BURIED HEART Cover Reveal!

Just finished the recently released POISONED BLADE, the sequel to Court of Fives, and are left waiting anxiously for the exciting conclusion? Fear not, for today I can reveal the official cover for BURIED HEART, the third and final book in the Court of Fives trilogy:

buried-heart-cover-resizedBuried Heart will be available July 25, 2017. (Pre-order information is not yet available.) You can read more about the final installment of the Court of Five trilogy at Bustle.

NIGHT FLOWER Audio Soundtrack w/ Booktracks

NIGHT FLOWER, the e-novella prequel to Court of Fives now has an exclusive soundtrack from Booktracks. Synchronized to your reading speed, you can now fully immerse yourself in an auditory accompaniment to the story. The track is available for $4.99 and compatible with iOs and Android. Check out the free preview and download the track today!

night flower 1DESCRIPTION:
“Kiya is a commoner who has just arrived in the bustling city of Saryenia. Esladas is a member of the Patron ruling class and determined to prove himself in the army. His plans are disrupted by the outgoing and beautiful girl who sells him fruit in the market, though, despite the fact that neither of them speaks a word of the others language. Brief conversations and stolen moments together soon become something more, but when their divided cultures clash, Kiya and Esladas must decide if their blossoming love is worth becoming outsiders for the rest of their lives. Read the beginning of their legendary love story in this Court of Fives companion novella!”

Read more at Booktracks!

Poisoned Blade blog tour: schedule

This post is from The NOVL

Blog Tour: Poisoned Blade

Are you ready to find out what happens after Court of Fives? The sequel is coming out next week on Tuesday, August 16th! Poisoned Blade promises to be a deeper dive into the politics at hand, and trust us when we say this one will twist and turn just as a Spider does.

Until then, join us for a blog tour for all things Court of Fives. Here’s the schedule, courtesy of our friends at Rockstar Book Tours!

Week One: 

Week Two: 

SDCC Panel on Love in the Time of YA

Last month (July) I attended San Diego Comicon along with perhaps 160,000 other people (I’m not sure of the numbers). I had the honor of participating in a great panel moderated by the excellent Mary Pearson, with panelists Alexandra Bracken, Andrea Cremer, Kami Garcia, Amy Tintera, and Brenna Yovanoff. I was impressed with how well Mary ran it, and what great comments everyone had.

Even better, the panel was recorded and now you can watch it:

Sneak Peek: Chapter One of POISONED BLADE

PKBC_PoisonedBladeHQThe sequel to Court of Fives, POISONED BLADE, doesn’t come out until Aug. 16, but you can get an exclusive look at the opening chapter at The Novl:

No one must suspect what I plan to do tonight. I should stay in my bed, content with the place I’ve earned for myself as an adversary in Garon Stable. I should.  

But I don’t.

Read more at the Novl.

 

Court of Fives is a Norton Award Finalist

I’m thrilled and honored to announce that COURT OF FIVES is a finalist for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy (2015).

I’m particularly thrilled and honored to be among such fantastic company in this category, with excellent writers Daniel José Older, Laura Ruby, France Hardinge, Fran Wilde, Fonda Lee, Tina Connelly, Noelle Stevenson, and Nicole Kornher-Stace.

CoF-cover

 

Here is the full list (thrilled to see so many great writers honored, including several friends of mine — in fact, I don’t even know how I am going to vote in the Novel category because I want a three way tie):

Source: http://www.sfwa.org/2016/02/2015-nebula-awards-nominees-announced/

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America are pleased to announce the nominees for the 2015 Nebula Awards (presented 2016), nominees for the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, and nominees for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy

Novel

Raising Caine, Charles E. Gannon (Baen)
The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
The Grace of Kings, Ken Liu (Saga)
Uprooted, Naomi Novik (Del Rey)
Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard, Lawrence M. Schoen (Tor)
Updraft, Fran Wilde (Tor)

