I am thinking that perhaps, to keep my hand in and warm up for Swift, I should write some fanfic short stories about the faeries of the Oakenwyld (and/or elsewhere).

I cannot absolutely guarantee that said stories will happen, but... if I were going to do such a thing, or things, what characters/incidents would my readers be most interested in hearing about?

I will screen comments, so as not to spoil anyone who hasn't read Arrow (or perhaps even Rebel / Wayfarer) yet.
Look at this beautiful sketch [livejournal.com profile] cirtholien did for me!

Timothy and Linden, from REBEL a.k.a. WAYFARER )

Seriously, it could not be more perfect. *happy sigh*

BTW, I've started a Tumblr for the Faery Rebels books -- mostly as a place to keep my fan art, but if I come across any other relevant links or pictures I'll share them there as well...
I was interested to see Betsy Bird's comments on her Fuse #8 blog today about a new graphic novel called Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword (warning: autoplay video at source). Among other things, the novel includes lots of information about Orthodox Judaism, which caused Betsy to comment:
Think about children’s fantasy novels and religion for a moment. Religion in fantasies for kids tends to skew one of three ways. You can incorporate it and make it the entire point of the novel (Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, the Narnia books of C.S. Lewis, or Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time series which is technically science fiction anyway). You can make up an entirely new religion of your own (as in the novels of Frances Hardinge, Tamora Pierce, Megan Whalen Turner, etc.). Or you just sorta forget about it...
And then she goes on to talk about Hereville as something different, where the religion is very much an integral part of the book's atmosphere and sensibility but it's not the whole focus of the plot, which is more of a hero's quest story.

Which had the desired effect of really making me want to read Hereville, but also made me wonder: for those of you who've read Wayfarer, do you think it falls into the first category (religion is the entire point), or the fourth (it's part of the worldbuilding, but not the main story)? Either one is fine, I'm just curious. Since it's definitely not the second or the third...

And can you think of any other books you've read where religion is handled in a way similar to Hereville, as an integral part of the MC's background and culture but not necessarily the obvious point of the story?

***

That being said, it may take me a while to respond to your (doubtless very interesting) comments on the subject of how religion does or can fit into children's books. After my two appearances in Guelph and Waterloo this weekend, I'm heading off to the Fortress of Solitude to overcome my SHERLOCK obsession work on Arrow revisions, and won't be back online until Friday.

Don't burn down the Internet while I'm away, kids!
Busy week and weekend ahead!

Tomorrow, Wednesday the 11th, I'm going to be reading to a group of young library patrons from Spell Hunter and Wayfarer and talking about what it's like to be a writer, at the West Perth Public Library in Mitchell, Ontario.

On Saturday the 14th, I'll be signing from 12 - 3 p.m. at Chapters Bookstore on Stone Road in Guelph, Ontario. Which probably means that like last time I was there, I will spend the time wandering the MG/YA section giving out mini chocolate bars and making recommendations to random patrons of my favorite books by other people, after which I shall incidentally mention that I too have written a book, here's my card in case you would like to buy it!

(In case you missed that, the operative words are free chocolate. You know what to do.)

And then on Sunday the 15th, I'll be doing the author thing from 3 - 4 p.m. at Kidspark, a free children's festival at Victoria Park in downtown Kitchener, Ontario.

So if you happen to live or be visiting in southwestern Ontario, drop by and say hello!
Thanks to the nice folks at Inkpop, I'm their featured author this week and am doing a live chat on the site today from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. EST. I'll be interacting with aspiring teen authors in the forum, answering their questions about publishing and the creative process. If you're interested in such things, come along and check it out, either during the chat or afterward:

Creating a New World: Live Chat with Fantasy and Science Fiction Author R.J. Anderson

I wish sites like Inkpop had been available when I was a teen author, is all I can say. What a great resource for sharing works in process, getting critiques, and finding out all the nuts and bolts of publishing.
The random number generator has spoken, and the winner of a signed hardcover of Wayfarer is [livejournal.com profile] etlhoy. Who was zealous enough not only to tell me she really wanted the book but even to write a poem about it, so I think the prize will be going to a good home.

Thanks to all who entered, and all those who've sent notes of congratulation on Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere as I celebrate today's official release date of Wayfarer. The book is now widely available in Canada and the US, and I hope those of you who haven't read about Linden and Timothy's adventure yet will enjoy it!
Things are gearing up for the North American release of Wayfarer, and I am doing interviews and guest posts for a number of blogs in the next few weeks. Here are a couple of recent ones:
And in just a couple of weeks, I'll be having my official launch and signing for Wayfarer:

WHERE: Fundamentals Books & Toys (52 Ontario Street, Stratford, Ontario, Canada)
WHEN: Saturday, June 26th from 1-3 p.m.

Shiny Poster under the Cut )

I hope to see some of you there!

