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A quick musical update.

I just got the confirmation from CD Baby: Wicked Girls is back in stock. Stars Fall Home and Creature Feature have been in stock this whole time.

CD Baby is currently offering one cent standard shipping anywhere in the world. So if you've been waiting for the price to drop, because shipping things to, say, Australia is spendy, now's your chance! Complete your collection, or just find out for yourself what the heck we're talking about when we say that I make music!

There will be no further restocks before the end of the year; if you wanted any of these three CDs with the cheapest shipping you're ever going to see, now's the time.
It is with absolute joy and no small amount of confusion that I make the following announcement:

Velveteen vs. The Seasons is under discussion to be released this coming Memorial Day weekend at Marcon in Columbus, Ohio. Like the first two volumes, it will be a hardcover from ISFiC Press. It will include all the stories released after the end of volume two (and possibly a few that I haven't had the chance to post yet, depending on how my schedule shakes out).

Action! Adventure! Punching things! Vel having a really, really lousy time! Honestly, I can't wait.

This does, however, bring us to a point of administrative order: my contract terms with ISFiC are for two year periods. This means that at the end of this month, the first two Velveteen volumes will no longer be available for purchase in eBook form. The physical books will remain available until they sell out, and the stories will remain available for free on this blog, but the collected eBooks? Gone. So get 'em now or get 'em never.

I am so thrilled to know that Vel's next big adventure is going to be a book, and I think you're really going to like where things go. My bunny-girl sure did make it a lot farther than I ever thought she would.

For justice!

FOR CAKE!

Bacon creamed corn, take one.

You will need:

1/2 pound of good, fatty bacon
2 pints of heavy whipping cream/1 pint heavy whipping cream, 2 cups of whole milk
2 1-lb. bags of frozen corn
4 tbs. of sugar
2 tsp. of salt
1/4 cup of quick polenta

A deep skillet
A spoon

Take your corn out to thaw (you want it as non-frozen as possible). Cut your bacon into 1/4" to 1/2" squares (I find that using meat scissors works really well for this). Put the bacon into your skillet, and cook until you want to just eat it.

Add your thawed corn to the skillet, pouring it on top of the bacon, and mix thoroughly before adding your first pint of cream. Mix again. If the cream does not cover the bulk of your corn-and-bacon mixture, add more cream (or milk, if that's how you're rolling). Reserve half the remaining cream/milk for later.

Bring your heat up to medium-high. Stir your mixture until the cream begins to warm. Taste it. You should find that you need sugar to balance the richness of the cream. Add sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until the sweetness is to your liking (you can leave some of the sugar out). Sprinkle your polenta evenly over the mixture, stirring thoroughly after each pass.

Turn the heat down to medium-low, and give the mixture about four minutes to cook, stirring occasionally. As the polenta cooks, it will thicken more and more, creating a paste. You may wish to add more cream/milk at this stage, to render the cream more, well, creamy. I like my creamed corn to be thick but still a little bit runny.

Taste the mix. You should find that you need salt. Add salt to taste. Stir thoroughly. Bring back up to medium-high and stir for another three to five minutes, while your polenta finishes cooking. Be careful not to burn your cream (burnt cream is unpleasant).

Serves eight, reheats beautifully.

I will be modifying this recipe to begin with an onion cooked alongside the bacon, and will report back.

In which Seanan brings up an awkward topic.

I hate making posts like this one, so I'm just going to go ahead and get to it. Here we go:

I am not a vending machine. You can't put a quarter in me to get free stuff exactly when you want it. You can't actually put a quarter in me at all. You can give me a quarter--I like quarters--but I am not a coin-operated story dispenser. I am a people.

I give away a lot of free fiction around here, both via my website (InCryptid shorts, Toby Daye shorts) and via this blog (Velveteen stories). In the case of the website shorts, they represent a lot more than just my writing time. I commission (and pay for) the story covers. In order to make the reading experience as easy and pleasant as possible, I have to ask my friend Will to convert the text files to ePub, MOBI, and PDF (which is, by the way, why I tend to shrug when people report typos; they're free, and the conversion is done on a volunteer basis, which means I am not going to ask him to completely reformat a file unless the error is so catastrophically large as to make the story unreadable). Once the stories are prepared, all the uploading and formatting on my website is done by hand, by me.

There is a lot of invisible back-end labor involved with bringing you a free treat. That's part of why I do the tip jars: they don't just justify my making time to write the stories, even if it means I might have to pass on an anthology. They pay for the covers, and for the administrative time I have to take away from writing in order to make sure everything is working correctly.

This is not me gearing up to asking for money, by the way: there was no tip jar in October, in part because one of the stories funded by the last tip jar has not been posted yet. Because even a "prioritized" story has to fit in around all my other publications and commitments, all the release dates I have to promote, all the conventions I have to attend. Because at the end of the day, while I want to tell you these stories as much as you want to hear them, I still have to be able to tell my publishers that they will come first. They pay my bills. They keep my main series going. They have to come before the freebies.

So why am I saying all this?

Because people keep emailing me going "hey when do we get the next free story." And this makes me feel terrible. It makes me feel like a party trick, like a vending machine, like I have no value apart from what I give away for free. I released a novel in November! I had several short stories come out, in several different genres! But when is the next free story. When is the next free story. Why don't we have it yet. Why aren't you doing it.

