Category Archives: Iron Night

Four days until Iron Night!

Look how awesome that cover is! Coming to a bookstore near you!

Look how awesome that cover is! Coming to a bookstore near you!

Happy New Year! Here in Connecticut, we celebrated with a giant snowstorm! (it’s our culture, don’t judge us!) So I got to spend three hours today shoveling. That was plenty of time to think about the Iron Night release — believe me, if I ever get crazy wealthy and famous (think GRRMartin), Crazy Wealthy Spending #1 will be to put my brother on retainer so that every time there’s a crazy snowstorm here, he has to fly out from California and shovel my driveway while I sit inside with a cup of hot cocoa. AND LAUGH.

Anyway, snowmadness aside, there’s lots of excitement, because Iron Night is going to be published in FOUR DAYS! Here, click this link to see actual video footage of what I look like right now:

Yes, I am a sophisticated creature.

Some amazing reviews of Iron Night are already getting posted by some of my very favorite bloggers. Here’s what some of them are saying!

Candace wrote:

I’m definitely a HUGE fan of this series and I’m liking the direction it seems to be taking. I’m curious to see how it plays out and I NEED more Fort and Suzume!

Mogsy wrote:

I can’t recommend these books enough. This sequel was simply amazing, and it was everything I’d hoped for and more. Earlier this year when I read Generation V, I knew this had the potential to become one of my favorite Urban Fantasy series. Well, Iron Night pretty much made that official!

And Julie wrote:

If you are looking for an exceptional urban fantasy read, you must check out Generation V and Iron Night. These are some of the best urban fantasy books I’ve read…ever. The style, the pace, the voice, the characters, the world, the story…all outstanding. A MUST for your bookshelves.

How awesome is that? You’d have to made of stone to not be curious about the book now! And if you’re one of those people who hasn’t read Generation V (and yet strangely still visits my blog — hey, I’m not judging), check out Justin’s awesome inclusion of it as one of the 2013 Juice Box Awards Debut finalists! And let me tell you, when a guy is spending 1/3rd of the review explaining why he usually *doesn’t* like urban fantasy, and STILL recommending an urban fantasy? You should pay attention.

Books I Loved In 2013

It’s the end of the year! I have to say, 2013 was a pretty landmark year for me, what with the publication of Generation V and everything. Next year will be starting off with a bang as well, since Iron Night is coming out only seven days into January, and Tainted Blood is slated for November. Lots to look forward to!

Back when I first got into contract on Generation V back in 2012, my agent told me that I would need to start working on social media. I admit that there was a bit of reluctance on my part (between my day job and my writing, I honestly felt pretty tapped out), but I set up the website, the Facebook, and the Twitter. (Twitter turned out to be an extremely pleasant surprise – it’s much more conducive to quick conversations and general silliness, which are both things that I enjoy, as everyone who has seen me in action on Twitter knows)

Goodreads, though, was something that I really lagged on. I set up the entry for Generation V early, but other than that I really didn’t make much use of it for a while. I did the usual setup thing, checking off the books I’d read from the classics list, but other than that I generally wasn’t doing anything. In retrospect this is kind of a head-slapper, since I’m the kind of person who will actually list “reading” as a legitimate hobby, and my husband is constantly finding my book collection encroaching on any reasonably shelf-like surface.

Fun side-story – my agent was the person who brought up the subject of my author bio, somewhere mid-way through my edits on Generation V. Now, at that point I was juggling some pretty extensive edits (all of which made the book MUCH better and taught me a whole lot, by the way), plus a full-time job, plus laying out the initial plot elements for Iron Night, so believe me when I say that I was kind of fried. She was talking about how this was a good opportunity to showcase my personality and activities outside of writing to make myself more appealing, and so forth. I think that this is the part of the process that the agent is kind of hoping that the author happens to be some kind of modern-day gentleman adventurer in their spare time (When I’m not base-jumping off of bridges, I’m hiking up Mount Everest or defeating the forces of evil with my kung-fu prowess! I also knit!) – well, let me tell you, I am none of those things. It’s possible that if I had to choose a power-animal, it would be the sloth, because I am basically THAT sedentary. Give me a book and a warm sunbeam, and I’m basically good for about ten hours. My response to my agent was, “Um…. I like to read?” (not what she was hoping for, alas) (though, really, it happened with Iron Night as well – at a certain point in the publication process, you kind of lose all your hobbies for a little while)

