I keep hoping to find the time to put together a decent-sized newsletter, but the time's simply not there. So here's a brief update instead on some upcoming publications and the like.
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MaryAnn and I just got back from the World Fantasy Convention in Corpus Christi, Texas, last night. Going down was a nightmare with Air Canada bumping us from our flight and then losing our luggage for three days, but on the upside, we came away with Moonlight and Vines
winning the World Fantasy Award for Best Collection (a tie with Stephen Donaldson's Reave the Just and Other Tales). In between, we had a great time.
The artist Guest of Honour this year was our good friend Charles Vess, so we got the chance to hang out a lot with him (I especially liked the quip from Scott, one of the con security folks, who said, when he saw us walking down the hall towards him, "Look, it's Charles squared!") We also got to finally meet (in person, as opposed to talking on the phone and emailing) Sharyn November of Viking Puffin, my new editor for YA books, who turned out to be even more fun and nicer than we'd imagined she'd be (and MaryAnn and I were exercising our imaginations before we went down). We also spent a lot of time with Nina Kiriki Hoffman, a darling of a person and a great writer if you haven't tried her yet. (I'd recommend you start with A Red Heart of Memories.)
There were lots of other old friends there, of course, everyone from my editors Patrick Nielsen Hayden (who can always choose a good restaurant) and Jo Fletcher (looking especially fetching with her black cowboy hat at the banquet), to writer and artist friends like Joe Lansdale, Joe and Gay Haldeman, Tim and Serena Powers, Walter Jon Williams, Delia Sherman, Ellen Kushner, Jayme Blaschke, and really too many to list here. The only disappointments were that Charles's wife Karen couldn't make it, and that Terri Windling (who also won an award for editing Silver Birch Blood Moon
with Ellen Datlow) hadn't come.
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- Meeting readers, both those I've met before at other events, and new ones that I was meeting here for the first time. Other writers can say what they want, but I know I've got the best and friendliest readers in the business.
- The Sense of Wonder panel in which a domestic balloon gone feral spent the hour floating about the room, gently come down at times to touch various panelists and members of the audience.
- Making music in one of the halls on Saturday night with Nina (fiddle, guitar and voice), Delia and Ellen (voices), MaryAnn (mandolin, guitar and voice), Barry Jens (guitar and vocals; he brought the guitar—thanks, Barry) and his wife Tina (vocals), and a woman who sang a spirited version of, if I'm remembering this correctly, "McPhearson's Rant." When all the women were harmonizing on pieces like "The Grey Funnel Line," it was pure magic.
- Bursting into the middle of a panel to get the audience to sing "Happy Birthday" to Joe Lansdale on the Saturday and presenting him with a very expensive "Glow worm" flashlight that we'd purchased earlier at Wal-Mart. Walter Jon, who shares the same birthday, also got a flashlight, but unfortunately (well, for me, rather than him, I suppose) wasn't on any panels that afternoon for me to interrupt.
- Hanging around the bar area with the ever-changing coterie of folks for both quiet and boisterous conversation. I might not drink much (sadly, not a single bottle of Tequiza to be found in all of Corpus Christi), but it's the best place to see everybody.
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Last year at the WFC banquet I won a goldfish (rather than an award) which I gave to Irene Gallo, the Art Director at Tor, since I didn't feel I could bring it on the plane with me. This year I found out that she'd named it Charles de Fish and kept it in her office ever since the banquet; sadly it died a couple of weeks before this year's con. That's not a highlight—I just thought I'd share it.
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Of course, WFC is a place where a lot of business gets done, so this is probably a good time to give you an update on what will be coming in the next year or so:
- I'll be turning in The Onion Girl to Tor within the next couple of weeks so hopefully it'll be out some time late next year. Next up from Tor is an Orb trade paperback edition of Svaha, which will be followed by an Orb edition of Mulengro next year. The paperback of Forests of the Heart should be out early next year.