Novella

Wings of Sorrow and Bone, Beth Cato (Harper Voyager Impulse)
“The Bone Swans of Amandale,” C.S.E. Cooney (Bone Swans)
“The New Mother,” Eugene Fischer (Asimov’s 4-5/15)
“The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn,” Usman T. Malik (Tor.com 4/22/15)
Binti, Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com)
“Waters of Versailles,” Kelly Robson (Tor.com 6/10/15)

Novelette

“Rattlesnakes and Men,” Michael Bishop (Asimov’s 2/15)
“And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead,” Brooke Bolander (Lightspeed 2/15)
“Grandmother-nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Winds,” Rose Lemberg (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 6/11/15)
“The Ladies’ Aquatic Gardening Society,” Henry Lien (Asimov’s 6/15)
“The Deepwater Bride,” Tamsyn Muir (F&SF 7-8/15)
“Our Lady of the Open Road,” Sarah Pinsker (Asimov’s 6/15)

Short Story

“Madeleine,” Amal El-Mohtar (Lightspeed 6/15)
“Cat Pictures Please,” Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld 1/15)
“Damage,” David D. Levine (Tor.com 1/21/15)
“When Your Child Strays From God,” Sam J. Miller (Clarkesworld 7/15)
“Today I Am Paul,” Martin L. Shoemaker (Clarkesworld 8/15)
“Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers,” Alyssa Wong (Nightmare 10/15)

•••

Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation

Ex Machina, Written by Alex Garland
Inside Out, Screenplay by Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley; Original Story by Pete Docter, Ronnie del Carmen
Jessica Jones: AKA Smile, Teleplay by Scott Reynolds & Melissa Rosenberg; Story by Jamie King & Scott Reynolds
Mad Max: Fury Road, Written by George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, Nick Lathouris
The Martian, Screenplay by Drew Goddard
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Written by Lawrence Kasdan & J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt

•••

Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy

Seriously Wicked, Tina Connolly (Tor Teen)
Court of Fives, Kate Elliott (Little, Brown)
Cuckoo Song, Frances Hardinge (Macmillan UK 5/14; Amulet)
Archivist Wasp, Nicole Kornher-Stace (Big Mouth House)
Zeroboxer, Fonda Lee (Flux)
Shadowshaper, Daniel José Older (Levine)
Bone Gap, Laura Ruby (Balzer + Bray)
Nimona, Noelle Stevenson (HarperTeen)
Updraft, Fran Wilde (Tor)

GIVEAWAY: An ARC of POISONED BLADE (Court of Fives 2)

The first printed ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) have come in, and I have one to give away.

 

PB-ARC

A photo of the bound advance reader copy of Poisoned Blade, with a cover mostly blue with gold/yellow highlights and a stylized arrowhead-blade across the center. Cover says: Poisoned Blade, A Court of Fives novel, by Kate Elliott

 

Poisoned Blade is the sequel to Court of Fives.

Here is a brief excerpt:

The setting sun spills gold across the sea. Boats bobbing atop the quiet waters fade into twilight and flicker like spark-bugs as sailors hang lamps from their prows. The main avenues of the city flare lamp by lamp into life as the queen’s royal lamplighters kindle the night-lanterns.

On Rest Day Eve all the theaters run evening performances. It’s the most crowded night of the week, but with the bulk of the king’s army marched east, fewer people than normal pass under the West Gate of the Lantern District. We have plenty of room to walk along the district’s streets hung with colorful banners advertising the plays on offer this month. Just as I had hoped, there is enough time for us to shop along a lane of clothing stalls, where I buy an inexpensive ankle-length linen dress in the sleeveless, straight cut that has always been the fashion in Efea.

“Why do you keep looking back?” Mis asks as we stand at a food stall stuffing ourselves on a Patron delicacy of fresh pancakes wrapped around a paste of chopped almonds, dates, and cinnamon.

