aaaaaand winter.

Fall has come and gone, leaving me with so many leaves to rake, and so many sad dog eyes staring at me because it’s raining and we can’t go to the park. Obi-dog and Agent Scully’s lives are, they assure me, the absolute worst. Also, BRB, I think I just heard Armpit McGee fall into the toilet.

Yep. But he’s OK!

Had a blast on tour this fall (thanks to everyone who came out and said hi). There were many highlights, but here’s one I won’t soon forget: finding a speakeasy in the back of a drugstore in Jackson, MS. I ordered a drink that tasted, no joke, like raw chicken. I sent it back. I never send anything back; I’m midwestern, dammit, but it seriously tasted like raw chicken. Katharine McGee and Jessie Ann Foley bravely tasted and agreed.

Also: stayed at a hotel in Austin for the Texas Book Festival and was plagued by nightmares and awoken at 4am by ominous loud whistling outside my door that continued off and on (and up and down the hall) for several minutes. Annoyed, I thought it must have been a bored member of the staff, and went back to sleep. Then in the morning, still unnerved, I googled the hotel and the floor I was on was reportedly haunted. Did I have a ghost experience? Can we just say I did, because I never have those.

THE YOUNG QUEENS novella comes out on December 26th in ebook:

And here it is in the UK:

I hope you enjoy this glimpse into the queens’ lives before we meet them in Three Dark Crowns. Speaking of Three Dark Crowns, work begins on the revision of Three Dark Crowns #3! Back in July, when I finished the first draft I tweeted that I thought about 60% of it was actually good! Oh how I look back on that tweet now, and laugh. And LAUGH. And then cry.

I’m staring down a January deadline in order to hold pace for our September release date, so I’m going to disappear down a writing hole and when I emerge will be pale, and nearly blind. I might pop out early if they decide to reveal the cover, or actual title. Until then, oh Three Dark Crowns #3:

Of course I say this to every book. Also, to every turkey.

The Skinny on Pre-Order Swag, Signed Copies, and Bonus Material for One Dark Throne

They’re so…PRETTY!

The Pre-order swag: It’s a deck of Three Dark Crowns playing cards! Some of the artwork is shown above. I can’t wait to get mine. I’m going to play all the rummy in the world. If you have pre-ordered, and are in the US, go here to submit your info and proof of purchase before 9/18 to receive a deck: Pre-order Swag

The Signed Editions: Okay, my intel on this is not the best, but you can definitely find signed copies around. Here’s a list of places you might be able to find them:

  • BAM
  • Indigo
  • Costco
  • Target
  • Walmart
  • Some International editions
  • Barnes and Noble

The Bonus Material: This is an extra bit of story featuring Katharine and Pietyr. It’s available exclusively from Barnes & Noble. They’ll sell these until they run out, but I don’t know how many they’ve ordered. They’ll also stock Signed Bonus editions until they run out of those. If you want one of these, go here: BN Exclusive Signed and BN Exclusive Only

Also, if you pre-order, thank you. I hope you love the second book in the series, and just…thank you. And did I mention THANK YOU? Of course I’m grateful for any and all purchases/recs, library orders, etc, but you pre-orderers are so impressively on top of things.

Ok. End of book stuff for this entry. Now let’s talk about my Game of Thrones sorrow. Spoilers ahead if you’re behind on Season 7




Now if you’re behind on Season 7


That’s good enough, we should be alone. Alone, so I can SCREAM! You motherf*cking Night King I will have your stupid blue head on a pike for what you have done you stupid, mother*fucking blue-headed and did I mention motherf*cking? ASSHOLE. All I wanted was for Tyrion and Viserion to ride off together, just show their backsides to the rest of Westeros and go off to frolic, you know, by the sea.

But NO. You moronic, grinning, butt-faced Night King with your stupid blue head (You ain’t no Mary Poppins!) had to aim for the smallest dragon. The sweetest dragon. The dragon who landed on strangers and needed to be shaken off when he kept trying to get on Dany after he was too big. And now you must die. I mean, you were probably going to die anyway, but now I’m serious.

The only way I’ll forgive you is if you grow to love Wight Viserion so much that you turn your buttcheeks to the rest of Westeros and you take him and go frolic by the undead sea instead.

Rant over for now, to be repeated every time I see the MOTHERF*CKING NIGHT KING!

