QUICKSILVER cover 


Once I was a girl who was special.
Now I am extraordinary.
And they will never stop hunting me.

The compelling follow-up to the bestselling ULTRAVIOLET, this psychological thriller will take your breath away...

-- Orchard Books (UK) blurb for QUICKSILVER by R.J. Anderson


I am happy to report that as of today, I turned in my last major revision of QUICKSILVER to my lovely UK and US editors. And after addressing their suggestions and those of my insightful beta-reading team, I am very pleased with the way the book has turned out. It gives me hope that readers of ULTRAVIOLET, and perhaps some new readers as well, will enjoy it too!

Unfortunately I also have some sad news to report, which is that the UK edition will not be coming out in November, as we'd originally hoped. Due to a succession of family health crises and other unforeseen delays, I was unable to finish editing the book in time for my publishers to get it ready for a 2012 publication date, which means that the paperback of QUICKSILVER will now be coming out in the UK in January May 2013 instead. However, the North American hardcover publication date remains unchanged, so US and Canadian readers can look forward to seeing the book in March 2013.

I apologize to those who've been eagerly awaiting QUICKSILVER and are disappointed to have to wait two six months longer! But these things happen sometimes, and I felt it was more important to give you a book I had really put my heart into writing and researching -- a book I could be proud of -- than to rush something out that wasn't my best work.

Thanks to all my readers for your patience and support! I can't wait for you to read this story, and I'm very excited to find out what you think of it.

Considering that I started my first blog in 2002 you would think I would be a little more assiduous about maintaining it, but frankly these days I haven't the energy for much beyond Twitter. Plus, I have been so busy beating my head against the first draft of Quicksilver and all the associated research (which will NEVER END, I swear) that I have neglected even to report on my weekend at the Nebulas. But really, does anyone care about all that? Except for possibly wanting to hear how I (along with four other authors) ended up serenading Neil Gaiman in an elevator?

(Before we got on the elevator, however, I should mention that he also serenaded us with a rendition of Derek & Clive's "Jump", which is pretty much the sort of song one would expect Neil Gaiman to perform on short notice. He has quite a nice singing voice and can even keep a tune unaccompanied; clearly his wife has trained him well.)

(And before that he told us a few bits of trivia about his Bradbury-nominated [and later winning] script for "The Doctor's Wife", such as that it was called "Bigger On The Inside" until practically the last moment, and then Steven Moffat decided to change the title on the grounds that it was too spoilery. To which Neil objected, saying that he could think of any number of other story ideas that could be called "The Doctor's Wife", but Moffat said patiently, "Yes, but in the case of your story it's actually true.")

(All this happened late on the Saturday afternoon before the Nebula banquet, because Ellen Kushner, Diana Peterfreund, Franny Billingsley and E. Lily Yu had decided to sing folk ballads in an out-of-the-way corner, and invited me to come and sing along. Neil came looking for Ellen because she's an old friend, and the best bit was sitting across from Diana and Lily when they realized what was going on and watching their jaws simultaneously drop.)

(And that's about the whole story I think, except that the song we sang to Neil in the elevator was "Greensleeves", in four-part harmony, which dwindled to three-part and two-part harmony as we got off at the various floors, and Neil later described it as the best lift ride he'd ever had, which I have to agree with because it was tremendous fun and would have been even without him, but it's always nicest to have an audience.)

(Also, you should read E. Lily Yu's Nebula-nominated short story "The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees" because it is really clever and she is a lovely person, whom I hope I shall meet again some day. Ditto on Ellen, Diana, and Franny, of course, and also on Delia Sherman, whose Freedom Maze is utterly wonderful and thoroughly deserved to win the Norton, so I am thrilled for her and not even sorry I didn't win.)

(And I also met Genevieve Valentine who is delightful, and then I bought her Nebula-nominated novel Mechanique to read on the plane ride home, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.)

ANYWAY, after that truly epic series of parentheses, the actual point of this post was to mention to any of my readers in the Toronto region that I will be signing the Canadian paperback release of Arrow this Saturday at Chapters Brampton along with Megan Crewe (The Way We Fall) and Leah Bobet (Above), and we will even get to speak and answer questions for a few minutes first, which makes it more of a Proper Event than any bookstore event I've done yet. So I am quite excited about that, and if you should happen to be in the Brampton area around 2 p.m., please stop in and say hello!

