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
(We will be launching Marie’s brilliant new book Winner’s Crime! I MIGHT do a skit! If the people WISH for skits.)
North Texas Teen Book Festival
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
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!” Dale screamed. “Stop!”
“What?” Elliot asked defensively. “I’m just making a scheme for your future happiness. You don’t want to be happy in the future? What’s your objection to the future? What’s your objection to happiness?”
“I don’t have an objection to happiness,” Dale said. “It’s just—Luke.”
“You have an objection to Luke?” Elliot snapped. “What possible objection could there be to Luke? He’s smart—and he’s champion—and he’s radiantly good-looking–”
“He’s great,” said Dale.
Elliot frowned. “Well, I don’t know if I’d go that far.”
Dale gave Elliot a look that said he was surrendering when Elliot was not aware they were fighting a battle. Many people seemed to approach conversations with Elliot this way, so he shrugged it off and gestured for Dale to speak.
“He’s just a little—”
“Constantly eternally insistently in your face twenty-four seven?” Elliot cut in sympathetically.
“… distant?” said Dale.
“Well, obviously we’re having a slightly different Luke Experience,” said Elliot. He folded his arms and regarded Dale, who seemed dispirited. It could simply be an effect of prolonged conversation with Elliot, but in case it was not Elliot added encouragingly: “Luke is shy! That’s the problem. He’s shy because he likes you so much. It’s beautiful if you think about it. Don’t you think it’s beautiful?”
He regarded Dale sternly. Dale nodded.
“Good,” said Elliot. “Good.”
“It’s really nice of you to go to all this trouble,” Dale offered, after a moment. “I mean… you’re really nice. Knowing you care that much… about me… is nice.”
“Ahahaha,” said Elliot. “Sure. And if you follow all the details of my plot carefully, everybody will be happy forever. Won’t that be nice? Now, remember we don’t know each other.”
“Luke knows that we know each other—”
“But we can’t know each other too well!” Elliot warned.
Dale did not look ready for this level of subterfuge.
Elliot gave up on a soothing tone, and patted Dale’s (second-most muscular in the Border camp, hello) arm instead. “Everything is going to go great, provided you do exactly what I want.”
He sensed a presence at his side, glanced in that direction and found himself staring at a dead rabbit.
“Aaaaagh!” said Elliot.
“I’m gonna go,” said Dale, and ran.
The dead rabbit, hanging at eyelevel, regarded Elliot with a glazed regard. Elliot eventually pulled his gaze away from the creature and looked to the harpy who had alit on the grassy bank beside Elliot and who was holding her prey aloft with what seemed to be pride.
“This is for you,” she told him.
“Oh,” said Elliot. “How kind. How did you guess that I love… dead things?”
She inclined her head. He could make out the actual pattern of feathers in her hair: it was so fascinating. He found himself smiling with reflexive admiration, even in the presence of dead rabbits. Then he wondered what smiles meant to harpies, when some had human-looking mouths and some had beaks. Surely the greater variety made for a greater range of expression. He wondered if he could ask.
“I caught it myself,” the harpy told him.
Elliot appreciated the harpies’ efforts to bond across the species divide and make this treaty work. He wished she had approached someone else, as even after years on this side of the Border he felt queasy around dead uncooked animals. The rabbit dangled, swaying slightly from side to side. Elliot averted his eyes from its hypnotic swing.
“I am one million per cent genuinely impressed,” he said firmly. “You’re Podarge, aren’t you? Celaeno mentioned that you were an expert gardener. I would be so interested to learn the differences and similarities between human and harpy methods. You seem like the ideal person to talk to. If you would care to share your expertise.”
Podarge ducked her head and blushed, color rising around her beak. “If you really want me to.”
Oh. Oh, Elliot understood why he had been brought a dead animal. He brightened up.
“I do,” he said. “Would it be forward of me to add that I really like your hair?”
“I like your hair!” said Podarge. “I can see it from leagues up in the sky.”
“You sure can,” said Elliot. “Like a small localised forest fire, and up until this moment I thought of it as just about as disastrous.”
Luke’s heritage was great, he thought, and forays to make treaties were great, and he, Elliot, might be about to get a girlfriend who could fly! A flying girlfriend! He could not wait to tell Serene.
