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HOW I FOUND OUT

Originally published at Sarah Rees Brennan. You can comment here or there.

At the beginning of this year, my best friend and I drove down the Great Ocean Road. We went around a curve in the road and I drew in my breath because the forests were laid out before me in a startling contrast of gold lace against shadow. The next moment I realised, with another quieter shock, that the shining woods were burned land and the bright leaves were ashes.

It was my first time in Australia, and I loved it so much that I planned to go back this winter. But for a while before that, I was enjoying being in Ireland with Loved Ones, etc.

MUM: So you’re getting ready for Australia.
SARAH: Yep, I bought ankle boots!
MUM: Cool priorities. You might want to see the doctor before you go, just for a check-up about being so worn down and that cough.

I went in for a quick check-up. I wasn’t all that concerned. Writers are just sick a lot: we have an awesome job, but we also have a weird job where you often overwork and keep odd hours and do not take care of yourself. A guy I know worked so hard he got shingles and lost his hair. One of my close writer friends got pneumonia and broke her rib coughing. I got pneumonia from overwork four years ago, and since then have had recurring bouts of bronchitis or pneumonia, depending on my luck! So I went to the doctor and was like ‘Check me out, not to brag but I haven’t had bronchitis since February and it is September, but if you could do something about the persistent cough that would be great.’

Away I went. A few days later it was my birthday, and my phone rang. I was asleep, due to being a lazy toad who regularly wakes up at I’m-too-ashamed-to-tell-you o’clock. I flailed about in my bedsheets and seized the phone, assuming muzzily it was a Loved One with birthday wishes.

SARAH: Hey, sweetie!
DOCTOR: Er, hello… this is your G.P…
SARAH: Hey, er… doctor sweetie… I just feel very close to you since the thermometer incident… No. Uh, why are you calling?
DOCTOR: So your haemoglobin is half the haemoglobin of a normal person’s.
SARAH: Huh.
DOCTOR: I would never have thought you were as sick as you are when I saw you!
SARAH: I cannot say you have a soothing bedphoneside manner, doctor.
DOCTOR: Go to the hospital. Soon.
SARAH: Okay, I promise I will. Soon!

And I did, though not that day, because it was my birthday and I had business calls. I was not very worried. Just a bad beginning to my birthday, thought I.

Then came the news there was a ‘shadow’ on the chest scan I’d done, and I hopped to the hospital. Best to get this sorted out, I thought!

SARAH: Hello hospital. Please examine and heal me.
EMERGENCY ROOM DOCTOR: We must keep you overnight! But we have no beds. Sleep on this shelf.
SARAH: Can I have a pillow?
EMERGENCY ROOM DOCTOR: *gentle laughter* She wants pillows. Oh child you dream of wild luxuries. Pillows are the first thing to go around here.

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Pictured: The Maiden’s Non-Pillow Book

DOCTORS: In the morning, we come to take your blood and give you a pillow.
SARAH: I’m comfortable with this blood/pillow trade.

The hospital was not too bad a place to be. I was given a bed. They constantly took my blood, which led me to suspect they were secret vampires, but they were all very cheery vampires and I trusted them. I did scans. In one scan I was hooked up to a long curly straw, which made me feel like a funky milkshake. Student doctors came by and asked to do tests on me and I chatted with them because I was bored.

STUDENT DOCTOR 1: This is cool, when we tap against your stomach we get a different sound than with an older patient’s.
SARAH: When I start a band, I will be the drum.
STUDENT DOCTOR 2: Oh yeah! I’ve never had this result from a living subject before.
SARAH: A—a living—doctors, please let me maintain my beautiful suspension of disbelief about where your hands have been.

Then a glamorous lady doctor came in. She had such an air, and her surname was Kelly, that I kept calling her Doctor Grace. Her name was not Grace.

Doctor Not Grace sat down my bed, and said in an intently sympathetic voice that they would have to do a biopsy, because this could be an infection or it could—just possibly—be cancer.

When I went to Australia, I went snorkeling off the Great Barrier Reef.

Being submerged in a whole other element is funny because your mind keeps trying to compare everything to your own element: phosphorence in the water is like a whirl of cinders carried to you from fire by the wind and the tiny bright fish are like flickers of electricity. The coral becomes a dressmakers’ shelf full of ruched bronze satin and green lace and scarlet net. And when real-life comparison fails, you fall back on stories and you think you are looking at the White Witch’s garden: stone creatures, stone toadstools, stone ferns, stone lace, until a fern gives way to a scarlet ripple or a rock opens like a stone fist and an octopus unfurls to flee.

