If you're new to my newsletter, welcome aboard. If you've been a long-time loyal subscriber, I apologize for lengthy silences.
It's time I got in touch because we have big news.
A major new adult fantasy novel
Many of you will have heard about this on social media, but it bears repeating how excited I am to announce that my new
novel, The Wind in His Heart, will be out worldwide on September 19th in print (trade paperback), and as an ebook. Hopefully
no matter where you live, you'll be able to buy it. Everyone can get it via Amazon.
Ebooks (all formats) can be pre-ordered right now at:
Print fans, there's no pre-order option for the print edition, but rest assured that the trade paperback will show up on Amazon on
September 19th. I'd love to be able to tell you that the print book will also be in all the bookstores, but that depends on store
buyers so it's impossible to say who will carry it. It will be available to shops through the major book distribution companies,
so hopefully your bookstore can order a copy for you.
Just so you know, my royalty is far better via Amazon, so you support me at a higher level if you order the print book online. Thanks for considering this.
Hardcover and audiobook fans, do not despair. I'll talk about those editions in a bit, but first let me tell you about the novel.
The Wind in His Heart, my first adult novel in eight years, is 545 pages long and MaryAnn affectionately calls
it "the 3-pounder" (yes, she weighed it). She tells me it's her favourite CdL novel ever. (Hey, I married well.) It took me
three years to write this book-pretty much double the time I'd normally take to complete a novel-but this story is long and
multi-layered, so it was tricky to put together. Many of you have been asking if it's a Newford book, and the short answer
is no, but it does have some Newford threads and connections. Short descriptions rarely give an adequate picture of a novel,
but I was touched by this lovely comment from one advance reader, Lizz Huerta:
"Oh what a sweet, wonderful ride that was! I was enthralled. I didn't leave my house all weekend; it was glorious. It was
throwback CdL, a vast, shifting landscape of story woven upon story, just what I love. What a love letter to the desert."
I was thrilled to get this affirming reaction, especially given the occasional crisis of confidence that comes with writing
any major new work. It doesn't get easier, folks. As Candace Jane Dorsey puts it, "One doesn't learn how to write novels... one
has to learn a new process for every novel." So to have a respected peer tell me that I succeeded was golden.
—Lizz Huerta, author, winner of the Lumina fiction award
And Lizz wasn't the only writer that read an advance manuscript. I sent it (with trepidation) to several other authors whose
work I admire, and happily, more great comments flowed in:
"Beautiful, elegant, and remarkably kind, this is the work of a storyteller at the peak of his abilities. With de Lint,
there's no need to say, 'I can't wait to see what he does next.' What he does now is always enough to take my breath away."
Singer/songwriter Janice Ian said, "Charles' new book filled me with joy! From the first line to the last, I was completely involved. A book about those 'outside' who think they want to get 'in,' there are good lessons to be learned-painlessly-from beginning to end."
—Seanan McGuire, author of the October Daye series and other novels
"With this gently rolling, lyrical composition of a book, the godfather of urban fantasy flows back to where he's most needed. If there's one thing today's world can gain from literature, surely it's de Lint's signature sense of unsullied wonder and devotion to the best within us."
—Melissa F. Olson, author of the Scarlett Bernard series and other novels
"As a struggling unpublished novelist, I read Charles de Lint and found the template for the kind of stories I wanted to tell, ones that brought magic and folklore into the modern world. After fifteen novels of my own, I'm still both humbled and enthralled by the ease with which he draws the reader into his stories, because now I know just how hard it is. The Wind in His Heart is tough, tender, grim, light on its feet, magical, and brilliant: in other words, a typical de Lint masterpiece, once again setting a high bar for those of us who follow."
—Alex Bledsoe, author of the Tufa series and other novels
Neil Wilson, Development Director of the Ottawa International Writers Festival said, "I just now came to the end, and I'm stunned and overwhelmed and deeply moved. Thank you Charles for the humanity and beauty of the story, and MaryAnn, thank you for helping on so many fronts. The world is a brighter place having read The Wind In His Heart."
And my pal Charles Vess, artist extraordinaire, summed it up as, "Splendid and so very healing!"
To know that people feel good after reading this book is the best praise I could ever ask for, especially in these times. Once again, I want to thank all my advance readers for taking time out of their busy lives to give me their feedback. You (along with MaryAnn) helped me create a better novel and I am beyond grateful to each of you.