I understand eagerness. I genuinely do. I understand wanting to know what happens next now. I used to follow Kelley Armstrong's free fiction, back when she posted it regularly on her website; I get frustrated when my favorite fanfic writers don't publish chapters on schedule. But I am so outnumbered, and when all I hear is "why aren't you giving us more," it's really demoralizing. It kills my desire to give things away for free, and it makes it harder to keep working on those stories.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for caring. But please, remember that I am a person, not a vending machine; I am not just here to give things away. And if I'm not posting something new, it's probably because I'm working my ass off at the things that keep the lights on, not because I'm lounging on a beach somewhere. Please have patience.

Thank you.

Hogswatch day thirteen winner!

The random number generator has spoken for the last time this year! To those of you who followed this blog out of the hope of free stuff: it's over until next December, although there will always be occasional giveaways. I'm good like that. To those of you who unfollowed this blog until the deluge was past: it's over until next December. Thank you for your patience.

And the winner of our mystery prize is...

killjoy188!

Instructions for the winner: Please comment on this post letting me know that you're claiming your prize and send me an email via my website (www.seananmcguire.com) with your mailing information. Both comment and email must be received by Tuesday, December 22nd to be considered valid.

We're out. Thank you all for playing, and Happy Hogswatch!

Seven years of Alice.

Seven years ago today, my beloved Maine Coon girl, Alice, came into the world. We met ten days later. It was love at first sight, for me; for her, I was another large, lumbering thumb-beast to trouble her.

Things remain much the same today.

As I type this, Alice is nearby, being vast and content and absolutely at ease with her world. She is Best Cat, and as I often tell her, my very favorite thing.

Here's to seven more, baby girl.

Hogswatch day twelve winner!

The random number generator has spoken, and the winner of a copy of Indexing: Reflections is...

kimuro!

Instructions for the winner: Please comment on this post letting me know that you're claiming your prize and send me an email via my website (www.seananmcguire.com) with your mailing information. Both comment and email must be received by Monday, December 21th to be considered valid.

One more day to go!

Hogswatch day eleven winner!

The random number generator has spoken, and the winner of a copy of Chaos Choreography is...

phoenix_singing!

Instructions for the winner: Please comment on this post letting me know that you're claiming your prize and send me an email via my website (www.seananmcguire.com) with your mailing information. Both comment and email must be received by Sunday, December 20th to be considered valid.

Two more days to go!

SPARROW HILL ROAD shirt inquries.

We've talked about Unicorn Empire and how awesome their stuff is. Now let's talk about why it may be relevant to you.

Here is the design I commissioned from Amber for Sparrow Hill Road. A very limited number of shirts were printed, for conventions I was attending. Some people have asked me what they'd have to do to get one. I've spoken to Amber about whether she'd be willing to do a small run, and she's agreed, as long as there's enough interest.

So this is me, checking interest. Note that if we were to move forward with this, all ordering and fulfillment would be done by Unicorn Empire; no waiting for me to go to the post office or fear of cats in boxes. I would also not be the one handling the money. It will go through her store, as with a normal order. This makes me very happy.

And now...the poll. If your answers are conditional, "IE, I will only order if it's not pink" or whatever, please indicate in the comments.

Poll #2031114 Shirts!

If we did a T-shirt pre-order, would you order one?

Yes
132(94.3%)
No
8(5.7%)

Would you prefer tank top or T-shirt?

tank top
30(22.1%)
T-shirt
103(75.7%)
other (in comments)
3(2.2%)

One color or two (two will cost more)

One
97(72.4%)
Two
37(27.6%)

Would you prefer a tote bag option?

Yes
17(12.4%)
No
73(53.3%)
Both
47(34.3%)

Hogswatch day ten winner!

The random number generator has spoken, and the winner of a copy of Pretty Little Dead Girl is...

mac_arthur_park!

Instructions for the winner: Please comment on this post letting me know that you're claiming your prize and send me an email via my website (www.seananmcguire.com) with your mailing information. Both comment and email must be received by Saturday, December 19th to be considered valid.

Three more days to go!

Hogswatch day nine winner!

The random number generator has spoken, and the winner of a copy of The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination is...

loree!

Instructions for the winner: Please comment on this post letting me know that you're claiming your prize and send me an email via my website (www.seananmcguire.com) with your mailing information. Both comment and email must be received by Friday, December 18th to be considered valid.

Five more days to go!
We are deep in the winter holidays, and by now most of you will have finished your shopping, such as it is; after all, unless you're planning to go to the mall (don't go to the mall), things will not likely reach your house before the timer runs out and the presents are being plunked beneath the tree, grievance pole, decorative pig, or other symbol of your holiday. But!

There are other reasons to need gifts. Birthdays, special events, or just the need to have something nice. I frequently lay in presents against the rest of the year, sacrificing storage space for the sake of savings. Or maybe I get myself a nice thing, because it's nice to have nice things. I try not to practice too much retail therapy. That doesn't mean I don't occasionally treat myself.

May I present the Unicorn Empire holiday sales?

Unicorn Empire Designs is an artist-owned shirt and print design shop belonging to the fabulous Amber Whitney, who has designed some of my favorite shirts (I'm wearing my Steven Universe shirt right now, and seriously considering ordering myself a second "We Are Not Things" tank, because I wear it so damn much that why not?). If you're one of the lucky ones who got a Sparrow Hill Road shirt, she did that design.

It's too late to order from her for holiday delivery, especially if you're not in the US, but her holiday sales are still ongoing. You can get some incredible fannish gift sets, and better yet, free shipping on any orders of $75 or more. Check out her stuff, and see if some of it needs to come home with you.

More seriously: Amber is an independent artist who does incredible things. So incredible that the art theft has, naturally, gotten more and more common as other people went "oh, it's just fan art" and tried to profit off it without compensating her. So if you've been considering a shirt, consider it now, and help give her the happy holiday that assholes attempted to steal away.

