Free book giveaway for teachers and librarians! Thanksgiving 2017

For Thanksgiving I’d like to thank librarians and teachers for their hard work by giving away several dozen copies of my books to teachers and librarians.

Here’s how this will work (and with thanks to Malinda Lo who gave me her template for a librarian/teacher giveaway):

·   this giveaway is only for teachers and librarians (any librarians, not just youth librarians). I’m particularly hoping that libraries and schools that have low/non-existent book buying budgets can take advantage of this giveaway. I’d also love to see my YA trilogy in the hands of more teens!

·   first-come, first-served basis, because that’s what I can handle. If your first choice is gone, you’ll get your second choice, etc, until all the books are gone.

·   I am paying for all the shipping costs, so this is totally free to you. However, this means I can only ship to US mailing addresses. Sorry, non-US folks; I can’t afford the international shipping costs. The books will go out media mail so it may take some time for them to arrive.

·  I will sign the books. (signed only, not personalized)

FOLLOW THESE DIRECTIONS:

1.  Email me at ke@imakeupworlds.com with the subject header Teacher/Librarian Giveaway.

2.  Please email me either from your work email or reference your work email in the body of the email so I can tell you’re legit (sorry, you know how it goes these days).

3. Include a mailing address so I can mail the books without having to ask for further information.

4.  List three choices in order of preference (as 1. 2. and 3.) I will fulfill first come/first served according to what is still available, so you’ll get your top choice if that’s still available, second if it isn’t, third (etc), until all the books are given away.

The List of Books/Audiobooks Available:

5 (five) sets of the complete Court of Fives trilogy in hardcover (Court of Fives, Poisoned Blade, & Buried Heart)

5 (five) paired sets of hardcovers of Poisoned Blade and Buried Heart

5 trade paperbacks of Poisoned Blade

5 (five) sets of the complete Court of Fives trilogy in audiobook CD (all three novels)

10 mass market copies of Cold Fire (Spiritwalker trilogy book 2)

10 trade paperbacks of Cold Steel (Spiritwalker trilogy book 3)

Thank you for the important work you do.

If you don’t want to email, or if you emailed and I didn’t respond that I’d gotten your email, you can fill out this google form:

P. S. Email me at ke@imakeupworlds.com if you have any questions.

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.

Brand New Kate Elliott Short Story: THE BEATRICEID

If a Court of Fives novella prequel isn’t enough, Kate Elliott will also be publishing a new short story, THE BEATRICEID, with The Book Smugglers.

Set in the world of the Spiritwalker trilogy, the story is “a fun, feminist, subversive retelling of Virgil’s The Aeneid featuring the author’s beloved characters Cat and Beatrice,” written entirely in iambic pentameter. The story will also feature a beautifully illustrated cover from Hugo Award winner Julie Dillon.

THE BEATRICEID will be available 22 DEC. 2015 as an e-book and a limited edition print paperback, which will include two essays and a Q&A by Kate Elliott herself.

Pre-orders will be taken from 8 DEC. 2015, along with an official cover reveal.

Get more details and stay up-to-date with more BEATRICEID news at The Book Smugglers.

2014 in Retrospective. 2015 Prospective.

For me 2014 proved to be one of those years more endured than enjoyed, with some memorable exceptions. For those interested in what I wrote over the course of the year, here is a retrospective.

FICTION

I published a single piece of fiction in 2014, a story (novelette) that I wrote as a valentine for my readers: The Courtship. I call it a coda to the Spiritwalker Trilogy because it takes place a few days after the end of Cold Steel.

No novel in 2014, alas. Which always makes me feel as if I have been unproductive. So here is what I did accomplish:

As I’ve mentioned, I fell behind writing Black Wolves because of my father’s final illness and death in 2013, so although Black Wolves was originally scheduled for November 2014 it was not even finished by the end of 2013.

I completed a first draft of Black Wolves, and subsequently two revisions, for Orbit Books.