Tangent over. But can you see now how nuts it is that I didn’t completely embrace Goodreads from the start? I actually set up my account for the sole purpose of being able to upload a .jpg of the book cover, and possibly host giveaways. Nuts! So my list of books that I read this year is actually a little sparse, since I didn’t track my first book until March (Erin Morgenstern’s amazingly dreamlike Night Circus), and I didn’t start tracking my reading thoroughly until around May. I’ll be much more thorough next year, since I was having a huge amount of fun today playing with the stats feature, and I liked being able to see a neat little list of what I’d read (mostly) this year.

Right now a lot of people are posting their top lists of books for the year (some are even including Generation V and Iron Night!) , which I’m really enjoying. I really wasn’t sure I wanted to do a Top Ten or something like that, but I wanted in on the fun somehow. So here’s a list of the books that I thought were pretty amazing of the 63 that I listed on Goodreads this year (plus the date I finished it). There were three authors who were so awesome that I had to just sit down and devour their whole series, and I put them at the end.

Books I Loved

Blood and Beauty by Sarah Dunant (September 30)
The Borgias: The Hidden History by G. J. Meyer (October 27)
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling (May 25)
The Darwin Elevator by Jason Hough (July 7)
The Forbidden Library by Django Wexler (August 15)
Gulp by Mary Roach (April 24)
Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh (June 5)
Jenna Starborn by Sharon Shinn (June 27)
La Santisima by Teresa Frohock *short story (December 22)
Love Minus Eighty by Will McIntosh (July 9)
Miserere: An Autumn Tale by Teresa Frohock (May 24)
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (March 6)
Old Man’s War by John Scalzi (September 21)
Parasite by Mira Grant (November 17)
Past Imperfect by Julian Fellowes (August 6)
Primary Inversion by Catherine Asaro (December 17)
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal (September 23)
Secrets of the Sands by Leona Wisoker (July 29)
The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson (September 28)
The Thousand Names by Django Wexler (April 9)\
Where Late The Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm (November 30)
The Witch of Duva by Leigh Bardugo *short story (November 3)

Series:

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (September 26)
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo (November 2)

Idlewild by Nick Sagan (June 2)
Edenborn by Nick Sagan (June 5)
Everfree by Nick Sagan (June 11)

Shadow Kin by M.J. Scott (no date)
Blood Kin by M.J. Scott (no date)
Iron Kin by M.J. Scott (May 15)

So, what do you think? Have you read any of these yourself? See anything that you’re curious about yourself? Have suggestions for what I should be reading in 2014? Throw it all down in the comments!

Happy Holidays

Courtesy of Annika Einarsson, holiday Iron Night!

Courtesy of Annika Einarsson, holiday Iron Night!

Happy (belated) Holidays! Check out that fantastically seasonal photo of Iron Night, sent to me by Annika! It’s now only twelve days until Iron Night is available for sale, so this is tremendously exciting — especially since a whole bunch of some of my favorite people have been reading their copies over the holiday break! (check out the Iron Night Goodreads page for some amazing reviews!)

While you’re waiting for the continuing adventures of Fort (and don’t worry, Suze is definitely back as well! plus a few new faces, and some unexpected reappearances), check out my guest post over at That’s What I’m Talking About The 12 Days of Christmas Movies Countdown. There’s also a fantastic review over at My Bookish Ways, plus Iron Night made a Top 10 (+2) Must Reads of January 2014 list!

Pretty great, right? Plus I even got a few entries for my Fanart Contest! Observe and admire! (and remember that entries can still be sent in, and that the top three entries get free copies of Iron Night!)