As the doctor spoke, I felt myself tip a little into another world, where things were not quite what they seemed and stories were slightly too real.

But I turned my face resolutely away and went ‘Hopefully it’s an infection! Yes indeed, biopsy away! Let’s get this done!’

In the theatre of surgicality, the doctor asked first—who had put the bands on my wrist and ankle, they looked ridiculous.

The trainee nurse still beside me had put on the bands. I reassured her with my eyes that I would never betray her secret.

Next he asked me to sign a form to say I consented to him doing the biopsy.

SARAH (knowledgably): Yep, I consent to you making a small incision under my arm to get the materials you need to test!
THEATRE DOCTOR: And if we can’t get what we need there, you consent to us going under the other arm.
SARAH: Sure!
THEATRE DOCTOR: And if not there, incision one side of the collarbone.
SARAH: Less sure but okay!
THEATRE DOCTOR: And if not there, incision on the other side of the collarbone.
SARAH: You do what you have to.
THEARE DOCTOR: And if not there, the neck.
SARAH: … When I wake up, will I be more sieve than woman?

As they were putting me under, I heard the doctor ask why I had nail polish on, and they explained they were gel nails.

DOCTOR: And why is one fingernail a different colour from the others?
SARAH’S LAST GASPING WORDS BEFORE CONSCIOUSNESS FELL AWAY: It’s a… signature nail…

I woke up. I only had one incision. This felt like a big win.

Hopefully, in a week, we would get the biopsy results back and I would learn I just had an infection!

I called my parents when Doctor Not Grace said it might be cancer.

SARAH: It might be lymphoma, Mum.
MUM: Oh great!
SARAH: Excuse me?
MUM: They’ll just pop it right out.
SARAH: With the… chemotherapy?
MUM: Oh.
SARAH: Yeah.
MUM: I misheard you before.
SARAH: Right.
MUM: Oh it’s not cancer. No. Not that.

I told my brother about it. Now, I have two brothers and one sister, all younger than me, all taller and blonder and altogether delightfuller, the apples of my eye. The oldest is my brother Rory, who has always helped me out—he kindly makes writing look like a safe responsible job in comparison to being a pro poker player.

The other two were out of the country.

My brother Saul had very recently moved to Bristol for his first job out of college. He was only just starting. He and I had shopped for business clothing weeks before and become bewildered and distressed among the bow ties.

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Pictured: Baby’s First Suit!

Then there was my sister Genevieve, who works in television but, even though she is a dazzling blonde, behind the scenes. She was in Costa Rica. She’d been saving up years for her dream to quit her job and go around the world. She’d only left a few days before.

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Pictured: She Is Not Wearing Make-Up, Thus Will Be Mad I Shared This, But Look How Stunning!

I told Rory it might be cancer, and I saw him look scared, and I felt my world try to tip away into that other, stranger world, and we told each other firmly that it was probably just an infection.

And then I told him we couldn’t tell the younger ones. They were so far away. It would freak them out. It was probably just an infection.

There was, of course, a small voice at the back of my head saying doctors don’t go around saying ‘cancer’ unless there’s a good chance that’s what it is. Doctors are a serious folk. They do not say these things to add a spice of excitement to the day.

I had been doing a lot of research on cancer, because my newest book (the treasure of my heart, which I am currently editing into shape because the treasure of my heart is super long!) has a cancer subplot: the heroine’s sister has cancer.

FRIEND: Do you feel like you maybe wrote this into existence, in a vaguely Stephen King flavoured manner?
SARAH: I’m not saying I have eldritch writing powers but soon I plan to write a short story about someone winning ten million dollars, just in case.

The research meant I knew more than I really wanted to.

And there had been warning signs.

I’d come up with excuses that seemed reasonable at the time, like ‘Must be low blood sugar,’ ‘am recovering from pneumonia’ and ‘am incredibly lazy, like a sloth and a tortoise had a little slotortoise baby.’

DOCTOR: You must have often felt like you could not move from the couch or do anything but read.
SARAH: Sure. Ah… Tuesdays.

I’d get out of breath faster than my friends, but I put that down to the lungs being in bad shape.

SARAH: Also wow it has just been too long since I did yoga.
BFF: It has been several years.
SARAH: Exactly!