(And now I must go and put dinner in the oven, and then I shall collapse.)
And the recipients of the North American ULTRAVIOLET audiobook have been chosen. Thanks so much to all of you who entered the contest -- I wish I could have given you all a copy! But alas, 'tis not to be...

The winners were @NicsYABookHaven (via Twitter), Irrel (via Tumblr) and [livejournal.com profile] ferretvamp14 (via LiveJournal).*

Congratulations to the winners, and do not lose heart -- I hope to do a SWIFT giveaway when that book comes out in March...

--
* I also had two Facebook entries, which I included with the Tumblr entries since there were the fewest of those. But neither of them won. Sorry, lovely Facebook people!
To celebrate the North American release of Listening Library's unabridged Ultraviolet audiobook read by Justine Eyre, I'm giving away 3 copies to readers in the US and Canada!

If you're eligible and want to enter, just comment here, or tweet with the hashtag #UVGiveaway on Twitter. I'll choose the winners randomly in the New Year.
Just found the entire first chapter of Ultraviolet lurking coyly* on Hachette Australia's "Date a Book" site, for those of you who might be interested in a sneak peek at what's coming in June (UK/AUS) and September (US/CAN) of 2011...

--
* See "Download chapter sampler" link on the right-hand side.
I am delighted to announce that my UK publisher, Orchard Books, has just signed me up for another two-book deal!

So that means that after Swift comes out in early 2012, readers in the UK and Ireland can look forward to a sequel to that book (tentatively entitled Nomad), and also a companion novel to my YA paranormal thriller Ultraviolet (tentatively entitled Quicksilver), in 2013/14.

***

Also in the good news department: just this very day, Knife was announced as the winning title for this year's Concorde Book Award!

I would love to have attended the ceremony at Downend School in South Gloucestershire, but had to be content with sending a video acceptance speech instead (isn't technology grand?).

***

And now I am off to celebrate with cookies!
I've seen other authors doing this and it looked like fun, so here I go!

The first excerpt is from Arrow, so it comes with a mild spoiler warning for that book and a not-so-mild one for Rebel a.k.a. Wayfarer:

'May I ask you a personal question?' )

And the second is from Ultraviolet, coming June 2011 in the UK and September 2011 in the US:

I was sitting in the library... )
Lo, I have returned to the snowy shores of Canadia (as one of my hosts on my last night in the UK jokingly called it), tired but happy. It was a busy week packed with school visits, store events, and meetings with booksellers and sales reps, not to mention plenty of time in planes, trains and automobiles getting from one point to another.

But the folks at Orchard Books took excellent care of me, and the schoolchildren and loyal readers who attended my events in Fleetwood (check out the amazing Rossall School where I did my first school visit -- Hogwarts, eat your heart out!), Benton Park High School in Leeds, Newcastle's Royal Grammar School and the rather nifty Cramlington Learning Village, and London's Muswell Hill were all wonderfully attentive and charming.

I was also pleased to meet several folks I'd been chatting with online, some (like [livejournal.com profile] davidbrider and [livejournal.com profile] alawston) long before I was published, and also spent a lovely final evening with the Bradnam family in East Croydon, who made me very welcome.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and would gladly do it again! Though not perhaps for another year or so...

On one of my last couple of days there, I did a special interview with Orchard Books answering questions posed by readers on Twitter, such as "Which author inspired you the most?" and "Are the characters of Knife, Rebel and Arrow based on any real people?" You can see the answers here under the cut )

And I also came back with glorious swag, including some books for my boys, and an especially nifty little something you can see demonstrated in this video right here )

Now I get to spend the rest of February researching and preparing to write Swift -- my bedside table is piled high with books on Cornwall right now. I've already learned some quite interesting things about the faery legends of that area that are making me excited to start this new chapter in the series!
Monday 31 January: LONDON
12:30 p.m. -- Foyle's, 113-119 Charing Cross Road, London
1:30 p.m. -- Blackwell's, 100 Charing Cross Road, London

Tuesday 1 February: LEEDS
4:30 p.m. -- Waterstone's, 93-97 Albion Street, Leeds

Wednesday 2 February: NEWCASTLE
4:30 p.m. -- Waterstone's, Blackett Street, Newcastle


Getting excited now -- so close!
I am happy to announce that today is the official UK and Ireland release date of Arrow! It should now be widely available in bookstores, and I hope my readers will like it.