Entered by Rob

Entered by Rob

Not quite how I pictured Suzume, admittedly, but I understand artistic license. Plus, Skittles is kind of capturing some of her essence, right?

Entered by Shecky

Entered by Shecky

Now that’s in the right species! Plus, who can resist a giggling fox? I certainly cannot.

Alright, so those are the two in the lead? Think you can do better? Send me your entry via Twitter, Facebook, or email!

12 days to Iron Night!

Scaring Elderly Jedi

Sorry, Obi-Wan. I guess I shouldn’t have shrieked *quite* so loudly when I opened up a package today and discovered my first author copy of IRON NIGHT, but it was pretty damn exciting!

Want to have your own moment of scaring elderly Jedi? You can pre-order IRON NIGHT wherever you prefer to buy your books! All pre-orders count as first-week sales, and these are the numbers that my publisher will be paying attention to when deciding whether to order additional Fortitude Scott books!

And do you have any presents left to buy? You should check out this fantastic Holiday Book Guide from Nick at SF Signal! (Generation V is listed as an option, by the way. Hint. Hint.)

It looks even BETTER when you're holding it!

It looks even BETTER when you’re holding it!

Collections

Harriet took the cigarette, which she felt she had deserved, and sat with her hands about her knees, mentally turning the incidents of the last hour into a scene in a book (as is the novelist’s unpleasant habit)… — Dorothy L. Sayers, Gaudy Night

Something that I have noticed about writers, both myself and my friends who write, is that we are endless collectors of little facts, incidents, and trivia. Even if we have no idea how we could ever fit something into a book or a story, we are unable to stop observing and collecting. I cannot tell you how many small scraps of paper are stuffed into my desk drawers or tucked into folders that have an interesting name that I heard, or a tidbit, or a fragment of an experience. Because the thing is, you’ll never know when something could become useful, or you might find a home for a particular shred of information. I was visiting with a friend from my masters program who had recently had a cyst removed from the back of her neck, and she was joking about how the whole process had been so gross that even in the name of writing, she hadn’t really wanted to take a look at the gunk that had come out of the hole. Which we both laughed about, because here’s the thing – writers are like cats. We can’t help investigating something, reading random magazine articles, or listening to a bizarre story that someone is telling. I had a friend who was in a terrible car accident that flipped his car and ended up lacerating his spleen, and when he was telling me about the whole experience later, I couldn’t help but start hoarding the details in my brain for possible later use.

Because it isn’t just the collection for its own sake, it’s the hope that someday this will be useful. That observing the gunk that comes out of an incision (yes, I did that when I had minor foot surgery), or listening to a friend’s frightening survival story, or even just sitting on the beach on a sunny day and thinking about what it feels like – that this will help in your writing. And the truth is that it actually does. Sometimes it helps with the big plot stuff, but a lot of the time it comes out in the secondary elements. At one point in Iron Night (to be published January 7, 2014, but available for pre-order now) I introduced Suzume’s home. The layout of her house is based on the duplex apartment that a friend of mine rented in Somerville, MA. Fort has a new crappy job in Iron Night, working as a waiter in a fancy restaurant and tormented by a foodie chef – that entire idea came to be because I was reading Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential. And there’s actually a section where I mention how the fancy restaurant handles food allergies because I was also reading Sandra Beasley’s Don’t Kill The Birthday Girl: Tales From An Allergic Life. Houses, businesses, cars, weather, random elements – it all bleeds through from things I’ve seen or read. I was on a great panel at WorldCon this year about how to write horror, and at one point a casual comment ended up revealing that all of the writers on the panel were fans of books about Himalayan climbers (myself quite definitely included) – not because we were adrenaline junkies or wanted to ever do it ourselves, but because the topic itself was absolutely fascinating to us – the danger, the discomfort, the possibility of having to leave friends behind to certain death – that was the stuff we were hooked on.