And when I came back from Australia, I’d lost some weight. Now, I am a lady of plumpitude, due I imagine to the fact I love sofas and cheese and run only when chased or late for appointments and planes. I was surprised it had happened, but mildly pleased because people complimented me about it and I enjoy a compliment!

SARAH: I guess it’s sunny and beautiful here, I walk more, I eat better…
SARAH: I’m proud of me for living a healthier lifestyle!
SARAH: I’m going to repress all those memories of eating noodles at midnight…

Nobody’s fault, but this is a sad world in which weight loss is automatically seen as a good thing, especially if you are a lady of plumpitude. But friends, I was not walking that much. I was eating the midnight noodle.

I also had cold hands for years, but instead of worrying about those, I just put them on the backs of my friends’ necks and whispered ‘The touch of the grave!’ in their ears. I know they enjoyed this as much as I did.

I had some dizzy spells, and once I admit I fainted in a supermarket in Australia. I sat up, acquired a Lilt and a chocolate bar (which I paid for! Eventually!) and decided to take iron pills. I told my Australian cousins what had happened, and was puzzled when they seemed distressed.

SARAH: Ah yes, I looked a right idiot.
AUSTRALIAN COUSINS: You should have called us!
SARAH: Oh no. Oh that would have been silly! I was fine.
AUSTRALIAN COUSINS: You could have been hurt.
SARAH: Oh no, my fall was totally broken by the frozen broccolini. Lucky, right?
AUSTRALIAN COUSINS: … We love Irish Cousin Sarah, but we fear she is simple.

And I was cranky, and slow at work, but I put this down to being a lazy wretch with a black and twisted heart.

I put all the little worrying things down to a variety of small causes, easily solvable.

SARAH: Oh but your body just goes to hell in your thirties, right?
FRIEND: Sarah I am a decade older than you and you flag after a walk around the shops. Might be low blood sugar.
SARAH: Right. I’m going to start carrying a Snickers bar in my purse. But you know what will happen then.
FRIEND: You’ll feel weird and open the purse…
SARAH (nodding): And I will have definitely eaten the Snickers bar in a fit of greed several hours earlier.
FRIEND: Maybe you should carry nuts in your purse.
SARAH: But you know what will happen then.
FRIEND: You’ll feel weird and open the purse and be mad the nuts are not a Snickers bar.
SARAH (sadly): This is a painful dilemma.

All the little signs could have been just little things. Or all of it might be adding up to a big picture.

I told some of my close friends. My best friend came and visited with me all the time, in the week we waited after the biopsy. Only near the very end, gently and lovingly, did she suggest that I should maybe consider showering.

My friends who were far from me were also angels. Maureen Johnson, writer extraordinaire and now fancy pundit, sent me a massive box of brownies and iced lemon cakes.

RORY: I’ve come to visit the sick and I brought you a brownie—
RORY: I see I’ve made a bad call.
RORY: I also brought a banana because they are very healthy.
SARAH (coldly): I reject the banana and will not have it in my home. I will accept your brownie because it is an offering of love.
RORY: So now you have… a million and one brownies?
SARAH: That’s love, baby.

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Pictured: Let ‘Em Eat Cake

Later, I was told Rory must be very worried about me, because he hardly ate his turkey burger and broccoli. I reflected back on Rory the last time I had seen him, with one glorious brownie and one tremendous lemon cake in either hand.

‘Or perhaps,’ I said, ‘some mysteries are never meant to be solved.’

The day before the diagnosis, a beautiful hamper arrived. It smelled of lavender and fanciness. It had a robe and slippers and French soaps within. It was from all my writer friends I had told: Maureen, Holly ‘Beautiful Soul’ Black, Pulitzer finalist of my heart Kelly Link, redheaded queen of fancy loveliness Cassie Clare and the wise and wonderful Robin Wasserman. Even though I was far away from them, they wanted to make sure I felt looked after.

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Pictured: Woman Gloating With Hamper

And I did. And it was all going to be fine, really. Though I was slightly concerned as the week passed that my mother, a wonderful lady in many respects but a sharer with all the world, was telling a lot of people the news. The maybe-news.

I was really worried that my little sister or brother would get word of it, and freak out. I didn’t want them to fret. After all, everything was fine. Probably. Hopefully. Maybe.

