First: thanks for asking. Seriously. Click through to read my answer.
For 2014: GoH at Fantasycon 2014 (York, U.K.) I’m super stoked! If you can make it, do! (September 5 – 7)
I also plan to attend Loncon 3 (London Worldcon), which is shaping up to be quite an event.
It’s unlikely I’ll be attending any conventions in the USA in 2014.
As it happens, 2013 was a remarkably packed year for me, publication-wise:
Fearsome Journeys edited by Jonathan Strahan (Solaris/S&S) with an original novelette for this sword & sorcery/epic fantasy anthology, “Leaf and Branch and Grass and Vine.”
June 2013: (the Big Event of my publishing year)
Cold Steel: Spiritwalker Book Three (the final volume of the trilogy)
Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review and said “Elliott pulls out all the stops in this final chapter to a swashbuckling series marked by fascinating world-building, lively characters, and a gripping, thoroughly satisfying story.” Yes, that makes me happy. There are a number of reviews of the novel I really adore but I will spare you quoting them all because I am humble and polite that way.
(The 4 Novels of the Jaran, the Highroad Trilogy, and The Labyrinth Gate)
[The link is to the PDF version. The print version is currently out of stock BUT more copies are in and it should be available in the print version again by January 10.]
An illustrated short story, text by Kate Elliott and AWESOME black & white illustrations by the spectacular (and Hugo-nominated!) artist Julie Dillon. This was a blast to write and I love the illustrations SO MUCH. Let’s call it “Bee’s version of the events, with a coda.”
The audiobook for Cold Magic came out from Recorded Books.
Unexpected Journeys, edited by Juliet E. McKenna, an anthology of fantasy stories for the British Fantasy Society. An original novelette, “The Queen’s Garden.” This anthology is only available to members of the BFS, but I hope to reprint the story elsewhere in the upcoming year.
Also: ALL of the Crown of Stars novels (DAW in the USA and Orbit UK in the UK) are now availlable in ebook versions as well as print. Because The Crossroads Trilogy is also in e-format, all my published novels can now be easily obtained. E-books are changing the field in massive ways whose fall-out we cannot yet predict, but in terms of a backlist it has been a great thing.
That covers publication of fiction. My favorite posts of the year (ones I wrote):
I’ve missed something I should have listed but if I’d remembered what it was I wouldn’t have missed it.
Liz Bourke did an interview with me on Tor.Com that I quite like.
And Aidan Moher (A Dribble of Ink) and I did a re-read of Katharine Kerr’s excellent DAGGERSPELL that I thought went really well.
What’s ahead for 2014?
The two convention appearances in the UK. And a lot of writing.
A short story collection with Tachyon Publications. (2015)
A YA fantasy (Little Women meet epic fantasy with a dash of Count of Monte Cristo) from Little Brown Young Readers. (2015)
An epic fantasy with Orbit Books.
I’ll keep you posted.
I have two more Julie Dillon illustrations, these in color, that I will be releasing into the wild ASAP.
Most importantly, thank you to all of my readers. This can happen because you are all reading/listening/etc, and I treasure each and every one of you.
I will be scarce for the next few weeks or probably longer as my father entered hospice care four weeks ago (cancer) and I am at my parents’ house helping out and being present.
A couple of things:
1) The Secret Journal of Beatrice Hassi Barahal is very close to print. My daughter and I went over the first proof last weekend (August 17 & 18) and made what we hope are the final changes. I will see the second proof this weekend (August 24 & 25) and if as we hope there are no more changes necessary, then it will go to the printer on Monday or Tuesday (August 26 or 27). If so, it may be available for sale by end of August or certainly the first week of September.
Thank you for your patience. I’m really thrilled with it. I will post all over the internets when the print version is ready, and an order page will at that point be available at Crab Tank Ink, who will be doing the distribution. There will be an ebook version but — fair warning — it will be a pdf because of the illustrations (the text and the illustrations are woven together into the story).
