Friday, December 21, 2012

Saída de Emergência Rocks!

The other day I got something lovely in the mail. Sort of like an early Christmas present. The special boxed set that Saída de Emergência made for the two-volume Portuguese edition of The War with the Mein. Finally, I got me eager little hands on it!

It looks like this:
But that's just from the outside. What's even cooler are the goodies inside. There are the books, of course:
But that's just the start!

There's also a map, with cool highlights and arrows and stuff I can't read:
And on the back of the map are character sketches:
And there's a little Acacia notepad. Are you kidding me? My name is on a notepad in Portugal? I love that.

And I love the way all of the material is full of wonderful details. Great artwork, lovingly crafted touches. They've visualized the world and brought it to life perhaps more than any other publisher has so far.

They've even taking brief descriptions from the text and imagined them artistically. Note the work on the flag of the Akaran family:

I also noticed another cool little bit, the cover for the next book, Outras Terras. It's a small image and a bit blurry, but here's a taste of it:
You know what else? It's just occurred to me that more of my novels have been published in Portuguese than any other language. Different publishers have picked up all of my books since Walk Through Darkness! That only leaves out my debut, Gabriel's Story. (The rights for it are available, by the way...)

It makes me wonder who these wonderful people are? Portugal is very definitely a destination for me before too long!

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Squam Arts Workshops

Here's a thing...

I'll be teaching at the Squam Arts Workshops in June of 2013! This is rather a cool thing, the first time I've been invited. Makes me nervous, actually, but it should be a lot of fun.

Here's a sample from the teachers list...
That's me! And below me, yep, that's Gudrun. She, of course, is a veteran of Squam events, including one in Italy. Much of the program is knitting and fiber-related, artistic and holistic and enriching.

My part? Well, I'm sticking to the only thing I know. Writing. I'm doing a few classes called Story in a Day. It's my first time teaching this kind of workshop, but I've got some ideas and I think it'll be fun. It's open to any style of fiction, just working within a framework of prompts that are fundamental to all storytelling.

Gudrun has come back from Squam having loved it every time. It's a wonderful atmosphere, good people, in a stunning lakeside setting in New Hampshire. So, if you want to hang out and write a story in a day, please do. Bring family and friends! Make it a holiday. Go check out the course list. There's lots of cool stuff to choose from!

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Wish Me Luck

I'll need it.

I'm heading to town to visit the middle school. I'll be speaking to 80 eight graders about my writing, and then meeting with a class to discuss a short story of mine that they've read.

What's more? This is my daughter's school - and her class! I'll do my best not to embarrass her. ;)

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Knit with Me

Or... Not, me, so much, but with my wife and, hopefully, with someone close to you!

Just wanted to announce that my wife, Gudrun Johnston, has just published her second book of knitting patterns. This one she did in conjunction with the yarn company Quince & Co.

It's called Knit With Me - a mother and daughter collection. You can read all about it HERE.

The idea, in brief, is that all the patterns are ones that could be knit in adult and children's sizes, mixed and matched, hopefully projects that a mother and daughter could work on together.

The photo shoot happened at a friend's awesome, rambling New England farmstead, and features family friends as models. It's lovely, and it would make a great present! As would Gudrun's first book, The Shetland Trader.

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Friday, December 07, 2012

Acacia, Tome 3 : L'alliance sacrée - Pocket Version

I just noticed got my first glimpse of the cover for the French Pocket edition of The Sacred Band.

It's not super jpeg, but it'll do for the moment. Take a look:

I'm assuming this is Didier Graffet continuing the fine work he's done for the entire series.

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Thursday, December 06, 2012

Any Knitters Around Here?

If so, go check out my wife's new shawl pattern at The Shetland Trader! It's lovely, as usual.

And if you know any knitter friends please consider her new book as a present for the holidays. It's not out just yet - next week, I think. I'll be sure to mention it here when it been born.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Hurston/Wright Legacy Award Winners

Just wanted to bring your attention to another award announcement. The Hurston/Wright Legacy Awards have just been announced. These are, to quote their own information:

"The Hurston/Wright Legacy Award™ is the first national award presented to published writers of African descent by the national community of Black writers. This award consists of prizes for the highest quality writing in the categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry."

I've had the pleasure of working with Hurston/Wright quite a bit over the years. They've even been kind enough to throw some award recognition my way on occasion, for which I'm very grateful. This year I'm just a bystander, but I'm impressed by the list of finalists and by the open-mindedness of the judging.

In the Fiction Category, the Finalists were:

Crossbones, by Nuruddin Farah

Silver Sparrow, by Tayari Jones

Mr. Fox, by Helen Oyeyemi

You Are Free: Stories, by Danzy Senna

Salvage the Bones, by Jesmyn Ward

Zone One, by Colson Whitehead

Do you know how impressive this list is, and how diverse? It includes a post apocalyptic zombie novel by a MacArthur Foundation "Genius" grant winner, a National Book Award winning novel about a family caught in a hurricane in the Gulf, a short story collection by a Whiting Award winner, a really hard to describe slipstream sounding novel by a British novelist, a very popular coming of age novel from the American South, and a novel by a Somali author who has been translated into seventeen languages!

It's pretty amazing. These six authors could be contenders on any list, but I find something inspiring about them being praised as wonderful works by a distinct voices, each of them successful in the own way.

By the way, Helen Oyeyemi won for Mr. Fox!

Here's a link to the H/W website list of nominees.

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Monday, December 03, 2012

Strange Horizons/Locus Poll Picks

Niall Harrison has kindly put up his picks in various best of categories for the 20th and 21st (so far) centuries. This is in response to Locus voters doing the same. Very pleased, then, that Niall put Acacia in the top for for fantasy titles of this century! One wonders what great books will be written in the next 80+ years, but it's nice to have some standing with a terrific critic like Niall. At least for a while...

The list is HERE: at Strange Horizons.