Then he saw Celaeno and Luke approach. Normally, he would have been pleased to see Luke and his aunt (his flying aunt!) but at this precise moment he felt he could have done without them. He tried to make a subtle gesture to Luke to go away. Luke squinted and frowned at him.
“You have feathers in your hair.”
“Yeah, they get all over, I’ve just learned to accept it,” said Elliot, as Luke came over, pulled the feathers out and threw them on the ground. “Or not.”
Celaeno looked at Elliot, Podarge and the rabbit. She had a somewhat severe air about her at all times, but it was increased enormously now. She looked at the dead rabbit as if it had wronged her family.
“Podarge, a word in the air, if you would.”
Podarge jumped at the tone of command—literally jumped into the air, so she and the bunny swiftly became nothing more than a speck against the clouds.
Elliot could not work out where it had all gone wrong.
“That was my dead creature,” he said forlornly. “It was for me.”
“Yeah, you’re hilarious and what you told Commander Woodsinger was so believable,” Luke muttered.
Luke had now referred to something that Elliot had told Commander Woodsinger about fourteen times. Elliot could not imagine what he meant, and Elliot was really starting to worry he’d told the commander something ludicrous, like that he wouldn’t cause any trouble. He also didn’t know why Luke thought he was currently making a joke.
Things did not look good in the awesome flying girlfriend department. Possibly Celaeno thought that human and harpy mingling would be detrimental to the treaty. Elliot sighed wistfully. He did not want to do anything that would damage the treaty.
“Did you get on well with Celaeno,” he asked, poking Luke. “Tell me you didn’t say anything stupid. No, wait, it’s you: tell me you didn’t say anything too stupid.”
Luke did not look mildly irritated, as he usually would have. He looked tired, and he still had that certain air of low-lying anger which had hung around him like a shadow since his mother had told him the truth, and which Elliot had never seen on him before.
“I don’t know,” he said, his voice heavy. “She said stuff about… my wings. I don’t think she knew what she was talking about.”
“She does have a pair of her own, though,” Elliot pointed out.
Luke gave him a dark look. “She gave me a skull to drink out of.”
“Oh, loser, tell me you respected her traditions and drank out of her skull!”
Luke sat down on the bank and ran his hand through his hair, then stayed with his head bowed and his hand in his hair, as if he’d wanted to put his head in his hands but did not want to betray that level of vulnerability.
“I drank out of her skull,” he said. “I tried to be polite. I wish all of this was over and we were going home.”
This was not good. Elliot thought about Serene saying: We all take care of each other, and I take the best care of Luke. She was right. He knew she was right. But she wasn’t here.
“I think Dale went that way,” Elliot tempted him.
Luke did not respond to this offered treat.
Elliot offered a different treat. “I think Serene is practising with a couple of other cadets and a longbow in the woods!”
Luke did not go off to excel at physical activities. Luke chose to sit in the dirt, because that was a super fun time.
“Do you want to hear about the significance of the dead and the attitude to mortality in harpy culture?”
Luke lifted his head for just long enough to give Elliot a baleful stare, then dropped it. “Of course I don’t.”
The autumn sun streamed down on the grassy bank, on Luke’s bent golden head and hunched broad shoulders. The stream of sunlight was broken by the moving dark, the fluttering shadows cast by the leaves and the wheeling, moving shadows cast by the harpies high above, their presence disrupting the whole sky.
“So leave,” Elliot suggested, settling himself on the bank. “Go find something more fun to do, because I’m going to talk about it.”
“Can I stop you,” Luke muttered.
He could, actually: he could have belted Elliot across the mouth to shut him up, which had been done before, though the idea of Luke doing it was so ridiculous Elliot found it quite funny. He could have surrendered like Dale or just given up and walked away. But it had been four years now, and he hadn’t: so Elliot’s priorities were first Luke, then the treaty, and a long, tragic way back, flying girlfriends.
This was not the hilarious situation Elliot had originally believed it was. Luke was upset, in a new and disturbing way. If it meant delivering Dale on a plate, carrying through peace with the harpies singlehanded, or just filling in the time until Serene returned and was able to comfort him in ways Elliot had never learned, they were going to get through this.
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.)