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December, 2003

Happy Holidays to all my readers! In celebration, I’m once again offering to send a signed, personalized bookplate to anyone giving one of the Kushiel’s Legacy books as a gift this year. Email me before December 15th with the recipient’s name, and your name and address, and I’ll send a bookplate for both of you.

Of course, bookplates are available year-round to everyone through my standing Bookplate Offer, so please, honor the spirit of the season!

I’ve been promising significant news for some time now, and although it took a while to work out the details, I do at last have news to deliver. As I’ve said before, I’ve been considering a return to Terre d’Ange for a few years. A lot of savvy readers guessed what direction I’d be going after the end of Kushiel’s Avatar, and it’s now official. I’m happy to report that I’ve accepted an offer from Warner Aspect for a new D’Angeline trilogy in which Imriel will feature as protagonist and narrator.

So there’s the news; I hope you like it! I’m excited about the project, and I’ve already begun writing. It will be fascinating to revisit a familiar milieu with a fresh gaze, and Imriel is completely unlike Phèdre — almost the flip side of the Kusheline coin. One thing’s for sure… puberty’s going to be hell.

I forgot to mark an anniversary last month. As of November 1st, I’ve been a full-time writer for a year, and I haven’t regretted single a day of it. Oddly enough, it took almost exactly a year for checkout clerks at the grocery store to start calling me “Dear,” and all the staff at the local library to know me by sight. Well, except for one guy, who has no idea I’m a writer. He told me all about a talk I missed by another Michigan author, and how fascinating it was to hear about the ins and outs of the publishing business. I kept a straight face and said politely that it must have been very interesting indeed. I wonder what he thinks I’m doing with all the peculiar research books I get there? Something, perhaps, best left to the imagination.

It’s funny, but I tend to be better recognized outside my home state. I was pleasantly surprised by the talk I gave at Michigan State University last month. I had my doubts about a Friday night on a college campus, and I was warned on arrival that turnout tended to be… well, modest. The series coordinator was pleased to let me know that there had been a phone inquiry, almost guaranteeing at least one audience member. But in defiance of expectations, there was a nice gathering — one of their largest — and it was a good, lively discussion.

Afterward, the coordinator seemed quite impressed with the calibre of the audience and the discussion. “Yeah,” I said nonchalantly, as I prepared to saunter out into the night, “I’ve got great fans.”

Thanks, as always, for all you do! Here’s wishing everyone joie for the holidays!

November, 2003

It seems like ages since my last update! October was a full month. Thanks to everyone who sent good wishes for the Ireland trip, it was truly a delightful time. It’s also a good lead-in for this bit of news: I have a short story in a forthcoming anthology titled Emerald Magic: Great Tales of Irish Fantasy.Purchase Emerald Magic through Amazon.com

It’s scheduled for publication in February 2004, so it will be on the shelves in time for St. Patrick’s Day. My story is called “The Isle of Women,” and is based on the legend of the seafaring hero Máel Dúin. Not one of the better-known myths, but I happened across it and was inspired. So, it seems, was C.S. Lewis — there were parts of it that were familiar from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which I loved as a child. It’s always fun to uncover little hints of source material in unexpected places.

At any rate, it looks like the anthology has a great line-up, and I’m looking forward to it. It was edited by Father Andrew Greeley. I remember the furor over his first novel; Cardinal Sins, I think it was. A priest writing a novel with scenes of carnal desire! Of course, I couldn’t wait to read it.

It wasn’t That Book, though; I’d already had my encounter with That Book. I don’t know if it’s the same for men, but among women, everyone remembers That Book. It’s the one where you first discovered a detailed, graphic description of SEX, so fascinating it demanded to be read and reread, contemplated at great length. The one all your friends read, passing it around, whispering, “Wait until you get to page 173!” It’s not the same book for everyone, of course, but we’ve all got one. For me, back in junior high, it was Colleen McCullough’s The Thorn Birds.

Once again, desire & faith collide… perhaps, on a subconscious level, it’s a part of what prompts me to seek to unite them in my own writing. Who knows? This is why, as I’ve said before, my least favorite interview question is “Where do you get your ideas?” or “What inspires you?” It’s a rare occasion when I can point to a single source, such as the legend of Máel Dúin. And even at that, there are other bits tangled up in it, like three or four lines of a poem I read fifteen years ago, and other parts I simply don’t know where they came from. It’s a mysterious business, writing.