Waaah, Viserion! I don’t care if Jon is supposed to ride Rhaegal eventually. I’d rather it have been Rhaegal.

News Round-up, or, What a Crappy Blogger I Am.

I said I would update this blog monthly. Monthly! HA! I laugh in the face of monthly! Anyway, time and deadlines got away from me and all the big news I intended to post here was announced ages ago, so I’m just going to roll through everything I think I was supposed to mention. (I may have mentioned some already. But repeats? HA! I laugh in the face of repeats!)

How should we do this? Oldest to newest? Sure. Why not.

*In February (yes, February, for pete’s sake) THREE DARK CROWNS was optioned for film by Fox and Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps, which I could not be more thrilled about because STRANGER THINGS! and ARRIVAL! and WOO! and AAAHH! I have no more news about this yet, but have spoken to some of the producers/execs and they are awesome. I’m just going to stay out of their way, help where I can, and let them do their awesome thing. Nice write-up here at Deadline.

*FOUR BOOKS INSTEAD OF TWO! Thanks to you, the readers, I get to write more Fennbirn books. I love you readers. Books 3 & 4 will be direct sequels, but I didn’t stretch the series further than was intended, I promise. ONE DARK THRONE still ends where it always would have. Now I just get to tell the after. Did I mention I love you readers?

*PLUS NOVELLA! In December, an ebook novella titled THE YOUNG QUEENS will arrive for any of you who are curious about the sisters’ childhood, their birth and their separation. Available for pre-order anywhere ebooks are sold, and also behind the link ūüôā

*SIGNED ONE DARK THRONE and SPECIAL EDITION! I’m signing my wrists away and using many different colored pens for the signed edition of One Dark Throne. And Barnes and Noble will stock a special edition featuring an extra chapter! There are many details about this (the hows and wheres and whatnots) so I’ll write up an actual post explaining better soon. Or in 2 months. You know how I am.

*STARRED REVIEW from KIRKUS for ONE DARK THRONE! I just about fell over reading this review. I think my favorite part was “…already pitch-black tale shades even darker, as the queens’ cruel contest piles up an escalating (and grisly) body count.” MUAHAHA…HA. Read the full review here.

And that’s it for now! More to come, like perhaps pre-order bonuses, tour dates, and dare I say more stories. I’ll try to be better at updates. For now, enjoy this fine photo of Dylan Captain Morganing through Hawaii.

Yarr, fish ahoy! Yarr!

Minor news, with bigger news to follow, and Happy Birthday, old horse!

I was waiting to blog this month because there are some cool things in the mix for the Three Dark Crowns series that are yet to be announced. BUT! If I don’t blog now I’ll miss February, plus I need something to do for like twenty minutes before I can feed my pack their lunch and fix myself my daily cup of coffee, so here I am. I’ll just have to save the news for March. But it’s rad. And I want to talk about it. Now.

But I won’t. Restraint. It’s the name of the game.

ONE DARK THRONE got a nifty cover reveal over on the official series Facebook page. And oh! It got an official series Facebook page! Have you liked and followed it? I wholeheartedly recommend that you do, because it sounds like they have some excellent plans: announcements and quizzes and special content. My lovely webdesigner Rachel also added a One Dark Throne page to the site here, complete with pre-order links if you are so inclined (and for those of you who have asked, there have been rumblings about a pre-order campaign but I’m not sure yet. Save your receipts to be safe. Also THANK YOU!).

And I got a sneak peek at the UK cover (I’m thinking there will only be one this time) and it is lovely.

On a personal note, I’d like to wish my horse Lassie a very happy birthday. February 25th will mark her golden birthday, and on such a big occasion, I had to send her something special. So I sent her a box of cannoli made for horses. She’s an old lady horse now, but to me she will always be a baby. And a jerk. Oh, how she bites me.

And on a strange personal note, my parents found my old adoption paperwork and discovered my original name. k81 2097. Which I think sounds fantastic. Like I’m a cyborg. Henceforth I shall be called The k81, and if I ask you if you have seen this boy, you should run.

Now to feed the pack! And I hope to be able to blog next month with news!

Naked Cats, Release Date, and WTF 2016?

2016, you’re finally over. I knew there was a reason I didn’t like even numbers. I talked to my mom on New Year’s Eve and mentioned how glad I was the year was over, and she very sweetly asked “Why? Is it Trump?” And I wanted to say, “well sure but also remember that time you tried to kill yourself?” but honestly I think she’s blocked most of that out, and that’s fine, she’s doing much better now and I have appreciated all of the kind thoughts that came in after my last post and I apologize for this run-on sentence.

