I know I promised another newsletter after the World Fantasy Convention, and here it is, almost a month later, but the busy-ness just doesn't seem to let up. On the plus side, I finally finished final edits on my next novel Spirits in the Wires on Friday (November 29th) and turned it in the same day (ah, the wonders of e-mail attachments). Tor has scheduled it for release in August 2003. But I still have many other projects on the go, so there's no real breathing space except for the bits I can steal away.
Such as heading out to see Fred Eaglesmith twice last weekend: a rockin'
show at a place called Barrymore's here in Ottawa, followed by a more personal show at the National Library. Fred was in particular fine form for the latter, with lots of stories and new jokes. (You can always tell the new ones because the band breaks up behind him when he tells
them.) And if that wasn't enough music, the little folksinger herself, Ani DiFranco was in town on the next night and put on a fabulous show, even if she was still suffering somewhat from a broken bone in her foot and had to chair-dance instead of bounce around the stage.
As for the World Fantasy Convention, it's always a joy to see old friends (like our pals Nina Hoffman and Ellen Klages) and make new ones like Holly Black—didn't spend nearly enough time talking to her, though, but you have to read her new book, Tithe; I wish I'd written it.
Got to meet a whole bunch of readers, at the con itself and also at the mass signing at DreamHaven Books the night before the con started. I thought that was a wonderful idea of Greg's (that would be Greg Ketter, owner of said store and the chairman of this year's con): organizing an event where readers who couldn't get to the con could gather and meet with many of the writers were in town for World Fantasy. Greg even managed to somehow snag a few copies of Seven Wild Sisters to sell, although he must have used magic to do it, as it's been sold out since before publication. From what I understand, they disappeared quickly. DreamHaven does carry pretty much everything I have in print, as well as a stellar collection of other fantasy and science fiction authors. Here's a link to their Web site, if you're interested.
Speaking of Seven Wild Sisters, one of the high points of the World Fantasy Convention was the arrival of Charles Vess (who did the cover and interiors). Charles brought along a "dummy" version of our upcoming children's picture book, A Circle of Cats. Not that Mr. V's arrival isn't something to celebrate on its own, but it was tremendous to see his art laid out the way it will be in the book. It's absolutely gorgeous. He brought me a copy as well and we had a wonderful time showing it off throughout the con. Everyone reacted just as I did: enchanted by the illustrations, dying to get their hands on the published book (due out from Viking next June).
Charles' wife Karen arrived on the Sunday night, and the next day we all headed off to a Guy Fawkes party at Neil Gaiman's house. We were a smaller posse by then: MaryAnn and I, Charles and Karen, and Ellen. Sadly, we'd lost Nina, who insisted on going back home to Eugene to vote. The party was quite amazing, with a giant bonfire in which burned the pumpkin-headed Guy and at least an hour of fireworks.
We stayed another night at a B&B near Neil's house, then headed off to Madison, where we had a great dinner with some local friends. The next morning MaryAnn wanted to visit a couple of antique stores, which led me to find a great instrument shop that I can't recommend highly enough: Spruce Tree Music & Repair Inc. on East Johnson. It's a treasure trove of vintage and new instruments, and didn't I find the National single resonator guitar I've been wanting forever in there? Couldn't afford to buy it, but I got to play it, and now I know precisely what I'm saving up for.
We lost Ellen in Madison (well, she had things to do, like drive home to Ohio), which left the four of us to carry on to WindyCon in Chicago, where we met another nice bunch of readers over the course of the weekend. That was a long time to be catless, so we were happy to finally fly back home on the Sunday to our patient kitty Clare (who was being spoiled by our nephew Kevin, so it's not like she was having the worst time in her life).
We had a week then to catch up, but also to prepare for the launch of Tapping the Dream Tree and Waifs and Strays the following Monday at Patty's Pub. We had a wonderful time with the over two hundred people who showed up to help us celebrate (after all, Tapping the Dream Tree is my 50th published book), but rather than try to describe the evening to you, I'll direct you to the Web page that MaryAnn put together at:
If you click on the link at the bottom, you'll be taken to a very nice review of the event at the Green Man Review site.
So now we're back to playing catch-up and trying to get back into our regular schedule. I'm still working on Medicine Road (which deals with the elder twins from Seven Wild Sisters on a road trip), as well as some other stories that have been promised to various editors.
MaryAnn has finally found a bit of time away from looking after my concerns (organizing the launch, negotiating contracts, etc.), and reopened the doors of Reclectica. She has 21 auctions underway at the moment, and there's some very nice stuff up for grabs. Plus she makes beautiful ads.
(I think she enjoys creating the ads even more than she likes ferreting out her wares.) If you'd like to see what she's been up to, check out:
I hope to write again before Christmas, so I'll save my holiday greetings until then.