In other news, I wanted to let readers know that Earth Begotten, the hand-printed letter press volume of Elua’s story produced by Havilah Press, has sold out. It was a limited edition of 50 copies, and the last copy sold in October. Sad to see them go, but it was a wonderful project to be a part of, and it gave me a new respect for the history of book-making. Every writer should have an opportunity to hoist a tray of lead type and feel its weight. Believe me, it’s heavy.

Michigan readers take note, I’ve added an event to the listings — a reading/talk at MSU on Friday, November 7th. Somehow, I have a feeling that a literary event at a college library on a Friday night isn’t going to be a huge draw, so if you’re in the area, stop by — there should be plenty of seating. Feel free to bring books to sign and questions to ask. Just don’t ask me where I get my ideas, please!

PiratesIn closing, I hope everyone had a Happy Halloween! In my town, we celebrate it twice, because it’s just that much fun. Since this seemed to be the Year of the Pirate, I paid tribute accordingly. Here’s a lovely picture of my comrade-in-arms, the Dread Pirate Heidi, and I preparing to wreak havoc.

As we say in the trade, “Arrrrrggh!”

October, 2003

This month’s update will be brief and early, as I’ll be out of town for the first week of October on a trip to Ireland. Yay!

First and foremost, I do at last have an update on Elegy for Darkness, which… is no longer calledElegy for Darkness. It’s been retitled Godslayer. The good news is that it’s finally been scheduled for publication — and the bad news is that it’s not until November 2004. A long time to wait, I know, but there you have it. Why so late? Honestly, I don’t know. There’s a lot of jockeying for position in each season’s list of titles, and publishers don’t always divulge what goes on behind the scenes. But hey, it could be worse! If Jean Auel’s fans could wait over a decade for another book from her, I trust my readers can hold out an extra six months or so.

Strangely enough, none of my titles ever make it past the Marketing department — someone’s always got an idea for something punchier. In Hollywood, it’s an axiom that there are two things in which the writer has no say: The title and the ending. In publishing, in my experience, it’s the title and the cover art. On the balance, I think we have the better deal.

On an unrelated note, here’s a fun item brought to my attention by the manager of Lee Booksellers in Lincoln, Nebraska. One of her customers brought in a copy of a sewing magazine with this picture.Stacia Smith, Designer

Does that tattoo look familiar? It seems the dress, which was indeed Phèdre-inspired, won Most Successful Garment in a Reversible Garment Challenge! Check out Threads for a better look at it. Congratulations to Stacia Smith, the designer — I hope her temper is better than Favrielle’s!

Apropos of congratulations, the same to my three contest winners from last month, James, Lee and Elizabeth! The poem was Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Ozymandias, and the quote I appropriated from it, on p. 267 of Avatar, reads “My name is Ahzimandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”

September, 2003

I’m running a special “Back to School” contest this month! In the process of excavating my office, I discovered… well, many things, but among them, a few Women in Fantasy folders.Women in Fantasy Folder

So here’s the deal: Kushiel’s Avatar contains a literary in-joke referencing a well-known poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley. I’ll send a folder to the first three readers to email me with the title of the poem and the line I quoted from it. Have at it! Update: Contest over! Congratulations to James, Lee and Elizabeth.

In other news, I’m still waiting for the final word on Elegy for Darkness. Summer is a slow time in publishing. However, there is a compelling twist on the D’Angeline front. I was contacted by a choreographer teaching dance at an area university who’s interested in developing a ballet based on Kushiel’s Dart. It would certainly be a glorious spectacle! I’ll report on its development if the project comes to fruition.

It’s been an interdisciplinary month. Here’s a link I received from Greenlee SeaCrest, a jewelry maker who’s created several pieces named after characters in the trilogy. They can be found in the Celtic and Necklaces categories. I’m partial to ‘Ysandre’s Throne,’ myself. 🙂

It’s wonderful to discover that my writing has sparked inspiration in artists in such vastly different media. And at this point, I feel like I’ve really got a scoop when I can share something my intrepid fans haven’t already ferreted out! It seems we’re up to six fan sites, listed here at Crowfire’s site. Pretty cool, eh?

