You may have noticed the website is looking a little blank. We’re on it. Everything is still here, just not as pretty. Let me know if you have any questions.
That’s right! I’m so very happy to announce I’ve sold another book. Woundabout, the middlegrade book I’ve been working on, with my brother illustrating. What’s it about? Here’s the official notice with summary of the plot:
Are my brother and I not each wonderfully coiffed in our own individual way?
Anyway, this is super exciting, because of many things, among them being Little Brown, which is an amazing, crazy prestigious publishing house filled with many wonderful people, and also Alvina Ling, who is an AMAZING editor. Being on her list is an honor.
The book isn’t going to be out for a while, and not just because it needs to be edited and such, but also because the plan is for it to have somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 illustrations, and probably 20-25 of them will be full page. Ellis has only done a handful of drawings as a sample of what the book would look like, so he has a lot of work to do. I’m not sure if we’re going to be allowed to share excerpts and sketches while we work on it, but if we are, rest assured they’ll show up here, and on my brother’s webpage, which you should visit anyway to see some of his work.
Anyway, I’m super, SUPER excited about this, and I hope all of you are as well. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them.
Okay, perhaps that title is more provocative than the contents of this post will be, but I’ll stand by it, nevertheless.
One of the advantages of having a husband who oversees a large part of the New York Public Library system (although today is his last day! He is on to bigger and much better things!) is that he knows a lot of people. And a lot of those people oversee rare books. So when he came home one day bragging that he’d gotten to see Oscar Wilde’s original notebook draft of The Importance of Being Earnest, I narrowed my eyes and said “when do I get to see it?”
I got to see it last week. I don’t want to get into all the emotional nonsense of what seeing the handwritten text of a work I’d based my own work on was like, but suffice to say it was powerful and a real honor. I’ve studied Wilde extensively since high school. He’s one of my literary… well, I’m not a fan of words like idol or role model, but his writing showed me what really great writing could do, and how comedy could have real social power. So yes, seeing his handwritten draft – complete with edits – was just amazing.
And I got to take photos.
And then, the gentleman who was showing me these things (I forgot to ask permission to name him, so I’ll err on the side of caution and refrain) said “and while you’re here, you may as well see the Shakespeare Folio in the Vault.”
Yes, I was in THE VAULT. Saw a lot of amazing things, including the Columbus letter, several versions of the constitution, some old Verne… there was a lot. But I took photos of the Folio, because, well, it seemed symmetrical to do so.
And while we’re discussing things Shakespearean, I’m also very honored to say that The Folger’s Shakespeare Library has listed All Men of Genius as a resource for those studying 12th Night. Not only that, but they refer to it as “marvelous” – which is incredibly humbling. If you’re unaware, Folger’s has the largest, and most would say best, collection of Shakespeare. They’re experts over there. I know it probably doesn’t look like much, the book listed alongside many others, but it’s a huge honor and gives real academic credence to the book.
So that’s my news. Other than that, I’m writing writing writing. Editing too. But that’s all for now.
I’m so pleased to announce today that I sold a new book in the All Men of Genius series, and it should be coming out in November.
What is this new book, you ask? Well, it’s not a sequel. In fact, it’s a children’s picture book. And it’s called The Adventures of Oscar.
The book follows Oscar, the talking rabbit, as he escapes from Illyria one day and find his way into London. There, he meets children of all stations, from the very rich and their nannies, to the very poor who work under grueling conditions in factories. And once he meets these children, he spews wildly inappropriate language at them. You’ll thrill as Oscar shouts “bugger and f*ck!” over and over again when on a conveyor belt in the factory. You’ll laugh when he jumps out of a baby carriage to shout “Sh*teballs!” at a nanny, and you’ll smile when he teaches your children new vocabulary, like “bugger off” and “sh*te for brains!” (and don’t worry, in the book there won’t be any silly little asterisks blocking the good stuff).
The book will also be lovingly illustrated with watercolors, not just showing oscar and his adventures, but showing through simple images what his various exclamations mean.
This book is intended for children ages 2-6, but will be sure to delight your whole family. It should be available for preorder on amazon soon. I’d especially like to thank my publisher, April Fools Books, for taking a chance on this. I hope you all have a fantastic day!
