Tag Archives: dreamspinner

On emerging, in many ways

Oh dear.  Oh deary me.  Oh deary, deary me.  Perhaps if I do my very best Stephen Fry impersonation, you will be kind enough to not notice my absence?

Particularly since that absence is now ended?

…or is the resounding chime of crickets a sign that you did not shrivel and dry up without my deathless prose?

Because I am back, my darlings.  It’s been a very bad few months for me, and the writing was excised from my life (alongside a measure of sanity) for its and my own good.  I’ve thought a lot about it, and wound up talking about writing with a lot of people, so I have some ideas of things to do soon.  Mostly things that are not romance, although that won’t be wholly abandoned, not at all.  But it is getting a touch dull, so I shall be venturing into other genres.  (Okay, yeah, just SF, but we can pretend, right?)  I’ll also be blogging every Wednesday again; sometimes about writing, sometimes about any of the frankly millions of other things going on in my life that are often more interesting.  Pretty often I’ll feature stupid photos of myself, so be forewarned!

The really big things I’ve missed announcing, though:  I Reach Through Time and Touch the Other Side has, of course, been long released now!  Dreamspinner Press, speculative fiction, blokes getting it on and a stunning cover by Paul Richmond, which seems to be my usual thing these days.  Lots of fun to write and think about, and a love song to the industrial towns of northern Pennsylvania.  It should come as a surprise to no one that Diane Arbus took at least one photo in Levittown.

And Erastes wrote an absolutely sparkling review of Young Man in Paris over at Speak Its Name!  And thank fuck for that, because I have rarely been so nervous waiting for a review to go live.  I’m absolutely chuffed that it was so well received, and particularly that she picked up on the role Paris plays as very much a character in the story.  I keep forgetting how much it’s influenced by A Movable Feast, and by a trip to Paris I took about a million years ago.  (It’s a story a few years in the making.  Apparently half of what I write takes considerable percentages of my life, and the other half gets banged out while waiting for my flight to be called…)  Paris couldn’t be anything other than a character in her own right.  (And while I don’t have anything planned for Michael and Alex specifically, this world will probably get visited again — there are two characters mentioned in passing who really need their story told.)

And, of course, there is my own self.  I’ve spent the last few days tooling around London and Oxford with a friend of mine from America, and it’s shocking to see how much I’ve assimilated here.  Although my accent is still pretty noticeably American, if I don’t say much and speak carefully, it’s harder to tell.  And even aside from not regularly getting mown down in traffic, or the fact that I know how to order a meal in a pub, or any of the billion other little things I’ve had to learn here, it was startling.  I appreciate things that are greatly old, but I don’t feel the need to loudly comment my amazement.  (Er, this could just be my personality…)  I’m not British, but I’m not American either.

I thought about this a lot when I first moved here.  Of course, then I was figuring I’d be moving back in just under three years, and now I’m worrying about visas and jobs, and I have a beautiful house to live in with friends, and a whole circle of beloved people around me.  I worried a great deal about what I’d be when I was done here, and of course though I’m not done here, I am something and someone different.  I like that I’m not quite one or the other; just like I can’t be reduced to solely being a sailor, a conservator, someone with long legs and red hair.  I don’t think I’m a dilettante, but I hope I’m complex.

I found this in a book of writings by Welsh women who had travelled or moved abroad, and copied it into my diary when I first moved here:

“Final beach walk.  Final sunset.  Overhead the sky’s blue-black, paling towards the horizon.  A strip of orange fading to yellow reaches up to touch the blue.  The intersection between yellow and blue – that’s the point that fascinates me.  It produces a colour which has no name – not green, as you might expect, but a blue-yellow.  A colour that’s not quite yellow and not quite blue.  A colour that has something of both, but is neither.  A colour which, while drawing from its two contrasting origins, is uniques and entirely itself.”  (Susan Richardson)

I think I’d hoped at the time, when I was deeply confused and scared, that it would come true.  I think it has, but this is just a point on a timeline, so who knows what I’ll be writing about it, this time next year!


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Apparently I publish in clumps?

I Reach Through Time and Touch the Other Side* will be out April 6th.  It’s another novella, this one speculative fiction.  It was quite an odd little story to write; I started it in Philadelphia International Airport after having a dream about finding a new floor on the Humanities Building.  I was telling my mother about it, and she mentioned she’d had dreams of finding a hidden room on the third floor of my parents’ house.  (I should note that, when she was a little girl, my mother actually did find a hidden room in their big, rambling house!)  I’d just finished spending a lot of time on trains between Philadelphia and New York City and was full of those strange, wonderful, postwar towns in North Jersey that exist in a kind of odd limbo, not quite their own space, not quite 100% commuter towns.

It’s a story about not quite where I grew up, about a place that can’t quite exist.  I hope you enjoy it.

*Michael Swanwick is waging a one-man protest against SF stories with one-word titles.  It’s now a one-man, one-woman protest.  Long, lyrical titles are what made classic SF what it was!


And from the proud daughter of a union city, and the sister of a union member, to the government of Wiscosin:

Sabo Cat
The workers will triumph!