Yay, shirts!

Hogswatch day eight winner!

The random number generator has spoken, and the winner of a copy of Symbiont is...

diseasedwits!

Instructions for the winner: Please comment on this post letting me know that you're claiming your prize and send me an email via my website (www.seananmcguire.com) with your mailing information. Both comment and email must be received by Thursday, December 17th to be considered valid.

Five more days to go!
The tenth episode of Indexing: Reflections is available today! This is your talkpost and discussion zone. There will be spoilers in the comments here. As always on talkposts, I have partial comment amnesty, and will not be responding to everything.

"Untold Truths" is hard to talk about in an unspoilery way, but wow, is it bringing us closer to the end. Only two episodes remain in this season. Shit's about to get vicious.

Once upon a time...

Current projects, December 2015.

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 December 2015 post. It's the last post of 2015. That makes me sad. Where the hell did the year go?

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 (Chaos Choreography). Once Broken Faith, Rewind, The Nativity of Chance, and Magic For Nothing 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 is Seanan working on now? Click to find out!Collapse )

Hogswatch day seven winner!

The random number generator has spoken, and the winner of a "Wicked Girls" poster is...

heavensgardener!

Instructions for the winner: Please comment on this post letting me know that you're claiming your prize and send me an email via my website (www.seananmcguire.com) with your mailing information. Both comment and email must be received by Wednesday, December 16th to be considered valid.

Six more days to go!
Many people don't realize this, because it hasn't come up much lately, but I am part of an acapella group. I am, in fact, one of the three founding members of Lady Mondegreen, an all-female filk acapella group with members all over the world (or at least, all over North America and Europe). Because I live on the West Coast and the other two founding members live on the East Coast, we have not actually performed together since 2007. So when ChessieCon asked us to do a concert, we said sure. Why the hell not?

Batya, Merav, and I rehearsed as much as we could while I was in New York, and made our way to the con, where we took the stage for a surprisingly (dauntingly) large crowd. Our set list was as follows:

Sound check:

Theme from Banana In Pajamas
The shunning of Josh (ala Charlie the Unicorn)
Theme from Disney's The Gummi Bears
Theme from Disney's Rescue Rangers

Actual concert:

"The Three Fine Daughters of Farmer Brown" (Eddie From Ohio)
"Bottom of the River" (Delta Rae)
"Lorelei" (The Pogues)
"Flu Pandemic" (The Flying Fish Sailors)
"If I Had a Boat" (Lyle Lovett)
"Mordred's Lullaby" (Heather Dale)
"Lilo" (parody)
"All In Green" (e.e. cummings, music by Batya Wittenberg)
"Anything For You" (Ludo)
"Bedroom Eyes" (Uncle Bonsai)
"Reunion Hill" (Richard Shindell)
"This Side of the Knife" (Talis Kimberley)
"Don't Go Down to the Quarry" (Peter, Paul, and Mary)
"Leaving On a Jet Plane" (John Denver)

Post-concert:

"We are Wyld Stallions!"
"We are Sex B-Bomb!" (Quoth Batya: "I don't want to be Sex B-Bomb.")
"We are Mouse Rat!" (Cue me bouncing up and down singing "Sex Hair/Sex Bears.")

...all in all, not bad for our first show in years.
...a MYSTERY.

Welcome to the last of the Thirteen Days of Hogswatch. Each giveaway in this year's extravaganza has come with different rules and a different deadline, although all prizes will be mailed on December 30th, because I am bad at going to the post office (and also, avoiding the post office until that other winter holiday is over).

The thirteenth, and last, giveaway is for a MYSTERY ITEM of some kind. What will it be? No one knows! Not even me. This is going to be a random number drawing, because why I said so. So...

1. To enter, comment on this post.
2. If you are international, indicate both this and your willingness to pay postage.
3. Tell me one thing you hope the prize is. (ETA: Please only ask for things I might actually have. I can't give you a new job or world peace. I wish I could.)
4. Tell me one thing you hope the prize is not.
5. Tell me why the RNG should pick you.

I will choose the winner at 1PM PST on Sunday, December 20th.

Game on!

Hogswatch day six winner!

The random number generator has spoken, and the winner of copies of Half-Off Ragnarok and Pocket Apocalypse is...

metairiegirl!

Instructions for the winner: Please comment on this post letting me know that you're claiming your prize and send me an email via my website (www.seananmcguire.com) with your mailing information. Both comment and email must be received by Tuesday, December 15th to be considered valid.

Seven more days to go!

Hogswatch day five winner!

The random number generator has spoken, and proven that it is truly random by choosing...1. I've never actually seen that happen before. I was very impressed. Anyway, the winner of copies of The Winter Long and A Red-Rose Chain is...

bree_ramsey314!

Instructions for the winner: Please comment on this post letting me know that you're claiming your prize and send me an email via my website (www.seananmcguire.com) with your mailing information. Both comment and email must be received by Monday, December 14th to be considered valid.

Eight more days to go!
...a copy of Indexing: Reflections.

Welcome to the twelfth of the Thirteen Days of Hogswatch. I will be starting a new giveaway every day between now and December 13th (tomorrow). Each giveaway will have different rules, and a different deadline, although all prizes will be mailed on December 30th, because I am bad at going to the post office (and also, avoiding the post office until that other winter holiday is over).

The twelfth giveaway is for a copy of Indexing: Reflections, the second outing for the ATI Management Bureau. This is going to be a random number drawing, because why mess with something that's working? So...