From what I’ve seen, it seems to be practically universal to writers. So if you’re around me and you start telling a great story, or something funny happens, or we visit a certain restaurant – someday that might end up in something I’m writing. Maybe the whole thing, barely changed from life, or just the tiniest fragment will be glued into a larger scene. But it will definitely be there.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween with an ARC of Iron Night! This picture is courtesy of MMOGamerChick, whose review copy of Iron Night arrived today! Awesome pic, Mogsy!

Happy Halloween with an ARC of Iron Night! This picture is courtesy of MMOGamerChick, whose review copy of Iron Night arrived today! Awesome pic, Mogsy!

Happy Halloween! Hopefully everyone has something fun planned for today, and not just what holiday-themed name they are putting on their Twitter account! (After succumbing to peer pressure, I’ve been ML BOOrennan this week.)

Ever wonder what Fortitude Scott, film major extraordinaire, thinks are the top ten scariest films to watch on Halloween? Ever wonder to what extent Suzume Hollis would mess with that list? Wonder no more, and go over and see it in my guest post for SheWolfReads‘s Creepy Classic Movie Challenge – Fortitude Scott’s Top Ten Scary Movies!

While of course all my spazzy energy is being directed toward the release of Iron Night, people are still discovering and reviewing Generation V! Here are a few recent snippets:

The Troubled Scribe wrote that:

Brennan creates some interesting explanations and back story for vampire breeding and history. There are plenty of exciting fight scenes to make this a fast-paced read and some satisfying bloody gruesomeness that is so necessary for any vampire story.

And Lori at Romancing The Dark Side wrote:

The world building in Generation V is unique and breaks away from the traditional vampire lore. Vampires are not made, but born via “vampire-made surrogates” and are not immortal beings. The addition of the kitsune lore adds even more allure to the story and really speaks to the author’s creativity. I really love that Ms. Brennan introduced an unexplored supernatural being instead of sticking to the “usual” vampire vs. werewolf we typically see in this genre…bravo! The vampires in her world are stronger, darker and a bit creepy, giving the story an edge.

And Nick’s review over at Goodreads had some fantastic things to say:

Suzume Hollis is a character, not a love interest, and because Brennan takes time to establish a believable relationship between her and Fort I won’t feel put upon if they eventually hook up. In fact, I’ll probably cheer – Suzume is just that awesome.

And:

Generation V is unexpectedly awesome. Fortitude Scott manages to confront the issues of life after college and the struggle against genetics in entertaining ways. He’s not your average, hard-boiled urban fantasy protagonist. He’s not your average vampire either. What I find even more exciting than Generation V is the potential this has for a series.

Thanks so much, guys, and I’m so delighted that you gave Generation V a shot! Can’t wait to see what you think of Iron Night in January!

Remember, you can pre-order now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or wherever you prefer to buy your books!

Halloween Naked Mole Rat implores you to pre-order Iron Night!

Halloween Naked Mole Rat implores you to pre-order Iron Night!

Oh Rapturous Day!

I did a dance when the UPS guy arrived.

I did a dance when the UPS guy arrived.

The Iron Night advanced reader’s copies are here!

Woo!

There will be a more thoughtful post to come, but for now — I leave you with the music of happiness and triumph!

Iron Night: Locked Off

Iron Night released cover big version

On Monday night, I scanned and emailed my corrected page proofs to Roc, so Iron Night is now officially locked off! I’ve made my last changes, hopefully I’ve caught all of the biggest problems, and now it’s out of my hands. I remember being at this place before with Generation V, but it felt different then – at the point when I was finally hands-off with Generation V, I had to move straight back into work on other projects. Right now, just because of where things fell, I actually am getting a bit of a breather. The manuscript of Book 3 is with my editor, and I won’t get notes back on it for probably another month or two. I already have a bit of a list of notes on it from my readers and my agent, so I have a feeling that I’ll probably be doing some more extensive fixes on this one, but I’m happy to take a break from it (just for a little while!) so that when I come back to it later, I can have look at it with fresher eyes.

