Just got back from #BEA16 and it was absolutely AMAZING. Not only did I get to sign 200 copies of THE CONTINENT, but people were **asking** for it at the signing lines, which thrilled and humbled me to no end. Also. I got to meet @sebastianjunger, who is not only my favorite, favorite, FAVORITE non-fiction author and one of the most important writers of our time (his book WAR was heartbreaking and incredible, and my primary book of research for THE CONTINENT), but who is ridiculously gorgeous, and turned me into an eyelash-batting fangirl when he signed his book for me.
I’m writing and writing, folks…the second Continent novel is well under way, even though people are just now starting to read the first book (which is AHHHHH so exciting and terrifying and wonderful and amazing). Writing the second book is such a different experience than writing the first, because now, the worlds of the Continent and the Spire are established and I get to reveal, reveal, reveal ALL THE THINGS you might wonder about. Well. Not all the things. There are three books, after all. ;)
So, yes. Writing and writing, savoring every moment, laboring over words…I have to quote Shakespeare here, because it is “such stuff as dreams are made on.” As all of you writers know, there is nothing quite like the process of creating the first draft. Whether you outline, ‘pants,’ or fall somewhere in between the two, it’s a magical thing, and there is no other way I can describe it. Vaela’s story is deepening, widening, shrinking…all of those things. And I am loving every minute of it.
As for reading…I’ve been reading like CRAZY. I find my writing is **always** better when I’m reading; I eschew (yes, eschew) the idea of “influence” and instead embrace the notion of inspiration. I read books that inspire me, that thrill me, that elevate my own writing. As of late:
THIEVING WEASELS by @billy_taylor (YA) — An absolutely brilliant YA book about a boy raised by con artists who is trying to go straight–but his family pulls him in for one last job. So beautifully written–I love Billy Taylor’s style and voice. Plus, heists. And feels. Beautiful. Coming soon (get an ARC if you can).
WHEN I’M GONE by @Emily_Bleeker (adult) — Literally get tissues. Just get them. It’s about a woman who dies of cancer who leaves a series of ongoing letters for her grieving husband…but she’s got SECRETS. Page turner. Read it, and cry, and die, like I did. Emily Bleeker is AMAZING.
THE WOMEN IN THE WALLS by @amylukavics (YA) — OMG. I know I’m a total whining baby when it comes to horror, but I can’t help reading these books. Amy manages to creep me out with single spine-tingling sentences like “Some of us die in awful, unexpected ways.” The promise of horror is always fulfilled in Amy’s writing. Get her first book, “Daughters Unto Devils,” if you don’t mind sleeping with the light on.
SMOKE by @CEMcKenzie1 (adult) — Catherine McKenzie just understands how to lay out a story. Her characters feel real, always, their backstory unfolding in delicious ways, and don’t think for one MINUTE you can predict the ending. She will mess with your brain. In a good way. Every book is different. I **love** her writing.
So! There’s my update. Thank you so much for reading…and please tell me what YOU are reading, because my TBR is obscene, and can always get worse. :)