First of all, thanks to those of you who shared the link (in January) to our freebie of The Very Best of Charles de Lint. You'll
recall that we did the giveaway in the hope of attracting new readers, and the result was spectacular: Over 56,000 people downloaded
the book over the course of two days, pushing it to the #1 Kindle books spot in Canada and the US. What a fantastic outcome that
was. Since then, reviews (critical for an author's visibility) show that the exercise did attract some new readers. Reviews
have been trickling in steadily and fortunately, most have been excellent. Even Johnny seemed to enjoy it.
We've made some more progress releasing my backlist novels and some shorter fiction on Amazon and other platforms. To celebrate
spring we're having a sale on my longer ebooks. My novels and The Very Best of CdL are now on sale for US$4.99. Short
stories are still .99¢ and novellas $2.99. The titles that we've published thus far via Triskell Press
are here in Kindle format on Amazon
and here in other formats on Smashwords. Hopefully
these low prices will also help to attract new readers. It's all a big learning curve for us, and your support has been really appreciated.
Speaking of our learning curve, I've been meaning to mention that if any of you bought the ebook for Moonheart back when we
first published it, there were glitches in the upload that we didn't discover right away. They caused some bad formatting
that lookedlikethis. We remedied the problem as soon as we realized it was happening, and anyone who bought the book back
then can download it again for free. Please forgive any difficult reading experiences that you've had, and go get a clean version.
Where we've been and where we're going:
MaryAnn and I had a great time in February at MythicWorlds (formerly FaerieCon West) in Seattle. The costumes were spectacular,
readers friendly, and we got to spend time with writer friends like Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Holly Black and Deborah Schneider. We
did a concert with Nina, giving us a fun opportunity to hang out with her while practicing.
If you haven't heard Nina sing, you're missing a lovely old-timey voice, and if you haven't read her books, you're
missing a fabulous read. You might want to start with her recent collection
Permeable Borders. And look: It has such a cool cover.
We have a few more appearances coming up. In downtown Toronto on April 8th , we'll give a concert and reading as a
special event for the ChiSeries. Right
after that we'll head to Ad Astra, Toronto's SF/F convention, April 10th-13th.
On May 2nd, MaryAnn and I will drive to beautiful Perth, Ontario as part of the Canada's
Authors for Indies celebration in support of independent
bookstores. We're looking forward to playing some music and chatting with readers from noon to 2 PM
at Backbeat Books & Music.
On May 9th we're giving a workshop at the Wakefield Writers Festival in
Wakefield, Quebec, a pretty village about 30 minutes from Ottawa on the banks of the Gatineau River. (This is the Wakefield
mentioned in my song, Highway 105.)
May 15th-17th, we'll be at the
Word on the Lake Writers' Festival in picturesque Salmon Arm, BC, where
I'll do a reading on Friday, a workshop on Saturday, and a Q&A on Sunday. They've also asked us to play some music during their Saturday
evening banquet. We've never visited that part of BC, so we're staying on for a couple of days afterward to do some
exploring. Please, if you have any "don't-miss" recommendations for the area, we'd love to hear them.
On June 6th, right here in Ottawa, I'll be participating as a panelist at an event called
Prose in the Park. Many authors are signing up for this
so it promises to be a fun inaugural event.
November 5th-8th is still a ways off, but we're thrilled that the
World Fantasy Convention is within driving distance of Ottawa this year. We've
heard that they've already reached their membership capacity, but they maintain a waiting list, so hopefully it's still possible to attend.
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I hope we'll see some of you at some of these events. Feel free to bring books that you already own to any of
them. I am always happy to sign books for you.
What I'm reading:
Right now I'm reading the manuscript of Long Black Curl, the third of Alex Bledsoe's
Tufa books, which will be published in
May. If you're already a fan, I'm not trying to make you jealous. I just want to share how reading it makes me so happy
that there are authors writing real North American-based mythic fiction: stories that incorporate the Americas where many of
us live, infusing them with their own folklore and mythology—one that sits so well it feels like it's always been a
part of us, and doesn't shirk the sense of wonder missing in so many contemporary/urban fantasy books. In Bledsoe's Tufa
novels, that sense of connection to an old and deep mystery is exquisite, while still remaining grounded in the real
world—very much so since, at its heart, this series is about hillbilly faery musicians.
As I said, Long Black Curl isn't out until May, but that just gives you time to read the first two, The Hum and the Shiver
and Wisp of a Thing, both of which I recommend without reservation.
Authors and books that are successful at creating a unique NA mythos are still too few and far between, but several do come to
mind: Seanan McGuire's Sparrow Hill Road;
Alice Hoffman's Nightbird;
Doyce Testerman's Hidden Things;
Melissa Marr's Desert Tales;
Douglas Smith's The Wolf at the End of the World;
are all well worth the read.
And what's exciting to me is that every year we seem to be getting one or two more, building a library to inspire the next
generation of NA writers to look a little closer to home when they start their own fantasy novels.
What I'm listening to:
Depending on your taste, the idea that Bob Dylan would do a whole album of covers of American standards will either delight
or horrify you. I'm in the former camp and love what he and his band do on Shadows in the Night. Using a pedal steel to
play the string charts is genius all by itself, and Dylan's voice hasn't sounded so expressive in years.
Always on the lookout for good traditional Celtic music played straight (i.e. without various rock and world
influences—I need to be in a whole different mood for that), I was happy to come across The Alan Kelly Gang. Their
two albums, The Last Bell (2015) and Small Towns and Famous Nights (2011), are filled to the brim with great
tunes and arrangements. The Alan Kelly of the band's name plays piano accordion, which, since I usually prefer button
accordion, didn't thrill me until I actually heard him play. Like Phil Cunningham of Silly Wizard, he brings a real
lift and sense of taste to the music.
But the best part of the band is flute player Steph Geramia, whose 2010 solo album, The Open Road, has been in
constant rotation since it came out. Here she also sings, which adds a whole new level of delight to her contribution.
Speaking just now of Silly Wizard, longtime fans of Celtic music will have very fond memories of the band. I'm saddened
to share news that their singer Andy Stewart underwent spinal surgery, which failed to the point that he is now
immobile, paralyzed from the chest down.
has started a fundraiser for him. I, for one, am more than
willing to give back to someone whose voice and spirit has added such beauty to our lives.
What I'm watching:
I like a limited run when it comes to a TV series, something that has a beginning, middle and end, and brevity doesn't
bother me, especially not when it's something as good as Marvel's Agent Carter. I'm not usually a big fan of
period pieces, but the producers get everything right with the late forties setting and characters. My interest stayed high from start to finish.
Coming up, I'm really looking forward to iZombie, which is odd since I don't normally gravitate to anything
featuring the walking dead (including the TV show with the same name). But I loved the comic, and with Rob
Thomas (Veronica Mars, Party Down) at the helm I don't see how it could go wrong.
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Thanks if you've ever left a positive review for one of my books or stories. It helps me far more than you can imagine.
Enjoy the spring (or the fall if you're down under) and make sure to take care of each other.