I know it’s been ages. I promise it’s because I’ve been hard at work on things, and hopefully I’ll be telling you more about them in the future because the work will have paid off. Fingers and toes crossed and all that.
But I wanted to share a few things with you. The first is that the Audio book of All Men of Genius, narrated by the sublime Emily Gray, is up for an Audie award! ‘What is an Audie?’ you may be asking. ‘Does it have something to do with cars? Is there going to be a steampunk All Men of Genius themed car? Where can I buy one?’ No, no. Nothing to do with cars, I’m afraid. The Audies, I’ve been told, are the award in audiobooks. All Men of Genius is a finalist in the fantasy category, which is quite a big deal. There are only a few other books which made it that far, and All Men of Genius seems to be the only debut novel in the bunch, which is quite the honor. I, of course, must thank Ms. Gray for all this. Without her fantastic narration, it surely wouldn’t have even been considered. The winners are announced at the end of May, I believe, and though I don’t expect to win, keep your fingers and toes crossed for me. And whatever else you can cross.
The other thing I have for you is some desktop wallpaper! I stumbled on this quite by accident (okay, I was googling myself), but my German publisher, Egmont, created a desktop wallpaper from the German cover (which you may recall, is beautiful). So, here it is. If I can, I hope to somehow sigh my name on the left side and share that with you as well, so you can all have my autograph (which is very important to you, I know). I am not the most technical person however, so this may take a while. In the meantime enjoy the autograph-free version. I believe if you click on it, you should get the full-size version. I hope you enjoy it.
In the meanwhile, I now return to the world of writing and waiting (the writer’s life in brief: writing, editing, and waiting. The waiting is always the most exhausting of these).
But, as always, if you have something to share, please do so. I’m especially keen to hear if any of you would like me to blog about anything in particular. I’m not very good at coming up with ideas. Otherwise, enjoy the wallpaper, listen to the audiobook, and go invent something marvelous.
Okay, it’s time. I have some photos, and it’s been a while, so here, in brief, is THE WEDDING POST.
this is our wedding cake topper. It was custom-made by Lisa Snellings, who is an amazing artist. We collect her work. We have lots of her poppets, and it was really special to have her do the cake topper because the first present Chris ever got for me was a piece by her. We usually exchange poppets on Valentine’s day, too. If I hear any one of you going “awwww” I will find a way to make the webpage slap you. No “awwwing.” I’m also thrilled to say I’ve spoken to Lisa, and she is just so amazing and kind. If you are still looking for a great present for someone for the holidays, get them a poppet. Everyone loves poppets.
All the photos from here on out at by our photographers, Weddings By Two, who really seemed to get that we didn’t want overly romantic, hand-holding, sunset sort of photos. We wanted noir-esq flirtatious photos that had some tension. But no lovey-doveyness.
Again, if I hear a single “awww,” I swear…
They’re also putting up with me and my “but what if we cropped this photo like so” control-freakness during the album portion. And they use vintage cameras and cool lights to give the photos an old-school feel. We really like them.
So, I can’t show too many other photos – I don’t have permission from our guests to just throw photos of them on the internet, but I do want to talk about our amazing florist, Lilli, of Mimosa Floral. Really cannot say enough good things about her. We went to this other florist originally, and told him our colors and that we were going for an art deco style and that I wanted silver brunia and Chris wanted purple tulips (in the fall, cause he likes being difficult), and also a chuppah, and the florist had done some really odd sketches that didn’t seem right and also quoted us a price four times our budget. When we asked if he could bring the cost down, he said he didn’t think a wedding was possible on our budget. Then we found Lilli. Not only did she do everything within budget, but the day of the wedding she surprised us – she had had purple tulips specially reserved. I wish I could show you guys photos of the chuppah, too, but there are none of just the chuppah, sadly. But it was BEAUTIFUL, art deco, and lit up. Instead, I’ll just show you some flowers.
Aren’t those fiddleheads amazing? And yes, our tables were named after old pulp novels. I’ll get to the escort cards in a moment.
That’s us crushing the glass. You can see the bottom of the Chuppah, and also the beautiful aisle flowers.
So, as you may know, Chris is a librarian, so for the escort cards, I had him order me some library cards, which I then tea-stained and aged, and filled out for each guest, with the title of the book they had supposedly checked out being the name of the table they were at.
