Upcoming Events in Londontown

Book Notes - Featuring News and Gossip at DeadBookDarling
Book Notes is a regular feature at Dead Book Darling highlighting bookish news, curiosities and gossip spotted across the blogosphere. May the drama be with you…

It’s a conspiracy of authors

The London HQ of Forbidden Planet has a tonne of brilliant author parties/signings coming up this February – seriously, I’m drooling here.

On Friday 9th February the events kicks off with the launch party and signing for Laura Lam’s debut novel Pantomine. (I am so in love with this cover, it’s not even funny.) Then, the very next day, two more debut authors, Liesel Schwarz and E. J. Swiftwill, be having their first Forbidden Planet signings (it’s “A Conspiracy of Authors“, y’all).

Author Christopher Brookmyre will be signing his book Bedlam on Tuesday 19th February. While this book doesn’t seem like my cup of tea, it should be perfect for Tron fans out there.

The month concludes on Tuesday 26th February, with Peter V. Brett reading from and signing copies of The Daylight War – his newest book in his Demon Cycle series.

Pretty brilliant, huh?

Lauren Oliver - Author PhotoLauren Oliver Event 

The lovely Lauren Oliver will be coming to the UK to promote the final book in her Delirium trilogy, Requiem. She’ll be doing a special event at Waterstones Piccadilly in London on Tuesday 19th March. Tickets are £3 – but trust me, having met Lauren a couple of years ago, I can tell you that she’s worth 100 times that! You should reserve your place ASAP – just click here to learn how.

J.K. Rowling Webcast

Book Notes - Featuring News and Gossip at DeadBookDarling
Book Notes is a regular feature at Dead Book Darling highlighting bookish news, curiosities and gossip spotted across the blogosphere. May the drama be with you…

Live Webcast with J.K. Rowling

Bloomsbury have just informed me that the wonderful J.K. Rowling will be taking part in a webcast on Thursday 11th October at 5 pm (UK time)! No, she won’t be talking about her new adult book, but rather Harry Potter, Pottermore and all things Hogwarts (which, frankly, is what we all want)!

This is the first interview JKR has done about Harry Potter in quite a few years – so if you’ve been dying for just a wee bit more Potter, this is your chance!

The webcast will be streamed live via the Bloomsbury website and will be available to view after the event. To catch the event, visit the Bloomsbury HP website where there is currently a countdown to the event. (There’s also a “Sign Up” thingy… not sure why that’s there… maybe to send out email reminders?)

JK Rowling Webcast

Book Notes: Rowling, Goodreads and a brilliant bookcase

Book Notes - Featuring News and Gossip at DeadBookDarling
Book Notes is a regular feature at Dead Book Darling highlighting bookish news, curiosities and gossip spotted across the blogosphere. May the drama be with you…

That new J.K. Rowling book

The Casual Vacancy has been described as crass and cheerless, but written by a skilled hand. But after reading the New York Times’ fantastically well-done review of the book –  Darkness and Death, No Magic to Help – I know I am going to be avoiding it. And not because I don’t adore J.K. Rowling… but because I am just not that into depressing, dark and overly-realistic books. Call it a character fall, but just don’t make me read it.

Other than the NYT Review, there has been some rather good coverage of the book in the pro-world. Check out The Guardian’s reservedly critical review and  EW’s Shelf Life’s J.K. Rowling’s ‘The Casual Vacancy’: 10 NSFW lines you would NEVER see in a Harry Potter book.

Badreads

A lot of bloggers have been addressing the Goodreads problem lately, and frankly, it’s about time. Yes, I do use Goodreads and I use it quite a bit – but I have always had trouble with the site. It has always seemed too… commercial. And frankly, that whole GR bullies B.S. earlier this year still has me rather unsettled.

Sarah, over at Clear Eyes, Full Shelves, has written a nice piece about the reader disconnect going on at Goodreads: Has Goodreads Forgotten Readers? VacuousMinx also wrote a step-by-step post on how Goodreads is catering to authors rather than readers. Both really good posts to check out, even if you plan to remain a Goodreads die-hard!

The Tetris Bookcase

I found out about these rather brilliant bookcases while watching one of Priscilla (from The Readables – brilliant channel, check her out if you haven’t already). If you are anything like me, every time you get a new bookcase it fills up within a week… and then it’s back to IKEA. Well, this bookcase grows with your collection. Take a look – it’s awesome (albeit prohibitively expensive).