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Speaking of help, every author can use help from readers and if you're so inclined, here are the top three ways that you can lend me a hand.
Your ebook pre-orders do wonders because they create automatic first-day sales. A great start out of the gate will shoot the book up the charts and increase its visibility, resulting in more purchases from old and new readers, so I'm very grateful for your pre-order support. Here's that pre-order link again.
I know I have many steadfast print fans, so I fully understand if you don't pre-order the ebook, but there are still a couple of other ways that you can help.
It helps me immensely when you take a moment to say a few positive words and leave a star rating on sites such as Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, and Goodreads. Amazon promotes books based on their average star rating + # of ratings, so your review, no matter how brief, can really raise my book's visibility.
Telling others about new releases boosts the signal and draws other readers' attention to my work, which helps build my readership. Many of you have shared my work with your family and friends, and I deeply appreciate that. Online shares and re-tweets also really help a book's visibility.
As an avid reader and reviewer myself, I know my books sit in a field of other great books, so it's hard to ask you to single out my work for extra attention. Honestly, I want there to be room for all writers, novice and established, so that people will continue to read for their own pleasure and instill a love of reading in their kids.
Readers are an essential part of the creative process because each person brings their own imagination to every story. I hope The Wind in His Heart will make your imagination soar.
All of my newsletter subscribers (yep, that's you) were eligible to win a signed first edition print copy of The Wind in His Heart. We drew by random number selection last night (Sept. 13th) and the winner, Aaron Conaway, was grateful to win the prize. Don't despair though-there are more contests coming for both ebooks and print books. For instance, I'm doing another contest on Goodreads right now for another three copies of the print book. It runs Sept. 14-22, and to be eligible, you'll have to enter. Here's the link and good luck!
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A word or two about our indie publishing experiment
My long-suffering agent, Russ Galen, could easily have taken The Wind in His Heart to a major publishing house, but I love the creative freedom that independent publishing allows me. I have an excellent built-in editor with MaryAnn's skills. She knows my body of work, my voice, and my foibles, and I'd be hard put to find anyone as unflinchingly honest, yet gentle, about what does/doesn't work. She brings her own creative touch, and is able to see things that are already there, but might need a little more (or less) emphasis, or a bit of rearranging. Her contributions are significant. It's no wonder that most of my books are dedicated to her. I discuss my reasons behind indie publishing and talk about the book in an online podcast conducted by Mark Lefebvre, Director of Kobo Writing Life. You can listen to it here.
As I said in the Kobo interview, this book is coming out from our own Triskell Press, but it actually turned out to be a hybrid indie/traditional release. Russ shopped the audiobook rights to Recorded Books-in his words, "the Rolls Royce of audiobook publishers." Their editor read it over Memorial Day weekend, loved it, and made an immediate pre-emptive offer that I was delighted to accept.
The audiobook is being released on September 19th as an Audible download. Library and CD audio versions will come out in June 2018.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Russ also made a nice deal with PS Publishing for a limited edition hardcover, which will be published in spring 2018. This fulfills a longtime dream I've had of working with Pete and Nicky Crowther who run the company and publish many fine collectible books. I suspect bibliophiles will be very pleased with their signed editions (26 lettered; 500 numbered). So far it isn't showing on their website, but I suspect they're waiting for the artwork, and I have to admit I'm very curious about seeing that myself.
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Thanks for letting me bend your virtual ear about the new book. Since I last wrote to you, there are other backlist titles we've published through Triskell Press. If you missed some, here's a handy link that will take you to all of them.
The new issue of Faerie Magazine contains an excerpt from The Wind in His Heart with an illustration by Charles Vess, plus an article penned by Lizz Huerta about me and the novel. I'm delighted to be in this issue since it has a theme of witches and also celebrates the upcoming (October) release of The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman, a prequel to her wonderful novel Practical Magic. Alice remains one of my favourite writers and I can't wait to read the new book. It's got fantastic reviews on Goodreads from her advance readers. Here's a link to ordering the autumn issue of Faerie Magazine.
