Archive for the 'Novels' Category

sherlock’s approach to research

Early this year, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts launched its interview series, In Conversation, with Benedict Cumberbatch. (Good choice!) Something he said about how he researches a new role struck a chord with me:

[Research is] a security blanket. Not all of it — very little of it ends up on screen, often. And it’s just to take a little bit more possession of the extraordinariness of what I’m being asked to do. Because it’s so far removed from my experience. It just gets me a little bit more… It just gives me a little bit more courage to pretend to be something I’m so far from.

cumberbatch[Watch the quoted clip, or the whole interview, here. Video will play automatically in a new window.]

I literally couldn’t have said it better, because I’m not Benedict Cumberbatch! But I feel the same way about novel research. Obviously, before you start writing about something you don’t know much about, like say computer hacking — the topic of my next book, The Silence of Six — you have to find out more about it. But the tricky thing about research is you don’t necessarily know what information you will need before you start outlining or writing the book. The natural solution is to learn everything you can, just like Sherlock, but as Cumberbatch said so sexily: most of that isn’t going to end up on the page, and it shouldn’t.

Continue reading at Pub(lishing) Crawl

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new book deal!

The big news broke yesterday that my next novel is The Silence of Six for Adaptive Books! Here’s the announcement from Publisher’s Weekly Children’s Bookshelf:

silenceofsix

Appropriately enough, I’ve been silent on this for the last six months. ;) They say you should challenge yourself with each book, and I really have been pushing myself with this one. It’s so different from Fair Coin and Quantum Coin, which is fantastic because one of the things I love about YA is I can write pretty much anything I want. It’s been a fun project, and an eye-opening one as I looked deeper into not only what is possible with technology, but what is actually happening in the world right now. Scary stuff, and I’m sure I’ll be discussing that more here in the future.

Thanks to everyone at Adaptive Studios, especially Perrin Chiles and Marshall Lewy; they’re are a savvy creative team who have been great to work with. I’m learning a lot. Also thanks to Eddie Schneider, Kristy King, and Tiffany Schmidt! Many more thanks are sure to come–we still have a lot to do before November!

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happy birthday, fair coin!

FairCoin_2Hey, remember when Pyr Books published my first novel, Fair Coin? That was something like, two years ago. Almost exactly two years ago. Okay, it was exactly two years ago today.

If you had a time-traveling DeLorean, you could enter MAR 06 2012 into its time circuits and go back to pick the book up on its release day. (Thanks!) Don’t have a time machine? Well, you can still find Fair Coin in quality independent book shops and on the internet, even in 2014.

In the novel, Ephraim’s “wishing coin” completely changes his life, and the book has done the same for me — fortunately in all good ways. So far. The last year as an author has been particularly great, what with all the wonderful authors, librarians, teachers, and readers I’ve met; an amazing new audiobook narrated by MacLeod Andrews; and of course a shiny Andre Norton Award. No complaints here. Thank you to everyone who has read Fair Coin and reviewed it, recommended it, voted for it, bought it for a kid, shared it with a parent, and just generally been very supportive.

ttIt’s been two years, but I promise I’ve been working on new books, and I really expect to finish them any day now… Really, I’m not kidding. Stop giving me that look. Whether they get published is another matter, but I’m at least going to try to get my part done.

I also have written and sold a few short stories this year that should be published soonish in exciting collections, and I even have two recent story publications — a YA time-travel story titled “Shadows of My Future Self” in Inaccurate Realities #2, and a reprint of “Caution: Contents Hot” in Coffee: 14 Caffeinated Tales of the Fantastic — so you could always look for those. And if you’d like to see me in person, check out my event calendar.

In the meantime, I hope Fair Coin‘s twos aren’t too terrible, especially since its younger brother is coming up on a birthday in about six months…

(BTW, by crazy random happenstance, today is also the birthday of Faircoin, “the first fairly distributed crypto currency”! You can use that to buy books, right?)

 

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buying books is great, but so are free books

allfourstars_finalOver at EMU’s Debuts, my friend Tara Dairman, author of All Four Stars (Coming out July 10, 2014! Pre-order now!) is discussing how being a debut author turned her into a book buyer — and since I and my own first novel figure into this story, Tara is generously giving away a free copy of Fair Coin in any format. Even the new audiobook! All you have to do is leave a comment on her blog post to be entered for a chance to win.

Book-buying is definitely a “problem” I have too. I always bought a lot of books, and I also got a lot for free when I lived in NYC. But I’m excited when I see books written and/or edited by my friends on bookstore shelves, so I always try to buy them when I can, especially in the week they’re released and especially at signings and readings at bookstores. I now know a lot of authors so this gets expensive, and I’m behind on reading many of them, but it’s the thought and sales that count, right?

I have not yet pre-ordered Tara’s book, All Four Stars, but only because I want to walk into a store on July 10, find it on a shelf, and buy it in person — yes, even paying the full retail price! Then I’ll post a picture of me with the book, so look for that.

In the meantime, drop a comment here and get my debut book for free! :)

 

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hear coin

AudiblePerhaps it’s unsurprising that audiobooks take much less time to produce than print books, but still… Less than two months from signing the contract, you can now purchase and download my first YA novel, Fair Coin, in audiobook form in the U.S. and in the U.K. I expect it won’t take long for Quantum Coin to follow.

I’m so excited to have the book out in a different format, with other people adapting the text for a different audience. I’ve only heard the sample of the opening pages so far, but narrator MacLeod Andrews is amazing and his performance is absolutely perfect. It’s both odd and thrilling to hear someone else speaking words that have largely existed only in my head and my voice for so long, and it’s great to hear what MacLeod has done with the book.

To celebrate unlocking the audiobook achievement, here’s some related trivia:

  • Audible_FCThe U.K. audiobook is the first official release of Fair Coin in any foreign market!
  • MacLeod Andrews also provided the voice of one of the Will Graysons in the audiobook of a favorite YA book of mine, Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green.
  • One of MacLeod’s recent YA audiobook releases was the excellent Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson, who I share an agent with. Some of MacLeod’s other notable (to me) projects for Brilliance Audio and Audible include Jumper by Steven Gould, Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness, and Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown (one of my fellow Apocalypsies).
  • My mom never read to me when I was a kid (don’t feel too sorry for me, I had a pretty good handle on it on my own), but I really enjoy hearing someone tell me a story. I think it reminds me of the first grade and Reading Rainbow. So maybe that’s why I like going to readings and listening to audiobooks and podcasts!
  • Now when someone asks me how long Fair Coin is, I can tell them it’s about 9 hours and 40 minutes. The unabridged audiobook is roughly as long as the Lord of the Rings film trilogy!

So if you’ve been waiting for the audiobook, wait no longer! I hope lots of people who haven’t yet read Fair Coin give it a try.

Get FAIR COIN at Audible.com (United States) — FREE with 30-day free trial membership
Get FAIR COIN at Audible.co.uk (United Kingdom)

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