But for those of you who cannot make it to southwestern Ontario on two weeks' notice, I am offering a signed and personalized hardcover of Wayfarer to some lucky commenter on this post! All you have to do is tell me why you want it. Contest open to Canada and the U.S. only.

ETA: It would be nice to give a contest close-by date, wouldn't it? Let's keep it open for a week, so you have until Sunday, June 20th to enter.

Shiny News!

May. 31st, 2010 11:15 pm
rj_anderson: (Default)
Did you know that you can now read the opening five chapters of Wayfarer online for free? Well, you can. But there are only 22 days left until the book's official North American release -- and it should be trickling into stores before then, so keep your eyes open...

***

In other news, I'm going to be a guest at Infinitus 2010, a gigantic Harry Potter convention being held in Orlando, Florida from July 15-18. I'll be on a panel for Friday's Keynote Luncheon with Naomi Novik, Karen Healey, and Ali Wilgus, talking about making the transition from fanfic writer to professional novelist -- it should be great fun and I'm really looking forward to it!
The lovely [livejournal.com profile] claudiagray is giving away a three-book package that includes a copy of Wayfarer! So if you're in North America and want an early peek at the story, be sure to pop over there and enter before Monday, May 17th.

Claudia has also posted a hot-off-the-press conversational interview with yours truly, in which the two of us chat freely about inspiration, process, the difference between premise and story, writing romances, upcoming projects, and the horrors of the Molasses Swamp.
Woke up to find this review of Rebel (a.k.a. Wayfarer) from the Times of London:
"...an exciting tale, told with verve and skill... The warmth and humour between Timothy and Linden makes the book outstanding."

Huzzah! I am delighted and relieved. There's always a certain anxiety that goes with publishing your second book, as people invariably compare it to the first one; and since Rebel is a very different story from Knife in some ways, I feared it might not be well received by those who were expecting and hoping for More of the Same. Obviously, though, the Times reviewer didn't have that problem, and I'm very glad of it.

ETA: What do you know, Julia Eccleshare (children's books reviewer for the Guardian) likes it too! "A thrilling sequel to best-selling Knife, this is a fairytale with a difference..." Double huzzah!
OH HAI GUYS I FORGOT TO MENTION I'M DOING A SIGNING IN TORONTO TODAY:

January 7, 2010 @ 7 p.m., Yorkdale Mall Indigo Books
with Megan Crewe (author of Give Up The Ghost)
and Neesha Meminger (author of
Shine, Coconut Moon)

Both Megan and Neesha's books are beautifully written and they are also lovely people, so even if you are justifiably sick of me waving Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter under your nose, you might want to come out and say hello to them and pick up some great new reads in the process.

Or, you know, you could say hi to me and get me to sign your books and stuff. Whatever.

***

Also, today is the OFFICIAL release date of Rebel in the UK which means it should now be freely had at all good bookstores (including the noble law-abiding ones in Ireland who have been clinging fast to that embargo notice). Yay!
I was just poking my nose in at some online listings for Rebel, and then I noticed at the top of the Waterstones page for the book:

10+ copies in stock.

What? says I. It is not supposed to be available until 7 January! But then I checked out the stock availability in the physical Waterstones stores.

IT IS OUT THERE, PEOPLE.

Uh, I hope you like it?
Tags:

Wayfarer Cover
Originally uploaded by rj-anderson
An earlier version of this cover is up already as part of the HarperCollins Summer 2010 Catalog entry for Wayfarer, but I thought it would be nice to post the more up-to-date version. So here it is! Just click to embiggen if you want more detail.

And here's the jacket copy to go with it:
The faeries of the Oak are dying, and it’s up to a lone faery named Linden to find a way to restore their magic. Linden travels bravely into dangerous new territory, where she enlists the help of an unlikely friend—a human named Timothy. Soon they discover something much worse than the Oakenfolk’s loss of magic: a potent evil that threatens the fate of all faeries. In a fevered, desperate chase across the country, Timothy and Linden risk their lives to seek an ancient power before it’s too late to save everyone they love.

R. J. Anderson has artfully crafted a world of stunning magic, thrilling adventure, and delicate beauty, where a girl far from home must defeat the pervasive evil befalling her beloved faery realm.

The official publication date for Wayfarer is April 27, 2010.
I just got my first pass pages for Rebel today from my UK publisher! It's so exciting to see my manuscript all typeset and laid out like a real book!

Now I just have to get my copyedits on the US edition (Wayfarer), so I can cross-reference the two and make sure that the text of both editions ends up being more or less the same...

***

And speaking of the UK and the US, I am delighted to announce that the Seven, a group of talented debut authors of which I am honored to be a part, is offering SEVEN FREE BOOKS to two lucky winners!



You could win a copy of Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter OR a copy of the UK edition Knife, along with six other hot YA titles -- Saundra Mitchell's atmosphere-drenched paranormal mystery Shadowed Summer, Sarah MacLean's sparkling Regency romance The Season, Carrie Ryan's haunting literary zombie novel The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Aprilynne Pike's fresh and unexpected fairy story Wings, Sarah Cross's dynamic teen superhero novel Dull Boy, and Sarah Rees Brennan's witty, breathtaking and heart-stealing adventure The Demon's Lexicon.