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Young Man in Paris

Cor, that was fast!  My historical novella, Young Man in Paris, is up at Dreamspinner Press’ store, and will be released March 16.  I am stupidly excited, and only a little bit because it’s been yoinks since I last had a new story out.  Go and check out the cover and tell me it is not twelve thousand kinds of awesome.  It’s by Paul Richmond [warning: audio], who I honest-to-God love.  He’s done a series of paintings that are vintage-inspired male pin-ups.  [click through to ‘cheesecake boys’] I was stunned when I learned he was doing my little cover, and I adore what he’s done beyond all reason.  He’s exactly my style — a bit camp, referencing everything and everyone for his message, combining sexy and beautiful and a bit of madness.

So.  New novella, and reading week coming up, so life takes a bit of an upturn.  Also, I’m beginning to plan for summer, so I have something to look forward to…



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I Aten’t Dead (Yet)


Yeah, not quite dead yet.  But frankly, about 95% of my life violently blows right now, and I’m a fairly miserable human being.  So, not so much blogging.  You do not come here to listen to me be dead inside, which is how things are right now, frankly.

In writerly news, though, Dreamspinner will be releasing a novella of mine set in 1920’s Paris very soon, which happens to have a cover that makes me feel all happy in the tummy.  I’ll be pimping that far and wide; it’s a story I started writing six years ago, and though it’s undergone massive changes, I’m so proud that it’s really a story now.  I’ve got another novella slated for…sometime later than that?  I’ll let you know when I do.

I’ve also got dozens of ideas for posts and fun things to write about and stupid videos to make (I invented the frantic, semi-drunken beehive updo on Saturday night!), so hopefully at the end of April, when my life has meaning again, those things will start to go up.

Oh!  And!  Barring last-minute crazypantsness, I’ll be at the UK Author’s Meet in July.  Sweet.



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Advent calendar!

But way better than a picture of a robin, kittens!

Well, as I try to not freeze to death in my nice, icy flat and wait for the laundry to finish, I shall beg you all to go to Speak Its Name, today and every day until Christmas.  They’re doing a cracking Advent calendar full of historical goodness.  I am one of the bloggers.  What day, you may ask?  Where’s the fun in that?  I’m sure you tried to open all your presents early, too.

(Also, I have yet another novella coming out with Dreamspinner in the spring!  This one’s a spec-fic, was partly written in Philadelphia International Airport’s departure lounge, and is inspired by a dream I had where I discovered an unknown floor in the Humanities Building that featured a modern art gallery.  More details as they come!)

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Goodies at Dreamspinner, and potential goodies from me!

Hello my lovelies,

image swiped from Jorge Cham’s magnificent PhD comic

I’m afraid it’s more navel-gazing and too-quick stuff today; I’m midway through a three-week-long headache/stressball that the end of term begins.  I shall make it up to you over the summer, I promise!

So, some things:

~ Dreamspinner Press is giving away an iPad!  For every ten dollars you spend there between now (well, 15 April) and 15 May, you get one entry into the giveaway.  I hope you all appreciate that I’m actually telling you about this, and thus decreasing my chances of winning.  (I feel about the iPad the way I do about the Kindle — I don’t want to buy one, but if someone gave one to me, I’d find it very useful!)

And now that you’re looking to drop a bit of cash there, Midsummer’s Nightmare is now on sale!  For half of what the stories would cost individually, you can get the whole shebang, a story in your inbox every day in June, for just $40.  I find this quite wonderful, personally, and now can’t wait (more than ever) for June to come.

~ Speaking of after-the-end-of-April, when life is beautiful and I can feel joy again, I’ve started planning for our little do in Bristol in May.  I’ll have origami stars to give out as goodies, and an idea for giveaway cards that makes me (and hopefully you) squee, but what else should I tote along?  Is there something other than the usual that you’ve seen, that really lifts your skirt?  Let me know!

~Finally, this is dreadfully late, but hopefully better that than never.  Nigel Puerasch gave I Do Two a lovely review in Wilde Oats, and said kind words about Two Men: A Fugue.  Because he was tasteful enough not to review his own story, I’ll happily put forward that it was about fifty-five separate kinds of hawt, and I loved it the first moment I read it, and also it was delish.  Did I mention I loved it?

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well, this is good for my ego

The divine, inimitable, exquisite, insert-your-own-adjective-here* Charlie Cochrane interviewed me about Change-My-Luck Blues over at her journal.  You should go read it if you’re curious about what’s coming up for me, what inspired the story or (in the comments) how to insult Welsh rugby players yn Cymraeg.

Change-my-Luck is also now on the bestsellers list for Dreamspinner Press’ Nap-Sized Dreams, so woohoo!  Thank you to all of you who bought it — I’ll dedicate that grocery shop to you 🙂

*For once, I am not exaggerating for the sake of exaggeration.  Charlie is probably the nicest person I’ve ever met, and she’s been an unbelievable star about so many things, from encouraging me to write, to when my life is falling apart, to giving me gentle smackdowns when I require them.  Seriously.

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