my website, not LJ messaging. Please do not use LJ messaging.
ETA2: I really mean it when I say "please do not use LJ messaging." Yes, it's easier, but it means that the odds of my missing your message and your shirt not getting shipped increase by literally 500%. I cannot miss you in my email inbox. I am really good at missing things in my LJ inbox. Please, please, don't do this.

T-shirt updates and notes and stuff.

wicked
All right! We are still taking orders for a new run of Wicked Girls shirts, as well as the first-ever run of "My Story Is Not Done" shirts (for those of you who have asked for something a little more gender-neutral). Instructions on ordering, and what our options are, are all lain out on that initial post. Kate, using the "seananmerch" account, is reaching out now to confirm people's requests.

Now, the notes.

Please make sure you have added "seananmerch" to your spam filters.

Kate has been emailing people, but not everyone has gotten back to her to confirm mailing addresses and provide payment. This is a problem, since your shirt will only be printed if you pay for it (that being the nature of this particular ordering process). If you have commented on the original post and received a reply saying that you're on the spreadsheet, that means you should also have received an email. Please check!

We mean it when we say we can't promise delivery before October.

We opened this order period as early as we did because we want to be able to get the shirts back from the printer and shoved into envelopes before I leave for Europe in early August, but there are a lot of moving parts involved, and it's possible the printer will miss the deadline for mailing by as little as a day or as much as two weeks. If the shirts hit while I'm out of the country, they're not going to be mailed until October. We will not give refunds in September because you expected a shirt in August. I'm being really upfront about how long this could take, and this is part of why. Which brings us to...

I am not a store; we are not making any money off of this.

The last two shirt runs have netted cost of shirts + cost of postage and packing materials + one pizza party for the people who pack the shirts to mail. I am not a big shiny clothing manufacturer who prints her own shirts and can afford a shit-ton of extras. Teefury can do $11 shirts because they print their own and have runs well in excess of anything I've ever done. I am fighting to keep from needing to raise prices for these short bespoke runs. This is why I request non-CC PayPal and do my best to avoid transaction fees, which nibble away at the already very narrow overage.

Kate and I are both going to be as open and responsive as we possibly can be; transparency is best in a situation like this one. But please, please don't buy a shirt if you're going to approach it like buying something from Hot Topic. We're not that kind of operation. It'll be a long, long time before we can be.

Thank you.

Mosquitoes and me: Seanan goes to Minnesota.

me
Tomorrow morning I shall rise, bright and early, and head for the airport, where a plane will be waiting to take me (and a bunch of strangers, that being the way of air travel) away to glorious Minnesota, where the state bird, the mosquito, will no doubt be waiting to carry me away.

Why am I going to Minnesota? Why, 4th Street Fantasy, of course. My schedule for the weekend:

Friday.

I will be doing the Writer's Seminar all day. Now, since this starts at 9am, and I will be several hours ahead of my normal time zone, I do not promise coherency before around noon. But hey, that's where some of the best advice comes from, right?

Saturday.

Originality and Micro-genre, 9:30am. To quote the con: "Readers who are versed in a sub-genre and its conventions can find what outsiders see as minor variations on a theme to be significant and original differences. How does this relate to the frequently expressed desire among critics for originality and ambition, and how is the perception of originality informed by the breadth/focus of readers' experiences?" To quote me: "Why do you hate sleep?"

Sunday.

Influence, Tropes, and Prior Art, 11:30am. To quote the con: "Authors who came before them influence nearly every author. Is it easier to be influenced by certain styles of work, or in certain ways? To what extent do we model our works on existing texts or narrative templates, and how often are those influences visible when reading the finished product?" To quote me: "Hooray! Sleep!"

So this should be a super-fun weekend, and all the programming looks great. Plus you'll get to see me in a sleep-deprived haze, and that's gonna be awesome. Hope to see you there!

Current projects, June 2014.

editing
Every month I make a post to tell folks what I'm working on, a) because it seems polite, b) because it keeps me accountable, if only to myself, and c) so you will understand why I do not have a social life. This is the June 2014 post.

To quote myself, being too harried to say something new: "These posts are labeled with the month and year, in case somebody eventually gets the bizarre urge to timeline my work cycles (it'll probably be me). Behold the proof that I don't actually sleep; I just whimper and keep writing."