***

I can also now share a little more detail about my planned trip to England at the end of this month. I'm still waiting for confirmation on a few times and locations, but I'll be splitting my time between London and the North, and the general run of events will look something like this:

31 January:
Book Signings at Foyle's (Charing Cross Road) and Blackwell's (also Charing Cross Road), London (PM).

1 February:
Author Visits to Rossall Junior School, Lancs. (AM) and Benton Park High School, Leeds (PM).

2 February:
Author Visits to Royal Grammar School, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne (AM) and other school TBA (PM).

3 February:
Two more school visits in London and Area (details when available).


I'll also be in London on 4 and 5 February, as my plane doesn't leave until the 6th -- so if there's anybody in the area who would like to get together on the Saturday (or can recommend a reasonably priced hotel in central London for me to stay in on Friday and Saturday night!) then I'd love to hear from you.

***

I am now wonderfully close to finishing my last major revision of Ultraviolet before it goes to the copyeditors and gets turned into galleys. I plan to get the final chapter written today, then spend the next three days reading it over and giving it one last polish before it's out of my hands.

And then, gentle readers, I shall collapse, because 2010 has been by far the busiest and most demanding creative year of my life. I guess that's what happens when you have a book coming out every six months in 2011/12. But it's been rewarding and enlightening, too.

Belated best wishes to everyone for a happy 2011!
I discovered a Most Exciting Thing this morning -- it appears that Arrow is already on the shelves at some bookstores in the UK!

I am not sure about Ireland, since last year Rebel was kept off the shelves until the official release date, but perhaps one of my Irish friends can let me know about that one?

Meanwhile, I am working like crazy** on my revisions for Ultraviolet and am so far happy with my progress. But I still have a ways to go, so off I must dash...

Hope all of you are healthy and safe and enjoying a semi-relaxing holiday season!

--
* Sorry about that pun. I just thought of it and... well... yeah.
** I should probably be sorry about that too.
I've been remiss in not mentioning this to my f-list before, but if you're looking for a thoughtful and consistently updated blog about Christianity and Speculative Fiction, with a good variety of reviews, essays and talk about the craft and business of writing SF for the Christian market, Speculative Faith is a good place to start.

And last Friday (which I foolishly chose out of a handful of available dates, forgetting that it was the weekend of American Thanksgiving and hardly anybody would be reading) I had the opportunity to do a Guest Blog for them about why I chose to write for the general rather than the "Christian" market.

Primarily of interest to my co-religionists (as Lewis would say), but there it is.

***

And now, more to shore up my own weak resolve than anything else, I am going to announce that December is going to be a No-Social-Networking month for me.

I have a major deadline coming up for Ultraviolet, and the more time I devote to working on that, the better -- plus, we all know how many other things go on in December, especially when you are involved in church activities, kids' music lessons, and are hosting your family's Christmas dinner.

So that's it. I am disappearing for the entire month of December, apart from checking e-mail and answering any really urgent requests that come up.

Have a great month, everybody! See you in January!
My UK publisher Orchard Books has designed a wonderful microsite for Ultraviolet, which will be advertised in the backmatter for Arrow when that book comes out in early January (though Ultraviolet itself won't be out until June 2011). Here's a sneak preview:

discoverthetruth.co.uk



And check out the amazing 30-second trailer they made for me -- seriously, I had no idea they were doing this, but I love it:



Now back to revisions... but I am very pleased with the changes I've made so far. I feel like I'm finally getting this story to the place I always wanted it to be.

I has a Tumblr

Nov. 4th, 2010 09:11 am
rj_anderson: (Ultraviolet - UK Cover)
Now that I'm plunging into revisions for Ultraviolet, I've started a Tumblr full of links and articles connected to the book.

So if you're interested in a sneak peek at some of the ideas behind the story, or just curious about unusual sensory phenomena, mental illness, and/or Northern Ontario, you may want to check out Synaesthesis.
Ultraviolet-Front

And here's the full layout including spine and back copy:

Ultraviolet-Full

Coming from Orchard Books UK in May 2011.
I am up to my neck in Arrow revisions, but I just had to share --

I just got the printed cover proof for the UK edition of Ultraviolet, and when I pulled it out of the envelope my squee was so high-pitched it could only be heard by dogs.