Otherwise, I’ve been taking time to enjoy the summer. It’s my first summer as a full-time writer, and I’m loving it. So is our local bird population, as I have the time to be diligent about filling their feeders. Our property is inhabited by possibly the world’s most bad-ass hummingbirds. Don’t be fooled by their fragile appearance — these suckers stage vicious dogfights, and when their feeder is empty, they approach the screen porch, hover at eye level and yammer at me. No joke! Too much sugar in the nectar, maybe.

I’ve been doing lots of reading; some research, some pleasure, and some of a different nature altogether. While I don’t read many blogs, there are two I’ve been following lately: Salam Pax and Riverbend. Both are intelligent young Iraqis giving candid reports of life under the current circumstances. It’s a disturbing, valuable glimpse into a situation that is, for many of us, unthinkable.

>Whatever your politics may be, I believe there is tremendous merit in trying to understand the impact of your country’s actions on the lives of others. And for me, as a writer, it’s imperative. How can I possibly create complex, believable worlds if I don’t understand the one I live in? How can I possibly create sympathetic characters if I lack compassion for others? I can’t imagine.

Or to put it in simpler terms: All knowledge is worth having.

August, 2003

A word of warning! This is old news for regular visitors, but for those who are unaware, yes, there is another author named Jacqueline Carey, and she has a new book out titled The Crossley Baby. If you like light social satire, you may very well enjoy it; just be advised, it’s nothing like my work. You can check it out on her site. And yes, it’s okay to laugh at the domain name! In all fairness, she’s been publishing for longer than I have, and I’m sure she gets some annoying inquiries. I had no idea she was still writing fiction until an editor at Romantic Times asked me about The Crossley Babyearlier this spring .

Ah, well, the world is big enough for two of us… or three. Oddly enough, I’m pretty sure there’s yet another Jacqueline Carey, who’s written a couple books on beads and braiding. Strange, but true! For the record, again, only the Kushiel’s Legacy trilogy and the Angels coffee table book are mine. And yes, Jacqueline Carey is my real name. As I said before, it must be a good-luck name for writers.

Other fresh stuff this month includes a new fansite, House Montrève. It’s a Dutch site; thanks to Andrea for my first foray into international fandom! I also received a link to a review of the Dutch version, Kushiël’s Pijl, by the president of the Tolkien Society in Belgium. The curious (or Dutch-speaking) can view it under ‘Recensies’ here.

German cover of book 3The intrepid Lady Domini at House Eglantine has once again gotten the early scoop on German cover art, posted under the heading “Eeek.” This Phèdre does appear ready to shove Joscelin out of the way and kick some serious butt of her own…

Hey, at least she doesn’t have bangs!

In other news, I finished the edit on Elegy for Darkness this month. No publication date yet; I’ll update my site when I know more. And there may be news in the offing about what’s next — no promises, maybe within the next couple of months. A lot of readers have asked if I’d consider doing another D’Angeline trilogy, and the answer is, “Yes.” In fact, I’ve been thinking about it for a few years, ever since I envisioned Kushiel’s Avatar. But as much as I loved writing the Kushiel trilogy, I needed to take a break from Terre d’Ange — and I think, too, I needed to establish some distance from Phèdre. She’s a unique character with a distinctive voice. While it’s a joy to write, I suspect that if I’d tried to slide into a different protagonist’s 1st person POV too quickly, it would been hard to let go of Phèdre.

Right now, I’m looking forward to taking a bit of downtime, and perhaps exhuming my office. It’s an unbelievable mess. Sadly, that’s not an exaggeration. It’s never tidy at the best of times, and at the moment, it’s staggering. I have stacks of books, boxes, office supplies and defunct equipment obscuring almost every inch of floor space. My desk is buried under countless strata of paperwork: Manuscripts, research materials, reviews, tour schedules, press releases, receipts, catalogues, magazines… frankly, I don’t even know what’s under there. I just keep piling more stuff on top of it. It’s going to be a real archeological expedition.

But hopefully, there will also be time to relax; get some reading done and hang out with friends, two of my favorite summer activities. Here’s hoping all of you spend a great August doing the same! On a final note, I offer a quote sent to me by another writer. I can’t vouch for its authenticity, but it made me smile.

“Be a scribe! Your body will be sleek, your hand will be soft . . . You are one who sits grandly in your house; your servants answer speedily; beer is poured copiously; all who see you rejoice in good cheer. Happy is the heart of him who writes; he is young each day.” – Ptahotep, 4500 B.C.

Servants, fetch me another jug of beer!

