HEARTLAND is out.

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The brick and mortar stores will be putting HEARTLAND, my second book, on the shelves as soon as they get it, which should be this week or next. Amazon is shipping already, and I hear a few folks have received copies. (The guy sitting across from me on the train this morning is reading a copy, but then he came to the house and prostrated himself on the lawn for a few hours until I gave him a copy.) So it looks like the second book is on its way. Huzzah!

Over at John Scalzi’s Whatever, I’m doing the The Big Idea today, which is a brief outline of the central conceit behind the book series. Drop by and join the conversation.

The soundtrack for HEARTLAND has been posted at the Codex of Souls website.

There will be a release party on February 5th at D & W Wine Cellars, if you’re local. The wine selection will be from the Markham Vineyard (I know; bonus that they’re actually good wines). I’ll probably do a reading, and then there will be suitable revelry. If that’s the wrong end of the Puget Sound for you, I’ll be at the Lake Forest Park location of Third Place Books on March 16th @7pm to do a reading as well.

And that’s the HEARTLAND news. Oh, yes, there’s this little tidbit. If you are the type who doesn’t read the excerpt in the back of books, you might want to go back and look at the one in LIGHTBREAKER. The opening in HEARTLAND picks up a day after this conversation between Markham and the Hierarch. I know we call it an excerpt, but really, it’s a bridge.

The next two are called ANGEL TONGUE and KARMA KISS. They’ll be out later. 🙂

Diet Soap Podcast is out

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We’ve all survived our dance with the Piglicker Flue over here. This was not the year to partake of the Kiss a Pig For Charity booth at the Country Fair, just sayin’. All we have to show for it is stronger immune systems, one rather mundane (in the end) visit to the ER, and lots of conversations where we sound like old Soviet women who have worked for decades in the industrial factories. Such lovely party gifts. Thanks, swine flu; don’t bother stopping by next year.

I’m packing lunches and a suitcase this morning, so all I’ve got is a picture and a podcast.

Mark Henry lists Lightbreaker in his weekly ‘Shopping List for People Who Don’t Suck’, where it is #3 or #4 (depending on how you read his list). He also mentions that it is now in ‘wide release,’ which is code for saying that you can (finally) get it at Barnes & Noble. If our local stores are an indicator, they’ve brought in more than a handful for the shelves, so if you haven’t picked up a copy of the book yet (or need a second one to giveaway, ‘sallI’msayin’), show B & N a little love for playing catch-up.

Also, Doug Lain over at Diet Soap has posted their latest podcast, which includes a conversation with me on Lightbreaker and other occult topics (link). Go and listen to me mispronounce Aleister Crowley’s name and try to dodge the tough religious questions. I do these sorts of gaffs to appear as a dilettante, mind you. It worked for Lamont Cranston and Bruce Wayne; and remember, if you claim to a Rosicrucian, you probably aren’t. It’s the ones who appear like idiots that you have to watch out for.

For those who are going to WFC, I’ll see you in the bar in a few hours.

World Fantasy Convention Schedule

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Breaking radio silence to update everyone on my World Fantasy Schedule this coming weekend. In case someone has trouble finding me.

FRI 8:30 PM >> Regency Ballroom >> Group Autographing
I’ll probably drop by here for an hour or so. Until I need a drink more than I need to watch people read my name and get that funny look of “who is he?”

FRI LATER >> Night Shade Party
No idea where. No idea when it starts. No idea how long it runs. All I know is that I’ll be having a couple of these:

There’s other homebrew as well for the non-IPA fans in the room. For the record, I had nothing to do with this. I believe the beer is all courtesy of Bizarro Central.

SAT 4:00 PM >> Crystal Room >> The End of the World
I’m on a panel with Lisa Mannetti, Loren Rhoads, John Shirley, and F. Paul Wilson where we’ll be talking about Horror–both upper and lower case–as it applies to the end of the world (or not, as the case may be).

MON 6:30 PM >> BORDERLAND BOOKS (in SF) >> Group Signing
Monday, I’ll be up in SF, taking part of the Borderland Books event, along with Paolo Bacigalupi, Ellen Datlow, Nina Kriki Hoffman, Cecelia Holland, Mary Robinette Kowal, Laird Barron, Marie Brennan, Lynn Ceasar, Nancy Etchemendy, Cody Goodfellow, Elaine Isaak, Nick Mamatas, Diana Paxson, Tony Richards, Michael Shea, John Skipp, and others. Bunch of authors, packed in a room, armed with pens.

Interviews, Reviews, and the Long Glide (planning thereof)

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Firstly, Michael at the Mad Hatter’s Bookshelf has posted the interview he did with me about Lightbreaker and other sundry things (including a reveal about my secret food loathings and the two-line pitch of the new book project). He was quick on the asking of questions and so has ended up with some squeaky little tidbits that look a lot like . . . exclusives. So, click on over and give it a read. Show him that you care.

Secondly, Tim Pratt was kind enough to come out of a reviewing nap and do up a few hundred words about Lightbreaker for this month’s Locus, the industry’s trade magazine. For which I am very grateful and very pleased. Typically, their reviews are print-only (my first!) and so I’ll have to excerpt it here for you.

“Though the piling-up of occult details does make this world’s magical system seem intricate and believable, Markham’s ruminations and visions can go on too long, and aren’t nearly as much fun as the various set pieces involving electrified iron maidens, booksellers transformed into Milton-quoting oracles, brutal magical duels, shambling soulless zombie hordes, and scene of truly impressive magical devastation. Still, Teppo’s preoccupation with profound questions of human purpose and potential make this deeper and more thought-provoking than your average urban fantasy.”