I also completed a final line edit and copy edits and page proofs on Court of Fives, my YA debut with Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, coming August 2015.

In addition I completed copy edits and page proofs for my forthcoming short fiction collection, The Very Best of Kate Elliott (Tachyon Publications), forthcoming in February 2015.

I started (and have not yet finished) a piece of short fiction called The Beatriceid, in the style of the Aeneid, but told from the perspective of Beatrice (one of the heroines of the Spiritwalker Trilogy). I also have written about half a short story, “When I Grow Up,” told from the point of view of [spoiler]. I plan to finish these ASAP.

NON-FICTION/PODCASTS/SOCIAL MEDIA

Justine Larbalestier and I launched a monthly book club for Bestselling Women’s Fiction (of the 20th century). We read a novel each month, chatted about it in email and compiled that chat into a post, and invited discussion. I thought this was pretty great, and you can read our posts and the discussion. Unfortunately the press of our schedules overcame us in the second half of the year and we had to put the project on hiatus but we hope to start it up again here in 2015.

This RocketTalk podcast hosted by Justin Landon in which N.K. Jemisin and I discuss bias in the science fiction and fantasy field went really well, and frankly I’m proud of how the discussion unfolded on a difficult and controversial topic.

In honor of NaNoWriMo I managed to write a blog post a day about writing for the first 14 days. You can find a list of these posts at the NaNoWriMo tag/category on this blog.

I wrote up a long squee post about Martha Wells’ The Fall of Ile-Rien Trilogy which generated a lot of wonderful discussion both here and on my Live Journal mirror site.

Another squee post: Over at A Dribble of Ink I highlighted the illustrations drawn by Hugo-award-winning artist Julie Dillon for my illustrated short story “The Secret Journal of Beatrice Hassi Barahal” Because I will never get tired of talking about what a great artist she is!

In December I again participated in Smugglivus, the annual festival of posts at the home of the marvelous Book Smugglers. This year I discussed the presence of women relating to women in narratives (with a focus on television).

AND YET

If you asked me what I accomplished this year, I would say: Not enough.

Funny how harshly we can judge ourselves.

CONVENTIONS AND APPEARANCES

I don’t get out much because it is expensive to fly from Hawaii to anywhere. (Why is no one crying for me?)

BUT I did have an absolutely fabulous trip to England and France in August and September of 2014. I visited dear friends, went to a nurturing writer’s retreat in Brittany, and in general soaked up hanging out with writers and sff community people and cramming in a year’s worth of shop talk in one month.

I attended Loncon (Worldcon) in London, which was huge, wonderful, diverse, exciting, and exhausting (in the right way), the best Worldcon I have attended.

I was honored to be one of the Guests of Honor (with Larry Rostant, Charlaine Harris, & Toby Whithouse) at Fantasycon, ably run by Lee Harris. This small literary convention proved to be a really fabulous weekend in York, England.

2015:

I’ll be writing. The aforementioned two short pieces need to be finished (I have other Spiritwalker short fiction that is partially written too; in a perfect world I would finish them all by June and bring them out as a short collection, but I’m skeptical I can manage that with my current novel writing schedule).

My novel writing schedule? A YA novel and an epic fantasy novel. I will also try to find time to eat and sleep and exercise and, if I’m lucky, to read.

The rest of this week I will be posting about my forthcoming projects and when you can expect them and where you can pre-order. It looks to be a busy year. I say that as a good thing.

As always, my thanks to my readers. You make this all possible.

Women Destroy SF, Julie Dillon Illustrates, & Publication Updates

The June 2014 issue of Lightspeed Magazine is WOMEN DESTROY SCIENCE FICTION. Read about its genesis here, and you can buy a complete e-version RIGHT NOW or read it for free online across the month of June as all the stories are released day by day.

Of particular interest is that my daughter is one of the contributors, in her first professional sale, for the flash fiction “The Hymn of Ordeal, No. 23” (points if you get where the title comes from), and honestly I am SO EXCITED I CANNOT EVEN TELL YOU.