- I got to speak with Bill Schafer from Subterranean Press a few times and can now tell you about a couple of upcoming projects that I have with him, though first I should say that he brought a few copies of Triskell Tales to the con and it looks gorgeous. It was fun seeing folks stop MaryAnn for an autograph—something she's not quite used to yet. Coming early next year from Bill's press will be a mystery novel of mine set in Ottawa during the mid-eighties; I'm still trying to come up with a good title. The working title I had was Swann (after the main character), but we'll find something that's better and hasn't already been used so recently, though I first started working on this book long before Carol Shields published her novel. The other project with Bill will be a collaboration with Charles Vess on an illustrated novella with the working title of Seven Wild Sisters.
- As I mentioned above, we finally got to meet Sharyn November at the con. For those of you wondering why I called her my editor, that's because we've just recently signed the contracts for a YA short story collection that will be published in hardcover and mass market under a new imprint she's launching in 2001. Sharyn also bought the reprint rights to The Riddle of the Wren, The Harp of the Grey Rose, Wolf Moon, and The Dreaming Place. These will start coming out in the fall of 2002 with the release of the collection. Unfortunately, Sharyn didn't buy a number of ideas that Nina, Charles Vess and I pitched to her over the weekend. There was a ten-book Parry Hotter series, chronicling a young wizard's life in Wizard Gaol, one book for every year he's incarcerated. Then there was our "Oil Fairies" series which would introduce such loveable fey characters as Greasy, Slippery, Slick, and the like. Sharyn said it was too crude, but we were certainly willing to refine it. And then there was the one dearest to Nina's heart, the Pelican Bob series, about a young boa constrictor named Pelican Bob. The first book would have been called The Little Snake Who Wanted Wings. We'd even written the first few lines which started with: "Sss, sss, sss," said Pelican Bob, the little snake who wanted wings… Maybe you had to be there.
- Lastly, though nothing has been finalized yet, there's an excellent chance that there will soon be a British/Australian edition of Forests of the Heart, followed next year by The Onion Girl which would be published simultaneously with the American edition.
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Having a small brain, I can't remember everything that went on at the con (and would probably bore you if I did manage to remember it all.) There was the Wal-Mart adventure. Many fine meals. The strange man in the elevator who tried to convince Tim Powers that rather than buying DietCoke, he should buy the generic brand at a place called HEB, which Serena misheard as HIV and was naturally not so keen on the idea. We also took a short drive out to Padre Island where we saw lots of flat, dead jellyfish on the beach. Happily, we also got to see some live ones at the aquarium.
MaryAnn took a roll or two of film at the con, so when we get the pictures back, I'll put them up on a webpage and send you the url.
And while I'm passing along urls, Cat Eldridge recently sent me this one:
It appears that the owner of the site is trying to start up a Newford Ring, so if you have a site that would fit, you might want to add it to his ring.
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Next year, the convention's in Montréal, Québec. I'll be the toastmaster (and will be very hard put to follow the wonderful speech Joe Lansdale gave at this convention). I hope to see some of you there, or perhaps sooner. At the moment, the only other confirmed convention for us is ConCat 12 in Knoxville, Tennessee, (November 24-26) where I'll be sharing Guest of Honour duties with Charles Vess. I think they should call this year's con, Charles squared… But it looks like we'll also be at Aggiecon in College Station, Texas, (where I know they won't have any Tequiza, it being a dry campus) next May. If that happens, we'll also do a book signing in Austin. I'll let you know when that's confirmed.
On the CD player: Greg Brown's Covenant
and Dar Williams's The Green World
are in constant rotation. I'm also much enamoured with The Captain
by Kasey Chambers which features the talents of Buddy and Julie Miller on a few cuts. As Chambers says in her liner notes, "If angels could sing, they would sound like Julie Miller." Try Miller's last CD, Broken Things
, and hear for yourself.
There's been a singular lack of new Celtic music to excite me lately, though Jimmy Young (from the group Rua) sent me his 1999 recording Pipeworks
(Greentrax) this summer and it's a real delight, especially if you like Northumbrian piping as much as I do.