July, 2003

Well, I’ve entered into the editing process on Elegy for Darkness. It’s an ambitious project, and will take some time. So many POVs, so many voices! What was I thinking? .

Here are a couple of the interviews I mentioned last month: SFRevu and Women Writers. The latter is a bit more of an academic/feminist approach from the usual, which was fun to do… even if my work IS considered guilty pleasure reading.

Also, I was browsing a couple of fan sites the other day — yes, I do check ’em out from time to time, they get info before *I* do! — and found a link to this Kushiel’s Quiz to determine which character you are. Fun, and quite well done! Any guesses who I turned out to be? 🙂

Apropos of characters, there’s been another sighting, this one from my friend Marti, who reports spotting a Hyacinthe lookalike in a troupe of Macedonian folk dancers at a Greek festival in southern Illinois. Oddly enough, ‘Tsingani’ is derived from the Greek term for the Romany. As Oscar Wilde said, “Life imitates art.”

Speaking of art, there are a couple more tattoos in the gallery, too; thanks to Judith and Christine for sharing them. I’m often asked how it makes me feel to have written something that inspires people to do something so permanent. For the most part, I don’t think it has anything to do withme. I imagine that sending a book out into the world is a bit like having grown children. They’re out there, having relationships with people you’ll never meet, people who will see things in them you may never have known existed. No two people read the exact same book. Everyone’s experience is private and personal.

And me, I’m just glad to have written work that resonates for so many people, for so many diverse reasons. They are my books, and no mistake; I wrote every word. But I’ve sent them out into the world, and they’re yours, too. In the act of reading, of bringing your imagination to bear on the story, you make them your own. Getting a marque, whether it’s a case of symbolizing your own personal emancipation, celebrating the union of the sacred and the sexual, or ‘Hey, I like that design!’ just takes that ownership a step further.

Though I have to admit… yeah, I still think it’s cool.

In the interest of avoiding redundancy, here’s something different: A movie recommendation. I’ve been in a book club for years, but I love movies, too. I tend to visualize in cinematic terms when I write–not by ‘casting’ my characters, but in how I see and depict the unfolding action. A little while ago, a group of friends and I instituted Movie Night. Once a month, we meet at someone’s house and watch a movie together. Our most recent selection was “Miyazaki’s ‘Spirited Away,'” which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Film of 2002. This will be old news to anime fans, but what a great movie! It’s a wonderfully surreal fantasy, and visually stunning. Enjoy!

June, 2003

After all my travels in April, there’s not much to report on for the month of May. Next month may be a different matter, but for now, I’ve been catching up on correspondence and trying to stay on top of it. Unfortunately, the weather hasn’t been good for much else! It’s been a long, chilly spring here in Michigan. This has made all the blossoms last longer, but it’s not conducive to playing outdoors. So, I’ve been working. I’ve done several interviews, too, and hope to have links for those soon as they go live. It’s interesting to see the varying questions different interviewers have, and I always welcome a fresh angle.

For the record, my all-time least favorite question is probably “Where do you get your ideas?” It’s a frustrating question, because ideas come from everywhere and nowhere. There’s no way to give a succinct answer. The seeds from which Terre d’Ange alone grew include a vivid dream fragment, a trip to Provence, and misremembering something I read in “The Dictionary of Angels.” Long ago, I read a comment by Ursula K. LeGuin noting that her well-known short story, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas,” was sparked by forgetting Dostoyevsky and reading road signs backward. Sources are endless and strange, and all we can do is offer a few anecdotes. How it all comes together into something coherent and larger than the sum of its parts is, to be honest, a bit of a mystery. I’m just glad that it does.

Anafiel Delaunay by GloriaHappily, though I don’t have much to relate, a few readers have sent items to share this month. Scroll down to check out another marque in the gallery, courtesy of Carolyn–quite spectacular and very fresh! And here, courtesy of Gloria, is a portrait of a young Anafiel Delaunay, looking rather pensive.

I’ve also added a couple of new fan links at the top of the page: a new Yahoo group started by Jasmin, and the Carey’s Crew site, courtesy of Lady Robin de Angel. Check it out, I’ve even got my own marching song!

Have a good month, and here’s hoping your weather is better than mine.