2) I still have many questions from the Cold Steel giveaway as yet unanswered. I do intend to answer all of your wonderful and excellent questions, but it will unfortunately take me longer than I had originally intended. So keep checking back periodically if you’re interested.
3) There may be some erratic blogging on writing, the Spiritwalker Trilogy, or other subjects as the spirit takes me. I will try to make announcements of things like:
4) The audiobook of COLD MAGIC (Recorded Books) seems to be available at Audible.com although I have had no formal announcement of its release. The narrator is Charlotte Parry. I haven’t heard it yet so if you do, let me know!
5) Last month Open Road Media released all eight titles of my oldest backlist, including JARAN and its subsequent titles, the Highroad Trilogy, and The Labyrinth Gate. These are books I wrote and published 20 – 25 years ago. I have to admit that while I have been really pleased to see ORM release the books in e-format, I have had a few reservations because the books were written two decades ago. While there is much that I love about the books, there are also some things that I now consider problematic and would certainly not write now the way I wrote them then. I am aware that a few readers have already found objectionable content in the books. In some ways I suppose I think of this as a window into how my thinking and approach has evolved or, at the least, changed, one hopes for the better. Not that problematic content doesn’t creep into my work today, also; as always, the work is a work in progress.
6) Finally, I am going to post a memoir my father wrote called Remembering Japan 1945 – 1946, in chapters. Based on his memories and his letters home, it is an account of the nine months he spent in Japan during the occupation; he was a Navy signalman, a 19 year old from a small town and a thoughtful and observant young man who was very struck by his experiences. The memoir will be linked from my Extras page for now, and I will post each time I add a new chapter.
Open Road Media (henceforce ORM) specializes in e-books and among other things has been bringing into ebook format out of print books that ten and twenty years ago would never again have seen the light of day.
On Tuesday 30 July 2013, eight of my early novels will be released in e-format by ORM. These are: The four Novels of the Jaran (published from 1992 – 1994), the Highroad Trilogy (all 3 volumes published in 1990), and my first published novel, The Labyrinth Gate (1988).
Two comments, and then we’ll get to the whitewashing.
1) I have done no revision of these novels. Their strengths and flaws remain as they were when they were published. In all cases there are some things I would have done differently and other elements I would not change. I think it is instructive to see a career unfold over time.
2) The Highroad Trilogy and The Labyrinth Gate were originally published under the name Alis A Rasmussen but are being re-published here as by Kate Elliott, to go along with all the rest of my books.
Open Road Media creates their own covers. As far as I know they do not re-use old covers and old illustrations. For one thing, there are additional costs involved. For another, print covers don’t always translate well to the small thumbnails frequently seen online. For a third, cover aesthetics change and what looked great in 1990 isn’t necessarily right for design today.
So I want to talk about whitewashing, which is commonly defined as depicting a non-white character (on a book cover or on screen) as a white character. There’s been a lot of talk about whitewashing, a lot of frustration, a lot of pushback. So maybe you wonder, sometimes, if anyone in publishing or Hollywood is listening?
In June my agent forwarded me the eight preliminary covers, which he had just received from ORM. The art department had chosen a unified look for the covers: An upper half that is a landscape (for Jaran) or a space scape (for Highroad), and a lower half that is a close up of the heroine’s face. Each cover is then washed with a different color filter to further differentiate the individual volumes. I think they’re strong designs that look good and show up well as thumbnails also.
But there was one problem.
While the Jaran covers are fine, the Highroad covers they sent featured a generic white girl whereas the main character is mixed race East African/East Asian (the story is set in the future and not on Earth so Earth ethnicities don’t quite pertain).
I wrote back immediately to my agent: “PLEASE GOD DO NOT PUT A WHITE GIRL ON THE COVER.”
My agent immediately replied: “that’s a critical point — I won’t allow any compromise on this.”
But you know what? I didn’t need the caps, and there was no attempt at compromise. The INSTANT the art department was alerted, they found a different model. A new draft of the covers arrived THE NEXT DAY.
Here is the cover for The Highroad Trilogy, Volume One: A Passage of Stars.
So while there is still a long way to go, some people are definitely listening.