I didn’t need to tell her that celebrity deaths also sucked, and nor do I need to tell anyone else, but I will mention the one that affected me the most, and that was Alan Rickman. My adoration started with Sense and Sensibility and I never really got over it.

Admit it, that’s a sexy little hat

But, despite an air of relief that the year was ending, the holidays around here were pleasant. I made Giada DeLaurentis’s lobster linguini and standing rib roast, plus fennel, which we’d never had and discovered we’d rather just have celery. I received a very cool set of gifts from my serial killer-studying pal: a weaving made from one of my favorite chapters of Anna Dressed in Blood, and a crow sculpture made entirely of graphite so the whole thing is a pencil.

Dylan has named him Cro-seph

And last but certainly not least, we got a new baby. A five month old sphynx kitten named Armpit McGee:


He has no fur, and needs many bathings and face and ear cleanings, and sure, sometimes it feels like there’s an uncooked chicken running across my living room, but we adore him.

In writing world: edits on ONE DARK THRONE are nearly done, and we have a release date: September 19th, 2017 !!¬†It’s available for pre-order already, and some of you have already ordered, which blows my mind. A million times, thank you. More news to come soon.

And I’m going to Chicago to chat with Veronica Roth about her new book CARVE THE MARK: February 9th at 7pm, Community Christian Church, hosted by Anderson’s Bookshop. It’s ticketed, and we’ll both sign after, I think.

Three Dark Crowns popped up on the NYT list again yesterday, print(#3!) and ebook(#2!), so that was awesome. Thank you to those of you who have given it a whirl.

And that’s my month. Keep on, keepin’ on.

A Season of Downs and Ups

I’m fairly crappy at keeping this place updated, but over the years I have done my best to post one new entry per month. A record for myself, if nothing else, of what the hell was going on. I haven’t posted an entry since July. Here’s why.

In¬†August, my mom tried to commit suicide. She had been struggling with a fairly rapid onset of anxiety disorder since the spring. I’d been trying to help her, having some experience with anxiety myself. For a brief rundown, see this post I wrote for Psychology Today.

When I wrote that, I didn’t know we were a few weeks away from my mom overdosing, and my family in the ICU for 40 hours waiting for her to stop convulsing and die. She hadn’t meant to do it. Not really. She wanted to get our attention (even though she already had it, the anxiety convinced her she needed more. Such is the nature of that beast.). I cried and laughed bitterly to Dylan that my mom had accidentally killed herself. Bitter laughter, bitter tears. Four in the morning waiting by the phone half a country away while my dad and my brother and all my childhood friends camped out in the ICU. Five am watching Philadelphia on HBO which would have made me cry on a normal day (especially those songs, Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young, damn you and your sick mournful beats).

But my mom didn’t die. Sometime in the night they intubated and put her under, and 40 hours later they brought her back up, and she opened her eyes. The tough old bird came out of it with no lasting damage (a fricking miracle!), and I flew home to make sure she was placed in proper inpatient care. She wanted us to put her into a nursing home. She didn’t think she could ever get better. We knew that she could.

Fast forward six weeks, and by the time I was set to go on book tour, my mom was on her way back. We were, and are, cautiously optimistic. Her medication is working well, and it is good to hear her laugh again, and smart off again, and be a big sarcastic butthole again like I’m used to.

This beast of Generalized Anxiety Disorder came on fast and strong. From fine and functioning to total collapse inside the span of a year. Our denial of how bad it had gotten, and some of our unfamiliarity with the disorder didn’t help. But we know what to watch for now, and because of her experiences, a friend who also struggled with anxiety went to get treatment, so, silver linings, I guess. This season was almost much, much worse.

In the midst of this, I was gearing up for the release of Three Dark Crowns, pasting on my author’s smile (which is usually, seriously, quite genuine). And then it was in the world, and it debuted at #2 on the New York Times Bestsellers list (#5 on ebook!) and then I was on the road, hanging with incredible authors like Lauren Oliver, Zac Brewer, M.E. Girard, Renee Ahdieh (I think I had five panels with Renee this season!) and so many more. 3DC hung out on the list for six weeks, and continues on the national Indie list. Thank you to everyone who helped to put it there. It’s surreal, and to say I’m grateful for all of these things doesn’t quite cut it.