September 19: If you live in the Ottawa area, we hope you'll help us celebrate at the book launch for The Wind in His Heart from 7:00-9:30 p.m. at the Savoy Brasserie (corner of Churchill and Richmond Road in Westboro). We'll play a brief set of music, I'll do a short reading, and we'll have the new book for sale. I'll be happy to sign it as well as any older books that you might bring along, but to keep the line moving I'll sign up to three books and then ask that you return to the back of line if you have more. This is a strategy implemented at most conventions so that people don't wait endlessly while multiple books get signed.
October 14-15: I'll be at Can-Con for their annual convention of science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts. I'm especially looking forward to a conversation panel with Julie Czerneda, who also has a brand new book coming out. It's being launched at Can-Con, so it'll be fun to watch Julie's usual bubbly mood overflow with even more bubbles. I'll also do a panel to talk about the new book, and we'll have a contest for a free copy.
October 18: We'll head off to Toronto where I'll be one of five authors participating in the ChiSeries readings at the Round Venue (152A Augusta Ave.) at 8:00 p.m. I'll have a few copies of my new book to sell and sign.
October 21: The official Toronto launch of The Wind in His Heart will take place at Bakka Phoenix Books (84 Harbord St.) from 1:00-3:00 p.m. We haven't visited the store in a long time and we're looking forward to it.
November 7: I'll be one of three authors appearing at the Ottawa ChiSeries readings (location to be determined). I'll update the appearances page on my website when I get more details.
November 20: I'll be at the Republic of Childhood Festival, which is part of the 20-years celebration Ottawa International Writers Festival. I expect to be cheering on some dozen or so of my young adult students who will have recently completed four workshop sessions with me. Our goal is to collect their stories in a chapbook.
November 25: I'll have a table at the Ottawa Small Press Book Fair at the Jack Purcell Community Centre, 320 Jack Purcell Lane, which is just off Elgin Street. The fair runs from noon until 5:00 p.m.
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We're doing a bit of a work exchange with singer-songwriter Brock Zeman, swapping his expertise for our own. Earlier this year MaryAnn spent a lot of time proofreading a songbook with the lyrics to all the material on Brock's first twelve albums. As the project progressed I joined in to lend a hand doing layout and design, so we've been getting Brock Zeman - Book of Words Vol. 1 ready for paper and ebook release. We're waiting on a few more image files and cover copy so that MaryAnn can start designing the cover and I can finish the interior. We love Brock's music and storytelling, and it was fascinating to see how the words lay on the page without their melodies. The book will be available from Busted Flat Records this fall.
Our gain in the swap is that later this year, when Brock's finished touring, we'll go into his studio to record an EP, which we're really looking forward to. We don't have the track list finalized yet, but MaryAnn's already nominating her favourites of my unrecorded songs.
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We want to send out a big HURRAH to Seanan McGuire and our old friend Amal El-Mohtar, both of whom went home with a Nebula and a Hugo this year.
Seanan won for Every Heart a Doorway (2016), a lovely Tor.com hardcover that I reviewed in my F&SF column last year. It's a brilliant imagining of what happens to the kids upon their return from having strayed into various kinds of fairylands.
Amal won for "Seasons of Glass and Iron," which appeared in The Starlit Wood anthology (2016). The story's a perfect mash-up of two traditional fairy tales, resulting in a new fairy tale about friendship that's far more satisfying and powerful than its source inspiration.
Speaking of honours, I just heard that I've been inducted into the Canadian SF and Fantasy Association's Hall of Fame, which recognizes the Outstanding Achievements that have contributed to the stature of Science Fiction and Fantasy. I'm delighted to join several of the field's top writers.
I'm further honoured that my novel The Onion Girl is nominated for an Aurora "Best of the Decade" award. It's a favourite book of mine, so it's lovely to be part of a stellar shortlist-I'm in excellent company on the ballot. The winner will be announced in mid-October at Can-Con.
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That's about it for now. If readers of this missive want to stay in touch more frequently, you can always follow my Twitter or Facebook pages. Those links are all accessible at www.charlesdelint.com.
With every tardy newsletter I vow to do better and write to you more frequently, and today is no exception. I honestly don't know where the time goes, but one thing is certain: I have the best, most loyal readers that any author could ever hope for. Thank you for your support and for sharing my work with your friends and family. You touch my heart and sustain me in my work, and both MaryAnn and I are grateful for your presence in our lives. If Johnny could talk, he'd thank you for keeping food in his bowl.
Remember to stay safe and take care of each other.