Covers, Deals and UK events

Book Notes - Featuring News and Gossip at DeadBookDarling
Book Notes is a regular feature at Dead Book Darling highlighting bookish news, curiosities and gossip spotted across the blogosphere. May the drama be with you…

New Book Deals

  • Little, Brown Books for Young Readers has acquired two books (Arcanum and an untitled novel) by Ransom Riggs, the New York Times bestselling author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Arcanum, a new young adult novel, begins in the attic of an old, forgotten rural museum, where secret objects from the distant past lie in dust and in wait. When a group of teens discover this cache of sinister curiosities, they unsuspectingly unleash hell in their sleepy town. Magic, mystery, and evil intertwine in this dark, creepy, and frightening story, which is set for a spring 2014 publication. I haven’t had the chance to read Ransom’s first book yet, but it is on my TBR pile!
  • Vicki Pettersson, Sign of the Zodiac series author and one-time showgirl, sold a new series to Harper Voyager/Morrow. The three book deal begins with The Taken, and is scheduled as a paperback original for June 2012.
  • Rachel Caine has sold a stand-alone novel to NAL built around the character of Benvolio, from Romeo and Juliet. She’s also sold 3 new books in her YA Morganville Vampires series to NAL. I’m starting to wonder when these books will ever end.
  • Bloomsbury/Walker Books for Young Readers bought a new trilogy by recent Columbia-grad  Yelena Black; book one is called Diabolical. The book is a tale of a 15-year-old who starts witnessing spooky goings-on at her prestigious ballet school. When she becomes suspicious of the controlling choreographer at her academy, she stumbles upon the fact that he is staging a performance in which the school’s dancers become pawns in a world of demons. The first book in the series will be published internationally in English—in the U.S., U.K., and Australia—in winter 2013.

UK signings and events

  • Jeffrey Eugenides. Jeffrey – bloodyEugenides. Be still my heart. In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, Jeffrey is the world-renowned, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Middlesex (which is one of my favourite novels). He is going to be at Waterstone’s Picadilly, London, on Friday, 4 November 2011, 7:00PM. This is a proper meet-and-greet event, so you do have to buy tickets. They are £5 (or £3 for Waterstones card holders). You can buy them online here.

New Book Covers

  
  • Blue-Blooded Vamp by Jaye Wells –  This is the final book in the fantastic Sabina Kane series. In case you somehow missed it, I am a BIG Jaye Wells fan. She epitomises everything that is brilliant about the Urban Fantasy genre and, in short, rocks.
  • Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore – There is a reason bloggers everywhere dedicated posts to the release of this book. Because OMGSDFSHKFHS BITTERBLUE!
  • Darkness Falls by Cate Tiernan – This is the gorgeous US cover to the next book in Cate’s Immortal Beloved series. I liked the first book but I LOVE this cover!
  
  • Partials by Dan Wells – I had heard nothing about this book until the cover came out… and what a cover! Now it’s way up on my 2012 wishlist!
  • Revived by Cat Patrick – Cat’s novel, Forgotten, has gotten nothing but brilliant reviews. Although I haven’t read her work yet, this cover is making me want to run out and buy her work. I just adore the cover of Revived – it’s actually pretty damn original!
  • Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock – I found this book on goodreads way back when, and was very excited when it finally got a cover (even one I’m not too keen on!).

See your art on a book cover!

Faber and Faber and The Guardian are hosting a fantastic initiative for artists aged 13 to 16… putting their cover art on seminal novel The Lord of the Flies by William Golding. It’s a terrifying novel, and I can’t wait to see what scary images contestants come up with. Here’s some more detail about the competition (and info about how to enter!):

Faber and Faber and Guardian News & Media are calling on young artists to create a brand new look for one of the world’s most famous books: Lord of the Flies by William Golding. One talented artist will be selected by a team of expert judges and will have the chance to watch as their work is transformed by the Faber design team into a cover for the new educational edition of Lord of the Flies.

The winning illustration will be unveiled at a special exhibition showcasing the best of the entries. The winner and other featured entrants will be invited to the opening of the exhibition at the Guardian’s offices in London in February 2012.

The competition is open to young artists aged 13 to 16, and submissions are welcome in any medium. The closing date for entries is 20 January 2012. The competition is hosted on its own site, which also features exciting additional content for aspiring illustrators. Please visit: http://lordofthefliescover.com/

Scandals and Signings and Shakespeare, oh my!

