October 16, 2014

Finally got my hands on Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan.

Aw, the whole set, and Holly’s books too! What an excellent picture this is.


Finally got my hands on Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan.

Aw, the whole set, and Holly’s books too! What an excellent picture this is.

October 15, 2014

stheere said: Hello! I recently marathoned Turn of the Story and IT CONSUMED MY LIFE. No really. There is no 14/10/14 in my life because I was on the other side of the Border, inside Elliot's head for that whole day. I LOVE IT SO MUCH I CAN'T EXPLAIN! So now of course I want to buy Monstrous Affections, but I thought I'd better ask first if you prefer us to buy it from anyplace in particular? I know a lot of authors prefer us to buy straight from the publisher/from Smashwords so they receive higher royalties.

Angel, that is so kind! I am so pleased you enjoyed Turn of the Story! I am doing up a big post about it right now so this is a very well-timed ask. ;)

Thank you for wishing to buy Monstrous Affections. I am very grateful! (Monstrous Affections, downloaded illegally too often, and I know this is my fault for being an idiot, and I am so sorry to my beautiful editors Kelly and Gavin!)

As regards royalties, I will now drop some publishing knowledge! (I have no other knowledge of any sort and share only because I hope people may be interested. ;))

Monstrous Affections is an anthology, and anthologies don’t work that way usually: you get paid a flat fee for the use of your story for a limited time instead of with books, where you get an advance against royalties and royalties if all works out.

So, anthology writing is like this.

GAVIN & KELLY: Would you like to be part of an anthology? We will pay you five dollars.

(Note: SLANDER. It was obviously more than five dollars. At least ten.)

GAVIN & KELLY: Then we put the story in our collection of short stories, and after a certain amount of time has elapsed you have the short story back to do with as you like—put it in another anthology, sell it to an online venue, print it out and make it into a hat…

SARAH: Five shiny dollars!

Otherwise it’d be very tricky to work out royalties—split fourteen ways? Which writer attracted the most readers? Bigger royalties for the fancy people with their names on the front cover? Tricky!

Writing short stories is not something people do for the money, usually. (I mean, things may be different for those who the New Yorker keeps calling going ‘baby, baby please, I burn for your prose, I’ll do anything for a sweet sweet lit hit.’)

You do it because it’s fun to write them, and it teaches you to be a better writer to try different story forms.

And you do it because people pick up anthologies and go, ‘Ah, Patrick Ness/Cassandra Clare, very fine, I WOULD like this anthology, I admire his/her work deeply… hmmm, who is this ‘Sarah Rees Brennan’ personage? Oh well, I have the anthology, might as well check out her story. Hmmm, not so bad! Perhaps I will pick up this ‘Sarah Rees Brennan’s books one day…’

And that is the deal with anthologies. So it doesn’t matter to me financially where you buy it, since there aren’t author royalties, but I am still deeply pleased you wish to at all. (If the anthology does well it is pleasing, and people think: that lot, I should ask them to do more short stories in future…)

Anthologies let fans of one author discover more writers. And you hope they will discover you. ;)

For anyone wondering if it is normal to write a companion online novel for a short story… it is not, and I am a weirdo, as you can see from my description of how anthologies work I got it all backwards, and when I do my Monstrous Affections events in New York and Boston in the next two weeks, I hope I will see you guys there but I know you will all be LAUGHING at me.

Wait! My events! Yes! If any of you want a SIGNED copy of Monstrous Affections (I mean, signed by all the authors who will be there) ordering signed copies from the NYC and Boston bookshops is a good idea:

And same goes for signed Unmades… or any book I have written, but Unmade is the new shiny.



(If you leave a message I am happy to personalise or do whatever. Draw a picture. Draw a TERRIBLE picture. ;))

But if you only wish for Monstrous Affections, signed or unsigned/asap, follow your heart! Candlewick, amazon, the book depository, your local bookshop… Anyplace you wish to buy it is awesome with me, but you’re a love for asking. Thank you again. Sorry for writing you such a giant answer to such a simple and lovely question…

October 15, 2014





A town known as the “town of books”, Hay-on-Wye is located on the Welsh / English border in the United Kingdom and is a bibliophile’s sanctuary.


furiously typing email to UK promoters demanding a Hay-on-Wye show at the earliest opportunity 

I get a lot of my 19th century book collection here. I was there just the other day and stopped for tea and cake at Shepherds coffee shop before making some purchases at Booth’s Books.

Last time I went to Hay-on-Wye I met Henry Winkler, aka the Fonz. It is a magical place.

Also once in Hay-on-Wye I was surprised by a promotion wherein I was given a glass of champagne free with every five books purchased and that day was a tipsy day, my friends. I mean what. I am a classy broad. LITERATURE. What.