So naturally I heartily recommend the issue to your attention.

 

Meanwhile, over at A Dribble of Ink, I share some of the fabulous Julie Dillon illustrations that are in The Secret Journal of Beatrice Hassi Barahal, and talk a little bit about the genesis of the project. Mostly because it is Hugo voting season I want to signal boost what a fantastic artist Julie is; she is one of the finalists for the Hugo Award Pro Artist category this year.

 

Finally, publication news.

Here is the information page for my upcoming collection with Tachyon Publications.

My YA fantasy, COURT OF FIVES, is in production and due for publication in Summer 2015 via Little, Brown Young Readers. There’s a rudimentary goodreads page but no other internet presence so far.

My new epic fantasy, BLACK WOLVES, has a complete draft. After a 2 hour phone call with my perspicacious editor and a 20 page edit letter, I now embark upon a vast raft of revisions so can offer no firm publication date yet but I can confirm it will not be published in 2014. I will update a confirmed date when we have one but I expect that will not be until I have a solid second draft, and I can’t be sure how long revisions will take. This is all good news, though: I want to write and you want to read the very best book I am capable of writing.

 

Reminder: I am thrilled to be one of the Guests of Honor at Fantasycon 2014 in York, England, 5 – 7 September THIS YEAR and I would love to see you there (it is a small convention and so a venue in which you can expect to actually get to talk to people; I expect lots of great programming and discussion).

I also plan to attend Loncon 3 (Worldcon) in London 14 – 18 August 2014, which looks huge and exciting.

If you attend either or both events, please find me and say hello. I attend conventions to see friends I only see at conventions (and talk endlessly about writing) and to meet new people and chat with readers.

Spiritwalker prints available from Julie Dillon

As many of you already know, I commissioned the fabulous (and Hugo-nominated) artist Julie Dillon to do the illustrations for the illustrated short story The Secret Journal of Beatrice Hassi Barahal (a coda to the Spiritwalker Trilogy). [Both print and pdf formats available.]

I also commissioned two color illustrations, both of which are now available for purchase at Julie Dillon’s INPRNT store.

 

Dragon thumbnail

“(a) sweep of color washed through the smoky sea . . . Night swept down. Lights like fireflies twinkled against a black sky. The sea surged, lifting like cloth raised from beneath by a hand. A bright shape emerged, smoke spilling off it in currents.

The dragon loomed over us. Its head was crested as with a filigree that reminded me of a troll’s crest, if a troll’s crest spanned half the sky. Silver eyes spun like wheels. It was not bird or lizard, not was it a fish. Most of its body remained beneath the smoke. Ripples revealed a dreadful expanse of wings as wide as fields, shimmering pale gold like ripe wheat under a harsh sun. When its mouth gape, I knew it could swallow us in one gulp.
We had come to a place we ought not to be.”

 

#

 

Amazons thumbnail

A gust of wind rattled the branches. A drum rhythm paced through the woods. On its beat I heard a woman’s voice call out a verse, answered by a chorus of women singing the response.

A column of soldiers marched into view, although they were almost dancing, so proud and mighty were they, and every single one a woman.

Four drummers led them while a fifth struck a bell, the drummers prancing and stepping on their way with every bit of flash and grin that any young man could muster. Their shakos were as jaunty as my own. All wore uniform jackets of dark green cloth piped with silver braid. Some wore trousers, while others preferred petticoat-less skirts tailored for striding. Most wore stout marching sandals laced along the length of calf, brown legs and black legs and white legs flashing beneath skirts tied up to the knee. Four lancers walked in the first rank, tasseled spears held high, while the rest carried rifles and swords. A banner streamed on the wind. It depicted an antlered woman drawing a bow.

Amazons.