See? I’m pretty pleased with myself. And while I’m showing you that, let me also show you the escort card set-up, also designed by Lilli.
We had sent her an image from BioShock which she based this on, not knowing it was from a video game. You can’t see, but the skyline is actually coming out of a book.
The cake was also made by my mother. And also amazing.
And in the background there you can see our band, The Manhattan Dolls. Again, I can’t say enough good things. They’re a group which does Andrews Sister-like 3 part close harmony, songs from the 30s, 40s, etc. There was a LOT of dancing, and these women were just so fun and professional and kind. They even took our first dance song and learned it in their style for us, even though it was written in 1980 or so (it’s from Xanadu, with Olivia Newton John? Yeah. Chris and I both loved the musical and the movie and our first official date was actually Xanadu night at the Coney Island Roller Rink).
The band also photographs beautifully.
That last one may be my favorite photo from the night.
In any case, it was wonderful! The whole night was an amazing success and then Sandy came and we had to go stay with my old roommate on the upperwest side. Like a honeymoon.
And I hope I didn’t overly bore you with slides from my wedding. It could have been worse. I have over 600 photos. Be glad you’re not related to me.
But if you’ve made it this far, I also have something else to announce. I’ve decided I should interact with fans more, and more specifically, that I’d love to answer any questions you may have for me. You can ask them in the comments below, or use twitter. Tweet at me, or use #AskLev or both. Seriously, I’d love to answer any (appropriate) questions you may have, about All Men of Genius, future books, writing, teaching, etc. Whatever you can think of. From now until New Years. Think of it as a Holiday gift.
So this is pretty shameless blurbing, but my friend Sam, who designed Violet’s lockpicking game, just released his first game for iOS – called Oregon Whale. About a Farmer who packs up his stuff in a wagon, which he hitches to… a whale… and then swims for Oregon. It may be a parody of something from your youth? (It might not, but don’t tell me, then I’ll feel old).
Anyway, it’s really fun, and the music, by Ian Faleer, who also did the music for Violet’s lockpicking game, is awesome as well.
I’ve been playing it for a few hours now, and I’m, honestly, pretty awful at it, but you should check it out if you have an iOS device. It’s just 99 cents.
Anyway, enough with the shameless plug for an awesome product. It’s better if the creators themselves talk about it, so here are some links to Sam and Ian discussing the game. Go check it out. I’ll be posting about the wedding soon. Just waiting for photos.
Okay, so we have two winners of signed paperbacks!
From the blog comments, our winner is Puck! And from twitter, our winner is @avi2kat! Congrats! I’ll be emailing you to ask who you’d like the book made out to, and where you’d like it sent.
Thank you all for entering. And if you didn’t win, there will be more contests in the future, I’m sure, and if you go buy a book and bring it to a reading or event I’ll be at, I’ll be happy to sign it!
Meanwhile, I’ve been doing the rounds a bit, and I have a few guest posts up: First, at A Reader of Fictions, a post about my favorite Shakespeare adaptations. Then, at To Read or Not to Read, a bit about where I got the idea to use Shakespeare and Wilde. So please go, read, comment!
And finally, I’d love to bring your attention to some other books that have come out recently which I highly recommend. The first is The Rise of Ransom City, by Felix Gilman. This is a sequel to his amazing The Half-Made World. I highly recommend both. I actually blurbed the Rise of Ransom City, and what I said was:
“The Rise of Ransom City continues Felix Gilman’s brilliant deconstruction of the mythology of the American West, putting it back together with magic and mechanics, and creating something so imaginative it seems to punch you in the chest. Narrator Professor Harry Ransom is a compelling voice; a teller of tall tales and showman, but whereas the snake-oil salesmen of the American West sold piss and ink, Ransom has a genuine miracle to sell. He is both liar and totally honest in ways that are sly and funny and sometimes tragic. This is a fantastic story of a war and a life told with incredible humanity and pizzazz, by a narrator who, like the world he inhabits, is bold and colorful and a wholly new sort of magic.”
All of which I stand by fully. These books are such a pleasure, and not just to the merry post-modernist prankster of my soul (although they do make him very very happy), but also to the lover of magical realism and the lover of beautiful words strung into beautiful sentences. So I highly recommend them.