This is also a bit of a nervous point in the process, because while I’ve spent about a year in total working on Iron Night, and my direct involvement in the writing has now come to an end, it won’t be hitting bookstores until January, and since the ARCs (advanced reader’s copies) haven’t been produced yet, I haven’t gotten any “real” reader feedback yet. I’m really excited about this book, and I’ll definitely be doing more posts and dropping more hints about its content as we get closer to the release date, but mostly I can’t wait to see what people think about where I’m taking Fort and Suzume.

I’m going to be starting to work on publicity for Iron Night soon, so I’ll be getting a chance to talk with all my favorite bloggers again, and hopefully also try and get some bookstore events scheduled as well. Should be exciting, and I’ll get going on that next week.

Also coming up – New York Comic Con! I’m so excited about this! Thanks to support from a local businessman (my uncle in Forest Hills is letting me sleep on his sofa – thanks, Uncle Alan!) I’ll be in town on Friday and Saturday.

Here’s my schedule right now:

Thursday, October 10

Work ends at 6:50pm, head down to New York.

Friday, October 11

11:00am – 12:00pm: “FRIDAY FIRSTS” PENGUIN SIGNING (BOOTH 2129 )
First in series signing with M.L. Brennan (Generation V) and Benedict Jacka (Fated)
If you’ll be anywhere in the area, come and say hello to me! I’d love to sign your book or even just give you one of my cards!

That's a real inducement, isn't it? Yeah, look at it. This could be yours!

That’s a real inducement, isn’t it? Yeah, look at it. This could be yours!

7:45pm-?: Private dinner

Saturday, October 12

12:00-1:00 PM: GEEK GEEK REVOLUTION (ROOM 1A17)
Speakers: Mia Garcia, A.D. Robertson aka Andrea Cremer, Django Wexler, Alex London, Myke Cole, Anton Strout, M.L. Brennan

Description: GEEK REVOLUTION is a no-holds-barred geek culture game show featuring six science fiction/fantasy authors competing for the chance to be TOP GEEK. In addition the audience members will be asked to ‘write-in’ questions in hopes of stumping the authors and winning a prize pack of books. Hold onto your hats, nerf herders, this might get ugly.

This is looking like so much fun, and I’m really looking forward to it! If you are going to be at NYCC, this had better be one of your required stops!

So that’s what’s planned so far – if you have an event or a party that you think I should be attending, tell me about it!

In other news, after working pretty frantically all summer, I actually had some downtime after I submitted the Book 3 manuscript. This meant that I was able to get some reading done! I love writing, and it’s very exciting when I’m in the middle of a project, but it does mean that my reading time gets pretty significantly cut back! Here is a list of the books I read since finishing the Book 3 manuscript:

The Age of Ice – J.M. Sidorova
Redshirts – John Scalzi
Who Gets What: Fair Compensation After Tragedy an Financial Upheaval – Kenneth Feinberg
Throne of the Crescent Moon – Saladin Ahmed
Parable of the Sower – Octavia E. Butler
Dushau – Jacqueline Lichtenberg
House of Zeor – Jacqueline Lichtenberg
Old Man’s War – John Scalzi
Shades of Milk and Honey – Mary Robinette Kowal
Darkborn – Alison Sinclair
Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo
(currently reading) The Summer Prince – Alaya Dawn Johnson

Have you read any of these books yourself? If so, what did you think?

The evolution of Fortitude Scott. I mean that in every sense, but more specifically, in the evolution of his cover model. Hiyo!

The evolution of Fortitude Scott. I mean that in every sense, but more specifically, in the evolution of his cover model. Hiyo!

Iron Night Page Proofs

My page proofs, in all their glory!

My page proofs, in all their glory!

The page proofs for Iron Night have arrived! This is pretty exciting, and a little nerve-wracking, since this is the last chance I have to catch any screw-ups before the whole book goes off to print. Let me tell you – pressure is on.

