whisper in your ear

I am rather proud of my podcast version of my Cabinet of Curiosities story, "Dark Valentine." Whole thing is under 14 minutes so it will make a lovely, chilling little commute listen. Let me whisper scariness into your ears!

The very microphone!

The very microphone!

Also quite marvelous are Claire Legrand's somewhat longer, Texas-inflected reading of her "The Tin Man's Price" and Stefan Bachmann's cold and mega-creepy reading of his "Plum Boy and the Dead Man." Emma's is out next week! Be safe and subscribe to all four in iTunes.

Podcasting and book launching and other stuff has thrown us all off our normal schedule, so no stories this month, but we'll be back in July. Oh The Cabinet got a lovely review in Shelf Awareness, hurrah.

Meanwhile I am still revising like mad on my second novel, a YA. This revision is due August 1. This may be the first time--in my long life as a cold-and-wet-loving person inexplicably living in the South--that I have looked forward passionately to August.

birds in cages and a happy star

Cannot believe I forgot to post here about on of my favorite Cabinet stories I've written in a while, plus some happy news.

The Cabinet story is called "Ariel" (which is a tiny private . . . not joke, exactly: what do you call a private joke that's serious?). Our theme is birds this month, and I'd recently been obsessively web-stalking the artist William Kentridge, so my story was inspired by one of his drawings for a production design for The Magic Flute.  

So that. But then the happy star is that The Curiosity Cabinet--which began as this crazy little web-project, just for fun--besides now having a pretty glorious jacket and illustrations (Greenwillow did a gorgeous job with the package), also has a Kirkus star. Six hundred hurrays to THAT.

To celebrate publication, we've got a lot going on, including a 36-day countdown in which we tweet a line from one of the stories each day, do several giveaways, and more stuff currently top secret. Stefan Bachmann is doing a quite splendid world giveaway right now, so if you're interested in winning all kinds of books, check that out.

 Book comes out May 27, 2014, in hardback and paperback, so just GET READY.


This blog is an excuse to post this image

Notice the changes here in the creaky, windswept streets of my website. Mainly, I have added a whole page for Summer and Bird. And mainly I did that to have an excuse to share two nice bits:

Summer and Bird got a starred review from Kirkus, which called it "A haunting fable inflected with mythological and fairy-tale motifs  . . .  languorously beautiful."

I was named one of IndieBound's New Voices for Fall 2012. They said of Summer and Bird "Lyric in its language and layered in its complexity, this is a book like no other."

Two more bits of news: I wll be reading at the Southern Independent Booksellers Trade Show in Naples, Florida on September 7, which is exciting. I think I will now refer to ths trip as my Book Tour.

Finally, I will be having a book launch for Summer and Bird at the splendid BookPeople in Austin, Texas at 7pm October 9. Please come! Please come even if you live in Maine!

But all of that is just an excuse to post my favorite of all the lovely, lucky things that have come my way recently. My agent David Dunton's daughter, Hannah Dunton, first read Summer and Bird in manuscript when she was 9. She recently turned 11, and is still thinking about the book, as evidenced by this incredibly awesome manga-influenced drawing:

Image by Hannah Dunton.

The blonde is Summer -- she is holding a notebook (EXCELLENT detail) and thinking about a little red bird who is very important both to her and the story. Bird is the smaller one, with the browner hair and slyer smile. The creepy face on the upper left is the Puppeteer, also known as The Bird Mask, because we never see her face. The other images are an owl holding a key (oh that's right you're wondering why; well, get the book!) and the rebus-like "picture letter" that is all their mother left them when she disappeared.

This picture is my new favorite thing. Thank you, Hannah.

summer and bird sneak in

Book Expo America is happening in New York right this second, and I'm stuck here in Austin doing a dumb old play.

(I'm kidding: it's a hilarious play that I am lucky to be in--boom, by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb--which you can see through June 23 30 [Ed. note: we extended!] at Hyde Park Theatre in Austin. Buy tickets right now at the Capitol T Theatre website; or, if you like, read a rave review in the Statesman first.)

But even though I am not at BEA, Summer and Bird is. ARCs are being handed out at the Dutton Children's booth, and my gorgeous cover is blown up all big right next to John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, a book I loved to pieces and in tears:

So suddenly a few dozen people on Goodreads have the book marked to-read, which makes it feel very real and thrilling.

And on top of all that, the first review has been posted on the blog at Alamosa Books, a children's bookstore in Albuquerque. It's all way too exciting, and the book doesn't actually come out for almost four months, so I need to get off the nets and back into drafting mode for book #2. 

But if I may summarize: yay.