May, 2003

I’m back from the West Coast, and this month’s update features notes from the road, since that’s all I’ve been doing. But first, one very happy comment. Kushiel’s Avatar made the extended New York Times Bestseller List for three weeks in a row in April, peaking at #23. This is very cool, and largely due to word of mouth. So thanks, once more, to all you readers who nagged your friends and relatives into reading and got them hooked!

HOUSTON. Prior to the West Coast tour, I took part in a lively panel discussion at the Texas Library Association conference, aided by all the teen readers who sent input. Four hours, and no one fell asleep! Excellent authors on the panel and I got to meet a couple of great fans, Kenneth and Jerri, who made a special trip to attend-with baby boy in tow. I’ll have to post a shot of the wonderful gift they gave me (which will be tricky to photograph).

SEATTLE. The tour proper begins. A great book city, and fun to visit. Good events at both the University Bookstore and Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, though I apologize to readers who missed the beginning of my talk at the latter (there was a mix-up on the starting time). But hey, everyone got their books signed, which is the main thing. Highlights included a flight attendant for Northwest who told me she began reading Dart on a trip to Amsterdam and spent the next 20 hours holed up in her hotel room reading, and a couple whose son emailed them from travels in China to say, “Hey, y’know what would make a great birthday present…” I also got to meet some great booksellers, some fabulous fans, reunite with a college friend I hadn’t seen for ages, and eat lots of excellent seafood.

PORTLAND. Home of the famous bookstore Powell’s, a name known to all bibliophiles. Wow, that was a book-savvy audience! They say it’s due to all the rain; there’s nothing to do but read. Anyway, lots of good questions and I appreciated the chorus of “Ooooh!” when I revealed the basic plot of Elegy for Darkness. An event at a Borders in suburban Tigard was quieter, but the staff gave me some lovely parting gifts, which was very thoughtful. Also, I visited the gorgeous Classical Chinese Garden, a lovely escape in the heart of the city. And I ate a lot of seafood.

SAN FRANCISCO. Here, I got to squeeze in visits with a couple of dear friends. It’s very nice, in the course of a tour, to have a chance to connect with familiar faces. More good events, with special thanks to the great folks at Borderlands, who have done much to support the books. I decided to forgo the reading and go straight to a Q&A, and it made for a good talk. A fun crowd at Dark Carnival, and special thanks here to Adric, who stripped down to bare his spectacular full back-piece marque! Very cool, and it certainly raised the bar for everyone in line behind him. (Another new impressive new tattoo posted this month, btw, courtesy of Aaron, who added his own lunar motif).

I also toured Havilah Press while in the Bay Area, and received my author’s copy of Earth Begotten. I can’t do justice to the process involved in its creation, but it’s quite something to see the steps involved; the exacting measurements, the sheer weight of a single tiny page of lead type. For anyone wondering, this isn’t a for-profit venture for me, just an opportunity to work with my friend Chad on a unique project. And again, fair warning; these are works of art rather than a book in the contemporary sense. They’re only a few pages long. Full-length books are occasionally printed on antique letterpresses, but only for a rarified clientele of collectors, as the cost runs into thousands of dollars per copy.

And no, I’m not trying to start my own religion, no matter what my mother claims.

SAN DIEGO. Another great bookstore, Mysterious Galaxy, which has converted lots of new readers. I was glad so many came out for the event, especially since I was up against one of the final eps of Buffy! But that’s what VCRs are for, I suppose. Dinner with another friend, then onward.

HUNTINGTON BEACH. Another time mix-up at the B&N here; apologies here to readers who arrived early. But it was another good talk, and hopefully worth the wait.

LOS ANGELES. Last city, last event here at Brentanos. This time, I was up against the Lakers’ final. A small crowd, but a fun one, as I met with a number of old, new and online friends in the L.A. area. A great staff, too, and I appreciated their enthusiasm. Later in the evening, I closed out the tour with hair-raising adventures in crossing a busy road without a crosswalk. There are good reasons why no one walks in L.A. Oh, and the Lakers won.

And that concludes the West Coast tour. I’ll be doing further events in Michigan and perhaps elsewhere in the Midwest, which will be posted as confirmed. I get a lot of queries from readers wondering if and when I’ll be doing signings on the East Coast (and other regions). As I’ve said before, it’s not up to the authors-publishers decide where to send us, based on sales and demand. It looks like those are growing steadily, so I’m hopeful that I’ll be sent eastward at some point, but at the moment, there’s nothing in the works.