1. To enter, comment on this post.
2. If you are international, indicate both this and your willingness to pay postage.
3. Tell me who your favorite member of the team is.
4. That's it.

I will choose the winner at 1PM PST on Saturday, December 19th.

Game on!
As I've said a few times, I'm using simple questions ("name a favorite song" or "tell me which characters you're curious about," etc.) to try to filter out the "I'm just here because a free stuff blog linked to you" comments. Not that free stuff isn't keen no matter who you are, but since the Thirteen Days of Hogswatch are about getting things to my fans and readers, I want to have some sort of "please don't let me be completely overwhelmed" filtering scheme in place. Don't follow the instructions, which the gimme-gimme-gimme crowd usually won't, don't win a prize.

In the case of the copy of Pretty Little Dead Girl, I asked people to tell me why they wanted to win. A surprisingly large number have said that it's because they've never heard my music/didn't know I had CDs/wanted to start at the beginning. So...

I have CDs! Three albums, currently. Stars Fall Home (the reissue of my first studio album), Creature Feature, and Wicked Girls (currently out of stock at CD Baby, which means the link doesn't work). Two earlier albums, Pretty Little Dead Girl and Red Roses and Dead Things are out of print.

Many of the songs on Pretty Little Dead Girl appear on Stars Fall Home, including "Pretty Little Dead Girl," the girl-group doo-wop story of Rose Marshall. I will be re-stocking Wicked Girls within the next week.

This is not "please don't enter the drawing"; the drawings are there to be entered, and I am thrilled that so many of you are participating. But if you've been curious about my music, I actually consider Stars Fall Home the best place to start, and I would love it if you'd consider picking up my studio albums.

Thank you.
...a second ARC of Chaos Choreography.

Welcome to the eleventh of the Thirteen Days of Hogswatch. I will be starting a new giveaway every day between now and December 13th. Each giveaway will have different rules, and a different deadline, although all prizes will be mailed on December 30th, because I am bad at going to the post office (and also, avoiding the post office until that other winter holiday is over).

The eleventh giveaway is for an ARC copy of Chaos Choreography, the fifth InCryptid adventure. This is going to be a random number drawing, because I am about to take a nap. So...

1. To enter, comment on this post.
2. If you are international, indicate both this and your willingness to pay postage.
3. Tell me which member of the family you want to know more about.
4. That's it.

I will choose the winner at 1PM PST on Friday, December 18th.

Game on!

ETA: This drawing is now CLOSED.

Hogswatch day four winner!

The random number generator has spoken, and the winner of a copy of Indexing is...

runiechica!

Instructions for the winner: Please comment on this post letting me know that you're claiming your prize and send me an email via my website (www.seananmcguire.com) with your mailing information. Both comment and email must be received by Sunday, December 13th to be considered valid.

Nine more days to go!

A treat for Toby fans is coming!

So hey, remember how at the end of Chimes at Midnight, Quentin was all "now you get to meet my parents," and Toby was all "OH FUCK NO," and then we got The Winter Long, but we never got to see the meeting?

We're going to get to see the meeting.

"Full of Briars" is a novelette set between Chimes at Midnight and The Winter Long, narrated by Quentin as he faces that most terrifying moment in a young squire's life: the meeting between his parents and his knight. With bonus "how Quentin sees Tybalt" and "how Quentin and Raj interact when Toby isn't around" (hint: they're glorious shits to one another).

"Full of Briars" will have a price point of $1.99 USD/$2.59 CD, and be released in August 2016, a month before the next October Daye book comes out. The cover art is being done by Tara O'Shea, who does the short story covers for my website. (Right now, it is only available in the US and Canada, because of regional rights issues. I have faith in all y'all's ability to get around that without resorting to illegal downloads. Since wow do I want DAW to let me do more of these.)

Quentin!

Glee.

Hogswatch day three winner!

The random number generator has spoken, and the winner of a copy of Creature Feature is...

sabine791110!

Instructions for the winner: Please comment on this post letting me know that you're claiming your prize and send me an email via my website (www.seananmcguire.com) with your mailing information. Both comment and email must be received by Saturday , December 12th to be considered valid.

Ten more days to go!
...a copy of Pretty Little Dead Girl.

Welcome to the tenth of the Thirteen Days of Hogswatch. I will be starting a new giveaway every day between now and December 13th. Each giveaway will have different rules, and a different deadline, although all prizes will be mailed on December 30th, because I am bad at going to the post office (and also, avoiding the post office until that other winter holiday is over).

The tenth giveaway is for a copy of Pretty Little Dead Girl, my out-of-print first album. This is going to be a random number drawing, because I am going to see Cavalia tonight. So...

1. To enter, comment on this post.
2. If you are international, indicate both this and your willingness to pay postage.
3. Tell me why you want this album.
4. That's it.

I will choose the winner at 1PM PST on Thursday, December 17th.

Game on!

Hogswatch day two winner!

The random number generator has spoken, and the winner of a copy of Chimera is...

Rachele Willoughby!

Instructions for the winner: Please comment on this post letting me know that you're claiming your prize and send me an email via my website (www.seananmcguire.com) with your mailing information. Both comment and email must be received by Friday, December 11th to be considered valid.

Twelve more days to go!
...either a copy of The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination OR a copy of Indistinguishable From Magic!

Welcome to the ninth of the Thirteen Days of Hogswatch. I will be starting a new giveaway every day between now and December 13th. Each giveaway will have different rules, and a different deadline, although all prizes will be mailed on December 30th, because I am bad at going to the post office (and also, avoiding the post office until that other winter holiday is over).