Please note that all books currently in print are off the list, as are those that have been turned in but not yet printed (The Winter Long, Symbiont and Pocket Apocalypse). A Red-Rose Chain is off the list because it's finished and in revisions with the Machete Squad. The cut-tag is here to stay, because no matter what I do, it seems like this list just keeps on getting longer. But that's okay, because at least it means I'm never actively bored. I have horror movies and terrible things from the swamp to keep me company.

Not everything on this list has been sold. I will not discuss the sale status of anything which has not been publicly announced. If you can't remember whether I've announced something, check the relevant tag, or go to my website, at www.seananmcguire.com. Please do not ask why project X is no longer on the list. I will not answer you.

What's Seanan working on now? Click to find out!Collapse )

Let's talk about fanfic.

barbie
So I've had this lovely link about fanfic and why some people may not be comfortable with it and why maybe those are feelings that should be examined sitting at the top of my link file for literally three years. I mean that. Three years and a month, it has waited for me to feel up to talking about it.

Y'know what? Sometimes you just gotta stop waiting.

It's no secret around here that I love fanfic, although it's one of the three Big Truths that I feel the need to reveal for the first time every six months or so, as new people wander in and are totally shocked to discover that...

1. I have OCD.
2. I am Mira Grant.
3. I love fanfic.

These things are sometimes equal in their shocking nature. "Wait, you can be a best-selling author without being neurotypical?" Yes! "Wait, Mira Grant isn't a real person?" She's real, she's just, you know, me. "Authors can love fanfic?!" Yes.

Yes we can.

If I had the power, I would ask all the authors in the world to do Yuletide or something like it every year. Sign up for a fic exchange and write some porn for a stranger; tailor your stories to an audience of one, let go of the long-form plots and the careful wide-spectrum appeal, embrace the joy of spending a hundred words on Carlos's perfect hair or Buffy's perfect shoes or Jo's perfect knives. Remember the joy of waiting for one person to open a story and see what it contains.

Because fanfic is joy. Fanfic is fixing the things you see as broken, and patching the seams between what's written and what is not, and giving characters who got cheated out of their happy endings another chance. There was a time, not that long ago as we measure things, where all fiction was what we would now call "fan fiction." Shakespeare didn't come up with most of his own plots. He wrote plays about the stories people already loved. We didn't get a thousand versions of "Snow White" accidentally: people changed that story to suit themselves, and no one said they weren't storytellers, or looked down on them for loving that core of red and black and white, of apples and glass and snow.

Originality wasn't the god of fiction until the last few centuries, and even then, we didn't fixate on it until we reached the era of modern copyright. Mickey looks a lot like Oswald, if you know what I mean. Wanting to work with characters you already know and love is not a new urge. Hell, all television and non-creator-owned comics can be viewed as fanfic, if you squint and cock your head, because much of it is being written about characters and situations created by other people. It's just fanfic with contracts behind it.

I recently accomplished the fanfic writer's dream: I was paid to write a story about a character created by Charlaine Harris, Amelia Broadway, which was published in the anthology Dead But Not Forgotten. I admit, I kissed that check, because it was the fulfillment of a life-long dream. I didn't make canon, necessarily, but I made fanfic for the world.

I encourage and celebrate fanfic of my work, even if I can't read it right now. Because fanfic is amazing, and it's important. It allows us to interface with the things we love in a way that is otherwise virtually impossible.

That's amazing.

Tags:

sarah
...a melody softly soaring through my atmosphere. Where soul meets body.

This is the shape of my 2014, with travel dates and everything. Beautiful travel dates. Hope to see you in the months to come! Things are changing and shifting quickly now, but I am keeping my wits about me, and soon we will have solid ground.

Publications

"Lady Antheia's Guide to Horticultural Warfare," July 1 (Clockwork Universe).
"Oh Pretty Bird," July 1 (website).
"Bury Me In Satin," August 5 (website).
The Winter Long, September 2.
"Snakes and Ladders," October 14 (website).
"The Fixed Stars," November 4 (Shattered Shields).
Symbiont, November 25.
"Knit A Sweater Out of Sky" (print edition), November 25 (Dead But Not Forgotten).
"White As A Raven's Wing," December 9 (website).