Also out as of yesterday is Ekaterina Sedia‘s new short story collection, Moscow but Dreaming. I haven’t read every story in it, but Sedia is one of most marvelous magical writers out there. Her writing goes from silk in the wind to a spike through the eye in moments and without feeling pushed or unnatural. It’s also really really smart. So check that one out, too, as well as her previous novels. Her steampunkish novel is called The Alchemy of Stone, and was the first I ever read by her.
And finally, speaking of steampunk, Cherie Priest‘s new Clockwork Century novel, The Inexplicables, came out the same day as the paperback of All Men of Genius did. I haven’t read it yet (it’s on my holiday wishlist), but it’s Cherie Priest, so you know it’ll be good, right.
So check out all those books, after you’ve bought several copies of mine, of course. And congrats again to the winners!
I don’t know what the term is when your book comes out in paperback though it’s been out in hardcover for a year or so. So I’m calling it a bookmitzvah, for today, my book becomes a gender-non-specific adult.
So yeah, the paperback is out as of yesterday! And there’s going to be lots of guest posts coming up. In fact, there’s one already: The My Favorite Bit on Mary Robinette Kowal‘s blog. I’m giving away some passwords to the deleted scenes over there. So go check it out.
I’ll be sure to share more posts as they occur, but I can tell you I’ve been interviewed by the always fantastic Gail Carriger (update: the interview is up!) and I’m currently working on posts about favorite shakespeare adaptations, ways to get over writers block, and many many more.
Also exciting: the paperback has been out one day, but Amazon only 8 copies left of the paperback (as of 2:30EST). If Amazon sells out by Friday morning, I’ll do something special for all of you on my blog. I’m not entirely sure what that is, but you should feel free to leave suggestions in the comments.
In the meantime, in honor of All Men of Genius’ BookMitzvah, I’m going to be giving away two signed paperbacks! That’s right, TWO. So, there are two ways to enter. The first is to leave a comment below. The second is to tweet a link to this post! (make sure to put @LevACRosen somewhere in the tweet, but not at the beginning – that way I’ll be sure to see it, but more importantly, so will everyone else). One winner will be chosen from the comments, one from twitter, so you have a chance to win two signed copies, made out to whomever you want! And if you’ve already ordered a copy, then let me say that signed books make excellent holiday gifts. So share the contest! And help me come up with ideas on what to do if Amazon sells out! So many exclamation points!
Oh, and the winners will be declared on Nov 28th; in 2 weeks.
And, thank you all so much for making this first year of published-author-dom a great one. You guys, fans, the people who work hard getting my book out there, bloggers, all of you are amazing. Thank you.
All right folks, the paperback is out tomorrow! So this is your last chance to pre-order it. If you’re thinking about buying it at any point in time, please please pre-order it, and get everyone you know to do likewise. I can go on and explain about opening sales and hype and the insanity that is the publishing industry, but long story short, it would help the book (and me) quite a bit. Great reviews are one thing, but hype… hype is different and so much more powerful.
Also, it’s come to my attention that Tor is doing a steampunk collection sweepstakes! Not only is All Men of Genius included in the winning package, but also Cherie Priest‘s new book, The Inexplicables (which alas, I have not read) and The Rise of Ransom City, Felix Gilman‘s sequel to the Half-Made World, which I have read and I can tell you is sensational. He does things that are so daring and interesting. I think The Half Made World and The Rise of Ransom City are more than steampunk; they’re a deconstruction of the American West, sewn back together with magical realism and steampunk, and I highly recommend them. So that contest is worth entering based on those three books alone, I think. Plus, you can give the extra copy of All Men of Genius to a friend (since you’ll already have pre-ordered one, right?)
And speaking of contests, it’s time to announce the winner of the audiobook giveaway! And that winner is… Mia! Congrats, Mia, I’ll be contacting you by email.
So check back tomorrow for the release of the paperback! And you may also want to check out the blog of Mary Robinette Kowal tomorrow, as I have a guest post there and may be giving away some passwords.
See you back here tomorrow! And one last time, pre-order the paperback today, if you haven’t already! And if you have, or are about to, thank you. It means a lot to me.