 

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You can read a little more about each illustration:

“Rising from the Sea of Smoke” at A Dribble of Ink

Amazons at the Orbit Books web site

 

Writing Update w/ News

As many of you know, the Spiritwalker Trilogy is complete, together with two coda stories: The Secret Journal of Beatrice Hassi Barahal (with the most awesome illustrations by Hugo-nominated artist Julie Dillon) and The Courtship (told from the point of view of Andevai). I have a few more Spiritwalker short stories in progress, including one that involves . . . babies (for those of you that like that kind of thing). Again, thanks to all of you who have so enthusiastically read Cat’s story (and to those who read it and were more lukewarm; honestly, I appreciate people reading my books however it goes.)

For my two latest projects I have been working on a YA fantasy (which will be published as a YA and not in the adult sff field) and a new epic fantasy (first of a series).

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COURT OF FIVES is now the more official title of the YA fantasy formerly known as MASK (not yet fully confirmed but I think this is going to be it). It is fully revised and in production for a Summer 2015 publication date (the wheels of production grind slowly in YA publishing; they like lots of lead time to promote their titles).

This is the “Little Women meet the Count of Monte Cristo in a fantasy world loosely inspired by Greco-Roman Egypt” story that I’ve mentioned before. I wanted to write an epic fantasy that centered around girls, and telling it through the story of four sisters struck me as absolutely the way to go. In my dry, laconic way I am TOTALLY EXCITED about this book. It is definitely the fastest paced and most streamlined thing I have ever written, without losing the details and (I hope) complexity that I love.

(A younger) Hideo Muraoka would be pretty close to my head canon for the love interest:

 

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Meanwhile, I have turned in a draft of THE BLACK WOLVES to Orbit Books. This is the first volume of an epic fantasy series and, again, I wanted to center a story around women (3 of the 5 point of view characters are women and their points of view get about 75% of the page time in this volume). Having said that, I should note that I believe all the characters are great and (I hope) varied.

Here is the current description:

SOME CHOICES CAN NEVER BE UNDONE.
He lost his honor long ago.
Captain Kellas was lauded as the king’s most faithful servant until the day he failed in his duty. Dismissed from service, his elite regiment disbanded, he left the royal palace and took up another life.
Now a battle brews within the palace that threatens to reveal deadly secrets and spill over into open war. The king needs a loyal soldier to protect him.
Can a disgraced man ever be trusted?

I know, I know, it seems like it’s all about a dude, but trust me on this. Not that I have anything against dudes! I am sure that 50% of the characters in this book are men and I love each and every one of them. Especially Captain Kellas.

THE BLACK WOLVES is also currently scheduled for 2015.

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Finally, I have a forthcoming collection of short fiction (and four essays) coming out with Tachyon Publications, to be titled THE VERY BEST OF KATE ELLIOTT. (Truth in advertising: it is actually “all the short fiction Kate Elliott has written in her career so far except for a couple of Spiritwalker-related stories and with the addition of two new novelettes to sweeten the deal”).

Much more on that later.

A Valentine For My Readers (A Spiritwalker Story)

Dear Readers,

There are days when the work flies through me and I am mighty. There are days when the work is one long slog of dragging weights behind me in the form of recalcitrant, uncooperative words. There are days I sit in despair staring at a wall mottled with self doubt. There are days I write like it is my job, which is not a bad thing when one has (presumably) skill and competence and a love for one’s work.

But every day I appreciate YOU, the ones reading my books.

I am grateful that you read them AT ALL. (I’m still kind of amazed by that.) I can work as a writer because you buy my work. I THRILL to the remarkably astute and brilliant analyses you write (& now and then mope sadly to a negative review, although negative reviews can also be useful as a perspective on the work and — as always — any review helps a writer be more visible in a crowded literary world). I adore the fan-art, and while I have to avoid reading fan-fic for legal reasons, I think it’s pretty cool that people write it. Did I mention I adore fan-art? And strange as it may seem, I really enjoy “meeting” (so to speak) and interacting with readers on social media. My books aside, I’m a reader too with the same love for reading and I never get tired of talking about books I love.

So: THANK YOU.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, a story for you, set in the Spiritwalker Universe. Yes, there might even be some sexual situations (fair warning).