June 19, 2017
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In 2014, I took Kij Johnson’s Novel Workshop at KU’s CSSF, and it was a great experience. Kij offers the chance to return and brainstorm with other alumni at Repeat Offenders, and this year I was able to take part in it. So I’m trying to nail down the fantasy book I want to write next year, as well as getting words down on the sequel to Tower and the Fox (titled “The Demon and the Fox”). I’ll be here through Monday the 26th and then heading home for July 4th weekend.
And in July, I’ll be attending a retreat with some of my fellow workshop alumni to hash out the outline for the third Calatians novel (and I’m not going to tell you the title of that one yet), right before spending a week at San Diego Comic-Con. Busy writing summer.
So you can see the Calatians are very much on my mind these days. The Tower and the Fox is off to the printer, the art looks magnificent, and I’m really excited to hold it as a real thing that actually exists in the world. The print version will be released at AnthroCon over July 4th weekend (I will not be there, alas) and on Amazon soon after. IN FACT, the pre-order page is already up on Amazon, if you care to mosey on over there and take a look. The Kindle version will have a preorder page up pretty soon as well, and the Kindle version (and other ePubs) will be up at baddogbooks.com in July (I have an exclusivity agreement with them for the first month), and on all the other major sites in August. I’m working on getting an audiobook into production too, but it’ll be a few months before that happens.
May 24, 2017
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I’ve been working on this book for some seven years, which is a record for me unless I dig up one of my trunk novels and try to publish that (spoiler: my trunk novels would need to be rewritten and no, that is not happening). What happened was that I started writing this story, and then it got too big and became two books, and then there wasn’t a lot happening in the first book so I got dissatisfied with it and shelved it, and then one friend said, “You can write better now than you did when you wrote that,” and so I started from scratch and rewrote the whole thing (keeping a few passages I really liked), which is also by the way what I’m doing now with the second book. Along the way I had an idea for a sequel, which became the third book when the first one split and then became the fourth book when another friend made an offhand comment after reading the new draft of the first and I realized I needed another book between 2 and 3. So that’s how a book becomes a four-book series.
The book takes place around Prince George’s College of Sorcery in the Royal Colony of Massachusetts Bay in 1815, which means that yes, there is magic and the American Revolution has not (yet) happened. Kip Penfold, one of a race of animal-people called Calatians created by magic four hundred years before, is trying to become the first of his kind to enroll in the college and become a sorcerer. The opportunity has arisen for him because of a mysterious attack that decimated the ranks of the College and made them desperate for new students. Even so, not everyone is on board with this, not many of the sorcerers, his classmates, nor even the rest of the Calatians in the nearby town of New Cambridge where he grew up. The Tower and the Fox follows Kip’s quest to be accepted as apprentice to one of the sorcerers at the College while preserving his relationships with his community and while surrounded by the mystery of who attacked the College and whether–when–it will happen again.
Kip is a fox (of course) and his best friend Coppy is an otter. Also enrolling at the college are Emily Carswell, the first woman to enroll in a College of Sorcery, and several other students who will offer Kip grief or support throughout the few months leading up to the decision about an apprenticeship. Along the way he will find a mysterious book that nobody else can read and a voice that speaks to him from the ancient White Tower that was the only building spared in the attack, in addition to more practical mysteries such as “is there anything another student can do to him that would actually result in them being punished?”
The Tower and the Fox is coming out in July from Argyll Productions, and should be available on Amazon in physical form as well as on most major e-book sites in digital form (digital might be August). The cover and all the interior art is by Laura Garabedian and it looks fantastic.
I’ll leave this page up for info on the book, and will post again when it’s available.