But the book looks really fantastic (admittedly right now it is a pile of pages I carry around in an old file folder, but still), and I really can’t wait to see what people think of it! I’ve gotten fantastic feedback from so many people on Generation V that I’m a little (okay, a LOT) anxious to see how readers respond to the return of Fort and Suzume. Plus there are some new characters, some bigger roles for returning characters, and a few deaths. (not telling who, but yes – I kill. *maniacal laugh*)

In other news – some great new reviews of Generation V since the last time I posted. Here’s what people are saying:

Bastard at Bastard Books wrote:

Generation V is a refreshingly unique novel that all urban fantasy enthusiast should read, and a book capable of encouraging even the most ardent critics of the genre. Very much a page turner, a story that has a lot of heart and much to offer. With an extremely fun novel full of charm, Brennan has written a winner.

Justin at Staffer’s Book Review wrote:

…it’s a vampire novel that surprised me with its originality. What begins as a typical vampire urban fantasy, ends up with a lot in common with Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London. It’s a delightful novel that would strongly recommend to lovers of urban fantasy or urban fantasy doubters (like me) looking to stick a toe in the water.

Kathy F. at Stellar Four wrote:

First of all, my thought through many parts was, “This is effed up.” And it is, wonderfully, magnificently effed up. Horrible things happen, the whole way vampires are created in this world is nightmare fuel, and we have a MC who realizes how messed up his world is but feels powerless.

I also had the pleasure of doing an interview with Matt at 52 Reviews and I really encourage people to check it out – it was definitely the most in-depth interview I’ve ever done, and the result was one of my favorites!

Here’s a sample:

52 Reviews: To take the discussion of vampiric family values a bit further, I found it interesting that Fort and his siblings fall into somewhat predictable models of abnormal psychology while their mother seems to be a completely different model all together. What can you tell us about your processes in creating the matriarch of this family of vampires?

M.L. Brennan: Primarily, I think of her as an adult crocodile. Crocodiles are a pretty interesting species — when they are born, they are around ten inches long, and are preyed on by mammals, birds, and even big fish. They eat bugs, and spend most of their time hiding and trying to avoid being eaten. But you take that little creature, and (if nothing eats it) it is going to grow into this massive, tough, absolute apex predator that has pretty much no natural predators except other crocodiles.

If you could sit crocodiles down on a therapist’s couch, and assuming a few factors, namely, a) The crocodiles didn’t eat the therapist, b) The therapist had somehow found a way to communicate with the crocodiles, and c) That the crocodiles actually had a complex interior landscape, I think that would be pretty interesting. Because here’s a creature that goes from pretty much being everything’s dinner — and not just for one or two seasons, but for a very serious number of years, and the mommy crocodile stops responding to its distress peeps after the first few weeks — and in fear of everything to this absolute boss of the river with just about nothing being a real danger to it. That’s kind of neat when you think about it. To me, it would suggest that as little as I think I would really be able to understand or empathize with a crocodile, even with a helpful translating therapist (mostly because of the reptile thing, to be honest), I think that it would be almost equally difficult for its offspring to understand or empathize with the adults of the species.

That is admittedly kind of a weird genesis for a character’s psychology, but that’s how I picture Madeline, the vampire matriarch, and it helps me write her.

Pretty neat, right?

Regarding the writing, I just delivered the manuscript of Book 3 to my editor, so I have a little time before the response to that gets back. Iron Night page proofs are due back on September 24, so after that I’ll probably be seeing about lining up some publicity, maybe scheduling a blog tour. I definitely have a slightly larger rolodex than last time, and I really can’t wait until I get my hot little hands on some ARCs, because I am so looking forward to handing a few copies off to a few bloggers who I made friends with last time around.

Oh, and by the by – if you love RPG games with a strong sci-fi storytelling base? You really need to check out this kickstarter for Ambrov X – I’ve already donated money!

The author’s cat proudly surveys the page proofs. “Yes,” she thinks. “Right here is where I will vomit tonight.”

The author’s cat proudly surveys the page proofs. “Yes,” she thinks. “Right here is where I will vomit tonight.”

The Heavy Lifting

So Generation V has now been out for three months! Pretty amazing, actually, when I think about it. I’ve learned quite a lot over the last three months – namely that the Amazon sales rankings make little to no sense, and seem simply designed to break my heart.

