First and foremost, THIS MONSTROUS THING is now available for preorder on Amazon and also from the HarperCollins website! What!? My book is a real thing you can exchange money for now and get an actual copy of in nine months! It will be a delightful surprise when it shows up on your doorstep. Or you can do what I would do, which is wait a few months longer, at which point I will be doing a signed preorder campaign through my favorite indie bookstore and then you will get a SIGNED copy AND support your local indies. Win win. Plus I might just draw a dalek in it.
So yay preorder! And yay book!
And now more stuff about the weird books I write!
First of all, let’s establish something: by nature, writing is very solitary.
It is mostly you, the writer, alone in a room with your computer, or your paper and pencil, or you stretched animal skin and fingerpaint1. Sometimes you get to have email conversations about your work with other people, like your editor or your agent. Occasionally these conversations are in-person and extremely uncomfortable for you, the writer, because nothing is more awkward than saying your weird ideas out loud. But mostly it’s quite lonely, and is mostly a relationship between you and a paper/screen/tanned animal skin.
So I was very lucky over the course of the last two weeks to get to expand my sphere of writerness into two different places.
First: I got to do some very fun research2. A few days after Christmas, which I spent with my family in Utah, where I’m from, I got to shoot antique firearms with a friend of my father’s who also happens to be an avid collector of guns, many of which predate this century. He was kind enough to let me run my grubby little hands all over his priceless collection and ask a slew of really stupid questions. And then I got to shoot some of the guns Annie Oakley would have used3 and learn all about how to load, fire, and care for your antique firearm. I also learned that my father’s crack shot gene was not passed on to me, though I did turn heads when I hit a moving clay pigeon on my second shot. I did not try again, for fear that I had just written the book on beginner’s luck.
Second: we made a book trailer4! When I lived in Salt Lake, I did some theater and film, and I am lucky enough to have a friend who is an incredibly talented indie filmmaker who is still based there. And I am luckier that when I said, “Want to make a steampunk Frankenstein book trailer with me?” he said yes5.
And then I basically called in every favor I had. Can you help me find costumes? Could you hold lights? Could you let us paint gruesome bloody wounds all over your naked body and then lay still on a table for two hours? And amazingly, because they are all crazy, my friends said yes, and last Saturday, we packed up and headed to a freezing, abandoned mill in the foothills of greater Salt Lake and filmed a steampunk Frankenstein book trailer.
And, I might add, we had a marvelous time. In spite of the frigid cold.
I am very lucky to have friends who, in spite of only seeing them once a year when I come home at Christmas, are willing to give up their time and their beards and the feeling in their toes to help me out. My takeaway from the Christmas holidays has been how many exceptional human beings I have in my life, and how very lucky I am for that.
- I don’t make assumptions or judgements about how other people write.
- Which I spent all break steadily and consistently avoiding.
- At targets she would not have used, like a Diet Coke can, though I’m now the proud owner of a Diet Coke can full of bullet holes I put there.
- A book trailer being a short video pitch of your book which can be used to entice readers into picking it up, if they’re not really into that whole synopsis on the back thing.
- Blooming Studios—check them out! These guys are exceptional human beings and extremely talented artists.