On a final note, recent inquiries remind me to mention that there is at least one other Jacqueline Carey out there writing; possibly two. My only titles published to date are the Kushiel’s Legacy trilogy and the Angels coffee-table book, and Elegy hasn’t been scheduled yet. Anything else, it’s one of the ‘others.’

Must be a lucky name for writers!

April, 2003

It’s going to be a short, sweet and early update this month, as I’ll be on the road for much of April. I’ll try to keep up with correspondence, bookplate requests, etc., but expect delays! Kushiel’s Avatarhits the stands this month. April 21st is the official release date, though it may appear sooner or later, depending on the store. As I write this, I’m reminded that in some ways, it’s the darkest of the three books, so be forewarned! At its darkest, it’s very dark indeed. However, it’s also the brightest of the three. All in all, it’s a book I’m proud of, and I hope all of you enjoy it.

There are a few other items of note this month. I’ve completed the manuscript of Elegy for Darkness, the unrelated stand-alone book I’ve been working on for a long time. More on Elegy later; at the moment, all I can say is, “Phew!”

Another project nearing fulfillment is a unique item. A friend of mine is a book artist, and works at a print house that has an antique letterpress. They’re creating a limited edition booklet of a D’Angeline “sacred text” entitled Earth Begotten: The Journey of Blessed Elua. It’s only a few pages long, but it’s a little objet d’art, hand-set with lead type, printed in silver ink and hand-bound. This is a fascinating, painstaking process, filled with historical significance for anyone with a reverence for books. I’ll add a page about it when things settle down, but you can get a preview at http://www.havilahpress.com/publications.html.

As some of you noticed, I added a new link to the Fan Links above. Tor’s new U.K. imprint launched last month, and they’ve created a reader forum for their authors. I will try to stop in from time to time, so feel free to visit.

Thanks to everyone who sent me their thoughts and comments about teenage readers and science fiction and fantasy last month. Lots of insightful material, and it will be very helpful in the panel discussion. I also learned that a Joscelin look-alike was spotted in a Hallmark store in Quebec. Who knew?

Happy reading to all, and I look forward to seeing many of you on my travels!

March, 2003

Time to hit the home stretch this month! It’s going to be a busy one. Kushiel’s Chosen is out in paperback and the countdown to Avatar‘s release begins. In fact, the Kirkus Review is already posted on Barnes & Noble’s website and it’s very positive – however, it gives away some major plot points, so if you don’t want to know in advance, don’t read it! Meanwhile, I’m working hard to finish Elegy for Darkness, my current work-in-progress, before an April deadline and the beginning of my West Coast tour. And of course, I’ve got to contend with my Mardi Gras krewe’s parade responsibilities. As I write this, it’s once again snowing here in Michigan, so think warm thoughts on Fat Tuesday (March 4th) for me..

I added some new listings to my Events column last month and there will be a few more to come as tour takes shape. By the way, this is a process that’s out of the author’s hands. I may set up a few regional events or try to arrange a booksigning if I’m traveling on my own behalf, but it’s the publisher who determines If, When and Where an official book tour will take place (and believe me, ‘If’ is a big part of that equation). When readers ask, “Are you ever coming to the East Coast/Southwest/Plains States/etc?” all I can say is, “Dunno, hope so!” It depends on what Tor feels will be most beneficial, and where the most bookstores say, “Sure, love to have her.”

The first event listed is actually the Texas Library Association conference on April 1st. I’m taking part in a panel discussion called “Teen Reading: Out of this World.” It’s a Q&A between authors and teen readers on ‘the attraction of science fiction and fantasy for young adults.’ Obviously, I’ll be focusing on the… um… more sophisticated end of the spectrum! I’d love to prep for this by hearing from teenaged readers out there. What’s the appeal of science fiction and fantasy? What trends have you noticed and what do you think about them? What’s missing from the genre, what would you like to see? Send me an email with your thoughts! Any specific comments on the Kushielbooks are welcome, too.

A couple more tattoo pics posted this month; Kelly, who added a lavender touch (shades of the fields of Terre d’Ange!) and Anne, whose tattoo is located on the small of her back.

On a closing note, I had a few responses to my ‘Who DOES the German Phèdre on Book 2 resemble?’ musing last month: Famke Janssen, Cindy Crawford, Catherine Zeta-Jones and the cover art on David Eddings “Polgara the Sorceress.” And then there were a couple of friends who thought I was referring to myself, leading me to realize it did kind of sound that way. Honestly, not what I meant! I’m not that disingenous! Or vain. Not to mention buxom.