Now, what should I be expecting from a three-month-old book? Well, as always, the Internet provided an answer:

Your 3-month-old is growing bigger and becoming more aware every day. By this age, your baby should be settling into a schedule, and giving you some much-needed rest!

Your 3-month-old’s nervous system is maturing, and his stomach can accommodate more milk or formula. Those changes should allow your baby to sleep for a stretch of six or seven hours at a time, which translates into a good night’s sleep for you.
If your baby does wake up in the middle of the night, wait about 30 seconds before heading into the nursery. Sometimes, babies will cry for a few seconds and then go back to sleep. When you rush in at the first sound of fussing, your baby won’t learn how to fall back asleep on his own.
When the cries don’t stop and you do need to go into your baby’s room in the middle of the night, stick to the essentials. Feeding and changing should be done in the dark, if possible, and then it’s right back into the crib. Eventually, your baby will get the idea that nighttime is for sleeping only.
Your baby’s daytime sleep schedule should also become more routine by now. Most 3-month-old babies take a few naps of about 1 1/2 to 2 hours each day.

Thanks, WebMD! I’ll definitely keep those things in mind. Somewhere between improving its nervous system and working on not waking in the middle of the night, Generation V got reviewed again – this one is from Book Lovers, Inc. I also had a great time recently writing a guest post about naming the Generation V characters for Shadowhawk’s Shade‘s ongoing series on the topic. If you haven’t been reading these posts, I really recommend that you go over and check them out. Abhinav has gotten a really great roster of writers, and it’s very fun to see so many different perspectives.

My posting recently has gotten fairly erratic – August is a pretty busy month right now. I just finished the copy edits for Iron Night and mailed them back to Roc last night (WOO!) – it really helped clean the manuscript up, and hopefully we’ve caught all the typos and little bits of weirdness that always seem to hold on no matter how many eyes go through the manuscript. (until the first real reader, of course. THEN they pop out.)

Here’s something interesting that I learned during the copy edit – apparently “Wookiee” has two “e”’s? What the hell is up with this? Now, I actually read a not-insignificant number of Star Wars books when I was younger (for those curious – the Thrawn trilogy), and somehow this missed my notice. What is up with all those extra vowels? One “e” would’ve been sufficient!

"Chewbacca the Wookiee" by Chris Uminga - I found this at dmsw.net

“Chewbacca the Wookiee” by Chris Uminga – I found this at dmsw.net

That took a little under a week, but now I can fully shift back to work on the yet-unnamed Book 3 (it has a working title, but it’s pretty horrible, so I’m not going to mention it at this time… or EVER). The deadline on that one is September 1, which is getting just slightly stressful.

On top of that I’m teaching two classes this fall (that part isn’t so bad – usually I teach five) which each need a syllabus before classes start – on August 28. Usually wouldn’t be too bad, except some jackass decided to assign new books. What jackass would that be? Yeah. Me. Fuck you, me from April! Stop making more work for August Me just to try to stop plagiarism! (Meanwhile October Me is probably all, “Yeah, fuck off, August Me. I am totally not dealing with that shit.”)

Aaaaand WorldCon is the last weekend in August. Which should be awesome and all, but Jesus Christ, at this point it would be redundant to even throw up a .jpg of The Scream.

Eh, like redundancy has ever stopped me before.

Eh, like redundancy has ever stopped me before.

So if I’m frothing at the mouth and twitching spastically in another two weeks – that’s why. Not all is gloom and doom, though. My brother wrote me an inspirational haiku! (seriously, this is an ML Brennan’s Older Brother original. If you want to use it, you MUST credit him)

Bare slate beckons man:
“Fill the page ere dusk descends.
Words don’t write themselves.”
–ML Brennan’s Older Brother

Isn’t that nice? Clearly my brother got the poetry gene in the family. (which I am actually very, very okay about)

So, what are the odds that I’ll be delivering a Book 3 manuscript on deadline? Here, I will defer to the master.

NEVER TELL ME THE ODDS.

NEVER TELL ME THE ODDS.