So there’s the ups. And they were big ups, after a big down. We came close. The fight continues. I apologize for the hiatus here. The plan is to return to normal now. ¬†Smartassery and raucous dogs. Monthly posts. The sweetest co-writing cat in the world. And Lauren Oliver told me about a way to prepare a whole duck so I am totally doing that for Thanksgiving.

This is likely all I will say about this. I’m hesitant to post it, but I wrote that article about not being ashamed of anxiety disorders and I meant it, so a-posting I will go.

Crows, crows, crows! And reviews.

Crows, crows, crows! Is what I call out when I’m setting out their morning food. Not terribly original, I know. But they’re hard to name. They all look the same only slightly different sizes. In my head I call them Cro-heme, Cro-tein Shake, and Theodore Cro-sevelt, because I hate that stupid Geico weightlifter commercial.

They are out of the nest now, and eating our offerings on the regular. We have good luck with unsalted peanuts in shell and goldfish crackers my mom bought but didn’t eat. Oh no, she said, I want the regular goldfish, not the flavor-blasted. Well, I bought both, and she proceeded to scarf down the flavor-blasted and left me with bland, plain goldfish crackers! But I digress. The crows also enjoy tater tots, and certain lunch meat. They are picky about cheese. I’m eager to try giving them eggs, but if they ignore them then I have to go clean the yard before the dogs get to it and that sounds gross.

On to bookish stuff: THREE DARK CROWNS has received three positive trade reviews. Two with stars. That’s nuts! Plus many excellent blurbs. ¬†I’ll get the Three Dark Crowns page updated¬†soon, and Harper has already gotten them up on the Amazon page. Well, not the Booklist one, yet.

Three positive trade reviews. I feel very lucky. And like I paid someone off and just don’t remember doing it. But, there will be many bad reviews as well. Bad reviews that I hope sound like this: This book is not even a book! I couldn’t stand a single page and after I closed it I pooped on it! NO STARS!

That’s right. I want to get a no stars review from the Brita Water guy.

For those of you who don’t know, I read reviews of my own books. This is something that many writers manage to not do, as it can be quite unhealthy, like constantly refreshing your Amazon ranking (which I also do). Buuut, I can’t stop. Reviews are the Ennis to my Jack: I can’t quit them. Even if it is true that the right bad review on the wrong day can leave me shuffling around my house in mismatched socks asking the cat if he’s seen the last half of my sandwich. It’s all part of the process.

In two weeks, I’m off to GeekyCon, then back home until late September. My full schedule is up on the events page. I am having a launch gathering at University Bookstore in Seattle on 9/22. There will be cupcakes. Three flavors, one for each queen, and also just because I want to eat three different cupcakes. If you can’t be there but would like a book signed, call the store and they will make sure I sign and doodle. If you aren’t local, they will ship. All of the stores on the tour will ship, I imagine.

Thank you to anyone who comes out and sees us on tour. And as ever, a huge thank you to everyone who has pre-ordered Three Dark Crowns already. I thank you, my publisher thanks you, and Obi-dog thanks you, too, because he has to be involved in everything the little nose-beast. We are all very, very grateful.

Movies and Sequels and Crows. Oh my!

Any list of three things separated by “and”, has to have the phrase “Oh my!” behind it. Thanks a lot, Wizard of Oz.

I’ve been away from the blog awhile, so¬†here’s the skinny:

The principal cast for the ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD movie was announced, here’s the Deadline write-up. It’s Cameron Monaghan as Cas, and Maddie Hasson as Anna, and I could not be happier about those choices. They’ve got it all, those two, and I can’t wait to see what they will do with the roles. It was a particular thrill to get Cameron, as my best friend knows ZERO actors, but she knows him from Shameless, so she could actually be excited. Also, both of them are only 3-4¬†degrees from Kevin Bacon, which is always important. The director is Trish Sie, the screenwriter is Allison Wood, and when you put them together with Stephenie Meyer and Meghan Hibbett from Fickle Fish Films, you’ve got a lot of rad women in Hollywood.

I’ll say more about this movie business if and when the film swings into production. In my mind, it’s still a fragile baby egg, and I don’t want to jinx it by yacking about it too much. But feel free to tell me what you think of the casting!