Although now that they mention it, there is a bit of a resemblence around the hair, in a quasi-medieval/1970s hybrid kind of way…

February, 2003

Congratulations to Sheela and Ellen, the lucky recipients of the “Women in Fantasy” poster-calendars! There were lots of entries, most of them valid because I made everyone resubmit until they got at least 3 made-up words. It was fun to see the ‘wrong’ guesses, though. It reminded me of all the unusual bits of research I’ve done over the course of the trilogy. Yes, the holmgang is an actual ritual, and yes, there really was a drinking game called kottabos in ancient Greece.

In other news, I’ve learned that Tor is planning a West Coast book tour in late April for the release of Kushiel’s Avatar. No details yet, but I’ll post them in the Events column as they arrive. Apologies to readers elsewhere! Maybe next time…

A variety of ‘fun stuff’ has emerged this month. My laugh-out-loud favorite was a list of suggested D’Angeline Action Figures sent to me by Wynn & friends, who came up with the following while bored at school:

Kushiel: with whipping action and irremovable bronze mask.
Phèdre: with bowing and partially disrobing action.
Special Edition: Stab-Me-Phèdre with disrobing action.
Joscelin: with Cassiline bow action, and dagger-drawing action.
Special Edition: Drunken God Joscelin with blushing and teetering action.
Hyacinthe: Pull his string and he’ll give you a fortune! Also comes with colorful wardrobe and wagon accessories.
Special Edition: Waterproof Lord of the Straits outfit and pages from the Lost Book of Raziel. Also with Joscelin-threatening action.
Melisande Shahrizai: with plotting action. Pull her bait and within 72 hours you’ll have Skaldi hoards rampaging through your yard! Also with evil finger-tapping action.
Thelesis: with poetry-spouting action! And coughing action.
Alcuin: with tragic death action. (When used in conjunction with Phèdre doll, they have special hair-braiding action.)
Fortun, Remy and Ti-Philippe: marching-song singing action, and gambling action.
Favrielle: Special grouchy action, but if you give her enough money, she’ll give you something pretty anyway.

Hee! This could be the basis for another contest the next time I have an item to give away. Speaking of which, House Eglantine concluded its fanart contest last month, and the winning entry can be seen at http://www.oentalox.com/eglantine/son.html. Check out the site’s fanart page to view all the entries.

And here’s another piece sent to me by Jessica, with her interpretation of Alcuin’s marque. Thanks, Jess!

Also, last but not least, we have the cover of the second German book, which is a continuation of the translated Kushiel’s Dart. This Phèdre looks familiar, though I can’t for the life of me think who she resembles.

Auf Wiedersehen until March…

January, 2003

Happy New Year to all the friends of Terre d’Ange!

There’s not much news to report amid all the holiday mayhem, so this seems like a good time to say, “Thanks.” For loving the books, for telling your friends, for sharing your own responses — and tattoos — with me. In return, I’ll try to keep up my end. For the most part, that means continuing to write; but I’ve added a few things to the site this month.

One is a standing bookplate offer. The holiday offer went over well, and I was able to restock. I’ve got a good supply in store now, so send an SASE, and I’ll send a personalized bookplate.

Another is the “Women in Fantasy” calendar contest. I’ve got two copies of these poster-sized calendars. They’re too big to fit in a scanner, but they unfold to feature a compilation of details of covers from books in Tor’s Women in Fantasy campaign, and a calendar for 2003. They’re nifty items, and I’ll be giving both of mine away at the end of the month. (And yes, I should have a digital camera, but… well, I don’t.)

This was added earlier, but in case anyone missed it, Locus Magazine has provided a link to a special offer for anyone who’d like a copy of the December 2002 issue with an interview.

Last, I’ve added a couple of images to the ‘gallery.’ One is a poster promoting a performance by the Magical Arts Ritual Theatre in Oakland; a nice design, and it shows Adric’s marque beautifully. The other is a lovely tattoo acquired by Autumn, a member of the Spirit-Haven community in Winnipeg. They’re holding a Midwinter Masque party, with everyone attending assigned to one of the Thirteen Houses of the Night Court. Sounds like fun to me!

I’ll be hard at work writing for the next few months. Here’s wishing all of you a wonderful year in 2003!