I went in for my appointment with the doctor, Glamorous Not Grace Kelly. She was wearing a stunning dress. My parents were sitting on either side of me.

Yes, she said, it was cancer. Hodgkin’s lymphoma, very treatable. Definitely the cancer to pick, if you were going through a cancer catalogue. I would have an appointment with my oncologist on Monday, and did I have any questions?

The world tilted decisively, into that strange world where things I did not quite believe were nevertheless true.

‘Well…’ I said. ‘I would like to know where you got your dress.’

Dr Not Grace laughed and said I was something else. She did not tell me where she got her dress. I was only partly joking, Dr Not Grace!

My mother was crying. Dr Not Grace gave her tissues.

When we drove home, Rory met us at the gates. I went right to him, and he said ‘Well?’ With my usual smooth wordsmithing, I said, ‘Well, uh, yeah.’ Then I glanced up at him, and I said, very quickly: ‘Yes, it’s cancer.’ My brother’s a big guy, and strong in a lot of ways. He made a noise as if he’d been hit. I reached up and put my arms around his neck and my head down on his shoulder, and I believed I had cancer, and we were terrified.

I thought: I have to tell the younger ones now. I don’t know how I’m going to tell them.

I wanted to write this up, to explain why I might be out of commission at times, disappearing offline for stretches: to make sure it didn’t seem like I was just disappearing. I’d love it if people shared this post, to make sure word gets to everyone who might want to know, since I am low energy often and unable to tell all the people I’d have liked to tell individually. And I want to go on to talk about what happened and what will happen next, if people are interested: to have the experience be seen and shared and real. I never do quite believe in stories until they’re shared.

This is how I found out, and this is how I’m telling you.

So I’m Finally Doing An Event in Ireland

Originally published at Sarah Rees Brennan. You can comment here or there.

… home of my birth, place where I keep my stuff!

I’m very honoured to be launching the fabulous R.F. Long’s latest fabulous novel. I will do my best not to shame Ruth, and also bring some giveaways! (Warning: I might shame Ruth.)

Venue: The Gutter Bookshop, Cow’s Lane
Date: Monday 12th September – 6.30pm until 8pm
We are delighted to welcome Ruth Frances Long back to the Gutter Bookshop for the launch of her third Dubh Linn book, ‘A Darkness at the End’. Author Sarah Rees Brennan will be launching the book.

(I keep MEANING to do a post whereby I tell you all the things, or maybe just do some book recommendations or parody some TV, but for the Irish among you, I’ll do that in person on Monday. ;))

Originally published at Sarah Rees Brennan. You can comment here or there.

EVENT 1

Transgression: Writing On the Edge of the Acceptable

From YA to fantasy to romance, six bestselling authors explore what it means to push boundaries within genres, and to tackle taboo topics in their fields. What happens when writers foray into the forbidden? What does it mean to ‘transgress’ in a novel, and how do writers deal with it—and make their readers like it? Join Eloisa James, Ellen Kushner, C.S. Pacat, Sarah Rees Brennan, Marie Rutkoski and Damon Suede for a discussion that breaks all the rules.

Date: Monday 16th May
Time: Panel at 7pm, signing to follow
Venue: Book Culture 536 W 112th St
New York

http://www.bookculture.com/event/transgression-writing-edge-acceptable

Okay a) Have you ever seen a more fun panel topic in your life. What do readers find acceptable and unacceptable? What are the limitations of different genres? Are we talking about weird stuff? Is it okay to talk about weird stuff? DO YOU LIKE WEIRD STUFF? Come see us!

b) Have you ever seen such a great line-up? In case you are unfamiliar I have things to tell you!

Eloisa James is one of my personal favourite go-to romance authors. She created the Duke of Villiers, who is fastidious and spectacular in his dress and fond of sexy chess. Her latest book explores the historical significance of pineapples. Ellen Kushner wrote SWORDSPOINT and PRIVILEGE OF THE SWORD, one the ultimate fantasy of manners in which everyone is in love with Richard or Alec (me: Richard, master swordsman!), and one the best reluctant-to-enthusiastic hero tale of a lady forced into swordplay until she makes the choice to duel for another lady’s honour! C.S. Pacat is a beauteous Australian lady (so this is one of your only chances to see her) and wrote the CAPTIVE PRINCE series, a friend of mine recommended it to me one night and the next day I woke up at 5pm because I’d been up all that night reading the CAPTIVE PRINCE series goddammit: the Prince of Not-Really-Sparta has been betrayed and sold to the Prince of Decadent-Not-Quite-France and he is such a jerk (or is he. OR IS HE.). Sarah Rees Brennan, I don’t know about her, honestly I hear weird things. Marie Rutkoski, bona fide genius and professor (as is Eloisa James! professin my devotion to professors), ponderer of ethical problems such as ‘lady buys gentleman to save him from darker fate’ and ‘how far is it okay to lie about the revolution?’ also inventor of a fictional game that unlike all others actually works and is interesting. Damon Suede, whose tale of firefighters who go from friends to lovers was one of Goodreads’ Top 100 Romance Novels of All Time (which is a big deal!), and whose latest features a Latino bodyguard falling for his shady billionaire boss (I have bought it right now and have it in my possession).