The ninth giveaway is for a copy of either The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination OR a copy of Indistinguishable From Magic. This is going to be a random number drawing, because I just got a big deadline dropped on my head. So...

1. To enter, comment on this post.
2. If you are international, indicate both this and your willingness to pay postage.
3. Indicate which prize you are hoping to win.
4. That's it.

I will choose the winner at 1PM PST on Wednesday, December 16th.

Game on!
...a copy of Symbiont in paperback!

Welcome to the eighth of the Thirteen Days of Hogswatch. I will be starting a new giveaway every day between now and December 13th. Each giveaway will have different rules, and a different deadline, although all prizes will be mailed on December 30th, because I am bad at going to the post office (and also, avoiding the post office until that other winter holiday is over).

The eighth giveaway is for a copy of Symbiont in paperback. This is going to be a random number drawing, because Kate is sitting on the porch waiting for me. So...

1. To enter, comment on this post.
2. If you are international, indicate both this and your willingness to pay postage.
3. That's it.

I will choose the winner at 1PM PST on Tuesday, December 15th.

Game on!

ETA: This drawing is now CLOSED.

Hogswatch day one winner!

The random number generator has spoken, and the winner of an ARC of Chaos Choreography is...

...sylira!

Instructions for the winner: Please comment on this post letting me know that you're claiming your prize and send me an email via my website (www.seananmcguire.com) with your mailing information. Both comment and email must be received by Thursday, December 10th to be considered valid.

Twelve more days to go!

A reminder about holiday book buying.

Hello, world!

This coming Thursday (December 10th), I'm going to go by Borderlands Books to sign anything that is waiting for me to sign it (and that has been paid for, in the case of something that needs to be personalized; I cannot stress enough how important it is to actually pay for things). While I can't guarantee that anything ordered as a holiday gift will get to you before the holidays, I can't say it's impossible, either. So! Do you want to give a signed, personalized book to the person of your choice, after exchanging money for it? Here's how!

1. Contact Borderlands Books (http://borderlands-books.com/) in San Francisco, California. You can contact them by either email or phone; check the website for specific options.

2. Order books! You have to tell them which ones, naturally, and whether you want them signed and personalized, or just signed. Personalized books must be paid for up-front. You can request a specific inscription. Some inscriptions (ie, my phone number) will be refused, although your book will still be signed.

3. While you're at it, order anything else that you'd like to get. I mean, hello, bookstore, and you're already paying for shipping, so why the heck not? May I recommend The Girl With All the Gifts, by M.K. Carey? Or Libromancer, by Jim Hines? Or The Hum and the Shiver, by Alex Bledsoe?

4. Give the store any information they need, like shipping address and billing and stuff.

5. The store will contact me, and I'll go in and sign things!

But wait, you cry! What books are currently available?

TOBY: Rosemary and Rue, A Local Habitation, An Artificial Night, Late Eclipses, One Salt Sea, Ashes of Honor, Chimes at Midnight, The Winter Long, and A Red-Rose Chain.

INCRYPTID: Discount Armageddon, Midnight Blue-Light Special, Half-Off Ragnarok, and Pocket Apocalypse.

NEWSFLESH: Feed, Deadline, Blackout, the Newsflesh box set, and When Will You Rise.

PARASITE: Parasite, Symbiont, and Chimera.

VELVETEEN: Velveteen vs. The Junior Super Patriots and Velveteen vs. The Multiverse.

OTHER: Sparrow Hill Road, Letters to the Pumpkin King.

ANTHOLOGIES: The store doesn't always have everything in stock (there are a lot of them), but they make a solid effort, especially with the newer titles. Feel free to ask! The worst they can say is "sorry."

Because Borderlands does not carry non-fiction, none of the Mad Norwegian Press titles are available from them.

Any questions?

(Post concept gleefully stolen from John Scalzi. I love you, John!)
...a "Wicked Girls" poster!

Welcome to the seventh of the Thirteen Days of Hogswatch. I will be starting a new giveaway every day between now and December 13th. Each giveaway will have different rules, and a different deadline, although all prizes will be mailed on December 30th, because I am bad at going to the post office (and also, avoiding the post office until that other winter holiday is over).

The seventh giveaway is for a "Wicked Girls" poster. This is going to be a random number drawing, because I am posting this late and I'm tired. So...

1. To enter, comment on this post.
2. If you are international, indicate both this and your willingness to pay postage. (Be aware that the poster tube is an odd shape; international postage will be roughly $14 USD.)
3. That's it.

I will choose the winner at 1PM PST on Monday, December 14th.

Game on!
We are deep into the Thirteen Days of Hogswatch now, which means a new giveaway post is going live every day. Starting tomorrow, a new winners' post will also be going live every day. Fun!

Thus far, all of this year's giveaways have been RNG drawings. This means I am using a random number generator to select the winners, and this is where my request comes in. See, I'm seeing a lot of people replying to other peoples' giveaway entries. I need you to stop doing that. Please. Only top-level comments can win; if a reply to a comment grabs the winning entry, I choose another winner. So if I pick, say, #15 to win, and #15 turns out to be a reply to #14, I don't go down a comment. I hit the RNG again. That means that whoever replied to #14 has just caused the "real" #15 not to win.

I do this for a lot of reasons, the most important being that the sub-comments throw off my count, I start second-guessing, I'm doing this manually, and so it's just easier on my peace of mind to draw again. But it's still not fair to the people leaving the top-level comments. Please, please stop replying to other peoples' giveaway entries.