Fortunately my mouth is too full of the sweet, hot filling to reply, because I have spotted two men wearing the Garon Palace badge depicting a horned and winged fire dog. Although they don’t seem to be paying attention to us, I am sure they are following. We are easy to spot: Commoner girls wearing long sleeveless jackets that mark us as members of a palace household. We also wear the fire dog badge to indicate our affiliation.

A group of Patron men I’ve never seen before approach, and we four stiffen, wondering if they mean to offer an affront.

The eldest steps forward as the others whisper at his back. He has the muscular arms of a laborer but wears his hair long and bound up atop his head in the style of old Saro. He even speaks Saroese with the accent of old Saro, not the way Patron folk who have grown up here in Efea speak it. “Are you that one called Spider, who won the first trial at the Royal Fives Court in the victory games?”

I swallow. “I am.”

He nods at his companions, and they give me the kiss-off gesture familiar to every person who runs or watches the Fives. Here on the street it can be a mortal insult, or a sign of respect.

“Well run, Adversary,” he says. “You’re one to watch with those spins and flairs. We’ll be cheering for you.”

He pays for all our pancakes, and they go off without asking a thing in return.

+++

In February I am going to be starting an occasional series in which I, or guest bloggers (both writers and readers, and writers as readers) talk about working with tropes in fiction, and also about reading kinks (things you always love when they show up in a book) from a variety of viewpoints. In tribute to this forthcoming discussion:

TO ENTER FOR THE ARC of Poisoned Blade:

Make a comment, below, about a reading kink you love — that is, a trope or type of character or a plot thing or whatever that if it shows up in a book kind of hits all your buttons (in a good way). So for example I might write: “Arrogant dudes who fall in love and have to get humble to get the love interest, a la Mr. Darcy” or “the outsider who is kind of bullied or ignored and who ends up finding she has special powers and a super destiny,” because those are both tried and true (and often cliched) tropes that are reading kinks for me.

Remember: No reading kink is shameful. It just is.

 

USA & INTERNATIONAL OKAY

Contest open for 8 days (closes Monday February 1st at 10 pm Hawaii Time, which is Tuesday in the rest of the world).

 

I’m not entering (obviously) but to get things started I’m going to write in a few weeks about one of my favorite tropes (and reading kinks) which I have explored in various ramifications over and over in my fiction, and that is: The Forced Marriage. I have no idea why I love this trope. I just do.

Good luck!

 

2016 Prospective

After the previous post’s exhausting round up of all my 2015 publications, I must now mention I won’t have nearly as many new publications in 2016.

In fact the only confirmed publication I have is:

August 2016: Poisoned Blade (Court of Fives 2), Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

PB

What else am I working on? What else might I like to be working on?

Here is the state of the Kate Elliott in January 2016.

Under contract and actively working on:

Court of Fives 3, the third and final novel in the Court of Fives trilogy.

Dead Empire, the second volume of the Black Wolves Trilogy.

A novelette for an anthology, not yet announced. The story will be set in the Spiritwalker universe.

Under contract, not yet working on:

Another novella in the Court of Fives universe.

The third Black Wolves Trilogy volume.

Not under contract partials: novels or short fiction I have written a bit on, that I am anxious to complete someday:

Short Fiction:

A possible novella that may be part of Dead Empire but might be published separately beforehand.

So much Spiritwalker short fiction:

Monster: Kemal at thirteen

Bloom: Includes the incident in which a teenage Andevai comes to the attention of Four Moons House, but is really a story about how a young woman mage who is a diviner comes to realize her power.

The Architect: An incident that takes place a few months after Andevai begins training at the mage house, told from the point of view of the mansa’s uncle.

The First Thing: Fourteen-year-old Augustus Sidibe stows away on a dirigible crossing from Expedition to Europa, and witnesses a terrible event.

Two post-Spiritwalker stories that to give details would be spoilers for the series.

Novels:

Jaran universe novels. Yes, there are several more to be written, although at this point I would write them as standalones rather than as a series or trilogy.