I just think this is going to be VERY GREAT, is what I’m saying.

EVENT 2

Holyoke B&N Event with Kelly Link, Holly Black and Sarah Rees Brennan

June 11,

2PM

Barnes and Noble, 7 Holyoke Street, Holyoke, MA 01040

Kelly Link is a Pulitzer finalist! I tell everybody. Also, Holly Black is the one perfect person in an imperfect world, also perfect at writing and public speaking. So that will probably be fun.

THE TELL THE WIND AND FIRE TOUR

Originally published at Sarah Rees Brennan. You can comment here or there.

TOURPROMO

Beautimous picture by Virginie Carquin.

So I have lots of news–for one thing, THERE IS A TRAILER FOR TELL THE WIND AND FIRE UP ON EW.COM!

But my main news for this post is as follows: I am touring for TELL THE WIND AND FIRE, a tale about magic, a young lady who intentionally became a celebrity and accidentally became a symbol for revolution, and her boyfriend… and his soulless double whose presence may portend his death!

It’s super exciting. I’m going to all these festivals with amazing authors, and I hope I am going to see you guys! It’s been ages since I had a book out, and I am very nervous!

Also my publisher has been super great and arranged a thing.

SARAH: So Cassandra Clare has a big bus with bunk-beds in it and I’m going to sleep in it.

PUBLISHER: do you have a home? where should we send boxes of books to? IS YOUR HOME UNDER THE SEA?

SARAH: That’s not important at this time. Anyway the bus will stop at bookshops so could Tell the Wind and Fire be sold in them?

PUBLISHER: It’s before your release date though.

SARAH: But I think people might like to have the new book! And be FANCY EARLY SPECIAL.

PUBLISHER: Okay with the heroic aid of bookstores we will do this thing. Now could you give us some sort of address?

SARAH: *mysterious ocean noises*

So, a pre-release tour! With the book there early for people, yay! And then a launch event in LA on April 6, with the terrifyingly awesome Leigh Bardugo and Gretchen McNeil, in which we talk about re-tellings and myths and cool stuff in stories, and then a cascade of excellence!

And I prefaced this with a pretty picture hoping people would reblog, but I promise to give you all presents on tour whether you do or not! I will shower you with gifts and love.

… So without further ado… come find me!

THE TELL THE WIND AND FIRE TOUR

Pre-release, with special copies of Tell the Wind and Fire available!

Saturday 12 March, 2 PM

Boulder Public Library
with the Boulder Bookstore
at First United Methodist Church
1421 Spence St, Boulder, CO 80302

People can call 303-447-2074 for more information.

Sunday 13 March, 2 PM

Omaha Public Library
with the Bookworm
at Westside Community Centre
3534 South 108th St, Omaha, NE 68144

Call to see if ticketed: 402-392-2877

Tuesday 15 March, 6:30 PM

Kansas City Public Library
with Rainy Day Books
at Plaza Branch, Truman Forum
4801 Main St, Kansas City, MO 64112

Call to see if ticketed: 913 384 3126

Wednesday 16 March, 7 PM

Austin, Texas
Book People
at St Edward’s University, Mabee Ballroom
3001 South Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

Call to see if ticketed: 512 472 5050

THE TELL THE WIND AND FIRE TOUR, POST-RELEASE

MONTROSE, CA

Once Upon a Time
April 6th at 7 PM
http://www.shoponceuponatime.com/event/ya-frenzy-sarah-rees-brennan-gretchen-mcneil-leigh-bardugo

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
Young Adult Fiction: Fantasy & World Building
Sunday | 4/10/2016 | 3:00:00 PM in Town & Gown

Moderator/Interviewer
Sarah Enni

Panelists
Ransom Riggs
Victoria Aveyard
Sarah Rees Brennan
Marie Lu

April 9th and 10th – http://events.latimes.com/festivalofbooks/

Brookline Booksmith
April 14th at 7 PM
Event with Holly Black
http://www.brooklinebooksmith.com/
(SUPER IMPORTANT: THIS WAS CHANGED FROM THE 13TH!!!)