Also, please remember that when I say "the rules of this giveaway are...," that there is no room for negotiation. If I say "name your favorite fruit" and you comment with "I love fruit!," you actually cannot win, because you didn't follow the rules. This is to filter out the free stuff blogs that send their followers here to harvest prizes, but who don't actually have any investment in the things I'm handing out.

Thank you all. Today's post will go live in a few hours.

In which Seanan has a fussy, fussy day.

Time is broken.

If an apologetic Hermione Granger appeared to me right now and told me that she had been using her Time Turner on my house for the past two days, I would be more relieved than annoyed, because it would explain why I constantly feel like it's an hour later than it is. I have been incredibly productive--good--because I keep looking at the clock, going "wait, what? That can't be right," and then working for another hour, all because I can't believe it's actually that early.

This is a recipe for a fussy, fussy day. Today I made word count on both novel and short fiction projects; exceeded word count on both novel and short fiction projects; answered email; answered Tumblr Asks; processed three chapters of edits on the next Toby book (as opposed to the original target of one chapter); and still had time to watch three episodes of Elementary and take a nap.

I know part of this is my brain going "YES YES GLORIOUS WORD COUNT OH MY GOSH TV YES I HAVE MISSED YOU TV" in celebration on getting home from New York, but honestly, it's weird and I will be happy when I drop back down to my normal levels of restless productivity.

On the plus side, I am home until January. Yay, home.

I also cleaned my desk today! Since I re-calibrated the over-desk "brag shelves" on Friday, this means that my work space is remarkably unmessy for a change. It's cluttered, but that's intentional; I like being able to look up and stare at a bunch of different things. It knocks stuff loose. I need to take some of the things off of my inspiration board, which is getting too cluttered to really inspire the way it needs to, but apart from that? I am tidy.

(Because someone asked me recently: when my desk and brag shelves are "tidy," they contain eleven dolls if you're counting things that are articulated to one degree or another, and eighteen total toys with eyes. Lots of things watch me work. None of them are my cats. They would rather watch me nap.)

I hope you're all having as pleasant a winter season as is possible, and that your own workspaces are as clean, or unclean, as you need them to be in order to get shit done.
...copies of Half-Off Ragnarok and Pocket Apocalypse!

Welcome to the sixth of the Thirteen Days of Hogswatch. I will be starting a new giveaway every day between now and December 13th. Each giveaway will have different rules, and a different deadline, although all prizes will be mailed on December 30th, because I am bad at going to the post office (and also, avoiding the post office until that other winter holiday is over).

The sixth giveaway is for copies of Half-Off Ragnarok and Pocket Apocalypse (InCryptid #3 and #4, respectively). These are the two Alex books, and will bring you up to date for March. This is going to be a random number drawing, because I want to go watch The Librarians. So...

1. To enter, comment on this post.
2. If you are international, indicate both this and your willingness to pay postage.
3. Name your favorite cryptid.
4. That's it.

I will choose the winner at 1PM PST on Sunday, December 13th.

Game on!

ETA: This drawing is now CLOSED.
...copies of The Winter Long and A Red-Rose Chain!

Welcome to the fifth of the Thirteen Days of Hogswatch. I will be starting a new giveaway every day between now and December 13th. Each giveaway will have different rules, and a different deadline, although all prizes will be mailed on December 30th, because I am bad at going to the post office (and also, avoiding the post office until that other winter holiday is over).

The fifth giveaway is for copies of The Winter Long and A Red-Rose Chain (October Daye #8 and #9, respectively). Because these are later books in the series, I ask that you please not enter if you haven't read the earlier books; I would feel terrible for spoiling you. This is going to be a random number drawing, because I'm about to leave for my Borderlands event. So...

1. To enter, comment on this post.
2. If you are international, indicate both this and your willingness to pay postage.
3. Name your favorite Toby character.
4. That's it.

I will choose the winner at 1PM PST on Saturday, December 12th.

Game on!
...a copy of Indexing!

Welcome to the fourth of the Thirteen Days of Hogswatch. I will be starting a new giveaway every day between now and December 13th. Each giveaway will have different rules, and a different deadline, although all prizes will be mailed on December 30th, because I am bad at going to the post office (and also, avoiding the post office until that other winter holiday is over).

The third giveaway is for a copy of Indexing (the first one). This is going to be a random number drawing, because I just got home from the East Coast two days ago, and I'm still tired. So...

1. To enter, comment on this post.
2. If you are international, indicate both this and your willingness to pay postage.
3. Name your fairy tale.
4. That's it.

I will choose the winner at 1PM PST on Friday, December 11th.

Game on!

ETA: This drawing is now CLOSED.
...a copy of Creature Feature!

Welcome to the third of the Thirteen Days of Hogswatch. I will be starting a new giveaway every day between now and December 13th. Each giveaway will have different rules, and a different deadline, although all prizes will be mailed on December 30th, because I am bad at going to the post office (and also, avoiding the post office until that other winter holiday is over).

The third giveaway is for a copy of Creature Feature, my most recent album. This is going to be a random number drawing, because I just got home from the East Coast, and I'm tired. So...

1. To enter, comment on this post.
2. If you are international, indicate both this and your willingness to pay postage.
3. Name your favorite of my songs.
4. That's it.

I will choose the winner at 1PM PST on Thursday, December 10th.

Game on!

ETA: This drawing is now CLOSED.
...a copy of Chimera!

Welcome to the second of the Thirteen Days of Hogswatch. I will be starting a new giveaway every day between now and December 13th. Each giveaway will have different rules, and a different deadline, although all prizes will be mailed on December 30th, because I am bad at going to the post office (and also, avoiding the post office until that other winter holiday is over).

