Wednesday, September 25, 2013

THE WHATNOT Birthday + Thank you's!

I've done basically nothing but blog about this book all month, so I'm not going to say terribly much. If you want to read it I'm sure you'll find a way to do so, and if you don't want to you'll just be like "SHUDUP, STEFAN, AND BLOG ABOUT FRUIT JELLIES AGAIN," which I shall because fruit jellies are amazing, but I do want to say thanks to a bunch of people.

Neither The Peculiar nor The Whatnot had space for acknowledgements (like, I literally couldn't make them small enough to fit) and the process of making books and getting them into readers' hands is something that happens thanks to so many awesome people. Here goesssss:

"I'd like to thank my dog, Pooky, and my friends from pre-school, and my hamster who is an inspiration and the strongest person I know."
But seriously:

Thank you's.

Virginia Duncan - Thank you for liking that draft of The Peculiar two years ago and for bidding for it and for editing it and reading these books over and over again and helping them become better, and for being super patient about everything, and an awesome editor.

Sara Megibow - Thank you for being a fantastic agent who answers all emails lightning fast and handles all sorts of background stuff so that I can write.

Mom - Thank you for reading through all the many drafts and revisions, sometimes last minute, sometimes quite late, sometimes at points where my brain is so fried from editing that I have no clue if it's even a book anymore or what words are.

Lois - Thank you for all the smart copyedits that I sometimes don't do, much to my everlasting chagrin.

Casey - Thank you for organizing all the publicity things and for not getting annoyed during the time before I realized you get all the same Google alerts I do.
Thierry Lafontaine - Thank you for illustrating two awesome covers.

Taryn Albright, Emma Trevayne, and Ari Susu Mago - Thank you for being awesome beta readers and  all-round awesome people.

Briony, Beckett, and Emma - SILLY RASCALS. :) *squishes"

More thank you's to:

Everyone at Greenwillow and Harper who do so much work that I don't even know about but is super important. Sales reps and marketers and publicity and online people. I totally appreciate it.

All the foreign publishers who decided to bring the book out in places like Norway and South America and Germany and Poland and the UK and other places that I can't remember right now because ze brain: it is broken.

All the booksellers and bookshop-keepers who do so much to get books into he hands of readers, and who hand-sell, and book-talk, and love books in general.

All the librarians and teachers who book-talk and encourage reading.

Readersssss! Kid-readers especially. But really anyone who's ever bought the books, or picked them up at a library, or borrowed them from a friend and sat down to read them. You're the best,

Everyone who took the time to review the books on Amazon or Goodreads or Barnes & Noble or anywhere at all.

Everyone who talked about the books IN REAL LIFE. This - recommending a book to friends or family - is the best thing anyone can do for a book they like, and I'm super grateful to all the people who did it with The Peculiar

Thank you so, so much. :) Here's Book 2. I hope you like it. I hope it's better than the first one, or different, or just plain entertaining, and I'm so excited for it to be out there.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

THE WHATNOT - Writing Playlist

Hi, peoples. THE BUSY. It has been busy-ing. I'm going to be terrible about blogging in the coming months, and I apologize in advance, but since The Whatnot is coming out in like five minutes, I'm going to do a quick spat of Whatnot-centric posts.

First will be a playlissssst. In pretty much every interview I've ever done, I blab about how I can't write to music, and that it distracts me, and that it just doesn't do, and then at some point between writing The Whatnot and now I decided I liked writing with music after all. I wrote almost all of Dead Man's Palace to smashing drums and Daft Punk's Tron and such-like. So, that makes sense.

Anyway. All these tracks played on repeat so much during the drafting and revising and polishing and more-revising and copyedits of The Whatnot.

Anna Karenina by Dario Marianelli

This was my by far favorite film score from last year. A lot of people thought the movie was boring and cold, but I must have been too distracted by the crazy revolving sets and productions design, because I thought it was great.

And the muuuuuusic. It's by Dario Marianelli. With the first book, Marianelli's Atonement soundtrack was playing all the time, and with numbah two it's this one. I love it so much. I listened to it mostly during the writing of Hettie's scenes in the Old Country. The music's a little bit dark and often sad, but also wacky and surreal sometimes, and has some manic waltz bits. So it fit the faery world pretty well, I thought.

The Wolfman by Danny Elfman

I've not seen this movie. I was going to, because it's Gothic terror and Victorians being eaten by wolves, but then a friend watched and said it was one of the bloodiest movies EVER, and since I only write about creepy things but don't like watching them at all, I didn't. I bought the soundtrack, though, and it's great. Very dark, very minor-key, lots of spooky tracks switching off with driving, action-y tracks.

Jane Eyre by Dario Marianelli

Haven't seen this one either. Another Dario Marianelli soundtrack. Because he's kind of a genius. This one is all terribly tragic violins and deep cellos and horns. I used it especially for when sad things happen in the book, and when dreams are crushed and the characters get up and keep going anyway.

The Village by James Newton Howard

If you are one of the five people in the world who liked this movie, too, you must let me know. It's actually one of my favorites. I love the acting and I love the cinematography and I love the score. The score is very autumn-y and didn't really fit with Whatnot's wintry tone, but I played it a lot for the scenes where Pikey and Hettie are dreaming of better lives and better places, because the music has such a warm, glow-y feel to it a lot of the time.

Sherlock Holmes by Hans Zimmer

I'm not a huge Hans Zimmer fan. His soundtracks, especially his super popular ones like Pirates of the Caribbean, tend to be overproduced to the point of haziness and mudiness. But I love this one. It has a lot of wacky instruments and shadings, and I had it playing a lot during street-urchin Pikey's chapters, when he's running around the steampunk London.

And that will have to do for nowwww. There were other tracks and CDs that played a lot but these were the main ones. Also, I'm fairly obsessed with music so if you have any new discoveries tell them to meeeee, because I want to know them. Anything. Not necessarily film scores. I love finding new stuff. Bye! :D

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Book Appearances - Switzerland

Ahh, school's gearing up, and I'm dying of busyness, and I got Whatnot hardcovers, and they're THE SHINIEST, but super quick post: here are my Swiss English-language appearances for the next two months, and it would be completely awesome to meet blog readers there, so commmme if you can! :)

Saturday, September 7th - Morges - 15:00 - I'll be doing an event called "Other Worlds, Fantasy and SF" with Peter F. Hamilton (I KNOW, oh my goodness) as part of Le Livre sur les Quais festival.

There are also going to be four autographing sessions throughout Saturday and Sunday, with times here.

Sunday, September 15th - Zug - 15:30 - I'll be talking and signing as part of the Let's Talk festival.

Friday, October 25th - Zürich - 20:15 - I'll be reading from The Whatnot and signing books at the fantaaaastic English Bookshop (Orell Füssli) on the Bahnhofstrasse.

And from October 4th - October 18th I'm on tour in the US. The cities are (as far as I know) Portland, Seattle, Denver, Boulder, Austin, and San Francisco. I'll post that schedule soon! *runs away*