I’m delighted to say that Lizzie’s book, A Lady of Resources, has just come out in audio, and is available at your favorite retailers … plus, in a boxed CD set! Think of the possibilities for Christmas giving!
Find yours at any one of these fine retailers—and Fiona and I both hope you’ll enjoy it! (Note: some are available for preorder; the actual release date is October 6.)
On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Dreadful relations, high expectations,
And a sudden urge to pull up ropes and flee.
It is the event of the season—on Twelfth Night, the Dunsmuirs have invited the cream of London society to celebrate the marriage of Lady Claire and Andrew Malvern at a reception to which the Prince Consort himself is expected. Captain Ian Hollys brings his fiancée Alice Chalmers to London to attend and to meet his family—people who cannot see past her flight boots to the woman who stands by his side as an equal.
Now adjusting to life as a newlywed, seeing to her business affairs, and preparing the Mopsies to return to school in Munich, Lady Claire is settling into her new life with joy. When two young cousins of Gloria Meriwether-Astor arrive in London, the inhabitants of Carrick House are happy to welcome them. Sydney and Hugh Meriwether-Astor are completing a world tour, and the Dunsmuirs’ ball is just the thing to cap it off in splendid fashion. But Maggie learns that Sydney has his own plans for the family business—and they don’t include cutting off the supply of arms to the Royal Kingdom of Spain and the Californias, as Gloria is determined to do.
It’s time for someone with a spine, an airship of her own, and reasons to put fields of air between herself and decisions about her future to pull up ropes and warn Gloria that betrayal is closer than she thinks …
“It’s another element I love about these books; from Claire to Gloria to Alice to Lizzie and Maggie to Lady Dunsmuir, the women in this series generally like and respect each other. Other women are not required to be lesser—weaker, more cowardly, less intelligent—in order for Claire to be awesome. She is not an exceptional woman, she is an awesome woman among awesome women.” —Fangs for the Fantasy: The latest in urban fantasy from a social justice perspective
Available on Lady Claire’s birthday—October 16, 2015!
Christmas. I can feel you shuddering from here, going, “Are you mad? The school year has only just begun! Run away—far away!” But in the land of publishing, the Christmas season starts, oh, at the end of September, when you’ll see a blizzard of snow and ribbons and sparkly book covers going up online.
Rather like this one!
I hope to have this little novella of 24,000 words out at the beginning of October. It’s a trifle, a sugarplum, a little whiling away of your time to distract you while I figure out what’s going to happen to Gloria Meriwether-Astor in Book 10.
Did I say that out loud?
I’m delighted to report that Fiona Hardingham and I have wrapped production on the audiobook version of Magnificent Devices book 5, A Lady of Resources. You should hear her voice our 16-year-old Lizzie!
And, I’ve signed a distribution deal with Blackstone Audiobooks for a wider distribution of books five and six. Instead of only going to Audible, Amazon, and iTunes, they’ll go to those plus the Blackstone digital outlets and—best of all—will be available on CD for retail stores and libraries!
If you like to borrow audiobooks from the library, encourage your local branch to order Lizzie’s and Maggie’s audiobooks, too. Lady Claire believes strongly in the ability of libraries to expand the mind, having been a frequent patron herself, and so do I.
Next up for Fiona (besides filming movies, of course) is A Lady of Spirit, which has a release date of November 17.
Yesterday, I did something I’ve never done before—a Google Hangout with steampunk readers from all over, hosted by the lovely Diana and Claudia in Portugal. Each month the EuroSteamCon folks interview a different steampunk author on the Road to EuroSteamCon, putting me in such august company as Jim Butcher and Cherie Priest ::fans self::
We had an hour-long conversation about everything from steampunk to writing the core story to why I don’t write in my office to the emotional lives of chickens. The interview has now been posted on YouTube. I hope you’ll stop by!
Yesterday, fellow author Jennifer Skully and I met on the Apple campus to beta test some authoring software for the smart folks @iBooks. Neither of us knew what to expect … but we both came away madly excited!
Those of you who use iThings probably know about iBooks Author, a nifty product that allows you to lay out gorgeous books meant for reading on iPad and iPhone. But the iBooks folks are expanding far beyond fixed-page nonfiction texts like science books and cookbooks, and moving now into reflowable fiction templates for writers like Jennifer and me, with fabulous opportunities for enhancement.
What does this mean for the Magnificent Devices books?
Books can be enhanced with movies, audio files, and images. Just imagine what I can do with this:
- I can record an intro welcoming readers to the book, and giving a little background information on how it came about.
- I can include a little narration, either reading an opening paragraph myself, or including a small portion of the audiobook performed by the peerless Fiona Hardingham. Once I figure out how the licensing works for that.
- A picture gallery might turn up showing the landscape through which the characters are moving. I’m thinking particularly of poor Gloria in Book 10, making her way through the Weird West.
- Along with the excerpt for the next book, which you normally find in the back, I can embed a book trailer similar to the one I did for A Lady of Integrity.
- And I can do a live author bio, either as a sound file or as a movie, talking not only about myself (which might put people to sleep), but also about the series in general and thanking my readers for joining me on the journey (which might keep them awake).
I can’t wait to get in and play around with this. The iBooks folks assure me that these files will also work on other tablets, which is different from the fixed-template books that are only viewable on iPad and iPhone. It’s an exciting step forward—don’t you just love technology?
(Headline translation: One more time–in German!)
As I’ve mentioned before, Lady of Devices has been translated into German, and I’m preparing both the digital and print versions for publication as we speak. I recently got the cover art from designer Kalen O’Donnell, featuring art by Claudia McKinney at Phat Puppy, and was delighted with it.
But you will note this cover does not quite look like the English version. Before we went ahead, Kalen and I did some research into the differences between US and European covers. We noticed that in Germany, steampunk novels make what we call the “genre markers” very obvious. In my US versions, design elements that would indicate “steampunk” are so subtle that many don’t believe they’re there at all. But in the German edition, it soon became clear that we would need to include the “goggles and gears” markers that steampunk readers there expect to find.
So while one is doing that, why not make a wreath of them? After all, the Lady appreciates such homey touches, and quite likes a wreath.
Then there was the title, and the series name, which necessitated the translator educating me about the word devices. Apparently, in German Lady of Devices would be rendered as Lady of Appliances, which isn’t quite the image I want in people’s minds. Lady of Toasters simply does not conjure up the same je ne sais quoi. So we settled on a series name of “An Inventive Lady,” where the adjective erfinderische also connotes imagination along with inventiveness. Appropriate, ja? Book One (buch eins) is The Inventive Lady and we’re now working on titles for the rest of the books.
Such a fun process! I love learning new things, don’t you?