The second giveaway is for a copy of Chimera, the conclusion to the Parasitology trilogy. This is going to be a random number drawing, because I am about to leave for the airport. Please be aware that I am not guaranteeing US vs. UK edition: you're going to get whichever comes to hand when it's take to pack things. This means that if you're really dedicated to getting a book that matches the books you may already have, this is probably a bad giveaway for you. So...

1. To enter, comment on this post.
2. If you are international, indicate both this and your willingness to pay postage.
3. That's it.

I will choose the winner at 1PM PST on Wednesday, December 9th.

Game on!

ETA: This drawing is now closed.
The ninth episode of Indexing: Reflections is available today! This is your talkpost and discussion zone. There will be spoilers in the comments here. As always on talkposts, I have partial comment amnesty, and will not be responding to everything.

"Feline Cobbling" brings us one step closer to the end of this volume, and one step deeper into the shadows that surround the path. No cats were harmed in the writing of this installment.

Once upon a time...
...an ARC of Chaos Choreography!

Welcome to the first of the Thirteen Days of Hogswatch. I will be starting a new giveaway every day between now and December 13th. Each giveaway will have different rules, and a different deadline, although all prizes will be mailed on December 30th, because I am bad at going to the post office (and also, avoiding the post office until that other winter holiday is over).

The first giveaway is for an ARC of Chaos Choreography, the fifth InCryptid adventure. This is going to be a random number drawing, because I am sleepy. So...

1. To enter, comment on this post.
2. If you are international, indicate both this and your willingness to pay postage.
3. That's it.

I will choose the winner at 1PM PST on Tuesday, December 8th.

Game on!

ETA: This drawing is CLOSED.
Hey! You!

This coming Saturday, December 5th, will be the book release party for Chimera at Borderlands Books in San Francisco, California! Borderlands Books is an independent bookstore specializing in science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mystery; what's more, they are happy to take phone and email orders for signed and personalized books. Yay!

The party begins at 3:00pm. Come for a Q&A, signing, raffle, and the usual "more." What does "more" mean? Well, you'll have to be there to find out.

In case you missed it, the open discussion post for Chimera is located here. Have fun!
Hello, happy people!

Tuesday (December 1st) will be the first of the Thirteen Days of Hogswatch, my now-annual "Seanan gives things away for thirteen days because why not" celebration, and I just wanted to issue a few quick reminders. Namely...

1. Each giveaway will have its own rules. Some will be US-only. (Most will honestly be US-only, because I can't afford to pay international postage at this time. More about this to come.) Others will say things like "your comment must include the word 'banana' to be considered a valid entry." Failure to precisely follow the rules of a giveaway will mean you cannot win. There is no wiggle room here, at all. This is partially for my sanity, and partially because when I give things away, the free stuff blogs tend to signal boost, and insisting that the rules be followed means that there's enough of a barrier to entry that I can be reasonably sure things are going to people who actually want them.

2. No, you do not need to follow this blog to win. That being said, each entry will say something like "the winners will be posted at X time, and will have until Y to contact me." Every time I do a giveaway, I have folks contacting me days after the stated time, wanting to know if they can still claim their prizes. I fully understand that life happens—I've been the late one before—but the timelines are firm. So if you don't follow this blog normally, I recommend checking in daily until all Hogswatch giveaways are over.

3. In the instances where I am willing to deal with the cost and complication of international shipping, I may say "you must pay postage to receive your prize." If you'd like to volunteer to pay international postage for a giveaway winner, please comment on that day's giveaway to indicate this. Make sure it's a first-level comment, and not a reply to a specific person. (If you're only willing to pay for a specific person, tell them in private, and y'all can work it out without me.)

4. All prizes have already been selected by me, but I will not be revealing them until the day that their drawing begins.

5. You can enter all thirteen days if you want to.

And that is all. First entry goes up Tuesday!

Where's Seanan?: The Chessiecon edition.

It's time for CHESSIECON! I will be found this coming weekend in scenic (and increasingly chilly) Maryland, doing my con thing along with some of my favorite humans, including Ursula Vernon, Tamora Pierce, and the lovely ladies of Lady Mondegreen! Where can I be found? Well...

Friday.

Reading: Seanan McGuire 3:00 GS3-5
Signing: Seanan McGuire 4:15 GS3-5
Different Strategies for Attracting Female Readers 6:45 GS3-5
Questions From a Hat 8:00 GS3-5

What will I read? No one knows! What will I sign? Whatever you put in front of me! What the hell is "Questions From a Hat"? WE'RE GONNA FIND OUT.

Saturday.

Seanan and Ursula Have a Chat (Maybe About Frogs) 11:15 GS3-5
In Conversation with Seanan McGuire 1:45 GS3-5
Concert: Lady Mondegreen 5:30 GS3-5
Group Book/Art/CD Signing 6:45 Atrium

Apparently, I am going to talk a lot. And then I'm going to sing! This will be the first time the three founding members of Lady Mondegreen have performed together on stage since 2007. So come see the trainwreck!

Sunday.

KaffeeKlatch: Seanan McGuire 11:15 C6
A Princess With a Sword Is Still a Princess: Modern Adaptations of Fairy Tales Sunday 12:30 GS3-5

...it's gonna be a fun con, and I hope to see many of you there. I will have a limited number of albums for sale (limited because I can only carry so much).

CHIMERA open thread!

To celebrate the release of Chimera, here. Have an open thread to discuss the book. Because nothing says "Thanksgiving" like "tapeworms." Judging by the comments I'm seeing, some of you have had time, and I'd really, really rather book discussion (sometimes including spoilers) didn't crop up on other posts.