Also happened: I finished Three Dark Crowns 2, which has a real title and everything! We’re already starting to talk about cover concepts for it, which seems unreal. This biz moves simultaneously slowly and at light speed. ¬†More cover related: the UK cover for Three D will be revealed soon!

Went to BEA and Bookcon. Next up: Geekycon in Florida. I’ll have Three Dark Crowns decals (bumper stickers?) to hand out. And I’m working with a bookstore on how to get signed, personalized preorders for those who have asked. A big, huge, crazy large thank you to everyone who has preordered already.

Crows! There are crows in our backyard. They have a nest up in a tree and we’re trying to feed them and earn their trust. So far we’ve managed to get them some worms, but I don’t think they knew the worms were from us. You can’t leave a “To, From” gift tag on a worm, you know? But I’m not giving up. I’m going to go buy some unsalted unshelled peanuts.

The End is Nigh! Though not quite as nigh as I’d hoped.

According to my master plan, I am supposed to finish Three Dark Crowns 2 in two days. That isn’t going to happen. I’m heading down to Bend, Oregon this Friday for a book festival, so the big finish is pushed off until next week. But! I’m betting there are ten thousand words or less remaining, and I sort of might know what most or some of those words are, so…not so bad.

The writing speed has slowed here at the end, as there are many things happening, and writing them tires me out. Isn’t that weird? I’m not physically doing the things that I’m writing but shit I need a nap.

On a personal note, we’re thinking of expanding the family again, with a kitten, perhaps sometime late this fall or winter. It will probably be of the hairless suede variety. So if anyone has experience with cats of the hairless suede variety, please do chime in to endorse or warn us off. This will be our final child, until our children get very old, and we begin to lose them.

On a slightly less personal but infinitely awesome note, a book blogger/book trailer creator made a trailer for Three Dark Crowns! She just made one! Just because the concept inspired her! How excellent is that? So I’ll link to it here: THE BOOK TRAVELER’S RAD TRAILER

Five months to Three Dark Crowns. Advance copies are out to readers and I’m freaking out. Dylan is trying to be patient but I can see his eyeball starting to tic. Whatever. He can take it. And if he can’t, I shall put Icy Hot in his undershorts and that will perk him right up.

Yes I do advocate spousal sabotage with Icy Hot.

Next month I’m off to BEA/Bookcon, where I will be signing ARCs, miraculously, from a fetal position. Until then, peace out, and word to your mothers.

Standing in the middle of a book.

Hello, March. I am coming to you today from the mid-point of Three Dark Crowns 2. Or thereabouts. February was a pretty productive month, only the equivalent of one day’s words was lost. So, at this point, I’m still on track to finish sometime in April as planned.

Of course by “finish”, I don’t mean done. I’m going to re-write this puppy so intensely it won’t know its own name. And if that sounds dirty, I meant it to.

Other stuff that happened in February: Hypable revealed the cover for Three Dark Crowns! And I updated my website with it, and the description, and pre-order links here. Because nothing says loving like a pre-order, if you are feeling so kind, and so inclined.

I always feel weird asking folks to pre-order, but it really does help a book and makes everyone involved with it feel warm and fuzzy inside. So…please DO pre-order Three Dark Crowns. And, please DON’T poach elephants. Not that any of you would dream of poaching an elephant.

Hey, just for fun I’m going to talk a bit about the Three Dark Crowns cover. And break it down a bit. Here goes.

There she is. Bow chicka bow wow.

There she is. Bow chicka bow wow.

So, the top crown there, that represents Queen Arsinoe and the naturalists, their affinity for growing stuff and whatnot.

The middle crown is for Queen Mirabella, the elemental. Fire isn’t her favorite, but neither is it her least favorite. Her favorite is the wind and her gift to work with weather, but what were they going to do, a crown with a sad cloud hanging over it? Cute, but no cigar.

The last crown is for Queen Katharine, (I pronounce it Cat-ah-reen, but do how you like), and the poisoners. They wear venomous snakes like jewelry.

I do love this cover. And I was no help with it. Harper kindly asked for input, and I said, in my usual articulate fashion: Uh, sure, uh, covers are nice, uh, could it not be bright butter yellow?

Scuttlebutt is that there will be a different cover in the UK, so I may have another one to share soon. That will be quite the experience for me, as Anna Dressed in Blood looks the same in pretty much every language.

Ok…until next time. When I will be standing hopefully in the last quarter of a book.