Book Notes - Featuring News and Gossip at DeadBookDarling
Book Notes is a regular feature at Dead Book Darling highlighting bookish news, curiosities and gossip spotted across the blogosphere. May the drama be with you…

De-Gay YA

When I heard the news that a well-respected agency tried to get two authors to “de-gay” their YA novel, I can’t say I was shocked. In fact, what surprised me was that the authors had come out and told their story to the mainstream press. I am sure this kind of thing goes on all the time, we just never hear about it… And just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, the agency came out denying everything. Which is certainly a new crisis management technique! Aja gives you the full scoop (and a very healthy rant) in her article in The Mary Sue. Read it!

New author deals

In other, less terrifying news, there have been some pretty brilliant new deals signed between authors and their publishers. Here are the ones I am particularly excited about:

  • Historical Fiction writer Phillipa Gregory has signed with Simon and Schuster to write 4 YA Historical Fiction novels. The first will be published in summer 2012. I’ve never read any of Gregory’s work, but it is exciting to have her in the genre! More on Dark Faerie Tales.
  • Dark Life author Kat Falls will be publishing a dystopian romance trilogy with Scholastic. The first book, The Fetch, will be out in autumn 2012. I loved Dark Life, so I am really looking forward to what else Kat comes up with. More on Presenting Lenore.
  • One of my favourite authors, Ann Aguirre, will be publishing an all-new science fiction trilogy with Ace. The books have been pitched as “prison break – in space”, so needless to say that I am desperate to read them! They’ll be out in autumn 2013. More on Ann Aguirre’s website.
  • Rag & Bones is a new YA anthology, edited by Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt, that will feature a whole bunch of my favourite authors. Among them: Kelley Armstrong! It is being published in 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (World). More on Tez Says.

New Covers

There are always new stunning and not-so-stunning covers coming out. But these are the ones that have really caught my eye:
  
  • Illuminate by Aimee Agresti – I know, another red dress. But the summary for this book is just so intriguing!
  • Insurgent by Veronica Roth – I haven’t read Divergent and I really never planned to… but this cover is just so lovely! I am really tempted to pick up the first book in the series now!
  • The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellsion – No idea what this is about, but I find the cover gorgeously spooky. It’s Dexter meets butterflies…
 
  • Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – This cover is so spooky! Maybe I am developing a new love for somewhat terrifying things, because I just find this cover amazing.
  • If I Die by Rachel Vincent – I have but one word: F-I-E-R-C-E.

UK Signings!

Some big names are coming to the UK. Some seriously, seriously big names! I really hope y’all can make some of these great signings:

  • Christopher Paolini will be at Forbidden Planet on Wednesday 28 September! Christopher Paolini will be signing the first three volumes of The Inheritance Cycle at the Forbidden Planet Megastore. The signing is a lead-up to the publication of the final book in the cycle. I tried to read Christopher’s books, but they aren’t for me. Even still, I find the story of his publication extremely inspiring! For more information about this signing, see the Forbidden Planet website.
  • Erin Morgenstern, author of the highly anticipated The Night Circus will be discussing her fin-de-siècle fantasia of magic and mischief at Foyles in Bristol, Monday 10 October. I have been dying to read this book – so it’s extremely exciting that the author is coming to the UK! Read more here.
  • Peter F. Hamilton will be signing his short story collection Manhattan in Reverse at the Forbidden Planet Megastore on Thursday 6 October. While I haven’t had the chance to read any of Peter’s works yet, he is an absolute rock star in the SF genre!More details on the Forbidden Planet website.
  • Christopher Priest, the multiple award-winning fantasy/SF/horror author will be at London Foyles not once, but twice! He’ll be in the Gallery discussing his career and new book, The Islanders, on 29 September. Read more here. And then he’ll be back for the “House of Fear” event along with Sarah Pinborough and Paul Meloy. Read more here.
  • Moira Young and Philip Reeve will be doing a joint chat in Guildhall, Bath on Sunday, 25 September. Tickets are £5, but I am sure the event will be unforgettable! More information is available on the Waterstones website.

The waters of the Avon…

And last but not least, Oxford Dictionaires has a great new online test for you all… How Shakespearean are you? You just stick a bit of your own writing into a box, and they give you a verdict. Apparently my English is 81 percent Shakespearean. “The waters of the Avon almost lap at your feet.”
Give it a go!
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