"The Happiest Place...," February 2015 (Wastelands 2).
Pocket Apocalypse, March 3, 2015.

"No Sooner Met," unknown.
"Driving Jenny Home," unknown.
"Rolling in the Deep," unknown.
"In Skeleton Leaves," unknown.
"Opening Band," unknown.
"There is No Room For Sorrow in the Kingdom of the Cold," unknown.

Conventions/Appearances/Travel

4th Street Fantasy, June 20-22, Minneapolis MN.
San Diego International Comic-Con, July 23-27, San Diego CA.
Loncon 3 (Worldcon 2014), August 14-17, London England.
Disneyland Paris, August 18-21, Paris France.
Shamrokon (Eurocon 2014), August 22-24, Dublin Ireland.
Filk Continental, October 3-5, Hamburg Germany.
Windycon, November 14-16, Chicago IL.

Eastercon: Dysprosium, April 3-5 2015, London England.
BayCon, May 22-25 2015, Santa Clara CA.
Westercon 68, July 2-5 2015, San Diego CA.
Tuscon, October 30-November 1 2015, Tuscon AZ.

No fixed deadline/being written/unsold:

The Best Thing
"The Way Home"
"White as a Raven's Wing"
"Sweet Cherry Pie"
"Under the Sea of Stars"
"Decay"
"Fiber"
"Carry Me Home"
"Pixie Season"
"These Antique Fables"
"All the Pretty Little Horses"
Echo
Chaos Choreography
Chimera

Again, to clarify some recent confusion: some things, especially novel-length things, may appear more than once, on both the "publication date" and "being written" lists. This is because the "being written" list is an aggregate, which also includes "no fixed deadline" (IE, being written on spec or for the website) and "unsold" (IE, being written because I can). So new books will appear there for a long time before they vanish, since books take a long time to write, but may also have pub dates listed higher up.

Look at that list. It's so shiny!
me
It's almost time for Phoenix Comic Con, and that means it's time for the Arizona Edition of Where's Seanan? Whee!

Friday.

Improbable Dystopias, 10:30–11:30AM, North 131
What makes some worlds believable and others not? Is there any point to setting the whole sky on fire? Panelists: Janni Lee Simner, Jason Hough, Laini Taylor, Pierce Brown, Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant.

Signing, 11:30AM, Mysterious Galaxy Table 2526

Comedy's Hard—The Secrets of How and When to be Funny, 1:30–2:30PM, Sheraton Valley of the Sun
Writing humor is a difficult trick. Come listen to some of Phoenix Comicon's author guests who make it look easy and find out their secrets to getting laughs into a story. I'll probably tell stick jokes. Panelists: Gini Koch, Jim Butcher, John Scalzi, Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant, Wesley Chu.

Deadlands: The Weird West's Wild Future, 4:30–5:30PM, North 127ab
Hear about all the news happening about the weird western RPG Deadlands about to be turned into an Xbox TV Series. Why am I on this panel? You'll have to show up to find out. Panelists: Charles Sellner, Jeffrey J. Mariotte, Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant, Shane Hensley.

Paul and Storm Concert, 8:30–10:30PM, North Ballroom 120
Join the musical comedy duo Paul and Storm (Geek & Sundry's LearningTown) for a concert event with authors that you won't want to miss. Joining in will be NYT bestselling authors Patrick Rothfuss, John Scalzi, and Seanan McGuire with other special guests. YEAH YOU READ THAT RIGHT I AM PERFORMING WITH PAUL AND STORM WOO WE'RE GONNA TEAR IT UP AND MAYBE SET SOME SHIT ON FIRE WOO!!!!

Saturday.

Using Zombies or Something Like Them, 10:30–11:30AM, North 126bc
Authors who make use of zombies or creatures like them discuss their take on the creatures. Because that never leads to bloodshed. Panelists: David Wellington, Jason Hough, Joseph Nassise, Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant, Tom Leveen, Weston Ochse.