All you have to do is pop by the contest site starting tomorrow, July 1, and give us your name, your e-mail, and whether you'd prefer to win the US or the UK editions of the books. Yes, it really is that easy! So visit the Summer of Seven site today!

You can also follow the Seven on Twitter at @summerofseven.
I am so excited. I love this cover SO MUCH. (Brian Froud! Drew my character just for this book! Eeeeee!) So without further ado, I'd like to introduce you to Linden, the heroine of Rebel (a.k.a. Wayfarer in the US):

'If we die, we die. But we will not surrender the Oak to you without a fight.' )

Her messy hair and her pigeon toes and the 80's-looking bomber jacket fill me with squee.
Thanks for all those who voted in my poll about whether or not it was necessary for me to change Timothy's name to "Tim" or something else entirely -- the general consensus was strongly on the "A bit old fashioned, but not the end of the world" side, which was exactly how I'd been thinking of it myself (it's not as though "Timothy" is a big popular name in Canada any more either!).

So I sent my UK editor a link to this poll and also expounded a little on why I thought that "Timothy" was the best name for the character, and she (being a lovely and understanding person) said that was just fine. This was a great relief to me, especially since my dutiful attempt to substitute "Tim" for "Timothy" throughout the narrative yielded a truly soul-harrowing result (I couldn't get past the first page!). And besides, I've known this character as Timothy since he first appeared in the original draft of Knife back in 1994, so it would have been very hard for me to change it (even if I did cut him from the final draft).

Anyway, Timothy he is and Timothy he shall remain. Huzzah!
Tags:
It has been suggested to me that I change the name of my young hero from book two of FAERY REBELS (a.k.a. REBEL in the UK). I am told that for most British people, especially of the younger generation, the name "Timothy" is considered fairly radically uncool.

I don't mind Timothy's name being unpopular, because he was born to missionary parents and raised in Uganda, and him not fitting in with the cool kids in England is kind of the point. However, if it's going to make all my young readers in the UK gag and put the book down hastily the moment they see it (as I'd be tempted to do if the hero's name was, say, "Leslie") then I suppose I would be foolish not to take that into account.

So I'm doing a poll. The first question is specifically for UK readers, but for the second I'd be glad to hear from anybody.

[Poll #1398565]

If you're not on LiveJournal, you can still participate by leaving a comment as "Anonymous". Thanks for helping me out on this.
I have now received my second round of edits for Faery Rebels Book 2, and they are due in early May, so I have a lot of work to do between now and then! For which cause I fear that I must put my BEDA* ambitions aside and focus on making this manuscript as tight and clear and compelling a story as I can.

But as penance for abandoning my faithful readers for the next couple of weeks or so, I will share some tidbits about this second book, which goes by the working title of Faery Rebels: Wayfarer in the US (that may well change, though) and by Rebel in the UK:

The story takes place some years after the events of Spell Hunter a.k.a. Knife, and it's told from two perspectives. One is Paul's young cousin Timothy, and the other a girl named Linden whom you may remember from the first book. But even though Linden and Timothy are at the heart of this particular adventure, rest assured that the characters from Book One also play an important part (and get some of the best lines!). It's a much bigger adventure in some ways; it definitely expands our view of the world the Oakenfolk live in. Anyway, I am quite excited about it, as are my US and UK editors, and I hope that those who've read and loved the first book will enjoy this one too.

And now I must dash away and work on my book some more!

--
*Blog Every Day April, as mentioned in this post.

Mea Culpa

Mar. 24th, 2009 12:41 pm
rj_anderson: (Wayfarer - Timothy)
It has come to my attention that many good people deplore the practice of exporting one's Twitter updates to LiveJournal. I can see the justice of this, and shall desist forthwith.

And I will try to have some new actual LJ content soon. Today should be my last day of revisions on Wayfarer, Lord willing! Or at least, until my editor gets back to me with the next round of changes...
I have terrible timing on these things. I really ought to wait until, say, Monday or Tuesday when people are no longer bothering with this nonsense of having families and/or social lives.

On the other hand, if I share this news at a time when hardly anybody is checking LiveJournal, maybe people will think it means I am modest and retiring. I like that idea, so let's run with it.

German rights for both Spell Hunter and its sequel Wayfarer have sold to a very fine publishing house called Hanser, which has made a nice thing of Angie Sage's Septimus Heap books over there, and seems eager to try and do the same for my Faery Rebels.

I am extremely pleased about this, as it means a great many relatives and friends on my husband's side will now be able to read my book in their own country and language. Tentative pub date is some time in 2010.

Between this and the UK deal for Wayfarer last week, I must say I am having a rather splendid December!

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