Tag Archive for 'fair coin'

halloween book trail

HBT14-The-CemeteryHappy Halloween! Welcome to my stop on the Halloween Book Trail: the Cemetery Trail!

Although I don’t usually have the time or talent to make elaborate costumes, I love the spirit of Halloween; it’s an opportunity to become someone else for a night and collect free candy. If you go to a lot of conventions, you’re probably familiar with “cosplaying” — dressing up as a favorite character from fandom — so maybe the holiday doesn’t seem all that special. But it’s the one day in the year when almost everyone is a cosplayer, plus don’t forget the free candy. As a fan of horror and mysteries, I like the spooky, creepy focus of Halloween, and it’s always fun to see how people express their interests and creativity through their costumes.

Hexadecimal shows Bob one of her many faces. (ReBoot)

Hexadecimal shows Bob one of her many faces. (ReBoot)

I am an especially big fan of masks. (No wonder, since a mask is a perfect costume for a lazy/busy guy like me.) When I was a kid, I used to cut cardboard face masks out of the backs of cereal boxes. That was all it took to pretend you I was a cartoon superhero. Of course, many superheroes are big on masks, which make them particularly fun subjects for dress up. One year I put more effort in than usual for a Halloween party and recreated Spider-Man’s wrestling costume from the first Sam Raimi film — the mask, a red balaclava, was the easiest (and most expensive) part. Even a pair of glasses can amount to a mask of sorts, the only thing differentiating Clark Kent from Superman.

Data's mask turns him into a waking god on ST:TNG.

Data’s mask turns him into a waking god. (ST:TNG)

Masks are fascinating to me because they can be used to disguise your identity, to assume a new identity, or perhaps to make you look more like yourself. Batman’s cowl protects Bruce Wayne’s secret, but the cowl doesn’t make him Batman: It gives him the freedom to express that part of his personality.

There’s an interactive theater performance in Manhattan called Sleep No More, a loose retelling of Shakespeare’s Macbeth in which hundreds of guests wander around the set of an old hotel wearing masks. Behind that plastic face, you are completely anonymous, and so is everyone else. It adds an eerily voyeuristic quality to the show, making you into a part of it while also providing a safe distance. If you can make it, I highly recommend you attend.

Somebody stop him...before they make a sequel. (The Mask)

Somebody stop him…before they make a sequel. (The Mask)

That show gave me an idea of how empowering it must be for members of the hacktivist group Anonymous to don their iconic Guy Fawkes masks and rally in public in support of justice. Hackers thrive on anonymity, but the masks also unite them in a common cause and remove individual ambitions and egos. (At least, in theory.) Because protecting your privacy on the internet is vitally important, especially for hackers and activists, identity is a strong theme in my new book, The Silence of Six. (It even comes out on Guy Fawkes Day, November 5th.)

In the Twilight Zone, masks reveal your true face.

In the Twilight Zone, masks reveal your true face.

In The Silence of Six, hackers are my contemporary online superheroes. Masks are featured in particular, most notably at a big masquerade event that showcases my favorite part of Halloween and fan conventions: the costumes. I had fun fitting in some of my favorite masks from film and television, and I think you’ll recognize a lot of them!

If you make it to the end of the Halloween Book Trail, you’ll have a chance to win a signed advance reader’s copy of The Silence of Six and some bookmarks. But before I send you on your way to the next stop, you can also enter a contest here. All you have to do is leave a comment below and tell me either what you’re dressing up as for Halloween or what your favorite mask is. Make sure to leave a contact e-mail; I’ll randomly select one winner to receive free Audible audiobooks of my first two YA novels, Fair Coin and Quantum Coin.

Ready to move on? Your next stop on the Cemetery Trail is the blog of Dianne Salerni, author of The Eighth Day!

v_for_vendetta

Remember, remember, the fifth of November. (V for Vendetta)

Share

choosing your own adventures

20140324_224646One of my favorite parts of writing happens when I’m not writing. You know, those moments during the day when you’re thinking about, maybe even dreaming about, the story or the characters in your work in progress. I love brainstorming, whether it’s my own book or someone else’s work, because there’s a sense of play to it; you aren’t committing anything to paper yet, so it doesn’t take much work. (It also may not feel like work, so you might worry you’re just procrastinating, but trust me, it’s useful.) You can feel free to be as goofy or wild as you want–you’re just throwing things against the wall to see what sticks. And it’s cool because you’re working on your book anywhere and everywhere: in the shower, walking your dog, on line at the bank, riding the train, reading other books, watching TV, in meetings at work. A little part of my brain never stops thinking about my novel.

I can’t speak to every writer’s experience, but this is how my imagination works. The more I think about the story, the more ideas I have. Often, my subconscious mind makes connections that needed days, weeks, or months to develop. Initially, I avoided outlining because I wanted to give myself as much of that flexibility as possible to discover the story and let it develop organically, but I’ve since realized that outlining can also get you thinking about the whole thing much earlier, and there’s nothing limiting about it–it’s just one path, and you can take the story in different directions any time a better idea presents itself. I like research for the same reason; all that reading feeds me more ideas and opens up new possibilities.

pubcrawlSo this book I’m working on… It started with a lot of brainstorming and outlining, then I started drafting it and inevitably veered off from the outline a bit. I got some great notes from my editors, and I just completed the first major revision—a few hours ago. As I tried to re-imagine the plot and characters and come up with a better ending, the whole process reminded me of something very old, something from my childhood: Choose Your Own Adventure.

[Read the rest of this post at Pub(lishing) Crawl]

Share

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?)

 

Share

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! :)

 

Share

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)

Share