(via lielabell)

October 15, 2014

We worry for our girls. We — parents, teachers, journalists, big brothers, doctors, celebrities, religious leaders, bloggers — see danger for them everywhere. Estrogen in milk, anorexic models in fashion magazines, math-hating Barbies, sexy Barbies, sexy Halloween costumes, sexy everything, sex education or the lack thereof, online bullies, online predators, eating disorders, mood disorders, rapists, rape culture — it’s a dangerous world out there for the vulnerable, for the naive and the easily corrupted. It makes sense to worry for them. But worrying about them is also another way of saying — and saying to them — that we think they’re weak. Vulnerability offers an excellent excuse for dismissal, something women have understood for centuries, something modern teenage girls know all too well. How often we disdain their narratives, relegating stories for and about teenage girls to categories meant to defy serious consideration: See the easy and vicious dismissals of the Twilight phenomenon (as opposed to the consideration offered to serious bildungsroman about boys — and the respect accorded to the men who write them); see the shaming of adults who dare to read fiction written for teengers; see the kerfuffle over whether that young adult fiction is too much for its frail, easily influenced girl readers to handle; see the eruption of venom when a woman young enough to be thought of as a girl creates a show called Girls and the gatekeepers of high culture have the temerity to take it seriously.

We could do better; we have done much worse.


— Robin Wasserman “Girl Trouble (on Conversion and The Fever)" | LA Review of Books (via i-come-by-it-honestly)

October 14, 2014




i’ve been really enjoying this

So far magic school was total rubbish.

Elliot sat on the fence bisecting two fields and brooded tragically over his wrongs.

He had been taken away from geography class, one of his most interesting classes, to take some kind of scholarship test out in the wild. A woman in odd clothing had ‘tested’ him by asking him if he could see a wall standing in the middle of a field. When he told her “Obviously, because it’s a wall. Walls tend to be obvious” she had pointed out other people blithely walking through the wall as if it was not there, and told him that he was one of the chosen few with the sight.

“Are you telling me that I have magical powers?” Elliot had asked, extremely excited for a moment, and then he added: “… because I can’t walk through walls? That doesn’t seem right.”

From much later in the same text:

"…and Elliot had to try and explain being Jewish but not practising to an elf."

i was bored and listless and sleepy at work and started reading this and now i’m punched in the feelings

Speaking of the free book, as I just was, this was very lovely to see, because it is three different aspects of my writin’ being enjoyed, and what is not lovely about that? I’m so glad.

October 14, 2014

lilietsblog said: About book piracy. I just kind of want to hear your opinion on 1) people reading lots of books online and then buying those they like best in numbers they can fit into their budget; 2) people from overseas reading books online because they are just not sold over there and international shipping is too much pain in the ass for something you are not really sure is worth it as you haven't read it...




Piracy is a huge and complicated issue, but a lot of where it comes down to for me is “I enjoy eating.”  I enjoy having food.  I enjoy having lights that come on.  I really, really enjoy feeding my cats.  Forget my enjoyment of luxuries like Monster High dolls and sometimes going to Disneyland—I enjoy food, and shelter, and providing for the living creatures who depend on me.  I am able to do this because people buy my books.  I am a full time author, which means I have no safety net at all: I get what people pay for, and not a penny more.

From here, I am going to switch to the generic “you,” because I need to express some pretty broad concepts.  I am not accusing you, the asker, of piracy.  I have no information one way or the other, and I’m not trying to call anyone out.  That said…

You’re not sure you’re going to like my work?  I give away a borderline ridiculous amount of fiction, for free, with no DRM and no geographical restrictions.  Both the Velveteen vs. books are available DRM free, again with no geographic restrictions.  All the Velveteen stories are available free on my blog, where they were originally posted.  I have short stories in publications all over the internet, many of which can be read, again, for free, without geographic restrictions or DRM.  If you’re worried that you may not like the sort of things I write, there are ways to reassure yourself.

(“Liking one thing doesn’t mean liking everything” is an absolute truth.  Stephen King is my favorite author, and I don’t like several of his books.  I still bought them.  I bought them, I read them, I disliked them, I got rid of them.  Because I don’t pay for my movie tickets after the film; I don’t pay for my theme park admission based on how many times I barfed on the scrambler.  I had the experience of the book, which I bought based on my preferences and my track record with the author.  I paid for it because I wanted it.  I was not cheated, even when the book wasn’t for me.)

There’s a way to read a lot of books and buy the ones you like best without piracy: the library.  If the library in your area does not have all the books you want to read, either because of the country you’re in or because of budget restrictions, that sucks.  That does not make it ethically right to download a bunch of books that were not intended for free release.  Authors do get paid for library use: the library buys our books, and then, if those books are popular, they buy more.  No one’s getting paid for piracy.

Everyone in the world, except for the first editor who opens the file, is paying for a book they’re not sure they’ll like.  I’m not saying buy blindly, or buy everything, or that you owe me a living.  But given how much you can get hold of without putting down a cent, I find “I may not like it” to be a little disingenuous as a defense of piracy.  Either you know you like my work, and are trying to excuse not wanting to pay for it, or you haven’t taken the time to read before saying “hey let’s just steal stuff.”

