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!
August has been flying by, which means that in just over a week, I will be flying to San Antonio with my long-suffering spouse and will be attending my first WorldCon! *Very* exciting, let me assure you! For anyone attending who is interested, here are my confirmed activities for the weekend! (confirmed but unmentioned include eating, sleeping, and pooping. Because, really – everyone poops)
Right now there’s a lot of blank space on Friday – I have one connection to get to San Antonio, so right now I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that I arrive in time to get my badge and hit my one scheduled commitment for the day. Oh, and if I make my connection, I wanted a chance to get to walk around and actually see the booths.
Saturday has some really fun stuff scheduled, including my one panel! Please attend my panel, and if you want to pitch me some softball questions about horror, give in to the urge! I also have two autographing sessions, one of which I am delighted to say will be with several very fine writers. But thanks to the good folks at Penguin, I am the proud owner of a full box of copies of Generation V – which I will be handing out for free at those sessions! First come, first served! (also, seriously, I don’t want to have to check this box for the flight home — *please* come take a book from me!)
On Sunday I will be staffing the SFWA table for a little bit, but I’m sure by then I’ll have heard about at least fifty things I’ll want to do before I catch my flight home. Here’s the breakdown:
1:36pm — Flight arrives
8pm – 11pm — Private
10am – 10:45am – Interview with Patrick Hester for The SF Signal Podcast
1pm – 1:45pm – Autographing at the SFWA table (C-13 in the Dealer’s Room) I will have free copies of Generation V with me! Nothing would make me happier than to sign one of them for you!
2pm – 3pm – Panel, How To Scare Your Reader (Moderator- Vylar Kaftan, John Hornor Jacobs, Amanda Downum, Alastair Reynolds)
4pm – 5pm – Autographing Session (with David Hartwell, Kathleen Goonan, and Cat Rambo) I will have free copies of Generation V with me! If you want a copy, please just come over and I will gladly sign one for you!
7:00 PM – (I have no idea) — Drinks With Authors (this will be held at Ernie’s, which Justin from Staffer’s Book Review *swears* is only a block away from the con hotel) There are going to be a lot of awesome writers here, so definitely put this one down on your list!
11am – 1pm — Staffing SFWA Table (C-13 in the Dealer’s Room – come say hi!)
5:14pm – Flight departs
In other news, here’s what some reviewers are saying about Generation V!
Dawn Nikithser at Bookshelf Bombshells says:
Yeah, I am sick of vampires too. But being sick of vampires is kind of like being sick of cupcakes—when someone comes up with a delicious new flavor, you gotta eat it. You’ll devour this one whole.
Matt Gilliard at 52 Reviews says:
Taken as a whole, Generation V is a fresh take on an old saw that benefits from Brennan’s excellent world building and the authenticity of its cast. Fans of urban fantasy who are weary of the same old, same old shouldn’t miss this engaging mix of action, humor, and coming of age tale. I’ll definitely be around for round two.
Oh, and if you’ll be at WorldCon, drop a note in the comments! What are you planning to do at WorldCon? Any good suggestions for things I should add to my itinerary?
Is great! Seriously, I had a good trip to Newport, and an amazing time at ConnectiCon!
I’ll start with Newport – it was low-key, I was able to get some solid outlining work done, and I took some good reference photos for the books. Great ambiance, pleasure to visit there again, and I had a lot of meals at the Newport Creamery.
Oh, and for anyone who has wondered what Madeline’s mansion looks like, here was what I used as a reference:
I got home on Thursday, meeting up with my good friend John, who was nice enough to agree to ride shotgun on my first convention. Let me tell you – ConnectiCon was a shit-ton of fun. For one thing, this happened at the first panel we attended:
I ended up being on three panels over the weekend – Worldbuilding 101, Crossgenre Writing, and The Ten Things You Need To Know About Writing (on that last one, I don’t know what our final tally was before we went to questions, but a few people taking notes said that we were about fifteen-ish – even without counting how often we were expanding on what the person before us had just said). Each one was so much fun – the first two I was lucky to be with Michael J. Sullivan, Leona Wisoker, and the incredible Joseph Bruchac. All so lovely. Big kudos to Michael J. Sullivan, who managed to avoid looking horrified the third time I showed up on a panel with him (seriously, he was not only wonderful, but also graciously served as defacto moderator for two of the panels – Leona Wisoker made a heroic moderator stance in the second panel when the topic completely dried up on us). Last panel included Margaret Killjoy, who was such a pleasure to meet, and who very graciously began peppering his speech with profanity to make me feel less conspicuous after I accidentally broke the curse barrier. I am reading through his thoroughly delightful choose-your-own-adventure book What Lies Beneath The Clock Tower and I’m really enjoying the writing, the goblins, and the presence of absinthe.
I also got to meet wonderful people! Rob Durand and Rachel Sasseen were incredibly nice and cool for the whole weekend, and so much fun to hang out with! We talked, we had dinner, we played games, they introduced me to the fantastic Cam Banks, and then they even did me the *huge* solid of helping me with a very inconvenient and stress-inducing box.
Oh, and the gaming. Seriously, I had so much fun. I got to play 3-person Puerto Rico (fast, too – John and I played with a guy who apparently plays Puerto Rico in tournaments – and, yeah, I totally tied him on points, but he beat me by three coins), I learned Revolution with John and my husband (thanks Steve Jackson game instructor!), Gloom (which Cam very nicely taught me how to play), and Rob and Rachel taught me and John how to play 7 Wonders, which is so good that I’m probably going to have to buy it now.
Also amazing? The artists’ area. Stunning, stunning artwork – if I was single and I didn’t have to compromise on my choices in wall art, I would’ve come home with so much stuff to frame. But I did pick up a few small things – one whimsical print of sheep having a tea party by Anne Hoffer, and a set of the most glorious postcards by Cari Corene. Yeah, I’m not sending those postcards – I’m going to frame them.
I also was able to hand out a lot of my business cards, talked with many aspiring writers, and hopefully some more people will check out Generation V. And, in Generation V news – I’m up to 25 reviews on Amazon.com, so thanks so much to everyone who has done that! If you haven’t written a review for them yet, please do! I was very lucky to get wonderful coverage by two fantastic bloggers – shewolfreads posted a review and an interview, and Civilian Reader also posted a review and an interview. All are well worth checking out – I really enjoyed these ones!
For this week – just working hard and trying to stay cool in the monstrously hot temperatures.