A few weeks ago, Steve Thorn kicked off this really cool interview format, 4Plus1, "a section spotlighting people of interest from all walks of life, from writers to artists, scientists to policemen. It is 4 basic questions Plus 1"
He's posted mine:
I'm talking about Shaun's review over on Fantasy & Sci-Fi Lovin' Blog. I am honored that he thinks so highly of Seaborn. This was definitely one of my most enjoyable worlds to work in and stories to write, and when anyone sees what I put into it...well, I am simply stunned.
And don't miss Juno/Pocket Books editor Paula Guran's post on the review:
Five frightening classic tales--all written by women--that should send a shiver or two down your spine.
FIVE CLASSIC GHOST STORIES: A HALLOWEEN TREAT FROM JUNO BOOKS includes "Let Loose" by Mary Cholmondeley (1890), "The Striding-Place" by Gertrude Atherton (1896), "The Lost Ghost" by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman (1903), "Kerfol" by Edith Wharton (1916) and "Spunk" by Zora Neale Hurston (1925).
Download now: http://www.juno-books.com/
Way late on this. I'm in the middle of Carole McDonnell's Wind Follower--hoping to follow up with a post on it shortly.
I read Amberlight a few weeks ago and loved it. I bought it at the Prime Books/Juno booth at World Fantasy 2007 in early November, but with work and other things going (oh, you know, that writing and painting stuff) I didn't get to it until the end of the month. And recent news: over on the Juno Books blog I see that Jeff VanderMeer has placed Amberlight on the great sf/f gift list along with Glen Cook's Chronicles of the Black Company and Moorcock's The Metatemporal Detective, and others. Kick ass!
Okay, let's go upriver for a bit.
I read Amberlight in a day. It's a downhill-without-brakes on an unknown very steep undreamt of street sort of story. It's a story of trust, the search for lost memories, nations at war, the demand for something so valuable some of those nations cannot survive without it; it's the struggle against a culture as hard as stone, but at every turn--and there are a lot of them, very real and tender and heartbreaking.
Amberlight is the story of Amberlight--the city and its place in the world, of Tellurith, head of one of the great ruling Houses of Amberlight, Alkhes, the mystery, and qherrique...
Qherrique, a stone with remarkable abilities, sentience and choice among them. Qherrique is "the core and crown of Amberlight." It can only be mined by women in Amberlight, and outside of Amberlight, it can only be used in one of its forms. The rulers of other lands use qherrique to maintain power, order, control their unruly elements. Naturally, there's demand...and discontent.
The story begins in the streets of Amberlight...
High moon over Amberlight, commanding the zenith, radiant, imperial, the city's fretted-ink porticoes and balconies gnawing that torrent of aerial snow. Domes shed it, men's towers drip with it. Under the vertical black rampart of the citadel wall, the qherrique outcrops glow to their depths with it: cabochon slabs girdling the hill's waist, broad as cathedral floors, zones of luminous milk slanted between ragged frames of earth and grass. Qherrique. Pearl-rock. Moon-stone. The core and crown of Amberlight.
Tellurith and her entourage find a man in the night, bleeding, raped, on the cobbles...
Sweet Work-mother . . ." Her hand creeps out. One finger, reaching to the blackness on the cobbles, dares to touch.
One turn of kindness that turns on a point when the man wakes with a Dhasdein salute.
He's a mystery, even to himself. His injuries have taken his memories and left him with hints that come out as the story progresses, sometimes as reflexes--the salute. Other indications of who he may be in his manner, language, his skill as a soldier, the boots in which they find him.
You shadow Tellurith through her own desire to discover who the outlander is, why he's there, wringing your hands when your level of trust doesn't equal hers. But you will be charmed by Alkhes as much as Tellurith--by his strength, his drive for identity...and justice, and you will share in Tellurith's power struggles, her love, her defense of the outlander, battling the intrigue of the other Houses of Amberlight.
All of this and so beautifully written. I loved the fast, up-to-your-neck-in-action-and-ideas style, the gorgeous mix of vivid, very bold imagery, speed scenes, places where it seems sort of stream of consciousness, and what I would call "parenthetical drops." Kelso drops words, whole lines--without parentheses--right in the middle of dialogue--names, information, quick who's or what's--kind of like road signs when you're speeding by in a car; there there for a second to let you know you're on the right track--or which road you're on--and then you're rolling through the dialogue again.
I immediately fell in love with Sylvia Kelso's river world, the strength of her characters, her magic use of words.
Looking forward to Riversend.
I was in Barnes & Noble in North Shore Mall (Peabody, MA) at lunch to pick up Scott Westerfeld's Extras for Chloe (birthday present), and swung through the fantasy/SF section to look for Juno Books authors on the shelves--and without really looking (I didn't have a lot of time) I found Matt Cook's Blood Magic, Carole McDonnell's Wind Follower, and Best New Romantic Fantasy 2 edited by Paula Guran. Click the pics below to see them a bit larger. What's cool is that there are three copies of Matt's book on the shelves and another two on the "Dark Fantasy" end cap along with Patricia Briggs and a bunch of others. Nice placement.
Click the pics to see them larger.
A great post by JA Konrath: What Works? Everything from MySpace to mass emailing to store signings and launch parties. A bunch of ideas, services, events, many many things you, me, we can do to make our books a success.
The mass market paperback edition of my novel SEABORN will be out in July 2008 from Juno Books, an imprint that specializes in "a variety of fantasy featuring strong female characters." Juno Books is an imprint of Prime Books/Wildside Press.
I completed a YA fantasy SALTWATER WITCH in July, and it's with my agent.
Working like a whole hive of bees--super coordinated writing bees who like the sea--on The New Sirens, working title for the sequel to Seaborn.
Maureen Johnson on the Muses. Important important IMPORTANT investigation into what makes artists tick--and the lengths to which we will go to get a little help. Sing, Goddess, of the wrath of Peleus' son Achilles, and pass the Doritos.
Scott Oden on making war. Part 1.
In the news: Suspected mortar launchers found near U.S. base in Kanagawa. The mortars were aimed at Zama from off post. (I lived at Zama, went to Zama High School. Just for the record, the army has "posts" not "bases." The Air Force has bases, it's naval base, it's army post).
And if you want to know what we'll all be wearing three years from now. Question: When will "Second Life" be your real world, and your virtual self be the primary mode of operation? Just asking, because I can't see myself walking down the street with green lips...but virtually? Geez, who knows, the sky's the limit.