Odyssey Bookshop
Saturday, April 16th at 4 PM
Event with Holly Black: http://www.odysseybks.com/events-0

The Hudson Valley YA Society at Oblong Books & Music
Sunday, April 17th at 4 PM
Event with Heidi Heilig & Heather Demetrios
http://www.oblongbooks.com/event/hudson-valley-ya-society-out-world

North Texas Teen Book Festival
April 22nd and 23rd
http://www.northtexasteenbookfestival.com/

Rochester Teen Book Festival
Saturday, May 14th
https://www.teenbookfest.org/

New Tell the Wind and Fire Snippet!

Originally published at Sarah Rees Brennan. You can comment here or there.

Oh, my galactical jam tarts, it has been long since we had a snippet of any sort, I know and I’m sorry!

But this snippet is fancily hosted the Dickens Blog, because TELL THE WIND AND FIRE is a retelling of A TALE OF TWO CITIES with magic rings and New York and doppelgangers and Ladies Doing A Crapton of Stuff like swordfighting and giving television interviews.

http://dickensblog.typepad.com/dickensblog/2016/02/an-excerpt-from-tell-the-wind-and-fire.html

Okay it’s here. We see way more of Lucie and Carwyn, two of the main characters, and get more of a sense of them, and… I hope you like them.

And it has a lot about cupcakes in it.

I JUST LOVE CUPCAKES OKAY.

I hope you like it, lightning muffins.

Long Island!

Originally published at Sarah Rees Brennan. You can comment here or there.

I am to do my first ever Long Island appearance, where I will talk about writing, co-writing, and setting fires.

Beach Bag Book Club

Merrick Library, 2279 Merrick AveMerrick, NY 11566

August 12, 6:30 PM.

People can register online or call 378-7474 ext. 27 (or just come along. ;))

I am excited: it’s been a while since I did an appearance on my owny own, and I hope I remember how! Do come along if you’re around. I might have priiiizes.

Tell the Wind and Fire COVER and excerpt

Originally published at Sarah Rees Brennan. You can comment here or there.

I know I have been very quiet lately, but I promise I have been working very hard behind the scenes, and soon you will see the results!

This is not all the news I have. I have MORE NEWS THAN THIS.

But this is the fanciest thing that has ever happened to me as a writer, because my book is in Entertainment Weekly, and Entertainment Weekly is for fancy celebrities! I feel like I should get my book’s autograph.

HERE is the cover and the beginning of the book, REVEALED! on Entertainment Weekly!

(Did I mention yet it’s in Entertainment Weekly?)

I hope you like the book and the excerpt. Stay tuned for… WAY MORE NEWS… coming soon.

Tell the Wind and Fire Snippet

Originally published at Sarah Rees Brennan. You can comment here or there.

So I’m copyediting Tell the Wind and Fire, and I asked people on twitter if they wanted a snippet, and it seemed like yes they could be about the snippet life!

For all those who do not know, Tell the Wind and Fire is my new book, out spring 2016, and the potted summary for it currently goes like this:

Tell the Wind & Fire is about a young girl called Lucie who lives in a New York very different from the New York we know: the city is torn between two very different kinds of magic, and Lucie’s own family was torn apart years ago by that conflict. Lucie wears magic rings and carries a burden of guilt she can’t share with anyone.

The light in her life is her sweetheart boyfriend Ethan, but it turns out Ethan has a secret too: a soulless doppelganger created by dark magic, who has to conceal the face identical to Ethan’s with a hood fastened by a collar nobody but a Light magician with magical rings can take off… and who introduces himself to both of them by, for reasons nobody can understand, saving Ethan’s life…

So this snippet happens a short time after the life-saving…

I was furious, but there was something I had to do before questioning either one of them.

“Come here,” I said, and advanced on the doppelganger. He took a step back and wound up sitting on the bunk, looking surprised and mildly irritated.

