September 17th, 2009


I will not grow up to be Sinistar.

I, Seanan McGuire, having now survived the release of my first novel without bludgeoning anyone to death with a copy of Child's Traditional Ballads of England and Scotland, have once again started pondering resolutions. After all, I've posted my personal resolutions (see also "Flowers, Chocolates, and Promises You Don't Intend to Keep"), and I've posted my "don't be an asshole" resolutions (see also "A Vague Disclaimer Is Nobody's Friend"), I figure it's time to post the third set of resolutions. The ones that keep me from destroying the universe in a fit of pique.

I. I will acknowledge that no matter how fast I write, I still have a limit to how many books I can finish in a year, and while I will continue to pursue however many projects I feel like pursuing, I will not commit to delivering more than I can actually deliver. Biting off more than you can chew is a good way to end up like that python that tried to eat an alligator. No fun.

II. I will prioritize the things that I have committed to delivering over the things I haven't committed to delivering, even when I'm working well ahead of my deadlines, because deadlines make me crazy. (I'm a little worried that I'm committed to writing a book called Deadline, because deadlines make me crazy. On the plus side, Kate will beat me if I get out of control.)

III. I will continue to make sure everyone knows what I'm working on, because that reduces the number of people asking "but when is _____ going to be done?" I will also continue to remember that having ten people asking "but when is _____ going to be done?" doesn't mean I have to prioritize that project, or that it's okay to set them on fire. Everyone has their limits.

IV. I will do my best not to snap at people for asking questions which have been answered, in detail, on my website FAQs. Sometimes you just want to have an answer that's yours, rather than going to the author's website and poking around. The answers won't change, mind you, but I'll still try to be polite while giving them. (I do not, however, promise not to cut-and-paste from the FAQs when faced with questions I've answered ninety times already.)

V. While I may find discussions of the contents of Toby's cupboards endlessly fascinating, I will remember that other humans don't, necessarily, and will try to refrain from dominating dinner table conversation by explaining which brands of soup she prefers. (Vegetable barley and Spaghetti-Os, if you were wondering. Which you probably weren't.)

VI. I will continue to work as far ahead of my deadlines as possible. This has the twin benefits of not causing things to become completely uncontrollable if something comes up that can't be avoided, like last month's bout of Martian Death Flu, and of keeping me from totally scrapping a book and starting over when I get a review that upsets me. Too late! The sequel's already turned in!

VII. I will not allow myself to fall into the comfortable trap of "oh, this is what worked last time, let's just do it again, only moreso." Yes, series books and sequels will always have a tendency to be "more of the same, but moreso." That's natural. At the same time, if you hike the stakes too high, you actually run out of places to go. I'd rather do new things, and enjoy them.

VIII. I will, however, keep doing the old things that are awesome, rather than going "oh, you liked that? Well, I won't do that anymore." While that might make every book an exciting adventure, it would also make hiding from my readers an exciting adventure, and that's one exciting adventure more than I can take.

IX. I will absolutely continue to get spun-up and faintly crazy every time I have a book coming out, because I have met me. I will, however, also make it a point to thoroughly document each book release, which will have the double benefit of telling me what to expect, and telling the people who help me organize launch events what to expect. When they see checked-off to-do lists that include "wax the cat," they may realize that I mean it.

X. I will not wax the cat.

XI. I will internalize valid critique, and attempt to incorporate it into whatever I'm working on, even if my tendency to work ahead of my deadlines means that it may take a while for anyone outside my head to see the change.

XII. I will occasionally take my own advice, put down the keyboard, and go out into the big blue room where all the nature lives. I like the nature. The nature likes me, too. The nature stings and bites and generally does its best to destroy me, and I really appreciate that. Good things happen when I go out into nature. Sometimes the good things include antivenin, and I'm cool with that, too.

XIII. I will write.

Rosemary, reviews, and stuff.

First off, here's some mixed-media fun stuff that's come up recently:

Behold, for it is the Penguin podcast! Behold also, for they are all talking with me about Toby and making me sing and I was so totally jet-lagged at the time that I really had very little notion of what I was saying. But I was wearing pretty wool pants and a Kelly green jacket (none of which show up on the podcast), so at least I looked good while I was babbling.

I can't get this video at the Penguin sit to play, because I'm crap with this sort of thing sometimes. But I'm in it, and that's probably good enough reason to point you at it. Maybe you can get it to go. I wish you all the luck in the world.

Over on Dreamwidth, Cynthia's posted a short-and-sweet review. It falls into the "don't quote from it, you'll wind up re-posting the whole thing" category, so I recommend clicking over and checking it out.

fireun has posted a lovely review. She says "This is the faery tale I have been waiting to read for most of my life. From Kelpies hunting in the shadows, an Undine dwelling in a park, and the King of Cats holding court, Rosemary and Rue is full of the Faerie Court as it should be- beautiful and deadly." You'll pardon me while I purr, won't you?

starlady38 has posted a review, which was pointed out to me by a mutual friend (I love it when I get reviews from people I don't know). She says "The book is a cracking good read, a real pageturner, and I don't normally care for stories about the Fair Folk (War for the Oaks being a notable, and at least slightly comparable, exception in this regard), but I have to recommend this book. Toby is a fascinating, painfully real character, as are the people who surround her, and McGuire's evocation of San Francisco, as well as of the power dynamics in the Faerie Courts (in which changelings are only a few steps up from dirt), feels very believable." Glee.

Confessions of a Wandering Heart put up a review that's even titled with awesomeness. She opens with "Seanan McGuire's Rosemary and Rue is one of the best urban fantasy novels I've read all year." She also says "The plot moves quickly—the story taking place in the span of about a week, and blends the perfect amount of fantasy and magic with mystery and crime-solving. The clues and steps Toby takes to solve Evening's murder are believable and easy to follow without being predictable. The page-turning suspense had me dying to get to the end and unwilling to put the book down. Fully developed imagery and the descriptions of the elaborate world-building rival the best urban fantasy writers (such as Kim Harrison). I became so immersed in Seanan McGuire's Faerie world that I think there were times I forgot I wasn't actually a part of it." I really could not be more pleased.


I have saved the best for last.

Because today—yes, today—Rosemary and Rue was reviewed by the Onion AV Club. And they gave it an A-. Which is pretty damn close to the best you can get if the book doesn't cause spontaneous orgasm when the cover is opened, give you a back rub, and then buy you chocolates. Today is the day my geek cred increases to unheard of heights. I AM IN THE ONION.

What does the Onion say? The Onion says "Just when it seems that all the possible changes have been rung on the themes of detectives and the supernatural, along comes newcomer Seanan McGuire with Rosemary And Rue, the first in a new series featuring a changeling private eye who lives half in San Francisco, half in the Kingdom Of Faerie that overlaps it, unseen by mortal eyes," and "October Daye is as gritty and damaged a heroine as Kinsey Millhone or Kay Scarpetta." KAY SCARPETTA, PEOPLE.

The review closes with "Changelings, like all faerie folk, live long; may McGuire and these novels do the same." I share the sentiment. And I am just all a-twitter and amazed by this fabulous review.