Here is a post I wrote about piracy:


Here is another:


Piracy is not a victimless crime.  Piracy hurts people.  There’s no way of saying “one hundred pirated books equals ____ sales,” because that’s not real math, but the fact is that books are not songs are not movies; most people don’t re-read, and buying a copy of a book you’ve already read will almost always come after buying a book you haven’t read yet.

I don’t make that much per copy, all told.  It’s about fifty cents once you average it out.  And that means that if someone were to illegally download all the Seanan McGuire books—not even the Mira Grant—when they otherwise would have bought them, they would only be depriving me of $7.50.  Not a big deal.  Less than the full cover price of one book, right?

Except that it’s never just one person. It never stops at $7.50.

I am terrified of not being able to pay my bills.  I left my day job because trying to write and work for a corporation at the same time was literally killing me.  It was destroying my health and my sanity, and I couldn’t take it any longer.  I need to be able to eat and keep the power on and feed my cats and take care of my mother, and I do that by selling books.  I am a businesswoman.  This is my job.

How do I feel about piracy?  I hate it.  I give away so much, in part to keep people from wasting their money when they don’t know if they’ll like my prose.  I am as generous as I can be.  But I can’t be generous here.

I can’t starve myself to save someone else a dollar.

Along similar lines, do you feel the same way about used books? I work at a used bookstore, and whenever I see one of your books, I jump at the opportunity to sell it to a customer. Do you feel that I’m taking away a customer that might buy a copy from, say, Barnes and Noble? Also, does it upset you in any way to see your books at a used bookstore?

Not in the slightest sense of any word you can come up with.

I grew up poor.  Dirt poor.  Literally, because we couldn’t afford to heat the apartment in the winter (and this was when California still had winters, there was ice on the sidewalk when I walked to school in December) and we couldn’t afford to pay for drugs if one of us caught pneumonia from going to bed with wet hair.  Used books were my SALVATION.  Used books created an ecosystem in which I, as a child who picked up pennies because they added up to nickles added up to dimes added up to quarters added up to a dollar and that was enough for two clearance paperbacks at Bay Books, was allowed to participate.  I understand being so poor that a single book is a huge investment, and I still buy used books, because sometimes that’s the only way to get something that’s out of print.

(Many midlist authors go out of print because people aren’t buying them new, which results in used bookstores becoming the only option.  Fun for the whole family.)

I do not give any fucks about the fact that if Person A resells their books, I don’t get money from the secondary sale.  Two reasons:

#1. Person A paid for the book in the first place, and
#2. Those are the only books.

A book sold at a used bookstore is part of a vital ecosystem that keeps authors eating and people on limited budgets reading.  And once it’s gone, it’s gone.  A book that is illegally downloaded may keep the people on the limited budgets reading—although it’s a very privileged means of balancing those scales, since it assumes a computer, a stable internet connection, and a certain amount of technical know-how—but it doesn’t keep the authors eating, and it’s not the original book that Person A paid for.  It’s a clone.  Potentially one of thousands.

One resold book is nothing.  It is legal, it is right, it is important.  One thousand copies run off in the office and then handed out for free?

That’s a problem.

Seanan McGuire on piracy, used bookshops and libraries, and the differences therein. It is safe to assume I agree with all the things. Also I recently read all the free InCryptid short stories she’s written and they are A-plus awesome. 

Seeing piracy after I’ve written a free book and a pile of free short stories, that makes me feel like the world’s supremo chump: what an idiot I am, I think, to spend time making presents for people who will just go take the rest of what I made in order to support myself.

I reallio trulio appreciate it when people buy/librarify/buy used for a penny/legally borrow from a friend my work.

October 14, 2014

"Kami had been hearing a voice in her head all her life." - Sarah Rees Brennan, Unspoken

How gorgeous is this! Her outfit is very Kami. ;) Plus I always like proof that Kami is a weeeeirdo about Jared. Reciprocal weirdoness!

"Kami had been hearing a voice in her head all her life." - Sarah Rees Brennan, Unspoken

How gorgeous is this! Her outfit is very Kami. ;) Plus I always like proof that Kami is a weeeeirdo about Jared. Reciprocal weirdoness!

(Source: arin-of-herran)

October 13, 2014

I went on a bit of a twitter rant yesterday after reading one too many trade reviews in which a book’s diverse cast was dismissed as implausible. Charles Tan was kind enough to storify the whole thing here.

Beautiful! Why aren’t writers of all-white all-straight dude-centric stories criticised for their agendas and lack of realism? (I mean, just kidding, we all know why.)


I went on a bit of a twitter rant yesterday after reading one too many trade reviews in which a book’s diverse cast was dismissed as implausible. Charles Tan was kind enough to storify the whole thing here.

Beautiful! Why aren’t writers of all-white all-straight dude-centric stories criticised for their agendas and lack of realism? (I mean, just kidding, we all know why.)

October 13, 2014



Read More

I ran across this lovely summary of Untold and thought it worked beautifully as a ‘Where we left our dauntless heroes’ for those beginning Unmade.

Plus… I always reblog suffrin. SUFFRIN.

October 13, 2014

(Source: yaseriesinsiders)

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