Here is the next Jaran novel I would write. It would be a standalone, and it’s working title used to be The Game of Princes but you can see that “Game of” constructions are basically out at the moment. Here is the opening page:

At Diana’s last acting job one of the props had been a centuries-old revolver, still in working condition. When, after the final night of the production, she found herself sitting alone in an empty park with the purloined revolver in her lap and a bullet in five of the six chambers, she had finally understood that she’d crossed a line past which she could no longer return.

So it was only forty eight hours later, having shed her life in a wretched, slipshod haste, that she stood in a dusty hanger among sixty-two other people desperate enough to take this drastic step.

The manager mounted the podium and greeted them with a weary smile. “Remember, we only take volunteers. This is your last chance to turn back. I advise that you do.”

After a pause, during which no one spoke, the manager went on.

“Statistically you have a one in six chance of contracting angel-lung, which will at best cripple you and will definitively make it impossible for you to return to Earth or anywhere because angel-lung interdicts you from vector travel so you can never leave that hellhole of a moon at all, ever again. Never.”

The man next to Diana scratched the stubble of his shorn head, a gesture that made her want to touch her own shaved head, but she had cut that golden life all away from herself and let it be swept aside. Someone else coughed, and then the silence became focused like a drop pulling off the surface tension of water, ready to fall.

“All right, then. Get your staple and proceed along the gangway to your berth in the shuttle.”

They filed into an obedient line, one by one stepping into the cradle.

As she waited for her turn she studied their faces, because emotion was her scholarship and expression her skill. One man had his eyes closed, as if replaying a memory he wasn’t yet willing to erase. A woman wearing a blue cap was tracing a crazy path with her eyes along the ceiling, almost certainly following some kind of nesh game on her neural network. A couple held hands contentedly, their tight smiles of triumph making it seem they had just scored a secret victory.

There were no children.

Children weren’t allowed, only the hopeless, the cast-off, the chronically debt-stricken, and the woman who had pressed the muzzle of an antique gun to her head and decided it would be too much trouble for someone else to clean up and besides that too much of a shock for the young daughter she rarely saw.

Space Opera: I have about 5 chapters of this written because it is my “no pressure just for fun” secret project that I work on when I am feeling stressed.

Invasion: A modern day sff novel, set in Hawaii. Can’t say more because even though I know the entire physical plot (i.e. the order of events) and all the characters, and have 4 chapters written, I don’t have the underlying mechanism (the underlying engine/trick that makes the plot go).

A sequel to Crown of Stars, but set 500 years later, that would (among other things) involve Count Lavastine getting released from the paralytic poison to which he succumbed in volume (um) (whatever volume that happened in). It would also follow the adventures of the Phoenix Guild of traveling sorcerers, an offshoot of the school Liath has (so modestly) founded at the end of Crown of Stars.

Other novels. But it’s too exhausting to list my other ideas, which are legion, because the reality is that I most likely won’t get to most/any of them, even in a perfect world.

Reading:

I counted up last year’s reading total: 48 books (fiction and non fiction).

In 2016 I want to try to read 52 books.

Also, as my Big Book Classic 2016 project: the Dick Davis translation of Ferdowsi’s The Shahnameh is ON. If anyone wants to join me in this project, let me know. This is truly EPIC writing.

shahnameh

Media:

My word for tv, film, games, and other stuff. I will continue playing Guild Wars 2 until I get bored of it, and will watch stuff. I am looking forward to The Expanse and other shows/seasons I haven’t yet seen that came out last year. Also, hoping for a new season of Longmire.

Online:

I would love to get my newsletter actually going (it isn’t yet), and my big dream is to create a focused podcast on writing, comics, production, and craft with my daughter and a third person with engineering skills. But that’s for the medium term.