And of course there's still lots of Fred J. Eaglesmith
getting played around here (and in the car and wherever else I happen to listen to music). It doesn't matter what Chris Simmons (a musical correspondent of mine from Spokane, WA) says, you can't go wrong with Fred.
A final note: I got home from Corpus Christi to find 421 messages waiting in my in basket, so if you write to me, while I certainly read and enjoy any mail you might send, I won't necessarily be able to reply to it.
|July 17, 2000|
I'm happy to report that the e-book editions of my work that I talked about awhile ago are now beginning to become available at peanutpress.com. Newly available are Dreams Underfoot, Memory and Dream, and The Ivory and the Horn. Still available is Someplace to Be Flying which Research Triangle Park, NC: ereader.com published back in 1998. Hopefully the rest will soon become available.|
|Newsletter #3.1 - December 6, 2000|
Snow has arrived and it's staying on the ground, so I guess winter's here for the duration. I have to pass along a couple of comments from subscribers to the list on the last newsletter because they're too funny:|
Susan Witt wrote that after she told her sister the name of my novel The Onion Girl, her sister immediately said, "And the sequel will be titled The Garlic Guy." How did she know? And Selena Vincin reminded me that the HEB chain of stores (which Serena Powers misheard as HIV stores) are named after one Harold Eustace Butt…
In book news, the Orb edition of Svaha is now out, or at least MaryAnn and I saw a copy in a store in Asheville, NC, last week—our copies have yet to arrive. And contrary to what I said in the last newsletter, it appears that The Little Country will be the next Orb book, with Mulengro to follow at a later date.
Because of numerous queries (and because I want to show off this great sketch of Charles Vess's), I've now put up a small information page about our upcoming Seven Wild Sisters collaboration from Subterranean Press. You can see it here.
A current favourite in the CD player these days is Welcome to the Hotel Connemara by De Dannan. All acoustic/trad. instrumental versions of classic rock songs. Sounds gimmicky, but it's a delight.
And here's one of the perk's of being in my business. Editors send you forthcoming novels in ms. form, hoping for a comment that can be used as a blurb. Well right now I'm reading the ms. Jane Lindskold's Through Wolf's Eyes and it's that rare high fantasy/secondary world novel that I'm just loving. Watch out for it in August 2001 from Tor.
If I don't get another one of these updates out before the end of the year, here's wishing you all a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year.
|Newsletter #3.2 - February 5, 2001|
We have far too much snow at the moment—it's three to four feet high on our front lawn with more coming every day. So those of you in warmer climes, please send some warm thoughts our way.|
Those of you who own Palm Pilots, Visors, Windows CE devices and the like might be interested to know that Svaha, which was recently reprinted by Tor in trade paperback as part of their Orb line, is now available as an e-book as well from Research Triangle Park, NC: ereader.com. You can get it at:
I don't know about you, and I'm certainly not ready to give up the experience of holding a physical book in my hand while I'm reading, but MaryAnn and I also enjoy reading on our Palms—everything from news stories downloaded from the net, manuscripts of upcoming novels for review purposes, e-books that we've purchased, manuscripts from friends, and favorite stories that we've managed to get e-versions of. For instance, just last night I was rereading Terri Windling's wonderful "Red Rock" which I downloaded from her site at
I'm not sure if it's still up, but it might be. As well as "The Color of Angels," which I'd also recommend.
I've had a few new sales of late. I'll wait for the contracts to be signed for one of them, but I can tell you that both Forests of the Heart and The Onion Girl will be published by Orion in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, etc.
We got to see Steve Earle this past weekend—can you see the smile that's still on MaryAnn's face? Not that I didn't have a great time as well, but she was still playing his CDs and dancing this morning, three days later.
CDs I'm playing a lot these days include the new live set Wonderlust from Heather Nova, the Oysterband's best of 2-CD Granite Years, Oh Susanna's Sleepy Little Sailor, and the Dolly Parton's 2nd bluegrass outing, Little Sparrow.