Saturday, February 23, 2013

Liebster Award: 11 Questions


I got a blogger awarrrrd. Ahem. Not that I *deserve* it, as this blog has been crazy neglected these past few weeks, but thanks River for nominating me. :)

What I'm supposed to do is list 11 random facts about me and then answer 11 questions by the nominator and then nominate another 11 bloggers and then ask them 11 new questions, and all that seems like a ton of work, so I'm afraid I'm only going to do the 11 facts about ME.

"Why, Stefan, what a good idea that's not at all narcissistic."

I know, but see, I tried to do all the things and it started taking all day, and I'm supposed to be working on other things. So whatever.

11 random facts about Stefan

1. When I was ten or eleven I used to go rock-climbing or hall-climbing or whatever it's called. One time I did a really tough wall that I'm pretty sure was a thousand feet high and had an overhang, and I was not a very good climber, and at one point I was near the top, hanging on by a toe and two fingers or something, and it reeeeeally hurt and I started bawling, but my instructor was way below and couldn't hear my TEARS OF ANGUISH and I was too freaked out to drop forty feet and wait for my harness to catch me (or not), so I just shut up and made it to the top. I feel like there's a life lesson in their somewhere.

2. I don't like talking to people on phones. Like, I love meeting people in real life, but I used to get heart palpitations having to call someone, and I basically died this one one time when a prospective agent asked me to phone her up. I don't mind it anymore, but phones are still. . . not my thing. So don't call me if you can help it. I've been known to pointedly ignore my cell phone rings like a jerk.

3. My family has horses and a dog, and since our house is next to this huge barn, people often ask us if we're farmers. We're not, we're just quaint and rustic.

4. My middle name is Leopold. This is a secret.

5. I made up about fifty-thousand nicknames for my little brother when we were kids and would use them for months on end, in lieu of his actual name. The ones I remember are: "Boojy, spiderbaby, and Wulu-Garuda." (I'm serious. Don't ask me, because I no longer remember REASONS.) 

6. I love the decline of the aristocracy as a subject. One day I want to write really, really big book about it.

7. When I was eight or nine I started plotting a fantasy trilogy that had morphed and changed and developed pretty much non-stop until I started writing The Peculiar in 2010. It's always had the same titles (The White Rose, The Black Rose, and The War of the Roses - I thought they sounded dramatic and tragic at the time) and if I remember right it was about two brothers in an alternate early 19th century world, and one is a magical copy of the other and was supposed to be entirely identical, only something went wrong and he was born blind. The Original is the son of a high-ranking member of government and so his copy is raised to be his double and his stand-in in case of assassinations. And then the mother prefers the copy over the Original, even though he's supposedly sub-human, and the Original becomes evil, and I think in the end, after much brotherly-drama, the Original is an assassin for the bad guys, and the Copy is trained to kill him, and there 's a big conspiracy with a race of sinister invaders and blablabla. I have no idea if I'm ever going to write it, but I doubt it.

9. At one point I was obsessed with Yu-Gi-Oh. Like, this trading card game:


It was funny. It was this huge trend in the early 2000's, and I spent ridiculous amounts of money on card packages, and all my friends played, too, and we were all obsessed to the point of lunacy. Now I have mountains of cards just sitting in a cupboard.

10. True story: when I was four, my oldest brother would drive a bike up the hill outside our house and I would sit on the cross bar and we would go down the hill! Like, fast. Like, really fast. And one time Oldest Brother was like, "OK, I'M GOING TO DO A TRICK NOW." And then we crashed. Violently. On concrete. And I got a concussion. And from thenceforth I was crazy.

I also tripped over a fire-hydrant once and broke two fingers in my right hand.

11. When I'm nervous I yawn a lot. This is one of the relaxation techniques you learn really early in music and stage performance, and it's become a habit.

So, like, competition in front of a row of snooty judges = yawn. 

Concert in front of a million-bajillion people = yawn.

BEING ATTACKED BY A FIVE-THOUSAND FOOT FLAMING FLAMINGO OF FURY = yawn.

Ok, that's all. :) Bye.

OH, WAIT NO. Emma Trevayne, who is a brilliant and who beta read my second book, just sold her steampunk creepy fantasy adventure to Simon & Schuster AT AUCTION. This one is so good. You'll want it when it comes out. In the meantime you could go say congrats. :D

Friday, February 8, 2013

COVER REVEAL: The Whatnot

*deep breath*

All right, so the other day I was sifting through emails, trying not to freak out over the vast numbers I have rudely left unanswered, and then one came in that said something like, "I loveeeee you're new coverrrrrr." And I was like, "Uh, no you don't. You don't know how it looks. It's SECRET, this cover."

Except it wasn't, because Amazon put it up early. So that was lame. But I'm doing a reveal ANYWAY OK AND HERE IT IS:


Do you like it? I love it. It took me a few days to love the first cover, but I loved this cover right away because it fits the book insaaannnnnely well. See the creepy trees in the background? And the clockwork bug? And the green gas? And the snow. And the feathers? And the battle-torn flag? And the hand-lettering in the title, which has some elegant little flourishes that make me happy?

Yeah.

Here are the two covers side by side. I don't know about other people, but I like seeing how books in a series compare.


Ahh, continuity. So, the second cover is darker and a bit wilder, and I like how the first book is all like *WOOSH*, like that, and the bird seems to be fleeing something, and on the second book the creature is earth-bound and creepily advancing toward the reader.

Anyway. All credit goes to Thierry LaFontaine who did the art, and to whomever did the hand-lettering, and to Paul who is the art director at Greenwillow. They make such nice books! O_O

Also, the release date appears to be September 24th, 2013. Now I need to go revise, so that it's not junk.

Also-also, hello new followers! :)