I can't wait to show it to all of you, and I hope that soon I'll be able to do so. But really, no online image can do justice to its silvery foil-covered loveliness.

*hugs self with glee*
...and it looks like the book formerly known as Touching Indigo will be known henceforth, in both its UK (Orchard Books, Summer 2011) and its US (Carolrhoda Lab, Fall 2011) editions, as...

(dun-DUN)

Ultraviolet.

I'm still getting used to it, but I think that my editors are right in saying that this is a more dynamic title which will have broader appeal, and also makes sense within the context of the book.

And just WAIT until you see the UK cover. They're still working on the design and copy and it'll be a while before I have anything final to post, but the sample I've seen is really beautiful and I'm very excited about it!
Yesterday and today have been full of such astonishingly good news I will burst if I don't share it (and I will probably burst ANYWAY, just from sheer glee):

First, my YA paranormal thriller Touching Indigo, which I sold to my UK publisher earlier this year, has now found a home in North America as well! Andrew Karre at Carolrhoda Lab, the new YA division of Lerner Publishing, has bought Indigo for publication in Fall 2011. Andrew and I have already had a great conversation about the book over the phone and I know he not only "gets" what it's about and what I was hoping to achieve with it, but has some wonderful ideas about how to make it stronger. I am really excited about having the chance to work with him.

And second, I woke up this morning to find that [livejournal.com profile] irrel, one of my favorite fan artists and an all-around lovely person, had done this gorgeous fanart of Knife and Paul. It is so utterly wonderful that pretty much all I can do at the moment is point and say "glug," or possibly "wkrstfst". <3 GO LOOK. RIGHT NOW. THEN TELL HER HOW FAB SHE IS.

*blissful sigh*
An example how a synesthetic person might see ...

Image via Wikipedia

The book of my crazy, mixed-up heart, the book I have spent the last three years of my life weeping and gnashing and tearing my hair out over, the book my agent (bless him) has loved with a mad passion ever since he read the first page back in 2007, and been determined to find a publisher who would love it as much as he did --

That book, ladies and gentlemen, has sold. Touching Indigo, a paranormal YA novel which I like to describe as Girl, Interrupted meets A Mango-Shaped Space* by way of The X-Files, will be published by Orchard Books UK some time in mid-2011.

I am delighted to continue working with the same UK publisher who has been so supportive of my faery books, and excited to find out what ideas my lovely editor Sarah will have for shaping and refining Touching Indigo into a book that (I hope) will delight my readers as well.

*capers about gleefully, showering Mint Smoothies upon the general populace*

And thanks to all of you who've followed this book's journey from the beginning and cheered me on along the way -- I don't know how I could have done it without you.

* Although as many of you know, I got the original idea for Indigo in the mid-90's, long before Mango came out. But it's a lovely little book and worth reading.

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Yes, you heard right, I have emerged from the depths of the word mines triumphant! Touching Indigo, my paranormal YA novel, is now complete at ~60K words.

I have to say, this was the most challenging book I've ever written. Part of it was my own fault, in trying a completely new approach to writing when I began the book in January 2007. In a foolish attempt to make myself more productive and "professional", I succumbed to the siren call of First Draft in 30 Days, and also to the spreadsheet method of outlining, both of which turned out to be serious mistakes for me and really hindered my writing of the book.

So there's a perfect example of how methods that work wonderfully for authors with certain mindsets/personality types can be disastrously wrong for others. In my case, I got so caught up with trying to make the spreadsheet all balanced and pretty ("Hm, I see that I've had X number of scenes with this character, so obviously I need to insert a scene with this character") that I lost the ability to tell the story in a natural way. It wasn't until I threw out my outline and just told the story as I remembered it, feeling my way intuitively from scene to scene, that it all came together again.

Anyway, I know the book can only get better from here, and I hope to make it better in subsequent revisions, but right now I am very well pleased. And best of all, I made my deadline, so now I can a) read Catching Fire and Dreamdark: Silksinger, among other new releases I've been drooling over; and b) buy myself that new laptop! I'm thinking seriously about going Mac this time, so I can use Scrivener. The only thing that makes me hesitate is that the nearest Apple Store is two hours' drive away, so if I need any service or repairs, I'm pretty much bunned...

I will post again soon about the wonderful new music I discovered over the course of writing the last two-thirds of Indigo, and many other things. Right now, I'm just glad to be back in touch with my online friends again.

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