Short term, and more reasonably do-able, I hope simply to blog more in 2016, and to write several long essays like Writing Women Characters as Human Beings from last year or The Omniscient Breasts from 2012. But mostly I just want to blog more in the capacity of a person who is talking out loud and, if all goes well, engaged in conversation with others. In 2015 I got too fixated on the idea that I *had* to produce a certain kind of publicity writing in conjunction with book releases, and in the end this rigid idea created so much anxiety that it exhausted my capacity to write casually about things that interest me and that I would hope to be able to post casually about as a means of sharing ideas and discussion with people who want to read about and discuss such things.

In other words, I want to have more fun and BE MORE FUN in 2016.

2015 Writing/Publishing Retrospective

Yes, 2015 was an exceptionally busy year for me. It’s not that I write quite that fast but that I had no fiction released in 2014 with the exception of The Courtship, a Spiritwalker-related short story posted on my blog. Due to scheduling, two novels, a short fiction collection, a novella, a short story, and several long non-fiction pieces appeared this past year. I also attended four conventions.

Here is the 2015 rundown of professional (money-making) pieces [and a quick comment about when the piece was actually produced]. I don’t list blog posts on my blog or as guest posts elsewhere although I wrote several I thought were pretty ace.

January:

A review of The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kirstein appears in Cascadia Subduction Zone.

[I wrote this in 2014.]

February:

The Very Best of Kate Elliott, a short fiction collection by Tachyon Publications, is released to quite good reviews and with an exceptionally excellent Julie Dillon-illustrated cover.

[All the stories in this collection were written prior to 2014. The introduction was written in 2014.]

March:

An essay titled Writing Women Characters as Human Beings published at Tor.com.

[An ongoing project that went through multiple revisions, I finished this in 2015. I hope to finish a companion piece in 2016.]

April:

A reprint of my novelette “On the Dying Winds of the Old Year and the Birthing Winds of the New” appears in Lightspeed Magazine (the story appeared for the first time in the short fiction collection). It is set in the Crossroads universe.

[This piece has been around some years but the final revisions were done in 2014.]

May:

I wrote the foreword for Speculative Fiction 2014: The Year’s Best Online Reviews, Essays and Commentary, edited by Renee Williams and Shaun Duke and published by The Book Smugglers Publishing.

[Written in 2014? I think? Or early 2015?]

Guest of Honor at SFeraKon in Croatia. I tell you this: The Croatians are THE BEST.

I’m already exhausted and we aren’t even halfway through the year.

July:

San Diego Comicon, panel and signings. BIG. REALLY BIG.

August:

My Young Adult debut novel, Court of Fives, is published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. The audiobook (narrated by the wonderful George Dolenz) is published by Hachette Audio. Among other things, CoF was listed as one of NPR’s Best Books 2015.

[First draft written Winter 2012/13, revisions 2013 into early 2014]

Sasquan/Worldcon, in Spokane, Washington. Fun for me. Bad forest fires for the people in Eastern Washington.

October:

Guest of Honor at Sirens Conference together with Rae Carson and Yoon Ha Lee. Wow, this was grand. You should come in 2016.

This month I also turned in final revisions for Poisoned Blade, Court of Fives 2, scheduled for publication in August 2016. I wrote the first draft and completed three revision passes, all in 2015.

November:

And then, yes, volume one of a long-awaited (by me if by no one else!) new adult epic fantasy, Black Wolves, published by Orbit Books.

[First draft written 2013-2014, revisions 2014/early 2015]

Black Wolves has an audiobook narrated by the fabulous Richard Ferrone, and published by Recorded Books.

December:

The year rounds off with two final pieces of short fiction.

Night Flower is an ebook only novella, a prequel set in the Court of Fives world.

[Written and revised in 2015.]

The Beatriceid is a short fiction feminist retelling of the Aeneid, in verse, set in the Spiritwalker universe and published by The Book Smugglers.

[Written and revised in 2014.]

Whew. What was I thinking?

Tomorrow: 2016 Prospective & maybe a resolution or three.