Thank you, sir. I do hear you on the obsessive detailing of occult marginalia. It may be a fatal character flaw on my part. We’ll see.

And, speaking of that character flaw, I’ve been thinking more about the phrase I mention in the Mad Hatter interview: the “occulture critic” (I got it from Erik Davis, who is a righteous believer in the truly fantastic). Twitter seems as good a place as any to try out some new things, so I’m going to try to be more active on the #amtarot and #pmtarot hash tags. Twice a day, thetarotlady draws a card. Those of us following offer interpretations. So, if you’re curious, tag the tags and watch the fun.

Reading, Review, and Rest

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A reminder that I’m reading at Third Place Books (the Lake Forest Park store) tomorrow evening at 7pm for those in the Seattle area.

The Mad Hatter’s Bookshelf reviews Lightbreaker, and gives me 8 out of 10 hats. He’s also asked for an interview and I send back the questions yesterday so that should be posted in a week or so.

And, finally, I also sent back the CEM of Heartland last night. So, baring any final discussion of edits, book 2 is done. Amazon thinks it is back-ordered already, but, really, publication date is Feb 2010.

Now, I rest. For a day or so, and then it’s on to the next project.

Reading Reminder

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Just an early reminder that I’ll be reading next week at Third Place Books (the Lake Forest Park store) next Wednesday at 7.00pm. Depending on whether or not they put me out in front of all the random kids wandering around, I may even read something from the sekrit projekt, in addition to the normal Monkey Juggling Starfish routine.

Third Place Books
17171 Bothell Way NE
Lake Forest Park, WA 98155

Mamet and Disney

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Variety reports that David Mamet is to write and direct a new film version of The Diary of Anne Frank. For Disney, no less. The article says: “Mamet brings his own original take on the material that could re-frame the story as a young girl’s rite of passage.”

I mean this with no disrespect to Mamet, whose work I really admire for its, well, density and brutality of language, but I have to wonder who is in for more of a surprise: Disney, for thinking that Mamet is going to “re-frame the story as a young girl’s rite of passage” in a way that will not emotionally scar your typical Disney audience; or the audience, for thinking this’ll be a happy Disneyified version of Anne’s life.

Mamet’s last film, Redbelt, is a subtle piece of work that gels more and more the longer it sits in your brain. Not a happy ending, necessarily, but one that resonates quite solidly. Very much a writer’s movie.

Payday

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The Check That Is In The Mail? I got it today. Along with a note from my agent that says (and I’m going to quote him because it speaks very highly of Scribe’s perseverance): “One of the original state goals of Scribe when we first started out was: find that one guy who wrote that cool ass book and get it published. That ‘one guy’ was of course you, and the ‘cool ass book’ was Souls of the Living.”

For those who haven’t heard the story, Kris first read Souls when it came across his desk during his intern days at [redacted so not to embarrass a certain New York publishing house that missed their chance early on]. He pushed for it then, and wasn’t able to convince his people to move on the book. He went off and started Scribe, TRACKED me down (and this was several years later when I had gone off to do other things, figuring the book would never sell), and let me do a complete from-scratch rewrite of the book (that he thought was sellable AS IT WAS).

The book is now published, and you all know it as Lightbreaker. The first outline of the book was written around the end of March, 1995. The first draft was written in a 60 day binge shortly thereafter. Fourteen years later, it is on the shelves.

It is there because Kristopher O’Higgins never gave up. Thank you, sir.

Updates All Around

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I have been remiss in updating so I’ll chunk out a bullet list and we’ll move on from there.

(*) Lightbreaker is in stores (mostly; B & N appears to have gotten caught short, but they’re hanging their heads and waiting for their orders to disperse to the stores). Heartland is moving through the editorial process and is on track for Feb 2010 release. Huzzah!

(*) Reviews of Lightbreaker are starting to trickle in. I’m updating the all you need to know page at the CODEX site with the good ones. The Publisher’s Weekly review, which uses the phrases “pretentious passages of overblown monologue” and “beats metaphors into the ground” to otherwise distract from things like “dramatic premise” and “strong characters,” is, well, a review from Publisher’s Weekly. They don’t hotlink to individual reviews, so you’ll have scroll down the page to find out how these words are all strung together.

Monsters of Filmland, on the other hand, say:Lightbreaker is the best book about magic that I have read since Peter Straub’s Shadowland. This book is simply amazing.” I’ll take that one, thank you very much.

(*) Book 3 is called ANGEL TONGUE (as you may have noticed from the inside page of Lightbreaker. It brings Markham back to the States after his trip to Paris and deals with floating heads, Enochian transmission stations, crop circles, and apocalyptic faith healers. It’ll also introduce a couple of re-occuring characters as we get this series more underway. (And, yes, I know the title to Book 4, but I’m keeping it quiet for a while yet.)

(*) Upcoming Appearances. For those in the Pacific Northwest area, there are two appearances scheduled for the next months. I’ll, of course, brow beat everyone about them as they get closer, but for those who wish to mark their calendars now: August 26th, 7.00pm @ Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park; and September 18th, 6.00pm @ Barnes & Noble in Tukwila.

(*) Also, the Esoteric Book Conference, Sept 19 & 20. My wallet is crying already. I’ll be geeking out heavily.

(*) Oh, and my pal, John Klima, won a Hugo last night for Best Fanzine. Well, technically Electric Velocipede won, but as the magazine has been the result of his blood, sweat, and angst for the last eight years, I think he can call it “his.” Hey, John, I guess you can update the header bar of your EV Blog now. That’s “Hugo Award winning and World Fantasy Award nominated.”