I held up my hands as if in surrender, though it was anything but. I held them so the doppelganger could see the Light magic rings glittering on all my fingers.

“I’m a trained Light medic,” I told him. “Now let me see your wrist.”

He gave me an unfriendly look, but he let me kneel down and snatch his hand again. I pushed back the worn fabric of his sleeve. The material tried to adhere to the burn, but I pulled it off despite the hiss of pain that slipped through the doppelganger’s teeth. I had to loop my fingers around his wrist, over the burn, thumb and middle finger touching. I concentrated, coaxing to life the light hidden in every sparkling stone, letting it form a bright bracelet over his skin and mine. When I let go, I knew the light would wash the burn marks away. I was able to help, because he was not too badly hurt. My mother had been able to save people on the brink of death, but I was not a tenth as brilliant a magician as my mother. I could only do this.

I opened my eyes, blinked away the remnants of Light in my vision, like dissolving stars, until all that was left was his intent gaze.

“There,” I told him.

“Am I supposed to thank you?”

“No,” I said. “I’m supposed to thank you. You saved his life and I love him, so I owe you more than I know how to repay. Thank you …. what’s your name?”

He hesitated. “Carwyn.”

“Carwyn,” I said, still kneeling, staring up into a familiar face with a strange name on my tongue. “Thank you.”

Fancy People... And Me, Shaming Them

Tomorrow I will be here!

APRIL 12, EVENT WITH R.L. STINE, KIERAN SCOTT, HOLLY BLACK, PAIGE McKENZIE and ALYSSA SHEINMEL.
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Books of Wonder, 18 West 18th street

In which we tell terrifying tales!

Maybe I will tell about Tell the Wind and Fire. Maybe I just stare awestruck at R.L. Stine. Isn’t it FANCY? I’m going to be creepy, you guys. I can feel it in my bones.

(My brother used to time me as I read R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books. There is no SAYING what I am going to say to him. Someone hold me back.)

Where I’ll Be in March

Originally published at Sarah Rees Brennan. You can comment here or there.

So’s you all know: March cometh! And with it cometh… me!

If you are in New York or Texas, that is.

Places to find me…

MARCH 4, NYC EVENT

with Marie Rutkoski

McNally Jackson Books

New York, NY

6:00 PM

http://mcnallyjackson.com/event/launching-marie-rutkoskis-winners-crime

(We will be launching Marie’s brilliant new book Winner’s Crime! I MIGHT do a skit! If the people WISH for skits.)

MARCH 7

North Texas Teen Book Festival

http://www.northtexasteenbookfestival.com/

Irving Convention Center,
500 W. Las Colinas Blvd.
Irving, TX 75039

10 AM, RM 7, Secondary Education

Exploring the Importance of Secondary Characters: Leigh Bardugo, me, Rae Carson, Tessa Gratton, Sherry Thomas, mod. Karin Perry.

(What a cool line-up! Leigh and I are currently sitting by a pool plotting the terrible things we’re going to say about each others’ secondary characters.)

12 AM, GB EAST, Captivating Fantasies

Exploring Fantastical Worlds, Julie Kagawa, me, Ally Condie, Rae Carson, Tessa Gratton, mod. Jill Bellomy.

2PM, RM 8, Reading the Rainbow

LGBTQ in YA, Importance of. (Very!) David Levithan, Alex London, Lauren Myracle, mod. Teri Lesense

AUTHOR SIGNINGS 3:30 PM

2015 NYC TEEN AUTHOR FESTIVAL

MARCH 18-MARCH 22

Wednesday, March 18 – PANEL

42nd St NYPL, South Court, 6-8

Writing As A Many-Booked Thing

Looking at series and reader response (SUPER INTERESTING!)

Dahlia Adler, me, Barry Lyga, Michelle Hodkin, Seth Fishman, Marie Rutkoski, Amy Nichols, mod. David Levithan.

Books of Wonder Mega-Signing

Sunday, March 22, 1:30 PM

http://nyctaf.com/

And just so this post isn’t a total disappointfest for those not in NYC or Texas, I did put up a wee snippet from the sequel to The Turn of the Story (Wings in the Morning from Elliot’s PoV) on tumblr, so if you did not catch it here it is…
Elliot PoV of Wings in the MorningCollapse )

I hope to see some of your faces soon! I have been writing LOTS in Mexico and will at the slightest opportunity tell people all about all the stories I’m planning.

(Or there’s always skits.)

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