SF Squeecast Panel, 1:30–2:30PM, West 212
Join the SF Squeecast and their special guest for an hour of fannish squee and delight over the latest cool stuff in Science Fiction and Fantasy. Maybe this will be the time when I finally unhinge my jaw and sing the song that ends the world. Panelists: Catherynne Valente, Charlaine Harris, Elizabeth Bear, Lynne M. Thomas, Michael Damian Thomas, Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant.

Signing, 3:00 pm, Signing Table VIP20

Sunday.

Supernatural Elements in Contemporary Fantasy, 10:30–11:30AM, Sheraton Valley of the Sun
Authors discuss what goes into deciding the supernatural elements that surface in their paranormal variations on the real world. They say there's a panel here, but then they put me and Amber and Charlaine together, so we're probably just gonna tell filthy stories for an hour. Panelists: Amber Benson, Charlaine Harris, Chuck Wendig, Kevin Hearne, Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant, Weston Ochse.

Author Chicks Who Dig Time Lords, 1:30–2:30PM, North 131
Join contiributors to Chicks Dig Time Lords and Chicks Unravel Time as they discussed their love of Doctor Who and how it has influenced them in their careers. PS: It's a documentary. Panelists: Carole Barrowman, Catherynne Valente, Elizabeth Bear, Lynne M. Thomas, Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant.

Signing, 3:00 pm, Signing Table VIP20

I hope I see you all there!

A few notes on T-shirts.

wicked
For those of you who missed it, we opened orders for a new run of Wicked Girls shirts this past weekend, as well as the first-ever run of "My Story Is Not Done" shirts (for those of you who have asked for something a little more gender-neutral). Instructions on ordering, and what our options are, are all lain out on that initial post. Kate, using the "seananmerch" account, is reaching out now to confirm people's requests.

Now, the notes.

We cannot provide any special mailing options.

A few people have offered to pay extra for expedited shipping or tracking, and that's swell, but we can't. We are not a store, and the size of these shirt runs means that we have enough trouble just feeding them through the post office as all-the-same. The only way we would be able to offer other postage options would be to cap the shirt run at something around 50, and a) we've already passed that point, and b) no. I can only handle this about once every two years, and capping things like that would be mean.

We mean it when we say we can't promise delivery before October.

We opened this order period as early as we did because we want to be able to get the shirts back from the printer and shoved into envelopes before I leave for Europe in early August, but there are a lot of moving parts involved, and it's possible the printer will miss the deadline for mailing by as little as a day or as much as two weeks. If the shirts hit while I'm out of the country, they're not going to be mailed until October. We will not give refunds in September because you expected a shirt in August. I'm being really upfront about how long this could take, and this is part of why. Which brings us to...

I am not a store; we are not making any money off of this.

The last two shirt runs have netted cost of shirts + cost of postage and packing materials + one pizza party for the people who pack the shirts to mail. I am not a big shiny clothing manufacturer who prints her own shirts and can afford a shit-ton of extras. Teefury can do $11 shirts because they print their own and have runs well in excess of anything I've ever done. I am fighting to keep from needing to raise prices for these short bespoke runs. This is why I request non-CC PayPal and do my best to avoid transaction fees, which nibble away at the already very narrow overage.

Kate and I are both going to be as open and responsive as we possibly can be; transparency is best in a situation like this one. But please, please don't buy a shirt if you're going to approach it like buying something from Hot Topic. We're not that kind of operation.

Thank you.

Hack the planet!

barbie
Because we're still working our way through the latest tip jar, it's time for some free fiction. Hooray!

Arthur Harrington is having a hell of a time. He's always been among the most sheltered of the current generation, thanks to inheriting more than a few incubus tricks from his father, but not getting the control to keep them from backfiring at random. He used to be okay with that.

Then Sarah got hurt, and he couldn't go to help her.

Now he's climbing the walls in Oregon, looking for a way to make things better, and slamming endlessly into the walls of linear space and missing information. How do you repair a cuckoo's mind when no one understands how it works in the first place?

You can download "IM" now from the InCryptid short fiction page. This story chronologically takes place after Half-Off Ragnarok, and is better read after you've read the book. (Obviously I can't control this, but hey, I can give recommendations.) This is more of a vignette than a full narrative; it's a necessary scene to move things into place, but please don't go in looking for something huge and plot-ty. It won't be there. I'm still really excited about what is there.

This also serves as your discussion post.

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