THERE WILL BE SPOILERS.

Seriously. If anyone comments here at all, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS. So please don't read and then yell at me because you encountered spoilers. You were warned. (I will not reply to every comment; I call partial comment amnesty. But I may well join some of the discussion, or answer questions or whatnot.) I will be DELETING all comments containing spoilers which have been left on other posts. No one gets to spoil people here without a label.

You can also start a discussion at my website forums, with less need to be concerned that I will see everything you say! In case you wanted, you know, discussion free of authorial influence, since I always wind up getting involved in these things.

Have fun, and try not to bleed on the carpet.

It's almost my bookday! HAPPY BOOKDAY!

Tomorrow, November 24th, is my bookday! Happy bookday to me! Very soon, Chimera will be available from bookstores all over North America and the United Kingdom, and from import stores all over the world. It has yet to be spotted in the wild, but I know it's coming. 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 (and come see me at the Brooklyn WORD if you're in the New York area); if you can get it at my book release party at Borderlands on December 5th, 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, and I have never forgotten it. 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 believe 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 bibliophile friends, 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 pressure 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. Ask first if they're taking donations; they may tell you that donated books go straight to the Friends of the Library book sale. Consider doing it anyway. FOTL benefits both the library and local low-income people looking for a way to read new books on a budget.

DO suggest the book to bookstore employees who like biomedical science fiction. 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 and final edits due on Once Broken Faith, a lot of things are falling by the wayside. Like sleep.

If you're in the New York area, I hope to see you tomorrow night at the Brooklyn WORD, where I will be reading, signing, and answering questions for your enjoyment!

Whee!

Another day in this carnival of souls...

...another night's end, and, as quickly as it goes...

Inchworm, inchworm, measuring the never-ending parade of ongoing projects, keeping me from losing track of what I'm doing and dissolving into a weeping pile of insecurities and confusion. Hooray!

Publications

Chimera, November 24, 2015.
"Snake in the Glass," November 27, 2015 (website).
Indexing: Reflections, episode nine, December 1, 2015 (47North).
"Down, Deep Down, Below the Waves," December 11, 2015 (The Gods of H.P. Lovecraft).
Indexing: Reflections, episode ten, December 15, 2015 (47North).
Indexing: Reflections, episode eleven, December 29, 2015 (47North).

Indexing: Reflections, episode twelve, January 5, 2016 (47North).
Indexing: Reflections collected edition, January 5, 2016 (47North).
"Heaps of Pearl," January 12, 2016 (website).
Chaos Choreography, March 1, 2016.
Every Heart a Doorway, April 5, 2016.
"Regulation," June 7, 2016 (Galactic Games).
Rise, June 21, 2016.
"Forbidden Texts," August 26, 2016 (What the #@&% Is That?).
Once Broken Faith, September 6, 2016.

"Long Way Down," unknown (Genius Loci).
"Opening Band," unknown (The Paul and Storminomicon).

Conventions/Appearances/Travel

Chimera at WORD, November 24, Brooklyn NY.
Chessiecon, November 27-29 2015, Baltimore MD.
Chimera at Borderlands, December 5, San Francisco CA.

ConDFW, February 12-14 2016, Dallas TX.
Minicon, March 25-27 2016, Minneapolis MN.
Emerald City Comic-Con, April 7-10 2016, Seattle WA.
Marcon, May 6-8 2016, Columbus OH.
ConQuest 47, May 27-29 2016, Kansas City MO.
CrossingsCon, June 24-26 2016, New York NY.
San Diego International Comic-Con, July 21-24 2016, San Diego CA.

Worldcon, August 8-13 2017, Helsinki Finland.

No fixed deadline/being written/unsold:

The Best Thing
"Carry Me Home"
"Pixie Season"
"These Antique Fables"
"Best in Show"
Down Among the Sticks and Bones
"Shore to Shore"
"Dreams and Slumbers"
"vs. Going Home Again"
Echo

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!

The wonders and glories of travel.

New York is exhausting.

I have been running hither and yon for the past two weeks; people keep being surprised that I'm still gone, and sometimes "people" involves me. I just woke up from a nap where I dreamt that Thomas had been here in New York with me this whole time (just Thomas; even my subconscious can't imagine putting Alice recreationally on a plane), and I nearly cried when I opened my eyes, because I just needed my kitty.

But I am having a wonderful time. I went to a cheese and champagne party in my honor (mine! As if I were a cheese and champagne event!), spent two days at DAW lounging and reading and being home, saw Fun Home and Hamilton on Broadway (and lost my shit when I realized that September from Fringe was playing Bruce Bechdel in Fun Home), and did lots of other good things. And I still have almost two weeks and a convention to go.

I'm trying to get back into the habit of blogging. I've fallen out of it for a lot of reasons, some good and some bad and some just overwhelmed, but I'm trying. I think I need some balance, and writing things down helps. So expect another post about Fun Home, and one about Hamilton, and one about the life-sized T. Rex at the Times Square Toys R Us, and please remember that I am not home until December 2nd, so communications will continue to be slow and unwieldy, but I am trying, and trying is a lot.

That is all.

CHAOS CHOREOGRAPHY cover reveal.

Psst. C'mere.

So it's no secret around here that I love, love, love my DAW covers, or that showing them off is one of my true pure joys in life. Aly Fell, the artist who does the art for the InCryptid books, is incredible at capturing and presenting these characters. Want proof?

Go ahead. Take a peek.

Cut-tagged for the protection of your friends" list, which really doesn"t need something this huge suddenly showing up without warning. But trust me, you should totally click.Collapse )

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